125 years ago today - Mar 11, 1896

[James E. Talmage]

They [the Brethern] had learned that my health has been jeopardized and, as they said, my sanity, and life threatened by insomnia and other evidences of nervous disorders. It is true, that overwork or rather worry over my work has affected me in the manner described, and other bodily weaknesses have developed at intervals. Pres[iden]t. George Q. Cannon, speaking in behalf of the First Presidency, told me that it had been reported to them that the moderate use of tobacco would have a good effect upon me. ... Today Pres[ident]. [Wilford] Woodruff, Pres[ident]. Geo[rge]. Q. Cannon, and Pres[ident]. Jos[eph]. F. Smith gave me combined counsel to try the effect of moderate smoking; indeed said Pres[ident]. Cannon, 'We give you this rather as an instruction than as counsel.' Apostle Heber J. Grant was present, and expressed his acquiescence. Bro[ther]. George F. Gibbs was also present. This was unusual counsel and to me very surprising. ... I have long known that tobacco produces an unusually strong effect upon me,'even the odor of tobacco smoke produces a soothing effect upon me... a good cigar produces a marvellous quietening of my over-wrought nerves. Of course the brethren, in counseling me as they did today, warned me against contracting the smoking habit to injurious degree. ...

[James E. Talmage, Diary, March 12, 1896, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1835-1951, Electronic Edition, 2015]

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