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December 31

1833 – Wilford Woodruff is baptized in an icy stream near Richland, New York.

1836 – The ice was cut in the river and Dr. Willard Richards was baptized in Kirtland, Ohio, by Brigham Young.

1838 – The Prophet Joseph ends the year in Liberty Jail. He writes, “Thus, in a land of liberty, in the town of Liberty, Clay County, Missouri, my fellow prisoners and I in chains, and dungeons, saw the close of 1838″ (History of the Church, 3:244).

1842 – The Prophet Joseph Smith, in Springfield, Illinois, formally petitioned Governor Ford to issue a new writ, which was approved. He was then arrested and appeared in court before Judge Pope to request a writ of habeas corpus. Presenting his case was his attorney, Mr. Butterfield, who stated that the Prophet was not in Missouri when the crime was supposedly to have taken place and that the position of the Governor of Missouri was flawed. The writ of habeas corpus was granted and the Prophet was freed on a $2,000 bail. His trial was set for January 2. The Prophet visited with Governor Ford and others during the remainder of the day. (History of the Church, 5:212-213)

1843 – The Prophet Joseph attended a prayer meeting and then retired to bed. He was awaken at midnight by about fifty musicians and singers outside his window singing W. W. Phelps New Year’s Hymn. (History of the Church, 6:153)

1887 – Because of the anti-polygamy persecutions, the Church is forced to stop work on the building of the Salt Lake Temple.

1900 – At the end of the nineteenth century, the Church has 283,765 members, 43 stakes, 20 missions, 967 wards and branches, and 4 operating temples.

1940 – The First Presidency releases a statement on the military, indicating that the Church will not knowingly call young men on missions to have them avoid the draft established in the United States.

1948 – A report of total value of the relief supplies sent to the Saints in Europe after World War II amounts to $1,736,000.

1952 – The Church announces that the Primary will sponsor Cub Scout groups.

1970The Millennial Star, the oldest continuous Church publication, ends publication. It had been published in England since 1840. The British Saints would now begin to receive the Ensign Magazine.

1999 – Jerold Ottley retires as the director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Craig Jessop is called as the new director.

2000 – At the end of the twentieth century, the Church has 11,068,861 members, 3,202 stakes and districts, 334 missions, 25,915 wards and branches, and 102 operating temples.

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