The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History
Salt Lake City: Signature Books / Smith-Pettit Foundation, 2011. First Edition. 495pp. Octavo [23.5 cm] Burgundy boards with the title gilt stamped on the backstrip and flying angel device blind stamped on the front board. Fine/Fine. Item #7252
Signed by the editor on the title page. The temple ceremonies have changed since their inception in Nauvoo in the 1840s. The liturgy was originally conveyed as a memorized oral tradition, then in 1877 the leadership committed it to writing to guarantee consistency among several temples and facilitate changes they wanted to make at that time. This was repeated in 1922 when George F. Richards and a committee of apostles was charged with reviewing and rewriting the ceremonies—and then again in the 1950s when the dramatic presentation was replaced with a motion picture and the script was shortened. One comes away from these documents with a better understanding of what constitutes the essence of the temple and what, by contrast, is malleable: staging, costumes, wording of the dramatic portions, and practical details such as whether marriage proxies should kiss across the altar.