-- Aug 8, 1900
First of two plural marriages in Mexico that second counselor Joseph F. Smith secretly authorizes without knowledge of President Lorenzo Snow, who prohibits polygamous ordinances. Counselor Smith instructs senior Seventy's president Seymour B. Young to perform the polygamous marriages. (1)
-- Thursday, Aug 9, 1900
[Apostle John Henry Smith Diary] Salt Lake City
The following named brethren met in the Apostle room in the Temple at 11 a.m.: Prest. Lorenzo Snow, Geo. Q. Cannon, Apostles Francis M.
Lyman, Myself, Geo. Teasdale, Heber J. Grant, John W. Taylor, Anthon H. Lund, Abraham O. Woodruff, Rudger Clawson & Reed Smoot & Geo. F. Gibbs, secretary.
A letter from Prest. Jos. F. Smith in Mexico was read. He had [to] disband Cluff expedition.
A. H. Lund and I am to make an effort to adjust a water trouble in Emery Co. (2)
-- Aug 9, 1900; Thursday
At 11 o'clock the Presidency and the Apostles met in council meeting in the Salt Lake Temple. There were present President 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, Abraham O[wen]. Woodruff, Rudger Clawson and Reed Smoot, of the Twelve. ...
A letter from President Joseph F. Smith was read. It was dated Juarez [Mexico] 2nd, and conveyed the information that it had been decided to allow Brother Benjamin Cluff to select six or seven of his best men to accompany him, and the others were to be
honorably released from the expedition with the privilege of going into the mission field or returning home. President Smith, in closing his letter says: "Bro[ther]. Cluff could not give up his cherished scheme of exploring the south, although I told him we thought it would be well for him to do so."
Elder Heber J. Grant drew the attention of the Council to the foregoing portion of President Smith's letter, saying that he felt that Brother Cluff should have respected the mind of the man sent specially to reflect the mind of the Presidency to him, but instead of doing that he persists in carrying out his own wishes. Brother Grant felt there was something wrong in Brother Cluff, and if he were allowed to go on he would bring discredit on the Church, saying nothing about what painful results may happen to his party.
Elder Cluff's marital relations were now freely discussed. It seemed that some time ago, but long since the issuance of the Manifesto, he, although already a married man, won the affections of one of his students,10 and diplomatically endeavored in a quiet way to convey the idea that he had married her, and this he did in hopes of having the marriage ceremony performed secretly in the future. At least this is the supposition. This matter was brought to the attention of President Snow in the presence of Brother Cluff, when it was held by Professor Cluff that there was nothing wrong whatever in the relations between himself and the young lady, but he expressed the desire that the marriage ceremony could be performed. It was stated that this young lady was with him in Mexico, and that much of the complaints on the part of the company had risen because of Brother Cluff's absence with her, and it was suspected and rumored down there that he intended to take her with him. President Snow now asked President Cannon what he thought of the situation. President Cannon answered that he thought the situation a serious one and that if he had known what he had heard today, before Brother Cluff left he certainly would have opposed his expedition. If what was said could be verified he felt that the expedition should not be permitted to continue, and suggested to President Snow that if his mind were not clear regarding the matter that he take it under advisement and act according to the promptings of the Spirit to him.
President Snow then said that from what he had heard, he felt that he should feel perfectly safe in sending word to President Smith that it was the mind of the Twelve--and it was certainly his mind--that the expedition return.
President Cannon interposed saying that he was certainly ready to vote on it now, and that he did not know President Snow's mind was clear on the question; that all he wanted was President Snow's expression, as he did not think it was for him or any other member of the council to influence the President in his conclusion.
Brother John Henry Smith then moved that President Joseph F. Smith be telegraphed to that it was the mind of this council that Brother Cluff and his party disband and return. Seconded by Elders Lyman and Grant.
President Cannon suggested that there be added to this motion an expression to the effect that they should return, unless there were reasons to the contrary unknown to the council.
Brother Grant then suggested that if this be put in the telegram that Brother Cluff and those who may accompany them be given to understand that if they proceed they must assume all responsibility. The motion as amended was carried.
President Cannon now brought the following matter before the council: A short time ago he and a few of the Apostles, including Elder Reed Smoot, met with Bishop [William B.] Preston in relation to the disbursement of the ten percent allowed by the Church to the Bishops for handling tithing. The Presidency of the Utah Stake had met with great difficulty in raising means for the purpose of paying the janitor for their stake house, paying the choir conductor and meeting other stake expenses; and they conceived the idea that sufficient to meet the stake expenses might consistently come out of this ten percent, and they, in connection with the High Council and all divide it in such manner as to fully satisfy the bishops and all concerned and leave a margin for this purpose; but it seems that Bishop Preston objected to this being done. Brother Smoot on this occasion showed that to distribute this means among the Bishops equally would be an extremely unfair and improper thing to do, and he gave reasons therefor; for instance in one of the wards in Provo [Utah], a Bishop would have made some $1,400. last year for simply writing a few cash tithing receipts. This was in one of the wards where large cash tithe payers lived.
President Cannon explained that President George C. Parkinson came to the office the day before yesterday on the same question. The High Council of his stake had appointed this means in the same way that the High Council of Utah Stake had done, and the apportionment was agreeable to the bishops of the Oneida [Idaho] Stake, but Bishop Preston had entered an objection to it.
No formal action was taken on this question but President Snow agreed with President Cannon that where a High Council meet and make an appointment perfectly agreeable to the Bishops and all concerned living in the stake, inasmuch as the apportionment did not exceed the ten per cent limit allowed by the Church, it was a matter that should not concern the presiding Bishopric. ...
10Florence M. Reynolds, daughter of George Reynolds.
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 - 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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