-- Jul 5, 1900
President [Lorenzo] Snow was feeling much better today, he took a ride yesterday and again today, but is still confined to his room most of the time. At 11 o'clock the brethren met in the Temple. There were present of the First Presidency, Presidents George Q. Cannon and Joseph F. Smith, of the Apostles, Brigham Young [Jr.], Francis M. Lyman, John W. Taylor, Anthon H. Lund, Matthias F. Cowley, Rudger Clawson and Reed Smoot. ... A long communication was read from President Ben E. Rich of the Southern States mission, in answer to a communication of the First Presidency to him of the 22 ult. The writer rendered a financial account of the mission and explained to the satisfactory of the Council the questions asked him by the Presidency. Some time was spent in discussing the advisability of continuing the policy of the Southern States mission furnishing its elders suits of clothes, and making it a requirement that they purchase them, and thus having its elders dressed uniformly. Brother Young felt that the business policy of the Southern States mission was founded on a false basis, for the reason that it was nothing more or less than a credit system, and must eventually bankrupt itself. He said he could not suggest a remedy for it except to cut the credit system down and do business on a cash basis. He did not favor uniformity in dress of our missionaries; and he feared that the commissary department produced this effect, that missionaries would learn to trust in it instead of the Lord. Brother Cowley made quite a lengthy talk giving his experience in the Southern States. He was inclined to the belief that if the commissary department were dispensed with it would cost the elders less for their support than at present. President Cannon felt that something ought to be done in all of our missions to, if possible, lessen the expense of keeping missionaries, as the strain had become so great on their friends at home that many were already feeling the burden that was upon them. Brother John W. Taylor remarked that he had by way of experiment, instructed the elders in the Colorado mission to work about a month during the busy season of each year and thereby earn something to pay their own expenses; and he had instructed them not to send home for means for their support. This was of doing had made for themselves friends, and got them school houses to preach in. He felt that if the elders would work during the day and preach at night they would do better. Brother Young added, "And escape persecution." Brother Lyman now remarked that as persecution generally was aroused during the summer season, it would no doubt be a good thing for our elders to work among the people, as suggested by Brother Taylor. Brother Woodruff related his experience in this line in Germany. Brother Clawson saw no objection to the commissary department of the Southern States mission inasmuch as it supplied good, respectable clothing for the price which missionaries would have to pay for an inferior suit, but in order to do a safe business it should be run as nearly as possible on a cash basis. Brother Smoot made quite lengthy remarks in the same line, holding that inasmuch as this commissary department could furnish respectable and fashionable suits for $15., it was an accommodation to the missionaries, and besides, it was a source of revenue to the mission, as the mission made a profit on the goods. The speaker referred to the custom in England, which was the same as the continental missions, that the first thing elders did was to get a suit of broadcloth and a stovepipe hat, when they arrived in the mission. He believed that all missionaries should be well dressed, and especially if he could get a good suit of clothing for the same price as an ordinary business suit. He felt, however, that the business should be run in a cash basis. President Cannon questioned the wisdom of dressing the Elders uniformly. He said he had no objection to the commissary system of the mission, but felt that if the people would not receive the truth from an elder plainly dressed, they were not worthy of the truth. He thought the matter should be presented to President Snow and requested the brethren to acquaint themselves with the conditions in the Southern States mission in the meantime. It was the sense of the Council that the missionaries should become self sustaining as nearly as possible. ... Twelve met at 10 a.m. in Temple discussed mission matters. Pres[iden]ts [George Q.] Cannon & [Joseph F.] Smith came. no conference. I prayed Pres[ident] Cannon M[outh]. Discussed southern Mission. I not satisfied with Bro[ther] Ben Rich's expl[a]nation in relation to business and finances. Pres[ident]. Cannon feels strong on Subject. I agree with him. It was conceeded that missions were to extravagant and vote was unanimous that elders become selfsustaining near as possible. All the missions should be thoroughly overhauled in the conduct of their business. I am of the opinion that the credit system in Southern states Mission Commisary is altogether wrong as well as some other things. Prince Albert coats is a requisite for every missionary in southern states mission. Too well dressed; singled out for persecution; known everywhere by their dress. Besides our elders are easily persuaded to purchase the "uniform" which is beyond them. they are so well dressed that the people do not open their hearts to give inferior clothes. It was general feeling that elders get work for a short time and earn means instead of burdening their relatives and friends with their calls for money to support them in their missionary fields. (1)
-- Wednesday, Jul 11, 1900
[Apostle John Henry Smith Diary] Salt Lake City
At 9:30 a.m. all of the apostles but Heber J. Grant and John W. Taylor met in council. On motion of Brigham Young it was agreed to recommend to Prest. Lorenzo Snow to allow J. H. Ward $50.00 per month to help him on his paper.
2 p.m. Rudger Clawson and Reed Smoot spoke. Marriner W. Merrill related a dream of Bro. Samuel Roskelly about a large Nephite guarding the entrance to the Logan Temple when a body of U.S. Marshalls were talking of entering there during the Crusade.
Abraham O. Woodruff related a story told by his father of the Prophet Joseph Smith taking a flint arrow spike out of the back bone of a large skeleton found by Zion's Camp on their trip. (2)
1 - Journal History; Brigham Young Jr., Diary
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
LDS History Chronology: Lorenzo Snow
Mormon History Timeline: the life of Lorenzo Snow
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