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mesa_temple.jpg

Inspiring Stories

Heavenly Visitations

Visions

By F. T. Pomeroy, of Mesa, Arizona

In the Pomeroy History, a footnote listed Richimir II as a descendant of Antenor, the King of the Cimmerians, who lived on the Black Sea, so in setting them down in my Temple Record, I left several lines between the two names and records, and the baptisms had been done for each on the 18th day of September, 1923.

Continuing my research, I wrote a second letter to Elisha Loomis, a professor of mathematics in the High School at Cleveland, Ohio, who was also a genealogist of national fame, and who had compiled and published the Loomis Genealogy, and had assisted in compiling the Pomeroy Ancestral Chart. I submitted to him some genealogy I had compiled, with some queries. On the back of one of the large sheets I had sent him, he wrote the following: “This will interest you.”

He then set down my lines of ancestry, beginning with the father of Richimir II, Clodimir III who was my 49th gr. gr. parent, and continuing back with the parent, and sometimes parents, in each generation, giving the date of death where available, or living date of each name for 34 generations, to “Antenor, the King of the Cimmarians, who lived on the Black Sea, and who died 443 B.C.”

He wrote he had discovered the line while doing some research work in the Harvard Library of the Harvard University earlier in the summer, in a volume by Professor James Anderson, much prized and now rare book “Royal Genealogies, 2nd Edition, 1776,” of which I made a copy, and which I am now sending you.”

I immediately transferred the names to my Temple Record and after some verifications by the Genealogical Society of Utah, which also had recently obtained a copy of this work, and sent them to the Salt Lake Temple, where they were baptized for on the 9th day of April, 1927. The baptisms for this royal ancestral line were performed in the Salt Lake Temple, about the same time as the completion of the Arizona Temple in April, 1927.

When the Arizona Temple was dedicated, I was called to the honorable position of Door Keeper, and was set apart with my wife, as officiators in the temple service. My brother, Talma E. Pomeroy, and his wife, were also called to the same labor. This gave us a wonderful opportunity to carry on the ordinance work for our extended and long ancestral line, most of them having been baptized for in the other temples of the church.

The Pomeroy family responded nobly to the temple ordinance work, and by November 2, 1927, we were ready for the sealing for time and all eternity as husband and wife, Richimir II and his wife, Nastilla.

Long lines of pedigreed ancestry with proven identifying data, necessary before the work could be done in the Temples, were rare in the Church; in fact, this line to Richimir II, and back to Antenor, who died in 443 B.C., was the most extended ancestral line yet presented to the temple. Naturally, many questioned its accuracy, and it was the subject of many wise-cracks, “there was no way of knowing these were real people or just simply a list of names.” I was satisfied in my own mind, since the authorities were given in the Pomeroy Ancestral Chart for every name back to 350 A.D. But now we had added an ancestral line running back 793 years farther, with Richimir II as the “key man.”

I had been praying that in some way a confirmation, or otherwise, might be manifested, that I might be assured that the work done in this line, and to be done, would not be in vain.

I was officiating that day and was not prepared to act as proxy, and Brother Samuel Weston of Logan, Utah, and Sister Hayne of Douglas, Arizona, volunteered to stand as proxy for the royal couple. President James W. LeSueur officiated. I sat in a chair facing the door of the sealing room, acting as one of the witnesses.

When the ceremony commenced my head was bowed in prayer. Suddenly I received the impression that something extraordinary was happening. I looked up and to my surprise and joy, I visualized standing just inside the door and gazing directly at me the dim form and smiling countenance of a personage. He was tall and brawny. He had piercing eyes, and heavy eye-brows, and rather high cheek bones. The lower part of his face was covered by a gray beard which hung well down upon his breast. I was impressed that he was the personage for whom the ceremony was being performed. I was nearly overcome, but said nothing about it at the time. After the ceremony Brother Weston asked for information concerning Richimir II, and I gave him such information as I had.

I thought over and treasured the visitation, as one given to me, and intended to say nothing about it. The next morning Brother Weston came to me and said: “Brother Pomeroy, I expect you are wondering why I was so anxious to obtain information concerning the man for whom I stood as proxy yesterday. I wanted to write about him in my diary, for they were present and witnessed the ceremony, for I felt their presence.” “I am glad to hear you say that,” I replied, “as I also know they were there, for I visualized his countenance and will know him when I meet him on the other side.” Sister Hayne testified to the same thing and President LaSueur also testified he was impressed with their presence while the ceremony was in progress. This manifestation cleared up all of my misgivings and fears concerning this ancestral line, and since we have completed all of the ordinances of the Gospel for the entire line of 83 generations back, including the father and mother of Antenor Aesyeges and Cleomaestra, his wife. [2]

By Patriarch John F. Nash.

At the time when the first excursion came to the Arizona Temple from the St. Johns Stake, Brother Charlie Watson was Bishop’s counselor of Kimball Ward, this excursion going to the Temple two years after its construction, 1929. At that time I was taking the part of Peter in all of the sessions. Brother Watson came down to the desk after the session was through and said: “Brother Nash, I saw President Kimball today.” (Brother Kimball having died in 1924). “Well,” I said, “couldn’t you have been mistaken?” He said: “I have seen President Kimball a thousand times and I would know him anywhere. I was sitting in a seat in the terrestrial room, waiting for my turn at the veil and I looked up and saw President Kimball standing on the rostrum, with his arms folded, looking over the congregation. My first thought was President Kimball’s mantle had fallen on you because you were so closely associated with him, but I saw you working at the veil. Brother Kimball was standing just as he used to stand in life, with arms folded, and he had such a pleasant expression on his face. I looked around to see if anyone was noticing but no one seemed to be paying any attention, and when I looked back President Kimball was gone.”

The following occurrence happened a few weeks later: This incident was told to me by Brother William Follett. He said: “Brother Nash, I was sitting in the Creation Room today and there were two old men who were sitting beside me who began to talk very loud. I reached my hand over and touched one on the knee and at the same time I turned my eyes toward the rostrum, and there stood a Lamanite, a splendid specimen of manhood, clothed only with a loin cloth. He seemed to be looking over the congregation and the room in general. I wondered what it could mean. I looked to see if anybody else saw the same thing and when I looked back he was gone.”

“What do you think it meant, Brother Nash?” “Well,” I said, “it might possibly be this: This Temple is the Lamanite Temple. We have all the Lamanite records here and it has been built especially for the purpose of Lamanites receiving their endowments here, whenever they are ready, and it might be possible that he was sent ahead to look over the building and see how he would like the building and the services that were being performed.” “Well,” he said, “Brother Nash, I believe you are right.”

On April 4, 1940, Brother Charlie Angel came to the Temple and stated that he had just lost his wife. He said: “Brother Nash, my wife did a lot of work for her people before she died, and I got the sealing record work ready and Brother Jones, a lady friend, and I went up into the sealing room and while we were sealing and I was acting as proxy, I looked in the corner of the room and there stood my wife, with the most beautiful expression on her face that I ever saw on a human being. I can scarcely hold back the tears when I think of it, and I told Brother Jones my experience and he said: `Your wife is perfectly satisfied with the work that you have done.'” [1]

Dedicatory Prayer

By President Heber J. Grant (October 23, 1927)

O God, the Eternal Father, we, Thy servants and handmaidens, come to Thee with hearts overflowing with gratitude and in the name of Jesus Christ, Thy Well-Beloved Son, we thank Thee that we are privileged this day to dedicate unto Thy Most Holy Name, a temple of the Living God.

We thank Thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that Thou and Thy Son, Jesus Christ, did visit Joseph Smith, Jr., in his youth, and that he was instructed by Thee and by Thy Beloved Son.

We thank Thee that Thou didst send Thy servant, John the Baptist, and that he did lay his hands upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery and ordain them to the Aaronic, or Lesser Priesthood.

We thank Thee for sending Thy servants Peter, James and John, Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ, who ministered with the Savior in the flesh and after His crucifixion, and that they did ordain Thy servants Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ, and bestow upon them the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood, by which, authority and apostleship we do dedicate unto Thee, this day, this holy edifice.

We thank Thee for sending Thy servant Moroni to deliver the plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God. We rejoice before Thee in the influence for good that the Book of Mormon has had in the world, and that it is indeed a new witness for Christ, confirming His teachings as recorded in the Holy Bible. We thank Thee that thousands and hundreds of thousands of Thy children have proved the truth of the testimony of Thy servant Moroni, which he left on record in the book itself: “And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true, and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” Grant, we pray Thee, that the Book of Mormon may have an ever-widening influence in the world and that many more of Thy children may receive the conviction of its truth in their hearts. We rejoice that after the lapse of an hundred years, in spite of all the attacks that have been made against its divine authenticity, it still stands unimpeached as the Word of God, and that the evidences brought forth from archaeological and other sources only tend to confirm its truth.

We thank Thee for the integrity and the devotion of Thy servants, the Prophet and Patriarch, Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith. We thank Thee that they labored in Thy cause all the days of their lives, from the time of the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ until the day of their martyrdom, and that they were faithful even to the sealing of their testimony with their blood.

We thank Thee for Thy servants, who have stood at the head of Thy Church since the martyrdom of Thy servant Joseph Smith, who have led and directed Thy people by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and who have sent forth representatives to proclaim an everlasting gospel in nearly every land and clime.

We thank Thee for each and all of the faithful men who have ministered as general authorities of the Church in this last dispensation.

O God, our Eternal Father, we pray Thee to bless the Presidency of Thy Church—Thy servants Heber J. Grant, Anthony W. Ivins and Charles W. Nibley. May they be guided by the unerring counsels of Thy Holy Spirit, day by day. May they be even as a three-fold cord that cannot be broken. May they see eye to eye in all matters for the upbuilding of the Church of Jesus Christ upon the earth.

Bless, O Father, in like manner, each and all of the Apostles, the Presiding Patriarch, the First Council of the Seventy, and the Presiding Bishopric.

Bless, we beseech Thee, those who preside in all the stakes of Zion, and in all the wards and branches of the Church, and over the various quorums of the Priesthood, whether of the Melchizedek or of the Aaronic Priesthood.

Bless those who preside over the missions of the Church throughout the world, together with all Thy servants and hand-maidens who have gone forth to proclaim to the peoples of the world the restoration to the earth of the plan of life and salvation. Be graciously pleased to give the success in their ministry, and grant that every barrier now standing in the way of the proclamation of the gospel may be removed, and liberty of conscience accorded to all peoples.

Bless, O Father in Heaven, all Thy servants and hand-maidens who hold responsible positions in the various auxiliary organizations of Thy Church, whether as general, stake, or ward officers: in the Relief Societies, in the Sunday Schools, in the Mutual Improvement associations, in the Primary associations, Genealogical associations and in the Religion Class organizations. Bless each and every one who is laboring for the benefit of the members, as well as the members themselves, in these associations. Bless likewise those who preside and who labor in the Church schools and seminaries.

Bless those, O Father, who have been called to preside and labor in this temple and also in other temples that have been erected to Thy Holy Name. We thank Thee for all of the temples that have been erected in this last dispensation, and we pray Thee choice blessings to be and abide with all those who minister there-in. We pray that the same sweet spirit which is present in all of the temples that have heretofore been erected may abide with all those who shall labor in this holy house.

We pray that Thy blessings may be upon kings and rulers in all nations, that they may minister in justice and righteousness and give liberty and freedom to the peoples over whom they rule.

We thank Thee for this land of liberty in which we dwell, which Thou hast said is “a land choice above all other lands.” We are grateful that Thou didst inspire the noble men who framed the Constitution of our beloved country, and we beseech Thee that the principles of that wonderful document may ever be maintained; that contention and bitterness may cease, and that peace and patriotism, love and loyalty, may prevail.

We pray Thee to bless the President of the United States. May he find favor in Thy sight and be governed in all his administration by the principles of righteousness. May Thy blessings also be upon the vice-president, the members of the cabinet, the senators and congressmen, and upon all the officers in every state and territory of the nation.

We beseech Thee, O God in Heaven, that the people of the United States of America may ever seek to Thee for guidance and direction, that Thy declaration and promise that this is a land choice above all other lands, and shall be protected against all foes, provided the people serve Thee, may be realized and fulfilled, and that the people may grow in power and strength and dominion, and, above all, in a love of Thy truth.

We now pray for the State of Arizona, in which this temple has been erected. We thank Thee for the splendid men and women who were pioneers of this land. We thank Thee for their courage and indomitable purpose, and their lofty ideals which sustained them mid hardships and privations. We are grateful that Thou didst bless the land in answer to their toil, and that the desert has been made to blossom as the rose. We thank Thee for the kind and generous treatment that has ever been accorded Thy people who have settled in this state, by the officers thereof. We pray Thee to bless the governor of the state and all who are charged with the administration of the affairs thereof. And may the people who dwell here be blessed and prospered of Thee in righteousness.

We beseech Thee, O Lord, that Thou wilt stay the hand of the destroyer among the descendants of Lehi who reside in this land and give unto them increasing virility and more abundant health, that they may not perish as a people but that from this time forth they may increase in numbers and in strength and in influence, that all the great and glorious promises made concerning the descendants of Lehi may be fulfilled in them; that they may grow in vigor of body and of mind, and above all in love for Thee and Thy Son, and increase in diligence and in faithfulness in keeping the commandments which have come to them through the gospel of Jesus Christ, and that many of them may have the privilege of entering this holy house and receiving ordinances for themselves and their departed ancestors.

We thank Thee, O God, our Eternal Father, that the land of Palestine, the land where our Savior and Redeemer ministered in the flesh, where He gave to the world the plan of life and salvation, is now redeemed from the thralldom of the unbeliever, and is under the fostering care of the great, enlightened, and liberty-loving empire of Great Britain. We acknowledge Thy hand, O God, in the wonderful events which led to the partial redemption of that land, and we now renew the supplication made unto Thee in behalf of Thy covenant people at the dedication of the Salt Lake Temple: “O God of Israel, turn Thy face, we pray Thee, in loving kindness toward Thy stricken people of the House of Judah. Deliver them from those that oppress them. Heal up their wounds, comfort their hearts, strengthen their feet, and give them ministers after Thine own heart who shall lead them, as of old, in Thy way. May the days of their tribulation soon cease, and they be planted by Thee in the valleys and plains of their ancient home; and may Jerusalem rejoice and Judea be glad for the multitude of her sons and daughters, for the sweet voices of children in her streets, and the rich outpouring of Thy saving mercies upon them. May Israel no more bow the head, or bend the neck to the oppressor, but may his feet be made strong on the everlasting hills, never more, by violence, to be banished therefrom, and the praise and the glory shall be Thine.”

We remember before Thee Thy people in all parts of the world. May their hearts be turned unto Thee and to the keeping of Thy commandments, that Thy Name may be glorified in the whole earth.

We pray for Thy Saints in distant lands. May they enjoy the companionship of Thy Spirit, and be blessed with increasing faith and power for good. Continue to remember, we pray Thee, Thy Saints in the valleys of the mountains, whereunto they were led by Thy servant Brigham Young and his associates, under divine guidance, and where the greatest of all temples in this dispensation has been erected, and where Thou has blessed and prospred Thy people even beyond all that could have been expected.

We especially pray Thee, O Father in Heaven, to bless the youth of Thy people in Zion and in all the world. Shield them from the adversary and from wicked and designing men. Keep the youth of Thy people in the straight and narrow path that leads to Thee; preserve them from the pitfalls and snares that are laid for their feet. O Father, may our children grow up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord Jesus Christ. Protect them from infidelity and unbelief, and give unto them a testimony of the divinity of this work as Thou hast given it unto us. Preserve them in purity and truth, and lead them in the way of salvation.

We thank Thee, O God, that Thy Son, our Redeemer, after having been crucified, laying down His life for the sins of the world, did open the prison doors and proclaim the gospel of repentance unto those who had been disobedient in the days of Noah, and that He subsequently came to the land of America, where He established His Church and chose disciples to guide the same.

We thank Thee for restoring again to the earth the ordinances of the gospel of Thy Son Jesus Christ, whereby men and women can be, in very deed, saviors upon Mount Zion, and where they can enter into Thy holy temples and perform the ordinances necessary for the salvation of those who died without a knowledge of the gospel.

We thank Thee, O Father, above all things, for the gospel of Thy Son Jesus Christ, and for the Priesthood of the Living God, and that we have been made partakers of the same, and have an abiding knowledge of the divinity of the work in which we are engaged.

We thank Thee for the words of Thy Son Jesus Christ to the Prophet Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon: “This is the gospel, the glad tidings which the voice out of the heavens bore record unto us, that He came into the world, even Jesus, to be crucified for the world, and to bear the sins of the world, and to sanctify the world, and to cleanse it from all unrighteousness, that through Him all might be saved whom the Father had put into His power and made by Him, who glorifies the Father, and saves all the works of His hands.”

We thank Thee, O Father, that thou didst send Thy Son Jesus Christ, to visit Thy servants Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the Kirtland Temple. We thank Thee for the words of our Redeemer spoken in that temple:

“I am the first and the last, I am He who liveth, I am He who was slain. I am your advocate with the Father. Behold, your sins are forgiven you, you are clean before me, therefore lift up your heads and rejoice, and let the hearts of all my people rejoice, who have with their might built this house to my Name, for behold, I have accepted this house, and my Name shall be here, and I will manifest myself to my people in mercy in this house.”

We thank Thee, O God, that by the testimony of Thy Holy Spirit Thou hast manifested Thine acceptance of all the temples that have been erected from the days of Kirtland until this present time.

We also thank Thee for sending Thy servants, Moses and Elias, and Elijah, to the Kirtland temple, to confer upon Thy servants, Joseph and Oliver, the keys of every dispensation of the gospel of Jesus Christ from the days of Father Adam down to the present dispensation, which is the dispensation of the fulness of times.

We thank Thee, that through the visitation of Elijah the prophecy of Thy servant Malachi—that the hearts of the fathers should be turned to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers, lest the earth be smitten with a curse—has been fulfilled in our day, and that our hearts in very deed go out to our fathers; and we rejoice beyond our ability to express that we can, through the ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ, become saviors of our ancestors.

We thank Thee, O God, our Eternal Father, with all our hearts for the testimony of Thy servants Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon: “And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony last of all, which we give of Him, that He lives; for we saw Him, even on the right hand of God, and we heard the voice bearing record that He is the Only Begotten of the Father—that by Him and through Him, and of Him the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.”

We thank Thee, O Father, for the knowledge which we possess, that Thou dost live, and that Thy Son Jesus Christ is our Redeemer, and our Savior, and that Thy servant, Joseph Smith, Jr., was and is a prophet of the true and living God. And, O Father, may we ever be true and faithful to the gospel of Thy Son Jesus Christ, revealed through Thy servant Joseph.

We now thank Thee, O God, our Eternal Father, for this beautiful temple and the ground upon which it stands, and we dedicate the ground, and the building, with all the furnishings and fittings thereof, and everything pertaining thereunto, from the foundation to the roof, to Thee, our Father and our God. And we humbly pray Thee, Father, to accept of it and sanctify it, and to consecrate it through Thy Spirit to the holy purposes for which it has been erected.

We beseech Thee to enable us to guard this house that no unclean thing shall enter here. May Thy Spirit ever dwell in this holy house and rest upon all who shall labor as officers and workers herein, as well as upon all who shall come here to perform ordinances for the living or for the dead.

May Thy peace ever abide in this holy building, that all who come here may partake of the spirit of peace, and of the sweet and heavenly influence that Thy Saints have experienced in other temples, may all who come upon the grounds which surround this temple, whether members of the Church of Christ or not, feel the sweet and peaceful influence of this blessed and hallowed spot. And may this building be sacred unto Thee and protected from the elments of destruction.

O God, our Heavenly and Eternal Father, sanctify the words which we have spoken, and accept the dedication of this house, and these grounds, which we have dedicated unto Thee by virtue of the Priesthood of the Living God which we hold, and we most earnestly pray that this sacred building may be a place in which Thy Son may see fit to manifest Himself and to instruct Thy servants, and in which Thou shall delight to dwell.

All this we ask and do in the authority of the Holy Priesthood and in the name of Thine Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. Amen and Amen. [3]

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