115 years ago today - Dec 20, 1904

[Carl A. Badger]
Last night I had a talk with F[ranklin]. S. Richards and asked him to give me a reason why I should not go outside of the Church, if I doubted, disbelieved in things that all orthodox Mormons considered essential. He said he would illustrate his reasons. In 1877 he went on a mission to the Sandwich Islands with Jos[eph]. F. Smith. Up to that time no one had thought that polygamy was not mand[a]tory upon all the Church; one would have lost his standing if he had voiced other sentiments. In 1887 he was here in Washington [D.C.] with Jos[eph]. F. Smith who was on the underground. He thought he must argue before the senate committee that polygamy was not mand[a]tory upon the Church. Jerry Wilson agreed with him; Jos[eph]. F. opposed it strongly; he believed it was mand[a]tory, but Richards got him to consent that the argument be made'it would not hurt the Church anyway. When Richards got home he came near to loosing his fellowship. On the witness stand before the committee in 1904 Pres[ident]. J[oseph]. F. Smith testified that the doctrine never had been mand[a]tory. 'Now why not stay with the Church, there is good here, and truth, and noble men and women. 'I have done more for those who I love by staying with them than I could have done by fighting what I considered their faults.' Richards says that Pres[ident]. Jos[eph]. F. Smith told him recently ... that in the event of the divulgence of the temple ceremony, 'if there was anything in the Church which the Lord desired removed, he hoped he would remove it.'

[Carl A. Badger Diary, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1910-1951, Privately Published, Salt Lake City, Utah 2010]

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