July 1st

July 1, 1802 - "Joseph Smith" signs the following statement before the town clerk of Randolph, Vermont: "I Do not agree in Religious opinion With a Majority of the Inhabitants of this Town." This is a request to be exempted from the regular Congregational tax. Although Joseph Smith Sr. (Father of LDS founder) may have been in Randolph, Vermont on this date he is not the only "Joseph Smith" in the town. The ENSIGN, however, publishes a copy of this document claiming that it is signed by the prophet's father.

July 1, 1824 - After four years as Presiding Elder of the Methodist Church over the Ontario District (of which both Palmyra township and Lyons circuit were a part) Abner Chase reports that "The Lord has been pleased to visit this District (Ontario) in mercy the present year [July 1823-July 1824]. . . . Four years since, Unitarianism or Arianism, seemed to threaten the entire overthrow of the work of God in some Circuits on this District, and on some others, divisions and wild and ranting fanatics, caused the spirits of the faithful in a degree to sink. But the Lord has turned again the captivity of Zion, and made us to rejoice. Though for two or three years [July 1820-July 1823] we saw no great awakenings, yet we saw that truth and rational scriptural piety were evidently gaining ground. The present year [July 1823-July 1824] we have had some glorious revivals. . . ."

July 1, 1829 - Joseph Smith, with Oliver Cowdery as his scribe, completes the translation of the Book of Mormon at the home of David Whitmer's father in Fayette, New York.

July 1, 1837 - Orson Hyde, Willard Richards, Heber C. Kimball and four others leave New York on the ship THE GARRICK bound for Liverpool to open the first mission outside of North America. During the voyage Kimball dreams "that the Prophet Joseph came to me while I was standing upon the forecastle of the ship, and said, 'Brother Heber, here is a rod (putting it into my hands) with which you are to guide the ship; while you hold this rod, you shall prosper and there shall be no obstacles thrown before you, but what you shall have power to over come, and the hand of God shall be with you;' after this I discovered every kind of obstruction would be placed before the trip to stop its progress, but the bow being sharp, the obstacles were compelled to move out one side like a bulrush, and when the she would come to a mountain, it would plow its course right through, as though it was in water. This rod which Joseph gave me was about three and a half feet in length. His appearance was just as natural as I ever beheld him in the flesh he blessed me and disappeared."

July 1, 1844 - Willard Richards, John Taylor and W. W. Phelps announce that they will await the return of the Quorum of Twelve before deciding the nature of the church's new leadership. In Boston Wilford Woodruff, unaware of the assassination of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, attends the Jeffersonian Democracy Convention and nominates Joseph Smith for president of the United States and Sidney Rigdon for vice-president.

July 1, 1845 - Nauvoo Chief of Police and former Joseph Smith bodyguard Hosea Stout writes in his diary: "This day there was a grand concert for the police at the Masonic Hall; it commenced at ten o'clock. Myself and wife and L. [Lucretia] Fisher went. We had also the twelve and other authorities with us, and was also provided with as much beer, wine, the cakes and etc. as we could eat and drink."
Apostle Parley P. Pratt, who had four wives at the time, writes to the MILLENIAL STAR warning English Mormons to "beware of seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils, as first introduced by John C. Bennett, under the name of 'spiritual wife' doctrine; and still agitated by the Pittsburg Seer, [Sidney Rigdon] and his followers under the same title." This is part of a pattern of false accusations against Sidney Rigdon who challenged the Apostles for leadership of the Church after Joseph's death. Rigdon had never advocated nor accepted polygamy.

July 1, 1858 - First Presidency and others return to homes in otherwise-deserted Salt Lake City.

July 1, 1861 - Brigham Young's office journal records: "President [Young] & H[eber] C Kimball talked of old times, especially their being mysteriously supplied with money in their early Career in the church. he also noticed Joseph Smith’s feelings after he had prophecied Joseph would frequently ask his brethren how they felt about the prophecies he had made asked if they thought they would come true, when his brethren remarked they knew he Spoke by the Spirit of God that comforted him."

July 1, 1862 - President Abraham Lincoln signs the Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act into law. This is the first congressional legislation aimed at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the first action of what proved to be an extended anti-polygamy crusade.

July 1, 1866 - Following the regular Sunday prayer circle of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve, Brigham Young "arose from his knees and took off his apron with an intention apparently of undressing. Of a sudden he stopped and exclaimed, "Hold On, should I do as I feel it? I always feel well to do as the spirit constrains me. It is in my mind to ordain Elder Joseph F. Smith to the apostleship. And to be one of my counsellors." And then called on each one of us for an expression of our feelings and we individually responded and it met our hardy approval, and we then offered up the signs of the priesthood after which Elder Joseph F. Smith, knelt upon the alter and taking off his cap we laid our hands upon him, brother Brigham being mouth and we repeated after him in the usual form. We said, "Brother Joseph F. Smith, we lay our hands upon your head in the name of Jesus Christ and by the virtue of the holy priesthood to ordain you to be an apostle in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and be a special witness to the nations of the earth and seal upon your head all the authority and power, and keys of this holy apostleship and ordain you to be a counsellor unto the first Presidency of the church and the kingdom of God upon the earth. These blessings we seal upon your head in the name of Jesus Christ by the authority of the Holy Priesthood. Amen." After the ordination, Brother Brigham said that this is the first time that any person has been ordained in this manner.…" Joseph F. Smith, although ordained an apostle, is not admitted to the Quorum until more than a year later when Amasa M. Lyman is removed. After the ordination Young "suggested to us that it would be wisdom for us to keep the fact of this ordination to ourselves." Knowledge of the secret ordination is kept even from Heber C. Kimball, Young's first counselor and Joseph F. Smith's father-in-law.

July 1, 1873 - Brigham Young's son Willard is first Mormon admitted as cadet in U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He graduates on June 16, 1875, "second in discipline" and "fourth in over-all standing" within his own class. Second Mormon at West Point is Brigham's nephew Richard W. Young in 1878. After two years as first Mormon at U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, Brigham's son Feramorz L. Young resigns "in good standing" in December 1876 because he decides against military career. In twentieth century, hundreds of Mormons graduate from U.S. military academies.

July 1, 1887 - First Presidency secretary L. John Nuttall records: "Deputy Marshals were at Farmington this afternoon. . . . A very remarkable instance of Prest. Taylor's will and nerve was manifest this evening. On his learning that we had been informed of these Deputies, whilst he could not stand up alone, he asked respecting them and on being further informed, he said, "Stand them off, boys, stand them off; we have our rights and will maintain them, go for them from the beginning."

July 1, 1889 - Apostle John Henry Smith records: "All of the ward authorities were presented to the people and sustained. B[isho]p. Morris confessed he had been intoxicated and was forgiven."

July 1, 1890 - U.S. Senate bill to deny all Mormons any right to homestead public lands.

July 1, 1893 - The Church fails to meet its payroll, forcing General Authorities to draw their living allowances in tithing commodities. Economic depression hits Utah hard and has First Counselor George Q. Cannon meeting with financiers in London (including Baron Rothschild) and Apostle Heber J. Grant meeting with bankers in New York to secure a loan to see the Church through the hard times. The First Presidency writes: "Every day urgent demands for cash are made of us, which we cannot meet for the simple reason that we have no money. . . . We never saw such a time of financial stringency as there is now."

July 1, 1939 - Nazi Gestapo arrests two American LDS missionaries in Czechoslovakia and put them and two other missionaries into prison. Not released until Aug. 23.

July 1, 1961 - CHURCH NEWS article, "Mission Presidents Get Uniform Plan For Teaching Gospel," introduces the new six-discussion proselytizing plan in which the discussions are to be memorized verbatim by the missionaries.

July 1, 1962 - Brigadier-General Murray A. Bywater is LDS commander of Strategic Air Command (SAC) in Wichita, Kansas for Titan II underground missles.
Following release of Lowell L. Bennion as director of LDS institute of religion at University of Utah, George S. Tanner writes in his diary: "The way it looks to me is that the Brethren have suddenly become worried that there is a little too much liberalism among some of our better trained men and they are trying to stamp it out." Tanner was institute director for twenty-eight years in Idaho and has taught continuously in program since 1923.

July 1, 1978 - Spencer W. Kimball dedicates Relief Society Monument to Women at Nauvoo, Illinois, and assistant to governor formally apologizes for role of Illinois government in expelling Mormons in 1846.

July 1, 1980 - Organization of Africa West Mission, first full-time mission directed specifically to black Africans, especially Nigerians.

July 1, 1992 - Among newly assigned mission presidents are Haitian black Fritzner A. Joseph, Ghanian black Ato K. Dadson, and Nigerian blacks John A Ehanire and Christopher N. Chukwurah.

No comments: