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January 21

1804 – Eliza R. Snow, author, poetess, and second General President of the Relief Society from 1866 – 1887, is born in Becket, Massachusetts.

1836 – The Prophet Joseph Smith receives Doctrine and Covenants 137, which teaches that children who die before the age of accountability are saved in the celestial kingdom, and that those who would have received the gospel in this life had they had the opportunity to do so, will also be heirs of the celestial kingdom.  He and many other Church leaders were in the Kirtland Temple participating in the ordinances of washing and anointing.  Many received visions and the Spirit was evident throughout the meeting.  Also, his father, Joseph Smith, Sr., was ordained as the first Patriarch to the Church.

1841 – Elders Brigham Young and Willard Richards completed an index to the Book of Mormon, which was immediately put in type and finished the printing of the first edition printed in England.

1842 – The Prophet Joseph Smith continued to read the Book of Mormon for “the purpose of correcting the stereotype plates of some errors which escaped notice in the first edition’ (History of the Church, 4:494), as well as “transacted a variety of business in the store and city, and spent the evening in the office with Elders Taylor and Richards, interpreting dreams, &c.’ (History of the Church, 4:501).

1844 – The Prophet Joseph Smith preached at the southeast corner of the temple, then under construction in Nauvoo, Illinois.  The weather was unpleasant as he spoke to the people on sealing the hearts of the fathers to the children and the children to the fathers, spoken of by Elijah.  He discussed temple work and said, “And I would to God that this temple was now done, that we might go into it, and go to work and improve our time, and make use of the seals while they are on earth’ (History of the Church, 6:184).

1845 – Brigham Young wrote letters to the Saints in Kirtland, Ohio, and counseled that all who have faith in the latter-day work gather to Nauvoo to build the Temple.  He also wrote to the Saints in Philadelphia, under the leadership of Elder Jedediah M. Grant, to forward all the young men and help they could to also help build the Temple.

1953 – Elder Ezra Taft Benson, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, is sworn in as United States Secretary of Agriculture, a cabinet level government position under President Dwight Eisenhower.

1983 – The First Presidency issues a statement reinforcing the policy that members of the Church are expected to pay local, state, and federal taxes.

1995 – Church membership reaches nine million.

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