[Minutes of the Quorum of the Twelve]
At 10 o'clock this morning the Council of the Apostles met at the President's office...
Elder Lyman, speaking to this question, said he was reminded of the time when the Council was together after the death of President [John] Taylor, and the feeling of President Woodruff at that time; he was also reminded of President Woodruff's feelings, as expressed on different occasions during his administration, to the effect that whenever he died, the First Presidency of the Church should be organized without delay. "And if the Lord should manifest to you, President Snow, that it was the proper thing to do now, I am prepared to not only vote for a Trustee-in-trust, but for the President of the Church". Bro[ther]. Lyman added that he saw no reason why this action should not be taken at the present meeting, giving the President time, if he desired it, to choose his counselors. He remarked that after the death of Joseph Smith, three years lapsed before the First Presidency was organized; after the death of President [Brigham] Young, it also took three years to organize the First Presidency; after the death of Pres[ident]. Taylor, eighteen months elapsed, and the speaker believed that if the Council had been in harmony, no such interval would have occurred, but the Presidency would have been reorganized earlier. He believed the right thing to do now was to organize the First Presidency, and this act would tend to create confidence at home and abroad. ...
Jos[eph]. F. Smith: "I move that that be the sense of this meeting".
The motion was seconded by Bro[ther]. Cowley.
President Snow asked if there were any further remarks. Several of the brethren called for the question, whereupon Pres[ident]. Snow asked Elder Jos[eph]. F. Smith to put the motion. This being done, it was carried unanimously, and Lorenzo Snow was thus sustained by the Council of the Apostles, as President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Pres[ident]. Snow then arose and said: There was no use in his making excuses as to inability, etc., to assume the vast responsibilities involved in the position to which he had been elected. He felt that it was for him to do the very best he could and depend upon the Lord. He knew the action taken by the Council was according to the mind and will of the Lord, who had shown and revealed to him several days ago that the First Presidency should be organized before the next conference. He had been feeling a little gloomy, and perhaps a little discouraged at the prospect, and the vast responsibility that would naturally fall upon him as President of the Twelve Apostles, and with this feeling he went before the Lord, offered up the signs of the Holy Priesthood and called upon Him to let light come to his mind. His prayer was answered, the Lord manifesting unto him clearly what he should do; also in regard to the counselors he should select when he became President of the Church, "And[,]" said he, "In accordance with the light given me, I now present to you the name of Geo[rge]. Q. Cannon as my first counselor, and of Joseph F. Smith as my second counselor".
Several of the brethren, speaking at the same time, seconded the choice of counselors, and the brethren named had expressed themselves upon the subject--Bro[ther]. Cannon to the effect that he was willing to act in this capacity, or any other, if he could have the love and confidence of his brethren, and Bro[ther]. Smith to the effect that since the Lord had manifested his will in this matter, he had nothing to say, except that he was perfectly willing to act in this or any other position, and would do all he could to sustain the hands of the President in righteousness before the Lord.
Pres[ident]. Snow, before calling for the vote, said, "I have not mentioned this matter to any person, either man or woman. I, wanted to see what the feelings of the brethren were. I wanted to see if the same spirit which the Lord manifested to me was in you. I had confidence in you that the Lord would indicate to you that this was proper and according to his mind and will. I do not feel that I should be over-anxious in regard to anything pertaining to the work of the Lord. I had one revelation or manifestation in my early career which became my star, so to speak, and which I have always had before my mind. I put the meaning of it into couplet form, as follows:
"As man is, God once was;
"As God is, man may be".
That was revealed to me with power; the Holy Ghost was upon me for a long time, and I knew it was my privilege to be like Him whom I afterwards knew was my Father and God. As John the Apostle says, "We are now the sons of God; when He shall appear we shall be like Him", etc. We must act as far as we possibly can like God while we are in the flesh, and I know we can reach that degree of perfection. Now brethren, I shall do the best I can, as God shall give me wisdom and power. I sense keenly my own weakness and inability, but I appreciate the fact that God can make strong. If I know my own heart, the administration about to be ushered in shall not be known as Lorenzo Snow's, but as God's in Lorenzo Snow. As to things which have happened in the past, I do not want to talk about them; it will become us as servants of the Lord to go to work and meet the difficulties before us, as the Lord shall aid and assist us. ..."
The vote was then taken approving unanimously the President's choice of counselors.
M[atthias]. F. Cowley now moved, and the motion was carried, that Lorenzo Snow be sustained as Trustee-in-trust for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Pres[ident]. Geo[rge]. Q. Cannon suggested that the President of the Twelve Apostles be appointed, and on motion of F[ranklin]. M. Lyman, Franklin D. Richards was unanimously sustained to act in that position.
... On motion of Bro[ther]. Grant, it was decided to make public in this evening's paper, the action of the Council in organizing the First Presidency and appointing the Trustee-in-trust and the President of the Twelve Apostles.
The Council then adjourned.
[Source: First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve minutes]