Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Reed Smoot Hearings: Day 5 - Joseph F. Smith, part 2

March 7, 1904

Before proceeding with the afternoon session of questioning, Mr. Worthington wishes to make a clarification of previous comments:
Mr. Worthington.  Mr. Chairman, before going on with the examination of the witness, I would like to say that just before the recess I made a remark which has been misinterpreted by some, and perhaps by the committee.  I remarked, when Senator Dubois had, by accident, referred to me as counsel for the witness, that I was not his counsel, and I said if I were his counsel that there would have been some difference in his testimony, or something to that effect.  I only meant by that to say that as I understood the law he had a right to refuse to answer a great many of the questions which have been asked him here, and if I had been in his place I would have refused to answer them.

I did not, in the slightest degree, of course, mean to reflect upon any person who may have advised him, because we all know he is represented here by very able, conscientious, and distinguished counsel.  I am advised, however, that even, in so far as that is concerned, I was mistaken, because - and in this the witness can answer whether it is true or not - I am informed he was fully advised in the premises, and decided of his own motion that he would answer everything, whether he was compelled to answer it or not.

How is that, Mr. Smith?

Mr. Smith.  That is correct, sir.
Commentary:  I like the fact that this is put out into the open.  There is not a single question he is avoiding, and not a question he will purposely not answer.  He came here to answer every question asked of him.  What he doesn't say, and what I can assume from that statement, is that Mr. Smith wants to answer every question honestly and as truthfully as he can; no deception, no concealment, and no hidden meanings to his answers.

Mr. Worthington then starts in on questioning Mr. Smith about the charge of rewarding those who are the most defiant law-breakers with high ecclesiastical positions in the church.  We find from this conversation that President Wilford Woodruff, true to the manifesto, did not violate the law after its release; the same can be said of President Lorenzo Snow.  This violation mentioned here would include both polygamy and polygamous cohabitation.  His statement concerning President Snow:  "My understanding is that he complied strictly with it."

Mr. Worthington then asks him to review, again, how the next president of the church is chosen.
Mr. Worthington.  I wish you would explain a little more fully than you have about this matter of promotion - how it was you came to take the place of Lorenzo Snow.  I think you have told us there has been a custom, at least, of promotion.
Mr. Smith.  It has been the custom, since the death of Joseph Smith that the president of the twelve succeeded to the presidency of the church.
Mr. Worthington.  That has been from the beginning - that has been a rule that has been followed?
Mr. Smith.  It was the case with Brigham Young and his successors.
Mr. Worthington.  So that the last apostle takes the foot of the list?
Mr. Smith.  Yes, sir.
Mr. Worthington.  And as vacancies occur he moves up?
Mr. Smith.  Yes, sir.
Mr. Worthington.  Has there, so far as you know, from the beginning been any other rule followed?
Mr. Smith.  No.
Mr. Worthington.  Or has that been universally followed?
Mr. Smith.  That has been universally followed.
Mr. Worthington.  So that all the rewards that have come in that way have been by simply following the custom of the church?
Mr. Smith.  That is correct, sir.
Mr. Worthington.  I understand you to say, however, that there is no law - no revelation or command - of the church in any way which requires that.
Mr. Smith.  No; it is just simply a custom.
Mr. Worthington.  And that if a vacancy should occur tomorrow it would be competent for any member of the church to be selected as president?
Mr. Smith.  That is quite right.
Commentary:  I don't know how much more clear this can be made.  It has been gone over a few times, and here again the succession is normally handled by the senior member of the twelve, but that is only the custom of the church; there is no revelation or command from God that it must be this way.  Additionally, any member of the church has the possibility to be the next prophet.  Interesting.

To further pursue this same subject of rewards, every new apostle since the manifesto is reviewed and his marital status (monogamist or polygamist) is stated.  Since the manifesto was given (in 1890), there have been 6 vacancies filled in the Twelve:  Matthias F. Cowley (reputed polygamist, 2 wives, do not know about cohabitation status), Abraham O. Woodruff (monogamist), Rudger Clawson (monogamist), Reed Smoot (monogamist), Hyrum M. Smith (monogamist), and George Albert Smith (monogamist).
Mr. Worthington.  So, that out of the six apostles who have come into office since the manifesto, five have been monogamists, one had two wives, and whether he actually lived with more than one wife after that you do not know?
Mr. Smith.  No, sir; I do not know.
Commentary:  So, it would be hard to say from the manifesto on that the most defiant law breakers of the church are rewarded with high ecclesiasitcal positions.  The president of the church is chosen typically through seniority, not in any other way.  New members of the apostles are 83% monogamists.  I'm hard pressed to believe that this demonstrates a reward in the highest levels of the church.

Then to make sure that there is no misunderstanding, he asks this question:
Mr. Worthington.  Now, finally, on that subject, so far as I am concerned, let me ask you whether, to your knowledge, in any case, any man in the church has been given any office whatever because he was a polygamist or lived in polygamous cohabitation, or whether, so far as you know, such appointments have gone by merit and deserts?
Mr. Smith.  They have gone by merit entirely.
Commentary:  Well, that's the answer I expected.  I would have been shocked had it been something else.

The line kind of blurs here from cross-examination into redirect-examination.  Mr. Tayler just kind of starts asking questions and Mr. Worthington does not object or have more questions, therefore, he must have been finished or signaled Mr. Tayler and the Chairman that he was finished.


Mr. Tayler comes back to the hypothetical question of someone reporting Mr. Smith to the bishop of his ward for violating the church rule of not cohabiting with more than one wife.  He goes through the process of where the trial would be held; where the appeal would be heard, etc.  In the middle of these questions, Mr. Smith appears to get a little grumpy about this.
Mr. Tayler.  Who is the bishop of your ward?
Mr. Smith.  George R. Emery.
Mr. Tayler.  He is a polygamist, is he not?
Mr. Smith.  I do not know.
Mr. Tayler.  Is not that his reputation?
Mr. Smith.  I do not know.
Mr. Tayler.  You do not know?
Mr. Smith.  No, sir; I do not know.
Mr. Tayler.  Have you any idea whether he is a polygamist or not?
Mr. Smith.  If I had I should decline to tell you.
Mr. Tayler.  You should decline to tell us?
Mr. Smith.  Yes, sir; I do not know anything about George R. Emery's family.
Commentary:  I wasn't there.  I didn't hear him speak these words.  However, just from reading it, this seemed just a tad snippy to me.  If it was, he is getting tired of answering the same questions over and over and over again for different Senators who missed the meetings, or the attorneys that want to revisit the same subject again (beating a dead horse).

Mr. Tayler leaves this subject and then tries to confuse Mr. Smith by accusing him of lying.  Mr. Smith sees through this and denies the statement.
Mr. Tayler.  You stated in your examination in chief that you have had 11 children born since the manifesto.
Mr. Smith.  Yes.
Mr. Tayler.  Are you sure of the number?
Mr. Smith.  I cannot say that I was absolutely sure, but I think I am about right.
Mr. Tayler.  Is it not a fact - and I do not put this is an offensive way, but only to get at the fact as quickly as possible - that you have ahd 20 children born since the manifesto?
Mr. Smith.  No, sir; I have not.
Mr. Tayler then has Mr. Smith list off his children wife by wife; the children born since the manifesto:  Alice (Fielding, Jesse, and Andrew); Mary (Silas, Agnes, and James).  After a few more questions, it is apparent that Mr. Tayler is confused as to the children born, their ages, how many from each wife, etc.
Mr. Smith.  I can furnish the committee a correct statement of exactly the ages and dates of my children, if I have the time to do it.
Mr. Tayler.  You were subpoenaed to brigh with you a family record?
Mr. Smith.  No, sir; I was not.
Mr. Tayler.  You were not?
Mr. Smith.  No, sir.
Mr. Tayler.  There was no instruction to you to bring any record of your marriages and of the births of your children?
Mr. Smith.  No, sir.
Mr. Worthington.  Is not the subpoena here, Mr. Chairman?
Mr. Tayler.  I presume it did not go out.  The press statement was to that effect.
Mr. Smith.  I have the subpoena in my pocket here.
The Chairman.  Therre is no question about it.  It was not a subpoena duces tecum.
Commentary:  Well, he didn't bring his family records like Mr. Tayler thought he should have.  He believed this was part of the subpoena and he would catch him on it.  It didn't work.  Furthermore, Mr. Smith has the subpoena in his pocket; which I assume from the Chairman's comment doesn't request this specific information.  This does, in a way, make Mr. Tayler look a little foolish for not doing his homework beforehand.
Mr. Tayler.  What is your best recollection now, Mr. Smith, as to the number of your children since the manifesto?
Commentary:  That was, in my opinion, a stupid question.  Mr. Tayler is normally a really sharp guy, but I think he fell down or something because this question is d.u.m.b. in my opinion.  He's already answered this a few times, but Mr. Tayler asks him again (to check and see if he'll change his answer???).  Does he think it is going to morph from 11 to 12 or perhaps 20 within the course of a few says and in this case a few minutes?
Mr. Smith.  My recollection is that I have had eleven born since the manifesto.
Commentary:  There.  Did that help?  I expect better from Mr. Tayler.

Next, Mr. Tayler moves on to naming the children from the other wives and there is a bit of a discussion as to whether the first wife, Mr. Smith's current legal wife, should have her children listed.  Mr. Smith says that he will leave her off because she is not classified as a plural wife.  After some wrangling, he does finally list the children born from this first wife (Julina) after the manifesto (Edith and Rachel).  Sarah, his second wife (Asinith and Jenetta), and Edna, his third wife (Martha).

Finally after listing off all of hist post-manifesto children, Mr. Tayler questions Mr. Smith about a child named "Robert" and other he believes were left out of this list (born since the manifesto).
Mr. Tayler.  Whose child is Robert?  Have you a son named Robert?
Mr. Smith.  I have a son Robert that was born - if he was living he would be 18 years old today.
Mr. Tayler.  That is the only Robert?
Mr. Smith.  Yes, sir.
Mr. Tayler.  And a daughter Lucy?
Mr. Smith.  I have a daughter Lucy, and she is living, but she was born before the manifesto.
Mr. Tayler.  How old is she?
Mr. Smith.  I think she is 15 years of age.
We also find out that Mr. Smith married his first wife, Julina, when she was "between 16 and 17 years of age."
Mr. Worthington.  Mr. Chairman, what in the world has that to do with whether Senator Smoot should hold his seat in the Senate or not - asking him whether a child was begotten when his wife was 45 years old?
Mr. Tayler.  Well, I do not know.  Some things might be important.  When did you marry her?
Mr. Smith.  I married her on the 5th day of April, 1866.
When then find out that his first wife divorced him shortly after his marriage to his second wife.
Mr. Tayler.  You then had a wife?
Mr. Smith.  Yes, sir.
Mr. Tayler.  She was, then, your plural wife?
Mr. Smith.  This one was my plural wife.
Mr. Tayler.  Have you been married to her since?
Mr. Smith.  Yes, sir.
Mr. Tayler.  When?
Mr. Smith.  After the divorce of my first wife.
Mr. Tayler.  When did you get that divorce?
Mr. Smith.  I cannot tell you from memory.
Mr. Tayler.  I mean was it a short time after your plural marriage?
Mr. Smith.  Yes, sir.
Mr. Tayler.  Or a long time?
Mr. Smith.  No, sir; it was a short time after the marriage of the second wife.
There is a bit of an argument between attorneys here where Mr. Worthington laughs at a question by Mr. Tayler, and Mr. Van Cott objects to the question.  Mr. Tayler then makes a statement of his supposed fact which Mr. Van Cott objects to because it says the church allowed plural marriage after the manifesto.  This did not come from the witness, thus the objection.

Mr. Tayler then states that he is finished, at which time the committee Chairman begins asking questions of the witness.
The Chairman.  Mr. Smith, I will not press it, but I will ask you if you have any objections to stating how many children you have in all.
Mr. Smith.  Altogether?
The Chairman.  Yes.
Mr. Smith.  I have had born to me, sir, 42 children, 21 boys and 21 girls, and I am proud of every one of them.
The Chairman.  Where is your official residence?  You spoke of the official residence.  Where is that?
Mr. Smith.  My official residence is in the Beehive House, Salt Lake City.
The Chairman.  Where is that?
Mr. Smith.  It is adjoining my office.
The Chairman.  The Beehive House.  How long has that been the official residence of the various presidents?
Mr. Smith.  It was purchased by the church during the administration of Lorenzo Snow, and fitted up for him.
The Chairman.  And you live with one of your wives in that official residence?
Mr. Smith.  Yes, sir.
He continues questioning him about the location of the house (central part of Salt Lake), is it protected or covered with a high wall (no), is it open (absolutely open on 3 sides).
The Chairman.  Now, where are the residences of your other wives?
Mr. Smith.  Three of them reside in the Sixteenth Ward.
The Chairman.  As to this official residence, I want to know where they are?
Mr. Smith.  Sir?
The Chairman.  As to this official residence, how far are these residences of the other wives from the official residence?
Mr. Smith.  By the nearest road, about 1 mile.
The Chairman.  And these residences of your other wives are not connected, then, with the grounds of the official residence?
Mr. Smith.  No sir.
Commentary:  So he lives with one wife (Julina) in the Beehive House, and 3 of the other 4 are about 1 mile away from this house.
The Chairman.  Where do you attend service on the Sabbath?
Mr. Smith.  My duties call me to attend the quarterly conferences of the church, and nine-tenths of the time, nearly, during the year, I am absent from Salt Lake City, attending conferences of the people.
The Chairman.  Do you families attend this tabernacle?
Mr. Smith.  They attend it sometimes, and sometimes their ward meetings.
The Chairman.  But they attend every Sabbath one meeting or the other?
Mr. Smith.  I could not say.  I wish they would, Mr. Chairman, but sometimes they do not go to meeting.
The Chairman.  And with their children?
Mr. Smith.  Oh, yes; they sometimes take their children.
Commentary:  Well, at least it is good to know that not everyone, including Mr. Smith's immediate family, goes to church 100% of the time.

The Chairman.  These other residences in which your wives live, do those belong to the church?
Mr. Smith.  No, sir; they belong to my wives.
The Chairman.  Purchased by them?
Mr. Smith.  No, sir; purchased by me and given to them.
The Chairman.  Oh, yes; I see.
Mr. Smith.  They own their own homes.
The Chairman.  You purchased them, and then -
Mr. Smith.  Deeded them to the mothers.
Commentary:  Interesting.  He bought and gave the deed to the mothers.

The Chairman then asks if Mr. Smith has any relations with the Reorganized Church.  Mr. Smith talked there (Plano, Ill.) once with his cousin, Joseph Smith III (son of the prophet, Joseph Smith), but has not talked with him since that time.

The Chairman then wants to try and establish testimony as to the fact that polygamy was an investion of Brigham Young, and not Joseph Smith.
The Chairman.  I understood you to say that the prophet Joseph Smith - I mean the original revelator -
Mr. Smith.  Yes.
The Chairman.  I understood you to say, somewhere in your testimony, that he was in his lifetime a polygamist?
Mr. Smith.  Yes, sir.
The Chairman.  Can you name any person to whom he was married?
Mr. Smith.  Yes, sir.
The Chairman.  Or any child born to him -
Mr. Smith.  Oh, no; I cannot tell you anything about the children.  I can tell you one or two of his wives.
The Chairman.  If you will be kind enough to give them to me, I will be obliged to you.
Mr. Smith.  Eliza R. Snow.
The Chairman.  When did he marry her?
Mr. Smith.  He married her in 1842, I think.
The Chairman.  Well, another?
Mr. Smith.  Eliza Maria Partidge was one of his wives.
The Chairman.  When was that?
Mr. Smith.  Somewhere in the forties; I do not know just when; I could not tell from memory.
The Chairman.  Was his first wife alive at that time?
Mr. Smith.  Yes, sir.
The Chairman.  Whom else, that you know of?
Mr. Smith.  It would be very difficult for me to tell you who else from memory.
Mr. Worthington.  Mr. Chairman, pardon me for making the suggestion, but I understood the committee to decide that the inquiry was to be limited to what happened after the manifesto, in relation to the violation of the laws.
The Chairman.  It is not for the purpose.  He has testified to the fact that the original prophet, Joseph Smith, was a polygamist, which is denied by some people, and I want to find out the fact.  That is all.
Mr. Smith.  I was going to say to you, Mr. Chairman, that I can give you the names of the ladies that were maried to Joseph Smith, and the dtes on which they were married, and the name of the person officiating, if I have the time to do it.  I did not bring any data of the kind with me here.
The Chairman.  Are these women living, any of them, now?
Mr. Smith.  Sir?
The Chairman.  Are any of these several wives you speak of, of Joseph Smith, living now?
Mr. Smith.  I do not think any of them are living now.
Commentary:  Ok, so he named two, in addition to Joseph's first wife, Emma.  There are more, but the Chairman did not request that information because none of the women included in taht list are alive, and thus they are not available for examination and cross-examination.  I believe he would have subpoenaed any woman still living that was Joseph's wife to prove this point.  Also, wow, what a nice little piece of information this would be to have; right from the church archives, all of the wives of the prophet Joseph Smith.  Darn.  That would have been interesting to see.

All of the Chairman's questions seem to have run out.  He asked about his wives attending conference and other women attending and little more on Sunday meeting attendance, and that was it.  Now, other Senators one the committee are asking their one-off questions to Mr. Smith.
Senator Hoar.  I wish to ask one think, Mr. Smith.  When you took the chair you declined to take the oath, but took an affirmation.  Is that some view of duty personal to you, or is it a part of the doctrine in your church, as it is with the Quakers and Shakers?
Mr. Smith.  We believe in the Scriptures, "swear not at all."
Senator Hoar.  Then that is a doctrine of your church?
Mr. Smith.  Yes, sir.
Senator Hoar.  I have asked that because it has been said by the counsel opposed to you that they conceded that Mr. Smoot had taken no oath, I think, inconsistent with his obligation as a Senator.  I do not think there is any doubt, but I think it ought to be made clear that that phrase, "taking no oath," applies in Mr. Smoot's mind and in the mind of the counsel to having taken no affirmation.
Mr. Smith.  Just the same.
There is just one more question from Senator Overman, and it is a wild, very much off-topic, doctrinal one.  Check this out:
Senator Overman.  Let me ask a question for my own satisfaction.  I have a little pamphlet which states that you teach that our Savior was a polygamist.  Is that so?
Mr. Smith.  We do not teach any such doctrine.  We simply teach the historical fact the Jesus Christ descended through a line of polygamists from David and Abraham.
Senator Overman.  You do not teach that he had polygmous relations?
Mr. Smith.  Oh, no, sir.
Commentary:  Apparently Senator Overman is in possession of a pamphlet that is anti-Mormon and there is a statement therein that says the Mormons teach that Jesus was a polygamist.  Lucky for Senator Overman, the president of the Mormon Church is on the stand and he could directly and authoritatively answer that question.

That is the last question for Mr. Smith.

Reed Smoot Hearings - Day 5: Joseph F. Smith, part 1

March 7, 1904

Senator Dubois starts off this day with his same argument from before that he's had with Mr. Smith about the percentage of Mormons that were polygamists.
Senator Dubois.  I wish to get ths record straight.  There was some controversy between the president and myself as to the number of polygamists in 1890.  I spoke from memory, and it was thirteen years ago but I find I was quite accurate.  I wish to put in the record what I have taken from the census of 1890, which, of course, no one will question.
Commentary:  Not this [crap] again.  I thought we were done with this in the Saturday session.  Ok, whatever ... give us your take on this subject, yet again, Senator.  Dogged and determined; I guess that's what the Senator is.  He continues to come back to the same tired argument of his ("I'm right, and given enough time, everyone will agree with me.").  In my mind his arguments so far have been weak, without substance, and completely without support or backing of data.  I really wish I could have heard him trying again and again and again to convince everyone he's right.  This must have been semi-comical to the lawyers and other Senators in the room.  Let's see how he does this time.  Will he continue his trend of crashing and burning, or will a miracle happen and he pull that mythical rabbit out of his hat?
The Chairman.  1890 or 1900?
Senator Dubois.  1890.  The president said there were 3 or 4 percent in polygamy, and I contended that there were 20 to 25 percent.  The total population of Utah in 1890 was 207,905; the Mormon population, 118,201; Gentile 89,704.  So it is much larger than I stated.  The commissioner's report of the school census of 1890 shows that there were white children between the ages of 6 and 18, of Mormon parentage to the number of 50,045.
     Now I will assume, which is not violent, that 33-1/3  percent of the children were below the age of 6 years.  When you take in connection with them the Gentiles, and they have not nearly so many children as the Mormons, I think any will admit that that is approximately correct.  That makes 16,682 below the age of 6.  the total Mormon population of Utah under 18 years of age was approximately 66,727.  The Mormon population of the entire State over 18 years of age was approximately 51,474.  Based upon the estimate of 12,000 polygamists, upon which we agree, in 1890, who were disfranchised, this represented 23-1/4 percent of the Mormon population of Utah over 18 years of age who were in polygamy.
     Now, the president says further on that there are about 897 Mormons in polygamy now.
Mr Worthington.  Now now, but in May, 1902.
Senator Dubois.  The year 1902.  There are no statistics other than church statistics.  I give it as my opinion that there has been no material reduction in the number of polygamists.  So it is my opinion that his statement as regards that is just as misleading as his statement that there were 3 or 4 percent in polygamy in 1900.
The Chairman.  Is that all?
Senator Dubois.  That is all.
Commentary:  I think I've seen a rabbit.  Well done Senator.  It took him a few days of fumbling around, but he finally came prepared with an argument backed with facts.  Personally, I am confused now.  I want to believe Mr. Smith, mainly because he's the leader of the church and is above [my] reproach.  However, Senator Dubois' argument was actually very convincing to me.  I guess it's about time the other side won an argument.  I am assuming his statistics are 100% correct (as recorded and reported) and that there is not another way to view them and come up with a different conclusion; at least from me there isn't.  From the Idaho Senator's perspective, 20-25% of the Mormon marriageable population is involved in polygamy.  From Mr. Smith's perspective, 3-4% of the Mormon population is involved in polygamy.  Right now it seems like both of them are right just as Senator Dubois has been saying for the last couple of days.

Joseph F. Smith resumes the stand

Mr. Worthington wants to have Mr. Smith describe more of the church hierarchy this morning.  He starts off with wards (run by a bishop and 2 councilors) and then stakes (run by a stake president and 2 councilors) and then asks about where charges are heard against a person; it starts with the bishop.  From there, an appeal can be made to the stake presidency.
Mr. Worthington.  Suppose they have rendered a decision.  Does any further appeal lie?
Mr. Smith.  Yes, sir.
Mr. Worthington.  Where?
Mr. Smith.  From the decision of the high council - the presidency and the high council.
Mr. Worthington.  Of the stake?
Mr. Smith.  Of the stake.  To the presidency of the church.
Mr. Worthington.  Composed of the president and his councilors?
Mr. Smith.  Yes, sir.
Mr. Worthington.  What have the apostles to do with those proceedings?
Mr. Smith.  Nothing, whatever.
Mr. Smith.  I still live in a particular ward.  I now have my membership in the sixteenth ward.
Mr. Worthington.  Where is that?
Mr. Smith.  Of Salt Lake stake.
Mr. Worthington.  If some member of the church were to charge you with violating a law of the church in cohabiting with plural wives, where would his complaint properly be made?
Mr. Smith.  He would make the complaint to my bishop.
Mr. Worthington.  Of your ward?
Mr. Smith.  Yes, sir.
He continues asking where appeals would be made, if they were made, in his case, hypothetically if he were charged.  From Bishop to Stake President; and then ...
Mr. Worthington.  That decision having been rendered, would there be any further appeal - in the case, I mean, of a charge against yourself?
Mr. Smith.  Myself?  Yes; there is a provision made for an appeal in my own case to the three general presiding bishops of the church, with twelve high priests chosen for that express purpose.
Mr. Worthington.  Who are those three high priests?
Mr. Smith.  Bishops.
Mr. Worthington.  Who are the people who hold those positions now, I mean?
Mr. Smith.  The present presiding bishopric of the church is William B. Preston, Robert T. Burton, and Orrin P. Miller.
Of those mentioned, Mr. Burton is a polygamist by repute.  The other he does not mention and he says that he is not sure about Mr. Burton completely.

Mr. Worthington.  You have given us what appears to be the machinery of the church and you have not mentioned the apostles or the seventies.  What have they to do with the organization?
Mr. Smith.  They have nothing whatever to do with the judicial affairs of the church.
Mr. Worthington.  What are their duties?
Mr. Smith.  Their duties are to preach the gospel and to send elders to preach it to all the nations of the earth.
Mr. Worthington.  Their duties correspond in a general way to those of the apostles of old, then?
Mr. Smith.  Exactly.
Commentary:  I do find it interesting that the apostles and seventies are not part of the church judicial system at all.  That could not be made more clear from this conversation.

Mr. Smith then defines exactly what the duty of an apostle is:
"When they are appointed they act under the direction of the presidency of the church, and when they are appointed to preach and to labor and to set in order matters in the stakes of Zion they are appointed to do that by the presidency of the church."
He is then asked if the first presiency and the twelve ever "meet conjointly at any time?"
Mr. Smith.  Yes, sir; we meet from time to time.
Mr. Worthington.  What is the nature of those meetings?  What are they for?
Senator Overman.  How often do you meet?
Mr. Worthington.  Yes; how often do you meet?
Mr. Smith.  Our rule is to meet once a week, but we do not always meet once a week.  But that is the rule.
Mr. Worthington.  What is the purpose of these conferences, and what are they for?
Mr. Smith.  The principle purpose is for prayer.
Mr. Worthington.  What are the subordinate purposes?
Mr. Smith.  Also for consultation in matters generally pertaining to the church.
Senator Dubois.  You say you do not always meet once a week?
Mr. Smith.  We do not always meet once a week; and furthermore, it is very seldom the case that there are more than four or five or six of the council present.  Most generally the apostles are out in the missionary field and do not meet with us on that day.
Senator Dubois.  So that these consultation between the apostles are sometimes diferred for some considerable length of time?
Mr. Smith.  Very frequently.
Senator Dubois.  In whom, then, is the power for the guidance of the church solely vested?
Mr. Smith.  The presidency of the church.
Mr. Worthington.  Is not the power vested in the presidency, whether you hold conferences or not?  Have the apostles any power to do anything more than to advise?
Mr. Smith.  No, sir; only as advisers and councilors.
Mr. Worthington.  They advise the president of the church in a general sense, very much like the Cabinet here advises the President of the United States?
Mr. Smith.  I presume it is very much in the same way.
Mr. Worthington.  The first presidency have the authority to do as they please in church matters, even against the advice of all the apostles?
Mr. Smith.  That is the law of the church.
Mr. Worthington.  That is the law of the church?
Mr. Smith.  And the rule.
Commentary:  This hits directly on one of the charges of the protestants; namely, that 15 men control the church.  However, here it is said, "very frequently" that not all 15 meet together and in addition it is the law of the church, and a rule, that this power resides with the presidency, and the Twelve are just advisors (like the U.S. President's Cabinet).  From this testimony it is 3 men who hold sway, not 15.  This also means that the Twelve do not hold as much power as the protestants believe they do and therefore Reed Smoot's position in the church isn't as powerful as they had hoped.  This may be straining at a gnat here, but this definitely has moved the focus from 15 down to 3, and in my opinion removed Senator Smoot from the ruling body of the church that has "ultimate supreme power" as claimed in the protest.

The next set of questions is about cases where the presiding authorities of the church have been overridden by the voice of the people, especially in the choice of someone to lead them.

CASE #1:  He is asked about the case of one Bishop Jacob Weiler, around about 1875.  He does remember it, but it was a long time ago.
Mr. Smith.  Bishop Weiler was one of the oldest bishops in the church, really one of the most respected of men, but he was getting along somewhat in years, and it was thought by the presidency of the stake that a change would be beneficial to the ward over which he presided.  The presidency of the stake called a special meeting of the members of the ward for the purpose of making the change, and as it happened, President [Brigham] Young, and one or both of his councilors, were present at their general meeting of the ward, and there it was proposed to depose, or rather to honorably excuse and relieve Bishop Weiler from the bishopric of the ward, and put in some other man; but when the proposition was made to the people they voted it down; they preferred their old, trusted, and tried bishop, and voted down the proposition to remove him and put in a new one.
Mr. Worthington.  What was the upshot of it?  Did he stay or did he go?
Mr. Smith.  He stayed.
CASE #2:  He is next asked about a similar case where a suggestion for sustaining has been overruled.  This case also involved Brigham Young and took place in Parowan.
Mr. Smith.  Brigham Young attempted, or proposed rather, in a general conference of the stake, a certain man who was very prominent in the community for the president of that stake.  When his name was presented to the conference they coted him down; they rejected him; and of course that is a matter that pertains to the presidency of the church.  They preside over all these matters, and it is their duty to install presidents of stakes.  But President Young's proposition was voted down.  The people were consulted as to their choice for president, and another man was chosen and sustained as president of the stake, and not the one who was proposed by President Young.
Mr. Worthington.  Was the man who was proposed and became the official, the choice of the people people as against the wishes of Brigham Young?
Mr. Smith.  He was the choice of the people against the wish of Brigham Young, and President Young felt somewhat offended about it, because he was much in favor of the other man.
CASE #3:  The next example is from Sanpete Stake, some two months ago.
Mr. Smith.  The presidency of the North Sanpete Stake had a vacancy in the bishopric of one of the wards, and he and his councilors and the high council consulted together and decided upon a man for the bishopric, and after the decided upon him they submitted the matter to the presidency of the church - to us - and we approved of their selection.  One of two of the apostles were sent down to Sanpete to attend the conference and to attend to the installment of the new bishop, and at the conference, when the name of this man was put before the conference, they rejected him, and for several weeks afterwards the ward remained unorganized, without a bishop.  Later - some weeks later - the presidency consulted the people and decided upon another person, who was finally installed as the bishop.
Commentary:  That is 3 different and distinct cases of where the presiding authorities of the church, in one case Brigham Young himself, have been overruled as to their choice of local leaders.  The people obviously have a voice in this matter, and the presiding authorities will listen to them when they speak as one.

Mr. Worthington then quotes from D&C 124:127-129, and verse 144 and asks if this is the law or rule of the church currently.  These verses name people to be general authorities of the church and then say they must be submitted to the conference for sustaining or rejecting.  Mr. Smith answers that this "would be the law of the church."
Mr. Worthington.  So that under the original revelation if the people had chosen to refuse to accept any of these officers they never would have become officers of the church?
Mr. Smith.  Yes, sir.
Mr. Worthington.  And for how long a term do the members of the first presidency and of the twelve hold their officers after they have been submitted to a conference and sustained, or confirmed, as we say?
Mr. Smith.  It is the fule of the church to submit the names of all the general authorities of the church to the conference twice a year for the acceptance or rejection.
Mr. Worthington.  So every six months since you have held the office and since the other people have held their office it has been within the power of the people to turn them out at any time they choose?
Mr. Smith.  At any time they choose.
Mr. Smith.  I should like merely to say, in relation to that, that it is according to the rule of the church that quarterly conferences be held in each stake of Zion, for the reason that a very large proportion of the members of the church are unable to attent the general conferences.
And if at one of the quarterly conferences of Stake or Wards the general authorities are not sustained, then "so far as that stake of Zion is concerned, I would not be sustained by them."  This means only that this ward or stake would not hold them in current fellowship as their leaders; however, "but they could not, of course, remove me out of the office without a general action of the church."

Mr. Worthington then goes into a quick Q&A concerning Mr. Smith, his polygamous relations, and how Reed Smoot has affected them, if at all.

Mr. Worthington.  What I want to know particularly, Mr. Smith, is whether at any of these joint meetings of the first presidency and the quorum of the apostles when you were present and since you became the president this subject of polygamous cohabitation has been discussed at all?
Mr. Smith.  I do not think it has.
Mr. Worthington.  Either in the way of advisory talk or in taking official action?
Mr. Smith.  I do not recall anything that has been said in relation to it.
Mr. Worthington.  So that when Reed Smoot became an apostle, and you became president, your status in that respect [living with 5 wives] had been fixed?
Mr. Smith.  It had been fixed long years before.
Mr. Worthington.  Had Senator Smoot anything to do with that status?
Mr. Smith.  No, sir.
Mr. Worthington.  Or with bringing you to that conclusion?
Mr. Smith.  No, sir.
Mr. Worthington.  Or did he advise you -
Mr. Smith.  No, sir.
Mr. Worthington.  Or encourage you?
Mr. Smith.  No, sir.
Mr. Worthington.  Or connive at your sustaining that relation?
Mr. Smith.  Not to my knowledge.
The Chairman.  Has he at any time protested to you against it?
Mr. Smith.  No, sir; he never has had any conversation with me on the subject at all.
Commentary:  This testimony just shows that Mr. Smith believes that Reed Smoot has had no conversations with him about his relations, no criticism, no advisory, no nothing specific to his living in a polygamous cohabitation relationship.  In other words, he minds his own business, even when those he knows and works with are breaking a law of the land and church.

Here's an interesting comment and response from Senator Dubois and Mr. Worthington; it made me chuckle when I read it.
Senator Dubois.  The prosecutions stopped after 1890, did they not, practically?
Mr. Smith.  I believe that the prosecutions - I do not know whether I understand the force of your question.
Senator Dubois.  I am merely repeating the question of your counsel.
Mr. Worthington.  I beg your pardon, I am not counsel for Mr. Smith.  I am counsel for Senator Smoot.  If I were counsel for Mr. Smith the examination woudl be very different from what it is.
Commentary:  Ok.  Touchy.
Senator Dubois.  There were no prosecutions by the Federal authorities after the manifesto was issued?
Mr. Smith.  I have so stated two or three times.  I do not say there were no prosecutions, but I say there were very few, if any at all.
Senator Dubois.  In order to make it perfectly clear, I wish to ask this question:  Did not the courts proclaim publicly, and was it not thoroughly understood by all those who had been contending against polygamy and unlawful cohabitation, that after the mafniesto was issued it was the duty of those who had previously contracted plural marriages to support and maintain their families?
Mr. Smith.  Yes, sir.
Senator Dubois.  I should like to ask another question, if you please.  I did not quite understand the answer.  How many convictions were had for polygamy between 1882, the year of the passage of the Edmunds Act, and September 25, 1890, the date of teh issuance of the manifesto?  How many convictions were had in Utah during that period for polygamy?
Mr. Smith.  Very few, Senator.
Senator Dubois.  Not more than a half dozen?
Mr. Smith.  I could not just tell you.
Senator Dubois.  I should say about three.
Mr. Smith.  I know there were very, very few indeed.
Senator Dubois.  They were mostly for unlawful cohabitation?
Mr. Smith.  Yes, sir; unlawful cohabitation.
Commentary:  Ok, so prosecutions stopped after the manifesto and there were very few convictions for polygamy alone before that time; most of the convictions being for unlawful cohabitation.

Mr. Worthington then takes Mr. Smith through a bit more history of Utah; when they became a State; provisions for becoming a State; judicial system in Utah, who was on Utah's Supreme Court (3 gentiles:  Judges C.S. Zane, Bartch and Miner - all 3 of which sent Mormons to the penitentiary for unlawful cohabitation during Territory days, all 3 of which were re-elected by Mormons for the State of Utah).  Of the 9 district judges in the State, currently 3 are Mormon.

Next he moves on to the representatives of the State of Utah for the Congress of the United States.  He names all of them and asks if they're Mormon or Gentile.  Here's my favorite exchange:

Mr. Worthington.  Now, as to the matter of persons who have been sent here to represent the State in either House of Congress.  Of course we know who they were, but I will ask you whether they were Mormons or gentiles.  The first two Senators were Frank J. Cannon and Arthur Brown.
Mr. Smith.  Yes, sir; I believe so.
Mr. Worthington.  Is Mr. Cannon a Mormon or a gentile?
Mr. Smith.  I am sorry to say he is classed as a Mormon; but a very poor one.
Commentary:  That comment reminds me of the 3rd Indiana Jones movie where a night from the 1st Crusade is guarding the Holy Grail and says to Harrison Ford after another character dies:  "He chose poorly."  I guess there are good, bad, ugly and "very poor" Mormons.  Frank J. Cannon has now been classified as a very poor Mormon according to Mr. Smith.

Midday Recess
The committee recesses from 11:55 AM until 2:00 PM.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Reed Smoot Hearings - Day 4: Testimony of Joseph F. Smith

March 5, 1904
This is Saturday morning that the committee is meeting.  They only stay until the noon break; so there is only half a day of testimony.

After a really brief discussion of what unchristianlike behavior is, with a few examples (drinking, gambling, swearing), Mr. Worthington brings up the proportion of Mormons that were and are polygamists, which sparks a debate with Senator Dubois, who disagrees over the testified figures.
Mr. Worthington.  There has been a good deal said here about the proportion of polygamists to the Mormon population.  Have you any statistics on that subject?
Mr. Smith.    I have not any in my possession, but some years ago the facts were published, and I think they were reached by the Utah Commission, and as near, Mr. Chairman, as my recollection goes - it is a long time ago and it is a matter which has not been brough to my attention since, although I have some recollection it - when the Utah Commission was created and sent to Utah to administer the government there, they excluded all polygamists from the elective franchise, and as women held the elective franchise the same as men they were excluded of course as well as men.
Senator Dubois.  I think it is a courtesy due to the president and myself that I should make my statement here.  I am willing to accept the statement which the president has made.  I think it is altogether likely that we reason from different premises, and, of course, if we do we will reach different conclusions.
The Chairman.  What is the point?
Senator Dubois.  As to the proportion of polygamists?
The Chairman.  Do you desire to question him at this point?
Senator Dubois.  I desire to make a statement.  He says that by the Utah Commission there were 12,000 polygamists excluded from voting, and he assumes there are 2 women to each man.  There must of necessity have been 2 women to each man.
The discussion continues for a little while longer with Senator Dubois arguing, nicely, with the position of Mr. Smith.  Neither of the men are backing down and both believe their position is the correct one.
Senator Dubois.  The controversy between you and me is because you include all and I include only those of sufficient age.
Mr. Smith.  I would be rather inclined to think that at that time probably three women to one man might have been the average.  I could not say.
The Chairman.  Right there, at what date was that?
Mr. Smith.  That was in 1882.
Senator Dubois.  Then you would have had 12,000 -
Mr. Worthington.  One-fourth would have been men.
Senator Dubois.  Twelve thousand polygamists out of a Mormon population, including everybody, of 170,000.
Mr. Smith.  there were over 200,000, considerably.
Senator Dubois.  There is a discrepancy, but we will figure it at 200,000.  Now, with the large families in Utah, I think it would be fair to assume that there were four children to each family.  I think there are seven children to a family in Minnesota and some of those other States..  Ordinarily I think it is one to five.  But here there are plural wives.  Taking it all together, I should think, including the polygamous families and all, there were four children to a family.  What would you say to that?
Mr. Smith.  I have no objection to that.
Mr. Worthington.  Do the census returns give the number of Mormons, males and females?
Senator Dubois.  Yes.
Mr. Worthington.  I think it is a matter we can get at, then.
Senator Dubois.  I want to put this in here.
Senator Dillingham.  Senator, you had better make your statement of what you claim, so that we will have both statements on the record.
Senator Dubois.  I stated the other day that in my judgment the convictions showed that there were more than 2 or 3 percent, and that in my judgment there were a great many more than 3 or 4 percent in polygamy at this time.
Senator Hoar.  What is the date?
Senator Dubois.  1890.  I have already proven my contention, because at the least there were 80,000 people who were of sufficient age to go into polygamy and out of that number there were about 15,000 polygamists.
The Chairman.  Is there any further question on that point, Mr. Senator?
Senator Dubois.  That is my statement.  I can put in the more exact figures if necessary.  I did not want that statment to go to the country unchallenged.  The difference between the president and myself is that we were reasoning from different premises.  He included all the members of the church.  I excluded, of course, those who are not in condition to be in polygamy.  I do not question the veracity of the president's statement at all.  I simply wish to call attention to the fact that our premises being so totally at variance, of course, our conclusions would very much at variance.
 Commentary:  I guess Senator Dubois just had to get that off his chest.  the morning session of yesterday had this gem of a conversation in it:
Senator Dubois.  To start out with, Mr. Smith has now several times stated that only three or four percent were in polygamy.  That has gone without challenge.  My judgment is that three or four percent were convicted.  I think the prosecution will be able to show that much more than three or four percent were in the polygamous relations.  I am almost willing to hazard the guess that three or four percent were actually convicted.
Mr. Worthington.  I merely wanted to know whether you meant 3 or 4 percent of the whole church population or that percentage of the marriageable males.
Senator Dubois.  I will state at the proper tim what I mean.
He wasn't ready yesterday with figures or anything to be presented to the committee to challenge this statement; except, of course, his words.  Now, he has the same chance again to challenge the statement ... and it falls flat again.  All he has are words.  President Smith will shortly present a newspaper article from the Associated Press backing up his numbers.  He has also said the government appointed Utah Commission agrees with his numbers.  Senator Dubois just has his words, and he says that statistics will be added if necessary.  Don't get me wrong, his argument is a good one; in fact, a very good one.  However, without statistics, it is meaningless and without foundation.  Um, Senator, the stats are necessary, where are they?

Back on track now, Mr. Worthington continues the discussion he started 30 minutes ago with Mr. Smith concerning the specific statistics of polygamous relations.
Mr. Worthington.  Mr. Smith, have you any statistics as to the number of polygamists in the year 1890 in the Mormon Church, and at any different dates since that down approximately to this time?  If you have, please give us the result.
Mr. Smith.  I have.  I have a statement here, if you please, which was gotten up a short time ago, giving the present status of polygamists in Utah, and I can vouch for its accuracy up to the date that is here named.  If I may be permitted, I should like to read the whole paper.  It is not very long.
He then reads an interview between himself and a reporter, Mr. Copp, of the Associated Press.  the pertinent question on statistics is as follows from the article:
Q.  To what extent are these relations of polygamous families sustained?
A.  It was ascertained by careful census in 1890, when President Woodruff issued his manifesto against further polygamous marriages, there were 2,451 families belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the United States.  In October, 1899, by another count, it was found that the number had been reduced, by death, 750; by removals beyond confines of the Republic, 63; by divorce, 95; leaving then but 1,543.  In May, 1902, a complete and thorough inquiry showed that the original number in 1890 had been reduced 63 percent, leaving then only 897, and the great majority of whom were of advanced age, and many of them have since departed this life.  It is evident that with no additions to this total, but a rapid and continual decrease, the number of polygamous families will soon be reduced to zero.
Other questions asked in that interview have already been asked here in the hearing; for instance, if the church solemnizes or permits plural marriages, and why do prominent Mormons still practice polygamy.  In answer to the second question he states that "this is erroneously construed as practicing 'polygamy,' and creates the impression that polygamous marriages are still permitted in and by the church;" which, of course, he has already stated they are not.
Mr. Worthington.  Do these figures, for instance the figures for 1902, 897 polygamists, include men and women or only men?
Mr. Smith.  That includes, I think, the families - the heads of families only.
Mr. Worthington.  The men only?
Mr. Smith.  The men, in other words.
Mr. Worthington.  And can you tell us whether or not, since the date of that census in 1902, the decrease has gone on it about the same proportion to the present time?
Mr. Smith.  I think, Mr. Chairman, that the decrease has gone on in greater ratio, for the reason that these elderly men are continually getting odler and they are more rapidly passing away.
Commentary:  For me, being 100+ years removed from this time period and not personally knowing any of these people, I have to judge the arguments without emotion (because I cannot hear them speak) and soley on the logic I find therein.  Going off of that, this seems like a very logical and fact based argument.  If no more plural marriages are being contracted, and this ended in 1890, then the number of people getting older and dying will steadily increase until they are all gone.  Of course, from present history this decline to zero did not happen.  Present day fundamentalists split off from the church at this time (early 1900's) and formed their own church where they could still practice polygamy (and that continues to this very day).  However, with very few exceptions, I believe the statement of  Mr. Smith on the statistics.

Mr. Worthington then starts in on questions about Mr. Smith's families, members, ages, wives, children, etc.
Mr. Worthington.  You have had children.  How old is your oldest child?
Mr. Smith.  My oldest child is probably about 35 or 36 years of age.
Mr. Worthington.  You have a son, I believe, who is one of the apostles?
Mr. Smith.  Yes, sir.
Mr. Worthingon.  What is his name?
Mr. Smith.  Hyrum M. Smith.
Mr. Worthington.  Is he here?
Mr. Smith.  He is here.
Mr. Worthington.  How old is he?
Mr. Smith.  My recollection -
Mr. Hyrum M. Smith.  Thirty-two.
Mr. Smith.  Thirty-two; that is my recollection, although I was not quite sure.
Mr. Worthington.  Is he married?
Mr. Smith.  Yes, sir.
Mr. Worthington.  Has he any more than one wife?
Mr. Smith.  No, sir.
Mr. Worthington.  He has little children?
Mr. Smith.  Yes, sir.
Mr. Worthington.  And a separate household in Salt Lake City?
Mr. Smith.  Yes, sir.
Mr. Worthington.  They are your grandchildren?
Mr. Smith.  Yes, sir.
Mr. Worthington.  I should like to have it noted on the record that all these children born prior to 1888 are legitimate, having been made legitimate by act of Congress.  The Edmunds Act, as it was called, which was passed on 22d of March, 1882, provided that all children of these polygamous relations born before the 1st of January following, should be legitimate.
The Chairman.  That will go in the record.
Commentary:  A few questions there leading up to the point that children from polygamous marriages can be legitimate if born within a certain time period.

Mr. Worthington continues asking him questions about his families.  Does he visit them?  Does the mother (his wife) visit them?  Do they have family reunions where he acknowledges his wives?  Yes to every one of those questions.

Next Mr. Worthington asks Mr. Smith about when he became president, choosing his counselors, and the status of their marital relations.
Mr. Worthington.  I will now come down to the time when you became the president.  I want to see what you have done since that time which indicates that this committee of fifteen is a conspiracy to inculcate and perpetuate polygamy.
The Chairman.  What is the date?
Mr. Worthington.  When did you become president?
Mr. Smith.  On the 10th of November I was sustained.  Prior to that I acted as senior president.  On the 10th of November, 1901.  Is that correct?
Senator Smoot.  1901.
The Chairman.  May I ask right here, in this connection, so as to have it appear, when did you become an apostle?
Mr. Smith.  In 1867.
The Chairman.  Now go on.
Mr. Worthington.  Who was your predecessor?
Mr. Smith.  Lorenzo Snow.
Mr. Worthington.  Do you remember the date of his death?
Mr. Smith.  I think it was on the 10th day of October, 1901.
Mr. Worthington.  Then under your rule you became acting president until the vacancy should be filled?
Mr. Smith.  Yes, sir.
Mr. Worthington.  When was it filled?
Mr. Smith.  On the 10th day of November following.
Mr. Worthington.  Then you were presented and sustained and confirmed by the general assembly?
Mr. Smith.  By the whole chuch in general conference assembled.
Mr. Worthington.  When President Snow died, or just prior to this death, what office did you hold?
Mr. Smith.  I was his second councilor.
Mr. Worthington.  Who was the first councilor?
Mr. Smith.  George Q. Cannon when living, but he was then dead.  He had died previously.
Mr. Smith.  At the time of his death he had chosen me as first councilor, and he had chosen rudger Clawson his second councilor.
Mr. Worthington.  Was Mr. Clawson a polygamist?
Mr. Smith.  No, sir.
Mr. Worthington.  He was a monogamist?
Mr. Smith.  He was a monogamist.
Mr. Worthington.  So, at the time Lorenzo Snow died a majority of the first presidency, the highest tribunal in your church, were polygamists?
Mr. Smith.  Yes, sir; that is right.
Mr. Worthington.  I want to find out what you did about having that body constituted - the first presidency.  Who became your councilor?
Mr. Smith.  I selected Hon. John R. Winder as my first councilor.
Mr. Worthington.  Is he a polygamist or a monogamist?
Mr. Smith.  A monogamist.
Mr. Worthington.  Who was your second councilor?
Mr. Smith.  My second councilor was Anthon H. Lund.
Mr. Worthington.  What was his status as to the marriage relation?
Mr. Smith.  He is reputed to have but one wife, and that he never had any other.
Mr. Worthington.  Have those gentlemen remained your coucilors?
Mr. Smith.  Yes, sir.
Mr. Worthington.  So that from the time you became president a majority of the highest tribunal have been monogamists?
Mr. Smith.  Yes, sir.
Commentary:  Very nicely done.  He showed how since the changing of administrations, the first presidency has gone from a majority of polygamists to a majority of monogamists.  One of the arguments against Senator Smoot is that polygamists are rewarded with the highest ecclesiastical positions in the church.  This kind of negates that idea because there were plenty of polygamists to choose from, but yet Mr. Smith decided on monogamists.  Perhaps he chooses whomever he wants independent of their marital status; kind of a "best man for the job" type of pick.  In my opinion, some committee members are reading too much into this piece of the charge (I'm looking at you, Senator Dubois).  Men appear to be picked according to their status in the church, and their ability to help out.  As I stated before, whether they have more than one wife is irrelevant and immaterial to their selection as a councilor.

Continuing on, Mr. Worthington decided to further prove his point:
Mr. Worthington.  Now, what vacancies, if any, have been filled in the twelve since you became president?
Mr. Smith.  Since I became president there have been two vacancies filled in the council of the twelve.
Mr. Worthington.  How were they filled; by whom were they filled?
Mr. Smith.  They were filled in the usual manner by the nomination or suggestion of members of the council and confirmation by the presidency of the church.
Mr. Worthington.  Who are the persons who were selected?
Mr. Smith.  Who were the persons selected?
Mr. Worthington.  Yes, sir.
Mr. Smith.  My son, Hyrum M. Smith.
Mr. Worthington.  You have already said that he is a man with but one wife?
Mr. Smith.  Yes, sir.
Mr. Worthington.  He never had but one wife?
Mr. Smith.  Yes, sir; that is correct.  And the second was George A. Smith [George Albert Smith], who is also a monogamist, and always has been a monogamist.
Senator Overman.  Is he any relation to you?
Mr. Smith.  He is my cousin's son.  He is the son of John Henry Smith, and his father is my cousin.
Mr. Worthington.  Then, if I understand you correctly, you have appointed since you became president two councilors and two of the twelve apostles?
Mr. Smith.  Yes, sir.
Mr. Worthington.  And all have been monogamists and are?
Mr. Smith.  Yes, sir; all of them.
Commentary:  Again, the point has been made and it appears to be completed.  It is now up to the committee to decide whether or not they believe this testimony.

Mr. Worthington then goes to the majority question on the twelve.  Certainly there were a majority of the twelve previously that were polygamists, but how about today?
Mr. Smith.  I mean only that today there are six of the twelve who are reputed to be polygamists.
Mr. Worthington.  I want to know what you mean by the word "polygamists" in that connection.
Mr. Smith.  I mean that they are in the status of polygamy; that they are reputed to have moer than one wife.  That is what I desire to have understood.
He now switches subjects and wants to know if these men on the Twelve break the law by cohabitating with more than one wife.
Mr. Worthington.  Are they also reputed to acknowledge and hold the plural wives as their wives?
Mr. Smith.  That I am not able to say; I do not know.
Mr. Worthington.  What is your knowledge, obtained personally or by reputation, as to whether or not as to the others they, like you, actually live and cohabit with more than one woman?  What do you know about that?
Mr. Smith.  All I know about it, sir, is that these men who are in the polygamous status with myself take their own chances individually as to the consequences of living with or abstaining from living with their families.  They are amenable to the law.
Mr. Worthington.  That does not answer my question.
Mr. Smith.  Excuse me.
Mr. Worthington.  My question is what knowledge you have - I include knowledge acquired in any way - as to whether or not they are actually cohabiting with more than one women?
Mr. Smith.  Not having inquired into the matter at all, I am really not in a position to say.  I do not know.
Commentary:  There you go ... "I do not know."  Nothing more need be said.  They can question you about that, but if you don't know, you don't know.  That is an answer, even if it doesn't supply the committee with more "juicy" gossip.

Going a little bit further, Mr. Worthington decides to be specific.  He grouped the twelve apostles in one, for which Mr. Smith answered with an "I don't know."  Now, he's going to separate them.  He asks specifically about Mr. Smith's cousin, John Henry Smith, and whether he cohabitates with more than one wife.
Mr. Smith.  I am very strongly inclined to believe that he does.
Commentary:  I think that's the most direct kind of information they'll get out of him, and this will be the only one he even knows this much about.

Mr. Worthington waited until Senator Bailey arrived at the hearings, then he asked Mr. Smith about the status of the manifesto being a revelation or not.  Senator Bailey has some doubts about this, so Mr. Worthington wanted to make sure he was present before this line of questioning began.  He reads portions of a talk given by Wilford Woodruff in November 1891 (1 year after the manifesto was adopted):
"I should have let all the temples go out of our hands; I should have gone to prison myself and let every other man go there had not the God of heaven commanded me to do what I did do; and when the hour came that I was commanded to do that, it was all clear to me.  I laid it before my brethren, such strong men as Brother George Q. Cannon, Brother Joseph F. Smith, and the twelve apostles.  I might was well undertake to turn an army with banners out of its course as to turn them out of a course that they considered to be right.  There men agreed with me, and 10,000 Latter-Day Saints also agreed with me.  Why?  Because they were moved upon by the spirit of God and by the revelations of Jesus Christ to do it."
In the committee record, the entire talk is included.

Senator Bailey then returns to his argument concerning the revelatory nature of the manifesto.
Senator Bailey.  I do not still see that the head of the church declares that he received a revelation.  He does say that he went to God in anguish and prayer, just as Christians of various denominations do when their duty is not plain, and they rise from it more or less instructed.  But that was an instruction to obey the law.  I, myself, think a Christian would go to the stake before he would abandon his creed; and if that is a revelation, contradicting a former revelation -
Mr. Smith.  It is not contradicting it.
Senator Bailey.  I think it is.  The former revelation undoubtedly permitted plural marriages, if it did not command them, and this revelation forbids them.
Mr. Smith.  It simply forbids the practice.
Senator Bailey.  That is a distinction without a difference -
Mr. Smith.  Oh, no.
Senator Bailey.  Because the other undoubtedly permitted its practice.  This forbids the practice.  Now, if there is not a conflict between these two I am unable to comprehend what a conflict is.  Under one state of the case they were permitted to enter into plural marriage and in another state of the case they were forbidden to do it.  Now, from what I can understand -
Mr. Smith.  Will the Senator please allow me to say a word just there?
The Chairman.  Let the Senator complete his statement.
Mr. Smith.  I beg your pardon.
Senator Bailey.  I will pause to hear the witness.
The Chairman.  Very well.
Mr. Smith.  The one is no more emphatic than the other.  President Woodruff declares that he himself will stop and that he will use all his influence to have all the people stop the continuance of plural marriages, and all the people assembled in conference agreed with him that they would stop the practice of plural marriage.
Senator Bailey.  That does not touch the question which I have in mind.
Mr. Smith.  All right.
Senator Bailey.  I will say to you very frankly that I do not have much patience with a doctrine which does not receive a revelation until there is a statute and where the revelation happens to conform to the statute.  What I have been trying to fix in my mind is whether you taught that this was a revelation or merely a submission to the law.  If it were a submission to the law, then it would be a question whether the Christian would submit to the laws of the land or to the laws of God.  I do not pretend to judge about that, but when a sect teaches that an inspiration comes just after a statute has been passed and a report made to Congress, I do not quite understand that anybody is required to accept it as a revelation.
Mr. Smith.  May I please try to explain this matter a little to the Senator?  I will try to be brief.
Senator Bailey.  Very well.
Mr. Smith.  Mr. Senator, the facts are these:  When the laws against plural marriage were passed by the Congress of the United States we held to the idea that they were unconstitutional laws.  We are compelled by our doctrines - the doctrines of our church - to obey and observe the constitutional laws of our land.
Senator Bailey.  I have heard such a statement read here.
Mr. Smith.  We fought the validity of those laws in court all the way from the first and lower court to the highest court of our land, and when the subject finally came before the Supreme Court of the United States and was settled and the law was sustained as a constitutional law, then we, to be obedient to our own doctrines and faith, were naturally inclined to obey the law.
     But we had a revelation on our statute books, commanding us, or at least not commanding us - yes, commanding us to enter into a certain covenant for eternity as well as for time, which is mandatory, with reference to the blessings that are promised in the law; they cannot be received with it; and, with reference to the plural part of it, permissive, and we had the alternative before us as to whether we should observe even the constitutional law of the land that was so pronounced by the Supreme Court of the United States or to continue to practice the law of the Church.
     President Woodruff, as president of the church, entitled, as we hold, as you may not hold, and as everybody is free to have his own opinion about it, to receive revelations and inspiration from Almighty God for the guidance of the church and that he is the final arbitrator for the church on matters of doctrine, sought to the Lord, and, as he says himself in the language which has been read here, the Lord made manifest to him clearly that it was his duty to stop plural marriages, and he received that revelation and that commandment from the Lord to stop it.  He published it; announced it.  It was submitted first to the officials of the church and accepted by them and then it was submitted to the entire church in conference assembled and it was accepted by them, and thus it became binding upon the church; and the church has from that day to this kept the law so far as plural marriages are concerned.
     I should like to draw a distinction in the Senator's mind that there is a great difference in our judgment, in our feelings, between the law prohibiting plural marriages and the law prohibiting what is termed in the law unlawful cohabitation - a very great difference.  Plural marriage has stopped; but I choose, rather than to abandon my children and their mothers, to run my risks before the law.  I want to say, too, that it is the law of my State - it is not the law of Congress - under which I am living and by which I am punishable.  It is the law of my State, and the courts of my State have competent jurisdiction to deal with me in my offenses against the law, and the Congress of the United States has no business with my private conduct any more than it has with the private conduct of any citizen of Utah or any other State.  It is the law of my State to which I am amenable, and if the officers of the law have not done their duty toward me I cannot blame them.  I think they have some respect for me.
The Chairman.  I wish to ask you a question right here.  You speak of your unwillingness to abandon your children.
Mr. Smith.  Yes, sir.
The Chairman.  Why is it necessary, in order to support your children, educate, and clothe them, that you should continue to have children by a multiplicity of wives?
Mr. Smith.  Because my wives are like everbody else's wives.
The Chairman.  I am not speaking of them.
Mr. Smith.  I understand.
The Chairman.  I am speaking of the children now in existence born to you.
Mr. Smith.  Yes.
The Chairman.  Why is it necessary to continue to have issue by five wives in order to support and educate the children already in existence?  Why is it necessary?
Mr. Smith.  It is only to the peace and harmony and good will of myself and my wives; that is all.
The Chairman.  Then you could educate your children and clothe them and feed them without having new issue?
Mr. Smith.  Well, yes; I possibly could, but that is just exactly the kernel in the nut.
The Chairman.  Yes.
Mr. Smith.  I have chosen not to do that, Mr. Chairman.
The Chairman.  You have chosen not to do it?
Mr. Smith.  That is it.  I am responsible before the law for my action.
The Chairman.  And in not doing it, you are violating the law?
Mr. Smith.  The law of my State?
The Chairman.  Yes.
Mr. Smith.  Yes, sir.
Commentary:  That was quite a long dialog I put in there, but it was so interesting that I couldn't leave it out.  The main point of this was that lengthy discussion from Mr. Smith about polygamy and if the manifesto was a revelation or not based upon the pressure from the government concerning it.  He put the whole matter of this revelation business right at the doorstep of faith.  If you are a Mormon, then you'll believe that the president of the church speaks for God; if you are not, then it is likely you won't believe this and you are welcome to your opinion.  I also liked the way he described the difference between plural marriage and unlawful cohabitation (it feels like this subject, the distinction, is a dead horse constantly being beating.  Wham!  Wham!  I'm sure more are coming).

The long solilioquy by Mr. Smith caught the attention of newspaper writers and editors across the country.  As an example of what was thought of this, in the New York Times dated March 6, 1904, a headline read:  "President Smith's Outbreak.  Mormon Leader Angered by Questions by the Senators."  The quote in the article attributed to Mr. Smith is a little off from the actual testimony as shown above and in the record, but this is for sure the same discussion which is talked about in the article.  Not having been there to hear this testimony, it apparently was a little "warm" in the room due to the visible anger by Mr. Smith.  Interesting.

[Here's link to the NYTimes article (I hope it works):  President Smith's Outburst]

Continuing on, Senator Bailey and Senator Overman continue questioning Mr. Smith about this matter (revelation or not).  All parties involved are not backing down from the questions.  They are trying to understand how there can be a revelation to keep the laws of the land, but yet Mr. Smith violates them.  Therefore, the only conclusion is that Mr. Smith violates both the laws of the land and the laws of God at the same time.

Senator Overman.  Is there not a revelation published in the Book of Covenants here that you shall abide by the law of the State?
Mr. Smith.  It includes both unlawful cohabitation and polygamy.
Senator Overman.  Is there not a revelation that you shall abide by the laws of the State and of the land.
Mr. Smith.  Yes, sir.
Senator Overman.  If that is a revelation, are you not violating the laws of God?
Mr. Smith.  I have admitted that, Mr. Senator, a great man times here.
Senator Overman.  I did not know that you had.
Commentary:  Ok, you'd think this response would have been good enough, but the Senators do not give up here even after a complete admission, they keep pushing him.  I guess this is what lawyers do when they smell blood.
Mr. Smith.  And I am amenable to the law for it.  But I see the point of the Senator's question.  Gentlemen, you have shown a great deal of leniency in permitting me to express my views here, and I do not wish to be offensive and I do not wish to take more time than I need to.  But the church itself - I understand your point, that the church forbids me to violate the law, certainly it does - but the church gave me those wives, and the church cannot be consistent with itself and compel me to forsake them and surrender them.
Senator Bailey.  "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away," and when the Lord gave this second revelation forbidding it -
Mr. Smith.  He did not forbid it.
Senator Bailey.  Well, he did, if the manifesto is based upon a revelation, because the manifesto declares against it.
Mr. Smith.  The manifesto declares positively the prohibition of plural marriages, and in the examination before the master in chancery the president of the church and other leading members of the church agreed before the master in chancery that the spirit and meaning of that revelation applied to unlawful cohabitation as well as to plural marriages.
Senator Bailey.  That is what I was coming to now, Mr. Smith.  Then, as I understand you, both plural marriage and unlawful cohabitation are forbidden by the statutes of Utah and by the revelations of God.  Is that true?
Mr. Smith.  That is the spirit of it, yes.
Commentary:  Aside from the scriptural quip from Senator Bailey, which was really more mocking than anything else in my opinion, this is ground that has already been covered with previous testimony of his.  I guess if Senators miss a day, they rehash it on their own with the witness.  Or, maybe if you get a person to admit the same thing multiple times, it is stronger evidence against him/her than a single admission.  Beats me why this is rehashed again.

Mr. Smith and Senator Bailey continue going back and forth.  One interesting tid-bit here is that Mr. Smith decides to classify the manifesto, not as an inspirational revelation; which he says is the same thing as a revelation.  Senator Bailey doesn't seen the language of revelation in the manifesto, and this is why he wants to know if this is a revelation or not.
Senator Bailey.  What I am trying now to emphasize is that the manifesto is a revelation, or that it is based upon a revelation; that the revelation -
Mr. Smith.  If the Senator will permit me, it is inspired.  It is the same thing.  I admit what you say.
Finally Senator Bailey concludes this line of questioning with this:
Senator Bailey.  I agree with you entirely, that for your individual conduct you are amenable to the State of Utah and not to the Federal Government.  I concur in that statement; but is it true that the head of the church in Utah is living in open and proclaimed defiance of the statutes of that State, and also in defiance or a revelation received by your predecessor - not your immediate predecessor, I believe, but a predecessor - and communicated to the church and sustained by it?  Am I correct in that?
Mr. Smith.  You are correct so far - that I have confessed here openly, and it has gone to the world - that I have not observed the law against cohabitation with my wives.  That is all there is to it.
Senator Bailey.  What I am trying to make clear is that it is a law not only of the State of Utah but also a law of the church.
Mr. Smith.  It is a rule of the church.
Senator Bailey.  That is what I want to make clear.
Mr. Smith.  Yes.
Commentary:  Ok, it's done.  He's admitted the same thing 50 different ways, let's move on.

The Chairman then picks up where Senator Bailey left off, but with a twist of putting the family in the mix.  He wants to know how, if the church doesn't teach polygamy and if Mr. Smith doesn't personally teach polygamy, he could not be teaching polygamy if he himself is living it.  Mr. Smith draws the distinction, in answer to that statement, between polygamy and polygamous cohabitation with both of his lawyers piping up to say that Congress and statutes make that exact same distinction.

Mr. Tayler speaks up (first time in quite some time) and adds clarification to this set of questions.  He states that there is a pamphlet the church publishes which has the manifesto in it; however, it does not contain any of the statements read previously in the hearing from President Woodruff, specifically about this being a revelation.
Senator Overman.  The question is whether or not the pamphlet he described as a manifesto, which is sent broadcast by your missionaries and is used by your missionaries, contains a statement that this is a revelation from God.
Mr. Smith.  I could not tell just form memory without examining the pamphlet, but I will say that the contents of this pamphlet embrace the prohibition of plural marriage, and it also gives a statement of fact that it was presented before the church and approved and became binding upon the church to stop plural marriages, which is in effect -
Senator Overman.  Which is in effect what?
Mr. Smith.  As complete and as perfect as it could possibly have been couched under any other terms or words.
Senator Overman.  The question is whether it is so stated in terms.
Mr. Smith.  It does not state in terms that it was a revelation, and it is not necessary that it should, inasmuch as the object is accomplished by it.
Commentary:  To sum up everything brought before the committee about this, it is known that the Doctrine and Covenants (D&C) does not contain any repudiation of Section 132 (revelation about plural marriage).  Furthermore, the pamphlet that does contain the manifesto, does not contain any language stating that said manifesto was a revelation from God to the prophet of the church.  Ouch!  I still go back to my first inclination about this:  I personally believe the manifesto was not included in the D&C because it wasn't a revelation given to Joseph Smith.

Mr. Worthington.  Let me ask you whether anything which is intended for the government of the church and proceeds from the president and has first been approved by the apostles -
Mr. Smith.  How is that?
Mr. Worthington.  When it has been introduced by the president, submitted to the apostles and approved by them, and is then submitted to the body of the church and in general conference approved by the church, whether it is binding upon the members of the church - whether it is a revelation or a rule.
Mr. Smith.  It is equally binding on the church, whether it is a revelation or a rule.
Mr. Worthington.  And a man who disobeys it would be just as much out of harmony if it were a rule as if it were a revelation?
Mr. Smith.  Just the same.
Commentary:  This continues to sound very much like a review of what has previously been testified to.  However, sometimes there are little nuggets of knowledge tucked away inside these conversations, so I note them when I find them.  In this case, either a revelation or a rule (read: non-revelation) of the church is treated with equal weight before the congregation.  I guess he's trying to say that it wouldn't matter if it was or was not a revelation, it was accepted just the same, so it is just as binding.

The entire pamphlet of which this conversation has been revolving around lately is now offered to put into the committee record.  Here is a basic outline of the contents of this pamphlet:

1.  Articles of Faith - there are the normal Articles of Faith as presented in the current Doctrine and Covenants, except for #4, as read in General Conference October 6, 1890.  It is worded slightly different today.
a.  1890 version:  We believe that these ordinances are:  First, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, repentance; third, baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, laying of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
b.  1981 version:  We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are:  first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
2.  Apostle Franklin D. Richards moved that the church adopt the Articles of Faith "as the rule of our faith and of our conduct during our mortal lives."  Voting was unanimous.
3.  The manifesto itself.
4.  A talk given by George Q. Cannon where in he quotes D&C 124:49, and then says, "It is on this basis that President Woodruff has felt himself justified in issuing this manifesto."  He then talks a little about the history of polygamy, laws against it, his feelings, etc.
5.  A talk given by President Woodruff:  "I want to say to all Israel that the step which I have taken in issuing the manifesto has not been done without earnest prayer before the Lord."  He talks about things the Saints were asked to do that were not completed (the temple in Jackson County, Missouri and the temple in Far West, Missouri - to name two).  He also talks about Lorenzo Snow's "doctrine of election."  Says he:  "It is like this:  You can and you can't; you will and you won't; you shall and you shan't; you'll be damned if you do and you'll be damned if you don't."

At 11:55 AM, the committee adjourned until Monday morning.