Friday, August 4, 2017

Utah’s First Non-Mormon Governor

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Alfred Cummings
Alfred Cummings was Utah’s first non-Mormon Governor. What was the first executive decision he made when he entered Salt Lake City in May of 1858?
a.                  Johnston’s army would not be permitted to stay in Salt Lake City
b.                  Pioneer day would be canceled
c.                   Brigham Young was to be imprisoned
d.                  All Mormon missionaries that were called home during the Johnston’s army crisis could safely return back to their fields of labor
Yesterday’s answer:
(B)   1834
It is necessary now to relate events of a different order than those of mob violence. The unlikelihood of very soon reestablishing Zion, in Jackson county, together with the general uncertainty of affairs in Missouri pertaining to the saints, made it imperative that Kirtland should be enlarged and maintained as the headquarters of church activity. As already stated in a previous chapter, on the return of the elders from the Zion camp expedition, the foreign ministry of the church, represented in the quorums of the twelve and the seventy, was organized and its duties defined. The temple was hastened to its completion, and dedicated; the discontinued with the September number of 1834, and succeeded by the Messenger and Advocate, which was regarded as a more appropriate title for a periodical of the New Dispensation, which had both a message to deliver and a cause to advocate. About this time also a change was made in the title of the church. Up until now the organization had been called by its members the “Church of Christ” or “The Church of Jesus Christ,” but by non-members the “Mormon Church,” and “Mormonites.” In the hope of establishing a more distinctive title,--and perhaps in the hope of escaping the term  “Mormonite”—at a conference of elders in Kirtland, over which President Joseph Smith presided, held on the 3rd of May, 1834 a resolution was passed to the effect that the church thereafter should be known as “The Church of the Latter-day Saints.” The heading of the conference minutes, however, begins with these words: “Minutes of a conference of the elders of the Church of Christ,” etc. This is pointed out in order that it may be seen that while the conference aforesaid adopted the title, “The Church of the Latter-day Saints,” and the church officially for some time was called by that name, it was not the intention to regard the church as any other than the “Church of Christ.” Subsequently, namely, on the 26th of April, 1838, the matter of the name of the church was finally settled by revelation—“Thus shall my Church be called in the last days,” The appropriateness of this title is self-evident, and in it there is a beautiful recognition of the relationship of the Lord Jesus Christ and the saints to the organization. It is “The Church of Jesus Christ.” He owns it, for he organized it. It is his, for he gave himself for it. It is the sacred depository of his truth. It is his instrumentality for promulgating all those spiritual truths in which he would have mankind instructed. It is also the Christ’s instrumentality for the perfecting of the saints, as well as for the work of the ministry. It is the Christ’s church in all these respects; but it is an institution which also belongs to the saints. It is their refuge from the confusion and religious doubt of the world. It is their instructor in principle, doctrine, and righteousness. It is their guide in matter of faith and morals. They have a conjoint ownership in it with Jesus Christ which ownership is recognized in the latter part of the title. “The Church of Latter-day Saints,” Is equivalent to “The Church of Jesus Christ,” and “The Church of the Latter-day Saints.”

B. H. Roberts, A Comprehensive History of the Church (Brigham Young University Press: Provo, Utah, 1965), Vol. 1,392-393.

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