-- Mar 16, 1899; Thursday
The Presidency were in the Office. Brothers [Charles W.] Penrose and [Horace G.] Whitney of the News met with Presidents [Lorenzo] Snow and [George Q.] Cannon, President F[ranklin]. D. Richards and Apostle Brigham Young [Jr.] being also present. It had been reported that the publishers of the Improvement Era were moving to get permission to re-publish, in the columns of that magazine, the history of Joseph Smith, as contained in the Millennial Star; and believing this to
be legitimate church property, Brothers Whitney and Penrose wanted to know if the Deseret News should not be permitted to publish the history as a church work. The Presidency promised to take the matter under consideration.
Salt Lake Temple, 11 A.M. present: Presidents Lorenzo Snow, George Q. Cannon, Joseph F. Smith, Franklin D. Richards; Apostles Brigham Young [Jr.], Francis M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, George Teasdale, Mar[r]iner W[ood]. Merrill, John W. Taylor, Anthon H. Lund, Matthias F. Cowley and Rudger Clawson. ...
President Snow brought up the question of publishing the history of the Church, to be taken chiefly from the history of Joseph Smith, as published in the Millennial Star; and he asked President Smith to state his feelings about it, as heretofore stated to President Snow.
President Smith then said that quite a general desire existed to have the history of Joseph Smith republished; that the only way the history of the Church could now be obtained was through the early volumes of the Millennial Star. At a recent meeting of the Young Men's Mutual Improvement Board it had been suggested that the History of Joseph Smith be republished in their organ, the Improvement Era, in such a way that the parts might be taken from the Era and bound in one book; all the members of the Board were unanimous in the desire to publish this work, and President Smith had been asked to speak to President Snow about it. He had done so, and the President had remarked that he thought it might perhaps be a good thing to do, but he also thought that probably the Church might want to publish it, and he had therefore suggested the wisdom of bringing the matter before this Council.
President Snow now invited the brethren to express themselves on the subject, and he asked President Cannon to relate what occurred in the office this morning regarding the matter.
President Cannon then stated that Brothers Penrose and Whitney there presented the claims of the News to the publishing of the work, believing that it should be regarded as a church work, and they asked, since the News needed all the financial help it could possibly get, that its claims be considered when the subject should be discussed.
President Richards and President Cannon both expressed themselves in favor of having the Prophet's history--the autobiography in the Millennial Star--published in book form to its self, with the revelations in the proper places as they were given and as they appear in the Star. Brother Richards thought that this would have a great tendency to strengthen the faith of the people in the dealings of the Lord with the Prophet Joseph. Brother Cannon said that it was a subject near and dear to his heart. He had thought for a long time that our church history was neglected. He referred to his political mission to Washington in 1858 to labor in connection with General Thomas L. Kane, and he was sorry to say that he believed a true history of that event was not in the archives of the Church; neither were the letters he had written at that time, and no one knew what had become of them. The same was true as to Captain [William H.] Hooper's letters, written soon after. He felt that some movement should be made to compile and publish the history of the Church. That already published was
only a skeleton of the history, all that could be done at the time, but this could be amplified and now was the time to do it. Referring to the point mentioned by Brother Richards--the publishing of the revelations in the order in which they were given, with explanations as to what had called them forth, President Cannon remarked that some people seemed to take pleasure in quoting the revelations and applying them to things now happening to which they were not at all applicable; and he thought the publishing of them in this form would go far in correcting that error. He also believed it would bring revenue to the Church.
President Snow said that it was quite time to act in this matter; that the publishing of the history of the Church should begin at once; that it should be published in volumes, and published as cheaply as possible. He suggested that an active committee be appointed to take the matter in hand and put it through, and he thought that President Cannon and President Richards ought to be included in that committee.
The first volume should be published as soon as possible after Conference.
Brother Clawson moved that the Presidency appoint the committee to do this work, and the motion was seconded by Brother Richards and carried.
President Smith: "That means that the Deseret News will do the publishing?"
President Snow: "Yes".
President Smith: "And that matter is to be supplied by the committee, and the committee be responsible for the matter furnished"?
President Snow: "Yes".
The Council then adjourned. (1)
-- Mar 17, 1899; Friday
Presidents [Lorenzo] Snow, [George Q.] Cannon and [Joseph F.] Smith received another call from Brothers [Charles W.] Penrose and [Horace G.] Whitney of the News, who were informed by President Snow that it had been decided to publish in book form the History of the Church as it appeared in the Millennial Star, under the heading "The History of Joseph Smith". These brethren were given to understand that it was desirable to have a respectable looking book printed, in good large type, at the lowest price consistent with the business interests of the printing office. It was thought by them that a very respectable volume could be issued in cloth at one dollar each.
President Snow was approached by Presidents Cannon and Smith regarding the proposition made last Wednesday by Mr. [Simon] Bamberger in relation to the Bullion-Beck mine. He replied that he had considered the matter and that his judgment was against the deal, but that he would consent to it if Presidents Cannon and Smith would assume the responsibility of it. This they did not
feel to do.
It was decided that a letter should be written to President Jesse N. Smith of Snowflake [Arizona] Stake in relation to a request made some time ago by a committee representing the Snowflake Academy, asking that the church interests in the Woodruff dam be donated to the Academy. The letter to the President of the Stake was to inform him that the First Presidency had granted the request, provided that the people of Woodruff were willing. (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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