September 8th

Sept 8, 1824 - Geneva Presbytery records state, "there has been no remarkable revival of religion within our bounds. The "bounds" include Palmyra, N.Y. Since Methodists in Palmyra have already begun a revival this verifies Joseph Smith's description of the revival as having "commenced with the Methodists."

Sept 8, 1833 - Orson Pratt records in his journal: "O[rson] P[ratt] and L[yman] J[ohnson] sealed the members of the church at Bath, New Hampshire, Conn., to eternal life."

Sept 8, 1834 - Joseph Smith rules that the use of the "gift of tongues" in giving testimony in church disciplinary proceedings is "contrary to the rules and regulations of the Church."

Sept 8, 1838 - A Missourian writes: "There is still a good deal of excitement with the people of Carrol & Davis Counties, and the Mormons of Caldwell City. there are strong aprehensions also of hostilities by the Indians from the cherokees having built a large council house and inviting all the other tribes, and holding secret consultations, it is generally thought that we shall have war with the Mormons & Indians both, meetings have been held in adopting measures upon the Mormon subject."

Sept 8, 1843 - Mormon Nauvoo resident Charlotte Haven writes to relatives: "We hear that [Hyrum Smith] has already had some wonderful revelations not yet made public, but that a few of the elders put their heads together and whisper what they dare not speak aloud." She says of Elder George J. Adams had returned from a two-year mission in England with a new wife and child, though he already had a wife and family in Nauvoo. "I am told that his first wife is reconciled to this at first unwelcome guest in her home, for her husband and some others have reasoned with her that plurality of wives is taught in the Bible, that Abraham, Jacob, Solomon, David and indeed all the old prophets and good men, had several wives, and if right for them, it is right for the Latter Day Saints. Furthermore, the first wife will always be first in her husband's affection and the head of the household, where she will have a larger influence. Poor, weak woman! . . . I cannot believe that Joseph will ever sanction such a doctrine…"

Sept 8, 1844 - A special council publicly excommunicates Sidney Rigdon for his succession claim in opposition to the Twelve. Rigdon is not present. Before the membership votes "President Young arose and requested the congregation to place themselves so that they could see all who voted. We want to know who goes for Sidney and who are for the Twelve." Ten Mormons who vote in favor of Rigdon at this meeting are suspended from fellowship pending trial before the High Council, an action to be extended to all "who shall hereafter be found advocating his principles." Benjamin Winchester, a prominent elder, writes: "As regards the trial of Elder Rigdon at Nauvoo, it was a forced affair, got up by the Twelve to get him out of their way, that they might the better arrogate to themselves higher authority than they ever had, or anybody ever dreamed they would have; and also (as they perhaps hope) to prevent a complete exposé of the spiritual wife system, which they knew would deeply implicate themselves." William Clayton writes, "There was a good feeling among the people and a bad feeling among the Rigdonites."
A final irony to the meeting was Brigham Young's use of the DOCTRINE & COVENANTS's justification for the High Council to "sit in judgement against any of the first presidency." He tacitly, and possibly unwittingly, admits that a First Presidency is still intact and that Rigdon is still first counselor.

Sept 8, 1856 - Brigham Young's office journal records: "Br[other] Dimmock [Huntington] also stated the Indians occasionally had what they called a whore dance, which was lewd and wrong. President said he should drive away the boys that congregated, round the Indians, and whip the Indians that they might desist from these dances and practices."

Sept 8, 1875 - George Goddard records that on his son's sixteenth birthday "his Mother and Myself, put our hands upon his head and pronounced a parents blessing upon him." Such "parents blessings" were common in the early church but have been replaced by "fathers blessings."

Sept. 8, 1878 - First Presidency secretary L. John Nuttall writes: "Prest. Snow said our Stake report was similar to the other stakes, a spirit of improvement was in the whole church, advised our Young Men and women to marry, and mothers to not talk against Polygamy. . . . Sister Rice, as Midwife and nurse for the Orderville Ward, was blessed to this appointment by Prest. Snow.

Sept 8, 1886 - Isaac C. Haight dies in Arizona, fully reinstated in church sixteen years after his excommunication for ordering Mountain Meadows Massacre.

Sept 8, 1887 - Wilford Woodruff and Twelve formally establish fixed salaries for themselves. Previous to this apostles negotiated individually with Trustee-in-Trust for allotments according to their needs. At this meeting Joseph F. Smith prefers old system and comments that "it was repugnant to the people to have the 12 draw a salary." Not long after this meeting, apostles set the "annuity" of Presiding Patriarch at rate exactly one-third of annual allotment for each apostle. Church members also give patriarch $2 for each patriarchal blessing.

Sep 8, 1890 - Apostle John Henry Smith preaches from the pulpit that "married people who indulge their passions for any other purpose than to beget children, really committed adultery."

Sep 8, 1892 - John H. Gilbert, typesetter for the Book of Mormon, swears in an affidavit: "Martin [Harris] was in the office when I finished setting up the testimony of the three witnesses,--(Harris--Cowdery and Whitmer) I said to him,--'Martin, did you see those plates with your naked eyes?' Martin looked down for an instant, raised his eyes up, and said, 'No, I saw them with a spiritual eye.'" Gilbert also says that the original manuscript of the Book of Mormon had no punctuation. Gilbert himself added the punctuation to the manuscript in pencil. This is the punctuation that was in the first edition.

Sept 8, 1893 - First national recognition of Mormon Tabernacle Choir which receives second prize of $1,000 at Chicago World's Fair. Wilford Woodruff writes: "I think without Doubt that our Quire [Choir] was the Best & should have had the first Prize But the Quire that took the first Prize was Welsh and the Welsh furnished the Money And it Could hardly be Expected that they would give it to a Mormon Quire."

Sept 8, 1897 - Apostle John Henry Smith "blest four sisters and set them apart as Midwives."

Sept 8, 1898 - Wilford Woodruff's funeral is held in the Tabernacle after which "All of the Apostles went to Johnson's Art Galery and sat for a group picture."

Sept 8, 1910 - Apostle (and U.S. Senator) Reed Smoot proposes to Apostles that "all new cases [of polygamy] should be excommunicated from the church and that action should be taken at once. Also that the church should not retain any man taking a plural wife after the Manifesto in a church position where people were asked to support him" The Apostles refer to this as "wholesale slaughter" and recommend a quieter approach.

Sept 8, 1969 - BYU president Ernest L. Wilkinson writes: "If the gospel were not true, some of the [church's] authorities with their internal disputes would have ruined it long ago"

Sept 8, 1975 - LDS Air Force Sgt. Leonard P. Matlovich is featured on the cover of TIME Magazine with the headline, "I Am a Homosexual: The Gay Drive for Acceptance.” The accompanying article makes no mention of Matlovich's Mormonism. Two months later Matlovich is excommunicated. Matlovich served three tours of duty in Vietnam where he received the Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, and an Air Force Meritorious Service Medal. Sgt Matlovich was discharged from the army for coming out. He sued and settled for $160,000. He became a gay-rights activist and died, from complications due to AIDS, on June 22, 1988. The epitaph carved in his tombstone in the District of Columbia’s Congressional Cemetery reads “When I was in the military, they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one.”

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