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May 15

1829 – John the Baptist confers the Aaronic Priesthood on Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, thus restoring the Priesthood to the earth.  While translating the Book of Mormon, Joseph and Oliver went into the woods by the bank of the Susquehanna River near their home in Harmony, Pennsylvania, to ask concerning baptism.  While praying, John the Baptist appeared and ordained them to the Aaronic Priesthood and then commanded them to go and baptize each other in the river.  See Doctrine and Covenants 13 and Joseph Smith—History 1:68–73.

1834 – Zion’s Camp “forded Mad river, and passing through beautiful country, encamped a little west of Springfield’ (History of the Church, 2:66).

1844Josiah Quincy, future mayor (elected in 1845) of Boston, Massachusetts, and Charles Francis Adams, son of U.S. President John Quincy Adams, visit Nauvoo and the Prophet Joseph Smith. They arrived on the Steamer boat Amaranth.  Charles Adams would write in his journal, “At the door of a two-story wooden house with a sign post before it, we stopped and were introduced to the celebrated Joe Smith. A middle-aged man with a shrewd but rather ordinary expression of countenance, unshaved and in clothes neither very choice nor neat. The whole air of the man was that of frank but not coarse vulgarity. He received us civilly and forthwith introduced us into his house.’ (In the early 19th century, “vulgar” meant “common, but not necessarily disgusting” (A Guide to Eighteenth-Century English Vocabulary)

Joseph would give each man a copy of the Book of Mormon.  The copy given to Charles Francis Adams is located in the Old House at Peacefield, Massachusetts, home of John Quincy Adams.  It is Emma Smith’s personal copy of the 1841 edition of the Book of Mormon.  Inside is written,“The above is the autograph of the chief of the Mormons who gave me this book at Nauvoo on the 15th of May 1844.’ It was signed C. F. Adams.

Later in his life, Josiah Quincy wrote: “It is by no means improbable that some future textbook . . . will contain a question something like this: What historical American of the nineteenth century has exerted the most powerful influence upon the destinies of his countrymen?  And it is by no means impossible that the answer . . . may be thus written: Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet’ (Figures of the Past, p. 376).

1977 – The first stake in Venezuela is organized in Caracas.

1988 – The first stake in Nigeria is organized in Aba.

2002 – President Gordon B. Hinckley, en route to dedicate two temples in South America, made a stopover in Kingston, Jamaica, where he addressed 2,000 people at a fireside in an outdoor amphitheater.

2005 – President Gordon B. Hinckley spoke by satellite from Salt Lake City to 133,000 members in the five states in the Ohio Valley area of the United States.  Also, President Thomas S. Monson of the First Presidency presided over a satellite broadcast to tens of thousands of members in the United Kingdom and Ireland that originated in Preston, England.

2016 – The first stake in the Czech Republic is organized in Prague.

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