85 years ago today - Aug 20, 1934

A memorandum was submitted in answer to a letter addressed to the Presidency by Nancy Williams, a descendant of Frederick G. Williams, a former member of the First Presidency of the Church at the time the Kirtland Temple was started, in which it stated that the property was deeded to the Church by Frederick G. Williams, with a provision that if the building was not used for Temple purposes, the property was to revert to the doner, and asked for further information. An examination has been made of the files of the Church Historian's Office which consisted largely of statements of monies advanced to the Prophet Joseph Smith. During the administration of the late President John Taylor when suit was brought by the Reorganized Church to acquire title, it was deemed inadvisable to contest the suit, and a court decree was entered, vesting title in the Reorganized Church. There was no documentary evidence to this effect.

[First Presidency, Meeting with Presiding Bishopric, Minutes, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1910-1951, Privately Published, Salt Lake City, Utah 2010]

120 years ago today - Sunday, Aug 20, 1899

[Apostle Rudger Clawson]
Pres. Snow said that the Lord had shown him that the people of His Church must wake up and obey the law of tithing, or calamities would come upon them. Read the revelation on tithing and made some remarks upon it. "I say to you in the name of the Lord," he said, "if you will pay your tithing in full, the Lord will forgive you for your disobedience in the past."

[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 - Sunday, Aug 20, 1899

[Apostle John Henry Smith]
...Prest. Lorenzo Snow shook hands with 1,010 persons.

We blest eight sisters who had qualified by study to practice mid-wifery...

[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]

125 years ago today - Aug 20, 1894

[President Wilford Woodruff]
This is the pioneer Day. We go to Saltair Pavillion to have a Celebration of the Pioneer day. We went to Saltair at 2.25. We met about 20 of the Remnant of the Pioneers. They were aged feeble men. I think I was the oldest man of the pioneers present. All were introduced to the Assembly of some 4,000 persons. Speeches were made by quite a Number of the Pioneers. Bishop Weilen & Lorenzo Young were among the number. Both vary feeble. We returned home at 6.30. It was a vary interesting day. 30 Miles.

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

145 years ago today - Aug 20, 1874

To the President, Vice-Presidents and Board of Directors of the United Order at St. George-- ...

These are the results which we should expect to see follow where people have divided interests. If a man presented himself to you for baptism, and requested that only a portion of his body should be baptized, you would reject his application and say to him that he must have his entire person immersed or he could not become a member of the Church. So with the Order: we do not wish to accept a portion of a man's person and a portion of his substance; therefore, until he is ready to enter himself and with all that he has he should not be a member of the Order, and this is our instruction to all the branches of the Order....

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

145 years ago today - Aug 20, 1874

Rules that should be observed by Members of the United Order-- RULE 1st.-We will not take the name of the Deity in vain, nor speak lightly of His character or of sacred things. ...

RULE 5th.-We will observe personal cleanliness, and preserve ourselves in all chastity by refraining from adultery, whoredom and lust. We will also discountenance and refrain from all vulgar and obscene language or conduct. ...

RULE 10th.-We will patronize our brethren who are in the Order. ...

RULE 11th.-In our apparel and deportment we will not pattern after nor encourage foolish and extravagant fashions, and cease to import or buy from abroad any article which can be reasonably dispensed with, or which can be produced by combination of home labor. ...

RULE 12th.-We will be simple in our dress and manner of living, using proper economy and prudence in the management of all entrusted to our care.

[Rules That Should be Observed by Members of the United Order, in Clark, James R., Messages of the First Presidency (6 volumes)]

145 years ago today - Aug 20, 1874

Instructions to Members of the United Order ... Inasmuch as some continue the use of tobacco, and as it is good for sick cattle, and when planted in orchards is said to be a preventive against the codling moth, it is recommended that enough be raised to at least supply our own wants.

... Our situation renders it advisable, so far as we may be able, to keep on hand a supply of bread-stuff sufficient for from three to seven years.

As rapidly as possible the finest varieties of grapes for raisins should be added to those already in our southern settlements, and all our markets supplied with the best of raisins. So far as wine and brandy are produced, pains should be taken that they be of the purest and best qualities, and vessels and storage cellars should be prepared for keeping the wines in the best condition.

...

[Instructions for Members of the United Order, in Clark, James R., Messages of the First Presidency (6 volumes)]

160 years ago today - Aug 20, 1859

[Martin Harris]
"Then describing their dimensions, he pointed with one of the fingers of his left hand to the back of his right hand and said, "I should think they were so long, or about eight inches, and about so thick, or about four inches; and each of the plates was thicker than the thickest tin."

[Martin Harris (D.B. Dille Interview), "Additional Testimony of Martin Harris", Millennial Star, 20 August 1859; Antley, Joseph, Early Mormon Writings, Appearance of the gold plates, http://earlymormon.com/wiki/index.php?title=Appearance_of_the_gold_plates]

160 years ago today - Aug 20, 1859

New York Daily Tribune publishes Horace Greeley's recent interview with Brigham Young:

"H. G. What is the position of your church with respect to slavery?"

"B. Y. We consider it of divine institution, and not to be abolished until the curse pronounced on Ham shall have been removed from his descendants."

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

175 years ago today - Aug 20, 1844

[Heber C. Kimball]
Was called to Lay hands on Arther Millican. He was healled. I dremp the following dreames. I was on my wheel molding vessels on the wheel. They ware of a pure nature. Then an other thing is thare was a man come along to run, he went ahead of me, and run into a slow hole, and I on the drie land. He suak [sank] out of my sight.

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

20 years ago today - Aug 19, 1999

The First Presidency announces that the massive new assembly building located north of Temple Square will be called the Conference Center.

40 years ago today - Aug 19, 1979.

Ann Kenney, a student at the University of Utah, is set apart as president of the University of Utah Second Stake Sunday School. Gilbert Sharffs, counselor in the stake presidency, assures her that he has been "strongly impressed" to issue the calling and also had a general authority approve the calling. On 24 September she is released. Sharffs explains that "in the past there has been no policy set. The quorum [of the Twelve] was divided on the issue, and the decision was left to the president." The president was Ezra Taft Benson.

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

105 years ago today - Aug 19, 1914

Circular is sent to all Stake Patriarchs from Presiding Patriarch Hyrum G. Smith: "You may accept a gift if it is offered, but do not permit anyone you have blessed to leave your presence feeling that they have paid for a blessing; Patriarchal blessings cannot be purchased, they are the free gifts of God to his children under the hands of His Patriarchs." Some Stake Patriarchs had been charging a fee for Patriarchal blessings.

[On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com]

175 years ago today - Aug 19, 1844

[Apostle Wilford Woodruff Journal]
... [S]ome dreams rehearsed one of which I told as follows: I met with Br Joseph Smith in the Congregation of the Saints. He had his old Hebrew and Jerman Bible, and preached to the Saints. B[ut] he seemed to be to thronged by the people and he rose up lifted up a curtain and passed into another room where the people could not distirb him and there he was going to teach the people.

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

15 years ago today - 2004-08-18

[Women]
"Feminist Mormon Housewives" blog established by Lisa Butterworth

[Mormon Women's History Timeline, http://www1.chapman.edu/~remy/MoFem/mormonwomen.html]

65 years ago today - Aug 18, 1954

First Presidency rules that Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith's anti-evolutionary MAN: HIS ORIGIN AND DESTINY should not be used for study in LDS seminaries and institutes. McKay expresses from 1954 on: "On the subject of organic evolution the Church has officially taken no position. The book 'Man, His Origin and Destiny' was not published by the Church, and is not approved by the Church."

[On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com]

70 years ago today - Aug 18, 1949

Apostle (and Salt Lake Temple President) George F. Richards reads a letter to the assembled First Presidency and Twelve Apostles decrying the lack of second anointings being performed. The letter states that to date 22,278 second anointings had been performed for living persons and 10,217 for the dead. Richards's letter states: "I have not been able to bring myself to feel that the Lord is pleased with us in neglecting such an important and sacred endowment, which He has given us to be administered in His holy temples to worthy members of His Church. The Second Anointings were given by revelation to the Prophet Joseph Smith to be administered to worthy members of the Church, both the living and the dead; and from the days of the Prophet Joseph to the days of President Heber J. Grant that practice continued. . . . When living members receive their Second blessings, or anointings, they are given a charge that they must not speak of those things to anybody; that only those who are invited by the President of the Church are to receive them, and that none others are supposed to know anything about them. . . . About 1928 an incident occurred which so incensed the First Presidency that they had all the recommend books brought in to the President's office, and instructions were given that no recommends of that character should be given by stake presidents thereafter. . . .The incident above mentioned which so exasperated the First Presidency was as follows: A brother who had received his Second Blessings, while speaking in a priesthood meeting in one of the Idaho stakes, told the brethren that they all should have their Second Blessings. Of course that was a serious infraction of the charge which he received when he had his Second Anointings; but I have never learned of any serious consequences to follow, except the action on the part of the Authorities, discontinuing the administration of those blessings in the Church. It appears to me that the mistake made by the good brother in Idaho was not so serious as to justify letting those sacred ordinances come into disuse in the Church. I think now is the time to act; with such modifications as to details as the brethren might feel to make, insuring that these blessings be administered only to those who are worthy to receive them." The letter quotes the endowment ceremony to say, "Brethren and Sisters, if you are true and faithful, the day will come when you will be chosen, called up and anointed kings and queens, priests and priestesses, whereas you are now anointed only to become such. The realization of these blessings depends upon your faithfulness." (Endowment Ceremonies, p. 1x2.}"

[On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com]

80 years ago today - Aug 18, 1939

A case had been referred to us in which a woman whose father and mother had been through the Temple was applying to go through the Temple herself. She was from the Southern States Mission, and the Church records showed that opposite her name someone had placed the endorsement, "negro blood." Brother [David O.] McKay talked with me yesterday or the day before about it, and I suggested that he get her patriarchal blessing and see what the patriarch said her lineage was. Brother McKay did that, and found the blessing had been given by Elder George F. Richards, that he had told her she was of the lineage of Israel through Joseph and Ephraim. We decided that under those circumstances she could not be denied admission to the Temple.

[J. Reuben Clark office diary, Aug. 18, 1939 , Perry Special Collections as quoted in Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/TempleWorship]

110 years ago today - Wed., Aug 18, 1909

[Apostle John Henry Smith Diary]
... We were Royally entertained. It is a most beautifull place. Coffee, Lemonade, Sandwichs, Cake and Ice cream went the Round, all seemed most happy. ...

[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]

125 years ago today - Aug 18, 1894

The Church University referred to was neither the Brigham Young Academy (now University,) which the L.D.S. Church had established in 1875 in Provo, nor the Latter-day Saints College which the Church had established in Salt Lake City but a projected Church University which it was planned should become "the head of our Church School system." Evidently this Church University, according to this announcement had a short life of one academic year after which this announcement marked its demise. The L.D.S. First Presidency thereupon announced their support of the University of Utah, a "State" institution which had been funded by the "Mormons" less than three years after their arrival in Utah under the title of the University of Deseret.

The Latter-day Saint's College, then located adjacent to a "downtown" location of the University of Utah, was by this announcement to serve the students of the University of Utah and others with a religious education which they could not receive in the "State" institution. By this assigned function the Latter-day Saint's College thus became the forerunner of the present system of LDS Institutes of Religion adjacent to numerous State University campuses throughout North America.

[James E. Talmage noted in his diary, "Long interview with the Presidency, in which I asked them to consider the wisdom of issuing a letter to the Church announcing the closing of the Church University, and bespeaking the support of the people for the University of Utah."]

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

175 years ago today - Aug 18, 1844

President Young arose and said that he had many things to speak of. ...

The report has gone forth through the city that the Twelve has a secret understanding with those men who are going away to take a company with them, that they shall take all they can but the Twelve will blow it up in public but privately wish it to go on. But if it was the last words I had to say before going into the Eternal world I would swear by the Holy Trinity that it was utterly fals and not a word of truth in it.

...And I tel you in the name of Jesus Christ, that if Lyman Wight & Geo Miller take a course contrary to our Council, and will not act in consert with us but take a course against us they will be damned and go to destruction. And if men will not stop striving to be great and exhalted and lead away parties from us and strive to weaken our hands they will fall and not rise again, and I will destroy their influence in this church with the help of God and my brethren.

...It has been whispered about that all that go into the wilderness with Wight and Miller will get their endowment. But they Cannot give an endowment in the wilderness. If we do not Carry out the plan Joseph has laid and the pattern he has given for us to work by we cannot get any further endowment. ...

We shall require the 10th of all your property for the tithing for the building of the Temples the poor and for the Priesthood. ...

The time has come now for bickerings to scease. Their must be a strict order of things, and we are no longer bound to harbor black legs, Counterfieters, boges makers. We know all about them.

They have been in our midst long enough. I advise all the Saints to have no dealing with such men. Let them alone. The time has come that they should be wiped out of our midst. ...

As to the doctors let them go. I can prove that a doctor in this place doctored a woman that was in the family way and did not know it untill she was deliverd, and both woman and Child died, and if you will employ them you will all die, but the time has come when you need no longer to support them.

...I had a dream which I will here relate. I saw a fruit tree, & I went into the tree in search of fruit. I soon discoverd that some of the main branches on top going from the main body was dead. It seemed necessary to cut off the dead branches in order to save the tree. So I told some person to help me cut them off & they steped on to a large green limb. They were afraid it would break, so I put my sholder under it & held it up while he cut off the dead branches. It cracked the green limb but it did not break. After we cut of the dry limbs the wounds healed up and the tree grew finely.) Now let us cut of the dead branches of the Church that good fruit may grow and the voice will soon be herd Go and build Zion and the great Temple of the Lord...

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

195 years ago today - Aug 18, 1824

Universalist Hosea Ballou sermon:

- Apostasy and Restoration: "The falling away of the Christian Church, the corruptions of its doctrines by the inventions of an ignorant, superstitious priesthood, sanctioned by the authority of Synods and Councils, having introduced the man of sin into the Temple of God, who has for ages been worshiped as God, the glory which Jesus manifested departed, and the darkness of papal errors and abominations have succeeded.

But the reign of the beast may be said to have come to an end; the true testimony is received, and God is now carrying on the work ... and God is about to fill the [nations] with glory."

Original sin: "[why would God by] an act of his almighty power, gave us a totally depraved nature, laid the blame of it to Adam, and is determined to punish us everlastingly for the same!"

The Godhead: "the mystery of an invented Trinity, which has been the means of sore contentions and bitter animosities in the Church. This self contradictory doctrine of three infinite persons in but one infinite Being, has been so thoroughly shaken..."

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

70 years ago today - Aug 17, 1949

First Presidency statement: The attitude of the Church with reference to Negroes remains as it has always stood. It is not a matter of the declaration of a policy but of direct commandment from the Lord, on which is founded the doctrine of the Church from the days of its organization, to the effect that Negroes may become members of the Church but that they are not entitled to the priesthood at the present time.

The prophets of the Lord have made several statements as to the operation of the principle. President Brigham Young said: "Why are so many of the inhabitants of the earth cursed with a skin of blackness? It comes in consequence of their fathers rejecting the power of the holy priesthood, and the law of God. They will go down to death. And when all the rest of the children have received their blessings in the holy priesthood, then that curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will then come up and possess the priesthood, and receive all the blessings which we now are entitled to."

President Wilford Woodruff made the following statement: "The day will come when all that race will be redeemed and possess all the blessings which we now have." The position of the Church regarding the Negro may be understood when another doctrine of the Church is kept in mind, namely, that the conduct of spirits in the premortal existence has some determining effect upon the conditions and circumstances under which these spirits take on mortality and that while the details of this principle have not been made known, the mortality is a privilege that is given to those who maintain their first estate; and that the worth of the privilege is so great that spirits are willing to come to earth and take on bodies no matter what the handicap may be as to the kind of bodies they are to secure; and that among the handicaps, failure of the right to enjoy in mortality the blessings of the priesthood is a handicap which spirits are willing to assume in order that they might come to earth. Under this principle there is no injustice whatsoever involved in this deprivation as to the holding of the priesthood by the Negroes.

120 years ago today - Thursday, Aug 17, 1899

[Apostle John Henry Smith Diary]
Prests. Lorenzo Snow, Joseph F. Smith, Myself, Geo. Teasdale, Heber J. Grant, Artthou [Anthon] H. Lund, and Rudger Clawson met at the Temple. It was determined to have a silk Temple apron with raised flowers woven.

[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]

145 years ago today - Aug 17, 1874,

William Clayton appears before notary public John T. Caine and swears out an affidavit giving in greater detail than any other document the circumstances surrounding the origin of the written revelation on polygamy later published as section 132 of the D&C. He does this to counter charges by Joseph Smith's son, Joseph Smith III, president of the RLDS church that polygamy was not started by his father..

[On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com]

155 years ago today - Aug 17, 1864

The Deseret News reports the setting up of a list of articles and prices in gold for Utah markets. Flour is put at $12 a hundred pounds, wheat $5 a bushel, and corn $4. This is, in reality, a form of price control.

[On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com]

175 years ago today - Aug 17, 1844

[William Clayton]
At the Temple Office all day. At noon brother Kimball came and told me that Emma says somebody has stole of the money he paid her. It is thought it is a plan to hurt me by making the public believe that I stole it.

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

190 years ago today - Aug 17, 1829

Joseph Smith and Martin Harris sign contract with Grandin publishing, each agreeing to pay half of the publication costs of the Book of Mormon.

75 years ago today - Aug 16, 1944

The First Presidency instructs its Hotel Utah to stop serving liquor.

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

125 years ago today - Aug 16, 1894

[Abraham H. Cannon]
Concerning the proper position of the altar in a prayer circle * as to whether it should face the east or south * there is no rule, though the custom is to generally have them face the south. Pres[ident] [Lorenzo] Snow says he always aims to face the chief temple in offering his prayers.

[Abraham H. Cannon diary, Aug. 16, 1894 , Perry Special Collections as quoted in Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/TempleWorship]

125 years ago today - Aug 16, 1894

A Jewish boy gives his bar mitzvah talk in an LDS stake conference "in confirmation of his faith in the Jewish religion."

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

145 years ago today - Aug 16, 1874

President B. Young spoke One Hour & 2 Minutes & delivered one of the most interesting discourses I Ever heard in my life. Said it would take a whole life devoted to God & his work to get a full & Complete salvation and as much short as any person Came of this after receiving this work so much short would He be Clipped of a full & Complete salvation & none such would the Lord Choose when He made up his Jewels. -- Logan, Utah

[Wilford Woodruff's Journal. 9 Vols. Scott G. Kenney, ed. Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1983-85. 7:192; Journal History of the Church, Selected Collections from the Archives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints DVD 2 (2002) as quoted 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 16, 1834

Joseph Smith - the churches should "be in readiness to move to Jackson county in two years from the eleventh of September next, which is the appointed time for the redemption of Zion. ... you will learn by this we have a great work to do, and but little time to do it in;"

[Note, this is the 5th anniversary of D&C 64:21: "I will not that my servant Frederick G. Williams should sell his farm, for I, the Lord, will to retain a strong hold in the land of Kirtland, for the space of five years, in the which I will not overthrow the wicked, that thereby I may save some."]

[ History of the Church, vol. 2, p. 145, as quoted in Instutite for Religious Research]

130 years ago today - Aug 15, 1889

Zina D. H. Young, plural wife of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young said, "It is the privilege of the sisters, who are faithful in the discharge of their duties, and have received their endowments and blessings in the house of the Lord, to administer to their sisters, and to the little ones, in time of sickness, in meekness and humility, ever being careful to ask in the name of Jesus, and to give God the glory."

[Woman's Exponent 17, 172, as quoted at http://ordainwomen.org/quotes. See Quinn, "Mormon Political Conflicts" for full cite and context.]

130 years ago today - Aug 15, 1889

The church purchases a ranch in Skull Valley, Tooele County, Utah, for Hawaiian Mormon immigrants. They name the community Iosepa (Joseph). The colony continues until 1917.

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

150 years ago today - Aug 15, 1869

Apostle George Q. Cannon preaches: "We close the door on one side, and say that whoredoms, seductions and adulteries must not be committed among us, and we say to those who are determined to carry on such things[:] we will kill you..."

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

175 years ago today - Aug 15, 1844. Thursday.

[William Clayton Journal]
... Sister Emma I know I don't lie and you know better what I know I know and although I never have told it to any soul on earth nor never intend to yet it is still the truth and I shall not deny it. She then several times called me a liar and said she knew I was her enemy and she never had been so abused in all her life. I told her I was not her enemy nor never had been. She said I neglected her and spent my time in the secret counsel of the Twelve and it was secret things which had cost Joseph and Hyrum their lives, and says she "I prophecy that it will cost you and the Twelve your lives as it has done them." She repeated this two or three times in a threatening manner, and said it in a manner that I understood that she intended to make it cost us our lives as she had done by President Smith. I told her that I would rather die than do anything to ruin the Church.... I went and told President Young the whole circumstances and he told me to fear not, but rejoice.

[George D. Smith, An Intimate Chronicle; The Journals of William Clayton, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1995, http://amzn.to/william-clayton]

175 years ago today - Aug 15, 1844

Epistle of Twelve to the Saints-- On August 8, 1844, a special meeting of the Church of Jesus Christ was held in Nauvoo, Illinois to determine who would lead the Church following the death of Joseph Smith. On August 9th, The Twelve Apostles were sustained in their Presidency of the Church. This was the first Epistle issued by the Twelve following their being sustained. ...

You are now without a prophet present with you in the flesh to guide you; but you are not without Apostles, who hold the keys of power to seal on earth that which shall be sealed in heaven, and to preside over all the affairs of the church in all the world...

On the subject of the gathering, let it be distinctly understood that the city of Nauvoo and the Temple of our Lord are to continue to be built up according to the pattern which has been commenced, and which has progressed with such rapidity thus far.

The city must be built up and supported by the gathering of those who have capital, and are willing to lay it out for the erection of every branch of industry and manufacture, which is necessary for the employment and support of the poor, or of those who depend wholly on this labor...

let every member proceed immediately to tithe himself or herself, a tenth of all their property and money ... for the building of the Temple for the support of the priesthood ... and then let them continue to pay in a tenth of their income from that time forth... And let this law or ordinance be henceforth taught to all who present themselves for admission into this church...

The United States and adjoining provinces will be immediately organized by the Twelve into proper districts...

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

180 years ago today - Aug 15, 1839

Baptism for the dead publicly announced.

[Chronology of Mormon History, http://followtheprophets.com/chronology-of-mormon-history/]

190 years ago today - Mid August 1829

Joseph Smith writes the Book of Mormon preface , with reference for the first time to an exact page count for "116 pages" that were lost. Because the printer's manuscript is 116 pages for First Nephi through Words of Mormon, the replacement portion, it can be assumed that the number 116 came from the printer's manuscript rather than from the original manuscript. It was an approximation, in other words--an assumption that the original manuscript occupied about the same number of pages for the same period covered. It can be further assumed that Oliver Cowdery would have copied at least 116 pages of the manuscript for the printer before the preface was written. Cowdery probably began copying the manuscript near the beginning of July and apparently reached Alma 36 by 6 November 1829 . Averaging the number of pages per day, he would have copied 116 pages by about the beginning of August. Thus, since the first signature included the Preface , Joseph Smith probably wrote the preface shortly before the printer began setting type in mid- or late-August.

[Vogel, Dan, Early Mormon Documents, Appendix B: Chronology, 1771-1831, http://amzn.to/T5nY8w]

40 years ago today - Aug 14, 1979-Tuesday

[Leonard Arrington]
Elder Durham has received a letter from the presidency of the Relief Society, asking us to do a study of the role of women in the Church during the 19th century and early 20th century. ...

I asked him to see if he could get permission for me to examine the George Q. Cannon diaries for the period up to 1877, when Brigham Young died. He said he would try to do that but might put it off for a month or two.19 I reported on the Richard Bushman manuscript, and on the request from [public relations employee] Jerry Cahill about a response to Sonia Johnson's paper to be given at the American Psychology Association meetings in New York. Elder Durham seemed to be very much in a hurry for some reason. Earl [Olson] was not present. I learned that Russ Ballard of the First Council of Seventy, who is the son of Melvin J. Ballard, Jr., the son of Melvin J. Ballard the apostle, and who is now the editor of the Ensign, is a grandson of [apostle] Hyrum [M.] Smith. Hyrum Mack Smith's oldest sister Geraldine [Smith Ballard] married Melvin J. Ballard, Jr., and is thus the mother of Russ.

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

90 years ago today - Aug 14, 1929

Elder Yeates of the Church of Christ, Temple Lot, asks Heber J. Grant for permission to solicit donations for the construction of a temple at Independence, Missouri. President Grant declines "to assist in erecting a temple for a church with which we have no connection whatever."

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

155 years ago today - Aug 14, 1864

The so-called Dream Mine is located east of Salem in Utah County. The mine founder, John H. Koyle, was born August 14, 1864 at Spanish Fork, Utah County.

[Utah History Encyclopedia: Dream Mine, http://www.uen.org/utah_history_encyclopedia/]

175 years ago today - Aug 14, 1844

[Nauvoo Neighbor]
- Poetry: "Joseph Smith" - Praise to the Man -- The Times and Seasons -- To be sung to the tune of "Star in the East," what we now know as Praise to the Man.

- Poetry: "To Elder John Taylor" -- E.R. Snow -- Poem about John Taylor's survival of the martyrdom.

- Reprinted Story: "Joseph Smith, Mayor of Nauvoo, Murdered" -- The Philadelphia Sun -- Describes the martyrdom as a vicious crime, and lends support and credibility to the Church.

- Story: "The Next President" -- Editorial -- Says that the Saints will never find someone who shares Joseph Smith's views to support for president.

- Story: Joseph Smith's Successor -- Editorial -- Encourages the Saints to be patient while the successor is selected, but for now the church is in the hands of the Twelve.

- Ordinances: "An Ordinance Concerning Brothels and Disorderly Characters" -- Geo W. Harris -- Prohibits brothels and describes the fines for operating such establishments.

- Announcement: "Miniature Likenesses" - Daguerreotypes Available -- L.R. Foster -- Advertisement promoting taking photos with his equipment....

[http://boap.org/LDS/Nauvoo-Neighbor]

175 years ago today - 1844 14 Aug.

Lucien R. Foster, the first Mormon photographer, places an ad in Nauvoo Neighbor. President of the New York City branch (1841-43) and member of the Council of Fifty (1845-46), Foster's two daguerreotypes of the Nauvoo temple in 1846 are the most enduring images of the Mormon capital. He is excommunicated in 1846.

[Quinn, D. Michael, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, Appendix 7: Selected Chronology of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-47, http://amzn.to/origins-power]