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familyhxjhd1 (Joseph Henry Dean and the Salt Lake Temple ** )

Joseph Henry Dean

A Life Calling in the Salt Lake Temple

This article appeared in the Church News, Volume 90, Number 18, May 5, 2019:

For Joseph Henry Dean, a man who served as a carpenter for the Salt Lake Temple, working continually into the last months of construction prior to the dedication, the temple became the true center of his life and his life’s work. As work on the temple drew to a close, many of the workers were slowly released from their commissions as their work finished. Brother Dean, thinking he too would be let go, wrote in his journal nearly every day during the last year of the temple’s construction that he felt he would be the next one to be let go. But he never was. Joseph Henry Dean was one of the few who was kept on to work on interior details after the dedication, like the stained glass windows in the domed ceiling of the Holy of Holies. Later, when Brother Dean found out about the possibility of a custodian position for the temple (a long-term caretaker for the temple), he wrote in his journal that such a position was the secret wish of his heart. One day during this hopeful time, he was walking in the street and ran into Lorenzo Snow. Lorenzo Snow was the first president of the Salt Lake Temple and a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He approached Brother Dean and said, “I want you to know, if you so choose, we are going to give you the position as custodian of the temple and you can spend your remaining days, nights, and life in the temple.” The offer was an answer to Brother Dean’s prayers, and in his diary, he attributed the blessing to his willingness to donate more than a month’s worth of his salary to the temple in the final year of its construction. It had been a time when the Church was in great need of money, more so than for volunteers or laborers, and he noted that because of his decision, “…the Lord saw fit to bless me with this opportunity to spend the rest of my life in serving in the temple.”

Addendum: The following is an excerpt from a scrapbook by Donald Dean.  It is found in a section entitled ‘Important Facts from the life of Joseph Henry Dean’.  “Joseph and his family returned to Salt Lake City in September of 1890.  Joseph worked as a carpenter and stone cutter on the Salt Lake Temple for two years and at its opening in 1893 was chosen as chief custodian.  He worked at that for five years, at which time he was laid off to reduce expenses.”

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