Orson F Whitney’s journal’s are apparently the source of Lorenzo Snow’s statement that Eliza R Snow Smith believed in reincarnation and said she was taught the principle by Joseph Smith.
The account of Eliza R Snow Smith’s statement is found in Orson F Whitney’s entry on Saturday June 8, 1889. That entry spans multiple pages, and the University of Utah’s online version of Orson F Whitney’s journals has one page of that entry in the wrong place. In fact, the University of Utah’s online version places that page in the wrong journal. That page should be part of the June 8, 1889 entry. But instead, the University of Utah’s online version sticks that entire page in the middle of November 1887 where it doesn’t belong.
The author quotes from the out-of-place page, and recognizes that the out-of-place page did not fit the context. The author quotes it assuming that the previous pages of the physical journal were removed by Orson F Whitney.
But this incident didn’t take place in Nov 1887, and the previous pages aren’t missing at all. The University of Utah online scan has that page in the wrong place altogether. Being a very notable incident, it would be good we got it correct.
You can tell which journal this page really belongs in, and where it belongs in that journal, by looking at the preprinted dates on the journal pages, as well as by the context of the text. Orson Whitney liked to use journal pages with preprinted dates. He would simply cross out the preprinted date, and write in the correct one on each entry. You can use those preprinted dates to figure out where this page really belongs.
There are four preprinted dates on each page. As it sits at the University of Utah’s online version, the sequence of PREPRINTED (not handwritten) dates on the pages goes like this.
One page has preprinted dates
November Tuesday 7 1882 / Wednesday 8 / November Thursday 9, 1882 / Friday 10
The next page is in the wrong place, it has preprinted dates
November Saturday 10, 1888 / Sunday 11 / November Monday 12, 1888 / Tuesday 13
The following page is back on track, it has preprinted dates
November Saturday 11, 1882 / Sunday 12 /November Monday 13, 1882 / Tuesday 14
Now where does this missing page belong? Well, it really sounds like it fits into the context of the Saturday June 8, 1889 entry. Just before that Wilford Woodruff had stated that he didn’t believe in reincarnation, but Orson Whitney had recorded that he, himself did. Then on June 8, 1889, Orson Whitney had already recorded that he was spending time with Lorenzo Snow and wrote “We had a very interesting conversation this day and the three days following, on ‘the mysteries’. He told me he had never unbosomed himself to mortal man as he had to me, considered me a close friend and a brother. He ble … the day before …. his history. While …”
The dates on that page of that journal were:
November Tuesday 6, 1888 / Wednesday 7 / November Thursday 8, 1888 / Friday 9
The dates at the beginning of the next page is.
November Wednesday 14, 1888
So there is a page missing, since this skips from Friday 9 to Wednesday 14. Moreover, the dates on the missing page are exactly the dates on our page that is in the wrong place. So the out of place page actually belongs right here, in the middle of an account of several days spent in conversation with Lorenzo Snow.