45 years ago today - Aug 26, 1971

During the church's first area conference in Manchester, England, there is a formal meeting of a joint council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. This is the first such council meeting outside of the United States in Mormon history.

[Source: The Mormon Hierarchy - Extensions of Power by D. Michael Quinn, [New Mormon History database (http://bit.ly/NMHdatabase)]]

115 years ago today - Aug 26, 1901

[Lorenzo Snow and Joseph F. Smith to apostle John W. Young]
Your wife Christine wrote to us recently representing herself to be in needy circumstance, and asking us to use our good offices to induce you to help her children. We wrote her in answer to this that on a previous occasion (about two years ago) she wrote a similar letter, and that you were communicated with respecting it, and that you answered in effect that inasmuch as it was a domestic affair it appeared only right and proper that she should address you direct regarding it. In reply to this letter Sister Christine has written again, from which we are sorry to learn that she failed to be informed of the contents of your letter referred to; and from her last letter quote as follows:

' ... I had neither home nor means, no parents, no relatives who were in a position to help me, he knew fully that there was nothing to keep me and his two children from want all these twelve years except the effort of my hands, and that my health was such as to make that effort a severe trial he too was mad acquainted with through letters from the children. ... I feel strongly that no man with a vestige of chivalry in his soul would humiliate a woman so as to force her to ask a favor of him that what in all human justice she has a right to claim as her due'the least reparation man can make for a life's happiness destroyed. ... '

We sympathize with Sister Young in the embarrassing position in which she is placed, and agree with her that she should not be required to ask for the assistance you may be able to render and which you should render her; and we trust therefore you will see your way clear to aid her, and that you will have the disposition to help her without further importuning on her part. We appreciate the fact that this is a delicate subject, and that you may feel sensitive about it, but there appears at present to be no other recourse for Sister Christine, and this must be our apology for writing you regarding it.

[Source: Lorenzo Snow and Joseph F. Smith, Letter to John W. Young, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1835-1951, Electronic Edition, 2015]

120 years ago today - Aug 26,1896

Apostle Moses Thatcher begins treatment with Keeley Institute for his addiction to opium and morphine. First Presidency and apostles tolerated Thatcher as a "morphine fiend" and "opium eater", but on 26 Jul his family and friends considered involuntary commitment to treatment. His is most prominent drug addict in Mormon history. Twelve drop Thatcher from quorum membership on 19 Nov because of four year conflict over his insubordination in political matters, but Thatcher's drug addiction aggravates that conflict.

[Source: Quinn, D. Michael, The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power, Appendix 5, Selected Chronology of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1848-1996, http://amzn.to/extensions-power]

120 years ago today - Aug 26, 1896

A Ward Conference was held at Sugar House [Salt Lake City] this evening at which the Forest Dale Ward was organized out of a portion of the Sugar House Ward. President Angus M. Cannon and Counselor Joseph E. Taylor and C[harles]. W. Penrose officiated. Some opposition was manifested by a few of the members present, through a misunderstanding on their part in reference to the alleged nonresidence of Bishop [Apollos G.] Driggs in the Sugar House Ward, after the Ward should be divided. Elder Daniel S. Harrington became so excited that President Cannon had to require him to take his seat, and the constable named Harris, who was present, walked to the stand and commanded the peace. The Declaration of Principles was read and explained by Brother Penrose, and was sustained with one dissentient vote. James J. Jenson was selected and sustained as Bishop of Forest Dale Ward, with Royal B. Young and James Hendry as his counselors. This left Bishop Apollos S. Driggs with but one counselor. Frank V. Taylor was made first counselor and M. M. Atwood second counselor. These were sustained by unanimous vote, with this exception, four hands were raised against Bishop Driggs by persons who considered he was not a resident of the ward. It was explained that this would form no valid objection and the meeting closed with general good feeling.

[Source: Journal History, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1835-1951, Electronic Edition, 2015]

145 years ago today - Aug 26, 1871

[Wilford Woodruff]
26 I Attended the school of the prophets. Many subjets were brought up & speeches Made. Presidet Young presented the subject of Making our will. He recommended to divide our property into so many shares & then divide the shares to the wives & Children according to our mind & will.

