10 years ago today - May 28, 2005

The Church News reports comments from Elder Marlin Jensen:

"[W]e're working on what I think will be the single most significant historical project of our generation: the Joseph Smith papers. With the help of scholars at the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Church History and our own staff here, we have under way a project that will collect all of the papers of Joseph Smith's lifetime: his journals, his diaries, his correspondence, articles, notices, everything of a written nature that he generated."The result of the 10-to-15-year project, he said, will be a work of up to 35 volumes that will enhance the collective scholarship about the Prophet in that no credible historian will be able "to write about early Church history or Joseph Smith without showing a mastery of this material."

[Source: R. Scott Lloyd, "'Historian by yearning' collects, preserves: Elder Marlin K. Jensen is historian/recorder," Church News, May 28, 2005, Z12, quoted in Joseph Smith Papers Timeline: History of the Joseph Smith Papers Project, MormonWasp Blog (defunct)]

90 years ago today - May 28, 1925

[Heber J. Grant] At 6:30 this morning I met Elder Reed Smoot. He has just returned from Los Angeles with Bishop Nibley. I told Reed that I had decided to select Brother [Charles W.] Nibley [not ordained an apostle] as my second counselor, promoting Brother [Anthony] Ivins to First Counselor, succeeding Brother Penrose.

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

155 years ago today - May 28, 1860 (Monday)

The Indians attacked the mail station at Deep Creek, Tooele Co., shot a man and stole several horses.

[Source: Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

165 years ago today - May 28, 1850

[Nauvoo Temple] Nauvoo city officials "declared that the southern and eastern walls would soon fall down, and that to avoid any serious accident, it was better to destroy them." The walls were then razed, leaving only the west facade standing.

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

170 years ago today - May 28, 1845, Wednesday

On Wednesday the 28th of May the first ``bent'' of the attic story of the [Nauvoo] temple was raised by the carpenters, and up to this time they continued to raise the timber works with pleasing rapidity.

Thus the work of this temple has progressed from the beginning to the present time without any serious accident except in the incident which happened at the stone quarry. The blessing of God has attended the whole progress of the work, and it has advanced beyond our most sanguine expectations. Our enemines have threatened all the time, and for the last two years we have had very little cessation from writs and other efforts of the enemy to prevent our finishing it. Many prophecies have been uttered against it; but the Saints have invariably pursued a steady course of perseverance. As the building has progressed, the Saints have increased their donations and tithings; and this Spring has exceeded all past times for liberality and donations from the brethern.

[Source: Fillerup, Robert C., compiler; William Clayton Nauvoo Diaries and Personal Writings, A chronological compilation of the personal writings of William Clayton while he was a resident of Nauvoo, Illinois. http://www.boap.org/LDS/Early-Saints/clayton-diaries]

170 years ago today - May 28, 1845

[Heber C. Kimball] My wife under tem[p]tation had a dream. Sau [Saw] Evels Spirrits winding strings around hur neck, but I brock them and rent them a sunder, and she was delivered.

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

145 years ago today - May 27, 1870

[Wilford Woodruff] I spent most of the day drawing a waggon she[et/af?] through my grain to ketch grass hoppers. We caught many bushels but still the Earth was nearly Covered. It seems a vary hard method to save any grain this season on my farm they have Eat my wheat Barley oats & Corn & it looks as though we [will] not raise any thing. But I would rather have a grass hopper war than a gentile war.

[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 - May 27, 1855

[Brigham Young] I have asked this people not to sell their grain, but to preserve it to a day of need ...

[Source: Journal of Discourses. Liverpool, England, 1853-86. 2:279-284, 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]

160 years ago today - May 27, 1855

[Wilford Woodruff] ... we found that nearly all the wheat crops & other vegitable were eat up by the grass hoppers through the Territory as far as we went & most of the crops & vegitables in the city gardens were also destroyed..

[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 - May 27, 1850

[Nauvoo Temple] During 1849-1850 the Icarians had begun to repair the Temple, placing a series of new piers in the basement, planning on refurbishing the building for their use. On this day, as they were working, a tornado suddenly arose and toppled the north wall, leaving the east and south walls severely damaged. The workmen barely escaped with their lives, scrambling out of the ruins in stinging hail, pouring rain, thunder and lightening, all accompanied by violent winds.

