In 1886 the Political Manifesto was issued to all General Authorities to sign. Basically, it stated that a general authority must get approval from his fellow Quorum members before embarking on a political career. Who almost didn’t sign it?
a. Wilford Woodruff
b. B. H. Roberts
c. Heber J. Grant
d. Jedediah M. Grant
C B. H. Roberts
From the life of B. H. Roberts: Young Roberts worked for Centerville farmers, made bricks for construction of the Salt Lake ZCMI, and drove an ox-team grader for the Utah Central Railway. At fourteen, he prospected in the Utah mining districts of Ophir, Jacob City, and Mercur. His evenings were spent in gambling houses, where he “manipulated the jack and hearts and spades; learned to drink his coffee black and his liquor straight; learned to bet and bluff and cajole.”
Bishop Edwin D. Woolley, disapproving Roberts’s mining activities, disfellowshipped him. A short time later George A. Smith met Roberts on a Salt Lake street and remarked, “Henry, I understand you’ve been cut off from the Church.”
“Well, what are you going to do about it?”
“Nothing! If Bishop Woolley wants me out of the Church, then I’m out of the Church.”
“Well, then, you’re on your way to hell,” retorted Smith. Roberts appealed his case and was restored to fellowship.
At seventeen, he put his mining camp life behind him and returned to Centerville, where he apprenticed as a blacksmith. The transition was not easy—“The good boys didn’t want me; I did not want the bad ones, so I stayed to myself.”
Richard S. Van Wagoner and Steven C. Walker, A Book of Mormons, (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1982), 240.