Historical Events, Notable Doctrines: Mormonism Overview
Timothy Oliver, Rick Branch, and James Walker
1820 In response to his first uttered prayer, Joseph Smith purportedly has First Vision of God the Father and Jesus (Pearl of Great Price, "Joseph Smith - History" vv. 3, 17-19). (See 1832a, 1834d, 1835a, b, 1840b, 1842a, 1855a, 1879a.)
1827 Angel Moroni gives Smith the Golden Plates which will become the Book of Mormon (Ibid., v. 59).
1830 (a) Smith finishes translation of the Golden Plates and publishes Book of Mormon (BoM). This book contains two very interesting doctrines which would become pivotal in later years. First, only one God in the Godhead (Alma 11:22-35; cf. 1842a, 1844a, c, d.) Second, David's and Solomon's polygamy was an abomination to God (Jacob 2:24-35; cf. Doctrine &Covenants, 132:38-39). (See 1838c cross dates.)
1832 (a) First Vision account recorded for the first time. Joseph Smith says he was "in the 16th year of my age," and "I saw the Lord ... (who) was crucifyed for the world." No mention of the Father (Joseph Smith's 1832 Diary). (See 1820 cross-dates.)
(b) Joseph Smith gives prophecy of temple to be built at Independence, in Jackson County, Missouri. "A revelation of Jesus Christ unto his servant Joseph Smith ... to stand upon Mount Zion, which shall be the city of New Jerusalem ... in the western boundaries of the State of Missouri ... beginning at this place, even the place of the temple, which temple shall be reared in this generation. For verily this generation shall not all pass away until an house shall be built unto the Lord..." (D&C, 84:1-5) This proved to be a false prophecy (see 1833b, 1871, 1996b).
(c) February 24, Smith receives revelation explaining persecution of Mormons in Jackson County, Missouri, wherein Independence, and the appointed temple lot are located. They are promised, "I have decreed a decree which my people shall realize, inasmuch as they hearken from this very hour unto the counsel which I, the Lord their God, shall give unto them. Behold they shall, for I have decreed it, begin to prevail against mine enemies from this very hour. And by hearkening to observe all the words which I, the Lord their God, shall speak unto them, they shall never cease to prevail until the kingdoms of the world are subdued under my feet, and the earth is given to the saints, to possess it forever" (Doctrine and Covenants, 103:5-7). This, too, proved to be a false prophecy (see 1841). (See also 1838b, 1839b, 1840a.)
(d) New First Vision information on Joseph Smith's age. "I shall, therefore, pass over that, till I come to the 15th year of his life" (Messenger and Advocate, Dec. 1834, Vol. 1, p. 42). (See 1820 cross-dates.)
1835 (a) New First Vision information on Smith's age in Mormon newspaper, Messenger and Advocate. "You will recollect that I mentioned the time of a religious excitement, in Palmyra and vicinity to have been in the 15th year of our brother J. Smith Jr.'s, age - that was an error in type - it should have been in the 17th" (Ibid., Feb. 1835, Vol. 1, p. 76). (See 1820 cross dates.)
(b) New First Vision account. Joseph Smith writes in his diary, "...a personage appeared in the midst of this pillar of flame...another personage soon appeared like unto the first, he said unto me thy sins are forgiven thee, he testifyed unto me that Jesus Christ is the Son of God; and I saw many angels in this vision when I was about 14 years old when I received this first communication" (1835 Diary, Nov. 9). (See 1820 cross dates.)
(c) The Doctrine &Covenants, containing the Lectures on Faith (see 1842a) and the purported revelations of Joseph Smith up to this date, is published. This is a major revision of the Book of Commandments. Hundreds of words are changed from the original revelations (see 1833a). A new section on marriage (101), contains: "Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication, and polygamy: we declare that we believe, that one man should have one wife; and one woman, but one husband, except in the case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again. (See 1838c cross-dates.)
(d) Church purchases Egyptian papyrus manuscripts from Michael H. Chandler. Joseph Smith claims to translate them by revelation, says they were actually written by Abraham of the Bible (making them thousands of years older than any extant manuscript of the Bible). Carbon-14 and most of the sophisticated dating methods known to modern science are still unknown. Study of ancient Egyptian language is an infant science and Joseph has no contemporaries who can disprove his translation. (See 1851, 1912b, 1966a, 1967.)
1836 First Mormon Temple is built in Kirtland, Ohio. Joseph Smith would later claim to see Jesus, Moses, Elijah and Elias in this temple (Deseret News Church Almanac, 1979, p. 47).
1838 (a) April 17, Joseph Smith receives revelation to send David W. Patton on a mission "next spring" (1839) "in company with" other Mormon Twelve Apostles (D&C,;sec. 114; see also sec. 118). However, in October David W. Patton is shot and killed in mob action (History of the Church, Vol. 3, p. 171). (See 1839a.)
(b) April 26, Smith receives another revelation, wherein the people are commanded to "build a house" unto the Lord at Far West, Missouri. They were to "recommence laying the foundation of my house" one year later, 26 April, 1839, and were to "labor diligently" on it "from that time forth...until it shall be finished, from the cornerstone thereof unto the top thereof, until there shall not anything remain that is not finished" (D&C,115:8-12). (See 1839b, 1840a, 1841, 1996b.)
(c) Church publicly denies belief in polygamy. In questions and answers prepared for and printed in The Elder's Journal, Joseph Smith writes: Q: "Do the Mormons believe in having more wives than one?" A: "No, not at the same time" (History of the Church, Vol. 3, p. 28). (See 1829, 1835c, 1838c, 1843b, 1844b, c, 1852b, 1853, 1854c, 1855b, 1856c, 1866b, c, 1876, 1879b, 1887a, 1890a, b, 1898b, 1906, 1963.)
(e) July 4, In a carefully prepared speech approved by Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon declares, "...that mob that comes on us to disturb us, it shall be between us and them a war of extermination; for we will follow them until the last drop of their blood is spilled; or else they will have to exterminate us,...one party or the other shall be utterly destroyed" (Comprehensive History of the Church, Vol. 1, p. 441). (See 1838f, 1840a.)
(f) October 27, Missouri Governor Lilburn Boggs issues orders to militia Major-General John Clark, "...The Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated, or driven from the state, if necessary for the public peace" (Document 61, LDS church Historical Department, quoted in Richard Van Wagoner, Sidney Rigdon, A Portrait of Religious Excess, p. 236). (See 1838e, 1840a).
1839 (a) Sometime between midnight and dawn of April 26, seven Mormon Apostles (two of them ordained on the spot) "officially" take their leave of "the saints" - eighteen of them present - for their mission to England. However, their vain attempt to fulfill Joseph Smith's prophecies of the previous year fails. David W. Patton is dead and unable to go with them as called and prophesied. Neither is there a full Quorum of Twelve in existence at the time, able to depart "in company with" each other as prophesied. Two of those in the Quorum at this time are temporarily dropped from it just eight days later. And not even all of the seven present actually go on their mission "over the waters." Of those who do, none leaves that spring as prophesied, but not until late August and September following. Frequently touted by Mormons as a "fulfilled prophecy," this "event" is in fact a complete failure (History of the Church, Vol. 3, pp. 336-39; Comprehensive History of the Church, Vol. 1, pp. 531-32; Vol. 2, pp. 22-24; Deseret News 1993-1994 Church Almanac, pp. 44, 46, 47, 52-54). (See 1838a.)
(b) Another cornerstone of the "Lord's House" in Far West is laid in an attempt to also fulfill Doctrine &Covenants section 115 (see 1838b). However, this also fails as the Mormons do not labor diligently from this time forward to complete the building until it is finished. They can not. The forced Mormon exodus from Missouri is in full progress. (See also 1841, 1996b.)
1840 (a)Fully routed from Missouri and settling in Commerce, Illinois, the Mormons rename it, Nauvoo.
(b) New First Vision information. "You will recollect that I informed you, in my letter published in the first No. of the Messenger and Advocate, that this history would necessarily embrace the life and character of our esteemed friend and brother J. Smith...I shall, therefore, pass over that, till I come to the thirteenth year of this life" (Times and Seasons, Dec. 1, 1840, p. 1). (See 1820 cross-dates.)
