Essential James E. Talmage
James P. Harris, editor

Chapter 8
“The Articles of Faith”

(Entries from the Journal of James E. Talmage, 1891-1901, 1922-24,
Archives and Manuscripts, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah)

[p.44]Sept. 11, 1891—Today I had an interview with the First Presidency of the Church, relative to the Religion Class system. Being the Superintendent of such classes for this Stake, and having found from the labors of the past, that the Bishops of many of the wards feel that they have now all they possibly can carry in the way of special organizations. I asked instructions from the authorities as to the proper procedure. Plans for some change in the system are pending, and another appointment for an interview was set for Monday next…

Sept. 14, 1891—Met by appointment with the First Presidency relative to the Religion Class system (See Sept. 11). It is the intention of the brethren to cause to be published a class-work on Theology, for use in Church Schools, and in Religion Classes generally. The need for such a work has long been felt among the teachers of the Latter-day Saints. The plan of the work is not fully matured as yet, the probability of issuing a series of two or three books is strong. Several preliminaries have to be arranged before the work is begun; but the First Presidency have expressed to me their intention of appointing me to do the labor. I find myself very busy already, but I have never yet found it necessary to decline any labor appointed to me by the Holy Priesthood; and in the performance of duties so entailed as my day, so my strength has ever been …

Jan 31, 1893—This day in an interview with Presidents Woodruff and Smith of the First Presidency, I was appointed to now proceed with a work before given and subsequently withdrawn. (See record of Sept. 14, 1891, Journal Vol. V p. 74) I am requested to prepare a work on Theology, suitable as a text-book for our church schools and other organizations. In making the appointment Pres. Woodruff gave me his blessing. Told the brethren that I would accept the appointment as a mission; with no expectation of any pecuniary reward should the work [p.45]ever be published, hoping that the book would be sold more cheaply if I waived all claim to royalty in the sale. Without the blessing of the Almighty, and the support of the brethren I should shrink from even attempting such a work…

Feb. 22, 1893—Being at the President’s office early this morning I had a conversation with President Woodruff concerning the Seer Stones spoken of yesterday, and particularly of the stone owned by Bro. Rushton, which latter I showed to the President. He attributes no importance at all to the stone; and he sustains me in my opinion concerning Mrs. Russel and her divinations. Later in the day Bro. Rushton called upon me and gave me a history of the stone. He found it in Nauvoo, associated with a valuable record, and with a store of gold; but neither the record nor the gold could he obtain. He claims that the location of the stone was revealed to him in a day vision thrice repeated; and at first it was under a seal, the nature of which he declined to explain. He says the stone possesses a celestial and a terrestrial side, and is capable of revealing matters connected with this world and the spirit land. One surface of the stone is devoted to the Ten Tribes, and in that the Seer can perceive the place and circumstances of that people beyond the ice. Bro. Rushton says the stone served him to locate the burial places of several of Joseph Smith’s kindred, the prophet having placed several of the brethren under covenant to bury his dead together. Since that work was accomplished, Rushton has lost his gift, but lives in hope that it will be restored to him. The stone he believes will be of service in the vicarious work of the Temples by revealing the condition and desires of those behind the vail. Bro. Rushton and I met Pres. Woodruff, but Rushton declined to explain to the President the nature of the seal under which the stone was laid. Pres. Woodruff: says he has but little encouragement to offer for the use of Seer Stones.

At night I attended the monthly meeting of the Home Missionary Quorum. A matter was there discussed, which I have already spoken upon in public a few times of late, and which I have asked counsel upon from the authorities:—the unseemly anxiety approaching curiosity on the part of some people for miraculous manifestations at the approaching dedication of the Salt Lake Temple. I believe that we should exercise faith in God for His blessings: leaving Him to decide what particular manifestations would be for our good. For my part, the [p.46]Lord does not favor me with visual or oviricular manifestations, yet I have an abiding faith in His supporting care.

This day I received from the First Presidency a letter of appointment for the work mentioned under the date of Jan. 31, last: (see page 170, this book.) The letter reads:—

Office of the First Presidency, Salt Lake City, Utah Feb. 20th/93

Dr. James E. Talmage, Salt Lake City,

Dear Brother:—

From conversations we have had with you in the past, we know that you in common with many others who are connected with the educational interests of our Church have seen the great need of properly arranged text and reference books in theological and religious subjects, for use in our Church Schools, Sunday Schools, etc.

It is our desire that a book suitable for the purposes named should be placed in the hands of our people as soon as possible. Knowing your experience in this direction we should be pleased to have you prepare such a work. We understand it is your intention not to make any charge for the preparation of this work so that it may be placed on the market at so low a price that it will be within the reach of all; with this suggestion we hastily concur.

Wishing you the fulfillment of every righteous desire in your calling as a teacher of the youth of Israel, we are

Your Brethren:
W. Woodruff
Jos. F. Smith

(Pres. Geo. Q. Cannon, the second member of the First Presidency was not in the city at this time.)…

Oct. 20, 1893—Today it was decided by the Presidency of the Church, with several of the Apostles sitting with them in council to establish in connection with the Church University a Theological Class, to meet for the present on Sundays at 12:15 p.m. I am appointed [p.47]to take charge of it; indeed I must take the blame for the subject having been brought up for consideration, as I myself suggested it having been impressed for a long time with the opinion that some theological work should be done in the Church Univ. from the beginning of its career of actual work…

Oct. 25, 1893—Attended regular monthly meeting of the Home Missionary Quorum. One of the most important items discussed at the meeting was the duties of the Saints regarding Fast Day observance; another topic which seemed to be of interest was that of the Theological Class about to be established in connection with the Church University, (See Oct. 20, p. 94)…

Oct. 29, 1893—This is the appointed day for the organization of the Theological Class in connection with the Church University. At 12:15 p.m. the time set: the large lecture room in the University building was filled to overflowing: every seat being occupied. Chairs were brought from the College adjoining and every, corner taken possession of while the aisles were filled, and the stand crowded, many sitting on the edge of the platform. I had not even dreamed of such a class. As it was first suggested to my mind I saw a small body of University and College students with perhaps a few outsiders; but the Presidency of the Church (See Oct. 20, p. 94) directed that the scope of the class be enlarged. Had not the counsel which had made so large a class possible originated with the authorities of the priesthood, I should mistrust the outlook. Things great, substantial, and lasting have usually small beginnings. Our class has a very large inception. The Presidency of the Stake, High council, etc., were represented; prominent elders, patriarchs and others of the Stake authorities together with Elder George Reynolds of the Council of Seventies were present. I thank the Lord for so encouraging an outlook. So many applicants had to be denied admission that it was decided on the recommendation of Prest. Angus M. Cannon to adjourn the class at its close to meet next Sunday in the Stake Assembly Hall.

The work outlined for the class is the consideration of the “Articles of Faith” of our Church: the Presidency having directed that I present to the class in the form of lectures the matter which I am preparing with a view to eventual publication as a text book for the theological organizations of our church schools, and such classes. May divine blessings rest upon the effort.—…

Nov. 5, 1893—Second session of the University Theology Class [p.48]held today in the Stake Assembly Hall. Between 500 and 600 persons attended, and the interest manifested was of the most encouraging order. To assist in the work of the class printed outlines of the study are prepared: today a double sheet was distributed, giving the lessons of last Sabbath and today. We appreciate the generosity of the Stake officers in their placing the Assembly Hall at our disposal, though the house is hardly adapted for a class. I confidentially expect the numbers to fall off as soon as the gloss of novelty has worn away; then we may return to our own building.

Nov. 6, 1893—Today the Presidency of the Church gave instructions that the lectures delivered before the University Theology Class be published in full in serial form, and that the arrangements for republication in book form be left for subsequent consideration. The “Juvenile Instructor” was selected as the organ of publication…

Nov. 16, 1893—Inasmuch as the Theology Class lectures are to be serially published (See Nov. 6, p. 102), I requested of the First Presidency, the appointment of a Committee on Criticism to whom I could refer the matter before publication. I am very desirous that proper criticism should be made, to avoid serious error. The following Committee was appointed in stated order:—(1) Apostle Francis M. Lyman (Chairman) (2) Apostle A. H. Cannon: (3) Pres. Geo. Reynolds (4) Elder John Nicholson: (5) Dr. Karl G. Maeser. The Committee (last two absent) held a session today in the Temple…

Nov. 26, 1893—No diminution in size of the Theology Class. Pres. Geo. Q. Cannon was present today though as he sat amongst the audience his presence was not known to many until after the close of the session. He expressed himself as very highly pleased with the class. The question of abandoning all review work in the class owing to the difficulty of getting the students to speak sufficiently loud in so large a house has been with me a serious one: but Pres. Cannon recommends the continuation of the exercise even though there be difficulties in the way. The President of the Stake, one of the Presiding Bishopric, one of the First Presidents of Seventies, two of the General Sunday School authorities were present today…

Nov. 29, 1893—Wife and I went to the Temple with the intention of attending to ordinance work for the dead. Immediately after the opening exercises, however, I was called out to attend a consultation between the Committee appointed to assist me in the Theological Class work, and the First Presidency of the Church. Wife carried [p.49]through her part of the Temple labor; but my work was put off. The consultation referred to lasted between two and three hours. There were present all of the First Presidency and three of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles. I brought before the Presidency, asking for rulings, the following subjects:—

1. The changing of Article 4 of the Articles of Faith from the old form:

4. 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 on of Hands for the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

so as to designate faith and repentance in some other way than as ordinances which they are not. The following form was adopted

4. We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: (1) Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; (2) Repentance; (3) Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; (4) Laying on of hands for the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

2. The proper form and ceremony of baptism whether in case of rebaptism or in any other occasion, additions to the revealed formula, such as, “for the remission of your sins” or “for the renewal of your covenants.” The decision was that any additions to the revealed form, or any other departure therefrom is unauthorized, and to be deprecated. The authorized form is that given in the Doctrine and Covenants.

3. The authority for rebaptisms:—The authorities were unanimous in declaring that rebaptism is not recognized as a regularly constituted principle of the Church; and that the current practice of requiring rebaptism as a prerequisite for admission to the temples, etc. is unauthorized. Nothing should be put in the way of anyone receiving his covenants by rebaptism if he feels the necessity of so doing: and of course, in cases of disfellowship, or excommunication, a repetition of the baptism is required, but the making of rebaptism a uniform procedure is not proper. It was declared to be at variance with the order of true government in the Church to require baptism of those who come from foreign branches to Zion, bringing with them certificates of membership and of full standing. Pres. Geo. Q. Cannon expressed the opinion that the practice of repeating baptism came from the example and teaching of Pres. Brigham Young in the days of first [p.50]migration to these parts: when the journey meant a long separation from organized branches and wards of the Church: and consequently an interruption in the observance of regular Church duties. The conditions are changed now: and the counsel given for special circumstances should not be made applicable to general procedure under all circumstances. Danger was seen in the practice of repeated baptisms:—such may be made like the confessional of the Catholics: a premium on sinning [?].

Several minor points were ruled upon, comprising—unpardonable sin: murder and shedding of innocent blood.

In the afternoon a meeting of the Presidency and the Twelve was held at the Temple, at which all the points named above were ratified as set forth. I was told by one of the Apostles on our Committee that I was authorized to proclaim this as doctrine in the Theological Class…

Dec. 3, 1893—Sunday. Usual meetings. The Theological Class was attended by about 1100 persons…

Dec. 10, 1893—Sunday. Usual meetings. Very large attendance at the Theological Class. In the evening Elder John Harrison and I officiated as Home Missionaries in the 17th Ward…

Dec. 17, 1893—Sunday. Large attendance (between a thousand and eleven hundred students) at the Church University Theological Class today…

Dec. 24, 1893—Sunday. Usual meetings. Large attendance at the Church Theological class…

Dec. 31, 1893—Sunday. Meetings as usual. About 1100 present at the Theological Class. In the evening by call I addressed the saints in our own Ward meeting. And so the year ends. It has been a year of great things in general and in my life particularly. It has witnessed the dedication of the House of the Lord; and the accomplishments of much labor therein. The world boasted and rejoiced over the great Fair [Chicago]: and great events have rolled like a tide over the shores of history. I am thankful…

Jan. 2, 1894—Lengthy meetings with the Theology Class Committee, and the First Presidency reading lectures already delivered before the class. I am grateful for the supervision thus exercised, and the assistance so afforded…

Jan. 5, 1894—Met with Theological Class Committee and Presidency in lecture work. The subject of “The Holy Ghost” formed the topic. Pres. Cannon in commenting on the ambiguity existing in our [p.51]printed works concerning the nature or character of the Holy Ghost expressed his opinion that the Holy Ghost was in reality a person, in the image of the other members of the Godhead,—a man in form and figure: and that what we often speak of as the Holy Ghost is in reality but the power or influence of the Spirit. However the Presidency deemed it wise to say as little as possible on this or other disputed subjects…

Jan. 7, 1894—Sunday. Large attendance at the theological Class. In the evening Elder F. M. Lyman and I officiated as Home Missionaries in the 18th Ward…

Jan. 12, 1894—A meeting of the Theological Class Committee, and the Presidency, to consider the subject of the sacrament. After the acceptance of a paragraph written by me on the duties of the priesthood in seeing that the Sacrament is not administered to any but Church members, and to none who are unworthy, I asked concerning the custom of administering the sacrament in our Tabernacle, where all classes assemble, where indeed it is known that many outsiders partake and others show by strong demonstration their scorn for the ordinance, where in short no supervision that is effective can be exercised. In answer I found that the First Presidency and the Twelve were united in desiring the administration of the sacrament removed from the Tabernacle to the Ward houses, where the local authorities could properly guard the sacredness of the ordinance. I understand instructions to this effect will soon be issued…

Jan. 14, 1894—Sunday. Nearly 1100 at the Theological Class. To my pleasure Father, Mother and Albert attended…

Jan. 21, 1894—Sunday. Usual meetings: large attendance at the Theological class…

Jan. 28, 1894—Sunday. Today the fourteenth session of the Church University Theological Class was: and the attendance was the largest yet seen: between 1000 and 1200. To my surprise I was called upon in the afternoon to address the Tabernacle congregation…

Feb. 4, 1894—Sunday. By special appointment I attended today a meeting of the Committee by the Presidency of the Church to listen to and report on the matter of a pamphlet now in course of preparation by Elder B. H. Roberts, subject:—”Succession in the Presidency of the Church.” We have held many meetings on this matter during the past week; today we heard the last of the reading before the work goes to press. It is an excellent preparation, and will doubtless do much good.[p.52]Its chief purpose is to settle certain false claims of the “Josephite” Church, to the succession of the priesthood.

At the meeting of the Theology Class today, the attendance was very large;—nearly or quite 1200 present. Prest. Joseph F. Smith honored us with a visit, and spoke a short time…

Feb. 11, 1894—Sunday. Usual meetings. In the morning I attended the Sabbath School for the Deaf and Dumb. Very large attendance at the Church University Theology Class. Today witnessed a slight change in the matter of conducting the class. It being deemed wise by the Presidency of the Church that I should hasten through with the lectures lest anything of the contemplated change in the University matters should occur; and thereby change the Theology Class, it has been decided to drop the review part of the work, devoting nearly all of the time of the class to lectures…

Feb. 18, 1894—Sunday. Theological Class and Usual Meetings. At Prayer Circle, by appointment I officiated in the dedicatory prayer…

Feb. 25, 1894—Sunday. Over 1200 were present at the Theological Class session today. At the Prayer Circle I officiated at the altar by appointment…

Mar. 4, 1894—Sunday. Attended meetings of the Stake conference; this is the third day of the session. The Theological Class was omitted today in consequence…

Mar. 11, 1894—Sunday. Usual meetings, except the afternoon prayer circle: that organization being now appointed to meet in weekly session at the Temple: and for the present the time is set—Saturday 5 p.m. At the theological class today a very large congregation was present. In the evening, by previous appointment I delivered a lecture in Sugar House Ward under the auspices of the combined Mutual Improvement Associations of the Ward: Subject—”Blasphemy.” …

Mar. 18, 1894—Sunday. Twentieth session of the Theology Class today: and the attendance was the largest yet witnessed. In the evening Elder George Blair and I officiated as Home Missionaries in the Seventh Ward. An excellent influence prevailed during the meeting…

Mar. 25, 1894—Sunday. Unusually large attendance at the Theology Class…

Apr. 1, 1894—Sunday. At this the twenty second session of the Theology Class the attendance was as large as if not indeed larger than that of any previous session. Today marked the last meeting of the class,[p.53]its discontinuance having been determined upon yesterday or the day before by the First Presidency. the reasons for this action are briefly these:—(1) It is plain that in the event of my accepting any prominent position in the State University it would be manifestly inconsistent for me to occupy so distinguished a place among the Theology Class of our people, the University being a strictly non-sectarian institution. There will be I think opposition enough to the change in the University administration without complicating matters by offering other excuses for attack. (2) The Presidency are loath to appoint a successor in the instructorship of the Theology Class, as the projected work is still unfinished; and if such an appointment were made, the work would have to be carried in one of two ways,—as the independent treatment of the subject by the new instructor;—and this course they deem objectionable, as it is the design to publish the lectures in book form, and the volume would then be the joint work of two; or the lectures would have to be presented as mine being simply delivered by another; this latter course would remove little if any of the objection now offered to my continuing with the work as in the past. (3) The Presidency have warned me repeatedly of my having too much work on my hands: and they seem determined to relieve me of some.

At the session today, I disposed of as many of the incidental questions as possible, then finished the lecture on the Gathering, as per leaflet No. 17: then announced the discontinuance of the class. This announcement caused considerable consternation: and I feel that there has been a true appreciation of the work of the class. A letter from the First Presidency, addressed to myself, advising the discontinuance and citing the reasons therefore, was read by Apostle Abraham H. Cannon one of the Committee on Theology Class appointed by the First Presidency. He and Elder George Reynolds, another of the Committee made remarks eulogizing the labors of the class. A vote of thanks was heartily rendered the instructor. I feel much regret in seeing the class come to a close,—regret that circumstances render such a course advisable for I believe the class has taken a hold on the minds of the members. I would at least have wished to see the completion of the lectures on the Articles of Faith; but the lectures not yet delivered, will be published with those already given. For the need of success that has come to the class I reverentially acknowledge the hand of God. May the seed so planted, yet produce a healthful growth and pleasing fruit.

[p.54]In the evening, Elder Parry and I officiated as Home Missionaries in the 19th Ward…

Dec. 27, 1898—Began the reading of manuscript for a proposed theological publication; the reading was before a committee created at my request by action of the First Presidency of the Church. The history of the affair is briefly as follows:—Years ago, while I was officially connected with the Church School work, the First Presidency expressed to me their desire to have prepared a book or a series of books, suitable for use as textbooks in theological classes of the Church: (see Journal entry, Sept. 14, 1891; vol., page 74-). This developed into a request that I write such a book (Jan. 31, 1893, Journal vol. 6, p. 170) and a letter of appointment to the work dated Feb. 20, 1893 was received Feb. 22, 1893: (see last date, Journal vol. 6, p. 183). When the theology class in connection with the Church University was established I was appointed instructor, and the work decided upon was a series of lectures on the “Articles of Faith,” the plan being that I present in lecture form the matter which would have been published as the substance of the proposed book (See Oct. 20, and 29, 1893: Journal vol. 7, pages 94 and 101). At my request a committee was appointed to pass upon the matter of the lectures (see Nov. 6, and 16, 1893: Journal vol. 7, pages 102 and 103). Twenty-two lectures were given before the class: then on April 1, 1894 (Journal vol. 7, p. 134) the class was discontinued owing to my call to the presidency of the University of Utah. I was counseled to drop the work of preparing the unfinished part of the lectures for the time being, in view of my busy condition. Part of the matter presented to the class was published in serial form in the “Juvenile Instructor” commencing Nov. 15, 1893, and running to Aug. 15, 1894. Many requests, personal and official have been made for the continuation of the work. The subjects of the “articles” not presented before the Church University class were subsequently treated before other classes and theological organizations. Not until this autumn have I been able to resume the work of writing the lectures. For three months past I have been suffering from my baneful affliction of sleeplessness, and my nights, often extending until daybreak have been devoted to writing the matter, which is now practically completed. The printed parts have been completely re-written, and the unpublished part has been added. As stated, at my recent request, the First Presidency appointed a committee to hear and pass upon the matter in its present form. This [p.55]is really the old committee reconstituted, the only change in the personnel being the appointment of Apostle Anthon H. Lund in place of Apostle Abram H. Cannon deceased. Apostle F. M. Lyman continues as chairman: the other members are Elders George Reynolds, John Nicholson, and Karl Maeser. Two sittings, each two hours, were held today, and such are to continue daily with

Jan. 5, 1899—Finished the reading of the manuscript on “Articles of Faith” to the Committee. Committee passed a unanimous vote of hearty, approval: and referred the question of publication to the First Presidency…

Jan. 13, 1899—Meeting with the First Presidency and the Committee on the lecture book; at which the latter referred certain points of doctrine and instructions as to the manner of publishing. As the book has been written by appointment previously made I knew not whether to consider my mission completed now that the Mss. has been approved, or to regard myself as under appointment until the book appears in print. I was surprised at a suggestion made by the committee a few days ago, and still more so at the approval of the suggestion by the First Presidency that the book be published by the Church. I was not aware that such an honor had ever been paid to one of our writers; and I hardly felt to urge the matter for I don’t think the Church is rightly [?] to be made responsible for the slips and errors which will inevitably appear in the book. The details of publication were not settled today. One of the questions referred to the First Presidency by the Committee was as to the advisability of reprinting the lecture entitled “The Holy Ghost” which appeared in the “Juvenile Instructor” soon after its delivery in the theology class of the Church University. I remember that considerable discussion attended the reading of the lecture before the former committee prior to its delivery. (See January, 5, 1894: Journal VII, p. 116) The question hung upon the expediency and wisdom of expressing views as definite as those presented in the lecture regarding the personality of the Holy Ghost when marked ambiguity and differences of opinion appeared in the published writings of our Church authorities on the subject. The lecture was approved as it appeared in the “Instructor.” I have incorporated it in the prospective book in practically an unaltered form. President Snow took the article under advisement today. In conversation Pres. Geo. Q. Cannon supported the view of the distinct personality of the Holy Ghost and stated that he had [the word "actually" is crossed [p.56]out] heard the voice of the third member of the Godhead, actually talking to him…

January 16, 1899—Meeting with the First Presidency on the lecture book matter. President Snow announced his unqualified approval of the lecture on the “Holy Ghost”; and directed its insertion. The preliminaries relating to publication were furthered.

Jan. 17, 1899—Final word from the First Presidency regarding the publication of the lectures. It has been decided that the Church publish the work. This action will give the book greater prestige, and will doubtless add to its usefulness among the people. I am sensitive of the confidence in the work thus shown by the authorities, and of the honor thus given to myself. The printing will be done at the “Deseret News” office the Church publishing establishment. I am notified that new type is to be purchased for the work, and I am asked to make the selection. An edition of 10,000 copies is ordered. As to the financial phase of the undertaking I note this:—In my first acceptance of the appointment to prepare a text-book for use in the theological organizations, I expressed a willingness to undertake the work, without hope of royalty or other pecuniary advantage from the sales, provided the book could be sold at cost. In a reply to this the First Presidency wrote me under date of February 20, 1893, as follows: We understand it is your intention not to make any charge for the preparation of this work so that it may be placed on the market at so low a price that it will be within the reach of all; with this suggestion we hastily concur.

In presenting recently the question of publication before the Committee, and the First Presidency, this offer of mine was commended as liberal and praiseworthy; although some opposition was referred to, the thought of some of the brethren being, that the waving of the royalty would either make so little difference in the price of the book as to be inappreciable, or, should the cost of publication permit a markedly low price to be charged, there would be a danger of some-what demoralizing effect on home publications in general. Pres. Geo. Q. Cannon was outspoken in the belief that no unusually low price should be set on the book. Nevertheless my offer was treated from the first as fully accepted. In an itemized estimate of the cost of publication, H. G. Whitney, Business Manager of the “News” establishment, writes me under yesterday’s date that the new type needed will cost about $200.00 and that “the work with typesetting and paper will cost…$1500 to $1600 on an edition of 10,000,” to which is to [p.57]be added 25 cents per copy for cloth and binding. It is proposed to charge not less that $1.00 per copy of the cloth-bound book. Evidently this allows considerable profit, which I am told will accrue to the Church. While the purpose of my offer to do the work without charge was to secure a selling price of the book at cost, I do not demur to this plan of a moderate profit being made for the Church. I have tried to do the work in the true spirit of making an offering to the Church, and I leave the matter to the authorities. If I can feel that the Lord has accepted my humble and imperfect offering I shall count myself as richly recompensed. But the work is not yet finished; the Mss. is to be prepared for the press, and the labor of carrying the book through will be considerable…

Feb. 25, 1899—At last typographical work has begun on the “Articles of Faith” book. (See entry for Jan. 17th last) New type was ordered from the East, and the kind selected had to be made to order, then a delay was caused by the recent snow blockades on the railways: and the last lot of type arrived yesterday. The first form of the book was placed in my hands for proof reading tonight. The plan is to keep up the printing operation night and day if necessary so as to bring out the book by or before the time of April conference…

Mar. 10, 1899—In this evenings issue of the “Deseret News” appeared the first public announcement of the prospective book on the “Articles of Faith.” This first mention is made by the President of the Church, in the manner following:—

EDITOR’S TABLE.
OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT.
THE ARTICLES OF FAITH, BY DR. JAMES E. TALMAGE.

During the early part of April there will be issued by the Deseret News a new Church work entitled “The Articles of Faith,” the same being a series of lectures on the principal doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, by Dr. James E. Talmage. The lectures were prepared by appointment of the First Presidency, and the book will be published by the Church. It is intended for use as a text book in the Church Schools, Sunday Schools, Improvement Associations, quorums of the Priesthood, and other Church organizations in which the study of Theology is pursued, and also for individual use among the members of the Church. The work has been [p.58]approved by the First Presidency, and I heartily commend it to members of the Church.

LORENZO SNOW.

The work of printing is progressing at the rate of a form (16 pages) every day; and the assurance is still held that the work will be completed by the approaching April conference…

April 1, 1899—Read proof of last form on the “Articles of Faith” book. The preface will be put to press under date of Monday next (The 3rd) and my work on the book is finished for the present. I read proof of the first form (16 pp.) Feb. 25: one form per day was promised: 32 forms have been completed in the 30 intervening days (Sundays excepted)…

April 4, 1899—First copies of the book left the bindery. The earliest issues were taken to the office of the First Presidency. The matter of the lectures with appendix and index occupy 490: the book in its entirety 498 pages. The title page is as above [copy of title page glued in journal]: for that I am not responsible as it was prescribed by the First Presidency. President Snow disapproved of my preference of “Elder” as the title of the author, saying that the name as given above [Dr. James E. Talmage] would be more assuming to non-members of the Church into whose hands the book may come. I have copyrighted the book in my own name, and will assign the right for the first edition to the Church In defense to my wish to have the work sold at the lowest possible price, the cloth-bound copy is offered at $1.00; prices of other bindings $1.50 to $2.50. Actual cost of the cloth-bound copy as per statement of the “Deseret News” Manager is 45 cents…

Feb. 10, 1900—The “Deseret News” announced this (Saturday) evening that since April 1st last, six thousand (6000) copies of the book “The Articles of Faith” have been sold; and asserts that this is the largest sale of any home publication in the same length of time.

March 17, 1900—Attended meetings in Second Ward at 8 p.m. incident to the Relief Society work, and by previous appointment delivered an address. This evenings issue of the Deseret News announced that 7200 copies of the “Articles of Faith” have been sold. (Compare Feb. 10 last.) …

March 29, 1901—Meeting with the First Presidency and the Publication Committee relative to the issue of a second edition of “The Articles of Faith”. The first edition has been practically exhausted for some time—only a few copies in expensive bindings remaining.

[p.59]This evening I presided at the meeting of the Microscopical Society of Utah, and delivered an address…

May 5, 1901, Sunday—Usual meetings. At the Temple Fast Meeting in the morning I was one of a number of speakers. Afternoon session of the Committee with whom I confer on the revision of “The Articles of Faith” soon to be put to press for a second edition…

May 31, 1901—When I submitted manuscript for the “Articles of Faith”, the book that I had prepared in response to the appointment of the First Presidency, I asked no royalty on the sales or other pecuniary return; indeed I felt honored in being able to do that little for the good of the Church. There was some hesitation on the part of the First Presidency in accepting the gift, partly owing to a request of mine that the book be sold strictly at cost, and partly because of Pres. Snow’s statement that a proper payment ought to be made. The first edition of 10,500 copies has been sold, and copy for a second issue is now in the hands of the electrotypers. (See entry. for 10th inst.) Several times I have been called into conference with the publication committee and with the Presidency relative to the transfer of my copyright to the Church; this the authorities desire, and for the same the Presidency declare a payment ought to be made. The brethren have urged the matter with such kindness that I could not well do otherwise than express acquiescence. I was asked to name a sum that would be satisfactory; this I declined to do, saying that I had offered the work as a gift. Pres. Snow replied that it had been accepted as a gift, but they desired to make a present in return. Today Pres. Snow informed me of the decision reached, and I was handed a check for Fifteen Hundred Dollars. I made the legal transfer of copyright to the work, and assigned all claims incident to the first edition…

Jan. 27, 1922—Fri. In addition to ordinary duties I had an important consultation with the First Presidency today and they reached the decision that in view of the great demand for “The Articles of Faith”, which has not been revised through many editions, that I devote my time to a revision of the book named, with the view to bringing it out in improved form, and with such changes in the text as may be deemed advisable—and that this work take precedence over my writing the book on “Priesthood”…

Sept. 6, 1922—Wed. The rest of the day I spent in my room in the Temple…

[p.60]Nov. 2, 1922—Thurs. I devoted a good part of the afternoon to writing…

Jan. 27, 1923—Sat. Was engaged in office work and theological research…

July 6, 1923—Fri. I spent the greater part of the day in the Temple, engaged on revision work on the “Articles of Faith”…

Aug. 21, 1923—Tues. Spent a good part of the day in the Temple engaged in the revision of “The Articles of Faith”…

Sept. 11, 1923—Tues. Spent the greater part of the day at Hammond, Indiana, in business with the W.B. Conkey company. Made adjustments of several printing matters relating to the publication of our standard works, and considered the preliminary points requiring attention connected with the possible bringing out of the new edition of the “Articles of Faith”. Returned to Chicago in the evening, and was gratified in receiving a letter from Maia, written immediately after her arrival home. All were reported well…

Nov. 27, 1923—Tues. Attended meeting of the Deseret Book Company with the manager and secretary, and afterward an executive meeting of the committee itself. The rest of the day was devoted to work on the “Articles of Faith”…

Dec. 4, 1923—Tues. After my trunk arrived [he was in Chicago] I spent a good part of the remaining time going over some parts of the copy to be presented to the printers for the bringing out of the new issue of the “Articles of Faith”…

Dec. 11, 1923—Tues. Spent the day at Hammond, Indiana, reading proofs of different parts of the book as set up in the varied styles of type. Went into details as to arrangement. Returned to Chicago at night. On reaching the hotel I was surprised to find my trunk missing from my room. Inquiries revealed the fact that the porter had mistaken the number of the room from which a trunk was to be taken, and that my trunk had already been sent to Detroit as personal baggage.

Dec. 12, 1923—Wed. Spent some time at the Chicago headquarters of the W.B. Conkey Company, and had personal conversation with Mr. Henry Conkey, who since the death of his respected father is the head of the company. My trunk was recovered and returned to my room…

Dec. 17, 1923—Mon. Reached home between 8 and 9 a.m. Found that wife Maia had been ill and still suffering from a severe cold, with threatened pneumonia. I learned with sorrow of the death of my [p.61]niece, Susa Harding, daughter of my sister Alice, in Provo. She has long been a sufferer from heart and lung trouble and passed away suddenly. Today my secretary and I began reading by copy the first installment of proofs of the forthcoming book…

Dec. 19, 1923—Wed. Maia is still ill, but we trust the pneumonia will be averted. I spent the greater part of the day in proofreading…

Jan. 1, 1924 Tues. Today was begun with the encouraging word over long distance phone that my brother George in Springville is greatly improved. I devoted the greater part of the day to work in the office, owing to pressure in proofreading the forthcoming book, the revised edition of the “Articles of Faith”. However, I spent a delightful two hours at home with the family at New Year’s dinner, and after this I returned to the office and worked until a late hour…

Jan. 18, 1924—Fri. Attended meeting of the Deseret Book Company Committee during the forenoon, was in consultation with the First Presidency and others, and put in a particularly busy day in correspondence. It has been deemed advisable that I go to Chicago and Hammond, Indiana, to expedite the work on the new issue of the “Articles of Faith”; and I am to leave tonight by the Continental Limited, accordingly…

Jan. 21, 1924—Mon. Visited the missionary company and rendered them some assistance. They left by early afternoon train. Was in early communication with the W.B. Conkey Company and attended some revised proof sheets…

Jan. 26, 1924—Sat. Each day since last entry has been devoted to work on the book proofs. Spent this day at Mission headquarters, the occasion being a conference of the Chicago branches, or as we say, through a regrettable double use of the term, a conference of the Chicago Conference. Meeting with the missionaries covered in all four hours, at which the twenty-two present made their individual reports after which President Taylor and I addressed them at some length. From 3:30 until 8 p.m. the missionaries and I were engaged in checking up on the references following the chapters in the “Articles of Faith”. It was a pleasing experience to them and one of assistance to me. Only one error was found, and this made the effort worth while, affording opportunity for its correction…

Feb. 7, 1924—Thurs. Spent day in Hammond, Indiana, and made arrangements as to details in the matter of binding the book. Returned to Chicago at night…

[p.62]Feb. 9, 1924—Sat. The proofreading is finished. In the course of the work I have been impressed by the thought of bringing out a cheaper edition of the “Articles of Faith”, so as to place it within the reach of more people. Several letters from Mission Presidents have come to hand, answering my inquiry as to their wishes in the matter; and without exception they urge strongly that such an edition be published. On Thursday last I went into details as to cost of production, etc., with the W.B. Conkey Company, and telegraphed the First Presidency, asking their approval of the plan to bring out an edition of ten thousand copies, to be known as the Missionary Edition. In general style similar to the Missionary Edition of the Book of Mormon.

As no reply had arrived by this morning I sent a fast day message, requesting answer today. In a little over two hours I had the response, in the form of a message authorizing the publication as requested by me. I immediately closed the contract with the W.B. Conkey Company…

March 3, 1924—Mon. Had a very busy day in office work and consultations. The first copies of the new issue of the ARTICLES OF FAITH arrived today, and appear to be very satisfactory…

April 14, 1924—Mon. Office work and consultations occupied the day. The first copies of the Missionary Edition of the “Articles of Faith” arrived today. The books come up to the standard of expectation, and the First Presidency and others express full satisfaction…