In an interview published in the Salt Lake Times, President Wilford Woodruff says that the church would not claim "the right to control the political action of the members of our body." But in private conversation with Brigham Young, Jr., he says that though he was cautious about influencing "his brethren in [political]-matters" he was willing to do so "when prompted by others in whom he has the utmost confidence."
Apostle Heber J. Grant writes in his dairy: " The Times publishes an interview this evening with Prests. Woodruff and Cannon. I have never read anything that has caused me to feel worse than the statements in this interview. I could not refrain the tears when thinking of it this evening before I retired. I cannot understand why the Lord would wish us to be so humiliated. I can not for the life of me see why the Presidency need to say that it is their understanding that the people are in good faith, keeping the laws on unlawful cohabitation. It seems to me that such a statement humiliates the sisters who are in plural marriage more than they should be called on to endure. I feel that I would do anything in reason on Gusta and Emily's [Grant's two wives] account sooner than to have had such a statement published. I confess that I do not think it was a good thing for the Presidency to refer to the matter, but then they stand at the head and I hope their position will never be such that it will try my faith, but I am free to confess that I do not and cannot see why the Lord should give a command to his servants to take more wives and then the Presidency should say that it is their understanding that these men are not in good faith living with those wives. It is killing to think of the effect of their words on sensitive women who are in plural marriage. The only way to make these women feel well is for their husbands not to live the law in good faith and such a course is not a very pleasant one after the statements of the Presidency."