“After Brother Cowley’s funeral, the Brethren became concerned about Sister Cowley and her finances. She and Brother Cowley had lived in New Zealand for eight and one-half years, and when they returned home they had no insurance, no savings, and no funds of their own. They had lived on a very limited allowance during the eight years he was in the Twelve and it was obvious that Sister Cowley had little or no finances.
“On Thursday, the day after the funeral, the Council of the Twelve met in their regular meeting in the Salt Lake Temple. Part of their meeting was used to discuss what might be done to help Sister Cowley. At the conclusion of the meeting, I received a phone call from Elder Harold B. Lee asking me to come to his office. When I got there, he and Elder Adam S. Bennion greeted me. They said that the Twelve had decided to do something to help Sister Cowley. The only thing they felt they could do was to publish some of Brother Cowley’s talks in a book and give all of the profits to her. They asked if I would do the necessary work to get the book published and I agreed. However, I said that I had been approached that very morning by Deseret Book Company to do exactly the same thing. Brother Lee and Brother Bennion were pleased to hear that Deseret Book was interested because they said the Twelve were reluctant to get involved in any kind of a financial venture.
“They suggested that I meet with Alva Perry, the manager of Deseret Book, and ask him how much royalty they would give her. They instructed me to ask for double the amount they normally offered as royalty.
“I left the office and went over to the bookstore to do as the Brethren had asked. I wasn’t opposed to doing it—I was just a little nervous, inasmuch as I was young, inexperienced, and not quite ready to take on the manager of Deseret Book. When Brother Perry told me what the royalties would be, I said that it was only half enough. I firmly suggested that if he would double it, the bookstore could have permission to publish Brother Cowley’s book, otherwise someone else would. He told me that this kind of arrangement had never been done before and he would have to check with the chairman of the board.
“The next morning Brother Perry called and said that he had met with the chairman and they had agreed to double the royalty, all of which would be given to Sister Cowley. This agreement took place in December. The book was compiled, printed, and in the bookstores by April conference. That in itself was almost a miracle. Sister Marba Josephson did the bulk of the work, but I had the final say on what should go into the book and whether or not we would make any changes. Not many changes had to be made in the talks as he had given them.
“His book, Matthew Cowley Speaks was a top seller. In fact, it became the best seller of any book of its kind in the history of the Church. Sister Cowley received royalties for the next twenty-five years, making it possible for her to live reasonably well for the rest of her life” (Glen L. Rudd, Treasured Experiences of Glen L. Rudd, 112-14).
It seems that in succeeding editions, some slight silent editing of at least one talk in the book took place, evidently done by the publisher (for instance, some wording of a talk on pages 294-297). It may never be known why, but someone seems to have felt it necessary. In LDS book-collecting circles it is known that some of this silent editing occasionally occurs without comment.