[David O. McKay]
It was reported that requests have been received for permission to issue temple recommends to women to go to the temple to receive their endowments who are not divorced but have been separated from their husbands for some years and have not heard from them during that period of separation, nor do they know where they are. President [N. Eldon] Tanner said it was his feeling that where the law of the state where the parties reside says that a man who has deserted his wife and has not been heard of for a designated number of years is considered dead, that the woman in such a case should be given a recommend to the temple to receive her endowments. I concurred that under conditions of this kind the woman should be granted permission to go to the Temple to receive her endowments if she is otherwise worthy.
[David O. McKay diary, Oct. 15, 1968, in Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/TempleWorship]