The “Kirtland Temple Endowment – Mid-Week” is the second in a three-part series of articles about the dedication of the Kirtland Temple in 1836. (See Kirtland Temple Endowment – Beginning of Week and Kirtland Temple Endowment – End of Week for the other posts in this series.) The purpose of this series – and the information listed under the temple endowment, temple, and endowment tags – is to provide online reference material about the temple that is otherwise difficult to find. Additional sources of information about temples – ancient and modern – can be found at LDS Temples.
Kirtland Temple Endowment – Mid-Week
The following text is the record of the Kirtland Temple endowment as found in the History of the Church:
Tuesday, 29.–Attended school, which was the last day of our course of lectures in Hebrew, by Professor Seixas.1
At eleven o’clock, a. m., Presidents Joseph Smith, Jun., Frederick G. Williams, Sidney Rigdon, Hyrum Smith, and Oliver Cowdery, met in the most holy place in the Lord’s House, and sought for a revelation from Him concerning the authorities of the Church going to Zion, and other important matters. After uniting in prayer, the voice of the Spirit was that we should come into this place three times, and also call the other presidents, the two Bishops and their counselors, each to stand in his place, and fast through the day and also the night, and that during this, if we would humble ourselves, we should receive further communications from Him. After this word was received we immediately sent for the other brethren, who came.
The Presidency proceeded to ordain George Boosinger to the High Priesthood, and anoint him. This was in consequence of his having administered unto us in temporal things in our distress, and also because he left the place just previous to the dedication of the Lord’s House, to bring us the temporal means, previously named. Soon after this, the word of the Lord came, through President Joseph Smith, Jun., that those who had entered the holy place, must not leave the house until morning, but send for such things as were necessary, and, also, during our stay, we must cleanse our feet and partake of the Sacrament that we might be made holy before Him, and thereby be qualified to officiate in our calling, upon the morrow, in washing the feet of the Elders.
Accordingly we proceeded to cleanse our faces and our feet, and then proceeded to wash one another’s feet. President Sidney Rigdon first washed President Joseph Smith, Junior’s feet, and then, in turn, was washed by him; after which President Rigdon washed President Joseph Smith, Sen., and Hyrum Smith. President Joseph Smith, Jun., washed President Frederick G. Williams, and then President Hyrum Smith washed President David Whitmer’s and President Oliver Cowdery’s feet. Then President David Whitmer washed President William W. Phelps’ feet, and in turn President Phelps washed President John Whitmer’s feet. The Bishops and their Counselors were then washed, after which we partook of the bread and wine. The Holy Spirit rested down upon us, and we continued in the Lord’s House all night, prophesying and giving glory to God.
Wednesday, 30.–At eight o’clock, according to appointment, the Presidency, the Twelve, the Seventies, the High Council, the Bishops and their entire quorums, the Elders and all the official members in this stake of Zion, amounting to about three hundred, met in the Temple of the Lord to attend to the ordinance of washing of feet. I ascended the pulpit, and remarked to the congregation that we had passed through many trials and afflictions since the organization of the Church, and that this is a year of jubilee to us, and a time of rejoicing, and that it was expedient for us to prepare bread and wine sufficient to make our hearts glad, as we should not, probably, leave this house until morning; to this end we should call on the brethren to make a contribution. The stewards passed round and took up a liberal contribution, and messengers were despatched for bread and wine.
Tubs, water, and towels were prepared, and I called the house to order, and the Presidency proceeded to wash the feet of the Twelve, pronouncing many prophecies and blessings upon them in the name of the Lord Jesus; and then the Twelve proceeded to wash the feet of the Presidents of the several quorums. The brethren began to prophesy upon each other’s heads, and upon the enemies of Christ, who inhabited Jackson county, Missouri; and continued prophesying, and blessing, and sealing them with hosanna and amen, until nearly seven o’clock in the evening.
The bread and the wine were then brought in, and I observed that we had fasted all the day, and lest we faint, as the Savior did so shall we do on this occasion; we shall bless the bread, and give it to the Twelve, and they to the multitude. While waiting, I made the following remarks: that the time that we were required to tarry in Kirtland to be endowed, would be fulfilled in a few days, and then the Elders would go forth, and each must stand for himself, as it was not necessary for them to be sent out, two by two, as in former times, but to go in all meekness, in sobriety, and preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified; not to contend with others on account of their faith, or systems of religion, but pursue a steady course. This I delivered by way of commandment; and all who observe it not, will pull down persecution upon their heads, while those who do, shall always be filled with the Holy Ghost; this I pronounced as a prophecy, and sealed with hosanna and amen. Also that the Seventies are not called to serve tables, or preside over churches, to settle difficulties, but are to preach the Gospel and build them up, and set others, who do not belong to these quorums, to preside over them, who are High Priests. The Twelve also are not to serve tables, but to bear the keys of the Kingdom to all nations, and unlock the door of the Gospel to them, and call upon the Seventies to follow after them, and assist them. The Twelve are at liberty to go wheresoever they will, and if any one will say, I wish to go to such a place, let all the rest say amen.
The Seventies are at liberty to go to Zion if they please, or go wheresoever they will, and preach the Gospel; and let the redemption of Zion be our object, and strive to effect it by sending up all the strength of the Lord’s House, wherever we find them; and I want to enter into the following covenant, that if any more of our brethren are slain or driven from their lands in Missouri, by the mob, we will give ourselves no rest, until we are avenged of our enemies to the uttermost. This covenant was sealed unanimously, with a hosanna and an amen.
I then observed to the quorums, that I had now completed the organization of the Church, and we had passed through all the necessary ceremonies, that I had given them all the instruction they needed, and that they now were at liberty, after obtaining their licenses, to go forth and build up the Kingdom of God, and that it was expedient for me and the Presidency to retire, having spent the night previously in waiting upon the Lord in His Temple, and having to attend another dedication on the morrow, or conclude the one commenced on the last Sabbath, for the benefit of those of my brethren and sisters who could not get into the house on the former occasion, but that it was expedient for the brethren to tarry all night and worship before the Lord in His house.
I left the meeting in the charge of the Twelve, and retired about nine o’clock in the evening. The brethren Frederick G. Williams, Sidney Rigdon, Oliver Cowdery, William W. Phelps and John Whitmer, which was to have a bearing upon the redemption of Zion. After mature deliberation the council decided that Oliver Cowdery and myself should act as a board or committee to raise, in righteousness, all the money we could for a season, to send by, or to, certain wise men appointed to purchase lands in Zion in obedience to a revelation or commandment of the Lord, for the mutual benefit of the council.
Also, it was agreed by the council that Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams exert themselves in devising ways and means with the stock on hand, the available outstanding claims of the company, and such other means as they shall deem most proper, to discharge the company’s debts. It was also agreed that W. W. Phelps, John Whitmer, and David Whitmer have five hundred books of Doctrine and Covenants, when bound, and five hundred Hymn Books, together with the subscription list for the Messenger and Advocate and Northern Times, now due in Clay County, Missouri; and that Messrs. Phelps and John Whitmer be released from the responsibility of claims on them, or either of them, as joint partners in the firm.
As soon as the above plans were settled, I started with President Cowdery on our mission, and our success was such in one half day as to give us pleasing anticipations that we were doing the will of God, and assurance that His work prospered in our hands.
- Roberts, Brigham H., ed. History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1932. 428-434.↩
Tags: David Whitmer, Frederick G. Williams, Gift of the Holy Ghost, Holy of Holies, Hyrum Smith, John Whitmer, Joseph Smith, Kingdom of God, Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, Temple Endowment, William W. Phelps