History of the Word of Wisdom, Dec 25, 1895

-- Dec 25, 1895
[Apostle Marriner W. Merrill Diary] Wednesday. At home this a. m. Sarah, my wife, had all her children and grandchildren home for dinner today, 62 persons in all. I took Sophia home to Lewiston in the evening. George Tronson, my hired man there, got intoxicated and could not take her back home. (1)

-- Jan 2, 1896
[Francis M. Lyman] ... Then came on for consideration bro[ther] Moses Thatchers case. It was made to appear to our satisfaction that his sickness and trouble is caused by the use of coffee, tobacco and opium. He is now a confirmed friend of all those things and it at most must be but a question of a brief time when he will collapse. We felt that the true cause of his trouble should be made clear before the Saints, that no injury should come from wrong ideas about him in the mind of the brethren and Saints. At our coming quorum meeting the question will likely receive attention by the full council. (2)

-- Jan 9, 1896
[Apostle Brigham Young Jr. Diary] [Met with Pres. at 1 p.m. and broke fast with bread and wine--the Quorum of 12 presumably.] I urged that the surplus waters of Utah Lake be secured for the use of the people also all the surplus water of this valley will be seized by gentile firms if we do not secure it. Myself and Jno. H. S. were appointed a Committee [to look into the Utah Lake water matter] ... Presidency proffered us the aid of their lawyer Bro[ther] F. S. Richards which we gladly accepted--In had asked for this. (3)

-- Feb 23, 1896
[Apostle Brigham Young Jr. Diary] I had a talk with Pres[iden]t Hammond Asked him did he endorse the doctrine when Pres[iden]t Woodruff called upon Patriarch John Smith to step down and out or quit smoking or use of tobacco. he said I do with all my heart. Then will you step down, he said yes. He had letter read Presidency sent him. I read it again when Pres[ident] H. proposed that people try him another 6 mo[nths]. ... People voted with 3 exceptions to try him another 6 mo[nths]. I felt obliged to let the matter rest until next Conference. (3)

-- Mar 12, 1896
First Presidency gives James E. Talmage, who is working on his book THE ARTICLES OF FAITH, "an instruction" to smoke tobacco to relieve his persistent insomnia. Heber J. Grant is present and gives "his acquiescence" but dates meeting as Mar. 11. Talmage is then president of University of Utah and becomes apostle in 1911. Talmage later writes, "a good cigar produced a marvelous quieting of my over-wrought nerves." (4)

1 - Notes from the Miscellaneous Record Book, 1886-1906: Selected diary notes from the journal books of Marriner Wood Merrill, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies
2 - Excerpts of Apostle Francis M. Lyman Diaries, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies
3 - Diary of Apostle Brigham Young Jr., http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies
4 - On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com

LDS History Chronology: the Word of Wisdom

Mormon Timeline: the Word of Wisdom