150 years ago today - Dec 11, 1869

[Brigham Young sermon to the School of the Prophets]

He said A Bill of Divorce that is given to many is no Better than a peace of Blank paper. A woman who is sealed to a good man who bears the Priesthood if that man honors that Priesthood if that woman leaves him of her own accord & she is sealed to a dozen other men the first man will hold her in the resurrection if he wants her unless she should be sealed to a Man of a Higher Priesthood. Then he would [ ] her...

Some ordinances Cannot Be given without A temple. All Children Born Before Parents are Sealed to [at] the Altar will have to be sealed to their Parents in order to make them Legal heirs. Those who are Born after the parents are sealed are legal heirs. Men also will have to be sealed to Men untill the Chain is united from Father Adam down to the last Saint. This will be the work of the Millennium & Joseph Smith will be the Man to attend to it or to dictate it. He will not administer in person But He will receive his resurrected Body & will dictate to those who dwell in the flesh & tell what is to be done for He is the Last Prophet who is Called to lay the foundation of the great Last dispensation of the fullness of times.

Some have thought it strange what I have said Concerning Adam But the period will Come when this people of faithful will be willing to adopt Joseph Smith as their Prophet Seer Revelator & God But not the father of their spirits for that was our Father Adam.

Many questions are asked about divorces. I will say that many men & women want to be sealed that should not be for they will not stay together. But if I was to stop it there would be a fuss. Now what is to be done? They will be sealed & then they will separate. Some give them Bills of divorce. I Charge Nothing for sealing But I Charge $10 for Bills of divorce. If they will Break the Commandmts & make me Break them they shall Pay $10 for [it].

Presidt Joseph Young asked Presidet Young if He was Justified in giving these Bills of Divorce. Presidet Young says yes I am. I do not force them to separate. I give them good Council & tell them what to do. No man has a right to put away a wife Except for adultry But when a woman will leave a man against his will He does not put her away; but she puts herself away & he that Marries her Commits adultery as James Says. I am Justified in giving these Bills of Divorce for they will separate against my Council & the woman takes the responsibility upon herself & not me.

President Young said in relation to Joseph Smith returning the Plates of the Book of Mormon that He did not return them to the Box from wh[ence?] He had Received But He went [1 m/in?] a Cave in the Hill Comoro with Oliver Cowdry & deposited those plates upon a table or shelf. In that room were deposited a large amount of gold plates Containing sacred records & when they first visited that Room the sword of Laban was Hanging upon the wall & when they last visited it the sword was drawn from the scabbard & [laid?] upon a table & a Messenger who was the keeper of the room informed them that that sword would never be returned to its scabbard untill the Kingdom of God was Esstablished upon the Earth & untill it reigned triumphant over Evry Enemy. Joseph Smith said that Cave Contained tons of Choice Treasures & records.

[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 - Dec 11, 1854 (Monday)

The Utah legislature (4th annual session) convened in the Council House, in G.S.L. City, and organized by electing Heber C. Kimball president of the Council, and Jedediah M. Grant speaker of the House.

[Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

175 years ago today - Dec 11, 1844

[Apostle Wilford Woodruff]

11th Wednesday Wind changed to the east. Commenced blowing a gale. It was head wind. We were drove under bare poles through the day & evening. It made us all dreadful sick. The sea was vary rough & piled up like hills. The gale increased untill about 9 oclock in the evening it appeared as though it must tear the yards from the mast. We kneeled before the Lord & Prayed unitedly that the Lord would cause the gale to seease & the wind to change that we might go forward & not backward & in a little time after the wind instantly seeased & finally changed into the South West which gave us fair wind.

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

115 years ago today - Dec 10, 1904

The First Presidency conveyed a request from President William H. Smart that the Senator from Utah [Apostle Smoot] assist the people of his Stake with information relative to the opening for white settlement of the Uintah Indian Reservation in eastern Utah.

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

130 years ago today - Dec 10, 1889 (Tuesday)

The Idaho test oath case was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court.

[Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

135 years ago today - Dec 10, 1884

[L. John Nuttall to John D. T. McAllister]

In reply to your letter of Dec. 5th pertaining to telegrams and the payment thereof, I am directed by President [John] Taylor to say that in all cases such as Bishop Jones and widow Thomas, it is his understanding, and wishes you to so understand it, that no matter what may be stated in recommends as to what is desired, his initials, "J. T.," thereon is all that is meant. If he places "J. T. 2nd [anointing]" on, then he approves it in that manner. Hence the recommends of Jones and Thomas only having his "J. T."[,] that was all he intended for them. So that in future it will not be necessary for you to inquire by telegram or otherwise as to what is meant when you see his endorsement.

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

160 years ago today - Dec 10, 1859

The Pres. [Young] ordered some tobacco to be given to them [Indians], and they sat down and smoked a pipe'- Pres. also observed there are men of so many different temperaments who appear to have the Spirit of the Lord, and some of them would take away your coat or your axe. -- Salt Lake City

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

50 years ago today - Dec 9, 1969

A First Presidency letter to the director of seminaries and institutes, with a copy to Bruce R. McConkie, that "we know of no justification for claiming that 'man was placed on the earth on the seventh day.'"

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

85 years ago today - Dec 9, 1934

The New York Stake is the first stake east of the inter-mountain states since the termination of the St. Louis Stake in 1858.

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

115 years ago today - Dec 9, 1904; Friday

[Rudger Clawson]

On Friday, I was in meeting with the Presidency and Twelve all day on a matter that it would not be wise to name in my journal. [Probably related to the Smoot hearings]

[Rudger Clawson, Diary]

120 years ago today - Saturday, Dec 9, 1899

[Apostle Rudger Clawson]

Brigham City. Clear and cool, with snow during the night. Upon taking up the morning paper, I read a notice of the death of President Franklin D. Richards, president of the Twelve Apostles. He died at 12 o'clock last night. He was a great and good man and will be deeply mourned by Israel.

[Stan Larson (editor), A Ministry of Meetings: The Apostolic diaries of Rudger Clawson, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1993, http://bit.ly/rudgerclawson]

135 years ago today - Dec 9, 1884

LDS political newspaper, the Salt Lake Herald, reports another Mormon's assault and battery on a reporter of the Salt Lake Tribune, "A BLISSFUL LOT. Another of the 'Tribune' Crew Rewarded. A TROUNCING WELL MERITED."

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

135 years ago today - Tuesday, Dec 9, 1884

[Apostle John Henry Smith]

I mailed the Sheffield Daily Telegraph to all of Utah papers and my wives. I weighed on one pair of scales tonight 222 lbs., on another pair 229 lbs.

[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]

150 years ago today - Dec 9, 1869

ZCMI Drug Store advertises that it has just opened on Main Street with "Liquors, Draught and [by the] Case." William Godbe is leading economic and political dissenters.

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

160 years ago today - Dec 9, 1859

G A. Smith related a Circumstance of a Mr Woodson who has got possession of the Land upon which the Temple Block stands in Jackson Co Missouri. In 1857 Ferrymore Little was in Jackson Co & Mr Woodson said to him I have heard that your people expected to return to this Country and Build a Temple on the Temple Block on my farm. Brother Little Answered to be sure they do. Woodson said you are a Hell of a set. G.A.S. also said He got a Statement from Lewis Bidemon that the people of the towns of Warsaw Carthage p[untoosee?] & Appanoose made up a subscription of $500 & paid it to Joseph Agnoe for Burning the Temple and He went & burnt it for that sum of money.

[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 - Dec 9, 1849

Richard Ballentyne begins teaching Sunday school as own activity in Salt Lake City. In 1867 Deseret Sunday School Union becomes churchwide, centrally directed program with George Q. Cannon as general superintendent. In 1934 LDS headquarters adopts junior Sunday school program which was independently established in local wards. Like Sunday schools, churchwide progrmns for young men, primary children, high school seminary, adult Aaronic priesthood, Welfare Plan, and Indian Placement begin as local innovations without central church direction. All LDS auxiliaries, except Religion Classes in 1890, are modeled on pre-existing programs of Protestant denominations. Only Relief Society, young women's program, and Religion Classes have direction of headquarters at outset.

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

175 years ago today - Dec 9, 1844

[William Clayton]

Helen M[ar] Kimball and Diantha Farr came to see my folks and being the first who came to see my child I gave them the privilege of naming her which they did namely "Helen Diantha Clayton" but my folks did not like it. I named it Vilate Ruth. I had some conversation with Diantha and she seems to feel right but like many others has many sectarian temptations &c.

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

185 years ago today - Dec 9, 1834

Patriarchal Blessing of Joseph Smith Jr. given by Joseph Smith Sr. on December 9, 1834

Joseph Smith, junior was born in Sharon, Windsor County, Vermont, December 23, 1805.

Joseph, my son, I lay my hands upon thy head in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, to confirm upon thee a father's blessing. The Lord thy God has called thee by name out of the heavens: Thou hast heard his voice from on high from time to time, even in thy youth. The hand of the angel of his presence has been extended toward thee by which thou hast been lifted up and sustained; yea, the Lord has delivered thee from the hands of thine enemies and thou hast been made to rejoice in his salvation: thou hast sought to know his ways, and from thy childhood thou hast meditated much upon the great things of his law. Thou hast suffered much in thy youth, and the poverty and afflictions of thy father's family have been a grief to thy soul. Thou hast desired to see them delivered from bondage, for thou hast loved them with a perfect love. Thou hast stood by thy father, and like Shem, would have covered his nakedness, rather than see him exposed to shame: when the daughters of the Gentiles laughed, thy heart has been moved with a just anger to avenge thy kindred.

Thou hast been an obedient Son: the commands of thy father and the reproofs of thy mother, thou hast respected and obeyed - for all these things the Lord my God will bless thee. Thou hast been called, even in thy youth to the great work of the Lord: to do a work in this generation which no other man would do as thyself, in all things according to the will of the Lord. A marvelous work and a wonder has the Lord wrought by thy hand, even that which shall prepare the way for the remnants of his people to come in among the Gentiles, with their fulness, as the tribes of Israel are restored.

I bless thee with the blessings of thy fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; and even the blessings of thy father Joseph, the son of Jacob. Behold, he looked after his posterity in the last days, when they should be scattered and driven by the Gentiles, and wept before the Lord: he sought diligently to know from whence the Son should come who should bring forth the word of the Lord, by which they might be enlightened, and brought back to the true fold, and his eyes beheld thee, my son: his heart rejoiced and his soul was satisfied, and he said.

As my blessings are to extend to the utmost bounds of the everlasting hills; as my father's blessing prevailed above the blessings of his progen[i]tors, and as my branches are to run over the wall, and my seed are to inherit the choice land whereon the Zion of God shall stand in the last days, from among my seed, scattered with the Gentiles, shall a choice Seer arise whose bowels shall be as a fountain of truth, whose loins shall be girded with the girdle of righteousness, whose hands shall be lifted with acceptance before the God of Jacob to turn away his anger from his annointed, whose heart shall meditate great wisdom, whose intelligence shall circumscribe and comprehend the deep things of God, and whose mouth shall utter the law of the just: His feet shall stand upon the neck of his enemies, and he shall walk upon the ashes of those who seek his destruction: with wine and oil shall he be sustained, and he shall feed upon the heritage of Jacob his father: the just shall desire his society, and the upright in heart shall be his companions: No weapon formed against him shall prosper, and though the wicked mar him for a little season, he shall be like one rising up in the heat of wine - he shall roar in his strength, and the Lord shall put to flight his persecutors: he shall be blessed like the fruitful olive, and his memory shall be as sweet as the choice cluster of the first ripe grapes. Like a shief [sheaf] fully ripe, gathered into the garner, so shall he stand before the Lord, having produced a hundred fold. Thus spake my father Joseph.

Therefore, my son, I know for a surety that those things will be fulfilled, and I confirm upon thee all these blessings. Thou shalt like to do the work which the Lord shall command thee: thou shalt hold the Keys of this ministry, even the presidency of this church, both in time and in eternity. Thy heart shall be enlarged, and thou shalt be able to fill up the measure of thy days according to the will of the Lord. Thou shalt speak the word of the Lord and the earth shall tremble; the mountains shall move and the rivers shall turn out of their course. Thou shalt escape the edge of the sword, and put to flight the armies of the wicked. At thy word the lame shall walk, the deaf shall hear and the blind shall see. Thou shalt be gathered to Zion and in the goodly land thou shalt enjoy thine inheritance; thy children and thy children's children to the latest generation; for thy name and the names of thy posterity shall be recorded in the book of the Lord, even in the book of blessings and genealogies, for their joy and benefit forever.

And now, my son, what more shall I say? Thou art as a fruitful olive and a choice vine: thou shalt be laden with precious fruit. Thousands and tens of thousands shall come to a knowledge of the truth through thy ministry, and thou shalt rejoice with them in the Celestial Kingdom: Thou shalt stand upon the earth when it shall reel to and fro as a drunken man, and be removed out of its place: thou shalt stand when the mighty judgments go forth to the destruction of the wicked: thou shalt stand on mount Zion when the tribes of Jacob come shouting from the north, and with thy brethren, the Sons of Ephraim, crown them in the name of Jesus Christ: Thou shalt see thy Redeemer Come in the clouds of heaven, and with the just receive the hallowed throng with shouts of hallalujahs, praise the Lord. Amen [Patriarchal Blessing Book 1:3-4]

[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]

185 years ago today - 1834: 9 December

[Patriarchal Blessing]

Emma Smith. (Given by Joseph Smith, Sen.)

"... Thou shalt see many days; yea, the Lord will spare thee till thou are satisfied, for thou shalt see thy redeemer. Thy heart shall rejoice in the great work of the Lord, and no one shall take thy rejoicing from thee. Thou shalt ever remember the great condescension of thy God in permitting thee to accompany my son when the angel delivered the record of the Nephites to his care. Thou hast seen much sorrow because the Lord has taken from thee three of thy children: in this thou art not to be blamed, for he knows thy pure desires to raise up a family, that the name of my son might be blessed. And now, behold, I say unto thee, that thus saith the Lord, if thou will believe, thou shalt yet be blessed in this thing and thou shalt bring forth other children...

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

185 years ago today - Dec 9, 1834

At a family blessing meeting, Joseph Sr. refers to his and Lucy's firstborn dead son (Lucy later remembered this child as a daughter) and at least one occasion when he had been intoxicated. He pronounces patriarchal blessings on members of the family, recorded by Oliver Cowdery.

[Anderson, Lavina Fielding, Editor, Lucy's Book: A Critical Edition of Lucy Mack Smith's Family Memoir, 2001, Signature Books, http://bit.ly/lucys-book]

190 years ago today - Dec 9, 1829

Abner Cole's Palmyra Reflector announces that it will publish selections from the Book of Mormon in future editions . The Reflector was an anonymously published paper that made fun of local issues. Its debut edition appeared on 2 September 1829.

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

20 years ago today - Dec 8, 1999

Commemorating the sesquicentennial of the organization of the Sunday School, President Gordon B. Hinckley presides over the sealing of a time capsule to be opened in 2049.

[LDS Daily, www.ldsdaily.com]

110 years ago today - Dec 8, 1909; Wednesday

[George F. Gibbs]

Word has come to this office, from quite a reliable source, to the effect that your counselor, Brother Borkman, has the idea that plural marriages are still being solemnized by and with the sanction of the authorities of the Church, and that in this understanding he is paying his addresses to a young woman with a view to marriage, provided he can get a competent person to perform the marriage ceremony. It is also being told that you are encouraging Brother Borkman in the idea ... You are reported to have said other things as well along this line, going to convey the idea that you knew personally of such things, and could enumerate a very large number of such marriages since President [Wilford] Woodruff's Manifesto.

I am instructed to say to you that no plural marriage can be entered into by and with the sanction of Church authority, and that any person found doing so will be dealt with on his fellowship in the Church. This applies also to the party solemnizing a plural marriage, and you are requested by the presidency to so inform Brother Borkman, and his wife as well.

[George F. Gibbs, letter to Bishop Lorin A. Merrill, Kenney Papers, original in LDS Archives]

115 years ago today - Dec 8, 1904

Those conducting the Smoot hearing sought to have the L.D.S. Church produce temple records and even records of the temple ceremonies. [In a First Presidency letter] John Nicholson, Temple recorder, is permitted to take the records of temple marriage with him to Washington, but with instructions to produce them only if failure to do so would place him in contempt before the Senate Committee.

Temple President Marriner Merrill records: "I went to Logan [Utah] to see about Temple affairs as I was Summoned to Washington [D.C.] on Tues[day] Morninging [sic] at 7.30 AM Dec[ember] 6th by US Marshal Donehue to go to the above City and take with Me all Temple Records. of course I am not well enough to go but sent three (3) Doctors Certificates in stead of going &c."

[Clark, James R., Messages of the First Presidency (6 volumes);Marriner Wood Merrill, Diary]

120 years ago today - Dec 8, 1899; Friday

Brother [Thomas] Taylor complained now, as he has complaind before, and that bitterly, that he had on two former occasions arranged to sell this property, but had been defeated by the Church, to whom the property was mortgaged. In answer to this he was told that there was no desire to hamper him or prevent him from disposing of his property, and in order to show this President Snow now offered to extend the mortgage long enough to enable him to sell...

