July 23rd

July 23, 1831 - W.W. Phelps writes a description of Missouri: "The inhabitants are emigrants from Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, and the Carolinas, etc., with customs, manners, modes of living and a climate entirely different from the northerners, and they hate yankees worse than snakes, because they have cheated them or speculated on their credulity, with so many Connecticut wooden clocks, and New England notions. The people are proverbially idle or lazy, and mostly ignorant; reckoning nobody equal to themselves in many respects, and as it is a slave holding state, Japheth will make Canaan serve him, while he dwells in the tents of Shem"

July 23, 1833 - Cornerstones laid for Kirtland Temple. It is completed three years later.

July 23, 1837 - Joseph Smith dictates a revelation to the Quorum of Twelve's president concerning himself: "the keys which I have given unto him, and also to you, shall not be taken from him till I come."

July 23, 1843 - Joseph Smith "clarifies" his recent statement that he was resigning his prophet's mantle and giving it to his Brother Hyrum: "Last Monday morning certain brethren came to me and said they could hardly consent to receive Hyrum as a prophet, and for me to resign. But I told them, "I only said it to try your faith; and it is strange, brethren, that you have been in the Church so long, and not yet understand the Melchizedek Priesthood." Joseph's "resignation" was a temporary tactic to allow Hyrum to instruct the Saints to vote for a different candidate than the one to whom Joseph had previously committed his support.
Joseph also states: "we learn in [the church about] a priesthood after the order of Melchizedek--Prophet, Priest and King, and I will advance from Prophet to Priest and then to King not to the kingdoms of this Earth but of the most High God."

July 23, 1843 - William Clayton writes in his journal: "M[argaret] appears dissatisfied with her situation and is miserable. . . . Evening I had some more talk with M[argaret] and find she is miserable which makes me doubly so. I offered to her to try to have her covenant released if she desired it but she said she was not willing." Clayton's secret plural wife, Margaret Moon, had on the previous day broken the news of her marriage, to her returned-missionary fiancé Aaron Farr.

July 23, 1847 - Members of Orson Pratt's advance party, which had reached the Salt Lake valley the previous day, dam what is now called City Creek and dig a trench to irrigate the nearby ground. They lay out a plot of about five acres and, with three plows rigged together, start planting potatoes, buckwheat, and turnips. William Clayton describes the valley: "The grass here appears even richer and thicker on the ground than where we left this morning. The soil looks indeed rich, black and a little sandy. The grass is about 4 feet high and very thick on the ground and well mixed with rushes." Brigham Young views the valley for the first time from Wilford Woodruff's wagon while crossing the summit of Big Mountain.

July 23, 1857 - Officer in U.S. army heading for Utah writes that he met "a number of receding Mormons who found the severity of the Saints intolerable and who left Utah last Apr. They said secret assassinations had occurred during the last winter."

July 23, 1887 - L. John Nuttall writes of President John Taylors condition: "Prest. Taylor had a very bad night. Appeared to have some pain. His tongue is swelled & he has some canker in his mouth. . . . He is declining, merely sips a little brandy & water at intervals." Taylor's two counselors, George Q. Cannon and Joseph F. Smith send a telegram to leaders in Provo: "The precarious condition of President Taylor's health, suggests to us that elaborate festivities and rejoicings are not what the Saints should indulge in on the approaching 24th as they would be inappropriate under the circumstances."

July 23, 1896 - Apostle John Henry Smith writes: "Presidency & Twelve met in Temple. I was opposed to writing to brethren of southern stake to support Mr. M. A. Smith for Congress. True, he has been our friend, but I said a few written lines from our leaders to political aspirants set the political parties on fire."

July 23, 1899 - Last plural marriage President Lorenzo Snow permits stake president (and future Apostle and member of First Presidency) Anthony W. Ivins to perform in Mexico.

July 23, 1939 - Ben E. Roberts, the son of B. H. Roberts, acknowledges the existence of "A Parallel" in a letter to Mormon attorney and author Ariel L. Crowley. "A Parallel," which was originally eighteen typed pages, presents similarities between Ethan Smith's VIEW OF THE HEBREWS and the Book of Mormon and is arranged in parallel columns. It was presented to Apostle Richard R. Lyman in 1927 and had circulated in the Mormon underground. Copies of the document are passed out in 1946 at the Timpanogos Club of Salt Lake City on in 1946. It is subsequently published in the Rocky Mountain Mason in 1956. VIEW OF THE HEBREWS was published in New York shortly before the Book of Mormon.

July 22, 1947 - In commemoration of the advance party into the Salt Lake valley, the Sons of the Utah Pioneers complete a trek from Nauvoo to Salt Lake.

July 23, 1962 - Mormon Tabernacle Choir broadcasts from Mt. Rushmore on Telstar, first musical group to use international communications satellite.

July 23, 1972 - TIME magazine quotes an associate of recently installed president Harold B. Lee as saying that he was a "genius for organization. The Church runs like a great beautiful computer, clicking away. Everything is in its place."

July 23, 1975 - First Presidency circular letter authorizes stake presidents to ordain bishops. Previously this was restricted to general authorities.

July 23, 1994 - CHURCH NEWS story "Members Help Defeat Lottery Initiative" tells how two general authorities coordinate political campaign in Oklahoma where Mormons "make up less than 1 percent of the state's population." LDS Public Affairs officials and their Protestant allies achieve overwhelming defeat of proposal even though "public opinion polls show 75 percent for the initiative" before this Mormon-directed campaign.

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