[First Presidency Office Journal]
By request of President Woodruff an article published in the Salt Lake Tribune on the Hans Jespersen case was read, after which President Woodruff said:
I have felt in this matter that as the Nation has proclaimed against us and prohibited us from keeping the commandments of God, to hold the Nation responsible for it. If these things are continued by us it will not be long before the leading brethren will all be in the penitentiary or in exile, and it will become very hard upon us as a people.
Elder L[orenzo]. Snow: If this is the feeling of the brethren will it not be proper to make it publicly known?
President Joseph F. Smith referred to the action taken by this Council last winter when this subject was fully discussed and considered and the brethren felt that they could not accept the proposition as presented at that time.
President George Q. Cannon, L[orenzo]. Snow and others of the brethren expressed their views in brief.
President Cannon was not in favor of plural marriages being performed in this Territory, but they might be attended to in Mexico or Canada, and thus save our brethren from jeopardy in attending to these matters. This, however, will not stop the prosecutions against us.
Elder John W. Taylor: This is something that I never expected to hear discussed in this light. I have understood it was policy for the brethren to take wives outside of the United States. You could not publish that you will not give your consent that plural marriages shall be consummated and at the same time have the marriages consummated in Canada or Mexico. I think it will be best policy to let the matter rest without saying anything about it, because if plural marriages are solemnized it will soon be known and we will be considered insincere. If we publish anything on this matter it will be impossible for us or the Elders to fully explain to the Saints, and much confusion will ensue. Related a circumstance which he had read in a small book belonging to his father and which was written by 513 him.
Elder F[rancis]. M. Lyman: The question as Iunderstand it, is the proprietyof performing any plural marriages, and not that of those who have wives abandoning them. To publish or speak of stopping those marriages I think will have a very bad effect and will not gain for us any better feelings from the outside. I think the course pursued by President Woodruff is a correct one, and it probably may be carried out more effectually. Of course we cannot repudiate this principle under any circumstances. What is done now in these affairs is done individually, each one takes that course which seems to him to be the best to pursue. I believe that President Woodruff will have the mind of the Lord in each case as it shall come before him. Of course he feels the responsibility resting upon him more than we can feel it, but I believe the Lord is with him. I feel that the Lord will define a policy in regard to these matters and President Woodruff will know it, and when he makes it known to us we will all be ready to carry out the mind of the Lord as made known through His servant. I don't think we can publish anything on these matters. We now have the confidence of the people and we must maintain that confidence and the love of the Saints. I am not in favor of trading our principles for Statehood or anything else. ...
Yesterday sister Alice Hook mother of Geo[rge]. Teasdals's wife asks that her children and herself may be sealed to her husband who embraced the faith asked Baptism but was refused being an invalid some 4 years as deemed impudent The Presidency say Yes'-
1st Presidency'-L[orenzo] S[now], F[ranklin] D R[ichards], B[righam]. Y[oung]. [Jr.], F[rancis] M L[yman], J[ohn] H[enry] S[mith], H[eber] J. G[rant], & J[ohn]. W. T[aylor].'-met in upper room Gardo & spent a.m. deliberating over Jesperson's cases of Polygamy Adultery & Fornication cases as pub[lishe]d in this a.m. Tribune. & adopted suitable measures. ...
2 P.M. The above named met and considered names to fill vacancies in the Council of Apostles. Presidency recommended M[arriner]. W[ood]. Merrill Antone [H.] Lund & A[braham]. H. Cannon but as M[oses]. T[hatcher]. is absent the vote was not taken, though all present approved the nomination. Met with the Council clothed and prayed Handed to pres[iden]t. [Wilford] Woodruff names of brethren whom I though elijable to fill vacancy in Quorum Twelve viz. Antoine [H.] Lund Sanpete [Utah] A[braham]. H. Cannon, [Salt Lake] CityHeleman Pratt Mexico [City], R[ichard]. W. Young [Salt Lake] City.
[First Presidency Office Journal, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1910-1951, Privately Published, Salt Lake City, Utah 2010]