55 years ago today - May 4, 1965

[Correspondence recorded in McKay diary]

... I had known of cases in the past where these contacts at the veil have been made so literally [as an embrace] and with such insistence by some brethren that it had become offensive and humiliating to some of the sister patrons being introduced. I stated that I had been instructed by President George F. Richards, when he was supervising the temples, to make sure that the brethren who assist at the veil do not offend the sisters in this way and that rather than do so they should not insist on making contact with them except perhaps with the hand on the back for fear that it would be embarrassing to them. ...

RESPONSE: President McKay stated that the highest degree of decorum and respect should be exercised by the brethren working at the veil, particularly in relation to the sisters who are being introduced and that any person who, even in his mind, fails to have pure thoughts and who is not circumspect and wholesome in every way should not be invited to assist at the veil. President McKay felt that the brethren who receive the sisters at this point should be carefully selected for their wholesomeness and unquestioned character. It is the responsibility of the temple presidency to see that the highest type of men are selected for this service. The substance of it all is that no person should be embarrassed or humiliated through the insistence of some to make certain of these [being] literal and actual [contacts]. I agreed to give direction, as necessary, by letter to President Ursenbach. * Some times women come into the washing and anointing rooms wearing wigs which are often unnoticed or are not easily detected. I reported that some had asked about anointing the heads of such women where the ceremony says "I pour this oil upon your head." SOLUTION: President McKay felt that we should not anoint a wig, but where they are being worn, the sister[']s head should be anointed as near the hairline as possible * perhaps near the temple.

[ElRay L. Christiansen to David O. McKay, May 4, 1965, in David O. McKay diary, May 4, 1965; emphasis in original as quoted in Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/TempleWorship]

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