25 years ago today - Feb 19, 1994

The First Presidency issues a statement encouraging church members to actively work against the legalization of same-gender marriages. This inaugurates a national campaign, similar to the centrally directed anti-ERA activities.

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

50 years ago today - Feb 19, 1969

[David O. McKay]
President [N. Eldon] Tanner said the suggestion has been made that the temple ceremonies for the dead be shortened to do away with repetition. This would not pertain to the living but only the dead. The brethren who have considered the matter say that it would not in any way detract from the importance of the covenants, promises and ceremonies. ...

[David O. McKay diary, Feb. 19, 1969, in Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/TempleWorship]

55 years ago today - Feb 19, 1964

Utah's Democratic senator, a Mormon, described Ezra Taft Benson's [13 Dec 1963] Logan address as "a disgraceful talk." Senator Frank E. Moss also complained to Counselor Brown that Benson had arranged for copies of the talk to be distributed from the apostle's office at church headquarters. At the same time, other Mormons wrote the First Presidency with similar complaints that this "literature [is being] mailed from 47 East South Temple."

[Frank E. Moss to Ray R. Murdock, 19 Feb. 1964, and Moss to Hugh B. Brown, 19. From D. Michael Quinn, Ezra Taft Benson and Mormon Political Conflicts, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 26:2 (Summer 1992), also in Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power Salt Lake City (Signature Books, 1994), Chapter 3.]

95 years ago today - Feb 19, 1924

[Heber J. Grant]
Brother Ivins and I had an interview with Brother Talmage regarding pretended plural marriages that are being performed. He wanted to know if we had any objections to civil prosecution of the people who are violating the laws of the state by entering into pretended marriages. We told him that we did not care to have the church be the instigator of prosecutions of this kind, but at the same time we would be very happy if some of the men entering into pretended plural marriages received their just rewards and were sent to jail, as we considered that they were certainly guilty of immoral conduct, to say nothing about deceiving many innocent girls by getting them to enter pretended plural marriage.

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

105 years ago today - Feb 19, 1914

[First Presidency secretary George F. Gibbs]
I am directed to say ... that while the Church as such does not approve of cremation, it is understood that the members thereof are free to exercise their own agency in regard to it.

[George F. Gibbs, Letter to W. W. Collins, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1835-1951, Electronic Edition, 2015]

110 years ago today - Feb 19, 1909

[First Presidency to S. H. Jones]
The doctrine taught in [Joseph B.] Keeler's Lesser Priesthood to the effect that a Deacon may ordain a Deacon, and a Teacher may ordain a Teacher, is correct; but it should be understood that while this doctrine is true, circumstances may never arise in the history of our Church rendering it necessary for a Deacon to ordain a Deacon, or a Teacher to ordain a Teacher, as it would not be at all proper for either a Deacon or a Teacher to officiate in these ordinations unless instructed to do so by property authority. ...

[First Presidency, Letter to S. H. Jones, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1835-1951, Electronic Edition, 2015]

165 years ago today - Feb 19, 1854

E. D. Woolley was called upon to preach a f[i/u?]nal sermon or rather upon the resurrection of the dead as some of the saints had advanced some eronious ideas concerning the resurrection. Brother Woolley had some incorrect ideas. When he closed President Young followed & made many good remarks. He said that we should have the same bonefid identical body that our spirit occupied while in this life. Our graves would litterly be opened and our bodies come forth. The question was asked if children that died in infancy lost any thing. He said No a person would not loose anything they Had not got. Children that died in infancy would be provided for in some way.

He said that our GOD was Father Adam. He was the Father of the Savior Jesus Christ. Our God was no more or less than ADAM, Michael the Arkangel.

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

165 years ago today - Feb 19, 1854

Seventy's president Jedediah M. Grant preaches: "What would a man of God say, who felt aright, when Joseph asked him for his money? He would say, 'Yes, and I wish I had more to help to build up the kingdom of God.' Or if he came and said, 'I want your wife?' 'O Yes,' he would say, 'here she is, there are plenty more.' ... Did the Prophet Joseph want every man's wife he asked for? He did not"

185 years ago today - Feb 19, 1834

The "High Council of the Church of Christ" completes its organization in Kirtland, Ohio. Their first order of business is to hear a charge against Curtis Hodges who is accused of "loud speaking and a want of clearness in articulation, which was calculated to do injury to the cause of God." He is accused of preaching so loud that several of people ran to the Church to see if someone was hurt. Hodges says "he had learned more during this trial than he had since he came into the Church" and is forgiven.

30 years ago today - Feb 18, 1989

The announcement that New York's Macmillan Publishing Company has contracted with BYU to publish the multi-volume 'Encyclopedia of Mormonism.' Under direct supervision of apostles Neal A. Maxwell and Dallin H. Oaks, the church intends this to be a public-relations publication. Published in 1992, the encyclopedia's content is so heavily managed by the apostles and four other general authorities with "special assignments" that its editor Daniel H. Ludlow (official of the Church Correlation Committee) disclaims: "In no sense does the Encyclopedia have the force and authority of scripture."

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

40 years ago today - Feb 18, 1979

Ezra Taft Benson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, organizes the Nauvoo Illinois Stake, the Church's one thousandth stake.

75 years ago today - Feb 18, 1944

[J. Reuben Clark]
Pres David Smith and wife'Idaho Falls Temple'D. O. M. We talked over the matter of the counsellors to Bro. Smith'and agreed to his first and second choices. Brother Smith raised the question of his the furnishings of the Celestial Room'which seem to be generally disappointing. 'After some discussion I said DOM and self would consider it and write him'After the Smiths left Bro McKay and self discussed the matter. I said it looked to me as if we had too much "art"to much "Decorates"; that one of the chief concerns should be properly to give people the proper inspiration; that we must have more and different furniture in this room. I suggested we must have some relief to the bare walls, and spoke of drapes, describing the wall hangings in Mexico, particularly Elizabeth Cabots, though saying that would not do, but were merely illustrative. I thot we might consider some draperies. I also suggested possibility of introducing some lighting effects in the top of the room'the tower part'a soft radiance that might typify the spirit and its presence. 'It was agreed that one or both of us might take a trip to Idaho Falls soon.'I also suggested possibility of panelling the walls which would enable us to use a false facing to cover the wall defects. ...

Bp Wirthlin'Boy of excommunicate (new polygamist)'12 years old'ready for ordination as deacon'Father says he is teaching boy doctrines; shd. he be ordained? I suggested talking to boy, and if he seemed O.K. ordain him.

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

105 years ago today - Feb 18, 1914; Wednesday

[Salt Lake Stake] President [Nephi L.] Morris said that President Francis M. Lyman, of the Council of apostles, had instructed the stake presidency that Elder Matthias F. Cowley, of the Seventeenth Ward, was not to be permitted to officiate in any of the functions of the priesthood, as he had been deprived of all his rights in the church, except those belonging to a mere member. President Morris cautioned the brethren to observe scrupulously the requirements made by President Lyman.

[Cowley had been discplined for promoting post-manifesto plural marriages]

[Salt Lake Stake High Council Minutes]

115 years ago today - Feb 18, 1904

[Apostle Marriner W. Merrill defends himself to President Joseph F. Smith from accusations that he approved a post-manifesto plural marriage]
... Will say there is not a word of truth in Bro[ther] Chamberlain statement About My councelling Him to get Married &c. I have never met the young man to my knowledge, and had I met him I should never have consented for his Marriage while he had a living and undivorced Wife. So His story is all a point-blank lie to screen Himself from His being dealt with by the Officers of the Church. ...

[Marriner Wood Merrill, Letter to Joseph F. Smith, John R. Winder, and Anthon H Lund, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1835-1951, Electronic Edition, 2015]

175 years ago today - Feb 18, 1844

William Clayton's polygamous wife, Margaret Moon Clayton (sister of Clayton's first wife), bears a child Daniel Adelbert who dies six months later, and his father comments that "the tongue of slander has swung freely against him." Joseph Smith had performed this marriage.

40 years ago today - Feb 17, 1979

KSL Television in Salt Lake City airs a one-hour documentary on depression and its effects on Mormon women. A roundtable discussion of ecclesiastical leaders (including General Relief Society President Barbara Smith) and mental health professionals is presented. Conclusions include "Women seem to get depressed more than men do. Two age groups are hit harder than others-early motherhood and ending motherhood. Mormon women are just as vulnerable to this, some would say more so, others would say just the same. Certain pressures that Mormon women must deal with are the pressures to be perfect, the pressure over raising a family, of church jobs, the pressure in finding an identity, and their role in society. But other pressures in other societies can do the same for other women. . . . One thing about Mormon depression, though, is the women seem more guilty about having this problem and therefore more reluctant to seek help."

60 years ago today - Feb 17, 1959

In an effort to avoid the suppression of his book, Elder Bruce R. McConkie drafts letters to the Improvement Era and the Church News stating that 'Mormon Doctrine' "contains my personal views only, and I am solely responsible for all statements or opinions expressed in it." He submits these for review of the First Presidency, who reply on 18 Feb. that "they do not conform to the ideas that we have that you cannot be disassociated from your official position in the publication of such a manuscript." The Presidency concludes that "pending the final disposition of this problem no further edition of the book be printed."

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

95 years ago today - Feb 17, 1924

[Heber J. Grant]
[At the funeral of John W. Young] The speakers were Levi Edgar Young, Anthony W. Ivins, Charles W. Penrose and myself. The music was furnished by a male quartet. I was the last speaker. The other three speakers paid high tributes to the accomplishments of Brother Young, and I regretted exceedingly that I felt impressed to announce that Brother Young's life in many respects had been a failure, as he had at one time been his father's first counselor, and through neglect of his ecclesiastical duties and his devoting himself to business affairs had failed to magnify the very high position that he held as a counselor to the president of the Church, that wonderful and remarkable man, his father, Brigham Young. ...

I regretted very much that I had to talk along this line, but I felt impressed that it was only fair to faithful Latter-day Saints to not let them go away from the funeral of John W. Young feeling that he was a most splendid man, and he was in many respects, and all that was said by the previous speakers, told of his good deeds only and not of any neglect of duty on his part. After the meeting his brother, Willard Young, said that he was very grateful that I spoke along the lines that I did and felt that my remarks were just the proper thing to have been said.

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

130 years ago today - Feb 17, 1889

Abinadi Pratt, son of the deceased apostle Parley P. Pratt, prophesies to a Salt Lake City congregation that within three weeks God will destroy San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, New York City, and Washington D.C. One Mormon writes: "None felt concerned about his prophecy."

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

160 years ago today - Feb 17, 1859

At night while in the office some person spoke of the game of chess, Pres[iden]t Young remarked he knew nothing of such games, and was ignorant of such practices of the world; after a pause he said I have had to play with the Kingdoms of the world living characters. On some one observing he had indeed to play a great game, he said, yes and I am not displeased with nor regret any move that I have made.

[Brigham Young Office Journals, Special Collections, Merrill-Cazier Library, Utah State University, Logan.; Archives, Church History Library, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah.; New Mormon Studies CD-ROM, quoted in The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, Ed. Richard S. Van Wagoner, Smith-Pettit Foundation, Salt Lake City (2009), http://bit.ly/BY-discourses]