(c) Lorenzo Snow, who will become fifth prophet of the Mormon Church, receives the following "revelation" according to his own words. "As man now is, God once was: As God now is, man may be." This is explicitly confirmed by Joseph Smith in 1843 (Ensign, Feb. 1982, pp. 39-40).
1841 January 19: in a revelation requiring the saints to build both a boarding house and a temple in Nauvoo, Smith finds it necessary to allay concerns over previous failed prophecies and commands to build temples (see 1832b, 1833b, 1838b, 1839b). "Verily, verily, I say unto you, that when I give a commandment to any of the sons of men to do a work unto my name, and those sons of men go with all their might and with all they have to perform that work, and cease not their diligence, and their enemies come upon them and hinder them from performing that work, behold, it behooveth me to require that work no more at the hands of those sons of men, but to accept their offering....Therefore, for this cause have I accepted the offerings of those whom I commanded to build up a city and a house unto my name, in Jackson county, Missouri, and were hindered by their enemies, saith the Lord your God" (D&C, 124:49, 51). By thus acknowledging both their diligence to obey and their failure to succeed due to their enemies, Smith inadvertantly contradicts promise of revelation given seven years previous (see 1834c), that if the saints diligently obeyed they would from that time forth always prevail over their enemies.
1842 (a) Section 130 is added to the Doctrine &Covenants, in which God the Father is declared to have "a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's," and the Holy Spirit is said to be "a personage of Spirit." Official First Vision account also finally published. This is the account found today in the Mormon Scripture, The Pearl of Great Price, in which God the Father and Jesus appear to Joseph Smith in separate physical bodies. (See 1820 cross-dates.) These two additions conflict with former teachings contained in the Lectures on Faith, which from 1835 have been the "Doctrine" part of the Mormon scripture, Doctrine &Covenants (see Preface, "Lecture First" and "Section 1," D&C,;1835 ed.). The Lectures on Faith describe not the Holy Ghost, but God the Father as a "personage of spirit." They call the Holy Ghost the Holy Spirit, and include the Holy Spirit in the Godhead. However there are only two personages in the Godhead, the Father and the Son (cf. 1829, 1844a, d). The Holy Spirit is described as merely the mind shared by the Father and the Son (N.B. Lundwall, comp., Lectures on Faith, Lec. 5, pp. 48-53). Publication of all these conflicting teachings together in the same volume of scripture for many years (see 1921) inevitably leads to unbiblical Momon distinction between Holy Spirit and Holy Ghost.
(b) August 20, Orson Pratt, one of the original Twelve Mormon Apostles, is excommunicated for apparent disagreements with Joseph Smith over polygamy and Smith's sexual advances to Sarah Pratt, Orson's wife (Nauvoo: Kingdom on the Mississippi, pp. 269-70).
(b) Revelation recorded July 12, 1843, authorizes eternal, plural marriage. As noted in current editions of the Doctrine &Covenants, "it is evident from the historical records that the doctrines and principles involved in this revelation had been known by the Prophet since 1831." That is, historical records show Joseph Smith was sexually involved with women other than his legal wife Emma, long before this revelation is written, despite published denials. (See 1835c, 1838c, 1844b.) Revelation makes eternal and plural marriage essential to exaltation (see 1852b, 1855b, 1866b). It is also called an "everlasting covenant," leading later Mormon prophets and apostles to frequently claim its practice was protected by God and could never be stopped (see 1856c, 1866c, 1879b). (See also 1829, 1844c, 1876, 1887a, 1890a, b, 1898b, 1906.)
1844 (a) In April, Joseph Smith preaches perhaps his most famous sermon. "God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens!...I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil so that you may see...He was once a man like us; yea that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did...Here, then is eternal life...you have got learn how to be Gods yourselves,...the same as all Gods have done before you" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 345-46). (See 1829, 1842a, 1844c, d.)
(b) May 26, Smith again denies polygamy: "What a thing it is for a man to be accused of committing adultery, and having seven wives, when I can only find one. I am the same man, and as innocent as I was fourteen years ago; and I can prove them all perjurers" (History of the Church, Vol. 6, p. 411). (See 1838c cross-dates.)
(d) June 16, Joseph Smith preaches on the plurality of Gods: "I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods" (History of the Church, Vol. 6, p. 474) (See 1829, 1842a, 1844a.)
(e) June 27, mob attacks jail in Carthage, Illinois, where Joseph Smith and others are being held on charges of treason. Overwhelmed in an obviously unfairly matched gunfight, Joseph Smith nevertheless kills two men and wounds a third with a small pistol previously smuggled into the prison. Both Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum are killed (History of the Church, Vol. 7, p. 103). The mob's action is inexcusable. But fighting for his life with an illegally obtained weapon, Joseph cannot legitimately be called a martyr in the sense with which that word has been applied down through the centuries to Christian martyrs who were willing to suffer death for their faith.
(f) Several splinter groups break off from main group in Nauvoo during the next few years (see Shields, Divergent Paths of the Restoration).
1845 Brigham Young, who will become the second Mormon prophet, seems to teach against Blood Atonement. "When men have come into our midst who were as corrupt as the devil himself, many have supposed it would have been better to have cut their throats with a feather and exposed their sins of corruption, and let them go to hell where they belonged, than to have borne with them as Brother Joseph Smith did; but this course would meet with a conflicting argument" (History of the Church, Vol. 7, p. 366). (See 1856a, 1977a.)
1846 (a) Nauvoo Temple dedicated.
(b) The Oath of Vengeance is implemented into the Temple ceremony. This is an oath against the killers of Joseph Smith (Diary Journal of Abraham H. Cannon; as quoted in Tanner, Mormonism: Shadow or Reality?, p. 475). (See 1926.)
(c) Brigham Young guides the majority of the people left in Nauvoo in move to Utah (Nauvoo: Kingdom on the Mississippi, p. 306).
1847 (a) Mormons reach the Salt Lake Valley.
(b) Brigham Young officially becomes the second Prophet of the Mormon church (Deseret News Almanac, 1079, p. 92).
1851 The first edition of the Pearl of Great Price, including the "Book of Moses" and the "Book of Abraham," is printed (see 1835d cross-dates). Moses 7:8 and Abraham 1:21-27 become "scriptural basis" for denying priesthood to Blacks of African descent (see 1854b cross-dates).
1852 (a) Young teaches Adam-God doctrine. "When our father Adam came into the garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. He helped to make and organize this world. He is Michael, the Archangel, the Ancient of Days! about whom holy men have written and spoken - He is our Father and our God, and the only God with whom we have to do" (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 1, p. 50). (See 1854a, 1856b, 1873, 1903, 1912a, 1976, 1981a.)
(b) Polygamy is openly taught in specially convened conference in Salt Lake City. Revelation dated July 12, 1843, which teaches, even commands, plural marriage to be practiced, is publicly read, then expounded on by Apostle Orson Pratt and President Brigham Young (Smith, Essentials in Church History, p. 394). The revelation is incorporated twenty-four years later (see 1876) into the Doctrine &Covenants. (See 1838c cross-dates.)
1853 Mormon apostle and later counselor to Brigham Young in Church's First Presidency Jedediah M. Grant quotes with approval pagan philosopher Celsus, "The grand reason why the gentiles and philosophers of his school persecuted Jesus Christ, was because he had so many wives; there were Elizabeth, and Mary, and a host of others that followed him." He goes on to say, "The grand reason of the burst of public sentiment in anathemas upon Christ and his disciples, causing crucifixion, was evidently based upon polygamy, according to the testimony of the philosophers who rose in that age. A belief in the plurality of wives caused the persecution of Jesus and his followers. We might almost think they were 'Mormons'" (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 1, p. 345-46; see 1854c, 1963a). (See also 1838c cross-dates.)
1854 (a) Orson Pratt vehemently disagrees with Brigham Young concerning the Adam God doctrine. "But behold ye, there were some that did not believe the sayings of the Prophet Brigham. Even our beloved brother Orson Pratt told me that he did not believe it. He said he could prove by the scriptures that it was not correct. I felt sorry to hear Professor Orson Pratt say that" (Diary of Joseph Lee Robinson, pp. 102-03 as quoted in Joseph Musser, Michael Our Father and Our God, p. 23 ftnt.). (See 1852a cross-dates.)
