I was on my way to our local branch family history center when I opened the letter. I sat very quietly in my car for several minutes letting the impact of this wash over me. We had initiated the request for reinstatement on August 21, 2010. The request had to be sent through someone who was a direct family descendant so I solicited Judd's help after drafting a letter to the Office of the First Presidency. It was Judd and his daughters who had so much to do with creating and placing the monument to John E. in Gavle, Sweden.
For several months, as I have worked at creating this website, gathering every scrap of information I could find (with the very able help of Laurie Bryant in Salt Lake City and numerous other descendants & interested parties) I have come to have deep feelings and involvement in the life of John, his wives and descendants. I kept getting the urge to make this request, hoping that on the other side of the veil John has met any requirements of change of heart or repentance or whatever might be expected "up there" and would want nothing more than to once again enjoy the full fellowship of the Church. There is no doubt but that he was a strong advocate for the Gospel. He was a man with weaknesses as well, and eventually lost site of what he had stood for most in the early days of his conversion.
The following letter, dated November 4, 2010 was later sent to Judd:
"Dear Brother Forsgren:
We are pleased to inform you that the following ordinances were completed by proxy in the Salt Lake Temple on behalf of Brother John Eric Forsgren:
Readmission and restoration of temple blessings on November 2, 2010.
These ordinances have restored all priesthood and temple blessings held at the time of his excommunication. . . .
Sincerely, Thomas E. Coburn, Managing Director (of the Church Temple Dept.)
That these temple and sealing blessings are now once again available to him brings me great joy. If in any way I have had some small part in bringing this event about then I am satisfied. Whatever his decisions are now in the spirit world, I, for one, look forward to meeting him and thanking him for all that he did to bring the Gospel into the lives of many people.
Note: I have had no previous experience with the restoration of blessings so had had no occasion to contemplate what that might consist of. In Elder Gerald Lund's 2010 book Divine Signatures, the following was stated: "When a person transgresses to the point that full Church fellowship, or even membership, is taken away, the blessings and privileges of the priesthood and temple ordinances are withdrawn as well. These can only be restored with permission of the First Presidency. The restoration itself is an ordinance done by the laying on of hands. For many years, only General Authorities were given these assignments. Now area seventies and some stake presidents receive those assignments as well." (p. 133-134) Elder Lund was referring in this case to a restoration of blessings to a living individual. The letter from Bro. Coburn makes it clear that a proxy ordinance (restoration of blessings for a deceased individual) is done by a member of the temple presidency within the walls of the temple.