May 21st

May 21, 1834 - Heber C. Kimball writes: "I would here remark that notwithstanding so many threats were thrown out against us, we did not fear, nor hesitate to proceed on our journey, for God was with us, and angels went before us, and we had no fear of either men or devils. This we knew because they (the angels) were seen."

May 21, 1844 - The apostles and most other LDS leaders leave Nauvoo to campaign for Joseph Smith.

May 21, 1845 - Trial begins in Carthage, Illinois of five men charged with the murder of Joseph Smith. All are acquitted.

May 21, 1855 - Wilford Woodruff writes in his journal: "I got an Indian boy of Brother James Bosnel. He was about a doz years of age. His name was Moroni Eliga Bosnel."

May 21, 1860 - Brigham Young's office journal comments on a letter sent by the Church to President Buchanan: "This was an interesting letter, it commented upon the prostitution which had always attended monogamy, both in the days of the Romans and in all modern nations; also remarking that the Nations who practiced polygamy were to a far greater extent free from Harlots."

May 21, 1887 - DESERET NEWS reports funeral of Louie Wells Cannon, daughter of Second Counselor in the First Presidency Daniel H. Wells. She died giving birth to the stillborn son of John Q. Cannon, son of First Counselor in the First Presidency George Q. Cannon and Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric. At the time the child was conceived John was married to Louie's sister Annie. In September of 1886 he confessed his sin and was excommunicated in stake conference. His wife Annie divorced him four days later and he married Louie the following day. A year after Louie's death John was rebaptized, remarried to Annie, and sealed to Louie.

May 21, 1871 - Brigham Young preaches: "The inquiry among many, and especially among our political friends, is, 'What are you going to do? Are you going to observe the law against plurality of wives, or are you going to obey the revelation?' We have obeyed the revelation thus far, and still live; that I can say, and perhaps that is enough. What do we say about the lawmakers? Go to, ye legislators, and make a law that every man in this government shall have one wife. You have just as good a right to do that as to say that we shall not have two."

May 21, 1899 - Margaret Cullen Geddes, widow of William S. Geddes who died ten years previously gives birth to a baby boy. Margaret is charged by local Mormon authorities in Plain City, Utah, with adultery. During the hearing before the bishopric, Margaret steadfastly refuses to give the name of the child's father, despite threats of excommunication. At this point, David Eccles, the child's secret father, who had taken Margaret as a plural wife the previous year, contacts George F. Gibbs, secretary to the First Presidency of the church. Eccles asks Gibbs to request that President Lorenzo Snow order Mormon leaders in Plain City to withdraw their charges. President Snow sends a letter to the Plain City bishopric telling them to accept Margaret's statements as sufficient, forgiving her with no further requirement. President Snow also advised that Eccles and Margaret move to Mexico. Thereupon, local church authorities dropped the case.

May 21, 1903 - In the weekly meeting of the First Presidency and Twelve a letter is read in which the owner of the Carthage Jail offers to sell it to the Church for $4000. "It became the sense of the council that the Presidency take such steps as might be necessary looking to the purchase of the property to the best advantage and that a bureau of information and depot for our church works he established in it.

May 21, 1904 - DESERET SEMI-WEEKLY NEWS prints an essay against the idea of women in the workplace which claims, "The woman wage earner is under one aspect an object of charity, under another an economic pervert, under another a social menace." The NEWS concludes: "Women themselves are beginning to see a light, in which they may better appreciate their mission on earth."

May 21, 1906 - Royal G. Smith is born to Mary T. Schwartz Smith a plural wife of Church President Joseph F. Smith. Joseph F. Smith is arrested, after returning from a trip to Europe, on a charge of illegal cohabitation, and released on his own recognizance. Under considerable pressure, the case is brought to trial, and on November 23, 1906, Joseph F. Smith pleads guilty and was fined $300

May 21, 1931 - Apostle James E. Talmadge, a believer in organic evolution, writes to his son: ". . . according to a tradition in the Church based on good authority as having risen from a declaration made by the Prophet Joseph Smith, a certain pile of stones at Adamondi-Ahman, Spring Hill, Mo., is really part of the altar on which Adam offered sacrifices, and that I had personally examined those stones and found them to be fossiliferous, so that if those stones be part of the first altar, Adam built it of stones containing corpses, and therefore death must have prevailed in the earth before Adam's time."

May 21, 1936 - Seventy's president Levi Edgar Young represents church at organization of Utah chapter of National Conference of Christians and Jews. He becomes its president in 1937. In 1960's George W. Romney is national director of organization, which gives him its Charles Evans Hughes Gold Medal in 1965.

May 21, 1945 - Conference sustains George Albert Smith as church president with J. Reuben Clark and David O. McKay as counselors. He is "set apart" (not ordained) by Apostle George F. Richards, who is also a patriarch. Smith is only unmarried man to become LDS church president an only one who has no marital companion during his entire presidency. He remains unmarried widower last fourteen years of his life.

May 21, 1959 - Executive committee of Church Board of Education discusses "the growing problem in our society of homosexuality." Spencer W. Kimball reports that David O. McKay has said "that in his view homosexuality was worse than heterosexual immorality; that it is a filthy and unnatural habit."

May 21, 1965 - Priesthood blessings are restored to excommunicated apostle John W. Taylor. His son Raymond Taylor stands proxy as Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith performs the ordinance. His other son Samuel W. Taylor writes: "it is an error to say that my father "apostatized." He never did. He accepted the role of scapegoat for the welfare of the Church, as his reinstatement certifies. And as further evidence, my mother, his third wife, continued to receive her share of his salary as an apostle each month for the remainder of her life. I took the check to the Farmers and Merchants Bank in Provo, with strict orders to deliver it to Brother Olson and nobody else." On the question of reinstatement of Taylor's three post-manifesto plural marriages the decision was "if the Lord should judge Brother Taylor in being justified in his last three marriages, he can adjust it in the realms beyond the grave."

May 21, 1967 - Front page of NEW YOUK TIMES business section features LDS convert Florence Doyle, stockbroker with Dupont & Co. since 1941.

May 21, 1969 - First Presidency letter allows LDS servicemen in Vietnam to dye the regular, one-piece, temple garment to match green color of military-issue underwear.

May 21, 1976 - LaVern Watts Parmley receives Silver Buffalo award, Formerly general Primary president, she is first LDS woman to receive this highest honor from Boy Scouts of America. Dwan Jacobsen Young, also former president of Primary, receives award in 1990.

May 21, 1990 - U.S. Supreme Court rules that direct donations to LDS missionaries are not deductible under U.S. tax laws. Therefore, First Presidency advises church members to make their donations directly to church, while earmarking funds for individual missionaries.

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