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BRINGING SENSE TO TAX EXEMPTION: A COMING MORMON DILEMMA

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As a twenty-two year old kid missionary in 1951, I was acting architect for the British Mission of the Mormon Church. The last project that was handed to me was planning a design for a Temple of the church to be built in London.

The mission president at the time, Stayner Richards, had correctly realized that after over a century of Mormon missionary work in the UK that there was insufficient membership build-up to allow for organization of Stakes And Wards of the church which is the mature development of the church concept of Zion. The reason being that the ceremonies of temple blessings could not be obtained in the UK and so new members would immigrate to Utah where they could obtain these blessings.

One day in the summer of 1951 while accompanying Richards on a train trip from London to Liverpool (future home of the Beetles) he stated these concerns to me and requested I commence preparing schematic drawings for a temple to be built in London. I have documented that effort in my biography, Under the Mormon Tree available on Amazon.com . Returning to the States by air in December 1951, I was urgently directed to present my materials to Mormon President David O. McKay at church headquarters in Salt Lake City at which point I would have an honorable discharge of my mission.

This was accomplished and the very first approval for a temple outside the Western Hemisphere (except Hawaii) was a landmark in church growth. The site I had selected was not used but a site some miles south of London was later selected and in 1958 a temple was built there. Twenty odd years after my efforts to design and select the temple site in London I was in a personal position to have completely devalued the temple and its ceremonies so that I was glad that the London Temple as built and located did not have my hand prints on it.

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Retired Designer-Builder formerly practicing Attorney at Law.

Credentials include ordaining a Black man to priesthood in the LDS Church leading to a public struggle with the church yielding and ordaining Black men about 2 years (more...)
 

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