[George F. Richards]
I attended a special meeting of the Twelve held in the temple .... Elder Geo[rge] Albert Smith was also with us for a short time but on account of his poor health was excused early. We discussed the merits and demerits in Bro[ther]. [apostle and son of John Taylor] John W. Taylor's case heard some weeks before. The final action taken and made unanimous by unanimous vote was excommunication for insubordination to the Church and the di[s]cipline thereof. It was shown that he had threatened the lives of two of the Apostles, F[rancis]. M. L[yman]. & J[ohn]. H[enry]. S[mith]. He had cursed one of the Apostles who has been sick for about two years [i.e., George Albert Smith] and attributed his sickness to that cause. He had disclosed and made improper use of a purported revelation of his father, Pres[ident]. John Taylor to the comfort of those who were opposed to the Church action in discontinuing the practice of plural marriage in the Church. He had characterized the action of the Church Authorities in relieving B[isho]p. Robinson of Colonia Dublan [Mexico] of his bishopric or presidency over the ward as one of the most unjust and unrighteous acts ever committed. He had confessed to having authorized an elderly man a Patriarch (Wolf) of Canada to marry people in plural marriage. He confessed to having him self performed such marriages since the Manifesto. He would not deny that he had recently taken a plural wife but claimed that his rights were being encroached upon when we demand him to answer thus incriminating himself. He did not propose to make answers before this body of men that might incriminate him before the law. He had said he wanted nothing to do with any of the Twelve. Tho[ugh]t if to go to heaven meant to be associated with these he preferred to not go there or words to that effect. He had been dropped from the Council of the Twelve five years ago because he was out of harmony with the First Presidency and the Twelve but had never done anything to put himself in harmony since but on the contrary had lent comfort to the enemy and had not tried to influence others to be quieted and sustain the Presidency. He told us in council that we could take it for granted he had a new plural wife. We need not go to the trouble to hunt up evidence, that we could do in his case as we deemed best, that he did not care. I called on Pres[ident] Lyman in the early eve and he told me he had presented to the First Presidency our decision in the J[ohn]. W. Taylor case and our action and that the President said he did not see how we could have done less.
[George F. Richards, Diary, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1835-1951, Electronic Edition, 2015]