January 8, 1911

At 11:30 this forenoon I was ordained an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ … Before proceeding with the ordination, President Smith asked President Lyman if he had anything to say to Bro[ther]. Talmage. … He also said that he had instructed Bro[ther]. Talmage with respect to the necessity of his being in perfect accord with the brethren of the Twelve, informing him also that in all their private councils it would be his privilege to freely express his own individual views but that after doing so it would become his duty to be united with this brethren on the conclusions and decisions arrived at, even should the conclusions and decisions be contrary to his own views and judgment. … Bro[ther]. Talmage now received his ordination which was as follows: [‘]Dear Brother James E. Talmage, as your fellow servants and as Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ, in authority of the holy priesthood, which is after the order of the Son of God, we lay our hands upon your head, and ordain you an Apostle in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and also set you apart to be one of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and confer upon you all the keys, rights, privileges, blessings, ministries and authority, pertaining to this high and holy calling, to the end that you may be, as you have been heretofore, but more abundantly, a living witness to the divinity of the lord Jesus Christ’a special witness of Him unto all the world, knowing and understanding as though you had seen by the sight of your eyes, and heard by the hearing of your ear, that the Lord God Almighty, our Heavenly Father, sent forth His Son unto the world, to become the Savior and redeemer of mankind; and that He did come, that he did live and die and rise again, and ascend on high, and that He does now sit enthroned with power and dominion on the right hand of the Father, and He has chosen His own brethren from time to time to be his fellow-laborers in the world, to administer to the children of men for their own salvation & exaltation, and they and all mankind through them might be brought to a knowledge of the Father and the Son. ‘Now our dear brother in the Lord, we bless you and ordain you, conferring upon you the holy Apostleship, with all that pertains to this high and holy calling; and we pray God to bestow upon you the spirit of this calling abundantly and continue unto you the spirit of humility and meekness even more abundantly than you have ever experienced it heretofore, that you may be most exemplary and most efficient in the performance of your duties, and be an honor to the cause of God.

‘Father, bless this thy servant and accept of him and fill him with the light of truth, the gift of the Holy ghost, and the testimony of Christ, that he may labor diligently for the salvation of souls, and that his labors may be acceptable in thy sight. ‘We seal upon you Brother Talmage, all these things, by authority of the Holy Priesthood vested in us; and this we do in the name of our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, even so, Amen.’ This being done President Smith and all the brethren present congratulated Brother Talmage, and extended to him the right hand of fellowship. (Signed) Geo[rge]. F. Gibbs The occasion is to me one of irrepressible reverence and sanctity. To me the calling of an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ has always been one of special sanctity requiring the unreserved devotion of the man so honored. It is a calling above any office, station or title that man can confer.

September 21, 1911

Forty-nine years old today. Had interview with the First Presidency, and was appointed by them to special work, viz. the preparation of the manuscript for a booklet on temples and temple work. A few days ago, specifically on the 16th int. the Salt Lake Tribune announced under sensational headlines that pictures of the interior of the temple in this city had been secured by men who had surreptitiously gained entrance to the building, and that the parties having the pictures so obtained were then in New York negotiating for the sale of same to theaters or “moving pictures” houses for public exhibition. It was further stated that a first offer had been made to the Church officials, and that $100,000 would be considered a fair basis of sale. The Deseret News on the evening of the 16th confirmed the main facts of the report and published the seven pictures received by the President of the Church from the conspirators and would-be blackmailers. The pictures are bromide enlargements of prior negatives, evidently made in haste, showing some of the temple rooms during the summer cleaning period. The authorities have since announced that pictures of the temple interior will be made, and that copies of same may be obtained by reputable publishers and other reliable parties, and further that it is the intention of the Presidency to publish a book on the subject of temples and temple work embodying such pictures. 

December 7, 1911

Shortly after 4 o’clock this afternoon, I learned of a call for me which must mark a great change in my work. This is no less than a call to the Holy Apostleship. Action was taken at this day’s council meeting of the First Presidency and Twelve, whereby Apostle Chas. W. Penrose was sustained as Second Counselor in the First Presidency to succeed the late President John Henry Smith. I believe that all Israel will feel as I do—that this call is from the Lord. The Presidency, thus completed, will have my fervent support and prayerful service. The selection creates a present vacancy in the Council or Quorum of the Twelve and to this exalted and special office I am called. The announcement of my having been chosen came as a wholly un-heralded action. I was with President Joseph F. Smith until a late hour yesterday, but by no word, act or intimation was such action suggested to my mind. I know not that the President had then considered it, were such an office offered me as a position in secular life I might be tendered, I feel that I would shrink from the responsibility and hesitate even if I did not actually decline, but I hold myself ready to respond to any call made upon me by and in the Priesthood.

Apostle Anthony W. Ivins, called upon me about 4 p.m. on a matter of business and there told me with evidences of affection and emotion of the action taken by the Council. He testified to me that the call was from the Lord. Even at this time the announcement had been printed in the Deseret News, and within a few minutes I had many calls by phone from brethren who assured me of their support. May the Lord grant me His, and enable me to be a true witness of Him.

Within half an hour after the news had reached me, Maia, my wife, came to my office and assured me of her loving support. She had learned of the call while she was attending a meeting of the General Board of the Young Ladies Mutual Improvement Association. I feel that I need the help of my wife and family. I have looked upon myself as a lay member in the Church though I know that a patriarch Jesse Martin of Provo gave me to understand that, and I would be called and ordained one of the Twelve Apostles.

December 8, 1911—Friday

At 11:30 this forenoon I was ordained an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, and was set apart as one of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The ordinance was performed in the President’s office, by President Joseph F. Smith, assisted by his counselors, Presidents Anthon H. Lund and Chas. W. Penrose, and by President Francis M. Lyman, and Elders Hyrum M. Smith, Geo. F. Richards and Jos. F. Smith Jr., of the Council of the Twelve.

I pray for strength to honor this divine calling. The brethren testify to me that the call is from the Lord. To it I respond with prayerful trust. The official report furnished me is as follows.

Ordination and setting apart of James E. Talmage as an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, and a member of the Council of the Twelve, under the hands of Presidents Joseph F. Smith, Anthon H. Lund, Charles W. Penrose, Francis M. Lyman, George F. Richards and Jos. F. Smith Jr., being all the members of the Council that could be reached, at the president’s office, Friday morning, December 8, 1911, President Smith officiating.

Before proceeding with the ordination, President Smith asked President Lyman if he had anything to say to Bro. Talmage. In answer President Lyman said that he had already had a long talk with Bro. Talmage instructing him with respect to the duties that would devolve upon him as an Apostle of the Lord, Jesus Christ, together with the great responsibilities attaching to that calling. He also said that he had instructed Bro. Talmage with respect to the necessity of his being in perfect accord with the brethren of the Twelve, informing him also that in all their private councils it would be his privilege to freely express his own individual views but that after doing so it would become his duty to be united with this brethren on the conclusions and decisions arrived at, even should the conclusions and decisions be contrary to his own views and judgment, also that everything talked about and done in a Council capacity should be held in strict confidence as matters sacred to the Council, not to be made known to anybody, his own wife and members of his family included. That he had also instructed Bro. Talmage it would become his duty to hold himself in readiness to go and come at call, and that his duties as Apostle should take precedence over all others whether of a public, private, or domestic nature; to all of which he asserted. And Prest. Lyman added that he was perfectly satisfied with Bro. Talmage and was prepared to welcome him into the Quorum of the Twelve.

Bro. Talmage now received his ordination which was as follows:

Dear Brother James E. Talmage, as your fellow servants and as Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ, in authority of the holy priesthood, which is after the order of the Son of God, we lay our hands upon your head, and ordain you an Apostle in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and also set you apart to be one of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and confer upon you all the keys, rights, privileges, blessings, ministries and authority, pertaining to this high and holy calling, to the end that you may be, as you have been heretofore, but more abundantly, a living witness to the divinity of the lord Jesus Christ—a special witness of Him unto all the world, knowing and understanding as though you had seen by the sight of your eyes, and heard by the hearing of your ear, that the Lord God Almighty, our Heavenly Father, sent forth His Son unto the world, to become the Savior and redeemer of mankind; and that He did come, that he did live and die and rise again, and ascend on high, and that He does now sit enthroned with power and dominion on the right hand of the Father, and He has chosen His own brethren from time to time to be his fellow-laborers in the world, to administer to the children of men for their own salvation & exaltation, and they and all mankind through them might be brought to a knowledge of the Father and the Son.

“Now our dear brother in the Lord, we bless you and ordain you, conferring upon you the holy Apostleship, with all that pertains to this high and holy calling; and we pray God to bestow upon you the spirit of this calling abundantly and continue unto you the spirit of humility and meekness even more abundantly than you have ever experienced it heretofore, that you may be most exemplary and most efficient in the performance of your duties, and be an honor to the cause of God.

“Father, bless this thy servant and accept of him and fill him with the light of truth, the gift of the Holy ghost, and the testimony of Christ, that he may labor diligently for the salvation of souls, and that his labors may be acceptable in thy sight.

“We seal upon you Brother Talmage, all these things, by authority of the Holy Priesthood vested in us; and this we do in the name of our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, even so, Amen.”

This being done President Smith and all the brethren present congratulated Brother Talmage, and extended to him the right hand of fellowship.

[Signed] Geo. F. Gibbs

[Secretary to the First Presidency]

The occasion is to me one of irrepressible reverence and sanctity. To me the calling of an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ has always been one of special sanctity requiting the unreserved devotion of the man so honored. It is a calling above any office, station or title that man can confer.

December 21, 1911

Attended regular Council Meeting of First Presidency & Twelve, lasting from 10 a.m. till 4 p.m. At this meeting I was appointed to preside in the Prayer Circle heretofore presided over by Pres[ident].

May 9, 1912

Today Elder Hyrum Gibbs Smith, who, on April 6th last was sustained by the general conference as the Presiding Patriarch of the Church, was ordained a High Priest and a Patriarch, and set apart as Presiding Patriarch of the Church by President Joseph F. Smith… The new Patriarch was born July 8th 1879 at South Jordan, Salt Lake County, Utah, and is the son of Hyrum Fisher Smith, still living in Provo, Utah; and the grandson of the former Presiding Patriarch, John Smith, lately deceased. The matter of selecting a successor to John Smith in this exalted office was referred to the Council of the Twelve, and after investigation, that Council nominated to the First Presidency, Hyrum Gibbs Smith. As is understood by all students of our system of Church organization, the office of Presiding Patriarch of this dispensation, and is indeed the only hereditary office in the Church. In this instance the son of the late Patriarch, and father of the new Patriarch, viz., Hyrum Fisher Smith, was not considered worthy of this high ordination. The newly ordained Patriarch is understood to have been a man of honorable life and not one who needs reformation to make him eligible. We all rejoice that this high office is again filled.

August 8, 1912

Attended council meeting of the First Presidency and the Twelve in the Temple. A very regrettable condition has come to light in connection with the publication of temple pictures. The city is flooded with cheap, gaudy post-cards containing pictures of the temple interior. A matter of possible violation of copyright is held for investigation pending the return of President Joseph F. Smith. In the meantime I have been instructed to serve notice on the ‘Souvenir Novelty Company’, to suppress the cards and all announcements of same.

December 18, 1912

… A point of seeming importance is that the oriental scholars whose opinions are quoted by Bishop Spalding all say that fac-simile #3, as it appears in the Pearl of Great Price, is a scene found in the ‘Book of the Dead’ and that representations of this scene are common in the documents found with the mummies of Egypt. This would seem rather to be a argument in favor of the genuineness of the Book of Abraham pictures than otherwise. It is stated, however, that such representations were not common in Abraham’s day and really date from a time 500 to 1000 years after [A]braham. This again fails as evidence against the genuineness of the original records as writings of Abraham. From the present state of our knowledge it would appear as probable that the writing of Abraham constitute the original from which afterward arose the many and somewhat varied accounts and representations familiar to students of the Book of the Dead. Among those who have replied to Bishop Spalding, each one writing from a different point of view are Elder B. H. Roberts, whose article appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune of Sunday; Elder J[anne]. M. Sjodahl, Editor of the Deseret news, whose article appears in today’s news; and Dr. Fred J. Pack, whose article is to appear in the Christmas News to be issued on the 21st.

July 17, 1913

Bro[ther]. Talmage reported a visit made by him to the Dream Mine near Spanish Fork [Utah]. … The shaft has been sunk between 1100 and 1200 feet at a cost of over $100,000. … It was suggested that he express his findings to Bishop [John H.] Koyle, which he did in the presence of thirty workmen, telling them that if he were making a professional report he would advise those engaging his services not to put a penny into the mine, that from a geological standpoint there was no more promise of finding ore in that mine than there could be in a clay bank.

Bro[ther]. Talmage said he got the Bishop to tell his story as to how he came to open up the mine. He said that eighteen years ago he had a dream, and in his dream he found himself on that hillside, when it was made plain to him that there was a body of ore in that ground. He dreamed it a second time, also a third time, and then he said he was carried in the spirit into the mountain, and went on to describe the different stratas of material that he would strike before striking the ore, and the Bishop thinks now he is very near ore. … He showed them that by going to the hillside and tunnelling in, they could easily have accomplished at an expenditure of $10,000 what had cost them over $100,000. But the Bishop explained that the shaft was sunk exactly where it had been shown him in his dream. The Bishop also remarked that it was made plain to him that they would have to work for a long period, and that only the faithful and those who remained true to the mine, would reap the benefits. President Smith now drew attention of the Council to what is called the Majestic Gold Mine near Brigham City [Utah], and suggested that Bro[ther]. Talmage and Bro[ther]. Fred J. Pack make it their business to examine that property, as he had reason to believe it was another such thing as the Dream Mine. …

July 21, 1913

… Brother Holton fasted and prayed and received visitations of heavenly personages and manifestations of divers kind by which he learned that in this locality immense bodies of rich gold ore lay hidden [which became the Magestic Mine near Brigham City]; and that he is the man through whom it is to be brought forth to be used primarily in building temples and in vicarious labor for the dead. In response to my request, Dr. Pack gave an account of the geologic structure, and he [illegible] stated plainly that the region is devoid of any shadow of promise of mineral occurrences. With his description I expressed myself in hearty accord and then at the request of the brethren told them how I regarded this so-called manifestation of divine power. Speaking under the influence of the Spirit of the occasion I bore solemn testimony to them that their undertaking was inspired of evil and that disappointment and trouble would surely follow a continuation of this useless work. … I told them that I bore this testimony in the name of the Lord, and it was to them the Word of the Lord[.] The brethren were variously affected; and I believe some of them will renounce this utterly misguided undertaking. …

July 26, 1913

The purpose of my visit [to Spanish Fork] is to examine the ‘Relief Mine,’ commonly known as the ‘Dream Mine.’ Many rumors of this alleged mine have reached me and much has been said concerning supposed inspiration by which the work has been undertaken and prosecuted. … I found thirty men engaged in the work, each of whom is working for stock in the company, all having faith in the divine direction by which they say the mine was located. … The shaft penetrates the limestone of the region and is absolutely devoid of any evidence of mineralization in the mining sense of the term. … I considered it would be well for them to abandon this work and to take themselves to useful and profitable labor. It is astounding to see the great effort they have made in what I believe to be an undertaking directed by the spirit of misguided zeal, which I believe to be the spirit of evil. Work has been in progress here for about 18 years, and on the statement made by the men themselves, the expenditure in labor and money is largely in excess of $100,000.00. … The whole undertaking appeals to me to be lacking in the ordinary elements of common sense;…

Close Menu