November 13

1833 - About 4:00 a.m., The Prophet Joseph was awakened by Brother Davis knocking at his door calling on him to come out and view the “signs in the heavens.” A meteor shower was taking place and it appeared “all heaven seemed enwrapped in splendid fireworks.” The Prophet was filled with “great joy” at the sign that the coming of the Lord was close at hand. However, he also records, “Beautiful and terrific as was the scenery, it will not fully compare with the time when the sun shall become black like sack-cloth of hair, the moon like blood, and the stars fall to the earth” (History of the Church, 1:439-440).

1835 - The Prophet Joseph spent the evening at Sidney Rigdon’s home with a Mr. Messenger, a Universalist minister from Bainbridge, New York. “We preached the Gospel to him, and bore testimony of what we had seen and heard. He attempted to raise some objections, but the force of truth bore him down, and he was silent, although unbelieving” (History of the Church, 2:311).

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1838 - Joseph F. Smith, sixth President of the Church, is born in Far West, Missouri, during the persecution of the Saints and while his father, Hyrum Smith, is being held in a Richmond, Missouri, jail. Also, Judge Austin A. King presided over a court of Inquiry that began on this date in Richmond, Missouri. Witnesses against the leadership of the Church were called and sworn at the point of the bayonet. Many were previously active in the Church, such as Sampson Avard and William W. Phelps. Some testified to prevent continued persecution against their families by the mob, some testified against the Prophet Joseph out of disillusionment and apostasy. The court would continue several days. (History of the Church, 3:209-210)

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1843 - The Prophet Joseph received a letter from James Arlington Bennett (New York Attorney, newspaper publisher, educator, author) and responds to it with a lengthy letter answering Mr. Bennett’s questions. Joseph concludes the letter with the words, “And to close, let me say in the name of Jesus Christ to you, and to presidents, emperors, kings, queens, governors, rulers, nobles, and men in authority everywhere, Do the works of righteousness, execute justice and judgement in the earth, that God may bless you and her inhabitants” (History of the Church, 6:7178).

1894 - Elder Franklin D. Richards is appointed president of the newly organized Genealogical Society of Utah.

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1952 - Elder Dale G. Renlund, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, is born in Salt Lake City, Utah.

1960 - The Logan Institute of Religion Building adjacent to the Utah State University campus is dedicated by President Heney D. Moyle of the First Presidency.

1994 - President Howard W. Hunter speaks at the centennial of the Genealogical Society of Utah (currently known as the Church Family History Department); there he is honored for his service as president of the Society from 1964-1972.

1995 - President Gordon B. Hinckley meets with U.S. President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore. Afterwards, President Hinckley holds a press conference at the Harvard Club in New York City, New York.

2009 - Elder M. Russell Ballard visits the Dominican Republic 31 years after dedicating it. He meets with the Area Presidency and the eight mission presidents of the Caribbean Area. The next evening, November 14, he spoke by satellite to thousands of members in 28 locations throughout the Caribbean, Guyana, French Guiana, and Suriname.