55 years ago today - Apr 16, 1966

A Birch member in Arizona wrote a letter to "all of the General Authorities," which said "Brother [Mark E.] Petersen's article was a tragic and regrettable mistake," and added a few lines later that the "Communists and their dupes have directed their attacks and smear campaign against the John Birch Society . . ." Petersen's editorial was "a shocking smear I'm sure the Church doesn't condone," according to a "Letter to the Editor" which the Deseret News refused to print. This Mormon Bircher concluded: "Elder Petersen owes an apology to the readers of the Church News for the unwarrantable and unauthorized innuendos."

[Joe H. Ferguson to "All General Authorities," 16 Apr. 1966, 4, with postscript to "Mark" (Mark E. Anderson). From D. Michael Quinn, Ezra Taft Benson and Mormon Political Conflicts, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 26:2 (Summer 1992), also in Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power Salt Lake City (Signature Books, 1994), Chapter 3.]

55 years ago today - April 16, 18, 1966

McKay reversed his previous position: "I told Clare that I did not wish these paragraphs deleted; that I gave them and the statement should stand as given; that many people have recordings of the full statement…. These things are very upsetting to me, and the deletion of what I said at Priesthood Meeting is causing a lot of people to question and to wonder what is going on." The deleted paragraphs were restored in the official Conference Report and Improvement Era. His Secretary Clare Middlemiss tried to get the full version published in the next issue of the Church News, but was thwarted by Lawrence McKay.

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

55 years ago today - Apr 16, 1966

Ezra Taft Benson met with McKay and described "The 1976 Committee," to be composed of 100 prominent men from throughout the country, which proposed to nominate Benson for president and Thurmond for vice president. McKay repeated his resistance to forming a third party, to which Benson replied that he also was "opposed to this, but this Committee and movement might result in a realignment between the two political parties." McKay responded "that this nation is rapidly moving down the road of soul-destroying socialism, and that I hoped and prayed that the efforts of the 1976 Committee would be successful in stemming the tide." He told Benson "to let them go ahead and wait and see what develops." Benson presented him with proposed statements that he and McKay might make if the committee moved as planned to propose his nomination, to which McKay agreed. McKay's statement ended with the words "his doing so has my full approval."

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

85 years ago today - Apr 16, 1936

[Heber J. Grant]

[Former apostle] Matthias F. Cowley called this morning and expressed his deep gratitude that he had been restored to fellowship with authority to officiate in the office of an elder. I am very happy indeed that he has confessed his mistakes and has once more been fellowshipped after years and years of suffering, no doubt, on his part. ...

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

115 years ago today - Apr 16, 1906

[Angus M. Cannon]

... I called upon Pres[ident]. [Heber J.] Grant, in his bedroom, before he was up and talked matters over with him relating to the ordination of 2 additional members of the 'Twelve.' ... I feel that the two brethren [i.e., John W. Taylor and Matthias F. Cowley] who have been supplanted have only been suspended, temporarily, from necessity to keep the Church from persecution. He said:'I feel they have proved refractory after taking upon themselves the responsibility to marry people, if not to take wives themselves, without God's justification,'as witness: Abraham H. Cannon, A[braham]. O[wen]. Woodruff & M[arriner]. W[ood]. Merrill's early death, who evidently did take upon themselves, to do that which we agreed should not be done. I replied:'Bro[ther]. Grant,'the late President Brigham Young, once said:'Hansen Walker, a Bishop who lived at Pleasant Grove, Utah, had eaten so much stolen beef he could not talk and that is how I am situated. I know so much, that I cannot talk hence I will not say more, than that I cannot understand, knowing what I do, how brethren can vote to suspend those two brethren from their positions perm[a]n[e]ntly. He replied:''I do not blame brethren who have gone into that principle, through these two mens instrumentality or ministrations, for they cannot be held to be equally guilty, but I know: I could not get liberty to do what I wished without committing a breach of good faith, when I hoped to have a son to bear my name,'and now it appears as if I must have my name blotted out from the earth.' I dare say no more but realized he did not take in the scope of my thoughts. Hence I changed the subject.

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

125 years ago today - Apr 16, 1896; Thursday

I had a long conversation with one of his [Scott Anderson's] sons in reference to the Holy Ghost on which there had been some dispute in Sunday Schools.

[Charles W. Penrose, Diary]

130 years ago today - Apr 16, 1891

The First Presidency learns that the U.S. solicitor general and Utah's district attorney have formally agreed "to let loose of our Temple."

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

165 years ago today - Apr 16, 1856

"Will you love that man or woman well enough to shed their blood?" – Brigham Young

[Deseret News, April 16, 1856, quoted at Exploring Mormonism: Mountain Meadows Massacre Timeline, http://www.exploringmormonism.com/mountain-meadows-massacre-timeline/]

180 years ago today - Apr 16, 1841

[Wilford Woodruff]

[Upon preparing to leave England] "It hath truly been a miricle what God hath wrought by our hands in this land since we have been here & I am asstonished when I look at it for during our Stay here we have esstablished churches in all the most noted cities & towns in this Kingdom have Baptized more than 5,000 souls Printed 5,000 Books of mormon 3000 Hymn Books 2,500 Volumes of the Millennial Star & about 50,000 tracts, & gatherd to the land of Joseph 1,000 Souls & esstablished a great influence among those that trade in ships at sea & lacked for nothing to eat drink or ware. Truly the Lord hath been good."

[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 - Apr 16, 1836

Future-apostle Charles C. Rich describes his endowment ceremony-experience in the Kirtland Temple: "We then continued to fast and pray until the setting of the sun when we Broke Bread and Drank wine[.] we prophesied all night pronouncing blessings and cursings until the morning light[.] there was Great manifestations of the power of God . . . and I was filled with the spirit of prophesy and I was endued with power from on high."

30 years ago today - Apr 15, 1991

Charles Edward 'Charlie Brown' Artman, dies. His obituary in the DESERET NEWS calls him "the first true hippie to confuse Utahns." Artman dressed in a black robe with a large, brass "ankh" symbol around his neck. As a social and environmental activist he was arrested in Salt Lake City twenty-one times but never convicted of anything. Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s he asked to be baptized into the LDS church. He was repeatedly refused but spent ten to fifteen hours daily doing genealogy research at the Salt Lake genealogical library. In 1968 he organized a "love in" in Big Cottonwood Canyon. Later he worked through the Alameda Street Church to help troubled, lower-classed persons. In the mid 1970s he spent three years with Guru Maharaji, the fourteen-year-old living master who claimed to be Krishna himself. He finally succeeded in getting baptized on May 5, 1985. He spent the last years of his life going through the Oakland temple doing work for his ancestors.

100 years ago today - Apr 15, 1921

[George F. Richards]

... I formulated a pledge of loyalty to the Church & authorities and to their attitude towards plural marriage for temple workers to sign.

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

110 years ago today - Apr 15, 1911

Collier's magazine published a letter from Theodore Roosevelt refuting many charges made against Utah Sen. Reed Smoot and the Church. This action helped defuse an anti-Mormon propaganda surge of 1910-11.

[Church News: Historical Chronology of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, http://www.ldschurchnewsarchive.com/articles/58765/Historical-chronology-of-The-Church-of-Jesus-Christ-of-Latter-day-Saints.html]

150 years ago today - Apr 15, 1871 (Saturday)

The first number of the Salt Lake Daily Tribune [Salt Lake Tribune] was issued instead of the Mormon Tribune, suspended.

[Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

165 years ago today - Apr 15, 1856

While reading the revelation upon the patriarchal marriage & While reading that paragraph relating to the sheding of innocent Blood President Young remarked that that was a vary nice point to distinguish between innocent Blood & that which is not innocent. Were we now Commanded to go & avenge the Blood of the prophets whare it wood reach infants from the Cradle to the third & forth generation would they know what to do in such a case? They would not. But there is one thing that is a consolation to me And that is I am satisfied that the Lord will not require it of this people untill they become sanctifyed & are led by the spirit of God so as not to shed inocent Blood.

Again what does the saying mean that sayes all shall be damned that does not keep this Law unto whom it is revealed? Does it mean that they shall take more wives than one? I think it includes the whole law with its covenants. ...

President B. Young then wrote the following words to be put upon one of the Stones of the Temple:

Holiness to the Lord

The Temple of our God

Built by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Commenced on the 6th day of April A.D. 1853.

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

170 years ago today - Apr 15, 1851

24 free Blacks living in Utah in 1851

[http://www.xtimeline.com/timeline/Chronology-Pertaining-to-Blacks-and-the-LDS-Church]

175 years ago today - Apr 15, 1846. Wednesday.

[William Clayton]

This morning Ellen Kimball came to me and wishes me much joy. She said Diantha [his wife, who had not yet joined the pioneers] has a son. I told her I was afraid it was not so but she said Brother [Samuel] Pond had received a letter. I went over to Pond's and he read that she had a fine fat boy on the 30th ult. but she was very sick with ague and mumps. Truly I feel to rejoice at this intelligence but feel sorry to hear of her sickness. ... This morning I composed a new song, "All is well." I feel to thank my heavenly father for my boy and pray that he will spare and preserve his life and that of his mother and so order it so that we may soon meet again.

[George D. Smith, An Intimate Chronicle; The Journals of William Clayton, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1995, http://bit.ly/WilliamClayton]

175 years ago today - April 15 or Aug 2, 1846

[Wilford Woodruff marriage]

Mary Ann Jackson (married at the Nauvoo Temple or at Winter Quarters) Mary Ann was twenty-eight, Wilford was thirty-nine. They had one child, James Jackson, but divorced in 1848.

... Wilford Woodruff met her on his English mission. In his journal, on August 8, 1845, he wrote: I recieved 2 letters & wrote 2. 4 m. Sister Mary Jackson commenced labour with us this day."

On August 2, 1846, Woodruff wrote: During the evening President Young And Dr Richards Called at my tent. President Young deliverd an interesting lecture upon the priesthood And the principal of sealing there being present: Phebe W. Woodruff / [Mary] Caroline Barton / Caroline [mistake for Sarah] Brown / Mary Jackson." There is a picture of a large heart with four keys. This is a typical pre-1852 cryptic reference to plural marriages. On August 8, at a time of rebaptisms, Woodruff baptized the trio, and got the names right: Caroline, Sarah, Mary." He also has the names correct on August 26: Caroline Barton and Sarah Brown." He describes them there as members of my family."

... Working for the Woodruffs as housekeeper [in Liverpool], she returned with Phebe and a party of emigrants via New Orleans in January 1846. On April 15, two days after his return to Nauvoo for a reunion with his wife and children, Wilford and his family and friends visited the temple. The records are contradictory, but he married Mary Ann on that occasion or on August 2, at Winter Quarters. ...

[Compton, Todd, 'The Wives of Wilford Woodruff', http://toddmcompton.com/WWfamilies.htm]

175 years ago today - Apr 15, 1846

[Hosea Stout]

[A description of shuffling of assignments of individuals involved in Nauvoo church security is given -- a group with ties to the earlier Danites.] Thus the distinction of the old Police was entirely done away & we could say according to the prophecy of Joseph "Where is the old Police" &c

[Diaries of Hosea Stout]

165 years ago today - Apr 14, 1856

I hear that Jacob Lance who was under arrest in Lehi Utah County for an assault with an intent to commit a Rape? on a Danish woman, this morning while his guards were snoozing and he either asleep or nodding had his head split asunder by a woman supposed to be the injured one, who came in and split his head with an axe then gently retiring with out saying a word

[Diaries of Hosea Stout]

55 years ago today - Apr 13, 1966

Ernest Wilkinson and Skousen conversed about the John Birch Society: "We would probably agree with 90% of their principles but we both believe that Ezra Taft Benson has made some tactical or procedural errors in trying to vouch President McKay in on everything he has done . . ."

[Wilkinson diary, 13 Apr. 1966. From D. Michael Quinn, Ezra Taft Benson and Mormon Political Conflicts, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 26:2 (Summer 1992), also in Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power Salt Lake City (Signature Books, 1994), Chapter 3.]

95 years ago today - Apr 13, 1926

[Heber J. Grant]

I know of no instance where the Lord has appeared to an individual since His appearance to the Prophet Joseph Smith.

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

105 years ago today - Apr 13, 1916

[Heber J. Grant]

We all felt to sincerely thank the Lord that Brother McKay was able to be with us today. Three weeks ago today he was very seriously injured in an automobile accident in Ogden canyon. A rope stretched across the canyon caught him in the mouth and tore nearly all of his teeth out by the roots and very badly lacerated his face. His head was thrown back so that the rope struck him in the mouth. Had the rope caught him in the chin it would undoubtedly have meant death and if it had caught him in the eyes he would have been blinded for life. As it is his face will be scarred for life undoubtedly. It seems that he had a very strong impression not to cross the bridge in Ogden canyon, and that his brother Thomas E., with whom he was riding, said before reaching the bridge, 'Do not cross the bridge.' Had he acted on this impression the accident would not have occurred.

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

115 years ago today - Apr 13, 1906

[James Henry Martineau]

Lyman Sherman joined the church in 1831, Was the first who ever spoke in tongues in this dispensation. Prest [Heber C.] Kimball told me that L. R. S. was the sweetest singer in tongues in the church, and was Joseph's "right hand man." in Missouri.

[An Uncommon Common Pioneer: The Journals of James Henry Martineau 1828-1918, edited by Donald G. Godfrey XXX Rebecca S. Martineau-McCarty]

125 years ago today - Apr 13, 1896

[Brigham Young jr.]

[Ephraim, Sanpete Co. Considerable excitement over action on former apostle Moses Thatcher] People think he has been reigned up now in his sickness, when the fact is he has been rebellious since the death of Pres[iden]t Jno. Taylor. He has continued to seek to thwart his brethren of the Presidency and Twelve since, he became enraged about "Bullion Beck" business. His spite against Geo[rge] Q. Cannon--and unjustly too [as] far as I know--has soured his mind Pres[iden]t Woodruff says he has sought to rule over his brethren other apostles say Moses has sought to exercise unrighteous dominion over his brethren. How we have wept and prayed over this man. He has caused more tears to flow from my eyes than all my other griefs private & public since the death of Pres[ident] Jno. Taylor. I pray for Moses--for the Lord to soften his heart. Some say he has bad advisers. He is weak now in mind & body but his rebellion began when he was in health.

[Diary of Apostle Brigham Young Jr., http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

155 years ago today - 1866. April 13

Butch Cassidy: Born Robert LeRoy Parker in Beaver, Utah, the eldest of thirteen children. He was baptized at the age of eight. Temple work was performed in his behalf by his brother-in-law in 1945.

[Van Wagoner, Richard and Walker, Steven C., A Book of Mormons, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

165 years ago today - Apr 13, 1856

[Orson Pratt]

Our first parents through transgressing the law of God, brought death into the world, but through the death of Jesus Christ, life and immortality were introduced. The one brings into bondage; the other gives us hope of escape, of redemption, that we may come forth with the same kind of body that Adam had before the fall, a body of immortal flesh and bones.

Adam and Eve were immortal, the same as resurrected beings, but previous to their transgression they had no knowledge of good and evil.

After the redemption we will not only have the same kind of bodies that they possessed in the garden of Eden before the fall, but we will have a knowledge of good and evil through our experience.

[J. D. 3:344; Discourse by Orson Pratt delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City; April 13, 1856, quoted in Quotations Dealing with the Relationship of Our First Earthly Parents to Our Heavenly Parents (1830-1978)]

55 years ago today - April 12, 15 1966

McKay learned that his statement on communism was not to be published. Confronting the editor of the Church News, McKay said "Well it should go in. I made that statement to 85,000 Priesthood members; the press has it, and many recordings have been made of it. I think it had better go in." Hugh B. Brown and N. Elden Tanner had McKay's son Lawrence ask McKay to omit that portion.

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

55 years ago today - Apr 12, 1966

[David O. McKay]

Attention was called to the application of Sister I--- R------- P----- for permission to do the sealing work in the Temple for her father, Joseph E. Robinson, and his three wives. ... Attention was also called to a ruling made by me on March 3, 1964, [that] * "in the case of polygamous marriages performed in Mexico before the Manifesto, and there [is] no official record, the work should be done again." ... I stated that if the polygamous marriage took place prior to the state ment by President Joseph F. Smith in 1904 to the effect that polygamous marriages could not be solemnized anywhere in the world, * the work could be performed for the parties concerned or the President of the Church could ratify the marriages that had been performed. It was agreed that the simpler way would be to ratify the marriages * We reversed the decision made in our meeting of March 23, 1966, and ruled that it would be inadvisable to ratify purported sealings performed for Joseph E. Robinson and three women. In giving this matter further consideration, we had in mind that were the Church to adopt the policy of ratifying polygamous marriages that took place prior to the announcement by President Joseph F. Smith in 1904 * it would let down the flood gates and descendants of many polygamous marriages performed after the Manifesto would make application for permission to have the purported sealings of their parents or grandparents ratified, and perhaps in some cases where the individuals entering into these relationships have been excommunicated from the Church, there would be individuals such as cultists and others. The former action was therefore rescinded and it was decided to notify Sister I--- R------- P----- that the case of Joseph E. Robinson and the three women referred to would have to be left in the hands of the Lord for decision by Him in the Hereafter.

[David O. McKay diary, Mar. 23, Apr. 12, 1966; hyphens added to conceal the individual's identity, in Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/TempleWorship]

100 years ago today - Apr 12, 1921

[George F. Richards]

We also had an interview in my room with Sister Nellie Taylor widow of [excommunicated apostle] John W. Taylor who made quite a preachment and declared her loyalty to President Grant and after I had explained the three classes, the valient, the ne[u]tral, and the rebellious, she said that while she had felt that she sustained the authorities she now believes she was among the neutral. She hoped to be among the vali[a]nt in the future.

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

155 years ago today - Apr 12, 1866

Deseret News reports the murder of S. Newton Brassfield on 2 Apr. He legally married a plural wife of an absent Mormon missionary, and the News editorializes that "the illegally [sic] married couple would probably have been suffered to pursue their way to their own liking," except that she files for custody of her children. News also reports Brigham Young's sermon about Brassfield's murder: "Were I absent from my home [on a mission], I would rejoice to know that I had friends there to protect and guard the virtue of my household; and I would thank God for such friends."

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

160 years ago today - Apr 12, 1861

Officially, Governor Cumming was on a leave of absence, but the citizens of Utah knew that his hasty departure meant that he did not intend to return. General Albert Sidney Johnston, another leading figure in the territory, also left the area during the same period. Both men's actions were a result of events in South Carolina on 12 April 1861, when the Confederate Army attacked the federal garrison at Fort Sumter.

