The following is taken verbatim from Greg Prince’s biography David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism. It recounts some of President McKay’s concerns with the temple endowment ceremony, particularly with how younger people might interpret it. Ever since the endowment was introduced by Joseph Smith, who adopted many symbols from masonry into it, it has been modified numerous times—usually by removing portions and shortening the ceremony—in order to better accommodate the changing sensibilities of church membership. This excerpt sheds light on the thought process behind some of these changes.
The following is taken verbatim from Greg Prince’s impressive biography David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism. In the 1960s, LDS Church membership was just beginning to flourish outside the U.S., and this brought with it the challenge of catering to Latter-day Saints living in dispersed numbers across the globe. McKay was the first Church president to instigate the policy of discouraging new converts from immigrating to the United States, and providing the opportunity to visit a temple was key in this effort. At this time there were only 13 temples operating worldwide (5 of these dedicated during McKay’s term).