5 years ago today - 2014-02-28

Leaders of Ordain Women sent a letter to Church Leaders requesting tickets to the April 5, 2014 Priesthood Session of General Conference.

[Mormon Women's History Timeline, http://www1.chapman.edu/~remy/MoFem/mormonwomen.html]

35 years ago today - Feb 28, 1984

At a BYU devotional speech Paul H. Dunn tells the audience, "I pitched against Willie Mays as he broke into baseball and I was leaving the scene." He also tells of his WWII experiences landing on Iwo Jima: "We jump in the water, the water's chest high. You gotta hold your rifle over your head. If the muzzle drops in the water-that's salt water-it would blow up when you fire. Did you ever try to run in water up to your chest, loaded down? You don't move very fast. And the enemy starts to pick you up. You're pushing with the butt of your rifle the dead bodies and wounded bodies of your friends and associates you've been training with. The coral is so sharp it cuts the boots off your feet and your feet are starting to bleed like mincemeat, and you're trying to get ashore. I was one of the first ashore that morning. And I dug my first foxhole with my fingernails and I crawled in it. And just as I crawled into that mucky hole an ambu gun opens up that shoots about 700 rounds a minute and it went down my right arm and took off my identification bracelet." The official history of his battalion says there was no combat action when they landed and that Dunn's boat was caught on a coral reef and didn't land until the next day, after the beach had been secured.

45 years ago today - Feb 28, 1974-Thursday

[Leonard Arrington]
Dean May came into the office today and said, "Let me tell you a funny story." It seems that there was a person using the library on the first floor intently working there for some time. All of the sudden he jumped up, ran out the long turn-stile shearing the threads and ran toward the main reception room of the Church Office Building. Dave [Mayfield] went after him following. The fellow ran faster, Dave ran faster. The fellow ran out to North Temple Street toward Main, Dave following close behind. Finally Dave caught up with him and tackled him.

They both got up. "What did you do that for?" "I thought you were running off with something." "No, I was just late for an appointment."

So Dean has made up an award to give him for "valor and intrepidity beyond the call of librarianship."

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

75 years ago today - Feb 28, 1944

[David O. McKay]
Later, I went over to the Temple and instructed the [First] Presidency to take steps to have more reverence in the Temple. To that end suggested: first, the removal of the desk in the Celestial Room; second, not to have witnesses to marriages enter Celestial Room in street clothing; third, it will be well to consider the advisability of the General Authorities who perform marriages to be dressed in white.

[David O. McKay diary, Feb. 28, 1944, in Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/TempleWorship]

100 years ago today - Feb 28, 1919

Over the opposition of Apostle David O. McKay, the First Presidency and Twelve vote to "summon" the recent plural wives to tell who performed their polygamous marriages. The Apostles excommunicate their husbands this day for refusing to answer that question.

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

120 years ago today - Feb 28, 1899

[Abraham Owen Woodruff]
Worked very diligently on this political matter. Pres[iden]t. [Lorenzo] Snow said: It is the will of the Lord that we should do all that is in our power to bring about the election of [First Counselor] Geo[rge]. Q. Cannon to the U.S. Senate.

[Abraham Owen Woodruff Diary, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1910-1951, Privately Published, Salt Lake City, Utah 2010]

125 years ago today - Feb 28, 1894

[President Wilford Woodruff]
This is the Last day of winter for 1893 & 4. ...

Our Church business is becoming formidable. God ownly Can Carry us through.

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

130 years ago today - Feb 28, 1889

[Wilford Woodruff]
I ] visited the Salt Air works 12 miles west from the Temple Block 16 miles by the Railway. Note This company have 1,000 acres of ground laid off into Salt beds which are filled with water from the Salt Lake. They extract the Soda and mangnesia from the Salt by drainage. They have a large building in which is machinery run by an engine, for bringing in the Salt from the dump outside, grinding it, drying again grinding it fine, sacking, or carrying to the Railway cars where it is loaded in sacks or in bulk. They make an excellent article of fine table salt 99 2/10 pure. The water from the Lake is brought in a canal some 400 yards long and is pumped by a centrifugal pump 15 or 16 feet high in a quantity to cover 100 acres 1 inch deep in 10 hours. They have a capacity of grinding and sacking 50 tons of salt per day and have several 100 tons now on hand. It is no doubt a grand enterprise.

[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 - Feb 28, 1869

[Wilford Woodruff]
... I then gave {Susan Smith} the wife of George A Smith her seconed Anointing. This was done to Correct her former Anointing which was informal. G A Smith Also gave {Phebe W Woodruff & Sarah Woodruff} their seconed Anointing. Mrs Woodruff was anointed for her sister Mary Carter Woodruff. ...

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

170 years ago today - Feb 28, 1849

[Hosea Stout]
This evening was called on to go with an expedition to the Utah Valley against some Indians who had been stealing a lot of horses from Brighams herd and began to prepare to start tomorrow

[Diaries of Hosea Stout]

45 years ago today - Feb 27, 1974

After writing a requested article on changes in the church since the 1870s for the NEW ERA, having the article accepted and being paid $75 for it LDS historian James B. Allen is told the article will not be printed. he receives "a call from the editor who said that the correlation committee had turned down the article, and there seemed to be two basic reasons: (1) the committee could not see any value in talking about change as such, and (2) it was fearful that in discussing so many changes we would leave the impression that everything was changing, and therefore raise questions in the minds of the New Era readers about whether gospel doctrines were changing and whether or not the Church was true."

65 years ago today - Feb 27, 1954

CHURCH NEWS article by Joseph Fielding Smith, "Where Is the Hill Cumorah? Book of Mormon Establishes Location of Historic Region." Apostle Smith argues that the Hill Cumorah of the Book of Mormon is the same Hill Cumorah that was near Joseph Smith's farm in New York: "Within recent years there has arisen among certain students of the Book of Mormon a theory to the effect that within the period covered by the Book of Mormon, the Nephites and Lamanites were confined almost within the borders of the territory comprising Central America and the southern portion of Mexico; the Isthmus of Tehuantepec probably being the `narrow neck' of land spoken of in the Book of Mormon rather than the Isthmus of Panama. . . . This modernistic theory of necessity, in order to be consistent, must place the waters of Ripliancum and the Hill Cumorah someplace within the restricted territory of Central America, notwithstanding the teachings of the Church to the contrary for upwards of 100 years."

130 years ago today - Feb 27, 1889

Wilford Woodruff tells his secretary "he would about as soon attend a funeral as one of our council meetings." Several apostles have opposed each of his efforts to organize First Presidency.

125 years ago today - Feb 27, 1894

[Heber J. Grant]
We had quite a long chat on the affairs of the Bullion Beck and Champion mine. We spoke of the ill feelings there had been over this mine and tears came into my eyes and those of Prest Cannon more than once during the conversations. We spoke of the time when there was so much fault found with Prest Cannon by me and others just after the death of Prest. Taylor. Prest Cannon assured me that he felt that the Lord had fully forgiven me for anything I did in the matter. In fact he said he knew that I had been forgiven. ...

[The Diaries of Heber J. Grant, 1880-1945, Abridged, Digital Edition Salt Lake City, Utah, 2015]

130 years ago today - Feb 27, 1889

LDS political newspaper, the Salt Lake Herald's article, "FAILED MARRIAGES," regarding "the report of Labor Commissioner Wright, presented last week, on the statistics of marriage and divorce in the United States from 1867 to 1886 inclusive," with the following: In 1870 Utah had the second highest rate of divorce out of all states and territories. In 1870 Utah's rate was one divorce per 185 marriages. The national average was 1:664. States with the lowest divorce rates are South Carolina at 1:133,359, Delaware at 1:23,672, New Mexico at 1:16,077, North Carolina at 1:4,938, and Louisiana at 1:4,579. In 1880 Utah had the tenth highest rate of divorce out of all states and territories. In 1880 Utah's rate was one divorce per 219 marriages, which was more than twice the national average of 1:479. In the twentieth century, the divorce rate for LDS temple marriages starts out three times higher than this "divorce mill" rate for early Utah civil marriages.

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

135 years ago today - Feb 27, 1884

John H. Gilbert, who was the typesetter for the first edition of the Book of Mormon, answers questions: "I. [There was] not a punctuation mark of any kind from beginning to end of [the] manuscript. II. Sentences were not commenced with capitals: If they had been there would not have been so much difficulty in punctuation [Gilbert supplied all the punctuation for the first edition]. III. The spelling was good. . . .[Oliver] Cowdery looked over the manuscript when the proof was read. IV. We were not allowed to correct any grammatical errors."

135 years ago today - Feb 27, 1884

[George Q. Cannon]
... In speaking of the translating he [David Whitmer] said that Joseph had the stone in a hat from which all light was excluded. In the stone the characters appeared and under that the translation in English and they remained until the scribe had copied it correctly. If he had made a mistake the words still remained and were not replaced by any other. In describing the visit of the angel he said that it was shortly before the completion of the translation when there were but few pages left. He was plowing when Joseph and Oliver came to him and the former told him that he was chosen to be one of the three witnesses to whom the angel would show the plates. He also told him that the Lord had promised to make this manifest and now was the time. They went out and sat upon a log conversing upon the things to be revealed when they were surrounded by a glorious light which overshadowed them. A glorious personage appeared and he showed to them the plates, the sword of Laban, the Directors, the Urim and Thummim and other records. Human language could not, he said, describe heavenly things and that which they saw. The language of the angel was: Blessed is he that believeth and remaineth faithful to the end. He had his hours of darkness and trial and difficulty, but however dark upon other things that [vision] had ever been a bright scene in his mind and he had never wavered in regard to it; he had testified fearlessly always of it, even when his life was threatened. Martin Harris was not with them at the time that he and Oliver saw the angel, but he and Joseph afterwards saw the same, and he thus became a witness also.

[1.

George Q. Cannon, Journal, 27 February 1884, LDS Church Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah. 2.

George Q. Cannon, "Topics of the Times," Juvenile Instructor 19 (1 April 1884): 106-7., as cited in Dan Vogel, Early Mormon Documents: David Whitmer Interview With George Q. Cannon]

160 years ago today - Feb 27, 1859

[Wilford Woodruff]
I met with the Quorum of the Twelve. ... We talked abut the spirits of men the varius glories, & Come to the Conclusion that all things was right with the Lord & that there was but few of the spirits of men who were Capable of Receiving a Celestial glory and the Telestial glory was broad enough to catch evry thing that ought to have any kind of salvation.

[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 - Feb 27, 1844

Presidential Candidate Joseph Smith mails copies of his pamphlet GENERAL SMITH'S VIEWS OF THE POWERS AND POLICY OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES to"President and Cabinet, Supreme [Court] Judges, Senators, Representatives, principal papers in the U.S. all the Governors, and many postmasters and individuals. In all about 200." Joseph Smith calls a meeting of the Twelve and others "for the purpose of selecting a company to survey [explore] Oregon and California - and select a site for a new city for the saints,"

180 years ago today - Feb 27, 1839

Citizens of Quincy, Ill., adopt a resolution denouncing the Missouri mobs and Missouri state officials. Soon Gov. Thomas Carlin of Illinois and Iowa Territorial Governor Robert Lucas invite the Saints to settle in those areas. The Saints have been debating whether to gather in one place again or to scatter throughout the area, but Brigham Young and Joseph continue to promote the idea of the gathering.

[Conkling, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology]

160 years ago today - Feb 26, 1859

President Young said there had been a great deal of talk about how uncivilly the judges, that had been sent to Utah, had been treated by the Mormons; by there had not been a judge in Utah, that had been so completely taken up and set down on his arse in the mud, and had his ears pissed into as judge [Charles E] Sinclair had been. -- Salt Lake City

[Historians Office Journal, Archives, Church History Library, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah, in The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, Ed. Richard S. Van Wagoner, Smith-Pettit Foundation, Salt Lake City (2009), http://bit.ly/BY-discourses]

175 years ago today - Feb 26, 1844

Joseph Smith writes in his journal: "Held court at the Mansion. City of Nauvoo vs. O. F. Bostwick on complaint of Hyrum Smith for slanderous language concerning Hyrum and certain females of Nauvoo. Fined Bostwick $50 and costs." Hyrum Smith had two secret plural wives at this time in addition to his legal wife.

185 years ago today - Feb 26, 1834

[Greene M. Evan]
... met at Bro . . Segars and Baptised two in the evening filled our appointment just before meeting commenced a sister was taken with a distress in her stomach and called for us to lay hands on her we went out and prayed to know whether it was right for that people to have a sign and got the witness that she should be healed went in and laid hands on her and commanded the disease in the name of Jesus to depart from her and then I prayed that the cloud of darkness might be broke then I exhorted and contended for the gifts of the Church and for the first time the Lord poured out his spirit and gave the gift of toungs unto in pub* and we had a glorious time some were convinced of the power of God and the next morning

[Greene, Evan Melbourne, 1814 –1882. Diaries, 1833 –1852]

185 years ago today - Feb 26, 1834

Kirtland, Ohio. Joseph Smith started from Kirtland to gather volunteers for Zion's Camp.

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

45 years ago today - Feb 25, 1974-Monday

[Leonard Arrington]
When Jim Allen had his luncheon the other day with Paul Dunn [of the First Council of Seventy], Brother Dunn was talking about different styles of administration and made a comparison of President Lee and President Kimball. He said that President Lee was a very firm administrator, so firm that some people were a little afraid of him-a little afraid of doing something he might not approve of; he ran a very tight ship. He wanted to have the opportunity of making a ruling on nearly every matter, both of overwhelming importance and lesser importance, and he expected everybody to carry out his instructions literally. ...

President Kimball on the other hand, is a far more relaxed administrator. He is willing to give more discretion to other General Authorities and Church administrators in general. He is less of a man in a hurry than President Lee. President Lee always stayed at his office and made all of his decisions there. President Kimball, on the other hand, wanders around the Church Administration Building and visits with people in their own offices, and when he needs to see somebody, he goes up to their office instead of calling them down. While he is a sober-minded person when he should be, he does have a good sense of humor and is willing to joke to some extent with people he is conversing with. President Kimball also perhaps is more forgiving of people who make mistakes or violate a covenant.

Maureen [Ursenbach] ask [Richard Anderson's wife] why Richard doesn't finish up the Emma Smith-Joseph Smith book. She suggested that maybe those letters of Emma should not be published-that Emma did not intend them for publication. ... she believes that when the work goes hard maybe that is a sign that it should not be published. When obstacle after obstacle comes up maybe that is the Lord trying to tell us that we ought to drop that project. ...

Roland Rich Woolley ... has heard that Saturday night's Church News has a long article on Ezra Taft Benson "trying to clean him up"-or trying to emphasize his good points. Brother Woolley said he realized that Brother Benson is not well thought of by many churchmen because of his dallying around with the John Birch Society, and Brother Woolley realizes that Brother Benson definitely needs cleaning up to be well accepted by most members of the Church. He also said that Brother Benson had been unwise in another respect-he had allowed himself to be on the Board of Directors of the Olson Egg Producers. Apparently this went on even when he was Secretary of Agriculture [1953-61]. This was illegal, and if not illegal, certainly unwise for him to have done this. Brother Woolley said he was afraid that one of these days this would come out in the open and be given publicity that would not be good for the Church.

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

70 years ago today - Feb 25, 1949

[David O. McKay]
Pres. Nielsen then discussed the race question that is coming before the Arizona State Legislature. I said that no American citizen can say that legally the Legislature or any political organization has any right to have special legislation against any class; that it had been debated up here, and there were threats to punish any Hotel Manager who would discriminate against colored people, etc. I said, the Church, however, cannot come out opposing the question, but the fact is that no matter what the law says, there is going to be discrimination against the colored people, and I advised Pres. [Lucian M., of Mesa Stake] to simply take the stand to let conditions remain as they are for the present without involving the Church is any way. As it is we take the Negroes into the Church by baptism and let them come to meetings, but so far as intermarriage is concerned, legally they have the same right that every citizen has, but in practice we cannot affiliate, and for their own good they should not want to intermarry with the whites, and that I believe they do not want to, and let us not force that union upon them and upon us, but let us use our influence quietly. I said further that the South knows how to handle them and they do not have any trouble, and the colored people are better off down there'in California they are becoming very progressive and insolent in many cases.

[David O. McKay 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]

110 years ago today - Feb 25, 1909

[George Albert Smith]
Dr. diagnoses as " La Grippe and general collapse" "I was unable to get up, my strength was gone and I was in pain from head to foot."

[Journals of George Albert Smith]

115 years ago today - Feb 25, 1904

[L. John Nuttle]
Pres[iden]t [Joseph F.] Smith suffered himself to be subpoened this afternoon [regarding seating of elected apostle Reed Smoot to the U.S. Senate]. he & the brethren expect to leave on Saturday Morning for Washington D.C.

[L. John Nuttall, Diary, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1835-1951, Electronic Edition, 2015]

145 years ago today - Feb 25, 1874

Patriarchal Blessing of Joseph F. Smith by John Smith ... [the Lord's] eye is upon thee he hath given thine angel special charge concerning thee who hath watched over thee from thy birth and preserved thy life many times he hath also delivered thee out of the hands of thine enemies and protected thee against the evils of the world. The Lord hath watched thy progress and is pleased with thine integrity. ... Thou shalt also see the arm of the Lord made bare in behalf of his people and also behold the coming of the Savior.

The Angel who hath watched over thee in the past shall protect thee in the future and shall converse with thee as with a familiar friend, and warn thee of events to come, give thee power over thy enemies for the ungodly shall seek to take thy life. ... thou shalt have power over the adversary, cast out evil spirits and be mighty in healing the sick by the laying on of hands for this [is] thy gift. Many shall seek thee for counsel and wonder at thy wisdom. Thou halt have power to command the elements and the waves of the sea shall obey thy voice. ... Thy name shall be held in honorable remembrance among the Saints and be handed down with thy posterity from generation to generation and written in the Lamb's book of life. ...

Therefore I say unto thee be firm in thy mind for the Angel of thy presence shall not forsake thee but will ward off the shafts of the adversary which may be hurled at thee and warn thee of danger and thou shall comprehend things present and to come, and shall prophecy in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. ... This with all thy former blessings I seal upon thy head by virtue of [the] Holy Priesthood and I seal thee up unto eternal life with power to come forth in the morning of the first resurrection with all thy father's house to inherit a kingdom which shall increase for ever. Even so Amen.

[Patriarchal Blessings]

175 years ago today - Feb 25, 1844

The regular prayer meeting of the Anointed Quorum's men and women approve Joseph Smith's political platform and its distribution.

[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]

175 years ago today - Feb 25, 1844

John Taylor is sealed to his fourth plural wife, Jane Ballantyne.

[Hales, Brian C., Joseph Smith's Polygamy: History and Theology, 3 vols., Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2013 (www.JosephSmithsPolygamy.com)]

175 years ago today - Feb 25, 1844

[Apostle Wilford Woodruff]
President Joseph Smith Prophesyed that within five years we should be rid of our old enemies whether they were Apostates or of the world & wished us to record it that when it comes to pass that we need not say we had forgotten the saying.

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

180 years ago today - Feb 25, 1839

The citizens of Quincy, Ill., approve a resolution offering aid to the destitute Latter-day Saints [arriving from Missouri].

[Conkling, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology]

170 years ago today - Feb 24, 1849

President Young remarked that I could not counsel them to go. Most of those who had been to the gold mines, had made use of the gold to oppress their brethren, and they certainly would do nothing for their benefit, nor anybody else, but would spend most of their time in idleness, drunkenness, or riding horses to death, instead of laboring to prepare to raise grain, etc. If the people knew how to make a good use gold, he could told them where was plenty of it. But they did not know how to use it. I recommend Brother Crow to stay in the valley and raise grain and it would be better for him than to go off after gold. -- Salt Lake City

[Journal History of the Church, Selected Collections from the Archives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints DVD 2 (2002); The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, Ed. Richard S. Van Wagoner, Smith-Pettit Foundation, Salt Lake City (2009), http://bit.ly/BY-discourses]

175 years ago today - Feb 24, 1844

Presidential candidate Joseph Smith has 1500 copies of GENERAL SMITH'S VIEWS OF THE POWERS AND POLICY OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES printed. He writes "Prayed that Gen Smith's views of the power and policy of the U.S. United States might be spread far and wide and be the means of opening the hearts of the people." Copies of it were mailed to President John Tyler, members of his Cabinet, Supreme Court judges, members of Congress and many newspaper editors, postmasters, and other prominent persons.

185 years ago today - Feb 24, 1834

Kirtland high council elects Joseph Smith as commander-in-chief of the armies of Israel, and he announces a revelation [D&C 103] which commands God's "friends" to "avenge me of mine enemies." This document also commands that Mormon dissenters be "cast out and trodden under the foot of men" by "my friends."

[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]

40 years ago today - Feb 23, 1979-Friday

[Leonard Arrington]
Yesterday in the meeting for the Utah Endowment for the Humanities, Sterling McMurrin was present and during the intermission in the morning took me aside and said, "Leonard, I want to ask you two very confidential and very serous questions. The first is, I understand they have changed your title. You are no longer Church Historian." I replied that I had never been released as Church Historian, but on my own request they have given me another title, Director of the History Division of the Church. This gives me a title that's better understood and more secular. It also implies that I don't have to be a spokesman for the Church in the same sense as the title "Church Historian" implies. I told him I was pleased with the title and welcomed it, but that I still may be called Church Historian by people who remember that historic title.

He seemed satisfied with that answer but wanted to ask, secondly, "I understand that there is a line-up of pictures in the Historical Department and it does not include your picture but instead has the photo of [G.] Homer Durham." I said this was true and it didn't worry me in the least and I hoped it didn't worry him. I pointed out that the functions exercised by Joseph Fielding Smith and Howard Hunter and others had been divided up among several of us and that the managing director of the department might be seen as the heir to the Church Historian's position in a more accurate sense than myself as Church Historian or Director of the History Division. Sterling did not accept this. He said he thought it was reprehensible and wrong. He said, "Who ordered this, Homer?" I said I did not think so; I thought it was the idea of Earl Olson. But I said the pictures are just outside the offices of Earl and Brother Durham. Sterling said he did not like it one bit; but I tried to laugh it off by saying it was not at all important and don't fuss over it. ...

Lowell Durham Jr. ... said that one of the most frustrating things in his organization and the discussion of policies and the adoption of policies which they must undertake is that as soon as one member of the Quorum [of Twelve Apostles] makes any statement about any matter, that ends the discussion. Policy, in other words, is set on a rather haphazard basis. As soon as one apostle has made some statement about it, whether positive or negative, nobody wants to say anything further to cross him. ... People should feel free to give reasons why they favor one kind of action or disfavor another, and a decision should be made as the result of full discussionshould not be cut off automatically as the result of one apostle making an offhand comment that wasn't intended to be a "final" decision. He used as an example in our case Elder [Ezra Taft] Benson making a statement about Story of the Latter-day Saints without having read the book himself and then no one else-not even President [Spencer W.] Kimball-would make any comment about it. As President Kimball told us privately, he had read the book himself and couldn't see anything wrong with it.

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

120 years ago today - Feb 23, 1899

[Abraham Owen Woodruff]
Attended our Quorum meeting in the Temple. ... Pres[iden]t. [Lorenzo] Snow said it was the will of the Lord that we do all we can to elect Pres[iden]t. [George Q.] Cannon to the U.S. Senate.

[Cannon is chosen by the state legislature to be Utah's senator but the U.S. Senate refuses to seat a Mormon polygamist.]

[Abraham Owen Woodruff 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]

160 years ago today - Feb 23, 1859

Joseph Fisher Sr. (father of Jane Fisher) writes to twenty-year-old Joseph F. Smith, ". . . you have been keeping company with my Daughter ever since your return from your Mishion & from the testimony before me you solicited her to be your wife before you returnd whitch indirectly was granted. I will here state that before the Move south you could have had my consent & from that time untill two Months ago you Could have had it grudgeingley & since that time you could not have it at all. I told her at least two months ago to not have anything more to Doo with you for it was my opinion that she would lead a Miserable life. . . ." Joseph had proposed to Jane Fisher while he on a mission to Hawaii. Upon his return he kept time with Jane, but they broke up and he began courting sixteen-year-old Levira Clark Smith, his first cousin. Joseph and Levira were married by Brigham Young in his office on Apr 4, 1859.

160 years ago today - Feb 23, 1859

The Twelve met in the Prayer Closset at the Historians Office ...

H. C. Kimball said this made me think of the time when I returned from England. Joseph [Foster?] /was presidet/ & the presidency of the Seventies /they/ had met with a seers stones to see what they could see. When I went in they treated me vary Cool & Z Pulsipher said dont be excited Brother Kimball is Nothing but a man. They treated me vary Cooly & I went home and wept. Then we all rose up & shook hands with them & recieved them Joyfully. ...

Brother Kimball Conversed upon a variety of things. Refered to the stakes which the Twelve once set to see an Angel but we did not see an angel but prayed ourselves into darkness. He spoke of the time that Joseph tried the Twelve but the Twelve was united & tied Joseph down & Joseph said now dont you now never let any body tie you down as you have me. Brother Kimball said we appointed /Joseph nominated/ G. A Smith to take the place of Thomas B. Marsh and Lyman Shermon was appointed to take the place of Orson Hyde But Brother Sherman /was vary/ was taken sick & died in 3 days /shortly after/. ...

The Twelve Can ordain men to the Apostleship and give them all the power you have and you have all that we have got But you Cannot make a prophet ownly the natural way. And a man Cannot be a patriarch & not a Prophet for a man may have the spirit of a prophet before he Can bless and prophets. "The gifts & callings of God are without repentance [sic]. There are thousands of prophets among the Gentiles and spiritualist that have not Repented or obeyed the gospel. There are natural gifts to men. If they would receive the gospel their gifts would be made more manifest....

Presidet Young said Brother Box said the Armey was wanting to get up a vigalance Committee & wanted to get my head, But they will not do it. ... Then /last time I met with the Twelve in Kirtland/ [I] praid to God with all my heart that I might never again meet with that Quorum and I never did. I dont want you to run in to the same thing with the spirit they possessed. ...

H. C. Kimball said I will predict in the Name of Jesus Christ if you will be one with the Head, the Presidency and sustain them and you will never see the Body of Christ moved or disturbed I do not mean members but the Body, untill the Coming of Christ. And if you will be one with the Presidency not any of you or the Presidency shall fall by the Armey or By the Gentiles But you shall all be Crowned in the presence of God. ...

Brother Wells said ... When we are united we should try to keep the devil out of our houses & out of ourselves. Some time we may have a member in our houses who will let the devil dwell in their tabernacles.

[Daniel H. Wells says, "I never did have those great manifestations that some have. I have thought that I would like to have some of those manifestations if it was the will of God but not if it is agoing to do me any harm. I would not wish to see an Angel of hear the voice of God if it would make me apostatize or do me an injury."]

[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 - Feb 23, 1854

[Patriarchal Blessing of William Leany by Elisha H. Groves ... Thou shalt be called to go forth with many of thy brethren at the head of a portion of the Lamanites in the redemption of Zion and avenging of the blood of innocence upon them that dwell upon the earth. The angel of vengeance shal be with thee and shall strengthen thee and nerve thy sinu [sinew] and give thee wisdom that thou mayest be able to go forth as Moroni against thy enemies, conquering and to conquer for no power shall stand before thee and thou shalt be able to accomplish thy work. Yea, thy heart shall be made to bleed in consequence of the consumption decreed upon them that shall dwell upon the earth yet thou shalt be filled with comfort and joy in beholding the advancement of thy redeemer's Kingdom.

... No miracle shall be too hard for thee to perform for thou salt have power over the elements the winds, and the waves shall obey thy voice. Thou shalt become one of swift messengers of the last days. Neither bars, gates, chains, or prison doors shall be able to hold thee for the Angels shall be with thee, and by them thou shalt be delivered in time of trial. ... Thou shalt behold the coming of thy Redeemer, the reign of peace upon the earth ...

175 years ago today - Feb 23, 1844

Presidency and Twelve meet "in relation to the Rocky Mountain Expedition, eight more volunteers gave their names." Joseph Smith "gave instructions in relation to the fit out needed. It was agreed that the company should number twenty-five." Joseph said, "Let that man go that can raise $500, a horse or mule, a double barrel gun, one rifle, one shot, saddle, bridle, [a] p[ai]r of 8 bore Pistols, Bowie knife, &c." The object of the expedition was to scout out places in Oregon for the Saints to relocate.

180 years ago today - (Sat) Feb 23, 1839

During a meeting of the Quincy Democratic Association, a committee was appointed to seek relief for the Mormon refugees. Sidney Rigdon writes to the U.S Attorney General, Felix Grundy, saying: "...I am one of that number who has been driven by violence from my home after being held in prison for near four months and all my property destroyed. My object in writing to you is to assertain if recourse can be had to the federal and whether or no we can enter suit in the court not only against individuals inhabitants of Missouri but against the state also for the unconstitutional acts of the executive of said state..."

