[Delbert L. Stapley to Raymond W. Taylor]
This will acknowledge your letter of May 30 dealing with the reinstatement of the late [excommunicated apostle] John W. Taylor. Your statement in the fourth paragraph of your letter quite well covers the status of the women sealed to John W. Taylor after the [Wilford Woodruff] manifesto.
I think I advised you in a former letter that President [Joseph Fielding] Smith stated that he restored the Melchizedek Priesthood to your father, no office mentioned, and all other blessings received by him in the House of the Lord.
On May 26, the John W. Taylor case was reviewed by The First Presidency and the Twelve. In presenting your father's case, I asked if the restoration of his blessings pertained only to the first three wives, or did it also extend to the women who were sealed after the manifesto, and their children? President [David O.] McKay ruled that these later sealings are not recognized. It is a rule followed by the Genealogical Society that if marriages took place after the manifesto, that such marriages are not recognized nor will permission be given to seal such women to the man she or they were supposedly sealed to. Regardless of the sincere purpose of the women, they, as well as your father, were in violation of both the civil law and the law of the Church. It appears therefore that this decision must stand to be considered later at the Judgment Bar of the Lord.
I am appreciative of your expressed feeling toward me in your letter and trust this decision will not alter your opinion.
[Delbert L. Stapley, Letter to Raymond W. Taylor, 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]