-- Thursday, Mar 8, 1999
[Apostle Rudger Clawson Diary] Salt Lake City. Clear and mild. 11 a.m. Meeting of the brethren in the temple. Present: the Presidency, Apostles F. M. Lyman, Geo. Teasdale, H. J. Grant, A. O. Woodruff, R. Clawson, and G. F. Gibbs, clerk. Song. President Snow was mouth in prayer, and A. O. Woodruff was mouth in the circle. Stake conference appointments: Salt Lake Stake, 1st Presidency; Morgan, R. Clawson and A. O. Woodruff; St. George, F. M. Lyman.
Apostle Grant and myself reported our visit to Arizona and Mexico. In order that the brethren might have a clear understanding of the situation, I read from my journal. Brother Grant and myself both strongly recommended that some assistance be rendered to the people of St. Johns. After some discussion it was unanimously decided that one half of the tithing paid in that stake for the year 1900--approximately $4500.00--be appropriated to assist them. Benediction by F. M. Lyman. (1)
-- Mar 8, 1900; Thursday
At 11 o'clock the First Presidency and the Apostles met in the Temple in their regular council meeting. There were present: Presidents [Lorenzo] Snow, [George Q.] Cannon and [Joseph F.] Smith, Elders Francis M. Lyman, George Teasdale, Heber J. Grant, Rudger Clawson and Abraham O[wen]. Woodruff. Elder Brigham Young [Jr.] was in the southern settlements, John Henry Smith and Anthon H. Lund at Kaysville [Utah] attending the Layton family reunion, and Matthias F. Cowley in the Southwestern States mission. ...
... It was stated that Elder Seymour B. Young would be present at the St. George [Utah] Conference and President Snow stated that he desired that one of the brethren of the Apostles also go to that conference. The southern country had been afflicted with drouth, so much so that not only have they raised no crops, but their cattle have died for the lack of drinking water. Brother Lyman signified his willingness to go. The President then told Brother Lyman to tell the people not to waver in their faith, but to pray fervently to the Lord for the necessary moisture, and he believed that the Lord would hear their prayers inasmuch as they strictly adhered to the law of tithing.
Elder Heber J. Grant reported the visit of himself and Elder Rudger Clawson to Arizona and Mexico. Brother Clawson had made some notes, and Brother Grant asked him to read them and add such remarks as he might feel led to make, and he would then say what he had to say.
Brother Clawson reported as follows: President [David K.] Udall of the St. Johns [Arizona/New Mexico] Stake at the late conference stated that the people were living there--in Arizona--because they were called to settle there by the authorities of the Church. The country, while having an appearance that was inviting, was nevertheless deceptive. He spoke of the faithfulness of the people, first, in coming from better places to this land, and second, in serving the Lord. The lands in St. Johns ward and in many other parts of the stake are not at present adapted to agriculture for the reason that the water supply was scarce and much of it is charged with mineral. There have been many trying seasons from drouth. In 1887 the population of the stake was 1444, in 1892 it was 1,277, and in January 1900, it was 1,525. The people had expended on reservoirs and canals some $65,000, and for the academy building practically completed some $12,000. The Saints there had suffered some persecution by their enemies, and are poor in worldly possessions. Notwithstanding all this the people have been wonderfully blessed, and while in years past they received a little help from the Church, the Bishops last year asked for not one cent of assistance for the poor. Saleratus is
breaking out on the land, and the government is taking possession of the mountain lands, called "Forest Reserves," thus shutting out our sheep and cattle from their grazing grounds. Tithing paid in 1897 was $6,295. in 1898; $7,268; in 1899, $8,664. The average per capita in 1897 was $26.92, in 1898; $28.95, in 1899; $20.60. The average is small in 1899 because of the greater number of tithe-payers, namely in 1897, there were 244 tithe-payers, in 1898, 241, and in 1899, 420. There were no bonded indebtedness, and not a dollar of indebtedness on the academy building, and no homes mortgaged.
A general Priesthood meeting was called to consider the letter of instructions from the First Presidency and Apostles and Brother Grant made remarks on the subject. At this meeting the brethren of the Priesthood were given the opportunity to express themselves ...
President David K. Udall said it was his feeling that this land should be retained by the Latter-day Saints. He felt that if the Saints would keep the commandments of the Lord, deliverance would come. Advised the people to keep out of debt. The Saints of the Ramah ward had been released to move away if they desired, but they had not gone.
Brother Clawson now added that this report would perhaps give a better idea of the conditions than anything he might have to say as to how the people felt. Their children had grown up in that country and many of them had married, and perhaps this had helped to create the inclination to remain, but notwithstanding this some had moved away. A belief existed there that if the land was drained it would take away the alkali. They had extended $65,000. for canals, and were building another one now.
Elder Grant now said he went there with the feeling that the people ought to abandon the place, but after talking with them and hearing them express themselves, his whole soul revolted against giving up that country, and his mind was perfectly clear that it should be retained. President [Wilford] Woodruff established that place, and Erastus Snow had labored among the people there a great deal, and notwithstanding the struggle which the people necessarily had to put forth in order to live he predicted in the days of their poverty and hardship, that they should overcome, and that a great work should be done among the Indians through the people settling there. The speaker was also reminded that Elders Brigham Young and Francis M. Lyman were not permitted to come to the dedication of the Logan Temple as President Taylor had sent them into that country about the time of the dedication. These brethren were sent there for the purpose of encouraging the settlers, and they fasted and prayed with them, and they asked God to take away out of their midst the wicked men that were riding over them and threatening them and persecuting and injuring them and the Lord heard their prayers. These wicked men commenced fighting among themselves, and they even killed one another and the settlers were left unmolested. The homes of the Saints there now were worth at least $200,000. and if they were to move they could not get one eighth of their value. The speaker referred to a
prophecy while there by Brother [Karl G.] Maeser to the effect that their academy would yet be completed, although there it stands just covered in to save it from the elements, a monument, one would judge, of failure, and Brother Grant could not help but believe that this prediction would be fulfilled. Elder Grant felt and suggested that the Church appropriate the tithing of the place to be used wisely under the direction of whomsoever the Presidency might see fit for the benefit of the place. $3,000. was appropriated some years ago to help the min the construction of their reservoir, they drew and expended $2,500. for this purpose. Then a feeling of discouragement came over the place in consequence of people talking about moving, and work was stopped and the balance of the $5,000. appropriated was not drawn. If the Church extended help to the amount of $1,500. or $2,000. the academy could be completed, and if the balance of the $5,000. appropriated were now drawn the people are in a mood to put in their time both on the academy and reservoir, and the building of the reservoir will undoubtedly have the effect of solving the problem of reclaiming the land, as the waters of the reservoir would dilute the salt water in the land. He felt that if this were done, and it even failed to produce the desired result, that wisdom would be given to the brethren what to do further. He never had witnessed greater faith than that manifested by the brethren and the people in that country and had never experienced a greater outpouring of the Spirit of the Lord than when in their assemblies. When President Udall was giving his report, and referred to the struggles of the people to settle that country, every eye was wet, and the scene was truly an extraordinary one, when he conveyed the idea that it looked as though the fates were against them and they would have to abandon the country. The speaker said that Brother Clawson, Maeser and J. Golden Kimball, all of whom were present, felt that there was nothing more worthy of church support than the people of that place; they had actually found men there who had farmed their land but failed to raise a crop for fifteen years. He recommended that the $2,500. already appropriated, be allowed them, and that another $1,500. be appropriated to help finish the Academy. The speaker said that time and time again the question was put to him if they were released and given permission to abandon the place, and they were told that they were. However, they were too poor to move away. Brother Grant also recommended that the tithing, or a part of it, paid in the Stakes, be appropriated from year to year for the benefit of the Stake, and that it be used under the direction of such committee whom the Council might see fit to appoint.
President Snow said that the people down there should be urged to pay their honest tithing, so that the blessings of the Lord may follow obedience to that law; and then we will give them at least one half of the tithing, if not more.
Brother Grant then moved that the St. Johns Stake have appropriated on their Academy and reservoir one half of the tithing paid for the year 1900; and President Snow added that they have it right along. The motion was seconded and unanimously
Before the brethren departed from the building Brother Grant reported the personal affairs of President Udall. His place was sold under the mortgage, but can be redeemed now for $10,000. He ave the names of ten of the most prominent men who were willing to give their personal obligations, in sums amounting to $10,000., besides giving a mortgage on Brother Udall's place for the $10,000., provided the same amount could be raised by borrowing to redeem the place. It was generally conceded that this was a good safe loan for our bank to make, and the matter is to be brought to the attention of the directors.
Mr. Dickey, of the Western Union Telegraph Company, accompanied by Mr. Brooks, called and met the Presidency in regard to the purchase of the Deseret Line. This purchase had virtually been made through Brother William B. Dougall before those gentlemen called. The chief object of their call now was to exchange greetings, Mr. Dickey being an old acquaintance. Before leaving the office Mr. Dickey stated that the Western Union Company proposed to retain, for the present, the Deseret Telegraph Company's organization, and asked President Snow as a favor to retain the presidency of the company. President Snow thanked Mr. Dickey for the confidence thus reposed in him, but was inclined to excuse himself on the ground that he had so many things requiring his attention. Mr. Dickey assured him that it would not be expected of him to give the business the least concern in the world, as it was simply the good will of the Deseret Line that is wanted. President Snow said he would take the matter under advisement. (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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