-- Apr 12, 1900
The Presidency were at the office in the forenoon until shortly before 11 a.m. Elder David H. Cannon of St. George [Utah] Temple, had a talk with the Presidency in relation to temple ordinances, and proper subjects for them. At 11 o'clock the Presidency and Apostles met in Council meeting in the Temple. There were present: President Lorenzo Snow and counselors: Brigham Young [Jr.], Francis M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, George Teasdale, Heber J. Grant, John W. Taylor, Anthon H. Lund, Rudger Clawson and Reed Smoot. ... The subject of secret societies was discussed. Several letters had been received by the brethren asking if connection with secret societies was a bar to the temples, and the secretary had been requested to hunt up all that had been said or written on this subject and report. This he had done and submitted the same, which consisted of extracts from the President's Office journal, from letters that had been written by the brethren. After these articles and letters had been read, President Snow remarked that brethren who had joined secret organizations should not be denied the Temple, if otherwise worthy; but they should be advised to gradually withdraw from them. Several of the brethren made remarks in relation to secret orders, and deprecating such things, and counseling against the young men joining secret orders. President Smith moved that the Bishops be advised to counsel their ward members against joining secret orders and if they did so after being warned they might be excluded from the Temples, and that such men should not be put in presiding positions in the wards or Stakes of Zion. Although no vote was taken the motion became the sense of the counsel. Elder Brigham Young briefly reported that the Apostles had counseled together, just before the Presidency arrived at the Temple, in relation to the non-tithe payers, and had decided that they would take up a labor in the Stakes to see what could be done to get all to pay tithes. This met with the approval of the Presidency. ... Before the brethren left the room President Smith stated that the Apostles occasionally visited a ward where a reorganization was necessary, and in such cases, he thought they would be justified in organizing such wards after a careful consultation with the Presidencies of the Stakes and High Councils, but they should not attempt to upset things without having been sent by the Presidency. This met with the approval of the brethren. Thursday [April 12, 1900] went up to the city, and was blessed by President [George Q.] Cannon and [Joseph F.] Smith. Had a talk with President [Lorenzo] Snow. During our conversation he told me that our trip had now become a Church mission. This pleased me very much. He also said that if any of the boys did not conduct themselves properly they were to be sent home. (1)
-- Apr 12, 1999
After a discussion with the First Presidency and Twelve in which it is suggested that Mormons not be discouraged from joining Freemasonry, President Lorenzo Snow, the last surviving general authority who was also a Mason (Franklin Richards had died the previous year), authorizes a statement that church leaders were "opposed to secret societies," which makes no exception for Freemasonry. (2)
1 - Journal History; Benjamin Cluff Jr., Diary, April 15, 1999
2 - On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com
LDS History Chronology: Lorenzo Snow
Mormon History Timeline: the life of Lorenzo Snow
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