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Alfred Cordon

Laying of the Southwest Corner Stone of the Salt Lake Temple

Great Salt Lake City

April 4, 1853

The procession again formed and proceeded to the south west corner, when the presiding Bishop Edward Hunter, his Council, and the various Presidencies of the lesser Priesthood, with their associates, laid the South West Corner Stone, when from its top, Bishop Hunter delivered the following oration:

Brethren and Friends -

This South West Corner Stone of this Temple in Salt Lake Valley and Utah Territory has been laid, by the Aaronic Priesthood, which is in connection with the Melchizedek Priesthood forever -- to connect those two Priesthoods to the building up of the kingdom of the last days -- and exalt mankind on earth, and in the Presence of God, and prepare for the coming of Christ our redeemer.

"He continued on for an hour - in closing he stated:"

The wall around the temple block will soon secure these grounds from intrusion. We are comparatively free from debt; everything seems favorable, for the rapid progress of the work.

Brethren it depends upon your efforts, your liberality, your faithfulness, whether its progress be slow or fast. We are now ready to bid the saints, "Come lend us your aid; bring up to the Tithing House of the Lord, your tithings and your consecrations pay up what you owe, that our hands may be untied, and freed from our remaining indebtedness; that the hearts of the public workman may rejoice in the blessings and comforts of life. "Let your liberality be known by your works, and remember that it is your own work, you are called upon to perform, and one in which you have the deepest, most abiding interest.

Bring forth the materials for building; stone, lime, and sand; lumber and timber; the pine, the fir, and the cedar; the iron and steel; the silver and precious stones; to ornament, make beautiful and glorious the place of His presence, whose excellence surpasses the understanding of the children of men.


Bishop Cordon offered the following:



O God the eternal Father, we thank thee that we are assembled here this morning to lay the foundation of another Temple to thy name. We ask thee in the name of Jesus Christ thy Son, to let thy blessing rest upon this, the South West Corner Stone, which has been laid by the presiding Bishop of thy church, and his counsel. Also let thy power and strength rest upon the servants who shall endeavor to build upon the same; may that spirit of unanimity and peace that pervades our bosoms, this morning, rest upon those who shall labor upon this building; and thy Saints be filled with thanksgiving, with praise and adoration's to thy great name for the mercies thou art continually extending unto them.

Especially let thine elders abroad, whose hearts are panting this day with joy and satisfactions, feel the force and influence of thy Spirit that so richly rests upon us, that they may take comfort and consolation. Let their lives be preserved, that they may return and behold a building reared to thy name, and greatly rejoice and adore thee, 0 God, may their way be opened, that they may move from nation to nation, from city to city, from habitation to habitation. Let thine angels go before them, and the secret agency of thy Holy Spirit touch the hearts of the people for their good, that thy purposes may soon be accomplished; that Israel may be gathered from the nations of the earth; that light and truth may spread itself, until all the honest in heart rejoice in the principles of freedom, and every band and yoke of the tyrant is snapped and broken asunder, and the knowledge and power of God shall cover the earth, as the waters cover the face of the great deep.

We pray thee to let the petitions of thy servant which was offered upon the Chief Corner Stone be answered upon the heads of this people; and may thy blessing and power rest upon him and his brethern, even the Presidency of the Church; may they be filled with spirit of revelation continually, that thy saints may flourish, thy kingdom prosper, and thy work roll forth under their guidance; that the day may soon come when Zion shall be respected among the nations, and the Holy Priesthood be the only authority acknowledged, either at home or abroad, on the land or on the sea.

Direct thy people in the path, that they may be prepared for the accomplishing of thy purposes. Let the Temple for which we are this day laying the Corner Stones, be reared to thy name, and the Top Stone be brought on with shouts of rejoicing before thee. Let every person that shall put forth their hand to prevent this thing from being accomplished, sink into oblivion, and may his power wither like the gourd of Jonah Let all those who put forth their hands to rear this House, or in any way assist in doing the same, be blessed abundantly in the blessings of heaven and the blessings of earth; and may all things work together for the good of thy people in all time to come.

We dedicate this stone, and resign ourselves to thee to use us according to thy pleasure, praying thee to direct our course, and save us eternally in thy celestial kingdom, in the name of Jesus Christ. AMEN

Eighteen minutes past twelve, the choir sang -






13 March 1871

Monday, March 13. Mild weather prevailed in Salt Lake City. Bishop Alfred Cordon, of Willard City died. The Deseret Evening News of March 14, 1871 published the following demise:

Death of Bishop Cordon, -- The following telegram was received by the Desert Telegraph line this morning:

Willard City, March 13, 1871

Bishop A. M. Musser: At 2 o'clock this afternoon our bishop ALFRED CORDON, departed this life; he had been suffering from inflammation of the lungs for about a week past. Further particulars hereafter. Funeral tomorrow.

Geo. A. Mears

The death of Bishop Cordon will be received with surprise by his many friends. It is but a few days since he was in this city, seemingly hearty and robust, and judging from his appearance, likely to live for years; and being a man well known and very generally respected by the entire community, the news of his death will be cause of great regret.

The following details of the death and funeral of Bishop Cordon were published in the "Deseret Evening News" of March 20.

Funeral Services: We have received the following short obituary, and account of the funeral service of the late Bishop A. Cordon, which took place at Willard City a few days since.

"Alfred Cordon was the second son of Sampson and Myra Cordon, and was born at Toxteth Park, near Liverpool, England, on the 28th day of February, 1817, and at the time of his decease was 54 years and two weeks old.

He was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the year 1839, by Elder David Wilding, in Manchester, England.

He commenced to preside in Willard City in 1857 He died on the 13th instant at 2 P.M,, and was buried on the 15th, in the afternoon.




The funeral services commenced at one o'clock. The coffin was borne, on the shoulders of the Teachers, from his late residence to the school house. An immense concourse of people was present; not over one half of whom could gain admittance.

The meeting was called to order by Elder Geo W. Ward.

After singing and prayer, short, appropriate and consolatory addresses were delivered by President Lorenzo Snow and Elder Jonathan C. Wright. Singing and Prayer closed the services.

The people turned out in masses to join in the procession, which was in the following order: At the head was the body in charge of Elder George W. Ward and M. W. Dalton: several conveyances containing the near relatives of the deceased; the Presidency of the Stake; Bishop Nichols and some ten carriages with visitors from Brigham City; some fifty conveyances containing citizens of this place. The rear was composed of the brethern and sisters of the choir and a long column of citizens on foot. The line formed was over a half mile in length.

The assembly formed in circles around the grave, where the services consisted of singing and prayer.

It was very gratifying to witness the many little acts of kindness extended by the people in general to the bereaved. Each seemed to vie with the other in the offices of encouragement and consolation.

Thus passed to his resting place a staunch veteran in the cause of God. Whatever may have been his shortcomings, none can reproach him with lack of loyalty to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was a zealous advocate and determined defender of the faith from his commencement in the ministry, some thirty years ago, until the day of his death, he was on terms of closest intimacy with the Presidency of the Church.

His sickness inflammation of the lungs lasted but a few days, and he passed from this life, as he had often expressed a wish to do, without a lengthy sickness, and free from the cares and anxiety which often surround the death-bed.

It would be superfluous to pass and eulogium upon his life and services as there are but few of the experienced members of the Church who are not more or less acquainted with the name and services of Alfred Cordon.

He leaves a large family and a very extended circle of relatives and friends to mourn his loss.


(copied from the Church Archives - May 1, 1961 by a Great Grandson-Alfred Swainston Cordon)

Source: Daughters of Utah Pioneers, Salt Lake City, Utah


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