Great Moments in Mormon History

Posted by: Andee / Category: , , ,

I found this list on Rethinking Mormonism, a fantastic resource for those questioning the church. The list is HUGE, so I will just post my favorites. Be sure to check out the entire thing...

  • Jan 23,1852 - Brigham Young instructs Utah Legislature to legalize slavery because "we must believe in slavery."
  • Aug 20,1859 - Brigham Young regarding slavery: "We consider it of divine institution, and not to be abolished until the curse pronounced on Ham shall have been removed from his descendants.
  • Dec 10,1862 - Deseret News reports that Church Historian's Office is displaying sample of tobacco crops grown in Provo during past summer.
  • May 15,1864 - Brigham Young preaches, "I don't want Mormonism to become too popular... we would be overrun by the wicked."
  • Sep 1,1870 - Salt Lake City's 9th Ward reports that only thirty one of its 181 families attends Sunday Services regularly and 50% of families are perfectly indifferent.
  • Dec 27,1879 - Apostle Wilford Woodruff tells stake conference in Snowflake, Arizona, "There will be no United States in the year 1890."
  • Mar 31,1882 - John Taylor closes Church Historian's Office to the public.
  • May 17,1888 - At dedication of Manti Temple, Wilford Woodruff declared prophetically , "We are not going to stop the practice of plural marriage until the Coming of the Son of Man."
  • Oct 24,1894 - Wilford Woodruff and his two counselors each give approval for Apostle Abraham H Cannon to marry another plural wife. In all, ten general authorities marry post-Manifesto plural wives by permission of church president or his counselors during next ten years.
  • Jan 15,1897 - Apostle Brigham Young, Jr. temporarily resigns as vice-president of Brigham Young Trust Company because first counselor George Q. Cannon allows its property to become "a first class" brothel on Commercial Street (now Regent Street), Salt Lake City. Apostle Heber J. Grant is invited to its opening reception and is stunned to discover himself inside "a regular whore-house." This situation begins in 1891, and for fifty years church controlled real estate companies lease houses of prostitution.
  • Feb 7,1901 - Apostle Brigham Young, Jr writes that proposal to provide Utah's school children with smallpox vaccinations is "Gentile doctors trying to force Babylon into the people and some of them are willing to disease the blood of our children if they can do so, and they think they are doing God's service."
  • July 11, 1901 - First Presidency and apostles agree that Danish beer is not harmful or in violation of Word of Wisdom and release an official statement to the same affect.
  • Mar 2,1904 - Before committee of U.S. Senate, Joseph F. Smith testifies: "I have never pretended to nor do I profess to have received revelations. I never said that I had a revelation except so far as God has shown me that so-called Mormonism is God's divine truth, that is all."
  • 1906 - Joseph F. Smith pleads guilty in court to unlawful cohabitation for which he pays $300 fine.
  • May 17,1923 - First Presidency and Twelve agree to alter temple undergarment worn outside temple: "buttons instead of strings; no collar; sleeves above the elbow and few inches below the knee and a change in the crotch so as to cover the same." Mormons of the time regard this as a dramatic change from endowment garment introduced by Joseph Smith.
  • Feb 15,1927 - Apostle George F. Richards notifies temples that it is decision of First Presidency and Quorum of Twelve to immediately omit from prayer circles "all references to avenging the blood of the Prophets. Omit from the ordinance and lecture all reference to retribution." Letter also instructs to "omit the kissing" at the end of the proxy sealings.
  • July 29,1932 - Death of George H. Brimhall from self-inflicted gunshot. He served as BYU President from 1904 to 1921 and is only BYU president to commit suicide.
  • Dec 9,1933 - Church News article "Mormonism in The New Germany," enthusiastically emphasizes parallels "between the LDS Church and some of the ideas and policies of the National Socialists." First, Nazis have introduced "Fast Sunday." Second, "it is a very well known fact that Hitler observes a form of living which Mormons term the Word of Wisdom. Finally, due to the importance given to the racial question by Nazis and the almost necessity of proving that one's grandmother was not a Jewess, there no longer is resistance against genealogical research by German Mormons who now have received letters of encouragement complimenting them for their patriotism."
  • Jan 25,1936 - Church News Section photograph of LDS basketball team in Germany giving "Sieg Heil: salute of Nazi Party.
  • Mar 10,1941 - First Presidency orders Clayton Investment Company to get rid of its "whore-houses," no matter the financial loss, so that church affiliated company can merge with church-owned Zion's Securities Corp. Ends fifty years of church's leases to brothels.
  • Aug 17,1951 - First Presidency statement that church's restriction on negroid peoples receiving priesthood "is not a matter of the declaration of policy but of direct commandment from the Lord."
  • Oct 16,1951 - Temple council of First Presidency, Quorum of Twelve Apostles and Patriarch to church decides to allow beer commercials on church-owned KSL television station.
  • Mar 3,1953 - First Presidency secretary answers Mormon's inquiry about receiving blood transfusions from African Americans: "The LDS Hospital here in Salt Lake City has a blood bank which does not contain any colored blood." This represents five year effort to keep LDS Hospital's blood bank separate from American Red Cross system in order "to protect the purity of the blood streams of the people of this Church" (Counselor J. Reuben Clark's phrase.)
  • Dec 4,1959 - Budget Committee reports that church spent $8 million more than its revenues that year. As result, church permanently stops releasing annual reports of expenditures.
  • Nov 10,1960 - Brigham Young University's president tells Executive Committee of BYU's trustees "about a colored boy on campus having been a candidate for the vice presidency of a class and receiving a very large vote." The three apostles present want to exclude all African Americans from BYU. "If a granddaughter of mine should ever go the BYU and become engaged to a colored boy," Apostle Harold B. Lee fumes, "I would hold you responsible!"
  • May 14,1961 - Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith announces to stake conference in Honolulu: "We will never get a man into space. This earth is man's sphere and it was never intended that he should get away from it." Smith, the Twelve's president and next in succession as LDS President, adds: "The moon is a superior planet to the earth and it was never intended that man should go there. You can write it down in your books that this will never happen." In May 1962, he privately instructs that this view be taught to "the boys and girls in the Seminary System." On 20 July 1969 U.S. Astronauts are first men to walk on moon. Six months later Joseph Fielding Smith becomes church president.
  • Feb 29,1964 - After forty one years teaching in Church Education System, George S. Tanner writes that " a large majority" of CES teachers are so narrow and ignorant that it is a shame to have them indoctrinating our young people. I would much rather my sons and daughters go to other schools in the state than have them led by these religious fanatics."
  • April 15,1964 - Daryl Chase, Mormon president of Utah State University, confides that "the LDS church has a greater strangle hold on the people and institutions of the state now than they had in Brigham's time. Complete academic freedom is actually non-existent."
  • March 3,1965 - Apostle Harold B. Lee is "protesting vigorously over our having given a scholarship at BYU to a negro student from Africa. Brother Lee holds the traditional belief as revealed in the Old Testament that the races ought to be kept together and that there is danger in trying to integrate them on the BYU campus."
  • April 29,1965 - BYU President Ernest L. Wilkinson makes first reference in his diary to receiving reports from student "spy ring" he has authorized and which becomes national scandal within ten months.
  • July 1967 - Church-wide Priesthood Bulletin prohibits women from praying in sacrament meeting. Ban stays in effect until late 1978.
  • Sep 14,1971 - Apollo 15 astronauts present to President Joseph Fielding Smith a Utah state flag that has traveled with them to the moon.
  • May 13,1972 - May Presidency letter that "fluoridation of public water supplies to prevent tooth decay" is one of the "non-moral issues" that Mormons should vote on "according to their honest convictions." John Birch Society, which Apostle Ezra Taft Benson and many other Mormons support, is condemning fluoridation as a Communist "plot."
  • Nov 1,1977 - Spencer W. Kimball dedicates Osmond Family Studio in Orem, Utah.
  • June 9,1978 - First Presidency announces "priesthood now available to all worthy male members." First Presidency secretary Francis M. Gibbons writes that this change "seemed to relieve them of a subtle sense of guilt they had felt over the years."
  • June 17,1978 - Church News headline "Interracial Marriage Discouraged" in same issue which announces authorization of priesthood for those of black African descent. Sources at church headquarters indicate that Apostle Mark E. Petersen requires this emphasis.
  • Dec 29,1978 - First Presidency allows women to pray in sacrament meetings again, rescind earlier ban from July 1967.
  • July 3,1981 - After nearly eleven years of losing advertising revenues, Deseret News begins publishing ads for R-rated movies.
  • Oct 1,1981 - New York Times reports official announcement that new edition of Book of Mormon changes prophecy that Lamanites will "become white and delightsome." Instead of continuing original reference to skin color, new edition emphasizes inward spirituality: "become pure and delightsome."
  • Jan 11,1983 - Second counselor Gordon B. Hinckley pays document dealer Mark Hofmann $15,000 for alleged Joseph Smith letter about his treasure digging activities. He has Hofmann agree not to mention the transaction to anyone else and then he sequesters document in First Presidency's vault. First Presidency does not acknowledge its existence until Los Angeles Times is about to release story about document, which Hofmann later admits he forged.
  • Nov 26,1984 - First Presidency announces that as of 1 January mission service for young men will return to 24 months.
  • June 9,1985 - Church headquarters telephones all bishops in Utah, Idaho and Arizona with instructions to forbid discussion of Linda Newell and Valeen Tippetts Avery's biography Mormon Enigma:Emma Hale Smith in Relief Society or other church meetings. Lasting for ten months, this ban is apparently what triples book's sales.
  • April 4,1987 - First Counselor Gordon B. Hinckley tells priesthood session of conference that "marriage should not be viewed as a therapeutic step to solve problems such as homosexual inclinations of practices..." This reverses decades long policy formulated by Spencer W. Kimball.
  • Oct 2,1988 - Michaelene P. Grassli, general Primary President, is first woman to speak in general conference in 133 years.
  • April 4,1992 - Apostle Richard G. Scott tells general conference that LDS women should avoid "morbid probing into details of past acts, long buried and mercifully forgotten," and that "the Lord may prompt a victim to recognize a degree of responsibility for abuse." Among his concluding remarks: "Remember, false accusation is also a sin," and 'bury the past." Unspoken background to his remarks is that in recent years current stake presidents and temple workers have been accused of child abuse by their now adult children. Salt Lake Tribune reports that suicide prevention lines are swamped with telephone calls by women in days after Scott's remarks.
  • Aug 8,1992 - Salt Lake Tribune reports that First Presidency's spokesman has acknowledged existence of special "Strengthening the Members Committee" that keeps secret files on church members regarded as disloyal. Due to publicity on this matter, including New York Times, Presidency issues statement on 13 Aug. defending organization of this apostle-directed committee as consistent with God's commandment to Joseph Smith to gather documentation about non-Mormons who mob and persecute LDS Church. Presidency lists Apostles James E. Faust and Russell M. Nelson as leading the committee.
  • May 18,1993 - Apostle Boyd K. Packer tells All-Church Coordinating Council that LDS church faces three major threats: "The dangers I speak of come from the gay-lesbian movement, the feminist movement (both of which are relatively new), and the ever-present challenge from the so-called scholars or intellectuals."
  • Nov 6,1994 - Apostle M. Russell Ballard tells 25,000 students at BYU that general authorities "will not lead you astray. We cannot." This claim of infallibility is officially published, and he repeats it to another BYU devotional meeting in March 1996.
  • May 3,1995- Agreement between LDS church and American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors "over the issue of posthumous baptisms of Jewish Holocaust victims." First Presidency agrees to "remove from next issue of International Genealogical Index [public-access record only] names of all known posthumously baptized Jewish holocaust victims, "and "to discontinue any further baptisms of deceased Jews, including all lists of Jewish Holocaust victims who are know Jews, except if they were direct ancestors of living members of the Church."
  • Nov 10, 2008 - Holocaust survivors said Monday they are through trying to negotiate with the Mormon church over posthumous baptisms of Jews killed in Nazi concentration camps, saying the church has repeatedly violated a 13-year-old agreement barring the practice.
Any more I should add?



  1. [kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] Says:

    Wow, that's fascinating. Creepy, and fascinating.

    Where did you get this info?

  1. Andee Says:

    The list is huge... there are more I didn't add.

  1. Tanya Susie Says:

    I will think about if there are any others to add. I love you for posting this list!

  1. Mere Says:

    Great list! I didn't know that women were banned from praying! I find it amazing that they ever revoked the ban!

  1. Andee Says:

    Tanya Susie,

    I am still not used to your name... I will get there :) If you *do* think of more, please let me know. I am going to start a list on a word document. Should be interesting to say the least.

    Oh, and I love you back!


  1. Andee Says:


    I can't take credit for it, but it's definitely awesome! I am not sure who the original author is.

    Someone did a really good job!!!


  1. DefendingMormonism Says:

    Whomever is without sin, let them cast the first stone.

    The only thing you have done in this post is to humanize members of the LDS Church.

    Humanization of Mormons does little to discredit Mormonism itself.

    On the contrary - it makes the leadership much more real and accessible. We can know that God does miraculous and amazing things through very imperfect people.

    Thank you for helping to strengthen my testimony of the truthfulness of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    There is nothing better than being an active Mormon and participating fully in the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    God Bless.


  1. Harper Says:

    If you do a little research, this information is not correct. Take for example the 1992 April Conference Address by Richard G. Scott. Go read it because that is not what he says at all. He does not tell LDS woman to not probe. He does not tell abuse victims that it's their fault, he very clearly states the opposite! You state that you don't know who wrote this. That should be a red flag. It might be a good idea to do a little research yourself before you post something you find. It seems like you've posted this just to make you feel good and to make you feel right and justified.