May 9th

May 9, 1832 - Church members in various branches condemn the vision of three heavenly degrees as devilish because of its universalist rejection of heaven and hell. Brigham Young is among those who initially doubt the vision. Missionaries in the U.S. excommunicate these disbelievers for the next two years. This occurs again in England (1837-39) when new converts learn of the "Three Degrees of Glory" doctrine, later published by LDS church as DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS, section 76.

May 9, 1834 - PAINESVILLE TELEGRAPH (Ohio) reports: "The Mormon war in Missouri is about to be renewed. Gen. Joe Smith took up his line of march from this country on Monday last, with a large party of his fanatical followers, for the seat of war. -- This expedition has been a long time in active preparation. Soon after the outrages committed upon the members of the sect last Nov. in Missouri, the prophet here sent forth his general orders, which he pretended was a revelation from God, for all his able bodied men to repair to the scene of difficulty. His preachers were sent forth to all parts of the country among their proselytes, with a printed copy of the revelation in their pockets, reiterating and magnifying all the tales of woe which had befallen the church," in the "promised land." Like Peter the Hermit, in the days of the crusades, they have made every effort to stir up the holy zeal of the "warriors, my young men, and they that are of middle age also," to the combat. The[y] have been made to believe it was a direct command from the Supreme Being, which could not be disobeyed. For several months past they have been collecting munitions of war for the crusade. Dirks, knives, swords, pistols, guns, powder-horns, &c. &c. have been in good demand in this vicinity. Some have equipped themselves with four or five pistols. The prophet, it is said, has a sword over four feet long."

May 9, 1847 - William Clayton writes in his journal: "According to my calculations, we are now 300 miles from Winter Quarters, lacking a few rods. I got a small board and wrote on it "From Winter Quarters 300 miles, May 9, 1847. Pioneer Camp all well. Distance according to the reckoning of W Clayton." This was nailed on a post and in the evening I went and set it up about 300 yards from here on a bend of the river. Spent the afternoon reading and writing in the Elder Kimball's journal. At 3 P.M. a meeting was called and the Camp addressed by several. President Young took tea with Elder Kimball, and afterwards they started out together, with one or two others to look at the country ahead of us . . ."

May 9, 1874 - General conference speakers promote establishment of communitarian "United Orders." Most successful and well-known is Orderville, Utah, where no one owns private property, clothing and houses are standardized, and everyone eats in common dining hall after food is prepared in communal kitchen. Orderville continues in this manner until dissolved in 1885 by instruction of Presidency and Twelve.

May 9, 1885 - First Counselor George Q. Cannon is sentenced to six months in prison and fined $300 for polygamy. Before sentencing the judge reminds Cannon that he has discretion in sentencing and says, "I would love to know that you could conform to the law." Cannon replies "I cannot state what I will do in the future." He is given the maximum allowed sentence.

May 9, 1889 - Hubert Bancroft, Author of HISTORY OF UTAH meets with First Presidency and others. Apostle Franklin D. Richards writes that Bancroft "expressed himself quite willing & desirous to make any corrections or alterations that we might desire all was soon done. It was also decided to purchase 1000 copies for distribution by the Church."

May 9, 1891 - President Benjamin Harrison visits Salt Lake City and meets with Members of the First Presidency and others. Mormons make a concerted effort to demonstrate "progress" from their anti-federal-government, polygamous past.

May 9, 1898 - First LDS baptisms in Jerusalem, Palestine. Converts are Armenian Christians.

May 9, 1901 - At the Thursday meeting of the First Presidency and Twelve Apostles in the Salt Lake Temple " Joseph F. Smith and Brigham Young's [Jr.] allowance was fixed at five thousand per annum. H[eber] J. Grant's was raised some."

May 9, 1902 - The First Presidency writes to temple president David H. Cannon "in answer to a series of questions propunded [sic] by him to them. Re: must a person administering the Second Anointings in the Temple be clothes [sic] in his Priestly apparel when administering same? Ans: President Young considered that it was absolutely necessary 'before the completion of our Temples,' but that when done in the Temple this was optional and no longer required. 'after the completion of the Temples this was changed under the direction of President Young himself.'"

May 9, 1912 - Church Board of Education approves "seminary near Granite High" in Salt Lake City. Innovation recommended by Granite Stake presidency, this first LDS seminary opens following September with seventy LDS high school students. Thomas J. Yates, an engineer, is first teacher in what remains church's only seminary during next four years. In 1916 church's second high school seminary opens in Mt. Pleasant, Utah. This grows into released-time program wherever legal in western states and into early morning seminary program everywhere else (beginning September 1950 in California).
Hyrum G. Smith is ordained a high priest and the Presiding Patriarch. He is a grandson of the previous Presiding Patriarch. Apostle James E. Talmadge writes in his journal: "In this instance the son of the late Patriarch, and father of the new Patriarch, viz., Hyrum Fisher Smith, was not considered worthy of this high ordination. The newly ordained Patriarch is understood to have been a man of honorable life and no[t] one who needs reformation to make him eligible." The traditionally hereditary office of Presiding Patriarch is discontinued on Oct. 6, 1979.

May 9, 1913 - First Presidency learns that James Dwyer, co-founder of Salt Lake City's LDS University (now LDS Business College), has been "teaching young men that sodomy and kindred vices are not sins..." Dwyer's daughter, actress Ada Dwyer Russell, is already in long-term relationship with lesbian poet Amy Lowell. Dwyer's bishop and stake president want to excommunicate him, but First Presidency allows Dwyer, now in his eighties, to voluntarily "withdraw his name" from LDS church membership.

May 9, 1971 - Mary Beth Rampton, wife of the Utah Governor Calvin Rampton, gives a talk on Mother's Day at the Federal Heights Ward in Salt Lake City: "To assist myself in [talking about motherhood], I have drawn two illustrative concepts from my study of prehistory. The first is the concept of the Mother Goddess. The Heavenly Father whom we today know and love and worship is a masculine God; but it is interesting to know that the oldest deity of whom archaeologists have found evidence is feminine Mother Goddess, whose little stone and clay figurines have been found in upper Paleolithic sites over most of the world. She was the goddess of the fruitfulness of the earth and its creatures, the source of the earth's abundant life, charged with nurture. . She became, as the centuries passed, Ninhursag, the mother-goddess of the Sumerians; the Minoan mother-goddess of ancient Crete; Demeter, the earth goddess among the older Greek gods."

May 9, 1978 - The HARVARD CRIMSON prints a story of a visit to an LDS visitor's center titled "Mannequins And Mormons." The author, Cliff Sloan, tells of being asked to sign the guest book so "'we can always keep in touch with you.' Visions of Mormon missionaries gripped me. For all I knew, they'd be coming by my room night and day, proselytizing, smashing bottles of booze. I decided to give a pseudonym, but was somehow unable to think up one on the spur of the moment. For a few minutes, I stood in front of the guest book, drumming my pen, trying to think of a fake name, smiling weakly at Sister Wood. Finally, feeling more foolish than ever, I put down my first and middle names 'Cliff Myer.'"

May 9, 1981 - THE NEW YORK TIMES calls the Church's opposition to the MX missile system "an oddly selective summons to national morality in the service of an obviously parochial interest."

May 9, 1985 - The First Presidency releases the "money-digging letter." This letter, supposedly written by Joseph Smith to Josiah Stowell in 1825, was secretly purchased by First Presidency Second Counselor Gordon B. Hinckley for a reported $25,000 two years previously and hidden without comment in the First Presidency's vault. However rumors of its existence and typewritten copies of it have been in circulation among the "Mormon underground. Previously Church spokesman Jerry Cahill had denied the letter's existence. The letter later turns out to be a forgery by Mark Hofmann."

May 9, 1991 - CHURCH NEWS feature article, "LDS Assist in Aftermath of Riots" in Los Angeles.

May 9, 1995 - Announcement that non-LDS Peggy Stock will be president of Westminster College, Salt Lake City, first woman to head Utah institution of higher learning.

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