-- Jan 16, 1899
Presidents [Lorenzo] Snow and [George Q.] Cannon at 1 P.M. were called upon by Brother James E. Talmage, in relation to his work "Articles of Faith", which is about to be published. A paper connected with it on the subject of the Holy Ghost had been submitted to President Snow for his consideration, and he now told Brother Talmage that he had read it, was very much pleased with it, and thought it might with propriety he made a part of the book. Brother Talmage then read a chapter on plural marriage, which it was decided not to publish in this work, which was being issued under Church auspices, lest it might be construed by our enemies as an attempt by the Church to propagate a belief in polygamy. The use made by local ministers in their reply to President Snow's recent communication to the New York World, of a paper advocating polygamy printed by Brother B. H. Roberts, editor of the Improvement Era, mentioned in this connection. Meeting with the First Presidency on the lecture book matter [i.e., "The Articles of Faith"]. President [Lorenzo] Snow announced his unqualified approval of the lecture on the "Holy Ghost"; and directed its insertion. The preliminaries relating to publication were furthered. (1)
-- Jan 19, 1899
Presidents [Lorenzo] Snow and [George Q.] Cannon received a called from President Oliver C. Hoskins of Malad [Idaho/Utah] Stake, who represented to them his financial condition. An order was made appropriating the sum of $1,200 for his relief, three-fourths of which was payable in wheat.
The First Presidency and the Apostles convened in regular council at the Salt Lake Temple at 11 A.M. Present: Presidents Lorenzo Snow, George Q. Cannon and Franklin D. Richards; Apostles Francis M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, George Teasdale, Heber J. Grant, Anthon H. Lund, Matthias F. Cowley, Abraham O[wen]. Woodruff and Rudger Clawson.
A letter was read from Elder Ben E. Rich, President of the Southern States Mission, setting forth what appeared to him a necessity for permitting our converts in the South to emigrate to Utah, as they were not growing spiritually, their children were not receiving proper education, and in some instances they were marrying non-Mormons.
President Snow upon this subject remarked that if the present policy of the Church (the temporary suspension of the gathering) should be changed, a suitable man should be chosen whose business it should be to select locations and help to settle the people upon them; not, as at present, to leave people to go here and there to settle, without any supervisory care. The majority of these people were without means, and it would be useless to advise them to go into the country and take up land, whereas if the needed help were extended they would gladly go. The President thought there were many competent men who might be called to head colonies or new settlements, men who were now moving in narrow spheres, and to whom such a change would prove a blessing, while at the same time it would be profitable to the people.
President Cannon regarded the absence of such a plan as was suggested by President Snow the great defect of our system. Without doubt a great many souls had been lost that might have been saved had such a provision been in vogue, for settling people upon lands. As it is they come here and settle down in the cities, expecting to get work, and those who fail to secure employment soon become discouraged and want to return to their former homes. They either apostatize, or to a great extent neutralize the efforts of our missionaries laboring in those regions. It was to prevent these results that the counsel was given, during the recent very hard times and until conditions should improve here, for the people not to emigrate, unless they had friends to come to who would provide them with a home.
Brother Woodruff, having lately visited Mexico and Arizona, spoke of the great opportunities held out in those regions for colonizing parties. He heartily endorsed the proposed policy to move our people onto new lands.
Brother Cowley, speaking from his experience in the Southern States as a missionary, remarked that if the people there should now be encouraged to come here, without some such provision as had been suggested, they certainly would furnish a large percentage of apostates, as they were quick-tempered and acted impulsively. The policy of keeping them in their homes had proved beneficial, since they had in many cases built meeting houses and helped to raise up branches of the Church, as well as becoming seasoned in the faith. When they should come here, it would be better to have them scattered among the Stakes, and not permitted to bunch together, as at Manassa, where they get into trouble among themselves; to say nothing of their immoral tendencies. Until they could be gathered gradually and settled in the different Stakes, he thought it would be better for them to remain where they are.
Brother John Henry Smith endorsed what Brother Cowley had said, and added that he would hail the day when our Church should take up in earnest the problem of colonizing the people. He named Robert C. Lund as a capable man for such labors.
President Richards referred to revelations on the subject of the gathering, wherein the Lord instructed his people not to let their gathering be in haste nor by flight. He regarded the appointment of a suitable man to take hold of the matter of colonizing as the very thing to do, and he suggested the advisability of issuing an address on this subject to the incoming Saints. They should not be in a hurry to come here from the different States of the Union; they were already in the Land of Zion and their labors where they now live were no doubt helpful in bringing about the Lord's purposes. Too much publicity regarding the proposed colonization might bring all creation here, which was undesirable. He thought the people of the Southern States who were worthy might come here as opportunity offered, get their blessings in the House of the Lord, and then return to their homes.
President Cannon expressed the opinion that the President of the Southern States Mission needed some instructions upon these points.
Brother Teasdale referred to the plan adopted in Mexico, where, before people immigrate to that land, their names, ages, occupations, etc., are ascertained and furnished to the colonizing bureau, which then gives information as to where such persons can settle most advantageously; and they only have such people come in there who can either work land or be otherwise employed, lest they should be a burden upon their community.
Brothers Clawson, Grant and Lyman spoke briefly upon the subject, saying in effect that they hoped such a movement as that suggested by President Snow would soon be inaugurated, and that a gradual immigration of the scattered Saints would again be in vogue.
President Cannon observed that the spirit of gathering rested upon the people after receiving the Gospel, but there were times when it was wise and proper to restrain that feeling, and this was the part of presiding men. People would be better off by becoming rooted in the faith before gathering. He favored President Snow's idea that a suitable man should be selected to superintend the whole matter, and thought that good results were bound to follow.
Brother Lund believed that such a movement for colonization should be started right away, but did not think it would be wise to publish anything about it. Proper locations should be looked up quietly, and the work then begun. ...
Understand Presidency has appointed an Auditing Committee to thoroughly investigate the church indebtedness. I know this will be grevious to Pres[ident]. Geo[rge]. Q. Cannon. Months before Pres[ident]. [Wilford] Woodruff's death I took the liberty of imploring First Presidency to settle up all those business transactions which had occurred under their own reighn. (2)
1 - Journal History; James E. Talmage, Diary
2 - Journal History; Brigham Young Jr., Diary
LDS History Chronology: Lorenzo Snow
Mormon History Timeline: the life of Lorenzo Snow
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