August 18th

Aug 18, 1835 - Minutes of the Kirtland High Council: "Testimony of Elder B. Riggs, as follows, that said Elder [Phineas H.] Young, borrowed a Book of Mormon of Mr. Childs of Madison Co. N. Y. and agreed to return it, but instead of doing so, sold it, also gave another to a poor female as a deed of charity, afterward borrowed it & sold it. For which said council decided that Elder P. H. Young should be suspended from church fellowhip, until he gives satisfaction to this council for this unchristian conduct." Phineas H. Young, Brigham Young's brother; was chosen in 1835 to be an apostle but passed over when William Smith was ordained instead.

Aug 18, 1842 - Joseph Smith writes to Newell Whitney, Newell's wife and seventeen-year-old daughter Sarah Ann who became Joseph's plural wife three weeks earlier: "Dear, and Beloved, Brother and Sister, Whitney, and &c.--I take this oppertunity to communi[c]ate, some of my feelings, privetely at this time, which I want you three Eternaly to keep in your own bosams; for my feelings are so strong for you since what has pased lately between us, that the time of my abscence from you seems so long, and dreary, that it seems, as if I could not live long in this way: and if you three would come and see me in this my lonely retreat, it would afford me great relief, of mind, if those with whom I am alied, do love me, now is the time to afford me succour, in the days of exile, for you know I foretold you of these things. I am now at Carlos Graingers, Just back of Brother Hyrams farm, it is only one mile from town, the nights are very pleasant indeed, all three of you can come and See me in the fore part of the night, let Brother Whitney come a little a head, and nock at the south East corner of the house at the window; it is next to the cornfield, I have a room intirely by myself, the whole matter can be attended to with most perfect safty, I know it is the will of God that you should comfort me now in this time of afiliction, or not at [al]l[;] now is the time or never, but I hav[e] no kneed of saying any such thing, to you, for I know the goodness of your hearts, and that you will do the will of the Lord, when it is made known to you; the only thing to be careful of; is to find out when Emma [Smith] comes then you cannot be safe, but when she is not here, there is the most perfect safty: only be careful to escape observation, as much as possible, I know it is a heroick undertakeing; but so much the greater frendship, and the more Joy, when I see you I will tell you all my plans, I cannot write them on paper, burn this letter as soon as you read it; keep all locked up in your breasts, my life depends upon it. one thing I want to see you for it is to git the fulness of my blessings sealed upon our heads, &c. you will pardon me for my earnestness on this subject when you consider how lonesome I must be, your good feelings know how to make every allowance for me, I close my letter, I think Emma [Smith, his first wife] wont come tonight[,] if she dont dont fail to come to night. I subscribe myself your most obedient, and affectionate, companion, and friend."

Aug 18, 1896 - Wilford Woodruff receives revelation concerning recent death of Apostle Abraham H. Cannon, which Woodruff relates next general conference. Paraphrased text published in DESERET NEWS report of his Oct. 1896 sermon. This revelation's full text is never published or canonized. Woodruff also relates that on this night "I was vary much troubled in the fore part of the night with Evil spirits that tried to Afflict me. Finally A spirit visit[ed] me that seemed to have power over the Evil spirits And they departed from me. I had Concluded not to attend the Mormon Meeting for Testimony in the City but the spirit said to me it was wisdom for us to Attend the Testimony Meeting as the Saints knew we were here in the City and if we did not attend it would have a bad Effect upon the Saints so I Concluded to Attend."

Aug 18, 1939 - First Presidency agrees to allow Southern Woman (who looks Caucasian) to be endowed in Salt Lake temple despite the fact that her membership record is marked "negro blood." Reason for their decision is that Apostle George F. Richards already gave her patriarchal blessing which declares her lineage as Ephraim through Joseph and Israel.

