40 years ago today - May 22, 1975

Association of Catholic Communications gives "Gabriel" award to LDS church for "Homefront" public-service advertising which soon receives this award almost yearly.

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

85 years ago today - May 22, 1930

[Heber J. Grant] Brother B. H. Roberts called, and we discussed the contents of his new book, telling him of the feeling of the brethren of the Twelve that they could not approve of some parts of it. He was determined not to make any change and finally requested that we drop the matter for the time being, as he was leaving for California to attend a stake conference and did not feel like discussing the matter. I feel very sorry to think that Brother Roberts is determined to put in the book some things that I think are problematical and cannot be demonstrated. Inasmuch as the Church has furnished him a stenographer while he was in New York and since he returned, to compile this book, I think that before it is published we must come to an understanding as to what shall go into it, and we object emphatically to his putting anything in it that the Presidency and Apostles cannot approve.

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

90 years ago today - May 22,1925

Deseret News editorializes in favor of new Utah law which legalizes horse racing and pari-mutual betting. Legislature has appointed Brigham F. Grant as chair of Racing Commission. He is manager of Deseret News and brother of church president, Heber J. Grant.

[Source: Quinn, D. Michael, The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power, Appendix 5, Selected Chronology of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1848-1996, http://amzn.to/extensions-power]

170 years ago today - May 22, 1845

Brigham Young (aged 43) marriage to Mary Elizabeth Rollins (1818-1910) (aged 26) married to non-Mormon Adam Lightner and plural widow of Joseph Smith, Jr. sealed to Joseph Smith, Jr. for eternity and Young for time; remained living with Lightner

[Source: Wikipedia, List of Brigham Young's Wives, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Brigham_Young%27s_wives]

180 years ago today - May 22, 1835

[Heber C. Kimball] "I told him [a baptist preacher] if he did not repent of his sins, and be baptized for the remission of them, he would be damned; which made him mad."

"We then passed on until we came to a pure stream of water, and there cleansed our feet bearing testimony against him, as the Lord commanded."

[Source: Whitney, Helen Mar, Jeni Broberg Holzapfel, and Richard Neitzel Holzapfel, A Woman's View: Helen Mar Whitney's Reminiscences of Early Church History, Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997]

25 years ago today - May 21, 1990

U.S. Supreme Court rules that direct donations to LDS missionaries are not deductible under U.S. tax laws. Therefore, First Presidency advises church members to make their donations directly to church, while earmarking funds for individual missionaries.

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

40 years ago today - May 21, 1975

[Ezra Taft Benson] "I had this bad habit—I guess you call it bad," he explained, "of laying things on the line economically just as hard and cold as I could based on the facts, so they'd register with people, and not giving them a lot of soft soap, try and build up good will immediately."

[Source: Ezra Taft Benson, Oral History, Interviewed by Maclyn Burg, May 21, 1975, 23–24, Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, Abilene, Kansas.; Gary James Bergera, '"Rising above Principle": Ezra Taft Benson as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, 1953-61, Part 1', Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought (Fall 2008, v 41)]

50 years ago today - May 21, 1965

Priesthood blessings are restored to excommunicated apostle John W. Taylor. His son Raymond Taylor stands proxy as Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith performs the ordinance. His other son Samuel W. Taylor writes: "it is an error to say that my father "apostatized." He never did. He accepted the role of scapegoat for the welfare of the Church, as his reinstatement certifies. And as further evidence, my mother, his third wife, continued to receive her share of his salary as an apostle each month for the remainder of her life. I took the check to the Farmers and Merchants Bank in Provo, with strict orders to deliver it to Brother Olson and nobody else." On the question of reinstatement of Taylor's three post-manifesto plural marriages the decision was "if the Lord should judge Brother Taylor in being justified in his last three marriages, he can adjust it in the realms beyond the grave."

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

70 years ago today - May 21, 1945

[Spencer W. Kimball] [Regarding the reorganization of the First Presidency:] I was impressed especially by the humble, sweet, soul-searching expressions of the Counselors J. Reuben Clark Jr. and David O. McKay who had been in actual leadership of the Church so long and now voluntarily took their places in order of seniority in the Twelve. To see great men weep and shed tears as they evidence love and devotion to their brethren and a Cause is stirring. All spoke including the Patriarch. ...

Pres. Grant had never been to a meeting in the temple since I had been among the authorities.

[Source: Spencer W. Kimball Diary, 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]

70 years ago today - May 21, 1945

Conference sustains George Albert Smith as church president with J. Reuben Clark and David O. McKay as counselors. He is "set apart" (not ordained) by Apostle George F. Richards, who is also a patriarch. Smith is only unmarried man to become LDS church president an only one who has no marital companion during his entire presidency. He remains unmarried widower last fourteen years of his life.

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

115 years ago today - May 21, 1900; Monday

[Angus M. Cannon] I spoke to Bro[ther]. [Charles W.] Penrose about an article he wrote for the [Improvement] Era, calling the woman of Endor a witch. I told him Pres[ident]. John Taylor told me in spring of 1855, that the Prophet Joseph [Smith], said that woman was a prophetess of God, who dwelt in seclusion because of the edict of Sam[ue]l. against any one possessing a fermiliar [sic] spirit. Parley P. Pratt, when I mentioned the same thing to him, in fall of 1856, he said she was one of Samuels wives.

[Source: Angus M. Cannon, Diary]

130 years ago today - May 21, 1885 (Thursday)

Elder John P. Ibsen, while preaching the gospel in a private house on Bornholm, Denmark, was arrested and brought to Ronne, where he was tried and imprisoned three days for preaching. Soon afterwards he was sent as a prisoner to Copenhagen.

[Source: Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

155 years ago today - May 21, 1860

Brigham Young's office journal comments on a letter sent by the Church to President Buchanan: "This was an interesting letter, it commented upon the prostitution which had always attended monogamy, both in the days of the Romans and in all modern nations; also remarking that the Nations who practiced polygamy were to a far greater extent free from Harlots."

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

160 years ago today - May 21, 1855

[Brigham Young] The Seventies are Apostles, differing a little from the Twelve Apostles in their calling. When the Kingdom is organized more fully upon the earth, a Seventy will not be chosen as a Bishop's counselor, a Bishop, or even as a President of a stake.... ... D.B. Huntington at a meeting of the natives last evening cut off your old Indian chief because he would not work, and appointed a young man as chief in his place, that would work and Kenosha has had to come to it at last. Bro. Kenosha said that we chiefs should work, and when they ceased to work, they ceased to be a chief, as Bro. D. said that our chiefs did work.

[Source: General Church Minutes, 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]

160 years ago today - May 21, 1855

[Wilford Woodruff] I got an Indian boy of Brother James Bosnel. He was about a doz years of age. His name was Moroni Eliga Bosnel.

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

170 years ago today - May 21, 1845

Trial begins in Carthage, Illinois of five men charged with the murder of Joseph Smith. All are acquitted.

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

50 years ago today - May 19, 1965

By authorization of First Presidency, ex-apostle John W. Taylor is baptized into LDS church. On May 21 Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith performs proxy ordinance of restoring all priesthood blessings to the deceased apostle.

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

100 years ago today - May 19, 1915

President Charles W. Penrose of the First Presidency dedicates the cornerstone of the new Church Office Building (later known as the Church Administration Building) at 45 East South Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah.

115 years ago today - May 19, 1900; Saturday

... Mr. John W. Rigdon, son of the late Sidney Rigdon, called and met President Snow this morning in the Beehive House, and afterwards met Presidents Cannon and Smith in the office. The President reported that he had a very pleasant conversation with Mr. Rigdon who talked freely to him. During the conversation Mr. Rigdon admitted that he once had doubts concerning the authenticity of the Book of Mormon; but after talking with his father on his deathbed those doubts were removed partially, and his investigations and reflections since then had tended fully to confirm in his mind the truthfulness of his father's dying testimony. He, in talking with his father during his last hours said, "Father, you are now an old man, and I want you to tell me if you still believe the Book of Mormon to be what it represents to be, and if Joseph Smith always maintained that it was true and a genuine record?" His father answered in the most solemn manner that it was a true and genuine record, and that Joseph Smith always maintained its genuineness, and that he translated it by the gift and power of God from the gold plates shown to him by the angel. Mr. Rigdon said that for the last six years he had believed the Book of Mormon to be what it represents to be, but he said he was sorry to say his wife and children not only disbelieve it, but regard the Mormons as enemies, that they spoke very harshly of them, and they would sometimes talk against his own father, but which however, they had ceased to do in his presence. He said his father died an unhappy man, but in hopes and assurance of a glorious resurrection.

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

125 years ago today - May 19, 1890

[Wilford Woodruff] The Supreme Court of the United States Decided to day Against the Church of Jesus Christ of latter Day Saints. They Decided to Escheat all the Church Property Real & Personal. This is turning the Last that will seal the Condemnation of this Nation.

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