45 years ago today - Oct 23, 1969

President [N. Eldon] Tanner mentioned proposed changes in the dialogue in the temple rituals, some of which he said had been implemented and some will be implemented on the tape and film that are being prepared. He said that some of these are intended to save repetition and others to clarify the statements made. He said the changes proposed were minor, and mentioned one or two changes as an illustration of what it is proposed to do.

President Tanner said that a few of these suggested changes had been presented to President McKay some time ago by Elder ElRay L. Christiansen and had received his approval.

Elder [Harold B.] Lee said that we must assume that all that has been done is under the inspiration of the Almighty to the Presidency and the Twelve, which is the legislative body of the Church. He said, "If you will tell us that you have that inspiration and you now bring that for our approval, I will have no question, but when you sit down to make changes in some things that we have had for a whole century, I have some reservations."

The brethren discussed at some length the various parts of the ceremony and proposed changes, but there was some opposition expressed to the proposal to make changes at this time, especially without reading carefully and discussing the proposed changes.

Elder [Marion G.] Romney said he had confidence in the President, and that everything he says he would sustain. He also had great confidence in President Tanner and the other brethren, and was willing to rest on their judgment, but he did not want to pass on anything without knowing what it is. He said he was willing to leave it to the committee if it is thought that is what should be done, but if they wanted his opinion on it he had to know what it is, and wouldn't want to vote to pass this as long as there was one person in the Council who questioned it.

[Source: David O. McKay diary, Oct. 23, 1969 as quoted in Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/TempleWorship]

65 years ago today - Oct 23, 1949

President of the Brazilian Mission, Rulon S. Howells, meets with the elders. He announced that the only way the Church would grow in a certain city would be to separate the two blacks and whites, with a white branch using the chapel and the blacks meeting in a home of one of the members. They could be brought back together when the white branch was stronger and the idea of integrated meetings was more acceptable.

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

130 years ago today - Thursday, Oct 23, 1884

[Apostle John Henry Smith] Liverpool

Tonight Miss A. came to see me. She confessed that her Father had been guilty of incest with her when she was only twelve years old. She feels very bad. What is the world coming to, it seems to be one vast charnel house of sin and wickedness.

[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 - Oct 23, 1879

[Apostle Wilford Woodruff] 23 We drove our waggon and Camped at the well of the Oribes. We were soon Surrounded By about 20 Oribes Children from 3 to 18 years of age. All the unmarried girls from 10 years upwards had their hair done up on the side of the head like a pair of horns or large pair of Ears which gives them a strange appearance. This is a sign to the young men that they are ready to marry. ..

There was about to be a marriage in the village and all the men were gathered into the work Shops to spin Cotton warp for a pair of Blankets for the marriage Couple. They spun on spindles they held in their hands and rolled the spindle on their legs. They raised the Cotton themselves and when the Blanket is used the pair sleep under it the first night then laid it away as a sacred garment & never used again until the man dies. Then he is buried in it....

I saw one white Indian Called Albinos man vary white. There are some of this Clan in nearly all of the villages. They are milk white much whiter than Americans. Whether they are Blood of the Anicient Nephites or a freek of Nature I cannot say. They are not vary popular among the Indians. ...

[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 - Oct 23, 1864

George Q. Cannon - A temple shall be reared in the Center Stake of Zion in the generation in which the the revelation was given. (cf. D&C 84 prediction of temple to be built in Zion, Missouri.)

[Source: Journal of Discourses, vol. 10, p. 344 as referenced at the Instutite for Religious Research]

155 years ago today - Oct 23, 1859

Brigham Young said, Brethren, this Council has been called for the purpose of selecting a man to fill the vacancy in the Quorum of the Twelve, and the vacancy in the first presidency of the Seventies. ... The brethren can write their names The brethren can suggest names and the Clerk will write them and read them to us, or they can write their suggestions on paper and hand them to the Clerk. ... There are but few of the Twelve here whom I saw when receiving their charge at the time the Quorum was first organized in Kirtland. Jared Carter, at that time, objected to bro. Brigham said he was like an apple one half of which was sweet, the other half sour.' ...

O. Pratt[:] 'If office in the Priesthood is hereditary as we have instances of anciently, we might select Parley Jun to fill his fathers place.' E. Snow. 'The question arises /are offices/ in the Priesthood hereditary like the Patriarchal office....

Pres[iden]t. Y.[: ']Brethren, if you feel it would be just as right as not for me to nominate, I'll do so. Unanimous vote. I nominate Geo. Q. Cannon to fill the place vacancyin for one of the Twelve and Jacob Gates for one of the Presidency of Seventies.' Amen, responded by several. If you all feel that it is right for Jacob Gates George Q. Cannon to fill the vacancy in the Twelve /signify it by uplifted hand./ [U]nanimous vote. 'If you all feel that it is right for Jacob Gates to fill the vacancy in the Seventies, signify it by the same sign.['] Unanimous vote....

[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]

45 years ago today - Oct 22, 1969

The First Presidency has assigned to the Relief Society the exclusive distribution of authorized pattern garments.

[Source: David O. McKay, Hugh B. Brown, and N. Eldon Tanner to General Authorities and Regional Representatives of the Twelve as quoted in Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/TempleWorship]

110 years ago today - Oct 22, 1904

[First Presidency letter to John W. Taylor] As you are aware, until within a few years ago, the custom prevailed in Canada, Arizona and Mexico for our young people residing in those countries to marry for time only on account of the inconvenience and expense attending a journey to a temple, and that in order to save this great expense, and to encourage marriages among our young people, President [Wilford] Woodruff and President [Lorenzo] Snow, each in his time, authorized some of the Apostles, and perhaps others, to perform sealings for time and eternity in behalf of young couples of those places, and that this authority has been exercised quite freely to the present time. The Council of First Presidency and Apostles have now deemed it expedient and wise to withdraw this authority form those brethren, leaving it solely in the hands of him who holds the keys thereof, and a resolution to this effect has been unanimously passed by the Council. We write you, in connection with all the other members of the Council not present when this action was taken, that you may be informed of the same, and with the request that you will, on receipt of this letter, strictly govern yourself accordingly. We may say also in this connection that there is no objection whatever to your performing the common marriage ceremony in behalf of any who may desire you to serve them in this respect; but in doing so all such couples should be given to understand that their marriage is simply a legal marriage for time only, performed under the laws of the land, and they should be urged to look forward to the time when the way shall be opened for them to come to a temple to be properly sealed and to have their children also sealed to them. [Note: A copy of this letter was sent also to George Teasdale on October 26, 1904.]

[Source: Joseph F. Smith, John R. Winder, and Anthon H. Lund, Letter to John W. Taylor, 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 - Oct 22, 1894

Apostle Abraham H. Cannon records in his journal: "In the forenoon Prince Galatzin of the Russian Imperial Council of State, and Lieutenant General of the Russian army came into the News Office to purchase some books. I was asked in German, which language he speaks fluently, as well as French, where he could see Pres. Woodruff. He desired me to show him the office, which I did, and introduced him to the President and Father, with whom he had some conversation. He was accompanied by a local Catholic priest. To my astonishment he was given permission by Pres. Woodruff to visit the [dedicated Salt Lake] temple under my guidance, and both these gentlemen passed through the holy place, Bishop Winder going with us. They were much struck with the elegance of the place..."

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

135 years ago today - Oct 22, 1879 (Wednesday)

The murderers of Elder Joseph Standing were acquitted by the Circuit Court of Whitfield County, Georgia, after a short trial.

[Source: Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

135 years ago today - Oct 22, 1879

[Apostle Wilford Woodruff] ... When I arived at the well I found an + Ass or Donkey had walked down to the stone steps looking down into the water and Braying for some one to Come & water him. His Call was louder than any animal but an ass Could make. I took my bucket and Carried him several Buckets of water which he drank greedily and when He was Satisfied, He bowed his head as much as to say thank you sir and went off happy. We watered our team returned to the waggon & Camped. 25 M.

[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 - Oct 22, 1874 (Thursday)

The first number of the Utah Scandinav, an anti-Mormon weekly newspaper, was issued in Salt Lake City, in the Danish-Norwegian language. After about three years' run it ceased publication.

[Source: Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

170 years ago today - Oct 22, 1844

The "Great Disappointment" occurred when the return of Christ, predicted by William Miller, failed to happen once again. At least 100,000 disillusioned followers returned to their former churches or abandoned Christianity completely - but many went on establish what would become known as the Adventist Churches.

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

175 years ago today - Oct 22, 1839

[Brigham Young] ... The wind rose about one o'clock in the morning. I went upon deck and felt impressed in spirit to pray to the Father, in the name of Jesus, for a forgiveness of my sins, and then I felt to command the winds to cease, and let us go safe on our journey. The winds abated, and I felt to give the glory and honor and praise to that God who rules all things. ...

[Source: Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 1801-1844, ed. Elden Jay Watson (Salt Lake City: Smith Secretarial Service, 1968).]

185 years ago today - Oct 22, 1829

[Joseph Smith to Oliver Cowdery] Oliver Cowdery writes Joseph Smith about their "Gold Book business" and Josiah Stowell's plans to purchase $500 or $600 of their inventory. "[T]here begins to be a great call for our books in this country the minds of the people are very much excited when they find that there is a copy right obtained and that there is really [a] book, about to be printed[.]"

[Source: Joseph Smith to Oliver Cowdery, 22 October 1829, Joseph Smith Letterbook, 1:9, Joseph Smith Papers, LDS Church Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah., as cited in Dan Vogel, Early Mormon Documents: Joseph Smith To Oliver Cowdery]

35 years ago today - 35 years ago - Oct 21, 1979

Elizapan and Ebisiba Osaka and their children, the first African converts in Kenya, are baptized.

125 years ago today - 125 years ago - Oct 21, 1889

[Apostle Abraham H. Cannon] About 5 p.m. Bro. Jorgason of Sevier Co[unty] desired my counsel as to what course he should take. He was arrested two weeks since on a bench warrant on a charge of polygamy. His first wife died 18 months ago and he has since married his plural wife before a justice of the peace. I advised him to keep his wife out of the way until after his trial, and when his case came up, he should prove the death of his first wife and subsequent marriage to his second. The date of his union with the latter, however, in the house of the Lord, he should not reveal, as it has occurred within three years.

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

130 years ago today - 130 years ago - Oct 21, 1884 (Tuesday)

The jury, which could not agree on a verdict in Rudger Clawson's case, was discharged, and preparations were made for a new trial.

[Source: Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

135 years ago today - 135 years ago - Oct 21, 1879

Thomas Edison tested an electric incandescent light bulb in Menlo Park, N.J., that burned for 13 1/2 hours, marking the beginning of a new era of electric lighting.

[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]

140 years ago today - 140 years ago - Oct 21, 1874

[Assistant First Presidency counselor] G[eorge] Q. Cannon was arested to day on a warrant for Lacivious Cohabitation. This was got up by the miserable wicked ring of Judges & Marshals who profess to be Executing the Law. It is done to keep him from Going to Congress.

[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 - 140 years ago - Oct 21, 1874

Polygamist George Reynolds is approached by First Presidency Counselor George Q. Cannon and told he has been selected to be a test case on the legality of polygamy. Reynolds is arrested, charged, convicted and sentenced to one year in prison. On appeal his conviction is set aside on a technicality, Reynolds's case is re-tried. He is convicted in the re-trial and is sentenced to two years in prison.. His case goes to the U.S. Supreme Court where his conviction, and the legality of the anti-polygamy laws are upheld but the hard labor part of his sentence is overturned as being excessive. With time off for good conduct he serves one year and seven months in prison. In 1890, he is sustained as one of the First Seven Presidents of Seventies.

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

170 years ago today - 170 years ago - Oct 21, 1844

Apostle Orson Hyde, then husband of three wives, writes: "I will now venture a prediction, that since Nauvoo has thrown off so much bile from its stomach [i.e., Sidney Rigdon] it will be more healthy, and less complaints about spiritual wives, adultery, bogus making, &c. &c." The letter is published two months later in a Mormon newspaper.

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

170 years ago today - 170 years ago - After Oct 21, 1844

Alice Felt Tyler describes William Miller's failed prediction of the end of the world:

' ... Preparations for the end were made by countless hundreds of joyous or desperate souls. White cloth was purchased and made into ascension robes. Nearly all secular business was neglected ... Voting was light ... Tents were put up outside cities ... and hundreds of people assembled on the night of October 21 [1844] to keep their vigil together. No provision was made for food ... the tension was intolerable ... There were several suicides, and as the dawn of October 23 served notice that "time continued" regardless of prophecy, some heart-broken Millennialists were led away insane. '

[Joseph Smith had denounced Miller's prophecies]

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

45 years ago today - Oct 20, 1969

While BYU's basketball team is playing University of Wyoming in Laramie, fourteen African-Americans are disqualified from Wyoming's team for wearing black armbands in protest of LDS church's priesthood restriction. Game continues despite objects thrown by spectators at playing floor and audience shouting accusations of racism against BYU's athletes. Wyoming defeats BYU by 33 points.

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

80 years ago today - Oct 20, 1934

[President Heber J. Grant] Joseph M. [?] Cannon called and said that a couple of editorials had been handed to him by the direction of the First Presidency.

I said, 'We have not sent any editorials over for you, Joseph.'

He said, 'I was told you did.'

I said, 'Who wrote them?'

He said, 'Joseph Fielding Smith wrote one of them.' Broyher (sic) Joseph Fielding Smith happened to come into the office at the time and he said Brother Bennion requested a couple of editorials from Brother Widtsoe and himself and that he wrote them.

Joseph Cannon doubted the wisdom of having Church editorials, as we rely on Gentile patronage, etc., and thought that everything of a Church nature should be in the Church Section.

We told him we did not think it would hurt our subscriptions if we had some good Church editorials.

He said of course anything we wanted he wanted. He stayed quite awhile.

I could not help feeling that perhaps he had heard we had decided to release him, but we did not tell him so. ...

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

100 years ago today - Oct 20, 1914

Spencer Woolley Kimball: Mission to central states 20 October 1914-14 December1916.

[Source: Cook, Lyndon W., The Revelations of the Prophet Joseph Smith: A Historical and Biographical Commentary of the Doctrine and Covenants, Seventy's Mission Bookstore, Provo UT, 1985, http://amzn.to/RevelationsofJosephSmith]

125 years ago today - Oct 20, 1889

President Woodruff says church not performing plural marriage.

The Salt Lake Tribune quoted President Woodruff as saying, "I have refused to give any recommendations for the performance of plural marriages since I have been President ... and have instructed that they should not be solemnized." Woodruff had only been sustained President for 6 months before making this statement. President Woodruff authorized the destruction of the Endowment House because the new temples could perform marriages and he needed those doing the demolition to become Mormon voters to vote against the anti-Mormon party in the upcoming city elections.

[Source: "Mormon Polygamy a History", Richard S. Van Wagoner, 1986, p. 138. as quoted in Tungate, Mel, Mormon Polygamy, http://www.tungate.com/polygamy.htm]

160 years ago today - Oct 20, 1854

... Twitch had taken possession of 4 of the horses selling two of them to Levi Abram a mean & contempible Jew who had put them in his stable & refused to deliver them up to Burton on demand Burton called on W[illiam] A. Hickman to assist to recover the horses which had to be done by force. A considerable altercation ensued. The Jew posted to the probate Judge complained that Hickman had drawn a knife also a club on him with intent as he said to take his life. ...

[Source: Diaries of Hosea Stout]

165 years ago today - Oct 20, 1849

[Brigham Young Sermon] ... feel like going to bed more than going to meeting. .... I mean to monopolize the labor here. The Council House walls finished. I have monopolized all the good things of the earth for those who will work for us. I have the right to monopolize.

[Source: Thomas Bullock Minutes, LJA; Thomas Bullock—LDS Church Reporter, 1844-56.C, Archives, Church History Library, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah.; GCM, Archives, Church History Library, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah..; General Church Minutes. Selected Collections from the Archives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints DVD 1 (2002) 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 - Oct 20, 1839

The Nauvoo High Council makes Joseph Smith treasurer of the Church, empowered to set prices and to sell real-estate lots in Nauvoo as well as to discharge other business functions.

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

190 years ago today - Oct 20, 1824

The First Baptist Church in Palmyra welcomes 8 new converts. This is the first of many for the Baptist Church during the revival of 1824-25. For the one year period from Oct 1824 to the end of Sep 1825 there were a total of 94 persons baptized, by the Baptists and an increase of 87 members. Membership increased from 132 to 219 (65 percent). By comparison in the whole year of 1820 there were only eight new members baptized into the church.

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

15 years ago today - Oct 19, 1999

BYU and the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS) sign an affiliation agreement, officially joining the organizations together.

115 years ago today - Oct 19, 1899; Thursday

[First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve minutes] Referring to the inexperience of many, President Smith suggested that some kind of missionary course be provided for the young men, so that they could devote from three to sis months to religious study previous to going, such time to be regarded as part of their missions. He thought that young men prepared in this way would do more good than twice as many without such preparation.

Brother John Henry Smith endorsed President Smith's suggestion, which he considered one of great moment. He added, however, that he thought the young men should receive a year's notice with a view to preparing themselves.

...This matter was dropped without any action being taken.

...President Snow added that the Bishops should not be hard upon the members of their Wards if they did not have faith enough to pay tithing; also that they should use wisdom in refusing recommends to the Temple in case of those who were not tithepayers. ...

Brother Grant also brought up the subject of missionary blessings, stating that our missionaries, as a rule, when being set apart, had their blessings reported, and that it cost them fifty cents each for this service. He proposed that Brother Martin Lindsay, the stenographer, be paid a regular salary by the Church, and that a part of his labor consist of reporting these blessings free. This also was approved by the Council. ...

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

115 years ago today - Thursday, Oct 19, 1899

[Apostle Rudger Clawson] Pres. J. F. Smith stated that brethren going on missions who were over sixty years of age were instructed that, as the church did not require elders beyond that age to take missions, if they were released on account of sickness or physical disability, they would be obliged to bear their expenses home.

[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]

120 years ago today - Oct 19, 1894

Apostle Abraham H. Cannon records that his father, First Counselor in the First Presidency George Q. Cannon: "spoke to me about taking some good girl and raising up seed by her for my brother David." Within days, he has the hearty approval of the two other members of the First Presidency. This polygamous marriage occurs two years later after a long courtship.

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

130 years ago today - Oct 19, 1884

President John Taylor, speaking in Ogden two days after testifying in an anti-polygamy case, says he doesn't want to know anything that he might be asked to divulge on the stand someday: "Therefore I tell them to keep their own secrets, and remember what is called the Mormon creed: 'Mind your own business.' . . . I have studiously avoided knowing any more than I could possibly help about such matters."

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

80 years ago today - Oct 18, 1934

[President Heber J. Grant] Council meeting was held at 10:00. At the regular meeting of the Presidency and Apostles this morning after reading a couple of editorials in last night's News, it was voted to release Brother Joseph J. Cannon as the editor of the Deseret News. There was a general discussion about his attempting to discuss financial and other questions that he knows nothing about in the paper. The general feeling was that while he was a good worker and a very intelligent, fine man, that he had not filled the bill. Brother Stephen L. Richards said it was our own fault that he have been talking about Joseph's editorials not being satisfactory, and he said he was ready to make a promotion to release him. And finally, after some discussion, it was decided to do so and to appoint him President of the British Mission I was very glad for this suggestion; it will be a very nice way to promote him.'

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

80 years ago today - Oct 18, 1934

Oliver Cowdery: Proxy endowment 18 Oct. 1934

[Source: Quinn, D. Michael, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, Appendix 6, Biographical Sketches of General Officers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-47, http://amzn.to/origins-power]

100 years ago today - Oct 18, 1914

Joseph F. Smith and Apostle Francis M. Lyman publicly state that undergarments worn by endowed persons outside temple must "come high up on the neck and down to the wrists and ankles, for that was the pattern revealed from heaven."

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

110 years ago today - Oct 18, 1904; Tuesday

I took Nichol Hood to the Presidents Office and as I entered the north door in to the private office of President [Joseph F.] Smith, there was the president, brother [Charles W.] Penrose and John R. Winder, his counselors and ten of the apostles. And by the way, Nichol Hood loved Brother Penrose and held him as a perfect democrat, and brother Penrose had done many things for Nichol Hood, I said, "President Smith, this is Nichol Hood, the man who has made the charge against you that you gave your consent for his brother John Hood, to take a plural wife." What a surprize to most of the brethren and what a spirit it at once aroused. President Smith was calm and very gracious to Nichol Hood and said, "Brother Hood, bring your chair close to me and let me talk with you. Who and where is your brother John Hood, and tell me just what he said." Nichol Hood said, "My brother John Hood told me that you personally told him you had no objection for him to take a plural wife." And then President Smith said, "Nichol I don't know your brother, I never remember of ever having seen him and if he said

such a thing to you, he is a liar and the truth is not in him. The man is not living, or the man is not dead that could say I ever gave my consent for any one to take a plural wife since the Manifesto." He then spent over an hour going over the history of cases in the church and then said: "We learned from reliable sources that John W. Taylor and Matthias F. Cowley and others were writing and making appointments and were performing polygamous marriages in secret places and intercepted two letters written by John W. Taylor and Matthias F. Cowley and I had them come here to my office and asked: "John W. Taylor, did you write this letter," (handing it to him, in which people were instructed to meet him in a certain secret place and he would marry them in polygamy). He said, "yes President Smith, that is my letter." the president then said, "if you wrote that letter, then sit down right here and write out your resignation as an Apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, right now." And John W. Taylor said, "I have the right to perform such marriages and I will not do anything of the kind." "All right then we will try you, and we tried him for overstepping his authority after the church said such things could not be done and we disfellowshipped him from the church." Then continuing to speak to Nichol Hood, President Smith said, "Brother Matthias F. Cowley did you write this letter," handing it to him, and he said, "Yes President Smith, that is my letter. (in it also were arrangements for certain people to meet him in a certain secret place and he would marry such people in polygamy.) "Then Brother Cowley, sit right down here and write your resignation as an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, and Brother Cowley was tried and DISFELLOWSHIPPED from the church, and that is what we are doing to all who take the law in their own hands."

[Source: John M. Whitaker, Diary]

115 years ago today - Oct 18, 1899; Wednesday

Presidents Lorenzo Snow and Joseph F. Smith were at the office.

...The sum of $41.25 was appropriated to pay the travelling expenses to Utah of Mrs. J. Ellen Foster, whose services in behalf of this community, as a newspaper correspondent and a prominent political leader, our friend judge [George C.] Bartch has been interesting himself to secure. The design is to have her write up the present situation in Utah as an offset to the misrepresentations and lying communications sent to Eastern papers and published throughout the country respecting the polygamous relations of the Mormon people; also to use her influence with prominent Republicans against the proposed constitutional amendment. The lady having signified her willingness to come, the amount named was appropriated to pay her expenses.

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

120 years ago today - Oct 18, 1894

[Apostle Francis M. Lyman] I talked with Pres[ident] Snow upon the Word of Wisdom. He does not seem to look upon it so seriously as some of us do.

[Source: Excerpts of Apostle Francis M. Lyman Diaries, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

170 years ago today - 18 October 1844, Friday

[William Clayton] Saturday 19th. ... Last night I dreamed I was in a nice building in a very pleasant place. I thought I was married to brother Cutlers youngest daughter & she seemed as happy as an angel and I felt full of joy and peace. I thought I had received Miss Cutler in addition to those I had already got. When I awoke I felt disappointed and felt to pray in my heart O God if it be thy will give me that women for a companion and my soul shall praise thee but they will be done and not mine ... Sister Booth tells me that Sara Ann is very unhappy and wants to see me she says Jane Charnock is perfectly unhappy and if there is any way she can be loosed she wants me to take her. Mary Aspen is ready to unite to me as her savior and sister Booth says she shall not risk her salvation in Roberts hands & wants me to interfere We had considerable conversation on many subjects and felt pretty well.

[Source: Fillerup, Robert C., compiler; William Clayton Nauvoo Diaries and Personal Writings, A chronological compilation of the personal writings of William Clayton while he was a resident of Nauvoo, Illinois. http://www.boap.org/LDS/Early-Saints/clayton-diaries]

15 years ago today - Oct 17, 1999

Jerold Ottley, conductor of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for twenty-five years, conducts his last broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word.

125 years ago today - Thurs. Oct. 17th, 1889

[Apostle Abraham H. Cannon] "Pres. W., Father, H.J. Grant, John W. Taylor and myself dressed in our robes, and President Woodruff prayed to open and Father in the circle. This is my first meeting with a prayer circle, and I felt the solemnity of the occasion."

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

155 years ago today - Oct 17, 1859

[Apostle Wilford Woodruff] I received a letter from G.A.S [George A. Smith] in Deseret Alphabet. Informed me there would be a Council with the Presidency Twelve, & the presidency of the Seventies in order to fill up those Quorums.

A man was shot through the head on saturday night. He was found dead in the morning.

I met with the Twelve in the evening at the upper room of the Historians office. The evening was spent in speaking upon the subjects of the Twelve keeping Gentiles Boarders of Having them associateing with our families. Elders E. T. Benson & F. D. Richards Both were keeping Boarders. They both expressed there willingness to dismiss there Boarders as soon as they Could without temperal loss to themselves.

[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 - Oct 17, 1834

En route to Michigan. While on board the steamer Monroe, a man called Ellmer claimed to know about -"Joe Smith-" and insisted, even in the Prophet's presence, that Joseph Smith was a liar and that he was dead.

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