1 year ago - Oct 31, 2013

Meridian Magazine ("LDS Magazine") publishes an online article, "Are You a Liberal Mormon?" by Joni Hilton. Due to a large number of complaints, the article was pulled from Meridan's website. An official from Meridan Magazine called the artcle "extremely offensive" noting that "James E. Faust was a liberal Mormon too." Of liberal Mormons, Hilton said:

They decided which aspects of our faith to accept or reject, from honoring the Sabbath to wearing less than modest clothing. Basically, it described people who were members of convenience. When they didn’t like something the Prophet said, they felt perfectly fine skirting around that one, and writing their own rules.

... Jack Mormons are obvious about it, tooâ€"you see them staggering out of a bar, or heading into the shopping mall on Sundays.

Liberal Mormons are more slippery. They often attend church, but they’re the ones who dodge Gospel Doctrine class because the teacher is “so by-the-book.” ... why should I attend a class taught by someone so narrow-minded?...

They disagree with several points in the Proclamation to the World (sic), say no to callings that insult their intelligence, and create their own spin on how God will ultimately judge us (very leniently, usually). ...

Invariably liberal Mormons do not read their scriptures every day. They do not attend the temple, they do not show up to help someone move, and they do not Home Teach or Visit Teach with regularity. They view those who do as quaint minions who never question authority and who follow the rules like mindless sheep. ...

Former Young Women President, Elaine Cannon, once said, “When the Prophet speaks, the debate is over.” This is because the prophet is speaking for God and telling us what He would have us hear. He is not just the president of a corporation, giving us his personal views. ...

[Source: Meridian Magazine, "Are You a Liberal Mormon"]

85 years ago today - Oct 31, 1929

[President Heber J. Grant] Dr. Fred Clawson called and asked permission to give a recommend to John A. Groesbeck and his wife to witness the marriage of their daughter. I told him I would give him an answer later in the day. John is a full-tithe-pager and has been for years, but on account of the use of tobacco has never had a recommend to the temple. I think he is a man of absolute honesty and integrity, and personally I have no objection to his witnessing the marriage of his daughter in the temple. [Note: later he, David O. McKay, George F. Richards, and Stephen L. Richards approve the action.]

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

170 years ago today - Oct 31, 1844

Brigham Young (aged 43) marriage to Susanne Snively (1815-1892) (aged 29) first marriage

[Source: Wikipedia, List of Brigham Young's Wives, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Brigham_Young%27s_wives]

170 years ago today - 31st [Oct 1844]

[Letter from Govr. Thos. Ford to Lieut Genl Brigham Young State of Illinois] ... To Lieutenant- General Brigham Young of the Nauvoo Legion


It may be probable that there may be further disturbances in Hancock County by those apposed to the prosecutions against the murderers of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. They may combine together in arms to subvert justice and prevent those prosecutions from going on. They may also attack or resist the civil authorities of the State in that county and they may attack some of the settlements or people there with violence.

The sherriff of the county may want a military force to guard the court and protect it or its officers or the jurors thereof or the witnesses attending court from the violence of a mob.

In all these cases you are hereby ordered and directed to hold in readiness a sufficient force under your command of the Nauvoo Legion to act under the direction of the said sherriff for the purposes aforesaid; and also to suppress mobs which may be collected in said county to injure the persons or property of any of the citizens.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of state the day and year first herein above written. Thos Ford, Governor & Commander-in-Chief.

[Source: Brigham Young Journal # 4 in the handwriting of: William Clayton, Evan Greene, John D. Lee, Willard Richards. First person account kept by others. 'Lieut. Genl Brigham Young's Journal 1844']

125 years ago today - Oct 30, 1889 (Wednesday)

In the Third District Court, Salt Lake City, William C. Dunbar was refused citizenship because he believed in polygamy. Elder Dunbar had lost his citizen's papers, which he obtained many years before.

[Source: Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

110 years ago today - Oct 30, 1904

[Thomas A. Clawson Diary] "Came home with Bro Hamilton G. Park and he told me a little incident in his life when he was with Heber C Kimball which gave the key to Henry Lawrence's apostasy. It began by his taking advantage of the people and charging them outrageojs prices for goods making as high a [as] 15 hundred per cent. Heber C Kimball told him what he was doing and that if he did not repent in sack cloth and ashes that he would lose the spirit--apostatize and go to hell. All of which came true."

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

150 years ago today - Oct 30, 1864

[Brigham Young Sermon] Some may think the brethren and sisters are backsliding and growing cold, when they do not attend meeting. It may sometimes be just as good and profitable to stay at home as to come to meeting. ... And many who do not attend to the worship of God here may be just as fervent, and humble in their spirits, and trying to live as uprightly before God at home as those who attend religious meetings. I do not think the people are forgetful of God and of their obligations to him because they tarry at home. ... I do not believe that those who stay at home are, in many instances, any worse than those who come to meetings, nor that those who come to meeting are particularly better than those who stay at home...

When any man lifts himself up in his philosophy, and wonders why we do not talk about this, and that, and the other thing that we do not wish to talk about, what does he know of the results that would follow from communicating principles to this people which they are not prepared to receive? I do not know that it would not be as Joseph once remarked:'" Said he, '"If I were to tell the people what I knew of the kingdom of God, there is not a man nor woman that would stay with me.'" Said I, '"Do not reveal anything to me then, I do not wish to apostatize.'" If the Lord were to reveal many things to this people now, which will be made known in the future, they could not abide them,'"they have not capacity at the present to receive them....

[Source: Journal of Discourses. Liverpool, England, 1853-86. 10:349-352; 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]

35 years ago today - Oct 29, 1979

The first two converts of eastern Africa were baptized in Kenya.

[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]

50 years ago today - Oct 29, 1964

U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson speaks in the Salt Lake Tabernacle.

85 years ago today - Oct 29, 1929

The New York Stock Market collapsed in frantic trading, a dramatic beginning of the Great Depression.

[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]

90 years ago today - Oct 29, 1924

[George F. Richards] M. D. Wells went through the Temple to-day with his son. Bro. Jos. F. Smith Jr. & I spoke to him and told him we thought he better not come any more without first speaking to us and let us speak to the President to learn his attitude. He is one who took a plural wife contrary to direct instructions given him by Pres. Jos. F. Smith and by a Patriarch who had no authority and who was later excommunicated.

[Source: George F. Richards Diary, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1910-1951, Privately Published, Salt Lake City, Utah 2010]

125 years ago today - Oct 29, 1889

[Apostle Heber J. Grant] Our people came here and opened up the country and I hope and pray that they will always lead in every thing. I shall work to this end to the best of my ability.

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

150 years ago today - Oct 29, 1864

[Apostle Wilford Woodruff] I attended a trial of Elijah Steers for Lying in the House of the Lord. He was mostly excused through ignorance.

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

40 years ago today - Oct 28, 1974

Missionary companions Gary S. Darley and Mark F. Fischer are murdered in Texas by LDS convert who had returned to Pentecostal church. In its most sensational coverage ever, CHURCH NEWS reports that "body parts" of the missionaries are discovered on Nov. 13 and that murderer is sentenced to death in 1975 for killing the missionaries and "cutting up their bodies with a saw." In 1977, murderer successfully appeals his conviction due to illegal search, but remains in prison on other charges until his parole in 1988.

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

1914, 100 years ago this year.

Relief Society General Board begins providing uniform lessons for weekly Relief Society classes.

[Source: Sherry Baker: Mormon Media History Timeline: 1827-2007, http://byustudies.byu.edu/showTitle.aspx?title=7984]

155 years ago today - Oct 28, 1859

[Hosea Stout on the first execution in Utah] To day the melancholly duty to hang Thos H. Furguson for the murder of A. Carpenter. He was taken to the gallows about eleven a. m and about one p. m. hanged. There was not many spectators present. He had no confession[.] But he reflected very hard on Judge Sinclair for not giving him a fair trial.but said he had been treated well by every one else in Utah only blaming the Gov for not commuting his sentence to imprisonment for life.

[Source: Diaries of Hosea Stout]

5 years ago today - 10/27/2009

An article in the New York Times says that BYU students as well as at least one Mormon volunteer who heard at church about the campaign are working to repeal marriage equality measures in Maine. Schubert Flint was hired to run the Maine campaign in June, 2009 and many of the ads they are using in Maine are the same ones that were used in California.

[Source: Mormons for Marriage: A Prop 8 Timeline, http://mormonsformarriage.com/?page_id=68]

110 years ago today - Oct 27, 1904; Thursday

[First Presidency & Quorum of Twelve] A letter was read from Elder B. H. Roberts, stating in effect that a young man named Richardson, of Manchester, England, had written, wondering if it were possible for him, while in England, to receive a patriarchal blessing by furnishing the Patriarch here the necessary genealogical data respecting himself. Taking it for granted that this could not consistently be done, Brother Roberts suggested the advisability of Patriarchs being sent abroad for the purpose of giving blessings. ...

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

125 years ago today - Oct 27, 1889

Woodruff's attitude toward the law prohibiting polygamy, printed in the Salt Lake Herald, "We mean to obey it. We have not thought of evading or ignoring it. We recognize the laws as binding upon us." He repeated that he had not sanctioned any marriages since becoming president.

[Source: Tungate, Mel, Mormon Polygamy, http://www.tungate.com/polygamy.htm]

145 years ago today - Oct 27, 1869

Brigham Young preaches at Lehi, Utah that "by marriage Lot's two daughters were sealed to him, and will be his to all eternity." Young adds that it might one day become necessary to seals a man's daughter to him as a wife, "but it is not likely ever again to occur." There are verified instances of LDS leaders performing polygamous marriages between men and their foster-daughters or step-daughters, but not actual daughters.

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

155 years ago today - Oct 27, 1859

[Apostle Wilford Woodruff] ... My family Came around me to see me die. I gave each of them a word of Council and instruction But could say but little. I sent for Wilford who was in the field. He Came. I said a few words to him. Among other things I exhorted him strongly to always treat all dumb animals in his Charge kindly. He said he would try to.

John L Smith was with me in the morning. I gave him a word of Council Concerning my History & Journals in case I should die. I also Conversed with J C. Little the sexton and A. O. Smoot the mayor, Concerning the place of my burial, and my family burial ground....

[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 - Oct 27, 1844. Sunday.

[William Clayton] Brother Parker has been prying into the secret designs of the mob. He has professed to be an apostate and by that means got into their secret councils. He was told by the mob that all their plans to overthrow the church has completely failed, but they had one plan in view which they felt satisfied would accomplish the purpose and that plan was to obtain our sacred records and destroy them and also obtain testimony from them to our overthrow. They gave him to understand that this was to be accomplished by the means of a man in our midst who had free access to the records and who had agreed to put them in possession of them. They finally told Brother Parker that the man who was to do this was W. W. Phelps and Parker was told by several that Phelps was the man on whom they depended to get the records. I went over to Dr. Richards and found that all the records were safe in his hands. There was also considerable fears entertained that Brother [Reynolds] Cahoon is not true to us. A[lmon] Babbitt is suspected from good evidence of being treacherous and of conspiring with the mob to overthrow us.

[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]

175 years ago today - Oct 27, 1839

Commerce, Illinois. The high council voted that Joseph Smith's wife, Emma Smith, select and publish an updated hymnbook for the Saints.

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

110 years ago today - Oct 26, 1904

Apostle George Albert Smith instructs Salt Lake stake prayer circle: "Among some women the practice of removing the garments from the neck and arms and tying them behind the back was common. These were serious faults, and might result in the offenders being disfellowshipped."

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

115 years ago today - Thursday, Oct 26, 1899

[Apostle Rudger Clawson] Apostle J. H. Smith reported that he had been to Ogden to visit Pres. F. D. Richards and said that he was very seriously ill, being afflicted with nervous prostration. His mind also, he said, seemed to be failing. Apostle A. O. Woodruff made a similar report.

The clerk read a report showing the status of polygamy in Utah, as follows, to wit:

The number of polygamists in 1890â€"



The number of deaths since thenâ€"


The number removed from the U.S.


The number divorced



Leaving a balance of



37%â€"died, left, or divorced.

Apostle H. J. Grant said that he thought he could get managing control of the Salt Lake Herald, if it were thought advisable. As it is now, the paper is run on anti-Mormon principles, but might be used to favor the church. I moved that Apostle Grant be authorized to do what he could in the matter of securing control. Carried by unanimous vote.

The question of a presidency for the Cache Stake was introduced by Pres. Snow, and he asked the brethren how they felt about it. Apostle Lyman suggested the name of Chas. W. Nibley. ... Apostle A. H. Lund was in favor of a man who would have some influence with the Moses Thatcher faction. He did not think C. W. Nibley would be altogether the most suitable, he being a Republican in politics. Pres. Snow proposed the name of Apostle M. W. Merrill. Seconded and carried by unanimous vote....

[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]

145 years ago today - Oct 26, 1869

[Godbeits] Our attention has been called of late to several articles which have appeared in the Utah Magazine, a weekly periodical, published in this city. An examination of them has convinced us that they are erroneous, opposed to the spirit of the Gospel, and calculated to do injury. According to the practice in the Church, teachers were sent to labour with the editor and publishers, to point out to them the evil results which would follow a persistence in the course they were pursuing. This did not have the desired effect, and they have since been tried before the High Council, and after a thorough and patient investigation of the case, it was found they had imbibed the spirit of apostacy to that degree that they could not any longer be fellowshipped, and they were cut off from the Church.

The Utah Magazine is a periodical that, in its spirit and teachings, is directly opposed to the work of God. Instead of building up Zion, and uniting the people, its teachings, if carried out, would destroy Zion, divide the people asunder, and drive the Holy Priesthood from the earth. Therefore we say to our brethren and sisters in every place, the Utah Magazine is not a periodical suitable for circulation among or perusal by them, and should not be sustained by Latter-day Saints.

We hope this will be sufficient, without ever having to refer to it again. Your Brethren, BRIGHAM YOUNG, WILFORD WOODRUFF, GEORGE A. SMITH, GEORGE Q. CANNON, DANIEL H. WELLS, JOSEPH F. SMITH. ORSON PRATT

[Source: To President Charles C. Rich and David P. Kimball,To all Bishops; Deseret News, Oct. 26, 1869; MS 31:770 (November 24, 1869) as quoted in Clark, James R., Messages of the First Presidency (6 volumes)]

145 years ago today - Oct 26, 1869

Brigham Young writes to Thomas L. Kane in that the constitution of the State of Deseret had been amended so that "all male citizens of the United States over 21 years of age having residence of 6 months in this state (State of Deseret) shall be entitled to vote; the words 'free, white male,' having been struck out. The number of votes polled on this amendment was 14,000 for, and 30 against."

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

160 years ago today - Oct 26, 1854

Bishop publishes notice in DESERET NEWS that Enoch M. King is disfellowshipped "for repeatedly refusing to conform to the rules of said Church, in the law of Tithing."

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

40 years ago today - Oct 25, 1974

[Elder Packer to First Presidency]

The First Presidency

On several occasions I have expressed in our council meetings my concern for some projects being undertaken by the Church Historian's Office and some of those who have been engaged to work on the projects. May I state with emphasis, as I have in our meetings, that my concern does not deny in any way that these brethren are active members of the Church. It is a matter of orientation toward scholarly work - historianÂ's work in particular ...