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

170 years ago today - May 27, 1845

Brigham Young receives "a respectful letter from Governor [Thomas] Drew in reply to our Memorial to him as governor of Arkansas; stating his inability to protect us in the state of Arkansas, and suggesting the propriety of our settling in Oregon, California, Nebraska or some other country where we will be out of the reach of our persecutors." Young's "Memorial" to Drew, sent May 1, asked, "Will it be too much to ask you to convene a special session of your State Legislature, and furnish us an asylum where we can enjoy our rights of conscience and religion unmolested?"

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

175 years ago today - May 27, 1840

In England, Parley P. Pratt issues the first number of The Latter-day Saints' Millennial Star, which would become the longest-running publication in the Church (1840–1970).

70 years ago today - May 26, 1945

"When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done. When they propose a plan — it is God's plan. When they point the way, there is no other which is safe. When they give direction, it should mark the end of controversy. God works in no other way."

[Source: Ward Teachers Message, Desert News, Church Section, p. 5]

100 years ago today - May 26, 1915

[Letter to Joseph F. Smith] ...The anti-Mormon crusade in the East is still somewhat active, and resolutions are passed occasionally urging congressional action, particularly for an anti-polygamy amendment to the Constitution, with a caution not to include in it a general regulation of the marriage question, but to confine it to the 'crime' of polygamy. This does however appear to create very much of a furor. ...

[Source: Anthon H. Lund and Charles W. Penrose, Letter to Joseph F. Smith, Honolulu, 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 26, 1890

[Letter to Wilford Woodruff] The rule has been, for the woman to be Sealed to a man in the Priesthood, and the children Sealed to them, and the former husband be Adopted into the family. And where Such Sealings have taken place heretofore, the matters have been Submitted and [the] former Sealing Cancelled * We do not now Seal women to men out of the Church, but some few cases were done in the Endowment House Sometime Ago. Whatever you may feel pleased to direct in these matters, we will carry out.

[Source: Daniel H. Wells to Wilford Woodruff, quoted in Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/TempleWorship]

165 years ago today - May 26, 1850

[Brigham Young] Now to the sons of Joseph, the children of Manasseh mixed with a very few of Ephraim - that is a key to the Lamanites - you know they have fallen in every respect in habits custom, flesh, spirit, blood, desire, all is fallen - at the commencement of the work the vision of my mind was open, but my natural disposition and taste it loathes the sight of those degraded Indians - but the Spirit of the Lord shews the state they must come into the Book of Mormon says not many generations will pass away until they become a delightsome people - We have got to do something - sometimes when God curses a man woman or nation - sometimes it comes sudden - sometimes gradual - when they are ripened in iniquity then the Lord will sweep them out of existence ...

[Source: Thomas Bullock Minutes, 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]

180 years ago today - May 26, 1835

W. W. Phelps sends his wife, Sally, the first six printed forms of the Doctrines and Covenants and writes that when Zion is redeemed, Martin Harris will receive the first inheritance, Joseph the second, and W. W. the 16th. Joseph preached a 3 1/2-hour sermon, "and unfolded more mysteries than I can write at this time." [I]f you and I continue faithful to the end, we are certain to be one in the Lord throughout eternity."

[ He also writes "They keep the word of wisdom, drink cold water, and don't even mention tea and coffee; they pray night and morning."]

[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 - May 26, 1830

Indian Removal Act relocates the Indians east of the Mississippi River

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

40 years ago today - May 25, 1975

At a special early-morning "Adults only" fireside in the Seattle East Stake Apostle Mark E. Petersen states that oral sex in an "abomination." Peterson also tells the congregation, "I've been married to my wife for 44 years, and never once have seen her body uncovered".

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

75 years ago today - May 25, 1940

CHURCH SECTION prints Mrs. Horace Eaton's 1881 account that the prophet's mother Lucy Mack Smith performed various forms of divination, including palmistry. Apostle David O. McKay writes to N. B. Lundwall: "Regarding your proposed new book on "Temples of the Most High", I suggest that you confine your statistics to those which have already been approved by the General Authorities for publicity. Even some already published by the Arizona Temple, by Brother Frank T. Pomeroy, are now withheld from the general public. No statistics should be given out by any of the Temples until the items are first submitted to the First Presidency."

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

100 years ago today - May 25, 1915; Saturday

[James E. Talmage] This evening's issue of the Deseret News contained the official announcement on reverse side of this sheet. This is the outcome of a report which I recently made to the First Presidency

and Twelve, copy of which follows:

Salt Lake City, Utah.

May 11, 1915.

President Joseph F. Smith and Counselors,

City.

Dear Brethren:

I have received an inquiry from the Presiding Bishop's Office relative to the correct or approved spelling of the proper name by which the Higher Priesthood is distinctively designated. Numerous questions relating to the same subject have come to me from unofficial sources. I venture to suggest, inasmuch as uniformity in the matter is greatly to be desired, that a ruling be made as to the approved spelling of the name to be used in our Church literature.

I submit for your consideration the following facts:

In the Old Testament MELCHIZEDEK, and in the New Testament MELCHISEDEC appear.

In literature other than scriptural both the foregoing forms are used with a decided preponderance in favor of the first.

Funk and Wagnalls "Standard Encyclopedia", the Encyclopedia Britannica, Smith's Bible Dictionary, and the Standard Bible Dictionary all give preference to MELCHIZEDEK.

The Century Dictionary adopts the same spelling but gives as an alternative form the New Testament spelling MELCHISEDEC.

The only work of recognized authority examined by me which gives the New Testament form first place is the New Standard Dictionary; and this specifies the more common MELCHIZEDEK as correct.

The Book of Mormon spelling is the same as that in the Old Testament, MELCHIZEDEK.

The Doctrine and Covenants introduces a spelling found nowhere else except in the writings of some of our own people, namely, MELCHISEDEK. Another variant form used only by some of our own writers is MELCHIZEDEC.

From the foregoing it will be seen that the spelling almost universally used by Theologians and writers in general outside of our Church is MELCHIZEDEK; and this is the form given in both the Old Testament and the Book of Mormon.

I respectfully recommend that this last spelling be adopted as the approved form of the name to be used in the publications of the Church.

It is interesting to note that nowhere outside the Doctrine and Covenants, and the writings of our own people is the name used as an adjective. We so use it in speaking of the MELCHIZEDEK PRIESTHOOD. The New Standard Dictionary gives MELCHISEDICIAN and MELCHIZEDEKIAN. as the adjective forms derived from the proper nouns MELCHISEDEC and MELCHIZEDEK. I do not think a departure from our usage in this particular is advisable.

Should you deem it wise to make a ruling as to an approved form of spelling, I respectfully suggest that notice thereof be sent to each of our Church publications, at home and abroad, and, if deemed advisable, that a brief article on the subject be published.

Respectfully your brother in the Gospel,

(Signed)

[Source: James E. Talmage, Diary]

130 years ago today - May 25, 1885 (Monday)

Elders Wiley G. Cragun and Franklin A. Fraughton were mobbed in South Carolina; Fraughton received forty lashes with a whip and Cragun was shot in the chin.

[Source: Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

155 years ago today - May 25, 1860

The [Pony] Express arived From Calafornia Bringing a report that Indians have Commenced war upon the whites & have killed sixty men somewhare about the sink of the Carson. They have broaken up the mail Stations on the middle route From Camp Floyd to Carson & have killed some of the men one of the Streep[an/er?] Boys who lived in the 14 ward. The Mail Carriers & Mail is said to have been destroyed. The Express Boy was also shot at who brought word.

The Eastern Express also arived this Morning 5 days From St Joseph's & News 6 days From washington.

President Young got a letter From Capt Hooper saying that the Bills to organize Five New Territories was rejected in the House. The Homestead Bill was killed in the senate. Abram Lincoln of Illinois was nominated By the republican Convention For President & Hannibal Hamblin of Maine For Vice President. The ship Tapscott was Chartered by the Saints in Liverpool to bring 700 Saints to New York. Asa Calkings will Come with them.

[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 - May 25, 1855

The grasshoppers are doing very much damage to the crops yet there are much wheat which looks well and bids fair for a good crop[.] The people seem to be in good spirits fighting grasshoppers and planting & sowing where the crops are eaten up.

[Source: Diaries of Hosea Stout]

70 years ago today - May 24, 1945

[Joseph Fielding Smith] The regular council meeting of the First Presidency and the Apostles was held in the Temple with President Smith presiding. For several years we have held these meetings without the presence of President Grant, only occasionally, and during the past two years scarcely at all.

[Source: Joseph Fielding Smith 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 - May 24, 1895

[Apostle Francis M. Lyman] I was told that my talk on statehood would hurt the cause. Riley Huntsman said "it was that same old church influence being used"

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

145 years ago today - May 24, 1870

[Wilford Woodruff] 24 I went to the farm & spent the day fighting grass hoppers & choreing.

[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 - May24, 1845

Sister Young came in & brought a bottle of wine from Sister Clark The president [Brigham Young] gave a toast.- and all responded.-

Wm [William] Smith asked the views of the council about his patriarchal office.- Prest Young said it was his right.-

Wm Smith received his patriarchal blessing by Prest Young.- [Apostle William Smith becomes Patriarch to the Church, even though the previous day, the Twelve had discussed his "improper course" and as "the greatest danger". He is the first Presiding Patriarch ordained by apostolic authority, rather than by patriarchal ordination within the Smith family.]

[Source: Minutes of Quorum of Twelve Apostles, May 24, 1845 [Willard Richards]]

170 years ago today - Saturday, May 24th, 1845

[John Taylor] ... we repaired to the Temple with great secrecy for the purpose of laying the corner stone, there were but few that knew about it; the band playing on the walls and the people hearing it, hurried up. About six o'clock A.M., the brethren being assembled, we proceeded to lay the stone; at quarter past six the stone was laid; after which Bro. Young prayed, his voice being heard distinctly, by the congregation below; and the congregation shouted Hossanna, Hossanna, Hossanna to God and the Lamb, Amen, Amen, and Amen. ...

[Source: 'The John Taylor Nauvoo journal, January 1845-September 1845,' BYU Studies 23:3 (1983) edited by Dean C. Jessee]

105 years ago today - Monday, May 23, 1910

[John Henry Smith] We had a most excelent time Watching the [Halley's] Commet and seeing the Eclipse of the moon and eat[ing] Cake, Cream and strawberry[s].

[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]

110 years ago today - May 23, 1905 (Tuesday)

Elder Junius F. Wells in behalf of the Church purchased the Mack farm, in Sharon, Windsor Co., Vermont, where the Prophet Joseph Smith was born.

[Source: Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

130 years ago today - May 23, 1885 (Saturday)

Elder August Valentine, who labored as a missionary on Bornholm, Denmark, was arrested for preaching the gospel. He was brought to Copenhagen, and there imprisoned for five days, after which he was banished from the country.

[Source: Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

140 years ago today - May 23, 1875

[Wilford Woodruff] We dined at Bishop Hess 6 of us 4 Bishops & 2 Apostles. We Counted up to see how many living Children we 6 men had and we found that we had 147 living Children making it equally divided 24 1/2 each.

[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 - May 23, 1860

DESERET NEWS editorial: "Murder after murder has been committed with impunity within the precincts of Great Sale Lake City, till such occurrences no not seemingly attract much attention, particularly when the murdered have had the reputation of being thieves and murderers or of associating with such characters from day to day . . ."

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

160 years ago today - May 23, 1855

[James Henry Martineau] Zilpha, wife of Elder G. A. Smith spoke in tongues with great power: also Job P. Hall: and Prest J. C. L. Smith sang in tongues. Prest Smith gave the interpretation of Sister Zilpha's tongue, which was to encourage the missionaries; and warned and reproved the sisters for their non-compliance with the law of celestial marriage, and predicted many things that should come upon them, and the trials shortly to come upon the saints.

[Source: An Uncommon Common Pioneer: The Journals of James Henry Martineau 1828-1918, edited by Donald G. Godfrey XXX Rebecca S. Martineau-McCarty]

160 years ago today - May 23, 1855

[Samuel Richards] "I attended the High Priests Quorum meeting at which Elder Curtis E. Bolton was tried for taking a woman and getting her pregnant which Bro. Brigham had allowed him to adopt into his family as a daughter. She had been heretofore his wife but during his late mission, she had been married to two other men, and had a child by one of the men who was a California Emigrant. . . . He was disfellowshipped from the Quorum, subject to the revision of Prest. Young when he returned from his southern expedition."

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

170 years ago today - May 23, 1845, Friday

Wm. Smith is coming out in opposition to the Twelve and in favor of [George J.] Adams. The latter has organized a church at Augusta, Iowa Territory with young Joseph Smith [III] for President, Wm. Smith for Patriarch, Jared Carter for President of the stake and himself for spokesman to Joseph. Wm. says he has sealed some women to men and he considers he is not accountable to Brigham nor the Twelve nor any one else. There is more danger from William than from any other source, and I fear his course will bring us much trouble.

...I presented to them a proposition to write a short history of the building of the Temple from its commencement, together with other matters and deposite the history in the corner stone, about to be laid tomorrow. They acquiesced with the plan. ...

all the stone on the outside of the wall was laid, except, the south-east corner stone. This progress was a great rejoicing to the Saints.

The Rigdonites have prophecied that the walls would never be built, but through the blessing of God we have lived to see the predicition come to naught.

[Source: Fillerup, Robert C., compiler; William Clayton Nauvoo Diaries and Personal Writings, A chronological compilation of the personal writings of William Clayton while he was a resident of Nauvoo, Illinois. http://www.boap.org/LDS/Early-Saints/clayton-diaries]

190 years ago today - May 23, 1825

The Lewiston convention publishes "Revelations of Freemasonry" to suppliment William Morgan's expose', focusing on higher order Masonry (America)

[Source: Homer, Michael, 'Similarity of Priesthood in Masonry':The Relationship Between Freemasonry and Mormonism, Dialogue, Vol. 27, No. 3]

40 years ago today - May 22, 1975

Association of Catholic Communications gives "Gabriel" award to LDS church for "Homefront" public-service advertising which soon receives this award almost yearly.

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

85 years ago today - May 22, 1930

[Heber J. Grant] Brother B. H. Roberts called, and we discussed the contents of his new book, telling him of the feeling of the brethren of the Twelve that they could not approve of some parts of it. He was determined not to make any change and finally requested that we drop the matter for the time being, as he was leaving for California to attend a stake conference and did not feel like discussing the matter. I feel very sorry to think that Brother Roberts is determined to put in the book some things that I think are problematical and cannot be demonstrated. Inasmuch as the Church has furnished him a stenographer while he was in New York and since he returned, to compile this book, I think that before it is published we must come to an understanding as to what shall go into it, and we object emphatically to his putting anything in it that the Presidency and Apostles cannot approve.

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

90 years ago today - May 22,1925

Deseret News editorializes in favor of new Utah law which legalizes horse racing and pari-mutual betting. Legislature has appointed Brigham F. Grant as chair of Racing Commission. He is manager of Deseret News and brother of church president, Heber J. Grant.

[Source: Quinn, D. Michael, The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power, Appendix 5, Selected Chronology of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1848-1996, http://amzn.to/extensions-power]

170 years ago today - May 22, 1845

Brigham Young (aged 43) marriage to Mary Elizabeth Rollins (1818-1910) (aged 26) married to non-Mormon Adam Lightner and plural widow of Joseph Smith, Jr. sealed to Joseph Smith, Jr. for eternity and Young for time; remained living with Lightner

[Source: Wikipedia, List of Brigham Young's Wives, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Brigham_Young%27s_wives]

180 years ago today - May 22, 1835

[Heber C. Kimball] "I told him [a baptist preacher] if he did not repent of his sins, and be baptized for the remission of them, he would be damned; which made him mad."

"We then passed on until we came to a pure stream of water, and there cleansed our feet bearing testimony against him, as the Lord commanded."

[Source: Whitney, Helen Mar, Jeni Broberg Holzapfel, and Richard Neitzel Holzapfel, A Woman's View: Helen Mar Whitney's Reminiscences of Early Church History, Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997]