Today in Mormon History: Catching up

TodayinMormonHistory has been offline due to technical difficulties for the past few days. Below are the items that should have gone out. Apologies sending multiple days in a single post.

-- 165 years ago - Sep 9, 1851
Brigham Young has conference covenant to accept and obey Word of Wisdom as commandment and to accept excommunication for non-payment of tithing. Church leaders do not consistentiy enforce either practice until 20th century. (1)

-- 125 years ago - Sep 9, 1891
[Brigham Young Jr.] I dreamed last night that I was called home to assist in choosing a president of the Church. Pres[ident]. [Wilford] Woodruff found the burden too heavy at his advanced age. It is possible but not very probable, that this should transpire. (2)

-- 85 years ago - Sep 9, 1931
Apostle (and trained scientist) John A. Widsoe writes from England that he thinks James E. Talmadge's speech "The Earth and Man" should be published by the Church as it is. The speech accepts geologist's determination of the age of the earth and that fossils are remnants of life that lived and died before Adam. A group of three apostles, including Joseph Fielding Smith, is adamantly against publication of the speech. After two months of meetings (one lasting seven hours) the speech is published and later issued as a pamphlet.

-- 70 years ago - Sep 9, 1946
[J. Reuben Clark] Mark Peterson called about the Dream Mine situation; they have information that a Joseph Geertsten, of McKay Ward, in High Council of Wells Stake, is active in this. He wanted to tell Pres. Clark about it before proceeding. Pres. Clark suggested that they get as much information as they can before proceeding. They might then get in touch with the Securities Commission about their selling the stock. The Dream Miners have weekly meetings on Thursday and the News representative is attending them. The source of information was a woman whose brother-in-law is a dream miner and has been going to the meetings with Geersten. At the meetings they learned the mine was to produce on August 27th, but it didn't happen, and the word is now that they expect it to come through any time. (3)

-- 15 years ago - Sep 9, 2001
Comedian, writer, and actor Steve (wild and crazy guy) Martin remarks at a Toronto Film Festival press conference concerning rumors that he is a Mormon: "I'm not a Mormon. That rumor dates back to Father of the Bride," explained Martin. "In one scene the shirt I was wearing was thin enough that you could see the undershirt. Apparently it looked like the garment some Mormon men wear under their clothes." Among Mormons rumors have circulated that Martin had been seen on the Tonight Show wearing a CTR ring, that he had been "secretly baptized," and that he had taught a class at BYU Education Week.

-- 200 years ago - Sep 10, 1816
An early "killing" frost comes to Norwich, Vermont which cuts down those few crops that survived earlier snows that fell in Jul and Aug. The Joseph Smith Sr. family, facing the third year of crop failure, decides to move to New York.

-- 170 years ago - Sep 10, 1846 (Thursday)
The few remaining Saints at Nauvoo, of whom only about one hundred and twenty-five were able to bear arms, were attacked by an armed mob, about eighteen hundred strong, who with five pieces of artillery bombarded the city for several days. The brethren organized for self-defense and stopped the mobbers about two miles from the city. (4)

-- 165 years ago - Sep 10, 1851 (Conference)
[Brigham Young] General Doniphan said in St. Louis, that, '"if he had one thousand Mormon Boys, the same as the Mormon Battalion, he could do more good that all the United States soldiers that were there:'" I say, if he had been a Mormon he would have been charged with treason, although the government is good, and the Constitution is as good as could be framed.
He then exhorted the Presiding Bishop to settle with the First Presidency and all the Bishops, and require their tithing, the one-tenth of all their real estate, of the value of their farms and possessions, and all they have got, and then see that the Bishops settle with every man, and that he pays his tithing or we will disfellowship him from the Church. I will sell every particle of my property if a man can be found who will pay the cash and I will put it all into the hands of Bishop Hunter, and I will begin anew, and in five years God will so bless me that I shall be richer than any man in this community.
He then called on the First Presidency, the Twelve Apostles, High Priests, Seventies, and every person to know if they were willing to do as he told them, when all hands were immediately raised. He lifted his hands on high and will all the powers of the Holy Priesthood vested in him, he blessed the Saints in the name of the Lord God of Israel, when all the people cried, Amen. -- Salt Lake City (5)

-- 125 years ago - Sep 10, 1891
U.S. president Benjamin Harrison grants a pardon to fellow Republican and second counselor Joseph F. Smith for outstanding warrants for his arrest on polygamy. (1)

-- 120 years ago - Sep 10, 1896
President Cannon related some of the experiences of the brethren on their visit to California. He feared that the Elders were wasting valuable time in their efforts to reclaim members of the Church who had separated from the body of the Church, and had lost the spirit of the Gospel. ... Elder John Henry Smith suggested that the results of the labors of the missionaries now in the field should be known that it might be considered whether the results justified the expenditure of so much money and labor during the present time of stringency. President Cannon suggested that in the absence of President Lorenzo Snow, Elder F[ranklin]. D. Richards confer with the rest of the Apostles with a view of ascertaining what Brother Smith had suggested. (6)

-- 90 years ago - Sep 10, 1926
Heber J. Grant and his wife August act as proxies for the vicarious endowment of Warren G. Harding and his wife and for their proxy sealing. Although Apostle Wilford Woodruff was a proxy for the baptism of deceased U.S. presidents in 1877, Grant is apparently the first church president to act as a proxy for a deceased U.S. president. On 29 Sept. Grant and Apostle Reed Smoot are also proxies for the vicarious endowments of Ulysses S. Grant and Theodore Roosevelt. (1)

-- 190 years ago - Sep 11, 1826
Anti-Masonic martyer William Morgan is released from jail in Canandaigua, 12 miles from the Smith farm. Joseph Smith would be jailed there for debt in late 1830. (7)

-- 185 years ago - Sep 11, 1831
Kirtland, Ohio. Joseph Smith received Doctrine & Covenants 64, a revelation containing the Lord's law of forgiveness and the warning, -"he that is tithed shall not be burned.-", (8)

D&C 64] "... I the Lord willeth to retain a strong hold in the Land of Kirtland for the space of five years in the which I will not overthrow the wicked that thereby I may save some & after that day I the Lord will not hold any guilty that shall go with open hearts up to the Land of Zion ..." (9)

-- 180 years ago - Sep 11, 1836
Predicted date of the redemption of Zion. Five years earlier (see previous entry) a revelation specified that for five years the Lord would "not overthrow the wicked." The first attempt to reclaim Jackson County (Zion) occurred when Zions Camp marched to retake Zion in the spring/early summer of 1834. That August he began plans again to take back Zion through a military effort, affirming the date set in D&C 64, "Use every effort to prevail on the churches to gather to those regions and situate themselves to be in readiness to move into Jackson Co. in two years from the Eleventh of September next which is the appointed time for the redemption of Zion. ... Let not this be noised abroad let every heart beat in silence and every mouth be shut." (10)

-- 170 years ago - Sep 11, 1846
President Brigham Young and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles formally select the site for Winter Quarters (later Florence, Nebraska), the main winter encampment of the Saints. This is the first city in Nebraska.

-- 160 years ago - Sep 11, 1856 (Thursday)
Apostle Parley P. Pratt, accompanied by other Elders, left G.S.L. City on a mission to the States, from which he never returned. (4)

-- 145 years ago - Sep 11, 1871
Counselor Daniel H. Wells tells the Grantsville School of the Prophets that "a great many of our young men [are] abusing themselves by the habit of self-pollution: or self-abuse, or as the Bible terms it Onanism," which he regards as "one great cause why so many of our young men were not married, and it was a great sin, and would lead to insanity and a premature grave." Polygamy is the likelier cause for the prevalence of bachelorhood in nineteenth-century Utah. First, every national census lists more males than females in the Mormon population. Second, 20-40 percent of Mormon men marry polygamously which demographically requires bachelorhood in Utah's majority population of males. (1)

-- 15 years ago - Sep 11, 2001
[Mormon Tabernacle Choir] A regularly scheduled choir concert becomes a September 11 memorial service. (11)

-- 190 years ago - Sep 12, 1826
William Morgan is abducted by Masons in Batavia, New York and is never seen again. Morgan had written a book exposing the rituals of Freemasonry, ILLUSTRATIONS OF MASONRY which is published two months later. Morgan's abduction and murder spark the Anti-Masonic movement and party. Reviewers of the first edition of the Book of Mormon notice parallels between the Masons and the Book's Gadianton robbers. Exact phrases and "grips" in Morgan's book later become part of the LDS endowment ceremony and Morgan's widow, Lucinda, later becomes a plural wife of Joseph Smith.

-- 185 years ago - Sep 12, 1831
Joseph Jr. and family move into the John Johnson home in Hiram, Ohio (about thirty miles southeast of Kirtland), where he and Sidney Rigdon work on translating the Bible. (12)

-- 175 years ago - Sep 12, 1841
[Wilford Woodruff] In the evening we sung a few Hymns & as soon as we closed Mr Roberts broke out in a tremendious noise which he called tongues. I reproved him before the whole company for his folly & impoliteness. His conversation had been such that the passengers would form an idea that he was in part a representative of the Latter Day Saints. I wished to change that Idea in the minds of the company for it was fals. He was not a member of the Church. (13)

-- 170 years ago - Sep 12, 1846
I met in council in the evening with the 12 & H Council & we had a good time. B Young Addressed us for a time in the power of God. He spoke of the Camp being infested with some unruly young men & they had been whipped for wicked conduct ["night ramblings" with Wilford Woodruff's new teenage brides] & they had made threats and others had sustained them in it. He said evil must be put down in the camp. Our council held untill 11 oclock. (13)

"Some boys have been whipped in camp, and it is right. I did not know of it till after it was done. [Brigham Young and Wilford Woodruff had ordered the punishment on Sept 8]. If we allow young men to come in here and set up their own plans, three years will not roll round before we will have cutting of throats here." (14)

-- 170 years ago - Sep 12, 1846. Saturday.
[William Clayton] President Young brought me $8 in money, one half dollar bogus ... (15)

-- 105 years ago - Tuesday, Sep 12, 1911
[John Henry Smith] We received a letter saying Photos had been taken of the Interior of the Temple. (16)

-- 50 years ago - Sep 12, 1966
Covert surveillance by BYU-Birch student in the form of either correspondence, classroom questioning, or private meetings to extract "pro-Communist" views from their professors. (17)

-- 170 years ago - Sep 13, 1846
Orson Pratt preaches: "the sectarian world say that about six thousand years ago God made all things out of nothing. When it can be demonstrated that light is thirty thousand years in coming from the fixed stars to earth, consequently that light was in existence at least twenty-four thousand years before this earth."

[Brigham Young:] But the time has come when we must have law and order in our midst. There has been some feelings of late in the camp because some unruly boys [enagaging in "night ramblings" with two of Wilford Woodruff's new teenage wives] have been floged by the Marshall for there wickedness. But if this Camp is not willing to let law & order reign here & put a stop to such wickedness I wish you to let me know it & I will go away from you. For those that wish to sustain crime & corruption let them return & strike hands with the mob & carry out there principles & be dammed. But if you want to do right say so. This people have been driven here for there desires to do righteousness. And this wickedness shall be put a stop to that has been manifest in the camp by certain young people of late. Yes it will be stoped if God come out & smites it by Judgment.
The Marshall did not whip them hard enough. If He had they would not have spit out there revenge but it would have been whiped out of them. If I am drove to the necessity of whipping a person in such A case they will not spit out revenge afterwards for I will whip it out of them.
Shall we any longer sustain in our midst men that will carry out the principles [spiritual wifery] of John C Bennet and other corrupt scoundrils? No I will sware by the Eternal God of Heaven such Conduct shall be stoped & shall not be permitted in this camp. For if they continue it I will tell the Marshall what the law is & they shall be taken Care of in a manner that they will not whine. And I will whip any man that will sustain it. For those that will sustain it shall be whiped. And I prophecy in the name of God such a man whether old or young shall be bowed down with sorrow & morning even more than this people have.
Then stop before you further go & not sport upon the brink of sorrow & morning. This people have the Law of Liberty & the gospel & the more the light & liberty & greater the privileges the stricter the Law. We are going into the wilderness & shall we suffer such things? No. I swear by the Eternal God such things shall not be while Brigham lives.
Br Kimball gave a good shot when He said no man [would] run into his waggon & swore he would shot the Marshall if he come after him except he was guilty of crime. No man is afraid except he is guilty. No man need be afraid that does right. I defy the world to say I have taken any roans right. But after we have been driven into the wilderness we are still followed by men who sware they will steal what they have in our midst. I sware they shall not have it in our midst.
Some young Elders that never preached a sermon in their lives are afraid that I shall have more blessings than they, or more wives or sumthing or other. But let them go & preach the world over as I have done in poverty and distress with Blood in my Shoes & spent years & years at it & left my wife & Children who have also suffered much. Let them do as we have done & they will not be jealous of me about blessings. If the Lord should give me a thousand women is it any mans business? No. Let such go and spend as much time as I have And there will be many clinging on to there skirts to be saved.
The majority of the men of the gentile world will be damned and the women wish to be saved by going with good men. And a woman that has the spirit of God will go with a good man who has been faithful & spent much of his time in saveing mankind and has the priesthood. Such men if they continue faithful will be saved in eternal Glory & those that are with him. I am determined that my affections shall be with God. I will not allow them to be placed on things that perish. When plagues & diseases get hold of our bodies we become loathsome & beauty fades away but our affections should be placed upon things that are Noble exhalted lasting & glorious. I love an exhalted mind for it is eternal & cannot fade. I want all my affections to be subject to God and glory & eternal life. May God bless you. Amen. (13)

-- 165 years ago - Saturday, Sep 13, 1851
David Fullmer of the Com[mittee] [Council of Fifty] to visit Gen[era]l [Uriah] Brown said he saw B[rown]. Told him our wish that he should remain-his family should be brought on-his services [to create a "liquid fire" weapon] were wanted here-and we would do by him as we do by each other... (18)

-- 160 years ago - Sep 13, 1856
[Apostle Wilford Woodruff] Br Kimball said he wanted to know a certain thing so he inquired by the <President Young and> HCK. <Both had that gift.> [Angeled brackets are in shorthand, used to disguise sensitive information. The gift may be divining rods.] (13)

Under the direction of President Brigham Young, President Jedediah M. Grant of the First Presidency institutes the "Mormon Reformation" at a conference in Kaysville. The purpose of the reformation was to remind the Saints of their blessings and to call them to repentance for being lax in keeping the commandments.

-- 130 years ago - Sep 13, 1886
[Wilford Woodruff] I was taken with a vary strange turn. I turned almost Blind & speechless & lost my Memory. It Came on & went off gradually. It lasted about 30 Minutes. I dont know whether it was paralises or not. I soon recovered. (13)

-- 115 years ago - Sep 13, 1901; Friday
A delegation of business men ... accompanied by Bishop William B. Preston, called and recommended to President [Lorenzo] Snow that they be authorized to [execute certain business activities.] After some talk President Snow consented that this be done. These brethren are interested in drawing as much business as possible to the north end of Main Street as against the efforts made by the Gentiles to pull to the South. (19)

-- 105 years ago - Wednesday, Sep 13, 1911
[John Henry Smith] Mr. Stewart of the law Firm of Stewart & Co. called with a letter from the same fellow who had written us in regard to [unauthorized] Pictures of the Interior of the Temple.
We also received six copies of various rooms in that building. The men who took the Pictures were Gottleib Unthick and Bozzard, Germans by birth. It is said they Claim to have been working at this for five years taking Flash light Pictures and copying records. (16)

-- 70 years ago - Sep 13, 1946
[J. Reuben Clark] Mark Petersen called about the Dream Mine. Their reporter had been at the meeting last night, which was an indignation meeting and Koyle [who had a series of dreams and revelations regarding buried Nephite gold] gave what appointed to a speech in criticism of the General Authorities. Some of the people mentioned the editorials and said they did not want to have trouble between themselves and the Church and Koyle gave them to understand if there was any choice to be made they were to choose him. Bro. Petersen wondered if they should not act, and Pres. Clark cautioned him not to be in too much of a hurry. ... They again announced that Bro. Talmage had come back from the dead and appeared to Koyle and apologized to him for what he had done, and also a Pres. Page of the Stake, who had bought stock and then repudiated it. ... (3)

-- 185 years ago - Sep 14, 1831
[The Freedom Censor, Fredonia NY] "He has all necessary implements for finding and securing the fleeting treasure; the mineral rod, hazel sticks, crow-bars and bibles." ... "He has no doubt of it, provided he can vanquish the spirits that continually guard it, and break the charm that constantly surrounds it." (20)

-- 180 years ago - Sep 14, 1836
Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Hyrum Smith, and Oliver Cowdery begin to purchase large amounts of property in Geauga County, Ohio, to sell to immigrants settling in the area. (21)

-- 140 years ago - Sep 14, 1876
The second trial of John Lee opens in Beaver, Utah [regarding Mountain Meadows Massacre]. Numerous Mormons testify against Lee, but the testimony does not implicate other Mormons. Lee asks that no witnesses testify in his behalf. (22)

-- 130 years ago - Sep 14, 1886
By the appointment of the First Presidency, Charles O. Card begins a mission to the Northwest Territories (now Albert Province), Canada, to find refuge for poliygamous Mormons to escape arrest. This is the origin of the Mormon settlements centering in Cardston, Alberta, Canada, where settlers arrive on 1 June 1887. (1)

-- 125 years ago - Sep 14, 1891
Talmage meets with the First Presidency and is appointed to write a work on theology, which apparently culminated years later as The Articles of Faith . In his journal Talmage writes the following:
It is the intention of the brethren to cause to be published a class work in Theology for use in the Church schools and religion classes generally. The need for such a work has long been felt among the teachers of the Latter-day Saints [...]
Several preliminaries have to be arranged before the work is begun; but the First Presidency have expressed to me their intention of appointing me to do the labor. I find myself very busy already, but I have never yet found it necessary to decline any labor appointed to me by the Holy Priesthood; and in the performance of duties so entailed, as my day, so has my strength ever been. [MSS 229, Journal] (23)

-- 90 years ago - Sep 14, 1926
[Heber J. Grant] George F. Richards, Nicholas G. Smith and Wyley Sessions called, and President Nibley and I discussed with them at length the Sampson and Daniels case. These people have colored blood in their veins and yet are very anxious and insist upon being permitted to do temple work. We assured the brethren that we could not change the rule that had always been maintained from the days of the Prophet Joseph until the present time, that temple ordinances could not be performed for people who had any Negro blood in their veins. (24)

-- 45 years ago - Sep 14, 1971
The Apollo 15 astronauts present to President Joseph Fielding Smith a Utah state flag that has traveled with them to the moon. [Smith had earlier declared that man could not leave the sphere of the earth and travel to the moon.] (1)

-- 25 years ago - Sep 14, 1991.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports that David Knowlton, a social anthropologist at BYU, was called in by his stake president "less than a week" after his presentation in Sunstone in Salt Lake City about why leftist terrorists in Latin America target the church. He protests the "intimidation" in writing to his academic officers with copies to President Ezra Taft Benson. Rex Lee, president of BYU, comments, "This is just not a BYU matter."
Ca. 22 September 1991. The long-awaited Encyclopedia of Mormonism appears. Such periodicals as Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Sunstone, and Exponent II, though separately indexed, are discussed only in an article entitled "Societies and Organizations" (3:1387-90). (25)

1 - The Mormon Hierarchy - Extensions of Power by D. Michael Quinn, [New Mormon History database (]
2 - Brigham Young Jr. Diary, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1910-1951, Privately Published, Salt Lake City, Utah 2010
3 - The Diaries of J. Reuben Clark, 1933-1961, Abridged, Digital Edition, Salt Lake City, Utah 2015
4 - Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology
5 - The Latter-day Saints Millennial Star, also Millennial Star Supplement, Manchester- Liverpool, England, 1840-1970, 14:35-36, in The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, Ed. Richard S. Van Wagoner, Smith-Pettit Foundation, Salt Lake City (2009),
6 - Journal History, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1835-1951, Electronic Edition, 2015
7 - Grunder, Rick, Mormon Parallels: A Bibliographic Source
8 - BYU Studies Journal, volume 46, no. 4: A Chronology of the Life of Joseph Smith,
9 - Book of Commandments and Revelations (Revelation Book 1)
10 - Joseph Smith to Lyman Wight, Edward Partridge, John Corrill, Isaac Morley, and others, August 16, 1834, Joseph Smith Letter Book 1, 85, Church History Library; also in History of the Church, 2:145
11 - Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Newsroom,
12 - Anderson, Lavina Fielding, Editor, Lucy's Book: A Critical Edition of Lucy Mack Smith's Family Memoir, 2001, Signature Books,
13 - Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993,
14 - Elden J. Watson, ed. Brigham Young Addresses, 1801-1877: A Chronological Compilation of Known Addresses of the Prophet Brigham Young, 6 vols. (Salt Lake City: Privately published, 1971)
15 - George D. Smith, An Intimate Chronicle; The Journals of William Clayton, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1995,
16 - Jean Bickmore White (editor), Church, State, and Politics: The Diaries of John Henry Smith, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1990,
17 - Morrell, Bernhard, Hillam, Wimmer, Midgley, and Wirthlin, "Events Related To the Covert Surveillance of Faculty Members," 5; Richard D. Poll to Ray C. Hillam, 12 Sept. 1966, folder 10, Hillam Papers, also box 34, Buerger Papers. From D. Michael Quinn, Ezra Taft Benson and Mormon Political Conflicts, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 26:2 (Summer 1992), also in Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power Salt Lake City (Signature Books, 1994), Chapter 3.
18 - Selected Minutes of the Council of Fifty, Quinn Papers, Beinecke Library, as quoted in Jedediah S. Rogers (editor), The Council of Fifty: A Documentary History, Signature Books (2014)
19 - First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve minutes
20 - "Money Digging," The Freedom Censor, (Fredonia, NY), 14 September 1831, as quoted in A Topical Guide of Treasure-Seeking Rituals From the American Northeast during the 18th and 19th Centuries, Compiled by Joseph T. Antley (2010)
21 - Mark Lyman Staker, Hearken, O Ye People: The Historical Setting of Joseph Smith's Ohio Revelations: A Selective Chronology of Significant Events in Ohio's LDS History
22 - Linder, Douglas, The Mountain Meadows Massacre Trials,
23 - Chronology of the Life and Work of James E. Talmage, J. Trevor Antley,
24 - The Diaries of Heber J. Grant, 1880-1945, Abridged, Digital Edition Salt Lake City, Utah, 2015
25 - Anderson, Lavina Fielding, "The LDS Intellectual Community and Church Leadership: A Contemporary Chronology," Dialogue, Vol.26, No.1

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