40 years ago today - Feb 17, 1979

KSL Television in Salt Lake City airs a one-hour documentary on depression and its effects on Mormon women. A roundtable discussion of ecclesiastical leaders (including General Relief Society President Barbara Smith) and mental health professionals is presented. Conclusions include "Women seem to get depressed more than men do. Two age groups are hit harder than others-early motherhood and ending motherhood. Mormon women are just as vulnerable to this, some would say more so, others would say just the same. Certain pressures that Mormon women must deal with are the pressures to be perfect, the pressure over raising a family, of church jobs, the pressure in finding an identity, and their role in society. But other pressures in other societies can do the same for other women. . . . One thing about Mormon depression, though, is the women seem more guilty about having this problem and therefore more reluctant to seek help."

60 years ago today - Feb 17, 1959

In an effort to avoid the suppression of his book, Elder Bruce R. McConkie drafts letters to the Improvement Era and the Church News stating that 'Mormon Doctrine' "contains my personal views only, and I am solely responsible for all statements or opinions expressed in it." He submits these for review of the First Presidency, who reply on 18 Feb. that "they do not conform to the ideas that we have that you cannot be disassociated from your official position in the publication of such a manuscript." The Presidency concludes that "pending the final disposition of this problem no further edition of the book be printed."

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

95 years ago today - Feb 17, 1924

[Heber J. Grant]
[At the funeral of John W. Young] The speakers were Levi Edgar Young, Anthony W. Ivins, Charles W. Penrose and myself. The music was furnished by a male quartet. I was the last speaker. The other three speakers paid high tributes to the accomplishments of Brother Young, and I regretted exceedingly that I felt impressed to announce that Brother Young's life in many respects had been a failure, as he had at one time been his father's first counselor, and through neglect of his ecclesiastical duties and his devoting himself to business affairs had failed to magnify the very high position that he held as a counselor to the president of the Church, that wonderful and remarkable man, his father, Brigham Young. ...

I regretted very much that I had to talk along this line, but I felt impressed that it was only fair to faithful Latter-day Saints to not let them go away from the funeral of John W. Young feeling that he was a most splendid man, and he was in many respects, and all that was said by the previous speakers, told of his good deeds only and not of any neglect of duty on his part. After the meeting his brother, Willard Young, said that he was very grateful that I spoke along the lines that I did and felt that my remarks were just the proper thing to have been said.

[The Diaries of Heber J. Grant, 1880-1945, Abridged, Digital Edition Salt Lake City, Utah, 2015]

130 years ago today - Feb 17, 1889

Abinadi Pratt, son of the deceased apostle Parley P. Pratt, prophesies to a Salt Lake City congregation that within three weeks God will destroy San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, New York City, and Washington D.C. One Mormon writes: "None felt concerned about his prophecy."

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

160 years ago today - Feb 17, 1859

At night while in the office some person spoke of the game of chess, Pres[iden]t Young remarked he knew nothing of such games, and was ignorant of such practices of the world; after a pause he said I have had to play with the Kingdoms of the world living characters. On some one observing he had indeed to play a great game, he said, yes and I am not displeased with nor regret any move that I have made.

[Brigham Young Office 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.; New Mormon Studies CD-ROM, 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]

175 years ago today - Feb 17, 1844

Anti-Mormon activists hold a convention at Carthage, Illinois, to devise ways to expel the Saints from the state.

185 years ago today - Feb 17, 1834

[Heber C. Kimball]
When I got to Kirtland the brethren were engaged in building the house of the Lord. The commandment to build the house, and also the pattern of it was given in a revelation to Joseph Smith jr., Sidney Rigdon, and Frederick G. Williams, and was to be erected by a stated time. The church was in a state of poverty and distress, in consequence of which it appeared almost impossible that the commandment could be fulfilled, at the same time our enemies were raging and threatening destruction upon us, and we had to guard ourselves night after night, and for weeks were not permitted to take off our clothes, and were obliged to lay with our fire locks in our arms.

