April 7th

Apr 7, 1837 - Wilford Woodruff has an encounter with Satan in the Kirtland Temple: "when the shades of evening began to appear I repaired to the house of the LORD in company with Elders Milton Holmes, & Joseph B Nobles for the purpose of worshiping God. We entered one of the stands within the veils & fell upon our knees & Satan appeared also but not to worship God but to deprive us of the privilege. Satan strove against us with great power by tempting & otherwise[e]. He at one time drove me from my stand while I was striving with my brethren to enter into the visions of heaven."

Apr 7, 1842 - Joseph Smith receives a revelation to establish a formal theocratic government, "the Kingdom of God." later known as the "Council of Fifty." The text is available but has not been canonized or officially published.

Apr 7, 1843 - Orson Pratt preaches, "Resurrection of the body is denyed by many because it is contrary to the laws of nature, because flesh and bones are constantly changing, completely new in 7 or 10 years. If this is true a man in 70 years would have matter enough for 10 different bodies. Objector says this resurrection cannot be true, for if so, men would be quarreling which body belong[s] to himself and others. Who shall have the best right to it. I do not believe that more than 3/4 of our bodies is comprised of animal organization, but is purely vegetable. Hence through all the 70 years a man will have one or two parts, which will be the same original. If he receives the matter he was in possession of 50 years before he died, he has the same body." Joseph Smith later adds, "Their is no fundamental principle belonging to a human System that 'ever goes into another in this world or the world to come.' The principle of Bro[ther] Pratt was correct. I care not what the theories of men are. We have the testimony that God will raise us up and he has power to do it. If any one supposes that any part of our bodies that is the fundamental parts thereof, ever goes into another body he is mistaken."

Apr 7, 1844 - Joseph Smith delivers the funeral sermon for a member named King Follett, saying that God "was once a man like us." He begins the discussion by interpreting the Hebrew for "In the beginning created God," in a manner only extant in the opening paragraphs of the ZOHAR, the classic text of the Jewish Kabbalah. Joseph Smith undoubtedly has learned this from the Jewish Convert Alexander Neibauer who published a Kabbalist treatise in the LDS periodical a year before, and with whom Joseph Smith's diary notes he is studying in 1844. Later in public-media interviews President Gordon B. Hinckley is evasive and dissembles on whether or not Mormons believe that God was once a man.

Apr 7, 1845 - At General Conference Brigham Young is sustained as "President of the whole Church of Latter Day Saints," though this is edited out of the church newspaper's conference minutes.

Apr 7, 1847 - Pioneer wagons leave Winter Quarters and head out for the Great Basin in Utah.

Apr 7, 1850 - Brigham Young is Trustee-in-Trust, first time for LDS president since 1844.

Apr 7, 1851 - Brigham Young is sustained "prophet, seer, and revelator," first time since 1836. He presents himself this way at conferences until 1859 and again, 1872 to his death.

Apr 7, 1854 - Heber C. Kimball preaches at General Conference: "The Plurality of wives was established & many of you have fought it & you may fight it until you go into your graves & it will still be the work of God & will Continue to be to all Eternity."

Apr 7, 1855 - Brigham Young establishes Deseret Theological Institute which is open to women who comprise 37 percent of its membership. However, women do not lecture on same equality they experience in non-institutional Polysophical Society.

Apr 7, 1859 - Each member of First Presidency is presented as prophet, seer, and revelator; last time general conference sustains anyone with that title until Oct. 9, 1872.

Apr 7, 1860 - Brigham Young announces: "When I present the authorities of this Church for the Conference to vote upon, there if there is a member here who honestly and sincerely thinks that any person whose name is presented should not hold the office he is appointed to fill, let him speak. I will give full liberty, not to preach sermons, nor to degrade character, but to briefly state objections, and at the proper time I will hear the reasons for any objections that may be advanced." Mormon diarist writes that "a wonder among the Saints" occurs during sustaining, when one man votes against Heber C. Kimball. He remains first counselor, but identity of dissident is unknown.

Apr 7, 1861 - Brigham Young preaches, "If a woman is sealed to a good man she should be satisfied & attend to her own business & let her husband alone & not be watching him all the time. Women are sealed to men to bring forth Children & not to gratify passion & much was said upon this subject"

Apr 7, 1880 - Conference sustains first Utah-born general authority, William W. Taylor as member of First council of Seventy.

Apr 7, 1882 - John Taylor refuses to accept unanimous recommendation of Twelve for two men to fill vacancies as apostles.

Apr 7, 1887 - Apostle John Henry Smith writes of a meeting of the Twelve. "[First Counselor] G[eorge] Q. Cannon had sent a request to have a vote of Confidence given to the presidency endorsing all they had done in property and other matters. I objected on the ground that we did not know what had been done."

Apr 7, 1889 - Conference sustains Wilford Woodruff as church president with George Q. Cannon and Joseph F. Smith as counselors. They are not set apart or ordained.

Apr 7, 1894 - Joseph F. Smith preaches at general conference "on various subjects, viz., card playing, round dancing, [waltzing] secret societies, etc., deprecating them all and counseling the Saints not to indulge in them."

Apr 7, 1895 - Wilford Woodruff tells conference, "Cease troubling yourselves about who God is; who Adam is, who Christ is, who Jehovah is. For heaven's sake, let these things alone."

Apr 7, 1896 - First Presidency announces at conference priesthood meeting the end of salaries for local church officers. On Apr. 2, the temple council decides "to not pay Salaries to any one but the Twelve." However, in 1898, hierarchy returns to fixed allotments for general authorities. First Presidency and apostles decide that baptisms for dead and all other baptism ordinances eliminate words "for remission of sins" or "renewal of covenants," and use only the words in DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS. They also give "Instructions relative to the burying of the dead . . . that they should not be exposed to the public gaze in the meeting houses with their Temple clothes on."

Apr 7, 1900 - At general priesthood meeting, Lorenzo Snow presents "a book containing 10,000 names of non-Tithe payers," including that of Apostle John, W. Taylor.

Apr 7, 1907 - Apostle Reed Smoot retains his seat in U.S. Senate, after three-year "trial."

Apr 7, 1918 - Richard R. Lyman is ordained apostle. He is first general authority and first apostle who has completed resident Ph.D. degree (in engineering from Cornell University). He is also first general authority with doctorate from Ivy League school.

Apr 7, 1921 - First Presidency and Quorum of Twelve decide to return to pre-1912 "old form of ordaining" to office without first conferring priesthood.

Apr 7, 1931 - First Presidency instructs Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith and Seventy's president B. H. Roberts: "The subject of Pre-Adamites [is] not to be discussed in public by the brethren either for or against the theory, as the Church has not declared itself and its attitude on the question."

Apr 7, 1936 - First Presidency announces Church Security Plan, renamed Church Welfare Program in 1938. This began four years earlier as local innovation by stake president Harold B. Lee in Salt Lake Pioneer Stake.

April 7, 1944 - Counselor J. Reuben Clark preaches that "in that inspired document, the Constitution, the Lord prescribed the way, the procedure by which the inspired framework of that Constitution could be changed. Whenever the Constitution is amended in that way, it will be an amendment that the Lord will approve."

Apr 7, 1984 - Appointment of first general authorities to have stated time-limit on their service. Initially these temporary general authorities served in First Quorum of Seventy. Also Dallin H. Oaks is first general authority and apostle who has served as state supreme court justice. DIALOGUE: A JOURNAL OF MORMON THOUGHT (an independent scholarly publication with which Oaks had once officially affiliated) publishes survey showing that 88 percent of its subscribers attend LDS services weekly and that two-thirds regard BOOK OF MORMON as "an actual historical record of ancient inhabitants."

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