George Albert Smith, Aug 10, 1949

-- Aug 10, 1949
Two films on Church Welfare Program-- Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah.

(Arrangements for the showing of two L.D.S. Church Welfare Program films in all stake conferences-"The Lord's Way" and "Welfare in Action.") (1)


-- Aug 12, 1949
[Temple] Attended quarterly meeting of the Twelve from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Attended quarterly meeting of the Twelve from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Consideration was given to the sacred matter of second blessings. Discussion followed the reading of an important statement prepared and read by Pres. Geo[rge] F. Richards which I responded to wholeheartedly. I was happy when all of the eleven members present (Bro. [Matthew] Cowley was absent) approved of the matter for recommendation to the Twelve. [Ezra Taft Benson diary, Aug. 12, 1949] (2)


[Temple] I attended [the] quarterly meeting of the Twelve where I presided and presented my views respecting the non administration of seconds [second anointings], with the request by motion made by Stephen L. Richards that I present the matter to the [First] Presidency if I could get a hearing, either to them alone or in the Council of the First Presidency & the Twelve. [George F. Richards diary, Aug. 12, 1949] (2)


-- Aug 17, 1949
First Presidency statement: The attitude of the Church with reference to Negroes remains as it has always stood. It is not a matter of the declaration of a policy but of direct commandment from the Lord, on which is founded the doctrine of the Church from the days of its organization, to the effect that Negroes may become members of the Church but that they are not entitled to the priesthood at the present time. The prophets of the Lord have made several statements as to the operation of the principle. President Brigham Young said: "Why are so many of the inhabitants of the earth cursed with a skin of blackness? It comes in consequence of their fathers rejecting the power of the holy priesthood, and the law of God. They will go down to death. And when all the rest of the children have received their blessings in the holy priesthood, then that curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will then come up and possess the priesthood, and receive all the blessings which
we now are entitled to." President Wilford Woodruff made the following statement: "The day will come when all that race will be redeemed and possess all the blessings which we now have." The position of the Church regarding the Negro may be understood when another doctrine of the Church is kept in mind, namely, that the conduct of spirits in the premortal existence has some determining effect upon the conditions and circumstances under which these spirits take on mortality and that while the details of this principle have not been made known, the mortality is a privilege that is given to those who maintain their first estate; and that the worth of the privilege is so great that spirits are willing to come to earth and take on bodies no matter what the handicap may be as to the kind of bodies they are to secure; and that among the handicaps, failure of the right to enjoy in mortality the blessings of the priesthood is a handicap which spirits are willing to assume in order t
hat they might come to earth. Under this principle there is no injustice whatsoever involved in this deprivation as to the holding of the priesthood by the Negroes. (3)


-- Aug 18, 1949
Apostle (and Salt Lake Temple President) George F. Richards reads a letter to the assembled First Presidency and Twelve Apostles decrying the lack of second anointings being performed. The letter states that to date 22,278 second anointings had been performed for living persons and 10,217 for the dead. Richards's letter states: "I have not been able to bring myself to feel that the Lord is pleased with us in neglecting such an important and sacred endowment, which He has given us to be administered in His holy temples to worthy members of His Church. The Second Anointings were given by revelation to the Prophet Joseph Smith to be administered to worthy members of the Church, both the living and the dead; and from the days of the Prophet Joseph to the days of President Heber J. Grant that practice continued. . . . When living members receive their Second blessings, or anointings, they are given a charge that they must not speak of those things to anybody; that only those who a
re invited by the President of the Church are to receive them, and that none others are supposed to know anything about them. . . . About 1928 an incident occurred which so incensed the First Presidency that they had all the recommend books brought in to the President's office, and instructions were given that no recommends of that character should be given by stake presidents thereafter. . . .The incident above mentioned which so exasperated the First Presidency was as follows: A brother who had received his Second Blessings, while speaking in a priesthood meeting in one of the Idaho stakes, told the brethren that they all should have their Second Blessings. Of course that was a serious infraction of the charge which he received when he had his Second Anointings; but I have never learned of any serious consequences to follow, except the action on the part of the Authorities, discontinuing the administration of those blessings in the Church. It appears to me that the mistake
made by the good brother in Idaho was not so serious as to justify letting those sacred ordinances come into disuse in the Church. I think now is the time to act; with such modifications as to details as the brethren might feel to make, insuring that these blessings be administered only to those who are worthy to receive them." The letter quotes the endowment ceremony to say, "Brethren and Sisters, if you are true and faithful, the day will come when you will be chosen, called up and anointed kings and queens, priests and priestesses, whereas you are now anointed only to become such. The realization of these blessings depends upon your faithfulness." (Endowment Ceremonies, p. 1x2.}" (3)

Footnotes:
1 - Clark, James R., Messages of the First Presidency (6 volumes)
2 - Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/TempleWorship
3 - On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com

LDS History Chronology: George Albert Smith

Mormon History Timeline: The life of George Albert Smith
http://lds-church-history.blogspot.com/

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