January 7, 1921—Friday
Committee work occupied the greater part of the forenoon. Shipments of the new issue of the Book of Mormon have arrived at the office of the Trustee-in-Trust; and, by request of President Grant, I have assumed charge of the distribution. The special of presentation edition, ordered by myself, numbers fifty copies only. These are bound in best leather, Divinity Circuit style; and today I had the very great pleasure of presenting copies to my associates among the Twelve, the Presiding Patriarch, and others, as belated New Year’s gifts.
January 13, 1921—Thursday
I attended council meeting of the First Presidency and Twelve. This was followed by a short session of the Book of Mormon committee. […]
January 14, 1921—Friday
In addition to other committee work I attended an afternoon session of the Book of Mormon committee, at which preliminary arrangements were made for hearing some of the proponents of different views on Book of Mormon geography. Many varied and conflicting views concerning the location of Book of Mormon lands have been advocated amongst our people; and not a few maps have been put out. With all precautions taken to make plain the fact that these maps have been intended as suggestive presentations only, we find some people accepting one map and others another as authoritative. The matter was brought before the council through the receipt of a communication from Elder Joel Ricks of Logan, who several years ago published a map, of which over 6000 have been disposed of. Brother Ricks and several other good brethren have voiced a sort of complaint that they have had no opportunity to present their views, with the fullness they desire, before the Church authorities. The entire matter was referred to the Book of Mormon committee; and today appointments were made for the beginning of the series of hearings.
January 17, 1921—Monday
Was engaged in consultation and office work during greater part of the day. My heart was gladdened by the arrival of advance copies of the Missionary Edition of the Book of Mormon. This is the book we started to bring out. While the Library Edition, with its excellent paper and fine bindings, gives great satisfaction, it is the cheaper edition, specifically known as the Missionary Edition, upon which we are to rely for the dissemination of the truth contained in this sacred volume of Scripture. The advance copies received today come up to my expectations in all respects. The cheaper book is well bound, and is printed from the plates used in producing the Library Edition; moreover, it will be sold at the price heretofore charged for the old edition in the book stores of the city, namely 75 cents per copy. In the missions this book will be sold at a lower price. Now I feel that the special work placed upon the Book of Mormon committee, of which I am one of the junior members, that of bringing out a “better Book of Mormon”, has been performed in full. For the present the business part of the undertaking is left in my hands, this involving the approval of bills, and the giving of directions for immediate shipments.
January 21, 1921—Friday
Sat with the rest of the Book of Mormon committee in the first session appointed for the hearing of those who have views to present on the subject of Book of Mormon geography. The entire afternoon was occupied by Brother Joel Ricks of Logan, who exhibited a copy of his map, and gave many details of his personal travels and investigations in the northern part of South America and in part of Central America.
January 22, 1921—Saturday
The Book of Mormon committee sat during both forenoon and afternoon. Elder Joel Ricks occupied part of the morning session, and the rest of that meeting, together with the whole of the afternoon session was given over to Elder Willard Young, who claims that most of the Book of Mormon scenes were laid in Guatemala, and Honduras.
January 23, 1921—Sunday
[…] I had looked forward to this opportunity of attending Sunday School in my own ward for once; but this was made impossible by action taken at last night’s meeting of the Book of Mormon committee this forenoon. This morning Elder Willard Young continued his presentation. […]
January 24, 1921—Monday
We were engaged from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Book of Mormon hearing, with a noon intermission. Elder Anthony W. Ivins of the Council of the Twelve presented his views and suggestions, indicating that the Book of Mormon lands embraced mainly Yucatan and Mexico. There being none others who had expressed a desire to be heard by the committee, this meeting was regarded as the closing session of the present stage of the investigation.
January 28, 1921—Friday
At the request of President Grant the work of distributing presentation copies of the Book of Mormon to certain officers of the Church has been attended to in my office. Today the work was practically completed. A note addressed to each recipient by name, and bearing the signatures of each of the First Presidency, has been inserted in each copy of the book thus sent out; and copies have been sent to each stake president and each counselor in the stake presidency to each of the mission presidents in the United States, Canada, and England, and to several others. The Library Edition, thus distributed, comprises four styles of binding, full cloth, half keratol, full keratol limp with read edges, and full leather, limp with gilt edges. The last named, or best, was sent out to the several officers named. A letter of explanation followed each copy, stating the fact of the impossibility of sending out the books earlier in the season, owing to their non-arrival here, and specifying that as the year is still young the presentation is intended as a New Year’s gift.
February 1, 1921—Tuesday
Our baby boy, John Russell, is 10 years old today. May the Lord ever bless him. […]
February 10, 1921—Thursday
Attended council meeting which was prolonged far beyond the usual time for closing. President Heber J. Grant is still absent. I then attended a meeting of the Book of Mormon committee; and then had a long conference with Presidents Lund and Penrose and President E. Frank Burch of the Tintic Stake, the subject under consideration being the evil conditions prevailing in the West Tintic branch. In the evening I had another consultation with President Birch and with Elder Myron E. Crandall Jr. on the same subject.
February 20, 1921—Sunday
I accompanied President Rudger Clawson to Eureka. […] We thought it well to put up at a hotel in Eureka, and so took rooms at the Bullion Beck House, which is under the direction of one of the Stake Presidency. We were in consultation with the Presidency until during the greater part of the time until 2 p.m., when we went into session with the High Council which was organized as a tribunal. Complaints of wicked and dangerous teachings and practises [sic] had been made against Moses S. Gudmundson, J. Elvan Houtz and others; and the Council of the Presidency and Twelve had directed that President Clawson and I be present at the trial. The case of J. Elvan Houtz was called first. His trial was followed by that of David Whyte. The testimony adduced proved conclusively that these men and other residents of the West Tintic branch had been so far misled as to disregard the sanctity of the marriage obligation, as administered in the Temples, and had adopted a system of “wife-sacrifice”, whereby men were required to give up their wives to other men, and this under a diabolical misinterpretation of Scripture as to the law of sacrifice requiring one to give up all he has, even wife and children. At the evening session, which lasted until a late hour, Gerald Lowry, who had refused to answer certain questions put to him in the afternoon meeting, and who defiantly showed his disregard of the authority of the High Council, was by formal action and unanimous vote disfellowshiped from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
February 21, 1921—Monday
We met with the High Council again in formal session as a tribunal, at 9 a.m. Moses S. Gudmundson was put on trial; and, as this man had repeatedly stated that he wanted time to present the “whole matter” from the beginning of the establishment of the West Tintic colony to the present time, he was given great freedom in presenting practically anything he chose to present, whether it had immediate and relevant connection with the actual charge or not. His trial occupied the whole of the forenoon and afternoon sessions. Following the afternoon meeting President Clawson and I repaired [sic] to the hotel, so as to leave the Stake Presidency free to consider the decisions they would render in the several cases; and this we instructed the to do; in the meantime Brother Clawson and I reviewed together the evidence presented and reached very definite conclusions as to what the decisions ought to be. When the Stake Presidency joined us half an hour before the time set for the opening of the evening meeting, we found that their conclusions coincided exactly with our own.
At the evening meeting the Stake Presidency announced the decisions arrived at, an each was unanimously sustained by the vote of the High Council. By this action, J. Elvan Houtz, David Whyte, and Moses Gudmundson were each excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mrs. May Metcalf Houtz, and Mrs. Delia Hafen Whyte were disfellowshiped from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
By further action taken on unanimous vote of the High Council the branch hitherto known as the West Tintic branch of the Tintic Stake of Zion was disorganized. Thus all semblance of Church supervision in the affairs of that unfortunate little group of people has been taken away.
When, more than a year ago, reports reached the First Presidency, to the effect that the people in West Tintic had undertaken to establish the “United Order”, they to have all things in common and to abolish all private ownership, I was appointed to investigate the matter. As a result of my first visit to the Tintic Stake with this as one of my appointed duties, I reported the facts as I found them, which were briefly these: That Moses Gudmundson, who was the leader and dominating figure in the movement, denied all intention of going ahead of the Church, specifically in the matter of attempting to start a colony according to the United Order plan; that I did not believe his protestations, but on the other hand was convinced that the people of West Tintic, then organized into an independent branch in the Tintic Stake, were being led by an evil influence.
Many other investigations have followed; and we have found to our sorrow that what we saw as the inevitable development of evil unless the people placed themselves in strict harmony with the order and government of the Church, had become a reality, namely, erotic ideas and practises [sic] concerning the marital state and the sexual relation. The best I can say of the people is that they have become fanatical through the power of evil. They have made sacrifice their hobby. The eating of meat, the taking of animal life even to provide food, and many other practises common with other people have been forbidden there; while long fasts and particularly the sacrificing of comforts and wholesome desires have been held up as ideals. Now they have reached the abominable status of men sacrificing their wives to other men; and by this means they have put themselves subject to the punishment provided for by the law of the land. The present sate is one of abominable immorality. Some of the women, notably the wife of Moses Gudmundson, and the wife of Gerald Lowry, withdrew promptly from the colony rather than countenance to any degree these ungodly practices. I believe that the judgment of the High Council in these cases is just; and that others than those already tried are involved.
February 28, 1921—Monday
[…] To my great distress I learn that President Anthon H. Lund shows even more serious symptoms than has heretofore been noticed. I cannot shake off the great concern I feel about him. The simple fact is, try as I will, I cannot have faith to the extent of believing that he is to recover.
March 1, 1921—Tuesday
I was engaged with President Penrose during a good part of the forenoon. President Anthon H. Lund is in a very critical condition.
March 2, 1921—Wednesday
About 9:50 a.m. I called at the home of President Lund, where I found that President Charles W. Penrose had already arrived. We two, the sons and the one daughter of President Lund, and two or three of Sister Lund’s relatives, were at the bedside during the last half hour of our dearly beloved Brother’s life. He died at 10:30 o’clock this morning. Sister Lund is ill, and has been so for many months; and her condition prevented her from being with her husband at the time of his passing. He recognized me as I approached his bed, and spoke a few words at intervals after my arrival. One of his sons, kneeling by the bedside, remarked “Father is very tired”. The dying man understood the latter part of the expression, and did not recognize that it was applied to him, but in a really pathetic manner he responded feebly “So am I”. Soon thereafter he fell asleep. His passing was so gentle than his son, Dr. Ray Lund, applied the stethoscope to number the last few beats of the wearied heart, and announced when it had throbbed feebly for the last time.
I attended a consultation called by President Penrose, regarding preliminary steps to be taken for proper participation and assistance in the conditions arising from President Lund’s death. In the afternoon I attended meeting of the Deseret Book Company; and immediately following this Elder Melvin J. Ballard and I went to the hospital to administer to the afflicted.
March 11, 1921—Friday
According to appointment the Book of Mormon committee assembled this morning to consider the advisability of revising and reissuing the Doctrine & Covenants. For many years this book has been printed from old plates, which are now badly worn; and not a few errors appear even in the text of the several revelations, all through typographical inaccuracy; and these have been corrected in the text of the revelations printed in the six-volume History of the Church; so that discrepancies exist between the two texts. The footnotes and references require revision, and in places amplification; and the need of an adequate index has been long and keenly felt.
The committee reported to the First Presidency verbally during the forenoon and by presentation of a written recommendation in the afternoon, advising that the Doctrine and Covenants be revised, and so far as typography and workmanship is concerned, be brought up to the relatively high standard of the new issue of the Book of Mormon.
During the afternoon I had a long interview with one of the presidency of the Tintic Stake, and with others concerned in the investigation of West Tintic affairs.
March 13, 1921—Sunday
Went by early train to Eureka, where I arrived in time to attend part of a council meeting then in progress, comprising the Presidency of the Stake, the High Council, and the Bishoprics. The brethren had a long array of questions to submit to me, and I believe my visit and the counsel I was able to give were beneficial.
At 2 p.m. the High Council opened its session as a tribunal. Complaints had been made against seven persons connected with the West Tintic condition. Two sessions were held during the day, the latter ending about 11:40 p.m. I put up at the Bullion Beck hotel.
March 14, 1921—Monday
The High Council hearings were resumed at 9 a.m., and the first sitting lasted from that time until noon. The second session lasted from 1 to 6. Although the cases heard were in many respects similar as to general conditions, each case was tried separately with strict observance of the order laid down for the conduct of the High Council trials. I was present in an advisory capacity only and took only such active part as the circumstances seemed to require. I left the Stake Presidency to formulate their own decisions; and these were submitted to me but a few minutes before they were announced officially. The vote of the High Council to sustain the decision of the President was unanimous in each case. The results were these:
Gerald H. Lowry, who was disfellowshiped by action of the Council three weeks ago, was today excommunicated from the Church. He was not present, having gone to Idaho soon after the earlier action was taken against him. However, he acknowledged service of complaint and summons, by a letter which was read to the Council; and in this letter he expressly gave consent to the hearing of his case without his personal attendance; and in view of the conclusive testimony that he had been a party to the infamous “wife-sacrifice” practise [sic], and furthermore the proof furnished by letters from the Presidency of the Lost River Stake and from one of the Bishops in that stake, such letters having been addressed to the First Presidency, and complaining that Gerald Lowry had violated the conditions under which he was placed by disfellowshipment, and had been addressing the people in public to the injury of the Church, the extreme penalty, that of excommunication, was inevitable.
J. Leo Hafen, who, prior to the disorganization of the West Tintic branch three weeks ago, was president of that branch, was also excommunicated from the Church. There was no direct evidence that he had been an active participant in any “wife-sacrifice” atrocity; but his dereliction in failing to report the condition of affairs to the Stake Presidency, his refusal to give information to the Stake President when called upon, and his persistent refusal to comply with the usual and well established order and regulations of the Church, were deemed sufficient to warrant the penalty imposed upon him.
Ralph B. Weight, his wife Mrs. Minerva B. Weight, Thomas D. Nisbet, Levi G. Metcalf Jr., and his wife Mrs. Lucy Warren Metcalf, were disfellowshiped from the Church.
The experiences of yesterday and today have been to me most sorrowful. If there be any pleasing feature about the proceedings, by which our brethren and sisters have been disfellowshiped or excommunicated, it is to be found in the fact that each of the excused who was present came voluntarily forward and, though with tears, stated that the trials had been fair and impartial, and that the decisions were just. Three of those disfellowshiped [sic] expressed their gratitude at what they called the leniency of the Council in not visiting upon them the extreme penalty. […]
March 15, 1921—Tuesday
Left Eureka on the 7:41 a.m. train and stopped off at Springville. Among my fellow-passengers were four of those dealt with by the High Council in the recent trials, and I had a personal conversation with each. From statements made to me by J. Leo Hafen, and in fact by each of the others, it became clear to me that one of the corrupting conditions prevailing among them has been the conception that they ought to be guided individually by dreams, or inspiration so-called, consisting in individual impressions; and that their impressions are supreme notwithstanding they may be in conflict with the teachings of the Church and the regulations established therein.
At Springville I was met by Myron E. Crandall Jr., who took me by auto to the home of Levi Metcalf, who accompanied us. There we met his wife, Mrs. Lucy Warren Metcalf, who was excused from attendance at the trial because of her physical condition, but who was disfellowshiped on the evidence presented in her case, which was tried concurrently with that of her husband Levi. She spoke more freely than many of the accused had done, and stated that she now saw that her actions were in violation of the laws of the Church and that the judgment taken against her was just. As she was ill I administered to her and believe that she will realize the blessing desired.
I then went to the home of Mrs. Crandall, to meet her daughter, Mrs. Erma Gudmundson, who appears to have been a victim of many painful conditions arising from the immoral state of affairs at West Tintic. She is the wife of Moses S. Gudmundson, who was excommunicated at the earlier trial. I found her to be virtually a physical wreck. She has been harassed by occasional visits and more frequent messages from her husband; the nature of some of which was disclosed. Thus, he told her that should she say a word or do a thing against the interest of the people accused of wrongdoing at West Tintic, she would be the cause of his death, as it had been shown to him in vision that such action on her part would bring about his murder, and that calamity would be visited upon herself and her children. In her impressionable state, such messages as these threaten her sanity and even her life. She was really in the grip of an evil power; and I have seldom experienced a meeting with such a potent adversary as the evil spirit by which she was possessed. She seemed to crave my aid, and yet she persistently refused to look me in the face, saying that my face and my eyes were so bright as to terrify her. I was not conscious of any unusual condition of this sort, but she turned her head and shaded her eyes whenever for the moment I caught her gaze. I proceeded to administer to her, and rebuked the evil power, conscious all the while of a real struggle and conflict. Immediately after the administration she turned her eyes upon me and smiled, and was not disturbed by my gaze, but kept her eyes directed toward me. When I left her she was holding her baby and was in a state of comparative peace. I confess, however, that because of her weakened condition and of her state of nervous disturbance, I have not full faith that she will not suffer a relapse.
Upon my arrival at Springville this morning I was met by one of the Bishops, who requested that I meet the four Bishops of Springville together with certain relatives of the parties who have recently been dealt with in the Tintic Stake, and to this I assented. I was taken to the home of Bishop Bringhurst of the Springville 2nd Ward, where I found assembled the other Bishops and several women who were related to the unfortunate brethren and sisters with whom we have had to deal. They assured me that they sustained the action of the High Council, and of the direction given by the Church, and that in view of the facts they could not well see how the Church could do otherwise than disfellowship or excommunicate the offenders. But they wished to know whether those who had incited the West Tintic movement, and who had in some degree induced people to go out upon the land and live in the strange order thereon established, were to go free. They informed e of conditions that have long existed in Springville, this consisting essentially in the holding of meetings by women, and participated in by a few men, at which meetings messages were asked for. They told of alleged inspiration and revelation coming through women, and particularly of the frequency with which the gift of tongues was indulged in; and averred that by these means directions were sought as to individual and other affairs. Thus, they say, that business enterprises, land purchases, change of residence, mating in marriage, etc., were determined by this clique, as through prayer and fasting some “message” had been given directing them what to do.
I counseled with the Bishops on the matter, and urged them to greater diligence in the regulation of the affairs of their respective wards, particularly with regard to people holding meetings of a professedly religious character, and the encouragement of publications <supplications> for “manifestations” out of the ordinary.
In all these alleged proceedings, many of which were conducted with semi-secrecy, the dominant thought seems to have been that individual inspiration, direction through speaking in tongues, and particularly dreams, were superior to all counsel or direction through the ordinary Church channels.
It seems to me that the evil one is particularly busy in thus trying to undermine the faith of the people, that is of the few who are willing to be thus led, and in planting the germs of spiritual disease, generally in a soil of excessive piety.
I was able to spend only about half an hour with my brother, William George, and his wife and family. I was very happy to find George in an improved state of health, and to find Hettie and the children so well. I returned home by evening interurban train.
March 17, 1921—Thursday
The Salt Lake Tribune published in today’s issue a “story” bearing upon the recent action taken in the West Tintic trials. I do not know who gave the information to the paper; but whoever did was well acquainted with the details, as, with the exception of a few very minor points, the account is practically correct. Only, sad to say, had all been told the story would be even worse than it is. I believe the publication will do the Church good; as it makes plain the fact as soon as the Church officials became aware of the conditions there prompt and effective action was taken.
I attended council meeting of the First Presidency and Twelve. At this meeting, Dr. John Andreas Widtsoe, at present the president of the University of Utah, was sustained to be an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, and a member of the Council of the Twelve Apostles, to fill the vacancy occasioned by the calling of Elder Anthony W. Ivins into the First Presidency. We read that following the resurrection of our Lord, the two travelers with whom He conversed on the road to Emmaus, commented after His departure as to how their hearts had burned within them while He had been speaking to them. When after due consideration the name of Brother Widtsoe was placed before the Brethren by President Heber J. Grant for their vote, as we testified to each other our hearts verily burned within us. We know that the selection of Brother Widtsoe is the Lord’s choice. Word was sent out and an automobile was dispatched to the University to bring Brother Widtsoe to the Council. Actually, he was overwhelmed when the announcement of the action of the Council was made to him. After he had received a very impressive charge from President Heber J. Grant, Elder John Andreas Widtsoe was ordained an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ and was set apart as a member of the Council of the Twelve Apostles under the hands of the First Presidency and of all members of the Twelve present, President Heber J. Grant being voice in the ordination and setting apart. Brother Widtsoe took his place as the junior member of the Council, and remained with us during the rest of the session.
At this meeting Elder Joseph Fielding Smith of the Council of the Twelve, heretofore one of the Assistant Historians of the Church, was by unanimous action made the Church Historian and General Church Recorder. We all feel that he will be blessed in the discharge of his duties in this high position. He thus takes the place made vacant by the death of our beloved President Anthon H. Lund.
Following the meeting I had a long consultation with the First Presidency, at which the following decisions were made:
That we proceed at once to revise the Doctrine and Covenants, making certain improvements in the typography of the volume, unifying punctuation, capitalization, etc., compiling an adequate index, adding descriptive headings to each Section, etc.
That we proceed to publish an edition of the Book of Mormon as recently revised and rearranged, this to be printed on India paper, thus providing a small and light book which will be of special service among our missionaries.
At a meeting of the committee having the Doctrine and Covenants matter in charge it was decided that instead of dividing up the work of revision as was done in the case of the Book of Mormon, that the whole matter be left to a sub-committee of one, and I am that one. […]
March 18, 1921—Friday
Began at least in a preliminary way the work of revising the Doctrine and Covenants. Had a long consultation with the First Presidency; and was engaged in administering to the afflicted. […]
March 23, 1921—Wednesday
[…] So soon do we become accustomed to miracles and wonders that these are commonplace. Nearly every morning as I come down early I see the postal service airplane winding its way eastward. Wireless telegraphy and telephony scarcely excite wonder in the popular mind. Boys who have not reached their teens are setting up wireless stations. The attached clipping from this morning’s Salt Lake Tribune is an interesting instance. […]
March 24, 1921—Thursday
[…] Following the meeting I was engaged with the Counselors in the First Presidency in planning the production of a one-volume History of the Church. This is a work greatly needed among our people; and the First Presidency had previously decided on bringing out some such a work; but the question as to who shall write it is the important one at present. Much as I would like to undertake the work myself, the other appointments resting upon me practically preclude my doing so.
April 10, 1921—Sunday
Had a forenoon consultation with the Presiding Patriarch over certain reports that had come to him concerning alleged violations of the law of the Church in the matter of plural marriage. […]
April 16, 1921—Saturday
I left by early train for Tintic, arriving about 11 p.m. President Birch met me and took me by auto to his home in Silver City, where arrangements had been made for my accommodation during the conference. […] Reports having been received to the effect that several of the West Tintic people, who had been disfellowshiped from the Church, had manifested a very defiant spirit, these had been summoned to appear before the Council to show cause why they should not be excommunicated from the Church; and Mrs. Ella Lowry Hafen, wife of the former president of the one-time West Tintic branch, J. Leo Hafen, and who had not been tried for her fellowship on the earlier occasions, was cited to appear before the High Council. Two elders had been sent to visit each of the parties individually, and to report as to their condition of mind and their desires with respect to retaining their membership in the Church. Each had signed a waiver of attendance, stating that he or she consented to the trial or investigation being carried through whether the party was present or not. Great care was taken to hear the witnesses, who were the elders who had visited them, and it being plain that no one of them manifested any repentance, and that Ella Lowry Hafen had openly avowed her allegiance to what these people call “the cause”, the penalty of excommunication was pronounced in each case.
April 18, 1921—Monday
I had occasion to investigate the alleged organization of a body of people who are said to have claimed that the time had arrived for the establishment of the United Order and that they were the ones to start the movement. I found that the rumors and reports that have reached the First Presidency concerning this matter have been greatly exaggerated. The so-called “movement” is confined to the people belonging to the West Tintic branch, not more than forty families in all, under the supervision of Brother Moses Gudmundsen as presiding Elder. It appears that before the organization of the branch Brother Gudmundsen and a few relatives, together with some other interested people took up a tract of land and tried to establish a system of cooperative farming. Their motives appear to have been good; but others have come in who claim to have received divine manifestations that this marked the beginning of the re-establishment of the United Order and that they were commanded to enter it. Since the organization of the branch, Church rules have been observed so far as I could learn.
April 19, 1921—Tuesday
[…] Had many callers, among them the county attorney of Juab County, and the district attorney of Tintic judicial district, who came to report certain developments in their investigation of the violation of law in the West Tintic settlement.
May 6, 1921—Friday
The day was fully taken up in consultation and office work. It is a year today since I received written appointment from the First Presidency to prepare a work on “Priesthood”. Other duties have been put upon me so that not so much as a beginning has been made in this special assignment.
May 9, 1921—Monday
[…] Immediately after arrival I learned of the death of my Aunt Bessie — Mrs. Elizabeth Rawlinson — which occurred at San Francisco at 9:30 p.m., Pacific time, Saturday last, May 7th. She is the last of my Father’s generation; and I had particular reason for desiring to be present at the funeral services. Indeed, it was Aunt Bessie’s oft-repeated request that I should be present when she was laid away. I laid the matter before the Counselors in the First Presidency, President Grant being absent, and it was decided that owing to pressing duties resting upon brethren of the Twelve, few of whom are at home, I could not be given permission to make the trip to San Francisco. I confess this proved very disappointing to me; but my obligation is obvious. […]
May 25, 1921—Wednesday
Doctrine & Covenants work and consultations occupied the day. […]
June 1, 1921—Wednesday
Yesterday and today have been devoted to office work and consultations. Attended a meeting of the Doctrine & Covenants committee, at which several points in the matter of revision were passed upon.
June 5, 1921—Sunday
My appointment to attend quarterly conference in one of the stakes was canceled by President Grant to enable me to devote this day to the reading and revision of certain matter relating to the Church, which is intended for early publication. I devoted the day as intended, and in the evening administered to some of the afflicted.
June 6, 1921—Monday
Continued the revision work mentioned under yesterday’s date.
June 9, 1921—Thursday
[…] Yesterday and this afternoon and evening I was engaged in proof-reading and revision work. […]
July 4, 1921—Monday
Independence Day. The holiday was quietly observed in the city, and I devoted practically the entire day to work on the Doctrine & Covenants.
July 6, 1921—Wednesday
Spent some time in visiting the afflicted, and the rest of the day was spent as way yesterday, in Doctrine & Covenants work.
July 9, 1921—Saturday
Each day since last entry has been devoted to office work, principally Doctrine & Covenants revision.
July 13, 1921—Wednesday
Attended a meeting of the Doctrine & Covenants committee; and today, as during all spare time for the last week or more, I was engaged in Doctrine & Covenants revision work, at present checking up on the footnotes.
July 17, 1921—Sunday
I was left without conference appointment today in order to continue my work on the editing of the Doctrine & Covenants for a new issue, in which I have been engaged every day since last entry.
July 20, 1921—Wednesday
Attended meeting of the Doctrine & Covenants committee, at which several points as to arrangement of footnotes, etc. were passed upon. […]
July 26, 1921—Tuesday
[…] This forenoon I attended a long meeting of the Doctrine & Covenants committee, which, indeed, extended well into the afternoon.
July 27, 1921—Wednesday
Was engaged as usual in Doctrine & Covenants work. Today I received the first shipment, excepting only sample copies, of the Book of Mormon, India paper edition. This is printed from the same plates as were used in the Library and Missionary editions, and is bound in flexible leather, divinity circuit style. This new edition gives us great satisfaction, and doubtless will be in great favor with the missionaries and others who carry the sacred volume with them in travel. […]
July 29, 1921—Friday
Attended a long session of the Doctrine & Covenants committee. […]
August 1, 1921—Monday
[…] Spent the entire day in Doctrine & Covenants work.
August 2, 1291—Tuesday
Attended a long meeting of a sub-committee engaged on Doctrine & Covenants work.
August 7, 1921—Sunday
Every day since last entry has been devoted to Doctrine & Covenants work. […]
August 10, 1921—Wednesday
For three days Elder Melvin J. Ballard and I have been engaged in checking the footnotes in the Doctrine & Covenants.
August 18, 1921—Thursday
Revision work on the Doctrine & Covenants has kept me busy thus far this week. […]
August 19, 1921—Friday
Had two consultations with President Grant; and arrangements were made to carry into effect a recent decision of the Council, which provides for the wide distribution of the Book of Mormon by presentation of copies to the libraries of this country and other English-speaking nations. The direction of this work is placed in my hands. Spent considerable time in checking up and revising the Doctrine & Covenants and Pearl of Great Price, both of which books are to be reprinted in form similar to that of the last issue of the Book of Mormon. I am under instructions to leave for the East tomorrow, to make contract for the carrying out of the work and to place and copy in the hands of the printers. […]
December 14, 1921
Today’s Deseret News carries a news item, which is to be followed by an editorial, on the recent election of Dr. John A. Widtsoe, one of the Council of the Twelve, to membership in the Victoria Institute, or Philosophical Society of Great Britain. I know I am more delighted over this election than I was over my own in 1899. It was my pleasure to nominate Brother Widtsoe for membership in this distinctively Christian body of men and women of science, philosophy, and letters, and this I did long before he was called into the Council of the Twelve. To my great annoyance he was black-balled, doubtless because he was known to be a ‘Mormon’. When next I was invited to make a nomination I referred to the adverse action taken in the case of Dr. Widtsoe, and nominated him again. The Victoria Institute is unique among learned bodies, in that the requirements for membership include, beside unquestioned standing in scholarship, a real belief in Christianity. To me it is significant that while some who understand us not say that the Latter-day Saints are not Christians, this body has elected two members of our Church’myself and Dr. Widtsoe’with full knowledge that we are ‘Mormons’.