Joseph F. Smith and Archibald Forbes: Critique and Praise.

Joseph F. Smith was a unique personality for a number of reasons. The object of Smith family envy/hope he rose to church leadership early in life. Largely self-educated, he took much of his religious learning from textual sources. Perhaps this hints at the reasons for his response to a visiting lecturer. And the contrasting response from fellow counselor, George Q. Cannon:

Evening attended the lecture of Mr. Archibald Forbes* the English or European newspaper war correspondent. He is a perfect master of word painting, and very exact in his figures and facts, discriptions and portratures. but his delivery was labored and his voice compressed & unattractive, indeed wearisome to listen to. Bro. Cannon took a nap towards the latter part of his lecture, which lasted about an hour and a half. he being seated during the whole time. Notwithstanding the unattractiveness of the Speakers style & voice, his discriptive power and command of language, or rather words, together with the facts narated kept up a lively interest in the lecture.

*Forbes (1838-1900), the son of a Dissenting minister in Scotland, a famed newspaper reporter and prolific author following his retirement, apparently his speaking style did not capture his audience.

4 Responses to Joseph F. Smith and Archibald Forbes: Critique and Praise.

  1. ricke says:

    Any idea what the topic was? Maybe that would account for some of the difference in responses. Or it might have been the additional 10 years GQC had on JFS.

    With regard to the journal entry itself, I recently heard that general authorities are discouraged from keeping journals any more. If so, that’s quite a shift from an earlier time.

  2. prophetize says:

    Actually, they are still instructed to keep journals, but they are not allowed to publish them or make them available for public consumption. That’s the difference.

  3. ricke says:

    Do you have a source? Hans Mattson, a recently released Area Authority Seventy from Sweden, said that he was told in training by a “very high Church official” that he had stopped keeping a journal because they only cause trouble later, and that he encouraged all other AAs and GAs to do the same.

  4. WVS says:

    I recall Elder Oaks saying something to the effect that authorities ought to be cautious about what they write. It would be unfortunate if people took that seriously.

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