10 years ago today - August 17

[Proposition-8]
A somewhat mysterious and hard to decipher group called the Eagle Foundation joins the Prop 8 forces. It apparently is the evolution of the Eagle PAC which was formed to get Mormons financially involved in politics. One of the main players in Eagle, Bart Marcois, founded and chaired the RNC Advisory Council on LDS Outreach, and was responsible for massive volunteer surge team deployments nationwide in the 2004 and 2006 campaign cycles. He apparently used his talent for grass-root Mormon organizing for the Prop 8 campaign. The Prop 8 campaign reportedly paid Eagle $130,000 in October.

[Source: Latter-Day Army: Details of Mormons and Prop 8, http://www.stopthemormons.com/?p=486]

35 years ago today - Aug 17, 1983-Wednesday

[Leonard Arrington]
This summer Carol Lynn arranged for [her 15-year-old daughter] Emily to spend a week with some church young people in Provo Canyon, a little beyond Sun Dance. A good experience. Then Carol Lynn joined her for Sunday-a worship service They had Elder Hartman Rector to speak to them. It proved to be a disaster. He gets up to speak and tells them about all the evil forces, Satan's way: abortion, birth control, homosexuality. These are all Satanic. No birth control except willpower for birth control. Satan himself is a homosexual and homosexuality is peculiarly satanic for that reason. And so on. Emily [whose father is gay], who was sitting with other girls, got rigid, then ran over to sit by her mother and started sobbing. Her mother suggested they leave, but she wouldn't. Insisted on staying through it, sobbing. Her mother, after the meeting, tried to talk to her, explaining that Elder Rector was not necessarily preaching church doctrine, but giving his own view, etc. Her daughter finally calmed down.

[Source: Confessions of a Mormon historian : the diaries of Leonard J. Arrington, 1971-1997, Gary James Bergera, editor, Signature Books, 2018]

40 years ago today - Aug 17, 1978-Thursday

[Leonard Arrington]
Yesterday afternoon Alice Smith, our friend of many years from Logan (Mrs. W. Whitney Smith) spent a full hour talking with me about women in the Church. She has been a member of the General Board of the Relief Society for about 18 years and is fairly sure that she will be released in the near future because of this long service. She came in to see me, I suppose, because we were personal friends and because she knew I was interested in the history of women in the Church.

Alice had just returned from regional meetings in Roanoke, Virginia. This plus things she has heard the Brethren say and things she has read give her great anxiety. She is very discouraged and doesn't see any reason for hope about the future role of women in the Church. She is surely not a feminist; she is very much a traditionalist. But the tradition as she understands it gives women an equal, though not similar, role with men-equal but different. She has read through many times the early minutes of the Relief Society in which Joseph Smith made comments. She is also aware of the changes in these minutes that were made by George A. Smith in the 1850s. And it is this revised form that has been published by the Relief Society ever since. It is that revision which the Brethren have read and which they quote from. There are significant differences. [[For instance, George A. Smith changed Joseph Smith's statement to the Relief Soci- ety in April 1842, "I turn the [priesthood] key to you" to "I now turn the key in your behalf." ]] She sees the role of women being constricted from the 1850s up to the present. She thinks Joseph Smith's vision of woman and her role is what should be our guide, and she wishes somehow we could give that particular emphasis.

Alice says that we are gradually losing our women. She says this was clear in Virginia, where the attendance of women at Relief Society meeting and at Sacrament meeting is dropping substantially. She has obtained statistics for the whole church which show the same thing happening. Attendance of women at Relief Society is considerably lower than attendance at Priesthood meeting, and attendance of women at Sacrament meeting is lower than for men. Whereas men run around 40-45 percent, women are now averaging about 35 percent. This is compared with, say, 45 percent five years ago for the women. She attributes this to the Relief Society in particular and the Church in general not meeting the needs of the women. I asked her for particulars on this, and she feels it is not a result of particular things as much as the general attitude of women feeling inferior. Item: Women are not now permitted to pray in Sacrament meeting. Ten years ago women were permitted to close Sacrament meeting while a man was supposed to open it. Item: Women used to be permitted to bless other women. This [was] particularly true of midwives who were permitted-indeed, encouraged-to administer to women who were about to undergo childbirth or who had other illnesses. This has not been true for 30 or 40 years. Item: Few if any bishops or stake presidents would permit a woman to join or to stand as observer at the blessing of her baby. This was once permitted where the woman requested it. Item: The women once had their own magazine and therefore an avenue of communicating with each other. This has not been true since 1970. Item: The women once had their own money and therefore had a certain autonomy in what they did. It was hard to get the money; they had to hold bazaars and sponsor stands at fairs and put on plays and musicals and solicit donations, but at least they were permitted to do this and had a certain independence because they controlled their money. They have not had this privilege in the last ten years. Item: Once upon a time women were invited to speak in General Conference. No woman has been invited in recent years to speak in the open sessions; and despite the importance of women in the Welfare program, only one woman is permitted to speak in the Welfare session of General Conference; namely, the [Relief Society] president, who has seven minutes. Everybody knows that the influence of women on children and young people is stronger than that of men simply because they are around them more. Everybody knows that if the father is inactive and the mother is active, the children will be active, whereas if the father is active and the mother inactive the children will rarely be active. The influence of the mother on children and the youth is determining. If we are denigrating women and their position we will soon lose the youth, and when we lose the youth our future is dim. Sister Smith hoped that I could give her just one example of some action in recent years which has raised the position of women in the Church. If I discover any such thing now or in the days to come she wants me to write her. Some of the General Authorities are quoting statements by Brigham Young which suggest the inferiority of women. Alice says that President [Harold B.] Lee, under whom the magazine and the money were taken away from the Relief Society, was accustomed to using a quotation from President Joseph F. Smith about woman and her role, and she said that if he had used the paragraph which follows that quotation the net effect of the quotation is nullified. [[Lee believed women should support their husbands and raise children. See, e.g., "Maintain Your Place as a Woman," Ensign, Feb. 1972.]] She suggests that Belva Ashton is equally concerned on these matters but that neither Alice nor Belva have any effective voice. She says that neither the presidency nor the board members have access to the First Presidency nor to the Quorum of the Twelve. The advisors to the Relief Society now are this General Priesthood Committee with Dean Larsen as chairman and with Brother Worthlin [Joseph B. Wirthlin] as the particular Relief Society coordinator or advisor. Brother Worthlin presumably has access to Brother Larsen. Brother Larsen presumably has access to some member of the Twelve, and that member of the Twelve presumably has access to the Twelve as a group, which in turn has access to the First Presidency. But relatively speaking, things do not work that way. Brother Wirthlin passes on to Brother Larsen what he feels Brother Larsen wants. Brother Larsen passes on to the member of the Twelve what he feels the Twelve want, and the result is that what the Relief Society really wants is never seen by the First Presidency. Nor are the Relief Society presidency permitted to make an end run around to the First Presidency. There is the strongest admonition that they must not do that. The result is that the First Presidency are asked to approve policies for the Relief Society on the assumption that they are approved by the Relief Society presidency when as a matter of fact they have been watered down and are not at all what the Relief Society presidency wants. I asked Alice why it was that the Relief Society presidency did not feel like they could go directly to the [First] Presidency on some matters that they feel strongly about and let the Presidency know how they really feel. I said, "I feel sure that Belle Spafford did this." She said that is true; Belle did. She said Sister Spafford was a strong personality; she made her desires known, and she got away with it. That, however, is not the characteristic of the three members of the presidency. Janath Cannon is scared to death; Sister [Marian Richards] Boyer is not sharp enough to see all the problems and to be articulate in expressing them. Barbara Smith just is not the kind of a strong personality. Her husband [Douglas] is a strong personality and high in the circle of influential persons in the Church. And he would not be able to understand this problem

with respect to women. As for Barbara, she senses it, she feels it, but she was trained in her home and in her marriage with the idea of women being submissive and obedient. It just would not occur to her to be pushy.

I asked Alice what we could do to improve this situation-to have a helpful influence. She said that it would be helpful if we continue to stress in our historical writing the broader and more influential role of women in early Church history and the views of the Prophet Joseph Smith. But she is impatient and does not think that influence will be very strong or very immediate. What else? Well, nothing really. I guess she hoped that I would have conversations with people and might express a concern, but she surely does not realize how little influence we have in that way. Alice says that she hasn't lost her testimony in any way, but she feels depressed about the future of the Church because of the way they are treating women as inferior beings or second-class citizens. I tried to bring up the positive role of Exponent II, and she said that it has so few readers. She said the Relief Society board members were not permitted to subscribe to Exponent II, and so she and a few others who want to subscribe do so under the names of their husbands.

Alice loves the Church too much to be unconcerned about this matter. When she is released from the board, which she thinks will be soon, she then wants to publish two or three things, possibly in Exponent II, that will help to call attention to these concerns.

Alice is not at all exercised over the "priesthood question;" that, is she has never thought that women ought to hold the priesthood, and thinks that that is an extraneous issue. She thinks not [m]any women want to hold the priesthood. It is just that they be regarded as equals-as not inferior. It is just that women ought to participate in the decision-making process that affects them. They ought to have some say in the direction of the ward, the stake, and the Church generally. There is a statement which Susa Young Gates made in the Relief Society Bulletin-the predecessor of the Relief Society Magazine-in which she says, "Women do not hold the priesthood. They ought to face this calmly and express it thoroughly and calmly to their daughters."

Whatever problems the Relief Society has today, they are probably not equal to those of the 1920s when they were under the Presiding Bishopric. That, according to Jill [Mulvay Derr], who has studied that period of Relief Society history, was the most frustrating of all-worse than the situation today where they don't have direct access to the Twelve or the First Presidency. [[For more, see Beecher and Anderson, eds., Sisters in Spirit.]]

[Source: Confessions of a Mormon historian : the diaries of Leonard J. Arrington, 1971-1997, Gary James Bergera, editor, Signature Books, 2018]

65 years ago today - Aug 17, 1953

[J. Reuben Clark]
Richard G. Grant, son of Walter A. Grant who works in the PBO, called about a subject that is worrying him a great deal: woman's position in the home, in life, towards authority and toward polygamy; he cannot understand the inequality toward woman; that she cannot hold the Priesthood; whereas man can have more than one wife sealed to him, a woman can only have one husband. ...

Bro. Grant said he had worried about it until it is affecting his sanity, that he had talked it over with his bishop and others and they had not been able to satisfy them, and he just did not think it was just. Pres. Clark asked him if that was the only injustice in the world.

To the specific question of "why", Pres. Clark said: "I do not know. I do not think anybody else knows. The Lord did not set it up that way. Why he did not, you can theorize about it, but you won't get anywhere on it ... I do not worry about things that I can't understand or explain and I do not worry about things I can't change."

Bro. Grant said, "I guess that is the answer."

In the evening, Pres. Clark said that Bro. Grant had called on Luacine, that he was a friend of hers, that his problem seemed to be that he wanted to get married but the girl won't marry him, because she is afraid he will have another wife in the Hereafter besides her.

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

125 years ago today - 17 August 1893 ¿ Thursday

[George Q. Cannon]
[A man from Provo] desired to see me, Brother Lyman communicating his wishes. He is in transgression. A young woman that he wanted to marry, but was prevented from marrying by the issuance of the Manifesto, he has become too intimate with, and she is now pregnant. We gave him counsel what to do. He expressed himself willing to make any confession that was required and to do anything, to any extent, for he truly repented of what he had done. ...

In the evening I had a meeting with my family and laid before them a little of my financial situation, and told them that I had been forced to the conclusion, owing to my financial straits, to stop the dining room and the employment of the help needed there, and for each branch of my family to do their own cooking and supply themselves, excepting flour and vegetables. ... I had regretted it exceedingly, for several reasons, but particularly because of the work that it imposed upon them, which I had been desirous to save them from and also the loss of the opportunity of meeting together morning and evening and having family prayers.

[Source: The Journal of George Q. Cannon, Church Historian's Press, https://churchhistorianspress.org/george-q-cannon]

160 years ago today - Aug 17, 1858

[Hosea Stout]
... Was invited by Judge Eckles to day to his room[.] He gave me a letter from one Wm R Yancey to him stating that one John Beal had been castrated in Ogden lately for adultery with E. Lishs wife. He requested me to make the proper inquiry and ferrit the matter out and have the parties engaged in it brought to justice[.] He also spoke of several other cases of larceny which he wanted hunted up and punished

[Source: Diaries of Hosea Stout]

160 years ago today - Aug 17, 1858

Apostle George A. Smith, after extensive consultation with leaders of Mountain Meadows Massacre, writes official account which details their movements on day of massacre but not their participation in it. Begins conspiracy to obstruct justice.

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

180 years ago today - Aug 17, 1838

It is stated in the Canton, Ohio, Repository, that this people to the number of about 200, with 57 waggons filled with furniture, cattle, &c. have left Geauga [county, Ohio], on their way to the "promised land" in Missouri. They pitch their tent in the open field at night after the manner of the ancient Israelites.

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

10 years ago today - August 16

[Proposition-8]
"The First of three Saturday precinct walks are to be held under the direction of the Regional Directors." Jeff Flint, a strategist with Protect Marriage, spoke about this period after the campaign, estimating that Mormons made up 80 percent to 90 percent of the early volunteers who walked door-to-door in election precincts. [ProtectMarriage coalition says 15,000 first weekend; second weekend 25,000 door-to-door walkers were out.]

[Source: Latter-Day Army: Details of Mormons and Prop 8, http://www.stopthemormons.com/?p=486]

130 years ago today - Aug 16, 1888

He [Joseph Smith] had a large roll of paper rolled up in a valise which he carried with him, which he claimed to [Joseph] Knight was a translation from these plates and constituted the revelation. He farther showed this manuscript to Knight, which he claimed was translated by himself by looking through the Urim and Thummim while he sat behind a blanket hung across a room in order that the sacred records might be kept from profane eyes, and read off the "Book of Mormon," or Golden Bible as he sometimes called it, to Oliver Cowdery who wrote it down. He showed the certificate to Knight, which was attached, and read it to him as follows. ... After reading this off to Knight[,] Smith saw he had made a convert to his new religion. He took up the silver bows and looked in them steadily for a few minutes when he says: "Lo! I see feathers! I see feathers, a stump, a fence, a field. Yes, indeed, between this and Jericho is a stump covered with feathers, at the south east side of which is a pot of gold. Perhaps the treasure was buried there by Captain Kidd." ... Well, Smith and Knight arranged to get a neighbor or two and go up there and get the treasure on the following morning. Little sleep was found in that house the remainder of that night and in the morning Knight had his men with shovels, picks and bars ready for the crusade. Before leaving Smith gave his charge to all the men, that not a word must be spoken while they were digging nor within 10 rods of the place where the treasure was, else it would vanish. They went toward Jericho, and when about three fourths of the way along Smith stopped his horse and said to the men, "This looks like the place." Knight climbed up on the fence and looking off toward the woods said, "I see a stump with feathers on it." Smith then told him "This is the place." They dug around the stump all that day but found no treasure to satisfy their craving natures, but went home tired and jaded. The following morning they returned to the toil when about noon one of the men struck his pick on something hard that gave a sound like the lid of a pot. Without consideration he said "I have struck it," when Smith exclaimed: "Fool! thou art, the pot of gold was there but thy voice hath caused it to vanish." And so as Smith said no gold or pot was found and the men returned home to reflect, not on the impossibility of gold not being there, but upon the foolishness of the neighbor.

[Source: "Impressions of the Work and Teachings of Joseph Smith, the Morman [sic], at Nineveh," Bainbridge (NY) Enterprise, 16 August 1888., as cited in Dan Vogel, Early Mormon Documents: Bainbridge (Ny) Enterprise]

140 years ago today - Aug 16, 1878 (Friday)

The tower of the St. George Temple was struck by lightning and slightly damaged.

[Source: Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

150 years ago today - Aug 16, 1868

[Brigham Young]
said that the word Gentiles did not apply to Evry body out of the Church. It applyed to those who were rebellious against God & his gospel. There were many honorable men of the Earth who were not in the Church it did not apply to.

[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 16, 1858

[Wilford Woodruff]
Furguson said that forty men went out under Lieut Lee to Chastize the Indians from Fort Bridger.

President Young said the Indians will ketch it yet. I want Enmity put between the wicked & the wicked. I do not Care one Groat about the whores who will go to the armey. They will not serve God or keep his laws and they may go to Hell. The people will prove themselves to be either good or Bad before the Lord.

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

175 years ago today - Aug 16, 1843. Wednesday.

[William Clayton]
This A.M. Joseph told me that since E[mma] came back from St. Louis she had resisted the P[riesthood] in toto and he had to tell her he would relinquish all for her sake. She said she would [have] given him E[liza] and E[mily] P[artridge], but he knew if he took them she would pitch on him and obtain a divorce and leave him. He however told me he should not relinquish anything. O God deliver thy servant from iniquity and bondage.

[Source: George D. Smith, An Intimate Chronicle; The Journals of William Clayton, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1995, http://bit.ly/WilliamClayton]

180 years ago today - Aug 16, 1838

Announcement that the Kirtland temple to be leased by Mr. Slater to be used as a Temple of Science. When the man backs out of the lease, Oliver Cowdery fills it, being opposed to Joseph Smith at this point

[Source: Kirtland Timeline â€" Kirtland Safety Society, the Bank of Monroe, Temple Dedication, Consecration, and significant historical events related, http://www.exploringmormonism.com/kirtland-timeline-kirtland-safety-society-the-bank-of-monroe-temple-dedication-consecration-and-significant-historical-events-related/]

180 years ago today - Aug 16, 1838

Judge Morin and a sheriff come to arrest Joseph. He says he is always willing to submit to the laws of the land, but asks not to be tried in Daviess County because of his many enemies there. The sheriff decides not to serve the writ. Lyman Wight, however, defies the sheriff's authority, and when the story is published, state officials take immediate action against the Saints.

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

1988 Mid-August

100 millionth endowment performed for the dead.

[Source: Hemidakaota, "Church Chronology from 1800-2000," http://lds.net/forums/topic/10668-church-chronology-from-1800-2000-part-1/]

Aug 15, 1978-Tuesday

[Leonard Arrington]
I learned today that our archives has received some of the papers of A. Hamer Reiser who was formerly secretary of the First Presidency of the Church. ... Brother Affleck suggests that "It would be conservative to say that the $26 million-plus was spent on purchases and services in the communities of Utah to an additional 2,000 persons or firms." In other words, he summarized, "at least 3,000 persons and firms in Utah did business with the Church in 1960 for a total of $44,847,000."

[Source: Confessions of a Mormon historian : the diaries of Leonard J. Arrington, 1971-1997, Gary James Bergera, editor, Signature Books, 2018]

Aug 15, 1973-Wednesday

[Leonard Arrington]
Brother Anderson came into my office for a few minutes this morning. He said that President [Heber J.] Grant told him that Joseph F. Smith told President Grant about an informal, friendly conversation he had in Independence with Joseph Smith III [RLDS President]. Joseph Smith III leaned over to President Smith and said, "You know, I wish I knew for sure which one of us is right," and President Joseph F. replied, "I thank the Lord that I do know which one is right."

A close friend of Frederick M. Smith was Dr. Henry Russell. Dr. Russell told President Grant in the presence of Elder Anderson that he had said to Frederick M., "Do you mind if after you die I do your temple work for you?" President Smith hesitated a moment and said, "No, I guess that would be all right."

President Grant was talking with Frederick M. Smith one time and President Smith asked President Grant if he had ever seen the Lord. President Grant said no, but he had felt the presence of the Holy Spirit of the Lord after his call to be an apostle. At that time the Holy Spirit assured him that his call was from the Lord and after that experience he was reassured that he should be an apostle.

[Source: Confessions of a Mormon historian : the diaries of Leonard J. Arrington, 1971-1997, Gary James Bergera, editor, Signature Books, 2018]

Aug 15, 1903; Saturday

[John Nuttal]
At the office obtained Pres[ident]. Jos[eph]. F. Smiths signature to the applications for Trade mark for the Garment labels.

[Source: L. John Nuttall, Diary]

Aug 15, 1883; Wednesday

[Anthony Ivins]
I went to Chalco today and after talking with the Judge secured Bro [Lino] Zarates release by paying a fine of $15.00 and promising that he would either provide bondsmen within 15 days or move away from Ozumba. [August 18, 1883: Saturday] This afternoon [Rafael] Martinez the man who had formerly came in from the state of Hidalgo with the letter from a Protestant congregation in that state returned ^and stated^ that six of the members of their congregation had been ar- rested and imprisoned on the charge of being connected with the society of the Black Hand. They were held two days and released on bonds. Bro. Martinez brought in a letter from the brethren which declared their intention to press forward.

[Source: Anderson, Elizabeth Oberdick, editor, Cowboy Apostle: The Diaries of Anthony W. Ivins: 1875-1932, Signature Books, Salt Lake City in association with the Smith-Pettit Foundation (2013) - http://bit.ly/AnthonyIvins]

10 years ago today - 8/14/2008

[Proposition-8]
ZIP Code Supervisor Jack Slade writes: "I (Jack Slade) have been asked by my bishop to be a zip code supervisor in my area to organize volunteers to identify voters in my area who are voting in favor of this proposition. I learned during training sessions that the LDS church is the only member of the Protect Marriage group that will be performing this initial door-to-door voter identification. It is a solemn duty that we have been called to perform."

[Source: https://island.byu.edu/content/protect-marriage-yes-ca-prop-8; Mormons for Marriage: A Prop 8 Timeline, http://mormonsformarriage.com/?page_id=68]

80 years ago today - Aug 14, 1938

The first Deseret Industries store opens with its dual purposes of providing low-cost used items as well as employment for disabled and elderly persons. Orson H. Hewlett patterns this after Goodwill Industries.

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

125 years ago today - 14 August 1893 - Monday

[George Q. Cannon]
In the afternoon I attended a lawn fete, which was given by the Woman's Suffrage clubs at Sister Dye's gardens-a very beautiful spot in the 20th ward. Among other, I gave an address, having been advertised to do so. My wife Carlie was there and we rode home together.

[Source: The Journal of George Q. Cannon, Church Historian's Press, https://churchhistorianspress.org/george-q-cannon]

145 years ago today - Aug 14, 1873

[Wilford Woodruff]
... we took Cars on the Utah southern rail road & rode to the Junction of the narrow gage to Granite. We there took a car rode up the Mountain to the Granite Station & there saw 75 or a 100 men splitting up into Blocks large Granite bolders 30 feet high & all these bolders when split up were loaded on to flat cars & landed in the Temple block in Salt Lake City a distance of some 20 miles.

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

10 years ago today - 8/13/2008

The unsigned "Divine Institution of Marriage" document released via LDS Church newsroom. ... The document suggests that domestic partnerships would be okay, a shift from the prior position stated in the 2006 LDS Public Affairs interview with Dallin Oaks and Lance Wickman.

[Source: Mormons for Marriage: A Prop 8 Timeline, http://mormonsformarriage.com/?page_id=68]

10 years ago today - 8/13/2008

A note preceding the article [in Meridian Magazine about Proposition-8] advises that the Family Leader Network is still looking for "people who do not live in California who would be willing to create calling teams to help educate people in California regarding the importance of this marriage protection amendment."

[Source: Mormons for Marriage: A Prop 8 Timeline, http://mormonsformarriage.com/?page_id=68]

40 years ago today - Aug 13, 1978

BOISE IDAHO STATESMAN article: "BYU Clarifies Dress Code to Allow Women to Wear 'Female-Cut' jeans."

75 years ago today - Aug 13, 1943

Setting of the draft age at eighteen years of age for young men for military service brought about certain considerations on the age at which young men should be ordained elder in the Melchizedek Priesthood. On the basis of individual worthiness young men might now be ordained elders at the age of eighteen. The former recommended age was nineteen years of age.

[Source: 1943-August 13-Original circular letter, L.D.S. Church Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah, in Clark, James R., Messages of the First Presidency (6 volumes)]

115 years ago today - Aug 13, 1903; Thursday

Brother John Henry Smith said that on Sunday, in company with President [Jospeh F.] Smith, the Patriarch and others, he attended the ceremonies of laying the corner stone of what is known as the orthodox Jewish Synagogue in this city. President Joseph F. Smith and he delivering addresses ...

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

135 years ago today - Monday Aug 13, 1883

[John Nuttle]
Prest Taylor & party drove to the [Salt Lake] Temple and examined the whole building gave directions (sic) the Presidency gave directions in regard to the Seats in the Stands in the upper Room

[Source: Diary Excerpts of L. John Nuttall, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

175 years ago today - Aug 13, 1843

[William Clayton]
He [Joseph Smith] then showed that Sidney Rigdon had bound himself by an oath to Governor Carlin to deliver J[oseph] into the hands of the Missourians if he could & finally in the name of the Lord withdrew the hand of fellowship from him & put it to the vote of the people. He was cut off by an unamous vote & orders to demand his license. [Rigdon is later reinstated.]...

At night my wifes mother went into the garden to pray just as we were going to bed. Margaret and Lydia went out & found her on her knees. She was deranged.... From her conversation with Lydia this afternoon it seems she took Prest. J-'s remarks very deeply to heart & that with her fears for [Clayton's plural wife] Margaret overwhelmed her.

[Source: The Nauvoo Diaries of William Clayton, 1842-1846, Abridged, Digital Edition, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2015]

175 years ago today - Aug 13, 1843

Joseph Smith accuses First Presidency member Sidney Rigdon of conspiring with John C. Bennett and other anti-Mormons, and a Church conference temporarily disfellowshipps him.

180 years ago today - Aug 13, 1838

Committee of Carroll citizens orders the Saints to leave the county.

[Source: LeSueur, Stephen C., The 1838 Mormon War in Missouri, Appendix: Chronology of Events in Missouri, 1838-1839]

105 years ago today - Aug 12, 1913

Forenoon was occupied in committee meeting of the Twelve called by President [Francis M.] Lyman, particularly to consult with the Presidency of the Nebo [Utah] stake relative to the activity of Bishop John H. Koyle, of Leland ward. Brother Koyle is the instigator of the excitement and agitation relating to his so-called 'Dream Mine.' It appears to me necessary that he be relieved of his bishopric.

[Source: James E. Talmage, Diary, 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 12, 1893

[Marriner W. Merrill]
Attended meeting in President Woodruff's office at 1 p. m. with the Presidents of Stakes when President Woodruff spoke of the financial condition of the Church and asked help from all the Stakes in loans and the prompt payment of all tithings due from all tithe payers. The Presidents of Stakes voted to do all they could to relieve the Church, and meeting adjourned. I went out to Saltair bathing resort at 3:45 p. m. and returned at 5:10 p. m. and took train at 8 p. m. for home.

[Source: Notes from the Miscellaneous Record Book, 1886-1906: Selected diary notes from the journal books of Marriner Wood Merrill, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

125 years ago today - Aug 12, 1893

[Francis M. Lyman]
At 1 P.M. met with the Presidency and Twelve and Presidency of Stakes as follows [32 names] The financial embarrassment of the Church were laid before us by Pres[iden]ts Woodruff, Smith and Cannon. Will the Saints who are able come to the rescue of the Church credit by loaning money or security and by coming forward with their tithes and temple offerings? was the question. All present felt they would with all their ability. This was decided by unanimous vote. The straightened circumstances of the people were referred to. Very little talk was done. The Church will pay 10% per annum and give Trustee in Trust notes payable in one year. The prospect does not look very favorable as the Saints are just as pinched as the Church.

[Source: Excerpts of Apostle Francis M. Lyman Diaries, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

175 years ago today - Aug 12, 1843

Polygamy was announced in the Nauvoo High Council, read by Hyrum Smith. No wording exists. Hyrum stated in June 8, 1844:

"[The revelations given to Joseph] was in answer to a question concerning things which transpired in former days & had no reference to the present time."

As curiously noted, "Hyrum Smith married four plural wives in 1843. It's clear that Hyrum Smith had rationalized that it was OK to mislead. As a result, Austin A. Cowles resigned from the High Council.

[Source: Dayne, More Wives Than One, p 33; Exploring Mormonism: Polygamy Timeline, http://www.exploringmormonism.com/polygamy-timeline/]

175 years ago today - Before Aug 12, 1843

Lucy Walker Smith Kimball recalls Joseph Smith saying about her ailing sister, ["]I am under the greatest obligations to look to her welfare and have come to take her home with me, where I can look after her myself,["] instead of taking her into the house he told the boys to drive down to the Mississippi River, then took her in his arms and baptized her, then brought in Sister Emma, Noble woman that she was, helped change her clothing - and all that loving hearts and willing hands could do, was done but a few days only she lingered, then joined her dear mother in the spirit world and we were left more lonely than before."

[Source: Stapley, Jonathan and Wright, Kristine, '"They Shall Be Made Whole": A History of Baptism for Health,' Journal of Mormon History, Fall 2008]

40 years ago today - Aug 11, 1978-Friday

[Leonard Arrington]
Haybron Adams took me to his office and sa[i]d, "I would like to show you a letter which somehow came into my hands." It was a xerox of a letter from Ezra Taft Benson to a Brother Huerder (I think) [Buerger]. ... Based on the response one supposes that this "Brother Huerder" [Buerger] had written Brother Benson about Story of the Latter-day Saints and about the article in Dialogue two or three years ago by Duane Jeffrey on "Seers, Savants, and Evolution." At any rate, Brother Benson replied rather tersely, essentially as follows: "In reply to your question about Story of the Latter-day Saints, let me say that it will never be republished. In reply to your question about 'Seers, Savants, and Evolution,' I very much regret its publication. It is an attempt to discredit Joseph Fielding Smith. There are inaccuracies in fact and interpretation of the Church's doctrine with respect to evolution."

[Source: Confessions of a Mormon historian : the diaries of Leonard J. Arrington, 1971-1997, Gary James Bergera, editor, Signature Books, 2018]

80 years ago today - Aug 11, 1938

THE BIRTH OF THE DESERET INDUSTRIES AS A UNIT OF THE CHURCH WELFARE PROGRAM

... In a further effort to provide opportunities for individuals to become self-sustaining, there has been organized in the Salt Lake Region of the Church Welfare Plan a project known as Deseret Industries.

We see great promise for this project if Stake and Ward workers will cooperate fully in stimulating an interest on the part of every homeowner within each Ward, member and non-members, to such an extent that they will be willing to give liberally of those articles that might have value in the Deseret Industries but of little value to the present owner. ...

Sincerely yours, LEGRAND RICHARDS HEBER J. GRANT M. O. ASHTON J. REUBEN CLARK JR. JOSEPH L. WIRTHLIN DAVID O. MCKAY The Presiding Bishopric The First Presidency

[Source: 1938-August 10-Deseret Industries pamphlet, 1951, in Clark, James R., Messages of the First Presidency (6 volumes)]

125 years ago today - Aug 11, 1893

[Wilford Woodruff to William Evans]
[I see] that your father died without having heard the gospel, and that your mother, in 1872, was sealed to him; and that in 1889, desiring the ordinance of adoption attended to, she wanted to be sealed over again, and that Pres[iden]t [Daniel H.] Wells said it could not be done, and advised that your mother be sealed to some good man, and her children adopted to him, etc. In regard to this I would say that I take it for granted that you fully appreciate the risk which a woman runs in being sealed to a man, who is dead, who had not received the gospel; and appreciating this I feel to allow your mother her own choice in the matter, but I see no reason whatever for a repetition of the sealing ordinance. In the event, however, of her allowing the sealing to remain uncancelled and you being adopted to your father I would advise that you, immediately after the adoption, have your father adopted to some good faithful man, dead or alive.

[Source: Wilford Woodruff to William H. Evans, Aug. 11, 1893, in Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/TempleWorship]

125 years ago today - Aug 11, 1893

Due to the financial crisis, the Church Board of Education temporarily ceases financial support of the Church schools, and as a result approximately twenty stake academies are forced to close. In addition, "Young University" - which Talmage had been released from the Latter-day Saints University to oversee and which had been planned to open in the fall of 1893 - was postponed indefinitely, despite the building and preparations being planned.

[Source: Chronology of the Life and Work of James E. Talmage, J. Trevor Antley, https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MJsHY83JZL_n6CjWq11y1trT_CVXMMXAx2uYOWAwn0c/edit#heading=h.2zfdaoa]

155 years ago today - Aug 11, 1863

According to [Edmund C.] Briggs Young blamed Emma for the establishment of the Reorganized Church and said so in graphic terms.

"Emma Bidamon is a wicked, wicked, wicked woman and always was and she is at the bottom of this whole matter - Joseph [III] is led by his mother and is now acting under the direction of Emma"

[Source: Avery, From Mission to Madness, 73, quoting Journal of Edmund C. Briggs, August 11, 1863, in Exploring Mormonism: Polygamy Timeline, http://www.exploringmormonism.com/polygamy-timeline/]

175 years ago today - Aug 11, 1843. Friday.

[William Clayton]
A.M. To the Temple office. P.M. President Joseph came to my house and I went home with him and took dinner with him. In our conversation about Judge [James] Adams Joseph made this remark "No man can put forth his hand to steady the ark but God and his servant Joseph." ... Joseph told me to day that [William?] "Walker" had been speaking to him concerning my having taken M[argaret] [as a plural wife] away from A[aron] [to whom she was engaged] and intimated that I had done wrong. I told him to be quiet and say no more about it. He also told me Emma was considerably displeased with it but says he she will soon get over it. In the agony of mind which I have endured on this subject I said I was sorry I had done it, at which Joseph told me not to say so. I finally asked him if I had done wrong in what I had done. He answered no you have a right to get all you can.

[Source: George D. Smith, An Intimate Chronicle; The Journals of William Clayton, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1995, http://bit.ly/WilliamClayton]

175 years ago today - Aug 11, 1843

Hyrum Smith polygamous marriage to Mercy R. Fielding (Thompson)

[Source: Smith, George D (Spring 1994), "Nauvoo Roots of Mormon Polygamy, 1841-46: A Preliminary Demographic Report", Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 27]