Today in Mormon History - May 31

Today in Mormon History ...

Kirtland, Ohio. Joseph Smith spoke for three hours on the subject: This is My Beloved Son, Hear Him. (1)
-- 175 years ago - May 31, 1835

Dr. George W. Middleton and Heber Sears ask 'the opinion of the Church regarding sterilization of criminals, incompetents, etc." Heber J. Grant replies that "the Church had taken no stand whatever on this matter up to date." (2)
-- 75 years ago - May 31, 1935

At the request of President John Taylor Zebedee Coltrin relates: "On our return home we got in conversation about the Negro having a right to the Priesthood - and I took the side he had no right - Bro Green argued that he had. . . . when we got home to Kirtland we both went into Bro Joseph's office together to make our returns and Bro. Green was as good as his word and reported to Bro Joseph that I had said that the Negro could not hold the Priesthood - Bro Joseph Kind of dropt [sic] his head and rested it on his hand for a minute. and then said Bro Zebedee is right, for the Spirit of the Lord saith the Negro has no right nor cannot hold the Priesthood. He made no reference to scripture at all - but such was his decision - I don't recollect ever having any conversation with him afterwards, but I have heard him say in public, that no person having the least particle of Negro blood can hold the Priesthood . . .Bro [Elijah] Abel was ordained a Seventy. because he had labored on
the Temple. (it must have been into the 2nd Quorum) and when the Prophet Joseph learned of his lineage, he was dropped from the quorum and another was put in his place - . . . In the washing and anointing of Bro. Abel at Kirtland I anointed him. and while I had my hands upon his head. I never had such unpleasant feelings in my life - and I said I never would again anoint another person who had Negro blood in him. unless I was commanded by the Prophet to do so." (3)
-- 131 years ago - May 31, 1879

1 - BYU Studies Journal, volume 46, no. 4: A Chronology of the Life of Joseph Smith
2 - On This Day in Mormon History,
3 - This Day in Mormon History,

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