120 years ago today - Thursday, Aug 6, 1903

[Rudger Clawson]
Elder Merrill attended fast meeting at home. Elder Merrill said that he received a message from Clarkston last Monday to the effect that a young brother there had committed suicide, and the bishop [John Ravsten] desired to know what kind of a funeral should be held in his case. He replied that he should be buried quietly and without display. He did not know, he said, what the rule is, but this was the advice given.

Pres. Smith remarked that the policy heretofore followed respecting suicides is that they should receive a speedy and unceremonious burial. This policy was reaffirmed upon motion of Elder Clawson, except in cases where it is clearly shown that the suicide was out of his mind.

Elder Jno. H. Smith said that in his judgment the question of maintaining national lines among the Latter-day Saints needed serious revision. He called attention to the fact that many of our emigrants upon arrival here receive little or no care or attention. There is a neglect somewhere, said he, and it should be corrected.

Pres. Smith said that the rule governing in this matter is that none should emigrate, except those who have relatives or kindred to receive and take care of them. However, in all other cases it is clearly the duty of the Presiding Bishop to give the proper attention. The clerk was instructed to write Bp. [William B.] Preston regarding this matter.

Some of the brethren spoke of the tendency among our people to move out of the state to the injury of the cause politically and otherwise. Pres. Smith deprecated this tendency and said that it should be discouraged, and he further remarked that our people should be encouraged to learn trades and prepare themselves to take the positions requiring skilled labor that are constantly open to us.

[Stan Larson (editor), A Ministry of Meetings: The Apostolic diaries of Rudger Clawson, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1993, http://bit.ly/rudgerclawson]

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