55 years ago today - Dec 4, 1961

The establishment of the language-training program known as the Language Training Mission (LTM) at Brigham Young University. Originally for Spanish, it expands in 1963 to all Spanish-speaking and Portuguese-speaking missions and in 1964 to German-speaking. In 1968 the LTM expands to sixteen languages, with branches at Ricks College for Dutch and Scandinavian languages and at the Church College of Hawaii for Polynesian and Asian languages. In visiting missions general authorities find the LTM graduate to be more disciplined than other missionaries, who have received only one week's orientation and training at the Salt Lake Missionary Home since 1925.

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

60 years ago today - Dec 4, 1956

[David O. McKay]
Brother Petersen inquired as to the subject of the editorial, and I told him that it was an editorial criticizing the President of the United States. He stated that he was amazed. I told him that I was greatly grieved, and that this is the last thing we ought to be doing. I also stated that there is not one constructive thought in the whole editorial. Brother Petersen stated that in a meeting recently, Frank Browning had mentioned that some little criticism ought to be made. =However, Brother Petersen had not taken it seriously as so little was said about it. He was surprised that anyone else had taken it so seriously, and I answered that it was a very unfortunate leading editorial. ... I mentioned further that the President of the United States would be grieved if he read this editorial, and it is possible that somebody will send it to him. I stated that maybe we should sent a note to the President, however, that I would leave the matter in his hands.

[Source: McKay, David O., Office Journal]

110 years ago today - Dec 4, 1906

[Thomas A. Clawson Diary]
"The Presidents (Sic) Message was read to Congress today and among the items mentioned was "That the Constitution should be amended so that the Government could regulate Divorces and Marriages and that the handling of Polygamy should not be left to the States." Of course this is a very dangerous stand to take because it is lifting one's hand against the people and institutions of the Almighty and the Lord has said he who does it shall not prosper. I fear that this is the beginning of Prest. Roosevelt ['s] decline as a statesman who has heretofore been honored of the Lord but now that he has take [n] up the poplar (Sic) warfare gainst the people and principles of the Gospel, unless he repents he will surely parish (Sic)."

[Source: Diary Excerpts of Thomas A. Clawson, Signature Books Library, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

135 years ago today - Dec 4, 1881

[John Taylor's Interview with Abraham O. Smoot]
John Taylor: Brother Smoot, did you see on the top of a hill, in a place called Adam-ondi-Ahman, the remains of what Joseph Smith said had been an altar built by Adam, upon which he offered


Abraham Smoot: Yes, sir. I first saw it in 1837, and the spring of 1838, when assisting to survey the town called by that name.

John Taylor: What was the condition of the stones of which the altar had been built?

Abraham Smoot: I remember well. The stones which lay scattered around looked as though they had been torn from a wall.

John Taylor: Yes, my remembrance is too that the stones were scattered as you say they were, having no particular form, except in one place. You remarked that you helped to make the survey; and prior to this particular conversation, you told me that you assisted in making an excavation.

Abraham Smoot: Yes, sir. I helped to excavate around the base of the altar, some 2 to 3 feet, and from 6 to 8 feet in length, which was sufficient to thoroughly satisfy us that the foundation of the wall was still there.

John Taylor: Did you examine the wall further at any later period?

Abraham Smoot: No, sis; but we intended to do so after the war, or as some called it, the "Mormon War," was over. The opportunity, however, to do so did not present itself afterwards.

John Taylor: Do you know the name of the hill where the Altar was?

Abraham Smoot: I do not recollect that. I will say that I heard Joseph say that it was the remains of an altar built by Adam; and that he offered sacrifice on it, and called his family and blessed them there.

John Taylor: That was on the point of the hill that formed a curvature?

Abraham Smoot: Yes, sir. And that point commanded a beautiful view of the country.

[Source: John Taylor's Interview with Abraham O. Smoot on December 4, 1881]

135 years ago today - Dec. 4th 1881

[Abraham H. Cannon]
In Leipsig: "In the evening I took a cup of coffee and read the papers."

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

160 years ago today - Dec 4, 1856

[Hosea Stout]
To day the funeral obsequies of President J. M. Grant took place[.] The concourse of people was very large As a Major General he was buried in the honors of war[.] As a Master Mason he was buried as such and above all as a Saint he lived, died and was buried as such.

[Source: Diaries of Hosea Stout]

180 years ago today - Dec 4, 1836

President RIGDON called a vote of the Church to discountenance the use intirely of all liquors from the Church in Sickness & in health except wine at the Sacraments & for external Washing. The vote was Carried eunanimously.

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

185 years ago today - Dec 4, 1831

Kirtland. D&C 72 (Kirtland): Newel K. Whitney is called as Kirtland's bishop: keep the Lord's storehouse; record all transactions for bishop in Zion; provide for literary stewards. Those going to Zion must take certificate of worthiness.

