According to Wilford Woodruff’s journal, President George Washington, John Wesley, Benjamin Franklin, and Christopher Columbus were ordained high priests when they appeared within the sacred walls of the St. George Temple. Why did these ordinations take place in our sphere by a mortal man?
These ordinations took place in our sphere, by a mortal man because these ordinances must be performed in this life. After the resurrection comes the judgment, when the books will be opened and it will be eternally too late to enter ordinance work into the ledger. The ordination to the Melchizedek Priesthood, along with sealings, endowments, baptisms, and confirmations, all must happen in this life, and must be recorded in this life. Thus, the dead will “be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit” (1 Peter 4:6).