70 years ago today - Mar 2, 1953

[David O. McKay and counselors]
... Reports reaching us indicate that not infrequently divorced per- sons secure recommends to go to the temple who, the records of the divorce proceedings show, were guilty of conduct or practices which completely destroy their worthiness to enter the temple again for any purpose, and lastly of all to enter the temple * this applies usually only to the men * to be sealed to another person. It is true they may affirm and feel they have repented but in some cases the misconduct involved criminal acts or perverted practices that would require a long period to show they had met the elements of repentance which the Lord has laid down ... we have decided upon two measures: First. Whenever a divorced person applies for a recommend to the temple, the bishop shall make careful, but discreet and courteous inquiry into the causes that led to the divorce proceedings and the grounds on which the divorce was granted, and report these to the president of the stake who shall supplement the bishop's investigation if he feels such a course wise. ... Second. Before the recommend is issued[,] the case, with an accompanying statement of the facts elicited by the bishop or president of the stake, should be referred to the First Presidency for their consideration and action ... In cases where a temple divorce has been granted or applied for, the First Presidency may have facts which the party applying for the recommend may not have disclosed.

[David O. McKay, Stephen L. Richards, and J. Reuben Clark Jr., circular letter, Mar. 2, 1953, in Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/TempleWorship]

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