April 8th

Apr 8, 1841 - A conference sustains John C. Bennett as "Assistant President" in the First Presidency to replace ailing Sidney Rigdon. He is the first general authority to have attended college, having studied one year at McGill University. Bennett is a Campbellite minister, self-trained lawyer, doctor, thirty-third-degree Mason, brigadier general in the Illinois Invincible Light Dragoons, and Quartermaster General of Illinois. Joseph Smith is so impressed by Bennett that he adopts many of Bennett's mannerisms including his oratorical style, his military dress and bearing, and his habit of using foreign phrases in written communications. Bennett boards at Smith's home and they are constant companions. William Law, also in the First Presidency, later writes that Bennett was "more in the secret confidence of Joseph than perhaps any other man in the city."

Apr 8, 1843 - Joseph Smith preaches concerning the Nauvoo high council trial of Pelatiah Brown, Sr.: "I do not like the old man being called up for erring in doctrine. It looks too much like the Methodist[s], and not like the Latter-day Saints. Methodists have creeds which a man must believe or be asked out of their church. I want the liberty of thinking and believing as I please. It feels so good not to be trammelled. It does not prove that a man is not a good man because he errs in doctrine."

Apr 8, 1844 - Joseph Smith preaches: "From hence forth the elders shall build churches where ever the people receive the gospel. [If there are] sufficient [numbers] then build stakes to this place," which is the first authorization for organizing stakes anywhere in the world. Joseph also preaches: "You know there has been great discussion in relation to Zion--where it is, and where the gathering of the dispensation is, and which I am now going to tell you. The prophets have spoken and written upon it; but I will make a proclamation that will cover a broader ground. The whole of America is Zion itself from north to south, and is described by the Prophets, who declare that it is the Zion where the mountain of the Lord should be, and that it should be in the center of the lull." This is a change from the teaching that Zion was located in Jackson county, Missouri.
Hyrum Smith addresses conference "on Spiritual wife system. The first one we heard reporting such stories we will report him in the Time[s] and Seasons to come and give up his licence. He was decided against it in every form and spoke at length." Hyrum at this time was secretly living in polygamy.

Apr 8, 1845 - Illinois governor Thomas Ford writes to Brigham Young advising him on what to do after the Illinois Legislature had revoked Nauvoo's city charter (a move Ford opposed). He advises separating Nauvoo into a series of separately incorporated towns. He lists the "The powers under your town charters" which include "to prevent the indecent exhibition of horses." Ford's letter also states: "If you can get off by yourselves, you may enjoy peace; but, surrounded by such neighbors, I confess that I do not see the time when you will be permitted to enjoy quiet. I was informed by General Joseph Smith last summer, that he contemplated a removal West; and from what I learned from him and others at that time, I think if he had lived he would have begun to move in the matter before this time."

Apr 8, 1849 - The Council of Twelve "met and talked about the necessary measures for extending the Church and power of the kingdom abroad. Instructed the twelve how to manage with their families when they went abroad to take but one wife each and establish the rest here except Parley P. Pratt when he went to the Pacific Isles he might take all of his along . . ."

Apr 8, 1855 - Brigham Young preaches: "Again, if a pure Gentile firmly believes the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and yields obedience to it, in such a case I will give you the words of the Prophet Joseph—"When the Lord pours out the Holy Ghost upon that individual he will have spasms, and you would think that he was going into fits." Joseph said that the Gentile blood was actually cleansed out of their veins, and the blood of Jacob made to circulate in them; and the revolution and change in the system were so great that it caused the beholder to think they were going into fits.

Apr 8, 1860 - Brigham Young instructs bishops "when a Bishop fully magnified his office they would preside over there wards as a man does over his family. The Bishop would dictate to every man woman & Child what they should [do]. No one shall be Idle but all should labor. The Bishop would then dictate to every man what he should raise and how much and every one should be set to work and when any one in the ward should have bread all should have it. Well says the poor shiftless man that never earned a home or a pair of shoes I would like that doctrine for then I would have a house as big as Brigham Young. No you would not until you earned it."

Apr 8, 1867 - Brigham Young preaches a gender-based division of labor: "I have been an advocate for our printing to be done by females, and as for men being in stores, you might as well set them to knitting stockings as to sell tape. Such business ought to be done by the sisters. It would enable them to sustain themselves, and would be far better than for them to spend their time in the parlor or in walking the streets. Hardy men have no business behind the counter; they who are not able to hoe potatoes, go to the kanyon, cut down the trees, saw the lumber, &c., can attend to that business. Our young men in the stores ought to be turned out and the sisters take their place; and they should study arithmetic and bookkeeping necessary to qualify them for such positions."

Apr 8, 1873 - Brigham Young resigns as Trustee-in-Trust, and conference sustains his first counselor George A. Smith to that position with twelve "assistants." Apostle Albert Carrington is assistant counselor in Presidency and is first college graduate to serve.

Apr 8, 1889 - Apostle Heber J. Grant records in his diary: "As soon as conference adjourned the Presidency, Apostles and Presidency of different Stakes met at the President's office and some instructions were given principally on the political situation and the necessity of the people being united in political matters."

Apr 8, 1893 - Two days after the dedication of the Salt Lake Temple Apostle Marriner W. Merrill writes: "A baby boy was born in the Temple last night at 10 p. m., Mrs. Benjamin F. Bennett of Provo the mother."

Apr 8, 1894 - Wilford Woodruff tells General Conference of a revelation he had: "When I have the vision of the night opened continually before my eyes, and can see the mighty judgments that are about to be poured out upon this world, . . . We have fourteen million people on this earth, and over them all there hangs a cloud of darkness almost entirely upon their shoulders. Can you tell me where the people are who will be shielded and protected from these great calamities and judgments which are even now at our doors? I'll tell you. The priesthood of God who honor their priesthood, and who are worthy of their blessings are the only ones who shall have this safety and protection. . . .God has held the angels of destruction for many years, lest they should reap down the wheat with the tares. But I want to tell you now, that those angels have left the portals of heaven, and they stand over this people and this nation now, and are hovering over the earth waiting to pour out the judgments. And from this very day they shall be poured out." Afterwards, as Wilford Woodruff writes in his diary, "I drank some Hot Lemonade with a little brandy in it. Went to bed and soon to sleep."

Apr 8, 1901 - Apostle John Henry Smith reports on general Priesthood Meeting: "President Lorenzo Snow spoke on the character of the people who should receive their Second Endowments ['Only those who are fully entitled to their second anointings should receive this blessing'] and on Tithing ['This church will never go back to Jackson County to build up the temple, until the church as a church learns to observe the law of tithing']. Heber J. Grant sang Jerusalem. Joseph F. Smith on the Holy anointing ['No man receives a fullness of the Melchisedek Priesthood till he has received his second anointing.']. Heber J. Grant on singing. Abraham O. Woodruff said don't betray your brethren. Reed Smoot on tithing. Rudger Clawson on Record Keeping. John W. Taylor on putting the brethren who visited them in clean beds free from bed bugs."

Apr 8, 1912 - During a special priesthood meeting President Joseph F. Smith announces that the "One Mighty and Strong to deliver as referred to in the D & C Sec. 85 has no application to the Church at present."

Apr 8, 1950 - At General Conference Apostle Joseph F. Merrill speaks against labor unions and the desire for "more pay for less work." He compares labor unions to bank robbers.

Apr 8, 1954 - World-class scientist (and father of future apostle) Henry Eyring writes to Apostle Richard L. Evans, "I never worry what the Brethren believe about my specialty today because it is part of the genius of the Lord's Church that both they and I will understand the entire situation better tomorrow." A general authority stated that Eyring "kept his knowledge of the revealed truths of religion and his organic evolutionary views in separate compartments."

Apr 8, 1962 - Conference is broadcast by television coast-to-coast in United Stated and Canada, and by shortwave radio to Mexico, South America, Caribbean, Europe, and Africa.

Apr 8, 1970 - Apostle Mark E. Petersen preaches in General Conference, "salvation is in the Church, and of the Church, and is obtained only through the Church."

Apr 8, 1995 - Gordon B. Hinckley dedicates "Tuacahn," outdoor amphitheater seating 2,000 near St. George, Utah, for performances "featuring Mormon themes and values," It hosts Mormon Arts Festival in May 1996.

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