110 years ago today - Aug 4, 1910; Thursday

A letter was read from President William A. Seegmiller, dated June 30th, from Tahiti, presenting a very embarrassing condition which our elders are confronted with in this: that the young Tahitians, after reaching ages ranging from 12 years upwards, continue the practice of their forefathers by living together as husband and wife; that after doing this for some years, after getting tired of a life of smoking, card-playing, &c., some of them will perhaps get married with a view of turning over a new leaf, and the custom is that they ask forgiveness, for the reason that they are already members of the Church, having been baptized when they were eight years of age, and they are then received by vote into fellowship; and by this time they generally have raised a family, and getting well along in life. This is a general condition among all faiths in religions in Tahiti, and this condition prevails despite the labors and teachings of the elders, and the government permits it, and in fact many of the high French officials are themselves living with native women outside the marriage relation; and the absence of a marriage law makes it very hard for our elders, as we do not receive people as members of the Church living together in this done with [sic] our young native people who have been baptized when eight years of age, and who get in this condition a few years afterwards. Shall wholesale excommunication be made, or shall the wheat and tares be allowed to remain.

As President Smith had already given advice on the same question, it was concluded to lay this over until his return home. ...

[First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve minutes]

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