June 23

1834 - Zion’s Camp resumed their march for Liberty, Missouri.  When they were within five or six miles of the city, General Atchison and other gentlemen from the city approached the Camp and expressed their desire for Zion’s Camp not to enter Liberty because of the feelings of the people there.  The Prophet Joseph agreed not to enter the city and took the Camp across the prairie and woodland until they came to the home of Brother Algernon Sidney Gilbert.  They camped along the bank of Rush creek in brother Burket’s field.  A meeting of the council of High Priests was held and several men were called to return to Kirtland, Ohio, by the voice of the Spirit to receive an endowment to continue in their callings.

1839 - While staying with his brother, Don Carlos, near the town of Macomb, Illinois, the Prophet Joseph “went to Brother Wilcox’s and preached to a very crowded congregation; and so eager were they to hear, that a part of them stood out in the rain during the sermon.  In general they expressed good satisfaction as to what they heard” (History of the Church, 3:378).

1842 - With many rumors circulating about the resignation of John C. Bennett as Mayor of Nauvoo and his removal from the Church, the Prophet Joseph publishes an article explaining Bennett’s history with the Saints in Nauvoo.

1843 - The Prophet Joseph was illegally arrested while staying near Dixon, Illinois, at the home of the Wasson’s.  Two men disguised as Mormon missionaries rode up and asked to see the Prophet.  When they saw Joseph in the yard, they ran out and “accosted me in a very uncouth, ungentlemanly manner.”  The two men, Joseph H. Reynolds, sheriff of Jackson County, Missouri, and Harmon T. Wilson, Constable of Carthage, Illinois, “presented cocked pistols to my breast, without showing any writ or serving any process” and threatened to shoot the Prophet if he moved.  “I answered, ‘I am not afraid of your shooting; I am not afraid to die.’  I then bared my breast and told them to shoot away. ‘I have endured so much oppression, I am weary of life; and kill me, if you please.  I am a strong man, however, and with my own natural weapons could soon level both of you; but if you have any legal process to serve, I am at all times subject to law, and shall not offer resistance.’” Stephen Markham started to walk toward the men under threat to his life and was only stopped by Joseph.  They put Joseph in a wagon and took off without serving any papers or allowing Joseph to say goodbye to his family.  They took him to Dixon where they stopped at a tavern to get fresh horses.  The Prophet again demanded to see counsel and allowed to get a writ of habeas corpus.  Again denied legal process and threatened with his life, the Prophet yelled out a window to a passerby that he was being falsely imprisoned in the tavern and he needed a lawyer.  When a lawyer, Edward Southwick, came, they threatened his life.  Another lawyer, Shepherd G. Patrick, arrived and received the same treatment.  Soon a crowd gathered around the tavern and a Lucien P. Sanger let Sheriff Reynolds know that he was not in Missouri and that they were law-abiding people and they weren’t going to let them take Joseph to Missouri without a fair trial.  Realizing they weren’t going to be allowed to leave, and with legal writs against them sued out by Steven Markham for threatening his life, they were forced to stay the night in Dixon with a hearing scheduled for 10:00 am the next morning.  (History of the Church, 5:439-443)

Orrin Porter Rockwell.jpg

1844 - At daybreak, Joseph, Hyrum, Dr. Richards, and Orrin P. Rockwell arrived on the Iowa side of the Mississippi River.  Orrin P. Rockwell was sent back to Nauvoo to bring horses for travel over the river the next night.  A posse arrived in Nauvoo to arrest Joseph, but not finding him they returned to Carthage.  At 1 p. m. Emma sent over Orrin P. Rockwell and Reynolds Cahoon with a letter entreating Joseph to return home.  Cahoon informed Joseph of the Governors promise to protect him while he went through a legal and fair trial.  He, along with others, accused Joseph of cowardice and leaving the Saints to be destroyed by the mobs.  Joseph replied, “If my life is of no value to my friends it is of none to myself.”  Joseph said to Rockwell, “What shall I do?”  Rockwell replied, “You are the oldest and ought to know best; and as you make your bed, I will lie with you.”  Joseph then turned to Hyrum, who was talking with Cahoon, and said, “Brother Hyrum, you are the oldest, what shall we do?”  Hyrum said, “Let us go back and give ourselves up, and see the thing out.”  After pondering a few moments, Joseph said, “If you go back I will go with you, but we shall be butchered.”  Hyrum said, “No, no; let us go back and put our trust in God, and we shall not be harmed.  The Lord is in it.  If we live or have to die, we will be reconciled to our fate” (History of the Church, 6:549-550).  Joseph then made arrangements to return to Nauvoo.  As they were walking back to the River, the Prophet Joseph expressed his belief that he was to be killed if they returned and told Orrin P. Rockwell that he wished he could speak to the Saints one last time.  Rockwell told him that if that was his wish he would call the Saints together and he could talk to them by starlight.  (History of the Church, 6:551).  Instead of preaching to the Saints, Joseph spent the evening with his family and friends and made preparations to go to Carthage the following morning.

1856 - The third handcart company leaves Iowa City, Iowa, for the Salt Lake Valley.  There were 320 people, 64 handcarts, and 5 wagons.  It was made up almost entirely of Welshmen, who had crossed the Atlantic Ocean on the “S Curling” and rode the train most of the way to Iowa City.  Edward Bunker, a returning missionary, was chosen as Captain.  They would arrive in Salt Lake City on October 2.

1910 - Gordon B. Hinckley, fifteenth President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is born in Salt Lake City, Utah.

1956 - Missionary work recommences in Chile 104 years after Elder Parley P. Pratt had left the country unsuccessful in establishing a mission there.

1968 - The first stake in Maine is organized.

1974 - Modifications are made to the Aaronic Priesthood and Young Women programs of the Church as the MIA youth programs are discontinued.

2004 - President George W. Bush presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States highest civil award, to President Gordon B. Hinckley in a White House ceremony.  It was President Hinckley’s 94th Birthday.  The official written citation with the award states: “As the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and throughout his nearly 70 years in church leadership, Gordon B. Hinckley has inspired millions and has led efforts to improve humanitarian aid, disaster relief and education funding across the globe.  His tireless efforts to spread the word of God and to promote good will has strengthened his faith, his community and our nation.  The United States honors Gordon B. Hinckley for his devoted service to his church and to his fellowman.”

2006 - President Gordon B. Hinckley celebrated his 96th birthday by participating in the groundbreaking ceremony at Brigham Young University for a new building to be named the Gordon B. Hinckley Alumni and Visitors Center. 

2007 - President Gordon B. Hinckley celebrated his 97th birthday by presiding at the dedication of a new BYU-Provo building named for him-the Gordon B. Hinckley Alumni and Visitors Center. President Hinckley's son, Elder Richard G. Hinckley of the First Quorum of the Seventy, offered the dedicatory prayer.