-- Thursday, Oct 4, 1900
[Apostle Rudger Clawson Diary] Salt Lake City. Clear and mild. 10 a.m. Continuation of the quarterly conference of the Twelve, Apostle B. Young presiding. Full quorum present. Song, "Amid Scenes of Confusion." Prayer by Apostle Reed Smoot. Song, "Be It My Only Wisdom Here."
Apostle A. O. Woodruff said that he rejoiced in the union of the Twelve. Spoke of the joy he had experienced in his recent visit to the south with Apostle F. M. Lyman. Also spoke of his labors in the Big Horn country. The people there are poor but, in view of the early completion of the canal, are very hopeful. He desired to be one with the brethren.
I made brief remarks and said that I rejoiced in the testimonies of the brethren. Also said that if I understood myself, I was in perfect harmony with the brethren of the Twelve and the First Presidency and held myself ready to accept from them correction and reproof when needful. Called attention to a great evil existing in the church, namely, the failure of the acting teachers generally to magnify their callings. This matter, I thought, should have our attention.
Apostle Reed Smoot followed. He reported his labors in regard to tithe paying in the stakes allotted to him and other principles of the gospel, which he is endeavoring to lay before the saints. Said he had rejoiced much in the work. Spoke interestingly upon the subject of church schools.
At 11 a.m. Pres. Snow came in, as also did Pres. Cannon a few minutes later. A letter from the presidency of the Snowflake Stake was read by the clerk. They alluded to the subject of round dancing and said that for a period of about 20 years this mode of dancing had not been permitted in the stake over which they presided--and this by common consent; but now the young people in part were asking for round dances. The brethren were, therefore, appealed to for counsel in the matter.
Some discussion followed the reading of the letter and it was shown to be a difficult matter to control round dancing in the church. The rule permitting two round dances at a party was not enforced, but generally every other dance was a round dance. It was shown that if the young people were denied this privilege or even very greatly restricted, they would go beyond control and would patronize objectionable dance halls. It was also further shown that the evil of round dances, as existing formerly, was at least in part done away. The position taken in the dance was such as almost to entirely prevent "hugging." Some objections to the square dance were mentioned, such as "spinning" on the corners, which was thought to be equally as bad, if not worse than round dancing. It seemed to be the sentiment of the brethren that it would probably be best to allow round dancing without any very serious restrictions as to number in order to keep the young people under the influence and control
of the church. Apostle J. H. Smith was authorized to talk with the presidency of the Snowflake Stake at the coming conference respecting this matter and suggest to them that it would be well to gratify the young people of their stake.
I read and submitted to the brethren a detailed report of the seizure of the church property by the government. (For report see sheets [at 29 May 1900].) Pres. Cannon said that he felt I was entitled to the thanks and appreciation of the church for having furnished the information contained in said report, which he thought was very necessary and valuable, and moved that it be approved and entered upon the journal of the First Presidency. Carried by unanimous vote.
The tables were spread and the sacrament administered, Apostle B. Young being mouth in blessing the bread and wine. While at the table Pres. Snow made brief remarks. He spoke of the union of the brethren and said we witness today that which has seldom been seen in the world, namely, the perfect union of 15 men--the First Presidency and Twelve. He was sure, he said, that the Lord was pleased with our union, and in this union the brethren are in advance of the Twelve who were with the Savior. There were heartburnings and divisions among them.
Pres. Snow expressed a desire that at our next meeting (namely, sacrament meeting) the First Seven Presidents of Seventies, the Presiding Bishopric, and Patriarch of the Church be invited in to meet with us. If this union of the authorities (referring to the First Presidency, the Twelve, the Presidents of Seventies, the Presiding Bishopric, and Patriarch) continues, what shall we not be able to accomplish? With the union we have attained to we are not going to remain idle. There will be something for us to do. The Lord will not let us remain idle. Something will arise requiring extra faith, extra exertion. Something is coming by and by that will require an extra effort on our part.
[President Snow:] We talk about Jackson County; why, I know a brother who is today holding in reserve a thousand dollars to assist in redeeming Jackson County. That spirit is among the people. I believe the Lord will open the way by cyclones and storms for the redemption of Jackson County. These things are coming. There is an immense work to be done and the brethren of the Twelve will have a hand in it, but as to myself I do not know. Brethren, said he, we are united--we stand together, as also the Seven Presidents of Seventies, the Presiding Bishopric, and Patriarch, and we say to the Lord, "What do you want of us? We are ready to do Thy will"--and we shall have honor and glory in doing it. We are getting a good influence among honorable men of the earth. We are not going to be idle--the Lord has not sent us here and conferred upon us the authority of the priesthood to be idle. I feel to rejoice in the good fellowship and feeling that is here. My heart is with you. Anything I can do
in order to assist you I am perfectly willing to do.
Pres. Snow said he would like to hear some of the brethren express themselves. Pres. G. Q. Cannon responded. He expressed pleasure in witnessing the union of the Twelve. Spoke of foreign missionary work. The gospel, said he, will have to be sent to all nations. There are countries where the sound thereof has never been heard. It is the duty of the Twelve to send forth the word. It is not so needful to preach in those countries where the elders have been laboring for years as to preach in those countries that have not been visited. Referred to the number of the Twelve--some eight--laboring in the M.I.A. cause. However laudable this may be, said he, it would be better in his opinion for the Twelve to be engaged with the quorums of the priesthood in carrying and sending the gospel to the nations of the earth.
Pres. Snow further said: what President Cannon has said is true. I endorse every word of it, but I want to say a few words in regard to the condition of affairs when I was called to the presidency of the church, which will explain in part the necessity for the presence of the Twelve at home. The financial situation of the church was deplorable. I remember as I was leaving to attend the first general conference held after I was sustained as president--or rather the general conference at which I was sustained--Brother [James] Jack came to me and said that a certain man, whom the church was owing, wanted $10,000 immediately and the balance due him shortly after. The church actually could not pay it. This was the first intimation I had of the real condition of affairs. I found that the church was obligated for about $4,000,000--$2,500,000 of direct indebtedness and $1,500,000 of guaranteed indebtedness. Frank J. Cannon was sent East to borrow $1,500,000 pledging the church property as
security, and he couldn't get it. Had the people we were owing at that time come against us, this church would have been bankrupt. Such was really the case. To relieve the situation it was decided to bond the church for $500,000 and later for another $500,000--making a million dollars in all. The bonds found ready sale at home, and we had money to meet our pressing obligations.
[President Snow:] The question now arose as to how we were going to pay off the church indebtedness. During my trip to St. George last year, the Lord manifested to me that it was to be done through the tithing of the people. This message was carried to the saints by the First Presidency and Twelve, and with splendid results. The tithing paid in 1898 amounted to about $800,000, and in 1899, $1,138,000. We have paid off many obligations; we are paying $3000 less per month in interest than we were in 1898. We are not borrowing money and do not need to. The brethren of the Twelve have assisted us in bringing about this condition. Through the blessing of the Lord, the guaranteed indebtedness of $1,500,000 has been removed from the church, which is miracu-lous in our eyes. What Pres. Cannon has said in relation to carrying the gospel to the nations is true, and I know of nothing to stand in the way of it. "I am with you, brethren, heart and soul." Christ will come before long,
but before that event he will come to some of us individually to ascertain how things are going.
Apostle Brigham Young made brief remarks and said that the brethren of the Twelve were in perfect accord with one another and in harmony with the First Presidency, and were ready and willing at a moment's notice to go anywhere on earth. They held themselves subject to the direction of the Presidency. President Cannon said that he thought the Twelve had accomplished a great and glorious work in stirring up the people on the question of tithing.
At the suggestion of Apostle M. F. Cowley and upon motion of R. Clawson, the states of Missouri and Louisiana were attached to the Southwestern States Mission, and upon motion of Apostle Cowley Nebraska was attached to the Colorado Mission.
Elder Uriah G. Miller was sustained as bishop of Murray Ward, and Elder Peter J. Saunders as bishop of Grant Ward. This action was taken upon motion of Apostle H. J. Grant.
At this juncture in the meeting the First Presidency retired (President Jos. F. Smith having come in a few minutes before). The minutes were read and approved and adjournment was taken until January 8th, 1901. Benediction by R. Clawson.
5 p.m. Accompanied by Lydia and the children, I visited the fair and spent a couple of hours there very pleasantly. (1)
-- Oct 4, 1900; Thursday
At 11 o'clock the Presidency and Apostles met in the Temple in council meeting. There were present Lorenzo Snow of the Presidency; Brigham Young [Jr.], Francis M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, George Teasdale, Heber J. Grant, John W. Taylor, M[arriner]. W[ood]. Merrill, Anthon H. Lund, Matthias F. Cowley, Rudger Clawson, Reed Smoot and also Abraham O[wen]. Woodruff. Presidents [George Q.] Cannon and [Joseph F.] Smith were at the court house where they had been subpoenaed as witnesses in a case in which John Beck is a principal. ...
Elder Rudger Clawson presented a report showing the amounts and kinds of Church property seized by the Government, the disbursements in the shape of expenses, and losses in handling properties, also amounts returned to the Church. These figures were compiled by Brother Clawson from the accounts of the Trustee-in-Trust and president Cannon who had just arrived suggested that they be filed away in the President's office as they were of great importance. The motion carried and the report is on file as indicated.
The sacrament was now partaken of, all of the brethren were present excepting President Smith. While at the table President Snow made brief remarks. He spoke of the union of the brethren and said that they witnessed today that which had seldom been seen in the world, namely, the perfect union of 15 men--the First Presidency and the Apostles. It was true that the Lord was pleased with our union and in this union the brethren were in advance of the Twelve with the Savior at the supper. There were heartburnings and divisions among them. President Snow stated that from what he knew the brethren were men he could stand by and support, and if this condition of unity continue, what can we not do? he asked. And what could they not ask the Lord to do for them in righteousness. He did not know what was coming in the near future but that God had revealed certain things which had not yet been fulfilled, and he felt, in fact knew that the Lord would not allow us to remain idle after accomplishing the union which now existed, but what would be required he was not prepared to say. It might be some thing involving great sacrifices or great exertion, resolution and effort. Something had to be accomplished before the Lord will come to see us. The speaker referred to the late visit to this city of the Hedrickite brethren and the way they had been influence to come here and this spirit was operating upon some brethren at home. One, in fact, had told him he had a thousand dollars for the purpose of purchasing land in Jackson county, M[iss]o[uri]. He believed the Lord would open the way in a most miraculous manner so that we shall be able to operate in that land. It was revealed to Joseph that the generation then living should not all pass away before the Temple should be built there. There is an immense work to be done, and many of you brethren will have a hand in it, but for myself, I don?t know about it. Inasmuch as we are untied, we can say to the Lord, What do you
want us to do? No matter what it might coast us or what sacrifice might be, what ever was required of us we could do. "I say again," said he, "We are not going to be idle; the Lord has conferred upon us the highest Priesthood upon the earth and will not let us stand idle. We will have something to do requiring great faith and the manifestation of the power of God to accomplish it. I am sure of this. Amen."
President Snow asked President Cannon to address the brethren as he might be led. President Cannon said that we had great cause for gratitude to the Lord of the union which existed among us, and he had listened with much interest to the remarks made by President Snow. There was one thing near his heart which had occupied his mind a great deal of late and that was the opening of the foreign missions. When he thought of the lands unvisited and the great work yet to be done by way of preaching the Gospel before the coming of the Lord, it opened up to his view a mighty field which meant work and perhaps much sacrifice; but he felt that every one present should be able to feel that he had done his full duty by way of preaching the Gospel to peoples who had been praying for the Gospel, and he believed there were many peoples in the same condition and that it was the duty of the twelve to see to it that the Gospel of the Kingdom is preached to all nations, and if he were a member of that quorum he would not rest without breaking through the routine labor now being done and penetrate new lands. When it was remembered that there were millions of people who without a knowledge of the Gospel the responsibility resting upon us became all the more marked. The speaker related his experience in the Sandwich Islands. The missionaries first sent there were sent to preach to the white people of those islands, but it was discovered that there were but few of them, and he felt impressed to preach to the native people and did so. President Cannon said he felt that the Apostles who were connected with the M.I.A. (and other auxiliary) organizations should break away and broaden their field of labor. The oriental nations were in ignorance concerning the gospel also in eastern Europe. Although his physical condition was not as good as it had been and therefore he felt embarrassed somewhat in speaking in this way, however if called he would willingly go forth to open up some of these fields. These feelings had been strongly working in him for a long time, and he hoped that no exceptions would be taken to what he had said.
President Snow endorsed every word of what had been said. Elder John Henry Smith suggested that some of our young men be set to work studying the languages of the countries which it might be determined to send the Gospel to. Brother John W. Taylor remarked that he was on hand to go anywhere or do anything he might be called upon to do. President Snow stated it would be proper to set, say, Brother Taylor and perhaps two or three other brethren to studying the languages of the country to which we might send them. ...
Brother Grant moved that Elder John W. Taylor be released as president of the Colorado Mission as soon as a suitable man could
be selected to succeed him; and that the State of Nebraska be added to and included in the Colorado Mission. Brother Taylor not having been in Colorado for some time some of the brethren in talking it over had thought it wise to place some one in charge who could be on the ground as the Elders laboring there were now handicapped in having to communicate with Brother Taylor on questions requiring immediate attention. It was thought best for the present to make no change but the latter part of the motion was carried. President Smith who had been a witness at the court house now came in too late to partake of the sacrament. Elder Brigham Young made brief remarks. He said it was very evident to him that there was something before us of an unlooked for character, and when President Snow mentioned this, the spirit in him bore witness of it. The feeling of his fellow Apostles was that they hold themselves in readiness to go or come at the bidding of the Presidency. Every member of that quorum had stated while they had been together in their own meeting that they were in perfect harmony with the First Presidency, and if the Presidency say, "Go abroad to the Nations of the earth,["] there was not a man of the quorum but what was ready to go at an hour's notice. The speaker testified that he never witnessed a better or more united feeling with the Presidency and each of the Apostle than he witnessed now, and he repeated that the Apostles stood ready to go anywhere, but they could not go without receiving the word from the Presidency. Elder Woodruff stated that he as one of the younger members of the quorum was doing work which certainly might be done by others, and if the Presidency felt like changing his labors, he would like them to know that he was at their command. ... (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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