130 years ago today - Monday, Sep 21, 1891

[Wilford Woodruff to John Henry Smith]

Elder John Henry Smith

One of the Twelve Apostles

Dear Brother,

The condition of many of the saints in Arizona in Connection with their marriages has been brought to the attention of the First Presidency. We understand that there are many couples in that Territory who are prevented by poverty and other circumstances from going to the Temple to have their sealing and that many of the children are being born out of the Covenant [to parents who have not been sealed for time and eternity] because of this.

... we have decided to authorize you, as one of the Apostles, to dedicate rooms which are now used for prayer according to the holy order [of the temple ceremonies], and in those rooms solemnize marriages such as are properly recommended, and which are of the class referred to, that is, marriages of those who are unable through poverty or some other various impediment, to go to the Temple of the Lord to be sealed for time and for eternity.... I remain your brother

Wilford Woodruff

Form of Marriage

Brother, you take Sister —- by the right hand and receive her unto yourself to be your lawfull wedded wife, for time and for all eternity. With the Covenant and promise that you will observe and keep all the laws, rites and ordinances appertaining to this holy order of matrimony in the new and everlasting Covenant [of eternal marriage]. This you do in the presence of God, angels and these witnesses, of your own free will and choice. Do you? Yes! [Repeated for woman.]

By virtue of the holy Priesthood and Authority invested in me, I pronounce you legally and lawfully husband and wife, for time and all eternity.

I seal upon you the blessings of the holy resurrection with power to come forth in the morning of the first resurrection clothed with glory, immortality and eternal lives. And I seal upon you the blessings of Kingdoms, thrones, principalities, powers dominions and exaltations with the blessings of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And I say unto you, be fruitfull and multiply and replenish the earth that you may have joy and rejoicing in your posterity in the day of the Lord Jesus Christ.

All these blessings, together with all appertaining to the new and everlasting covenant, I seal upon your heads, through your faithfullness by virtue of the holy priesthood and in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.

Kiss each other...

[Jean Bickmore White (editor), Church, State, and Politics: The Diaries of John Henry Smith, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1990, http://bit.ly/johnhenrysmith]

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