I have come to believe that it is the tendency for most members of the Church who spend a great deal of time in academic research to begin to judge the Church, its doctrine, organization, and history, by the principles of their own profession. Ofttimes this is done unwittingly, and some of it perhaps is wholesome. However, it is an easy thing for a man with extensive academic training to consider the Church with the principles he has been taught in his professional training as his measuring standard.

In my mind it ought to be the other way around. A member of the Church ought always, particularly if he is pursuing extended academic studies, to judge the professions of men against the revealed word of the Lord. ...

We have evidently authorized a series of publications in order to make available to all members of the Church much information that is in the Archives and in the Historical Department. ... these publications will be of interest to other historians and perhaps serve them well, but at once may have a negative affect upon many. ... I have seen how such published information has disturbed young students in the Church.

[Several exexamples are presented from recent or forthcoming publicatons, including a lawsuit by the decendants of Brigham Young against the church, Brigham Young encouraging his son to restrict tabacco use, and the morphine addiction of Phineas Howe Young] ...

[3] And again the question, why should the Church publish that?

I agree with President Stephen L.[sic] Richards who once stated.

Â"If a man of history has secured over the years a high place in the esteem of his countrymen and fellow men and has become imbedded in their affections, it has seemingly become a pleasing pastime for researchers and scholars to delve into the past of such a man, discover, if may be, some of his weaknesses, and then write a book exposing hitherto unpublished alleged factual findings, all of which tends to rob the historic character of the idealistic esteem and veneration in which he may have been held through the years.

Â"This Â'debunking,Â' we are told, is in the interest of realism, that the facts should be known. If an historic character has made a great contribution to country and society, and if his name and his deeds have been used over the generations to foster high ideals of character and service, what good is to be accomplished by digging out of the past and exploiting weaknesses, which perhaps a generous contemporary public forgave and subdued?Â"

[Brigham Young's divorce, refering to Brigham Young simply as "Brigham", Brigham as an "idler"]

... However, if I know scholars at all, it would be my opinion that this first book is something of a test. And if I am not mistaken and I think that I am not, if the things I have mentioned go unnoticed, it will be an invitation to put in print many other things from the HistorianÂ's Office. Such information will do precious little good and may do a great disservice to individuals both past and present.

I mentioned that I have raised this subject before. Each time the Historical Office has been discussed in our meetings, I have expressed my concern. ...

I have lived in academic circles, have observed the tendencies of highly Â"schooledÂ" Church members; have seen how perversely such information as this is often used, and wonder if these projects ought to be carefully reviewed before they continue. ...

[Source: Letter: Elder Packer to First Presidency]

120 years ago today - Oct 25, 1894

[Apostle Francis M. Lyman] Political matters were talked over to some remarks of Bro[ther]s Jos[eph] F's. Brigham [Young Jr.] took exception. It developed that the Presidency desire that Utah shall enter the Union as a Republican state. There seemed among the brethren a strong democratic tendency or of indifference. Bro[ther] Brigham's idea was that nothing should be said upon politics in the Temple. Heber [J. Grant] wanted to go into the field for [Joseph L.] Rawlins against [Frank J.] Cannon.

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

125 years ago today - Oct 25, 1889 (Friday)

At Blackfoot, Idaho, Thomas E. Ricks [founder of Ricks College] was convicted of u.c. [Unlawful Cohabitation, I.E. living with a polygamous wife]

[Source: Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

145 years ago today - Oct 25, 1869

[Godbeits] William S. Godbe, E. L. T. Harrison, and Eli B. Kelsey excommunicated for political and economic dissent and for spiritualism

[Source: Kenney, Scott (editor), Wilford Woodruff's Journals 1833-1898, Chronology Signature Books, Midvale, Utah, http://bit.ly/wwjournal]