March 17th

Mar 17, 1842 – Joseph Smith organizes the Female Relief Society. It is organized in "the Lodge Room." Emma Smith is president and Elizabeth Ann Whitney and Sarah M. Cleveland are her counselors. Four months later Elizabeth Ann Whitney would be asked to keep Joseph Smith's marriage to her seventeen-year-old daughter Sarah Ann Whitney a secret from Emma.

Mar 17, 1843 - Joseph Smith writes in his journal, "Settled with Father Perry gave him a deed of 80 acres of land and city lot and prophecied that it would not be 6 mo[nths] before he could sell it for cash."

Mar 17, 1846 - Brigham Young relates a dream he had the night before: "I was pursued by a beast which threatened my life, and I fled into a house for safety, the beast following me appeared to change into a human being which I attempted to shoot with a seven shooter, to save my own life but it would not go off, then to bluff off the person I drew my small six shooter which went off contrary to my expectations, the ball passed through the brain of the individual, soon as the blood started the man came to his senses and was sorry for what he had done. I felt so bad because I had shot a man, that I awoke and was thankful that it was but a dream."

Mar 17, 1847 - Brigham Young writes, "I buried my wife, Mary H. Pierce, aged twenty-five years. . . . She died of consumption." Young, however, still has 24 wives remaining at this time including Margaret Pierce, the sister of Mary H. Pierce. Three days later he again marries two sisters, Lucy and Mary Jane Bigelow.

Mar 17, 1848 - Hosea Stout tells Salt Lake high council: "It has been my duty to hunt out the rotten spots in this K[ingdom] . . . even now I have a list [of] who will deny the faith," Stout reassures the council that "I have tried not to handle a man's case until it was right."

Mar 17, 1849 - Brigham Young instructs Council of Fifty regarding two imprisoned men: "He would show them he was not afraid to take their Head but do as you please with them." Council allows them to live.

Mar 17, 1851 - Brigham Young speaks in favor of Madison D. Hambleton who is being tried for shooting and killing man at LDS church services, immediately after closing prayer. The man "seduced" wife of Hambleton who is "acquitted by the Court and also by the Voice of the people present." Hambleton later becomes sheriff in Utah.

Mar 17, 1856 - Unsuccessful convention seeking statehood.
With the "Mormon Reformation" beginning to get underway Wilford Woodruff "went to a stream of water & Baptized all my family that was over 8 years old. Three wives 3 children & a lamanite boy called Moroni. I returned to the house and confirmed them all."

Mar 17, 1860 - Brigham Young "remarked a woman purporting to be his wife used to lecture against Mormonism in the States; and a man used to accompany her as a protector, they were caught in bed together and published in the Eastern papers."

Mar 17, 1866 - Wilford Woodruff writes: "In the evening I called at city hall to see Edward Tullidge who had became insane. I was left alone with him. I laid hands upon him & rebuke the devels & they came out of him & he beg[g]ed of me to take him home. He promised me faithfully to obey me in all tings if I would take him to his family who were in my house. Upon this promise I took him by the arm & led him home in his right mind. I spent the Evening with him reading the news of the day. He went to bed with his Brother John, & slept until about 1 oclock. Then the devil entered into him & he raged Badly. I arose & went to him & again laid hands upon him & Cast the devil out of him in the name of Jesus Christ. And he remained quiet until about day light when the Devil again Entered into him & he raged in a dredful manner."

Mar 17, 1884 - Future apostle James E. Talmage, at Johns Hopkins University, writes in his journal: "March 17. I have been engaged some time in the study of the effects of Narcotics upon the system, i.e. studying the same theoretically only. Today I found a gentleman who works in the same Laboratory as I, and who has for 2 years been addicted to the habit of eating Haschich or extract of Cannabis Indica. He was very willing to give me any data from his own experience; and gave me such." Five days later he includes himself as a subject by taking "Cannabis Indica" himself.

Mar 17, 1886 - First Counselor George Q. Cannon does not appear in court and forfeits a $45,000 bond. He and Church president John Taylor become wanted fugitives.

Mar 17, 1893 - Apostles John Henry Smith, Moses Thatcher and Abraham H. Cannon "spent the day looking up Furnature and Carpets for the Apostles rooms in the Temple."
The First Presidency reviews and edits a dedicatory prayer written by Franklin D. Richards, to be given by President Wilford Woodruff at the dedication of the Salt Lake Temple on Apr. 6.

Mar 17, 1921 - John A. Widsoe is ordained apostle, first general authority to have Ph.D. degree from non-U.S. school (in chemistry from University of Goettingen, Germany).
Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith is set apart as Church Historian He had been a member of the Church Historian's office since October of 1902. He retains the office for fifty years until he becomes President of the Church serving longer than any other Church Historian.

Mar 17, 1963 - A Mormon writes to Joseph Fielding Smith: "In the Temple ceremony we are told that only through Temple marriage can we receive the highest degree of exaltation and dwell in the presence of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Christ came here to set us the example and, therefore, we believe that he must have been married. Are we right?" Joseph Fielding Smith replies with a signed, hand-written note, "Yes! But do no preach it! The Savior advised us not to cast pearls before swine!"

Mar 17, 1969 - First Presidency Letter: "Where the military regulations are of a character that "hinders", that is, makes impossible the wearing of the regulation garments, either in training on the drill grounds or in combat zones, effort should be made to wear underclothing that will approach as near as may be the normal garment. Where military regulations require the wearing of two-piece underwear, such underwear should be properly marked, as if the articles were of the normal pattern. If circumstances are such that different underwear may be turned back to the wearer from that which he sends to the laundry, then the marks should be placed on small pieces of cloth and sewed upon the underwear while being worn, then removed when the underwear is sent to the laundry, and resewed upon the underwear returned. . . . Every effort should be made to protect the garments from the gaze and raillery of scoffers. . . . If the scoffing became unbearable and the wearer should decide that the Lord would consider he was really "hindered" by the scoffers from wearing the garments, and if he should therefore lay them aside, then the wearer should resume the wearing of the normal garment at the earliest possible moment. A certain amount of curiosity and light comment may be frequently expected, wherever, for one cause or another, the garments are brought into view, but this is not the "hindering" of which the Lord spoke as excusing obedience."

Mar 17, 1971 - James D. Morask, paraplegic for four years after automobile accident, regains feeling and movement in his legs immediately after his LDS baptism. Eight months later, CHURCH NEWS reports that he is now walking "with braces to give his legs support and has learned to drive again."

Mar 17, 1979 - In one of his nationally syndicated essays political conservative William F. Buckley praises LDS missionary program as "a kind of privately financed peace corps."

Mar 17, 1988 - The SALT LAKE TRIBUNE reports of an appeal in a criminal case where two people were found guilty after a male in the jury "asserted his spiritual authority in the said religion [Mormonism]" and thereby "influenced his fellow adherents to submit the question of guilt to the will of God by joining him in group prayer" . . . . "Immediately following the prayer, the said juror expressed the "answer" to the prayer - that [the defendants] were guilty." After that all prayer participants changed their opinions, and a 6-2 vote in favor of acquittal became a 6-2 vote in favor of conviction without further evidentiary considerations.

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