THE PROPHET JOHN TAYLOR’S MEETING WITH THE RESURRECTED PROPHET JOSEPH SMITH
“Brother Lorin, that was your Lord”
“A Psalm of David. The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” (Psalm 110:1)
“Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.” (Isaiah 23:3)
Statement of Lorin C. Woolley with reference to the revelation of 1886, on the subject of Celestial or plural marriage, given September 22, 1929:
Lorin C Woolley related the following:
While the brethren were at Carlisle residence (in Murray) in Many or June of 1886; letters began to come to President John Taylor from such men as John Sharp, Horace Eldredge, William Jennings, John T. Cain. Abraham Hatch, President Cluff and many other leading men from all over the Church, asking the leaders to do something, as the Gentiles were talking about confiscating their property in connection with the property of the Church.
These letters not only came from those who were living in the plural marriage relation, but also from prominent men who were presiding in various offices in the Church who were not living in that relation. They all urged that something be done to satisfy the Gentiles so that their property would not be confiscated.
On September 26, 1886, George Q Cannon, Hyrum B Clawson, Franklin S Richards, and others met with President John Taylor at my father’s residence at Centerville, Davis County Utah, and presented a document for President Taylor’s consideration.
I had just got back from a three day’s trip, during most of which time I had been in the saddle and being greatly fatigued, I had retired to rest.
Between one and two o’clock P.M. Brother Bateman came and woke me up and asked me to be at my father’s home, where a manifesto was to be discussed. I went there and found there were congregated Samuel Bateman, Charles H Wilkins, L John Nuttall, Charles Birrell, George Q. Cannon, Franklin S. Richards and Hyrum B Clawson.
We discussed the proposed Manifesto at length, but we were unable to become united in the discussion. Finally George Q Cannon suggested that President Taylor take the matter up with the Lord and decide the same the next day.
Brothers Clawson and Richards were taken back to Salt Lake. That evening I was called to act as guard during the first part of the night, notwithstanding the fact that I was greatly fatigued on account of the three day’s trip I had just completed.
The brethren retired to bed soon after nine o’clock. The sleeping rooms were inspected by the guard as was the custom. President Taylor’s room had no outside door. The windows were heavily screened.
Some time after the brethren retired and while I was reading the Doctrine and Covenants, I was suddenly attracted to a light appearing under the door leading to President Taylor’s room, and was at once startled to hear the voices of men talking there. There were three distinct voices. I was bewildered because it was my duty to keep people out of that room and evidently someone had entered without my knowing it. I made a hasty examination and found the door leading to the room bolted as usual. I then examined the outside of the house and found all the window screens intact. While examining the last window, and feeling greatly agitated, a voice spoke to me saying. “Can’t you feel the Spirit? Why should you worry?”
At this I returned to my post and continued to hear the voices in the room. They were so audible that, although I did not see the parties, I could place their positions in the room from the sound of their voices. The three voices continued until about midnight, when one of them left, and the other two continued. One of them I recognized as President John Taylor’s voice. I called Charles Birrell and we both sat up until eight o’clock the next morning [Note: Charles Birrell was also a bodyguard of the brethren as was to take the second shift in watching on this night.]
When President Taylor came out of his room about eight o’clock of the morning of September 27, 1886, we could scarcely look at him on account of the brightness of his personage.
He stated, “Brethren, I have had a very pleasant conversation with Brother Joseph (Joseph Smith)” I said, “Boss, who is the man that was there until midnight?” He asked, “What do you know about it, Lorin? I told him about my experience. He said:
“Brother Lorin, that was your Lord.”
We had no breakfast, but assembled ourselves in a meeting. I forgot who opened the meeting. I was called to offer the benediction. I think my father, John W. Wooley, offered the opening prayer. There were present at the meeting, in addition to President Taylor, George Q Cannon, L. John Nuttall, John W. Wooley, Samuel Bateman, Charles Wilkins, Charles Birrell, DAniel R. Bateman, Bishop Samuel Sedden, George Earl, my mother, Julia E Wooley, and myself. The meeting was held from about 9 o’clock in the morning until 5 in the afternoon, without intermission, being about eight hours in all.
President Taylor called the meeting to order. He had the Manifesto, that had been prepared unto the direction of George Q. Cannon, read over again. He then put each person under covenant that he or she would defend the principle of Celestial or plural marriage, and that they would consecrate their lives, liberty and property to this end, and that they personally would sustain and uphold that principle.
By that time we were all filled with the Holy Ghost. President Taylor and those present occupied about three hours up to this time. After placing us under covenant, he placed his finger on the document, his person rising from the floor about a foot or eighteen inches, and with countenance animated by the Spirit of the Lord, and raising his right hand to the square, he said:
“SIGN THAT DOCUMENT -NEVER! I WOULD SUFFER MY RIGHT HAND TO BE SEVERED FROM MY BODY FIRST. SANCTION IT, – NEVER! I WOULD SUFFER MY TONGUE TO BE TORN OUT FROM ITS ROOTS IN MY MOUTH BEFORE I WOULD SANCTION IT!”
After that he talked for about an hour and then sat down and wrote the revelation which was given him by the Lord upon the question of Plural marriage. Then he talked to us for some time, and said, “Some of you will be handled and ostracized and cast out from the Church by your brethren because of your faith and integrity to this principle, and some of you may have to surrender your lives because of the same, but woe, woe, unto those who shall bring these troubles upon you.” (Three of us were handled and ostracized for supporting and sustaining this principle. There are only three left who were the the meeting mentioned- Daniel R. Bateman, George Earl and myself. So far as I know those of them who have passed away all stood firm to the covenants entered into from that day to the day of their deaths.)