Jump to content

LDS Ordinances Outside of Chapel or Temple


Recommended Posts

Here is a great picture of a Catholic mass during WWII with a jeep hood serving as the altar:

thumbRNSWWIIEXHIBITS5.jpg

While mass should be celebrated in a church with a consecrated altar, contingencies do arise that allow for situations such as this.

Is there something comparable with LDS ordinances? I'm guessing sacrament and baptism can occur outside of the chapel. Could temple ceremonies if there is an emergency? What about in the early days when the only temples were in Utah -- what did LDS in other countries do? And for that matter, what do LDS do in places today where they cannot access a temple?

Link to comment
Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

Here is a great picture of a Catholic mass during WWII with a jeep hood serving as the altar:

thumbRNSWWIIEXHIBITS5.jpg

While mass should be celebrated in a church with a consecrated altar, contingencies do arise that allow for situations such as this.

Is there something comparable with LDS ordinances? I'm guessing sacrament and baptism can occur outside of the chapel. Could temple ceremonies if there is an emergency? What about in the early days when the only temples were in Utah -- what did LDS in other countries do? And for that matter, what do LDS do in places today where they cannot access a temple?

Because temple work can be done after someone dies and is not time sensitive, I'm not sure what an emergency that involved temple ordinances would even look like.

But baptisms for the dead used to be done outside of the temple, before one was completed.  And temple ordinances were done in the endowment house in SLC before the SLC temple was finished.  It was a dedicated space though so served as a temple during that time.  I'm not sure if that occurred anywhere else or at any other time.

Edited by bluebell
Link to comment

Prayer circles were also allowed to be done in stake centers until the early 1980s (stake presidency and high council). This was discontinued and limited only to temples. 

Link to comment
6 minutes ago, bluebell said:

Because temple work can be done after someone dies and are not time sensitive, I'm not sure what an emergency that involved temple ordinances would even look like.

But baptisms for the dead used to be done outside of the temple, before one was completed.  And temple ordinances were done in the ordinance house in SLC before the SLC temple was finished.  It was a dedicated space though so served as a temple during that time.  I'm not sure if that occurred anyone else or at any other time.

I believe there is one documented case of a person being endowed before the endowment house was completed.  I believe it took place at the base of Ensign Peak in Salt Lake City prior to this person leaving for a mission.  I don't have the reference now.

Link to comment
21 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

Here is a great picture of a Catholic mass during WWII with a jeep hood serving as the altar:

thumbRNSWWIIEXHIBITS5.jpg

While mass should be celebrated in a church with a consecrated altar, contingencies do arise that allow for situations such as this.  Is there something comparable with LDS ordinances?

Same here.  During the COVID lockdown we were allowed - for the first time in my life - to bless the Sacrament at home.  The instructions were fairly specific.

There are further regular "contingencies" that we deal with as well.  Members of a ward who are homebound can ask for and receive the Sacrament at their home.  It is usually performed by the young men, though elders can do it as well.  

Latter-day Saints in the Armed Forces also can receive permission to administer the Sacrament.  When I was in the Utah National Guard, those who wanted to could use part of their lunch break on Sunday to go to a room in the armory for a brief service, including the Sacrament.

I think the Church wants to keep these contingencies as such, as exceptions to the rule.  It appears that the Sacrament is generally supposed to be administered in a consecrated building.  From D&C 59:

Quote

9 And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day;
10 For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High;
11 Nevertheless thy vows shall be offered up in righteousness on all days and at all times;
12 But remember that on this, the Lord’s day, thou shalt offer thine oblations and thy sacraments unto the Most High, confessing thy sins unto thy brethren, and before the Lord.

There is, I think, an ongoing need for us to meet together.  It's part and parcel of maintaining cohesion as a community of faith.

21 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

I'm guessing sacrament and baptism can occur outside of the chapel.

Yes.  Baptisms in the ocean are the norm in Polynesia.  My sister and her family currently live in Vanuatu, and a few months ago our extended family logged on to Zoom to watch her daughter's baptismal service.  The meeting was in the fale-style chapel, but for the baptism they walked across the street and her father baptized her in the ocean.  It was a lovely thing to see.  My oldest brother was likewise baptized in the ocean when we were living in Hawaii. 

21 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

Could temple ceremonies if there is an emergency?  What about in the early days when the only temples were in Utah -- what did LDS in other countries do?

The temple ceremonies were performed for many years (1855-1889) in the "Endowment House" in Salt Lake City prior to the dedication of the Salt Lake Temple.  There was also an "Endowment House" in Spring City, Utah, but I'm not sure if it was ever consecrated and used for temple ordinances.

A mountain peak north of Salt Lake City, Ensign Peak, was consecrated as a temple for a single day so that a missionary, Addison Pratt, could receive his endowment there.

21 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

And for that matter, what do LDS do in places today where they cannot access a temple?

They save up and travel to one.  This is becoming less and less an issue these days.  Some time ago I heard a statistic along the lines of a very high percentage of the members of the Church live within 100 miles of a temple.  I suspect this issue - proximity - is one of the motivating factors behind the substantial numbers of smaller temples being built around the world.

Thanks,

-Smac

Link to comment

*Bursts into the room*

"For this ordinance [baptism for the dead] belongeth to my house, and cannot be acceptable to me, only in the days of your poverty, wherein ye are not able to build a house unto me. - Doctrine & Covenants 124 verse 30!!"

vlcsnap-2022-05-20-10h52m25s137.png

Link to comment

In the scriptures we see that many sacred occasions and rituals were done on mountain tops such as Sinai or Moriah, etc.  Here is what we consider to be a fulfillment of prophecies concerning SLC:  Isaiah 2:2. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.

Link to comment
3 hours ago, rongo said:

Prayer circles were also allowed to be done in stake centers until the early 1980s (stake presidency and high council). This was discontinued and limited only to temples. 

I assume from context that prayer circles are part of the temple ceremony. Do you know why they were discontinued outside of the temple?

Link to comment
3 hours ago, bluebell said:

Because temple work can be done after someone dies and is not time sensitive, I'm not sure what an emergency that involved temple ordinances would even look like.

I guess I was thinking that since going to the temple is supposed to bring blessings now, people would want it now and not after they die.

Link to comment
2 hours ago, smac97 said:

I think the Church wants to keep these contingencies as such, as exceptions to the rule.  It appears that the Sacrament is generally supposed to be administered in a consecrated building. 

Yes, it's the same in Catholicism.

2 hours ago, smac97 said:

There is, I think, an ongoing need for us to meet together.  It's part and parcel of maintaining cohesion as a community of faith.

Agreed. That's part of the reason why we call it communion, and why Catholic communion is closed (you have to be Catholic to receive it). The eucharist wouldn't work as a sign of Catholic unity if non-Catholics could receive it, too.

2 hours ago, smac97 said:

Yes.  Baptisms in the ocean are the norm in Polynesia.  My sister and her family currently live in Vanuatu, and a few months ago our extended family logged on to Zoom to watch her daughter's baptismal service.  The meeting was in the fale-style chapel, but for the baptism they walked across the street and her father baptized her in the ocean.  It was a lovely thing to see.  My oldest brother was likewise baptized in the ocean when we were living in Hawaii.

Super cool. Thanks for sharing this and the other info, too.

 

Link to comment

I baptized people in rivers and lakes in Bolivia, sometimes where there were electric eels and snakes. And I’ve taken the sacrament high in the Sierra Nevada on a backpacking trip. 

Link to comment

Baptism and sacrament can be performed anywhere if there is a need and it's authorized by those presiding.
Baptisms for the dead were performed in the Mississippi until a font was made available.
Endowments were performed on mountain tops, in endowment houses, in offices, etc before temples were finished.
Prayer Circles and Mother's Blessings (anointings) were performed in chapels for decades.
Marriage sealings were frequently performed outside of temples when none were available.

The work continues and the Lord accepts ordinances outside of chapels and temples if there is not a reasonable alternative.  Better than no ordinance work at all.

Link to comment
3 hours ago, ksfisher said:

I believe there is one documented case of a person being endowed before the endowment house was completed.  I believe it took place at the base of Ensign Peak in Salt Lake City prior to this person leaving for a mission.  I don't have the reference now.

The first endowments were in Joseph Smith's office and storehouse above the Red Brick Store.

Link to comment
34 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

I assume from context that prayer circles are part of the temple ceremony. Do you know why they were discontinued outside of the temple?

By their nature (further details, this deponent cannot give) :) , prayer circles make more sense as a "temple only" ordinance. There is more to it than simply praying (which anyone can do anywhere). I'm surprised that they could be done in a high council room up to that point (large room with a large table and 20+ chairs), by its nature. But then, they had been performed outside of the temple previously. 

One purpose of prayer circles are used to pray for special blessings people are seeking for themselves or others. 

One prominent example I can think of of "auβertempelische" prayer circles was during the deliberation of the Edmunds Act in Congress (the Edmunds-Tucker Act was ultimately the act that finally brought the Mormons to heel on polygamy. Very draconian measures that would shock people today. The Edmunds Act was the abortive predecessor). George Q. Cannon, an apostle and counselor to Church president John Taylor, was delegate to Congress (Utah as a territory had no senators or representatives, similar to modern US territories today). The Edmunds Act seemed destined to pass easily, which greatly concerned the Church. Cannon reported:

"Brother Caine and myself, with some other Utah friends, were in the Senate chamber on the 23rd of February last, watching Senator Edmunds' attempt to get through his special legislation of which you have read. It seemed as though nothing could prevent it. Senators with whom we had conversed said that they saw no possible chance of stopping it; that its passage seemed inevitable. But a Cabinet minister gave a dinner party that evening, and one by one those who were invited stole from the Senate Chamber while the bill was under discussion to the dinner party; and the first that was known when a vote was called was that a quorum was not present. In the absence of a quorum, you know, a legislative body is powerless to act. For four hours Senator Edmunds did all in his power to get action on his bill; but every attempt was resisted by the Democrats upon the ground that there was no quorum, and they accordingly filibusted until Edmunds, disgusted and tired, called for an adjournment.

President Taylor told me upon my return that, on the 22nd of February, feeling exercised in his mind about our political affairs, and that it was a time of peril, he called a few of the brethren together and they met . . . according to the holy order, and besought God, in the name of Jesus, to baffle the plans of our enemies and frustrate them in their designs, and put them to confusion and shame. In watching Senator Edmunds that evening, I thought that if ever there was a man confused, chagrined and confounded at the futility of his own attempts, it was he. And there is no doubt in my mind that the prayers of President Taylor and the brethren ascended favorably unto the ears of the God of Sabaoth, and were heard and answered. The dreadful wrong was defeated and failed, and it may be said, it met with its death blow; for every attempt afterwards made to bring it up, was unsuccessful. In this way God has wrought out deliverance for Zion." (Journal of Discourses 24:63)

Link to comment

I'm not home right now, so I can't look it up in my library, but in the Pistis Sophia, the resurrected Jesus leads the apostles and their wives in something very similar to a prayer circle. He then tells them that what He has shown them will soon be removed from the earth and taken away (which shocked and saddened them), but that these ordinances would be restored later. 

Pistis Sophia is one of the writings that Hugh Nibley compared in his book comparing the Book of the Dead and Book of Breathings with sources with strong parallels. 

Link to comment
58 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

I guess I was thinking that since going to the temple is supposed to bring blessings now, people would want it now and not after they die.

Many definitely do want those blessings now, but that isn’t considered an “emergency” that would warrant providing them outside of the temple.

Many conference talks speak on families and individuals who sacrifice earthly possessions (some, all their possessions) and travel for days or weeks to get to the temple. The church is working hard to get temples near the members but sometimes great sacrifice and patience are still needed. 

Link to comment
4 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:

Here is a great picture of a Catholic mass during WWII with a jeep hood serving as the altar:

thumbRNSWWIIEXHIBITS5.jpg

While mass should be celebrated in a church with a consecrated altar, contingencies do arise that allow for situations such as this.

Is there something comparable with LDS ordinances? I'm guessing sacrament and baptism can occur outside of the chapel. Could temple ceremonies if there is an emergency? What about in the early days when the only temples were in Utah -- what did LDS in other countries do? And for that matter, what do LDS do in places today where they cannot access a temple?

We have varying degrees (not sure that is the best term) of ordinances. Some can be performed at home or away from a church or temple by any worthy priesthood holder. These would include blessings on the sick, dedicating a home, or a fathers blessing. All of which are done using the priesthood. 
 

We have some ordinances that are done in a church building, but can be done off site if granted permission. These include the ordinances of the sacrament, baptisms, conferring the priesthood to others, and setting apart individuals for their church functions.

We also have some ordinances that can only be done in the Temple. This is similar to what was set up in the Old Testament as the tabernacle, and later Solomon’s Temple. Many of the ordinances and sacrifices in the Old Testament could only be done in the temple/tabernacle. The most sacred of which was only done once a year by the high priest who was allowed to enter the most sacred space to perform the ritual ordinance.

Link to comment
Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, smac97 said:

During the COVID lockdown we were allowed - for the first time in my life - to bless the Sacrament at home.  The instructions were fairly specific.

However, all along, housebound/shut-in ward members could receive the sacrament at home, usually a young priest and a teacher or deacon(all youth usually, but sometimes an Elder, who would be over 18, sometimes even a dad and his son when the usual duo weren’t available) in my experience coming by.  This is part of the assignments given to the Young Men in most wards I have been in. My husband also got permission to prepare it for me at home several years before Covid from the Bishop.

When traveling, one can also get permission to hold the Sacrament and a meeting from the local leader (bishop, branch president, possibly mission president) if unable to attend local meetings.  We had that on a cruise down the Volga (the ship was chartered by a member for business networking and education as well as tourism and since it was a Utah based company, many employees from there were members as were the customers and so were some of the Russians or they were investigators who had hooked up with the owner through the missionaries or met at meetings with the Russian branches).

If a font is not available, a pool or natural water source may be used for baptism.  A wheelchair bound member was baptized in the therapy pool at a hospital in Calgary while we were there.  I think there were specially made chairs and a ramp, but it may have been a sling lift set up.

Edited by Calm
Link to comment
1 hour ago, JLHPROF said:

Baptism and sacrament can be performed anywhere if there is a need and it's authorized by those presiding.
Baptisms for the dead were performed in the Mississippi until a font was made available.
Endowments were performed on mountain tops, in endowment houses, in offices, etc before temples were finished.
Prayer Circles and Mother's Blessings (anointings) were performed in chapels for decades.
Marriage sealings were frequently performed outside of temples when none were available.

The work continues and the Lord accepts ordinances outside of chapels and temples if there is not a reasonable alternative.  Better than no ordinance work at all.

https://juvenileinstructor.org/sealings-performed-outside-of-the-temple-background-and-resources/

Quote

Today we continue our series about polygamy in LDS history, addressing the following question from a JI reader:

I've read that some marriage sealings were performed outside of temples. Where were these ceremonies performed and by whom?

After the main body of Latter-day Saints abandoned Nauvoo and its temple in 1846, for decades both monogamous and polygamous marriage sealings were performed outside of temples. Members of the First Presidency performed sealings in the Council House, the Endowment House, or on the second floor of President Brigham Young's office, all built in Salt Lake City in the 1850s. With the dedication of Utah's first temples at St. George (1877), Logan (1884), and Manti (1888), sealings began again to be performed in temples.

In March 1887, Congress passed the Edmunds-Tucker Act, a move that profoundly impacted the church and its practices. This legislation empowered federal authorities to punish the institutional church, in addition to any of its polygamous members, on the grounds that it fostered polygamy. Among its myriad effects, the act dissolved the church corporation and enabled the government to take possession of church property valued at more than fifty thousand dollars, including the three temples.

Two years later, Wilford Woodruff became the church's fourth president. Woodruff directed that no plural marriages be performed in the temples under threat of the federal government shutting them down entirely. Monogamous marriage sealings, the endowment, and other religious rites continued to be permitted in the temples. By September 1889 Woodruff also told church leaders that he did not think it proper for plural marriages to be performed anywhere in "the [Utah] territory at the present time," recorded his first counselor in the First Presidency, George Q. Cannon.  Woodruff intimated, however, that such marriages might be solemnized outside the United States. Church leaders hoped the removal of large numbers of pluralists or would-be pluralists to Anglo Mormon colonies in Mexico would free polygamous families from prosecution while absolving federal objections to Utah's obtaining statehood.

Several apostles performed plural marriages outside of temples after the 1890 Manifesto, including George Teasdale, Brigham Young Jr., Matthias F. Cowley, John W. Taylor, and Abraham O. Woodruff. Anthony W. Ivins (who became an apostle in 1907) and Alexander F. Macdonald were local leaders in Mexico who were also authorized by members of the First Presidency to continue to perform monogamous and polygamous marriages after the Manifesto. Ivins was president of the Colonia Juarez stake in Chihuahua, Mexico. Macdonald, who had been a sealer in the temple at St. George, Utah, served as a counselor to apostle George Teasdale in the Mexican Mission presidency, which had jurisdiction over the Mormon colonies. These men performed sealings in their own homes or in the family homes of the couples they sealed. Typically, plural brides who had not yet received their temple endowment then traveled to a Utah temple to receive the endowment rite.

The above-referenced "Alexander F. Macdonald" was my great-great-grandfather.

Thanks,

-Smac

Link to comment
Posted (edited)

There is a Temple Patron Fund to help members who can’t afford to get to a temple on their own.  I don’t know if it is limited solely to those receiving ordinances for themselves or not.  Iirc, they no longer ask for donations to the Fund, but people can still direct donations to be given to it.  My guess is the need is much less these days for help long (in terms of time) long distance traveling given the number of temples scattered around the world, so spontaneous donations are enough.  It looks like a number of obituaries of members ask donations to be given to the fund instead of flowers, for example.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/church/news/fund-assists-members-around-the-world-in-visiting-temples?lang=eng

https://churchofjesuschristtemples.org/endowment-house/
 

Quote

Prior to the construction of the Endowment House, temple ordinances were being given on a regular basis in Salt Lake beginning in February 1851. This was done in a variety of locations including Brigham Young's office, the Council House, and the top of Ensign Peak.

Recognizing the need for a separate dedicated structure for the administration of the endowment, the Endowment House was built on the northwest corner of Temple Square to function during the construction of the Salt Lake Temple.

At the time of its dedication, President Brigham Young declared that the Endowment House was "The House of the Lord."

The Endowment House was designed by Church architect Truman O. Angell.

The two-story Endowment House featured a washing and anointing room, "garden room," "world room," and "terrestrial room" on the main floor with a "celestial room" on the upper floor.

A year after the Endowment House was constructed, it was enlarged to include a baptistry, which was dedicated on October 2, 1856.

Baptisms for the dead were administered in the Endowment House until 1876, the year before the St. George Utah Temple (1877) was dedicated. Endowments for the living were performed there until 1884, the year the Logan Utah Temple (1884) was dedicated. And sealings of living couples were performed there until 1889, the year after the Manti Utah Temple (1888) was dedicated.

Endowments for the dead were not performed in the Endowment House, which were reserved for the temple only.

 

Edited by Calm
Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...