-- Jul 1, 1899; Saturday
Presidents Lorenzo Snow and Joseph F. Smith were at the office, and there met several of the brethren who had come from a distance to attend the Solemn Assembly, to be held tomorrow at the Temple.
President George Q. Cannon came to the office at 5:55 p.m., having just arrived from New York. President Snow had a short talk with him on the business of the Union Light and Power Company, but before receiving a full explanation from President Cannon, he dismissed the subject, and conversed with him about the purpose and objects of to-morrow's gathering. (1)
-- Sunday, Jul 2, 1899
[Apostle Rudger Clawson Diary] Salt Lake City. Clear and warm. This being the day for the Solemn Assembly called by the First Presidency, a large number of brethren were admitted to temple at 10 o'clock and were seated in the Celestial and Terrestrial Rooms. There were about 700 present, as follows, the First Presidency, Twelve, First Seven Presidents of Seventies, Presiding Patriarch, Presiding Bishopric, presidency of stakes, the bishops of wards, stake presidencies of Y.M.M.I.A., Y.L.M.I.A., Relief Society, and Sunday Schools, and a few others. Meeting was called to order by President Lorenzo Snow.
Pres. Snow said, it may seem strange, your being called together, but when you understand the object of the meeting you will understand the importance of it. Read Section 104 and a portion of Section 85, D.&C. Said that if the brethren present lived 10, 15, or 20 years, or perhaps less, they would go back to Jackson County. The time for returning to Jackson County is much nearer than many suppose and it is the faithful that would be selected to go and they will be required to accept the United Order. Read of the troubles and curses that are visited upon apostates. Said he would tell us what the Lord requires of us today. Read Section 119, D.[&]C. Talked upon the subject of tithing. If the people, he said, had paid an honest tithing for the past year, we would have received $1,000,000.00 more than we did receive, and if a full tithing had been paid for the past 12 years, we would have received $10,000,000.00 more than we did receive. Bp. Preston says, and the books prove it,
that only about a 50% tithing is paid. A half tithing or a third tithing is no tithing at all, but simply an offering. If we do not observe this law, we have no promise that we shall remain in this land an hour. Said that while visiting in St. George on his recent trip, the Lord revealed to him what counsel he should impart to the people, and the word of the Lord was that the Saints should pay their tithing. Trouble has come upon the people. In the south stock is dying off and crops are drying up, and in the north crops were partially destroyed by frost. An effort is being made to influence the Government to disfranchise the Latter-day Saints by a constitutional amendment. How far this is due to the disobedience of our people in observing the law of tithing, I do not know, but the saints are certainly under condemnation.
Bp. Preston followed. So far as he could ascertain, he said, there is about one-fourth of the saints that pay no tithing at all, while the average tithing paid by those that do pay is not more than 50%, and many fall below that percentage.
The following brethren spoke briefly but strongly upon the subject of tithing: Apostles A. O. Woodruff, F. D. Richards, B. Young, Jr., R. Clawson, M. W. Merrill, A. H. Lund, and H. J. Grant.
President Snow read Sec. 86, Book of D.&C. Said, we are the sons and daughters of God, and descendants of the prophets and apostles. Said, the Lord has forgiven us for our carelessness in paying our tithing in the past, but he will forgive us no longer—and if we do not obey this law, we will be scattered as were the saints in Jackson County, and this by reason of the knowledge we have attained to. What I say is as true as God lives. We must teach the people this law of tithing—first by paying tithing ourselves. Just as sure as we live, if we do not honor the law of tithing, we will never possess the land of Jackson County, except it be by the shedding of blood, but it will not be by the shedding of blood because you will listen to my voice and the voice of my brethren. We are the sons of the prophets and the sons of God. The Lord will not send hornets to drive the people out of Jackson County, as he promised to drive the people out of the land of promise before the
children of Israel, but he will send cyclones, earthquakes, and pestilences.
Apostle M. F. Cowley made brief remarks upon the law of tithing.
Recess. Lunch was served in assembly room on the upper floor, and consisted of ham sandwiches, cheese, buns, and cakes. In view of the long fast, the lunch seemed to be greatly relished by all.
At about 5 o'clock meeting was resumed in the Celestial and Terrestrial Rooms. Instructive remarks were made by the following brethren upon the law of tithing: LeRoi Snow, Apostle Geo. Teasdale and Pres. Jos. F. Smith. The latter, in speaking of tithing, said, the books should record not only what we do, but what we ought to have done and did not do. A man is in a poor business as president or bishop of a ward who says to the people, do as you ought to do, not as I do. The poor of a ward—widows and orphans—all should pay their tithing. Pres. Smith was followed by Apostles Smith and Lyman, who also dwelt upon the law of tithing.
Pres. Geo. Q. Cannon also spoke upon the law of tithing. Among other things [he] said, "there are those in this audience who are descendants of the old 12 Apostles and, shall I say it, yes, descendants of the Savior himself. His seed is represented in this body of men."
Pres. Snow made closing remarks. Said he hoped the brethren would take the spirit of these meetings home with them and impart the same to the people. A resolution to the effect that the brethren present would accept the law of tithing, obey it themselves, and teach it to the people was adopted by a rising vote with uplifted hands. Pres. Snow then led in the Sacred Shout, and the meeting came to a close.
After the meeting Bp. Carl Jensen, Chas. Kelly, and myself went down to one of the restaurants on Main St. and took supper, after which the brethren took train for their homes. (2)
1 - First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve minutes
2 - Stan Larson (editor), A Ministry of Meetings: The Apostolic diaries of Rudger Clawson, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1993, http://bit.ly/rudgerclawson
LDS History Chronology: Lorenzo Snow
Mormon History Timeline: the life of Lorenzo Snow
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