March 21st

Mar 21, 1807 - Solomon Mack, Lucy Mack Smith's father, takes out a second mortgage on his property. This may have been connected with the Joseph Smith family moving off of Mack's property where they lived "for a few years."

Mar 21, 1834 - Nathaniel Lewis states, in a sworn affidavit: "I have been acquainted with Joseph Smith Jr. for some time: being a relation of his wife, and residing near him, I have had frequent opportunities of conversation with him, and of knowing his opinions and pursuits. From my standing in the Methodist Episcopal Church, I suppose he was careful how he conducted or expressed himself before me. At one time, however, he came to my house, and asked my advice, whether he should proceed to translate the Book of Plates (referred to by Mr. Hale) or not. He said that God had commanded him to translate it, but he was afraid of the people: he remarked, that he was to exhibit the plates to the world, at a certain time, which was then about eighteen months distant. I told him I was not qualified to give advice in such cases. Smith frequently said to me that I should see the plates at the time appointed. After the time stipulated, had passed away, Smith being at my house was asked why he did not fulfil his promise, show the Golden Plates and prove himself an honest man? He replied that he, himself was deceived, but that I should see them if I were where they were. I reminded him then, that I stated at the time he made the promise, I was fearful "the enchantment would be so powerful" as to remove the plates, when the time came in which they were to be revealed."

Mar 21, 1857 - Apostle Wilford Woodruff writes in his diary: "I bought an Indian boy of Brother Willis this morning abo[u]t 6 years old. His Indian name was Saroquetes. We call him Nephi. He appears like a smart active good boy. I paid $40 for him."

Mar 21, 1858 - Announcement of abandonment of Salt Lake City and all northern Utah settlements due to approach of U.S. troops. Brigham Young tells this special conference that Joseph Smith disobeyed "the Spirit of revelation" by returning to Nauvoo to stand trial, that the church's founding prophet lost Spirit of God the last days of his life, and died as an unnecessary martyr. Young states: "were I thrown into the situation Joseph was, I would leave the people and go into the wilderness, and let them do the best they could." He published this talk as a pamphlet.

Mar 21, 1875 - A missionary preaching at a temperance hall in Wolverhampton, England is asked by a man in the audience how many wives he had. The missionary answers "enough to leave his neighbors alone."

Mar 21, 1877 - St. George Temple president Wilford Woodruff writes: "Preside[n]t Young has been laboring all winter to get up a perfect form of Endowments as far as possible. They having been perfected I read them to the Company today." Brigham Young's final form of the endowment included mention of the Adam-God doctrine.

Mar 21, 1884 - Future apostle James E. Talmage writes in his journal: "March 21. The result of our work in research upon Narcotics has been tolerably satisfactory. We utilize my friend referred to above, with his Haschich eating experience-- and find four or five others whom he knows have also an experience upon the subject. But the effects experienced by the different ones are so widely different that we can scarcely draw a conclusion. The opium habit is well explained by books, and the bad after effects of the same are sufficiently appalling to keep down experimentation upon the subject. But, the ill effects are reported very low in the Haschich or Hemp administration; and we have concluded to try effect of small dose upon ourselves"

Mar 21, 1886 - A month after church leaders in Mexico City finalized the purchase of about 20,000 acres of Northern Mexico from the Ignacio G. del Campo Company. The jefe Politico, the judges, and a Catholic priest from Casas Grandes, the county seat twelve miles away, join the Mormons in their celebration of the birthday of the Mexican patriot, Benito Juarez. On which occasion they named their town "Colonia Juarez."

Mar 21, 1887 - A Council of apostles meets in Salt Lake City to study "the legal bearings in the effort of the Government to escheat property and also in regard to the test oath. It was decided that the brethren should take it." The "test oath" was a provision of the Edmunds-Tucker act which prohibited Mormons who would not renounce polygamy from voting, holding office or serving on juries.

Mar 21, 1895 - Apostle Francis M. Lyman writes of a council meeting of the apostles: "The questions whether we should favor Woman Suffrage and prohibition came up. I concluded the former should be favored, the latter not so vigorously as there was danger it would get in the way of statehood."

Mar 21, 1901 - In the First Presidency's and Apostles's weekly meeting: "The clerk read a letter addressed by Reuben A. McBride to Pres. [Ira N.] Hinckley of the Millard Stake. He asked to be reinstated in the church and have his former blessings and priesthood sealed upon him. The status of the case may be given in a few words. Some 13 years ago he was cut off the church for the crime of murder committed while under the influence of liquor. It seems that in a moment of anger, while intoxicated, he killed a man by the name of Speed for striking his son. He was tried, convicted, and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, but, after serving three years, was pardoned. He has since led a temperate life, is repentant, and desires reinstatement in the church. After some discussion the matter was referred to the presidency and high council of the Millard Stake for action. It was, however, decided that in any event he could only receive a standing in the church and would not be entitled to receive the priesthood."

Mar 21, 1904 - Carl A. Badger, secretary to Apostle and U.S. Senator Reed Smoot writes to a friend: "I hope our people will look at this matter in its true light; we have got to learn our lessons, and instead of shouting about the opportunity which we have had of teaching our faith to the world, we ought to dot down the unpleasant but obvious fact, that the lesson which the world is learning from the testimony thus far given is, that we have failed to keep our word. I wish our people could come to the conclusion that this investigation has not been wholly creditable to us"

Mar 21, 1905 - Shortly after testifying before the U.S. Senate's hearings on seating Reed Smoot that the church was adhering to the Wilford Woodruff manifesto, James E. Talmage writes in his journal: "Interview with the First Presidency regarding cases of misrepresentation of the attitude of the Church Authorities in the matter of polygamous marriage. Some people claiming a standing in the church and many of them even officers in ward and stake capacities, unwisely and erroneously affirm lack of sincerity on the part of the General Authorities. My position as a witness in the recent proceedings in Washington places me before this class of people as a sort of target for their arrows of criticism; and I have referred several individuals to the First Presidency for investigation of their words and acts."

Mar 21, 1912 - First Presidency encourages local leaders to discontinue "common cup" for sacrament and begin using small, individual cups (glass or metal). IMPROVEMENT ERA article in Apr. defends this change as prevention against spread of germs.

Mar 21, 1945 - First Counselor J. Reuben Clark says that "one of the reasons why the so-called 'Fundamentalists' had made such inroads among our young people was because we had failed to teach them the truth."

Mar 21, 1968 - BYU's DAILY UNIVERSE reports that officials have removed ten nude photographs from an international exhibit, "The Family of Man," sponsored by student body officers.

Mar 21, 1977 - BYU president Dallin Oaks writes to Gordon B. Hinckley: "The average rating for the fifteen full-time members of the political science faculty was 4.9. The individual ratings varied from 3 to 8. The average for the history department was on the conservative side of the line, 5.8. There the ratings varied from 3 to 9. . . . The middle-of-the-road average alignment of our faculty in these departments is in sharp contrast to the situation that would prevail in any other major university of which I am aware." Oaks had asked academic vice-president Robert Thomas "to rate each faculty member on a political scale from far left liberal (assigned a value of 1) to far right conservative (assigned a value of 9)." His letter to Hinckley summarized the results.

Mar 21, 1994 - Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gives Oscar to LDS Jerry Molen as coproducer of "Schindler's List." Because film is "R-rated," BYU refuses to show this dramatization of Jewish Holocaust even though public high school students throughout Utah have seen this film in special screenings as school activity with parental permission.

Mar 21, 2004 - At Stake Conference in Kuna, Idaho Apostle L. Tom Perry speaks of the human qualities of his fellow apostles. Someone in the congregations keeps notes of the talk and they later flood the internet as members forward copies of the comments to friends. On April 21 a memorandum concerning the notes is sent to CES area directors: "Delete or destroy them. Inform the person who sent them to you that the remarks are not an accurate recollection of Elder Perry's remarks. Do not use or refer to them in class. Do not spread or refer to them in any way except to discourage their use when someone else brings them up in conversation." The First presidency responds to the church as a whole by issuing a statement limiting the sharing of personal notes: "Any notes made when General Authorities, Area Authority Seventies, or other general Church officers speak at regional and stake conferences or other meetings should not be distributed without the consent of the speaker. Personal notes are for individual use only."

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