55 years ago today - May 21, 1963

Although Mormon Birchers later became famous for "espionage" at Brigham Young University, anti-Birch Mormons were also involved in similar subterfuge. LDS bishop and political scientist J. D. Williams referred in May 1963 to "one of my `spies' in the local Birch Society in Salt Lake City." He felt justified in this approach toward "the Birchers, who hate me . . ."

[Source: J. D. Williams to James M. Whitmire, 21 May 1963. Reed Benson had already targeted Williams for classroom surveillance at the University of Utah. 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.]

70 years ago today - May 21, 1948

[First Presidency letter]
To Presidents of Stakes and Presidents of Missions

... because of the present excessive costs, [we thought] that it would be wise to postpone all building operations ...

[Source: Clark, James R., Messages of the First Presidency (6 volumes)]

105 years ago today - May 21, 1913

The National Council of the Boy Scouts of America invites the Church's MIA Scout organization to formally join the BSA, thus beginning a long association between the two groups.

115 years ago today - May 21, 1903

[Thomas A. Clawson]
"Learned to day that John Hanson Local Editor of the Deseret News was a trator (Sic) to his brethren and was doing things and having things printed in the paper that was detrimental to the Church and and (Sic) the people generally also that he had accepted a bribe to work against the interests of the people Also that two reporters of the News had said in the presence of detective Sheets and others that they knew Henry S. Tanner was a poligamist and these were or claimed to be members of the Church. What can we expect if our own people go about making such statements.[?]"

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

115 years ago today - Thursday, May 21, 1903

[Rudger Clawson]
The clerk read a letter from Mr. G. Edmonds, attorney, Carthage, Ill., in which he stated that Mrs. [Eliza M.] Browning, the owner of the Carthage jail, in which the Prophet Joseph Smith was martyred, contemplated going to California to reside and would dispose of the property for $4,000. He now addressed this letter of inquiry to the Presidency, thinking that perhaps the church would like to make the purchase. ... The question was pretty thoroughly discussed and, in view of the fact that the Carthage jail was a building of great historic interest to the Latter-day Saints and in fact to the world, it became the sense of the council that the Presidency take such steps as might be necessary looking to the purchase of the property to the best advantage and that a bureau of information and depot for our church works he established in it. ...

Elder Smoot, speaking of the German missionary persecutions, said that this present persecution was brought on, or at least encouraged, by Mr. [Charlemagne] Tower, the United States ambassador to Germany, and he felt that some steps should be taken to reach the ambassador, and thereby bring about a modification of the situation. ...

Pres. Lund, referring to the German missionary situation, said that the matter had gone beyond Mr. Tower. Felt that it would be good policy to remain quiet for the present. If the German government look upon our people as being obnoxious and act accordingly, the United States government could do nothing. ...

Pres. Smith at this point made some very interesting remarks, in brief, as follows. We are not in a position legally, or in a popular sense, to assert our rights. We can pray to the Lord and petition governments for our rights, but cannot force our way. The whole world is against us; hence, our best policy is meekness and humility. ...

Pres. Winder endorsed the remarks of Pres. Smith, as also did Elder Jno. H. Smith. Elder Clawson moved that, as a council, we endorse the wise and prudent sentiments expressed by Pres. Smith and adopt them as the sense of the meeting. Carried by unanimous vote.

Pres. Smith suggested to Elder Smoot that he be very wise and politic in his attitude to congressmen and also endeavor to maintain good feelings with his colleague, Senator [Thomas] Kearns.

[Source: Stan Larson (editor), A Ministry of Meetings: The Apostolic diaries of Rudger Clawson, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1993, http://bit.ly/rudgerclawson]

130 years ago today - May 21, 1888

[James E. Talmage]
The Manti Temple is publicly dedicated g by Elder Lorenzo Snow.

[Source: Chronology of the Life and Work of James E. Talmage, J. Trevor Antley, https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MJsHY83JZL_n6CjWq11y1trT_CVXMMXAx2uYOWAwn0c/edit#heading=h.2zfdaoa]

170 years ago today - May 21, 1848

[Heber C. Kimball marriage]
Wife #39. Mary Dull (Duell?), 1807-?.

[Source: Hatch, Charles M. and Compton, Todd M. editors, 'A Widow's Tale: 1884-1896 Diary of Helen Mar Kimball Whitney' p. 37]

175 years ago today - May 21, 1843

requested the people to get out of their alleys and if they did not keep them clear he might some time run up and down and might hit some of them and called on Bro[ther] Morey to constable to keep the alleys clear. After singing Joseph read 1st chap[ter] 2d Epistle of Peter. ...

I have not an idea there has been a great many very good men since Adam. There was one good man, Jesus. /Many think a prophet must be a great deal better than any body else/ Suppose I would condescend. Yes, I will /call it/ condescend to be a great deal better than any of you, I would be raised up to the highest heaven, and who should I have to accompany me. I love that man better who swears a stream as long as my arm and [is attentive to] administering to the poor and dividing his substance, than the long smoothed faced hypocrites.

I don't want you to think I am very righteous, for I am not very righteous.

We were eyewitnesses of his majesty and heard the voice of his excellent glory, and what could be more sure? Transfigured on the mount &c. and what could be more sure? ...

[I am like a] Rough stone rol[l]ing down [a] hill.

Three grand secrets lying in this chapter [2 Peter 1] which no man can dig out which unlocks the whole chapter. What is written are only hints of things which existed in the prophet's mind which are not written concerning eternal glory....

... After adding all this virtue, knowledge, and make your calling sure. ... There could not any[thing] be given pertaining to life and Godliness without knowledge.

Wo, wo, wo to Christendom, the divine spirits, &c. If this be true, Salvation is for a man to be saved from all his enemies. Until a man can triumph over death he is not saved. Knowledge will do this.

Organization of spirits in the Eternal World. Spirits in the Eternal world are like spirits in this world. When those spirits have come into this [world] risin and received glorified bodies, they will have an ascendency over spirits who have no bodies, or kept not their first estate like the devil. Devil's punishment, should not have a habitation like the other men. Devil's retaliation [was to] come into this world, bind up men's bodies and occupy [them] himself. Authorities come along and eject him from a stolen habitation.

Design of the Great God in sending us into this world and organizing us to prepare us for the Eternal World. ...

After all this make your calling and election sure. If this injuncti[o]n would lay largely on those to whom it was spoken. [Then] How much more there [is in this] to them of the 19th century.

1st Key - Knowledge in the power of Salvation.

2nd Key- Make his calling and Election sure.

3rd It is one thing to be on the mount and hear the excellent voice &c., &c. and another /to hear the/ voice declare to you, "You have a part and lot in the kingdom."

[Source: Faulring, Scott (ed.), An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith: Joseph Smith Diary, 1843, http://amzn.to/jsdiaries]

135 years ago today - 135 years ago - May 20, 1883

Salt Lake City police arrest seventeen boys for "breaking the Sabbath" by playing baseball on Sunday.

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

175 years ago today - 175 years ago - May 20, 1843

Nauvoo, Illinois. Joseph Smith sent an explanation of the word -"Mormon-" to the Church newspaper Times and Seasons in response to erroneous views held by -"men that profess to be learned.-",

[Source: BYU Studies Journal, volume 46, no. 4: A Chronology of the Life of Joseph Smith, http://byustudies.byu.edu]

200 years ago today - May 20, 1818

Joseph Sr. incurs a 93-cent debt to Jeremiah Hurlbut for "2 1/2 bushels of oats."

[Source: Vogel, Dan, Early Mormon Documents, Appendix B: Chronology, 1771-1831, http://amzn.to/T5nY8w]

175 years ago today - May 20, 1843

Joseph Smith writes for publication in the TIMES and SEASONS, "I may safely say that the word "Mormon" stands independent of the wisdom and learning of this generation. The word Mormon, means literally, more good."

30 years ago today - May 20, 1988

President Marion G. Romney, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, dies.

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

55 years ago today - May 19, 1963

Someone ... burned a Nazi swastika in the lawn of Reed Benson's house shortly after his appointment as state coordinator for the John Birch Society.

[Source: "Vandals, Reds, Loaded Queries Plague Utah's Bircher Benson," Portland Oregonian, 19 May 1963, 16, with photo of Reed beside the swastika vandalism. 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 - May 19, 1963

Ezra Taft Benson had identified Martin Luther King as a Communist.

[Source: "Benson Ties Rights Issue to Reds in Mormon Rift," Washington Post, 19 May 1963, E-l, E-7. Benson told BYU students that the American civil rights movement was "Communist inspired" and that its unnamed leader was a Communist sympathizer, if not an actual Communist. The publication of this talk identified King in the index as this Communist civil rights leader. See Benson, An Enemy Hath Done This, ed. Jerreld L. Newquist (Salt Lake City: Parliament Publishers, 1969), 310,361. 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.]

85 years ago today - May 19, 1933

[Heber J. Grant]
J. Golden Kimball called shortly after ten o'clock, and I had a long talk with him regarding his speech at Conference. I told him that under no circumstances would I consent to having his speech remodeled the way he had changed it, because it would be a direct reflection on anything I said, because there would be nothing there to criticize. I told him plainly that he must quit using the

name of God, that I considered it absolute profanity when he said '2God, how I hate prejudice,' and when he referred to his conversation with Brother Lyman, in which he told Brother Lyman, in answer to his question as to whether he loved the brethren, that he loved some of them a damn sight better than others, that it was absolutely ridiculous to talk that way. I told him I wanted him to understand that I wouldn't and could not sustain him as one of the General Authorities of the church if he did not change. He said he would do his best to improve. He further said that if I did not want to publish his remarks it would be all right with him. I said 'I am going to publish your talk in full and mine too, unless you want me not to.' He said he would prefer not to have his talk published. I tore it up and threw it into the waste-basket. I was disappointed over my interview with him, from the fact that he did not come out frankly and fully and say 'Brother Grant, I apologize; I did wrong and I am sorry.' But we are all differently constituted, and I was glad to have a talk with him and to have him assure me he would endeavor to mend his ways. I read my talk to him word for word as it was delivered. ...

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

120 years ago today - May 19, 1898; Thursday

The subject of rebaptism was discussed at some length by the Council, the question being whether or not the practice, which had become too common in the Church, should be discontinued, or permitted only in certain cases. The subject was dropped without action.

[Source: First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve minutes]

135 years ago today - 19 May 1883 ¿ Saturday

[George Q. Cannon]
Saturday, May 19, 1883. I had a visit last night after meeting from the wife of Bro. Joseph Jolly. She is in trouble over his taking another wife and appears determined to leave him. I advised her not to do so, but to bear patiently with the trouble she had to contend with. Her husband is a good, faithful man, but she is tried very much by his second wife.

[Source: The Journal of George Q. Cannon, Church Historian's Press, https://churchhistorianspress.org/george-q-cannon]

155 years ago today - May 19, 1863 (Tuesday)

The stage from California was attacked by Indians, in Deep Creek Canyon, 150 miles west of G.S.L. City, and the driver, W.R. Simpson, was killed. Major Howard Egan, who was one of the passengers, caught the reins and drove away at full speed.

[Source: Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

180 years ago today - May 19, 1838

Joseph marches across the Grand River to the mouth of Honey Creek and from there takes a boat 18 miles to Lyman Wight's home. Wight lives at the foot of Tower Hill, a name Joseph gives the hill because of some ruins, which he designates as an old Nephite altar or tower. One half mile from Lyman Wight's ferry, the brethren reach a place called Spring Hill; the Lord names it Adam-ondi-Ahman, "because, said He, it is the place where Adam shall come to visit his people, or the Ancient of Days shall sit, as spoken of by Daniel the Prophet." The above-quoted explanation of the name Adam-ondi-Ahman, is now found as D&C 116.

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

25 years ago today - 1993-05-18

Boyd K. Packer identifies homosexuals, feminists, and intellectuals as enemies of the church.//In a talk given to an all-church coordinating council", Elder Boyd K. Packer, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, saying: "There are three areas where members of the Church, influenced by social and political unrest, are being caught up and led away. I chose these three because they have made major invasions into the membership of the Church. In each, the temptation is for us to turn about and face the wrong way, and it is hard to resist, for doing it seems so reasonable and right. The dangers I speak of come from the gay-lesbian movement, the feminist movement (both of which are relatively new), and the ever-present challenge from the so-called scholars or intellectuals."//See http://www.withoutend.org/elder-packer-danger-homosexuality-20-years/ for some analysis.

[Source: Mormon Women's History Timeline, http://www1.chapman.edu/~remy/MoFem/mormonwomen.html]

30 years ago today - May 18, 1988

Apostle Howard W. Hunter signs and agreement with the State of Israel that "the Church will not engage in any missionary activity within the borders of Israel, as long as such activity is not allowed by the government of Israel."

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

50 years ago today - May 18, 1968

A Church News report about D.K. Brown, police chief of Jacksonville, Florida. As the special-agent-in-charge of the FBI office there Brown had succeeded in "breaking the back of a strong Ku Klux Klan by obtaining convictions for bombings of a Negro home."

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

175 years ago today - May 18, 1843

Joseph Smith tells Judge Stephen Douglas, "you will aspire to the presidency of the United States: and...you will feel the weight of the hand of the Almighty upon you." Douglas would seek and lose the U.S. presidency in 1860.

[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]

175 years ago today - May 18, 1843. Thursday.

The President [Joseph Smith] said "I prophecy in the name of the Lord God that in a few years this government will be utterly overthrown and wasted so that there will not be a potsherd left" for their wickedness in conniving at the Missouri mobocracy. The Judge appears very friendly and acknowledged the propriety of the Presidents remarks.

[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]

235 years ago today - 1783. May 18

Martin Harris: Born in Easttown, New York. In 1808 he married his cousin Lucy Harris; they had three children. She divorced him in 1831 because of his funding of the Book of Mormon. In 1837 he married Brigham Young's niece Caroline Young, by whom he had five children.

[Source: Van Wagoner, Richard and Walker, Steven C., A Book of Mormons, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

45 years ago today - May 17, 1973

President Harold Bee Lee's secretary replies on Lee's behalf in response to a letter from a member to President Lee. The letter quotes President Lee: "I was shocked to have you raise the question about oral lovemaking in the genital area among married couples.' Heaven forbid any such degrading activities which would be abhorrent in the sight of the Lord. For any Latter-day Saint, and particularly those who have been taught in the sacred ordinances of the temple, to engage in any kind of perversions of this sacred God-given gift of procreation, would be sure to bring down the condemnation of the Lord whom we would offend were we to engage in any such practice."

95 years ago today - May 17, 1923

The First Presidency and Twelve agre to alter the temple undergarment worn outside the temple: "buttons instead of strings; no collar; sleeves above the elbow and a few inches below the knee and a change in the crotch so as to cover the same." Mormons regard this as a dramatic change from the endowment garment introduced by Joseph Smith. Few realize that the traditional Utah "garment" is based on the "Union suit" of the last half of the nineteenth century, while the earlier garment worn under clothing at Nauvoo was based on legless "shirt" or two-piece undergarment which was current in America from the late-eighteenth century to the 1840s.

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

125 years ago today - 17 May 1893 ¿ Wednesday

[George Q. Cannon]
We were made happy to-day by my receiving a dispatch from Brother Heber J. Grant informing us that he had succeeded in arranging for $100000.00 [in loans]. I felt particularly pleased at this, because I had felt to promise him with a good deal of assurance when we set him apart to go East that he would succeed, and I have prayed earnestly to the Lord that he might be successful. I had two reasons for this; first, we needed the money very much, and our position was critical unless we got it; and second, I desired that when we made promises, as both Brother Lorenzo Snow and I had done, that these promises should be dictated by the Spirit of the Lord and be fulfilled, so that confidence in the priesthood might be increased. I may say here that I have been in the habit for some little time past to dress myself every morning in my Temple robes and offer prayer to the Lord in my bed chamber. I have felt the need of this in view of the responsibilities which rest upon me especially now that President Woodruff is unable to take part in the labor.

[Source: The Journal of George Q. Cannon, Church Historian's Press, https://churchhistorianspress.org/george-q-cannon]

130 years ago today - May 17, 1888

[Heber J. Grant]
Prest Woodruff arose and referred to our people taking the oath of office and for the purpose of voting. Said they had not done wrong in doing so. It was no renunciation of our faith by taking the oath. Some people thought we were going to give up plural marriage and that our efforts for Statehood were all right and that we were not going to go back on any principle of the gospel.

He said 'We are not going to stop the practice of plural marriage until the Coming of the Son of Man.'

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

130 years ago today - May 17, 1888

At dedication of Manti Temple, some hear heavenly choir, while others see bright halos of light around apostles Lorenzo Snow, John W. Taylor, Heber J. Grant, John Henry Smith, and Seventy's president Jacob Gates, and dimmer halo around Apostle Francis M. Lyman's head. Some say that John W. Taylor's "voice was exactly like Joseph the Prophet" and that Lyman's voice is that of Brigham Young. While in temple, Woodruff "Consecrated upon the Altar the [brown] seers Stone that Joseph Smith found by Revelation some 30 feet under the earth."

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

130 years ago today - 17 May 1888 ¿ Thursday

[George Q. Cannon]
... 20 [individuals] clothed themselves in their Temple robes. President Woodruff called on Elder Brigham Young to open by prayer, and then after offering the signs, he requested me to be mouth in the circle. I felt quite free in praying and enjoyed the Spirit. I was fearful of causing some of the brethren to feel faint and therefore was as brief as possible. I did not mention in detail the brethren of the Apostles who were not with us, and as Bro. E. Snow was in a feeble condition of health, it was felt that we should offer prayer especially for him. So the signs were again offered, and I prayed again, for Bro. Snow, my son Abraham, Bro. Jos. F. Smith, Bro. Teasdale, and all the Elders who were engaged abroad, especially those who were laboring in Washington in favor of the State movement.

At 12 o¿clock we again met, in our ordinary apparel, in the Celestial room, and President Woodruff offered the Dedicatory prayer. He knelt at one of the altars and had his manuscript on it. I had made some changes in the prayer, which were accepted by the brethren, modifying some of the expressions respecting the Government. ...

[Source: The Journal of George Q. Cannon, Church Historian's Press, https://churchhistorianspress.org/george-q-cannon]

130 years ago today - May 17, 1888

[Wilford Woodruff]
I felt to thank God that I had lived on the Earth to once More have the privilege of Dedicating another Temple [Manti] in the Rocky Mountains unto the Most High God And I Pray God my Eternal Father that He will protect the Manti Temple and all other Temples we have built in them unto His Holy Name that they may Never go into the Hands of the Gentiles our Enemies to be defiled by them.

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

130 years ago today - Thurs. May 17th 1888

[Abraham H. Cannon]
"A private dedication of the Manti Temple occurred today at which the Underground and Apostles were present. I was invited to be present but owing to my lameness, could not go."

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

150 years ago today - May 17, 1868 (Morning)

[Brigham Young]
Keep the Word of Wisdom. There are but few of the Elders now who use tobacco, and our sisters can do without their tea and coffee. They can keep the Word of Wisdom, for many of them do keep it. I only saw one cup of coffee last summer during my trip south, and it was for an old lady eighty years of age. She asked me if she might not take her cups of coffee; and I told her to take it, and blessed her and her coffee. We can stop the use of liquor.

[Source: Journal of Discourses. Liverpool, England, 1853-86. 12:217-221; Deseret News. Also Deseret Evening News, Deseret News Weekly, Deseret News Semi- Weekly, and Deseret News Extra, Salt Lake City, in The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, Ed. Richard S. Van Wagoner, Smith-Pettit Foundation, Salt Lake City (2009), http://bit.ly/BY-discourses]

175 years ago today - May 17, 1843. Wednesday.

[William Clayton]
At 10 President Joseph preached on 2nd Peter Chap[ter] 1. He shewed that knowledge is power and the man who has the most knowledge has the greatest power. Also that salvation means a marts being placed beyond the powers of all his enemies. He said the more sure word of prophecy meant, a marts knowing that he was sealed up unto eternal life by revelation and the spirit of prophecy through the power of the Holy priesthood. He also showed that it was impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance. Paul had seen the third heavens and I more. Peter penned the most sublime language of any of the apostles.

Dined at Brother [Almon] Babbits. President Joseph said to Brother Johnson and I that J[oseph] B. Noble when he was first taught this doctrine set his heart on one and pressed J[oseph Smith] to seal the contract but he never could get opportunity. It seemed that the Lord was unwilling. Finally another came along and he then engaged that one and is a happy man. I learned from this anecdote never to press the prophet but wait with patience and God will bring all things right. ...

In the evening we went to hear a Methodist preacher lecture. After he got through President Joseph offered some corrections as follows. The 7th verse of C[hapter] 2 of Genesis ought to read God breathed into Adam his spirit or breath of life, but when the word "ruach" applies to Eve it should be translated lives. Speaking of eternal duration of matter he said There is no such thing as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter but is more fine or pure and can only be discerned by purer eyes. We cant see it but when our bodies are purified we shall see that it is all matter. The gentleman seemed pleased and said he should visit Nauvoo immediately.

[Some of this material ended up in D&C 131.]

[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]

10 years ago today - May 16, 2008

Seventeen-year-old Utah Mormon David Archuleta is one of two finalists in the singing contest American Idol.

[Source: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, United Kingdom, "On This Day," https://www.lds.org.uk/show_oda.php]

90 years ago today - May 16, 1928

Over vociferous protests of many citizens including famed LDS sculptor Mahonri Young, the Salt Lake Dramatic Association, Church-owned corporation, sells the historic Salt Lake Theatre (built by Brigham Young) and adjacent lands to the Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Company for construction of a telephone company building. Just before demolition someone changes the marquee to read "Erected by a prophet, destroyed by a profiteer."

165 years ago today - May 16, 1853

Patriarchal Blessing of Elizabeth Bean ... I also set a mark upon you that the destroyer may pass by you as the children of Israel in Egypt and not hurt you. ... You shall have faith to heal the sick in your house and power to keep off the destroyer. ... Your sons and daughters shall be mighty men and women, clothed with the priesthood. They shall extend their dominions to the ends of the earth. ... You shall fly to meet the Lord in a cloud and be forever with him and inherit all the blessings of His Kingdom, with your companion, and all your father's house. Amen.

[Source: Patriarchal Blessings]

165 years ago today - 16 May 1853 ¿ Monday

[George Q. Cannon]
I forgot to mention in the history of yesterday¿s proceedings a conversation I had after afternoon meeting with Bro. Paulo Maewaewa and some others on the doctrine of plurality of wives in which I explained the doctrine to them with its object. Attended meeting this morning and spoke unto them on idolatry and on the foul spirits and power of the devil that was being made manifest among the children of men, and cautioned them to forsake all such things together with all their gods, and all the traditions that had been instilled into them about such things, and to teach their children also to have <no> confidence in them; telling that there was a power that was not of God and also a power that was given, owned, and blessed by him, and besought them to seek after this power and the devil <& agents> would have no power to injure or afflict them¿if they put their confidence in the Lord they need not be afraid of being prayed to death by the pule anana and hoopiopio for they (their enemies) can have no power over us, the saints of God, if we do right. [[Pule ¿ana¿ana is a term for black magic. Ho¿opi¿opi¿o was a form of imitative magic in which it was believed that the practitioner could touch a part of his body and cause injury to his victim¿s body at the same spot (Pukui and Elbert, Hawaiian Dictionary, 24, 332, 478).]]

[Source: The Journal of George Q. Cannon, Church Historian's Press, https://churchhistorianspress.org/george-q-cannon]

175 years ago today - May 16, 1843. Tuesday.

[William Clayton]
President Joseph and I went to B[enjamin] F. Johnsons to sleep. Before we retired the President gave Brother Johnson and wife some instructions on the priesthood. He put his hand on my knee and says "your life is hid with Christ in God, and so is many others." Addressing Benjamin says he "nothing but the unpardonable sin can prevent him (me) from inheriting eternal glory for he is sealed up by the power of the priesthood unto eternal life having taken the step which is necessary for that purpose." He said that except a man and his wife enter into an everlasting covenant and be married for eternity while in this probation by the power and authority of the Holy priesthood they will cease to increase when they die (i.e. they will not have any children in the resurrection), but those who are married by the power and authority of the priesthood in this life and continue without committing the sin against the Holy Ghost will continue to increase and have children in the celestial glory. The unpardonable sin is to shed innocent blood or be accessory thereto. All other sins will be visited with judgement in the flesh and the spirit being delivered to the buffetings of satan untill the day of the Lord Jesus." I feel desirous to be united in an everlasting convenant to my wife and pray that it may soon be. President J[oseph] said that the way he knew in whom to confide, God told him in whom he might place confidence. He also said that in the celestial glory there was three heavens or degrees, and in order to obtain the highest a man must enter into this order of the priesthood and if he don't he can't obtain it. He may enter into the other but that is the end of his kingdom he cannot have increase.

[This is the source for D&C 131]

[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 - May 16, 1843

Of Joseph Smith's visit to Benjamin F. Johnson's home, he later writes that on this visit, Joseph Smith stayed with his sister Almera "as man and wife." Almera Johnson also writes later that "I lived with the prophet Joseph as his wife and he visited me at the home of my brother Benjamin F."

10 years ago today - May 15, 2008

The California Supreme Court ruled the law [Prop-8] was unconstitutional because it discriminated against gays, and an estimated 18,000 same-sex couples got married in the ensuing months.

[Source: Prop 8 Timeline, NBC San Diego, http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/politics/Proposition-8-Timeline-History-California--138796454.html]

30 years ago today - May 15, 1988

The first African stake where all priesthood leaders are black Africans, at Aba, Nigeria.

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

35 years ago today - May 15, 1983.

Elder Packer, speaking at an Aaronic priesthood commemorative fireside, states: "Some, out of curiosity, claiming their interest is only academic or intellectual . . . push open the doors of the temple and stride into those hallowed precincts to discuss sacred ordinances. In doing so they assume an authority that is not theirs." He may be alluding to David John Buerger's article, "`The Fulness of the Priesthood': The Second Anointing in Latter-day Saint Theology and Practice," an early draft of which circulated through the Church Administration Building. The finished article appears that week in Dialogue.

[Source: Anderson, Lavina Fielding, "The LDS Intellectual Community and Church Leadership: A Contemporary Chronology," Dialogue, Vol.26, No.1]

65 years ago today - Fri May 15, 1953

[David O. McKay]
Arthur Watkins called from Washington, D.C. [regarding emmigration to the U.S.] ... I told Senator Watkins that I did not feel too well about the Italians, but that I did feel all right about the Dutch and the Germans. All of them should, of course, be examined closely before entering.

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

130 years ago today - May 15, 1888

[Wilford Woodruff]
We took Breakfast in the Temple and Met with J. D. T. McAllister J. G. Bleak & F M Farnsworth from St George. We visited the whole Temple from the font to the roof. Is the finest Temple best finished & most Costly of any Building the Latter Day Saints have Ever Built since the organization of the Church. It Cost over One Million Dollars.

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

140 years ago today - May 15, 1878

John Taylor preaches: "These 'damned Gentiles,' as you are sometimes pleased to call them, are the children of our Heavenly Father."

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

175 years ago today - May 15, 1843

Elder Benjamin Johnson wrote, "On the 15th of May. . the Prophet again Came and at my hosue [house] ocupied the Same Room & Bed with my Sister that the month previous he had ocupied with the Daughter of the Later Bishop Partridge as his wife. Joseph sleeps with his plural wife Almera Johnson.

[Source: Zimmerman, I Knew the Prophets, 44; Joseph Smith Polygamy Timeline, http://www.i4m.com/think/polygamy/JS_Polygamy_Timeline.htm]

30 years ago today - May 14, 1988

800 Mormon teenagers and young adults participate in a dance festival in New Jersey as part of the church's centennial in that state. This demonstrates the replication of western Mormon culture wherever the LDS population is sufficient. LDS dance festivals are discontinued in 1990.

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

105 years ago today - May 14, 1913

Attended meeting of committee appointed by the First Presidency to consider outline or scenario of a proposed motion picture dealing with Book of Mormon history.

[Source: James E. Talmage, Diary, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1835-1951, Electronic Edition, 2015]

130 years ago today - May 14, 1888 (Monday)

Deputy marshals demanded the Latter-day Saint tabernacle at Logan as Church property, but were refused.

[Source: Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

155 years ago today - May 14, 1863

President Young informed the congregation that Bishop Farnsworth had tendered to him his resignation of the bishopric of Beaver, which he said he had concluded to accept, and called a vote of the people to see if they also would accept his resignation. There was not a clear vote, but a little explanation placed the matter in a clearer light, and the second vote was unanimous. The President requested Bishop Farnsworth to still act in the office until his successor should be appointed.

[Source: Deseret News. Also Deseret Evening News, Deseret News Weekly, Deseret News Semi- Weekly, and Deseret News Extra, Salt Lake City; 1850-current. 12:379, in The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, Ed. Richard S. Van Wagoner, Smith-Pettit Foundation, Salt Lake City (2009), http://bit.ly/BY-discourses]

170 years ago today - May 14, 1848

President Young addressed the people. ... He Blessed the land of Winter Quarters And prayed that no gentile city might ever be permitted to settle on it. And he felt to curse some of our enemies who was seeking our overthrow. He felt to Bless the Saints who go or stay. He blessed the Pottawatomie lands. He said we never should be driven from the mountains except by insurrections among ourselves And He had no fears of that.

[Source: Wilford WoodruffÂ's Journal. 9 Vols. Scott G. Kenney, ed. Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1983-85. 3:348, in The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, Ed. Richard S. Van Wagoner, Smith-Pettit Foundation, Salt Lake City (2009), http://bit.ly/BY-discourses]

175 years ago today - May 14, 1843

Presiding Patriarch and Associate President Hyrum Smith assures a citywide congregation that only the Devil would give a revelation approving "wifes & concubines."

[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]

May 14 1843

[Joseph Smith preaches] ... So the devil thinking to thwart the decree of God by going up & down in the earth seeking whome he may destroy any person that he can find that will yield to him he will bind him & take possession of the Body & reign there glorying in it mightily not thinking that he had got a stolen tabernacle & by & by some one of Authority will come along & cast him out & restore the tabernacle to his rightful owner. But the bevil steals a tabernacle because he has not one of his own. But if he steals one he is liable to be turned out of doors.



...Now for the secret & grand key. Though they might hear the voice of God & know that Jesus was the son of God this would be no evidence that their election & calling was made shure that they had part with Christ & was a Joint heir with him. They then would want that more sure word of Prophecy that they were sealed in the heavens & had the promise of eternal live in the kingdom of God.



Then having this promise sealed unto them it was as an anchor to the soul sure & steadfast. ...

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

55 years ago today - May 13, 1963

By 1963 [Apostle Harold B.] Lee privately said Benson labelled as a Communist "anyone who didn't agree with Brother Benson's mind."

[Source: Wilkinson diary, 13 May 1963. 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 - May 13, 1963

[BYU President Ernest Wilkinson received a phone call from Ezra Taft Benson "who read me the riot act for having invited a Communist to speak to our students ... Brother Lee commented that anyone who didn't agree with Brother Benson's mind was, indeed, a Communist. Brother Moyle said that he was happy that I was finding Brother Benson out, that when it came to this subject, he just didn't have any reason."

[Source: Ernest L. Wilkinson diary as referenced in Gregory A. Prince and Wm. Robert Write, David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press (2005)]

115 years ago today - May 13, 1903

[Post-Manifesto plural marriage]
Guy Carlton Wilson, born at Fairview, Utah, April 10, 1864

Anna Lowrie Ivins, born at St. George, Utah, October 20, 1882

Married at Colonia Juarez, May 13, 1903

Elizabeth S. Ivins, Witness

[Source: Stanley Ivins typewritten copy of Anthony Ivins "Record Book of Marriages" [Plural] performed in Mexican colonies, Anderson, Elizabeth Oberdick, editor, Cowboy Apostle: The Diaries of Anthony W. Ivins: 1875-1932, Signature Books, Salt Lake City in association with the Smith-Pettit Foundation (2013), Appendix A]

135 years ago today - May 13, 1883

[Wilford Woodruff]
A. O. Smoot told W. Woodruff that He & Alanson Ripley while surveying out Adam Ondi Ahman about 22 Miles North of Jackson County Missouri they Came across a Stone wall in the midst of a dens forest & underbrush. The wall was 30 feet long 3 feet thick, and about 4 feet high above the ground and laid in mortar or Cement. When Joseph Smith the Prophet visited the place and Examined the wall He said it was the remains of an Altar Built By Father Adam whare he offered Sacrafice after he was driven from the Garden of Eden which was located in Jackson County Missouri. The whole town which was laid out and named Adam Ondi Ahman was in the midst of a thick & heavy forest of timber and the place named after Adams Altar. The Prophet Joseph said it was upon this Altar whare Adam blessed his sons and Posterity Before his death. Let Historians of the Church note this.

[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 - May 13, 1868

[Wilford Woodruff]
13 I marked out 5 acres of land for Planting & drove grasshoppers into holes & Buried them.

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

160 years ago today - May 13, 1858 (Thursday)

Gov. Cumming left G.S.L. City for Camp Scott, for the purpose of removing his wife to the city. When he returned, June 8th, he found the city deserted by its inhabitants.

[Source: Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

175 years ago today - May 13, 1843

William Clayton writes: ". . . Sister Desdemona Fullmer came to see if she could board with me. I told her she could on Tuesday." Desdemona Fullmer had become a secret plural wife of Joseph Smith in 1842. By residing with the Claytons, she could maintain the confidentiality of her relationship with the prophet.

180 years ago today - May 13, 1838

[Wilford Woodruff]
After hearing of several distressing Steamboat disasters which shows that the destroyer is riding upon the waters, I read an account this morning in the Boston daily news of a great destruction in Europe by water. The letter was dated Berlin. The substance of the account was that the waters had rolled beyound there bounds & overflown the order & in less than 15 minutes rising of 70 towns were wholey inundated & destroyed. Surely the word of God is fullfilling the sea troudied & waves roaring.

I spent a short time in the morning in visiting the Roman Catholic Church. They were attending their morning meeting when I entered the house. After visiting the house & beholding their Priest Images & mockery & see them use their Holy water I left the house disgusted with their religion.

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

190 years ago today - May 13, 1828

Lemuel Durfee, landlord to Joseph Smith's family, writes in his account book: "Joseph [Sr.] & [Samuel] Harrison Smith Dr. [debit] to three barrels of Cider the Liqure at $3=38"

[Source: On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com]

25 years ago today - May 12, 1993

Regional Representative Jon M. Huntsman, recently released as U.S. ambassador, meets in the Vatican with Pope John Paul II who expresses gratitude for the Mormon donations to the Catholic relief work.

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

60 years ago today - May 12, 1958

LDS James Gladstone ("Many Guns") of Blood Tribe begins his service as first Native American in Canada's national senate.

[Source: On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com]

85 years ago today - May 12, 1933

[J. Reuben Clark]
Talked of moral conditions'abortions'several physicians doing it. Parents discourage daughters from child bearing. Fear of criticism and of [illegible] have much to do with non-childbearing.

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

110 years ago today - Tuesday, May 12, 1908

[John Henry Smith]
I went with Prest. Joseph F. Smith to the U.S. MarshalIs office. He had been subpoened before the U.S. Grand Jury as a witness in the Utah National Bank Robery Case.

[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]

115 years ago today - May 12, 1903

I have a pair of garments here that the Presidency of the Church have had arranged for the Saints and all must conform to the same and the brethren and sisters who are engaged in the washrooms should see that the garments there are the proper ones for the Saints.

[Source: David H. Cannon, Temple Minute Book, St. George, May 12, 1903, in Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/TempleWorship]

115 years ago today - Tuesday, May 12, 1903

[Rudger Clawson]
Brother Andrew B. Christensen of Gunnison was set apart and blessed as a missionary to England to pursue the study of philosophy of literature in history, under the hands of Geo. Reynolds and myself, I being mouth.

[Source: Stan Larson (editor), A Ministry of Meetings: The Apostolic diaries of Rudger Clawson, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1993, http://bit.ly/rudgerclawson]

130 years ago today - May 12, 1888 (Monday)

The Temple at Manti, Sanpete Co., was dedicated. This was the third Temple completed in Utah, and with its surroundings is the finest structure erected in the Rocky Mountains. Its entire cost, including the terraces, when finished, is estimated at $1,000,000.

[Source: Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

135 years ago today - May 12, 1883

12 I took Cars with Mrs Woodruff. Rode to Provo. 50 M. We visited Br Smoot and family. Sister Margarett T. Smoot was taken with paralasis. Was entirely deprived of speech. Mrs Phebe W Woodruff Anointed her & A O. Smoot Wm. Smoot & my self laid hands upon her And I Wilford Woodruff Blessed her and rebuked her Disease and her speech began to Come to her and she was some better.

[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 - May 12, 1843

Joseph purchases half ownership in the steamer Maid of Iowa, and Capt. Dan Jones begins renting her as a ferryboat between Nauvoo and Montrose, Iowa.

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

180 years ago today - May 12, 1838

Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon request annual remuneration of $1,100, each. The council gives 80 acre lots to each and grants their salary request. Council member George M. Hinkle "bitterly opposed it, as the Church had always been opposed to a salaried ministry."

[Source: On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com]

15 years ago today - May 11, 2003

The Problem That Won't Go Away

First American Jewish Families Used for Posthumous Baptisms

It has been discovered that yet another major Jewish work has been used by the Mormon Church for posthumous baptisms. ...

[Source: "Nu? What's New?"[Online], News About Jewish Genealogy from Avotaynu, Gary Mokotoff, Editor, A chronicle of the Mormon-Jewish controversy; The LDS Agreement: A JewishGen InfoFile, http://www.jewishgen.org/infofiles/ldsagree.html]

50 years ago today - May 11, 1968

First Presidency counselor Hugh B. Brown ... delivered a BYU commencement address which was a direct attack on Apostle Ezra Taft Benson's sermon there only ten days earlier. "Beware of those who feel obliged to prove their own patriotism by calling into question the loyalty of others," Brown began. Brown clearly indicated that he did not think Benson had "maturity of mind and emotion and a depth of spirit . . . to differ with others on matters of politics without calling into question the integrity of those with whom you differ". As clear response to Benson's quotes to BYU students about African- Americans from the Birch Society magazine, Brown concluded: "At a time when radicals of right or left would inflame race against race, avoid those who preach evil doctrines of racism."

[Source: Campbell and Poll, Hugh B. Brown, 259-60. 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.]

105 years ago today - May 11, 1913

Patriarchal Blessing of Joseph Fielding Smith Jr. by Joseph D. Smith

... You have been greatly blessed in your birthright, and you were called and ordained before you came in the flesh, as an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, to represent his work in the earth. You are of Israel ...

You have been blessed with ability to comprehend, to analyze, and defend the principles of truth above many of your fellows, and the time will come when the accumulative evidence that you have gathered will stand as a wall of defense against those who are seeking and will seek to destroy the evidence of the divinity of the mission of the Prophet Joseph; and in this defense you will never be confounded, and the light of the spirit will shed its rays upon your heart as gently, as the dews that fall from heaven ...

There is a great work for you to do. Your humble spirit, if you continue, will open up to your mind truths that you have never before thought of, and you will hesitate to make them known. There will always be safety in doing this to your father [President Joseph F. Smith] while he lives, and to those who may succeed him, before you present them in public. ... Your counsels will be considered conservative and wise...

I bless you with wisdom to use the knowledge that God will give you in the furtherance of his work in the earth, and the preserving of your body until you have completed all you have been sent to do. ...

[Source: Patriarchal Blessings]

150 years ago today - May 11, 1868 (Monday)

The citizens of Salt Lake City commenced an organized warfare against the grasshoppers, which appeared in great numbers.

[Source: Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

160 years ago today - May 11, 1858

Gov. Cumming declares the California trail open and says emigrants can once again "pass through Utah territory without hindrance or molestation."

[Source: Linder, Douglas, The Mountain Meadows Massacre Trials, http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/FTRIALS/mountainmeadows/leechrono.html]

160 years ago today - May 11, 1858

Pres[iden]t. Y. directed S. W. Richards to bring his family Southward & flour his Wheat & prepare for going into the Mountains. A Letter was read from J[ohn]. D. Lee informing that the Indians N South had been offered money for Mormon scalps &c.

[Source: Minutes, 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]

175 years ago today - May 11, 1843

[Marriages]
Joseph to Maria Lawrence, age 19, [*Allegations of sex] and Sarah Lawrence [*Allegations of sex], age 17; Helen Kimball Whitney, Woman's Exponent, 15 Feb. 1886, 138.) [*maid/housekeeper/girl working for Joseph]

"I am also able to testify that Emma Smith, the Prophet's first wife, gave her consent to the marriage of at least four other girls [Emily and Eliza Partridge, Maria and Sarah Lawrence] to her husband, and that she was well aware that he associated with them as wives within the meaning of all the word implies." –Andrew Jenson, Historical Record 6:230.

I do know that at his [Joseph Smith's] Mansion home was living Maria and Sarah Lawrence and one of Cornelius P. Lott's daughters as his plural wives with the full knowledge of his wife, Emma, of their married relations to him."

[Source: Historical Record 6:223; Lucy Walker Smith Kimball, in the Temple Lot case (full transcript, 461, LDS archives;"More Testimony," Letter dated March 9^th, 1904, Deseret Evening News, April 12, 1904; Exploring Mormonism: Polygamy Timeline, http://www.exploringmormonism.com/polygamy-timeline/]

175 years ago today - May 11, 1843

Journal of Joseph Smith on 11 May 1843, "6 AM baptized [blank spaces] Sisters Snow, Louisa Bemen, Sarah Alley &c." These rebaptisms could have been associated with plural marriages. Eliza R Snow had become Joseph Smiths plural wife on 29 June 1842, Louisa Beaman on 5 April 1841 and Sarah Alley had been sealed as a plural wife to Joseph B Noble on 5 April 1843. The blank space and &c of this 11 May 1843 entry in Joseph Smith's journal may be explained by the affirmations of Emily and Eliza Partridge that they were sealed to Joseph Smith as plural wives on this date in the presence of his wife Emma.

[Source: Quinn, D. Michael, "The Practice of Rebaptism at Nauvoo," BYU Studies (1978), 18:2:226]

175 years ago today - May 11, 1843

Joseph Smith marries Emily and Eliza Partridge, youthful daughters of deceased church bishop Edward Partridge. They have been living in Joseph's house as housekeepers and nannies. This is a second ceremony done with Emma's permission. Emma had given Joseph permission to take plural wives and chose Emily and Eliza without knowing that Joseph had previously married them in secret. It is unclear that Emma knew exactly what was implied by the ceremony since Joseph later had to forcibly and secretly hold the door to Eliza's room shut to keep Emma from finding them together. Emily later remembered that "Emma was present. She gave her free and full consent. She had always up to this time, been very kind to me and my sister . . .but ever after [the ceremony] she was our enemy."

180 years ago today - May 11, 1838

[Wilford Woodruff]
I went to the goal in order to have an interview & to comfort Elder Albert P. Rockwood who had been cast into prison by his enemies for debts in order to trouble and distress him....

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

180 years ago today - May 11, 1838

W

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

70 years ago today - May 10, 1948

State narcotics officer asks church officials to quietly surrender for destruction to "quantity of opium, an opium pipe, and some other trinkets" in the LDS Bureau of Information on Temple Square. Seventy's president Richard L. Evans protests that these materials have been there "since time immemorial." The First Presidency cooperates rather than face a court order.

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

70 years ago today - May 10, 1948

[Frank Evans Diary]
[June 14, 1948: John A. Widtsoe, Letter to Albert R. Lyman]

... the Lord made the earth and in the making He may have done many things not according to my particular opinion, but whatever He did He had a right to do. If He chose to place man-like beings upon the earth before the days of Adam, I really have no right to find fault with that any more than with the placing on the earth of the great variety of life which we know lived there. There is nothing definite in the scriptures or in modern revelation as to the age of the earth. Personally, I take discoveries relative to hat subject at face value, and set aside for later consideration the theories of men. Often there are contradictory theories in men's interpretations of facts.

I have often said, as you say in your letter, that Adam was no doubt upon this earth long before it had reached the condition to permit a Garden of Eden to be planted, for he was one of those, who under God's command, organized the earth. Neither am I upset over the statement that Adam's was the first flesh upon the earth, because it seems from the context and from common sense, for that matter, that that means the first flesh of Adam's kind. There is so much connected with these matter that we do not understand that I am willing to take what little we know of a factual nature without offering any interpretations that may mislead others.

[Source: Frank Evans 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]

110 years ago today - May 10, 1908

[Thomas A. Clawson]
"The Insergant (Sic) Republicans were active in sowing discord among the party and used a letter written by bro B.H. Roberts to Richard R. Lyman giving his reasons why Reed Smoot should not be returned back to the Senate. ... This letter was secretely circulated among the people and as D O Redout of Draper (an insurgent) said was the means which elected him to the convention. ... I think that it is full of the spirit of apostasy and makes direct slaps at and criticisms of Prest. Jos. F. Smith and is a very dangerous thing. A man cannot take the stand of B.H. Roberts and write such articles without loosing the spirit of his calling and unless he repents and turns away from such a course he will surely go as did Moses Thatcher, who today is nothing in the Church nor the Democratic Party ..."

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

120 years ago today - May 10, 1898

Joseph H. Dean, former president of the Samoan Mission, is married polygamously to Amanda Petterson, his third wife, in Mexico by Anthony W. Ivins after presenting a "recommend" for a plural marriage written by First Presidency Counselor George Q. Cannon. Ivins later becomes an Apostle and then First Counselor to President Heber J. Grant.

120 years ago today - May 10, 1898

[Brigham Young Jr.]
... went to the Temple saw Pres[ident] Snow Winder talked and presented idea which came to me with much force this morning, to substitute a spray for people to stand under to be washed instead of so many being washed in the same water, So many people come there very dirty in their persons in spite of all the instructions given to the contrary.

[Source: Diary of Apostle Brigham Young Jr., http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

125 years ago today - May 10, 1893

Francis M. Lyman writes, "This is the most difficult mission bro. Heber has ever undertaken, now that financial affairs are tumbling in all directions." The church was $500,000 in debt with no prospect of paying in time. Heber J. Grant had left for New York to see if the loans could be extended. He was successful.

[Source: On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com]

180 years ago today - May 10, 1838

Nancy Marinda Hyde, wife of Orson Hyde, is given a priesthood blessing (probably by Joseph Smith Sr.) which states: "The time shall come when thou shalt be left by thy husband, for he must go to foreign lands and preach the gospel, he will be great in the hands of the Lord having a great work to do among the nations of the earth. Thou will have afflictions and sorrow for thy husband-but thou will give him up to his calling and trust in God, thou shall be blest. In the absence of thy companion the angels of heaven shall minister to thee-they will give thee instructions and comfort thy heart." Four years later while her husband Orson is on a mission to Jerusalem, Joseph Smith takes her as a plural wife.

[Source: On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com]

15 years ago today - May 09, 2003

[U.S. Religious History]
The National Association of Evangelicals, a group of evangelical Christians, condemned Franklin Graham, Jerry Falwell, Jerry Vines, Pat Robertson and other evangelical leaders for their many anti-Islamic statements.

[Source: Cline, Austin, History of American Religion: Timeline]

40 years ago today - May 9, 1978

The HARVARD CRIMSON prints a story of a visit to an LDS visitor's center titled "Mannequins And Mormons." The author, Cliff Sloan, tells of being asked to sign the guest book so "'we can always keep in touch with you.' Visions of Mormon missionaries gripped me. For all I knew, they'd be coming by my room night and day, proselytizing, smashing bottles of booze. I decided to give a pseudonym, but was somehow unable to think up one on the spur of the moment. For a few minutes, I stood in front of the guest book, drumming my pen, trying to think of a fake name, smiling weakly at Sister Wood. Finally, feeling more foolish than ever, I put down my first and middle names 'Cliff Myer.'"

105 years ago today - May 9, 1913

The First Presidency learns that James Dwyer, co-founder of Salt Lake City's LDS Univeristy (now the LDS Business College), has been "teaching young men that sodomy and kindred vices are not sins..." Dwyer's daughter, actress Ada Dwyer Russell, is already in a long-term relationship with the lesbian poet Amy Lowell. Dwyer's bishop and stake president want to excommunicate him, but the First Presidency allows Dwyer, now in his eighties, to voluntarily "withdraw his name" from LDS church membership.

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

115 years ago today - May 9, 1903 (Saturday)

The first copies of the Book of Mormon (Ole Tusi A Mamona) in the Samoan language were received from the press of the "Deseret News," and Elder James Ricks started for Samoa with thirty—six copies. The book was translated by Elders William G. Sears, Frank E. Lewis, Edwin Smart and G.C. Pillsbury. The edition consisted of 5,000 copies.

[Source: Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

120 years ago today - May 9, 1898 (Monday)

The first baptisms by divine authority in this dispensation at Jerusalem, Palestine, took place in Mary's Well, where Elder Ferdinand F. Hintze baptized Geo. Vezerian and Geo. Nadgarian, two Armenians from Asia Minor.

[Source: Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

155 years ago today - May 9, 1863

[Wilford Woodruff]
9 Richmond The Southern Capitol is reported taken to day. I met with the D A & M Society this Evening. We now have daily accounts of Hard fought battles. I received a Letter from Wilford.

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

160 years ago today - May 9, 1858

Bro. Brigham spoke on people getting too good to remain on the Earth. Said he did not ask the people to live any better than he did said that in less than 5 years we should be 4 times as well off as we are now, and the reason why the people don't get rich is because they are so devilish stingy said we should put away our selfishness and cultivate the good that God has planted in us; told us not to destroy till the word was given; to take care of our gardens, houses, trees, and cattle.

[Source: Diary of Charles Lowell Walker. Andrew Karl Larson, ed. Logan: Utah State University Press, 1980. 31; Brigham Young Office Journals, Special Collections, Merrill-Cazier Library, Utah State University, Logan.; Archives, Church History Library, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah.; New Mormon Studies CD-ROM; The Office Journal of President Brigham Young. 1858-1863 Book D. Fred C. Collier. Collier's Publishing, 2006, in The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, Ed. Richard S. Van Wagoner, Smith-Pettit Foundation, Salt Lake City (2009), http://bit.ly/BY-discourses]

175 years ago today - May 9, 1843

While on a boat excursion up the Mississippi, Joseph Smith tells Parley P. Pratt that his wife, Mary Ann Frost Pratt, and her sister, Olive Frost, should be sealed to the same man.

[Source: Hales, Brian C., Joseph Smith's Polygamy: History and Theology, 3 vols., Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2013 (www.JosephSmithsPolygamy.com)]

10 years ago today - May 8, 2008

As the Catholic News Service reported last week, the letter calls proxy baptism using these records detrimental and says the Vatican did not want Catholic parishes to cooperate with the erroneous practices of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mormons use genealogical data to find names of people to baptise posthumously, a practice the Roman Catholic Church rejects on theological grounds.

[Source: Reuters Blogs, "Catholic-Mormon tension over LDS baptism of the dead, in A chronicle of the Mormon-Jewish controversy; The LDS Agreement: A JewishGen InfoFile, http://www.jewishgen.org/infofiles/ldsagree.html]

95 years ago today - May 8, 1923

[Heber J. Grant]
I then had an interview with Brother James E. Talmage on several important matters and he delivered to me a record kept by Benjamin F. Johnson, an intimate friend of the Prophet Joseph in the days of Nauvoo. He said that in reading this record over while coming from the Emery Stake Conference, he found very many confidential things regarding second blessings, the restoration of plural marriage etc. to the Church by the Prophet Joseph, and said that it is a record that ought not to be taken away from the Historian's office. He handed me the book and I delivered it to Brother George F. Gibbs, telling him to put it in the Presidency's vault. ...

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

165 years ago today - May 8, 1853

[Brigham Young]
If you want to know what to do with a thief that you may find stealing, I say kill him on the spot, and never suffer him to commit another iniquity. That is what I expect I shall do, though never, in the days of my life, have I hurt a man with the palm of my hand. I never have hurt any person any other way except with this unruly member, my tongue. Notwithstanding this, if I caught a man stealing on my premises I should be very apt to send him straight home, and that is what I wish every man to do, to put a stop to that abominable practice in the midst of this people. I know this appears hard, and throws a cold chill over our revered traditions received by early education. I had a great many such feelings to contend with myself, and was as much of a sectarian in my notions as any other man, and as mild, perhaps, in my natural disposition, but I have trained myself to measure things by the line of justice, to estimate them by the rule of equity and truth, and not by the false tradition of the fathers, or the sympathies of the natural mind. If you will cause all those whom you know to be thieves, to be placed in a line before the mouth of one of our largest cannon, well loaded with chain shot, I will prove by my works whether I can mete out justice to such persons, or not. I would consider it just as much my duty to do that, as to baptize a man for the remission of his sins. That is a short discourse on thieves ...

[Source: Journal of Discourses. Liverpool, England, 1853-86. 1:103-111; Deseret News. Also Deseret Evening News, Deseret News Weekly, Deseret News Semi- Weekly, and Deseret News Extra, Salt Lake City, in The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, Ed. Richard S. Van Wagoner, Smith-Pettit Foundation, Salt Lake City (2009), http://bit.ly/BY-discourses]

180 years ago today - May 8, 1838

Joseph Smith publishes answers to frequently asked questions on the beliefs of Mormons, including: Mormons do believe in the Bible, Mormons are different from other sects be cause they believe in the Bible, while other sects profess to believe in their interpretation, Non-Mormons will be damned, as well as a good portion of Mormons, unless they repent and work for righteousness, Joseph Smith is a prophet, Members' property is not held in common, Mormons do not believe in multiple wives at the same time, Mormons cannot raise the dead, members do not have to give all of their money to the church (only their portion of what's necessary to support church operations), Mormons are not abolitionists, Joseph Smith was a money digger but didn't make much money at it (only $14 a month), Mormons do baptize the dead, Joseph Smith is not Jesus Christ, The scriptures are not full.

[Source: Tidd, N. R., "Mormon Chronology", [New Mormon History database ( http://bit.ly/NMHdatabase )]]

35 years ago today - May 7, 1983

Larry Nielsen is the first American to climb Mt. Everest without supplemental oxygen.

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

110 years ago today - May 7, 1908

[Francis M. Lyman]
I told President [Joseph F.] Smith of my desire to do something for father [i.e., former apostle Amasa Lyman, stripped of apostleship for teaching false doctrine]. Told him of my dreams and my sister Martha's, how father had appeared to us and plead his cause. How President [Lorenzo] Snow told me that there was no doubt but that he would come out all right in the end. I told him I wanted to be baptized for father and then to have him, President Smith, to put his hands on my head and restore father's former blessings upon me for him. He said he would consider the matter with his counselors and had no doubt but it would be all right and he would do as I had asked.

[Source: Francis M. Lyman 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 - May 7, 1888

[Franklin D. Richards]
Considering the fracas at the Democratic Convention in Ogden [Utah] it is decided not to further organize politics among Saints at present.

[Source: Franklin D. Richards 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]

175 years ago today - May 7, 1843

Joseph Smith writes in his journal: "Forenoon visited by several gentlemen concerning the plates which were dug out [of] a mound near Qunig [Kinderhook, Pike County, Illinois]. Sent by W[illia]m Smith to the office for Hebrew Bible and Lexicon. Mr. Vickers the wire dancer called."

Parley P. Pratt writes to a non-Mormon cousin concerning claims by John C. Bennet that Joseph Smith tried to seduce Orson Pratt's wife Sarah: "As to Bennett or his book [The History of the Saints, 1842] I consider it a little stooping to mention it. It is beneath contempt & would disgrace the society of HELL & the DEVIL. . . .There is not such a thing named among the saints as he represents."

Orson Pratt adds a postscript to the letter: " J.C. Bennett has published lies concerning myself & family & the people with which I am connected." Sarah Pratt, however, later states: "[I] know that the principle statements in John C. Bennett's Book on Mormonism are true."

180 years ago today - May 7, 1838

James G. Marsh, 14-year-old son of the president of the Quorum of Twelve, dies. The Elder's Journal issue of Jul notes that at age nine this boy "had a remarkable vision, in which he talked with the Father and many of the ancient prophets face to face, and beheld the Son of God coming in his glory." No publication at this time had yet referred to Joseph Smith's vision of the Father and the Son.

[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]

190 years ago today - May 7, 1828

"The instrument of their miraculous powers, was a cleft stick, or rod, something of the form of an inverted Y; and when this talisman was firmly grasped in either hand, by its two points, it was believed to indicate the proper course to be pursued, or point out some substance of medicinal utility, or fix the locality of some valuable mine; - whichever of these the agent was pleased to wish."

[Source: "The Rodsmen," Vermont American, (Middlebury, CT), 7 May 1828, as quoted in A Topical Guide of Treasure-Seeking Rituals From the American Northeast during the 18th and 19th Centuries, Compiled by Joseph T. Antley (2010)]

200 years ago today - May 7, 1818

A "Joseph Smith" is raised to Master Freemason in Ontario Lodge #23 in Canandaigua, NY.

50 years ago today - May 6, 1968

BYU's student newspaper The DAILY UNIVERSE reports BYU's student housing contract has been altered to read: "In cases in which the university has reasonable cause to believe that personal properties or materials which are prohibited on campus are located in apartments, [security officers could] enter without a warrant for the purpose of searching the apartment and seizing any such personal properties or materials." President Ernest Wilkinson dismisses student criticism by promising that if anyone could give him "a Supreme Court decision indicating this is unconstitutional," he would "reconsider" his decision.

110 years ago today - May 6, 1908; Wednesday

The committee consisting of Anthon H. Lund, Heber J. Grant and David O. McKay, appointed to inspect the Granite [Utah] Stake Academy building, and the ten acres of land connected with it, with a view to reporting on its suitability as a home for wayward boys of the Church...

[Source: First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve minutes]

110 years ago today - Wednesday, May 6, 1908

[John Henry Smith]
I met with the Religion Class board. Elder Henry Peterson said he had visited the Juvenile Court and the Records showed that in the past 6 months 83 girls and 742 boys have been before that Court for Various Crimes, largely violations of the Curfew law. That about seventy five percent were the children of the L.D. Saints.

[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]

135 years ago today - May 6, 1883

A young girl of about eight years of age comes to the door of a room in which missionary J. Golden Kimball is bathing. He claims that he told her to leave, but she later reports that he had tried to get her to come into the room.

[Source: On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com]

145 years ago today - May 6, 1873

Minutes of the Salt Lake Stake Deacon's Quorum note: "Bro. Chambers said he received the gospel when he was quite a youth while slavery was, and he saved a little money, and came to the valley. He was glad to meet with the Saints, he desired to live with them while he lives, knows the Church is true and the Saints are the people of God. He knew it from the time the Elders laid their hands on him. He feels to be active in doing what he can do for the building up of the kingdom of God. The race he comes of fall away. He feels it is right, the servants of God should keep the Priesthood pure. He feels glad to have the privilege to pay tithing and donations." Samuel D. Chambers, was a former African-American slave had worked for four years after the end of slavery in Mississippi in order to make the trek to Utah.

[Source: On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com]

150 years ago today - May 6, 1868

[Wilford Woodruff]
May 6, 1868 I wrote a letter to my Brother Azmon Woodruff Containing 10 Pages of fools Cap Answering a long letter of his wharein he Says he does not Believe in a litter[al] gathering of the Saints or the Jews in the last days or the building of Zion or Jerrusalem or does not Believe that Man is Conscious of any thing after death. I took up all these subjects & treated upon them at length also Plurality of wives. I kept a copy of this letter.

[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 - 1843: 6 May

[Patriarchal Blessing]
Heber C. Kimball. (Given by Isaac Morley.)

"Brother Kimball with my heart and my hands and by the authority vested in me I have sealed my blessing upon thy head, thy gift and thy greatest desire is to win souls unto Christ, and to extend the principle of benevolence to the family of Adam--thy blessing shall rest upon thy family and thy posterity after thee--

My gift is simplicity, I impart it with thee, let no man take this blessing from thy crown, let prudence be the Motto of thy mind--for a white stone shall be given thee, and in it a new name that no man knoweth save him that receiveth it. with my pen I have marked this blessing, and sealed it with my name--Yours in the bonds of the New and Everlasting Covenant."

[Source: From typescript, LDS Archives, in Selected LDS Patriarchal Blessings, New Mormon Studies CD ROM, Signature Book, 2009, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

175 years ago today - May 6, 1843

The date of the so-called "White horse prophecy." Joseph Smith is reported to have said: "The last great struggle that Zion will have to contend with will be when the whole of America will be made the Zion of God. Those opposing will be called Gog and Magog. The nations of the world led by Russia and their power will be great but all opposition will be overcome and this land will then be the Zion of our God."

[Source: On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com]

185 years ago today - May 6, 1833

D&C 93 (Kirtland): keep commandments, see God; apostle John's record to be revealed; Godhead; preexistence, man in the begining with God, intelligence, light, truth; Joseph not keeping commandments, family must repent; translate scriptures, obtain (secular) knowledge and the laws of God for salvation of Zion.

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

25 years ago today - May 5, 1993

[Same-Sex Marriage]
Apostle Boyd K. Packer gives an address at a meeting of the All-Church Coordinating Council and refers to homosexuality as one of the three major social problems that represent a danger to members.

[Source: Crapo, Richley, Chronology Of Mormon / LDS Involvement In Same-Sex Marriage Politics http://www.mormonsocialscience.org/?q=node/59]

175 years ago today - May 5, 1843

Joseph Smith tells the Nauvoo Temple committee that "he had a right to take away any property he chose from the Temple and they had no right to stand in the way."

5 years ago today - 2013-05-05

Mormon Women Scholars' Network launches

This website is "a place for women to connect, communicate, collaborate, and encourate participation in Mormon Studies, religious scholarship, and related disciplines.

[Source: Mormon Women's History Timeline, http://www1.chapman.edu/~remy/MoFem/mormonwomen.html]

120 years ago today - May 4, 1898

[Brigham Young Jr.]
I almost foreced to the conclusion that the Des[eret]. News is treating me with silent contempt. I do not care for Jno. [John] Q. C[annon]. if the presidency does back him. The Lord knows I have acted & spoken with integrity of heart for good, but when I try to do my best I seem to do my worst. One thing I have always practiced, to preach what the spirit gave me when stan[d]ing before the people. Of course I will not preach what the authorities'Presidency'interdict.

[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]

125 years ago today - 4 May 1893 - Thursday

[George Q. Cannon]
At twelve o-clock we had a meeting of the Deseret News Company which adjourned just in time to permit us who were members of that company, Brothers Joseph F. Smith, Franklin D. Richards and myself, to reach the Temple for the meeting appointed by the council. We attended to some items of business before we clothed ourselves. Brother H. J. Grant was called upon by me to pray and President Lorenzo <Snow> to be mouth in the circle. We had a very sweet time and all enjoyed it exceedingly. This is the first circle meeting held in the room of the First Presidency, and with the exception of the large circle formed in the celestial room on the 20th ult. when the presidents of stakes, etc., met, it is the first circle held in the Temple. It was a cause of pleasure and gratification to us to think that we could meet in so beautiful a place with such heavenly surroundings away from the world of business and noise and attend to business for the Church of the Lamb and also to offer our prayers to the Lord in behalf of His Zion.

After I returned to the office word reached me that President Woodruff was worse and was in a semi-comatose condition. ...

[Source: The Journal of George Q. Cannon, Church Historian's Press, https://churchhistorianspress.org/george-q-cannon]

145 years ago today - May 4, 1873

First documented church service at Alta is held in Harlow & King's Saloon.

[Source: Harward, Randy; Utah Brewing Timeline, Salt Lake City Weekly, Aug 24, 2011]

20 years ago today - May 3, 1998

The First Presidency asked Democrat General Authority Marlin K. Jensen, to give an interview to the Salt Lake Tribune assuring readers that one may, indeed, simultaneously be a Democrat and a Mormon in good standing. He explained that church leaders “regret … that there would become a church party and a non-church party. That would be the last thing that we would want to have happen.

[Source: Dan Harrie, “LDS Official Calls for More Political Diversity, Salt Lake Tribune as referenced in Gregory A. Prince and Wm. Robert Write, David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press (2005)]

30 years ago today - May 3, 1988.

David P. Wright, BYU assistant professor in Asian and Near Eastern languages, who ranks high in all three areas of tenure review--scholarship, teaching, and citizenship-- is informed by a letter from BYU administrators that his contract will not be renewed because of his "unorthodox views" on "biblical scholarship, scriptural prophecy, and the Book of Mormon." The letter acknowledges that he does not teach these views in the classroom.

[Source: Anderson, Lavina Fielding, "The LDS Intellectual Community and Church Leadership: A Contemporary Chronology," Dialogue, Vol.26, No.1]

40 years ago today - May 3, 1978

The First Presidency announces the end to all local prayer circle meetings, except those connected with the endowment ceremony (and prayer circle meetings of general authorities).

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

85 years ago today - May 3, 1933

[J. Reuben Clark]
Sent Golden Kimball's speech to him to correct if he wishes to do so.

Told them about Bro. Roberts speech and suggested changes in it. Pres. Grant read and approved changes.

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

85 years ago today - May 3, 1933

[Heber J. Grant]
Axel A. Madsen and Joel Richards called and presented the case of a woman who had been married in pretended plural marriage and who has now repented and wants to be baptized. I told them to tell her that it will be time enough to consider baptizing her when she tells who performed the marriage ceremony.

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

125 years ago today - 3 May 1893 ¿ Wednesday

[George Q. Cannon]
I afterwards brought before the council the name of President Lorenzo Snow as president of the Salt Lake Temple which was accepted unanimously. ... Considerable conversation was had in relation to the salaries of the officials, and I expressed myself very strongly as being dissatisfied with the tendency to fix salaries to the offices of the priesthood. I felt that this was a bad tendency. I should have protested more against it at the time that it was done had I not been in a position where I had no influence and where my remarks would not have availed anything. I said that I knew there would have to be a check upon this, or some of the evils which have grown up in the other churches would manifest themselves in our church. Before the adjournment of the Council, I suggested that we meet to-morrow in the Presidents Room of the Temple and cloth[e] ourselves in our priestly robes and pray in a circle. This was agreed to.

[Source: The Journal of George Q. Cannon, Church Historian's Press, https://churchhistorianspress.org/george-q-cannon]

130 years ago today - May 3, 1888

[Wilford Woodruff]
In Company with F D Richards G Q Cannon & several Brethren I visited Erastus Snow who was Considered almost in a Dying Condition. G Q Cannon Anointed him & we laid hands upon him and I was Mouth and I rebuked the power of Death and the Destroyer and Commanded it to Depart from him in the Name of the Lord.

[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 - May 03, 1843

The first number of the Nauvoo Neighbor, a Nauvoo-based newspaper edited by John Taylor, is released.

175 years ago today - May 3, 1843

[Brigham Young]
[drawing of kinderhook plate, with this writing inside the drawing:] I took this at Joseph Smith house found near Quincy

[Source: Brigham Young Journal #3, typescript]

25 years ago today - May 2, 1993

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir performs in the renovated Cathedral of the Madeleine.

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

95 years ago today - May 2, 1923

[Richard R. Lyman]
3:00 Meeting of Church Board of Education'The board under direction of Pres. Grant allowed the money asked for by the Comm of Education.'I saw that at the B.Y.U.'s request is made for $30,000.00 to increase salaries or to employ new teachers. I told Dr. Jno A. Widtsoe That I regard this as a mistaken policy.'There is a limit to the amount the Church can allow for this institution.'To start new depts is a mistake. I say the foundation should be laid out now & on it, without extension, we should build.

[Source: Richard R. Lyman, 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 - May 2, 1908; Saturday

[Anthony Ivins]
Met at the home of Geo. A. Adams, with Bishop [Frederick] Jones and his counselors, Barton Butt, and [Hanson] Bayless, & others. After discussion it was unanimously decided that the Indians should be removed from the county and that a petition to that effect be circulated for signatures and sent to the Governor.

[Source: Anderson, Elizabeth Oberdick, editor, Cowboy Apostle: The Diaries of Anthony W. Ivins: 1875-1932, Signature Books, Salt Lake City in association with the Smith-Pettit Foundation (2013) - http://bit.ly/AnthonyIvins]

130 years ago today - 2 May 1888 ¿ Wednesday

[George Q. Cannon]
[A. F. Macdonald] said that Bro. Lyman's influence was injured among the people by the extreme views which he expressed concerning the Word of Wisdom, and that he had endeavored to exercise unrighteous dominion. He felt that in his own case his being removed from being President of the Maricopa Stake was principally due to Bro. Lyman, who had threatened him on one occasion that he would not vote for him for that position, because of his drinking wine in a storm they were in in Mexico.

[Source: The Journal of George Q. Cannon, Church Historian's Press, https://churchhistorianspress.org/george-q-cannon]

175 years ago today - May 2, 1843

[William Clayton]
Dined at Prest [Joseph Smith]. Sister Emma returned about 4 [from St. Louis]. ... Talked with Jane Charnock. she loves me & would sooner unite to me than R [?]. Joseph rode out to day with Flora W[oodworth, his new 16-year-old wife].

[Source: The Nauvoo Diaries of William Clayton, 1842-1846, Abridged, Digital Edition, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2015]

185 years ago today - May 2, 1833

Joseph writes letter about consecrated properties wherein those who left the church were going to state courts to get them back.

[Source: Exploring Mormonism: The Law of Consecration Timeline, http://www.exploringmormonism.com/the-law-of-consecration-timeline/]

50 years ago today - May 1, 1968

I]n his talk to BYU's devotional in May 1968 Benson accused the U.S. Supreme Court of treason. He added that "a prerequisite for appointment to high government office today is one's past affiliations with communist fronts or one's ability to follow the communist line." Benson's address to BYU students also quoted three times from the Birch Society's official magazine, including references to "black Marxists" and "the Communists and their Black Power fanatics."

In response, the father of one BYU student complained to the First Presidency that Benson had turned BYU's devotionals "into a sounding board for vicious, political interests."

First counselor Brown [wrote regarding Benson's 1 May BYU Devotional talk] "We have had many such letters protesting the speech made at the B.Y.U. recently and we are trying to offset and curtail such expressions."

[Source: Benson, "The Book of Mormon Warns America," address at Brigham Young University devotional, 21 May 1968, transcript, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, Vertical File, Special Collections, Marriott Library, and transcript in Moss Papers also "Road to Anarchy: Benson Blisters Supreme Court," Ogden Standard-Examiner, 22 May 1968, A-ll; "Benson Warns on Commies in Talk at BYU Assembly," Provo Daily Herald, 22 May 1968, 24.; Robert O. Trottier to David O. McKay, 22 May 1968, with copies to Hugh B. Brown, N. Eldon Tanner, and Ezra Taft Benson, photocopy in Vertical File for Ezra Taft Benson, Special Collections, Marriott Library. ; Brown to Trottier, 24 May 1968, photocopy in Vertical File for Ezra Taft Benson, Special Collections, Marriott Library. 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.]

80 years ago today - May 1, 1938

Sister Young told of a meeting held in the Logan Temple where the late Pres[ident] [Anthony W.] Ivins stated that the full meaning of the marks of the garment has not been revealed. All garments worn must have the approved mark. When receiving your endowments the garment should not be placed on the individual until after it is marked. All ordinances should be given with closed eyes.

[Source: Letter from First Presidency, Manti Temple Historical Record, May 1, 1938, in Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/TempleWorship]

175 years ago today - May 01, 1843

Helen Mar Kimball writes of how she married Joseph Smith: "Having a great desire to be connected with the Prophet, Joseph, he (my father) offered me to him; this I afterwards learned from the Prophet's own mouth. My father had but one Ewe Lamb, but willingly laid her upon the altar: how cruel this seemed to my mother whose heartstrings were already stretched unil they were ready to snap asunder, for she had already taken Sarah Noon to wife and she thought she had made sufficient sacrifice but the Lord required more." SOURCE: Helen Mar Whitney Journal, Helen Mar Autobiography, Womans Exponent, 1880 and recently reprinted in A Woman's view Joseph Smith gave her only 24 hours to decide on whether or not to marry him. Of this, Helen wrote: "[my father] left me to reflect upon it for the next twenty four hours. ... I was sceptical - one minute believed, then doubted. I thought of the love and tenderness that he felt for his only daughter, and I knew that he would not cast me off, and this was the only convincing proof That I had of its being right." Smith promises family salvation to marry 14-year-old . The next morning, Joseph Smith finally appeared himself to explain the "law of Celestial Marriage" and claim his teen bride. In her memoir, Helen wrote, "After which he said to me, 'if you take this step, it will ensure your eternal salvation and exaltation and that of your father's household and all of your kindred.' This promise was so great that I willingly gave myself to purchase so glorious a reward." Helen also writes about her mother's reaction to all of this: "None but God and his angels could see my mother's bleeding heart - when Joseph asked her if she was willing, she replied 'If Helen is willing I have nothing more to say." "She had witnessed the sufferings of others, who were older and who better understood the step they were taking, and to see her child, who had yet seen her fifteenth summer, following the same thorny path, in her mind she saw the misery which was as sure to come as the sun was to rise and set; but it was hidden from me." Helen thought her marriage to Joseph Smith was only dynastic. But to her surprise, it was more. Helen confided to a close friend in Nauvoo: "I would never have been sealed to Joseph had I known it was anything more than ceremony. I was young, and they deceived me, by saying the salvation of our whole family depended on it."

[Source: Mormon Polygamy: A History by LDS member Richard S. Van Wagoner, p. 53; Joseph Smith Polygamy Timeline, http://www.i4m.com/think/polygamy/JS_Polygamy_Timeline.htm]

175 years ago today - May 1, 1843

William Clayton's diary says that Joseph Smith "has translated a portion [of the "brass" Kinderhook Plates dug up in Adams County, Illinois] and says they contain the history of...a descendant of Ham through the loins of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and that he received his kingdom from the ruler of heaven and earth." The discoverers of these artifacts would later claim that they manufactured the items complete with "hieroglyphics by making impressions on beeswax and filling them with acid." The 1992 Encyclopedia of Mormonism acknowledges that extensive tests on one of the original Kinderhook plates "proved conclusively that the plate was one of the Kinderhook six; that it had been engraved, not etched; and that it was of nineteenth-century manufacture. There thus appears no reason to accept the Kinderhook plates as anything but a frontier hoax." This leaves unanswered what Joseph Smith meant when he said he "translated" the Kinderhook Plates, or more fundamentally what he meant by the word "translation."

[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]

175 years ago today - May 1, 1843

Joseph Smith marries Lucy Walker in Nauvoo, one day after her seventeenth birthday, while his legal wife Emma is away in St. Louis buying supplies. Lucy been adopted by the Smiths and worked as a maid in the Smith home. The prophet told Walker that God had commanded him to take her as a wife. She was angry and insulted, but she feared Smith's warning that if she rejected the "principle" of plural marriage, "the gate will be closed forever against you."

Lucy later records: "Emma Smith was not present and she did not consent to the marriage; she did not know anything about it at all."

Of her relationship with Joseph, Lucy says that although she "married Joseph as a plural wife and lived and cohabitated with him as such." that "It was not a love matter, so to speak, in our affairs, -at least on my part it was not, but simply the giving up of myself as a sacrifice to establish that grand and glorious principle that God had revealed to the world."

After Joseph's murder in 1844 she becomes Heber C. Kimball's wife with the understanding that "I should be his wife for time, and time only, ...and in the resurrection [he] would surrender me, with my children, to Joseph Smith."

On his death bed Heber C. Kimball says to Lucy, "What can you tell Joseph when you meet him? Cannot you say that I have been kind to you as it was possible to be under the circumstances? I know you can, and am confident you will be as a mediator between me and Joseph..."