-- Aug 13, 1900; Monday
Presidents [Lorenzo] Snow and
[George Q.] Cannon were at the office. Brother A[lexander]. F. McDonald brought to the office this morning, for the perusal of the President, a letter which he had received from a brother living in the Garcia Ward, Mexico, asking Brother McDonald to perform a plural marriage ceremony in his behalf. The letter was left and Brother McDonald called again in the afternoon to learn President Snow's decision in the matter. President Snow then declared that no such sealings could be performed in Mexico any quicker than in the United States, with his consent, for such marriages had been forbidden.
Brother Rudger Clawson had a talk with Presidents Snow and Cannon on the subject of non-tithe-paying. He had learned that the Davis [Utah] Stake contained a great number of non-tithe payers among whom were some High Priests and Seventies; some of these, he had learned, did not believe in the law of tithing at all and the question had arisen what should be done with them. President Cannon suggested that the proper thing to do was for the quorums to which these men belonged take up the subject of non-tithe-paying and make it a matter of fellowship, that is, that non-tithe-payers belonging to quorums of the Priesthood who declare their unbelief in this law or who refused to pay tithing, should have fellowship withdrawn from them. This would leave them in a suspended state and would relieve the Bishopric and High Council from dealing directly with them, and giving any of them a chance to rail against any unfavorable action that might be taken against them in the regular church courts. Of course, they should be first labored with.
The sum of $10. was appropriated by President Snow as a donation to the Orphans' home. For some time the Church had been donating $5. a month regularly to that institution. (1)
-- Aug 16, 1900; Thursday
In the forenoon Presidents [Lorenzo] Snow and [George Q.] Cannon were at the office. Governor [DeForest] Richards of Wyoming and family called with some friends and made a social call on the President at the Beehive House.
At 11 o'clock the Presidency and Twelve met in their regular council meeting in the Temple. There were present: Presidents
Lorenzo Snow and George Q. Cannon of the Presidency; Francis M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, George Teasdale, Heber J. Grant, John W. Taylor, Anthon H. Lund, A[braham]. O[wen]. Woodruff, Rudger Clawson and Reed Smoot. ...
President Snow requested President Cannon to state to the brethren the suggestion which he recently made as to a method of dealing with members of the Church who disbelieved in the law of tithing or refused to pay their tithing.
President Cannon said that instead of requiring the bishopric of the wards to deal with such cases, he thought it would be well for the presidency of each quorum of the priesthood to deal with their own members, that is, take up a labor with them and if found to be obstinate cases that the fellowship of the quorum might be withdrawn from them. This would leave them in a suspended condition without the action of a bishop's court. And this rule he thought might be carried so far as to withdraw fellowship from men who never attend their quorum meetings, and he believed there were many such. This action would disarm men who had really apostatized in their feelings, and as far as the spirit of the work was concerned, have severed themselves from the fellowship of the saints, and would afford them no opportunity to rail against the presiding authorities of the Church. After the quorum had taken such action against individuals, if they did not repent in due season their cases might be taken up on their fellowship, and they be severed from the Church if they showed no signs of repentance.
Continuing this subject President Cannon said that men ought to be held to some responsibility as to their belief; if they were members of our Church holding the priesthood who did not believe in the Gospel, they were unworthy of the Priesthood. If a man, even in these days were to proclaim his unbelief in the doctrine of plural marriage, he would not be worthy of the Priesthood. In fact, no man could worthily bear the Priesthood, and exercise the functions who rejected any of the principles of the Gospel. The speaker added that Brother B. H. Roberts, who had recently attended the Cassia [Idaho] Stake conference, had reported that some brethren in that region were being accused by their Teachers of living in adultery with their plural wives. He said that he told Brother Roberts that it should be made clear to such teachers that when the Manifesto was issued we did not pledge ourselves to abandon our plural wives, nor even cease to perform plural marriages outside of the Government; and when our people get the idea that we have bound ourselves to the whole world they manifest ignorance. A man may go to some countries and not violate their laws by taking a plural wife and living in plural marriage. Turkey, for instance; that is, if the man holding the keys authorizes him to do so he would have a right to do this. It was wrong for the idea to go abroad among our people that we had abandoned the doctrine of plural marriage as a tenet of our faith, simply because the practice of marrying plural wives is forbidden.
Brother Clawson moved that President Cannon's suggestions regarding non-tithe-payers be adopted.
Elder John Henry Smith expressed the hope that action on this
question would not be taken as it would be delegating, he thought, too much power to presidents of quorums, many of whom had more zeal than wisdom.
President Snow remarked that if he knew anything at all he knew there were thousands of dead branches which should be pruned for the benefit of the church. While no action was taken this was the general sentiment of the council. ...
At two o'clock Presidents Snow and Cannon met Mr. C. F. King, who is the general manager of the Great Western Newspaper League, who is now visiting with the League, [in] the city. It was thought that this interview would not last longer than half an hour and that the Presidency would be free at 2:30 to receive the Rev[erend]. Paden and associates with whom an appointment had been made at that hour. The object of the visit of Mr. Paden and associates was in references to closing the bar at Saltair. When that hour arrived it was found that Mr. King had only fairly commenced on his interview, and the secretary explained the situation to the Rev[erend]. Paden asking him if he could wait. That gentleman suggested that the appointment be postponed until tomorrow at the same hour for his accommodation as he was alone and he thought by tomorrow one or more of the committee of which he was chairman would be able to accompany him. The appointment was therefore postponed, and Mr. King spent most of the afternoon in conversation with the Presidency, chiefly on the founding, growth and development of Utah with a view to writing on the same. (1)
1 - 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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