A Young Folks' History of the Church by Nephi Anderson - HTML preview

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Presidency Of Lorenzo Snow


September 13, 1898, the quorum of Twelve Apostles met at Salt Lake City and chose Lorenzo Snow President of the Church. President Snow chose George Q. Cannon and Joseph F. Smith as his counselors.

President Snow was born in Ohio, April 3, 1814. While yet a young man, he went to Kirtland, where he became acquainted with the Prophet Joseph. Joining the Church, he was soon in the field as a missionary, traveling through the States preaching the gospel. From Nauvoo, he went on a mission to England, returning in 1843 with a large company of Saints. He was ordained a member of the Twelve Apostles, February 12, 1849, at Salt Lake City. Shortly afterwards he was called on a mission to Italy. His labors, however, were not confined to that country, as he organized many branches of the Church in other European lands In 1853, President Snow removed to Brigham City, where for many years he united the people in a system of co-operation, which rapidly built up the country. At the completion of the Salt Lake temple he was called to preside in that sacred building.

Though so far advanced in years when called to stand at the head of the Church, President Snow was quite strong in body and in mind. During the summer of 1899, with a party of Apostles and, other leading men, he visited many of the stakes of Zion in their conference gatherings. President Snow said he had a special message to deliver to the Saints which was that they should in the future more fully observe the law of tithing. This law had been neglected in the past, but now, the Prophet said, the Lord expected the Saints to observe this commandment. It is pleasing to state that most of the Saints heeded the timely instruction and warning, and there was great improvement in keeping this law of the Lord.

When President Snow took charge of the affairs of the Church, it was largely in debt, owing to the troubles incident to the confiscation of its property by the government some time before. Now, because of the improvement in the payment of tithes and offerings, the First Presidency were able to pay some of the debts of the Church, and make arrangements for the payment of others as they became due.

President Snow put new life into many departments of the Church. The School system which the Church had established received much attention. The Latter-day Saints' University at Salt Lake City was established, and one of its buildings was erected. Many other Church buildings were planned and begun.

At an election held in the fall of 1898, Brigham H. Roberts was elected to represent Utah in Congress. At this election the people, as they had done many times before, voted as either Democrats or Republicans, and both "Mormons" and non-"Mormons" were elected to office. Now, however, some anti-"Mormon" newspapers, assisted by many of the Utah sectarian preachers, made a great stir. The enemies of the Saints continued to send a flood of falsehood all over the country. Much excitement was worked up and a determined effort was made to keep Utah's representative out of Congress.

Representative Roberts fought bravely for his own and his people's rights, but once more hatred against "Mormonism" overcame better judgment, and he was refused admission tothe seat to which he was fairly elected, on the ground that he had obeyed the law of plural marriage.

August 19, 1899, the Utah volunteers returned from the Philippines where they had proved themselves valiant soldiers in the service of their country. A grand celebration was held in Salt Lake City in their honor.

On April 12, 1901, President George Q. Cannon died at Monterey, California, where he had gone for his health. This great and good man had done much for the Church, and he was greatly beloved by the Saints.

Elder Heber J. Grant, with Horace S. Ensign, Louis A. Kelsch, and Alma O. Taylor, left Salt Lake City July 24, 1901, for a mission to Japan. They landed in that country August 12, and at once set to work learning the language. September 1, of that year, Elder Grant dedicated the land for the preaching of the Gospel. Since that time a good beginning has been made in the distribution of the printed word, and the Book of Mormon has been translated into Japanese and printed.

President Snow died after a brief illness at his home in Salt Lake City, October 10, 1901. He was not president of the Church long, but during the three years of his presidency, the Lord blessed him and gave him power to do much good.

Four days before he died, President Snow addressed the Saints assembled in conference in the Tabernacle at Salt Lake City. The burden of this, his last message was, "God bless you." He urged the presidents of stakes and the high counselors to take upon themselves more of the responsibility of looking after the affairs of the Church, so that the Twelve could devote their time to their special work of preaching the gospel.

Topics.—1. Lorenzo Snow as President. 2. Election of B.H. Roberts to Congress. 3. The Mission to Japan.

Questions and Review.1. Who constituted the fifth Presidency of the Church? 2. Tell what you can about Lorenzo Snow. 3. What is the law of tithing? 4. What message did President Snow deliver regarding the law of tithing? 5. Why was the Church in debt? 6. Who opened the Japanese mission?