10 years ago today - Jul 31, 2004

[Quorum of the Twelve] David B. Haight dies.

[Source: Wikipedia, Chronology of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (LDS Church), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronology_of_the_Quorum_of_the_Twelve_Apostles_(LDS_Church)]

60 years ago today - Jul 31, 1954

CHURCH NEWS publishes Counselor J. Reuben Clark's talk to all LDS seminary and institute teachers in which he declares that "even the President of the Church has not always spoken under the direction of the Holy Ghost."

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

150 years ago today - Jul 31, 1864

[Brigham Young Sermon] The stranger who is ignorant of our history inquires:'"'"Have you the gift of tongues in your Church?'" Yes, and were I to permit it now, hundreds of the Elders and the sisters would rise up in this congregation and speak in new tongues, and interpret as well as the learned of the age; but I do not permit it. Does the gift of prophesy exist with us? This fact is so evident and plain that it appears to us almost a loss of time to talk about it. The present state of affairs and the present unhappy state of our once happy country, I have preached and prophesied of for the last thirty years; and so have thousands of others prophesied before the people of this land that the Almighty would come out in his wrath and vex the nation for persecuting the Priesthood of the Son of God; the fulfilment is too evident to attempt to prove.

[Source: 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 - Jul 31, 1834

Samuel Brown's license is withdrawn for encouraging brethern to speak in tongues.

[Source: Tidd, N. R., "Mormon Chronology, Rev 01 Volume 01" http://bit.ly/tiddchron]

20 years ago today - Jul 30, 1994

Hundreds celebrate the naming of Melissa Coray Peak in eastern California. The peak is named after a Mormon Battalion soldier's wife who had accompanied the battalion on its two-thousand-mile trek.

100 years ago today - Jul 30, 1914; Thursday

Letter read from Mr. P[urley]. A. Baker, president of the Anti-Saloon League of America, to Bro[ther]. Grant, suggesting that Bro[ther]. Grant take charge of the work of the League in Utah. Bro[ther]. Grant said he submitted this letter to the council for consideration of this question.

It was the sense of the Council that it would be an unwise thing for Bro[ther]. Grant to head the temperance cause locally, that it would be better for him to suggest some other person to do this in Utah, and he himself be free to co-operate with such a representative.

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

120 years ago today - Jul 30, 1894

[President Wilford Woodruff Journal] Mrs Anie May Abbott & Husband Called upon us and Exhibited her Peculiar strength & Power in lifting several Men while she [was] a small woman weighing 90 lbs. The gift Came upon her in Childhood.

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

125 years ago today - Jul 30, 1889

L. John Nuttall writes in his diary: "We have information that the U.S. Dist. Arty., Marshall, and Courts purpose arresting the Presidency, Twelve, Presidents of Stakes, Bishops, and leading men generally, and if they do not acknowledge to having put away their plural wives, they will be considered as living in unlawful cohabitation and be punished accordingly."

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

170 years ago today - Jul 30, 1844

[Patriarchal Blessing of Elizabeth Stout by John Smith] ... to have faith to preserve the lives of thy children, until they are old. Thy name shall be had in honorable remembrance to the end of time. Thou shalt have a numerous offspring; the weakest of thy sons shall be like David, yea, to chase a thousand, and two of them shall put ten thousand to flight. ... thou shalt be able to spread a table, to feed thousands; shall have Men servants, and Maid servants to wait on thy Table. Thou shalt live to see the winding up scene of this generation, if thou desire it, shal see the accomplishment of all that the Prophets spoke concerning the latter-day glory, and be fully satisfied ...

[Source: Patriarchal Blessings]

170 years ago today - Jul 30, 1844

[Patriarchal Blessing of Allen Stout by John Smith ] ... Thou shalt live to see the destruction of this ungodly generation. ... Thou shalt have an inheritance in the land of Zion, and shall be able to gather thy thousands and bring them home with thee; and shall be able to feed multitudes of them at thy table. Thou shalt have the privilege of redeeming thy dead and bring them up in the resurrection and reign over them with thy companion and children to all eternity; do all things which you desire and see the winding up scene....

[Source: Patriarchal Blessings]

170 years ago today - Jul 30, 1844

Samuel H. Smith dies from what is reported as "bilious fever," but which his daughter and brother later described as poisoning by Hosea Stout, ordered by Willard Richards. Stout had given "white powder" medicine to Samuel daily until his death. Later Council of Fifty member and physician John M. Bernhisel tells William Smith that anti-Mormons had somehow poisoned his brother. On news of his death, bishop George Miller and Alexander Badlam try to persuade Willard Richards, John Taylor, and George A. Smith to allow the Council of Fifty to organize a First Presidency. Before his death Joseph Smith had named his brother Samuel as his successor in case Joseph and Hyrum were suddenly taken. Apostle William Smith is now the only survivor of Joseph Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith's five sons.

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

55 years ago today - Wed Jul 29, 1959

[David O. McKay Office Journal] President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., called to report that he is better. He says that he is able to walk around a little. State that he is taking "pills, pills, pills," then added: "Do you remember what Sister Richards said about President Stephen L Richards? That he is one of the pill-ers of the Church? (laughter) Well," concluded President Clark, "I am two pill-ers!" (Laughter).

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

85 years ago today - Jul 29, 1929

[Joseph Fielding Smith] Wrote to Elder Guy C. Wilson correcting false doctrine taught to Seminary teaches, in relation to the atonement.

[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]

165 years ago today - Jul 29, 1849

[Brigham Young Sermon] In a public meeting President Young reproved those persons who were lounging around and wasting their time in trading and speculation while their families were in wretchedness, and their corn and wheat were dropping onto the ground, and requested them to go to work. [Salt Lake City - Brigham Young, the man and his work 135-136]

[Source: Elden J. Watson, ed. Brigham Young Addresses, 1801-1877: A Chronological Compilation of Known Addresses of the Prophet Brigham Young, 6 vols. (Salt Lake City: Privately published, 1971)]

20 years ago today - Jul 28, 1994

The First Presidency announces the sending of a relief package worth $760,000 to Rwanda, including emergency supplies and funds to deliver the supplies.

40 years ago today - Jul 28, 1974

NEW YORK TIMES reports lawsuit by NAACP against LDS church. Since church's Boy Scout program gives troop and post leadership to only boy-leaders in LDS Aaronic Priesthood, this discriminates against African-American Boy Scouts, who are denied preisthood ordination by LDS policy. LDS Scout policy changes within months, and lingering discrimination question becomes moot in four years. This evening Judiciary Committee of U.S. House of Representatives votes to approve first of three articles of impeachment against President Richard M. Nixon. Only Mormon on committee, Democrat Wayne Owens of Utah, votes for all three. As final act of Watergate break-in scandal, Nixon resigns within days rather than wait for certain impeachment by entire house and conviction-expulsion by Senate. Mormon D. Todd Christofferson is clerk for Watergate trial judge John J. Sirica throughout Watergate proceedings, and becomes general authority in 1993.

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

140 years ago today - Jul 28, 1874

[Patriarchal Blessing of Jacob Hamblin given by David Tyler on July 28, 1874] ... Satan has laid many plans to destroy thee, but thy guardian Angiles [Angels] have delivered thee out of his power; they will continue to deliver thee until the fullness of thy work is accomplished upon the earth and if thou dost desire it, with all thy heart thou shalt live to behold thy redeemer in the flesh.

...Thou shalt lead thy thousands in the redemption of Zion and behold her waste places built up never more to be thrown down. Thy influence with the Lamanites shall increase until thy word shall be unto them as the word of God. Those Nephites who have remained upon the earth shall minister unto thee.

... Thou shalt be one of the hundred and forty-four thousand who ascends to the God head. ...

[Source: Patriarchal Blessings]

170 years ago today - Jul 28, 1844

[Apostle Wilford Woodruff Journal] Elder B. Young expressed his feelings to me upon a variety of subjects. Among others wished me to keep an account of things as he should look to me for his Journal some day. ...

[Lyman Wight] informed me that Joseph told him while they were in Joal [Jail] that he should not live to see forty years but told him not to reveal it untill he was dead.

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

105 years ago today - 105 years (in 1 days) - Jul 27, 1909; Tuesday

I have read an article in the [Salt Lake] Tribune today stating that Elder Alpha J. Higgs has left the country with a plural wife whom he has taken lately. It goes on to state that there are others in the church who have taken wives lately, and that there is being an investigation of the matter by the First Presidency with the view to finding out the facts in the case and then there will be some of them excommunicated from the church.

I have heard from reliable sources that there is really an investigation going on, to find out who has been taking plural wives contrary to the "manifesto" and the rulings of the church. The quorum of the Apostles are at work on the matter and there seems to be very strong sentiment expressed among them that they intend to take the office from every man who has done so. And there is a statement afloat that they will be cut off the church.

Now, there is something in that course of procedure that I cannot understand clearly. Though I do not sit in judgment on the Authorities of the church for what they are doing in the matter, but I cannot understand why such drastic measures should be employed by them in dealing with the case. If the principle was ever true, it is still true, and there are many who are placed in jeopardy by the investigation, because they have been in that order of marriage for years without infrinting on the "Manifesto" further than to continue living with their plural wives. It looks to me that it is as great a sin to continue living with those wives as it is to take others later, where it has been done with a desire to serve the Lord. Still, I shall not sit in judgment on my leaders, but will wait the results of their labors.

[Source: James D. Cummings, Diary]

115 years ago today - 115 years (in 1 days) - Jul 27, 1899; Thursday

The President [Snow] now directed the attention of the Council to the position the Church should take in the prosecutions against polygamists that were now going on and were likely to continue. The subject was considered at great length, and it was the general sense of the meeting that each case must stand on its own merits

and be regarded as a personal matter. Such was the substance of the testimony of the First Presidency and those Apostles who appeared before the Master in Chauncery, in August 1891. It was decided, however, in order to show that polygamy was not on the increase, to get the Presidents of Stakes to collect statistics, giving the number of polygamists when the Manifesto was issued, and the number existing now.

A communication was read, signed by John Henry Smith and Matthias F. Cowley, a committee appointed some time ago to ascertain how cheaply the Book of Mormon and other Church works could be printed. On motion, the communication was received, to be acted upon hereafter. ...

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

115 years ago today - 115 years (in 1 days) - Thursday, Jul 27, 1899

[Apostle Rudger Clawson Diary] In view of the charge of adultery brought by our enemies against Apostle H. J. Grant, and the possibility of the Presidency and Twelve being called in as witnesses, there was some discussion as to what attitude it would be best for the brethren to assume. It was finally decided that the matter be left to each one to answer according to the whisperings of the Spirit of the time.

[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]

115 years ago today - 115 years (in 1 days) - Jul 27, 1899

[Apostle Marriner W. Merrill Diary] and 28.--Thursday and Friday. Richmond. I am looking after the haying; have three mowers running; got done hauling hay at the mill yesterday; had only 20 loads there this year. I go to South Farm this evening and to Logan tomorrow. Got done cutting on Hobson Twenty today and on Fox Twenty yesterday and on Lewis Twenty today. All the machines are cutting in the Big Field this afternoon.

[Source: Notes from the Miscellaneous Record Book, 1886-1906: Selected diary notes from the journal books of Marriner Wood Merrill, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

120 years ago today - 120 years (in 1 days) - Jul 27, 1894

[President Wilford Woodruff Journal] 27 Spent the day in the office. Had an interview with Mrs Abbot & her Husband. She had a gift from Childhood of a power like Electricity. She weighed about 90 lbs. She Could lift several Men at the same time. She Could place a Child on the floor & no man was strong Enough to lift it up. She Exhibited her Strength at Saltair for one week.

[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 - 120 years (in 1 days) - Friday, Jul 27, 1894

[Apostle John Henry Smith Diary] Ogden

Sarah and I went to Ogden. Lorin Farr is 74 years old. Some 91 persons met at his residence and chatted and feasted. We had a very nice time.

[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]

130 years ago today - 130 years (in 1 days) - Sunday, Jul 27, 1884

[Apostle John Henry Smith Diary] Steamer Wyoming and Cork, Ireland

Weather fine. I bid goodbye for the present to my wife and son and friends and I went ashore. I at once took train for Cork and upon arrival I stopped at the Imperial Hotel. I hired a jaunting car and drove to Blarney Castle and put my hand on the celebrated Blarney stone but did not kiss it as travelers usually do.

[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]

165 years ago today - 165 years (in 1 days) - Jul 27, 1849

[Hosea Stout Diary] Frid & Sat 27 & 28th. At home & trading for coffee &c of the emegrants.

[Source: Diaries of Hosea Stout]

10 years ago today - Jul 26, 2004

Associated Press article about DNA research into the origins of Native Americans. Conclusion that Native Americans migrated from Mongolia/Siberia and not from Jerusalem leads apologetic Mormon scholars to contradict long-standing teaching and even scriptural references that Lamanites are the "principal ancestors" of Native American peoples and suggest that entire Book of Mormon concerns only a small, localized population that eventually died out. Former LDS bishop and geneticist Simon Southerton is featured in article. He says, "given the state of DNA research and increasing lay awareness of it, church leaders ought just to own up to the problems that continued literal teachings about the Book of Mormon present for American Indians and Polynesians. . . They should come out and say, 'There's no evidence to support your Israelite ancestry;' I don't have any problem with anyone believing what's in the Book of Mormon. Just don't make it look like science is backing it all up." The article is printed in many newspapers across the United States and around the world.

