20 years ago today - Apr 23, 1999

The First Presidency announced that the Church would accept donations for the construction of the Nauvoo Temple. Members could use the "Other" line on the donation receipt and enter the amount and the "Nauvoo Temple."

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

105 years ago today - Apr 23, 1914; Thursday

Telegram sent to President Joseph F. Smith regarding volitility in Mexico affecting Mormon colonies:

"El Paso, Texas, April 23rd, 1914. Pres[iden]t. Joseph F. Smith. Local situation has changed to a marked degree within the last twelve hours. Mexicans who until this morning have been very friendly are now outspoken in their threats towards Americans. Under the present conditions our colonists are in grave danger, threats having been made that certain families would be exterminated. Having been robbed of a great many of their teams and wagons and the railroad not being in operation, their condition is very serious. An overland trip would be dangerous as the country is infested with filibusterers. Have asked Senator Smoot if it would be possible to have troops give protection tot he colonists in case of hostilities. What steps can be taken? Advise at once.

(Signed) A. L. Pierce, Presiding Elder."

[First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve minutes]

110 years ago today - Apr 23, 1909; Friday

Dr. James E. Talmage had had some conversation with the Presidency about making an effort to regain possession of the dies from which our Deseret gold coins are struck, he having learned some time ago that they were not in possession of Alfales Young, a son of President Brigham Young. It appears that these dies were among the personal belongings of President Brigham Young which were sold at auction to his heirs, no one else having been allowed to bid on his personal property, and Alfales bought them with some other things at a very low figure.

Dr. Talmage now represented to the Presidency in the presence of Brothers Francis M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, Heber J. Grant and George F. Richards that he had waited on Alfales Young with the following result: Alfales claims that he could legally hold these dies, he having come rightfully by them, but offered to let the museum have them for five hundred dollars. Bro[ther]. Talmage now produced the dies, which he had procured from Alfales Young on certain binding conditions. They consisted of seven sets which covered all the coins issued. It was decided to regain possession of them for the Museum by paying Alfales Young his price, namely, five hundred dollars, although it is understood by the Presidency that he could be compelled to part with them as they were not personal property of President Brigham Young, but really belonged to the Church.

[First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve minutes]

140 years ago today - Apr 23, 1879

[Joseph and Hiel Lewis]
[Joseph Smith's] so-called "money digging," of which so little is said in his histories, was in Susquehanna Co. Pa. Smith declared that vast treasures were hidden on this spot, and interested men of money sufficiently to procure funds to bear the expense of searching for it. Mr. Ira Stevens of East Grove Township [Illinois], lately deceased, was in his employ as head workman, and had charge of the excavation. The project was abandoned only when the prophet declared the enchantment was so great he could see no farther, and to dispel it, a snow white dog must be slain and its warm blood sprinkled in the hole. His adherents sought far and wide for a white dog, but none were to be found. Smith then thought a white sheep would do--one was brought, its fleece thoroughly cleaned, the sheep was slain and its blood administered as directed; but the enchantment was as great as ever, and the pursuit of wealth in those diggings had to be abandoned.

["The Histories of Mormonism," Amboy (IL) Journal, 23 April 1879., as cited in Dan Vogel, Early Mormon Documents: Amboy (Il) Journal]

185 years ago today - Apr 23, 1834

Joseph Smith is referred to as "Enoch" in a revelation. [D&C 104]

[Tidd, N. R., "Mormon Chronology, Rev 01 Volume 01" http://bit.ly/tiddchron]

185 years ago today - Apr 23, 1834

A revelation ends the Kirtland United Order and distributes its real estate assets among Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, Frederick G. Williams, Martin Harris, Newel K. Whitney, and John Johnson. Although the revelation says, "it is my will that you shall pay all your debts," Smith requires Whitney to absorb the $1,121.31 Whitney had loaned to him personally as well as $2.484.22 of other men's debts to Whitney. Ten days later the name of the church is officially changed from "The Church of Jesus Christ" to "The Church of the Latter Day Saints" possibly to avoid law suits.

[On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com, based on Michael Quinn's Mormon Hierarchy vols 1 & 2]

185 years ago today - Apr 23, 1834

The United Order would be "everlasting", and "immutable and unchangeable" to benefit the church until Jesus comes. D&C 104:1

[D&C 104]

55 years ago today - Apr 22, 1964

Opening of New York World's Fair which LDS church's first major exhibit hall at world's fair, the "Mormon Pavilion." Continues through 1965 season.

[On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com, based on Michael Quinn's Mormon Hierarchy vols 1 & 2]

120 years ago today - Apr 22, 1899

[Patriarchal Blessing of Apostle John Henry Smith Diary]
... thou shalt see the Riches of the Earth uncovered for thy good ...

[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]

130 years ago today - Monday, Apr 22, 1889

[Apostle John Henry Smith Diary]
I was subpoenaed to go before the grand jury. Upon going to the jury room I was wanted in the Joseph F. Smith case. I gave my testimony in the case as follows:

Jos. F. Smith is my cousin. He had three wives to my knowledge. I did not know whether they had babies or not. I told them he had not taken any wives inside of three years.

[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]

135 years ago today - Apr 22, 1884

[Franklin D. Richards]
At Pres[iden]ts office read a letter from President W[illiam]. W. Cluff [politician / Stake President] feeling unable safely to carry out the counsel of the Lord through Presidency in regard to plural marriage, he offers his resignation to the President if he thinks it best to accept it in time to fill the vacancy at their next Quarterly conference. This seems a sad step'-must it be taken.

[Franklin D. Richards 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]

155 years ago today - Apr 22, 1864

[Brigham Young Sermon]
... don't after you get through preaching go to the theatre, to the dram shop, or hug a sister because she wants hugging; don't do it, for you will tarnish your soul through all eternity; if you do it, the memory of it will always haunt you; ...

[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 - Apr 22, 1844

[Joseph Smith]
This morning a man who had put up at my house told me he wanted to see me alone. I went into my room with him and he told me he was a prophet of God that he come from Vermont and he prophesied that this government was about to be overthrown and the Kingdom which Daniel spoke of was about to be established some where in the west and he thought in Illinois.

[Faulring, Scott (ed.), An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith: Joseph Smith Diary, 1844, http://amzn.to/jsdiaries]

180 years ago today - 1839 22 Apr.

Joseph Smith returns to his family (now in Illinois) and reportedly indicates his intention for his son Joseph III to be his successor as church president.

[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]

10 years ago today - 4/21/2009

Orson Scott Card officially named as replacement for Matthew Holland on the board of the National Organization for Marriage. Holland stepped down from the board to become president of Utah Valley University. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints deserves credit, [Princeton professor and NOM leader, Robert] George said, for being "a leading force in the nation in defense of the institution of marriage and the family" despite efforts at intimidation. The LDS Church is not helping to fund the National Organization for Marriage, George said, but is represented on the board by author and Mormon Times columnist Orson Scott Card.

[Mormons for Marriage: A Prop 8 Timeline, http://mormonsformarriage.com/?page_id=68]

115 years ago today - Apr 21, 1904; Thursday

[Smoot Hearings]
I ... was not happy on account of F[ranklin]. S. Richards refusing to act as my Council [sic].

I only understood he purposed to do so conditioned I refused to state what my family relations consisted of [IE Plural marriage].

...I ate a dish of oysters with Richards and at his expense drank a cocktail with Van Cott. They with Senator [Reed] Smoot expressed themselves satisfied with my testimony which I did not as I felt like a donkey that had its ears cutt [sic] off.

[Angus M. Cannon, Diary]

180 years ago today - Apr 21, 1839

Lucy receives spiritual assurance that Joseph and Hyrum will reach Quincy the next day and prophesies as much to Edward Partridge. That night she sees them in a vision, sleeping on the prairie without blankets or food.

[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]

185 years ago today - Apr 21, 1834

At a conference in Norton, Ohio: "Bro. Joseph Smith Jun. then delivered a short prophecy, that if Zion was not delivered [in Jackson County, Missouri] the time was near when all of this Church, wherever they might be found, would be persecuted and distroyed [sic] in like manner."

At this conference, "President Smith then laid hands on certain children, and blessed them in the name of the Lord," which may have been the first time small children were blessed. Giving names and blessings to infants would become standard practice two decades later.

Joseph also preached, "It is very difficult for us to communicate to the Churches all that God has revealed to us, in consequence of tradition; for we are differently situated from any other people that ever existed upon this Earth. Consequently those former revelations cannot be suited to our condition, because they were given to other people who were before us. This statement of 'theocratic situation ethics' is further expounded in Smith's letter to Nancy Rigdon eight years later: "That which is wrong under one circumstance may be, and often is, right in another."

[On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com, based on Michael Quinn's Mormon Hierarchy vols 1 & 2]

185 years ago today - Apr 21, 1834

Conference of elders in Norton, Medina County, Ohio. Joseph: history of obtaining and translating the Book of Mormon, the revelation of the Aaronic Priesthood, the organization of the church, the revelation of the High Priesthood, "and the gift of the Holy Spirit poured out upon the Church &c."

First mention of Aaronic, High Priesthood sequence?

[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 21, 1834

Norton, Ohio. At a conference of elders at the home of Brother Carpenter, Joseph Smith spoke the famous words: -"Take away the Book of Mormon and the revelations, and where is our religion? We have none.-",

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

15 years ago today - Apr 20, 2004

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters' Hall of Fame.

[Sherry Baker: Mormon Media History Timeline: 1827-2007, http://byustudies.byu.edu/showTitle.aspx?title=7984]

45 years ago today - Apr 20, 1974

Reed C. Durham, Jr. gives presidential address to Mormon History Association (MHA) at Nauvoo, in which he emphasizes Joseph Smith's Jupiter talisman and its relationship to magic and Freemasonry. Durham also recites a Masonic legend that was available to Joseph Smith which has many parallels to the story of the coming forth of the BOOK OF MORMON. As immediate result, officials at LDS information center in Nauvoo remove Angel Moroni form spire of center's detailed model of Nauvoo temple. Following architect's drawings the model shows angel holding Masonic symbols of compass and square, but those symbols are absent when angel-replica is reinstalled on model. Shortly afterward LDS president Spencer W. Kimball releases Durham as institute director and requires him to write letter of apology and retraction. Durham is told by "the brethren" do no more research on the subject and to give out no information. Durham remains faculty member of Salt Lake Institute of Religion but declines to attend future meeting of MHA, even one honoring all of its former presidents.

[On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com, based on Michael Quinn's Mormon Hierarchy vols 1 & 2]

75 years ago today - Apr 20, 1944

Mark Edward Petersen is ordained a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, replacing Richard R. Lyman, who had been excommunicated.

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

85 years ago today - Apr 20, 1934

It is very likely that the time is ripe for someone to begin right now to prepare a wise, temperate, scientific statement of the doctrine of evolution, not forgetting the relationship of the doctrine to other gospel doctrines. Our own views with respect to the evolution are fairly well know. Evolution, as a law, seems to me to have been demonstrated. Its metes and bounds are gradually being determined.

As for the origin of man, or the origin of animals, or the origin of anything, I do not see that science has given us any satisfactory answer so far. I accept without reservation the doctrine that man was a preexistent being who came to this earth to inhabit a mortal body. How the body was created has not, as far as I know, been revealed to man.

[John A. Widtsoe, Letter to Sterling B. Talmage, 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]

115 years ago today - Apr 20, 1904; Wednesday

It is my desire to carry out instructions of Pres[ident]. Jos[eph]. F. Smith in listening to the Attorneys, yet I am inclined to resist, in case they seek to extort from me a knowledge of my wives. Pres[ident]. Smith said:--"We should consider the interests of the Church rather than our own." This I feel inclined to do.

[Angus M. Cannon, Diary]

120 years ago today - Apr 20, 1899

[Brigham Young Jr.]
President [Lorenzo] Snow said Church indebtedness is 2,000,000 dol[lars]. How has this been bro[ugh]t. about is a m[y]stery to me. God help us for our enemies are hard upon our track. Everybody is in debt[;] hope we shall soon be out. I don't bel[ie]ve the brethren have run us in debt only to do good.

[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 - Apr 20, 1894

[Francis M. Lyman]
[In council] Later the matter of Pres[ident] Jessee W. Crosby Jrs. condition was taken up by Pres[ident] Woodruff and Jos[eph] F. Smith and me. His wife Francis has written Pres[ident] Woodruff a letter protesting against his marrying again. It was talked over. I then wrote to him that he should visit his wife at Fredonia and make peace with her and get her written consent.

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

130 years ago today - Apr 20, 1889

Wilford Woodruff writes in his journal: "I was suffering from a deadly faintness. Brother Cannon laid his hands upon my head and administered in prayer. I received much benifit therefrom, as well as a cup of tea which I drank. . . . While the team stopped to water at one place there was an old couple who had what appeared to be a favorite dog. Just as the Coach was starting from the water trough Mr Badlam Said to the old gentleman 'look out for your dog!' At the same time Mr Swan made cries such as a dog would utter if he were run over. It was very laughable to see the faces of the old people. They thought their dog was being killed under the wheels of the coach."

85 years ago today - Apr 19, 1934

Apostle George F. Richards writes to President Heber J Grant, "If the following named brethren, General Authorities of the Church, and their wives have received their Second blessings, the Salt Lake Temple Records do not disclose that fact, I therefore conclude that they have not except possibly Pres Hart who may have received his blessings in the Logan Temple: J. Reuben Clark Jr.[,] Charles H. Hart[,] Antoine R. Ivins[,] Samuel 0. Bennion[, and] John H. Taylor[.] I understand that it is in order for a member of the Council of Twelve to recommend worthy members to the President of the Church to receive their Second blessings. Accordingly, I recommend that these brethren and their wives be invited to receive their blessings."

120 years ago today - Apr 19, 1899; Wednesday

Presidents [Lorenzo] Snow, [George Q.] Cannon and [Joseph F.] Smith were at the Office. Elder Seymour B. Young, the senior President in the First Council of Seventies, called and saw President Snow about the matter of Elder Joseph W. McMurrin's ordination as one of that body, the subject so exhaustively considered at the last meeting of the Apostolic Council. Brother Young wanted to know if Brother McMurrin had been actually and properly ordained, since the word "ordain" was not used, but the words "set apart" at the time of his ordination. President Snow explained to Brother Young that inasmuch as the intent was to ordain Brother McMurrin, and the word used on the occasion not only set him apart, but conferred upon him all the authority, keys and privileges of the office and calling, it was a complete and valid ordination, and had been so decided by the Presidency and the Apostles in council. At the same time President Snow remarked that if it had to be done over again, his mind would be that the word ordain should be used.

[First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve minutes]

125 years ago today - Apr 19, 1894

Howard Egan's wife committed adultery with James Monroe. Howard Egan killed Monroe on account of the crime. W[illia]m M. Egan is the issue of the adultery. Question. * To whom does W[illia]m M. Egan go as a child * to Howard Egan or his father? Decision of the First Presidency and 12 [Apostles][,] April 19, 1894. He belongs to Howard Egan, by virtue of the mother being Howard Egan's sealed wife, and no ordinances needed.

[Book of Temple Ordinances, Apr. 19, 1894; p. 37 as quoted in Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/TempleWorship]

150 years ago today - Apr 19, 1869

Presidet Young said I require all under 100 years old to stop using tobaco & drinking whiskey. If they do not we will soon make it a test of fellow[ship] in the Church.... In the Millinnium all will be filled with the knowledge of God. Then all the people will keep the word of wisdom & take delight in it. Shame on the person who will not overcome all their Evil appetites for the sake of the Kingdom of God. Let all the Saints save what they give for tobaco, whiskey tea, & Coffee & give it for the Emigration of the poor.

[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 19, 1859

[Apostle Wilford Woodruff Journal]
April 19 I laid hands upon Brother Hawkins & blessed him. He looks as well as Could be expected after such an awful operation.

I washed brined & limed 10 bushels of wheat to put on 5 acres.

