[John M. Whitaker]
The growing difference between President B. H. Roberts and the First Presidency represented by President F[rancis]. M. Lyman, as to which is greater the High Priest or the Seventy, Brother Roberts holding that the Seventy is an Apostle in authority, as held by Joseph Young First President of the Seventies when organized, is assuming a rather dangerous condition in their correspondence, Brother Lyman claiming opposite views, Brother Roberts says he will hold that his views are correct until the First Presidency settles the matter. Then there is another great question that has been brewing ever since statehood between Brother Roberts and Moses Thatcher, on the one hand and F[rancis]. M. Lyman and John Henry Smith on the other, on the question of Church and State, and the First Presidency having stated that all members of the Church have the perfect freedom to vote as they please on all political matters, and Brother Roberts and Thatcher are taking exceptions to what they call church influence, and some of the brethren interfering with the agency of members of the Church, while F[rancis]. M. Lyman, John Henry Smith and John Morgan are going around trying to get Democrats to become Republicians, or getting Democrats to vote for certain Republicans, and this has created a very bitter controversy increasing the differences already existing, and the Brethren are writing in the Press and saying many unkind things against the general Authorities interfering with members, and this is called church influence, and all this is boding no good for the church.
[John M. Whitaker, Diary, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1835-1951, Electronic Edition, 2015]