[Oliver Cowdery] The Joseph Smith, Sr. family lose the the title to their farm in Manchester. Lemuel Durfee, Sr., the new owner allows the Smiths to remain on the property as tenant farmers.
-- 20 Dec (Fri) 1833
The Kirtland Township Council served the last of its "warnings out of town" upon targeted Mormons in the township.
-- 20 Dec (Fri) 1833
The Wayne Sentinel published its "Mormon mystery developed" article, which was essentially a press release composed by D. Philastus Hurlbut before he started back to Ohio (probably written on or about Dec. 14, 1833. The article said that Hurlbut was from "Kirtland, Ohio" and that he had "been engaged for some time in different parts of this [New York] state, but chiefly in this [Palymra] neighborhood, on behalf of his fellow- townsmen, in the pursuit of facts and information concerning the origin and design of the Book of Mormon..." The editor passed on Hurlbut's proud notice, saying "that he has succeeded in accomplishing the object of his mission..." and then concluded the first, sketchy publication of the Spalding authorship claims for the Book of Mormon.
-- about 20 Dec (Fri) 1833
According to his lawyer, James A. Briggs, D. P. Hurlbut "had some trouble with the Mormons at Kirtland... and he had the prophet, Joseph Smith, arrested on a warrant of a justice of the peace for assault and battery..." If this is correct, Hurlbut probably filed his complaint against Joseph Smith with a Justice of the Peace in Painesville, several miles north of the Mormon stronghold. But according to Kirtland Justice of the Peace, John C. Dowen, "Hurlbut said he would "kill" Jo Smith. He meant he would kill Mormonism. The Mormons urged me to issue a writ against him. I did... He was brought to trial..." What probably happened was that Hurlbut and Smith brought charges against each other almost simultaneously. A combined pre-trial hearing was scheduled to take place before two Justices of the Peace in Painesville. This caused Smith to file a complaint on December 21, 1833 against Hurlbut before the Justice of the Peace in Kirtland, J. C. Dowen. A warrant for Hurlbut's arrest
was issued Hurlbut appeared before the Justice of the Peace in Painesville.. [on] the 13th and 14th of January 1834 that the case was heard Hurlbut staid at my house every three or four days for as many months. I read all of his manuscript, including Spaulding's "Manuscript Found," and compared it with the Book of Mormon; the historical part of which is the same as Spaulding's "Manuscript Found"... The trial lasted several days, and he was bound over to appear at the Court of Common Pleas at Chardon. Hurlbut let E. D. Howe, of Painesville, have his manuscript to publish. I should not be surprised if Howe sold Spaulding's "Manuscript Found" to the Mormons. (88) 18 Dec (Wed) The Mormons' new printing press was installed in the upper story of the Church office building at Kirtland. Oliver Cowdery ran off a proof sheet for a reprint edition of the Evening and Morning Star.
-- December 20, 1838
[Joseph Smith] Liberty, Missouri. Emma Smith visited her husband, Joseph Smith, in Liberty Jail.
-- December 20, 1840
[Joseph Smith] Nauvoo, Illinois. After being called upon by the high council to decide a case, Joseph Smith acquitted the charges against Robert D. Foster.
-- 1842 20 Dec.
[Joseph Smith] Lorenzo D. Barnes is the first Mormon to die on a foreign mission.
-- 1888 Dec 20
[Polygamy] Manifesto test draft
A document worded to relieve political pressure, similar to the later to be released Manifesto, is presented to the interim leadership of the Church. It was eventually rejected, because it was thought that it should be worded as a revelation from the President of the church for it to be credible. Wilford Woodruff, who was in the midst of a 2 year struggle with the Quorum of the Twelve to get his choice of George Q. Cannon approved as a member of the 1st Presidency, rejected any statement and affirmed his belief that "The Lord never will give a revelation to abandon plural marriage," noting that "we cannot deny principle." (Edward Leo Lyman, "Political Deliverance. p. 106. and Quinn, "Extensions", p. 48.)
-- December 20, 1996
[U.S. Religious History] Reflecting on his failed lawsuit against Larry Flynt because of the parody Flynt published in the magazine "Hustler," Jerry Falwell stated: "If Larry had been physically able and were not in a wheelchair, there'd have been no lawsuit. I'm a Campbell County, Virginia country boy. I'd just take him outside the barn and whip him and that'd be the end of it."
/Mormon Church History Chronology/