Monday, December 17, 2012

The Kirtland Temple Dedication Festivities

Kirtland Temple

On March 30, 1836, during the Kirtland Temple dedication, all came fasting. Many miraculous heavenly visitations were recorded on this occasion. Joseph Smith took the stand and stated: "that we had passed through many trials and afflictions since the organization of this church and that this is a year of Jubilee to us and a time of rejoicing, and that it was expedient for us to prepare bread and wine sufficient to make our hearts glad, as we should not probably leave this house until morning; to this end we should call on the brethren to make a contribution," the stewards passed round and took up a liberal contribution and messengers were dispatched for bread and wine.

The temple dedication began at 8 am, the items for the sacrament obtained at 7pm, and the meeting would go on throughout the evening and into the next morning, lasting approximately 24 hours. It’s interesting that the meeting lasted this long, but with the visitation of angels and the heavenly choirs heard, I doubt many were anxious to go home anyways. This is interesting, but more interesting was who passed the sacrament.

a.      The Deacons, as one would suspect

b.      The Relief Society

c.       The Twelve Apostles

d.      The First Presidency

Yesterday’s answers

1.      B,c,d    Brigham Young, Joseph F. Smith, Heber J. Grant

Paul H. Peterson and Ronald W. Walker, “Brigham Young’s Word of Wisdom Legacy,” BYU Studies 42, no. 3-4 (2003), 29, 55.

2.      B.   Kirtland

Joseph Fielding Smith states that “as far as our record shows water was first used in the Kirtland Temple in the solemn assemblies held there.”

Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, 5 vols. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1969), 3:2 note 2.

3.      A.   Hyrum Smith

“Word of Wisdom,” Times and Seasons 3, no. 15 (June 1, 1842): 799-801.

4.      D.   The Teachers quorum

The distinction of being the first priesthood quorum in Kirtland to act on a violation of the Word of Wisdom falls to the teachers’ quorum which, until Brigham Young’s priesthood reforms of 1877, consisted primarily of adult males. On Christmas Day 1834, the Kirtland teachers’ quorum “appointed brothers John Taylor and Benjamin Johnson to labor with Orra Cartwright for making us of tobacco.”

Paul Y. Hoskinsson, “The Word of Wisdom In Its First Decade,” The Journal of Mormon History, Vol. 38, no. 1, Winter 2012; Teachers Quorum Minute Book, December 5, 1834-February 12, 1845, first page, LDS Church History Library. The name could be “Orva”; the handwriting is not clear.

5.      C.   During December of 1837

During a conference of the Saints on Christmas day in Preston in 1837, Elder Heber C. Kimball records the following: “the Word of Wisdom was first publicly taught in that country; having previously taught it more by example than precept; and, from my own observation afterwards, I am happy to state that it was almost universally attended to by the brethren.”

Paul Y. Hoskinsson, “The Word of Wisdom In Its First Decade,” The Journal of Mormon History, Vol. 38, no. 1, Winter 2012

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