[Source: Kenney, Scott, Saints Without Halos, "Mormon History 1830-1844," http://web.archive.org/web/20120805163534/saintswithouthalos.com/dirs/d_c.phtml]

60 years ago today - Mon Dec 3, 1956

[David O. McKay]
At 10 a.m. called O. Preston Robinson into my office and expressed to him my great displeasure at the leading editorial which appeared in the Deseret News last Saturday, finding fault with the President of the United States. I stated to him that there was not one constructive suggestion in the editorial.

[Source: McKay, David O., Office Journal]

105 years ago today - Dec 3, 1911

[George Albert Smith]
he dreams of meeting his father John Henry Smith and grandfather Lorin Farr, both deceased, at the conclusion of which he remarks on p. 105: "After I was awake I could feel the warmth of his hand and the thrill of the pleasure that I had when I found he could shake hands and had a body of flesh & bone. It was a great comfort to me. I have never dreamed of seeing him or Father before."

[Source: Journals of George Albert Smith]

180 years ago today - Dec 3, 1836

Patriarchal Blessing of Susan Mills Rogers given by Joseph Smith, Sr. ... thou shalt live to behold thy Savior in the flesh if thou shalt desire it: and thou shalt desire it and shall behold him. Thou shalt behold the winding up scene and live to be satisfied with life. Angels shall minister unto thee and the desire of thy heart shall be given thee: ... [her children] shall be filled with the spirit and shall stand upon the earth and be mighty prophets before the Lord. The treasures of the earth shall be given thee ... I seal thee up to eternal life ...

[Source: Patriarchal Blessing Book 1:110, in Early Patriarchal Blessings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Joseph Smith Sr. (Author), H. Michael Marquardt (Editor), http://amzn.to/rCBHVe]

180 years ago today - Dec 3, 1836

Patriarchal Blessing of Isaac Rogers given by Joseph Smith, Sr. ... No prison shall contain thee, and when those of the enemy shall be hired to seek thy destruction. God shall make known to thee the means of escape and shall set his holy angels to watch over thee. Thou shalt stand to behold the winding up scene, and shall stand on the earth at the coming of Christ if faithful. Thou shalt stand on Mount Zion with the hundred and forty four thousand. This Blessing I seal upon you, and by the authority of the priesthood and in the name of Jesus Christ I seal you up unto eternal life, even so Amen.

[Source: Patriarchal Blessing Book 1:109, in Early Patriarchal Blessings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Joseph Smith Sr. (Author), H. Michael Marquardt (Editor), http://amzn.to/rCBHVe]

35 years ago today - Dec 2, 1981

A First Presidency letter that divorced persons now "may be granted permission to go to the temple by the stake president without clearance by the First Presidency." The number of LDS divorces is now too large to handle at church headquarters.

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

55 years ago today - Dec 2, 1961

Gordon B. Hinckley is ordained to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

[Source: Wikipedia, 20th Century (Mormonism), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/20th_century_(Mormonism)]

130 years ago today - Dec 2, 1886 (Thursday)

Brigham H. Roberts, of Salt Lake Herald editorial staff, was arrested on a charge of u.c. [Unlawful Cohabitation, I.E. living with a polygamous wife] and placed under $1,000 bonds. When called for examination the next day, the defendant did not appear, and his bonds were declared forfeited.

[Source: Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

130 years ago today - Thursday, Dec 2, 1886

[John Henry Smith]
I returned to my home and learned that B. H. Roberts had been arrested. Grant, Wells and myself talked the matter over.

[Source: Jean Bickmore White (editor), Church, State, and Politics: The Diaries of John Henry Smith, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1990, http://bit.ly/johnhenrysmith]

145 years ago today - Dec 2, 1871

President Young [spoke], he talked to the people in regard to concentrating their wine making. -- St. George, Utah

[Source: George A. Smith Journal, 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 - Dec 2, 1856

[Wilford Woodruff]
I went to my house got a piece of fine linen & Mrs Woodruff accompanied me to Brother Grants. I gave them the linen to make a garment & Robes to lay out the body [of Jedediah Grant] in. I went to President Youngs to get Zina Young to go down & help make the Robes. She gave me a seat. President Young came in & spoke of Brother Grants Death. Said we had done all we could to save his life but the powers [of] the other side of the veil were stronger than we were & he was wanted there.

Sister Zina Young walked with me to President Grants & spent the day with the sisters in makeing the robes.

[Source: 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 2, 1851 (Tuesday)

A number of fishermen at Arnager, Bornholm, Denmark, armed themselves and defended two "Mormon" missionaries against mob violence.

[Source: Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

175 years ago today - Dec 2, 1841

Joseph receives a revelation for Nancy Marinda Hyde (Orson Hyde's wife), in which he is told that Ebenezer Robinson and his wife are to take in Nancy until Orson Hyde returns from his mission. Nancy is to hearken unto "the counsel of my servant Joseph in all things," and it shall be a blessing to her. [The counsel is likely in reference to Nancy marrying Joseph Smith.]

[Source: Conkling, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology]