10 years ago today - Jul 26, 2004

Associated Press article about DNA research into the origins of Native Americans. Conclusion that Native Americans migrated from Mongolia/Siberia and not from Jerusalem leads apologetic Mormon scholars to contradict long-standing teaching and even scriptural references that Lamanites are the "principal ancestors" of Native American peoples and suggest that entire Book of Mormon concerns only a small, localized population that eventually died out. Former LDS bishop and geneticist Simon Southerton is featured in article. He says, "given the state of DNA research and increasing lay awareness of it, church leaders ought just to own up to the problems that continued literal teachings about the Book of Mormon present for American Indians and Polynesians. . . They should come out and say, 'There's no evidence to support your Israelite ancestry;' I don't have any problem with anyone believing what's in the Book of Mormon. Just don't make it look like science is backing it all up." The article is printed in many newspapers across the United States and around the world.

[Source: On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com, based on Michael Quinn's Mormon Hierarchy vols 1 & 2]

75 years ago today - Jul 26, 1939

[President Heber J. Grant Diary] Sister Bennion, wife of Major Howard Bennion, called and had a lot of questions to ask about Joseph Smith's practice of polygamy, Brigham Young, and other things. I had a pleasant visit with her and told her all I knew was that the Prophet or Brigham Young never did anything but what was right so far as marrying people was concerned. Told of my own mother's experience, etc., etc. I told her that when people started to finding fault, they were on the wrong track.

[Source: Diary of Heber J. Grant, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

150 years ago today - Jul 26, 1864

First foundation stones laid for the Salt Lake Tabernacle.

[Source: On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com, based on Michael Quinn's Mormon Hierarchy vols 1 & 2]

180 years ago today - Jul 26, 1834

[Helen Mar Kimball] It was Sunday when the news came to Kirtland of the death of the brethren [of Zion's Camp] from cholera, and the Saints were quietly dispersing from afternoon meeting. ... . The scene that followed no pen can describe; the shrieks and cries of the bereaved were heartrending, and made a vivid and lasting impression upon my mind. ...

At this time the brethren were laboring night and day building the house of the Lord. Elder Rigdon, when addressing the brethren upon the importance of building this house, spake to the effect that we should use every effort to accomplish this building by the time appointed; if we did, the Lord would accept it at our hands, and on it depends the salvation of the Church, and also of the world.

[Source: Whitney, Helen Mar, Jeni Broberg Holzapfel, and Richard Neitzel Holzapfel, A Woman's View: Helen Mar Whitney's Reminiscences of Early Church History, Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997]

75 years ago today - Jul 25, 1939

[President Heber J. Grant Diary] I went directly to the hospital having been told by my son-in-law, who met us at the depot, that Brother McKay had just telephoned to him that Brother Melvin J. Ballard was in a dying condition and he doubted that he would be alive when I reached the hospital. I went directly to the hospital. President Clark was there and we called in Brother Ballard's room. His wife and children were there and they asked us to dedicate Brother Ballard to the Lord feeling that he ought to be relived (sic) of his pain. I do not think he recognized us. His eyes glared, and I felt that I just could not utter a prayer dedicating him to the Lord. He is the first man that I nominated to be an apostle, and I asked Brother Clark to comply with the request of his family. I was impressed by his putting a good, strong if in his prayer, if his time had come that he might go quickly, otherwise that he might be healed. I remained there about three-quarters for an hour expecting him to pass away. Then I excused myself and went hom (sic) for breakfast.

[Source: Diary of Heber J. Grant, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

80 years ago today - Jul 25, 1934

[President Heber J. Grant Diary] Glen Smith, a son of the late Apostle John Henry Smith, called, and I had a long talk with him telling of the reasons that led to the dropping of John W. Taylor and Matthias Cowley from the Quorum of the Apostles and entered into detail regarding my interviews with Cowley. When he left he expressed pleasure at my explanation of things and said he felt first-class about the status of things, for which I was grateful.

[Source: Diary of Heber J. Grant, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

115 years ago today - Tuesday, Jul 25, 1899

[Apostle John Henry Smith Diary] One Owens has made an accusation against Heber J. Grant for Adultry for living with his Wife Emily Wells.

[Source: Jean Bickmore White (editor), Church, State, and Politics: The Diaries of John Henry Smith, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1990, http://bit.ly/johnhenrysmith]

115 years ago today - Jul 25, 1899

[Apostle Heber J. Grant Diary] At St Chas saw paper that chg of adultery made against me. At Bloomington teleg Dougall-to me & to Budge--Keep from appearing in public.

[Source: Diary of Heber J. Grant, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

170 years ago today - Jul 25, 1844

Illinois Governor Thomas Ford writes to the people of Hancock county: "Try your 'Mormon' neighbors again, and if you cannot dwell together in amity, you may at least refrain from injuring each other. . . . Besides, if you are the aggressors, I am determined that all the power of the state shall be used to prevent your success. I can never agree that a set of infatuated and infuriated men shall barbarously attack a peaceful people who have submitted to all the demands of the law, and when they had full power to do so, refrained from inflicting vengeance upon their enemies. You may count on my most determined opposition-upon the opposition of the law, and upon that of every peaceful, law-abiding citizen of the country. . . . I have been informed that the 'Mormons' about Lima and Macedonia have been warned to leave the settlements. They have a right to remain and enjoy their property. As long as they are good citizens they shall not be molested, and the sooner those misguided persons withdraw their warning and retrace their steps, the better it will be for them."

Since it is an election year, feeling is that Ford is only trying to win Mormon votes for the Democratic party.

175 years ago today - Jul 25, 1839

Trial of Thomas B. Marsh's wife for withholding cream strippings from her partner.

[Source: Kenney, Scott, Saints Without Halos, "Mormon History 1830-1844," http://web.archive.org/web/20120805163534/saintswithouthalos.com/dirs/d_c.phtml]

30 years ago today - Jul 24, 1984

Two Mormon Fundamentalists, brothers Ron and Dan Lafferty, ritualistically murder their sister-in-law Brenda and her fifteen-month-old daughter Erica in response to a "Thus saith the Lord" revelation: "It is my will and commandment that ye remove the following individuals in order that my work might go forward. For they have truly become obstacles in my path and I will not allow my work to be stopped. First thy brother's wife Brenda and her baby, . . ."

[In 2003 Jon Krakauer authored "Under the Banner of Heaven," an account of the murder and the Mormon background of the Laffertys.]

[Source: On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com, based on Michael Quinn's Mormon Hierarchy vols 1 & 2]

115 years ago today - Jul 24, 1899; Monday

[Anthony Ivins Journal] Apostle [Brigham] Young [Jr.] made interesting remini[s]cent remarks. Said in vision a messenger took him into the air and showed him the entire continent. He saw the country North & East desolate & devoid of all inhabitants, while the country South was populous & prosperous. The Presidency called the people together and said--Brethren we want volu pioneers to go out and build up the waste places there are none to oppose us.

[Source: Anderson, Elizabeth Oberdick, editor, Cowboy Apostle: The Diaries of Anthony W. Ivins: 1875-1932, Signature Books, Salt Lake City in association with the Smith-Pettit Foundation (2013) - http://bit.ly/AnthonyIvins]

120 years ago today - Jul 24, 1894

[President Wilford Woodruff Journal] July 24, 1894 47 years ago this day I brought Prest Brigham Young into this valley in my Carriage. Nearly all of that Company to day are in the spirit world. I spent this day at home vary quiet.

[Source: Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

140 years ago today - Jul 24, 1874

[Apostle Wilford Woodruff Journal] This is the Anniversary of the Entrance of the Pioneers into this vally on the 24 day of July 1847, Being 27 years ago. The Inhabitants of this City have been laboring for several weeks to adorn the great Tabernacle to prepare a Great Jubilee of the Sabbath school Children of 4 Counties Salt Lake, Utah, & Davis & Webber. From 8,000 to 10,000 Children Assembled in the Tabernacle & the rest of the room was occupied by adults. It was judged that there were 14,000 people in the Tabernacle. Most of the time was occupied with songs & Music. Short speeches were made By President B Young G A Smith & G Q. Cannon. The whole Tabernacle was decorated with Evergreens & taking it altogether it was the grandest view & scene of my life. A day long to be remembered.

[Source: Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

150 years ago today - Jul 24, 1864

[Brigham Young Sermon] I have know where gold is'-if gold discovered here we would be ruined. God would have given this people riches, but would have ruined us'

[Source: The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, Ed. Richard S. Van Wagoner, Smith-Pettit Foundation, Salt Lake City (2009), http://bit.ly/BY-discourses]

185 years ago today - Jul 24, 1829

The WAYNE SENTINEL opines that the "gap in the history of the world, as far as it relates to [the Indians], . . . can never be closed up." The same newspaper quotes Thomas Jefferson as saying that the Indian's origin and ancient history was "consigned to the receptacle of things forever lost upon earth."

[Source: On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com, based on Michael Quinn's Mormon Hierarchy vols 1 & 2]

20 years ago today - Jul 23, 1994

CHURCH NEWS story "Members Help Defeat Lottery Initiative" tells how two general authorities coordinate political campaign in Oklahoma where Mormons "make up less than 1 percent of the state's population." LDS Public Affairs officials and their Protestant allies achieve overwhelming defeat of proposal even though "public opinion polls show 75 percent for the initiative" before this Mormon-directed campaign.

[Source: On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com, based on Michael Quinn's Mormon Hierarchy vols 1 & 2]

75 years ago today - Jul 23, 1939

Ben E. Roberts, the son of B. H. Roberts, acknowledges the existence of "A Parallel" in a letter to Mormon attorney and author Ariel L. Crowley. "A Parallel," which was originally eighteen typed pages, presents similarities between Ethan Smith's VIEW OF THE HEBREWS and the Book of Mormon and is arranged in parallel columns. It was presented to Apostle Richard R. Lyman in 1927 and had circulated in the Mormon underground. Copies of the document are passed out in 1946 at the Timpanogos Club of Salt Lake City on in 1946. It is subsequently published in the Rocky Mountain Mason in 1956. VIEW OF THE HEBREWS was published in New York shortly before the Book of Mormon.

[Source: On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com, based on Michael Quinn's Mormon Hierarchy vols 1 & 2]

80 years ago today - Jul 23, 1934

President Ivins reported that Sister Nancy A.C. Williams ... is the wife of ... a grandson of Frederick G. Williams, one of the First Presidency of the Church at the time the Kirtland Temple was erected. She states to President Ivins that they have the papers and have been advised by an attorney that they could recover title to the Kirtland Temple in view of the fact that Frederick G. Williams had deeded the property to the Church for the temple site with the provision that if it were not used for temple purposes they could recover the property at any time. The Presidency requested that the Presiding Bishopric inquire into this situation.

[Source: First Presidency, Meeting with Presiding Bishopric, Minutes, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1910-1951, Privately Published, Salt Lake City, Utah 2010]

90 years ago today - Jul 23, 1924

[President Heber J. Grant Diary] Met Mr. G.A. Marr, attorney in my office this morning shortly after 7 o'clock, and talked with him until after 9. He wrote me a letter some time ago saying he could not understand how in the world I could sustain Guy C. Wilson as president of the L.D.S. Shcool [sic] of Music and L.D.S. High School and Business College, when I knew that he was living in violation of the law, having two families in Salt Lake City. I explained to him that Guy Wilson went to Mexico in good faith to live there, married two wives there, expecting to spend his time in Mexico, that when the rebellion came and he was driven out, that my predecessor saw fit to employ him as president of the L.D.S. University and that I did not feel like discharging him, as he had spent his life preparing himself to teach. I felt that men who had entered into plural marriage in Mexico, by and with the consent of President Diaz and prior to the dropping of John W. Taylor and Matthias F. Cowley as members of the Council of the Twelve, so far as the Church was concerned, ought not to be condemned. He stated that he could not agree with me, but he saw my standpoint, and seemed to feel better than prior to writing his letter.

[Source: Diary of Heber J. Grant, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]