TODAY IN CHURCH HISTORY: 26 May
1834- Zion's Camp continued traveling on this "very hot day" across a sixteen mile prairie. Many of the brethren had never seen a prairie before and were fascinated with how flat and open it was. They were short on water and were very happy to arrive at the house of a Mr. Wayne, who allowed them to refresh their animals and themselves, "as we were almost famished." They crossed the Embarras river and encamped on a small branch of the river about one mile west. While setting up his tent, the Prophet found three rattlesnakes which the brethren were about to kill when the Prophet encouraged them to take the snakes out of camp and not kill them. "How will the serpent ever lose his venom, while the servants of God possess the same disposition, and continue to make war upon it? . . . when men lose their vicious dispositions and cease to destroy the animal race, the lion and the lamb can dwell together." Animals, birds, and serpents were to be killed for food only. (History of the Church, 2:71-72)
1842 - The Prophet Joseph met and heard the confessions of John C. Bennett. He encouraged the brethren to forgive him because of the sincerity of his words. He then met with a large group of Saints near the Temple and addressed them on the principles of government and declared he did not plan to vote the Whig or Democratic ticket, "but would go for those who would support good order, &c." Then the Prophet met with the Ladies' Relief Society and encouraged the women to stand on their own testimonies of the gospel and to be careful of gossip. He also taught them "As females possess refined feelings and sensitiveness, they are also subject to overmuch zeal, which must ever prove dangerous, and cause them to be rigid in a religious capacity---[they] should be armed with mercy, notwithstanding the iniquity among us" (History of the Church 5:19).
1843 - The Prophet Joseph met in counsel with several brethren including his brother Hyrum, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards, and William Law, "and gave them their endowments and also instructions in the priesthood on the new and everlasting covenants" (History of the Church, 5:409).
1844 - The Prophet Joseph, less than a month before his death, spoke to the Saints in Nauvoo concerning the efforts of several apostates to destroy him and set up a new church. "I should be like a fish out of water, if I were out of persecutions. Perhaps my brethren think it requires all this to keep me humble. The Lord has constituted me so curiously that I glory in persecution. . . . Come on! Ye prosecutors! Ye false swearers! All hell, boil over! Ye burning mountains, roll down your lava! For I will come out on the top at last" (History of the Church, 6:408).
1847 - The first company of pioneers, led by Brigham Young, arrived at a point directly north of Chimney Rock, a distinctive landmark on the journey to the valley of the Great Salt Lake.
1848 - President Brigham Young leaves Winter Quarters, Iowa, for his second (and last) journey across the plains to the Great Salt Lake Valley.
1972 - The Church announces that the Salt Lake Lyric Theater will be renamed the Promised Valley Playhouse and be used for Church theatrical productions.
1973 - The restored Brigham Young home in Nauvoo, Illinois, is dedicated by President Spencer W. Kimball.
1986 - Church member Christy Fichtner is chosen as Miss USA.
1991 - The eighteen hundredth stake of the Church is organized-the San Francisco de Macoris Dominican Republic Stake.
1996 - The Hong Kong China Temple is dedicated by President Gordon B. Hinckley.