May 16th

May 16, 1834 - While "riding in a wagon with Brother Hyrum, Ezra Thayer and George A. Smith," Joseph Smith "told them that I felt much depressed in spirit and lonesome, and that there had been a great deal of bloodshed in that place, remarking that whenever a man of God is in a place where many have been killed, he will feel lonesome and unpleasant, and his spirits will sink."

May 16, 1836 - A Mormon diarist records seeing "extraordinary lights" in the Kirtland Temple at night. Apostles Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball would later reminisce that they also saw angels passing back and forth in front of the windows of the otherwise darkened temple.

May 16, 1843 - William Clayton records "Prest. Joseph and I went to B[enjamin] F. Johnsons to sleep." Benjamin F. Johnson later writes that on this visit Smith stayed with his sister Almera "as man and wife." Almera Johnson also writes later that "I lived with the prophet Joseph as his wife and he visited me at the home of my brother Benjamin F." On this day Joseph also tells Clayton "Your life is hid with Christ in God," and then explains to Johnson that "nothing but the unpardonable sin can prevent him [Clayton] from inheriting eternal glory for he is sealed up by the power of the priesthood unto eternal life having taken the step which is necessary for that purpose."

May 16, 1847 - William Clayton writes, "About noon today Brother Appleton Harmon completed the machinery on the wagon called a 'roadometer' by adding a wheel to revolve once in ten miles, showing each mile and also each quarter mile we travel, and then casing the whole over so as to secure it from the weather. We are now prepared to tell accurately the distance we travel from day to day, which will supercede the idea of guessing, and be a satisfaction not only to this Camp, but to all who hereafter travel this way." Earlier Clayton was upset that Harmon had been "trying to have it understood that he invented the machinery" rather than simply having constructed it following Clayton's and Orson Pratt's instructions.

May 16, 1884 - Apostle Francis M. Lyman tells priesthood meeting that he "considered that the blood of Cain was more predominant in these Mexicans that that of Israel."

May 16, 1890 - New Canadian law prohibiting polygamy goes into effect. This law closes an existing loophole: previously it had been illegal only to take an additional wife while already married. However a Mormon had publicly pointed out that marrying two wives simultaneously was therefore legal under the existing law.

May 16, 1900 - Apostle John Henry Smith records: "I rebaptized and re-confirmed John Henry Evans, he having been guilty of fornication. It was attended to at the Hot spring bath house."

May 16, 1902 - Benjamin Cluff is sustained as president of Brigham Young Academy (later BYU) but "censured for some of his doings in trip to the South Land." On an ill-fated expedition to South America to find evidence supporting the Book of Mormon the previous year Cluff had taken a plural wife.

May 16, 1928 - Over vociferous protests of many citizens including famed LDS sculptor Mahonri Young, the Salt Lake Dramatic Association, Church-owned corporation, sells the historic Salt Lake Theatre (built by Brigham Young) and adjacent lands to the Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Company for construction of a telephone company building. Just before demolition someone changes the marquee to read "Erected by a prophet, destroyed by a profiteer."

May 16, 1936 - Dr. Max Haenle, a German non-Mormon, who visited Utah in the late twenties and became a friend of Anthony W. Ivins, speaks to a District Conference in Dresden on "Utah, Land of the Mormons." DER STERN reportes Haenle made "comparisons ... throughout the whole lecture between the Mormon state founded 86 years ago by Brigham Young in Utah and Adolf Hitler's Third Reich. . . . In its political productivity, its organization forms, and its unswerving successes in the various areas of governmental, social, and communal life," Haenle proclaimed, "Utah bears a really striking similarity to our Germany of today. Here as well as there, the unshakable faith in and willingness to die for their Fuhrer [respective leaders] is the foundation and prerequisite for all further development."

May 16, 1969 - BYU officials tell undergraduates to remove peace signs from their dormitory windows with the curt explanation, "Just do it--you don't need a reason."

May 16, 1974 - Congress establishes Mount Olivet Cemetery in Salt Lake City as only civilian cemetery ever created by federal government. Although some civilians are buried in Washington, D.C.'s Arlington Cemetery, it is military cemetery. Congressmen do not trust Mormons to give proper respect to graves of non-Mormons.

May 16, 1979 - The DESERET NEWS reports that Utahns have a higher divorce rate than the national average, marry younger, and bear more children.

May 16, 1989 - Apostle Howard W. Hunter dedicated Brigham Young University's Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies, despite years of protests by Israel's ultra-orthodox Jews against its construction. For decade Hunter privately urged First Presidency and Twelve to give greater attention to Muslim people through this project. BYU's president signed renewable forty-nine year lease for property on May 18, 1988.

May 16, 1992 - DESERET NEWS reports that students at Ricks College, second largest LDS school, elected twin sisters, Kris and Kim Shelley, as president and vice-president of students. First female president there since World War II, during shortage of male students.

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