October 21st

Oct 21, 1844 - Apostle Orson Hyde, then husband of three wives, writes: "I will now venture a prediction, that since Nauvoo has thrown off so much bile from its stomach [i.e., Sidney Rigdon] it will be more healthy, and less complaints about spiritual wives, adultery, bogus making, &c. &c." The letter is published two months later in a Mormon newspaper.

Oct 21, 1874 - Polygamist George Reynolds is approached by First Presidency Counselor George Q. Cannon and told he has been selected to be a test case on the legality of polygamy. Reynolds is arrested, charged, convicted and sentenced to one year in prison. On appeal his conviction is set aside on a technicality, Reynolds's case is re-tried. He is convicted in the re-trial and is sentenced to two years in prison.. His case goes to the U.S. Supreme Court where his conviction, and the legality of the anti-polygamy laws are upheld but the hard labor part of his sentence is overturned as being excessive. With time off for good conduct he serves one year and seven months in prison. In 1890, he is sustained as one of the First Seven Presidents of Seventies.

Oct 21, 1891 - The First Presidency's Office Journal records that President Wilford Woodruff stated "that the manifesto was just as authoritative and binding as though it had been given in the form of 'Thus saith the Lord,' and that its affecting unlawful cohabitation cases was but the logical sequence of its scope and intent regarding polygamous marriages, as the laws of the land forbid both, and that therefore, although he at the time did not perceive the far-reaching effect it would have, no other ground could be taken than that which he had taken and be consistent with the position the manifesto had placed us in."

Oct 21, 1900 - Alexander F. Macdonald performs plural marriage in Mexico, his first since 1890. Second counselor Joseph F. Smith authorizes this without knowledge of church president Lorenzo Snow, who later threatens to excommunicate this patriarch.

Oct 21, 1917 - Joseph F. Smith's two counselors write to President Smith: "It surely appears that important events are rapidly moving on towards 'the great consummation,'" World War II has made this millenial sentiment common.

Oct 21, 1922 - Patriarch Hyrum G. Smith counseled local patriarch Joseph A. Quibell about "cranks" and others who go about trying to get a blessing from every patriarch they meet: "I think every member of the Church should have at least one blessing . . . and for that purpose the Stake Patriarchs are placed in the church--for it is an utter impossibility for the Patriarch of the Church to bless all the people. I think all members of the Church may receive blessings in the stakes, and then those who are fortunate enough may receive one from the Presiding Patriarch--then they should be well blessed for this life."

Oct 21, 1971 - First Presidency secretary Joseph Anderson writes that conscientious objectors can teach, partake of sacrament, hold church offices, and receive temple recommends.

Oct 21, 1973 - First Presidency letter urges 78,800 Mormons in Washington state to vote against referendum to allow nineteen-year-olds to purchase and consume alcoholic beverages.

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