May 1st

May 1, 1842 - Joseph Smith preaches a sermon in which he teaches that there are "certain signs and words by which false spirits and personages may be detected from true, which cannot be revealed to the Elders till the Temple is completed . . . The Elders must know them all to be endowed with power . . . There are signs in heaven, earth and hell; the Elders must know them all, to be endowed with power, to finish their work and prevent imposition. The devil knows many signs, but does not know the sign of the Son of Man, or Jesus. No one can truly say he knows God until he has handled something, and this can only be in the Holiest of Holies."

May 1, 1843 - William Clayton's diary says that Joseph Smith "has translated a portion [of the "brass" Kinderhook Plates dug up in Adams County, Illinois] and says they contain the history of . . . a descendant of Ham through the loins Pharaoh king of Egypt, and that he received his kingdom from the ruler of heaven and earth." The discoverers of these artifacts would later claim that they manufactured the items complete with "hieroglyphics by making impressions on beeswax and filling them with acid." The 1992 ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MORMONISM acknowledges that extensive tests on one of the original Kinderhook plates "proved conclusively that the plate was one of the Kinderhook six; that it had been engraved, not etched: and that it was of nineteenth-century manufacture. There thus appears no reason to accept the Kinderhook plates as anything but a frontier hoax." This leaves unanswered what Joseph Smith meant when he said he "translated" the Kinderhook Plates, or more fundamentally what he meant by the word "translation."

May 1, 1843 - Joseph Smith marries Lucy Walker in Nauvoo, one day after her seventeenth birthday, while his legal wife Emma is away in St. Louis buying supplies. Lucy been adopted by the Smiths and worked as a maid in the Smith home. The prophet told Walker that God had commanded him to take her as a wife. She was angry and insulted, but she feared Smith's warning that if she rejected the "principle" of plural marriage, "the gate will be closed forever against you." Lucy later records: "Emma Smith was not present and she did not consent to the marriage; she did not know anything about it at all." Of her relationship with Joseph, Lucy says that although she "married Joseph as a plural wife and lived and cohabitated with him as such." that "It was not a love matter, so to speak, in our affairs, --at least on my part it was not, but simply the giving up of myself as a sacrifice to establish that grand and glorious principle that God had revealed to the world."
After Joseph's murder in 1844 she becomes Heber C. Kimball's wife with the understanding that "I should be his wife for time, and time only, ...and in the resurrection [he] would surrender me, with my children, to Joseph Smith." On his death bed Heber C. Kimball says to Lucy, "What can you tell Joseph when you meet him? Cannot you say that I have been kind to you as it was possible to be under the circumstances? I know you can, and am confident you will be as a mediator between me and Joseph..."

May 1, 1844, Brigham Young places the following advertisement in the Nauvoo Neighbor: "Just received from New York, the long looked for Maps of the City of Nauvoo. They can be had at my house, on the corner of Kimball and Granger Streets. Price, mounted and varnished, $1.25-not mounted, 30 cents. . . ." Included on the map in the lower left hand corner is a profile of "Lieut. Gen. Joseph Smith."

May 1, 1845 - The TIMES AND SEASONS denies that Latter-day Saints engage in polygamy. It also asks, concerning the concept of sending missionaries to Africa: "Have the common propensities of the heathen to do evil been lessened by the labors of the clergy, in as great a proportion as drunkedness and debauchery had increased by civilized intercourse under the board of foreign mission?"

May 1, 1861 - As the nation nears the beginning of the Civil War, Brigham Young's office journal records that he is "pleased with the news which showed more and more secession, and each party was preparing for war, thus giving the Kingdom of God an opportunity of being established upon the Earth."

May 1, 1861 - Wilford Woodruff records that "Preside[n]t Young delivered an Address & gave good instruction. He said that P[arley] P Prat[t's] blood was spilt for adultery." Pratt was killed four years previously by the legal husband of one of his plural wives.

May 1, 1869 - Church begins obtaining sworn affidavits from persons who have personal knowledge of Joseph Smith instructing, performing, or entering into plural marriage. Unfortunately this is not careful effort at historical reconstruction of pre-1844 plural marriage but is legalist response to RLDS church’s denials of founding prophet's involvement in polygamy. The living witness who knows most details of Nauvoo Polygamy, Brigham Young, does not add affidavit of his own to this bound collection.

May 1, 1885 - First Counselor in the First Presidency George Q. Cannon editorializes in "The Juvenile Instructor," and warns against the "Vain and delusive hope" that the "people of god" would renounce plural marriage. "To comply with the request of our enemies," he adamantly argues, "would be to give up all hope of ever entering into the glory of God, the Father, and Jesus Christ, the Son." Cannon denounces the "costly bargain" which the Saints were asked to make: "So intimately interwoven is this precious doctrine with the exaltation of men and women in the great hereafter that it cannot be given up without giving up at the same time all hope of immortal glory."

May 1, 1902 - Early BYU student newspaper WHITE AND BLUE warns students that they must be careful in regard to their actions on "Temple Hill" because "there is a telescope in Room A which reveals [their activities there] with marvelous accuracy"

May 1, 1904 - In Salt Lake City Hannah Grover Hegsted becomes the third wife (and second living wife) of Bishop Victor C. Hegsted fourteen years after the first Manifesto was issued, and a month after the so-called Second Manifesto. Their marriage had been approved by an apostle the year before. No disciplinary action is ever brought against them. However Hegsted is released as Bishop of the Salem, Idaho ward the next year and Hannah quits her position at Ricks Academy.

May 1, 1905 - Jean Hunter Mulholland, LDS and "first woman ever summoned for jury service" in Salt Lake County, is dismissed by judge because "commissioners thought the name was masculine." Utah's women apparently do not serve on juries until after ratification of Women's suffrage amendment to U.S. Constitution in 1920.

May 1, 1919 - Anarchists mail bombs to thirty-six jurists and government leaders across U.S., including Utah's senators William H. King and Reed Smoot, as well as fellow Mormon Frank K. Nebeker, Assistant Attorney General of United States. In 1917-18 Nebeker was federal government's special prosecutor of sensational trial of Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) leaders. Only two of today's bombs explode, injuring maid and secretary.

May 1, 1921 - RLDS member John W. Peterson writes of an interview he had with Joseph Smith's brother William 31 years previously when he visited him with his [RLDS] missionary companion William S. Pender: "He said he had hefted the plates as they lay on the table wrapped in an old frock or jacket in which Joseph had brought them home. That he had thum[b]ed them through the cloth and ascertained that they were thin sheets of some kind of metal. When asked why he had not uncovered them he said they were told not to do so unless the Lord would give permission, that they were the property of an angel and had received strict command[ments] with regard to that matter. Bro. Pender remarked that most people would ha[v]e examined them anyway."

May 1, 1939 - President Heber J. Grant writes in a letter: "Married couples who, by inheritance and proper living, have themselves been blessed with mental and physical vigor are recreant in their duty if they refuse to meet the natural and rightful responsibility of parenthood. Of course, in every ideal home the health of the mother, as well as the intelligence and health of the children should receive careful consideration"

May 1, 1944 - Daniel DeLuce, war correspondent of Mormon parentage and heritage extending back to 1830's, receives Pulitzer Prize for international reporting. However, not until 1952 does self-acknowledged Mormon receive America's most prestigious publishing award. Two other Pulitzer recipients are non-LDS Utahns who often write about Mormons: Bernard Devoto in 1948 for ACROSS THE WIDE MISSOURI (history) and Wallace Stegner in 1972 for ANGLE OF REPOSE (fiction). In addition, Nobel Prize winner Haldor Laxness, non-Mormon, publishes novel PARADISE RECLAIMED in Iceland about LDS convert. Utah (specifically Spanish Fork) has largest number of Icelandic immigrants in United States.

May 1, 1966 - First stake in South America (Sao Paulo, Brazil).

May 1, 1969 - Apostle Ezra Taft Benson writes to LDS Hotel-magnate J. Willard Marriott, "The kindest thing that could be said about Martin Luther King is that he was an effective Communist tool. Personally, I think he was more than that."

May 1, 1985 - The DESERET NEWS publishes the content of a revelation found in Ron Lafferty's pocket the day he was arrested: "Thus sayeth the Lord unto my servants the prophets. It is my will and commandment that ye remove the following individuals in order that my work might go forward, for they have truly become obstacles in my path and I will not allow my work to be stopped. First thy brother's wife Brenda and her baby, then Chloe Low, and then Richard Stowe. And it is my will that they be removed in rapid succession and that an example be made of them in order that others might see the fate of those who fight against the true saints of God" Ron Lafferty, with his brother Dan, murdered Brenda Lafferty and her baby but were arrested before they could fulfil the remaining parts of the revelation.

May 1, 1991 - First Presidency calls 500,000th Mormon to serve full-time mission since 1930.

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