[First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve minutes]

130 years ago today - Dec 8, 1889

[President Wilford Woodruff]

We are passing through a strange portion of our History. The whole Nation seems to be united against me us. Judge Anderson has decided not to receive any Mormons to Citizenship. The whole Country is stired up against us.

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

130 years ago today - Dec 8, 1889

[Apostle Abraham H. Cannon]

Father briefly mentioned two cases with which he was familiar where men were killed in a violent way for the reason, as he believed, that they took the name of God in vain and were very profane.

[Diary of Apostle Abraham H. Cannon, http://www.amazon.com/Apostles-Record-Journals-Abraham-1889-1896/dp/B000MFD1K4]

180 years ago today - Dec 8, 1839

... We have heard it rumored about, that some at least, and probably many, are making their calculations to remove back to Kirtland next season.

Now brethren, this being the case, we advise you to abandon such an idea; yea, we warn you, in the name of the Lord, not to remove back there, unless you are counseled so to do by the First Presidency, and the High Council of Nauvoo.

[Times and Seasons. Vol. 1, p. 29., 1839-December 8-DHC 4:45 as quoted in Clark, James R., Messages of the First Presidency (6 volumes)]

65 years ago today - Dec 7, 1954

Mark William Hofmann born in Salt Lake City, Utah.

[Whittaker, David J., The Hofmann Maze, A Book Review Essay with a Chronology and Bibliography of the Hofmann Case, BYU Studies Vol. 29, No. 1, pg.80,]

70 years ago today - Dec 7, 1949

[George F. Richards diary, Dec. 7, 1949] I went to the temple at 11:00 a.m. and assisted Elder Jos[eph] Fielding Smith, administered Seconds [second anointings] to Preston D. Richards and wife Barbara, and the members of [the] Emigration Stake Presidency and their wives.

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

75 years ago today - Dec 7, 1944

President McKay at my desk 4:00 to 4:15 p.m. discussing contract with Preston Nibley regarding writing and compensation to Brother Nibley for 'Joseph Smith the Prophet.' We are to accept Brother Nibley's checks covering authors royalty of 10% until $5,775 is paid, said amount having been advanced.

[Frank Evans 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]

120 years ago today - Dec 7, 1899

[Apostle Heber J. Grant]

[At meeting of Presidency and Apostles] The question had been presented whether it was the proper thing for [unruly apostle] Moses Thatcher to speak at conjoint meetings of the Mutual Improvement Associations President Joseph F. Smith answered "No". This answer was approved.

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

135 years ago today - Sunday, Dec 7, 1884

[Apostle John Henry Smith]

Sheffield, Yorkshire

At 10 a.m. we held meeting in the Temperance Hall, Brightside.

At 12 noon we closed our services. We went to the Conference house and had dinner, and at two p.m. returned to the Hall. At the front door were about three hundred people. We passed in at a side door and shortly after the door was opened in front and the crowd rushed in, the Apostate William Jarman in the lead. There were about one hundred of the Saints and their friends and about three hundred of the others. We sang and prayed and Bro. Collett spoke on the first principles of the Gospel for 25 minutes. I took the stand to speak when a "gentleman" in the hall arose and asked me to let him speak. I told him no person would be allowed to speak only those on the platform. At this a rush was made for us and two Policemen who we had hired came to the platform and we beat back the enemy and held them at bay. I and Bro. Collett threw some men off the platform, which was about four feet high. Two old Sisters got on to the platform with us and one of these pulled out some of Jarman's beard

and kicked him several times. Bro. Favel got a severe blow on the head. Jarman's own friends nearly killed him by crowding him against the platform. Jarman then drew to the center of the Hall and made a most vile speach, while his followers yelled like demons. We then passed into a room at the back and the crowd thinking we were going to try to get away they rushed out at the front just as Inspector Smith and several more Policemen were coming to clear the hall. The door was locked and we finished up our meeting, while the rowdy demons were harrangued in the street by Jarman. After our Services we returned to Peter [?] street. On going out the crowd hooted and hissed at me, and some of them told us they would give me a thrashing at night. A friend came in about 5 p.m. and told us that a very large crowd was gathering in front of the Hall. Bro. S. R. Bennion went and saw the Proprietor of the Hall and told him that we wanted to hold our meeting but was unable to pay any damage that might be done.

He said he should close the door for the building would certainly be wrecked. The Saints and some friends were instructed to go to the Conference House where we held our evening meeting, and while packed in close we had a good time. Elders Bennion, Biggs, Brown, Winward and myself were the speakers. The rowdy element to the tune of about two thousand strong gathered in front of the Temperance Hall and finding that [we] were gone they went to the Wicker [?] where the Saints had formerly occupied a room, and broke the windows, and not finding us they made some speeches and dispersed. There is no doubt but what if they had known where the Saints were holding their meeting the house would have been torn down. An Atheist came in to see us late in the evening, saying that the mob had run him off because he had said that we were kind of decent fellows.

I asked the police to arrest Jarman but they said they could not without a warrant.

[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]

160 years ago today - Dec 7, 1859

[Apostle Wilford Woodruff]

President Young said in speaking of the Temple I herd a man say to day we would go back to Jackson County in 7 years. I said Amen but if we go back in that time we shall have to hasten to get our temple Built. I think we must Commence it next spring, uncuver the foundation.

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

180 years ago today - Dec 7, 1839

Washington, D.C. Joseph Smith consulted with the Illinois delegation about how to get the Church's petition for redress brought before Congress.

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

130 years ago today - Dec 6, 1889

[Apostle Heber J. Grant]

This afternoon attended a meeting of the Presidency and Apostles at the Gardo there were also present a number of the leading men in political matters. Most of the city central committee. The subject under discussion as what would be the best thing to do under the circumstances to counteract the effect of the recent decision of Judge Anderson. After a long chat and the expressions of all that felt as if they wished to say anything, the matter was left for the Presidency and Apostles to decide on. I was positive in my feelings that the best thing was for the leading officials of the Church to deny the charges that were contained in the decision of Anderson ...

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

130 years ago today - Friday, Dec. 6th, 1889

[Apostle Abraham H. Cannon]

In speaking of the recent examination before Judge Anderson, Father said that he understood when he had his endowments in Nauvoo that he took an oath against the murderers of the Prophet Joseph as well as other prophets, and if he had ever met any of those who had taken a hand in that massacre he would undoubtedly have attempted to avenge the blood of the martyrs. The Prophet charged Stephen Markham to avenge his blood should he be slain; after the Prophet's death, Bro. Markham attempted to tell this to an assembly of the Saints, but Willard Richards pulled him down from the stand, as he feared the effect on the enraged people. Bro. Joseph F. Smith was traveling some years ago near Carthage, when he met a man who said he had just arrived five minutes too late to see the Smiths killed. Instantly a dark cloud seemed to overshadow Bro. Smith and he asked how this man looked upon the deed. Bro. S. was oppressed by a most horrible feeling as he waited for a reply. After a brief pause the man answered, "Just as I have always looked upon it that it was a d . . . d cold blooded murder." The cloud immediately lifted from Bro. Smith and he found that he had his open pocket knife grasped in his hand in his pocket, and he believes that had this man given his approval to that murder of the prophets, he would have immediately struck him to the heart.

[Abraham H. Cannon Journal Excerpts, http://www.amazon.com/Apostles-Record-Journals-Abraham-1889-1896/dp/B000MFD1K4]

175 years ago today - Dec 6, 1844

The last of the capital sunstones were placed on the [Nauvoo] temple walls. There were problems in raising the stone, causing a delay of an hour and a half, when it was finally placed at 10:30 a.m., which closed the construction season for 1844. The last stone had been cut by Harvey Stanley. Twelve of the capitals were still lacking their trumpet stones, which would not be placed until the following spring. The Saints viewed the late arrival of winter as divine assistance in their labors; the season's first snow storm commenced just two hours after the last sunstone was placed. By morning there was four inches of snow on the ground.

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

180 years ago today - Dec 6, 1839

[Brigham Young]

I found the Saints in confusion; they had the gift of tongues among them, and the interpretation, and they were so ignorant of the nature of these gifts that they supposed that everything which was spoken in tongues was immediate revelation from God; a false spirit had therefore crept in, and division was the result. I taught them that when they spoke in tongues the language might be from the Lord, but with that tongue they spoke the things which were in their hearts, whether they were good or evil; the gift of tongues was given for a blessing to the Saints, but not to govern them, nor to control the elders, or dictate the affairs of the Church. God had placed in the Church different gifts; among which were apostles, prophets, helps and governments, and wisdom was profitable to direct. Before leaving, the Saints came to an understanding on these matters.

[Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 1801-1844, ed. Elden Jay Watson (Salt Lake City: Smith Secretarial Service, 1968).]

185 years ago today - 1834 6 Dec.

Joseph Smith, Sr., and son Hyrum are the first Freemasons to become general authorities, although they had not been active since the 1826 murder of anti-Masonic crusader William Morgan. Before his own death Joseph Smith would marry the anti-Masonic martyr's widow Lucinda. First Presidency ordains Hyrum Smith as an additional assistant president (counselor) and Joseph Sr. as assistant president and Presiding Patriarch. Joseph Jr. had ordained Brigham Young's father John Young as patriarch to his family a few weeks earlier.

[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]

40 years ago today - Dec 5, 1979

The announcement of the excommunication of Sonia Johnson, president of the Mormons for the ERA. Charged with apostasy she unsuccessfully appeals the decision to the First Presidency (which already authorized this "local action"). Johnson's case becomes the top story in the New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, Washington Post, Time, Newsweek, and on network television news. The resulting non-Mormon criticism of the church and Johnson's own subsequent radicalization drive many LDS moderates away from their prior support of the proposed Equal Rights Amendment and into acceptance of the church's anti-ERA position.

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

55 years ago today - Dec 5, 1964

It is deemed necessary that the following instructions should be imparted to the brethren and sisters of the Salt Lake Temple District who intend entering the House of the Lord to attend to ordinance work for themselves or their dead.

(1) The Saints who enter the sacred building should be properly prepared. Their bodies should be scrupulously clean; ...

(4) In the performance of work for the dead the rights of heirship (blood relationship) should be sacredly regarded, when practicable. When an heir empowers another person to do the work in his or her stead, he or she should give the acting proxy a written authorization to that effect.

...(6) Those who do ordinance work have not the right to make matches between people who are deceased, except in cases of persons who were married in life. In all other instances the President of the Temple must be consulted. He should be appealed to in all matters involving doubt or complications.

(7) The Temple is open on all working days at 7:30 a.m. Monday is devoted to taking the record of Baptisms for the Dead, which are performed on Tuesdays. Baptismal records are not taken after twelve o'clock on Mondays. On Tuesdays all ought to be in the building by 8 a.m. (8) The higher ordinances are attended to on Wednesdays, Thurs days, and Fridays. The record of this work is taken between the hours of 7:30 and 9 a.m., of the day it is performed. After the last named hour none will be admitted, as the doors will then be permanently closed for the day. The earlier the Saints come to [turn] in record[s] the better. ...

[Lorenzo Snow, President of the Salt Lake Temple, "To Whom it may Concern," June 23, 1893, reprinted in the Church News, Dec. 5, 1964 as quoted in Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/TempleWorship. I've added line feeds for readability]

60 years ago today - 1959. December 5

(Amy Brown Lyman) : Died at her daughter's home at the age of eighty-seven while recovering from a fall. Her husband, who had been rebaptized in 1954, died in 1963. Both were buried in Wasatch Lawn Memorial Gardens in Salt Lake City.

[Van Wagoner, Richard and Walker, Steven C., A Book of Mormons, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

160 years ago today - Dec 5, 1859

[Brigham Young]

Read part of one of Orson Hyde's sermons delivered in the Tabernacle. President Young suggested an alteration. Orson Hyde said we had come here unwilling to receive our tabernacles. The Pres. said most spirits eagerly desired to receive tabernacles, for they understood they could not receive power or glory without taking such a course. -- Salt Lake City

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

175 years ago today - Dec 5, 1844. Thursday.

[William Clayton]

Brother Kimball asked President Young concerning D[iantha] Farr. He gave full consent [to plurally marry her] and ordered Brother K[imball] to attend to it. I feel humbly grateful for this grant. And feel to ask the father in the name of Jesus to give me favor in her eyes and the eyes of her parents that I may receive the gift in full.

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

175 years ago today - 1844 5 Dec.

Young signs a letter as "Prest of the Church of L.D.S."

[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]

185 years ago today - Dec 5, 1834

Joseph, Sidney, Frederick G. Williams, and Oliver Cowdery meet to discuss "the welfare of the Church." Joseph ordains Oliver Assistant President:. My brother, in the name of Jesus Christ who died was crucified for the sins of the world, I lay my hands upon thee, and ordain thee an assistant President of the high and holy priesthood in the Church of the Latter Day Saints

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