-- Thursday, Oct 19, 1899
[Apostle Rudger Clawson Diary] Salt Lake City. Clear and cool. 11 a.m. Meeting of the brethren at the temple. Present: Pres. L. Snow, Pres. J. F. Smith, Apostles F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, Geo. Teasdale, H. J. Grant, A. H. Lund, M. F. Cowley, A. O. Woodruff, and myself; also G. F. Gibbs, clerk.
A letter from Platte D. Lyman, president of the European Mission, was read. He said that Elder H. L. James would leave for home in a few days having in charge the body of Elder [Samuel T.] Clark, who recently died in Cardiff, Wales. Said they had been compelled to release several elderly missionaries on account of physical disabilities. Reported that two elders in Germany had been disfellowshiped for transgression. Said that missionaries were needed in most of the European missions.
Pres. J. F. Smith stated that brethren going on missions who were over sixty years of age were instructed that, as the church did not require elders beyond that age to take missions, if they were released on account of sickness or physical disability, they would be obliged to bear their expenses home.
Apostle A. O. Woodruff said that more native elders were needed in the Swiss and German Missions. President Snow thought that the elders who go out to preach the gospel should have a special training (in a training school) for missionary work. Thought that perhaps arrangements could be made in our church schools for such training. The brethren, generally, endorsed the views of Pres. Snow.
Division of the Salt Lake Stake. The committee appointed on the division of the Salt Lake Stake reported. After some discussion it was moved by Apostle F. M. Lyman and seconded by Apostle Cowley that the Salt Lake Stake be divided into three stakes, to be divided as follows, to wit: The Salt Lake Stake to comprise all that district of country lying north of 10th South Street, Salt Lake City, to the north line of the Salt Lake Stake—including Hunter, Brighton, and North [Point] Wards (and Pleasant Green, if the people there desire it). The second stake to comprise all that district of country lying south of 10th South Street, Salt Lake City, and west of the State [Street] road to the south line of the Salt Lake Stake. The third stake to comprise all that district of country lying south of 10th South St., Salt Lake City, and east of the State Road to the south line of the Salt Lake Stake. Motion put and carried by unanimous vote. Moved and carried that the stake southeast of Salt
Lake City be called the Granite Stake of Zion. Moved and carried that the stake lying southwest of Salt Lake City be called the Jordan Stake of Zion. Moved and carried that O. P. Miller be selected as president of the Jordan Stake, and Frank Y. Taylor, president of the Granite Stake.
Apostle J. H. Smith moved that Apostle M. F. Cowley be sent to visit the N. W. States Mission, as some matters in that mission needed attention. Carried.
I expressed the opinion that the recent excellent instructions and teachings given on the principle of tithing be followed up with some definite action, and suggested that the brethren in visiting the conferences should call the bishopric[s] of the wards together and give them some special instructions—especially in regard to visiting members of their wards who were slack in the payment of tithes or were non-tithepayers, and seek in [a] private way to convert them to the principle. The idea was approved by the brethren.
It was moved and carried that hereafter the church bear the expense of furnishing the missionaries with their blessings. They have been required to pay 50 cents for them.
Moved and carried that the Mutual Improvement Conferences be held at the time of the stake conferences—the evening to be used for that purpose. Prayer by Apostle M. F. Cowley. (1)
-- Oct 19, 1899; Thursday
Salt Lake Temple, 11 A.M. Present: Lorenzo Snow, Joseph F. Smith, Francis M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, George Teasdale, Heber J. Grant, Anthon H. Lund, Matthias F. Cowley and Rudger Clawson.
A letter was read from Elder Platte D. Lyman, President of the European Mission, giving a report on the needs of that mission, and stating incidentally that John A. Borlaise and Erastus M. Ronnow had been found guilty of transgressions requiring excommunication from the Church. Details would follow the writer said, he not having received them at the time of writing. The main part of the letter referred to the practice of calling men on missions who were up in years, also men who were infirm, and questioned the wisdom of this course. A missionary who was in ill health had lately to be released, owing to his inability to perform the required labor.
President Smith stated that as a rule when men along in years asked for a missionary certificate, it was with the understanding that the chief object in view was the gathering of their
genealogies, and that they would devote a portion of their time to preaching the Gospel. They were told that it was expected of them that they would pay their own way, including the fare going and returning. The speaker now expressed himself to the effect that no man should receive a missionary certificate unless he were regularly called on a mission. It had been found that the presence of Elders not regularly called demoralized more or less the discipline of the missionaries. Referring to the inexperience of many, President Smith suggested that some kind of missionary course be provided for the young men, so that they could devote from three to sis months to religious study previous to going, such time to be regarded as part of their missions. He thought that young men prepared in this way would do more good than twice as many without such preparation.
Brother John Henry Smith endorsed President Smith's suggestion, which he considered one of great moment. He added, however, that he thought the young men should receive a year's notice with a view to preparing themselves.
Brother Lund was also heartily in favor of a school preparation for our young missionaries. It could then be ascertained whether it would be better to have the young men in the mission field than at home. As it is now, some are sent abroad who ought to remain at home, while others are sent to a field of labor where they do little or no good, and yet might be useful in another field. The result is that they not only disappoint the presidents of missions, but create an almost useless expense to their friends and the Church as well.
This matter was dropped without any action being taken.
Brother John Henry Smith, one of the committee of two having under consideration the dividing of Salt Lake Stake, reported on behalf of the committee (Brother Lund and himself) that the Stake could be divided into three, with a population in each of the two new stakes averaging a little over seven thousand; but it was a question in their minds as to the advisability of creating more than one new Stake at present.
President Snow remarked that he believed in such divisions where they could be made consistently, if for no other reason than to give men the opportunity to act in office for the purpose of their development.
Brother Lyman moved that Salt Lake Stake be divided into three, the boundary lines to be on Tenth South and State streets. He thought it a good idea to bring Pleasant Green, Brighton, Hunter and North Point into this Stake. The motion was seconded by Brother Cowley.
Brother Lund explained that the reason the committee favored the division into two Stakes instead of three, was that in the latter event two of the Ward would have to be divided, one of them being Mill Creek.
This remark brought forth the statement from President Smith that the people of Mill Creek had been petitioning for years for the division of their Ward, but the President of the Stake (Brother Angus M. Cannon) would not listen to it.
Brother Lund now added that he believed more good could be done by dividing the Stake into three than into two.
On the subject of non-tithepayers, Brother Clawson suggested that the Bishopric of each Ward take up a private labor with them, and that they cease talking about the matter in public.
President Snow added that the Bishops should not be hard upon the members of their Wards if they did not have faith enough to pay tithing; also that they should use wisdom in refusing recommends to the Temple in case of those who were not tithepayers. The President requested the committee on division of Salt Lake Stake to continue their labors in the way of readjusting the Wards that would be divided by reason of the action taken.
Upon the subject of Mutual Improvement Associations, Brother Grant advocated the idea of permitting them to meet in conference on the evenings of the Stake conferences, in order to avoid so many gatherings of this kind. Heretofore it had been the custom for the Y.M.M.I.A. to hold two days conferences, and this, with the regular conferences, made it quite burdensome for the brethren to attend. The suggestion was approved by the Council.
Brother Grant also brought up the subject of missionary blessings, stating that our missionaries, as a rule, when being set apart, had their blessings reported, and that it cost them fifty cents each for this service. He proposed that Brother Martin Lindsay, the stenographer, be paid a regular salary by the Church, and that a part of his labor consist of reporting these blessings free. This also was approved by the Council. ... (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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