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True Saints' Herald
(Plano, IL: RLDS Church)

  • 1880: Dec. 1
      "Polygamy Not a Doctrine"

  •     Transcriber's Comments

    More Mormonism articles in The Saints' Herald: 1872-81 articles


    Vol. 27.                                    Plano,  Ill., December 1, 1880.                                  No. 23.

            [p. 357]




    Who has Lived Twenty Years in the Territory of Utah,
    and who for six years has been Bishop of Clarkston,
    Cache Co., in this Territory.


    TEXT. -- "Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord." -- Book of Mormon, page 118, par. 6.

    To those of the Church in Utah, and elsewhere, under the presidency of John Taylor, Greeting: -- I emigrated to this Territory A. D. 1859, firmly believing at that date, and until a very short time since, that Utah was the gathering place for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

    I believed also, from the teachings of the late Pres. Brigham Young and others of the presidency of said Church, that their right to said presidency was in accordance with the law of God and the divine will; but to my great disappointment, after careful and candid examination of that law, I found that nowhere did it sanction such claims; they are then, but assumptions.

    Not only did I find their claims wrong, but their doctrines too. The law of God nowhere commands polygamy; on the contrary, its practice is denounced therein as wicked, and an abomination in the sight of God. On this subject I wish to treat.

    The publications of the Church show that for sometime after the martyrdom of Joseph Smith, polygamy was proclaimed against as a false and corrupt doctrine. I have proven it to be so, and will give a very brief sketch of my life in support of this statement.

    For several years previous to my emigration to Utah, trouble was in my family, caused by the doctrine of polygamy. My wife was bitterly opposed to it, from its first announcement to us. As an instance of this, she said once at a public gathering, "My husband wants me to go to Salt Lake to be queen over seven wives, and because I do not want to go, we live very unhappily." I state this to show that even before another wife has been taken, the theory of it makes the true wife unhappy; how much more the reality, when she sees and suffers from the practice. In my case, because my wife could not receive it, this strange doctrine led to our separation for eighteen long years. Nevertheless the hand of the Lord has been over us for some cause best known to him, and by his all-wise providence, we have been brought together once more.

    During the time mentioned, to do my duty, as interpreted by "the law of the Utah priesthood and the new and everlasting covenant of marriage," according to Pres. B. Young, I had to marry other wives, or I could not receive a fulness of glory. Such was my confidence, and such my convictions at that time, that I did as I was instructed. Many other's had, and some have such convictions yet, and so strong are they, that I am satisfied many would die "a martyrs death" rather than to deny, or be compelled to forsake the belief in, or practice of them.

    But to return to my history. After my arrival in Utah, notwithstanding my wife was yet living, and in England, I was told by Pres. B. Young and others, that I ought to marry another wife, and be raising another family. The result was I married again. But what were the fruits, and what the final result of such a marriage? When my first wife and family came to Utah, to have peace in my house, I had to do like Abraham of old, I gave gifts and sent them away. Some of my brethren thought my act a wrong one, and said I ought rather to have put away my first wife, because she was opposed to polygamy. Yet; notwithstanding my family perplexities, and the admonition of my brethren of the priest- bood, my faith in the divinity of the "revelation" (!) on plural marriage was as firm as ever.

    A short time after this occurrence, a volume of the Times and Seasons was handed me. Reading this, was my eye-opener. Here for the first time I saw or read in any publications of the Church, with the signatures of Joseph and Hyrum Smith attached, a declaration against teaching or practicing the doctrine of polygamy. Here, to my great surprise, I read as follows:

    "As we have lately been credibly informed that an Elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, by the name of H. P. Brown, has been preaching polygamy and other false and corrupt doctrines, in the county of Lapeer, State of Michigan, this is to notify him and the Church in general, that he has been out off from the Church for his iniquity." -- Times and Seasons, Vol. 5, page 423.

    I also read on page 474, (dated March 8th, 1844, Ibid.) as follows:

    "To the Brethren of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints living on China Creek, in Hancock county, greeting: Whereas, Bro. Richard Hewitt has called on me to-day, to know my views concerning some doctrines that are preached in your place, (meaning Nauvoo - S. S.), and states to me that sole of your Elders say, that a man having a certain priesthood may have as many wives as he pleases, and that doctrine is taught here, I say unto you that that man teaches false doctrine, for there is no such doctrine taught here, neither is there any such thing practiced here. And any man that is found teaching, privately or publicly, any such doctrine is culpable, and will stand a chance to be brought before the High Council, and lose his license and membership also."

    I also read on page 711 (Ibid.) an endorsement by the Editor, (John Taylor), acknowledging a certain communication received from a person who signed himself "An Old Man in Israel, in which communication occurs the following, page 715, (Ibid): --

    "The Saints of the last days have witnessed the outgoings and incomings of so many apostates, that nothing but truth has any effect upon them. In the present instance, after the sham quotations of Sidney and his clique, from the Bible, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants, to skulk off under the 'dreadful


    splendor' of 'spiritual wifery,' which is brought into the account as graciously as if the laws of the land allowed a plurality of wives is fiendish. Woe to that man or men who will thus willfully lie to injure an innocent people! The law of the land, and the rules of the Church do not allow one man to have more than one wife alive at once, but if a man's wife die, he has a right to marry another, and to be scaled to both for eternity, to the living and the dead. There as no law of God or man against it. This is all the spiritual wife system that ever was tolerated by the Church, and they know it."

    I also read as follows, on page 888, vol. 6:

    "For once let us say," (said your present President, John Taylor), that Cain, who went to Nod and taught the doctrine of a plurality of wives, and the giant who practiced the same iniquity, and Nimrod who practiced the common stock system, and the Jews who commenced crossing sea and land to make proselytes without revelation; and the Christian sects who have went all lengths to build up churches, and multiplying systems without authority from God, are all co-workers on the same plan. When the reward for every man's work is given, this will be the everlasting answer to all sects, sorts and conditions, from Cain down to Christian Israelites, 'I never knew you.'"

    Such is the language, and such the testimony against the doctrine of polygamy, and that too by the highest authority of the church which practices it. The reading of it gave me cause for much thought and reflection; and the enquiry arose as to who could be the author of the reputed revelation on plural marriage. A candid and due consideration of this evidence against the doctrine of polygamy leads me to condemn it too, as a false and corrupt doctrine. According to this testimony, that pretended revelation commanding the practice of polygamy could not have come through, or been the production of Joseph Smith, or of those who thus proclaimed against it at that time. And, further, the record of those men indicates that they would not stoop so low as to be guilty of betraying the cause of God and bringing themselves into bondage by publishing a falsehood to the world, and certifying to the Church that ouch a doctrine was neither taught nor in practice by any one belonging to said Church. And if it was, they would be dealt with and be cut off from the Church.

    Thus, when I read such declarations against the doctrine of plural marriage, as being a false and corrupt doctrine, and that it was not a doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and reflected upon it, I became conscious of the situation of those who were now reaching and practicing it, and I could not any longer conscientiously advocate or practice it I must henceforth regard it only as a doctrine of evil, which, if practiced, would bring the displeasure and curse of God. A few quotations from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, (third European edition), the Book of Mormon and the Bible upon this subject, will show you that these books condemn the practice of polygamy.

    First, see Book of Covenants, page 330, par. 2, also page 331, par. 4:

    "Marriage should be celebrated with prayer and thanksgiving, and at the solemnization, the persons to be married, standing together, the man on the right, and the woman on the left, they shall be addressed by the person officiating, as he shall be directed by the Holy Spirit; and if there be no legal objections he shall say, calling each by their names, 'You both mutually agree to be each other's companion, husband and wife, observing the legal rights belonging to this condition; that is, keeping yourselves wholly for each other, and from all others, during your lives.'"

    This certainly forbids a man marrying more than one wife. Recollect you have to make a solemn covenant, both the man and the woman, that you are to keep yourselves wholly for each other during your lives.

    Again, par. 4: "Inasmuch as this Church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication and polygamy; we declare that we believe that one man shall have one wife; and one woman but one husband) except in case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again."

    This declaration against the practice of polygamy in the church is very explicit. But polygamists in our day say, that that law on marriage, forbidding more than one wife, and its declaration against polygamy as being not a tenet of the church, was published to blind the outsiders. They further tell us that the plural law on marriage was understood as early as A. D. 1832, and that it was a true principle; vide Elder Orson Pratt; sermon on Celestial Marriage, Salt Lake City, October 7th, 1869. But this assertion of Elder Pratt's is in direct contradiction to the written law I have quoted, which says that polygamy is "a crime." Again, Joseph Smith, and others I have quoted, call polygamy a "false and corrupt doctrine. How can a false doctrine become a true principle? Again, B. of C., par. 1: "All marriages solemnized in the Church of Christ should be solemnized IN A PUBLIC MEETING, or a FEAST, PREPARED FOR THAT PURPOSE." What! All marriages of the Church of Christ to be solemnized in a public meeting, or at a feast where the marriage is published. Then any, marriage solemnized otherwise than in the way provided, can not be a marriage belonging to the Church of Christ.

    Again, to show that the one wife system was the only one acknowledged and commanded throuah the martyred prophet, see B. of C., page 125, par. 7: "Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else, and be that looketh on a woman to lust after her, shall deny the faith, and shall not have the Spirit, and if he repents not, be shall be cast out." This command, recollect, was expressly given to the church, to be a law to the church, to regulate the marriage relation? and he that broke that law was to be cast out of the church, if he repented not.

    Again, B. of C., page 218, par. 3: "and again I say unto you, that whose forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man; wherefore it is lawful that be should have one wife, and THEY TWAIN shall be one flesh, and all this that the earth might answer the end of its creation, and that it might be filled with the measure of man, according to his creation before the world was made."

    This quotation declares that it was lawful for a man to have one wife. If then it is lawful for a man to have one wife, would it not be unlawful for him to have more than one, unless in case of death, when he would be at liberty to marry another, as the law provides?

    I will now refer you to the teachings of the Savior, an recorded by Matthew, 19th chap., 4th, 6th and 9th verses:

    "Have ye not read that he who made man in the beginning, made him male and female. * * * For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they twain shall be one flesh. * * * If any man shall put away his wife, except for the cause of fornication, and shall marry another, he shall commit adultery." Here the Savior has shown clearly the order of marriage. Said he, "Have ye not read that He in the beginning made them male and female?" as much as to say, hat was a pattern for all time to come, that one an should have one wife, and they two, or twain, shall be one flesh. In the ninth verse, it is said, if a man shall put away his wife, or, in other words, give his wife a bill of divorcement unlawfully, and marry another, he will commit adultery. Such an explanation by the Savior of the marriage relation, and its order and design by the Creator, ought to be sufficient to all to show that if man will transcend its bounds by marrying a second wife, or more, while his first is legally his, and is alive, be commits adultery.

    Again, see 1 Cor. 7: 22: "Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and every woman her own husband." What do you say, Paul, "Every man to have his own wife?" Then, Recording to Paul's doctrine, none of the ancient apostles were polygamists, for every man should have his own wife. Polygamy was not a doctrine of the apostles.

    Again, see Mal. 2:14, 15: "Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou bast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. And did he not make one? Yet had he the residue of the Spirit. And Wherefore one ? That he may seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth." Malachi also teaches the same doctrine that others taught, namely, that in the beginning only one woman was created to be a help meet for man. Malachi (like the Savior) charged Judah with being transgressors in breaking the marriage covenant, for said be, 'Thou hast dealt treacherously with the wife of thy-youth." How like the account given in the Book of Mormon about the sorrow and mourning of the wives of the Nephites, whose husbands were polygamists.

    Again, see Deut. 17:14-20: "When thou art come into the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, and thou shalt possess it, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as other nations that are about me; * * * neither shall he (the king) multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away; neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver or gold. And it shall be when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites. And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life; that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes to do them; that his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the the right hand, or to the left, to the end that


    he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children in the midst of Israel."

    I have been rather lengthy in this quotation, that I might show you how particular Moses was in giving his charge to the children of Israel, in regard to the law of marriage, and other statutes the Lord had commanded him to give unto his people to observe, and that the king should have a copy of them before him when he sat upon the throne of his kingdom, and that he should read therein all the days of his life, to learn to fear the Lord, that he might not turn to the right or the left from the commandments of the Lord, that his days and his children, might be prolonged in Israel. Then Moses actually commanded his people, especially the king, not to multiply to himself wives to turn his heart from the Lord. But how many kings have observed the strict law of God? The divine record tells us only a few. Some of our polygamist brethren have tried by rnisquotations and a misconstruction of the word of God? to prove that the Lord at different ages of the world has commanded the practice or polygamy. But, we discover that the law of God, from the beginning until now, proclaims against it, and the law that the Lord gave through Moses to the king, (when the people should say they wanted to be like other nations round about them, and have a king to rule them), he (the king) was forbidden to go into polygamy, because the Lord well knew if he did it would lead him astray, and hence he would become a transgressor of the law.

    I will now refer you to the Book of Mormon, pages 115 and 116, par. 4: "And now it came to pass that the people of Nephi, under the reign of the second king, began to grow hard in their hearts, and indulge themselves some. what in wicked practices, such as like unto David of old, desiring many wives and concubines, and also Solomon, his son." Here again we are told that it is wicked to do like unto David and Solomon, to pervert the law of God by practicing polygamy.

    Again, page 118, par. 6, "And were it not that I had to speak unto you concerning a grosser crime, my heart would rejoice exceedingly because of you. But the word of God burthens me because of your grosser crimes. For behold, thus saith the Lord, this people begin to wax in iniquity; they understand not the Scriptures, for they seek to excuse themselves in committing whoredome, because of those things which were written concerning David, and Solomon his son. Behold David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord: Wherefore, thus saith the Lord, I have led this people forth out of the land of Jerusalem, by the power of mine arm, that I might raise up unto me a righteous branch from the fruit of the loins of Joseph. Wherefore, I, the Lord God will not suffer that this people shall do like unto them of old. Wherefore, my brethren hear me and hearken to the word of the Lord; for there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife, and concubines he shall have none * * * Wherefore, this people shall keep my commandments, saith the Lord of hosts, or cursed be the land for their sakes."

    This quotation from the word of God ought to put an end to all contention concerning the doctrine of polygamy as to whether it was a principle approved of God or not. Certainly the Lord has forbidden the practice of polygamy through Jacob as he did through Moses, saying he had led forth his people from Jerusalem by the power of his arm for the very purpose that he might thereby raise up a righteous people, certifying to them that they should not do like unto them from whom they had come; but if they did, the land should be cursed. What? the land be cursed if they had more wives than one? Certainly. "Because, saith the Lord of hosts, ye shall not do like unto them of old." As though be had said, I gave my law through my servant Moses, but they observed it not. I have given it now to a branch of Israel, through my servant Jacob that I might from them raise up unto me a righteous people, but if ye will not hearken to my law ye shall be rejected also, and the land shall be cursed to you also, for you seek also to excuse yourselves in what is written concerning David and Solomon, not understanding the Scriptures.

    Those polygamists who lived in Jacob's time are brethren with those who live in our day; for those say that David and Solomon, and all the prophets were justified in all their acts (in taking wives) excepting one; and further, teat there is a clause in the paragraph I have quoted providing for a command in the future to be given to practice polygamy, and which is considered strong proof for their practices. But, like the Nephites, they understand not the Scriptures. The clause reads as follows: I For if I will, saith the Lord of hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise ye shall hearken unto these things." Jacob does not state what law the Lord would give to raise up seed. Hence the benefit of the doubt can not be considered in favor of polygamy, since we find by divine truth that such a doctrine is "a corrupt doctrine," But by reading farther on in the same paragraph, and the very next sentence, we discover that there is one good reason to believe the Lord would not give a polygamic command for his people to obey, for he says:

    "Behold, I, the Lord, have seen the sorrow, and board the mourning of the daughters of my people in the land of Jerusalem; yea, in all the lands of my people, because of the wickedness and abominations of their husbands, and I will not suffer, saith the Lord of hosts, that the cries of the fair daughters of this people, which I have led out of the land of Jerusalem, shall come up unto me against the men of my people, saith the Lord of hosts; for they shall not lead away captive the daughters of my people, because of their tenderness, save I shall visit them with a sore curse, even unto destruction; for they shall not commit whoredoms, like unto them of old, saith the Lord of hosts."

    Also, page 119, par. 7: "And now behold, my brethren, ye know that these commandments were given to our father Lehi; where- fore ye have known them before; and ye have come under great condemnation. * * * Ye have broken the hearts of your tender wives, and lost the confidence of your children, because of your bad examples before them, and the sobbings of their hearts ascend up to God against you."

    Thus the Lord proclaims against such practices. Utah polygamists, this ought to be a lesson to you. The strict command of the Lord who changeth not against the practice of polygamy, is a sufficient reason why he would never give a commandment fear its practice.

    See also par. 9: ‘O, all ye that are pure in heart, lift up your heads and receive the pleasing word of God, and feast upon his love; for ye may, if your minds are firm, forever. But wo, wo, unto you that are not pure in heart; that are filthy this day before God, for except ye repent, the land is cursed for your sakes; and the Lamanites, which are not filthy like unto you, (nevertheless they are cursed with a sore cursing), shall scourge you even unto destruction. And the time speedily cometh, that except ye repent, they shall possess the land of your inheritance, and the Lord God will lend away the righteous out from among you. Behold, the Lamanites, your brethren, whom ye hate, because of their filthiness and the cursings which have come upon their skins, are more righteous than you; for they have not forgotten the commandment of the Lord, which was given unto our fathers, that they should have save it were one wife. * * * And now this commandment they observe to keep; wherefore, because of this observance, IN KEEPING THIS COMMANDMENT, the Lord God will not destroy them, but will be merciful unto them; and one day they shall become a blessed people."

    What plainer language can be used to show that God disapproves of the doctrine and practice of polygamy? Jacob calls those who are not in polygamy the pure in heart, but those who have more than one wife he represents as being more filthy than the Lamanites, who had been cursed with a skin of blackness. For said Jacob to these polygamists, 'Except ye repent, the Lamanites shall scourge you, and shall possess the land of your inheritance;" and this too because they had not forgotten the commandment, that they should have but one wife.

    And farther, I refer you to Mosiah, chap. 7, (page 167), par. 1: "And now it came to pass that Zeniff conferred the kingdom upon Noah; one of his sons: therefore Noah began to reign in his stead; and he did not walk in the ways of his father. For behold, he did not keep the commandments of God, but he did walk after the desires of his own heart. And he had many wives and concubines. And he did cause his people to commit sin, and to do that which wag abominable in the sight of the Lord. Yea, and they did commit whoredoms, and all manner of wickedness. And he laid a tax of one-fifth part of all they possessed; a fifth part of their gold and of their silver, and a fiftfhpart of their ziff, and of their copper, and of their brass and their iron; and a fifth part of their fatlings; and also, a fifth part of their grain. And all this did he take, to. support himself and his wives, and his concubines, and also, his priests, and their wives, and their concubines: thuse had changed the affairs of the kingdom."

    On page 168, par. 5, we see the fruits. "And it came to pass That he (King Noah) placed his heart upon his riches, and spent his time in riotous living with big wives and his concubines; and so also did his priests spend their time with harlots."

    This King Noah was the son of a righteous man; but, according to this extract, when be was made king be walked not in his father's footsteps; be changed the affairs of the kingdom. Abinadi, the prophet, warned Noah and his people that, unless they repented of their wicked restless the Lord would cause destruction


    to come upon them. (Par. 8). To the very letter was this fulfilled. But those who repented of those practices, the Lord blessed and he delivered them from destruction. Read the history of Alma in the Book of Mormon.

    See also Book of Ether, chap. 4, par. 5: “And it came to pass that Riplakish did not do that which was right in the sight of the Lord, for he did have many wives and concubines, and did lay that upon man's shoulders which was grievous to be borne. * * * And it came to pass that he did afflict the people with his whoredoms and abominations * * * for the space of forty and two years." King Riplakish was a descendant of those who came from the great tower of Babel at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people; and although they bad been a highly favored people, became extinct through wicked practices, of which polygamy was one.

    I have now shown from the revelations of ancient and modern times, the Book of Covenants, the Bible and the Book of Mormon, that polygamy is not a doctrine or principle of truth; nor one to be practiced by God's people in any age, or in any part of the earth. There is abundant proof 'Man, in his carnal and selfish nature, practiced polygamy to gratify lust. Some have taken one ground for excuse, and some another.

