30 years ago today - Feb 26, 1985

Steve Christensen writes to Gordon B. Hinckley asking if he would like him to donate the "Salamander Letter" to the LDS Church. Hinckley responds with a phone call saying that the Church wanted the letter. On Apr. 12 Christensen gives the letter to the Church

35 years ago today - Feb 26, 1980.

Ezra Taft Benson as president of the Quorum of the Twelve gives a controversial speech at Brigham Young University titled, "Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophets," including: ". The prophet is the only man who speaks for the Lord in everything. 2. The living prophet is more vital to us than the standard works. 3. The living prophet is more important to us than a dead prophet. 4. The prophet will never lead the church astray. 5. The prophet is not required to have any particular earthly training or credentials to speak on any subject or act on any matter at any time. 6. The prophet does not have to say `Thus Saith the Lord' to give us scripture. . . . 11. The two groups who have the greatest difficulty in following the prophet are the proud who are learned and the proud who are rich."

J. D. Williams, a professor in the University of Utah political science department, calls "Benson's speech `a plea in anticipation' of his becoming church president." Don LeFevre, public communications spokesman, responding to press inquiries, agrees that "Benson's speech accurately portrayed the church's position that a prophet can receive revelations from God on any matter--temporal or spiritual" and that "the prophet's word is scripture, as far as the church is concerned, and the living prophet's words take precedence in interpreting the written scripture as it applies to the present." However, he denies as "simply not true" a newspaper report which says the president of the church "is God's prophet and his word is law on all issues-- including politics."

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

70 years ago today - Feb 26, 1945

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Office of the First Presidency Salt Lake City, Utah February 26, 1945

Rev. R. B. Searcie Minister Pilgrim Baptist Church 868 West 3rd South Street Salt Lake City 4, Utah

Dear Mr. Searcie:

In response to your letter of February 3, 1945, in which you request some assistance, either by our taking an "ad" on your program or by a direct contribution to help in meeting the expense of repairs to your Church building, we are enclosing herewith a check for $100.00, not only as an aid to you in your present need, but as a token of our good wishes for your success in your worthy calling.

Yours very sincerely, HEBER J. GRANT, J. REUBEN CLARK, JR., DAVID O. MCKAY, First Presidency.

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

125 years ago today - Feb 26, 1890

[President Wilford Woodruff] We decided in Council to Heat the Temple with hot water & the Tabernacle with steam. It was a Cold night 6 degrees below zero.

[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 - Feb 26, 1885

[Apostle Heber J. Grant] Wrote a letter regarding my brother George S. Grant's widow to Prest Jos. F. Smith and asked him the question which one of George's brothers should step forward and fulfill the law by marrying his widow, Morgan, Hyrum or myself.

[Source: Diary of Heber J. Grant, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

170 years ago today - Feb 26, 1845

[Brigham Young] The nation has severed us from them in every respect, and made us a distinct nation just as much as the Lamanites, and it is my prayer that we may soon find a place where we can have a home and live in peace according to the Law of God.

[Source: William Clayton Minutes, Archives, Church History Library, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah, as quoted in The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, Ed. Richard S. Van Wagoner, Smith-Pettit Foundation, Salt Lake City (2009), http://bit.ly/BY-discourses]

15 years ago today - Feb 25, 2000

Stuart Matis commits suicide on the steps of his local LDS building. His note stated: "I am now free…I am no longer in pain and I no longer hate myself. As it turns out, God never intended for me to be straight. Perhaps my death might become the catalyst for some good."

[Source: Timeline of Mormon Thinking About Homosexuality, http://rationalfaiths.com/timeline-of-mormon-thinking-about-homosexuality/]

80 years ago today - Feb 25, 1935

[Heber J. Grant] You inquire as to whether or not the negroes can hold the priesthood?

In answer will say that no person having negro blood in his veins is permitted to hold the priesthood, nor do we allow such persons to go through the temple to receive endowments for themselves or their kindred dead. ...

You ... ask, 'Who are the brown and yellow races of people?'

I take it for granted that you refer to the Mongolians, including the Chinese and Japanese and the East Indian who are not of the black race. If so it is my understanding that these people are descendants of Shem and Japheth.

[Source: Heber J. Grant, Letter to Brigham H. Clegg, 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]

100 years ago today - Feb 25, 1915

At the afternoon meeting [of the Nebo Stake conference] a resolution was passed expressing the sentiment of the people of the Stake in favor of prohibition. This was done with a view to sending the same to the members representing the county in the legislature. ...

[Source: Journal History, 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]

115 years ago today - Feb 25, 1900

Returned missionary from Southern States Mission speaks in tongues at Salt Lake tabernacle and gives "the interpretation which was very beautiful" This may not be first time, but is probably the last, that someone speaks in "unknown tongue" (glossolalia) in Tabernacle.

140 years ago today - Feb 25, 1875

Brigham Young is ordered to pay disgruntled plural wife Ann Eliza Webb Young $3000 for counsel fees and $500 a month alimony. When he fails to obey, he is sentenced to pay a fine of $25 and to one day's imprisonment. Young is driven to his own residence by the deputy marshal for dinner, and, after taking what clothing he required, is conducted to the penitentiary, where he is locked up in a cell for a short time, and then placed in a room in the warden's office for the night. When the divorce case comes to trial in Apr, 1877, A different Judge accepts Young's argument that the marriage was not a legal marriage but an "ecclesiastical" arrangement. He decrees that the polygamous marriage is void, annuls all orders for alimony, and assesses the costs against Ann Eliza.

160 years ago today - Feb 25, 1855

Apostle Wilford Woodruff preached:"That same organization and Gospel that Christ died for…is again established in this generation. How did it come? By the ministering of an holy angel from God…The angel taught Joseph Smith those principles which are necessary for the salvation of the world…He told him the Gospel wasnot among men, and that there was not a true organization of His kingdom in the world…"

[Source: "Journal of Discourses", Vol. 2, pp.196-197 as quoted in A Documented History of Joseph Smith's First Vision, http://beggarsbread.org/2013/04/01/a-documented-history-of-joseph-smiths-first-vision/]

160 years ago today - Feb 25, 1855 (Council Meeting)

William Smith has got to live some years before he comes to his senses... He [Joseph Smith III] will not always feel as he does now. Emma tried to poison her husband and was connived with the mob that did kill him. I will be glad when I die if it is written in truth that Brigham Young never rebelled against Joseph Smith nor the priesthood, but I would like to see all the devils kicked off this continent.

[Source: Leonard J. Arrington Papers, Special Collections, Merrill-Cazier Library, Utah State University, Logan.. (A reference reading LJA 12-55-5, 10, means LJA Series 12, Box 55, Folder 5, page 10.) 9-13-4, 120 as quoted in The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, Ed. Richard S. Van Wagoner, Smith-Pettit Foundation, Salt Lake City (2009), http://bit.ly/BY-discourses]

185 years ago today - Feb 25, 1830

The first all-county Antimasonic gathering assembled at Chardon, Geauga County [Ohio, 9 miles from Kirtland], and the 300 delegates who attended helped organize the party on a statewide basis. ... some sixty Masons also attended and attempted to cause a disturbance about passage of a resolution disapproving of "all secret combinations." (Moses 5:31, 35; Alma 37:30-31; Ether 8:19, 22; 14:8, 10; 9:1; 13:18; 2 Ne. 9:9; 26:22; Hel. 3:23; 3 Ne. 4:29; Morm. 8:27; D&C 42:64)

[Source: Grunder, Rick, Mormon Parallels: A Bibliographic Source]

10 years ago today - Feb 24, 2005

Hugh Nibley, Mormon scholar, defender of the LDS faith, and sometimes critic of Mormon society, dies at his home in Provo, Utah at age 94. Coincidentally on the same day the New York Times runs an article about a book by his daughter, Martha Nibley Beck, titled LEAVING THE SAINTS: HOW I LOST THE MORMONS AND FOUND MY FAITH. In the book the daughter, who had resigned from the Church, accuses her father of ritual sexual abuse of her when she was a child. The accusations are based upon "recovered memories" that Beck had (some while undergoing therapy involving hypnosis) over a decade previously. The article states "Dr. Beck's seven siblings have condemned her assertions and have hired a psychologist and lawyer who has worked on lawsuits against therapists practicing recovered-memory therapy."

30 years ago today - Feb 24, 1985

SALT LAKE TRIBUNE article tells of Darla Tarrant's attempt to become excommunicated from LDS church. Tarrant, a teminally ill widow, wishes to sever any connections with LDS church before she dies. In writing, she asks three bishops three different times to be formally excommunicated. Her requests, however, are responded to with "vague excuses" and "the same patronizing response of having my wish ignored." Because of Tarrant case and case of Norman Hancock in Mesa, Arizona who sues the church to be allowed to resign his membership, procedures for membership resignation are put in the 1989 edition of the CHURCH HANDBOOK OF INSTRUCTIONS.

35 years ago today - Feb 24, 1980

A full- page ad appears in the SALT LAKE TRIBUNE describing Jerald and Sandra Tanner's THE CHANGING WORLD OF MORMONISM. The ad draws attention to changes in the Church's position on such matters as polygamy and the granting of the priesthood to blacks and thereby questioned the consistency of the prophetic leadership of the Church. Two days later Ezra Taft Benson gives a speech at BYU, in which he dismisses the issue of conflicting past and present policies by declaring that the words of living prophets supplant or make moot the directives of past prophets.

55 years ago today - Feb 24, 1960

Counselor J. Reuben Clark tells BYU's president: "You have got some members of the faculty who are destroying the faith of our students. You ought to get rid of them"

65 years ago today - Feb 24, 1950

The last two missionaries of the Czechoslovakian Mission were released from prison after 27 days and expelled from communist Czechoslovakia.

[Source: Church News: Historical Chronology of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, http://www.ldschurchnewsarchive.com/articles/58765/Historical-chronology-of-The-Church-of-Jesus-Christ-of-Latter-day-Saints.html]

70 years ago today - Feb 24, 1945

DESERET NEWS "CHURCH NEWS" prints letter concerning DLS captain Denmark C. Jensen of Idaho during U.S. invasion of Philippines: "The next day-Christmas Day-Mark issued the same order [to his men], that they were not to kill any Japs they found but to send for him. During the course of the day another Jap was located with his rifle by his side, bathing his feet in a small mountain stream. They called Mark and unobserved he crept up on the Jap, took his rifle away from him and led his captive down to his waiting men." Captain Jensen explains that "it just didn't seem right to kill even a Jap on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day-the time we have set aside to commemorate the birth of our Lord and Savior."

100 years ago today - Feb 24, 1915

In an affidavit to Church Historian Andrew Jenson Josephine Sessions describes how her mother, faithful Mormon and polyandrous wife of Joseph Smith, Sylvia Sessions (Lyon), on her deathbed told her daughter of her true parentage: "Just prior to my mothers death in 1882 she called me to her bedside and told me that her days on earth were about numbered and before she passed away from mortality she desired to tell me something which she had kept as an entire secret from me and all others but which she now desired to communicate to me. She then told me that I was the daughter of the Prophet Joseph Smith, she having been sealed to the Prophet at the time that her husband Mr. [Windsor P.] Lyon was out of fellowship with the Church."

[Source: Affidavit to Church Historian Andrew Jenson, 24 Feb. 1915]

135 years ago today - Feb 24, 1880

Pres. Jensen referred to the condition of some of the High Priests in the Malad Ward who were contending one with another concerning some point of doctrine, which they did not understand. The point in dispute being, was Adam our God, some taking the affirmation and some the negative of the question.

[Source: Minutes of the High Priests Quorum", p. 86; Box Elder Stake as quoted in Quotations Dealing with the Relationship of Our First Earthy Parents to Our Heavenly Parents (1830-1978)]

145 years ago today - Feb 24, 1870

As a matter of course the people desired to see and hear President Young. No meeting was complete unless he spoke. He seldom led in speaking; but the cap-stone was laid by him. Usually all present were silent, all who were out came indoors, and the indifferent listeners woke up. The great leader cut right and left, handling the subjects affecting the interests of the people with a fearless, decisive dignity, which unmistakably indicated his broadminded views of the people's needs. -- American Fork, Utah

[Source: Improvement Era. LDS Church. Salt Lake City, 1897-1970. 3:4 as quoted in The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, Ed. Richard S. Van Wagoner, Smith-Pettit Foundation, Salt Lake City (2009), http://bit.ly/BY-discourses]

155 years ago today - Feb 24, 1860

President Young in the course of his remarks alluded to the zeal of Hyrum Smith Brother of the Prophet, in his views of the word of wisdom. who prophesied that every Saint who chewed tobacco would apostatize. President Young observed he prophesied by Hyrum Smith and not by the Spirit of the Lord. and that he (Hyrum) would eat about 3 lb. of fat pork in a day; and yet be so severe upon a tobacco chewer; upon other points observed the President Hyrum Smith was a man of knowledge. Once Joseph told his Brother Hyrum if he would suffer him to dictate [to] him he should lead the Church to Hell; and he would frequently sit and sneer at the remarks of Bro. Hyrum, which were frequently delivered to the congregation when they were weary with the remarks of the preachers that had preceded him.

[Source: 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 as quoted in The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, Ed. Richard S. Van Wagoner, Smith-Pettit Foundation, Salt Lake City (2009), http://bit.ly/BY-discourses]

165 years ago today - Feb 24, 1850

[Wilford Woodruff] ... I felt the spirit of God like fire shut up [in] my bones as I spoke upon the things of the kingdom of God.

[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 - Feb 24, 1840. Monday.

[William Clayton] ... Have advised the Saints to give up the practice of kissing.

[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://amzn.to/william-clayton]

180 years ago today - Feb 24, 1835

[Patriarchal Blessing of Jared Carter given by Joseph Smith, Sr.] ... if necessary thou shalt pass through the fire without being harmed; for the Lord hath spoken unto thee, and thou need not fear. Thou shalt proclaim the gospel to the ends of the earth, even to nations thou knowest not of, if thou desire it, and proclaim to them in their own language. ... And thou shalt stand upon the earth till the heavens shall be revealed and the Son of Man descends in flaming fire.

[Source: Patriarchal Blessing Book 1:28-29 as quoted in Early Patriarchal Blessings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Joseph Smith Sr. (Author), H. Michael Marquardt (Editor), http://amzn.to/rCBHVe]

20 years ago today - Feb 23, 1995

The Hawaii Public Affairs Council issues a news release under LDS Church letterhead. In it church spokesperson Ms. Napua Baker announced that the Church had decided to petition the court to be admitted as codefendants with the state in the Baehr v. Lewin case in order to protect freedom of religion to solemnize marriages between a man and a woman under Hawaiian law.

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

50 years ago today - Feb 23, 1965

[Hugh B. Brown] "All of us are one hundred percent against Communism in all its phases, but the leaders of the Church are not convinced that any conspiracy exists within our own country."

[Source: Brown & Benson; Brown to Mrs. W. E. Daddow, 23 Feb. 1965, LDS archives, photocopy in my possession. See D. Michael Quinn, "Ezra Taft Benson and Mormon Political Conflicts", Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 26:2 (Summer 1992) for full cite and context.]

80 years ago today - Feb 23, 1935

[Heber J. Grant] I note from your letter of the 20th, that your husband is working for the S.E.R.A. and is earning $12.00 a week; that there are five in your family and you are expecting a new arrival soon. You ask if tithing should be paid on your husband's income.

The question of tithing is one between the individual and the Lord and you must do what you think the Lord would have you do. The law of tithing is given in the Doctrine & Covenants, and I refer you particularly to Section 119 in this connection. ...

[Source: Heber J. Grant, Letter to Zola Zena, 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]

80 years ago today - Feb 23, 1935

[Heber J. Grant] ... Of course no hard and fast line can be drawn, and where people desire to take a small quantity of [concecrated] oil inwardly in connection with the administration it should be permitted; but it must be emphasized that it is no part of the administration for the healing of the sick.

Where people desire to take consecrated oil from time to time for their health, as is the case with Sister Porter, we see no objection whatever to their doing so; ...

[Source: Heber J. Grant and J. Reuben Clark, Letter to Joseph F. Merrill, 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]

115 years ago today - Friday, Feb 23, 1900

[Apostle John Henry Smith] I went through the Temple for my 7th great uncle William Smith and, and my sister, Elizabeth Smith Cartwright for his wife and we had them sealed. Prest. Joseph F. Smith and his family acted for some of his children, and all were adopted to the Prophet Joseph Smith.

[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]

175 years ago today - Feb 23, 1840

[Brigham Young] At the last meeting I held, I told the people I was on a mission to England with my brethren; I had never asked for a dime in all my preaching, but we had not sufficient means to proceed, and if any one wished to contribute to help us, I would thankfully receive it. -- Long Island, New York

[Source: Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 1801- 1844. Elden J. Watson, ed. Salt Lake City: Smith Secretarial Service, 1968.:67 as quoted in The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, Ed. Richard S. Van Wagoner, Smith-Pettit Foundation, Salt Lake City (2009), http://bit.ly/BY-discourses]

15 years ago today - Feb 22, 2000

Three days before his suicide, Stuart Matis wrote a letter to the student newspaper at Brigham Young University, from which he graduated in 1994, urging students to harbor more tolerance toward gays.

"I am gay. I am also LDS. I realized the significance of my sexuality when I was around 13, and for the next two decades, I traveled down a tortuous path of internalized homophobia, immense self-hatred, depression and suicidal thoughts. Despite the calluses on my knees, frequent trips to the temple, fasts and devotion to my mission and church callings such as Elders' Quorum president, I continually failed to attenuate my homosexuality," Matis wrote. " . . . I read a recent letter to the editor with great regret. The author compared my friends and me to murderers, satanists, prostitutes and pedophiles. Imagine having to live with this rhetoric constantly being spewed at you."

[Source: Timeline of Mormon Thinking About Homosexuality, http://rationalfaiths.com/timeline-of-mormon-thinking-about-homosexuality/]

45 years ago today - Feb 22, 1970

First Presidency writes: "We may say that there is no direct revelation upon the subject of when the spirit enters the body; it has always been a moot question. That there is life in the child before birth is an undoubted fact, but whether that life is the result of the affinity of the child in embryo with the life of its mother, or because the spirit has entered it remains an unsolved mystery."

140 years ago today - Feb 22, 1875

[Apostle Wilford Woodruff] This is not ownly the birth day of George Washington But it was the day when the first Couple of Lamanites were together as man and wife for time & Eternity at the Altar in the Endowment House according to the Holy Priesthood in the last dispensation & fulness of times. Wilford Woodruff Sealed at the Altar two Couple of Lamanites. The first Couple was Indian Named OhetoCump But Baptized and Sealed by the name of James Laman. His wife Named Mine [Minnie]. 2d Couple Isiqwich & Mogogah.

[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 - Feb 22, 1865

Brigham Young receives confirmation of the Church's purchase of 6,500 acres of land on the island of Oahu, Hawaii "thirty miles from Honolulu." The price is "$14,000 in gold" to be paid off in two years. "This purchase contains 600 head of cows, worth $8 per head, 500 head of sheep [at] $1.50 per head, 250 goats [at] 75 cts, 20 horses [at] $5, also hoags chickens, turkeys, guinea hens, & peacocks. Had 5 acres of cotton looking well. This is the best peace of ground on the island."

155 years ago today - Feb 22, 1860

DESERET NEWS article, "How to Impress Niggers." The end of a talk by Orson Pratt appears on the second page of the DESERET NEWS. The talk, which was scheduled to run on the first page, was removed by order of Brigham Young but the second page had already been printed. The sermon had been a confession by Pratt of his errors in differing with Brigham Young. Young, however, was unsatisfied with it and called Pratt before the rest of the apostles for further confession. The main point of contention is Young's doctrine that God continues to increase in knowledge. In 1980 Apostle Bruce R. McConkie calls Brigham Young's doctrine on this "false-utterly, totally, and completely. There is not one sliver of truth in it," and lists it first among "seven deadly heresies."

170 years ago today - Feb 22, 1845

[Hosea Stout] ... met Bishop Miller, when we three went to the Temple while consulting on matters pertaining to our safety and also the manner to pursue to rid ourselves of traitors who are in our midst seeking our lives. From thence Brother Harmon & myself went to Br C. C. Richs and talked the same matter over again while we were all going down at the flat. Br Rich went to the High Council and we went to the Lodge room and locked ourselves up and talked over some particular matters reletive to our Eternal exaltation in the Kingdom of God and the absolute necessity of the brethrens being united and maintaining our integrity to each other. We both were highly pleased with our interview and went on our way rejoicing.

[Source: Diaries of Hosea Stout]

95 years ago today - Feb. 21, Mon. [1920]

[James E. Talmage] ... the branch hitherto known as the West Tintic branch of the Tintic Stake of Zion was disorganized. Thus all semblance of Church supervision in the affairs of that unfortunate little group of people has been taken away.

When, more than a year ago, reports reached the First Presidency, to the effect that the people in West Tintic had undertaken to establish the "United Order", they to have all things in common and to abolish all private ownership, I was appointed to investigate the matter. As a result of my first visit to the Tintic Stake with this as one of my appointed duties, I reported the facts as I found them, which were briefly these: That Moses Gudmundson, who was the leader and dominating figure in the movement, denied all intention of going ahead of the Church, specifically in the matter of attempting to start a colony according to the United Order plan; that I did not believe his protestations, but on the other hand was convinced that the people of West Tintic, then organized into an independent branch in the Tintic Stake, were being led by an evil influence.

Many other investigations have followed; and we have found to our sorrow that what we saw as the inevitable development of evil unless the people placed themselves in strict harmony with the order and government of the Church, had become a reality, namely, erotic ideas and practises [sic] concerning the marital state and the sexual relation. The best I can say of the people is that they have become fanatical through the power of evil. They have made sacrifice their hobby. The eating of meat, the taking of animal life even to provide food, and many other practises common with other people have been forbidden there; while long fasts and particularly the sacrificing of comforts and wholesome desires have been held up as ideals. Now they have reached the abominable status of men sacrificing their wives to other men; and by this means they have put themselves subject to the punishment provided for by the law of the land. The present state is one of abominable immorality. Some of the women, notably the wife of Moses Gudmundson, and the wife of Gerald Lowry, withdrew promptly from the colony rather than countenance to any degree these ungodly practices. I believe that the judgment of the High Council in these cases is just; and that others than those already tried are involved. ...

[Source: James E. Talmage Journal, Transcription reproduced by Trevor Antley, Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University]

115 years ago today - Feb 21, 1900

George P. Frisby and George D. Cole of Church of Christ, Temple Lot ("Hedrickite"), meet with First Presidency, Quorum of Twelve Apostles, and Presiding Bishopric. Elders Frisby and Cole propose that their church, LDS church , and RLDS church each send four delegates to jointly agree on construction of temple at Independence, Missouri. After discussion of pros and cons, President Lorenzo Snow decided against proposal because "he naturally feared some trick being played against us." However, he is willing to pay travel expenses of Hedrickite elders.

120 years ago today - Feb 21, 1895

[President Wilford Woodruff] 21 I met with the Twelve in the Temple. The Doctrins of <[---]> was Discused in one of his sermons about The Apostles not Having the Gift of the Holy Ghost untill after the death of the Savior.

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

120 years ago today - Thursday, Feb 21, 1895

[John Henry Smith] The question of the character and operation of the Holy Ghost was taken up, the matter being brought forward by Prest. G. Q. Cannon over a sermon of Prest. J. F. Smith on that subject.

No decision being reached by the Council, although several spoke.

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

145 years ago today - Feb 21, 1870

Gov. Brigham Young delivered a short written Message & an oral one. He spoke plain. These are interesting & important times. All the United States as it were are at war with us trying to pass Bills through Congress to destroy us for our religion. -- Salt Lake City

[Source: Wilford Woodruff's Journal. 9 Vols. Scott G. Kenney, ed. Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1983-85. 6:529 as quoted in The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, Ed. Richard S. Van Wagoner, Smith-Pettit Foundation, Salt Lake City (2009), http://bit.ly/BY-discourses]

155 years ago today - Feb 21, 1860

Brigham Young visits the Historian's office and requests five books be written including "Short Biography of the life of Brigham Young." Young also orders the DESERET NEWS to "take out Orson Pratt's sermon" from the front page and "put another sermon in instead and give a reason for so doing."

180 years ago today - Feb 21, 1835

The final three of the first Twelve Apostles of the church (Parley P. Pratt, Thomas B. Marsh and Orson Pratt) are ordained and blessed. Joseph Smith then gives the Twelve their charge before sending them out as missionaries. He says, "Should you in the least degree come short of your duty, great will be your condemnation, for the greater the calling, the greater the transgression. . . .Never cease striving until you have seen God, face to face. Strengthen your faith, cast off your doubts, your sins and all your unbelief and nothing can prevent you from coming to God. Your ordination is not full and complete till God has laid his hand upon you." Parley P. Pratt's blessing states " that nothing shall prevail against him, . . . Let sickness and death have no power over him; . . . No arm that is formed and lifted against thee shall prosper, . . ."

95 years ago today - Feb. 20, Sunday [1920]

[James E. Talmage] Complaints of wicked and dangerous teachings and practises [sic] had been made against Moses S. Gudmundson, J. Elvan Houtz and others; and the Council of the Presidency and Twelve had directed that President Clawson and I be present at the trial. The case of J. Elvan Houtz was called first. His trial was followed by that of David Whyte. The testimony adduced proved conclusively that these men and other residents of the West Tintic branch had been so far misled as to disregard the sanctity of the marriage obligation, as administered in the Temples, and had adopted a system of "wife-sacrifice", whereby men were required to give up their wives to other men, and this under a diabolical misinterpretation of Scripture as to the law of sacrifice requiring one to give up all he has, even wife and children. At the evening session, which lasted until a late hour, Gerald Lowry, who had refused to answer certain questions put to him in the afternoon meeting, and who defiantly showed his disregard of the authority of the High Council, was by formal action and unanimous vote disfellowshiped from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

[Source: James E. Talmage Journal, Transcription reproduced by Trevor Antley, Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University]

115 years ago today - Tuesday, Feb 20, 1900

[Apostle John Henry Smith] Salt Lake City

I called upon Prest. Lorenzo Snow. He was pleased to see me.

He told me there were two brethren of the Hedrekite church wanted to form a combination with us and the Reorganized Church to build a Temple at Independence, Mo.

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

145 years ago today - Feb 20, 1870

Brigham Young preaches, "Now the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes every word of truth believed in by the holy Catholic Church."

145 years ago today - Feb 20, 1870

[Brigham Young] '... Oh dear, it makes me blush!'" Yes, it makes one think of a little circumstance that transpired with one of our Elders who went after machinery to Massachusetts. He went to inquire about machinery for a cotton factory, and the gentleman to whom he applied said, '"Where are you from?'" '"Utah.'" '"O, you are out among the Mormons?'" '"Yes.'" '"Are you a Mormon?'" '"Yes.'" '"Well, I believe,'" said the interrogator, '"you, out there, believe in having more wives than one?'" '"Yes, that is true,'" said the Elder. '"Well,'" said the gentleman, '"I want you to come up and see my partner.'" So our brother was invited up to see the partner of the gentleman who had questioned him so closely, in order to talk a little about the number of people here, and the improvements, etc. The first thing, on meeting the partner, was to pitch into the '"Mormon'" about how many wives he had, and he replied that '"he had just enough to enable him to keep from troubling his neighbors' wives.'"

[Source: Journal of Discourses. Liverpool, England, 1853-86. 13:233-242; Deseret News. Also Deseret Evening News, Deseret News Weekly, Deseret News Semi- Weekly, and Deseret News Extra, Salt Lake City as quoted in The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, Ed. Richard S. Van Wagoner, Smith-Pettit Foundation, Salt Lake City (2009), http://bit.ly/BY-discourses]

155 years ago today - Feb 20, 1860

[Brigham Young] ... he believed he had as little affection for money as any man that lived, but he valued it for its use. This evening the Chancellor & Board of Regents met at the office to consider the best plan for educating the people. The Deseret alphabet was then discussed. It was proposed that the Regents lecture in the Social Hall, and other places on such subjects which would be favorable to arousing a desire general improvement. Pres. Young lectured on the importance of the Deseret alphabet.

[Source: 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 as quoted 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 - Feb. 20-26, 1840

Elias Higbee sends a series of letters to Joseph about progress in Washington. He relates his efforts in taking the Mormon case before the various congressional committees, and explains many of the opposing viewpoints and rumors he has run into (such as the Mormons had tried to take over the state, and the Mormons were the aggressors). His final letter states that "the decision is against us, or in other words unfavorable, that they believe redress can only be had in Missouri."

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

180 years ago today - Feb 20, 1835

[Patriarchal Blessing of John Murdock by Joseph Smith, Sr] ... Thou shalt have power to bring souls unto Jesus by proclaiming the gospel, till the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ in power and glory. and if thine enemies cast thee into prison it shall not hold thee. If thou cleavest to the Lord and desirest with all thy heart, thou shall be wafted to glory in a chariot of fire like Elijah of old ...

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