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Cardston, Alberta Canada
December 14, 1933
Robert W. Smith, Esq. Salt Lake City, Utah
Dear Brother Smith:
I am pleased to answer your letter of December 1st-first as to the letter
of a non-member who wrote of "impressions" received while going through the
Temple before it was dedicated, the truth of which letter you ask me to verify
and which I am pleased to do.
It was a Quaker lady who was a magazine writer from eastern Canada. She has
some relatives in Lethbridge, about 60 miles from Cardston; and being so
deeply impressed on her first visit, she had them bring her a second time
-this time I was acting as guide. She would sit in each room and never said
a word to any in the company, but seemed to be in deep meditation all the
When she reached her own home several weeks after, she wrote this letter
which has caused so much comment all over the Church. We have never been
able to understand how she seemed to know so much about our faith and our
belief in our future life and works after death. I never learned her real
name. She visited us along in 1921. I have never heard from her since that
time, but the letter is genuine, and of her own "impressions!" received while
in the Temple while on the two visits she mentions.
Sincerely your Brother,
0/S Elder J. Wood, Pres. Alberta Stake
This is her actual letter of her visions:
We have been to the Temple erected by your church wherein are to be performed
the sacred rites in accordance with your faith. The first time I was strongly
impelled to describe to you my impressions. I did so but before the completion
of the letter, I received some news that so affected me that acting upon
the spur of the moment, I destroyed the document in its entirety.
The continued feeling within me of dissatisfaction as to something left undone,
coupled with the desire upon the part of the members of my household who
had not visited the temple, led to our second visit to Cardston, in which
you so kindly consented to accompany us, notwithstanding the inclement weather
and personal inconvenience to yourself which the journey entailed.
It was because of this and many other evidences of your friendship that has
given me the privilege to presume to bother you with what after all may be
foolish fantacies of a too impressionable mentality. To me it does seem so,
for never before in my life have such powerful impressions been infringed
upon my inner consciousness as during my visit thru the Temple. Especially
was this true at our second visit. The impressions of our first visit were
repeated with such overwhelming intensity and variety of detail that I must
positively inform you of my experience.
It seems to me it were a sacred duty upon my part to do this, and knowing
as I do that your friends will lightly ridicule what to me is a personal
matter, I am going to give you in detail my experience in the hope, that
if it is well, maybe it is something more than imagination, that you and
others of your faith may wisely analyze and correctly use whatever may be
gleaned from this letter.
A fortress in time of storm, was the first thought that shaped itself in
my mind with my first view of this ancient, yet modern temple; mellowed with
the spiritual usage of ancient civilization and customs, yet alert, virile,
A grand, solemn, strong, beautiful, useful house of spiritual progression
which seemed to be the embodiment of architectural expression of ancient
civilization and glories suddenly re-incarnated and for a future and higher
civilization than our own. Strength and beauty exaggerated the more flimsy
houses and buildings of the town and gave a painfully obvious example of
how the soul within is expressed thru the material body, either in the individual
or nation, or a race, either in the man or his architecture. Try how I would
I could not get away from the feeling that the town itself was inferior to
the latest building, so new and yet so old. Even the electric lights failed
to change this thought, that the Temple and the town represented two different
epochs of humanitys spiritual development expressed in architecture.
The town embodied the present epoch, science, art, invention harnessed purely
for trade or commerce, irrespective of past or future development. The Temple
embodies the accumulated knowledge of the ancient world combined with the
modern inventions of science and inspiration as the road to a higher future
development so near at hand. Let me put it down even another way.
There is a place called Cardston. A Temple linking the past with the present
has been built at Cardston and the town has become a collection of flimsy
huts nestling at the foot of the Temple which will continue to function for
the spiritual purposes for which it is raised.
Just as the exterior impressions compared with the present and future epochs
so did the interior also reflect comparison. Of the beautiful and artistic
effects I need not dwell; abler pens can describe the interior from this
viewpoint. Sufficient for me to say that the shape of the Temple is a cross,
that each apartment is symbolical in artistic and structural effects of some
stage of humanity's progress thru the ages. In fact, everything physical
is a stepping stone to spiritual progress as such is typified in these
All this was kindly and intelligently explained to us by Mr. Duce on one
occasion and by Mr. Wood on the second visit; but I am afraid I was very
indifferent and inattentive upon both occasions, for which I tender them
my sincere apologies. I had no intentions of being rude or discourteous,
but from the moment of entering the Temple until leaving, I was placed in
the position of having, as it were, to listen to and grasp a dual narrative
all the time, with the result that so engrossed was I at times that I am
afraid I was so absent-minded as to appear inattentive if not positively
I have stated that my impression of the exterior of the building was that
of a place of waiting for a higher civilization than our present one. This
would suggest a condition of emptiness, but that is not what I mean. An ordinary
newly erected building has no atmosphere at all until it has been inhabited
some time; after which, it has, as it were, a living atmosphere. What kind
of an atmosphere this is, is largely determined by the spiritual development
and thought of the persons using and inhabiting the building. This applies
especially to places of worship or consecration, and is very noticeable to
a sensitive person. Sometimes such an atmosphere is agreeable, exalting,
etc.; sometimes very much the reverse, depending upon the spiritual harmony
or otherwise of the persons under this atmospheric rule; but was not so as
far as it was concerned while outside the Temple.
I could not understand the overwhelming scene of ancient atmosphere which
the building actually possessed in its very granite blocks in spite of the
fact that I know a few months previous these stones had been laid, yet the
feeling of age predominated. I dismissed the feeling as well as I could by
thinking that the place of the structure was responsible for the suggestion
of age, but when I entered the Temple, how quickly I found there was nothing
to suggest to me that present atmosphere of which I have spoken, but was
it empty? Emphatically no! Time and again as I listened to the speaker explaining
some phase of the building or its meaning, I would be seeing beyond him some
illustration of kaleidoscopic nature, depicting what he was describing, only
more completely and vividly. The characters were so plain to me that I required
all my self control to keep silent from room to room. This continued and
only ceased when we were out in the frost and snow once more.
There was no set plan for presenting these pictures to me. It seemed as if
when I thought something mental, a picture instantly presented itself in
explanation of some word of the conductor, which would have the same effect.
I was not afraid, only awed by the wonder of it all and the fearful impressive
feeling that I received which seemed to imbed every little detailed scene
into my brain, from which it will ever remember and record; and vivid as
all of it was, these incidents herein related are the ones upon which I received
The scenes which I observed of an historical character seemed chiefly to
verify and amplify the speaker's outline of past history, and so I do not
feel impressed to record such, except to state that the same patriarchal
characters whom I observed directing and influencing the early movements
of the Church, were the same down through every age and epoch, and as the
scenes advanced to more modern times, I saw among these spiritual characters
and counselors, persons whose features I had previously observed as being
in the material body on other historical occasions.
It seemed as though the temple was filled with the actual spiritual bodies
of these previous leaders of your church, each seeming to have the work that
person was engaged in whilst in the flesh. In that temple I saw persons who
were leaders of your church, during its march across the American desert
now engaged in helping these higher patriarchs under whose orders they seemed
to be working. It was these latter spiritual leaders, if I may use that term,
who seemed to be instructed to show me the scenes here recorded.
I can give no time as to the happening, except that the impressions I received
were of actual present or immediate future.
I saw first a brief but comprehensive sketch of the present state of the
world, or as you would term it, the Gentile Kingdoms. Each country in turn
was shown, its anarchy, hunger, ambitions, distrusts and warlike activities,
etc., and in my mind was formed from some source the words, "As it is today
with the Gentiles."
I saw international war again break out with its center upon the Pacific
Ocean, but sweeping and encircling the whole globe.
I saw that the opposing forces were roughly divided by so-called Christianity
on the one side, and by the so-called followers of Mohammed and Buddha on
the other. I saw that the great driving power within these so-called Christian
nations, was the Great Apostasy of Rome, in all its political, social and
religious aspects. I saw the worldwide dislocation and devastation of production
and slaughter of people occur more swiftly and upon a larger scale than ever
before. I saw an antagonism begin to express itself from those so-cal1ed
Christian nations against your people. I saw those with a similar faith to
yours in the far east begin to look toward Palestine for safety.
I saw the international world war automatically break down, and national
revolution occur in every country, and complete the work of chaos and desolation.
I saw geological disturbances occur, which helped in this work as if it were
intended to do so. I saw the Cardston Temple preserved from all of this
geological upheaval. I saw the international boundary line disappear as these
two governments broke up and dissolved into chaos. I saw race rioting upon
the American continent on a vast scale.
I saw hunger and starvation in this world; I saw disease produced by hunger,
strife and chaos complete the end of this present order or epoch. How long
these events were in reaching this consummation I do not know, but my impression
was from the outbreak of the international war these things developed into
a continuous procession, and almost ran concurrently, as it is with a sickness,
the various symptoms are all in evidence at one and the same time, but in
different stages of development.
My intensified thought was "What of the Church," if such is to become of
the Kingdoms of the earth? Was immediately answered by a subconscious statement.
"As it is in the church today," and I saw these higher spiritual beings
throughout the length and breadth of the air, marshalling their spiritual
forces, and concentrating them upon the high officials of your church upon
I saw the spiritual forces working upon those officers, impressing and moving
them, influencing and warning them. I saw the spiritual forces begin to unfold
these things into the minds of your elders and other high officials, especially
during their spiritual devotions and official duties, and those activities
which exalt the mind of the individual or groups. I saw the impressions take
hold and inspire the more receptive and spiritual men, until it was all clearly
revealed to them in the way the spiritual patriarch desired.
Again I seemed to hear the words, "As it will be." I saw the high officials
in council, and under inspired guidance issue instructions to your people
to re-consecrate their lives and energies to their faith, to voluntarily
discipline themselves, by abstaining from all those forms of indulgence which
weaken the body, sap the mentality and deaden the spirit, or waste the income.
I saw further on, instructions given whereby places of refuge were prepared
quietly but efficiently by inspired elders. I saw Cardston and the surrounding
foothills, especially north and west, for miles, being prepared as a refuge
for your people quietly but quickly.
I saw elders still under divine guidance, counseling and encouraging the
planting of every available acre of soil in this district, so that large
supplies would be near the refuge. I saw the church property under cultivation
of an intensified character, not for sale or profit, but for the use of the
people. I saw artesian wells and other wells dug all over that territory
so that when the open waters were polluted and poisoned that the people of
the church and their cattle should be provided for.
I saw the fuel resources of the district develop in many places and vast
piles of coal and timber stored for future use and building. I saw the territory
carefully surveyed and mapped out, for the camping of a great body of the
people of the church. I saw provision also made for a big influx of people
who will not at first belong to the church, but who will gather in their
I saw vast quantities of surgical appliances, medicines, disinfectants, etc.,
stored in the temple basement. I saw inspiration given the elders whereby
the quantity, quality and kind of things to be stored were judged, which
might not be attainable in this territory in time of chaos. I saw defensive
preparations working out the organizations of the camps on maps.
I saw the mining corridors used as places of storage underground: I saw the
hills surveyed and corrals built in sequestered places for cattle, sheep,
etc., quietly and quickly. I saw the plans for the organization of the single
men and their duties, the scouts, the guards, the nurses, the cooks, the
messengers, the children, the herders, the temple guards, etc.. I saw these
things going on practically unknown to the Gentile world, except the Great
Apostasy, whose knowledge and hatred is far reaching, in this day of its
temporary power. This was going on piece by piece as the Elders were instructed
so to do.
I saw the other officials obeying the inspired instructions, carrying their
message and exhorting the people to carry out, from time to time the revelation
given them, whilst all around throughout the Gentile world the chaos developed
in its varying stages, faction against faction, nation against nation, but
all in open or secret hostility to your people and their faith. I saw your
people draw closer and closer together, as this became more tense and as
the spiritual forces warned them through the mouth of your elders and your
other officers. I saw the spiritual forces influencing those members who
had drifted away, to re-enter the fold. I saw a greater tithing than ever
before. I saw vast quantities of necessaries supplied by members whose spiritual
eyes had been opened. I saw a liquidation of properties and effects disposed
of quietly but quickly by members of the church, as the spiritual influences
I saw the inspired call sent forth to all the church, to gather to the refuges
of Zion. I saw the stream of your people quietly moving in the direction
of their refuge. I saw your people moving more quickly and in larger numbers
until all the stragglers were housed. I saw the wireless message flashed
from Zion's refuge to Zion's refuge in their several places that all was
well with them, and then the darkness of chaos closed around the boundaries
of your people, and the last days of tribulation had begun.