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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Priesthood & Mormonism – 1898

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Priesthood, 1898.” You can view other years here.

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1898:  ca. 1898:  Sunday morning reserved for Sunday Schools.

“The question of conducting Sunday School without interruption by General and Stake Conferences, Mutual Improvement Associations, Relief Societies and Primary Associations, has been brought to our attention several times, and some general counsel has been given, but not in such a form as to receive the attention it deserves.  Again the subject has been brought before us by the brethren who have spent years of their lives in the Sunday School cause, and who are actively engaged in the management of the affairs of the Sabbath Schools, and after due consideration we have decided that it should be understood throughout all the wards and Stakes of Zion that each Sunday morning shall be held exclusively for the Sabbath Schools, and that no organization shall consider itself at liberty to use that part of the Sabbath to the prevention of Sunday Schools being held.”  (First Presidency Circular Letter, undated, ca. 1898.  In Clark, Messages of the First Presidency 3:303)

27 Jan.:  Can the United Order ever be re-established?

“Meeting of the Presidency and Apostles at the Temple at 11 A.M.  Present:  Prests. W. Woodruff, G. Q. Cannon, J. F. Smith, and L. Snow; Elders F. D. Richards and A. O. Woodruff.  F. M. Lyman and M. F. Cowley in the East; J. H. Smith and J. W. Taylor in Arizona; B. Young in California; H. J. Grant in Chicago; A. H. Lund on his way to Palestine.

Pres. G. Q. Cannon stated that he had been waited upon by Bro. T. G. Webber and asked to meet the President of the Chamber of Commerce to-day, to see if something could be done to unite different elements in business circles in S. L. City in support of the Chamber of Commerce, and Bro. Cannon desired the mind of the Council as to the course he should pursue.  The sentiment expressed was that the Saints never expected to be so mixed up with the Gentiles as circumstances had led them into, but that the United Order would be established and our financial affairs regulated thereby; also that success could not be expected until that system should prevail among the Saints.  However, it was conceded that under the present laws of the Land, it would not be possible to establish that order, but that a change might come when it would be practicable.  The result of the conversation was, that the sense of the meeting was that Pres. Cannon should accept the invitation to meet the President of the Chamber of Commerce, and do what he could in the direction indicated.”  (JH 27 Jan., 1898)

31 Jan.:  Payment of Church employees.

“The First Presidency at their office to-day met with the Presiding Bishopric, who represented that there were certain regular expenses and pay-rolls connected with the Presiding Bishop’s Office which would have to be met and arrangements were desired in conformity with the decision to have the cash tithings sent direct to the Trustee-in-trust.  It was decided that the Bishop’s Office should draw upon the President’s Office once a month to meet that account, a petty cash account to be kept at the Bishop’s Office.  On the suggestion of Bishop Preston, it was decided that the system of issuing meat orders should be restored, a fixed proportion of Church scrip to be issued in those orders to the Church employees.”  (JH 31 Jan., 1898)

5 Feb.:  Priesthood instructed to trim off dead branches.

“[Priesthood meeting at Second Ward house.  The First Presidency said that] . . . the Presidents of Stakes and Presidents of Quorums were instructed and counseled to set their stakes and quorums in order by trimming off the dead branches.”  (Rudger Clawson diary, 5 Feb., 1898)

10 Feb.:  Reminiscence of Cowdery, priesthood and B of M.

“Salt Lake City, Utah, Febr. 10, 1898.

Apostle Heber J. Grant.

Dear Brother:–I hasten to improve the present opportunity to comply with your request.

In the spring of 1893, I was called to go to the Northern States Mission, and having been appointed Elder in Minn. I started to perform my duties, and on account of the scarcity of Elders in that state at the time, I traveled principally alone.  While thus traveling from house to house one day, I tried a great many places to obtain permission to stop over night, telling the people that I was sent as a servant of God to preach the Gospel without purse or scrip, and having no money to pay my way.  One day, the date I do not now remember, I had tried about half a dozen places without being able to obtain permission to stop, because as soon as they found out that I was a Mormon Elder, they ordered me to leave their premises forthwith.  While thus attempting in vain to find a stopping place, I noticed a team standing outside a store, if I remember correctly, and started towards it.  As I approached the wagon, an elderly gentleman came out, and while preparing his team to start home, I hailed him and asked him how far he was going to travel, which he told me.  I then asked him if I could ride with him, and before answering whether I could or not, he asked me who I was and where I was going and where I came from etc.  I answered all these questions at once by saying that I was a servant of God sent to preach the Gospel.  He said ‘Itt is not very often that I se one of God’s servants traveling the way that you seem to be traveling, but by the way where do you live?  I told him that I was  a Mormon Elder sent from Utah; as soon as I had told him this, he grabbed me by the hand and gave me a squeeze that I have scarcely forgotten yet saying ‘You are the man I have been anxious to see for many many years.  Get into my wagon as soon as you can and I will take you to my home and when we get there, I will inform you why I have been waiting so long to see an Elder from Utah.’  When we came to his house, he introduced me to his wife and children, and told them that here was a servant of God that they had so long been waiting to see.  ‘Now,’ said he to his wife, ‘Fix up some supper for him, as I understand that he is quite hungry, and you Mr. Nielsen can start in and eat, and I will talk and tell you a portion of my past history.’

‘My first acquaintance with the Mormon people was in the state of Illinois.  I do not now remember the year, but it is many years ago, because I was then unmarried and quite a young man.  One day I left my home to go up to the town which was the county seat of the county in which I lived, and after having tied my horses, preparatory to transacting some business in the city, I noticed a great many people going up towards the court house; being inquisitive and thinking that something more than usual was going on at the court house, I concluded to follow suit.  I went up to the court house, and on entering the same, I learned that a man was being tried for murder.  The witnesses had all been examined, and the prosecuting attorney had just begun an earnest argument to the juryt a few minutes before I entered, and after he had concluded, the attorney for the prisoner arose, and after having addressed himself to the court and the jury, he turned towards the prosecuting attorney, whom he called Oliver Cowdery, saying in a loud and very sarcastic voice:

Mr. Cowdery, you have told the jury all that you know or ever pretended to know about the prisoner’s bad character, the horrible crime he has committed, and the necessity for the public good to have him punished to the full extent of the law.  Now I trust, and by the way I challenge you, Mr. Cowdery, that when you shall reply to me in your closing argument to this jury, you will tell them about your connection with Joe Smith the great Mormon impostor, and I trust that you will make plain to this jury, if your conscience will allow you, and state how many thousands of dollars you have obtained from the American people by fraud and misrepresentation, in connection with the gold bible that you and Joe Smith dug out of Cumorah Hill.  And when you get through with that, tell them about the appearance of John the Baptist and the other angels, as they appeared to you and Joe Smith.

‘After having finished this little speech to Oliver Cowdery, he turned to the jury and abused Oliver Cowdery and did all in his power to rehearse all the lies and slanders that had so frequently been circulated about the Mormon people, in his attempt to prejudice the jury against the prosecution.  After he had finished kOliver Cowdery arose in a calm and determined manner, and after having addressed the court and the jury, he said:

My brother attorney who defends this unfortunate man, has found it necessary to drag past history into this case, but allow me, gentlemen of the jury, to say to you that it is not because of my good deeds that I am here to-day standing before you to prosecute this prisoner; but it is because I have broken the covenants that I made with my Heavenly Father, and because of that I have been cast out of His Church.  As to my connection with Joseph Smith and the Golden Bible so called, I will say that as I stand here in the presence of you and my Maker, I testify (pointing to his eyes and ears) that these eyes saw the angel of God and these ears heard the words, declaring to me that the Book of Mormon which had been translated from the Golden Plates, was true.  Again I testify to you that while I was alone with Joseph the Prophet, in the attitude of prayer, a light descended from the heaven, the glory of which far exceeded the noon-day sun, and in the midst of which a personage appeared who told us that his name was John, formerly called John the Baptist.  He ordained first Joseph by laying his hands upon his head, and then he ordained me in the same manner to the Aaronic Priesthood.  Later, after having baptised each other according to his instructions, we ordained each other, but as none of us had received the Holy Ghost, or had received authority to confer the same upon us, we concluded to go into the forest, and cleared a space in the center of which was a stump, and where we kneeled down and took turns in calling upon the Lord, until a glorious light encircled us, and as we arose on account of the light, three persons stood before us dressed in white, their faces beaming with glory.  The person in the center addressing Joseph and me, said ‘My name is Peter and (pointing to the others) these are James and John.  We have come here according to command from the Almighty, to confer upon you the Apostleship to which we have been ordained.’  After having made these few remarks they proceeded to ordain us.

You gentlemen of the jury, this is God’s truth and I dare not deny it; if I did there would be no forgiveness for me in this world or in the world to come.  It is no imagination on my part, because I saw these personages as plain as I see any of you here in the jury box, and I am not ashamed to make this statement to you, although the attorney on the other side has attempted to hold me up to ridicule.  This is all that I now consider proper to say, and I think it will be sufficient answer to the false charges and accusations made against me here in open court.

‘Now, Mr. Nielsen, after having heard these remarks from Mr. Cowdery, who at that time according to this own statement, was outside the Mormon Church, I think you will not be surprised at my great joy at meeting you.  And later on, since I moved into this state of Minn. I had a conversation with a farmer who lived close to the first home that I owned in this state, and he told me another remarkable incident.  He said to me one day, after I had told him the same that I have now told you, that he also knew something remarkable about the Mormon people, whom he had never seen in his life, as his neighbor had told him the following story:  “One day while in the war between the North and the South, when evening came, after we had been fighting all day, and we were preparing supper in the camp, one of the new soldiers who had just come into camp, came with a paper in his hand over to the camp-fire, and said:  ‘Boys, listen while I read a remarkable document to you.’  He then read what appeared to be a revelation purported to have been given to Joseph Smith, predicting the breaking out of the war between the North and the South, and where the first gun should be fired, and so forth.’

‘Now this last statement added more fuel to the flame which was kindled in my heart, and I have had a burning desire ever since to meet a Mormon Elder, that could give me more light, and tell me what to do in order that I and my whole family could become associated with that church, which we have thoroughly believed ever since, to be the church of God.  Now Mr. Nielsen, I and my whole family are ready to receive and obey, whatever command the Lord has sent you to proclaim to us.’

The whole family embraced the Gospel and emigrated to Utah.

Your brother in the Gospel,

C. M. Nielsen.”

(Iver C. M. Nielsen to Heber J. Grant, 10 Feb., 1898; LDS Archives, Ms 3780)

11 Feb.:  Woodmen of the World.

“Elders John T. Caine and H. B. Clawson waited on the First Presidency and introduced Mr. Faulkenburg and Mr. Hughes son of Gen. Hughes, of Denver, who were in Utah in the interest of the Order called the Woodmen of the World, which they explained to the First Presidency, and showed that it was a benevolent institution, which had done a great amount of good.  They presented to the President some works relating to the Order and its By-laws.  They desired to establish the Order in Utah, and while they did not ask for any special favors, hoped that it would not be antagonized.  President Geo. Q. Cannon explained to them that our organization was complete in itself, and there was no need for other organizations so far as we were concerned.  The gentlemen recognized this, and had nothing to say but in praise of the Mormon people.”  (JH 11 Feb., 1898)

17 Feb.:  Washing of feet by missionaries discouraged.

“Meeting of the First Presidency and Apostles at the Temple.  Present:  Prests. W. Woodruff, G. Q. Cannon, J. F. Smith and L. Snow; Elders F. M. Lyman, G. Teasdale, H. J. Grant and M. F. Cowley.

Elder F. M. Lyman reported the visit made by Bro. M. F. Cowley and himself to the Southern and Eastern States Missions, stating that they left S. L. City Oct. 21, 1897. . . . The Apostles had discouraged the holding of a great many meetings, simply to make a record; also the washing of feet against certain families and localities, unless under special instructions or the inspiration of the Holy Ghost.”  (JH 17 Feb., 1898)

24 Feb.:  Set forms for ordinances discouraged.

“Meeting of the Presidency and Apostles at the Temple at 11 A.M.  Present Presidents W. Woodruff, G. Q. Cannon and L. Snow; Elders F. D. Richards, F. M. Lyman, H. J. Grant, M. F. Cowley and A. O. Woodruff. . . .

Elder M. F. Cowley referred to a practice which was being introduced of using set forms of asking a blessing, of performing ordinations to the Aaronic and Melchisedek Priesthood and other ceremonies.  He showed eight forms of this kind, which had been used by one Elder while on a mission in Samoa, and they were being introduced in other places.  It was decided to inquire into this matter, and correct the practice.”  (JH 24 Feb., 1898)

1 Mar.:  Efficacy of baptism for unrepentant.

“A correspondent asks:

‘Does a man become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after he has been baptized and confirmed by those having authority, though his heart be not right, or he has not repented?’

In reply, we may ask, who is to know that his heart is not right, or that he has not repented?  If he hs not repented of his sins, and continues to practice iniquity, he can soon be dealt with; and his membership in the Church can be tested, either by his repentance or by his severance from the Church.  But if his heart be not right, the Lord is his judge, and not man.  He is a member of the Church until, by his works and the spirit he manifests, he puts himself in a position to be dealt with.”  (George Q. Cannon, JI 33(5):186, 1 Mar., 1898)

6 Mar.:  Congregation approves excommunication.

“In the 18th Ward the Saints assembled endorsed and approved the action of the Bishopric in excommunicating Dr. Ellen b. Ferguson, who had become a convert and advocate of Theosophy, openly teaching its doctrines, including the origin of mankind as sparks from Deity, evolution, reincarnation, and final absorption in Nirvana.  The vote on her excommunication was unanimous.”  (JH 6 Mar., 1898)

15 Mar.:  All disputes to be settled by Bishop or HC.

“If the system which the Lord has established in His Church for the settlement of difficulties were carried out, it would be attended with the happiest results.  It is arbitration of the highest character, because the Lord has promised His Spirit and guidance to those who sit in judgment.  With such a system there ought to be no litigation among us.  All disputes and difficulties should be settled either by the Bishop and his counselors or by the High Council.  Expense would be saved, quarrels would be avoided, and justice would be obtained in a manner that would result in preserving brotherly feelings.  Our Church tribunals have been revealed by the Lord, and they are designed for the benefit of His people.”  (George Q. Cannon, JI 33(6):226, 15 Mar., 1898)

31 Mar.:  Can Church officers be defrocked w/o excommun.?

“Meeting at 11:30 A.M.  Present:  Prests. W. Woodruff, G. Q. Cannon, J. F. Smith and L. Snow; Elders F. D. Richards, B. Young, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, G. Teasdale, H. J. Grant, J. W. Taylor, M. W. Merrill, M. F. Cowley, and A. O. Woodruff, all present except Elder A. Lund, on a mission in Palestine.

The sacrament was administered, and the Council considered the question of the power of the Presiding Authorities to entirely deprive an officer in the Church of the Priesthood without excommunication.  The general sentiment being that such authority was so fested, but this view was not held by all.  A number of general matters pertaining to the government of the Church were discussed and passed upon.”  (JH 31 Mar., 1898)

7 Apr.:  Secret societies vs. Priesthood Quorums.

“In various places throughout the Stakes of Zion we find that the Latter-day Saints have been given to joining secred societies as well as other associations.  This is forbidden by the Priesthood of the Son of God.  There is all of the brotherhood and all of the insurance, if you please, contained in the Church of Jesus Christ that are necessary for us.  It is a fact that there are Latter-day Saints, in Salt Lake City and elsewhere, who cannot find time to attend to their duties in the Priesthood, but do find time to attend to their lodge meetings.  We are running wild in this respect.  Irreverence for the Priesthood of the Son of God is growing out of this.  Those young men who attend lodge meetings and do not attend their Priesthood meetings, what reverence to they have for the Priesthood of the Son of God?  They have very little, if any, because they have never learned to reverence that Priesthood.

Our missionaries, whose number has been increased some two hundred in the world during the last years, have also been performing a great work at home.  One hundred and forty have been sent out among the Latter-day Saints in the various settlements, to bring in the indifferent and those who have been negligent in their duties, and to try to get them to take a live interest in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to join the various Improvement Associations.  The effect that this corps of missionaries has had upon the people in general has been reported as being very good.  Not only the Young Men’s and the Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement associations, but the various Priesthood meetings have been better attended than ever before, or for years before, at any rate.  The Presidents of Stakes have reported, in many instances, that the Sabbath schools also have been improved through the work of these brethren, and also that the people have shown a more liberal spirit in the payment of their tithes and donations.  They have received a general wakening up in their religion.  I have ofttines wondered how it is that we could afford to send so many missionaries abroad to preach the Gospel, and at the same time neglect our young men and young women here in Zion.  When people are converted abroad and are brought to Zion, they see the example of some of the young, and they apostatize on account of that.  Therefore, it has been deemed wise by the brethren to send out these missionaries, that they might go into the homes of the Latter-day Saints and teach them the Gospel.  We understand that there are a great many quorums of the Priesthood that have not been able to discharge their duties as they should have done; the Teachers have not in all cases visited the Saints as they might have done; the Priests have not gone from house to house and expounded the Scriptures as it is their duty to do; and one of the difficulties has been that the members of the various quorums have not had anything to do.  Inactivity is death.  Wherever there is a body of people upon the face of the earth that has nothing to do, that quorum or body will die spiritually.  The Spirit of God will not be with men who are inactive.  The Spirit of God is a spirit of progression.  Therefore, my brethren and sisters, we can see the necessity of the work that these missionaries have been performing here at home.  We cannot deny but that there has been great need of this work.  And they have worked just as zealously, for aught I know, and in many cases I know they have–as they would have done upon foreign missions.  If we could keep those Elders who have returned from missions and the various quorums of the Priesthood at work, there would be little doubt as to the final outcome of this work.  We wish to grow at home as well as abroad; not simply send our Elders abroad to preach the Gospel, but also encourage their work here, that the people may have their interest renewed in the Gospel and every man be at work.  The organization of the Church of Jesus Christ is so complete that it reaches every man and every woman and every child.”  (Abraham O. Woodruff, CR Apr., 1898, pp. 20-21; 7 Apr., 1898)

9 Apr.:  50% overhead on tithing collection and distribution.

“At 2 o’clock, P.M. a meeting of the Presidents of Stakes and their counselors, the Bishops and their counselors, etc., etc., met in the Assembly Hall, at which the First Presidency and General Authorities were present.  Presiding Bishop W. B. Preston read a list of the amounts expended during the past year in the various Stakes for the handling of tithing, showing that it averaged 50% of the amount of tithing received.  Pres. Geo. Q. Cannon addressed the meeting on this subject and pointed out the necessity for limiting the amount to be allowed for this work.”  (JH 9 Apr., 1898)

10 Apr.:  Missionaries should be 70s.

“We hope that our brethren of the Seventies have become impressed with the fact that they, to a large extent, are the missionary corps of the Church, and from these quorums of Seventies the brethren are chosen who go out on missions; or if they are chosen from the Elders’ quorums, when they are sent forth they are ordained Seventies, and sent with the Gospel message to the nations of the earth–as minute men, calling upon the people of the world to repent of their sins.”  (Seymour B. Young, CR Apr., 1898, p. 73; 10 Apr., 1898)

10 Apr.:  When Joseph transferred the keys.

“The last speech that Joseph Smith ever made to the quorum of the Apostles was in a building in Nauvoo, and it was such a speech as I never heard from mortal man before or since.  He was clothed upon with the Spirit and power of God.  His face was clear as amber.  The room was filled as with consuming fire.  He stood three hours upon his feet.  Said he: ‘You Apostles of the Lamb of God have been chosen to carry out the purposes of the Lord on the earth.  Now, I have received, as the Prophet, seer and revelator, standing at the head of this dispensation, every key, every ordinance, every principle and every Priesthood that belongs to the last dispensation and fulness of times.  And I have sealed all these things upon your heads.  Now, you Apostles, if you do not rise up and bear off this kingdom, as I have given it to you, you will be damned.'”  (Wilford Woodruff, CR Apr. 1898, p. 89; 10 Apr., 1898)

21 Apr.:  Is Moses Thatcher still an Apostle?

“Meeting of the First Presidency and Apostles at the Temple at 11 A.M.  Present:  Prests. W. Woodruff, G. Q. Cannon, J. F. Smith and L. Snow; Elders B. Young, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, G. Teasdale, M. F. Cowley and A. O. Woodruff.

Elder M. F. Cowley reported that at a meeting in Preston at which Bro. Moses Thatcher was present, some of the members of the Church found fault with Bp. William Parkinson because he did not invite Bro. Thatcher to take a seat on the stand.  Bro. Cowley also stated that in a conversation with Bro. Thatcher, the latter took the ground that he was still an Apostle, although he was silenced and suspended for the time being from exercising his calling.  After some conversation the sense of the meeting was expressed that Bp. Parkinson was perfectly right in not inviting Bro. Thatcher to the stand in a religious meeting and that he be so informed.”  (JH 21 Apr., 1898)

27 Apr.:  Church financial report.

“The First Presidency met with Bishop J. R. Winder, Elder R. S. Campbell and James Jack, at 9:30 this morning, and spent the forenoon in discussing the disbursement of the revenues of the Church.  The following schedule was the result, based on the revenue of the Church for 1895, less 10% retained for a reserve fund:  It was decided that the income of the present year should be disbursed as near as possible according to the percentages herein set forth as recommended by the committee appointed for the purpose:

Account Percentage Amount


Sundries $625.00

S. L. City   16,000.00

St. George    8,000.00

Manti     8,000.00

Logan     8,000.00 6.5 $40,625

Colleges and Education 3.5 21,870

Charity Account 6.5 40,625

Bishops and Clerks     10.0 62,500

Loses in Handling Tithes 5.0 31,250

Missionary Account 2.5 12,625


General Authorities

8% $50,000

Stake Presidents

4% 25,000 12.0 75,000

Colonization 1.0   6,250

Meeting Houses 1.0   6,250

Improvements–General 1.0   6,250

do. Stake Storehouses 1.0   6,250

Stake Storehouse Expenses

including cattle expense,

rents, agents, etc. 3.0 18,750

Expense, Salary Employees,

&c. Presidents Office 3.0 18,750

Traveling Expense, Attorneys,

&c., taxes, &c. 2.0 12,500

Sinking Fund 15.0 93,750

Expense Bishops G.S.H. over 10% 2.0 12,500

Interest     15.0 93,750

TOTAL 90.0 559,495″

(JH 27 Apr., 1898)

1 May:  Sunday School Superintendent needn’t be HP.

“An inquiry has been addressed to us from Arizona respecting the Priesthood that a Superintendent of a Sunday School should hold.  Our friend who writes upon this subject is himself a Stake Superintendent of Sunday Schools, and is also one of the presidents of a quorum of Seventies.  He says he should regret very much to leave that quorum, if it be necessary that one holding his position should be ordained a High Priest.

In reply, we say there is no necessity for him to be ordained a High Priest.  He can act as Stake Superintendent of Sunday Schools with the utmost propriety while holding his present Priesthood.

President John Taylor gave counsel to the effect that the Stake Superintendents of the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Associations should be High Priests; but this does not aply to the Sunday Schools.”  (George Q. Cannon, JI 33(9):356, 1 May, 1898)

31 May:  When Joseph gave the keys to the Twelve.

“I was present in Nauvoo when the Prophet Joseph Smith gave the keys of the kingdom of God to the twelve apostles.  He was with us about three hours.  He was full of the Spirit of the Lord; his face was as clear as amber.  He said, ‘I stand at the head of this dispensation, and God has given me every key of the priesthood, every power of the priesthood.  I am going away (we did not then know what he meant by this).  This kingdom will depend upn you and I now roll the responsibility upon you and God requires it at your hands, and if you do not carry it on you will be damned.’  Joseph never bestowed upon young Joseph any key, or priesthood, or authority.  God is not with the Josephites nor are the ordinances of the House of the Lord with them.”  (Wilford Woodruff, General Annual Conference of YMMIA and YLMIA, 31 May, 1898; IE 1(10):781, Aug., 1898)

1 Jun.:  Women as missionaries.

“Great interest is being manifested at the present time in the subject of sending sisters out as missionaries, to labor in bearing testimony to the truth of the Gospel and in other directions connected with its propagation.  It may, therefore, be interesting to know what is being done in this connection by those who have already been selected and set apart for missions.

By a recent letter from Great Britain, we learn that four sisters from Zion accompanied the Presidency of the European mission to Oldham, England, on Sunday, Akpril 24th, to attend the meetings of the Manchester Conference.

Two of them, Sisters Noall and Smith, spoke in the afternoon, and in the evening Sisters Knight and Brimhall addressed a congregation of some five or six hundred souls.

In the letter which we have received the writer says:

‘The two pioneer missionary sisters (Sisters Knight and Brimhall) are of the right kind.  They are bright and intelligent and full of faith in the Gospel.  I am sure that every soul who heard them talk last Sunday night went away feeling greatly impressed by their testimonies.  They were without doubt under a great strain, but they seemed to speak with ease and fluency; and as they stood before the people I felt in my heart that any community on earth might well be proud of them.’

The writer further says:

‘I do not think we have had one Elder out of twenty-five out of those who have arrived in the mission since we have been here who could acquit himself as creditably at the time of his arrival as did these pioneer missionary sisters.’

Sisters Knight and Brimhall were set apart as missionaries; but Sisters Noall and Smith have gone to England on a visit, the former to join her husband, who presides over the Cheltenham Conference, and they are both bright, intelligent women, and no doubt with Sisters Knight and Brimhall, will make their mark in the country which they visit.

It is very gratifying to hear such good news concerning the commencement of the labors of the sisters.  It seems to be the beginning of a new era in the Church for our sisters to take part in bearing testimony to the Gospel.

In thinking about the future, one cannot grasp all the possibilities that open before the mind in reflecting upon the many ways in which the sisters can do good.  It is the bringing of a new force into operation, which, if properly managed and carefully guided, will result in an immense amount of good.  The remark which our correspondent makes (and he is a man of experience), that not one Elder in twenty-five has acquitted himself as creditably at the time of his arrival as did these young sisters, speaks volumes.

We can see what a field there is opening before the gentler sex for the exercise of all their powers.  The presence of sisters in the missionary field ought to be a great incentive to the Elders, and stir them up to emulation and a diligent performance of their duties.”  (George Q. Cannon, JI 33(11):410, 1 Jun., 1898)

30 Jun.:  Bishop rejected for smoking and drinking.

“Meeting of the First Presidency and Apostles at the Temple at 11 A.M.  Present:  Prests. Wilford Woodruff, Jos. F. Smith and Lorenzo Snow; Elders F. D. Richards, B. Young, F. M. Lyman, Geo. Teasdale, M. F. Cowley and A. O. Woodruff.

Elder Lyman reported that at Greenville, in the Beaver Stake, he had found a vacancy in the Bishopric, the people having refused to sustain their Bishop (Morris) on account of his smoking and drinking habits.  A new Bishop had been chosen.”  (JH 30 Jun., 1898)

1 Sep.:  Most missionaries 16 years or older.

“At present the great majority of Latter-day Saint missionaries who are sent out into the world are young men, ranging upward from sixteen years of age.”  (E. F. Parry, “Missionary Life,” JI 33(17):590, 1 Sep., 1898)

9 Sep.:  Lorenzo Snow assumes Presidency.

“I took breakfast at Gallagher’s and attended meeting in the Temple.

Prest. Snow took the presidency after we voted to sustain him.  Geo. Q. Cannon and Joseph F. Smith were received back in the quorum by vote and took their place with Brigham above Joseph.  this was afterwards commented upon and it was said by Prest. B. Young that Brigham outrated [?] Joseph while Prest. John Taylor said Joseph outrated Brigham.  I think the becoming a member of the quorum is what counts, and not the ordination.  It was agreed that the Counsellors of Bro. Woodruff should give an account of how the Church stands.  It was agreed that the apostles who are in town should come every day to the office and help the President.  The desks of Prest. Woodruff, Geo. Q. Cannon and Joseph F. Smith were given to them the first to go to Owen Woodruff.  In the afternoon Bro. Joseph moved out of the office.  It looked so strange to see him do this.  It is, however, a good object lesson to the Saints.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 9 Sep., 1898; LDS Archives)

9 Sep.:  Reorganization following Wilford Woodruff’s death.

“A meeting of the Apostles was held at 10 o’clock this morning in the Temple; all present, including Geo. Q. Cannon and Joseph F. Smith.  These two brethren, by unanimous vote of the Council of the Twelve (now presiding over the Church in lieu of the First Presidency just dissolved) were received back as members of that body, and took their seats in the Council according to the order of ordination, with President Lorenzo Snow presiding.  President Snow, by the action of the Council, was placed in charge of all Church affairs until the First Presidency should again be organized.  Brothers Cannon and Smith were presented with the desks they had occupied in the President’s Office, and Bro. A. O. Woodruff was presented with the desk that his deceased father had occupied, and they were authorized to take them away from the office.  A new desk was purchased for the use of President Snow.

At the above meeting, President Snow spoke, referring solemnly to the absence of Pres. Woodruff, whose death had disorganized the first quorum of the Church.  He suggested the possible presence with them on this occasion of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, and other departed leaders, and spoke of the great responsibility which had now fallen upon the Quorum of the Twelve.  He felt thankful beyond expression for the union that existed in the Council of the Apostles, and he believed, and in fact knew, that by each one laboring unselfishly for the cause of Zion, their labors would be crowned with success, and they would triumph.  He exhorted the brethren to be charitable to each other, and to accept their new duties and responsibilities in all humility as servants of the Lord Jesus Christ.  He offered to vacate his position as President of the Twelve, and thus give place to any one else who might be the unanimous choice of the Council.

Jos. F. Smith moved, and several of the brethren seconded and it was voted heartily and unanimously that Lorenzo Snow be sustained in his position as President of the Council of the Twelve Apostles.

Geo. Q. Cannon spoke briefly but feelingly of the present happy state of love and confidence in the Council, in contrast with past embarrassments, and expressed hope and faith of an honorable and happy outcome through a continuance of the love and union alluded to by President Snow.  He invoked the blessing of the Lord on the President and the Council, to enable them to safely bear off the work of God.

Brothers Cannon and Smith were requested, by vote of the Council, to furnish a report showing the condition of the Church’s finances.

The Council, by unanimous action, then accepted the responsibilities of the Presidency of the Church.

Before dismissing it was voted that the widows of President Wodruff receive $50 a month, each, until further orders.

The Council then adjourned.”  (JH 9 Sep., 1898)

13 Sep.:  Woodruff said 1st Pres. should be reorganized now.

“At 10 o’clock this morning the Council of the Apostles met at the President’s office, according to appointment.  There were present:  Prest. Lorenzo Snow; Elders Franklin D. Richards, Geo. Q. Cannon, Jos. F. Smith, Brigham Young, Francis M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, Geo. Teasdale, Heber J. Grant, John W. Taylor, Mariner W. Merrill, Anthon H. Lund, Mathias F. Cowley and Abraham O. Woodruff.

On motion of Elder F. D. Richards, Elder Geo. F. Gibbs was appointed secretary and stenographer of the Council, on the same terms as made by the late First Presidency.

It was agreed by the Council to begin the approaching General Conference of the Church on Thursday morning, Oct. 6th.

The special object of this meeting was to hear a report from Senator Frank J. Cannon, relative to the matter of borrowing for the Church the sum of $1,500,000, for which purpose he had been East.  The proposition was to issue bonds for that amount, bearing interest at 5%.  Senator Cannon informed the Council that he had been to New York, and met a Mr. Pierce, who acted for Messrs. Dillon and Gould, from whom the loan was to be obtained.  They had proposed to form a syndicate to float the bonds, but he gave them to understand that the First Presidency would object to this, as they wanted the bonds kept from the public market.  He spent a good deal of time conversing with Mr. Pierce on the perpetuity of the authority and succession of the Trustee-in-trust and First Presidency, and while he perhaps did not succeed in fully satisfying that gentleman on this subject, he felt assured that Mr. Dillon could do so, as he was fully advised on it, and was an authority on trusts.  The terms of the loan talked on were 5% and par for the bonds.  At the expiration of five of the twenty years contemplated as the life of the bonds, should the Church desire to take them up it would have the privilege of doing so, by paying a premium of $107, or $1,070 for each bond.  Senator Cannon thought the death of President Woodruff might have the effect of somewhat delaying the present negotiations, as the question of legal ownership of Church property, in consequence of succession to the Presidency, would have to be discussed.

The question now arose as to what was necessary to be done by the Council to satisfy the moneyed parties, in view of the changed conditions consequent upon the death of President Woodruff.  The original document forming the basis of these negotiations had been given by the Trustee-in-trust, and it was evident to the Council that nothing could be done legally by way of continuing the negotiations without a new Trustee-in-trust.

Elder Lyman, speaking to this question, said he was reminded of the time when the Council was together after the death of President Taylor, and the feeling of President Woodruff at that time; he was also reminded of President Woodruff’s feelings, as expressed on different occasions during his administration, to the effect that whenever he died, the First Presidency of the Church should be organized without delay.  ‘And if the Lord should manifest to you, President Snow, that it was the proper thing to do now, I am prepared to not only vote for a Trustee-in-trust, but for the President of the Church.’  Bro. Lyman added that he saw no reason why this action should not be taken at the present meeting, giving the President time, if he desired it, in which to choose his counselors.  He remarked that after the death of Joseph Smith, three years elapsed before the First Presidency was organized; after the death of President Young, it also took three years to organized the First Presidency; after the death of Pres. Taylor, eighteen months elapsed, and the speaker believed that if the Council had then been in harmony, no such interval would have occurred, but the Presidency would have been organized earlier.  He believed the right thing to do now was to organize the First Presidency, and this act would tend to create confidence at home and abroad.

Bro. Grant remarked that the present time was just as opportune as any other, and that he could sustain Pres. Snow with all his heart as President of the Church.

Bro. Young remarked that Bro. Grant had expressed his feelings exactly.  He felt that this was the way out.

Bro. Teasdale said that he was in perfect harmony and accord with the feelings of the brethren.

Jos. F. Smith: ‘I move that that be the sense of this meeting.’

The motion was seconded by Bro. Cowley.

President Snow asked if there were any further remarks.  Several of the brethren called for the question, whereupon Pres. Snow asked Elder Jos. F. Smith to put the motion.  This being done, it was carried unanimously, and Lorenzo Snow was thus sustained by the Council of the Apostles, as President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Pres. Snow then arose and said:  There was no use in his making excuses as to inability, etc., to assume the vast responsibilities involved in the position to which he had been elected.  He felt that it was for him to do the very best he could and depend upon the Lord.  He knew the action taken by the Council was according to the mind and will of the Lord, who had shown and revealed to him several days ago that the First Presidency should be organized before the next conference.  He had been feeling a little gloomy, and perhaps a little discouraged at the prospect, and the vast responsibility that would naturally fall upon him as President of the Twelve Apostles, and with this feeling he went before the Lord, offered up the signs of the Holy Priesthood and called upon Him to let light come to his mind.  His prayer was answered, the Lord manifesting unto him clearly what he should do; also in regard to the counselors he should select when he became President of the Church, ‘And,’ said he, ‘in accordance with the light given me, I now present to you the name of Geo. Q. Cannon as my first counselor, and that of Joseph F. Smith as my second counselor.’

Several of the brethren, speaking at the same time, seconded the choice of counselors, and the brethren named expressed themselves upon the subject–Bro. Cannon to the effect that he was willing to act in this capacity, or any other, if he could have the love and confidence of his brethren, and Bro. Smith to the effect that since the Lord had manifested his will in this matter, he had nothing to say, except that he was perfectly willing to act in this or any other position, and would do all he could to sustain the hands of the President in righteousness before the Lord.

Pres. Snow, before calling for the vote, said, ‘I have not mentioned this matter to any person, either man or woman.  I wanted to see what the feelings of the brethren were.  I wanted to see if the same spirit which the Lord manifested to me was in you.  I had confidence in you that the Lord would indicate to you that this was proper and according to his mind and will.  I do not feel that I should be over-anxious in regard to anything pertaining to the work of the Lord.  I had one revelation or manifestation in my early career which became my star, so to speak, and which I have always had before my mind.  I put the meaning of it into couplet form, as follows:

As man now is, God once was;

As God now is, man may be.

That was revealed to me with power; the Holy Ghost was upon me for a long time, and I knew it was my privilege to be like Him whom I afterwards knew was my Father and God, as John the Apostle says, ‘We are now the sons of God; when He shall appear we shall be like Him,’ etc.  We must act as far as we possibly can like God while we are in the flesh, and I know we can reach that degree of perfection.  Now brethren, I shall do the best I can, as God shall give me wisdom and power.  I sense keenly my own weakness and inability, but I appreciate the fact that God can make strong.  If I know my own heart, the administration about to be ushered in shall not be known as Lorenzo Snow’s, but as God’s, in Lorenzo Snow.  As to things which have happened in the past, I do not want to talk about them; it will become us as servants of the Lord to go to work and meet the difficulties before us, as the Lord shall aid and assist us.  I feel to say in my heart, God bless you, and I invoke the blessing of the Lord upon myself in the discharge of the obligations resting upon me.’

The vote was then taken approving unanimously the President’s choice of counselors.

M. F. Cowley now moved, and the motion was carried, that Lorenzo Snow be sustained as Trustee-in-trust for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Pres. Geo. Q. Cannon suggested that the President of the Twelve Apostles be appointed, and on motion of F. M. Lyman, Franklin D. Richards was unanimously sustained to act in that position.

Pres. Cannon then suggested that Frank J. Cannon be at liberty to continue negotiations with the Eastern parties on the loan question; that he be informed of the organization that had just taken place, and be directed to inquire of said parties what, if anything, should be done further to satisfy them.  Senator Cannon, who was in the adjoining room, was sent for, and this information was imparted to him.

On motion of Bro. Grant, it was decided to make public, in this evening’s paper, the action of the Council in organizing the First Presidency and appointing the Trustee-in-trust and the President of the Twelve Apostles.

The Council then adjourned.

A group photograph of the First Presidency and the Apostles was taken to-day at the art gallery of C. R. Savage.

The following announcement was published in this evening’s issue of the Deseret News:


To the Officers and Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

A special meeting of the Council of Apostles was held this morning for the purpose of considering important business of a financial character, at which were present Lorenzo Snow, Franklin D. Richards, George Q. Cannon, Joseph F. Smith, Brigham Young, Francis M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, George Teasdale, Heber J. Grant, John W. Taylor, Marriner W. Merrill, Anthon H. Lund, Mathias F. Cowley and Abraham O. Woodruff.  During the deliberations the necessity of appointing a trustee-in-trust for the Church became apparent in order that its business might be properly transacted, and while thus deliberating, several of the brethren expressed themselves to the effect that the present was a most opportune time to organize the First Presidency, and so unanimous was this sentiment that a motion was made to that effect and carried.  Lorenzo Snow was then nominated and sustained as President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with the privilege of choosing his counselors.  President Snow was then sustained as trustee-in-trust for the Church.  The Council also sustained Franklin D. Richards as President of the Twelve Apostles.  These several actions by the Council were all unanimous.

Geo. F. Gibbs, Secretary,

Salt Lake City, Utah, Sept. 13, 1898.”

(JH 13 Sep., 1898)

“I took breakfast at Gallagher’s–Then went to meeting at the Prest’s Office.  Conference was appointed for Oct. 6th. Bro. Geo. F. Gibbs was appointed Clerk of the Twelve.  Frank Cannon came in and reported that Gould, Dillon, and Harriman thought favorably of buying the bonds of the Church at 5%, with a provision of paying them off in 15 years or sooner but these with a premium of 7%.  He then withdrew and the question of electing a Trustee in Trust came up.  It was seen at once that we can not do anything at all without such a man.

Bro. Lyman said that he had felt that we ought to organize a First Presidency at once.  Several Brethren expressed the same opinion.  Bro. Snow then arose and said that once when he felt the weight of the heavy responsibility which had come upon him he went and offered the signs of the Priesthood and asked the Lord for direction.  At once he received an answer to his prayer and it came so clear and with power that he knew the Lord’s will.  It was that the First Presidency should be organized at once.  The motion was then made.  He chose Geo. Q. Cannon and Jos. F. Smith for his counsellors.  The First Presidency was then sustained by unanimous voice of the quorum.  Franklin D. Richards was then sustained as President of the Twelve.  Prest. Lorenzo Snow was sustained as Trustee in Trust of the Church.  Prest. Lorenzo Snow then told the brethren that he had heard rumors of people thinking that plural marriage could be contracted.  He wanted it understood that this can not be done.  It was moved that 3000 pamphlets be printed of C. W. Penrose’s Reply.  I suggested that Bro. Penrose make it stronger by stating that one of the Presbyterians present had charge of Nephi schools, as this would show their hypocrisy.  The tone of the reply was commented upon and it was considered dangerous for the brethren to put a chip on the shoulder and dare them to knock it off.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 13 Sep., 1898; LDS Archives)

15 Sep.:  Snow’s comments on succession.

“A Utah correspondent of the New York World, having been telegraphed to by the manager of that paper instructing him to obtain from President Lorenzo Snow an interview for publication, the following article was prepared, the questions being propounded by the World correspondent, the answers given by President Snow:

. . . . 

Q. What sort of revelation is responsible for your appointment?

A. A revelation given March 28th, 1835, which clearly defines the relationship the Twelve Apostles bear to the First Presidency.  When a vacancy occurs in the Presiding Council, such as has occurred by the death of President Wilford Woodruff, the Twelve Apostles become the Presiding Council of the Church, and it has been the rule for the President of that body, if he be the senior Apostle by ordination, to succeed to the Presidency, when the Council of Apostles decides that the First Presidency should be reorganized.  He, with two counselors whom he may select, are then presented to the body of the Church in General Conference.  If accepted by the Church, they become the First Presidency thereof.  In this manner I have been selected as the President of the Church.”

(JH 15 Sep., 1898)

5 Oct.:  Filling a vacancy in the 12.

“Owing to the General Conference, which convenes tomorrow, the regular weekly meeting of the First Presidency and Apostles, which is usually held on Thursday, convened to-day at 11 A.M., in the Salt Lake Temple.  Present:  Prests. Lorenzo Snow, Geo. Q. Cannon, Jos. F. Smith and Franklin D. Richards; Elders Brigham Young, Francis M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, Geo. Teasdale, Heber J. Grant, John W. Taylor, M. W. Merrill, A. H. Lund, M. F. Cowley and A. O. Woodruff. . . .

While the Presidency and Apostles were partaking of the Sacrament, President Snow asked the mind of the brethren with regard to filling the vacancy existing in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.  It was the mind of all that the vacancy should be filled, President Smith making a motion to that effect.

Pres. Snow then invited each of the Apostles to hand in at their leisure, the names of persons from which a selection might be made to fill the vacancy.  He went on to say that he had deep feelings while beholding the faces of his brethren around the sacrament table.  He could not help but believe that the Prophets Joseph, Brigham, John, Wilford and others were cognizant of this meeting, and watched with deepest interest the deliberations and actions of the Council.  He invoked the blessing of the Lord upon all present, and besought the brethren to be humble in their callings and hold themselves in readiness to conform their wills to the will of God; never to be over-anxious to have their own way, but learn to listen with unbiased feelings to what might be said contrary to their own feelings and conclusions; leaving the mind free to be operated upon by the Holy Spirit.  In this way the will of the Lord would be done in the Council.  He had felt sometimes that brethren were more anxious to sustain a speaker who expressed their own mind and conclusions, than they were to obtain light, and he felt to caution the brethren against this spirit.  There was nothing more glorious to behold than unity, a complete union among the Priesthood of God, and if they persevered, determined to sacrifice their own feelings in order to accomplish the Lord’s purposes, great would be the results and great would be the joy of this body of men.

The Council adjourned.”  (JH 5 Oct., 1898)

6 Oct.:  Bishoprics should meet regularly and frequently.

“I have said that I thought it was a good thing, and I say it from experience, for the authorities of a ward, the organizations of the Priesthood in a ward, to have their meetings frequently.  The Bishop in a ward should call his brethren together, especially his counselors, and talk over the interests of the people there.  Counsel together, call in others that have interest in the work of the Lord, and advise together about all matters relating to the interests and welfare of the people that live there.  Old wards need this, and new wards also need it–to know the condition of all of the people and to specially know the condition of the young people, in this ward organization; and if it be found that there are matters of interest and problems that they cannot solve, then they may apply to the president of the Stake, and take him into their confidence and apply to him for the counsels of the Lord; and if the problem is such that he can not solve it, then there is another source that he may apply to and get the mind and will of the Lord on all matters relating to the interests, relating to the welfare, relating to the establishing of the people in the faith of the Gospel.  We want to encourage raith, as was said this morning; we want to instill that faith into our children and into the young people.  I believe faith is increasing in the land, however, but we find it will be through our efforts, through our labors that faith will be increased in the minds of the people. . . .

I would urge upon you, my brethren, the Bishops and presidents of Stakes, who may be here, to try the experiment if you have not tried it, and have your counsel meetings occasionally, once a week or oftener; counsel together with your brethren, and whatever is done let it be done with common consent from the head of the ward, from the head of the Stake, from the head of the Church, let it all be done by common consent; then everything will be harmonious.”  (Marriner W. Merrill, CR Oct., 1898, 13-16, 6 Oct., 1898)

8 Oct.:  Clawson called to the Twelve.

“There was a meeting of the First Presidency and Apostles held in the Celestial Room of the Temple immediately after the close of the morning session of the regular Conference, all of the Presidency and eleven of the Quorum being present.  At the request of Pres. Snow, the Apostles handed to him suggestions of brethren whom they would like to be Chosen to fill the vacancy in the quorum of the Apostles. . . . [Pres. Lorenzo Snow] said: ‘I know that we have the mind of the Lord, and I Know it just as perfectly as I have ever Known anything.  The man we have chosen, and uopn whom we are perfectly united is Rudger Clawson.'”  (Rudger Clawson diary, 8 Oct., 1898)

10 Oct.:  New General Authorities set apart.

“We met in the President’s office and Bro. L. Snow was set apart under the hands of Apostles, Prest. Cannon was mouth.  Prest. Lorenzo Snow was then mouth in setting his counsellors apart.  Prest. Snow also set Rudger Clawson apart.  He then gave him the charge.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 10 Oct., 1898; LDS Archives)

“The First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles, at 10 o’clock this morning, met at the President’s Office and proceeded thence to the photographic gallery of Fox and Symons, for the purpose of sitting in a group for their portrait.  At 12 o’clock they returned to the office, and attended to the ordination of Elder Rudger Clawson as a member of the Council of the Twelve Apostles.  Prests. Lorenzo Snow, Geo. Q. Cannon, Jos. F. Smith and Franklin D. Richards, with Elders Brigham Young, Francis M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, Geo. Teasdale, Heber J. Grant, John W. Taylor, M. W. Merrill, A. H. Lund, M. F. Cowley and A. O. Woodruff, laid their hands upon the head of Elder Clawson and ordained him as follows, President Snow being mouth:

Bro. Rudger Clawson, in the name of the Lord Jesus and by virtue of the Holy Priesthood, we place our hand upon your head and we ordain you an Apostle in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and confer upon you all the gifts, blessings, rights, keys and powers that pertain unto this holy and sacred Apostleship.  And we say unto you, Bro. Rudger, in the name of the Lord, inasmuch as you will be humble and seek the Lord for His Spirit, it shall be even as the spirit of revelation upon you, which it is your privilege to have as an Apostle, and to testify, of your own knowledge, that there is a God over the inhabitants of the earth, and that there is a Jesus, the Son of the Living God, who was crucified upon Mount Calvary–that you may testify of this, having a most perfect knowledge of it by the power of God and the Holy Ghost.  All the blessings, all the qualifications, and all that is necessary to make you perfect in this Apostleship, in the name of the Lord Jesus we seal upon you, and say that these blessings that we have sealed upon you shall continue upon you during your life and also throughout all eternity.  These blessings, gifts, powers, rights and keys we seal upon you in the name of the Lord Jesus, Amen.

Pres. Snow having previously expressed himself to the effect that he felt he should be set apart to preside over the Church, this was now done; the above named brethren, including Elder Rudger Clawson, all laying their hands upon the head of President Snow, who requested Pres. Geo. Q. Cannon to be mouth in setting him apart.  Pres. Cannon spoke as follows:

Pres. Lorenzo Snow, we your fellow-servants, servants of the Most High God, possessed of the Apostleship, which you have received through your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, lay our hands upon thy head to bless thee and to set thee apart to preside over the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; that in connection with thy counselors, thou mayest preside over the body of the Church, according to the revelations of the Lord Jesus Christ concerning his Church; and that thou shouldst be filled by the power of God, and be entitled to the revelations of the Lord Jesus, and give the mind and will of God to the Church; to impart unto them from time to time that knowledge concerning the will of God that shall be communicated to them.  And every gift, every grace and qualification that has ever rested down upon a man chosen by the Lord to fill this exalted station, we seal upon thee at this time.

We reconfirm upon thee all thy former blessings, and all the powers and the authority and ordinations; and every power that pertains to the everlasting Priesthood and to the Presidency of the Church of Christ, we seal upon thee, and ask God our Father to confirm this sealing and this setting apart, that thou mayest be filled with new power, yea with increased power, to go forth and magnify thy calling in the midst of the Church of Christ and among thy fellow-servants; and that the Lord will communicate with thee from time to time everything necessary for the perfect government of his Church; that thou mayest exercise all the keys and the authority that have been exercised heretofore by thy predecessors–by Wilford Woodruff, by John Taylor, by Brigham Young, and by Joseph Smith, and which he (Joseph Smith) sealed upon his fellow-Apostles.

We pray thee, O God our Eternal Father, to hear us thy servants and to look at our hearts and our desires and forgive our feebleness and imperfections; for we desire to bless this thy servant with every blessing that we have authority to invoke in his behalf, and we humbly ask thee to confirm this blessing upon his head, and to fill him with thy power from the crown of his head to the soles of his feet; that he may be set apart to this important office and exercise all its functions to thine acceptance and to the satisfaction of his fellow-servants and of thy Saints.

All these blessings, Father, we seal upon him; and we say unto thee, Brother Lorenzo, receive thou the same, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the authority of the Holy Apostleship, which we hold, even so, Amen.

Pres. Geo. Q. Cannon was then set apart to be the First Counselor in the First Presidency, Pres. Snow being mouth, and speaking as follows:

Pres. Geo. Q. Cannon, in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by virtue of the Holy Priesthood, we lay our hands upon your head and we set you apart to be the first counselor to Lorenzo Snow, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; that you may be filled, as you have been in the past, with the spirit of counsel and understanding; that the Holy Spirit of life may constantly be with you, and improve your health and restore you unto perfect health, and give you understanding and the spirit of revelation from the Lord, that you may be truly a counselor in Zion.  And all things that may be necessary for you to receive in order that you may be truly such, we seal upon you by virtue of the Holy Priesthood, and in the name of the Lord Jesus, Amen.

Pres. Joseph F. Smith was set apart, in like manner, to be the Second Counselor in the First Presidency.  As in the case of Pres. Cannon, all the brethren named laid their hands upon him, and President Snow was mouth, blessing him in these words:

Pres. Joseph F. Smith, we lay our hands upon your head and set you apart to be the second counselor to Lorenzo Snow the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and we confer upon you in the name of the Lord all the gifts and blessings, rights and privileges that pertain unto this holy position that you now occupy, and that you may be blessed in this, in the performance of all the duties that are incumbent upon you, holding this position as second counselor, as you have been blessed in the past–and more so.  All these blessings and gifts, rights and privileges, and all that is necessary for you to magnify this calling, pleasing unto yourself and pleasing unto the Lord, we seal upon you, in the name of the Lord Jesus, Amen.

President Franklin D. Richards was then set apart by the brethren to be the President of the Twelve Apostles, President Geo. Q. Cannon being mouth.

Brother Franklin D. Richards, our fellow-servant in the Lord, our fellow-Apostle, we lay our hands upon thy head, having the authority from the Lord to bless and to confirm every blessing upon the heads of the children of men that are suited to their condition, and we set thee apart as the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, that thou mayest act in this high and holy calling in a manner that shall be acceptable to our God and that shall fill thyself with joy and thy fellow-servants and the Saints; that thou mayest preside over this body of men, whom the Lord has chosen as special witnesses in all the earth, with diagnity and in such a manner as to gain their love and their confidence, and that they may know that thou hast the revelations and power of God with thee, and that all the authority that belongs to the Apostleship has been conferred upon thee, and especially the authority to preside in their midst.  We seal all these blessings, beloved brother, upon thy head, that thou mayest be filled therewith and that there may be nothing lacking from this time forth in the performance by thee of all the duties that belong to this exalted position.  We seal these blessings upon thee in the name of the Lord Jesus and in this authority that we have received from him, and say, receive thou the same, even so.  Amen.

Pres. Lorenzo Snow then delivered the following charge to Elder Rudger Clawson, the newly ordained Apostle:

A few words I want to say to you as to the obligatins you are placed under, now that you have received the Apostleship.  The Lord will reveal unto you according to your faithfulness and the circumstances and the duties that will be required of you.  You must understand that it is not man that has chosen you; it is not the wisdom of man that has selected you.  If it had been man that selected you, or the wisdom of man, there would be a possibility of a failure in the future; and you would not be so well satisfied if you understood that you had been selected by a council that talked over this matter in a common way, as we generally talk over matters of lesser importance.  But you have been chosen because the Lord wanted you to fill this place, and because of your faithfulness in the past.  You have been placed in circumstances that have been very tempting to you to depart a little from the path of wisdom, and you have resisted those temptations, and you have kept in the path of truth and righteousness, just where the Lord wanted you to keep.  You have been wonderfully blessed.  I do not know of any young man that has been called to positions like you have been, or any other important positions, that the Lord has blessed any more than he has blessed you.  It seems that almost every effort you have made has been a success.  You were willing to go to the penitentiary for nearly three years, I think.  You had the opportunity of escaping that, if you had pleased to have done so; but you performed your duty under those circumstances acceptably to the Lord and pleasing to your brethren.  And now you have been appointed of the Lord to a high and holy calling.  Your success depends entirely upon yourself.  There is no man that lives, nor no impediment, that can get into your path, but will be removed, and you will go right along, providing that you preserve your humility and your meekness and lowliness, as you have done in the past.  Don’t think of yourself when important duties are to be performed wherein perhaps there might be advantages to yourself, but think of what the Lord requires of you; think of the good that will be accomplished to others, and not have respect to yourself at all.  In this way you can go on and your faith be increased.

You are now, of course, the youngest of the Apostles, so far as coming into the quorum is concerned.  There are many in this quorum who have been in this relation to the Church, as Apostles, for a great many years, and have had a long experience, and the Lord has blessed them wonderfully.  You must not expect that at once you can feel yourself at home and be equal with them in that knowledge which they have gained through perseverance and a long movement in the path of duty; that you can be as wise and prudent as they, their experience haaving given them the right to blessings that have been very great to them in the line pertaining to their duties.  You will, of course, not feel it your duty to take up all the time, but let others speak.  Let those who have had long experience speak when it comes to matters of high importance, and you listen.  Do not occupy too much time at first.  Wait until you have had the experience and get the wisdom and the understanding the Lord has given to them and will give to you.

Now, Brother Clawson, we are glad to receive you.  President Richards, who is President of the quorum of the Twelve, is glad to receive you, and all the brethren of the Quorum welcome you to the Quorum with their whole hearts.  The more they get acquainted with you, Brother Clawson, the more they will love youi; and the more you get acquainted with the brethren, the more you will love them.  Move along slowly, and pause as you make your steps along; and the Lord will be with you; He will be your leader; and His spirit will suggest how you should act under the circumstances that may surround you.

Now we all feel, Brother Clawson–I speak it in the name of my counselors and the brethren of the Twelve–we all feel to welcome you with all our hearts.  God bless you.

Prest. Jos. F. Smith added a few words of counsel to the effect that one of the great callings and special duties of an Apostle is to become a living witness of the Lord Jesus Christ; to know him and be able to testify that he is the Son of God and the Savior of the world.  Another principle was that an Apostle must acknowledge the order and organization of the Priesthood, and that the united counsels of the leading presiding quorums of the Priesthood are supreme above his own judgment, his own predilections, his own choice and desires, no matter how strong they may be.  All the Apostles and those holding the Priesthood, and especially the Council of the Apostles and the First Presidency, must covenant and agree before God, angels and men, and with each other, that they will acknowledge this organization that God has instituted as his supreme authority on earth.  This was one thing that Bro. Clawson must accede to, in order to obtain the spirit of the Apostleship.

President Geo. Q. Cannon said he would like Bro. Clawson to understand that when he takes upon himself this ministry it is the first and most important thing, and he shoulid not set it aside to attend to anything else.  His whole life and all that pertains to it; his time, talents and everything should be devoted exclusively to the Apostleship, and all else should be entirely subordinate thereto.

Elder Clawson stated that he very much appreciated the instructions and suggestions that had been given, and he fully and completely accepted and endorsed them.  He felt very eak–a great deal more so than at the Conference–and if he could not feel that this call had come to him from the Lord, he would shrink from it, because of the great responsibility it entailed.  No man of his own wisdom cuiold magnify a calling of this kind.  Believing that the call came from the Lord, he accepted it as a great blessing.  He asked for the faith and prayers of the brethren.  He would endeavor to humbly do his duty and be one with them.  He had always sustained with his whole heart the Presidency of the Church, and had accepted and revered their counsels.  He believed that his success, if he had attained to any, in the Box Elder Stake of Zion, where he presided, was due to this spirit–to submit fully to the counsels of the Presidency of the Church and the brethren who presided over him.  He believed that his success in the future could only be in following those lines.  He prayed fervently that the spirit of the Apostleship might rest upon him, and that he might live so as to deserve the confidence of his brethren.”  (JH 10 Oct., 1898)

Oct.:  The Church Judicial System.

“The judicial powers of The Church are vested in the ordinary bishop’s courts, the standing high councils of the stakes of Zion, temporary high councils of high priests abroad, the traveling presiding high council, a special court consisting of the presiding bishop of The Church and twelve high priests (of which more is to be said presently), and finally in the Presidency of The Church.

Church discipline requires that in case of difficulty between members, every effort shall be made by the parties aggrieved with each other to become reconciled.  Failing in this they are required to call in others to bring about a reconciliation, but if through that means a settlement of the case is impossible, the matter goes to the bishop’s court on the complaint of the party aggrieved, and there the case is heard on testimony and a decision rendered.  The bishop’s court is the first or primary court of The Church, and the bishop is known as the common judge.  In the event of the parties or either of them being dissatisfied with the decision of the bishop, and appeal lies to the high council of the stake, whre a re-hearing is given to the case.  The organization of the high council is worthy of consideration.  It is composed of twelve high priests, presided over by the presidency of the stake.  (In the absence of his counselors the president of the stake has power to preside over the council without an assistant; and in case that he himself is absent, his counselors have power to preside in his stead, both or either of them.  In the absence of all the presidency then the senior member of the council may preside.)  The high council cannot act unless seven of its members are present; but seven have the power to call upon other high priests to act temporarily in the place of the absent councilors.  Whenever a high council is organized, the twelve members draw lots for their places.  Those who draw the even numbers–two, four, six, eight, ten, twelve–are to stand in behalf of the accused; those drawing the odd numbers in behalf of the accuse4r.  In every case the accused has a right to half of the council, to prevent injury or injustice.  The councilors who represent the accused and accuser respectively, do not become partisans bent on winning their case irrespective of its righteousness of justice; on the contrary every man is to speak according to equity and truth; and aside from that is merely to see that each party to the issue involved has justice accorded him and that he is not subjected to insult or injury.

There are three kinds of high councils in The Church.  They are similar in organization, and the manner of procedure is practically the same before them all; but they differ in authority and jurisdiction.

1.  The Traveling High Council:  This council consists of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ.  They are a traveling, presiding high council; and, laboring under the direction of the First Presidency of The Church, they have the right to build up The Church and regulate all the affairs of the same in all the world.  Whenever they sit as a high council, there is no appeal from their decisions–that is, they can only be called in question by the general authorities of The Church in the event of transgression.

2.  The Standing High Councils at the Stakes of Zion:  As already noted The Church is divided into branches or wards with appropriate officers; and these branches, wards, and settlements of the saints are grouped into stakes of Zion.  In each stake there is a standing high council, limited in its jurisdiction to the affairs of that particular stake where it is located.

3.  Temporary High Council:  The high priests abroad, that is, outside of the organized stakes of Zion, whenever the parties to a difficulty, or either of them demand it, and the high priests abroad deem the case of sufficient importance to justify such action–are authorized to organize a temporary high council to try the case.  The council is to be organized after the pattern and proceed in the same manner as those at the stakes of Zion.  If the decision of any high council–except that of the Traveling, Presiding High Council–is unsatisfactory, an appeal lies to the First Presidency, who take such steps in the case as wisdom and the spirit of the Lord indicate.  But whatever their decision is it is final.

The special court referred to above–consisting of the Presiding Bishop of The Church and twelve high priests especially called for each occasion–I must not neglect to mention, for the reason that it exhibits the fact that no one in The Church is so exalted but he is amenable to the laws and courts of The Church, as well as the humblest member.  This special court is called into existence for the purpose of trying the President of the High Priesthood, who is also the President of The Church, if he should be found in transgression.  It may investigate his conduct, subject him to the most rigid examination, and if the evidence showed him to be in transgression the court could condemn him and its action would be final, from its decision there would be no appeal.  (Doc. & Cov., Sec. CVII:76, 82-84)  

Thus none, not even the highest, is beyond the operations of the laws and councils of The Church.  However great and exalted any single officer of The Church may be, The Church is still greater and more exalted than he; for though the President of The Church is God’s mouthpiece–God’s viceregent on earth–yet he may be tried and his conduct inquired into by this court to which I have called attention.  Therefore if the time should ever come that The Church should be so unfortunate as to be presided over by a man who transgressed the laws of God and became unrighteous (and that such a thing could be, and that the President of The Church is not regarded as impeccable, is quite evident from the fact that provisions are made for his trial and condemnation), a means of deposing him, without revolution, or even disorder, is provided in The Church system of government.  (This special court was once organized; before it Sidney Rigdon, one of the Presidency of The Church, was tried and condemned in 1844.)  

Of course the only punishment which is within the power of The Church to inflict  if the decisions of its councils or courts are not respected, is to disfellowship or excommunicate such offenders.  In the former case the transgressor is merely suspended from the privileges of church communion.  In the latter case–excommunication–the person absolutely loses his membership in The Church, together with all the priesthood he holds; and if he ever regains a standing it must be by baptism and confirmation as at first.  To those who hold lightly their standing in The Church, suspension of fellowship, or excommunication has no special terror; but to the man of faith, whose full hopes of eternal life with all its advantages stand or fall with his standing in The Church of Christ, no greater punishment can threaten him.  The punishment of excommunication is a serious one in the estimation of the faithful, and since man in his imperfect state is influenced to righteousness by his dread of punishment, as well as by his hope of reward, the punishment of excommunication has a wholesome effect in preserving the discipline of The Church.”  (B. H. Roberts, “The Claims, Doctrines, and Organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” IE 1(12):918-921, Oct., 1898)

15 Nov.:  Words used in ordination.

“A corespondent asks for some forms giving the exact words that should be used in ordaining men to certain offices in the Priesthood.

Our answer is, where the Lord has condescended to reveal the exact words to be used in the performance of any ordinance of the Church, these words should be used without change or deviation, but where the Lord has not done so it is improper, not to say impious, for men to trench upon the authority of the holy Ghost and undertake to write or dictate forms when the Lord Himself has not thought it well so to do.  It is the privilege of every man who is called to officiate in the ordinances of the Church to enjoy a portion of the Spirit of the Lord.  On that Spirit he should rely when called upon to administer as a servant of the Lord, and we look with great disfavor on the tendency shown by some to have set forms prepared and used whenever there is an ordinance to be performed.  We regard it as a dangerous departure from the Lord’s way, one that is likely to result in grievous errors.  If a man holding the holy Priesthood is called upon to officiate in any of the duties of his calling he should be sure that he does that which he intends, and if the Lord has given no exact formula, let him trust to the Spirit of the Lord to fill his heart and inspire his tongue, and if he is doing his duty he will not go far wrong.  Our Heavenly Father will not hold him a transgressor for a slip of the tongue or a verbal inaccuracy caused by nervousness or misapprehension; on the other hand every officer should do his very best when ministering in the things of God; carelessness or slovenliness in the handling of holy things or the performance of sacred rites is very displeasing to Him in whose name we are officiating.”  (George Q. Cannon, JI 33(22):764, 15 Nov., 1898)

1 Dec.:  Should bonds be issued to refinance Church debt?

“The regular weekly meeting of the First Presidency and the Apostles was held in the Salt Lake Temple at 11 A.M.  Present:  Prests. Lorenzo Snow, Geo. Q. Cannon, Jos. F. Smith and Franklin D. Richards; Elders F. M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, Geo. Teasdale, H. J. Grant, M. W. Merrill, A. H. Lund, M. F. Cowley, Rudger Clawson and the Presiding Bishopric.

A letter was read from Elder Reuben G. Miller, accepting the position of President of the Emery Stake, to succeed Elder C. G. Larsen.

Prest. Snow then stated that the Presiding Bishopric had been invited to meet with the Council to take part in the consideration of the question of issuing Church bonds.  He said he had concluded to try the experiment of issuing bonds to the amount of half a million, in the hope that our own people will subscribe for them.  This matter has been talked over two or three times and a decision had been reached to issue this amount of bonds for eleven years, redeemable in five years, to provide for a sinking fund and to select two persons of good financial reputation to act as trustees.  The question was now submitted to the Council, President Snow remarking that the whole matter was open for discussion, as nothing had been determined on that could not be changed.

The form of the bond was then read and Prest. Cannon moved that the amount of the reserve be $50,000, instead of $25,000, as before agreed upon.  This, with the interest of $30,000, would make a total fund of $80,000 a year.  The motion was seconded by Prest. Smith, and after some further talk and explanations regarding the income of the Church, it was put and carried unanimously.

The question as to who should be trustees for the bonds was discussed, and it was finally decided that L. S. Hills, of Salt Lake City, and David Eccles, of Ogden, should be chosen.

The Council adjourned.”  (JH 1 Dec., 1898)

15 Dec.:  11-year old deacon.

“In the year 1896 we moved from Midway to Millward.  I like the people and country here very much.  I belong to the Deacon’s quorum and think it quite a pleasure to attend the duties of a Deacon.  Some months ago our much beloved president was called to fill a foreign mission.  The Deacons had a ‘surprise party’ and presented him a nice valise.  He was very much surprised, and shed tears of gratitude.  His name is John E. McConike.  We all felt to say God bless our president.”  (William Watkins, age 11 years, JI 33(24):854, 15 Dec., 1898)

15 Dec.:  What name should illegitimate child bear?

“[Meeting at the Temple] Question, When an illegitimate child is brought to be blessed, Shall it bear the father’s or the mother’s name?  It was thought the mother should have the right [to] determine this point.”  (Rudger Clawson diary, 15 Dec., 1898)

“The regular weekly meeting of the First Presidency and Apostles convened at the Salt Lake Temple at 11 A.M.  Present:  Prests. Lorenzo Snow, Geo. Q. Cannon, Jos. F. Smith and F. D. Richards; Elders F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, H. J. Grant, A. H. Lund, and Rudger Clawson. . . .

Bro. Lyman inquired as to the name an illegitimate child should bear, whether it should be the mother’s or the father’s name.  Prest. Cannon answered that the mother herself should decide that question.  If she knew who was the father of her child, and desired it to be called by his name, it would be very proper to call it after him; but should she not want to do that, she could, of course, call it after herself.  The child might choose for itself, when it grew to maturity, the name it would go by.”  (JH 15 Dec., 1898)

16 Dec.:  Further discussion of Church bonds.

“At the President’s Office this morning the subject of the Church bonds came up again for consideration.  Besides the First Presidency, there were present Brothers H. J. Grant, and John Henry Smith, of the Council of the Apostles; Bishops William P. Preston and John R. Winder of the Presiding Bishopric and Bro. David Eccles, one of the proposed trustees.  Brother Eccles waited upon the Presidency for the purpose of suggesting, inasmuch as the Church indebtedness amounted to over one million dollars, that that amount, instead of half a million, be borrowed, as the expense of issuing the bonds would be no greater and the entire issue would sell without doubt very readily.  Prest. Snow appreciated the suggestion of Brother Eccles, and doubtless would have acted upon it, had it not gone forth to the public by means of the Deseret Evening News that the bond issue would be for $500,000.  He did not feel that it would be a good policy to make a change now.  It was stated in this connection that a gentleman named Edwards Roberts whom Bro. Grant had met in this city, was trying to effect a loan of $500,000 in Chicago, on the strength of the note of the Trustee-in-trust, at 6% interest, with the privilege of paying $50,000 each year on the principal; and that Mr. Roberts has a week’s time in which to consummate this loan.”  (JH 16 Dec., 1898)

“The Deseret News of this evening contains in its editorial columns the following announcement:


In consequence of the financial condition of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, occasioned by the tedious and expensive litigation over the Church property, the difficulties which had to be contended with during the protracted prosecutions under the laws of Congress and the peculiar constructions of the courts in their enforcement, and other circumstances of an adverse nature, which for several years surrounded the Church, it has been compelled to borrow money from time to time, thus creating a debt which it is desirable as soon as possible to liquidate.

Money at a reasonable rate of interest has been offered to the Church from outside sources, but it was deemed better that an opportunity should be given to our own people to advance means for this purpose.  This matter has been in contemplation for some time and has been carefully considered, with a view to the interest of the Church and the benefit of individuals.

The Presiding Authorities have therefore determined to issue bonds, running for a period of eleven years and bearing interest at 6 per cent per annum–fiftenn hundred to be of the denomination of one hundred dollars each, numbered consecutively from one to fifteen hundred; two hundred of the denomination of five hundred dollars each, numbered consecutively from one to two hundred; and two hundred and fifty of the denomination of one thousand dollars each, numbered consecutively from one to two hundred and fifty, the whole issue aggregating five hundred thousand dollars, all bearing date of December 31, 1898.

The security for the payment of these bonds and the interest thereon, will be the pledge of the Trustee-in-Trust for and in behalf of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, made to each of the holders of such bonds and also to Lewis S. Hills and David Eccles, who are constituted trustees to act for the said bondholders, that enough money to pay the interest on the bons on the first days of July and January in each year after the first day of January, 1899, shall be deposited at the Deseret National Bank, and that at least fifty thousand dollars from the income of the said Church shall be deposited with the said trustees each year after the year 1900, to provide for the purchase of a portion of the bonds or to create a fund for their redemption.  Thus arrangements will be effected by which the entire amount to pay for the principal and interest on the bonds will have been deposited in the term of eleven years.  The bonds, however, will be subject to redemption in five years from the date thereof.

The Church has an income which will secure, undoubtedly, the payment of all its liabilities, including the interest on these bonds and the principal according to their face, and its assets at the present time are fully equal in value to its indebtedness, apart from its assured income.  The Church has always been solvent, and the necessity for borrowing funds has been caused by the pressure of circumstances which were forced upon it.

The bonds, which will be offered on the first of January, 1899, may be purchased by any persons who desire to invest in them.  They should be taken by residents of Utah.  The Latter-day Saints who can purchase one or more of these bonds will find them a safe and profitable investment.  Their issuance will enable the Trustee-in-Trust to settle liabilities carrying a heavy rate of interest, and this will make a considerable saving to the Church.  The interest and principal will be paid in gold coin, and the Church, through its Trustee-in-Trust, will be full security for their redemption.

Application for the bonds should be made to LORENZO SNOW, Trustee-in-Trust.”

(JH 16 Dec., 1898)

31 Dec.:  Statistical Summary.


Year Ending Dec. 31, 1898.

No. Stakes of Zion, 40

No. Outside Missions, 14

Total No. Souls, 267,190

Total No. Families, 41,820

Births, 8,425

Baptisms, 5,157

Children Baptized,   6,857

Deaths, 3,163

Excommunicated,     317

Gross Increase, 20,439

Net Increase, 16,959

Persons Married,   2,187

No. Patriarchs,     150

High Priests,   5,793

Seventies,   7,655

Elders, 17,082

Priests, 3,726

Teachers, 4,096

Deacons, 14,313

Children under 8 years, 74,541″

(JH 31 Dec., 1898)