July 28th

July 28, 1832 - Joseph Smith ordains Sidney Rigdon to the high priesthood "the Second time" after he had "repented like Peter of old." Rigdon had been disfellowshipped three weeks earlier.

July 28, 1843 - Patriarch Hyrum Smith blesses Leonora Cannon Taylor: "You shall be blest with your portion of the Priesthood which belongeth to you, that you may be set apart for your Anointing and your induement [endowment]."

July 28, 1845 - Johathan Dunham, despondent about disobeying Joseph Smith's orders to rescue him from jail, commits suicide. Later disclosures indicate that Dunham, who was a captain of Nauvoo's police, major-general of the Nauvoo Legion, and a Council of Fifty member, accomplished the suicide by asking native American friend (Lewis Dana, fellow member of the Fifty) to "kill and bury him."

July 28, 1847 - Brigham Young selects the site of the Salt Lake temple by using Oliver Cowdery's divining rod. This same day Cowdery writes David Whitmer, also a BOOK OF MORMON witness and previously ordained successor that "we have the authority, and DO HOLD THE KEYS. It is important, should we not be permitted to act in that authority, that we confer them upon some man or men, whom God may appoint. . . ." A year later Cowdery would disavow his succession claim and accept baptism in the church Brigham Young was leading to Utah.

July 28, 1861 - Concerning U.S. Civil War Brigham Young says: "Will it be over in six months or in three years? No; it will take years and years and will never cease until the work is accomplished. . . and it will spread and continue until the land is emptied." His remarks echo Joseph Smith's "Civil War" prophecy rather than the common feeling of the day.

July 28, 1870 - DESERET NEWS reports that on his return to Salt Lake City yesterday, Milando Pratt says that he and Thomas Rich saw Bear Lake Monster from shore: "The portion of the body out of the water was about ten feet long," with head like a walrus.

July 28, 1871 - First Presidency's written appointment of Elijah F. Sheets "to act as a Traveling Bishop." Sheets counsels local members and ward bishops and ordains local officers until his release as traveling bishop in 1878. Better-known A. Milton Musser is often described as traveling bishop from 1858 to 1876. However, Musser's service actually begins in 1860 as traveling "agent" of General Tithing Office.

July 28, 1873 - Ann Eliza Webb, plural wife of Brigham Young, sues for divorce, claiming neglect, cruel treatment, and desertion. Young pointed out in his defense, the inconsistency of granting a divorce and alimony for a marriage that was not legally recognized. Since he had married Mary Ann Angell at Kirtland, Ohio, in 1834 and was still lawfully married to her, he argued that the court should not grant the divorce and award alimony unless it was willing to recognize the validity of "plural or celestial marriages." After two trials court found in Brigham's favor.

July 28, 1875 - DESERET NEWS reports one of meetings where apostles preach United Order: "The vote to renew their covenants by baptism was very general by the people."

July 28, 1900 - Advertisement in THE LOGAN NATION for "all wool Garments," with illustration of two men and woman in one-piece underwear from neck to wrist and ankle.

July 28, 1953 - The ARIZONA REPUBLIC editorial on the recent raid of the polygamous community of Short Creek: "By what stretch of the imagination could the actions of the Short Creek children be classified as insurrection? Were those teenagers playing volleyball in a school yard inspiring a rebellion?" wondered the paper. "Insurrection? Well, if so, an insurrection with diapers and volleyballs!" "Odious and Un-American" and "circus-like" are typical criticisms published elsewhere.

July 28, 1971 - Wesley Walters and Fred Poffarl find Justice Neely's bill for trying the case of "Joseph Smith The Glass Looker March 20. 1826" in Bainbridge, New York 1826. It is among dead-storage documents in the basement of the county jail in Norwich, New York. Mormons had claimed the trial never took place. This find established that it had.

July 28, 1974 - NEW YORK TIMES reports lawsuit by NAACP against LDS church. Since church's Boy Scout program gives troop and post leadership to only boy-leaders in LDS Aaronic Priesthood, this discriminates against African-American Boy Scouts, who are denied preisthood ordination by LDS policy. LDS Scout policy changes within months, and lingering discrimination question becomes moot in four years.
This evening Judiciary Committee of U.S. House of Representatives votes to approve first of three articles of impeachment against President Richard M. Nixon. Only Mormon on committee, Democrat Wayne Owens of Utah, votes for all three. As final act of Watergate break-in scandal, Nixon resigns within days rather than wait for certain impeachment by entire house and conviction-expulsion by Senate. Mormon D. Todd Christofferson is clerk for Watergate trial judge John J. Sirica throughout Watergate proceedings, and becomes general authority in 1993.

July 28, 1983 - Provo DAILY HERALD reports an interview with a Provo teacher who, as a student teacher in a public school class that prayed vocally, heard "the same children and the same words" each morning. "It was a meaningless repetition with only a small core of the children ever volunteering to pray." The article also reports of Provo schoolteacher Marjorie Bradshaw who tried a moment of silent prayer in her classroom but abandoned it after a few months because "their lack of reverence and respect for one another made the quiet time useless"

July 28, 1990 - CHURCH NEWS feature article, "Church Brings Hope to Prison Inmates."

July 28, 1994 - First Presidency sends $760,000 to aid civil-war refugees of Rwanda, Africa.

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