August 17th

Aug 17, 1835 - A special conference accepts the DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS which contains unannounced changes and expansions of revelations previously published in THE EVENING AND MORNING STAR and 1833 BOOK OF COMMANDMENTS. This canonized work includes a statement on marriage which prohibits polygamy.

Aug 17, 1845 - William Smith preaches in favor of "spiritual wifery," to which John Taylor gives an immediate rebuttal. William's niece Mary (orphaned daughter of Samuel Smith) later writes: "He was ordered to discontinue his discourses, but he did not obey orders." His relatives helped build wooden seates to accommodate a crowd near his house. On the first Sunday "every seat in that grove had been fouled with outhouse refuse." Within months his mother Lucy Mack Smith would angrily tell James J.Strang's followers about this incident.

Aug 17, 1858 - Apostle George A. Smith, after extensive consultation with leaders of Mountain Meadows Massacre, writes official account which deteils their movements on day of massacre but not their participation in it. Begins conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Aug 17, 1864 - The Deseret News reports the setting up of a list of articles and prices in gold for Utah markets. Flour is put at $12 a hundred pounds, wheat $5 a bushel, and corn $4. This is, in reality, a form of price control.

Aug 17, 1872 - Brigham Young privately tells Wilford Woodruff that he "would like to put 1,000 families on My farm [presumably his Cache Valley operation] which would make 10 Acres each & Commence the [United] order of Enoch but I would want a Revelation to know who to put there. . . . I know of 2 Men that I think would do right & that is you & me. I Could not say about our families."

Aug 17, 1874, - William Clayton appears before notary public John T. Caine and swears out an affidavit giving in greater detail than any other document the circumstances surrounding the origin of the written revelation on polygamy later published as section 132 of the D&C. He does this to counter charges by Joseph Smith's son, Joseph Smith III, president of the RLDS church that polygamy was not started by his father..

Aug. 17, 1899 - Apostle John Henry Smith writes, "Prests. Lorenzo Snow, Joseph F. Smith, Myself, Geo. Teasdale, Heber J. Grant, Artthou H. Lund, and Rudger Clawson met at the Temple. It was determined to have a silk Temple apron with raised flowers woven."

Aug 17, 1942 - SS BRIGHAM YOUNG is launched as Liberty Ship for transporting troops, prisoners, and freight. Christened by Lucy Gates Bowen (his granddaughter) in Los Angeles Harbor. On May 22, 1943 SS JOSEPH SMITH is launched. Former survives World War II, but latter sinks in heavy seas on Jan. 11, 1944.

Aug 17, 1949 - First Presidency statement:
The attitude of the Church with reference to Negroes remains as it has always stood. It is not a matter of the declaration of a policy but of direct commandment from the Lord, on which is founded the doctrine of the Church from the days of its organization, to the effect that Negroes may become members of the Church but that they are not entitled to the priesthood at the present time. The prophets of the Lord have made several statements as to the operation of the principle. President Brigham Young said: "Why are so many of the inhabitants of the earth cursed with a skin of blackness? It comes in consequence of their fathers rejecting the power of the holy priesthood, and the law of God. They will go down to death. And when all the rest of the children have received their blessings in the holy priesthood, then that curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will then come up and possess the priesthood, and receive all the blessings which we now are entitled to."
President Wilford Woodruff made the following statement: "The day will come when all that race will be redeemed and possess all the blessings which we now have."
The position of the Church regarding the Negro may be understood when another doctrine of the Church is kept in mind, namely, that the conduct of spirits in the premortal existence has some determining effect upon the conditions and circumstances under which these spirits take on mortality and that while the details of this principle have not been made known, the mortality is a privilege that is given to those who maintain their first estate; and that the worth of the privilege is so great that spirits are willing to come to earth and take on bodies no matter what the handicap may be as to the kind of bodies they are to secure; and that among the handicaps, failure of the right to enjoy in mortality the blessings of the priesthood is a handicap which spirits are willing to assume in order that they might come to earth. Under this principle there is no injustice whatsoever involved in this deprivation as to the holding of the priesthood by the Negroes.

No comments: