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L A T T E R - D A Y S A I N T S,
IN THE VALLEY OF
The Great Salt Lake
A HISTORY OF
THEIR RISE AND PROGRESS, PECULIAR DOCTRINES,
PRESENT CONDITION, AND PROSPECTS.
P E R S O N A L O B S E R V A T I O N
DURING A RESIDENCE AMONG THEM.
BY LIEUT. J. W. GUNNISON,
OF THE TOPOGRAPHICAL ENGINEERS
LONDON: SAMPSON LOW, SON, & CO. 47, LUDGATE HILL.
PHILADELPHIA LIPPINCOTT, GRAMBO, & CO.
L A T T E R - D A Y S A I N T S,
IN THE VALLEY OF
The Great Salt Lake
A HISTORY OF
THEIR RISE AND PROGRESS, PECULIAR DOCTRINES,
PRESENT CONDITION, AND PROSPECTS.
P E R S O N A L O B S E R V A T I O N
DURING A RESIDENCE AMONG THEM.
BY LIEUT. J. W. GUNNISON,
OF THE TOPOGRAPHICAL ENGINEERS
J. B. LIPPINCOTT, & CO.
EXPLORING EXPEDITION TO THE GREAT SALT LAKE OF UTAH
CAPT. HOWARD STANSBURY, T. E.,
WHO HAS SO ABLY GIVEN THE OFFICIAL AND SCIENTIFIC RESULTS
SURVEYS IN THE COUNTRY OF
"THE LATTER-DAY SAINTS,"
TO WHICH THIS BOOK APPENDS THEIR
HISTORY AND THEOLOGY,
AND IN PLEASANT RECOLLECTION OF OUR TOUR IN THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS
IS THIS RESPECTFULLY
[ v ]
No apology for error is here set forth, though the persecution of its advocates is deprecated.
The writer has undertaken neither the task of criticism nor controversy. His aim is not "to shoot folly as it flies," but to let folly tire on its own pinions, and reason regain its sway over erratic feeling, when the mists of prejudice on one side, and of fanaticism on the other, are dispelled by the light of knowledge.
For those who desire facts in the history of humanity, on which to indulge in reflection, is this offered. It were far easier to give a romantic sketch in lofty metaphors, of the genesis and exodus of the empire-founding Saints -- the subject is its own epic of heroism, whose embellishment
vi P R E F A C E.
is left to imaginative genious, and its philosophy to be dedicated by the candid philanthropist.
Truth and justice, in few words, and as near as possible to fallible human observation, is what this exposition aims at. Facts of motive and history are collected, which concern a portion of our fellow-citizens. These are the scholars of the workshop and the field -- the leaders are students of men and things. They have been schooled in patience, perseverance, and self-denial -- men of action, tried in varied circumstances.
My thanks are due to my friend F. R. Grist, Esq., for the view of the "theo-democratic" capital of Deseret. That gentleman accompanied the expedition thither, and, as an amateur, freely gave illustrations of the romantic scenery, for the public report printed by the United States Senate. What is there fully portrayed, is here lightly touched, for the Mormons constitute the picture attempted to be given, and other circumstances the frame in which it is set.
[ vii ]
BETHLEHEM, PA., April 14, 1857.
JUDGE DRUMMOND: --
You will please recognize in me the widow of Capt. Gunnison. I have just finished your letter of resignation to the Attorney General, and see confirmed by you the impression I have always held myself, that the Mormons were the directors of my husband's murder, notwithstanding
viii NARRATIVE OF THE
I have, both from Brigham Young and Carrington, received the kindest letters of condolence. &c. Pardon me, then, my dear sir, for this intruding myself upon you; but if you can find the lesiure, you will confer a lasting favor upon us by giving us the particulars of such information as you have gleaned. You can better imigine, than I can by words express, the feelings that thus influence me to impose this much upon your time.
M. D. GUNNISON.
CHICAGO, ILL., April 27, 1857.
MRS. M. D. GUNNISON., Bethlehem, Pa.
MY DEAR STRANGE FRIEND: -- Your kind note of inquiry, under date of the 24th inst., was duly received at this place on the 21st inst., but owing to personal matters, I have been wholly unable to reply to your letter until this day, for which delay I trust your generous heart will find no fault. You ask me "to give the particulars of such information as I have gleaned" in connection with the murder of John W. Gunnison, who was most foully and inhumanly murdered on the Servier river, in Utah Territory, in A. D. 1853. This information I will cheerfully give you, not only as a sense of duty to you as the wife of a good man, who fell prematurely at his post doing duty, but as a matter of
DEATH OF CAPT. GUNNISON. ix
fact, which should go to the world as a portion of the history of that barbarous transaction.
In the month of November, A. D. 1853, Captain Gunnison and eight others (one of whom was a Mormon), were murdered on the Sevier river, in Utah Territory, and the report was quite current that they were murdered by the Indians; subsequently, at a session of the Grand Jury in Juab county, Utah Territory, Hon. John F. Kinny, presiding, twenty-six Indians of the Parvante tribe were indicted for the said murder, and, by some arrangement between Col. E. J. Steptoe, of the United States Army, and Kanash, the Chief of the Parvante tribe, eight Indians (some of whom were squaws, and one old blind Indian man,) were put upon their trial for murder, at Nephi City; and strange to say, a Mormon jury found the Indian warriors not guilty, and as against the old, crippled, and measureably blind Indians, three in number, found a verdict of manslaughter, and they were sentenced to three years imprisonment in the penitentiary of Utah, being the full length of time prescribed by the statute for such offences. These verdicts, and the finding of the juries under the law and the evidence, so wounded and mortified Judge Kinney, that he at once adjourned the court, unavoidably coming to the conclusion that there was false dealing somewhere; and in fact, not only he, but Col. Steptoe, Gen. Holman, and the Government Attorney, Hon. Garland Hurt, the Indian Agent of the Territory,
x NARRATIVE OF THE
Capt. James B. leach, the mail contractor between San Diego in California and Salt Lake City, and Columbus L. Craig, all of whom were cognizent of the influences brought to bear on the trial, arrived irrestibly at the conclusion that the Indians were found not guilty by order of the church, and that Dimick B. Huntington, an Indian interpreter, and spiritual brother-in-law of Gov. Brigham Young, was the man who bore the decree and order of the church to the jury, who implicitly found the verdicts according to the mandates of the church, as is now the universal rule and order of jury trials "in the peaceful valleys of the mountains."
At the November term of my court, held at Fillmore City, in the year 1855, one Levi Abrams, a Jewish Mormon, was put upon his trial for the wilful and unprovoked murder of Toebe, a favorite warrior of the Parvante band, and during that trial much was said by both Indian and white witnesses relative to the murder of Captain Gunnison and his party, which raised strong presumptions in my mind that certain white men were particips criminis to that cruel murder, but not wholly conclusive. In this case the jury, true to the law of the church, and basely false to the law of the land, found Abrams not guilty.
At the same court, a favorite Indian warrior of Gov. Young, by the name of Eneis, was put upon his trial for the murder of Captain Gunnison and others, to
DEATH OF CAPT. GUNNISON. xi
which I particularly allude in this letter and at this time, and, upon his trial I became convinced beyond the possibility of a doubt, that the whole affair was a deep and maturely laid plan to murder the whole party of engineers, or surveyors, and charge the murders upon the Indians (who, by the way, have the credit for killing a great many persons). In the trial of the warrior Eneis, the evidence disclosed the fact that he was the property of Governor Young, and that he could speak English quite fluently, and that, when he left the city of Salt Lake, he went under the order of Governor Young and the church. Again, it was repeatedly proven that Eneis was in company with several white men on the day before the murder, and that they were all on their way toward the engineers' camp.
Again, it was proven on the same trial by a number of Indian witnesses, that only four shots were fired by the Indians, and that all the rest were fired by the Mormons, and that, by order and direction of the Mormons, the Indians sprang out of the ambush, where they lay disguised during the night before the firing, which occurred about sunrise in the morning, and went across the river to scalp and otherwise maltreat the men in their agonies of death, but more particularly to save the Mormon who fell in the fight, provided he was not fatally wounded, and told the Indians how they could recognize the Mormon from the Americans, which was by certain peculiar marks on the garment which he
xii NARRATIVE OF THE
wore next to his body; but the poor fellow, with the other eight had received a fatal shot, and died on the ground with his priestly robe worn next to his body. The white men were so accurately described, that any one acquainted with the principal men of the Mormon church could quite readily select the men described by Old Pareshont and Heap of Elk, as well as several others equally as honest and intelligent, who were the principal witnesses in behalf of the Government. And right here I have no hesitation in saying who some of them are and were, and this I do for the benefit of those men who may go to Utah as appointees under the present administration, viz.: William A. Hickman, Anson Call, Alexander McRay, Ephraim Hanks, James W. Cummings, Edwin D. Wolley, George Peacock, Levi Abrams, and ______ Bronson, all of whom are in good fellowship and standing to this day in the church; and although the evidence on behalf of the Government against Eneis was clear anc conclusive, and no rebutting evidence, the Mormon jury, true to the order of the holy priesthood, found a verdict of not gulity.
And here, my dear friend, painful and revolting as it is, the true history of that sad scene requires me to say that the evidence disclosed the fact that several Indian warriors crossed the Sevier river immediately after seeing that they had accomplished the work for which they were set apart, and proceeded to cut off the legs and arms of the men while in the agonies of death;
DEATH OF CAPT. GUNNISON. xiii
also, to scalp them, and then rifle their pockets of their contents; and take off their clothes and put them on themselves; and that Eneis, the then prisoner at the bar, cut Capt. Gunnison's body open and took out his heart while he was yet alive, and the heart full of blood that it bounded on the ground after being taken out; and not content with this, but cut out his tongue, and otherwise cut and mangled his body.
True it is, my dear friend, I know that this dark and bloody picture will prostrate every nerve of your tender form; and painful and heart-sickening as it is for me to think of, let alone pen anything in connection with that revolting murder, but duty to you, duty to the country, duty to a broken and violated law, duty to bleeding and down-trodden humanity, duty to a correct history in connection with the dark and bloody code of the order of the High Priesthood of the Utah Mormons, and above all, duty to the fair reputation of a brother officer engaged in the faithful discharge of his duty, and one who fell in the noonday of life at the hands of an organized band of systematic pirates, robbers, and murderers, and whose blood yet cries to heaven for a witness to attest in thunder-tines the dread but sad and solemn truth connected with his tragic fate, all seem to require that when I answer his wife, the companion of his youth, who so naturally applies to the man, of all others, possessed of the legal truths connected
xiv NARRATIVE OF THE
with this history, and I hould tell them precisely as they are, and not suppress any part thereof.
I can well imagine, Madam, your long sufferings and anxieties relative to the death of your husband, and I most truly assure you that your conclusions relative to his death were well founded. I leave you and all others to conclude whether I am not fully justofied in my conviction in the premises, and whether I could have rationally come to any other conclusion than the one to which I here refer, as well as in my letter of resignation to Attorney-General Black.
With an ardent desire that you may live to a ripe old age, enjoy all the blessings which this life can afford, and, above all, in that list of blessings, good health, live to see the day when the foul stain of Mormon oppression and tyranny shall be effectually checked in this our happy country, your husband's untimely death vindicated by the courts and laws of the land, and, after death, in that Grand Lodge above be re-united to the partner and companion of your youth.
W. W. DRUMMOND.
[ xv ]
xvi C O N T E N T S.
RISE AND EARLY PROGRESS OF MORMONISM.
C O N T E N T S. xvii
H I S T O R Y
T H E M O R M O N S.
DOMESTIC POLICY OF THE MORMONS.
AMONG the teeming events of the present era, one of the most remarkable is the formation of a state by a peculiar people, in the far interior of America, which has assumed the name of Des-er-et, -- a mystic word, taken from the Book of Mormon,* signifying, the Land of the Honey-Bee.
Its present capital and principal settlement is in the valley of
the Great Salt Lake. In this and contiguous vales are the gardens of
the mountains, in which the bee and its fostering companion, man,
have lately been colonized and from which neither will carry away the
stores gathered into the domestic hive. Industrious alike, the sweet
bounties of Providence are collected,
14 THE MORMON COUNTRY.
to be luxuriated upon at home, in all the freedom of their being and constitution of their nature. This valley is situated midway between the states of the great Mississippi and the golden empire rising to life and influence on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. It is isolated from habitable grounds; having inhospitable tracts to the north and south, and the untimbered slope of the Rocky Mountains, nearly a thousand miles wide, on the east, and nearly a thousand miles of arid salt-deserts on the west, broken up by frequent ridges of sterile mountains. This fertile tract, therefore, presents itself to us with varied associations, an object of curious contemplation.
The Mormon settlements are in that remarkable depression styled The Great Basin -- a region embraced in the Rocky Mountain land out of which no waters flow. That Alpine district extends along the western side of the American continent, covering sixteen degrees of longitude in the Utah latitudes, and is a succession of nearly parallel mountain ranges, having a north and south direction. Between these ridges are the valleys, whose average width may be twenty miles. In some places, the ranges are abruptly terminated for a space, leaving a gap, termed a kanyon, or pass, according to the width of the break in the mountain. Those are names given by the trappers, who were the pioneer white men into those solitudes.
The absence of one or more short ranges, opposite each other, will occasionally unite several valleys into one. It is through the kanyons or narrow gorges, with perpendicular sides of rock, and the still wider passes into the plains between, that remarkably level routes for travel are found across the continent. The " South Pass" in the great eastern chain, is more than a hundred miles long, or wide, as it is usual to designate it, and then going west, you enter the great coal basin through which Green river flows. A narrower pass is near Bear river, and crossing over a gentle swell, one enters the Weber river kanyon, and emerging upon the beautiful Kamas prairie, that extends to the Timpanogas, the road lies down its bank into Utah valley. Here the choice of northern or southern routes is offered. The one by the Mary's river is most
THE MORMON COUNTRY. 15
followed in summer, but a high pass on the Sierra Nevada has to be surmounted. The other is south-westerly in direction, across the Great Basin, and doubles the mountain into the head of the Tulare valleys, whence the way to San Francisco, or some Pacific port, is to be selected on feasible and fertile ground.
The Great Basin is that high level, over four thousand feet above the ocean, between the Nevada and Wahsatch ranges. It is a desert in character, with some fertile strips flanking the bases of the highest ridges. This vast region is mountainous; the ranges generally from two to three thousand feet high, and parallel with the main ones on the sides, with some partial cross ridges that form minor basins. In the interior, therefore, fresh water becomes scarce, for these hills do not collect sufficient snow in winter, the only wet season, to furnish irrigating streams, and fertilize the trench of alluvion at their base, or water the plains between; and the consequence follows that these tracts are parched and arid, and frequently so impregnated with alkali as to make them unfit for vegetable life. Artemisias and Salicornias contend for a miserable existence on portions of the plains; and bunch grass furnishes grazing on the hill-sides for antelope and deer. There is not properly a "rim," or continuous mountain, particularly on the north; but a "divide" between the parallel ranges, which is sometimes a swamp, out of which the waters flow in contrary directions; and the position of this feature may be observed, on the map of the Great Valley, to the west of Bear river. This interior basin is about five hundred miles in diameter either way, and in the eastern part have the Mormons settled.
Along the western foot of the Wahsatch range, for three hundred miles, is a strip of alluvion, from one to two miles in width, -- and, in the valley of the Jordan, this is widened by what can be reclaimed by irrigating from its waters; and the spots similarly situated, in other valleys, furnish the only land suited to cultivation in the Utah Territory. This arises from the want of rain during the growing season; and water for the crops is only to be procured from the numerous streams that flow down n the mountain gorges, fed during the spring, and into midsummer, by the
16 THE MORMON COUNTRY.
melting snows. The higher mountains retain the snow, and irrigate the bases the longest time, and where the streams cannot be taken at the kanyon mouths, and led off for the farmer's use, the ground is lost to the plough. Most of these creeks are absorbed in the porous alluvion before they have reached a mile from the base, and frequently re-appear in very diminished quantity in springs, at too low a level for use, in the arid plain that borders the salt pools or lakes. The land around Salt Lake is flat, and rises imperceptibly on the south and west for several miles, where it is not broken up by the abrupt hills, and is a soft and sandy barren, irreclaimable for agricultural purposes. On the north the tract is narrow, and the springs bursting out near the surface of the water, the grounds cannot be irrigated; but the eastern side, above the line of overflow when the lake rises with the spring freshets, is fertile and cultivated between the mountain and shore.
On the south of the lake, and above the alkaline barrens, lie the more fertile valleys of the Jordan and Tuilla, separated by the Oquirrh Mountain; and these are divided from the plains which lie to the south, between the same ranges, by the Traverse Mountain, which is a cross ridges diminishing in height to the westward. Here is fine grazing during the entire year, and the east of Jordan Valley is watered by bold streams that traverse a strip of allusion twenty miles long by eight in width, to the banks of the Jordan. This great stream rushes with a foaming torrent through the kanyon cut in the cross range, and descends about one hundred feet in a distance of two miles, where the current becomes more gentle and winding, to the great lake below. The banks are steep and high, immediately below the kanyon, but gradually retreat and slope away to the Oquirrh hills, and a canal can easily be carried on the level of the kanyon, winding on a curve to Spring Point, twenty miles from the city. The chalky waters of the Jordan can be used for irrigating eighty additional square miles in the valley, and furnish water-power very accessible, and to any required extent, for milling, machinery, or manufactures. Ascending the Traverse range, a beautiful panorama of lake,
THE MORMON COUNTRY. 17
plain, and river, embosomed with lofty and romantic mountains, bursts upon the view. Here is the lovely Utah Lake and its winding outlet; and the Timponogas, with four other rivers' fringed with cottonwoods, a sight so seldom seen in these regions, and, by contrast, enchanting. All the valley on the east side of the lake is fertile, and the waters throughout fresh and sparkling, as they rapidly descend to the quiet reservoir.
The valleys afford perennial pasturage, but the hill-sides furnish the bunch grass only during the warm months of the year. It seeds in summer, and is germinated by the autumnal rains, and grows under the snowy covering of winter. In the spring, as the snow-line retreats up the slope, under the melting influence of the approaching sun, the cattle and wild grazing animals follow it to the mountain peaks until midsummer, to be driven down again as the accumulating snow, beginning on the summits about the equinox, descends in a few weeks to the base. When it rains on the valleys, the snow falls on the mountains, and, during winter an immense quantity is drifted into the kanyons and passes, to the depth sometimes of hundreds of feet, blocking up the roads, and making prisoners at home, those who sojourn in those solitudes
The difficulty in procuring fencing materials, has caused the fields to be left imperfectly enclosed, and slightly protected; and it becomes necessary to set the youth to attend the cattle during the day, and drive them to the corrals, or fenced yards, at night This position of these two descriptions of land, the cultivated and the waste, renders the people there residing, equally a pastoral and an agricultural community. All the cultivated lands, that is those brought under irrigation, can be allotted to raising cereals and vegetables. The flocks and herds driven to the hills in summer, and fed upon the plains in winter, will furnish one halt the provisions required to sustain the population that can be accommodated on the cultivated belt between the pastures. The soil, in its mineral composition, is of the most fertile description, having been formed out of disintegrated feldspathic rocks of the summits, and mixed with the debris and decomposed limestones from the lower altitudes. As many as sixty bushels of wheat are
18 THE MORMON COUNTRY.
usually grown to the acre, and when strict regard has been paid to watering the crops, a greater yield has been given, and, in one instance, a hundred and eighty fold was reaped from the drilling of one bushel upon three acres; and the average of sustenance from root crops is more abundant still. The potato grows luxuriantly, and of a delightful quality, and the sugar-beet attains to an enormous size, from which good molasses is manufactured; and the attempt will soon be made to extract sugar from the same, to supply the demands of the market.
