55 years ago today - Feb 2, 1967

President Burton was notified by President [Howard W.] Hunter that this matter had been further discussed by the Twelve and that it was ruled that no further action would be taken other than that which has already been accomplished. To do so would have the effect of opening 'Pandora's Box.'

In discussing this further with President Burton the following procedure will be taken based upon the fact that Brother [John W.] Taylor was reinstated by baptism on the 19 May 1965, and that on the 21 May 1965 his blessings were restored as indicated by the slip which was signed by President Joseph Fielding Smith. It can be accepted that his blessings of the Melchizedek Priesthood (that is as an Elder), and his endowment blessings were restored. Likewise all sealing ordinances which were valid in the eyes of the Church at the time of his excommunication would likewise be restored.

Amplifying this would then mean that the sealing of his first three wives to him would be ratified by the restoration of the blessings. All three of the first three wives were married to him and sealed to him prior to the [Wilford Woodruff] manifesto. Inasmuch as all of his children by these first three wives were all born before he was excommunicated, they will then be shown as being born in the covenant.

His fourth, fifth and sixth marriage will have to be accepted as being unlawful and contrary to the spirit and intent of the manifesto. Thus any sealing claimed of those wives to him cannot be considered as having been ratified by the restoration of blessings action, and by virtue of the same token the status of the children of those last three marriages will have to be as though no sealing was performed and as though they were not born in the covenant.

If the Lord should judge Brother Taylor in being justified in the last three marriages He then can adjust it in the realms beyond the grave based upon the restoration which has been accomplished. The Church can take no other stand than the last three marriages were contrary to the spirit and intent of the manifesto proclaimation. ...

[Henry E. Christiansen, Memorandum to H. Dale Goodwin, 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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