[Broadhurst, Dale R., Mormon Chronology, http://olivercowdery.com/history/morchrn2.htm]

40 years ago today - Feb 22, 1979-Thursday

[Leonard Arrington]
This is to record that I've been predicting since October conference that President [N. Eldon] Tanner and President [Marion G.] Romney would be placed on emeritus status in April Conference and that new members of the First Presidency would be chosen. If so, I am predicting that Elder [Gordon B.] Hinckley and Elder Howard Hunter would be chosen as counselors. My predictions have never ever been correct, but I dutifully record them anyway!

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

40 years ago today - Feb 22, 1979

BYU's DAILY UNIVERSE article "Black Mormon Student" quotes one Black BYU student: "The way [some students still] glare, or just ignore and look right through you, you'd think there were 500 members of the Ku Klux Klan . . . on campus"

45 years ago today - Feb 22, 1974

Benson resumed partisan warfare by announcing that the church might officially support political candidates. Then on the eve of the November election he publicly endorsed the ultra-conservative American Party and spoke at its rally on the Saturday before the election. This required the First Presidency to issue an immediate statement that "we take no partisan stand as to candidates or parties, and any person who makes representations to the contrary does so without authorization."

["Support for Candidate Possible Some Day, LDS Apostle Says," Salt Lake Tribune, 22 Feb. 1974, B-l; "Benson Tells Party Support," Salt Lake Tribune, 4 Nov. 1974, 29; "Church Says Elder's Speech on Third Party 'Unauthorized,'" Ogden Standard-Examiner, 4 Nov. 1974, A-10; "American Party told, 'Stand Firm,'" Deseret News, 4 Nov. 1974, B-14. 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.]

45 years ago today - Feb 22, 1974

SALT LAKE TRIBUNE article, "Support for Candidate Possible Some Day, LDS Apostle Says," quotes Ezra Taft Benson as saying that a liberal Democrat could not be a good Mormon "if he was living the gospel and understood it."

105 years ago today - Feb 22, 1914

Sugar House Ward Bishop John M. Whitaker records in his diary: "For a long time before this meeting, about ten years when it commenced, I had been called before the Stake Presidency a number of times for teaching that anyone who took a wife after the Manifest in 1890, had done contrary to the laws of the land and also the law of the church and were living in adultery, and this aroused President Taylor and John M. Cannon to such an extent they told me I was out of harmony with them, and I had more than once offered them my resignation as Bishop of Sugar House Ward, but they never took it and then they told me what they had done, married immediately after the manifesto, . . ."

105 years ago today - Feb 22, 1914

[George Albert Smith]
[In Boise, Idaho:] We had a council meeting with the Presidency and High Council and decided to not ordain Social Rolf President of the H.P. Quorum because of his attitude twoward the government.

[George Albert Smith, Diary, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1835-1951, Electronic Edition, 2015]

130 years ago today - Feb 22, 1889

[Heber J. Grant]
There was considerable discussion regarding the Idaho Test Oath case [preventing Mormons from voting], now in the Supreme Court, and the question as to whether we should try to get it advanced on the calendar or not was debated, and it was finally concluded to take no action, as in case of an adverse decision it would be very detrimental to our people in Idaho and adjoining territories.

[The Diaries of Heber J. Grant, 1880-1945, Abridged, Digital Edition Salt Lake City, Utah, 2015]

130 years ago today - Friday, Feb. 22nd, 1889

[Abraham H. Cannon regarding the release of his father George Q. Cannon from prison]
We then drove to the President's office where the Tabernacle choir assembled--the largest number being together that I have for a long time seen and serenaded Father and the President. After some singing Father and Bro. W. feelingly addressed the company. As they dispersed the Sandwich Island choir also sang several pieces, two of which were composed especially to honor Father. He spoke to them in their language and Pres. W. then spoke a few words in English, which Bro. Robt. B. T. Taylor interpreted. He told them they were of the seed of Israel of the tribe of Joseph, and they had a great work to do, for he had seen them in vision in the temples of God receiving their blessings. ... After dinner Pres. W. made this remark to me while we were alone: "Bro. Cannon, your Father has got the biggest brain and the best mind of any man in the Kingdom, without exception." Sometime since he remarked to Chas. Wilcken that Father is the humblest man in the Church.

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

135 years ago today - Feb 22, 1884

[James E. Talmage]
The Negro population gathered en masse to witness the Colored Militia parade, and as I sat at the window and saw it pass along the street I saw a great variety of the Negro types. Perhaps I am prejudiced – but to look at a Negro face – selected almost at random – and then to claim that the Black Man is the equal of the White in ability & mind – appears to me a miserable conclusion – contradicted by all appearances.

[The Journals of James E. Talmage—Excerpts, Compiled by J. Trevor Antley, https://docs.google.com/document/d/1dOE6pgN6OkBJIq-X73JGpCdt0p5b8_UdfTfLREz4uTg/]

160 years ago today - Feb 22, 1859

[Quorum of Twelve]
Erastus Snow spoke Concerning the feelings of many of the people against seeing the Twelve prosper in Temperal things. He thought if the Lord did not Sanction this He permited it to be & he thought perhaps it was not the will of God that we should be engaged in Temperal business. ...

F. D Richards said he Brother Snow had spoken his feelings exactly. He did not feel like engaging in any temperal Business.

C. C. Rich spoke upon the same Subject & said that He did not no as all the Twelve all experienced the same thing but I think the people are exercised by a spirit that they do not Comprehend or know what it ment but their is an opposition to Joseph & the Presidency & Twelve against their prosperity. I think we should use wisdom in the preservation of our bodies & live[s?]. We have received a gospel and principles which will save us but we must apply it to our bodies as well as to our souls in the season thereof in [order] to be saved. ...

Lorenzo Snow spoke. ... If we did not have those great & marvellous things that was manifest on the day of Pentecost yet it was good to meet & pray. And while our Enemies are seeking our overthrow we should Call upon God for our protection.

We are differently situated from the Ancient Apostles. They had not the kingdom of God to build up as we have. Now the power seems to be assimulated among the people & not confined to one or two men or Twelve. Yet I Consider Brigham Young is performing a greater work in saving providing and organizing his family, in the way he has than he would to divide the waters, or heal the Sick, Cast out Devils, or do other miracles and the wisdom of God is with him.

With regard to our attending to temperal matters I think we shall have to attend to temporal matters & understand them in order to build up the kingdom of God. I have no dour but that if Bishop Hunter would take Care of our Families & we do nothing els No doubt we should be great & powerful men in spirit & make the hearts of men tremble & be filled with the power of God but would this benefit the people more than for us to know how to teach the people in temperal things?

O Hyde ... related a dream about B[e/a?]llon & gold &c. J Taylor said I will prophesy that it shall be fulfilled. Lorenzo Snow said I will prophesy that the Moon is made under which it shall be fulfilled. O Hyde said I will Prophesy that the time will soon come when we shall have all that we want.

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

170 years ago today - Feb 22, 1849

The original nineteen wards in the Salt Lake Valley are organized, giving a model for future establishment of Church units throughout the world.

55 years ago today - 55 years ago - Feb 21, 1964

U.S. representative Harding, who had condemned Benson in Congress, publicly praised his exile to Europe, and circulated the anti-Benson letters of church leaders, was defeated that fall for re-election. Harding and others saw his defeat as a result of Mormon voters' distaste for public criticism of LDS leaders and as evidence of Birch Society influence.

To the contrary, an analysis of election returns from 1960 to 1964 shows that Harding overwhelmingly retained the support of Mormon voters. In fact, in Madison County with its 91.7 percent Mormon population, the number of votes for Harding actually increased from 1960 to 1964, despite his public criticism of Benson. In other words, public criticism of Benson in the 1960s seems not to have alienated a large majority of faithful Mormon voters. They may have shared Harding's dismay at the apostle's endorsement of the Birch Society.

["Solon Embarrassed By Letter Publication," Deseret News, 21 Feb. 1964, A-8; "'Release Unauthorized/ Solon Says of Letters," Salt Lake Tribune, 22 Feb. 1964, C-ll; "Idaho Writers Say Letters Were Widely Circulated," and "Bill Hall's Political Scratchpad," Idaho State Journal, 23 Feb. 1964,1, 4; "How Could He Lose?" Idaho Daily Statesman, 5 Nov. 1964, 1-2; Harding to Frank H. Jonas, 8 Dec. 1964, Jonas Papers; Jack Anderson, "Birch Society Influence Defeated Ralph Harding," Blackfoot News, 15 Jan. 1965, 4, also printed as "Reed Benson Spreads Birch Gospel" in Washington Post, 15 Jan. 1965, B-13; Lynn Broadhead to Dean M. Hansen, 15 June 1967; Swanson, "McCarthyism in Utah," 143; Hansen, "Analysis of the 1964 Idaho Second Congressional District Election. 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.]

55 years ago today - 55 years ago - Feb 21, 1964

Cleon Anderson, visits with President of the Quorum of the Twelve Joseph Fielding Smith: "I asked President Smith, 'Is it wrong to wear the string tie garments outside the temple?' President Smith looked at me for several moments and then unbuttoning the third button in his shirt, brought out one of the ties on a pair of old style temple garments and said, 'This is what we should be wearing-the Lord gave them to us, and so this is what I wear.'"

145 years ago today - 145 years ago - Feb 21, 1874

During a meeting of the Young Ladies Mutual Improvement Association in the Assembly Hall on Salt Lake Temple Square, "Mother [Elizabeth A.] Whitney sung in tongues, and Carrie Carter in attempting an interpretation threw her bonnet and muff on the floor, & fell on her knees, remaining for some time in that position."

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

160 years ago today - 160 years ago - Feb 21, 1859

O Hyde opened by Prayer & spoke upon our position and the day in which we live. Said the gospel had been beging among the Gentiles for 30 years & he believed the time was seen over. He believed the time [was] at hand when the Gentiles would beg for the Gospel. ...

W. Woodruff prayed and ... to Curse & destroy our Enemies who would not repent but seek our destruction. ...

O Pratt spoke and said that as Brother Hyde first remarked that in attempting to pray this morning his tongue was all doubled up and seemed hard work to speak. O Pratt said that it made him think of Brother Whitmer. Before he saw the Angels he had to struggle hard with the powers of darkness and in one instance the Devel appeared in the form of a personage and he had to Contend with that person & overcome him. Then an angel of God appeared to them. Joseph said that Moses was visited by the Devil and He said to Moses son of Man worship thou me. He told the Devil that He was a son of God and he would not worship him. Soon the Lord appeared to him. ...

O Hyde Said the He must Confess that he was more Stupid & dull than He wished to be. He thought it was in Consequence of going without food & tobaco, Which he had been in the habit of useing. He said if we get the spirit of the Lord & pray in the spirit we shall be agreed.

[Wilford Woodruff] ... We want the Holy spirit & we will ask for that and we will ask the Lord to Hold the Congress of the United States & all our Enemies in that way that the will of God may be done. He said this year would be more filled with Judgments upon the wicked than any year we have seen & 1860 will be far more so.

E. T. Benson said that He fasted 3 days and was blessed in it and thought we should not be discouraged but fast & Pray and ask the Lord for what you want. Now if we use Coffee, tobaco, whiskey, & stuff ourselves with meat we will be like the Gentiles & cannot expect much of the spirit unless we prepare our bodies for it. I believe that Good will grow out of this meeting.

G. A. Smith said ... As to the Congress of the United States their is not ten men but what want to Cut the throats of the Presidency & Twelve Apostles and I want to Pray God to Curse them & give them No power over us & I want to pray for the removal of the armey. ...

We all dressed in our [temple] robes. Lorenzo Snow prayed & F D. Richards was mouth and prayed long and asked for many things for the Church & Kingdom of God. ...

[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 - Feb 21, 1844

Joseph Smith instructs the Quorum of Twelve "to select an exploring company to go to California to select a location for the settlement of the Saints: Jonathan Duhnam, David Fulmer, Phinehas H. Young and David D. Yearsly volunteered to go, and Alphonzo Young, James Emmett, George D. Watt and Daniel Spencer were selected to go."

130 years ago today - Feb 21, 1889

[Apostle Franklin D. Richards]
Pres[iden]t Geo[rge] Q. Cannon was pardoned on 18th and full term of sentence expiring on 22nd this day came out of Pen'y hale & hearty.

[Diary Excerpts of Franklin D. Richards, 1887-1897, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

180 years ago today - Feb 21, 1839

[Lucy Mack Smith]
Lucy and her family reach the swampy banks of the Mississippi in continual storms of snow, sleet, and rain. Samuel and Seymour Brunson take them across the river to Quincy on 22 February. Back in Far West, a committee is appointed to sell Joseph's and Lucy's tavern to a buyer from Clay County.

[Anderson, Lavina Fielding, Editor, Lucy's Book: A Critical Edition of Lucy Mack Smith's Family Memoir, 2001, Signature Books, http://bit.ly/lucys-book]

55 years ago today - Feb 20, 1964

"The [18 Oct 1963] letter [To Congressman Harding] in no way reflects my view that Elder Benson is not a good apostle of the church," Robert McKay explained after newspapers published his letter. His clarification added that "in my own opinion Elder Benson would be better able to serve the church when he is free of Birch Society ties."

["Ike, LDS Leaders Thank Harding For Anti-Birch, Benson Speech," Idaho State Journal, 20 Feb. 1964,1. 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.]

115 years ago today - Feb 20, 1904

First verified suicide of full time LDS missionary. He shoots himself as he is returning to Utah.

[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]

135 years ago today - Feb 20, 1884

[Heber J. Grant]
Evening called on Augusta Winters, asked her to be my wife and she consented. After parting with Augusta, my wife and I attended a party in the Social Hall. I feel thankful to my Heavenly Father that he has permitted me to win the affections of my wife and Augusta Winters also those of Emily Wells and I hope and pray for His aid and assistance that I may so live, in case we are married, that I may always return their love and full confidence. I consider that entering into plural marriage will be one of the most important steps of my life, and I earnestly hope for the assistance of my Heavenly Father in living as becomes a member of His Church.

[The Diaries of Heber J. Grant, 1880-1945, Abridged, Digital Edition Salt Lake City, Utah, 2015]

160 years ago today - Feb 20, 1859

[Brigham Young]
There is many of this Church who does not know the diference between inviting our Enemies, the Gentiles, or the wicked to Join in our feast or dances, or going to their parties & being under their dominion. If we invite a wicked man to our dance we preside over him. If we go to his party He presides over us and has an influence over us.

[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 - Feb 20, 1854

Patriarchal Blessing of William H. Dame by Elisha H. Groves ... Thy sins are at this time remitted ... the holy angels shall be with thee and in their hands they shall bear thee up and deliver thee from all thine enemies ... Thou shalt have dreams and visions by which thy mind may be enlightened and thou shalt understand things which are in the future. ...

Thou shalt be called to act at the head of a portion of thy brethren and of the Lamanites in the redemption of Zion and the avenging of the blood of the Prophets upon them that dwell in the earth. The angel of vengeance shall be with thee, shall nerve and strengthen thee. Like unto Moroni, no power shall be able to stand before thee until thou hast accomplished thy work.

Thou art one of the Horns of Joseph that shall assist in the accomplishment of the gathering of Israel. ... No miracle shall be too hard for thee to perform ... Thou salt behold the winding up scene, the reign of peace, the coming of thy Redeemer. ... Thou shalt be numbered with the hundred and forty-four thousand receive thy crown, Dominion, Kingdom, Power, and Eternal increase which shall be the fullness of My Glory.

[Patriarchal Blessings]

175 years ago today - Feb 20, 1844

[Joseph Smith]
[Mitchel and Steven Curtis were] sent by Lyman Wight and Bishop Miller [to Wisconsin] to know whither Lyman should preach to the indians. The Menominees and Chippeway having requested it. ...

I told them to tell Bro[ther] Wight I have no council to shed blood /give/ him. He is there on his own ground and he must act on his own responsibility and do what he thinks best and he shall never be brought into any difficulty about it by us.

I instructed the 12 [Apostles] to send out a delegation and investigate the locations of California and Oregon and find a good location where we can remove after the [Nauvoo] Temple is completed and build a city in a day and have a government of our own in a healthy climate.

[Faulring, Scott (ed.), An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith: Joseph Smith Diary, 1843-44, http://amzn.to/jsdiaries]

185 years ago today - Feb 20, 1834

At a meeting of the high council it is decided that no official member of the Church is worthy to hold an office if he breaks the Word of Wisdom once it has been properly explained to him. Three Saints in Missouri return to Jackson County briefly and are severely beaten with clubs by a mob.

[Conkling, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology]

25 years ago today - Feb 19, 1994

The First Presidency issues a statement encouraging church members to actively work against the legalization of same-gender marriages. This inaugurates a national campaign, similar to the centrally directed anti-ERA activities.

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

50 years ago today - Feb 19, 1969

[David O. McKay]
President [N. Eldon] Tanner said the suggestion has been made that the temple ceremonies for the dead be shortened to do away with repetition. This would not pertain to the living but only the dead. The brethren who have considered the matter say that it would not in any way detract from the importance of the covenants, promises and ceremonies. ...

[David O. McKay diary, Feb. 19, 1969, in Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/TempleWorship]

55 years ago today - Feb 19, 1964

Utah's Democratic senator, a Mormon, described Ezra Taft Benson's [13 Dec 1963] Logan address as "a disgraceful talk." Senator Frank E. Moss also complained to Counselor Brown that Benson had arranged for copies of the talk to be distributed from the apostle's office at church headquarters. At the same time, other Mormons wrote the First Presidency with similar complaints that this "literature [is being] mailed from 47 East South Temple."

[Frank E. Moss to Ray R. Murdock, 19 Feb. 1964, and Moss to Hugh B. Brown, 19. 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.]

95 years ago today - Feb 19, 1924

[Heber J. Grant]
Brother Ivins and I had an interview with Brother Talmage regarding pretended plural marriages that are being performed. He wanted to know if we had any objections to civil prosecution of the people who are violating the laws of the state by entering into pretended marriages. We told him that we did not care to have the church be the instigator of prosecutions of this kind, but at the same time we would be very happy if some of the men entering into pretended plural marriages received their just rewards and were sent to jail, as we considered that they were certainly guilty of immoral conduct, to say nothing about deceiving many innocent girls by getting them to enter pretended plural marriage.

[The Diaries of Heber J. Grant, 1880-1945, Abridged, Digital Edition Salt Lake City, Utah, 2015]

105 years ago today - Feb 19, 1914

[First Presidency secretary George F. Gibbs]
I am directed to say ... that while the Church as such does not approve of cremation, it is understood that the members thereof are free to exercise their own agency in regard to it.

[George F. Gibbs, Letter to W. W. Collins, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1835-1951, Electronic Edition, 2015]

110 years ago today - Feb 19, 1909

[First Presidency to S. H. Jones]
The doctrine taught in [Joseph B.] Keeler's Lesser Priesthood to the effect that a Deacon may ordain a Deacon, and a Teacher may ordain a Teacher, is correct; but it should be understood that while this doctrine is true, circumstances may never arise in the history of our Church rendering it necessary for a Deacon to ordain a Deacon, or a Teacher to ordain a Teacher, as it would not be at all proper for either a Deacon or a Teacher to officiate in these ordinations unless instructed to do so by property authority. ...

[First Presidency, Letter to S. H. Jones, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1835-1951, Electronic Edition, 2015]

165 years ago today - Feb 19, 1854

E. D. Woolley was called upon to preach a f[i/u?]nal sermon or rather upon the resurrection of the dead as some of the saints had advanced some eronious ideas concerning the resurrection. Brother Woolley had some incorrect ideas. When he closed President Young followed & made many good remarks. He said that we should have the same bonefid identical body that our spirit occupied while in this life. Our graves would litterly be opened and our bodies come forth. The question was asked if children that died in infancy lost any thing. He said No a person would not loose anything they Had not got. Children that died in infancy would be provided for in some way.

