-- Aug 18, 1949 Apostle (and Salt Lake Temple President) George F. Richards reads a letter to the assembled First Presidency and Twelve Apostles decrying the lack of second anointings being performed. The letter states that to date 22,278 second anointings had been performed for living persons and 10,217 for the dead. Richards's letter states: "I have not been able to bring myself to feel that the Lord is pleased with us in neglecting such an important and sacred endowment, which He has given us to be administered in His holy temples to worthy members of His Church. The Second Anointings were given by revelation to the Prophet Joseph Smith to be administered to worthy members of the Church, both the living and the dead; and from the days of the Prophet Joseph to the days of President Heber J. Grant that practice continued. . . . When living members receive their Second blessings, or anointings, they are given a charge that they must not speak of those things to anybody; that only those who a re invited by the President of the Church are to receive them, and that none others are supposed to know anything about them. . . . About 1928 an incident occurred which so incensed the First Presidency that they had all the recommend books brought in to the President's office, and instructions were given that no recommends of that character should be given by stake presidents thereafter. . . .The incident above mentioned which so exasperated the First Presidency was as follows: A brother who had received his Second Blessings, while speaking in a priesthood meeting in one of the Idaho stakes, told the brethren that they all should have their Second Blessings. Of course that was a serious infraction of the charge which he received when he had his Second Anointings; but I have never learned of any serious consequences to follow, except the action on the part of the Authorities, discontinuing the administration of those blessings in the Church. It appears to me that the mistake made by the good brother in Idaho was not so serious as to justify letting those sacred ordinances come into disuse in the Church. I think now is the time to act; with such modifications as to details as the brethren might feel to make, insuring that these blessings be administered only to those who are worthy to receive them." The letter quotes the endowment ceremony to say, "Brethren and Sisters, if you are true and faithful, the day will come when you will be chosen, called up and anointed kings and queens, priests and priestesses, whereas you are now anointed only to become such. The realization of these blessings depends upon your faithfulness." (Endowment Ceremonies, p. 1x2.}" (3)
 
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The full letter of George F. Richards from his journal can be downloaded from: www.academia.edu⁄38297542⁄Letter_of_George_F._Richards_18_August_1949
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