[Source: Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

160 years ago today - Aug 26, 1856

Brigham Young's office journal records: ". . . Bro[ther] Brown lately arrived from Kanesville left a Bottle of Wine of his own make made from the juice of the grape as a present for President Young . . ."

170 years ago today - Aug 26, 1846

[Wilford Woodruff]
I also found an evil in the camp. A man by the name of Daniel (or John) Barnum not A member of the Church but A wicked man had joined with other young men And was spending there time nights in fiddleing & dancing And afterwards leading away young women into folley evil & wickedness. And Among others I found that [Wilford's new teenaged wives] Caroline Barton & Sarah Brown had been lead away by him & been with them At late hours of the night. As they were members of my family I forbid there going out any more with them on penalty of leaving my house. But they still continued to go out.

[Source: Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

80 years ago today - Aug 25, 1936

Twenty-year-old Fawn McKay, niece of David O. McKay, marries non-Mormon Bernard Brodie, a graduate student in international relations, at a Chicago LDS ward after a six-week "whirlwind" courtship. On the same day she receives an M.A. in English from the University of Chicago. She is later excommunicated for writing NO MAN KNOWS MY HISTORY.

160 years ago today - Aug 25, 1856

The Martin handcart company and the Hodgett wagon train leave Florence (Winter Quarters), Nebraska, for the Salt Lake Valley.

165 years ago today - Monday, Aug 25, 1851

H[eber] C. Kimball being requested by the Prest.[,] Brigham Young stated that the business this morning was to investigate the fire works of Judge [Uriah] Brown, whether we shall purchase it, or rejected [reject it]. ... O[rson] Hyde wished to know what the expenses of the fire works would be and what would be the benefit of it if we should buy it. P[hineas] Young. He states that he [Uriah Brown] has an invention of liquid fire to destroy an army & navy. Many evidences of the power of the invention can be adduced. ... If pipes were laid in the Kanyon he could destroy an army instantly without injuring the operator. If we ever settle on a sea port he could destroy any number of vessels, any navy in an instant. A[lmon] W. Babbit referred to the favorable reception the invention met with from Pres. Jos[ep]h Smith. The Russian Mission &c. and the favorable notice of the U.S. government in regard [to it]. He then referred to the report of the committee on the experiment, which he read. He is in favor of carrying out the views of Joseph Smith and thinks it a matter worthy of our notice. … ...

[Source: Selected Minutes of the Council of Fifty, Quinn Papers, Beinecke Library, as quoted in Jedediah S. Rogers (editor), The Council of Fifty: A Documentary History, Signature Books (2014)]

175 years ago today - Aug 25, 1841

Joseph exchanges letters with Horace R. Hotchkiss concerning tardy payments for the Nauvoo lands. Apparently both Joseph and Hotchkiss assume that the Saints might get some financial compensation for their losses in Missouri, with which they might pay for the Nauvoo lands. When this does not come about, Hotchkiss begins to get quite anxious about the payment due him for his land. Joseph, of course, has little or no money of his own with which to pay for the lands.

[Source: Conkling, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology]

180 years ago today - Aug 25, 1836

the CINCINNATI JOURNAL AND WESTERN LUMINARY prints a letter from Truman Coe pastor of the Old South Church in Kirtland, Ohio: "Mormonism, it is well known, originated with Joseph Smith in the town of Manchester, adjoining Palmyra, in the state of New York. Smith had previously been noted among his acquaintances as a kind of Juggler, and had been employed in digging after money. He was believed by the ignorant to possess the power of second sight, by looking through a certain stone in his possession. He relates that when he was 17 years of age, while seeking after the Lord he had a nocturnal vision, and a wonderful display of celestial glory. An angel descended and warned him that God was about to make an astonishing revelation to the world, and then directed him to go to such a place, and after prying up a stone he should find a number of plates of the color of gold inscribed with hieroglyphics, and under them a breastplate, and under that a transparent stone or stones which was the Urim and Thummin mentioned by Moses."

15 years ago today - Aug 24, 2001

Tom Green, a Mormon fundamentalist with five wives and 30 children, was sentenced by a court in Provo, Utah, to five years in prison in the state's biggest polygamy case in nearly half a century.

[Source: Ratnikas, Algis, TimelinesDb, http://www.timelinesdb.com/listevents.php?subjid=201title=Utah]

25 years ago today - Aug 24, 1991

The Church News prints the official reassurance of Jack H. Goaslind Jr. (First Quorum of the Seventy member on the executive board of Boy Scouts of America) that the LDS church is still in BSA: "'Learning for Life' [program for self-identified homosexual scouts] does not affect the use of traditional Scouting as a tool to further the goals of the Aaronic Priesthood. As far as the Church is concerned, we are still totally supportive of the Boy Scouts of America program as we know it." This is in response to distressed inquiries from parents about Goaslind's previously published statement that the LDS church "would withdraw from the Boy Scouts of America" if it permitted membership by self-identified homosexual teenagers. This retration represents either a reversal of a First Presidency decision or a repudiation of Goaslind's speaking out of turn.

[Source: The Mormon Hierarchy - Extensions of Power by D. Michael Quinn, [New Mormon History database (http://bit.ly/NMHdatabase)]]

45 years ago today - Aug 24, 1971

[Harvey Fletcher]
"You know they're not always agreeing in the Twelve on some of these things, particularly when it deals with science. He (now referring to brother [John A.] Widtsoe) said brother Joseph Fielding Smith and brother [James E.] Talmage used to have it pretty hot sometimes, and he said that brother Talmage, see he talked about fossils and that was part of his subject as a geologist, went down to Adam-ondi-aman where the altar of Adam is supposed to be and he had a pick and picked around through it and finally found a fossil right in the cement of this altar. He found two or three of them and brought them up and put them in a bag and brought them home. He said he came back at one of the meetings of the Twelve, and he said, 'Now brother Joseph, I understand that you thoroughly believe and are very sure that the first man on earth was Adam, the first life was Adam.' He said, 'I certainly do believe that.' He said, 'Well, what about these?' then, he handed out the fossils, and said, 'I found those in the altar.'"

[Source: Oral History of BYU, #17, Harvey Fletcher, p. 11, in reference to Correspondence from First Presidency, Letter to Eugene T. Thompson (http://zackc.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/correspondence-from-first-presidency-in-re-fletchers-reminiscences.pdf, referenced 10.20.2014)]

70 years ago today - Before Aug 24, 1946

In Post WWII Hamburg, Elder Benson found 500 Saints assembled for meetings. Many "were thin, weak and hungry, their clothes threadbare and hanging loos[e]ly from their starved bodies." "How I wish I could have had baskets full of things—especially food—to give them," Benson wrote. "If I could have for each of these families the food wasted in the average American home, it would be much more than their total food supply at present."

[Source: Gary James Bergera, "Ezra Taft Benson's 1946 Mission to Europe" Journal of Mormon History 34:2 (Spring 2008)]

95 years ago today - Aug 24, 1921

A letter is sent out expresseing the interest and concern of President Grant and the First Presidency regarding the nation-wide distribution and showing of a motion picture, "Riders of The Purple Sage," based on a novel by Zane Grey, which the Church considered to be "scandalous" so far as its portrayal of Mormon history was concerned

It is evident from the letter of September 14th that Senator Smoot's influence with William H. Hays of the National Board of Motion Picture Review was sufficient to cause the elimination of the picture "from the screen.

President Grant's notes: "Sometimes I think we are too passive and do not defend ourselves as we should against such onslaught".

[Source: Clark, James R., Messages of the First Presidency (6 volumes)]

155 years ago today - Aug 24, 1861

[Brigham Young]
The feelings of the Brethren are gratified by hearing of the continued success which attends the Southern Confederacy [during the civil war]. -- Salt Lake City

[Source: Brigham Young Office Journals, in The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, Ed. Richard S. Van Wagoner, Smith-Pettit Foundation, Salt Lake City (2009), http://bit.ly/BY-discourses]

25 years ago today - Aug 23, 1991.

Two weeks after the Sunstone Symposium in Salt Lake City, "the Council of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles" issues a statement expressing concern about "recent symposia . . . that result in ridiculing sacred things or injuring The Church . . . detracting from its mission, or jeopardizing the well-being of its members." Lowell Bennion, a Sunstone participant, comments, "We are asked to love the Lord with all our hearts and minds. It is a poor religion that can't stand the test of thinking."

Salt Lake City resident Christian Fonnesbeck, who wrote a letter to the First Presidency saying he was "puzzled" by the statement, is called in by his bishop, acting on instructions of his stake president, Herbert Klopfer, and relieved of his church calling as a Blazer-B instructor. He is told the action is taken on instruction of "high church officials." (He has since been put in charge of scheduling the building.) Kim Clark writes a letter to the editor, published in the Salt Lake Tribune, commenting on the statement. His stake president calls him in and tells him that he is "undertaking an investigation that could result in disfellowshipment or excommunication."

At October general conference, Elder Boyd K. Packer refers explicitly to the joint statement and comments on "the dangers of participating in symposia which concentrate on doctrine and ordinances and measure them by the intellect alone. . . . There is safety in learning doctrines in gatherings which are sponsored by proper authority." Apostle Marvin J. Ashton says, "Some of us may be inclined to study the word with the idea in mind that we must add much where the Lord has said little! Those who would `add upon' could well be guided by the anchor question of, do my writings, comments, or observations build faith and strengthen testimonies?" Elder Charles Didier of the First Quorum of the Seventy instructs Saints to build testimony "by asking your Heavenly Father in the name of his Son Jesus Christ. Do not turn to public discussions and forums."

[Source: Anderson, Lavina Fielding, "The LDS Intellectual Community and Church Leadership: A Contemporary Chronology," Dialogue, Vol.26, No.1]

70 years ago today - Aug 23, 1946

[J. Reuben Clark]
Judge Rulon Clark with First Presidency Took up question of sending sub-normals to Am. Fork School'where they are sterilized. Question really turned on Church attitude towards sterilization I strongly urged caution, that we knew too little to make our determination certain. He turned over a list of those now in question,'some 36 names. We decided we would investigate the ward membership in the area from which they came'Redwood Ward. I called Pres Child and asked him to take charge of matter and have it done (this at F.P.'s request). He said he would and got in touch with present Stake Presidency.

[Source: The Diaries of J. Reuben Clark, 1933-1961, Abridged, Digital Edition, Salt Lake City, Utah 2015]

120 years ago today - Aug 23,1896

Sugar House Ward congregation votes against man proposed as Bishop of new ward to divided from the old. Salt Lake stake president Angus M. Cannon furiously shouts, "Sit down! and shut your mouths, you have no right to speak!" When Cannon engages in shouting match with dissenting congregation, a ward member and policeman threaten to arrest stake president for disturbing the peace. Cannon more calmly repeats his attempt but is voted down "again several times." Secretary of the First Council in attendance writes: "I have been taught that the appointing power comes from the priesthood and the sustaining power from the people and that they have the right of sustaining or not sustaining appointees."

[Source: Quinn, D. Michael, The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power, Appendix 5, Selected Chronology of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1848-1996, http://amzn.to/extensions-power]

160 years ago today - Aug 23, 1856

President Young said while conversing upon Eternal improvement that He knew by revelation while in England that there would be an Eternal increase in knowledge & as we now are God once was & as he now is we shall be if we continue faithful. I told this to Br Lorenzo Snow. While Conversing with Brother Wilard Richards upon the things of God it came to me that the Priesthood is a perfect system of Government.

