10 March 1893 • Friday
Friday, March 10, 1893.
I called this morning, by appointment, at the Cochrane, to see my friend, Hon. J. Sterling Morton, Secretary of Agriculture; but after waiting awhile I found that he had been unexpectedly called away to the Department. I went to the Department, and as soon as he learned I was there, he had me ushered into his room, where he was dictating correspondence to his private secretary, and as soon as he could he finished, and then told me that he had arranged to take me with him to the White House. There was another gentleman also there named Whitcomb, from Colorado, and when we got outside there was only a coupe, the inside of which admitted only of two sitting. He requested Mr. Whitcomb to sit with the driver, and he and I entered the coupe and drove to the White House. We had some very pleasant conversation on our way. It was Cabinet meeting today, and the time for holding had arrived when we got there. The President’s room was crowded with callers. Secretary Morton introduced me to Mr. Thurber, and said he had spoken to the President about having an interview with me, and wished Mr. Thurber to know me. He introduced me as an old friend of 25 years standing, &c. Mr. Thurber requested me to call tomorrow morning at 10 o’clock.
I called upon Brother Grant and his family, and Brother Caine, and attended to some other business with Colonel Trumbo.
Had an interview with General J. S. Clarkson.
11 March 1893 • Saturday
Saturday, March 11, 1893.
I repaired to the White House this morning and met Secretary Thurber, who informed me that the President had appointed 10 o’clock to see me, and that he (Thurber[)] had written me a letter to that effect, to the care of the Secretary of Agriculture. I had not received that, however. I was ushered into the sitting room, where there were a number of Representatives, and I believe a Senator or two, and other prominent men. In a few minutes ex-Secretary Eaton came out of the President’s room, and he was followed by the usher, who hailed me and asked me to walk that way. I was a little embarrassed, because the etiquette in the Executive Mansion has always given the precedence to Senators and Representatives in their turn. I had had some conversation with some of the Representatives and was introduced to a number of persons before I was called. I went into the President’s room, and was met very cordially by President Cleveland, who expressed his pleasure at seeing me look so well. He seemed to have an idea that I had passed through a good deal and it had impaired my health and appearance. We had a very satisfactory (to me) conversation. I told him that as I was in the city, before leaving I desired to call and pay my respects to him and to give him some idea concerning the situation of affairs in our Territory. I said that I could assure him, as a representative of the Mormon people, that there was every disposition on their part to conform to the law and to give no trouble in any form to the administration. I said, however, there was a peculiar condition of affairs existing there. It was not an easy thing for men and women who have been united as they supposed for time and all eternity, and have had families, to throw off all obligations, and for the men to cast aside their wives and their children; but, I said, as the law had been construed in Utah, a man could not visit a plural wife without exposing himself to the charge of unlawful cohabitation. Men had been sent to prison merely for visiting the houses of their families. He replied that that was a very bad condition and very wrong. I said there was a
certai disposition on the part of a certain clique, who desired to prevent the admission of Utah as a State and to keep up the old fight and animosities, to make trouble with cases of this kind, and have men arrested under the pretext that they were guilty of unlawful cohabitation. I said that all we asked was that we should be treated as other men, and that the law should be applied to us in the same way that it was applied to others; but we thought it wrong to single us out and apply the law to us expressly, when others were exposed to it as much as we. I said there doubtless might be sporadic cases among us; but the people generally were doing their best to conform to the new conditions. I trusted that he would make his appointments very carefully and give us judicious, fair men, and especially the judges, the district attorney and marshal. While we remain a Territory it was of great importance to us that these officers should be fair-minded, judicious men. I said that the people were now doing well, and if we could be admitted as a State, which I hoped we would during his administration, it would be, I felt sure, a cause of gratulation to him throughout his entire life, as I was sure that as a commonwealth she would do credit to the nation. In making these remarks he responded affirmatively, and spoke very highly of us as a people, and also later stated that he would bear in mind what I said, and that he accepted my statement as authoritative concerning the disposition of the people. He asked me if we had done pretty well under President Harrison’s administration. I told him, yes, we had [gotten?] along very well; and then he referred to Judge Zane and asked about him. I said that while he was on the bench he had been exceedingly harsh and severe in his decisions upon cases that had been brought before him, yet after the Manifesto was issued he accepted it as sincere and had changed his attitude entirely. The result was that the former ill feeling which the people had entertained towards him because of his severity had generally disappeared, and he was very much respected, as far as I knew, on all hands. There never had been a suspicion expressed concerning his probity as a judge. In everything except our question he was esteemed as a fair, upright man. Yes, he said, he believed that himself of Zane, and was pleased to know that the Judge had taken such a course. Our conversation lasted about 15 or 20 minutes, and we were alone until a few minutes before the conclusion, when the whole of those who had been in waiting in the other room were ushered in. The President shook hands very cordially with me when we parted, and I expressed my good feelings for the patience he had shown in listening to me and hoped his administration would be a successful one.
At 4 o’clock I took the limited express, in company with General Clarkson and Colonel Trumbo, and Grover Clarkson, a young son of the General’s, for New York. While I was waiting at the station for the train I saw Secretary Morton come in as though he was looking for somebody, and he wandered around, and I finally went up to him and spoke to him. “Oh”, said he, “I was looking for you. I have received a letter from the White House, addressed to you in my care, and thinking it might be of some importance, I have been hunting you. I found that you had left your hotel and come to the station, and I followed you in my carriage, and I am glad I have found you.” I opened the letter and found it was Mr. Thurber’s letter making the appointment for me to meet President Cleveland. I thanked Mr. Morton heartily for his kindness. I thought it was a great condescension on the part of a man as pushed as he was to take the pains to get the letter to me. I spoke to him about some of our officials. I said I understood there was a Mr. Judd trying to get to be district attorney. I thought him a very unsuitable person, and hoped he would do what he could to prevent the appointment. He said he was glad I mentioned it, and hoped I would write to him and keep him advised, and said anything he could do he would do with the greatest pleasure. Said he, “You know where I stand, and where I have stood, and I shall vote for Utah.” I told him that I was gratified to hear these expressions from him because they fully confirmed the opinion that I had entertained concerning his willingness to do all in his power to give us justice.
I have been suffering very much from a sore throat for two or three days, and I reached the Hoffman House this evening quite unwell. My son Frank and Bishop Clawson were not in the house and I went to bed as soon as I could. After awhile they returned from the theatre.
12 March 1893 • Sunday
Sunday, March 12, 1893.
I had my throat examined to see if there was anything like diphtheria. I did not know but I might have
contributed contracted diphtheria through administering to the children of Brother Grant; but Frank told me my throat was very much inflamed, but no dipthritic spots were apparent.
Bishop Clawson determined to stay with Colonel Trumbo, who had to remain to a meeting to be held on Monday.
Frank and I started at 3 o’clock for the west.
13 March 1893 • Monday
Monday, March 13, 1893.
I passed a bad night last night. My throat seemed as though it would stop up and I was filled with cold and fever. Frank had me a gargle made by my directions, and also secured me some bacon sprinkled with black pepper, to tie on my throat.
We should have reached Chicago at 8:50, but we did not get there till 10:17. My train on the Northwestern left at 10:30 and by the time I got to the cab I had only 12 minutes or a little less to make the trip across the city to the other depot. I told the hackman if he would drive me across in time for the train I would give him extra fare. I thought this was cheaper than paying hotel bill.
Frank had to go to another depot, much to my regret, as I wanted his companionship, especially as my health was so poor.
I barely succeeded in reaching the train, and I jumped on whil[e] it was in motion.
14 March 1893 • Tuesday
Tuesday, March 14, 1893.
My health is still poor.
Ben Hampton, of Salt Lake, is on the train, also W. L. James and wife.
After leaving Omaha this afternoon and traveling about 40 miles, we came to a piece of the road that was in a very bad condition. The train moved very slowly, and we traveled several miles not going as fast as a man could walk. On our left next the Platte river, the ground was covered for miles with large cakes of ice, some of them 20 & 30 feet
thick in diameter, and in thickness varying from 9 to 12 inches. It reminded me of the glacial period. This ice has no doubt floated from the Platte river, which I suppose must have been gorged. It did not seem to have been carried with a very strong current, because the fences were not broken down. It was a strange sight to see such an immense area of land covered with these large bodies of ice.
We were detained at the bridge of the Loop Fork, which had been washed out and was not quite ready to allow us to pass. Other trains preceding us had taken a roundabout course to get across, but it was said that we could cross on the bridge. By the time we got over on to good road again, we had lost 9 hours.
15 March 1893 • Wednesday
Wednesday, March 15, 1893.
The weather is cold and windy. The ground is covered with snow most of the road. We made up some of our lost time.
16 March 1893 • Thursday
Thursday, March 16, 1893.
We reached Ogden 7 hours behind time, and proceeded on to Salt Lake.
I was met at the station by my sons Abraham, Angus, Hugh, Wilford and Collins, and Brother Wilcken. Brother Brigham Young was also there, it being our first meeting since his departure for England. He looks very well, and I was very much rejoiced to see him.
I found Presidents Woodruff and Smith at the office and in the enjoyment of good health.
I was exceedingly pleased to get home. My family were all reported to me as being in good health.
I had a meeting of the Brigham Young Trust Co. appointed for 10 o’clock, and I met with them.
At 2 o’clock the First Presidency and Apostles met. After we got through with that, I went home and was very glad to see all my family.
My own health is very poor.
Before meeting with the Apostles I had a private conversation with Presidents Woodruff and Smith, in which I gave expression to my views concerning the situation of affairs in Zion among the Latter-day Saints, which I thought ought to be considered, in view of the approach of the dedication of the Temple. I had reflected on this a good deal while in Washington. My feelings have been exceedingly grieved at the division which has taken place among our brethren in consequence of political matters—not at the division on party lines, but the division between them as Latter-day Saints, the breaking up of the harmony and the love and those tender feelings of affection and confidence which have existed, and which ought to exist always, among saints. I had supplicated the Lord upon this subject, and it had come to me that there was a way by which this might now be corrected, and that was to not permit anyone to enter the Temple who held these feelings against their brethren—that is, not until they had made satisfaction and all causes of feeling had been removed. It was plainly manifested to me that the Lord gave unto us power, as the First Presidency, to check division and to reach every evil that might exist at any time among the people. We had it now in our power to prevent those who were not worthy from entering that sacred building. In repeating these thoughts and feelings to the brethren, I said I thought that it was important that people should observe the Word of Wisdom, they should refrain from using tobacco and liquor, and tea and coffee; but I thought these, important as they were, of small moment compared with this other feeling—this feeling of hostility and anger, and in some instances, bitterness, which had exhibited itself in political discussions. I had heard that some of the brethren had expressed themselves about President Joseph F. Smith and myself, and I could not consent for them to go into the house until they had either given reasons for having these feelings against us, so that if we were wrong we could repent, or that they themselves should repent.
President Woodruff thought that we had so little time, it would be difficult to do anything about this now. I said I thought there was time enough, and then I sketched in his hearing the kind of a document that might be drawn up to cover this and bring these matters fully to the attention of the people.
After talking about it some time, he and President Smith both felt that it would be a good thing to be done.
I said I did not wish to press my views upon him; I merely made the suggestion and it was for him to judge as to the propriety or impropriety of it. He fully agreed with me in my views, that something of this kind should be done, and asked me if I would not write an address in the way that I had sketched. I dictated to Brother Arthur Winter, roughly, some of my ideas on this subject, before I left for home.
17 March 1893 • Friday
<Friday, March 17th.>
President Woodruff had a birthday party while I was gone in the east to which I was invited, but being absent could not attend. My wives Sarah Jane and Carlie were at the party, and all the brethren of the Apostles who could be present were there with their wives, and each one was given a card containing a sentiment which President Woodruff wrote. To-day he handed me the card which he had written for me. I shall preserve it in my safe, as it is written by himself. The following is the sentiment: “God has looked upon thee from all eternity and known thy blood. Thou wast ordained before thou wast born to hold the keys of the Apostleship and preside over thy father’s house and the nation. Now fulfill thy destiny. Wilford Woodruff.”1
Friday. March 17, 1893.
I worked at the Address. Was at the office, but felt very poorly.
18 March 1893 • Saturday
Saturday, March 18, 1893.
Presidents Woodruff, Smith and myself, and Elders Brigham Young and J. D. T. McAllister made a visit to the Temple and spent about an hour and a half there. I enjoyed it very much. There has been a great deal of work done during my absence.
Before going to the Temple I read to the brethren the Address that I had drawn up for the First Presidency to sign. It was accepted just as I had written it, without a single alteration, and was put in tonight’s “Deseret News”.
19 March 1893 • Sunday
Sunday, March 19, 1893.
My sister Mary Alice came to my house this morning. It was very stormy.
I had thought that I would go to meeting today, but after the storm commenced I gave it up. It cleared off, however, and I again thought I would go; but my sister and family remonstrated with me and said I had better take care of myself, and I thought probably I had, as the day was bleak and cold and I was in no condition to speak if I went.
20 March 1893 • Monday
Monday, March 20, 1893.
I repaired to the office, although it was stormy weather, and we had a meeting of the Saltair Beach Co. I also met with the Sugar Co., and the Trustee-in-Trust endorsed a note for $25,000[.]
I went to the Temple this afternoon with President Jos. F. Smith and selected a room for the Bishops. Spent about an hour and a half there.
21 March 1893 • Tuesday
Tuesday, March 21, 1893.
I feel a little better this morning, but am still considerably affected with this disease, which is in the nature of la grippe or influenza, and I suffer from it very much.
The Twelve met this afternoon at 2 o’clock, and we had some conversation with President Lorenzo Snow.
Mr. Poole, of New Britain, Conn., a friend of Hon. G. M. Landers, called upon me in company with another gentleman, and I introduced them to President Woodruff and placed a carriage at their disposal. I got Brother Spence to go around with them.
22 March 1893 • Wednesday
Wednesday, March 22, 1893.
First Presidency at the office.
In the afternoon we went over to the Historian Office, where the Twelve were in meeting, and upon invitation we spoke to the brethren. President Woodruff spoke briefly and then yielded to his counselors. I spoke at some length concerning the situation of affairs and the feelings that had arisen in consequence of the political division. Now is the time to heal these differences before we went into the Temple. Now is the time to find out what are the brethren’s views respecting the First Presidency and the authority of the counselors to the President. If the First Presidency were overstepping their bounds, or if the counselors were exceeding their proper authority, it was time that it should be known. Then I went on to give my views of the authority of the First Presidency and the authority of each of the counselors. There had been a course taken during this recent campaign to place the First Presidency in a false position and it was time now that this should be corrected, and that a recurrence of such things should be prevented. I spoke with a good deal of the spirit and with power, though I was scarcely able to speak when I arose, as I was suffering very much from the influenza.
President Jos. F. Smith followed and spoke in the same strain. He alluded personally to Brother Moses Thatcher and the course that he had been taking, and that his labors in politics were in conflict with the feelings of the First Presidency.
President Woodruff followed in remarks concerning the manner in which he had been annoyed by the occurrences of the political campaign.
President Snow also dwelt upon the effects which had followed one of Brother Thatcher’s speeches at Brigham City; that it had completely upset the plans he was making and came in direct conflict with the counsel the First Presidency had been giving concerning these matters.
President Woodruff afterwards alluded to Brother Thatcher’s course while I was in prison, in threatening me with legal proceedings at a time when I was helpless and could not defend myself, and, as it afterwards proved, was innocent of any cause for such threats or remarks. He did not know whether Brother Thatcher had made this matter right with me or not. I said that as far as I was concerned, I had no feelings on this subject, because I was not present when the threats were made, and only heard of them from himself and other brethren. I thought that if there was anything to be made right it was with the Council before whom the remarks were made. President Woodruff also dwelt on the manner in which, for days, Brother Thatcher and other brethren had been confessing my sins, and thought that it was wrong, and that all these things should be straightened out.
Brother Thatcher, after hearing all these remarks, then arose and explained his position, defending the course that he had taken, and saying that if he had done anything that was contrary to our feelings he was sorry; but the point that the First Presidency seemed to desire was for him to see wherein he had taken a course that was not in accord with our feelings and with the counsel that we had given. This it seemed difficult for him to grasp. I endeavored to lay it before him with some plainness, showing him that there was an apparent clash between him and the First Presidency; that he pursued one policy and we were pursuing another, and that through his action he furnished grounds for those who did not agree with us to join with him and make, as it were, a faction.
President Jos. F. Smith was also exceedingly plain and pointed in his views upon this question.
Brother Thatcher was very sick, however, and the Council then had held its session till after 5, and President Woodruff was impatient, so we adjourned, expecting to renew the subject tomorrow.
After our meeting we repaired to the house of Brother Jos. E. Taylor to partake of dinner, all the First Presidency and Twelve being invited with their wives. I was joined by my wife Carlie. We had a most excellent meal and a good time, there being a large company present. I was called upon to dedicate the house, it being a new building that had just been completed. Before I left[,] Brother Taylor expressed a wish to have me address the people. I did so for a short time, and then withdrew, it being pretty late and the roads to my place being very muddy.
23 March 1893 • Thursday
Thursday, March 23, 1893.
The First Presidency came to the office and afterwards met with the Twelve. Ten of the Twelve were present. Brother H. J. Grant is in Washington, and Brother Thatcher was taken very sick in the night and was compelled to return home. After singing, we had prayer, I being requested by President Woodruff to be mouth. It was a matter of regret to all of us that Brother Thatcher was not at this meeting, as we went very thoroughly over all the ground of difference, as it seemed to us, between himself and us, in all of which the members of the Twelve present agreed. We explained the difficulties that surrounded us and bore testimony that we knew from the Lord that the course that we had counseled was directed by Him. It was not a matter of doubt in our minds, for we knew this positively, and the Lord had defended our course by the blessings which He had bestowed. I alluded to the wonderful fact that the great Republican party, who had always been opposed to us, had now shown such friendship that they were willing to make speeches in favor of the admission of Utah and to vote for her admission; that such men as Thomas B. Reed, J. C. Burrows and Mr. Dollinger were ready to favor the admission and, if necessary, make speeches in its favor; and the Republican Senate in caucus had decided that Utah should be admitted. Was it not, I asked, a great result for such a change as this to be effected? and was not this result the consequences of the course that we had been led to advocate? We had not alienated the Democratic party in any manner by our operations, but we had won the good feeling of the Republican party, and had disarmed a great deal of prejudice and anger which had been entertained against us.
The result of our conversation was that all felt that Brother Moses Thatcher could not go into the Temple until he had made matters right. It was decided that he should be waited upon by his quorum. It was also decided that other brethren should be waited upon by members of their quorums.
A most delightful feeling prevailed. All the brethren bore testimony to the correctness of the course taken by the First Presidency, and they desired to sustain them in all their movements. There was a very tender feeling manifested, and tears were shed. President Woodruff was especially moved when he came to speak, and he spoke with a great deal of power, and promised those who were present, in the name of the Lord, that they should never fall away, but should be faithful to the end—a most precious promise, which every one present seemed to appreciate. It is very delightful to contrast the feeling that now exists in our Council with the feeling that existed after the death of President Taylor, when it was a matter of dread with President Woodruff, as he expressed himself, and as I always felt, (though I never said so) to meet with the Twelve; there was such a spirit and I was so much the object of attack, that I actually dreaded to attend a meeting of the Twelve.
24 March 1893 • Friday
Friday, March 24, 1893.
First Presidency at the office.
President Smoot dropped in.
Brother Cedarstrom brought some very beautiful specimens of Onyx, he having discovered a large bed of it at Pelican Point in Utah County, and he is desirous that it should remain in the hands of the Latter-day Saints, and wished a company formed for that purpose.
We had a very interesting conversation with a Mr. Lebeker. He is a father-in-law to Mr. Arbogast, of this city, and is an enthusiast in relation to grape planting. He thinks that grapes will grow excellently on our dry soil without irrigation, and he predicts that the grape will do as much for this country in the future as the lucerne in the past[.]
25 March 1893 • Saturday
Saturday, March 25, 1893.
Today was observed as a general fast day, in accordance with the Address of the First Presidency.
26 March 1893 • Sunday
Sunday, March 26, 1893.
I attended services at the Tabernacle today, and at the request of President Woodruff, addressed the congregation for upwards of an hour, and was followed by Presiden[t] Woodruff for several minutes.
27 March 1893 • Monday
Monday, March 27, 1893.
First Presidency at the office.
Bishop Winder called and we had conversation in relation to Temple employes.
I was busy all day attending to various matters.
28 March 1893 • Tuesday
Tuesday, March 28, 1893.
First Presidency at the office.
Mr. H. A. Cuppy, correspondent of the London Illustrated News, called on the First Presidency. President Woodruff requested me to talk to the gentleman, and I had quite a lengthy and interesting conversation with him.
At 2 o’clock there was a meeting of the Church Board of Education, which I attended.
29 March 1893 • Wednesday
Wednesday, March 29, 1893.
First Presidency at the office.
We had a call from Mr. Harper, editor of the Chattanooga News, who was introduced to us by Brother M. W. Taylor.
Marshal Benton called and introduced to us Mr. E. L. Shepperd, of the Department of Justice, and Mr. Geo. Wallace.
The First Presidency had a conversation with Bishops Preston and Winder in relation to the straitened financial condition of the B.Y.Academy, Provo.
Brother John T. Caine called. He has just returned from Washington.
30 March 1893 • Thursday
Thursday, March 30th,
Came to the office early this morning, being fast day, and read over the dedicatory prayer with Brother George Reynolds.
The First Presidency had a long conversation with Brother C. W. Penrose, in which we went over his conduct in political matters and explained our views concerning the same. He said that he got the impression that I wanted to get rid of him from the Deseret News and that I was unfriendly to him, and he had felt very sore for this cause, as he said that he had always been my friend. He defended his course and said that he had done nothing in political matters that he did not do conscientiously as a member of the Church and as an elder in the same and had always asked the blessing of the Lord on his labors. We acquitted him of any design to injure the influence of the First Presidency, but explained to him that his attitude was such as to put us in a false position and that his influence in connection with other things which had occurred at this time had been against me. I explained all that I had done in regard to the Deseret News Company to which President Woodruff bore testimony. He said that I had been Brother Penrose’s friend, and my objection to the change which had been made was because he would lose his position there. I told him that I had never injured him in thought, much less in word. I had never had a feeling against him except of the kindest and most friendly character, and he had done me a great injustice. It was cruel of him to entertain the feelings which he said he had to me, as I was ignorant of ever having injured him in thought.
At the beginning of our conversation, he seemed inclined to argue the matter and show that he was right and that we had misjudged him, but before we got through he acknowledged that he could see that his position had been a wrong one. He asked our forgiveness, and I asked forgiveness of him; that if I had appeared to be unfriendly I hoped that he would forgive me, for if I had done so it was certainly not intentional. The conversation was a lengthy one, but I think it will result in good, as I am satisfied that Brother Penrose was brought to see some things in their proper light.
I attended the funeral of Brother Arthur Winter’s little son. He and his wife are sorely stricken, they having lost a child a week before this one was born, and this came as a comfort to them. Now he has been taken away, and they feel very badly. I addressed those who were assembled and spoke about twenty-five minutes and then apologized to them for having to withdraw as there was a meeting of the Council at two o’clock. Some letters were read to the Council, and then Brother Lyman reported the result of his visit to Logan, whither he and Brother John W. Taylor had gone to visit Brother Moses Thatcher. I was very much grieved and shocked to hear what he had to say. They reached Logan on Tuesday and repaired to Brother Thatcher’s, and from 9 O’clock in the evening until midnight they conversed with him. He treated them with considerable discourtesy, for when he learned the object of their visit he remarked that he did not wish to be approached any more on that subject; he considered the matter had been settled and expressed surprise that it should ever be revived. He looked upon what was being done in this matter by the brethren as persecution, and in his weak condition he did not wish to bear it. Brother Lyman thought he manifested a very bad spirit. He accused both the brethren of being self-righteous. The brethren reported to him that the First Presidency and the Apostles were agreed in their view concerning his position; they felt that he was in the wrong, and that he should be willing to confess it. This he was not willing to do. He said he could not acknowledge that he had done wrong, and there would have to be a great change wrought in his feelings before he could do so. Brother Lyman’s remarks concerning the spirit he was manifesting did not seem to have any effect upon him. He remarked that he considered the Twelve were knuckling down to the Presidency, and upon this point conveyed the idea that the knuckling down was done particularly to President Smith and myself, and said that we no doubt felt badly over the results of the election and that on that account we were crowding him. Brother Lyman asked him to come down as soon as he could before the conference to see the First Presidency, and remarked that if he did so he believed he would get better. His reply to this was that he was not superstitious, he did not think the hand of the Lord was upon him, and he felt assured he was going to get better. Among other remarks that he made he said he did not wish to associate with such a crowd, the expression “such a crowd[”] meaning the First Presidency and Twelve. The brethren undoubtedly had talked very plain to him, showing him that he was putting himself in a position to oppose the spirit and policy of the First Presidency, and that thereby he was placing himself at the head of a faction. But he did not take that view of it. When Brother Lyman told him that the First Presidency and Twelve were agreed that he was in the wrong and that he should be willing to admit it and ask what he could do to make it right, his reply was that he was not built that way, upon which he made very improper remarks and alleged that the beginning of this trouble was the Bullion-Beck affair. They said to him that though they were his juniors in the Apostleship they had felt to come and labor with him and get him to come down and make things right. He replied that he did not feel like doing that, and he said that they would get some time where he was and look
s at things as he did; that every man of manhood and independence would have to come to that; that President Taylor himself in his day came to it.
Altogether the report which Brother Lyman made was very painful and it created the gravest apprehensions in our minds, though he said he thought before they got through with Brother Thatcher he had softened somewhat in his feelings. It was very evident to all that there must be a change or serious results would follow. A man occupying his position cannot possibly retain his standing among the Apostles and keep that spirit; he must either bend and yield to his brethren, or they must bend and yield to him, or there would have to be a break. Of course, the First Presidency and ten of the Twelve feel that they are right. No doubt, Brother Grant would be with us if he were here. I felt particularly hurt by the remarks which he had made; for it was plain to me that Brother Thatcher has looked upon me as being one of the causes of the feeling that he thought was entertained against him. The truth is, I have refrained from saying anything concerning his course. I did not wish to put myself in the position of appearing to say or do anything against him because of his former conduct towards me.
President Woodruff expressed himself with great plainness concerning the situation. He said the time had come when the Presidency and Apostles should be united and when they should see alike on all matters of counsel to be given to the Church. He said that we were united, and there was one who differed from us, and unless that one man repents he knew he would go down, for he knew that as the Lord lived the course he has pursued is not right, and it is a position full of danger to him, as it would be to any man who occupied it. President Woodruff referred to the time in Kirtland when the Prophet Joseph was opposed by leading men, and every man who did so went down. The case, however, at the present time is not similar in so far that the First Presidency and the whole quorum of the Twelve, excepting one, are united.
Before myself or President Woodruff spoke, Brother Brigham Young expressed himself to the effect that he was satisfied that the request made of Brother Thatcher was right, and that what he had heard only confirmed his view that there should be repentance on Brother Thatcher’s part.
President Jos. F. Smith said that he felt as Brother Young did, that if any evidence were
wanting needed to show that the Council had been correct in the course taken towards Brother Thatcher his conduct had furnished it.
Brother Lyman said that Brother Thatcher thought that the Council had been tyrannical towards him.
Brother Richards made some remarks concerning Brother Thatcher’s statement that this trouble originated in the Bullion-Beck matter[.] This called forth from me a number of explanations concerning the Bullion-Beck affair. I stated, however, that all this feeling about me on the part of Brother Thatcher had started before there was any talk respecting the Bullion-Beck affairs, which many of the brethren present no doubt remembered. I gave a full account of the manner in which President Taylor induced me to go into the Bullion-Beck mine, and I described with some detail about the dedicated stock. Some of the brethren had never heard this before and expressed themselves gratified at the explanation[.] A letter was afterwards read from W. B. Parkinson, the doctor who is attending Brother Thatcher, pleading for Brother Thatcher to be relieved from all business that would cause him mental worry or anxiety, and asking that he should be released for the present from the councils of the Church. He assured President Woodruff in this letter that Brother Thatcher’s attendance upon or participation in the exercises of the dedication, if carried to any but a very limited degree, could not fail to result disastrously[.] It was decided to excuse Brother Thatcher. Brother Teasdale was mouth in prayer, and President Woodruff wrote a letter relieving Brother Thatcher from attendance upon conference.
31 March 1893 • Friday
Friday, March 31st,
I went through the prayer again this morning and read it to President Woodruff in the presence of Brother George Reynolds who had done the principal part in preparing it. It appeared to be satisfactory to President Woodruff and was given to the printers to put in type.
After this a number of the Twelve came in the office, and Brother B. H. Roberts was also present. The members of the Council of the seven presidents of Seventies, of whom he is a member, had had a conversation with him in relation to his attitude during the political campaign and had expressed the feeling that he should try and get an understanding with the First Presidency about his action. We had a lengthy and very plain conversation with him and told him wherein we felt that our brethren had placed us, the First Presidency, in a false position before the people. We do not assume to dictate to men in regard to their political convictions, but we did presume to counsel them as to the best policy in view of our entire situation. If the people get into trouble and become surrounded by difficulties, they naturally turn their eyes to the First Presidency of the Church for counsel and advice. They do not go to politicians nor to Gentiles, but they come to the Priesthood. It would be most unfair, therefore, as we have to bear the burdens of the people in case of trouble if we should not be consulted about their affairs, so that we might perhaps be the means of averting evil and avoiding missteps. We said to Brother Roberts that we acquitted him of any deliberate design to injure the First Presidency among the people, because if he had done that he would have betrayed us, but we felt that his influence, perhaps not so much as the influence as the influence of some others, had been against our policy, and he had increased our burdens by the ardour with which he had contended for Democracy and also by statements which had been made concerning us through extracts made from the interview which President Woodruff and myself had with the Salt Lake Times. We went over the ground pretty thoroughly, and I think our conversation will result in good[.] He asked our forgiveness, and I in my turn asked his forgiveness for anything I had said that had hurt his feelings. He said that he had nothing to forgive, as I had done nothing that he had taken exceptions to. I talked very freely to him but with what I supposed to be a kind and brotherly spirit, and he received it as such.
Among other things which occupied my attention to-day was the correction of a discourse for publication in the News to-morrow. It was the discourse which I delivered last Sunday. I also dictated an article for the Juvenile to my son Hugh.