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

185 years ago today - Feb 17, 1834

... The whole story about my having pronounced the Mormonite inscription to be "reformed Egyptian hieroglyphics" is perfectly false. Some years ago, a plain, and apparently simple-hearted farmer, called upon me with a note from Dr. [Samuel L.] Mitchell of our city, now deceased, requesting me to decypher, if possible, a paper, which the farmer would hand me, and which Dr. M[itchell]. confessed he had been unable to understand. Upon examining the paper in question, I soon came to the conclusion that it was all a trick, perhaps a hoax. When I asked the person [Martin Harris], who brought it, how he obtained the writing, he gave me, as far as I can now recollect, the following account: A "gold book," consisting of a number of plates of gold, fastened together in the shape of a book by wires of the same metal, had been dug up in the northern part of the state of New York, and along with the book an enormous pair of "gold spectacles"! These spectacles were so large, that, if a person attempted to look through them, his two eyes would have to be turned towards one of the glasses merely, the spectacles in question being altogether too large for the breadth of the human face. Whoever examined the plates through the spectacles, was enabled not only to read them, but fully to understand their meaning. All this knowledge, however, was confined at that time to a young man, who had the trunk containing the book and spectacles in his sole possession. This young man was placed behind a curtain, in the garret of a farm house, and, being thus concealed from view, put on the spectacles occasionally, or rather, looked through one of the glasses, decyphered the characters in the book, and, having committed some of them to paper, handed copies from behind the curtain, to those who stood on the outside. Not a word, however, was said about the plates having been decyphered "by the gift of God." Every thing, in this way, was effected by the large pair of spectacles. The farmer added, that he had been requested to contribute a sum of money towards the publication of the "golden book," the contents of which would, as he had been assured, produce an entire change in the world and save it from ruin. So urgent had been these solicitations, that he intended selling his farm and handing over the amount received to those who wished to publish the plates. As a last precautionary step, however, he had resolved to come to New York, and obtain the opinion of the learned about the meaning of the paper which he brought with him, and which had been given him as a part of the contents of the book, although no translation had been furnished at the time by the young man with the spectacles. On hearing this odd story, I changed my opinion about the paper, and, instead of viewing it any longer as a hoax upon the learned, I began to regard it as part of a scheme to cheat the farmer of his money, and I communicated my suspicions to him, warning him to beware of rogues. He requested an opinion from me in writing, which of course I declined giving, and he then took his leave carrying the paper with him. This paper was in fact a singular scrawl. It consisted of all kinds of crooked characters disposed in columns, and had evidently been prepared by some person who had before him at the time a book containing various alphabets. ...

Some time after, the same farmer paid me a second visit. He brought with him the golden book in print, and offered it to me for sale. ... I advised him to go to a magistrate and have the trunk examined. He said the "curse of God" would come upon him should he do this. On my pressing him, however, to pursue the course which I had recommended, he told me that he would open the trunk, if I would take the "curse of God" upon myself. I replied that I would do so with the greatest willingness, and would incur every risk of that nature, provided I could only extricate him from the grasp of rogues. He then left me.

{Editorial Note: ... Sometime after Joseph Smith's December 1827 arrival in Harmony, Pennsylvania, he "copyed a considerable number" of the characters from the gold plates and gave a copy to Martin Harris, who had come to Harmony in February. Harris took the characters to schlars on the east coast, including the acclaimed Charles Anthon. Exactly what transpired between Harris and Anthon is not clear, but Harris later believed that the encounter fulfilled the prediction in Isaiah 29:11 that the learned would not be able to read the "words of a book that is sealed" ...}

[Charles Anthon to E. D. Howe, 17 February 1834, E. D. Howe, Mormonism Unvailed: or, A Faithful Account of That Singular Imposition and Delusion, from Its Rise to the Present Time (Painesville, Ohio: E. D. Howe, 1834), 270-72. , as cited in Dan Vogel, Early Mormon Documents: Charles Anthon To E. D. Howe]

185 years ago today - Feb 17, 1834

Joseph Smith organized the Kirtland High and "said he would show the of councils in ancient days...as shown vision. Jerusalem was the seat of the Council in ancient days. The apostle, was president of the Council...and the keys of the Kingdom of God on the [and] was appointed to this office by voice of the Savior and acknowledged in by the voice of the Church. He had two men as Counsellors with him, and in the Peter was absent, his counsellors could business, or either one of them. The could also transact business Joseph Smith served as of the High Council. [See D&C 102. Several changes were made in the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants to reflect the addition of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to church administration.]

[Kirtland Minute Book, p. 14, Church Archives; Lisle G Brown, compiler, "A Chronology of the Development of Apostolic Succession of the First Presidency, 1831-1848"]

200 years ago today - Feb 17, 1819

Brigham Young was living in Auburn, N.Y. when the Auburn Gazette features an article on "Indian Jews" with "twenty-three arguments and observations, to prove that the American Indians are descendants of the ancient Jews," taken from James Adair's 1775 'History of the American Indians.'

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

80 years ago today - Feb 16, 1939

[David O. McKay]
In Council Meeting today the 'right' of the First Presidency and the Twelve was questioned in regard to recommending a man to receive his former blessings who had been excommunicated and who died without having given satisfactory evidence of repentance.

Brother Joseph F. Smith would condemn all such to the Terrestrial and Telestial Kingdoms.

