I am looking for an account of the Founding Fathers coming to the St George Mormon Temple to have their work done. There is a copy of the painting in Washington DC Temple. Where can I find this account?
There are numerous references to the ordinance work that was done for the founding fathers in the St. George Temple in 1877. President Benson spoke a number of times of the event. Here is an excerpt of a statement by President Benson, who was at the time the President of the Quorum of the Twelve, from the Church News, 2/18/89
Shortly after President Spencer W. Kimball became president of the Church, he assigned me to go into the vault of the St. George Temple and check the early records. As I did so, I realized the fulfillment of a dream I had had ever since learning of the visit of the Founding Fathers to the St. George Temple. I saw with my own eyes the record of the work which was done for the Founding Fathers of this great nation, beginning with George Washington.
Think of it, the Founding Fathers of this nation, those great men, appeared within those sacred walls and had their vicarious work done for them.
After he became president of the Church, President Wilford Woodruff declared that ‘those men who laid the foundation of this American government were the best spirits the God of heaven could find on the face of the earth. They were choice spirits. . . and were inspired of the Lord. “
On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the voyage of Columbus to the New World, President Benson made the following declaration concerning Christopher Columbus and the other “eminent men” whose temple ordinances were performed by President Woodruff:
The temple work for the fifty-six signers of the Declaration of Independence and other founding fathers has been done. All these appeared to Wilford Woodruff when he was President of the St. George Temple. President George Washington was ordained a High Priest at that time. You will also be interested to know that according to Wilford Woodruff’’s journal, John Wesley, Benjamin Franklin, and Christopher Columbus were also ordained High Priests at the time. When one casts doubt upon the character of these noble sons of God, I believe he or she will have to answer to the God of heaven for it (Benson 604) (Arnold K. Garr, Epilogue, Christopher Columbus, p. 72).
After President Woodruff became President of the Church he declared that “those men who laid the foundation of this American government were the best spirits the God of heaven could find on the face of the earth. They were choice spirits [and] were inspired of the Lord” (CR October 1987, Ensign 17 [November 1987]: 6).