May 10th

May 10, 1838 - Nancy Marinda Hyde, wife of Orson Hyde, is given a priesthood blessing (probably by Joseph Smith Sr.) which states: "The time shall come when thou shalt be left by thy husband, for he must go to foreign lands and preach the gospel, he will be great in the hands of the Lord having a great work to do among the nations of the earth. Thou will have afflictions and sorrow for thy husband--but thou will give him up to his calling and trust in God, thou shall be blest. In the absence of thy companion the angels of heaven shall minister to thee--they will give thee instructions and comfort thy heart." Four years later while her husband Orson is on a mission to Jerusalem, Joseph Smith takes her as a plural wife.

May 10, 1839 - Joseph Smith moves to the village of Commerce, Illinois, which he expands and renames Nauvoo in the new city plat on August 30. By the end of 1845 the city's population would swell to 12,000, second only to Chicago in the state's urban population. Another 3,000 Mormons live in the surrounding area.

May 10, 1844 - William Law distributes prospectus for NAUVOO EXPOSITOR newspaper. It advocates repeal of Nauvoo's charter and proposes to reveal "gross moral imperfections" in Nauvoo. Prospectus refers to Nauvoo's "SELF-CONSTITUTED MONARCH." Two days later Joseph Smith "called a meeting of the Kingdom," (Council of Fifty) during which the NAUVOO EXPOSITOR'S prospectus was a topic of discussion. Sidney Rigdon is authorized to visit Law and "negotiate terms of peace." Rigdon offers reinstatement of Law and his wife to "our standing in the Church and to all our offices, and they would publish it in the papers." Law counters with his own ultimatum: he demands that Joseph Smith publicly apologize for teaching "the doctrine of the plurality of wives." Rigdon "said he had not authority to go so far."

May 10, 1869 - Completion of transcontinental railroad at Promontory Summit, Utah. The "golden spike" is driven uniting of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific lines. This ends Mormon pioneer period and begins significant non-LDS population.

May 10, 1886 - Court sentences Frank J. Cannon to three months' imprisonment and $150 fine for instructing his 16-year-old brother Hugh J. Cannon to physically attack Prosecuting Attorney Dickson following arrest of their father, George Q. Cannon. Frank becomes U.S. Senator from Utah (1896-98). Fined $35 in 1886, Hugh grows up to become general board member (1896-1931), mission president (1901-1904), and stake president (1904-25).

May 10, 1893 - Francis M. Lyman writes, "This is the most difficult mission bro. Heber has ever undertaken, now that financial affairs are tumbling in all directions." The church was $500,000 in debt with no prospect of paying in time. Heber J. Grant had left for New York to see if the loans could be extended. He was successful.

May 10, 1898 - Apostle Brigham Young Jr. writes in his journal, "went to the Temple saw Pres[ident] Snow Winder talked and presented idea which came to me with much force this morning, to substitute a spray for people to stand under to be washed instead of so many being washed in the same water, So many people come there very dirty in their persons in spite of all the instructions given to the contrary."
Joseph H. Dean, former president of the Samoan Mission, is married polygamously to Amanda Petterson, his third wife, in Mexico by Anthony W. Ivins after presenting a "recommend" for a plural marriage written by First Presidency Counselor George Q. Cannon. Ivins later becomes an Apostle and then First Counselor to President Heber J. Grant.

May 10, 1905 - Incorporation of Beneficial Life Insurance Company, church's first successful life insurance enterprise.

May 10, 1906 - Apostle and U.S. Senator Reed Smoot writes to President Joseph F. Smith: "[Senator Beverage] said that he had just been reading your testimony in relation to the marriage of Abram H. Cannon; he did not understand how you, a member of the First Presidency of the Church, could go on a trip with A. H. Cannon and be introduced to a young lady as his wife and have them occupy the position of husband and wife toward each other, it being six years after the issuance of the Manifesto . . . and not complain of one of the Apostles so acting, and of no action being taken by the Church, unless the Church approved of new marriages or at least allowed them."

May 10, 1911 - Former apostle Matthias F. Cowley is tried by the Council of Twelve Apostles. He is charged with performing post-manifesto plural marriages of questionable sanction. Cowley states: "[Late] President [George Q.] Cannon told me to do these things or I would never have done it." Cowley also states that when he asked Church President Lorenzo Snow for permission, Snow "simply told me that he would not interfere with Brother Woodruff's and Cannon's work [of authorizing plural marriages]." Cowley also makes the statement: " I am not dishonest and not a liar and have always been true to the work and to the brethren. I have always been true and faithful myself. We have always been taught that when the brethren were in a tight place that it would not be amiss to lie to help them out. One of the Presidency of the Church made the statement some years ago when I was in the presidency of one of the stakes of Zion in Idaho that he would lie like hell to help his brethren." The next day the President of the Twelve, Francis M. Lyman, writes their decision: "This day by unanimous vote of the Council of the Twelve Apostles it was decided that Matthias F. Cowley, for insubordination to the government and discipline of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, be and he is hereby deprived of the right and authority to exercise any of the functions of the Priesthood."

May 10, 1921 - Apostle David O. McKay, visiting Samoa, falls "asleep, and beheld in vision something infinitely sublime. In the distance I beheld a beautiful white city. Though far ways, yet I seemed to realize that trees with luscious fruit, shrubbery with gorgeously-tinted leaves, and flowers in perfect bloom abound everywhere. The clear sky above seemed to reflect these beautiful shades of color. I then saw a great concourse of people approaching the city. Each one wore a white flowing robe, and a white headdress. Instantly my attention seemed centered upon their Leader, and though I could see only the profile of his features and his body, I recognized him at once as my Savior! The tint and radiance of his countenance were glorious to behold! There was a peace about him which seemed sublime -- it was divine! The city, I understood, was his. It was the City Eternal; and the people following him were to abide there in peace and eternal happiness. But who were they? As if the Savior read my thought, he answered by pointing to a semicircle that then appeared above them, and on which were written in gold the words: 'These Are They Who Have Overcome The World -- Who Have Truly Been Born Again!'"

May 10, 1948 - State narcotics officer asks church officials to quietly surrender for destruction the "quantity of opium, an opium pipe, and some other trinkets" in LDS Bureau of Information on Temple Square. Seventy's president Richard L. Evans protests that these materials have been there "since time immemorial." First Presidency cooperates rather than face court order.

May 10, 1977 - Fundamentalist leader Rulon C. Allred (seven wives and forty-eight children) is murdered in his office by two plural wives ("Lambs of God") from Ervil LeBaron's Group. This is most publicized of several murders Ervil orders, and his death threats include LDS president Spencer W. Kimball. His actions disenchant all but most devout LeBaron followers. Allred's death leads to close cooperation between law-enforcement agencies and various groups of non-violent Fundamentalist mainstream, which ultimately benefits from this greater understanding. For ordering the murder LeBaron is imprisoned in Utah penitentiary, where he dies of heart attack in 1981. The women who murder Allred are acquitted by Utah jury, and in 1990 one of them publicly admits committing the murder.
Ervil LeBaron is a son of Dayer LeBaron who took up radical Mormon Fundamentalism in Mesa, Arizona. Sarah Lucretia Phelps Pomeroy was asked by local LDS leaders to talk to Dayer to try to dissuade him from his path. She, as a plural wife, was seen as someone who wouldn't be antagonistic to the concept of polygamy. Decades later Loren Pomeroy spends an afternoon with Ross LeBaron (Ervil's brother and leader of his own sect of Fundamentalism) at LeBaron's home where LeBaron expounds his doctrine for a few hours.

May 10, 1980 - Effective date of Utah legislation granting university police statewide jurisdiction. BYU also claims this right, even though it is a private institution and its security police take no state oath of office.

May 10, 1995 - Presiding Bishopric letter informs local LDS leaders to use toll-free telephone number to report cases of child abuse involving Mormons: "This will enable the caller to consult with social services, legal and other specialists who can assist in answering questions and in formulating steps that should be taken."
Feminist Janice Merrill Allred is excommunicated for her speaking and publishing about the LDS doctrine of Mother in Heaven.

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