Today in Mormon History - May 31

Wilford Woodruff: Ordained seventy 31 May 1836. (1)
-- 175 years ago today - May 31, 1836

Apostle Dallin H. Oaks marches in procession honoring Carolyn Tanner Irish's ordination as bishop of Utah's Episcopal diocese. Bishop Irish was LDS member until her Protestant conversion as adult. LDS president Gordon B. Hinckley tells general conference in Oct: "I know of no other organization [besides LDS church] which affords women so many opportunities . . . for holding positions of leadership and responsibility," even though Mormon women cannot be ordained to ecclesiastical office. (2)
-- 15 years ago today - May 31, 1996

Was in conference with the [First] Presidency for some time on Temple matters. Completed the rules and decisions for guidance of Temple Presidents and some changes in the ordinances. This is the fruition of a labor of months as I was able to devote myself to it. This is one of the accomplishments of my administration as Temple President of which I am greatly thankful and pleased. These rules and decisions have been gleaned from a number of books, manuscripts, and loose sheets[,] and obsolete rulings have been eliminated and new rulings have been made & approved by the First Presidency. Copies of these decisions will be made and every Temple President will be supplied with a copy. The ordinances are all being rewritten and a copy will be furnished each temple. This should be the means of getting uniformity in all the temples. [George F. Richards diary, May 31, 1922] (3)
-- 89 years ago today - May 31, 1922


1 - Cook, Lyndon W., The Revelations of the Prophet Joseph Smith: A Historical and Biographical Commentary of the Doctrine and Covenants, Seventy's Mission Bookstore, Provo UT, 1985, http://amzn.to/RevelationsofJosephSmith
2 - On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com
3 - Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/mo-temple

Today in Mormon History - May 30

Kirtland, Ohio. Joseph Smith received Doctrine & Covenants 50, a revelation in response to Elder Parley P. Pratt's descriptions of strange spiritual manifestations that were sweeping through the Church. (1)
-- 180 years ago today - about May 30, 1831

[Joseph Smith Sermon] (Source: Alexander Neibaur Journal -Words of Joseph Smith, 75) J. Smith preached from the last 2 Ch Cronicls. (2)
-- 170 years ago today - May 30, 1841 (Sunday)

[James G. Bleak speaking:] We should give our full attention to the rendition of the different parts and see and hear all pertaining to the ordinances. No matter how familiar we ourselves may be with them we are instructed to receive them anew, when we represent the dead, as though we had never received them before. The person for whom we are officiating knows nothing about these ordinances except through us. As soon as we are anointed for the dead our own identity ceases, and we who are workers then leave our official calling and should not attempt to act in administering ordinances until we have finished our representation of the dead for whom we are receiving endowments. [James G. Bleak, Temple Minute Book, St. George, May 30, 1889] (3)
-- 122 years ago today - May 30, 1889


1 - BYU Studies Journal, volume 46, no. 4: A Chronology of the Life of Joseph Smith, http://amzn.to/BYUStudies-JSChron
2 - The Woodland Institute, http://www.woodlandinstitute.com
3 - Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/mo-temple

Today in Mormon History - May 29

At a Liberal rally held in Salt Lake City, bitter opposition was manifested to the division on national party lines, and the "Mormons" were accused of insincerity. (1)
-- 120 years ago today - May 29, 1891 (Friday)

The BYU men's golf team wins the NCAA national championship. (2)
-- 30 years ago today - May 29, 1981

[U.S. Religious History] Decided: Elkhart vs. Brooks

The Supreme Court let stand a 7th Circuit Court ruling which found that a Fraternal Order of Eagles Ten Commandments monument at an Indian city hall was unconstitutional. (3)
-- 10 years ago today - May 29, 2001


1 - Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology
2 - The Woodland Institute 'On This Day Historical Database,' http://www.woodlandinstitute.com
3 - Cline, Austin, History of American Religion: Timeline

Today in Mormon History - May 28

[Abraham H. Cannon Journal] complaints of bad coffee, sour bread, and tough radishes, and lettuce covered with worms. (1)
-- 125 years ago today - May 28th, 1886

[Apostle Franklin D. Richards Diary] At 12 noon met with Pres[iden]ts WW, GQC, & JFS, also Bro[ther]s JT Caine, FSR, CW Penrose, JR Winder & GF Gibbs, discussed Resolutions dissolving the People's Party to be presented to People's Central County Committee for acceptance & then to public. (2)
-- 120 years ago today - May 28, 1891

LDS church receives legal recognition in Republic of Russia, and Mormon Tabernacle Choir performs concert in Bolshoi Theater on Jun 24. CHURCH NEWS cover photograph emphasizes that this is "America's Choir" at Red Square in Moscow. (3)
-- 20 years ago today - May 28, 1991


1 - Abraham H. Cannon Journal Excerpts, http://www.amazon.com/Apostles-Record-Journals-Abraham-1889-1896/dp/B000MFD1K4
2 - Diary Excerpts of Franklin D. Richards, 1887-1897, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies
3 - On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com

Today in Mormon History - May 27

Kirtland, Ohio. Joseph Smith's grandmother Mary Duty Smith died. (1)
-- 175 years ago today - May 27, 1836

President Hinckley, on a tour of the Orient, became the first Church president ever to visit mainland China. He also visited, from May 17 to June 1, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Saipan. (2)
-- 15 years ago today - May 27, 1996-28

LDS Historical Department officials announce that researchers must apply for admittance, be interviewed by an archives official, and sign a statement agreeing to abide by archival rules which include submitting a pre-publication copy of quotations and their context to the Copyrights and Permissions Office. A typical letter granting such permission uses the following language: "After reviewing your request, we have decided to raise no objections to your proposed use of the requested material." Physical remodeling of the facilities puts patrons using archival materials in a small glass-walled room. (3)
-- 25 years ago today - May 27, 1986.


1 - BYU Studies Journal, volume 46, no. 4: A Chronology of the Life of Joseph Smith, http://amzn.to/BYUStudies-JSChron
2 - Church News: Historical Chronology of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/58765/Historical-chronology-of-The-Church-of-Jesus-Christ-of-Latter-day-Saints.html
3 - Anderson, Lavina Fielding, "The LDS Intellectual Community and Church Leadership: A Contemporary Chronology," Dialogue, Vol.26, No.1

Today in Mormon History - May 26

The 1,800th stake in the Church, the San Francisco de Macoris Dominican Republic Stake, was created. (1)
-- 20 years ago today - May 26, 1991

Joseph Smith writes to Thomas Sharp, editor of the WARSAW SIGNAL: "SIR-You will discontinue my paper-its contents are calculated to pollute me, and to patronize the filthy sheet-that tissue of lies-that sink of iniquity-is disgraceful to any moral man. Yours, with utter contempt, JOSEPH SMITH. P.S. Please publish the above in your contemptible paper." Sharp publishes Smith's letter with the introduction: "In our paper of week before last, we took occasion to express an honest opinion in relation to the Mormons, and some of their leaders -an opinion which we believe is concurred in by nine-tenths of the community. No sooner, however, had our paper reached Nauvoo, than it caused the following highly important revelation to be forwarded us, from his holiness, the Prophet." This is Sharps first published sarcasm towards the Mormons but from now on he refers to Smith as "His Holiness." (2)
-- 170 years ago today - May 26, 1841

[Temple] The rule has been, for the woman to be Sealed to a man in the Priesthood, and the children Sealed to them, and the former husband be Adopted into the family. And where Such Sealings have taken place heretofore, the matters have been Submitted and [the] former Sealing Cancelled * We do not now Seal women to men out of the Church, but some few cases were done in the Endowment House Sometime Ago. Whatever you may feel pleased to direct in these matters, we will carry out. [Daniel H. Wells to Wilford Woodruff, May 26, 1890] (3)
-- 121 years ago today - May 26, 1890


1 - Church News: Historical Chronology of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/58765/Historical-chronology-of-The-Church-of-Jesus-Christ-of-Latter-day-Saints.html
2 - On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com
3 - Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/mo-temple

Today in Mormon History - May 25

Robert A. Mills receives the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement from the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. (1)
-- 15 years ago today - May 25, 1996

Lieutenant General Joseph Smith issues General Orders for the Nauvoo Legion: "The 1st Company, (riflemen) 1st Battalion, 2nd Regiment, 2nd Cohort, will be attached to the escort contemplated in the general orders of the 4th inst., for the 3rd of Jul next. In forming the Legion, the Adjutant will observe the rank of companies as follows; to wit: 1st Cohort the flying artillery first, the lancers next, and the riflemen next - visiting companies of dragoons next the lancers, and cavalry next the dragoons: 2nd Cohort - the artillery first, the lancers next, the riflemen next, the light-infantry next, and the infantry next - visiting companies in their appropriate places on the right of said troops of their own grade: the ranking company of the 1st Cohort will be formed on the right of said cohort, and the ranking company of the 2nd Cohort will be formed on the left of said cohort, - he escort will be formed on the right of the forces." (2)
-- 170 years ago today - May 25, 1841

Church historian records when Brigham Young visits Mountain Meadows he says memorial plaque should read: "Vengeance is mine and I have taken a little." (3)
-- 150 years ago today - May 25, 1861


1 - The Woodland Institute 'On This Day Historical Database,' http://www.woodlandinstitute.com
2 - Advent Adam website (defunct) - based on http://amzn.to/originsofpower
3 - On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com

Today in Mormon History - May 24

[President Wilford Woodruff Journal] 24 Sunday I spent the day in the House Reading. I am Suffering a good Deal with the Asthma. (1)
-- 120 years ago today - May 24, 1891

[Mark Hofmann] Unanswered questions, including how Hofmann passed polygraph test, remain after preliminary hearings end. Based on what public has been told, many people still reluctant to agree with prosecution's case. (2)
-- 25 years ago today - May 24, 1986

