20 years ago today - Jul 23, 1994

CHURCH NEWS story "Members Help Defeat Lottery Initiative" tells how two general authorities coordinate political campaign in Oklahoma where Mormons "make up less than 1 percent of the state's population." LDS Public Affairs officials and their Protestant allies achieve overwhelming defeat of proposal even though "public opinion polls show 75 percent for the initiative" before this Mormon-directed campaign.

[Source: On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com, based on Michael Quinn's Mormon Hierarchy vols 1 & 2]

75 years ago today - Jul 23, 1939

Ben E. Roberts, the son of B. H. Roberts, acknowledges the existence of "A Parallel" in a letter to Mormon attorney and author Ariel L. Crowley. "A Parallel," which was originally eighteen typed pages, presents similarities between Ethan Smith's VIEW OF THE HEBREWS and the Book of Mormon and is arranged in parallel columns. It was presented to Apostle Richard R. Lyman in 1927 and had circulated in the Mormon underground. Copies of the document are passed out in 1946 at the Timpanogos Club of Salt Lake City on in 1946. It is subsequently published in the Rocky Mountain Mason in 1956. VIEW OF THE HEBREWS was published in New York shortly before the Book of Mormon.

[Source: On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com, based on Michael Quinn's Mormon Hierarchy vols 1 & 2]

80 years ago today - Jul 23, 1934

President Ivins reported that Sister Nancy A.C. Williams ... is the wife of ... a grandson of Frederick G. Williams, one of the First Presidency of the Church at the time the Kirtland Temple was erected. She states to President Ivins that they have the papers and have been advised by an attorney that they could recover title to the Kirtland Temple in view of the fact that Frederick G. Williams had deeded the property to the Church for the temple site with the provision that if it were not used for temple purposes they could recover the property at any time. The Presidency requested that the Presiding Bishopric inquire into this situation.

[Source: First Presidency, Meeting with Presiding Bishopric, 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]

90 years ago today - Jul 23, 1924

[President Heber J. Grant Diary] Met Mr. G.A. Marr, attorney in my office this morning shortly after 7 o'clock, and talked with him until after 9. He wrote me a letter some time ago saying he could not understand how in the world I could sustain Guy C. Wilson as president of the L.D.S. Shcool [sic] of Music and L.D.S. High School and Business College, when I knew that he was living in violation of the law, having two families in Salt Lake City. I explained to him that Guy Wilson went to Mexico in good faith to live there, married two wives there, expecting to spend his time in Mexico, that when the rebellion came and he was driven out, that my predecessor saw fit to employ him as president of the L.D.S. University and that I did not feel like discharging him, as he had spent his life preparing himself to teach. I felt that men who had entered into plural marriage in Mexico, by and with the consent of President Diaz and prior to the dropping of John W. Taylor and Matthias F. Cowley as members of the Council of the Twelve, so far as the Church was concerned, ought not to be condemned. He stated that he could not agree with me, but he saw my standpoint, and seemed to feel better than prior to writing his letter.

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

105 years ago today - Jul 23, 1909

[Anthony W. Ivins] [A]t 10 A.M., met with my quorum and continued investigating ... question of plural marriages. Ja[me]s. G. Duffin, Hyrum Grant, Patriarch [Judson] Tolman. [July 21-23, 1909] Investigation new case of plural marriage.

[Source: Anthony W. Ivins 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 - Jul 23, 1889

[Apostle Heber J. Grant Diary] At the Nephi conference nearly all of the remarks of Bro[ther] Morgan and myself were on the necessity of the Saints being united in all things whether political or spiritual.

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

More History?

Want more LDS history? Check out Mormon-Church-History, a comprehensive chronology of church history. It is a tour through church history, covering a little bit each day through the the history of the church. About a dozen chronological entries are posted daily, gradually covering the entire history of the Mormon church over the next several years. More info can be found here: http://mormon-church-history.blogspot.com/2008/12/welcome-to-mormon-church-history.html

75 years ago today - Jul 22, 1939

[President Heber J. Grant Diary] Bishop D.G. Hunt of the Catholic Church called and apologized for some unfavorable things published in the Catholic paper regarding our people. He said he would be willing to publish a refutation of them. I told him I thought perhaps it would be best to just let them alone.

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

115 years ago today - Jul 22, 1899; Saturday

[Anthony Ivins Journal] ... stood on the Temple lot at Independence Missouri. Referred to the law suit bet[ween] the Josephites & Hedrikites for its possession. Said the time would come when the judgments of God would sweep every incumbrance from that land & when we go back to build a city & temple there will be none that will oppose them.

[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]

125 years ago today - Jul 22, 1889

[Patriarchal Blessing of Elisabeth Ruth Dowdle by O. N. Liljenquist on July 22, 1889] I say ... that you may live even until the coming of the Son of Man. ... For you shall see great changes, you shall see te plagues go forth upon the earth, and the great destruction of a great portion of the human race, pass off from this existence due to these plagues, but if you will listen to the still small voice, it shall not hurt thee, you shall have power to rebuke the destroyer. He shall pass your door by, you will have power to sanctify your house and habitation, and exercise a sanctifying influence in many habitations. ...

[Source: Patriarchal Blessings]

130 years ago today - Jul 22, 1884

In Tullahoma, Tennessee, Missionary J. Golden Kimball asks a couple named Sharp for lodging and finds himself in the middle of a marital storm. Mr. Sharp seems to have been running around with a girl of nineteen, and after J. Golden's arrival Mrs. Sharp ventures the opinion that Mormonism would suit Mr. Sharp just fine.

140 years ago today - Jul 22, 1874

[Brigham Young Sermon] It is my last will and testimony to my brethren that in choosing [leaders] for the Legislative Assembly, never choose a lawyer, and to preserve purity and good government, let the jury laws be so made that the persons be from among good honest farmers and machinists, men who labor for a living, to judge the cases; then you will have a good government. -- Salt Lake City

[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.) 9-13-2 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]

170 years ago today - Jul 22, 1844

[Apostle Wilford Woodruff Journal] I lade my hands upon my Father Aphek head (And according to the authority of the Priesthood and Apostleship confered upon me by the Revelations of Jesus Christ under the hands of the Twelve Apostles, President B. Young being mouth upon the cornor stone of the house of the Lord in far west in the land of Zion,) I ordained My father Aphek Woodruff unto the office of an high Priest and Patriarch after the order of Melchezedeck. I sealed him up unto eternal life. I placed upon his head the seals of the covenant. [One and a half lines crossed out and illegible.]

[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 - Jul 22, 1839

Joseph records that "the sick were administered unto with great success, but many remain sick, and new cases are occurring daily." On this day he walks through the sick, healing almost everyone he touches. Wilford Woodruff borrows a silk bandana from Joseph and wipes it on the faces of sick twins, who are immediately healed.

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

10 years ago today - Jul 21, 2004

Elder Neal A. Maxwell dies.

[Source: Wikipedia, 21st Century (Mormonism), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/21st_century_(Mormonism)]

60 years ago today - Jul 21, 1954

The First Presidency announced the establishment of the Church College of Hawaii. The college commenced operation Sept. 26, 1955.

[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 - Jul 21, 1944

U.S. Armed forces begin invasion of Guam. Paul H. Dunn later tells of his experience in the landing: "We jump in the water, the water's chest high. You gotta hold your rifle over your head. If the muzzle drops in the water-that's salt water-it would blow up when you fire. Did you ever try to run in water up to your chest, loaded down? You don't move very fast. And the enemy starts to pick you up. You're pushing with the butt of your rifle the dead bodies and wounded bodies of your friends and associates you've been training with. The coral is so sharp it cuts the boots off your feet and your feet are starting to bleed like mincemeat, and you're trying to get ashore. I was one of the first ashore that morning. And I dug my first foxhole with my fingernails and I crawled in it. And just as I crawled into that mucky hole an ambu gun opens up that shoots about 700 rounds a minute and it went down my right arm and took off my identification bracelet. And I rolled over and started to talk to Heavenly Father. And he answered me. And I have never been the same since." The division history says of the landing, "Fortunately little fire was received, as the enemy was occupied by the Marines now half a mile inland." Two soldiers who were on Dunn's landing craft affirm it was caught on a coral reef during the landing and did not land until the next day. One of them recalls a casualty that happened in connection with the landing: "One died shortly after we landed at Guam. It was an accident. He had laid his gun down on a jeep; it fell off [and discharged]."

75 years ago today - Jul 21, 1939

First Presidency agrees to send no more missionaries to Germany due to danger of "having them thrown into concentration camps, with all the horrors that that entails."

110 years ago today - Jul 21, 1904; Thursday

It was the sense of the meeting, at the suggestion of President [Joseph F.] Smith, that Brother [Charles W.] Penrose's picture be hung on the walls of the temple, and that Brother John Hafen be employed to paint it. ....

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

125 years ago today - Jul 21, 1889

First Counselor in the First Presidency George Q. Cannon preaches: " We are commanded to be subject to the direction of the Holy Spirit when we arise to speak; for if we speak as we should do, it is not we who speak, but it is the Spirit of God which speaks through us. On this account, the Elders of the Church do not, at least as a rule, prepare themselves before hand with either written or memorized sermons, for if they were to do so, they would depart from the order of heaven, and would prove utter failures."

165 years ago today - Jul 21, 1849

Addison Pratt, departing missionary, receives endowment given on Ensign Peak, "the place being consecrated for the purpose."

170 years ago today - Jul 21, 1844 (Sunday)

Addison Pratt baptized four white men and four natives on the island of Tubuai. These natives, whose names were Nabota and his wife Telii, Pauma and Hamoe, were the first of the Polynesian race to embrace the fulness of the gospel.

[Source: Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

105 years ago today - Jul 20, 1909

[Apostle Heber J. Grant Diary] Had a talk with B.H. Roberts and Ida Dusenbury regarding plural marriages that are being performed at the present time and I learned that Brother Cowley was supposed to be quoted as saying that these marriages could be performed today as well as they ever could, and that it was all right to perform them. These reports had come to Brother Roberts and Sister Dusenbury, and I am hoping that they are not true, because if Brother Cowley is saying anything of this kind, it is an outrage, and I would naturally think that after having been dropped from the Quorum of the Twelve, that he would not pressure to make any such remarks. I understand he is a very sick man or I would investigate the case at once.

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

110 years ago today - Jul 20, 1904

DESERET NEWS reports that a young man being sent home early from his mission has attempted suicide by taking carbolic acid and slitting his throat and wrists with a razor.

170 years ago today - Jul 20, 1844

Nearly a month after the assisination of Joseph Smith, dissident 1st counselor William Law writes in a letter: "While the wicked slay the wicked I believe I can see the hand of a blasphemed God stretched out in judgment, the cries of innocence and virtue have ascended up before the throne of God, and he has taken sudden vengeance."

50 years ago today - Jul 19, 1964

Norman Vincent Peale writes in the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: "I will defy anyone, however callous, to come unmoved out of the Mormon exhibit. They show a marvelous motion picture done by top-flight actors that depicts the journey of the human soul from birth to immortality. So glorious is it that the viewer comes out with tears in his eyes, but walking on air." He is speaking of the Church's exhibit at the 1964 New York World's Fair.

[Source: On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com, based on Michael Quinn's Mormon Hierarchy vols 1 & 2]

120 years ago today - Jul 19, 1894

[Francis M. Lyman] It was unanimously decided that we should all use all our influence to have all our people work to secure statehood ...

After meeting Pres[ident] [George Q.] Cannon laid before Pres[ident] Jos[eph] F. Smith, John Henry [Smith] and me the condition of Cannon, Grant & Co[mpany]. Every dollar we invested is swept away and we are left pennyless. Bro[ther] Jos[eph] F. and I put in $25,000 each Pres[ident] Cannon $100,000; bro[ther] [Heber J.] Grant $95,000; John Henry $25,000. It may require even more than our capital to square our obligations. That puts every member of Cannon, Grant & Co[mpany]. flat on their backs financially.

[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]

125 years ago today - Friday Jul 19, 1889

[John Nuttle Diary] Elders John Morgan & Wm Spry called and represented the condition of affairs on the Southern States. There is considerable ill feeling manifest against our Elders in some of the States, notably Mississippi. Pres' Woodruff gave positive instructions to these brethren that where there are such feelings shown the Elders should be permitted and directed to withdraw themselves and wash their feet against the people. It is not necessary and the Lord does not require our Elders to jeopardize their lives in such places. Where Elders are withdrawn they can be sent to more favorable sections, and as some 30 or 35 Elders will be released this coming fall it will not be necessary to fill up their places with new Elders. The labors of the Elders will be taken from the Gentiles and given to the House of Israel.

[Source: Diary Excerpts of L. John Nuttall, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

125 years ago today - Jul 19, 1889

[Apostle Heber J. Grant Diary] Mother called this morning and we had a long talk. I learned that it was the opinion of a great many of the latterday saints that I was filled with pride and that there was nothing in this lie that I cared about so much as I did about making money. It was the opinion of some that the Lord should remove me out of my place as I was so worldly minded and so full of pride. I had no respect for the poor among the people. I regret that any of the saints should have any such an opinion of my as I do not have the feelings that are charged to my account. I have made many thousands of dollars since I was married but I have invested largely in businesses that have not paid, and the reason for the investments was that I desired to aid in establishing enterprises that I considered would be in the interests of the people

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

130 years ago today - Jul 19, 1884

Joseph Fielding Smith is baptized in City Creek in Salt Lake City, the fourth of four future Presidents to be baptized in this location. (He is eight years old.)

140 years ago today - Jul 19, 1874

[Brigham Young Sermon] When the earth was framed and brought into existence and man was placed upon it, it was near the throne of our Father in heaven. And when man fell'"though that was designed in the economy, there was nothing about it mysterious or unknown to the Gods, they understood it all, it was all planned'"but when man fell, the earth fell into space, and took up its abode in this planetary system, and the sun became our light. When the Lord said'"'"Let there be light,'" there was light, for the earth was brought near the sun that it might reflect upon it so as to give us light by day, and the moon to give us light by night. This is the glory the earth came from, and when it is glorified it will return again unto the presence of the Father, and it will dwell there...

We shall go on from one step to another, reaching forth into the eternities until we become like the Gods, and shall be able to frame for ourselves, by the behest and command of the Almighty. All those who are counted worthy to be exalted and to become Gods, even the sons of God, will go forth and have earths and worlds like those who framed this and millions on millions of others...

When the spirit leaves them they are lifeless; and when the mother feels life come to her infant it is the spirit entering the body preparatory to the immortal existence. But suppose an accident occurs and the spirit has to leave this body prematurely, what then? All that the physician says is'"'"It is a still birth,'" and that is all they know about it: but whether the spirit remains in the body a minute, an hour, a day, a year, or lives there until the body has reached a good old age, it is certain that the time will come when they will be separated, and the body will return to mother earth, there to sleep upon that mother's bosom.

[Source: Journal of Discourses. Liverpool, England, 1853-86. 17:139-145; 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]

40 years ago today - Jul 18, 1974

AFRICA TODAY reports that BYU singing group "Brigham Young University Sounds" toured South Africa. The usual name of the group, "Sounds of Freedom" was changed for this trip. The white apartheid government of South Africa thought the word "freedom" might be too politically charged, since it is normally associated with the struggle for black majority rule. The group performed with the South African Defense Forces Band and proceeds from the concerts benefitted the South African Border Relief Fund and the Rhodesian Terrorist Victims' Relief Fund. According to AFRICA NEWS, "Both funds were set up by whites to support military efforts against African [black] guerrilla movements seeking majority rule."

[Source: On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com, based on Michael Quinn's Mormon Hierarchy vols 1 & 2]

65 years ago today - Jul 18, 1949

[Joseph Fielding Smith] I was in session with Elders Harold B. Lee, Marion G. Romney and Bishop Legrand Richards. The first two brethren and I are the members of the publication committee. Bishop Richards has written a book on Gospel principles which he desires to have published for the benefit of missionaries. Each member of the committee went over the manuscript separately and then made a report on the findings. This report contained many suggestions and corrections in the doctrine of this treatise. It took us four hours to consider these matters with the Bishop, some of our conclusions not pleasing him, some of which he felt were vital to his story. In most instances, after considerable discussion we convince[d] him, but in others he was not convinced, but in our united judgment he was in error.

[Source: Joseph Fielding Smith 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]

120 years ago today - Jul 18, 1894

[President Wilford Woodruff Journal] We had a visitation by Cyrus H Wheelock who was Approaching Death by a Cancer on the Tongue & in the mouth. He was the Last Man that left Joseph & Hyrum Smith in Carthage Jail before their Martrdom. We laid hands upon him & Blessed him.

[Wheelock had smuggled guns to Joseph Smith in Carthage Jail]

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

165 years ago today - Jul 18, 1849

[Apostle Wilford Woodruff Journal] I Attended A Prysbeterian meeting. The priest sprinkled A Child & Called it baptism. It was an abomination in the sight 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]

170 years ago today - Jul 18, 1844

[Orson Hyde sermon] ... A word about Br Joseph being killed. Some have thought he could not be killed. But the Lord never said so neither did Joseph say so. ... But as I am in the midst of the Prophetic Editors like Saul I ketch some of the spirit of Prophecy, & so I will prophecy that instead of the work dying it will be like the mustard stock that was ripe that a man undertook to throw out of his garding and scattered seed all over it and next year it was nothing but mustard. It will be so by shedding the blood of the prophets. It will make 10 saints whare their is one now.

... The prophet Joseph may appear in this day to his brethren.

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

80 years ago today - Jul 17, 1934

We all recognize or should recognize at this time that the principle or law of evolution cannot be gainsaid. Whether in the operation of that law the body of man is a product of the same line of ancestry which lies back of other animal forms is of course quite another question. If it be accepted that the body of man came up through the evolutionary process, it still does not follow that al life upon the earth developed from a single germ, which so many rather careless thinkers have insisted upon as being the case, and thereby confuse the issue at stake. If in some other manner, the body of man was brought about the Almighty, I shall still be content. After considerable reading and study and thought, I have come to the conclusion that for one I must hold my judgment with respect to the origin of man in suspense. I am doing this not because of any fear of being in opposition to Church doctrine but candidly because existing facts do not satisfy my mind upon the subject.

[Source: John A. Widtsoe, Letter to Sterling B. Talmage, 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]

120 years ago today - Jul 17, 1894

[President Wilford Woodruff Journal] 17 July 1894 President Cleveland Signed the Bill this day which gave Utah admission into the Union as a State Government. This has been a hard Struggle for years as it had Seemed as though all Earth & Hell had been Combined against the Latter Day Saints Having a State Government. And now we have to Give God the Glory for our admission into the Union.

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

170 years ago today - Jul 17, 1844

[Apostle Wilford Woodruff Journal] I have never shed a tear since I heard of the death of the prophets untill this morning but my whole soul has felt nerved up like steel.

/Elder B. Young arived in Boston this morning. I walked with him to 57 Temple st and called upon sister Voice. Br Young took the bed and I the big Chair, and I here veiled my face and for the first time gave vent to my grief and mourning for the Prophet and Patriarch of the Church Joseph and Hiram Smith who were murdered by a gentile mob. After being bathed by a flood of tears I felt composed.

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

200 years ago today - Jul 17, 1814

William Clayton, hymn composer of "Come, Come, Ye Saints" and secretary to Joseph Smith is born in Penwortham, England.