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David O. McKay Diaries – “Courts”

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Church Courts

David O. McKay  Diaries

Thur., 16 Feb., 1939:

“In Council Meeting today the ‘right’ of the First Presidency and the Twelve was questioned in regard to recommending man to receive his former blessings who had been excommunicated and who died without having given satisfactory evidence of repentance.

Brother Joseph F. Smith would condemn all such to the Terrestrial and Telestial Kingdoms.”

Wed., 8 Mar., 1939:

“Telephoned Bishop Pack of the Mt. Olympus Ward, Cottonwood Stake, and asked him why Clyde J. Neilson had not been dealth with for his fellowship on the grounds of apostacy.  He answered me that he had already spoken to the Stake President (Brother Bringhurst) and that he had intimated that he, the Bishop, did not have the authority. I advised Bishop Pack to get in touch with the President again and take steps to deal with Neilson as his apostate acts merit.

Also telephoned to Bishop Charles G. Wright of the 16th Ward, Salt Lake City, regarding Alonzo F. Cole, alother apostate, who with Marius P. Peterson, and Clyde J. Neilson issued a publication against the Church.  Bishop Wright said he would take action against him.”

Wed., 7 Jul., 1947:

“[Telephone call] Bishop Wirthlin–re: Mr. Start-up who is on trial for murdering a man.  His Bishop want to know regarding his status in the Church, and whether or not he should be excommunicated.  I told Bishop Wirthlin I thought he should be excommunicated.”

Mon., 13 Dec., 1948:

“Bishop Richards telephoned to say that President Dunn of the Tooele Stake was in his office stating that they had excommunicated a married man for illicit relations with a returned lady missionary.  She has had a baby as a result of their unlawful cohabitation.

The man who has been excommunicated pleads that no publicity be given.  I answered that there must be a record of his excommunication, and the usual announcement to the Bishops of his excommunication.  I said that no other publicity need be given it.”

Tues., 1 Mar., 1949:

“At 9:30 a.m.–George Romney (Assistant to the President of the Nash-Kelvinator Company) and President of the Detroit Branch of the Church, called at the office.  He reported that one George Biery is causing much trouble in the Branch.  He was tried and disfellowshipped several months ago for preaching false doctrine and being out of harmony with the authorities.  He appealed to the First Presidency and the decision was reversed–that is the trial was declared to have not been in confirmity with the policy of the Church, and so the sentence was set aside.  Since that time Biery has caused more trouble, and he now finds fault with the President of the Branch and with others.

I suggested that the Branch Presidency sit as a ‘Bishop’s Court’ and try him for his fellowship, and Brother Romney reported that the President of the Mission–Creed Haymond–has already taken steps to summon Biery before a Mission Council.

This is probably the right thing to do inasmuch as Biery would accuse Brother Romney of being prejudiced since Biery has such ill-feelings toward Romney.

I told Brother Romney they could go right ahead with the action as planned, but to be sure that they have ample evidence that the notice of trial is given and that due process of trial in accordance with church procedure be carried out.”

Wed., 7 Dec., 1949:

“10:45–Met at his request Dr. D. E. Smith who called to present the case of a young man by the name of Dean Chase  who has asked to be excommunicated from the Church.  It is felt that Bro. Chase is ‘mixed-up’ having just returned from the Nuremburg trials in Germany and has become embittered.  I called Bp. Douglas Smith of the South Edgehill Ward (the ward in which Bro. Chase lives) and asked him about this case.  Bishop Smith said they are preparing now to send out summons to Bro. Chse to appear at a Bishop’s Court next Wednesday night.  Said that he had written a letter to Pres. Smith, and that Bro. Robinson of the Edgehill Ward (who used to be Bro. Chase’s Bishop) referred the matter to him as the ward had since been divided.  Bishop Smith said he had talked with Bro. Chse three times, trying to get him to change his mind.  Said he thought Bro. Chase is not qualified to make the step.  He is only 21; that he is embittered over the trials that went on in Germany.  The Bishop said Bro. Chase had sent him postcards and very definitely asks for excommunication.

I told Bishop Smith that I thought he would be justified in postponing action.  The Bishop said he would be very happy to do that.  I said that it is probable that Bro. Chase is just floundering; that we have had some of these young fellows before; that a little learning is a dangerous thing, and these young men think because they have a little knowledge they know everything. The Bishop said he had talked to the parents and together they have done everything to get him to see differently.  I said, ‘Well, let’s wait awahile, and in a month or so you might call me.'”

Fri., 3 Feb., 1950:

“I received President John D. Hill, his counselor Edward K. Winder, Bishop A. J. Johnson and his first counselor Clarence Brady of Redwood Ward.

Their problem concerned reports reflecting on the moral standing of the second counselor in the Redwood Ward–viz., Howard Bird. I instructed them to call Brother Bird before them and face him with the accusations, and if he admits that he is guilty, then there is nothing they can do but release him from the Bishopric and disfellowship him.”

Wed., 8 Feb., 1950:

“At 9:45 a.m.–Brother Oscar J. Harlene, President of the Grant Stake, and George W. Fowler his second counselor, called at the office and reported the unsavory case involving Bishop Wendell E. Mecham of the Hillcrest Ward who has been guilty of sexual relations with a young girl evidently a member of a ‘gang’ who trapped the Bishop and then reported the case to her gangster lover who threatened the Bishop with publicity, or worse, if he did not come through with $5oo hush money, which the Bishop did.   Capt. Ernest J. Steinfeldt of the Police Force learned of the case, and I believe arrested the ‘gangster’ for having taken bribe money.

I instructed the Presidency to convene the High Council at once, dismiss Mecham from the Bishopric, disfellowship him, reorganize the Bishopric next Sunday night, and later take steps to excommunicate the Bishop and one or two others who are accused of having had criminal relations with this same girl’s sister.”

Fri., 10 Feb., 1950:

“9 a.m.–Mr. Howard F. Bird of the Bishopric of the Redwood Ward, North Jordan Stake, about whom President John D. Hill consulted me the other day called at the office.  He has been accused of actions of a serious nature, and came in to beg for leniency and another chance.  I told him that the people of the Ward, the parents of the Ward had put their trust in him, that he had betrayed that trust, and that he cannot be sustained in the Bishopric of that Ward.  He said, ‘What can I do?’  I told him that by his conduct and repentance he can win the forgiveness of those whom he has wronged.”

Wed., 21 Jun., 1950:

“7:45 a.m.–H. W. Valentine called and related the case of one of our returned missionaries–Elder Duane Kump of the Northern States and later Great Lakes States Missions, who consorted with a Mrs. Louise Carsey, 45, of Athens, Illinois.  Elder Kump was released 60 days ago, and has now sent for Mrs. Carsey and she is located at 376 N. 1st West, this city.  Day before yesterday Elder Kimb married her.  It was further reported that the missionaries in the vicinity of Athens, Ill. are trying to dispose of Mrs. Carsey’s property for her.  (Mrs. Kumb works at the Miners Hospital, City.)

I immediately got in touch with President Waldo Anderson of the Northern States Mission, related the above information to him, and told him that he should get in touch with the Elders who are disposing of Mrs. Carsey’s property and put a stop to it at once; that the church must have nothing whatever to do with this.  I further said that Mrs. Carsey will in all probability be excommunicated from the Church and so will the Elder–that they will have to attend to their own business.  President Anderson said he would get in touch with them (the missionaries) immediately and see that they do not involve themselves in this matter in any way.”

Fri., 21 Jul, 1950:

“Met Mr. and Mrs. Parley A. Dansie who came in regarding their son Robert Dansie, a former missionary in the Texas-Louisiana Mission, who is now living in the mission field in Texas with his wife.  He has been influenced by one Samuel H. McCracken, 2nd Coun. to President Benjamin L. Bowring of the Texas-Louisiana Mission, who is preaching a pernicious doctrine and following after a Mr. Cunningham, a non-member of the Church, who claims to be a ‘Seer’. The First Presidency has already written to Pres. Bowring, in answer to a letter they received from him giving an account of the disturbance that is being caused by the above named men, telling him that he should call Brother McCracken and Robert Dansie in and impress upon them the seriousness of the path they are following, and if they do not desist they will be summoned to show cause why they should not be excommunicated from the Chruch.

I told Brother and Sister Dansie to write to Brother Spencer Kimball who knows Robert Dansie and ask him if he will work with him and see if he can do anything with him.”

Sun., 28 Jan., 1951:

“Was in the office most of the day keeping my hand on the missionary and draft situation.  It was 7 or 7:30 p.m. before I left for home.

At 8 a.m. I received a long distance call from President Choules of the Southern states Mission that an Elder in Alabama had admitted having been unchaste with an investigator, and President Choules asked what to do.

I told Pres. Choules to excommunicate the Elder and send him home; that there is nothing else we can do in a case of this kind.

Later, I received a telephone message from a Draft Board member, which indicated that the telephone message sent yesterday from the State Selective Service did not carry the message promised by Colonel Gray.”

Tues., 10 Apr., 1951:

“President Graff of Hurricane, Utah called regarding one of his members who is having marital difficulties–he has just returned from Japan, his wife has been untrue to him, and he would like to get a temple divorce from her.  I told Pres. Graff to have him send in his application for a cancellation, but that the civil divorce must be final before doing that.  Also that the local authorities down there will have to decide whether the girl, who admits to illicit relations with the men with whom she has been associating, is to be disfellowshipped or excommunicated from the church.”

Mon., 7 Dec., 1953:

“4.  Bishop Willard Glen Hansen of the Cardston 2nd Ward, whom President Brewerton has recommended be released because of a moral condition, called on me.  In answer to my question, he admitted that he had been ‘fooling’ with his 12-year-old daughter.  Said he had confessed this to President Brewerton before he was put in as Bishop and President Brewerton forgave him on condition that he would do it no more.  It seems that he has not discontinued it.  I told him that he must be dealt with in the Ward and Stake where he lives.  The brethren decided to tell President Brewerton he must be handled for his standing in the Church. 

Fri., 20 Aug., 1954:

Mark E. Petersen telephoned regarding the excommunication of a man who had seduced a young girl.  He asked what mercy should they show the girl because of her youth.  I said that we should be showing mercy if we disfellowshipped her.  Brother Petersen agreed, saying that the girl knew what she was doing – that he was a married man with three children, and that he had a daughter the same age as the girl in question.”

24 Nov., 1954:

Telephone Conversation

“President McKay called President Thomas O. Smith of the North Weber Stake regarding a letter received from Mrs. Josephine Kranendonk, R.F.D. #1, Box 304, Ogden, Utah relative to her fourteen year old daughter being involved with a forty-eight year old divorced man.

President Smith told me that he was familiar with the case.  He also stated that he did not know the details, but he knew the case in a general way.  He did not know the man, but he understands that he is not a member of the Church.  The man is a newcomer in the area.  I told President Smith that I would refer the matter to him.  President Smith asked if I had any suggestions.  He told me that the couple were married last week.  I told President Smith that if the man was not a member of the Church, we would not be able to excommunicate him.  President Smith said he didn’t know just what had been decided relative to the girl by her Bishop.  The Bishop has talked to the couple.  I told President Smith that by marriage the baby would be able to have a name.  I told President Smith that I would acknowledge the letter and tell them that I understand the girl is married, and it is now in the hands of the Stake Presidency and Bishop.  President Smith said they would follow through on it.”

Fri., 1 July, 1955:

“2.  Elder Hugh B. Brown who came in and reported that he had met an excommunicant who had asked him, Brother Brown, to call on me and make a recommendation regarding the excommunicant’s request to have his priesthood restored.  Brother Brown promised that he would call on me and make the recommendation.  He recommended that the man be not given his restoration at present.  He says that he is blaming the woman in the case for his having been given the sentence of excommunication.

Brother Brown then said:  ‘I will tell him that I called to see you.’  I said that he may also add that I told you (Brother Brown) that his having his blessings restored is a matter for the First Presidency and the Twelve to decide and not for the President of the Church.”

Mon., 10 Dec., 1956:

11:30 a.m.  Mr. and Mrs. Ira Davis of Bedford, Wyoming came in to the office, after having waited since 7 o’clock this morning.

On October 25, 1956 at a meeting of the First Presidency their case was reviewed and the question considered as to whether the proper course would be restoration of former blessings or ratification of subsequent ordinances.  It was decided that restoration of former blessings and ratification of ordinances subsequent to excommunication would be in order.  Later on November 15, 1956 at a meeting of the First Presidency this case was again reviewed in which the decision had been reached that appropriate action to be taken is restoration of his blessings and ratification of ordinances performed.

Accordingly, in accordance with the above decisions of the First Presidency, I this day restored by the laying on of hands all of his former blessings upon Ira Davis of Bedford, Wyoming.  Besides restoring his former blessings, all the ordinations performed by him since his baptism and ordination as an Elder were ratified.

Fri., 12 July, 1957:

“Telephone conversation with President Elden L. Ord, Covina Stake, Covina, California, Friday, July 12, 1957

Re:  Transgression of Bishop Roland M. Roskelley, Azusa Ward, Covina Stake.

President Ord:  President McKay, this is President Ord of Covina Stake.  I am so sorry to trouble you.

President McKay:  No trouble.

President Ord:  Do you remember the case with Bishop Roskelley, the Bishop who transgressed?  We received your letter instructing us to release him immediately.  I am vitally concerned about the family situation and the ward over which he has been presiding, as I explained in the letter.  He has been a very devoted person, especially in connection with his work as Bishop.  I should like to have some counsel as to the best way to communicate this to the ward.  Is there any possibility that his successor could be announced concurrent with his release?

President McKay:  You do not have to give it too much publicity, no more than you need to.

President Ord:  I thought we would release him in a sacrament meeting.  At that time we could present the new bishop.  Could we state that the reason for release is because it is necessary to do so?  Would you suggest that Bishop Roskelley express himself at this meeting?

President McKay:  No, I would not have Bishop Roskelley express himself at this meeting.  Release him by stating that he has given his resignation.

President Ord:  I feel that he has labored very devotedly in the Church.

President McKay:  That does not matter; that man must be dealt with.

President Ord:  Regarding the type of judgment to Bishop Roskelley at the trial, whether it be disfellowshipment or excommunication, will this be left with the High Council?  I feel that he has done so much good in various ways.

President McKay:  Yes, but think of the harm he has done.  My goodness!

President Ord:  That is right.  I do not know whether we can keep the family together or not.

President McKay:  You know what the Book of Mormon says, that ‘sin is never happiness.’

President Ord:  Do you feel that the details of this should be communicated to the High Council in the trial?

President McKay:  You will have to; you will have to summon him for transgression, immoral conduct.

President Ord:  But the decision will be as to how we are guided by inspiration, whether it be disfellowshipment or excommunication.  It is a tremendous thing.  Thank you very much, President.  Goodby.”

Thurs., 25 Aug. 1960:

One matter considered was a letter from President Frank A. Brown (East Central States Mission President) and a copy of a letter proposed by President Ingle of Chatanooga Branch to be sent to inactive members of the Church.  The Branch President’s letter recited to the person addressed the facts of his baptism and of his inactive status, and asked for a reply within thirty days as to the attitude and the wish of the individual to continuing his membership in the Church, and informed him that failure to respond would be acted upon as willingness to have the name of the individual taken from the records of the Church.

I stated that such a letter should not be sent, but that a faithful and diligent missionary labor should be undertaken in each case.”

Tues., 15 Nov. 1960:

“4:30 p.m.

Conference with Elder Mark Petersen regarding Allan Howe, Chairman of the Young Democrats of Utah who has been excommunicated and now re-instated by baptism.  He is going to Washington, D.C. and would like to go in full fellowship in the Church.  After discussing the matter, I told Brother Petersen to bring the case up at our Council meeting next Thursday.”

Thurs., 27 May 1965:

“Excommunication of Mayo Kimberly Johnson – Fifteen-Year-Old who Killed His Mother

President Brown reviewed the case of Mayo Johnson, fifteen-year-old youth of Walnut Creek Stake who went out of control and killed his mother.  Thomas Ferguson, lawyer, is representing the young man.  The Church officers ask whether or not the boy should be disfellowshipped or excommunicated.  The Bishop has written reviewing the case and asks instruction as to the action to be taken.  The boy was not found guilty of murder because of his age.  This is the rule in California.  He has been detained by the State and will likely remain the rest of his life.

I advised that the Bishop be instructed to excommunicate him.”

Thurs., 9 Sept. 1965: 

“Excommunicant or Disfellowshipped Person – Membership Record

We reviewed new rulings or instructions proposed by the Presiding Bishopric and considered with the Presiding Bishopric by Elder Delbert L. Stapley.  Elder Stapley’s letter was read.

The handbook of instruction states that the white membership record of a person disfellowshipped is to remain in the Ward in which the individual was disfellowshipped.  The Bishopric suggest that the membership record of a disfellowshipped person go with the membership records of other members of a family so that the Bishop of the new Ward will have notification in some appropriate way of the status of a disfellowshipped person so he can proceed appropriately to assist in rehabilitation of the individual.  The Council of the Twelve advise that the jurisdiction for determining the readiness of the individual for the removal of the disfellowshipment be not transferred to the Ward to which the individual may move, but that the membership record remain in the Ward where the individual was disfellowshipped and that the disfellowshipping court act upon the petition for removal of the bar of disfellowshipment.

I concurred in the recommendation of the Council and favored the new Bishop being informed of the status of the person disfellowshipped so that he can assist in appropriate ways in his rehabilitation.  This was taken up at Council Meeting today, and Elder Stapley was instructed to talk to the Presiding Bishopric about this matter.

Thurs., 28 Oct. 1965:

Excommunications – Committee to Pass Upon Restoration Cases

We discussed the recommendation by Elder Delbert L. Stapley in a recent meeting of the Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve that a committee be appointed to assist in passing upon restoration cases, at which time I had indicated that such a committee would be appointed at the next meeting of the First Presidency.  We now agreed to appoint Elders Delbert L. Stapley, Marion G. Romney, and Gordon B. Hinckley to serve on this committee, the committee to submit their recommendations to the First Presidency.

Fri., 7 Jan. 1966:

Excommunications – Number in 1965

The bishopric reported that during the year 1965, there were 2,668 excommunications; 1,887 for apostasy, 257 for immorality, 96 joined the Catholic Church.  Of this number 1,701 were converts to the Church — 520 of which number were from the Missions.

We requested the Presiding Bishopric to break this number down further to indicate the number of excommunicants in the various areas, particularly in Mission areas, and to give further details regarding them.

Fri. 4 Feb. 1966:

“Excommunications – Number in January 1966

Bishop Simpson reported that during the month of January 1966, there was a total of 216 excommunications — 124 of which were for apostasy, and that 82 percent of these were new converts to the Church.”

Wed., 9 Feb. 1966:

8:45 to 10:30 a.m.

Held a meeting with the First Presidency.  Presidents Brown, Tanner, and Smith were present.

We considered a number of general Church matters, among them being:

Excommunications, Request for Assistance – Are Reinstatements Being Pushed Too Quickly?

Elder Stapley said that he needs someone to assist him full time with the excommunication cases by doing the detail work of interviewing, researching, facts, etc.  He said it is taking so much of his time that he cannot keep up with his other duties and assignments.  I said he should have some help, but that I wondered if some requests for reinstatement were being pushed too quickly.  (See Elder Stapley’s report of this Conference which follows.)”

Wed., 8 Mar. 1967:

“8:30 a.m.

Held at the apartment a meeting of the First Presidency — Presidents Brown and Tanner were present.  President Smith was excused as he was attending a quarterly meeting of the Twelve.  President Isaacson still at home ill due to a stroke.  Among a number of items considered were:

Baptism of Murderer

Consideration was given to a letter from President Wilford M. Burton of the Eastern Atlantic States Mission presenting the fact pertaining to the case of Buddy Edmond Spears, a deaf-mute, who is a confessed murderer, but who was pardoned by the Governor of the State of West Virginia after he had served some years in the penitentiary.  Mr. Spears is applying for membership in the Church by baptism.

It was our decision, in view of the facts presented, that Mr. Spears should not be baptized and that his case should be left in the hands of the Lord.

Tues., 21 Mar. 1967:

“8:30 a.m.

Met with my counselors, Presidents Brown and Tanner, for a meeting of the First Presidency.  President Smith was in Provo speaking to the BYU student assembly, and President Isaacson is still confined to his home from the stroke he suffered over a year ago.  Among matters considered were:

Disfellowshipment Cases – Letter of Reinstatement to go from First Presidency

After reviewing a number of applications for rebaptism and restoration of former blessings of members who had been excommunicated, it was mentioned that Elder Delbert L. Stapley, a member of the committee appointed to pass upon these applications, has inquired whether authority might be given to the committee (namely, Elders Stapley, Marion G. Romney,and Gordon B. Hinckley) to decide upon disfellowshipment cases and grant restoration of fellowship in cases considered by them.

I ruled that all such cases should come to the First Presidency, and when a decision is reached to reinstate the individual to fellowship, the letter should go from the First Presidency.

Mon., 21 Aug., 1967:

Excommunications – Inactive Members not to be taken from Rolls of the Church

Signed a letter today to all Stake Presidents, Mission Presidents, Bishops, and Independent Branch Presidents, giving them instruction that they are not to remove the names of inactive members of their ward or branch from the Church rolls in order that the ward or branch statistical records may present a better showing.

We emphasize that inactivity in and of itself is not sufficient reason to summon a member to a Bishop’s court; also that the fact that an individual has joined another Church is not always justifiable cause for excommunication.

Also, that wives of non-members should not be excommunicated because their husbands refuse to permit them to be active. Only when a person requests specifically that his name be removed from the records of the Church, and does so in writing, and the Bishop or Branch President has satisfied himself that this is his firm desire, the individual concerned should not be cited to appear before a Bishop’s court to answer for his standing, nor should the individual’s name otherwise be removed from the records of the Church. That it is most imporant that we recognize the purpose of the Gospel is to save souls.

(See copy of letter following.)”

“August 21, 1967



Dear Brethren:

Reports have come to our attention which give us concern regarding the apparent cause for some excommunications. It appears that some bishops and branch presidents remove the names of inactive members of their ward or branch from the Church rolls in order that the ward or branch statistical records may present a better showing.

We wish to emphasize that inactivity in and of itself is not sufficient reason to summon a member to a bishop’s court. We also call your attention to the instruction given in the General Church Handbook of Instructions, page 61, to the effect that the fact that an individual has joined another Church is not always justifiable cause for excommunication.

It has come to our attention that some wives of non-members have been excommunicated because their husbands refuse to permit them to be active. Unless the person involved requests specifically that her name be removed from the records of the Church and does so in writing, and the bishop or branch president has satisfied himself that this is her firm desire, the individual concerned should not be cited to appear before a bishop’s court to answer for her standing, nor should the individual’s name otherwise be removed from the records of the Church.

It is most important that we recognize that the purpose of the gospel is to save souls. Bishops, branch presidents and home teachers should labor diligently and untiringly with inactive and neglectful members in an effort to reactivate them and bring them to an understanding of the glorious truths of the gospel.

Faithfully your brethren,


By David O. McKay

Hugh B. Brown

N. Eldon Tanner

Joseph Fielding Smith”

Thur., 16 Nov., 1967:

“8:30 a.m. 

Held a meeting of the Presidency held in my office in the Hotel Utah. Presidents Brown, Tanner, and Elder Dyer were present. President Smith was attending the meeting of the Twelve in the Temple.

Excommunications –  Restoration of Blessings 

Considered a letter concerning a certain brother who had married a woman after the Manitesto, his third living wife. For this he was excommunicated.

The Church has ruled that the restoration of blessings upon a person who has been excommunicated, will include only such blessings received prior to excommunication. Therefore, the restoration of blessings by proxy for this person who was married after the manifesto, could not include the third marriage.

Tues., 21 Nov., 1967:

“9:00 a.m.

Held a meeting with the First Presidency in my office in the apartment. The following were present: Presidents Brown, Tanner, and Smith, and Elder Alvin R. Dyer. President Tanner left shortly before 10:00 a.m., to attend the Expenditures Committee meeting.

In addition to a number of routine correspondence matters, the following items were discussed and decisions reached:

Disfellowshipment of a Fifteen-Year-Old Boy who Murdered His Mother 

We considered Elder Delbert L. Stapley’s letter regarding the case of a teenage member who had killed his mother, and who, because of his youth (age 15) when he committed the crime, had been disfellowshipped only from the Church. The father of the boy has been given custody of the boy by the court, and he is asking the Stake President that the disfellowshipment be rescinded which had been imposed by the Bishop’s court.

We decided that the Stake Presidency should review the case before a Stake Court, and unless they could find some reason for not doing so, this young man is to be excommunicated. He is now 17 years of age, and does not show signs of repentance. (See First minutes of this day for further detail.)

Tues., 12 Dec., 1967:

“8:30 a.m.

Held a meeting with the Counselors. Some of the matters discussed were:

Excommunicants – Restoration of Blessings 

The secretary, Brother Anderson, then presented a number of “restoration of blessings” cases. After going over several, he said, “I guess that is all of the cases.” And I said, “You guess that is all; don’t you know?” We all had a chuckle out of this — as there were really no more cases to take up.

In considering one of the restoration cases, it was recommended by the committee — Delbert L. Stapley, Howard W. Hunter, and Gordon B. Hinckley — that a certain couple be re-admitted into the Church by baptism, and also have their blessings restored at the same time.

Elder Alvin R. Dyer, who was present at the meeting, raised the

question as to whether it is now a policy that all of this be done at one time since he had understood that “baptism” and “restoration of blessings” were to be handled at separate intervals. Elder Dyer was informed that the policy of the Church has been changed to allow this combined restoration in some instances.

Thurs., 29 May, 1969:

“9:00 a. m. 

Meeting of the First Presidency in the President’s Hotel Apartment. Present were Presidents Hugh B. Brown, N. Eldon Tanner and Alvin R. Dyer.

Among the matters discussed were:

Transgressors – Handling of

President Brown mentioned that occasionally cases come to the attention of the Twelve where men for one cause or another are out of harmony, and certain members of the Twelve have issued instructions on the basis of hearsay evidence regarding the handling of such cases. He stated that it was his understanding that the Twelve should not instruct any court to excommunicate a man, that all that they should do is to tell them to try the case, hear the evidence and form a judgment.

I said that is right.