[George Q. Cannon]
Elder [Wilford] Woodruff's motion [that John Taylor be church president] was then called for and carried unanimously. Pres[ident]. Taylor said he was prepared to name his counselors and being requested to do so, named me as his first and Jos[eph]. F. Smith as his second. The mention of my name was a great surprise to me. As I had been nominated again for congress and would be absent this winter and probably half at least of the next two years, I had felt free in expressing my feelings upon the subject of the first presidency in favor of it, not thinking for a moment that my name would be mentioned for this position and feeling satisfied that no one could suspect me under the circumstances of having any person ambition with this matter. I could scarcely express my feelings. Before the names of the counselors were called Ihad a presentiment that myname would be mentioned and I trembled all over. My nerves twitched all over my body and I could scarcelycontrol myself. When my name was mentioned I rose to my feet and begged of the brethren to excuse me from filling that position. I told them that I would much rather remain in the quorum of the Twelve. I could think of at least 12 or 13 men who could fill that position in my opinion better than Icould. My agitation was extreme and I was completely overcome. Pres[ident]. Taylor said it was not a matter of personal choice. Several of the brethren also spoke very kindly approving of the nomination and it was carried unanimously on motion of Bro[ther]. Woodruff.
[George Q. Cannon Diary, 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]