80 years ago today - Apr 18, 1941

[J. Reuben Clark]
Read Lowell Bennion's book on Mormonism. This is less objectionable than the 1938-39 books.

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

80 years ago today - Apr 18, 1941

President Grant at my desk re division of his salary'$35 per month of which was paid to Emeline Wells until her recent death. The last payment of said amount was added to President Grant's monthly allowance check. He explained that the relatives of Emeline Wells have asked that the contribution be continued in favor of her relatives. He will think the matter over and advise us.

[Frank Evans, Diary, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1835-1951, Electronic Edition, 2015]

110 years ago today - Apr 18, 1911

Elder [Gustavus A.] Gamble was invited to make a statement in reply to the accusation. ... Since coming to Utah, some six years ago, I have tried to associate with what I regarded as the best members of the Church. I have sought the society of temple-workers and others supposed to be in good standing.

I had not been blessed with children, as my domestic affairs were such that this privilege was denied me. I desired to have offspring, and was told that by embracing the principle of plural marriage, I might have posterity. I received encouragement in this from what I thought were responsible brethren, and I made every effort possible to avoid publicity and everything that might bring disgrace upon the Church, but my attempt has been a failure, and I feel that I have greatly sinned against the Church. ...

A ceremony was performed, uniting me in plural marriage, but I am not certain as to the identi[t]y of the one who officiated...

I understood from conversation on the subject, that it would be best for me not to know that name of the man who officiated in the ceremony. ...

[Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1835-1951, Electronic Edition, 2015, Appendix 7: The Salt Lake Stake High Council and Post-1904 Plural Marriage: Minutes of Meetings, 1909-1914]

115 years ago today - Apr 18, 1906

[J. Golden Kimball to John W. Taylor]
Our hearts go out to you in sympathy, love and esteem because of your integrity, loyalty and patriotism to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We know, just as well as we know anything, that both you and Brother [Matthias F.] Cowley would look into a cannon's mouth and are more than willing to place all that you have and are upon the alt[a]r of sacrifice for the Church. While it is true that we do not understand the action taken against you brethren and cannot believe you are out of harmony with the Twelve Apostles, yet we are under the necessity, as things now stand, to allow matters to go just as they are. The Presidency of the Church and the Twelve Apostles assumed the responsibility of the action without asking the people to give their consent, further than to sustain the brethren who were chosen to fill the vacancies in the Council of the Twelve. The only thing we can do is to keep our mouths shut and wait until these difficulties are made clear or until we can understand why such action was taken.

[J. Golden Kimball, Letter to John W. Taylor, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1835-1951, Electronic Edition, 2015]

115 years ago today - Apr 18, 1906

San Francisco earthquake. The room of Matthias F. Cowley, recently dropped from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, "is the only one in [his hotel that is] undamaged."

[In the ensuing fire, the mission home is destroyed. The fire results in the California Mission headquarters being moved to Los Angeles in Southern California.]

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

150 years ago today - Apr 18, 1871 (Tuesday)

Ralph Waldo Emerson, the eminent litterateur, arrived in Salt Lake City, on a visit.

[Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

180 years ago today - Apr 18, 1841

[William Smith interview]
... About the year 1823, there was a revival of religion in that region, and Joseph was one of several hopeful converts. The others were joining, some one church, and some another in that vicinity, but Joseph hesitated between the different denominations. While his mind was perplexed with this subject, he prayed for divine direction; and afterwards was awaked one night by an extraordinary vision. The glory of the Lord filled the chamber with a dazzling light, and a glorious angel appeared to him, conversed with him, and told him that he was a chosen vessel unto the Lord to make known true religion. The next day he went into the field; but he was unable to work, his mind being oppressed by the remembrance of the vision. He returned to the house, and soon after sent for his father and brothers from the field; and then, in presence of the family, (my informant one of them,) he related all that had occurred. They were astounded, but not altogether incredulous. After this, he had other similar visions, in one of which the existence of certain metallic plates was revealed to him and their location described--about three miles off, in a pasture ground. The next day he went alone to the spot, and by digging discovered the plates in a sort of rude stone box. They were eight or ten inches long, less in width, about the thickness of panes of glass; and together, made a pile about five or six inches high. They were in a good state of preservation, had the appearance of gold, and bore inscriptions in strange characters on both sides. He brought them home, but was unable to read them. He afterwards made a facsimile of some parts of the inscription, and sent it to professor Anthon of New York city. The professor pronounced the characters to be ancient Hebrew corrupted, and the language to be degenerate Hebrew with a mixture of Egyptian. He could decypher only one entire word. After this Joseph Smith was supernaturally assisted to read and to understand the inscription; and he was directed to translate a great part of it. The pages which he was not to translate were found to be sealed together, so that he did not even read them and learn their contents. With an assistant to correct his English, he translated so much of the inscription as now makes the book of Mormon. He kept the plates a long time in his chamber, and after translating from them, he repeatedly showed them to his parents and to other friends. But my informant said, he had never seen them. At length he was directed by a vision to bury the plates again in the same manner; which he accordingly did. ...

[James Murdock to Congregational Observer, 19 June 1841, "The Mormons and Their Prophet," Congregational Observer (Hartford and New Haven, Connecticut) 2 (3 July 1841): 1. Reprinted in Peoria Register and North-Western Gazetteer (Peoria, Illinois), 3 September 1841., as cited in Dan Vogel, Early Mormon Documents: William Smith Interview With James Murdock]

30 years ago today - Apr 17,1991

Chronicle of Higher Education reports that Utah "ranks last in proportion of students who are female" throughout the United States. This is result of Utah's "traditions that inhibit the educational progress of women."

[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]

55 years ago today - Apr 16, 1966

A Birch member in Arizona wrote a letter to "all of the General Authorities," which said "Brother [Mark E.] Petersen's article was a tragic and regrettable mistake," and added a few lines later that the "Communists and their dupes have directed their attacks and smear campaign against the John Birch Society . . ." Petersen's editorial was "a shocking smear I'm sure the Church doesn't condone," according to a "Letter to the Editor" which the Deseret News refused to print. This Mormon Bircher concluded: "Elder Petersen owes an apology to the readers of the Church News for the unwarrantable and unauthorized innuendos."

[Joe H. Ferguson to "All General Authorities," 16 Apr. 1966, 4, with postscript to "Mark" (Mark E. Anderson). From D. Michael Quinn, Ezra Taft Benson and Mormon Political Conflicts, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 26:2 (Summer 1992), also in Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power Salt Lake City (Signature Books, 1994), Chapter 3.]

55 years ago today - April 16, 18, 1966

McKay reversed his previous position: "I told Clare that I did not wish these paragraphs deleted; that I gave them and the statement should stand as given; that many people have recordings of the full statement…. These things are very upsetting to me, and the deletion of what I said at Priesthood Meeting is causing a lot of people to question and to wonder what is going on." The deleted paragraphs were restored in the official Conference Report and Improvement Era. His Secretary Clare Middlemiss tried to get the full version published in the next issue of the Church News, but was thwarted by Lawrence McKay.

[David O. McKay diary; Gregory A. Prince and Wm. Robert Write, David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press (2005)]

55 years ago today - Apr 16, 1966

Ezra Taft Benson met with McKay and described "The 1976 Committee," to be composed of 100 prominent men from throughout the country, which proposed to nominate Benson for president and Thurmond for vice president. McKay repeated his resistance to forming a third party, to which Benson replied that he also was "opposed to this, but this Committee and movement might result in a realignment between the two political parties." McKay responded "that this nation is rapidly moving down the road of soul-destroying socialism, and that I hoped and prayed that the efforts of the 1976 Committee would be successful in stemming the tide." He told Benson "to let them go ahead and wait and see what develops." Benson presented him with proposed statements that he and McKay might make if the committee moved as planned to propose his nomination, to which McKay agreed. McKay's statement ended with the words "his doing so has my full approval."

[David O. McKay diary; Gregory A. Prince and Wm. Robert Write, David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press (2005)]

85 years ago today - Apr 16, 1936

[Heber J. Grant]
[Former apostle] Matthias F. Cowley called this morning and expressed his deep gratitude that he had been restored to fellowship with authority to officiate in the office of an elder. I am very happy indeed that he has confessed his mistakes and has once more been fellowshipped after years and years of suffering, no doubt, on his part. ...

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

115 years ago today - Apr 16, 1906

[Angus M. Cannon]
... I called upon Pres[ident]. [Heber J.] Grant, in his bedroom, before he was up and talked matters over with him relating to the ordination of 2 additional members of the 'Twelve.' ... I feel that the two brethren [i.e., John W. Taylor and Matthias F. Cowley] who have been supplanted have only been suspended, temporarily, from necessity to keep the Church from persecution. He said:'I feel they have proved refractory after taking upon themselves the responsibility to marry people, if not to take wives themselves, without God's justification,'as witness: Abraham H. Cannon, A[braham]. O[wen]. Woodruff & M[arriner]. W[ood]. Merrill's early death, who evidently did take upon themselves, to do that which we agreed should not be done. I replied:'Bro[ther]. Grant,'the late President Brigham Young, once said:'Hansen Walker, a Bishop who lived at Pleasant Grove, Utah, had eaten so much stolen beef he could not talk and that is how I am situated. I know so much, that I cannot talk hence I will not say more, than that I cannot understand, knowing what I do, how brethren can vote to suspend those two brethren from their positions perm[a]n[e]ntly. He replied:''I do not blame brethren who have gone into that principle, through these two mens instrumentality or ministrations, for they cannot be held to be equally guilty, but I know: I could not get liberty to do what I wished without committing a breach of good faith, when I hoped to have a son to bear my name,'and now it appears as if I must have my name blotted out from the earth.' I dare say no more but realized he did not take in the scope of my thoughts. Hence I changed the subject.

[Angus M. Cannon 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]

125 years ago today - Apr 16, 1896; Thursday

I had a long conversation with one of his [Scott Anderson's] sons in reference to the Holy Ghost on which there had been some dispute in Sunday Schools.

[Charles W. Penrose, Diary]

130 years ago today - Apr 16, 1891

The First Presidency learns that the U.S. solicitor general and Utah's district attorney have formally agreed "to let loose of our Temple."

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

165 years ago today - Apr 16, 1856

"Will you love that man or woman well enough to shed their blood?" – Brigham Young

[Deseret News, April 16, 1856, quoted at Exploring Mormonism: Mountain Meadows Massacre Timeline, http://www.exploringmormonism.com/mountain-meadows-massacre-timeline/]

180 years ago today - Apr 16, 1841

[Wilford Woodruff]
[Upon preparing to leave England] "It hath truly been a miricle what God hath wrought by our hands in this land since we have been here & I am asstonished when I look at it for during our Stay here we have esstablished churches in all the most noted cities & towns in this Kingdom have Baptized more than 5,000 souls Printed 5,000 Books of mormon 3000 Hymn Books 2,500 Volumes of the Millennial Star & about 50,000 tracts, & gatherd to the land of Joseph 1,000 Souls & esstablished a great influence among those that trade in ships at sea & lacked for nothing to eat drink or ware. Truly the Lord hath been good."

[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 - Apr 16, 1836

Future-apostle Charles C. Rich describes his endowment ceremony-experience in the Kirtland Temple: "We then continued to fast and pray until the setting of the sun when we Broke Bread and Drank wine[.] we prophesied all night pronouncing blessings and cursings until the morning light[.] there was Great manifestations of the power of God . . . and I was filled with the spirit of prophesy and I was endued with power from on high."

30 years ago today - Apr 15, 1991

Charles Edward 'Charlie Brown' Artman, dies. His obituary in the DESERET NEWS calls him "the first true hippie to confuse Utahns." Artman dressed in a black robe with a large, brass "ankh" symbol around his neck. As a social and environmental activist he was arrested in Salt Lake City twenty-one times but never convicted of anything. Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s he asked to be baptized into the LDS church. He was repeatedly refused but spent ten to fifteen hours daily doing genealogy research at the Salt Lake genealogical library. In 1968 he organized a "love in" in Big Cottonwood Canyon. Later he worked through the Alameda Street Church to help troubled, lower-classed persons. In the mid 1970s he spent three years with Guru Maharaji, the fourteen-year-old living master who claimed to be Krishna himself. He finally succeeded in getting baptized on May 5, 1985. He spent the last years of his life going through the Oakland temple doing work for his ancestors.

100 years ago today - Apr 15, 1921

[George F. Richards]
... I formulated a pledge of loyalty to the Church & authorities and to their attitude towards plural marriage for temple workers to sign.

[George F. Richards, Diary, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1835-1951, Electronic Edition, 2015]