The Nauvoo Endowment Companies, 1845-1846: A Documentary History
Place Published: Salt Lake City, UT
Publisher: Signature Books
Date Published: 2005
Edition: Advance reading copy
Book Id: 49416
SIGNED. 668pp. Octavo [22 cm] Yellow pictorial wraps. Signed by the Editor, Gary James Bergera, on the title page.
For the two months the Nauvoo temple was in operation (December 1845-February 1846), scribes carefully documented all activities and events taking place inside, including lectures on the endowment ceremony drama and sealing rituals. Their narratives begin with the lighting of fires and hauling of water each morning at 3:00 a.m. (many ordinance workers slept overnight in the temple) to late-night celebratory dancing ("We danced unto the Lord," Brigham Young explained) and Sunday sermons delivered to the recently endowed.Historians, biographers, and genealogists will find the names and dates of the initiates and documentation of sealings (including polygamous unions) to be of significance. Others will turn to the narrative portions of the records, including first-person accounts and minutes of meetings. For instance, as women cleaned the ceremonial robes for the next day's endowment "companies" (or sessions), church officials would read from John C. Fremont's published journal, anticipating their imminent exodus from Nauvoo for the Great Basin."As scribes dutifully noted the peace, harmony, and order prevailing in the Nauvoo temple during the closing months of 1845 and early months of 1846, the panic in their reports regarding the savage murders of Latter-day Saints in outlying areas and subsequent retaliation by church members was equally palpable. Guards were stationed at virtually every temple door, inside and out, to prevent attacks . . ."