55 years ago today - Jan 20, 1962

BYU Professor Richard Poll had ... published a detailed critique of W. Cleon Skousen's anti-Communist book, The Naked Communist. Aside from skewering Skousen, Poll had also repudiated the American anti-Communist movement.

Listed his objections to the book as "the inadequacy of its scholarship. The incorrectness of its analysis of Communism. The inaccuracy of its historical narrative. The unsoundness of its program for governmental action. The extreme partisanship of its program for individual action. The objectionable character of the national movement of which it is a part." On the ultra-conservative, anti-Communist movement, Poll wrote on pages 12-13: "Much of the market for The Naked Communist is in connection with "Anti-Communist Seminars," "Freedom Forums," and "Project Alerts," in which inaccurate history and negative programs are expounded in an evangelical blend of fear, hatred and pulse-pounding enthusiasm. Participants are admonished to study Communism, and they end up buying tracts by Gerald L. K. Smith and his racist cohorts, confessionals of ex-Communists, spy stories and other volumes which excite more than inform. They are aroused to fight Communism, and they end up demanding U.S. withdrawal from the UN and the firing of teachers who advocate federal aid to education. They are solicited to contribute to the Anti-Communist crusade, and they end up subsidizing pamphlets calling for the repeal of the income tax and the impeachment of Chief Justice Warren."

Unknown to the public, Hugh B. Brown had encouraged Poll to prepare this published condemnation of Skousen's book "in the hope that we may stem this unfortunate tide of radicalism." This despite the fact that President McKay had already recommended The Naked Communist to a general conference: "I admonish everybody to read that excellent book of [Salt Lake City Police] Chief Skousen's."

[Source: Richard D. Poll, 77ns Trumpet Gives An Uncertain Sound: A Review of W. Cleon Skousen's THE NAKED COMMUNIST (Provo, UT: Author, 1962), 3, listed his objections to the book as "the inadequacy of its scholarship. The incorrectness of its analysis of Communism. The inaccuracy of its historical narrative. The unsoundness of its program for governmental action. The extreme partisanship of its program for individual action. The objectionable character of the national movement of which it is a part." On the ultra-conservative, anti-Communist movement, Poll wrote on pages 12-13: "Much of the market for The Naked Communist is in connection with "Anti-Communist Seminars," "Freedom Forums," and "Project Alerts," in which inaccurate history and negative programs are expounded in an evangelical blend of fear, hatred and pulse-pounding enthusiasm. Participants are admonished to study Communism, and they end up buying tracts by Gerald L. K. Smith and his racist cohorts, confessionals of ex-Communists, spy stories and other volumes which excite more than inform. They are aroused to fight Communism, and they end up demanding U.S. withdrawal from the UN and the firing of teachers who advocate federal aid to education. They are solicited to contribute to the Anti-Communist crusade, and they end up subsidizing pamphlets calling for the repeal of the income tax and the impeachment of Chief Justice Warren." From D. Michael Quinn, Ezra Taft Benson and Mormon Political Conflicts, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 26:2 (Summer 1992), also in Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power Salt Lake City (Signature Books, 1994), Chapter 3.]

130 years ago today - Jan 20, 1887

William Law, former counselor to Joseph Smith, writes to the SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, that in spite of Joseph Smith's claim that "Jane [Law's wife] had been speaking evil of him for a long time - slandered him, and lied about him without cause," Law says, "My wife would not speak evil of - anyone - without cause," he notes; "Joseph is the liar and not she." In addition to defending the honor of his wife, Law insists that Sarah Pratt was a "good, virtuous woman."

145 years ago today - Jan 20, 1872

At the School of the Prophets Wilford Woodruff asks, "Why has the devil sought to take my life from the day I was born untill now more than any other men? For I seem a marked victim for the devil from the day I was born untill now, and I Can find but one answer & that is the devil knew if I got into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints I would write the History of the Church & leave on Record the doings, works & teachings of the prophets & Apostles Elders & Saints in the latter days . . ."

155 years ago today - Jan 20, 1862

[Wilford Woodruff]
Important Day. The Delegates Elected by the inhabitants of Utah met in Convention this day at the Court House in Great Salt Lake City at 10 oclok A.M. to Form a Constitution for a State Government. ...

President Young said I would like to have the members who Come here attend to the business for which they Came together and not name Either Mormon or Christian. I would like to see any Lawyier show me the Constitution or law that Gives the U.S. power to send any man to rule over us. I will Claim my rights and in the name of God we will maintain them. If any more men Come here Committing treason I will treat them as treasoners whether they be many or few. If I had been in the place of the Presidet of the United States and had possession of Mason & Slidell [Confederate officials arrested aboard a British Ship in international waters] I would have hung them or shot them for they were guilty of treason. We have the right to do all that we shall attempt to perform and we will have our right by the Help of God and if any man Comes here again to molest us they shall pay the penalty so help me God.

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

70 years ago today - Jan 19, 1947

At the organization of a stake in Jacksonville, Florida, Apostle Charles A. Callis prophesies that a temple will be constructed there. In 1994, a temple is dedicated in Orlando, 144 miles from Jacksonville, but within the original stake boundaries.

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

120 years ago today - Jan 19, 1897 (Tuesday)

The first ballot for United States senator in the Utah legislature resulted in a draw. The chief candidates were Joseph Rawlins, Moses Thatcher and Henry P. Henderson.

[Source: Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

130 years ago today - Jan 19, 1887

John Taylor has $40,000 removed from the First Presidency's safe to bribe influenctial members of Congress to oppose the Edmunds-Tucker bills and to support Utah statehood.

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

135 years ago today - Jan 19, 1882

[Diedrich Willers]
I enclose a few recollections and traditions of Mormonism in Seneca County. ... When I came to Seneca County ... I found among the members of a remote congregation, Zion's Church (afterward known as Jerusalem Church), in West Fayette, a plain, unassuming farmer of the name Peter Whitmer. ... it is related, that by some contrivance of Smith and his associates a wooden image or representation was placed in a tree in a field where one of Whitmer's sons was engaged in ploughing, and that when interrogated as to whether he had not seen an angel, he answered in the affirmative. "Then," said Smith, "this is the place where the `Book of Mormon' must be completed, since the angel has already appeared eleven times, and it has been revealed to me that at the place of the twelfth appearing of the angel, the book must be completed." Hence Whitmers', in West Fayette, became the resort of Smith and his fellow-impostors during the progress of this work. ...

[Source: Ellen E. Dickinson, New Light on Mormonism (New York: Funk & Wagnals, 1885), 249-52., as cited in Dan Vogel, Early Mormon Documents: Diedrich Willers To Ellen E. Dickinson]

155 years ago today - Jan 19, 1862

[Brigham Young]
I was sorry for an expression made by one of our officials in relation to the late killing of three thieves. He considered that they were dealt with by mob violence. Our officers of the law are provided with means to defend themselves against those who would slay them. The three persons that were lately killed were notorious thieves, and resisted the officers in the discharge of their duty. I thank God that our officers will not suffer themselves to be shot down by notorious scoundrels. [The congregation said '"Amen.'"] If there are any who sympathize with thieves, I want to know who they are, and let them be cut off from the Church.

[Source: Journal of Discourses. Liverpool, England, 1853-86. 9:154-158; Deseret News. Also Deseret Evening News, Deseret News Weekly, Deseret News Semi- Weekly, and Deseret News Extra, Salt Lake City, in The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, Ed. Richard S. Van Wagoner, Smith-Pettit Foundation, Salt Lake City (2009), http://bit.ly/BY-discourses]

170 years ago today - Jan 19, 1847

[Brigham Young]
A revelation was read which was the first one that has been penned since Joseph was killed. The Lord has given it through the President for the good of this people as they are traveling to the west. President Young said the difference between a revelation of God, and a revelation of man and a revelation of the devil is this, in the one of the devil you will always see some great and dark thing which you cannot understand, and in a revelation of man you will always see the man sticking out in it, but one that cometh from God is always plain and suited to the present condition of the people'

[Source: Heber C. Kimball Journals, Special Collections, Merrill-Cazier Library, Utah State University, Logan.; Archives, Church History Library, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah, in The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, Ed. Richard S. Van Wagoner, Smith-Pettit Foundation, Salt Lake City (2009), http://bit.ly/BY-discourses]

170 years ago today - Jan 19, 1847

President Heber C Kimball organized His family company this night At the Council House consisting of about 200 persons.

I Wilford Woodruff organized my family company this night At my own House consisting of 40 Men mostly Head men of families. Those that Joined me entered in a covenant with uplifted Hands to Heaven to keep all the commandments & Statutes of the Lord our God And to sustain me in my office...

I went to bed and fell asleep And dreamed {that I was <[-] with child and> ready to <be delivered> which was a singular dream.

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

180 years ago today - Jan 19, 1837

[Painesville Republican]
A company has been formed in Kirtland, ... by the Mormons, or "latter day saints," as they call themselves, with a capital stock of no less than four millions of dollars. The company style themselves the "Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Company." -- Under this title they have issued their notes which, for a week or two past, have circulated among us as money or bills of exchange, but they do not, as yet obtain a general currency. Not being received at the Bank in this place, those who are doing business with the bank, will not of course, take them. -- Besides, a law of this state passed February 22, 1816, "to prohibit the issuing and circulating of unauthorized Bank Paper," published in the Telegraph last week, if now in force, might subject persons who give these bills a circulation, to some trouble. It is doubted however, by good judges, whether the law to which we have alluded, is now in force, or if in force, whether it is not unconstitutional, and therefore not binding upon the people.

[Source: Painesville Republican, in Kenney, Scott, Saints Without Halos, "Mormon History 1830-1844," http://web.archive.org/web/20120805163534/saintswithouthalos.com/dirs/d_c.phtml]

45 years ago today - Jan 18, 1972

Joseph Fielding Smith is unable to finish reading the dedicatory prayer for the temple at Ogden, Utah, and first counselor Harold B. Lee completes the dedication. Some report seeing "a brilliant light at the pulpit whenever the First Presidency members stood to speak in the celestial room of the temple."

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

115 years ago today - Jan 18, 1902

[Heber J. Grant]
I remember that I felt that a man should do all of his marrying before he was forty five, and now I want a wife or two so that my name will not be wiped off the earth, and I hope the day will come when I can have them and yet I have passed my forty fifth year.

[Source: Heber J. Grant, Letter to Jesse N. Smith, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1835-1951, Electronic Edition, 2015]

160 years ago today - Jan 18, 1857

[Heber C. Kimball]
"He was a good man [Lyman R. Sherman]- Joseph's right hand man. He was a most beautiful singer, especially in singing in tongues - the finest I ever saw. He died a martyr to the Gospel, and will receive a Martyr's crown."

[Source: Quoted in An Uncommon Common Pioneer: The Journals of James Henry Martineau 1828-1918, edited by Donald G. Godfrey XXX Rebecca S. Martineau-McCarty]

165 years ago today - Jan 18, 1852

Patriarchal Blessing of George Albert Smith Jr. by John Smith ... I rebuke every disease that shall attempt to prey upon you. And I command the blessing of health and prosperity to rest upon you, And I ask my Heavenly Father to touch your eyes, that they may be enlightened ... and to see things which are, which have been, and which shall be like Enoch of old. ... you shall do a mighty work on the Earth, at the age of fourteen you shall have the Spirit of prophecy, and at the age of twenty one - you shall have the Spirit of revelation, and be a Seer in the house of Isreal [Israel], and when thou art old like thy Grand Father who now b[l]esses you, you shall see the ancient of Days, and you shall sit in their midst and be a member of their Council ... thou shalt have the minist[e]ring of Angels, be sober minded, for thou shalt see the destruction upon the enemies of the Lord

[Source: Patriarchal Blessings]

165 years ago today - Jan 18, 1852

A blessing by John Smith Patriarch upon the head of Bathsheba Smith ... thy days and years shall be multiplied; and thou shalt see Isreal [Israel] gathered from the far quarters of the Earth; See Zion established in peace on the Earth, the mountains of Ice shall flow down at the presence of the ten tribes of Isreal [Israel] and thou shalt see it, and be acquainted with the leaders that guide the tribes of Isreal [Israel] to the land of their inheritance ...

[Source: Patriarchal Blessings]

170 years ago today - Jan 18, 1847

[Wilford Woodruff]
The Thermometer stood this day 16 1/2 degrees below 0 zero. I think as cold weather As I ever experienced. But As Cold weather As it was In Company with several others I dug earth out of the bank And coverd the roof of my house up.

This was An important day in the History of this Church in one respect. President Brigham Young met with his Company or family organization or those who had been adopted unto him or were to be, & organized than into A company out of which may grow a people that may yet be Called the tribe of Brigham. His teaching to his company was much unto edifycation.

I Cannot now write but few of the words which He spake. He said no man should come into his company to work iniquity. They should break of from all there sins. And they did enter into a covenant with uplifted Hands to Heaven with President Young And each other to walk in all the ordinances & Commandments of the Lord Our God. President Young said that He new that any man who would put his money to usury in the cause of God would recieve an hundred fold. And many things of Interest was spoken. President Young company numbered about 300 men.

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

180 years ago today - Jan 18, 1837

The pres. [ of the Elder's Quorum - Alvah Beman] made some remarks to the quorum, and reproved them for murmuring against the pres. of the Church by relating a vision.

3 Pres. Hyrum Smith addressed us in his usual pathetic and interesting manner, reproving murmuring and [missing record].

[Source: Kirtland Elder's Quorum Record, http://ogdenkraut.com/?page_id=414]

190 years ago today - Jan 18, 1827

Smith enlisted the help of a third treasure-seeker to obtain Emma Hale as a wife according to the requirement of Moroni.

[Source: Joseph Smith Polygamy Timeline, http://www.i4m.com/think/polygamy/JS_Polygamy_Timeline.htm]

190 years ago today - Jan 18, 1827

Isaac Hale, Emma's father, says to Joseph, "You have stolen my daughter and married her. I had much rather have followed her to the grave." To reconcile with Emma's father Joseph promises to give up the treasure-hunting business.

190 years ago today - Jan 18, 1827

Joseph and Emma wed. Joseph ("very lonely ever since Alvin died") and Emma (stating, "preferring him to any other man I knew, I consented") leave Emma's home while her father is at church and elope to Squire Tarbill's in South Bainbridge.

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

40 years ago today - Jan 17, 1977

Gary Mark Gilmore is executed by a Utah firing squad ending an almost ten-year moratorium on capital punishment in the United States. The choices available to Gilmore were hanging or firing squad. The option of death by firing squad is a remnant of the days when the doctrine of "blood atonement" taught that to atone for certain sins a person's blood must be "spilt upon the ground."

130 years ago today - Monday, Jan 17, 1887

[John Henry Smith]
In the evening F. D. Richards, W. B. Preston, J. W. Taylor, H. J. Grant and myself met in Council and wrote a letter to President J. Taylor advising the sale of all property liable to be gobled by the government.

[Source: Jean Bickmore White (editor), Church, State, and Politics: The Diaries of John Henry Smith, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1990, http://bit.ly/johnhenrysmith]

140 years ago today - Jan 17, 1877

[Brigham Young Jr.]
Spent the evening reading to father [Brigham Young] what we * Bro[ther] [Wilford] Woodruff, [L. John] Nuttall & myself have written in relation to endowment. He made a number of corrections.

[Source: Brigham Young Jr. diary, Jan. 17, 1877, in Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/TempleWorship]

140 years ago today - Jan 17, 1877

David Hyrum Smith, Joseph Smith's youngest son, is committed to the Illinois Hospital for the Insane.

155 years ago today - Jan 17, 1862

Porter Rockwell and guard arived in this City this morning delivered two live prisioners & one dead one to the poliece & while taking John Smith & Moroni Clawson to the Court House prision they Both tried to get away and were both shot dead and all three dead Bodies were brought to the Court House and Clawson & Smith lay in a waggon out doors till afternoon & were visited by Hundreds of People. Lot Huntington's Body laid in the suller.

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

170 years ago today - Jan 17, 1847

17 [Poem by first wife Vilate Kimball] Winter Quarters Jan 17th 1847

No being round the spacious Earth

Beneath the vaulted arch of heaven

Divides my love, or draws it thence

from him to whom my heart is given

Like the frail ivy to the oak

Draun closer by the temptest [d]riven

Through sorrows flood he'll bear me up

And light with smiles my way to heaven

The gift was on the alter laid

The Plighted vow, on earth was given

The seal eternal has ben made

And by his Side, I'll reign in heaven

Lines writen by Vilate Kimball

to her companion Heber C. Kimball

[Source: Kimball, Stanley B. ed, On the Potter's Wheel: The Diaries of Heber C. Kimball]

175 years ago today - Jan 17, 1842

Joseph Smith takes eight-months-pregnant Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner as a plural wife. Mary Elizabeth, age 24, has been legally married to non-Mormon Adam Lightner for over six years at the time. She continues to live with Adam Lightner afterward as instructed by Joseph Smith. She claimed that Smith had a private conversation with her in 1831 when she was twelve years old [age 12], "Smith told me about his great vision concerning me." "Joseph Said I was his, before I came here. He said all the Devils in Hell should never get me from him." She also said, "I am the first being that the revelation was given to him for ... I went forward and was sealed to him. Brigham young performed the sealing, and Heber C. Kimball the blessing. I know Joseph Smith had six wives and I have known some of them from childhood up. I knew he had three children [by his plural wives]. They told me. I think two are living today, but they are not known as his children as they go by other names."

[Source: Mary Lightner, 1905 Address, typescript, BYU, Pg. 2-3)]

175 years ago today - Jan 17, 1842

Special conference assembled, at the Presidents office... voted unanimously that Amos Fuller take a mission to the city of Chicago.'& that Henry Jacobs [Husband of Zina Jacobs who married to Joseph Smith nine months earlier] accompany Bro Fuller. ...

Moved /by the President/ that all those who are in favor of assisting Bro Robinson in printing the Book of Mormon & the other Books, and backing up the concern, manifest it by the usual sign. Not a hand raised, but every hand was raised in the negative.

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

180 years ago today - Jan 17, 1837

Met at Candle light With the quorums of the Seventies & was favored with a lecture from President David Whitmer. He warned us to humble ourselves before God lest his hand rest upon us in anger for our pride & many sins that we were runing into in our days of prosperity as the ancient Nephites did & it does now appear evident that a scourge awates this stake of Zion even Kirtland if their is not great repentance immediately & almost every Countenance indicates the above expectation esspecially the heads of the Church.

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

65 years ago today - Jan 16, 1952

Church News reports that Yotaro Yoshino and Toshio Murakami are the first Japanese missionaries to be called from their homeland. Both are converts whose non-LDS parents have agreed to support them financially while proselytizing. These are the first native-born Asian missionaries of the LDS church, and not until December 1963 are there Chinese missionaries from Hong Kong.

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

100 years ago today - Jan 16, 1917

[First Presidency letter]
Information has come to us from a reliable source to the effect that certain members of the Church residing in the Utah Stake make a practice of holding private meetings for the purpose of receiving supernatural manifestations for the guidance of themselves and others in regard to things spiritual and temporal: That they form themselves into a prayer circle, each member praying vocally in turn, commencing with the oldest, with Mrs. Belle Harris Berry, who is said to be the leading, dominant spirit of the aggregation, as the acknowledged medium to receive answers to their prayers which, when received, are regarded as the word of the Lord to them; that as a result of their operations the mother of Belle Harris has been induced to borrow and for the purpose of land for one of her family, giving a mortgage therefore on her home; that some of the persons said to be thus engaged are Belle Harris Berry, Silas A. Harris, her brother, Louise Harris, aged 79, her mother, R. A. Berry, her husband. If, after a discreet investigation, you find this state of things existing, it will be in order for you to see to it that the responsible parties are dealt with on their fellowship in the Church unless they give satisfactory evidence of repentance.

[Source: First Presidency, Letter to Joseph B. Keeler and Counselors, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1835-1951, Electronic Edition, 2015]

115 years ago today - Thursday, Jan 16, 1902

Apostle Clawson said he felt that sisters who were called to positions in the church should be carefully questioned as to their views and feelings toward the principles which we espouse, as there is danger in calling some to office who have no faith in plural marriage. The brethren were instructed to do this and also have presidents of stakes adopt the same rule.

[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]

120 years ago today - Jan 16, 1897 (Saturday)

At the close of a conference, Andrew Kimball and other Elders were assaulted and mobbed in Clay Co., Arkansas.

[Source: Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

140 years ago today - Jan 16, 1877

[Brigham Young Jr.]
Busy [in the St. George temple] writing with bro[ther]s [Wilford] W[oodruff] & J[ohn] N[uttall] on ceremonies.

[Source: Brigham Young Jr. diary, Jan. 16, 1877, in Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/TempleWorship]

155 years ago today - Jan 16, 1862

Orrin Porter Rockwell kills "while attempting to escape" Lot Huntington for Dawson beating. on Jan 1, 1862. Church Historian's office notes that Rockwell shoots Huntington eight times in stomach-difficult to do while someone is running away from the shooter. Salt Lake City policemen kill Moroni Clawson and John P. Smith while escorting them to jail on Jan. 17 for the beating. On Jan. 22 bishop's court tries participant Isaac Niebaur who confesses, protests that he "never stole from a Mormon," asks forgiveness, "but if his Blood must atone he is willing to die." Church court forgives Niebaur without blood atonement, but Salt Lake county court on Mar 25 sentences him and two others to varying prison terms for Dawson incident.

170 years ago today - Jan 16, 1847

[Wilford Woodruff]
The question was asked president Young if the quorums of seventies should not be filled up. He said not while there was men enough belonging to the quorum in good Standing alive on the earth their places should not be filled by others.

While treating upon the principle of Adoption He said some men were afraid they would loose some glory if they were sealed to one of the Twelve And did not stand alone And have others sealed to them. President Young said there kingdom consisted of their own posterity And it did not diminish that at all by being sealed to one of the Twelve but ownly bound them by that perfect Chain according to the law of God and order of Heaven that will bind the righteous from Adam to the last Saint And Adam will claim us all as members of his kingdom we deing his Children.

He gave some interesting teaching concerning the rights of men & the dealings of men with there wives and children, the raising of posterity, purity, Holiness &c. That if A wise and proper course was taken in the begeting and raising of children that they would soon become pure & Holy And be administered to by Angels &c. And many other things did the Apostle teach.

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

180 years ago today - Jan 16, 1837

[Wilford Woodruff]
Elder Abram O Smoot was again attacked by the destroyer Which brought him upon a bed of Great disstress. We immediately called upon the Elders of the Church, viz. Elders O Hide & H C Kimble of the twelve & B. Nobles, M. Holmes, & myself of the first Seventy. We prayed with & for him & lade hands upon him according to the scriptures & he was immediately healed of his pain & fever <in the name of Christ>.

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

40 years ago today - Jan 15, 1977

Church News article about Jack Kong, president of an LDS branch at the leper colony of Molokai for twenty-five years.

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

115 years ago today - Jan 15, 1902

Church publication THE JUVENILE INSTRUCTOR prints instruction by Church President Joseph F. Smith: "Indeed, we believe that every man holding the Priesthood, in good standing in the Church, who owns a home, is supreme in his own household, and when another brother enters it, and he requests the latter to perform any duty consistent with his calling, the latter should accede to his wishes; and if there should be anything wrong, he who makes the request as the head of the house into which the brother has come, is responsible therefore."

115 years ago today - Wednesday, Jan 15, 1902

Pres. Smith stated that the object of the meeting was to take into consideration the question as to whom we would favor as next United States senator from Utah—whether a member of the quorum of apostles, a member of the church, or a gentile. All the brethren of the Twelve expressed themselves, and it seemed to be the feeling of the majority of those present that none of the apostles could be spared from the ministry, but at the same time the next senator should be a member of the church, as the gentiles had already had a full share of representation in congress.

It was moved that so far as this matter concerned the brethren, the nomination be left to the First Presidency. Carried.

[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]

120 years ago today - Jan 15, 1897; Friday

Letters were received by Pres[ident]. [Wilford] Woodruff today from Senators Henry M. Teller, of Colo[rado]., and Richard F. Pettigrew of South Dakota, and also a telegram complaining that Church influence was being used in Idaho against the re-election to the United States Senate of Fred T. Dubois. The following reply was sent to Senators Teller and Pettigrew, at Washington, D.C.:

"Individual members of our church are doubtless opposed to Senator Dubois' election. No man has the right to use Church influence against him. Numbers of us are not opposed to his election, and we have so stated to our friends. (Signed) Wilford Woodruff."...

[Source: First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve minutes]

120 years ago today - Jan 15,1897

Apostle Brigham Young, Jr. temporarily resigns as vice-president of Brigham Young Trust Company because first counselor George Q. Cannon allows its property to become "a first class" brothel on Commercial Street (now Regent Street), Salt Lake City. Apostle Heber J. Grant is invited to its opening reception and is stunned to discover himself inside "a regular whore-house." This situation begins in 1891, and for fifty years church controlled real estate companies lease houses of prostitution.

[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]

130 years ago today - Jan 15, 1887

Arizona's governor signs the repeal of the "Test Oath," which disfranchised all Mormons.

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

140 years ago today - Jan 15, 1877

Brigham Young begins dictating from memory the first written version of the endowment ceremony. He adds a Protestant minister as a new character in the endowment drama which does not have set dialogue at this time.

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

140 years ago today - 1877 January 15

[Wilford Woodruff]
Brigham Young jr & Myself wrote out a part of the Ceremony of the Endowment. ...

I spent the Evening with President Young. He told me their was No Necessity of dressing in the Temple Clothing while giving the second Anointing any more than in administering the first Anointing or Ordaining. He also said that we should use the Bible in the garden & Bible & Book of Mormon in the Telestial room and add the Covenants to it in the Terrestial Room.

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

170 years ago today - Friday, Jan 15, 1847.

All the Twelve, as the evening previous, assembled at 1 p.m. at Brother E. T. Benson's, and John D. Lee read the piece the President had written called, "The Word and Will of the Lord." [D&C 136] Approved and decided to place it before the high council. [At] 4 ½ [4:30], adjourned to tomorrow evening, 6, at Brother Benson's. Heard the "Word and Will of God" read. Conversed in the principles of adoption by request of Brother Perkins and the Levitical Priesthood. No son of Levi has yet been found in these last days to minister at the altar. Brother Perkins said it had been reported across the river that no one could go west unless they were adopted into the families of one of the Twelve. False.

[Source: Apostle Willard Richards Journal]

175 years ago today - Jan 15, 1842

Martha Brotherton, a young Nauvoo woman, was allegedly approached by Brigham Young in Joseph Smith's private office. "Were it lawful and right," Brotherton reported Young as saying, "could [you] accept of me for your husband and companion? . . . Brother Joseph has had a revelation from God that it is lawful and right for a man to have two wives; for as it was in the days of Abraham, so it shall be in these last days . . . if you will accept of me, I will take you straight to the celestial kingdom." Brigham then left the room and returned ten minutes later with the Prophet. "Just go ahead, and do as Brigham wants you to," Brotherton reported Smith as saying. "I know that this is lawful and right . . . I have the keys of the kingdom, and whatever I bind on earth is bound in heaven, and whatever I loose on earth is loosed in heaven." Martha noted she begged for time to consider, then left for Saint Louis, where she published her story in the 15 July 1842 St. Louis Bulletin.

[Source: St. Louis Bulletin, 15 July 1842; in Joseph Smith Polygamy Timeline, http://www.i4m.com/think/polygamy/JS_Polygamy_Timeline.htm]

175 years ago today - Jan 15, 1842

Nauvoo, Illinois. Joseph Smith commenced reading the first American stereotype edition of the Book of Mormon to make a few corrections for the second stereotype edition that had escaped notice in the first printing.

[Source: BYU Studies Journal, volume 46, no. 4: A Chronology of the Life of Joseph Smith, http://byustudies.byu.edu]

180 years ago today - 1837 mid-Jan.

Oliver Cowdery became Vice President of the defunct Bank of Monroe in Monroe, MI. Oliver may have traveled personally to Monroe to sign banknotes there. The went out of business at the end of Mar. Grandison Newell had bought up a considerable amount of notes then in circulation and presented them at the bank's Kirtland office, demanding that they be redeemed with specie. The bank probably ran out of its original stock of silver and gold coins well before the end of January. Later charges made against Oliver for "counterfeiting" may have been related to his signing and issuing banknotes which had no monetary value.

[Source: Broadhurst, Dale R., Oliver Cowdery Chronology, http://olivercowdery.com/history/Cdychrn1.htm]

40 years ago today - Jan 14, 1977

Apostle Boyd K. Packer, in a talk at Brigham Young University, preaches: "We've always counseled in the Church for our Mexican members to marry Mexicans, our Japanese members to marry Japanese, our Caucasians to marry Caucasians, our Polynesian members to marry Polynesians. The counsel has been wise. . . . Plan, young people, to marry into your own race."

45 years ago today - Jan 14, 1972

The First Presidency organizes the church's historical department and for the first time appoints a professional historian, Leonard J. Arrington, as church historian, to which he is sustained by church conferences from 1972 to 1977. Church archives had been open for unrestricted research by scholars of all religious backgrounds since the appointment in 1970 of Arrington's predecessor, Apostle Howard W. Hunter. Arrington continues as Church Historian until 1980, during which time the First Presidency encourages research and publication. From 1972 to 1980, the historical department has a Church History Division, Church Historian Leonard J. Arrington and his staff of trained historians publish articles and books of interpretive history which seek to provide a balanced view of Mormonism's controversial past. In 1980 the First Presidency eliminates the Church History Division and transfers former Church Historian and his staff to Brigham Young University. Open access to the archives gradually declines from 1980 to 1986, when the historical department begins to claim the right of ex post facto censorship of previous research. By 1986 the historical department has created a "public access" computer catalog which omits previously available manuscripts now judged too sensitive for research "patrons." Only the staff of the historical department has access to the uncensored catalog of manuscripts. Procedurally, archival research is further impeded by requiring approval from the historical department committee or even from the committee of apostles for research access to previously unrestricted manuscripts. By 1990, researchers having signed form since 1986 are required to obtain pre-publication approval from the church's Correlation Committee. Efforts at pre-publication censorship prove counterproductive and are officially abandoned in 1992, yet researchers at LDS archives continue to be a small fraction of their numbers during the years in which people of all backgrounds knew they were welcome there.

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

60 years ago today - Mon Jan 14, 1957

[David O. McKay]
7:15 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.--Met with Mr. Gus Backman at his request . . . . Mr. Backman told me confidentially about the attitude of some of our non- Mormon friends here in the city who are rather jealous, apparently, about the fact that nearly all of our civic matters in the city and in the state and in the nation are now controlled by members of the Church--our city government particularly under the police force, our state government, the Governor and a majority of the legislature, and nationally, all of our senators and representatives are members of the Church. Some who are not sympathetic with us are spreading the rumor that we are trying to push Mormonism down their throats, that the Chief of Police is a little too energetic in enforcing the law in clubs and other places. I told Brother Backman that certainly he would not wish us to tell the police to ease up on enforcement of law. Brother Backman said, "No, you could not do that." I asked Brother Backman to use his influence to assure them that the Mormons are not going to try to force our religion on anyone, but we are just simply wanting to obey the law and do our duty. I felt that perhaps we can influence some of our Gentile friends to satisfy some of those who are jealous and assure them that we are not going to take advantage of our position.

[Source: McKay, David O., Office Journal]

130 years ago today - Jan 14, 1887 (Friday)

Ex. Gov. Eli H. Murray was admitted to the bar of the Territorial Supreme Court, as an attorney, while Lieut. Richard W. Young, a prominent lawyer of extensive practice in the East, was refused admittance because he was a "Mormon."

[Source: Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

140 years ago today - Jan 14, 1877

Two weeks after the dedication of the lower portion of the St. George Temple, Brigham Young "requested Brigham [Young] Jr. & W[ilford] Woodruff to write out the Ceremony of the Endowments from Beginning to End."

160 years ago today - Jan 14, 1857

The Utah legislature reorganizes the territorial militia by reactivating what was called the Nauvoo Legion. Daniel Wells is named commander-in-chief of the Legion.

[Source: Linder, Douglas, The Mountain Meadows Massacre Trials, http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/FTRIALS/mountainmeadows/leechrono.html]

160 years ago today - Jan 14, 1857

Thomas D. Brown begins "his duties in the Presìdent's Office, astonished at the number of applications for permission to take [plural] wives." A month later hardpressed Brigham Young recìtes "each [sealing] ceremony requiring about 600 words, which in several instances were spoken in 1 min 48 seconds!"

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

170 years ago today - Thursday, Jan 14, 1847.

[Willard Richards]
President Young proposed [the formation of emigration companies with various leaders] ...

President Young commenced to give the word and will of God concerning the emigration of the Saints and those who journey with them. At 3 ½ [3:30], A. Lyman came in.... President Young continued to write the word and will of the Lord. Adjourned from 10 to 1 p.m. tomorrow, this place. President Young retired to the Octagon and finished writing the word and will of the Lord, and the Dr. [Richards] copied, closing about 1 next morning, about which time George D. Grant and Edmund Ellsworth, police, came in, and after reading the piece, President went home.

[Source: Apostle Willard Richards Journal]

170 years ago today - Jan 14, 1847

[Brigham Young]
I commenced to give the word and will of God concerning the emigration of the saints and those who journey with them. At 4 1/2 p.m. council adjourned. At seven, the Twelve met at Elder Benson's. I continued to dictate the Word and Will of the Lord. Council adjourned at ten p.m., when I retired with Dr. Richards to the octagon and finished writing the same which is here inserted: Winter Quarters, Camp of Israel, January 14th 1847. The Word and Will of the Lord concerning the Camp of Israel in their journeyings to the West: ... [D&C 136: How the Camp of Israel is to be organized for the westward journey. ..."If thou art merry, praise the Lord with singing, with music, with dancing ..."]

[Source: Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 1847- 1850. William S. Harwell, ed. Collier's Publishing, 1997.:11-14, in The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, Ed. Richard S. Van Wagoner, Smith-Pettit Foundation, Salt Lake City (2009), http://bit.ly/BY-discourses]

215 years ago today - Jan 14, 1802

William Cowdery Jr. (father of Oliver Cowdery) was likely part of the "Rod Scrape" or "Wood Scrape" incident. After spending the winter with William Cowdery, a seer named Winchell joined Nathaniel Wood's "New Israelite" movement.

When searching for treasure, "Winchell held up his rod, got some motion from it, and told them the money was in an iron chest and covered with a large stone ... there was a 'divinity' guarding the treasure, and that if there was any lack of faith in any one ... this divinity would put the money forever beyond their reach.

However Winchell added a new dimension to the use of the rod when he taught Nathaniel Wood how to use it to receive revelations." Each of Wood's "Fraternity of Rodsmen" also had "a rod, which was used whenever they desired any information" including determining Israelite lineage through their rods.

Wood believed the gathering of Israel would occur not in Jerusalem, but in America and they planned to build a "New Jerusalem." They followed a religious dietary code, realized a need for angelic ministry, believed in an angelic tongue, looked for a restoration of primitive Christianity exercised spiritual gifts, and Wood received a revelation through his rod directing the building of a temple.

Oliver Cowdery's father was not only a likely participant in this movement, but lived with the man who introduced the concept of using a rod to receive revelations to the New Israelites.

Before Oliver met Joseph Smith, he had been receiving revelations through a rod.

[Source: Clair Barrus, "Sprout, Rod, Thing of Nature: Naming the Gift of Aaron," Mormon Chronicles, http://mormon-chronicles.blogspot.com/2011/05/sprout-rod-thing-of-nature-naming-gift.html]