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The occasion called for the exercise of extraordinary ingenuity, and his invention was this: To those of his believing councilors whose dissent he anticipated, he professed great concern of mind on account of the spiritual mandate under which he had been placed, and appointed a convocation of his council to take action upon the subject. When the time for assembling arrived, he went through the solemn farce of fleeing the city on horseback, rather than be the medium of communicating a revelation so repugnant to his mind! But he soon returned, with the awful story that he was met by an angel with a drawn sword, who commanded him, at the peril of instant death, to return and fulfill his mission. Of course he obeyed; such authority was not to be trifled with; and his estimate of the credulity of the superstitious minds he had to deal with was amply vindicated.
Another difficulty with Smith, perhaps, may have been found in the embarrassment which he felt in reconciling this polygamous revelation with the teachings of his own Book of Mormon.
And were it not that I must speak unto you concerning a grosser crime, my heart would rejoice exceedingly because of you. But the word of God burdens me because of your grosser crimes. For behold, thus saith the Lord, This people begin to wax in iniquity,
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they understand not the Scriptures: for they seek to excuse themselves in committing whoredoms, because of the 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 rise 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: for I, the Lord God, delighteth in the chastity of women; and whoredoms are an abomination before me."
Again, the same authority, in the plagiarism from Christ's Sermon on the Mount, has this passage:
"Behold, it is written by them of old times, That thou shalt not commit adultery; but I say unto you, That whosoever lookesth on a woman, to lust after her, hath committed adultery already in his heart."
And still again the Mormon book of "Doctrine and Covenants" contains the following ecclesiastical law in regard to marriage:
"You both mutually agree to be each other's companion, husband and wife, observing the legal rights
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belonging to this condition; that is, keeping yourselves wholly for each other, and from all others, during your lives."
The polygamists assume, however, to find authority for their apparent inconsistency, in the following passage of the Mormon scripture"
"For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise, they shall hearken unto these things."
It must be by a very forced construction that the authority sought in the premises can be drawn from this text of the Mormon bible. The simple truth of the case is, that the revelation had become a "religious necessity." Smith, Young, Rigdon, Pratt, and others in the same dilemma, had proceeded too far in the mysteries of polygamy (practiced under a different name), and the system had become too interwoven with their "latter day" saintism, to admit of any alternative in their course, or continued concealment from the inner circle. Further explanation is deemed superfluous in this relation. A repetition of the offensive particulars already extant in the history of the parties implicated, and of the Mormon abomination generally, might seem more than is required by the public sense.
But at this era, saintly troubles were rapidly reviving and aggregating. Schisms, dissensions, and apostasies, were again rife in Mormondom. The Illinois
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people were intolerant and restive in view of the vices and criminalities in various forms ascribed to the latter-day hypocrites. These were necessarily the sources of acrimonious feelings and bitter hate between the conflicting communities. And to these causes, aggravated as they were by the partially transpiring polygamous revelation, with its concomitants and antecedents, may be traced the final event of the violent death of its author -- which was followed in two years by the dispersion of the Mormon colony from Nauvoo. For, although as before explained, the practice of polygamy, then present and retrospective, with the existence of the Smith dictum itself, was positively denied by the guilty parties, and this, too, in a public sermon by Elder Pratt; the facts of the case were nevertheless sufficiently patent, both within and without the Church, to discredit the solemn averments of the Mormons in high places, and thus intensify the bitterness of the pervading feud.
From this time forward there was found "no peace for the wicked." Added to the common imputations of hypocrisy and imposture, charges of licentiousness, adultery, seduction, theft, dishonesty, and crime in greater variety than ever, were brought against the doomed leaders and their bigoted followers, both individually and collectively. Slander suits were commenced on the one side, and criminal proceedings instituted on the other. Litigation followed litigation,
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pro and con. Dr. R. D. Foster, a seceder (formerly of Palmyra, not one of the "pioneers"), charged Smith with the offense of spiritual "sealing" with his wife. Suits multiplied. Attempts to arrest Smith and other dignitaries of the Church were resisted by military power. The charge of treason was brought against the offending "saints." Still, Mormon defiance against the Illinois authorities was persisted in, and General Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum, at the head of the Nauvoo Legion, opposed Governor Ford's State militia which had been called out to enforce obedience to law. The aspect was threatening. the governor, anxious to avoid the terrible slaughter impending, proposed to the Smiths a surrender as prisoners to the sheriff, and the disbandment of their legion as their only course of safety for their own lives and for their city. This proposal was finally acceded to, the governor promising them protection against violence from the excited populace on their way to jail and during their imprisonment. Accordingly, the legal arrest was made, and they were conveyed to the county jail at Carthage. Pursuant to the governor's treaty stipulation, the jail was placed under a military guard to protect the prisoners against the known existence of a prevalent avenging feeling, particularly existing on the part of Mormon dissentients whose domestic sanctums were alleged to have been invaded. Elder John Taylor and Dr. William [sic]
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Richards were also arrested and placed in the same room with the Smiths.
The prisoners had been in the jail but a few days, when the governor's guard became reduced by the desertion of most of the men detailed, and late in the afternoon of the 27th of June, 1844, the remnant of the guard were overpowered by a mob of two hundred disguised and armed men, bent upon wreaking summary vengeance for real or imaginary wrongs. they broke open the prison doors, rushed in and fired upon the helpless inmates, killing the two Smiths, and wounding Elder Taylor severely. Dr. Richards escaped to tell the tale, which he did in the following language, dating June 27, 1844, as published in the Nauvoo Times and Seasons.
"A shower of musket-balls were thrown up the stairway against the door of the prison in the second story, followed by many rapid footsteps, while General Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith, Mr. Taylor, and myself, who were in the front chamber, closed the door of our room against the entry at the head of the stairs, and placed ourselves against it, there being no lock on the door, and no ketch that was usable. The door is a common panel, and, as soon as we heard the feet at the stairs' head, a ball was sent through the door, which passed between us, and showed that our enemies were desperadoes, and we must change our position. general Smith, Mr. Taylor, and myself,
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sprang back to the front part of the room, and Hyrum Smith retreated two-thirds across the chamber, directly in front of and facing the door. A ball was sent through the door, which hit Hyrum on the side of his nose, when he fell backward, extended at length, without moving his feet. From the holes in his vest (the day was warm and no one had their coats on but myself), pantaloons, drawers, and shirt, it appears evident that a ball must have been thrown from without, through the window, which entered his back on the right side, and, passing through, lodged against his watch, which was in his right vest-pocket, completely pulverizing the crystal and face, tearing off the hands, and mashing the whole body of the watch; at the same instant the ball from the door entered his nose. As he struck the floor, he exclaimed emphatically, 'I'm a dead man!' Joseph looked toward him, and responded, 'Oh dear! brother Hyrum!' and opening the door two or three inches with his left hand discharged one barrel of a six-shooter (pistol) at random in the entry; from whence a ball grazed Hyrum's breast, and, entering his throat, passed into his head, while other muskets were aimed at him, and some balls hit him. Joseph continued snapping his revolver round the casing of the door into the space as before -- three barrels of which missed fire -- while Mr. Taylor, with a walking stick, stood by his side, and knocked down the bayonets
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and muskets which were constantly discharging through the doorway, while I stood by him, ready to lend any assistance, with another stick, but could not come within striking distance without going directly before the muzzles of the guns. When the revolver failed, we had no more firearms, and, expecting an immediate rush of the mob, and the doorway full of muskets -- half way in the room, and no hope but instant death from within -- Mr. Taylor rushed to the window, which is some fifteen or twenty feet from the ground. When his body was nearly on a balance, a ball from the door within entered his leg, and a ball from without struck his watch, a patent lever, in his vest-pocket, near the left breast, and smashed it in 'pi'; the force of which ball threw him back on the floor, and he rolled under the bed which stood by his side, where he lay motionless, the mob from the door continuing to fire upon him, cutting away a piece of flesh from his left hip as large as a man's hand, and were hindered only by my knocking down their muzzles with a stick; while they continued to reach their guns into the room, probably left-handed, and aimed their discharge so far around as almost to reach us in the corner of the room to where we retreated and dodged, and then I recommenced the attack with my stick again. Joseph attempted, as the last resort, to leap the same window from whence Mr. Taylor fell, when two balls pierced him from the door, and one
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entered his right breast from without, and he fell outward, exclaiming, 'O Lord, my God!' As his feet went out of the window, my head went in, the balls whistling all around. he fell on his left side, a dead man. At this instant the cry was raised, 'He's leaped the window!' and the mob on the stairs and in the entry ran out. I withdrew from the window, thinking it of no use to leap out on a hundred bayonets then around General Smith's body.... Mr. Taylor called out, 'Take me.' I pressed my way till I found all doors unbarred; returning instantly, I caught Mr. Taylor under my arm and rushed by the stairs into the dungeon or inner prison, stretched him on the floor, and covered him with a bed in such a manner as not likely to be perceived, expecting an immediate return of the mob. I said to Mr. Taylor, 'This is a hard case to lay you on the floor, but, if your wounds are not fatal, I want you to live to tell the story.' I expected to be shot the next moment, and stood before the door awaiting the onset."
The popular excitement ran high. the emotions were those of mingled indignation, sympathy, and vengeance. Nauvoo was in commotion. Precautionary measures were at once taken to prevent a general bloody outbreak. the Governor hastened to the scene, and, instantly wrought upon by the brutal murder that had been perpetrated in violation of the pledge he had given, sent orders to the Mormons to defend
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themselves if necessary, in the best manner possible until he could send them protection. But further violence was happily averted.
The Governor published the following explanatory statement.
"I desire to make a brief but true statement of the recent disgraceful affair at Carthage, in regard to the Smiths, so far as circumstances have come to my knowledge. the Smiths, Joseph and Hyrum, have been assassinated in jail; by whom it is not known, but will be ascertained. I pledged myself for their safety; and upon the assurance of that pledge they surrendered as prisoners. the Mormons surrendered the public arms in their possession, and the Nauvoo Legion submitted to the command of Captain Singleton, of Brown County, deputed for that purpose by me. All these things were required to satisfy the old citizens of Hancock that the Mormons were peaceably disposed, and to allay jealously and excitement in their minds. It appears, however, that the compliance of the Mormons with every requisition made upon them failed of that purpose. The pledge of security to the Smiths was not given upon my individual responsibility. Before I gave it, I obtained a pledge of honor, by a unanimous vote from the officers and men under my command, to sustain me in performing it. If the assassination of the Smiths was committed by any portion of these, they have added treachery to murder,
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and have done all they could to disgrace the State and sully the public honor.
"On the morning of the day of the deed was committed, we had proposed to march the army under the command into Nauvoo. I had, however, discovered, on the evening before, that nothing but utter destruction of the city would satisfy a portion of the troops; and that, if we marched into the city, pretexts would not be wanting for commencing hostilities. the Mormons had done every thing required, or which ought to have been required of them. Offensive operations on our part would have been as unjust and disgraceful as they would have been impolitic, in the present critical season of the year, the harvest, and the crops. For these reasons, I decided, in a council of officers, to disband the army, except three companies, two of which were reserved as a guard for the jail. With the other company I marched into Nauvoo, to address the inhabitants there, and tell them what they might expect in case they designedly or imprudently provoked a war. I performed this duty, as I think, plainly and emphatically, and then set out to return to Carthage. when I had marched about three miles, a message informed me of the occurrences at Carthage. I hastened on to that place. the guard, it is said, did their duty, but were overpowered."
The bodies of the victims were taken to Nauvoo
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and their burial was attended with imposing solemnities. the immediate effect upon the Mormons of this appalling assassination was to cancel or wipe out of remembrance all the spreading vices of the lamented prophet, and throw a halo of glory around his character as a martyr who had sealed with his blood the truth of his divine pretensions. The outside public sentiment being terribly shocked by the catastrophe, sympathy in a large degree superseded the feeling of indignation and malice.
A writer in the Christian Reflector, at the time of the assassination, thus described the character of the prophet."
"Various are the opinions concerning this singular personage; but whatever may be thought in reference to his principles, objects, or moral character, all agree that he was a most remarkable man. Born in the very lowest walks of life, reared in poverty, educated in vice, having no claims to even common intelligence, course and vulgar in deportment, Smith succeeded in establishing a religious creed, the tenets of which have been taught throughout America; the prophet's virtues have been rehearsed in Europe; the ministers of Nauvoo have found a welcome in Asia; Africa has listened to the grave sayings of the seer of Palmyra; the standard of the Latter-Day Saints has been reared on the banks of the Nile; and even the Holy land has been entered by the emissaries of this impostor.
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He founded a city in one of the most beautiful situations in the world, in a beautiful curve of the 'Father of Waters.' of no mean pretensions, and in and about it he had collected a population of twenty-five thousand, from every part of the world. The acts of his life exhibit a character as incongruous as it is remarkable. If we can credit his own words, and the testimony of eye-witnesses, he was at the same time the vicegerent of God, and a tavern-keeper -- a prophet and a base libertine -- a ruler of tens of thousands, and a slave to his own base passions -- a preacher of righteousness, and a profane swearer -- a worshipper of Bacchus, mayor of a city, and a miserable bar-room fiddler -- a judge on the judicial bench, and an invader of the civil, social, and moral relations of men -- and, notwithstanding these inconsistencies of character, there are not wanting thousands willing to stake their souls' eternal salvation on his veracity."
The Mormon Times and Seasons paid the following high tribute to the virtues of Smith -- understood to have been written by his ever-faithful accomplice, Rigdon, who expected to be acknowledged as his spiritual successor:
"He was once of the best men that ever lived on earth. The work he has thus far performed toward establishing pure religion and preparing the way for the great gathering of Israel, in the short space of
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twenty years since the time when the angel of the Lord made known his mission, and gave him power to move the cause of Zion, * exceeds any thing of the kind on record. Without learning, without means, and without experience, he has met a learned world, a rich century, a hard-hearted, wicked, and adulterous generation, with truth that could not be resisted, facts that could not be disproved, revelations whose spirit had so much of God in them that the servants of the Lord could not be gainsayed or resisted, but, like the rays of light from the sun, they have tinged every thing they lit upon with a lustre and livery which has animated, quickened, and adorned. The pages of his history, though his enemies never ceased to persecute him, and hunt for offenses against him, are as unsullied as the virgin snow."
The temple, which, in an unfinished state, had been in use for some length of time, in conducting the religious services, spiritual-wife solemnities, and other mystic ceremonies of Mormonism, was completed in the fall of 1844, a few months after the death of the
* In this calculation of "twenty years," the writer dated back to the money-digging ear, several years anterior to the Mormon invention. The palpable design was to persist in the after-thought invention that the "hidden records" had been revealed to Smith in 1823, before Rigdon's mysterious appearance at the scene, though they were not permitted to be taken until 1827. No such pretension was made until after Rigdon's connection with the imposture had become publicly known. It is only a piece of Mormon cunning.
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Smiths. It was constructed of white limestone, one hundred and twenty-eight feet long, by eighty-eight feet wide, and two stories or sixty feet high. with a tower one hundred feet in height. Each of the two stories had two pulpits, to accommodate the Melchisedek and Aaronic priesthoods. there was a baptismal font in the basement, as authoritatively explained, "for the baptism of the living, for health, for remission of sin, and for the salvation of the dead, as was the case with Solomon's Temple, and all temples that God commands to be built." Its cost, raised by the tithing system, and computing the gratuitous labor bestowed under "Revelation," was about a million of dollars. *
The soil of Mormonism had been fertilized by the blood of the Smiths. In any and every view of the subject, the murder was a great mistake as well as a great crime. A church founded in falsehood and hypocrisy has been strengthened, if nor perpetuated, by its supporting influence. Indeed, it is rational to believe that, but for the opportunity thus afforded, to fasten in enslaved, superstitious minds, the impression of the "martyrdom" of their patron saint, the Mormon monstrosity would ere this have tottered to its everlasting fall and annihilation.
The general consternation having subsided, Mormondom became the arena of agitation and contest
* The temple was destroyed by fire in 1848.
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for the dictatorship. Sidney Rigdon very naturally claimed the successorship by priority of inheritance, and assumed to fulfill its functions. Coequally with Smith, he had been assigned with the origin and upbuilding of the Mormon hierarchy. He was, equally with his deceased accomplice, the "author and proprietor" of the miraculously translated metallic book forming the basis of that power. He had ever been his predecessor's first counselor and bosom friend, from the beginning of the grand experiment.
Brigham Young was alike ambitious; he disputed the pretensions of Rigdon, and aspired himself to the high position of "Prophet of the Lord." The strife became rancorous and unrelenting. Rigdon's reign was brief, and the termination of his career inglorious. Young was president of the Twelve Apostles, and was popular and influential in the Church. Rigdon lacked these elements of success, and was the inferior of his rival in the adroitness of demagoguism. Young denounced him as an impostor, and his revelations as "emanations from the devil." This spiritual and political warfare eventuated in Rigdon's expulsion from the Church, and he was formally "delivered over to the buffetings of Satan, in the name of the Lord. Amen." Young was unanimously elected to the presidency of the Church, and has ever since maintained his despotic sway.
Finally, Rigdon left the Mormons in virtuous disgust,
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and after halting awhile at his former residence in Pennsylvania, settled down in his present passive mood in Allegany County, N.Y., as has been stated.
William Smith, the only surviving brother of Joseph the prophet also made an effort to assume the domination at Nauvoo; but, as in Rigdon's case, Young made short work with him, and his expulsion was the consequence.
Joseph Smith, third, the oldest of four legitimate sons of the late prophet, continues to live with his widowed mother, Emma Smith, near Nauvoo, in easy pecuniary circumstances. he claims to be the rightful head of the Church by inheritance, but is powerless against the indomitable will and all-pervading shrewdness of Brigham Young. He is opposed to polygamy, and denies the genuineness of the revelation on that subject attributed to his father.
It will thus be observed, that Mormonism has wholly passed from the direction of its original inventors and founders and their posterity, and become an independent and self-reliant institution.
The popular consideration in behalf of the "saints," which was the immediate corollary of the assassination problem, was brief in its duration. It was succeeded in the course of a year by a final determination, on the part of the Illinois people, to drive the whole tribe from the State; and they were compelled to seek a new home beyond the borders of civilization.
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Young and his privy council accepted what appeared to be the popular conclusion, and made arrangements accordingly. they publicly announced their purpose, and the following is among their explanatory declarations to their followers:
"We, the members of the High Council of the Church, by the voice of all her authorities, have unitedly and unanimously agreed, and embrace this opportunity to inform you, that we intend to send out into the Western country from this place, sometime in the early part of the month of March, a company of pioneers, consisting mostly of young hardy men, with some families. these are destined to be furnished with an ample outfit, taking with them a printing-press, farming utensils of all kinds, with mill-irons and bolting-cloths, seeds of all kinds, grain, etc.
"The object of this early move is to put in a spring crop, to build houses, and to prepare for the reception of families, who will start as soon as grass shall be sufficiently grown to sustain teams and stock. Our pioneers are instructed to proceed west until they find a good place to make a crop, in some good valley in the neighborhood of the Rocky Mountains, where they will infringe upon no one, and be not likely to be infringed upon. here we will make a resting-place until we can determine upon a place for a permanent location.
"Much of our property will be left in the hands
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of competent agents for sale at a low rate, for teams, for goods, and for cash. the funds arising from the sale of property will be applied to the removal of families from time to time, as fast as consistent; and it now remains to be proven whether those of our families and friends who are necessarily left behind for a season, to obtain an outfit through the sale of property, shall be mobbed, burned, and driven away by force.
"We agreed to leave the country for the sake of peace, upon the condition that no more vexatious prosecutions be instituted against us. In good faith we have labored to fulfill this engagement. Governor Ford has also done his duty to further our wishes in this respect. But there are some who are unwilling that we should have any existence anywhere."
The proscribed sect made the best and earliest practicable preparations for departure, and in February their first fleeing company, numbering sixteen hundred persons, crossed the Mississippi upon the ice with ox-teams, toward their western destination. The increasing exasperation of the Illinois people, and the consequent dangers of the situation, had led to a modification of the original plan of longer delay.
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The emigrant trains, commencing their journey in February, 1846, and continuing their movements from Nauvoo until August of the same year, proceeded to a resting-place that had been elected for them upon the unoccupied prairies near Council Bluffs, where they mostly dwelt in tents during their sojourn.
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Great suffering was experienced on the route, from fatigue, privation, and sickness; and here the sickness continued with an even greater severity, being aggravated by the cholera, which raged with appalling mortality. And again complaints were heard of depredations upon the property of the scattering settlers. Roaming bands of Mormons were accused of stealing cattle from the grazing domains; and in this particular probably their Missouri history was prevented from repeating itself only by the sparseness of the population who complained of these aggressions.
The once flourishing Mormon city in Illinois, with its magnificent temple, luxurious Nauvoo House, spiritual-wife vagaries, polygamous harems, diversified Latter-Day Saint institutions, and their superstitious devotees, was now left nearly a depopulated desert waste.
The news of the Mexican war met the emigrants at their resting-place near Council Bluffs. there was a call for volunteers. Young and his coadjutors had apprehended ultimate conflict with the Mexican authorities and deemed it essential to be on good terms with the United States. Quick to perceive his opportunity, the great leader sent an agent to Washington with the tender of a volunteer battalion to the Government. It was accepted, and the men were speedily raised and sent to the fold. Young received from the Government twenty thousand dollars for this patriotic
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demonstration, a large proportion of which sum was appropriated for his own private use and toward the material aid required in carrying forward his colonial enterprise. Accompanied by a party of devoted, hardy pioneers, with some of his elders, he then went westward upon an exploring expedition, to select a site for their future Zion, which they located in Great Salt Lake valley, where a preliminary survey was made for a city. A portion of their party returned to the temporary encampment in Iowa, to recommence the forward movement, the residue remaining to proceed with the preparatory improvements at the selected site.
The first companies of the emigrants, numbering about four thousand, arrived in the valley in July 1847. The Indians received these people with hospitality. Indeed, no unfriendly demonstrations had been experienced from the savage tribes at any time during the journey. The Mormons had succeeded in favorably impressing them with respect to their friendly sentiments and spiritual endowments.
This grand adventure of Young and his followers, unprecedented for its boldness and success since the journeyings of their ancient "ancestors" from Jerusalem, is graphically described in Dixon's New America;
"Young advised his followers to yield their prize, to quit the world in which they had found no peace,
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and set up their tabernacles in one of those distant wilds in the far West which were then trodden by no feet of men, except those of a few red Indian tribes, Utes, Pawkes, and Shoshones, in what was called the American Desert, and was considered by everybody as no man's land. It was a bold device. Beyond the western prairies, beyond the Rocky Mountains, lay a howling wilderness of salt and stones, a property which no white man had yet been greedy enough to claim. Some pope, in the middle ages, had bestowed it on the crown of Spain, from which it had fallen, as a paper waste, to the Mexican republic; but neither Spaniard nor Mexican had ever gone up north into the land to possess it. In the centre of this howling wilderness lay a Dead Sea, not less terrible than Bahr Lout, the Sea of Lot. One-fourth of its water was known to be solid salt. the creeks which ran into it were said to be putrid; the wells around it were known to be bitter; and the shores for many miles were crusted white with saleratus . . . .
"Trappers, who had looked down on the salt valley from peaks and passes in the Wasatch Mountains, pictured it as a region without life, without a green slope, even without streams and springs. The wells were said to be salt, as the fields were salt. Finding no wood and scarcely any fresh water in that region, these explorers had set their seal upon this great American Desert as a waste unfit for the dwelling
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and incapable of the sustenance of civilized men. But Young thought otherwise. He knew that where the 'saint' had struck his spade into the ground -- at Kirtland in Ohio, at Independence in Missouri, at Nauvoo in Illinois -- he had been always blessed with a plentiful crop; and the new Mormon seer had faith in the same strong sinews, in the same rough hands, in the same keen will, being able to draw harvests of grain from the desolate valley of Salt lake . . . .
"Young knew that in crossing the great plains and in climbing the great ranges which are loosely clubbed together under the name of Rocky Mountains, the privations of his people would be sharp; but to his practical eye these sufferings of the flesh appeared to be such as brave men could be trained by example to bear and not to die. Food and seed might be carried in their light wagons, and a little malt whiskey would correct the alkali in the bitter creeks . . . .
"Pressed upon by their foes, they marched away from Nauvoo, even while the winter was yet hard upon them, crossing the Mississippi upon the ice, and started on a journey of fifteen hundred miles through a country without a road, without a bridge, without a village, without an inn, without wells, cattle, pastures, or cultivated land."
Young had not yet been accepted by the Church as "prophet, seer, and revelator," in the full celestial
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sense that had been recognized in the case of the martyr Smith. His appointment at Nauvoo extended only to the general successorship as first president in the ruling power of the hierarchy. he felt the embarrassment of his semi-prophetism. His "visions." as heavenly behests, were received with divided opinions; for he feared to attempt the enforcement of "revelations" or commands. Some murmurings had been heard relative to battalion-money questions, and these may have added to the delicacy of his position. he foresaw the dangers impending for the want of absolutism. As soon as reorganization was secured, he called for a general meeting of the Church to consider the matter. Ascending the platform, he made solemn professions of "communion with the spirit of Prophet Joseph," at the same time going through with a series of impressive mimicries of his predecessor, in his peculiar style of theatric adroitness. the performance proved completely convincing to his audience. Ever since this successful experiment upon the superstitious elements of Mormonism, the pervading belief has been that the mantle of Joseph has fallen upon Brigham. By unanimous vote he was declared to be the "Prophet of the Lord;" and his despotic authority as ruler of the "Church of Latter-Day Saints of Jesus Christ in all the world," is undisputed by adhering Mormons. He appointed Heber C. Kimball and William [sic] Richards as his privy council, and these, with
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himself, constituted the trio called the "First Presidency."
Among the events of the Mexican War was the cession of California to the United States in 1848. Young, by superficial survey in 1849, established the State of Deseret, embracing a very large and scarcely defined domain; and Utah Territory was organized by act of Congress in 1850. The Mormon Deseret government was put in operation through the medium of a convention assembled under a proclamation of Young, about the time of the territorial action at Washington, and was constituted in the following manner" Brigham Young, Governor; Heber C. Kimball, Lieutenant-Governor; Daniel H. Wells, Chief Justice; together with a Legislative Council, which enacted a code of State laws. Young also received the United States appointment of territorial governor for Utah; and a Legislature for the Territory and a delegate to Congress were elected. the population of the Territory was composed almost wholly of Mormons and Indians, and the personal constitution of these preliminary government organizations could scarcely have been different.
In July, 1851, a full complement of Federal officers to fill unsupplied vacancies in Utah Territory, appointed at Washington, arrived and entered upon their respective official duties. Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball were continued as Governor and
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Lieutenant-Governor, and their colleagues, were Lemuel C. Brandenburg, Chief Justice; Perry E, Brochus and Zerubbabel Snow, Associate Justices; Seth M. Blair Attorney-General; and B.D. Harris, Secretary.
Church and municipal affairs having become in a measure systematized, Governor Young issued the following "proclamation for a day of praise and thanksgiving," dated December 19, 1851:
"It having pleased the Father of all good to make known his mind and will to the children of men in these last days, and through the administration of his angels to restore the holy priesthood unto the sons of Adam. by which the gospel of his Son has been proclaimed, and the ordinances of life and salvation are administered; and through which medium the Holy Ghost has been communicated to believing, willing, and honest minds; causing faith, wisdom, and intelligence to spring up in the hearts of men, and influencing them to flow together from the four quarters of the earth to a land of peace and health, rich in mineral and vegetable resources, reserved of old in the councils of eternity for the purposes to which it is now appropriated; a land choice above all other lands; far removed from the strifes, contentions, divisions, moral and physical commotions, that are disturbing the peace of the nations and kingdoms of the earth --
"I, Brigham Young, governor of the Territory
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aforesaid, in response to the time-honored custom of our fathers at Plymouth Rock, by the Governors of the Several States and Territories, and with a heart filled with humiliation and gratitude to the Fountain of all good for his multiplied munificence to his children, have felt desirous to, and do proclaim Thursday, the first day of January, eighteen hundred and fifty-two, a day of Praise and Thanksgiving for the citizens of our peaceful Territory, in honor of the God of Abraham, who has preserved his children amid all the vicissitudes they have been called to pass; for his tender mercies in preserving the nation undivided in which we live; for causing the Gospel of his kingdom to spread and take root upon the earth, beyond the power of men and demons to destroy; and that he has promised a day of universal joy and rejoicing to all the inhabitants who shall remain when the earth shall have been purified by fire, and rest in peace.
"And I recommend to all good citizens of Utah, that they abstain from every thing which is calculated to mar or grieve the Spirit of their heavenly Father on that day; that they rise early in the morning if the first day of the new year and wash their bodies with pure water; that all men attend to their flocks and herds with carefulness, and see that no creature in their charge is hungry, thirsty, or cold; while the women are preparing the best food for their households, and their children ready to receive it in cleanliness,
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and cheerfulness; then let the head of each family, with his family, bow down upon his knees before the God of Israel, and acknowledge all his sins, and the sins of his household; call upon the Father, in the name of Jesus, for every blessing that he desires for himself, his kindred, the Israel of God, the universe of man; praying with full purpose of heart and united faith that the nation of the United States may be preserved inviolate against all the devices of wicked men, until truth shall reign triumphant, and the glory of Jehovah shall fill the earth. then, in the name of Jesus, ask the Father to bless your food; and when you have filled the plates of your household, partake with them with rejoicing and thanksgiving; and if you feel to make merry in your hearts, sing a song of thanksgiving; and lift up your hearts continually, in peace and acknowledgment of the unbounded mercies you are momentarily receiving...
"I further request, that when the day has been spent in doing good, in dealing your bread, your butter, your beef and your pork, your turkeys, your molasses, and the choicest of all the products of the valleys of the mountains, at your command, to the poor; that you end the day in the same order, and on the same principle that you commenced it; that you eat your supper with singleness of heart, as unto the Lord, after praise and thanksgiving, and songs of rejoicing; remembering that you cannot be filled with
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the Holy Spirit, and be preparing for celestial glory, while the meanest menial under your charge or control is in want of the smallest thing which God has given you power to supply; remembering that it is dependent on you for its comforts, as you are dependent on your God for your constant support.
"Retire to your beds early, that you may be refreshed, and rise early again, and so continue until times and seasons are changed; or finally, I say unto you, let the same process be continued from day to day, until you arrive unto one of the days of Kolob (where a day is one thousand of our years), the planet nearest to the habitation of the Eternal Father; and if you do not find peace and rest to your souls by that time, in the practice of these things, and no one else shall present himself to offer you better counsel, I will be there, and knowing more, will tell you what you ought to do next."
How far the expressions of loyalty to the Federal Union contained in the proclamation are to be received as having been sincere and honest at the time, is a question to be judged of in the light of the subsequent history of its author and of transpiring events.
Large accessions of emigrants sent forward by the foreign missionaries who had been selected from the ablest men of the sect, rapidly increased the Mormon numbers, in City and Territory. many of these were
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farmers settling upon the free lands outside of the town. In 1854, the total number of converts in the valley and in all parts of the world, was estimated at half a million. At Salt Lake and in Deseret there was claimed to be forty thousand -- probably an over-estimate, for the census showed only forty thousand two hundred and seventy-three total population in 1860.
Young had sent out an address to be distributed to the "saints" from all the Church and missionary stations, an extract from which will show the method and extent of the plan pursued:
"Come immediately, and prepare to go West, bringing with you all kinds of choice seeds of grain, vegetables, fruits, shrubbery, trees, and vines -- every thing that will please the eye, gladden the heart, or cheer the soul of man, that grows upon the face of the whole earth; also the best stock of beast, bird, and fowl of every kind; also the best tools of every description, and machinery for spinning or weaving, and dressing cotton, wool, flax, and silk, or models and descriptions of the same, by which they can construct them, and the same in relation to all kinds of farming utensils and husbandry, such as corn-shellers, grain threshers and cleaners, smut-machines, mills, and every implement and article within their knowledge that shall tend to promote the comfort, health, happiness, or prosperity of any people.
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"It is very desirable that all the saints should improve every opportunity of securing at least a copy of every valuable treatise on education -- every book, map, chart, or diagram that may contain interesting, useful, and attractive matter, to gain the attention of children, and cause them to love to read; and also every historical, mathematical, philosophical, geographical, geological, astronomical, scientific, practical, and all other variety of useful and interesting writings, maps, etc., to present to the general Church recorder when they shall arrive at their destination, from which important and interesting matter may be gleaned to compile the most valuable works on every science and subject, for the battle of the rising generation.
"Let all saints who love God more than their own dear selves -- and none else are saints -- gather, without delay, to the place appointed, bringing their gold, their silver, their copper, their zinc, their tin, and brass, and choice steel, and ivory, and precious stones, their curiosities of science, of art, of nature, and every thing in their possession or within their reach, to build in strength and stability, to beautify, to adorn, to embellish, to delight, and to cast a fragrance over the house of the Lord; with sweet instruments of music and melody, and songs, and fragrance, and sweet odors, and beautiful colors, whether it be in precious jewels, or minerals, or choice ores, or in
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wisdom and knowledge, or understanding, manifested in carved work, or curious workmanship of the box, the fir, and pine tree, or anything that ever was, or is, or is to be, for the exaltation, glory, honor, and salvation of the living and the dead for time and eternity.
"The kingdom of God consists in correct principles, and it mattereth not what a man's religious faith is -- whether he be a Presbyterian, or a Methodist, or a Baptist, or a Latter-Day Saint, or 'Mormon,' or a Campbellite, or a Catholic, or Episcopalian, or Mohammedan, or even Pagan, or anything else. If he will bow the knee, and with his tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ, and will support good and wholesome laws for the regulation of society, we hail him as a brother, and will stand by him as he stands by us in these things; for every man's faith is a matter between his own soul and his God alone."
It is easy to comprehend the attractiveness of such an artful invitation to the thousands of ignorant and superstitious people addressed in the Old World, who seek the betterment of their temporal and spiritual condition in the "promised land" revealed to the Latter-Day Saints in America. These and kindred illusory appeals are turned to efficient account in the Mormon cause by the missionaries sent abroad in that work. In a tract published in England in 1851, by Orson Pratt, one of those emissaries designated to establish
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the "divine authority of the Book of Mormon," the author proclaimed the doctrine of modern miracles, and presented the claims of the new revelation in glowing terms. (Pratt has recently been expelled from the Mormon Church at Salt Lake by Prophet Young.) the following passage will suffice to show the winning character of this and other Mormon publications in foreign countries:
"The Latter-Day Saints know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet, and that the Book of Mormon is a divine revelation, because God has confirmed the same unto them by the miraculous manifestations of his power. There are now about six hundred branches of the Church of Christ in the British Isles, consisting of upward of thirty thousand believers, and between three and four thousand elders and priests. Now, there is scarcely a branch of the saints among this nation but have been blessed, more or less, with the miraculous signs and gifts of the Holy Spirit, by which they have been confirmed, and know, of a surety, that this is the Church of Christ. They know that the blind see, the lame walk, the deaf hear, the dumb speak, that lepers are cleansed, that bones are set, that the cholera is rebuked, and that the most virulent diseases give way, through faith in the name of Jesus Christ, and the power of the gospel. These are not some isolated cases that occasionally take place, or that are rather doubtful in their nature, or
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that have transpired a long time ago, or in some distant country; but they are taking place in the present period, every week furnishing scores of instances in all parts of this land; many of the sick out of the Church have, through the laying on of hands of the servants of God, been healed."
