May 27th

May 27, 1839 - Sidney Rigdon writes to the BOSTON JOURNAL emphatically denying the "Spaulding" story. Of Solomon Spaulding, whom he says he had never heard of until the story was publicized and who has been dead for two decades, Rigdon says he wrote "lies to get money" and that Rigdon has "but a very light opinion of him as a gentleman, a scholar, or a man of piety, for had he been either, he certainly would have taught his pious wife not to lie, nor unite herself with adulterers, liars, and the basest of mankind."

May 27, 1840 - the LATTER-DAY SAINTS MILLENIAL STAR, the first LDS periodical outside the U.S., is published in England.

May 27, 1843 - Joseph Smith tells a council meeting, "The patriarchal office is the highest in the church, and father Smith conferred this office, on Hyrum Smith, on his death bed."

May 27, 1845 - Brigham Young receives "a respectful letter from Governor [Thomas] Drew in reply to our Memorial to him as governor of Arkansas; stating his inability to protect us in the state of Arkansas, and suggesting the propriety of our settling in Oregon, California, Nebraska or some other country where we will be out of the reach of our persecutors." Young's "Memorial" to Drew, sent May 1, asked, "Will it be too much to ask you to convene a special session of your State Legislature, and furnish us an asylum where we can enjoy our rights of conscience and religion unmolested?"

May 27, 1848 - "Today to our utter astonishment, the crickets came by millions, sweeping everything before them." Seagulls, no strangers to settlers in small numbers, arrive in dense flocks to devour crickets but not in time to save whole fields from destruction. Although published letters by First Presidency and LDS sermons refer to this event in non-miraculous terms for several years, anti-Mormon WARSAW SIGNAL of Nov. 17, 1849 shows that Mormons soon describe this experience as divine intervention: "This year, as the story goes--the Lord sent immense numbers of gulls from the Lake, to devour the crickets." Seagulls descend during cricket infestation in 1849 and 1850, but apparently not until 1853 does general authority (Orson Hyde) publicly describe the 1848 seagull visitation as miraculous. The "Miracle of the Seagulls" is now memorialized by statue on Salt Lake Temple Square and by adoption of seagull as Utah's state bird.

May 27, 1850 - The walls of the burned-out Nauvoo Temple are blown down by a hurricane.

May 27, 1901 - Apostle John Henry Smith, visiting in Colonia Juarez, Mexico, writes in his journal: "I had a talk with A. F. McDonald about Sealings and I told him if he was sealing Plural Wiles to men his standing in the church was in danger."

May 27, 1903 - H.L. Steed, president of the South African mission, is told by the the Apostles to "preach the gospel" to those blacks who expressed interest. But the intermingling of blacks and whites should be avoided and black members "should be encouraged to form branches composed of their own class of people." He had requested advice on what to do about the significant number of black Africans interested in Mormonism which he wrote "he had not encouraged."

May 27, 1946 - Fawn Brodie writes her parents: " Thank you for sending the Hugh Nibley pamphlet [No Ma'am, That's Not History]. I had expected better things in this 'scholarly reply to Mrs. Brodie.' It is a flippant and shallow piece. He really did me a service by demonstrating the difference between his scholarship and mine. If that is the best a young Mormon historian can offer, then I am all the more certain that the death of B.H. Roberts meant the end of all that was truly scholarly and honest in orthodox Mormon historiography."

May 27, 1986. - LDS Historical Department officials announce that researchers must apply for admittance, be interviewed by an archives official, and sign a statement agreeing to abide by archival rules which include submitting a pre-publication copy of quotations and their context to the Copyrights and Permissions Office. Physical remodeling of the facilities puts patrons using archival materials in a small glass-walled room.

May 27, 1990 - Missionary Gale Stanley Critchfield, age twenty, is stabbed to death in Dublin by eighteen-year-old Irishman who follows missionaries to their apartment for sole purpose of attack. "We wonder why, when a young man is called to serve the Lord, he isn't watched over so closely [that] his life is protected," says First Presidency counselor Gordon B. Hinckley at funeral. "We don't know why some things happen."

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