35 years ago today - Mar 25, 1984-Sunday

[Leonard Arrington]
During the past few days a trial took place in Salt Lake City which had great significance for Mormon historiography. For years [anti-Mormon publishers] Jerald and Sandra Tanner have published documents which were stolen or surreptitiously removed from the Church Archives or xeroxed without permission. On the one hand the scholars were delighted to have access to documents which were restricted. On the other hand they could hardly condone the unethical if not illegal practice. In every instance, no matter how flagrant the theft or unwelcome the publication, the Church has chosen to overlook the action and simply to deny use to Tanner and his friends.

A few months ago Andy Ehat, graduate student at BYU, completed a thesis which traced certain sacred ceremonies in early church history-endowments, ordinances, etc. For this purpose he managed to obtain access to certain restricted documents, among them the diary of William Clayton which has been kept in the vault of the First Presidency. Jim Allen also obtained access to this document for use in preparing his biography of Clayton. Ehat and Allen exchanged notes and xeroxes of documents. Some eighty pages of the Clayton diary were filed in Jim Allen's office at BYU. The bishop of one of the BYU wards was allowed to use Jim's office on Sundays and one evening each week. One of his counselors was looking through his files out of curiosity, saw the Clayton diary material, read some of it, was fascinated, and removed it long enough to make a xerox copy. He showed it to friends, among them Richard Van Wagoner, who in turn shared it with others and a copy ended up with the Tanners. [[The religion professor who had the copy of the typescript from Ehat was Lyndon Cook, so Arrington's account is a little confused.]] They quickly published it and to this date have sold something like 1800 copies.

Ehat felt crushed. For one thing, he was blamed for the leakage. For another, he had expected to publish his thesis and felt that it was now unpublishable because the heart of it, what came from the Clayton diary, had been published. He had been ordered by BYU to buy up the copies previously distributed, had been denied access to other documents, and otherwise lost some of his credibility. He decided to sue the Tanners and obtained the willing services of Gordon Madsen as attorney. Gordon talked with the Church lawyers in the attempt to get their support and help. Conferences were held and the church decided to stay out of it. Representing the Tanners was Brian Barnard. On Wednesday, March 21, the trial was held ... Judge Christensen gave his decision. He found for the plaintiff [Ehat]. He apparently delivered quite a lecture to the Tanners, put an injunction against further sales of the Clayton book, and fined the Tanners as follows: to be paid to Ehat: $900 representing the profit from the Clayton book; $3,000, representing what Ehat thought he would make from the publication of his thesis; $11,000, representing compensation for the loss of reputation, damage to character, etc. of Ehat. [[A year later the judgment would be overturned on appeal. ...]]

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

35 years ago today - Mar 25, 1984

Wards and branches are allowed to have microform facilities for genealogical research.

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

70 years ago today - Mar 25, 1949

[J. Reuben Clark]
Bp. Isaacson said that Pres. McDonald had indicated unhappiness at the BYU situation, the negro question, and others.

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

115 years ago today - Mar 25, 1904

Anthony W. Ivins performs a plural marriage sealing Rangmilda Bluth to Heber Erastus Farr as his second living wife. Ivins is ordained an apostle in 1907 and becomes Second Counselor to his cousin, President Heber J. Grant, in 1921.

125 years ago today - Sun., Mar 25, 1894

[Abraham H. Cannon]
Bro. Roskelly of the Logan temple is having a considerable number of persons who are dead sealed and adopted to him. This is right where people request it, but he should not try to induce them to take this course through their surviving relatives, or in their own cases, if alive. Pres. Woodruff will write him to not try to get people to be thus sealed to him, but where they ask it of their own free will it will be proper.

. . . I also encouraged love in the family. Bro. Grant spoke the remainder of the time. He said in the course of his remarks that it is said truly in family affairs that "Men hold the lines, but women tell them where to drive;" this was said to show the sisters that their influence over the men is very great, either for good or evil. We returned home in the evening.

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

130 years ago today - Mar 25, 1889

[Heber J. Grant]
Upon my arrival home I found my wife Lucy quite worked up on account of my having sold my home to Byron Groo as he was not a member of the Church and people were talking about it and making remarks that were anything but complimentary. I told her that I would get Pres Woodruff to approve the sale as there was never a rule that there were no exceptions to, and as Byron Groo was a friend of our people and was employed in writing in their defence there would be no objections to my selling to him. I called at the Gardo House where I met Bros Woodruff and Cannon, J. F. Smith, and F. D. Richards and they approved of my sale to Byron Groo, although they said that if I had not sold that it would have been better on account of the talk of the people not to have done so, but they thought that there was not the least wrong in the sale that I had made.

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

170 years ago today - Mar 25, 1849 (Sunday)

The first public meeting was held on the Temple Block, G.S.L. [Great Salt Lake] City.

[Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

170 years ago today - Mar 25, 1849

Pres. Brigham Young remarked: I promise you, if you do this [pay tithing], you will build your fence as easy as not to do it, and your grain will grow. I know that it is the Lord that gives the increase after you have planted. If he does not, your labor will be in vain. -- SLC Bowery

[Journal History of the Church, Selected Collections from the Archives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints DVD 2 (2002), in The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, Ed. Richard S. Van Wagoner, Smith-Pettit Foundation, Salt Lake City (2009), http://bit.ly/BY-discourses]

175 years ago today - Mar 25, 1844

[Joseph Smith]
Called at my office on my return and read Memorial to Congress [requesting authorization to raise an army of 100,000 to explore and protect settlers in Oregon and Texas,] which my clerk had been writing as committee of council [of Fifty] of Thursday last. Was pleased with the instrument.

[Faulring, Scott (ed.), An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith: Joseph Smith Diary, 1844, http://amzn.to/jsdiaries]

180 years ago today - 20-Mar 25, 1839

[Joseph Smith]
While a prisoner, receives D&C 121, D&C 122, D&C 123.

[Highlights in the Prophet's Life, Ensign, June 1994]

25 years ago today - Mar 24, 1994

Jane Partridge, president of her high school seminary class, testifies before the U.S. Congress in support of reducing the legal limits for the blood-alcohol level of teenage drivers.

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

40 years ago today - Mar 24, 1979-Saturday

[Leonard Arrington]
Second Anointings I have been seeing what references there might be in my library about Second Anointings. Nothing in Mormon Doctrine by Bruce McConkie. Nothing in Carter, LDS Encyclopedia. Nothing in the indexes to Joseph Smith, History of the Church; [B. H.] Roberts, Comprehensive History; and Journal of Discourses. Mike Quinn's article on Prayer Circles in BYU Studies, Fall 1978, mentions them. Suggests they were first given shortly before the completion of the Nauvoo Temple, shortly before Joseph Smith's death. Suggests that those who belonged to the Holy Order or Anointed Quorum had all received their Second Anointings. Perhaps those who received the Second Anointings were all invited into the Holy Order, and that the Anointed Quorum consisted of all and only of all who received their Second Anointings. This was the original Prayer Circle. Clark, Messages of the First Presidency, III, p. 228, has a letter to Presidents of Stakes and Bishops of Wards, Nov. 6, 1891, which states that the approval of the President of the Church was required for those receiving Second Anointings, but presumably they are initiated by bishops and/or stake presidents. Clark, Messages of the First Presidency, V, p. 112, had a Circular with temple instructions to bishops, dated 1918, which states that bishops are not to issue recommends for second anointings. That is the province of stake presidents and must have the endorsement or approval of the President of the Church, and individuals are not to be informed until the latter is approved. "As a general rule, such recommends are issued only in behalf of those who have had endowments in lifetime, and have been sealed and lived together faithfully as husband and wife, and who have been valiant in the defense of truth and active in all good works."

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

55 years ago today - Mar 24, 1964

President Lyndon B. Johnson explains his plan to restructure the budgeting of government agencies without raising taxes: "we will take from the haves and give to the have nots." Two years later in a general conference address Apostle Marion G. Romney uses this quote out of context as evidence that Johnson advocates socialism.

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

60 years ago today - Mar 24, 1959

[J. Reuben Clark]
[When asked about administering to a woman, LeGrand Richards had already administered to, Clark replies:] ... there was no more spiritual man than Brother Richards.

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

135 years ago today - Mar 24, 1884

Apostle John Henry Smith dreams "that President Young and my Father were still alive but that they had been away from the people and returned not satisfied with the way President Taylor was doing. I saw Pres[iden]t. Taylor moving from the yard into his own home, and he seemed to be much troubled in his mind. J. W. Young and my brother Charles seemed to be mixed up in the affair. My conversation with my Father was as real as in life. I enjoyed it very much. President Taylor came to where Father and I stood and they both disappeared."

160 years ago today - Mar 24, 1859

[Wilford Woodruff]
24th We packed up a Box of Journals Books & Records for safe keeping in Case of war. ...

A messenger arived from Rush valley informing us that after Spencer was knocked down they sent for an army Surgeon who examined his head. Found his skull was broaken & one part laped on the top of the other. He sawed a peace of the Skull out & placed it together and they think there is a Chance for him to get well.

[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 - Mar 24, 1844

[Joseph Fielding]
... our Prophet told us from the stand, by the wall of the partly built [Nauvoo] temple, that a conspiracy was formed by the two Fosters, the Laws, C. Higby, and J. H. Jackson and others against himself and all the Smiths. By some of them it was declared that there should not be one of the Smith family alive in a few weeks. ...

They object to the doctrine of plurality of wives and of gods. I was present when the two [William and Wilson Law] Laws, the wife of William and R. D. Foster, were cut off from the Church. The feeling as to their conduct was very unanimous except that Brother [William] Marks did not raise his hand [to vote] against Sister Law. Their principle charge against Joseph is that he has and seeks to obtain other women or wives and has taught the same to others who have done the same. [A marriage had been considered between Joseph Smith and Jane Law, as well as between Emma Smith and William Law]

As to me, I have evidence enough that Joseph is not fallen. I have seen him after giving as I before said, the origin of Masonry, organize the kingdom of God on the earth and am myself a member of it. ...

[Joseph Fielding, Diary (1843-1846), Church Archives in "They Might Have Known That He Was Not a Fallen Prophet"--The Nauvoo Journal of Joseph Fielding," transcribed and edited by Andrew F. Ehat, BYU Studies 19 (Winter 1979), http://www.boap.org/LDS/Early-Saints/JFielding.html]

40 years ago today - Mar 23, 1979-Friday

[Leonard Arrington]
I learned today some things about Merv Hogan and his work on the Masons. He told me this morning that one reason he had been impelled to make such a thorough study of Masonry and the Mormons is that he had been the recipient of four visits of heavenly beings which had urged him on in doing this assignment. Of course his primary goal has been to get the recession [abolishment] of the Utah Masons' rule that no Mormon can be admitted as a Mason. He said that about 1956 when he was getting ready to move his family to Syracuse, New York, to work for GE [General Electric], he had one evening a visit from an elderly gentleman in his 70s or 80s with black hair with white streaks and graying at the temples and dark eyes, a rather tall personage. This personage knocked on his door, talked with him a few minutes; Merv ushered him in and introduced him to the family, and after chatting for a little while said he needed to go and Merv ushered him out, but before leaving he had told Merv, "You and I know that you have an important job to do, and you must carry on. If you persevere you will be blessed." Merv said that he was witness to the manifestation but his family were not. Since his family had not witnessed it, he began to wonder if he had dreamed it up, and at that stage he was walking down the street in Salt Lake City and saw this person again, and the person came up to him and said, "I hope you will remember my visit to you at your house. Remember if you persevere in this important work, you will be blessed."

Several years later when he was in Phoenix he was visited by a young pleasant person two different times with a very similar message. So Merv believes that he is an instrument in the hands of the Lord and that the Lord is manipulating things to help accomplish a desirable job. ... Merv says he has been told by some member of the Quorum of the Twelve that they wanted to have him publish this, and there were two others who were vehement that he must not publish it. Merv knows that this was discussed formally in the Quorum of the Twelve, with this division of opinion, and he thinks that perhaps President Kimball wished to keep that division down by urging him not to publish. Anyway, he published it. I told him that I would feel sure one of those two members of the Quorum was Elder Peterson, and he reluctantly admitted that was the case. He said another member of the Quorum of Twelve who was against any mention of the Mormons in connection with Masonry was President Joseph Fielding Smith. He said that both Brother Peterson and President Smith would prefer that no Mormon history book contained any mention that Joseph Smith was a Mason, that many of the leaders of the Church were Masons, that they had a lodge in Nauvoo, and so on. He said President Kimball does not personally object to it but had played the role of peacemaker.

Maureen [Beecher] came in to say that she had received a telephone call from John Madsen. John said that the First Presidency and "the Brethren" had decided that the Relief Society needed more visibility and that he had been assigned to provide additional input into the Church given to the Relief Society by the Brethren in past periods. He has had Tom Truitt and Anna Mae Robison101 working on it and he asked for additional help from Maureen. He wants the material by next Tuesday. I told Maureen to furnish him some good quotations that she can get quickly and that in addition she should telephone him and suggest he write a letter to Elder Durham suggesting a more detailed research project to be done by us on women and their role in Church history. Maureen said he emphasized several times that the biggest single problem in the Church is the problem of women and the image of women and that the Church is determined to do everything they can to help everyone understand more fully the importance we attach to women and their work. ...

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

135 years ago today - Mar 23, 1884

The day after he took 3 "doses" 5 grains each of Hashish (Cannibas Indica) James E. Talmage writes in his journal: "Sunday. Spent quietly. Have had no result to be noted of my physiological experiment yesterday. I do not feel inclined to try again till the end of next week-as the realization of the effects of the drug are not desirable on working days."

175 years ago today - Mar 23, 1844. Saturday.

[William Clayton]
A.M. rode with President Joseph and brother Neibaur to Doctor [Robert] Fosters. He was gone to appanose and his wife was at Mr. Gilmans. We went down there and saw her. President Joseph asked Sister Foster if she ever in her life knew him guilty of an immoral or indecent act. She answered no. He then explained his reasons for asking and then asked if ever he had used any indecent or insulting language to her, she answered, never. He further asked if he ever preached any thing like the spiritual wife doctrine to her only what he had preached in public. She said no! He asked her if he ever proposed to have illicit intercourse with her and especially when he took dinner during the Doctors absence. She said no. After some further conversation on the subject we left. Mrs. Gilman was present all the time.

[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]