[Source: Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

165 years ago today - Saturday, Aug 23, 1851

A[lexander] Badlam [speaking]... He [Orrin Porter Rockwell] was willing to die for brother [Orson] Hyde. It is right to obey the presiding authority. Bro. Rockwell was acting under the authority of the Prest. of this council. Is in favor of brother Rockwell being remunerated. … The brethren finally concluded to forgive each other and endeavor to bury the past. Porter [Rockwell] is not willing to shake hands with them because he does not love them as well as he used to but he will forgive them, and endeavor to do them good.

[Source: Selected Minutes of the Council of Fifty, Quinn Papers, Beinecke Library, as quoted in Jedediah S. Rogers (editor), The Council of Fifty: A Documentary History, Signature Books (2014)]

170 years ago today - Aug 23, 1846

[Mormon Battalion]
Capt. John Allen dies at Fort Leavenworth. Overriding Allen's prior agreement with Brigham Young that the battalion's own officers would assume command in the event of his death, the Army appoints Lt. A.J. Smith, not a Latter-day Saint and destined to become unpopular among the men of the battalion, to be the unit's acting commander.

[Source: Mormon Battalion Timeline, Herald Extra, March 25, 2010]

35 years ago today - Aug 22,1981

Apostle Boyd K. Packer instructs BYU religion faculty, all seminary and institute teachers, and administrators of Church Education System that Mormon history, "if not properly written or properly taught, may be a faith destroyer," and he affirms that Mormon historians are wrong in publicizing controversial elements of Mormon past. BYU Studies publishes this address in full. At request of students, BYU history professor gives his perspective on Elder Packer's talk and role of historical inquiry to meeting of BYU's history majors. Summarized within days by off-campus student newspaper Seventh East Press, this conflict between some apostles and some Mormon historians is subject of Feb 1982 Newsweek article which quotes BYU professor that "a history which makes LDS leaders flawless and benignly angelic would border on idolatry."

[Source: Quinn, D. Michael, The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power, Appendix 5, Selected Chronology of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1848-1996, http://amzn.to/extensions-power]

115 years ago today - Thursday, Aug 22, 1901

Pres. Snow made remarks and said in substance that he doubted whether we were justified in keeping the Twelve Apostles and Seven Presidents of Seventies at home as much as we do. Their special calling is to preach the gospel to the nations, and he felt that a great work must be accomplished in this regard before the coming of the Savior. The president of the Twelve should think about this matter, should pray about it, that his mind might be broadened to comprehend what is needed. It is a matter worthy of thought and consideration.

[Source: Stan Larson (editor), A Ministry of Meetings: The Apostolic diaries of Rudger Clawson, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1993, http://bit.ly/rudgerclawson]

135 years ago today - Aug 22, 1881

[James E. Talmage]
The authorities have often spoken of my age and diligent labors in public and even President Woodruff was not an exception, but I see one thing, that this very circumstance imposes on me an onerous duty—to keep opinion of self down. [...] Some think me conceited, but I think they are those that know me but little. I am not so; indeed, I am impetuous, rushing, energetic, and these trains are often taken for self-conceit.

[Source: The Journals of James E. Talmage—Excerpts, Compiled by J. Trevor Antley, https://docs.google.com/document/d/1dOE6pgN6OkBJIq-X73JGpCdt0p5b8_UdfTfLREz4uTg/]

165 years ago today - Aug 22, 1851

... ["]H[yde] advised the people to beat the Indians out of [Pottawattomie] County. [I] saw two Indians whipped there unmercifully. I said this was a bad policy. Thought such a course would stir up the Indians to prevent emigration, and thought it was done to prevent emigration. When he came through he met with the Indians. [Logan] Fontainelle complained and he told [the Indians] to take Hyde's skelp [scalp] but let the people alone.["] O[rson] Hyde-Has never had any difficulty with brother P[hin ehas]. ["]The difficulty has been with him alone. I have said or done little.["] In regard to P[hinehas] going East. He [Hyde] wanted [Bill] Hickman to let him have a horse, and advised Hickman to steal another.

… [In the afternoon] H[eber] C. Kimball [said:]. ["]The difficulty between Joseph Young and Bro. Hyde seems to be settled. But the matter between Bro Hyde and Phineas Young does not appear to be settled. Bro. Phineas Young has laid plains [plans] with the Indians to take the life of one of the anointed of the Lord, of a member of this council and we all know what our obligations are, and we cannot fellowship brother Phineas as a member of this council unless he makes full satisfaction. O[rson] Spencer accords with the sentiments advanced by coun[selor] Kimball. Also referred to the case between E[lde]r Hyde and Jos[ep]h Young. P[hinehas] Young. Wish[ed] the Council to understand that in consequence of what had taken place he had said what he did say. He acknowledges he has done wrong and wishes brother Hyde and the council to forgive him. Bro. Hyde need have no fears of him for he will not injure him. David Fullmer made remarks similar to those by O Spencer. O Hyde wished to know why P[hinehas] Young believed that H[yde] wished to kill him. P[hinehas] Young. Related the circumstances of his being at Kanesville during the election. Of his hearing of a plan being laid to assassinate him. Of his being shot at one night after dark. This made him think there were designs against his life and did not know why men should do it unless they were told to. A[lexander] Badlam thinks if bro. Hyde is willing to forgive P[hinehas Young] he don't know why he should withstand. There is wrong all around according to the acknowledgments, but he could not consent to taking life. A[lmon] W. Babbit. Referred [to the fact] that there had been wrong on both sides. Bro. Hyde acknowledged to having had [ill] feelings [against Young ever] since O[liver] Cowdrey came to Winter Quarters. Referred to what his [Babbit's] own feelings would have been towards bro. Hyde if the reconciliation had not taken place. Thinks there is more gass in Bro. Phineas than intention to injure bro. Hyde. Thinks they ought to settle the matter as it was [done] last evening. ... J[edediah] M. Grant. Said that bro. Phineas has boasted to the citizens of this place that he had advised the Indians to kill bro. Hyde. He considers the crime a great one. If the U.S. Officers become informed of the fact, the U.S. will not deal with brother Phineas as mercifully as we do. If one member of this council can be trampled upon with impunity, [then] the wild savages can be set on him with impunity. H. C. Kimball. Spake of his good feelings towards brother Phineas. He will tell brother Phineas some things which will lead him down to hell [if he persists], i.e., if he don't bind himself up and not talk so much carelessly and it will do so [anyway] by any man if they don't quit it. Pres[ide]nt Brigham Young. His feelings are if Bro. Phineas will take back what he has said wherever he has stated it, and write the letter, and then make a solemn covenant never to take a step against any member of this council or an anointed of the Lord again without proper evidence, he will feel to forgive him. If he will make a covenant to never let his tongue make a fool of him again and make restitution he may be forgiven. The above decision of the president, was then put to a vote and passed in the affirmative.

[Source: Selected Minutes of the Council of Fifty, Quinn Papers, Beinecke Library, as quoted in Jedediah S. Rogers (editor), The Council of Fifty: A Documentary History, Signature Books (2014)]

165 years ago today - Aug 22, 1851

At Council of Fifty meeting Phineas H. Young admits plotting with Indians to kill Apostle Orson Hyde in Iowa, because Hyde ordered someone to kill Phineas. Hyde mentlons William A. Hickman but doesn't admit responslblllty for an attempt on Phineas' life. Brigham successfully reconciles these two members of the Fifty.

[Source: The Mormon Hierarchy - Extensions of Power by D. Michael Quinn, [New Mormon History database (http://bit.ly/NMHdatabase)]]

25 years ago today - Aug 21, 1991

Money magazine ranks Provo-Orem as America's "No. 1 most-livable metropolitan area." By 1985 it also has the highest rate of church membership in the nation.

[Source: The Mormon Hierarchy - Extensions of Power by D. Michael Quinn, [New Mormon History database (http://bit.ly/NMHdatabase)]]

75 years ago today - Aug 21, 1941

... There are in the Church today thousands of men holding the Melchizedek Priesthood who are inactive. Many of these men never understood the full significance of the meaning of Priesthood and what the obligation is upon them to magnify their callings when ordained. ...

This laxness has resulted in many men who have received the Priesthood, and who are not really worthy, returning to their evil habits and indifference, if these were ever forsaken. ... these presiding officers should faithfully impress upon all candidates for ordination the seriousness and responsibility which ordination to the Priesthood entails, and the dreadful consequences of disobedience or the violation of the covenants which are received when offices in the Priesthood are accepted. ... The new "Recommendation for ordination in the Priesthood" is to replace all other forms and each candidate is required to answer all the questions in person and sign the recommendation as indicated on its back.

Very sincerely your brethren, HEBER J. GRANT, J. REUBEN CLARK, JR., DAVID O. MCKAY, First Presidency.

[Source: 1941-August 21-Original circular letter, L.D.S. Church Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah; also Improvement Era 44:616, October, 1941, in Clark, James R., Messages of the First Presidency (6 volumes)]

155 years ago today - Aug 21, 1861

Had a conversation about the Characters of Abraham Lincoln & Stephen A. Douglas. President Young speaking of Abraham remarked if the Kingdom of God was not in the way, Abraham was a pretty good man, but he acted as if he would rather the Kingdom of God was out of the way; he was not the man to raise his voice in favor of Joseph Smith when his enemies were persecuting him, he with many others had assented to the deaths of innocent men, and through that he is subject to the influence of a wicked Spirit. -- Salt Lake City

[Source: Brigham Young Office Journals, in The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, Ed. Richard S. Van Wagoner, Smith-Pettit Foundation, Salt Lake City (2009), http://bit.ly/BY-discourses]

185 years ago today - Aug 21, 1831

Nat Turner led about seventy slaves on a killing spree across the plantations of Southampton, Virginia, leaving fifty-five whites dead, escalating fears that and increasing rhetoric over the slave issue. Joseph Smith would prophecy on Dec 25, 1832 that "slaves shall rise up against their masters, who shall be marshaled and disciplined for war." (D&C 87:4).

In the Evening and Morning Star Extra of July 16, 1833, W. W. Phelps reassures the Missourians that "we fear, lest, as has been the case, the blacks should rise and spill innocent blood: for they are ignorant, and a little may lead them to disturb the peace of society ..."

[Source: Grunder, Rick, Mormon Parallels: A Bibliographic Source]

125 years ago today - Aug 20, 1891

Brother [Heber J.] Grant questioned the advisability of our taking the ground that the manifesto was intended to cover the ground of our recognizing the validity of the law as far as unlawful cohabitation was concerned, as well as polygamous marriages. He thought if we went before the court stating that the manifesto was intended only to stop plural marriages, but that we recognized it to be our duty to live with our plural wives, at our own risk, it would be a better position to take. This led to Brother F[ranklin]. S. Richard explaining to Brother [John W.] Taylor that our going into court was not an original suit on our part, but that we were required to go, and explain the meaning and the scope of the manifesto, as it was on the ground that our Church funds were used for the purpose of propagating unlawful marriages that our property was escheated, and our showing the court that we were sincere in the issuing and adopting of the manifesto would be fundamental ground for the recovery of our property, besides the political standing it would give us before the nation. ... Brother Grant, having had a previous conversation with President [Joseph F.] Smith, asked him if he was now satisfied with regard to the manifesto being a revelation from God. President Smith answered emphatically no. He then went on to explain how he did regard the manifesto. He believed that President [Wilford] Woodruff was inspired to write the manifesto in consequence of the situation in which we were placed, and that because of the circumstances in which we were placed before the government, the Lord sanctioned it. But he did not believe it to be an emphatic revelation from God abolishing plural marriage. President Cannon, referring the remarks of President Smith, said he regarded President Smith's understanding upon this matter to be his [i.e., Cannon's]; that he himself did not regard the manifesto as a revelation abolishing polygamy, for the reason that that was an eternal principle, and could not be abolished by anybody; but in believing that President Woodruff was inspired to write the manifesto, he also believed it to be a revelation from God, for the reason that a revelation, as he conceived it to be, was a communication of God's will to man, irrespective of the form in which it may be written.

President Cannon's view was fully endorsed by Brother L[orenzo]. Snow and the Council generally. President Woodruff, expressing himself in this connection, said he foresaw what was coming upon us; that our temples were in danger, and the work for the dead liable to be stopped, and he believed he would have lived to have witnessed the hand of the government extended to crush us; but the Lord did not intend that Zion should be crushed, and He averted the blow by inspiring me to write and issue the manifesto, and it certainly has had the effect of doing it so far. How long it may remain in force it is not for me to say, that is for God alone to say. As for the principle, it is eternal and will stand forever. Brethren, you may call it inspiration or revelation, or what you please; as for me, I am satisfied it is from God. A general expression of endorsement was made.

[Source: First Presidency Office Journal, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1835-1951, Electronic Edition, 2015]

125 years ago today - Aug 20, 1891

Pres[iden]t. W[ilford] W[oodruff]. Stated object of meeting to decide what showing to make before the Master in Chancery as to a scheme for dividing or awarding about $400,000. of Personal Property seized by Receiver in the late Church suit of disincorporation. Answers to Questions by Pres[iden]t Snow & Elder A[nthon]. H. Lund, were read considered & generally app[ro]v[e]d.

[Source: Franklin D. Richards, Diary, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1835-1951, Electronic Edition, 2015]

130 years ago today - Friday, Aug. 20th, 1886

[Abraham H. Cannon]
After breakfast we went out for a walk when Father [George Q. Cannon] told me that Bro. Moses Thatcher had preached that the people were to be robbed of all their political rights and brought into great bondage, and when it would seem as though there was no escape the people would cry unto God who would then send to them the man like unto Moses of whom the Doc. and Cov. speaks; this should be the Prophet Joseph resurrected, Bro. Thatcher claims no revelation for these things, which he says is all to occur within five years, but has made deductions from ancient and modern prophecies. Father says it has not been made known to him that this doctrine is correct, and he does not approve of its being taught. Father told me of his deep financial embarrassments. Besides his bonds, which he feels he must in honor pay, he seems on the point of losing considerable in John Beck's mine, where he invested at Pres. Taylor's wish and suggestion. He says he sees nothing but ruin ahead, though he has faith God will yet relieve him.

[Source: Abraham H. Cannon Journal Excerpts, http://www.amazon.com/Apostles-Record-Journals-Abraham-1889-1896/dp/B000MFD1K4]

145 years ago today - Aug 20, 1871

Apostle Orson Pratt preaches: "Some may inquire, 'Do you think the sun is a glorified world?' Yes, in one sense. It is not yet fully glorified, redeemed, clothed with celestial power, and crowned with the presence of the Father in all the fullness and beauty of a celestial mansion, because it is still subject to change more or less. If it were fully glorified; if it had passed through its temporal existence and had been redeemed, glorified, and made celestial, and had become the eternal abiding place of celestial and glorified beings, it would be far more glorious than our eyes could behold, the eyes of mortality could not endure the light thereof." ...

"Much might be said in this connection with regard to the doctrine of plurality of wives. There is a difference between the male and the female so far as posterity is concerned. The female is so capacitated that she can only be the mother of a very limited number of children. Is man thus capacitated? . . .Were not many of the ancient prophets and inspired men capable of raising twenty, forty, fifty, or a hundred children, while the females could only raise a very limited number on an average. . . . Would a monogamist have power to fill a world with spirits sooner than a polygamist? Which would accomplish the peopling of a world quickest, provided that we admit this eternal increase, and the eternal relationship of husband and wife-after the resurrection as well as in this world?" ...

"There are no marriages among spirits, no coupling together of the males and females among them; but when they rise from the grave after being tabernacled in mortal bodies, they have all the functions that are necessary to people worlds. As our Father and God begat us sons and daughters, so will we rise immortal males and females, and beget children and, in our turn, form and create worlds, and send forth our spirit children to inherit those worlds, the same as we were sent here, and thus will the works of God continue, and not only God himself, and His Son Jesus Christ have the power of endless lives, but all of His redeemed offspring."

[Source: Journal of Discourses 14:242]