10 years ago today - May 26, 2006

Holocaust survivors are listed in it despite agreement, Jews say

Jewish leaders in a dispute with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints over its practice of posthumous baptisms say there is new evidence that the names of Jewish Holocaust victims continue to show up in the church's vast genealogical database.

"We've been dealing with it for 11 years, since 1995, and we continue to deal with it," said Ernest Michel, a Holocaust survivor and founding member of the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors.

A cross-referencing of more than 1,500 Dutch Jews whose names should have been deleted from the church's International Genealogical Index remain in the database, Michel said. ...

[Source: "Mormon baptism database in dispute" by Jennifer Dobner, Associated Press, in A chronicle of the Mormon-Jewish controversy; The LDS Agreement: A JewishGen InfoFile, http://www.jewishgen.org/infofiles/ldsagree.html]

30 years ago today - May 26, 1986

Christy Fichtner, a convert of seven months, becomes Miss USA.

110 years ago today - May 26, 1906

Thomas Clawson, brother of Apostle Rudger Clawson, writes: "Held our regular Block Teachers Meeting after the servide. Bro John Woodmansee was the home missionary and his talk was upon the Adam God doctrine which was entirely to deep for him as well as for all who listened to him. In fact it was a very dry and unprofitable meeting."

[Source: On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com]

115 years ago today - May 26, 1901

[Heber J. Grant cryptically notes President Lorenzo Snow's permission to take another plural wife] 10 am Temple Fast mts'17 years since Gusta & I married'She willing to have me do my duty. & Pt Snow. Miss Babcock Mary Walker Kimball Hugh J Cannon Sister Edward Stevenson I sang O My Father at Pt Snow-request ... Gusta & I went to Josephine Snow's'Geo M Cannon & I blessed Libbie Ivins Gusta & I 6 '|-16th Ward I sang Let each man learn to know himself'Lord's side & Holy City'Spoke & Sang abt 11/4 hrs.

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

125 years ago today - Tuesday, May 26, 1891

[Apostle John Henry Smith] The Republican Committee met and adopted an address to the people. Myself, John M. Zane, and Geo. M. Cannon arc to go about organizing the Counties into clubs. John M. Zane and I took the Document to the Herald and Tribune.

[Source: 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]

170 years ago today - May 26, 1846

"President Young told Daniel and O. Spencer that he dreamed, asleep or awake, that the Spirit said to him, tell Daniel to gather up what teams, tools, and seed and men he can, and go on and let Orson stay and take care of the families and bring them on, etc."

[Source: Apostle Willard Richards Journal]

175 years ago today - May 26, 1841

Joseph Smith writes to Thomas Sharp, editor of the WARSAW SIGNAL: "SIR-You will discontinue my paper-its contents are calculated to pollute me, and to patronize the filthy sheet-that tissue of lies-that sink of iniquity-is disgraceful to any moral man. Yours, with utter contempt, JOSEPH SMITH. P.S. Please publish the above in your contemptible paper." Sharp publishes Smith's letter with the introduction: "In our paper of week before last, we took occasion to express an honest opinion in relation to the Mormons, and some of their leaders -an opinion which we believe is concurred in by nine-tenths of the community. No sooner, however, had our paper reached Nauvoo, than it caused the following highly important revelation to be forwarded us, from his holiness, the Prophet." This is Sharps first published sarcasm towards the Mormons but from now on he refers to Smith as "His Holiness."

[Source: On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com]

50 years ago today - May 25, 1966

Robert H. Hinckley, former assistant secretary of the U.S. commerce department, chair of the Civil Aeronautics Administration, and vice-president of the American Broadcasting Company, criticized the Birch Society in an address to students of the University of Utah. He lambasted the society's "collective slander, which now seems to have become standard operating procedure for some Birchites," and also "the semi-secret chapters that parallel Communist cells, the use of front groups, the tactics of infiltration, [and] the use of the big lie." Hinckley also identified Ezra Taft Benson as part of the "leadership of the Right Wing" in America. The full text of this assessment appeared in the Congressional Record in June 1966.

[Source: Robert H. Hinckley, "The Politics of Extremism," in Congressional Record—Senate 112 (13 July 1966): 15584, 15583; "Says Birchers Copy Reds," Deseret News, 25 May 1966, A-12; "Hinckley Blasts Extremists," Provo Daily Herald, 25 May 1966, 14. From D. Michael Quinn, Ezra Taft Benson and Mormon Political Conflicts, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 26:2 (Summer 1992), also in Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power Salt Lake City (Signature Books, 1994), Chapter 3.]

55 years ago today - May 25, 1961

Several apostles "are gravely concerned about the pressures being put on missionaries to baptize to fill a quota of baptisms. . . .This of course[is] a criticism of President Moyle and many of the mission presidents working under his direction." Extensive abuses in "baseball baptism program" lead to counselor Moyle's censure in 1963, mass excommunications of European "kiddie baptisms" in 1964-65, and more than decade of avoiding baptism quotas for full-time missionaries. General authorities are haunted by memories of baseball baptism era and urge restrain upon youthful missionaries.

[Source: Wilkinson diary, 25 May 1961, also 6 September 1960 as quoted in D. Michael Quinn, 'I-Thou vs. I-It Conversions: The Mormon "Baseball Baptism" Era', Sunstone Magazine 16 (7) December 1993: 30-44]

155 years ago today - May 25, 1861

[Wilford Woodruff] We visited the Mountain Meadow Monument put up at the burial place of 120 persons killed by Indians in 1857. The pile of stone was about 12 feet high, but begining to tumble down. A wooden Cross was placed on top with the following words: Vengence is mine and I will repay saith the Lord. President Young said it should be Vengence is mine and I have taken a little.

A stone at the bottom bore the following Inscription: 120 Men, women, & Children, Murdered in Cold Blood Early in Sept 1857 From Arkansaw. And on the other Side South is a slab Erected by Company K 1st Dragoons May 1859. Most of those killed were buried some distance North in a hollow & not at that monument.

[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 - May 25, 1856

The ship Horizon leaves Liverpool, England, for Boston, carrying 856 Saints led by Edward Martin. Most in the company later become part of the ill-fated Martin and Willie handcart companies, which become stranded in present-day Wyoming during their trek to Utah.

160 years ago today - May 25, 1856

Emma Smith Bidamon (widow of Joseph Smith) sells "four Egyptian Mummies with the records of them. These Mummies were obtained from the catacombs of Egypt sixty feet below the surface of the Earth, by the antiquarian society of Paris & forwarded to New York & purchased by the Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith at the price of twenty four hundred dollars in the year Eighteen hundred thirty-five they were highly prized by Mr. Smith on account of the importance which attached to the records which were accidentally found enclosed in the breast of one of the Mummies." Emma waited until Lucy Mack Smith, Joseph's mother, died (eleven days previously) before selling the mummies and "records" to "Mr. A. Combs."

[Source: On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com]

175 years ago today - May 25, 1841

Lieutenant General Joseph Smith issues General Orders for the Nauvoo Legion: "The 1st Company, (riflemen) 1st Battalion, 2nd Regiment, 2nd Cohort, will be attached to the escort contemplated in the general orders of the 4th inst., for the 3rd of Jul next. In forming the Legion, the Adjutant will observe the rank of companies as follows; to wit: 1st Cohort the flying artillery first, the lancers next, and the riflemen next -- visiting companies of dragoons next the lancers, and cavalry next the dragoons: 2nd Cohort -- the artillery first, the lancers next, the riflemen next, the light-infantry next, and the infantry next -- visiting companies in their appropriate places on the right of said troops of their own grade: the ranking company of the 1st Cohort will be formed on the right of said cohort, and the ranking company of the 2nd Cohort will be formed on the left of said cohort, -- he escort will be formed on the right of the forces."

[Source: On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com]

55 years ago today - May 24, 1961

[Ernest Wilkinson] "Presided at devotional, at which I introduced Elder Ezra Taft Benson. He gave a fine talk. It is apparent, however, it is very difficult for him to divorce himself from the active politics in which he has been engaged, and get into his work again as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve. While I agreed with every word that he said, I suspect there were some Democrats who did not, and he took one-third of his time talking on current political problems."

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

90 years ago today - May 24, 1926

[Heber J. Grant] "Bishop Nicholas G. Smith called and we had a conversation with him regarding a brother in South Africa who claims he has no negro blood in his veins wishes the priesthood. Brother Smith feels sure that this man is a negro. We concluded to wait for the return of Brother Sessions, the present president of the South African Mission, who is on his way home, before rendering a decision."

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

110 years ago today - May 24, 1906

A Deseret Evening News editorial argues against the frequent requests to remove section 132 from the D&C. This indicates how deeply post-Manifesto polygamy has alienated church members who often refer to themselves as "modern Mormons."

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

110 years ago today - May 24, 1906

[Carl Badger] "The Senator [i.e., Reed Smoot] says he thinks nothing was said about the reasons for the resignations of T. & C. [John W. Taylor and Matthias F. Cowley] because it was hoped some day to forgive them and take them back into the quorum."

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

130 years ago today - May 24th, 1886

[Lorenzo Snow to Governer West Authority Abraham H. Cannon] "Utah Penitentiary

May 24, 1886 To His Excellency Caleb W. West

.... We conscientiously believe in the doctrine of plural marriage, and have practiced it from a firm conviction of its being a divine requirement.

Of the forty nine Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints now imprisoned in this Penitentiary for alleged violations of the Edmunds law all but four had plural wives from its passage to thirty five years prior to its passage. We were united to our wives for time and eternity by the most sacred covenants, and in many instances numerous children have been born as a result of our union, who are endeared to us by the strongest parental ties.

... Had you offered us unconditional amnesty, it would have been gladly accepted, but dearly as we prize the great boon of liberty, we cannot afford to obtain it by proving untrue to our conscience, our religion, and our God....

As witness our hands,

Lorenzo Snow"

[Source: Abraham H. Cannon Journal Excerpts, http://www.amazon.com/Apostles-Record-Journals-Abraham-1889-1896/dp/B000MFD1K4]

140 years ago today - May 24, 1876

Patriarchal Blessing of James Henry Martineau given by Henry Lunt ... Thou wilt live to see the face of thy Savior, and the holy angels will administer unto thee, and will reveal to thee the genealogy of many of thy forefathers, which to thee are unknown. Thou shalt live until thou art satisfied with life, and inasmuch as thou wilt exercise faith thou shalt not taste of death, but be quickened and changed in the twinkling of an eye, and caught up to meet our Savior when he shall come in his glory. ... Thy guardian angels have charge concerning thee. ...

[Source: Patriarchal Blessings]

175 years ago today - May 24, 1841

The First Presidency calls on all Saints to gather to Hancock County, Ill., or Lee County, Iowa. All stakes outside these areas are discontinued.

[Source: Conkling, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology]