165 years ago today - Jan 31, 1856
At the Philosophical Juvenile Society in Salt Lake City "the children speak their pieces and read their compositions." Presiding Patriarch John Smith writes to his half-brother Joseph F. Smith and shares his annoyance that William Pierce had married John's sister, Jerusha Smith, without his permission. Brigham Young had appointed John guardian of the family after Mary Fielding died. In his letter John refers to the nineteenth-century Mormon practice of adoption, the sealing of members to church leaders "for eternity" He comments, "I know the Pierce family belongs in Brother Brigham's family, and he would like it first rate to get one of Father's [Hyrum Smith] daughters into his family and leave Father without any kingdom .... I do not believe that Bill married Jerusha because he loved her... it was the name more than anything else."