January 16

1836 - The Prophet Joseph meets in council with the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and with his counselors in a special meeting.  During this meeting the Prophet declared that the “Twelve are not subject to any other than the first Presidency” and “where I am not, there is no First Presidency over the Twelve” (History of the Church, 2:374).  This statement would later have more meaning during the succession question in Nauvoo, Illinois, after the death of the Prophet Joseph.

1838 - The Prophet Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon, with their families, began their journey to Far West, Missouri, in covered wagons to join with the Saints there.  Their families had arrived in Norton Township, Ohio, about 36 hours after Joseph and Sidney were forced to flee Kirtland, Ohio, in the middle of the night. Their pursuers continued to look for them for several days.  Once they were in the same house with them staying in the room next to the Prophets family.  Another time they were stopped by them, but the men decided they were not who they were looking for.  

1839 - The Prophet Joseph and his companions were still suffering in Liberty Jail, Missouri.  Brigham Young, President of the Quorum of the Twelve, was working with the remaining leadership to organize the Saints removal from Missouri.  Special efforts were made to help the poor leave the state of Missouri.  A majority of the Saints fled to Illinois, with others going to Iowa or other places east.

1843 - The Prophet Joseph writes a letter to his lawyer, Josiah Butterfield,  in Springfield, Illinois, informing him of an attempt by his former friend, John C. Bennett, to help bring new charges against him on the Governor Boggs affair.  Mr. Bennett had written a letter to Sidney Rigdon informing him of his efforts.  Mr. Bennett requested that Sidney give it to Orson Pratt to read, who immediately gave it to the Prophet.

1844 - The Nauvoo city council met with Francis M. Higbee and worked out a reconciliation between the Prophet Joseph and Higbee.  The Prophet forgave him for the slanderous letter he had written and Francis Higbee stated he was the Prophets “friend for ever, and his right-hand man.”  Other business of the City Council included passing an ordinance concerning the sale of liquors in the city and the paying of fees to those who are jurors or witnesses at court proceedings. Also, several brethren chopped and stacked the firewood that had been hauled to Joseph Smith’s home the day before. 

1920 - The Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution went into effect, prohibiting the manufacture, production, and sale of alcohol.  President Heber J. Grant was a fervent supporter of the amendment, believing it was divinely inspired because it outlawed items forbidden by the Word of Wisdom.

1981 - Esther W. Eggertsen Peterson, a national consumer rights advocate and consumer affairs advisor to U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson, becomes the first Latter-day Saint to be honored with the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom.  She was awarded the honor by U.S. President Jimmy Carter.