This chronology gives a selected listing of important dates in Church history.
Spring — In Joseph Smith’s First Vision, in answer to his prayer that was motivated by his reading of James 1:5, Joseph was visited by the Father and the Son in what is now known as the Sacred Grove near his home in upstate New York. Jesus answered his question about which church to join, opening the door to the restoration of the gospel.
Sept. 21-22 — In five visits with Joseph Smith, the resurrected Moroni revealed the existence of ancient gold plates, from which the Book of Mormon was translated, and instructed him on his role in restoring the gospel.
Sept. 22 — Joseph Smith received the gold plates from the Angel Moroni at the Hill Cumorah in upstate New York. He also received the Urim and Thummim, which was used in translating the Book of Mormon.
February — Martin Harris took a transcript and partial translation of the Book of Mormon to Professor Charles Anthon of Columbia College and to Dr. Samuel L. Mitchell of New York. In June, Harris borrowed and lost 116 manuscript pages.
May 15 — Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery received the Aaronic Priesthood from John the Baptist along the banks of the Susquehanna River, near Harmony, Pa. (See D&C 13.) The two baptized one another, as instructed.
May or June — Peter, James and John conferred the Melchizedek Priesthood upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery near the Susquehanna River between Harmony, Pa., and Colesville, N.Y.
June — The Book of Mormon translation was completed, and the three witnesses — Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and Martin Harris — were shown the plates by a heavenly messenger. (See D&C 17). Soon afterward, the plates were shown to eight other witnesses.
March 26 — Five thousand copies of the Book of Mormon were published by Joseph Smith and printed in Palmyra, N.Y., by E.B. Grandin at a cost of $3,000.
April 6 — Joseph Smith organized the “Church of Christ” at the Peter Whitmer Sr. home in Fayette, N.Y., with six incorporators as required by law — Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, Hyrum Smith, Peter Whitmer Jr., David Whitmer and Samuel H. Smith.
June 30 — Samuel H. Smith left on a mission to neighboring villages, including Mendon, N.Y., where the Young and Kimball families resided.
Oct. 17 — Following a revelation received by the Prophet Joseph Smith (see D&C 32), Parley P. Pratt, Oliver Cowdery, Peter Whitmer Jr., and Ziba Peterson began a mission to the Lamanites, leaving copies of the Book of Mormon with the Cattaraugus Indians in New York, the Wyandots in Ohio, and the Shawnees and Delawares on the Missouri frontier. They stopped en route to teach and baptize Sidney Rigdon and a congregation of his followers in the Kirtland, Ohio, area.
Dec. 30 — The Saints were commanded in a revelation (see D&C 37) to gather in Ohio, the first commandment concerning a gathering in this dispensation.
Feb. 4 — Edward Partridge was named “bishop unto the Church.” (See D&C 41.) This was the first revelation given through the Prophet Joseph Smith at Kirtland, Ohio.
July 20 — Independence, Jackson County, Mo., was designated the center place for Zion. (See D&C 57).
Aug. 2 — During a ceremony in Kaw Township, 12 miles west of Independence in Jackson County, Mo., Sidney Rigdon dedicated the Land of Zion for the gathering of the Saints. The next day, on Aug. 3, Joseph Smith dedicated a temple site at Independence, Mo.
Jan. 25 — Joseph Smith was sustained president of the high priesthood at a conference at Amherst, Ohio. Sidney Rigdon and Jesse Gause were named counselors in March 1832.
Feb. 16 — While working on the inspired revision of the Bible, Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon received a vision in Hiram, Ohio, of the three degrees of glory. (See D&C 76.)
March 24-25 — The Prophet Joseph Smith was residing with his family in the farm home of John Johnson in Hiram, Ohio, when a mob broke in to drag him from the side of his ailing son, Joseph. After being beaten, the Prophet regained strength and returned home to spend the night picking and scrubbing tar and feathers from his skin. On this day, he preached from the front steps of the farm home to a congregation assembled outside the door that included members of the mob that had attacked him the night before. Later that day, Joseph baptized three people.
June — Elders began teaching the restored gospel in Canada, the first missionary effort outside the United States.
Jan. 22-23 — School of the Prophets began in Kirtland, Ohio.Feb. 27 — The revelation known as the “Word of Wisdom” (D&C 89) was received by the Prophet Joseph Smith at Kirtland, Ohio.
March 18 — The First Presidency was organized when Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams were set apart by Joseph Smith to be his counselors, to which they had previously been called.
May 6 — The Saints were commanded by revelation to build a House of the Lord at Kirtland. (See D&C 94.) Further instructions were given by revelation on June 1. (See D&C 95.)
July 2 — The Prophet Joseph Smith finished the translation of the New Testament.
July 20 — A mob destroyed the Evening and Morning Star printing office in Independence, Mo., interrupting the printing of the Book of Commandments.
November — The Saints fled Jackson County, Mo., in response to mob threats and attacks and took refuge in neighboring counties, particularly Clay County.
Feb. 17 — The first stake in the Church was created in Kirtland, Ohio, with Joseph Smith as president, and on the same day the first high council of the Church was organized. (See D&C 102). A similar organization was created in Clay-Caldwell counties in Missouri on July 3, 1834, with David Whitmer as president.
May 8 — Zion’s Camp began its march from New Portage, Ohio, to Clay County, Mo., to assist the exiled Missouri Saints. The camp dispersed June 30.
The Church published a collection of hymns and sacred songs selected by Emma Smith. She had been appointed to the work in July 1830 (see D&C 25), but destruction of the Independence, Mo., printing press by a mob in 1833 had delayed publication.
Feb. 14 — The Quorum of the Twelve was organized after the three witnesses to the Book of Mormon, as directed by revelation (see D&C 18), selected 12 apostles at a meeting of the members of Zion’s Camp in Kirtland, Ohio.
Feb. 28 — The First Quorum of the Seventy was organized in Kirtland, and its first seven presidents, who were also selected from members of Zion’s Camp, were named.
March 28 — A revelation in which various priesthood offices and powers were defined (see D&C 107) was received during a meeting of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve in Kirtland.
May 4 — Members of the Quroum of the Twelve left Kirtland for the eastern states on their first mission as apostles.
March 27 — The Kirtland Temple, the first temple built in this dispensation, was dedicated after being under construction for nearly three years.
April 3 — The Savior and also Moses, Elias and Elijah appeared in the Kirtland Temple and committed the keys of their respective dispensations to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. (See D&C 110.)
June 29 — A mass meeting of citizens at Liberty, Mo., passed a resolution to expel the Saints from Clay County. By December many had relocated on Shoal Creek (later known as Far West) in the newly established Caldwell County, located northeast of Clay County.
July 20 — The first mission in the Church — the British Mission — was organized. Apostles Heber C. Kimball and Orson Hyde and Elders Willard Richards and Joseph Fielding had left Kirtland, Ohio, June 13 for England, opening up missionary work outside North America.
July 30 — Nine persons were baptized in the River Ribble at Preston, England, the first converts to the Church in Great Britain. By December, there were 1,000 LDS members in England.
March 14 — Headquarters of the Church was established in Far West, Caldwell County, Mo.
April 26 — Name of the Church — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — was given by revelation. (See D&C 115).
May 19 — Joseph Smith and others visited a place on Grand River, in Missouri, about 25 miles north of Far West, called Spring Hill by the Saints, which by revelation was named Adam-ondi-Ahman because “it is the place where Adam shall come to visit his people, or the Ancient of Days shall sit, as spoken of by Daniel the prophet.” (See D&C 116, Dan. 7:9-14.)
July 6 — The exodus from Kirtland, Ohio, began under the direction of the First Council of the Seventy as planned three months earlier.
July 8 — Revelation on the law of tithing (see D&C 119) was given at Far West, Mo.
Aug. 6 — A scuffle at the polls at Gallatin, Daviess County, Mo., intensified the mounting tension between Latter-day Saints and other area settlers.
Oct. 27 — Acting upon false reports of rebellion among the Mormons, Gov. Lilburn W. Boggs issued an order to exterminate or expel the Saints from Missouri.
Oct. 30 — Seventeen Latter-day Saints were killed and 12 severely wounded in the Haun’s Mill Massacre at a small settlement on Shoal Creek, 12 miles east of Far West, Mo.
Oct. 31 — Joseph Smith and others were made prisoners of the militia. The next day a court-martial ordered the Prophet and the others shot, but Brig. Gen. A.W. Doniphan refused to carry out the order.
Nov. 9 — Joseph Smith and the other prisoners arrived in Richmond, Mo., where they were put in chains and suffered much abuse by the guards. An arraignment and a two-week trial followed, resulting in their being sent Nov. 28 to the Liberty Jail in Liberty, Mo., where they were imprisoned about Dec. 1.
March 20 — While in Liberty Jail, Joseph Smith wrote an epistle to the Saints, which contained fervent pleadings with the Lord regarding the suffering of the Saints and words of prophecy. (See D&C 121.) A few days later, he continued the epistle, parts of which became Sections 122 and 123 of the Doctrine and Covenants.
April 16 — Joseph Smith and four other prisoners were allowed to escape while being transferred from Daviess to Boone counties in Missouri under a change of venue in their case.
April 20 — The last of the Saints left Far West, Mo. A whole community, numbering about 15,000, had been expelled from their homes on account of their religion.
April 25 — Commerce, Ill., was selected as a gathering place for the Church. On May 1, two farms were purchased by Joseph Smith and others, the first land purchased in what later became Nauvoo.
Summer — Members of the Quorum of the Twelve, as their circumstances permitted, departed from Nauvoo, Ill., for their missions to England. (See D&C 118).
Oct. 29 — Joseph Smith left Illinois for Washington, D.C., to seek redress from the president of the United States for wrongs suffered by the Saints in Missouri.
Nov. 29 — In a meeting with U.S. President Martin Van Buren in Washington, D.C., Joseph Smith was told by the president that he [Van Buren] could do nothing to relieve the oppressions in Missouri.
June 6 — Forty-one members of the Church sailed for the United States from Liverpool, England, on the ship Britannia, being the first Saints to gather from a foreign land. By 1890, some 85,000 LDS emigrants had crossed the Atlantic Ocean in about 280 voyages.
Jan. 19 — A revelation (see D&C 124) given at Nauvoo, Ill., outlined instructions for building a temple in Nauvoo. Baptism for the dead was introduced.
Feb. 4 — The Nauvoo Legion was organized with Joseph Smith as lieutenant general.
Oct. 24 — At a site on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, Orson Hyde dedicated Palestine for the gathering of the Jews.
March 1 — The Articles of Faith were published for the first time in the Times and Seasons in Nauvoo, Ill. Joseph Smith, in response to a request from John Wentworth, editor of the Chicago Democrat.
March 17 — Joseph Smith organized the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo, with Emma Smith, Sarah M. Cleveland and Elizabeth Ann Whitney as its presidency, to look after the poor and sick.
Aug. 6 — Joseph Smith prophesied that the Saints would be driven to the Rocky Mountains, but that he would not go with them.
1843 — June 21 — Illinois agents, armed with a warrant from Gov. Thomas Ford, arrested Joseph Smith at Dixon, Lee County, Ill. He was released July 1, 1843.
July 12 — A revelation received in Nauvoo, Ill., on the “Eternity of the Marriage Covenant and Plural Marriage” (see D&C 132) was recorded, giving fuller meaning to the “new and everlasting covenant.”
Jan. 29 — A political convention in Nauvoo nominated Joseph Smith as a candidate for president of United States.
April 30 — Addison Pratt landed on Tubuai, the first missionary to begin work in the South Pacific.
June 11 — Joseph Smith and the city council were charged with riot in the destruction of the Expositor press. A Nauvoo court absolved them of the charge, but the complainant asked for the issue to be examined by the Carthage court.
June 27 — Joseph and Hyrum Smith were killed by a mob that rushed the Carthage Jail in Carthage, Ill. John Taylor was injured in the attack; Willard Richards escaped injury.
Aug. 8 — At a meeting designated for the appointment of a guardian, Rigdon stated his views, after which Brigham Young announced an afternoon meeting. During the latter session, Young claimed the right of the Twelve Apostles to lead the Church and was sustained by a vote of the Church.
January — The Illinois Legislature repealed the city charter of Nauvoo. May — The nine accused murderers of Joseph and Hyrum Smith were acquitted upon instructions of the court.
Sept. 22 — Citizens at a mass meeting in Quincy, Ill., endorsed a proposal requesting that the Saints leave Illinois as quickly as possible. The Twelve’s reply reiterated the Latter-day Saints’ intention to move to a remote area and asked for cooperation and an end of harassment in order to prepare for the move early the following summer.
Dec. 10, 1845-Feb. 7, 1846 — Some 5,000 members received their endowments in the yet-to-be-finished Nauvoo Temple prior to their exodus from Nauvoo.
Feb. 4 — The Mormon migration from Nauvoo began. The same day the ship Brooklyn left New York for California under the direction of Samuel Brannan.
April 24 — A temporary settlement of the westward-moving Saints was established at Garden Grove, Iowa. Other camps were established at Mount Pisgah, Iowa, on May 16; at Kanesville (Council Bluffs), Iowa, on June 14; and at Winter Quarters, Neb., in September.
May 1 — The Nauvoo Temple was dedicated in public services by Apostle Orson Hyde
July 13 — The first of the volunteer companies of the Mormon Battalion was enlisted in response to a request delivered to Brigham Young two weeks earlier by Capt. James Allen of the United States Army. The battalion left Kanesville, Iowa, for Fort Leavenworth, Kan., on July 20.
July 31 — The ship Brooklyn arrived in Yerba Buena (now San Francisco), California.
Sept. 17 — The remaining Saints in Nauvoo were driven from the city in violation of a “treaty of surrender” worked out with a citizens’ committee from Quincy, Ill. The siege became known as the Battle of Nauvoo.
Jan. 14 — Brigham Young presented “the word and will of the Lord” (see D&C 136) concerning the westward trek, including the pattern for organizing the wagon companies and the conduct of the participants, based on gospel principles.
Jan. 27 —The Mormon Battalion, completing its march across the Southwest, arrived at San Luis Rey, Calif., near San Diego, within view of the Pacific Ocean.
April 5 — The first pioneer company, numbering 143 men, 3 women and 2 children, left Winter Quarters, Neb., for the West, under the leadership of Brigham Young.
July 16 — Members of the Mormon Battalion were discharged at Los Angeles, Calif.
July 22-24 — Brigham Young’s pioneer company arrived in the Great Salt Lake Valley. Eleven companies arrived in the valley in 1847.
July 28 — Brigham Young selected a site for the Salt Lake Temple and instructed surveyors to lay out a city on a grid pattern aligned to the compass.
Dec. 5 — The First Presidency was reorganized by the Quorum of the Twelve in Kanesville, Iowa, with Brigham Young sustained as president, and Heber C. Kimball and Willard Richards as counselors.
Jan. 24 — Nine members of the discharged Mormon Battalion were at Sutter’s Mill in California when gold was discovered. The millrace, or canal to the millwheel, was dug by members of the battalion. Battalion member Henry Bigler was given credit for recording in his journal the date of discovery .
May — Millions of crickets descended into Salt Lake Valley and devoured the crops of the pioneers. The “miracle of the sea gulls” saved what was left of the crops by devouring the crickets.
Aug. 13 — A conference in Manchester, England, was attended by more than 17,000 members of the British Mission.
Jan. 1 — The first $1 denomination of “valley currency” was issued and signed by Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball and Thomas Bullock. It was the first printing in the Salt Lake Valley.
Feb. 14 — Great Salt Lake City was divided into 19 wards of nine blocks each.
March 5 — A provisional State of Deseret was established and appeals were made to the federal government for self-government.
October — A Perpetual Emigrating Fund to assist the poor to immigrate to the Salt Lake Valley was established during general conference. The system, which was incorporated a year later, continued until it was disincorporated by the Edmunds-Tucker Act in 1887.
Dec. 9 — The Sunday School was started by Richard Ballantyne in Salt Lake City. George Q. Cannon became the first general superintendent in November 1867.
Missionary work took on a wider scope as missions were opened overseas in Scandinavia, France, Italy, Switzerlandand Hawaii; most, however, were discontinued after a few years.
June 15 — The first edition of the Deseret News was published in Salt Lake City.
Jan. 26 — The second stake in the Church and the first outside the Salt Lake Valley — since the pioneers arrived in Utah — was the Weber Stake, created by Brigham Young with headquarters in Ogden. Within the next six months, two other stakes were created, in Provo, Utah, on March 19, and in San Bernardino, Calif., on July 6.
March 24 — A company of 500 settlers called to settle in California departed from Payson, Utah. The group settled in San Bernardino, Calif., which became the first Mormon colony outside the Great Basin since the arrival of the pioneers in 1847.
May — The Book of Mormon was published in Copenhagen, Denmark, in Danish, the first language other than English in which the book was printed.
Nov. 11 — The University of the State of Deseret (now the University of Utah) in Salt Lake City was begun.
During the year, areas that were opened up to missionary work included India, China, Siam, Cape of Good Hope, Prussia, Gilbraltar and the West Indies.
April 6 — An adobe tabernacle, built on the southwest corner of the Temple Block where the Assembly Hall now stands, was dedicated.
Aug. 28-29 — At a special conference in Salt Lake City, the doctrine of plural marriage was first publicly announced, although several of the leading brethren of the Church had been practicing the principle privately since it had been taught to them by Joseph Smith.
Oct. 9 — Members, meeting in conference in the tabernacle, unanimously voted to build the Salt Lake Temple.
Feb. 14 — President Brigham Young broke ground for the Salt Lake Temple and President Heber C. Kimball dedicated the site. Excavation began that day.
April 6 — The four cornerstones of the Salt Lake Temple were laid.
July 18 — The so-called “Walker War” began near Payson, Utah. This was one of several incidents of tension between Mormons and Indians in the Utah Territory. The war ended in May 1854.
Jan. 19 — The official announcement adopting the Deseret Alphabet was made in the Deseret News.
Dec. 31 — It was reported that 32,627 members lived in countries comprising the European missions, of which 29,441 were in Great Britain.
May 5 — The two-story adobe Endowment House in Salt Lake City was dedicated and remained in use until 1889, when it was torn down.
July 23 — The foundation of the Salt Lake Temple was finished.
Oct. 4 — The bark Julia Ann carrying 28 emigrating Church members from Australia ran aground on shoals near the Scilly Islands. Five were drowned.
Oct. 29 — In a general epistle, the First Presidency proposed that Perpetual Emigrating Fund immigrants cross the plains by handcart.
During the year, a general “reformation” took place throughout the Church, in which Church members were admonished strongly from the pulpit to reform their lives and rededicate themselves to the service of the Lord. As a symbol of renewed dedication, many members renewed their covenants by rebaptism. The reformation movement continued into 1857.
June 9 — The first handcart company left Iowa City, Iowa. Later that year, two handcart companies, captained by James G. Willie and Edward Martin, suffered tragedy due to an early winter. More than 200 in the two companies died along the trail.
March 30 — Territorial Judge W.W. Drummond, who had earlier left the Territory of Utah, wrote a letter to the Attorney General of the United States, charging Mormon leaders with various crimes.
May 13 — Elder Parley P. Pratt of the Quorum of the Twelve was assassinated while on a mission in Arkansas.
May 28 — Under instructions from President James Buchanan, the United States War Department issued orders for an army to assemble at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., to march to Utah. It was assumed that the people of Utah were in rebellion against the United States. This was the beginning of the so-called “Utah War.”
July 24 — While participating in the 10th anniversary celebration in Big Cottonwood Canyon of the arrival of the Pioneers, Brigham Young received word that the army, under the command of Col. Albert S. Johnston, was approaching Utah.
Sept. 7-11 — The Mountain Meadows Massacre took place, in which Arkansas immigrants on their way to California were killed in Southern Utah. Twenty years later John D. Lee was executed for his part in the crime.
Sept. 15 — Brigham Young declared Utah to be under martial law and forbade the approaching troops to enter the Salt Lake Valley. An armed militia was ordered to go to various points to harass the soldiers and prevent their entry. Brigham Young also called the elders home from foreign missions and advised the Saints in many outlying settlements in the West to return to places nearer the headquarters of the Church.
Feb. 24 — Col. Thomas L. Kane, a friend of the Mormons, voluntarily arrived in Salt Lake City to try to bring about a peaceful solution to the difficulties between the federal government and the Church. After meeting with President Brigham Young, he went to Ft. Scott (near Ft. Bridger) in Wyoming and met with the incoming governor of Utah, Alfred Cummings.
June 26 — After having been stopped for the winter by the delaying tactics of the Mormons, Col. Johnston’s army finally — and peacefully — entered the Salt Lake Valley. The army’s encampment, until 1861, was at Camp Floyd in Cedar Valley in Utah County. Most of the Saints north of Utah County had moved south, and they only returned to their homes when peace seemed assured.
Aug. 5 — The first transatlantic telegraph cable was completed between the United States and Great Britain.
July 13 — Horace Greeley, founder and editor of the New York Tribune, had a two-hour interview with President Brigham Young, covering a variety of subjects from infant baptism to plurality of wives. The substance of his interview was published a year later in Greeley’s Overland Journey from New York to San Francisco.
April 3 — The Pony Express mail service began. A number of young Mormons were among the riders.
Sept. 16 — At a meeting in the bowery on the Temple Block, President Brigham Young condemned the practice of missionaries asking members in the mission field for support and, instead, said that missionary service should be financed by members at home.
Sept. 24 — The last of 10 groups of pioneers to cross the plains by handcarts arrived in Salt Lake City.
March 2 — A bill was approved by U.S. President James Buchanan that provided for the organization of the Nevada Territory out of the western portions of Utah.
April 12 — The Civil War began as Confederate forces fired on Ft. Sumter in South Carolina.
April 23 — The first of several Church wagon trains left the Salt Lake Valley with provisions for incoming Saints, whom they would meet at the Missouri River. This was the beginning of a new program to help immigrating Saints that lasted until the railroad came in 1869.
Oct. 1 — The first baptisms in the Netherlands took place near the village of Broek-Akkerwoude in the northern province of Friesland. A monument marking the site was erected in 1936.
Oct. 18 — President Brigham Young sent the first telegram over the just-completed overland telegraph line.
March 6 — The Salt Lake Theater, which became an important cultural center for Mormon people in the area, was dedicated. It was opened to the public two days later.
May — The Church sent 262 wagons, 292 men, 2,880 oxen and 143,315 pounds of flour to the Missouri River to assist poor immigrants from Europe on their trek to the Great Basin.
July 8 — A federal law was passed and approved by President Abraham Lincoln, defining plural marriage as bigamy and declaring it a crime. Mormons considered the law unconstitutional and refused to honor it.
March 10 — President Brigham Young was arrested on a charge of bigamy and placed under a $2,000 bond by Judge Kinney. He was never brought to trial, however.
April 5 — A small group of Saints bound for Utah sailed from Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Five days later another group set sail for Utah from South Africa.
A war with the Indians began in central Utah, known as the Black Hawk War. It lasted until 1867.
Jan. 18 — Orson Pratt and William W. Ritter arrived in Austria. They were soon banished.
Feb. 1 — Abraham Lincoln signed the document abolishing slavery in the United States. After ratification by 27 states. The measure became the 13th Amendment to the Constitution on Dec. 18, 1865.
April 10 — In a special conference, the Church agreed to build a telegraph line connecting the settlements in Utah. The line was completed in 1867.
April 14 — U.S. President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth in Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., while watching a performance of “Our American Cousin.”
Jan. 1 — The first edition of the Juvenile Instructor, the official organ of the Sunday School, was published. Its name was changed to the Instructor in 1930, and it continued publication until 1970.
Oct. 6 — The first conference to be conducted in the newly completed Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City began. The building was dedicated eight years later on Oct. 9, 1875.
Dec. 8 — Brigham Young requested that bishops reorganize Relief Societies within their wards. The societies had been disbanded during the Utah War.
Jan. 29 — The name Great Salt Lake City was changed to simply Salt Lake City.
March 1 — The Church-owned ZCMI opened for business. It was the forerunner of several cooperative business ventures in Utah territory.
May 10 — The transcontinental railroad was completed with the joining of the rails at Promontory Summit, Utah. The railroad had great impact on immigration policy and on the general economy of the Church in Utah.
Nov. 28 — The Young Ladies’ Retrenchment Association, later renamed the Young Women’s Mutual Improvement Association, was organized by Brigham Young in the Lion House in Salt Lake City. The first president, called June 19, 1880, was Elmina Shepherd Taylor. This was the forerunner of today’s Young Women organization.
Jan. 13 — A large mass meeting was held by the women of Salt Lake City in protest against certain anti-Mormon legislation pending in Congress. This and other such meetings demonstrated that, contrary to anti-Mormon claims, Mormon women were not antagonistic to the ecclesiastical leadership in Utah.
February — The “Liberal Party” was formed in Utah, which generally came to represent the anti-Mormon political interests, as opposed to the “People’s Party,” which generally represented Church interests until the end of the 19th century.
Feb. 12 — An act of the Territorial Legislature giving the elective franchise to the women of Utah was signed into law. Utah became one of the first American states or territories to grant women the right to vote.
February — Judge James B. McKean, who had arrived in Utah in August 1870, made several rulings that began a bitter and antagonistic relationship between himself and Church members.
Oct. 2 — President Brigham Young was arrested on a charge of unlawful cohabitation. Various legal proceedings in the court of Judge James B. McKean lasted until April 25, 1872, during which time President Young was sometimes kept in custody in his own home. The case was dropped, however, due to a U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned various judicial proceedings in Utah for the previous 18 months.
June — The first issue of the Woman’s Exponent, a paper owned and edited by Mormon women, was published. This periodical continued until 1914.
April 8 — Due to failing health, President Brigham Young called five additional counselors in the First Presidency.
May 9 — At general conference, which began on this date, the principal subject discussed was the “United Order.” This resulted in the establishment of several cooperative economic ventures, the most notable of which were communities such as Orderville, Utah, where the residents owned no private property but held all property in common.
June 23 — The Poland Bill became a federal law. It had the effect of limiting the jurisdiction of probate courts in Utah. These courts had been authorized to conduct all civil and criminal cases and were generally favorable toward members of the Church, but now Mormons accused of crimes had to be tried in federal courts.
March 18 — Judge James B. McKean, with whom the Mormons had been unhappy, was removed from office by U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant.
June 10 — The first Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association was organized in the Thirteenth Ward in Salt Lake City. On Dec. 8, 1876, a central committee was formed to coordinate all such associations. Junius F. Wells was the first superintendent. This was the forerunner of today’s Young Men organization.
Oct. 16 — Brigham Young Academy, later to become Brigham Young University, was founded in Provo, Utah.
March 7 — The patent was issued for Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone.
March 23 — Advance companies of Saints from Utah who were called to settle in Arizona arrived at the Little Colorado. This was the beginning of Mormon colonization in Arizona.
April 6 — The St. George Temple was dedicated by President Daniel H. Wells in connection with the 47th Annual Conference of the Church that was held in St. George. This was the first temple to be completed in Utah. The lower portion of the temple had been dedicated earlier, on Jan. 1, 1877, and ordinances for the dead had commenced.
Aug. 29 — President Brigham Young died at his home in Salt Lake City at age 76.
Sept. 4 — The Quorum of the Twelve, with John Taylor as president, publicly assumed its position as the head of the Church.
May 19 — The Church had previously provided for the purchase of land in Conejos County, Colo., for settlements of Saints from the Southern States. On this date the first settlers arrived, thus opening Mormon settlements in Colorado.
Aug. 25 — The Primary, founded by Aurelia Rogers, held its first meeting at Farmington, Utah. The movement spread rapidly and on June 19, 1880, a Churchwide organization was established, with Louie B. Felt as the first president.
Jan. 6 — The Supreme Court of the United States, in the important Reynolds case, upheld the previous conviction of George Reynolds under the 1862 anti-bigamy law. With the ruling, the court paved the way for more intense and effective prosecution of the Mormons in the 1880s.
Oct. 4 — The first edition of the Contributor, which became the official publication of the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association, was issued. It was published until 1896.
Oct. 21 — Thomas Edison tested an electric incandescent light bulb in Menlo Park, N.J., that burned for 13 1/2 hours, marking the beginning of a new era of electric lighting.
April 6 — At general conference, a special jubilee year celebration was inaugurated. Charitable actions, reminiscent of Old Testament jubilee celebrations, included rescinding half the debt owed to the Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company, distribution of cows and sheep among the needy, and advice to the Saints to forgive the worthy poor of their debts.
Oct. 10 — The First Presidency was reorganized with President John Taylor sustained as third president of the Church, with Presidents George Q. Cannon and Joseph F. Smith as counselors.
Oct. 18 — Ngataki was the first Maori baptized in New Zealand.
Jan. 8 — The Assembly Hall on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, completed in 1880 from left-over stones from the Salt Lake Temple construction, was dedicated.
March 22 — The Edmunds Anti-Polygamy bill became law when U.S. President Chester A. Arthur added his approval to that of the Senate and House of Representatives. Serious prosecution under this law began in 1884.
July 17 — The Deseret Hospital, the second hospital in Utah and the first Church hospital, was opened by the Relief Society in Salt Lake City.
Aug. 18 — The Utah Commission, authorized in the Edmunds law, arrived in the territory. The five members of the commission, appointed by the U.S. president, had responsibility of supervising election procedures in Utah. Since the result of its activities was to enforce the disenfranchisement of much of the Mormon population, Church members considered its work unfair.
June 21 — The Council House, the first public building erected in Salt Lake City, was destroyed by fire. The structure was completed in December 1850 and was designed as a “general council house” for the Church, but was also used by the provisional State of Deseret as a statehouse. It also housed the University of Deseret for a number of years.
Aug. 26 — The first permanent branch of the Church among the Maoris in New Zealand was organized at Papawai, Wairarapa Valley, on the North Island.
Dec. 26 — Thomas L. Kane, long a friend of the Church and a champion for Mormon people, died in Philadelphia, Pa.
May 17 — The Logan Temple, the second temple constructed after the Saints came west, was dedicated by President John Taylor.
June 9 — The building known as the “Cock Pit,” in Preston, England, in which the first Mormon missionaries to England held meetings in 1837, tumbled down.
Extensive prosecution under the Edmunds Law continued in both Utah and Idaho. Many who practiced polygamy were imprisoned, while others fled into exile, some to Mexico in 1885 and to Canada in 1887. Many Church leaders involved in plural marriage went into hiding, which was referred to as the “underground.” Similar conditions continued for the next few years. These years are sometimes called the years of the “Crusade.”
Feb. 1 — President John Taylor delivered his last public sermon in the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City. It was also his last appearance in public before he went to the “underground.”
Feb. 3 — An Idaho law was approved by the governor that prohibited all Mormons from voting through the device of a “test oath.” The Idaho “test oath” was upheld five years later by the U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 3, 1890.
March 22 — The U.S. Supreme Court annulled the “test oath” formulated by the Utah Commission, thus restoring the right to vote to Saints in the territory.
May 13 — A delegation, appointed by a mass meeting held in the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City on May 2, met with U.S. President Grover Cleveland in the White House in Washington, D.C. They presented to the president a “Statement of Grievances and Protest” concerning injustices brought about because of the Edmunds law.
Jan. 31 — The first Church meeting was held in the first meetinghouse built in Mexico on the Piedras Verdes River in the settlement of Colonia Juarez in northern Mexico.
March 6 — A mass meeting of 2,000 LDS women assembled in the Salt Lake Theater to protest the abuse heaped upon them by the federal courts and to protest the loss of their vote.
Oct. 28 — The Statue of Liberty, a gift from the French people symbolizing the friendship between the United States and France, was dedicated in New York Harbor.
Feb. 17-18 — The Edmunds-Tucker Act passed Congress, and it became law without the signature of U.S. President Grover Cleveland. Among other stringent provisions, the law disincorporated the Church, dissolved the Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company and escheated its property to the government, abolished female suffrage, and provided for the confiscation of practically all the property of the Church.
June 3 — Charles O. Card, leading a contingent of eight families, pitched camp on Lee’s Creek in southern Alberta, marking the beginning of the Mormon settlements in Canada. Under instructions from President John Taylor, a gathering place for Latter-day Saints in Canada was selected, and on June 17 a site was chosen for what later became Cardston.
July 25 — President John Taylor died while in “exile” at Kaysville, Utah, at age 78. The Quorum of Twelve Apostles assumed leadership of the Church until 1889.
July 30 — Under provisions of the Edmunds-Tucker Act, suits were filed against the Church and the Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company, and Church property was confiscated. A receiver for the property was appointed in November 1887, but the government allowed the Church to rent and occupy certain offices and the temple block.
May 17 — The Manti Temple was dedicated in a private service by President Wilford Woodruff of the Quorum of the Twelve; a public service was held May 21.
June 8 — The Church General Board of Education sent a letter instructing each stake to establish an academy for secondary education. From 1888 to 1909, 35 academies were established in Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Arizona, Mexico and Canada. The academy in Rexburg, Idaho, later became Ricks College and then BYU-Idaho.
April 6 — The first Relief Society general conference was held in the Assembly Hall in Salt Lake City. Twenty stakes were represented.
April 7 — President Wilford Woodruff was sustained as fourth president of the Church, with Presidents George Q. Cannon and Joseph F. Smith as counselors.
October — The Young Woman’s Journal, official organ of the Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Association, began publication. It was merged with the Improvement Era in 1929.
November — The Endowment House in Salt Lake City was torn down.
Sept. 24 — President Wilford Woodruff issued the “Manifesto,” now included in the Doctrine and Covenants as Official Declaration — 1, that declared that no new plural marriages had been entered into with Church approval in the past year, denied that plural marriage had been taught during that time, declared the intent of the president of the Church to submit to the constitutional law of the land, and advised members of the Church to refrain from contracting any marriage forbidden by law.
Oct. 6 — The “Manifesto” was unanimously accepted by vote in general conference. This marked the beginning of reconciliation between the Church and the United States, which effectively paved the way to statehood for Utah a little more than five years later.
Oct. 25 — The First Presidency sent a letter to stake presidents and bishops directing that a week-day religious education program be established in every ward where there was not a Church school. It was recommended that classes be taught, under the direction of the Church’s General Board of Education, after school hours or on Saturdays .
March — At the first triennial meeting of the National Council of Women of the United States, the Relief Society attended and became a charter member of that council.
Jan. 4 — The new Brigham Young Academy building at Provo, Utah, was dedicated.
Oct. 12 — Articles of incorporation for the Relief Society were filed, after which it became known as the National Women’s Relief Society. The name was again changed in 1945 to Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Jan. 4 — The President of the United States, Benjamin Harrison, issued a proclamation of amnesty to all polygamists who had entered into that relationship before Nov. 1, 1890. The Utah Commission soon ruled that voting restrictions in the territory should be removed.
April 6 — The Salt Lake Temple was dedicated by President Wilford Woodruff. The dedicatory services were repeated almost daily until April 24 with a total of 31 services held.
May 23 — The first ordinance work, baptisms for the dead, was performed in the Salt Lake Temple. On May 24, the first endowment work and sealings were performed.
Sept. 8 — The Salt Lake Tabernacle Choir, while competing in the choral contest at the Chicago World’s Fair, won second prize ($1,000). While on this tour, the choir also held concerts at Denver, Colo.; Independence, Kansas City and St. Louis, Mo.; and Omaha, Neb. The First Presidency, consisting of Wilford Woodruff, George Q. Cannon and Joseph F. Smith, accompanied the choir.
Oct. 25 — President Grover Cleveland signed a resolution, passed by Congress, for the return of the personal property of the Church. Three years later, on March 28, 1896, a memorial passed by Congress and approved by the president provided for the restoration of the Church’s real estate.
January — The railroad age continued with railroad building by far the nation’s single largest economic enterprise.
April — President Wilford Woodruff announced in general conference that he had received a revelation that ended the law of adoption. The law of adoption was the custom of being sealed to prominent Church leaders instead of direct ancestors. He re-emphasized the need for genealogical research and sealings along natural family lines. With the termination of this type of sealings, genealogical work to trace direct ancestry increased among the members of the Church.
July 14 — President Grover Cleveland signed an act that provided for statehood for Utah. This culminated 47 years of effort on the part of Mormons in Utah to achieve this status.
Aug. 27 — President Grover Cleveland issued a proclamation granting pardons and restoring civil rights to those who had been disfranchised under anti-polygamy laws.
Nov. 13 — The genealogical society of the Church, known as the Genealogical Society of Utah, was organized.
March 4 — The Utah Constitutional Convention met in Salt Lake City. John Henry Smith, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, was elected president of that convention.
June 9 — The first stake outside the United States was created in Canada in Cardston, Alberta.
June 11 — Johan and Alma Lindelof were baptized in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Nov. 5 — By a vote of 31,305 to 7,687, the people of Utah ratified the constitution and approved statehood. The documents were later hand-delivered to President Grover Cleveland.
Dec. 9 — The first stake in Mexico, the Juarez Stake, was organized in the English-speaking Mormon colonies in northern Mexico.
Jan. 4 — President Grover Cleveland signed the proclamation that admitted Utah to the Union as the 45th state. Until statehood, the affairs of the Church in the Utah Territory had been closely associated with the affairs of the civil government. With statehood and the rights of self-government secured to the people, the Church could become separate from political struggles.
Nov. 5 — The First Presidency issued a formal letter of instruction directing that the first Sunday in each month be observed as fast day, rather than the first Thursday, which had been observed as fast day since the early days of the Church in the Utah Territory.
June 4 — Historian Andrew Jenson returned to Salt Lake City after circling the world obtaining information for Church history.
July 20-25 — The jubilee anniversary of the arrival of the Pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley was held in Salt Lake City for six days. The celebration began with the dedication by President Wilford Woodruff of the Brigham Young statue that would later stand at the intersection of Main and South Temple streets on July 20, and ended with a celebration for the Pioneers in the Tabernacle on July 24 and memorial services honoring all deceased Pioneers on July 25.
November — The Improvement Era began publication as the official organ of the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association. Other Church organizations later joined in sponsoring the monthly magazine, which continued as the official voice of the Church until 1970. It was replaced by the Ensign magazine.
Jan. 24 — Four aged members of the Mormon Battalion took part in the 50th anniversary of the discovery of gold in California, which they had witnessed.
April 1 — Sisters Inez Knight and Lucy Brimhall were set apart to be missionaries in England, the first single, official, proselyting sister missionaries in the Church.
April 28 — A First Presidency statement encouraged Latter-day Saint youth to support the American effort in the Spanish-American War. This placed the Church firmly on the side of the war declarations of constituted governments and ended a policy of selective pacifism.
Sept. 2 — President Wilford Woodruff died at age 91 in San Francisco, Calif., where he had gone to seek relief from his asthma problems.
Sept. 13 — President Lorenzo Snow became fifth president of the Church. He chose Presidents George Q. Cannon and Joseph F. Smith as counselors. Both had served as counselors to President Brigham Young, President John Taylor and President Wilford Woodruff.
Oct. 15 — President Lorenzo Snow announced that the Church would issue bonds to lighten the burden of its indebtedness.
May 8 — President Lorenzo Snow announced a renewed emphasis concerning the payment of tithing, which members had been neglecting for some time, at a conference in St. George, Utah.
July 2 — A solemn assembly was held in the Salt Lake Temple, attended by the Church’s 26 General Authorities, presidencies of the 40 stakes, and bishops of the 478 wards of the Church. The assembly accepted the resolution that tithing is the “word and will of the Lord unto us.”
Aug. 19 — Utah volunteers serving in the Philippines in the Spanish-American War returned to an enthusiastic reception from the citizens.
Jan. 8 — President Lorenzo Snow issued an official statement reaffirming the Church’s ban on polygamy.
Jan. 21, 28 — The mammoth Salt Lake Stake, comprised of 55 wards throughout the Salt Lake Valley, was divided and the Jordan and Granite stakes were created. It was the first stake division in the valley since the stake was created in 1847.
Jan. 25 — The U.S. House of Representatives voted to deny Utahn B.H. Roberts of the First Council of the Seventy his seat in Congress, following an investigation of the right of polygamists to hold office under the Constitution.
July 24 — Final unveiling of Brigham Young Monument at South Temple and Main in Salt Lake City was held.
May 4 — Reconstruction of the Tabernacle organ was completed by the Kimball Organ Co., making the instrument one of the finest pipe organs in the world.
Aug. 12 — Elder Heber J. Grant of the Quorum of the Twelve dedicated Japan and opened a mission there as a first step in renewed emphasis on preaching the gospel in all the world.
Oct. 10 — President Lorenzo Snow died at his home in the Beehive House in Salt Lake City at age 87.
Oct. 17 — President Joseph F. Smith was ordained and set apart as the sixth president of the Church, with Presidents John R. Winder and Anthon H. Lund as counselors. They were sustained by Church members at a special conference on Nov. 10.
The Church published in book form the first volume of Joseph Smith’s History of the Church, edited by B.H. Roberts. Publication continued over the next decades, with a seventh volume added in 1932.
January — The Children’s Friend began publication for Primary Association teachers. The magazine later widened its audience to include children, then eliminated the teachers’ departments. It was published until 1970 when it was replaced by the Friend magazine.
Aug. 4 — The First Council of the Seventy opened a Bureau of Information and Church Literature in a small octagonal booth on Temple Square. It was replaced by a larger building in March 1904 and by the present visitors centers in 1966 and 1978.
Nov. 5 — The Carthage Jail was purchased by the Church as a historic site for $4,000.
Dec. 17 — Orville and Wilbur Wright became the first men to fly when they managed to get their powered airplane off the ground near Kitty Hawk, N.C., for 12 seconds. They made four flights that day, the longest lasting for 59 seconds.
April 5 — President Joseph F. Smith issued an official statement upholding provisions of the 1890 Manifesto and invoking excommunication against persons violating the “law of the land” by contracting new plural marriages.
Jan. 1 — The Dr. William H. Groves Latter-day Saints Hospital opened in Salt Lake City and was dedicated three days later, the first in the Church hospital system. In 1975 the Church divested itself of its hospitals and turned them over to a private organization.
Oct. 28 — Elders John W. Taylor and Matthias F. Cowley, finding themselves out of harmony with Church policy on plural marriage, submitted resignations from the Quorum of the Twelve that were announced to the Church April 6, 1906.
Dec. 23 — President Joseph F. Smith dedicated the Joseph Smith Memorial Cottage and Monument at Sharon, Windsor County, Vt., the site of the Prophet’s birth 100 years earlier. The property had been purchased by the Church earlier in the year.
The Sunday School introduced a Churchwide parents’ class as part of an increased emphasis on the importance of the home and of the parents’ role in teaching their children the gospel.
Summer — President Joseph F. Smith traveled to Europe, the first such visit of a Church president to the area. President Smith also visited Hawaii, Canada and Mexico during his presidency.
The Church purchased the 100-acre Smith farm near Palmyra, N.Y., including the Sacred Grove.
Jan. 10 — President Joseph F. Smith announced that the Church was entirely free of debt, with the payment of the last two $500,000 bond issues sold by President Lorenzo Snow in December 1899 to fund the debt. The first had been paid in 1903. Retiring the debt was largely due to the renewed emphasis in the Church on tithing.
February — The United States Senate agreed to seat Utah Sen. Reed Smoot, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, who was elected and sworn in March 5, 1903. The vote culminated a three-year investigation, during which Church officials testified concerning polygamy and Church involvement in politics.
April 5 — A vote of the general conference approved the First Presidency’s 16-page summary statement of the Church position in the Smoot hearings.
Dec. 14 — The First Presidency issued the first of four letters to urge European members to not immigrate to the United States, but to remain and build up the Church in their own countries. Subsequent letters urging members not to immigrate were issued April 28, 1921, Aug. 2, 1921, and Oct. 18, 1929.
Presiding Bishop Charles W. Nibley moved the Church to an all-cash basis and no longer issued tithing scrip.
April 8 — The First Presidency created a General Priesthood Committee on Outlines, which served until 1922. The committee created definite age groupings for priesthood offices (deacons at 12, teachers at 15, priests at 18, and elders at 21), provided systematic programs for year-round priesthood meetings, and in other ways reformed, reactivated and systematized priesthood work.
Oct. 1 — Henry Ford introduced his famous Model-T Ford automobile.
April 6 — The North Pole was discovered by an expedition led by Robert E. Peary.
Sept. 26 — U.S. President William Howard Taft visited Salt Lake City en route to California and spoke in the Tabernacle.
November — As the debate on Darwinism and evolution continued in the national press, the First Presidency issued an official statement on the origin of man.
The Bishop’s Building, an office building for the Presiding Bishopric and auxiliary organizations of the Church at 50 N. Main St., opened. It was used for more than 50 years.
January — The first issue of the Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine was published. This quarterly publication served as the voice of the Genealogical Society of Utah. It was discontinued in October 1940.
The Church adopted the Boy Scout program and has since become one of the leading sponsors of this organization for young men.
April 15 — Collier’s magazine published a letter from Theodore Roosevelt refuting many charges made against Utah Sen. Reed Smoot and the Church. This action helped defuse an anti-Mormon propaganda surge of 1910-11.
The Church colonists in northern Mexico exited the country due to unsettled conditions during the revolution.
September — The Church’s first seminary began at Granite High School in Salt Lake City, marking the beginning of a released-time weekday education program for young Latter-day Saints. As the seminary program grew, the Church phased out its involvement in academies, which were Church-sponsored high schools or junior colleges. By 1924, only the Juarez Academy in Mexico remained.
Nov. 8 — The First Presidency created a Correlation Committee, headed by Elder David O. McKay of the Quorum of the Twelve, and asked it to coordinate scheduling and prevent unnecessary duplication in programs of Church auxiliaries.
The Church established the Maori Agricultural College in New Zealand. It was destroyed by an earthquake in 1931 and was never rebuilt.
May 21 — The Boy Scout program was officially adopted by the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association and became the activity program for boys of the Church.
January — The Relief Society Magazine appeared as a monthly publication containing lesson material for use in the women’s auxiliary of the Church. The magazine carried stories, poetry, articles, homemaking helps, news and lesson material until it ceased publication in December 1970, when the Ensign magazine became the magazine for adults in the Church.
Dec. 19 — Under the pall of war, missionaries were removed from France, Germany, Switzerland and Belgium, prior to World War I.
April 27 — The First Presidency inaugurated the “Home Evening” program, inviting all families to participate.
September — James E. Talmage’s influential book Jesus the Christ was published.
Fall — The first college classes were taught at Ricks College, which had been Ricks Academy.
Feb. 21 — The longest and bloodiest battle of World War I, the Battle of Verdun, began in France, resulting in the death of 1 million soldiers.
June 30 — The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve issued a doctrinal exposition clarifying the use of the title “Father” as it is applied to Jesus Christ.
April 6 — On the opening day of the 87th Annual General Conference of the Church, the United States entered World War I as it declared war against Germany.
Oct. 2 — The Church Administration Building at 47 E. South Temple was completed.
May — To alleviate shortages during World War I, the Relief Society, which had been gathering and storing wheat since 1876, sold 205,518 bushels of wheat to the U.S. government at a government price, with approval of the First Presidency and the Presiding Bishopric.
Oct. 3 — While contemplating the meaning of Christ’s atonement, President Joseph F. Smith received a manifestation on the salvation of the dead and the visit of the Savior to the spirit world after His crucifixion. A report of the experience was published in December and was added first to the Pearl of Great Price and then to the Doctrine and Covenants June 6, 1979, as Section 138.
Nov. 11 — World War I ended, as Germany signed an armistice with the Allies.
Nov. 19 — President Joseph F. Smith died six days after his 80th birthday. Because of an epidemic of influenza, no public funeral was held for the Church president.
Nov. 23 — President Heber J. Grant was ordained and set apart as the seventh president of the Church during a meeting of the Twelve in the Salt Lake Temple. He selected Presidents Anthon H. Lund and Charles W. Penrose as counselors.
April — The April general conference of the Church was postponed due to the nationwide influenza epidemic. The conference was held June 1-3.
Oct. 10 — King Albert and Queen Elizabeth of Belgium attended a recital on Temple Square in Salt Lake City to hear the Tabernacle organ.
Nov. 27 — President Heber J. Grant dedicated the temple at Laie, Hawaii, the first temple outside the continental United States. Construction had begun soon after the site was dedicated in June 1915.
In response to Church growth and need for a more cost-effective use of building funds, an “authentic form of LDS architecture” was developed. that structurally joined the previously separate chapel and classrooms with the recreational or cultural hall through a connecting foyer/office/ classroom complex.
Elder David O. McKay of the Quorum of the Twelve and President Hugh J. Cannon of the Liberty Stake in Salt Lake City traveled 55,896 miles in a world survey of Church missions for the First Presidency. The pair visited the Saints in the Pacific Islands, New Zealand, Australia and Asia and then made stops in India, Egypt, and Palestine before visiting the missions of Europe.
May — Primary Children’s Hospital opened in Salt Lake City.
The Church purchased a part of the Hill Cumorah. Additional acquisitions in 1928 gave the Church possession of the entire hill and adjacent lands.
Jan. 21 — The first stake outside the traditional Mormon cultural area was created in Los Angeles, Calif.
Aug. 26 — President Heber J. Grant dedicated the Alberta Temple in Cardston, Alberta, Canada, which had been under construction for nearly a decade.
March 21 — A First Presidency statement answered criticism of unauthorized plural marriages by once again confirming the Church’s policy against the practice. Polygamists within the Church were excommunicated when discovered.
Oct. 3 — Radio broadcast of general conference began on KSL in Salt Lake City, the Church-owned station. Coverage was expanded into Idaho in 1941.
Feb. 3 — President Heber J. Grant dedicated a remodeled home at 31 N. State St. in Salt Lake City as the Church’s missionary home, offering the first organized training for missionaries in gospel topics, Church procedures, personal health and proper manners.
July 24 — In the famous “Scopes Monkey Trial,” John T. Scopes, a Tennessee school teacher, was found guilty of teaching evolution in a public school.
September — The First Presidency issued a statement, ” ‘Mormon’ View of Evolution,” which, in part, stated: “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, basing its belief on divine revelation, ancient and modern, declares man to be the direct and lineal offspring of Deity.”
Dec. 6 — Elder Melvin J. Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve established a mission in South America with headquarters in Buenos Aires, Argentina, opening the Church’s official work in South America, which he dedicated for the preaching of the gospel on Dec. 25.
May 21 — Charles Lindbergh, aboard his “Spirit of St. Louis” monoplane, completed the first transatlantic solo flight from New York City to Paris, a distance of 3,610 miles, in 33 1/2 hours.
Oct. 23 — President Heber J. Grant dedicated the Arizona Temple at Mesa, completing a project begun six years before. Dedicatory services were broadcast by radio.
The Church purchased Hill Cumorah in western New York.
January — The Church published its first Melchizedek Priesthood handbook.
The YMMIA introduced a Vanguard program for 15- and 16-year-old boys. After the National Boy Scout organization created the Explorer program in 1933, patterned in part after the Vanguards, the Church adopted Explorer Scouting.
Priesthood quorums began meeting during the Sunday School hour for gospel instruction under a correlated experiment lasting 10 years. This priesthood Sunday School experiment included classes for all age groups, with Tuesday evening reserved as an activity night for both priesthood and young women.
July 15 — The Tabernacle Choir started a weekly network radio broadcast on NBC. Richard L. Evans joined the program with his sermonettes in June 1930. “Music and the Spoken Word” eventually switched to KSL Radio on the CBS network, and has since become the longest continuing network radio broadcast in history.
Oct. 29 — The New York Stock Market collapsed in frantic trading, a dramatic beginning of the Great Depression.
November — The official publication of the Sunday School began publishing under the name of The Instructor. From 1877 until 1929, the publication was The Juvenile Instructor. The name change reflected the growing use of articles on teaching methods and gospel subjects to be used by the several Church organizations.
April 6 — The centennial of the Church’s organization was observed at general conference in the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City. B.H. Roberts prepared his Comprehensive History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a centennial memorial.
March 21 — A 10-reel film of the history of the Church was completed.
April 6 — The first edition of the Church News was printed by the Church’s Deseret News.
Jan. 10 — The first missionary training classes began, which were to be organized in every ward throughout the Church.
February — The Lion House, home of Brigham Young and a noted landmark of Salt Lake City, was turned over to the Young Ladies Mutual Improvement Association by the Church for a social center for women and young ladies. Another of Brigham Young’s homes, the Beehive House, was previously placed under the direction of the YLMIA as a girls’ home.
Jan. 30 — Adolf Hitler was named chancellor of Germany, capping a 10-year rise to power.
Feb. 21 — The Church began a six-day commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Word of Wisdom revelation with special observances in every ward.
June 1 — The Church opened a 500-foot exhibit in the Hall of Religions at the Century of Progress World’s Fair in Chicago, Ill. The exhibit was prepared by famed LDS sculptor Avard Fairbanks.
July 26 — The first effort to mark the historic sites in Nauvoo, Ill., was made by the Relief Society when it placed a monument at the site of its organization in 1842 in Joseph Smith’s store.
Nov. 5 — The First Presidency and four members of the Quorum of the Twelve participated in the dedication of the Washington, D.C., meetinghouse, which was adorned by a statue of the Angel Moroni atop its 165-foot spire.
The general board of the Sunday School officially recognized the Junior Sunday School, which had been part of some ward programs for many years.
Jan. 17 — New headquarters of the Genealogical Society of Utah, located in the Joseph F. Smith Memorial Building on North Main Street in Salt Lake City, was formally opened. The building previously was part of the campus of the LDS College.
Aug. 2 — Adolf Hitler took control of Germany after the death of President Paul von Hindenburg.
Jan. 10 — In a change of policy, members of the Quorum of the Twelve were released from auxiliary leadership positions as presiding officers and general board members.
July 21 — President Heber J. Grant dedicated the Hill Cumorah Monument near Palmyra, N.Y.
A separate Aaronic Priesthood program for adults, recommended by the General Priesthood Committee on Outlines 20 years earlier, was introduced.
April — The Church introduced a formal welfare program to assist in emergency situations of needy Church members and those unemployed. Called the Church Security Program at first, it was renamed the Church Welfare Program in 1938. Later it expanded its services with the addition of local production programs.
January — The First Presidency officially adopted the practice widely utilized over several preceding decades of ordaining worthy young men in the Aaronic Priesthood at specific ages. The recommended ages for advancement from deacon to teacher to priest to elder have changed from time to time since 1937.
Feb. 20 — A portion of the Nauvoo Temple lot in Nauvoo, Ill., returned to Church ownership when Wilford C. Wood, representing the Church, purchased the property.
July — The Hill Cumorah pageant, “America’s Witness for Christ,” began on an outdoor stage on the side of the Hill Cumorah in New York.
Sept. 12 — President Heber J. Grant returned to Salt Lake City after a three-month tour of Europe, where he visited with Church members and missionaries in 11 countries. He dedicated nine meetinghouses and gave some 55 addresses, including the principal address at the British Mission Centennial Conference at Rochdale, England, on Aug. 1.
Aug. 14 — The first Deseret Industries store opened in Salt Lake City to provide work opportunities for the elderly and handicapped. Part of the Welfare Program, a growing network of stores still offers used furniture, clothing and other items.
November — The Genealogical Society of Utah had its own camera and began microfilming baptism and sealing records of the Salt Lake, Logan, Manti and St. George temples.
June 19 — Wilford Wood purchased the Liberty Jail in Missouri on behalf of the Church.
Aug. 24 — The First Presidency directed all missionaries in Germany to move to neutral countries. Later the missionaries were instructed to leave Europe and return to the United States. The last group arrived in New York Nov. 6, 1939.
Sept. 1 — World War II began when Nazi Germany invaded Poland. Britain and France declared war on Germany two days later.
Oct. 6 — The First Presidency message on world peace was delivered in general conference by President Heber J. Grant.
Jan. 28 — The Mormon Battalion Monument was dedicated in San Diego, Calif.
The Presiding Bishopric inaugurated a new membership record system.
April 6 — In general conference, the First Presidency announced the new position of Assistant to the Twelve, and the first five Assistants were called and sustained.
Dec. 7 — The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, killing 2,403 Americans and wounding 1,178. The next day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress for a declaration of war against Japan. Four days later, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States, and on the same day the U.S. declared war on the European dictatorships.
Jan. 4 — The Church observed a special fast Sunday in conjunction with a national day of prayer called by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Feb. 28 — It was announced that due to World War II, the Relief Society general conference scheduled for April, which had been planned to commemorate the centennial anniversary of the founding of the Relief Society, along with centennial celebrations in the stakes, would not be held. Rather, celebrations were to be held on the ward and branch level.
March 23 — The First Presidency announced that for the duration of World War II it would call only older men who had been ordained high priests or seventies on full-time missions.
April 4-6 — Because of limitations on travel, the annual April general conference was closed to the general Church membership and confined to General Authorities and presidencies of the 141 stakes. The First Presidency on April 5, 1942, closed the Tabernacle for the duration of the war. Conference sessions were held in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square and in the assembly room of the Salt Lake Temple.
April 18 — May Green Hinckley, general president of the Primary Association, announced that the presiding officers of the Primary on all levels would henceforth be known as “presidents” rather than “superintendents.”
July — Church Welfare leaders urged members to plant gardens, to bottle as many fruits and vegetables as they could utilize, and to store coal.
Aug. 17 — The USS Brigham Young, a Liberty class ship, was christened.
March 7 — The Navajo-Zuni Mission was formed, the first mission designated only for Indians.
May 22 — USS Joseph Smith, a Liberty class ship, was launched in Richmond, Calif. Ceremonies included a tribute to Joseph Smith and a description of the Church’s part in the war effort.
July 24 — The MIA completed a war service project to purchase aircraft rescue boats by purchasing war bonds. The project began May 11 and ended with 87 stakes raising a total of $3.1 million, enough to purchase 52 boats, which cost $60,000 each.
Sept. 9 — United States troops invaded Italy.
March — The Church announced the purchase of Spring Hill in Missouri, known in Church history as Adam-ondi-Ahman. (See D&C 116.). Final deeds for the purchase were dated June 27, 1944, the 100th anniversary of the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith. The deed to the land was passed on to the Church by Eugene Johnson, whose family had been in possession of the property for a century.
May 15 — A 12-page monthly Church News for the 70,000 LDS servicemen was inaugurated by the First Presidency in order to keep more closely in touch with the servicemen.
June 6 — Allied forces, numbering 130,000 men, invaded Europe at Normandy, France, on “D-Day” breaking the Nazi stranglehold on the Continent and leading to the eventual surrender of Germany.
June 25 — Memorial services were held in each ward to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith. Special services were also held in Carthage Jail on June 27.
July — The Church organized the Committee on Publications comprised of General Authorities to supervise the preparation and publication of all Church literature.
November — The name of the Genealogical Society of Utah was changed to the Genealogical Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Nov. 28 — Young Women’s Mutual Improvement Association celebrated its 75th anniversary. A plaque was dedicated by President Heber J. Grant and placed in the Lion House where the initial organization had taken place.
May 14 — President Heber J. Grant died in Salt Lake City at age 88.
May 21 — At a special meeting of the Quorum of the Twelve in the Salt Lake Temple, the First Presidency was reorganized with President George Albert Smith ordained and set apart as the eighth president of the Church. Presidents J. Reuben Clark Jr. and David O. McKay, counselors to President Grant, were called also as counselors to President Smith.
July 16 — The First Presidency authorized monthly priesthood and auxiliary leadership meetings if they could be held without violating government restrictions concerning use of gas and rubber.
September — The First Presidency began calling mission presidents for areas vacated during the war. This process continued through 1946. The sending of missionaries soon followed the appointment of mission presidents. By the end of 1946, 3,000 missionaries were in the field.
Also, the Tabernacle was opened to the general public for the first time since March 1942.
Sept. 2 — Formal ceremonies of surrender, ending World War II — history’s deadliest and most far-reaching conflict — were held aboard the battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay. Japan had surrendered on Aug. 14 (V-J Day); Germany on May 8 (V-E Day).
Sept. 23 — The Idaho Falls Temple was dedicated by President George Albert Smith.
Oct. 5-7 — The first general, unrestricted conference of the Church in four years was held in the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City. (During World War II, general conferences were limited to general, stake, and ward priesthood leaders.)
Nov. 3 — President George Albert Smith met with U.S. President Harry S. Truman in the White House and presented the Church’s plans to use its welfare facilities to help relieve the suffering of Latter-day Saints in Europe.
January — The Church began sending supplies to the Saints in Europe. This continued for the next several years.
Feb. 4 — Elder Ezra Taft Benson of the Quorum of the Twelve, newly called as president of the European Mission, left New York for Europe to administer to the physical and spiritual needs of members there. He traveled throughout Europe for most of the year, visiting Saints who had been isolated by the war, distributing Church welfare supplies, and setting the branches of the Church in order.
May — President George Albert Smith became the first president of the Church to visit Mexico. While in the country, he met with Manuel Avila Camacho, president of Mexico.
May 2 — The First Presidency instructed local Church leaders that in meetings where the sacrament is passed, it should be passed to the presiding officer first.
The Church reached the 1 million-member mark. May — The vast project of revising early scripture translations and translating the scriptures into additional languages was begun by the Church offices.
July 22 — A caravan of wagon-canopied automobiles of the same number of people as the original pioneer company, arrived in Salt Lake City after following the Mormon Pioneer Trail.
July 24 — Church members celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Pioneers’ arrival in Salt Lake Valley. The “This Is the Place” monument was dedicated by President George Albert Smith.
November — Some 75 tons of potatoes, raised and donated by Dutch members, were delivered to needy families in Germany. A year later, the German Saints harvested their own crop of potatoes.
December — Fast day was set aside for the relief of those in need in Europe. About $210,000 was collected and then distributed to Europeans of all faiths by an agency not connected with the Church.
Also in December, more than one million people visited Temple Square in one year for the first time.
Dec. 1 — An ambitious project to microfilm European records was started by the Genealogical Society.
Dec. 20 — President George Albert Smith announced that following the end of World War II, the Church had the responsibility to carry the gospel to the people at home and abroad, a missionary posture leading to the internationalization of the Church.
April — Mission presidents from around the world reported increasing numbers of baptisms. An expanded building program was started.
June — It was announced that Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho, would become a four-year college in the 1949-50 school year.
Oct. 17 — The Tabernacle Choir performed its 1,000th national broadcast over radio.
December — Significant increases were made among the Indian membership in the Southwest states.
April 5 — At a special welfare meeting held in conjunction with general conference, the Welfare Program was declared a permanent program of the Church.
A film made by the Church in Hollywood, The Lord’s Way, was introduced.
October — For the first time, general conference was broadcast publicly over KSL television in Salt Lake City, although since April 1948 it had been carried by closed-circuit television to other buildings on Temple Square.
Feb. 24 — The last two missionaries of the Czechoslovakian Mission were released from prison after 27 days and expelled from communist Czechoslovakia.
Feb. 25 — Missionaries returned to Hong Kong for the first time since 1853.
March — The Tahitian mission purchased an 81-foot yacht for mission travel.
June 1 — President George Albert Smith dedicated a statue of Brigham Young at the nation’s Capitol.
July 1 — The responsibility of the LDS girls’ program was transferred from the Presiding Bishopric to the Young Women’s Mutual Improvement Association, where it remained until 1974.
September — Early morning seminaries were inaugurated in Southern California. This was the beginning of a movement that spread seminary throughout the Church on an early morning, nonreleased-time basis.
April 4 — President George Albert Smith died in Salt Lake City at age 81.April 9 — President David O. McKay was sustained as ninth president of the Church, with Presidents Stephen L Richards and J. Reuben Clark Jr. as counselors.
July 20 — Because the Korean War reduced the number of young elders being called as missionaries, the First Presidency issued a call for seventies to help fill the need. Many married men subsequently served full-time missions.
A Systematic Program for Teaching the Gospel was published for use by the missionaries of the Church. This inaugurated the use of a standard plan of missionary work throughout the Church, although the specific format of the various lessons was modified from time to time.
March 2 — The new Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City was dedicated. Half the cost of the building had been raised by children of the Church through the continuing Primary penny drive.
April 5 — The Church began carrying the priesthood session of general conference by direct telephone wire to buildings beyond Temple Square.
June — President David O. McKay made a six-week tour of European missions and branches in Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Germany, Switzerland, Wales, Scotland and France. During this trip he announced Bern, Switzerland, as site of the first European temple.
Oct. 6 — A letter from the Presiding Bishopric introduced a new Senior Aaronic Priesthood program, with men over 21 years of age organized into separate Aaronic Priesthood quorums. Subsequently, special weekday classes were encouraged in each stake to prepare these brethren for the Melchizedek Priesthood and temple ordinances.
Nov. 25 — Elder Ezra Taft Benson of the Quorum of the Twelve was chosen Secretary of Agriculture by Dwight D. Eisenhower, newly elected president of the United States. Elder Benson served in that capacity for eight years.
Dec. 31 — A letter from the First Presidency announced that the Primary Association had been assigned the duty of establishing the Cub Scout program of the Boy Scouts of America for boys of the Church.
March 25 — The First Presidency announced that returning missionaries would no longer report directly to General Authorities but, rather, to their stake presidency and high council.
July 9 — Organization of the United Church School System, with Ernest L. Wilkinson as administrator, was publicly announced.
October — The semiannual conference of the Church was broadcast by television for the first time outside the Intermountain area.
Jan. 2 — President David O. McKay left Salt Lake City on a trip to London, England; South Africa; and South and Central America. He returned in mid-February, and at that point had visited every existing mission of the Church. He was the first president of the Church to visit the South African Mission.
July — The Church announced the inauguration of the Indian Placement Program, whereby Indian students of elementary- and secondary-school age could be placed in foster homes during the school year in order for them to take advantage of better educational opportunities.
July 21 — The First Presidency announced the establishment of the Church College of Hawaii. The college commenced operation Sept. 26, 1955.
Aug. 31 — The First Presidency approved a plan to ordain young men of the Aaronic Priesthood to the office of teacher at age 14 and priest at age 16. The previous ages were 15 and 17.
A special program of missionary work among the Jewish people was organized. It continued until 1959.
January-February — President David O. McKay took a trip covering more than 45,000 miles to the missions of the South Pacific, selected a site for the New Zealand Temple and discussed plans for the building of a Church college in New Zealand.
July — The Church Building Committee was organized to supervise the vast building program of the Church throughout the world.
August-September — The Tabernacle Choir made a major concert tour of Europe.
Sept. 11 — The Swiss Temple, near Bern, was dedicated by President David O. McKay.
Sept. 26 — The Church College of Hawaii, now BYU-Hawaii, was opened.
Dec. 27 — A letter from the Presiding Bishopric announced that students at BYU would be organized into campus wards and stakes beginning Jan. 8, 1956. This move set the pattern for student wards to be organized at Church colleges and institutes of religion wherever their numbers warranted it.
Jan. 1 — Frederick S. Williams, former mission president in Argentina and Uruguay, moved with his family to Peru and contacted Church headquarters for permission to organize a branch and begin missionary work. First missionaries arrived Aug. 7, 1956.
Jan. 8 — The first campus wards and stakes in the Church were organized at BYU.
March 11 — President David O. McKay dedicated the Los Angeles Temple.
Oct. 3 — The new Relief Society Building in Salt Lake City was dedicated.
July — The Pacific Board of Education was organized to supervise all Church schools in the Pacific area.
October — The semiannual general conference was canceled due to a flu epidemic.
A new program for convert integration was adopted during the year, having been previously tried on a pilot basis in several stakes.
April 20 — The New Zealand Temple was dedicated by President David O. McKay.
Sept. 7 — The London Temple was dedicated by President David O. McKay.
Dec. 17 — The Church College of Hawaii in Laie, Hawaii, was dedicated by President David O. McKay.
April 6 — President David O. McKay issued his famous “Every member a missionary” slogan.
Nov. 29 — The Tabernacle Choir received a Grammy award for its recording of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” at the first television awards show of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles, Calif.
Jan. 3 — The First Presidency inaugurated a three-month series of weekly Sunday evening fireside programs for youth. President David O. McKay addressed an estimated 200,000 youth at the opening fireside, carried by direct telephone wire to 290 stake centers in the United States, western Canada, and Hawaii.
Also in January, the Church began setting up the administrative framework for a large building program in Europe. By early 1961, administrative building areas outside North America had been established for all parts of the world where the Church existed, and the labor missionary program, which originated in the South Pacific in the early 1950s, was utilized in each area.
March — The First Presidency requested the General Priesthood Committee, with Elder Harold B. Lee of the Quorum of the Twelve as chairman, to make a study of Church programs and curriculum with the object of providing for better “correlation.”
July 21 — First Presidency issues statement allowing young men to serve missions at age 19, even though they had not met educational and military qualifications previously required.
March 12 — The first non-English-speaking stake of the Church was organized at The Hague in The Netherlands.
June-July — A number of significant developments took place that revamped the missionary program. The first seminar for all mission presidents was held June 26-July 27 in Salt Lake City, at which new programs were outlined. Also, a new teaching plan of six lessons to be used in every mission of the Church was officially presented, as was the “every member a missionary” program. The missions of the world were divided into nine areas, and a General Authority was called to administer each area.
November — A Language Training Institute was established at Brigham Young University for missionaries called to foreign countries. In 1963, it became the Language Training Mission.
Dec. 3 — The first Spanish-speaking stake in the Church was created in Mexico City.
Feb. 20 — John Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth, a feat he accomplished in one hour and 37 minutes aboard the Friendship 7 space capsule.
April — At the 132nd Annual Conference, the first seminar of General Authorities and presidents of stakes outside North America was held.
Oct. 10 — The Church purchased a shortwave radio station, WRUL, with a transmitter in Boston and studios in New York City. It was subsequently used to transmit Church broadcasts to Europe and South America.
Oct. 12 — The Polynesian Cultural Center, located near the Church College of Hawaii and the temple in Laie, Hawaii, was dedicated.
December — Church storage vaults for records in Little Cottonwood Canyon were completed. They were dedicated on June 22, 1966.
January — A new program of home teaching, replacing ward teaching, was officially inaugurated throughout the Church after having been presented in stake conferences during the last half of 1963.
Jan. 28 — Temple Square and the Lion House in Salt Lake City were recognized as National Historic Landmarks by the federal government.
March — Two LDS schools were opened in Chile, one in Santiago and the other in Vina del Mar. During the early 1970s, the Church opened an elementary school in Paraguay, one in Bolivia and one in Peru.
April — The Mormon Pavilion opened at the New York World’s Fair. The Church also built elaborate pavilions for subsequent expositions in San Antonio, Texas (1968); Japan (1970); and Spokane, Wash. (1974).
April 26 — The first meetinghouse in Asia was dedicated for the Tokyo North Branch in Japan.
Nov. 17 — The Oakland Temple was dedicated by President David O. McKay.
January — The family home evening program was inaugurated and wards had a choice of which night in the week to hold home evenings. A weekly home evening had been encouraged before by Church leaders, but now the Church published a formal family home evening manual, which was placed in every LDS home.
Jan. 18 — The Tabernacle Choir sang at the inauguration of U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson in Washington, D.C.
February — The Italian government gave permission for LDS missionaries to proselyte in the country. No missionary work had been done there since 1862.
September — Because of the war in Vietnam, a missionary quota of two per ward was established within the United States to comply with Selective Service requests.
October — With the appointment of President Joseph Fielding Smith and Elder Thorpe B. Isaacson as counselors, President David O. McKay announced that the First Presidency would be increased to five, instead of three members.
May 1 — The first stake in South America was organized at Sao Paulo, Brazil.
August — A new visitors center on Temple Square was opened to tourists. While this would be the most elaborate center, it represented a trend of building visitors centers at historic sites and temples and at various other locations during the 1960s and 1970s.
April — For the first time, seven Mexican television and radio stations carried a session of general conference.
June 10 — The Six-Day War in the Middle East ended with Israel holding conquered Arab territory four times its own size.
Sept. 29 — The new administrative position of regional representative of the Twelve was announced, and the first 69 regional representatives were called and given their initial training.
Feb. 2 — Six missionaries from the Taiwan and Hong Kong zones of the Southern Far East Mission were transferred to Thailand to begin missionary work.
Oct. 22 — The Church received official recognition in Spain. The first missionaries arrived in June, 1969.
January — Two-month language training missions began. Language training for missionaries prior to their departure to their mission field first began during the early 1960s for Spanish, Portuguese and German language missions.
Jan. 20 — The Tabernacle Choir sang at U.S. President Richard M. Nixon’s inauguration in Washington, D.C.
July 20 — U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon when he descended from the lunar module Eagle; he was followed 18 minutes later by Edwin Aldrin, pilot of the lunar module.
Nov. 1 — The Southeast Asia Mission formally opened with headquarters in Singapore. In January 1970, the first missionaries were sent to Indonesia, which was part of the mission.
January — A computerized system for recording and reporting Church contributions went into operation.
Jan. 18 — President David O. McKay died in Salt Lake City at age 96.
Jan. 23 — President Joseph Fielding Smith was ordained and set apart as the 10th president of the Church and chose Presidents Harold B. Lee and N. Eldon Tanner as counselors.
March 15 — The first stake in Asia was organized in Tokyo, Japan.
March 22 — The first stake in Africa was organized in Transvaal, South Africa.
October — Monday was designated for family home evening throughout the Church; no other Church activity was to be scheduled during that time.
January — Publication of new Church magazines began: the Ensign for adults, the New Era for youth and the Friend for children.
Aug. 27-29 — The first area conference of the Church was held in Manchester, England. Before the program of holding large area conferences ended in 1980, 63 were held throughout the world.
September — All LDS women were automatically enrolled as members of the Relief Society; dues were eliminated.
Church sports tournaments and dance festivals were directed to be held on a regional basis instead of an all-Church basis.
Jan. 14 — The Church Historical Department was formed in a reorganization of the Church Historian’s Office. Church library, archives, and history divisions were created within the new department.
Jan. 18 — The Ogden Temple was dedicated by President Joseph Fielding Smith.
Feb. 9 — The Provo Temple was dedicated by President Smith.
July 2 — President Smith died in Salt Lake City at age 95.
July 7 — President Harold B. Lee was ordained and set apart as the 11th president of the Church, with Presidents N. Eldon Tanner and Marion G. Romney as counselors.
November — The MIA was realigned into the Aaronic Priesthood and Melchizedek Priesthood MIA and was placed directly under priesthood leadership.
A new set of missionary lessons was completed for use in all missions. It was the first change in missionary lessons since 1961.
February — The first Church agricultural missionaries to leave the United States were sent to the Guatemala-El Salvador Mission.
Feb. 4 — The Marriott Activities Center at BYU was dedicated. Seating 22,000, it was the largest such arena on any university campus in the United States.
March 8 — The first stake on mainland Asia was organized in Seoul, Korea.
April 7 — The creation of the Welfare Services Department was announced in general conference. The new organization brought the three welfare units — health services, social services and welfare — into full correlation.
Dec. 26 — President Harold B. Lee died in Salt Lake City at age 74.
Dec. 30 — President Spencer W. Kimball was ordained and set apart as the 12th president of the Church, with Presidents N. Eldon Tanner and Marion G. Romney as counselors.
March 23 — In an exchange of pioneer homes, the Church traded the Brigham Young Forest Farm home in Salt Lake City to the state of Utah for use in the state’s Pioneer State Park. The Church acquired the Brigham Young winter home in St. George and the Jacob Hamblin home in nearby Santa Clara, Utah, for use as visitor and information centers.
June 23 — MIA was dropped from the name of Church youth programs.
Sept. 1 — Church College of Hawaii became a branch of Brigham Young University and was renamed Brigham Young University-Hawaii Campus.
Sept. 6 — The First Presidency announced that the Church was divesting itself of its 15 hospitals in three western states and turning them over to a non-Church, non-profit organization, Intermountain Health Care. The Church completed the legal steps for divesting the hospitals on March 21, 1975.
Oct. 3 — Seventies quorums were authorized in all stakes and all quorums in the Church were renamed after the stake.
Nov. 19 — President Spencer W. Kimball dedicated the Washington Temple at Kensington, Md. Visitors during pre-dedication tours September through November totaled 758,327, topping the previous record of 662,401 at the Los Angeles Temple in 1956.
May 3 — Citing accelerated growth of the Church worldwide, the First Presidency announced the creation of an area supervisory program and the assignment of six Assistants to the Twelve to oversee Church activities while residing outside the United States and Canada. The number of these foreign areas was increased to eight later in the year.
May 17 — A supervisory program for missions in the United States and Canada was announced, along with the assignment of members of the Quorum of the Twelve as advisers and other General Authorities as supervisors of the 12 areas.
June 27 — The end of auxiliary conferences was announced during the opening session of the 1975 June Conference. These conferences would be replaced with annual regional meetings for priesthood and auxiliary leaders.
July 24 — The 28-story Church Office Building in Salt Lake City was dedicated by President Spencer W. Kimball.
Aug. 8-17 — President Kimball spoke to a total of 44,500 members at five area conferences in the Far East, Japan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea
Oct. 3 — President Kimball announced in general conference the organization of the First Quorum of the Seventy, and the first three members of the quorum were sustained.
Oct. 6-11 — Brigham Young University observed its 100th anniversary during homecoming week.
Nov. 7-9 — Incident to the rapid growth of the Church in Mexico, 15 stakes were created in Mexico City in one weekend.
Nov. 18 — The Church Genealogical Department was organized with five divisions, two of which were formerly known as the Genealogical Society.
Feb. 15- March 2 — A total of 53,000 members in the South Pacific attended nine area conferences in American Samoa, Western Samoa, New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga, Tahiti, and Australia to hear counsel from President Spencer W. Kimball and other General Authorities.
April 3 — Members attending general conference accepted Joseph Smith’s Vision of the Celestial Kingdom and Joseph F. Smith’s Vision of the Redemption of the Dead for addition to the Pearl of Great Price. These scriptures became part of the Doctrine and Covenants on June 6, 1979.
June 5 — The Teton Dam in southeastern Idaho burst, sending a wall of water, between 12 and 20 feet high, onto the mostly LDS towns below. About 40,000 people, most of them members of the Church, were driven from their homes.
June 18-22 — President Kimball spoke at three area conferences in England and Scotland, which were attended by more than a total of 17,000 members.
June 25 — Missouri Gov. Christopher S. Bond signed an executive order rescinding the extermination order issued in 1838 by Gov. Lilburn W. Boggs.
July 4 — President Kimball spoke at a Church-sponsored U.S. Bicentennial devotional attended by more than 23,000 people at the Capitol Centre in Landover, Md. Numerous additional activities involved Church members in the United States during the year-long Bicentennial observance.
July 31- Aug. 8 — President Kimball addressed a total of 25,000 members from 12 countries in Europe at five area conferences in France, Finland, Denmark, The Netherlands and Germany.
Oct. 1 – Members of the First Council of the Seventy and the Assistants to the Twelve were released in general conference and called to the new First Quorum of the Seventy. Franklin D. Richards was named the first senior president.
Jan. 1 — The First Presidency announced a new format for general conferences. General sessions would be held on the first Sunday of each April and October and the preceding Saturday. Regional representative seminars would be held on the preceding Friday.
Feb. 5 — The First Presidency announced that the Quorum of the Twelve would oversee ecclesiastical matters and the Presiding Bishopric would have responsibility for temporal programs.
May 14 — A bishops central storehouse, the second in the Church and first outside of Salt Lake City, opened at Colton, Calif. Also, the Young Men program was restructured.
May 22 — Formation of a new Church Activities Committee, with responsibility for coordinating cultural arts and physical activities, was announced.
May 30 — Poland granted legal status to the Church.
July 1 — In response to continued growth in membership worldwide, the geographic subdivisions of the Church, previously known as areas, were renamed zones, and the 11 zones were subdivided into areas. Members of the First Quorum of the Seventy were assigned as zone advisers and area supervisors.
Oct. 1 — The Church published A Topical Guide to the Scriptures of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the first product of a continuing scriptural-aids project established by the First Presidency.
March 31 — President Spencer W. Kimball announced that semiannual rather than quarterly stake conferences would be held starting in 1979.
April 1 — President Kimball emphasized the four-generation program, which later became the basis for the Church’s computerized Ancestral File.
June 9 — In a letter dated June 8 and made public the following day, the First Presidency announced the revelation that worthy men of all races would be eligible to receive the priesthood. On Sept. 30, members accepted the revelation by a sustaining vote at general conference. The First Presidency’s announcement is now Official Declaration – 2 in the Doctrine and Covenants.
July 1 — The Relief Society Monument to Women was dedicated in Nauvoo, Ill., by President Kimball.
Aug. 7 — North Dakota became the final state of the United States to have a stake headquartered within its boundaries when the Fargo North Dakota stake was created.
Sept. 9 — A new missionary training program was announced: Missionaries to English-speaking missions would receive four weeks training while those learning other languages would continue to receive eight weeks training at the new Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, which replaced the Language Training Mission and the Mission Home in Salt Lake City.
Sept. 16 — Women and girls 12 years of age and over gathered for a first-ever special closed-circuit audio conference, similar to general conference priesthood broadcasts.
Sept. 30 — A new special emeritus status for General Authorities was announced in general conference, and seven members of the First Quorum of the Seventy were so designated.
Oct. 26 — The Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, previously the Language Training Mission constructed in 1976, began training all missionaries.
Nov. 9 — Elder and Sister Rendell N. Mabey and Elder and Sister Edwin Q. Cannon arrived in Nigeria as special representatives of the Church to open missionary work in West Africa.
Feb. 3 — The Church Genealogical Department announced a new “family entry system” to allow submissions of names of deceased ancestors for temple work whose birthplaces and birthdates are unknown.
Feb. 18 — The Church’s 1,000th stake was created at Nauvoo, Ill., by President Ezra Taft Benson of the Quorum of the Twelve.
June 6 — Joseph Smith’s Vision of the Celestial Kingdom and Joseph F. Smith’s Vision of the Redemption of the Dead were transferred from the Pearl of Great Price to the Doctrine and Covenants, becoming Sections 137 and 138, respectively.
Sept. 12-14 — The Tabernacle Choir, which celebrated the golden anniversary of its nationally broadcast radio program in July, toured Japan and Korea.
Sept. 29 — A new 2,400-page edition of the King James version of the Bible, with many special features, including a topical guide, a Bible dictionary, and a revolutionary footnote system, was published by the Church.
Oct. 29 — The first two converts of eastern Africa were baptized in Kenya.
Oct. 24 — President Spencer W. Kimball, on a tour of the Middle East, dedicated the Orson Hyde Memorial Gardens on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.
Feb. 22 — The Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy was reorganized to strengthen the lines of administration at Church headquarters. The executive directors of the Missionary, Curriculum, Priesthood and Genealogy departments became members of the presidency.
March 2 — U.S. and Canadian members began a new consolidated meeting schedule that put priesthood, sacrament, and auxiliary meetings into one three-hour time block on Sundays.
April 6 — Celebrating the Church’s 150th anniversary, President Spencer W. Kimball conducted part of general conference from the newly restored Peter Whitmer farmhouse at Fayette, N.Y., the site where the Church was organized. The proceedings in Fayette were linked with the congregation in the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City via satellite, the first time a satellite was used in the Church for transmitting broadcasts of general conference.
May — Missionary work opened in Haiti and Belize.
Oct. 18-Nov. 1 — The last of a series of large area conferences, presided over by the president of the Church, was held in six major cities in the Far East: Manila, Philippines; Hong Kong; Taipei, Taiwan; Seoul, Korea; and Tokyo and Osaka, Japan.
Jan. 20 — The Tabernacle Choir participated in the inaugural festivities for President Ronald Reagan.
April 1 — Plans to build nine smaller temples in the United States, Central America, Asia, Africa and Europe were announced by President Spencer W. Kimball: Chicago, Ill.; Dallas, Texas; Guatemala City, Guatemala; Lima, Peru; Frankfurt, Germany; Stockholm, Sweden; Seoul, Korea; Manila, Philippines; and Johannesburg, South Africa.
April 3 — At the regional representatives meeting, President Spencer W. Kimball outlined three responsibilities to carry out the mission of the Church: Proclaim the gospel, perfect the saints and redeem the dead.
May 5 — The First Presidency publicly voiced its opposition to the proposed basing of the MX missile system in the Utah-Nevada desert.
July 23 — Elder Gordon B. Hinckley was called as a counselor in the First Presidency, the first time since the administration of President David O. McKay that a president had more than two counselors.
Sept. 12 — A smaller, less-expensive ward meetinghouse, called the Sage Plan, was announced by the First Presidency.
Sept. 26 — The first copies of a new version of the Triple Combination (Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price), with extensive scripture helps, were made available to the public.
Oct. 3 — A network of 500 satellite dishes for stake centers outside Utah was announced.
March 18 — Three Church executive councils were created: the Missionary Executive Council, the Priesthood Executive Council, and the Temple and Genealogy Executive Council.
April 1 — It was announced that Church membership had reached the 5-million member mark.
April 2 — At general conference, major changes in financing Church meetinghouses were announced, shifting construction costs to general Church funds and utility costs to local units. Also, the term of service for single elders serving full-time missions was reduced from two years to 18 months.
Sept. 5 — The Mormon Tabernacle Choir celebrated 50 years of continuous weekly broadcasts over the CBS radio network.
Sept. 10 — U.S. President Ronald Reagan visited Utah to tour a Church cannery and see the Church Welfare Program in action.
Oct. 3 — Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve and a member of the Scriptures Publication Committee announced that a subtitle was being added to the Book of Mormon: “Another Testament of Jesus Christ.”
Oct. 30 — A visitors center and historic site opened its doors in the three-story Grandin printing building in Palmyra, N.Y., where the first copies of the Book of Mormon were printed in 1830.
Aug. 5, 9 — For the first time in Church history, two temples were dedicated within a week’s time: the Apia Samoa Temple on Aug. 5 and the Nuku’alofa Tonga Temple on Aug. 9; both by President Gordon B. Hinckley.
Oct. 16 — The first of a series of multi-stake (later known as regional) conferences was held in London, England.
Jan. 7 — Premier Zhao Ziyang of the People’s Republic of China visited the BYU-Hawaii campus and the adjacent Polynesian Cultural Center during the first visit of a Chinese premier to the United States since the People’s Republic of China was formed in 1949.
March 25 — A new program — the Four-Phase Genealogical Facilities Program — was announced, enabling wards and branches to establish genealogical facilities in their meetinghouses.
April 7 — The first members of the First Quorum of the Seventy called for temporary three- to five-year terms were sustained. They were later sustained to the Second Quorum of the Seventy, created in 1989.
June 24 — Members of the First Quorum of the Seventy were appointed to serve as area presidencies in 13 major geographical areas of the Church — seven in the United States and Canada and six in other parts of the world.
Oct. 28 — The Church’s 1,500th stake was created 150 years after the first stake was organized in Kirtland, Ohio. The landmark stake was the Ciudad Obregon Mexico Yaqui Stake.
Nov. 26 — The First Presidency announced that, beginning Jan. 1, the term of full-time missionary service for single elders would again be 24 months. It had been shortened from two years to 18 months in April 1982.
Jan. 27 — Latter-day Saints in the United States and Canada participated in a special fast to benefit victims of famine in Africa and other parts of the world. The fast raised more than $6 million.
June 29 — The Freiberg Temple, located in the German Democratic Republic, then communist-controlled, was dedicated by President Gordon B. Hinckley.
Aug. 2 — A new LDS hymnbook, the first revision in 37 years, came off the presses.
Aug. 24 — The Johannesburg South Africa Temple was dedicated by President Hinckley. With the dedication of this building, there was now a temple on every continent except Antarctica.
Oct. 23 — The Church Genealogical Library in Salt Lake City was dedicated by President Hinckley.
Nov. 5 — President Spencer W. Kimball died in Salt Lake City at age 90.
Nov. 10 — President Ezra Taft Benson was ordained and set apart as the 13th president of the Church, with President Hinckley and President Thomas S. Monson as counselors.
April 30 — Church membership was estimated to have reached the 6-million member milestone.
June 22 — The 1,600th stake of the Church was created by President Monson in Kitchener, Ontario.
July 6 — New missionary discussions, which focus on “teaching from the heart,” were approved for use in all English-speaking missions.
Oct. 4 — Seventies quorums in stakes throughout the Church were discontinued.
Oct. 11 — In the first Churchwide Young Women activity, an estimated 300,000 gathered at sites around the world to release helium-filled balloons containing personal messages from the young women.
Feb. 15 — The Tabernacle Choir marked its 3,000th radio broadcast in a series that had become the longest-running network program in the free world.
March 12 — It was announced that the Church-owned Hotel Utah, a landmark in downtown Salt Lake City for 76 years, would close as a hotel Aug. 31 and be renovated as a meetinghouse and office building.
July 15 — The Genealogical Library celebrated the conversion of the last card from its card catalog to computer.
July 24-26 — Church members throughout Britain commemorated the 150th anniversary of the first missionary work in Great Britain. Thirteen General Authorities, including President Ezra Taft Benson and President Gordon B. Hinckley, attended various events, which included dedication of historical sites, firesides and conferences.
Aug. 15 — The Church’s Genealogical Department was renamed the Family History Department.
Sept. 4 — A letter from the First Presidency announced the discontinuance of the International Mission. Responsibility for its areas reverted to the respective area presidencies of the Church.
Jan. 30-31 — Seven stakes were created in one weekend in Lima, Peru, by Elder Charles Didier of the Seventy.
May 15 — Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve organized the Aba Nigeria Stake, the first Church stake in West Africa.
May 28 — The First Presidency issued a statement on the subject of AIDS, stressing chastity before marriage, fidelity in marriage, and abstinence from homosexual behavior, yet extending sympathy to those who have contracted the disease.
June 1 — The Church was granted legal recognition in Hungary, the first of several such steps in Eastern European nations during the next two years.
August — The Church reached the milestone of having completed 100 million endowments for the dead.
The BYU Folk Dancers were the only North American dance company to perform at opening ceremonies of the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea, viewed by an estimated 1 billion people worldwide.
Oct. 16 — Elder David B. Haight created the 1,700th stake of the Church. The new stake was in Manaus, Brazil, a city of 1.5 million in the heart of the Amazon jungle.
Oct. 24-28 — President Thomas S. Monson led a delegation of Church leaders that met with the German Democratic Republic’s top government officials. It was announced Nov. 12 that the Church had been granted rights to send missionaries to the DDR and for LDS members from the DDR to serve as missionaries in other countries.
El Salvador reached self-sufficiency in local full-time missionaries. Jan. 28 — Elders Russell M. Nelson and Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve completed an eight-day visit to China and were assured by high-level Chinese leaders that people are free to practice religious beliefs in that country.
April 1-2 — The Second Quorum of the Seventy was created and all General Authorities serving under a five-year call were sustained as members, along with another eight newly called General Authorities.
May 16 — The BYU Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies was dedicated by President Howard W. Hunter of the Quorum of the Twelve.
June 14 — LDS missionaries and those of the Jehovah’s Witnesses were expelled from Ghana, a western Africa nation where 6,000 Church members live. The Church had no advance notice of the ban. The LDS missionaries were able to return to Ghana in 1990.
June 15 — Ground was broken for the first LDS meetinghouse in Poland.
June 25 — The 100th stake in Mexico was created in Tecalco. Mexico became the first country outside the United States with 100 or more stakes.
June 27 — The renovated Carthage Jail complex in Illinois, where the Prophet Joseph Smith was martyred, was dedicated by President Gordon B. Hinckley, highlighting activities commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Mormon settlement of Nauvoo, Ill.
Oct. 17 — The first LDS meetinghouse in the Republic of Hungary, located in the capital city of Budapest, was dedicated by President Thomas S. Monson.
Nov. 9 — The Berlin Wall came down, paving the way for eventual unification of East and West Germany.
Nov. 25 — A major change in policy for financing local Church units in the United States and Canada was announced by the First Presidency. Ward members would no longer have stake and ward budget assessments.
Feb. 25 — The Church was officially recognized in Kenya.
April 2 — A new Church software package called FamilySearch, designed to simplify the task of family history research, was released by the Church.
May 21 — The U.S. Supreme Court handed down a unanimous decision that money given directly to missionaries was not a deductible donation under federal tax law. The Church encouraged members to follow established procedures of contributing through their wards.
July — New missions in the Eastern European countries of Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Poland highlighted the record 29 missions created in 1990.
Sept. 13 — Registration of the Leningrad Branch of the Church was approved by the Council on Religious Affairs of the Council of Ministers in the Soviet Union.
November — The First Presidency announced in November a new policy for United States and Canada, effective Jan. 1, 1991, that would equalize contributions required to maintain a full-time missionary.
Nov. 30 — The government of Ghana gave permission for the Church to resume activities in that West African country.
April 19 — Recognition of the Church in the Ivory Coast, the center of French West Africa, was announced at a special meeting of Church members in Abidjan.
April 27 — Fifty years after the Church began keeping individual membership records, it completed computerizing membership records worldwide.
May 1 — The 500,000th full-time missionary in this dispensation was called.
May 26 — The 1,800th stake in the Church, the San Francisco de Macoris Dominican Republic Stake, was created.
June 8 — The Tabernacle Choir embarked on a 21-day tour of eight European countries, including five countries in which the choir had not performed before: Hungary, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland and the Soviet Union.
June 24 — The Russian Republic, the largest in the Soviet Union, granted formal recognition to the Church following the Tabernacle Choir’s concert in Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater.
Sept. 1 — Membership in the Church reached 8 million, about two years after membership hit the 7 million mark in December 1989.
Aug. 15 — Commemorating the “second rescue” of the ill-fated Willie and Martin handcart pioneers, President Hinckley dedicated three monuments in central Wyoming. The Riverton Wyoming Stake researched family histories and performed temple ordinances for those pioneers whose work was not previously done.
Aug. 30 — The Church’s 1,900th stake, the Orlando Florida South Stake, was organized by Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve.
Sept. 26 — The First Presidency authorized the use of humanitarian relief funds to be sent to Somalia and other African nations in the grip of the drought of the century. In an initial response, one million pounds of food was shipped.
Oct. 8 — The Church was legally recognized in Tanzania.
Dec. 6 — The Church reached a milestone of 20,000 wards and branches with the creation of the Harvest Park Ward in the Salt Lake Granger South Stake.
Dec. 15 — A gospel literacy effort sponsored by the Relief Society to help increase literacy throughout the Church was announced in a letter from the First Presidency to priesthood and Relief Society leaders.
Dec. 26 — The Tabernacle Choir left on a tour of the Holy Land. Concerts were later held in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa.
The Church received legal recognition in Italy, Madagascar, Cameroon and Ethiopia.
Jan. 6 — Four Church-service missionaries entered Hanoi, Vietnam, to give humanitarian service, teaching English to doctors and staff at a children’s hospital and to teachers, staff and children at a school for young children.
April 6 — The centennial of the Salt Lake Temple was observed at a Tabernacle Choir special program, and a special mural was placed in the temple.
June 27 — After being refurbished and remodeled, the former Hotel Utah was rededicated and renamed the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, housing office and meeting facilities for the Church and a theater showing the new film “Legacy.”
June 29 — The government of Mexico formally registered the LDS Church, grant-ing it all the rights of a religious organization, including the right to own property.
Feb. 13 — The First Presidency announced that the 87-year-old Uintah Stake Tabernacle in Vernal, Utah, would be renovated and dedicated as Utah’s 10th temple. It was the first existing building to be renovated into a temple.
May 30 — President Ezra Taft Benson, 94, president of the Church for 8 1/2 years, died in Salt Lake City.
June 5 — President Howard W. Hunter was ordained and set apart as the 14th president of the Church. Set apart as his counselors were President Gordon B. Hinckley and President Thomas S. Monson.
Aug. 6 — One-third of the population of the United States has been visited by Church representatives, and 36 percent have friends or relatives who are LDS, the Missionary Department announced.
Jan. 21 — The Church reached 9 million members.March 3 — President Hunter died at his Salt Lake City home after serving as Church president for less than nine months, the shortest tenure of any president.
March 12 — President Gordon B. Hinckley was ordained and set apart as the 15th president of the Church. Set apart as his counselors were President Thomas S. Monson, first counselor, and President James E. Faust, second counselor.
April 1 — A new administrative position, Area Authority, was announced by President Hinckley during the priesthood session of general conference. The position of regional representative was discontinued after 28 years.
June 16 — The International Olympic Committee announced that the site for the 2002 Winter Olympics would be in Salt Lake City.
Sept. 23 — At the annual General Relief Society Meeting, the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve issued a Proclamation to the World on the Family, reaffirming that “the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.”
Dec. 18 — President Hinckley was interviewed by CBS television host Mike Wallace on the show 60 Minutes. The show was broadcast in April 1996.
Feb. 28 — A milestone was reached as a majority of members, 4,720,000, lived outside the United States, compared to 4,719,000 living within.
April 6 — President Gordon B. Hinckley announced at general conference that a new assembly hall four times the size of the Tabernacle would be built.
May 27-28 — President Hinckley, on a tour of the Orient, became the first Church president ever to visit mainland China. He also visited, from May 17 to June 1, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Saipan.
June 17-July 12 — A commemorative wagon train crossed Iowa, retracing the path of the 1846 exodus from Nauvoo, Ill.
Nov. 2 — The First Presidency announced the establishment of Latter-day Saint Charities, a charitable, nonprofit corporation designed to help the Church deliver humanitarian aid to the poor and needy of the world.
Nov. 8-16 — President Hinckley spoke to gatherings of Church members and missionaries in Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and Brazil, and broke ground for temples in Bolivia and Brazil.
Nov. 18 — Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve became the first apostle to address Latter-day Saints in Far East Russia when he spoke in Vladivostok, Russia, in the region of Siberia.
January — The Church in Africa reached a milestone when the 100,000th member on the continent was baptized. The milestone marked the almost doubling of the membership in Africa in six years.
March 9 — Chile became the fourth nation in the world to have 100 or more stakes, with the creation of the Puerto Varas Chile Stake.
April 5 — During general conference, the organization of the Third, Fourth and Fifth Quorums of the Seventy was announced. Area Authorities were then ordained as Seventies, and their titled changed to Area Authority Seventy.
April 19-21 — The commemorative Mormon Trail Wagon Train, which the worldwide public would view as the centerpiece of the sesquicentennial observance of the Mormon Pioneer trek, left from two locations, Council Bluffs, Iowa, on April 19, and Winter Quarters (Omaha), Neb., on April 21. The two contingents would later merge.
May 8-17 — President Hinckley toured the South Pacific nations of New Zealand and Australia, speaking 15 times in seven cities to a total of more than 55,000 members.
June 1 — A letter from the First Presidency announced significant modifications to the curriculum and gospel study program for the Melchizedek Priesthood and Relief Society, providing a similar meeting and instruction schedule for both organizations.
June 15 — The 100th stake in the Church’s Pacific Area, the Suva Fiji North Stake, was created.
July 22 — After 93 days on the trail, the commemorative Mormon Trail Wagon Train from Winter Quarters, Neb., entered Salt Lake City, where they were greeted by about 50,000 cheering people at This Is the Place State Park. There, they heard an address by President Hinckley.
Aug. 7-14 — President Hinckley delivered 12 addresses to about 56,000 people in four nations of South America: Paraguay, Ecuador, Venezuela and Uruguay.
Oct. 4 — It was announced in general conference by President Hinckley that the Church would construct temples in remote areas of the Church that have small LDS populations. The first were to be built in Anchorage, Alaska; in the LDS colonies of northern Mexico; and in Monticello, Utah.
Oct. 10-17 — President. Hinckley addressed a total of 52,500 members in eight islands of the Pacific: Samoa, Hawaii, American Samoa, Tonga, Fiji and Tahiti.
November — Sometime during the first week of November, the Church reached 10 million members, according to Church estimates.
Nov. 8-13 — President Hinckley addressed 42,000 Church members in Mexico City and an additional 12,000 in Puebla, Mexico. On the trip, he met with Mexico’s president, Dr. Ernesto Zedillo.
Feb. 14-22 — President Gordon B. Hinckley became the first Church president ever to visit West Africa during a nine-day tour of Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa. On Feb. 16, he announced plans for the first temple to be built in West Africa, in Ghana.
March 9-15 — President Hinckley addressed more than 53,000 members in 10 cities of northern Mexico: Hermosillo, Ciudad Obregon, Culiacan, Guadalajara, Torreon, Leon, Ciudad Victoria, Monterrey, Chihuahua and Ciudad Juarez.
March 26 — The replica of the Joseph Smith Sr. family log home near Palmyra, N.Y., was dedicated by President Hinckley. The home was the location where the Prophet Joseph Smith was visited in his youth by the Angel Moroni.
March 27 — After 2 1/2 years of reconstruction, the Egbert B. Grandin Building, in Palmyra, N.Y., where the Book of Mormon was published in 1829, was dedicated as a Church historic site by President Hinckley.
April 4 — President Hinckley announced in general conference that the Church would construct an additional 30 smaller temples that would bring the total number of operating temples in the Church to 100 by the year 2000.
July 26 — The Monticello Utah Temple, the prototype for a new generation of small temples in less-populous areas of the Church, was dedicated in southeast Utah by President Hinckley.
Nov. 19-21 — President Hinckley toured areas devastated caused by Hurricane Mitch in Nicaragua and Honduras and spoke to 19,000 members. In all, the Church sent 840,000 pounds of relief supplies to the affected areas.
Feb. 20 — The First Presidency made a landmark announcement that a temple would be built in Palmyra, N.Y.
April 1 — The city of Omaha, Neb., deeded to the Church the pioneer cemetery at historic Winter Quarters, where some 600 Latter-day Saints are buried.
April 4 — In his closing remarks at general conference, President Hinckley made the surprise announcement that the historic Nauvoo Temple would be rebuilt.
May 24 — The FamilySearch Internet Genealogy Service, which promised to be the greatest boon to family research since the invention of the microfilm, was officially launched by President Hinckley.
June 1 — The Mormon Youth Chorus and Symphony was disbanded, and the chorus, renamed the Temple Square Chorale, became a training choir for the Tabernacle Choir. The symphony orchestra was reorganized under a new name, the Orchestra at Temple Square.
Oct. 2-3 — The last general conference in the Tabernacle on Temple Square — the site of general conferences since 1867 — was held. Future general conferences would be held in the new Conference Center.
Nov. 14 — For the first time in the history of the Church, two temples, both in Canada, were dedicated on the same day. The Halifax Nova Scotia Temple was dedicated by President Hinckley and the Regina Saskatchewan Temple was dedicated by President Boyd K. Packer, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve.
Jan. 1 — The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve issued their testimonies of the Savior in a document titled “The Living Christ.”
Late February or early March — The 100 millionth copy of the Book of Mormon, since it was first published in 1830 was printed. Another milestone was reached in 2000 when the Book of Mormon was printed in its 100th language.
April 1-2 — The first general conference to be held in the new Conference Center convened, with more than 400,000 requests for free tickets, far exceeding the 21,000-seat capacity of the hall.
April 6 — The Palmyra New York Temple, located on what was once the 100-acre Joseph Smith Sr. farm and overlooking the Sacred Grove, was dedicated by President Hinckley. An estimated 1.3 million members participated in the first session, via the Church satellite system.
April 23 — The rebuilt Gadfield Elm Chapel, the oldest LDS chapel in England that was constructed in 1836 by members of the United Brethren and given to the Church four years later after 600 members of that faith joined the Church en masse, was rededicated by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve.
May 20-21 – Three temples were dedicated in two days, the first time in the history of the Church that had occurred. They were the Tampico Mexico Temple on May 20, and the Villahermosa Mexico and the Nashville Tennessee temples, both on May 21.
September — The Church reached 11 million members and, for the first time in its 170-year history, it had more non-English-speaking members than English-speaking.
Oct. 1 — The 100th operating temple in the Church, the Boston Massachusetts Temple, was dedicated by President Hinckley.
Oct. 7-8 — The new 21,000-seat Conference Center, across the street north of Temple Square, was dedicated during general conference by President Hinckley.
Nov. 5 — Following a procedure established by the Prophet Joseph Smith for the cornerstone laying of the original Nauvoo Temple April 6, 1841, President Hinckley presided over the dedication of the four cornerstones of the Nauvoo Illinois Temple.
Dec. 19 — The government of Kazakhstan, one of the former republics of what was once the Soviet Union, granted the Church official recognition.
Jan. 20 – At the inauguration of U.S. President George W. Bush, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang in the inaugural parade in Washington, D.C., the sixth time the choir has participated in presidential inauguration festivities.
Feb. 15 – The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve approved a series of guidelines to reaffirm the centrality of the Savior in the name of the Church. Church members, news organizations and others were asked to use the full and correct name of the Church – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – and to avoid use of the term “Mormon Church.”
March 31 – A worldwide Perpetual Education Fund, based on principles similar to those underlying the Perpetual Emigration Fund of the 1800s, was announced by President Gordon B. Hinckley.
Aug. 7 – Sea Trek 2001, an epic voyage of eight tall sailing ships commemorating the 19th century gathering of European converts to Zion, departed from Esbjerg, Denmark, on the first leg of its 59-day journey, which concluded Oct. 4 in New York City.
Aug. 10 — Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho, was officially renamed Brigham Young University-Idaho and became a four-year university.
Sept. 7-8 — The first two meetinghouses built by the Church in the Ukraine Kiev Mission were dedicated on consecutive dates in the districts of Livoberezhny and Svyatoshinsky.
Sept. 20 — President Hinckley was among 26 religious leaders who met at the White House in Washington, D.C., with U.S. President George W. Bush regarding the terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington D.C., on Sept. 11, 2001.
Nov. 11 — The first meetinghouse built by the Church in the Czech Republic was dedicated in Brno.
Dec. 2 — The first meetinghouse in Sri Lanka was dedicated in the capital city of Colombo.
Dec. 17 — After a 32-month absence of proselytizing missionaries in the Republic of Serbia, six missionaries from the Bulgaria Sofia Mission returned to Serbia. Missionaries were withdrawn from the country in March 1999 because of conflict in the region.
Jan. 19 – The first meetinghouse in Serbia was dedicated in Belgrade. Feb. 2 – The first meetinghouse in India, the Rajahmundry Branch, was dedicated.
Feb. 8-24 – Salt Lake City hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics, with the Tabernacle Choir performing in the opening ceremonies to an estimated TV viewing audience of 3.5 billion people.
Some 10,000-20,000 Olympic visitors from many nations visited Temple Square each day.
Feb. 8 – During his brief visit to Salt Lake City to formally open the Winter Oympics, U.S. President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, visited with the First Presidency.
May 22 – The first missionary training center in Africa opened its doors in Tema, Ghana, the 16th missionary training center throughout the world.
June 9 — The first branch of the Church in the Republic of Georgia was formed in Tbilisi.
June 27 – On the 158th anniversary of the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyrum, the rebuilt Nauvoo Illinois Temple was dedicated by President Hinckley.
Sept. 9-10 – President Hinckley became the first Church president to visit Russia and Ukraine.
Jan. 11 — The first-ever global leadership training meeting in the Church by satellite transmission was held for priesthood leaders and transmitted in 56 languages to more than 97 percent of the Church’s priesthood leaders.
March 7 — The Church was granted legal recognition by government officials in Benin, a French-speaking West African coastal nation between Togo and Nigeria.
March 15 — The first meetinghouse in Guyana, an English-speaking Caribbean nation, was dedicated in Georgetown, the capital city.
July 9 — The Apia Samoa Temple was destroyed by fire, marking the first time in Church history an operational temple has burned. The First Presidency announced July 16 that the temple would be rebuilt.
Nov. 30 —The first meetinghouse of the Church in Ethiopia was dedicated in the nation’s capital of Addis Ababa.
Jan. 25 – The first meetinghouse of the Church in Cambodia, a two-story structure in Phnom Penh, was dedicated.
Late January – Membership in the Church passed the 12 million mark.
April 3 – The Sixth Quorum of the Seventy was created in a division of the Fifth Quorum of the Seventy
Aug. 1 – Mexico became the first nation, outside the United States, to reach one million members of the Church.
November – The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve introduce “Preach My Gospel,” a comprehensive and far-reaching program designed to prepare and strengthen missionaries. The 230-page booklet addresses every aspect of missionary service and is considered the most complete, orchestrated effort in the history of the Church to unify the missionary effort.
During 2005, tens of thousands of Latter-day Saint youth participated in commemorative cultural events across the globe in a worldwide commemoration honoring the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Prophet Joseph Smith and the 175th anniversary of the organization of the Church.
April 19 – Two new quorums of the Seventy were announced. The Seventh Quorum was created in a division of the Fourth Quorum and the Eighth Quorum was organized by dividing the Third Quorum.
July 3 – The first meetinghouse in the southeastern African nation of Malawi, a country of 12 million people, was dedicated in the city of Blantyre.
July 31-Aug. 9 – President Hinckley traveled 24,995 miles on a seven-nation tour of Asia and Africa, holding meetings in Russia, Korea, Taiwan, China, India, Kenya and Nigeria, where he also dedicated the Aba Nigeria Temple. He was the first Church president to visit India.
Oct. 7 – The First Presidency broke ground for a five-story state-of-the-art Church History Library at a site across the street east of the Conference Center in Salt Lake City.
Nov. 12 – The first Church meetinghouse on Kiritimati Atoll, a 248-square-mile coral atoll in the Pacific Ocean, which is part of the Republic of Kiribati and also known as Christmas Island, was dedicated.
Dec. 23 – Culminating a yearlong celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Church held a commemorative satellite broadcast that featured segments from the prophet’s birthplace in Vermont, as well as from the Conference Center in Salt Lake City. The commemorative program was telecast to 161 countries by satellite and worldwide by Internet, with the proceedings translated into 81 languages.
Jan. 3 – The six-year legal battle over the Church Plaza, located between the Salt Lake Temple and the Church Office Building in Salt Lake City, ended when the deadline passed for the ACLU and its plaintiffs to appeal a decision by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, Colo. The appeals court on Oct. 3, 2005, upheld the sale of one block of Main Street to the Church.
March 19 – The first meetinghouse constructed by the Church in Malaysia was dedicated in Miri, Sarawak.
April 30 – The Mormon Tabernacle Choir reached a milestone when it aired the 4,000th consecutive network broadcast of its weekly “Music and Spoken Word” program.
Oct. 14 – Ground was broken in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, for the first meetinghouse in the country that will serve the three branches in Slovenia, which was once part of the former country of Yugoslavia.
Oct. 18 – Official recognition of the Church in the central European country of Slovakia was granted by government officials after missionaries gathered the required 20,000 signatures necessary for a new religion to be recognized. Slovakia was once part of Czechoslovakia, but after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, the country was divided into its two traditional ethnic groups of Czechs and Slovaks. The Czech Republic granted recognition of the Church in 1990.
Nov. 2 – President Hinckley, at 96 years and 133 days, became the longest-lived Church president, a distinction previously held by President David O. McKay.
Nov. 19 – The Mormon Tabernacle Choir was honored as a Laureate of the 2006 Mother Teresa Award for “edifying the world through inspirational choral performances and recordings.”
December – The Prophet Joseph Smith and President Brigham Young were included on a list of the top 100 “Most influential figures in American history,” printed in the December issue of Atlantic magazine.
March 31 – The 140th-year-old Salt Lake Tabernacle on Temple Square, closed since January 2005 for extensive renovation and remodeling, was rededicated by President Hinckley. During the renovation, the pillars were strengthened and fortified to meet seismic code, and the roof was strengthened with the addition of steel trusses. Seating capacity in the building was reduced about 1,000 to 3,456.
June 21 – The Mormon Tabernacle Choir embarked on a tour of the eastern United States and Canada, performing before a total of 50,000 people in nine concerts in seven cities. The choir returned to Salt Lake City July 3.
June 24 – Church membership has reached 13 million members, President Hinckley announced to 118 mission presidents and their wives during the New Mission Presidents Seminar at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. He also announced that since the organization of the Church in 1830, an estimated one million missionaries have served throughout the world.
December: Three years after a devastating tsunami, triggered by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake that resulted in the deaths of more than 220,000 people in a dozen countries, the Church Humanitarian Services completed its humanitarian projects in the region. In partnership with other international organizations, the Church, among other projects, constructed 902 homes, 15 schools, three health clinics, 24 village water systems and three community centers.
Jan. 27 – President Gordon B. Hinckley, the longest-lived president in the history of the Church who served as president for nearly 13 years, died in Salt Lake City at age 97.
Feb. 3 – President Thomas S. Monson, a counselor to Presidents Ezra Taft Benson, Howard W. Hunter and Gordon B. Hinckley, was ordained and set apart as the 16th president of the Church. Set apart as his counselors were President Henry B. Eyring and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf.
Aug. 11 – President Monson paid a visit to Panama’s president, Martin Torrijos and his wife, First Lady Vivian Fernandez de Torrijos. The occasion marked the first time a Church president had met with a Panamanian president.
Aug. 28 – The Church announced that more than 140 million copies of the Book of Mormon, published in 107 languages, had been distributed since its publication in 1830. Seven major editions of the book had been published up to this time.
Sept. 20 – More than 75,000 Church members in Africa united in a massive day of service that extended across 30 countries to complete more than 200 “Helping Hands” projects, designed for “Bringing Relief and Building Hope,” the service day’s theme.