40 years ago today - Aug 31, 1982

Church terminates History Division, shuffling the department to BYU.

[Chronology of Mormon History, http://followtheprophets.com/chronology-of-mormon-history/]

55 years ago today - Aug 31, 1967

George W. Romney states on national television that the U.S. government leaders and senior military officers have "brainwashed" him and every other American about the Vietnam War. The first Mormon to seek the U.S. presidency since 1844, Romney announces: "I no longer believe it was necessary for us to get involved in South Vietnam to stop Communist aggression." U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara immediately responds: "I don't think Governor Romney can recognize the truth when he sees it or hears it." Three decades later McNamara admits that at this time he privately regards the Vietnam War as misguided and unwinnable, despite his public statements to the contrary as the U.S. ground troops in Vietnam increase to half a million. Romney's use of the word "brainwashed" is ridiculed nationally and he withdraws as a presidential conadidate in Feb. 1968.

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

55 years ago today - Aug 31, 1967

John Wilson, Professor of Egyptology at the University of Chicago, writes in reply to an inquiry by Mormon Glen Wade that Wade had heard Wilson might know where the (yet unpublicized) Joseph Smith Papyri might be), "I was told verbally and in confidence that they were still in existence, recently bought by an American museum from a private source. I have been asked not to reveal their present location, and I have to keep my word on that. Thus I cannot suggest to you how you can secure more definite information."

135 years ago today - Aug 31, 1887

[Heber J. Grant]

I remember at one of our meetings since the death of Prest Taylor that Geo Q. stated that the Reserve of three fifths held by Prest Taylor had been assigned to him and that this three fifths was subject to our quorum. He did not feel that it was his right to make disposition of these funds. Moses Thatcher asked the question if there was any objection to the starting of a Bank, a number of the brethren spoke an the subject all seemed to favor starting another Bank that would be under the control of faithful members of the church, George Q. Cannon favored arranging for Zion's Savings Bank to do the Banking for our people Moses Thatcher and I went for the 'straw' character of the Savings Bank in the plainest terms. Geo Q. resented our remarks, and did not like our finding fault and thought it was easy to find fault etc, etc. (Erastus called it a rotten bank) Moses & I thought such institutions as Zion's Savings Bank brought discredit upon the leading officials of the Church as it was looked upon as a Church institution. [Grant said he favored] having our institutions just what they claimed to be. Prest Cannon referred to Brigham Young's starting the Bank and thought we could all sit at the feet of Brigham Young and learn financial lessons. Bro Erastus Snow did not care to go back to B. Young to bolster up a bad institution. It disgusted me to find brother Cannon trying to defend a rotten straw institution and claiming that his and other outlawed notes were just the same as cash, although admitting that perhaps some of the notes were not good. Nearly every move George Q. Cannon makes decreases my confidence in his sense of honor, in financial matters ... The Bank question came up again and George Q. Cannon made a motion that any of the brethren were at perfect liberty to engage in the Banking business. I made a motion that the capital of Zions Savings Bank be paid up in cash, George Q. opposed my motion and it was 'set down on'. [Grant vows to accomplish it anyway; Cannon can set down on him as often as he likes.] ... A number of letters to and from John W. Young were read. I wish I had confidence in Him but I have not and never hear his name mentioned in connection with our efforts for Statehood but what It decreases my faith in the success of our efforts. If the Lord is going to use a man with a dishonest financial record, to give the people liberty, it looks to me as though He was placing a premium on dishonest methods. [Notes on last p. of this entry:] Have misjudged Bro Cannon regarding Bank ... and Think I have misjudged Bro Cannon in thinking he did not wish to see the Savings Bank changed to a cash basis ...

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

180 years ago today - Aug 31, 1842

Pres^t. Joseph Smith opened the meeting by addressing the Society. ... He said that great exertions had been made on the part of our enemies, but they had not accomplished their purpose— God had enabled him to keep out of their hands— he had war'd a good warfare inasmuch as he had whip'd out all of [John C.] Bennett's host— his feelings at the present time were, that inasmuch as the Lord Almighty had preserv'd him today. He said it reminded him of the Savior, when he said to the pharisees, "Go ye and tell that fox, Behold I cast out devils, and I do cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected." &c. ...

Pres^t. S. continued by saying, I shall triumph over my enemies— ...

[This is the last time he addressed the Relief Society]

[1.2.17 August 31, 1842, Sixteenth Meeting of the Society, as quoted in Matthew J. Grow, Jill Derr, Carol Madsen, and Kate Holbrook, editors, The First Fifty Years of Relief Society: Key Documents in Latter-day Saint Women's History, The Church Historian's Press, 2016, https://churchhistorianspress.org/the-first-fifty-years-of-relief-society/]

180 years ago today - Aug 31, 1842

To refute John C. Bennett's allegations Joseph Smith authorizes publication of affidavits in the Mormon publication THE WASP accusing first counselor Sidney Rigdon's daughter Nancy and Orson Pratt's wife Sarah of sexual misconduct with Bennett. This is part of an ongoing pattern to attack the moral character of women who have publicly told of being approached regarding the still-secret practice of polygamy.

10 years ago today - Aug 30, 2012

In response to the hour-long NBC Rock Center special on Mormonism, the LDS Newsroom published the following on caffine:

Finally, another small correction: Despite what was reported, the Church does not prohibit the use of caffeine. The Church's health guidelines, known in our scriptures as "the Word of Wisdom" (Doctrine and Covenants 89), prohibits alcoholic drinks, smoking or chewing of tobacco and "hot drinks" taught by Church leaders to refer specifically to tea and coffee. The restriction does not go beyond this.

The next day, phrases were removed: "the Church does not prohibit the use of caffeine" and "The restriction does not go beyond" tea and coffee:

Finally, another small correction: Despite what was reported, the Church revelation spelling out health practices (Doctrine and Covenants 89) does not mention the use of caffeine. The Church's health guidelines prohibits [sic] alcoholic drinks, smoking or chewing of tobacco, and "hot drinks" - taught by Church leaders to refer specifically to tea and coffee.

[LDS Newsroom]

50 years ago today - Aug 30, 1972

[Michael Quinn]

[At HDC] Dean Jessee [a member of Arrington's staff ] observed that the Ensign [the LDS Church's monthly periodical for adults] apparently prefers the "pablum approach" to history. -- As long as the self-assured guardians of the Church's image refuse to present our history as it is, our people will continue to become disenchanted and disappointed to learn that our history has been full of false starts, doctrinal evolution, and human leaders. I wish that we took the Hebraic approach to our history, as can be found in the Old Testament, New Testament, and to a lesser degree in the Book of Mormon. The great prophets and spiritual leaders were shown as being human with human foibles and who made mistakes. The Hebrews could identify with such heroes and thus have hope that they, too, might overcome their weaknesses to become valiant servants of God. It is difficult for us [as Latter-day Saints] to identify with the demi-gods we have made out of [LDS Church founder] Joseph Smith and [LDS President] David O. McKay and most of our other leaders. They, too, were men capable of sin and who did sin[-]as every man does. Thank God for leaders like [LDS Church authorities] Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball and J. Golden Kimball whose rough humanity is hard to ignore or gloss over.

[From the diaries and memoirs of D. Michael Quinn, in 'On Writing Mormon History, 1972-95,' edited by Joseph Geisner, Signature Books, 2020]

Aug 30, 1967

First Presidency letter to "Presidents of Stakes and Bishops of Wards" "Occasionally young women come to the temple to receive their endowments or to do ordinance work for the dead WEARING SLACKS OR MINI-SKIRTS. We suggest that when interviewing sisters applying for temple recommends you kindly remind them of the sanctity of the temple and the propriety of being MODESTLY DRESSED when they enter the House of the Lord."

Aug 30, 1932

B. H. Roberts, senior Seventy's president and assistant church historian, writes a complaint about censorship. Heber J. Grant requires him to remove from the forthcoming volume of the History of the Church the statement of Brigham Young that Seventies are ordained apostles. "I desire, however, to take this occasion of disclaiming any responsibility for the mutilating of that very important part of President Young's Manuscript," Roberts writes, "and also to say, that while you had the physical power of eliminating that passage from the History, I do not believe you had any moral right to do so."

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

Aug 30, 1922

Apostle and Salt Lake Temple President George F. Richards notes in his journal: "Brethren and sisters who have been set apart as regular temple workers may have access, while in the temple, to the books containing the ceremonies, but neither the books nor a transcript there from should be taken away from the Temple."

Tuesday, Aug 30, 1887

[Apostle John Henry Smith]

Salt Lake City

I found all well at home. It is said the Deputies have been watching my house for several days.

[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]

Aug 30, 1857

I attended the prayer Circle in the evening. The Contempable speeches of Senators Stephen Arnold Douglas was read & the answer of Albert Carrington to the speech was also read Also the intention of Govornor Young in Case we were invaded by an Enemy. Many remarks were made upon the subject of the present Crices [crisis] which is apparently approaching us.

President Young said that many of the brethren had many fears about the Lamanites because the gentiles were making them presents. You need have no fears upon this subject for if the nation gives them a few millions it will not be all that is their due & then they will turn around & take the rest. We need have no fears but what the Lamanites will be prepared to fill their mission. I cannot feel that the time has come for us to do a great deal of hard fighting but I believe the Lord will fight our Battles. When the time Comes for us to do a great deal of fighting we shall have help & strength and the promises of God will be verified unto us.

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

Aug 30, 1857

With Johnston's army approaching Utah to install federally appointed territorial officials Heber C. Kimball preaches: "You ladies, too, will certainly have to do your part, or back out. I told you last Sunday to arm yourselves; and if you cannot do it any other way, sell some of your fine bonnets, fine dresses, and buy yourselves a good dirk, a pistol, or some other instrument of war. Arm your boys and arm yourselves universally, and that, too, with the weapons of war; for we may be brought to the test, to see if we will stand up to the line. . . . Can you live your religion, except you do as you are told? I have said, again and again, that if we live our religion, and do as we are. told, those men will never come over those mountains; for we shall slay the poor devils before they get there. I do not know of any religion, except doing as I am told . . . I have acknowledged myself as one of the people; and now I say, we will take our own name, and we will not be false-named any more. We are the Kingdom of God; we are STATE or DESERET; and we will have you, brother Brigham, as our Governor just so long as you live. We will not have any other Governor."

Aug 30, 1857

Apostle John Taylor preaches that Mohammed "might have been a true one [prophet], for aught I know."

Aug 30, 1857


Brigham Young discusses the possible secession of the Mormon "Kingdom of God" from the United States, and announces: "We must have the kingdom of God, or nothing. We are not to be overthrown." (JD 5:166).

[Wikipedia, Utah War, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utah_War#Timeline_of_events]

1837 August [30]

The Manuscript History provides no details on Joseph's mission to Canada and only reports he "returned to Kirtland about the last of August." But Mary Fielding writes her sister that as he and Sidney neared Kirtland, they were seized by a mob and taken back to Painsvill[e] "where they intended to hold a mock trial." Aided by a sympathizer, the two escaped into the woods with their would-be captors in hot persuit. Joseph and Sidney reached Kirtland about 3 a.m.

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

75 years ago today - Aug 28, 1947

Minutes of the Council of the Twelve and of the First Presidency: Letter read from Elder John A. Widstoe calling attention to the engagement of a young couple, members of the Church, the sister having one thirty-second of negro blood in her veins. Brother Widstoe raises the question as to whether in such cases the individual having Negro blood might be recommended to the temple for marriage. Brother Widstoe states that he informed the couple of the ruling of the Church in the past that any one having negro blood in his veins cannot receive the Priesthood or go to the temple. Council approved the attitude indicated by Brother Widstoe.

[Adam S. Bennion Papers; Marquardt, H. Michael, Mormon Central: Excerpts From Minutes of the Council of the Twelve and of the First Presidency, 1879-1947 http://www.xmission.com/~research/central/chorg2.htm]

80 years ago today - Aug 28, 1942

[Marion G. Romney]

... Of course, President Grant is not well physically and he is not as vigorous as he has been, but he is still the president and the Lord's spokesman on the earth. ... President Clark probably has as great a load to carry as any man in the Church ever had, as he must supply the vigorous leadership to the Church when he is only a counselor. His appointment to the presidency of the Church to me is one of the greatest evidences that I have ever seen of the divinity of the Church and that God chooses the men for high places in the Church. President McKay also is a powerful man, but of an entirely different type. He and President Clark certainly are a balanced pair of counselors.

[The Diaries of J. Reuben Clark, 1933-1961, Abridged, Digital Edition, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2015, Appendix 2, The Diaries of Marion G. Romney, 1941-1961, Abridged]

120 years ago today - Thursday, Aug 28, 1902

The clerk read a letter from a Brother Earl of Mountain View, Canada, in which he desired to know what temple work, if any, could be done for those who will inherit a telestial kingdom. The answer was, none.

[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]

130 years ago today - Aug 28, 1892

[Anthon H. Lund]

[at a conference at Panguitch] "Adoption was referred to and the binding power of the priesthood"

[Diary of Apostle Anthon H. Lund, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

140 years ago today - Aug 28, 1882 • Monday

[George Q. Cannon]

... We also examined plans of the interior of the Manti Temple and gave some instructions respecting the arrangement of the celestial room.

[The Journal of George Q. Cannon, Church Historian's Press, https://churchhistorianspress.org/george-q-cannon]

145 years ago today - Aug 28, 1877

[Wilford Woodruff]

28 I got Telegram that Presidet Young was vary low. I gathered to gether some 100 Elders & 30 women & we went into the Temple and Clothed ourselves in the Temple Clothing and formed our prayer Circles and Prayed through the day and night untill 2 oclok in the Morning when we all assembled together & had prayers together and Expressed our feelings upon the Situation of Presidet Young [who's health was rapidly declining]. We then adjourned untill 7 oclok.

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

165 years ago today - Aug 28, 1857

[Mountain Meadows]

Betwen Aug 25th and Sept 6th Stake Presidents William H. Dame and Isaac C. Haight, the senior regional military leaders of the Mormon militia, hold meetings about how to implement Brigham's "Martial Law"

[Exploring Mormonism: Mountain Meadows Massacre Timeline, http://www.exploringmormonism.com/mountain-meadows-massacre-timeline/]

170 years ago today - Aug 28, 1852

Heber C. Kimball preaches: "I say to those who are elected to go on missions, . . . You are sent out as shepherds to gather the sheep together; and remember that they are not your sheep: they belong to Him that sends you: Then do not make a choice of any of those sheep; do not make selections before they are brought home and put into the fold. You understand that. Amen."

170 years ago today - Aug 28, 1852

Brigham Young preaches: "After men have . . . become Gods, they have the power then of propagating their species in spirit . . . and then commence the organization of tabernacles. . . . How can they do it? Have they to go to that earth? Yes, an Adam will have to go there, and he cannot do without Eve; he must have Eve to commence the work of generation, and they will go into the garden, and continue to eat and drink of the fruits of the corporal world, until this grosser matter is diffused sufficiently through their celestial bodies to enable them, according to the established laws, to produce mortal tabernacles for their spiritual children. This is a key for you. The faithful will become Gods, even the sons of God; but this does not overthrow the idea that we have a father. Adam is my father; (this I will explain to you at some future time;) but it does not prove that he is not my father, if I become a God: it does not prove that I have not a father."

170 years ago today - Aug 28, 1852-29

At a special conference in Salt Lake City, the doctrine of plural marriage was first publicly announced, although several of the leading brethren of the Church had been practicing the principle privately since it had been taught to them by Joseph Smith.

[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]

175 years ago today - Aug 28, 1847

William Smith: Announced revelation 28 Aug. 1847 that he was president of new church awaiting Joseph Smith III's maturity

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

185 years ago today - Aug 28, 1837

The Ohio banks (except Kirtland) that had suspended payment because of the national depression resume payments at this time.

[Conkling, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology]

55 years ago today - Aug 27, 1967

LOS ANGELES TIMES article "Race Discrimination Becoming Hot Issue in Mormon Church."

95 years ago today - Aug 27, 1927

[First Presidency]

The only proper place for [a film] presentation [on the life of Jesus Christ] would be a holy temple, if the time could ever come when it might be deemed wise and proper to use the motion picture in these sacred places. We have no such intention at the present time.

[Heber J. Grant, Anthony W. Ivins, and Charles W. Nibley to Pearl W. Peterson, Aug. 27, 1927, in Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/TempleWorship]

135 years ago today - Aug 27, 1887

[Wilford Woodruff]

I wrote to Johnson the Ferryman. <We made an appropriation> of $12,000 <[in part payment?]>. I pitched quoits for Exercise. [The angled brackets indicate portions written in code (shorthand). This is probably paymemts to eastern presses to do favorable coverage about Utah's bid for statehood].

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

175 years ago today - Aug 27, 1847

In England Henry Jacobs's missionary companion, Oliver B. Huntington receives a letter informing the two missionaries that Huntington's sister "Zina [Diantha Huntington Jacobs Smith Young, Jacobs's legal wife, plural widow of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young's plural wife] had gone to Salt Lake City to live with President Young's family". Oliver dashes off a letter to Zina, complaining that "Henry is here and herd the letter. He says all is right, he don't care. He stands alone as yet. I have had almost as much trial about you as he has. I have had to hear, feel and suffer everything he has-If you only knew my troubles you'd pitty me."

180 years ago today - Aug 27, 1842

LDS newspaper THE WASP denounces "John C. Bennett, the pimp and file leader of such mean harlots as Martha H. Brotherton and her predecessors from old Jezebel." Brotherton had gone public about being approached regarding polygamy. This is part of a pattern, extending to Nancy Rigdon and Sarah Pratt, to attack the moral character of women who have publicly told of being approached regarding the still-secret practice of polygamy.

220 years ago today - Aug 27, 1802

John Whitmer, one of the Eight Witnesses of the Book of Mormon, is born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

50 years ago today - Aug 26, 1972

A Church News article about Mrs. Viola Clawson's recent retirement as the supervisor of the all-male guides on Salt Lake Temple Square since 1942. She had total discretion in their appointment, assigned days/hours, and release.

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

85 years ago today - Aug 26, 1937

The death of Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith's wife after four years of acute depression and emotional illness. Ethel Reynolds Smith spent much of that time in the Utah State Hospital for the Insane, where her father (a general authority) had also been confined.

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

120 years ago today - Tuesday-Wednesday, 26-Aug 27, 1902

[Rudger Clawson]

In the evening of Wednesday I went to the theater to see the play of "Corianton," a Book of Mormon play. The play is well written and splendidly staged and has had a phenomenal run of over a week. It is the calculation of the Corianton Co. to visit all the leading cities of America, and I believe the play will attract a good deal of attention and perhaps cause some investigation of the Book of Mormon.

[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 - Aug 26, 1877

Elizabeth Kane was at Brigham Young's side on Sunday night, August 26, 1877. Young wished to pass on his presidential calling to his son Apostle John Willard Young in a dynastic bid, but that summer, he had confessed to his father that he couldn't stand his first wife and instead planned to court and marry Luella Van Cott Cobb, the 16 year-old granddaughter of Brigham's third wife, Augusta Cobb. According to Elizabeth Kane's notes, this was the topic of Brigham Young's last "intelligent thinking, and speech." Brigham spoke to John "about Cobb girl" and told him that she was "Of a bad Tribe." And "herself too of the kind fond of embroidered underclothes." Brigham reponded to a whipered request. The "Answer" was, "If you cannot feel to marry...well! Ah Johnny!" Young then immediately fell into a comatose state, which Kane said he never emerged from, before passing away on August 29, 1877 at 4:00 pm.

[Elizabeth Kane notes as described by Connell O' Donnovan]

165 years ago today - Aug 26, 1857

President Young said I have sent General Harney word that I wish for peace & do not wish to fight any body but He must not Come Here with his armey. If he undertakes it I shall stop him.

... The Nation is determined to make us free. They are determined to drive us to defend our selves & become independant. The Nation is breaking to peases in spirit. ... I told the people years ago that if they would let us alone we would Conv[ert?] & revolutionize the world....

Presidet Young staid 3+ hours in Compiling his History. He remarked that the revelation upon a plurality of wives was given to Joseph Smith. He revealed it to Oliver Cowdery alone upon the solem pledge that He would not reveal it or act upon it it but He did act upon it in a secret manner & that was the cause of his overthrow.

[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 - Aug 26, 1842

[Brigham Young]

Met in the evening in council with the Prophet Joseph and some of the Twelve. We received much good instruction and counsel from Joseph, relative to the situation of the Church, and the policy to be pursued in sending many elders through the states to preach the gospel and disabuse the public mind in relation to the false statements of Dr. J. C. Bennett [former assistant president of the church, recently publishing expose' articles about polygamy].

The Prophet also directed us to call a special conference on Monday next, and nominate the elders to go on this important mission, and give them their instructions; and that we should also get the affidavits against Dr. Bennett published, so that the elders might have authentic and strong testimony to lay before the public in relation to those matters.

[Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 1801-1844, ed. Elden Jay Watson (Salt Lake City: Smith Secretarial Service, 1968).]

35 years ago today - Aug 25, 1987

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences gives the Emmy for a public service spot "produced for the Church's Missionary Department by Bonneville Media Communications." The LDS church is the first religious organization to receive a national Emmy (again in 1988, 1993).

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

90 years ago today - Aug 25, 1932

William Smith [brother of Joseph Smith, excommunicated after Joseph Smith's death]: Baptized by proxy into LDS church 21 June 1932, and priesthood restored to him before proxy endowment on 25 Aug. 1932

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

105 years ago today - Aug 25, 1917

[Joseph F. Smith, Anthon H. Lund, Charles W. Penrose, and Heber J. Grant]

With the purpose of quieting certain rumors now in circulation among members of the Church, from which rumors wrongful inferences may be drawn as to the established order and practises of the Church, we feel constrained to issue this statement, deeply as we deplore the necessity of so doing, inasmuch as the name of one now deceased is involved.

It is a matter of public knowledge that the late John W. Taylor, once a member of the Council of the Twelve, was excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by the solemn and official action of the Council.

Notwithstanding all the reports to the contrary, we hereby certify that the excommunication has never been revoked, rescinded, nor in any way modified; and that the said John W. Taylor has not been restored to membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

[Rumors of his rebaptism had been spread by former apostle Matthias Cowley, who had been discplined at the same time as Taylor]

[Joseph F. Smith, Anthon H. Lund, Charles W. Penrose, and Heber J. Grant, 'Official Announcement,' Deseret News, 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 - Aug 25, 1897; Wednesday

Pres[ident]. Wilford Woodruff was at his office this morning, feeling bright and active; the heavenly visitation received by his daughter having revived his spirits greatly and filled his household with peace and happiness, imparting to him new vigor of mind and body.

[First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve minutes]

140 years ago today - Aug 25, 1882

[John Nuttle]

In the afternoon Pres Taylor & Smith decided that both tubs at Logan Temple shall be [illegible] feet long for Males and 6 feet long for females -- 24 inches wide at top -- 21 inches wide at bottom -- 20 inches deep the flare to be in front.

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

150 years ago today - Aug 25, 1872

Brigham Young preaches: "I remember once, when a boy, Jedediah M. Grant saw me chewing tobacco, and said be, 'You chew tobacco, do you?' 'Yes, sir.' 'Well, I never had any taste for it; it is no virtue in me that I do not use it, I tried hard enough, but it made me sick.'"

155 years ago today - Aug 25, 1867 (Morning)

Pres. Young was pleased with the teachings that had been given during this conference. Referred to the fall of man. The bodies of Adam and Eve were pure and after the Celestial order until they partook of the forbidden fruit when their bodies were changed with the things of this world. Adam helped organize this world for an inheritance for himself and posterity. -- Provo, Utah

[Minutes of Meetings held in Provo City, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, in The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, Ed. Richard S. Van Wagoner, Smith-Pettit Foundation, Salt Lake City (2009), http://bit.ly/BY-discourses]

175 years ago today - Aug 25, 1847

[Wilford Woodruff]

We shall leave this [Salt Lake] valley in the morning to start back to winter Quarters. We as A pioneer company have accomplished more this season then can be found on record concerning any set of men since the days of Adam. Having travled with heavy loaded waggons over one thousand miles having made our road more than one half of the way over & through the rough mountains & canions & searched out a glorious land as a resting place for the Saints & in one month after our arival laid out a city two miles square & built A fort & fortification of hewn timber drawn 7 miles from the mountains & of unburnt brick surrounding 10 acres of ground 40 rods of which was coverd with Block Houses, Besides planting about 100 Acres of corn, potatoes, Buckwheat turnips gardens &c. The pioneers did not exceed 150 men during the time. 140 of the Battalion arived. I think there was not over 100 men labouring on the work at a time, besides much exploring was done. And after accomplishing this work the company return to winter Quarters the place of Begining making nearly 2,500 miles traveling during one summer besides all the labour.

[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 - Aug 25, 1842

Joseph Smith publicly admonishes the Twelve and others to "support the character of the Prophet, the Lord's anointed." He lashes out at "O[rson] Pratt and others of the same class [who] caused trouble by telling stories to people who would betray me, and they must believe these stories because his Wife told him so! And as to all that Orson Pratt, Sidney Rigdon, or George W. Robinson can do to prevent me, I can kick them off my heels, as many as you can name."

45 years ago today - Aug 24, 1977

[Spencer W. Kimball]

Dedicates Poland for future Church workthe first visit of a President of the Church behind what was then known as the Iron Curtain.

[Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball, Salt Lake City, Utah]

90 years ago today - Aug 24, 1932

[Heber J. Grant]

Brother George Sturm called and wanted to be blessed to go to Germany to try to convert the Kaiser, the former ruler of Germany. I told him we did not send people on special missions of that kind with blessings but I wished him success.

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

145 years ago today - Aug 24, 1877

Patriarchal Blessing of Brigham Henry Roberts ... listen to the whispering of the still small voice of the comforter, for through that source thy guarding Angel will warn thee of events to come, and give thee power over evil and unclean spirits: and thou shalt realize that the hand of the Lord is over thee for good; and that He has preserved thy life in the past for a wise purpose. He hath also delivered thee from among thine enemies, therefor[e] give praise unto whom praise is due.

And thy days and years shall be many; and thou shalt become a mighty man in Isreal [Israel], and assist in gathering the honest in heart among the nations of the Earth. ... Be faithful in keeping the commandments of God, and thou shalt preside over a Stake in Zion. Thou shalt also be prosphered [prospered] spiritually and temporally ...

Thou shalt also be mighty in healing the sick by laying on of hands, for this shall be thy special gift through pray[e]r and faith. ...

[Patriarchal Blessings]

145 years ago today - Aug 24, 1877

Questions submitted to President Young

1. At what age can children have their Endowments? If of a naturally ripe and early development of mind and body as early as twelve years. but as a general rule fifteen years old is ear early enough. ...

5. Shall children born outside of the Marriage relation, and who are dead, be sealed to their father, or to their Mother? They should be sealed to the one who has received the Gospel and lived it.

6. Are children who have been born to parents who have been sealed. but not had endowments, born in the covenant, or will they have to be sealed to their parents? They will have to be sealed to their parents.

7. How Young may a dead female be sealed to a husband? Not too young; say not less than ten or twelve Years. ...

9. Is a woman who has been born out of the covenant and who is married, to be sealed to her husband and his family, or to her own parents? She should be sealed to her own parents, unless they Yield up their right to her as a daughter, and wish to surrender her to some other family.

10. Shall the Work done for the dead in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, be done over again in the Temple? No.

11. Can a brother or sister who has received Endowments in Salt Lake City or in Nauvoo, have the privilege of passing through the degrees in the St. George Temple, and if so, are they to be clothed with Temple clothing, or in the ordinary manner? They may have the privilege of passing through as visitors; and not wearing Temple clothing.

12. Can an Indian Woman, who is in good standing in the church. receive her endowments and have her children sealed to herself and husband (a white man) also in good standing. Yes. ...

14. Can a person demented by fits, or other cause, have anything done in Temple Ordinances for him while living? No. such persons are not held accountable.

15. If a person die without having had endowments, is it well to bury them in garments without marks? Such person May be buried with garments. if their friends choose. but not Marked nor with robes or other Temple clothing. . . . Is it proper to seal a Woman that has died out of the Gospel and who was never Married; to a man who died out of the Gospel, they being unknown to, or not having any claim on each other in this life. Yes. where the dead have been Known to be good and Moral, give them this privilege. There may be cases when it would not be proper, but upon general principles it would-- all women as well as men will be judged for their Acts.

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

145 years ago today - Aug 24, 1877

First President of Seventy B. H. Roberts receives a patriarchal blessing from Presiding Patriarch John Smith. He later writes of it: "The blessing in the main was unsatisfactory and greatly disappointing, . . ."

155 years ago today - Aug 24, 1867

President Young said his views of the great Temple in Jackson Co Mo. was that there would be 12 Temples surrounding a square & the square would be [-] for a Great Tabernacle for the People while the Temples would be for giving Endowments & there would be doors out of Every Temple for the Priesthood (who labored in the Temples), to go into the Tabernacle to teach the People & Prepare them for the Endowments.

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

105 years ago today - Aug 23, 1917

[James E. Talmage]

Elder Rudger Clawson and I constitute a committee appointed by the First Presidency to investigate certain rumors to the effect that John W. Taylor, at one time a member of the Council of the Twelve, but who was excommunicated from the Church by action of that Council, was restored to membership, and had his former authority in the Priesthood reconfirmed upon him shortly before his death. The committee has interviewed Matthias W. Cowley, who admitted that he had stated as a fact, in the belief that it was a fact, that John W. Taylor was so restored, and that under the administration of President Joseph F. Smith. Brother Cowley was told of his error and was required to notify all parties to whom he had given the false information that he had stated what was not a fact.

This morning Moses W. Taylor, President of the Summit [Utah] Stake, called at my office by appointment. Brother Rudger Clawson, chairman of our committee, was communicated with by phone, and stated that he would arrive if possible, but he requested me to proceed in behalf of the committee to ascertain from Moses W. Taylor such information as he possessed relating to the alleged restoration of his brother, John W. Taylor, to membership in the Church. ...

[James E. Talmage, Diary, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1835-1951, Electronic Edition, 2015, Appendix 8: The Reinstatements of Matthias F. Cowley and John W. Taylor]

125 years ago today - Aug 23, 1897; Monday

President Woodruff said this morning that the communication of this personage to his daughter had given him a new idea, that is, the fact that there are prayer circles in heaven. He said he had never thought of it before; but when he came to think about it, it was perfectly plain and consistent. He also said that he felt that the Lord had not only blessed and instantly healed his daughter, but that he himself had been greatly honored by this visitation [see Today in Mormon History, entry for Aug 22, 1897 for details of the healing/visitation].

[First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve minutes]

140 years ago today - Aug 23, 1882

Rudger Clawson convicted

Rudger Clawson became the first polygamist to be tried under the Edmunds Law.

· Jury of twelve Gentiles. Note that, according to the census of 1880, there were 120,283 Mormons, 14,136 Gentiles, and 6,988 apostates in Utah.

· Lydia Spencer, Clawson's polygamous wife, refused to be sworn as a witness and was committed to the penitentiary.

· There was an ex post facto application of the law to his marriage performed before 1862.

· Rudger Clawson was sentenced to three years and six months in the penitentiary and was fined $500 on the first count, polygamy, and six months & $300 on the second count of unlawful cohabitation. (Larson, p. 109-110.). This was a very harsh punishment for this crime.

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

145 years ago today - Aug 23, 1877

Half a century ago there lived on a farm in Afton, Chenango County, then called South Bainbridge, a good settler named Isaiah [Josiah] Stowell. ... As it was he contented himself with the faith (and practice) that untold sums of gold had been hidden in the earth by some extinct tribes of Indians or highwaymen or something of the sort, and that it was to be his especial good luck to find all this gold. Northern Pennsylvania, near Lanesboro and Susquehanna, was believed by him to be the gold bearing region, and with assistants and the proper tools he made frequent journeys to the wild country about Starrucco Creek and spent weeks in delving in the rocky mountain side at the rise of the Blue Ridge range. ... It was during one of his digging excursions near Lanesboro that Deacon Stowell heard of the remarkable powers which Joseph Smith, a young fellow who had lived near Great Bend, about twenty miles south on the Susquehanna River, was reported to possess. Smith, it was said, could see objects which lay fifty feet below the surface of the earth with entire distinctness. ... Stocking a wagon with enough provisions to last him for the journey, the Deacon harnessed a team and started for Palmyra. ... He [Joseph] pretended to possess the power of second sight, and had no hesitation in saying that he had been brought into the world by God to work out certain plans of the Almighty on earth. ... Crazy Deacon Stowell became Smith's disciple at once, and Smith told him the story of a wonderful stone he had found. According to this story Smith, when quite a boy, heard of a young girl living within a few miles of his father's house, who possessed a magic glass by looking into which she could see objects that were invisible to others. Young Joe was seized with an irresistible desire to see this wonderful glass, and obtained that boon. The glass, was put into a hat to exclude the light, and the boy gazed. For a long time he saw nothing, but finally a speck appeared which assumed the proportions of a small stone, seemingly a long way off. The stone, grew brighter and brighter, until it finally glowed like a calcium light or--since this was 1820 --like the sun at noonday. At last the glass showed him that the stone was hidden under the roots of a small tree on the south side of Lake Erie, not far from tha [the] boundary line between New York and Pennsylvania. Often afterwards Smith looked in the glass seeing only the same sight, and, after thinking and pondering on the subject for several years, determined to find the stone. Equipped with a few shillings in cash and a bundle of provisions, he started on foot toward the West. When money and food gave out, he supplied himself by working at farm houses on the way until he was able to renew his travels. After walking 150 miles he found himself at the mouth of a creek which he remembered seeing in the glass. A farmer lent [him] a pick and shovel, and he soon found the tree and the magic stone. The latter he carried to the creek, washed the dirt from its smooth surface and gazed "into" it. To his great joy he found that he was possessed of an all-seeing eye, whose vision penetrated water and annihilated space. The stone was of the size of a hen's egg, curved in the shape of a high-stepped shoe, and was composed of layers of different colors passing diagonally through it. ... The good Deacon used his powers of entreaty so well that young Smith agreed to return with him and aid in the search for gold. ... Smith, by the aid of his magic stone, ascertained that many years before a band of robbers had buried a box of treasure in certain flat lands on the deacon's farm. To protect this treasure, Smith said, the robbers had by sacrifice laid a charm upon it, so that it could not be recovered except by faith and certain talismanic influences. The diggers prepared themselves for work by fasting and prayer for several days. Smith assured the Deacon that it was utterly useless for him to begin digging without an absolute faith that the labor would be successful. When the Deacon had banished all his doubts the party went to work with awe in the presence of the charm. A few feet from the surface a shovel in the hands of the Deacon touched a hard substance, and hastily throwing back the dirt he discovered the top of a square wooden chest, bound with hoops of iron. But while Smith, Stowell and their assistant, one [Jonathan] Thompson, were gazing with awe and wonder on the sight[,] the box gradually sank in the ground and was soon gone. They dug and uncovered it again, and it disappeared again. This was kept up till it ceased to be amusing, and Smith was called upon to dispel the charm. He gave Deacon Stowell some instructions. The latter, sending his Presbyterian training to the wind, went to his stock yard and selected a ewe lamb, the finest in the fold, with pure white skin and fleece. It was washed until it was perfectly spotless. Meanwhile darkness settled down over the Susquehanna Valley, and the rites for the propitiation of the demon who guarded the treasure was carried on by the light of a single lantern. The lamb was brought to the edge of the pit, and a bowl placed in readiness to catch its blood. The Deacon got upon his knees and prayed, probably to the demon, while Smith drew the sacrificial butcherknife across the lamb's throat, and then moved in circles about the pit, sprinkling the blood around it. Then the party resumed their picks and shovels, but couldn't even find the top of the box any more. Deacon Stowell and Joe Smith kept up this circus in various promising places for awhile, but the Deacon never got any hidden treasury, and slowly but surely was spending the competence he had amassed. ... In February 1856 [1826], the sons caused Joe's arrest as a vagrant, and the trial occur[r]ed before Albert Neely, esq., father of Bishop [Henry Adams] Neely, of Maine. The country folks for miles around attended the trial. The affidavits of the sons were read, and the prophet was put upon the stand. He testified to but little concerning the charge on which he was arrested, but gave the history of his youthful days, told about the finding of the magic stone, and claimed to possess all the powers which the infatuated Deacon believed to reside in him. The magic stone was exhibited in court. Joseph Smith, Sr., the father of the prophet, who is described as having been a most disreputable looking person, testified in his son's behalf describing his wonderful success as a seer. Deacon Stowell also testified in the prophet's behalf, and gave many circumstances corroborative of the supernatural powers possessed by the young man. Young Smith, he said, could see things fifty feet below the surface of the ground as plainly as he could see the articles on the Judge's table. "Deacon Stowell, do I understand you as swearing before God, under solemn oath you have taken, that you believe that?" "Do I believe it?" was the reply, "Do I believe it! No; it is not a matter of belief. I positively know it to be true." Thompson, one of the employe[e]s of Deacon Stowell, related the story of the mysterious sinking of the box told above. Smith was discharged mainly on the testimony of Deacon Stowell, and he continued to reside in the neighborhood. About four years after, it is said, Smith, by the aid of his magic stone, found the Book of Mormon. This Elder [Orson] Pratt, of the Mormon Church, says it was when he was but fourteen years old, but the people of Susquehanna say he was nearer twenty-five.

["Joe Smith's Youthful Days. Deacon Stowell's Long Hunt for God--His Belief that Smith Could See Fifty Feet into the Earth," Bainbridge (NY) Republican, 23 August 1877, 2. Reprinted in Montrose (PA) Democrat, 19 September 1877., as cited in Dan Vogel, Early Mormon Documents: Bainbridge (Ny) Republican]

165 years ago today - Aug 23, 1857

John Taylor preaches: "[Horace] Greeley is a great man to talk about a higher law, which means, with him, stealing niggers. We do not care anything about that. We want to do something better-something higher and more noble. That is rather too low for us; consequently, they need not be afraid of our stealing their niggers: we will let them have all the benefits of them as one of the grand institutions of Christians, . . ."

165 years ago today - Aug 23, 1857

[A speaker] Was followed By President Heber C Kimball who was filled with the power of God. ... If the people will do as they are told they shall never be driven from these vallies. An Enemy shall not Come in these vallies for we will not let them. If we have to take to our tents at all we will not pitch them again as a resting place untill we Pitch them in Jackson County. He said that Presidet Young said when He first Came in in a speech that we should lay up grain for a 7 years famine & we should let the land rest on the 7th year. Brother Woodruff herd it. (Brother Woodruff said it was written.)

Now the US are trying to force a Govornor upon us. We will not Receive him. The Lord has said our govornor will procede out of the midst of us. This is in the Bible.

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

165 years ago today - Aug 23, 1857

Heber C. Kimball preaches: "Some of you, ladies, that go abroad from house to house, blessing the sick, having your little circles of women come together, why are you troubling yourselves to bless and lay your hands on women, and prophesy on them, if you do not believe the principle? You make yourselves fools to say that that same power should not be on the man that has got the Priesthood, and with sisters that have not got any, only what they hold in connection will their husbands. We can tell what will come to pass; and one of you can talk in tongues and pour out your souls to God, and then one interpret; that is the course you take, and it is all right: go ahead, and God bless you and multiply blessings on you; but do not go round tattling about your husbands and talking against the Priesthood you are connected to. I do not say many of you do it; but you that do it are poor, miserable skunks." Kimball also preaches: ". . . let me tell you, the Holy Ghost is a man; he is one of the sons of our Father and our God; and he is that man that stood next to Jesus Christ just as I stand by brother Brigham"

60 years ago today - Aug 22, 1962

A First Presidency letter to stake presidents: "It is contrary to our counsel and advice that ward, branch or stake premises, chapels or other Church facilities be used in any way for political campaign purposes, whether it be for speech-making, distribution of literature, or class discussions." The First Presidency finds it necessary to reissue these instructions on 5 Mar. 1980.

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

125 years ago today - Aug 22, 1897

[Wilford Woodruff]

Sunday August 22nd I concluded that myself and family would fast and pray today in behalf of Alice as she is so sick which we did. ... Then we went out onto the porch until we were called into the parlor and Alice related the following manifestation of a heavenly being who appeared before her and blessed her and made her many precious promises, so that we all felt to rejoice at the goodness of the Lord.

Statement of Miss /Mary/ [handwritten insert] Alice Woodruff Note made on Sunday evening, August 22nd, 1897.

About seven o'clock this evening, whilst I was lying on my bed, my father and mother and members of the family were out on the porch... As they [some visitors] left, I felt very sad with a feeling that I would never see them again, so I commenced to cry bitterly. William endeavored to comfort me with encouraging words. As he was talking I beheld a brilliant light, which frightened me. I held on to William and called "father, father." I then saw a most glorious personage standing near the foot of the bed, his feet were off the floor. On my calling for father, Will went out passing by this personage, almost touching his clothing, and father and the family came in. I motioned them all to go out but father as I thought he might also see this personage as I did. I sat up in my bed, quite awake, he stretched out his arms over my head and said in a distinct but under tone of voice, "The Lord has sent me to bless you, you shall be healed from this time forth. The Lord seals his blessings upon you." He then came to the side of the bed and said I must go to the Temple and there I should receive something (I have forgotten what it was I should receive) and further said the prayers of the circles in the heavens have been heard in your behalf, and the prayers of the circles here upon the earth, also the prayers of the saints have been heard; that I should stay here and be blessed in my life; that I should have joy and pleasure in my union, be blessed as a mother, having posterity. Said you are a daughter of Israel and shall stand as a representative in your father's kingdom. The Lord will give you health and strength and bless you so that you may love him and keep his commandments, for a great work is before you and he expects a great deal from you. I was so overjoyed I could not speak, I tried to do so but could not. He said many other things for my comfort and consolation, and just before leaving he stretched his hands over my head again and referred to my Temple work and blessed me saying: "The Lord will bless you with health and strength and make you well and strong, and he expects you to spend your strength in doing his will, I therefore bless you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. He then put his hands together in front of his face and dropped them down to his hips. I then saw him rise up to near the chandelier and pass out going towards the hall and thence towards the dining hall. I was so overjoyed I cried for joy. As soon as I could speak from crying and sobbing I related to father what I had seen as I did not know whether it was proper to speak of it or not; but I felt so overjoyed at such a manifestation and have felt so ever since that I can scarcely contain myself. All my pains ceased immediately. I felt like I could get out of my bed well and strong, like I was completely restored to health. I partook of some food with a relish.

This personage was the most beautiful man I ever saw. He had long hair and beard, was dressed in a white under garment, then a kind of skirt and something like a robe over his right shoulder, which was drawn across his breast and fastened on the left side about the waist. He had a small white bag trimmed with gold attached to his girdle, and had a small gold like book in his hand, which seemed to be transparent. I did not see any leaves, but I thought I could see print or writing in the book. His head was bare and a circle of light around it. His feet and hands were also bare....

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

160 years ago today - Aug 22, 1862

[Brigham Young]

President Young said I expect this Temple will stand through the Millennium & the Brethren will go in and give the Endowments to the people and this is the reason why I am having the foundation of the Temple taken up. A H Raleigh was the boss of the Job and I told him I should hold him responsible for the work, but if He had lived in the days of Nero and built the meanest House for him to serve the devil in he would have done it much better than He has the foundation of this Temple.

If we do not Hurry with this I am afraid we shall not get it up until we have to go back to Jackson County which I Expect will be in 7 years. I do not want to quite finish this Temple for there will not be any Temple finished until the One is finished in Jackson County Missouri pointed out by Joseph Smith. Keep this a secret to yourselves lest some may be discouraged. Some things we should keep to ourselves.

President Young then said right west of the Temple in a line between the North & South gates we shall build a Tower & put a Bell in it. We shall build it square & build it as high as we please. Then west of the Tower we will build a Tabernacle to hold some 15,000 people. The Tower will stand so as to have a road Each side of it, one between the Tower & Temple, & one between the Tower & Tabernacle. This plan was shown me in vision when I first Came onto the ground.

President Young then said to Brother Morley & Levi Jackman who was Standing by, you are both Jack- son County Members, & I want you to live to go back to Jackson County with me.

He also said here is brother Woodruff. He was the first man that I felt lead by the spirit to speak to about the organization of the Church. -- Farmington, Utah [Wilford Woodruff's Journal. 9 Vols. Scott G. Kenney, ed. Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1983-85. 6:71-72]

[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 - Aug 21, 1967

A First Presidency letter: "It appears that some bishops and branch presidents remove the names of inactive members of their ward or branch from the Church rolls in order that the ward or branch statistical records may present a better showing... Even the fact that an individual has joined another Church is not always justifiable cause for excommunication... some wives of non-members have been exommunicated because their husbands refuse to permit them to be active."

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

95 years ago today - Aug 21, 1927

Thomas S. Monson, later a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and First Presidency, is born in Salt Lake City, Utah.

145 years ago today - Aug 21, 1877

Aug 21, 1877 I Wilford Woodruff went to the Temple of the Lord this morning and was Baptized for 100 persons who were dead including the signers of the Declaration of Independance all except John Hancock and [William Floyd].

... [names listed] ...

When Br McAllister had Baptized me for the 100 Names I Baptized him for 21, including Gen Washington & his forefathers and all the Presidets of the United states that were not in my list Except Buchannan Van Buren & Grant.

It was a vary interesting day. I felt thankful that we had the privilege and the power to administer for the worthy dead esspecially for the signers of the declaration of Independance, that inasmuch as they had laid the foundation of our Government that we Could do as much for them as they had done for us.

Sister Lucy Bigelow Young went forth into the font and was Baptized for Martha Washington and her famaly and seventy (70) of the Eminent women of the world. I Called upon all the Brethren & Sisters who were present to assist in getting Endowments for those that we had been Baptized for to day.

[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 - Aug 21, 1852

[Wilford Woodruff]

The Shoshonees or snake Indians came into the City to day to make peace with the Utahs & Walkers Company. They smoked the pipe of peace & shook hands in friendship & fellowship. They have been at war for many years but through the wise course of President Young they are brought to peace.

[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 - Aug 21, 1842

Sidney Rigdon preaches in the grove. He has begun to oppose Joseph bitterly. However, his daughter, Eliza, whom doctors had pronounced dead, has risen up in bed and said to her elder sister Nancy, "It is in your heart to deny this work; and if you do, the Lord says it will be the damnation of your soul." Because of this miraculous healing, Rigdon announces that rather than denounce the faith and call Joseph a fallen prophet, as many have been saying Rigdon believes, he wants instead to testify to the miracle of God and restate that his faith in Joseph is still strong. The Saints, having heard so many recent negative things about Joseph, are greatly rejuvenated in spirit by Sidney's testimony.

[Conkling, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology]

185 years ago today - Aug 21, 1837

[Heber C. Kimball]

I will Relate a vision that I hade a day or two after we landed [in England]. I was [on] bord of a vessel with others and with me. The Ship was under full Sale. Seam as though thare was [a] difficuilt spot to pas threw. The wind blew harde and the chip was under great head way and thare was great danger of running bord of those snags. Thare was just room for it [the ship] to run betwixt them [the snags] and just as the chipe was pasing threw them thare [was] one right before it and the chip run over it and ground it to powder and did not hurt the chip and I have seen this fullfilled to the uttermost. Rev. Mister Fieldins Run before the work of God and it has destroid him and his influence and his church has left him and he is a object of pity; the Lord has ben with me and giving me drems and vissions and shown me of those things which was to come for this I thank my hevly [heavenly] Father for.

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

30 years ago today - Aug 20, 1992.

David T. Cox, identifying himself "a lifetime member of the church in good standing," says he is "ashamed and terrified at the thought of a Mormon inquisition or LDS McCarthyism" and calls for church leaders "to destroy all non-statistical information" held by "the Strengthening Church Members Committee."

[Anderson, Lavina Fielding, "The LDS Intellectual Community and Church Leadership: A Contemporary Chronology," Dialogue, Vol.26, No.1]

50 years ago today - Aug 20, 1972

Joel F LeBaron is murdered in Mexico by order of his brother Ervil. This is the first fatality involving polygamy since 1886 and the first killing of a Mormon schismatic leader since 1862. However, it is unfortunately only the first of dozen or more murders involving Ervil LeBaron's violent group, The Church of the Lamb of God.

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

80 years ago today - Aug 20, 1942

President Grant called attention to the fact that it is several years since the death of the Presiding Patriarch, Hyrum G. Smith, and that the vacancy cause by his death had not yet been filled. He said he felt that the Church is entitled to a Patriarch and he had prayed earnestly and faithfully and had not been able to get the feeling that he should endorse the recommendation of the Council of the Twelve that Eldred Smith be made the Patriarch to the Church. The President said if the brethren of the Council all took the ground that this young man should be the Patriarch he would give him that appointment, but they would all have to sign their names to a statement to the effect that it is their impression that he is the man. He would not, however, attach his signature to theirs on such a document. If the brethren of the Council feel that way he did not want them to change their minds. President Grant said that the Lord has given him no inspiration that this young man should be the Patriarch, and he would not say that he could support him when he has not receive the inspiration to do so. [Eldred Smith would eventually be appointed Church Patriarch]

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

90 years ago today - Aug 20, 1932

The First Presidency announces plans to erect a monument on the summit of the Hill Cumorah.

135 years ago today - Aug 20, 1887 (Saturday)

The remains of Pres. John Taylor were transferred to a granite sepulchre in the Salt Lake City cemetery.

[Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

160 years ago today - Aug 20, 1862

Deseret News reports first counselor Heber C. Kimball's sermon: "Do not fret yourselves; if any man has done a wrong deed, do not undertake to kill him without knowing whether he has done right or wrong; wait till you have ascertained the facts in the case." No sermon requires Mormons to seek permission to blood-atone.

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

180 years ago today - Aug 20, 1842

The Twelve carry out their decision of August 8 and excommunicate Orson Pratt [for insubordination related to his wife's claim that Joseph Smith had propositioned her while he (Orson) was on a mission)] and his wife [Sara for adultry, supposedly with disaffected assistant president John C. Bennett]. Amasa M. Lyman is ordained to the apostleship in Pratt's place. John C. Bennett is officially deposed as chancellor of the University of the City of Nauvoo. (Pratt will be reinstated into the Twelve on Jan. 20, 1843.) The high council of Nauvoo decides to divide the city into ten wards with a bishop over each. (This does not take place until Dec. 4, 1842.)

[Conkling, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology]

185 years ago today - --20 [August, 1837].

[Willard Richards]

... I began to address the company, but was interrupted. On our return I was pelted with turnips, and etc., by the multitude; "the Lord forgive them."

[Willard Richards Journal]

45 years ago today - Aug 19, 1977

The first annual Church Educational System Religious Educators Symposium (later known as CES Conference), a multiday conference for seminary and institute faculty highlighting the upcoming course of study, is held at Brigham Young University.

100 years ago today - Aug 19, 1922

[James E. Talmage]

Here I take occasion to record a manifestation of Divine over-ruling such as I have witnessed on a few occasions, the last of which is an occurrence of this day. A man who had been excommunicated years ago on proof of gross transgression had recently been readmitted to the Church by baptism on his profession of repentance and on the recommendation of his Bishopric. Application had been made by him, and this had been transmitted to the First Presidency, to receive his former blessings by the ordinance of the laying on of hands. The matter was referred to me. I interviewed the man in the presence of the President of the Stake, and the manifestation to which I refer is that of the Divine power compelling a man to tell the truth against his will. It was evident that this man had falsified to his Bishopric as also to the Stake Presidency. Under questioning, evidently against his desire and literally with the gnashing of teeth, he confessed to other sins than those for which he had been dealt with and to recent transgressions. The evil one has very great power over him, and I fear will continue to hold it unless the man is genuine and whole-souled in his repentance. Of course, I declined to officiate in the ordinance of restoring to him his former Priesthood.

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

125 years ago today - Aug 19, 1897; Thursday

The First Presidency, at their office this morning, appropriated the sum of $555 to the Willow Creek Ward towards a new meeting house. The amount from the present year's tithing less five per cent losses and ten per cent handling. The full amount being about $650.

At 11 A.M. the First Presidency and Apostles met at the Temple. Pres[ident]. Jos[eph]. F. Smith drew attention to the fact that some of the [Joseph] Smith family who had died had not received the Temple ordinances, and asked in relation to William Smith and Emma Smith, brother and wife of the Prophet. Pres[ident]. [Wilford] Woodruff thought it was better to leave those persons in the hands of the Prophet himself. ...

Pres[ident]. Woodruff explained some things in connection with Bro[ther]. Orson Hyde's repentance. After his wrongdoing, he was endeavoring to cross the Mississippi River and was thrown into the water, but floated onto some driftwood and while clinging to it in a drowning condition, he called upon the Lord to spare his life, promising that he would repent, confess his sins and ask those whom he had wronged to forgive him. This he subsequently carried into effect, and manifesting sincere repentance he was forgiven. ...

[First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve minutes]

130 years ago today - Aug 19, 1892

[Francis M. Lyman]

Assisted Governor Thomas and a gentleman from Pittsburgh to get a peep into the temple.

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

145 years ago today - 1877 August 19

[Brigham Young]

"After prayers that evening he sat in council with Aunt Eliza R. Snow in the prayer-room¿. At 11 o-clock that night he was seized with an attack of what was supposed to be "cholera morbus""

[The Life Story of Brigham Young, 360-361]

145 years ago today - Aug 19, 1877

Apostle Wilford Woodruff tells Sunday school meeting that he heard Joseph Smith say: "If the people knew what was behind the vail they would try by every means to commit suicide that they might get there but the Lord in his wisdom had emplanted the fear of death in every person that they might cling to life and thus accomplish the designs of their creator." Later Woodruff spends the evening preparing a "list of the Noted Men of the 17 Centaury and 18th including the signers of the declaration of Independance for Baptism on Tuesday the 21 Aug 1877." Though he did not record the incident in his journal, he later claims that he had been visited in dreams or visions by the signers of the Declaration of Independence, who had urged him to help redeem them by doing their temple work" Brigham Young preaches: "The great majority of men who have amassed great wealth have done it at the expense of their fellows, on the principle that the doctors, the lawyers and the merchants acquire theirs. Such men are impositions on the community, and they ought to be taken and put to some honorable labor such as raising potatoes, raising grain, cattle and sheep, and performing other useful and necessary labors for the good of mankind. Amen."

180 years ago today - Aug 19, 1842

The SANGAMO JOURNAL publishes "JOE SMITH'S MORALITY. What Joe's morality amounts to, can be learned from his letter to Miss Rigdon, which will be found in the 6th communication of Gen. Bennett, in this paper. Joe Smith, in the letter alluded to, undertakes to sustain by the Scriptures, by reason, argument, and GOD'S REVELATION TO HIMSELF, the lawfulness of his "spiritual wife doctrine." Joseph Smith's letter to Nancy Rigdon is given by John C. Bennett, former Assistant P resident of the Church, in his exposee of Mormonism./ Mormon leaders deny that Joseph wrote the letter and claim it is made up by Bennett. However long after the Mormons have moved to Utah the same "essay" is published in the History of the Church and later in "Teaching of the Prophet Joseph Smith" as being by Joseph Smith.

Nancy had refused Joseph's proposal and he dictated a letter to her a day or two later about plural marriage, hoping to convince her to marry him.

"Happiness is the object and design of our existence ... we cannot keep all the commandments without first knowing them ... That which is wrong under one circumstance, may be, and often is, right under another."

Joseph tells Nancy that enjoying God's "gifts" and "enjoyments" is not a sin if there is revelation, and that those who receive this blessing "shall have abundantly".

"[I]t is proper that we should enjoy His gifts and blessings whenever and wherever He is disposed to bestow; but if we should seize upon those same blessings and enjoyments without law, without revelation, without commandment, those blessings and enjoyments would prove cursings"

The letter discusses the centrality of revelation, that it must be followed even if it appears unreasonable:

"This is the principle on which the government of heaven is conducted--by revelation ... Whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is, although we may not see the reason thereof till long after the events transpire. "

Joseph then gives an example of Solomon asking for wisdom and receiving a "special revelation" which granted "every desire of his heart" that others "considered abominable."

"So with Solomon: first he asked wisdom, and God gave it him, and with it every desire of his heart, even things which might be considered abominable to all who understand the order of heaven only in part, but which in reality were right because God gave and sanctioned by special revelation."

The last part of the letter transitions into an unannounced revelation. The first portion of the revelation is directed to Nancy telling her to seek for revelation, and warns that she should refrain from those "I have not given you", an apparent reference to her romantic interest in Francis Higbee.

"-he says, ["]Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find;" but, if you will take that which is not your own, or which I have not given you, you shall be rewarded according to your deeds;"

The rest of the revelation is directed to a broader audience, although intended for Nancy's ears. Presumably to those who accept Joseph's proposal, the Lord will not withhold any "good thing" to those "who will listen to ... the voice of my servant," for God delights in those who to "abide by the law of my kingdom." Perhaps referring to turmoil they may feel in learning about plural marriage, the revelation concludes, "in the end they would have joy"

190 years ago today - Aug 19, 1832

Jesse Gause sets out on an eastern mission with Zebedee Coltrin. Coltrin returns to Kirtland because of illness. Jesse Gause (set apart as Joseph's counselor on March 8, 1832) continues east and soon disappears from all Church history records.

[Conkling, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology]

15 years ago today - Aug 18, 2007

Church contractors implode a 20-story office building in downtown Salt Lake City, the final step in preparations to begin construction on City Creek Center, a $1.5 billion redevelopment project. (Presiding Bishop H. David Burton has stated that no tithing funds will be used in the completion of this project.)

Church publicists announce that City Creek Center is scheduled to be completed in 2011.


30 years ago today - Aug 18, 1992.

Keynoting the devotional for the estimated 30,000 participants at BYU Education Week, Elder Neal A. Maxwell criticizes some intellectuals: "Exciting exploration is preferred by them to plodding implementation, as speculation and argumentations seem more fun to these few individuals rather than consecration, so they even try to soften the hard doctrines. By not obeying, they lack knowledge and thus cannot defend their faith, and a few become critics instead of defenders."

[Anderson, Lavina Fielding, "The LDS Intellectual Community and Church Leadership: A Contemporary Chronology," Dialogue, Vol.26, No.1]

135 years ago today - Aug 18, 1887

Newspaper interviews Eliza R. Snow about plural marriage; she mentions the angel with a sword commanding Joseph to practice polygamy.

[Mormonr (mormonr.org/sources)]

175 years ago today - Aug 18, 1847 (Wednesday)

Nearly half of the Pioneers left G.S.L. Valley with ox teams, on their return to Winter Quarters for their families.

[Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

180 years ago today - Aug 18, 1842

Joseph Smith to the Whtneys (parents of his bride of three weeks) "... my feelings are so strong for you since what has pased [sic] lately between us that the time of my absence from you seems so long and dreary, that it seems as if I could not live long in this way: and <if you> three would come and see me in this my lonely retreat, it would afford me great relief, of mind ... I have a room intirely [sic] by myself, the whole matter can be attended to with most perfect safty [sic] ... the only thing to be careful of; is to find out when Emma comes [here,] then you cannot be safe, but when she is not here, there is the most perfect safty [sic] ... pardon me for my earnestness on <this subject> when you consider how lonesome I must be ... I think Emma wont [sic] come to night [--] if she dont [sic,] dont [sic] fail to come to night."

[Dean C. Jessee, comp. and ed., Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, rev. ed. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book; Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 2002), xx ("Insertions [by Joseph Smith] are enclosed in angle brackets: < >"), 566-67 ("TO THE WHITNEYS[,] 18 AUGUST 1842"), in "Evidence For The Sexual Side of Joseph Smith's Polygamy," Comments by D. Michael Quinn on Session #2A "Reconsidering Joseph Smith's Marital Practices," Mormon History Association's Annual Conference, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 29 June 2012 (unabbreviated version, revised during July)]

30 years ago today - Aug 17, 1992-Monday

[Leonard Arrington]

Things I don't like about the church

1. The imposition of one pattern for everybody rather than suggesting two or three patterns and letting local wards or stakes or districts follow the one most convenient for them. Examples, the three-hour meeting schedule on Sunday.

2. Appointing the highest tithe payers to position of leadership rather than the most capable or worthy. In choosing stake leaders, the General Authority comes with a list of the 15 or 20 highest tithe payers and starts down the list to choose a stake president and high council.

3. The maintenance of a disloyalty file on liberals, including articles they've written with questionable statements, newspaper clippings. These are used against the person without him or her knowing what is in the file and having a chance to deny it or explain it. The supposition is that liberals are out to destroy or embarrass the church, a supposition entirely false.

4. The insistence on unanimity among the Twelve, which means that the most obstinate member, the one holding out against the rest, wins.

5. The insistence on choosing a new president from the senior member of the Twelve. This means we'll always have a president far beyond his energetic, creative period of life. We should retire persons from the Twelve at age 75 and never choose anyone over that age to be president of the Church.

6. The First Presidency and Twelve should call a person in to talk with him/ her before putting the person on the blacklist, not to be cited, his/her books not to be sold in Church bookstores, not to be allowed to speak in Church, etc.

7. The church should allow historians to present "human" material in biographies of presidents and General Authorities.

8. We should allow women to be associates to the Twelve and sit in on their meetings. The Relief Society president should sit in on bishopric meetings. Mothers should be allowed to stand in the circle to bless babies, confirm newly baptized persons as members of the Church, just as they now can open and close meetings with prayer.

9. The manuals used in adult Sunday school, Priesthood, and Relief Society classes are absolutely hopeless. Using the same gospel doctrine manual every fourth year; the same with Priesthood manuals. Hopeless. Why can't they assign a skilled and experienced writer to do a new manual every year?

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

80 years ago today - Aug 17, 1942

The 'SS Brigham Young' is launched as a Liberty Ship for transporting troops, prisoners, and freight. Christened by Lucy Gates Bowen (his granddaughter) in Los Angeles Harbor. On 22 May 1943 the 'SS Joseph Smith' is launched. The former survives World War II, but the latter sinks in heavy seas on 11 Jan. 1944.

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

125 years ago today - Aug 17, 1897; Tuesday

Brother Jesse Knight, of Provo [Utah], called on the First Presidency today. ... Jesse has become very wealthy through success in mining ventures. These had been pointed out to him by manifestations, in which a voice directed him like someone speaking to him through a telephone, so he explained to the Presidency, to whom he related his singular experiences.

[First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve minutes]

150 years ago today - Aug 17, 1872

[Wilford Woodruff]

President Brigham Young said to me I would like to put 1,000 families on My farm which would make 10 Acres each & Commence the order of Enoch but I would want a Revelation to know who to put there. I know of 2 Men that I think would do right & that is you & me. I Could not say about our families.

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

165 years ago today - Aug 17, 1857

A member of the Dukes train, S. B. Honea, stated "that he passed through Great Salt Lake City on August 17, that he saw everywhere preparations for war, that the company were harassed by Indians all the way, that in southern Utah they hired Mormon guides and interpreters to the sum of $1,810, and then were robbed on the Muddy [River] of 375 head of cattle. [George B.] Davis described the Indians who stole the cattle as having among them some with light, fine hair and blue eyes, and light streaks where they had not used sufficient paint. He gave the number of cattle taken as 326 head…..On October 17, the first members of the Duke train of emigrants arrived half-starved at San Bernardino with the Mormon theft of their cattle to add to the tale of the massacre.

Pitchforth reports Fancher party passes through Nephi.

[Exploring Mormonism: Mountain Meadows Massacre Timeline, http://www.exploringmormonism.com/mountain-meadows-massacre-timeline/]

180 years ago today - 1842 August 17

Emma Smith visits Joseph and notifies him that his current hiding place had been compromised, due to rumors around town. Joseph moves to Carlos Granger's home

[Mormon Polygamy Timeline of Events, https://hemlockknots.com/monogamy-polygamy-timeline/?fbclid=IwAR3ozoB8xZ8CffCz_HsV4eKupT3z_e0r0NeNmYwMorzgDXj7Wx3HKgyN_lc]

30 years ago today - Aug 16, 1992.

David Knowlton and Linda King Newell appear on the weekly program Utah 1992 (KXVX, Channel 4, Salt Lake City), moderated by Chris Vanocur and Paul Murphy. In response to questions, Linda relates the story of the banning of the Emma biography and David describes his encounters with his stake president. ... Linda describes the "devastating" impact of receiving phone calls from all over the country based on such rumors as that she had been excommunicated for adultery and of going into an interview with two general authorities who had not read the book. "I have four kids," she says. "You cannot believe the impact this has had on them, and my husband. They'll never see the church the same way--ever. . . . It hurts so much. And it hurts so much to see it happening again and again. . . . I'm seeing my friends getting picked off one by one. . . . And it's ongoing. I'm blacklisted now, along with a lot of other good people." But when asked, "Do you ever think about leaving?" she responds, "No, why would I leave? It's my church. I chose it."

[Anderson, Lavina Fielding, "The LDS Intellectual Community and Church Leadership: A Contemporary Chronology," Dialogue, Vol.26, No.1]

160 years ago today - Aug 16, 1862

[Joseph Knight, Jr.]

... in 1827 [1826] he [his father] hired Joseph Smith; Joseph and I worked and slept together. my Father said Joseph was the best hand he ever hired. we found him a boy of truth, he was about 21 years of age. I think it was in November [1826] he made known to my Father and I, that he had seen a vision, that a personage had appeared to him and told him <<where>> there was a gold book of ancient date buried, and if he would follow the directions of the Angel he could get it. we were told it in secret; ... he [Joseph] went to see them [the gold book], but did not go as he was told so he could not get them; as my Father has given the particulars I will skip over; at last he got the plates, and rode in my Father's wagon and carried them home.... Joseph had commenced to translate the plates, ... at last Oliver Cowdery came to write for him, then he got along faster ...

[Joseph Knight, Jr., "Joseph Knight's incidents of history from 1827 to 1844 / Aug. 16, 1862 / compiled from loose sheets / in J[oseph]. K[night].'s possession / T[homas]. B[ullock].," Joseph Knight, Jr., File, LDS Church Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah., as cited in Dan Vogel, Early Mormon Documents: Joseph Knight, Jr., History]

165 years ago today - Aug 16, 1857

[Wilford Woodruff]

This was one of the most important days that the Church & kingdom of God has seen in this dispensation. ... Presidet Brigham Young ... told us & all the world what the will of God was & what his intentions were. He would no longer submit to their [the United States] Ungodly persecutions. If General Harney Came here with an armey to destroy this people we would destroy him & his armey. ... should they undertake to send an army of 50,000 or 100,000 men next year we will lay waste this whole Territory & flee into the mountains. I will lay all my dwellings in Ashes. ... Then do you not think that our Canyons will be ad[apted?] for the bones of our Enemies? I think it will.

... I have had to hold the Indians here for years from destroying the emigrants. I have had to give them many thousands of dollars to keep them from killing the Gentile Emigration to Calafornia. ...

I want this people to go to & save all their grain & prepare to cash it up in the mountains but dont let your Neighbor know whare you put it. I want you to prepare for a 7 years siege.

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

165 years ago today - Aug 16, 1857

[Heber C. Kimball]

". . . for if men turn traitors to God and His servants, their blood will surely be shed, or else they will be damned, and that too according to their covenants"

[Heber C Kimball, Journal of Discourses, vol. 4, p. 375]

180 years ago today - Aug 16, 1842

Nauvoo, Illinois. In a letter to his wife, Emma Smith, Joseph Smith mentioned how he, through dream and vision, was persuaded against traveling to the -"Pine Country-" in Wisconsin.

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

35 years ago today - Aug 15, 1987

The Genealogical Department was renamed the Family History Department.

[Correlation Timeline, Compiled by Lisle Brown]

75 years ago today - Aug 15, 1947

[J. Reuben Clark]

Bro. Virgil Smith called. He said he had talked with Bp. Elggren and Bp. Brewster at a High Council meeting last night, and they said that the word they got on the negro question was direct from President [George Albert] Smith, who called them personally on the telephone (after he was President), and it is just possible that his second experience was a personal call, but he knows he received a letter from Pres. Smith. ... He had met Bro. Smith on the street and he had "kidded" him about being so hard on the negroes; it was after this he got the letter from Pres. Smith, which was in a sort of general way, saying the Church could not discriminate. ...

Bro. Smith said he searched two hours last night through his papers and was unable to find the letter. He rather laughed and said that he kept the letters that gave him commendation and authority to do something, but was not too anxious to keep ones that "spanked" him.

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

110 years ago today - Aug 15, 1912; Thursday

[James E. Talmage]

Attended council meeting of the First Presidency and Twelve in the Temple.

In the matter of publication of colored post cards showing temple interiors, referred to under date of 8th inst., the First Presidency has directed that the entire edition be destroyed.

[James E. Talmage, Diary]

135 years ago today - Aug 15, 1887 • Monday

[George Q. Cannon]

The question of finishing the interior and roof of the Temple at Salt Lake City was considered. Most of the brethren were in favor of making the building fireproof, and using iron or steel for the roof and cement, tiles and iron for the joists, girders, floors, &c.

[The Journal of George Q. Cannon, Church Historian's Press, https://churchhistorianspress.org/george-q-cannon]

165 years ago today - Aug 15, 1857

(15-16) Apostle George A. Smith preaches fiery sermons at Cedar City in southern Utah. Smith left Salt Lake City on 13 Aug. and brings latest news of U.S. army's "invasion," also report of Apostle Pratt's murder in Arkansas. Smith likes wearing a holstered revolver in public, appeals to memories of Missouri persecutions, and has been preaching "speedy vengeance" for a decade. From all accounts he leaves Mormons of southern Utah filled with hatred and fear of their approaching enemies. A clerk records that in traveling north on 25 Aug. Smith meets "a party of emigrants who seemed to he much excited and placed on a double guard as soon as we arrived." A few days later that emigrant party camps farther south at place called Mountain Meadows.

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

175 years ago today - Aug 15, 1847

[Brigham Young]

The Lord converses with men on the earth in the form of A servent & by visions & dreams &c but He never appears [to] man in the flesh in the fulness of his glory, for He is as a consuming fire & a mortal body would perish in an instant... as all the ordinances of the gospel Administered by the world since the Aposticy of the Church was illegal, in like manner was the marriage Cerimony illegal and all the world who had been begotton through the illegal marriage were Bastards not sons & Hence they had to enter into the law of adoption & be adopted into the Priesthood in order to become sons & legal heirs of salvation.

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

175 years ago today - Aug 15, 1847 (Morning)

[Brigham Young]

President Young addressed the congregation on the sealing principles, or more particularly, on the law of adoption. He told them: It did not detract from a man's glory to be sealed to another, but added to it, for he still held that of his own and adopted parents at the same time. -- SLC Bowery

[Pioneering the West 1846 to 1878: Major Howard Egan's Diary. Howard R. Egan, ed. Salt Lake City, 1917. 122, in The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, Ed. Richard S. Van Wagoner, Smith-Pettit Foundation, Salt Lake City (2009), http://bit.ly/BY-discourses]

180 years ago today - Aug 15, 1842

Nauvoo, Illinois. Joseph Smith heard multiple reports that sheriffs, officers, and a militia were on their way to take him captive.

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

30 years ago today - Aug 14, 1992.

Peggy Fletcher Stack's Salt Lake Tribune article reporting the First Presidency statement begins: "Mormon Church leaders say they have a scriptural mandate to keep secret files on outspoken members." Ross Peterson is quoted as saying that the statement "is `stretching the scriptural justification. Comparing Sunstone and Dialogue folks to people who were shooting Mormons in 1839 Missouri is unfair." He described his own "grill[ing]" by his area presidency who "continually drew photocopied items out of a file and asked him about things he had written decades ago. The file was sitting on the churchmen's desk, but Mr. Peterson was not allowed to see its contents." "Files are a strange carryover from a paranoia that resembles McCarthyism," says Peterson. The article also cites unnamed "LDS Church employees" who tell the Tribune that William O. Nelson "shares President Benson's John Birch Society politics" and that "the church has kept files on outspoken members for decades. In the late 1970s a church librarian, Tom Truitt, told researchers in the LDS historical department that he was `on a special assignment from the brethren' to read all LDS historical articles, underline `objectionable parts' and send them on to the `brethren.' His clipping system was influential in having the one-volume history of the LDS church, Story of the Latter-day Saints, removed from the shelves at Deseret Book stores and dropped from the reading list at LDS institutes." Linda Newell points out, "It's one thing to know who your enemies are. But it's quite another thing to label as an enemy church members who love the church, who work in the church, who pay their tithing, who go to the temple, and who only want to help the church."

[Anderson, Lavina Fielding, "The LDS Intellectual Community and Church Leadership: A Contemporary Chronology," Dialogue, Vol.26, No.1]

45 years ago today - Aug 14, 1977

In an article in the Salt Lake Tribune General Relief Society President Barbara Smith is quoted as saying that she holds herself partly to blame for the confusion in the minds of many people between the conservative caucus activities and those of the Relief Society. As she put it, "I didn't say, 'Don't use the Relief Society.- Later a Mormon scholar writes: "One wonders, however, whether the Relief Society's tolerance of the use of its informal machinery for right-wing purposes was as innocent as is implied. If instead of the anti-feminist Phyllis Schafly report, the caucuses had distributed the latest pro-abortion flyer, would the Relief Society have remained as passive?"

80 years ago today - Aug 14, 1942

[Heber J. Grant]

Spent the time from 10 to 12:30 at the Seventies Office talking with several members of the First Council. ...

Brother Kirkham said he had set apart a Bishop, and he learned that that was contrary to the rules, and apologized, and he said: 'I wish the Presidency and Apostles would give us the authority to attend to ordinations of that kind.' He said it was humiliating to go to a conference as a representative of the General Authorities and not permitted to bless any who needed to be blessed. Personally I live in hopes that that privilege will be granted to them in the future. We call them on missions to preside over the European Missions and over other great bodies who are High Priests and others, and I think it would be a good thing for them to have the privilege of setting apart those who need setting apart when they go out to conferences.

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

115 years ago today - Aug 14, 1907; Wednesday

A letter was read from Pres[iden]t. J[oseph]. A. McRae, stating that a married woman, a convert, desired baptism, but had been told by him to wait in the hope of receiving her husband's consent; that the woman had waited so long that she now desired to know if baptism could be denied her longer, and Pres[iden]t. McRae wished to know the mind of the Presidency regarding it.

The mind of the Council was that she be advised to still wait in the hope of getting her husband's consent, this on motion of Brother Grant. ...

[First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve minutes]

125 years ago today - Aug 14, 1897

Elder J[anne]. M. Sjodahl left Salt Lake City this evening on his way to Stockholm, Sweden, representing the Scandinavians of Utah, to present to King Oscar II and Queen Sofia the Book of Mormon enclosed in a Utah onyx casket, as a token of respect and good wishes from their former subjects who are now citizens of Utah and of the United States. Elder Sjodahl was formerly a Baptist Minister...

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