(b) Brigham Young speaks on those with a Black skin, the descendants of Cain, and the priesthood. "When all the other children of Adam have had the privilege of receiving the Priesthood...and have received their resurrection from the dead, then it will be time enough to remove the curse from Cain and his posterity" (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 2, p. 143). (See 1851, 1866a, 1945c, 1954b, 1958, 1978b, c, 1979a, b.)
(c) Orson Hyde, one of the LDS Twelve Apostles, explains the marriage at Cana found in the biblical account of John 2: "Jesus was the bridegroom at the marriage of Cana.... Now there was actually a marriage; and if Jesus was not the bridegroom on that occasion, please tell who was.... We say it was Jesus Christ who was married, to be brought into the relation whereby he could see his seed, before he was crucified....[B]efore the Savior died, he looked upon his own natural children, as we look upon ours;..." (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 2, p. 82; see 1853, 1963a). (See also 1838c cross-dates.)
1855 (a) New First Vision information given by Brigham Young. "The Lord did not come with the armies of heaven.... But he did send His angel to this same obscure person, Joseph Smith jun.,...and informed him that he should not join any of the religious sects of the day, for they were all wrong" (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 2, p. 171). (See 1820 cross-dates.)
(b) Brigham Young preaches a sermon on polygamy in which he explains, "Now if any of you will deny the plurality of wives, and continue to do so, I promise that you will be damned; and I will go still further and say, take this revelation, or any other revelation that the Lord has given, and deny it in your feelings, and I promise that you will be damned" (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 3, p. 266). (See 1838c cross-dates.)
1856 (a) Brigham Young teaches doctrine of Blood Atonement. "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 spilt 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,.... It is true that the blood of the Son of God was shed for sins through the fall and those committed by men, yet man can commit sins which it can never remit" (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 4, p. 53-54). (See 1845, 1977a.)
(b) Orson Pratt's disagreement with Brigham Young on Adam-God continues. "A very serious conversation took place between President B. Young and Orson Pratt upon doctrine. O.P. was directly opposed to the President's view and very freely expressed his entire disbelief in them after being told by the President that things were so and so in the name of the Lord. He was firm in the position that the President's word in the name of the Lord, was not the word of the Lord to him" (History of Samuel W. Richards, p. 15; as quoted in Musser, Michael Our Father and Our God, p. 23 ftnt.). (See 1852a cross dates.)
(c) October 12, in a Sunday afternoon address in the Bowery on Temple Square, Mormon Apostle Heber C. Kimball declares, "You might as well deny 'Mormonism,' and turn away from it, as to oppose the plurality of wives. Let the Presidency of this Church, and the Twelve Apostles, and all the authorities unite and say with one voice that they will oppose that doctrine, and the whole of them would be damned" (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 5, p. 203; see 1843b, 1866c, 1879b). (See also 1838c cross-dates.)
1857 (a) Heber C. Kimball, First Counselor to Brigham Young in the First Presidency exclaims, "Wake Up, Ye Elders of Israel, and live to God and none else; and learn to do as you are told, both old and young: learn to do as you are told for the future. And when you are taking a position, if you do not know that you are right, do not take it - I mean independently. But if you are told by your leader to do a thing, do it. None of your business whether it is right or wrong" (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 6, p. 32). (See 1945b.)
1860 Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints officially organized in Amboy, Iowa. This is the largest of the many groups into which Joseph Smith's church has splinterd. Joseph Smith III is called as their Prophet (Shields, Divergent Paths of the Restoration, p. 65).
1866 (a) Brigham Young reiterates his stance on the Blacks gaining the Priesthood. "And when all the rest of the children have received their blessing in the Holy Priesthood, then that curse shall be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will then come up and possess the priesthood, and receive all the blessings which we now are entitled to" (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 11, p. 272). (See 1854b cross-dates.)
(b) Brigham Young states, "The only men who become Gods, even the sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy" (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 11, p. 269; see 1852b, 1855b). (See also 1838c cross-dates.)
(c) Heber C. Kimball exclaims, "It would be as easy for the United States to build a tower to remove the sun, as to remove polygamy, or the church and kingdom of God" (Millenial Star, Vol. 28, p. 190; see 1843b, 1856c, 1879b). (See also 1838c cross-dates.)
1867 Brigham Young publicly ridicules Orson Pratt's concept of God. "They appear to be bound in their capacity for acquiring knowledge, as Brother Orson Pratt, has in theory, bound the capacity of God. According to his theory, God can progress no further in knowledge and power; but the God that I serve is progressing eternally, and so are his children" (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 11, p. 286).
1870 Brigham Young explains one of the purposes of the sun. "So it is with regard to the inhabitants of the sun. Do you think it is inhabited? I rather think it is. Do you think there is any life there? No question of it; it was not made in vain" (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 13, p. 271).
1871 Orson Pratt, in General Conference, discusses Joseph Smith's Independence Temple revelation. "Here then we see a prediction, and we believe it. Yes! The Latter-day Saints have as firm faith and rely upon this promise as much as they rely upon the promise of forgiveness of sins...a temple will be reared on the spot that has been selected, and the corner-stone of which has been laid, in the generation when this revelation was given; we just as much expect this as we expect the sun to rise in the morning...But says the objector, 'thirty nine years have passed away.' What of that? The generation has not passed away; all the people that were living thirty-nine years ago have not passed away; but before they do pass away this will be fulfilled" (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 14, p. 275). (See 1832b, 1996b.)
1873 Despite opposition, Brigham Young continues to teach the Adam-God doctrine. "How much unbelief exists in the minds of the Latter-day Saints in regard to one particular doctrine which I revealed to them, and which God revealed to me - namely that Adam is our Father and God -.... He was the first man on the earth and its framer and maker....he said, 'I want my children who are in the spirit world to come and live here. I once dwelt upon an earth something like this, in a mortal state. I was faithful, I received my crown and exaltation....I want my children that were born to me in the spirit world to come here and take tabernacles of flesh...'" (Deseret News, June 14, 1873; see Mormonism: Shadow or Reality, p. 175, for photo-mechanical reproduction). (See 1852a cross-dates.)
1875 Orson Pratt's seniority as one of the Twelve Apostles is stripped from him by Brigham Young. Pratt would have been third prophet had he retained his status (Deseret News Church Almanac, 1979, p. 104). (See 1842b, 1843a.)
1876 First edition of Doctrine & Covenants without revelation prescribing monogamous marriage is published. Section 132 (current editions) which authorizes polygamy is added (Temple Lot Case, p. 309). (See 1838c cross-dates.)
(b) St. George, Utah, temple dedicated.
(c) Brigham Young dies.
1879 (a) New First Vision information given by John Taylor, who will become the third prophet. "None of them was right, just as it was when the Prophet Joseph asked the angel which of the sects was right that he might join it. The answer was that none of them are right....the angel merely told him to join none of them that none of them were right" (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 20, p. 167; emphasis added). (See 1820 cross-dates.)
(b) Mormon Apostle George Q. Cannon declares, "If plural marriage be divine, as the Latter-day Saints say it is, no power on earth can suppress it, unless you crush and destroy the entire people." At the October General Conference Apostle Franklin D. Richards declares, "...the government has determined that polygamy shall be abolished, but the government of heaven had previously determined that polygamy should be established..." (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 20, pp. 276, 314; see 1843b, 1856c, 1866c). (See also 1838c cross-dates.)
1880 John Taylor becomes third Mormon prophet.
1884 Logan, Utah, temple is dedicated.
1887 (a) The Edmunds-Tucker Act is passed in Congress. This legislation "sought to facilitate conviction of polygamists by permitting exceptions to standard judicial and law enforcement procedures" (B.Y.U. Studies, Vol. 26, No. 4, p. 117; see 1890a). (See also 1838c cross-dates.)
(b) Mormon prophet John Taylor dies.
