30 years ago today - May 4, 1986.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks, speaking at the LDSSA Fireside in the Salt Lake Tabernacle, repeats his injunction for members of the church to avoid criticizing leaders--"it does not matter that the criticism is true"--then continues: "The counsel against faultfinding and evilspeaking applies with special force to criticisms of Church leaders, but this is not for the benefit of the leaders. It is to safeguard the spiritual well-being of members who are prone to murmur and find fault."

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

45 years ago today - May 4, 1971

BYU President Ernest Wilkinson lamented to Ezra Taft Benson that David O. McKay's earlier instructions had blocked any attempts to establish a chapter of the John Birch Society at BYU: "I would personally like to have one at BYU, and I am seeing what I can do, but my lieutenants insist I would be violating the letter that President McKay sent us [during the Midgley/John Birch episode] sometime ago if I did."

[Source: Ernest L. Wilkinson to Ezra Taft Benson 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)]

110 years ago today - May 4, 1906

"Susa Young Gates prophesied to me today that I would yet be one of the Counselors in the First Presidency."

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

115 years ago today - May 4, 1901 (Saturday)

The Kimball Organ Company completed the reconstruction of the Tabernacle organ in Salt Lake City, making that instrument one of the best pipe organs in the world.

[Source: Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

120 years ago today - May 4, 1896

[Heber J. Grant] "I have enjoyed my visit to Cache Valley very much, and my only regret is that all of the members of the High Council of the Cache Stake did not endorse the declaration of church discipline. I was, however, especially pleased to have the document voted for by Bro George Barber."

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

120 years ago today - May 4, 1896

[Brigham Young Jr.] "Had a long talk with Bro[ther] Willis on the true meaning of the Manifesto prohibiting plural marriages especially in relation to men living with their old wives. No plural marriages are solemnized but men are loath to give up or rather forsake their wives. I can take no oath that looks toward annulling the covenants I have made with my wives."

[Source: Brigham Young Jr. 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]

125 years ago today - May 4, 1891

[Heber J. Grant] "... (GQ) Cannon said that he was willing that we should sell one half of the Herald to the gentile Democrats and allow them a majority of the Directors. I think the chances are that it will finally be approved to sell a majority of the stock."

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

130 years ago today - May 4, 1886

Apostle John Henry Smith writes that Presiding Bishopric counselor John Q. Cannon is "getting quite reckless" with the church's tithing funds. Cannon is excommunicated four months later, but for adultery not embezzlement. His father, first counselor George Q. Cannon, tells the apostles on 3 Aug. 1887 that "he admitted trying to cover up John Q. Cannon's stealings fromt he Church and that he & his son Abraham had made good John Q's defalcations to the amount of nearly Ten thousand dollars."

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

140 years ago today - May 04, 1876

Eliza Jane Churchill Webb Letter to Mary Bond regarding [possible first plural wife of Joseph Smith] Fanny Alger

"I do not know that the 'sealing' commenced in Kirtland but I am perfectly satisfied that something similar commenced, and my judgment is principally formed from what Fanny Alger told me herself concerning her reasons for leaving 'Sister Emma'."

[Source: Exploring Mormonism: Polygamy Timeline, http://www.exploringmormonism.com/polygamy-timeline/]

160 years ago today - May 4, 1856

President B. Young preached in the tabernacle to the few who were gathered. said he should urge it upon the people for every family of the saints to lay up 7 years of provisions as soon as possible. -- SLC Tabernacle

[Source: Sermons and Writings of the Restoration. 4 Vols. Ogden Kraut, ed. Pioneer Press, 1994, in The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, Ed. Richard S. Van Wagoner, Smith-Pettit Foundation, Salt Lake City (2009), http://bit.ly/BY-discourses]

160 years ago today - May 4, 1856

[Brigham Young] "... if you give an Indian plenty of beef, and keep him from freezing he will live to be 150 years old; there is nothing to kill unless they freeze to death. ..."

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

50 years ago today - May 3, 1966

With Ezra Taft Benson's permission, three weeks after the April 1966 general conference a national committee announced that it was preparing a campaign to elect him U.S. president in 1968. As part of its ten-year plan, this "1976 Committee" nominated Strom Thurmond, conservative U.S. senator from South Carolina, as Benson's vice-presidential running mate.

A former state coordinator wrote that Birch president Robert Welch "was the guiding light behind" this 1976 Committee [to elect Benson president].

National leaders of the Birch Society comprised 59 percent of this committee, including its chair and two vice-chairs. Most other committee members were probably lower-ranking Birchers.

Benson's 1976 Committee was a classic demonstration of Welch's philosophy of creating "fronts"--organizations that merely had the appearance of independence from the Birch Society which formed and directed them.

In effect, the Birch Society was nominating Benson for the White House.

[Source: "Presidential Draft for Elder Benson?" in Deseret News, 3 May 1966, A-l; "Group Seeks Benson for Race in '68," Salt Lake Tribune, 3 May 1966, 6; "Benson Hints Door Open In '68 Race," Salt Lake Tribune, 4 May 1966, A-14; Dew, Ezra Taft Benson, 383. Also Epstein and Forster, The Radical Right, 53-55,142; Bethke, "BF (Before Falwell), EB (Ezra Benson)," see additional footnotes in Michael Quinn article. 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.]

50 years ago today - May 3, 1966

[Deseret News] Benson told a reporter that he was in "shock" over the committee's proposal. "It's the first I've heard of it," he said. The same newspaper report indicated that "about half of the committee's 30 organizers are members of the Birch Society."

[Source: "Presidential Draft for Elder Benson," Deseret News 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)]

70 years ago today - May 3, 1946

[George Albert Smith] In bed regretting that I am not able to keep my work up at the office.

[Source: George Albert Smith, 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 - May 3, 1896

Second Counselor in the First Presidency Joseph F. Smith presents the "Political Manifesto" before the Cache Stake Conference, in Logan, Utah. He asks for a show of hands: " I don't want anybody to fail to vote because of fear, or because of any other reason. If they have made up their mind one way or the other, let them manifest, and let us see who are for the authorities of the church and who are not for them." About two-thirds of those present voted. From twenty to twenty-five hands were raised against it. Those voting against it included Moses Thatcher, jr., (son of the Apostle) and wife and others stood up and voted "No."

Heber J. Grant noted that "Prest. [Orson] Smith, in his remarks, stated that it had been claimed that the people of Cache Valley did not sustain this declaration, and it had been intimated that the damned thing was being crowed down the throats of the people, and that he had characterized this statement as a vile slander on the character of the Cache Valley Saints. ..."

135 years ago today - May 3, 1881

May 3 We drove to Franklin. ... W Woodruff spoke 25. ... Also thought that in 1881 there would be an Emigration to Zion from the spirit world of about 10,000 souls, as the Poland Bill of 1862 was not in force in the spirit world these spirits would Come to Zion and take up their abode in the Tabernacles of the Mothers in Zion and in spite of the Poland Bill or the Devil they would be born and some of them would be born in Franklin in Idaho notwithstanding the opposition of Gov M.C. /(How many born in 1881?) ...

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

170 years ago today - May 3, 1846

[Nauvoo Temple] ... Elder Orson Hyde Arose And Addressed the Assembly from the following words:

... You may wish to know what we have been doing in this house. I will tell you. We have been anointing And ordaining Kings And Priest unto God. I have been Anointed A king & Priest unto God. If any one wishes to kill me for it let them do it.

We have laboured hard to ordain kings & Priest unto God to reign here on the earth but not now, but I will tell you when it will be. When the LORD JESUS CHRIST comes to reign and recieve his Crown And sit upon his Throne. The Twelve Apostles will sit upon there Thrones & Judge the Twelve tribes of Israel. Then is the time we expect to recieve our crown And inherit this earth. We look forward for A new Heaven & earth but it will be the old Concern made gloriously and renewed. Those who have been ordained unto this office will be born at the resurrection in the royal linage. ...

They are now Persecuting us And there Persecutions Are bringing gray hairs upon the Saints but the Heads of the persecutors will be coverd with blackness...

Evry Saint has A guardian Angel with him so death cannot kill him. The Angels accompanied the Ancients. So they do us. The Angels of the waters & there was 4 on the cornors of the earth. When the guardian Angel is called away we are left to grapple with death.

... I feel to resign my citizenship because I Cannot enjoy it. I would Advise all the Saints that they Cast not another vote in this state but resign alloffices that they hold And all our friends to do thesame. ...

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

170 years ago today - May 3, 1846

[Nauvoo Temple] The third day of dedicatory services, when the "dedication of the Temple closed." The Hancock Eagle reporting that 5,000 persons attended on the third day, which was reserved for the Latter-Day Saints. During these services the Saints approved a resolution to sell the Temple and use the funds to help the poor in their move West.

[Source: Brown, Lisle (compiler), Chronology of the Construction, Destruction and Reconstruction of the Nauvoo Temple]

70 years ago today - May 2, 1946

To Presidents of Stakes and Bishops of Wards ...

Inquiries received at the office of the First Presidency disclose the fact that there is a divergence of opinion and varied practices among ward officers with respect to the kind of music, if any, that should be rendered during the administration of the sacrament.

Recently, this question came before the First Presidency and the Twelve who unanimously approved the recommendation that the ideal condition is to have absolute quiet during the passing of the sacrament, and that we look with disfavor upon vocal solos, duets, group singing, or instrumental music during the administration of this sacred ordinance.

There is no objection to having appropriate music during the preparation of the emblems, but after the prayer is offered, perfect silence should prevail until the bread and the water have been partaken of by the full congregation.

It was further suggested, and unitedly agreed upon, that the sacrament should be first given to the presiding authority in the meeting. This may be the bishop, perhaps one of the stake presidency, or one of the visiting General Authorities. It is the duty of the priest officiating to determine who is the presiding authority present; thus, whenever the sacrament is administered, members of the Aaronic Priesthood officiating will have a lesson in Church government. ...

Sincerely yours, GEO. ALBERT SMITH, J. REUBEN CLARK, JR., DAVID O. MCKAY, First Presidency.

[Source: 1946-May 2-Original circular letter, L.D.S., in Clark, James R., Messages of the First Presidency (6 volumes)]

115 years ago today - May 2, 1901; Thursday

Pres[iden]t. [Lorenzo] Snow remarked that he wishes he were a millionaire and if so he would be pleased to hire me to make suggestions for him. I felt somewhat humiliated at his remark at the same time I took it in good part ...

[Source: Heber J. Grant, Diary]

115 years ago today - May 2, 1901; Thursday

President Lorenzo Snow instructed the quorum of Apostles to preach tithing until all non-tithe payers were converted. ...

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

120 years ago today - May 2, 1896

[Heber J. Grant] [In Logan] I explained that the recent newspaper reports to the effect that I had made an attack upon Apostle Moses Thatcher were not correct as I did not have Bro Thatcher or any one else in my mind while speaking, but that I was simply talking on principle, and urging the saints to be charitable and sustain the authorities who preside over them.

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

135 years ago today - May 2, 1881

[Wilford Woodruff] We then drove down to my House and on Examining it Presidet Taylor moved that $500 be appropriated for me to Paint the House Build a Barn and all the three Presidency voted to that effect.

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

150 years ago today - May 2, 1866 (Wednesday)

Mr. Thurston's three year old daughter was stolen by Indians, near Mendon, Cache Co. She was never recovered.

[Source: Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

180 years ago today - May 2, 1836

Patriarchal Blessing of Lyman Leonard given by Joseph Smith, Sr. ... riches shall flow unto thee. The great men of the earth shall bring thee treasures untill thou shalt say tis enough. ... Thou shalt speak and prison walls shall fall; rivers be turned out of their course and all things subject unto thee....

Thou shalt have power to translate thyself away from thine enemies. so that they cannot find thee. and nothing shall be too great for thee. ... Thou must keep the word of wisdom and all the commandments and pray much and nothing shall be impossible unto thee. Winds, waves, and sea shall obey thee, and thou shalt baptize some in the briny deep. ...

[Source: Patriarchal Blessing Book 1:38, quoted in Early Patriarchal Blessings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Joseph Smith Sr. (Author), H. Michael Marquardt (Editor), http://amzn.to/rCBHVe]

180 years ago today - 1836: 2 May

[Patriarchal Blessing] William Harris. (Given by Joseph Smith, Sen.) ... The riches of the earth shall flow unto thee in time, and thou shalt receive the blessings of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and they shall reach thy posterity also; and thy father's house shall follow on, and be gathered with thee unto the mountain of Israel. ... Angels shall be thy guard upon thy right hand and thy left; even the twelve legions shall watch over thee: thou mayest see them, if thou wilt believe; and if any arm is raised against thee, it shall fall, and all weapons wielded to thy hurt shall perish. If any dig pits for thee, they shall fall therein; if they seek to confound thee with subtle questions, they shall be confounded;

[Source: Selected LDS Patriarchal Blessings, New Mormon Studies CD ROM, Signature Book, 2009, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

95 years ago today - 95 years ago - May 1, 1921

RLDS member John W. Peterson writes of an interview he had with Joseph Smith's brother William 31 years previously when he visited him with his [RLDS] missionary companion William S. Pender: "He said he had hefted the plates as they lay on the table wrapped in an old frock or jacket in which Joseph had brought them home. That he had thum[b]ed them through the cloth and ascertained that they were thin sheets of some kind of metal. When asked why he had not uncovered them he said they were told not to do so unless the Lord would give permission, that they were the property of an angel and had received strict command[ments] with regard to that matter. Bro. Pender remarked that most people would ha[v]e examined them anyway."

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

105 years ago today - 105 years ago - May 1, 1911

To Ministers of the Gospel of all denominations and the public of Great Britain-- PRESIDENT SMITH'S DECLARATION

With a view to counteracting the misrepresentations now being made in England and in the hope to establish the truth, I declare that during the nine years of my presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints no man in the Church having one wife has been permitted to take to himself another, and no one in authority in the Church has been permitted to perform such a marriage under pain of being excommunicated from the Church. ...

[Source: {1911-May 1-Deseret News, May 6, 1911; also London Times, May 1, 1911, quoted in Clark, James R., Messages of the First Presidency (6 volumes)]

110 years ago today - 110 years ago - May 1, 1906

[Heber J. Grant to Reed Smoot] You are mistaken in supposing that the Brethren have informed me fully regarding the action taken at the last conference respecting the resignations of Brothers [John W.] Taylor and [Matthias F.] Cowley. I have simply been informed that they have resigned. I had already read this fact in the paper.

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

130 years ago today - 130 years ago - May 1, 1886

[Zebedee Coltrin to John Taylor] President John Taylor may I ask a favor of You. I wish to have my father adopted to President Joseph Smith[;] it was my Fathers wish when he was alive. I am here to do some work and would be very much pleased to have this work done. I also wish to give my Bro[ther] Graham and his two wives their second annointing.

[Source: Zebedee Coltrin to John Taylor, quoted from Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/TempleWorship]

155 years ago today - 155 years ago - May 1, 1861

[Wilford Woodruff] Both North & South were gathering large armies and preparing for war. The Banks & rich men throughout the whole Country were Consecrating there millions of Dollars to sustain the war. The Nation has persecuted the Saints of God & made them Consecrate there all & flee from place to place to save their lives and now it is there turn. The Lord has said He would vex the Nation and he will suredly do it. Civil war has begun in Earnest & it will go on untill the will of God is done. All they have Sought to bring upon us will Come to pass upon them.

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

155 years ago today - 155 years ago - May 1, 1861

Wilford Woodruff records that "Preside[n]t Young delivered an Address & gave good instruction. He said that P[arley] P Prat[t's] blood was spilt for adultery." Pratt was killed four years previously by the legal husband of one of his plural wives.

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

155 years ago today - 155 years ago - May 1, 1861

President Young seem pleased with the news which showed more and more Secession, and each party were preparing for war, thus giving the Kingdom of God an opportunity of being established upon the Earth. -- Salt Lake City

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

170 years ago today - 170 years ago - May 1, 1846

We met for a public dedication of the [Nauvoo] Temple this Morning. Entrance was $1 each to pay the hands that worked on the Temple. ... * Wilford Woodruff journal, May 1, 1846. [Orson Hyde's dedicatory prayer:] Holy and Everlasting Father, before Thee this morning we present ourselves and acknowledge Thy mercy that has been extended to us since we have been on Thy footstool, and [give thanks] for this opportunity of dedicating this house. We thank Thee that Thou hast given us strength to accomplish the charges delivered by Thee. Forgive us our sins and the sins of thy people. Thou hast seen our labors and exertions to accomplish this purpose. By the authority of the Holy Priesthood now we offer this building as a sanctuary to Thy Worthy Name. We ask Thee to take the guardianship into Thy hands and grant that Thy Spirit shall dwell here and may all feel a sacred influence on their hearts that His Hand has helped this work. Accept of our offering this morning, and that soul that blesses this temple[,] let blessings rest on his posterity to the latest generation, and that soul that shall practice evil against this temple and Thy House, set Thy face against him and let evil take the portion of his inheritance. Administer to Thy people and let Thy honor and glory fall on our heads, not in the eyes of men but in the day when the world shall become Thy dominion. May we have the honor to tune the lyre [in thanks] that Thou hast redeemed us from every nation and made us holy and pure and that we have washed our robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. [If] it must needs be that offenses come, we offer it as the fruit of our labors and may the oppression under which they [we] groaned be to our good. We ask that the angel of mercy may be round about this temple and that light may descend upon us and let us pass to the courts of the heavenly [host]. Let Thy Spirit rest upon those who have contributed to the building of this temple, the laborers on it that they may come forth to receive kingdoms and dominions and glory and immortal power. Accept of us we pray Thee, inspire every bosom to do Thy will, cause that truth may lead them[,] for [at] the glorious coming of the Son of God when you come in the name of the King, the Lord of Hosts shall be the King. Gather us in Thy Kingdom through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen.

[Source: Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/TempleWorship]

180 years ago today - 180 years ago - May 1, 1836

[Wilford Woodruff] <I had the spirit of God and of Prophecy.> I Prophesied to the people of the Judgments of God that awaits them. After meeting I walked to Mr Tittle & Preached the word to him & he arose and I Baptized him at the midnight hour.

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

50 years ago today - Apr 30, 1966

Lowell L. Bennion hosts several African-American Mormons at his home in Salt Lake City, including LDS converts Ruffin Bridgeforth Jr. and his Hispanic wife Helen Marie Romero Bridgeforth. She speaks "of the difficulty they have getting their boys to go to church after they get to be deacon age and can't pass the sacrament and do the other things L.D.S. [white] boys do."

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

85 years ago today - Apr 30, 1931

[Heber J. Grant] A letter from Brother Brigham H. Roberts claiming that the Seven Presidents of Seventies are apostles and have the right to ordain high priests, etc. was read and discussed at great length.

There did not seem to be anybody that agreed with the position Brother Roberts takes. It is a great anomaly that they are sustained as superior to the Presiding Bishopric, outranking them, and yet they cannot ordain a Bishop who presides over the lesser priesthood.

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

115 years ago today - Tuesday, Apr 30, 1901

The Directors of the Lehi Sugar Co. met at 10 a.m. and appointed Lorenzo Snow a Director and President of the Company to fill the Vacancy made by the death of Geo. Q. Cannon. His salary is to be $600.00 ...

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

120 years ago today - Apr 30, 1896

[Franklin D. Richards] Deliberations turned on presentation of Declarations to the people & the mode of dealing with such as do not most readily accept it. It should first be presented to the presiding authorities of a stake or ward & then accepted by them then presented it to their people. See that it is fairly presented and without too much explanation so as to avoid entanglement & without extreme action & words these who are slow to accept it.

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

120 years ago today - Apr 30, 1896

[Brigham Young Jr.] Several brethren talked on interpreting the 'Declaration of Church Discipline' read at and approved by the General Conference. Bro[ther] John [W.] Taylor made remarks which called me to my feet. he resented my reproof but afterwards felt milder. I said that document was issued in self defense not as an aggressive message. we were attack[ed] first, & were obliged to defend ourselves.

[Source: Brigham Young Jr., Diary, 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 - Apr 30, 1846

... After some conversation and singing[,] a prayer circle was formed immediately in front of the Melchizedek stand. O[rson] Hyde was President, and Joseph Young, mouth, after which those present were seated in the stands to represent the order of the Priesthood; myself being seated in the Teachers Stand, and a Dedicatory prayer was offered by O[rson] Hyde to which all responded "amen." After the prayer ended all shouted with a loud voice, "Hosannah, Hosannah, Hosannah to God and the Lamb, Amen, Amen, Amen!" which was repeated three times * After the services of the evening were over, by proposition of Bro. Hyde, we all went into the attick storey of the Temple and enjoyed a feast of rasins, cakes, and wine * and there decided that the temple hands should meet [the] next day at 2 oclock to enjoy themselves with cakes and wine. When about 12 we dispersed having enjoyed the blessings [and] privilege of dedicating the second Temple, built upon the Land of Zion in the last days, unto the Lord, and it was accepted by him.

[Source: Samuel W. Richards journal, Apr. 30, 1846, in Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/TempleWorship]

170 years ago today - Apr 30, 1846

The Temple at Nauvoo was dedicated this evening. ... Elder Joseph Young [Orson Hyde] offered up the dedicatory prayer... He prayed for the Twelve [Apostles] and all the authorities of the Church, and for the workmen that had wrought upon the Temple in the midst of persecution, want and suffering, for the deliverance of the poor; that the Lord would direct the brethren of the camp of Israel, open the way before them and lead them to a place of His own appointment for the gathering of all the Saints, that God would avenge the blood of His servants, the prophets and of the Saints who had been slain for the testimony of the truth and mete out to our enemies the same measure which they had meted out to us.

[Source: Manuscript History of Brigham Young, Apr. 30, 1846, in Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/TempleWorship]

175 years ago today - Apr 30, 1841

[Wilford Woodruff] 30 A fine breeze from NE. Sail 10 not an hour. Fears were entertained that the Ship was on fire as smoke arose from the holes but it was found to Come from the Cook shop. I was requested to carry the dishes to the cook So I got my hands full of dishes of various kinds & just as I steped to the door of the Cook house the Ship gave a dredful surge & rocked so that she lay upon her side with her stud sails in the water. This unexpected surge plunged me head foremost about 10 feet the whole bredth of the cook shop against the side of the cook room with the cook [on] top of me.

As this was my first introduction to the cook since I had been at sea I begged his pardon for Such an adrupt enterance, & withdrew leaving the cook with three smashed fingers (caused by trying to save me in the fall) to pick up my dishes at leasure which were scattered from one end to the other of his shop. I hope it will be a long time before I shall pay the cook a similar visit.

We Sail exceding fine & have now for 3 days. The passengers are over their sea sickness & feel Cheerful.

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

185 years ago today - Apr 30, 1831

The first time Joseph and family came to Kirtland they lived with Isaac Morley, Lucy's father. Later "Father Morley" built a small house for them on his farm. The twins were born here [on April 30]. Lucy [Morley] and her elder sister kept house for Emma Smith while she was ill. Joseph and Emma's twins, Thadeus and Louisa, are born in the cabin but survive only 3 hours. Julia Clapp Murdock dies in Warrensville after delivering twins. With three other children under seven years old, John felt he could not look after two more newborns. Emma would be able to nurse the twins, so John gave them to Joseph and Emma to raise. They named the twins Joseph and Julia. [Joseph Murdock dies eleven months later.]

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

185 years ago today - Apr 30, 1831

William W. Phelps is imprisoned at Lyons (NY) for thirty days for an unpaid debt, which Phelps interprets as persecution for his belief in the Book of Mormon.

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

50 years ago today - Apr 29, 1966

BYU president Ernest L. Wilkinson makes the first reference in his diary to receiving reports from the student "spy ring" he has authorized and which becomes a national scandal within ten months. Among the "liberal" professors targeted is economist Richard B Wirthlin who resigns from BYU in protest, serves as a political strategist for conservative U.S. president Ronald Reagan (1980-88), and becomes a general authority in 1996.

[Source: The Mormon Hierarchy - Extensions of Power by D. Michael Quinn, [New Mormon History database (http://bit.ly/NMHdatabase)]. See Wilkinson diary, 29 Apr.]

50 years ago today - Apr 29, 1966

[Notes from a talk with Bruce R. McConkie concerning Brother McConkie's feelings about Luke 3:38] ... He said that it was a true doctrine, that God the Father, Eloheim, a divine resurrected being, came down to this earth after its creation with a wife and produced, in a natural way of sexual intercourse, a child who grew up and became known as Adam. They did the same and brought forth a girl, who grew up and became Eve. They had bodies of flesh and bone, but were not mortal; not till they fell. They (Adam and Eve) were not resurrected and were not translated beings. God really did create their bodies on this earth. They were not transported here; only their spirits. He then said that his father-in-law told him that was a true doctrine, and that it had been taught a great deal by President Joseph F. Smith. He also added that President Joseph Fielding Smith said it was too deep now for most saints and that's the reason for saying about the creation of Adam and Even in the temple, 'it's only figurative.'

[Source: Phone call to Reed C. Durham, in Quotations Dealing with the Relationship of Our First Earthly Parents to Our Heavenly Parents (1830-1978)]

100 years ago today - Apr 29, 1916

In a letter to Walter P. Monson, president of the church's Eastern States Mission in New York, Joseph F. Smith's First Presidency orders that Gisbert L. Bossard not be rebaptized, explaining: "[T]he treachery and greed which prompted this desecration of the House of the Lord is entirely another thing, something which cannot be so easily disposed of." Five years previously Bossard had secretly entered the Salt Lake Temple and taken photographs. He had tried to sell the photographs to the Church but later sold them to gentiles. Bossard had admitted regret and sought re-entrance into the church. He was unsuccessful in regaining his membership during his lifetime. He was rebaptized by proxy in 1985, over ten years after his death.

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

120 years ago today - Apr 29, 1896

President Geo[rge]. Q. Cannon was today elected a Director of the Union Pacific R[ail]. R[oad].

... Letters having been received by the Presidency in reference to some persons who had suicided during temporary insanity, and were not members of the Church, their descendants desiring to know if Temple work might be performed in their behalf, President Woodruff expressed his mind to the effect that no restrictions should be placed on the friends of those unfortunate people, and that if he erred at all, he would rather it should be on the side of mercy. When reminded that such restrictions had been imposed in the past, President Woodruff said he was aware of this, but did not feel that the liberty of the friends of the deceased should be curtailed. Pres[iden]t. Joseph F. Smith concurred in this decision, and the Presidents of the Temples were authorized and requested to permit work to be done in behalf of the class of people here referred to. ...

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

130 years ago today - Apr 29, 1886 (Thursday)

The case of Lorenzo Snow was argued in the U.S. Supreme Court.

[Source: Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

150 years ago today - Apr 29, 1866

You have heard what Elder Charles S. Kimball has said this afternoon relative to the general belief of the people in the old countries,'"That Brigham Young reads all letters before they leave this county, and if any are not written to suit him, they are destroyed by his order! In this way they account for so few letters reaching the members of the Church in distant lands from their friends here in Utah. I will now make a public request that the Saints hereafter cease to bring their letters to me, if there are any that have ever done such a thing; and I also request the postmasters throughout the Territory to stop sending all foreign letters to me for my inspection previous to mailing for abroad; that is, if they have ever done such a thing; and for this simple reason, that I have so much to do that I cannot possibly pay attention to such an extensive amount of reading.

[Source: Journal of Discourses. Liverpool, England, 1853-86. 11:212-216, in The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, Ed. Richard S. Van Wagoner, Smith-Pettit Foundation, Salt Lake City (2009), http://bit.ly/BY-discourses]

155 years ago today - Apr 29, 1861

In speaking of Geneology & History Presidet Young Said I Care so litle about it in my feelings & spirit that as far as I am Concerned that I should not make more than one page of History. Still I like to see such things got up. Joseph would tell more in one hour about Geneology than the world Can in a year. He was particular about such things much more so than I am but I expet He will be with us.

I expect if I live to be 80 years old I am in hopes to have some of the wisdom that Moses Had. He spoke of a remark that He made in the 13 ward about Harris being sent here as Governor. He also said to Brother Kimball I took the liberty to Curse those who will still sustain our Enemies.

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

165 years ago today - Apr 29, 1851

[Brigham Young] Said his faith was that the earth would not have produced for the Gentiles as it has for us, and if we had faith and power with God to have the curse taken off instead of the sage brush and other useless shrubs, we should have the apple pear peach grape and every good fruit. But if this people do not take a different course from what they do in some things, their blessings will prove a curse and wo will be unto them. -- Manti, Utah

[Source: Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 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]

170 years ago today - Apr 29, 1846

Minutes of the Dedication of the [Nauvoo] Temple ...

As the quorum entered the room for dedication the hymn was sung in a solemn and very impressive manner and we beheld over the stand of the Melchizedek Priesthood The Lord has beheld our Sacrifice = Come after Us - in beautiful gold letters - [and] after conversation on the subject of "Eternity" another hymn was sung. ...

Elder Hyde remarked that he [was] left [feeling the] same as he did as he landed at J[erusalem] & descended the Mount of Olives. He was alone. Pres[iden]t [Brigham Young] was anxious and felt glad * & feels that this Temple is built to the opposition of half headed apostates and blood thirsty opponents & laughs and feels thankful to God that he sees this hour for the world preys upon [us] "and my prediction is that the poor shall be blessed" [and] we all see for ourselves the folly of Rigdonism ... [and] Strangism will be a stink in their own noses. ... When Porter Rockwell came in with mail I met him. The last time he came[,] [he] was intoxicated.)

Elder Hyde then called for the brethren to clothe themselves which they did & they called for a hymn when "Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken" was sung. Elder Hyde then requested the brethren to form a circle [and] offer the signs and then dedicate the House, they moved to the front part of the Melchizedek Stand and formed a circle.

Elder O[rson] Hyde President.... This temple has been built in 5 years and the Gov[ernmen]t has oppressed us more and more every year and now they drive us away from it and now "I prophesy in the name of the Lord God of Hosts that this Government shall begin to be oppressed and be oppressed more and more every year and at the end of five years they shall be as badly oppressed as this people now is and they shall not know which way to look for Sunday" "It is the general government." (Amen.)

The circle again formed & offered the signs. After the signs were offered Joseph Young was appointed mouth who offered prayer to our Father in Heaven * & all responded heartily. ...

* W[ilford] Woodruff[:] ... I have seen hours at midnight when I have offered up the signs in the closet alone and not a soul in all the east room. I could enter into [a] connection with [these signs] as to the blessings of God. ...

* W[illiam] Anderson says as Brother Hyde has prophesied he would tell what was spoken in tongues and give the translation of it and he fully believed it....

* The following are designations of where the people sat in the Stands: ... O[rson] Hyde[:] May we rise before we close. We shall offer up our Hosannahs and where there's [time, to] shout out the ranks of the [priesthood this] evening. The order of it is Hosannah, Hosannah, Hosannah to God and the Lamb Amen Amen and Amen[,] and I don't know that there'll be any hour [available] if we should speak it out [in] the angels voices [tongues]. We belong to God. [I] feel like giving one shout in the House of God. If this is your mind signify it by rising upon your feet (all upright). The signs and shouts (thank God [for] being [here][.] You are dismissed with the blessings of thy Lord and your God Amen.) -

* The brethren adjourned to the attic story where a table was spread and loaded with "A Feast of Fat Things For the Righteous" in the shapes of wine, grapes[,] intestines [?] cakes &c &c which made a delightful banquet & was blessed by Elder Wilford Woodruff after which the feast was partaken of in great good harmony & happiness in testimony of the occasion of the dedication of the House of the Lord. ...

[Dancing followed the meal lasting until near midnight]

[Source: Minutes [formatting changed for readibility], Apr. 29, 1846, Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/TempleWorship]

170 years ago today - Apr 29, 1846

A public meeting in Iowa approves Young's proposal to sell the temple to Roman Catholic priests.

[Source: 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]

20 years ago today - Apr 28, 1996

American Mothers, Inc. names Carolyn M. Shumway, wife of BYU—Hawaii president Eric Shumway, the National Mother of the Year.

75 years ago today - Apr 28, 1941

[J. Reuben Clark] D[avid] O M[cKay] Talked with him about Hugh Brown'Agreed with Pres Grant and D O M to make his pay $35000 per month, he to furnish his own house ... Suggested also that we denominate Bishoprics of Wards and their Ward Teachers as Home Defenders and maybe parade them next July 24th he agreed might be something an idea.

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

135 years ago today - Apr 28, 1881

[Wilford Woodruff] The forepart of this blessing of Orson Pratt ...

And we further say unto you that the last official act that you performed in the flesh that of washing of feet which you performed in Connexion with your Brethren the Apostles in token of your testimony and work which you have borne and alone among this Generation are recorded among the sanctified ones among the Heavenly Hosts and we your Brethren by virtue of the Apostleship which we hold seal you up unto Eternal life and Confirm upon you all the Blessings pertaining to the Apostleship which has been Confirmed upon you.

... We commit you into the Hands of God and we fell to say his will be done and all will be right.

... I spent the fore Part of the day in Copying into this Journal The Blessing of Elder Orson Pratt which I sealed upon his head On Sunday morning Feb 20, 1881 now recorded in this Journal.

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

155 years ago today - Apr 28, 1861 (Afternoon)

Prest. Young attended the 13th Ward meeting, in the course of his remarks about the officers of [the] U.S. coming here he said he hoped if Harris did come, the boys and dogs would piss on him; he asked forgiveness of the congregation for condescending to describe the punishment Harris had earned ...

[Source: Historians Office Journal, 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]

155 years ago today - Apr 28, 1861 (Afternoon)

Bro. Brigham spoke of the things in the East. Said he hoped they would both gain the victory. Said he had as much sympathy for them as the Gods and angels had for the Devils in Hell. ... said that those [Mormons] who sell their provisions to feed our enemies either man or woman should be cursed, and said he, I curse them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and the congregation shouted, Amen.... Showed the advantage we had over spirits that are evil, seeing that we have a tabernacle. -- SLC Tabernacle

[Source: Diary of Charles Lowell Walker. Andrew Karl Larson, ed. Logan: Utah State University Press, 1980. 178, 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]

155 years ago today - Apr 28, 1861

... Wm. W. Clayton read the Morning Extra of D News Containing the last Poney [of the Poney Express]. ...

[Regarding the civil war] The South are better prepaired & much faster than the North are. Lincoln has taken a Course to rather keep the North back. But the Curse of God will be upon the Nation and they will have Enough of it. The Rulers possess no Power in the Land. They have persecuted the Saints of God and the Rulers would do nothing for us but all they Could against us and they will now get their pay for it.

In speaking of Governor Cummings Presidet Young Said He had done us good. He had Stood between us & the army But the Lord had made him do it....

The question was asked what we would do if the Presidet Sent Secretary Harris here as Govornor. Would we not also Cecede? President Young Said No, we will keep our records Clean. We shall want to Compare records by & by & we want to Show on our part that we are right All the time. If the boys were all right they ought to piss such a man as Harris out of the Country or whittle [intimidate] him out. Yet if we submit to such mean things put upon us by the government we shall get our reward and they will get theirs...

[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 - Apr 28, 1856

[Wilford Woodruff] I have been a marked victem as an attack for the power of the destroyer from my infancy up to the present day. I have faced Accident, misfortune, & apparently death so many times & in so many shapes & forms from my childhood through life thus far that it has become a proverb with me to say that there has seemed to be two powers constantly watching me & at work with me one to kill & the other to save me. ...

I have never untill now been called upon to war with poison & mortification in my system untill now. But I am satisfyed to day that I have this enemy to meet & that to in the worst form. ...

Several have died this spring by skining Cattle who have died. ...

This morning the affected spot upon my wrist had grown about the size of a dime had risen above the arm & main [-] about half an inch & turned black as ink. My arm began to swell & pain me & I felt its workings through my system. I Called upon President Young & Showed him [my] Arm and asked his advice. He counciled me to go to immediately & clense my stomach & bowels & poultice my Arm with Onions, Earth, or any thing that would draw it from my system. He also advised me to show it to Dr Sprague. I did so & he in addition to what President Young had recommended dug me up sum dock Elecompane & Blazing Star roots & advised me to make a tea of it & drink it also to make a poultice of it & put it on my Arm. I went immediately home & began to put these things into execution for I saw that I had a strong warfare in order to save my life.

[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 - Apr 28, 1841

[Wilford Woodruff] When we arose in the morning we still found strong head winds which soon increased to a great Storm & tempest which scenery I have not language to describe. The Sails were close reefed or taken in as soon as possible. It took 16 men to Close reef the main top sail. The tempest was now raging with all power the sea piling up into mountains, the Ship mountain the waves & billows & pitching into the valleys & rocking tremendiously & shiping seas occasionly.

In the midst of this seenery the cry of help was herd in our Cabin. I rushed to the seene & found the ropes giving way & breaking which held the whole mass of baggage which was piled up between decks, consisting of heavy trunks, chests, Boxes & barrels which if once liberated from their Confinement would with one surge be hurled with all their force into the births of the men, women, & Children which would endanger the lives of all.

On seeing the foundation of this mass give way Elder W. Richards & myself Sprang to this place of danger & braced ourselves against the barrels & held them for a few moments untill it was a little secured. I then went on deck to the captain & informed him of the situation of things below & he sent the Sailors with some ropes & secured the pile which was endangering the lives of many.

After this was done I again repaired to the Aft quarter deck to behold the raging of the tempest & the wonders of the deep & the movements of the ship which was the greatest seenery I ever beheld upon the water. Elders Young, Kimball, Richard's & Smith was with me on deck for a time but all had now gone below except Elder Richards & myself & the officers & crew. We were Shiping heavy seas.

It was now about sun set. I stood in the middle of the aft quarter deck holding the captains Speaking trumpet in one hand & holding to a fast bench with the other when we Shipped a tremendious Sea on the windward side of us which passed clear over the quarter deck on which I stood. On seeing that we Could not escape it Elder Richards flung himself close under the Bulwarks & the body of the wave went clear over him without wetting him but little. But as I Could not take the same advantage I flung myself upon the deck & held upon the fast seat whare I remained untill the sea passed over me & left me drenched in the Surge.

I now thought it time for me to leave my seat of observation for the day & go below as I was thoroughly wet with salt water. I went to bed but did not sleep but little for the ship rocked at a dredful rate. Boxes, barrels, & tines were tumbling from one end of the Cabin to the other. And in the steerage about 15 Births were flung down 9 at one surge with all the men women & Children flung into a pile in the midst of the berths but no lives lost or bones broken. This is the 8th day in succession that we have had strong headwind.

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