140 years ago today - 140 years ago - May 31, 1879

In May 1879 Charles L. Walker recorded that Joseph Smith's contemporary, one O. M. Allen, professed he heard "the prophet Joseph say that those who lived until the year 1881 would see the judgments go forth on the wicked that would make their soul sicken to see and hear of them." Allen's 1881 date may stem from Dimick Huntington's recollection that, in surrendering to Illinois officials in 1844, Smith had said, "If they shed my blood it shall shorten this work 10 years. That taken from 1891 would reduce the time to 1881 which is the true time within which the Saviour should come [and] much must be crowded into 6 years."

[Larson and Larson, Diary of Charles Walker, 1:486, 31 May 1879; Oliver B. Huntington, Diary, TS, Special Collections, Lee Library, 2:129. http://signaturebookslibrary.org/?p=5708; The Last Days and December 1890 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ, y George D. Speer Sr., privately circulated]

85 years ago today - May 31, 1934

The Boy Scouts of America awards Elder George Albert Smith the Silver Buffalo, the highest honor awarded by the BSA. Elder Smith is the first Latter-day Saint leader to be so honored.

120 years ago today - May 31, 1899; Wednesday

Sister Margaret Caine was blessed to-day by President Snow, prior to her departure for England to attend the International Council of Women. She will represent the Utah Silk industry and speak upon that subject at the Council.

[First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve minutes]

130 years ago today - Friday, May 31st, 1889

[Abraham H. Cannon]
A sad affair is reported as having occurred in Provo a few days since. Joseph Smoot, a son of Pres. A. O. Smoot, who is wild and addicted to the use of liquor, went into a salon and after getting a glass of whiskey mockingly consecrated it, as is customary in the consecration of oil in the Church. No sooner had he finished this sacrilegious act than he was struck with paralysis and fell helpless on the floor. His Gentile companions were horrified at his act, and its result, and carried him home where he has since laid in a very precarious condition. A horrible warming to scoffers!

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

140 years ago today - Saturday May 31st 1879

[John Nuttle Diary]
At the house of Prest A. O. Smoot. Provo City. Utah County Utah - 5 P.M.- President John Taylor Elders Brigham Young. A. O. Smoot. Zedbedee Coltrin and L. John Nuttall Met. and the subject of Ordaining Negro's to the Priesthood was presented - Prest Taylor said. Some parties have said to me that Zebedee Coltrin had talked to the Prophet Joseph Smith on this subject, and they said that he (Coltrin) through it was not right for them to have the Priesthood. whereupon Joseph Smith said to him that Peter on a certain occasion had a vision wherein he "saw heaven opened. and a certain vessel descended unto him. .... What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common" And that the Prophet Joseph then said to Bro Coltrin as the Angel said to Peter "What God hath cleansed, that call not thou not (sic) common" (speaking of the Gantiles).

Prest Taylor asked Bro Coltrin - Did the Prophet Joseph Smith ever make such a statement to you?

Bro C. No sir, he never said anything of the Kind in his life to me.

Pres T. - What did he say?

Bro C. - The spring that we went up in Zion's camp in 1834 Bro Joseph sent Bro J. P. Green and me out south to gather up means to assist in gathering out the Saints from Jackson County Mo - On our return home we got in conversation about the Negro having a right to the Priesthood - and I took the side he had no right - Bro Green argued that he had. the subject got so warm between us that he said he would report me to Bro Joseph when we got home for preaching false doctrine. which doctrine that I advocated was. that the Negro could not hold the Priesthood - All right said I - I hope you will. and when we got home to Kirtland we both went in to Bro Joseph's office together to make our returns and Bro Green was as good as his word and reported to Bro Joseph that I had said that the Negro could not hold the Priesthood- Bro Joseph Kind of dropt his head and rested it on his hand for a minute. and then said Bro Zebedee is right, for the Spirit of the Lord saith the Negro has no right nor cannot hold the Priesthood. He made no reference to scripture at all - but such was his decision - I dont recollect ever having any conversation with him afterwards, but I have heard him say in public, that no person having the least particle of Negro blood can hold the Priesthood

Bro Coltrin further said - Bro Abel was ordained a Seventy. because he had labored on the Temple. (it must have been into the 2nd Quorum) and when the Prophet Joseph learned of his lineage. he was dropped from the quorum and another was put in his place - I was one of the first seven Presidents of the Quorum of Seventies at the time he was dropped -

Prest. Taylor.- Bro Zebedee you are not one of the seven Presidents now. what have you been doing?

Bro C. - I was acting then as one of the 1st seven Presidents of Seventies and was ordered back into the quorum of High Preists - I can tell you how that thing first started.

Bro Winchester and Bro Jared Carter while on the Brick yard at Kirtland - Bro W. A Seventy and Bro Jared a High Priest got to contending which held the highest office. Carter was rebuking him on account of his folly. which he said he had not right to do. as he held a higher Priesthood than he did. and Jared contended he didnt because was a High Priest - thing came to the ears of Uncle Joseph Smith. & then they went to the Prophet Joseph with it. The Prophet then enquired of the Lord. and he afterwards directed that we be put back into the Quorum of High Priests and other Men (five) were then ordained to the Presidency of the Seventies and three out of that five apostatized - Bro Joseph Young & Levi Hancock were retained and the other five filled the number - In the washing and Anointing of Bro Abel at Kirtland I anointed him. and while I had my hands upon his head. I never had such unpleasant feelings in my life- and I said I never would again Anoint another person who had Negro blood in him. unless I was commanded by the Prophet to do so.

Prest A. O Smoot said. W. W. Patten Warren Parish and Thomas B. Marsh were laboring in the Southern States in 1835 & 1836 - there were Negro's who made made (sic) Application for Baptizm. and the question arose with them. whether Negro's were entitled to hold the Priesthood - and by those brethren it was decided they would not confer the Priesthood until they had consulted the Prophet Joseph - and subsequently they communicated with him and his decision as I understood, was they were not entitled to the Priesthood, nor yet to be baptized without the consent of their Masters. In after years when I became acquinted with Joseph Myself in Far West about the year 1838. I received from Joseph substantialy the same instructions. It was on my application to him what should be ...

as I was preaching to them? He said I could baptize them by the consent of their Masters. but not to confer the Priesthood upon them -

These two statements were duly signed by each of these brethren ...

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

175 years ago today - May 31, 1844

Council of Fifty convenes their seventeenth and last meeting prior to the death of Joseph Smith.

[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 - May 31, 1844

[Wilford Woodruff Journal]
We held a political meeting in Br Lees barn. General Rich called the meeting to order. Mr Henry Jacobs read General Smiths views. I followed him. Spoke of the foundation laid By Gen Smith to unite the nation. Spoke of our persecution, loss of our rights appeal to Mo & the nation being rejected, the danger the goverment was in &c.

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

25 years ago today - May 30, 1994

Ezra Taft Benson's death on Memorial Day. With his internment in Whitney, Idaho, he is the first LDS president since Joseph Smith to be buried outside Utah.

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

170 years ago today - May 30, 1849

[Brigham Young Sermon]
President Young observed that he wanted the bishops to see that every man wrought his tenth day on tithing. The bishops should be with them, and if anyone failed, (they would) know who it was. Some attended to slip along without paying their tithing. But there would be a time of reckoning.

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

50 years ago today - May 29, 1969

[David O. McKay] N. Eldon Tanner inquired in May 1969 "if a man were an avowed communist, would our position be to excommunicate him or disqualify him for any position in the Church," McKay responded that he should not hold any church position, but allowed that he might remain a member of the church."

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

70 years ago today - May 29, 1949

[David O. McKay diary]
[At the dedication of the Downey Ward Chapel:] At conclusion of the services hundreds came up for autographs, greeting, etc., Among them was a Methodist Minister who waited an hour to shake hands, and asked for my autograph. My pen had run dry, and he handed me his, saying, 'I shall always cherish this pen as being used by a distinguished gentleman.'

[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]

85 years ago today - May 29, 1934

[President Heber J. Grant Diary]
I excused myself at 8:30 and went to a meeting of a Church History and Book of Mormon group, of which about a dozen young men and their wives are members. They met occasionally to study Church hsitory (sic). Nearly the entire evening up to half past ten o'clock, after I arrived was spent by their asking me questions about Church matters--Why the Presidency was not organized after the death of the Prophet for several years? Why the same thing happened when John Taylor succeeded Brigham Young, and Wilford Woodruff succeeded John Taylor; then Lorenzo Snow being made president immediately, all of which I answered to the best of my ability, and I hope to the satisfaction of those who were present. This class met at my duahgter (sic) Mary Judd's. They had refreshments and then a discussion afterwards. I told them I did not know why there was a delay in organizing the Presidency after the martyrdom of the Prophet, unless it was that there was a spirit of apostasy among the people and President Young did not care to organize it. When Brother Taylor came to the Presidency there was litigation regarding the properties belonging to the Church and that belonging to Brigham Young, and I supposed John Taylor preferred to have all of the Twelve with him until those matters were settled without organizing the Presidency, but when Brother Woodruff came to the Presidency he probably felt that as the Presidency had never been organized promptly after the death of the Prophet Joseph, or after the death of Brigham Young and John Taylor, he would wait two or three years, but that when Brother Woodruff died, after the funeral the Council met at the Presidency's office, and Brother Francis M. Lyman made a speech, although there were present Lorenzo Snow, Franklin D. Richards, George Q. Cannon, Joseph F. Smith, and Brigham Young Jr. who were his seniors. He said he hoped that if he were out of order Brother Snow would call him in order. He said he thought that the Presidency of the Church should be organized immediately following the funeral of the deceased president, and we all knew who wea (sic) entitled to and should be the president. He hoped that President Snow would consent to the reorganization of the Presidency.

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

120 years ago today - May 29, 1899

At a missionary meeting in Scotland, Charles Woolfenden sees two angels and proclaims that one is the "guardian angel" of Elder John Young. The Mission counselor James L. McMurrin says that the second is the guardian angel of missionary D.C. Eccles. The founding prophet Joseph Smith had referred matter-of-factly to "my guardian angel" in a sermon on 13 June 1844.

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

155 years ago today - May 29, 1864

[Wilford Woodruff Journal]
Elders E T Benson & Lorenzo Snow arived from the Sandwich Islands at 12 oclok. Brother Snow Called at my House & took w[ent?] to meeting. Spoke to the people. Gave an Account of their mission. Told how they found Capt Walter M Gibson. That He had been robing the Saints upon the Islands. Had labored to build himself up instead of the Church or the poor Saints upon the Islands. He had got 3,000 Acres of Land, 3,000 Sheep many Goats, large flocks of Fowls many horses &c. He takes all these things from the Saints. After Laboring with him for several days they Cut him off from the Church & this decission was Sanctioned by the whole Church present with uplifted Hands.

He was followed by Elder Benson who Confirmed what Brother Snow had said also gave an Account of there ship wrek. There long boat while trying to land at the Island was upset by the surf and all Came Near drowning. Brother Snow was drowned. Brought out of the Sea by a Native & it took some 15 minutes to bring him to life. Many interesting things were said.

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

185 years ago today - May 29, 1834

(Zion's Camp) They are detained until noon, having to buy a new horse. Some murmur. To divert their attention, Joseph organizes the camp into three parts for a sham battle. Many of the captains show surprisingly good military sense; but Heber C. Kimball cuts his hand when grabbing another man's sword. Joseph chastizes Zebedee Coltrin for giving him (Joseph) good bread while some of the other brethren are forced to eat sour bread, stating that he wants no partiality in the food.

[Conkling, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology]

30 years ago today - May 28, 1989

Two LDS missionaries are deliberately assassinated in La Paz Bolivia by guirrilla terrorists.

105 years ago today - May 28, 1914

A Stake President in Los Angeles Ca. told president Joseph Fielding Smith] he had responded to an invitation to attend a public meeting at which Mr. Tripp was to deliver a lecture on Mormonism and Utah, and Bro[ther]. Shepherd said he had never heard a greater eulogy paid to the Mormon people in his life than was on this occasion paid by Mr. Tripp; among other things he told his audience that the Mormon people were the most industrious, honest and moral community that he knew of on the earth; and at the conclusion of his talk he gave liberty to those present to ask questions or make remarks; that a woman arose and commenced a tirade against the Mormon women, claiming that they could not read or write, and were held as slaves. At this point Pres[iden]t. Shepherd said he arose and went to the front and talked about half an hour and was applauded in the answer he made to the abuse of the Mormon women. ...

[Journal History, 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]

50 years ago today - May 27, 1969

Skousen's efforts at campus espionage in 1969 collapsed after a faculty member wrote a memo urging him "to give the lie to this rumor . . . that you have organized a `spy' ring to check on the alleged pro-Communist sympathies of professors."

Only one of these agent provocateurs, a political science major, confessed the espionage. This student stopped spying because he found no Communist sympathizers at BYU, and "I decided that I was involved in a questionable activity and that I should withdraw and cease to function as an agent in any way."

[Undated, handwritten memo from "M. G. F." (poss. Merwin G. Fairbanks, director of student publications) to "Cleon Skousen," with copies to ELW (Ernest L. Wilkinson), RKT (Robert K. Thomas), BEL (Ben E. Lewis), RJS (Robert J. Smith), and "Dan Ludlow," folder 16, Hillam Papers; emphasis in original; Woods statement, 27 May 1969, 4; BYU Directory, 1968-69, s.v. "Phares Quincy Woods." 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.]

120 years ago today - May 27, 1899; Saturday

Pres[ident] [Lorenzo] Snow said when he left home it was not particularly manifested to him what special purpose he & his brethren were going for but on ar[r]iving at St George [Utah] the Lord revealed to him that this people must reform in the matter of tithing or the Lord would not permit them to hold dominion in this land very much longer and so the observance of this law of tithing was preached all the way home to every congregation large and small and all the brethren held up the hands of the prophet of the Lord and bore testimony that this that Pres[ident] Snow had spoken was the word, was the mind and will of the Lord, was revelation, was the pwoer of God unto Salvation.

[Seymour B. Young, Diary]

125 years ago today - May 27, 1894

[Heber J. Grant]
... all that I have said about being thankful for the increased liberty that [his wife] Gusta enjoys applies also to Emily [his wife] with the exception of the fact that I do have perfect freedom in visiting Emily, and I hope and pray with all my heart that there will be a change in the near future so that I may have perfect liberty to go and come as I please and live with her as a wife ...

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

170 years ago today - May 27, 1849

[Brigham Young]
I addressed the people on present and temporal salvation, I also remarked: Every man, woman, horse, and ox should rest one seventh part of the time. It is a day of rest, that the people do not labor themselves to death. When you have labored thus six years, then let every foot of land rest a year. Don't work your horses or oxen for a whole year. And when you have continued thus six times, then rest seven years. That is for man. Assemble yourselves one day a week. -- SLC Bowery

[Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 1847- 1850. William S. Harwell, ed. Collier's Publishing, 1997.:206 as quoted in The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, Ed. Richard S. Van Wagoner, Smith-Pettit Foundation, Salt Lake City (2009), http://bit.ly/BY-discourses]

175 years ago today - May 27, 1844

Joseph starts out toward Carthage on horseback with several friends to meet the indictments head on. Soon after the Prophet reaches Hamilton's hotel, Charles A. Foster catches up with him, telling him there is a conspiracy against his life. He decides to leave for home as soon as he gets his bail. Samuel H. Smith of Montebello, hearing that Joseph is being held prisoner in Carthage, rides there immediately with twenty-five men. Joseph arrives home the next day.

[Conkling, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology]

180 years ago today - May 27, 1839

Sidney Rigdon writes to the BOSTON JOURNAL emphatically denying the "Spaulding" story. Of Solomon Spaulding, whom he says he had never heard of until the story was publicized and who has been dead for two decades, Rigdon says he wrote "lies to get money" and that Rigdon has "but a very light opinion of him as a gentleman, a scholar, or a man of piety, for had he been either, he certainly would have taught his pious wife not to lie, nor unite herself with adulterers, liars, and the basest of mankind."

185 years ago today - May 27, 1834

(Zion's Camp) The angels of God go before the group. One man falls asleep on a rattlesnake but is not harmed. When others want to kill the rattlesnake, the man, Solomon Humphreys, says, "You shan't hurt him, for he and I had a good nap together."

[Conkling, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology]

10 years ago today - May 26, 2009

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

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

55 years ago today - May 26, 1964

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

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

110 years ago today - May 26, 1909

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

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

175 years ago today - May 26, 1844

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

[Conkling, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology]

175 years ago today - May 26, 1844

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

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

180 years ago today - May 26, 1839

[Joseph Smith]
Elder Pratt and the others reach Boone County and are thrown into another dirty prison.

[Conkling, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology]

185 years ago today - May 26, 1834

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

[Conkling, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology]

185 years ago today - May 26, 1834

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

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

200 years ago today - May 26, 1819

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

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

100 years ago today - May 25, 1919

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

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

125 years ago today - May 25, 1894

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

125 years ago today - May 25, 1894

[Apostle Heber J. Grant Diary]
I do not know how to be thankful anough for the change that has come to the people in plural marriage, for the better. When I think of how I had to visit [his plural wife] Gusta, when she was in Provo at the time Mary was born and also before that event and that I can now have liberties which I hardly dared hope for, my heart is full and running over with thanks to my Father in Heaven for His goodness to and mine.

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

130 years ago today - May 25, 1889

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

160 years ago today - May 25, 1859

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

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

175 years ago today - May 25, 1844

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

[Conkling, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology]

200 years ago today - May 25, 1819

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

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

20 years ago today - May 24, 1999

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

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

30 years ago today - May 24, 1989

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

75 years ago today - May 24, 1944

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

[The Woodland Institute 'On This Day Historical Database,' http://www.woodlandinstitute.com]

85 years ago today - May 24, 1934

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

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

90 years ago today - May 24, 1929

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

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

115 years ago today - May 24, 1904 (Tuesday)

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

[Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

140 years ago today - May 24, 1879

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

145 years ago today - May 24, 1874

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

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

155 years ago today - May 24, 1864

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

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

May 24, 1844

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

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

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

175 years ago today - May 24, 1844

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

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

30 years ago today - May 23, 1989

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

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

70 years ago today - May 23, 1949

[Ezra Taft Benson]
elected a member of the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America.

[Wikipedia entry: Ezra Taft Benson]

90 years ago today - May 23, 1929

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

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

130 years ago today - May 23, 1889

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

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

165 years ago today - May 23, 1854

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

[Diaries of Hosea Stout]

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

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

[Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

175 years ago today - May 23, 1844

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

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

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

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

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

[Faulring, Scott (ed.), An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith: Joseph Smith Diary, 1844, http://amzn.to/jsdiaries]

175 years ago today - May 23, 1844

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

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

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

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

[Whitney, Helen Mar, Jeni Broberg Holzapfel, and Richard Neitzel Holzapfel, A Woman's View: Helen Mar Whitney's Reminiscences of Early Church History, Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997]

175 years ago today - May 23, 1844

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

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

40 years ago today - May 22, 1979-Tuesday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

45 years ago today - May 22, 1974-Wednesday

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

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

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

60 years ago today - Fri May 22, 1959

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

[McKay, David O., Office Journal]

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

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

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

135 years ago today - Thursday May 22, 1884

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

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

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

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

145 years ago today - May 22, 1874

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

[The Woodland Institute 'On This Day Historical Database,' http://www.woodlandinstitute.com]

150 years ago today - May 22, 1869

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

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

160 years ago today - May 22, 1859 (Morning)

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

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

175 years ago today - May 22, 1844

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

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


50 years ago today - May 21, 1969

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

60 years ago today - May 21, 1959

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

60 years ago today - May 21, 1959

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

[McKay, David O., Office Journal]

65 years ago today - May 21, 1954

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

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

115 years ago today - May 21, 1904

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

120 years ago today - May 21, 1899

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

120 years ago today - Sunday, May 21, 1899

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

[Stan Larson (editor), A Ministry of Meetings: The Apostolic diaries of Rudger Clawson, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1993, http://bit.ly/rudgerclawson]

135 years ago today - May 21, 1884

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

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

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

135 years ago today - May 21, 1884

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

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

165 years ago today - May 21, 1854

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

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

175 years ago today - May 21, 1844

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

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

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

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

[Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

185 years ago today - May 21, 1834

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

60 years ago today - May 20, 1959

[David O. McKay Office Journal]
The regular meeting of the First Presidency--the first without my dear friend, companion, and advisor--President Stephen L. I could not believe that he had gone, and kept looking for him to come in.

May 20, 1959: [This is a note by McKay's secretary.] President McKay is deeply grieved and shocked over President Richards' death--it is very noticeable that the passing of his beloved counselor and friend is weighing heavily on him.

[McKay, David O., Office Journal]

135 years ago today - May 20th 1884.

[Apostle Anthony W. Ivins Diary]
I qualified as City Attorney for St. George. I was set apart for the mission which I have just finished by Apostle Moses Thatcher, at the Council House, at Salt Lake, Utah, on the 10th of April 1882 as follows:

... thou shalt look into the hearts of men and read them. ... Thou shalt have influence with the officers of that government and with the prominent men of that nation, and thou shalt be enabled to establish the work of the Lord in the midst of that people. Thou shalt live to see a prophet raised up in their midst. Thou shalt live to see a perfect chain of communications from the mountains, from the Church and Kingdom of God and the people of Zion, down through the Republic of Mexico, through Central America, and through South America, and a great and important work shall be accomplished in thy day in the midst of the remnant of Israel. They shall come forth, many of them, and rejoice with thee in the knowledge of the Truth, and while the work may now seem difficult, let thy prayers ascend unto God, plead with Him by night and by day, for His eyes are upon that people, and the words of His prophets will not be unfulfilled, but they will be fulfilled, and thou shalt be an instrument in the hands of God of accomplishing a great and good work among them... thou shalt be preserved from disease and from death, and thy faith shall be mighty before the Lord. When thou layest thy hands upon the sick, the sick shall be healed ...

[Diary Excerpts of Anthony W. Ivins, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

50 years ago today - May 19, 1969

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

60 years ago today - Tue May 19, 1959

[David O. McKay Office Journal]
The news of [Stephen L Richard's] passing was a terrible shock to me.

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

[McKay, David O., Office Journal]

125 years ago today - May 19, 1894

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

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

130 years ago today - May 19, 1889

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

165 years ago today - May 19, 1854

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

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

165 years ago today - May 19, 1854

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

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

170 years ago today - May 19, 1849

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

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

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

180 years ago today - May 19, 1839

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

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

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

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

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

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

10 years ago today - May 18, 2009

The LDS Church launched the Mormon Channel as the official radio station of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Mormon Channel broadcast 24/7 over the internet, HD radio and it has its own iPhone application.

[The Mormon Channel: The Broadcast and Media History of the LDS Church Timeline, http://radio.lds.org/eng/about/media-timeline]

35 years ago today - May 18, 1984

"Mike Hansen" [Hofmann alias] orders printing plates from Cocks-Clark Engraving in Denver, Colorado, for Deseret currency.

[Whittaker, David J., The Hofmann Maze, A Book Review Essay with a Chronology and Bibliography of the Hofmann Case, BYU Studies Vol. 29, No. 1, pg.80,]

120 years ago today - May 18, 1899; Thursday

[In St. George, Utah:] Pres[iden]t L[orenzo]. S[now]. refer[r]ed to his sister Eliza R. Snow & her connection [marriage] with the Prophet Joseph [Smith]. No permission for plural marraiges in either Temple or any where else.

[Minutes, Franklin D. Richards Papers, LDS Archives]

125 years ago today - May 18, 1894

Jane Elizabeth Manning [James] (a Negro [woman])[:] Do you wish to be attached as a Servitor for eternity to the prophet Josep[h] Smith and in this capacity be connected with his family and be obedient to him in all things in the Lord as a faithful Servitor? (Answer[:] Yes.) Pres[iden]t Joseph F. Smith acting for and in behalf of the Prophet Joseph Smith: Do you wish to receive Jane James as a Servitor to yourself and family: (Answer[:] Yes.) By the authority given me of the Lord I pronounce you, Jane James, a Servitor to the Prophet Joseph Smith (President Joseph F. Smith acting for and an[d] in his behalf) and to his household for all eternity, through your faithfulness in the new and everlasting covenant, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

[Book of Temple Ordinances, May 18, 1894; pp. 33-34; citing Adoption Record A:26 as quoted in Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/TempleWorship]

135 years ago today - Sunday May 18, 1884

Just 7 yrs ago to day at 12 M the ground was dedicated & broken for this [Logan] temple. This morning at 9 O.C. I went to the Temple& prepared to receive the audience for the 2nd dedicatory Service and the Same Opening him was Sang& Same pray repeated. Choir Sang Apostle Erastus Snow Who related the Kind of Ordinances administered that was the anointing of heads & washing of feet by Quorims Spoke of the 3 Golden Keys presented in token of the Keys of the Priesthood. Spoke of an angel being Seated by the of father. Fred G. Williams during the offering of the prayer the Same place that Pres Taylor ocupies. Many Spoke in tongues and the congregation was filled with the Holy Ghost.

[Diaries of Ora Charles Card: The Utah Years 1871-1886 Edited by Donald G. Godfrey and Kenneth W. Godfrey]

135 years ago today - May 18, 1884

Apostles instruct stake leaders about President John Taylor's ruling that as payment for their services, bishops will receive 8 percent of tithing they collect, and stake presidents 2 percent of stake tithing.

175 years ago today - May 18, 1844

The Prophet first published in New York City; William Smith, editor. Published until May 24, 1845, when it was succeeded by the New York Messenger, which continued its voluming. Successive editors include Sam Brannan and Parley P. Pratt.

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

65 years ago today - May 17, 1954

Counselor J. Reuben Clark writes U.S. senator Henry Dworshak: "I am impressed, as to Indo-China with this fact. . . .it is not worth spending our blood for it. . . Finally, while unalterably opposed to Communism, I can imagine that an enlightened Communism may be a whole lot better than a decrepit, deficient, corrupt colonial government [in Indo-China]. I feel that the principle could be applied to very much of the situation in the whole Far East. . . . In my personal view, our greatest danger and greatest handicap is the concept, not yet more than half-expressed, sometimes, perhaps, not even fully recognized that we are destined to dictate to and rule the world, though we have not enough sense to rule ourselves wisely." Indo-China soon becomes separate countries of North Vietnam, South Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, all of which are part of Vietnam conflict, longest war in U.S. history.

70 years ago today - May 17, 1949

[Dream Mine]
John H. Koyle died 17 May 1949 in Payson.

[Utah History Encyclopedia: Dream Mine, http://www.uen.org/utah_history_encyclopedia/]

125 years ago today - May 17, 1894

[President Wilford Woodruff Journal]
We met for the first time with Mr Perbeck. The Presidency & several of the Twelve went to the Pavilion with him. He is vary favorably impressed with our Affairs. I have felt that the President Lord had raised up that man to Assist Us in our temporal Deliverance.

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

135 years ago today - [circa 17-22] May 1884

[Revelation to John Taylor, Logan Utah]
... As thou hast asked me concerning this Temple, thus saith the Lord: I accept this house which thou hast built ... and inasmuch as it shall be preserved pure and not be defiled my presence shall be there even the power of my Spirit, - the Gift of the Holy Ghost; which shall in this house hereafter be more fully understood; and I will acknowledge the ordinances which shall be administered therein, both for the living and the dead ... many great principles pertaining to the past, to the present and the future shall be revealed and my word and my will be made known, and the laws of the Universe, pertaining to this world and other worlds be developed; for in these houses which have been buildt [built] unto me, and which shall be built I will reveal the abundance of those things pertaining to the past, the present, and the future, to the life that now is, and the life that is to come, pertaining to laws, order, rule, dominion and government, to things affecting this nation and other nations; - the laws of the heavenly bodies in their times and seasons, and the principles or laws by which they are governed, and their relation to each other, and whether they be bodies celestial, terrestrial or telestial, shall be made known as I will, saith the Lord; for it is my will and my purpose to place my people in closer communion with the heavens...

[Marquardt, H. Michael, http://www.xmission.com/~research/central/revel2.htm]

135 years ago today - May 17, 1884

[Apostle Wilford Woodruff Journal]
May 17 I Met in the Temple at 10.30 in Logan to attend to the Dedication of the same. ... Doors were open + at 10 oclke and the people were permited to Enter upon showing a ticket of Admission. About 1,500 persons were admitted.

The Priesthood occupied the Stands. The first Presidency occupied the upper Stand in the west End G Q Cannon the North side J. F. Smith the south President Taylor the Centre. W Woodruff occupied the North seat with G Q Cannon L Snow the south by the side of J F. Smith. The quorum of the Twelve Apostles occupied the side seats North of the upper Stand The Patriarch the South the seventies the North of the Stand, below the Twelve. The Presidency of the Stake occupied the Stand Below the first Presidency. The Presidets of the Elders Quorum occupied the lower Stand at the west End. The Bishops & Aaronic Priesthood occupied the west Stand. Meeting Commenced at 10.30. Presidt John Taylor read the Dedicatory Prayer. Temple Hymn Sung. The Prayer is published in the various Papers of the day.

While attending the Dedication of this Temple, The reflection Came upon me of the many hours I had spent in Prayer in my Early manhood in Calling upon God to permit me to live in the Earth to see the Church of Christ Esstablished and a people raised up who would receive the Ancient Gospel and Contend for the faith once deliverd to the Saints. The LORD Promised me that I should live to find the People of God and have a Name & a place [within his] walls, & within his House, A name Better than of sons or of Daught[ers] a Name that should not be Cut off And I to day rejoice in having a Name with his people and assist in the Dedication of Another Temple to his most Holy Name. Praise be unto God and the Lamb forever. ...

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

175 years ago today - May 17, 1844

Nauvoo's political convention nominates Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon as presidential and vice-presidential candidates and appoints 344 delegates to campaign for their election in every state. All of the 26 states of the United States and ten Illinois counties are represented by delegates at the convention. Two non-Mormon delegates, Dr. G. W. Goforth and John S. Reid, have prominent speaking positions. Resolutions passed at the convention include: "4. Resolved, that to redress all wrongs, the government of the United States, with the President at its head, is as powerful in its sphere as Jehovah is in His." and "7. Resolved, that we will hold a National Convention at Baltimore on Saturday, the 13th day of Jul." The Baltimore convention was held but, due to the death of Joseph Smith adjourned sine die.

185 years ago today - May 17, 1834

[Heber C. Kimball diary (Zion's Camp)]
"... we camped for the Sabbath, having traveled forty miles that day; our feet were very sore and blistered, and our stockings were wet with blood, the weather being very warm. I walked most of the journey, letting the lame and footsore ride in my stead. I frequently invited the prophet to ride, seeing him lame and footsore; on such occasions he would bless me with a hearty good will. My team performed the journey very well.

"During the night a spy from the enemy attempted to get into our camp, but was stopped by the guard. We had our sentinels or guards appointed every night, on account of spies continually harassing us. This evening there was quite a difficulty between some of the brethren and Sylvester Smith, on occasion of which Brother Joseph was called to decide the matter. Finding quite a rebellious spirit in Sylvester Smith, and to some extent in others, he said they would meet with misfortune, difficulties and hindrances, 'and you will know it before you leave this place'; exhorting them to humble themselves before the Lord and become united, that they might not be scourged.

"A very singular occurrence took place that night and the next day concerning our teams. On the following morning when we arose we found almost every horse in the camp so badly foundered that we could scarcely lead them a few rods to the water. The brethren then deeply realized the effects of discord. When Brother Joseph learned the fact he exclaimed to the brethren that was for a witness that God overruled and had his eye upon them, that all those who would humble themselves before the Lord should know that the hand of God was in this misfortune, and their horses should be restored to health immediately; and by twelve o'clock the same day the horses were as nimble as ever, with the exception of one of Sylvester Smith's, which soon afterwards died. * * *

[Whitney, Helen Mar, Jeni Broberg Holzapfel, and Richard Neitzel Holzapfel, A Woman's View: Helen Mar Whitney's Reminiscences of Early Church History, Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997]

30 years ago today - May 16, 1989

Apostle Howard W. Hunter dedicated Brigham Young University's Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies, despite years of protests by Israel's ultra-orthodox Jews against its construction. For decade Hunter privately urged First Presidency and Twelve to give greater attention to Muslim people through this project. BYU's president signed renewable forty-nine year lease for property on May 18, 1988.

40 years ago today - May 16, 1979

The DESERET NEWS reports that Utahns have a higher divorce rate than the national average, marry younger, and bear more children.

45 years ago today - May 16, 1974

Congress establishes Mount Olivet Cemetery in Salt Lake City as only civilian cemetery ever created by federal government. Although some civilians are buried in Washington, D.C.'s Arlington Cemetery, it is military cemetery. Congressmen do not trust Mormons to give proper respect to graves of non-Mormons.

50 years ago today - May 16, 1969

BYU officials tell undergraduates to remove peace signs from their dormitory windows with the curt explanation, "Just do it-you don't need a reason."

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

90 years ago today - May 16, 1929

[George Albert Smith Diary]
Called on President Herbert Hoover who received me kindly. He feels that with the help of men like Reed Smoot his policies are likely to win. He feels that some of those he counted on to improve conditions are not playing fair.

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

135 years ago today - May 16, 1884

Apostle Francis M. Lyman tells priesthood meeting that he "considered that the blood of Cain was more predominant in these Mexicans that that of Israel."

175 years ago today - May 16, 1844

Nauvoo convention resolves to support Joseph Smith for President of the U. S. and Sidney Rigdon as Vice President.

[Tidd, N. R., "Mormon Chronology, Rev 01 Volume 01" http://bit.ly/tiddchron]

175 years ago today - May 16, 1844

Joseph Smith teaches that to obtain the highest degree of celestial glory, a couple must enter into the new and everlasting covenant of marriage.

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

185 years ago today - May 16, 1834

(Zion's Camp) Joseph says he is very depressed in this place because he senses there was a great deal of bloodshed here at one time; he says, "Whenever a man of God is in a place where many have been killed, he will feel lonesome and unpleasant, and his spirit will sink." Many of the men worry about milk sickness. They pass through Dayton, Ohio; some people ask them who they are, and they answer very evasively: they are from the East, they are going west, sometimes one leads them and sometimes another! There is a court-martial that evening for Moses Martin. He is acquitted, but Joseph gives him a stern warning.

[Conkling, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology]

80 years ago today - May 15, 1939

[President Heber J. Grant Diary]
Sister Amy Brown Lyman called, and she is very anxious that we make her son-in-law, Alex Schreiner, the organist of the Tabernacle, and Brother Frank Asper his assistant. She feels he is entitled to be the organist, that there is never the same harmony in any business where there is not a head, etc. I told her we had talked it over and over, and had made up our minds and had decided we were not going to make an organist. Alex is certainly a marvelous organist, but we feel that we can not afford to humiliate Brother Asper.

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

130 years ago today - May 15, 1889

[Apostle Heber J. Grant Diary]
... I think more of my credit than I do of my life ...

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

155 years ago today - May 15, 1864

Brigham Young preaches, "I do not want 'Mormonism' to become popular; I would not, if I could, make it as popular as the Roman Catholic Church is in Italy, or as the Church of England is in England, because the wicked and ungodly would crowd into it in their sins. There are enough of such characters in it now."

175 years ago today - May 15, 1844

Josiah Quincy, a future mayor of Boston (1845–49), visits Joseph Smith in Nauvoo and later states: "It is by no means improbable that some future textbook . . . will contain a question something like this: What historical American of the nineteenth century has exerted the most powerful influence upon the destinies of his countrymen? And it is by no means impossible that the answer . . . may be thus written: Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet".

[The Woodland Institute 'On This Day Historical Database,' http://www.woodlandinstitute.com]

175 years ago today - May 15, 1844

Regarding his mummies and papyri, Joseph Smith tells Josiah Quincy, "I want you to look at that little runt of a fellow over there. He was a great man in his day. Why, that was Pharaoh Necho, King of Egypt! [Ezekiel, 27:13,15] ... That is the handwriting of Abraham, the Father of the Faithful,... This is the autograph of Moses, and these lines were written by his brother Aaron. Here we have the earliest account of the Creation, from which Moses composed the First Book of Genesis."

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

175 years ago today - May 15, 1844

The church's two newspapers, TIMES AND SEASONS and NAUVOO NEIGHBOR, publish this statement by Joseph Smith about Robert D. Foster: "When riding in the stage, I have seen him put his hand in a woman's bosom, and he also lifted up her [under] clothes." This is in reference to one of many trips undertaken with Foster from 1840 to 1843 with whom Smith maintained good fellowship until Foster joined William Law's dissension in Mar 1844.

175 years ago today - May 15, 1844

Josiah Quincy interviews Joseph Smith in Nauvoo. As a "Boston Brahmin" and soon-to-be mayor of Boston, Quincy is the first prominent American leader to request a meeting with and LDS president. In his 1883 FIGURES OF THE PAST Quincy writes: "What historical American of the nineteenth century has exerted the most powerful influence upon the destinies of his countrymen? and it is by no means improbable that the answer to that interrogatory may be thus written: 'Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet.'" Joseph Smith shows Quincy the Egyptian Papyrus and says, "That is the handwriting of Abraham, the father of the Faithful. This is the autograph of Moses, and these lines were written by his brother Aaron. Here we have the earliest account of the creation from which Moses composed the First Book of Genesis" When questioned about an illustration on the papyrus of a snake having legs Joseph replies, "Before the Fall snakes always went about on legs, just like chickens. They were deprived of them, in punishment for their agency in the ruin of man." After showing the mummies and papyri Joseph tells Quincy and his traveling companion, "Gentlemen, those who see these curiosities generally pay my mother a quarter of a dollar"

190 years ago today - May 15, 1829

Doctrine and Covenants 13: Ordination of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery to the Aaronic Priesthood along the bank of the Susquehanna River, near Harmony, Pennsylvania, May 15, 1829. HC 1: 39-42. The ordination was done by the hands of an angel, who announced himself as John, the same that is called John the Baptist in the New Testament. The angel explained that he was acting under the direction of Peter, James, and John, the ancient apostles, who held the keys of the higher priesthood, which was called the Priesthood of Melchizedek. The promise was given to Joseph and Oliver that in due time the Priesthood of Melchizedek would be conferred upon them. See also Section 27: 7, 8, 12.

Keys and powers of Aaronic Priesthood are set forth.

[Doctrine and Covenants, http://amzn.to/DoctrineandCovenants]

90 years ago today - May 14, 1929

First verified date of Lorin C. Woolley's ordination of his priesthood "council of Friends," from which 90 percent of Mormon Fundamentalists derive authority to continue their "priesthood work." He claims he is last survivor of "Council of Friends" ordained by John Taylor on Sept. 27, 1886 to keep plural marriage alive. On Sept. 22, 1929 - Woolley signs detailed account of circumstances surrounding 1886 revelation.

175 years ago today - 1844 14 May.

The last initiation into Joseph Smith's Quorum of the Anointed is performed. This is probably the date Smith ordains Wight for his Texas mission and gives him "a white stone."

[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]

190 years ago today - about May 14, 1829

Harmony, Pennsylvania. Joseph Smith translated the account of the appearance of the resurrected Savior in 3 Nephi 11 in the Book of Mormon.

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

60 years ago today - Wed May 13, 1959

[David O. McKay Office Journal]
[After courtesy meeting with Wilber M. Brucker, Secretary of the Army:] "I later remarked to the Brethren that I do not see any indication on the part of the Communists that they are modifying the original thought of Marx-- that the only way is destruction of capitalism, then they can build their hope for a millennium of Communism. In the present attempt, the same determination is shown to hold to that original thought; that for three days now the big powers have been in session, and have accomplished not a thing in their attempt at unification. Referring to present conditions and Communism, I said I thought it did not look very hopeful for peace. The Communists are getting stronger and stronger, and when they feel they are prepared to strike, I think they will strike. I do not like to express this thought, but that is my feeling. I hope that the nations will accomplish something in their present conferences in Geneva, but thus far they seem not to have accomplished much of anything. Let us hope and pray that they will show a spirit of yielding, but so far they have held to that abominable, demoniacal ideal, (atheist in the extreme) of Marx, who let his own wife and his children starve to death. It is the most atheistic, diabolical spirit of the devil that we have ever had in the world, and we are going to suffer from it."

[McKay, David O., Office Journal]