[Utah History Encyclopedia: Civil War, http://www.uen.org/utah_history_encyclopedia/]

175 years ago today - Apr 12, 1846

[Brigham Young]

"There are men among us who are passing counterfeit money and have done it all the time since we left Nauvoo, and there men among who will steal and these things must be stopped. When we once get properly situated so where every man will have plenty, there will no more need to Steal and if a man does steal when he has no need, the law will be put in force. Some plead our suffering from our enemies and say they are justified in stealing from our enemies because they have robbed us, but suppose we suffer much to take this course, what effect will it have, it will destroy the Kingdom of God and from this time fourth I caution the brethren to watch those who pass counterfeit money and when they find them we will take care of them, and let them go to the Gentiles to bring destruction upon us. There are men who eat at my and feed their teams on my corn and the first opportunity pass a counterfeit bill to bring a mob upon us I want a stop put to this business. The United States are a perfect set of bogus themselves from the President down to the hog whiper in the street, and if a pure principle were come to them they would never cease their operation till they made bogus of it. ... "

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

55 years ago today - Apr 11, 1966

The son of a previous First Presidency counselor publicly called Ezra Taft Benson "the most divisive influence in the church today."

[H. Grant Ivins, "Most Divisive Influence," Salt Lake Tribune, 11 Apr. 1966,18. His father was Anthony W. Ivins, First Presidency counselor from 1921 to 1934. From D. Michael Quinn, Ezra Taft Benson and Mormon Political Conflicts, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 26:2 (Summer 1992), also in Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power Salt Lake City (Signature Books, 1994), Chapter 3.]

110 years ago today - Apr 11, 1911

Replying to Senator Reed Smoot's urgent appeal for an official statement on post-Manifesto polygamy, President [Joseph F.] Smith wired: "If the President inquire about new polygamy, tell him the truth, tell him that Prest. Cannon was the first to conceive the idea that the Church could consistently countenance polygamy beyond confines of the republic where there was no law against it, and consequently he authorized the solemnization of plural marriages in Mexico and Canada after manifesto of 1890, and the men occupying presiding positions who became polygamists since the manifesto married in good faith under those circumstances. This being the case could we consistently be expected to humiliate them by releasing them?"

[Van Wagoner, Richard and Walker, Steven C., A Book of Mormons, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

120 years ago today - Thursday, Apr 11, 1901

At Eleven a.m. Presidents Lorenzo Snow and Joseph F. Smith joined us [the apostles]. We agreed to a Rule that we would rise and address the Presiding officer.

[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]

120 years ago today - Apr 11, 1901

The Daughters of Utah Pioneers was organized April 11, 1901 under the leadership of Annie M. Taylor Hyde (daughter of John Taylor) in Salt Lake City. Forty-six women, all of pioneer decent, gathered at her home for the first meeting. At the meeting she stated that she ". . .felt deeply impressed with the importance and desirability of the children of pioneers becoming associated together, in some kind of organization which would have for its object the cementing together in the bonds of friendship and love the descendants" of the early pioneers.

[Utah History Encyclopedia: Daughters of Utah Pioneers, http://www.uen.org/utah_history_encyclopedia/]

120 years ago today - Thursday, Apr 11, 1901

Pres. Snow said ... that the church would be relieved of its financial embarrassment, but the land of Zion could only be sanctified to the saints by the proper observance of this law [of tithihg].

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

145 years ago today - Apr 11, 1876

Stake president and future apostle Francis M. Lyman spends the day studying Buddhism and Confucianism. Four days later he studies Hindu philosophy for half-day.

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

160 years ago today - Apr 11, 1861

The President [Brigham Young] had some conversation with Pres- [ident] D.H. Wells about the Signs of the times. They were speaking of the Spirit of Secession that prevails in California. The President remarked the Lord will first disunite them. He could not establish his Kingdom while they were united together, so he separates them. ... This Nation continued the President will become like the Toes of the Image, and the toes will be ground first, then the ankles and so on. -- Salt Lake City

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

165 years ago today - Apr 11, 1856

[Heber C. Kimball marriage]

wife #42. Elizabeth Doty (Cravath Murray Brown), 1808-1889. Mother of Helen Mar's sister-wife, time only.

[Hatch, Charles M. and Compton, Todd M. editors, 'A Widow's Tale: 1884-1896 Diary of Helen Mar Kimball Whitney' p. 37]

180 years ago today - Apr 11, 1841

Joseph Smith and Rigdon rebaptize each other for remission of sins and "renewal of covenants." Church leaders would promote rebaptism for all members during a religious reformation beginning May 1842. In the future, four temples would perform 7,788 baptisms for renewal of covenants from 1877 through 1893. This ordinance would be officially discontinued in 1922.

[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]

25 years ago today - Apr 10, 1996

Mormon investors announce they are purchasing Southern Virginia College (SVC), four months after it loses accreditation as a two-year school and one month before its closing, to turn it into a Mormon school without official sponsorship by LDS headquarters. The likely success of this unprecedented idea is indicated by its announcement in the Church News and choice of David Ferrel as the college's new president. He is a senior employee of recently appointed general authority Richard B. Wirthlin who formally endorses the school. Having arranged for LDS congressmen to pressure the accrediting association to reconsider its decision, the newly installed Mormon trustees announce that SVC will be a four-year college with a starting freshman class of 400 students who meet the same standards of conduct and entrance requirements as at BYU.

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

65 years ago today - Apr 10, 1956

[J. Reuben Clark]

[During a telephone conversation with Utah Governor J. Bracken Lee:] Gov. Lee: I said to them [non-members] you are never going to have any success in Utah unless you let the leaders of the Church give you some advice. You better make it a point to talk with the Church officials to find out if they are going along with it or not.

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

70 years ago today - Apr 10, 1951

[Letter on behalf of the First Presidency]

"... The hearts of the Brethren bleed with sorrow over the lot of yourself and millions of others [black people] who find themselves in the same situation but for which neither the Brethren nor the Church is in any way responsible... I am happy to tell you that from the very beginning the Brethren have said that ultimately the restraint under which you now rest will be removed, and that, as President Woodruff expressed it, 'The day will come when all that race will be redeemed and possess all the blessings which we now have.' ... Under this principle there is no injustice whatsoever involved in this deprivation as to the holding of the priesthood by the negroes.' ... there is nothing the Brethren can do about removing the restraints until the Lord speaks again. Your place was determined by the Lord himself, and the only underlying principle of which we are aware is that which the Lord himself announced. The point I should like to leave with you is briefly that the Lord assigned you your place for reasons which He himself had, and a part of which, at least, he has given to us."

[Joseph Anderson, Letter to Herbert A. Ford, 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 - Apr 10, 1906

[George F. Richards]

"Pres[iden]t Lyman and John Henry Smith especially were emphatic in the denunciation of the actions of those brethren who had been teaching and practicing plural marriage since the issuance of the manifesto [illegible] and in sustaining Pres[iden]ts [Wilford] Woodruff, [Lorenzo] Snow & [Joseph F.] Smith in the attitude they have taken on that question. We by motion [e]ndorsed Pres[iden]t Lymans views."

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

120 years ago today - Apr 10, 1901

The Oregon Shortline Railroad returned to the Church a check for $2,176.20, the amount charged on the freight for the material used in the reconstruction of the Tabernacle organ. This is done by the railroad to show appreciation for the many recitals and courtesies extended by the Church authorities in behalf of tourists traveling over that line and passing through Salt Lake City.

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

70 years ago today - Apr 9, 1951

Conference sustains David O. McKay as church president with Stephen L. Richards and J. Reuben Clark as counselors. This demotion of Clark from first counselor stuns many Mormons, including the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. For the first time in its history, the Twelve "ordains" the church president and then sets apart McKay and his counselors. McKay is also the first church president who graduated from college (University of Utah).

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

70 years ago today - 1951. April 9

David O. McKay: Set apart as the ninth president of the Church, with Stephen L. Richards and J. Reuben Clark as counselors. Other counselors in his administration were Henry D. Moyle (1959-63), Hugh B. Brown (1961-70), and N. Eldon Tanner (1963-70). Four others were called as additional counselors to the First Presidency: Hugh B. Brown (June-October 1961), Thorpe B. Isaacson (1965-70), Joseph Fielding Smith (1965-70), and Alvin R. Dyer (1968- 70). The precedent for additional counselors in the First Presidency was set in 1843 when Joseph Smith moved Amasa Lyman into the First Presidency and reinstated Orson Pratt in the Quorum of the Twelve.

[Van Wagoner, Richard and Walker, Steven C., A Book of Mormons, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

115 years ago today - Apr 9, 1906

... At the conclusion of the meeting, the Presidency and Apostles repaired to the Temple, where we received valuable instructions from President Joseph F. Smith, after which the new members were ordained and set apart as members of the Quorum by President Joseph F. Smith as follows: George F. Richards, Orson F. Whitney, David O. McKay. All the members of the Twelve were present except George Teasdale, Heber J. Grant, and Reed Smoot. We had regular a Pentacost and brethren wept in one another's embrace. At 5:00 P.M. we and our wives met at President [John R.] Winder's home at 49 West Temple Street where we partook of a bountiful repast, after which President Smith dedicated the home of President Winder. Had talks, singing and music and a wonderful evening.

[George F. Richards, Diary, 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 - Apr 09, 1906

Apostles Taylor and Cowley resignations made public. David O McKay was one of the new apostles appointed, and was the first apostle in over 60 years who was not connected by polygamy.

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

115 years ago today - Apr 9, 1906

... Nineteen years ago this coming summer, Apostle John W. Taylor predicted to me that I would be an Apostle. We were travelling together south and were on the train about opposite Murray. I little dreamed, nor did he, that I would succeed him in the Quorum. He was always very good to me. ' For several years I had paid little or no attention to religion, and though naturally of a spiritual temperament, and possessed of deep veneration, for the Supreme Being had become careless and indifferent, like many others, and had contracted a distaste for sacred things. This was due largely to the company I kept, but most of all to ignorance of the true meaning and import of religion. I had, for some reason, despite the best of teachings, come to regard meetings and sacred gatherings more as laces of punishment than of instruction. I carried this aversion to such an extent that if I picked up a book and saw the word 'God' or 'angel' or anything about heaven religion in it, I would at once lay it down, as of no interest. All this time I never doubted God's existence or that I was one of his children and would often, though not regularly, pray. to Him It was reported that I was an infidel, but this was not true; I was only reckless and disobedient.

[Orson F. Whitney, Diary and Autobiography, pp. 35-36, 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 - Apr 9, 1906

Our Dear Brother George F. Richards: In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by virtue of the Melchizedek Priesthood conferred upon us, we lay our hands upon your head and ordain you an Apostle in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and say unto you, receive ye the spirit, the witness and testimony of this Apostleship, to the end that you may have power to testify of the redemption and salvation that comes through Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, and that the Prophet Joseph Smith was chosen and ordained of God to accomplish the mission given to him, to establish the gospel of salvation anew to the world, never more to be taken from the earth. ...

[Ordination Blessing of George F. Richards, in 'Record of Conference Addresses Delivered by George F. Richards in the Salt Lake Tabernacle', as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1835-1951, Electronic Edition, 2015]

130 years ago today - Apr 9, 1891

The polygamist [Hans] Jespersen, who is now in prison, and was married in the Endowment House just before it was demolished, threatens to tell who performed the ceremony unless something is done for him immediately. The person [Franklin D. Richards] is liable, if discovered, to two years' imprisonment and a $1,000.00 fine, for officiating in a plural marriage. It was decided that F[rancis] M. Lyman and James Jack visit him and others of the 18 brethren now imprisoned, tomorrow, and assure them that no pains shall be spared to effect their release. They will be advised to sign a dispatch to the U.S. Att[orne]y. Gen[era]'l in Washington [D.C.], promising hereafter to obey the law. Jespersen is to be counseled to telegraph to Utah Pros[ecuting] Att[orne]y [Charles S.] Varian, who is now in Washington, making a similar promise. Thus the effort will be made to immediately relieve these brethren, who are now confined in their cells for 22 out of 24 hrs., and are not by themselves, but mixed up with the "toughs." Warden [Oscar] Vandercook will be asked to authenticate the prisoners' messages.

[Abraham H. Cannon (Author), Edward Leo Lyman (Editor), Candid Insights of a Mormon Apostle: The Diaries of Abraham H. Cannon, 1889-1895, Signature Books]

150 years ago today - Apr 9, 1871

Apostle Orson Pratt: "... a temple will be reared on the spot [Jackson County] that has been selected, [by the finger of the Lord] and the corner-stone of which has been laid, in the generation when this revelation was given; we just as much expect this as we expect the sun to rise in the morning and set in the evening.... But says the objector, "thirty-nine years have passed away." What of that? The generation has not passed away; all the people that were living thirty-nine years ago have not passed away; but before they do pass away this will be fulfilled." (1832 September 22, D&C 84:1-5,31,32)

[Journal of Discourses, vol. 14, p. 275 http://journalofdiscourses.com/14/38, as quoted in The Last Days and December 1890 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ, y George D. Speer Sr., privately circulated]

190 years ago today - Apr 9, 1831

A weekly Universalist paper in Utica publishes a letter from A. W. B. [Abram W. Benton] of South Bainbridge, New York about Joseph's 1826 and 1830 treasure seeking trials. In the first, "considering his youth, (he being then a minor,) and thinking he might reform his conduct, he was designedly allowed to escape." In the summer of 1830 Joseph was arraigned again. Oliver testified "that said Smith found with the plates, from which he translated his book, two transparent stones, resembling glass, set in silver bows. That by looking through these, he was able to read in English, the reformed Egyptian characters, which were engraved on the plates." Josiah Stowell testified that he and Joseph almost succeeded in treasure seeking, but "did not get quite to it!" Addison Austin testified that he asked Joseph "to tell him honestly whether he could see this money or not. Smith hesitated some time, but finally replied, 'to be candid, between you and me, I cannot, any more than you or any body else; but any way to get a living.'"

[Kenney, Scott, Saints Without Halos, "Mormon History 1830-1844," http://web.archive.org/web/20120805163534/saintswithouthalos.com/dirs/d_c.phtml]

55 years ago today - Apr 8, 1966

Ezra Taft Benson attended the Birch Society dinner in April 1966 without speaking, although his name was on the program as a speaker. Others at the dinner gave him a standing ovation. The Salt Lake Tribune's report included a photograph of Benson sitting next to the Birch president. BYU's president had declined the invitation to substitute for Apostle Benson in introducing Robert Welch. Even Benson's muted attendance at the Welch dinner infuriated anti-Birch Mormons, including the wife of Utah's incumbent Democratic governor.

["Welch Raps 'Senseless' U.S. Policy," Salt Lake Tribune, 8 Apr. 1966, B-l, with photo on B-2; "Birch Dinner in Salt Lake City Vexes Mormons," New York Times, 8 Apr. 1966, 28; Hugh W. Gillilan, "500 Misled Americans," and Mrs. Calvin L. Rampton, "JBS' Tasteless Violation," Salt Lake Tribune, 10 Apr. 1966, A-16, with reply by J. Reese Hunter, "Answers Mrs. Rampton," Salt Lake Tribune, 13 Apr. 1966,18; also Anderson, "Church and Birch In Utah," 1,16. From D. Michael Quinn, Ezra Taft Benson and Mormon Political Conflicts, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 26:2 (Summer 1992), also in Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power Salt Lake City (Signature Books, 1994), Chapter 3.]

70 years ago today - Sun Apr 8, 1951

[David O. McKay Office Journal]

4:30 p.m.--Special council meeting was held in the Salt Lake Temple. Presented to the Twelve the names of my counselors--Elder Stephen L. Richards as First Counselor, and Pres. J. Reuben Clark, Jr. as Second Counselor.

[McKay, David O., Office Journal]

115 years ago today - Apr 8, 1906

[J. Golden Kimball]

Apostles Jno. [John] W Taylor and Mat[t]hias F Cowley resigned from the Apostleship. It is a political move to protect the Church of L[atter]. D[ay]. S[aints]., as the Church is on trial before Congress. Bro[ther] Taylor & Cowley are the rams caught in the thicket and are offered as a sacrifice.

[J. Golden Kimball, Diary, 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 - Apr 8, 1906

[George F. Richards]

After meeting many friends shook my hand and offered congratulations and expressions of pleasure at my appointment. Many said they had thought I would be the man to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Apostle [Marriner Wood] Merrill among whom are the following'Loren J. Robinson saw it in dream. Pres[iden]t. [Francis M.] Lyman'Saw my Father in Council which meant something. Seymore B. Young W. W. Richards Joseph F[ielding]. Smith Jr. R. J. Richards Susa Y. Gates Tho[ma]s. Callister Mamie Whitney Dunn Edna Smith John Smith John Gillespie Sister Remington My dream of March 22nd wherein I saw the Savior seems to have prepared me in a measure for this call. I received a telegram from my brother F[ranklin]. S. Richards, who was in Washington [D.C.]

also one from Apostle Reed Smoot at Washington offering congratulations, blessings, &c'These came the day following.

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

120 years ago today - Apr 8, 1901; Monday

Meeting of Presidency, Apostles & Church Officers. Prest. [Lorenzo] Snow said that persons who are recom- mended for second anointings should be those who have made an exceptional record, that they are persons who will never apostatize. Prests. of Stakes assume a great responsibility when they recommend persons for second anointings.

... Conference Report, Apr. 1901, 57-58. Now I [Lorenzo Snow] wish to say a word in regard to going back to Jackson County [Missouri]. The time is nearer than many of us suppose. I want to impress upon the minds of all that they cannot go back to Jackson Co. unless the[y] obey the law of tithing. Jos[eph] Smith had a book in which all of the names of tithe payers was recorded which was called the Book of the law of the Lord. This church as a church will never go back to Jackson Co. till the people learn to observe the law of the Lord. I fear that some of the bishops do not fully believe in the law of tithing. Excellent counsel.

Heber [J. Grant] sang ["]The Holy City.["] Should Masquerade balls be permitted among the Saints? We do not approve of such parties but they should be controlled by kindness & persuasion & not by coer[c]ion.

Bro. Jos[eph]. F. Smith said no man receives a fullness of the Melchisedec Priesthood till he has recd his second anointings. Men recommended for this sacred ordinance should be men of God whose faith & integrity are unquestioned.

Heber J. Grant spoke. Referred to his singing as an example that a person can accomplish anything which he undertakes to do.

...Apostle John W. Taylor said when the Apostles or Priests. of 70 visited the stakes don't put 2 in 1 bed but give them a clean bad & good house keeper. He killed 143 bed bugs in one bed at one time.

[Anderson, Elizabeth Oberdick, editor, Cowboy Apostle: The Diaries of Anthony W. Ivins: 1875-1932, Signature Books, Salt Lake City in association with the Smith-Pettit Foundation (2013) - http://bit.ly/AnthonyIvins]

125 years ago today - Apr 8, 1896

Elder Franklin D. Richards called on Presidents Woodruff and Smith, and presented to the President the key of the Nauvoo [Illinois] Temple. He had received it from sister Elizabeth E. Rice of Hooper [Utah], widow of Leonard G. Rice of Farmington [Utah]. She explained how the key came into her possession. The Committee left in charge of the Nauvoo temple, after the expulsion of the Saints, consisted of Almon Babbitt, brothers [Joseph L.] Heyw[oo]d, and [John S.] Fullmer. When the Temple was destroyed, the key was in the possession of brother Babbitt. Martha Babbitt, a cousin of A[lmon]. W. Babbitt and a sister of sister Rice, was living in the Babbitt family, and thus obtained the key. She

came to Utah and lived in Farmington, but on going East on account of her health, she left some things in charge of her sister. Martha died at Kanesville [Iowa]. The key thus came into the possession of sister Rice, who had been solicited many times to sell the key, but she would not part with it even to her children, feeling that she would rather it should go to the President of the Church. President Woodruff was very pleased to receive it, and as sister Rice was in poor circumstances, he made her a present of $10.

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

140 years ago today - Friday, Apr 8, 1881

At 10 rode with Prest. [John] Taylor to the Council of 50-George Reynolds admitted a member. G[eorge] Q. C[annon] gave charge &c. etc. Prest Taylor occupied morning with a Discourse upon the nature & objects of the Council[.] Adj[ourned] till 2.p.m. 2 p.m. John R. Winder & John T. Ca[i]ne were admitted to membership & received charge obligation & pass word from the Secretary Geo Q. Cannon. Prest. J[oseph] F. Smith justified the course of the last Legislature [as] also did Prest L[orenzo] Snow[,] Prest of Legislative Council[.] Adjournd til May 18-10 a.m. to consider certain points.

[Franklin D. Richards journal, as quoted in Jedediah S. Rogers (editor), The Council of Fifty: A Documentary History, Signature Books (2014)]

180 years ago today - Apr 8, 1841. Thursday.

[Revelation to Joseph Smith]

Verily thus saith the Lord let all those my saints who are assaying to do my will gather themselves together upon the land opposite to Nauvoo and build a city unto my name and let the name of Zarahemla be named upon it. And all who come from the east and West and North and South who have desires let them settle in Zarahemla that they may be prepared for that which is in store for a time to come &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://bit.ly/WilliamClayton]

55 years ago today - Apr 7, 1966

John Birch President Robert Welch praised Elder Benson as "one of the really great men of our times." Also in describing the right-wing Birch Society's "recruiting efforts," Welch said that "we have no better members, or more permanently dedicated members of the Society, than those who owe their first loyalty to the Mormon Church." Of this, newspapers reported that the Birch Society regarded Mormons as "a very good recruiting ground."

[Robert Welch, "Dinner Meeting at Hotel Utah Introductory Remarks—April 7th, 1966 by Robert Welch," mimeograph, 1, Special Collections, Lee Library; Anderson, "Church and Birch In Utah," 25-26, 35n32, cites this as a publication of the American Opinion Bookstore in Salt Lake City.; "Birch Dinner in Salt Lake City Vexes Mormons," New York Times, 8 Apr. 1966, 28, published as "Welch Says Mormons Make Good Birchers," Minneapolis Tribune, 9 Apr. 1966. From D. Michael Quinn, Ezra Taft Benson and Mormon Political Conflicts, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 26:2 (Summer 1992), also in Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power Salt Lake City (Signature Books, 1994), Chapter 3.]

85 years ago today - Apr 7, 1936

The First Presidency announces the Church Security Plan, renamed the Church Welfare Program in 1938. This began four years earlier as a local innovation by stake president Harold B. Lee in the Salt Lake Pioneer Stake.

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

90 years ago today - Apr 7, 1931

[George F. Richards]

"I was all forenoon with the Presidency & other General Authorities receiving decision of Presidency in the case of B. H. R[oberts]. vs. J[oseph]. F[ielding]. S[mith]. Jr. Free discussion ensured and decision approved. The subject of Pre-Adamites not to be discussed in public by the brethren either for or against the theory, as the Church has not declared itself and its attitude on the question."

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

100 years ago today - Apr 7, 1921

The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve decide to return to the pre-1912 "old form of ordaining" to an office without first conferring the priesthood.

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

125 years ago today - Apr 7, 1896

Priesthood meeting. All salaries of Church officials was discontinued. This was done with full understanding with the leading authorities of the church. At 10 A.M. attended a special Priesthood meeting in the Assembly Hall. Some very plain talk was indulged in regarding the unfaithfulness of some of the brethren in blabbing every thing on the streets.

A resolution was also passed and voted unanimously upon that there be no more Church officials, that shall be salaried men. From now on, if they needed assistance it should be by appropriation on asking. Every effort to be used to support themselves.

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

125 years ago today - Apr 7, 1896

President Joseph F. Smith addressed the Assembly which filled the body of the hall. He dwelt on the importance of every officer of the Church being united in spirit and in harmony with the First Presidency and the Twelve. He thought it would be much better for such officers as were unable to be in harmony to ask to be released from their official positions, than to continue in office while entertaining feelings of hostility to those whom God had placed to lead and direct the Church. He expressed regret that he could not speak with that freedom which he desired in consequence of the feeling that there were some present in whom his confidence was not very strong...

President Cannon ... gave some counsel on the subject of recommendations for second annointings. Worthy old people should be selected as a rule, and Bishops should select faithful persons and confer with their Stake Presidents before recommending them for that blessing. ...

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

160 years ago today - Apr 7, 1861

In the afternoon Presidet Brigham Young Spoke to the people in the spirit & power of God upon Principle. He spoke upon the subject of the Patriarchal Marriage. He said if a man took more than one wife upon the principle of passion instead of principle it will prove a Curse instead of a Blessing. If a woman is sealed to a good man she should be satisfied & attend to her own business & let her husband alone & not be watching him all the time. Women are sealed to men to bring forth Children & not to gratify passion & much was said upon this subjet. ...

Before leaving the Circle room Presidet Young said I want to say a few words to Brother Orson Hyde. At the opening of this general Conference I was there one minute before the time, & Brother Hyde had opened the Conference had prayers & singing & I must say I was mortified. I am the president of the whole Church & it is my place to preside at a general Conference. Did you ever know me [to] step foreward in the days of Joseph & take his place & open a General Conference without he directed me to do it? Or did you ever know me interfere with the rights of any man? No you have not. I should have waited an hour after the time before I should have opened the Conference but Brother Hyde opened it before the time & he has served me the same several times and I dont want to see it any more.

Elder Orson Hyde said it never Entered my heart that I was doing wrong. ...

Presidet Young said Now I will ask all of you how would you feel if you had a work to do which God & the heavens held you responsible for & just as you was about to step forth to do it another man should rise up & take it out of your hands Before the people as though you was not qualifyed to Do it or was neglecting your duty. You would not like it. ...

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

170 years ago today - Apr 7, 1851

Brigham Young is sustained "prophet, seer, and revelator," first time since 1836. He presents himself this way at conferences until 1859 and again, 1872 to his death.

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

170 years ago today - Apr 7, 1851 (Monday)

At the general conference held in G.S.L. City in was voted to build a Temple. Edward Hunter was appointed successor to the late Newel K. Whitney as presiding Bishop of the whole Church. At this time there were about thirty thousand inhabitants in Utah, of which nearly five thousand were in G.S.L. City. The First Presidency issued the "Fifth General Epistle" to the Saints in all the world.

[Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

180 years ago today - Apr 7, 1841

"In the afternoon the Twelve and all the American Brethren went to Br Millers & took tea & had an interesting visit together.

Before we left the Twelve lade hands upon the head of Elder (Kimball) Orson Hyde & Blessed him in the name of the Lord, as he had ben set apart by the first Presidency to take a mission to the Holy land, the City of Jerrusalem whare Jesus Dwelt, for the purpose of laying the foundation of a great work in that land. This is the first mission that any man has taken to the land of Asia belonging to the church of Christ of Latter Day Saints."

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

190 years ago today - Apr 07, 1831

Martin Harris sells part of his farm and pays E. B. Grandin for the cost of printing the Book of Mormon.

20 years ago today - 2001 April 6

Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS) changes its name to Community of Christ to differentiate itself from the LDS Church.

[Wikipedia, 21st Century (Mormonism), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/21st_century_(Mormonism)]

30 years ago today - Apr 6, 1991

A Church News statement that "although the Church has issued earlier statements [in 1978 and 1979] advising [LDS] members not to write the FCC regarding the petition [to allegedly stop religious broadcasting], form letters to the FCC regarding the matter continue to circulate among members, even in Church meetings." The Church News states that the FCC has received 21 million pieces of mail since 1977 about a problem that "doesn't even exist." The inability of LDS headquarters for thirteen years to stop Mormons from writing such letters indicates that many American Mormons give greater heed to propaganda by fundamentalist Christians and political ultra-conservatives.

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

80 years ago today - Apr 6, 1941

[Harold B. Lee]

Lee was called as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on 6 April 1941. As he looked around the upper room of the Salt Lake Temple where the quorum held its meetings, he discovered that every man there was at least twenty years his senior. He thought of himself as a seedling among giant redwoods, causing his tutor and friend, J. Rueben Clark, Jr., to refer to him affectionately as "Kid."

[Utah History Encyclopedia: Harold B. Lee, http://www.uen.org/utah_history_encyclopedia/]

80 years ago today - Apr 6, 1941

High priests as Assistants to the Twelve are a new general authority position. This is also the first general conference broadcast outside of Utah (to Idaho and southern California).

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

90 years ago today - Apr 6, 1931

The first edition of the Church News was printed by the Church's Deseret News.

[Church News: Historical Chronology of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, http://www.ldschurchnewsarchive.com/articles/58765/Historical-chronology-of-The-Church-of-Jesus-Christ-of-Latter-day-Saints.html]

115 years ago today - Apr 6, 1906

Pres. Joseph F. Smith stated, "we expect to see the day, if we live long enough (and if some of us do not live long enough to see it, there are others who will), when every council of the Priesthood in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will understand its duty; will assume its own responsibility, will magnify its calling, and fill its place in the Church, to the uttermost, according to the intelligence and ability possessed by it. when that day shall come, there will not be so much necessity for work that is now being done by the auxiliary organizations, because it will be done by the regular quorums of the Priesthood." This statement became the "touchstone" for all future correlation efforts.

[Correlation Timeline, Compiled by Lisle Brown]

120 years ago today - Saturday, Apr 6, 1901

Pres. J. F. Smith was the first speaker. ... There is one bishop [Samuel F. Atwood] in the church, according to report, and perhaps others, that does not believe that the Father and Son visited Joseph Smith. Non-tithe-payers. A time of pruning is to come, when men of the priesthood and position, who are unfitted to preside by reason of age, or bodily infirmities, or indifference, or lack of faith, will be released and others planted in their stead. ...

A. O. Woodruff. Topics treated. Admonished and counseled the brethren who sell out their homes to go and settle in new countries not to sell to the unbeliever, but to our own people.

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

125 years ago today - Monday, Apr 6, 1896

The [political] manifesto [which requires all church officers to agree to obtain permission before seeking political office] last evening was signed by all of the Presidency, ten of the twelve, The Patriarch of the Church, the Seven Presidents of the Seventies & the Presiding Bishopric.

[Apostle] Moses Thatcher refused to sign it. [Anthon Lund was out of town.]

The Manifesto of the Church was adopted by a full vote of the Conference.

I[n] the sustaining of the general authorities the name of Moses Thatcher was left out.

[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]

160 years ago today - Apr 6, 1861

Brigham Young tells conference it is necessary "to grease the wheels" (bribe federal officials). "To show how minutely corruption prevails where justice should exist," Young gives example where it was necessary to pay $1,300 bribe "to get our claims paid for expenditures in quelling Indian disturbances in 1853." This is the first announcement of the First Presidency's policy to bribe federal officials when necessary. Historian Wallace D. Farnham once described the frequent graft in nineteenth-century federal government as the "weakened spring of government" in America.

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

160 years ago today - Apr 6, 1861

On 6 April 1861 Joseph Morris organized a new church, headquartered in South Weber, and issued a proclamation that all of his followers should gather at Kingston Fort. Firmly believing that "Christ will come tomorrow," they held all things in common and, according to some authorities, even trampled some of their crops into the ground as evidence of their faith.

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

160 years ago today - Apr 6, 1861 (Afternoon, Conference)

[Brigham Young]

... Bro. Orson Hyde is the senior man now in the quorum of the Twelve Apostles, of those first chosen into that quorum. This calls him, by his age, to be the president of that quorum. Now, I will go a step further for your consideration. The oldest man'"the senior member of the first Quorum will preside, each in his turn, until every one of them has passed away. The next quorum that comes into action may take the senior man for a president, but not until the first Quorum if gone. ...

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

165 years ago today - Apr 6, 1856

[George A. Smith]

The inaccurate "Milk Strippings" story is first preached in General Conference.

[Journal of Discourses, http://jod.mrm.org]

175 years ago today - Apr 6, 1846

At a Strangite high council meeting, Jehiel Savage testifies against the conduct of the Twelve at Nauvoo: "There was an institution called Aunt Peggy, by means of which one Carl was whip[p]ed &...one Peck was annointed [with human excrement]."

[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]

180 years ago today - Apr 6, 1841

In celebration of the twelfth anniversary of the Church, 16 companies of the Nauvoo Legion march in review before a huge crowd. Sidney Rigdon then gives a speech before those who have gathered to watch the parade. The southeast cornerstone of the temple, representing the First Presidency, is laid with great ceremony. (The basement of the temple was dug and walled before this time in readiness for the cornerstone.) The high priests then lay a second cornerstone; the high council lays the third cornerstone; and the bishops lay the fourth cornerstone.

[Conkling, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology]

180 years ago today - April 6, 7, 8, 9, 1841. Tuesday-Friday.

... The names of the official characters [as presented in General Conference] are as follows Joseph Smith first president Sidney Rigdon and Wm. Law councillor. Brother Law was appointed councillor at this conference in the stead of Hyrum Smith who was appointed a Prophet Seer and Revelator according to a revelation given January 19, 1841. Brother Law was objected to by our quorum but honourably elected after investigation. On account of the ill health of Sidney Rigdon John C. Bennett was appointed in his stead until Brother Rigdons health improved. ...

[George D. Smith, An Intimate Chronicle; The Journals of William Clayton, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1995, http://bit.ly/WilliamClayton]

180 years ago today - Apr 6, 1841

[Nauvoo]

Cornerstones were laid in a grand ceremony. Construction continued steadily with limestone rocks blasted from quarry and hauled to temple site by wagon. Workers were obtained as members tithed their time, giving one day in 10 for temple construction. Women provided food and clothing for the workers and also donated precious heirlooms and coins to fund the construction. Eventual total cost of the building was $750,000.

[LDS Church News: Nauvoo -- The City of Joseph, http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/58063/Church-history--Nauvoo.html]

180 years ago today - Apr 6, 1841

Cornerstones laid for Nauvoo Temple; among other books and items, a Bible is laid but only after the Apocryphia is added to it (torn from one of the member's family Bible) to make it complete [Samuel Miles]. Sidney Rigdon officiates at the ceremony and gives a hour long speech. This is practically Rigdon's last official act in the Church until the spring of 1844.

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

55 years ago today - Apr 5, 1966

A former LDS mission president and current "section leader" of the Birch Society hand-carried a letter to McKay that "many people are confused and shocked by the recent editorial in the Church News, entitled: `Politics and Religion.' [regarding "Birchers"] "

[Mark E. Anderson to David O. McKay, 5 Apr. 1966, MS 3744, LDS archives. From D. Michael Quinn, Ezra Taft Benson and Mormon Political Conflicts, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 26:2 (Summer 1992), also in Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power Salt Lake City (Signature Books, 1994), Chapter 3.]

80 years ago today - Apr 5, 1941

[Heber J. Grant]

After the Priesthood meeting I had a little talk with Harold B. Lee and told him we had decided that he should fill the vacancy in the quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He was overwhelmed and shed tears. I feel sure that we shall be very happy with his work.

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

115 years ago today - Apr 5, 1906

The regular meeting of the First Presidency and Twelve was held this morning as usual in the Temple. ... Some time was occupied on the question of filling the vacancies in the quorum of the Twelve Apostles created by the withdrawal of Bro[ther]s. [John W.] Taylor and [Matthias F.] Cowley, and the vacancy created through the death of Brother [Marriner Wood] Merrill. Also the vacancy in the First Council of Seventy through the death of Brother C[hristian]. D. Fjeldsted. President [Joseph F.] Smith had invited the Apostles to furnish him with a list of names of brethren suggested by them as eligible for these positions. From that list it was finally decided to select George F. Richards to fill the vacancy created by the death of Brother Merrill, and Orson F. Whitney and David O. McKay to fill the vacancies made by Bro[ther]s. Taylor and Cowley. It was also decided to select Charles H. Hart to fill the vacancy in the First Council of Seventy.

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

120 years ago today - Apr 5, 1901

Lorenzo Snow tells general conference that "we will continue on improving, advancing and increasing in wisdom, intelligence, power, and dominion, worlds without end." In 1908 John A. Widtsoe's 'Joseph Smith As a Scientist' (137) affirms: "God in 'Mormon' Theology is the greatest intelligence; yet it must of necessity, under the inexorable law of the universe, grow." In his 1910 'Seventies Course in Theology,' B.H. Roberts writes that "progress is eternal, even for the highest intelligences" (151). In his 1911 'Seventies' Course in Theology,' Roberts writes: "And is it too bold a thought that with this progress, even for the Mightiest, new thoughts, and new vistas may appear, inviting to new adventures and enterprises that will yield new experiences, advancement, and enlargement even for the Most High?"

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

125 years ago today - Apr 5, 1896

The Presidency and 12 met and considered a manifesto on the political situation to guide the eclesiastical authorities in accepting office. ... It was agreed to by all present.

[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]

125 years ago today - Apr 5, 1896

[Brigham Young Jr.]

[Regarding the political manifesto] "I was spoken to privately by Pres[iden]t Woodruff that he wanted me to carry it to M. Thatcher if he chooses to sign it. All seemed anxious that I should have a partner I wanted Pres[iden]t L. Snow." Thatcher was not up when they arrived and kept the document by permission and sent it to the office without his signature. "He could not coincide with the whole doctrine but hoped when he got better in health he might see it." Young notes that he has had the principles before him for two years; "I was full of sorrow so were all the Brethren." Document was read and accepted unanimously by the Conference.

[Diary of Apostle Brigham Young Jr., http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

140 years ago today - Apr 5, 1881

... At the Close of the Meeting we again met with the Twelve & voted unanimously that we would withhold the name of John W Young from being Presented to the Conference for Conformation untill he had made satisfaction. ...

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

145 years ago today - Apr 5, 1876

"This afternoon at about 5 oclok the great explosion of four powder magazene on the Hill north of the City took place, when forty tons of Blasting, sporting, & giant Powder was burned which shook the whole City to its foundations and done tens of thousands of Dollars of Damage in glass alone. I do not know of one house in the City that Entirely escaped damage. It was a miracle that the four building made of Rock, Cobble, Iron & Concrete was blown high into the air & scattered over the City for a circuit of more than a mile with a population of 20,000, and ownly four persons killed. The whole City shook like an Earthquake. Many escaped narrowly from death. Many women fainted. Nearly all the glass was blown out of the New Tabernacle."

[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 - Apr 5, 1841

Louisa Beaman (single, age 26) marriage to Joseph Smith

Though Mormon history and press indicate Beaman was not baptized until May 11, 1843, she had migrated with Mormons to Nauvoo in 1839 or 1840. She has been called the "first plural wife of the Prophet Joseph Smith" [although he had at least one earlier relationship]. After Smith's death, Beaman remarried, becoming the ninth wife of Brigham Young. They had five children together, all of whom predeceased Beaman, who died young at age 35. Listed as a Smith plural wife by Joseph F. Smith, who noted 1869 affidavit of Beaman's brother-in-law Joseph B. Noble, stating he officiated at the wedding, William Clayton said Smith told him in February 1843 that Beaman was one of his plural wives. This would have been prior to her baptism.

[Wikipedia: List of the Wives of Joseph Smith, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_wives_of_Joseph_Smith]

40 years ago today - Apr 4, 1981

Conference sustains the first Hispanic Latin American as a general authority, the First Quorum of the Seventy's Angel Abrea.

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

70 years ago today - 1951. April 4

George Albert Smith died on his eighty-first birthday at his Yale Avenue home in Salt Lake City of lupuserythematosus disseminatus, a disease of the connective tissue which may have contributed to his mental collapse. Buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.

[Van Wagoner, Richard and Walker, Steven C., A Book of Mormons, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

90 years ago today - Apr 4, 1931

Heber J. Grant announces that the church will give whatever assistance it can to aid the criminal prosecution of polygamists.

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

110 years ago today - Apr 4, 1911

[Orson F. Whitney]

Spent the day in Quarterly Meeting with the Apostles. Presented to the Council my proposition that a portion of our time in these meetings be devoted to the reading and discussion of leading questions of the day, religious, scientific, political, philosophical, &c. [including evolution], with a view to a common understanding and unanimity of view concerning the same. The brethren were pleased with the suggestion and it was adopted unanimously.

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

120 years ago today - Thursday, Apr 4, 1901

... There was some further discussion in regard to administering to the sick. It was clearly the mind of the brethren that it should be done in a simple manner, without display, according to the order of the church. A letter incorporating this view was addressed to Jas. Hall of Springville, who had been going about among the saints holding special fast meetings and administering to the sick; and although he may have been accomplishing good, his manner of doing was thought to be too much in the nature of display of the power of God. (The Presidency afterwards approved of said letter.)...

Apostle M. F. Cowley called attention to the labors of the Seven Presidents of Seventies. Said they had been very faithful and through their labors he was satisfied that the tithing of the church had been greatly increased. Inasmuch as some of them were in straightened circumstances, notably Brother B. H. Roberts (the latter was now acting as a life insurance agent), he felt that the compensation of the Seven Presidents of Seventies should be increased.

President Snow said that nothing could be done in the matter at present. We have not arrived at a point where we can say to the general authorities of the church: "Give up all your financial affairs, devote your whole time to the work, and the church will provide fully for you; but that time is coming."

[President Snow:] Said that there are many bishops in the church, who are not capable and efficient in their official calling, many of them not being naturally endowed with the qualifications for the bishopric. In all such cases they should be released and others planted in their stead. ...

The sacrament was then administered, Pres. J. F. Smith being month in pronouncing the blessing upon the bread and wine. ...

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

125 years ago today - Apr 4, 1896 (Saturday)

The sixty-sixth annual conference of the Church convened in Salt Lake City; In voting for the general Church authorities, ... Moses Thatcher, was not upheld as one of the Twelve, because of his refusal to sign a manifesto issued by the general authorities of the Church to the Saints, in which the leading men of the Church were requested to seek counsel before accepting political offices which would interfere with their ecclesiastical duties.

[Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

140 years ago today - Apr 4, 1881

Joseph [F.] Smith spoke vary Strongly against the Saints sending their Children to Gentiles schools. ...

Report of Logen Temple was Given. Donations from Cache Stake was $143,433, Bear Lake $38,134.64 Box Elder $36,733.49, Trustee in trust $78,705.19, from other sources $660, Total $297,666.32. Sanpete [Manti] Temple Reported as having Received $250,235.40. Total in the two Temples $547,901.72.

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

170 years ago today - Apr 4, 1851

Upon recommendation by Brigham Young (the retiring "state" and incoming territorial leader), the General Assembly dissolved the State of Deseret on 4 April 1851.

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

180 years ago today - Apr 4, 1841

The Elders Quorum met in the Lords House according to appointment Bro [Otis] Hobart Reported to the quorum that Brother [Oliver] Granger refused to give up the Keys of the Lords House to the Trustees and sent a letter to be read before the quorum from Brother Joseph Smith on the subject of his holding the Keys.

the letter was read by the clerk the Brethren was still of the opinion that the Trustees ought to hold the Keys and furthermore it was agreed to let the subject rest at present where it was.

[Kirtland Elder's Quorum Record, http://ogdenkraut.com/?page_id=414]

190 years ago today - Apr 4, 1831

Edward Partridge is called to be the first bishop in the church. Sidney Rigdon anoints him an elder and sets him apart as a bishop.

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

40 years ago today - Apr 3, 1981

At the regional representatives meeting, President Spencer W. Kimball outlined three responsibilities to carry out the mission of the Church: Proclaim the gospel, perfect the saints and redeem the dead.

[Church News: Historical Chronology of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, http://www.ldschurchnewsarchive.com/articles/58765/Historical-chronology-of-The-Church-of-Jesus-Christ-of-Latter-day-Saints.html]

45 years ago today - Apr 3, 1976

Members attending general conference accepted Joseph Smith's Vision of the Celestial Kingdom and Joseph F. Smith's Vision of the Redemption of the Dead for addition to the Pearl of Great Price. These scriptures became part of the Doctrine and Covenants on June 6, 1979.

[Church News: Historical Chronology of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, http://www.ldschurchnewsarchive.com/articles/58765/Historical-chronology-of-The-Church-of-Jesus-Christ-of-Latter-day-Saints.html]

85 years ago today - Apr 3, 1936

The First Presidency restores full church and priesthood blessings to Matthias F. Cowley. He unsuccessfully asked for this since 1926. The Deseret News publishes this announcement.

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

120 years ago today - Wednesday, Apr 3, 1901

Apostle M. W. Merrill ... Prophesied that in the due time of the Lord Pres. Snow would have power to save every soul in his family [Nine wives and 42 children].

Remarks, David H. Cannon. ... Said Pres. Snow had promised the people of the St. George country that, if they were faithful in honoring the law of tithing and other commandments of God, they should be visited by the early and latter rains. This promise had been literally fulfilled, for a recent drought of some 5 years had been broken by copious rains. Explained how he had been guided by revelation in his labors at the temple.

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

125 years ago today - Apr 3, 1896

Apostle Franklin D. Richards tells the Relief Society conference that women have a right "to rebuke disease in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ & by virtue of the Holy Anointing which I have received."

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

180 years ago today - Apr 3, 1841

[Charles Anthon]

NEW-YORK, April 3, 1841. Rev. and Dear Sir,--I have often heard that the Mormons claimed me for an auxiliary, but, as no one, until the present time, has ever requested from me any statement in writing, I have not deemed it worth while to say any thing publicly on the subject. ... Many years ago, the precise date I do not now recollect, a plain looking countryman called upon me with a letter from Dr. Samuel L. Mitchell, requesting me to examine, and give my opinion upon, a certain paper, marked with various characters which the Doctor confessed he could not decypher, and which the bearer of the note was very anxious to have explained. A very brief examination of the paper convinced me that it was a mere hoax, and a very clumsy one too. The characters were arranged in columns, like the chinese mode of writing, and presented the most singular medley that I had ever beheld. Greek, Hebrew, and all sorts of letters, more or less distorted, either through unskilfulness or from actual design, were intermingled with sundry delineations of half moons, stars, and other natural objects, and the whole ended in a rude representation of the Mexican zodiac. The conclusion was irresistible, that some cunning fellow had prepared the paper in question, for the purpose of imposing upon the countryman who brought it, and I told the man so without any hesitation. ... To convince him the more clearly that there was no risk whatever in the matter, and that the work was actually what it claimed to be, he was told to take the paper, which purported to be a copy of one of the pages of the book, to the city of New York, and submit it to the learned in that quarter, who would soon dispel all his doubts, and satisfy him as to the perfect safety of the investment. As Dr. [Samuel L.] Mitchell was our "Magnus Apollo" in those days, the man called first upon him; but the Doctor, evidently suspecting some trick, declined giving any opinion about the matter, and sent the countryman down to the college, to see, in all probability, what the "learned pundits" in that place would make of the affair. On my telling the bearer of the paper that an attempt had been made to impose upon him, and defraud him of his property, he requested me to give him my opinion in writing about the paper which he had shown to me. I did so without any hesitation, partly for the man's sake, and partly to let the individual "behind the curtain" see that his trick was discovered. The import of what I wrote was, as far as I can now recollect, simply this, that the marks in the paper appeared to be merely an imitation of various alphabetic characters, and had in my opinion no meaning at all connected with them. The countryman then took his leave, with many thanks, and with the express declaration that he would in no shape part with his farm or embark in the speculation of printing the golden book. The matter rested here for a considerable time, until one day, when I had ceased entirely to think of the countryman and his paper, this same individual, to my great surprise, paid me a second visit. He now brought with him a duodecimo volume, which he said was a translation into English of the "Golden Bible." He also stated, that, notwithstanding his original determination, he had been induced eventually to sell his farm, and apply the money to the publication of the book, and had received the golden plates as a security for repayment. He begged my acceptance of the volume, assuring me that it would be found extremely interesting, and that it was already "making a great noise" in the upper part of the State. Suspecting, now, that some serious trick was on foot, and that my plain-looking visitor might be in fact a very cunning fellow, I declined his present, and merely contented myself with a slight examination of the volume while he stood by. The more I declined receiving it, however, the more urgent the man became in offering the book, until at last I told him plainly, that if he left the volume, as he said he intended to do, I should most assuredly throw it after him as he departed. I then asked him how he could be so foolish as to sell his farm and engage in this affair; and requested him to tell me if the plates were really of gold. In answer to this latter enquiry, he said, that he had never seen the plates themselves, which were carefully locked up in a trunk, but that he had the trunk in his possession. I advised him by all means to open the trunk and examine its contents, and if the plates proved to be of gold, which I did not believe at all, to sell them immediately. His reply was, that if he opened the trunk the "curse of Heaven would descend upon him and his children." "However," added he, "I will agree to open it, provided you will take the `curse of Heaven' upon yourself, for having advised me to the step." I told him I was perfectly willing to do so, and begged him to hasten home and examine the trunk, for he would find he had been cheated. He promised to do as I recommended, and left me taking his book with him. I have never seen him since. Such is a plain statement of all that I know respecting the Mormons. My impression now is, that the plain-looking countryman was none other than the prophet Smith himself, who assumed an appearance of great simplicity in order to entrap me, if possible, into some recommendation of his book. That the prophet aided me, by his inspiration, in interpreting the volume, is only one of the many amusing falsehoods which the Mormonites utter relative to my participation in their doctrines. Of these doctrines I know nothing whatever, nor have I ever heard a single discourse from any one of their preachers, although I have often felt a strong curiosity to become an auditor, since my friends tell me that they frequently name me in their sermons, and even go so far as to say that I am alluded to in the prophecies of Scripture! If what I have here written shall prove of any service in opening the eyes of some of their deluded followers to the real designs of those who profess to be the apostles of Mormonism, it will afford me a satisfaction equalled, I have no doubt, only by that which you yourself will feel on this subject.

I remain very respectfully and truly,

Your friend,

CHAS. ANTHON. Rev. Dr. Coit, New Rochelle, N.Y.

[Charles Anthon to Thomas Winthrop Coit, 3 April 1841, Church Record (Flushing, New York) 1 (17 April 1841): 231-32. Reprinted in John A. Clark, Gleanings by the Way (Philadelphia: W. J. & J. K. Simon, 1842), 233-38., as cited in Dan Vogel, Early Mormon Documents: Charles Anthon To Thomas Winthrop Coit]

185 years ago today - Apr 3, 1836

Mormon apostle Oliver Cowdery, as editor of the Latter Day Saint Messenger and Advocate, published an editorial on behalf of "our southern brethren", stating that "low indeed must be the mind, that would consent for a moment, to see his fair daughter, his sister, or perhaps, his bosom companion in the embrace of a NEGRO!"

[LDS (or related) Documents on Walker Lewis, the Lowell, Mass. Branch of the Mormon Church and its missionaries and members, and the Priesthood Ban against Blacks, Compiled by Connell O'Donovan, http://people.ucsc.edu/~odonovan/Mormon_Chronology.html]

185 years ago today - Apr 3, 1836

Sabbath, April 3rd He [Joseph Smith] attended meeting in the Lord's House [Kirtland Temple]... he retired to the pulpit, the vails being dropped, and bowed himself, with O[liver] Cowdery, in solemn but silent prayer to the Most High.

After rising from prayer the following vision was opened to both of them. The vail was taken from their minds and the eyes of their understandings were opened. They saw the Lord standing upon the breast work of the pulpit before them and under his feet was a paved work of pure gold, in color like amber. His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was like the pure snow. His countenance shone above the brightness of the sun, and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the Voice of Jehovah, saying, "I am the first and the last. I am he who liveth. I am he who was slain. I am your Advocate with the Father. Behold your sins are forgiven you. You are clean before me. Therefore lift up your heads and rejoice. Let the hearts of all my brethren /people/ rejoice, who have, with their might, built this house to my name.

"For behold I have accepted this house and my name shall be here; and I will manifest myself to my people, in mercy, in this House. Yea, I will appear unto my servants and speak unto them with mine own voice, if my people will keep my commandments and do not pollute this Holy House. Yea, the hearts of thousands and tens of thousands shall greatly rejoice in consequence of the blessings which shall be poured out and the endowment with which my servants have already been endowed and shall hereafter be endowed in this House. And the fame of this House shall spread to foreign lands, and this is the beginning of the blessing, which shall be poured out upon the heads of my people. Even so. Amen."

After this vision closed, the Heavens were again opened unto them and Moses appeared before them and committed unto them the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the Earth and the leading of the ten tribes from the Land of the North. After this Elias appeared and committed the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham, saying, that in them and their seed all generations after them should be blessed.

After this vision had closed, another great and glorious vision burst upon them, for Elijah the Prophet, who was taken to Heaven without tasting death, also stood before them, and said, "Behold the time has fully come which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi, testifying, that he should be sent before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come, to turn the hearts of the Fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse. Therefore, the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands; and by this ye may know that the great and the dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors." [See D&C 110]

[Faulring, Scott (ed.), An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith: Joseph Smith Diary, 1835-36, http://amzn.to/jsdiaries]

210 years ago today - Apr 3, 1811

Joseph Smith, Sr. tells his family about his first vision. He sees a field representing the barrenness of true religion upon the earth, and he sees a log containing a box. His spirit guide tells him that if he eats the contents of the box, he will be filled with "wisdom and understanding". He raises the lid of the box, but is unable to eat its contents because "all manner of beasts, horned cattle, and roaring animals, rose up on every side in the most threatening manner possible". Based on the vision, Smith, Sr. concludes, more than ever, that there is no true religion on the earth. He would have six other visions between 1811 and 1819.

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

35 years ago today - Apr 2, 1986

BYU's administration prepares a document for its external accreditation review, including: "BYU administrators are advised not to publish in 'Dialogue, a Journal of Mormon Thought,' nor to participate in 'Sunstone' symposia.

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

55 years ago today - Early April 1966

Apostle Lee's general conference talk publicly criticized Apostle Benson. Without naming his apostolic subordinate, Lee next told the April 1966 conference, "I would that all who are called to high places in the Church would determine, as did the Apostle to the Gentiles, to know and to preach nothing save Jesus Christ and him crucified." Then Lee darkly added: "The absolute test of the divinity of the calling of any officer in the Church is this: Is he in harmony with the brethren of that body to which he belongs? When we are out of harmony, we should look to ourselves first to find the way to unity." Apostles Joseph Fielding Smith, Harold B. Lee, and Mark E. Petersen had already indicated that Apostle Ezra Taft Benson was not in harmony with his quorum.

[Quinn's telephone conversation on 7 Nov. 1992 with L. Brent Goates. He described his father-in-law's April 1966 conference address as "an insinuation" concerning Benson but declined to comment further on the differences between the two apostles. Goates, Harold B. Lee, makes no reference to the dispute. From D. Michael Quinn, Ezra Taft Benson and Mormon Political Conflicts, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 26:2 (Summer 1992), also in Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power Salt Lake City (Signature Books, 1994), Chapter 3.]

55 years ago today - early Apr 1966

During a four- month period, Quinn McKay attempted several times to get a statement from Reed Benson denying that he was the author of [the] September 1965 letter. McKay described the rumors of September 1965 and paraphrased the letter that "all who belong to this group do all they can to foster a whispering campaign that there would be a racial demonstration at General Conference."

[Quinn G. McKay statement, 25 Apr. 1966, in J. Kenneth Davies, Political Extremism Under the Spotlight (Provo, UT: Young Democrats and Young Republicans of Brigham Young University, 1966), 21. From D. Michael Quinn, Ezra Taft Benson and Mormon Political Conflicts, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 26:2 (Summer 1992), also in Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power Salt Lake City (Signature Books, 1994), Chapter 3.]