140 years ago today - Feb 13, 1880

[John Taylor]

... In regard to the three couples of young people, who have lately been married and desire their endowments and to be sealed, I would state that these things are not according to the order which has long been established among us. Some time ago when the Endowment House was closed, it was permitted, under the circumstances that then existed, for persons desirous to be married to have the ceremony performed by certain parties appointed in this City for that purpose; and, under instructions, the Bishops, in some instances, were permitted to officiate in that ordinance. This was done, however, as a matter of necessity, and is not in accordance with the order of the Holy Priesthood, and it was expected, and the parties were so informed, that as soon as the ordinances could be attended to properly, that all parties, thus married, would have to be sealed, either in the Temple or in the Endowment House. This state of things continued for a short time, when the Council [of the Twelve], on deliberation upon the subject, concluded that it was proper to re-open the Endowment House that these ordinances might be attended to properly. That House has now been opened for some two years, hence you will perceive that all ordinances performed, since that time, in the manner indicated by you, are out of place and should not be performed and cannot be tolerated, except under peculiar circumstances, and by instructions from the proper authorities; for we must maintain intact those sacred principles which God has committed to us. In the case of one young man, which you refer to, it might be excusable, but still we ought to have been consulted in the matter. However, we will let these things pass on this occasion, but hope there will not be a recurrence of this nature in the future; and if you will inform those brethren, and they come properly recommended, the matter can be attended to as per your request.

[John Taylor to Leonard E. Harrington, Feb. 13, 1880 as quoted in Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/TempleWorship]

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