-- Friday, Dec 29, 1899
[Apostle Rudger Clawson Diary] Salt Lake City. Clear and cold. I spent the forenoon at the President's office.
3 p.m. Meeting of the brethren at the President's office. Present: First Presidency, Apostles F. M. Lyman, B. Young, Jr., J. H. Smith, Geo. Teasdale, H. J. Grant, A. H. Lund, M. F. Cowley, A. O. Woodruff, R. Clawson, Presiding Bishopric, C. W. Penrose, Bp. H[iram] B. Clawson, and G. F. Gibbs, clerk.
The object of the meeting was to discuss the present situation--especially with reference to the effort that will be made to pass a constitutional amendment, prohibiting the practice of polygamy in the United States. Should such amendment be passed, the government would then be in a position to persecute and harass the Latter-day Saints as formerly.
It was thought that something might be done to placate our enemies of the Republican party. Although the Deseret News has been conducted as an independent paper up to the present time, the Republicans--many of them--claim it is democratic in its tendencies. Therefore, some of the brethren thought it would be good policy to relieve the present editor--C. W. Penrose--and put in a Republican for the time being. Others opposed the change. Although I had no opportunity to speak, I felt opposed to any change. It was also suggested that the leading authorities of the church be counseled to refrain from engaging in active politics. One of the brethren thought a general fast would be effectual in accomplishing much good.
President Snow said that he was not disturbed in his feelings over the present situation, but felt perfectly calm. Thought we should do what we could in wisdom to forestall threatened evils. Read from the revelation on tithing, showing that the land of Zion could only be sanctified for the saints in keeping the commandments and statutes of the Lord by the observance of that law. The saints were now doing better than heretofore. One third more tithing has been paid during the past 5 months than during the same period last year. If the saints continue in a more faithful observance of this duty, the Lord will not permit our enemies to bring evil upon us--only so far as it will accomplish His purposes. And if a constitutional amendment were passed, it would only be in the providence of the Lord. In view of the fact that the News is enjoying a season of unexampled prosperity under the editorial management of C. W. Penrose and business management of H[orace] G. Whitney, he was opposed to
any change in that paper. Meeting adjourned until 2 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday. (1)
-- Dec 29, 1899; Friday
Presidents Lorenzo Snow, George Q. Cannon and Joseph F. Smith were at the office.
Brother Richard M. Robinson, of Grantsville [Utah], called, having just returned from a mission to Florida. He exhibited a gold coin, a little larger though a little thinner than our ten cent silver coin, and containing well marked characters. He stated that this coin had been found by Brother I. N. Carlton of Casey Settlement, Camden County, Georgia, while plowing in his field at that place. It was situated on the St. Mary River, which divides Georgia from Florida. The coin was plowed up last spring, and was given to Brother Robinson in the latter part of August. He now presented it to President Snow, as head of the Church, hoping that it might be found useful in helping to establish the authenticity of the Book of Mormon, or for some other sacred purpose.
The sum of $1500 was appropriated in favor of the Sevier [Utah] Stake Tabernacle.
At 2 P.M. Brother [Milton D.] Hammond and Brother [Charles O.] Card called upon the Presidency. Brother Hammond went over the same ground covered in his previous talks. He added that the engineer of the Canal Company had not made full estimates, and
that the company had paid according to the estimates made. He suspected that this was sharp practice, and took it for granted that the engineer had adopted this plan to hide the company's inability to entirely meet its present obligations, owing to a shortness of funds. (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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