10 years ago today - 1/16/2009

[Same-Sex Marriage]
Last of the amicus briefs are filed in the Proposition 8 constitutionality cases. Several indicate that Prop 8 supporters, including ProtectMarriage's legal counsel Andrew Pugno, intended that all same-sex marriages previously legally performed be nullified. Some briefs suggest those marriages could be turned into civil unions.

[Mormons for Marriage: A Prop 8 Timeline, http://mormonsformarriage.com/?page_id=68;http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/courts/supreme/highprofile/prop8.htm]

40 years ago today - Jan 16, 1979-Tuesday

[Leonard Arrington]
In the meeting this morning with Elder [G. Homer] Durham, he reported that he had started reading the "final" form of The Mormon Experience. ... He thought the chapter that might cause problems, if any, was the first chapter. If we could get people over the first chapter, then it would be downhill all the way. He was sure that many members of the Church, including ecclesiastical officials, "do not know enough about the historiography of the Joseph Smith period to appreciate what a contribution you have made in that chapter." The Church is very sensitive right now, he said, about the different accounts of the First Vision. You have handled it very well, but there will still be a few raised eyebrows about it, simply because the ecclesiastical officials are not well enough informed on the subject.

... He suggested that a copy which we might present to Elder [Boyd K.] Packer might be marked with a red pen at various places through the book to indicate that a modification at that point had been made because of his suggestions. He hoped we saved the copy that contains Elder Packer's suggestions and comments, and that we would go through the final volume and indicate changes made as the result of his suggestions. This would help him to realize the extent to which we had complied with his suggestions. Otherwise he might forget and think that he had made suggestions on certain things which we did

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

105 years ago today - Jan 16, 1914

[John Wolley]
Some months ago I met [apostle] Mat[t]hias F. Cowley on the street and he asked me if I was familiar with the Sealing Ceremony. I told him I was. He said: If any good man come to you don't turn them down. I believed from that statement that it was still proper that plural marriages be solemnized, and that President [Joseph F.] Smith had authorized Cowley to instruct me. Since that time I have married wives to [a number of men are listed].

[John W. Woolley, Affidavit, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1835-1951, Electronic Edition, 2015]

120 years ago today - Jan 16, 1899; Monday

[Heber J. Grant]
My bump of self confidence is unusually large and therefor I have no doubt that notwithstanding my present financial distress I school live to yet be acknowledged as a financial success.

[Heber J. Grant, Diary]

120 years ago today - Jan 16, 1899; Monday

Presidents [Lorenzo] Snow and

[George Q.] Cannon at 1 P.M. were called upon by Brother James E. Talmage, in relation to his work "Articles of Faith", which is about to be published. A paper connected with it on the subject of the Holy Ghost had been submitted to President Snow for his consideration, and he now told Brother Talmage that he had read it, was very much pleased with it, and thought it might with propriety he made a part of the book. Brother Talmage then read a chapter on plural marriage, which it was decided not to publish in this work, which was being issued under Church auspices, lest it might be construed by our enemies as an attempt by the Church to propagate a belief in polygamy. The use made by local ministers in their reply to President Snow's recent communication to the New York World, of a paper advocating polygamy printed by Brother B. H. Roberts, editor of the Improvement Era, mentioned in this connection.

[First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve minutes]

125 years ago today - Jan 16, 1894

Presidency and apostles vote for church to pay $25,000 to Brigham Young Trust Company to act as the intermediary in making "a loan" to repay that amount of monies which Bishop Leonard G. Hardy has embezzled from Salt Lake County.

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

130 years ago today - Jan 16, 1889

[James E. Talmage]
Talmage delivers a lecture in the Sixth Ward meeting house on "Effects of Stimulants and Narcotics." ("Drinks and Narcotics," Deseret Weekly 38, no. 4 (19 Jan 1889): 97-101)

[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]

135 years ago today - Jan 16, 1884

Patriarchal Blessing of George Albert Smith by Zebedee Coltrin ... And thou shalt attain to all the blessings and sealing powers that shall be given in the holy temples of the Lord and thou shalt behold the Lord when he shall come in the clouds of heaven, and shall be enabled to do a great work upon the earth, both for the living and the dead, and shall assist in the redemption of thy father's house. And thou shalt become a mighty prophet in the midst of the sons of Zion. And the angels of the Lord shall administer unto you, and the choice blessings of the heavens shall rest upon you.

And thy posterity shall become great upon the earth, and the Holy Melchisedek Priesthood shall rest upon them throughout all their generations and thy sons shall become mighty men before the Lord, filled with the wisdom of the heavens, and many of them shall become prophets and apostles and shall dwell in the midst of the Zion of the Lord as their posterity shall become very great and they shall become kings and priests of the most high. And thy daughters shall become women of great renown and shall become the mothers of mighty men before the Lord, and shall dwell among the sanctified of the Lord, and shall become a vast multitude dwelling in the midst of the Zion of the Lord, and shall live and reign a thousand years upon the earth and unto thy generations there shall be no end.

And thou shalt be wrapt in the visions of the heavens ... for thou shalt become a mighty apostle in the church and kingdom of God upon the earth, for none of thy father's family shall have more power with God than thou shalt have, for none shall excel thee... And I now seal all of these blessings upon thy head, and [seal] thee up unto all the powers of exaltation of thrones and dominions, and powers of eternal lives in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ, Amen.

[Patriarchal Blessings]

140 years ago today - Jan 16, 1879

Editorial comment of LDS political newspaper, the Salt Lake Herald: "We question if seventy-six polygamous marriages have been solemnized in the Endowment house, this city, in a year, or even twice that period." In fact, during 1878, 113 men entered polygamous marriages in the Endowment House.

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

175 years ago today - Jan 16, 1844

An "Ordinance concerning the sale of Spirituous Liquors" is passed by the Nauvoo City Council. It states: "Be it ordained by the City Council of the city of Nauvoo. that the Mayor of this city is hereby authorized to sell said liquors in such quantities as he may deem expedient." The ordinance is signed by "Joseph Smith, Mayor."

175 years ago today - Jan 16, 1844

[Wilford Woodruff]
I had a pig in the sullar & I believe the devil got into him. He leaped out of the pen destroyed one Jar of Butter one Jar of lard scattered ashes all over the sullar & kapered about over the Corn. I gave him a dismissal from the sullar and never saw him afterwards.

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

180 years ago today - Jan 16, 1839

Lyman R Sherman: In a letter 16 Jan. 1839 First Presidency called Lyman R Sherman to replace the apostatized Orson Hyde in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, but Lyman R Sherman died before being ordained an apostle

[Quinn, D. Michael, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, Appendix 6, Biographical Sketches of General Officers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-47, http://amzn.to/origins-power]

180 years ago today - Jan 16, 1839

Joseph Smith, in Liberty jail, writes a letter to "Brothers H. C. Kimball and B. Young," including the post-script: "Appoint the oldest of those of the twelve who were first appointed to be the President of your Quorum." Joseph (who may have thought the balding Kimball was older than Young) does not name the president of the Quorum. But because Brigham Young is thirteen days older than Heber, and because the senior Apostle Lyman E. Johnson had left the church, Young becomes the president of the Quorum of the Twelve and the Prophet's successor as president of the church.

30 years ago today - Jan 15, 1989

The SALT LAKE TRIBUNE reports that ourgoing director of the Utah ACLU chapter Robyn Blumner had "a heightened understanding of the culture, leaving 250 more card-carrying ACLU members in the state" than when she had arrived. Blumner is quoted as saying that "Utah is a very special place. The thing that makes it so special is that there are more unsung heroes per capita here than probably any other state in the nation." She says she had been surprised by the complexity of the society, "I have never before lived in a place where one's religion so affected one's social choices, one's religion here seems to dictate the choice of friends, associates, activities and even business contacts. I find that disquieting."

50 years ago today - Jan 15, 1969

BYU president Ernest L. Wilkinson forwards three clippings from the UNIVERSE to his assistant, Stephen R. Covey, with a memo reading, "I wish you would take the time to prepare a careful answer to the letter published Jan 6, and we will find some way of getting it in the Universe under some student's name."

60 years ago today - Jan 15, 1959

BYU Studies begins publishing faith-promoting works of LDS scholarship, including articles, essays, and poetry on a variety of subjects.

95 years ago today - Jan 15, 1924

[James E. Talmage]
In the evening I went to Farmington and sat with the high council in an advisory capacity, in the case of Lorin C. Woolley. The man himself was not present, and according to statements made before the council his absence was premeditated and deliberate. ... There were three [witnesses] called, and each gave strong testimony, agreeing in every particular of importance, though no one of them had known that either of the others would be a witness, nor had they been together in connection with this case. Lorin C. Woolley, according to the evidence presented, has persistently given out and declared that President Heber J. Grant and others of the General Authorities (including myself, according to one witness) have violated the rule of the Church against plural marriage and have taken wives during the recent past. After a patient hearing, conducted in the form prescribed, Lorin C. Woolley was excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

[James E. Talmage, 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 - Jan 15, 1914

[Heber J. Grant]
... F M Lyman's office.'He, Rudger Clawson & I met J. G. Kimball and chatted with regarding his sermon in Ensign Ward a week ago Sunday & counseled more thoughtful consideration as to the nature of his remarks.

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

125 years ago today - Jan 15, 1894

[Franklin D. Richards]
Last night in a dream I was shown distinctly that the people of Utah Territory were politically Democratic & that if their honest vote could be had it would so appear & that they had been counted out dishonestly by the Republican Commission.

[Diary Excerpts of Franklin D. Richards, 1887-1897, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

135 years ago today - Jan 15, 1884

Patriarchal Blessing of Lucy M. Smith [wife of George A. Smith, daughter of Josiah and Lucy M. Bean Smith] by Zebedee Coltrin ... thou shall attain unto all the blessings of eternal lives for thy reward shall be great in the heavens and thou shalt partake of all the sealing powers that shall be given in the holy temples of the Lord and thou shalt behold the Lord when he shall come to His temple ... and the angels of the Lord shall administer unto you for thou shall be a mighty prophetess in the midst of the daughters of Zion and thou shall be wrapped in the visions of the heavens and shall be clothed with salvation as with the garment and shall remain upon the earth until thou are satisfied with life ... I seal all these blessings upon thy head and thee unto all the powers of exaltation of thrones and dominions and powers of eternal lives in the morning of our Lord Jesus, Amen.

[Patriarchal Blessings]