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December 16

1833 – The Prophet Joseph receives Doctrine and Covenants 101, which discusses some of the causes for the suffering of the Saints in Jackson County, Missouri and comforting them for their loses. (History of the Church, 1:458-464)

1838 – The Prophet Joseph writes a letter from Liberty Jail, Missouri, encouraging the Saints in their difficulties. He condemns the apostates of the Church, including David Whitmer, Martin Harris, and Oliver Cowdery, and counters the charges against the Saints. Among other things, the Prophet states: “We assure you that you have our prayers and fervent desires for your welfare, day and night. We believe that the God who seeth us in this solitary place, will hear our prayers, and reward you openly. Know assuredly, dear brethren, that it is for the testimony of Jesus that we are in bonds and in prison. But we say unto you, that we consider that our condition is better (notwithstanding our sufferings) than that of those who have persecuted us, and smitten us, and borne false witness against us” (History of the Church, 3:226).

1840 – Governor Thomas Carlin of Illinois signs the act chartering the city of Nauvoo. It became effective 1 February 1841. It was a liberal charter outlining the rights and privileges of the residents of Nauvoo and city government, including writ of habeus corpus, a university, a legion, and other items. The Prophet Joseph wrote: “The City Charter of Nauvoo is of my own plan and device. I concocted it for the salvation of the Church, and on principles so broad, that every honest man might dwell secure under its protective influence without distinction of sect or party” (History of the Church, 4:249).

1843 – Mayor Joseph Smith sat all day in meetings with the Nauvoo City Council that met at Joseph’s home due to his illness the day before. The Mayor, Aldermen, and Councilors all signed a “Memorial to Congress for redress of losses and grievances in Missouri.” The Prophet Joseph prophesied that if “Congress will not hear our petition and grant us protection, they shall be broken up as a government.” This prophecy came true when the party in power, which had controlled the national government for forty years, lost the election a few years later and its influence in national affairs dwindled. (History of the Church, 6:116)

1866 – President Brigham Young asks the bishops to organize Relief Societies in every ward. By the end of the month, Eliza R. Snow would be called as the second general president of the Relief Society. This reinstituted the Relief Society which had been disbanded in 1844.

1902 – The U. S. Justice Department promises the Church that it will protect LDS missionaries in the southern states against mob attacks, which had been common up to that time.

1939 – The Church announces that membership has reached 750,000.

1989 – The Las Vegas Nevada Temple is dedicated by President Gordon B. Hinckley of the First Presidency.

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