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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Priesthood & Mormonism – 1901

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Priesthood, 1901.” You can view other years here.

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1901:    3 Jan.:  Mission President should be Apostle or HP, not 70.

“At 11 o’clock the Presidency and Apostles held their regular meeting in the Temple.  The brethren met in prayer circle after which the regular business of the meeting was considered.  There were present:  Presidents Lorenzo Snow and Joseph F. Smith; Brigham Young, John Henry Smith, George Teasdale, Heber J. Grant, Anthon H. Lund, Rudger Clawson, A. O. Woodruff and Reed Smoot. . . .

Elder Heber J. Grant stated that he thought it was time to release President Platt D. Lyman from the Presidency of the European Mission, he having been there about three years.  He also suggested that Elder Lyman be chosen to succeed the late President Hammond of the San Juan Stake, and further expressed the opinion that Elder J. Golden Kimball wouold make a good president of the European Mission.  President Smith, while agreeing with the suggestion that Elder Lyman be released, felt that it would be better to choose one of the Apostles or a High Priest to preside over that mission.  President Snow acquiesced in the remarks of President Smith and invited the Apostles to choose one of their number for that position.”  (JH 3 Jan., 1901)

10 Jan.:  Acting Teachers not doing their duty.

“At 11 o’clock the meeting of the Presidency and Apostles was held in the Temple.  There were present:  Presidents Lorenzo Snow and Joseph F. Smith and all the Apostles.  The Apostles had been in session yesterday and this morning since nine o’clock, and Brother Young now informed the Presidency that they had considered several questions and had concluded to make certain recommendations to the Presidency. . . .

Elder John Henry Smith suggested that missionaries be selected in the Stakes of Zion to labor among the back-sliding people.  After some discussion the concensus of opinion was that if the acting teachers of the various Wards were doing their duty there would be no need for this labor and that it could properly be left to the Presidency of the Stakes and that their attention should be called to the needs in this direction that the machinery of the Church might be put in motion properly, which would be more satisfactorily done if directed in this manner.”  (JH 10 Jan., 1901)

31 Jan.:  M. W. Merrill to be released as Stake President.

“At 11 o’clock council meeting was held in the Temple.  There were present: Presidents Snow, Cannon and Smith also Elders Brigham Young, Francis M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, George Teasdale, John W. Taylor, Anthon H. Lund, Mathias F. Cowley, Abraham O. Woodruff, Rudger Clawson and Reed Smoot. . . .

President Smith thought there was no immediate reason for making a change in the presidency of the center [Cache] stake which at present is presided over by Elder Marriner W. Merrill.  Elder Cowley moved that Elder Charles G. Hyde preside over the south stake, that W. H. Lewis preside over the north stake and that the center stake remain as it is for the present.  Seconded by President Smith.  Elder John Henry Smith thought it would be a proper thing to release Brother Merrill as a stake president that he might not be curtailed in his privileges and duties as an Apostle, and this was agreeable to Brother Merrill’s own feelings, as expressed a short time ago.  President Smith stated that he knew of no reason why Brother Merrill should not be released if he desired to be that he might labor in the duties of the Apostleship.  After further discussion on this subject it was stated by President Snow that at the time Brother Merrill was appointed to preside over the Cache stake there were special reasons for it, but he felt that those reasons did not now exist and therefore Elder Merrill ought to be released.  President Cannon stated that it was the solemn duty on the part of the brethren to see that certain ideas as to doctrine and the rights and authority of the Priesthood were extirpated from the people of Cache stake, and that now was the time to choose strong, capable men to do this work.  After further discussion it was decided to release Brother Merrill on motion of Brother John Henry Smith.”  (JH 31 Jan., 1901)

31 Jan.:  Improvement Era to be organ of Priesthood?

“At 11 o’clock council meeting was held in the Temple.  There were present: Presidents Snow, Cannon and Smith also Elders Brigham Young, Francis M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, George Teasdale, John W. Taylor, Anthon H. Lund, Mathias F. Cowley, Abraham O. Woodruff, Rudger Clawson and Reed Smoot. . . .

A long communication to President Snow as General Superintendent of the M. I. A., signed by Joseph F. Smith, Heber J. Grant and B. H. Roberts was submitted.  It asked that the sphere of the Improvement Era be enlarged by not confining it to Improvement Societies alone, but that it be allowed to become an organ for instructing quorums of Priesthood as well.

President Snow remarked that he felt somewhat jealous of giving to any organization authority to instruct any of the quorums of the Priesthood, and being in doubt was his object in bringing it before the brethren.

President Smith stated that the Seventies of the First Council had themselves expressed a desire to use the columns of the Era by way of reaching the several quorums of Seventies.

President Cannon thought it was a matter that required time to consider, and being pressed for time now he suggested that it be deferred.  This suggestion was acted upon and the matter postponed for the present.”  (JH 31 Jan., 1901)

21 Mar.:  How much authority with ordination?

“I went to Office.  Then to Temple.  There were eight Apostles present.  There was some talk between the Apostles about Ordination and B. Young said that when President Snow told him that Priesthood was divine authority it became clear to him what was meant in Ordination, and that when a man is ordained a deacon he receives that much authority and no more.  He also said that he hoped when we agreed upon a thing we would never have it said afterwards that we were not one on the subject.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 21 Mar., 1901)

21 Mar.:  Reinstatement of a murderer.

“[Meeting of the 12]  The question about a man who had killed another man could be restored was discussed.  He had done it when under excitement and in his anger Prest. Snow thought that it was not murder and felt to be merciful.  It was agreed to let the people and High Council decide if his repentance was genuine and if they were willing to forgive him.  His name is McBride.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 21 Mar., 1901)

27 Mar.:  Use of 70s for other positions.

“[Council meeting of 1st Pres. and 12]  The Council decided that when a president of seventy is called to fill any position in the ward or the stake the First Council of Seventy should be consulted.”  (JH 27 Mar., 1901)

28 Mar.:  Leave 70s presidents alone.

“[Meeting at the Temple] It was decided that the Presidents of Seventies Quorums be not interfered with any more than possible in effecting Stake and Ward organizations.”  (Rudger Clawson diary, 28 Mar., 1901)

28 Mar.:  Marriage for those who don’t want to be sealed.

“[Meeting of the 1st Pres. and 12]  J. H. Anderson and Frank Emery were appointed to marry people who did not go to the Temple to be sealed.  These brethren are working in the Court-House and feel a little embarrassed to perform a ceremony that they feel should be done in the Temple; but the Presidency thought it would be better to have the people married by some of our own Elders.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 28 Mar., 1901)

3 Apr.:  Who can administer to sick; other questions.

“[Meeting at the Temple]  M. F. Cowley: . . . He alluded to the Book of Mormon.  The Josephites sell theirs at 50 cents and we sell it at 1.00–We ought to sell it as cheap as the Josephites.  Bro. Duffin wishes to get the privilege of printing the Book of Mormon which he can get done for 21 cents a copy.  Something must be done. . . .

Pres. B. Young said he had tried to bring the matter of the Book of Mormon up, buit it has been brushed away.  Nothing will be done till President Cannon returns.  I am also in favor of the Presidents of the Seventies receiving more recompense to them.  Alluded to the fact that we have not looked to it that our High-Priest Quorum contain representative men who could be chosen to fill up the places vacant in the Priesthood.

. . . .

Reed Smoot: . . . In regard to Bro. Hall’s going about administering he read a letter he was going to send him which enjoins upon Hall to get the consent of the Bishop.  A Bro. Jones talked in Tongues and said Bro. Maeser was present and said he was going to California to administer to Prest. Cannon, who would get well and yet attend a conference in Salt Lake City.

Pres. F. M. Lyman, was opposed to anything being started that would introduce new ways and methods.  Said if such be the case, then we will soon have persons come to the front who will gain influence and even the apostles will put into the background.

John W. Taylor:  I think this should again be brought before the President.  I believe not in new innovations.  The idea should not go out that none but an Apostle can bless and administer.  The gift of Tongues should be subject to the proper authority.

Pres. B. young thought that the letter should be modified to what we consider the right thing and then presented to the President.

Rudger Clawson:  Told of a man, who went to Wayne County and was blessed for cancer.  Word got out that he was being healed, but he died and it shocked.

A. H. Lund was opposed to the letter for the reason it sustains Hall in his position and he will demand the Bishop to have and preside over meetings of his devising. . . .

4 Apr.:  The Apostles met. . . . Prests. Snow and Smith came in–. . . The Letter to Bro Hall was considered and agreed upon denying the right of any one holding private meetings under claim and authority of the priesthood–Sick should be administered to and can be prayed for in Fast-day meetings and Circle are the places where the names can be given in and. [sic]”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 3-4 Apr., 1901)

5 Apr.:  Every ward should have a prayer circle.

“In this connection I may say that we have prayer circles in this Church.  Every Bishop has a right to have a prayer circle in his ward, and I sincerely hope that there is no one Stake in Zion without one, and if there is, my advice is to organize one as soon as possible.  There is not a week passes but these circles meet, and they are composed of men of God, who hold the Priesthood, and who are supposed to be clean in every respect, having a knowledge that God lives, obeying all His commandments, and observing the Word of Wisdom; and the Saints should have the privilege of having their sick remembered in these circles.  At the same time, I believe that where the humblest servant of God is called upon to administer to one who is sick in this Church, if he have faith, and the afflicted one also, God will grant unto them the righteous desires of their hearts.  And it seems to me that there is no need of holding special fast meetings, or special testimony meetings, or special meetings of any kind in the wards or Stakes of Zion, in connection with or making them a part of the simple ordinances of administering to the sick.”  (Reed Smoot, 5 Apr., 1901; CR Apr., 1901, p. 5)

5 Apr.:  Duties of quorums.

“Cast your eye over this Church; go into the wards and Stakes of the Church; visit among this people.  They are without doubt the best people upon the earth, but go among them, and then ask yourselves if this people have not need of repentance.  We have need of it.  You must admit it when you learn that 50 per cent of those who bear the Priesthood of God fail to attend their quorum meetings.  One-half of the bearers of the Priesthood attend to this duty, and when called upon will arise and bear testimony; but the other half, fail.  Oh! you will say, perhaps, that is not so bad; it is only a quorum meeting you know; they meet once or twice a month, and the time between meetings is so long that the brethren forget about it.  But I wish to remind you, brethren and sisters, (for the sisters shoiuld take an interest in this matter with their husbands) that the quorums of the Priesthood have been established by the authority of God, and their times and seasons and bounds have been set.  The duties pertaining to the Priesthood are set forth in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants with great force and clearness.  And I say, if the meetings of these quorums are of no consequence in the church, let them be done away with.  If they are not worth the sacrifice needed in coming together for an hour or so once or twice a month, let us dispense with them.  God will not be mocked.  If He says such organizations in the Church are necessary, if He inspires the organization of a quorum, then we must give heed to His word.  When we make sacred covenants before the Lord, as many of our young men do, in order to obtain the Priesthood, and secure blessings through the Priesthood, and we ignore those covenants, I fear the disfavor of the Lord will be upon us, and He will hold us to a strict accountability.  I believe that there is need for the application of this great principle of repentance to the men of the Priesthood.  Yet we have many faithful ones among us.  There are various associations in the Church, all instituted by the authority of God for the benefit and blessing of the Latter-day Saints, and this same condition prevails more or less throughout all of them–about fifty per cent, responsd, and about fifty per cent do not respond.”  (Rudger Clawson, 5 Apr., 1901; CR Apr., 1901, pp. 8-9)

5 Apr.:  Bishops can restrain members in exercise of gifts

“The Lor has given this day to be a blessing to the people, wherein we can enjoy His Spirit and the gifts of the Gospel.  The people of God do enjoy the gift of prophecy, the gift of healing, the gift of tongues; and probably the latter gift has been taken advantage of by the evil one more than any other gift in the Church.  The Saints should be guided by the Spirit of God, and subject to those who preside in the meetings.  If the Bishop, who is a common judge in Israel, tells a person to restrain this gift, or any other gift, it is the duty of that person to do it.  The Bishop has a right to the gift of discernment, whereby he may tell whether these spirits are of God or not, and if they are not they should not have place in the congregations of the Saints.  No man or woman has a right to find fault with the Bishop for restraining him or her in any of these matters.  The Bishop is the responsible party, and it is his privilege to say what shall be done under his presidency.”  (Abraham O. Woodruff, 5 Apr., 1901; CR Apr., 1901, p. 12)

5 Apr.:  The propriety of resigning from office.

“But there is great need, in all the Stakes of Zion, of a reformation in the activity of those who bear the responsibility of the bishopric, and other leading officers of the Priesthood.  Some brethren have been very neglectful of their duties.  Others have manifested an incapacity to perform the duties of their respective offices in the holy Priesthood.  It is necessary that this should be rectified.  It is not necessary, in order to obtain salvation in the kingdom of God, that a man should preside over a ward as a Bishop.  When he becomes, through age, sickness or any other cause, unable to perform the duties of that high calling, it is no discredit for him to resign and give place to another man; in fact, it is a credit to him, and he ought to do it.  The same may be said of the President of a Stake.  Why, President Lorenzo Snow and President Franklin D. Richards–two of the humblest and most energetic men in the Church–on one occasion went to President Brigham Young and told him that if he considered that they were inefficient, incapable or inactive in their Apostleship, they were willing to step aside and let their Apostleship be conferred upon other men.  So great was their humility and their love for the work of God that they offered to do this.”  (Matthias F. Cowley, 5 Apr., 1901; CR Apr., 1901, pp. 15-16)

6 Apr.:  Policy on Stake President/Bishop meetings.

“Apostle F. M. Lyman Refered to the recent changes which have made in the Church where men, for any reason become disqualified for work they should cheerfully retire & others be put in their places.  Presiding quorums should meet and counsel together Presidents of Stakes and bishops of wards should meet with their counsellors often.  Bishops should see that full and correct records are kept.  It is not expected that the Apostles will look after the details of the stakes nor that presidents of stakes will attend to the details of the management of the wards.  Presidents of stakes must live near the Lord & know His will for the management of his stake & the same of the bishops of wards.”  (General Conference report, Anthony W. Ivins diary, 6 Apr., 1901)

6 Apr.:  Stk. Pres. to meet regularly/duty of High Council

“One of the Stake organizations is the High Council.  Now, it has been considered in days gone by that the office of High Councilor was a nominal one, and that there was not much for the High Council to do.  This is a mistaken idea.  They shiould be one with the Presidency of the Stake, as the Twelve Apostles are one with the Presidency of the Church; and it would be an excellent thing if the presidents of Stakes would follow the lead of the Presidency of the Church.  We find that the Presidency of the Church have their regular meetings.  They meet one day each week, and as many of the Twelve meet with them as are able.  It would be well if this were followed in the Stakes.  Let the Presidency of the Stake meet every week, and the High Council meet with them, and talk over matters pertaining to the welfare of the people of the Stake.  Let them sing and pray together, and ask the Lord to direct them in their ministry.  I know this is a good thing.  I will tell you what is needed in the whole Church, and that is, that every ward in the Church be labored with by the officials of the ward and of the Stake, that it may be said one year from now that every non-tithepayer in the Church has been converted.  Somebody has to do this labor, why not the Presidency of the Stake and the High Council take it up and see what good they can accomplish the coming years.  Let them see if they cannot bring about a reformation, that the report may not come to the President of the Church that there are ten thousand, or any other number of non-tithepayers in the Church.

This law of tithing was not instituted by man; it is the word of the Lord to the people, and those who do not comply with it will certainly meet with loss.  Hence the importance of every member of the Church being enlightened, that they may be brought to realize their position and the necessity fo reforming and doing better.  And how can a man be converted without somebody to convert him?  How can he hear without a preacher?  If this labor were to devolve upon the Presidency and High Council, it would give the High Council something to do besides sitting on trials.  While the High Councils are organized and prepared to hear and adjudicate difficulties between brethren, their labors should be directed in other channels, and those who have difficulties should be advised to settle them themselves.”  (Marriner W. Merrill, 6 Apr., 1901; CR Apr., 1901, pp. 24-25)

6 Apr.:  Let the High Council preach, not hold court.

“Let us settle our difficulties ourselves, and let the High Council be employed in preaching the Gospel and in conversing by the fireside, just as our Elders do in the world.”  (Marriner W. Merrill, 6 Apr., 1901; CR Apr., 1901, p. 25)

6 Apr.:  The Elders need converting.

“Especial complaint is made that the Elders do not attend their quorum meetings.  They need converting.  They are good men, but careless and inconsiderate.  Their minds need to be touched by the Spirit of the Lord, and there needs to be an awakening in their hearts.  There is no trouble about the sisters; if the brethren will only do right, lead and counsel, and sing and pray in the family circle, the sisters will be all right.  The difficulty lies with the heads of families and with the bearers of the holy Priesthood, who have agreed to do their duty, because when we ordain people now we ask them if they will be faithful in their calling and ministry.  We need an awakening.”  (Marriner W. Merrill, 6 Apr., 1901; CR Apr., 1901, p. 25)

6 Apr.:  Plea for weekly bishopric meetings.

“While it is proper for the Presidency and High Council to meet, and to sing and pray together, the same rule will apply to the Bishopric of every ward.  Have these meetings weekly; and do not let some trifling thing keep you from them.”  (Marriner W. Merrill, 6 Apr., 1901; CR Apr., 1901, p. 25)

7 Apr.:  Salaries of GA’s.

“The tithing of the people are not used for the aggrandizement of men.  They are not used to enrich individuals.  Some few whose time is entirely engrossed in the labors of the ministry, and who have not time to look out for themselves, are allowed a pittance, to keep the wolf from their doors.  They are permitted to have bread to eat, and simple clothing to wear.  But they are not allowed great salaries, by which they can build themselves up and become enriched at the expense of the people.  I want to tell you that if I were dependent upon what I receive from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the support of myself and family, and I had nothing else to rely upon, my family would go hungry; we would go without many of the very necessary things of life.”  (Joseph F. Smith, 7 Apr., 1901; CR Apr., 1901, pp. 70-71)

8 Apr.:  Don’t put 2 GA’s in 1 bed.

“Apostle John W. Taylor said when the Apostles or Prests. of 70 visited the stakes dont put 2 in 1 bed but give them a clean bed & good house keeper.  He killed 143 bed bugs in one bed at one time.”  (Anthony W. Ivins diary, 8 Apr., 1901)

2 May:  Must be tithepayer to hold office.

“[Meeting in the Temple]  It was the sense of the Council that no member of the Presidency of a Stake, or High Councillor, or member of a Bishopric can be sustained in those positions who are not tithe payers.”  (Rudger Clawson diary, 2 May, 1901)

May:  The form of baptism.

“‘If an elder, performing a baptism, should not use the exact words quoted in Section 20, Doctrine and Covenants, would such a baptism be valid and acceptable, or would a person having been so baptized be a non-member?’

If an elder, in performing a baptism, fails to use the proper words, he should be corrected, if any one notices the error.  If, however, the error is not noticed and rectivied, the baptism as well as any other ordinance that may be thus performed, is not rendered void.  In that case, the intent of the one performing the ordinance is taken into account, and also the intent of the person applying for baptism.  Since the intent of each is sincere, the act should not be invalidated by an error.  But it should be remembered that there is no excuse for any elder making a mistake in using the simple words of the ordinance of baptism.  They are easily learned, and should be so thoroughly memorized by every priest and elder as to render mistakes impossible.  Therefore, the best answer to the question is, let no such mistake be made.”  (“Editor’s Table–Answers to Questions,” [Joseph F. Smith and Edward H. Anderson, editors], IE 4(7):549-550, May, 1901)

16 May:  Remuneration of bishops and stake presidents.

“[Meeting of 1st Pres. and 12]  The President [Snow] thought some bishops and Presidents ought to be removed and thought where the President of Stake was poor he ought to receive his remuneration after he was released as well as before.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 16 May, 1901)

2 Jun.:  Instructions & silent drill during sacrament.

“Sacrament admi[ni]stered with instru[c]tions & silent drill.”  (L. John Nuttall diary, 2 Jun., 1901)

13 Jun.:  Policy on High Councilmen; sacrament.

“Thursday.  Salt Lake City.  I attended meeting with the First Presidency and seven of the Apostles.  It was decided to ordain High Councilmen as High Priests and set them apart as High Councilmen; also decided that it be the rule in the Church for those administering the sacrament, for only one to kneel when asking the blessing on the bread and water, as in our circumstances the whole congregation cannot kneel.”  (Marriner Wood Merrill diary, 13 Jun., 1901)

“Meeting of the brethren at the Presidents office instead of the temple. . . .

Before taking my seat, I referred to the matter of non-tithe-payers, and felt that some action should be taken relative to those who bear the Priesthood, as by experience I had been led to believe that those who rejected the law of tithing, or failed to honor it, were indifferent, generally, to their duties in the church.

The question was pretty fully discussed, and though no formal action was taken, it seemed to be the mind of the brethren, that while it would be unwise and injudicious at present to relieve men of their priesthood who failed to observe the law of tithing, it would certainly be proper to call for the resignation of non-tithe-payers who were officiating in various prominent positions in the church. . . .

In answer to a question by Apostle Brigham Young, it was decided by unanimous vote upon motion of Pres. J. F. Smith, that men who were called to the High Council, should be ordained High Priests and set apart as High Councillors.

In order to establish uniform procedure throughout the church relative to the manner of blessing the bread and wine in the administration of the sacrament, it was decided that one, and one only the party officiating should kneel.”  (Rudger Clawson diary, 13 Jun., 1901)

“Met with the Presidency in the President’s Office instead of in the Temple. . . . It was agreed that a High Councilor was to be ordained a high-priest; but not ordained a High-Councilor.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 13 Jun., 1901)

“The Presidency and Apostles met in council in the Temple this morning. . . .

The question of whether a person should stand or kneel in blessing the Sacrament was discussed and on motion of President Joseph F. Smith it was decided that a uniform method of kneeling be adopted.”  (JH 13 Jun., 1901)

16 Jun.:  Marriage outside the temple.

“I arose early and got ready to go to Morgan.  On the train were several brethren going to different parts of the country to attend conferences and gatherings.  Golden J. Kimball was going to Brigham City.  He asked me what I thought of the Governors marriage with an outsider after he had been in the Temple.  He said that he thought it wrong even if the Governor had spoken to Pres. Snow about it.  Should the President have given consent it was simply because he had been asked, but it would still be against counsel.  He also felt that it was strange to see Pres. Snow’s son, who believes nothing, marry the widow of Lewis Cannon, who was married in the Temple, and to have the ceremony performed by his father Pres. Snow outside of the Temple!  He thought these examples would be imitated and I fear this will be the case.  As I look upon it, I believe the President did not want to push these people farther away and hence may have consented when asked, but this does not indicate any slackening of rules in regard to the covenants entered into in the Temple.  Dr. Snow has never claimed faith, and if his father had refused to marry him, he would have turned against him.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 16 Jun., 1901)

20 Jun.:  Does priesthood or office define duties?

“Revised until time for meeting in Temple.  The question of ordaining to the Priesthood came up.  Joseph F. Smith holds that there being but two Priesthoods an Elder receives the Melchisedek Priesthood with all its powers, but the office defines its duties.  The same with a deacon.  The other view is that a person receives such a portion of the Priesthood and hence has only so much authority.  Prest Smith is very strong in his opinion, but Pres. Snow is stronger.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 20 Jun., 1901)

10 Jul.:  Concerning the current wave of immorality.

“[Meeting of the 12]  Reed Smoot:  During the last three months I have been busy attending conferences.  I am nearly through with the organization of the Summit Stake.  I have found things which I had hardly found among Saints.  Some have drifted far away from truth.  The Word of Wisdom had not been taught in that Stake.  From the President down it was violated.  One ward could not be organized because men were not willing to promise that they would obey it.  A missionary is expected home and then I think we will complete the Ward.  In Utah Stake I find that immorality shows itself by streaks.  Kamas Ward as a number of unmarried people.  The young people seem to want 8 or 10 years courtship.  5 years ago there was a wave of immorality passing over Utah Stake.  Lehi as an example.  I think our young people should be watched.  Our amusements are left to them.  They do not open their gatherings with prayer. . . .

A. O. Woodruff: . . . I was sorry to learn that there was a wave of immorality sweeping over several places.  I suppose the close proximity to resorts is the cause.  I am not clear upon the laxity in regard to keeping covenants sacred that have been made in the Temple for instance:  Governor Wells married an outside woman.  Is he in a position to partake of the Sacrament?  Has he not forfeited his wives already sealed to him?  I feel he has. People say If men are in high standing then such things are condoned, but if poor people they are dealt with.  This course kills faith.  We have promised to only have those given us by the Lord.  This looks peculiar to me.  I know the Gospel is true and when I can not understand what is going on I do not allow it to affect my faith. . . .

2 P.M. . . .

A. H. Lund:  Spoke upon the school question.  Marrying out of the Temple, after having been endowed; touched upon the amusements of the people. . . .

M. W. Merrill: . . . I feel the House of the Lord should be kept in a good condition and that order should be kept strictly.  I have in cases of doubt called the couple into my room and asked them pointedly whether they are pure or not.  If the Apostles are laying these principles before the people it will have more weight with the people than if any one else should do so.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 10 Jul., 1901)

25 Jun.:  Setting apart of Indian chief.

“After Meeting I attended a gathering of the Indians at Residence of Bro Geo Hatch – by Bro Woodruff  When investigation was has [had] as to who should be their Chief.  The younger ones wanted Walker.  but as the line of descent came to Mokinokitz they could not depart from their customs & he was chosen – he was then blessed & Set apart as such by Bro Woodruff.”  (L. John Nuttall diary, 25 Jun., 1901)

22 Aug.:  Shouldn’t keep 12 and 70s at home so much.

“[Meeting in the Temple]  At this point Pres. Snow made remarks and said, in substance: that he doubted whether we were justified in keeping the Twelve Apostles and Seven Presidents of Seventies at home as much as we do.  Their special calling is to preach the gospel to the nations, and he felt that a great work must be accomplished in this regard before the coming of the Savior.  The President of the Twelve should think about this matter, should pray about it that his mind might be broadened to comprehend what is needed.  It is a matter worthy of thought and consideration.  Referring to the 130 quorums of Seventies, remarked that he didn’t know how far we are justified in waiting for the young men of the Mutual Improvement Associations to be instrcuted and qualified to do this work, and leaving the members of the quorums inactive.”  (Rudger Clawson diary, 22 Aug., 1901)

22 Aug.:  Quorums need to do more.

“President Snow presided at the Council meeting in the Temple. . . .

President Snow said, It seems to me that the quorums of the Priesthood will have to receive attention, the actual work that is being done appears to be in the direction of the Mutual Improvements, but the quorums are not doing much.”  (JH 22 Aug., 1901)

22 Aug.:  Uniformity in sustaining officers.

“Prest. Angus M. Cannon and Counselors,

Dear Brethren:–

It having come to our notice that different methods obtain in different stakes of presenting and voting upon the general authorities of the church; and deeming it proper that uniformity be established in doing this we concluded to recommend to each Stake Presidency that the general authorities of the church be presented and voted upon at each stake conference in the same way that they are presented and voted upon at our general conferences.

Your Brethren,

Lorenzo Snow

Jos. F. Smith”

(22 Aug., 1901, First Presidency Circular Letters, LDS Archives, CR 1/1)

29 Aug.:  The nature of the office of Seventy.

“President Snow presided at the council meeting in the Temple today. . . .

It having been remarked that a certain brother who held the office of a Seventy declined to be ordained a High Priest, President Smith said that if the Seventies generally could be convinced that they were simply elders with a special calling as aids to the Apostles in preaching the Gospel in foreign lands, and their minds could be disabused of the idea placed there by the teachings of the late Elder Joseph Young, President of the Council of Seventy, to the effect that the Seventies were Apostles, some of them would not perhaps feel as they do now.

Brother Cowley related a conversation he once had with the late President John Taylor, to the effect that a man holding the office of an Elder has all the authority necessary to preach the Gospel, and believing this to be true, thought the Elders should not be ordained Seventies in a wholesale way as they were now being ordained, but that they should be chosen according to their fitness to become aids to the Apostles.

President Snow remarked that when elders were ordained Seventies no more Priesthood was conferred upon them, but that they were merely called to work in a special field.”  (JH 29 Aug., 1901)

29 Aug.:  Secret orders and temple recommends.

“Prest. Angus M. Cannon and Counselors,

Dear Brethren:–

The following question has recently been asked us by one of our Stake Presidencies:

How strict shall we be with young men who wish to go to the temple who have united themselves with secret orders?

That our views might be known and acted upon by Presidents od Stakes generally, we send you herewith a copy of the same, as follows:

The counsel of the First Presidency in all such cases has been against our brethren joining secret organizations, and where any of them have already done so their counsel to them is to withdraw themselves from such organizations as soon as circumstances permit and wisdom dictate.

It is true that many of our people have been led to join some of these societies on the ground that their aims and objects are purely charitable and social in their character, and besides, inducements are held out of procuring life insurance at greatly reduced rates.  But however worthy their aims and objects may be, this fact remains:  They are outside the pale of the church and kingdom of God, and brethren in allying themselves with them divide their allegiance with organizations that are man-made, and which have not been devised of the Lord for the building up of Zion; and in doing this they render themselves liable to have their feelings alienated, in whole or in part, from the church which requires their all.  We may say on this point, that it is the testimony of brethren who have joined organizations of this character and severed their connections with them, that their tendency is to draw away from the church; and it may be said and expected, without question, if the lines were sharply drawn between Mormon and non-Mormon, that all such organizations would be found in the ranks of our enemies, on the principle set forth in the saying of our Savior, ‘Those who are not for us are against us.’

We understand that plausible excuses are given for joining these organizations which amount to certain financial disadvantages which it is expected our brethren will obtain either for themselves during their lifetime or for their families, at their death.  Like excuses might reasonably be given by brethren who have run after the things of the world in the hope of accumulating wealth and who, by doing so, have as a general thing made shipwreck of their faith.  While we cannot consent to aught calculated to bring division and consequent weakness to the church, at the same time we have no desire whatever to deal harshly with brethren who have been led to become members of lodges or secret societies; but to all such who have faith enough to receive our advice, we would say, shape your affairs so you can withdraw from them, and never be found again associating yourselves with any organization which has not been instituted of the Lord for the building up of His Zion in the earth, and to all brethren who manifest a desire to receive this advice we would give temple recommends, also permit them to join prayer circles if found otherwise worthy.

In addition to the above we feel to direct your attention to the importance of the young men under your jurisdiction receiving proper instruction on this subject before they join secret societies; and we would suggest, instead of making this a subject for public discourse, that it be talked of at priesthood and quorum meetings.

Your Brethren,

Lorenzo Snow

Jos. F. Smith”

(29 Aug., 1901, First Presidency Circular Letters, LDS Archives, CR 1/1)


8 Sep.:  Home Missionaries in Salt Lake Stake.

78 Home Missionaries were sustained in the Salt Lake Stake Conference, 8 Sep., 1901.  (JH 8 Sep., 1901)

13 Sep.:  High Councils need to enforce their decisions.

“[St. George Stake priesthood meeting] I made remarks upon the duties of the High Council.  Said that in all cases when a decision was formulated it should be definite as to the time set for its enforcement, and that the High Council, as well as the bishop’s Courts, should enforce their decisions–otherwise these courts will have but little influence in the stake.”  (Rudger Clawson diary, 13 Sep., 1901)

15 Sep.:  Reminiscence of Cowdery and priesthood.

“Pleasant Grove, Sept. 15th, 1901.

John E. Booth,

Dear Brother;–

To-day I thought I would try and fulfill my promise to you, Though I cannot make the words tell with you as they fell with burning force upon my ears.  I was then a young man, shared with the Saints in their Exodus from Nauvoo, had heard many testimonies borne, but never did they should as did Oliver Cowdery’s at a conference held at Kanesville Iowa 1848, Elder Hyde presiding, I was directly opposite the speakers stand so as to see and hear distinctly all that was said.  Elder Hyde took Oliver by the hand and led him to the front and said, ‘Brethren I take Pleasure in introducing you to Bro. Oliver Cowdery.’  this produced quite a sensation.  Brother Cowdery looked upon the people for a short time without speaking, his manner caused deep attention, then in a distinct and very impressive voice, said ‘My name is Cowdery, Oliver Cowdery, in an early day I was identified with this Church in her councils, I wrote the Book of Mormon, Spaulding did not write it, Sidney Rigdon did not write it, I wrote it, (with the exception of a few pages), with this right hand, (extending his hand) as the inspired words fell from the lips of Joseph Smith, Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God, and his mission will prove a savior of life unto life or death unto death unto this generation!  I received the Priesthood in connection with Joseph Smith from the hands of the Angel, I conversed with the Angel as one man converses with another.  He laid his hand on my head, and later with Joseph received the Melchisedeck Priesthood, I confered the Apostleship on that man, pointing to Elder Hyde, Some have said I Apostatized, I never did Apostatize I simply stoped, the man that was in my way is now gone.  I wish to bear my testimony to Joseph’s mission and of the Latter day work.  This Gospel is true and will prove a savior of life unto us if we are faithful, I do not ask for any position only wish to be identified with this People.  Many other things were said I do not remember, but what I have penned made a lasting impression on my mind, the man Oliver referred to as ‘gone’ was Sidney Rigdon, Please excuse my tardiness and accept my kind regards,

Your Brother in the Gospel,

William M. Frampton.

This certifies that the foregoing is a full true and correct copy of the original letter which letter is now in my possession.

[Signed] J. E. Booth.”

(William M. Frampton to John E. Booth, 15 Sep., 1901; LDS Archives, Ms 5641)

26 Sep.:  Apostles should be among the nations more.

“The Presidency and Apostles met in council this morning, President Snow presiding.

After the usual opening exercises President Snow spoke as follows: I want to say, here’s the Apostles and the Seventies; their business is to warn the nations of the earth and prepare the world for the coming of the Savior.  They have been engaged in this more or less, but now we find ourselves in a compact gathered condition, the Church is divided into Stakes, and we come together from time to time in a council meeting to consider the interests of the cause generally and make appointments for brethren to visit the stakes when holding their conferences.  It looks to me that our minds ought to extend somewhat, and we should get out of our beaten track, and a little change be made.  For instance, we have started in this direction by sending Brother Heber J. Grant over to Japan, but this is only a start.  Things seem to be going on favorable with him; and whether he will accomplish much or not, it matters little in one sense; it is for the Apostles to show to the Lord that they are his witnesses to all the nations, and that they are doing the best they can.”  (JH 26 Sep., 1901)

4 Oct.:  Statistics of priesthood holders of each office.

“These figures I am giving you come well within the facts.  They were taken from last year’s statistical reports. . . . [Total membership: 310,000.]  There are two of the First Presidency [George Q. Cannon having died recently, and not yet replaced], 12 Apostles, 200 Patriarchs, 6,800 High Priests, 9,730 Seventies, 20,000 Elders, making a total of those who bear the higher Priesthood, 36,744; 4,800 Priests, 4,900 Teachers, 16,000 Deacons, making 25,700 as constituting the lesser Priesthood, and a grand total of 62,444 bearing the Priesthood of God.”  (Rudger Clawson, 4 Oct., 1901; CR Oct., 1901, p. 9)

5 Oct.:  Great neglect on part of Lesser Priesthood.

“I think I am quite safe in saying that throughout the whole Church there is a great neglect on the part of the lesser Priesthood in the performance of their duties as ministers of Christ and as the guardians of the people, whose duty it is to see that there is no iniquity in the Church.  While there may be many who do their full duty, there are many who do not.  I speak from an experience of over fifty years, and I know whereof I speak in regard to these matters.  I acted for years in the capacity of a Teacher, under the direction of Jedediah M. Grant, our former President, and I know how strict his instructions were to the Teachers.”  (Marriner W. Merrill, 5 Oct., 1901; CR Oct., 1901, p. 25)

5 Oct.:  We used to consult the Priesthood for everything.

“In early days here we did not think of doing anything or going anywhere without first counseling with our brethren; and we usually went to President Young.  When I first came to this country, I did not know any better than to go to President Young, to ask his counsel and to receive his blessing.  From that day to this I have always felt that it is good for the people of the Church to seek counsel from their brethren.  Let us work in harmony, whether it be to colonize some new country or to build up our own homes.”  (Marriner W. Merrill, 5 Oct., 1901; CR Oct., 1901, p. 25)

6 Oct.:  Rudger Clawson sustained to 1st Pres.

“A little known occurrence in Church history is recalled in the following statement made by President Rudger Clawson, June 18, 1935:

After the Sunday morning meeting of the General Conference, October 6, 1901, I called at the Bee-Hive House to inquire after President Lorenzo Snow’s condition, as he had not been able to attend any of the conference sessions, up to that time.

As I went into President Snow’s room he said:

Brother Rudger, I am a sick man.  I should not go to the meeting this afternoon, but I have some important business to present to the conference and I feel that I must go.  I need another Counselor in the First Presidency and I feel impressed that it should not be put off any longer.  I have chosen you to be my Second Counselor.

In astonishment I replied:

Why, President Snow, this is like a thunderbolt from a clear sky.  I am greatly surprised.  There are others of the Twelve Apostles who are much older than I am, who have had a great deal more experience and are better qualified for this responsible position.  If I am chosen I fear it may create some jealousy or perhaps dissatisfaction.

It is not only that I have chosen you,

President Snow said, 

but it is also the will of the Lord.  So, go now and have your lunch and then come back and ride with me in my carriage to the Tabernacle.

This I did.

After President Snow had finished speaking to the people he turned to President Joseph F. Smith, saying:

Brother Joseph, please present the names of the General Authorities for the vote of the congregation.  Present your own name as my First Counselor and Brother Rudger Clawson as my Second Counselor.

This was done and all the names were sustained unanimously by the conference.

(Signed) Rudger Clawson.

The following are the words of President Lorenzo Snow spoken at the Sunday afternoon session of the General Conference, October 6, 1901:

I have had only one Counselor since President Cannon died.  I have chosen another Counselor.  I have sought the guidance of the Lord in the matter, and the Lord has directed the choice.  I have chosen a strong, energetic man, and I think he will be a great help to myself and President Smith: I hope therefore you will sustain him.  God bless you all.  (Deseret News, October 7, 1901.)

These were the last words uttered publicly by President Snow before his death, which occurred October 10, 1901, four days later.”  [A single circular letter, reproduced adjacent to the above article, bore the signature of Clawson as a member of the 1st Presidency.]  (LeRoi C. Snow, of the Church Historian’s Office, “A Matter of History,” IE 40(3):149, Mar., 1937)

6 Oct.:  Foreshadowing of prophecy on priesthood quorums?

“This Church is now nearly seventy-two years of age, and we are not expected to do the work of the days of our youth, but to do greater, larger and more extensive work.  The Lord is coming one of these days, and He is interested in the work that you ought to be doing, and anxious to be doing.  You ought to do all that you possibly can, and leave everything in your business affairs that you wisely can do and attend to these matters.  The Presidents of these fifty Stakes should consider the people in their respective Stakes, in their various dominions.  They should regard them as their own family, as their sons and daughters; and take as deep an interest in them as they ought to take in their own wives and children.  It should be their thought by day and by night, how and in what way they can be most serviceable to their respective charges.  Oh! brethren, do remember these things that I am now talking about; do not forget them.  You Presidents, when you retire to your rest, you probably can spend half an hour before you go to sleep, and let your thoughts run over your several jurisdictions.  See wherein, either physically, financially or spiritually, you can help, and what can be done best in advancing the interests of your official family.  These Bishops, however wise and energetic they may think themselves–and the most of them certainly are very wise and energetic–need to be looked after.  It is not the duty of the Apostles to look after them.

The Apostles have a work that is in another direction altogether.  I want the Presidents of Stakes hereafter to realize that it is their business, not the business of the Apostles; it is the business of the High Priests, the Elders, the Bishops, Priests, Teachers and Deacons to look after these things.  Do not lay this duty upon the shoulders of the Apostles.  It is not in their line, at least only occasionally.  There is a certain channel by and through which the Lord intends to exalt His sons and daughters, to remove wickedness from the earth and to establish righteousness, and that channel is the Priesthood, which God has established and shown clearly the nature and character of the various offices and duties thereof.  The Apostles and the Seventies, it is their business, by the appointment of the Almighty, to look after the interests of the world.  The Seventies and the Twelve Apostles are special witnesses unto the nations of the earth.  The business of the High Priests, the Elders and the Bishops is to look after the interests of these various organizations that I have mentioned.  You presiding officers of the various Stakes of Zion, the time is coming when you will not have to call and depend so much upon the Twelve Apostles.  They will be directed in other channels, and I want you to distinctly understand it; and do not seek to throw responsibilities that belong to you upon these Twelve Apostles and upon the Seventies.

I wanted to say this, and to speak it with energy and in a way that you will not forget it, that you cannot forget it.  It is a wonderful responsibility, and the Lord expects it of you.  You ought to know how the laws of God are observed in your respective localities–how the Sabbath is kept; whether the young people are swearing, and off at midnight when they ought to be at home; how the parents govern and control them; how far the people are paying their tithing correctly; what they are doing in regard to their meeting houses, their school houses, and their houses of amusement; whether they are expending their time and means too much in these directions, or not enough; and what you can do in helping them along.  Look at these things, and everything that pertains to the happiness of your children, the members of this family of yours, see what you can do about it.  And the Lord God of Israel will help you in this, because it is just what He wants you to do.  It is the duty that He has placed upon you to discharge, and He certainly will help you.  But when you take any other course–when you depend upon the Apostles to reform your respective Stakes–you are doing that which you have no business to do.  Do it yourselves, you Presidents of Stakes and counselors, you High Councilors, and you Bishops.  The High Council should visit all through the Stake which they have charge of in connection with the President and his counselors.  It is not the business altogether of the High Council to just wait till some persons come before them and want some little trifle settled.  They have got to do something else, more noble and grand than such little matters.  Go where you can do good, and be lively in it.”  (Lorenzo Snow, Conference address, 6 Oct., 1901, in JH 6 Oct., 1901.  NOTE THAT THIS WAS SNOW’S LAST PUBLIC ADDRESS PRIOR TO HIS DEATH.)

“See wherein, either physically, financially or spiritually, you can help, and what can be done best in advancing the interests of your official family.  These Bishops, however wise and energetic they may think themselves–and the most of them certainly are very wise and energetic–need to be looked after.  It is not the duty of the Apostles to look after them.

The Apostles have a work that is in another direction altogether.  I want the Presidents of Stakes hereafter to realize that it is their business, not the business of the Apostles; it is the business of the High Priests, the Elders, the Bishops, Priests, Teachers and Deacons to look after these things.  Do not lay this duty upon the shoulders of the Apostles.  It is not in their line, at least only occasionally.  There is a certain channel by and through which the Lord intends to exalt His sons and daughters, to remove wickedness from the earth and to establish righteousness, and that channel is the Priesthood, which God has established and shown clearly the nature and character of the various officers and duties thereof.  The Apostles and the Seventies, it is their business by the appointment of the Almighty, to look after the interests of the world.  The Seventies and the Twelve Apostles are special witnesses unto the nations of the earth.  The business of the High Priests, the Elders and the Bishops is to look after the interests in these various organizations that I have mentioned.  You presiding officers of the various Stakes of Zion, the time is coming when you will not have to call and depend so much upon the Twelve Apostles.  They will be directed in other channels, and I want you to distinctly understand it; and do not seek to throw responsibilities that belong to you upon these Twelve Apostles and upon the Seventies. . . .

Look at these things and everything that pertains to the happiness of your children, the members of this family of yours, see what you can do about it.  And the Lord God of Israel will help you in this, because it is just what He wants you to do.  It is the duty that He has placed upon you to discharge, and He certainly will help you.  But when you take any other course–when you depend upon the Apostles to reform your respective Stakes–you are doing that which you have no business to do.  Do it yourselves, you Presidents of Stakes and counselors, you High Councilors, and you Bishops.  The High Council should visit all through the Stake which they have charge of in connection with the President and his counselors.  It is not the business altogether of the High Council to just wait till some persons come before them and want some little trifle settled.  They have got to do something else, more noble and grand than such little matters.  Go where you can do good, and be lively in it.”  (Lorenzo Snow, 6 Oct., 1901, CR Oct., 1901, p. 61)

“Prest. Snow:  Prests of Stakes should take the same interest in the people over whom they preside, studying the interests of those over whom they preside as they would their own.  Bishops the same.  Don’t lay this duty on the shoulders of the Apostles.  It is not in their line.  The channels through which the Lord will accomplish His purposes is through the Priesthood.  The calling of the apostles is to the world.  The time is coming when the Apostles will be occupied with labors outside of the body of the Church and Local officers must manage their own affairs.

You prests. of Stakes, High Councillors, bishops you should visit the people of your stakes & wards to council & help them.”  (Anthony W. Ivins diary, 6 Oct., 1901)

7 Oct.:  Importance of Lesser Priesthood.

“[General Conference] Prest. Rudger Clawson said:  The proper administration of the different quorums of the lesser Priesthood is of great importance.  There should be men of experience associated with younger men in the quorums of Priests & Teachers.”  (Anthony W. Ivins diary, 7 Oct., 1901)

7 Oct.:  Should MP quorums meet together?

“[General Conference] Prest. [Joseph F.] Smith answered questions as follows.  Should Seventies, High Priests & other quorums meet conjointly.

Quorums may meet together for opening & closing services, but each quorum should meet separately.”  (Anthony W. Ivins diary, 7 Oct., 1901)

7 Oct.:  YMMIA missionaries to assist in reactivation.

“At ten o’clock the special Priesthood meeting convened in the Assembly Hall, consisting of the general authorities of the Church, Stake Presidencies, Bishoprics and High Councilors. . . .

Elder B. H. Roberts announced that young men would be called under the auspices of the Y.M.M.I.A. to act as missionaries during the coming winter.  Their duties would be to labor among the young men and women who are careless and indifferent.  The Bishoprics were asked to set them apart, and to hear their reports and encourage them.”  (JH 7 Oct., 1901)

7 Oct.:  Change in procedure regarding Superintendencies.

“At ten o’clock the special Priesthood meeting convened in the Assembly Hall, consisting of the general authorities of the Church, Stake Presidencies, Bishoprics and High Councilors. . . .

Elder John W. Taylor announced that the Presidency and Apostles had decided that in the Sunday School and other organizations, when the superintendent died or was removed, the superintendency was disorganized, just the same as Bishoprics were disorganized on the death of or removal of the Bishop.”  (JH 7 Oct., 1901)

7 Oct.:  Redefined role of Apostles in missionary work.

“The intimation that new missions will shortly be opened up by the Apostles and those who will be called to their aid, in parts of the world which have seemed heretofore almost inaccessible, gives pleasure and joyful anticipation to the great body of the Latter-day Saints.  They know that one of the essentials to prepare for the coming of Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords, is the publication of the Gospel of the kingdom to all nations as a witness of His approaching advent.  The mission of the Twelve Apostles to the world is no new doctrine or movement in this Church.  The Twelve are special witnesses of the Lord, holding the keys to open the door of the kingdom to all the nations of the world, the Seventies, acting under their direction in aid of this gigantic work.  They are also to set in order the various departments of the Church everywhere under the direction of the First Presidency.  Their presence and counsel have been necessary among the stakes of Zion at home until everything could be set in proper order.  Now the President rolls this full responsibility upon the standing local authorities, so as to give wider opportunity for the Apostles to carry and send the Gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth.”  (Deseret News editorial commenting on the General Conference, 7 Oct., 1901, in JH 7 Oct., 1901)

9 Oct.:  Missionaries to labor among young men of Zion.


Dear Brethren:

Elder _____ has been duly called, set apart and appointed as a missionary to labor among the young men of Zion, and is fully authorized and equipped to engage in that work.  We desire that Stake Presidents and Bishops of Wards will give him their entire and hearty support and influence in making his mission a perfect success.

He comes to your Stake with full authority in this mission and we expect the State Superintendent to go with him, or send him one of his counselors or aids, to visit all the Associations, and also see that arrangements are made for his entertainment in the various wards and for his transportation from place to place.

Your brethren,

Lorenzo Snow

Jos. F. Smith

Rudger Clawson”


10 Oct.:  Death of Lorenzo Snow.

“Presidents Smith and Clawson were at the office early this morning, and learned that President Snow’s condition had not improved and had been quite serious at intervals during the night.

President Smith presided at the meeting of the brethren in the Temple today.  President Snow was the subject of most earnest prayer, all the brethren feeling alarmed over his condition.

During the services, and while a letter from Brother Francis M. Lyman was being read, Elder Arthur Winter came into the room where the council was with a message from Sister Snow who asked that the brethren come to the Bee Hive house at once as it was feared that Presidenc Snow was dying.  Brother L. John Nuttall also came bearing the same message.  The brethren immediately arose, closed the meeting by prayer, Elder Smoot being mouth, and then repaired to the bedside of President Snow, which was in the reception room, being the southwest room of the house which was for the time being turned into his bedroom.  Although quite conscious, it was clearly seen that President Snow was rapidly sinking.  A great number of his family was at the bed side.  Prayer was offered at the instance of President Smith, with Brother Clawson mouth.  The President had intimated to his wife a few nights before his death, that if anything happened to him he would like to have two certain hymns sung at his bedside by the Temple choir.  The choir reached his bed side about the same time as the brethren.  The question arose as to the propriety of the choir singing at the time, and Brother Morris Young was requested to ask President Snow if he wished it.  He answered clearly and distinctly that he did not but wanted them to sing at his funeral.  What few words were spoken by him after this were addressed to members of his family in answer to questions by them.  He made no attempt to speak to President Smith or any of the brethren.  Soon, however, his speech became unintelligible and when he attempted to speak he was not understood.  At about 1:15 he began to sink rapidly and passed away at 3:35 p.m.

Elder Joseph E. Taylor, the undertaker was sent for and took charge of the remains.  President Smith then invited the sons of the President to meet with him in the back parlor to have an understanding regarding the funeral arrangements.  This resulted in the selection of Elders Abraham O. Woodruff and Rudger Clawson as a committee representing the Apostles, to confer with them–the sons–in regard to the matter.”  (JH 10 Oct., 1901)

11 Oct.:  Regarding succession to the Presidency.

“A meeting of the Apostles was arranged for this morning at 10 o’clock at the office, and the following brethren met:  Joseph F. Smith, Brigham Young, John Henry Smith, John W. Taylor, Matthias F. Cowley, Abraham O. Woodruff and Rudger Clawson. . . .

President [Joseph F.] Smith sought the mind of the brethren as to whether it would be proper for the Apostles to now act as the presiding quorum of the Church, or the counselors, until after the burial.  The brethren generally accorded to the counselors the right to act until after the funeral services, and this according to precedent.”  (JH 11 Oct., 1901)


The news of the death of President Lorenzo Snow has been received with sorrow by all classes of the community.  It occasioned a severe shock to the Latter-day Saints, and great regret among people who knew him but were not believers in the faith of which he was so prominent a representative.  Even the strenuous opponents of the Church speak of him in terms of respect for his eminent abilities, kindly disposition and firm and upright character.

The funeral services will be held in the Tabernacle in this city on Sunday morning at 10:30.  There will be a large assembly, as visitors will come from many points, and those who wish to attend should take their seats early.  The interment will take place at Brigham City, to which place the remains of our departed President will be conveyed by special train, leaving the Oregon Short Line depot at 1:30.  Only persons holding special tickets will be conveyed on that train.

In order to satisfy many inquiries, we will state that until the obsequies are over, and the body of our lamented leader is consigned to its last resting place, the Counselors in the First Presidency will remain in charge of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and all its affairs.  This has been the course pursued on former similar occasions.  After that, the Council of the Twelve Apostles will be the presiding quorum, until the First Presidency is reorganized.

This is in accordance with the procedure of the past, and the revelations of God to the Church when fully organized as to its general authorities.  In section 107 of the Doctrine and Covenants, the power and authority of the two grand divisions of the Priesthood–the Melchisedec and Aaronic or Levitical, are definitely explained, and it is shown that:

Of necessity there are presidents, or presiding offices growing out of, or appointed of or from among those who are ordained to the several offices in these two priesthoods.

Of the Melchisedek Priesthood, three presiding High Priests, chosen by the body, appointed and ordained to that office, and upheld by the confidence, faith and prayer of the Church, form a quorum of the Presidency of the Church.

The Twelve traveling counselors are called to be the Twelve Apostles, or special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world; thus differing from other officers in the church in the duties of their calling.

And they form a quorum, equal in authority and power to the three Presidents previously mentioned.

It is further revealed in relation to the Twelve Apostles and their functions:

The Twelve are a traveling presiding High Council, to officiate in the name of the Lord, under the direction of the Presidency of the Church, agreeable to the institution of heaven; to build up the Church, and regulate all the affairs of the same in all nations; first unto the Gentiles, and secondly unto the Jews.

It is clear that when the First Presidency, as a Council or Quorum, is dissolved by the death of the President, the Quorum next in order is then clothed with equal authority and power to the First Presidency, and is to regulate all the affairs of the Church in all nations.  Under the inspiration of the Lord the Twelve may reorganize the First Presidency when expedient, as it shall be manifested to the head and upheld by the confidence, prayer and faith of the Church.

The Quorum or Council of the Twelve has its President, who is the senior member of that body.  This seniority is that of ordination into the Quorum.  The oldest ordained member thereof is the President, when so sustained by the body and by the Church, all things therein being done ‘by common consent.’  There may be and have been men ordained Apostles, bearing the power and authority of that calling which is the fulness of the Priesthood, and yet not having a place in the Council of the Twelve.  It is not seniority of age nor of ordination to the Apostleship that brings the Presidency of the Quorum, but of ordination or reception into that body.

This will answer to some inquirers the question, who is the present President of the Twelve.  President Joseph F. Smith occupies that position, being the oldest member of the Quorum.  Apostle Brigham Young stands next in order, for, though he was ordained an Apostle under the hands of his illustrious father, President Brigham Young, at an earlier date than was President Joseph F. Smith, he was not a member of the Quorum of the Twelve until a later date than when President Smith was ordained into that body.

President Joseph F. Smith, then, now stands at the head of the Twelve, and at the head of the Church, and his associate Counselor in the First Presidency, Apostle Rudger Clawson, will return to his place and standing in the Council of the Apostles, when the Twelve take their place as the Presiding Quorum of the Church.  It will rest with that body, under the direction of its President, to determine when the Quorum of the First Presidency shall be reorganized.

The Lord, in setting up His Church and Kingdom in the last dispensation, had a view to its perpetuity.  It was not to be thrown down or left to another people.  He declared that it was organized ‘for the last days and for the last time.’  It is to stand for ever.  Therefore He placed therein presiding authorities and councils with co-ordinate powers, in order that if the head should be removed from any cause, the place should not be left vacant so that the Church would remain undirected or without an inspired leader.

When the three Presiding High Priests do not stand as the First Presidency, Twelve Apostles, who are all presiding High Priests, come up into place and power.  If by any means that body should be destroyed or removed, then Seventy Elders with seven Presidents would move forward, holding, in that case as a quorum, equal authority and power to that of the Twelve.  Thus the Church would march on in the grand work for which it was designed, and there will be no break in its continuity and no cessation of its operations, for the salvation of mankind and to prepare for the coming of its Maker and King of Kings.

The Lord has made the plan and has called and appointed His ministers, and His people cheerfully recognize HIs hand and will uphold and support His chosen ones.  And His Church will go forward and never fall or fail, but will triumph over all things beneath the heavens.  While men are fallible and imperfect, the Church is infallible and and perfect because it is a Divine structure, under present and perpetual guidance from on high.  It stands intact today and will so remain for ever!”  (Deseret News editorial, 11 Oct., 1901, in JH 11 Oct., 1901)

17 Oct.:  Reorganization of 1st Presidency.

“Prest. Jos. F. Smith walked over to the Temple together with me and told me that he felt impressed to have the Church organized fully.  He asked me what I thought of Bro Winder as his First Counselor?  I thought he was a conservative man and being known as such he would help to continue the confidence of the people in money matters.  We went up to the meeting and clothed. . . . Prest. Smith stated that it was necessary to have a Trustee in Trust in order to hold the property of the Church.  The brethren all felt impressed to have a First Presidency organized at once and President Brigham Young moved that Prest. Jos. F. Smith be the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  He was unanimously sustained as such.  He moved that Bro. Brigham Young be the President of Quorum of the Twelve.  Unanimously voted.  He then chose the following counsellors:  John R. Winder and Anthon H. Lund.  Unanimous.  Patriarch John Smith set Prest. Smith apart.  Prest. Smith set John R. Winder apart and Brigham Young set A. H. Lund apart as second counselor in the First Presidency.  Prest. Smith then set Brigham Young apart as President over the Twelve.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 17 Oct., 1901)

“[Meeting at the Temple] At this pint, Pres. Smith arose and said, in part, that he would deplore the necessity of doing anything that might have the appearance of being premature, but he felt that it was urgent that some action be taken with reference to the re-organization of the First Presidency. . . . Pres. Smith said that he had selected his counselors, and named Bp. Jno. R. Winder as the first and Apostle Anthon H. Lund as the second counselor.  Sustained by unanimous vote.”  (Rudger Clawson diary, 17 Oct., 1901)

“President Joseph F. Smith presided at the regular meeting of the Apostles held today in the Temple. . . .

Elder John Henry Smith moved that the question of reorganizing the First Presidency be considered, seconded by Elder Brigham Young, and carried.

President Joseph F. Smith speaking to the motion, said that he would deplore very much anything that would look like premature haste in a step to reorganize the First Presidency, and he would not do it for all the world if he thought for a moment there was a division of sentiment in relation to it.  He then went on to show reason why a reorganization should take place because of business matters pending and requiring the attention of the Trustee-in-Trust, and a special conference would have to be called to ratify the appointment of a Trustee-in-Trust.  He also suggested the appointment of an auditing committee.

Elder Brigham Young stated that his mind was clear that the First Presidency ought to be organized, and he nominated Joseph F. Smith as President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  This motion was seconded by the entire Council, all speaking in concert.  Brother Young put the motion, and it was carried unanimously.

President Smith expressed his gratitude for the unanimous feeling of the brethren.  He named Elder Brigham Young as President of the Twelve Apostles, and also said that he would select John R. Winder and Anthon H. Lund as his first and second counselors, and recommended them for the consideration of the council.  Elder John Henry Smith moved that these brethren be sustained as counselors to the President.  Motion seconded by Brother Clawson and carried.  Brother Marriner W. Merrill moved that President Joseph F. Smith be Trustee-in-Trust for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  The motion was seconded and carried unanimously.  It was also moved that President Smith be made president of the Salt Lake Temple, with Brother John R. Winder as his assistant.

The question of calling a special general conference of the Church was now considered.  It was decided to call such a conference to convene the second Sunday in November.

The work of setting apart was then attended to.  President Joseph F. Smith, in accordance with his own wish, was ordained by Patriarch John Smith; Brother Winder by President Joseph F. Smith and Brother Lund by Elder Brigham Young; and Brother Young was set apart by President Joseph F. Smith as President of the Twelve, all the brethren present laying their hands on the heads of these brethren and assisting.

Council adjourned, prayer by President John R. Winder.”  (JH 17 Oct., 1901)

18 Oct.:  Editorial on reorganizing the First Presidency.


The reorganization of the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which was effected at the meeting of the Council of the Apostles on Thursday, is very gratifying to the body of the Church.  Although the Quorum of the Twelve hold authority equal to that of the First Presidency in the absence of the latter, it requires the existence, action and influenze of all the presiding authorities placed in the Church by revelation, to make up that perfection of organization which characterizes the Church of Christ in the last dispensation.

In consequence of the lapse of time between the martyrdom of the first President of the Church and the appointment of his successor to that position, a period of about three years and a half, and the interim between the death of President Brigham Young and the appointment of President John Taylor to succeed him, which was a little over three years, the idea was entertained that these delays formed a precedent to be followed as a matter of course.  This was partly confirmed by a lapse of nearly two years, between the decease of President John Taylor and the accession of President Wilford Woodruff.  But circumstances arose which rendered necessary a different policy, and therefore at the decease of President Woodruff, the Council of the Apostles remained but eleven days as the presiding quorum of the Church, President Lorenzo Snow being then sustained by that body as the President of the Church.  There are property holdings and considerations attached to the office of Trustee-in-Trust, and also to the First Presidency, which require immediate attention and official action, and there being no good reason for extended delay, the reorganization of the presiding Quorum of the Church has been wisely effected.

As all things in this Church are to be done ‘by common consent,’ it will be necessary to ratify the action of the Apostles at a Church conference.  It is therefore announced that a special conference will meet on November 10 for this purpose, when doubtless there will be representatives present from the various Stakes of Zion to attend to that business.  Coming so soon after the general conference, it will not probably draw or require so large a gathering of the saints as is usual in April and October.

Although these prompt proceedings occasioned some surprise they have been met, so far, with general satisfaction.  Everybody who mentions the matter speaks in terms of approval, not only of the immediate reorganization of the First Presidency, but also of the choice which has been made.  It was fully expected that President Joseph F. Smith would succeed President Lorenzo Snow.  This accession came in regular order as provided by revelation.  It also fulfills a prediction made many years ago in the Tabernacle in Ogden city by Apostle Wilford Woodruff.  In a public meeting, that venerable Church leader prophesied that Joseph F. Smith would one day occupy the position formerly held by his uncle the Prophet Joseph.  We were present on that occasion and made a mental note of the prediction, which was very forcible and impressed itself strongly upon the minds of many persons in the congregation, and particularly of prominent men who were on the stand at the time.

The qualifications of President Joseph F. Smith for the position which he has been called to occupy are well known to the Latter-day Saints, who have long looked forward to the time when he would stand at the head of the Church.  His life from his boyhood has been devoted to the latter-day work.  His earnestness, sincerity and thorough conviction of its divinity, have been exhibited in his entire career, and have been stamped upon his personality and have influenced his course at home and abroad as a missionary, an Apostle, a presiding officer, a counselor, a legislator, a man of affairs, a citizen, a patriot, a husband, a father and a worker for the elevation of humanity.  No one doubts his conscientiousness or his devotion to the Church in which he was born and reared, and which has commanded all the energies of his being up to the present moment.  A feeling of intense satisfaction is felt that he now stands as the Prophet, Seer and Revelator to and President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in all the world.

The First Counselor in the Presidency, John R. Winder, is a most admirable selection.  Unexpected to him and to the public, it is yet endorsed by everybody who has been heard from.  It has been the custom for so many years to appoint one of the Twelve Apostles to this position, that the minds of the people were turned to that body with the expectation of a choice of two of its members.  But the history of the Church shows that selections have been made of men for the place outside of the Council of the Apostles, both in the days of the Prophet Joseph and of his successor President Young.  And it is consonant with the revelation on the presiding offices ‘growing out of’ the Melchisedec Priesthood.

Bishop Winder, as he is popularly known, having been one of the presiding Bishopric for many years, is thoroughly familiar with all the affairs of the Church, particularly in its business relations and connections.  He has been prominent in the various industrial and commercial organizations in which the Church is interested, and his business standing is first class in this community and in the world.  When the Church property was under litigation and escheat to the government by the operations of congressional law, it was rented to him for several years, and he was appointed receiver of the property by the Supreme Court of Utah until it was turned over to the Presidency of the Church by him as authorized by law.  An assistant president of the Salt Lake Temple he has bee closely associated with spiritual affairs of the most important character, and everybody has learned to love as well as respect him.  His services in this new capacity will be most valuable.

The choice of Apostle Anthon H. Lund, as Second Counselor in the First Presidency, was not entirely unexpected by members of the Church who know his character and abilities and fitness for that position.  As a boy preacher in his native land, as an honest, indefatigable worker in every secular calling which he filled after coming to Utah, as a presiding officer in foreign missions, as assistant and president of the Manti Temple, as an Apostle, a historian, a theologian, a wise and thoughtful adviser, a kind and affable gentleman and scholar, he has obtained a wide influence among the Latter-day Saints, and his appointment is received with universal approbation.  Both ‘Mormons’ and non-‘Mormons’ regard him as a sincere, honorable and reliable citizen and churchman, who can be depended upon when calm and just judgment are required to be exercised in important affairs, whether of a temporal or ecclesiastical nature.  He will add strength to the Presiding Quorum.

Apostle Brigham Young succeeds to the Presidency of the Twelve Apostles by seniority of ordination into that quorum.  He has had long experience in the ministry and has been associated with all the important affairs of the Church since his early manhood, has traveled extensively abroad in its interest and has visited every Stake of Zion not only in Utah but in the States and Territories adjacent.  He is inspirational in his nature, and possesses in an eminent degree the spirit of his office and calling.  His invincible faith in the divine nature of the work in which he has been so prominently engaged; his unswerving integrity to its principles and welfare; his readiness to respond to every call made upon him, no matter where or under what circumstances or distances it required him to travel; his qualifications as a forcible public speaker and his pleasant manners and address, combine to fit him for the position which he now occupies, and in which he will certainly receive the cordial support of his colleagues and of the Saints generally.

The Church is to be congratulated on the strength, ability and intelligence of its presiding quorums.  The quiet and easy movement by which they have grown out of the authorities established in it ‘for the work of the ministry, the perfecting of the Saints and the edifying of the body of Christ,’ is one of the characteristics which distinguish this magnificent organization and stamp it as divine.  There is in it no possibility of those ‘contests’ for supremacy, which some people who do not understand its genius and operations talk about, when changes occur through the death of prominent officers or otherwise.  It is ordained of God to ‘stand forever,’ no matter what may occur to impede its progress.  It will march forward ready for every emergency and equipped to meet every foe.  It makes war upon no other organization, secular or religious.  But it has a mission to perform in the earth which it will certainly accomplish, and the result will be the redemption of mankind from sin and darkness and sorrow and death.  It was established by the Almighty, and under His direction and inspiration it will grow and flourish and conquer and prevail.”  (Deseret News Editorial, 18 Oct., 1901, in JH 18 Oct., 1901)

24 Oct.:  Jos. F. Smith endorses nepotism among 12.

“[Meeting at the Temple] President Joseph F. Smith said, ‘I would be glad if we all had sons worthyof the Apostles brought forward as far as possible.  I feel that this is right.  I now nominate as it is my privelege so to do, my son Hyrum M. Smith to fill the vacancy in the quorum of Apostles.”  (Rudger Clawson diary, 24 Oct., 1901)

“Went with Prest. Jos. F. Smith to the Temple.  There we met the Apostles. . . . Prest. Smith felt impressed to fill the quorum of the Twelve Apostles there being a vacancy caused by my becoming a member of the First Presidency.  He said he did not wish to be anything but candid with his brethren.  He had a son who he knew had been pure in morals full of faith and devoted to the cause of God.  It would be the greatest joy of his life to have a son worthy to become a member of the quorum of the Apostles.  He felt it was the Lord’s will also and proposed Hyrum M. Smith to fill the vacancy.  All the brethren spoke and felt impressed to vote him.  He was sent for and was ordained a high-priest and an apostle under the hands of his father.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 24 Oct., 1901)

24 Oct.:  Filling of vacancies in 12 and Pres. Bishopric.

“The regular meeting of the Presidency and Apostles met in the Temple today, President Smith presiding.  The question of filling the vacancy in the Presiding Bishopric, caused by the calling of John R. Winder to the Presidency was taken up.  It was decided that Orrin P. Miller be sustained in the position as counselor to Bishop William B. Preston, he being the choice of Bishop Preston who was present during the consideration of this question.  It was also decided to call Hyrum Goff to fill the vacancy created in the Jordan Stake Presidency by the calling of Brother Miller to the Bishopric.

The cavancy in the quorum of Apostles was now considered, and after some discussion the name of Elder Hyrum M. Smith, son of President Joseph F. Smith was presented and he was unanimously chosen to fill the vacancy caused by the removal of Anthon H. Lund to the Presidency.  Brother Hyrum M. Smith was then sent for, and while waiting his arrival, several matters of business were attended to. . . .

Brother Hyrum M. Smith having arrived he was informed of his selection by the council to become a member of the quorum of Twelve Apostles.  After several of the brethren had spoken of the duties that would be expected of him as an Apostle, Brother Hyrum expressed his willingness to accept, and he was set apart, all of the brethren laying their hands on his head, and President Smith officiating.

Council adjourned.”  (JH 24 Oct., 1901)

25 Oct.:  Local contributions now to be handled by PBO.

“The First Presidency decided, after a long talk with Attorney Franklin D. Richards, that Stake and Ward contributions hereafter be under the management of the Presiding Bishopric.”  (JH 25 Oct., 1901)

25 Oct.:  Editorial on reorganization.


The Latter-day Saints feel satisfied and appreciative over the prompt action taken by the general authorities of the Church, in filling the vacancies which have recently occurred in the presiding councils.  The organization established by divine revelation and commandment for the accomplishment of the great latter-day work, is the admiration of all persons who become acquainted with its details, and view its wonderful symmetry, the close relation of its various parts, their special adaptability for the purposes in view, their unity with each other and the force and power which move the whole body forward without a jar.  There is in it no place for schism, when the design is carried out and the spirit which actuates it is permitted to hold sway.

The reorganization of the First Presidency, which was effected as soon as it was practicable, caused vacancies in other quorums which have now been filled.  All these movements have occasioned some surprise because of their rapidity.  But we are living in fast times.  These are the latter days.  God has declared that He will ‘cut HIs work short in righteousness.’  All the forces which have been developed in nature and the energies exhibited in industry and art, seem to be impelled forward with swift momentum.  We have to adapt ourselves to the trend of events or be passed by or trampled upon in the quick march of this strenuous age.  When there is no need for delay, to wait is to lose place and power in the accomplishment of that which is to be achieved.

There is a universal concurrence in the decisions of the authorities and in the selection of the officers to stand at the head of the Church.  We believe this will also be experienced in the choice of Elder Hyrum M. Smith to fill the vacancy in the Council of the Twelve Apostles, also in the appointment of elder Orrin P. Miller as one of the Presiding Bishopric, to fill the place formerly occupied by Bishop John R. Winder, and in the nomination of Elder Hyrum Goff to the Presidency of the Jordan Stake of Zion.  Brief sketches of these brethren have been published in the Deseret ‘News.’  From personal acquaintance with them, we can say that they will receive our hearty support, and we feel certain that this will be the general sentiment concerning them.  They are each fitted for the place assigned.  They will have the confidence, faith and prayers of the people.  They are men of ability, energy and experience, and will doubtless devote themselves to the work of the stations to which they have been called.

All the councils of the Church being now filled and in thorough working order, we may expect the entire body to continue without hindrance in the work of the last dispensation.  If every quorum in the Priesthood and every member of the Church would take pattern from the presiding councils, and exhibit the same energy and devotion as may be found in their example, what a splendid manifestation there would be of the power of God in earthen vessels!  How close would be the union of the workers in the flesh and those that are behind the veil!  And what peace and joy, and spiritual light and strength would permeate the whole body of the Church!  Zion would arise and shine, and soon the glory of the Lord would be seen upon her, and her power and dominion would extend to the uttermost parts of the earth.  Let us all do our part in the program of the last days, and we will surely receive our reward and be crowned with the glory that is to be revealed.”  (Deseret News editorial, 25 Oct., 1901, in JH 25 Oct., 1901)

30 Oct.:  Change in policy on gathering.


Salt Lake City, Utah, Oct. 30, 1901.

To whom it may concern:

President C. D. Fjeldstead, who has just returned from Scandinavia, informs us that President A. L. Schankey and he have succeeded in getting an excellent building site for a meeting house in Copenhagen, and also for offices and headquarters for the mission.  Its being located in a nice part of the city and in the very center of the population has made the purchase price quite heavy.  The Saints at home and in Scandinavia have already done well in subscribing means to this worthy enterprise; and we consider the money raised for this purpose has been well expended; but, before the Saints in Copenhagen can derive any benefit of this, it will be necessary to erect a suitable building for the above purpose.  It is estimated that the cost of such a building will be about ten thousand dollars.  We authorize President Fjeldstead to lay this matter before the Scandinavian Saints and their friends, and to solicit their aid and collect such contributions as they may desire to make.

We would also bespeak for President Fjeldstead in the assistance of our leading brethren in the Wards and Stakes he may visit.  We hope his efforts in this undertaking may be crowned with success.

Your Brethren,

Jos. F. Smith,

John R. Winder,

Anthon H. Lund.

The foregoing announcement from the First Presidency of the Church is commended to the attention of the Latter-day Saints, and particularly to those of Scandinavian origin.  The call now made upon them is for a very worthy and a necessary object.  in times past the policy abroad has been to rent places for public worship by the Latter-day Saints, instead of erecting and owning buildings as is customary with other religious denominations.  One reason for this has been the lack of means for such structures, and another the emigration of the Saints as soon as their circumstances permitted their gathering to Zion. . . .”  (Deseret News editorial, 31 Oct., 1901, in JH 31 Oct., 1901)

Oct.:  Withdrawals from the Church.

“An elder presiding over a mission asks this question:

Does a notification of withdrawal from The Church warrant us in striking a person’s name from the records, or is some action or cause necessary?

In such a case, the person making the request to be severed from The Church, should be kindly labored with, the object being to try and have him change his mind, or induce him to repent of so dreadful a step.  Then, if success crowns such effort and you succeed in arousing a spirit of repentance in him, he may be saved.  If, however, he continues determined to withdraw from The Church, and no reasonable effort proves sufficient to induce him to change his mind, then a formal action should be instituted against him, in the regularly provided way, with a view to excommunication for apostasy.  No action should be taken against any one else in the family except those who personally demand a severance from The Church.  Let the names of the children remain as long as ther may be any hope of their repentance, or of a desire on their part to renew their fellowship with the people of God.  This proceeding applies in organized wards as well as in missions.”  (“Editor’s Table–Questions and Answers,” [Joseph F. Smith and Edward H. Anderson, editors], IE 4(12):950-951, Oct., 1901)

7 Nov.:  Voting for new 1st Pres. to be by quorums.

“President Smith presided at the meeting of the First Presidency and Apostles at the temple this morning. . . .

It was decided that the voting at the forthcoming special conference be done by quorums, and that the Presiding Bishopric are to be appointed to make suitable arrangements for the seating of the Priesthood on that occasion.”  (JH 7 Nov., 1901)


In voting upon the question of sustaining the General Authorities of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as now constituted, at the special general conference on Sunday, November 10, 1901, it is desirable that the different quorums of the Melchisedec and Aaronic Priesthoods shall take their respective places in the assembly, according to the order which has been observed on previous similar occasions.  The brethren will therefore please conform to this arrangement, and occupy the seats that will be designated in the afternoon on the floor of the Tabernacle.  The gallery and other parts not occupied by the Priesthood, will be open to members of the Church and to the general public.  The votes will be taken by quorums, and then by the body of the Church in Conference assembled.

Joseph F. Smith,

John R. Winder, 

Anthon H. Lund,

First Presidency.

. . . .

Each organization will vote in its order, as follows: 1, First Presidency; 2, Apostles; 3, Patriarchs; 4, Presidencies of Stakes and High Councilors; 5, High Priests; 6, Seventies; 7, Elders; 8, Bishops and their counselors; 9, Lesser Priesthood; 10, members.  All those who hold the Priesthood, being members will vote also with the body of the Church.”  (Deseret News editorial, 8 Nov., 1901, in JH 8 Nov., 1901)

9 Nov.:  Order of priority in sustaining leading quorums.

“In the H. O. in the morning.  The balance of the time with Presidency.  The order of the Priesthood, as to the order in which the quorums shall be placed, was discussed.  Prest. Smith showed that the Patriarch had been voted for before the Apostles were put, and that this should be followed again.  John Smith the present incumbent of that Office had not been so sustained.  I had a private talk with the President and told him that I hesitated somewhat in making this change.  While John Smith was a humble man there might come a man who was ambitious and might cause trouble.  In case of the First Presidency being disorganized and the Apostles presiding he might have to take a place behind them, and when the counselors and apostles are put up for Prophets, Seers, and Revelators he would be passed.  Bro. Smith said he would think about it.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 9 Nov., 1901)

9 Nov.:  Counselors to RS President selected by First Pres.

“Today the [First] Presidency considered the selection of counselors to Sister Bathsheba W. Smith, President of the Relief Societies, and decided on Sisters Annie T. Hyde and Ida Smoot Dusenberry.”  (JH 9 Nov., 1901)

10 Nov.:  Patriarch not sustained first.

“We met with the Saints in Conference.  There was a good attendance.  Prest. Smith showed that the Lord had given the Patriarck Hyrum Smith first and then the Presidency but said we would not put the Patriarck that way this time.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 10 Nov., 1901)

10 Nov.:  Priority of Patriarch in voting for 1st Pres.

“The Presidency met at the office this morning at 9:30 to discuss arrangements for the general conference.  They had a talk in private yesterday afternoon in the office regarding the manner in which the authorities should be sustained, more particularly referring to the place the Patriarch of the Church should occupy in the presentation of the general authorities.  Of late years it has been the custom to present his name after those of the Apostles, whereas in the early conferences of the Church his name followed those of the First Presidency, and President Smith remarked now that he was perfectly clear on this point that this was the place the Patriarch should occupy in the presentation of the authorities.  However, after some discussion and consideration this question was left open for the present and it was decided not to make any change at present.  At the hour appointed the Special General Conference of the Church convened, and the Authorities were sustained.”  (JH 10 Nov., 1901)

10 Nov.:  Woodruff foretold rapid reorganizing of 1st Pres.

“We have met on this occasion to confirm or reject, as we feel disposed or as the Spirit of the Lord in us may direct, the action that has been taken by the leading councils of the Priesthood since our last conference and since the death of our beloved President Lorenzo Snow.  I desire to state to this congregation one of two things that may be proper to mention, in order that you may understand why we have acted as promptly as we have done in these matters.

After the death of the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Twelve Apostles continued as the presiding quorum of the Church for a number of years; but finally they were moved upon by the Holy Spirit to reorganize the First Presidency of the Church, with Brigham Young as President, and Heber C. Kimball and Willard Richards as his counselors.  In reality this organization might have been effected within twenty-four hours after the death of the Prophet Joseph Smith, but their action was delayed, until they found by experience that the exercise of the functions of Presidency and the government of the Church by twelve men at the head was not only cumbersome, but was not fully perfect in the order of the Holy Priesthood as established by the Lord.

On the death of President Brigham Young, President John Taylor followed in some measure the example of his predecessor, and it was some time before the Presidency of the Church was organized.  The Presidency was finally organized, however, with John Taylor as President and George Q. Cannon and myself as counselors.

At the death of President Taylor, President Woodruff hesitated, and he allowed a little time to pass before the Presidency was again organized.  When at last he became convinced that it was his duty, and necessary in order to carry out the purposes of the Lord, he reorganized the Presidency of the Church.  At that time he gave a solemn injunction to his fellow servants in relation to this.  He desired it understood that in all future time, when the President of the Church should die and thereby the First Presidency become disorganized, it would be the duty of the proper authorities of the Church to proceed at once, without any unnecessary delay, to reorganize the First Presidency.

As soon as the news reached us of the death of President Woodruff, who was in California at the time, President Lorenzo Snow said to me, ‘it will be our duty to proceed as soon as possible to reorganize the Presidency of the Church.’  As you are aware, after the burial of the remains of President Woodruff, he proceeded at once to do this.  In this connection I may tell you another thing.  President Snow said to me, ‘you will live to be the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and when the time comes you should proceed at once and reorganize the Presidency of the Church.’  This was his counsel to me, and the same was given to the Twelve Apostles.  In accordance with this principle and with the injunction of President Snow, within one week after his death the Apostles proceeded to designate the new Presidency of the Church, and we did it strictly in accordance with the pattern that the Lord has established in His Church, unanimously.”  (Joseph F. Smith, at the Special General Conference, 10 Nov., 1901, Deseret News 10 Nov., 1901, in JH 10 Nov., 1901)

10 Nov.:  1st Pres. should be reorganized w/in 24 hours.

“Special Conference.  Nov. 10, 1901.  Prest. Jos. F. Smith presiding.  Prest. Smith made opening remarks & among other things said that properly the reorganization of the First Presidency of the Church should be effected within 24 hours of the death of the president.”  (Anthony W. Ivins diary, 10 Nov., 1901)

10 Nov.:  Additional apostles chosen anciently.

“You will remember that the history of the Church given us in the inspired writings covers a period of less than thirty-three years–if we accept the year 66 as that in which Peter and Paul suffered martyrdom.  But during those years we have indications that men were chosen to be Apostles.  The place of Judas, who became a traitor, was filled by the vote of the Apostles, Matthias being chosen.  Then we read in the New Testament of there being four other Apostles–Paul, Barnabas, Junia and Andronicas.  Of the latter two, Paul says in our English version of the Bible that they were of note among the Apostles, and in Luther’s translation they are called famous Apostles.  Hence they did have more than the original Twelve.”  (Anthon H. Lund, 10 Nov., 1901; CR Oct., 1901, pp. 75-76)

14 Nov.:  Bishops’ salaries.

“[Meeting at the Temple] A question arose as to the distribution of the 10% [allowed to] bishops for the handling of tithes in the stakes of Zion, and it was decided by unanimous vote that the distribution be made by the Presidency of each stake, associated with the bishops.”  (Rudger Clawson diary, 14 Nov., 1901)

15 Nov.:  Change in duties of apostles?

“He [Lorenzo Snow] had been thinking of late whether we were justified in keeping at home the Apostles and Seventies the way we were now doing.  They were really ministers to the nations of the earth; their duties were clearly marked out by the Lord, and until the Gospel was preached thoroughly to the world he doubted whether the Savior would come, as the preaching of the Gospel to the world is certainly a part of the work that has to be done before He does come.  The duties of the High Priests were also clearly marked out, their duties being to labor at home.  The Apostles in going out might very appropriately take someone with them other than their associate Apostles or Presidents of Seventies; they might take High Priests, that the latter might become better qualified through the association with the Apostles, and the experience thus gained become valuable to them and the Church generally.  It is proper that the Apostles visit as far as posible the conferences of the stakes of Zion, but I doubt, he said, that they can be satisfied to devote their time in this direction always.  I think that the President of the Apostles should think about this and pray about it, and have his mind enlarged and brightened in reference to this matter.”  (Joseph F. Smith, 15 Nov., 1901, JI 36:688-691.)

15 Nov.:  Quorums need attention.

“The Priesthood, he [Lorenzo Snow] said, was established for certain purposes, and there is a certain work that has to be done, and I think it is our duty to reflect seriously upon this, and see how matters stand with us.  For instance, here are the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Associations, and it is astonishing, when we come to think about it, that the Apostles should be spending their time so largely among them.  One would think that young men, properly instructed in a quorum capacity, ought to be able to carry on this work with such aid as they might get in their different stakes.  It seems to me the quorums of the Priesthood will have to receive attention.  The active work that is being done appears to be in the direction of Mutual Improvement, but the quorums are not doing much.”  (Joseph F. Smith, 15 Nov., 1901, JI36:388-391)

21 Nov.:  Baptist must stand in the water.

“[Meeting at the Temple] Apostle Reed Smoot called attention to a case where a certain brother in administering the ordinance of baptism did not stand in the water, contrary to the instructions given in the book of Covenants, and asked if that mode of baptism had the sanction of the church.  The answer was emphatically, ‘No.'”  (Rudger Clawson diary, 21 Nov., 1901)

“President Smith presided at the meeting of the Presidency and Apostles today. . . .

Elder Smoot informed the Council that a man in Nebo Stake had recently been baptized in a tank, the water having been warmed and the tank especially built for the purpose, the man officiating standing out side of the tank.  There had been considerable criticism down there about it to the effect that such a baptism was not lawful.  It was a case however where the man was sick nigh unto death and a recent convert.  Brother Smoot desired to know the mind of President Smith upon the point.  President Smith replied by saying that if the man were still living, and his health permitted it that he be baptized again in the proper way, but if dead, that he baptized for in the Temple.”  (JH 21 Nov., 1901)

15 Dec.:  Is it necessary for salvation to be HP?

“Question:  If a man is not ordained a High Priest while in this life, is it necessary that this ordinance be performed in his behalf after his death to enable him to obtain a fullness of salvation?

Answer:  No, there is nothing in the word of God or in the ordinances of His house that conveys such an idea.  A man must receive and hold the Melchizedek Priesthood to enter into and abide in the presence of the Almighty Father, but no particular office in that Priesthood is required.  When that which is perfect is come that which is in part will be done away.”  (JI 36(24):773, 15 Dec., 1901)

21 Dec.:  High Council courts may try Bishops.

“A letter was today written to President J. S. Page Jr., of the Nebo Stake, and his counselors, in answer to one from them in which they refer to a complain of a plural wife against Bishop George D. Snell.  This matter was referred to the Presidency for attention on the ground taken by the Stake Presidency that they were incompetent to sit on the case where a Bishop was being tried, and referred to section 68, paragraph 22 of the Doctrine and Covenants for their authority in refusing.  The Presidency answered in effect, that the High Council had jurisdiction over Bishop Snell, and was therefore competent to deal with his case, and that the revelation referred to applied to the Presiding Bishop alone, and not to Bishops in common.  There were present when this decision was reached, besides the First Presidency, John Henry Smith, Abraham O. Woodruff and Hyrum M. Smith, all of whom concurred with the same.”  (JH 21 Dec., 1901)

21 Dec.:  How are new Elders to be sustained?

“Prest. Jos. Morrell,

Dear Brother:–

We are desirous of ascertaining how persons in your stake are voted upon who are recommended to be ordained elders; that is, are they voted on in the wards in which they live–either at the ward priesthood meeting or the regular Sunday service, or both; or are they voted on at the monthly priesthood meeting, on the recommendation of their bishop, without any action whatever taken in their respective wards.

Your early answer will greatly oblige,

Yours, &c., 

Geo. F. Gibbs


(21 Dec., 1901, First Presidency Circular Letters, LDS Archives, CR 1/1)