In order to estimate the probable amount of population which can well be sustained in the territory, we may safely rely on an equivalent of two thousand pounds of flour to the acre of the plowed lands, and, drawing the meat part of the ration, or one half, from the herds fed elsewhere, there could be fed four thousand persons on the square mile. Such a density of inhabitants it can hardly be supposed will ever be attained there; but, modified by the peculiar circumstances of the case, and social character of the people, and giving a far less amount to the mile we may calculate that the territory of Utah will maintain, with ease, a million of inhabitants. Stretching southward from the point we have been noticing, and passing over the rim of the Great Basin into a cotton-growing region, and where it is contemplated to try the sugar-cane; having abundant iron mines every where in its whole extent, and inexhaustible beds of coal in the Green River Basin -- with hill pastures, the finest in the world for sheep and wool raising -- with water-power for manufactures on every considerable stream -- there are elements for a great and powerful mountain nation; and the part such a force could play toward those on either side is not an insignificant one for our consideration.
There are three salt lakes in Central Utah; the greatest of them surrounded with romantic scenery, and invested with interest by many a legend among the early discoverers and mountain trappers. The water is perfectly saturated with salt, and so dense that persons float, corklike, on its waves, or stand suspended with ease, with the shoulders exposed above the surface.
THE MORMON COUNTRY. 19
The shores of its bays in summer are lined with the skeletons and larvae of insects, and the few fish that venture too far from the Mouths of the rivers, and these form banks that fester and ferment, emitting sulphurous gases, offensive to the smell, but not supposed deleterious to health; and these, often dispersed by storms, are at last thrown far up the beach to dry into hard cakes of various dimensions, on which horses can travel without breaking them through; the underside being moist, the masses are slippery and insecure. The salt-boilers affirm that they obtain two measures of salt from three of the brine, and they have christened this sheet of water, which is seventy miles long, with the name of the "Greet Briny Shallow." There are several beautiful islands enclosed, two of them of considerable magnitude, with a mountain ridge through the centre two thousand feet high, and fresh springs of water, which have caused them to be selected by the shepherds and herdsmen for their occupation. The silence that surrounds one when standing on these islands, and having an unobstructed view of every part of the vast expanse, is very impressive; and as he floats on the surface of the waves, the eye traces several terraces around the contour of the islands, and along the adjacent mountains, on the whole circumference parallel with the horizon; and they seem to indicate that these have once been the borders of a mighty inland sea, whose waters retired suddenly to certain distances, by regular upheavings of the land, or equal outbreaks, to a lower level. Three principal terraces, each retreating about fifty feet above the other, may be counted; and their exact planes and magnitude show the comparison of the works of nature with the feeble imitations of man, in beauty, sublimity, and permanence.
At the base of the hills, around the lake, issue numerous warm springs, that collect in pools and smaller lakes; inviting aquatic fowl, during the winter, to resort to their agreeable temperature, and where insect larva furnishes food at all times; and the soil is so heated that snow cannot lie in their vicinity. In some places springs of different temperatures are in close proximity, some so hot that the hand cannot be thrust into them without pain; and
20 THE MORMON COUNTRY.
near the Bear is a depression, in which issue three fountains between the strata, within a space of thirty feet; of which one is a hot sulphur, the next tepid and salt, and the uppermost, cool, delicious drinking water -- the three currents unite, and flow off through the plain, a large and bold river. There are also warm "breathing" or gas-intermitting fountains, chalybeate and gypsum springs, of high and low temperatures. Those in the vicinity of the city have been arranged into delightful bathing reservoirs and bath-houses, out of the tithing fund, to which all are counseled to resort for cleanliness and health, at so small a charge, that it becomes a public luxury, safe and beneficial. It is a refreshing and delightful sport to bathe in the Salt Lake, but on emerging, the person is completely frosted over in purest white, and a fresh spring is a necessary appendage -- it may be called the whitewashing ewer, applicable to the body if not the character.
Wild game abounds for the table, in the antelope, deer, and feathered tribes -- the bear, panther, and smaller animals of prey, for the adventurous sportsman, range through hill, valley, and desert; and the angler can choose his fish, either in the swift torrents of the kanyons, where the trout delights to live, or in the calmer currents on the plains, where he will find abundance of the pike, the perch, the bass, and the chub. Along the brackish streams, from the saline springs, grows a thick tangled grass, and the marshy flats are covered with fine reeds or dense festucas. In early summer the shepherd lads fill their baskets with the eggs deposited in that cover by the goose, the duck, the curlew, and plover; or, taking a skiff, they can row to the Salt Lake islands, and freight to the water's edge with those layed for successive broods by the gull, the pelican, the blue heron, the crane, and the brandt.
Every day of the year has a different landscape for the eye, in the variety of light and shade cast by the sun, as he approaches toward, and recedes from, those frowning cliffs and snow-clad peaks -- and the different coloured garb of the seasons, nature's change of fashions, so much imitated by the lovers of dress, on whom her lessons are not bestowed in vain, comes to aid in
THE MORMON COUNTRY. 21
breaking up the monotony. On the south-east rises the lofty head of the Lone Peak, with double buttressed pillars on the summit, that look like an open portal to giant chambers in the clouds; and not far off; on the north, stand the Twin Peaks, side by side, like conjugal partners hesitating awhile on earth, before they pass through this inviting door to mansions amid the stars. When these barren masses of grey rock are viewed near at hand, the mind labors under its load of sublimity, grandeur, and awe -- but when standing on some distant eminence, the eye seems to grasp the infinite before it, and distance softens the harsh outlines into wavy curves, with closing vistas between, lost in the horizon's edge; the senses become enraptured for awhile with vastness and beauty combined; but soon there comes welling up from the depths of the soul the feeling that something still is wanting, and coldness, sterility, and vacuity broods over the landscape. The full charm is not there -- for the accessories of art spring not forth to make an agreeable variety, nor the forest-trees pointing to the skies, under whose shady retreats the weary of earth may contemplate their destiny.
Hidden away in the profound chasms and along the streams whose beds are deeply worn in the mountain sides are the cedar, pine dwarf-maple, and occasionally oak, where the inhabitants of the vale seek their fuel and building-timber, making journeys to obtain these necessaries from twenty to forty miles from their abodes. The more exposed parts of the country are annually run over by the fires set by the Indians to kill and roast the crickets which they gather in summer for winter food. These fires ascend the furry hill-sides and penetrate the forest kanyons -- and it is a beautiful but melancholy sight to see the withered vegetation swept away by the curling flames as they leap up the cliffs, lighting up at night the surrounding country with fitful splendours. One of the strenuous efforts making to improve the country, is to arrest this destructive process and convert the prairies into desirable woodlands.
The atmosphere of the valley is light, and breathing is a real luxury. The view being so unobstructed, an idea is prevalent that
22 THE MORMON COUNTRY.
small objects can be seen at great distances distinctly, and some have asserted that a man could be noticed at fifty or a hundred miles. This is erroneous. In winter, if snow covers the ground and the cold air is free from moisture, a dark object shows very far: -- but in summer the atmosphere is filled with clouds of floating insects that give a bluish haze, and make it a labor for it eye to use telescopes for geodetic purposes, and astronomical observations on the sun are very imperfect. On the barren plains an the arid valleys, after the dry season has a little advanced, the mirage will take up objects and distort them in the most fantastic manner; trees, rocks like houses, artemisia patches, and the white alkaline efflorescing flats, will seem to vibrate and pass before you like a panorama of garden groves, with beautiful parterres and pleasure-loving lakes and castellated mansions: -- a small stick close at hand will start up an immense giant at a distance; and far off things mock you with their retreatings as you endeavor to reach them; thinking that a few minutes may bring you to if landmarks or a pool of fresh water; and when hours of wee, travel have elapsed, your disappointment is complete as they sin out of sight beneath the horizon above which refraction has raise them. Sometimes a man walking alone, will be multiplied into troop marching with beautiful military exactness, and a few horsemen riding in a disorderly manner converted into a troop performing various evolutions; and where there is reason to apprehend the enemies are near, there imagination lends a fearful aid to magnify the picture, and you must be careful to take the description of mountain guide with its due share of exaggeration.
At the mouth of the kanyons the breezes at night are ever free and strong: they issue into the valley and are occasioned by descending currents of air, cooled on the higher peaks and summits behind, and blow like the stream from a funnel; which makes the residence near those openings in summer a safe retreat from the attacks of the universal mosquito, and the "sand flies" or "brules" that in unprotected places annoy the denizens.
[ 23 ]
While professing a complete divorce of church and state, their political character and administration is made subservient to the theocratical or religious element. They delight to call their system of government, a " Theo-Democracy;" and that, in a civil capacity, they stand as the Israelites of old under Moses. For the rule of those not fully imbued with the spirit of obedience, and sojourners not of the faith, as well as for things purely temporal, tribunals of justice, and law-making assemblies, are at present rendered necessary. But the rules and regulations vouchsafed from
24 CIVIL AND THEOCRATICAL CHARACTER.
the throne of Heaven are fixed and unchangeable' which have preceded all present necessities, and by them are they guided in the manner of providing for, and executing temporal affairs: -- so that those holding the revelations of God's Will, are the ones who make laws according to Truth' and the rulers or executors are clothed in Righteousness, and the end is Peace. In fact, their President of the church is the temporal civil governor' because he is the Seer of the Lord, and rules in virtue of that prophetic right over the home and Catholic "Latter-Day Saints of the Church of Jesus Christ," usually styled the Mormons. And should one be assigned to them, not of their creed, or other than their chief, hi would find himself without occupation. He probably would be received with all due courtesy as a distinguished personage, cordially received in social intercourse so long as his demeanor pleased the influential members and people: -- but as Governor -- to use their own expressive phrase, -- "he would be let severely alone.' Were he to convoke an assembly, and order an election, no attention would be paid to it, and he would be subjected to the mortification of seeing a legislature chosen at a different time, charting statutes, or else the old ones continued, and those laws enforced and the cases arising from their conflict adjudicated, by the present tribunals of justice, under their own judges. This certainly hat been proclaimed as their determined policy, though there might arise circumstances that would cause them to dissemble for a time and the peaceful character of the people would be assigned as the reason why no other burden was thrown upon foreign functionaries; than the labor of drawing their salaries from the distant treasury The dignity and the form of courts might easily obtain, to which Gentile sojourners or emigrants could resort, but the members of the Latter-Day Church would know nothing about them; their causes are to be settled in the church and not go to law out of it The church is the court for doctrinal error -- for other offence they have the statutes of Deseret, and what they call "Common Mountain Law."
For, among themselves, all disputes are to be settled under . "church" organization' to which is attached the civil jurisdiction,
CIVIL AND THEOCRATICAL CHARACTER. 25
with officers, from the inferior justice of the peace up to the Governor. But the justice is a Bishop of a ward in the city or precinct of the town or county; the Judges on the bench of the superior courts are constituted from the High Priests, from the quorums of seventies, or from the college of the Apostles; and the Seer is the highest ruler and consulting Judge. A double name is therefore required, by which the same persons execute the functions in their different official capacities, according as they relate to prescribed civil or spiritual matters, except on opinions, or purity of faith. Even the legislature can make no law upon, or regulating what is given in " Revelations " to the prophet, only so far as is necessary to carry them into effect in social transactions.
The entire management is under the Presidency, which consists of three persons, the Seer and two counselors. It is this board that governs their universal church; called universal because they claim to have preached in almost every nation, and in the United States in each congressional district; and have gathered societies called "Stakes of Zion," arranged on the model Of their home assembly' on the islands of the ocean and either continent -- and all are to obey the Presidency; at home in all things, and abroad in spiritual things, independent of every consideration -- and the converts are commanded "to gather, gather, gather to the mountains," as fast as convenient and compatible with their character and situation. They have made an exception in favor of the Pacific islanders, of whom they claim to have many thousands, whose effeminacy and habits unfit them for the labors and rugged climate of the rocky land; to whom several American families have been sent, to reside among and superintend them.
The number of inhabitants in the mountains has been greatly over-estimated, but there are probably in Utah and on the frontier of the states, ready to move up the coming year, about thirty thousand; and the number is fast increasing by the influx from England, Wales, and from the continent of Europe; every possible effort is made to bring up the emigrants, and swell the numerical strength to a position that can demand the independent
26 CIVIL AND THEOCRATICAL CHARACTER.
place of a state in the Union -- great inducement is held out, by guaranteeing wages for a fixed term of years to all superior and practical workmen in textile fabrics, in cutlery and machinery, no matter what shall be their religious belief.
This people are there under assumed prophetic direction, and it is not amiss to glance at their origin, and the means by which this late desert and solitary wilderness is now blossoming under the hand of this peaceful, industrious, and harmonious community.
The founder of the Mormon Sect was Joseph Smith, a native of Vermont, who emigrated when quite young in his father's family to Western New-York. According to his autobiography, published in a series of letters, he was of a religious turn of wind, and, when seventeen years of age, became greatly interested in the "revivals of religion," often occurring among the "denominations" in that section of country. In one of these times his feelings were so powerfully wrought upon that he gave himself up to con tinned prayer for some days -- and meditating still at night, he at length arose while all the family were hushed in sleep, and poured forth his soul, "agonizing" to have made known to him the truth. among the conflicting opinions he heard by the various sects. His apartment became suddenly illuminated, and an angel appeared and conversed familiarly with him, and instructed him in the way of righteousness; informing him also that there was no true church upon the earth. The doctrine taught on this point is, that the church which was once established, had fallen under the rule given by the prophet, and had " changed the ordinances," " broken the everlasting covenant," and "corrupted the faith;" for which cause it was removed from earth -- or, in their figurative expression "the man child was caught up into heaven," which means that the priesthood was taken away fifteen hundred years ago. And Joseph was told that his prayers were heard and registered it the books on high, and that, being dearly beloved of the Lord he should be commissioned a priest after the order of Melchisedek,
CIVIL AND THEOCRATICAL CHARACTER. 27
and restore that line among men, organizing a church of faithful persons, to receive the Lord in the Millennium, which time should be hastened according to their degree of mighty faith, for he was determined "to cut the work short in righteousness." In after visits he was further instructed that "truth should spring out of the earth" -- (Ps.) -- and that, accordingly, he should be conducted to the hill Cumorra, in Palmyra, New York, and receive from out the ground holy and prophetic records concerning a family of Jews that emigrated from Jerusalem in the time of Zedekiah, and were miraculously led to America, across the eastern ocean.
On being guided to the spot, he found a square stone box eight inches high, covered with a slab, cemented upon it; and made repeated trials to open it. He was struck back by an invisible blow, and informed, in answer to his earnest prayer, that the want of success was owing to his listening to the suggestions of Satan, who had walked at his elbow on the way, and had made him resolve to make use of the golden plates on which the records were engraved, as well as the contents when published, to advance his temporal fortunes. This was sin -- to think he should become famous was unholy ambition; that he should be rich and powerful thereby, was avarice.
But, on sincere repentance and submission, four years after, the contents of the box were shown to him, the angel opening it; which consisted of the "Sword of Laban," brought from Jerusalem, a breastplate and two stones, "bright and shining," and golden plates engraved with characters, and united at the backs by rings. A portion of the records was received, constituting the Book of Mormon, in which are depicted, much in the style of the Bible Chronicles, the various fortunes of the four brothers of the emigrating family, and of their descendants -- how some tribes were evil in their practices, despising reproof, and became cursed with a dark skin and loathsome habits, and were made scourges to others when falling away from the truth -- the sayings, teachings, and warnings of their prophets, who foretold by name the advent of the Savior of the world -- the organization among the purer people on this continent, of a church by Christ, who came down
28 CIVIL AND THEOCRATICAL CHARACTER.
to them after his ascension at Jerusalem, and gave them his gospel nearly in the words of the Sermon on the Mount, and how that for apostasy these Christians were finally destroyed by the Gadianton robbers and the red men -- the last prophet, Moroni by name, sealing up the Records, and depositing them, with the sword, Urim and Thummim, and breastplate, at Cumorah, there to remain until "the fullness of time" should demand their exhumation; and which should be brought forth, "by way of Gentile," for the "convincing of both Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ." (See preface, B. Mormon.)
The restoring angel was the spirit of this same Moroni, the son of Mormon the Seer, who had made a compendium of the holy writings and delivered them to him; and Joseph, now constituted the Seer, by means of the Urim and Thummim, placed in a bow and looked through upon the plates, began their translation, and preached the news of his important mission. A convert, named Cowdery, baptized him, it being so commanded by the angel, in order that a beginning should be made; and the prophet then baptized his convert. At this ceremony in the woods of Pennsylvania, in the clear Susquehannah, or one of its branches, there were present, to approve of this necessity, and by their sanctions remit irregularity, the angels or spirits of Moses and Elias of the old dispensation; as also Peter, James, and John of the new.* In 1830 the first organization was made in Manchester, New York, and that is the Epoch of the New Church of the Latter-Day Saints. Revelations were made to Joseph, and certain men were designated by the revelator for missionary labor, and converts increased; or, as one of the members of that day, and an apostle now, said, "the word of the Lord greatly grew and magnified, and many were obedient to the faith" -- and soon we find that at Kirtland, Ohio, a temple was in process of building.
But, for certain reasons, hereafter to be developed, this place was abandoned, and a spot designated by revelation in Missouri, was declared to be intended for them, as their inheritance -- for
* Book Doc. and Cov. 27.
"there was the New Jerusalem to be built by the saints, after a pattern sent down from heaven, and upon the spot where the garden of Eden bloomed, and Adam was formed." The altar on which Adam did sacrifice' was shown to Joseph, at least some of the stones of which it was built; and, on the north side of the river, a city has located in the place where Adam blessed his children.
In that state, cruel persecutions followed -- driven from Zion, they took refuge in adjoining countries -- and again crimes of a dark dye were alleged against them; the leaders were imprisoned for treason, and they aver that in one jail they were furnished with human flesh for food: the flesh of their own slaughtered comrades. They suffered greatly; and finally, expelled by force of law and the mob, they took refuge in Illinois, and began the building of a temple in the city of Nauvoo; a city which in a few years had twenty thousand inhabitants. But, though caressed for a time, they fell under suspicion, as they allege, most unjustly, of account of the flocking in of horse-thieves and counterfeiters, who carried on secretly their nefarious plans, as in other towns; and all the crimes committed in the country around were maliciously attributed to them. It ended in the murder of Joseph, the Seer, and Hyrum, the Patriarch, by the mob at Carthage jail, in 1844, and the re-organization of the major part of the society, under Brigham Young, as the Lord's Prophet and Seer to the Saints, to receive the revelations for them in a church capacity, with the title of First President.
A temporary lull ensued in the tempest of persecution, but the storm gathered force again. Such threats were made, that it was necessary to seek another home. A prophecy having been made by the present venerable patriarch, and the rule of the late seer, that they must retire to the wilderness and to endure perils and tribulations for a time, before their final triumph over their foes, a delegation was dispatched to the mountains; and Salt Lake Valley was selected, in the far-off California of Mexico, as a resting place.
Under the conduct of "Brigham the Seer" a colony of 4000 persons was planted there in l847; -- the Presidency arrived on the 24th of July, which day was one of joy and gladness, and its anniversaries are to be held in great esteem, and celebrated with rejoicings evermore. In five days a large tract was ploughed, planted with potatoes, and the city-creek dammed, and irrigating ditches filled; and the spot on which they first rested being the most eligible site in the valley, a city was immediately laid out. A fort enclosing about forty acres, was built, by facing log-houses inward, and picketing four gateways on each side of the square, making a line nearly a mile and a half in length -- the timber being hauled several miles, and cut in the distant kanyons.
The land was consecrated by solemn ceremonies to the Lord and his saints, and a permanent location made on territory, to which none of the wandering tribes of Indians could show a title, which they thought of such validity, that they ought to purchase its or make remuneration to them for its occupancy.
During the following year, every month was so mild that they ploughed and sowed in each, -- but though the winter was auspicious and all things so favorable, they were so reduced in provisions as to eat the hides of the slaughtered animals, and eagerly searched them out of the ditches, and tore them from the roofs of the houses, to boil them for the table, and they dug side by side with the miserable Utes for the wild roots used by them for food. But the most formidable enemy they had to contend with, as the crops were nearing maturity, was the army of black, ungainly crickets -- "a frightful bug," as a Liverpool sojourner called it when first he saw one: -- which, descending from the mountain-sides, destroyed every green herb in their way. In vain did the sorrowful farmers surround their fields with trenches, and fill them with water; the black host, leaping in, floated over, and with wonderful instinct, kept on the course of march, and mounting up the wheat-stalk, would cut it off at the curve which was bent by the weight of the fruit more precious than golden seeds. Whole families might be
THE WHITE GULLS. 31
seen standing guard with branches and boards in their hands, uttering loud shouts, and endeavoring to turn back and beat off the invaders. In some instances, they succeeded in changing the direction of the match along the streams, and destroyed many in the waters, but it was only a partial relief on a few points of attack.
But better defenders soon came to their aid. These were the most beautiful birds of the valley, the glossy white gulls, with bright red beaks and feet; dovelike in form and motion, with plumage of downy texture and softness. After the first moulting of the crickets, they came in flocks to feast on the banquet which was so bountifully spread for their reception. In early dawn, they rise from the nesting islands of the Great Lake and gliding through the air, gracefully alight on the smooth and gentle slopes at the last of the terraces at the mountains' base, and feast the livelong day.
Luxurious like their Roman prototypes, when filled to satiety, they disgorge the meal, and return with renewed appetites to the plentiful repast; and just as the sun touches the highest mountain peaks in the ranges of the Great Salt Desert to the West, they expand their long wings, and soar away in countless multitudes to their insular retreats, secure from molestation. A few vigilant sentinels pass to and fro during the day, watchful of the callow young; caring for their wants, and conveying intelligence seemingly to the old and the young, at home and abroad, that "all's well." Since that season, the crops of the Mormons have amply met their wants; protection to their fields is more perfect, and the assiduous gulls continue their annual visit, which at first was supposed miraculous; and for the three past years there has been a surplus of food, which was sold to the gold emigrants at a less price than at fort Laramie, four hundred miles nearer the States.
Their admirable system of combining labor, while each has his own property, in land and tenements, and the proceeds of his industry, the skill in dividing off the lands, and conducting the irrigating equals to supply the want of water, which rarely falls between April and October, -- the cheerful manner in which every one applies himself industriously, but not laboriously: -- the complete
32 MORMON EXTENSION.
reign of good neighborhood and quiet in house and fields, form themes for admiration to the stranger coming from the dark and sterile recesses of the mountain gorges into this flourishing valley: -- and he is struck with wonder at the immense results, produced in so short a time by a handful of individuals.
This is the result of the guidance of all those hands by one master mind; and we see a comfortable people residing where, it is not too much to say, the ordinary mode of subduing and settling our wild lands could never have been applied.
To accomplish this, there was required religious fervor, with the flame fanned by the breezes of enthusiasm -- the encircling of bands into the closest union, by the outward pressure of persecution -- the high hopes of laying up a prospective reward, and returning to their deserted homes in great prosperity -- the belief of re-enacting the journey of the Israelitish church under another Moses, through the Egypt already passed, to arrive at another Jerusalem, more heavenly in its origin, and beautiful in its proportions and decorations.
Single families on that line of travel would have starved or fallen by the treachery of the Sioux, the cunning of the Crows and Shoshones, or the hatred of the savage Utahs. Concert and courage of the best kind were required and brought into the field, and the result is before us -- to their own minds as the direct blessing and interposition of Providence, to others the natural reward of associated industry and perseverance.
Four other colonies have branched off from this parent one, and cities with thickly populated and rapidly growing suburbs, extend on a line of two hundred miles, from Box Elder creek on the north, to the Little Salt Lake on the south, and thence towards San Diego: at the turn of the Nevada Mountain, a rancho has been purchased and a station made, soon to be followed by others; whereby a chain of posts will be established for the convenience of receiving their emigration by way of a seaport on the Pacific.
The Great Salt Lake City was laid out into squares in 1847; the streets are one hundred and thirty-two feet wide, with twenty feet side-walks, and the City creek divided to run along each walk
NEW MORMON SETTLEMENTS. 33
and water a colonnade of trees, and also to be led into the gardens. The lots contain each nearly an acre, and face on alternate streets with eight lots in each block.
The site is on a scarcely perceptible slope, except the northern part, which rises upon the first natural terrace, and lies in the angle of the main Wahsatch range, running north and south, and a giant spur that makes out directly to the west. and terminates one half mile from the Jordan River. The city is four miles square, and touches the river bank on the west side. It can be watered by several creeks, and a canal twelve miles long, to cross three other streams, is constructed; to bring the Big Cottonwood along the eastern terrace to the present capital of this new empire.
Forty miles north is Ogden City, beautifully located near the junction of Ogden and Weber rivers -- and sixty miles south is another flat, soon to be occupied, on the Timpanogos; and thence one hundred and thirty miles in the same direction, is the city of Manti, and settlement of the San Pete Valley. Paroan, or Iron City, so named from the abundance of ore, and facilities for procuring fuel for their furnaces, is in the valley of the Little Salt Lake, where it is reported that a much larger body of irrigable land is found than in that first settled.
In Tuilla Valley, thirty miles west of the temple, is a settlement; and there are now in successful operation ten saw and five grist mills, and others erecting in all the newer locations. At large, commodious state-house was completed in 1850; and a wooden railway laid to the Red Butte quarries, finer miles distant, for transporting the fine red sandstone to the Temple Block, where a gorgeous pile is to be erected, which shall surpass in magnificence any yet built by man, and which shall be second only to that finally to be constructed by themselves, when the Presidency shall be installed at the New Jerusalem, on the temple site of Zion.
To the north of Temple Block, and close by, towers up and overlooks the Temple City, the " Ensign Mound." It terminates the great spur, and is conspicuous in approaching the city, from every quarter. On this mountain peak there is soon to be unfurled the most magnificent flag ever thrown to the breeze,
34 MORMON PROSPERITY.
constructed out of the banner flags of all peoples. Joined in symbolical unity, "the flag of all nations" shall wave above the sacred temple; then shall they verify the decree given by the prophet Isaiah -- (Ch. ii. 18, 25.) -- "All ye inhabitants of the world and dwellers upon earth, see ye, when he lifteth up a ensign upon the mountains -- and he will lift up an ensign to the nations from far, and will hiss unto them from the end of the earth -- and it shall come to pass in the last days that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the tops of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills, and all nation shall flow into it."
Their comparative comfort and degree of prosperity is significantly shown by the fact that they canvassed the country, to ascertain how many inmates there would be for a poor-house, and finding only two disposed to ask public bounty, they conclude that it was not yet time to build a house of charity: and this among the thousands who, three years before, were deprived of their property, and could, with the utmost difficulty, transport their families into the valley.
[ 35 ]
They claim to be "separate and peculiar" on higher and different grounds, than worldly prosperity and human laws; -- and those pretensions, with the consequent action, have called forth much vain and erroneous speculation, from not fully comprehending the principles which give rise to their conduct, in their relations to other communities and individuals. The pretension is, that they constitute the only true Church of God and His Son, and their hopes rest upon the expectation of the intervention soon of the King of Kings, by which, under the guidance of the Spirit, they shall gather to themselves individually, all who are destined and prepared to listen to the voice of Truth; and then all the sects of Christendom will be absorbed into that one most concentrated and most numerous.
When these two hosts are fairly marshaled, the one under the banner of the Pope of Rome, and " the saints " around the " Flag of all nations," "led by their Seer," wearing the consecrated breastplate, and flourishing the glittering golden sword of Laban, delivered him by angelic hands, from their long resting-place, then shall be fought the great battle, mystically called, of Gog and Magog: -- the Lord contending for his people with fire, pestilence, and famine; and in the end, the earth Will become the property of the Saints, and He will descend from his heavenly throne to reign over them through a happy Millennium.
36 SPIRITUAL EXPECTATIONS.
During the preparations for those battles, to be more fierce than man ever yet has fought, the Jews will be erecting another temple at the Palestine Jerusalem, on which their long-expected Savior will stand and exhibit Himself in the conquering brightness that they supposed he would bear at the first appearance, and their hearts will be bowed as one man to receive Him, with repentant humility for the past, and glorious joy for the future, and the city will rise in great magnificence; -- and the New Israelites of America will have their head-quarters of the Presidency in Jackson County, Missouri, where they will build up the New Jerusalem, the joy of the whole earth; and, at the presence of the Lord of Majesty, the land which "was divided" in the days of Noah into continents and islands, shall be "Beulah, married" and become one entirely as at the original creation, -- and, from these two cities, villas and habitations shall extend in one continuous neighborhood, among which shall prevail entire concord: no one will have the disposition to rebel or be allowed to act against the harmony of the whole.
And there shall be "thrown up," between the two Jerusalems "the highway on which the lion hath not trod, and which the eagle's eye hath not seen " -- then the temple described by Ezekiel will be erected in all its particulars for the exercise of the functions of the two priesthoods, -- for the Aaronic' held by the tribe of Levi, who will return to their duties and renew animal sacrifices; and for the Melchiscdek, the greater priesthood, held by those commissioned through Joseph the Seer.
At the end of the Millennium, those who have not been sincere in their obedience to the Lord's reign will be permitted to show their rebellious spirit a short time under the direction of their captain Satan; and at last be overwhelmed with destruction from the presence of the good: -- and the Earth, which is believed to be a creature of life, will be celestialized and gloriously beautified for the meek and pure in heart.
Such is a summary outline of their claims and expectations, but the preaching from the pulpit, and extempore teachings, are usually confined to the promulgation of doctrines like those commonly
ROUTINE OF WORSHIP. 37
taught by the Christian sects which hold to Faith, Repentance, Baptism, and the Resurrection of the Body.
Their mode of conducting worship is to assemble at a particular hour, and the senior priest then indicates order by asking a blessing on the congregation and exercises -- when a hymn from their own collection is sung, prayer made extempore, and another sacred song, followed by a sermon from some one previously appointed to preach; which is usually continued by exhortations and remarks from those who "feel moved upon to speak." Then notices of the arrangement of the tithe labor for the ensuing week, and information on all secular matters, interesting to them in a church capacity, is read by the council clerk, and the congregation dismissed by a benediction.
While the congregation is assembling and departing from the house, it is usual for the large and excellent band of music to perform anthems, marches, and waltzes, which drives away all sombre feelings, and prepares the mind for the exciting and often eloquent discourses. As there are a large number of Welsh in the meetings, and many of them not understanding the English language, a version of the principal discourse is sometimes made to them by an interpreter, and a Welsh choir will then exhilarate all present by singing one of their hymns, to one of their charming, wild, romantic airs.
We will now open up the view of their particular doctrines, first premising that what is here stated is drawn from the perusal of some of their accredited books, and heard in their pulpit preaching -- or obtained in free conversation with their well instructed and principal men. Nor would I, in the least, wish to misrepresent the doctrines themselves, or abuse any confidence of the friends, whom I feel justified to call such, among them, on account of their kindness, oftentimes shown in circumstances to be appreciated. Many points were elicited by direct interrogation, and others obtained from the oral discourses on the preacher's stand -- and as it was a common thing for the speakers, when not of the Presidency, to appeal to their superiors, who sat behind them to correct any thing mistaken for the teaching of the Holy
38 MORMON DOCTRINES.
Spirit, through their mouths; all such doctrines we suppose to be adopted as true which were suffered to go unrebuked. That most of this exposition is the constant subject of teaching, we by no means affirm -- as in all Christian sects, it is seldom that abstruse themes are discussed before a promiscuous audience -- the principal part of this theology is the "strong meat" reserved for those who have been fed on the milk, as weaker members.
We first introduce an article taken from the paper called the Frontier Guardian, edited by Orson Hyde, of the Apostolic College, and I believe at the head of it, giving the faith of the Latter-Day Saints.
Continue reading on: