May 24th

May 24, 1839 - Joseph Smith signed a document as "Presiding Elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints."

May 24, 1841 - Joseph Smith writes "To the Saints abroad--The First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, anxious to promote the prosperity of said Church, feel it their duty to call upon the Saints who reside out of this county [Hancock], to make preparations to come in without delay. . . .Let it, therefore, be understood, that all the stakes, excepting those in this county, and in Lee county, Iowa, are discontinued, and the Saints instructed to settle in this county as soon as circumstances will permit. [signed] JOSEPH SMITH, President.

May 24, 1845 - The Quorum of Twelve ordains Apostle William Smith as Patriarch to the Church. By necessity he is the first Presiding Patriarch ordained by apostolic authority, rather than by the patriarchal ordination within the Smith family.
Brigham Young directs the laying of the capstone on the Nauvoo Temple. Although this is a secret ceremony a brass band plays "The Capstone March" composed specifically for the occasion. Although the capstone was laid the interior was still not completed.
With a jury finally seated the trial of the murderers of Joseph Smith begins in Carthage, Illinois.

May 24, 1847 - Brigham Young writes his name on a buffalo skull while on the trek westward. Heber C. Kimball prays with William Clayton. A gust of wind blows Kimball's hat off but he doesn't interrupt his prayer to chase it. Later he had to chase the hat for a mile before recovering it.

May 24, 1863 - Brigham Young preaches, "In proportion to our fall through sin so shall we be exalted in the presence of our Father and God."

May 24, 1878 - John Taylor to Daniel Tyler regarding Tyler's forthcoming CONCISE HISTORY OF THE MORMON BATTALION: "All that I have any desire the Church should do in the matter is to have it looked over by someone appointed by the Council of the Apostles before publication, and eliminate from it anything that is deemed undesirable to publish, should it so happen that any such be found."

May 24, 1879 - Apostles Brigham Young, Jr. and George Q. Cannon, as editors of DESERET NEWS, write concerning astrology: "It is quite probable that some planets exert a baneful and others a beneficial power on the earth and its inhabitants."

May 24, 1887 - U.S. deputy marshals "ransacked" nearly-finished Manti temple for polygamists.

May 24, 1888 - DESERET NEWS reports that a polygamist's legal wife "attempted to kill herself by cutting her throat with a razor" when she is subpoenaed to testify against him.

May 24, 1892 - Wilford Woodruff writes: "A card from Joseph F & John Henry Smith was read & Published in the Standard against the speech of [Apostle] Moses Thatcher saying that Satan was the Author of the Republican Party." Thatcher claims he was misinterpreted.

May 24, 1893 - Suicide of businessman William H. Jennings, first prominent Utah Mormon male to commit suicide. This is during national economic depression which bankrupts many Utahns. George A. Mears, another "financially ruined" Salt Lake City businessman and "a friend of the 'Mormons'" also commits suicide on July 8.

May 24, 1897 - Apostle Heber J. Grant writes: "I spent the night at Emily's. I have not been living with Emily for a number of years on account of the laws against cohabitation, but I have felt for some time that it was not the right thing for me to fail to live with her as a wife and I have made up my mind to change my manner of living in this particular no matter if I do get into some trouble." In cohabiting with his plural wife after the manifesto Grant is in violation of both the law of the land and the law of the church. The law of the church, however, is not enforced.

May 24, 1906 - DESERET EVENING NEWS editorial argues against frequent requests to remove section 132 from D&C. This indicates how deeply post-Manifesto polygamy has alienated church members who often refer to themselves as "modern Mormons."

May 24, 1943 - Bernard DeVoto writes "It is lugubriously true that the orthodox Mormon mind cannot tolerate any objective treatment of Mormon history whatever. . . . All Mormon actions have always been pure and sanitary; all criticism of them has always been evil and mendacious. Who is not for them is against them. . . . This is what I have sometimes called the Mormon Inferiority complex. Something of the sort is, of course, a part of all religious orthodoxy. Yet it is perfectly possible for any writer to handle any other religion in America objectively and be answered objectively in turn. It is not possible of the Mormons."

May 24, 1989 - Political terrorists kill Elders Jeffrey B. Ball and Todd R. Wilson in La Paz, Bolivia. They are first LDS missionaries to be killed for political reasons. FBI agent Mike McPheters, formerly LDS missionary in Bolivia, receives Bolivian national medal of honor for his successful investigation of Ball-Wilson murders.

May 24-25, 1842 - Three women testify that Assistant President John C. Bennett and Apostle William Smith taught them that Joseph Smith approved of "spiritual wifery" where in several men have sexual relations with the same woman.

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