August 31st

Aug 31, 1838 - Joseph Smith "beats his fists together" and angrily tells Mormon John Corrill (who had publicly expressed disagreement with a recent revelation on the United Order), "if you tell about the streets again that you do not believe this or that revelation[,] I will walk on your neck Sir." After Corrill had abandoned his belief in Mormonism he was nevertheless extremely generous in helping the Mormons during their Missouri difficulties.

Aug 31, 1841 - Quorum of Twelve votes "unanimously, that we for ourselves, and the Church we represent, approve of the proceedings of President Smith, so far as he has gone, in making over certain properties to his wife, children, and friends for their support, and that he continue to deed and make over certain portions of Church property which now exist, or which may be obtained by exchange, as in his wisdom he shall judge expedient, till his own, and his father's household, shall have an inheritance secured to them in our midst"

Aug 31, 1842 - To refute John C. Bennett's allegations Joseph Smith authorizes publication of affidavits in the Mormon publication THE WASP accusing first counselor Sidney Rigdon's daughter Nancy and Orson Pratt's wife Sarah of sexual misconduct with Bennett. This is part of an ongoing pattern to attack the moral character of women who have publicly told of being approached regarding the still-secret practice of polygamy.

Aug 31, 1844 - Brigham Young becomes lieutenant-general of the Nauvoo Legion, although the governor does not officially appoint him until Sept. 27.

Aug 31, 1846 - Brigham Young warns non-Mormon Thomas L. Kane (whom Young had just met) "that we had more influence with the indians than all other nations on earth, & if we were compelled we would use it."

Aug 31, 1856 - Brigham Young publicly prophesies that by 1882 "Elders of this church will be as much thought of as the kings on their thrones." He further preaches, "I have traveled and preached, and at the same time sustained my family by my labor and economy. If I borrowed one hundred dollars, or fifty, or if I had five dollars, it almost universally went into the hands of brother Joseph, to pay lawyers' fees and to liberate him from the power of his enemies, so far as it would go. Hundreds and hundreds of dollars that I have managed to get, to borrow and trade for, I have handed over to Joseph when I came home. That is the way I got help, and it was good for me; it learned me a great deal, though I had learned, before I heard of "Mormonism," to take care of number one"

Aug 31, 1873 - Brigham Young preaches: "Now, where a man in this Church says, "I don't want but one wife, I will live my religion with one," he will perhaps be saved in the celestial kingdom; but when he gets there he will not find himself in possession of any wife at all. He has had a talent that he has hid up. He will come forward and say, "Here is that which thou gavest me, I have not wasted it, and here is the one talent," and he will not enjoy it, but it will be taken and given to those who have improved the talents they received, and he will find himself without any wife, and he will remain single for ever and ever. . . . I recollect a sister conversing with Joseph Smith on this subject. She told him: "Now, don't talk to me; when I get into the celestial kingdom, if I ever do get there, I shall request the privilege of being a ministering angel; that is the labor that I wish to perform. I don't want any companion in that world; and if the Lord will make me a ministering angel, it is all I want." Joseph said, "Sister, you talk very foolishly, you do not know what you will want." He then said to me: "Here, brother Brigham, you seal this lady to me." I sealed her to him. This was my own sister according to the flesh." Brigham Young's sister, Fanny, became Joseph Smith's last plural wife on Nov 2, 1843.

Aug 31, 1880 - St. George Temple President John D. T. McAllister instructs temple workers: "With regard to new Names. give easy names to be understood: Scripture names or names not in the Scripture, there are many good names of those who have lived upon the earth which are easy to understand, don't give any fanciful names, be Sure they get the New Name and that they understand it. . . . During the time of the Endowments, there Should be no knitting or Sewing in any of the rooms, no loud talking or noise, Workers who are called to take parts, commit them [to memory] So as not to have to read them but have your book with you So you can refer if necessary."

Aug 31, 1886 - U.S. officials at Staten Island, New York, send immigrants back to England because they are Mormons. They board next ship, conceal their religion and destination, pass through American customs, and arrive in Salt Lake City on Oct. 27. For next several years, European immigrants conceal their LDS religion and Utah destination.

Aug 31, 1887 - Apostle Heber J. Grant writes in his diary of fellow apostle George Q. Cannon: "Nearly every move George Q. Cannon makes decreases my confidence in his sense of honor, in financial matters."

Aug 31, 1894 - First Presidency letter to "Elder Lorenzo Snow, Prest. Salt Lake Temple" includes the instructions: "The words 'that my tongue be torn from its roots in my mouth,' were substituted for 'from the roof of my mouth.' In giving the sign and token of the Aaronic priesthood that Salt Lake Temple use the word, 'index', meaning the fore-finger. It was decided to use the words, 'fore finger,' instead of 'index finger,' the latter being more easily understood. It has been the practice to mark the shirt, but we think this unnecessary as it is not strictly a part of the Temple clothing. The marking of the garment should be done in the washing room and not at the veil; and the greatest care should be taken to see that no person is permitted to leave that room wearing an unmarked garment." The letter is signed by Wilford Woodruff, Geo. Q. Cannon, and Jos. F. Smith

Aug 31, 1954 - Herbert Salisbury, grandson of Cathrine Smith Salisbury, sister of Joseph Smith, says in an interview, "I was visiting my grandmother at her home in Hancock County, near Fountain Green, when I asked her for some recollections of her brother, the Prophet Joseph Smith. Catherine Smith Salisbury then told me that while dusting up the room where the Prophet had his study she saw a package on the table containing the gold plates on which was engraved the story of the Book of Mormon. She said she hefted those plates and found them very heavy like gold and also rippled her fingers up the edge of the plates and felt that they were separate metal plates and heard the tinkle of sound that they made. . . . the Prophet's sister, told me that she was there when he came in running and burst through the door carrying the plates; and that his hand was injured from striking one of the villains. He told her that he had jumped over a rail fence; when one of the villains grabbed for the plates, he knocked him down with his right fist while carrying the plates under his left arm clasped to his body. Then he ran the gauntlet with several more, and when he came in the house she said he was completely out of breath. She took the plates from him and laid them on the table temporarily, and helped revive him until he got breathing properly, and also examined his hand, and treated it for the bruises on his knuckles, where he had struck the villain and thus defended himself and the plates."

Aug 31, 1964 - First Presidency letter "TO PRESIDENTS OF STAKES and BISHOPS OF WARDS . . . Where the military regulations are of a character that 'hinders', that is, makes impossible the wearing of the regulation garments, either in training on the drill grounds or in combat zones, effort should be made to wear underclothing that will approach as near as may be the normal garment. Where military regulations require the wearing of two-piece underwear, such underwear should be properly marked, as if the articles were of the normal pattern. If circumstances are such that different underwear may be turned back to the wearer from that which he sends to the laundry, then the marks should be placed on small pieces of cloth and sewed upon the underwear while being worn, then removed when the underwear is sent to the laundry, and resewed upon the underwear returned."

Aug 31, 1967 - George W. Romney states on national television that U.S. government leaders and senior military officers have "brainwashed" him and every other American about Vietnam War. First Mormon to seek U.S. presidency since 1844, Romney announces: "I no longer believe it was necessary for us to get involved in South Vietnam to stop Communist aggression." U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara immediately responds: "I don't think Governor Romney can recognize the truth when he sees it or hears it." Three decades later McNamara admits that at this time he privately regards Vietnam War as misguided and unwinnable, despite his public statements to the contrary as U.S. ground troops in Vietnam increase to half a million. Romney's use of word "brainwashed" is ridiculed nationally and he withdraws as presidential candidate in Feb. 1968.

Aug 31, 1967 - John Wilson, Professor of Egyptology at the University of Chicago, writes in reply to an inquiry by Mormon Glen Wade that Wade had heard Wilson might know where the (yet unpublicized) Joseph Smith Papyri might be), "I was told verbally and in confidence that they were still in existence, recently bought by an American museum from a private source. I have been asked not to reveal their present location, and I have to keep my word on that. Thus I cannot suggest to you how you can secure more definite information."

Aug 31, 1979 - Sally Rand dies at age 75. Her "fan dance" scandalized visitors at the 1933 Chicago World's fair and brought herself national recognition. In 1934 she scandalized St. Louis with a Lady Godiva horseback ride. "It was my form of social protest," she said according to UPI, "People were starving during those depression days and here the aristocratic women were spending a thousand dollars for a dress to go to a party." She appeared at fairs, nightclubs, and on the burlesque stage. At age 61 she was arrested for dancing nude behind the five-foot ostrich fan which became her trademark. She celebrated her seventieth birthday with a fan dance at the Los Angeles Music Center. She joined the Mormon Church in June 1978, baptized by her son Sean who had joined the Church at her urging.

Aug 31, 1993 - Lynne Kanavel Whitesides, Mormon Women's Forum president, receives a letter from Bishop Virgil Merrill stating that a disciplinary council for apostasy is scheduled. Whitesides has regularly spoken on women and priesthood, Mother in Heaven, and other feminist issues. When she asks her bishop who her accusers are she is informed that there were none but her own words from public addresses, of which he had transcripts and cassette recordings. To prepare her defense, she asks which of her statements would be used; she was told that she knew what she said. Merrill had been contacted repeatedly by a general authority concerning Whitesides and had been sent materials, such as copies of news reports about her. When he receives a full transcript of a television interview Whitesides had given, with yellow highlighted passages, he immediately sets a date for the disciplinary council. 150 friends hold a vigil on the lawn during the disciplinary council. Whitesides is disfellowshipped and reports that Merrill had said that the support of so many friends had an impact on him. The day after the Whitesides's disciplinary council LDS historian D. Michael Quinn receives a letter from his stake president notifying him of his disciplinary council on the charges of "apostasy and conduct unbecoming a member."

No comments: