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June 24

1829 – About this time, the Prophet Joseph choose eight men to serve as witnesses to the Book of Mormon.  Joseph took them to a place near his home in Manchester, New York, where, Christian Whitmer, Jacob Whitmer, Peter Whitmer, Jr., John Whitmer, Hiram Page, Joseph Smith, Sr., Hyrum Smith, and Samuel Smith, each were allowed to handle the gold plates. They then wrote a “Testimony’ that the Prophet Joseph did indeed have the plates from which the Book of Mormon had been translated.

1834 – Cholera breaks out among the men of Zion’s Camp.  The Prophet Joseph attempts to lay his hands on some of them but by “painful experience’ learned that he could not change the decrees of “the great Jehovah.’  The moment he tried to “rebuke the disease I was attacked, and had I not desisted in my attempt to save the life of a brother, I would have sacrificed my own.  The disease seized upon me like the talons of a hawk, and I said to the brethren: ‘If my work were done, you would have to put me in the ground without a coffin’’ (History of the Church, 2:114).

1839 – The Church purchased “the town of Nashville, in Lee county, Iowa Territory, together with twenty thousand acres of land adjoining it’ (History of the Church, 3:378).  This large purchase was across the Mississippi River from Nauvoo and was to be the site of several towns built up by the Saints including the Cities of Monstrose, and Zarahemla.

1844Joseph and Hyrum Smith, along with a group of brethren, leave Nauvoo at 6:30 a. m. for Carthage.  As they arrived at the Temple, Joseph looked with admiration on it and the city and remarked, “This is the loveliest place and the best people under the heavens; little do they know the trials that await them’ (History of the Church, 6:554). At 10 a. m., they arrived at the Fellows’ farm four mile west of Carthage where they met Captain Dunn and sixty mounted militia, who presented a letter from Governor Ford requesting that they return to Nauvoo to collect the arms owned by the State of Illinois that had been loaned to the Nauvoo Legion.  Upon seeing this company coming towards them, the Prophet said, “Do not be alarmed, brethren, for they cannot do more to you than the enemies of truth did to the ancient Saints—they can only kill the body’ (History of the Church, 6:554-555).

The group returned to Nauvoo, arriving about 2:00 p. m..  About 6:00 p. m., all the arms had been collected at the Masonic/Cultural Hall and the group, containing the militia with the arms of the Nauvoo Legion and Joseph with about fifteen other brethren, again began the journey to Carthage.  While the arms were being gathered, Joseph made a couple visits down the road from the Masonic Hall to his home to say goodbye to his family.  Several times Joseph made comments about not coming back, including the statement, “I am going like a lamb to the slaughter, but I am calm as a summer’s morning.  I have a conscience void of offense toward God and toward all men.  If they take my life I shall die an innocent man, and my blood shall cry from the ground for vengeance, and it shall be said of me ‘He was murdered in cold blood!’’ (History of the Church, 6:555).

They finally arrive in Carthage a few minutes before midnight and, after riding through the town square filled with Carthage Greys and other men threatening them with death, spent the night at the Hamilton House Hotel.  The apostates involved with the Nauvoo Expositor were also staying in the Hamilton House and one, John Hicks, stated that he was “determined to shed the blood of Joseph Smith’ (History of the Church, 6:560).

1847 – The original pioneer company continued on its journey traveling along the Sweetwater River, crossing the river when the need arose.  They were continually climbing in elevation and were now passing snow drifts and large bodies of ice on the small streams.

1928Levi Edgar Young of the First Council of the Seventy speaking at the Mt. Ogden Stake Conference stated, “Mormonism is a religion of idealism. The Mormon pioneers did not come here to build up cities and industries, but for the establishment on earth of the Kingdom of God and a kingdom of peace and spirituality. . . . The greatest thing needed today is good old-fashioned religion. We are becoming lovers of gold and glitter and are becoming egotists. We must hark back to the old religion of a belief in God the Father, Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost and revelation.’ (Church News, June 28, 2003)

1984 – Members of the First Quorum of the Seventy are placed into Area Presidencies throughout the thirteen major geographical areas of the Church.

1988 – Hungary grants the Church legal recognition.

1990 – Missionaries organize a group of Saints in the African nation of Botswana prior to receiving the legal recognition required to organize a formal branch.

1991 – The Russian Republic announces formal recognition of the Church at the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s concert in Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater.

2006 – The Raleigh North Carolina Stake presented The Promised Land, an original play based upon the true story of two generations of the Joseph Taylor, Sr. family, a North Carolina family who fought in the Revolutionary War, joined with the Mormons in Missouri, and later went to Utah.

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