May 13th

May 13, 1828 - Lemuel Durfee, landlord to Joseph Smith's family, writes in his account book: "Joseph [Sr.] & [Samuel] Harrison Smith Dr. [debit] to three barrels of Cider the Liqure at $3=38"

May 13, 1842 - Joseph Smith writes to a creditor: "you will probably be apprised of the failure of myself and brethren to execute our designs in paying off our contracts, or in other words, that we have been compelled to pay our debts by the most popular method; that is by petitioning for the privilege of general bankruptcy, a principle so popular at the present…throughout the United States."

May 13, 1843. William Clayton writes: ". . . Sister Desdemona Fullmer came to see if she could board with me. I told her she could on Tuesday." Desdemona Fullmer had become a secret plural wife of Joseph Smith in 1842. By residing with the Claytons, she could maintain the confidentiality of her relationship with the prophet.

May 13, 1844 - William Law, former counselor to Joseph Smith, writes in his diary: "[Joseph] ha[s] lately endeavored to seduce my wife, and ha[s] found her a virtuous woman." Law also notes in his journal his response to Sidney Rigdon concerning the terms he would need to forgo publishing the NAUVOO EXPOSITOR: "if they wanted peace they could have it on the following conditions. That Joseph Smith would acknowledge publicly that he had taught and practised the doctrine of plurality of wives, that he brought a revelation supporting the doctrine, and that he should own the whole system (revelation and all) to be from Hell."

May 13, 1857 - Murder of Apostle Parley P. Pratt in Arkansas by the legal husband of his twelfth wife, Elenore McComb McLean. Newspaper accounts of Pratt's murder reach Salt Lake City on June 23.

May 13, 1883 - Wilford Woodruff writes in his journal: "A[braham]. O. Smoot told W. Woodruff that He & Alanson Ripley while surveying out Adam Ondi Ahman about 22 Miles North of Jackson County Missouri they Came across a Stone wall in the midst of a dens forest & underbrush. The wall was 30 feet long 3 feet thick, and about 4 feet high above the ground and laid in mortar or Cement. When Joseph Smith the Prophet visited the place and Examined the wall He said it was the remains of an Altar Built By Father Adam whare he offered Sacrafice after he was driven from the Garden of Eden which was located in Jackson County Missouri. The whole town which was laid out and named Adam Ondi Ahman was in the midst of a thick & heavy forest of timber and the place named after Adams Altar. The Prophet Joseph said it was upon this Altar whare Adam blessed his sons and Posterity Before his death."

May 13, 1899 - Apostles Matthias F. Cowley and John Henry Smith visit "David H. Smith at the insane Asylum. We spent several hours with him. He seemed somewhat dazed but talked quite freely. Ben E. Rich joined us and our time was spent quite pleasantly." David H. Smith is the last surviving son of Joseph Smith.

May 13, 1965 - First Presidency approves the posthumous rebaptism and restoration of blessings for former apostle John W. Taylor who was excommunicated in 1911. His son Samuel Taylor had requested this two days previously.

May 13, 1966 - First Presidency counselor Hugh B. Brown tells BYU student body, "Preserve, then, the freedom of your mind in education and in religion, and be unafraid to express your thoughts and to insist upon your right to examine every proposition. We are not so much concerned with whether your thoughts are orthodox as we are that you shall have thoughts."

May 13, 1972 - May Presidency letter that "fluoridation of public water supplies to prevent tooth decay" is on of the "non-moral issues" that Mormons should vote on "according to their honest convictions." John Birch Society, which Apostle Ezra Taft Benson and many other Mormons support, is condemning fluoridation as Communist "plot."

May 13, 1987 - The B.H. Roberts Society presents a forum entitled, ,Is Salvation a Laughing Matter? or Laugh Now. . ..It May Be Straight Beyond the Gate." It is a look at satire and LDS society. "It was also a circus of comic talent and a groundling's-eye of low comedy in the celestial fast lanes of LDS culture. Five Mormon artists presented a mixture of performance and commentary: a writer [William Wilson], an editorial cartoonist [Calvin Grondahl], a novelist [Levi S. Peterson], and two actors [James Arrington and Darryl Christensen]." Cartoonist Grondahl comments, "We are cautioned in the Church. about being light-minded, but I don't think there is anything light minded about humor. I think it is a very serious thing."
The Public Broadcasting Service documentary "The Mormons: Missionaries to the World" premiers across the United States. Even before airing, the film engages controversy, culminating in a letter to all U.S. LDS wards from Howard W. Hunter, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The letter acknowledges that the Church cooperated with the film's production but distances the institution from the final product. There were also press stories about the Church's protest to PRS and KCTS, the local affiliate that produced the documentary. The documentary showcased the LDS missionary program but also had interviews from former Mormons and one missionary who left his mission early.

May 13, 1992 - Apostle Dallin H. Oaks testifies before U.S. House Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights in support of proposed Religious Freedom Restoration Act. This is designed to overturn U.S. Supreme Court's 1990 decision which invoked REYNOLDS VS THE UNITED STATES to prohibit use of peyote as religious sacrament by Native American Indians. Oaks makes similar appearance on Sept. 26 before Judiciary Committee of U. S. Senate. LDS church joins such diverse religious organizations as Church of Scientology in promoting this bill for which First Presidency publicly thanks Congress at its passage on Oct. 27, 1993. President Bill Clinton signs it into law on Nov. 18.

May 13, 1995 - Gordon B. Hinckley presides at "ground-breaking" ceremony for temple to be constructed by remodeling nearly ninety-year-old Uintah Stake Tabernacle in Vernal, Utah. This is first time new temple is to be created from pre-existing building which had other uses.

No comments: