September 19th

Sept 19, 1830 - On his 19th birthday Orson Pratt is baptized into the Mormon Church by his brother Parley. He becomes one of the first apostles, almost commits suicide after finding that Joseph Smith had propositioned his wife, is excommunicated, rebaptized, fulfills 11 missions for the church. He teaches himself mathematics, physics and astronomy and publishes textbooks on advanced algebra. He differs in doctrinal matters with president Brigham Young and is threatened with disciplinary action over it but Pratt's views are later adopted by the Church while Young's are labeled as "heresy." Before he dies in 1881 Orson Pratt had been a Mormon longer than any other person.

Sept 19, 1844 - Brigham Young begins marrying some of Joseph Smith's polygamous widows as his own wives.

Sept 19, 1845 - Brigham Young and some of the Twelve Apostles "kneeled down and he offered up prayers that the Lord would preserve his servants and deliver those who had been active in the mob that killed Joseph and Hyrum into our hands that they might receive their deserts."

Sept 19, 1893 - Apostle Francis M. Lyman writes in his diary: "On the train we found the following brethren on their way to the penitentiary to serve sentences for living with their wives ... [Dalley, Jones, Barton] each for adultery with their own wives ... Judge Fudd was also on the train. I plead with him to use his influence with Marshall Brigham not to have the brethren shaved, He promised me he would do his best."

Sept 19, 1895 - Apostle Francis M. Lyman, visiting in St. Joseph, Nevada, writes "After meeting bro[ther] George Adair told me all about the Mountain Meadow affair. There were but few White men who shed blood. John M. Higby and Joseph White were the worst, having killed a dozen each. Haight did no killing. Stewart was not there. Lee also did much killing. White fired on the camp." Two days later he writes "Bro[ther]s Dudly Leavitt and Nephi Johnson were in the meeting. I talked with those two about the Mountain Meadows Massacre. The first gave me but little information. Bro[ther] Johnson was the man who gave the word to the Indians to fire at the last general killing. He denies that Higby and White did the killing that Adair tells of. He says white men did most of the killing."

Sept 19, 1896 - A "Terrific wind" blows away the entire tin roof of the Salt Lake Temple

Sept 19, 1962 - First Presidency rules that prominent Egyptian polygamist can be baptized because polygamy is legal in Egypt. This is in reference to "an earlier ruling in the matter of Indians who had married more than one wife and it was decided that they may be baptized, if they were legally married according to their tribal customs." First Presidency agrees that such legal polygamists cannot be sealed in temples, to avoid confusing LDS policy toward Mormon Fundamentalists.
With regard to black Africa, President David O. McKay says it "is a cruel thing" to require Nigerian polygamists to cease their legally polygamous marriages, yet Presidency decides to forbid baptism of black African polygamists (who are also denied priesthood ordination by LDS policy for all persons of black African descent). By contrast, the Egyptian polygamist, a Coptic Christian, is baptized in London in February 1963 and ordained elder.

Sept 19, 1963 - First Presidency and apostles decide to prevent performance of BYU professor Clinton F. Larson's play THE REDEEMER because of its portrayal of Mary Magdalene as wife of Jesus. "President McKay [is] very much concerned about it, he having said there was no authoritative basis for such a conclusion--that we just didn't know." Performance occurs because it is sponsored by Provo Recreation Department rather than BYU.

Sept 19, 1975 - First Presidency letter instructs that those Mormons who refuse to pay federal income taxes are violating the law and the church's 12th Article of Faith.

Sept 19, 1977 - British police arrested Joyce McKinney, 27, of Minneapolis, North Carolina, and Keith Joseph May, 25, of Los Angeles, California. The two Americans had arrived in England in August, sometimes identifying themselves as husband and wife and used a variety of assumed names. They are charged on September 21 with "kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment, and possessing an imitation firearm with intent to commit an offense" in the abduction and of 21-year-old LDS missionary Kirk Anderson of Orem Utah.. McKinney, a former Miss USA contestant and BYU graduate student in drama, was in love with Anderson, traveled to England, abducted him, shackled him to a bed, and forced him to have sex with her. Formal charges are made two days later.

Sept 19, 1980 - One of the foremost experts in the field of computer and statistical analysis of literary style, Richard W. Bailey, of the University of Michigan writes, in answer to a question concerning validity of Book of Mormon "wordprint" analysis: "The term 'wordprint' is an unfortunate one since it reminds people of fingerprints. We know that fingerprints are valid; voiceprints are somewhat dubious; and we're not sure if 'wordprints' even exist."

Sept 19, 1992. - VICTIMS: THE LDS CHURCH AND THE MARK HOFMANN CASE, authored by Richard Turley, managing director of the LDS Historical Department, is published by the University of Illinois Press. Turley claims "unprecedented access" to church officials and "previously unavailable documents." He acknowledges that "a substantial amount of writing was done on church time."

Sept 19, 1993 - Paul Toscano's disciplinary council meets.. At 6:00 A.M. over 100 individuals gathered in the parking lot of the Cottonwood Stake Center keep vigil by singing hymns and sharing comments. At the trial's start, Toscano makes four requests: the proceedings be public; his witnesses be present throughout the hearing; his wife be present throughout; and an independent party take notes. All requests are denied. At 12:30 P.M. Toscano emerges from his six-and-a-half hour trial and speaks to the crowd. He says the discussion centered on his recent Sunstone symposium speech, "All is Not Well in Zion: False Teachings of the True Church," of which the council had made a transcription from a purchased cassette. They focused and disagreed on the interpretation of supposedly derogatory comments he had made about general authorities. He said the interchange was genuine and that the high councilors asked hard but fair-minded questions. He felt that they loved him and he expressed his love for them. After hours of deliberation, at 3:00 P.M. Stake President Kerry Heinz tells Toscano that his decision to excommunicate him for apostasy was sustained unanimously by the high council.

Sept 19, 1995 - Wallace B. Smith, president of RLDS church, announces that his successor will be W. Grant McMurray, age forty-eight. Effective as of April 1996, this ends patrilineal succession of Joseph Smith's descendants as presidents of RLDS church since 1860.

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