Greetings from the National Headquarters as we welcome in August. Although it is usually very hot, I love it for the Emancipendence celebrations, food festivals, and the joy its harvests of summer crops bring. Others welcome August for vacations, beach outings, or other activities. There are, however, other interesting things about the golden-shiny month I will share.
But first, let me mention three wonderful events we just experienced: SUPer DUPer Day on July 18th included an outstanding devotional at 10:00 am by The Piano Guys. The Days of ’47 Sunrise Service on July 23rd in the Tabernacle at Temple Square with Elder Lynn G. Robbins of the Seventy was excellent. Many have asked for a copy of his remarks that were so relevant to our times. You can check HERE to listen to or read his address. Last was the parade and those who participated in pulling our ten handcarts. It was wonderful and one of the best turnouts we have had for this event. Thanks to all of you that helped! We love and appreciate you. I am looking forward to pulling again next year!
Remember that online registration is still available for the upcoming 2022 National Encampment in Salt Lake City, September 8-10, 2022. It will be an outstanding event celebrating the 175th Anniversary of the Saints entering the Salt Lake Valley. Please ensure you do not miss it and register as soon as possible. The registration discount ends on August 15th, and a 6th tour option has been added.
Here are three historical events that occurred in August:
- August 3, 1492 – Christopher Columbus set sail from Palos, Spain, with three ships, Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria. Seeking a westerly route to the Far East, he landed on October 12th in the Bahamas, thinking it was an outlying Japanese island.
- August 2, 1776 – In Philadelphia, most of the fifty-five members of the Continental Congress signed the parchment copy of the Declaration of Independence.
- August 2, 1939 – Albert Einstein wrote a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt concerning the possibility of atomic weapons. “A single bomb carried by boat and exploded in a port might destroy the whole port together with some of the surrounding territory.” Six years later, on August 6, 1945, the first Atomic Bomb, developed by the United States, was dropped on the Japanese port of Hiroshima. The devastation was beyond imagination.
Now two wonderful events from the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:
- 15 August 1840 – Joseph Smith publicly announced the doctrine of baptism for the dead in Nauvoo, Illinois. This formally opened the door in this dispensation to provide the sacred saving ordinances for our kindred dead. What an infinite and eternal blessing for them and each of us.
- 8 August 1844 – This is a day marked in history for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. On this day, Brigham Young stood before a gathering of Saints in Nauvoo and conducted the first meeting of what is now known as the first Solemn Assembly. The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was sustained to lead the Church.
The meeting was the second gathering of the Saints that day, but according to historical documents, it was the only official gathering, as it was led by seven of the Twelve Apostles. Earlier in the day, Sidney Rigdon had gathered many of the Saints in Nauvoo in a grove with the purpose of having them cast their votes in favor of him succeeding the Prophet Joseph Smith as the prophet of the Church. As the only remaining member of the then-dissolved First Presidency, Sidney Rigdon had made claims and moves to establish himself as leader or “guardian” of the Church in Joseph Smith’s place. However, all his actions to do so were done without consulting the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
When he was about to call for a sustaining vote at this morning gathering, Brigham Young unexpectedly appeared behind the crowd of Saints and began speaking with loud authority that diverted their attention to him. Following his dismissal of Sidney Rigdon’s gathering and claim to authority, Brigham Young called the Saints to gather that same afternoon to discuss the rightful succession of Church leadership. At the afternoon gathering—with “Rigdon and Young and at least seven members of the Twelve” present and with high priests “seated nearby to the right,” Seventies at the front, Aaronic Priesthood holders at the rear, elders to the right of the Seventies, and sisters to their left, Brigham Young spoke to a congregation of six thousand or more Saints. This would later be described by many Saints and Church leaders as a miraculous confirmation of the leadership the Lord exercises over His Church.
Recalling how Brigham Young addressed the congregation that day. President Cannon, whose General Authority service as an Apostle didn’t start until 1860, said that when he spoke, it was as if “Joseph had risen from the dead and again spoken in their hearing.”
Later, when describing the importance of that day in helping the Church to establish the Lord’s chosen pattern for the succession of prophets, Brigham Young said, “The Church was of one heart and one mind” on that day.
This day in history, though it marks a period of uncertainty for the Church, also established the beginning of a pattern set by the Lord to help relieve us of uncertainty following the death of a prophet. As was recently stated in the Church News, “Through clear process and ‘firmly established precedents,’ the Lord has ensured that the kingdom will continue to ‘roll on’ (see D&C 65:2) following the death of a Church President.”
We are richly blessed to know that we have the Lord’s own chosen oracle to always be at the head of His Kingdom here upon the earth.
From all of us here at the National Headquarters, we wish you the very best as we move forward in 2022. Please know that we are thinking of you, praying for you, love you, and appreciate the privilege of serving you. May the Lord’s blessings pour out upon you and all those you hold dear.
CHALLENGE: I hope you took last month’s challenge and found 2-3 stories regarding your mother’s grandmother on her father’s side to share with your family. I found several stories about Nancy Elizabeth Chase which I will share with my children. This month find 2-3 stories about your mother’s grandfather on her mother’s side (one of your two great grandfathers on your mother’s side) that you want to share with your children. Write them and share them.