[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 26, 1939

[President Heber J. Grant Diary] Sister Bennion, wife of Major Howard Bennion, called and had a lot of questions to ask about Joseph Smith's practice of polygamy, Brigham Young, and other things. I had a pleasant visit with her and told her all I knew was that the Prophet or Brigham Young never did anything but what was right so far as marrying people was concerned. Told of my own mother's experience, etc., etc. I told her that when people started to finding fault, they were on the wrong track.

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

150 years ago today - Jul 26, 1864

First foundation stones laid for the Salt Lake Tabernacle.

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

180 years ago today - Jul 26, 1834

[Helen Mar Kimball] It was Sunday when the news came to Kirtland of the death of the brethren [of Zion's Camp] from cholera, and the Saints were quietly dispersing from afternoon meeting. ... . The scene that followed no pen can describe; the shrieks and cries of the bereaved were heartrending, and made a vivid and lasting impression upon my mind. ...

At this time the brethren were laboring night and day building the house of the Lord. Elder Rigdon, when addressing the brethren upon the importance of building this house, spake to the effect that we should use every effort to accomplish this building by the time appointed; if we did, the Lord would accept it at our hands, and on it depends the salvation of the Church, and also of the world.

[Source: Whitney, Helen Mar, Jeni Broberg Holzapfel, and Richard Neitzel Holzapfel, A Woman's View: Helen Mar Whitney's Reminiscences of Early Church History, Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997]

75 years ago today - Jul 25, 1939

[President Heber J. Grant Diary] I went directly to the hospital having been told by my son-in-law, who met us at the depot, that Brother McKay had just telephoned to him that Brother Melvin J. Ballard was in a dying condition and he doubted that he would be alive when I reached the hospital. I went directly to the hospital. President Clark was there and we called in Brother Ballard's room. His wife and children were there and they asked us to dedicate Brother Ballard to the Lord feeling that he ought to be relived (sic) of his pain. I do not think he recognized us. His eyes glared, and I felt that I just could not utter a prayer dedicating him to the Lord. He is the first man that I nominated to be an apostle, and I asked Brother Clark to comply with the request of his family. I was impressed by his putting a good, strong if in his prayer, if his time had come that he might go quickly, otherwise that he might be healed. I remained there about three-quarters for an hour expecting him to pass away. Then I excused myself and went hom (sic) for breakfast.

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

80 years ago today - Jul 25, 1934

[President Heber J. Grant Diary] Glen Smith, a son of the late Apostle John Henry Smith, called, and I had a long talk with him telling of the reasons that led to the dropping of John W. Taylor and Matthias Cowley from the Quorum of the Apostles and entered into detail regarding my interviews with Cowley. When he left he expressed pleasure at my explanation of things and said he felt first-class about the status of things, for which I was grateful.

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

115 years ago today - Tuesday, Jul 25, 1899

[Apostle John Henry Smith Diary] One Owens has made an accusation against Heber J. Grant for Adultry for living with his Wife Emily Wells.

[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 - Jul 25, 1899

[Apostle Heber J. Grant Diary] At St Chas saw paper that chg of adultery made against me. At Bloomington teleg Dougall-to me & to Budge--Keep from appearing in public.

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

170 years ago today - Jul 25, 1844

Illinois Governor Thomas Ford writes to the people of Hancock county: "Try your 'Mormon' neighbors again, and if you cannot dwell together in amity, you may at least refrain from injuring each other. . . . Besides, if you are the aggressors, I am determined that all the power of the state shall be used to prevent your success. I can never agree that a set of infatuated and infuriated men shall barbarously attack a peaceful people who have submitted to all the demands of the law, and when they had full power to do so, refrained from inflicting vengeance upon their enemies. You may count on my most determined opposition-upon the opposition of the law, and upon that of every peaceful, law-abiding citizen of the country. . . . I have been informed that the 'Mormons' about Lima and Macedonia have been warned to leave the settlements. They have a right to remain and enjoy their property. As long as they are good citizens they shall not be molested, and the sooner those misguided persons withdraw their warning and retrace their steps, the better it will be for them."

Since it is an election year, feeling is that Ford is only trying to win Mormon votes for the Democratic party.

175 years ago today - Jul 25, 1839

Trial of Thomas B. Marsh's wife for withholding cream strippings from her partner.

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