20 years ago today - Feb 22, 2000

Three days before his suicide, Stuart Matis wrote a letter to the student newspaper at Brigham Young University, from which he graduated in 1994, urging students to harbor more tolerance toward gays.

"I am gay. I am also LDS. I realized the significance of my sexuality when I was around 13, and for the next two decades, I traveled down a tortuous path of internalized homophobia, immense self-hatred, depression and suicidal thoughts. Despite the calluses on my knees, frequent trips to the temple, fasts and devotion to my mission and church callings such as Elders' Quorum president, I continually failed to attenuate my homosexuality," Matis wrote. " . . . I read a recent letter to the editor with great regret. The author compared my friends and me to murderers, satanists, prostitutes and pedophiles. Imagine having to live with this rhetoric constantly being spewed at you."

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

50 years ago today - Feb 22, 1970

First Presidency writes: "We may say that there is no direct revelation upon the subject of when the spirit enters the body; it has always been a moot question. That there is life in the child before birth is an undoubted fact, but whether that life is the result of the affinity of the child in embryo with the life of its mother, or because the spirit has entered it remains an unsolved mystery."

145 years ago today - Feb 22, 1875

[Apostle Wilford Woodruff]

This is not ownly the birth day of George Washington But it was the day when the first Couple of Lamanites were together as man and wife for time & Eternity at the Altar in the Endowment House according to the Holy Priesthood in the last dispensation & fulness of times. Wilford Woodruff Sealed at the Altar two Couple of Lamanites. The first Couple was Indian Named OhetoCump But Baptized and Sealed by the name of James Laman. His wife Named Mine [Minnie]. 2d Couple Isiqwich & Mogogah.

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

155 years ago today - Feb 22, 1865

Brigham Young receives confirmation of the Church's purchase of 6,500 acres of land on the island of Oahu, Hawaii "thirty miles from Honolulu." The price is "$14,000 in gold" to be paid off in two years. "This purchase contains 600 head of cows, worth $8 per head, 500 head of sheep [at] $1.50 per head, 250 goats [at] 75 cts, 20 horses [at] $5, also hoags chickens, turkeys, guinea hens, & peacocks. Had 5 acres of cotton looking well. This is the best peace of ground on the island."

160 years ago today - Feb 22, 1860

DESERET NEWS article, "How to Impress Niggers." The end of a talk by Orson Pratt appears on the second page of the DESERET NEWS. The talk, which was scheduled to run on the first page, was removed by order of Brigham Young but the second page had already been printed. The sermon had been a confession by Pratt of his errors in differing with Brigham Young. Young, however, was unsatisfied with it and called Pratt before the rest of the apostles for further confession. The main point of contention is Young's doctrine that God continues to increase in knowledge. In 1980 Apostle Bruce R. McConkie calls Brigham Young's doctrine on this "false-utterly, totally, and completely. There is not one sliver of truth in it," and lists it first among "seven deadly heresies."

175 years ago today - Feb 22, 1845

[Hosea Stout]

... met Bishop Miller, when we three went to the Temple while consulting on matters pertaining to our safety and also the manner to pursue to rid ourselves of traitors who are in our midst seeking our lives. From thence Brother Harmon & myself went to Br C. C. Richs and talked the same matter over again while we were all going down at the flat. Br Rich went to the High Council and we went to the Lodge room and locked ourselves up and talked over some particular matters reletive to our Eternal exaltation in the Kingdom of God and the absolute necessity of the brethrens being united and maintaining our integrity to each other. We both were highly pleased with our interview and went on our way rejoicing.

[Diaries of Hosea Stout]

40 years ago today - 40 years ago - Feb 21, 1980-Thursday

[Leonard Arrington]

Elder Durham asked me if I had complete confidence in Andy Ehat. He is asking to see certain manuscripts in the vault of the First Presidency, and Brother Durham wanted to know whether he should endorse them. I told him that I did not know Andy Ehat that well. Brother Durham said he resembles Mike Quinn-a person of insatiable curiosity. I told him I had full confidence in Mike Quinn and in Ron Esplin, but I had no basis for having confidence in Andy Ehat. In response to a specific question I told him I did not think Andy was a double agent, but that I thought it would be wisdom to watch him and to be careful.

I was prompted by something to begin a list of leading Mormon intellectuals. I consulted with Davis [Bitton] on this. Here are some names we came up with: Henry Eyring, H. Tracy Hall, James Jensen, D. LaMar Jensen, Homer Durham, Lowry Nelson, Nels Anderson, Glen Vernon, Meredith Wilson, Sterling McMurrin, Hugh Nibley, Truman Madsen, Lowell Bennion, Spencer Palmer, Neal Maxwell, Dallin Oaks. Davis wanted to add my name and I wanted to add his name.

Maureen [Beecher]'s list [of ] Mormon women intellectuals-too soon to be sure: Claudia Bushman, Cheryll May, Jill Mulvay Derr, Lavina Fielding Anderson, Melodie Moench Charles, Chris Rigby Arrington, Adele Brannon McCollum, Christine Meaders Durham, Marilyn Arnold, Reba Keele, Margaret Woodworth, Gail Bell Peterson, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Janath Cannon (before officialdom set in), Josephine Meyer Cassie, Ann Stringham Tingle, Francine Russell Bennion, Emma Lou Thayne, Lucile Reading, Dorothy Carson, [[In the margin, Arrington wrote: "These are women whom I know personally. The criterion is how high we reach in private talk-the intellectual games bit-combined with the nature of their thinking once we get there." Peterson was managing editor of BYU Press, Bennion a past member of the Young Women's general board, Reading was editor of the Friend, and Carson was an Arizona county court judge. For the remaining two women, an English professor at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Partridge) and a political science professor at Weber State (White), he added, "These I don't know, but suspect of intellectual mindset. Obviously a great gap here-generational as well as opportunity created."]] Elinore Hughes Partridge, Jean Bickmore White.

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

100 years ago today - Feb. 21, Mon. [1920]

[James E. Talmage]

... the branch hitherto known as the West Tintic branch of the Tintic Stake of Zion was disorganized. Thus all semblance of Church supervision in the affairs of that unfortunate little group of people has been taken away.

When, more than a year ago, reports reached the First Presidency, to the effect that the people in West Tintic had undertaken to establish the "United Order", they to have all things in common and to abolish all private ownership, I was appointed to investigate the matter. As a result of my first visit to the Tintic Stake with this as one of my appointed duties, I reported the facts as I found them, which were briefly these: That Moses Gudmundson, who was the leader and dominating figure in the movement, denied all intention of going ahead of the Church, specifically in the matter of attempting to start a colony according to the United Order plan; that I did not believe his protestations, but on the other hand was convinced that the people of West Tintic, then organized into an independent branch in the Tintic Stake, were being led by an evil influence.

Many other investigations have followed; and we have found to our sorrow that what we saw as the inevitable development of evil unless the people placed themselves in strict harmony with the order and government of the Church, had become a reality, namely, erotic ideas and practises [sic] concerning the marital state and the sexual relation. The best I can say of the people is that they have become fanatical through the power of evil. They have made sacrifice their hobby. The eating of meat, the taking of animal life even to provide food, and many other practises common with other people have been forbidden there; while long fasts and particularly the sacrificing of comforts and wholesome desires have been held up as ideals. Now they have reached the abominable status of men sacrificing their wives to other men; and by this means they have put themselves subject to the punishment provided for by the law of the land. The present state is one of abominable immorality. Some of the women, notably the wife of Moses Gudmundson, and the wife of Gerald Lowry, withdrew promptly from the colony rather than countenance to any degree these ungodly practices. I believe that the judgment of the High Council in these cases is just; and that others than those already tried are involved. ...

[James E. Talmage Journal, Transcription reproduced by Trevor Antley, Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University]

120 years ago today - Feb 21, 1900

George P. Frisby and George D. Cole of Church of Christ, Temple Lot ("Hedrickite"), meet with First Presidency, Quorum of Twelve Apostles, and Presiding Bishopric. Elders Frisby and Cole propose that their church, LDS church , and RLDS church each send four delegates to jointly agree on construction of temple at Independence, Missouri. After discussion of pros and cons, President Lorenzo Snow decided against proposal because "he naturally feared some trick being played against us." However, he is willing to pay travel expenses of Hedrickite elders.

125 years ago today - Feb 21, 1895

[President Wilford Woodruff]

21 I met with the Twelve in the Temple. The Doctrins of <[---]> was Discused in one of his sermons about The Apostles not Having the Gift of the Holy Ghost untill after the death of the Savior.

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

125 years ago today - Thursday, Feb 21, 1895

[John Henry Smith]

The question of the character and operation of the Holy Ghost was taken up, the matter being brought forward by Prest. G. Q. Cannon over a sermon of Prest. J. F. Smith on that subject.

No decision being reached by the Council, although several spoke.

[Jean Bickmore White (editor), Church, State, and Politics: The Diaries of John Henry Smith, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1990, http://bit.ly/johnhenrysmith]

150 years ago today - Feb 21, 1870

Gov. Brigham Young delivered a short written Message & an oral one. He spoke plain. These are interesting & important times. All the United States as it were are at war with us trying to pass Bills through Congress to destroy us for our religion. -- Salt Lake City

[Wilford Woodruff's Journal. 9 Vols. Scott G. Kenney, ed. Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1983-85. 6:529 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]

160 years ago today - Feb 21, 1860

Brigham Young visits the Historian's office and requests five books be written including "Short Biography of the life of Brigham Young." Young also orders the DESERET NEWS to "take out Orson Pratt's sermon" from the front page and "put another sermon in instead and give a reason for so doing."

185 years ago today - Feb 21, 1835

The final three of the first Twelve Apostles of the church (Parley P. Pratt, Thomas B. Marsh and Orson Pratt) are ordained and blessed. Joseph Smith then gives the Twelve their charge before sending them out as missionaries. He says, "Should you in the least degree come short of your duty, great will be your condemnation, for the greater the calling, the greater the transgression. . . .Never cease striving until you have seen God, face to face. Strengthen your faith, cast off your doubts, your sins and all your unbelief and nothing can prevent you from coming to God. Your ordination is not full and complete till God has laid his hand upon you." Parley P. Pratt's blessing states " that nothing shall prevail against him, . . . Let sickness and death have no power over him; . . . No arm that is formed and lifted against thee shall prosper, . . ."

40 years ago today - Feb 20, 1980-Wednesday

[Leonard Arrington]

I asked [Dialogue editor] Mary [Bradford] some questions about [ERA activist] Sonia Johnson, and here are some things I learned. Sonia, Mary says, is a very good example of a very orthodox Mormon; that is, in terms of beliefs and doctrines. She is a straight arrow. She has never been plagued by doubts. From this standpoint she is a very sincere, believing, confiding, practicing Latter-day Saint. After the ERA business came out, as one who believed that Mormonism had given women an elevated status, she thought ERA was quite consistent with the gospel. She accepted it on the basis that it was in line with gospel principles and Church practices. Some of the women in Sonia's ward had gotten together for "awareness" meetings. Most of these women who were regular attenders"activists"-were women who had had trouble with their husbands. They were divorcees or separated. ... This little group ... were very upset when they discovered that certain elements in the Church were conducting an intensive campaign against ERA.

This group interpreted that as beyond the proper limits of Church activity and felt that if these Church "right wingers" could carry out a campaign against the amendment, they (the Mormons for ERA) could seek to counteract them. They did organize "Mormons for ERA." After long discussion they decided that Sonia should be their front-person. They decided this because she was the one person in the group who was not divorced, she had a reputation for being a straight arrow and orthodox in her doctrines and beliefs, and she was a sincere, intelligent, and dedicated person. Most of the members of this group now feel that it may have been a mistake to have chosen Sonia to be their spokesperson. They had not counted upon her excommunication. The excommunication would not have hurt the others as much as it hurt Sonia, and of course Sonia subsequently had the divorce from her husband-something they had not expected. Mary said that some of the things that were done by Mormons for ERA were the ideas of Teddy Wood. For example, the ideas of running the airplane over conference in October trailing the banner Mormons for ERA was strictly Teddy Wood's idea. Mary says that this thing went farther than any of them expected-especially farther than Sonia expected. Mary says that she does not believe Sonia is on an ego trip and that she has [not] reveled in the wide publicity and place in the national news which she has come to have. Mary said this whole business, as far as Sonia is concerned, started with her questioning by [Utah] Senator [Orrin] Hatch. [[Hatch invited Johnson to address the US Senate Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights in August 1978. See Bradley, Pedestals and Podiums, 335-36.]] If that episode had not occurred, none of the rest that followed would have; but Hatch sort of dared her and she was courageous enough to take the dare. Mary says Sonia has ego, but not nearly as much as people have supposed. Mary says that while Sonia has been excommunicated by her bishop, the other sisters, Teddy Wood, Maidia Withers, etc., have spoken up in their wards and have not particularly had any trouble with their bishops. Mary thinks that Sonia could have lived in a dozen wards in the area and never have been brought to trial. Mary does not suppose that Bishop [Jeffrey] Willis was put up to this; he was simply a person who perhaps showed an excess of zeal in doing what he thought was the right thing. Mary said she would not be surprised if the stake president decided to suggest a new trial or to overrule the bishop's judgment. Mary says that Sonia has repented of the extreme things she said in her Montana talk and in the paper she gave to the American Psychological Association. But she of course has not repented of her opposition to ERA. Sonia is delighted with one development. She has gotten the Church to openly state that one may speak up for ERA without jeopardizing membership in the Church. It is just the extreme of her speaking against President [Spencer W.] Kimball and urging people not to accept the missionaries that got her into trouble. Mary thinks that Sonia's mother's support of her is undoubtedly due to her knowledge that Sonia is basically an orthodox girl. Mary says that she finds these angry LDS women who favor ERA to be made up almost exclusively of women who had highly orthodox, stern fathers and who had husbands who were not considerate. ...

I have been surprised, this week, to be visited by two persons who wanted to "set me straight" on some issues. It was important to set me straight, they inferred, because I was a leader of the Mormon intellectual community. I have never regarded myself in that light. ... Intellectual leaders are deep thinkers; I have never regarded myself as a deep thinker. Intellectual leaders take themselves seriously; I have never taken myself and my own thoughts very seriously. ... If I were to list those who are intellectual leaders in the Mormon community, I would mention Sterling McMurrin, Lowell Bennion, Henry Eyring, Lowry Nelson, Homer Durham, Claudia Bushman, Adele McCollum, Lavina Fielding Anderson, and Hugh Nibley. If anybody should regard me in that company, I would be honored. I suppose some people may have mistaken my readiness in writing for readiness in thinking. I see myself as primarily a conveyor of ideas, not an originator of ideas. To use historical analogy, I am more like James E. Talmage than B. H. Roberts; more like Parley P. Pratt than Orson Pratt. Nevertheless, even if undeserved, it is pleasant to be considered "in the group" of LDS intellectuals.

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

85 years ago today - Feb 20, 1935

[Heber J. Grant]

Had a long chat today with Charles A. Callis, telling him of my having nominated Richard W. Young a number of times to be an Apostle, the first time way back when M. W. Merrill, Anthon H. Lund and Abram H. Cannon were chosen, at the organization of the Presidency with Wilford Woodruff as President. The three names that I sent on that occasion were Anthon H. Lund, Richard W. Young, and Abram H. Cannon. I also nominated Richard W. Young a time or two more when there was a vacancy, but when I became the President and it was up to me to nominate someone of the Council of the Twelve I told the Lord in prayer that he knew who I wanted for an Apostle, namely, Richard W. Young, but that I wanted the impression of the Spirit as to whom he wanted, and I finally nominated Melvin J. Ballard.

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

100 years ago today - Feb. 20, Sunday [1920]

[James E. Talmage]

Complaints of wicked and dangerous teachings and practises [sic] had been made against Moses S. Gudmundson, J. Elvan Houtz and others; and the Council of the Presidency and Twelve had directed that President Clawson and I be present at the trial. The case of J. Elvan Houtz was called first. His trial was followed by that of David Whyte. The testimony adduced proved conclusively that these men and other residents of the West Tintic branch had been so far misled as to disregard the sanctity of the marriage obligation, as administered in the Temples, and had adopted a system of "wife-sacrifice", whereby men were required to give up their wives to other men, and this under a diabolical misinterpretation of Scripture as to the law of sacrifice requiring one to give up all he has, even wife and children. At the evening session, which lasted until a late hour, Gerald Lowry, who had refused to answer certain questions put to him in the afternoon meeting, and who defiantly showed his disregard of the authority of the High Council, was by formal action and unanimous vote disfellowshiped from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

[James E. Talmage Journal, Transcription reproduced by Trevor Antley, Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University]

120 years ago today - Tuesday, Feb 20, 1900

[Apostle John Henry Smith]

Salt Lake City

I called upon Prest. Lorenzo Snow. He was pleased to see me.

He told me there were two brethren of the Hedrekite church wanted to form a combination with us and the Reorganized Church to build a Temple at Independence, Mo.

[Jean Bickmore White (editor), Church, State, and Politics: The Diaries of John Henry Smith, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1990, http://bit.ly/johnhenrysmith]

150 years ago today - Feb 20, 1870

Brigham Young preaches, "Now the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes every word of truth believed in by the holy Catholic Church."

[Brigham Young, "The Saints Are a Strange People Because They Practice What They Profess," JD 13:233 - 242; The Mormon Hierarchy - Extensions of Power by D. Michael Quinn, [New Mormon History database ( http://bit.ly/NMHdatabase )]]

150 years ago today - Feb 20, 1870

[Brigham Young]

'... Oh dear, it makes me blush!'" Yes, it makes one think of a little circumstance that transpired with one of our Elders who went after machinery to Massachusetts. He went to inquire about machinery for a cotton factory, and the gentleman to whom he applied said, '"Where are you from?'" '"Utah.'" '"O, you are out among the Mormons?'" '"Yes.'" '"Are you a Mormon?'" '"Yes.'" '"Well, I believe,'" said the interrogator, '"you, out there, believe in having more wives than one?'" '"Yes, that is true,'" said the Elder. '"Well,'" said the gentleman, '"I want you to come up and see my partner.'" So our brother was invited up to see the partner of the gentleman who had questioned him so closely, in order to talk a little about the number of people here, and the improvements, etc. The first thing, on meeting the partner, was to pitch into the '"Mormon'" about how many wives he had, and he replied that '"he had just enough to enable him to keep from troubling his neighbors' wives.'"

[Journal of Discourses. Liverpool, England, 1853-86. 13:233-242; Deseret News. Also Deseret Evening News, Deseret News Weekly, Deseret News Semi- Weekly, and Deseret News Extra, Salt Lake City 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]

160 years ago today - Feb 20, 1860

[Brigham Young]

... he believed he had as little affection for money as any man that lived, but he valued it for its use. This evening the Chancellor & Board of Regents met at the office to consider the best plan for educating the people. The Deseret alphabet was then discussed. It was proposed that the Regents lecture in the Social Hall, and other places on such subjects which would be favorable to arousing a desire general improvement. Pres. Young lectured on the importance of the Deseret alphabet.

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

180 years ago today - Feb. 20-26, 1840

Elias Higbee sends a series of letters to Joseph about progress in Washington. He relates his efforts in taking the Mormon case before the various congressional committees, and explains many of the opposing viewpoints and rumors he has run into (such as the Mormons had tried to take over the state, and the Mormons were the aggressors). His final letter states that "the decision is against us, or in other words unfavorable, that they believe redress can only be had in Missouri."

[Conkling, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology]

185 years ago today - Feb 20, 1835

[Patriarchal Blessing of John Murdock by Joseph Smith, Sr]

... Thou shalt have power to bring souls unto Jesus by proclaiming the gospel, till the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ in power and glory. and if thine enemies cast thee into prison it shall not hold thee. If thou cleavest to the Lord and desirest with all thy heart, thou shall be wafted to glory in a chariot of fire like Elijah of old ...

[Early Patriarchal Blessings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Joseph Smith Sr. (Author), H. Michael Marquardt (Editor), http://amzn.to/rCBHVe]

30 years ago today - Feb 19, 1990

The government of the Cook Islands issues a postage stamp honoring Osborne J.P. Widtsoe, the first LDS missionary there in 1899.

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

55 years ago today - Feb 19, 1965

At the end of Janurary, the ultra-conservative John Birch Society released its Bulletin which announced that Apostle Ezra Taft Benson would speak at a testimonial for Birch Society founder Robert Welch in Seattle on 19 February "with the full approval of President McKay of the Mormon Church."

[The John Birch Society Bulletin (Feb. 1966): 30. See D. Michael Quinn, "Ezra Taft Benson and Mormon Political Conflicts", Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 26:2 (Summer 1992) for full cite and context.]

150 years ago today - Feb 19, 1870

During the nine-day interim between the first meeting of the Ladies' Cooperative Retrenchment Society and this second meeting held on February 19, 1870, Utah's acting territorial governor, Stephen A. Mann, signed into law a woman suffrage bill. When women from various ward Relief Societies gathered for their second retrenchment meeting, they discussed the developing movement for table retrenchment formally initiated nine days earlier. Additionally, they shared a range of opinions regarding their newly granted right to vote and women's rights generally. The varied nature of the discussion suggests that by the second time these Latter-day Saint women assembled as the Ladies' Cooperative Retrenchment Society, they had some sense that this interward gathering could serve as a forum for sharing, vetting, and directing their expanding collective responsibilities. ...

[3.16 Ladies' Cooperative Retrenchment Meeting, Minutes, February 19, 1870, as quoted in Matthew J. Grow, Jill Derr, Carol Madsen, and Kate Holbrook, editors, The First Fifty Years of Relief Society: Key Documents in Latter-day Saint Women's History, The Church Historian's Press, 2016, https://churchhistorianspress.org/the-first-fifty-years-of-relief-society/]

150 years ago today - Feb 19, 1870

On February 19 the Ladies' Cooperative Retrenchment Society met in the hall of the Fifteenth Ward, with representatives from most Salt Lake City wards present. Eliza R. Snow, who presided over the meeting, suggested that the women write "an expression of gratitude" to Governor Mann "for signing the Document of Woman Suffrage in Utah, for, she said we could not have had the right without his sanction." The group then selected a committee to write a letter to Mann, which wrote the letter and delivered it to Mann that same day, February 19. George A. Smith commented, "The Ladies said they thought the Governor was about as much embarrass'd as they were."

[3.17 Eliza R. Snow and Others, Letter to Stephen A. Mann, and Stephen A. Mann Reply, February 19, 1870, as quoted in Matthew J. Grow, Jill Derr, Carol Madsen, and Kate Holbrook, editors, The First Fifty Years of Relief Society: Key Documents in Latter-day Saint Women's History, The Church Historian's Press, 2016, https://churchhistorianspress.org/the-first-fifty-years-of-relief-society/]

155 years ago today - Feb 19, 1865

First counselor Heber C. Kimball testifies of healing people with his special handkerchief, cane, and cloak.

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

160 years ago today - Feb 19, 1860

[Brigham Young ]

Prest Young made a few remarks to the 3 Quorum of Seventies this evening; observed when the Spirit and power of the Office of a Seventy rest upon an Elder he will stand before the ruler of the Earth and they will feel like grasshoppers before him. -- Salt Lake City

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

180 years ago today - Feb 19, 1840

[Wilford Woodruff]

One by name of Robert Brown rejected my testimony & said I should go to the Bottomless pit & all that followed me. ... I dreamed that I saw men & children killed to be eat because of the soreness of a famine.

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

180 years ago today - Feb 19, 1840. Wednesday.

[Missionary William Clayton]

... Sister Poole has been and says Susan is jealous of Thomas [Miller]. He wants her out of the way. If she was to die he would be married again in 3 months &c. Thomas wanted to know who he would be married to &c. She would not tell him. He says he will not go to his work untill she does tell him and she says she will not. Thomas is very much troubled &c. Thomas has practiced kissing all in the house before he goes to bed &c. Went to Bewshers to dinner. She gave me a pint of Porter. ...

[George D. Smith, An Intimate Chronicle; The Journals of William Clayton, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1995, http://amzn.to/william-clayton]

45 years ago today - Feb 18 1975

Utah legislature, with solid Church support after rallying thousands of Mormon women against the issue, votes down Equal Rights Amendment.

[Chronology of Mormon History (Mormon Stories), http://www.mormonstories.org/truth-claims/chronology-of-mormon-history/]

25 years ago today - Feb 18, 1995

'On one occasion Paul H. Dunn, a newly appointed General Authority approached McKay with a request:

'I said to him, "President McKay, some day I would like to just have a little while with you to ask some questions that kids have been asking me for thireen years." That quick, he said "Well,I don't have anything schedule for the next hour or so let's do it now." And so I sat there and asked him every question I could thing of that those college kids were asking me. I guess a full 40-50% of his responses were, "I don't know. I don't know. The Lord hasn't told us yet."'

[David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism, by Greg Prince, Chapter 1, Footnote 72, Interview with Paul H. Dunn, February 18, 1995.]

60 years ago today - Thu Feb 18, 1960

[David O. McKay]

10 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. Was engaged in the meeting of the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve in the Salt Lake Temple. One matter considered at this meeting wasBrother Mark E. Petersen's report on an assignment given him to investigate a game called "Exaltation," which has been prepared by the Bookcraft Company, and which is being sold in various stores, Z.C.M.I., Deseret Book Company, etc., and said that he had made an investigation of the game and explained to the Brethren just what the nature of it is. I commented that the Church is a sacred institution, that it is the only "Light" that the world has today, the only means by which peace can be established and the world saved, and anything that will cast reflection upon it should be avoided. I said I certainly did not think such games are uplifting when played in a group of people who are assembled for pleasure and recreation. I said that devotion and reverence are elements that need to be developed. =Humor, amusement, recreation, are elements intended to build character also, but the name of deity should not be associated with amusement and pleasure. I feel that the association used in this game is not reverential. and I think it would be well to let the Bookcraft Company know that we look upon the selling of this game in that way.

[McKay, David O., Office Journal]

85 years ago today - Feb 18, 1935

[Heber J. Grant]

We have never presumed to tell Church members how large their families should be. That is a matter that people must decide for themselves and accept the responsibility for their decision. We have always advocated large families under normal conditions. Of course, ill health, disease, and perhaps other conditions may be justifiable reasons for restrain in such matters. The first great commandment given to Adam and Eve was to multiply and replenish the earth. The teachings of the Church are reasonably clear upon the subject, but it is worth considering whether or not we should not avoid extremes in pressing our doctrines.

[Heber J. Grant, Letter to Samuel F. Smith, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1910-1951, Privately Published, Salt Lake City, Utah 2010]

160 years ago today - Feb 18, 1860

Brigham Young's office journal records: "Pres[iden]t Young made a few remarks to the 3 Quorum of Seventies this evening; observed when the Spirit and power of the Office of a Seventy rest upon an Elder he will stand before the ruler of the Earth and they will feel like grasshoppers before him."

165 years ago today - Feb 18, 1855

[Wilford Woodruff]

Notice had been given out a week ago that President Brigham Young would preach to the people to day upon our views concerning the government of the United States and all strangers were invited to attend. At an early hour the tabernacle was filled & a thousand people that could not get into the House....

President Young arose & said ... He sustained the constitution of the United States also its laws but He used a sharp two edged sword against wickedness & wicked men. He sharply rebuked sin in high places & when the address was finished He followed with a lengthy sharp Cutting Oral Speech which was more pointed than his written...

At the close of the afternoon meeting I met in the prayer Circle & at the close of prayer I had the Happy privilege of seeing John Smith the son of Hiram Smith the martered Patriarch set in the middle of the circle & Presidents Young, Kimball & Grant & O. Pratt W. Woodruff G. A. Smith & Lorenzo Snow of the Twelve Apostles laid Hands upon his head & ordained Him unto the office of the first Patriarch in the church & kingdom of God. This blessing was sealed upon him as it belonged to him by right through the linage of his Fathers. ...

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

165 years ago today - Feb 18, 1855

Orson Pratt preaches: "I will tell you what I believe in regard to the Holy Ghost's being a person: but I know of no revelation that states that this is the fact." Wilford Woodruff preaches: "I would far prefer to bury any wife or child I have than to have them live to dishonor my name & disgrace themselves by commiting sin with the gentiles."

165 years ago today - Feb 18, 1855

... I well knew a man who, to get the plates, rode over sixty miles three times the same season they were obtained by Joseph Smith. About the time of their being delivered to Joseph by the angel, the friends of this man sent for him, and informed him that they were going to lose that treasure, though they did not know what it was. The man I refer to was a fortune-teller, a necromancer, an astrologer, a soothsayer, and possessed as much talent as any man that walked on the American soil, and was one of the wickedest men I ever saw. The last time he went to obtain the treasure he knew where it was, and told where it was, but did not know its value. Allow me to tell you that a Baptist deacon and others of Joseph's neighbors were the very men who sent for this necromancer the last time he went for the treasure. I never heard a man who could swear like that astrologer; he swore scientifically, by rule, by note. To those who love swearing, it was musical to hear him, but not so to me, for I would leave his presence. He would call Joseph everything that was bad, and say, '"I believe he will get the treasure after all.'" He did get it, and the war commenced directly. When Joseph obtained the treasure, the priests, the deacons, and religionists of every grade, went hand in hand with the fortune-teller, and with every wicked person, to get it out of his hands, and, to accomplish this, a part of them came out and persecuted him. ...

But He did send His angel to this same obscure person, Joseph Smith Jun., who afterwards became a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, and informed him that he should not join any of the religious sects of the day, for they were all wrong; that they were following the precepts of men instead of the Lord Jesus; that He had a work for him to perform, inasmuch as he should prove faithful before Him.

Brethren and sisters, our friends wish to know our feelings towards the Government. I answer, they are first-rate, and we will prove it too, as you will see if you only live long enough, for that we shall live to prove it is certain; and when the Constitution of the United States hangs, as it were, upon a single thread, they will have to call for the '"Mormon'" Elders to save it from utter destruction; and they will step forth and do it. We love the Constitution of our country; it is all we could ask; though in some few instances there might be some amendments made which would better it. We love the Federal Government, and the laws of Congress. There is nothing in those laws that in the least militates against us, not even to our excluding common law from this Territory. ... It was told him, while he was on the plains, that President Zachary Taylor was dead and damned, and it has gone through the States, from side to side, that I said so. It was first given out that the '"Mormons'" said so, and then that Brigham said so; well, I backed it up, because I knew it was true. I have just as good a right to say that President Taylor is in hell, as to say that any other miserable sinner is there. ... The newspapers are teeming with statements that I said, '"President Pierce and all hell could not remove me from office.'" I will tell you what I did say, and what I now say; the Lord reigns and rules in the armies of the heavens, and does His pleasure among the inhabitants of the earth. ... I conclude that I shall be Governor of Utah Territory, just as long as He [God] wants me to be; and for that time, neither the President of the United States, nor any other power, can prevent it. ...

Formerly the rumor was that '"they were agoing to tamper with the slaves,'" when we had never thought of such a thing. The seed of Ham, which is the seed of Cain descending through Ham, will, according to the curse put upon him, serve his brethren, and be a '"servant of servants'" to his fellowcreatures, until God removes the curse; and no power can hinder it. These are my views upon slavery. I will here say a little more upon this point. The conduct of the whites towards the slaves will, in many cases, send both slave and master to hell. This statement comprises much in a few words. The blacks should be used like servants, and not like brutes, but they must serve. It is their privilege to live so as to enjoy many of the blessings which attend obedience to the first principles of the Gospel, though they are not entitled to the Priesthood. ... I will take the Government of the United States, and the laws of Missouri and Illinois, from the year 1833 to 1845, and if they had been carried out according to their letter and spirit, they would have strung up the murderers and mobocrats who illegally and unrighteously killed, plundered, harassed, and expelled us. I will tell you how much I love those characters. If they had any respect to their own welfare, they would come forth and say, whether Joseph Smith was a Prophet or not, '"We shed his blood, and now let us atone for it;'" and they would be willing to have their heads chopped off, that their blood might run upon the ground, and the smoke of it rise before the Lord as an incense for their sins. I love them that much. ...

[Journal of Discourses. Liverpool, England, 1853-86. 2:179-191; Deseret News. Also Deseret Evening News, Deseret News Weekly, Deseret News Semi- Weekly, and Deseret News Extra, Salt Lake City 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]

195 years ago today - Feb 18, 1825

Rev. Alexander Proudfit, of Salem, N.Y. writes to Ethan Smith: "Reverend and esteemed Brother: I have examined with no inconsiderable interest your 'View of the Hebrews,' and have been highly entertained, and instructed. From the view given of their Language, and from the similarity of their customs and religious rites, with those of ancient Israel; from their belief in the existence of the one Great Spirit. as the Creator and Judge of the world; from their existing in tribes, during the lapse of so many ages; from the coincidence of their traditions with the events recorded in the inspired volume; we have in my opinion satisfactory evidence that the aborigines of our country are the remnant of the ten tribes of Israel."

195 years ago today - 1825 Feb 18

Russell Stoddard sues Joseph Smith Sr. for $66.59 for work completed on frame house. Stoddard wins judgment


25 years ago today - Feb 17, 1995-Friday

[Leonard Arrington]

Sterling McMurrin, who was at the ballet, told me a J. Golden Kimball story. Said he was present when his grandmother [Mary Ellen], a wife of Joseph W. McMurrin [Sr.], the Seventy (now deceased), was visited by J. Golden. She was complaining of poor treatment by the Church. After her husband died, she had little to live on. She finally complained to the Church, and they soon started sending her a $10 check each month. She was insulted and sent the check back. J. Golden then said he prayed every night that his wife died before he did so she would not have to be subjected to depending on the Church for subsistence.

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

130 years ago today - Feb 17, 1890

First Counselor George Q. Cannon meets with the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Senator Calvin S. Brice. He argues against Brice's recommendation that the Church make a public announcement of the cessation of plural marriages by saying that plural marriages have ceased in the church and that older polygamists will eventually die off. He does not mention that church-sanctioned plural marriages are being conducted in Mexico by Alexander McDonald. Later at home, he writes in his diary, "How could any man come out and say that it [polygamy] was not right or that it must be discontinued, and set themselves up in opposition to God."

165 years ago today - Feb 17, 1855

'The Mormon' first published in New York City; John Taylor, editor. Ceases publication in 1857. Its motto was ―it is better to represent ourselves than to be represented by others. Proclaimed its desire to be the ―true representative of Mormonism to the world.

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

185 years ago today - Feb 17, 1835

The committee in charge of compiling Latter Day Saint revelations, comprising Joseph Smith, Jr., Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, and Frederick G. Williams, issue a letter that later becomes the preface to the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants. The preface describes the Lectures on Faith as "embracing the important doctrine of salvation", and describes the remaining section as containing "items of principles for the regulation of the church, as taken from the revelations which have been given since its organization, as well as from former ones." In the process of compilation, many of these earlier revelations were extensively revised by the committee.

[Wikipedia: Chronology of Mormonism, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronology_of_Mormonism]

20 years ago today - Feb 16, 2000

Utah lawmakers excluded unmarried, single adults who live together from adopting children in an attempt to keep gay couples from adopting.

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

50 years ago today - Feb 16, 1970

Provo DAILY HEARALD quotes BYU Football coach Tommy Hudspeth that BYU "discourage[d] the Negroes because [it was felt] they would not be happy in the social situation here. We have certain rules and regulations which we won't change; we will not allow inter-racial dating"

55 years ago today - Feb 16, 1965

A student letter to the editor of BYU's DAILY UNIVERSE complains that the use of "racial slurs" by BYU students at sporting events is not just a few isolated incidents but "it has happened every time I have witnessed an athletic event where Negroes have participated at BYU"

60 years ago today - Tue Feb 16, 1960

[David O. McKay]

at meeting of Presidency: Billboard advertising of "Mormon Church" The billboard advertising soliciting attendance at "Mormon Church" meetings was considered, and it was agreed that since it does not comport with the dignity of the Church that this billboard advertising should be discontinued.

[McKay, David O., Office Journal]

160 years ago today - Feb 16, 1860

[Brigham Young]

The President also remarked when conversing upon the doctrine of polygamy that it was practiced now to give men an experience and prepare them for a time when polygamy will be more extensively practiced. -- Salt Lake City

[Brigham Young Office Journals, Special Collections, Merrill-Cazier Library, Utah State University, Logan.; Archives, Church History Library, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah.; New Mormon Studies CD-ROM 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 - Feb 16, 1845

[Wilford Woodruff]

This day fulfilled a prophecy which I predicted in the house of the Lord in Kirtland Ohio in 1837 that I should attend a Conference with Elder Milton Holmes in one of the British Isles.

[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 - about Feb 16, 1835

Kirtland, Ohio. Joseph Smith saw in vision the order of the priesthood and the postmortal condition of those who died in Zion's Camp.

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

35 years ago today - Feb 15, 1985

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

80 years ago today - Feb 15, 1940

HOLLYWOOD CITIZEN article about actress Laraine Day: "Wonders never cease and today we met in the center of Hollywood a movie actress, and a beautiful one, too, who never has tasted a cocktail nor smoked a cigarette. Her name is Laraine Day, and lips that touch liquor shall never touch hers, and if there is any other movie star with a record like that, we'll put it in our pipe and smoke it. We're not trying to spoof Miss Day, either. She is a member of the Church of the Latter-day Saints, she's engaged to a missionary, and we have the greatest of respect for her. Only we're a little surprised that a girl of her temperament and background is in the movies. . . .Miss Day, who is hazel-eyed, barely 20, and one of the brightest of M-G-M's younger stars, likes night clubs, where she drinks either soda pop or milk."

85 years ago today - Feb 15, 1935

[Heber J. Grant]

I note what you say in your letter of February 12 regarding the activities of the Moose fraternity in your Stake. I have no recollection of having written letters recommending that our people join the Loyal Order of Moose. We have always advised Church members against joining secret societies, as we feel that there is an abundance of opportunity in the Church for young and old to devote all their spare time in helping the Wards or Branches where they reside, or in rendering assistance to our auxiliary associations, and that there is no need to join any other organization of any kind or description, thus dividing their activities. However, it is my understanding that the Moose is not a secret organization, in which event we would not be justified in asking our people not to become affiliated with it.

[Heber J. Grant, Letter to Josiah Call, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1835-1951, Electronic Edition, 2015]

115 years ago today - Feb 15, 1905

The Smoot hearing had concentrated attention on the practice of polygamy in Utah. However Chairman Burrows was extending the investigation to Mormon practice in other states such as New Mexico. The church felt that the main issue in the Smoot hearing was not simply the seating of the Senator from Utah.

[1905-February 15-Original letter, Reed Smoot collection,, Brigham Young University Library, Archives, Provo, Utah, as quoted in Clark, James R., Messages of the First Presidency (6 volumes)]

145 years ago today - Feb 15, 1875

In TRUE L.D.S. HERALD, President Joseph Smith III writes: "We are pained to learn that some few Elders are making an unnecessary distinction between the white and colored races in regard to gospel ordinances and fellowship....It is unjust to the Church for one, two or more Elders to teach, preach, or advise a distinction and exclusion from church fellowship and communion upon the ground of race or color; while the 'articles and covenants of the Church' nowhere warrant such exclusion, and the practice of the Church has never sanctioned it....We think it derogatory to the teaching of Jesus, as found in the New Testament, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants to insist upon a separation of the races." The RLDS (Community of Christ) Church differs with The Utah Church on race relations.

[E[lisha]. W[oodward]. Vanderhoof (1832-?), Historical Sketches of Western New York (Buffalo, New York: Printed for private distribution by the Matthews-Northrop Works, 1907), 138-39., as cited in Dan Vogel, Early Mormon Documents: Elisha W. Vanderhoof Account]

150 years ago today - Feb 15, 1870

Oliver Cowdery's widow, Elizabeth Ann Whitmer Cowdery Johnson, a daughter of David Whitmer, made a statement regarding the translation of the Book of Mormon. "I cheerfully certify that I was familiar with the manner of Joseph Smith's translating the book of Mormon. He translated the most of it at my father's house. And I often sat by and saw and heard them translate and write for hours together. Joseph never had a curtain drawn between him and his scribe while he was translating. He would place the director in his hat, and then place his face in his hat, so as to exclude the light, . . ."

175 years ago today - Feb 15, 1845

Sidney Rigdon asks, in the LDS newspaper MESSENGER AND ADVOCATE "Did the Lord ever tell any people that sleeping with their neighbor's wives and daughters had any thing to do with preparing the way of the Savior's coming[?]" Ridgon's daughter, Nancy, had been approached by Joseph Smith and asked to become a secret plural wife. This caused a rift between Rigdon and Smith.

185 years ago today - Feb 15, 1835

In Kirtland Oliver Cowdery contintues ordinations and blessings of original Twelve Apostles chosen the previous day. Though he never spoke to his associates about his ethnic heritage, William E. McLellin, whose mother was Cherokee, is ordained an apostle to become the first general authority of native American extraction. McLellin is blessed: "his days may be prolonged until the coming of the Son of Man. He shall be wafted as on eagles wings from country to country and from people to people and be able to do wonders in the midst of this generation, . . ."

Twenty-three-year-old John F. Boynton is ordained to the apostleship as the first and only never-married bachelor in the hierarchy. He remains a bachelor eleven months. Boynton is blessed: "Thou shalt see the face of thy Redeemer in the flesh."

Orson Hyde is blessed: "He shall be equal with his brethren in holding the keys of the kingdom; that he may stand on the earth and bring souls till Christ comes."

David W. Patten is blessed: "May he have power to smite his enemies before him with utter destruction. May he continue until the Lord comes."

Luke Johnson is blessed: "The nations shall tremble before him. He shall hear the voice of God, he shall comfort the hearts of the saints always. The angels shall bear him up till he shall finish his ministry."

William Smith is blessed: "He shall be preserved and remain on earth until Christ shall come to take vengeance on the wicked."

195 years ago today - Feb 15, 1825

The Boston Medical Intelligencer notes "The students of the Medical Institution in New-Haven, have engaged Mr S. F. B. Morse to paint a portrait of Professor Smith ..." This was Dr. Nathan Smith, who had saved Joseph Smith's leg a dozen years earlier.

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

35 years ago today - Feb 14, 1985

In the United States, the Rabbinical Assembly of Conservative Judaism formally announced that they would begin to accept women as rabbis.

[Cline, Austin, History of American Religion: Timeline]

40 years ago today - Feb 14, 1980-Thursday

[Leonard Arrington]

To my weekly meeting with Elder [G. Homer] Durham this morning he had invited Don Schmidt as well. ... The Brethren are very concerned about the leaks that have occurred in the past that have resulted in the Kirtland revelation book, the Joseph Smith diary, and the projected publication of other works by the [Jerald and Sandra] Tanners. [[In 1979 the Tanners had published both of the mentioned items, Joseph Smith's 1832-34 Diary and Joseph Smith's Kirtland Revelation Book, as reproductions of photographic images they had obtained from microfilm copies.]] With respect to our division, he wanted me to emphasize the importance of security with the staff. Specifically, he wanted to know what happened with the materials Sister [Edyth] Romney typed. ...

Jan said that Robert Hullinger, the Lutheran minister who was at Concordia Lutheran College in Kentucky, is now a minister in St. Louis or thereabouts. He called her one day to say he was in trouble. He had earlier prepared an article on why Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon. It was complimentary to Joseph Smith, but still was an interpretation based on the assumption that Joseph Smith wrote it; and the reason he wrote it, Hullinger said, was in order to show further evidence to the divinity and relevance of Jesus to contemporary America. Jan replied in her note to him at that time as follows: ["]If you assume that Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon, and if you assume that he was influenced by contemporary thought, this seems to be a sound approach." In the years afterwards, as we had known, Hullinger had expanded that article into a little book entitled Mormon Answer to the Skeptics: Why Joseph Smith Wrote the Book of Mormon. It was accepted for publication by the Lutheran Press. At Hullinger's suggestion, the press had placed on the back of this paperback book an abbreviated quote from Jan Shipps, which said simply, "I believe this is a sound interpretation of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon." Signed, Jan Shipps, President of MHA. Hullinger had finally realized he ought to have her permission to do this. She said under no circumstances would he have her permission and it must be removed. He said unfortunately the book was already out, and they would have to redo the back page, which would cost several hundred dollars-and he was putting up the money. She said that it must be removed, there was no way out of it. When he discovered he couldn't persuade her otherwise, he asked her to get in touch with the publisher. She phoned her university lawyer, who told her to try to persuade them to change it-in a nice way. If unable to do so, she should mention an injunction against them selling the book, but to hold that threat in reserve. She talked to the lady at the press, who was so upset that she was crying, but Jan pointed out it would have to be removed. She regarded herself as an intermediary between the Mormons and non-Mormons, and she was furthermore the president of the Mormon History Association and she could not possibly lose her standing and credibility and the confidence and trust in her by Mormon historians. And so it would simply have to be removed. They finally agreed to do it, and she didn't have to mention the threat of an injunction. So the book is now out and you can tell from the back page that something has been blotted out but it doesn't appear there.

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

50 years ago today - Feb 14, 1970

The First Presidency and the Presiding Bishopric launch the first organized effort to "provide sufficient security for the Church headquarters building." The next day First counselor Lee meets with Salt Lake City officials "to discuss the coordination between the Church security personnel and the city police in handling any emergencies that might arise."

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

120 years ago today - Wednesday, Feb 14, 1900

[President McKinley promises Apostle John Henry Smith to defeat proposed U.S. amendment against polygamy and polygamous cohabitation in exchange for Utah's vote in the Nov. election.] "Washington, D.C."

" ... Called upon President Win. McKinley. He received us nicely and said we should not be hurt. We had a good handshake and he seemed very happy. I told him I would do all I could for him but that he must not overestimate my strength."

[Jean Bickmore White (editor), Church, State, and Politics: The Diaries of John Henry Smith, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1990, http://bit.ly/johnhenrysmith]

150 years ago today - Feb 14, 1870

Seraph C. Young, a grand-niece of Brigham Young, becomes the first woman to vote legally in the United States (at a municipal election in Salt Lake City).

175 years ago today - February 14, 1845. Friday.

...In the evening the following brethren met together to pray and ask God to thwart the plans of the mob and deliver the brethren out of their hands. ... It was also voted that Dr. [John] Bernhisel be appointed a traveling Bishop to visit the churches. We had also some conversation on the subject of sending six brethren with brother Lewis Dana to the West, and especially to Texas.

[George D. Smith, An Intimate Chronicle; The Journals of William Clayton, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1995, http://amzn.to/william-clayton]

185 years ago today - 1835 Feb 14

Oliver Cowdery charges the newly ordained apostles: "It is necessary that you receive a testimony from heaven to yourselves; so that you can bear testimony to the truth of the Book of Mormon, and that you have seen the face of God. That is more than the testimony of an angel. When the proper time arrives, you shall be able to bear this testimony to the world. When you bear testimony that you have seen God, this testimony God will never suffer to fall, but will bear you out; although many will not give heed, yet others will. You will therefore see the necessity of getting this testimony from heaven. Never cease striving until you have seen God face to face. Strengthen your faith; cast off your doubts, your sins, and all your unbelief; and nothing can prevent you from coming to God. Your ordination is not full and complete till God has laid his hand upon you. ... You have our best wishes, you have our most fervent prayers, that you may be able to bear this testimony, that you have seen the face of God."

185 years ago today - Feb 14, 1835

"President Smith then stated that the meeting had been called, because God commanded it; and it was made known to him by vision and by the Holy Spirit it was the will of God that those who went to Zion [Independence, Missouri] with a determination to lay down their lives, if necessary, should be ordained to the ministry, and go forth to *prune the vineyard for the last time, or the coming of the Lord, which was nigh; even fifty-six years [56+1835=1891] should *wind up the scene*. The Three Witnesses laid their hands upon Lyman E. Johnson, and gave a blessing; in the name of Jesus Christ ... and he [Lyman] shall live until the gathering is accomplished.... and shall see the Savior come and stand upon the earth with power and great glory.

Josephs brother, William Smith's blessing stated: "He shall be preserved and remain on the earth, until Christ shall come to take vengeance on the wicked"

Heber C. Kimball's blessing was "That he might receive visions; the ministration of angels, and hear their voice; and even come into the presence of God ... that angels may waft him from place to place, and that he may stand unto the coming of our Lord."

Orson Hyde's Blessing: "that he shall stand on the earth and bring souls till Christ comes. ... he shall have power to smite the earth with pestilence; to divide waters, and lead through the Saints; he shall go from land to land, and from sea to sea; he shall be like one of the three Nephites."

[History of the Church, vol. 2, chapter 12, p.188; The Last Days and December 1890 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ, y George D. Speer Sr., privately circulated]

185 years ago today - Feb 14, 1835

[Oliver B. Huntington]

On the 14th of Feb. 1835, Joseph Smith said that "God had revealed to him that the coming of Christ would be within 56 years," which being added to 1835 shows that before 1891 and the 14th of Feb. "the Saviour of the world would make his appearance again upon the earth and the winding up scene take place." In connection with this event, was related by my brother Dimick Huntington, the fact that when Joseph and Hyrum Smith submitted in their feelings to consent to give themselves up to the state mob at Nauvoo Illinois, after they had passed the Mississippi River. Joseph said "if they shed my blood it shall shorten this work 10 years." That taken from 1891 would reduce the time to 1881 which if the true time within which the Saviour should come much must be crowded into 6 years. [10-1891=1881]

[Oliver B. Huntington, Autobiography II: 129 (Typescript, BYU Special Collections) quoted in The Last Days and December 1890 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ, y George D. Speer Sr., privately circulated]

185 years ago today - 1835 14 Feb.

Joseph Smith tells a meeting of Zion's Camp veterans and others about "the coming of the Lord, which was nigh--even fifty-six years should wind up the scene [in the year 1891]."

The newly organized Quorum of Twelve Apostles includes astrologer John F. Boynton, rodsman Heber C. Kimball, amulet-wearer Young, and treasure-quest enthusiasts Luke S. Johnson and Orson Hyde. They are ordained apostles by the Book of Mormon's three witnesses, rodsman Oliver Cowdery, seer stone enthusiast David Whitmer, and treasure-quest participant Martin Harris.

[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]

185 years ago today - Feb 14, 1835.

Smith prophesied that Orson Hyde would go to Jerusalem, and `by thy hands shall the Most High do a great work, which shall prepare the way and greatly facilitate the gathering of that people [i.e., the Jews].'

[Abanes, R., "One Nation Under Gods: A History of the Mormon Church"]

185 years ago today - Feb 14, 1835

Later Joseph Smith explained the duties of the Twelve: "They are Twelve Apostles who are called to the office of traveling high council, who are to preside over all the churches of the Saints among the Gentiles, where there is no presidency [of a standing high council] established, and they are to travel and preach among the Gentiles, until the Lord shall command them to go to the Jews. They hold the keys of this ministry to unlock the door of the kingdom of heaven unto all the nations, and to preach the gospel to every creature. This is the power, authority and virtue of their calling".

On another occasion Joseph Smith explained the differences between the two standing high councils and the traveling high council: "The Twelve Apostles have no right to go into Zion or any of its stakes where there is a regular high council established to regulate any matter pertaining thereto: but it is their duty to go abroad and regulate and set in order all matters relative to the different branches of the Church of the Latter day Saints. No standing high council has authority to go into Zion the Church abroad and regulate the matters thereof, for this belongs to the Twelve"

[Collier, Kirtland Council Minute Book, pp. 84-87, Collier, Kirtland Council Minute Book, pp. 84-87 as quoted in Lisle G Brown, compiler, "Organizational Chronology of The Church of Christ, and The Church of the Latter Day Saints, 1829 - 1836"]

185 years ago today - Feb 14, 1835

The members of Zion's Camp are seated separately from the others. Chapter 15 of John is read. Joseph talks about calling of the Twelve. The three witnesses of the Book of Mormon pray, and choose 12 from the members of Zion's Camp: Lyman E. Johnson, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, David W. Patten, Luke S. Johnson, William E. McLellin, John F. Boynton, Orson Pratt, William Smith, Thomas B. Marsh, and Parley P. Pratt. Lyman E. Johnson, Brigham Young, and Heber C. Kimball are then set apart by the three witnesses, one witness each setting apart one apostle.

[Conkling, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology]

185 years ago today - Feb 14, 1835

Wilford Woodruff writes in his journal: "was suddenly Called to a house of mourning which was Mr. Alexander Akeman's. He had walked out of his house and droped dead upon the ground. In a few moments all his Sons and daughters were present." In his later autobiography, Woodruff recalled the event thusly: " I was warned three times by the Lord, to go to Mr. Akeman, and bear testimony unto him of the truth of 'Mormonism,' and the wickedness of his course in opposing it; and the last time I called upon him, he was filled with wrath against me, and when I left his house, he followed me in a rage, apparently with some evil intent. When I had got a few rods from his door, he was nearly treading on my heels, and fell dead at my feet, as though he had been struck with lightning; he swelled, and immediately turned black. This created a great wailing and mourning among his family."

50 years ago today - Feb 13, 1970

CHRISTIANITY TODAY article: "Mormons Stand Pat; Forbid Black Males to Become Priests".

60 years ago today - Feb 13, 1960

[J. Reuben Clark]

President [BYU] Wilkinson called me on February 12, 1960 (in the evening, as I recall) and brought up several matters, as follows (this is not the order in which he brought them up, but the order in which I jotted them down afterwards): ...

2. Junior Colleges. I said that we were much interested in that, but I was tremendously interested in it personally because of the enormous expense that was involved in the junior college program. I suggested that he go a bit slow on that, thought he is, as I assume, preparing to discuss it with the Presidency. ...

4. " Dope Ring:" We discussed the question, which was the first one brought up, of the "dope ring" in the school down there and the information which had come to us. I told him that in talking to him I was not pretending to say how the Brethren felt nor what might be done, but that personally I was extremely anxious that we should not put ourselves where we could be accused, however unjustly, of sanctioning or failing to go forward where criminal conduct was involved, and therefore I felt that we should, as soon as the facts justified it, call in the Federal authorities.

I repeatedly said in this conclusion I was only representing myself and certainly not Brother Moyle because he was looking at it from the standpoint of the public prosecutor, to which Brother Ernest immediately replied, that as a public prosecutor, he could determine whether or not we could prosecute, but that we were not in that position. In this connection he referred to the stealing in the Temple which he knew we had been soft-pedalling, and I said, personally, my feeling was much the same there. I said that all soft pedalling seemed to me to be entirely out of place and seemed to me unwise where we had called in civil authorities to make an investigation where they wished to prosecute.

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

75 years ago today - Feb 13, 1945

"Saturation-bombing" of Dresden, Germany, a non-military cultural target with no heavy industry and no bomb shelters, but with a P.O.W. camp of Americans. Planned by England in revenge for a similar Nazi raid on Coventry five years earlier, waves of British and U.S. bombers continue pounding Dresden throughout the next day (Ash Wednesday) in order to create hurricane-like "firestorms." The inner city is completely incinerated, including the LDS branch house which is "destroyed right down to the cellar," while the air raid kills 250,000 people. Most are women and children refugees who double Dresden's population due to its being a safe-haven during the years of Allied bombings elsewhere. One survivor is Dorthea Speth, wife of Spencer J. Condie, current general authority.

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

130 years ago today - Feb 13, 1890

At Manti Temple. I was endowed for my Uncle Thomas Wilson, and Emma for his wife, Aunt Mary Emily Wilson, and [we] were sealed for them. After that ordinance I and my wife Emma had the great privilege of receiving our second anointings at the hands of President Daniel H. Wells and shortly after I and my wife administered to each the ordinance of washing of feet.

[Thomas Memmott journal, Feb. 13, 1890 as quoted in Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/TempleWorship]

140 years ago today - Feb 13, 1880

[John Taylor]

... In regard to the three couples of young people, who have lately been married and desire their endowments and to be sealed, I would state that these things are not according to the order which has long been established among us. Some time ago when the Endowment House was closed, it was permitted, under the circumstances that then existed, for persons desirous to be married to have the ceremony performed by certain parties appointed in this City for that purpose; and, under instructions, the Bishops, in some instances, were permitted to officiate in that ordinance. This was done, however, as a matter of necessity, and is not in accordance with the order of the Holy Priesthood, and it was expected, and the parties were so informed, that as soon as the ordinances could be attended to properly, that all parties, thus married, would have to be sealed, either in the Temple or in the Endowment House. This state of things continued for a short time, when the Council [of the Twelve], on deliberation upon the subject, concluded that it was proper to re-open the Endowment House that these ordinances might be attended to properly. That House has now been opened for some two years, hence you will perceive that all ordinances performed, since that time, in the manner indicated by you, are out of place and should not be performed and cannot be tolerated, except under peculiar circumstances, and by instructions from the proper authorities; for we must maintain intact those sacred principles which God has committed to us. In the case of one young man, which you refer to, it might be excusable, but still we ought to have been consulted in the matter. However, we will let these things pass on this occasion, but hope there will not be a recurrence of this nature in the future; and if you will inform those brethren, and they come properly recommended, the matter can be attended to as per your request.

[John Taylor to Leonard E. Harrington, Feb. 13, 1880 as quoted in Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/TempleWorship]

65 years ago today - Feb 12, 1955

President David O. McKay broke ground for Church College of Hawaii.

[Ludlow, Daniel H. editor, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Macmillan Publishing, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 4, Appendix 2: A Chronology of Church History, http://amzn.to/eG0DIp]

70 years ago today - Feb 12, 1950

First singles ward created at University of Utah.

115 years ago today - Feb 12, 1905

Carl A. Badger, secretary to Apostle and U.S. Senator Reed Smoot writes in his diary that Theodore Roosevelt-"told Senator Smoot to have the temple ceremonies abolished, they were 'foolishness.' Being a mason," Badger adds, "He most likely knows something about them." Badger also writes, "from all I can learn, if anything is done with Cowley and Taylor, by the leaders of the Church, it will be because they are forced to do something." The government had learned that Apostles Matthias F. Cowley and John W. Taylor have performed and contracted plural marriages well after the manifesto. They are later dropped from the quorum amid government pressure. That same day Badger writes to his wife, Rose, concerning government accusations of post-manifesto polygamy "This is a contemptible attitude for us to be in, we have said that certain things do not exist, they are proved to exist; we say that if they are proved to exist that the guilty will be punished, and now they are going to wait to see if we mean what we say.... We are occupying a cowardly, hypocritical attitude in this matter, and cannot but reap a harvest of humiliation and shame. There is no use quibbling about whether we made a 'compact' or a 'covenant,' no one doubts but what the country, which had been fighting us on this issue for a quarter of a century, understood that polygamy had gone, and we allowed them to have such an impression,-encouraged them in it for our own ends, and we are now estopped to say that we made no agreement. Where is our honor on this matter It makes me angry."

120 years ago today - Feb 12, 1900 (Monday)

The sectarian ministers of Salt Lake City issued a statement supporting a proposed amendment to the constitution prohibiting polygamy.

[Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

150 years ago today - Feb 12, 1870

I attended the school of the prophets. Brother John Holeman made a long speech upon the subject of Poligamy. He Contended that no person Could have a Celestial glory unless He had a plurality of wives. Speeches were made By L. E. Harrington O Pratt Erastus Snow, D Evans J. F. Smith Lorenzo Young. Presidet Young said there would be men saved in the Celestial Kingdom of God with one wife with Many wives & with No wife at all.

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

150 years ago today - Feb 12, 1870

Utah's women were given the right to vote by the Utah Territorial Legislature, following the lead of their sister-state Wyoming. Due to timing of election dates women in Utah were the first in the nation to exercise this new power when Sereph Young votes on Feb 14, 1870.

The Church gave to its women the first exclusively women's organization in all the world; and it was representatives of this organization in mass-meeting assembled to enter their vigorous protest against the pending federal legislation which was intended to affect them seriously in their lives. Note that the Relief Society President used to be a life-long office. Not all Mormon women were members of the Relief Society; you had to be admitted by a vote.

Easterners concerned with breaking up the Mormon political control wrongly thought by giving women the right to vote they would throw off the tyrannical shackles of patriarchal polygamy and join with local nonmembers in removing Church influence in politics. Instead, the Church had correctly assessed that giving the women the right to vote, while their husbands were disenfranchised, would keep the church in control of the territory (as opposed to ceding control to the non-members in Utah.)

Utah women had the right to vote, but not the right to hold office. Female suffrage was ended in Utah by the Edmunds-Tucker Act of 1887.

[Tungate, Mel, Mormon Polygamy, http://www.tungate.com/polygamy.htm]

160 years ago today - Feb 12, 1860

[Orson Pratt] spoke of the great acheivments of Sir Isaac Newton upon this principle and many others had accomplished great things by the great Concentration of the mind which Could not be accomplished upon any other Principle. This principle should be applyled in all our spiritual devotions. Mathimatics was an excellent subject to disipline the mind upon.

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

180 years ago today - Feb 12, 1840. Wednesday.

[William Clayton]

Went to see Brother Romney and prayed for him. Was troubled with temptation about the gift of tongues &c.

[George D. Smith, An Intimate Chronicle; The Journals of William Clayton, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1995, http://amzn.to/william-clayton]

190 years ago today - Feb 12, 1830

[Lucius Fenn]

"... there has been a bible found by 3 men but a short distance from us which is som[e]thing remarkable we think. there was it is said an an angel appeared to these 3 men and told them that there was a bible concealed in such a place and if one of them would go to that place he would find it[.] he went and found as the angel said[.] it was a stone chest[.] what is most to be wondered at is this that the man that found it could not read at all in the english language but he read this bible and nobody else cannot[.] it has been concealed there for fourteen hundred years[.] it is written on a kind of gold leaf[.] it is the same that ours is only there is an addition to it[.] they are a printing it in Palmyra[.] it is expected that it <<will>> come out soon so that we can see it[.] it speaks of the Millenniam day and tells when it is a going to take plais [place] and it tells that the man that is to find this bible his name as [is] Joseph and his fathers name is Joseph. some people think that it is all a speculation and some think that som[e]thing is a going to take place different from what has been[.] for my part I do not know how it will be but it is som[e]thing singular to me. as it respects religion there has been considerable of an attention paid to it this winter between these lakes and there has been considerable many as we humbly hope have been renewed by the grace of God[.] there is a general solemnity apon the people generally in these parts and we hope that there will be a gre[a]ter outpouring of the spirit than ever[.] so now you see I have given you short account of what is a doing here. ... "

[Lucius Fenn to Birdseye Bronson, 12 February 1830, William Robertson Coe Collection of Western Americana, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut., as cited in Dan Vogel, Early Mormon Documents: Lucius Fenn To Birdseye Bronson]

10 years ago today - Jan 11, 2010

Two gay and lesbian couples are at the center of a federal trial on the constitutionality of Proposition 8 in San Francisco. The trial, the nation's first to examine if a ban on same-sex marriage violates the U.S. Constitution, was a media madhouse.

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

35 years ago today - Feb 11, 1985

In a vote taken by residents of Carriage Cove Apartments in Provo, Utah, 221 tenants said "yes" to MTV. Only 167 voted "no," 188 didn't vote, and 4 said they didn't care. Four bishops had banded together to stop MTV availability in various off-campus BYU-approved housing complexes. Before the vote Bishop Leo Wiedner (also Carriage Cove's part-owner and manager), confident that BYU students will vote MTV down, says, "I think I pretty well know how it's going to turn out." At nearby Raintree Apartments a non-secret poll is taken at the bishop's request by manager Hyde Taylor. 27% return the polling letter with 13% against MTV and 14% in favor. Taylor concludes this is insufficient to restore MTV. The story is picked up by the national media and Weidner and Raintree Apartment bishop Jack Christensen appear on "Take Two" TV program from Salt Lake City to defend their actions. Christianson is the author of MUSIC: APPLES OR ONIONS?, a book that defends the LDS church position that hard or "acid" rock music is harmful. Part of the research for this book involved listening to such rock groups as "Black Sabbath," and, he claims, such listening adversely affected him. "I was not as happy as I used to be," he recalls. "I was ornery and disagreeable." However, he adds, "Just because people don't have the same high standards I'm trying to uphold, I don't think less of them."

30 years ago today - Feb 11, 1990-Sunday

[Leonard Arrington]

... next to the last page of the book [David S. Hoopes and Ray Hoopes, The Making of a Mormon Apostle: The Story of Rudger Clawson] are some comments on Mormonism. Here is one: "Mormonism as a belief system does not foster the questioning mind. In most of the world's religions, there is a realm of mysticism or avenues of thought where religious beliefs can be adapted to individual needs. Mormonism has few if any such avenues."

This has not been my experience. I would say that my spirit of questioning arose from my Mormonism. Questions in Sunday School, in MIA [Mutual Improvement Association], in Priesthood quorums. Far more questioning than in school, where we were supposed to accept what the teacher said. And I have possessed a questioning spirit all my life and have never found it to conflict with my Mormonism. On the contrary, it led to my writing books and articles that, if they did not betray a questioning spirit, at least were the result of the pursuit of facts and meaning. The very first book I read on Mormon history, when I was 15, was Joseph Smith, An American Prophet, by John Henry Evans, which was given to me as a birthday present by Bertha Mae Thurgood Hansen, a neighbor. The book portrays Joseph Smith as a person with an open mind, a questioning mind, a person in pursuit of education and knowledge. I accepted this as representing the spirit of Mormonism, and still hold to it. This is the way I have always looked at Joseph Smith in a favorable light and still do. The authors of the biography of Clawson then go on to quote [paraphrase] J. Reuben Clark that religious faith cannot be rationalized. Well, I have come to the entirely opposite conclusion. Not only can religious faith be rationalized, but it ought to be; every attempt should be made to rationalize it. It can be, without damage to the faith, and it ought to be to keep one's faith from degenerating into fanaticism, mental unbalance, incoherence, and unsoundness. Well, that's my testimony for the day. I react against those who see Mormonism as discouraging thought, reason, and intellectuality. I don't see it that way, although there are certainly some Mormons-those of little faith from my point of view-who join in that. Most of them, I think, are in the College of Religious Studies at BYU, though even most of them are not in the anti-intellectual camp.

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

85 years ago today - Feb 11, 1935

'What attitude does the Church take toward common law marriages?'

In a country in which the common law marriage is recognized as legal, and the children resulting from such a marriage are recorded as legitimate offspring, the Church will recognize such marriage under the conditions attaching to recognition by the law of the land. However, in a country such as Holland, for instance, where conditions are as presented by President Lyon of the Netherlands Mission, where the children of such unions are registered in the records as 'bastard children and the mother as a prostitute, the father being recorded as unknown,' a couple so living are certainly not living in honorable wedlock, and therefore cannot be recognized by the Church as married people.

With reference to the case of the German sister called by President Kooyman to do local missionary work, who, it has since developed, has been living with a man to whom he is not legally married, obviously the proper course would be for this couple to marry. It appears this cannot be done because the man with whom she is living cannot get a legal divorce from his former wife. In this alternative the woman must of course be immediately released as a missionary.

We are keenly aware of the difficulties that such a situation presents in countries where not only the State but the established church and society wink at such irregularities. Where such relation are of very long standing, particularly if the relation existed at the time the people joined the Church, the Church should urge the legalizing of this union and should refrain from putting its stamp of approval upon such unions by placing in positions persons so living. every effort should be made so to treat such cases that the Church is understood as not sanctioning illicit sexual relations. The Church must always stand for sexual purity.

However, it is our view that persons should not be taken into the Church who are living in such relations, and that every effort should be made to learn before baptism whether such relation exit After persons became members of the Church, illicit sexual relations should no more be tolerated among Church members in Europe than in America, and they must be dealt with there as they are dealt with here. ...

[First Presidency, Letter to Joseph F. Merrill, 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 - Feb 11, 1935

[First Presidency Letter]

Must all opening and closing prayers in meetings in which the sacrament is administered be offered by those holding the Priesthood?'

Any member of the Church properly called by the presiding authority in a meeting may appropriately offer either the invocation or the benediction. It is preferable, however, to have the Priesthood officiate in prayer at a regular sacrament meeting. The one who presides holding as he does the Priesthood, is entitled to inspiration as to how the meeting should be conducted, and when he, by virtue of his office, feels impressed to call a boy or girl either to open or close a Sunday School or other auxiliary association, he is not violating any rule of the Church.

[First Presidency, Letter to Joseph F. Merrill, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1910-1951, Privately Published, Salt Lake City, Utah 2010]

105 years ago today - Feb 11, 1915

... Bishop David A. Smith was present with an elevated plan of the new Church office building now being erected, showing Corinthian columns all around the building, and President Smith explained that the question had been put to the First Presidency as to whether the exterior of the building should be granite, terra cotta or brick, that bids had been received to supply granite for the exterior walls for the sum of $300,416, and for terra cotta $179,000 less, but that no bid had ye4t been received for brick. ...

Bro[ther]. Talmage reported that he attended temple fast meeting on Sunday, and was engaged the greater part of the remainder of the day working on his forthcoming book, Jesus the Christ. ...

The question of acting on the report of the Dee Hospital [later McKay-Dee Hospital] committee was now considered. Bro[ther]. Joseph F[ielding]. Smith Jr. moved that the recommendation of the committee be accepted, which meant the Church would have to meet its indebtedness, amounting to $7,115 and hereafter the hospital would be under the control of those suggested by the Church, and that the Church was to be responsible for half of any deficit or shortage which might occur in its running expenses. In connection with this motion, President Smith suggested that the committee continue their labors until a legal transfer shall be consummated and the property come to the Trustee-in-Trust. ...

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

125 years ago today - Feb 11, 1895

The First Presidency of the Church declares Mormon Tabernacle Choir members to be acting missionaries and suggests they consider their choir responsibilities as their primary public duty.

[Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Newsroom, http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=036eb2987ff92110VgnVCM100000176f620aRCRDvgnextchannel=9ae411154963d010VgnVCM1000004e94610aRCRD]

130 years ago today - Feb 11, 1890

[James E. Talmage]

In his journal Talmage writes the following comments regarding the previous day's elections:

The result of the election is known and the Liberals have succeed in stealing their way into power. This city, the central of the Saints, the seat of the First Presidency of the Church is now in the hands of the enemy. The Lord's will be done. He doubtless has His reasons for what is. Perhaps this will teach us humility, and liberality. As a people, we are not entirely free from bigotry or intolerance. If we are made better by the experience, then all is indeed well with us. [MSS 229, Journal]

[Chronology of the Life and Work of James E. Talmage, J. Trevor Antley, https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MJsHY83JZL_n6CjWq11y1trT_CVXMMXAx2uYOWAwn0c/edit#heading=h.2zfdaoa]

155 years ago today - Feb 11, 1865

[Wilford Woodruff]

On my way to the office I Called into the office of Brother Sharp and stood by the side of Sister Marinda Hyde the wife of Orson Hyde while she had 15 teeth pulled all that she had in her mouth.

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

165 years ago today - Feb 11, 1855

[Wilford Woodruff]

Sunday 11th I spent the day at the Tabernacle & evening at Prayer Circle. <I wrote a lengthy letter during the night to Emma upon the principle of obeying counsel.>

[Angled brackets indicate shorthand, used as code in Woodruff's journal . This was probably his wife Emma]

[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 - February 11, 1845. Tuesday.

[William Clayton]

At the Office all day copying records of the Kingdom [Council of Fifty].

[George D. Smith, An Intimate Chronicle; The Journals of William Clayton, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1995, http://amzn.to/william-clayton]

120 years ago today - Feb 10, 1900; Saturday

Mr. Cole remarked that they thought they had been moved upon by the proper spirit to come to Utah to see what, if anything, can be done about building the Temple at Jackson county, M[iss]o[uri]. The "Hedrickite" church, he stated, believed that they were the guardians of the Temple lot in Independence, and as such they felt that they could say that the Lord had instructed them to come and invite a delegation from Utah to meet with a delegation from their church and a delegation from the Reorganites, at Independence for the purpose of trying to come to some understanding as to what ought to be done. ... A delegation from the "Hedrickite" church had waited on the Reorganite leaders and they had promised to send a delegation to such a conference. Joseph and Alexander Smith and Edmund L. Kelley had consented to this. There was no basis of agreement talked about, everything was to be left to the twelve men representing the three organizations. It was understood between the "Hedrickites" and the Reorganites that whatever might be done by this proposed delegation should not be binding, but that each delegation should report to a conference of the several churches

and let the conferences act on their several reports. ... Mr. Frisby stated that the great difference between their organization and the Reorganized church on doctrine was authority, organization, in fact almost everything, with the exception of marriage, on that point they agreed. However, while the Reorganites held that the revelation on plural marriage was not given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, the Hedrickites believed that it was given through him, but it came at a time that was most unfavorable, and while the Prophet was the author of that document, they held that he was not inspired at the time that he received it, and they did not accept it as a revelation from God. Mr. Cole remarked that when talking with an Elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Independence, on the subject of plural marriage, the elder suggested that the Lord might have given this principle as a chastisement, and he, Mr. Cole, thought the expression a very happy one, and felt that this explanation was in accordance with his own views.

President Snow[:] ... "the Reorganites had an organization consisting of a presidency, apostles and presiding bishopric, and so have we, and it would be entirely out of the question to combine these organizations represented by two bodies known as First Presidencies, twenty-four apostles, etc." Mr. Frisby replying to this said that provided the proposed delegations met together, the Lord might enable them to work together for the carrying out of this purpose, that is, the building of the Temple; and if the Temple could be built, his idea was that the Savior would come to the Temple and he would set all things in order, and set everything right, even now, he remarked, the indications are that great things are present even at our doors.

President Cannon said he could see no objection to our acceding to this proposition since the action, whatever it may be, would not be binding on any organization, but President Snow felt that he would like to see an effort on the part of the Reorganites to make right a very serious wrong. "They tried their best," said President Cannon, "to have me cast out of Congress." Mr. Frisby suggested that notwithstanding all their bitterness and opposition in the past, he thought we should continue to try to convert them for he had hopes that the Reorganite people would yet acknowledge the weakness of their cause... President Snow said that he most certainly would be in favor of such a movement if the prospects were favorable for a union. ...

President Snow said the members of the Reorganized church do not believe in Temple work, but Mr. Frisby thought that they might be led to believe, and he could say for his own people that they believed that the Temple would be built there in Independence, and believed that money could not induce them to part with the land although they had received offers even at one time as high as $100,000. The Temple lot was at present held by Elder Hill, as trustee-in-trust, appointed by the Court of Missouri at the request of the members of the "Hedrickite" church. Mr. Cole remarked that he and Elder Frisby had not come out here on the spur of the moment, they had had this step in mind for more than a year and it had been thoroughly discussed by them.

President Joseph F. Smith inquired if the President of the Hedrickite church was recognized by the members as the mouthpiece of the Lord, and received the reply that he was not so considered. The members get together and pray to the Lord in a united way, and the influence of the Spirit bears testimony to them what might be true or what they should do. Six of the elders got together on the particular occasion when the matter of a committee was discussed, and all had agreed that this step was the proper thing to do. President Snow told them that he was of the opinion that the time was fast approaching in his opinion, when the Lord would require the building of the Temple at Jackson county, but it would certainly require means to accomplish it. The Latter-day Saints had to some extent been neglectful of the law of tithing and it was through obedience to this law and that of consecration that the land was to be sanctified, and it would be done in no other way. ... Referring to the main question President Snow said that he could not at the present time answer whether the Lord would require of the Saints to see if a reconciliation could be effected between the Church and the Reorganites or not, for his mind was not clear regarding it; but he was not unmindful of the fact that to send four men as a committee to represent us would not in any way commit the Church to anything which might be said or done. He feared, however, that we might just as well undertake to unite with twenty-four of the Utah sectarian ministers as to try to form a reconciliation with the Reorganized church. "But," said he, "as you brethren come in the name of the Lord, I am willing to consider the proposition and see if there be any reasonable chance to act upon it."...

President Smith said, two wings are now here, but when the third wing comes in, it will be found that a different state of things will exist, as they will be full of the spirit of contention and argument. Joseph Smith of the Reorganized church had remarked to him upon one occasion, that his brothers when visiting thsi city found so much here in favor of plural marriage that there was no wonder that David [brother of Joseph Smith III] lost his mind, but so far as he himself was concerned, he preferred to take the other view, and this spirit which he possesses said President Smith, would be met with in the committee; nevertheless he was perfectly willing that the delegation should meet although he had no faith in the outcome of their joint labors. ...

After further discussion of a minor importance, President Snow informed the visiting gentlemen that he did not feel to act in regard to the matter without laying it before the quorum of the Twelve Apostles. And as it would take about ten days to bring the brethren together this question was postponed until a quorum could be reached, which he thought could not be before the 20th. With this understanding these parties withdrew in company of Bishop Preston, who was instructed by the Presidency to afford them every accommodation at the expense of the Church.

Telegrams were sent requesting Elders Heber J. Grant and Rudger Clawson, who were in Arizona, to return to Salt Lake City by the 18th. They were at the time at Thatcher, Arizona.

[First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve minutes]