-- Jul 6, 1899; Thursday
Salt Lake Temple, 11 a.m. The First Presidency and the Apostles met in regular council. Present: Lorenzo Snow, George Q. Cannon, Joseph F. Smith, Franklin D. Richards, Francis M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, George Teasdale, Heber J. Grant, Anthon H. Lund, Matthias F. Cowley, Abraham O[wen]. Woodruff and Rudger Clawson.
Absent: Brigham Young [Jr.], John W. Taylor and Marriner W[ood]. Merrill. It was stated that Brother Brigham Young had gone to New York to meet his brother, John W. Young, and that he expected to visit our southern country before returning home. ...
A letter was read from Brother H. J. Faust, suggesting that the Church take steps to secure lands in the Deep Creek mining region, with a view to our people colonizing there. He thought the Church should secure the farms now owned by non-Mormons in that vicinity, and this, with what the Church already owns there, would give our people the control. He believed that Deep Creek was destined to become a great mining camp, and now was the time to take steps to control the country. At the suggestion of President Smith, Brother Faust's letter was referred to Brother F[rancis]. M. Lyman.
Commenting upon the subject matter of this letter, President Snow stated that the Church was not doing anything, in a systematic manner, toward the colonization of our people. He referred to the "spurt" recently made to settle some of the Saints in Canada, and, expressing his individual views, declared that he would not encourage a single person to go into that country, over and above the number required to fulfill the canal contract, as he could not see any particular object to be gained by it. He referred to the policy of President [Brigham] Young, who called men to settle here and there and accomplish such work as they were peculiarly fitted for; there being men who, if not kept doing something, were liable to go in other directions. President Snow, continuing, showed the needs of the Church for a man who could take hold of the colonizing idea, and he expressed the view that Brother John Henry Smith was a suitable person for such a work, as he appeared to be full of the spirit of it. He was inclined to think that if Brother Smith were given this mission, with authority to call to his aid such men as he might deem proper, this want could be filled for the present.
Brother A[braham]. O[wen]. Woodruff referred to the opening of the Uintah reservation, which would doubtless take place in the near future, and suggested that some organization be effected to render necessary aid to such of our people as might go into that country. He also asked an expression from the council in regard to the Saints who had gone into the Big Horn Basin, and who now numbered some four hundred souls, and referred to the fact that their going there without counsel had elicited some criticism from one of the authorities.
President Snow remarked that they might be excused for having done so, seeing that the Church had no person or organization to advise or direct in such movements.
Brother John Henry Smith, suggested in a jocular way, that Brother Woodruff be authorized to grant those people absolution, and Brother Richards amended this by suggesting that Brother Woodruff be authorized also to give them a Ward organization. A vote was taken making this the sense of the meeting, and on motion of John Henry Smith, Brother Woodruff was also authorized to organize a Ward in Luzerne Valley.
Brother Woodruff remarked that there were two wards in Uintah [Utah] Stake which needed Bishops, and on motion he was authorized to fill those vacancies.
Brother Lyman observed that our people were purchasing extensively the State lands now in the market, and that he was advising them to do it. He thought as they became more interested in the lands they would be less inclined to leave Utah and roam around. He favored the settlement of the country and the calling of people to make colonies under proper direction. He looked hopefully to the future on account of the opportunities everywhere presented to occupy the land. Dry farming was practiced successfully, and was becoming better and better. The Lord was overruling things in a remarkable manner, and in a few years, he believed, we would be relieved from our present debt, and be better prepared for new burdens.
President Snow's face brightened, as he here remarked that he felt especially happy and thankful for what had been accomplished in the way of getting rid of the Church guarantee, as had been explained by President Cannon, and he was rather astonished to learn that the Banigan heirs had consented to its relinquishment on the terms agreed upon.
President Cannon, in response to a desire expressed by some of the brethren, then made quite a lengthy report of the matter touched upon, showing how the deal was accomplished and giving the results, as recorded in yesterday's journal. After President Cannon had finished, Brother Grant moved that the council be very happy, which brought forth smiles from everybody.
President Cannon expressed himself as desirous of having his report approved, and Brother Grant felt that we should not only approve the report, but express our gratitude to the Lord for the marvelous overruling. All the brethren united in Brother Grant's sentiment and seconded his suggestion, and a motion covering the subject was carried unanimously.
Notice was given by President Richards that next Tuesday would be the next quarterly meeting of the Apostles, and President Snow was thus reminded of his intention to invite the Patriarch and the Seven Presidents of Seventies to be present on that occasion. He explained that the Seventies had never sat at the sacrament table with the Apostles, and it would be very gratifying to have them do so. It was the sense of the Council that the invitation be extended to them. ...
At 3 p.m. Brother Mathoni W. Pratt met with the First Presidency and submitted a written description of lands in the Teton country, the paper being signed by the Presidency of Fremont [Idaho] Stake, who had sent Brother Pratt to procure, if possible, the approval of the First Presidency to this document, which was designed for publication and circulation among the Saints with a view to inducing them to settle in that country. It appears that large tracts of land there are held by individuals desirous of selling the same, and the Stake Presidency also wished this land disposed of to settlers, hence their connection with it. The railroad people were offering to publish and distribute the
description of the lands, they also being interested in having people settle there.
The First Presidency withheld their approval to the signing of this document by the Presidency of Fremont Stake, as it gave color to the imputation that they were indirectly influencing people to go into the Teton country and there purchase lands at advanced prices, thus playing into the hands of speculators. Nothing else was done about the matter. (1)
-- Jul 7, 1899; Friday
Presidents Lorenzo Snow and Joseph F. Smith were at the office, and the former had a call from Brother Martin Lindsay, lately discharged from the Historian's Office by the committee appointed some time ago to reduce salaries. Brother Lindsay, who is a cripple, had written to the First Presidency, asking for an allowance of twenty dollars a month to enable him to study law. President Snow promised to consider his case.
Brother Mathoni W. Pratt called and presented to President Snow a phase of the Teton land business which he failed to present yesterday. The President told Brother Pratt that the scheme, on its face, indicated that the Stake Presidency were personally interested in the disposition of the lands which Brother Pratt had for sale, and for that reason he did not like to see their names attached to the proposed circular. (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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