[David O. McKay Diary, 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]

105 years ago today - Feb 16, 1914

[Joseph W. Musser]
Called on Pres[ident]. Francis M. Lyman to explain my attitude in the matter of new polygamous marriages being entered into contrary to the wishes of the Church Authorities. Being accused by Bro[ther]. L[yman]. of encouraging such marriages and attempting myself to Assist in them I flatly but respectfully denied the charge. ... Pres[ident]. Lyman maintained that it was a sin to enter into the relation since the Manifesto of President [Wilford] Woodruff. I told him I had done nothing except thru the council or ratification of members of his own quorum. He said I had no right to take counsel from members of the quorum, but that I should have gone to the President of the Church. I told him I supposed the Apostles would do nothing'at least a majority of the quorum would not'out of harmony with the desires of the First Presidency. I told him I heard one of the members of the 1st Presidency of the Church, (since dead) justify his son in entering the relation. He said [']Yes Geo[rge]. Q. Cannon did bring reproach upon the church in letting Abra[ha]m H. Cannon get into it. He was responsible Abra[ha]m's act. Abra[ha]m didn't need the girl'he had a large family, and he destroyed his usefulness in the Church. Such men as he, Geo[rge]. Q. Apostles [Marriner Wood] Merrill, [George] Teasdell, [Matthias F.] Cowley, [Abraham Owen] Woodruff and [John W.] Taylor,' he said, 'had bro[ugh]t reproach upon the church, and had done wrong. The nation has been invited to humble us. Our religion when honestly lived, invites enough trouble, without willfully violating our pledges.' He said, 'Of course Pres[ident]. Smith don't want to go back beyond his administration, and I think he has all he can take care of in his own administration''leading me to think he referred to Pres[ident]. Smith's complicity in the present marriage entanglement. I expressed my desire to be in harmony with the brethren as far as I could. That the Lord had blessed me with a large family for which I was grateful, but that I had not been encouraging recent plural marriages. He closed by advising me to resign my position in the High Council of Granite [Utah] Stake. ...

[Joseph W. Musser, Diary, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1835-1951, Electronic Edition, 2015]

110 years ago today - Feb 16, 1909

[Joseph F. Smith presidency to Isaac Smith]
The general rule adopted by the First Presidency in regard to the second anointing, is in effect that those blessings should be confined to the faithful members of the Church who have gathered with the body of the Church, or who died on the way in an effort to do so. Inasmuch therefore as you shall be able to satisfy yourself through the testimony of such men as Elders E. W. and Ralph Smith that their father, who died in Australia, where he is said to have gone for the purpose of making money to immigrate himself and family to Zion, died in a state of worthiness. You may consider yourself at liberty to recommend him and his wife for second blessings.

[Joseph F. Smith, John R. Winder, and Anthon H. Lund to Isaac Smith, Feb. 16, 1909, in Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/TempleWorship]

110 years ago today - Feb 16, 1909

BYU's campus newspaper WHITE AND BLUE states: "Undoubtedly among the great men of the nineteenth century the foremost place should be given to the eminent scientist Charles Darwin"

120 years ago today - Feb 16, 1899; Thursday

Another question that came up was, How should persons ordained trace their ordination, through the man who was mouth, or through the man highest in authority who may have assisted in the ordination? They had answered, through the man who was mouth. Another question was, Whether the blessings of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob should be pronounced upon children whose parents had not been through the Temple. They had advised that children be blessed without distinction....

Brother Smith ad[d]ed to his report that he had advised, where parents desired to change the name of a child at the time of its baptism, that the name be also changed upon the record showing the blessing of the child.

The question of ordaining children to the Priesthood was also considered, with reference to the practice of conferring the Priesthood upon children when their lives were despaired of through sickness. Would such ordinations hold good in case those children should live? The answer to this question was that such children should be re-ordained, with the consent of the people of the Branch in which they lived, after reaching maturity. President Snow felt that the practice in question should not be approved. He doubted that such an ordination, that is in infancy or childhood, would do the one receiving it any particular good, that the child would derive any benefit from it. He had noted that it was quite a common belief where persons die without having all the wives they ought to have sealed to them that it involved personal disadvantage to the deceased; and the same in relation to blessings. He did not share in these views.

[First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve minutes]

145 years ago today - Feb 16, 1874

William Clayton recalled in a sworn statement: "Hyrum said to Joseph, 'If you will write the revelation on celestial marriage, I will take it and read it to Emma, and I believe I can convince her of its truth, and you will hereafter have peace.' Joseph smiled and remarked, 'You do not know Emma as well as I do.' Hyrum repeated his opinion, and further remarked, 'The doctrine is so plain, I can convince any reasonable man or woman of its truth, purity and heavenly origin,' or words to that effect. Joseph then said, 'Well, I will write the revelation and we will see.' He then requested me to get paper and prepare to write. Hyrum very urgently requested Joseph to write the revelation by means of the Urim and Thummim, but Joseph in reply, said he did not need to, for he knew the revelation perfectly from beginning to end. . . . "Hyrum then took the revelation to read to Emma. Joseph remained with me in the office until Hyrum returned. When he came back, Joseph asked him how he had succeeded. Hyrum replied that he had never received a more severe talking to in his life, that Emma was very bitter and full of resentment and anger. "Joseph quietly remarked, 'I told you you did not know Emma as well as I did.' Joseph then put the revelation in his pocket, and they both left the office." Clayton says that after the revelation was carefully copied Joseph allowed Emma "the privilege of destroying" the original. Clayton concludes his statement with "From him I learned that the doctrine of plural and celestial marriage is the most holy and important doctrine ever revealed to man on the earth, and that without obedience to that principle no man can ever attain to the fulness of exaltation in celestial glory."

170 years ago today - Feb 16, 1849

[T]he Spiritual wife doctrine came upon me abroad in such a manner [as] I [could] never forget.'[O]ne blood particular things belong to, after all we are of one blood & one flesh all the nations of the earth.'Joseph said I command you to go & get another wife. I felt as if the grave was better for me than anything,'but I was filled with the Holy Ghost that my wife & Bro: Kimballs wife would upbraid me for lightness in those days.'I could jump up & hollow. my blood clear as India Rum, my flesh clear, [but] I said to /Joseph/, suppose I should apostatize, would my family not be worse of[f?]. Joseph said certain bounds [are] set to men & if a man [is] faithful & pure to these bounds'[then] God will take him out of the world if he sees him falter.' [and] he'll take him to himself.'You have passed these bounds Brigham,'& this [is your] consolation.'[B]ut I never had any fears of not being saved.'[T]hen I said to Joseph I am ready to go a head, [then] he passed certain bounds before certain revelations [were] given.

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

170 years ago today - Feb 16, 1849

[Brigham Young]
Elder Lorenzo Snow asked information upon certain points on Jesus Christ. Pres[ident] Young replied in substance as follows: '"As he was once now are we. As he is now so shall we be.'"

[Another copy of the minutes provides additional detail:]

Lorenzo Snow put out some principles arguing that Jesus Christ is our Fat[he]r. & not our Elder Brother & asked for light.' B[righam]. Y[oung].[:] As he was, so are we now. As he is now, so /we shall become./ shall we be[[.]] Our Fa[the]r. was once born of parents, & had a Fat[he]r. & Mo[the]r. [the] same as we [have].'[H]e is the Saviour of the world,'the root of [the] Sp[irit] & offspring of flesh [and the] only begotten of [the] Fat[he]r. in [the] flesh.'[T]he Fa[the]r. came down & begot him. [the] same as we do now,'& Jesus was the only one.'[I]t was all told in the Temple [[19th century 'lecture at the veil']] altho' it was run over quick.

[And a 3rd copy of the minutes:]

Lorenzo Snow laid out his opinions as to Jesus Christ being of a different grade than prophets or more than our Bre[thre]n. [H]e is God the father'& not our Elder Brother.' B Y'[I]t came to me in England, [that] as God was we shall be,'[and] as we are so God was.'[H]e is the very eternal father, because of the creation of God.'[H]e is the son of God, the only begotten. [H]e is the only one God the father came down & begat. Moses was a God to his generation'[and] Joseph was to his.'[N]o man could have the spirit without loving Joseph, in Joseph entered the Rev/elat[ion]/ spirit went right to him, & told Joseph.'

[Quorum of the Twelve Minutes, 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);Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1835-1951, Electronic Edition, 2015]

35 years ago today - Feb 15, 1984

Don LeFevre, director of the LDS press relations, issues a statement warning that "privately arranged placement of any children without a licensed agency's sanction is frequently in violation of local or national law. Church officers or members should not be involved in such arrangements." Recently a baby-smuggling ring, which sold some infants to childless had been broken and Nelda Karen Cotwell of Layton, Utah, convicted for conspiring to illegally bring Mexican infants into the United States and sell them..

40 years ago today - Feb 15, 1979-Thursday

[Leonard Arrington]
Daken Broadhead ... said that back in the '30s he and a few other young men had a study group that met every other week or so. They were so formal in the group that they kept minutes. They had a number of General Authorities speak to them and arranged conferences occasionally with General Authorities about things which perplexed them. ... Levi Edgar [Young] ... invited [Arther Conan] Doyle to speak-I think on spiritualism. He was invited to speak in the [Salt Lake] Tabernacle. This greatly surprised him, as he thought the Mormons would be so angry about what he had written about them. But he was assured he would receive a polite reception and after his talk he was invited to visit and meet with a variety of important people. He expressed himself as being embarrassed about what he had previously published, and blamed it to some extent on researchers who furnished him material from sources that were unreliable but which they didn't realize to be the case. ...

Another speaker was James E. Talmage, who told them about his experience with his address entitled "The Earth and Man." Elder Talmage said that this talk had been given in the Sunday afternoon meeting held in the tabernacle in the early 1930s. All of these talks were published the following Saturday in the Deseret News, but Elder Talmage's did not appear. It did not appear the next weekend, nor the next. After about three or four months after it was given[,] it did not appear. He said that the Council of Twelve [Apostles] couldn't agree on its publication for several months. Some of them disagreed or were reluctant to have a talk on this controversial subject [evolution].

Elder Talmage said he had prepared the talk eighteen years before and had hesitated delivering it in a public setting because he knew that certain of the brethren would oppose certain of his statements. So he bided his time and after certain brethren had died, he then felt free to present it. Even so, there was still reluctance on the part of some of the Brethren. Specifically, Joseph Fielding Smith did not feel comfortable with his message or with the publication of it. Because of popularity of the talk, however, and the intense interest in it, it was printed as a pamphlet by Deseret Book, but when the supply of the pamphlet was exhausted, they refused to print any more. In more recent years it was republished in the Instructor [Dec. 1965] or possibly Improvement Era or Ensign.

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

40 years ago today - Feb 15, 1979

Kimball and his counselors found it necessary to counter the now-familiar pattern of Mormon ultra- conservatives to imply church endorsement. In February 1979 the First Presidency published a statement against "announcements have been made in Church meetings of lectures to be given by those connected with the Freemen Institute."

[Spencer W. Kimball, N. Eldon Tanner, and Marion G. Romney to All Stake Presidents, Bishops, and Branch Presidents in the United States, 15 Feb. 1979, photocopy in folder 25, box 17, Buerger Papers. 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.]

40 years ago today - Feb 15, 1979

Library Journal' headline "Mormon Book Purges Not Endorsed by Church," regarding LDS missionaries who allegedly remove books they regard as anti-Mormon or non-faith-promoting from public libraries. LDS president Spencer W. Kimball also publicly instructs BYU students to stop cutting out pages from books in campus library even if they regard the content as objectionable.

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

150 years ago today - Feb 15, 1869

At a directors' meeting of Z. C M. I. Brigham Young "wished to have the merchants unite together under this head & be governed by the Priesthood. He thought the merchants were slow to carry out his council."

175 years ago today - Feb 15, 1844

[Green Mountain Boys]
We wish to address ourselves to Joe Smith in regard to his call upon us &c. Gen. Joe Smith, Lord Mayor of the holy City of Nauvoo, President of the grand high Cou<n>cil of the Mormon military church &c. We have read your call upon us and many of us have consulted together upon the subject and have come to the conclusion that you ought to have justice done you ... for we believe you honestly deserve it according to our sense of Justice, and that is this, that you be suspended by your neck to a gallows at least fifteen cubits & a span higher than Hamans. We believe that while you was in Kirtland you made a public declaration to your followers that the government of the Un[i]ted Stat[e]s was rotten and that after you got to far west [Missouri] you would give them a new government, that the Mormons must and should rule this continent for the Lord had told you so. . . .

. . . You say your Father stood Several times in the battles of American revolution, but he was not in it[,] neither in the last war with the british nation but if you mean the revolution you attempted in Missourie it would look a little more plausible ... he used to tel[l] about your being born with a veil over your face, and that he intended to procure a stone for you to see all over the world with. ... --If you studied piracy while digging for the money your Father pretended old Bob Kidd <had> buried, you should also have studied the fate of pirates. ...

No, Joe, you may go in the depths of disgrace, like all the low money diggers ...

[Green Mountain Boys to Thomas C. Sharp, 15 February 1844, Thomas C. Sharp and Allied Anti-Mormon Papers, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut., as cited in Dan Vogel, Early Mormon Documents: Green Mountain Boys To Thomas C. Sharp]

180 years ago today - (Fri) Feb 15, 1839

Emma Smith crosses the frozen Mississippi River to Quincy, IL on foot, walking behind her wagon full of family possessions. She brings with her Joseph III, Alexander, Frederick, and Julia, her children. Emma finds shelter at the farm of Judge John Cleveland, 4 miles east of Quincy. John was apparently at this time a Mormon sympathizer. His wife seems to have already been baptized a Mormon. She later became Emma's counselor in the Female Relief Society in Nauvoo. The Clevelands probably exchanged their Quincy farm for a house and lot in Nauvoo c, 1841-42.

[Broadhurst, Dale R., Mormon Chronology, http://olivercowdery.com/history/morchrn2.htm]

25 years ago today - Feb 14, 1994

The First Presidency issued a statement declaring opposition to same-sex marriage in response to Hawaii's attempt to legalize same-sex marriage. The Church urged members to support efforts to outlaw marriage equality.

[Timeline of Mormon Thinking About Homosexuality, http://rationalfaiths.com/timeline-of-mormon-thinking-about-homosexuality/]

55 years ago today - Feb 14, 1964

[David O. McKay]
... I approved as follows: ... It was suggested that the [temple] ordinance of baptism for members of the negro race be performed by others than negroes if this can be accomplished without offense.

Temple Recommend Cards for General Authorities Consideration was given to the suggestion that a Temple card be prepared for the General Authorities and their wives to be signed by the First Presidency, indicating that they are entitled to the privileges of all Temples. This card could be presented at the Temple gate indicating that the General Authorities and their wives have an authoritative Temple card of admittance, thus eliminating the necessity of presenting a Temple Recommend. It was suggested that provision be made for the signature of the holder to appear on the back of the card for identification, and the card would not need to be renewed. I indicated my approval of this proposition. ...

[David O. McKay diary, Feb. 14, 1964, in Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/TempleWorship]

75 years ago today - Feb 14, 1944

[Spencer W. Kimball]
At 3 P.M. I attended the special meeting of the Council of the Twelve in which we excommunicated the woman [Anna Jacobsen] in the [Apostle Richard R.] Lyman case. Bro Widtsoe and I were appointed to talk further with her and to hear her story which we did immediately after the meeting. It was a sad story full of pathos. My sympathy went out to her in her distress.

[Lyman and Jacobsen had engaged in an unauthorized plural marriage relationship.]

[Spencer W. Kimball, Diary, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1835-1951, Electronic Edition, 2015]

120 years ago today - Feb 14, 1899; Tuesday

[Benjamin Cluff, president of Brigham Young Academy]
Went to see Presidency yesterday [i.e., February 14, 1899]. Had a long talk with Presidents [Lorenzo] Snow and [George Q.] Cannon. An appropriation has been made to the school [i.e., Brigham Young Academy], but hardly sufficient to run the one semester out much less the whole year through. What we are going to do is a mystery. It seems that the church can do no more. Something may transpire however to relieve us.

[Benjamin Cluff Jr., Diary, entry dated February 15, 1899]

145 years ago today - Feb 14, 1874 (Evening)

President Brigham Young cordially greeted the people assembled. This social gathers was given in honor of the brethren who had come as volunteers from the North to assist in building the Temple in St. George. President Young blessed those brethren and all the people. -- St. George, Utah

[James G. Bleak. "Annals of the Southern Utah Mission," 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 - Feb 14, 1849

Great Salt Lake City was divided into 19 wards of nine blocks each.

[Church News: Historical Chronology of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, http://www.ldschurchnewsarchive.com/articles/58765/Historical-chronology-of-The-Church-of-Jesus-Christ-of-Latter-day-Saints.html]

175 years ago today - Feb 14, 1844

[Nauvoo Neighbor]
Story: "Who Shall be our Next President" -- Editorial -- Describing the right person for President, speaking poorly of Martin Van Buren, and endorsing Joseph Smith


190 years ago today - Feb 14, 1829

Eliza R. Snow publishes a poem in the Ravenna, Ohio WESTERN COURIER containing the stanzas: "But lo! a shining Seraph comes!/Hark! 'tis the voice of sacred Truth;/He smiles, and on his visage blooms,/Eternal youth.

He speaks of things before untold,/ Reveals what men nor angels knew,/The secret pages now unfold/To human view." Eliza, a future plural wife of both Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, has not yet heard of Mormonism (The Book of Mormon is over a year away from being published). Later, after accepting Mormonism, she changes the words "secret pages" to "long seal'd pages," to make more explicit the reference to the coming of the "Seraph," as the angel Moroni who brings the "long-sealed" plates of the Book of Mormon.

45 years ago today - Feb 13, 1974-Wednesday

[Leonard Arrington]
Lester Bush came in yesterday and reported to us on the reception he had from his article on the Negro doctrine published in Dialogue. He discussed at some length his current interest in the Book of Mormon and in medical history. He has had no official criticism as the result of his article in Dialogue and very little complaint from any source. He has had many congratulatory letters.

He has heard that some person from Church headquarters, perhaps Brother [Boyd K.] Packer, did discuss him with his mission presidents and regional representative, and they both favorably reported on him and his work and attitude, and thus that investigation was dropped. He has been compiling a Book of Mormon in which quotations are indented as in most scholarly works. This helps to separate the narrative from the long documents included from previous writers....

February 20, 1974-Wednesday 24

When Lester Bush was in here the other day, he said he had a particular personal friend among the General Authorities, whom he did not identify. He did say that this was a rather conservative brother. He had chatted with him before he talked with us. He said that he had heard of absolutely no reaction to the article which Lester had published in Dialogue magazine on the Mormons and the Negro.

He said this friend had told him that things seemed to have been moving in the direction of liberalizing the Negro doctrine. This had come up in two or three respects. One involved racial intermarriages and one involved temple activities. At any rate, this friend said that some of the more conservative brethren had somewhat resisted some of the liberalizing decisions which President Lee had made. Whether or not the friend had agreed with this was not made clear by Brother Bush. In any case, some of these people had said that they thought President Lee was mistaken in some of these liberalizing decisions and others thought he was headed in the right direction. Some regarded President Lee's sudden death as an interference of God to prevent further liberalizing from taking place.

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

120 years ago today - Feb 13, 1899

Heber J. Grant, upset with First Counselor George Q. Cannon Sunday sermon on charity the day before (which Grant "could not help feeling that it was a plea for his son to be forgiven & made a US Senator.") writes: I explained to Prest Snow that I felt very deeply wounded at the sermon which Pres Cannon had preached Sunday in view of the Attack of his son in his speech last Thursday evening. I told him I felt I could not feel well to be obligated to him for the present made me a little over a month ago.[Cannon gave Grant a gift of $1500 on Jan 6] The President agree with me that I would feel better if refunded the amount. I wrote a note to Bro. Cannon and enclosed my check for $1500. . . .I told Prest Snow of my intention to return the 1500 to Bro. Cannon and said he could not blame me for the desire to do so. I am glad he felt this way." George Q. Cannon's son Frank had given a speech "Senatorial Candidates and Pharisees" in which, according to Grant, "He made a vile attack on Apostle John H[enr]y Smith, the Church, Mr. McCune and myself. He had more to say about me than any one else."

