75 years ago today - Jan 30, 1947

[First Presidency]
[T]here is a custom in some areas and among some organizations of having group prayers in which those participating, sometimes kneeling and sometimes standing, arrange themselves in a circle and then hold each other's hands while the prayer is being offered. From these reports that come to us it would seem obvious that the effort is to duplicate as nearly as possible the procedure of the sacred prayer circle. This innovation is not in accordance with the due order of the Church and should be discontinued at once. Where groups are assembled together, the prayers should be offered in the ordinary way we offer prayer as in our public services as at Sacrament meetings, priest hood meetings, and other like gatherings. This rule does not ex clude groups from kneeling in prayer on proper occasions, but it is intend ed to exclude all simulations of the regular prayer circle.

[George Albert Smith, J. Reuben Clark Jr., and David O. McLay, circular letter, Jan. 30, 1947, in Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/TempleWorship]

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