July 14th

July 14, 1842 - In a public speech Joseph Smith calls Orson Pratt's wife Sarah "A whore from her mother's breast." Sarah had accused Smith of proposing plural marriage to her while her husband Orson was away on a mission. Sarah later reported in an interview that Joseph told her, "If any woman, like me, opposed his wishes, he used to say: 'Be silent or I shall ruin your character!'"
Orson Pratt writes a 'suicide' note: "I am a ruined man! My future prospects are blasted! The testimony upon both sides seems to be equal: The one in direct contradiction to the other . . . [I]f the testimonies of my wife and others are true then I have been deceived for twelve years past--my hopes are blasted and gone as it were in a moment . . . If on the other hand the other testimonies are true then my family are ruined forever. . . .My sorrows are greater than I can bear! Where I am henceforth it matters not."

July 14, 1855 - Brigham Young preaches: "I have a few words to say concerning one item of doctrine, . . . concerning the right of faithful Elders, in taking to themselves more than one wife. . . . God never introduced the Patriarchial order of marriage with a view to please man in his carnal desires, nor to punish females for anything which they had done; but He introduced it for the express purpose of raising up to His name a royal Priesthood, a peculiar people. . . . Suppose that I had had the privilege of having only one wife, I should have had only three sons, for those are all that my first wife bore, whereas, I now have buried five sons, and have thirteen living. . . .It is obvious that I could not have been blessed with such a family, if I had been restricted to one wife, but, by the introduction of this law, I can be the instrument in preparing tabernacles for those spirits which have to come in this dispensation. . . . Now if any of you will deny the plurality of wives, and continue to do so, I promise that you will be damned; and I will go still further and say, take this revelation, or any other revelation that the Lord has given, and deny it in your feelings, and I promise that you will be damned."

July 14, 1863 - General Patrick Edward Connor and Federal Indian superintendent James D. Doty meet with the Southern Utes. After the chiefs had expressed some apprehensions, Connor is able to dissuade them from the idea that the army wanted to fight or exterminate them. The Utes had been told this by Mormon leaders.

July 14, 1876 - Sidney Rigdon dies at the age of eighty-three in Friendship, New York; where he is buried.

July 14, 1887 - L. John Nuttall writes: " Pres[iden]t. Taylor spent a poor night. He does not seem much different this morning, only weaker. Dr. Anderson spoke last evening of administering hyperdermic injections of Digitalis, which he said would only give him temporary relief in the action of the heart. The Sisters Taylor and Pres[iden]t. Cannon did not favor this, as the President had so opposed anything of the kind being done for him while he was able to speak for himself. The doctor this morning after examining the President, said he might live a week or ten days or he might drop off today or at any time."

July 14, 1909 - The First Presidency calls a committee consisting of Francis M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, and Heber J. Grant to look into alleged new plural marriages. The committee is charged with dealing "summarily" with those found guilty. Other apostles are asked to help. Several persons--patriarchs, stake presidents, mission presidents, and others--are asked to testify. Some are dropped from their church positions. One person who had been under consideration for appointment to the First Council of the Seventy is passed over because "he had married plural wives since the Manifesto and his appointment would bring trouble on the church sure."

July 14, 1949 - Presiding Bishop LeGrand Richards approves installation of cigarette vending machine in bus terminal of Church's Temple Square Hotel.

July 14, 1958 - Apostle Hugh B. Brown formally recommends that First Presidency not ask Salt Lake City Public Library to remove books on list. Brown notes: "many of the books on this list are only mildly critical or objectionable from the Church standpoint." In 1954 First Presidency assigned Apostle Adam S. Bennion, another well-known liberal within Twelve, to assess this list of books. He delayed fulfilling assignment until his death in 1958. Joseph L. wirthlin of Presiding Bishopric sent the original 1953 list of books "not favorable to the Church" to the Presidency, "pursuant to your request."

July 14, 1972 - Jean Miles Westwood is elected national chair of Democratic Party, first Mormon and first woman to head major political party in United States.

July 14, 1987 - William Law, Counselor to Joseph Smith and publisher of the NAUVOO EXPOSITOR (the newspaper that exposed Joseph's polygamy and whose distruction led to Joseph's arrest and assassination at Carthage Jail) is rebaptized by proxy into the LDS church. His priesthood is restored by proxy on October 15.

July 14, 1995 - USA TODAY reports: "A Bountiful, Utah man discovered that his wife of 3 1/2 years is a man who is now jailed on charges he ran up $40,000 in phony credit card charges. Bruce Jensen, 39, says he feels 'pretty stupid' that he didn't know Felix Urioste, 34 was a man." Jensen and Urioste (using the name Leasa) were married in Lyman, Wyoming in December of 1991 and later were sealed for time and eternity in the Salt Lake Temple.

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