Joseph Smith writes "To the Saints abroad-The First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, anxious to promote the prosperity of said Church, feel it their duty to call upon the Saints who reside out of this county [Hancock], to make preparations to come in without delay. . . .Let it, therefore, be understood, that all the stakes, excepting those in this county, and in Lee county, Iowa, are discontinued, and the Saints instructed to settle in this county as soon as circumstances will permit. [signed] JOSEPH SMITH, President. (3)
-- 170 years ago today - May 24, 1841


1 - Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies
2 - Whittaker, David J., The Hofmann Maze, A Book Review Essay with a Chronology and Bibliography of the Hofmann Case, BYU Studies Vol. 29, No. 1, pg.80,
3 - On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com

Today in Mormon History - May 23

The Gila Valley Arizona Temple; Location: Central, Arizona; Announcement: 26 April 2008; Dedication: 23 May 2010 by Thomas S. Monson; Style: Classic modern, single-spire design; Notes: Announced by Thomas S. Monson on 26 April 2008. The groundbreaking was held on Valentine's Day, 14 February 2009. (1)
-- 1 year ago - May 23, 2010

[Joseph Smith Sermon] Sunday 23ÃÂ this day he preacht in Montrose the opposit side of the river from Nauvoo I with some of my brethren went over the river and hear Br Joseph preach for the first time, to me it was powerfull & good, remaind in Nauvoo for a few days. [Millen Atwood Diary] (2)
-- 170 years ago today - May 23, 1841

DESERET NEWS "CHURCH SECTION" article, "Bishop Released after 31 Years," regarding Joseph C. Cowley. (3)
-- 80 years ago today - May 23, 1931


1 - Wikipedia, List of Temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_temples_of_The_Church_of_Jesus_Christ_of_Latter-day_Saints#List_of_temples
2 - The Words of Joseph Smith by Joseph Smith by Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook
3 - On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com

Today in Mormon History - May 22

At a conference held at Kirtland, O., Almon W. Babbitt was chosen president of the Kirtland Stake, with Lester Brooks and Zebedee Coltrin as counselors. (1)
-- 170 years ago today - May 22, 1841 (Saturday)

[Mark Hofmann] Hofmann bound over to Utah Third District Court for trial on charges of murder and fraud. On 6 June he pleads not guilty to all charges. Judges rule that Hofmann would face five separate trials; the first, for murder, scheduled for 2 March 1987. (2)
-- 25 years ago today - May 22, 1986

[Apostle Franklin D. Richards Diary] The very atmosphere seems thick with politics. (3)
-- 120 years ago today - May 22, 1891


1 - Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology
2 - Whittaker, David J., The Hofmann Maze, A Book Review Essay with a Chronology and Bibliography of the Hofmann Case, BYU Studies Vol. 29, No. 1, pg.80,
3 - Diary Excerpts of Franklin D. Richards, 1887-1897, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies

Today in Mormon History - May 21

[Brigham Young] --21-- Brother Kimball, O. [Orson] Pratt and myself took lodgings at the house of Elder Adams.

--23 (Sunday)-- The Twelve met in council in the morning. Elders Kimball, Pratt, Woodruff and myself gave an account of our mission to England to the Saints in the Columbian Hall, Grand Street.

--30 (Sunday)-- Forenoon, attended meeting. Elder Woodruff preached. Afternoon, held a conference meeting. Evening, Elder Kimball addressed the people. (1)
-- 170 years ago today - May 21, 1841

Brigham Young preaches: "The inquiry among many, and especially among our political friends, is, 'What are you going to do? Are you going to observe the law against plurality of wives, or are you going to obey the revelation?' We have obeyed the revelation thus far, and still live; that I can say, and perhaps that is enough. What do we say about the lawmakers? Go to, ye legislators, and make a law that every man in this government shall have one wife. You have just as good a right to do that as to say that we shall not have two." (2)
-- 140 years ago today - May 21, 1871

[Same-Sex Marriage] Hawaiis Campaign Spending Commission mails a complaint to Hawaiis Future Today that indicates that the ads are in violations of Hawaiis regulations governing spending in political campaigns, indicates the fines for such a violation and explains that Hawaiis Future Today must file the required papers to register as a political-action committee. Follow-up letters dated 20 Jun repeats the information about the complaint. Hawaiis Future Today does not respond by registering as a political-action organization, but asserts that it does not plan to involve itself in lobbying or campaigning for candidates. (3)
-- 15 years ago today - May 21, 1996


1 - Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 1801-1844, ed. Elden Jay Watson (Salt Lake City: Smith Secretarial Service, 1968).
2 - On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com
3 - Crapo, Richley, Chronology Of Mormon / LDS Involvement In Same-Sex Marriage Politics http://www.mormonsocialscience.org/?q=node/59

Today in Mormon History - May 20

[Apostle Franklin D. Richards Diary] A mass meeting in city decided to divide off on national party lines John H. Smith declared his politics Republican FJC & Ben. ER spoke a rough tempestuous time. (1)
-- 120 years ago today - May 20, 1891

[Plains] William K. McKissick Company begins crossing plains (2)
-- 150 years ago today - May 20, 1861

After BYU's WYE MAGAZINE publishes some poetry and fiction which general authorities and others find offensive, the university's administration "confiscated those copies that had not been delivered (1,000 out of 2,000)." Two years later general authorities require BYU Press to destroy its entire press run of Thomas E. Cheney's GOLDEN LEGACY, because he includes some vulgarisms in J. Golden Kimball's folk tales. Cheney republishes it with independent press and without offending stories. (3)
-- 40 years ago today - May 20, 1971


1 - Diary Excerpts of Franklin D. Richards, 1887-1897, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies
2 - Church History Library, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847-1868, Chronological Company List, http://www.lds.org/churchhistory/library/pioneercompanylist-chronological/0,15765,3968-1,00.html
3 - On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com

Today in Mormon History - May 19

John A. Mower was discharged from the Penitentiary. (1)
-- 120 years ago today - May 19, 1891 (Tuesday)

The WARSAW SIGNAL editorializes: "We believe they [Mormons] have the same rights as other religious bodies posses. . . But whenever they, as a people, step beyond the proper sphere of a religious denomination, and become a political body, as many of our citizens are beginning to apprehend will be the case, then this press stands pledged to take a stand against th. . . It is bound to oppose the concentration of political power in a religious body, or in the hands of a few individuals." (2)
-- 170 years ago today - May 19, 1841

At the 2nd Antimasonic State Convention of Massachusetts, the inscribed gold plate of Enoch is referred to: "Why is there no mention of splendid Masonic Processions, the Laying of Corner Stones, and the deposit of Plates, previous to the last century? And where are those plates? Amidst all the vast ruins of so many ages, and so many countries, not one is known to have been discovered." (3)
-- 180 years ago today - May 19-20, 1831


1 - Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology
2 - On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com
3 - Grunder, Rick, Mormon Parallels: A Bibliographic Source

Today in Mormon History - May 18

In the First District Court, at Ogden, John Thomas, of Logan, was sentenced by Judge Miner to sixty days' imprisonment; and Niels C. Andersen, of Hyrum, to pay a fine of $50; both for u.c. [Unlawful Cohabitation, I.E. living with a polygamous wife] Both were taken to the Penitentiary, as Andersen, who had been imprisoned once before for the same offence, was unable to pay his fine. (1)
-- 120 years ago today - May 18, 1891 (Monday)

Gordon B. Hinckley holds press conferences in Tokyo, Japan and Seoul, Korea. (2)
-- 15 years ago today - May 18, 1996

CHURCH NEWS announcement instructs Mormons not to "be parties to" rumors that "the Proctor and Gamble Co. has some connection with satanism and devil worship, based on the firm's moon and stars trademark." (3)
-- 25 years ago today - May 18, 1986


1 - Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology
2 - Sherry Baker: Mormon Media History Timeline: 1827-2007, http://byustudies.byu.edu/showTitle.aspx?title=7984
3 - On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com

Today in Mormon History - May 17

Henry Harriman Death: 17 May 1891, Huntington, Emery Co., Utah , Estate: No record (1)
-- 120 years ago today - May 17, 1891

[Civil War] Governor Alfred Cumming left Utah quietly on 17 May 1861. (2)
-- 150 years ago today - May 17, 1861

Joseph Smith with his brother Hyrum "brought [to Kirtland] my grandmother, Mary Smith, aged ninety-three years. She had not been baptized, on account of the opposition of Jesse Smith, her eldest son, who has always been an enemy to the work". Mary Smith dies ten days later. (3)
-- 175 years ago today - May 17, 1836


1 - 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
2 - Utah History Encyclopedia: Civil War, http://www.media.utah.edu/UHE/c/CIVILWAR.html
3 - On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com

Today in Mormon History - May 16

[Quorum of the Twelve] Orson F. Whitney dies. (1)
-- 80 years ago today - May 16, 1931

Dr. Max Haenle, a German non-Mormon, who visited Utah in the late twenties and became a friend of Anthony W. Ivins, speaks to a District Conference in Dresden on "Utah, Land of the Mormons." DER STERN reportes Haenle made "comparisons ... throughout the whole lecture between the Mormon state founded 86 years ago today by Brigham Young in Utah and Adolf Hitler's Third Reich. . . . In its political productivity, its organization forms, and its unswerving successes in the various areas of governmental, social, and communal life," Haenle proclaimed, "Utah bears a really striking similarity to our Germany of today. Here as well as there, the unshakable faith in and willingness to die for their Fuhrer [respective leaders] is the foundation and prerequisite for all further development." (2)
-- 75 years ago today - May 16, 1936

[Joseph Smith] A Mormon diarist records seeing "extraordinary lights" in the Kirtland Temple at night. Apostles Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball would later reminisce that they also saw angels passing back and forth in front of the windows of the otherwise darkened temple. (3)
-- 175 years ago today - May 16, 1836


1 - Wikipedia, Chronology of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (LDS Church), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronology_of_the_Quorum_of_the_Twelve_Apostles_(LDS_Church)
2 - On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com
3 - 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

Today in Mormon History - May 15

Pres. Brigham Young and others left G.S.L. City on a trip to the southern settlements, from which they returned June 8th. A little later the President visited Cache Valley. (1)
-- 150 years ago today - May 15, 1861 (Wednesday)

[Mark Hofmann] RLDS President Wallace B. Smith announces that a team of experts has tested the Joseph Smith III blessing and established its genuineness. About this time Hofmann meets Lyn Jacobs and Brent Metcalfe. (2)
-- 30 years ago today - May 15, 1981

[Patriarchal Blessings] Isreal Duty. (Given by Joseph Smith, Sen.)

"Brother, I call thee brother for thou art of the blood of my mother and I seal a Father's blessing upon you, even the blessing of Abraham for thou art of the blood of Abraham, and thou shalt be blessed of the Lord thy God. If faithful thou wilt be blessed with the holy priesthood and the power of God shall rest upon you, yea thou shalt receive power over sickness and over disease of all sorts, insomuch that no power beneath the heavens shall stay thy hand for the Lord will uphold thee by his power and support and strength, by the Holy Spirit. It shall be thy privilege to see thy Redeemer in the flesh for the Lord will cause his blessings to rest upon thee in great power. Thou shalt fish thy brothers and sisters and hunt them and bring them . . ." (Copy of a portion of a blessing discovered among papers at Nauvoo. From typescript; RLDS Archives.) [Age, 45; Scribe, ?] (3)
-- 175 years ago today - 1836: 15 May


1 - Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology
2 - Whittaker, David J., The Hofmann Maze, A Book Review Essay with a Chronology and Bibliography of the Hofmann Case, BYU Studies Vol. 29, No. 1, pg.80,
3 - Selected LDS Patriarchal Blessings, New Mormon Studies CD ROM, Signature Book, 2009, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies

Today in Mormon History - May 14

[Utah] Tom Green (52), a bigamist with 5 wives and 29 children, went on trial in SLC for bigamy. Green was convicted May 18 of 4 counts of bigamy and one count of failure to pay child support. Green was sentenced to 5 years in prison and ordered to pay $78,000 to the state for fraudulent welfare checks. In 2002 Green was convicted of child rape for impregnating one wife at age 13. Green was released from prison in 2007. (1)
-- 10 years ago today - May 14, 2001

Concerning young man who has been endowed and "sealed to his wife wihout having been ordained to any Priesthood," First Presidency decides to have him ordained as elder, but not to require him to be re-endowed or re-sealed. (2)
-- 120 years ago today - May 14, 1891

[Utah] Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith announces to stake conference in Honolulu: "We will never get a man into space. This earth is man's sphere and it was never intended that he should get away from it." Smith, the Twelve's president and next in succession as LDS President, adds: "The moon is a superior planet to the earth and it was never intended that man should go there. You can write it down in your books that this will never happen." In May 1962, he privately instructs that this view be taught to "the boys and girls in the Seminary System." On 20 Jul 1969 U.S. Astronauts are first men to walk on moon. Six months later Joseph Fielding Smith becomes church president. (3)
-- 50 years ago today - May 14,1961


1 - Ratnikas, Algis, TimelinesDb, http://www.timelinesdb.com/listevents.php?subjid=201title=Utah
2 - On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com
3 - Quinn, D. Michael, The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power, Appendix 5, Selected Chronology of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1848-1996, http://amzn.to/extensions-power

Today in Mormon History - May 13

First Presidency counselor Hugh B. Brown tells BYU student body, "Preserve, then, the freedom of your mind in education and in religion, and be unafraid to express your thoughts and to insist upon your right to examine every proposition. We are not so much concerned with whether your thoughts are orthodox as we are that you shall have thoughts." (1)
-- 45 years ago today - May 13, 1966

[Brigham Young] --13-- Dead calm, sea smooth, cloudy, head wind in the evening. (2)
-- 170 years ago today - May 13, 1841

[President Wilford Woodruff Journal] 13 I Signed 25 Recommends. I receivd 7 Letters. I wrote 1 Letter to Sarah D. Attended Bank meeting. (3)
-- 120 years ago today - May 13, 1891


1 - On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com
2 - Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 1801-1844, ed. Elden Jay Watson (Salt Lake City: Smith Secretarial Service, 1968).
3 - Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies

Today in Mormon History - May 12

[Brigham Young] --12-- Head winds; fair weather, but cool. Captain Woodhouse proclaims land in sight, which we soon saw with the naked eye. It proved to be Cape Sable, Nova Scotia. (1)
-- 170 years ago today - May 12, 1841

[President Wilford Woodruff Journal] 12 I signed 16 Recommends. I received 7 Letters. I had rather a quiet Day. I was visited By Mr Lomax the Ticket Agent of the UP And others. (2)
-- 120 years ago today - May 12, 1891

[Thomas A. Clawson Diary] "Today it was announced in the Deseret Evening News that Mathias F. Cowley could not exercise any of the functions of the authority of the Priesthood because of insubordination. This was the unanimous decision of the Council of the 12. That accounted for our not being able to hold our circle meeting yesterday as that was when the action was taken. I am sorry to see men place themselves in such a position as to make that course necessary to protect the Church." (3)
-- 100 years ago today - May 12, 1911


1 - Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 1801-1844, ed. Elden Jay Watson (Salt Lake City: Smith Secretarial Service, 1968).
2 - Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies
3 - Diary Excerpts of Thomas A. Clawson, Signature Books Library, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies

Today in Mormon History - May 11

Antoine R. Ivins, later one of the First Seven Presidents of the Seventy, is born in St. George, Utah. (1)
-- 130 years ago today - May 11, 1881

[President Wilford Woodruff Journal] 11 I signed 45 Recommends. Received 28 Letters. I wrote 1 Letters to M. Hatch. (2)
-- 120 years ago today - May 11, 1891

Twelve vote as compromise to deprive Matthias F. Cowley of right to exercise priesthood but not disfellowship him. This resolves two-day deadlock in which seven apostles want to give him no punishment, whereas quorum president Francis M. Lyman and two others what to disfellowship Cowley for performing plural marriage up to 1905 resignation. Cowley regards this as second punishment (double jeopardy) he has received for same acts., which he insists he did by authorization of First Presidency. (3)
-- 100 years ago today - May 11, 1911


1 - The Woodland Institute 'On This Day Historical Database,' http://www.woodlandinstitute.com
2 - Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies
3 - Advent Adam website (defunct) - based on http://amzn.to/originsofpower

Today in Mormon History - May 10

Elder Joseph Parry with ten Saints, sailed from Liverpool on the steamship Wyoming, bound for Utah. (1)
-- 140 years ago today - May 10, 1871 (Wednesday)

Heber Chase Kimball: Left Kirtland on mission to upstate New York and Vermont 10 May 1836. (2)
-- 175 years ago today - May 10, 1836

Hiram, Ohio. Joseph Smith baptized Luke S. Johnson. (3)
-- 180 years ago today - May 10, 1831


1 - Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology
2 - Cook, Lyndon W., The Revelations of the Prophet Joseph Smith: A Historical and Biographical Commentary of the Doctrine and Covenants, Seventy's Mission Bookstore, Provo UT, 1985, http://amzn.to/RevelationsofJosephSmith
3 - BYU Studies Journal, volume 46, no. 4: A Chronology of the Life of Joseph Smith, http://amzn.to/BYUStudies-JSChron

Today in Mormon History - May 09

John Taylor and wife, Lenora, baptized near Toronto, Canada. (1)
-- 175 years ago today - May 9, 1836

President Benjamin Harrison visits Salt Lake City and meets with Members of the First Presidency and others. Mormons make a concerted effort to demonstrate "progress" from their anti-federal-government, polygamous past. (2)
-- 120 years ago today - May 9, 1891

[Same-Sex Marriage] Jack Hoag, co-Chair of HFT, made several public statements stating that HFT would be endorsing and backing political candidates. (3)
-- 15 years ago today - 9 May thru 11 Jul period


1 - Hemidakaota, "Church Chronology from 1800-2000," http://www.lds.net/forums/scripture-study-forum/12108-church-chronology-1800-2000-part-1-a.html#post214550
2 - On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com
3 - Crapo, Richley, Chronology Of Mormon / LDS Involvement In Same-Sex Marriage Politics http://www.mormonsocialscience.org/?q=node/59

Today in Mormon History - May 08

Following the birth and death of their own set of twins on April 30, Joseph and Emma Smith adopt the twins of John and Julia Murdock. Julia Murdock had passed away as a result of childbirth. (1)
-- 180 years ago today - May 08, 1831

[David O. McKay Office Journal] Not so well this morning. Went to the office at 8:00 a.m. Attended to current duties including writing a reply to a committee of the Church of Christ, Independence, Missouri, inviting out church to join in building a temple in Jackson County. We courteously refused, unless all could unite in recognition of the proper authority. (2)
-- 75 years ago today - Fri May 8, 1936

Brigham Young's office journal notes: "Pres[ident Daniel H.] Wells in a conversation he had with Pres. Joseph Young noticed that Jefferson Davis & Secretary Floyd, were traitors to the general government, as they had been acting treacherously to the Government for the last four years, and favoring the Southern Confederacy. Pres[ident] Joseph Young remarked that if such treacherous men should have their blood shed it might lighten the penalty of their crimes when they were brought to judgment." (3)
-- 150 years ago today - May 8, 1861


1 - The Woodland Institute 'On This Day Historical Database,' http://www.woodlandinstitute.com
2 - McKay, David O., Office Journal
3 - On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com

Today in Mormon History - May 07

[J.D.T. McAllister Diary] Poor treatment of lone women and children

received letter from L. John Nuttell. directed by Prest Taylor. concerning missionaries in Washington also enclosed. An anonymous letter calling his attention to the bad treatment of lone Women and Children in Dixie (1)
-- 130 years ago today - May 7, 1881

J. D. 14:111; President Brigham Young; delivered in the Salt Lake Tabernacle; May 7, 1871.

Do you not all know that you are the sons and daughters of the Almighty? If you do not I will inform you this morning that there is not a man or woman on the earth that is not a son or daughter of Adam and Eve. We all belong to the races which have sprung from father Adam and mother Eve; and every son and daughter of Adam and Eve is a son and daughter of that God we serve, who organized this earth and millions of others, and who holds them in existence by law. (2)
-- 140 years ago today - May 7, 1871

Brigham Young preaches and publishes: "Three High Priests form a Quorum. . . .Let a Quorum of High Priests go into an upper room, and there appear before the Lord in the garments of the holy Priesthood and offer up before the Father, in the name of Jesus, the signs of the holy Priesthood, and then ask God to give a revelation." (3)
-- 150 years ago today - May 7, 1861


1 - Diary Excerpts of J.D.T. McAllister, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies
2 - Quotations Dealing with the Relationship of Our First Earthy Parents to Our Heavenly Parents (1830-1978)
3 - On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com

Today in Mormon History - May 06

[Brigham Young] --6-- Slight breeze; sailing eight knots an hour. All the Saints on board are well, except Sister Richards, who is still feeble. We enjoy ourselves well, singing and praying with the Saints morning and evening. (1)
-- 170 years ago today - May 6, 1841

[President Wilford Woodruff Journal] 6 I signed 12 Recommends. I received 10 Letters. Emma was vary sick through the night. (2)
-- 120 years ago today - May 6, 1891

Lyman E Johnson: Baptized by proxy into LDS church 27 Jan. 1931, after which his priesthood was restored before his proxy endowment 6 May 1931 (3)
-- 80 years ago today - May 6, 1931


1 - Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 1801-1844, ed. Elden Jay Watson (Salt Lake City: Smith Secretarial Service, 1968).
2 - Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies
3 - 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

Today in Mormon History - May 05

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings with the Philadelphia Orchestra in Salt Lake City, Utah. Conductor Leopold Stokowski voices his high praise for the choir, and at the conclusion of the climax of Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus," he turns to the audience and says, "That was thrilling, wasn't it? A wonderful choir!" (Improvement Era, June 1936, 372). (1)
-- 75 years ago today - May 05, 1936

In the First District Court, at Ogden, Charles L. White was sentenced by Judge Miner to four months' imprisonment, for u.c. [Unlawful Cohabitation, I.E. living with a polygamous wife] This was his third term of imprisonment for the same offence. He was taken to the Penitentiary the following day. (2)
-- 120 years ago today - May 5, 1891 (Tuesday)

First Presidency statement against deployment of MX missile-system in Utah-Nevada desert, including criticism of developing weapons of war. LDS U.S. Senators Orrin Hatch and Jake Garn immediately reverse their positions from ardent proponents of MX missile-system and of its deployment in Utah to "leading the fight to keep MX out of Utah." The NEW YORK TIMES editorializes, "The Mormon Church's opposition to the MX missile, [is] an oddly selective summons to national morality in the service of an obviously parochial interest." The First Presidency's statement cited the large influx of non-Mormons into Utah for MX construction as a reason to oppose the deployment. (3)
-- 30 years ago today - May 5, 1981


1 - The Woodland Institute 'On This Day Historical Database,' http://www.woodlandinstitute.com
2 - Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology
3 - On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com

Today in Mormon History - May 04

[Brigham Young] --4-- Clear, serene morning; water almost perfectly smooth; scarcely air enough to move a sail. The captain took the names, ages and occupations of each person on board, to make a correct entry when he arrives in port. (1)
-- 170 years ago today - May 4, 1841

[Apostle Heber J. Grant Diary] [Joseph F. Smith has been against gentiles controlling] (GQ) Cannon said that he was willing that we should sell one half of the Herald to the gentile Democrats and allow them a majority of the Directors. I think the chances are that it will finally be approved to sell a majority of the stock. (2)
-- 120 years ago today - May 4, 1891

Arsonist destroys LDS stake center in Kirtland, Ohio. Elder Dallin H. Oaks, speaking at the LDSSA Fireside in the Salt Lake Tabernacle, repeats his injunction for members of the church to avoid criticizing leaders-"it does not matter that the criticism is true"-then continues: "The counsel against faultfinding and evilspeaking applies with special force to criticisms of Church leaders, but this is not for the benefit of the leaders. It is to safeguard the spiritual well-being of members who are prone to murmur and find fault." (3)
-- 25 years ago today - May 4, 1986


1 - Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 1801-1844, ed. Elden Jay Watson (Salt Lake City: Smith Secretarial Service, 1968).
2 - Diary Excerpts of Heber J. Grant, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies
3 - On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com

Chronology of the Word of Wisdom

Mormons are not
supposed to drink coffee
The next topic at LDS-Church-History will be the Word of Wisdom.  Every day, a few items regarding the history of the Word of Wisdom will be posted, gradually covering its entire history.

Some have suggested the Word of Wisdom has taken the place of polygamy as the common outward badge of identification for Latter-day Saints. With the abandonment of polygamy by the LDS church and the increased enforcement of the Word of Wisdom into the mid-20th century, members of the Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints are more likely to be identified as those who don't drink coffee, alcohol, or smoke.

A vigorous temperance movement
swept the U.S. in the early 19th century
Factors related to the Word of Wisdom include an evolving standard of compliance for church members  influenced by the prohibition movement.  Another important factor for the Word of Wisdom, was temperance movement in the early 19th century that caught the attention of the early saints, and could have served in part as a catalyst for the revelation.

The overall spirit of the Word of Wisdom is healthy living.  More specifically it suggests avoidance of habit-forming substances with a focus on healthy foods.  Latter-day Saints have enjoyed a greater measure of health by following these standards.

Items related to the Word of Wisdom are pulled from a database of church history built from a wide variety of sources. The goal of LDS-Church-History is to  to provide as complete of an understanding as means will permit. Several items will be posted each day via Blog, Email, Twitter, Facebook, and Feed.  Consider subscribing to one of these to get your daily dose of church history.

Today in Mormon History - May 03

Major J.W. Powell, the Colorado explorer, and party arrived in Salt Lake City. (1)
-- 140 years ago today - May 3, 1871 (Wednesday)

[Brigham Young] --3-- Morning calm; strong, fair breeze in evening; sailing twelve knots an hour. (2)
-- 170 years ago today - May 3, 1841

Members of the Church living in Fayette and Waterloo, New York, embark on their journey to relocate to Ohio. They are led by the Prophet Joseph Smith’s mother, Lucy Mack Smith, and Thomas B. Marsh. (3)
-- 180 years ago today - May 03, 1831


1 - Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology
2 - Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 1801-1844, ed. Elden Jay Watson (Salt Lake City: Smith Secretarial Service, 1968).
3 - The Woodland Institute 'On This Day Historical Database,' http://www.woodlandinstitute.com

Today in Mormon History - May 02

[Thomas A. Clawson Diary] "I read in the evening papers the Notice of the excommunication from the Church of John W. Taylor for insubordination to the government and discipline of the Church. The action was taken by the Quorum of the 12 Apostles Mar 28 1911. I was very sorry to read that as I am always sorry to see a person cut off the Church." (1)
-- 100 years ago today - May 2, 1911

Wilford Woodruff records that after a meeting in which the First Presidency attended: "We then drove down to my House and on Examining it Preside[n]t Taylor moved that $500 be appropriated for me to Paint the House Build a Barn and all the three Presidency voted to that effect." (2)
-- 130 years ago today - May 2, 1881

[Patriarchal Blessings] Kirtland, Ohio, Patriarchal Blessing to Lorenzo Snow given by Joseph Smith Sr. stated "thou shalt have power to translate thyself from one plannet [planet] to annother [another] -- power to go to the moon if thou shalt desire it. Power to preach to the spirits in prison" (3)
-- 175 years ago today - May 2, 1836


1 - Diary Excerpts of Thomas A. Clawson, Signature Books Library, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies
2 - On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com
3 - Marquardt, H. Michael, "Excerpts from a few Patriarchal Blessings given by Joseph Smith, Sr." http://www.xmission.com/~research/about/patb2.htm

Today in Mormon History - May 01

[Apostle Heber J. Grant Diary] [After many discussions about it] I have had a chat today with Frank H. Dyer, Judge Judd and J. L. Rawlins on the proposition of selling them and their friends an interest in the Herald. Unless they can secure the control they did not care to purchase. (1)
-- 120 years ago today - May 1, 1891

Thompson, Ohio. Joseph Smith received Doctrine & Covenants 51, a revelation concerning the responsibilities of Bishop Edward Partridge. (2)
-- 180 years ago today - about May 1, 1831

As the nation nears the beginning of the Civil War, Brigham Young's office journal records that he is "pleased with the news which showed more and more secession, and each party was preparing for war, thus giving the Kingdom of God an opportunity of being established upon the Earth." (3)
-- 150 years ago today - May 1, 1861


1 - Diary Excerpts of Heber J. Grant, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies
2 - BYU Studies Journal, volume 46, no. 4: A Chronology of the Life of Joseph Smith, http://amzn.to/BYUStudies-JSChron
3 - On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com