Lorenzo Snow, 1899

-- During 1899
(Lorenzo Snow) President Snow's administration broadened the work of the general authorities. He felt that the brethren were spending too much time on local matters, and advised them "by the appointment of the Almighty ... to look after the interests of the world."

President Snow is perhaps best known for his success in relieving the Church's heavy indebtedness. His 1899 retrenchment stopped borrowing for investments, consolidated debts in a million-dollar bond issue, sold controlling interest in many operations, and launched a major reemphasis on tithing. Though he did not live to see the Church debt-free, he was responsible for the financial undertakings which ultimately restored Church solvency. (1)

-- Friday, Jan 5, 1999
[Apostle John Henry Smith Diary] Salt Lake City

President Lorenzo Snow told me today he was thinking of having me go to Washington.

I read a letter today to Orson which establishes the fact that O. F. Whitney is mixed up with C. W. Stayner in the baby Resurrection Theory. The letter was signed by Nephi.

Anthon H. Lund, Wm. B. Preston, John Donaldson and myself held a consultation on the Layton estate affair. We agreed on the division of that Estate. (2)

-- Jan 8, 1999
A committee consisting of William A. Rossiter, Lawrence Young and Andrew Brixen, representing the Brigham Young Trust Company, waited upon the First Presidency, regarding a proposition made by that company to sell to the Church forty-five feet of land, on which the President's Office now stands, at $250 a foot front. President Snow, as trustee-in-Trust, decided to buy this property, and give his note at six per cent, with the understanding that he was to have all the time the Church might need in which to pay for it. This was agreeable to the committee. The Brigham Young Trust Company had also proposed to sell to the Church the Lion House property, at $300 a foot front, (this property running back further than the other), and the committee now desired to know whether the Church would buy it or not. This question was taken under advisement, the answer to be given later. It was understood, in relation to this purchase, that the company would take the Church note at six per cent, giving the privilege of payment on or before five years from date; the interest to be paid on the 20th of April and the 20th of October, each year, to enable the company to meet its interest obligations. After the committee had retired, Presidents Snow and Cannon considered the proposition of purchasing the Lion House property (70 and one third feet) at $300 a foot, and four and a half feet (the space between the President's Office and the Lion House) at $250 a foot. They decided to make this purchase with a view to building a brick front upon the Lion House and making certain alterations prior to moving the business of the Presiding Bishop's office and the Historian's office into it, thus consolidating all the Church business in the two buildings. It was decided to make the first payment upon the Lion House property immediately after the last payment should be made upon the President's office property, namely, April 20th, 1903, and the other payments one, two, and three years thereafter. In a recent conversation with President Snow, Judge [George C.] Bartch had submitted a prepared statement which he thought should be published in the Deseret News over the President's signature. This statement, somewhat modified, was published today, in the following form: "From the reading of the various editorials and articles of the public press, it is evident that there is much misconstruction and misunderstanding as to the present attitude of our Church respecting the subjects of polygamy and unlawful cohabitation; and, believing that many good and conscientious people have been misled and much adverse criticism occasioned thereby, I feel it just to both 'Mormons' and non-'Mormons' to state that, in accordance with the manifesto of the late President Woodruff, dated September 24th, 1890, which was presented to and unanimously accepted by our General Conference on the 7th of October, 1890, the Church has positively abandoned the practice of polygamy, or the solemnization of plural marriages, in this and every other State; and that no member or officer thereof has any authority whatever to perform such plural marriages or enter into such relations. Nor does the Church advise or encourage unlawful cohabitation on the part of any of its members. "If, therefore, any member disobeys the law, either as to polygamy or unlawful cohabitation, he must bear his own burden, or in other words be answerable to the tribunals of the land for his own action pertaining thereto. With a sincere desire that the position of our Church as to polygamy and unlawful cohabitation may be better understood, and with best wishes for the welfare and happiness of all, this statement is made, and is respectfully commended to the careful consideration of the public generally. (Signed) Lorenzo Snow.["] (3)

1 - Van Wagoner, Richard and Walker, Steven C., A Book of Mormons, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies
2 - Jean Bickmore White (editor), Church, State, and Politics: The Diaries of John Henry Smith, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1990, http://bit.ly/johnhenrysmith
3 - Journal History

LDS History Chronology: Lorenzo Snow

Mormon History Timeline: the life of Lorenzo Snow


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