LDS History, 1881

-- 1881
Church Membership at end of year: 140,733
New Converts : 7,105
Percent Change from previous year: 5.32% (1)

[David O McKay] David McKay leaves on a mission to the British Isles. David O. and his mother assume responsibility for the farm and family. (2)

[Deseret] On September 7 a game of chess by telephone was played between Salt Lake and Ogden on Sunday. Salt Lake won. This is probably the first instance of telephonic chess on record. (3)

-- Jan 8, 1882
Assembly Hall on Temple Square dedicated. (4)

-- Feb 16, 1882
[Utah Statehood] the U.S. Senate passed the Edmunds Act, and it was approved in the House on March 14 and soon signed by Chester A. Arthur. It made the offense of unlawful cohabitation much easier to prove than polygamy misdemeanor and made it illegal for polygamists or cohabitants to vote, hold public office, or serve on juries. It also provided for a five-man Utah Commission appointed by the president to supervise all aspects of the electoral process in Utah Territory. Against this background Utahns nevertheless decided to mount another statehood drive. A constitutional convention authorized by the legislature met during April 10-27, 1882, in Salt Lake City and framed a constitution for Utah, abandoning the name Deseret and retooling the document. On May 22 the constitution was ratified by a vote of the people. Although a delegation was dispatched to Washington with the new constitution to present to Congress, no action was taken on the matter until February 23, 1883, when
it was introduced in the Senate; a statehood bill was later introduced in the House, but both bills were referred to committees where they were quickly put on hold. (5)

-- Feb 25, 1882
After a bitter dispute between George Q. Cannon (who won a decisive victory) and Liberal Party candidate Allen G. Campbell over who was allowed to represent Utah territory in the House of Representatives, both are denied the position. George Q. Cannon's practice of polygamy was the deciding issue and re-sparks national controversy on the topic. (6)

-- Mar 22, 1882
Edmunds bill signed into law by President Chester A. Arthur. [See Antipolygamy Legislation.] (7)

Edmunds Act signed into law. (4)

[U.S. Religious History] Polygamy was outlawed by Congress, specifically targeting the practices of the Mormon church. (8)

-- Mar 23, 1882
The Edmunds Act declares polygamy a felony. The act not only reinforces the 1862 Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act but also revokes the right of polygamists to vote, disallows them from holding political office, and also makes them ineligible to serve on the jury, regardless of whether they are practicing or merely believe in it. All elected offices in the Utah Territory were vacated, an election board was formed to issue certificates to those who denied polygamy and did not practice it, and new elections were held territory-wide. Practicing polygamists would have their civil rights taken away without a trial or due process. Adulterers and fornicators had no such penalties applied and did not lose their rights. (6)

-- During 1882 March
[Apostle John Henry Smith] Goes to Washington, D.C., to work against passage of the Edmunds Bill by the House of Representatives. (9)

-- Jul 17, 1882
Deseret Hospital opened by the Relief Society. (4)

-- Aug 12, 1882
[Apostle Rudger Clawson] Marries Florence Ann Dinwoodey at the Salt Lake Endowment House. Child: Rudger Elmo. (10)

1 - Wikipedia, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Membership History,
2 - Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: David O McKay, Salt Lake City, Utah
3 - History to Go, Statehood,
4 - Hemidakaota, "Church Chronology from 1800-2000,"
5 - Thatcher, Linda, History to Go, Statehood Chronology,
6 - Wikipedia, 19th Century (Mormonism),
7 - Ludlow, Daniel H. editor, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Macmillan Publishing, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 4, Appendix 2: A Chronology of Church History
8 - Cline, Austin, History of American Religion: Timeline,
9 - White, Jean Bickmore, Church, State, and Politics, p.xviii, A John Henry Smith Chronology
10 - Larsen, Stan (editor), A Ministry of Meetings:The Apostolic Diaries of Rudger Clawson, Significant Mormon Diaries Series No. 6, A Rudger Clawson Chronology, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City 1993
Mormon History Timeline /Chronology