65 years ago today - Thu Dec 12, 1957

[David O. McKay Office Journal]
Council Meeting--S.L. Temple Re: Baptism of Negro President[.] Joseph Fielding Smith said that he had received a letter marked personal in which the statement is made that someone had reported to the writer that President McKay had given consent that the temple endowment work be performed for a negro who is dead, and that therefore we were doing work for negroes in the temple. I related the following facts for the information of the Brethren, and said that I felt sure that I had previously brought this matter to the Council. A negro woman had called at the office some few years ago, she having her residency in Ogden. I stated that I think she said she was a Methodist; that her church could not do anything for her husband who was dead, and that before he died he wanted to join our Church; that inasmuch as our Church is the only Church that can do baptismal work for him, and he had requested that she see that his baptism was attended to if he did not recover from his illness, she wanted to have it done. I told her that that could be done. She explained that she knew that he could not receive the Priesthood. She said that the Ward teachers would do the work for him. I said that the thought came to me as to whether they could be baptized for him, and the matter was discussed in Council later. I gave consent for the Ward teacher to be baptized for this negro lady's husband. Now the report comes that the temple work was done for that negro, and therefore he was ordained an Elder. The facts are that the ward teachers were authorized to do baptism work for a colored man who had become converted but died before baptism could be performed, and there is no truth to the statement that he was ordained an Elder or permitted to have his endowments.

[McKay, David O., Office Journal]

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