He said that our GOD was Father Adam. He was the Father of the Savior Jesus Christ. Our God was no more or less than ADAM, Michael the Arkangel.

[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 - Feb 19, 1854

Seventy's president Jedediah M. Grant preaches: "What would a man of God say, who felt aright, when Joseph asked him for his money? He would say, 'Yes, and I wish I had more to help to build up the kingdom of God.' Or if he came and said, 'I want your wife?' 'O Yes,' he would say, 'here she is, there are plenty more.' ... Did the Prophet Joseph want every man's wife he asked for? He did not"

185 years ago today - Feb 19, 1834

The "High Council of the Church of Christ" completes its organization in Kirtland, Ohio. Their first order of business is to hear a charge against Curtis Hodges who is accused of "loud speaking and a want of clearness in articulation, which was calculated to do injury to the cause of God." He is accused of preaching so loud that several of people ran to the Church to see if someone was hurt. Hodges says "he had learned more during this trial than he had since he came into the Church" and is forgiven.

30 years ago today - Feb 18, 1989

The announcement that New York's Macmillan Publishing Company has contracted with BYU to publish the multi-volume 'Encyclopedia of Mormonism.' Under direct supervision of apostles Neal A. Maxwell and Dallin H. Oaks, the church intends this to be a public-relations publication. Published in 1992, the encyclopedia's content is so heavily managed by the apostles and four other general authorities with "special assignments" that its editor Daniel H. Ludlow (official of the Church Correlation Committee) disclaims: "In no sense does the Encyclopedia have the force and authority of scripture."

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

40 years ago today - Feb 18, 1979

Ezra Taft Benson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, organizes the Nauvoo Illinois Stake, the Church's one thousandth stake.

75 years ago today - Feb 18, 1944

[J. Reuben Clark]
Pres David Smith and wife'Idaho Falls Temple'D. O. M. We talked over the matter of the counsellors to Bro. Smith'and agreed to his first and second choices. Brother Smith raised the question of his the furnishings of the Celestial Room'which seem to be generally disappointing. 'After some discussion I said DOM and self would consider it and write him'After the Smiths left Bro McKay and self discussed the matter. I said it looked to me as if we had too much "art"to much "Decorates"; that one of the chief concerns should be properly to give people the proper inspiration; that we must have more and different furniture in this room. I suggested we must have some relief to the bare walls, and spoke of drapes, describing the wall hangings in Mexico, particularly Elizabeth Cabots, though saying that would not do, but were merely illustrative. I thot we might consider some draperies. I also suggested possibility of introducing some lighting effects in the top of the room'the tower part'a soft radiance that might typify the spirit and its presence. 'It was agreed that one or both of us might take a trip to Idaho Falls soon.'I also suggested possibility of panelling the walls which would enable us to use a false facing to cover the wall defects. ...

Bp Wirthlin'Boy of excommunicate (new polygamist)'12 years old'ready for ordination as deacon'Father says he is teaching boy doctrines; shd. he be ordained? I suggested talking to boy, and if he seemed O.K. ordain him.

[The Diaries of J. Reuben Clark, 1933-1961, Abridged, Digital Edition, Salt Lake City, Utah 2015]

105 years ago today - Feb 18, 1914; Wednesday

[Salt Lake Stake] President [Nephi L.] Morris said that President Francis M. Lyman, of the Council of apostles, had instructed the stake presidency that Elder Matthias F. Cowley, of the Seventeenth Ward, was not to be permitted to officiate in any of the functions of the priesthood, as he had been deprived of all his rights in the church, except those belonging to a mere member. President Morris cautioned the brethren to observe scrupulously the requirements made by President Lyman.

[Cowley had been discplined for promoting post-manifesto plural marriages]

[Salt Lake Stake High Council Minutes]

115 years ago today - Feb 18, 1904

[Apostle Marriner W. Merrill defends himself to President Joseph F. Smith from accusations that he approved a post-manifesto plural marriage]
... Will say there is not a word of truth in Bro[ther] Chamberlain statement About My councelling Him to get Married &c. I have never met the young man to my knowledge, and had I met him I should never have consented for his Marriage while he had a living and undivorced Wife. So His story is all a point-blank lie to screen Himself from His being dealt with by the Officers of the Church. ...

[Marriner Wood Merrill, Letter to Joseph F. Smith, John R. Winder, and Anthon H Lund, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1835-1951, Electronic Edition, 2015]

175 years ago today - Feb 18, 1844

William Clayton's polygamous wife, Margaret Moon Clayton (sister of Clayton's first wife), bears a child Daniel Adelbert who dies six months later, and his father comments that "the tongue of slander has swung freely against him." Joseph Smith had performed this marriage.

40 years ago today - Feb 17, 1979

KSL Television in Salt Lake City airs a one-hour documentary on depression and its effects on Mormon women. A roundtable discussion of ecclesiastical leaders (including General Relief Society President Barbara Smith) and mental health professionals is presented. Conclusions include "Women seem to get depressed more than men do. Two age groups are hit harder than others-early motherhood and ending motherhood. Mormon women are just as vulnerable to this, some would say more so, others would say just the same. Certain pressures that Mormon women must deal with are the pressures to be perfect, the pressure over raising a family, of church jobs, the pressure in finding an identity, and their role in society. But other pressures in other societies can do the same for other women. . . . One thing about Mormon depression, though, is the women seem more guilty about having this problem and therefore more reluctant to seek help."

60 years ago today - Feb 17, 1959

In an effort to avoid the suppression of his book, Elder Bruce R. McConkie drafts letters to the Improvement Era and the Church News stating that 'Mormon Doctrine' "contains my personal views only, and I am solely responsible for all statements or opinions expressed in it." He submits these for review of the First Presidency, who reply on 18 Feb. that "they do not conform to the ideas that we have that you cannot be disassociated from your official position in the publication of such a manuscript." The Presidency concludes that "pending the final disposition of this problem no further edition of the book be printed."

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

95 years ago today - Feb 17, 1924

[Heber J. Grant]
[At the funeral of John W. Young] The speakers were Levi Edgar Young, Anthony W. Ivins, Charles W. Penrose and myself. The music was furnished by a male quartet. I was the last speaker. The other three speakers paid high tributes to the accomplishments of Brother Young, and I regretted exceedingly that I felt impressed to announce that Brother Young's life in many respects had been a failure, as he had at one time been his father's first counselor, and through neglect of his ecclesiastical duties and his devoting himself to business affairs had failed to magnify the very high position that he held as a counselor to the president of the Church, that wonderful and remarkable man, his father, Brigham Young. ...

I regretted very much that I had to talk along this line, but I felt impressed that it was only fair to faithful Latter-day Saints to not let them go away from the funeral of John W. Young feeling that he was a most splendid man, and he was in many respects, and all that was said by the previous speakers, told of his good deeds only and not of any neglect of duty on his part. After the meeting his brother, Willard Young, said that he was very grateful that I spoke along the lines that I did and felt that my remarks were just the proper thing to have been said.

[The Diaries of Heber J. Grant, 1880-1945, Abridged, Digital Edition Salt Lake City, Utah, 2015]

130 years ago today - Feb 17, 1889

Abinadi Pratt, son of the deceased apostle Parley P. Pratt, prophesies to a Salt Lake City congregation that within three weeks God will destroy San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, New York City, and Washington D.C. One Mormon writes: "None felt concerned about his prophecy."

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

160 years ago today - Feb 17, 1859

At night while in the office some person spoke of the game of chess, Pres[iden]t Young remarked he knew nothing of such games, and was ignorant of such practices of the world; after a pause he said I have had to play with the Kingdoms of the world living characters. On some one observing he had indeed to play a great game, he said, yes and I am not displeased with nor regret any move that I have made.

[Brigham Young Office Journals, Special Collections, Merrill-Cazier Library, Utah State University, Logan.; Archives, Church History Library, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah.; New Mormon Studies CD-ROM, 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]

175 years ago today - Feb 17, 1844

Anti-Mormon activists hold a convention at Carthage, Illinois, to devise ways to expel the Saints from the state.

185 years ago today - Feb 17, 1834

[Heber C. Kimball]
When I got to Kirtland the brethren were engaged in building the house of the Lord. The commandment to build the house, and also the pattern of it was given in a revelation to Joseph Smith jr., Sidney Rigdon, and Frederick G. Williams, and was to be erected by a stated time. The church was in a state of poverty and distress, in consequence of which it appeared almost impossible that the commandment could be fulfilled, at the same time our enemies were raging and threatening destruction upon us, and we had to guard ourselves night after night, and for weeks were not permitted to take off our clothes, and were obliged to lay with our fire locks in our arms.

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

185 years ago today - Feb 17, 1834

... The whole story about my having pronounced the Mormonite inscription to be "reformed Egyptian hieroglyphics" is perfectly false. Some years ago, a plain, and apparently simple-hearted farmer, called upon me with a note from Dr. [Samuel L.] Mitchell of our city, now deceased, requesting me to decypher, if possible, a paper, which the farmer would hand me, and which Dr. M[itchell]. confessed he had been unable to understand. Upon examining the paper in question, I soon came to the conclusion that it was all a trick, perhaps a hoax. When I asked the person [Martin Harris], who brought it, how he obtained the writing, he gave me, as far as I can now recollect, the following account: A "gold book," consisting of a number of plates of gold, fastened together in the shape of a book by wires of the same metal, had been dug up in the northern part of the state of New York, and along with the book an enormous pair of "gold spectacles"! These spectacles were so large, that, if a person attempted to look through them, his two eyes would have to be turned towards one of the glasses merely, the spectacles in question being altogether too large for the breadth of the human face. Whoever examined the plates through the spectacles, was enabled not only to read them, but fully to understand their meaning. All this knowledge, however, was confined at that time to a young man, who had the trunk containing the book and spectacles in his sole possession. This young man was placed behind a curtain, in the garret of a farm house, and, being thus concealed from view, put on the spectacles occasionally, or rather, looked through one of the glasses, decyphered the characters in the book, and, having committed some of them to paper, handed copies from behind the curtain, to those who stood on the outside. Not a word, however, was said about the plates having been decyphered "by the gift of God." Every thing, in this way, was effected by the large pair of spectacles. The farmer added, that he had been requested to contribute a sum of money towards the publication of the "golden book," the contents of which would, as he had been assured, produce an entire change in the world and save it from ruin. So urgent had been these solicitations, that he intended selling his farm and handing over the amount received to those who wished to publish the plates. As a last precautionary step, however, he had resolved to come to New York, and obtain the opinion of the learned about the meaning of the paper which he brought with him, and which had been given him as a part of the contents of the book, although no translation had been furnished at the time by the young man with the spectacles. On hearing this odd story, I changed my opinion about the paper, and, instead of viewing it any longer as a hoax upon the learned, I began to regard it as part of a scheme to cheat the farmer of his money, and I communicated my suspicions to him, warning him to beware of rogues. He requested an opinion from me in writing, which of course I declined giving, and he then took his leave carrying the paper with him. This paper was in fact a singular scrawl. It consisted of all kinds of crooked characters disposed in columns, and had evidently been prepared by some person who had before him at the time a book containing various alphabets. ...

Some time after, the same farmer paid me a second visit. He brought with him the golden book in print, and offered it to me for sale. ... I advised him to go to a magistrate and have the trunk examined. He said the "curse of God" would come upon him should he do this. On my pressing him, however, to pursue the course which I had recommended, he told me that he would open the trunk, if I would take the "curse of God" upon myself. I replied that I would do so with the greatest willingness, and would incur every risk of that nature, provided I could only extricate him from the grasp of rogues. He then left me.

{Editorial Note: ... Sometime after Joseph Smith's December 1827 arrival in Harmony, Pennsylvania, he "copyed a considerable number" of the characters from the gold plates and gave a copy to Martin Harris, who had come to Harmony in February. Harris took the characters to schlars on the east coast, including the acclaimed Charles Anthon. Exactly what transpired between Harris and Anthon is not clear, but Harris later believed that the encounter fulfilled the prediction in Isaiah 29:11 that the learned would not be able to read the "words of a book that is sealed" ...}

[Charles Anthon to E. D. Howe, 17 February 1834, E. D. Howe, Mormonism Unvailed: or, A Faithful Account of That Singular Imposition and Delusion, from Its Rise to the Present Time (Painesville, Ohio: E. D. Howe, 1834), 270-72. , as cited in Dan Vogel, Early Mormon Documents: Charles Anthon To E. D. Howe]

185 years ago today - Feb 17, 1834

Joseph Smith organized the Kirtland High and "said he would show the of councils in ancient days...as shown vision. Jerusalem was the seat of the Council in ancient days. The apostle, was president of the Council...and the keys of the Kingdom of God on the [and] was appointed to this office by voice of the Savior and acknowledged in by the voice of the Church. He had two men as Counsellors with him, and in the Peter was absent, his counsellors could business, or either one of them. The could also transact business Joseph Smith served as of the High Council. [See D&C 102. Several changes were made in the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants to reflect the addition of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to church administration.]

[Kirtland Minute Book, p. 14, Church Archives; Lisle G Brown, compiler, "A Chronology of the Development of Apostolic Succession of the First Presidency, 1831-1848"]

200 years ago today - Feb 17, 1819

Brigham Young was living in Auburn, N.Y. when the Auburn Gazette features an article on "Indian Jews" with "twenty-three arguments and observations, to prove that the American Indians are descendants of the ancient Jews," taken from James Adair's 1775 'History of the American Indians.'

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

80 years ago today - Feb 16, 1939

[David O. McKay]
In Council Meeting today the 'right' of the First Presidency and the Twelve was questioned in regard to recommending a man to receive his former blessings who had been excommunicated and who died without having given satisfactory evidence of repentance.

Brother Joseph F. Smith would condemn all such to the Terrestrial and Telestial Kingdoms.

[David O. McKay 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]

105 years ago today - Feb 16, 1914

[Joseph W. Musser]
Called on Pres[ident]. Francis M. Lyman to explain my attitude in the matter of new polygamous marriages being entered into contrary to the wishes of the Church Authorities. Being accused by Bro[ther]. L[yman]. of encouraging such marriages and attempting myself to Assist in them I flatly but respectfully denied the charge. ... Pres[ident]. Lyman maintained that it was a sin to enter into the relation since the Manifesto of President [Wilford] Woodruff. I told him I had done nothing except thru the council or ratification of members of his own quorum. He said I had no right to take counsel from members of the quorum, but that I should have gone to the President of the Church. I told him I supposed the Apostles would do nothing'at least a majority of the quorum would not'out of harmony with the desires of the First Presidency. I told him I heard one of the members of the 1st Presidency of the Church, (since dead) justify his son in entering the relation. He said [']Yes Geo[rge]. Q. Cannon did bring reproach upon the church in letting Abra[ha]m H. Cannon get into it. He was responsible Abra[ha]m's act. Abra[ha]m didn't need the girl'he had a large family, and he destroyed his usefulness in the Church. Such men as he, Geo[rge]. Q. Apostles [Marriner Wood] Merrill, [George] Teasdell, [Matthias F.] Cowley, [Abraham Owen] Woodruff and [John W.] Taylor,' he said, 'had bro[ugh]t reproach upon the church, and had done wrong. The nation has been invited to humble us. Our religion when honestly lived, invites enough trouble, without willfully violating our pledges.' He said, 'Of course Pres[ident]. Smith don't want to go back beyond his administration, and I think he has all he can take care of in his own administration''leading me to think he referred to Pres[ident]. Smith's complicity in the present marriage entanglement. I expressed my desire to be in harmony with the brethren as far as I could. That the Lord had blessed me with a large family for which I was grateful, but that I had not been encouraging recent plural marriages. He closed by advising me to resign my position in the High Council of Granite [Utah] Stake. ...

[Joseph W. Musser, Diary, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1835-1951, Electronic Edition, 2015]

110 years ago today - Feb 16, 1909

[Joseph F. Smith presidency to Isaac Smith]
The general rule adopted by the First Presidency in regard to the second anointing, is in effect that those blessings should be confined to the faithful members of the Church who have gathered with the body of the Church, or who died on the way in an effort to do so. Inasmuch therefore as you shall be able to satisfy yourself through the testimony of such men as Elders E. W. and Ralph Smith that their father, who died in Australia, where he is said to have gone for the purpose of making money to immigrate himself and family to Zion, died in a state of worthiness. You may consider yourself at liberty to recommend him and his wife for second blessings.

[Joseph F. Smith, John R. Winder, and Anthon H. Lund to Isaac Smith, Feb. 16, 1909, in Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/TempleWorship]

110 years ago today - Feb 16, 1909

BYU's campus newspaper WHITE AND BLUE states: "Undoubtedly among the great men of the nineteenth century the foremost place should be given to the eminent scientist Charles Darwin"

120 years ago today - Feb 16, 1899; Thursday

Another question that came up was, How should persons ordained trace their ordination, through the man who was mouth, or through the man highest in authority who may have assisted in the ordination? They had answered, through the man who was mouth. Another question was, Whether the blessings of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob should be pronounced upon children whose parents had not been through the Temple. They had advised that children be blessed without distinction....

Brother Smith ad[d]ed to his report that he had advised, where parents desired to change the name of a child at the time of its baptism, that the name be also changed upon the record showing the blessing of the child.

The question of ordaining children to the Priesthood was also considered, with reference to the practice of conferring the Priesthood upon children when their lives were despaired of through sickness. Would such ordinations hold good in case those children should live? The answer to this question was that such children should be re-ordained, with the consent of the people of the Branch in which they lived, after reaching maturity. President Snow felt that the practice in question should not be approved. He doubted that such an ordination, that is in infancy or childhood, would do the one receiving it any particular good, that the child would derive any benefit from it. He had noted that it was quite a common belief where persons die without having all the wives they ought to have sealed to them that it involved personal disadvantage to the deceased; and the same in relation to blessings. He did not share in these views.

[First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve minutes]

145 years ago today - Feb 16, 1874

William Clayton recalled in a sworn statement: "Hyrum said to Joseph, 'If you will write the revelation on celestial marriage, I will take it and read it to Emma, and I believe I can convince her of its truth, and you will hereafter have peace.' Joseph smiled and remarked, 'You do not know Emma as well as I do.' Hyrum repeated his opinion, and further remarked, 'The doctrine is so plain, I can convince any reasonable man or woman of its truth, purity and heavenly origin,' or words to that effect. Joseph then said, 'Well, I will write the revelation and we will see.' He then requested me to get paper and prepare to write. Hyrum very urgently requested Joseph to write the revelation by means of the Urim and Thummim, but Joseph in reply, said he did not need to, for he knew the revelation perfectly from beginning to end. . . . "Hyrum then took the revelation to read to Emma. Joseph remained with me in the office until Hyrum returned. When he came back, Joseph asked him how he had succeeded. Hyrum replied that he had never received a more severe talking to in his life, that Emma was very bitter and full of resentment and anger. "Joseph quietly remarked, 'I told you you did not know Emma as well as I did.' Joseph then put the revelation in his pocket, and they both left the office." Clayton says that after the revelation was carefully copied Joseph allowed Emma "the privilege of destroying" the original. Clayton concludes his statement with "From him I learned that the doctrine of plural and celestial marriage is the most holy and important doctrine ever revealed to man on the earth, and that without obedience to that principle no man can ever attain to the fulness of exaltation in celestial glory."

170 years ago today - Feb 16, 1849

[T]he Spiritual wife doctrine came upon me abroad in such a manner [as] I [could] never forget.'[O]ne blood particular things belong to, after all we are of one blood & one flesh all the nations of the earth.'Joseph said I command you to go & get another wife. I felt as if the grave was better for me than anything,'but I was filled with the Holy Ghost that my wife & Bro: Kimballs wife would upbraid me for lightness in those days.'I could jump up & hollow. my blood clear as India Rum, my flesh clear, [but] I said to /Joseph/, suppose I should apostatize, would my family not be worse of[f?]. Joseph said certain bounds [are] set to men & if a man [is] faithful & pure to these bounds'[then] God will take him out of the world if he sees him falter.' [and] he'll take him to himself.'You have passed these bounds Brigham,'& this [is your] consolation.'[B]ut I never had any fears of not being saved.'[T]hen I said to Joseph I am ready to go a head, [then] he passed certain bounds before certain revelations [were] given.

[Minutes, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1835-1951, Electronic Edition, 2015]

170 years ago today - Feb 16, 1849

[Brigham Young]
Elder Lorenzo Snow asked information upon certain points on Jesus Christ. Pres[ident] Young replied in substance as follows: '"As he was once now are we. As he is now so shall we be.'"

[Another copy of the minutes provides additional detail:]

Lorenzo Snow put out some principles arguing that Jesus Christ is our Fat[he]r. & not our Elder Brother & asked for light.' B[righam]. Y[oung].[:] As he was, so are we now. As he is now, so /we shall become./ shall we be[[.]] Our Fa[the]r. was once born of parents, & had a Fat[he]r. & Mo[the]r. [the] same as we [have].'[H]e is the Saviour of the world,'the root of [the] Sp[irit] & offspring of flesh [and the] only begotten of [the] Fat[he]r. in [the] flesh.'[T]he Fa[the]r. came down & begot him. [the] same as we do now,'& Jesus was the only one.'[I]t was all told in the Temple [[19th century 'lecture at the veil']] altho' it was run over quick.

[And a 3rd copy of the minutes:]

Lorenzo Snow laid out his opinions as to Jesus Christ being of a different grade than prophets or more than our Bre[thre]n. [H]e is God the father'& not our Elder Brother.' B Y'[I]t came to me in England, [that] as God was we shall be,'[and] as we are so God was.'[H]e is the very eternal father, because of the creation of God.'[H]e is the son of God, the only begotten. [H]e is the only one God the father came down & begat. Moses was a God to his generation'[and] Joseph was to his.'[N]o man could have the spirit without loving Joseph, in Joseph entered the Rev/elat[ion]/ spirit went right to him, & told Joseph.'

[Quorum of the Twelve Minutes, Archives, Church History Library, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah, in The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, Ed. Richard S. Van Wagoner, Smith-Pettit Foundation, Salt Lake City (2009);Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1835-1951, Electronic Edition, 2015]

35 years ago today - Feb 15, 1984

Don LeFevre, director of the LDS press relations, issues a statement warning that "privately arranged placement of any children without a licensed agency's sanction is frequently in violation of local or national law. Church officers or members should not be involved in such arrangements." Recently a baby-smuggling ring, which sold some infants to childless had been broken and Nelda Karen Cotwell of Layton, Utah, convicted for conspiring to illegally bring Mexican infants into the United States and sell them..

40 years ago today - Feb 15, 1979-Thursday

[Leonard Arrington]
Daken Broadhead ... said that back in the '30s he and a few other young men had a study group that met every other week or so. They were so formal in the group that they kept minutes. They had a number of General Authorities speak to them and arranged conferences occasionally with General Authorities about things which perplexed them. ... Levi Edgar [Young] ... invited [Arther Conan] Doyle to speak-I think on spiritualism. He was invited to speak in the [Salt Lake] Tabernacle. This greatly surprised him, as he thought the Mormons would be so angry about what he had written about them. But he was assured he would receive a polite reception and after his talk he was invited to visit and meet with a variety of important people. He expressed himself as being embarrassed about what he had previously published, and blamed it to some extent on researchers who furnished him material from sources that were unreliable but which they didn't realize to be the case. ...

Another speaker was James E. Talmage, who told them about his experience with his address entitled "The Earth and Man." Elder Talmage said that this talk had been given in the Sunday afternoon meeting held in the tabernacle in the early 1930s. All of these talks were published the following Saturday in the Deseret News, but Elder Talmage's did not appear. It did not appear the next weekend, nor the next. After about three or four months after it was given[,] it did not appear. He said that the Council of Twelve [Apostles] couldn't agree on its publication for several months. Some of them disagreed or were reluctant to have a talk on this controversial subject [evolution].

Elder Talmage said he had prepared the talk eighteen years before and had hesitated delivering it in a public setting because he knew that certain of the brethren would oppose certain of his statements. So he bided his time and after certain brethren had died, he then felt free to present it. Even so, there was still reluctance on the part of some of the Brethren. Specifically, Joseph Fielding Smith did not feel comfortable with his message or with the publication of it. Because of popularity of the talk, however, and the intense interest in it, it was printed as a pamphlet by Deseret Book, but when the supply of the pamphlet was exhausted, they refused to print any more. In more recent years it was republished in the Instructor [Dec. 1965] or possibly Improvement Era or Ensign.

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

40 years ago today - Feb 15, 1979

Kimball and his counselors found it necessary to counter the now-familiar pattern of Mormon ultra- conservatives to imply church endorsement. In February 1979 the First Presidency published a statement against "announcements have been made in Church meetings of lectures to be given by those connected with the Freemen Institute."

[Spencer W. Kimball, N. Eldon Tanner, and Marion G. Romney to All Stake Presidents, Bishops, and Branch Presidents in the United States, 15 Feb. 1979, photocopy in folder 25, box 17, 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.]

40 years ago today - Feb 15, 1979

Library Journal' headline "Mormon Book Purges Not Endorsed by Church," regarding LDS missionaries who allegedly remove books they regard as anti-Mormon or non-faith-promoting from public libraries. LDS president Spencer W. Kimball also publicly instructs BYU students to stop cutting out pages from books in campus library even if they regard the content as objectionable.

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

150 years ago today - Feb 15, 1869

At a directors' meeting of Z. C M. I. Brigham Young "wished to have the merchants unite together under this head & be governed by the Priesthood. He thought the merchants were slow to carry out his council."

175 years ago today - Feb 15, 1844

[Green Mountain Boys]
We wish to address ourselves to Joe Smith in regard to his call upon us &c. Gen. Joe Smith, Lord Mayor of the holy City of Nauvoo, President of the grand high Cou<n>cil of the Mormon military church &c. We have read your call upon us and many of us have consulted together upon the subject and have come to the conclusion that you ought to have justice done you ... for we believe you honestly deserve it according to our sense of Justice, and that is this, that you be suspended by your neck to a gallows at least fifteen cubits & a span higher than Hamans. We believe that while you was in Kirtland you made a public declaration to your followers that the government of the Un[i]ted Stat[e]s was rotten and that after you got to far west [Missouri] you would give them a new government, that the Mormons must and should rule this continent for the Lord had told you so. . . .

. . . You say your Father stood Several times in the battles of American revolution, but he was not in it[,] neither in the last war with the british nation but if you mean the revolution you attempted in Missourie it would look a little more plausible ... he used to tel[l] about your being born with a veil over your face, and that he intended to procure a stone for you to see all over the world with. ... --If you studied piracy while digging for the money your Father pretended old Bob Kidd <had> buried, you should also have studied the fate of pirates. ...

No, Joe, you may go in the depths of disgrace, like all the low money diggers ...

[Green Mountain Boys to Thomas C. Sharp, 15 February 1844, Thomas C. Sharp and Allied Anti-Mormon Papers, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut., as cited in Dan Vogel, Early Mormon Documents: Green Mountain Boys To Thomas C. Sharp]

180 years ago today - (Fri) Feb 15, 1839

Emma Smith crosses the frozen Mississippi River to Quincy, IL on foot, walking behind her wagon full of family possessions. She brings with her Joseph III, Alexander, Frederick, and Julia, her children. Emma finds shelter at the farm of Judge John Cleveland, 4 miles east of Quincy. John was apparently at this time a Mormon sympathizer. His wife seems to have already been baptized a Mormon. She later became Emma's counselor in the Female Relief Society in Nauvoo. The Clevelands probably exchanged their Quincy farm for a house and lot in Nauvoo c, 1841-42.

[Broadhurst, Dale R., Mormon Chronology, http://olivercowdery.com/history/morchrn2.htm]

25 years ago today - Feb 14, 1994

The First Presidency issued a statement declaring opposition to same-sex marriage in response to Hawaii's attempt to legalize same-sex marriage. The Church urged members to support efforts to outlaw marriage equality.

[Timeline of Mormon Thinking About Homosexuality, http://rationalfaiths.com/timeline-of-mormon-thinking-about-homosexuality/]

55 years ago today - Feb 14, 1964

[David O. McKay]
... I approved as follows: ... It was suggested that the [temple] ordinance of baptism for members of the negro race be performed by others than negroes if this can be accomplished without offense.

Temple Recommend Cards for General Authorities Consideration was given to the suggestion that a Temple card be prepared for the General Authorities and their wives to be signed by the First Presidency, indicating that they are entitled to the privileges of all Temples. This card could be presented at the Temple gate indicating that the General Authorities and their wives have an authoritative Temple card of admittance, thus eliminating the necessity of presenting a Temple Recommend. It was suggested that provision be made for the signature of the holder to appear on the back of the card for identification, and the card would not need to be renewed. I indicated my approval of this proposition. ...

[David O. McKay diary, Feb. 14, 1964, in Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/TempleWorship]