Today in Church History - Jan 07

On this day in Church History ...

[David O McKay] 10:15 to 12:45 p.m. RE: The Book--"Mormon Doctrine" The First Presidency met with Elders Mark E. Petersen and Marion G. Romney. They submitted their report upon their examination of the book "Mormon Doctrine" by Elder Bruce McConkie. These brethren reported that the manuscript of the book "Mormon Doctrine" had not been read by the reading committee, that President Joseph Fielding Smith did not know anything about it until it was published. Elder Petersen states that the extend of the corrections which he had marked in his copy of the book (1067) affected most of the 776 pages of the book. He also said that he thought the brethren should be under the rule that no book should be published without a specific approval of the First Presidency. I stated that the decision of the First Presidency and the Committee should be announced to the Twelve. It was agreed that the necessary corrections are so numerous that to republish a corrected edition of the book w
ould be such an extensive repudiation of the original as to destroy the credit of the author; that the republication of the book should be forbidden and that the book should be repudiated in such a way as to save the career of the author as one of the General Authorities of the Church. It was also agreed that this decision should be announced to the Council of the Twelve before I talk to the author. Elder Petersen will prepare an editorial for publication in the Improvement Era, stating the principle of approval of books on Church doctrine. A rough draft will be submitted to us for approval.
Jan. 7, 1960 [part of a letter addressed to David O. McKay from Marion G. Romney, dated January 28, 1959] The author is an able and thorough student of the gospel. In many respects he has produced a remarkable book. Properly used, it quickly introduces the student to the authorities on most any gospel subject. As to the book itself, notwithstanding its many commendable and valuable features and the author's assumption of "sole and full responsibility" for it, its nature and scope and the authoritative tone of the style in which it is written pose the question as to the propriety of the author's attempting such a project without assignment and supervision from him whose right and responsibility it is to speak for the Church on "Mormon Doctrine." Had the work been authoritatively supervised, some of the following matters might have been omitted and the treatment of others modified.
A. References to churches and other groups who do not accept "Mormon Doctrine." 1. Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, who sometimes refer to themselves as "Josephites." (Exhibit II-1, pages 50, 141, 362) 2. "Christian Churches" generally. (Exhibit II-2, pages 139, 455) 3. "Catholic Church." (Exhibit II-3, pages 13, 66, 129, 130, 216, 241, 242, 314-315, 342, 346, 350, 422, 499, 511, 697) 4. Communists and Catholics. (Exhibit II-4, pages 26-7, 131) 5. Evolution and Evolutionists (Exhibit II-5, pages 37, 77, 136, 180, 228, 238, 659)
B. Declaration as to "Mormon Doctrine" on controversial issues. 1. "Pre-Adamites." (Exhibit III-1, pages 17, 262) 2. Status of Animals and Plants in the Garden of Eden. (Exhibit III-2, pages 36, 234-35) 3. Meaning of the various accounts of Creation. (Exhibit III-3, pages 157-8, 167-8) 4. Dispensation of Abraham. (Exhibit III-4, page 203) 5. Moses as a translated being. (Exhibit III-5, pages 206, 445, 466, 727-8) 6. Origin of Individuality. (Exhibit III-6, page 404)` 7. Defiling the priesthood. (Exhibit III-7, page 437) 8. Manner in which Jesus was Begotten. (Exhibit III-8, page 494) 9. Written sermons. (Exhibit III-9, pages 634-5, 716) 10. Resurrection of stillborn children. (Exhibit III-10, page 694)
C. Miscellaneous Interpretations. (Exhibit IV) Frequency of Administrations, page 22 Baptism in the "molten sea," page 98 II Peter 1;19, page 102 Paul married, page 112 Status of those "with Christ in His Resurrection," page 128 Consecration of oil, page 147 Councils and schools among the Gods, page 151 Limitations on Deity, page 154 Sunday not a proper day for family reunions, page 254 Geological changes at the time of the deluge, page 268 The Holy Ghost a spirit man, page 329 Facing east in temples when giving the Hosanna Shout, page 337 Details on family prayer and asking the blessing on food, page 526 Women to be gods, page 551 Interpretation of Doctrine and Covenants 93:1, page 581 Interpretation of "Every spirit of man was innocent in the beginning," page 606 Status of little children in the celestial kingdom, page 607 Resumption of schools of the prophets, page 613 Time of beginning of seasons, page 616 Interpretation of III Nephi 21:20, page 618
D. Repeated use of the word "apostate" and related terms in a way which to many seems discourteous and to others gives offnese. (Exhibit V, pages 123, 125, 160, 169, 212, 223, 383, 528, 538, 548, 596) (1)
-- 50 years ago - Thu Jan 7, 1960

At the beginning of a proselytizing meeting in Massachusetts "three sons of sectarian deacons" throw sulpher on a hot stove. After opening doors and windows to air out the building Brigham Young and George A. Smith continue their meeting. (2)
-- 170 years ago - Jan 7, 1840

At funeral of a man who died six weeks after his appointment as stake president, Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith tells Apostle Harold B. Lee: "If you have called a man to a position in this church and he dies the next day, that position will have a bearing on what he will be called to do when he leaves this earth." Lee will eventually serve barely seventeen months as LDS president. (2)
-- 60 years ago - Jan 7, 1950

Orson Pratt: Again investigated by Twelve 27 Jan. 1860 for rejecting Brigham Young doctrines (3)
-- 150 years ago - Jan 7, 1860

1 - McKay, David O., Office Journal
2 - On This Day in Mormon History,
3 - Quinn, D. Michael, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, Appendix 6, Biographical Sketches of General Officers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-47

-- Tour through Mormon history:

1 comment:

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