Prest Wells and Elders Lorenzo Snow and Franklin D Richards and Bishop Burton and Party started this morning on a trip to St. George, the President’s health not admitting of his making the journey. But they were summoned back by a dispatch from the President communicating to them the sad news that Prest. Geo. A Smith had died at 20 minutes to 9 o’clock this morning[.] They left their teams at Santaquin and returned that day. I received a message from the President (which was the first intimation that I had of Bro. Geo. A’s decease) requesting me to come up and write his obituary. I did so and
I it was published in the Deseret News this evening. By reference to it my feelings in relation to this sad event will be partly seen. Bro. George A. Smith was a man whom I loved and esteemed. Our intercourse had always been of the most pleasant character. Not a thing ever occurred in any shape to create the least feeling but those of the warmest friendship between us. He was a man greatly beloved by the people and his departure creates a void, which, naturally speaking, it would seem impossible to fill, but in this work of our Lo[r]d’s he fits and prepares men who lean upon him and seek his aid to discharge whatever responsibilities he may assign unto them. Elder Taylor and myself expected to have gone on a preaching tour to Cache Valley tomorrow morning, but this sad occurrence compels us to postpone that visit.
Thursday 2 Variously engaged.
Variously engaged. Part of the time preparing matter which I dictated to my Son J. Q and he took down in shorthand for the Juvenile Instructor.
The funeral of Bro. George A had been appointed for 10 o clock to-day in the New Tabernacle. All the proceedings of his funeral were directed strictly in accordance with his expressed wish written nearly 2 years before his demise. Every thing was plain yet neat. There was no hearse though there were more carriages than had probably ever followed any person to the grave yard in this city. At 8 o’clock the body was carried from his house to the front of the stand in the Tabernacle and the face was exposed to the gaze of the sorrowing thousands who thronged the Tabernacle from that hour until the hour appointed for the commencement of the services. The means taken for
their his preservation had been very complete and there was but little change in his appearance. In fact he looked quite natural. At 10 minutes past 10 Prest. Young directed the sexton to close the coffin and to lift it on the bearers that had been placed in the centre aisle to receive it. The mourners were seated upon the front seats on one side and the near friends, such as the families of the President and Twelve on the other side. Prest Young directed all the proceedings of the meeting. The choir sang suitable hymns in a most pathetic manner and Elder John Taylor offered prayer. Prest Young called upon me to read the 15 chapter of 1st Corinthians, Bro. George A. having expressed a wish that chapter or the vision in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants or a portion of the Book of Mormon be read at his funeral. I also read a portion of Alma’s remarks to his son Corianton, contained in the 19th chapter of his book and also afterwards read the vision from the book of Covenants. The Lord blessed me with his Spirit in reading and my voice kept up, though to make so large an audience will hear was a severe labor. There were probably fully 12,000 people present, the vast Tabernacle being crowded to its utmost capacity[,] hundreds of persons standing up. He then called upon Elder Hyde, Bishop Woolley and Elder Taylor to make remarks, which they briefly did and he followed in Some very consolatory remarks upon the character and services of his deceased friend and first counselor. After singing and prayer the body was followed to the graveyard[,] the first presidency, the twelve and thousands of people following in the procession[.] When we returned from the cemetery the afternoon meeting had commenced but no one had spoken. I was called upon to address the congregation, Brigham, Jr. followed in a few remarks. Then we repaired to our regular prayer and counsel meeting and by the time I got home I was more exhausted than I have been for many months, as I had eaten a very light breakfast and had nothing to eat through the day, and my labors had been unusually severe. I did not feel well during the evening.
Monday 6 Accompanied Prest Young and a number of other friends to the end of the track to do honor to Prest Wells and party, they having started again on their tour to the south. We returned at 5:40 in the evening
Tuesday 7 Started this morning on the train for Ogden in company with Brigham Jr and my brother Angus. There was an excursion train going to Cache Valley; we accompanied it as far as Mendon, where Uncle Taylor and wife Mary Ann (who joined us at Ogden[)], Angus and myself got off. Angus and myself were entertained by Bro Andrew Anderson. Brigham jr. went to Logan and returned with Bishop Preston to meeting in the evening. I spoke and Uncle Taylor afterwards. Had a tolerably good meeting, but not so free as if the people had not been so tired.
Drove over to Wellsville in Bishop Preston’s wagon. Held meeting there. I spoke first followed by
Elde Angus then by Elder Taylor. Had a very free time. I had a good flow of the spirit, and also afterwards at Hyrum, to which place we drove for meeting at 2. p.m. Elder Taylor spoke first and I followed. Angus drove over with Bro. Preston to Paradise. I stopped at Bro. Frank Allen’s; he was absent.
Bro. Brigham jr. having returned with his wife and Sister Amelia Young (who had come from Logan to meeting) to Logan, I rode over in his carriage with Hyrum Taylor, son of Uncle Taylor, who had joined the party there, and Uncle Taylor and his wife to Paradise. This is the first time that I ever visited this place in Cache Valley and I was very much pleased. with the appearance of what I saw. The crops are very good and the land is fertile. We drove to Bro. Jackson’s, who is acting bishop of the place, and from there went to meeting, being joined by Brigham Jr. who had travelled that morning from Logan. Our meeting was at 10 o’clock, but the people were not there punctually at the time. I was called upon to speak first, but so many kept coming in that I got disturbed and annoyed and did not say much. Uncle Taylor followed and then Brigham Jr. spoke and reprimanded the people for their lack of punctuality, that it was always the case when he came to Paradise, he had had occasion to speak of it before, the spirit of God was grieved by their conduct &c. He urged me to speak again and I did for a few minutes, but I did not feel well in this place. The people are divided, I learn, and there is great need of preaching. There is no place which I have visited for some time where, according to my feelings, there was a greater necessity for repentance. Angus and myself drove over in Brigham’s buggy and he drove Elder Taylor, wife and son to Logan. He invited us to stop at his house. At 5.30 we took train for Richmond, Bishop Preston accompanying us. Angus and myself were assigned by Bishop Merrill to Bro. Traveler who made us very comfortable.
Friday & Saturday – 10 & 11. We held meeting these two days at Richmond. The attendance was not very good, though it improved at our last two meetings. We were joined here by Bishops L. D. Young and Elder George Teasdale. We all spoke at these meetings, Elder Taylor and myself twice. I had considerable freedom in my remarks and more liberty the second day when the people got warmed up than at first. I visited Bro. A, C. Brower and took supper with him and his family. I also visited the Bishop and took dinner with him. On Saturday afternoon Bro. Preston had provided a special train to take us down to Logan. Bro. Angus, L. D. Young and George Teasdale stopped at Smithfield and held meeting there on the evening of Saturday[.] I went to Brigham Jr’s house, as invited by him and his wife Sister Lizzie Fenton Young.
Sunday and Monday 12 & 13. Attended Sunday School and meetings these two days. Our meetings were very good, we had good liberty and declared in great plainness unto the people the sins of which we as a people were guilty and of which we ought to repent. The power of God was manifest. There was a good attendance both days and especially on Sunday, many of the people coming by a special train from the other settlements. Bro Joseph Young Senior was up here on a visit and he spoke once to the people. There were evening meetings on Sunday in the ward School Houses. We attended one of these meetings and Bro’s Teasdale and Angus spoke. On Monday afternoon after the meeting Brigham Jr took me in his buggy to see the church hay which had been cut on his father’s land, also drove up to his father’s farm, where Bro Samuel Holt was. Uncle Taylor and Angus were also there. On the way he shot two prairie chickens.
See last page!
Examined a new house of Bro. Moses Thatcher’s. He has had his adobies painted with oil paint, and from my observation this is the best coating for adobies to preserve them I have yet seen. Called upon Father Thatcher, Sister Tarbet, Sister Watterson and Bro. Chas Cowley. These latter persons are from the Isle of Man, and were all well acquainted with my parents and grandparents. Sister Watterson remember my grandfather and grandmother Cannon very well as also my grandfather and grandmother Quayle. I regretted that I had not more time to talk with her about them. At 2 o’clock we started in a special car for Brigham City, where we had made an appointment to hold meeting on the morrow, at the request of Bro. S. Smith, who was at the meeting at Logan on Sunday. Angus stopped to have a day’s hunting with Brigham Jr, and Bro’s L. D. Young and Teasdale proceeded to Salt Lake City. At Brigham City we put up at Judge S. Smith’s, who treated us very kindly.
Held meetings at 10 & 2, the house being crowded. I spoke first at both meetings and Uncle Taylor followed. He did not feel very well, but spoke freely though not with his usual power. It is rarely that I have had a greater flow of the Spirit than I had at these meetings especially in the afternoon. While here we visited the various departments of manufacture which have been started here on the cooperative principle. I had a conversation with Judge Smith respecting their method of doing business. I learn that most of the stock is owned by Bro Lorenzo Snow, Judge S. Smith, Bishop Nichols and Bro. Hunsacker and their families. The people do not enter into this system which they should. He tells me in reply to my enquiries that their stock increases more rapidly than the stock of the others. Will not this, after a while excite jealousy? Will not the people, if this system be continued as at present get the idea after a while that they are laboring to enrich capitalists? After the meeting this afternoon we repaired to the train on which I found Bishop Sheets and Angus. Uncle Taylor and wife stopped at Ogden, the rest of us proceeded to the city.
Called upon the President. Found him recovering from an attack of rheumatism which he had during my absence. Spent the day and dined with him.
Spent the day again with the Prest. Uncle Taylor was also there. He took us out riding around the city, invited us to dine with him and afterwards took us riding again, then brought us to his house where we sat down to a table, although unable to eat anything, at a surprise party, got up by his family for his son Willard, who intends to leave on Monday to go to the post assigned him as second lieutenant in the engineer corps. He is going to Willett’s Point, long Island. The party was a very enjoyable one. Our conversation to-day has been principally upon the resurrection, Elder Taylor having, at President Young’s request written an article upon the subject, exposing the fallacies of an article written by Sister E. R. Snow on the same subject and published in the Woman’s Exponent.