History of the Word of Wisdom, 1896

-- During 1896
(Butch Cassidy) In the five years after his pardon, Cassidy masterminded bank and train robberies in Montpelier, Idaho; Castle Gate, Utah; Folsom, New Mexico; Winnemucca, Nevada; and Wagner, Montanaâ€"robberies that netted over $270,000. His "Wild Bunch," perhaps the largest group of outlaws in the West, operated out of the Brown's Hole and Robbers Roost areas of Colorado and Utah.

After the Winnemucca job, members of the gang escaped to Fort Worth, Texas, where they posed for a formal photograph which they sent to the Winnemucca Bank, "thanking them for their contribution."

Butch told his family, "There were a lot of good friends, but Elzy Lay was the best, always dependable and level-headed. Sundance and I got along fine, but he liked his liquor too much and was too quick on the trigger."

When his father asked if he had ever killed a man, Butch claimed, "No, thank God. But some of my boys had itchy trigger fingers. I tried to control 'em. I feel real bad about some posse men who got shot." (1)

(Moses Thatcher) After both Thatcher and Roberts were defeated, the First Presidency prepared a "political manifesto" which stipulated that "before accepting any position, political or otherwise, which would interfere with the proper and complete discharge of his ecclesiastical duties, and before accepting a nomination or entering into engagements to perform new duties, [every leading] official should apply to the proper authorities and learn from them whether he can, consistently with the obligations already entered into with the church upon assuming his office, take upon himself the added duties and labors and responsibilities of the new position."

Although B. H. Roberts eventually endorsed the document, Thatcher steadfastly refused. He was convinced that the manifesto would be used selectively to stifle Democratic candidates: "I could not consent to the adoption of a rule that would effect the political liberty of so many people, and give so great power to the church authorities."

The entire matter was complicated by Thatcher's prolonged ill health and morphine addiction. Heber J. Grant recorded during this time that he called on Moses one evening "and found him very low indeed. … He told me that he felt impressed with the idea that he had a cancer in his stomach. He is a wonderfully sick man and it looks to me that he can not live long unless there is a change for the better." He did not die for fifteen years. His refusal to sign the manifesto resulted in his name not being presented for endorsement in April conference. (1)

-- Mar 13, 1897
[Apostle Rudger Clawson] Death of daughter, Vera May Clawson, from drinking furniture cleaning fluid with carbolic acid. (2)

-- Apr 2, 1897
[President Wilford Woodruff Journal] 2nd I slept fairly well the past night. Prest Cannon called this morning. I ate a little broiled beef & bread & drank a cup of coffee. Dr Snow called & felt much encouraged. Bro Nuttall gave me a bath from which I felt revived. Bro Jos E Taylor & S. B. Young called. I slept 4 hours this morning. Dr Snow called this evening & gave me encouragement. I ate a bowl of soup for supper. Bro John R Winder called. The medicine to work on my bowels operated & caused my going to the closet sev[er]al times. My left shoulder gave me some pain tonight, but being rubbed with alcohol felt better. (3)

1 - Van Wagoner, Richard and Walker, Steven C., A Book of Mormons, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies
2 - Larsen, Stan (editor), A Ministry of Meetings:The Apostolic Diaries of Rudger Clawson, Significant Mormon Diaries Series No. 6, A Rudger Clawson Chronology, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City 1993, http://bit.ly/rudgerclawson
3 - Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies

LDS History Chronology: the Word of Wisdom

Mormon Timeline: the Word of Wisdom