February 17

Joseph Smith - Whitaker - small.jpg

1834 - The first stake of the Church was established in Kirtland, Ohio, with Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, and Frederick G. Williams as the stake presidency.  The high council consisted of Joseph Smith, Sr., John Smith, Joseph Coe, John Johnson, Martin Harris, John S. Carter, Jared Carter, Oliver Cowdery, Samuel H. Smith, Orson Hyde, Sylvester Smith, and Luke S. Johnson.  The minutes of this meeting were recorded as Doctrine and Covenants 102.

1835 - The Prophet Joseph Smith and his counselors approved the publication of the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants.

Kirtland Ohio Temple 2.jpg

1836 - The Prophet Joseph attended school in the Temple.  He writes, “My soul delights in reading the word of the Lord in the original, and I am determined to pursue the study of the languages, until I shall become master of them, if I am permitted to live long enough” (History of the Church, 2:396).

1843 - The Prophet Joseph and his group return to Nauvoo after visiting the Shokoquon area as a possible location for a city to be built. Mr. Cowan, who traveled to Nauvoo with the Prophet, proposed to give him one-fourth of the city lots of Shokoquon for the Saints to build on.  The emphasis on Nauvoo and the later movement to the west would keep the Saints from helping build the city.

1844 - The Prophet Joseph Smith wrote an article called "Pacific Innuendo," which gave a brief history of the Church in Illinois and explained the Church's desire for peace with all people.  He wrote, “Wise men ought to have understanding enough to conquer men with kindness” and “Our motto, then, is Peace with all!” (History of the Church, 6:219-220).  In contrast, the anti-Mormons, in fear of the political and military power of Joseph and the Church, held a convention in Carthage, Illinois, to devise a plan to expel the Saints from the state.

Sugar Creek.jpg

1846 - Brigham Young was busy organizing the Camp of Israel in Sugar Creek, Iowa.  In the morning he spoke to the Saints from a wagon saying “We will have no laws we cannot keep, but we will have order in the camp.”  In the afternoon, several of the Twelve Apostles in the camp met in council to discuss a proposal from Samuel Brannan concerning the move to the west.  He had negotiated a contract that would give half the lots in the new city over to A. G. Benson and Company, a land development company, in exchange for the guarantee from the government that they would not stand in the way of their move west.  The Apostles discussed the contract and felt it was not desirable, but that they would place their trust in God and not sign an “unjust and oppressive agreement” (History of the Church, 7:591).

Joseph Smith visits Brigham Young by Clark Kelley Price.jpg

1847 - Brigham Young, as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, has a dream at Council Bluffs, Iowa.  Joseph Smith appeared to him and asks him to tell the Saints “to be humble and faithful, and be sure to keep the Spirit of the Lord and it will lead them right.  Be careful and not turn away the small still voice; it will teach them what to do and where to go; it will yield the fruits of the kingdom. . . . Tell the brethren that if they will follow the spirit of the Lord, they will go right” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, p. 41).

1855 - John Taylor publishes the first issue of a newspaper entitled The Mormon in New York City, New York.

1998 - President Gordon B. Hinckley visits Kenya.  Church members from Somalia travel to Kenya to join their fellow Saints in welcoming the Prophet and to listen to his words.

2007 - Four missionaries near Port Harcourt, Nigeria, are kidnaped from their apartment and held four days.  Local Church leaders worked with other local and tribal leaders to bring them home safely.  The missionaries are: Akande Adebayo Egunjobi and Emeka Henry Ekufu, of Lagos, and Uchenna Anthony Eze and Hope Aiboni Isaiah, of Nigeria.