160 years ago today - Feb 13, 1859

[Wilford Woodruff]
I spent an hour with President Young in the afternoon. He spoke upon the subject of the Book published by Mother Smith Called Joseph Smith the Prophet. He said he wished us to take up that work & revise it & Correct it that it belonged to the Historians to attend to it that there was many fals statements made in it and he wished them to be left out and all other statements which we did not know to be true, and give the reason why they are left out. ... That Book makes out William Smith according to Mother Smith's statement to be full of the Holy Ghost & the power of God while at the same time I herd him say in the presence of Heber C. Kimball while Joseph Smith was a prisioner in the hands of his enemies and I said that God would deliver him. William Smith said Dam him Joseph Smith ought to have been hung up by the neck years ago and Dam him he will get it now any how.

President Brigham Young said Wm. Smith is the most wicked man I ever saw in my life. ...

[Copies of the original book are gathered and burned, and a new modified edition is published]

[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 - Feb 13, 1849 (Afternoon)

[Brigham Young]
Conversation on mesmerism until Lorenzo Snow presented the case of the African Race for a chance of redemption and unlock the door to them. President Young explained it very lucidly that the curse remains on them because Cain cut off the wives? [or perhaps "lives"] of Abel to hedge up his way and take the lead but the Lord has given them blackness, so as to give the children of Abel an opportunity to keep his place with his descendants in the eternal words. -- Salt Lake City

[Thomas Bullock Minutes, LJA; Thomas Bullock—LDS Church Reporter, 1844-56.C, Archives, Church History Library, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah.; GCM, Archives, Church History Library, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah..; Leonard J. Arrington Papers, Special Collections, Merrill-Cazier Library, Utah State University, Logan.. (A reference reading LJA 12-55-5, 10, means LJA Series 12, Box 55, Folder 5, page 10.) 9-12-6, 77-78; General Church Minutes. Selected Collections from the Archives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints DVD 1 (2002); The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, Ed. Richard S. Van Wagoner, Smith-Pettit Foundation, Salt Lake City (2009), http://bit.ly/BY-discourses]

175 years ago today - Feb 13, 1844

Joseph Smith writes, in a letter declining a requested visit to nearby Quincy, Illinois: "Moreover, wisdom and prudence seem to forbid my coming, on account of the bitter feeling which manifests itself in various places between this and Quincy,-not that I have any apprehensions for my personal safety; for the same kind hand which hath hitherto been my shield and support would save me from the power of my wicked persecutors; . . ." He is assassinated in Carthage four months later.

30 years ago today - Feb 12 1989

The Church announces that worthy, unendowed members whose spouses are not members or the Church or are not worthy to enter the temple may receive their individual endowments.

[The Woodland Institute 'On This Day Historical Database,' http://www.woodlandinstitute.com]

40 years ago today - Feb 12, 1979-Monday

[Leonard Arrington]
Jan [Tyler] said that when she was 17, President Kimball, then an apostle, dedicated their chapel in Walla Walla. She was asked to transcribe the tape of his talk. While she was transcribing it, she had gotten through one tape and was about halfway through the second when suddenly she heard a voice come in, as if a spirit voice, and say, "This man will someday become president of the Church and under his presidency the blacks will be given the priesthood." She was startled, realizing that it was not President Kimball's voice. She went back and played the tape again, and did not hear the "spirit voice." She did write down the experience, however, for future reference. Later on in the day she began to wonder whether she had the experience or not-whether it was just a case of bad hearing. So she played the tape once more and heard the same voice interject with the same statement. Then to make sure, she replayed it again and did not hear the voice. So she heard the voice twice, and of course if anyone else played the tape they would not hear the voice. ...

This morning Clyde A. Miller and his two sons Mark and Karl came to talk about a history of John W. Taylor, the apostle, son of President John Taylor. They said they have in their possession all the papers of John W. Taylor, hundreds of letters, diaries, and other documents. They will give these to the Church Archives when they finish doing the history. ... He asserted in the strongest terms that the family do not want to have anything in the book that will embarrass the Church in any way. The two sons strongly supported that position. ... They told me many stories about John W. Taylor and his spiritual experiences. He made many prophecies, all of which, they believe, have come true. He also saw and visited with the Savior. There are others in this same vein.

The family are not pleased with The Family Kingdom by Sam Taylor. They know that Sam Taylor invented some of the things in that book to make it more readable, and he has admitted that explicitly to them. There was no conflict between the wives of John W., they said, and when Sam Taylor sent in the draft of Family Kingdom to the publisher, they said "You have got to have some conflict that will provide interest to the reader," and so he invented some experiences that brought out the conflict between the wives. John W. has 36 children, some 19 of whom are still alive. Basically most of them are loyal in the Church. ...

They told me stories indicating that Joseph F. Smith was very sorry that he had excommunicated John W., [for promoting post-manifesto plural marriage] also that John W., while out of harmony with the Quorum [of Twelve Apostles], never lost his testimony of the gospel, and felt firm in the Church. They indicated he was one of the great speakers or orators in the Church, and that he counseled the family to "follow the Brethren" in every way. They indicated that he was a close friend from missionary days of Matthias Cowley [a fellow apostle who was also discplined] and they remained close friends to the end of John W.'s life.

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

40 years ago today - Feb 12 1979

BYU student John David Neumann, working as an "undercover homosexual" for college credit, meets a 24-year-old Provo man in the BYU Wilkinson Center. Neumann rides with him toward Heber, and tells him about homosexuals at BYU. BYU student newspaper, THE DAILY UNIVERSE reports, "He said it was possible to pick them up in the Wilkinson Center and at the Richards P.E. Building".. Neumann claims that when the Provo man made sexual advances, he "grabbed him by the wrist" and signaled BYU Security officers, who cite the Provo man for reckless driving. Two days later a warrant is issued, and the man is later apprehended and charged in Fourth District Court with forcible sexual abuse.

[http://www.advent-adam.com/jakestand.html (cached, based on http://amzn.to/extensions-power)]

45 years ago today - Feb 12, 1974-Tuesday

[Leonard Arrington]
A brother Collier, who came in to see me today, said that he read in Heber J. Grant's diary an entry in which he says he turned over the Council of Fifty minutes to Joseph Anderson and put him under a covenant never to give them to anybody to use. I do not know what disposition Joseph Anderson has made of these, but I would guess that they would be in the vault of the First Presidency.

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

50 years ago today - Feb 12, 1969

[David O. McKay] I asked what conclusion the brethren had reached regarding the matter. President Tanner said the same conclusion that was arrived at about two years ago, that Elder Benson should discontinue this kind of thing [political extremism], and particularly in stake conferences, and should limit himself to talking about the gospel and its applications. President Tanner said that he thought I made as clear a statement on the subject as he had heard made in the meeting of the Council of the First Presidency and the Twelve at that time. I said that there is no reason why we should not continue that understanding.

[David O. McKay diary as referenced in Gregory A. Prince and Wm. Robert Write, David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press (2005)]

55 years ago today - Feb 12 1964

First Presidency letter that all prospective missionaries "found guilty of fornication, of sex perversion, of heavy petting, or of comparable transgressions should not be recommended until the case has been discussed with the bishop and stake president and the visiting [General] Authority."

[http://www.advent-adam.com/jakestand.html (cached, based on http://amzn.to/extensions-power)]

120 years ago today - Feb 12 1899

[Apostle Heber J. Grant Diary] [Sunday Tabernacle] Pres[ident] Geo[rge] Q. Cannon followed with an address on charity. In my heart of hearts I could not help feeling that it was a plea for his son to be forgiven & made a US Senator. If I am in error then I have done Bro[ther] Cannon a great injustice and if I am right then I am sad indeed to think one of the First Presidency could do a thing of that kind.

[Diary of Heber J. Grant, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

135 years ago today - Feb 12 1884

First day of the debate between Church of Christ (Disciples) minister Clark Braden and RLDS leader, E. L. Kelley. During Braden's nineteenth speech, he presented a list of accusations of sexual misconduct directed at Joseph Smith. Several had never been raised before.

[Hales, Brian C., Joseph Smith's Polygamy: History and Theology, 3 vols., Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2013 (www.JosephSmithsPolygamy.com)]

185 years ago today - Feb 12 1834

Joseph Smith gives instruction to the council: -"In ancient days, Councils were conducted with strict propriety, that no one was allowed to whisper, be weary, leave the room, or get uneasy, in the least, until the voice of the Lord, by revelation, or the voice of the Council by the Spirit was obtained, which has not been observed in this Church to the present. It was understood in ancient days, that if one man could stay in Council, another could; and if the President could spend his time, the members could also; but in our Councils, generally, one will be uneasy, another asleep; one praying, another not; one's mind on the business of the Council, and another thinking on something else, etc."

[http://www.advent-adam.com/jakestand.html (cached, based on http://amzn.to/extensions-power)]

105 years ago today - Feb 11 1914

[Salt Lake Stake] President [Nephi L.] Morris made the following statement: -- President Joseph F. Smith, in the presence of the stake presidency,

announced that the recent actions of the council of apostles with respect to certain polygamous marriages, were in perfect accord with the views of the first presidency. A few days later, President Francis M. Lyman instructed the stake presidency in person that [former apostle] Brother Matthias F. Cowley was not to be permitted to officiate in any of the functions of the priesthood, and that he was to be denied membership in the high priests' quorum and in the local high priests' class. President Lyman said that Brother Cowley stood stripped of all authority, and was only as a member of the church and nothing more, barely having the privilege of the sacrament.

[Salt Lake High Council Minutes]

175 years ago today - Feb 11 1844

The ship Swanton sailed from Liverpool with 81 Saints, bound for Nauvoo, where they arrived April 18th.

[Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]