September 21st

Sept 21, 1827 - Around midnight Joseph Smith asks his mother, Lucy Mack Smith, if she has a box with a lock on it. She says she doesn't and Joseph says, "Never mind, I can do very well for the present without it—be calm—all is right." Minutes later Joseph's new wife, Emma, passes through the room in her bonnet and riding dress, and Lucy hears the two of them drive off in Joseph Knight's wagon--borrowed without permission--to get the gold plates from the Hill Cumorah.

Sept 21, 1840 - William Clayton, on a ship carrying two hundred Mormons from England to America writes: "Good sail. At night Elder Turley spoke considerable on cleanliness and afterwards went round the births to see if all the company undressed. Some was found with their cloths on and some had never pulled their cloths off since they came on deck but had done their dirt in their cloths. Others had dirt in the corner of their birth. This made the most awful smell when discovered almost to much to bear. Elder Turley undressed and washed them and ordered the place cleaned out. [Some of the company] are filthy indeed."

Sept 21, 1843 - William Clayton writes in his journal: "This A.M. he [Joseph Smith] came to talk with Lydia but she won't yet consent. She wants to tarry with her sisters." Lydia Moon, sister of two of Clayton's wives, had agreed to become a plural wife to Clayton but a week ago Joseph Smith informed Clayton that "the Lord had revealed to him that a man could only take 2 of a family except by express revelation . . . He finally asked if I would not give L[ydia] to him. I said I would so far as I had anything to do in it. He requested me to talk to her."

Sept 21, 1856 - First counselor Heber C. Kimball preaches: "You cannot see God, you cannot behold Him and hold converse with Him."

Sept 21, 1856 - Second counselor Jedediah M. Grant preaches: "I say, that there are men and women that I would advise to go to the President immediately, and ask him to appoint a committee to attend to their case; and then let a place be selected, and let that committee shed their blood. We have those amongst us that are full of all manner of abominations, those who need to have their blood shed, for water will not do, their sins are of too deep a dye. . . . I would ask how many covenant breakers there are in this city and in this kingdom. I believe that there are a great many; and if they are covenant breakers we need a place designated, where we can shed their blood. . . . Brethren and sisters, we want you to repent and forsake your sins. And you who have committed sins that cannot be forgiven through baptism, let your blood be shed, and let the smoke ascend, that the incense thereof may come up before God as an atonement for your sins, and that the sinners in Zion may be afraid."

Sept 21, 1856 - President Brigham Young preaches: "There are sins that men commit for which they cannot receive forgiveness in this world, or in that which is to come, and if they had their eyes open to see their true condition, they would be perfectly willing to have their blood split upon the ground, that the smoke thereof might ascend to heaven as an offering for their sins; and the smoking incense would atone for their sins, whereas, if such is not the case, they will stick to them and remain upon them in the spirit world. I know, when you hear my brethren telling about cutting people off from the earth, that you consider it is strong doctrine; but it is to save them, not to destroy them. . . . I know that there are transgressors, who, if they knew themselves, and the only condition upon which they can obtain forgiveness, would beg of their brethren to shed their blood, that the smoke thereof might ascend to God as an offering to appease the wrath that is kindled against them, and that the law might have its course. . . . There are sins that can be atoned for by an offering upon an altar, as in ancient days; and there are sins that the blood of a lamb, of a calf, or of turtle doves, cannot remit, but they must be atoned for by the blood of the man."

Sept 21, 1857 - At weekly prayer circle of Samuel L. Sprague: "Br. P[hineas] Richards [a member of Council of Fifty] spoke of coming in contact with our enemies. We have covenanted to avenge the blood of the Prophets and Saints. Why, then, should we hesitate to go forth and slay them--shed their blood--when called upon. President Sprague spoke a few words in answer to the inquiry made by br. Richards; that the Lord had said 'vengeance is mine.' Nevertheless, we shall have blood to shed."

Sept 21, 1861 - Brigham Young's "destroying angel" William A. "Wild Bill" Hickman falls down and accidentally shoots himself in the liver when his gun discharges. He lives for twenty-two more years and omits this incident from his memoirs that are written before his execution.

Sept 21, 1872 - Miss Phoebe W. Cousins and Miss Georgeanna Snow become first women admitted to practice of law in Utah.

Sept 21, 1879 - First Presidency secretary L. John Nuttall writes: "Read a very interesting letter from Bro Wilford Woodruff of his journey among the "Zunies", "Lagoonies", and "Islatus" Indians, who he believes are the Nephites Jacobites. Josephites and the Zoramites as recorded in the Book of Doctrine & Covenants Sect. 3. par 17th."

Sept 21, 1885 - Wilford Woodruff writes in his journal: "I have felt for several years that there was a Change coming over Zion & over our Nation & the world at large. I have spoken of it in public in several instances and it has Commenced. The United States Government has sent Judges & Marshals to Utah to prosicute all the Mormons they Can for Poligamy & Cohabitation with their own wives and they have turned it more into persecution than prosecution untill our prisions are Crouded with the Leading Men of the Church. All the Leading Men are Either in prision or Exhile. All of the 3 first presidency are hid up & myself & the Twelve Apostles are in Exhile and many other leading men of the Church. And the United States Government with the Editors & Priest[s] are laboring to destroy the Saints of God. We shall see." Five years later, as LDS President, Woodruff issues the "manifesto" (later Official Declaration 1) beginning the end of the practice of polygamy by the LDS church.

Sept 21, 1895 - Apostle Francis M. Lyman writes in his journal: "Bro[ther]s Dudl[e]y 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. He says Kirby deserves mercy." Massacre participant Dudley Leavitt's great-great grandson later becomes governor of Utah.

Sept 21, 1896 - First Presidency is informed that Apostle Moses Thatcher "has now spent 27 out of 60 days in treatment by an expert in the Keely cure necessary to overcome the morphine habit & [are] asked that brother M[oses] T[hatcher] may be permitted to continue undisturbed in his treatment until the 60 days expire; which was most cordially granted."

Sept 21, 1949 - First Counselor J. Reuben Clark writes that "the General Authorities of the Church get precious little from the tithing of the Church. They are not paid as much as a first-class, stenographic secretary of some of the men who run industry."

Sept 21, 1955 - Joel F. LeBaron incorporates Church of the Firstborn of the Fullness of Times, only Mormon Fundamentalist group to aggressively proselytize.

Sept 21, 1956 - Second counselor J. Reuben Clark reluctantly agrees not to oppose First Preidency's decision to set aside two-thirds of tithing income to invest in government bonds, even though in previous months church had already lost $1 million on its investments in government securities.

Sept 21, 1959 - Mormon Tabernacle Choir's recording of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" enters Top 40. It remains in Top 40 (and on popular radio stations throughout nation) for eleven weeks, during which it reaches its highest ranking of thirteen. National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences awards Tabernacle Choir a "Grammy" for best Choral Performance that year. Other Mormon singers to win individual awards are Donny and Marie Osmond who receive American Music Association award as vocal duo (1976), Marie Osmond who shares vocal duo award from Country Music Association (1986), and Hans Choi who receives Russia's Tchaikovsky Prize (1990).

Sept 21, 1977 - Joyce McKinney, 27, of Minneapolis, North Carolina, and Keith Joseph May, 25, of Los Angeles, California are formally charged in London, England, with "kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment, and possessing an imitation firearm with intent to commit an offense." They abducted LDS missionary Kirk Anderson, shackled him to a bed, and Miss McKinney, a former beauty pageant contestant, forced him to have sex with her.

Sept 21, 1983 - U.S. postage stamp honors Philo T. Farnsworth for "First Television Camera." His electronic television transmission occurred in San Francisco in 1927.

Sept 21, 2004 - Associated Press reports: "Gov. Janet Napolitano [D - Arizona] plans to visit Salt Lake City this week to meet with leaders of the Mormon Church to learn more about the faith shared by hundreds of thousands of Arizonans." A spokesman for Governor Napolitano said, " the trip evolved from Napolitano's realization over the summer that she didn't know much about the church and its structure and activities in Arizona." Subsequent discussions within the Governor's Office "having to do with the fact that we have so many people in Arizona who are members of the faith" led to phone calls between church officials and the governor's office. "No meetings are planned with Utah state officials, this is all church-related."

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