40 years ago today - Jun 9, 1978
In a letter dated June 8 and made public the following day, the First Presidency announces "priesthood now available to all worthy male members." First Presidency secretary Francis M Gibbons writes that this change "seemed to relieve them of a subtle sense of guilt they had felt over the years." The DESERET NEWS stops a press run to get the announcement in its first edition. By late morning the headline was on the newsstands-"LDS Church extends priesthood to all worthy male members." TIME and NEWSWEEK also stop press runs to get the story into their weekend editions. President Jimmy Carter implied acceptance of the revelation's divine origin. President Jimmy Carter sends a telegram to President Kimball: "I commend you for your compassionate prayerfulness and courage in receiving a new doctrine." The First-Presidency letter containing the four-paragraph statement becomes the most photocopied document in the history of the Church Office Building.