45 years ago today - Dec 12, 1974-Thursday

[Leonard Arrington]
... Truman Madsen, who is a grandson of Heber J. Grant, mentioned two things about Edwin D. Woolley. Edwin D. Woolley was bishop of the ward in which President Grant grew up. Apparently Bishop Woolley said that Heber J. Grant was a lazy good-for-nothing. Heber J. reacted so strongly against this that he promptly went to work and built a nice home for his mother and in other ways demonstrated his energy and industry. Truman's comment was that Bishop Woolley may have been a superb psychologist and this may have been his way of getting Heber J. to wake up and make a man of himself.

Truman also mentioned that ... [16 or 17-year old B. H.] Roberts was apparently not active in going to church and maybe displayed some other characteristics as drinking and/or smoking and/or swearing as the result of his experience with miners. Bishop Woolley did not like this and so either through the teachers quorum or on his own authority he excommunicated B. H. Roberts. This was in Roberts' absence. Roberts' first reaction, according to Truman, was "well, so what?" but the more he thought of it the more seriously he took this as a challenge. He went back to Bishop Woolley and protested vehemently. He demanded a hearing. At the hearing he confessed his wrongs and promised to do better, and so he was reinstated by Bishop Woolley. This was a basic point in his life and from then on he was a loyal churchman. ... Again Truman posits that this may have been Bishop Woolley's psychology at work. ...

[Confessions of a Mormon historian : the diaries of Leonard J. Arrington, 1971-1997, Gary James Bergera, editor, Signature Books, 2018]

85 years ago today - Dec 12, 1934

[David O. McKay]
... As President Grant is in the East attending to the organization of a Stake in New York, I am taking the liberty of answering the question you propound in your letter, namely: 'In the event of the death of a President of a Temple does the power and authority delegated to him pass to his successor without special confirmation by the President of the Church?' The answer is no. The Authority is given to the individual and not to the office.

[David O. McKay, Letter to B.E. Tilby, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1910-1951, Privately Published, Salt Lake City, Utah 2010]

120 years ago today - Dec 12, 1899

[Post-Manifesto plural marriage]
Alvin David Nelson, born at St. Thomas, Nevada, July 7, 1867

Elsinor Johnson, born at Johnson, Utah, May 3, 1878

Married at Colonia Oaxaca, December 12, 1899, Abraham Owen Woodruff officiating

Sixtus E. Johnson and Frank Scott, witnesses

[Stanley Ivins typewritten copy of Anthony Ivins "Record Book of Marriages" [Plural] performed in Mexican colonies, Anderson, Elizabeth Oberdick, editor, Cowboy Apostle: The Diaries of Anthony W. Ivins: 1875-1932, Signature Books, Salt Lake City in association with the Smith-Pettit Foundation (2013), Appendix A]

130 years ago today - Dec 12, 1889

Official declaration of Church on "Blood Atonement" Capital Punishment, Civil Liberty, Loyalty to the Government of the United States--...

OFFICIAL DECLARATION. Salt Lake City, December 12th, 1889. TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

In consequences of gross misrepresentations of the doctrines, aims and practices of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly called the "Mormon" Church, which have been promulgated for years, and have recently been revived for political purposes and to prevent all aliens, otherwise qualified, who are members of the "Mormon" Church for acquiring citizenship, we deem it proper on behalf of said Church to publicly deny these calumnies and enter our protest against them.

We solemnly make the following declarations, viz:

That this Church views the shedding of human blood with the utmost abhorrence. That we regard the killing of a human being, except in conformity with the civil law, as a capital crime which should be punished by shedding the blood of the criminal, after a public trial before a legally constituted court of the land.

Notwithstanding all the stories told about the killing of apostates, no case of this kind has ever occurred, and of course has never been established against the Church we represent. Hundreds of seceders from the church have continuously resided and now live in this Territory, many of whom have amassed considerable wealth, though bitterly hostile to the "Mormon" faith and people. Even those who have made it their business to fabricate the vilest falsehoods, and to render them plausible by culling isolated passages from old sermons without the explanatory context, and have suffered no opportunity to escape them of vilifying and blackening the characters of the people, have remained among those whom they have thus persistently calumniated until the present day, without receiving the slightest personal injury.

We denounce as entirely untrue the allegation which has been made, that our Church favors or believes in the killing of persons who leave the Church or apostatize from its doctrines. ...

We declare that no Bishop's or other court in this Church claims or exercises the right to supersede, annul or modify a judgment of any civil court. Such courts, while established to regulate Christian conduct, are purely ecclesiastical, and their punitive powers go no further than the suspension or excommunication of members from Church fellowship. ...

Utterances of prominent men in the Church at a time of great excitement have been selected and grouped, to convey the impression that present members are seditious. Those expressions were made more than thirty years ago, when through the falsehoods of recreant officials, afterwards demonstrated to be baseless, troops were sent to this Territory and were viewed by the people, in their isolated condition, fifteen hundred miles from railroads, as an armed mob coming to renew the bloody persecutions of years before.

At that time excitement prevailed and strong language was used;...

We also declare that this Church does not claim to be an independent, temporal kingdom of God, or to be an imperium in imperio aiming to overthrow the United States or any other civil government. ...

WILFORD WOODRUFF, GEORGE Q. CANNON, JOSEPH F. SMITH, Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. LORENZO SNOW, FRANKLIN D. RICHARDS, BRIGHAM YOUNG, MOSES THATCHER, FRANCIS M. LYMAN, JOHN HENRY SMITH, GEORGE TEASDALE, HEBER J. GRANT, JOHN W. TAYLOR, M. W. MERRILL, A. H. LUND, ABRAHAM H. CANNON, Members of the Council of the Apostles.

JOHN W. YOUNG DANIEL H. WELLS, Counselors.

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

130 years ago today - Dec 12, 1889

[Apostle Heber J. Grant]
At our meeting this afternoon. We approved of the Manifesto to be signed by the Apostles declaring that there is nothing in the Endowments that is treasonable or contrary to good citizenship in this Republic.

[Diary of Heber J. Grant, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

150 years ago today - Dec 12, 1869

[Apostle Wilford Woodruff]
At the Close of the Meeting I was informed that one of my Children was nigh unto death. It had Been sick about one week. It was Delights youngest Child. I returned home & administered to it & it revived But was vary low through the night.

[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 - Dec 12, 1859

[Mountain Meadows]
Indian Superintendent Forney arrives in Washington, D.C. with the two oldest surviving boys from the massacre. Forney hopes the boys will be allowed to testify before Congress.

[Linder, Douglas, The Mountain Meadows Massacre Trials, http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/FTRIALS/mountainmeadows/leechrono.html]

175 years ago today - Dec 12, 1844

[Apostle Wilford Woodruff]
12th Thursday It blew a gale from the South West. We shiped some heavy stern seas. Broke in all the Stern windows. Filled the first Cabin with so much water that the trunks & baggage was all afloat. Destroyed much of the baggage of the passengers. Some water came into our cabin but no damage done the first & second cabin. Was on deck towards evening. The sea was piled up like mountains. When we were in the troth of the sea waves would arise at our stern as high as the top of the mizzen mast & seemed almost impossible for the ship to arise soon enough to save the sea from breaking over her. But she was 1,000 ton ship & a clean & fast sailor. She carried at this time little or no sail.

We were all vary sick, yet we would spend a few moments in viewing the wild, romantic, terrific, grand & sublime scenery that surrounded us in the wonders of the deep. Elder Holmes was quite sick & said he never beheld such a sight before.

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

150 years ago today - Dec 11, 1869

[Brigham Young sermon to the School of the Prophets]
He said A Bill of Divorce that is given to many is no Better than a peace of Blank paper. A woman who is sealed to a good man who bears the Priesthood if that man honors that Priesthood if that woman leaves him of her own accord & she is sealed to a dozen other men the first man will hold her in the resurrection if he wants her unless she should be sealed to a Man of a Higher Priesthood. Then he would [ ] her...

Some ordinances Cannot Be given without A temple. All Children Born Before Parents are Sealed to [at] the Altar will have to be sealed to their Parents in order to make them Legal heirs. Those who are Born after the parents are sealed are legal heirs. Men also will have to be sealed to Men untill the Chain is united from Father Adam down to the last Saint. This will be the work of the Millennium & Joseph Smith will be the Man to attend to it or to dictate it. He will not administer in person But He will receive his resurrected Body & will dictate to those who dwell in the flesh & tell what is to be done for He is the Last Prophet who is Called to lay the foundation of the great Last dispensation of the fullness of times.

Some have thought it strange what I have said Concerning Adam But the period will Come when this people of faithful will be willing to adopt Joseph Smith as their Prophet Seer Revelator & God But not the father of their spirits for that was our Father Adam.

Many questions are asked about divorces. I will say that many men & women want to be sealed that should not be for they will not stay together. But if I was to stop it there would be a fuss. Now what is to be done? They will be sealed & then they will separate. Some give them Bills of divorce. I Charge Nothing for sealing But I Charge $10 for Bills of divorce. If they will Break the Commandmts & make me Break them they shall Pay $10 for [it].

Presidt Joseph Young asked Presidet Young if He was Justified in giving these Bills of Divorce. Presidet Young says yes I am. I do not force them to separate. I give them good Council & tell them what to do. No man has a right to put away a wife Except for adultry But when a woman will leave a man against his will He does not put her away; but she puts herself away & he that Marries her Commits adultery as James Says. I am Justified in giving these Bills of Divorce for they will separate against my Council & the woman takes the responsibility upon herself & not me.

President Young said in relation to Joseph Smith returning the Plates of the Book of Mormon that He did not return them to the Box from wh[ence?] He had Received But He went [1 m/in?] a Cave in the Hill Comoro with Oliver Cowdry & deposited those plates upon a table or shelf. In that room were deposited a large amount of gold plates Containing sacred records & when they first visited that Room the sword of Laban was Hanging upon the wall & when they last visited it the sword was drawn from the scabbard & [laid?] upon a table & a Messenger who was the keeper of the room informed them that that sword would never be returned to its scabbard untill the Kingdom of God was Esstablished upon the Earth & untill it reigned triumphant over Evry Enemy. Joseph Smith said that Cave Contained tons of Choice Treasures & records.

[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 - Dec 11, 1854 (Monday)

The Utah legislature (4th annual session) convened in the Council House, in G.S.L. City, and organized by electing Heber C. Kimball president of the Council, and Jedediah M. Grant speaker of the House.

[Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

175 years ago today - Dec 11, 1844

[Apostle Wilford Woodruff]
11th Wednesday Wind changed to the east. Commenced blowing a gale. It was head wind. We were drove under bare poles through the day & evening. It made us all dreadful sick. The sea was vary rough & piled up like hills. The gale increased untill about 9 oclock in the evening it appeared as though it must tear the yards from the mast. We kneeled before the Lord & Prayed unitedly that the Lord would cause the gale to seease & the wind to change that we might go forward & not backward & in a little time after the wind instantly seeased & finally changed into the South West which gave us fair wind.

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

115 years ago today - Dec 10, 1904

The First Presidency conveyed a request from President William H. Smart that the Senator from Utah [Apostle Smoot] assist the people of his Stake with information relative to the opening for white settlement of the Uintah Indian Reservation in eastern Utah.

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

130 years ago today - Dec 10, 1889 (Tuesday)

The Idaho test oath case was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court.

[Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

135 years ago today - Dec 10, 1884

[L. John Nuttall to John D. T. McAllister]
In reply to your letter of Dec. 5th pertaining to telegrams and the payment thereof, I am directed by President [John] Taylor to say that in all cases such as Bishop Jones and widow Thomas, it is his understanding, and wishes you to so understand it, that no matter what may be stated in recommends as to what is desired, his initials, "J. T.," thereon is all that is meant. If he places "J. T. 2nd [anointing]" on, then he approves it in that manner. Hence the recommends of Jones and Thomas only having his "J. T."[,] that was all he intended for them. So that in future it will not be necessary for you to inquire by telegram or otherwise as to what is meant when you see his endorsement.

[Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/TempleWorship]

160 years ago today - Dec 10, 1859

The Pres. [Young] ordered some tobacco to be given to them [Indians], and they sat down and smoked a pipe'- Pres. also observed there are men of so many different temperaments who appear to have the Spirit of the Lord, and some of them would take away your coat or your axe. -- Salt Lake City

[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 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]

50 years ago today - Dec 9, 1969

A First Presidency letter to the director of seminaries and institutes, with a copy to Bruce R. McConkie, that "we know of no justification for claiming that 'man was placed on the earth on the seventh day.'"

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

85 years ago today - Dec 9, 1934

The New York Stake is the first stake east of the inter-mountain states since the termination of the St. Louis Stake in 1858.

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

115 years ago today - Dec 9, 1904; Friday

[Rudger Clawson]
On Friday, I was in meeting with the Presidency and Twelve all day on a matter that it would not be wise to name in my journal. [Probably related to the Smoot hearings]

[Rudger Clawson, Diary]

120 years ago today - Saturday, Dec 9, 1899

[Apostle Rudger Clawson]
Brigham City. Clear and cool, with snow during the night. Upon taking up the morning paper, I read a notice of the death of President Franklin D. Richards, president of the Twelve Apostles. He died at 12 o'clock last night. He was a great and good man and will be deeply mourned by Israel.

[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]

135 years ago today - Dec 9, 1884

LDS political newspaper, the Salt Lake Herald, reports another Mormon's assault and battery on a reporter of the Salt Lake Tribune, "A BLISSFUL LOT. Another of the 'Tribune' Crew Rewarded. A TROUNCING WELL MERITED."

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