April 4

1832 - The Prophet Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon continued their journey to Missouri, taking passage on a steam packet for Wheeling, Virginia, where they would purchase “a lot of paper for the press in Zion, then in care of W. W. Phelps” (History of the Church, 1:266).

1838 - After a difficult journey, Sidney Rigdon and his family arrive and take residence in Far West, Missouri.

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1839 - The Prophet Joseph Smith writes a letter to his wife from Liberty Jail saying, “It is I believe now about five months and six days since I have been under the grimace of a guard night and day, and within the walls, grates, and screeching iron doors of a lonesome, dark, dirty prison. With emotions known only to God, do I write this letter” (The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, p. 425-426). Elders Kimball and Turley meet with Judge King, who was angry at them for taking the case of the Prophet Joseph and those imprisoned with him to the governor of Missouri. Not being allowed to enter the jail, they reported on their meeting to the prophet through the grate of the dungeon. The Prophet Joseph told them, “We shall be delivered; but no arm but God’s can deliver us now. Tell the brethren to be of good cheer and get the Saints away as fast as possible” (History of the Church, 3:306).

1844 - The Prophet Joseph wrote that he met in “general council in the assembly room from nine to twelve, a. m., and from one to four, p. m. I was visited by eleven Indians, who wanted counsel, and had an impressive interview” (History of the Church, 6:286).

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1870 - George Albert Smith is born in Salt Lake City, Utah. He later became a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and eighth President of the Church.

1880 - The first public meetings are held in the newly built Assembly Hall on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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1931 - The Church Section of the Deseret News begins publishing. It would later be known at the Church News.

1951 - President George Albert Smith dies in Salt Lake City, Utah, on his eighty-first birthday.

1981 - President Spencer W. Kimball announces that the three-fold mission of the Church is to proclaim the gospel, perfect the Saints, and redeem the dead.

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1984 - The Museum of Church History and Art, located across the street to the West from Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah, is dedicated by President Gordon B. Hinckley of the First Presidency.

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1999 - President Gordon B. Hinckley makes the surprise announcement that the Church plans to rebuild the Nauvoo Temple. “I feel impressed to announce that among all of the temples we are constructing, we plan to rebuild the Nauvoo Temple” (Conference Report, April 1999, p. 117). The original Nauvoo Temple was built between 1841 and 1846, being publicly dedicated on May 1, 1846 by Orson Hyde and Wilford Woodruff. On October 9, 1848, the Temple was destroyed by an arson caused fire, leaving only the outer stone walls standing. On May 27, 1850, a tornado knocked down all the walls except the front western wall. In 1865, it was torn down for safety reasons and within a few years, no signs of the Temple could be found on the Temple block. In 1937, Wilford Wood, acting in behalf of the Church, began to purchase the original Temple site. An archeological dig in the late 1960's located the site of the original Temple and the temple lot was landscaped and opened to visitors. In 1977, a flower garden around three stone plaques and a model of the original Temple was completed. On October 24, 1999, six months after President Hinckley’s announcement, ground was broken for the new Temple. It was dedicated on June 27, 2002.

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2013 - Elder Eldred G. Smith, who served as Patriarch to the Church from 1947 to 1979, passes away at the age of 106. Elder Smith lived longer than any former General Authority and is the last person to have held the position of Patriarch to the Church. He was the great-great-grandson of Joseph Smith’s brother, Hyrum.