January 2, 1894—Tuesday

Lengthy meetings with the Theology Class Committee, and the First Presidency reading lectures already delivered before the class. I am grateful for the supervision thus exercised, and the assistance so afforded […]

January 5, 1894—Friday

Met with Theological Class Committee and Presidency in lecture work. The subject of “The Holy Ghost” formed the topic. Pres. Cannon in commenting on the ambiguity existing in our printed works concerning the nature or character of the Holy Ghost expressed his opinion that the Holy Ghost was in reality a person, in the image of the other members of the Godhead,—a man in form and figure: and that what we often speak of as the Holy Ghost is in reality but the power or influence of the Spirit. However the Presidency deemed it wise to say as little as possible on this or other disputed subjects. […]

January 7, 1894—Sunday 

Large attendance at the theological Class. In the evening Elder F. M. Lyman and I officiated as Home Missionaries in the 18th Ward […]

January 12, 1894

A meeting of the Theological Class Committee, and the Presidency, to consider the subject of the sacrament. After the acceptance of a paragraph written by me on the duties of the priesthood in seeing that the Sacrament is not administered to any but Church members, and to none who are unworthy, I asked concerning the custom of administering the sacrament in our Tabernacle, where all classes assemble, where indeed it is known that many outsiders partake and others show by strong demonstration their scorn for the ordinance, where in short no supervision that is effective can be exercised. In answer I found that the First Presidency and the Twelve were united in desiring the administration of the sacrament removed from the Tabernacle to the Ward houses, where the local authorities could properly guard the sacredness of the ordinance. I understand instructions to this effect will soon be issued […]

January 14, 1894—Sunday

Nearly 1100 at the Theological Class. To my pleasure Father, Mother and Albert attended.

January 21, 1894—Sunday

Usual meetings: large attendance at the Theological class […]

January 28, 1894—Sunday

Today the fourteenth session of the Church University Theological Class was: and the attendance was the largest yet seen: between 1000 and 1200. To my surprise I was called upon in the afternoon to address the Tabernacle congregation […]

February 4, 1894—Sunday. 

By special appointment I attended today a meeting of the Committee by the Presidency of the Church to listen to and report on the matter of a pamphlet now in course of preparation by Elder B. H. Roberts, subject:—“Succession in the Presidency of the Church.” We have held many meetings on this matter during the past week; today we heard the last of the reading before the work goes to press. It is an excellent preparation, and will doubtless do much good. Its chief purpose is to settle certain false claims of the “Josephite” Church, to the succession of the priesthood.

At the meeting of the Theology Class today, the attendance was very large;—nearly or quite 1200 present. Prest. Joseph F. Smith honored us with a visit, and spoke a short time […]

February 11, 1894—Sunday

Usual meetings. In the morning I attended the Sabbath School for the Deaf and Dumb. Very large attendance at the Church University Theology Class. Today witnessed a slight change in the matter of conducting the class. It being deemed wise by the Presidency of the Church that I should hasten through with the lectures lest anything of the contemplated change in the University matters should occur; and thereby change the Theology Class, it has been decided to drop the review part of the work, devoting nearly all of the time of the class to lectures […]

February 18, 1894—Sunday

Theological Class and Usual Meetings. At Prayer Circle, by appointment I officiated in the dedicatory prayer […]

February 25, 1894—Sunday

Over 1200 were present at the Theological Class session today. At the Prayer Circle I officiated at the altar by appointment […]

March 4, 1894—Sunday

Attended meetings of the Stake conference; this is the third day of the session. The Theological Class was omitted today in consequence […]

March 11, 1894—Sunday

Usual meetings, except the afternoon prayer circle: that organization being now appointed to meet in weekly session at the Temple: and for the present the time is set—Saturday 5 p.m. At the theological class today a very large congregation was present. In the evening, by previous appointment I delivered a lecture in Sugar House Ward under the auspices of the combined Mutual Improvement Associations of the Ward: Subject—”Blasphemy.” […]

March 18, 1894—Sunday

Twentieth session of the Theology Class today: and the attendance was the largest yet witnessed. In the evening Elder George Blair and I officiated as Home Missionaries in the Seventh Ward. An excellent influence prevailed during the meeting […]

March 25, 1894—Sunday

Unusually large attendance at the Theology Class […]

April 1, 1894—Sunday

At this the twenty second session of the Theology Class the attendance was as large as if not indeed larger than that of any previous session. Today marked the last meeting of the class,its discontinuance having been determined upon yesterday or the day before by the First Presidency. the reasons for this action are briefly these:—(1) It is plain that in the event of my accepting any prominent position in the State University it would be manifestly inconsistent for me to occupy so distinguished a place among the Theology Class of our people, the University being a strictly non-sectarian institution. There will be I think opposition enough to the change in the University administration without complicating matters by offering other excuses for attack. (2) The Presidency are loath to appoint a successor in the instructorship of the Theology Class, as the projected work is still unfinished; and if such an appointment were made, the work would have to be carried in one of two ways,—as the independent treatment of the subject by the new instructor;—and this course they deem objectionable, as it is the design to publish the lectures in book form, and the volume would then be the joint work of two; or the lectures would have to be presented as mine being simply delivered by another; this latter course would remove little if any of the objection now offered to my continuing with the work as in the past. (3) The Presidency have warned me repeatedly of my having too much work on my hands: and they seem determined to relieve me of some.

At the session today, I disposed of as many of the incidental questions as possible, then finished the lecture on the Gathering, as per leaflet No. 17: then announced the discontinuance of the class. This announcement caused considerable consternation: and I feel that there has been a true appreciation of the work of the class. A letter from the First Presidency, addressed to myself, advising the discontinuance and citing the reasons therefore, was read by Apostle Abraham H. Cannon one of the Committee on Theology Class appointed by the First Presidency. He and Elder George Reynolds, another of the Committee made remarks eulogizing the labors of the class. A vote of thanks was heartily rendered the instructor. I feel much regret in seeing the class come to a close,—regret that circumstances render such a course advisable for I believe the class has taken a hold on the minds of the members. I would at least have wished to see the completion of the lectures on the Articles of Faith; but the lectures not yet delivered, will be published with those already given. For the need of success that has come to the class I reverentially acknowledge the hand of God. May the seed so planted, yet produce a healthful growth and pleasing fruit.

In the evening, Elder Parry and I officiated as Home Missionaries in the 19th Ward […]

September 9, 1894—Sunday

[…] At night returning home after a late appointment, I found awaiting me to my surprise and pleasure, my brother John, who left home in a willful mood over four years ago​*​. Earnest and constant have been the prayers offered in his behalf and tonight he reappeared. Mother has been greatly distressed, almost grieving for her wayward son as dead. 

John explains his failure to let us know of his whereabouts as due to his fear that father would employ force in compelling him to return home, the boy being still below legal age. He claims to be honest and virtuous. He has, he states, a position as carman in the Hope Mine Basin, Jefferson Co. Montana.

His visit to Salt Lake City is brief at present; and he claims he came with many fears for the reception that would be accorded him. I treated him in all respects kindly; I do not think a wayward spirit can be cured by severity. He made steadfast promises of good behavior and fidelity to his religion. I thank God most heartily for the knowledge that my brother is still alive and well.

September 10, 1894—Monday

Took afternoon train to Lake View, and walked thence to the Farm. Had pleasant meeting with the folks, and son Sterling who is with them. The object of my visit was to inform them of my meeting with John; and the news called forth their earnest thanks to God for the protection that has attended the wanderer.

October 12, 1894—Friday

Wife and children left home on a visit. I am to keep Bachelor’s Hall for a season.

October 13, 1894—Saturday

Spent part of day on the hills – “geologizing”. I feel like a young boy whenever I can get away from the turmoil of executive work, and roam in Nature’s wilds.

October 14, 1894—Sunday

Sunday Usual meetings. The prayer roll at the Temple Prayer Circle this morning was a very long one. – there is much illness prevailing at present.

October 18—Thursday

Called on Sister Clara Ella Coombs, – wife of Bro. Isaiah Coombs, and daughter of Bishop Wooley of the Ninth ward. She is now convalescent after a prolonged and very severe attack of typhoid fever.

October 27, 1894—Saturday

Went to Pleasant Grove on the sad errand of attend the funeral service of one of our Univesity students. It was decided by the faculty on my recommendation that when the hand of Death takes any one of our students if at all practicable the faculty shall be represented at the funeral by one of its members if not by none than me.

Miss Grace Mayhew, a young lady from Pleasant Grove, 21 years of age, entered the University as a Normal student at the beginning of the term; after two weeks’ attendance she was stricken low with a typhoid fever attack. Her illness lasted two weeks during which time I called upon her, and took part in administering to her daily. Beside the ministrations made to her in person her name has been kept on the altars in the temples and the people of her [sorrow?] have held their prayers and fasts in her behalf. I have a strong testimony that these prayer offices [sic] have been accepted by God, but that the young sister was needed beyond the vail. The actual typhoid fever abated two or three days before her death, but pneumonia came upon her fiercely, and she passed away at 3:15 a.m. Monday last October 22. The [?] today was largely attended: she seems to have been one of the fairest and most esteemed flowers of Pleasant Grove. The entire community seemed plunged in mourning. At the funeral, by request of the parents and of the Bishop I occupied most of the time allotted to the speakers: Bishop Brown and Elder Walker also speaking. The faculty of the University sent a beautiful floral wrath, as also did the students. I spent most of the day with Bro. and Sis. Mayhew.

In the afternoon rode by bicycle from Pleasant Grove to the farm at Lake View, having brought my wheel down for the purpose. Had a brief but pleasant visit with the folks; then made on to Provo where wife and children are visiting. Enjoyed the pleasure of lemons with my entire family, though away from home. During the evening Wife and I called on dear Brother Musser and family. Stayed at the residence of [?] brother – John E. Booth.

November 22, 1894—Thursday

Spent part of this day in the Temple at the morning opening services, by request of President Snow I addressed the assembly. Later in the day I was a principal participant in a sacred sealing ordinance, into which I entered with the advice and counsel of certain of the apostles. The Temple record of our individual work gives the details of the work. For the privilege of so entering the House of the Lord and of taking part in ordinances which are of avail beyond the grave I am deeply thankful; the contemplation of such blessings stirs my emotions most deeply.


  1. ​*​
    Cf. journal entry dated June 22, 1890.