175 years ago today - May 4-5, 1842

On May 4 Joseph Smith, after two days of preparation in the upper story of his store in Nauvoo, organizes the Quorum of Anointed or Holy Order of the Priesthood and, with Hyrum Smith's help, initiates eight men (James Adams, Heber C. Kimball, William Law, William Marks, George Miller, Willard Richards, Newel K. Whitney, and Brigham Young.) into what would later be called the "temple endowment." According to Joseph's diary he administered "washings, anointings, endowments and the communications of keys pertaining to the Aaronic Priesthood, and so on to the highest order of the Melchizedek Priesthood, setting forth the order pertaining to the Ancient of Days, and all those plans and principles by which any one is enabled to secure the fulness of those blessings which have been prepared for the Church of the First Born, and come up and abide in the presence of the Eloheim in the eternal worlds. In this council was instituted the ancient order of things for the first time in these last days." He excludes first counselor Sidney Rigdon and assistant counselor John C. Bennett.

On May 5 Joseph and Hyrum are given their endowments by some of the men endowed the day before. Of this Heber C. Kimball (who had been a Mason since 1825) writes to Parley P. Pratt, "We have received some pressious things through the Prophet on the presthood that would cause your Soul to rejoice .... Bro. Joseph Ses Masonry was taken from presthood but has become degenerated. But menny things are perfect." In 1858 Kimball declares: "We have the true Masonry. The Masonry of today is received from the apostasy which took place in the days of Solomon and David. They have now and then a thing that is correct, but we have the real thing." Later the official history of the church omits the names of apostates William Law and William Marks as having been in the original group. Woman do not participate until Sep 28, 1843.

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