15 years ago today - May 26, 2009

The California Supreme Court upheld Prop 8 determining the proposition legally adjusted the state's constitution. Thousands of San Diegans rallied from Balboa Park to the Hall of Justice to protest the ruling.

[Prop 8 Timeline, NBC San Diego, http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/politics/Proposition-8-Timeline-History-California--138796454.html]

60 years ago today - May 26, 1964

Mark E. Peterson to Hugh B. Brown: "he wished there was some way to keep Brother Benson out of politics."

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

115 years ago today - May 26, 1909

[Thomas A. Clawson Diary]

"Held our regular Block Teachers (Sic) Meeting after the servide. Bro John Woodmansee was the home missionary and his talk was upon the Adam God doctrine which was entirely to (Sic) deep for him as well as for all who listened to him. In fact it was a very dry and unprofitable meeting."

[Diary Excerpts of Thomas A. Clawson, Signature Books Library, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

180 years ago today - May 26, 1844

Joseph Smith states in a public address, "What a thing it is for a man to be accused of committing adultery, and having seven wives, when I can find only one." Three days previously his former first counselor William Law had filed a suit against Joseph charging him with living with Maria Lawrence "in an open state of adultery." Joseph took Maria Lawrence as a plural wife on Oct 12, 1843. She was only one of his over two dozen plural wives.

Joseph Smith declares publicly: "I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such work as I did."

180 years ago today - May 26, 1844

Joseph speaks out against the apostates and recounts his many trials and persecutions. "I should be like a fish out of water, if I were out of persecutions. Perhaps my brethren think it requires all this to keep me humble. The Lord has constituted me so curiously that I glory in persecution. . . . When facts are proved, truth and innocence will prevail at last." Joseph then counterpoints each charge and each apostate—Mr. Simpson, Dr. Foster, Chauncey Higbee, William Law, Joseph Jackson, and Wilson Law. Joseph concludes, "I am the same man, and as innocent as I was fourteen years ago. . . . As I grow older, my heart grows tenderer for you. I am at all times willing to give up everything that is wrong, for I wish this people to have a virtuous leader."

[Conkling, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology]

185 years ago today - May 26, 1839

Elder Pratt and the others reach Boone County and are thrown into another dirty prison.

[Conkling, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology]

190 years ago today - May 26, 1834

[Heber C. Kimball]

26 On Monday 26th, we resumed our journey [Zion's Camp march]. At night we were alarmed by the continual threatening of our enemies. I would here remark that notwithstanding so many threats were thrown out against us we did not fear nor hesitate to proceed on our journey for God was with us, and angels went before us, and we had no fear of either men or devils. This we know because they (angels) were seen.

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

190 years ago today - May 26, 1834

(Zion's Camp) They cross a 16-mile prairie. They have to strain the "wigglers" out of their water before they can drink it. They finally come to a well of water, for which they all rejoice. They camp a mile west of the Embarras River. Joseph Smith tells the men not to hurt the rattlesnakes they find, stating that "men must become harmless, before the brute creation; when men lose their vicious dispositions and cease to destroy the animal race, the lion and the lamb can dwell together, and the sucking child can play with the serpent in safety." Brethren carry the snakes out on sticks. Joseph tells them not to kill any animal on the trip unless it is absolutely necessary for food. Joseph then shoots a squirrel. The brethren decide to cook it and eat it so that it will not be wasted, and Joseph is glad they listened to his precept more than his example, "which was right." Parley P. Pratt and Amasa Lyman return to the group bringing twelve new men.

[Conkling, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology]

205 years ago today - May 26, 1819

Palmyra Register publishes speculation "this country was once inhabited by a race of people, partially civilized, exterminated by forefathers of the…tribes of Indians in this country."

[Natural Born Seer, Richard Van Wagoner p. 376; Chronology of Mormon History, http://followtheprophets.com/chronology-of-mormon-history/]

105 years ago today - May 25, 1919

At a Salt Lake temple testimony meeting, several report that during the recent weeks they saw Heber J. Grant transfigured into the appearance of the deceased Joseph F. Smith.

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

130 years ago today - May 25, 1894

First Counselor George Q. Cannon, at the request of President Wilford Woodruff, signs a recommend for a post-manifesto plural marriage for Hattie Merrill, daughter of Apostle Marriner W. Merrill, president of the Logan Temple, and and John W. Barnett. The marriage is solemnized in the Logan Temple on Jul 16.

135 years ago today - May 25, 1889

Wilford Woodruff writes to George Terry (Shoshone chief and Mormon Elder): "We fully expect that the Lamanites . . . will receive many manifestations in the last days . . . It is probable that they will receive the ministrations of perhaps the three Nephites.... But the description which you give to the narration of these Indians who have seen these supernatural things, does not inspire us with much confidence. Great care has to be taken not to allow a wrong spirit to prevail among those people for their tendency, as we understand, is to accept alleged supernatural manifestations with a great deal of credulity." Terry had written Woodruff that "the Lord is working amongst them and has sent heavenly messengers, and that great events are about to take place."

165 years ago today - May 25, 1859

- "Major Carleton, of the first dragoons. In a despatch to the assistant adjutant-general at San Francisco, dated Mountain Meadows, May 25, 1859, he says: 'A Pah Ute chief of the Santa Clara band, named Jackson, who was one of the attacking party, and had a brother slain by the emigrants from their corral by the spring, says that orders came down in a letter from Brigham Young that the emigrants were to be killed; and a chief of the Pah Utes, named Touche, now living on the Virgin River, told me that a letter from Brigham Young to the same effect was brought down to the Virgin River band by a man named Huntingdon.' A copy of the major's despatch will be found in the Hand-book of Mormonism, 67-9. Cradlebaugh says that after the attack had been made, one of the Indians declared that a white man came to their camp with written orders from Brigham to 'go and help to whip the emigrants.' "

["History of Utah," p. 561; Exploring Mormonism: Mountain Meadows Massacre Timeline, http://www.exploringmormonism.com/mountain-meadows-massacre-timeline/]

180 years ago today - May 25, 1844

While Joseph Smith keeps "out of the way of expected arrests from Carthage" for perjury and polygamy, the Council of Fifty "made arrangements to have" Joseph installed as postmaster for Nauvoo "and have control of the post office."

180 years ago today - May 25, 1844

Joseph learns that two indictments have been sworn out against him. William Law has charged Joseph with polygamy; Robert D. Foster and Joseph H. Jackson have charged him with false swearing. The high council in Nauvoo begins its counterattack against those attacking the character of Joseph Smith. They publish the sworn testimony of four Nauvoo women who claim that "Chauncey L. Higbee had brought about their ruin by deceit" by seducing them with the supposed approval and authorization of Joseph Smith. "The character of Chauncey L. Higbee is so infamous, and his exertions such as to destroy every principle of righteousness, that forbearance is no longer a virtue." Sidney Rigdon resigns the office of postmaster of Nauvoo and recommends Joseph Smith as his successor. (Apparently Joseph had been pressuring Sidney to resign ever since their disagreement the previous year in which Joseph charged him with corresponding and conspiring with John C. Bennett against Joseph.. He had also
suspected Sidney, as postmaster, of reading—and not delivering—some of Joseph's personal mail.)

[Conkling, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology]

205 years ago today - May 25, 1819

The Weekly Visitor publishes about Cochran and his concepts of Spiritual Wifery

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

25 years ago today - May 24, 1999

Launch of Church-sponsored genealogy Web site (www.familysearch.org); site receives approximately 8. million hits per day.

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

180 years ago today - May 24, 1844

May 24 [1844] called at J[oseph]: Smith 10 oc'l[oc]k foren[oon] [page torn] took Dinner <read German> after Dinner met the Sax & fox Indians Dancet their Waar Dany [dance]--24 called at Br[other] J[oseph]. S[mith] met Mr [Edward] Bonnie --Br[other] Joseph tolt us the first call he had a Revival Meeting his Mother & Br[other] & Sist[er] got Religion, he wanted to get Religion too wanted to feel & sho shout like the Rest but could feel nothing, opened his Bible f the first Passage that struck him was if any man lack Wisdom let him ask of God who giveth to all men liberallity & upbraidat not [James 1:5] went into the Wood to pray kneelt himself down his tongue was closet cleavet to his roof--could utter not a word, felt easier after a while--saw a fire towards heaven came near & nearer saw a personage in the fire light complexion blue eyes a piece of white cloth drawn over his shoulders his right arm bear after a wile a other person came to the side of the first Mr Smith then asked
must I join the Methodist Church--No--they are not my People, sl [they] have gone astray there is none that doeth good no not one, but this is my Beloved son harken ye him, the fire drew nigher Rested upon the tree enveloped him [p. 1] [page torn] comforted Indeavoured to arise but felt uncomen feeble--got into the house told the Methodist priest, said this was not a age for God to Reveal himself in Vision Revelation has ceased with the New Testament. . . .

[Alexander Neibaur, Journal, 24 May 1844, LDS Church Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah., as cited in Dan Vogel, Early Mormon Documents: Joseph Smith Recital To Alexander Neibaur]

35 years ago today - May 24, 1989

Political terrorists kill Elders Jeffrey B. Ball and Todd R. Wilson in La Paz, Bolivia. They are first LDS missionaries to be killed for political reasons. FBI agent Mike McPheters, formerly LDS missionary in Bolivia, receives Bolivian national medal of honor for his successful investigation of Ball-Wilson murders.

180 years ago today - May 24, 1844

Joseph H. Jackson also swears out a writ against Joseph. Rockwell and Johnson reach Carthage to find that a jury has already been called for Joseph's case, and it is too late to change the warrant.

[Conkling, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology]

45 years ago today - May 24, 1979-Thursday

[Leonard Arrington]

Yesterday I had lunch with James, and Ida Smith, the director of the Women's Institute at BYU. ... Ida is obviously very intelligent, capable, and had excellent experience in dealing with people. Although she has presumably been active in the Church she has had the same feeling as many single women-sort of outside of things. She is honest, candid, politically astute, with the right attitudes about things. Her principal frustration now is how to get her findings-the findings of her Institute-to the right people, the General Authorities. There isn't any avenue for getting this to them. So far as objectives of the Church and women, she feels that the main thing is for the Lord to declare-the Church to declare-that women and men are equal-not the same but equal in standing before the Lord. I asked her if she would care to give some examples of symbolic gestures the Church might make to demonstrate that it does in fact accept women as equals. (She had stated that many women feel they're
not treated as equals.) I mentioned a variety of things: 1. Have a woman-say the president of the Relief Society-sit on the stand at General Conference. 2. Have a woman-say Barbara Smith or Elaine Cannon-speak in general conference. 3. Have the Relief Society president sit in on meetings of the [local ward] Bishopric. 4. Permit women to stand in the circle when their baby is being blessed. 5. Have a woman sit on the expenditures committee of the Church. 6. Resurrect the Relief Society Magazine so that women have their own magazine. She said any or all of those would help. The most important thing, she said, was to help the bishops get the message that women and men are equal in the sight of the Lord, and Church. The problem isn't with most General Authorities-the problem is with certain bishops, the message they get. She mentioned certain things, like the women's fireside. Why could they not call it a women's conference? The mothers' and daughters' meeting held in connection with
area conferences. What does that do for the large number of women, both young and old, who are not mothers? They do not feel welcome and they ought to be there. She mentioned that President [Spencer W.] Kimball has brought up in two or three of his last conference addresses the matter of the mother in heaven, but somehow or other this doesn't seem to go any further. In pioneer days women were regarded as separate but equivalent to the priesthood. Women were given charge of women's affairs-the Relief Society, Young Women, and Primary. But now there has to be a General Authority adviser over each, and women don't ever get access to the Twelve

[Apostles] or to the First Presidency. By the time their recommendations go through their priesthood adviser and then to the Twelve, it gets to the First Presidency in greatly diluted and altered form, so that they have no avenue for having direct contact with the people who make the basic decisions. She asked me who in the Quorum of the Twelve were people who would look sympathetically and favorably upon women's problems? I had to think a little while and finally I said Howard Hunter and LeGrand Richards in the Twelve, and Duff [Marion D.] Hanks, Paul Dunn, and Homer Durham in the 70s. She then asked me who in the Twelve would be least sympathetic. I told her I could answer that very easily and quickly with a lot of names, and I started to do so: Elder [Boyd K.] Packer, Elder [Ezra Taft] Benson, Elder [Mark E.] Petersen, Elder [L. Tom] Perry, ... She said Stop, you've proven my point already. So you see why it is difficult for us to do things that would be beneficial to
women? I asked her how she happened to be chosen for the institute position. She said a few years ago she was in charge of a group in Palo Alto that invited [BYU] President [Dallin H.] Oaks to speak. He wasn't able to and he didn't do this sort of thing, but by some maneuvering they got an invitation for him to speak to BYU alumni in the San Francisco region. She said President Oaks told her in a subsequent letter that he was very impressed with her and would very much like to get her at BYU when the opportunity arose. Another input was from Marilyn Arnold, who had met her in some connection in Palo Alto. Anyway, she was surprised to be offered the position but feels that she is the right person for it, and that the Lord is pleased to have her there.

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

180 years ago today - May 24, 1844

[Alexander Neibaur First Vision account]

.... Br[other] Joseph tolt us the first call he had a Revival Meeting his Mother & Br[other] & Sist[er] got Religion, he wanted to get Religion too wanted to feel & sho shout like the Rest but could feel nothing, opened his Bible f the first Passage that struck him was if any man lack Wisdom let him ask of God who giveth to all men liberallity & upbraidat not [James 1:5] went into the Wood to pray kneelt himself down his tongue was closet cleavet to his roof--could utter not a word, felt easier after a while--saw a fire towards heaven came near & nearer saw a personage in the fire light complexion blue eyes a piece of white cloth drawn over his shoulders his right arm bear after a wile a other person came to the side of the first Mr Smith then asked must I join the Methodist Church--No--they are not my People, sl [they] have gone astray there is none that doeth good no not one, but this is my Beloved son harken ye him, the fire drew nigher Rested upon the tree enveloped him [p. 1]
[page torn] comforted Indeavoured to arise but felt uncomen feeble--got into the house told the Methodist priest, said this was not a age for God to Reveal himself in Vision Revelation has ceased with the New Testament. . . .

[Alexander Neibaur, Journal, 24 May 1844, LDS Church Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah., as cited in Dan Vogel, Early Mormon Documents: Joseph Smith Recital To Alexander Neibaur]

80 years ago today - May 24, 1944

During World War II, the Church announces that it will restrict the calling of military-age men as bishops, freeing many for service in the war.

185 years ago today - May 24, 1839

[Brigham Young]

--24-- I walked out with five others of the Twelve to the prairie, visited many mounds and the grave of a Lamanite chief.

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

90 years ago today - May 24, 1934

[President Heber J. Grant Diary]

After lunch we read the communication from President Rudger Clawson making a recommendation by the Twelve that Elders should be ordained Seventies before they go on missions. We approved of their recommendation. The letter was also signed by Elder J. Golden Kimball. The proposition is that the Elders shall be trained a full year or more before they are called on missions, and made Seventies before they go.

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

195 years ago today - about May 24, 1829

Susquehanna River, Pennsylvania. A short time after Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery received the Aaronic Priesthood, the Melchizedek Priesthood was also conferred upon them by the ancient Apostles Peter, James, and John along the banks of the Susquehanna,

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

95 years ago today - May 24, 1929

[Joseph Fielding Smith]

Received long (38 pages) letter'rather insolent, from O K Meservy of St. Anthony in which he defended his views of 'pre-Adamites' and other foolish notions.

[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, 1904 (Tuesday)

The Baptists in convention assembled at Cleveland, Ohio passed a resolution denouncing "Mormonism" and demanding the removal of Senator [apostle] Reed Smoot.

[Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

125 years ago today - May 24, 1899; Wednesday

[First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve minutes]

130 years ago today - May 24, 1894 (Thursday)

Davis County applied for an injunction to prevent "General" Smith's "Industrial army" from marching through the county.

[Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

145 years ago today - May 24, 1879

Apostles Brigham Young, Jr. and George Q. Cannon, as editors of DESERET NEWS, write concerning astrology: "It is quite probable that some planets exert a baneful and others a beneficial power on the earth and its inhabitants."

150 years ago today - May 24, 1874

[Brigham Young Sermon]

Brigham Young asked if members in school would live united order, two objected and were removed from school. -- Salt Lake City

[School of the Prophets Minutes 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]

160 years ago today - May 24, 1864

[Brigham Young Sermon]

President Young said while speaking of the doctrine of the Plurality of wives that there were but few Elders in this Church that would receive the exaltation they were looking for. It would save a good many more women than men. There are but few men that Enter into it that keep the Law.

[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 24, 1844

After Joseph Smith recounted his first vision experience to Neibaur, he continued and "told about Mr Wm [William] Law--wisht to be Married to his Wife [Jane] for Eternity[.] Mr Smith said [he] would Inquire of the Lord, Answered ["]no["] because Law was a Adultereous person."

Later, when William was not at home, Joseph reported that Jane invited him in, "she drawing her Arms around him [Joseph, said "]if you wont seal me to my husband Seal myself unto you.["] he Said ["]stand away["] & pushing her Gently aside giving her a denial & going out. when Mr Law came home he Inquired who had been in his Absence. she said no one but Br Joseph, he then demanded what had[pass[ed.] Mrs L[aw] then told Joseph wandet [wanted] her to be Married to him".

[Journal of Alexander Neibaur, 24 May 1844, Church Archives, image available at https://eadview.lds.org/findingaid/viewer/archive/?is_rtl=false&is_mobile=false&dps_dvs=1415235011308~767&dps_pid=IE2250344#page/26/mode/1up]

180 years ago today - May 24, 1844

Telegraph introduced by Samuel Morse with first telegraphed message on ―lightening line from Baltimore, Maryland, to Congress in Washington, D. C. saying ―What hath God wrought? The introduction of the telegraph, was the first time in human history messages could travel faster than the fastest form of transportation.

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

180 years ago today - May 24, 1844

May 24 [1844] called at J[oseph]: Smith 10 oc'l[oc]k foren[oon] [page torn] took Dinner <read German> after Dinner met the Sax & fox Indians Dancet their Waar Dany [dance]--24 called at Br[other] J[oseph]. S[mith] met Mr [Edward] Bonnie --Br[other] Joseph tolt us the first call he had a Revival Meeting his Mother & Br[other] & Sist[er] got Religion, he wanted to get Religion too wanted to feel & sho shout like the Rest but could feel nothing, opened his Bible f the first Passage that struck him was if any man lack Wisdom let him ask of God who giveth to all men liberallity & upbraidat not [James 1:5] went into the Wood to pray kneelt himself down his tongue was closet cleavet to his roof--could utter not a word, felt easier after a while--saw a fire towards heaven came near & nearer saw a personage in the fire light complexion blue eyes a piece of white cloth drawn over his shoulders his right arm bear after a wile a other person came to the side of the first Mr Smith then asked
must I join the Methodist Church--No--they are not my People, sl [they] have gone astray there is none that doeth good no not one, but this is my Beloved son harken ye him, the fire drew nigher Rested upon the tree enveloped him [p. 1] [page torn] comforted Indeavoured to arise but felt uncomen feeble--got into the house told the Methodist priest, said this was not a age for God to Reveal himself in Vision Revelation has ceased with the New Testament. . . .

[Alexander Neibaur, Journal, 24 May 1844, LDS Church Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah., as cited in Dan Vogel, Early Mormon Documents: Joseph Smith Recital To Alexander Neibaur]

180 years ago today - May 24, 1844

Joseph H. Jackson also swears out a writ against Joseph. Rockwell and Johnson reach Carthage to find that a jury has already been called for Joseph's case, and it is too late to change the warrant.

[Conkling, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology]

180 years ago today - May 24, 1844

[Alexander Neibaur First Vision account]

.... Br[other] Joseph tolt us the first call he had a Revival Meeting his Mother & Br[other] & Sist[er] got Religion, he wanted to get Religion too wanted to feel & sho shout like the Rest but could feel nothing, opened his Bible f the first Passage that struck him was if any man lack Wisdom let him ask of God who giveth to all men liberallity & upbraidat not [James 1:5] went into the Wood to pray kneelt himself down his tongue was closet cleavet to his roof--could utter not a word, felt easier after a while--saw a fire towards heaven came near & nearer saw a personage in the fire light complexion blue eyes a piece of white cloth drawn over his shoulders his right arm bear after a wile a other person came to the side of the first Mr Smith then asked must I join the Methodist Church--No--they are not my People, sl [they] have gone astray there is none that doeth good no not one, but this is my Beloved son harken ye him, the fire drew nigher Rested upon the tree enveloped him [p. 1]
[page torn] comforted Indeavoured to arise but felt uncomen feeble--got into the house told the Methodist priest, said this was not a age for God to Reveal himself in Vision Revelation has ceased with the New Testament. . . .

[Alexander Neibaur, Journal, 24 May 1844, LDS Church Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah., as cited in Dan Vogel, Early Mormon Documents: Joseph Smith Recital To Alexander Neibaur]

185 years ago today - May 24, 1839

[Brigham Young]

--24-- I walked out with five others of the Twelve to the prairie, visited many mounds and the grave of a Lamanite chief.

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

195 years ago today - about May 24, 1829

Susquehanna River, Pennsylvania. A short time after Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery received the Aaronic Priesthood, the Melchizedek Priesthood was also conferred upon them by the ancient Apostles Peter, James, and John along the banks of the Susquehanna,

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

35 years ago today - May 23, 1989

The First Presidency's office completes documents which give Counselors Gordon B. Hinckley and Thomas S. Monson power of attorney for church president Ezra Taft Benson, which "shall not be affected by [his] disability" or "incompetance." The church president does not sign these legal documents which are instead "signed" by a signature machine in the First Presidency's office. The identical signature of Ezra Taft Benson also appears on a similar document, dated 25 Feb. 1993, and also filed with the state of Utah. Although the Presidency's office uses its AUTO-PEN machine to create the church president's signature on correspondence, missionary calls, and other routine documents, this use of signature machine for legal documents (especially power-of-attorney) is unprecedented. Disclosure of this by the Salt Lake Tribune fuels speculation that Benson is already in mental decline by 1989.

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

75 years ago today - May 23, 1949

[Ezra Taft Benson]

elected a member of the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America.

[Wikipedia entry: Ezra Taft Benson]

95 years ago today - May 23, 1929

[Joseph Fielding Smith]

Attended a social gathering of the Ensign Club'composed of BYU students graduates. Was disgusted with the manner of dress of some of the women.

[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]

135 years ago today - May 23, 1889

President Wilford Woodruff "went with Bros. Geo Q Cannon F D Richards & H J Grant to the [uncompleted] Salt Lake Temple to decide in regard to the steps at the main entrances East & west. I went up onto the roof of the Temple and examined it. Decided on the Steps. Also examined the opening for an Elevator."

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

170 years ago today - May 23, 1854

[Hosea Stout Diary]

Tuesday 23 May 1854. Lounging around with nothing to do and so lazy that life is almost a drug

[Diaries of Hosea Stout]

170 years ago today - May 23, 1854 (Tuesday)

Late in May, (after a "talk" with Pres. Brigham Young), the Indian chief Walker, surrounded by his braves, and Kanosh, chief of the Pauvan Indians, entered into a formal treaty of peace at Chicken Creek, Juab Co. This ended the Ute war, during which 19 white persons and many Indians had been killed, a number of the smaller settlements had been broken up, and their inhabitants moved to the larger towns.

[Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

180 years ago today - May 23, 1844

[William Clayton]

Prest J kept still in his room all day. About 3 P.M. Lathrop came in from Carthage and brought news that the grand jury had found a bill against Prest. J. for adultery and that an attachment would be here immediately for him and Dr Richards.

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

180 years ago today - May 23, 1844

William Law files a formal complaint with the Hancock County circuit court charging Smith was living "in an open state of adultery" with Maria Lawrence, Smith's foster daughter and polygamous wife. Maria Lawrence was a teenaged orphan who was living in the Smith household. In fact, Smith had secretly married both Maria, age 19 ,and her sister Sarah, age 17 on 11 May 1843 and was serving as executor of their $8,000 estate. William Law apparently hoped that disclosing Smith's relationship with the young girls might lead him to abandon polygamy, but Smith immediately excommunicated Law, had himself appointed the girls' legal guardian, and rejected the charge in front of a church congregation on 26 May 1844, denying that he had more than one wife. Suit filed against Smith for adultery with foster daughter.

[Joseph Smith Polygamy Timeline, http://www.i4m.com/think/polygamy/JS_Polygamy_Timeline.htm]

180 years ago today - May 23, 1844

With my family reading Hebrew with [Alexander] Neibaur ...

1 P.M. Held council with the Indians Sac and Fox &c. in my back kitchen. They told me (Joseph) "You are a big chief. We are sons of /2 as/ big men /and Priests/ as ever inhabited this land. You preach a great deal so say great Spirit, you be as great and good as our fathers that will do. Our worship is different, but we are good as any other men. .... We are very poor. Whites cheat us. But no difference not long to live. We wanted to let you know we were a Christian people."

I replied "We know you have been wronged, but we bought this land and paid our money for it. Advise you not to sell any more land. Cultivate peace with all men with the different tribes. Great spirit wants you to be united and live in peace. Found a book (presenting the Book of Mormon) which told me about your fathers and Great spirit told me. You must send to all the tribes you can and tell them to live in peace and when any of our people come to see you treat them as we treat you."

3 P.M. Indians commenced a war dance in front of my old house. Our people commencing with music and firing cannon. After the dance which lasted about 2 hours firing of cannon closed the exercise. With our music marched back to office. Before they commenced dancing the Saints collected $9.45 cents for to get them food....

Hyrum was in this evening and cautioned me about speaking so freely about my enemies and in such a manner they could make it actionable. I told him 6 months would not roll over his head before they would swear 12 as palpable lies about him as they had about me.

[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 - May 23, 1844

[Heber C. Kimball diary]

" ... Remember me to Helen and Sarah Ann Whitney [both plural wives of Joseph Smith] and tell them to be good girls and cultivate union, and listen to counsel from the proper source—then they will get the victory. [Letter, Heber C. Kimball to family]"

My acquaintance with Sarah Ann Whitney, eldest daughter of Bishop N. K. and Elizabeth Ann Whitney, whose name is mentioned in one of my father's letters, I began to make in the spring of 1842. Though our parents had long been associated, and we had known each other since the schooldays of Kirtland, but as she was some four years older than myself, who had entered my teens but a few months previous, I had never thought of becoming a companion to her. ... This was quite a select party. Among them were the daughters of Elder Rigdon, Bishop Higbee's sons, the Miss Pierces, (Margaret Pierce Young being one of them) and Rachel, Mary and Mary Ann Ivins, the former, now Rachel Grant, were cousins, with some of their brothers and many others too numerous to mention, were among the guests. The Prophet spent a little time with them, but took no part. .... About a year after her birthday party she invited my brother and I to attend another small party which, to me, was very pleasant
and far more enjoyable than the other, there being present only a few select friends. The Prophet was there during the early part of the evening, and some peculiar remarks which he made, I remember, gave food for talk and no little amount of wit which passed from one to the other after he had left; and William and I talked it over after we returned home, of the enjoyable time and the peculiarities of Joseph. ... It was not till the summer after he had gone east that I learned of the existence of the plural order of marriage, and that the spring of 1842 had seen his sister Sarah Ann the wife of Joseph Smith. My father was the first to introduce it to me; which had a similar effect to a sudden shock of a small earthquake. When he found (after the first outburst of displeasure for supposed injury) that I received it meekly, he took the first opportunity to introduce Sarah Ann to me as Joseph's wife. This astonished me beyond measure; but I could then understand a few things which had
previously been to me a puzzle, and among the rest, the meaning of his words at her party. I saw, or could imagine, in some degree, the great trial that she must have passed through, and that it had required a mighty struggle to take a step of that kind, and had called for a sacrifice, such as few can realize but those who first rendered obedience to this law. It was a strange doctrine, and very dangerous too, to be introduced at such a time, when in the midst of the greatest trouble Joseph had ever encountered. The Missourians and Illinoisians were ready and determined to destroy him. They could but take his life, and that he considered a small thing when compared with the eternal punishment which he was doomed to suffer if he did not teach and obey this principle. No earthly inducement could be held forth to the women who entered this order. It was to be a life-sacrifice for the sake of an everlasting glory and exaltation. Sarah Ann took this step of her own free will, but had to
do it unbeknown to her brother, which grieved her most, and also her mother, that they could not open their hearts to him. But Joseph feared to disclose it, believing that the Higbee boys would embitter Horace against him, as they had already caused serious trouble, and for this reason he favored his going east, which Horace was not slow to accept. He had had some slight suspicions that the stories about Joseph were not all without foundation, but had never told them, nor did he know the facts till after his return to Nauvoo, when Sarah hastened to tell him all. It was no small stumbling-block to him when learning of the course which had been taken towards him, which was hard for him to overlook. ... Sarah felt when she took this step that it would be the means of severing her from the happy circle in which she had moved as one of their guiding stars. ...

Bishop Whitney was not a man that readily accepted of every doctrine, and would question the Prophet very closely upon principles if not made clear to his understanding. When Joseph saw that he was doubtful concerning the righteousness of this celestial order he told him to go and enquire of the Lord concerning it, and he should receive a testimony for himself.

The bishop, with his wife, who had for years been called Mother Whitney, retired together and unitedly besought the Lord for a testimony whether or not this principle was from Him; and they ever after bore testimony that they received a manifestation and that it was so powerful they could not mistake it. The bishop never afterwards doubted, and they willingly gave to him their daughter, which was the strongest proof that they could possibly give of their faith and confidence in him as a true Prophet of God.

[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]

180 years ago today - May 23, 1844

William Law files a formal complaint with the Hancock County circuit court charging Smith was living "in an open state of adultery" with Maria Lawrence, Smith's foster daughter and polygamous wife. Maria Lawrence was a teenaged orphan who was living in the Smith household. In fact, Smith had secretly married both Maria, age 19 ,and her sister Sarah, age 17 on 11 May 1843 and was serving as executor of their $8,000 estate. William Law apparently hoped that disclosing Smith's relationship with the young girls might lead him to abandon polygamy, but Smith immediately excommunicated Law, had himself appointed the girls' legal guardian, and rejected the charge in front of a church congregation on 26 May 1844, denying that he had more than one wife. Suit filed against Smith for adultery with foster daughter.

[Joseph Smith Polygamy Timeline, http://www.i4m.com/think/polygamy/JS_Polygamy_Timeline.htm]

45 years ago today - May 22, 1979-Tuesday

[Leonard Arrington]

Today I sat next to Laury Cracroft in Rotary. He told me a number of interesting things. In 1939 when Vardis Fisher's book Children of God first appeared, the editor of the Utah literary magazine, The Pen, thought the book should be reviewed and asked Laury [a student] to do it. It was depression time, but Laury managed to get some money and buy the book from the Paris [Salt Lake City department store] and proceeded to review it for the Pen. He stated that the book would not of course be well received in Salt Lake City and within the Mormon community. Having said that, he then proceeded to describe and summarize the book. The next day after it appeared, he was called in by the dean of men at the U of U and told that he would almost certainly be kicked out of the university. He was warned by two or three administrative officials and received some nasty phone calls. When the Pen put out a special centennial edition in 1950, they included articles that had appeared in the Pen by
Bernard de Voto, Vardis Fisher, Wallace Stegner, Fawn Brodie, and one other person he couldn't recall, and himselfthis review. The next day after the Pen appeared there was [a] piece on the front page of the Deseret News-or maybe on the editorial page-criticizing strongly this edition of the Pen and using very strong language like "the U has no business publishing articles by all these apostates and anti-Mormons." [[Apostle Spencer W. Kimball "exploded" when he saw the Pen, according to Kimball and Kimball Jr., Spencer W. Kimball, 262.]]

Laury began to receive hostile telephone calls once more; in fact, many. He talked to one of his neighbors, Lou Callister, a prominent attorney. Lou said, "You have got a strong case, Laury. Clearly they have libeled you, and you have a good basis for suing. I wouldn't like to handle your case, but if you can't find anyone else, I'll do it." Laury's wife [Kathryn] complained so much about the telephone calls that she told him he should do something. So he went to Dr. [John A.] Widtsoe who was, he thought, a calm and reasonable man, and told him the story. Dr. Widtsoe said he would take up the matter with Deseret News and other officials and he thought they would work out something that would be satisfactory. Shortly thereafter persons from the Deseret News called him up and asked him to come over to discuss it. He said, "You're the ones that have given me the trouble; don't you think you ought to come to my office instead of yours? You're the ones that have caused it."
So they came over to his office, and they agreed to run a retraction on the first page in the location near where the other was-or maybe on the editorial page-a retraction worded by Laury himself. They did run it the next day. Below it, however, they did try to give some explanation or justification for the same. But this satisfied Laury, and the matter was essentially closed. ...

There's one other aspect to the story. At the time the article was published-I think on the Tuesday following the Sunday on which it appeared-Laury was to be proposed to be a member of Rotary. Laury thought this might result in persons voting against him, so he phoned up his sponsor and asked him whether he thought it would be proper for him to resign. The

sponsor said, "Definitely, it would be in your interest to resign." So Laury was fully prepared to do that. He mentioned this when he had his conversation with Dr. Widtsoe. Shortly thereafter he received a telephone call from Richard L. Evans, who was president of Salt Lake Rotary at the time. Brother Evans said, "Your resignation from having your name submitted has not been accepted and will not be. Your name will be submitted as if nothing had happened. There will not be a single person vote against you. You will be approved, and I welcome you next week to Rotary as a full-fledged member." Laury said, "I know you have done wonders, Brother Evans, but you can't possibly promise all this. I know there are people who will vote against me on the basis of that editorial." Brother Evans replied, "Laury, this is a fix, and when I fix things, you can depend on the fact that they are fixed!" Laury said, "How can you possibly work it out?" He said, "There will be four people
working until the next Rotary meeting and we will phone every single member of Rotary, and we will make sure that everyone votes for you. So don't worry about it." It happened, of course, and Laury was made a member and later became the president of the club.

I asked Laury who in the Deseret News had written the editorial making the libelous assertions. He said it was Mark Petersen, and Mark Petersen had always been against him in subsequent dealings that have taken place.

Two or three weeks ago in my Tuesday meeting with Elder [G. Homer] Durham, he started out by telling me that I had some special friend. He didn't know who the friend was, but it was a sister. The sister had written a letter to the First Presidency complaining that my picture was not with those of other Church Historians of the past. After Elder [Howard W.] Hunter there is a picture of Elder [Alvin R.] Dyer, and then Elder [Joseph] Anderson and then Elder Durham. The First Presidency had replied to this sister that they would investigate the matter. The First Presidency then wrote a letter to Elder Durham which verified that I had been selected as a Church historian, that I was a proper occupant of that office, and suggested to Brother Durham that either my picture ought to be put up or they would like a letter of explanation of why it shouldn't be. Elder Durham read the letter to me. He then said that it was the feeling that they should not put up my photo with the
others but simply provide an explanation next to the exhibit which would explain that in 1972 when the Historical Department was organized, that the managing director-a general authority-was regarded as the proper successor to Howard Hunter as Church Historian and Recorder. He asked me if I had any objections to that. I assured him that I had none, that the least of my thoughts was having my picture on the wall, and that it didn't matter a bit to me and never would, and I thought what he planned to do was just fine. He said he would then write a letter to the First Presidency explaining what they had done and justify it and tell them that of course I agreed with this.

I learned today, from her, that the person who had written the letter was Julie Harris of our book acquisition and cataloging staff. She seemed rather proud of having done so, and said she still believes that my picture should be there.

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

50 years ago today - May 22, 1974-Wednesday

[Leonard Arrington]

I recognize also that there is not full agreement among Latter-day Saint leaders as to items that ought to be included in our books. Not long ago I was in a study group, made up of important Church leaders (but no General Authorities were present) in which there was a dispute over the wisdom of telling seminary students that Brigham Young once chewed tobacco. One person contended that the story of his victory over the habit was faith promoting, and besides the fact of his use of tobacco is so well known that the student will find it out sooner or later and he will have more confidence in the material presented if this is told to him in advance. Another person disagreed completely and said that students will use this knowledge as an excuse for their own sins. There are arguments on both sides of this and other questions. Whatever we do will not be accepted completely by everybody but we do seek for credibility and for general confidence.

To say this another way, I recognize that some of our history cannot and should not be told. Judgment and discretion should be exercised. I recognize also that our history needs to be told honestly so that our people will have confidence in reading it-we must allow for the human equation. I regret the widespread tendency of our fine members and their youth to read books like No Man Knows My History, Nightfall at Nauvoo, and 26th Wife under the assumption that they are getting the real lowdown on our history and that our own works do not carry conviction as being the real story.

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

65 years ago today - Fri May 22, 1959

[David O. McKay Office Journal]

[Note by secretary:] It was very evident to all present that it was extremely difficult for the grieving President to conduct the funeral services. However, he brought his emotions under control, and handled the situation masterfully--the services proceeded smoothly and efficiently. His emotions, however, were near the breaking point when he publicly said farewell to President Richards. There was hardly a dry eye in the whole audience. General Authorities on the stand were seen wiping their eyes with their handkerchiefs as the President said: "Goodbye for the present, Stephen L, my beloved friend. We shall miss you--Oh! how we shall miss you! But we will continue to carry on until we meet again. God bless you, Irene, and your choice sons and daughters. During this inevitable separation may there ever echo in your hearts, as if they had come from the voice of your beloved husband and father, the words of the Savior to his disciples when he had to leave them =. . . ."

[McKay, David O., Office Journal]

130 years ago today - Mon., May 22, 1894

[Apostle Abraham H. Cannon Journal]

Bro. Durrans; of Parowan received in a dream. H dreamed that he saw a Navajo blanket floating down a river, and as he watched it, he suddenly saw several Indians appear on it. They came to the shore where he stood, and one of them placed an instrument to his mouth something like a clarionet, on which he played the tune which was rendered, with the exception of one high note which he could not reach. Bro. Durrans arose and wrote out the piece, Some time thereafter a birthday party was given at his house when one of the brethren spoke in tongues. In the course of his remarks he said that this tune was the one used by the ancient Nephites, just before the last remnant was slain at the hill Cumorah about the year 421 A.D. It was a kind of lamentation.

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

140 years ago today - Thursday May 22, 1884

[John Nuttle Diary]

President John Taylor directed the Temple Recorder to place on the records of the Temple as follows "That the Lord is well pleased and has accepted this House, and our labors in its Dedication, also the labors of the people in its building and beautifying - and whatever the Saints may feel to place into it, to ornament and embellish it, will also be acceptable. I state this as the Word of the Lord. ...

When President Taylor afterwards made pertinent remarks on the subject of adoption. said he had been considering this subject and had the matter and the Keys thereof before him, and in a short time he would make it plain to all, in that there need could (sic) be no misunderstanding. ... I feel like shouting Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Glory to God. For His Kingdom and people shall triumph I say it in the name of the Israels God. Amen - All present responded Amen - Prest. Taylor & Cannon & Elder Nuttall then proceeded up to the sealing room when Prest Taylor explained further in regard to the ordinance of Adoption and concluded to postpone any action on that ordinance for the present and until he shall he shall give further instructions pertaining thereto. Everything now being in working order at the Temple the President & brethren left & prepared for starting to Salt Lake this afternoon -

... it was rumored that Prest Jos F Smith & Coun D H Wells were wanted by the Grand Jury as witnesses in some Polygamy cases before them.

[Diary Excerpts of L. John Nuttall, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

140 years ago today - May 22, 1884 (Thursday)

Nellie White, who refused to answer certain questions in the Third District Court, was sent to the Penitentiary.

[Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

140 years ago today - May 22, 1884

[Apostle Wilford Woodruff Journal]

President Taylor told the People to record that the Lord was well pleased with the [Logan] Temple the people had built and accepted of the Dedication at the Hands of his People, and if they wished to ornament it they were at Liberty to do so and this is the word of the Lord unto you. And the Lord will Condescend to reveal unto us Evry Principle that is necessary for us from time to time.

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

150 years ago today - May 22, 1874

General Alexander W. Doniphan, a friend to the Mormons during the difficult days of persecution in Missouri, visits Salt Lake City and is greeted warmly by Church leaders.

155 years ago today - May 22, 1869

[Wilford Woodruff Journal]

I attended the school of the prophets. President Young G. A. Smith D. H. Wells W Woodruff G Q Cannon & G D Watt & president Joseph Young all spoke upon the Case of John Pack. Joseph Young sen did not vote to Cut off John Pack with th[e?] [rest]. Presidet B Young said that inasmuch as he did not vote that Cut the thread of union between those who did vote & him. (He required ie President B Young) that his Brother Phineas should give up his ticket & keep away from the school Because of trading with outsiders.

[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 22, 1859 (Morning)

[Brigham Young Sermon]

Jesus has been upon the earth a great many more times than you are aware of. ... there is no true government on earth but the government of God, or the holy Priesthood. Shall I tell you what that is? In short, it is a perfect system of government'"a kingdom of Gods and angels and all beings who will submit themselves to that government. There is no other true government in heaven or upon the earth. Do not blame me for believing in a pure and holy government. ... Every time you kick 'Mormonism,' you kick it up stairs: you never kick it down stairs. ...

[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 22, 1844

[Nauvoo Neighbor]

Story: State Convention Held -- Editorial -- Due to rain, many other groups were not represented at the convention. But the convention was successful, and Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon both were well received.

- Story: "Lynching and the Mormons" -- Editorial -- Describes a lynching, supposedly carried out by the Saints in Nauvoo, of a colored man. ...

[http://boap.org/LDS/Nauvoo-Neighbor]

185 years ago today - May 22, 1839

Parley P. Pratt, King Follett, and two others are given a change of venue. They leave Richmond, Mo., in handcuffs and are taken to Columbia, Boone County, Mo.

[Conkling, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology]

55 years ago today - May 21, 1969

First Presidency letter allows LDS servicemen in Vietnam to dye the regular, one-piece, temple garment to match green color of military-issue underwear.

65 years ago today - May 21, 1959

Executive committee of Church Board of Education discusses "the growing problem in our society of homosexuality." Spencer W. Kimball reports that David O. McKay has said "that in his view homosexuality was worse than heterosexual immorality; that it is a filthy and unnatural habit."

65 years ago today - May 21, 1959

[David O. McKay Office Journal]

President McKay did not return to the office--was very shocked to learn that Sister Richards has suffered a mild heart attack--the shock of losing her husband has been too much for her.

[McKay, David O., Office Journal]

70 years ago today - May 21, 1954

[David O. McKay diary, May 21, 1954] At a meeting of the Salt Lake Temple Presidency with President [David O.] McKay[,] the following matters were discussed: Adoptions: Seal children of divorced couple (children not born under covenant) to the parent having legal custody & to companion of that parent without formality of legal adoption to the parent's companion. It was suggested by President [El Ray] Christiansen that [the] adoption ceremony seems incomplete and unsatisfactory. Matter taken under advisement by President McKay. Marriage: If marriage is to be deferred more than a week after couple goes to temple, the groom should not take the bride through the veil until they come for marriage. Going from Room to Room: Approval given by President McKay for men and women in passing from room to room to go together in double file.

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

120 years ago today - May 21, 1904

DESERET SEMI-WEEKLY NEWS prints an essay against the idea of women in the workplace which claims, "The woman wage earner is under one aspect an object of charity, under another an economic pervert, under another a social menace." The NEWS concludes: "Women themselves are beginning to see a light, in which they may better appreciate their mission on earth."

125 years ago today - May 21, 1899

Margaret Cullen Geddes, widow of William S. Geddes who died ten years previously gives birth to a baby boy. Margaret is charged by local Mormon authorities in Plain City, Utah, with adultery. During the hearing before the bishopric, Margaret steadfastly refuses to give the name of the child's father, despite threats of excommunication. At this point, David Eccles, the child's secret father, who had taken Margaret as a plural wife the previous year, contacts George F. Gibbs, secretary to the First Presidency of the church. Eccles asks Gibbs to request that President Lorenzo Snow order Mormon leaders in Plain City to withdraw their charges. President Snow sends a letter to the Plain City bishopric telling them to accept Margaret's statements as sufficient, forgiving her with no further requirement. President Snow also advised that Eccles and Margaret move to Mexico. Thereupon, local church authorities dropped the case.

125 years ago today - Sunday, May 21, 1899

[Apostle Rudger Clawson Diary]

7 p.m. Priesthood meeting in the tabernacle. Pres. [Christian D.] Fjeldsted ... spoke against mask balls....

[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]

140 years ago today - May 21, 1884

[Apostle Wilford Woodruff Journal]

21 I went to the Temple. M[arriner]. W. Merrill was Apointed & ordained & set apart to Preside over the Logan Temple. Presidet Taylor was Mouth. ... The first Baptisms in the Logan Temple was administered By David Cannon. F. D. Richards was the first Baptized for his health and the renewal of his Covenants. He was Confirmed By John Taylor & G Q Cannon. Sister Rachael Grant was Baptized for her hearing seven times. Many Endowmets were given during the day. Quite a Number of the young Brethren had a wife sealed to them among the number M F. Cowley.

Presidet Taylor officiated in sealing a wife to two of his Sons. W Woodruff gave 2d Anointing to Wm B Preston and wives and to L John Nuttall wife & 2 dead. J D T McAllister gave 2d Anointing to C O Card & wife. D H Wells sealed 19 Couple & J Taylor 2 & 9 Sealings for the Dead.

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

140 years ago today - May 21, 1884

[Apostle Heber J. Grant Diary]

[At Logan temple] A number of Batisms [sic] then followed for the living and dead, among the number was my mother, she was baptized seven times for her health and hearing. Prests Taylor and Cannon, Apostles Erastus Snow, Moses Thatcher and H.J. Grant confirmed mother. Prest Geo. Q. Cannon being mouth. Bishop David Cannon of Saint George officiated in baptizing. I never felt better in my life than while assisting in my mother's confirmation, and I am free to confess that as near as I can judge the testimony of the spirit it was that her hearing should be restored to her.

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

170 years ago today - May 21, 1854

[Brigham Young Sermon]

.... We shall have to mingle this people [American Indians] until the whole house of Israel is gathered together and even the ten tribes come again to the earth and inhabit the land given to their fathers. We have a considerable pill to swallow but it is so. I am sure there are women present who have spoken in tongues that they would have to go among the Lamanites and instruct them to sew, to knit, to wash and perform all domestic works. ...

[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 21, 1844

Lyman Wight: Given "white [seer?] stone" by Joseph Smith Jr. and ordained to be like Moses (between 14-21 May 1844)

[Quinn, D. Michael, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, Appendix 6, Biographical Sketches of General Officers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-47, http://amzn.to/origins-power]

180 years ago today - May 21, 1844 (Tuesday)

Apostles Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball and Lyman Wight, and about a hundred other Elders, left Nauvoo, Ill., on political missions to the East. Apostles Wilford Woodruff and Geo. A. Smith and others had left on the 9th.

[Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

190 years ago today - May 21, 1834

Heber C. Kimball writes: "I would here remark that notwithstanding so many threats were thrown out against us, we did not fear, nor hesitate to proceed on our journey, for God was with us, and angels went before us, and we had no fear of either men or devils. This we knew because they (the angels) were seen."

55 years ago today - May 21, 1969

First Presidency letter allows LDS servicemen in Vietnam to dye the regular, one-piece, temple garment to match green color of military-issue underwear.

65 years ago today - May 21, 1959

Executive committee of Church Board of Education discusses "the growing problem in our society of homosexuality." Spencer W. Kimball reports that David O. McKay has said "that in his view homosexuality was worse than heterosexual immorality; that it is a filthy and unnatural habit."

65 years ago today - May 21, 1959

[David O. McKay Office Journal]

President McKay did not return to the office--was very shocked to learn that Sister Richards has suffered a mild heart attack--the shock of losing her husband has been too much for her.

[McKay, David O., Office Journal]

70 years ago today - May 21, 1954

[David O. McKay diary, May 21, 1954] At a meeting of the Salt Lake Temple Presidency with President [David O.] McKay[,] the following matters were discussed: Adoptions: Seal children of divorced couple (children not born under covenant) to the parent having legal custody & to companion of that parent without formality of legal adoption to the parent's companion. It was suggested by President [El Ray] Christiansen that [the] adoption ceremony seems incomplete and unsatisfactory. Matter taken under advisement by President McKay. Marriage: If marriage is to be deferred more than a week after couple goes to temple, the groom should not take the bride through the veil until they come for marriage. Going from Room to Room: Approval given by President McKay for men and women in passing from room to room to go together in double file.

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

120 years ago today - May 21, 1904

DESERET SEMI-WEEKLY NEWS prints an essay against the idea of women in the workplace which claims, "The woman wage earner is under one aspect an object of charity, under another an economic pervert, under another a social menace." The NEWS concludes: "Women themselves are beginning to see a light, in which they may better appreciate their mission on earth."

125 years ago today - May 21, 1899

Margaret Cullen Geddes, widow of William S. Geddes who died ten years previously gives birth to a baby boy. Margaret is charged by local Mormon authorities in Plain City, Utah, with adultery. During the hearing before the bishopric, Margaret steadfastly refuses to give the name of the child's father, despite threats of excommunication. At this point, David Eccles, the child's secret father, who had taken Margaret as a plural wife the previous year, contacts George F. Gibbs, secretary to the First Presidency of the church. Eccles asks Gibbs to request that President Lorenzo Snow order Mormon leaders in Plain City to withdraw their charges. President Snow sends a letter to the Plain City bishopric telling them to accept Margaret's statements as sufficient, forgiving her with no further requirement. President Snow also advised that Eccles and Margaret move to Mexico. Thereupon, local church authorities dropped the case.

125 years ago today - Sunday, May 21, 1899

[Apostle Rudger Clawson Diary]

7 p.m. Priesthood meeting in the tabernacle. Pres. [Christian D.] Fjeldsted ... spoke against mask balls....

[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]

140 years ago today - May 21, 1884

[Apostle Wilford Woodruff Journal]

21 I went to the Temple. M[arriner]. W. Merrill was Apointed & ordained & set apart to Preside over the Logan Temple. Presidet Taylor was Mouth. ... The first Baptisms in the Logan Temple was administered By David Cannon. F. D. Richards was the first Baptized for his health and the renewal of his Covenants. He was Confirmed By John Taylor & G Q Cannon. Sister Rachael Grant was Baptized for her hearing seven times. Many Endowmets were given during the day. Quite a Number of the young Brethren had a wife sealed to them among the number M F. Cowley.

Presidet Taylor officiated in sealing a wife to two of his Sons. W Woodruff gave 2d Anointing to Wm B Preston and wives and to L John Nuttall wife & 2 dead. J D T McAllister gave 2d Anointing to C O Card & wife. D H Wells sealed 19 Couple & J Taylor 2 & 9 Sealings for the Dead.

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

140 years ago today - May 21, 1884

[Apostle Heber J. Grant Diary]

[At Logan temple] A number of Batisms [sic] then followed for the living and dead, among the number was my mother, she was baptized seven times for her health and hearing. Prests Taylor and Cannon, Apostles Erastus Snow, Moses Thatcher and H.J. Grant confirmed mother. Prest Geo. Q. Cannon being mouth. Bishop David Cannon of Saint George officiated in baptizing. I never felt better in my life than while assisting in my mother's confirmation, and I am free to confess that as near as I can judge the testimony of the spirit it was that her hearing should be restored to her.

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

170 years ago today - May 21, 1854

[Brigham Young Sermon]

.... We shall have to mingle this people [American Indians] until the whole house of Israel is gathered together and even the ten tribes come again to the earth and inhabit the land given to their fathers. We have a considerable pill to swallow but it is so. I am sure there are women present who have spoken in tongues that they would have to go among the Lamanites and instruct them to sew, to knit, to wash and perform all domestic works. ...

[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 21, 1844

Lyman Wight: Given "white [seer?] stone" by Joseph Smith Jr. and ordained to be like Moses (between 14-21 May 1844)

[Quinn, D. Michael, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, Appendix 6, Biographical Sketches of General Officers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-47, http://amzn.to/origins-power]

180 years ago today - May 21, 1844 (Tuesday)

Apostles Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball and Lyman Wight, and about a hundred other Elders, left Nauvoo, Ill., on political missions to the East. Apostles Wilford Woodruff and Geo. A. Smith and others had left on the 9th.

[Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

190 years ago today - May 21, 1834

Heber C. Kimball writes: "I would here remark that notwithstanding so many threats were thrown out against us, we did not fear, nor hesitate to proceed on our journey, for God was with us, and angels went before us, and we had no fear of either men or devils. This we knew because they (the angels) were seen."

55 years ago today - May 19, 1969

First Presidency publishes: "We make no statement on how this country can or should try to disengage itself from the present regrettable war in Vietnam. . . .We believe our young men should hold themselves in readiness to respond to the call of their government to serve in the armed forces when called upon." This is the first war in the twentieth century when the Church's DESERET NEWS does not editorialize in favor of option for conscientious objection.

65 years ago today - Tue May 19, 1959

[David O. McKay Office Journal]

The news of [Stephen L Richard's] passing was a terrible shock to me.

May 19, 1959: [Part of telephone conversation between McKay and Ezra Taft Benson:] Brother Benson: It [the death of Richards] is an awful shock, and I know what a shock it is to you! President McKay: He has been as close to me as a brother could be, a friend of the truest kind. He has been wonderful, and of great value to me. It is a great loss to the Church. He was a great intellect, a great soul. He was as loyal to me as his grandfather was to the Prophet and just as close.

[McKay, David O., Office Journal]

130 years ago today - May 19, 1894

[Francis M. Lyman]

[Fillmore] I confidentially told them they [at Relief Society Conference] should not think that men committed sin if they did happen to associate with their plural wives.

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

135 years ago today - May 19, 1889

Apostle Francis M. Lyman teaches: "Whenever a false doctrine is presented to the Latter-day Saints, I will tell you one way by which you may know its falsity: it produces in the heart of every Saint, a question. There is uncertainty; there is something that disturbs the spirit of every Latter-day Saint. If they read an erroneous doctrine in the public prints; if they hear it in a discourse; if it is spoken to them in private, it does not seem to settle in their hearts as though it were a part of the plan of salvation; but it produces questioning, uncertainty, doubt and misgiving."

170 years ago today - May 19, 1854

[Brigham Young Sermon]

President Brigham Young spoke nearly as follows: The duties of the Missionaries here is to save the remnants of Israel. God planted us here in the valleys of Ephraim, we have been brought to these valleys for a good purpose, to save Israel. In all His dealings, He is wise. The white men of the east have driven the red men west, and those farther west ... The Spirit of the Lord said to me: '"Send missionaries to Israel amid these mountains, at home, not to farm exclusively, not to build fine houses and enclose large fields, but more especially to learn their language that you may be able to speak with them and understand them, and get to their understandings, their affections, if they go away in parties you are to go with them. ...

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

170 years ago today - May 19, 1854

[Apostle Wilford Woodruff Journal]

.... Lorenzo Snow Young spoke & had the spirit of God upon him & profisied upon many things but ther was no reporting of any part of the meeting ...

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

175 years ago today - May 19, 1849

[Apostle Wilford Woodruff Journal]

Morning Papers say that half of the business part of the city of St Louis Mo is now lying in ruins by fire... Also several terrible ship wrecks & loss of life. Watertown New York is also burnt up. The Herald has the full particulars of the dredful riot & Bloodshed in New York. Also the Continued wars of Europe And the sweeping progress of the Cholera in America ... Pestilence is raging among the 25,000 gold seekers gatherd in Mo to go to the gold digings By the way of the Salt Lake. All the Earth seems to be in Confusion & Commotion with war savord, plague pestilence fire earthquakes & storms. The Bible Doctrin & Covenants, & Book Mormon are truly being fulfilled.

...A question Arose As to whether this people [an primitive tribe of Mandingo Indians] [an primitive tribe of Mandingo Indians] be not descendants of one the lost tribes of Israel. ...

[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 - May 19, 1839

Popular author Edward Bickersteth preaches a series of sermons where he considers "the signs of these latter days, which are preparatory steps to the establishment of Christ's kingdom." Steps to this end are overcoming Catholic influence ... "that the mystical Babylon, or the Papal kingdoms, may fall, and the Jews return";

Preaching to the Gentiles. "The Preaching to the Gentiles fulfils that plain prophecy: 'I saw an angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, fear God and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment is come, and worship him that made heaven and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.' And delightful, most delightful, is it, to witness the extended preaching of the Gospel through the world."

"The Preaching to the Jews... another sign of these times"



In subsequent sermons he talks of modern fulfillment of "the mind of Christ" from Isaiah. "The Gentiles, indeed, chiefly receive him and bring forth fruits, ... They are grafted into the Jewish olive-tree." ... "What are all the Churches of Christ among the Gentiles but the seed of Abraham? What is the Saviour's prayer for his people, both from [sic] Jew and Gentile? - that they all may be one. And when Israel is restored, and when the saints are gathered, and when the heavenly Jerusalem is completed, what will be the enraptured triumphs of the Jewish church, looking back on the time of its widowhood, and seeing that, in that very time, the Lord was doing so much for her!"



"...beginning to appear of the restoration of Israel. The silence of eighteen centuries is broken; the prejudices of eighteen centuries are giving way. Jews and Christians are beginning to sympathise in one hope"

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