-- Sep 13, 1898; Tuesday
At 10 o'clock this morning the Council of the Apostles met at the President's office, according to appointment. There were present: Pres[iden]t. Lorenzo Snow; Elders Franklin D. Richards, Geo[rge]. Q. Cannon, Jos[eph]. F. Smith, Brigham Young [Jr.], Francis M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, Geo[rge]. Teasdale, Heber J. Grant, John W. Taylor, Mar[r]iner
W[ood]. Merrill, Anthon H. Lund, Matthias F. Cowley and Abraham O[wen]. Woodruff.
On motion of Elder F[ranklin]. D. Richards, Elder Geo[rge]. F. Gibbs was appointed secretary and stenographer of the Council, on the same terms as made by the late First Presidency. ...
President Snow asked if there were any further remarks. Several of the brethren called for the question, whereupon Pres[ident]. Snow asked Elder Jos[eph]. F. Smith to put the motion. This being done, it was carried unanimously, and Lorenzo Snow was thus sustained by the Council of the Apostles, as President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Pres[ident]. Snow then arose and said: There was no use in his making excuses as to inability, etc., to assume the vast responsibilities involved in the position to which he had been elected. He felt that it was for him to do the very best he could and depend upon the Lord. He knew the action taken by the Council was according to the mind and will of the Lord, who had shown and revealed to him several days ago that the First Presidency should be organized before the next conference. He had been feeling a little gloomy, and perhaps a little discouraged at the prospect, and the vast responsibility that would naturally fall upon him as President of the Twelve Apostles, and with this feeling he went before the Lord, offered up the signs of the Holy Priesthood and called upon Him to let light come to his mind. His prayer was answered, the Lord manifesting unto him clearly what he should do; also in regard to the counselors he should select when he became President of the Church, "And[,]" said he, "In accordance with the light given me, I now present to you the name of Geo[rge]. Q. Cannon as my first counselor, and of Joseph F. Smith as my second counselor".
Several of the brethren, speaking at the same time, seconded the choice of counselors, and the brethren named had expressed themselves upon the subject--Bro[ther]. Cannon to the effect that he was willing to act in this capacity, or any other, if he could have the love and confidence of his brethren, and Bro[ther]. Smith to the effect that since the Lord had manifested his will in this matter, he had nothing to say, except that he was perfectly willing to act in this or any other position, and would do all he could to sustain the hands of the President in righteousness before the Lord.
Pres[ident]. Snow, before calling for the vote, said, "I have not mentioned this matter to any person, either man or woman. I, wanted to see what the feelings of the brethren were. I wanted to see if the same spirit which the Lord manifested to me was in you. I had confidence in you that the Lord would indicate to you that
this was proper and according to his mind and will. I do not feel that I should be over-anxious in regard to anything pertaining to the work of the Lord. I had one revelation or manifestation in my early career which became my star, so to speak, and which I have always had before my mind. I put the meaning of it into couplet form, as follows:
"As man is, God once was;
"As God is, man may be".
That was revealed to me with power; the Holy Ghost was upon me for a long time, and I knew it was my privilege to be like Him whom I afterwards knew was my Father and God. As John the Apostle says, "We are now the sons of God; when He shall appear we shall be like Him", etc. We must act as far as we possibly can like God while we are in the flesh, and I know we can reach that degree of perfection. Now brethren, I shall do the best I can, as God shall give me wisdom and power. I sense keenly my own weakness and inability, but I appreciate the fact that God can make strong. If I know my own heart, the administration about to be ushered in shall not be known as Lorenzo Snow's, but as God's in Lorenzo Snow. As to things which have happened in the past, I do not want to talk about them; it will become us as servants of the Lord to go to work and meet the difficulties before us, as the Lord shall aid and assist us. I feel to say in my heart, God bless you, and I invoke the blessing of the Lord upon myself in the discharge of the obligations resting upon me."
The vote was then taken approving unanimously the President's choice of counselors.
M[atthias]. F. Cowley now moved, and the motion was carried, that Lorenzo Snow be sustained as Trustee-in-trust for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Pres[ident]. Geo[rge]. Q. Cannon suggested that the President of the Twelve Apostles be appointed, and on motion of F[ranklin]. M. Lyman, Franklin D. Richards was unanimously sustained to act in that position.
Pres[ident]. Cannon then suggested that Frank J. Cannon be at liberty to continue negotiations with the Eastern parties on the loan question; that he be informed of the organization that had just taken place, and be directed to inquire of said parties what, if anything, should be done further to satisfy them. Senator Cannon, who was in the adjoining room, was sent for, and this information was imparted to him.
On motion of Bro[ther]. Grant, it was decided to make public in this evening's paper, the action of the Council in organizing the First Presidency and appointing the Trustee-in-trust and the President of the Twelve Apostles.