    Men in our own midst have not only misquoted divine truth in trying to establish the doctrine; but have sought to make it appear that even Jesus Christ and his apostles taught and practiced it. See Compendium, page 188, where the following is given as a quotation from St. Mark's record of the teachings of Christ. Chap. 10, 29th and 30th verses: -- "There is no man that leaves houses, lands, wives, children, or friends, but what shall receive an hundred fold in this life." Let us now quote from the Bible. "And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you I There is no man that hath left house, Or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospels, but he shall receive an hundred fold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands with persecutions; and in the world to come, eternal life." Elder F. D. Richards has quoted it wives, instead of wife. That misquotation, no doubt, was intended to back up Jedediah M. Grant's sermon published in the Journal of Discourses, vol. 1, page 345, August 7th, 1853, as follows: "The grand reason why the Gentiles and philosophers of his (Celsus') school persecuted Jesus Christ, was because he had so many wives. There were Elizabeth, and Mary, and a best of others that followed him. After Jesus went from the stage of action, the apostles followed the example of their Master." Also on page 346, we read as follows: 'A belief in the doctrine of a plurality of wives caused the persecution of Jesus and his followers." What an assumption! Jesus Christ and his apostles polygamists! Polygamy the cause of their persecution! Polygamy led to the crucifixion of the Savior! What a horrible presentation to sustain polygamy!

    Elder F. D. Richards, no doubt intended by that misquotation to also patch up that repute revelation of July 12th, 1843, and proclaimed by Pres. Brigham Young and Elder Orson Pratt) in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Aug. 29th, 1852. Pres. B. Young finally had this "revelation" published in the new 1876 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, and left out the section defining the marriage rule of faith as established by Joseph the Martyr. The marriage rule so left out was the only one established by Joseph Smith. I will quote his own words on the matter from the Times and Seasons, vol. 3, page 939, October 1st, 1842) of which the Prophet at that time was Editor.

    "We have given the above rule of marriage as the only one practiced in this church, to show that Dr. J.C. Bennett's secret wife system is a matter of his own manufacture; and further, to disabuse the public ear, and show that the said Bennett and his misanthropic friend, Origen Bachelor, are perpetrating a foul and infamous slander upon an innocent people."

    In this quotation you have the Prophets direct declaration that he knew of no other rule of marriage than the one he referred to, which is the one that Pres. B. Young has set aside. Here is another instance, similar to that of Elder Richards; but greater in magnitude. Franklin left a fragment; but Pres. Young has destroyed the whole structure of marriage, as by God instituted, that thereby be might more fully establish his polygamic doctrine.

    What deception has been resorted to, to deceive the honest and confiding who received the gospel in sincerity, here and in foreign lands. Believing that the Elders were advocating nothing but true and correct principles, as long as they held up before thew the divine mission of Christ and of Joseph, and firmly believing that every principle they taught was the doctrine of Christ, polygamy was imposed upon them; "polygamy," which in the language of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, is "a false and corrupt doctrine," and not the doctrine of Christ. We read, "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, hath both the Father and the Son." -- 2 John, 9th verse.

    And farther, to prove that polygamy was not a doctrine of Joseph the Martyr, I will quote the testimony of his widow, (Emma), given a short time before her death, as published in The Saints' Advocate, October, 1879: "There was no revelation on either polygamy or spiritual wives. There was some rumors of something of the sort, of which I asked my husband. He assured me that all there was of it was) that in a chat about plural wives, he had said, 'Well, such a system might possibly be if every body was agreed to it, and would behave as they should; but that they would not, and besides, it was contrary to the will of heaven.' No such thing as polygamy, or spiritual wifery was taught, publicly or privately, before my husband's death, that I have now, or ever had any knowledge of. He had no other wife but me; nor did be to my knowledge ever have."

    This testimony of the prophet's widow is direct testimony both against the pretended revelation said to have been given by her husband, and against the charge that he had any wife beside her. Remember that such a doctrine as polygamy was never taught by him, either privately or publicly. Nor is the widow's testimony unsupported. It agrees almost to a word with that of Hyrum Smith's about three months before his martyrdom, when he published a notice to the church that no such doctrine as polygamy or of a man having many wives, was either taught or practiced in Nauvoo, and that if any was found teaching it, either privately or publicly, they would be treated as criminals.

    Many other references might be given from holy writ, and from the standard works of the church published during the prophetic life time to prove that polygamy is not a doctrine of Christ, but I trust what quotations I have made will suffice. In the language of him you delight to honor as being the instrument in the hands of God to establish the kingdom of God for the last time on the earth, a martyr to the cause, "polygamy is a false and corrupt doctrine, contrary to the will of heaven." And in the language of those whose record he was the honored instrument (in the hands of God) of bringing forth to this generation, it is "all abomination in the sight of God." Why then should you contend for it? Why say that it is a true principle, which will tend to your salvation, when the teachings of the Savior and his servants all proclaim against it, and not one sentence in the divine records can be found wherein God has commanded it to any man. Take the admonition that Jacob gave to his brethren, after they had perverted the law of marriage and had thereby become transgressors.

    "O, my brethren, hearken unto my Word arouse the faculties of your soul; shake yourselves, that ye may awake from the slumber of death; and loose yourselves from the pains of hell, that ye may not become angels to the devil, to be cast into that lake of fire and brimstone which is the second death." -- Book of Jacob, chap. 2, par. 11.

    In conclusion, I will state that I have written this address as a labor of love. I have been in your midst. I have taken part with many of you in helping to build up settlements. I have also wrought in the ministry with you. I am somewhat acquainted with your views and faith, and knowing that some of you, like myself, have been misinformed respecting the origin, the efficacy, and the truthfulness of the doctrine of polygamy, I have been anxious to show you its error beyond a doubt, and from what you and I recognize as reliable sources. That you may be able to comprehend your true position, and judge for yourselves between truth and error, that you may return to the pure doctrine of Christ, and no more be led and blinded through priestcraft, respecting the law of God in relation to marriage) is my prayer for you.
        OGDEN, Utah Ter., April, 1880.

    Note: See the Saints' Herald of Feb. 1, 1881 for a letter from Elder Smith, in reference to the last days of Martin Harris, etc. Smith's obituary was published in the Herald of May 18, 1898.


    - 1880 -

    Frank  Leslie's
    SU N D A Y   MA G A Z I N E.

    Volume VII.                                     New York, April, 1880.                                    No. 4. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

          [ 406 ]


    By The Rev. W. Fleming Stevenson.

    I. -- From Without.

    We had been flying swiftly down the steep declines, sweeping in long and seemingly endless curves as the course of the valley led us. The rocks on the right hand rose in height, and were curiously brilliant in color, mostly red, with here and there a patch of light gray fixed into it. They had been hollowed and carved by millenniums of rains into caves and needles and endless grotesque forms -- witches, soldiers, sentinels, statesmen, castles, chasms spanned by bridges, and whatever fancy might suggest. And after Echo Canon there was Weber Canon, with rocky sides, double as high; and the Weber brawling beside the railway, which every moment made sharp turns and leaps so as to get out of the gloomy gorge. The shadows of the bare cliffs, a thousand feet high, rested on the track; there was no house nor hut nor sign of human dwelling; between the spurs of red rock narrow belts of vivid verdure wound in among other rocks wilder and more lonely; one moment the pools of dark water lay in their clear beauty and scarcely stirred by the rattle of the train, the next the river swept its foam and spray up to the very wheels; and as we came out toward the open, the dwarf maple shone in dazzling patches on the mountain-sides like gigantic beds of scarlet geranium. The few distinctive sights flew quickly past us: a cluster of beehive huts that showed the Chinaman working on the roads; a garden cultivated by patient Chinese hands; two even walls of rock, about five yards apart and fifteen to fifty feet in height, running for eight hundred feet right up the steep rocky wall; and the ancient weather-beaten pine-stump with the label nailed against its trunk, "A thousand miles from Omaha."

    "There! that is Pulpit Bock," my neighbor said, pointing to a huge overhanging mass with a flat top.

    "Where Brigham Young preached to his people, and told them that if they went back they must die of hunger, but that forward was the way to the Promised Land?"

    "The same; though there is not a word of truth in the story; but there is one of the posts his men held afterward when Buchanan's army marched against

                                                             A  City  of  Saints.                                                          407

    him. Young never did anything shrewder. They had more produce in Deseret than they knew how to dispose of; and the soldiers bought it and got too fat to fight."

    We were approaching Salt Lake, and every one had something to tell of its peculiar people. The train ran out of the rocks and by a farm of well-tilled fields, wheat and corn and potatoes in abundance, few weeds, and general tidiness. The valley sloped down before us, with large and pleasant-looking farmhouses dotting the lands. Ground cultivated and settled, people with a comfortable look, well-fed horses, reaping and mowing machines, orchards, irrigation, and an air of general prosperity are the first impressions left by these outlying Mormon settlements. At Ogden we turned off to the left for a run of forty miles by the side of the Great Salt Lake. Soft, rich colors lay upon the fields; prosperous-looking gentlemen, wearing broad-brimmed hats, entered the cars. There was no haste. As we started from the station, a man was seen slowly running across the fields.

    "Hallo!" he cried, and we stopped. Presently he panted up the steps.

    "You left home five minutes too late," was the only remark of the station-master as the train once more set forward. We rustled softly past neat white palings, bowery trees, and houses dimly seen in charming inclosures; we entered a station filled with the cries of rival touters; then drove through lighted streets and past brilliant shops, and got out at a large and well-appointed hotel.

    A walk through the town did not lessen the impression. The streets were broad, well shaded with rows of locust, maple and box-elder, and provided with streams of running water. The houses were pleasantly placed in gardens brilliant with flowers, and among trees bearing rich fruit; there were one or two blocks as imposing as in the great cities of the West, and some charming private residences; there were restaurants and billiard-rooms, and the fashions as in Paris; there was a Stock Exchange, wonderfully ornamented; there were even the street-men of the great cities, and one beside a flaring gas-jet was selling shocks of a galvanic battery to a staring crowd. Joslyn the jeweler's might be in Broadway; but the legends of the jewels were legends of the West. He showed us a diamond that had been presented to Queen Isabella of Spain, and after various vicissitudes had been used as part of the purchase of a well-known mine; had the owner of the mine known, he would have found that he was paying $300,000 for a jewel that is not worth more than 810,000. There were huge co-operative stores, where everything may be bought from groceries to bonnets, and from many-buttoned gloves to rakes and spades; yet business was grave and leisurely; there were few men employed to sell, and there was an absence of urgency. There was a peculiar tone. I bought a trifle in a shop.

    "Well, stranger," the proprietor said, "we are herein the wilderness, let us meet at last in the city above!"

    We went into an art gallery to look at the photographs. "The Amelia House," I said, pointing to a picture of the stately building erected by the President for his favorite wife.

    "The world calls it the Amelia House," the sour and solemn man said, sharply; "but it is not so. It simply belongs to the President; and Amelia, when she was here yesterday, said that it was not hers, and if it was given to her she would not live in it."

    The sign of the shops, the all-seeing eye with the Scripture motto below it, was not so common as it had been, but it was still noticeable. It reads awkwardly over the

    druggist's: "Holiness to the Lord * * * Licensed to sell spirits and wine."

    "Do you consider that promotes holiness to the Lord? I asked of an elder.

    "Well," he replied, "when we had all in our own hands we only allowed liquors to be sold as a drug."

    The clerk of the hotel was from Berkshire, England. He had made a superb collection of minerals from the wealthy mines in the district. Taking up one, he said, mournfully, "That cost me eighteen hundred dollars. It was the sum I put into the mine, and I believe it is rich enough; but no one has courage to go through with it." The coloring in this specimen was lovely blue and green and purple; and the sparkle of gold and silver was wonderful. He undertook to procure us a coachman who would show us everything, and he was as good as his word. It was a brother Berkshireman, who had driven a hansom in London after he left private service, and had married a Welshwoman who turned Mormon and insisted on going to the land of Canaan; and, as he would "stick to his wife, he came with her. She liked it all but the polygamy, and he liked having one wife as long as he had her."

    It cannot be said that the city excels in public buildings. For years one has been rising, and it may rise for indefinite years to come, since, as yet, it makes no show. The site it occupies was the first land set apart in the valley when all was desert and alkali, and when, with the curious and stubborn enthusiasm of the people, the streets and blocks of the city that now is were deliberately marked out. It will be devoted to the more special mysteries of the faith, and if the plans can be trusted, will be imposing in height and costliness, corrupt in architecture. Meanwhile this temple is only a few low walls behind a boarding, and the Tabernacle appears to content the aspirations of the citizens. Huge and ugly, a soup-tureen with the lid for roof, it would probably accommodate five or six thousand people, and mainly on the one floor which slopes pretty stiffly up to the back. Though a gallery runs round most of the oval, the acoustics are so bad that a speaker cannot be heard in more than one-third of the area; but as the plan claimed to be inspired, the President pronounced that there was "no echo in the building, the voice only reverberated." * It was still decorated with festoons of garlands and artificial flowers for the foundation festival of the 24th July, and the doorkeeper mentioned with some pride that the schoolchildren had used about thirty miles of wire. Even the seats for the apostles, bishops and elders were plain though comfortable, but those for the choir were cushioned in green. The front of the long gallery was painted with mottoes, some of which were characteristic enough. There were --
    Holiness to The Lord.
    If Ye Love Me, Do My Will.
    Suffer Little Children to Come unto Me.
    Feed My Lambs.
    Our Crucified Saviour.
    Honor Thy Father and Mother.
    Glory to God In The Highest.

    But there were also --
    We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet.
    Heirs of the Priesthood.
    Keep your Armor Bright.
    Our Living Oracles.
    Brigham, Our Leader and Friend.
    The Pioneers Of 1847.
    The Kingdom of God or Nothing.
    Zion is Growing.
    Utah's Best Crop is Children.
    We entered by the door for the Gentiles, and tried seat after seat; but finding the acoustics of the hall deplorable,

    * The dimensions are two hundred and fifty feet from east to west, one hundred and fifty feet from north to south, and eighty feet from floor to ceiling.

    408                                                          A  City  of  Saints.                                                          

    moved down to near the platform, where seats were reserved for strangers, and every courtesy shown. The women and children occupied the seats as they rose toward the back, and the women outnumbered the men. "We don't attend church as well as we should," a saint confessed, "and the men are the more careless." Before us there was a combination of platform and orchestra, as in a concert hall, backed by a fine organ, built in America by an Englishman, we were told, for $20,000. On the left of it rose the choir of women, over a hundred strong; on the right were the basses and tenors, about fifty; the leader, who came from London two or three years ago, conducted admirably beside the organist. "Most of the singers are foreign saints," they said; "the Americans don't sing much." Above the nearest bench to the platform rose, the Communion Table, which was high and long, and covered at each end with electro flagons, electro porringers, and more white jugs for the water (for they use no wine), and in the middle with the plates of bread and electro bread-baskets. Seven men sat behind it, men of from thirty years to sixty-six, "members of the Aaronic priesthood, and present or future bishops." Beyond them rose a high shallow arc, with a few people seated behind it; another beyond that, with a reading-desk in the middle; and higher still, another reading desk in a smaller curve. A Bible was upon one of the desks. To the left of the platform sat four or five rows of old men. Their silver hair and ancient faces had a strange effect in this imposture. Many of them were bishops, but some were there because it was the best hearing-place. No one wore a particular dress, though the prevailing garb among those elders was a white linen overcoat, such as everybody dons in Summer, and some, clad in that garment, took part in the service. A slight figure arose, and a hymn was given out, which the choir, and no one else, sang.

    "Your people don't join in the singing."

    "No, sir, we would only spoil the choir."

    Another figure arose and prayed very inaudibly; he wore a white dust-coat, and what I caught was like a prayer at home.

    "Where do they come from?" "Mostly, sir, from England; but those from Scotland have been highly honored of the Lord, and have risen to high places."

    "Have you any from Ireland?" "I am not aware that we have, * and we never had a Catholic: they are too like us to join. We have many Scandinavians; probably hundreds there to-day would not understand well, and at half-past four there is a separate Scandinavian service; but the bulk of us come from England and Wales, and some from the Western States."

    Another hymn was given out, and during the singing the seven men were busy breaking the bread into fragments, which were then piled up high on flat dishes. The hymn over, there was the prayer of thanksgiving, and the bread was then emptied into the cake-baskets and handed round to all the members present, occupying at least half an hour, but causing no interruption, for a stout, shrewd man with a flowing white beard and mustache (Orson Pratt, the foremost spokesman of the sect, and one of the spies sent to report on Utah), had ascended to the reading-desk, and read his text from Matthew xix. 1-9, especially, he said, verses 5 and 6. He was dressed in plain clothes, had a clear, full voice, spoke with perfect ease and often passion, and used no notes; but a reporter sat at the end of the arc and took all down for future publication -- no slight work'

    * This information we only approximate, as the President afterward admitted there were Irish; but it is probable that Irish Roman Catholics were meant, and it is said, apparently on authority, that Celtic Irish women are not to be found in Utah.

    410                                                          A  City  of  Saints.                                                          

    as the sermon was nearly an hour and a half long. It was now curiously interrupted. When all, through the vast building, had partaken of the bread, the crumbs were cleared away and laid aside, and the water was brought forward, the flagons were filled and the mugs out of the jugs; and when all was ready a second prayer of thanksgiving was offered, during which the sermon was stopped, as also again when, a few minutes after, the cup was handed to the preacher. The distribution of the water continued to the close, and as some by this time had got thirsty, a too liberal draught of the consecrated element was avoided by the sending round of common water beforehand to slake the thirst of the impatient saints.

    The sermon was an outspoken defense, or rather preaching up, of polygamy, with much side reference to the President's divorce suit and to federal law. It was not a preacher with a message for men, but a lawyer speaking to his brief; there was little argument, only clever twisting, suggesting, and professing to answer objections at every point; and we found afterward that the blasphemous rodomontade was considered by the elders "superb and overwhelming."

    "Marriage," he said, "is a religious institution as much as the Lord's Supper; it must be legal in the sight of God; its legality before men is little. Being a religious act, the United States, by its Constitution, cannot interfere with it. It can only deal with civil relations. The only legal marriage in God's sight is the Mormons', for the authority to marry has been communicated by Divine revelation to no other. All other marriages are illegal, and the union will not be recognized in heaven. Marriage is perpetual; for heaven as well as earth. And there will be children born there, all free from death. From the beginningless eternity God has been creating worlds; to the endless eternity He will continue creating them. There will be room for all the generations."

    The close was an extraordinary rhetorical burst in favor of polygamy, in which the twelve sons of Jacob were declared to be polygamous, and their honor was pointed out in the tribes and in the gates of the New Jerusalem. "Every one of those gates was named after a polygamous child. You come at last to enter heaven. You approach the gate of pearl. You shrink back; you do not want to enter by that gate, that beautiful pearl, for you say it is the gate of a polygamous child. You go all round. Gate after gate, it is the same. You must enter by a polygamous gate if you enter at all. If you hesitate you must choose your company with those that are without -- whoremongers, murderers, idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. That company will suit you; ours will not!" The preacher sat down; and the choir sang a well-concerted anthem, the Aaronic priests rising up with their backs to the audience and their faces choirward; and when the younger Smith came forward and pronounced the benediction, the meeting dispersed.

    Not long after, one of the active members of the brotherhood was enlightening me on what he called the misrepresented truths of Mormonism. He was an average type of successful fanatic, enthusiastic enough to say out all he felt, and frank enough to admit what was beyond dispute.

    "I was brought up among the Methodists, in ________, in Yorkshire," he said, "and was very poor. We buried three children, and had to lay them in borrowed graves. A neighbor allowed us to use his, for we could not pay for our own. I had been on the Penitent Bench, when I went to hear a Mormon elder. He opened my eyes. I used to read the Bible pretty fairly; but till he spoke I never knew there was such a truth in the Bible as baptism for the remission of sins, though I had often read the verse. I was impressed. I found that I was blind before. I wanted to get to heaven by the surest way, and here was the way of authority. So I believed. That was in 1843. My father became a Mormon also; but my mother would never. The old man got as far as Council Bluffs -- it was in 1856 I came to America -- but his means gave out, and he never got further, and died there. Well, I came on; and now I own a farm and house here, and one hundred and fifty miles south I have bought another farm, and built two houses on a town lot, and paid for them out of my own money, and I have more besides. And in England I would never have been anything but a starving operative (for I am sickly), living from hand to mouth."

    "Are your children living?"

    "Yes, those we brought; my two sons live at _______, and one of my daughters at _______, and another at ______; and they are all well off, and as good children as a man could have."

    "Did you marry more than one wife?"

    "Well, my first wife died."

    "Did you not marry again?"

    "I did, and a most excellent woman; it was she who urged me to take a second wife."

    "So you have now two?"

    "Yes; the first lives at the farm one hundred and fifty miles away, with her two sons."

    "Are many of the saints monogamous?"

    "Four to one have only one wife. You see, it is expensive, and every one is not able to afford it; but we all look forward to it."

    "And how does it turn out in the family life? Are there no jealousies and strifes?"

    "Oh, there is often much disagreement, and much that is unpleasant. But I could take you to a man over there who has three wives living with him, and for unity and beauty and love you could not find any family better. Things get cross in many families where there is only one wife."

    "Well, do the women like it?"

    "No, sir; you see it goes against their training, and I may say there is something in the grain of a woman that it goes against. But many of them get to see it is a Divine doctrine. And of course it is a cross, a great trial; but you know our life here is in the wilderness, and the cross must be borne, and they come to look at it in that light"

    "May I ask if the women who are trained in Mormon doctrines from childhood take kindly to it?"

    "No, sir, I can't say they do; but they all submit for the best."

    "The sermon to-day was an exceptional one?"

    "Yes, it was for the Gentiles; such a sermon is preached seldom."

    "Now, from your early training you will know what I mean: is Christ preached on Sunday in the ordinary sermons?"

    "There is no need of that, for we are saints, and have left the first principles; and the sermon is mostly on Mormon practice and doctrine."

    "But you will remember how the Apostles builded up the saints, and the more they builded the more they presented Christ."

    "Now, sir, I'll tell you truly: I know what you mean, and I often wish there was more of Christ in the sermon; if not for us, for our children, who are growing up without knowing much about Him, and who have not the advantage of our early training."

    "You speak of early training, and I am sure part of it was reading the Bible. Do you read it much now? I did not hear it read at the Tabernacle."

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    "I do not read the Bible much ; indeed, I seldom read it at all. All my reading is politics, for there we see the revelation of the things that shall be fulfilled, and the angels are already flying across the world, and their scrolls are unfurled." His eyes kindled and flashed as he spoke. "But it would do me no harm to read the Bible more. I ought to do it"

    "Of course you have family prayer?"

    "We have, and always, and all we do is in the name of Christ"

    "Are you not uneasy about the inroad of Gentiles?"

    "No, we welcome them; we know we can do them good."

    "But may they not outnumber you and take the State power out of your hands?"

    "You speak as if the United States were to go on, as before, always prospering. We don't believe so. Every State will fight against itself except Utah, and it will prosper and prevail, for the Lord is for us, and the Lord is behind Brigham Young. You say he is shrewd. He may be; but the wisdom of the world would soon come to naught. It is God who teaches him."

    "You say you believe in present inspiration?"

    "Yes, I believe I am as much inspired as the Apostle Paul."

    "What does your inspiration accomplish?"

    "I am taught always what to do, what step to take, what land to buy -- all about my affairs. I am not inspired to teach doctrines. The Lord has not called me to that work."

    "Mormons alone, we were taught to-day, will enter heaven because they have the right doctrine: the sincerity of others will not save them. Now, do you believe that all except your hundred and twenty-five thousand must perish -- your own friends, e.g., who worship God in their own churches?"

    "No, sir. One of the most blessed doctrines we have is baptism for the dead for the remission of sins. I can be baptized for the dead. There is one day in the week for baptisms. Some Christians hesitate to be baptized for themselves; but we step in to be baptized for the dead. An aged woman of seventy was baptized lately fifty times at once for fifty of the dead. She had also to be confirmed fifty times -- stepping out of the water and up the steps each time for that purpose, and then plunged back into the water. She was one of Joseph Smith's wives. I have been baptized several times for the dead."

    "And can you be baptized for a heathen?"

    "For any one; and the baptism is accepted unless they have committed unpardonable sin. I don't agree in all his policy with Horace Greeley; but he was a good man, and I intend to be baptized for him."

    "We were told to-day that only Mormon marriages are valid, in heaven. Can anything be done but baptism for the dead?"

    "Yes, we can be married for the dead. My mother did not die a Mormon; but I have been baptized for her, and now I shall secure her union with my father. I shall represent him, and my eldest daughter -- it is her place, not the wife's, to take the lead in all things with us -- will represent my mother."

    "But suppose at two different places persons should think of the same dead friend and marry her to different persons?"

    "That cannot be, for the book is kept here, and all the entries must be made in it, and there can be no mistake."

    "And you can thus by proxy procure any heavenly union you choose?"

    "Certainly, if the elders approve."

    "Your children, of course, are illegitimate in the eye of the law : have you no trouble about property?"

    "We manage thus: A saint died lately. He left all to his first wife. She placed the property and herself in the hands of the council of the Church to distribute it as they would advise her."

    "Is it true that Brigham Young is sealed to _____, the actress?"

    "You are correctly informed; he could not marry her when she was living, as she would not become a Mormon; and she has been sealed to him as his wife in heaven, now that she is dead. They loved one another till the end."

    I have given a few fragments of a conversation that was prolonged for hours, excluding whatever was controversial, and such attempt as was made to point out to my companion a better way. His answers fairly represent the hold obtained by Mormonism upon a man who was, at the bottom, good-hearted and intelligent, but dreamy, positive, ignorant. Other conversations and inquiries left the same impression. A vast number of the people evidently believe in it, and many of them with an enthusiasm that is capable of sacrifice and suffering. It professes to be based upon Biblical ideas and to recognize the Bible as God's Word (though the Book of Mormon is supplemental and coequal); its hymn-book contains many of the favorites of all Christians; its Apostles and literature are rich in spurious Biblical phraseology; and it proclaims a spurious Christian communism. It is, therefore, with no great surprise that the traveler finds among the people many who have been connected with Christian Churches, and have had a considerable amount of Christian instruction, but who have a tinge of enthusiasm or have been brought up among the shadows of discontent. There is a certain class of mind and in a certain condition of ignorance that it attracts, and the wide proselytism it carries on through its messengers secures an enormous area over which to find adherents. It is, within narrow limits, a missionary religion. It has not confined its efforts to America, or to Great Britain, but has preachers over Europe, even in Spain and Malta; and it has not confined itself to Christian sects, but sought to propagate its creed among the red Indians, in the West Indies and South Africa, in Ceylon and India, in Chili and China, and even in Polynesia. Yet its main object has been to increase the population of the State, and form a body there strong enough to hold its own; and its efforts among heathen races, and, indeed, the Latin also, have been almost uniformly unsuccessful.

    Looked at from outside, there was an industrious and frugal community that had poured into a great State and rescued it from barrenness; a community, moreover, not the best fitted for work of that kind; the system of wards in the city, each with its bishops, teachers, deacons, and wardhouse, the various councils and officers, the machinery for emigration, the laud arrangements and taxation, betrayed a completely organized social life, and there was the absence of many open sins that infest ordinary communities; yet there was a widespread ignorance, and a low, commonplace type of face was predominant, without any of the light and dignity that Christian faith stamps upon such faces elsewhere; a religion full of absurdities and grossness, and a life of immorality sanctioned and built up under the name of religion. It was evident that there must be some strong and peculiar influence to produce such results out of such materials; and the voices both of Saints and Gentiles pointed to the President, Brigham Young.

    412                                                          A  City  of  Saints.                                                          

    II. -- From Within.

    Close by the Tabernacle in the City of Salt Lake, but farther east, there is a broad street along the higher level of the town, and, unlike the other streets, bounded on one side for a whole block by an unsightly wall. Within that wall there are the various buildings which formed the residences and offices of Brigham Young, the Mormon President The largest is the Beehive, where it was supposed that he was at home; a low-roofed house beside it contained his reception-room for strangers; next to this was the office where all the tithing was executed for the State; and beyond it the Lion House, a smaller dwelling, though large enough to have twenty rooms upon one floor. Large as the area is, there were other parts of this domestic establishment further down the street. It was to the dead wall mentioned that a small party made its way, and found the outside and the approach as shabby as need be, though the reception-room itself was spacious but depressing.

    Wretchedly painted portraits of the Apostles hung round, and between them there were various weapons of precision. Some of the President's sons and some members of his Council were with him, their keen and restless glances telling of suspicion and a jealous watch. The conversation was desultory, and after a few questions he fell back upon the safe and uninviting topic of the praises of the Tabernacle. It was scarcely possible for those who had been tormented by the difficulty of catching a word of the service to repress a smile as he said:

    "There is no building in the world like it for size and acoustic properties."

    Some one asked him how he accounted for the thrift and tidiness that had been imposed on the settlement.

    "You must remember," he said, "that this is the best part of the district; if you were to go further south you would not find such good land, and perhaps what you notice would be less striking."

    "What was the spring of this laborious industry?"

    He merely smiled, and closed his teeth with a snap he had. But he launched out into denunciation of the Eastern papers.

    "They must always have something to say against us. Every State in the Union is disorganized by strikes and tramps except Utah; the railway system of the country has fallen into confusion. We are just as we were; but, of course, Salt Lake must be at the bottom of every disturbance. This is the plague-spot, the focus of mischief. It is wonderful how much we can do from Salt Lake. Gentlemen, we are always as quiet as you see us. We have no strikes, and we have no fear of them; we are peaceable, we should be let alone * * * Have we any intention of going elsewhere? Just as much as the Government has of trying to make us. Why should we move? We have won this place from salt and sand, we have built this city; our people have settled the Territory hundreds of miles away; it is our own. And yet we are only pilgrims, and must live as pilgrims do. It is a goodly land, but there is a better."

    He dwelt on some of the early hardships, then told a very harsh joke, and laughed with a smile that showed ail his teeth. He had a firm mouth, thin lips that shut like pincers, a heavy sensual underjaw, a habit of grinding his teeth together, a small but unpleasant eye, and a look of great determination. Yet he was not ill-favored, and conveyed a pleasanter impression than his portrait. He had much ease and self-possession of manner (though it was evident that both were acquired), some dignity, and a good presence. He was dressed well and simply, in black with a white vest. There was a feeling of disappointment as we began to realize that this was the master-will and prophet of all the scattered thousands of the saints, the President whose word was law, the Prophet whose judgment was infallible. Yet there was something massive and potential about him as he talked in his settled way of past experiences. Such as he was, he has passed away. A few

                                                             A  City  of  Saints.                                                          413

    months afterward we heard of his death, and the quietness with which his place was filled recalled what we had been told:

    "Who will succeed him?"

    "The Apostles will see to that The office is not hereditary, but elective; and the Apostles have been chosen by the people."

    "And suppose they pitch on one of whom the people disapprove?"

    "Then the people will reverse their decision."

    Among the students for the ministry at Dartmouth College (New Hampshire), about the close of last century, was one Solomon Spaulding. He does not seem to have found himself at home in the Church, and was a poor scholar at the best; so he turned from the ministry to business, in which he proved to have as little success, failed, and withdrew westward to Ohio. The little village where he lived was the centre of a group of Indian remains, some of them of great antiquity; and these seem to have impressed an impressible mind. Supporting himself now by writing, he conceived the idea of a poetical history of the aboriginal inhabitants of America. It was a fantasy floating even then in ill-informed minds, that these people were originally Jews; and seizing upon this starting-point, he spun the thread of his story.

    A Jew named Lehi, a citizen of Jerusalem about the time of King Zedekiah, fled from the troubles of his country, taking his four sons with him and his sons' wives, and after many wanderings reached America, under the guidance of Nephi, the youngest. Here they strove with one another, then scattered over the continent, built cities and tilled the land; but in time, by reason of their divisions and wars, they sank into the barbarism of the red Indians, their descendants. To give an air of antiquity to this

    414                                                          A  City  of  Saints.                                                          

    story, he hit upon the notion of styling it "A Recovered Manuscript," and setting out that it was a translation from ancient characters. It professed to be a compilation from various books by Nephi, Enos, Jaram, and others who lived at various, times within a period of about a thousand years. Mormon was the compiler, and his son Moroni continued the work, which was written in a language that had long disappeared, and upon thin metal plates. About the year 420 after Christ, Moroni buried these plates in the ground at Cumorah, in the State of New York.

    The style adopted was Biblical -- a mixture of the historical and prophetical books of the Old Testament with New Testament phrases, and occasional homely, country speech running through it. The resemblance was in phrase, almost alone; and the repetition of the phraseology is indescribably wearisome, while the blunders in grammar show that the author had been a poor student, and the fiction that he would have been a worse preacher. It was to have been published as a money speculation, and was ready in manuscript by the year 1812, when it was entrusted to a printer, but never saw the light, as Spaulding died, and in 1816 the printer died also. There was, however, in the printer's town of Pittsburg, one Sydney Rigdon, who, like Spaulding, had been an unsuccessful preacher, and afterward a compositor, and a keen religious disputant. He had seen the manuscript, of which he had taken a copy, and twelve years after Spaulding's death he met one Joseph Smith.

    Smith was the sharp, cunning son in a family that lived by their wits and had no good reputation. When he was about fourteen a revival of a spurious and excitable kind had swept over the neighborhood like a fire, and seized him in its course. Characteristically he commenced to relate that he had seen more than his comrades, trances and visions innumerable; that God the Father and the Son had appeared to him, that all religions were in error, and that he was commissioned to restore the first principles. Rigdon and Smith now worked together, and revelations were made to both. An angel pointed to the hiding-place of the plates of Mormon; the lost Urim and Thummim set in silver were also revealed, and by these the translation was completed. Poor as the book was, yet as its early history was unknown, and as Joseph Smith was unlettered, its appearance from him excited wonder, and persons of easy credulity took it as a revelation.

    And now the fiction grew. Having made of Spaulding's merely literary labor a revelation from heaven, it was easy to add to it in that direction. Separate revelations were provided, according as occasion demanded. A constitution was found for the Church, and when all was ready, the book was given to the world as "The Book of Mormon." It has been since supplemented by other books of equal authority, and the sum of their united teaching is much like this:

    "The Bible is not the only revelation; nor is the Bible the only teaching of Divine truth. It was, and is still, communicated by angels, by the voice of God, and by dreams and visions. God has the form and body of a man. There is a hierarchy of gods, who rule over distinct districts of the world. Matter is eternal, and therefore there never was creation. The spirits of men exist, first, in the world of pure spirits; second, on earth, where they are sent to inhabit the bodies of men; and third, in heaven again, from which they may be sent to inhabit other bodies; and as there are countless inhabited worlds, and God can always add to them, this process may go on for ever. There was a grand council of the gods, when it was proposed that these spirits should be begotten. Lucifer opposed it, and fell. The spirits rejoice in these incarnations.

    "The fall of man was a necessity. Adam rejoiced in his sin, and so should we. It was not a calamity, but a step in human progress. There is no human ability to keep the commandments of God or to be saved. Christ must save, and Christ alone; but there can be no salvation without actual baptism for the remission of sins. If baptism is according to the Mormon rite, and in the Mormon Church, the person is saved -- and only then. Christ appeared in America and kept the Lord's Supper. It is to be observed weekly, and water may be used if wine is dear.

    "The only true Church is that of the Latter-Day Saints. No one belonging to any other Church can be saved. The Church retains the power of working miracles and of authenticating revelations, and is governed by a hierarchy; and it wars against three sins -- smoking, drinking and the use of flesh-meat. It encourages industry, excommunicates the idle, and requires annual tithes, not of the profits, but of the substance. Wherever the Bible and the Book of Mormon conflict, the former is incorrect. * Heaven will be a paradise of sensuous delights, and will commence with a personal reign of Christ."

    This Church is ministered to by a dual priesthood, the higher called after Melchizedek, the lower after Aaron; the higher subdivided into Apostles, Seventies, Patriarchs, High Priests and Elders, and the lower including Bishops, Priests and Deacons; but in the government of the Church the arrangement is different, the supreme body being first the Presidency of three (of whom one is President the others Councilors), and then in order, the Twelve Apostles, the High Council of twelve High Priests, the Seven Seventies of Elders, + the High Priests, Elders, Priests, Teachers and Deacons, each body constituting a quorum. The Church is the Dispensation of the fullness of time, and has been preceded by at least nine other Dispensations, among which are those of Adam, Enoch, Noah, Jared's brother, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Lehi and Christ the last and greatest being that of Joseph Smith. During this Dispensation the gospel will be preached so that men may know to escape from the judgment to come upon the earth. At last the vengeance will burst, and while the wicked are being punished the righteous will "gather together in America, build up the New Jerusalem in Jackson County, Missouri, and other cities, and also many temples to the Lord, and become a holy, prosperous and mighty people."

    These are some of the crude, contradictory and blasphemous doctrines for which six members organized a church at Fayette, Seneca County, N. Y., in 1830, thence moving steadily westward, sometimes by choice, mostly by persecution; first to Ohio, then to Missouri, building temples and swelling their numbers, until in 1840 they settled at Nauvoo on the Mississippi, and were strong enough to build a city. Wherever they went they succeeded in inspiring an intense aversion, were tarred and feathered, and their houses wrecked; and the persecution grew so hot that in 1844 Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were murdered by an armed mob.

    It is at this stage of the history that Brigham Young appears, as humble and uneducated as his neighbors, a painter and glazier who could scarcely read or write, but succeeded by long practice in at last making a respectable signature to the documents furnished by his secretary. He was the President of the Apostles, and, after the murder, became President and Prophet of the body, though he shrewdly shrank from much exercise of the latter office. The rest of the story is familiar: the sacking and burning

    * A revised Bible has already been attempted, but full of blunders so gross that it Is not generally made known,

    + "Until seven times seventy if the labor in the vineyard requires it."

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    of Nauvoo in 1846, the search for a new land, and the marvelous march of the emigrants over fifteen hundred miles of almost untrodden desert, an endless train of wagons that halted while the people sowed their seed and reaped their harvest, and then rolled on again until, at last, it reached Salt Lake, and the living stream flowed over a territory of fifty-four millions of acres to reclaim and till that twenty-seventh part which was arable.

    Salt Lake City is the product of Salt Lake religion. It is that religion that planted and planned it Other cities have grown up by necessities of colonization or trade; but in this a religious idea is dominant, and has stamped itself upon every street. There has been nothing to hinder it as there would in an older country, or one within easier reach of civilization; no unwilling paring down, no adaptation or patchwork into which men may be driven by the bulk of their neighbors, and the necessity of conforming to the customs and laws of the country. In this region men were practically a law to themselves, and the project had room and freedom to assume whatever shape might be thought the best. The people themselves press this fact with urgency, and claim that the city and the valley, the order, design, industry and plenty, are a proof that their pretensions are true. Here then was a religious belief which might be judged under conditions that it itself had chosen, and that has had the opportunity to develop itself with as little restraint from human opinion as if it were in another planet.

    The more it was examined the uglier it grew. It was based upon an imposture, though the original impostor may have at last come to believe in his own fraud. It was so devised as to enrich the leaders at the expense of the led. Advances were made to the emigrants, to be repaid in a fashion which made them helpless prisoners in the Territory. The order that impressed the visitor was maintained by a terrible espionage and the will of a despot. The outward decency was the decency of a whited sepulchre which had within it all uncleanness. The hopes of heaven were the hopes of the harem. The women were sad, perhaps, more than sad, for the better class of them submitted to polygamy with a broken heart, but as a sacrifice demanded by their religion; yet the language used by them even in public places was often intolerably foul. Crime had stained these saints; there were murderers plainly pointed at, and the murders, done in the name of religion, had been fierce and brutal. It was not so much that there were immoralities, as that the whole society was immoral. A resident, whose duty kept him in the city, said to me once, "I cannot account for it, but the feeling will sometimes come over me that I ought to leave my post and flee, for that sudden destruction will surely overwhelm the valley." He was not a superstitious man; he was a shrewd, hard man, in an office of great responsibility; his own brother was one of the people. He believed in the sure operation of Christian schools and Christian teaching; but his experience of the wanton and gross sin of the place was so deep that it seemed to him as if the long-suffering of God must come to an end. The industry and thrift and well-to-do character of the population were exaggerated. Many of those who worked hard were hopelessly poor and disappointed, but unable to leave. The cultivated soil was fertile, and needed little labor -- needed little, indeed, but irrigation to make it produce plentifully; and other emigrants would have made more of it under the same conditions. Through all the apparent comfort and order it was impossible not to see that superstition, ignorance and lust were the marks which this religion had stamped upon a vast number of the people ; and, thinking of the fair show and the corruption within, it was impossible not to recall the earlier story of the City of Sodom.

    This story came irresistibly to my mind as I looked at Salt Lake City in the clear light of a peaceful Sabbath morning. During these twenty years, it has been often predicted that Mormonism must break up; it would dissolve when the Gentiles came, when the railway was made, when Brigham Young died; it would go to pieces by internal dissension. The end is not yet, and it seems no nearer falling to pieces than it was. The railway crept into the desert, but the Mormons boldly contracted for part of the Union Pacific, and made and control other lines through their own Territory. The Gentile settlers have increased till they are one-fifth of the population of the city, but the imposture is still compact. Dissent has been powerful even in names, for the sons of Joseph Smith and some of the President's friends have denounced the present system, some protesting against polygamy, others against tyranny, others against Young. Almost the wealthiest men in the State are Mormons who have thus protested and been excommunicated, some of them setting up a Mormonism of their own, and others joining some one of the orthodox Churches. But though there is a wide dissatisfaction, and though the younger people are inclined to revolt against polygamy, there is no appearance of internal dissension breaking up the system. Christian churches have been introduced, so that there are now four or five Protestant denominations in the city, and they are represented by men of great energy and zeal. They have built houses of worship that are well filled, one of them accommodating a thousand persons; and though primarily for the non-Mormon population, they have each a distinctly missionary character, and they work largely by schools; yet in spite of the accession of many Mormons, they have made little impression on the body of the people. Brigham Young has died, and as yet it has produced no effect. He was working out a system which he found already made, and it was not broken by the shock. There are still alive old leaders of the sect, and abler men than he, whose devotion is beyond question; and younger men are associated with them. It is forgotten that the religion is eagerly and systematically taught to the young. There is a Catechism for Children that has had a circulation of ten thousand copies each edition. It teaches the Being and Unity of God, His attributes, and the Trinity of Persons, His works of creation and providence, the Fall and consequent inability of man, Redemption solely through the atonement of Christ, Faith as necessary to salvation, Bepentance almost in the definition of the Westminster divines, and the binding obligation of the moral law; and it mixes up with these, questions on the Books of Mormon, revelations to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, the human form of God, legends of the fallen angels, the necessity of Adam's sin, peculiar notions on baptism, the continuance of the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit, the keeping of the Lord's Supper by Christ not only at Jerusalem but with the Nephites in America; abstinence from strong drink and tobacco, from hot drinks, and in Summer from flesh-meat; the Mormon doctrine of the Church, and all the events in their history.

    Mormonism has hard and strong roots, and may perish slowly if it is not judged swiftly; but if the scandal of it is to be checked, it will be by stopping the emigration. Three-fourths of the population are drawn from Europe. America furnishes the leaders, but not the rank and file. The poor in the United States are not uneducated, and the material temptations do not appeal to men who know they can have land elsewhere on less onerous conditions. Although the climate of Utah is almost the best in the States, it can boast the highest rate of mortality among its children. Left to itself, Mormonism would soon die; and the

    416                                                          A  City  of  Saints.                                                          

    burden lies on us at home of drying up the streams of religions ignorance that feed it It draws its people from our very doors, from Sunday-schools and churches, and thus it leaves even a deeper lesson than the duty of suppressing it: thut men cannot tell where they may drift or in what they may believe if the grace of God be withheld; and that sin has been and is the great cheat and imposture, deluding men, now under one disguise, now under another, and even assuming the form of an angel of light; and that there is no safety from it but in humbly seeking and finding the mercy of God.


    Gospel in All Lands
    (NYC: Methodist Episcopal Church)

  • Nov. 1886: "Mormonism..."

  •   Transcriber's Comments



    Mormonism and its Remedy.

    The Mormons in the United States report a population of 138,000. In Utah and Idaho 132,700; in Arizona 4,593; In Colorado 1,578; and several hundreds in each of the territories of Wyoming, New Mexico, and Nevada. Of those in Utah, about 24,000 are Scandinavians. There are said to be but 2,500 polygamous Mormons in Utah. The vast majority have but one wife.

    About sixty years ago in the town of Manchester in the State of New York was living a family named Smith. The mother was a fortune teller who professed to tell where stolen property could be found and where wells should be dug. In this family was a boy named Joseph, who inherited his mother's traits. Rev. Dwight Spencer continues the history:

    "While still a boy he found a peep-stone, and placing this in his hat, and then looking into the hat, he pretended to see many wonderful things. Then he professed conversion, and seeing, as he thought, many errors in the church, he set himself at work to right them. His report afterward made was that while meditating upon his task he was visited by an angel, who told htm to dig in a hill near where he lived, and he would find some plates written over with curious characters, and with the plates a wonderful pair of spectacles, by the aid of which he would be able to read the characters upon the plates.

    "Joseph did as he was directed, found the plates and spectacles, and calling in some of his neighbors read to them what claimed to be the history of the first settlers of America.

    "These settlers came from the Tower of Babel, and were a very warlike race. They fought and fought, until like the Kilkenny cats there was nothing left. Then, 600 years before Christ, another colony, this time direct from Jerusalem, came and settled here. These were the ancestors of the American Indians, who are spoken of as 'bad Hebrews.' About the year 400 of the Christian Era, the Almighty raised up from this people a prophet by the name of Mormon, and commanded him to write their history, with various prophecies relating to the 'last days,' and hide it in the earth. This is the Book of Mormon, and it is claimed to be a supplement to the Bible, and of equal authority.

    "To make people believe all this, Smith prevailed upon his neighbors to swear that they had seen both the angel and the plates; then their affidavits were published in connection with the book, and all was given to the world. At first converts came in very slowly, but after a few years a sufficient number had been gained to form a colony, and then they went West. But wherever they went they were accused of various crimes, such as stealing, harboring thieves, and the grosser forms of immorality. After attempting a settlement in various places, they finally pitched upon Nauvoo, Illinois, as the place divinely appointed for the setting up of the new kingdom, and a temple that was to rival in size and grandeur the temple of Solomon was commenced. But trouble soon broke out. The people believed them guilty of every crime, and the difficulty at last assumed so grave a character that the militia was called out, and in the melee that followed, Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were both killed."

    "This gave a fresh impetus to the new religion; for Joseph Smith, though while living he had been charged by his own people with gross immorality, now that he was dead was clothed with all the virtues of a martyr. Besides this, the place made vacant by his death was at once filled by Brigham Young, who possessed all the cunning of his predecessor, joined with large executive ability, and an adamantine will. He soon made his influence felt throughout the whole church. The settlement at Nauvoo was abandoned, and, marching across the Rocky Mountains, they finally pitched their tents in the Great Salt Lake Valley. From this point the history of their success commences. Their organization was perfected, their doctrines more clearly defined, and they began to increase in numbers, wealth, and influence, in a remarkable manner."

    But where did this book of Mormon come from? Was it the invention of Joseph Smith? There is every reason to believe that the foundation of it was a manuscript written by Rev. Solomon Spaulding, and this was changed and added to by Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon. The wife of Mr. Spaulding wrote in 1839 an account of the manuscript. She said:

    "Rev. Solomon Spaulding, to whom I was united in marriage in early life, was a graduate of Dartmouth College, and was distinguished for a lively imagination and a great fondness for history. We removed to Ohio. While there Mr. Spaulding became much interested in numerous mounds and forts, supposed by many to be the dilapidated dwellings and fortifications of a race now extinct. He conceived the idea of giving an historical sketch of this long-lost race. Their extreme antiquity led him to write in the most ancient style, and he imitated the style of the Old Testament. His sole object in writing this historical romance was to amuse himself and his neighbors. This was about the year 1812. As he progressed in the narrative, the neighbors would come in from time to time to hear portions read, and a great interest was excited among them.

    "We removed from Ohio to Pittsburgh, Pa. The manuscript was then exhibited to Mr. Patterson, the editor of a newspaper, who borrowed it for perusal, and it was in his office for some time. Sidney Rigdon, one of the leaders and founders of Mormonism, was then employed in this office, and as the historical part of the book of Mormon is similar in many respects to this manuscript, it must have been copied from the manuscript


    by Sidney Rigdon and furnished to Joseph Smith."

    Mr. G. R. Gibson says of the book:

    "The Book of Mormon is not dissimilar to Mohammed's account of his vision and revelation; but Mohammed at that time was forty years of age, while Smith had his vision at twenty-two. Mohammed lived in an age of Cimmerian darkness, and his new religion was a manifest improvement upon the idolatry and polytheism of Arabia. Smith lived in the nineteenth century, and his new theology was stupid and retrogressive. Mohammed was a prosperous merchant and of high reputation. Smith was a man of no standing and no influence; yet Mormonism gained more converts in the first three years than Mohammedanism. Smith made a pretense of translating the gold plates, the resulting production being popularly known as the 'Book of Mormon,' or the 'Gold Bible.' It is dull and prolix in the extreme, and is what Mark Twain would pronounce 'chloroform in print." It is a bold attempt to counterfeit the Jewish chronicles, and is about as long as the Old Testament."

    The following are the "articles of faith" of the Mormon Church, believed in by the people and diligently taught to the children:

    1. We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in his Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.

    2. We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression.

    3. We believe that through the atonement of Christ all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

    4. We believe that these ordinances are : First, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

    5. We believe that a man must be called of God, by " prophecy, and by the laying on of hands," by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

    6. We believe in the same organization that existed in the primitive church, viz : apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, etc. 7. We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, etc.

    8. We believe the Bible lobe the word of God, as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.

    g. We believe all that God has revealed, all that he does now reveal, and we believe that he will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

    10. We believe in the literal gathering of Israel, and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes. That Zion will be built upon this continent. That Christ will reign personally upon the earth, and that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisic glory.

    11. We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where or what they may.

    12. We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers and magistrates, in obeying, honoring and sustaining the law.

    13. We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men ; indeed we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul. "We believe all things, we hope all things," we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report, or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

    The leaders among the Mormons claim that the first clause of the first amendment to the Constitution which says, "Congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," was especially inspired to protect them in the free exercise of their religion, and polygamy, being a part of their religion, laws prohibiting that are laws prohibiting the free exercise of their religion, and therefore unconstitutional. This view has also been taken by some who are not Mormons.

    The Rev. Ballard S. Dunn, of Brooklyn, believes that the best remedy for the Mormon question would be an amendment to the Constitution prohibiting polygamy and the admission of Utah as a State. He says:

    "Let Congress submit to the people an amendment to the Federal Constitution, prohibiting polygamy within the jurisdiction of the United States and the almost unanimous voice of the American people, ratifying it, would prove a moral force that, supplemented by a universal law, punishing with great severity, not only the men, but the women, who engage in polygamy, would be an effective preventive of polygamy in the future. But for the past I would give almost entire immunity; inflicting no greater punishment upon the polygamist than to require him to live with and provide for his many wives and children the remainder of his natural life, with no power to make other disposition of his property than an equal division among his wives and children. This state of things I would permit, not that it would be unmixed with evil, but because it would be a less evil than the abandonment of the women, which would lead to prostitution and the consequent disgrace and bastardy of the children. We ought also to have an amendment to the Constitution that would give Congress sole and exclusive control of marriage and divorce. Upon thi«. amendment there should be a law passed not only compelling a public record of all marriages, but the public celebration of all marriages. This would prevent any attempt at secret 'celestial' marriages, as well as 'secret' villainous marriages."

    "If it be asked, what would you do with Utah after the amendments you advocate have been passed and the laws based thereon enacted, my reply is, admit Utah as a State and thereby remove the irritating causes that have stimulated the growth of Mormonism, for lo! these many years. When the Constitution is thus amended and Congress has power to regulate the kindred evils of polygamy and divorce, their demoralizing influences upon the nation will have struck their decadence. When polygamy has been throttled and strangled, Utah has the elements within her of a prosperous State."

    Rev. J. W. Jackson, D.D., differs with Mr. Ballard's to the best remedy for the disease. He wrote in September last: "It is declared that the religion of the Mormons makes the 'Church' supreme, therefore any laws that prevent, restrain, or interfere with this ecclesiastical supremacy, are laws 'prohibiting the free exercise of religion,' and are consequently unconstitution.

    "This is the whole argument of the Mormons in a


    nutshell, and strange as it may seem, it has kept back the general government from any legislation sufficient to put an end to the building of this kingdom of darkness. When Congress meets in December the Mormon lobby, male and female, with any amount of money, will be there to prevent, or retard, or modify by amendments ingeniously framed, any legislation that the friends of civil government may present as necessary to its preservation.

    "It is not at all improbable that the Mormons may consent to an amendment to the Constitution prohibiting polygamy on condition of Statehood. Once a 'sovereign' State, with legislative, executive and judicial power in their hands, they will nullify any laws preventing the carrying out of their schemes, while their emissaries ransack the globe to increase the population who obey counsel in voting, in anything, in everything, to the tie of a shoe or the color of a ribbon, to the blood atoning of an obnoxious Gentile.

    "Sound the alarm, the hour is full of peril! Mormonism must go down, but it depends on the people to say how. Want of vigilance and Mormonism may secure a new lease of life, until it grows so strong, so impudent, and so fanatical, that its death struggle may deluge the continent with blood."

    The Utah Commission which was appointed to examine and report respecting Mormonism in Utah, filed with the Secretary of the Interior at Washington, October 6, 1886, its report, of which the following is a synopsis:

    "During the past year the law relating to the disfranchisement of polygamists and those living in unlawful cohabitation has been fully and successfully enforced. All such persons, with very few if any exceptions, have been excluded from voting and holding office. During this period, as in the preceding year, criminal prosecutions for violations of the law of Congress have been numerous. A large number have been fined and imprisoned in the penitentiary for polygamy and unlawful cohabitation, chiefly for the latter offence. It is reported and believed by many resident non-Mormons that during the past year a large number of polygamous marriages have taken place in the temples of Logan City and St. George, located respectively in the extreme northern and southern parts of the territory. We have not the means of verifying such reports, yet we have no doubt that a considerable number of marriages have been celebrated with the knowledge, approbation and active cooperation of leading men of the Mormon Church. Whether, upon the whole, polygamous marriages are on the decrease in Utah is a matter on which different opinions are expressed, but undoubtedly many persons have been restrained by the fear of disfranchisement and the penitentiary, and we think it is safe to say that in the more enlightened portions of the territory, as for example, Salt Lake City and its vicinity, very few polygamous marriages have occurred within the last year, while on the other hand, in the rural districts, in some parts of the territory, we have reason to believe that such violations of the law are not infrequent.

    "Referring to the joint resolution now pending in both houses of Congress, proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, prohibiting and punishing polygamy in all the states and territories, extending the judicial power of the Federal government to the prosecution of such offences, the report says: 'While we are of opinion that this should not supersede other measures, we are satisfied that it would be an efficient factor in effectuating the desired result -- namely, the abrogation of polygamy wherever it exists within the jurisdiction of the United States. In addition to the reasons presented by the Judiciary Committee, we suggest that the incorporation of this provision in the Constitution would serve as an advertisement to the people of all civilized nations that in the United States polygamy has been put under a ban in the most authoritative and effective manner, so that the most ignorant of the deluded immigrants might reasonably be expected to take cognizance of the Constitutional inhibition, and the consequences of violating the laws.'

    "Before closing this report we wish to impress upon the government and the people the magnitude of the evil with which we have to contend. The total number of Mormons throughout the world is over two hundred thousand, a large majority of whom reside in Utah. While of these a great majority of the adults are not living in polygamy, yet every orthodox member of that church professes to believe in it as a divine revelation. The people have been taught this dogma in their temples, tabernacles, meeting houses and Sunday-schools for a third of a century. Their church organization and ecclesiastical polity are marvels of skill and ability. Their leaders are fertile in resources, while the mass of the people are fanatical and superstitious to a degree that has seldom been witnessed in modern times. In such a condition there is no remedy that would be immediate in its effects except military force, and this cannot now be applied because no civilized government in this age will wage a war of extermination against unarmed men, women and children. But the evils existing in Utah cannot be ignored by the government. Devoted as the American people are to religious liberty, by education, tradition and constitutional sanction, they will never allow this principle to be subverted by the toleration or sanction of crime."

    Judge Osborne writes from Utah:

    "I saw not long ago that polygamy was not the rock on which the Church of the Latter-Day Saints would split. I have been able to get at the hearts of many of the rank and file among them, and have long known that fear was what kept them silent on a topic which they saw was not only abominable in itself, but must eventuate in total ruin of society if continued, and could not be of God. The enforcement of the laws, in spite of the predictions of their priests and prophets that God would certainly interpose to prevent it, has caused great commotion in the minds of the multitude who have heretofore blindly obeyed. I need not dwell on what will be the natural result of


    this agitation. The thought will arise, 'Is not this whole pretended revelation a gigantic lie? Who will show us any good?' Those who had apostatized from Mormonism some years ago did not do so because they had found evangelical truth, but their reason had taught them the falsity of their system -- they saw it gave power and wealth to the few over the many. The adversary had another net set for them, and they were caught in it and became Spirits, and are now glorifying in their organized free-thinking infidel clubs, and shout with delight at the blasphemous witticisms of the atheistic orator who addresses them from time to time.

    "I look for a great division in the Mormon Church speedily, which unless evangelical truth shall be presented promptly before the people, will only strengthen Mormonism, for the difference between them will be that between tweedledum and tweedledee. While in works the Mormon denies Christ, it should be remembered that their ship sails under the flag 'The Church of Jesus Christ.' The time is at hand, even now, when Christ the way, the truth, the life, the only Saviour of lost men, must be preached to these people, and now they will listen as they never would before to the words of life, and search the Scriptures to see if these things are so."

    A writer in The Independent furnishes the following respecting Christian work in Utah:

    "The Congregationalists were pioneers in Christian anti-Mormon work, sending their first missionary, the Rev. Norman McLeod, to Salt Lake in December of 1864. A little more than two years later, the Episcopalians opened a mission in the same city with the Rev. D. S. Tuttle as Bishop. With the opening of the first Pacific railroad, in 1869, the Presbyterians followed, the Methodists the year after, with the Roman Catholics not far behind. The Baptists broke ground in 1872, but soon suspended work, nor made a permanent beginning until 1881, while the Lutherans postponed their entrance into Utah until 1883. To these seven denominations, which outside of Salt Lake, Ogden, and a few other of the larger cities, have each exclusive occupation of fields, should be named the Josephite Mormons, who reject the rule of John Taylor, abhor polygamy, and believe heartily in obeying the law. These, several years since, began to send their elders to call back their apostate brethren to the first principles of Joseph Smith's gospel.

    "It was early discovered that Christian schools would be invaluable as adjuncts to church work, and Bishop Tuttle founded St. Mark's within a few months of his arrival. The Methodists made an educational beginning in 1870. In 1875 the Presbyterians opened schools in both Salt Lake and Mt. Pleasant, and began at once and rapidly to increase the number. Salt Lake Academy was founded in 1878, under Congregational auspices, the year after several schools of lower grade were started in neighboring settlements, and a year or two later the New West Education Commission pushed vigorously forward.

    "Progress for the first ten years was meagre and painfully slow, as well as gained at terrible expenditure of spiritual force. The Mormon Church was most bitter and unrelenting in its opposition, and the Mormon mind and heart were found to be full of idols. Probably more than half the gains have been within six or eight years A few statistics will give a view of results, so far as figures can set them forth.

    "The Episcopalians have purchased and own in buildings, etc., real estate worth $140,000; the Presbyterians, $130,000; the Congregationalists, Methodists and Catholics, about $75,000 each; the Baptists, $25,000, and the Lutherans, $5,000. And the educational and religious institutions costing thus to found not less than $500,000 in the aggregate, are maintained at a cash outlay of at least $150,000 a year. Thus the Congregationalists are now expending annually in Utah $45,000, the Presbyterians $42,000, and the Methodists $21,000. Within twenty years not less than one million dollars have been devoted by the Christian Churches of the United States to the moral and intellectual regeneration of Utah.

    "Seventy-eight schools are maintained, of which ten have an academical side, and altogether give occupation to 175 teachers, and instruct each year not less than 7,000 children and youth, drawn largely from Mormon families. The Presbyterians have 31 schools, with 54 teachers and 1,900 scholars; the Congregationalists have 28 schools, 49 teachers, and 1,750 scholars respectively; the Episcopalians have 5 schools, 25 teachers, and 763 scholars; the Methodists have 10 schools, 15 teachers, and 806 scholars. The direct benefit of these schools is incalculable, but the indirect results are even greater The Mormons being compelled to compete, bestir themselves to secure a higher grade of teachers, to improve their teaching methods, and lengthen their school year by several months.

    "And finally, to crown all, 34 churches have been gathered, ministered to by 52 clergymen, and containing a membership of 1,648, or, including 850 Catholics and 350 Gospelites, 2.848. In the Sunday-schools are gathered 4,790 children, not including the two denominations just named. If, to the 175 teachers, consecrated women, and many of them from the best houses and educational institutions of the east, and to the 52 ministers, as a rule men of rare devotion, we add, as we should, some 40 wives of ministers bearing their full share of burdensome toil, and n other women wholly given to missionary work, we shall have a total of almost 300 representatives of the churches applying themselves heart and soul to the redemption of this single territory.

    "At first the enforcement of the Edmunds Bill against polygamy causing intense excitement, and kindling prejudice to a flame, hindered seriously the progress of both church and school work. Strictest orders were given that children should be taken from the 'gentile' schools, and in numerous cases through abject fear of ecclesiastical penalty the mandate was for a season obeyed."


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