Andrew F. Ehat's thesis on temple ordinances.

Dec 1982
Academic / Technical Report
Andrew F. Ehat

Andrew F. Ehat, "Joseph Smith's Introduction of Temple Ordinances and the 1844 Mormon Succession Question," MA Thesis (Brigham Young University, 1982).

Brigham Young University
Andrew F. Ehat
Reading Public

The murder of Joseph Smith in June 1844 created a complex succession problem for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The immediate question, however, was whether the Quorum of Twelve Apostles should lead the Church or whether Sidney Rigdon, counselor in the First Presidency, should alone lead. On 8 August 1844 the Church in Nauvoo unanimously chose to follow Brigham Young and the Twelve. They were sustained in large part because they constituted the priesthood quorum Joseph Smith designated to be the stewards of his temple revelations, should anything happen to him. The revelations included the higher priesthood ordinances of the temple: the endowment, eternal marriage, plural marriage and the fullness of the priesthood. The apostles, however, did not feel that the unique position qualifying them for immediate leadership allowed them to disregard Joseph Smith's intention that his eleven-year-old son, Joseph Smith III, should eventually be successor. Nevertheless, the interim leadership of the apostles became permanent when Joseph Smith III rejected the efficacy of the temple revelations received by his father.

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