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Dear Gramps,

I recently saw some photographs of the Mormon Kirtland Temple located in Independence, MO. In the temple are various pulpits for the Aaronic and Melchizedek priests. On these pulpits are letters or initials in gold. I tried to locate the meaning of these letters on the pulpits, but with no success. Could you please explain what these pulpits were for and what significance the letters on these pulpits had. Thanks.

Wayne B




Dear Wayne B.,

In the first place, the Kirtland Temple is in Kirtland, Ohio, not Independence, Missouri. The four tiers of pulpits on the east side of the assembly room on the main floor are for the Melchizedek priesthood presidencies, and those on the west for the Aaronic priesthood presidencies. The initials on the pulpits, beginning with the lowest tier, are as follows:

Facing east–

“P.E.Q.” (Presidency of Elders Quorum).

“P.H.P.Q.” (Presidency of High Priests Quorum)

“P.S.Z.” (Presidents of Seventy). Perhaps the Z was meant to be a Q for “Quorum.”

“P.M.P.H.” (Presidency of Melchizedek High Priests).

Facing west–

“P.D.Q.” (Presidency of Deacons Quorum)

“P.T.Q.” (Presidency of Teachers Quorum).

“P.P.Q.” (Presidency of Priests Quorum).

“P. A. P.” (Presidency of Aaronic Priesthood).

Here is an interesting description of the two sets of pulpits from the autobiography of Heber C. Kimball–

In each of these rooms were built two pulpits, one in each end. Each pulpit consisted of four different apartments; the fourth standing on a platform raised a suitable height above the floor; the third stood directly behind and elevated a little above the fourth; the second in rear of and elevated above the third; and in like manner the first above the second. Each of these apartments was just large enough and rightly calculated to seat three persons, and the breastwork in front of each of these three last mentioned was constituted of three semi-circles joining each other, and finished in good style. The fourth or lower one, was straight in front, and had an elegant table leaf attached to it, that could be raised at pleasure for the convenience of administering the sacrament, etc. These pulpits were alike in each end of the house. One was for the use of the Melchizedek or High Priesthood, and the other for the Aaronic or lesser Priesthood. The first or highest apartment was occupied by the First Presidency over the whole Church; the second apartment by the Melchizedek High Priesthood; the third by the President of the High Priests’ Quorum; and the fourth by the President of the Elders and his two counselors. The highest apartment of the other pulpit was occupied by the Bishop of the Church and his two counselors; the next by the President of the Priests and his two counselors; the third by the President of the Teachers and his two counselors; and the fourth by the President of the Deacons and his two counselors. (Heber Kimball Autobiography, Journal excerpts, p.88 – p.89)






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