April 6th

Apr 6, 1830 - The Church of Christ is organized in New York State with offices of elder, priest, teacher, and unordained apostles. Aside from Joseph Smiths ordination as "a prophet," previous baptisms and ordinations are re-performed. Early sources, including the 1833 BOOK OF COMMANDMENTS, say the church was organized in Manchester (near Palmyra), rather than in Fayette, New York, as traditionally claimed.

Apr 6, 1837 - Appointment is made of the first general authority born outside of the U.S., John Gould. Born in Canada, he is ordained to the First council of Seventy. At this conference Joseph Smith honorably releases five members of the First Council of Seventy because they had previously been ordained high priests. Brigham Young would later preach that this was the only uninspired decision he ever witnessed Smith perform in the church.

Apr 6, 1841 - The cornerstones of the Nauvoo temple are laid.
In Manchester, England the Quorum of Twelve Apostles holds its first official meeting in a foreign country. Afterwards cake is distributed and Parley P. Pratt writes a poem for the occasion: "When in far Distant regions/As Strangers we roam/Far away from our Country/Our friends and our home/When sinking in sorrow/Fresh courage we'll take/As we think on our friends/And remember the CAKE."

Apr 6, 1843 - In a Sunday morning meeting, Brigham Young refuses Joseph Smith's requirement that the apostles post bonds to guarantee the donations they collect. In the afternoon meeting, Young refuses to sit with church authorities on the stand. He does not execute his bond until May 30. Joseph Smith tells the general conference, "I'll wring a thief's neck off if I can find him, if I cannot bring him to Justice any other way." Concerning the second coming of Jesus, Joseph Smith affirms, "There are those of the rising generation who shall not taste death till Christ comes. . . .I prophesy in the name of the Lord God, and let it be written--the Son of Man will not come in the clouds of heaven till I am eighty-five years old [Dec. 23, 1890]." This is also the first general conference to sustain a Presiding Patriarch.

Apr 6, 1844 - First counselor Sidney Rigdon tells general conference: "There are men standing in your midst that you can't do anything with them but cut their throat & bury them."

Apr 6, 1845 - Brigham Young announces to general conference: "Know ye not that the millennium has commenced?" He also rules that males should be proxies for males and females for females in baptism for the dead, thus ending the gender-neutral practice of proxy ordinances.

Apr 6, 1846 - At a Strangite high council meeting, Jehiel Savage testifies against the conduct of the Twelve at Nauvoo: "There was an institution called 'Aunt Peggy,' by means of which one Carl was whip[p]ed & . . . one Peck was annointed [with human excrement]."

Apr 6, 1847 - Newel Whitney is appointed Presiding Bishop of the entire church but without counselors.

Apr 6, 1853 - Cornerstone laying ceremony for Salt Lake temple. Brigham Young publishes this description of endowment: "Your endowment is, to receive all those ordinances in the House of the Lord, which are necessary to you, after you have departed this life, to enable you to walk back to the presence of the Father, passing the angels who stand as sentinels, being enabled to give them the key words, the signs and tokens, pertaining to the Holy Priesthood, and gain your eternal exaltation in spite of earth and hell."

Apr 6, 1856 - Presiding Bishopric given permanent organization (first and second counselors).

Apr 6, 1856 - Apostle George A. Smith preaches: "We breathe the free air, we have the best looking men and handsomest women, and if they envy us our position, well they may, for they are a poor, narrow-minded, pinch-backed race of men, who chain themselves down to the law of monogamy, and live all their days under the dominion of one wife. They ought to be ashamed of such conduct, and the still fouler channel which flows from their practices; and it is not to be wondered at that they should envy those who so much better understand the social relations."

Apr 6, 1857 - Brigham Young restores sacrament, after witholding it from all church members for past six months of Reformation which ends with Utah War.

Apr 6, 1860 - Joseph Smith III is president of Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS).

Apr 6, 1861 - Brigham Young tells conference it is necessary "to grease the wheels" (bribe federal officials). "To show how minutely corruption prevails where justice should exist," Young gives example where it was necessary to pay $1,300 bribe "to get our claims paid for expenditures in quelling Indian disturbances in 1853." This is first announcement of First Presidency's policy to bribe federal officials when necessary. Historian Wallace D. Farnham once described the frequent graft in nineteenth-century federal government as the "weakened spring of government" in America.

Apr 6, 1877 - In St. George temple, second counselor Daniel H. Wells reads dedicatory prayer at re-dedication ceremony, during which some see halo of light around his head.

Apr 6, 1879 - John Taylor overrides vote of rest of Twelve for new apostle and appoints Moses Thatcher.

Apr 6, 1880 - John Taylor restores Old Testament practice of jubilee celebration, in honor of church's fiftieth birthday. He forgives half of unpaid tithing and debts owed to Perpetual Emigrating Fund and encourages charitable gifts to poor.

Apr 6, 1884 - James E. Talmage writes in his journal of his experiments with hashish: "Continued my experiment by taking 20 grains Cannabis Indica and the effect was felt in a not very agreeable way." Talmage lectures to the Brigham Young Academy faculty in September on "The Effects of the Narcotic Hashish on the Human System," but the Faculty Minute Book do not record whether he mentioned the source of his information.

Apr 6, 1887 - General conference sustains Quorum of Twelve Apostles as "prophets, seers & revelators," title "omitted by mistake [for] several conferences past."

Apr 6, 1888 - Letter of Wilford Woodruff and apostles establish annual salaries for stake presidents and end President John Taylor's provisions for local bishops to receive fixed percentage (8 percent) and stake presidents (2 percent) of collected tithing as salary. Until 1896 stake committee apportions this 10 percent of tithing between stake tithing clerk and bishops. On same day apostles approve salary for First Council of Seventy, to which one of its members responds: "I would prefer to receive no salary."

Apr 6, 1891 - First Counselor George Q. Cannon preaches about the struggle against the anti-polygamy laws: "There was the law of God on the one hand and the law of the land upon the other, the latter, as we believe, enacted by prejudice and leveled against our religion to destroy us. . . . We felt as though we would gladly go to prison, that we would endure all the penalties that could be inflicted upon us legally to vindicate the principle of religious liberty; we felt that our principles were being infringed upon by laws of this description. Whether our fellow citizens appreciate what we have done or not, we certainly feel that we have done a good work in thus standing in passive resistance--not active resistance--to the law which we regarded as an encroachment upon religious freedom. Every patriotic man in this country ought to applaud a people or an individual who stands up in defense of any principle that pertains to human rights. We have done this--we intended to do it--to call attention to what we looked upon as a wrong."

Apr 6, 1892 - Apostle John Henry Smith writes, "The Conference moved from the building to the south of the Temple, where the services of placing the Capstone was attended to. Prayer by Joseph F. Smith. Music and Singing. At 12:30 President W. Woodruff touched an electric button and the stone droped into place. I believe that sixty thousand people witnessed the ceremony. Bro. Lorenzo Snow led the Hozana shout and the waving of handkerchiefs. It was indeed a grand sight."

Apr 6, 1893 - Wilford Woodruff dedicated Salt Lake temple, forty years after its cornerstone-laying [twice the time it took to build the Great Pyramid at Giza, Egypt]. It is largest LDS temple ever build, with 253,105 square feet of floor space.
Joseph F. Smith "sobbed & wept like a child" as he gives talk that day. Some see halos of light around first counselor George Q. Cannon and around Apostles Lorenzo Snow, John W. Taylor, and Heber J. Grant. Not everyone present sees these manifestations, and future apostle James E. Talmage notes: "There were no strange or bewildering manifestations of 'supernatural' agencies during the service: but the power of God was there, and the entire assembly felt it."

Apr 6, 1896 - All general authorities except Apostle Moses Thatcher sign political manifesto which requires church officers to obtain permission before seeking political office. Thatcher refuses to sign, and his name is not presented for sustaining vote of conference and he is dropped from the Quorum of Twelve.

Apr 6, 1904 - Joseph F. Smith's so-called "Second Manifesto," which denies fact that there has been officially sanctioned plural marriages since 1890 Manifesto and threatens excommunication for persons entering plural marriage in future. Some apostles continue performing and entering new plural marriages for almost two more years. In 1906 and 1907, Smith himself permits two exceptions to this "Second Manifesto."

Apr 6, 1915 - Church releases its first detailed report to "show how the tithing of the Church for the year 1914 has been disbursed." These annual reports of expenditures continue until last public statement in Apr. 1959.

Apr 6, 1930 - "The message of the Ages" performance in Salt Lake Tabernacle as first historical pageant of the LDS church. It involves 1,500 persons. On July 24 "Footprints on the Sands of Time" is first pageant at Hill Cumorah, near Palmyra, New York. Since July 1937 official "Cumorah Pageant" occurs annually. Renamed "America's Witness for Christ," pageant attracts 100,000 people at its fiftieth anniversary in 1987. Similar LDS pageants develop at other sites from Calgary, Canada, to Manti, Utah, to Auckland, New Zealand.

Apr 6, 1933 - J. Reuben Clark, Jr. is sustained as second counselor in First Presidency. As first LDS president since Brigham Young to ask non-general authority to serve as Presidency counselor, Heber J. Grant kept position vacant for sixteen months to allow Clark to complete his service as Ambassador to Mexico. Clark is first general authority who has previously served U.S. government in high office. He is also first member of Presidency with post-graduate degree (from Columbia) and is ordained high priest today.

Apr 6, 1936 - First Presidency's message is broadcast to European Mormons by shortwave radio.

Apr 6, 1941 - High priests as Assistants to the Twelve are new general authority position. This is also first general conference broadcast outside Utah (to Idaho and southern California).

Apr 6, 1942 - First Presidency's most comprehensive statement on war, upholding patriotic service by Mormons in any country's military but condemning all national leaders who promote war. For first time, Sunday session of general conference is held in assembly room of Salt Lake temple where apostles pass the sacrament to assembled priesthood leaders. Policeman ray Haight reports that "during the entire morning session an intense, white light flooded the First Presidency . . . and made President Grant's clothes to appear to be white."

Apr 6, 1945 - Milton R. Hunter is sustained as first Ph.D. (history) in First Council of Seventy, also first general authority with doctorate in humanities/social sciences. Other general authorities with Ph.D. in humanities/social sciences are G. Homer Durham (appointed in 1977), Jeffrey R. Holland (1989), Spencer J. Condie (1989), Richard P. Lindsay (1989), Dennis B. Neuenschwander (1991), Jay E. Jensen (1992), Lowell D. Wood (1992), Merrill J. Bateman (1992), Bruce D. Porter (1995), Richard B. Wirthlin (1996).

Apr 6, 1947 - Spencer W. Kimball tells general conference: "When the Indians resisted our encroachments, we called them 'murderous redskins' and continued our relentless aggression." He reminds his listeners that "we [continue to] become fat in the prosperity for the assets we took from them." and concludes that Mormons have religious obligation toward Native American Indians: "to guarantee that they have the education, culture, security, and all other advantages and luxuries that we enjoy."

Apr, 6, 1963 - CHURCH NEWS reports explosion of small bomb in LDS chapel at Porto Allegre, Brazil by terrorists who leave anti-American publications nearby.

Apr 6, 1967 - First television and radio broadcast of conference in Mexico.

Apr 6, 1968 - Hartman Rector, Jr. is sustained to First Council of Seventy as first Korean War veteran to become general authority.

Apr 6, 1972 - Loren C. Dunn tells general conference: "To sustain is to make the action binding on ourselves and to commit ourselves to support those whom we have sustained. . . .If for any reason we have a difficult time sustaining those in office, then we are to go to our local priesthood leaders and discuss the issue with them and seek their help." NEW YORK TIMES article says that although there had been no change in Mormon policy, the Church was showing "signs of responding to its anti- Negro theology."

Apr 6, 1974 - April conference sustains Neal A Maxwell as Assistant to the Twelve, first general authority who previously worked for U.S. Government's Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Maxwell becomes member of the twelve in 1981.

Apr 6, 1985 - Helio D. Camargo is sustained as member of First Quorum of Seventy, first previously ordained minister (Methodist) to become member of Mormon Hierarchy in twentieth century. Hans B. Ringger is also member of Seventy, first general authority who has been high-ranking officer in military of non-U.S. country (Switzerland).

Apr 6, 1991 - CHURCH NEWS statement that "although the Church has issued earlier statements [in 1978 and 1979] advising [LDS] members not to write the FCC regarding the petition [to allegedly stop religious broadcasting], form letters to FCC regarding the matter continue to circulate among members, even in Church meetings." NEWS states that FCC has received 21 million pieces of mail since 1977 about problem that "doesn't even exist." Inability of LDS headquarters for thirteen years to stop Mormons from writing such letters indicates that many American Mormons give greater heed to propaganda by fundamentalist Christians and political ultra-conservatives.

Apr 6, 2005 - In response to news stories about the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, a polygamous offshoot, the LDS church issues a statement: "Recent news reports regarding various issues related to the practice of polygamy, especially focusing on groups in Texas, Arizona and Southern Utah, have used terms such as 'Mormon,' 'fundamentalist Mormons,' 'Mormon sect' and 'polygamous Mormons' to refer to those who practice polygamy. There is no such thing as a 'polygamous' Mormon. Mormon is a common name for a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."

Apr 6-9, 1852 - At conference in England, Apostle Franklin D. Richards calls men to new office of "pastor." Office continues until 1860,when it is changed to "district president."

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