Tuesday, May1/88. Attended to public correspondence &c.
Wednesday, May 2/88. A delivery wagon belonging to the Tithing Office was brought for us this morning and we concealed ourselves in it and were carried to the office.
Considerable business was attended to to-day, principally connected with property matters.
Bro. A. F. Macdonald was present at our Council. He said that he had had conversation with Bro. F. M. Lyman concerning his feelings, and in consequence of what he had said to him he felt considerably mollified; but there were some things of which Bro. Lyman had spoken that he felt should be brought before the Quorum. He related incidents which had occurred between himself and Bro. Lyman concerning the Word of Wisdom, and he thought that Bro. Lyman had treated him with undue severity, and that he not only felt sore, but those who were in the company all felt hurt by his severe remarks. He also said that Bro. Lyman’s influence was injured among the people by the extreme views which he expressed concerning the Word of Wisdom, and that he had endeavored to exercise unrighteous dominion. He felt that in his own case his being removed from being President of the Maricopa Stake was principally due to Bro. Lyman, who had threatened him on one occasion that he would not vote for him for that position, because of his drinking wine in a storm they were in in Mexico.
Bro. Macdonald spoke in a very good spirit, and Bro. Lyman replied, also in a good, kind spirit. Bro. Macdonald was assured by us all that nothing of this kind had been said to influence the Council in their action in appointing another man to preside over the Maricopa Stake. I told him that the action of the First Presidency in this matter had been based, so far as I knew, entirely upon the impression that he was going to remain in Mexico, and that it was necessary that somebody should be appointed to take charge, in consequence of this. He expressed himself as satisfied with the explanations, but still repeated that it would be to Bro. Lyman’s advantage as a teacher if he would not be so severe.
We adjourned to meet sine die.
We returned in the evening to Bro. Arnold’s.
I have been much grieved to-day to hear of the death of my son
s Abraham’s and his wife Mina’s little girl named Emily. She died of Scarlet fever. Abraham has been so much up at nights and worked so hard all day, and has fasted so much, that at her death he was completely overcome and swooned, and, I learned to-night, has been 5 or 6 hours in this condition. The house is so situated that I cannot go to see him, but have sent Elders to administer to him.
Thursday, May 3/88. This is fast day.
I hear this morning, from Bro. Wilcken, who has been with Abraham, that he is somewhat better, but still seems to be unconscious of what has occurred. He does not seem to realize his child is dead, and wrote me a note asking me to exercise faith for her. I told Bro. Wilcken to go and do his best to arouse him, get him out, tell him he must not yield to any such influence or give way to grief in such a manner. I hear also to-day that Bro. E. Snow is not so well as he was.
Bro. A. Winter came and I dictated answers to public correspondence to him.
In the evening President Woodruff and myself arranged to visit Bro. E. Snow. Before doing so I had Bro. Wilcken take me down to my sister Mary Alice’s, where Abraham and his wife Mina were. Abraham sat like a statue and seemed to take little or no interest in what was going on. I talked very plainly to him, and as he made no response I did not know whether he understood me. So I wrote on a paper, asking him: Do you understand me? To this he replied that he did. He could not speak, and I was told that the doctors said the lower part of his brain was paralyzed and his tongue and throat. He had not spoken for two days, and appeared in a very1
had succeeded in drawing upwards of half a gallon of water from him, by means of a catharta [catheter]. This had given Bro. Snow great relief and had inspired everybody with hopes of his recovery.
Busy through the day having interviews with various persons and attending to matters of business, and dictating my journal to Bro. Winter.
In the evening we went to Bro. John Gallagher’s, by invitation, where we found <my> Brother Angus. We had a great treat in being served with oysters on the shell, imported from California. Bro. Gallagher keeps a restaurant and deals in these articles. Although I am suffering from colic, I enjoyed the meal exceedingly. I confined myself to raw oysters. Bro. Gallagher treated us with great hospitality, and after remaining there till about 10:30, Bro. Bateman drove us to Judge Elias Smith’s, where we intend staying a day or two.
Wednesday, May 9/88. I do not feel well to-day. Bro. Winter came with the mail. I examined the letters and dictated correspondence to him and kept him busy all day.
Had a very pleasant interview with Judge Elias Smith this morning. He is getting quite feeble, is 84 years old, but his mind is remarkably bright. I was pleased to hear him speak about his fondness for life. Notwithstanding his infirmities, he has a desire to live. I think this is a much better feeling than for a man to be tired of life and think that he is forgotten by the angel of death.
Thursday, May 10/88. The proceedings of this day were not dictated to me (A.W.)
Friday, May 11/88. Attended to correspondence and other matters.
In the evening attended a meeting of Z. C. M. I. Walked from Judge Smith’s to the office of the institution. After the meeting Bro. Wilcken accompanied me to my wife Carlie’s.
Saturday, May 12/88. I was called for this morning by Bro. Wilcken. Bro. Solomon came with him so as to cover me coming out of the house. I spent the day at my place. Had a visit from my sons Frank and Abraham. Frank had just returned from the East. He had made use of the letters of introduction which I gave him and had had two interviews with President Cleveland, one of which was of an hour’s length, and went over the whole circumstances and affairs here. The President promised him to do all in his power in the direction which he had suggested to him. He was very much struck with the plan that Frank suggested to him. He was anxious to know whether Frank had met anyone and communicated to them the information which he gave to him. He said he had not. He seemed to think that Cleveland felt better about it, because, as Frank thought, he would like to have the credit himself of doing what was done in the matter.
It may be that this will not amount to anything; but I feel that I have done what I could and am gratified at it, even if there should be no special results. But if the word of the President can be relied upon, he said all, so Frank tells me, that he could be expected to say, and promised that there should be a good Chief Justice appointed.
My son Abraham is in a very bad condition. The typhoid fever which he had about 2 years ago was very severe and he came very nearly dying. It settled in his right leg, which has troubled him ever since. Of late it has broken, and he is now walking on crutches. I think his case quite serious, though not dangerous; but I fear it will interfere with his activity and usefulness. He has been overworking himself of late.
Sunday, May 13/88. Last evening and this morning I prepared a portion of the dedication prayer, Bros. Woodruff and Richards desiring me to do so, as Bro. Richards felt that he could not treat it as well as he thought I could. My son David took me in disguise to President Woodruff’s this morning, where I met Bro. Richards, and went over what had been written.
I afterwards returned and had sacrament meeting and spoke to my family. My son Hugh administered the sacrament, My son Abraham made me a short visit2 in the public records as having been performed by him. I cannot express the gratification I feel at this. At 9:30 P.M., David took me to the special train which Bro. James Sharp had provided for us, to take us to Nephi. I got on the train on what is called Mursley St. There were on the train, President Woodruff, B. Young, F. M. Lyman, Geo. Reynolds, C. H. Wilcken, and myself. We reached our place of debarkation a little before one o’clock. This was two miles north of Nephi. President Sperry met us there with teams. President Woodruff and myself were taken to Sister Teasdale’s, who made us very welcome.
Monday, May 14/88. We spent all this day at Nephi and had visits from Bro. Andrews (who was once Bishop), Bros. Sperry, James W. Paxman, Langley O. Bailey, Bro & Sis. Picton, (the parents of Sis. Teasdale) and Sis. Hannah Grover.
I corrected “Topics of the Times” and “Editorial Thoughts” and sent them to Abraham.
At 9 o’clock we started for Manti, Bro. Langley Bailey taking President Woodruff and myself in his carriage. In going through the canyon, we had two narrow escapes of tipping over. One of the times we had to get out of the wagon. President Woodruff was greatly excited at the danger, and I felt badly that he should be exposed as he was to misadventure. We got safely through, however, and were met, between3
little before 4 o’clock. After reaching the Temple we went to bed, beds having been prepared for us by Bro. Folsom.
Tuesday, May 15/88. The Temple is a magnificent building and the finish is very elegant. I am greatly pleased with all I see. It is the finest building of the kind that we have ever had, and reflects great credit on all engaged in the labor of erecting it.
About 6 o’clock the brethren who came by rail from the city called at the Temple. They were: Bros. Lor. Snow, F. D. Richards, H. J. Grant, D. H. Wells, Jacob Gates, Robert Campbell, John Sharp, and Arthur Winter. Bros. John H. Smith and John Morgan we found here when we arrived.
In the evening, Bro. Richards having brought the manuscript of the prayer, it was read to President Woodruff, and as there were some words that had <not> been written, he requested me to write them.
I received a letter from Bro. Jos. F. Smith, at Washington. It was full of kind expressions and good feelings.
Wednesday, May 16/88. We had a meeting this morning at 10 ‘o’clock. There were present: President Woodruff, L. Snow, F. D. Richards, G. Q. Cannon, B. Young, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, H. J. Grant, D. H. Wells, John Smith, Jacob Gates, John Morgan, J. D. T. McAllister, J. G. Bleak, D. D. McArthur, J. B. Maiben, M. F. Farnsworth, John Sharp, Robert Campbell, C. H. Wilcken, W. H. Folsom, E. L. Parry, Geo. Reynolds, Arthur Winter.
We attended to a number of items of business, the principal being the selection of a corps of workers. Bro. D. H. Wells was appointed to preside, with Bro. Anton H. Lund as Assistant; M. F. Farnsworth as Recorder; Thomas Higgs as Engineer; Christian Anderson and Jacob Reusch as Watchmen.
Bros. Canute Peterson and Henry Beal, of the Presidency of the Stake, were not here. They were telegraphed for and came in the afternoon. It was decided to commence giving endowments on Monday, 28th inst.; and it was also decided that those who had Temple clothing with them should meet together to-morrow in the circle, and at 12 o’clock we should meet for the purpose of dedicating the house in private.
Bro. Winter and I attended to public correspondence. Bro. Wells came last night and conveyed the pleasing intelligence to me that he had attended to the marriage of John Q. and Annie, and that he had also been a witness in the marriage by Judge Smith.
Thursday, May 17/88. At 10 o’clock this morning 29 of us, (whose names are: President W. Woodruff, Lor. Snow, F. D. Richards, Geo. Q. Cannon, B. Young, John H. Smith, F. M. Lyman, H. J. Grant, D. H. Wells, S. B. Young, John Morgan, Canute Peterson, Henry Beal, John B. Maiben, J. D. T. McAllister, D. D. McArthur, J. G. Bleak, Anton H. Lund, Geo. Reynolds, Chas. H. Wilcken, John Smith, Jacob Gates, Robert Campbell, John Sharp, M. F. Farnsworth, W. H. Folsom, E. L. Parry, Warren S. Snow, Arthur Winter) met in the Celestial room of the Temple. The first named 20 clothed themselves in their Temple robes. President Woodruff called on Elder Brigham Young to open by prayer, and then after offering the signs, he requested me to be mouth in the circle. I felt quite free in praying and enjoyed the Spirit. I was fearful of causing some of the brethren to feel faint and therefore was as brief as possible. I did not mention in detail the brethren of the Apostles who were not with us, and as Bro. E. Snow was in a feeble condition of health, it was felt that we should offer prayer especially for him. So the signs were again offered, and I prayed again, for Bro. Snow, my son Abraham, Bro. Jos. F. Smith, Bro. Teasdale, and all the Elders who were engaged abroad, especially those who were laboring in Washington in favor of the State movement.
At 12 o’clock we again met, in our ordinary apparel, in the Celestial room, and President Woodruff offered the Dedicatory prayer. He knelt at one of the altars and had his manuscript on it. I had made some changes in the prayer, which were accepted by the brethren, modifying some of the expressions respecting the Government. ** Annexed herewith is a copy of the prayer. That portion of it which is enclosed by the red mark is what I wrote. The other part was written by Bro. Franklin D. Richards, though some changes were made in several places.
Solemnly Dedicated to the
The following dedicatory prayer was offered in the Temple at Manti, this morning, May 21st, by Apostle Lorenzo Snow:
Almighty and Eternal Father, Creator of heaven and earth and all that they contain, thou who art the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and of the spirits of all living; to thee, thy believing children here present bring our offering, and beseech thee to grant thy listening ear while we dedicate this Temple unto thy most holy name.
We realize our weakness, our utter feebleness and inability to advance the interests and honor of thy name upon the earth except thou dost guide us by thy Holy Spirit; therefore, we humbly ourselves in thy presence and earnestly entreat thee to forgive us our sins and all vanity and unworthiness which thy purity and perfection have discovered in any one of us, inasmuch as we are truly penitent therefor, and are ready to forgive those who trespass against us.
We praise and adore thee for having restored to earth again the fullness of the Everlasting Gospel, wherein thou didst break the silence of ages by speaking to thy servant Joseph Smith, while yet in the days of his youth, and by thy presence and thine own voice didst declare unto him thy well beloved Son, our Savior, in whose name alone immortality and eternal life can be obtained; and thou didst teach, discipline and empower him to bring forth thy glorious latter-day work—the dispensation of the fullness of times.
With the record of the Prophet Mormon thou didst entrust him with the Urim and Thummim, by which the unlettered youth was enabled to translate the language in which it was engraven, though long since lost to the human family, and thereby revealed the origin, prosperity and downfall of the mighty nations that inhabited this hemisphere for more than twenty-five centuries of time, and also informing us that the pure Gospel of a crucified and risen Redeemer had been delivered to, and his church established among, them.
We praise thy name for revealing this knowledge, which the wisdom of the world was unable to discover. Also that thou didst authorize thy servant Joseph to baptize for the remission of sins, by sending John the Baptist to ordain Joseph to that power; giving him also a promise that this ministry should abide in the earth until the sons of Levi shall again offer unto thee, O Lord, an offering in righteousness.
In the plentitude of thine everlasting love thou didst also send thine Apostles, Peter, James and John, who conferred the Melchisedec Priesthood and apostleship, which enabled the Prophet Joseph to organize thy church and set in order all its appointments, offices and ordinances, with its gifts and blessings, as in the former dispensations.
Everlasting praise to thy holy name for sending line upon line and precept upon precept and continuing to reveal the abundance of peace and truth by sending Moses to confer the spirit with power to gather the House of Israel and Elijah to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, that the whole earth might not be smitten with a curse.
When these manifestations of thine unfathomable love to thy Saints stirred up the envious hate of the ungodly to bloody persecution, imprisonment of thy servants, and finally to extermination from the State of their chosen homes, thine own right hand brought deliverance to thy Saints, and gave them a happy respite while they built the beautiful Nauvoo. But there the wrath of the ungodly waxed furious again while thou didst fill thy servant Joseph with revelations of thy will for the upbuilding of Zion and the exaltation of the righteous, until nothing could subdue their insatiable fury but the life-blood of Joseph and Hyrum and the expulsion of thy people from the nation; yet thy loving kindness failed not and the heart of the savage Indians, was moved to give us a kindly welcome.
We glorify thy great and holy name, Almighty Father, for these communications of intelligence and power to man in the flesh again, and that the Spirit, foreseeing the hatred of the wicked that would be aroused by the developments thereof, moved thy servant Joseph to seal all these keys of power and intelligence which he had received upon the heads of his brethren the Apostles, with commandment that they should build up thy kingdom and establish its righteousness in the earth till thy Son, our Savior, shall come.
Thy people being under a sense of these weighty obligations, and being driven out from among men, it seemed proper to thee to make thy servant Brigham mighty in wisdom and strength to lead forth thy people in safety, and after a year and a half’s journey in the desert among savage tribes, thou didst give us rest in these valleys of the Rocky Mountains. In all these tribulations thine ear heard and thine own arm brought answers of deliverance to the supplications of thine afflicted children. Nor wast thou weary of their necessities and entreaties, but didst soften the rigor of unfriendly elements and didst cause the clouds to scatter refreshing showers, the hills to yield their treasures of snow and springs of living water to come forth from the dry and parched ground. The labor of the husbandman has been crowned with plenty for man and beast, and much wherewith to bless the stranger. The everlasting hills have yielded their rich treasures of iron, lead, silver and gold, while lightning and steam have contributed to gather thy sons from afar and thy daughters from the ends of the earth in swiftest ships, and without disaster.
How can we declare the multitude of all thy mercies which thou hast shown to thy dependent covenant children who have put their trust in thee! for time would fail to mention the threatening famine by reason of the cricket, the locust and the grasshopper, when thou didst send the gulls that swallowed them up, and the lives of thy people were saved; or of the earthquakes which have engulfed islands, provinces and cities, with the multitudes of their inhabitants, while thy people have dwelt safely in this volcanic region, unharmed and undisturbed thereby; neither is the din of war heard in all our borders.
We praise thy holy name for all the mighty work thou didst enable thy chief apostle, Brigham, to perform; that he was moved to build and to appoint Temples according to thy holy commandment in various cities of the land, and to designate that one should occupy this delightful spot. Since it has pleased thee to take him to thyself, thine other chief apostle, John Taylor, was inspired and with his brethren did lay the foundations of this House, and with the free-will offerings of thy Saints had reared it nearly to completion when his precious life was cut short by cruel persecution. We who are spared and are permitted to come together now dedicate this Temple unto thee. We most earnestly pray that thou wilt accept of this our offering in the all-prevailing name of thy Son Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
We dedicate the ground and the hill on which it stands, that the same may be holy unto the Lord our God; that its steps, its terraces, its trees and shrubbery, with all its adornments and its approaches, may be the path ways of the just to the House of the Lord, the Temple of our God. Let the foundation of this House be made permanent and never be moved from its place. May the stones and the cement of which the building is composed become compact and strong as if it were one solid rock.
We consecrate the basement on the lower story, which is in likeness of the home of the dead, with its baptismal font, for the service of the living and the dead, with its steps, the oxen on which the font rests, its seats, its rooms for changes, with all its doors and windows, their hangings and fastenings, the furniture and all that appertains to it. May the fountain which supplies it continue a living spring that shall never fail, and the stream become as the river of life to thy believing penitent children; that they who shall be buried therein may effectually die unto sin, and in coming forth may as certainly arise to lives of righteousness and faith, the spirit bearing witness of the blood of Christ which cleanseth from all sin; and when the ordinance is performed for the dead, that they may realize its efficacy as if they had received it themselves while in the flesh, and be judged in like manner.
We dedicate and consecrate unto thee and the service of thy Saints, the lower and upper main courts, with all other apartments in this building which are sheltered by its roof, according to the various uses for which they have been designed, with their stands, their altars, their desks, the stairs by which they are reached, their doors and windows, their hangings and fastenings, together with their floors, partitions, ceilings, finishings, furnishings and ornamentations, also all apparatus and fixtures for ventilating, warming, lighting and seating the same, whether they are for public worship, administering in the holy sacraments and ordinances of this holy Temple, or for private prayer and secret devotion; also all rooms that are used for study and learning words of wisdom from the best books, or by lectures and the experience of righteous and learned men able to teach the will and ways of the Lord,—all these we dedicate unto thee, that all may be most holy and acceptable unto the Lord our God.
Wilt thou accept and bless these sacred altars which have been erected by the offerings of thy devoted Saints? and when thy people shall approach thee in thine own appointed way, then do thou hearken and hear their supplications; grant them deliverance from their adversaries; succor them in their temptations; give them knowledge of the ancestry of their generations, that they may go forth in the holiness and power of thine ordinances and as saviors on Mount Zion redeem the generations of their dead and bring many sons and daughters unto thee in thy kingdom.
When thy sons and daughters shall desire to plight their faith with each other unto thee in a covenant of everlasting life and shall obtain admittance here in thy holy courts, then, O Lord, be pleased to accept their offerings; sanctify them, that they may be clean from all unrighteousness; clothe thy servants with the habiliments of the Priesthood, and here at the shrine of thy love seal them thine by thy Holy Spirit of promise until the day of their redemption, the resurrection of their bodies, as purchased by the blood of Christ thy Son. May this holy Temple be to them as one of the gates of heaven, opening into the straight and narrow path that leads to endless lives and eternal dominion.
We dedicate the stands in the eastern portion of the building for the occupancy and ministration of the holy Melchisedec Priesthood, which has the keys of all spiritual blessings, is of the order of thy Son Jesus Christ, and holds the power of endless lives.
We also consecrate the stands in the west of the building for the occupancy and ministration of the Aaronic Priesthood, which is an appendage to the Melchisedec Priesthood and holds the keys of temporal blessings.
We beseech thee, our Heavenly Father, to inspire thy ministering servants who shall instruct thy people from these stands, that they may rightly divide the words of truth and give to each member of thine household his portion of meat in due season, that from the treasures of thy storehouse the riches of eternal life may exalt thy children to a knowledge of thyself.
May he who shall preside over the ministrations in this holy Temple, and all who labor with him, be greatly blessed with the understanding of thy perfect law and all the applications thereof to the conditions of thy people. When any difficult matter shall require his consideration, may the voice of thy Holy Spirit give to him the revelations of thy will, that all the ministrations in this thy house and all the ordinances performed may be according to thy holy will and be accepted and be sanctioned in heaven, thy holy habitation.
We dedicate to thee the records which are and shall be kept of all the ordinances administered here in this Temple. May the recorders who shall have the care and labor of making and keeping them be abundantly blessed with wisdom and knowledge, that the same may be truthfully and faithfully kept and be found worthy of all acceptation, that thy people may be righteously judged according to all that shall be written therein. We earnestly pray that they may be preserved most holy unto thee, from all violence and desecration, until they shall have accomplished the full object and purpose of their creation.
O Lord God of our fathers, of the prophets, and of thy people, we beseech thee accept the dedication of this Temple, with all that appertains to it, including the foundation and the towers thereof, unto thyself.
May this delightful location be known as a holy hill of Zion, among thy people. Graciously be pleased to place thy name upon this House. Let the power of thy Spirit be felt by all who shall enter within its portals. Give thine angels charge concerning it, that it shall never be possessed by thine enemies, neither be defiled by the wicked and ungodly, nor ever be injured by any destructive elements; but grant that it may stand and endure as a monument of the obedience and love of thy people, and to the honor of thy holy name, for ages yet to come in holiness to the Lord.
We praise thee for thy goodness in enabling thy servants to translate and send abroad the fullness of thy gospel as contained in the Book of Mormon into so many languages of the various nations of the earth; do thou bless the humble efforts of thy faithful servants in all the various peoples and tongues among whom it has penetrated that they may bear a faithful testimony of the truth that has sprung out of the ground, and of the righteousness that has looked down from heaven.
Have thou mercy upon Judah and Jerusalem; hasten the going forth of this sacred record to the Hebrews of all nations; raise up men and means to carry the glad tidings of thy returning favor to that afflicted people. Wilt thou hear and answer the prayers of thy servants and turn away the barrenness of their land? Make it very fertile as in days of old; turn the hearts of the exiles to thy promises made to their fathers, and let the land of Jerusalem become inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein, that they may rebuild their city and temple, that the glory of the latter house may be greater than that of the former house.
We render thanks and praise to thy holy name for the measure of thy Spirit sent forth among the scattered remnants of the seed of Joseph; that they are pleased and comforted at hearing of the record of their fathers; that, where they have opportunity, they incline to the arts of peace and self-support. O, may the power of the gospel, through obedience, enable them to be relieved from the terrible curse which is upon them, break forth into the light of Zion, and obtain a fulfilment of the promises made unto their fathers.
We beseech thee, let thy peculiar blessings rest upon thy servants the Twelve Apostles, according to the arduous and important labor and presidency which have devolved upon them by the death of thy servant President John Taylor. Wilt thou strengthen thy servant who is called to preside over them and the Church with continual inspiration of the Holy Spirit; preserve him in health, accept the labors of his life and fill him with the spirit and power of his holy Apostleship. May the Apostles be united in the bond of perfectness with each other and prevail with thee for the abundance and richness of thy word, to dispense to thy people. Preserve them from the hands of their enemies until they shall accomplish their work. Give them power to send thy Gospel to all nations, kindreds, tongues and peoples, to gather thine elect from all lands, to build up thy Zion and establish thy righteousness in the earth, and to attain to the power of their calling and Apostleship in the flesh.
O Lord, bless the Patriarchs whom thou hast appointed in the land of Zion. May they have power to seal blessings upon thy people by inspiration, as did the ancient fathers, that their blessings may be fulfilled upon the heads of their descendants and of thy people.
Bless the Seventies with their Presidency, to magnify their calling in all lands where their lots may be cast, or where they may be appointed to labor, that thine Elders may praise thee and all the ends of the earth hear of the salvation of our God.
Bless those who preside over the various missions in all the earth, that they may dispense the Gospel by all proper means within their reach, by writing, by publishing, by sending thine Elders to all places where the word of God may have free course and be glorified by the obedience of the honest in heart.
Endow thou thy servants the High Priests with all the gifts and qualifications of their holy calling.
We pray thee to bless the Stakes of Zion which thou has established. May their Presidents, Counselors, High Councils, with the High Priests, the Seventies, the Elders and all that constitute the authorities of thy church, abide in the revelations of thy will, that Zion may lengthen her cords and strengthen her stakes in all righteousness.
Enable the Bishops and High Councils to decree justice and judgment in equity and truth, that the Wards and Stakes of Zion may be built up in holiness, that we may be thy people and thou be our God. Bless with them the Priests, Teachers and Deacons, the standing ministry to thy Church, that they may be vigilant to put away iniquity from thy Church, that thou mayest bestow upon thy people the fulness of thy favor, thine everlasting love.
We pray for thy blessing upon the Relief Societies, the Young Ladies’ and Young Men’s Associations, the Sabbath Schools, and the Primaries, with all those who are appointed to superintend and preside over them; that they may be abundantly blessed in relieving the sufferings of the destitute and sorrowful, arresting the wayward, and inspiring them with love for pure intelligence, and educating them in the way of life and faith, that our youth may find thee early, and the aged be established in thy righteousness forever.
We dedicate ourselves, with our wives, our children, our houses and lands, our flocks and herds, our gardens and vineyards, with all that we are and have, unto thee, the Lord our God, for time and for all eternity, and for the accomplishment of the work which thou hast given us to do.5
Heavenly Father, thou hast seen the labors of thy Saints in the building of this House. Their motives and their exertions are all known to thee. The hearts of the children of men and every thought thereof are open to thy sight. Thy people have sought to do thy will in rearing and adorning this great structure. They have contributed freely of the means which thou hast given them for its erection, and the hands of the committee and of the superintendent and assistant superintendent have been strengthened and their hearts been gladdened thereby. Even the children of thy people have shown delight in helping to purchase the curtains, the carpets and the furniture of this House. We this day present it to thee, O Lord our God, as the fruit of the tithings and free-will offerings of thy people. Accept this, we beseech thee, and let thy choice blessings rest down upon every man, woman and child who has contributed to the building and adorning of this Temple. Bless them with increased faith and with all the blessings of heaven and earth in due season; that in heavenly gifts, in their basket and in their store, in their children, in their flocks and in their herds, in the fruits of the earth, and in the conveniences and comforts of life, they may abound and ever increase. If there are any of thy people, O Father, who have not had the means to assist in this work, but have felt in their hearts to sustain it and to say that they gave not because they had not, but would gladly give if they had, let these same blessings rest down upon them also, and condescend to accept the desires of their hearts as free-will offerings unto thee. Show favor unto all who have helped to forward this work by good wishes, good words or good deeds. Remember thou and bless, we entreat thee, the committee, and the architect and superintendent, and his assistant architects and assistant superintendent, and all the workmen and their foremen in every department who have labored in preparing the ground upon which the House stands, or the materials of which it is composed, or in constructing and bringing it to completion. Reward them, we ask thee, for their faithfulness and diligence, and grant that the recollection of their labors may be a source of pleasure to them and their children after them.
O Lord God, who dwellest in the heaven of heavens, look down from thy holy habitation, we beseech thee, in great mercy and tender compassion upon thy Zion which thou hast founded. We turn to thee with all our hearts for that help and succor which thou alone canst give. We are beset with peril. We are surrounded with danger. The powers of evil are aroused against us. The foes of thy Zion are numerous and mighty, while thy people are but few and feeble. Floods of falsehood, slander and unjust accusations sweep over the land, concerning thy Saints. By these means many of our fellow-citizens have been poisoned against us. They have urged the enactment of laws to ensnare us, to confiscate the property which we have consecrated unto thee, and to overthrow the plan of salvation which thou hast revealed to us. Through the delusion of lies and the blinding effect of prejudice, our fellow-citizens would deny us our rights, would consign us to prison, would wrest from us our property, would threaten us with utter destruction.
Holy Father, thou knowest how false are the accusations against us. We appeal to thee for deliverance. Turn aside the wrath of man. Break the bands which encircle us. Destroy the traps which are spread for our feet. Let the light of eternal truth shine upon us and illumine our pathway. Vindicate us by thy power, and let not the wicked aspersions of our enemies prevail. Show to the world, and especially to our nation, the true character of thy people. Enlighten the minds of the officers of our government, soften their hearts, and give them power to check all spirit of persecution and disposition to justify opression and approve of unjust judgments. Help them to comprehend the true principles of liberty and to enforce the same for the benefit of all people throughout the land. Open their eyes to see the wrongs that are being committed against thy people. Awaken them to a sense of justice. Give to the Chief Executive, to his cabinet and to the Congress and the courts of our nation, the firmness, courage and comprehension of justice necessary to maintain just and righteous government in the land, that all the people may rejoice.
Restrain and control the words and acts of preachers, lecturers and writers who endeavor to create anger and hostility against thy people. Take from all such the power to blind the eyes of the nation by misrepresentation and falsehood, or to inflame the people to sanction acts of anger against the innocent.
As thou hast in the past overruled the violence of mobs and the cruelty of the wicked for the glory of thy name and the salvation of thy people, we ask thee, Righteous Father, to so control this present persecution that thy purposes may be accomplished in the redemption of thy Zion. Be with and sustain thy people in their afflictions. In their imprisonments, in their exile, in the unjust confiscation of their property and in the endurance of all the wrongs to which they are subjected, give them grace and patience and fortitude. May no murmuring at thy providences ever escape their lips. Reveal to thy people the salvation which awaits us.
O God, before thee in this thy holy House, do we this day confess our sins. We acknowledge our shortcomings and imperfections. We are full of faults and errors. We accept the afflictions which we are now enduring as being permitted by thee to make us more worthy of our high calling. We humbly pray thee to forgive us. Blot out our transgressions, that they shall not appear against us any more. Condescend to let thy favor and the light of thy countenance rest upon us. Make known thy will more and more plainly unto all thy Saints. Uphold us in all righteousness as the people whom thou hast chosen. Suffer us not to be put to shame; but show the inhabitants of the earth the truth of our testimony concerning thee and thy work.
Now, Holy Father, we ask thee in the name of Jesus Christ, thy beloved Son, to hear and answer this our prayer. We entreat thee to accept this dedication of this House. Sanctify it and make it holy. The ordinances performed therein by thy servants and handmaids, may they be in thy sight as though performed by thyself.
And to thy name be the honor and glory and praise for ever and ever, through Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, Amen.6
After finishing the prayer, President Woodruff made some excellent remarks, which we all enjoyed. He then invited those present to speak. I felt too full for utterance; I had no inclination to speak. Bro. Lor. Snow desired me to speak, but I declined and urged him. He spoke; and after he had finished, President Woodruff called upon me. I arose, in response to his request, but it was some minutes before I could overcome my emotions, which seemed to choke me. I felt more like weeping than I did like speaking. I soon, however, regained my composure and spoke with considerable freedom. I felt to thank the Lord for the spirit which He gave me, for I was enabled to speak with great power.
Bros. B. Young and F. M. Lyman followed, and they also spoke excellently.
A hymn was then sung. I omitted to mention that our meeting was opened by singing.
In the afternoon the Twelve met in President Woodruff’s room and conversed on a variety of subjects and had a very interesting time. Considerable conversation took place concerning the proper punishment of those who committed sexual sins and how public the punishment should be, if their sin was committed in secret.
Friday, May 18/88. We had a meeting this morning at 10 o’clock. Heard the report of the Committee which has been appointed to select persons to labor in the Temple. After which we set apart Prest. D. H. Wells, & Anton H. Lund, Prest. Woodruff being mouth in the former and Bro. L. Snow in the latter.
At 12 o’clock, President Woodruff, Geo. Reynolds, C. H. Wilcken and myself were driven over to Ephraim. Bro. Canute Peterson entertained us, and we had a most excellent meal at his house, where we found Bro. B. Young, who had driven over early in the morning.
We had new teams from here, Bro. Peter Peterson, the oldest son of Prest. Peterson, taking President Woodruff and myself in his carriage, and Bro. Andrew Jensen taking Bros. Wilcken and Reynolds in his carriage. We drove very gently and reached the point on the railroad where it had been arranged for the Special train to find us, about 9 o’clock. Just before 10 the train came and we got on board. Bro. James Sharp having come down himself, with Zebulon Jacobs as Conductor. We had a very pleasant ride to the Mousley Road, where we found carriages awaiting us. Bro. J. McHennery took myself and Bro. Reynolds in a carriage and went round to my house, left me there, and then returned to the city with Bro. Reynolds. Bro. Bateman carried President Woodruff and Bro. Wilcken to their homes.
Saturday, May 19/88. I rested to-day, although I attended to public correspondence and signed a number of recommends. I had a visit from Bro. H. B. Clawson, who gave me information concerning matters in the city, and propositions which had been made concerning the purchase of the Hot Springs, and of the scheme for rapid transit in Salt Lake City.
Sunday, May 20/88. Held Sunday School this morning and in the afternoon had Sacrament meeting. The Sacrament was administered by my sons Hugh and David, and I spoke to the family. I afterwards explained to my wives and children my intention to divide the lands outside of my homesteads, that were not fenced, among my children, giving them each 2½ acres. I told them it was the best I had, though it was not as good land as I wished it was; and if they would reclaim this land and produce feed for horses and cows, I was quite willing that they should have animals of their own, if they would look after the feeding of them themselves, and I would give each one of them a mare and a cow whenever they were ready to take hold of this land and make it produce feed to sustain them.
They were all greatly pleased at the proposition.
Bro. Wilcken called for me and took me to my wife Carlie’s, where I remained the night.
Monday, May 21/88. Attended to public correspondence and various matters of business.
President Woodruff and myself visited Bro. Erastus Snow this evening and administered to him. We found him in a critical condition. His health is very poor, and though he appeared to feel cheerful, his wife said that his urine was in a very bad condition when it came from him, being ropy and containing blood pus. We felt well in administering to him and greatly desired his recovery.
Tuesday, May 22/88. Attended to correspondence. Had a visit from my son Frank. Dictated letters and my journal to Bro. A. Winter.
Wednesday, May 23/88. Attended to the usual business to-day. I had a visit from my son Frank, who read to me a letter which he had addressed to President Cleveland concerning affairs here. ** President Woodruff heard it and appeared pleased with it.
Frank J. Cannon, Editor.8
Ogden, Utah9, MAY 24, 1888
TO PRESIDENT GROVER CLEVELAND,
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, D. C.
PERMIT ME TO MAKE A FURTHER BRIEF REFERENCE TO THE CASE OF THE “MORMON EXILES.”
SINCE MY RETURN TO UTAH ONE IMPORTANT FACT HAS BEEN EMPHASIZED, AS NEVER BEFORE, UPON MY ATTENTION: THAT IS, THE RAPIDITY WITH WHICH THE EXILES ARE FAILING PHYSICALLY. ONE APOSTLE, OF THE EIGHT WHOM I TOLD YOU WERE IN RETIREMENT, IS NOW LYING AT THE POINT OF DEATH. BEFORE THIS LETTER MEETS YOUR EYES, IN ALL HUMAN PROBABILITY HE WILL HAVE PASSED BEYOND THE JURISDICTION OF EARTHLY TRIBUNALS. OTHERS OF HIS COLLEAGUES MUST SOON FOLLOW.
IT IS TRUE THAT WHEN ONE OF THESE MEN DIES THE QUESTION IS SETTLED SO FAR AS HE IS CONCERNED; AND IT MAY BE SUGGESTED THAT THE ADMINISTRATION HAS NOTHING TO LOSE BY SUCH A SOLUTION OF THE DIFFICULTY. BUT I THINK, SIR, THAT IT WOULD BE A LOSS OF THE ONE OPPORTUNITY WHICH HAS BEEN PRESENTED IN FORTY YEARS TO SECURE A SUBMISSION – AT ONCE TRIUMPHANT TO GOVER[N]MENT AND NOT DISHONORABLE TO THE EXILES.
A MAN DYING IN HIS SELF-IMPOSED BUT APPARENTLY NECESSARY BANISHMENT, DIES “UNRECONSTRUCTED.” HIS DEATH FURNISHES NO AMELIORATION OF THE SITUATION HERE. HIS CHILDREN, AND, IN FACT, NEARLY ALL THE PEOPLE OF HIS FAITH, REGARD HIM AS A MARTYR, AND HIS DEATH AS A RESULT OF PERSECUTION. IF THE SAME MAN WERE FREE TO DIE SURROUNDED BY HIS FRIENDS, HIS DECEASE WOULD BE LOOKED UPON AS THE RESULT OF OLD AGE OR NATURAL INFIRMITIES. IN THE LATTER CASE, THE EFFECT WOULD BE SOFTENING UPON YOUNG UTAH, WHO COULD MOURN HIM WITHOUT A DISRESPECTFUL THOUGHT TOWARD GOVER[N]MENT. IN THE FORMER CASE, THE EFFECT WOULD BE HARDENING; TO MOURN HIM WOULD NECESSARILY INVOLVE UNPLEASANT FEELINGS TO<ward> THE SUPPOSED CAUSE OF HIS UNTIMELY DEATH.
THE COUNTRY AND THE WHOLE WORLD WILL FAIL TO ESTEEM DEATH IN EXILE AS THE SUBMISSION OF THE APOSTLE OR AS A TRIUMPH OF ADMINISTRATION; WHILE THE SURRENDER OF THESE MEN TO PROCESS OF COURT DURING LIFE WOULD BE REGARDED UNIVERSALLY AS A RECOGNITION OF GOVERNMENT<’>S SUPREMACY. I WILL NOT PRESUME TO SUGGEST FARTHER UPON THIS POINT.
BUT, PRESIDENT CLEVELAND, THERE IS ONE OTHER FEATURE OF THE CASE WHICH AFFECTS MANY OF THE YOUNG MEN OF UTAH, AND OF WHICH I VENTURE TO SPEAK: OUR FATHERS HAVE TOILED WITH INTEGRITY AND MANLINESS THROUGH LONG LIVES OF SELF-DENIAL TO FOUND HERE A GREAT COMMONWEALTH. THEIR OFFENCE<s,> IF ANY, WILL SOON BE COVERED BY THE GRAVE. WE, WHO ENJOY THE BENEFITS OF THEIR PIONEERING WORK, ARE NOT HAPPY T<O> LIVE IN THE MIDST OF THOSE BENEFITS- - THOUGH THEY SHO[U]LD INCLUDE EVEN STATEHOOD- - IF WE MUST KNOW THAT OUR FATHERS DIED AS OUTLAWS FROM THE VERY <government> FOR WHICH THEIR FAITH AND COURAGE WON AND REDEEMED THIS BROAD AND RICH DOMAIN.
I AM GRATEFUL TO YOU FOR YOUR COURTESY AND YOUR FAIR CONSIDERATION OF THIS MATTER. I HOPE MOST EARNESTLY THAT YOU WILL FIND IT IN YOUR POWER TO SETTLE THE DIFFICULTY BY A MASTER STROKE.
WITH PROFOUND RESPECT, MR. PRESIDENT, I REMAIN,
FRANK J. CANNON.
P. S. THIS LETTER AND ITS CONTENTS ARE, SO FAR AS I AM CONCERNED, CONFIDENTIAL. I HOLD THIS MATTER AND THE SUBJECT OF YOUR KIND CONVERSATIONS WITH ME, A PROFOUND SECRET.
F. J. C.10
The news from Manti is exceedingly interesting. It is said that heavenly music was heard in the Temple. The strains are described as being of a celestial character and the different parts blended beautifully. These voices and this singing were heard by a number of persons. Some appeared to have heard them more distinctly than others. All who heard them unite in saying that the sweetness of the singing was more than lovely. A halo of light also was seen by a number to surround several of the speakers, and the faces of some of the speakers seemed to be angelic. Some also declare that they saw personages in the stand with the brethren who spoke, and many statements are made of which I cannot speak definitely because I have not conversed with any persons who have seen those manifestations themselves; but it is stated that the Prophets Joseph, Brigham, John Taylor, Jed. M. Grant and others were seen. Voices were said to be heard, also, shouting “Hosanna”. Though some did not see or hear any of these manifestations, all testify to the wonderful outpouring of the Spirit of God which they felt.
I am greatly pleased at hearing this; for it has been a very great desire of mine, for some time back, that the Saints should have some heavenly manifestations and a greater outpouring of the Spirit of God, to show them that the Lord was still with us and guiding and governing the affairs of this Church. I felt also to pray for this while in the circle on the morning when we dedicated the Temple in private, and to entreat the Lord to fill the House with His presence. It is exceedingly joyous to know that the Lord is so gracious and kind as to accept this building which has <been> erected by the Saints to His name. There can be no doubt in the mind of any faithful Saint who attended these dedication services concerning the divine favor or the acceptance of the House by the Lord.
President Woodruff and myself rode out last evening in Bro. Wilcken’s carriage with Bro. Bateman, and called at Prest. W.’s farm; then drove down to my house. The evening was very cool for the time of the year.
Thursday, May 24/88. Had a long interview with Bro[.] Junius F. Wells concerning a letter of appointment for his father as President of the Temple. He asked me if I could recall the blessing that his father received and have it written. He also talked to me about Mutual Improvement affairs.
I had a long conversation with Le Grand Young concerning the Church suit and the danger we were in and the best policy to be adopted.
Had an interview also with Bro. J. M. Waddell concerning titles of Church property.
Dictated answers to public correspondence, also my journal to Bro. A. Winter.
In the evening I visited Bro. Erastus Snow. I saw quite a change in his appearance. He seemed to be failing. His face had a pinched look, and there was a deathlike smell about his person. He was quite rational, and conversed, though not so freely as usual. He appeared to be suffering from weakness. I administered to him, in company with Bros. Andrew Smith and S. J. Sudbury.
Friday, May 25/88. At 10:30 President Woodruff, L. Snow, F. D. Richards, H. J. Grant, Bp. J. R. Winder[,] Le Grand Young and myself met and had a lengthy conversation concerning the situation of the Church properties and the peril they were in. I have been deeply impressed for a long time that the better course for us to pursue, under our circumstances, was to endeavor to arrive at some arrangement by which we should surrender a certain portion of the property, but stop this investigation and reaping up of our property affairs in the manner in which the prosecution has been doing of late. Our property affairs are in such a condition that they will not bear examination without danger of being seized. Under the policy adopted by President Taylor, the property is not in a position to be defended. There not being a quorum of us present to-day, it was decided to hold a meeting on Tuesday next at 10 o’clock, and the absent brethren were telegraphed to for that purpose. In the meantime Le Grand Young was instructed to find out, if possible, what terms Mr. Peters, the District Attorney, would be likely to accede to, so as to report to us at our next meeting.
President Woodruff explained to the brethren the change that had been made in the size of the <font> room of the Salt Lake Temple, in which they all acquiesced.
This evening I walked with Bro. Sudbury to my wife Carlie’s.
Saturday, May 26/88. I spent the day working at my Life of the Prophet Joseph.
In the evening I accompanied Bro. H. B. Clawson to the Hot Springs and had a most delightful bath. I have never bathed in these Springs before. I think it very enjoyable and I imagine it must be very healthful. He then drove me to my home on the river.
Sunday, May 27/88. Had Sunday School and Sacrament meeting as usual, and had an interesting time with my family.
Bro. Wilcken called at my house in the evening and communicated to me the sad intelligence that Brother Erastus Snow had died 6:55 this evening. His death was peaceful. I suppose that his demise is due to inflammation of the prostrate [prostate] gland, or its enlargement. I have felt to exercise all the faith I could in his behalf, for it has seemed to me that at no time which I have seen have we needed the presence of experienced men such as he was like the present time. Bro. Snow was a man of very great experience, of most excellent judgment sound in doctrine, wise in counsel, and withal prudent and yet courageous. I have thought that he resembled President Young in many things more than any man among us. He was not quick and decisive, like President Young; but in his judgment he was very clear, and as a colonizer he was a great success. He has fought a good fight and has finished his course. There are no regrets to be indulged in, so far as he himself is concerned. But we who remain will miss him, and the Church at large, in his departure, has lost, so far as this life is concerned, a valuable aid.
Monday, May 28/88. I wrote a letter this morning to my son Abraham, chiding him for his carelessness concerning his bodily health. I <learn> that, notwithstanding his wretched condition of health, he sat up working all last Friday night. It frightens me to hear of these instances of neglect on his part. He seems to lack the necessary judgment to take care of the body that the Lord has given him, through his earnestness in attending to his duties. This, was a fault that I formerly found with his mother. It always seemed to me that she did not have good judgment in regard to taking care of herself, and would work to excess, though a woman of most excellent judgment in other directions.
I was carried by Bro. C. H. Wilcken up to the Gardo House, where I found President Woodruff, in good health. At 10 o’clock Bros. Richards, Grant and Winder came in and we talked over the arrangements for Bro. Snow’s funeral. Bro. Winder was appointed as a committee to select others to assist him in making all necessary preparations. It was decided to bury Bro. Snow at the public expense, and that the funeral services should be held in the Tabernacle, at 12 o’clock, on Wednesday. Bro. Grant was quite anxious that I should write a sketch of Bro. E. Snow’s life. I told him that I thought Bro. Nicholson, the editor of the News, would certainly have something written by this time upon the subject. He went down to the office and brought back to me that which was written, and we went through it and revised it, and I made some additions to it.
In the afternoon we had a meeting of the Deseret News Co., all the directors being present except Bro. Jos. F. Smith. In the evening President Woodruff and myself were taken by Bros. Wilcken and Sudbury up to Bro. E. Snow’s late residence, when we had an interview with two of his wives – Minerva and Julia. We remained there till about 10 o’clock, and then returned to the Gardo House.
Tuesday, May 29/88. Seven of the Twelve, with Bro. Winder, met this morning at the Gardo House. The main topic of conversation was the best plan to be taken in regard to our property. I explained the situation that we were in, and I said that it seemed to me that the way they were pressing us for this property would result in everything being taken sooner or later. I alluded to the manner in which the persecution in regard to polygamy and unlawful cohabitation had proceeded. In the beginning we supposed that the arresting of our brethren and their being sent to prison would awaken sympathy in the fair-minded people of the United States, and an alleviation of the harshness of the prosecutions would probably be brought about. But instead of this being the case, it seemed that the success of our enemies in perpetrating one outrage only had the effect to embolden them to take another, and it had gone on until the present time, and there was a universal carelessness, apparently, and apathy in the country and on the part of the Government concerning
our affairs and our sufferings. I fear that the same results would follow the present attack upon us for our property. At first blush it seemed like an outrageous proposition; but the country has become familiarized with it. Every piece of property that is taken only has the effect, apparently, to whet the appetite of the men who are pursuing us, and it seems as though this will continue until everything that we have is swallowed up by them, and they will perhaps proceed to lengths that we scarcely dream of at present.
Bro. Le Grand Young made some explanations before I offered the above remarks.
It was decided by vote that he should endeavor to find out the best terms possible upon which some settlement could be effected with Peters, and these proceedings be arrested.
Conversation was had as to the funeral proceedings to-morrow. President Woodruff expressed himself to the effect that he wanted all the Twelve, at least, to speak briefly to the congregation, and it was decided that an address should be written by him on behalf of those who would not be present, that could be read to the Saints.
I had two interviews to-day with my son Franklin concerning John Q. going to Ogden and working there, which Frank was endeavoring to arrange for. I also had some conversation with him regarding writing that he had been doing for me.
I dictated answers to public correspondence to Bro. A. Winter, also my journal.
Wednesday, May 30/88. The Council met at 10 o’clock this morning. An Address to the Saints on the subject of Bro. Erastus Snow’s death, which Bro. Geo. Reynolds had prepared, and to which I made some emendations, was read to the Council this morning. Bro. M. Thatcher also had prepared an Address for the same purpose. It was very eloquent and eulogistic of the virtues of the deceased. He proposed having it published without name, but I suggested that it would be better to have his name attached to it, as it was a very able production and I thought he ought to have the credit of it.
Bro. Le Grand Young came in and stated the result of his conversation with Mr. Peters concerning some terms of compromise upon which this case could be closed and be carried up. He said that Mr. Peters was very favorably inclined, but could do nothing definite in the matter till he communicated with the Attorney General at Washington, and appointed Saturday next as a time when he and Bro. Young could again meet and talk over the matter.
The Council adjourned in time to enable the brethren to go to the Tabernacle, to commence meeting at 12 o’clock.
Bro. Snow’s remains were taken to the Tabernacle this morning at 8 o’clock and were laid there for the people to look upon.
The services are described as being very impressive. The body of the Tabernacle was nearly filled; the gallery was not opened.
President Woodruff, Bros. Geo. Reynolds, J. F. Wells and myself witnessed from the upper room of the Gardo House the procession pass.
About 7 o’clock President Woodruff, Bros. Thatcher, Reynolds, Bateman and myself were taken in a covered carriage to the Tabernacle to view the manner in which it had been fitted up for the occasion. It was a beautiful sight, the stands being draped in white and a profusion of white flowers being on each stand.
We all admired the contrast between the pure white and the somber black with which the Tabernacle has frequently been draped on other sorrowful occasions. I have always advocated the use of white; and when my wife Elizabeth died I telegraphed home that black must not be used at her funeral. They draped the 14th Ward Meeting House, where the Services were held, in white. I am glad that the change has been made in this instance, as I think it an excellent innovation on old customs. We examined the Temple also, and I was greatly delighted with the appearance of the Block. There had been many improvements made since I was last there, which is now nearly 3½ years ago. It is laid out in lawns, and trees planted; and the fence which disfigured the Block, between the Tabernacle and the Endowment House is removed, and walks and drives are laid out, bordered with trees.
While sitting in the upper stand, where I have been accustomed to sit, a great many reflections passed through my mind in looking at the building. I felt like a man that had been in a dream. Nearly 3½ years have passed since I sat in that place, and many events and changes have occurred, some of them of a grave nature. I could scarcely think that such a length of time had elapsed; yet that which has occurred in the period is sufficiently exciting to have covered treble the length of time. The query arose in my mind, When again shall I enjoy the opportunity of sitting in freedom in this building, as I once did? I am quite willing to endure the present restraint upon my liberty with patience and equanimity, as long as it shall be the Lord’s good pleasure for it to be so; at least, I trust I shall have these feelings. I want to be patient, enduring and longsuffering; but I shall hail with great joy the enlargement of liberty which will enable us who are now prevented from mingling with our brethren in public meetings, to have that opportunity again.
President Woodruff determined to go to his home this evening.
Bro. Wilcken brought my wife Carlie to the box in the Theatre, and I had a very enjoyable evening, listening to Dockstadter’s Minstrels, – a very excellent troupe. I went to her house with her.
Thursday, May 31/88. I intended to go to my home on the river to-day; but I found that I had an appointment for a meeting of the Deseret News Co. At 8 o’clock I was called for by Bros. Chas. Livingstone and Dan. Bateman.
We held a meeting of the Des. News Co. this morning. We adjourned to meet again at 2 o’clock. At that hour we met and continued the business upon which we were engaged this morning.
I was kept very busy to-day. I did some work at the History of Joseph.
I omitted to mention that yesterday my son Frank spent an hour or two with me, and we went over the History I had written, with the emendations which I had made since we last read it. Abraham also called upon me. He is a little better. I have not seen my wife Emily for a long time. There is no place where I have felt safe in meeting her, and I felt troubled in my feelings about it, because I did not feel justified in the apparent neglect which she had received. I had plenty of excuses to offer; but excuses do not satisfy. Bro. Wilcken had spoken to Bro. Sudbury about her coming to the Gardo House to visit me. The family expressed themselves as being very pleased to have her come, and Bro. Wilcken brought her. She was greatly pleased at the opportunity of seeing me once more, as I was to see her.