April 11th

Apr 10-11, 1890 - Both U.S. Senate and House propose bills to disfranchise all Mormons. With delaying tactics by Mormon allies in Congress, these two bills make slow progress into summer, but Supreme Court decision in Feb. 1890 assures eventual enactment.

Apr 11, 1830 - Oliver Cowdery preaches the first official sermon of the new church. Joseph Smith is an awkward and hesitant speaker, and until 1839 he usually delegates major speaking opportunities to others.

Apr 11, 1841 - Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon rebaptize each other for remission of sins and "renewal of covenants." Church leaders would promote rebaptism for all members during a religious reformation beginning May 1842. In future, four temples would perform 7,788 baptisms for renewal of covenants from 1877 through 1893. This ordinance would be officially discontinued in 1922.

Apr 11, 1842 - Joseph Smith writes a letter to sixteen-year-old Nancy Rigdon in which he attempts to persuade her to become his secret, plural wife. The letter expounds Joseph's version of situation ethics: "that which is wrong under one circumstance, may be and often is, right under another." Willard Richards delivers the letter to Nancy. The letter makes its way to John C. Bennett who publishes it in the SANGAMO JOURNAL. Smith denies having written the letter but after his death the Church publishes its content in the HISTORY OF THE CHURCH as an "essay" written by Joseph Smith. In succeeding years portions of the letter/essay are often quoted in general conference and in official church publications.

Apr 11, 1844 - Joseph Smith is anointed and ordained by the Council of Fifty as King, Priest, and Ruler over Israel on Earth.

Apr 11, 1845 - At a meeting of the Council of Fifty plans to move west are discussed and John Taylor writes a song beginning: "The upper California, O thats the land for me / It lies between the mountains & the great Pacific sea, / The saints can be supported there / And taste the sweets of liberty; / With flocks & herds abounding, O thats the land for me / O that's the land for me, O that's the land for me

Apr 11, 1847 - William Clayton, Joseph Smith's former scribe and secretary writes in his journal: "I told Winslow Farr concerning Hosea Stouts threats to take my life after the Twelve are gone &c. He called at night on his return from the Council and told me to be on my guard." Hosea Stout, was a former body guard of Joseph Smith and chief of police in Nauvoo.

Apr 11, 1860 - Brigham Young gives instructions to Ezra T. Benson: "I want the twelve to meet together in the City about once in two or three months, not longer than three months I want them to preach in the Territory now, & other elders to preach abroad, the 12 are getting old now, and let others do the preaching abroad."

Apr 11, 1876 - Stake president Francis M. Lyman spends day studying Buddhism and Confucianism. Four days later he studies Hindu philosophy for half-day.

Apr 11, 1890 - Canada's Parliament increases penalty for polygamy from two years to five years.

Apr 11, 1893 - Apostle Francis M. Lyman writes: "During our dinner the Twelve met informally for the first time all together in our room in the Temple. We took our seats in our order [in circle.] We laid our hands on bro[ther] Thatcher and bro[ther] Richards was mouth in blessing him. That was the first blessing or prayer ever offered in our room."

Apr 11, 1894 - Apostle John Henry Smith writes in his journal, "Brigham Young [Jr.], George Teasdale and myself met with Prest. W. Woodruff, Geo. Q. Cannon and Jos. F. Smith and reported our labors in Mexico. The Mexican mission is a permanent one. Our people are to become citizens. Lands are to be deeded to the people. I am to go to Mexico." A major reason for the "Mexican mission" was to have a place to continue polygamy without violating U.S. law.

Apr 11, 1901 - Organization of Daughters of Utah Pioneers, although such statewide organization for both males and females has existed since 1907. Separate organization for male descendants is formed in 1935.

Apr 11, 1911 - President Joseph F. Smith replies to Senator Reed Smoot's urgent appeal for an official statement on post-Manifesto polygamy, President Smith wires: "If the President inquire about new polygamy, tell him the truth, tell him that Prest. [George Q.] Cannon was the first to conceive the idea that the Church could consistently countenance polygamy beyond confines of the republic where there was no law against it, and consequently he authorized the solemnization of plural marriages in Mexico and Canada after manifesto of 1890, and the men occupying presiding positions who became polygamists since the manifesto married in good faith under those circumstances. This being the case could we consistently be expected to humiliate them by releasing them?" At the time in question, however, polygamy was illegal in both Mexico and Canada.

Apr 11, 1982 - PROVO HERALD article: "Plea of Insanity Accepted in Utah Murder Case." A Logan seminary teacher had killed his infant son after he believed he was commanded by God to sacrifice his son and restore him again to life.

Apr 11, 1991 – SALT LAKE TRIBUNE reports that general authority Loren C. Dunn has censored church display commemorating the sesquicentennial of Relief Society. He orders removal of Joseph Smith’s statements regarding priestly role of women.

Apr 11-13, 1838 – The high council at Far West, Missouri (now LDS headquarters) excommunicates Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Lyman E. Johnson. Cowdery is charged with, among other things, "seeking to destroy the character of President Joseph Smith, Jun., by falsely insinuating that he was guilty of adultery."

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