-- Apr 7, 1999
At general priesthood meeting, Lorenzo Snow presents "a book containing 10,000 names of non-Tithe payers," including that of Apostle John, W. Taylor. (1)
-- Sunday, Apr 8, 1999
[Apostle John Henry Smith Diary] Salt Lake City
Conference convened at 10 a.m.
Rudger Clawson spoke on tithing. Joseph F. Smith followed on the same subject.
All of the Presidency and Apostles met at the President's office and agreed that Reed Smoot should fill the vacancy in the Council of the Apostles. He was invited in and told by Prest. Lorenzo Snow what had been decided upon. He said he had never dreamed of it nor had any feeling that he was fit for the place, but if the brethren felt he would do he would do his best. After Instructions by Presidents Lorenzo Snow, Geo. Q. Cannon, Joseph F. Smith and Francis M. Lyman and myself our meeting dosed.
2 p.m. Conference.
All of the General Authoraties were sustained, Reed Smoot among the number. He spoke. (2)
-- Apr 8, 1999
[Apostle Marriner W. Merrill Diary] Sunday. Salt Lake City. I attended Conference at 10 a. m. and 2 p. m. At noon the Twelve went to the President's office and President Snow presented the name of Reed Smoot to fill the vacancy in the Twelve caused by the death of Franklin D. Richards. The name was unanimously approved by the Quorum of Apostles. (3)
-- Sunday, Apr 8, 1999
[Apostle Rudger Clawson Diary] Salt Lake City. Snowing hard; heavy rain and snow during night. 12:30 noon. Meeting at the President's office. The First Presidency and Twelve were all present.
Pres. Snow referred to the vacancy occasioned by the death of the late Franklin D. Richards and said, we have decided on the man to fill it and hope the selection will suit you. The name of the man, he said, was Reed Smoot. We feel that he is the man the Lord wants. The nomination was seconded and approved by unanimous vote. Elder Reed Smoot was then called in from an adjoining room and was informed by Pres. Snow what had been decided upon and was invited to express himself regarding the matter. Pres. Snow said further, however, that in calling a man to be an apostle, we take into consideration the man whom the Lord wants, and who will give his heart to the work. We want a man who will be strong in the Lord and will so live that he can have the Spirit of the Lord to give him understanding and judgment in deciding matters of importance that may arise from time to time. We believe that you are such a man.
Elder Reed Smoot said he was willing to do anything the Lord required of him, but, nevertheless, he felt his unfitness for the appointment and was very weak. Pres. Snow explained how Moses was called of God to lead Israel. He felt his weakness, but God made him strong. Elder Smoot said he did not know how much help he would be to the quorum, as heretofore he had been engaged more particularly in financial matters. Pres. Snow said in reply, that he did not know either, but felt the Lord could qualify him for the labor.
Pres. Cannon remarked that, if he accepted the calling of an apostle, he would in a measure have to change his course of life, to which Elder Smoot assented, saying that he fully realized in accepting the apostleship, he would have to make it the first consideration.
Pres. Jos. F. Smith explained and dwelt upon the greatness of the apostleship and called attention to the importance of an apostle having the testimony of Jesus that he might thus become a special witness of his name in the world. An apostle should live above reproach, being strictly honest, faithful, and sincere. An apostle should be a man who will faithfully and completely sustain the authorities of the priesthood and the organizations of the church. We have a right to entertain and express our views and feelings, but we are not justified in standing out against the united decisions of the priesthood. While we may have our opinions, we must yield and obey the authority of God upon the earth.
Pres. Cannon said that in case Brother Reed Smoot is ordained an apostle, it is his privilege to see the Lord Jesus, if he so desires and shall live for it, that he may indeed become a special witness of Jesus. This privilege belongs to the apostleship. Warned him against entering into any cabal or association outside of the quorum. We should enter into the quorum or council meetings free from any previous considerations or understandings.
Apostle J. H. Smith asked Elder Smoot if he accepted Lorenzo Snow as the leader of the church and as having the right to counsel him in all things. He answered, yes, but further remarked that he was of a positive nature and when he saw and felt a thing to be right, it was hard for him to change and see it differently.
Pres. J. F. Smith remarked that the Presidency and Apostles were all constituted that way, but sometimes it became necessary to change our views. Pres. Snow said a condition like this has prevailed, namely, that there are men in the church who have stood out against the combined judgment of the First Presidency, the Twelve, the First Council of Seventies, the Patriarch, and the Presiding Bishopric. This, he said, was damnable and has in some measure grown out of the spirit of the devil in politics.
Apostle Lyman spoke briefly and said he felt that the Lord had brought Brother Smoot to his present position. His financial experience would be of benefit to the church.
Apostle Brigham Young questioned him in relation to the principle of tithing, and Elder Smoot said he was willing to be judged by his tithing record. Apostle Young further said to Brother Smoot, "Nothing must interfere with your duty as an apostle. You must be willing, humble, and obedient as a child. This was the charge given to me. I felt that everything that pertained to my power of life was subject to this calling."
Pres. Snow said, we will present you to the conference, and the church will accept you, of course. Anybody that can pass beyond the scrutiny of the Twelve, can pass into any place in the church. In conclusion Elder Smoot said that he would doubtless make many mistakes, but he hoped the brethren would be free to correct him. (4)
1 - On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com
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 - Notes from the Miscellaneous Record Book, 1886-1906: Selected diary notes from the journal books of Marriner Wood Merrill, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies
4 - 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
LDS History Chronology: Lorenzo Snow
Mormon History Timeline: the life of Lorenzo Snow
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