April 14th

Apr 14, 1842 - Joseph Smith unsuccessfully proposes plural marriage to Nancy Rigdon and "in a day or two" dictates a letter to her which reads in part: "That which is wrong under one circumstance, may be, and often is, right under another. . . .Whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is, although we may not see the reason thereof till long after the events transpire." This is his first written statement of theocratic ethics.
Joseph Smith engages Calvin Warren to commence "an investigation of the principles of general insolvency in my behalf according to the statutes…"

Apr 14, 1847 - 148-member advance party of Mormon Pioneers leaves Winter Quarters and heads for the Great Basin.

Apr 14, 1862 - First session of "ghost government" of theocratic State of Deseret, which publicly meets, passes its own laws (duplicates of what same legislators have just done in territorial legislature), holds elections, and functions until 1872. Significant as theocratic symbol but unimportant in practice.

Apr 14, 1898 - First Presidency and apostles consider "alleged belief of some Elders in the doctrine of reincarnation. . . .the conclusion reached was that every Elder's right to believe what seemed right to him should be respected and that no action should be taken against him while he refrained from teaching his views to others and respected and upheld the authority vested in the Presiding Priesthood." This refers to local bishop Orson F. Whitney who becomes member of Twelve in 1906.

Apr 14, 1904 - First Presidency and apostles decide to resume sale of liquor at church resort of Saltair due to need for non-Mormon patronage.

April 14, 1905 - Speaking at Brigham Young University, Mary Elizabeth Lightner, plural wife of Joseph Smith says, "I went forward and was sealed to him [Joseph Smith]. Brigham Young performed the sealing, and Heber C. Kimball the blessing. I know he [Joseph] had six wives and I have known some of them from childhood up. I knew he had three children. They told me. I think two are living today but they are not known as his children as they go by other names."

Apr 14, 1923 - Apostle George F. Richards discusses the garment design with the First Presidency. They consider such changes as removing the collar, using buttons, and allowing women to use elbow-length sleeves and shorter legs presumably to coordinate with women's fashions, which had changed considerably by the 1920s. Three days later the entire council and Presidency approved the new design

Apr 14, 1939 - An article by West German Mission President Alfred C. Rees entitled "In the Land of the Mormons" appears in a special issue of the Nazi Party organ DER VOLKISCHE BEOBATCHTER. In the Editor's Preface to the article, President Rees is called "the representative of the Church in Germany," who "paints for our readers a portrait of Mormonism today, a church which views the New Germany with sympathy and friendship." Whether President Rees originally wrote the article in German or not, the language of the piece abounds in such loaded terms as Volk and Rasse (race); and a picture of Brigham Young bears the caption, "Fuhrer der historischen Mormonenpioniere." disturbing in hindsight is the way President Rees blatantly parallels Mormonism with Nazism. As Rees warms to his topic, Mormonism begins to sound like a fulfillment of Nazi teachings, providing "the practical realization of the German ideal: 'the common good takes precedence over the individual good.' " Rees concluded by assuring his readers that "Mormons are people who put this healthy doctrine into action."

Apr 14, 1948 - Joseph Anderson, secretary to the First Presidency writes to historian Dale Morgan: "An experience running over several years has persuaded us of the unwisdom of giving access to our manuscript records to people writing books, because that same experience has shown that people writing such books are rarely qualified to appraise accurately what they read, and too frequently, whether conscious or unconsciously, they misrepresent what they find. Such manuscripts will therefore not be available for general inspection or use."

April 14, 1969 - First Presidency makes official statement on birth control which omits any reference to their own feelings about birth control as "a personal matter," and states: "We believe that those who practice birth control will reap disappointment by and by," and repeated earlier letter's emphasis on "self control as a dominant factor" in marriage.

No comments: