October 17th

Oct 17, 1835 - Joseph Smith's journal entry states: "Called my family together arranged my domestick concerns and dismissed my boarders." This may refer to his first plural wife, sixteen-year-old Fanny Alger, with whom his relationship has been causing rumors and dissention among Joseph's inner circle, leaving his home to live apart from him.

Oct 17, 1940 - Commenting on the Mormon block vote and Joseph Smith's ability to manipulate it the QUINCY WHIG opines: "These remarkable sectaries . . . hold in their hands a fearful balance of political power.... Should they ever become disposed to exert their influence for evil, which may Heaven prevent, they would surround our institutions with an element of danger, more to be dreaded than an armed and hundred- eyed police"

Oct 17, 1848 - FRONTIER GUARDIAN editorial "Dancing" observes: "Among the Saints, it is regarded not only as a civil recreation, but a religious exercise when conducted by the sanction and under the government of the Church."

Oct 17, 1860 - Brigham Young's office journal records: "Geo[rge] A. Smith called in the President, and other of the brethren discussed the nature and habits of the Beaver."

Oct 17, 1861 - The Transcontinental Telegraph is completed to Salt Lake City.

Oct 17, 1882 - Annie Gallifant Connelly, despite her pregnancy, is first Mormon woman sentenced to penitentiary for refusing to answer questions from grand jury seeking to indict her polygamous husband. For similar refusal, better-known Belle Harris is in penitentiary with her infnat child from May 18 - Aug. 31, 1883.

Oct 17, 1886 - David Whitmer in an interview, which appeared in the CHICAGO INTER-OCEAN states: "The first 116 pages when completed were by permission of the prophet intrusted to the hands of Martin Harris, who carried them home to his incredulous relatives in triumph, hoping by the exhibition to convert his family and kinfolk from their uncompromising hostility to the religious premises he had adopted. Upon retiring at night he locked up the precious pages in a bureau drawer, along with his money and other valuables. In the morning he was shocked to find that they had been stolen, while his money had been left untouched. They were never found and were never replaced, so that the Book of Mormon is today minus just 116 pages of the original matter, which would increase the volume fully one-fourth of its present size. This unpardonable carelessness evoked the stormiest kind of chastisement from the Lord, who took from the prophet the Urim and Thummim and otherwise expressed his condemnation. By fervent prayer and by otherwise humbling himself, the prophet, however, again found favor, and was presented with a strange, oval-shaped, chocolate-colored stone, about the size of an egg, only more flat, which, it was promised, should serve the same purpose as the missing Urim and Thummim (the latter was a pair of transparent stones set in a bow-shaped frame and very much resembled a pair of spectacles). With this stone all of the present Book of Mormon was translated."

Oct 17, 1890 - Thirty-one-year-old Christian F. Olsen takes a plural wife with a recomend signed by Wilford Woodruff. This is the first officially allowed plural marriage after the manifesto which was sustained at general conference eleven days earlier.

Oct 17, 1893 - Democratic SALT LAKE HERALD (of which Apostle Heber J. Grant is vice-president) reports meeting of "Afro-American Club, recently organized here for the purpose of promoting the social and political interests of the colored people of this city." The club's leader comments that "the [anti-Mormon] Liberal party has always treated Afro-Americans WITH DISTAIN."
President Wilford Woodruff meets with the Council of the Twelve and the Church's four temple presidents, spending "three hours in harmanizing the Different M[odes?] of Ceremonies in giving Endowments"

Oct 17, 1901 - Quorum of Twelve Apostles sustains Joseph F. Smith as church president with his counselors, and Presiding Patriarch "sets apart" (NOT ordains) church president, only time patriarch (John Smith, Joseph F. Smith's brother) does this. Joseph F. Smith is the first president to be born in the Church. He is the only president except for Joseph Smith who was never sustained as president of the Quorum of Twelve and the only president to have a son who was also president.

Oct 17, 1968 - Belle Smith Spafford, general president of Relief Society, is elected president of Natinal Council of Women in its eightieth anniversary year. She serves to 1970.

Oct 17, 1972 - L. Patrick Gray, FBI director, offers to help LDS church security to protect members of First Presidency against assassination attempts by Ervil LeBaron's followers.

Oct 17, 1991 - At a B. H. Roberts Society meeting, David Knowlton discusses his situation, identifies the issues he feels are involved, and concludes, "It is simply a bad habit for authorities to engage in generalized intimidation. . . . We intellectuals should . . . stop looking over our shoulders to see if the Brethren are going to disagree with us, call us to repentance, hassle us, limit our access to information, or challenge us. In many ways that is their job--although it is indeed ours to critique all those actions, . . . to protect ourselves and argue for what we think important. We should act with security of purpose as thoughtful people who have a necessary role to play within the Church as community." At the same meeting D. Michael Quinn explains that general authorities have "typically attacked the messenger" who brings "unauthorized exposure of Mormonism's checkered past. . . . These attacks have usually been harsher when the messenger was a participant in the uncomfortable truths she or he revealed about Mormonism."

Oct 17, 1993 - First Presidency issues statement concerning procedures for disfellowshipment and excommunication. 1995-1996 CHURCH ALMANAC states that this was in response to "extensive publicity given to six recent Church disciplinary councils in Utah." Coordinated by instructions from the Strengthening the Members Committee and apostle Boyd K. Packer to their stake presidents, six scholars and feminists had been excommunicated or disfellowshipped in September.

No comments: