15 years ago today - 2004-08-18

[Women]
"Feminist Mormon Housewives" blog established by Lisa Butterworth

[Mormon Women's History Timeline, http://www1.chapman.edu/~remy/MoFem/mormonwomen.html]

65 years ago today - Aug 18, 1954

First Presidency rules that Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith's anti-evolutionary MAN: HIS ORIGIN AND DESTINY should not be used for study in LDS seminaries and institutes. McKay expresses from 1954 on: "On the subject of organic evolution the Church has officially taken no position. The book 'Man, His Origin and Destiny' was not published by the Church, and is not approved by the Church."

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

70 years ago today - Aug 18, 1949

Apostle (and Salt Lake Temple President) George F. Richards reads a letter to the assembled First Presidency and Twelve Apostles decrying the lack of second anointings being performed. The letter states that to date 22,278 second anointings had been performed for living persons and 10,217 for the dead. Richards's letter states: "I have not been able to bring myself to feel that the Lord is pleased with us in neglecting such an important and sacred endowment, which He has given us to be administered in His holy temples to worthy members of His Church. The Second Anointings were given by revelation to the Prophet Joseph Smith to be administered to worthy members of the Church, both the living and the dead; and from the days of the Prophet Joseph to the days of President Heber J. Grant that practice continued. . . . When living members receive their Second blessings, or anointings, they are given a charge that they must not speak of those things to anybody; that only those who are invited by the President of the Church are to receive them, and that none others are supposed to know anything about them. . . . About 1928 an incident occurred which so incensed the First Presidency that they had all the recommend books brought in to the President's office, and instructions were given that no recommends of that character should be given by stake presidents thereafter. . . .The incident above mentioned which so exasperated the First Presidency was as follows: A brother who had received his Second Blessings, while speaking in a priesthood meeting in one of the Idaho stakes, told the brethren that they all should have their Second Blessings. Of course that was a serious infraction of the charge which he received when he had his Second Anointings; but I have never learned of any serious consequences to follow, except the action on the part of the Authorities, discontinuing the administration of those blessings in the Church. It appears to me that the mistake made by the good brother in Idaho was not so serious as to justify letting those sacred ordinances come into disuse in the Church. I think now is the time to act; with such modifications as to details as the brethren might feel to make, insuring that these blessings be administered only to those who are worthy to receive them." The letter quotes the endowment ceremony to say, "Brethren and Sisters, if you are true and faithful, the day will come when you will be chosen, called up and anointed kings and queens, priests and priestesses, whereas you are now anointed only to become such. The realization of these blessings depends upon your faithfulness." (Endowment Ceremonies, p. 1x2.}"

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

80 years ago today - Aug 18, 1939

A case had been referred to us in which a woman whose father and mother had been through the Temple was applying to go through the Temple herself. She was from the Southern States Mission, and the Church records showed that opposite her name someone had placed the endorsement, "negro blood." Brother [David O.] McKay talked with me yesterday or the day before about it, and I suggested that he get her patriarchal blessing and see what the patriarch said her lineage was. Brother McKay did that, and found the blessing had been given by Elder George F. Richards, that he had told her she was of the lineage of Israel through Joseph and Ephraim. We decided that under those circumstances she could not be denied admission to the Temple.

[J. Reuben Clark office diary, Aug. 18, 1939 , Perry Special Collections as quoted in Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/TempleWorship]

110 years ago today - Wed., Aug 18, 1909

[Apostle John Henry Smith Diary]
... We were Royally entertained. It is a most beautifull place. Coffee, Lemonade, Sandwichs, Cake and Ice cream went the Round, all seemed most happy. ...

[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]

125 years ago today - Aug 18, 1894

The Church University referred to was neither the Brigham Young Academy (now University,) which the L.D.S. Church had established in 1875 in Provo, nor the Latter-day Saints College which the Church had established in Salt Lake City but a projected Church University which it was planned should become "the head of our Church School system." Evidently this Church University, according to this announcement had a short life of one academic year after which this announcement marked its demise. The L.D.S. First Presidency thereupon announced their support of the University of Utah, a "State" institution which had been funded by the "Mormons" less than three years after their arrival in Utah under the title of the University of Deseret.

The Latter-day Saint's College, then located adjacent to a "downtown" location of the University of Utah, was by this announcement to serve the students of the University of Utah and others with a religious education which they could not receive in the "State" institution. By this assigned function the Latter-day Saint's College thus became the forerunner of the present system of LDS Institutes of Religion adjacent to numerous State University campuses throughout North America.

[James E. Talmage noted in his diary, "Long interview with the Presidency, in which I asked them to consider the wisdom of issuing a letter to the Church announcing the closing of the Church University, and bespeaking the support of the people for the University of Utah."]

[Clark, James R., Messages of the First Presidency (6 volumes)]

175 years ago today - Aug 18, 1844

President Young arose and said that he had many things to speak of. ...

The report has gone forth through the city that the Twelve has a secret understanding with those men who are going away to take a company with them, that they shall take all they can but the Twelve will blow it up in public but privately wish it to go on. But if it was the last words I had to say before going into the Eternal world I would swear by the Holy Trinity that it was utterly fals and not a word of truth in it.

...And I tel you in the name of Jesus Christ, that if Lyman Wight & Geo Miller take a course contrary to our Council, and will not act in consert with us but take a course against us they will be damned and go to destruction. And if men will not stop striving to be great and exhalted and lead away parties from us and strive to weaken our hands they will fall and not rise again, and I will destroy their influence in this church with the help of God and my brethren.

...It has been whispered about that all that go into the wilderness with Wight and Miller will get their endowment. But they Cannot give an endowment in the wilderness. If we do not Carry out the plan Joseph has laid and the pattern he has given for us to work by we cannot get any further endowment. ...

We shall require the 10th of all your property for the tithing for the building of the Temples the poor and for the Priesthood. ...

The time has come now for bickerings to scease. Their must be a strict order of things, and we are no longer bound to harbor black legs, Counterfieters, boges makers. We know all about them.

They have been in our midst long enough. I advise all the Saints to have no dealing with such men. Let them alone. The time has come that they should be wiped out of our midst. ...

As to the doctors let them go. I can prove that a doctor in this place doctored a woman that was in the family way and did not know it untill she was deliverd, and both woman and Child died, and if you will employ them you will all die, but the time has come when you need no longer to support them.

...I had a dream which I will here relate. I saw a fruit tree, & I went into the tree in search of fruit. I soon discoverd that some of the main branches on top going from the main body was dead. It seemed necessary to cut off the dead branches in order to save the tree. So I told some person to help me cut them off & they steped on to a large green limb. They were afraid it would break, so I put my sholder under it & held it up while he cut off the dead branches. It cracked the green limb but it did not break. After we cut of the dry limbs the wounds healed up and the tree grew finely.) Now let us cut of the dead branches of the Church that good fruit may grow and the voice will soon be herd Go and build Zion and the great Temple of the Lord...

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

195 years ago today - Aug 18, 1824

Universalist Hosea Ballou sermon:

- Apostasy and Restoration: "The falling away of the Christian Church, the corruptions of its doctrines by the inventions of an ignorant, superstitious priesthood, sanctioned by the authority of Synods and Councils, having introduced the man of sin into the Temple of God, who has for ages been worshiped as God, the glory which Jesus manifested departed, and the darkness of papal errors and abominations have succeeded.

But the reign of the beast may be said to have come to an end; the true testimony is received, and God is now carrying on the work ... and God is about to fill the [nations] with glory."

Original sin: "[why would God by] an act of his almighty power, gave us a totally depraved nature, laid the blame of it to Adam, and is determined to punish us everlastingly for the same!"

The Godhead: "the mystery of an invented Trinity, which has been the means of sore contentions and bitter animosities in the Church. This self contradictory doctrine of three infinite persons in but one infinite Being, has been so thoroughly shaken..."

[Grunder, Rick, Mormon Parallels: A Bibliographic Source]

70 years ago today - Aug 17, 1949

First Presidency statement: The attitude of the Church with reference to Negroes remains as it has always stood. It is not a matter of the declaration of a policy but of direct commandment from the Lord, on which is founded the doctrine of the Church from the days of its organization, to the effect that Negroes may become members of the Church but that they are not entitled to the priesthood at the present time.

The prophets of the Lord have made several statements as to the operation of the principle. President Brigham Young said: "Why are so many of the inhabitants of the earth cursed with a skin of blackness? It comes in consequence of their fathers rejecting the power of the holy priesthood, and the law of God. They will go down to death. And when all the rest of the children have received their blessings in the holy priesthood, then that curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will then come up and possess the priesthood, and receive all the blessings which we now are entitled to."

President Wilford Woodruff made the following statement: "The day will come when all that race will be redeemed and possess all the blessings which we now have." The position of the Church regarding the Negro may be understood when another doctrine of the Church is kept in mind, namely, that the conduct of spirits in the premortal existence has some determining effect upon the conditions and circumstances under which these spirits take on mortality and that while the details of this principle have not been made known, the mortality is a privilege that is given to those who maintain their first estate; and that the worth of the privilege is so great that spirits are willing to come to earth and take on bodies no matter what the handicap may be as to the kind of bodies they are to secure; and that among the handicaps, failure of the right to enjoy in mortality the blessings of the priesthood is a handicap which spirits are willing to assume in order that they might come to earth. Under this principle there is no injustice whatsoever involved in this deprivation as to the holding of the priesthood by the Negroes.

120 years ago today - Thursday, Aug 17, 1899

[Apostle John Henry Smith Diary]
Prests. Lorenzo Snow, Joseph F. Smith, Myself, Geo. Teasdale, Heber J. Grant, Artthou [Anthon] H. Lund, and Rudger Clawson met at the Temple. It was determined to have a silk Temple apron with raised flowers woven.

[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]

145 years ago today - Aug 17, 1874,

William Clayton appears before notary public John T. Caine and swears out an affidavit giving in greater detail than any other document the circumstances surrounding the origin of the written revelation on polygamy later published as section 132 of the D&C. He does this to counter charges by Joseph Smith's son, Joseph Smith III, president of the RLDS church that polygamy was not started by his father..

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

155 years ago today - Aug 17, 1864

The Deseret News reports the setting up of a list of articles and prices in gold for Utah markets. Flour is put at $12 a hundred pounds, wheat $5 a bushel, and corn $4. This is, in reality, a form of price control.

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

175 years ago today - Aug 17, 1844

[William Clayton]
At the Temple Office all day. At noon brother Kimball came and told me that Emma says somebody has stole of the money he paid her. It is thought it is a plan to hurt me by making the public believe that I stole it.

[The Nauvoo Diaries of William Clayton, 1842-1846, Abridged, Digital Edition, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2015]

190 years ago today - Aug 17, 1829

Joseph Smith and Martin Harris sign contract with Grandin publishing, each agreeing to pay half of the publication costs of the Book of Mormon.

75 years ago today - Aug 16, 1944

The First Presidency instructs its Hotel Utah to stop serving liquor.

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

125 years ago today - Aug 16, 1894

[Abraham H. Cannon]
Concerning the proper position of the altar in a prayer circle * as to whether it should face the east or south * there is no rule, though the custom is to generally have them face the south. Pres[ident] [Lorenzo] Snow says he always aims to face the chief temple in offering his prayers.

[Abraham H. Cannon diary, Aug. 16, 1894 , Perry Special Collections as quoted in Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/TempleWorship]

125 years ago today - Aug 16, 1894

A Jewish boy gives his bar mitzvah talk in an LDS stake conference "in confirmation of his faith in the Jewish religion."

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

145 years ago today - Aug 16, 1874

President B. Young spoke One Hour & 2 Minutes & delivered one of the most interesting discourses I Ever heard in my life. Said it would take a whole life devoted to God & his work to get a full & Complete salvation and as much short as any person Came of this after receiving this work so much short would He be Clipped of a full & Complete salvation & none such would the Lord Choose when He made up his Jewels. -- Logan, Utah

[Wilford Woodruff's Journal. 9 Vols. Scott G. Kenney, ed. Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1983-85. 7:192; Journal History of the Church, Selected Collections from the Archives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints DVD 2 (2002) as 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]

185 years ago today - Aug 16, 1834

Joseph Smith - the churches should "be in readiness to move to Jackson county in two years from the eleventh of September next, which is the appointed time for the redemption of Zion. ... you will learn by this we have a great work to do, and but little time to do it in;"

[Note, this is the 5th anniversary of D&C 64:21: "I will not that my servant Frederick G. Williams should sell his farm, for I, the Lord, will to retain a strong hold in the land of Kirtland, for the space of five years, in the which I will not overthrow the wicked, that thereby I may save some."]

[ History of the Church, vol. 2, p. 145, as quoted in Instutite for Religious Research]

130 years ago today - Aug 15, 1889

Zina D. H. Young, plural wife of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young said, "It is the privilege of the sisters, who are faithful in the discharge of their duties, and have received their endowments and blessings in the house of the Lord, to administer to their sisters, and to the little ones, in time of sickness, in meekness and humility, ever being careful to ask in the name of Jesus, and to give God the glory."

[Woman's Exponent 17, 172, as quoted at http://ordainwomen.org/quotes. See Quinn, "Mormon Political Conflicts" for full cite and context.]