40 years ago today - Sep 18, 1978-Monday

[Leonard Arrington]
Earl Olson was visited by a security official who asked that the Library-Archives be closed down at noon on Saturday... Security had heard that there was to be a sit-in of women during the afternoon. Apparently there was a reception at 3:00 o'clock in advance of the evening meeting for women. This was a reception for General Authorities and wives, the officers and spouses of Relief Society and Young Women, and perhaps general boards. ... Gordon says there was absolutely no sign of anybody wanting to sit-in and that this was a false alarm. It reminds me of the many false alarms that came during the period of black difficulties, when we kept hearing that many carloads of blacks from California were headed for Salt Lake City and they were going to "take over" Temple Square. This got so far that priesthood members in various wards in Salt Lake City were mobilized to meet the problem, in case it developed. Of course nothing happened.

Alice Smith telephoned this morning, quite discouraged. She called to tell me she did not think the time was ripe to publish a history of the Relief Society. She thought this would be too damaging to the testimonies of LDS women who would read it because, if it tells the truth, it will relate the deterioration of the power and position of women in the Church and will be very depressing to women who care. She gave as examples the following: [First,] in 1964 when she went on the [general] board, the Relief Society visited every stake at least once a year; then as the number of stakes multiplied, they were given permission to visit 60 stakes each year, then still later 24, and the new instructions give them the opportunity of visiting only 12 stakes per year. Second, the Relief Society has lost its money, its magazine, its lessons, and its semi-annual conferences. The Church correlating group in charge of writing manuals has taken over their manual; the Presiding Bishopric has taken over their money; the Ensign has taken over their magazine; and in no case have they had a substitution for any of these. When she was visiting the stake in Virginia, she assured the women that they might phone up Barbara Smith and invite her to meet with them, but as they were about to do so, they received a letter which informed them that they were not to invite any member of the board or any member of the presidency without clearing it with the stake president. The stake president had to clear it with the regional representative; the regional representative had to clear it with the area supervisor; the area supervisor had to clear it with the Quorum of Twelve. And because of all this bureaucratic arrangement, it will be impossible now for any stake to be directly in touch with the central organization of the Relief Society. Not only will they not be able to visit the various stakes, but they can't even correspond with them directly. She says that plans are now to do things at the ward level, which will make it more difficult for the Relief Society to function. She did not reveal what those were, but said that it would occur soon. She is very discouraged. She has accumulated over the years a large supply of Relief Society instructions and materials and has written notes and kept a diary, and she called to know what to do with these. I made a number of suggestions to her; the one which seemed most attractive to her was to give them to BYU or USU so they could be used by girls doing masters theses at the university. Alice said the deterioration of the Relief Society began under President [Harold B.] Lee, under his Correlation program, and that many of his appointees are still functioning and still operating under his philosophy. Dean Larsen, for example, was a Lee protegee, and is now the advisor to the Relief Society. He and those with him are continuing to trim and trim power and authority from the Relief Society.

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

130 years ago today - Sep 18, 1888

[Wilford Woodruff]
The Tribune is full of wrath this morning because George Q Cannon gave himself up yesterday without the ring having Power to arest him and be made a Marter of. The ring are Mad Becaus the New Govornor does not persecute the saints the same as Judge Zane.

[Source: 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 - Sep 18, 1868

Presidet Young spoke 35 minuts & said He read from the Book of Life keep the word of wisdom, Lay up the grain, Stop traiding with the Gentiles or I will Cut you off from the Church for it is time. Let Every one stop drinking Coffee, tea, whiskey, Tobaco for this is the word of God unto you & you will be Cut off if you do not.

[Source: 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 - Sep 18, 1843. Monday.

[William Clayton]
...Joseph and I rode out to borrow money, drank wine at Sister Lyons. P.M. I got $50 of Sister Lyons and paid it to D. D. Yearsley. [Silvia was legally married to Windsor P. Lyon, and also married to Joseph Smith.]

[Source: 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]

180 years ago today - Sep 18, 1838

[Missouri War]
After receiving reports of disturbances, Governor Boggs orders out two thousand troops and prepares to lead march to western Missouri.

[Source: LeSueur, Stephen C., The 1838 Mormon War in Missouri, Appendix: Chronology of Events in Missouri, 1838-1839]

30 years ago today - Sep 17, 1988

The LDS church joins the VISN television network (Vision Interfaith Satellite Network) sponsored jointly by different religious organizations; renamed the "Faith and Values Channel."

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

40 years ago today - Sep 17, 1978

The first episode of the TV series Battlestar Gallactica, created, written, and produced by Church member Glen A. Larson, airs on ABC. The story line of the series incorporates many LDS beliefs and doctrines.

125 years ago today - Sep 17, 1893

[Francis M. Lyman]
... I also bore down very heavy on the Word of Wisdom. Declared that the filthy stinking tobacco smokers and chewers should not be permitted to enter the presence of the Savior at his coming.

[Source: Excerpts of Apostle Francis M. Lyman Diaries, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

130 years ago today - Sep 17, 1888

[Wilford Woodruff]
President George Q. Cannon was indicted on saturday again for Cohabitation and this Morning He went into Court and Delivered himself up to the Court & Plead guilty to the Indictment and the Court sentenced him on the first Count 75 days imprisionment & $200 dollars fine and the second Count 100 days & $250 dollars fine total 175 days imprisionment & $450 dollars fine. He was taken in to the Penetentiary by Marshal Dyer who was accompanied by C. W. Wilkin H. B. Clawson & James Jack. The Marshal told the Warden to treat him Kindly. He will have all the Privileges the rules Can afford. We Parted in good spirits. This leaves me in a Measure alone for 5 Months but I will do the best I Can.

[Source: 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 - Sep 17, 1843. Sunday.

[William Clayton]
I had some talk with Lydia. She seems to receive it kindly but says she has promised her mother not to marry while her mother lives and she thinks she won't.

[Clayton had asked Joseph Smith if he (Clayton) could marry Lydia Moon. Clayton was already married to two Moon sisters. Smith replied with a revelation stating that more than two wives was likely to cause "wrangles." After informing Clayton of the revelation, Smith asked if Clayton minded if he (Smith) married Moon instead, who which Clayton agreed. Clayton asked Moon on behalf on Smith. The preceding is Clayton's synopsis of his conversation with Lydia Moon.]

[Source: 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]

175 years ago today - Sep 17, 1843

Joseph Smith instructs the Sunday congregation that it is wrong to have "men among women, and women among men," and segregates the congregation by gender.

[Source: Quinn, D. Michael, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, Appendix 7: Selected Chronology of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-47, http://amzn.to/origins-power]

40 years ago today - Sep 16, 1978

The first conference for LDS females over age eleven is broadcast over closed-circuit radio to meeting houses. Although not part of general conference, as is the male equivalent, this is the first step in giving LDS females a meeting similar to that which Mormon males have experienced since 1830. In Sept. 1993 this is divided into the Relief Society's and Young Women's "general meeting."

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

85 years ago today - Sep 16, 1933

A Deseret News Church Section full-page article, "The Problem of Isaiah in the Book of Mormon" by Sidney B. Sperry and H. Grant Vest. This is an example of the LDS leadership's delayed acceptance of B.H. Robert's recommendation a decade earlier to openly confront the textual problems in Mormon scriptures. Roberts dies eleven days after this article. On 30 Sept. the Church Section prints "The Synoptic Problem in Its Relation To Modern Revelation," and "The Johannine Problem In Its Relation To Modern Revelation" on 7 Oct.

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

110 years ago today - Sep 16, 1908; Wednesday

[George F. Richards]
The question of necessity for ordaining Presidents of Seventies considered and decided that it is not necessary to ordain a President of Seventy. It is sufficient to set them apart.

[Source: George F. Richards, Diary]

135 years ago today - Sep 16, 1883

[Patriarchal Blessing of William Wadley given by Zebedee Coltrin] ... And thou shalt enter the courts of the kings and many of the nobles of the earth shall have and reverence that gospel thou shalt preach unto them. ...

And thou shalt become a mighty prophet in the midst of the Zion of the Lord. And thou shalt be wrapped in the visions of the heavens and shall be clothed with salvation as with a garment. And the Angels of the Lord shall administer unto thee, and converse with thee face to face, and shall make known unto thee the high laws of heaven. ...

And thou shalt become a mighty tiller of the earth, and shall understand all the princiiples [principles] of the cultivation of the soil. ... And thy sons shalt become mighty men before their Lord, and shall be filled with the wisdom of the heavens, and many of them shall become Prophets, and Apostles, Seers and revelators before the Lord, and be kings and priests unto the most high. ... And thy daughters shall be women of great renown, clothed upon with all the principles of eternal salvation, and their sons shall become mighty men before the Lord, and shall remain and reign upon the earth a Thousand years with the Lord, And their daughters shall be holy women and become the mothers of holy, sanctified men and shall dwell in the midst of the sanctified of the Lord.

... I seal all these blessings upon thy head and thee up unto all the powers of exaltation, of thrones, and dominions and powers of eternal lives, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . . Amen.

[Source: Patriarchal Blessings]

30 years ago today - Sep 15, 1988

Mark Hofmann attempts suicide by way of a drug overdose. He is rushed to the University of Utah Health Sciences Center.

[Source: Whittaker, David J., The Hofmann Maze, A Book Review Essay with a Chronology and Bibliography of the Hofmann Case, BYU Studies Vol. 29, No. 1, pg.80,]

35 years ago today - Sep 15, 1983-Thursday

[Leonard Arrington]
Took Harriet to the B. H. Roberts Symposium last night. ... Brooke Hopkins: Mormons are unusually interested in what they look like to outsiders. It would be a relief if, when someone discovers a fault, it would be openly discussed. When individuals become so concerned with their image that they try to fix the image instead of dealing with the problems underneath, what they [other people] think of us is more important than what we think of ourselves or what God thinks of us. Mormon history suggests that we began as radicals, non-conformists. Exciting to be a Mormon then. Deeply opposed to American culture. ... Now the Mormons seek acceptance, yearn for a good image. An ambivalent situation, a contradiction: inordinately concerned with their image to others-spend $12 million on a Reader's Digest series. Yet claim to be the true religion which is different from that of "the world." An inordinate fear of disclosure with a cost in emotional and spiritual terms. A public relations church. Masks the fear of facing truth. How we must appear to God, how we can reconcile with the New Testament which would give us self respect. The need to find approval is comic. Even if we convince others that we are great, it only puts dealing with the real problems off.

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

55 years ago today - Sep 15, 1963

President Joseph Fielding Smith of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles dedicates the new Liberty Jail Visitors' Center on the site where his grandfather, Hyrum Smith, and great-uncle, Joseph Smith, were incarcerated with others during the winter of 1838–39.

120 years ago today - Sep 15, 1898

[Brigham Young Jr.]
Attended meeting at Temple. It did look grand to see Presidency intact and well. all feel thankful to have Pres[idents]. [George Q.] Cannon & [Joseph F.] Smith in their old places. It seems to me that Pres[ident] Cannon does not have confidence in me as he used to have. He may have reason for it. I know that I do not follow his suggestions without question as I used to do. I know that God loves him and I know that we all love him and we pray for his health and long life.

[Source: Brigham Young Jr. 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]

130 years ago today - Sep 15, 1888

[Heber J. Grant]
Bro George Q Cannon informed me a few days ago that it was his intention to surrender himself to the court and go to the penitentiary for '2unlawful cohabitation'. He said he had had assurances that he should not be sentenced for more than six months. I certainly think it is wisdom for him to purchase his liberty at this price.

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