Aug 18, 1949 - Apostle (and Salt Lake Temple President) George F. Richards reads a letter to the assembled First Presidency and Twelve Apostles decrying the lack of second anointings being performed. The letter states that to date 22,278 second anointings had been performed for living persons and 10,217 for the dead. Richards's letter states: "I have not been able to bring myself to feel that the Lord is pleased with us in neglecting such an important and sacred endowment, which He has given us to be administered in His holy temples to worthy members of His Church. The Second Anointings were given by revelation to the Prophet Joseph Smith to be administered to worthy members of the Church, both the living and the dead; and from the days of the Prophet Joseph to the days of President Heber J. Grant that practice continued. . . . When living members receive their Second blessings, or anointings, they are given a charge that they must not speak of those things to anybody; that only those who are invited by the President of the Church are to receive them, and that none others are supposed to know anything about them. . . . About 1928 an incident occurred which so incensed the First Presidency that they had all the recommend books brought in to the President's office, and instructions were given that no recommends of that character should be given by stake presidents thereafter. . . .The incident above mentioned which so exasperated the First Presidency was as follows: A brother who had received his Second Blessings, while speaking in a priesthood meeting in one of the Idaho stakes, told the brethren that they all should have their Second Blessings. Of course that was a serious infraction of the charge which he received when he had his Second Anointings; but I have never learned of any serious consequences to follow, except the action on the part of the Authorities, discontinuing the administration of those blessings in the Church. It appears to me that the mistake made by the good brother in Idaho was not so serious as to justify letting those sacred ordinances come into disuse in the Church. I think now is the time to act; with such modifications as to details as the brethren might feel to make, insuring that these blessings be administered only to those who are worthy to receive them." The letter quotes the endowment ceremony to say, "Brethren and Sisters, if you are true and faithful, the day will come when you will be chosen, called up and anointed kings and queens, priests and priestesses, whereas you are now anointed only to become such. The realization of these blessings depends upon your faithfulness." (Endowment Ceremonies, p. 1x2.}"

Aug 18, 1954 - First Presidency rules that Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith's anti-evolutionary MAN: HIS ORIGIN AND DESTINY should not be used for study in LDS seminaries and institutes. McKay expresses from 1954 on: "On the subject of organic evolution the Church has officially taken no position. The book 'Man, His Origin and Destiny' was not published by the Church, and is not approved by the Church."

Aug 18, 1978 - Mormon feminist Sonia Johnson cables Utah Senators Orrin Hatch and Jake Garn: "Since you have announced your intention to filibuster when the ERA extension bills comes before the Senate, I am announcing my intention to begin fasting on the Capitol steps in Washington as soon as the filibuster begins—a genuine Mormon fast, without food or liquid—and to continue until you stop talking or I die." Johnson later applies for a permit to stand on the front steps of the Capitol building. "Mormons Against ERA" in reply announce their intentions to hold family home evening on the Capitol steps. Garn and Hatch decide not to filibuster. Johnson writes "I rather think that neither the church nor the Utah senators were willing to chance the sensational headlines: 'Mormon Woman Dies of Mormon Senator's Prolixity.'" Fifteen months later Johnson is excommunicated.

In a talk at BYU Apostle Bruce R. McConkie discusses the recent revelation granting "all worthy males" the priesthood. "The Lord could have sent messengers from the other side to deliver it, but he did not. He gave the revelation by the power of the Holy Ghost. Latter-day Saints have a complex: many of them desire to magnify and build upon what has occurred, and they delight to think of miraculous things. And maybe some of them would like to believe that the Lord himself was there, or that the Prophet Joseph Smith came to deliver the revelation (see Time, 7 Aug. 1978, p. 55), which was one of the possibilities. Well, these things did not happen." He further states, "Forget everything that I have said, or what President Brigham Young or President George Q. Cannon or whomsoever has said in days past that is contrary to the present revelation. We spoke with a limited understanding and without the light and knowledge that now has come into the world. We get our truth and our light line upon line and precept upon precept. We have now had added a new flood of intelligence and light on this particular subject, and it erases all the darkness and all the views and all the thoughts of the past. They don't matter any more. It doesn't make a particle of difference what anybody ever said about the Negro matter before the first day of June of this year."

Aug 18, 1985 - three days before the Sunstone Theological Symposium convened for its annual meetings, Elder Dallin Oaks makes headlines when he publicly decries Mormon scholars who criticize LDS leadership. Church leaders are entitled to the respect and support of their members, he says, regardless of whether their counsel and opinions were right or wrong.

Aug 18, 1992. Keynoting the devotional for the estimated 30,000 participants at BYU Education Week, Elder Neal A. Maxwell criticizes some intellectuals: "Exciting exploration is preferred by them to plodding implementation, as speculation and argumentations seem more fun to these few individuals rather than consecration, so they even try to soften the hard doctrines. By not obeying, they lack knowledge and thus cannot defend their faith, and a few become critics instead of defenders."

Aug 18, 1996 - Groundbreaking for temple in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

No comments: