I took Nichol Hood to the Presidents Office and as I entered the north door in to the private office of President [Joseph F.] Smith, there was the president, brother [Charles W.] Penrose and John R. Winder, his counselors and ten of the apostles. And by the way, Nichol Hood loved Brother Penrose and held him as a perfect democrat, and brother Penrose had done many things for Nichol Hood, I said, "President Smith, this is Nichol Hood, the man who has made the charge against you that you gave your consent for his brother John Hood, to take a plural wife." What a surprize to most of the brethren and what a spirit it at once aroused. President Smith was calm and very gracious to Nichol Hood and said, "Brother Hood, bring your chair close to me and let me talk with you. Who and where is your brother John Hood, and tell me just what he said." Nichol Hood said, "My brother John Hood told me that you personally told him you had no objection for him to take a plural wife." And then President Smith said, "Nichol I don't know your brother, I never remember of ever having seen him and if he said
such a thing to you, he is a liar and the truth is not in him. The man is not living, or the man is not dead that could say I ever gave my consent for any one to take a plural wife since the Manifesto." He then spent over an hour going over the history of cases in the church and then said: "We learned from reliable sources that John W. Taylor and Matthias F. Cowley and others were writing and making appointments and were performing polygamous marriages in secret places and intercepted two letters written by John W. Taylor and Matthias F. Cowley and I had them come here to my office and asked: "John W. Taylor, did you write this letter," (handing it to him, in which people were instructed to meet him in a certain secret place and he would marry them in polygamy). He said, "yes President Smith, that is my letter." the president then said, "if you wrote that letter, then sit down right here and write out your resignation as an Apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, right now." And John W. Taylor said, "I have the right to perform such marriages and I will not do anything of the kind." "All right then we will try you, and we tried him for overstepping his authority after the church said such things could not be done and we disfellowshipped him from the church." Then continuing to speak to Nichol Hood, President Smith said, "Brother Matthias F. Cowley did you write this letter," handing it to him, and he said, "Yes President Smith, that is my letter. (in it also were arrangements for certain people to meet him in a certain secret place and he would marry such people in polygamy.) "Then Brother Cowley, sit right down here and write your resignation as an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, and Brother Cowley was tried and DISFELLOWSHIPPED from the church, and that is what we are doing to all who take the law in their own hands."
[John M. Whitaker, Diary]