20th century (Mormonism)

20th century (Mormonism)

This is a timeline of major events in Mormonism in the 20th century.


Willis C. Hawley (left) and Smoot in April 1929, shortly before the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act passed the House.


  • April 19 - Reed Smoot is ordained an apostle.



  • material in the Doctrines and Covenants duplicated in the Pearl of great Price removed.


  • January - Reed Smoot, an apostle, is elected by the state legislature to the 58th congress as a U.S. Senator. Controversy over his election arises immediately.
  • February - Despite allegations and controversy, Reed Smoot is allowed to be seated in the Senate.
  • March - Reed Smoot takes the senatorial oath and formally becomes a member of the senate.
  • Samoan edition of the Book of Mormon.


  • January - Reed Smoot submits carefully prepared rebuttals to allegations against him and his church.
  • March - The Reed Smoot Hearings begin, evaluating whether Reed Smoot should be allowed to be a senator.
  • April 6 - Joseph F. Smith issues the "Second Manifesto," which reinforces the 1890 Manifesto and prescribes excommunication for those who continued to practice plural marriage.


  • April - John W. Taylor resigns from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles due to disagreements with church policy regarding polygamy.
  • October 28 - Matthias F. Cowley follows John W. Taylor and resigns from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles due to disagreements with church policy regarding polygamy.


  • Turkish edition of Book of Mormon; first in an Asian language.


  • February 20 - After more than two years of hearings, the Smoot Hearings are resolved by a vote. The republican majority overturns objections to his seating. Reed Smoot serves another 26 years.
  • The church becomes debt-free.


  • The First Presidency issues an official statement regarding questions concerning the Creation of the earth and the theories of evolution and the origin of man.
  • Japanese translation of Book of Mormon.


Seagull Monument, Salt Lake City Temple Square. Assembly Hall in background.


  • John W. Taylor is excommunicated for performing a plural marriage despite the Second Manifesto issued by President Joseph F. Smith. With this excommunication, the practice of new polygamous marriages is believed to be finally abolished. Polygamists who were married prior to 1905, continue to remain in good standing with the LDS church including, but not limited to, the President of the LDS church Joseph F. Smith
  • Utah Hotel Company, predecessor of Temple Square Hospitality is founded.


  • Publication of Riders of the Purple Sage, by Zane Grey. It is his best known novel and played a significant role in shaping the formula of the popular Western genre. However it contains unflattering portrayals and stereotyping of Mormon polygamists.






Arizona Temple


  • John Williamson, Sr. died.





  • The First Presidency issues another official statement regarding questions concerning the Creation of the earth and the theories of evolution and the origin of man.



  • Arizona Temple was dedicated.
  • Good Neighbor Policy adopted. The reforms were primarily intended to remove from church literature, sermons, and ceremonies any explicit or implicit suggestion that Latter-day Saints should seek vengeance on the citizens or government of the United States for past persecutions of the church and its members, and in particular for the assassinations of church founder Joseph Smith, Jr. and his brother Hyrum.






  • Hill Cumorah Pageant established.



  • Portuguese translation of Book of Mormon.



  • September 27: Theatrical release of Brigham Young, a Hollywood biopic, featuring Dean Jagger as Brigham Young, and Vincent Price as Joseph Smith. Though the film is commercially unsuccessful, it brings Mormon history to a wider international audience.


  • April 12: Mormon Tabernacle Choir performs at funeral of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
  • May 14: President Heber J. Grant, the last LDS church president to have practiced polygamy, dies. George Albert Smith becomes the next president of the church.
  • The publication of No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith, by Fawn Brodie. Brodie's most notable Mormon critic, Brigham Young University professor Hugh Nibley, published a scathing 62-page pamphlet entitled No, Ma'am, That's Not History, asserting that Brodie had cited sources supportive only of her conclusions while conveniently ignoring others. Brodie considered Nibley's pamphlet to be "a well-written, clever piece of Mormon propaganda" but dismissed it as "a flippant and shallow piece." It becomes a best seller, and has not got out of print yet.


  • May: Fawn Brodie is excommunicated.
  • May 22: Western Bad Bascomb released, about an outlaw who joins a Mormon wagon train.
  • Tongan edition of Book of Mormon.



  • President George Albert Smith is said to have petitioned the Lord to lift the ban on blacks receiving the priesthood. He claims he is denied. The ban was not lifted until 1978.



&Deseret Ranches established.




  • April 9: Adam S. Bennion is ordained to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
  • July 15: Elder Albert E. Bowen dies.
  • October 8: Richard L. Evans is ordained to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
  • Independent Latter Day Saint congregations in Nigeria develop in response to ban on black priesthood.


  • Breakaway FLDS formed.





Entrance to The Polynesian Cultural Center.




  • April 23: Elder George Q. Morris passes away.
  • October 11: N. Eldon Tanner is ordained to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.



  • Joseph W. B. Johnson, in Ghana, claims he was told by Jesus to preach the Book of Mormon and the Joseph Smith story to the Ghanaians. Over time, he converts 1,000 people,[1] all who cannot hold priesthood in the church until the revelation received in 1978.[2]
  • Centro Escolar Benemérito de las Américas established.
  • Independent Latter Day Saint congregations in Ghana develop in response to ban on black priesthood.


  • Chinese language edition of Book of Mormon, retranslated 2007.


  • Establishment of Deseret Management Corporation
  • Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought the oldest independent journal in Mormon Studies is established.


  • Brigham Young High School closes.


  • Upon hearing news of Johnson's work in Ghana and others in Africa, President David O. McKay petitions the Lord to lift the ban on blacks receiving the priesthood. He says that it is denied. It is not until 1978 that the ban is lifted.
  • Mormon Youth Symphony and Chorus established.


Millennial Star



  • January: Ensign and New Era magazines are first published; the Relief Society Magazine is discontinued.
  • February: One Bad Apple released by The Osmonds reaches #1 in Billboard's Hot 100 Chart and stayed there for five weeks; it also reached #6 on the R&B chart.[3] The members of the Osmonds are devout LDS, and their religion was discussed in many popular
  • June 8: The Genesis Group is formed. It becomes an official church auxiliary dedicated to serving the needs of black members, who cannot hold the priesthood at this time.
  • November 1: Elder Richard L. Evans dies.
  • December 2: Marvin J. Ashton is ordained to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
  • Church building provided in Jerusalem for large numbers of LDS tourists.



  • December 26: After serving for little more than a year as president, President Harold B. Lee passes on. Spencer W. Kimball becomes president.
  • The Plan, a concept album by the Osmonds is released. Although it is not one of their more successful albums, it explicitly deals with the plan of salvation and Mormon theology.





  • The Mormon sex in chains case becomes a major scandal in the UK, after a missionary is abducted in Surrey.


  • June 1: President Spencer W. Kimball receives confirmation and revelation after supplicating the Lord regarding blacks and the priesthood. Moved by the exceeding faith of the Genesis Group, and moved by the dedication and perseverance of the mulattos in Brazil in building the São Paulo temple, he takes the matter before the Lord, as many previous presidents of the church have done.
  • June 9: President Spencer W. Kimball, after receiving the revelation, and discussing the matter with the Quorum of the Twelve and the First Quorum of the Seventy, announces that the ban on blacks receiving the priesthood has been lifted, and all males may receive the priesthood according to their worthiness, regardless of race. Despite previous understanding that blacks were not to receive the priesthood until the millennium, the members of the church receive the announcement with jubilation and it gains worldwide press attention.
  • June 23: Joseph Freeman, Jr., 26, the first black man to gain the priesthood in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, went in the Salt Lake Temple with his wife and 5 sons for sacred ordinances. Thomas S. Monson, member of the church's Quorum of Twelve Apostles, conducted the marriage and sealing ordinances. This event shows that blacks not only are able to gain the priesthood, but are able to interracially marry in the temple with the church's blessing. (Salt Lake Tribune, June 24, 1978)
  • August 19: Elder Delbert L. Stapley dies.
  • September 30: President N. Eldon Tanner reads Official Declaration—2 to the General Conference, and it is unanimously adopted as the word and will of the Lord on the same day. This is the declaration released publicly earlier in 1978, allowing blacks to receive the priesthood.
  • October 1: James E. Faust is ordained to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
  • October 30: São Paulo Brazil Temple opened, the first in South America, Latin America and in Brazil.
  • Battlestar Galactica airs on American television. It is produced by church member Glen Larson, and he incorporated many themes from Mormon theology into the shows.
  • Gospel Principles, an official church text released.





  • July 23: Elder Gordon B. Hinckley is called as third counselor in the First Presidency due to the physical weakness of Presidents Spencer W. Kimball, N. Eldon Tanner, and Marion G. Romney. Hinckley is referred to in the press as the "acting president of the church" because Kimball, Tanner, and Romney are largely out of the public eye.
  • July 23: Neal A. Maxwell is ordained to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to fill the vacancy left by Hinckley's call to the First Presidency.
  • New edition of Book of Mormon with cross-references to other LDS scriptures, footnotes and index; Russian & Polish editions published. Sections 137 & 138 added to the Doctrine and Covenants.


  • June 1: Ground was broken for construction of the Triad Center on June 1, 1982 by Essam Khashoggi, chairman of Triad America.
  • November 27: President N. Eldon Tanner dies. Consequently, Marion G. Romney is named as First Counselor, and Gordon B. Hinckley is named as Second Counselor.
  • The Godmakers, an anti-Mormon work by Ed Decker is published and filmed. However the work is so controversial that opponents of the church including Jerald and Sandra Tanner and Bob Passantino say that it grossly misrepresents Mormonism, and thereby dilute his message and offend Mormons without attracting them to evangelical Christianity.[4] The Anti-Defamation League of the B'nai B'rith publicly presented their concerns of the film which they described as "Mormon bashing" and "invidious and defamatory".[5][6] Rhonda M. Abrams, Regional Director stated the following.

I sincerely hope that people of all faiths will similarly repudiate The God Makers as defamatory and untrue, and recognize it for what it truly represents — a challenge to the religious liberty of all.[7]

—Rhonda M. Abrams



  • January 11: Elder Mark E. Petersen dies.
  • April 12: Russell M. Nelson is ordained to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
  • May 3: Dallin H. Oaks is ordained to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
  • July 12: Broadcast house of Triad Center opened.
  • September: Sydney Australia Temple, the first in Australia; Manila Philippines Temple the first in the Philippines.
  • Carol Lynn Pearson's estranged gay husband returned to live with her and their children after being diagnosed with AIDS in 1984, and she cared for him until his death. Her book Goodbye, I Love You is about their life together. It is considered a landmark in discussions about homosexuality and Mormonism, and Pearson remains an advocate of tolerance towards gay church members.



  • October 9: Joseph B. Wirthlin is ordained to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
  • Arabic edition of Book of Mormon.
  • Protests against BYU president in Jerusalem by Jewish groups, shouting slogans such as "Conversion is Murder!" and "Mormons, stop your mission now".



  • May 20: President Marion G. Romney, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, dies.
  • October 1: Richard G. Scott is ordained to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
  • Hebrew edition of Book of Mormon, later withdrawn.




  • April: Wording of Endowment and temple ceremony altered, and wording changed to remove penalty oaths.




  • March 3: President Howard W. Hunter dies after serving only nine months as president. Gordon B. Hinckley becomes his successor.
  • March 12: President Gordon B. Hinckley is set apart as President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
  • April 1: Henry B. Eyring is ordained and set apart in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
  • May: Liahona magazine begins.
  • September 23: The Family: A Proclamation to the World published.




  • Plans for Kyiv Ukraine Temple announced, the first in the former Soviet Union.


See also


  1. ^ Church Update: Joseph W. B. Johnson - Ghana's Face of Light
  2. ^ The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints OFFICIAL DECLARATION—2
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 445. 
  4. ^ Tanner, Jerald and Sandra (1993). Problems in The Godmakers II. Salt Lake City, UT: UTLM.
  5. ^ adl.org, Anti-Defamation League, ADL Condemns "Mormon-Bashing" DVD
  6. ^ lightplanet.com, Rhonda M Abrams, statement on The Godmakers film.
  7. ^ Statement by Rhonda M. Abrams, 25 May 1984, Regional Director of Anti-Defamation League of the Bnai B’rith.
  8. ^ Mann, Laurie (22 November 2008). "SFWA Nebula Awards". dpsinfo.com. http://www.dpsinfo.com/awardweb/nebulas/#1985. Retrieved 3 January 2009. 
  9. ^ "The Hugo Awards By Year". World Science Fiction Society. 9 December 2005. Archived from the original on July 31, 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080731112501/http://www.worldcon.org/hy.html#86. Retrieved 3 January 2009. 
  10. ^ "The Locus Index to SF Awards: About the Hugo Awards". Locus Publications. http://www.locusmag.com/SFAwards/Db/Hugo.html. Retrieved 2009-01-13. 
  11. ^ "The Locus Index to SF Awards: About the Nebula Awards". Locus Publications. http://www.locusmag.com/SFAwards/Db/Nebula.html. Retrieved 2009-01-13. 
  12. ^ "1986 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. http://www.worldswithoutend.com/books_year_index.asp?year=1986. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • 21st century (Mormonism) — Pre fire Apia Samoa temple 2000s 2000 June 21: The Church announces that Ricks College, a Church run junior college in Rexburg, Idaho, will become a four year university by the end of 2001. October 1: The Boston Massachusetts Temple is dedicated… …   Wikipedia

  • 19th century (Mormonism) — NOTOC 1820s1820*Spring: Joseph Smith, Jr. sees Jesus Christ and God the Father near his home in upstate New York (also known as the First Vision). *August: Joseph Smith, Sr. contracts to buy land in Farmington.1821*Fall: The log cabin on the… …   Wikipedia

  • Christianity in the 20th century — Part of a series on Christianity   …   Wikipedia

  • Christian heresy in the 20th century — Although less common than in the medieval period, formal charges of heresy within Christian churches still occur. Key issues in the Protestant churches have included modern biblical criticism, the nature of God, and the acceptability of gay… …   Wikipedia

  • Mormonism and violence — Mormonism, throughout much of its history, has had a relationship with violence.[1] The effect of this violence has had an impact on the history of the Latter Day Saint movement and its doctrines.[2] In the early history of the United States,… …   Wikipedia

  • Mormonism and Christianity — Depiction of God the Father and Jesus as two distinct beings appearing to Joseph Smith, Jr. during his First Vision, reflecting Mormonism s nontrinitarian theology. Mormonism and Christianity have a complex theological, historical, and… …   Wikipedia

  • Mormonism — See also: Mormon (disambiguation), Latter Day Saint movement, and Mormon studies …   Wikipedia

  • Mormonism and polygamy — Plural marriage redirects here. For generalized concept, see polygamy. Mormonism and polygamy Members of Joseph F. Smith s family, including his sons …   Wikipedia

  • Mormonism and Judaism — The doctrines of the Latter Day Saint movement, commonly referred to as Mormonism, teach that its adherents, Latter day Saints, are either direct descendants of the House of Israel, or are adopted into it. As such, Judaism is foundational to the… …   Wikipedia

  • Mormonism and evolution — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints (Mormon Church or LDS Church) takes no official position on whether or not biological evolution has occurred, or on the validity of the modern evolutionary synthesis as a scientific theory. However …   Wikipedia

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.