August 15th

Aug 15, 1840 - Joseph Smith preaches baptism for the dead at the funeral of Seymour Brunson who died Aug 10. "General George Washington" is among the first for whom a vicarious baptism for the dead occurs in the Mississippi River, his proxy ("friend") is Joseph Smith's brother Don Carlos. After 1841 baptisms for the dead would occur only in specially constructed temple fonts.

Aug 15, 1844 - Emma Smith says that "secret things . . . cost Joseph and Hyrum their lives" and that the same would befall the Twelve. The Quorum of Twelve issues an epistle requiring members to pay "a tenth of all their property and money . . . and then let them continue to pay in a tenth of their income from that time forth." Brigham Young performs the second anointing ceremony for George Miller and his wife Catherine Fry Miller. This is the first such ordinance since the death of Joseph Smith. Bishop Miller is the last of the original men endowed by Joseph Smith in 1842 to receive the second anointing at Nauvoo.

Aug 15, 1869 - Apostle George Q. Cannon preaches from the pulpit: "We close the door on one side, and say that whoredoms, seductions and adulteries must not be committed among us, and we say to those who are determined to carry on such things[:] we will kill you. . ."

Aug 15, 1889 - Church pruchases ranch in Skull Valley, Tooele county, Utah for Hawaiian Mormon immigrants. They name the community Iosepa (Joseph). Colony continues until 1917.

Aug 15, 1895 - Apostle Abraham H. Cannon writes in his Journal: "Some talk was had about Charles Stayner and his doctrines of reincarnation. The fear was expressed by some of the brethren that Bishop O.F. Whitney has become somewhat indoctrinated with these ideas."

Aug 15, 1951 - CHURCH NEWS reports that Finland has given its "Silver Cross" to LDS mission president Henry A/ Matis for allowing one of his missionaries to coach Finnish National Basketball team for international competition.

Aug 15, 1966 - First Presidency letter that "after the expiration of one year from the date of death, temple ordinances may be performed for all deceased persons, except those of known Negro blood, without consideration of worthiness or any other qualification." Until the 1970's LDS Genealogical Department flags records of "those of known Negro blood" to avoid performance of proxy endowment and sealing ceremonies for them In 1974 church authorities quietly agree to end this preactice, after being informed of a potential NAACP lawsuit and Congressional investigation of this racially discriminatory use of such federal records as U. S. census.

Aug 15, 1981 - LDS CHURCH NEWS reports that married couple has been "teaching folk, square and some ballroom dances" to Indians in primarily Christian Goa, while "serving as Church representatives to teach recreation in India.." LDS missionary work in India is limited by laws forbidding foreigners to overtly proselytize. Since conversion and baptism in 1965 of S. Paul Thiruthuvadoss, who sought out LDS leaders to teach him, proselytizing on Indian subcontinent is conducted by native converts.

Aug 15-16, 1857 - Apostle George A. Smith preaches fiery sermons at Cedar City in southern Utah. Smith left Salt Lake City on Aug. 13 and brings latest news of U.S. army's "invasion," also report of Apostle Parley Pratt's murder in Arkansas. Smith likes wearing a holstered revolver in public, appeals to memories of Missouri persecutions, and has been preaching "speedy vengeance" for a decade. From all accounts he leaves Mormons of southern Utah filled with hatred and fear of their approaching enemies. A clerk records that in traveling north on Aug. 25 G. A. Smith meets "a party of emigrants who seemed to be much excited and placed a double guard as soon as we arrived." A few days later that emigrant party camps farther wouth at a place called Mountain Meadows.

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