45 years ago today - Jan. 29-30, 1976

[George H.] F[udge]: About this same time, in 1961, we were down to a point where we were so short of names [of the dead for proxy ordinances] that literally we were running backwards and forwards to the Salt Lake Temple almost on a daily basis taking the names for the next day. The alternatives were that we would have to do something drastic in providing names or we would have to close the temples or decrease the number of sessions they had. When that was placed before the Brethren, President [David O.] McKay said that the temples must not close. Therefore the Genealogical Society would be responsible for keeping those temples open and supplying names. We could not go out then with the whip and tell the Saints, "Do more and more research." The alternative was that we would begin with an extraction program ourselves. * So then really what we were doing is performing ordinances and these were being held [in abeyance in the spirit world] until a person proved himself worthy to accept them. Now if that was a true concept, then why couldn't we go ahead and perform ordinances not necessarily in the same sequence as we had been doing for the living? This concept would enable us to take a christening record and not only perform the baptism and endowment, but also seal the child to his parents from that one record. In doing that[,] we would be sure that the child was sealed to his correct parents. We wouldn't have to worry about grouping them. In other words, if we sealed every child to his parents and assumed we had all the records of the whole world, in the end we would have sealed everyone in the world. Well, I took that concept to the Brethren. Elder [Theodore M.] Burton was then the managing director [of the Genealogical Department]. President [N. Eldon] Tanner had been made an apostle and was not a member of the First Presidency. In turn we went to Elder [How- ard W.] Hunter, who was the president of the [Genealogical] Society. Brother Burton was the managing director, or the general manager at that time. Brother Hunter felt it was a good concept, so he went to the First Presidency with it. After some deliberation by the Brethren they decided that it was a correct concept and that we should pursue it. They sent us a written statement accordingly to approve us going ahead. ...

[George H. Fudge oral history, Jan. 29-30, 1976; pp. 15 17 19; excerpt in Buerger Papers, in Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/TempleWorship]

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