Friday, April 1, 1898
There was a meeting held this morning with the Cashier of Zion’s Savings Bank, Col. Winder, Judge Young and R. S. Campbell, to take into consideration the best way of arranging the loan which had been obtained from Zion’s Savings Bank in behalf of the Big Cottonwood Co.
Saturday, April 2, 1898
Busy at the office to-day dictating correspondence and articles for the Juvenile Instructor.
Sunday, April 3, 1898
This being fast day, I went to the Temple this morning, in company with my wife Caroline. It stormed very heavily, and my wives Sarah Jane and Martha did not feel well enough to go. President Snow, Brigham Young, John Henry Smith and Heber J. Grant, of the Apostles were present. To-day is the anniversary of President Lorenzo Snow’s birth, and a very beautiful boquet was presented to him by the workers in the Temple, Brother John R. Winder making the presentation speech. Brother Lorenzo Snow is eighty-four years old. The meeting was an unusually interesting one. Brother Snow spoke considerably. After the people generally had spoken, I bore my testimony, and was followed by Brothers Smith and Grant. Brother Brigham Young had withdrawn before that part of the meeting was reached, as he had to meet a daughter at the railway station.
In the afternoon I attended a meeting at the 15th Ward, at the request of my brother Angus. Brother Joseph R. Morgan was selected as Bishop of that Ward, to fill the vacancy created by the death of Bishop Elias Morris. He retained Brother Rodney Badger as his first counselor, and Nephi Morris, a son of Bishop Morris, was chosen as his second counselor. The Ward was divided also, and Brother Edward Ashton was chosen to preside over the new Ward. I addressed the people for about half an hour.
Monday, April 4, 1898
Professor Widtsoe, of the Agricultural College, Logan, called with his affianced, Sister Leah Dunford, to speak to the First Presidency in relation to a concordance which he had prepared for the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and which he wished to present to the Church.
The First Presidency had a call from three brethren who are interested in the canals of this county, in company with Prest. Angus M. Cannon. They desired our influence to be used for the defeat of the nomination of Judge Zane for a second term as Judge, and gave a very strong representation of the injustice that had been done to the citizens of the County by a decision which Judge Zane had recently made, which decision, it is alleged, was secured by his son, John M. Zane, who was the counsel on the side which won. According to their representations and all that we have heard respecting this, a great wrong has been perpetrated upon the farmers west of the Jordan river.
We had quite an interesting conversation this morning with Mr. Galt and Mr. McGrath, of Canada. Mr. Galt had received a written proposition from us, accompanied by a letter, of the terms on which we would place settlers in Alberta Territory. He is the President of the Alberta Railway and Coal Company. Immediately upon receiving this proposition from us, he started for England, where he has been since then endeavoring to raise funds to form a company which should settle that region. He has partially succeeded in his plans. He could not induce the Alberta Railway & Coal Co. to advance the funds that were needed, but succeeded in inducing some of his friends to agree to put
in money into what would be called the Alberta Irrigation Company, with a capital of $200,000[.] The purpose of this would be to construct a canal to water lands, 250,000 acres of which they had bought from the Alberta Railway & Coal Co. Mr. Galt had been cabled by Mr. Magrath that he ought to get back here about the time of our Conference, as it would be a good time to bring this matter before our people. He had only been eleven days from London to this city, which he reached yesterday afternoon. He had stopped on his way in New York some hours, and also in Denver. He wished to make some changes in our proposition, and desired to have us examine these changes.
The First Presidency had an interview with Brother F. S. Richards, our attorney, and B. Cluff, Jr., concerning the establishment of a branch of the Brigham Young Academy at Beaver. The Church owns half of what is called the Fort Cameron property, and Brothers John R. Murdoch and P. T. Farnsworth own the other half. These latter parties are willing, we are informed, to give their half for the purpose of establishing a branch of the Academy there. We discussed the method of doing this.
Tuesday, April 5, 1898
We had a meeting this morning of the First Presidency and the Apostles. All the Apostles were present excepting John W. Taylor, M. W. Merrill, A. H. Lund and M. F. Cowley. The Presiding Bishops were also present, and Brother C. O. Card. The object of the meeting was to submit to the brethren the proposition of Mr. Galt and the changes he had suggested. We had a very full discussion on the subject. A motion was made by Brother John Henry Smith that the proposition be accepted with such modifications that the First Presidency might be able to secure. This was carried.
At 12 o’clock there was a stockholders’ meeting of Z.C.M.I., and the old Board of Directors was elected. The Directors met afterwards and elected officers. I was elected Vice President again.
Wednesday, April 6, 1898
At 10 o’clock this morning the Sixty-eighth Annual Conference of the Church met in the Tabernacle. The house was better filled than usual at the opening. President Woodruff’s health has not been very good for a few days, and he was apprehensive that he would not be able to attend Conference, or, if he did, that he would be unable to speak. This morning, however, after a hymn was sung, and prayer was offered by Elder John Nicholson, and another hymn was sung, he arose and spoke for a little while to the people, and spoke with better voice than he expected. After he sat down, he requested me to speak, and I addressed the Conference. President Smith followed, and spoke excellently.
At 12:30 there was a meeting of Zion’s Savings Bank.
At 1:15 we met with Mr. Galt and Mr. Magrath again. We went through the contract very carefully. We did not close anything to-day, but appointed another meeting for to-morrow.
At 2 o’clock we met again in Conference. After singing, prayer was offered by Elder A. W. Ivins, and singing again, President Lorenzo Snow spoke for about 35 mins. As his voice could not be heard only by a portion of the congregation, Brother Heber J. Grant was called upon to speak, as he has a good voice; he spoke about 20 mins., and then Brother Franklin D. Richards was called upon. I supposed that he would be heard pretty well, but learned afterwards that a good many could not hear him.
President Woodruff was quite exercised in his feelings respecting the brethren’s method of speaking. He cautioned each speaker against turning his head, as that prevented the congregation from hearing, and urged them to speak directly to the people at the other end of the building and to lift up their voices with the view of being heard by those at the other end.
Thursday, April 7, 1898
Conference met this morning at 10 o’clock, and after singing, prayer by Elder J. G. Kimball, and singing, Elders A. O. Woodruff, M. F. Cowley, Brigham Young and B. H. Roberts spoke. I was particularly pleased with the remarks of Brother Cowley; he spoke very spiritedly. President Woodruff desired me to limit the speakers to about 20mins. Brother Roberts spoke about 15mins. The meeting was quite interesting, as all these brethren spoke sufficiently loud to be heard by the greater portion of the people. After singing, and prayer by Elder George Reynolds, the Conference was adjourned until 2 o’clock.
At 12:30 we had another meeting with Mr. Galt and Mr. Magrath, and came to a conclusion concerning the terms upon which we would put settlers in Alberta Territory. Mr. Galt and Mr. Magrath intend to go to Denver and see the hydraulic engineer whom they have employed – a Mr. Anderson, who is said to be one of the best authorities in the United States on irrigation canals. Mr. Galt intends to have a form of contract drawn up, and we made an appointment to meet with him on Wednesday next.
At 2 o’clock we met at the Tabernacle again. After singing, prayer by Elder David H. Cannon, and signing, President Woodruff spoke, and with much clearness and strength. After he had finished, he expressed a desire to have me talk, which I did, and felt very well in speaking to the people. After singing, and prayer by Elder Seymour B. Young, the Conference was adjourned until 10 o’cloc[k] tomorrow morning.
Friday, April 8, 1898
At 10 o’clock Conference again convened. Singing; prayer by Elder John W. Hess; singing. The following brethren addressed the Conference: Elders M. W. Merrill, John W. Taylor, J. G. Kimball, and President Joseph F. Smith. Much interesting and valuable counsel was given, and the meeting was quite a spirited one. After singing, and prayer by Elder George B. Wallace, the Conference adjourned until 2 o’clock.
At 1 o’clock we had a meeting with a committee of missionaries that had been appointed by the Presidency of the European Mission to wait upon the First Presidency and lay before us the great necessity there was for better places of meeting in Great Britain. The committee consisted of Elders Shorten, Crane, McCune and Bailey. These young men are quite bright, intelligent men, and they described with great clearness the situation of the British Mission, the disposition which is now shown by people of means to investigate the principles of the Gospel, and the difficulty there was in the way of their hearing the Gospel because of the very inferior and low places in which our meetings are held. All the halls at present rented by the Saints in that country are cheap and in the most of cases in low, and in some instances disreputable parts of town – places where people who have any pride would be ashamed to go. The ideas these brethren have are that collections might be taken up in the Stakes, and in that way means be obtained to rent better places. There are chapels now built by a certain firm in Great Britain, consisting principally of iron, which are very neat; and in some places land might be leased and buildings of this kind erected upon it. We listened to the brethren with great interest, and suggested that it would be a good thing for them to come and meet with the Priesthood to-morrow, and we would call upon them to lay the subject before the assembled brethren.
At 2 o’clock we met in Conference, and after singing, prayer by Elder Elias H. Blackburn, and singing, the following Elders addressed the Conference: George Teasdale, John Henry Smith, President Woodruff, and F. M. Lyman. This was another very interesting meeting, and the Spirit of the Lord was poured out.
After singing, and prayer by Patriarch John Smith, the Conference adjourned until Sunday next, at 10 o’clock.
I have not mentioned how well attended this Conference has been. Every meeting the house has been filled, and strict attention has been given. The instructions have been of a very practical character and more than usually interesting. The people have been cautioned against debt and exhorted to endeavor to free themselves from debt. I feel sure that the Saints will be greatly profited by the instructions that have been given.
Saturday, April 9, 1898
The general Priesthood meeting was held in the Tabernacle this morning. It was well attended, and the instructions given were timely and well received. The speakers were President Lorenzo Snow, Joseph F. Smith, President Woodruff and myself; then President Woodruff spoke again, and I also made additional remarks. I spoke at considerable length, in explaining to the brethren the manner in which our tithing had been disbursed in the past and the new arrangements we had entered upon, by which the income of the Church was segregated in such a manner that each department would receive a certain percentage of the tithing.
At 2 o’clock there was a meeting of the authorities of the Stakes and Wards, together with the general authorities, in the Assembly Hall. There was quite a full attendance. Bishop Preston spoke upon tithing matters. I spoke two or three times. President Smith spoke a short time. We also heard from the committee of missionaries who met with us yesterday, the Presidents of Stakes were instructed to aid the brethren in carrying out the plan of collecting for this purpose. Bishop L. G. Hardy addressed the meeting in relation to the Brigham Young Memorial Fund. This meeting was also a very interesting meeting, and much business was done pertaining to the Church.
This evening I went with three of my wives to the Welsh Singers Concert at the Tabernacle. They sung very sweetly and tenderly, but I came away from the concert with a better opinion of our own singers as compared with them.
Sunday, April 10, 1898
Conference met this morning at 10 o’clock. After singing, prayer by Elder Orson Smith, and singing, the meeting was addressed by President Lorenzo Snow and President Joseph F. Smith. The latter spoke at some length and gave us a most excellent discourse.
At noon I went to Brother William B. Dougall’s and took lunch with the family.
In the afternoon, after singing, prayer by Elder Abram Hatch, and singing, at President Woodruff’s request I presented the authorities of the Church to the Conference, and they were unanimously sustained. Brother Franklin D. Richards then addressed the congregation, and he was followed by myself. After I sat down, President Woodruff spoke.
After singing, and prayer by Elder C. W. Penrose, the Conference was adjourned for six months.
This has been the longest Conference that I remember, and it has been one of exceeding interest. On all sides we hear expressions from the people of how much they have enjoyed the teachings and how strongly felt has been the influence of the Spirit.
There was an overflow meeting held this afternoon in the Assembly Hall, at which Brother M. W. Merrill presided. Several of the Presidents of Seventies were there. My brother David was among the speakers, and from all reports the meeting was an excellent one.
Monday, April 11, 1898
The First Presidency had a call this morning from Bishop Preston and Bishop Thomas Judd, to talk over the arrangements for the White River Ranch, at which place Brother Judd is called to preside.
This is the anniversary of Brother John McDonald’s birth (he is 68 years old to-day), and he had invited quite a company of friends to take dinner at his house this afternoon, myself and wife among the number. We had a delightful visit with them. I was compelled to be absent a little over an hour, as I had an engagement to deliver a lecture to a class of Book of Mormon students, of which Prof. John M. Mills is the head. I spoke for about an hour upon the translation of the Book of Mormon and events connected with it, and the translation which I made into the Hawaiian language.
Tuesday, April 12, 1898
My brother, David H. Cannon, and James G. Bleak had an interview with President Woodruff and myself this morning, in which they described the condition of the Temple-workers at St. George and how the reduction in the amount allowed that Temple would affect them. Before we got through, President Smith joined us.
I had a meeting with my family this evening.
Wednesday, April 13, 1898
Attended a meeting of the Board of the Union Light & Power Co. this morning at 11 o’clock, at which there was considerable business done.
I was busy with Juvenile Instructor matters part of the day.
Thursday, April 14, 1898
Judge Le Grand Young called at the office and had conversation.
At 11 o’clock the First Presidency went to the Temple and met with Brothers Lorenzo Snow, F. D. Richards, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, H. J. Grant, M. F. Cowley and A. O. Woodruff, of the Apostles. The principal subject discussed was the business of the Utah Loan & Trust Co.
We spent all afternoon with Mr. Galt and Mr. Magrath, finishing up the business with them, and signing agreement, etc.
Friday, April 15, 1898
This is Arbor Day.
Last night, for the first time in my life, I had something like a nervous attack. I could not lay quietly in bed, but had to get up and pace my bedchamber. I have been under quite a heavy strain through Conference, and then going with only partial sleep for several nights, I felt the effect of it last night, and especially as yesterday was such a heavy day on me through the strain in trying to arrange this contract with the gentlemen from Canada. I thought it better, therefore, to keep very quiet to-day.
Saturday, April 16, 1898
My children, Wilford and Georgius, being so much better, I induced my wife Caroline to go with me to Provo this morning to attend the quarterly conference there. I expected Presidents Woodruff and Smith to have been on the train; but there was not one of the Apostles at the conference excepting Brother Heber J. Grant. The Stake Tabernacle has been finished, and it is now a most elegant building. Great praise is due to the Presidency of the Stake and to the Bishops and Saints for the exertions which they have made to pay off the debt and to finish the building. Brother Reed Smoot has been exceedingly active and energetic in this business, and has succeeded admirably. The interior has been painted and papered and furnished with electric chandeliers; the stands have been upholstered in red plush, and altogether the “tout ensemble” is very beautiful. The exterior also has been finished with iron steps and cut stone sides.
Prest. Partridge spoke first in the forenoon, reporting the condition of the Stake, and he was followed by Bishops Gillespie, Cutler, Robinson and Lewis. I called upon Brother Grant to speak, and he occupied about half an hour, and he was followed by Brother David John and Brother Reed Smoot.
Myself and wife were entertained at her uncle’s, Prest. Partridge. Our daughter Ann stopped at Brother Ho[l]brook’s with their little girls.
In the afternoon I requested Brother Grant to speak, and he occupied about an hour, and I spoke about half an hour. Brother Grant’s remarks were quite interesting.
In the evening there was a concert given in the Tabernacle, to raise funds for the purchase of chairs for the choir. The house was well filled, and over $300 was taken in for admission. The concert was quite successful. Sister Nellie Druce Pugsley came from the city and sang. Brother J. J. McLellan also came and performed on the piano and organ, and Brother Willard Weihe on the violin.
Sunday, April 17, 1898
Myself and wife called to see her brother, Don Carlos Young, and family. Sister Young has recently given birth to a son, and they have called it Cannon Young. It seems like a very promising child.
The Tabernacle was filled to overflowing, and it was necessary to hold an overflow meeting in the old building, which Brother Grant took charge of. After singing by the choir, and prayer, a hymn that had been prepared for the deciation [dedication] by Brother Wolf was sung, and then we had a most excellent report from Reed Smoot of the manner in which the building had been completed and the names of those who had taken active part in doing it. I was greatly pleased with his report, for it covered every detail and gave proper credit to all who had been active in the work of building. As President Joseph F. Smith and Brother John Henry Smith had both come from the city this morning, I proposed to Prest. Partridge that President Smith should offer the dedicatory prayer. He came back to me after a while and said that it was the wish of the Presidency of the Stake, if I had no objections, that I should offer the prayer. I mentioned to President Smith that they had spoken to me about offering the prayer, and he said, by all means I ought to do so. I have not felt as lively and cheerful since I have been down here as usual, partly due, I think, to not having recovered fully from the feeling of fatigue that I had; but I was greatly favored of the Lord in offering this prayer. It seemed to me that in the vision of my mind I could see everything that had been done, and could see all that was necessary to mention in the prayer. I felt very thankful to the Lord for His goodness to me in giving me this light. President Smith occupied the remainder of the time.
Myself and wife took dinner at Brother Holbrook’s.
In the afternoon the authorities of the Church were presented, and I then addressed the congregation, occupying about 75 mins. I felt great freedom in talking to the people and I enjoyed my own remarks. I spoke upon the subject of faith, reading a portion of the 12th chap. of the book of Ether.
Brother Reed Smoot furnished a conveyance to take myself and wife to the train, and we left Provo a little before 5 o’clock.
Monday, April 18, 1898
I have been busy in the office all this day.
I dictated my journal to Brother Arthur Winter.
Tuesday, April 19, 1898
At 8 o’clock this morning, President Smith, Bishop Winder, R. S. Campbell, Le Grand Young and myself took train for Ogden. On arriving there we spent a little time at the office of the Union Light & Power Co., and then took carriage and went to the power house, and from there up the canyon to the seepage dam, examined that, and then returned to Ogden. We took lunch at the Weber Club, and afterwards had an interview with Mr. Adamson, of the Bear River Canal Co., the proprietors of the Ogden Water Company, which supplies Ogden with water.
We returned to the city in the afternoon.
Wednesday, April 20, 1898
There was a meeting of the Sugar Company at 9:30, at which I was elected President of the Company, in place of Elias Morris, deceased. I declined this position in the first organization of the Company. To-day, however, the Board were quite desirous that I should occupy the place, and I was elected almost before I had time to utter any protest.
At 11 o’clock I met with the executive committee of the Union Light & Power Co.
The First Presidency had an interview with Nathan Tanner, Jr. He wants to enter into the Temple, and his Bishop has refused him a recommend, and he appeals to us.
At 3 o’clock we had a meeting with Bishop Winder, Le Grand Young and R. S. Campbell in relation to our affairs connected with the Union Light & Power Co. Judge Young leaves for the east this evening.
Thursday, April 21, 1898
Dictated my journal to Brother Arthur Winter this morning.
The First Presidency met at the Temple with Apostles Lorenzo Snow, Brigham Young, F. M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, Geo. Teasdale, Heber J. Grant, M. F. Cowley and A. O. Woodruff. There was considerable conversation on the subject of round dancing and the position occupied by Moses Thatcher.
At 2 o’clock there was a meeting of Z.C.M.I.
At 3 o’clock I met with the Sunday School Union Board.
Brother & Sister John J. McClellan took dinner at my wife Carlie’s this afternoon, and I had some conversation with him concerning our son Tracy, who has been devoting himself to music for a year past. Tracy is desirous of going to Germany to get instruction in music. Brother McClellan, I understand, has favored this movement. I have been desirous to know his views concerning Tracy and his fitness for the profession of music. I questioned him very closely on this point, as to whether he was sufficiently advanced now to go, and whether if he did go he thought he would make a first class musician. I told him that we did not wish him to be a second or third rate man, nor to adopt a profession at which he could not succeed. In answer, he said that he thought him sufficiently advanced to go to Germany and continue his studies; he considered him an excellent student, and though perhaps not so quick as some, yet he was very solid and thorough. His knowledge of harmony was very good, and he thought he would make a fine composer, and that he was safe in adopting music as a profession. He said, that which he hoped was that he and Tracy might be companions hereafter. He spoke in very high terms of the boy; and after hearing what he said, we felt more satisfied – at least, I did – as to the propriety of his going to Germany, if we could raise the means to send him.
Friday, April 22, 1898
I met with the Board of Directors of Geo. Q. Cannon & Sons Co. in the early part of the morning.
At 10 o’clock I met with the Grass Creek Coal Co.
Afterwards had a meeting of the Salt Lake & Los Angeles Railway Co. and of the Saltair Beach Co. Two decisions were reached, one that the fare to Saltair should be lowered to 25¢ this coming season, and the other that we should use the privileges ourselves instead of selling them, excepting the bar. These privileges consist of furnishing lunch, the selling of candies, fruits, soda water, popcorn, etc.
Our correspondence has been greatly neglected since the beginning of the month. Brother Reynolds read a great number of letters to us this afternoon, to which we suggested how answers should be made.
Saturday, April 23, 1898
In order to be free from interruption, as I had a large amount of correspondence that had accumulated on my hands, Brother Arthur Winter and myself occupied the Directors’ room at the Union Light & Power Co’s office, and I dictated to him the greater part of the day. Brother R. S. Campbell invited us to take lunch with him at the Vienna Cafe.
Sunday, April 24, 1898
This morning, in company with President Jos. F. Smith and Brother George Teasdale, I left for Ogden on the 8 o’clock train. We were met at the station by Prest. L. W. Shurtliff, who took us to his house, and from thence to the meeting house. The house was quite well filled. Brother Teasdale was the first speaker, and I enjoyed his remarks very much. He spoke with a good deal of vigor, dwelling principally upon the necessity for virtue. He was followed by President Smith, who occupied about 45 mins., his theme being war and the necessity for Latter-day Saints to do all in their power to prevent war. He spoke very strongly on the subject, and made some statements concerning the cause of the present war that I feared at the time might create unfavorable comment.
In the afternoon the authorities of the Church were presented, and Brother Franklin D. Richards was called on to speak. He also spoke upon the question of war. I spoke for about 25 mins. afterwards, and dwelt on the power of faith when properly exercised.
In the evening there was a sacred concert, which I attended in company with Brother & Sister Shurtliff and Brother Teasdale, President Smith having returned to Salt Lake City.
I was entertained by Brother & Sister Shurtliff.
Monday, April 25, 1898
After breakfast, I was summoned by telephone to meet Mr. Bannister at the office of the Union Light & Power Co. I spent 45 mins. with him talking over business.
At 10 o’clock I went to the Tabernacle. It had been decided that we should hold a long meeting, as President Smith (who had come up again from Salt Lake City) and myself and Brother Teasdale desired to return to the city on the train which leaves at 2:10. The house was quite well filled, but not crowded as it was yesterday. I addressed the meeting and spoke for nearly an hour and a half. It is seldom in my life that I have had the vision of my mind opened with greater clearness than it was to-day. I arose to my feet feeling entirely dependent upon the Lord; for I had nothing on my mind that I was impressed to speak upon; but the Lord opened my mind and made clear many things, and I was greatly edified myself, because he gave me new thoughts and new ideas, and the people listened with rapt attention. The brethren who followed me – Brothers Richards and Smith – spoke of what had been said by me as revelations from the Lord, and bore testimony to its truth.
At 2:10 we left for Salt Lake City. My wife Carlie had come from the city with President Smith, and she returned with me.
I went direct from the train to a meeting at the Bullion-Beck office, as also did President Smith.
Tuesday, April 26, 1898
Brothers Willard Young and Richard W. Young came to the office early this morning to see what the views of the First Presidency were concerning their tendering their services to the government. These young men have both been educated at West Point, and were in the army, the former in the topographical corps of engineers and the latter in the artillery. Both had resigned to come home; but now that there was a state of war they felt that it was their duty to tender their services to the government, and wished to get our views concerning it. Brother Brigham Young was present. He delivered a discourse on Sunday last, in the Tabernacle, which has created considerable feeling and made a commotion in the community. The papers have taken it up and have misrepresented some of his remarks. The discourse, however, was considered anti-war, and was looked upon as favoring the idea that our young men should not volunteer for the war, but send means to assist instead. He described the climate of Cuba as one that would be very severe on persons who have lived in these mountains.
President Woodruff, upon arrival at the office, took me into the back room and told me what had occurred and how he felt on the subject. He said that such remarks were very unwise and ought not to have been made; they put us in a wrong light, and would bring war upon us. He spoke very emphatically upon the subject, and seemed much warmed up. Finding that my views were similar to his own, he then went into the office again and spoke to the brethren concerning the subject they wished to get counsel upon. He was thoroughly in favor of these brethren proffering their services to the government; thought there was nothing else they could do in honor. He spoke very sharply concerning the remarks of Brother Brigham Young; said it would not do for us to take a stand of that kind, and that before making such remarks in public he ought to have consulted with his brethren. He said he would not think of going on the stand himself and making such remarks without first finding how his brethren felt. He said that we were now a part of the nation, and we were under obligation to do our share with the rest of the citizens of the government in bearing the burdens that devolve upon us.
It is very gratifying to see how clear President Woodruff is in his mind on this important question. He frequently turns and asks, “Well, brethren, what do you think of this?” and waits for our replies; but in this instance he did not wait to ask anybody – he spoke spiritedly and clearly without waiting to know what anybody else thought.
We had a meeting with Brothers John R. Winder, R. S. Campbell and Orange Seeley, who are interested with us in the coal properties in Emery County. There has been an attempt made to jump the property, and this meeting was to get an understanding concerning it. Brother Seeley resides down there and is familiar with the claims.
I met with my family this evening and had an interesting time.
Wednesday, April 27, 1898
I attended meeting of the executive committee of the Union Light & Power Co.
The First Presidency met and took into consideration the changes to be made in our method of doing business under the new arrangement about tithing. We called in Brothers Winder, Campbell and Jack and consulted with them as to the best method of book-keeping to be adopted. We also arranged respecting our own compensation. I told President Woodruff that I wanted to live without drawing anything from the Church, but for upwards of a year past my income had been nearly cut off. However, I would not draw hereafter to exceed $3000, and would not draw that if I could possibly avoid it. Brother Joseph F. Smith said he would do the same. President Woodruff has been allowed $6000; he said he would bring his down to $4500. We went through the list of all the general authorities, and made reductions in some, and with some of the clerks in the office; but concluded that it would be well to submit to each of the Twelve the question as to what he would require, and get them to reduce their expenses as much as possible.
Thursday, April 28, 1898
The First Presidency went to the Temple at 11, and met with President Lorenzo Snow, Franklin D. Richards (who withdrew before the meeting closed), Brigham Young, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, Geo. Teasdale, H. J. Grant, M. W. Merrill, M. F. Cowley and A. O. Woodruff. The Oneida Stake was divided into three Stakes; the two new Stakes to be called the Pocatello and the Portneuf Stakes. There was considerable discussion concerning the proper man to be selected as Counselor to Brother George C. Parkinson, the Prest. of the Oneida Stake.
After I returned from the Council I received a letter from Governor Wells, informing me that a letter from Rev. Dr. Iliff had been received by him, proffering any services of which he was capable to the governor in this pending war. He was too old, however, to volunteer, and he had no son old enough to volunteer, but anything he could do himself he would do with pleasure. The Governor suggested that it might not be improper for us to show our willingness also, and it would have the tendency to help the recruiting of volunteers, which, from what he heard, was going on very slowly. President Woodruff was very much in favor of having something written, as also was President Smith, and they both felt that I ought to get out a letter. I took Brother Arthur Winter and dictated the following to him, which the brethren and the Governor (who came up to the office) seemed very well pleased with, and it was published in the Deseret News this afternoon:
[Attached newspaper clipping]
Hon. Heber M. Wells, Governor of the State of Utah:
Dear Governor—We have read with much interest your proclamation to the people of our State, in which you call, in response to the proclamation of the President of the United States, for the enlistment of 500 men to furnish Utah’s quota of the 125,000 volunteers called for by the President to serve in the army of the United States for two years.
The people whom we represent are lovers of peace, and would do anything in their power, [underlined later] consistent with honor and the patriotic duty which every citizen owes to his country, to avert war and its dreadful train of consequences. Because of this feeling we have been led to admire the course which has been taken by President McKinley throughout this Spanish imbroglio, and we have hoped that his efforts to preserve peace between the two countries would result in success.
But war has been declared, and we have it to meet. Our citizens are called upon to enlist, and Utah is asked to furnish cavalry and batteries of artillery approximating 500 men.
We trust that the citizens of Utah who are Latter-day Saints will be found ready to respond with alacrity to this call which is made upon our State. There was a time in the past when we were called upon, as a religious organization, to make a far greater sacrifice than this, under circumstances that were exceedingly painful. Then there was no hesitation; but upwards of one-third of the men of suitable age formed a battalion of 500, left the camp and volunteered to take part in the Mexican war. In like manner there should be no hesitation now; and we sincerely trust that your recruiting officers will find our co-religionists as ready now to enlist and march to the defense of their country as their fathers were in the days to which we refer.
Trusting that you will be eminently successful in raising Utah’s proper quota of volunteers, and praying that the Almighty will protect our nation in the hour of trial and assist us in our battles for humanity and right, we remain. Very respectfully,
GEO. Q. CANNON,
JOS. F. SMITH. First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
[End of newspaper clipping]
Friday, April 29, 1898.
The First Presidency had a meeting with the Presiding Bishops this morning, also Brother Campbell and Brother Jack, and we laid before the Bishops the plan that we thought of adopting in relation to keeping accounts in the office, and the connection there would be between the two offices, and the duties that we should expect the Presiding Bishops to perform. The brethren appeared to be very well satisfied with the arrangements we are now making.
The question came up as to how the office of the First Presidency should be managed. There must of necessity be a new set of books opened, in which the apportionment of the Tithing shall be kept track of, so that we shall know what we are appropriating, and whether we have anything to appropriate or not for any object that may appeal to us. The President’s Office for years back has been a very different place to what it was formerly. Formerly it was headquarters for all the business of the Church. For years past it has apparently been a subordinate place, and has lost its influential position through the transaction of the business elsewhere. But now that this change is being made, it is necessary that we should have a younger man associated with Brother Jack, who is our chief clerk. Brother Jack is a clear-headed, good business man; but he is getting in years. There is no one in the office at present immediately connected with him who seems suitable to assume the duties that devolve upon him, if anything should happen to him or if he should have to be absent. I have felt myself for a long time that there ought to be some young man being trained, with the view of taking the responsibility. Now that these new books have to be opened and business be done in a different way, the necessity for this is more apparent than ever. Brother David McKenzie, who has stood next to Brother Jack, and who has acted for him during his absence, has been a long and faithful servant; but he also is in years, and not as quick in matters of this kind as he was in years gone by. We considered this question, and decided (it being agreeable to Brother Jack) that Brother Arthur Winter be taken from his present duties, and that he act in conjunction with Brother Jack, as his assistant, and be the intermediary between this office and the Presiding Bishop’s Office, keeping himself in close touch with both offices and the business of each. This will require someone to be trained to take Brother Winter’s place, as he is the Church reporter, etc. In conversation upon this subject, Brother Jack thought there would be time for someone to be trained, as Brother Winter’s duties would not be very exacting to begin with.
I think there is a general feeling of gratification at the manner in which the changes that have been proposed have been received, and we sincerely hope that they will be attended with the results that we desire.
Mr. R. C. Kerens, of St. Louis, a railroad magnate and a man with whom I have been well acquainted, is in town to-day with his private car. Mr. C. J. Salisbury has solicited us to take the party out to the lake. I instructed Brother Clayton to tender the use of the engine and car to himself and party, and as Mr. Kerens had desired an interview with me I agreed to accompany the party to the lake. I had an interesting time.
Saturday, April 30, 1898
I was busy dictating to Brother Winter.