excerpt – Mormon Democrat
In 1950 Mormon apostle Matthew Cowley summarized his impressions of the late James Henry Moyle in the following terms: “I always had to take another look when I passed Brother James H. Moyle on the street.”1 Cowley’s memory of Moyle was a common one, and though brief it was remarkably encompassing, for the striking appearance of the man symbolized uncannily his involved and ascendant life. Barrel-chested and six feet tall, he walked erectly with long and forceful strides, his large, bearded jaw set immovably to the fore. The steps of his life were analogously the same; firmness, seriousness, and undeviability characterized his demeanor until just before his death in his eighty-eighth year, and yet he was a person of great love and devotion, of immeasurable loyalties. In short, he was an impressive man, the proverbial great oak.
It is not the purpose of this prologue to recount in detail the life of James H. Moyle; this volume ought to accomplish that task in itself. It suffices to say at this point that the man lived in Utah as a devoted member of a growing but persecuted religious group, the Mormons. Born in the pioneer surroundings dictated by Mormon history and in the humblest of conditions, he witnessed and participated in the evolution of that people from an isolated and estranged community with segregative social institutions into an emergent culture anxious to travel the paths of modern America. But Moyle had two religions by his own count, Mormonism and the Democratic party.2 He believed in both with an equal fervor, and when they clashed, as they sometimes did in Utah history, he managed to endure, suffering only minor scars. Indeed, just before his death he held with coequal reverence the high regard Franklin D. Roosevelt and Mormon president Heber J. Grant had expressed for him prior to their deaths only months before. He was a Mormon Democrat, and perhaps the most complete owner of that title there had ever been.
Growing up in the old Fifteenth Ward on the west side of Salt Lake City, Moyle had determined early that he would rise above the humble surroundings of his childhood; he would become a lawyer, even though the church looked askance at the legal profession. Concomitant with this early determination, however, was a normal but eventful youth. His uniquely Mormon experiences ranged from seeing his father take a plural wife to working as a stonemason on the Salt Lake temple and standing guard over Brigham Young’s body as it lay in state in 1877. Then, having accepted completely the faith of his father, Moyle received a call to be a missionary in the Southern States where he served with distinction in North Carolina, most of the time as conference president. After returning home late in 1881, Moyle requested of President John Taylor approval of the church to go to the University of Michigan to study law. With much reluctance and following a severe admonition to caution, Taylor blessed the young man in his pursuit of an education.
At Michigan Moyle struggled with a heavy workload, meager finances, and a weak educational background, but through it all he persevered and at the same time staunchly defended Mormonism, which was then under heavy attack because of the practice of plural marriage. He graduated with an LL.B. in June 1885 and traveled home to begin his practice, but on the way he stopped in Richmond, Missouri, for a lengthy interview with David Whitmer, the last surviving member of the “three witnesses” to the golden plates of the Book of Mormon. His education completed and his faith entrenched, Moyle entered Utah politics. In 1886 he was elected Salt Lake County attorney and in 1888 to the territorial legislature on the Mormon People’s Party ticket.
In 1891 at the disbandonment of the People’s Party, Moyle stated firmly his allegiance to the Democratic Party which brought him inevitably into conflict with church leadership as it tried to establish Republican parity among the traditionally Democratic Mormons. Moyle continued to clash with church leaders over politics, but managed to walk the tightrope, maintaining his devotion both to party and religion. He ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1900 and 1904 and finally for the Senate in 1914 on the Democratic and Progressive tickets against Apostle-Senator Reed Smoot. Following a narrow defeat in that election, Moyle set a precedent for a Latter-day Saint when he was tendered an appointment as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Woodrow Wilson administration.
After four innovative years in the Treasury, Moyle returned to Utah and settled into his role as de facto dean of Utah Democrats. Serving on the Democratic National Committee, he worked vigorously for the nomination of William G. McAdoo for the U.S. presidency in 1924. Disappointed in defeat and in the discriminatory tariff policies of the party, he nevertheless remained on the national committee until he voluntarily retired in 1932.
In the fall of 1928, at the age of seventy, Moyle was appointed president of the Eastern States Mission of the church, which with his three decades as a member of the high council (or executive board) of the Ensign Stake he considered ample vindication of his persistent course of loyalty to the church despite his political disagreements with some of its leaders.
While in New York presiding over the mission, Moyle met with Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt with whom he had served in the Wilson administration. In the spring of 1933, following his inauguration as president, Roosevelt appointed Moyle Commissioner of Customs, and in 1939, at the age of eighty-one, he became special assistant to Treasury secretary Henry Morgenthau. Withal, he became an avid New Dealer and conducted strong campaigns in Roosevelt’s behalf in Utah. This brought him once again into conflict with some authorities of the church, but he remained an unbending advocate of Mormonism. He died in February 1946 convinced to the end that his fidelity to both church and party would prove ultimately consistent.
The scope of Moyle’s life and experience in Utah, Mormon, and national history suggests by itself the great value of his memoirs. But, additionally, he knew from close vantage nearly every major religious and political figure in Utah during six decades spanning two centuries, and further considered himself “intimate” with several national leaders of the Democratic Party. The consequent worth of his memories was fortunately apparent even to himself, and though he saw benefit in them mostly for his posterity, he was nevertheless painstaking in the preservation of his papers that now fill twenty-one boxes in the archives of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City. They touch upon virtually every facet of the Kulturkampf in Utah from 1885 to 1945. Moreover, his torn loyalties and sometimes over-developed sense of criticism caused him throughout his papers to paint meticulously the scenes of that great conflict as he engaged actively in it, often from both sides.
Moyle’s role in this drama conformed naturally to his forceful characteristics, a fact that worked both for and against him. Even his physical appearance and bearing, so impressive to those who knew him, affected the pursuit of his goals negatively as well as positively. For while it signified strength and a sense of purpose to his friends, it indicated aloofness, conceit, and intimidation to many whose followership he might have otherwise earned.3 Concomitantly, his firm and unbending dedication to principle sometimes took on colors of harshness, tactlessness, and self-righteousness when set in the framework of the Moyle personality. With all of this seriousness and involvement in weighty affairs, however, he was a real person who suffered as all humans do under the burdens of life and at the same time experienced the joys of family, friends, and achievement far above the average among his peers. Even though they may have disagreed with him in many if not most particulars, those who knew him well respected him. No one ever questioned his honesty or devotion to a consistent set of beliefs and life-standards, and despite the nearly constant clash between his extreme religiosity and his extreme partisanship, Moyle never wavered from his support of both church and party, founding his faith on the fundamentals of both and dismissing apparent inconsistencies among the policies of the two as results of human frailty.4
There can be no claim that Moyle’s allegiance to the Mormon church and the Democratic Party was unique during the period of his life. Indeed, he was never numbered among the general authorities of the church as were other staunch Democrats such as B. H. Roberts and Anthony W. Ivins. In another sense, however, his independence from the ruling councils combined with his unswerving belief in Mormonism and his sense of judgment to make him an outspoken conscience of the church and as well of the party in Utah. It was impossible to challenge truthfully his integrity or his complete devotion to Mormon and Democratic principles, yet he freely criticized each institution and particularly the inconsistent actions of the leadership of each. One fellow Democrat called him the Savonarola of the Mormon church, but in the same sense he sought to reform the Democratic Party in Utah and the West especially with reference to regionally discriminatory tariff policies and machine politics. Beyond this, Moyle demonstrated an ability to act freely in making a choice between conflicting church and party positions without denigrating his ultimate faith in both causes. For example, he reluctantly abandoned Prohibitionism when he saw that Roosevelt would leave it behind as part of his new order in 1933. Hence, he built well the podium from which he addressed his sermons, and few escaped the sting of his didactics.
In the final sense, however, it is significant and unfortunate that Moyle never learned the skills of compromise, that great art of politics. More than occasionally his direct attacks alienated those he wished to influence for the better. This was true not only in his three major elections, but also as he tried to express his views to close friends and even to members of his family. Despite all of this, Moyle had no enemies, because, notwithstanding judgment as to the rightness or wrongness of his positions, his opponents in life could not find fault with the way he lived or with his dedication to high principles. They could only criticize the manner in which he had fought, with the meat ax rather than the scalpel (as he characterized his actions). His friends could only lament that his causes so often died with his inability to carry them tactfully to fulfillment.
That we can recognize so much of Moyle’s introspection and complexity, his weaknesses and strengths, is due in large part to his own determination to keep an honest and accurate record. During his entire mature life and especially after 1920, Moyle held a great interest in genealogy and family history. This he had inherited in some degree from his father whose records abound with these concerns. But regardless of the source of this interest in preserving for posterity the past, Moyle began to keep detailed “memoranda for history” during his mission presidency in the early 1930s. Initially, these were intended merely for the use of the members of his family so that they might know what he had done. But by 1937 he had come to realize that his experiences could be of broader value. He thus opened correspondence with surviving associates who knew elements of the stories in which he was interested. Combining with personal recollections an insatiable curiosity and a voracious reading habit, he developed a sense of his place in the past and in the history of Utah, the church, and Democratic politics.
Shortly after his retirement in the summer of 1940, Moyle hired John Henry Evans, Mormon educator and popular biographer of church figures, to write his biography. Using interviews, letters, diaries, and the memoranda prepared to date, Evans began to write what he tentatively called “James Henry Moyle, His Life and Times.” By 1944 Evans had produced hundreds of pages, a prolix “long manuscript” which required reduction to more manageable size for publication—a “short manuscript.” In the meantime Moyle was reading Evans’s chapters. His memory understandably piqued, he wrote long comments and corrections both on the manuscript and in yellow legal pads that rapidly accumulated in his small study. Additionally, he began to suffer insomnia.
Ordinarily, I go to bed about nine-thirty or ten, and after three to four hours (sometimes less), I awake and cannot go to sleep for from two to three hours more. During that time, and generally very soon after I awake, my mind clears away any subject that I have not fully explored and then reverts to some other subject that interests me.5
On these occasions he took his pencil and pad in hand and added further to his accumulation of written memorabilia.
Sensing that he would soon leave them and having basked in the wealth of his experience all of their lives, his children also encouraged him to record his memories. By the summer of 1945 his work on the “history” and his corollary study had long since developed into something of an obsession as he felt the relentless effects of age.
My family, and especially my wife, complain of my being too quiet. It is a fact that when I am alone (if not too long) I am happy with my thoughts more than anything else, though I continue to read much, notwithstanding the great disadvantage in having to use not only my eyeglasses by also a hand magnifying glass. That has been the situation now for five years. I think better and clearer when I get into the accustomed place and time for doing that important work. I seem to have greater inspiration when there and at those hours, which is very different from when I was young and in middle life and even later. I found then that I could concentrate and do better work late at night when the body was physically worn down and the spiritual, intellectual self was the master. Now, as the day progresses, I wear down; my mind and body diminish in power and strength and I sometimes find myself unfit to do much. That has been lately most manifest when I have worried about what I would say in my writings at night. I have been humiliated with what I felt was a failure. That, however, is not yet always the case, but I deeply regret it is the rule rather than the exception. I wander as an old man will onto things not so directly applicable to my subject. That is the case now in this writing. I am so reminded that my time for being happy is when I am alone or quiet. It is on those occasions that I think the deepest and observe with the greatest profit.6
By Christmas 1945 John Henry Evans was mortally ill. The long manuscript was uncorrected and the shorter, publishable version incomplete. On that day Moyle himself entered the hospital for the final days of his life. Within two months he was dead, a victim of cancer and a refusal to undergo debilitating surgery. Evans lingered for some time, but was never again able to work on Moyle’s biography.
Sometime later Henry D. Moyle, the eldest son who had since become an apostle in the church, gave the unfinished Evans manuscript to Gordon B. Hinckley and commissioned him to complete it. In 1951 Hinckley published James Henry Moyle: The Story of a Distinguished American and an Honored Churchman (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co.) which circulated mostly among family members and then went out of print. There the matter rested until I received a charge from then Church Historian Leonard J. Arrington to work through the Moyle Collection to determine its content and worth.
As I read the Evans’s manuscripts, the diaries, and then the letters, I came to believe that there was a great need for more work on Moyle because of the broad scope of the collection as it related to paramount issues in Utah and LDS church history. Even so, I approached the task of reading the six containers of yellow notebooks with great reluctance. Cursory examination had indicated that the handwriting was often difficult and the subject matter, as Moyle readily admitted, greatly mixed. Furthermore, the pads were usually filled on both sides; stacked up, they measured more than two feet. After reading through only the first two notepads, however, I realized that in the course of preparing these totally unpolished memoranda, Moyle had written his own history in a remarkably lucid manner. What I had before me were the notes for a complete set of memoirs. Departed from the scene for nearly thirty years, he could yet tell his own story with all of his opinions and memories intact and devoid of the biographer’s inevitable distortions. I would have to organize, select, and edit, but the end product would be the memoirs of Moyle himself, presented for the reader to pursue and interrogate.
To produce a readable book, I had to exercise some liberties with Moyle’s words since I was drafting from rough notes. But as the paragraphs of explanation on the following pages demonstrate, those liberties were restrained and few. In addition, each major event or thought in the edited memoirs is carefully referenced, citing the original memorandum from which it was drawn. In exceptional and rare cases, I used letters and other sources quoting Moyle to derive missing paragraphs, but these likewise are succinctly noted.
1. Transcript of funeral service, Alice Dinwoody Moyle, 6 Apr. 1950, Box 7, fd 4, James Henry Moyle Collection, Library-Archives, Historical Department, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, hereinafter cited as CLA. All references hereinafter to box and folder (fd) are for items from this collection.
2. Interview with James D. Moyle by Gene A. Sessions, 11 Aug, 1974, transcript of eighteen pages, CLA, p. 7.
3. Frank Jonas, “Utah: The Different State,” in Frank H. Jonas, ed., Politics in the American West (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1969), p. 331, believed that this factor meant the difference in Smoot’s defeat of Moyle in the 1914 senatorial race.
4. In 1928, for example, Moyle privately disapproved of the nomination of Alfred Smith for president and, in general principles, agreed more with the candidacy of Herbert Hoover, but his loyalty to the Democratic Party dictated his open support for Smith. On the church side of the question, the Deseret News editorial attack in 1936 on President Roosevelt shocked Moyle completely, yet it was after this point that he wrote some of his most stirring comments about the greatness of Heber J. Grant and the final triumph of Mormonism as the apogee of true religion.
5. Memorandum dated July 1945, Box 12, fd 3.
6. Memorandum dated Sept. 1945, Box 13, fd 1.
* * * * *
My object in writing a history is not to sell it, but for the benefit of my children and my posterity, so they may know what I have done, what I have been through, what I have worked for, and what I desire for my family. This history is written solely to throw light upon the period in which I lived and the part I took therein, with no thought as to when it would be published, what it would cost, or what returns would be received therefrom. Certainly there is no thought of making money thereby. My only selfish thought is to dignify the Moyle family of which I am only a part, and the posterity I may leave to honor that name. May God grant that the name may forever exist among my descendants in perpetual honor and usefulness.1
To help me in the preparation of this history, I have employed John Henry Evans, who has now (March 1943) given me more than eighteen months of half of his working time, the balance being devoted to the Sunday School Union.2 I cannot say that I am totally satisfied with the work John Henry is doing; he writes much about very little and very little about much, little that is comprehensive and much about what is not comprehensive.3 I am especially afraid that John Henry will not tell everything. Every note I have sent to him has been “give the facts,” because I feel that my life story, told truthfully, will be very faith-promoting for any young man in the Church.4
Conversation with President Grant
It may be easiest to explain my apprehension over John Henry’s work with the following incident. On March 11, 1943, President Heber J. Grant invited us to ride with him and Sister Grant, as they have done on a number of occasions. This was an exception, however, because no one else was invited. Heretofore, there were always three or four others invited, generally widows, at least when we were present. The last two or three times, President Grant sat on the front seat with Mrs. Grant. This time he sat behind with me alone; Mrs. Moyle, when I accepted the invitation, declined because of another appointment. That was an excuse, however, because the appointment was with our daughter Sara. My wife did not enjoy the President sitting in front and not turning around when he talked, which he did very freely, often repeating what she had heard before. And it was difficult to catch all he said.5
I think he changed seats when Alice declined and had no other company in order to talk freely to me, because my cousin Wilford Wood had asked John Henry Evans to disclose to him for President Grant what I was saying in my history about the Church and the Brethren. I told President Grant that Wood had made the request, and that I had said that I would talk to him (the President) about it. This I had also said to Bishop John L. Herrick and suggested that he give the same to the President, which Brother Grant said he had done.
I repeated the Wood matter and my willingness to talk about it. I did not tell him that I was indignant at Wood because he had gone to Evans surreptitiously and not to me. The President merely and somewhat evasively admitted that Wood had acted in his behalf. I do not remember his exact words, but he said no more about it then.
We rode to the mouth of Parley’s Canyon, a favorite trip, then on Wasatch Drive to Thirty-third South, then west and home. I was going to Sara’s for dinner so I said I would leave them at Third Avenue and A Street, and that I wanted to walk farther and see the beautiful view from there. About two blocks south of President Grant’s home, I said I would get out, but he suggested that we stop at his house. So we did, and to my surprise, when I went to get out, he did not, but said to Cannon Lund (who was driving) that he could go and that he would have his son-in-law take care of the car, which was parked at the side of his home on A Street. It was evident that he wanted to talk with me in strict privacy.
We remained a good part of a half hour, maybe more. Several calls were made from his house to aid him in, but he refused.
As soon as we were alone, he said that he was anxious that I not say anything in my history reflecting against President Joseph F. Smith. He extolled Brother Smith, saying how true he was, and that he was possibly the greatest President of the Church. Presumptively, Joseph Smith was in a class by himself, but he said nothing indicating that. He said (though I do not remember his exact language) that Joseph F. never deviated from the right. I asserted that I knew of one deviation which he regretted. I had in mind Joseph F.’s connection with my being removed as attorney from the Consolidated Wagon and Machine Company and his son-in-law, John F. Bowman, taking my place.
In the conversation I referred to the injustice and ingratitude of the leadership of the Church for turning against the Democratic Party and fighting it through the leadership of Apostles Francis M. Lyman and John Henry Smith, and to the strong partisanship of President Smith. I was careful, however, not to refer to myself or to speak in a way to disturb the nerves of the President. He had said to me that he was very weak and I thought he looked it, more so than when we had ridden together several months before. I called attention to the fact that the Republican Party, from its first platform in 1856, had declared against the twin relics of barbarism “slavery and polygamy,” and that its carpetbag officers came to Utah to reform and not to govern the Mormons.6
I knew he had of old agreed with me on the injustice of turning against the Democratic Party, but he made no comment on that subject; silence acknowledged consent, for if I had uttered an injustice, he would have quickly expressed himself. I somehow managed to keep it all in such fraternal, friendly conversation that the President took it all in a good spirit. He then admitted that Joseph F. was strongly partisan, but that men of strong convictions generally were. To illustrate President Smith’s fairness, he said that the Federal Bunch had tried to put Charles W. Penrose out of business as editor of the Deseret News, and had in effect lied about him to President Smith, but that he, knowing or later learning the truth, denounced them severely and made Penrose his counselor in the First Presidency. I said that President Smith had nevertheless stood with them. He seemed anxious to put over the fact that though strongly partisan, President Smith was always true to the right and the great.7
What I wanted to present to him was the policy of the Deseret News toward me when I went to Washington as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in 1917. I called his attention to his advice to me to accept the call because of the importance of it and my opportunity to be of service to our people, and the business sacrifice it involved. I also referred to what B. H. Roberts had said in the banquet given me by the leading men of the state, saying it marked a new era in the history of the state, and to the praise given me by the Salt Lake Tribune and Salt Lake Telegram (then not connected). I repeated the importance all seemed to attach to the matter, except the Deseret News, which had nothing to say about it, except that the banquet was notable because of the fact that there was no liquor or tobacco in evidence. To all of this, President Grant offered no comment. So I said to the President that while I was much interested in the foregoing I did not want to trouble him with an answer. I said this to indicate to him what I would like without specifically asking for it, because last year I requested an interview relative to our history and was asked to put my question in writing.8
I had heard that of late he had greatly failed mentally. I had not talked to him for several months, though I wanted to, about these and other matters, and I was greatly surprised to observe no evidence of mental degeneration. His mind seemed clear and he understood more readily than I had anticipated. At last, Mrs. Judd [Grant's daughter] came out and insisted that it was time for him to come in, and so he did, but not before he had gotten something of what he wanted. Also, by that time we were enjoying ourselves, laughing freely over old times.9
A Remarkable Span of Experience
It is this kind of experience that I am afraid John Henry Evans cannot deal with freely, because of his Church connections. I want an honest history, a history that will be a contribution to the time in which I have lived.10 For example, it seems to me that I have had a remarkable experience in national politics. My Democratic National Conventions spanned five decades. I attended in Chicago in 1884 when Cleveland was first nominated, also in St. Louis in 1888 (Cleveland again). I was in Kansas City in 1900 for Bryan’s second nomination and in Denver for Bryan’s third in 1908. I was in Europe when Wilson was nominated in 1912, but I attended banquets at Baltimore and Washington the winter before the convention of 1916. I saw Cox nominated in San Francisco in 1920. I worked for the nomination of McAdoo in New York in 1924, but Davis won it, and again in Houston in 1928 when Smith was nominated. Finally, I witnessed the nomination of the great Franklin D. Roosevelt in the Chicago convention of 1932.
I have seen all of the Presidents of the United States since Lincoln except Johnson, Garfield, and Arthur. I have met all of them from Cleveland to FDR except McKinley. I dined at the White House with Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt. I have served officially under three—Wilson, Harding, and Roosevelt. I visited the homes of Hayes and FDR, and considered myself intimate with Bryan. I also visited Cox in Ohio in my capacity of national committeeman.11
My public career commenced with my mission to the Southern States in July of 1879. It covers the period of agitation and trial of the Latter-day Saints which followed that of the pioneer struggle for existence. There followed afterwards a period of peace and adjustment for the Saints as they moved into a new era of social, political, financial, and religious amity with their Gentile neighbors. This secured for them “prosperity, wealth, and popularity,” and political supremacy in Utah with great influence in adjoining and neighboring states. And finally, it changed the Mormon people from a most despised group to the most respected in the nation. I believe, for example, that there is a greater employment in Washington (per capita) of Mormons than of any other religion.
When I voluntarily left official life in Washington in July of 1940, there were three active, virile, and enthusiastic branches of the Church there, fully organized with all the auxiliary organizations. In addition, there was a small branch in the government-constructed model village of Greenbelt in nearby Maryland with branches at Baltimore and elsewhere.12
That period of my active life of about sixty-five years will stand in significance next only to that of the epoch-making period of pioneer days, and no other period of equal importance in the history of Utah and Mormonism will follow it unless it be one of degeneration. It was a period of prolonged persecution and social war, followed by a short period of adjustment in which revolutionary changes took place in the social and religious fundamentals of Mormon society. It was the end of a period of social and religious isolation marked by the breaking down of impassable social, religious, and business barriers that all but completely separated Mormon and non-Mormon neighbors, however intimate their daily contact. It was a transformation developed with almost lightning speed; when the key was turned, the door was opened and those barriers suddenly disappeared. The most hated political opponents suddenly became ardent allies. The Salt Lake Tribune, which had exhausted the invectives of the English language against the leaders of the Church for nearly half a century, suddenly became the political organ of a very large majority of the leaders of the Mormon Church. Their longtime friend and defender, the Salt Lake Herald, was no longer in their favor.13
I foresaw that bewildering period as a schoolboy of twenty-five. I foretold of the transformation of the Church and clearly portrayed not only the conditions that exist today but also prophesied that the exact opposite condition would exist from that which then existed. I believed then that the greatest enemy of the Saints would be not religious persecution and intolerant hatred but their own prosperity, wealth, and popularity. That prophecy was published in the Juvenile Instructor, on October 1, 1883. It was the result of an intensive study of history, and particularly that of the English people. It developed because of an intense interest in my religion and people. That article produced no disturbance on the troubled water of the day because it came from an obscure school boy, and was so apparently impossible that only fifty years, as I predicted, would work the transformation. Nevertheless, my thinking has been vindicated.14
We now boast of the popularity and prosperity achieved under President Grant’s administration, and we all greatly enjoy it. I have said publicly and repeatedly that when I was in the East fifty and more years ago (and even later) I found not a few of our people evading the fact that they were “Mormons” for prudential reasons. (Thank God I never did.) But in my recent seven years in high official circles in Washington I found that beyond question, with many high and lower officials and outside of political official life, it was an advantage rather than disadvantage to be known as a Mormon, because of the growing belief that our people were more than usually temperate and moral in their habits, and frugal and industrious in their lives—in other words, dependable. I introduced many applicants for employment saying only that they were good, clean-living Mormon boys or girls.15
Trends in Mormonism and Mormon Society
I have always had an abiding, uninterrupted faith in the growth and development of the Church. I have, as heretofore, believed with an immovable and abiding faith in the growth, development, and onward progress of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and that no deviation therefrom (if there be any) will be permanent. I am deeply grateful to the Lord for this faith and testimony, for there have been some great changes in the Church in my lifetime.
I might here offer some examples as to spiritual trends in the lives of real Latter-day Saints. Up to about the time I went on my last mission twelve years ago (1929), it was not the custom to write or read addresses in the assemblies of the Saints. So far as I remember and could observe, the theory or philosophy was that speakers should rely upon the inspiration of the Lord, but should nevertheless keep their minds as richly stored with information as possible. Fifty years ago to read an ordinary address on an ordinary occasion without some special reason would have shocked the spiritual sensibilities of the Latter-day Saints. As a mission president, I spoke for a few minutes at each general conference. Every active member of the Church was a minuteman presumed to be ready to do his best whenever called with only a real reliance on the Spirit of the Lord to help him. Some may have kept an address on hand, but I was not prudent enough to have a talk prepared for the occasion when I might be called. If I did so I realized that it might be ten years before I would be so called and that the address would be out of date. I was too lazy to keep an up-to-date address on ice. Yet I was no more lazy than the ordinary member. The fact was that it was inconsistent with the general conception of spiritual activity and duty. It meant reliance on self and not the Lord.
Again fifty years ago, and for a long time afterwards, it was a rare and serious occasion when a doctor was called to serve the sick, unless a surgeon was needed to amputate or try to save a limb, or an injured member of the body. Such was the practice in my father’s family and with practically all of our neighbors. The first thought in my mind, and in that of my devoted mother and our neighbors, was to follow the advice of James: “If there are any sick among you, call the elders and let them anoint with oil, and the prayer of faith shall heal the sick.”16
When our neighborhood learned that the President of the Church and the chief officers of the Church had regularly attended physicians whose services were actively called into use even when the sickness was not serious, it was something of a shock. In Salt Lake City the custom spread, especially as wealth increased, until now it is the rule rather than the exception. The money notwithstanding, it was a fact that remarkable cures were frequently if not commonly effected by the administrations of the elders and the faith of the patient and his family, and with the aid of an uneducated, pioneer mother’s remedies. In my very early life we neither knew of nor had heard of dangerous disease germs, and social diseases were intolerable and confined to the criminals and their unfortunate associations.
As a child, if I were sick and felt seriously ill, my first anxiety and request was that the elders of the Priesthood should be called to administer to me. My faith was implicit that I would be healed, and I was. Mother was a real pioneer, and she gave me tea, castor oil, herbs, and other home remedies and applied herbal applications for bruises, strains, and other injuries. If the trouble was obstinate, Daddy Bussel from across the street, an old English herbalist, was called. I never had a doctor until about sixteen or seventeen when it became necessary to amputate my left forefinger. Mother had thirteen children, which in those days was a common but crowning achievement among good Mormon women, but now shocking to many. I was the oldest. No doctor ever aided Mother at childbirth and such was the case with most neighbors unless something very serious developed. Mother never had any aid except from Sister Duncanson, an old Scotch neighbor who brought into the world all the babies of the neighborhood. There might have been an exception I do not recall, but it would be only another less popular midwife. I do not think Mother remained inactive ever for more than two weeks. She invariably felt ready to resume her active duties in about a week. The midwife had difficulty in keeping her in bed over a week if that long. She was unusually strong and healthy. I am sure her life would have been prolonged if she had not been so strenuous and prolific.
