-- Thursday, Nov 23, 1899
[Apostle Rudger Clawson Diary] Salt Lake City. Clear and cool. 11 a.m. Meeting of the brethren at the temple. Present: the First Presidency, Apostles J. H. Smith, B. Young, Jr., H. J. Grant, A. H. Lund, M. F. Cowley, R. Clawson, and G. F. Gibbs, clerk. Singing. Prayer by myself. Singing.
A letter from Saml. R. Thurman was read. Said that he was attorney for [Panguitch Stake] Pres. Jesse Crosby in the trial against him for adultery and felt that he was greatly wronged. Gave a synopsis of the trial, which seemed to bear out his statement fully. The report of Attorney Thurman was accepted by unanimous vote as a vindication of Pres. Crosby.
Letter submitted from the presidency of the Utah Stake. They called attention to the condition of the Lake View Ward. It is, they said, narrow and long--about 7 miles long--with a population of 250 souls at each end. The people were going to build a meeting house but could not agree on the location. The presidency of that stake recommended a separation and the organization of two wards. It was moved and carried that the ward be divided.
Apostle Cowley reported his visit to the N. W. States Mission. He said that the mission was in good condition, the pres. of the mission [Franklin S. Bramwell] being a spirited man. One elder reported 17 baptisms in 17 months, and another 20, during his labors. Had an interesting conference in Butte last Sunday.
Pres. G. Q. Cannon moved that the presidents of missions be instructed to withdraw elders from fields where no good results arose from their labors. Carried.
There was some discussion as to the policy of advising the brethren to promise to obey the law when brought before the court for unlawful cohabitation, as that question was being sprung on them. While the brethren were left to give such counsel as the Spirit might suggest, it was decided not to counsel them to say that they would not obey the law. Benediction by Pres. J. F. Smith.
The following is a copy of a letter addressed to S. A. Hunsaker, in answer to one he wrote to me:
Salt Lake City,
Nov. 23rd, 1899
Simeon A. Hunsaker,
In answer to your letter of the 1st inst., would say that the reply you received from Pres. Woodruff, as quoted by yourself, would not in any sense justify you in taking another wife. You certainly did wrong in this matter. Why did you not seek counsel from the president of the stake, inasmuch as the answer of Pres. Woodruff was not and could not be considered a definite consent? By taking the course you did, you were certainly exposed to church action for your fellowship. However, that feature of the case is past, but under the circumstances I could not feel justified in giving you a recommend, as requested. If there was nothing else to be said, I could not very well go behind your residence in Canada. It seems to me that you should now apply to the authorities there for one, if you want it.
Your seeking to justify wrong by referring to other cases, about which you may be entirely mistaken, is not done, to my way of thinking, in the spirit of the gospel. If you will reflect upon the situation in a spirit of meekness and humility, you will be constrained to acknowledge that it was entirely wrong to step over the president of your stake and take another wife on the simple statement of President Woodruff "that anyone who wished to take a woman through the temple must have a license or marriage certificate." President Snow, or any of the apostles, would make the same statement today, but that would not authorize the saints to take plural wives.
For you to ask "what have I done to make me unworthy of a recommend" is, I think, easily answered. In conclusion, would say, I think you are wise in keeping out of the way, as our enemies have a strong case against you.
[signed] Rudger Clawson. (1)
-- Nov 23, 1899; Thursday
Salt Lake Temple 11 A.M. Present: Lorenzo Snow, George Q. Cannon, Joseph F. Smith, Brigham Young [Jr.], John Henry Smith, Heber J. Grant, Anthon H. Lund, Matthias F. Cowley, and Rudger Clawson.
Absent: Franklin D. Richards, sick at home; Francis M. Lyman, on a trip south; George Teasdale, attending a funeral; M[arriner]. W[ood]. Merrill, at Logan [Utah]; A[braham]. O[wen]. Woodruff, on his way south; and John W. Taylor, absent by leave, evading arrest for unlawful cohabitation.
The hymn beginning "O My Father", was sung, and prayer was offered by Brother Rudger Clawson; prayer circle being omitted this time, as there were not enough present prepared to clothe.
A letter was read from Attorney Samuel R. Thurman, giving an account of the trial of Elder Jesse W. Crosby Jr., for adultery. Brother Thurman, who was the defendant's attorney, said that he took it upon himself to explain matters, and his explanation, went to show the entire innocence of Brother Crosby in this case.
Brother John Henry Smith moved that Brother Lyman, during his travels south, investigate the Crosby case from a Church standpoint.
President Cannon did not think that this should be done after Brother Crosby had been tried in the civil courts, and he therefore moved that Brother Thurman's letter be accepted as conclusive testimony of Brother Crosby's innocence. The motion was seconded by President Joseph F. Smith and Brother M[atthias]. F. Cowley. It was also shown that Brother Lyman had gone into the case already and had reported his belief in the entire innocence of Brother Crosby.
The motion was then put and carried unanimously. ...
Brother Cowley reported his visit to the Northwestern States Mission, winding up at Butte, Montana, last Sunday. At the conference there twenty-three Elders were present and reported their labors. He was very favorably impressed with the work that is being done in that mission. Some of the towns were very hard places to labor in, and he had advised Brother [Franklin S.] Bramwell, who presides there, to take the elders away from such places.
President Cannon suggested, and it was seconded by several of the brethren and carried, that Brother Bramwell be officially instructed not to have the Elders labor month after month in places among people who manifest no desire whatever to receive the Gospel. The sentiment of the Council was that this instruction should apply to other fields of labor as well.
An informal discussion of the [B. H.] Roberts case, then took place. President Snow expressed his feelings as follows. He hoped that Brother Roberts would have from two to four hours before the house of Representatives, as he believed the Lord would inspire him on that occasion, and that broad-minded people everywhere would be favorably impressed with his presentation of his own case. "After that", said the President, "I don't care what is done, that is, whether he retains his seat or not". (2)
1 - 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
2 - 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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