120 years ago today - 115 years - Dec 29, 1899

[Minutes of the Apostles]

Bro[ther]. John Henry Smith was asked to explain the object of the meeting. He said there was a scheme on foot to disfranchise the Mormon people through an amendment to the Constitution. ...

Bro[ther]. John Henry Smith again remarked that the effect upon the people would be of extreme moment, that is, upon those liable to arrest. ... He closed by saying that it was his unqualified opinion that the church should not directly nor indirectly be found bearing the burdens of polygamists; and as for himself, he was willing to declare to a tabernacle congregation that he held himself amenable to the laws of this country, and that every man should bear his own burden, and that the fact of himself and other polygamists having lived with an maintained their plural families should not in any sense affect the liberties of the people who are not polygamists.

... Pres[iden]t. [George Q.] Cannon now remarked that he was impressed witho ne things, that is the sentiment of the brethren who had spoken could be discerned in his politics. (Bro[ther]. Grant here took exceptions to this remark.) Pres[iden]t. Cannon thought there was a question deeper than anything yet touched upon, that is, the policy the church was going to pursue in regard to our marital relations; that is, whether we should take the course suggested by Bro[ther]. John Henry, and eat humble pie; whether we will obey the law, or go on as we are now going and defend violations of the law. He thought it was bad ground for us to occupy to justify ourselves in having children by our plural wives; he thought it right and proper however for us to have children by them, but did not think it wise for us to claim the right to do so when the laws of the state were against it. Plural wives bearing children should, he thought, be placed beyond the power of the law. He believed that public feelings would be placated if we were not called upon to defend violations of the law, but regard such cases as sporadic cases. The speaker said he was satisfied that we should not come out and say we are not going to have children by our plural wives, and that nation would not expect this at our hands; and he did nto think that anything would have such a tendency to quiet public feeling so much as for men to go into court and promise to obey the law and not equivocate. He said that from the beginning he his mind was clear on this point, that we should not show the least feeling of defying the law. While we feel keenly the justice of our cause, in Washington [D.C.] that feature figures but little. Prejudice has weight. He did not think it would be a good thing for Bro[ther]. John Henry to make the public utterance suggested by him; but he did think that a course might be taken to placate the leading men of the nation. He differed from some of the speakers that we could not be disfranchised without a constitutional amendment. We were given statehood on certain conditions; and he believed prejudices could be worked up to such a pitch as to cause Congress to act by a short cut. It must be admitted by all that we have disappointed the Republican party. They admitted us with the idea that we would be at least part fo the time a Republican state. By giving the women the franchise destroyed the Republican chances in the State. Pres[iden]t. Cannon closed by saying that there certain was an impression abroad that the News was a Democratic paper, and President Snow's name as its publisher, has been used to the injury of the Republican party.

Adjourned until tomorrow.

[Minutes, 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]

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