The Council then adjourned. (1)
President Wilford Woodruff died in San Francisco [California], Friday morning at 6:40 o'clock September 2nd, 1898. President George Q. Cannon at once wired the information to the President's office in Salt Lake City. Word was forwarded to President Lorenzo Snow who was in Brigham City [Utah]. The telegram was delivered to him on the street in Brigham City. He read it to Elder Rudger Clawson, who was then with him, went to the telegraph office and replied that he would leave on the train about 5:30 that evening. He reached Salt Lake City about 7:15, proceeded to the President's office, reported his arrival, gave
some instructions and then went to his private room in the Salt Lake Temple. He put on his holy temple robes and repaired to the Second Annointing room [i.e., Holy of Holies], knelt at the altar, offered up the sacred signs of the Priesthood and poured out his heart to the Lord. During his prayer he said: "Father, Thou knowest I prayed that President Woodruff's life would be spared, that his days would be lengthened beyond mine; that I might never be called upon to bear the heavy burdens and responsibilities of the Church. Nevertheless, Thy will be done. I have not sought this responsibility but if it is Thy will, I now present myself before Thee for Thy guidance and instruction. I ask that Thou show me what Thou wouldst have me do." After he had finished, he expected some special manifestation from the Lord; but there was none, and he left the altar and the room in disappointment. Passing thru the Celestial room and as he entered the large hall-way leading from the room a most remarkable manifestation was given President Snow which I relate in the words of his grand-daughter, included in a testimony which I bore during the M.I.A. conference, in the special session Sunday morning, in the Assembly Hall, June 7th, 1919, at 8:30 A.M. "Brethren and sisters, I feel impressed to say this morning: not only is this the work of God, but God is very close to this Church; not only are the leaders of the Church prophets, but God is very close to them and they are walking very near the Lord. Every president of the Church, from the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith, has placed his mantle upon his successor and there is no question at all but that every one of the leaders of this Church has been accepted of God, appointed by him, and has had all the necessary authority of God given him in that high and sacred and holy position."
Allie Young Pond, the wife of one of the presidency of the Pocatello [Idaho] Stake, is a grand-daughter of President Brigham Young and of President Lorenzo Snow, and here is an incident which occurred in her life: "One evening while I was visiting grand-pa Snow in his room in the Salt Lake Temple, I remained until the door keepers had gone, so grand-pa had to take me to the main front entrance and let me out that way. On the way, after we left his room and while we were still in the large corridor leading to the celestial room, grand-pa stopped and said: `Wait a moment, Allie, I want to tell you something. It was right here that the Savior Jesus Christ appeared to me. He stood about three feet above floor (here grand-pa put his hand out to show about the height) and it looked as though he stood on a piece of solid gold and I talked with him as one man talks with another. It was at that time that He told me not to wait or delay until the regular conference of the Church, but to go ahead, call a special conference and complete the organization of the Church, and that I was to succeed President Wilford Woodruff as president.' He then placed one hand upon my head and said: `Now, grand-daughter I want you to remember that this is your grand-father's testimony and that he told you with his own lips that he actually saw the Savior and talked with him face to face as one man talks with another.'" Amen.
President Heber J. Grant immediately arose and said: "In confirmation of the testimony given by brother LeRoi C. Snow
quoting the grand-daughter of Lorenzo Snow, I want to call attention to the fact that several years elapsed after the death of the Prophet Joseph [Smith] before President Young was sustained as the president of the Church; after the death of President Young, several years elapsed again before Brother Taylor was sustained, and again when he died, several years elapsed before President Woodruff was sustained. After the funeral of President Wilford Woodruff, the Apostles met in the office of the First Presidency and brother Francis M. Lyman said: `I feel impressed, although one of the younger members of the quorum, to say that I believe it would be pleasing in the sight of the Lord if the First Presidency of the church was reorganized right now. If I am in error regarding this impression, President Snow and the senior members of the council can correct me.' President Snow said that he would be pleased to hear from all the brethren upon this question, and each and all of us expressed ourselves as believing it would be pleasing to the Lord and that it would be the proper thing to have the Presidency organized at once. When we had finished, then and not till then, did brother Snow tell us that he was instructed of the Lord in the Temple the night President Woodruff died, to organize the presidency of the Church at once. President Anthon H. Lund and myself are the only men now living who were present at that meting. May the Lord bless and guide us by his spirit continually and may the testimony that we possess of the divinity of the work ever abide with us and our faithfulness be a inspiration to lead others to a knowledge of the Gospel, is my prayer and I ask it in the name of Jesus, Amen."
A few days after the M.I.A. conference, in an interview with President Lund in his office, he retold the incident to me as given by President Grant regarding the meeting in the office of the First Presidency on Tuesday morning, September 13th, 1898 at which Lorenzo Snow was chosen president of the Church. President Lund also told me that President Snow had related the manifestation to him, of the Savior's appearance to him after dressing in his temple robes and offering up the signs of the holy Priesthood. [LeRoi Clarence Snow, "The Appearance of the Saviour to Pres[ident]. Lorenzo Snow," LDS Archives.] (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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