25 years ago today - Feb 20, 1993

Second counselor Thomas S. Monson speaks at rededication ceremony for Roman Catholic church's Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City, also attended by Apostles James E. Faust and Neal A. Maxwell.

In response to LDS man and woman separately preparing simplified English versions of BOOK OF MORMON, First Presidency officially prohibits such a "translation" as undermining the ancient origins of scripture. Man withdraws but Lynn Matthews Anderson publishes her revision in 1994.

115 years ago today - Friday, Feb 20, 1903

[John Henry Smith]
I visited the Penitentiary and had a chat with Tom Williams who killed one Hutchinson over 20 years ago. he is serving a life sentence. With others I am trying to get him paroled.

[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]

130 years ago today - Feb 20, 1888

[James E. Talmage]
[Talmage] was pouring molten slag from an assay crucible into a mould [sic] in the laboratory when some material inside the molten mass exploded, scattering the remainder and hurling some of it directly into the professor's left eye. The pain was frightful and it at first appeared that the eye had been permanently destroyed, for the molten matter had actually penetrated the eyeball. […] But expert medical attention, frequent administration by the priesthood, and the motherly nursing of Sister Josiah Cluff into whose home James was induced to move temporarily after a grim attempt to care for himself in his bachelor's quarters, eventually brought full recovery with no permanent impairment to his vision.

[Source: Chronology of the Life and Work of James E. Talmage, J. Trevor Antley, https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MJsHY83JZL_n6CjWq11y1trT_CVXMMXAx2uYOWAwn0c/edit#heading=h.2zfdaoa]

140 years ago today - Feb 20, 1878

Proxy endowments are performed in the St. George Temple for Marie Antoinette, Charlotte Corday, and the wives of Sir Walter Scott, Horatio Nelson Thomas Moore, Robert Burns, Edmund Burke, Lord Byron, Goethe and other "eminent women of the world." Wilford Woodruff "officiated as El[oheim]" and also "took through the veil some 30 person[s]."

155 years ago today - Feb 20, 1863

[Wilford Woodruff]
I had the two last teeth taken out of my upper Jaw to day by Brother Barlow with the intention of putting in a New Set.

[Source: 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 20, 1853. Sunday.

[William Clayton]
Took Tea at Brother W[illia]m Memmet's, then again went to meeting. I addressed the Congregation and proved to them, that even if we were deceived in regard to the administering of the angel &c. we were still better off than the sectarians in every sense of the word.

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

165 years ago today - Feb 20, 1853

Brigham Young speaks concerning Mormons who say the judgment of living prophets "is superior to mine, and consequentîy I let you judge for me." He says that such Latter-day Saints do not possess "the true independence of heaven," and consequently "will never be capable of entering into the celestial glory, to be crowned as they anticipate; they will never be capable of becoming gods." Young says that Mormons should depend on "the influences of the Holy Spirit" and "their own understanding."

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

165 years ago today - Feb 20, 1853

Erastus Snow Addressed the meeting & spoke well. ... He spoke of his mission in denmark. The Lord showed him that the King & Counsel was taking counsel against him to stop his preaching. He herd their conversation in a night vision but He said as I kept the Law & my brethren they could find no accusation against me. ...

[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 20, 1843

Seventy brethren help Joseph chop, split, and pile logs in his yard. He studies German. He sees two boys fighting with clubs and stops the fight. He lectures the onlookers for not stopping the fight immediately and tells them that "nobody was allowed to fight in Nauvoo but myself."

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

115 years ago today - Thursday, Feb 19, 1903

The clerk read a letter from Alfred A. Cluff and several other brethren written in behalf of about 25 members of the church from Guatemala, Central America. They reported the fact that they had reached that land and found everything favorable to establishing a colony of our people, which they would do. Said that the Presidency of the church might look for a letter from them occasionally. Regarding this matter Pres. Smith said that they were counseled not to go, because of the great distance from the body of the saints, and the first thing we knew they had gone. Elder Jno. H. Smith moved that, notwithstanding the move had been made against counsel, they be nursed along and that a kind and encouraging letter be written in answer to their communication. Carried.

A letter was read from Chas. W. Carroll, Orderville. He said that the report had gone out among the people down there that plural marriages were being solemnized under the sanction of the Presidency, and this was causing some commotion among the saints. Pres. Smith remarked that, as the brethren knew, the rumor was foundationless ...

[At this time, the post-Manifesto plural wife of Kanab's stake counselor-patriarch Thomas Chamberlain is secluded in the house of President Smith's wife Julina, but the Church President tells the Quorum of Twelve that he was sending two apostles to Orderville to "endeavor to correct any wrong impression in the minds of the people." The two he sends are Matthias F. Cowley ( who had performed the Chamberlain plural marriage in Salt Lake City) and George Teasdale (whose own post-1890 polygamous marriage had been repeatedly described in the newspapers).]

[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]

130 years ago today - Feb 19, 1888

[Wilford Woodruff]
I looked over the Expression of 252 Members of Congress upon the Utah question. 54 were for the Admission of Utah 124 against it & 74 Non Committal.

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

190 years ago today - February 19-20 and July 4-5, 1828

W. W. Phelps (publisher of 'Light on Masonry') is listed with other prominant antiMasons including a future antimasonic nominee for governor, original printer of William Morgan's expose' and the future husband of Lucinda Morgan [Harris]). He continues to be included as an active participant in the proceedings with mention of his Antimasonic newspaper 'Lake Light' and is the 3rd to sign the July 4th 'A Declaration of Independence from the Masonic Institution.' He toasts William Morgan as "the morning star of more light."

[Source: 'Convention of Seceding Masons' Held at LeRoy, New York, reprinted in 'Light on Masonry,' "Master Mason", in Grunder, Rick, Mormon Parallels: A Bibliographic Source]

195 years ago today - Feb 19, 1823

Article in PALMYRA HERALD AND CANAL ADVERTISER: "The Indians are reported the aborigines of North America; but I doubt the truth of this proposition. The fortifications and remains of antiquity in Ohio and elsewhere, clearly prove them to be the work of some other people than the Indians. Many of these fortifications were not forts, but religious temples, or places of public worship. . . . What wonderful catastrophe destroyed at once the first inhabitants, with the species of the mammoth, is beyond the researches of the best scholar and greatest antiquaran."

115 years ago today - Feb 18, 1903; Wednesday

A meeting of the First Presidency and Apostles was held in the Temple.

Brother James Sharp, while attending the meeting of the Y.M.M.I.A. at Rexburg [Idaho] on the 25th of last month, was informed that it was the practice in the Fremont [Idaho] Stake to send a brother holding the lesser priesthood with an elder to administer to the sick, and he was asked this question: Is it proper for an elder to take with him a brother holding the Aaronic priesthood to assist in administering to the sick?

After general remarks, it was the sense of the Council, expressed in a motion by Bro[ther]. John Henry Smith, that the practice be confined to the elders; but in case of absolute necessity, that is where an elder finds himself in the situation that he cannot avail himself of the company of another elder, he may, if opportunity affords, avail himself of the company of a member of the Aaronic priesthood, or even a lay member, but for the purpose only of being supported by the faith of such member or members, the elder alone to officiate in the ordinance of administration; or the elder may administer alone without such assistance of a lay member or one holding the Aaronic priesthood. ...

[Source: First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve minutes]

145 years ago today - Feb 18, 1873

Mormon mob lynches Charles A. Benson for murder in Logan, Utah, under circumstances in which his LDS apostasy is a contributing factor. He is the son of the former Cache Valley president, deceased apostle Ezra T. Benson, whose official biography states that "no further record of his life is available" after Charles's endowment date.

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

175 years ago today - Feb 18, 1843

Joseph Smith teaches, "When the earth was sanctified and became like a sea of glass it would be one great Urim and Thummim [and] the Saints could look in it and see as they are seen."

180 years ago today - Feb 18, 1838

[Wilford Woodruff]
Elder Townsend and myself had an interesting time in secret Prayer in a snow bank. I Preached again upon the gospel. The spirit of God rested [upon] me.

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

185 years ago today - Feb 18, 1833

Orson Pratt returns to Kirtland after a long mission and washes his hands and feet "as a testimony unto the Lord that I had warned this wicked generation, and that my garments were clean of their blood," and is admitted to the School of the Prophets.

--

[Source: 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 - Feb 17, 1943

[J. Reuben Clark]
D O M'Agreed that we would meet request of F.B.I. for missionary information regarding towns and cities in Axis countries, [Nazi Germany, Facist Italy, Imperial Japan and territories counquered by them] by giving them lists of missionaries and permitting them (FBI) to interview them and get such information as they could. We were to make clear there was to be no espionage in Axis countries by our missionaries.

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

135 years ago today - Feb 17, 1883

[Wilford Woodruff]
Alma Moroni Blanchard Called on me to day And professed to have found some plates Containing records in addition to the Book of Mormon. He had translated them by the Urim and Thummim and He wanted to Publish them. I think it all fals.

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