April 5th

Apr 5, 1841 - Joseph Smith's first fully dated plural marriage is solemnized to Louisa Beaman. The ceremony is performed by Louisa's brother-in-law Joseph Bates Noble "in a grove Near Main Street in the City of Nauvoo, The Prophet Joseph dictating the ceremony and Br Nobles repeating it after him." Noble later recalled that after the ceremony, the couple spent their wedding night, "Right straight across the river at my house". Noble said he encouraged them to, "Blow out the lights and get into bed, and you will be safer there". John C. Bennett knew the details of this marriage.

Apr 5, 1844 - Hyrum Smith dedicates Nauvoo's Masonic temple, which Joseph Smith calls "the most substantial and best finished Masonic Temple in the Western States." Joseph Smith was scheduled to give the funeral sermon of King Follett but had to postpone it for two days due to ill health.

Apr 5, 1858 - (or Apr 24 by some accounts) Bishop of Payson, his brother (the sheriff), and several members of their LDS congregation join in shooting to death twenty-two-year-old Henry Jones and is mother, Mrs. Hannah Jones Hatch, for committing incest by which she has a daughter. The men kill infant and also castrate brother/father. Perpetrators are indicted next year, but not brought to trial. When indicted again in 1889, DESERET NEWS article criticizes trial of this "antiquated Payson homicide" as anti-Mormon crusade against those who were justifiably "disgusted and greatly incensed" against "the brutal mother and son." Former sheriff is convicted of murder, former bishop is acquitted.

Apr 5, 1859 - Future Church President Joseph F. Smith marries his first cousin Levira Annette Clark Smith. Eight years later she divorces him charging that her husband had "been guilty of the crime of Adultery with several different women.".

Apr 5, 1860 - LDS delegate William H. Hooper tells Congress: "From my observation, from ten years' residence in Utah, I can say that not over one half of the people of Utah are polygamists; and that probably not half of that half have more than two wives."

Apr 5, 1876 - Salt Lake City arsenal explodes, killing four people and severely damaging houses in 13th, 14th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th wards. DESERET NEWS reports: "Nearly every building of any size, for a mile and a half or two miles around" is damaged. Wilford Woodruff records in his journal, "It was a miracle that the four building[s] made of Rock, Cobble, Iron & Concrete was blown high into the air & scattered over the City for a circuit of more than a mile with a population of 20,000, and ownly four persons killed. The whole City shook like an Earthquake. Many escaped narrowly from death. Many women fainted. Nearly all the glass was blown out of the New Tabernacle."

Apr 5, 1884 - John Taylor declines to release church's annual financial report because "it is none of the business of outsiders to know about our financial matters." This is due to federal government's anti-polygamy campaign against church.

Apr 5, 1887 - Apostle Heber J. Grant writes in his journal in response to a letter from Wilford Woodruff, "I do not think it is absolutely necessary that in case of the death of the President of the Church and the subsequent reorganization of the First Presidency that the President of the Twelve Apostles should be made the President of the Church. When I answer Broth[e]r Woodruff's letter I shall request him to point me to any revelation that states that this must be the case."

Apr 5, 1889 - Apostle John Henry Smith records, "President W. Woodruff stated he felt it was time to organize the first Presidency. L. Snow spoke and moved that W. Woodruff be president and name his Councillors. All present spoke in favor of organizing the presidency and Bro. W. Woodruff was unanimously sustained. He chose for Councillors G. Q. Cannon and Jos. F. Smith. After a few explanations by some of the brethren they were both unanimously accepted." There had been no first presidency for over nineteen months."

Apr 5, 1890 - George Reynolds is sustained as first convicted felon to become general authority.

Apr 5, 1894 - At meeting of First Presidency and apostles, Wilford Woodruff announces revelation which ends practice of adopting (sealing) men to LDS leaders. He instructs Mormons to seal each generation of ancestors to preceding generation. This results in program of genealogical research. His published sermon is only available text of the revelation. Old form of adoption ordinance continues sporadically in LDS temples with high of fifteen adoptions ceremonies in 1910. The revelation is never canonized.
On a different matter George Q. Cannon says, "I believe in concubinage, or some plan whereby men and women can live together under sacred ordinances and vows until they can be married," to which President Woodruff responds, "If men enter into some practice of this character to raise a righteous posterity, they will be justified in it." Woodruff adds, "The day is near when there will be no difficulty in the way of good men securing noble wives."

Apr 5, 1900 - First Presidency and Twelve decide that apostolic ranking is according to entry into quorum, not according to ordination date as apostle. This puts Joseph F. Smith ahead of Brigham Young, Jr.--first time in thirty-three years. After this decision the apostles "partook of bread and wine."

Apr 5, 1901 - Lorenzo Snow tells general conference that "we will continue on improving, advancing and increasing in wisdom, intelligence, power, and dominion, worlds without end." In 1908 John A. Widtsoe's JOSEPH SMITH AS A SCIENTIST affirms: "God in 'Mormon' Theology is the greatest intelligence; yet it must of necessity, under the inexorable law of the universe, grow." In his 1910 SEVENTIES' COURSE IN THEOLOGY, B. H. Roberts writes that "progress is eternal, even for the highest intelligences." In his 1911 SEVENTIES' COURSE IN THEOLOGY, Roberts writes: "And is it too bold a thought that with this progress, even for the Mightiest, new thoughts, and new vistas may appear, inviting to new adventures and enterprises that will yield new experiences, advancement, and enlargement even for the Most High?"

Apr 5, 1902 - "Clyde Felt has confessed to cutting the throat of old man Collins, at his request. The old man was a moral degenerate. The boy is son of David P. Felt." Grandson of former general authority, Clyde Felt is fourteen. Despite this blood atonement murder, LDS leaders allow young man to be endowed and married in temple eight years later.

Apr 5, 1904 - Joseph F. Smith criticizes ward bishop for giving temple recommend to friendly non-Mormon who uses it to receive endowment ceremony.

Apr 5, 1910 - Joseph F. Smith instructs bishops and stake presidents that payment of tithing and observance of Word of Wisdom are necessary for Mormons to obtain temple recommends. Smith also says: "Suicides who are willful should not be buried in 'temple' robes or have public funeral, but local authorities must be the judges of their state of mind when committing the act and act accordingly."

Apr 5, 1940 - In explaining financial decisions for First Presidency to general conference, first counselor J. Reuben Clark observes: "We are not infallible in our judgment, and we err, but our constant prayer is that the Lord will guide us in our decisions, and we are trying so to live that our minds will be open to His inspiration."

Apr 5, 1949 - First counselor J Reuben Clark tells meeting of bishops: "I wish that we could get over being flattered into almost anything. If any stranger comes among us and tells us how wonderful we are, he pretty much nearly owns us."

Apr 5, 1970 - Brigham Young University publishes full-page newspaper advertisement, "Minorities, Civil Rights, and BYU." This responds to protests about lack of African-Americans on BYU's athletic teams as alleged extension of LDS church's policy of withholding priesthood from blacks. This athletic restriction ends with priesthood restriction.

Apr 5, 1974 - Announcement of appointment of David M. Kennedy as First Presidency's "special representative." Kennedy served as U.S. Secretary of the Treasury (1969-70), as U.S. Ambassador-at-large (1970-72), and as U.S. ambassador to NATO (1972-73). As church's first officially designated foreign ambassador, Kennedy's primary mission is to obtain formal recognition of the LDS church and admission of full-time missionaries wherever they are excluded, especially in Communist Europe and the Near East. He is released on Mar. 31, 1990. Rather than appoint new "special representative," First Presidency delegates those responsibilities to area presidencies and mission presidents.

Apr 5, 1991 - First Counselor Gordon B. Hinckley tells meeting of regional representatives: "I regard it as inappropriate for anyone in the Church to pray to our Mother in Heaven" which he defines as one of "small beginnings of apostasy." In response to newspaper stories about these non-public remarks, he repeats them publicly. In his address to general women's meeting following Sept., Hinckley quotes that statement as part of his answer to letter from fourteen-year-old girl he calls "Virginia." A few days earlier at BYU commencement a student had prayed to "Our Father and Mother in Heaven."

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