So, the LDS Church has released a four minute video explaining, and displaying, the garments and robes of the holy priesthood used by those endowed in LDS temples. (link) This probably reminded many of the publication in 1912 of James Talmage’s book The House of the Lord. David Rolph Seely explains:

On 16 September 1911, the Salt Lake Tribune published an account of certain individuals who had secretly taken pictures of the interior of the Salt Lake Temple and who had attempted to sell them to the church. The headlines read: “Photographs secretly taken of Mormon Temple’s interior; sent for sale to Church chief. President replies: Church will not negotiate with thieves and blackmailers.'” The blackmail scheme was perpetrated by Max Florence, who was at the time in New York City trying to sell sixty-eight unauthorized photographs of the interior of the Salt Lake Temple. Florence had employed the help of a recent convert to the church, Gisbert Bossard, who, disenchanted with the administration of the church, had, assisted by a gardener for the temple grounds, gained access to the Salt Lake Temple and had taken a series of photographs of the interior of the Salt Lake Temple. Apparently motivated by money and “revenge” on the church, these individuals had taken the pictures when the Salt Lake Temple was closed for renovation during the summer of 1911. Florence and Bossard had sent a letter to the First Presidency with a proposal of blackmail—that the church would give them $100,000 and the photographs would be returned; otherwise, they would be shown publicly. President Joseph F. Smith, the recipient of the letter, was outraged, and his response was, “I will make no bargain with thieves or traffickers in stolen goods. I prefer to let the law deal with them.”[. . .]

The idea to publish a book with photographs of the temple was apparently James E. Talmage’s. After reading the report in the newspaper, Talmage, then acting president of the University of Utah and also author of the work Articles of Faith (published in 1899), had immediately written to the First Presidency and proposed that the church take the offensive, so to speak, and publish a book describing the purposes of Latter-day Saint temples and temple worship both to members and nonmembers. This preemptive strike, Dr. Talmage suggested, should include a series of clear, high-quality photographs of the interiors and exteriors of existing temples, to be published by the church. The First Presidency readily approved and assigned Talmage the task of writing the volume.

What will be venue and topic for the next round in 2117?

Continue reading at the original source →