October 20th

Oct 20, 1916 - Solomon Spaulding dies in Amity, Pennsylvania at age 55.

Oct 20, 1824 - The First Baptist Church in Palmyra welcomes 8 new converts. This is the first of many for the Baptist Church during the revival of 1824-25. For the one year period from October 1824 to the end of September 1825 there were a total of 94 persons baptized, by the Baptists and an increase of 87 members. Membership increased from 132 to 219 (65 percent). By comparison in the whole year of 1820 there were only eight new members baptized into the church.

Oct 20, 1839 - The Nauvoo High Council makes Joseph Smith treasurer of the Church, empowered to set prices and to sell real-estate lots in Nauvoo as well as to discharge other business functions.

Oct 20, 1840 - Patriarch Hyrum Smith gives a patriarchal blessing: "You are of the Tribe of Caleb according to the manifestation of the Spirit; or a descendant of Caleb; and according to the blessings of thy lineage, are entitled to the blessings made to that Tribe; and shall possess them in thy day; for you have integrity and zeal for the cause of God. . . . And in your day, shall the plates containing the Record of Mormon, and the Brass Plates, be brought into the bosom of the church; and also many other sacred records for the benefit of the Saints."

Oct 20, 1842 - Apostle Orson Hyde writes to Apostle Orson Pratt that during a voyage from Beirut to Jaffa Hyde saw clearly in the sky "a very bright glittering sword. . .with a beautiful hilt, as plain and complete as any cut you ever saw. And, what is still more remarkable, an arm, with a perfect hand, stretched itself out and took hold of the hilt of the sword. The appearance really made my hair rise, and the flesh, as it were, to crawl on my bones. The Arabs made a wonderful outcry at the sight: 'O, Allah, Allah, Allah!' was their exclamation all over the vessel." In the letter Hyde explains, ""I mention this, because you know there is a commandment to me which says: 'Unto you it shall be given to know the signs of the times, and the sign of the coming of the Son of Man.'"

Oct 20, 1843. - William Clayton writes: "Joseph gave us much instruction, showing the advantages of the E[verlasting] C[ovenant]. He said there was two seals in the Priesthood. The first was that which was placed upon a man and woman when they made the covenant and the other was the seal which alloted to them their particular mansion. After his discourse B. F. Johnson and his wife were united in an everlasting covenant."

Oct 20, 1857 - As Mormon troops leave to confront U.S. regiment, first counselor Heber C. Kimball "promise[s] them that if they would live the religion of Christ not one of them should fall by the hand of an enemy." There are no military deaths in Utah War.

Oct 20, 1893 - Apostle Franklin D. Richards writes in his diary, "At 1130 L[orenzo] S[now], F[ranklin] D R[ichards], F[rancis] M L[yman], J[ohn] H[enry] S[mith], A[braham] H Cannon met the 3 Presidency at their office. A telegram states that 5 persons therein named are reported up to the Attorney General with necessary proof offered of violation of Edmunds Tucker act & warning us to keep clear of any violation thereof." First Presidency and Quorum of Twelve agree to bribe Utah's non-LDS attorney general to prevent indictment of general authorities for unlawful cohabitation.

Oct 20, 1898 - First plural marriage performed in Salt Lake City by Apostle Matthias F. Cowley by authorization of Conselor George Q. Cannon who allows him to perform plural marriages in U.S. for high-ranking church officers not required to travel to Mexico.

Oct 20, 1903 - Death of Green Flake, African-American slave who drove Brigham Young into the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847. Green was owned by Mormon James M. Flake who lent him along with a wagon and two mules to the Church for the 1847 trek west. Upon the death of James M. Flake in 1850 his widow moved to California, a free state, but before leaving gave her "Negro slave Green Flake" to the Church as tithing. Green worked two years for Brigham Young and for Heber C. Kimball, and was then granted his freedom. After his wife's death he moved to Idaho. He returned to Salt Lake in 1897 to attend the 50th anniversary "jubilee" celebration of the arrival of the pioneers, where he received a certificate honoring him as a surviving member of the Brigham Young pioneer company. He is one of three slaves listed on the plaque on the Brigham Young monument in downtown Salt Lake City under the category of "Colored Servants."

Oct 20, 1905 - Apostle John Henry Smith writes, "All of the First Presidency and Twelve in the City met in the Temple and discussed the situation at Washington and the position in which the absent brethren had placed themselves by their acts." The "absent brethren" were apostles John W. Taylor and Matthias F. Cowley, who continued to refuse to testify in the Smoot hearings to avoid questioning concerning their post-manifesto polygamy activities.

Oct 20, 1962 - CHURCH NEWS announces purchase of church's first shortwave radio station, WRUL, in Boston and New Youk City. Purchase price is $1,771,850. Church sells its shortwave station in 1974 in response to satellite, cable, and videotape technologies.

Oct 20, 1969 - While BYU's basketball team is playing University of Wyoming in Laramie, fourteen African-Americans are disqualified from Wyoming's team for wearing black armbands in protest of LDS church's priesthood restriction. Game continues despite objects thrown by spectators at playing floor and audience shouting accusations of racism against BYU's athletes. Wyoming defeats BYU by 33 points.

Oct 20, 1982 - The LDS Church purchases a letter written by David Whitmer for $10,000. The letter is purchased from Mark Hofmann and is one of his forgeries. Gordon B. Hinckley had authorized $15,000 for the purchase, but Hofmann reduced the price in a show of good will.

Oct 20, 1986 - LDS Lt-Gen. Robert C. Oaks is commander of Allied Forces in southern Europe. He is uncle of recently-sustained apostle Dallin H. Oaks.

Oct 20, 1990 - LaRae Orullian is elected national president of Girl Scouts of America. She is Mormon president of Women's Bank in Denver, Colorado.

Oct 20, 1992 - Provo DAILY HERALD letter to the editor: "'BYU Students for Clinton' the sign blared at the Salt Lake airport at Clinton's departure. Excuse me! Is this the same pro-abortion, pro-gay rights, pro-excessive government, pro-immorality Clinton who has endeared himself to so many people with like values? Why would a BYU student support such a man for president? Bill Clinton stomps on every value that the LDS church and BYU stand for. . . . If abortion, homosexuality, and immorality are on Clinton's agenda, why would a morally upright person want to support him? What also must a teacher or teachers supporting Clinton be teaching students at BYU? BYU should clean house. There are thousands of 'liberal' arts colleges around to take the malcontents at BYU. Before Satan gets both feet in the door at BYU let those on the Lord's side stand up and be counted so that truth can prevail."

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