On January 30, 1894, President of the Box Elder Stake in Brigham City, Utah, Rudger Clawson (who would become an apostle four years later, in 1898) recorded the following church disciplinary case in his journal. This is an exact transcription:
One of the most extraordinary cases that ever arose in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints was that of Peter & Weldon Hunsaker versus Lorenzo Hunsaker in the Honeyville Ward, Box Elder Stake. I will endeavor, with as much brevity as possible to give a history of the affair.
In the latter part of last October  LorenzoHunsaker called upon me and desired an interview. He said that the information he wished to convey was of ^such^ an extraordinary and shocking nature that he hardly know how to get at it. He was ashamed and humiliated to mention such a thing, and, after considerable hesitancy, said that shortly after returning from October Conference [in Salt Lake City], he was greatly surprised and pained upon learning that Peter and Weldon, his brothers, the first 24 years of age and the second 19, had circulated a story in the Ward to the effect that he had been guilty of sucking their penis. That they claimed he had performed this act upon each \one\ of them four different times within a period of some two or three years - It was the first time, so far as he knew, that the boys had ever intimated such a thing and what particularly astonished him was that if, as they claimed, such a monstrous charge \as that\ were really true, why did they deep the information back for so long a period. He further stated that he had written out a charge against the boys, but owing to their relationship to him \him\, desired to consult with me before preferring it. The question, therefore, was what, under the circumstances, had best be done. I replied that if I were in his place, I should treat the whole affair with silent contempt, and gave as ^a^ reason that the charge was so monstrous and rediculous \that\ he would be degrading himself in the eyes of sensible ^people^ to follow it up. Also, that his character and reputation in the community was a sufficient refutation to the slander.
He concluded to adopt my suggestion and withdrew. My confidence in the purity of Lorenzo's life and faithfulness as a Latter-day Saint was such that I felt it would be an insult to ask him if he were guilty.
The following day B[isho]p. B[enjamin]. H. Tolman of Honeyville and Lorenzo Hunsaker called to see me.
Lorenzo stated that he had called in to see the bishop, after leaving my place, relative to his trouble; that the bishop flew into a passion, and, in a threatening tone, said that he (Lorenzo) would have to meet this charge; that he had talked with Peter and the impression made on his mind, as to Lorenzo's innocence, was worse after the interview than before; that the bishop had said to Peter "if this story you tell is true stick to it", & that the bishops wife had in an insolent and unbecoming manner prejudged the case by telling him that he was not fit to live in decent society but ought to go to some distant and lonely island and there reside alone.
He answeredd the bishop by saying that he was perfectly willing to meet the issue and already had a charge against the boys written out at home, but that Prest Clawson advised him to ignore the matter.
Bishop Tolman admitted that what Lorenzo had said was substantially true, but that he was not, as Lorenzo supposed, prejudiced against him. He was of opinion, he said, and strongly impressed that the case ought to be fully investigated, and they now sought counsel.
I replied by saying that my counsel to Lorenzo stood unrevoked; that the bishop, being clothed upon by the authority to preside over the people of Honeyville, had a right, if he so elected, to investigate any matter arising within his jurisdiction. As to this affair he must be the judge. I would not in any way interfere least the people might think we were trying to cover it up. He said that they did think the Presidency of the Stake were trying to cover it up, and he felt that it ought to be investigated. "If you feel that way" said I "go ahead and investigate." Thus ended the interview.
The time was set accordingly for an investigation before the Bishops Court at Honeyville, but several days prior thereto Peter & Weldon Hunsaker called upon me and desired an interview. Bro Kelly was present. We questioned them very closely but they maintained with extraordinary firmness that Lorenzo was guilty of the offence charged. Finally, we asked them if they would be willing to raise their hands in the presence of God angels and men, and affirm that he was guilty. Both said they would- We had hoped this question would obviate further investigation, but not so- The boys then left for home.
The case was thereupon called up for investigation by the bishop, but ere the time appointed arrived, and as a mark of respect to the memory of Patriarch Hunsaker, I concluded to make one more effort to extract a confession from the guilty parties. With this purpose in view, I instructed bro Kelly to go to Honeyville and put both Lorenzo and his brothers to the test, feeling that the extraordinary character of the case would justify my action
Bro. Kelly afterwards reported that he was present at the investigation in Honeyville; that immediately prior to the opening thereof he made a few remarks relative to the life and character of Abraham Hunsaker, decease, and touched the feelings of all present while referring to the grief and sorrow felt by that great and good man in witnessing the conduct of his children on earth; that he asked Lorenzo if he could raise his hand in the presence of God, angels and men and affirm his innocence. He replied that he could and did so willingly; that he asked Peter & Weldon if they could raise their hands in the presence of God, angels and men and affirm that Lorenzo was guilty of the charge: they said they could and did so; that he (bro Kelly) then remarked "I have nothing more to say, the trial may go on."
"Minutes of Bishops Court held at Honeyville Octr 17, 1893
Charge of complaint by Peter & Weldon Hunsaker is the sucking of their penis by Lorenzo defendant.
Peter testified: The first time occurred four years ago this fall. Lorenzo left Benham's bed and came to my bed while I was asleep. When I awoke he had his mouth over my penis I turned over and pulled it away.
The second time was in the Mill two years ago last summer. Were both sleeping in one bed and on awaking found him a hold of my penis with his mouth, and I was in the act of discharging.
The third time occurred on the Balcony of Lorenzo's house, and on awaking found him as before with my penis in his mouth
The fourth time was at the house of Mr. Willis in Mendon, Utah - two years ago this last summer. Each of the three last times occurred about 3 weeks apart.
Weldon testified that the first time he caught Lorenzo in the act of sucking his penis was about one year ago, he coming to my bed.
When I awoke I felt that it was him, but did not see or speak to him or he to me. I turned over on my belly and did not discharge. He did not leave my bed immediately but kept bothering me.
The second time occurred about 2 weeks after the first, when he came to my bed as before and got my penis in his mouth. I awoke in the act of discharging
The third time was in a different room. I was asleep when he came in, but awake immediately. He did not accomplish anything, but remained in my bed about one hour, when Florida (his wife) came in search of him with a lamp, but she soon returned leaving him still in my bed, she telling him that he ought to be ashamed of himself
I left the bed and occupied another the rest of the night.
The Fourth time occurred near day light so that I could see him. I asked him what good it did him, and he answered that it might keep me from bothering the girls. I replied that it would make me worse rather than better
Got my penis in his mouth, the talk occurred after I awoke.
This happened last spring. Have no feelings against him, but had some words. Think Peter asked me if Lorenzo had ever sucked my penis and I must have said "yes", as he told me that he had sucked his This was talked of at Blue Springs last spring
Think I told Ira Neely and Thorn Boothe before I confessed it to Peter.
Have been told to stay with my previous statement, if true.
Benham Hunsaker told me that "Ren" [Lorenzo] had been at him.
Never heard of such a case before [Is this Weldon's testimony or Clawson's commentary?]
To Peter q[uestion]. When did you first tell of this affair. A[nswer]. Spoke to Benham some time after it happened. No body ever influenced me to start this thing, but have been told that if my statements were true to stay with them. His attempts all occurred in the night: Did no see or speak to him. Could not say whether he was asleep of not Have no feelings against him.
J.M. Grant said that Peter told him of the affair one year ago last August and said it was true.
J.M.G. said that he slept with Lorenzo one night, and found him a hold of my penis with his hand but made no offer to put his mouth to it
David Loveland said that he had endeavored to keep silent and keep others silent Heard Peter say it was true. He [Peter?] told of the first time Lorenzo had done it to him. Heard Benham say he had to hold to the bed to keep Lorenzo from turning him over that he might play with his penis.
Peter told me nearly one year and half ago. It was substantially the same as that which he has told here to-day.
Geo. Harper said he first heard of this affair nearly two years ago through Peter, and last spring through Weldon. They told the same story as they have told here. Heard Benham say the first time Lorenzo bothered him he thought he must have been asleep.
Lorenzo Hunsaker denied the whole affair.
Benham Hunsaker said that he knew nothing of the affair. Did not speak to Lorenzo as Peter had said.
Cyrus Hunsaker said Peter told him that when they were at Mendon Ren acted as though he wanted to ride him, but not mention Ren offering to suck his penis or to take hold of it
Robert Hunsaker said that he heard Peter tell Cyrus all about the Mendon affair, but he did not tell it then as he tells it now
Lorenzo Hunsaker said that the worst trouble he had ever had with any one was with Peter and originated over his wife Florida. He (Lorenzo) wrote a letter to her, and Peter being anxious to know the contents of it was at the post office, received, opened and read the letter. Peter had threatened to kill him, and endeavored to cause trouble between him and his wife.
Florida Hunsaker testified that Peter had asked her to run off with him and had sought to separate her and her husband. Had threatened to put Lorenzo in the penstock. Remembered all about the letter Peter had broken open. Said Lorenzo never was in the habit o leaving her bed at night, and that he could not do so without her knowing it. Did not look for him with a lamp as Weldon had said.
Said her brother had warned her to beware of Peter Hunsaker. Her evidence was corroborated by Lorenzo.
David Loveland Knew nothing of Lorenzo ever offering to do such things-
Cyrus, Isaac, Robert, Allen, & Joseph Hunsaker & Bp. B.H. Tolman testified to his good character so far as they knew-
Weldon Hunsaker said that Lorenzo had always given him good counsel
(Signed) Joseph Hunsaker, Clerk"
The correspondence given below followed the investigation at Honeyville:
Octr. 18, 1893.
Prest Clawson and the
High Council of the Box Elder Stake of Zion
After a careful review of the case against Lorenzo Hunsaker we feel that we have not got sufficient light to give a just and righteous decision, and respectfully refer it up to you for investigation
(Signed) Bishopric Joseph Hunsaker
Brigham City, Oct. 19, 93
To the Bishopric
of the Honeyville Wd.
Your letter of the 18th inst came duly to hand, and contents noted. In response would say that we do not consider it proper under the circumstances for you to refer the matter to the High Council for investigation.
The presumption is that just as much evidence was adduced at the trial before you as would be forthcoming before the High Council, and, that being the case, it becomes the bounden duty of the Bishops Court to render a decision in accordance with such evidence. The Court could not therefore consistently shift this responsibility to the High Council.
signed Rudger Clawson
A little later, the following decision was rendered:
"To Lorenzo Hunsaker
According to our best judgement the evidence is against you, and we so decide.
B.H. Tolman, Bishop
Signed Isaac Hunsaker 1st Counselor
Jos. Hunsaker 2d "
The decision being unsatisfactory, Lorenzo Hunsaker took an appeal to the High Council as follows:
Honeyville, Oct. 20, 1893
To the Bishopric of
The Honeyville Wd.
Dear bro: I by these presents ask for an appeal from the decision of your court in the case of Peter and Weldon Hunsaker vs. Lorenzo Hunsaker
I therefore earnestly solicit an early investigation before the High Council in the Box Elder Stake of Zion, as by your decision my honor, my reputation and my all are taken from me by conflicting evidence, and envious brothers.
If there is no other recourse, I firmly believe it can be made known by the voice of revelation
Your brother in the Gospel
(Signed) Lorenzo Hunsaker
Special session of the High Council held Octr. 24, 1893 10 am
Prest. R. Clawson presiding, Singing prayer by Ephm. Wight.
The case of Peter & Weldon Hunsaker vs. Lorenzo Hunsaker an appeal from the Bishops Court of Honeyville was called up. The Council being regularly organized, Saml. Smith & Wm. L Walkins were appointed to represent accusers & Jas Bywater & Jas Pett, the accused
The minutes of the trial before the Bishop's Court at Honeyville were read by the clerk. Lorenzo Hunsaker then plead "not guilty" to the charge of having sucked the penis of Peter & Weldon Hunsaker
Weldon was requested to retire while Peter was undergoing examination. The latter being invited to make a statement said in substance: The first time I caught Lorenzo at me it was in the barn west of mill in Honeyville He was sleeping with Ben. Heard him (Ben) say for God's sake let up I want to sleep. I went off to sleep and when I woke up again found him with my penis in his mouth. I whirled over on my belly. One hour before day light he left my bed and got into Ben's This was about 4 years ago last summer. We were building the mill. Dont remember that I spoke to other parties about it. Was ashamed to let him know that I knew he was up to such tricks Did not know that it was Lorenzo at the time. Have told other people and told him to Keep still. Have slept with him at Washakie and caught him in the act of fingering me. He was married then and his wife was at Washakie.
At that time, I had no feelings against him. About this time Lorenzo claims that I tried to induce his wife to leave him. I thought we were on good terms when we were building the mill
Once I called him a cock sucker after we had build the mill
The trouble occurred over Watterson's (the miller's) wife. Ren claimed that I was too intimate with her. I went to see her at her house several times. I talked with Rens wife about running away with me and ^said^ that I would put him in the penstock, but then we were only joking about it. This was when we were digging out the flume. I was not married then
Do not remember how many times I have accused him of this in presence of Rob. Could not call to mind how many times he had sucked my penis. I told him [Rob?] it was twice.
The second time it occurred in the mill 2 years ago in July last. He was in the habit of sleeping in the Mill. His wife was at home. He run the mill late and slept there at night He bought our interest in the mill 2 years ago this fall. I worked there after I sold out. I awoke the 2d time when it occurred. I did not talk to him about it. I went to bed with him that night. I was still ashamed to let him know that I knew it. It was an exceptional case, that Ren & I slept together. Think we undressed when we went to bed, but would not swear to it. Up to this 2d time I had mentioned it to Watterson & Hawks & asked him what he thought about it. Was not ashamed to tell him, but felt a little bashful. Always thought it not right. I did not want him to monkey with me. Felt certain it was he who placed himself in that peculiar position. I discharged the second time, and woke up in the act. I expected him to monkey with me. Ben is the first one I spoke to about his matter. The first time I woke up and found my penis in Rens mouth was along towards morning. This matter was made public about 3 weeks ago. Have had words with him a time or two, which were the only times I had any feelings against him. He has had conversations with me in regard to my standing in the ward.
He advised me 3 or 4 years ago to go through the Temple. Counseled me to be virtuous and do right I have taken it in good part but but told him I wanted no advice from a cock sucker- Afterwards when he talked to me, he gave me good advice, and I took it in good part.
I have been a little slack in attending my meetings, paid tithing one year. Have prayers sometimes and ask blessings on my food sometimes, but not regularly. Have argued in such a way as to convey the idea that I entertained infidel views -- in a joking way just for the sake of argument. I do not have secret prayers.
I told my brother, Israel about this affair, and he promised he would not tell it. He is against Lorenzo. He told hi wife and she told the Bishop. Nobody advised me to start this. I told it to Israel about 4 weeks ago. Rob. wanted \wanted\ me to stop this yarn. I promised him I would go to Israel's wife and deny the whole thing. I went to see her but did not deny ^it^ although I afterwards told Rob that I had done so. I told him a deliberate lie to satisfy him.
I did not expect evidence would be brought against me, so that we could not convict Lorenzo because we have not enough evidence I always thought Israel and Lorenzo were against one another and Israel hinted to me and I up and told him about it.
Weldon and I first talked about the matter out at Blue Creek when we were digging a well. This was in March or April. We agreed to keep it still, but I told 2 or 3 about it at that time. Israel has urged me to go ahead and tell the truth about it. I talked with him about it after this investigation was commenced and he told me to tell the truth about it.
I told Jed Grant, Geo. Harper & D Loveland about it, but never expected anybody to believe it. Have always told the truth about it. Have not had any feelings against Ren-
The third time it occurred, we were in Lorenzo's new house on the balcony. It was about 3 or 4 weeks after the occurrence in the mill - sometime in August. He insisted on my sleeping with him. I saw his wife before we went to bed. This ^act^ happened after we had been to sleep some time. I did ^not^ say anything to him about it
The fourth time it happened at Mendon, when we went to Logan to sell the Mill. It occurred at his sisters house. She told us to sleep in the same bed. I would not sleep with him now. Take him as a rule, I believe he is truthful and virtuous - excepting this affair I do not think he would have intercourse with other women, but is not virtuous with men
I intercepted a letter from him to his wife at the post office. I opened the letter He was then living at Washakie, and authorized me in his absence from Honeyville to open his letters, and, if important, to send them to him. When I opened the letter, he was in Honeyville.
Spoke to mother in relation to this matter this morning and she believes I am lying. She has told me at different times that I was lying.
There have been feelings between mother and myself, but they have been settled.
Could not swear that he was not asleep when operating on me -
Weldon Hunsaker said the first time Lorenzo was at me was in his own house in the west room I woke up and he had my penis in his mouth. I turned on my belly to get away from him.
The second time was in the same room. I was just in the act of discharging. This was 3 or 4 weeks after the first time. The first time was early last fall. The third time was in the mill room up stairs last winter.
The fourth time was early this spring. Four times in all I have told, but he was at me five times. The fifth time was in the west room This was really the fourth time. I thought I had not better tell about the time in the west room. The fourth time I awoke up and found my penis in Lorenzo's mouth. I got up and went into another room and he followed me when I went to bed. I said what are you following me up for.
I have lived with him ever since father died. It is 2 weeks last Friday since I left there
When Peter and I were at Blue Creek, we agreed to stay with each other, if the matter ever came up We never agreed to just how we would tell it.
Was called over to Israel's place and told him about it. Have lived with Lorenzo over 5 years. When we were building the Mill I slept with him, but nothing occurred at that time. The first time I talked about this matter was last spring at Blue Creek. Peter asked me about it first. Israel told me to stick to it, if it were the truth.
Lorenzo and I had a spat last fall after that we fixed matters up again. He is my guardian He always counseled me to do right, to be truth ful, honest, industrious, and virtuous. He counseled me to be careful about the girls and never take liberties with them.
The third time the act was committed was when Florida came to the door with a lamp. It was a glass lamp. She called out to Lorenzo. He did not answer at first, but the second time said what. She said "I would be ashamed of myself. I have been hunting for you all over the house" He did not get up but staid right there. I got up and left him and went into the west room. I spoke to him the last time.
I get drunk once in a while Have not been drunk since last winter. Dont know whether I was at a dance or ^not^ down to Brigham
I got drunk once this summer when I took flour to Ogden for Lorenzo Got another order for flour while there from David Kay. It was filled & I took the flour down. Do not know how much there was - one load I believe. I told Lorenzo the truth about this trip to Ogden.
Generally attend meetings when I am at home. Do not have secret prayers Lorenzo gave me my spending money. He paid me for hauling flour to Ogden. Am 17 years of age. Do not pay tithing Have not worked for myself prior to this summer Have talked with Israel since this trial commenced-
(It is proper to say that much of the information contained in the above statements was brought out by questions from the Council)
Jed. M. Grant said Peter told me this a year ago last summer.
On the 7th of March last I slept with Lorenzo and when I woke up he was skinning my "dink" When at Mendon, Benham said he would rather sit up all night than sleep with Lorenzo
I pay my tithing, have done so up to this fall. I have prayers in my family. Was married 7 years ago this fall. Do not know whether he was awake or asleep. Am on friendly terms with him Got a little mad at him last spring.
Geo. Harper said, Two weeks ^ago^ Rob and Ben were at my wagon Benham said that the first time Ren was monkeying with him he thought he was asleep.
David Loveland felt to blame himself, for Peter had told him a long time ago. Had heard Benham say that he turned on his stomach before Ren could monkey with him. He was of the opinion that most of the family were jealous on account of the manner in which the estate was left in Lorenzo's hands Knew that Israel had never been a friend to Lorenzo.
Lorenzo Hunsaker said In the first place Peter made the statement that he was asleep & I came to him. Had a talk with Peter after Conference in Salt Lake and said to him "Are you going crazy"? He said "I guess you are I can tell you of twice. The first time in the barn and the second ^at the Mill^" He stated to Robt and myself that he was awakened by Benham, who spoke and said "hell give us a wink of sleep". He testified at the trial in Honeyville that he did not leave me, here he says he did.
The second time he claims it occurred, I was running the mill. I had a bed in the office. That night he came down and stayed there till midnight He was tired and I said he could stay with me. I did not touch him. Had no knowledge whatever of these charges against me until just lately, and they are not true. Was not aware that Peter ever slept on the balcony or in my house.
The fourth time of the occurrence was, he claims, in Mendon. We slept together, and when we woke up in the morning everything was all right. I believe there has been a conspiracy against me. Four years ago we were working in the penstock. We slept together night after night. He talked to me about my wife. Said I had a dandy woman and he was going to get away with her. Continued in this strain. Later he told me she was going to elope with him, that she had been intimate with him, that she had exposed her person to him. The result was there were bitter words between us. I wrote her a letter about it from Wasakie, which she answered. He for the letter opened and read it. The first thing he said, when we met, was "What have you been writing to your wife" He then pulled out the letter & handed it to me - We went out side and talked the matter over He said "Did you think I meant it? It was all a joke." I let it pass but a short time after he affirmed it again. I asked him to meet my wife, but before anything was done he retracted a second time. She told me he had been fooling around trying to kiss her etc. One night after the mill started up, he re-affirmed all these things, and said he intended to elope with her for he did not believe in God or devil I said you must face my wife and he replied that if I went over there he would Kill me He followed me over on to the porch, and said he was joking He recalled it all & said I was a fool for paying any attention to it. I believe his object was to separate me and ^my^ wife. After that he pouted around and finally became reconciled, but the thing was not settled.
When matters grew more serious, Weldon began to take a part in it, and finally left the house Think that ^they^ then resolved on the course they would take, and when they went to Blue Creek, fixed these matters up.
Weldon was very careless about shutting gates etc. and I reproved him. he took to drinking, and I talked to him many times about it. His mother on her dying bed gave me charge of her children and I have sought to keep him in at night and to keep him from getting drunk. I finally told him he would either have to leave my home or relinquish his whiskey and cigars. He left home and went to Pocatello and threatened to go from there to Montana. I sent for him and he came back home again. Employed him to haul flour last winter to Ogden and he made from 500 to 7oo pr trip He soon began drinking, and bro. Harper felt ashamed of it He promised to quit but did not. On one occasion after being absent several days longer than necessary he reported that he had been waiting to place some orders & that he had succeeded in placing one with David Kay for 3 loads of flour. Here the following letter was introduced as evidence:
Ogden Oct. 23/93
Lorenzo Hunsaker Esq
Box Elder, Utah
Dear Sir: Your favor of the 21st received. In reply will that I remember, the young man you speak of being here with flour, but positively did not keep him waiting here for an order, nor did I give him an order, but a short time afterward, some of your teams pulled up with flour, and I was surprised as, I had not ordered ^it^ but kept the teams waiting until I went around town and sold it
The only order I have given to any of your teamsters was to Mr Harper, the ^other^ orders were sent direct and given to you personally.
Yours Very Rsecty
Witness: (Signed) David Kay
Claude D. Ives.
Lorenzo resumed and said I \have\ afterwards learned that Weldons absence was due to his having been on a drunken spree.
At Peter's request I administered to his sick \\\\\ wife and she recovered. I baptized him at the time he was rebaptized, and he said he was glad of it.
When J.M. Grant, myself & others were going to Logan we stayed at my sisters, and it was then he claims that Benham said he would rather set up all night than sleep with me. Have spoken to Ben and he denied having made any such remark. We went to bed and nothing occurred till morning when we got up and went to the Temple He (Grant) never said a word to me about it until he had talked with Peter- He and I have settled all our troubles, but I blame him for not telling me before.
I have slept with bro Loveland He told me he couldnt believe it, but thought it a trick
David Loveland then requested the privilege of speaking and said that he (Lorenzo) had never attempted when they were sleeping together to bother him in any way, that he was just as peaceable a man as he had ever slept with. He felt that there was a conspiracy against Lorenzo and had told every body that he did not believe the story about him.
Robert Hunsaker said when I first heard it Ben told me. I saw Peter and he admitted that he had told \told\ the affair in relation to Lorenzo. I asked him to go to Israel and deny it He went and upon returning said he had done so ^but^ that Lotta (Israel's wife) said it would do him no good to deny it. I talked with him after that and he said he did not know whether to deny it or own up to it. Ren asked "What is the matter with you, are you crazy? Peter said I guess you are."
I have slept with Lorenzo many times both before he was married and afterwards, and can say that he never bothered me. Do not Know any thing bad about Peter Have heard that he was on bad terms with his mother.
Cyrus Hunsaker said he Knew about Lorenzo ever since he was small He had herded sheep with him, that he (Cyrus) had had chances to practice masturbation but Lorenzo always advised him to keep from self abuse. We were with Lorenzo more than any other two of fathers boys.
Peter told me last fall that while at Mendon, Ren caught hold of his penis and crawled on top of him, and [I?] said to Weldon that Lorenzo was the horniest cuss he had ever slept ^with^. He said he had only two charges to bring against him Never heard of the sucking business until 3 or 4 days before the Bishops trial Last fall it was altogether different, and he only mentioned one case.
Allen Hunsaker testified that Lorenzo was the best boy of his fathers family, that he had been an obedient boy and ever sought ^to^ carry out the fathers wishes, + that, so far as he Knew was truthful, honest, temperate and virtuous. Had slept with him many times, but had never been disturbed or bothered. Did not for a moment believe the monstrous charge brought against him.
Peter came and asked Ren and myself to come and administer to his wife who was sick. We went in and administered to her and she recovered. I considered that Peter was not firm in the faith but thought he would do better Do not believe that the Lord would have listened to us if he had been guilty of such a thing
We were with father to the last moment and exercised faith & I know that Ren was pure. There have been contentions in our family ever since father died
I think Lorenzo has carried out father's wishes.
Benham Hunsaker said Peter spoke to me once when I came from the field and said that he had got the mess about Ren around. He had told I[srae]l, Il had told his wife and now it was all over town he said "Has he been at you"? I said "no, if he had been, I would have been man enough to have gone to him about it." Now, Il claims that I have been bought off-
I never said I would rather sit up all night than sleep with Ren.
I know nothing about Ren's leaving my bed in the barn I did not say 'For God's sake let us have a wink of sleep' I remember nothing about his getting up in the barn We slept there but nothing unusual occurred They had feelings between them at the time I remember Peter's opening Ren's letter Il and Ren were not on good terms. Il was always jealous of Ren. When any thing came up.
Alex. Glen said he had never told any body or intimated to any body that Lorenzo had sucked his penis Had slept with him a good many times but was not disturbed. He did not meddle with my person -
Was at Mendon and present on the occasion mentioned but J. M. Grant. Did not hear Benham say that he would rather sit up all night than sleep with Ren
Fredk. G. Graham , Presiding teacher of the Honeyville Ward, said that he had Known nothing of this matter until a few days ago I prayed about it and the Spirit said to me that Lorenzo was innocent and that this was a conspiracy against him. I have been with Lorenzo in public and in private and the sick have been healed under our hands. He is always on hand when any body is sick, and in cases of trouble and misunderstanding, the first to bring about a reconciliation.
I have traveled and laid with him, and a more inoffensive man I have never seen he is a truthful, upright and just man.
Thos. Wheatley said I have know Lorenzo for over 20 years, and he always took a part in doing good. Know the desires of his heart are good and that he tried to be a peace-maker. Before we went into partnership in the mill, he told me all about his affairs. Said his brothers would not help him, so he invited me to go in with him. We have talked about many things and about morals, and he always spoke in favor of good morals.
Florida I. Hunsaker (wife of Lorenzo) said Peter is the man who came to my house and tried to persuade me to leave my husband, and said that he did not believe in god, man or devil. he came to me time and again He got hold of my letter, opened and read it. He told me the other Sunday that he would tell a lie and would hang before he would go back on it. He told me that he loved me better than any other woman and would go to the ends of the earth with me if ^I^ would go This was before he was married. He continued these entreaties 8 months or a year. Peter Hunsaker never slept in our house nor on the balcony.
Catherine Hunsaker (Peter's mother) said, Peter has turned out a traitor to me, and has tried to make trouble between Lorenzo and myself. Lorenzo has been a friend to his fathers family. I raised him to manhood and he has been a child without blemish. Peter was a pretty good boy before his marriage, but since then he has not been the same. He seems to favor infidelity He has to tell falsehood to defend himself. He has called me hard names but that has been settled. (The hard names alluded to was that he had called her a "dirty, black Danish bitch")
Have seen Peter & Weldon go up to Israel's for counsel
The case was submitted
Jas Bywater, for accused, said that he had come to the conclusion that the charge was not sustained and that the accused was therefore innocent.
Jas. Pett, for accused, said he was never more shocked in his life than when he heard the charge read. He flet that the charge was not true and looked upon it as a cruel and malicious fa. spiracy [?].
Saml. Smith, for accusers, said he was sorry that any of the sons of Abraham Hunsaker would get up such a conspiracy as this and remarked that they would have to suffer for it. Said that the boys had been influenced by the spirit of Cain and admonished them to be careful lest they do some thing worse.
W.L. Watkins, for accusers, said a slanderous report has been sent out against Lorenzo to start this case, and the spirit of Cain had been at work so they could carry their purposes.
Peter Hunsaker said, in conclusion, I acknowledge I was wrong in not going to Lorenzo about it.
Weldon Hunsaker said the same as Peter-
Lorenzo Hunsaker said that he would rather pass from this stage of action than see his brothers stand firm to the last minute in maintaining a falsehood. He would still try, he said, to do right by them as Joseph in Egypt had done.
Prest Clawson said: This is a much stronger case than I anticipated. This charge in itself is monstrous, and that it could be made in a community of Latter-day Saints is an astonishing thing.
Lorenzo had no desire to evade an investigation. I told him to pay no attention to the matter & the impression went out that he desired to hush it up. The Bishop told him he would have to meet it, and so the matter was called up for investigation
Peter was the first to testify & I consider that he made it clear to this Council how much his word is to be relied upon. He admitted having told Robert a deliberate lie, by representing to him that he had denied the truth of the charges against Lorenzo to Israel's wife and afterwards claiming that he had not denied it. He also admitted that he had tried to persuade Lorenzo's wife to elope with him etc, but said it was all a joke. When asked if the charge against Lorenzo was not a joke he said Oh no, but that the other was. His mother comes here & says that she has no confidence in him, and believes he has lied and the statement of a man who who will call his mother hard names is not worthy of credence.
The opening of Lorenzo's private correspondence to his wife was a most contemptible thing. It was an offence against the law and he could have been severely punished. We find from the testimony that Peter believes in neither God nor devil. Also that he was accused of taking liberties with Watterson's wife.
He states that Lorenzo is truthful, honest and virtuous & yet he accuses him of this crime. In view of the facts presented, Peters evidence in my opinion is absolutely worthless
As to Weldon, it seems that he was placed in the care of Lorenzo by the mother on her dying bed \bed\. He testifies that Lorenzo has always counseled him to be virtuous, chaste and upright and yet he brings this charge against him. An astonishing feature of the case is that these boys would allow Lorenzo to sleep with them time & again after the first offense and never offer any objection, and never intimate to him that they knew what he was up to. Also that if they were ashamed to let Lorenzo know that they knew it, why did they tell it to others, even to some outside the family
Weldon stated that Florida came to the room, and said to Lorenzo that he ought to be ashamed of himself and then went off and left him. She positively denied this. Lorenzo tells us that he was very careless and was in the habit of drinking. He says himself that he went to Ogden with some flour and while there got drunk, that Kay had given him an order for flour which was filled. Kay, however, denied by letter ever having given to him an order. Here, it appears was a deliberate false hood, consequently his evidence has but little weight with this Council.
This is the character of the evidence brought against Lorenzo
It was shown by testimony of witnesses for accused that Lorenzo always bore a good character, his general course in life being exemplary, that he was pure and chaste in his conduct.
My decision is, that the findings of the Bishop's Court in Honeyville be reversed + that Lorenzo be exonerated before this Council of the charge brought against him, that his brothers have committed a gross wrong, and that, if, after a reasonable time, they fail to make suitable acknowlegdements it will become the duty of the Bishopric to handle them on their fellowship.
The decision was then submitted and sustained by unanimous vote of the Council -
The clerk was directed to give notice to the Bishopric of the Ward.
Prest Lorenzo Snow, who was present, suggested, that, as at previous investigations before the Council, all present had had and opportunity to vote, such privilege granted upon this occasion. A vote was then taken and the council and the following named persons voted to sustain the decision: Prest Lorenzo Snow, Lorenzo Hunsaker Allen Hunsaker, Cyrus Hunsaker Robt. Hunsaker, Benham Hunsaker, F.G. Graham, Catherine Hunsaker Florida Il. Hunsaker.
The following names persons voted against the decision: Peter Hunsaker, Weldon Hunsaker, B.G. Grant, J.M. Grant, & Israel Hunsaker-
Singing Benediction by A Madson
(Signed) Nels Jensen
^Copy of letter sent^
Octr. 27, 1893
To the Bishopric of
the Honeyville Ward.
In the case of Peter & Weldon Hunsaker -vs- Lorenzo Hunsaker an appeal, the High Council decided, after a full and thorough investigation :-
1st. That the findings of the Bishops Court of Honeyville be reversed
2d. That Lorenzo Hunsaker be exonerated and declared innocent of the charge
3d. That Peter and Weldon Hunsaker be given a reasonable time (say until Nov. 6 1893) in which to make public confession and ample acknowlegdements of their guilt.
4th. That if they failed to do this, it would seem the duty of the Bishopric of the Honeyville Ward to take action upon them for their fellowship in the Church-
The object of the Council in not severing these young brethern from the Church at once was to give them an opportunity to make the matter right. Had they been older no such leniency would have been extended to them.
You are hereby expected and required to carry out so much of this decision as applies to the Bishopric.
By order of the High Council
(Signed) Nels Jensen, Clerk
About Nov. 1, 93 a delegation of sisters from Honeyville waited upon me. Among the number was Sister Belle Tolman and sisters and half sisters of Peter & Weldon Hunsaker. They wanted to know if something could'nt be done for the boys. They could not, they said, sit quietly and see their brothers cut off the church. I remarked that had Lorenzo been declared guilty ^he^ would doubtless be cut off the church, and could they quietly sit and see him, their brother, cut off. Well, no, say they, but he is older. They represented they had made the matter a subject of prayer, but when asked if they had received any further light said no. They had good reason to believe from all reports that the boys had not been treated fairly and justly in the High Council investigation -- in fact had been smothered down -- and were therefor entitled to a rehearing. When asked if the boys had authorized them to ask for a re-hearing, answered in the negative but said that their anxiety in the matter led them to make the request. I informed them that unless further light could be thrown on the case, we could not consistently grant a rehearing - and especially in view of the fact that we were by no means sure that they wanted one. The investigation was thorough, and, so far as the boys were concerned, fair and just, but if they were not satisfied, the case could be taken before the First Presidency. The boys, they said, did not want it to go before the First Presidency.
They then desired to know if, when the question was submitted it would be right for them to vote against the cutting off of the boys.
I replied that of course they could do as they pleased, but if they wished to do right, they would invariably vote to sustain the propositions of the priesthood. One of them thereupon remarked that she did not fancy the idea of being deprived of her agency. I said "we have nothing to do with your agency, but if you want to know what is right, I say, it is to sustain the priesthood. And as to the decision of the High Council you sisters need borrow no trouble or anxiety. we will be held responsible for that." They then retired
On Nov. 3, 1893, the following petition was handed to me by a teacher of the Honeyville Ward:
Honeyville Nov 2, 93
Prest R. Clawson
of the Box Elder Stake of Zion.
Your petitioners, residents of Honeyville and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, respectfully represent that we cannot sit still and see Weldon & Peter Hunsaker cut off or disfellowshiped from the Church, when there is so much to recommend them as honorable; and on the other hand there are some things that go to show that Lorenzo Hunsaker is to blame (if innocent of the charges that were preferred against him) for his conversations among boys and young men and in other company are of such a character that would compel us to be careful in so grave a matter
2d. His untruthfulness in public and private.
3d. The character of some \of some\ of the witnesses that went to prove the life of Weldon & Peter Hunsaker before the Bishop's Court & also before the High Council
With these considerations, which we are prepared to prove, we cannot raise our hands to disfellowship said Weldon and Peter whom we believe to be on the side of truth. (signed)
^41 signers7 children 9 to 14 yrs
2 not in church
2 " members of Ward^
Julia Hunsaker Loveland
Mrs. Eliza Hunsaker
Isaac Hunsaker Jr
Eliza B. Tolman
Alma Hunsaker (Age 14)
Martha Harper Hyrum
D./O. Hunsaker (Age abt. 14)
Mary N. Smith
Mrs. Matilda Hunsaker
Mary E. Cahoon (Not member of Wd)
Janie Tolman (Age abt. 14)
Myrtle J. Smith (Age abt. 9)
Mary J. Grant
Namie Stowell (Not member of Wd)
J.A. Orme (not in Church)
Jas Orme ( " " )
Ira Neeley (Age abt. 16)
Alfaretta Neeley (age abt 13)
Helen Hunsaker (Age abt. 14)
Saturday Nov. 4 (the day of our monthly Priesthood meeting) Bp. Tolman came to the city and we had an interview with him. We expressed great surprise at the course many in Honeyville were taking: and especially that a delegation of women should be encouraged to meddle with these matters, for they had stated that before coming to Brigham they consulted the bishop; and also that we should be recipients of a most extraordinary petition, which we took occasion to show him.
After talking the matter over fully, we instructed him to withdraw the sacrament from the Ward for the present, which was done.
On Sunday night Nov. 5, 1893 at a public meeting in the Honeyville Ward, Weldon Hunsaker, who held the lesser priesthood, was cut off and Peter Hunsaker who held the high priesthood was disfellowshiped from the church ^for having failed to comply with the decision of the High Council^ When asked if he had anything to say as to why action should not be taken ^Peter^ came to the stand and said that the only thing he regretted was that he hadn't come John ^L^ Sullivan on it and Knocked the stuffing out of Lorenzo; and at the final moment both boys treated the proceedings as a hugh practical joke.
Peter said to his companion, "Good bye, Weldon, old boy, We are going, good bye", and the latter responded in the same style & manner. When charged with having done this, he admitted to me that it was true. The case of Peter was afterwards reported up to the High Council and he was cut off from the church -
The following letter is explanatory: Brigham City
Nov. 6, 1893
To the Bishopric of
the Honeyville Ward
Dear brethern: Among the names attached to the extraordinary petition addressed to us from Honeyville is that of Jas. Orme, a teacher in the Ward. He was also the bearer of it.
In signing said petition, he virtually says he cannot & will not sustain the action of the High Council - an attitude that fully and thoroughly disqualifies him to operate in the priesthood as an acting teacher. We therefore suggest that it is your duty to notify him at once that he is released from this high calling: and we would say further that any brother or sister in your ward, holding an official position, who says or intimates that he or she cannot sustain the High Council or votes against it should be released, and you are authorized to take such action
(signed) Rudger Clawson
Bro Orme was released as a teacher, in accordance with our suggestion, but sometime after gladly and willingly make public acknowledgement to the effect that he knew he had done wrong in signing the petition, and plead as an excuse that he did not read it + was not fully aware of its purport. He had nothing, he said, against Lorenzo and felt to sustain the Council. He therefore desired the forgiveness of the people which was granted and he was restored to office -
The following letter will throw some further light upon matters relating to the petition:\ Honeyville, Nov. 9, 1893
Prest. R. Clawson
Dear brother: After returning home from the Priesthood meeting Saturday, I thought it was more than I could stand to allow that petition to go unrefuted.
I called from house to house and personally investigated 15 of the signers. They all plead innocent of charging me with untruthfulness etc. Some did not read it, and took the carriers word for the contents; claimed the part bearing against myself and witnesses they did not hear read and they cheerfully signed the enclosed statement.
Enoch Hunsaker, a teacher, and by the way my brother and nearest neighbor, and whose signature was attached to the petition told me that the Bishop sanctioned the sending of the petition. I called upon the bishop, and he said he was aware of a petition being circulated against me.
After considerable interrogating, he admitted he had said in the presence of 3 or 4 that he thought it would be all right to have the petition sent in that the authorities might know how the people felt towards me "Did you hear the petition read", I enquired, He replied, "No, but I guess I know what was in it" I continued "How could you assume such a responsibility to sanction such a work unless you were fully aware of the details". His wife replied, "I knew what was in it and told Ben all about it" The Bishop said "Yes I guess I knew pretty well the contents."
All on whom I called plead innocent of knowingly bringing anything against me. I had fully made up my mind to call on every individual who signed the petition and obtain their signature to the certificate or otherwise proceed to meet them in the church & should they decline to meet me there, to confront them with the law of the land; but when bro. Madsen arrived he advised me to keep "mum", and treat them with perfect silence. I have acted on this counsel, but have had all I could do especially on one occasion to maintain this position.
I thought it would be well to send the certificate enclosed I did no more after bro Madsen arrived and thought I would not violate his counsel. Shall I continue to investigate the parties who signed? I will be down Saturday and (will) call on you
I fee[l] that I never can be too grateful to the brethern of the Council and yourself for the deep interest taken and thorough work accomplished in allaying an overwhelming evil.
The boys were disfellowshipped Sunday night, but there is still a deep bitter feeling brooding among two thirds of the people and they continue their course of gossiping, but are a little more sly and confine ^it^ to their "ring".
To me it is astonishing and I sometimes am lead to question my own eyes.
Bro Madson's visit did much good. He cleared the way for the Bishopric to go on.
With king regards,
I remain Your brother-
(signed) Lorenzo Hunsaker
A copy of the certificate referred to is here inserted: -
Honeyville Nov. 7, 1893
To whom it may concern:
We hereby certify that we, the undersigned, parties hereto, did not fully understand the nature of the petition sent in from this place to Prest. Clawson on 4th. inst.
We were not aware that we were bringing a charge against Lorenzo Hunsaker for his honesty and general character. Had we known this \known this\, we would not have signed it. Neither did we understand we were condemning the acts of or rebelling against the High Council (signed)
Mrs. Eliza Hunsaker
Note: It will be seen that the names of A Bybee & Nancy Bybee appean on the certificate but not on the petition The reason for this is that they signed the petition but afterwards scratched their names off.
In view of the disturbed condition of affairs at Honeyville, brother Fredk. G. Graham, the presidency teacher, by and with the consent of the Bishop and also our approval, inaugurated house to house meetings and labored with unwearying diligence to effect a reformation
The Sainst were called to repentance, being reproved for their hardness of heart. They were studiously warned against the spirit of strife and division ^and fault finding^ that had taken possession of their hearts. By their zeal and patience, the teachers succeeded in restoring a pretty good feeling among the people. A number refused to sign the foregoing certificate on the ground that they had made a blunder in signing one paper and therefore did not want to sign others. They however made confession of the wrong done and saked Lorenzo's forgiveness. Their names are subjoined: Susannah Hunsaker, Luara Hunsaker, Franklin Hunsaker, Eliza B. Tolman, Mary N. Smith & Mary H. Grant. Finally the sacrament was restored to the ward-.
About this time in a conversation with brothers Graham & Lorenzo Hunsaker, it was suggested that they make an effort to trace the petition to its author that we might know something concerning its origin. A few days subsequently, they reported that after diligent enquiry they traced it to Bishop Tolman's & that the evidence was so conclusive they put the question to him pointedly. At first he stoutly denied having had anything to do with it, but finally confessed with expressions of regret that he was the author. He said that he intended to address the President of the Stake in reference to the matter, and the following is a copy of his letter:
Honeyville Nov 28./93
Prest Rudger Clawson
Brigham City, Utah
Dear brother: I take this opportunity of (and means of) communicating my feelings and position that I find myself in regard to those things I have had to do with in the month past. I suppose you look upon me and will look upon me without much feeling, because of the high calling unto which I have been called.
I have permitted the people to lead me in one thing at least instead of standing up in the dignity of my calling and pointing out the course that I believe the Lord always prompts us to take while trying to do His will.
In and under the impulse of the moment, I was led into an error that I will explain and for which I am exceedingly sorry.
I have tried to find the will of the Lord through all my labors in the cause of God, and yet in one unguarded moment, I performed an act that will hardly be erased. I was waited upon one night (when I came from the canyon tired) by four or five of our people here and asked to write a petition to convey their and the peoples feelings in regard to the terrible affair that your are conversant with. \I heeded\ I heeded the invitation & wrote that petition. I have tried to justify myself on the grounds that I wanted you to know what there was to face in Honeyville, and also that I told them I could not sign such a paper. I did this thing, and, strange as it may seem, I did not hear how awful it sounded until I reread it a few days ago, especially that part that more particulary seemed to go against the High Council. I do not want to make many excuses. I expect to meet the fate that is just. I simply made one of the mistakes that it seems to be my lot, but do you Prest. Clawson understand the pressure that I have had to endure and meet? I am too full for utterance It has been a constant war ever since Bishop Hunsaker died. While he was alive he took away the agency of some of his sons because what he said was law, and yet, I suppose, he had trials of a severe nature.
All I have learned seems only through experience, while many others could get it in precept. My chances in life ^-- Continued to Book 5 -- Brough from Book 4 ^ have been meager. My parents died when (I was) young and I never had a father to ask counsel. Oh, how I have pleaded with the Lord for light in this last experience. The matter never was off my mind in my waking moments, & it is all against me. I did not want to investigate the case in question. I only wanted to do my simple duty as I viewed it, and it is constantly thrown in my face that I was anxious through prejudice to down Lorenzo and acted in open conflict with your counsel. If I did, I did it in ignorance.
In the case of J.M Grant, I never knew that he voted against the High Council until after I sent his recomment (to the Temple) It might have been mentioned by you when you told me about Israel and R.B. Grant holding up their hands but I state the truth, when I say, that I did not hear it or understand it.
I have run to you with my troubles just as little as I could because I did not want to annoy you with my troubles, yet I have found your counsel always safe.
I expect to be down Saturday, and if you wish to see me about anything for light and understanding, I will give it. I am not rebellious neither stubborn, & I hope you will not look upon me too hard. I have heard things that would make me think you did not regard me very high.
I am ready to hand in my resignation, if you think it the proper thing to do. I suppose I have earned it, and do not want it if the Lord wants me out; but I hope he will not forsake me and take from me a desired to be useful in his work, and sustain any body that shall be placed in my calling.
(signed) B.H. Tolman
Bishop Tolman called to see us ion Saturday Dec. 2, 1893, and in a long conversation that followed again expressed regret for the course he had taken and said he was ready to hand in his resignation if we desired it. We were of opinion, we said, that the present deplorable condition of the Honeyville Ward wherein feelings of intense animosity ^toward Lorenzo^ & a flagrant disregard of the priesthood had been exhibited by the people, was in a great measure due to the attitude of the bishop, who himself had failed to honor the priesthood, by not accepting and sustaining the action of the High Council
Another strange thing about it was, we thought, that after having formulated and sanctioned the petition, he would released a teacher for signing it with out ^first^ interceding for him.
As to his resignation, said that we would take the matter under advisement, feeling under the circumstances, that the least we could do would be to place him on the anxious seat for a time.
At the expiration of two weeks the Bishop again called upon us and anxiously desired to knwo what we were going to do with reference to himself. We told him that we would pass the matter over this time, and Kindly admonished him to be careful in the future, to rise to the dignity of his office and calling and in all things to honor the priesthood.
It is but proper to state that Israel Hunsaker, an older brother, who has for years been actuated by a feeling of jealousy and hatred toward Lorenzo is also in a great measure responsible for the disturbances at Honeyville. He operates so adroitly, however, that is difficult to reach him through the church but there is no question that he is entirely unworthy the confidence of the Saints.
Sometime in ____ Dec about six weeks after the boys were disfellowshiped (or to be more accurate after the one had been cut off and the other disfellowshipped) Peter came to me and asked if he could take an appeal to the First Presidency. In answer I expressed my great surprise that such an application at such a time should be made; that I had understood that he not only did not want the case to come befor the Presidency because of its repugnant features, but ^that^ he hated to have it go before the High Council; that there was ample time for appeal which is never refused, but that he had waived said right by allowing action to be taken on his fellowship and standing in the church; that the bishop understood these matters, as we had often explained in our priesthood and sacrament and conference ^meetings^ that every member of the Church is entitled to the right of appeal, but that such right could only be exercised with in proper limits and could no be claimed after the sentence imposed had been executed; that were it otherwise the lower courts might in some instances be placed in an embarrassing situation (as for example when a man had been cut off from the Church and the decision of the lower court ^afterwards^ reversed); that if a person could come in a month after the execution of the sentence and demand an appeal he could make the same demand 6 months a year, two years, five years, ten years, twenty years after; that in view of the premises we could not grant an appeal. I asked him if he had not been pursuaded by Israel to make the application. He said "No", but I very much doubted the truthfulness of his answer, as I had been informed that he and Weldon too, were constantly in Israels company.
In the month of January 1894 a movement was set ____ ____[unreadable] in the Probare Court to have Lorenzo removed as Guardian to some of his younger brothers and sisters It was thought by some that Israel who was disappointed in the decision of the High Council relative to Lorenzo, inspired the movement, but, be that as it may, most of the people of the ward took sides in the controversy and the feelings of jealousy hatred and animosity, which were confessed, and, we had hoped, repented of, were once more fanned into life. The situation was such that we felt something ought to be done, and so \we\ addressed a letter to the Bishop as follows:
Bp. B.H. Tolman Jany. 25, 1894
Dear bro: We were given to understand when the Sacrament was restored to the Honeyville Ward that the Saint there had repented of their sins and hardness of heart and were worthy once more to partake of that holy ordinance. But the repentance, if such it could be called, was of a temporary character, and the confessions made eminated not from the heart
As an evidence of this, we refer you to the controversy instituted and participated in by members of Patriarch Hunsaker's family & the [secular] Court. It is well understood and generally conceded that Lorenzo was appointed Guardian by his father, and those who seek to have him removed go expressly against the fathers wish. And not only that but Abraham Hunsaker was strongly opposed to the Courts of the land, and ever counseled his children to settle their difficulties in the church. Thus do they bring shame and reproach upon the good name of a great man, and, but so doing, engender a spirit of bitterness and hatred among the people that, peradventure, if not repented of in the very dust, will work their destruction.
We tell you that the fruits of the Gosepl are not envy, jealousy, strife, contention, evil speaking and faultfindin, but peace, tranquility, love, charity, long suffering and Kindness. The evil one has come into your Ward, and, this the folly of those who were weak in the faith, has obtained great hold upon the hearts of many and is working mischief. They should be called to repentance.
Brother Graham, the presiding teacher, in connection with his fellow laborers, should be instructed to go forth with renewed diligence, and labor in the power of their priesthood for a permanent reformation.
In view of the present situation, we hereby instruct you to withhold the Sacrament from the Ward until further notice from us -
If this were not done, we feel that great condemnation would rest upon us and upon you in permitting the people to reach forth and partake of that ordinance unworthily.
We suggest that you read this letter to the Saints next Sunday after noon, that they may clearly understand the reason for said action. Your brethern
(Signed) Rudger Clawson
It would be proper to explain in this connection that of the teachers in Honeyvill brothers ^F.G.^ Graham, A Summeril, H.P. Hansen and Robt. Hunsaker had labored with diligence and patience to restore good order, peace and harmony in the Ward, and especially was this so with respect to brother Graham who is a true friend to the Hunsaker family. He ever enjoyed the confidence of the honored dead.
Having heard it strongly intimated that it was the intention of Bishop Tolman to release the teachers from further duty, we gave special instructions concerning them in our letter of Jany. 25 even mentioning the name of bro. Graham, and felt that we had a right to expect that our \that such\ suggestions would be carried out.
On Monday Jany 29, brother Graham called upon us and reported that our letter of the 25th. was read to the Saints Sunday after noon Jan 28.; that in reading it Bp. Tolman suppressed the name of F.G. Graham; that by request it was read a second time, but not by the bishop, and the name of F.G. Graham was then mentioned; that the bishop manifested considerable embarrassment; that a priesthood meeting was called to convene at the close of the meeting that there were 20 present; that the bishop said he had concluded to release the acting teachers for the reason that they did not have the confidence of the Saints, and now desired an expression regarding this matter from the meeting, that bro Alfred Summeril said he did not see how the bishop could consistently release the teachers in view of the letter from the Presidency of the Stake, and that in his opinion it would be unwise; that Lorenzo Hunsaker and others expressed a similar view; that it was suggested the matter be deferred for one week thus affording an opportunity \an opportunity\ to consult with the Presidency of the Stake; that Israel Hunsaker called for a vote on the question of deferring the matter remarking that "We want a little experience & I think will get it now"; that the question was put and 9 voted for and 11 against deferring --, the bishop voting with the minority; that the questing being lost, the original proposition was put and carried and the teachers were released; that a new corps was then appointed & that the meeting then adjourned.
The statement of bro Graham was corroborated by several brethern who were present at the meeting.
The extraordinary action of Bishop Tolman in treating our letter of instructions with contempt and thus offering an insult to the Priesthood suggested the following letter:
Jan. 29, 1894
Bishop B.H. Tolman,
We write to say that the situation in your Ward - the disturbed condition thereof and the feelings of bitterness engendered in the hearts of the people necessitating the withdrawal of the Sacrament, is a matter of deep concern and serious anxiety to us, and may result in lasting sorrow to those affected.
It is clearly apparent that you have not been successful in coping with these evils and after due consideration, we are confirmed in the belief that the welfare of the Honeyvill Ward demands a change.
In view of the premises, therefore, we hereby release you from acting further in the capacity of bishop. Your brethern
(signed) Rudger Clawson
It appears that Bishop Tolman, feeling himself aggrieved, submitted the matter to the First Presidency of the Church, who addressed us as follows:
Salt Lake City
Jany 31, 1894
Prest Rudger Clawson & Counselors.
Box Elder Stake of Zion
Bishop Tolman of Honeyville has submitted letters addressed to him by you (Bros. Clawson & Kelly) under date of 25th & 29th inst.; the latter removing him from further acting as Bishop of the Honeyville Ward on the ground that he had been unsuccessful in coping with certain evils existing in his ward; and on the further ground that in your belief the welfare of the Ward demanded a change.
Bishop Tolman informs us that no specific charge had been made against him, neither, to his knowledge, had this action received the support of the High Council. He feels that as an officer of the Church he was entitled to a hearing and to at least have been permitted to have withdrawn honorably from the position, if it were the desire of the proper authorities that he should do so, and not to have been thus summarily deposed-
Please give us your reasons for displacing Bishop Tolman; & also state if his version of the case, as given, is correct.
(signed) Wilford Woodruff
Jos. F. Smith
To which I replied as follows: Brigham City
Feby 5, 1894
To the First Presidency
of the Church.
Dear brethern: In answer to your letter of recent date, have to say that it would be rather difficult to state clearly in a short communication our reasons for having released Bishop Tolman of Honeyville. In fact, a statement made in that way would doubtless prove unsatisfactory both to you and to our selves.
And inasmuch as he has made representations reflecting upon the propriety and justice of our action, I desire permission to lay the matter before the Presidency at a personal interview.
I am expecting to visit Salt Lake in the course of a few days, and, providing the suggestion herein meets with your approval, will then call upon you
Your brother Rudger Clawson
Sunday Feby 4, 94 I visited the Honeyville Ward, being accompanied by Adolf Madson, my first counselor, and Jos. M. Jensen. Meeting at 2 pm. Attendance large. Singing, prayer by Fredk. G. Graham. Singing. I read a portion of the 15th. chap of St. John- and then spoke briefly particularly drawing the attention of the Saints to the fact that they had failed to carry out the injunction of the Savior wherein he said: "Love one another".
God is not the author of confusion.
The spirit of strife, of dissension and of fault finding was the spirit of the Wordl and is from beneath. We should diligently seek to bring forth the fruits of the Gospel which were peace, love union and brotherly kindness etc.
Explained the circumstances that led to Bishop Tolman's release viz: his having totally ignored our letter of instructions, and that during the meeting we would present the name of one of the brethern, as a presiding Elder, to take charge of the Ward temporarily.
Bro Madson followed in a fatherly spirit and gave the Saints some excellent counsel, warning them against the evils exisitng in the Honeyville Ward. Regretted to hear that there was dosposition on the part of some to drag their troubles into the Courts of the land.
Spoke feelingly with reference to his past relations with Patriarch Hunsaker, and expressed the hope that his sons and daughters would do nothing to grieve the feelings of their father.
Understood that it had been remarked by some that if he (bro Madson) had been there (meaning Brigham City) things would not be as they new were (meaning that the Presidency of the Stake would not have taken the course they did).
He expressed great surprise at this, and said that he wished it to be distinctly understood that, so far as he was personally concerned, things would have been exactly as they are, that he was one with his brethern and felt to sustain them.
I then presented the name of Thos. Wheatley Jr. as Presiding Elder to take charge of the Honeyville Ward temporarily. The vote was light, there being only about a dozen who raised their hands but there was no opposition.
Also the following brethern for acting teachers: Fredk. G. Graham, A. Summerill, H.P. Hansen & Robt. Hunsaker. The vote was light and when the opposition was called about six raised their hands.
Jos M. Jensen then made a few remarks. Expressed regret at what he had witnessed and closed by saying that whenever he was found voting against the propositions of the Priesthood, htey might assuredly know he as in the dark.
At this point, bro. David Loveland asked permission to speak.
Said that he was one who had voted against the teachers, and that if head had done wrong desired the people to forgive hime.
I asked himif he did not think he had done wrong. After a thoughtful pause, he said "Yes". And you want the people to forgive you? "Yes", was the reply. I then put the question asking for a show of hands from all those who felt to forgive him. Strange to sy, only about a half dozen hands went up. I expressed great surprise, saying that I did not understand it, and then turning to bro Loveland said "These good people here are not willing to forgive you; They doubtless entertain feelings against you" "Not that I know of", he said, "perhaps you had better call for the opposing vote", whereupon I called for a show of hands from those who did not feel to forgive brother Loveland. Not a hand went up.
I then explained that it was a duty of every one present to vote that to be neutral or in the language of the scripture "neither hot nor cold", "neither one thing nor the other" was to be in the condition of those who were spewed out of the Lords mouth, that those who would not forgive their brother in them would remain the greater sin. The question was again submitted in a strong vote of forgiveness.
I then remarked that I was not satisfied with the attitude of the meeting on the propositions relative ^to the Presiding Elder and acting teachers^ and felt that it was due to a lack of understanding, and that, therefore, I believed that it would be proper to give the brethern and sisters another opportunity to vote on them. This was done and the propositions were sustained by a strong vote, with no oppositions.
Bro Tolman, who was in the congregation desired a few moments of the time. He remarked that it was his determination to sustain the propositions of the priesthood and further, that, in his opinion, the brethern from Brigham City did not understand the condition of the Ward or they would certainly take a different view of things.
The following dialogue then ensued between bro Tolman and myself, the questions being mine and the answers his:
Q. Is not what I have stated here with reference to yourself substantially true?
A. No, sir.
Q. Did you receive a letter of instructions from us? A. Yes Sir.
Q. Did you, in reading it to the Sainst suppress any part thereof?
A. No, not exactly Of course, I did not read the name of bro. Graham, but I did say, "the presiding teacher, etc." (It was here explained to the congregation that "presiding teacher" might mean bro Graham or somebody else, although the name of bro Graham was expressly mentioned in the letter, and that the omitting of bro Graham's name and reading the balance of the sentence viz: "the presiding teacher and his fellow laborers should be called etc." was simply a trick employed to pave the way for what followed) Q. Did you release the teachers? A. Yes, sir.
Singing, Benediction by Thos. Wheatley Jr.
After the meeting, bro Tolman came up and said to me that he thought we had been unnecessarily harsh in our treatment of him, that we might at least have given him a hearing etc. Considerable conversation then followed relative to the condition of the ward and the events leading up to his release.
Finally, I said, "Now, bro Tolman, in view of the leniency of the Presidency of the Stake toward you in the matter of the petition, and the further consideration that you totally disregarded our letter of instructions of the 25th ___[?], thereby humiliating the Priesthood before the entire Ward, do you really think that our action was harsh and uncharitable"? "No" said he, after a moment of reflection, "I do not" "Is it not a fact, bro Tolman," I asked, "that you have been sympathizing with these boys who have been severed from the church? "Well", he said, "I must admit I have felt tender towards the boys-" "That," said I, "is what has led you into the dark. when people are found to be in error and, the opportunity being given, fail to set matters right, it is unsafe to bestow upon them our sympathy and support."
"Well", said he, "I want you to understand, Prest Clawson, that the mistakes I have made are due to the head and not the heart. My heart is right."
"If as you say bro Tolman your heart is right, you will go before the people of this Ward, and make suitable acknowledgements and ask forgiveness for having disregarded the authority of the Priesthood." He said in reply, "I will do so"
A little incident happened in Honeyville recently, which, in connection with other things, clearly ^shows^ the unfitness of bro Tolman to act in capacity of a bishop. He was called in to administer to a sick woman. Peter and Weldon Hunsaker and another brother were present. Bro Tolman formed a circle, first offered prayer himself, and then called upon the other three to pray, each in turn. after which, the sick was annointed and administered to. Thus were these two boys, who but a short time before had been cut off from the Church, employed in a holy administration fo the ordinance of the Lords House. (See page 57 this book for confession of BH. Tolman)
----Mch. 17, 1894-----
Bro. Thomas Wheatley, presiding Elder of Honeyville, informed me that brother B.H. Tolman made a public confession a few Sundays ago to the effect that he had done wrong in having failed to carry out the instructions of the Presidency of the Stake in their letter of Jan 25, 1894 (which culminated in his removal) and desired to be forgiven. It was moved & carried that his confession be accepted & he be forgiven.
He also stated that J.M- Grant made a confession on Mch. 1, 94 at Fast Meeting in which he acknowledged that he might have been mistaken with reference to the charge he brought against Lorenzo (see page 119 book 4)
He was forgiven