I spent a short time in the office & President D H. Wells Called in & I accompanied him to the House of George Alley. Soon the surgeons Came to Cut his right Eye out. He had tumor grown in the back part of his Eye which had pushed his Eye out of [his] head about an inch & bursted the ball. They gave him Cloriform. In 10 minutes he was insensible. They took his Eye out in about 10 minutes more. He lay asleep all the time & was not sensible of any thing during the operation.

When he Came to Brother Wells asked him if he knew what they had been doing. He did not know. Brother Wells told him they had taken his Eye. He said thank God for it. I annointed him. Brother Wells was mouth in administering to him. He rather felt as though he would get well. A hard substance had form about 2 inches long & about 2 inches in Circumference. The bone was Effected & they were afraid it was a Canser. If so there may be danger of its forming again.

[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 19, 1834

Philadelphia's Saturday Courier publishes the "tragical story of a Mormon preacher" provided "by the editor of the Independent Messenger on the authority of a gentleman from the western part of the state of New York" about townspeople who discover a hoax intended to convince them the Mormon could walk on water. They foil the plot and the Mormon drowns. The church paper reprints the article with the introductory note that "Some two or three years since, a milliard story was hatched up by (we presume) the priests, or their dupes; but we had supposed that it had either gone back to its native region to dwell with its author the father of lies, or like its first promulgator from him, sunk into disgrace to rise no more." Editor Oliver Cowdery challenges the Courier to publish the name of its 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 19, 1834

Joseph Smith authorizes first counselor Sidney Rigdon to preside over the church in his absence. In New Portage, Ohio, Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery and Zebedee Coltrin have a vision: "They all three prayed in turn-Joseph, Oliver, and Zebedee. Brother Joseph than [sic] said, 'now brethren we will see some visions.' Joseph lay down on the ground on his back and stretched out his arms and the two brethren lay on them. The heavens gradually opened, and they saw a golden throne, on a circular foundation, something like a lighthouse, and on the throne were two aged personages, having white hair, and clothed in white garments. They were the two most beautiful and perfect specimens of mankind he ever saw. Joseph said, They are our first parents, Adam and Eve. Adam was a large broadshouldered man, and Eve a woman, was large in proportion."

120 years ago today - Apr 18, 1899

[Franklin D. Richards]
I was permitted a look through the statement of Pres[iden]t. G[eorge] Q C[annon], as to his 'dedicated Stock' committed to him by President John Taylor. a strangely interesting documentary statement involving more than three a quarters of Million of Dollars.

[Franklin D. Richards 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 - Apr 18, 1894

Revelation to Wilford Woodruff-the Law of Adoption-- Historical Magazine 13:145-152 (October, 1922).

"I have not felt satisfied, neither did President Taylor, neither has any man since the Prophet Joseph who has attended to the ordinance of adoption in the temples of our God. We have felt that there was more to be revealed upon the subject than we had received. Revelations were given to us in the St. George Temple, which President Young presented to the Church of God. Changes were made there, and we still have more changes to make, in order to satisfy our Heavenly Father, satisfy our dead and ourselves. I will tell you what some of them are. I have prayed over this matter, and my brethren have. We have felt as President Taylor said, that we have got to have more revelation concerning sealing under the law of adoption."

President Woodruff then announced to the General Conference and particularly to the presidents of the four temples in Utah that he had gone "before the Lord" to know who he should be adopted to and that the "Spirit of God" instructed him that he should be sealed to his natural father. Prior to this time it had been the practice to be sealed to the "prophets and apostles" in the Church. President Woodruff now pronounced the prior practice an incorrect procedure and called upon the membership of the church to accept as a revelation this announcement, which incidentally he had previously presented to his counselors and to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles.

This revelation on the Law of Adoption, with its accompanying explanation by President Woodruff, sets forth quite clearly a philosophy of a developmental process in the establishment of L.D.S. Church doctrine and procedure over an historical or chronological continuum-or to put it in scriptural terminology-"We believe all that God has revealed, all that he does now reveal, and we believe that he will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God." (L.D.S. Ninth Article of Faith)

Perhaps the best commentary on this new revelation on temple work given in 1894 remains in the Conference Report for April, 1894 and the reference given in the heading above this note.

In these two sources both the discourse and announcement of the will of the Lord by President Wilford Woodruff and a commentary by President George Q. Cannon, one of his counselors are given in full. The reader might well study carefully both statements of Presidents Woodruff and Cannon.

There are several other very interesting points brought out by President Woodruff in this discourse that are worthy of particular notice.

President Woodruff states rather categorically that the chronological age of a person or prophet is not a determining factor in his ability to receive revelation, citing as his two extremes the revelations to Adam at the age of 927 years and the revelations to Joseph Smith at this age of 14 years.

He also accepts as authentic and literal the advanced ages of the Old Testament patriarchs and prophets, stating that when they were "four or five hundred years old they took wives, begat children, and raised up posterity."


Discourses Delivered at the General Conference of the Church, the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Utah, Sunday, April 18, 1894.


I feel thankful for the privilege of meeting with so many of the Latter-day Saints this morning. In order to present my position before the Saints I wish to say that I have been a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints over sixty years, a member of the quorum of the Apostles fifty-five years, and the President of the Church for a short time. During all these years, and in all my travels, I have never seen a moment when I have had the power to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ or to administer in any of the ordinances of the House of the Lord, acceptable to God or to myself, only by the assistance of the Holy Ghost; and I do not know of any other man that could ever do this. Even the Son of God, in referring to His work, said: "I do nothing of myself, but as my Father has taught me, I speak these things." So it has been with all the prophets and patriarchs in every age of the world; they have had to be assisted by the power of God. I occupy that position today before this assembly. Therefore, as the Lord commanded us not to speak only as we are moved upon by the Holy Ghost, I desire that, and in order to obtain it I want the prayers and faith of the Latter-day Saints.

I have some things resting upon me that I wish to present before the Latter-day Saints, and in order to do this I will call upon President George Q. Cannon to read from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants concerning the subject which I wish to speak upon. (President Cannon read from Sec. 128, of Doc. and Cov. Resuming, President Woodruff said:)

Thus you have before you the subject which is resting upon us, and which we wish to present to the Latter-day Saints. Let me say that age has very little to do with revelation. In an early age of the world, old Father Adam, three years previous to his death-he being nearly one thousand years of age-called together his posterity in the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman, and he stood upon his feet for hours, clothed with the power of God and the revelations of heaven, and blessed his posterity, some seven of whom, each representing a generation, were High Priests. Among them were Enoch and Methusaleh, both great men of their day and generation. He prophesied upon them what should transpire with their posterity unto the end of time. His old age did not have any effect whatever upon the revelations of God to him. Joseph Smith, when fourteen years of age, while calling upon God in the wilderness, had the heavens opened unto him. Both the Father and Son presented themselves unto him in the clouds of heaven, and the Father said, "This is my beloved Son; hear him." The age of man is very short indeed in this day to what it was in ancient days. Men anciently lived to a very great age. When four or five hundred years old they took wives, begat children, and raised up posterity. Today our age is limited to something like three score years and ten.

I wish to say to the Latter-day Saints that we live in a very important generation. We are blessed with power and authority, holding the Holy Priesthood by the commandment of God, to stand upon the earth and redeem both the living and the dead. If we did not do it, we should be damned and cut off from the earth, and the God of Israel would raise up a people who would do it. The Lord would not permit me to occupy this position one day of my life, unless I was susceptible to the Holy Spirit and to the revelations of God. It is too late in the day for this Church to stand without revelation. Not only the President of the Church should possess this gift and give it unto the people, but his counselors and the Apostles and all men that bear the Holy Priesthood, if they magnify their calling, although they may not be called to give revelations to lead and direct the Church. The spirit of revelation belongs to the Priesthood.

But to come to the subject before us. Perhaps it may be said by the inquiring or the objecting mind, What have you to say about redeeming the dead, or about baptism for the dead, or the work of the Temples of our God, that is not already revealed? I will say this: When the Prophet Joseph had this revelation from heaven, what did he do? There are witnesses here of what he did. He never stopped till he got the fulness of the word of God to him concerning the baptism for the dead. But before doing so he went into the Mississippi river, and so did I, as well as others, and we each baptized a hundred for the dead, without a man to record a single act that we performed. Why did we do it? Because of the feeling of joy we had, to think that we in the flesh could stand and redeem our dead. We did not wait to know what the result of this would be, or what the whole of it should be. Finally the Lord told the Prophet: "When any of you are baptized for your dead, let there be a recorder, and let him be eye witness of your baptisms; let him hear with his ears, that he may testify of a truth, saith the Lord; that in all your recordings it may be recorded in heaven; whatsoever you bind on earth may be bound in heaven; whatsoever you loose on earth, may be loosed in heaven." That was the beginning of this work.

Joseph Smith, instead of living to be nearly a thousand years of age, as Adam did, lived to be about thirty-eight years of age. He brought forth the record of the stick of Joseph in the hands of Ephraim-the history of the ancient inhabitants of this continent. By the power of God he translated that, and it has been published in many languages. Besides this, he organized the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints upon the foundation of apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus being the chief corner stone. Men were ordained to the Priesthood and sent forth, from the various occupations of life, to carry this gospel to the world. God informed Joseph Smith that he was called to prune the vineyard once more for the last time before the coming of the Son of Man. Since that, thousands of Elders of Israel have been sent into the world to preach the Gospel. Joseph Smith did all this during the fifteen years he held the Priesthood. Let any man read the revelations in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, which were given through him during the little time he spent here in the flesh. It is one of the greatest records that any man ever gave to the human family. Not only this, but he organized the endowments and did a great deal of other work. Who could expect him, during the short time he lived in the flesh, to do more than he did? I received my endowment from under his hands. He brought forth all these ordinances that have been given unto the Latter-day Saints. In fact, it is a marvel and a wonder that he performed as much as he did.

I want to say, as the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that we should now go on and progress. We have not got through revelation. We have not got through the work of God. But at this period we want to go on and fulfillthis commandment of God given through Malachi that the Lord should send Elijah the prophet, "and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." Ye sons of men, I say unto you, in the name of Israel's God, those very principles that God has revealed are what have stayed the judgment of the Almighty on the earth. Were it not for these principles, you and I would not be here today. We have had prophets and apostles. President Young who followed President Joseph Smith, led us here. He organized these Temples and carried out the purposes of his calling and office. He laid the foundation of this great Temple on this block, as well as others in the mountains of Israel. What for? That we might carry out these principles of redemption for the dead. He accomplished all that God required at his hands. But he did not receive all the revelations that belong to this work; neither did President Taylor, nor has Wilford Woodruff. There will be no end to this work until it is perfected.

I want to lay before you what there is for us to do at the present time; and in doing this I desire particularly the attention of President Lorenzo Snow, of the Salt Lake Temple; President M. W. Merrill, of the Logan Temple; President J. D. T. McAllister of the Manti Temple, and President D. H. Cannon, of the St. George Temple, and those associated with them. You have acted up to all the light and knowledge that you have had; but you have now something more to do than you have done. We have not fully carried out those principles in fulfillment of the revelations of God to us, in sealing the hearts of the fathers to the children and the children to the fathers. I have not felt satisfied, neither did President Taylor, neither has any man since the Prophet Joseph who has attended to the ordinance of adoption in the temples of our God. We have felt that there was more to be revealed upon the subject than we had received. Revelations were given to us in the St. George Temple, which President Young presented to the Church of God. Changes were made there, and we still have more changes to make, in order to satisfy our Heavenly Father, satisfy our dead and ourselves. I will tell you what some of them are. I have prayed over this matter, and my brethren have. We have felt as President Taylor said, that we have got to have more revelation concerning sealing under the law of adoption. Well, what are these changes? One of them is the principle of adoption.

Now, what are the feelings of Israel? They have felt that they wanted to be adopted to somebody. President Young was not satisfied in his mind with regard to the extent of this matter; President Taylor was not. When I went before the Lord to know who I should be adopted to (we were then being adopted to prophets and apostles), the Spirit of God said to me, "Have you not a father, who begot you?" "Yes, I have." "Then why not honor him? Why not be adopted to him?" "Yes," says I, "that is right." I was adopted to my father, and should have had my father sealed to his father, and so on back; and the duty that I want every man who presides over a Temple to see performed from this day henceforth and forever, unless the Lord Almighty commands otherwise, is, let every man be adopted to his father. When a man receives the endowment, adopt him to his father; not to Wilford Woodruff, nor to any other man outside the lineage of his fathers. That is the will of God to this people. I want all men who preside over these temples in these mountains of Israel to bear this in mind. What business have I to take away the rights of the lineage of any man? What right has any man to do this? No; I say let every man be adopted to his father; and then you will do exactly what God said when he declared He would send Elijah the prophet in the last days. Elijah the prophet appeared unto Joseph Smith and told him the day had come when this principle must be carried out. Joseph Smith did not live long enough to enter any further upon these things. His soul was wound up with this work before he was martyred for the word of God and testimony of Jesus Christ. He told us that there must be a welding link of all dispensations and of the work of God from one generation to another. This was upon his mind more than most any other subject that was given to him. In my prayers the Lord revealed to me, that it was my duty to say to all Israel to carry this principle out, and in fulfillment of that revelation I lay it before this people. I say to all men who are laboring in these temples, carry out this principle, and then we will make one step in advance of what we have had before. Myself and counselors conversed upon this and were agreed upon it, and afterwards we laid it before all the Apostles who were here (two were absent-Brothers Thatcher and Lund, the latter being in England,) and the Lord revealed to every one of these men-and they would bear testimony of it if they were to speak-that that was the word of the Lord to them. I never met with anything in my life in this Church that there was more unity upon than there was upon that principle. They all feel right about it, and that it is our duty. That is one principle that should be carried out from this time henceforth. "But," says one, "suppose we come along to a man who perhaps is a murderer." Well, if he is a murderer, drop him out and connect with the next man beyond him. But the Spirit of God will be with us in this matter. We want the Latter-day Saints from this time to trace their genealogies as far as they can, and to be sealed to their fathers and mothers. Have children sealed to their parents, and run this chain through as far as you can get it. * * * This is the will of the Lord to his people, and I think when you come to reflect upon it you will find it to be true.

Another principle connected with this subject I want to talk about. A man has married a woman, and they have a family of children. The man lays down in death without ever hearing the Gospel. The wife afterwards hears the Gospel and embraces it. She comes to the temple and she wants to be sealed to her husband, who was a good man. The feeling has been to deny this and to say, "No, he is not in the Church, and you cannot be sealed to your husband." Many a woman's heart has ached because of this, and as a servant of God I have broken that chain a good while ago. I have laid before every woman this principle and let her have her choice. Why deprive a woman of being sealed to her husband because he never heard the Gospel? What do any of us know with regard to him? Will he not hear the Gospel and embrace it in the spirit world? Look at Joseph Smith. Not one of Joseph Smith's fathers or brothers or sisters were in the covenant when he received the keys of the kingdom of God and translated the Book of Mormon. They afterwards received it. Every brother and sister that he had, and his father and his father's brothers, except Uncle Jesse Smith, embraced the Gospel. Now, suppose that any of these had died before they had the opportunity of entering into the covenant with the Lord through the Gospel, as his brother Alvin did; they would have been in the same position as Alvin, concerning whom the Lord, when Joseph saw him in the celestial kingdom, said: "All who have died without a knowledge of this Gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be heirs of the celestial kingdom of God; also all that shall die henceforth without a knowledge of it, who would have received it with all their hearts, shall be heirs of that kingdom, for I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts."

So it will be with your fathers. There will be very few, if any, who will not accept the Gospel. Jesus while His body lay in the tomb, went and preached to the spirits in prison, who were destroyed in the days of Noah. After so long an imprisonment, in torment, they doubtless gladly embraced the Gospel, and if so they will be saved in the kingdom of God. The fathers of this people will embrace the Gospel. It is my duty to honor my father who begot me in the flesh. It is your duty to do the same. When you do this, the Spirit of God will be with you. And we shall continue this work, the Lord adding light to that which we have already received. I have had friends adopted to me. We all have, more or less. But I have had peculiar feelings about it, especially lately. There are men in this congregation who wish to be adopted to me. I say to them, if they can hear me, Go and be adopted to your fathers, and save your fathers, and stand at the head of your father's house, as saviors upon Mount Zion and God will bless you in this. This is what I want to say, and what I want carried out in our temples.

The Almighty is with this people. We shall have all the revelations that we will need, if we will do our duty and obey the commandments of God. When any of us get so that we cannot receive these revelations, the Lord will take us out of the way and put someone in our places who can. I am here today, on borrowed time, I may say. I would have been in the spirit world today, mingling with the spirits in the presence of God, had it not been for the cry of this people for my life when I lay at the gates of death a year ago. I have been preserved by the power of God. How long I shall live I do not know. It does not make any difference to me. But while I do live I want to do my duty. I want the Latter-day Saints to do their duty. Here is the Holy Priesthood in these mountains. Their responsibility is great and mighty. The eyes of God and all the holy prophets are watching us. This is the great dispensation that has been spoken of ever since the world began. We are gathered together in these mountains of Israel by the power and commandment of God. We are doing the work of God. This is not our home, as far as mortality is concerned. We shall soon pass away. But while here let us fill our mission. I want to say to Brother L. Snow, Brother M. W. Merrill, Brother J. D. T. McAllister and Brother D. H. Cannon, and all associated with you, carry these things before the Lord and see for yourselves. If you are not satisfied with this order of things, go and ask the Lord about it, and the Holy Ghost will reveal to you the truth of these principles.

This is all I ought to say at this time, perhaps upon this subject. I am glad to meet with you. I have had a great anxiety, over this matter. I have had a great desire that I might live to deliver these principles to the Latter-day Saints, for they are true. They are one step forward in the work of the ministry and in the work of the endowment in these temples of our God. * * * A man may say: "I am an Apostle, or I am a High Priest, or I am an Elder in Israel, and if I am adopted to my father, will it take any honor from me." I would say not. If Joseph Smith was sealed to his father, with whom many of you were acquainted, what effect will that have upon his exaltation and glory? None at all. Joseph Smith will hold the keys of this dispensation to the endless ages of eternity. It is the greatest dispensation God ever gave to man, and he was ordained before the world was to stand in the flesh and organize this work. He was martyred for the word of God and testimony of Jesus, and when he comes in the clouds of heaven he will wear a martyr's crown. Those of you who stand here-I do not care whether you are apostles or what you are-by honoring your father you will not take any honor from your heads; you will hold the keys of the salvation of your father's house, as Joseph Smith does. You will lose nothing by honoring your fathers and redeeming your dead. It is a glorious work.

When I returned from England in 1841 and heard Joseph Smith give this revelation, that we had power to redeem our dead, one of the first things I thought was, "I have a mother in the spirit world." My father was in the flesh. I baptized and ordained him and brought him up to Zion, where he is buried. But I never saw my mother to know her. She died when I was an infant. I had power to seal my mother to my father. Was that not a satisfaction? It was to me. I have gone to work with the assistance of my friends and redeemed my father's and my mother's house. When I went to inquire of the Lord how I could redeem my dead, while I was in St. George, not having any of my family there, the Lord told me to call upon the Saints in St. George and let them officiate for me in that temple, and it should be acceptable unto Him. Brother McAllister and the brethren and sisters there have assisted me in this work, and I felt to bless them with every feeling of my heart. This is a revelation to us. We can help one another in these matters, if we have not relatives sufficient to carry this on, and it will be acceptable unto the Lord.

Brethren and sisters, lay these things to heart. Let us go on with our records, fill them up righteously before the Lord, and carry out this principle, and the blessings of God will attend us, and those who are redeemed will bless us in days to come. I pray God that as a people our eyes may be opened to see, our ears to hear, and our hearts to understand the great and mighty work that rests upon our shoulders, and that the God of heaven requires at our hand. Great and glorious are these principles which God has revealed to us concerning the redemption of our dead. I tell you when the prophets and apostles go to preach to those who are shut up in prison, and who have not received the Gospel, thousands of them will there embrace the Gospel. They know more in that world than they do here. I pray God that as a people we may have power to magnify our calling in this great and mighty dispensation while we dwell in the flesh that when our work is done we may be satisfied with this life and this work. This is my prayer and the desire of my heart, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

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

175 years ago today - Apr 18, 1844

[Quorum of Twelve]
... "Kimball said men on the Hill say Foster has spoke of Joseph as murdered, Bogus maker, counterfeiter, adu[l]terer and [publicized ?]

H. Kimball — moved R. D. Foster be cut off from the church [2nd ?] by Wm Clayton and [J. ?] P. Green.--

Cahoon — Foster had stated on the hill he had been called to women when/where the father was Joseph.

... went to Wm [William Law's] wife to attempt to seduce him. Joseph wanted her to come into the order. not privilege to seld [sealed] unless he obed [sic]

Privilege sealed to him — watch his opportunity Wm out in bedroom attempt to take [her or him ?] abed. — [repent or serpent ?] & kill him spare his life she told her husband — got [time ?] told William. — Joseph swore [?] Wm told Joseph Wm wife some [lied ?] when. Joseph said you did Joseph acknowledged & seal[e]d William & wife

Was not a more gallant scoundrel ever hung between the heavens and the earth

Vote carried unanimously, — Wilson Law, Clayton moved Wm Law be cut off 2nd ...

[Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: Minutes of Meetings and Other Documents--Excerpts, 1835-1896, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

175 years ago today - Apr 18, 1844

Joseph meets with 32 leading Church brethren (22 of whom belong to the Council of Fifty) to make a ruling about certain Church dissidents. Robert D. Foster, Wilson Law, William Law, Jane Law, and Howard Smith are excommunicated for "unchristianlike conduct." These men did not reject Mormonism, but regarded Joseph as a fallen, not a false, prophet, and planned to set up their own church. They made various charges against Joseph's character. William Law accused Joseph of propositioning Law's wife. Joseph claimed that when he told Jane Law that her husband, William, was unworthy of celestial sealing due to admitted adultery, she then begged to be sealed to Joseph. Several months later Jesse Price would testify that on April 18, 1844, William Law had gone out with pistols determined to blow Joseph's "infernal brains out," saying that he was determined to kill Joseph at first opportunity.

[Conkling, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology]

175 years ago today - Apr 18, 1844

William Miller's 2nd predicted date for the end of the world. Miller writes "I confess my error, and acknowledge my disappointment; yet I still believe that the day of the Lord is near, even at the door."

[Brooke, John L. The Refiner's Fire: The Making of Mormon Cosmology, 1644-1844. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1994. p.276]

175 years ago today - Thursday, Apr 18, 1844

[Joseph Fielding]
As to me I have evidence enough that Joseph [Smith] is not fallen, I have seen him after giving as I before said the origin of Masonry, organize the Kingdom of God on the Earth and am myself a Member of it in this I feel myself highly honored but I feel grieved that at this time of the greatest Light and the greatest Glory and Honor, Men of so much Knowledge and Understanding, should cut themselves off.

[Joseph Fielding journal, as quoted in Jedediah S. Rogers (editor), The Council of Fifty: A Documentary History, Signature Books (2014)]

175 years ago today - Thursday, Apr 18, 1844

This day President Joseph [Smith] introduced J[oseph] W. Coolidge and D[avid] S. Hollister and added L[yman] Wight's name, and then declared the council full. The names as they now stand of those who have called upon to form the grand Kingdom of God by revelation are as follows: [50 names listed] ... much precious instructions were given and it seems like heaven began on earth and the power of God is with us.

[William Clayton journal, 129–31, as quoted in Jedediah S. Rogers (editor), The Council of Fifty: A Documentary History, Signature Books (2014)]

175 years ago today - Thursday, Apr 18, 1844

[Charles Walker]
Pres [Erastus] Snow ... Related the circumstance of P[arley] P. Pratt and others trying to organize a Kingdom and how they were perplexed and bothered in their efforts even in framing the plan, and after they had exhausted all their Wisdom and understanding and spent weeks in trying to accomplish the desired [end]-and God thro Joseph Smith revealed unto him the following as a plan, viz., My People are the constitution and I am their God. Henceforth do as I command you.

[Charles L. Walker diary, June 5, 1870, as quoted in Jedediah S. Rogers (editor), The Council of Fifty: A Documentary History, Signature Books (2014)]

50 years ago today - Apr 17, 1969

The Church announces the construction of the new twenty-eight-story Church Office Building in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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

155 years ago today - Apr 17, 1864

President Brigham Young[,] John Taylor & G[eorge]. A Smith met for Prayers. President Young said I am going to tell you something that I have never before mentioned to any other Person ['-] I have ordained my sons Joseph A.[,] Brigham & John W. Apostles and my Counsellors. Have you any objections? J[ohn]. Taylor & G[eorge]. A. Smith said they had not, that it was his own affair & they considered it under his own direction. He further stated In ordaining my sons I have done no more than I am perfectly willing that you should do with yours. And I am now determined to put my sons into active service in the Spiritual Affairs of the Kingdom and keep them thare just as long as possible ['-] you have the same privilege. [s] John Taylor [s] Geo[rge]. A. Smith

[Wilford Woodruff, Historian's Private Journal, 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]

175 years ago today - Apr 17, 1844

[Nauvoo Neighbor]
- Reprinted Story: "The Globe and Joe Smith" -- The Sangame Journal -- Written in favor of Joseph Smith's candidacy for President, and his opinion of the role of government, by a non-member. ...

- Story: Affidavits of Anti-Mormons -- Editorial -- Publishes false affidavits against the Saints, led by M. G. Eaton, generally dealing with Polygamy.

- Story: Land of Liberty -- Joseph Smith -- A document outlining the freedoms of this country and speaking of his candidacy for President.


180 years ago today - Apr 17, 1839

Brigham Young, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, decides that the Twelve would return to Far West, Missouri, to fulfill the Lord's commandment for the Twelve to leave on their mission to Great Britain from the temple site at Far West (D&C 118:4–5).

Wilford Woodruff writes: "prepared myself to accompany the twelve to fulfill a certain revelation & commandment of the Lord which required us to take our leave of the Saints at far west on the 26th day of April 1839 for the nations of the earth."

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

185 years ago today - Apr 17, 1834

Sidney Rigdon speaks in the Kirtland Temple about the redemption of Zion, and Joseph asks members to contribute all they can. They receive $29.68 for the redemption of Zion.

[Conkling, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology]