105 years ago today - Feb 12, 1911

BYU professor Ralph V. Chamberlin's "Darwin Centennial Speech" ignites controversy. General authorities (as the school's trustees) fire him and professor Henry Peterson. BYU students protest the dismissals with petitions and demonstrations.

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

110 years ago today - Feb 12, 1906

The SALT LAKE TRIBUNE expose of the endowment ceremony: "Mysteries of the Endowment House". It is later published and distributed as a pamphlet "Mysteries of the endowment house and oath of vengeance of the Mormon church."

110 years ago today - Feb 12, 1906

The policy of the Church from the beginning has been, and now is, opposed to waltzing, so far as it has had power to do so. That particular dance has been excluded from our social gatherings but so strong has been the desire of our young people to indulge in the waltz that it has been considered an act of discretion in some places to permit those in charge of dances to allow the young people a limited number of what is called round dances. . . . It has been considered better to allow a limited number of round dances in our social gatherings which we ourselves control rather than to furnish excuses for our young people to indulge in these dances elsewhere, and for this reason they have been allowed.

[Source: First Presidency, Letter to Anthony W. Ivins, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1835-1951, Electronic Edition, 2015]

150 years ago today - 1866. February 12

Second Counselor Daniel H. Wells: Elected mayor of Salt Lake City, serving ten turbulent years of increasing anti-Mormon hostility.

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

160 years ago today - Feb 12, 1856 (Tuesday)

The Seventies, now numbering 40 quorums, commenced a jubilee in G.S.L. City, which lasted five days. Their hall, which had undergone a thorough improvement, was again dedicated.

[Source: Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

165 years ago today - Feb 12, 1851

The provisional state of Deseret authorizes and requests President Brigham Young, as governor of the territory, to procure a block of marble to be used in building the Washington Monument, which is under construction at the nation's capital.

175 years ago today - Feb 12, 1841

[Wilford Woodruff] {Omens} In the fall of 1840 the great chandelier in the representatives Hall in washington weighing about 6,000 lbs, fell with a tremendious crash & broke into a thousand atoms. About the same time the female figure godess of liberty on the east side of the capitol lost her hand that held the balances. It broke of itself just below the elbow & it fell. April 4th 1841 President Harrison Died in one month after taking the chair.

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

20 years ago today - Feb 11, 1996

In an official editorial against allowing Utah's high schools to have clubs for gay and lesbian students, the Deseret News comments: "It is still appalling that more than half of the identified hate crimes in Utah are aimed at homosexuals." The editorial concludes by affirming the attitude on which such hate crimes are based: "homosexual activities and practices are an abomination, not just some 'alternative lifestyle' no better or worse than others." Within days Salt Lake City's school board prohibits all extracurricular clubs as the only way to stop students from forming homosexually oriented clubs and still comply with federal laws against discrimination in public schools. These events are reported by the major national newspapers and network television news programs.

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

50 years ago today - Feb 11, 1966

Ezra Taft Benson spoke about the right-wing John Birch Society to a standing-room-only crowd at the Assembly Hall on Salt Lake Temple Square. He charged that "a minority bloc of American liberals [had] formed a propaganda coalition with the Communists . . . [and] drew the line of fire away from the Communist Conspiracy and to focus the heat of attack on the patriots." Benson added that this conspiracy of liberals and Communists "decided to level practically their entire arsenal on The John Birch Society."

Benson then told this February 1966 meeting on Temple Square that he had read the Birch Society's Blue Book, Robert Welch's The Politician, and recommended that the audience subscribe to the Birch Society's official magazine American Opinion. His talk even included the mailing address. Of his support for the Birch Society, the Deseret News added Benson's comment to the Mormons on Temple Square: "It has been very unpopular to defend this group," he said, "But I can remember when it was unpopular to defend my own church."

[Source: Ezra Taft Benson, "Stand Up For Freedom," address to the Utah Forum for the American Idea, Assembly Hall, Temple Square, Salt Lake City, 11 Feb. 1966, typescript, 9, 11, Vertical File, Special Collections, Marriott Library; "Benson Hits Liberals' 'Conspiracy': Assails Plots, Propaganda," Salt Lake Tribune, 12 Feb. 1966,17. 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 11, 1921

While touring the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii, Elder David O. McKay is impressed by the Spirit to move those with him away from a ledge overlooking the volcano just before the ledge collapses into the volcano.

105 years ago today - Feb 11, 1911

[Heber J. Grant] Attended the meeting of the Twelve ... and after discussing the status of Bros Peterson and Bro Chamberlin we were unanimous of the opinion that it was unsafe for them to continue teaching at the B.Y.U.

[The were teaching about evolution and modern biblical scholarship. A large percentage of the student body protested their firing.]

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

105 years ago today - Feb 11, 1911

The New York Times gives its first theater review of actress Hazel Dawn. With her debut on the London stage in 1910, she is the first nationally recognized star of the twentieth century who publicly acknowledges Mormonism (e.g. Who's Who entry).

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

115 years ago today - Monday, Feb 11, 1901

[Rudger Clawson] ... Before going to meeting Bp. Thomas [of Idaho Falls] informed [me] that a peculiar and somewhat serious condition prevailed in the ward and he wanted counsel regarding it. He said that one of the sisters had been speaking in tongues at their fast meetings and he feared that it was not done by the Spirit of the Lord. A very unpleasant and unsatisfactory feeling prevailed in the meeting whenever she spoke or sang in tongues. And not only so but the interpretation was not given of the Spirit of God. As a further evidence that the tongue was not from the Lord, one of the sisters in the congregation immediately upon hearing the tongue was visibly affected and went into spasms.

Upon one occasion the bishopric administered to her and rebuked the spirit that was afflicting her, but the administration was without effect. The afflicted sister, contrary to the order of the church, called upon one of her sisters to rebuke the spirit, which was done and it left her. The bishop took occasion to point out to the saints the evil resulting from the exercise of this strange tongue and warned them against it. This greatly angered a young man, who was related to the sister who had spoken in tongues, and who had just returned from a mission to the world, and he arose in the meeting and cursed the bishop in the name of the Lord.

I was very much shocked at the bishop's statement and said that it now became his solemn duty to forbid the sister alluded to from further exercising the strange tongue; and that the young man who had so grievously offended, should be called to answer before the bishop's court, and that if he did not make ample and humble reparation for his fault, he should be disfellowshipped, and the case sent to the high council for further action.

[Source: 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]

155 years ago today - Feb 11, 1861

[Wilford Woodruff] The Bishop [of south Weber] was in apostacy & was leading away others. They had got a New Prophet to slide out of the Church upon. ...

I then called upon Bishop Richard Cook to speak and requested him to tell us his feelings if he believed in Joseph Morris as a Prophet to tell us so, & to tell us what his feelings were in relation to the Presidency of the Church. ... He then said yes I do Believe in Joseph Morris as a Prophet whom God has raised up to lead this Church & kingdom agreeable to the Revelation in the Doctrins & Covenants which says I will raise up unto you a Prophet like unto Moses &c. I do not Believe that Brigham Young is a prophet or has ever had any revelation or inspiration more than any sectarian Priest, & I believe this Church will ownly be known in name in 10 years unless God does raise up a Prophet." When he Closed some of his party got up & Bore the same testimony.

We then sent for there fals Prophet & Called upon him to speak. He spoke about half an hour. He said Brigham Young was not a prophet & Joseph Smith did not hold the Keys of the Priesthood & was ordained of man while He Joseph Morris was ordained of the Father, & Held six times more keys of the Priesthood than Joseph did. He Said he was the seventh Angel, & much other nonsens he Presented before the Assembly.

When He got through Elder Taylor spoke to the Assembly ... Brigham Young in saying that He did not profess to be a prophet seer & Revelator as Joseph Smith was, was speaking of men being born Natural Prophets & seers. Many have the gift of seeing through seer stones without the Priesthood at all. He had not this gift naturally yet He was an Apostle & the Presidet of the Church & kingdom of God on the Earth and all the Keys of the Holy Priesthood & of Revelation was sealed upon him & the spirit & power of Revelation was upon him daily.

When He Closed I spoke to the people & bore testimony to the truth of what Elder Taylor had said. Morris had been Cut off from the Church twice for Adultery in the Territory, And He had spent about one year with a woman whose husband was Crazy. I told Morris that He was not a Prophet of God Neither was He the Seventh Angels that when the 7th Angel Came to Earth He would not spend the first year of his Mission with a woman whose Husband was Crazy & Commit Adultery with Her. I showed the folly of Richard Cook & others following such a Man.

When I Closed my remarks Morris Denyed of Being with that woman. Bishop West arose & bore testimony that what I had said was true. We then took all the Names of the persons who professed to believe in Joseph Morris as the prophet of God raised up to lead the Church. ....

[ Morris founds his church on Apr 6, 1861 and builds a following of over a thousand former Mormons. On Jun 15, 1862 a territorial posse attacked the Morrisite compound. Morris, his first counselor John Banks and two women were killed. The remaining Morrisites were pacified after facing the posse's cannon.]

[Source: 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 - Feb 11, 1856

President Brigham Young has had his mind deeply exercised upon the getting up of the Deserett Alphabet & carrying it into the practical use. He has laboured hard from the begining upon this subject & we are now making Books under his direction to be published in this Alphabet. We have got to get the type made as the letters are entirely new from any others now in use. I am satisfyed that great good will grow out of the Deseret Alphabet. It is an entire change of the English orthography of our English language. It spells all words by sound.

[Source: 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 - Feb 11, 1841

[Heber C. Kimball] I dremp [dreamed] of hur Magesty and Prince Albert and conversed with them and proposed to give hur a Book of Mormon.

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

75 years ago today - Feb 10, 1941

[George F. Richards] His [i.e., Apostle Reed Smoot's] death was by me entirely unexpected. I knew he had been afflicted in his mind for some time and that as a result of a fall he had a lame shoulder, but I had no idea that his time of passing was so near.

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

105 years ago today - Feb 10, 1911

A committee consisting of Francis M. Lyman, Hyrum M. Smith, Charles W. Penrose, Anthony W. Ivins, George H. Brimhall, Horace H. Cummings, Heber J. Grant, George F. Richards, and Joseph Keeler meets with three BYU professors, Henry and Joseph Peterson and Ralph Chamberlin. The session lasts nearly five hours, and the three are frank in explaining their belief in evolution and their reservations about some parts of the Bible. According to Heber J. Grant, they manifest "a very good spirit." The next day the committee formulates its report, which it presented to the Twelve. They agree unanimously to ask the three to leave BYU.

115 years ago today - Feb 10, 1901

[Brigham Young Jr.] ... I followed talking about excitement of small pox. Promised the L.D.S. if they would live their religion God would furnish medicine plentifully to preserve them all from contagious diseases and calamities which are coming upon the earth ...

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

130 years ago today - Feb 10, 1886 (Wednesday)

Deputy marshals visited the old Church Farm, south of Salt Lake City, searching for Pres. Geo. Q. Cannon.

[Source: Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]