-- Thursday, Dec 14, 1899
[Apostle Rudger Clawson Diary] Salt Lake City. Clear and cold. 11 a.m. Meeting of the brethren at the temple. Present: the First Presidency, Apostles B. Young, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, Geo. Teasdale, H. J. Grant, Jno. W. Taylor, A. H. Lund, M. F. Cowley, R. Clawson, Geo. F. Gibbs, clerk.
A letter was read from the family of the late Franklin D. Richards, expressing thanks and appreciation for the sympathy and good words spoken at the funeral services. The letter was received by unanimous vote, and the clerk was instructed to enter it upon the minutes of the council meeting.
The brethren robed, Apostle Teasdale being mouth in prayer and Pres. Jos. F. Smith, mouth in the circle. After disrobing, the brethren sang "Zion stands with hills surrounded."
Stake conference appointments: Parowan, Apostle H. J. Grant; Davis, Pres. Jos. F. Smith and Geo. Teasdale; Malad, Apostles F. M. Lyman and R. Clawson; Beaver, Apostle J. H. Smith. Apostle J. H. Smith, being one of the committee, made remarks on the division of the Salt Lake Stake. Said there was some difference of opinion among the people as to the dividing lines first suggested, namely, 10th South and State St[reet]s. These lines, he said, would split up and divide a number of wards. President Snow said that it would be the duty of the committee to gather up all the information they could get respecting the matter and report to the council. President Cannon thought that wards ought not to be split up any more than possible.
The clerk stated that in the month of April, Brother R[ulon] S. Wells had by permission of the Presidency engaged in the life insurance business, having become manager for Utah of the New York Mutual Life Insurance Co. And now the question is asked if the council would approve of Elders J. G. Kimball and Jos. W. McMurrin acting as life insurance canvassers at times when not engaged in other duties. Pres. Snow doubted the policy, he said, of their acting as such canvassers.
Apostle H. J. Grant favored the organization of a home life insurance co. with the church to have the controlling interest, in view of the fact that some $500,000.00 is being sent out of the state annually for life insurance--and this money, he thought, should be kept at home. Apostle R. Clawson favored the views of Apostle Grant. Pres. Snow thought it a matter worthy of consideration. Pres. Cannon thought the idea good but was a little afraid that if the church took a hold of the matter, it would arouse the hatred of our enemies, and this view was shared by Pres. Jos. F. Smith. It was moved by Apostle Grant and seconded by Apostle R. Clawson that a committee be appointed by the President to investigate the matter and report to the council. Carried. The President appointed, as said committee, Jos. F. Smith, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, and A. H. Lund.
Apostle R. Clawson said there was a matter he desired to bring to the attention of the brethren, namely, that in many of the wards of Zion the records are found to be in a very imperfect condition, and in some wards there were practically no records kept at all. Had thought of a plan, he said, which if adopted by the presidents of stakes, would effect a decided improvement. The plan would be to have in every ward of the church sometime during the year a "record day," i.e., a day appointed (preferably the Sabbath day) when the presidency of the stake would visit the ward and spend the forenoon in inspecting the records--first, the records of the ward proper, then the records of each organization and of each quorum of the priesthood, a portion of the afternoon meeting being devoted to the subject of record keeping. It was moved by Apostle J. H. Smith and carried that Apostles F. M. Lyman and R. Clawson, and Andrew Jenson, be appointed and authorized to look into the propriety of
instituting some such plan in the church and report to the council. Benediction by R. Clawson.
8 p.m. Lydia and myself went down town and had an oyster supper, and on our way stopped in at some of the stores to inspect Christmas goods. (1)
-- Dec 14, 1899; Thursday
Salt Lake Temple, 11 A.M. Present: Lorenzo Snow, George Q. Cannon, Joseph F. Smith, Brigham Young [Jr.], Francis M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, George Teasdale, Heber J. Grant, John W. Taylor, Anthon H. Lund, Matthias F. Cowley, and Rudger Clawson.
Absent: Marriner W[ood]. Merrill and Abraham O[wen]. Woodruff, the latter visiting in Mexico and the southern country.
The following letter, addressed to the First Presidency and the Apostles, and signed by Jane S. Richards, F[ranklin]. S. Richards, C[harles]. C. Richards and Josephine Richards West, was read to the Council:
"Dear Brethren: The family of President Franklin D. Richards desire to thank you and express their grateful appreciation of all the aid and comfort which you have individually and collectively extended to them in their hour of deepest affliction. We are especially grateful for the earnest prayers and administrations that were offered up in father's behalf, and for the words of commendation, which were so generously spoken at his funeral. He appreciated most deeply the attentions of the brethren, and rejoiced greatly when one of you paid him a visit or sent a kindly greeting. Praying that the Lord may amply repay you for all your kindness to us, and that He will ever sustain you in your exalted positions, we subscribe ourselves, in behalf of the family, most gratefully yours."
On motion of Brother John Henry Smith, this communication was ordered spread upon the minutes of the Council. ...
Brothers J. G[olden]. Kimball and J[oseph]. W. McMurrin, of the First Council of Seventies, having been invited to go into business for the Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York, with
which concern their associate, Elder Rulon S. Wells, was already engaged under permission of the First Presidency, given last April, they now desired to know the mind of the Presidency upon their own case.
Brother Grant remarked that he could see no reason why they should not be left at liberty to enter into such an engagement. He also said that he felt there was an excellent opportunity to establish a Home Life Insurance Company among ourselves, and he heartily favored such an institution.
President Snow invited the brethren to express themselves on this subject, whereupon President Cannon said that he was against life insurance as a general proposition, but that he would favor a local organization. He could foresee, however, that if the Church were to engage in anything of that kind, it would invite attacks upon it by its opponents.
Brother Grant suggested that individual names might be used in behalf of the Church. He showed how money could be made in the business, stating that he himself had made as much as $1500 in three days. He would take delight in canvassing for a Church institution, free of charge. He showed that the risks among our people, who were more moral than others, would not be so great as those that other companies carried. Moreover, it would have the effect of keeping money at home.
Brother John W. Taylor reminded the Council that the only thing which induced our people to join secret organizations was to get the benefit of reduced rates of life insurance; and Brother Grant remarked that his brother, B[enjamin]. F. Grant, had told him that from personal experience he knew of nothing so potent as an influence to wean away the feelings and destroy the faith of our young men, as membership in these secret organizations.
President Snow observed that as this was a new idea to the Council, he thought each member might ponder it over for himself and discuss it further at some other time.
Meantime, it was asked, what should be done with the request of Brother Kimball and Brother McMurrin.
Brother Grant moved that a committee be appointed to consider the question of the Church going into the business of life insurance, and that these brethren wait for an answer until that committee had reported. The motion was seconded by Brother Clawson and carried. President Snow then named Joseph F. Smith, Francis H. Lyman, John Henry Smith, Heber J. Grant, and Anthon H. Lund as the committee. ...
President Edward Partridge, of Utah Stake, called and talked over the case of Bishop Harmer, who was sentenced today to the State prison for one year. He was authorized to reorganize Lakeview Ward. (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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