... Lorenzo Snow asked Brother Wells if the Twelve had not the power to lead the Church during the interval between the death of the president and the election of a successor, to which he answered, 'No! not for twenty-four hours, or for ten minutes!' John Henry Smith asked President Brigham Young once in St. George [Utah] as to the positions of Orson Hyde and Orson Pratt. In case of President Young's death who should preside. He answered, 'The Twelve, and their President was the President of the Church, unless he had forfeited his right to do so.' That Orson Hyde and Orson Pratt had forfeited their right to preside, therefore it went to John Taylor. On being asked, Brother Wells said it was the counsel of heaven that this body should now proceed to appoint a First Presidency as the only legitimate thing we can do legally. Brother Wells maintained his position [u]nflinchingly in opposition to the united views of all present.
[Minutes, 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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