July 17th

July 17, 1831 - Plural marriage is alluded to in a revelation which is never canonized nor officially published. The revelation states: "Verily, I say unto you, that the wisdom of man in his fallen state, knoweth not the purposes and the privileges of my holy priesthood, but yet shall know when ye receive a fullness by reason of the anointing: For it is my will, that in time, ye should take unto you wives of the Lamanites and Nephites, that their posterity may become white, delightsome and just, for even now their females are more virtuous than the gentiles." When W. W. Phelps asks Joseph Smith how they, married men, could take wives of the Lamanites Joseph answers, "In the same manner that Abraham took Hagar and Keturah; and Jacob took Rachel, Bilhah and Zilpha, by Revelation."

July 17, 1837 - Newspapers report that Sarah Kingsley Cleveland had been jailed for passing $390 in notes of the Kirtland Safety Anti-Banking Society, the first Mormon woman to be imprisoned.

July 17, 1842 - Brigham Young writes to Parley P. Pratt concerning his brother Orson Pratt: "Br Orson Pratt is in trubble in consequence of his wife, hir feelings are so rought up that he dos not know whether his wife is wrong, or whether Josephs testimony and others are wrong and due Ly and he decived for 12 years or not; he is all but crazy about matters, you may aske what the matter is concirning Sister P.--it is enoph, and doct, J.C. Bennett could tell all about himself & hir--enoph of that--we will not let Br. Orson goe away from us he is to good a man to have a woman destroy him."
THE WASP EXTRA, a Nauvoo newspaper, accuses John C. Bennett of "adultery, fornication, embryo infanticide and buggery, . . ."

July 17, 1847 - William Clayton writes on the pioneer trail: " In the afternoon Elders [Heber] Kimball, [Willard] Richards, [Ezra T.] Benson and others went onto a mountain to clothe and pray for President Young who continues very sick. On returning they rolled down many large rocks from the top of the mountain to witness the velocity of their descent &c. Some would roll over half a mile and frequently broke to pieces."

July 17, 1853 - Beginning of hostilities that constitute the "Walker War." Chief Wakara ("Walker") of the Ute Indians had welcomed the Mormons into the Salt Lake Valley and given them information and advice. By now, however, he longed to rid himself of the white settlers.

July 17, 1869 - Wilford Woodruff writes: "I attended the school of the prophets. Allexander & David Smith two of the Sons of Joseph Smith the prophet Have arived in this City & Had an interview with Presidt Young. Their mission is to destroy the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to destroy the work the foundation of which their Father has laid. Their Mother Emma Smith has Taught them lies Concerning the work of their Father." Emma had taught them that their father, Joseph Smith, did not originate the doctrine of polygamy but that it originated with Brigham Young.

July 17, 1875 - Wilford Woodruff writes: "I met at the Endowment House at 2 oclok [with] the Presidency & Twelve. President Young & G[eorge] A Smith went into the font and G. A. Smith Baptized President Brigham Young for the renewal of his Covenant and as an Example to others. G. A. Smith & Daniel H. Wells Confirmed him. President Young then Baptized G A Smith & Daniel H Wells & Confirmed them. President Young then Baptized Wilford Woodruff, Orson Pratt, & Albert Carrington and Confirmed them. Seven of the Twelve were Baptized by D H. Wells at Sanpete County several weeks ago. They were Confirmed by President Young."

July 17, 1879 - John Taylor, as president of Zion's Savings Bank and Trust, has vice-president of the bank destroy two notes for $50,000 (possibly Taylor's personal indebtedness).

July 17, 1882 - First LDS-operated hospital is Deseret Hospital, founded by women Eliza R. Snow, Emmeline B. Wells, Zina D. H. Young, Jane S. Richards, Phebe Woodruff, Marinda N. Hyde, Bathsheba W. Smith, Isabella M. Horne, and Dr. Romania B. Pratt.

July 17, 1894 - U.S. president Grover Cleveland signs Utah enabling act allowing Utah to become a state. Wilford Woodruff writes: " This has been a hard Struggle for years as it had Seemed as though all Earth & Hell had been Combined against the Latter Day Saints Having a State Government. And now we have to Give God the Glory for our admission into the Union."

July 17, 1915 - Two young Mormons, Rafael Monroy and Vincente Morales, are shot--execution style--in Mexico by supporters of Emilio Zapata and become the earliest martyrs of Mormonism in Mexico.

July 17, 1934 - Apostle John A. Widsoe writes to son of late, fellow apostle James E. Talmage: "It should not hurt my feelings at all if in the wisdom of the Almighty the body of man was prepared [according to the principles of evolution], and then that the spirit of man, the eternal ego, was placed within the body so prepared."

July 17, 1947 - First Presidency letter states: "From the days of the Prophet Joseph even until now, it has been the doctrine of the Church, never questioned by any of the Church leaders, that the Negroes are not entitled to the full blessings of the Gospel. Furthermore, your ideas, as we understand them, appear to contemplate the intermarriage of the Negro and White races, a concept which has heretofore been most repugnant to most normal-minded people from the ancient patriarchs till now. God's rule for Israel, His Chosen People, has been endogamous. Modern Israel has been similarly directed. We are not unmindful of the fact that there is growing tendency, particularly among some educators, as it manifests itself in this area, toward the breaking down of race barriers in the matter of intermarriage between whites and blacks, but it does not have the sanction of the Church and is contrary to Church doctrine."

July 17, 1970 - First Presidency letter ends financial independence of Relief Society by stopping payment of dues, prohibiting traditional Relief Society bazaar ("a noisy, carnival-like or commercial atmosphere"), and requiring that individual "Relief Societies sould immediately turn over to the appropriate Stake, Mission, Ward, Branch, or District presiding officers all assets which they have accumulated." This clarifies full intent of brief letter of June 10. Eliminating Relief Society's autonomy is central goal of Harold B. Lee's vision of church "correlation."

July 17, 1977 - The Kirtland Temple is designated as a United States Historic Landmark in a public ceremony.

July 17, 1978 - John Singer marries a second wife, Shirley Black. She moves into his house along with her three children from a previous marriage. Shirley's ex-husband is granted custody of the children which John Singer refuses to allow. Six months later Singer is shot and killed after pointing a gun at police officers trying to serve an arrest warrant.

July 17, 1982 - HOUSTON POST article: "Mormon Officials Installing 500 Satellite Dishes at Chapels."

July 17, 1993 - Counselor Thomas S. Monson presides at memorial service for reinterred bodies of former apostle Abraham Owen Woodruff and his first wife Helen Winters Woodruff. Removed from their original 1904 burial sites in Texas and Mexico, respectively, the couple is buried side-by-side in Salt Lake City. This is first reinterment of Mormon leader and wife since that of Joseph and Emma Smith in 1928.

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