Which future Church President was offered his freedom from prison if he would renounce polygamy?
a. Brigham Young
b. John Taylor
c. Lorenzo Snow
d. Wilford Woodruff
a. George Q. Cannon
Governor [Eli H.] Murray [12th governor of Utah] arrived in Salt Lake City for his first term on February 29, 1880 ,the year of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the organization of the Latter-day Saint Church.
It was only a short time until he was recognized as the idol of the anti-Mormons. He was not lacking in will power and strength of character and it was not through fear that he became the executive agent of the non-Mormons or “The Ring,” as they were called. He hated the Mormon Church, the Mormon religion, but not the Mormon people, so he felt that they should be saved from Church domination.
During the years of his incumbency as governor, the people witnessed the most turbulent times, combined with the most bitter feelings between the Mormon and the gentile population, that had ever been known in the annals of the territory.
When feelings were at their height, Hon. George Q. Cannon’s term as delegate to Congress from the Territory of Utah ended and he was nominated for a second term, opposed by Allen G. Campbell. This political contest was famous in the history of Utah and more or less noted in the annals of the nation. At the election Hon. George A. Cannon received 18,568 votes as against 1,357 cast for his opponent, Mr. Campbell. Secretary of the Territory Arthur L. Thomas opened, in the presence of Governor Murray and others, the returns of the November election showing the above figures, but Governor Murray refused to issue to Mr. Cannon a certificate of his election and gave it to Mr. Campbell. This was illegal and the question of who should hold office was discussed in Congress until April 19, 1882. At this time a resolution offered by Mr. Moulton was voted on. It read: “Resolved, That George Q. Cannon was duly elected and returned as delegate from the Territory of Utah, and is entitled to a seat as Delegate in the Forty-Seventh Congress.” Mr. Canon, being a Mormon and a polygamist, the amendment was lost, yeas, 79; nays, 123; not voting, 89. As a result the right of delegateship to a seat in the House was refused to Cannon and also to Campbell, leaving Utah without a representation.
Chronicles of Courage, Lesson Committee (Salt Lake City: Talon Printing, 1996) Vol. 7, 128-129.