On 21 May 1965, former blessings were restored to [former apostle] John Whittaker Taylor by Joseph Fielding Smith. The attached records of this restoration were received from the Temple and from Brother [Delbert L.] Stapley's office....
A chronological chart has been attached which will show the following multiplicity of questions we are not yet able to answer:
1. What was really restored to John W. Taylor? Does this restoration now enable the family to have sealings take place which were not formerly recognized?
2. Were the sealings of the two wives, married to Brother Taylor after the [Wilford Woodruff] Manifesto but before his resignation, restored or were the sealings every considered valid?
3. Was the sealing of the sixth wife, married to him before his excommunication, restored or was there ever a valid sealing?
4. Were the sealings of the thirty children, born to him after the Manifesto, restored or were only certain of these children's sealings restored?
(Perhaps some of these would require sealings rather than restoration:)
a. The seventeen children born after the Manifesto to the three wives married prior to the Manifesto.
b. The nine children born to the two wives married between the time of the Manifesto and his resignation.
c. The four children born to the wife married between the time of his resignation and excommunication.
d. The three children born after his resignation to the three wives married before the Manifesto.
e. The six children born after his resignation to the two wives married between the time of the Manifesto and his resignation.
f. The one child born after his excommunication to the two wives married between the time of the Manifesto and his resignation.
g. The two children born after his excommunication to the two wives married between the time of the Manifesto and his resignation.
5. Were any or all of these children 'Born in the Covenant'?
6. Relative to your answers to the questions above, what should we tell these people and what should be shown on the records they submit?
Two living wives, twenty-eight children and a host of grandchildren participating in the Priesthood Genealogical Programs will need to know their status in order to properly prepare their records. Also, we will need to know in order to give them proper handling.
Official answers to these questions are quite urgent and would be appreciated.
[H. Dale Goodwin, Memorandum to Theodore M. Burton, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1910-1951, Privately Published, Salt Lake City, Utah 2010]
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