-- Thursday, May 10, 1999
[Apostle Rudger Clawson Diary] Salt Lake City. Clear and mild. 11 a.m. Meeting of the brethren at the temple. Present: Presidents L. Snow, G. Q. Cannon, and J. F. Smith, and Apostles B. Young, F. M. Lyman, Geo. Teasdale, H. J. Grant, A. H. Lund, R. Clawson, Reed Smoot, G. F. Gibbs, clerk.
The clerk read a letter from Platte D. Lyman in which he stated that he had received a letter from the president [Arnold H. Schulthess] of the German Mission, saying the elders were having trouble in Hamburg, being persecuted by the authorities, who had made an effort to get possession of church records. They, however, failed as the records had been removed to Berlin. Baptisms in Germany were double this year so far what they were last year. He desired permission, he said, to print a cheap edition of the Book of Mormon in England, which could be done, he claimed, for 6 cts. a piece. To the brethren this seemed incredible and it was decided to write for a sample of the class of work the printers would do.
The question of the reorganization of the presidency of the Cassia Stake was submitted by Pres. Snow` Apostle Cowley suggested Elder Wm. T. Jack, late president of the S. W. States Mission, for president and spoke highly of his capabilities for said position. He then moved that Elder Jack be the choice of the council; seconded by Pres. G. Q. Cannon. Remarks were called for. Apostle J. H. Smith said there were a number of capable men in the stake who would make good presidents, and named Bp. [William T.] Harper, a son [Hector C. Haight] of the late Horton D. Haight, and others.
Apostle Lyman stated that there was an important matter he wished to lay before the brethren, but as some of the brethren wished to be excused from the meeting, an adjournment was taken until 2 p.m. Benediction by Apostle J. H. Smith.
After the meeting some informal talk was indulged in and it was agreed among the brethren that Elder W. T. Jack with Jno. L. Smith and Bp. Harper would make a strong presidency for the Cassia Stake.
2 p.m. Adjourned [reconvened] meeting. The same brethren were in attendance. The motion to sustain Elder Wm. T. Jack as president of the Cassia Stake was put and carried by unanimous vote. Apostle Lyman, as a member of the committee on church publications, submitted a sample of the size of book and the style of type for the History of the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Church, to be edited by Elder B. H. Roberts. Adopted by unanimous vote.
The question as to whether the church, as a church, should contribute to the fund that is being raised for the relief of the sufferers of the great mine explosion at Scofield (and which fund now amounts to about $89,000) was discussed. There was quite a diversity of opinion. Some of the brethren took the ground that, as many Mormon business organizations as well as members of the church had and were contributing, and also inasmuch as the church would be expected to support the widows and orphans the church ought not, therefore, to contribute. Others took the view that on account of the extent and greatness of the calamity, and the large number of our people who were killed (it was estimated that one third of the total number of victims--namely, about 224--were Mormons) and the readiness with which all classes in and out of the church were contributing, the church ought therefore [to] make a donation. Some of the brethren suggested $5000. Those who were in favor of making a
contribution were Apostles F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, H. J. Grant, A. H. Lund, Reed Smoot, and myself. Those who opposed were Presidents Cannon and J. F. Smith, and Apostles Geo. Teasdale, B. Young, and M. F. Cowley. It was finally decided to refer the matter to President Snow for decision and action. President Snow remarked that he would split the difference and fix the contribution at $2500, which was assented to by the brethren. Meeting adjourned. (1)
-- May 10, 1900; Thursday
At 11 o'clock the brethren met in council meeting at the Temple. There were present: Presidents [Lorenzo] Snow, [George Q.] Cannon and [Joseph F.] Smith; Elders Brigham Young [Jr.], Francis M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, George Teasdale, Heber J. Grant, Anthon H. Lund, Matthias F. Cowley, Rudger Clawson and Reed Smoot. ...
... The Hymn "Come Holy Ghost Our Hearts Inspire," was sung.
President Cannon called attention to the impropriety of such a hymn being in our hymn book; the point he made was, the Holy Ghost being invoked, which is purely sectarian doctrine. This led to the subject before referred to in the meeting some time since, of a committee that was appointed to revise the Hymn Book taking upon themselves the authority to change some of the wording which, in the estimation of some of the members of the Council, amounted to nothing more than mutilations.
When the brethren reassembled a letter from Platte D. Lyman was read dated at Liverpool [England], 25th ult. Setting forth that President Schulthess, of the German mission, had been called upon by the police authorities at Hamburg, requiring him to appear with a statement from his office books showing what business he was doing. As to do this would render him liable to fine and perhaps imprisonment, he sent word that his engagements rendered it impossible for him to meet the requirement, and asked for five days' grace. This word reached him when he was in a distant part of the mission, and the answer was written from the same place. After sending this answer and request he hastened to Hamburg, and after counseling with the brethren as to the situation, he concluded the only safe way to pursue was to remove the books out of the way for a time, leaving Brother Hyde to attend to his labors in the publication of the "Stern." He then sent word to the police that he had discontinued business in Hamburg and had moved away. Baptisms in Germany so far this year, are double the number in the same time last year. Brother Lyman also states that the people were anxious to again be permitted to emigrate under the direction of the Church authority.
The following conference appointments were made: Brothers Clawson and Smoot to Wasatch [Utah]; Brothers Lyman and Cowley to
Cassia [Idaho]. It was understood that the presidency of the Cassia Stake would be reorganized at this conference, and Brother Cowley now recommended that Elder William T. Jack who had just returned home from presiding over the Southwestern States mission, be selected for that position. He spoke of Brother Jack as an exceedingly efficient missionary and mission president, and thought he would make a good Stake president. As he now had no home in Salt Lake City, and had commenced to look around for a place of settlement and had thought of Mexico and also Arizona. After some further talk during which President Cannon elicited certain information in regard to Brother Jack being willing to accept such a call, his ability to support himself and family in this proposed field of labor, and the willingness on the part of the people to receive and accept him, Brother Cowley moved that Brother Jack be sustained as the President of the Cassia Stake of Zion, President Cannon seconding the motion.
Elder John Henry Smith, while he could recommend Brother Jack thought that there [were] good strong capable young men already in Cassia stake who would perhaps make good presidents.
Brother Lyman questioned the wisdom of sending a man like Brother Jack to preside over an agricultural people with no means of support. ...
At 2 p.m. the Council reconvened and the motion of Brother Cowley was now considered. It having been suggested that with two such men as Bishop Harper and Bishop John L. Smith as counselors to Brother Jack, an acceptable presidency could be organized. Brother Lyman now said that with such an arrangement as this he thought he could see that Brother Jack would be all right. The motion was then carried unanimously.
Brother Lyman now presented the business of publishing the history of the Church. Himself and Brothers Anthon H. Lund and George Reynolds were some time before appointed as a committee to whom might be referred from time to time anything which might be submitted to the Presidency by individuals for their approval before publishing the same, also anything which the Church might desire to publish. Among other things was referred to this committee the action of the Presidency some time since to publish the history of the Church; and Brother Lyman now stated that the committee had conferred with Elder B. H. Roberts in regard to his engaging in this work, it having been understood by the committee that he would be acceptable to the Council to edit this proposed work.
President Cannon inquired if Brother Roberts was to do the entire work, or was he to be engaged to get out the first volume, it having been estimated that at least ten volumes would comprise the whole of the work up to date. The answer was in the affirmative, unless it should appear that someone else hereafter would be more acceptable.
President Snow also remarked that the idea was that it would be well to employ Brother Roberts to get out, say, the first volume, and then he might continue his labors unless there should be some reason for a change.
The question now arose as to what the history of the Church should consist of, whether it should be written, taking as a basis the history of the Prophet Joseph [Smith] and what has been compiled since, or whether the history of Joseph the Prophet should be re-edited, and what has been compiled since should be regarded what is now referred to as the history of the Church; if so, President Cannon was of the opinion that the history of the Church would be a very crude and unsatisfactory affair. (work)
President Snow said it was clear to his mind that something ought to be done in this direction, and for that reason he put this committee to work, and he thought too that the history of the Prophet Joseph should be published just as he wrote with the exception of grammatical errors; however there may be some things that it would not be wisdom to publish in his history, but now was the time to determine the character of the proposed work. He expected that when this committee reported that Presidents Cannon and Smith and the Apostles would be prepared to make their suggestions in regard to it.
President Smith remarked that there was evidently great need for a compiled history of the Church, and such a compilation would always be at hand as a basis for a history which might be written by some fairly competent man hereafter.
President Cannon expressed his entire approval of this, also of President Snow's idea about reproducing the history of the Prophet Joseph Smith in a revised form, and with that understanding Brother Robert's duties in this regard would be only to edit the publishing of the proposed work in different volumes, and this could be done in a comparatively short time.
Elder John Henry Smith asked if this committee was to be regarded as responsible to whom Brother Roberts could look for instruction from time to time?
President Snow answered that he thought that would be proper with the understanding of course, that the committee confer with the First Presidency on important matters or matters on which they might be in doubt.
President Cannon further remarked that the Church was without a historian at the present time, and to give any man the work of writing the entire history of the Church, he did not think would be a proper thing to do. He added there was a great quantity of material in this office without which the history of the Church could not be complete, and of which the historian knew nothing at all about. He referred to his own correspondence while in congress, giving a history of the bills introduced and the legislation had on matters pertaining to Utah; there was also important correspondence which should be collected and written while the First Presidency were in exile and there was the correspondence relating to the [James] Buchanan War, also Brother [William H.] Hooper's correspondence, all of which were important from an historical point of view.
Elder Francis M. Lyman now submitted some books, showing the style of type and size recommended by the committee, which was passed upon. And on motion of Elder Anthon H. Lund, Brother
Brigham H. Roberts was appointed to edit the proposed history of the Church, commencing with the history of the Prophet Joseph Smith, under the supervision of the committee and First Presidency.
Elder John Henry Smith now brought to the attention of the Council the fact that the Church had not subscribed to the fund being raised on behalf of the Scofield [Utah] sufferers, and inquired if anything was to be done in that direction.
This subject was considered at length, each one present expressing his views upon it. Elder Heber J. Grant said it was his opinion that the Church ought to give $5,000, while some of the brethren felt that the Church should not be expected to donate for the reason that the widows and children will in time come on to the Church for support. Seeing that the Council was divided on the question, and as the matter had been left to President Snow to act as he might feel he stated that he favored making a contribution of $2,500, which seemed to satisfy everybody of the Council.
Brother Cowley, who left the meeting to inform Brother Jack of its action, now returned, and reported that Brother Jack was greatly surprised but willing to accept the call to preside over Cassia Stake of Zion and try to do the best he could to magnify his calling. He is to accompany Brothers Lyman and Cowley who start for Oakley tonight. (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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