-- Sep 17, 1896; Thursday
The First Presidency and Apostles met at the Temple at 11 A.M. Present: Presidents W[ilford]. Woodruff, G[eorge]. Q. Cannon, J[oseph]. F. Smith and L[orenzo]. Snow; Elders F[ranklin]. D. Richards, B[righam]. Young [Jr.], F[rancis]. M. Lyman, J[ohn]. H[enry]. Smith, G[eorge]. Teasdale, H[eber]. J. Grant, M[arriner]. W[ood]. Merrill, John W. Taylor and A[nthon]. H. Lund. President Woodruff spoke to the Council in relation to Brother Moses Thatcher. He said that in view of the fact that Brother Thatcher's health had greatly improved, and the October Conference was near at hand, he considered it was the duty of the Council to take some action in reference to his case. President Snow thought that Brother Thatcher ought to be invited to appear before his brethren, that his fellowship as an Apostle might be determined upon. Brother John Henry Smith explained that Brother Thatcher had himself placed under treatment for the morphine habit, and had consented
to restraint which virtually made him a prisoner until the time of the contract for treatment had expired. When his health was fully restored, Brother Smith thought he should be then required to appear before his quorum. Elder Brigham Young stated that when he and Brother F[ranklin]. D. Richards last met Brother Thatcher, he stated that when his health permitted he would appear before his brethren and sustain his position from the Doctrine and Covenants. President Woodruff thought that another General Conference should not be allowed to pass without some action on Brother Thatcher's case, and the people be made acquainted with it. President Joseph F. Smith, Elders F[ranklin]. D. Richards, F[rancis]. M. Lyman and A[nthon]. H. Lund each expressed themselves on the subject to the effect that it would be necessary for Brother Thatcher, not only to acknowledge the right of this Council to issue the Declaration of Principles, but also to place himself in harmony with his brethren, as he had been out of harmony with the Presiding authorities for years. It was resolved that Elders Brigham Young, F[rancis]. M. Lyman and John Henry Smith, be appointed to wait upon Brother Moses Thatcher and convey to him the mind of the Council on this matter. It was also decided that President Orson Smith of Cache [Utah] Stake be informed that it was the mind of the Council that if Brother Geo[rge]. W. Thatcher could not place himself in harmony with the Presiding authorities, he ought to resign his position as a member of the General Church Board of education and other official positions in the Church; also that Brother Brigham Young communicate this to Brother Geo[rge]. W. Thatcher. (1)
-- Oct 1, 1896; Thursday
Meeting of the Presidency and Apostles at the Temple at 11 A.M. Present: Presidents W[ilford]. Woodruff, G[eorge]. Q. Cannon, J[oseph]. F. Smith, and L[orenzo]. Snow; Elders F[ranklin]. D. Richards, B[righam]. Young [Jr.], F[rancis]. M. Lyman, J[ohn]. H[enry]. Smith, G[eorge]. Teasdale, H[eber]. J. Grant, J[ohn]. W. Taylor, M[arriner]. W[ood]. Merrill and A[nthon]. H. Lund. Elder F[ranklin]. D. Richards, by request of President Snow, reported that the Apostles had been considering the labors of the missionaries, about 1200 Elders being in the field. They were expected to purchase out of their own funds tracts for distribution among the people. It was the opinion of the Apostles that the Church should supply printed matter for distribution.
Elder A[nthon]. H. Lund said the custom among the missionaries in Europe was for them to buy their own tracts; this being quite a hardship, he had told those who were not financially able to buy them, that they might use church funds for the purpose. As a rule, however, they did not avail themselves of the privilege. There were about 600,000 tracts distributed in England every year alone.
In Norway and Sweden the Elders sold their tracts; in Denmark they were prohibited from doing this without a bookseller's license; therefore they had to give them away. In Germany the Elders were forbidden by law to give tracts, and therefore they sought conversations with the people. Brother Lund thought the Church should provide suitable tracts for distribution by the missionaries. Concerning the Elders laboring without purse or scrip, he said it was practicable in some places but not in others. In the British mission the Elders had to sustain themselves, and it was a common thing for them to help the people, instead of receiving sustenance from them. In this respect times had changed very much. Some experienced Elders who had performed previous missions to Scandinavia without purse or scrip, and endeavored to do so on their new missions, had found it impossible to accomplish it. In Denmark the law forbids the citizens to lodge strangers without a license. In Holland and Belgium the Elders got
along fairly well with but little expenditures of means. In Germany in places where there were but few Elders they could get along without purse or scrip, but as a general thing it was gound they could not do so. Of course they might if their faith was strong enough, but to accomplish it they would no doubt suffer a great deal. Some of the Elders in Europe who had means had been in the habit of leaving a shilling under the plate after eating a meal in the houses of poor Saints. The result was that those Elders who could afford to do this were welcomed, while others not able to do so, were not as welcome. Brother Lund therefore had counseled the brethren to cease this practice.
President Geo[rge]. Q. Cannon expressed his pleasure that the Apostles were considering the subject of missionary work. He regretted that there was not sufficient care taken to provide labor and shelter for the Saints who were brought here from abroad. The cost of sending out 1200 missionaries was very great, and he feared that in consequence of neglect and lack of employment, many of the people brought here by their labors became disaffected and some apostatized. He felt that this ought to be corrected; an organization ought to be effected to look after the welfare of the emigtants. This was one thing that should occupy the time and attention of the Presiding Bishopric.
President Woodruff expressed his feeling in regards to the burden of indebtedness which he was carrying as Trustee-in-trust for the Church, and which had borne very heavily upon him of late.
President Cannon referring to the financial condition of the Church, remarked that if the "dedicated stock" of the Bullion-Beck Company had been held according to agreement, the Church would have been in a financial position it never occupied before. Three-fifths of the Bullion-Beck stock was in his hands at the death of President [John] Taylor as a result of a solem covenant entered into between President Taylor, John Beck and himself, to hold it for sacred purposes, and if this had been kept, the Church today would have been financially strong, and able to do anything it wanted to do. President Cannon went on to explain that when he was in the penitentiary, he was informed by Brother F[ranklin]. S. Richards that it was the intention to sue him if he did not surrender the "dedicated stock." He replied that they might sue, and thereby let the Church and the world know who the covenant breakers were. He perceived however, that it was a matter he could not allow to go into court, and he told Brother Moses Thatcher that his self respect would not permit him to hold this stock after what had occurred. President Cannon said that if Brothers Moses Thatcher and John W. Taylor had united with him in preserving intact that solemn covenant which had been entered into, the Church would be in possession of ample means. But in consequence of their receiving back that dedicated stock, John Beck on his return from Germany, demanded his stock also, which President Cannon returned, the amount being $50,000.
Elder John W. Taylor stated that so far as he was concerned he had never authorized Brother F[ranklin]. S. Richards to say aything to President Cannon in regard to a suit at law, nor did he know anything about "dedicated stock." It had always been represented as pooled stock. He and his brother Geo[rge]. J.
Taylor had handled the stock for his father's family, and it would not have been sold by him to John Beck, if the Taylor family had been accorded representation on the Board of Directors. Up to the time of the sale to John Beck, the stock had always been represented to him as pooled stock, and he had never heard there was such a thing as revelation in regard to it.
President Cannon said Brother John W. Taylor must have known of the document signed by his father. It was not a revelation. President Taylor felt deeply impressed to enter into an agreement to buy the property of John Beck, if he would dedicate three-fifths of it to the Lord. This was done, and three-fifths of the stock was placed in President Taylor's hands and was held by him until his death. When Brother John Beck came home and demanded his stock, President Cannon reminded him of the covenant which he had been entered into. His reply was that President Taylor's family and Brother Moses Thatcher had got theirs and he wanted his, and Brother Cannon surrendered the Taylor's family, Thatcher's and Beck's stock, and had kept a strict account with his own.
Elder John W. Taylor said a document was shown to him signed by his father in June, a month before his father's death, and at the time his father was not in a condition to do business.
President Geo[rge]. Q. Cannon said though President Taylor was failing then he did not look upon him as incapable of doing business, and if Moses Thatcher and John W. Taylor had not broken up the dedicated stock, and had been disposed to carry out President Taylor's wishes in regard to it, the stock would now have been in possession of the Church. He had spoken with great freedom to Brother John W. Taylor, because he was the son of the dearest friend he ever had. Brother Cannon did not believe that Brother John W. Taylor had intentionally done wrong, he believed that he had been misguided, and that if he could have discerned the influences that were operating at the time he would have acted diferently in regard to this matter. If he had hurt Brother Taylor's feelings he would willingly ask his forgiveness.
Brother John W. Taylor said it would be a humiliation for himself to have to Brother Cannon ask his pardon, but he nevertheless felt to ask President Cannon's pardon, and said further Brother Thatcher had informed him that the stock was "pooled stock," but that after President Taylor's death it was called dedicated stock. Brother Taylor said his brother George at one time came to him with a letter from Brother Thatcher, the tenor of which went to show Moses Thatcher in the light of a hero fighting for the interest of the Taylor family, and he John W. was asked to attest the truth of it by appending his signature. This he refused to do, remarking at the time, that Moses Thatcher had never done anything in the matter excepting in his own interest. He told his brother George to tell Moses what he had said, and he never heard any more of the document.
President Cannon and Brother Taylor were both pleased that they had arrived at a mutual understanding on this matter, and united with the very best of feelings.
During the consideration of this matter, President Woodruff stated that Brother Moses Thatcher came to him while Pres[iden]t. G[eorge]. Q. Cannon was in prison, and told him that he was going
to sue President Cannon because he held stock and means which belonged to him. President Woodruff said he told Bro[ther]. Thatcher if he did this it would be the worst move he had ever made.
Articles of incorporation of the Grass Creek Coal Co[mpany]. were filed today with the County Clerk, with a capital stock of $200,000; Geo[rge]. Q. Cannon President and Director, Jos[eph]. F. Smith Vice-President and Director, Arthur Winter Sec[retary]. and Treas[urer]., Wilford Woodruff, W[illiam]. W. Cluff, James Jack, Nephi Clayton and Frank J. Cannon, Directors. The capital stock fully paid, up at par, is held as follows:
Wilford Woodruff, 510 shares $51,000
Geo[rge]. Q. Cannon, 510 " 51,000
Jos[eph]. F. Smith, 510 " 51,000
Ja[me]s. Jack, Trustee 410 " 41,000
Arthur Winter, 10 " 1,000
John M. Cannon, 10 " 1,000
W[illiam]. W. Cluff, 10 " 1,000
James Jack, 10 " 1,000
N[ephi]. W. Clayton, 10 " 1,000
F[rank]. J. Cannon, 10 " 1,000. (1)
1 - First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve minutes
LDS History Chronology: Lorenzo Snow
Mormon History Timeline: the life of Lorenzo Snow
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