Again, down to the time that I commenced to practice law in 1885, there were rare cases of court litigation. In harmony with the scriptures, it was an actual violation of religious duty to sue a brother in the courts of the land, except in cases involving titles to land and corporations, of which there were very few then. The Church held that corporation officers must follow the law, and that only the courts could handle land titles effectively. The Church maintained in my opinion the finest, least expensive, most expeditious system of adjudicating controversies ever established. It, however, was only fit for a community of Church members who respected and upheld the decisions of such courts. It worked effectively until non-members of the Church became numerous and complications arose over financial transactions in which non-members were involved. The systems worked fairly well down to the real estate boom of 1888 and 1889, and the severe panic of 1893. The boom brought many Gentiles into Salt Lake City and Ogden. Corporations were rapidly increasing and the panic frequently required quick action by attachment and otherwise to secure payment of indebtedness. If members did not attach and get legal judgments and liens on debtors’ property and income, then non-members only would be paid. For a good illustration, my bishop, an exceptionally splendid man, was in the mercantile business in Salt Lake City. All ward bishops presided over a bishop’s court. But he came to me and said, “I have never sued a brother. And it greatly disturbs me to do so, but I must or go into bankruptcy and let the property of my debtors be taken by the strangers who have recently come among us.” The conclusion was inevitable, and suits at law rapidly became common. Soon, the work of the Church courts diminished greatly, until the Mormon community differed little in law procedures from other communities.17
Reflecting a Greater Moyle Family
I want also my history to reflect in the highest degree its primary object—a greater Moyle family than I found it. The great moving cause of my life was an abiding interest in my family. I want my experiences related so that they will be interesting and at the same time show my concern for the advancement of my family and my people. I always firmly believed in the greatness of my heritage, and remained loyal to it. Recognizing in my grandfather and father embryonic virtues and merits, indeed the basic elements of greatness, I was determined that those elements would emerge apparent in me.18
Notwithstanding my backwardness as a young boy due to really dreadful bashfulness and an apparent lack of confidence in myself, I had from my early teens an intense desire for my father to be recognized in community activities as a leader. I felt that he was superior to his neighbors intellectually and as a man, though he was not educated and had not distinguished himself intellectually. But few had. It was then a real struggle to obtain the needs of the family. Father did as well as any mechanic did, and I do not remember when he did not take important contracts. I distinctly remember his building the Walker Brothers’ Store in 1869 when I was eleven. About that time he built the Woodmansee store on the other side of Main Street with a cut stone front that stood until only recently. It was just below the southeast corner of Main and First South. Then later he put up the Amussen Building which was a very solid stone structure which will last as long as a two-story building is practical. The Walker Building on the northwest corner of Main and Second South is also still standing. All three were considered to be outstanding structures in those days. But Father was not made bishop or counselor which were the outstanding honors then for ordinary men, or likewise city councillor. The bishop then commonly served for life, and became the top man in almost everything of local importance.19
Father had the intellect, firmness, courage, and character to have placed himself higher than he rose but for one commendable weakness: modesty. He had been born and reared in humble circumstances, with no one around him who elevated himself beyond master mechanic, which he and his father were, or like his grandfather Beer, who was an employer of small proportions of mason mechanics as a building contractor. He did have government contracts which indicates that he was not a small contractor. It is true that Father’s grandfather, James Moyle, could write in a very good hand, so he probably did much writing. But another significant reason for Father’s failure to go higher was the premature ending of his life at age fifty-six.20
He was made a high councilor in the Salt Lake Stake in 1887 when it constituted the city and county of Salt Lake and about one-third of the territory of Utah, but it was even more than that in importance. Since I was elected county attorney in 1886, I took some interest in the fact that my prominence might have added to his dignity and stature, for he had greatly contributed to promoting, as a father and benefactor, the ambition that made me the first young Mormon to go east to study law with the formality of a blessing to do so by the President of the Church. It is also a fact that I was the only college-bred Mormon in the county who was fitted for the place in 1886. LeGrand Young would not accept the job. I was therefore holding down the place creditably in 1887 when Father’s appointment was made. And remember, that was a far greater distinction than now. I take real pride believing that he thought his distinction in that respect was at least partially due to having a son who had become outstanding. But I know he merited the place on his own account and probably would have been selected in any event.21
My Youthful Ambitions
Next, the ambition developed for the family to be honored, the name of Moyle recognized, and for me to become something. For though I felt handicapped by my bashfulness, I always felt that it was in me to get somewhere worthwhile ultimately, way beyond that humble sphere in which all lived with whom I was intimately surrounded.
It was probably when I was a boy of about fifteen that I read Pollard’s Lost Cause, an account of the Civil War with a brief biography of Abraham Lincoln. The possibilities that Lincoln demonstrated were all I needed. The one sphere not occupied by the sons of the most potent Mormons was that of lawyer. Our people did not go to law with each other, in the courts of the land. Their relations were almost exclusively with each other. (I think I was more than ten years old when the first non-Mormon lived in the Fifteenth Ward, which was a large ward, located from Second West to the western limits of the city, and bounded on the north by South Temple Street.) Lawyer and liar were synonymous terms. For a few dollars a lawyer would espouse either side of a cause. Little was known about the fine ethics of attorneys-at-law. Many of them were not educated for the law and knew or cared but little about the ethics of the profession. They were rather the scrubs of the profession. A real lawyer was the height of honor and responsibility, and stood high among the best of citizens who knew him.22
As my ambitions developed, I found the choice places in life, like that of an appointment to Annapolis or West Point, were filled by sons of the most prominent men. For example, Willard Young was at West Point, his brother at Annapolis (sons of Brigham Young) and Richard W., a grandson of Brigham Young, was there or on the way to it. I had nothing but a humble background, and was not exceptionally bright. I had not made in my classes in school even a good showing due to my diffidence. Harry Haines was the first teacher to observe any merits I had. And he took a real interest in me, even inviting me to visit him in his room.
Haines had no family and lived in a single room, and there he aided me to make my first address. It was some unusual school affair or exhibition of what we were doing. All I remember about the address was referring to my insufficiency and saying (due entirely to Harry Haines), “I am not a Demosthenes or Cicero. . . .” I might have forgotten about that speech but for the fact that George M. Cannon, a friendly schoolmate, as long as he lived continually reminded me of the “I-am-not-a-Demosthenes-or-Cicero” speech. In fact he remembered more of it than I did or do now. I think George, one of the brightest of our students and a fine young man, was a little jealous of the attention given me by the teacher. He made by far a better showing in school than I did. And there was nothing against him. He was a nice person.23
As I seriously contemplated doing what my ambition was impelling me to do, I concluded that due to my backwardness and lack of ability, I must go east to a good law school and there make a good record which would give me the needed standing and start in life. I did not lack confidence in myself that I would make good with such a start. I was more than willing to work to the limit, and believed further that it was an absolute necessity. I have never changed my mind as to that subject. It cannot be too often repeated that work is the greatest of all genius, although I must admit that I did not know that then.
When very young and diffident and for some considerable time, I was ashamed or too modest to let even my father or mother or most intimate companion know what was my unalterable purpose to do. When I did tell anyone, it was with the most solemn promise that he or she would tell no one. I believed I would be subjected to ridicule not only because of the prejudice of everyone I knew against a young Mormon going east to study law but because I believed I would be regarded by all as ridiculous and vain for thinking of such a thing. I have written elsewhere of the opposition to my going east of neighbors, bishop, stake president, and even of the President of the Church in 1882. Now (in 1945) this seems inconceivable, and has for a long time. I am proud now of my pioneering in that problem. And it was real pioneering then for an active Latter-day Saint. Though there were rare cases of young Mormons going east to study law, they were not active Church workers as I was and did not meet the issue and solve it as I did. I know of three only who preceded me. One left the Church while away from it, one left the territory and cast his lot in the Northwest among strangers and had nothing further to do with the Church, and the other became a partner of one of the most bitter of all anti-Mormons, and was not active in the Church, though he retained his membership and became more active in later life when completely separated from his old partner. I do not suggest that the partner dominated him, because he was very high-minded and honorable, but how he tolerated the association can only be accounted for in that the firm acted occasionally as attorneys for Brigham Young and the Church. The great irony is that the three I refer to here were the sons of very prominent Church leaders—Presidents Brigham Young and John Taylor, and President Joseph Young of the Seventies.24
My Father’s Limited Sphere
I had, as previously stated, smarted as a little boy under the humiliation that Father had never been selected for bishop or bishop’s counselor or city councillor—places that seemed to be within the reach of our ward members. Anything higher than that was not contemplated in my tender, early days. All our near neighbors were humble men; we did not live in the realm of the higher ups. We were on the outskirts of the city with no neighbors on the immediate south, and only one street west of us which ended at Second South. Had he lived a normal lifespan, as he easily might have, and had he not been tied down with about all he could do in providing for his two families of six children in each with two mothers, he might have gone farther up, though I am unable to point in what direction. In the Eighteenth Ward into which he moved in 1887, there was much less opportunity for a culturally uneducated and uncultivated mind that had lived and moved in the atmosphere so nearly composed of working people for fifty-six years.
It is true that his high council surroundings were very different. The chief work of the high council of those days, next in importance to the selection of stake and ward officers and instructions to them, was the trial of controversies between members of the Church. While the teachers’ and bishops’ trials disposed of many cases, it was in the high council where the important cases went either by original action or appeal from the bishop’s court. An appeal from the high council decision could go to the First Presidency on the record made in the high council, but that, like appeals to the Supreme Court, was very rare. Hence, Father was often out at those trials all night in order to save another night at it, and he would come home as late as two or three in the morning.25
The Eighteenth Ward was a classy community compared with the Fifteenth where we had always lived. Bishop Orson F. Whitney, a writer, poet, historian, and member of a prominent Church family, led the array of notables who lived within a stone’s throw of Brigham’s grave. Father’s home was on what theretofore had been a part of the President’s personal orchard and gardens adjoining his chief residences. The locality was the homes of the Youngs, Kimballs, Wellses, the President of the Church, the Richardses, Clawsons, Claytons, Spencers, Colonel Webber (Superintendent of ZMCI), the Pratts, Caines, Jenningses, and Church offices and the center of culture and wealth in the city. The result was that Father again became a comparative commoner. Nevertheless, it was not until after he had moved into this neighborhood in May of 1887 that he was ordained a high priest and made a high councilor. (He had been previously in the presidency of a quorum of seventies.) He had reached his zenith of official distinction. Even so, he might have become a city councillor had he remained in the Fifteenth Ward. In those days the best men available were elected, so to be a member of the city council was to be numbered among the highly regarded members of the community.
At all events, that was certainly gravitating upward from being only a leading ward teacher who was called on to lead in such things as building a nice new meeting house, or district school trustee. Father was ward school trustee. Our sphere in the Fifteenth Ward had been that of lowlanders near the outskirts of the city. It was from that status that the family has emerged and become not only well-known through the state, but I know highly regarded as one of the prominent families of Utah, and how anxious I am for them at least to hold their own as I pray and believe they will. That was the first and the greatest ambition of my life.26
Loyalty and Conflict in the Church
For more than seventy years I would have given my life for the Church, if I know myself, notwithstanding the fact that I was not a Church favorite but most of the time quite the opposite. I had no potential leader in the Church at any time to promote my interests, or one especially interested in my welfare. Outside of my humble father I had no acquaintance to even encourage me in the career I planned, when about fourteen, and which I followed throughout my life. On the contrary, those with whom I was most intimately associated thought it was a mistake and folly for me to attempt to be a lawyer. So this morning, very early, I was meditating upon my past life, and the question forced itself upon my mind most impressively: Why have I been a loyal Mormon so long and so consistently? Why have I been willing and responsive to every call the Church has ever made on me to serve its interests without any promise of earthly reward and whatever the sacrifice or service to be rendered? The Church is noted for making calls on those who willingly respond, and I was no exception to the rule. Why have I paid to the Church one-tenth of my personal earning and the net income from all other sources of every nature and kind all of my life?27
While greatly absorbed in making a living from necessity in my profession, my heart was always in religion and public life. Because I was so absorbed in making a living and keeping in close touch with politics, the leadership of the Church turned a cold shoulder to me and I was not welcomed into the inner circles of higher authority. But I was always a propagandist of so-called Mormonism, even to the extent of depriving myself of the things like tea, coffee, wine, which I naturally liked. I also attended Church when I did not feel like it but quite to the contrary, because I felt it a duty and wanted to be a consistent exemplar of my religion and to lead my children to follow in my footsteps. All of this I did in the devoutly sincere belief that great eternal blessings would flow into me, including health, progress, and happiness in this life. I want to emphasize that my devotion to religion and politics cost me much in labor, money, and deprivation of the passing pleasures which seemed to call for indulgences I could not afford if I wanted to preserve my religion and to maintain my good name.28
As I ponder the intellectual, spiritual, and material (or earthly and selfish) conflicts that have been the tone of my life, I am impressed as never before with the clear fact that when I have devoted myself to intellectual effort, there has followed intellectual development, corresponding with the extent and intensity of the effort. The same occurred spiritually when in spiritual activities. When I devoted myself to making money, promoting my professional career and political ambition, I grew and developed in those directions according to the effort made in each. There were periods in each in which the development was clearly manifest. My knowledge and abilities in each direction was very evident. When my mind and time were engrossed in something more than anything else it influenced my thought and obscured to a significant degree all else.
That was true in detail when I was on my first mission as a boy. At the conclusion of that mission and notwithstanding my life’s passion for an education and to become a lawyer and a force for good at home, I would have accepted a call from the Church to go on a ten-year mission to any heathen land, however backward it might be, even with the prospect of blighting my passion for education and intellectual development and the absorbing ambition of my life to get somewhere and be somebody in the sphere of usefulness and honor. The same thing occurred when at the University of Michigan, where a new world of thought absorbed my soul, and an intellectual growth took place of which I was unconscious until I came home and came into contact with my old associates and former surroundings. Then I discovered that my outlook and views had been broadened and changed materially, though the fundamentals had remained the same. My mind had been broadened, my views and attitudes so enlarged that I saw the same things in a different light, and I literally painted realities in somewhat different colors.29
Again, when I became absorbed with my profession and politics and was at war politically with the great majority of the leading Church authorities, my religious friends thought that I would leave the Church and were greatly concerned about it. There I was, absorbed with the earthly and selfish things of life, but always standing stoutly for the things I believed to be vital and worth fighting to uphold. But I was not making progress, to say the least, spiritually or religiously, because I was moved to the depths and absorbed in real combat with the men who were my spiritual standard-bearers in the Church for which I had always been ready to make any sacrifice, and still was. But again, there was a change in my attitude toward them and in my views. I could see their failings in a brighter light and much easier than before.30
There was a change in my outlook and views which I had to reconcile and harmonize. This was not an easy task, for I believed they had lowered their standards of spiritual guidance, even though I realized that they were not acting in a spiritual capacity but a purely political one. They themselves in the 1890s had declared that the political was separated from the spiritual, and that all members of the Church were not to be molested in politics by their ecclesiastical leaders in exercising their political privileges and duties as citizens. Yet, for my politics I was dropped from all official religious activity for nearly ten years around the turn of the century, but I never deviated from the religious affairs first at home and then in renewed missionary service, wherein, according to that activity and intensity of devotion to religious service, I enjoyed spiritual growth and religious happiness I could not have realized when in conflict with religious leaders. At the conclusion of my mission presidency in the early 1930s, both my wife and I were deeply impressed with the happiness that unselfish work had brought into our lives. No period in our married life had compared with it in real joy. That was reaffirmed in our seven years in Washington that followed and also will never be forgotten. Making money and losing some of it, and making more and keeping it, and the pleasure of spending and social gaiety, do not compare with the deeper and more lasting joy that comes to one for devotion and service unselfishly rendered in the interest of others, especially when done in the belief that it pertains not only to the fleeting days on earth but eternity. Again, nothing else compares with it, for the joy therefrom is completely unique. My conclusion is that come what may, there is only one way to keep in time and touch with the infinite, and that is by cultivating and following the divine light that is ever present and evident to all who live unselfishly and who daily pray for it and keep in touch with that which develops it. That Savior of all mankind pointed the way and gave the keys to the happiness and the way to life eternal when he left his apostles and ascended to heaven, and said: “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature and he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved and he that believeth not shall be damned.” So the Lord’s Supper is very important. Without partaking of the sacrament, the symbol of all righteousness, when available, with pure intent and faith in Christ, the everlasting fellowship of the Holy Ghost and the spirit of Divinity will be lost. No matter how much good you may have done, virtue exhibited in your life, or the spiritual manifestations you may have witnessed, and faith you may once have had, you will fall away from the Church.31
Conservatism and the Church
Yet with all of this I cannot very well refrain from writing of our Church leaders and their conservatism. It is a strange but explainable phenomenon. In the first place they have always had conservative tendencies. Whenever an institution becomes an established, recognized, and permanent power, it becomes easy to be in sympathy with other institutional powers, and that is the seed-bed of conservatism. It is much like gravity. Kindred souls harmonize. Think, for example, of the depths to which the Church sank in supporting Russian autocracy.32 Its extremes justified the revolution against it, for its virtues could not obliterate its atrocities from the souls of men. That which happened to the once noble Catholic Church in the Middle Ages was due to similar elements of reaction and love of power. But the policy of supporting what is rather than what should be has been one of the most fatal errors of mankind. For long-established institutions naturally become static unless the right prevails over the wrong, and the wrong had always prevailed where stagnation set in, because man either progresses or retrogresses. There is no such a thing in the plan of divinity as standing still. Man either goes forward or backward.
The active forces in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today are operating on very different lines than in the days of my youth, though they are fundamentally the same. In other words, the Church today is perfecting the organizational details of the main fundamentals of pioneer days. Then it was a struggle for the extension of comforts, and so the concomitant emphasis in the Church is upon the perfection of the machinery of operation in the organization. It is rapidly becoming multitudinous in its detailed operations. The meetings of the priesthood are now multiplied out of sight of what they were when I was a boy, and I think more than doubled since I became a high councilman in 1904. For example, the presidency of the high priests’ quorum consisted largely of presiding at a monthly meeting. Now it is a complicated mechanism, and nearly a full-time job.
Today, the Church organization, with its new committees, keeps a detailed record of every man—what he is, what he does, and what can be expected of him in minute detail. I think it compares favorably with the most perfectly organized industry, bank, manufactory, transportation, or other business corporation. The Presiding Bishop, the President of the Church, the president of a stake, or the bishop of a ward has convenient reports of the weekly religious activities of every male member of the Church. That kind of information was carried only in the minds of men in a very general way when I became active in Church government. But the point I should like to make is that the power of wealth and its influence on men has spilled over into Church administration. I have in mind particularly the influence of wealth on the men who determine the policy of the great Church of Utah, and how much it has to do with the politics of the state. The policy-making for the Church is determined by the First Presidency, in consultation with the Quorum of the Twelve. When they agree on fundamentals, the Presidency carries out the policy much as a president and manager of a great corporation does with the executive committee (the Twelve) in the background. The President, of course, exercises a veto power. His conclusion is the final word. To determine from without what that word will be is a very difficult proposition. For in the Church, the major issues are determined only after prayer and supplication for divine guidance. No one on the outside can determine how far the latter is controlling, and even the President himself may be in doubt as to just where the lines should be drawn and what the decision should be.
One thing can be noted with certainty, and that is that when a decision is made on matters which are to be approved by the Priesthood generally and Church members, it will stand effectively, and there are rare cases where it is revised or abandoned. But in the details not so acted upon, mistakes are made more or less like those of all mortal activities. So that system works out admirably in the end. As to politics, which have always weighed heavily on my mind, there are striking variations. My views have been in serious conflict with those of the First Presidency as a rule on what I call the major issues, but which I admit may not be such. I may have in my mind a narrower horizon than they have. All I want to do is to present my views and let them stand on their merits so that each person can enjoy the freedom of conviction. In rendering my conclusions, I try to take into consideration the environment in which I and they move. In that respect, I attach much importance to the environment of wealth with which the members of the First Presidency are now surrounded. I thoroughly believe the human environment, more than the spiritual, has much to do with important decisions, as do also the background of the individuals, and their characteristics, personal and otherwise. For example, the President of the Church has long been a director of the Union Pacific Railroad and enjoys the privileges and advantages of that office such as an occasional private car, travel privileges, director’s compensation, etc. His point of view is therefore naturally altered by that human experience.33
Church Interference in Politics
From the time of the first Democratic state convention in the Salt Lake Theater, in which I took a prominent part, until even long after I was made a high councilman at the creation of the Ensign Stake, I was viewed with serious doubt because of my outspoken fight against the leadership of the Church in politics, and notably against the activities of Apostles Francis Lyman and John Henry Smith who personally worked with Mormon Democrats to become Republicans while visiting conferences, attending priesthood meetings, and in every other way possible. I also spoke out against the quiet and indirect influence in the same direction of the President of the Church, Joseph F. Smith, which unmistakably indicated his wishes. His will and wishes were all some needed to know to cause them to change their affiliations, in anything whatever, except religious principles. Yet, for Utah to obtain statehood was always the great political goal which the Republican Party nationally opposed. Its national platforms always carried a declaration against slavery and polygamy, the latter of which everybody recognized as a declaration against Mormonism. The orthodox clergy quite generally demanded it, and all recognized and believed Mormonism and polygamy to be synonymous, and that polygamy was the chief cornerstone and foundation of Mormonism.
Republican carpetbag territorial officials thought they had the duty of reforming the Mormons religiously as well as politically. That was the prevailing attitude of Republican official domination at the time when Utah was making its many efforts to obtain statehood and was continually denied by Republican administrations and congresses. There were always distinguished Democrats from the South who, while disclaiming in Congress equally with Republicans any sympathy for polygamy, proclaimed their democratic belief and devotion to the right of even the Mormons to govern themselves. State sovereignty is the fundamental and chief cornerstone of Democratic principles, and Utah should ever keep green the memory of the names of those southern Senators and Congressmen, and of Jeremiah Black of Pennsylvania, and finally of Grover Cleveland who signed Utah’s enabling act.
But a deal was evidently made by President Joseph F. Smith, Bishop Hiram Clawson, and maybe some others, to make Utah Republican, notwithstanding the fact that the first administration having an opportunity and the sympathy to give Utah freedom from carpetbag rule was Democratic. In justification for President Smith’s action (he was a counselor at the time to the President of the Church), it was claimed with some justification that Republican help was needed to insure the passage of the bill. The details as to that I leave to the historian. It is true, however, that by all the rules governing my life, the Democrats and not the Republicans (although some Republicans voted for the measure) were entitled to the credit.34
I cannot get away from the foregoing history, however much I might like to make a better showing for our religious leaders. I do believe more now than I did in the sincerity and purity of their purpose. And I am sure of their loyalty to their people. I am also sure, however, that they, very humanly, and after becoming avowed Republicans, became narrow and objectionable partisans, such as Latter-day Saints in present times would resent at the polls if not elsewhere. As to my own status with the Church leaders, they gradually moderated and softened, so that before the death of President Joseph F. Smith, whom I considered the most efficient enemy of the Democratic Party, he frankly did me the justice of saying that I was a manly opponent who fought in the open and never struck below the belt. He said this both to Heber J. Grant and to General Richard W. Young.35
The similar problem with which I am wrestling currently is what has led the President of the Church to create an atmosphere around him in his headquarters and among those near him and who look to him for leadership in all things, of the most intense opposition to the President of the United States. I believe that the man who has been elected President of the Nation four times cannot deserve the downright hatred of the leadership of the Church. Still, that atmosphere encourages the belief that the man thus trusted and respected is the greatest enemy the nation has had within its boundaries, that he is leading the nation into Communism, and to the destruction of our sacred Constitution and what has come to be known as the American way of life. I do not know that I have overdrawn the picture. I would not do it knowingly. Pending the election, the Presiding Patriarch of the Church said to his confidential friend, my son-in-law, that he did not see how a Latter-day Saint could consistently vote to support President Roosevelt, putting the issue on religious grounds. He is a former professor of speech at the University of Utah, a student and a thinker, but for years living in the atmosphere to which I refer. President Grant himself is reliably represented as saying that he turns the radio off when the President speaks over it even on questions of importance, and that his blood pressure goes up dangerously when one whom he respects speaks to him in a pronounced way about the virtues of the President. I am his life-long friend, and heretofore felt free to express myself on partisan politics to him, but for about two or more years refrained from doing so for fear that it would be injurious to his health. Mrs. Richard W. Young, a Roosevelt enthusiast, while his guest on an automobile ride, openly opposed his views concerning President Roosevelt, and President Grant’s family reported that the conversation was highly injurious to the feeble Brother Grant.36
If I am mistaken and Presidents Grant and Clark are justified, then the greater the glory for them and the greater the condemnation for me. My purpose is righteous. I want nothing written or done that would suggest anything else. I attach real importance to this subject, and I want to verify my facts and conclusions as far as I can do so. May God help me to avoid error and especially injustice. I am conscious of dealing with a delicate subject and want to avoid arousing doubts about the divinity of the work the men I differ with politically are doing. They are good and faithful men devoted to the cause of truth and justice, but after all, fallible men are all the Lord has on earth to use. Those thus used are so much like other men that it is hard to determine whether they are inspired of God on a particular issue or by their own mortal, fallible views. We are all more or less what our associations and interests make us. We can cultivate unconsciously error or truth, one as easily as the other. I want to be right, but it is often easy to mistake error for truth. Yet I am determined that truth shall be my guide, and that I will be true to the truth come what may. Indeed, by ambition and hope for the truth grows with my later years, but I have always wanted to be the enemy of error. I have sought strongly for what I conceived to be the right, and now as an octogenarian more than ever, I am deeply impressed with the thought that exposure of error in this case will be healthy.
I am continually amazed and shocked that the leadership of the Church today interferes in politics with such a one-sided, partisan view. My chagrin increases as I contemplate the declaration of the Church leaders in 1895, when they were praying for statehood, that pledged complete noninterference in politics. I am impressed, possibly unduly, with the inconsistency of the position of the Brethren regarding politics, because of the probability that the future will not justify the same. On the contrary, if the future does justify them, which seems now unlikely, what a striking evidence it will be of their divine guidance, and my lack of that wisdom for which I have fervently prayed. In any case, I have no doubt about the Church going forward regardless of the mistakes of their leaders in matters such as politics which they have so specifically and publicly declared were out of their sphere, particularly so far as relates to ecclesiastical influence being used to lead the people in matters concerning how they should vote in purely political affairs. I repeat, they have specifically declared that ecclesiastical influence would not be used in politics, but that the voter should be free from Church influence in determining how and for whom he would vote. That, of course, did not preclude the official Church news organ from keeping its readers informed on the issues of an election, and the dangers it involved. What I denounce and believe to be an error is that in presenting those dangers to public welfare, only one side is given. The policy-making of the paper is in the hands of strong conservatives who had no commendation or even tolerance for the New Deal reforms of the 1930s. Ironically enough, those conservatives now (1944) support the New Deal through their support of the Republican candidates, who not only approve of those reforms but propose to widen their sphere significantly. So the News, in effect, opposes the greater conservatism of FDR whose leadership the Church authorities seem to believe is a real menace to the nation.37
When the editorials in the Deseret News opened a campaign in 1944 to undermine the sentiment in favor of FDR, it was apparent that they were scraping the bottom of the can to find the littlest excuse for sniping at the President. Just how far did it speak or encourage loyalty to the head of the nation who was performing magnificently in battling the most important threat civilization itself ever confronted? At the same time it was giving direct aid and encouragement to the Republican candidate for the Presidency, youthful and inexperienced in every sphere which would qualify him for action in the leadership of war and international peace. It was a real case of wanting to send a boy to mill in a storm never before equalled or even thought of, and at a time when the inexperienced Republican was basing his campaign chiefly on the grounds that he could do the job more efficiently than President Roosevelt whose entire life had been devoted to qualifying himself for that work he was doing so well. What a pitiful sight it presents for men claiming to be guided by divine light in a matter of such importance and in which they know so many look to the Deseret News for the most accurate and non-partisan information. It is even worse to contemplate the fact that after the election, the only word of Christian expression regarding the decisive decision of the people that the News could come up with was that loyalty to government demands that we must all support the decision that has been made. Is there anything less that it could have said?38
My radio address of November 4, 1944, was approved as no other I ever delivered, by prominent life-long Republicans and Democrats, Mormons and non-Mormons. The one thing that brought the most favorable comment was the courage it required to speak of the Deseret News as I did. It was generally believed (as the fact was) that I also included conspicuously Church leaders among those who had shocked my sensibilities by charging the President of the United States with being an enemy of the nation, a Communist leading the nation into Communism. If such should ultimately be found to be true, I want to emphasize the fact that only the Invisible One could have made the fact known to fallible man, and the Church should profit therefrom, because if that was the source of their knowledge, it was not clear at all to me. It should be known to future generations (as it is now to all) that the Church leadership as never before has the counsel of distinguished and highly respected functionaries in both parties, real national leaders in politics on both sides, and leaders in banking, finance, industry, ecclesiastics, and business generally, and many well-informed farmers and intellectuals. It has ever been that wealthy and the more favored, established classes have been the chief supporters of reaction. All churches, as soon as they become strongly established and recognized, become conservative and opponents of change, and ever the inevitable progress of time. So it is that the Church leadership, which I admire and support generally in its sphere out of politics, bitterly and immovably opposes the advanced policies of President Roosevelt. But it is the great middle class that furnishes the leadership that actually moves and dominates a free people, and the masses control the great issues. Wealth and the highly intellectual may lead at times, but the masses ultimately determine the course of the nation.39
Greatness and Error in Men
I would not have my posterity think that I am the worshipper of a man. I have often said that he who pins his faith to any man’s coattails will lose his salvation. I have read that truth in the mistakes I have noted in the life of the greatest of all of God’s prophets, Joseph Smith. I have personally seen much of the same in the lives of Joseph Smith’s greatest successor, Brigham Young, and each of his successors, all of whom are human beings with all the weaknesses of human beings and with all the exhibitions of those human failings as you can find in the greatest of the ancient prophets and leaders of God’s work on earth, such as in David and Solomon, and in the meridian of time in Peter, the rock upon which the great Catholic Church builds its faith, who denied in the hour of trial that he even knew his Lord and Savior. I speak of the apparently greatest Christian Church on earth, which has done so much good, and has attained real greatness in the earth, and yet one can easily find the greatest of all human weakness in some of its popes, and one marvels at the possibilities of their atrocious accomplishment in the name of the Divine Son. One may note the same when coming down to the Reformation and its marvelous achievements under the leadership of such men as Luther and Calvin. The latter, as I remember, stood by in Geneva like St. Paul and rejoiced in the burning to death of a martyr to the cause of truth. I marvel at the burning of Savonarola on the public plaza of Florence, Italy.40 That name comes to me forcibly and somewhat proudly because of the declaration of Frank B. Stevens in the Salt Lake Theater before a large political gathering that I was a modern Savonarola. I immodestly refer to that not because I think I merit that applause, for I know I do not at all, but because it has been my life’s ambition to be at least in a small way what he was in a great way to those whom he loved and for whose welfare he was willing to suffer even a most horrid and torturous death. I pledged my life when at school to stay with my people in their fight under ecclesiastical leadership as long as that was by that leadership deemed wise, but when that same leadership ended the fight and division on national political lines followed, as I was sure it would, then I would have to be a free lance. I therefore declared in the meeting that dissolved our Peoples Party my allegiance to the Democratic Party to which I had been patriotically devoted from my earliest remembrance of things political. When about sixteen I had attended my first political primary. When in school in Michigan I attended my first State Democratic Convention at Detroit and my first National Democratic Convention in Chicago (which nominated Cleveland) in 1884, which was eight years before we had a Democratic Party in Utah, except for the “sagebrushes” in 1886 who only figured to speak of Democratic principles rather than as members or for the accomplishment of Democratic victory. I was with them in principle, though in the election of 1886 I was running for county attorney on the Peoples Party Ticket to which I was also devoted in its fight against the anti-Mormon Liberal Party.41
The Pattern of Church Leadership
I am further impressed with the thought that President Grant may be, if he lives much longer, the last of the old-time, pioneer testimony-bearing presidents of the Church. It is that which makes him outstanding more than anything else in my mind. Neither of his counselors follow his example in testifying with emphasis and directness that God lives and that Jesus is the Christ and the Joseph Smith is the great prophet of this dispensation. It is true, however, that they say the same thing in less direct terms. In other words, they soften it, make it more indirect and inferential. It is also true, nevertheless, that George Albert Smith, who is next in line but in very delicate health, is largely of the old type, and that George F. Richards, following him, is the same, both in health, age, and expression. Their age and health gives little evidence of a prolonged and impressive administration. The next in line is a man whom most members think will distinguish himself as the president, David O. McKay. But he, too, is not in the best of health, and is not so much younger, being in his seventies. But he is so highly spiritual, intellectual, educated, naturally refined and appealing as a religious leader that many think that he, in the Providence of the Lord, will be the man who will make the next record of importance in the natural course of human events. Such is my own view, because Joseph Fielding Smith precedes the two intellectuals and educated thinkers, Stephen L. Richards and Joseph F. Merrill. Also, he is in good health while the two are not in the best of health. It is therefore apparent that there is no prospect of another thirty-year administration of one man. Men are selected now when they have demonstrated over the years their fitness for the office of an apostle and not so much because of their parentage, as was the case with both Heber J. Grant and Joseph Fielding Smith.
I must not fail to say what I had in mind saying earlier, that George A. Smith is a most lovable, spiritual-minded man of broad travel and experience that adds to his fitness for the place, and the Lord could easily prolong his life and enable him to make an outstanding record. I would think it would be spiritual rather than political and material, and though he is Republican, I think he is a great man. He was never naturally fitted for great leadership, but his fine sense of right, his natural spirituality and deep sympathy, fine ideals and faith would make him more susceptible to spiritual promptings than a man of greater education and dominating intellectuality. I believe he would make, as long as his health would permit activity, as splendid a president as there ever was, because inspiration would be the dominating factor.
I also believe that the Church needs age and experience, with great faith, and strong human sympathies and spirituality. The practical has had its right-of-way for a long time, but with all the tendencies of President Grant for business and money matters, and his natural tastes in that direction and his admiration for men successful in business, there has always been a substantial degree of generosity in his private and public career. Note, for example, his large gifts of books. Also, his contribution, though small, to the University of Utah was a pioneer one in that direction, and not inconsistent with his property holdings or income. It was characteristic of him.42
I am convinced that President Clark is the real cause of the political errors of the First Presidency. I would like to see a comparative study of both Anthony W. Ivins and J. Reuben Clark, showing how each influenced the President of the Church and his policies. I believe that out of that study would come a most interesting and instructive chapter, and that good would come from it as it might exhibit some of President Clark’s shortcomings on the political side, which I definitely oppose. Nevertheless, I hope I live long enough to see my error if it be such, and that I am able to make ample apology, and to take advantage of the opportunity to understand how the Lord works through such men. If it is true, as my son Henry asserts, that President Clark is no more partisan than President McKay, which I cannot now think, then the fact of my error is made clear. And what it all means, and what the result from it all will be, I cannot say.43
Their minor mistakes (as I see them) will probably be soon forgotten, just as I witnessed with the criticisms of Brigham Young, which loomed large and were numerous in the last days of President Young, but were soon forgotten and are now never mentioned. I do not know but that there was some fire where there was so much smoke; indeed, I cannot help but think there was considerable fire, because he did make many mistakes, as every big as well as little man does.
Divine Guidance in Church Affairs
There is nothing I commend more than efforts of the Brethren to keep the Saints free from debt and dependence, and to preserve their individual independence, initiative, thrift, self-respect, useful endeavor, and determination to be self-supporting, productive members of society, and to avoid cultivating a willingness to have others provide for them when they are able to provide for themselves. I appreciate the cultivation of frugality, industry, honest labor, and thrift especially. Without those virtues the community and the nation will degenerate and fail. Idleness is truly the devil’s workshop. At sixty-five I was in my prime. For me to have given up life’s work would have been next to criminal. I was then well-fitted for the best work of my life. At seventy I was president of a mission of 165 missionaries in the busiest center of population in America, including the states of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia. At seventy-five I was invited to take charge of the collection of revenue from the tariff, and ran the Bureau of Customs with more than 10,000 employees scattered over the main centers of the world. I think I can say my record in it was excellent. At eighty-one I became Assistant to the Secretary of the Treasury. Finally, at eighty-three I was made president of a high priests’ quorum.
From all the foregoing I cannot resist the conclusion that surely there is divine guidance in the affairs of the Church and it is that alone upon which it stands. He who knows the future as well as the past and present has devised a good method of selecting presidents, and thus far it has been eminently successful. The big things were accomplished by men of mature years. Brigham Young, after Joseph Smith, had the greatest problems. John Taylor fit equally into the period of his administration. Wilford Woodruff, the apparently least fitted of all for outstanding leadership in practical affairs, had some of the most vital practical problems to meet, such as the continuance of the practice of polygamy and the economic problem of labor and employment, and he met both in a masterly way, though throughout his life spirituality was his dominating and most outstanding characteristic. In the field of politics and diplomacy in a small way, which I illustrate in my own experience with him in politics over the Gibbs letter,44 I believe he did better than George Q. Cannon, his first counselor, would have done. And George Q. Cannon was a natural diplomat and experienced in political affairs, whereas President Woodruff was not. Lorenzo Snow, though not a great success in business, had shown resourcefulness in his leadership in initiating business undertakings in the Box Elder area over which he presided. He then showed great leadership in getting the Church, when seriously embarrassed, out of debt. Joseph F. Smith’s long administration (though I criticize heartily his politics) was a marked period of advancement in matters both material and spiritual. I doubt that there was any other man in the Church who would have done better under the circumstances. Heber J. Grant’s administration is too close to survey wisely and well, but during the Smith administration, Heber took a back seat in business matters except when it was necessary to raise money for some urgent reason. Then he was foremost, and ever ready, and on hand and successful, as he very naturally and worthily loves to tell. The fact remains that while he was not a great intellectual preacher or writer, or doctrinal expounder, or intellectual student of the religion, and often said he never had received as president a revelation from the Lord to present to the people, he nevertheless is now, in his 88th year, at the largest and most important affairs in industry and finance in our great nation. His administration will undoubtedly go into history as one of great accomplishment. It will show, as does that of each of his predecessors, that there was a great work to be done in his time, and that he did it well.45
My Motive: Let Truth Prevail
I want to present the whole story of my relationship with the Church as favorably as it can be done to the Church officials, to give them every benefit of the doubt. But I will present the facts truthfully and fully just as they are. This may not be published in my lifetime, but its presentation should be such as to do no injustice to any good man and the great cause of righteousness. The weakness of men should be exposed so as to make others more guarded, to diminish injustice and future errors. I hope to present it in the most friendly, fair way, so that no criticism of my motives can be made. Let truth prevail, error be avoided, and injustice never confront my record. Leave the way clear for my mistakes also to be corrected and exposed. Let the truth triumph in justification of what I am trying to expose as error.
With that preface I will feel freer to say some things that have perennially disturbed my mind, but thank God never soured it, and with His help nothing ever will. There is too much good in all good men ever to condemn them wholly. It is that good which in the end counts and turns the balance in their favor. It is also my experience that men who do good things are more numerous than we generally realize. With all their mistakes, in the final recounting, the good outweighs the bad so much that the bad will finally be out of sight and the good ever be in the light. Whenever I have tried to write about what I think is bad, the good has forced itself so strongly on my mind that I am left to wonder whether what I have in mind is worth the effort. For example, because of my deep interest in the career of J. Reuben Clark, Jr., in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its influence on the affairs of the Church, I am made to realize that we are each opposed partisans in politics and that may make me at least unfitted for an impartial relation even of the facts. But I must try.46
1. Memorandum dated Mar. 1943, Box 9, fd 7; James Henry Moyle Collection, Library-Archives, Historical Department, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, hereinafter cited as CLA. All references hereinafter to box and folder (fd) are for items from this collection.
2. Ibid. Evans worked on the Moyle biography until shortly before his death in 1947. He produced two incomplete manuscripts, a “long” and a “short” version. These the family turned over to Gordon B. Hinckley who subsequently published James Henry Moyle: The Story of a Distinguished American and an Honored Churchman (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1951). See the Evans manuscripts, Boxes 17-20.
3. Memorandum dated May 1943, Box 10, fd 1.
4. Interview with Evelyn Moyle Nelson by Gene A. Sessions, 20 June 1974, transcript of twelve pages, CLA, p. 2. I included this statement because it accorded with many other more lengthy comments on the same subject among the Moyle memoranda.
5. Memorandum dated Mar. 1943, Box 9, fd 7. “In his last years, President Grant almost daily, when the weather permitted, took a long automobile ride in the country or in near-by picturesque canyons. On these rides he and Mrs. Grant were always accompanied by relatives or friends.” Preston Nibley, The Presidents of the Church (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1971), p. 258.
6. Memorandum dated Mar. 1943, Box 9, fd 7. Moyle had a difficult time understanding how the church could favor the Republicans after all of this. Consequently, he dwelt upon this idea in his notes (that the Republicans had always been against the Mormons), often repeating this “twin relics” phrase as a symbol of that enmity. See Everett L. Cooley, “Carpetbag Rule—Territorial Government in Utah,” Utah Historical Quarterly 26 (Apr. 1958): 106-29; Richard D. Poll, “The Twin Relic,” M.A. thesis, Texas Christian University, 1939.
7. Memorandum dated Mar. 1943, Box 9, fd 7. The influential leaders of the Utah Republican Party in the early 1900s were nicknamed the “Federal Bunch” by the Salt Lake Tribune, because they were generally federal appointees of Senator Reed Smoot. Among heads of the group were Edward H. Callister and James H. Anderson. See William L. Roper and Leonard J. Arrington, William Spry: Man of Firmness, Governor of Utah (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1971), pp. 5, 68; Jan Shipps, “Utah Comes of Age Politically: A Study of the State’s Politics in the early Years of the Twentieth Century,” Utah Historical Quarterly 35 (Spring 1967): 99; Frank H. Jonas, “Utah: Crossroads of the West,” in Frank H. Jonas, ed., Western Politics (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1961), pp. 274-76. Moyle considered his effective opposition to the Federal Bunch to be one of the great accomplishments of his political career.
8. Memorandum dated Mar. 1843, Box 9 fd 7. See Salt Lake Tribune, 29 Sept. 1917, 30 Sept. 1917; Deseret News, 30 Sept. 1917; Salt Lake Telegram, 30 Sept. 1917.
9. Memorandum dated Mar. 1943, Box 9, fd 7. The president was eighty-six years old at this time.
10. Memorandum dated Feb. 1944, Box 10, fd 4.
11. Memorandum dated 1942, Box 9, fd 5.
12. Memorandum dated Sept.-Oct. 1942, Box 9, fd 6. See JoAnn Barnett Shipps, “The Mormons in Politics: The First Hundred Years,” Ph.D. diss., University of Colorado, 1965.
13. Memorandum dated Sept.-Oct. 1942, Box 9, fd 6. See J. Cecil Alter, Early Utah Journalism: A Half-Century of Forensic Warfare Waged by the West’s Most Militant Press (Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1938); O. N. Malmquist, The First 100 Years: A History of the Salt Lake Tribune, 1971-1971 (Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1971).
14. Memorandum dated Sept.-Oct. 1942, Box 9, fd 6. See James H. Moyle, “Will We Progress?” Juvenile Instructor, 1 Oct. 1883, pp. 292-93.
15. Memorandum dated Sept.-Oct. 1942, Box 9, fd 6. See below, chap. 3.
16. Memorandum dated 1941, Box 9, fd 4. See James 5:14.
17. Memorandum dated 1941, Box 9, fd 4. See David Michael Emmons, “The Boomers’ Frontier: Land Promotion and the Settlement of the Central Plains, 1854-1893,” Ph. D. diss., University of Colorado, 1969; Leonard J. Arrington, Great Basin Kingdom: An Economic History of the Latter-day Saints, 1830-1900 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1958), pp.380-412.
18. Undated memorandum, Box 9, fd1.
19. Memorandum dated Sept. 1945, Box 13, fd 1. The term “mechanic” in Moyle’s vocabulary pertained to its older meaning of “skilled manual laborer” as opposed to the more modern application which refers to “one who works with machines.”
20. Memorandum dated Feb. 1944, Box 10, fd 4. See Gene A. Sessions, ed., “Biographies and Reminiscences from the James Henry Moyle Collection,” unpublished manuscript, 1974, CLA, secs. 4, 16.
21. Memorandum dated Feb. 1944, Box 10, fd 4. See below, chap. 4.
22. Memorandum dated Sept. 1945, Box 13, fd 1. The Lost Cause, by Edward Albert Pollard (1828-72), was a romantic history of the Confederate effort in the Civil War. Pollard was a Virginia lawyer who staunchly supported the South but bitterly opposed the policies of Jefferson Davis. He wrote several other books on the war and the South, all full of the folklore and idealism of mid-nineteenth-century literature.
23. Memorandum dated Sept. 1945, Box 13, fd 1. Demosthenes and Cicero are the Greek and Roman epitomes of great orators, such as Daniel Webster in the American forensic pantheon.
24. Memorandum dated Sept. 1945, Box 13, fd 1. Reference is to Alfales Young, Bruce Taylor, and LeGrand Young.
25. Memorandum dated Feb. 1944, Box 10, fd 4. James Moyle was called to the Salt Lake Stake High Council in 1887 shortly after he moved into the Eighteenth Ward and served thereon until his death on 8 December 1890. See his short biography in Andrew Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, 4 vols. (1901; reprint ed., Salt Lake City: Western Epics, 1971), L; 776-78. See also D&C 102; Joseph Smith, Jr., History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ed. by B. H. Roberts, 7 vols. (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1904), 2:28-31.
26. Memorandum dated Feb. 1944, Box 10, fd 4.
27. Memorandum dated Feb.-Apr. 1944, Box 10, fd 6.
28. Memorandum dated Dec. 1934, Box 9, fd 3.
29. Memorandum dated Mar. 1945, Box 12, fd 2. See below, chap. 3.
30. Memorandum dated Mar. 1945, Box 12, fd 2. See below, chaps. 4-5.
31. Memorandum dated Mar. 1945, Box 12, fd 2.
32. Memorandum dated Nov. 1944, Box 11, fd 4.
33. Memorandum dated Nov. 1944, Box 11, fd 4.
34. Memorandum dated Dec. 1934, Box 9, fd 3. See Gustive O. Larson, The “Americanization” of Utah for Statehood (San Marino, CA: Huntington Library, 1971), pp. 283-304. See also the bitter but interesting primary account of this “deal” in Frank J. Cannon and Harvey J. O’Higgins, Under the Prophet in Utah (Boston: C. M. Clarke, 1911). The definitive work on the subject is Edward Leo Lyman, Political Deliverance: The Mormon Quest for Utah Statehood (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1986).
35. Memorandum dated Dec. 1934, Box 9 fd 3.
36. Memorandum dated Nov. 1944, Box 11, fd 4. See Frank H. Jonas, “Utah: The Different State,” in Frank H. Jonas, ed., Politics in the American West (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1969), pp. 332-33.
37. Memorandum dated Nov. 1944, Box 11, fd 3. This is an interesting twist on Roosevelt with which historians may or may not agree. For some strong but critical agreement (on Roosevelt’s conservatism), see particularly Barton J. Bernstein, “The New Deal: The Conservative Achievements of Liberal Reform,” in Barton J. Bernstein, ed., Towards a New Past: Dissenting Essays in American History (New York, 1968); Paul K. Conkin, The New Deal (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Co., 1967). Moyle consistently refused to deny positively the correctness of the position of the Mormon leaders with regard to interference in politics, but he was apparently convinced within himself that they had allowed their personal desires to override their sense of responsibility as ecclesiastes. See also Circular Letter of the First Presidency, CR 1-1, 4-6 Apr. 1896, CLA.
38. Memorandum dated Nov. 1944, Box 11, fd 3. See News editorials through the fall of 1944. See especially Deseret News, 8 Nov. 1944.
39. Memorandum dated Nov. 1944, Box 11, fd 3.
40. Memorandum dated Mov. 1944, Box 11, fd 3. Girolamo Savonarola (1452-98) was a Dominican priest and ascetic who was hung from a cross and burned in Florence for “heresy.” In actuality, he had gained the disfavor of the Catholic hierarchy with his rigorous denunciations of corruption and malfeasance in high places.
41. Memorandum dated Nov. 1944, Box 11, fd 3. Jonas, “The Different State,” p. 328, places the founding of Sagebrush Democracy at 1888. See additionally Charles C. Richards, The Organization and Growth of the Democratic Party in Utah, 1847-1896 (Salt Lake City: Sagebrush Democratic Club, 1942).
42. Memorandum dated Nov. 1944, Box 11, fd 3. Grant habitually gave away books with which he was impressed, sometimes sending out hundreds of copies of a single book. Over the years Moyle had been a recipient of many of these.
43. Memorandum dated Nov. 1944, Box 11, fd 3. In this passage (in context) Moyle was asking Evans to write such a comparative study. There is no evidence, however, that it was ever done, although there are countless references in Moyle’s memoranda to the change that took place in the political attitude of President Grant after the death of Ivins.
44. Memorandum dated Nov. 1944, Box 11, fd 3. The Gibbs letter (or Gibbs-Logan letter) affair involved a message from George F. Gibbs, secretary to the First Presidency, on official stationary to Cache Valley Mormon leaders during the Woodruff administration suggesting that the Saints should vote for the Republican ticket to be in line with “their file leaders,” meaning the general authorities. See Evans manuscript, Box 18, fd 2.
45. Memorandum dated Nov. 1944, Box 11, fd 3.
46. Memorandum dated Nov. 1944, Box 11, fd 4. See additionally for this introductory chapter the following: memorandum dated Sept. 1945, Box 13, fd 1; memorandum dated July 1945, Box 12, fd 3.