1888 Manti, Utah, temple is dedicated.
1889 Wilford Woodruff becomes fourth Mormon prophet.
1890 (a) "The final blow for Mormon polygamy was the Supreme Court's decision in The Late Corporation of the Church of Jesus Christ vs. United States which upheld the seizure of Church holdings by the federal government" (Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Vol. 21, No. 1, p. 120; see 1887, 1890b). (See also 1838c cross-dates.)
(b) Wilford Woodruff issues the Manifesto in which it is stated, "We are not teaching polygamy or plural marriage, nor permitting any person to enter into its practice ... Inasmuch as laws have been enacted by Congress forbidding plural marriages ... I hereby declare my intention to submit to those laws ... And I now publicly declare that my advice to the Latter-day Saints is to refrain from contracting any marriage forbidden by the law of the land" (Doctrine &Covenants, "Official Declaration-1", 1981 ed., p. 291-92). Following Joseph Smith's earlier example (see 1835c, 1838c, 1844b), Church leaders continued to practice polygamy for many years after the manifesto, while lying about the subject to the government, the public and even church members (see 1898b, 1906). (See also 1838c cross-dates.)
1893 Salt Lake City, Utah, temple dedicated.
1895 December 9, "At a special conference held at Colonia Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, the settlement of the Saints in Mexico were organized as the Juarez Stake of Zion by Apostles Francis M. Lyman and George Teasdale; Anthony W. Ivins, president; Henry Eyring and Helaman Pratt, counselors" (Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology, 1899 ed., p. 210). This community is known for its polygamist activity.
1898 (a) Wilford Woodruff dies. Lorenzo Snow becomes fifth Mormon prophet.
(b) October 17, "The Presbyterian synod of Utah, at its closing session in Ogden, passed resolutions declaring that polygamy was still practiced by the 'Mormons' in Utah" (Jenson, Church Chronology; see 1890b, 1906). (See also 1838c cross-dates.)
1901 Lorenzo Snow dies. Joseph F. Smith becomes sixth Mormon prophet.
1903 Mormon historian and member of the First Council of the Seventy, B.H. Roberts declares, "Some of the sectarian ministers are saying that we 'Mormons' are ashamed of the doctrine announced by President Brigham Young to the effect that Adam will thus be the God of this world. No, friends, it is not that we are ashamed of that doctrine" (The Mormon Doctrine of Deity, 1903 ed., p. 42). (See 1852a cross-dates.)
1906 The Congressional Committee on Privileges and Elections issues report on testimony taken in the Reed Smoot Case, stating, "A sufficient number of specific instances of the taking of plural wives since the Manifesto of 1890, so called, have been shown by the testimony as having taken place among Officials of the Mormon Church to demonstrate the fact that the leaders in this church, the first presidency and the twelve apostles, connive at the practice of taking plural wives, and have done so ever since the Manifesto was issued..." (Reed Smoot Case, Vol. 4, p. 476). There followed a long list of cases, including apostles of the church, of plural marriages contracted after the Manifesto. (See 1838c cross-dates, esp. 1890b, 1898b.)
1912 (a) In a letter to Central States Mission President Samuel O. Benion, dated February 20, 1912, the First Presidency officially renounces Brigham Young's Adam-God doctrine. Restricting their response to only one of the many places where Young taught the doctrine, they attempt to explain the whole thing away as a misunderstanding or misinterpretation (Messages of the First Presidency, Vol. 4, pp. 266-67). (See 1852a cross-dates.)
(b) Headlines on the December 29 New York Times concerning Joseph Smith's "Book of Abraham" (found in the Mormon scripture The Pearl of Great Price) reads, "Sacred Books Claimed to Have Been Given Divinely to the First Prophet Are Shown to be Taken from Old Egyptian Originals, Their Translation Being a Work of Imagination." (See 1835d cross-dates.)
1916 The Father and the Son: A Doctrinal Exposition by the First Presidency and the Twelve, standardizes Mormon usage of terms Elohim and Jehovah, applying them to God the Father and God the Son, respectively. Previously, Jehovah had been used to refer to God the Father by Brigham Young, John Taylor and others. Bulk of the exposition given to explaining why the Son can be called the Father.