Dixon gives the following description of the manner in which the immigrants are welcomed on their arrival at the Mormon capital, being a brief report of a "sermon" addressed to them by Young:
"Brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ, you have been chosen from the world by God, and sent through his grace into this valley of the mountains, to help in building up his kingdom. You are faint and weary from your march. Rest, then, for a day, for a second day, should you need it; then rise up and see how you will live. Don't bother yourselves about your religious duties; you have been chosen fir this work, and God will take care of you in it. Be of good cheer. Look about this valley into which you have been called. Your first duty is to learn how to grow a cabbage, and along with this cabbage an onion, a tomato, a sweet potato; then how to feed a pig, to build a house, to plant a garden, to rear cattle, and to bake bread; in one word, your first duty is to live. The next duty -- for those who, being Danes, French, and Swiss, cannot speak it now -- is to learn English; the language of God, the language
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of the Book of Mormon, the language of these latter days. These things you must do first; the rest will be added to you in proper season. God bless you; and the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you."
The Mormons have no negroes in their Church. They regard that race as the descendants of Cain, the first murderer, and the color of their skin as a curse put upon them by God. Hence all "Cainites": are excluded from their fellowship. Prophet Smith had in a single instance admitted one at Nauvoo, but the act was generally disapproved by the elders; though it was understood that the tithing exchequer was liberally benefited by the case, and perhaps for that reason its discussion soon ceased. The Cainite did not accompany the emigrants to Salt Lake, nor was his long continuance in Mormondom known to outside people. Furthermore, Young has been declared advocate of negro slavery. In his first message to the Utah Legislature, his views upon this question were thus indicated:
"While servitude may and should exist. and that too upon those who are naturally designed to occupy the position of servant of servants, yet we should not fall into the other extreme and make them as beasts of the field, regarding not the humanity that is in the colored race; nor elevating them, as some seem disposed, to an equality with those whom nature and nature's
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God has indicated to be their masters, their superiors."
Probably the ancient Mormons of the times of Nephi had no knowledge of the "Cainites," for the records "hid up" by them, from the translations of which Joseph Smith, Jr., obtained the Book of Mormon, as pretended, furnish this text against slavery:
"But Ammon said unto him, It is against the law of our brethren, which was established by my father, that there should be any slaves among them."
Perhaps consistency, as between the professions and practices of the Mormon sect on this or any other question should not be expected.
The Latter Day Saints are modified millenarians. It is a theory interwoven with their belief, that the latter days are now passing. This is the burden of their preaching and revelations, and it is the main-spring of their proselytizing machinery. All the original followers of Smith at Palmyra and Manchester, after the "Golden Bible" invention superseded the money-digging malversations, were avowedly influenced in their conversion to the "Mormon" gospel, more by this idea than any other receiving their serious consideration. And at the present time, in Utah and throughout the world, the faith of the 'saints" is understood to be peculiarly strengthened by the revelation of Smith at Kirtland in 1833, to which they are pointed by the elders;
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"And now I am prepared to say, by the authority of Jesus Christ, that not many years shall pass away before the United States shall present such a scene of bloodshed as has not a parallel in the history of our nation; pestilence, hail, famine and earthquakes, will sweep the wicked of this generation from off the face of the land, to open and prepare the way for the return of the lost tribes of Israel from the north country. Therefore I declare unto you the warning which the Lord has commanded me to declare unto this generation, remembering that the eyes of my Maker are upon me, and that to him I am accountable for every word I say, wishing nothing worse to my fellow-men than their eternal salvation; therefore, 'fear God and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment is come.' Repent ye, repent ye, and embrace the everlasting covenant, and flee to Zion before the overflowing scourge overtake you, for there are those now living upon the earth whose eyes shall not be closed in death until they see all these things which I have spoken fulfilled."
The believers, thinking they have seen fulfilled the first part of the prophecy of their martyr saint, are continually looking with undoubting faith for the verification of the remaining portion of it. Everywhere, Young's disciples believe that Mormonism is the true medium of salvation, and hence are rallying to the new Jerusalem in Utah as their only refuge.
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The corner-stone of the temple at Salt Lake City was laid in February, 1853. There were about two thousand people in attendance, and the ceremonies were in the highest style of Mormon grandeur. Two brass bands participated in the exercises. Governor Young made the leading address on the occasion, the substance of which, as published, may thus briefly stated: He said the "saints" were about to make their third attempt to build a temple to the Lord; that they had been twice frustrated in this duty by the powers of the devil, acting through the instrumentality of unrepentant gentiles, or at least that they had been only for a short season permitted to enjoy the one they had built at Nauvoo; that they were commanded to persevere, and that God had promised them his favor and protection when all their transgressions should be forgiven. He declared that the very ground where he stood had been revealed to him for seven years past as the spot where the temple should stand, and he intimated that its building might cost a million of dollars. He asked his followers to pay their tithes with a cheerful promptitude, promising "God's blessing to them that do his will."
This oration was followed by a prayer by Elder Kimball, and by music from the band and vocalists. The Governor and the Twelve Apostles each threw up a few shovelfuls of earth, and a benediction ended the ceremony. The temple is planned for an immense
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building, calculated to seat eighteen thousand people. Its construction has not been hastened forward since the laying of the foundation walls. Young seems entirely content with the slow progress of the work, since it is the continual source of enriching revenues by the operation of the tithing system of the scheming beneficiary.
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alleged against the usurper; questions of jurisdiction arose; the difficulties multiplied from time to time; and the controversy between the Governor and his associate Territorial officers became warlike in its character. Colonel Steptoe arrived at the Mormon capital with a force of three hundred men, ready to enforce obedience to law. The contumacious Governor was prepared to meet this force with his Nauvoo Legion, should such culmination become necessary. Very soon he was removed from office by the President, and another appointment made to supersede him; but the new appointee declined the office, and Governor Young held over. In the mean time, he had piled his "saintly" arts of diplomacy with the belligerent commandant and his cooperating civil officers. The ultimatum was, that most of these Federal officers became friends of the Mormons -- espoused their polygamous religion -- and Young was reappointed Governor by their recommendation. Thus war in this instance was avoided -- and Territorial affairs went on harmoniously.
Afterward, difficulties arose between the Mormons and anti-Mormons (the latter chiefly miners) in Western Utah, now organized as Nevada Territory, upon a question of jurisdiction. The signs were again ominous of war for a season; but finally Governor Young took counsel of his discretion, and peacefully withdrew from the contest. The questions involved
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in this matter were stated by Mr. Crane, delegate-elect for Nevada, in January, 1859:
"The Mormons and anti-Mormons began the settlement of Western Utah in the latter part of 1854. The former, however, succeeded in 1855 in obtaining a numerical majority; and the Legislature of Utah, on being informed of this fact, organized the whole western part of the Territory, under the name of Carson County, and Governor Young appointed Orson Hyde, the President of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, its Probate Judge. Soon after the judge arrived, adventurers from California, as well as from the Atlantic States, settled in Carson and other valleys on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada, for the purpose of mining, farming, and raising stock. As they increased very fast, the Mormons became alarmed, and determined to expel them.
"They therefore ordered them to leave the country. Of course the anti-Mormons refused to do so. The Mormons then assembled their forces, and attempted to expel them, vi et armis. The anti-Mormons also organized, and fortified themselves, with a view of defending their lives and property against their assailants. For two weeks their armies camped nearly in sight of each other, without coming to a direct battle.
"By this time news had reached the miners in California of this state of affairs, and a large number
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had determined to cross the mountains, and afford protection to the anti-Mormons. On hearing this, the Mormons became satisfied that, unless they retraced their steps, they would themselves be driven from the country, instead of the anti-Mormons. They therefore proposed a truce, and agreed that all should enjoy a common heritage in that part of the Territory. . . .
"The only remedy for this unnatural war, now raging between the Mormons and the anti-Mormons in Utah, is to be found in the immediate separation of these people under two distinct governmental organizations. One thing is inevitable -- the Mormons and anti-Mormons will never, and can never live together in peace, under one government. The conflicts which took place between them in Ohio, Missouri, Illinois, and Iowa, and which are now going on in Utah, ought to convince any intelligent man of the justice and truth of this declaration. Indeed, the Mormons themselves acknowledge it; and so long as they adhere to their belief -- a belief founded upon their own scriptures, that an absolute theocracy is the only government under which they can and should live -- they never will be loyal to our government and countrymen; and hence their hostility to our institutions and people, and their inflexible devotion to their own.
"In every State where the Mormons have lived, it has cost the loyal people of the State thousands of
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dollars, as well as the loss of many lives, to compel them to obey the laws. In every instance they have resisted our laws, and in every State necessity demanded their expulsion.
"In Utah, while they were charged with the administration of the government and execution of the laws, they proved themselves not only traitors to our people, but treacherous to the Government, and openly rebelled against them and defied their authority, and it cost the Federal Government millions to conquer them. They have still control of the Territory, and they are inflexibly bent upon subduing the anti-Mormons of Western Utah; and if the latter are not separated from them, and protected by law, it will require the expenditure of millions more to restore order in Utah. Congress can count the cost in this matter, while we will have the melancholy duty of burying our dead. The people of Nevada will never be conquered -- never be ruled by the Mormons. Come what will, they will resist to the bitter end. They prefer death to dishonor, and the Government may choose which of these shall be meted out to them.
"In addition to the above considerations, which should, I believe, present conclusive and imposing evidence, sufficiently satisfactory to induce Congress to organize the Territory of Nevada, I may likewise mention others. While the people of Western Utah have, in the Mormons, open and avowed enemies,
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they have likewise the savage tribes to defend themselves against. Some of these tribes are professed Mormons, while others are under their influence. Many conflicts have taken place between the anti-Mormons and some of these tribes, as well as between the emigrants (while crossing the Plains to the North Pacific) and the savages; and there is no hope of establishing amicable relations with these Indian tribes, until they are brought under other and better relations with the anti-Mormons of Utah. Peace does not reign in Utah, and never will, under the present order of things."
As above set forth, the Mormons were in hostile relations to the Government; they were, indeed, in actual rebellion. On that account, all the Federal authorities not in affiliation with them, had left the Territory. Yet a temperate policy was deemed advisable at Washington. Young was again removed, and a successor appointed, in the summer of 1857. The new appointments, altogether, were: Governor, A. Cumming; Chief Justice, D. R. Eckles; Associate Justices, John Cradlebaugh and Charles E. Sinclair; Secretary, John Harnett. These officers were supported by an army of three thousand men, under the command of Colonel A. S. Johnston. A sufficient history of affairs, as now presented, may be gathered from a report of the Secretary of War, December 5, 1857:
" The Territory of Utah is peopled almost exclusively
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by the religious sect known as Mormons. They have substituted for the laws of the land, a theocracy, having for its head an individual whom they profess to believe a prophet of God.
"This prophet demands obedience, and receives it implicitly from his people, in virtue of what he assures them to be authority derived from revelations received by him from heaven. Whenever he finds it convenient to exercise any special command, these opportune revelations of a higher law come to his aid. From his decrees there is no appeal; against his will there is no resistance....
"From the first hour they fixed themselves in that remote and almost inaccessible region of our territory, from which they are now sending defiance to the sovereign power, their whole plan has been to prepare for a successful secession from the authority of the United States, and a permanent establishment of their own. . . .
"This Mormon brotherhood has scarcely preserved the semblance of obedience to the authority of the United States for some years past; not at all, indeed, except as it might confer some direct benefit upon themselves, or contribute to circulate public money in their community. It has, nevertheless, always been the policy and desire of the Federal Government to avoid collision with this Mormon community.
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"Their settlements lie in the great pathway which leads from the Atlantic States to the new and flourishing communities growing up upon the Pacific seaboard. They stand a lion in the paths not only themselves defying the civil and military authorities of the government, but encouraging, if not exciting, the nomad savages who roam over the vast, unoccupied regions of the continent, to the pillage and massacre of peaceful and helpless emigrant families traversing the solitudes of the wilderness. The rapid settlement of our Pacific possessions; the rights, in those regions, of emigrants, unable to afford the heavy expenses of transit by water and the Isthmus; the facility and safety of military, political, and social intercommunication between our Eastern and Western population and States -- all depend upon the prompt, absolute, and thorough removal of a hostile power besetting this path, midway of its route, at a point where succor and provisions should always be found, rather than obstruction, privation, and outrage....
"From all the circumstances surrounding this subject at the time, it was thought expedient, during the past summer, to send a body of troops to Utah, with the civil officers recently appointed to that Territory.... The instructions of the commanding officer were deliberately considered and carefully drawn, and he was charged not to allow any conflict to take place between the troops and the people of the
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Territory, except only in case he should be called upon by the Governor for soldiers to act as a posse comitatus in enforcing obedience to the laws.
"An active, discreet officer, was sent in advance of the army to Utah, for the purpose of purchasing provisions for it, and of assuring the people of the Territory of the peaceful intentions of the Government. This officer found, upon entering the Territory, that these deluded people had already, in advance of his arrival, or of any information, except as to the march of the column, determined to resist their approach, and prevent, if possible, and by force, the entrance of the army into the Valley of Salt Lake. Supplies of every sort were refused him.
"The day after his departure from the city, on his way back, Young issued his proclamation, substantially declaring war against the United States, and at the same time putting the Territory under martial law."
Young, it will be seen, still assumed to be Governor of Utah, and in that capacity issued a proclamation of martial law. This document bears date September 15, 1857, and a few brief extracts will suffice to show its general spirit:
"Citizens of Utah: We are invaded by a hostile force, who are evidently assailing us to accomplish our overthrow and destruction. For the last twenty-five years we have trusted officials of the Government, from constables and justices, to judges, governors, and
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presidents, only to be scorned, held in derision, insulted, and betrayed. Our houses have been plundered and then burned, our fields laid waste, our principal men butchered, while under the pledged faith of the Government for their safety; and our families driven from their homes to find that shelter in the barren wilderness, and that protection among hostile savages, which were denied them in the boasted abodes of Christianity and civilization.
"Our opponents have availed themselves of prejudices existing against us, because of our religious faith, to send out a formidable host to accomplish our destruction. We have had no privilege or opportunity of defending ourselves from the false, foul, and unjust aspersions against us, before the nation. . . .
"We are condemned unheard, and forced to an issue with an armed, mercenary mob, which has been sent against us at the instigation of anonymous letter writers, ashamed to father the base, slanderous falsehoods, which they have given to the public; of corrupt officials, who have brought false accusations against us, to screen themselves in their own infamy; and of hireling priests and howling editors, who prostitute the truth for filthy lucre's sake.
"Therefore, I, Brigham Young, Governor and Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Territory of Utah, in the name of the people of the United States in the Territory of Utah, forbid --
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"First: All armed forces, of whatever description, from coming into this Territory, under any pretence whatever.
"Second: That all the forces in said Territory hold themselves in readiness to march at a moment's notice, to repel any and all such invasion.
"Third: Martial law is hereby declared to exist in this Territory, from and after the publication of this proclamation; and no person shall be allowed to pass or repass, into, or through, or from this Territory, without a permit from the proper officer."
This proclamation met the United States forces on the Plains, dispatched from Fort Bridger by Daniel H. Wells, "commanding Nauvoo Legion," accompanied by his announcement of his purpose to carry out its instructions.
The able-bodied Mormons had promptly responded to their prophet's call to arms, and an army of ample numbers was found confronting the Federal troops. He addressed them in a Sunday-morning sermon, breathing the vengeance of war in earnest, as per the following specimen:
"This people are free; they are not in bondage to any government on God's footstool. We have transgressed no law, and we have no occasion to do so, neither do we intend to; but as for any enemies coming to destroy this people, God Almighty being my helper, they cannot come here. We have borne
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enough of their oppression and hellish abuse, and we will not bear any more of it, for there is no just law requiring further forbearance on our part. And I am not going to have troops here to protect the priests and hellish rabble in efforts to drive us from the land we possess; for the Lord does not want us to be driven, and has said, 'If you will assert your rights, and keep my commandments, you shall never again be brought into bondage by your enemies.'. . .
"They say that their army is legal; and I say that such a statement is as false as hell, and that they areas rotten as an old pumpkin that has been frozen seven times, and then melted in a harvest sun. Come on with your thousands of illegally ordered troops, and I will promise you, in the name of Israel's God, that you shall melt away as the snow before a July sun. . . .
"You might as well tell me that you can make hell into a powder-house, as to tell me that you could let an army in here, and have peace; and I intend to tell them, and show them this, if they do not stay away."
In the afternoon the Mormon autocrat gave further vent to his fury:
"Before we left Nauvoo, not less than two United States Senators came to receive a pledge from us that we would leave the United States; and then, while we were doing our best to leave their borders, the
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poor, low, degraded curses sent a requisition for five hundred men to go and fight their battles! That was President Polk; and he is now weltering in hell, with old Zachary Taylor, where the present administration will soon be, if they do not repent!
"Liars have reported that this people have committed treason, and upon their lies the President has ordered out troops to aid in officering this Territory; and if those officers are like many who have previously been sent here -- and we have reason to believe that they are, or they would not come where they know they are not wanted -- they are poor, miserable blacklegs, broken-down political hacks, robbers, and whoremongers; men that are not fit for civilized society; so they must dragoon them upon us for officers. I feel that I won't bear such cursed treatment, and that is enough to say -- for we are just as free as the mountain air. . . .
"I have told you that if this people will live their religion, all will be well; and I have told you that if there is any man or woman who is not willing to destroy any thing or every thing of their property that would be of use to an enemy, if left, I wanted them to go out of the Territory. . . .
"Now, the faint-hearted can go in peace; but should that time come, they must not interfere. Before I will suffer what I have in times gone by, there shall not be one building, nor one foot of lumber, nor a stick, nor a tree, nor a particle of grass or hay that
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will burn, left in reach of our enemies. I am sworn, if driven to extremity, to utterly lay waste, in the name of Israel's God."
The Federal troops were encamped at Green River, near Fort Bridger, one hundred and eighteen miles from Salt Lake City; and in November, Governor Cumming issued a proclamation to the people of Utah, informing them of his mission, which was to reorganize the Territorial government, bring the treasonable leaders to judicial trial, and enforce obedience to the United States Constitution and the organic law of the Territory.
The usual "ravages of war " -- except those which result from fighting -- were systematically perpetrated by the Mormon troops, such as stealing the Federal commissary stores, destroying the military wagons, and burning the forage and other means of sustenance for the "invaders." The winter was a severe one, and great suffering was experienced by the men on both sides, but no hostile gun was fired. Thus matters continued for a while, when, in December, Governor Cumming visited the city, on invitation of the Mormon leader, where he was received in a friendly manner by Governor Young. On mutual explanations, the latter relinquished the papers of his office, and gave a pledge of peace and obedience to law. A proclamation of Presidential pardon followed in June, accompanied by an assurance from the commissioners
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from Washington bearing the proclamation, in these words:
"If you obey the laws; keep the peace, and respect the just rights of others, you will be perfectly secure, and may live in your present faith, or change it for another at your pleasure. Every intelligent man among you knows very well that the Government has never, directly or indirectly, sought to molest you in your worship, to control you in your ecclesiastical affairs, or even to influence you in your religious opinions."
Peace now reigned; the new Territorial officers were at their posts; and the Federal troops marched unmolested through the city to their destined encampment at Cedar Valley, forty miles south.
Numerous instances of robberies, incendiarisms, and murders, have occurred from time to time upon the Plains, in which Mormons and Indians were implicated, sometimes in league. The details of these past atrocities do not necessarily come within the province of this volume.
Several vacancies in Territorial offices led to the following appointments, in February, 1863: Governor, Stephen H. Harding, of Indiana; Associate Justices, Thomas S. Drake, of Michigan, and Charles B. Waite, of Illinois. The opening for Governor Harding's appointment occurred in this wise: a Mr. Dawson had been appointed Governor, to fill a vacancy occasioned
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by the resignation of Governor Cumming, but becoming in some way entangled in the meshes of Mormonism after a brief official service, summarily resigned. As accused, he attempted the illustration of polygamy in a style not exactly in accordance with the mystic rites of the Church of Latter-Day Saints: where at the prophet, the elders, and their followers, became intensely indignant. Apprehending personal danger, the clandestine polygamist sought safety in precipitate flight; but a self-appointed committee of the "Mormon boys" overtook him in a chase, gave him a severe castigation, and then set him free. That was Governor Dawson's last demonstration of Mormon faith, and the finale of his gubernatorial glory.
Congress passed an act "to punish and prevent the practice of polygamy in the Territories, and to annul certain acts of the Legislative Assembly of Utah." The Mormons held this act to be unconstitutional, as well as a violation of the pledge that had been given, and therefore refused to obey it as law. On the assembling of the Territorial Legislature, Governor Harding, in his message to that body, declared in favor of the enforcement of the act, discussing the question in a manner giving special umbrage to the polygamists. Extracts from the Governor's message:
"It would be disingenuous if I were not to advert to a question, which, although seemingly it has nothing to do in the premises, yet is one of vast importance
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to you as a people, and which cannot be ignored. I mean that institution which is not only commended but encouraged by you, and which, to say the least of it, is an anomaly throughout Christendom. I mean polygamy, or if you prefer the term, plurality of wives. In approaching this delicate subject, I desire to do so in no unkind or offensive spirit. . . .
"I lay it down as a sound proposition, that no community can happily exist with an institution so important as that of marriage wanting in all those qualities that make it homogeneal with institutions and laws of neighboring civilized communities having the same object.
"Anomalies in the moral world cannot long exist in a state of mere abeyance; they must, from the very nature of things, become aggressive, or they will soon disappear, from the force of conflicting ideas.
"This proposition is supported by the history of our race, and is so plain that it may be set down as an axiom. If we grant this to be true, we may sum up the conclusion of the argument as follows: either the laws and opinions of the communities by which you are surrounded must become subordinate to your customs and opinions, or, on the other hand, yours must yield to theirs. The conflict is irrepressible. . . .
"That plurality of wives is tolerated and believed to be right, may not appear so strange; but that a
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mother and her daughter are allowed to fulfil the duties of wives to the same husband, or that a man could be found in all Christendom who could be induced to take upon himself such a relationship, is perhaps no less a marvel in morals than in matters of taste.
"The bare fact that such practices are tolerated among you is sufficient evidence that the human passions, whether excited by religions fanaticism or otherwise, must be restrained and subjected to laws, to which all must yield obedience. No community can long exist, without absolute social anarchy, unless so important an institution as that of marriage is regulated by law. It is the basis of our civilization, and in it the whole question of the descent and distribution of real and personal estate is involved.
"Much to my astonishment, I have not been able to find any law upon the statutes of this Territory regulating marriage. I earnestly recommend to your early consideration the passage of some law that will meet the exigencies of the people. . . .
"I am aware that there is a prevailing opinion here that the Act of Congress is unconstitutional, and therefore it is recommended by those in high authority that no regard whatever should be paid to the same; and still more to be regretted, if I am rightly informed, in some instances it has been recommended that it be openly disregarded and defied, merely to defy the same.
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"I take this occasion to warn the people of this Territory against such dangerous and disloyal counsels. Whether the act is unconstitutional or not, is not necessary for me either to affirm or deny. . . .
"The Constitution has amply provided how and where all such questions of doubt are to be submitted and settled, namely, in the courts constituted for that purpose.
"To forcibly resist the execution of that act, would be, to say the least, a high misdemeanor; and if a whole community should become involved in such resistance, would call down upon it the consequences of insurrection and rebellion.". . .
The "pent-up fires of saintly wrath" now broke forth. The Legislature, largely Mormon in its composition, refused to print the message, and a large and excited meeting of the offended people appointed a committee to warn the Governor, and also the two justices counseling his action, to leave the Territory. At the meeting Young made one of his characteristic harangues, usually called "sermons." As authoritatively reported, he said, among other things in the same vein:
"You have just heard read the message of Governor Harding, delivered to the Legislative Assembly of this Territory. You will readily perceive that the bread is buttered, but there is poison underneath. When he came to Utah last July, the Governor
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sought to ingratiate himself into the esteem of our prominent citizens, with whom he had early intercourse, and professed great friendship and attachment for the people of the Territory. He was then full of their praises, and said he was ready to declare that he would stand in the defence of polygamy, or that he should have to deny the Bible; and stated that he had told the President, prior to leaving Washington, that if he were called upon to discuss the question, he would have to take the side of polygamy, or to renounce the authority of the Scriptures.
"In the face of all these professions, what has been the course of this man?... Man, did I say -- thing, I mean -- a nigger-worshipper -- a black-hearted abolitionist is what he is, and what he represents; and that I do naturally despise. Do you acknowledge this man Harding for your Governor?"
Voices all through the audience responded, " No, you are our Governor."
"Yes, I am your Governor; and I will let him know that I am Governor; and if he attempts to interfere in my affairs, woe, woe unto him!. . .
"In regard to the war now desolating the country, it is but the fulfilment of the prophecies of Joseph Smith, which he told me thirty years ago."
The committee appointed to wait on the Governor and the two judges, and request them to resign their offices and leave the Territory, were John Taylor,
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[P]eter Clinton, and Orson Pratt. The following resolution was also adopted:
"Resolved, That we petition the President of the United States to remove Governor Harding, and Judges Waite and Drake, and to appoint good men in their stead."
In carrying out their instructions, the committee were met by expressions of defiance and contempt on the part of the officers addressed. The following is extracted from Governor Harding's reply to the committee:
"Gentlemen, I believe I understand this matter perfectly. I came here a messenger of peace and good-will to your people, but I must confess that my opinions have changed in many respects. But I came also, sirs, to discharge my duties honestly and faithfully to the Government, and I intend to do so to the last. It is in your power to do me personal violence -- to shed my blood; but this consideration will not deter me from my purpose. If the President can be made to believe that I have been unfaithful to the trust he confided to me, he will doubtless remove me; and I then shall be glad to return to my home in the States, and will do so, carrying with me no unjust resentments toward you or any one else.
"But I will not be driven away; I will not cowardly abandon my post. I may be in danger in staying; but my purpose is fixed.
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"Your allegations in this paper are false -- without the shadow of truth. You call my message insulting, and you dare not print it, for fear your people may read it for themselves. To say that I have wronged you when I said that you are disloyal, is simply preposterous. Your own people -- your public teachers and bishops -- admit the fact.
"Let me say to you in conclusion -- and as this is said to be a land of prophets, I too will prophesy -- if, while in the discharge of my duties, one drop of my blood be shed by your ministers of vengeance, that it will be avenged, and not one stone or adobe in this city will be left upon another. I have now done, and you understand me."
The Governor's message was printed at Washington by order of Congress, and one thousand copies were distributed in Salt Lake City. No act of violence followed this political collision; and while Territorial government technically came to a stand-still, the Mormon theocracy with its obnoxious institutions went on without serious molestation. And indeed to this day, peace prevails in Utah, and the Congressional act prohibiting polygamy remains a dead letter.
Governor Harding, after about one year's service, was appointed Chief Justice of Colorado Territory, being succeeded as Governor of Utah by the appointment of James D. Doty, of Wisconsin, then Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Territory. Judge
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Waite resigned, and Judge Drake remained in office, on some terms of mutual conciliation.
The present statistics of Mormonism show the total conversions, at home and abroad, to be about one million, including those who have backslidden. Considered in connection with the singular origin of the imposture, as traced in these annals, the progress and results attained may be regarded as the wonder of the world. This Smith-Rigdon Church, based, as has been shown, upon Spaulding's fabulous history of "lost tribes," and beginning with the pioneer impostors in 1829, has now, in 1867, its believers nearly co-extensive with the bounds of civilization, and in some instances even beyond. The Mormons have their missions in England, Scotland, Wales, France, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Malta, Gibraltar, Hindostan, Australia, Siam, Ceylon, China, Chili, Guinea, the West Indies, and the Sandwich Islands, with established churches in most of those countries. The Book of Mormon has gone through several English editions, and has also been published in French, German, Italian, Danish, Welsh, and Polynesian, with large editions of tracts in these different languages. Among the periodicals published by the Mormon Church, or in its advocacy, as the list was presented a few years ago, were The Mormon, at New York; the Latter-Day Saints' Millennial Star, published simultaneously at Liverpool and London;
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the Reflectur, in French, at Geneva; the Etoile du Deseret, in French, at Paris; the Skandinavisk Stjern, in Danish, at Copenhagen; the Udgern Sion, in Welsh; the Western Standard, at San Francisco; the Zion's Watchman, in Australia; and the Deseret News, Telegraph, and other publications, at Great Salt Lake City. Journals in English, Italian, Swedish, Spanish, and German, have since been established. Commissioners are exploring the Sandwich Islands with the view of acquiring by negotiation an ample tract of country for a future new Jerusalem, in case the necessity shall arise for vacating the present seat of the Mormon Zion in Utah.
The Mormon missionary system is prosecuted with great perseverance, and with corresponding success. Able and active men, mostly foreign converts, though numbers are sent out from Utah, are constantly employed in this service. At the present time there are no less than ten Mormon congregations in London, who hold their regular assemblages for public worship every Sunday. The London Review of a late date describes the Mormon emigrants sent from Europe to this country:
"The ignorant, untaught English and Welsh, generally too of dissenting religious opinions, if of any, form the staple of the recruits; and these are beguiled to a 'land flowing with milk and honey,' aided in their emigration, carefully watched as they set out, and
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tended when they arrive. From the day they leave London or Liverpool, till the hour they arrive, they are not left alone. Mr. Dickens saw one of their emigrant-ships, and while admiring its cleanliness, was struck with the utter reticence and silence of all upon the question of religion. The truth is, the 'saints' are told to hold themselves as saints, and to avoid talking with the gentiles. Their superiors or elders are always on the watch. They first entrap them, and then hoodwink them. During the voyage out they are well treated, and herein our own Emigration Commissioners might learn a lesson; but until the birds are caged, they really know nothing or very little of the trap they have fallen into. Hence many leave this country. Last year more than two thousand joined the false prophet. To supply this constant stream of emigrants, there is a large European mission, and in Europe, it is said, there are four hundred branches. In London and its environs we have 'meeting-rooms.' These places are generally shabby teetotal or dancing halls during the week, and on Sunday, an elder, with two or three companions to back him up, preaches in a low and vulgar style on religion, expounding the Proverbs or the Gospel even, and citing David or Solomon. Seldom or never is polygamy openly touched on; it is only to the matured Mormon, certainly not the stranger, that such a thing is broached. To conclude, such an agency is
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terrible in its results. We do not want a religious persecution, but we hold, with an astute American, that these people are contravening the law, not only of God but of the state, of knowledge, of health, of morals, and of nature."
And the London Court Journal tells a similar story, and regards this spread of Mormonism in many parts of England and Wales as "one of the saddest signs of the times." Among other facts it states (April, 1867), that "the son of Brigham Young is now in London on a proselyting expedition, and has been holding forth to large audiences in the tabernacle of the faithful. It is indeed startling to hear that many hundreds of women leave England every year for the Salt Lake City, and the statement is unfortunately true beyond all doubt."
The visions of the "promised land" in Utah, with the beauties of its "celestial city" in the valley of Great Salt Lake, have a winning influence as presented by the Mormon missionaries to the fanatical and discontented minds addressed in foreign lands. That interesting region, indeed, by the pioneer explorations and subsequent improvements of the Latter Day Saints, has now a world-wide identity with our country's history, and is continually rising in importance to the Government and to Christendom.
It is believed that the Mormon emigration from the northern countries of the Old World will be larger this
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year (1867) than ever before. A well-informed writer remarks: "One of the chiefest means of conversion, of which the Mormon elders avail themselves, is the promise which they hold out of a home in Utah. The weary laborer and toil-worn mechanic of England can hardly resist the prospect of a country where their industry shall be properly rewarded, where land costs nothing, where their love of pleasure may be satisfied, and where every outward comfort and delight are sanctified by the encouragement of religious authority."
Mr. Bowles, editor of the Springfield Republican, in his graphic delineations entitled "Across the Continent," thus concludes a description of Utah and the Mormons as they are:
"This is Utah -- these the Mormons. I do not marvel that they think they are a chosen people; that they have been blessed of God, not only in the selection of their home, which consists of the richest region, in all the elements of a State, between the Mississippi valley and the Pacific shore, but in the great success that has attended their labors, and developed here the most independent and self-sustaining industry that the Western half of our continent witnesses. Surely great worldly wisdom has presided over their settlement and organization; there have been tact and statesmanship in the leaders; there have been industry, frugality, and integrity in the
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people; or one could not witness such progress, such wealth, such varied triumphs of industry and ingenuity and endurance, as here present themselves. . . .
"We came out upon the plateau, or 'bench,' as they call it here, that overlooks the valley of the Jordan, the valley alike of Utah Lake and the Great Salt Lake, and the valley of the intermediate Great Salt Lake City. It is a scene of rare natural beauty. To the right, upon the plateau, lay Camp Douglas, the home of the soldiers and a village within itself, holding guard over the town, and within easy cannon range of the tabernacle and tithing-house; right beneath, in an angle of the plain, which stretched south to Utah Lake and west to the Salt Lake -- 'and Jordan rolled between' -- was the city, regularly and handsomely laid out, with many fine buildings, and filled with thick gardens of trees and flowers, that gave it a fairy-land aspect; beyond and across, the plain spread out five to ten miles in width, with scattered farmhouses and herds of cattle; below, it was lost in dim distance; above, it gave way, twenty miles off, to the line of light that marked the beginning of Salt Lake -- the whole flat as a floor and sparkling with river and irrigating canals, and overlooked on both sides by hills that mounted to the snow line, and out from which flowed the fatness of water and soil that makes this once desert valley blossom under the hand of industry,
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with every variety of verdure, every product of almost every clime.
"No internal city of the continent lies in such a field of beauty, unites such rich and rare elements of Nature's formations, holds such guaranties of greatness, material and social, in the good time coming of our Pacific development. I met all along the plains and over the mountains the feeling that Salt Lake was to be the great central city of this West; I found the map, with Montana, Idaho, and Oregon on the north, Dakota and Colorado on the east, Nevada and California on the west, Arizona on the south, and a near connection with the sea by the Colorado River in the latter direction, suggested the same; I recognized it in the Sabbath-morning picture of its location and possessions; I am convinced of it as I see more and more of its opportunities, its developed industries, and its unimproved possessions....
"Salt Lake City is thus irrigated, mainly from one mountain stream; bright, sparkling brooks, course freely and constantly down its paved gutters, keeping the shade-trees alive and growing, supplying drink for animals and water for household purposes, and delightfully cooling the summer air; besides being drawn off in right proportions for the use of each garden.... Under this regular stimulus, with a strong soil made up of the wash of the mountains, the finest of crops are obtained; the vegetable bottom
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lands of your own Connecticut and of the Western prairies cannot vie with the products of the best gardens and farms of these Pacific valleys, under this system of irrigation.... I do not believe the same space of ground anywhere else in the country holds so much and so fine fruit and vegetables as the city of Salt Lake to-day.
"The soil of these valleys is especially favorable to the small grains. Fifty and sixty bushels is a very common crop of wheat, oats, and barley; and over ninety have been raised. President Young once raised ninety-three and a half bushels of wheat on a single acre. I should say the same soil located in the East, and taking its chances without irrigation, would not produce half what it does here with irrigation. Laborious and expensive as the process must be, the large crops and high prices obtained for them make it pay. Over all this country, that is forced to have an irrigated farming, there is no business that now pays so well, not even mining, and nowhere else in the whole nation is agriculture so profitable. . . .
"There is a mountain of rock salt a few miles away; and below, in Arizona, is a similar mountain whose salt is as pure as finest glass. President Young showed us a brick of it to-day, that excited our surprise and delight as much as any novelty we have seen on our journey.
"The policy of the Mormon leaders has been to
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confine their people to agriculture; to develop a self-sustaining, rural population, quiet, frugal, industrious, scattered in small villages, and so manageable by the Church organization. So far, this policy has been admirably successful; and it has created an industry and a production here, in the centre of the Western half of our continent, of immense importance and value to the future growth of the region. A few of the simpler manufactures have been introduced of late, but these are not in conflict with the general policy. There are three cotton-mills, confined to cotton yarns, however, almost exclusively, and one woolen-mill. Probably there are a hundred flouring mills in the Territory also. Flour, the grains, butter, bacon, dried peaches, home-made socks and yarn, these are the chief articles produced in excess, and sold to emigrants and for the mining regions in the North. Probably two hundred thousand pounds of dried peaches were sold for Idaho and Montana last year. Hides are plenty; there is a good tannery here; and also a manufactory of boots and shoes. Cotton grows abundantly in the southern settlements; and experiments with flax, the mulberry tree, and the silk-worm, are all successful.
"As to mining, the influence of the Church has been against it.... President Young argues that the world has many times more gold and silver than it needs for financial purposes; that the country is
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poorer to-day for all the mining of gold and silver in the last twenty years; and that for every dollar gained by it, four dollars have been expended."
Salt and Utah Lakes are sketched by Mr. Ferris, late Territorial Secretary, in his "Utah and the Mormons:"
"Great Salt Lake is a very great curiosity. It is about one hundred and thirty miles long, and from seventy to eighty broad, and is, as near as may be, a vast collection of brine. The water seems to be saturated with salt to its utmost capacity of holding it in solution, indicating the neighborhood of great deposits of mineral salt. Between Great Salt Lake City and Bear River is a spring intensely salt, which pours out a volume of water equal to that at Spring Port, on the east side of Cayuga Lake, which it very much resembles. This is probably one of many others of a similar character which pour their contents into the lake. At particular points on the beach, where the regular course of the winds dashes up the waves, the salt collects in such quantities as to be conveniently shoveled into carts for domestic use. It is also procured by evaporation, three pails of the water producing one of salt. A person bathing may sit in the water, rising to his arm-pits, as in a chair; but let him beware of toppling over, unless he wishes to encounter the risk of drowning heels over head. The water is perfectly limpid, and has no living thing beneath its saline waves. It has many islands with high mountain
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peaks, among the largest of which is Antelope Island, situated so near the eastern shore as to be accessible for grazing purposes, for which it is extensively used.
"Utah Lake, about forty miles south of Salt Lake, with which it is connected by its outlet, the River Jordan, is a handsome sheet of fresh water, some fifteen miles long by ten broad, and abounds with the finest salmon-trout. In approaching it from the north, the valley of the Jordan narrows, and in rounding appoint about seven miles from the lake, a grand spectacle suddenly bursts upon the view of the traveller. The lake presents itself in placid beauty below him, surrounded, and seemingly completely walled in, by lofty mountains covered with snow.
"The Great Basin is rich in minerals, among which are iron and coal, found in Iron County, some two hundred and fifty miles south of Great Salt Lake City, in such abundance as to provide an adequate supply for the future wants of the population.
"Gold has only been discovered in Carson Valley, near the line separating Utah from California, but there are strong indications that it abounds in other portions of the Territory."
"The great city of the Mormons in this modern "Plain of Jordan " -- the Gomorrah of the nineteenth century -- is depicted by Dixon, from personal inspection:
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"The city, which covers, we are told, three thousand acres of land, between the mountains and the river, is laid out in blocks of ten acres each. Each block is divided into lots of one acre and a quarter; this quantity of land being considered enough for an ordinary cottage and garden.
"As yet, the temple is unfinished; the foundations are well laid, of massive granite; and the work is of a kind that bids fair to last; but the temple block is covered with temporary buildings and erections -- the old tabernacle, the great bowery, the new tabernacle, and the temple foundations.
"The temple block gives form to the whole city. From each side of it starts a street, a hundred feet in width, going out on the level plain, and in straight lines into space. Streets of the same width, and parallel to these, run north and south, east and west; each planted with locust and ailanthus trees, cooled by two running streams of water from the hillside.
"Main Street runs along the temple front; a street of offices, of residences, and of trade. Originally, it was meant for a street of the highest rank, and bore the name of East Temple Street; upon it stood, besides the temple itself, the council-house, the tithing-office, the dwellings of Young, Kimball, Wells, the three chief officers of the Mormon Church. Banks, stores, offices, hotels -- all the conveniences of modern life -- are springing up in Main Street; trees have in many
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parts been cut down, for the sake of loading and unloading goods; the trim little gardens, full of peach-trees and apple-trees, bowering the adobe cottages in their midst, have given why to shop-fronts and to hucksters' stalls.
"Right and left from Main Street, crossing it, parallel to it, lie a multitude of streets, each like its fellow; a hard, dusty road, with tiny becks, and rows of locust, cotton-wood, and philarea, and the building land laid down in blocks. In each block stands a cottage, in the midst of fruit-trees. Some of these houses are of goodly appearance as to size and style. Others are mere cots of four or five rooms, in which the polygamous families, should they ever quarrel, would find it difficult to form a ring and fight.
"In First South Street stand the theatre and the city hall, both fine structures, and for Western America remarkable in style.
The city hall is used as headquarters of police, and as a court of justice. The Mormon police are swift and silent, with their eyes in every corner, their grip on every rogue. In the winter months there are usually seven or eight hundred miners in Salt Lake City.
"The city has two sulphur-springs, over which Brigham Young has built wooden shanties. One bath is free. The water is refreshing and relaxing, the heat ninety-two degrees.
"No beggar is seen in the streets; scarcely ever a
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tipsy man; and the drunken fellow, when you see one, is always either a miner or a soldier -- of course a gentile. No one seems poor. The people are quiet and civil, far more so than is usual in these Western parts.
"The air is wonderfully pure and light. Rain seldom falls in the valley, though storms occur in the mountains almost daily; a cloud coming up in the western hills, rolling along the crests, and threatening the city with a deluge; but when breaking into wind and showers, it seems to run along the hill-tops into the Wasatch chain, and sail away eastward into the snowy range."
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"There are many gods, and they are of both sexes. But to us there is but one God -- the Father of mankind, and the Creator of the earth.
"Men and women are literally the sons and daughters of God -- our spirits having been literally begotten by God, in the heavenly world, and having been afterward sent to earth, and invested with these tabernacles.
"God is in the form of man. He has a body, composed of spiritual matter. there is no difference between matter and spirit, except in quality. Spirit is matter refined.
"God is omnipotent, but not personally omnipresent. he is everywhere present by his Holy Spirit. His personality is generally expressed by the
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phrase 'He has body, parts, and passions.' He resides in the centre of the universe, near the planet Kolob. This planet revolves on its axis once in a thousand of our years, and one revolution of the Kolob is a day to the Almighty.
"Jesus Christ was the Son of God, literally begotten by the Father, and had the Spirit of God in the body of a man. After his resurrection, he had a body of flesh and bones only, typical of man's resurrected body. He differs in nothing from the Father, except in age and authority -- the Father having the seniority, and consequently the right to preside.
"The Holy Spirit is a subtle fluid, like electricity. It is the subtlest form of matter, and pervades all space. By its agency, all miracles, so called, are performed. Miracles are simply the effects of the operation of natural laws. But they are laws of a higher character than those with which we are acquainted. This Holy Spirit is communicated by the laying-on of hands by one of the properly authorized priesthood, and the recipient is then enabled to perform wonderful things, according to his gift -- some having the gift of prophecy, some of healing, some of speaking in unknown tongues, etc.
"There are three heavens -- the telestial, the terrestrial, and the celestial.
"The telestial and terrestrial heavens are to be occupied by the various classes of persons who have neither
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obeyed nor rejected the gospel. The telestial is typified by the stars -- the terrestrial by the moon.
"The celestial, or highest heaven, has for its type the sun, and is reserved for those who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name, and were baptized by one having authority from him, and who afterward lived a holy life.
"The earth, as purified and refined, after the second coming of Christ, is to be the final habitation of those entitled to the glories of the celestial kingdom. Jerusalem is to be rebuilt, and Zion, or the New Jerusalem, is to be built in Jackson County, Missouri, whence the saints were expelled in 1833.
"There is a fourth class of persons, not entitled to either of these heavens.
They are those who sin against the Holy Ghost; that is, those who apostatize after receiving the Holy Spirit. These go into everlasting punishment, to remain with the devil and his angels.
"The gospel, which people are called upon to obey, in order to gain a place in the celestial kingdom, is: first, they must believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and in his authorized priesthood; secondly, they must repent of their sins; thirdly, they must be baptized by immersion for the remission of their sins; and, fourthly, they must receive the laying-on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
"God, having become nearly lost to man, revived
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his work, by revealing himself to Joseph Smith, and conferring upon him the keys of the everlasting priesthood -- thus making him the mediator of a New Dispensation, which is immediately to precede the second coming of Christ. All those who recognize the divine authority of Smith, and are baptized by one having authority, are the chosen people of God, who are to introduce the millennium, and to reign with Christ on earth a thousand years."
The Church organization, under the prevailing spiritual and temporal rule, is thus epitomized:
"First. The First Presidency. This consists of three, chosen from those who hold the high-priesthood and apostleship, and its office is to preside over and direct the affairs of the whole Church. It consists of a President and two Counsellors. The President is also seer, revelator, translator, and prophet. He rules in all spiritual and temporal affairs.
"Secondly. The Apostles. These are to build up, organize, and preside over churches, administer the ordinances, etc.
"Thirdly. The Seventies. The quorums of the Seventies are to travel in all the world, preach the gospel, and administer its ordinances and blessings. There is, also, the Patriarch, whose duty is to bless the fatherless, to prophesy what shall befall them, etc.
"Fourthly. High-Priests and Elders. The high-priest is to administer the ordinances, and preside
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over the stakes of the Church; that is, over the churches established abroad. The elders are to preach and baptize; to ordain other elders, also priests, teachers, and deacons. All the foregoing officers are of the Melchizedek priesthood.
"Fifthly. The Aaronic priesthood, which includes the offices of bishop, priest, preacher, and deacon.
"The bishop presides over all the lesser offices of the Aaronic priesthood, ministers in outward ordinances, conducts the temporal business of the Church, and sits in judgment on transgressors.
"The priest is to preach, baptize, administer the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, and visit and exhort the saints.
"The teacher is to watch over and strengthen the Church.
"The deacon is to assist the teacher.
"There is also a High Council, consisting of twelve high-priests, with a president. The office of the council is to settle all important difficulties.
"The priesthood comes direct from heaven, and was lost to man, until the keys of both orders of the priesthood were given to Joseph Smith, by an angel from heaven, in 1829. After the death of Smith, they came into the hands of Brigham Young."
All these officers are but mediums for the transmission of the will of the president. Nor is it confined to spiritual affairs. Under the form of a church
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organization, this system absorbs not only the religious, but all the civil and political liberty of the individual member. The High Council forms an apparent check on the power of the president; but when it is considered that this body is composed of persons nearest the president, and under his immediate influence and control in other relations in the same organization-as high-priests, etc. -- it will be seen that the check is only nominal, and forms no real protection to the rights of the
The orders of the priesthood -- the Melchizedek and Aaronic -- are the same as adopted under Smith's administration at Kirtland, as before explained (chapter x.)
Brigham Young has reached his sixty-sixth year. As the ruling President of the "Church of Latter Day Saints of Jesus Christ " -- the successor of Joseph Smith, Jr., to the celestial pretensions of prophet, seer, and revelator -- to the mandates of whose revelations all Mormondom yields willing obedience -- his notoriety and power are scarcely second to those of his greater prototype, Mohammed. His wealth is understood to be immense, and is fast accumulating from tithes and speculations. His temporal riches consist of the precious metals, city and rural estates, government securities, and foreign investments. From the European mission alone he is said to have secured for
* "Mormon Prophet."
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himself over half a million dollars in gold through the instrumentality of his tithing process. Many of the foreign immigrants bring large sums of money, all subject to his levies. The poor people suffer severely by the exaction; but in the steadfastness of their faith, they bear the oppression without an expressed murmur as a general fact.
The manifold wives and children of the prophet constitute his visible spiritual affluence. These blessings, like the first mentioned, cannot be computed with any proximity to accuracy, by the profane, perhaps not even by himself. From the best data attainable, his actual wives in polygamy -- the women who live in his houses and in his harem -- who are the recognized mothers of his children -- are twelve in number, including his first or lawful wife. All but one of these have borne children to him, varying numerically from three to nine each, and aggregating in number to about sixty now living -- all of whom are well provided for in respect to educational accomplishments and in other ways. Two of his elder sons have been employed in the foreign missionary service, and one of these, as elsewhere stated, was gaining converts in London, at the latest accounts. The spiritual or "sealed" wives of Young, it is said (probably with truth), cannot be counted by any authority; and at Salt Lake it is a very wise child that knows its own father.
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Polygamy is not universal in Mormondom. The question of matrimonial plurality is governed by a man's pecuniary ability to support more than one wife, or by the choice of parties. But every member of the priesthood is expected to obey revelation in this particular, and all of the higher order have two or more wives each, the number being according to the grade of office or wealth of the elder. Heber C. Kimball and Daniel Wells, who, with Young, are the three constituting the "First Presidency," are next to the prophet in the scale of numerical wifery, though it is said there is no record kept in this department of their domestic relations. The Twelve Apostles have fewer blessings than their superiors, being thus stated on Mormon authority: Orson Hyde, four wives; Orson Pratt, four wives; John Taylor, seven wives; [W]ilford Woodruff, three wives; George A. Smith (cousin of the late prophet), five wives; Amasa Lyman, five wives; Ezra Benson, four wives; Charles Rich, seven wives; Lorenzo Snow, three wives; Erastus Snow, three wives; Franklin Richards, four wives; George Q. Cannon, three wives. These statements do not embrace the spiritual ensealments of the apostles, but only the wives living in family unity. The numbers of their children are unknown.
This ancient Jewish institution of polygamy (practised only by portions of the Turks, Asiatics, Africans, North American savages, and Mormons), is the prolific
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source of schism and discontent among the "saints." Many of the backslidings and apostasies from the Church, estimated at an aggregate of twenty thousand, are traceable chiefly to this cause. Moreover, various combinations of dissenters have arisen for the same and other reasons, under the names of Strangites, Morrisites, Gladdenites, and Josephites, who occupy localities outside of the Salt Lake jurisdiction, under their own independent theocratic governments, while they nevertheless adhere to the primitive Mormon faith. These have their separate leaders, denying as they do the pretensions of the prophet usurper.
Young is exceedingly revengeful against all apostates and those who in any manner question his divinity; and this last offence, unretracted, is certain to be punished by abandonment to the "buffetings of Satan." In a sermon on this head, the prophet expressed himself in this manner:
"When a man comes right out like an independent devil, and says, 'Damn Mormonism and all the Mormons,' and is off with himself, I say he is a gentleman by the side of a nasty, sneaking apostate, who is opposed to nothing but Christianity. I say to the former, 'Go in peace, sir, and prosper if you can.' But we have a set of spirits here worse than such a character" (alluding to doubters).
The revelation of Smith at Nauvoo in 1844, as
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given elsewhere (chap. xii.), but first published at Salt Lake in 1852, forms the groundwork of the institution of polygamy as sustained by the Church under Young's administration. Prior to its appearance in the Deseret News, it was announced to the Church by Apostle Orson Pratt, and thus referred to by Prophet Young:
"You heard Brother Pratt state, this morning, that a revelation would be read this afternoon which was given previous to Joseph's death. It contains a doctrine which a small portion of the world is opposed to; but I can deliver a revelation upon it. Though that doctrine has not been preached by the elders, this people have believed in it for years."
Young's harem is a long, three-story frame building, including a stone basement. It has a spacious hall extending the entire length through the centre of each story, with rooms on either side for the occupants in their various employments. Its cost was about thirty thousand dollars, in addition to the free labor bestowed by command of the owner, "in the name of the Lord, and by the authority of the holy priesthood." Beside the private parlors and bedrooms for the wives and "other women," with the children, comprising the polygamous household, it has a spacious dining-room, a school-room, two receiving-parlors, a kitchen, weaving-room, laundry, coachman's room, etc. It has also a private office for the prophet, connected with
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which is his "sanctum sanctorum," or celestial bedroom, which is to be entered by no one without his special permission. Mrs. Waite, in her history of the prophet, gave the names and personal descriptions of twenty-four women who lived in the harem at the time of her recent residence in Salt Lake City, not including the first and lawful wife, with her children, who occupy a house by themselves. Most of the inmates have some sort of industrial pursuit -- for "industry" is Young's motto -- the various employments being cooking, washing, needlework, French and music teaching, poetry -- writing, taking care of the children, receiving company, and attending to the diversified commands of the host of the harem.
There is also an endowment-house connected with the tabernacle, in which washings, anointings, spiritual-wife sealings, and other mystic ceremonies, are performed by those in authority.
The marriage law is thus explained: A man who has a wife already, must first seek the prophet's advice before making proposals for another, and through him obtain a revelation in favor of his intention; next he must obtain the consent of the parents, and then consult the lady herself. The president, in his discretion, may overrule any objection raised by the first wife, and either divorce her or "damn" her for persistence in her opposition. All things being ready for the solemnity, the parties -- i. e., the bridegroom and
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bride, with the legal wife -- are arranged before the president of the Church:
"The president then puts this question to the wife: 'Are you willing to give this woman to your husband, to be his lawful and wedded wife, for time and all eternity? If you are, you will manifest it by placing her right hand within the right hand of your husband' The right hands of the bridegroom and the bride being thus joined, the wife takes her husband by the left arm, as if in the attitude of walking. The president then proceeds to ask the following questions of the man: 'Do you, brother (calling him by name), take sister (calling the bride by name) by the right hand, to receive her unto yourself, to be your lawful and wedded wife, and you to be her lawful and wedded husband, for time and for all eternity, with a covenant and promise on your part that you will fulfil all the laws, rites, and ordinances pertaining to this holy matrimony, in the new and everlasting covenant -- doing this in the presence of God, angels, and these witnesses, of your own free will and choice?' The bridegroom answers, 'Yes.' The president then puts the question to the bride: Do you, sister (calling her by name), take brother (calling him by name) by the right hand, and give yourself to him to be his lawful and wedded wife, for time and for all eternity, with a covenant and promise, on your part, that you will fulfil all the laws, rites, and ordinances pertaining to
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this holy matrimony, in the new and everlasting covenant -- doing this in the presence of God, angels, and these witnesses, of your own free-will and choice?' The bride answers, 'Yes.' The president then says: 'In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by the authority of the holy priesthood, I pronounce you legally and lawfully husband and wife, for time and all eternity; and I seal upon you the blessings of the holy resurrection, with power to come forth in the morning of the first resurrection, clothed with glory, immortality, and eternal lives; and I seal upon you the blessings of thrones, and dominions, and principalities, and powers, and exaltations; together with the blessings of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and say unto you, be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, that you may have joy and rejoicing in your posterity, in the day of the Lord Jesus. All these blessings, together with all other blessings pertaining to the new and everlasting covenant, I seal upon your hears, and enjoin your faithfulness unto the end, by the authority of the holy priesthood, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.'"
This is the ordinary marriage ceremony, and applies, with slight variations to suit the facts, equally in cases of polygamy or monogamy. There is a higher degree in the temple mysteries, into which the favored ones are initiated, called the "Order of
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the Cloistered Saints," thus explained by seceding Mormons:
"When an apostle, high-priest, elder, or scribe, conceives an affection for a female, and has ascertained her views on the subject, he communicates confidentially to the prophet his love-affair, and requests him to inquire of the Lord whether or not it would be right and proper for him to take unto himself this woman for his spiritual wife. It is no obstacle whatever to this spiritual marriage, if one or both of the parties should happen to have a husband or wife already, according to the gentile laws of the land.
"The prophet puts the singular question to the Lord, and if he receive an answer in the affirmative, which is always the case when the parties are in favor with the president, the parties assemble in the lodge-room, accompanied by a duly-authorized administrator, and place themselves kneeling before the altar. The administrator commences the ceremony by saying: 'You separately and jointly, in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, do solemnly covenant and agree, that you will not disclose any matter relating to the sacred act now in progress of consummation, whereby any gentile shall come to the knowledge of the secret purposes of this order, or whereby the saints may suffer persecution, your lives being the forfeit.'
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"Then comes the ceremony of marriage, after which the parties leave the cloister, with, generally, a firm belief, at least on the part of the female, in the sacredness and validity of the ceremonial, and consider themselves as united in spiritual marriage, the duties and privileges of which are in no particular different from those of any other marriage covenant."
Extended particulars of this ceremony have been disclosed, which may and may not be literally true, for none but initiates are supposed to be qualified fully to unveil the secrets of the cloister; but it is believed the foregoing will suffice for the reader. This spiritual wifeism is held to be a very solemn affair by the Mormon dignitaries. The bride-saint may have another husband, and if he happen to be a gentile, it is deemed quite essential that the "sealing" be performed in this sworn manner. The women thus entrapped are generally young and ignorant, and made to believe that their salvation depends on embracing this Mormon doctrine.
President Young usually officiates on these occasions, though Kimball, the second in the presidency, and also such of the bishops as may from time to time be commissioned by the prophet, are permitted to perform these marriage services. Divorces are of frequent occurrence, granted only by Young; and this is supposed to be a good source of revenue, the lowest
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fee being ten dollars. And no man is allowed to leave his wife or wives without a divorce.
"How do the Mormon' women like and bear polygamy?" Mr. Bowles, upon knowledge derived from personal observation and interviews with the people concerned, answers this question:
"The universal testimony of all but their husbands is, that it is a grievous sorrow and burden; only cheerfully submitted to and embraced under a religious fanaticism and self-abnegation rare to behold, and possible only to women. They are taught to believe, and many of them really do believe, that through and by it they secure a higher and more glorious reward in the future world. 'Lord Jesus has laid a heavy trial upon me,' said one poor woman, 'but I mean to bear it for His sake, and for the glory He will grant me in His kingdom.' This is the common wail, the common solace. Such are the teachings of the Church; and I have no doubt both husbands and wives alike often honestly accept this view of the odious practice, and seek and submit to polygamy as really God's holy service, calculated to make saints of themselves and all associated with them in the future world.
"In some cases they live harmoniously and lovingly together; oftener, it would seem, they have separate parts of the same house, or even separate houses. The first wife is generally the recognized
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one of society, and frequently assumes contempt for the others, regarding them as concubines, and not wives. But it is a dreadful state of society to any one of fine feelings and true instincts; it robs married life of all its sweet sentiment and companionship; and while it degrades woman, it brutalizes man, teaching him to despise and domineer over his wives, over all women. It breeds jealousy, distrust, and tempts to infidelity; but the police system of the Church and the community is so strict and constant, that it is claimed and believed the latter vice is very rare. The effect upon the children cannot help being debasing, however well they may be guarded and educated."
The tithing system is the great support of the Church and of its rulers. It was the main source of the wealth that had been accumulated by Smith at the period of his death; his successor has doubtless largely exceeded him in this particular. The original tithing revelation by Smith has been modified and strengthened by Young. Every adult immigrant or new-comer joining the Church, is expected to pay one-tenth of his or her entire possessions, and careful inventories of their whole property of every kind are made for this purpose, by a bishop and clerk from the tithing-office. This levy is paid in cash when possible. The penalty for non-payment is exclusion from the Church and from all spiritual blessings.
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An immigrant fund is founded for the aid of "saints" coining to the new Jerusalem from foreign countries, which is made up by the tithing system. A fixed tariff of rates is observed in the tithe levies upon all new converts, and also upon members of the Church in Utah desirous to be joined by their friends abroad. This fund is under the exclusive control of the great autocrat of Salt Lake; and it is supposed to be another fruitful source of his personal revenue. Terrible hardships, not previously dreamed of by immigrants, are often endured by them in their journey across the plains -- so that they are apt to be quite content with their new Mormon home when they reach it; and it is then too late to change their destiny, if they wish to do so.
The Mormons have an organized militia, of which Young assumes the command, as "Governor of the State of Deseret."
The Nauvoo Legion, an independent battalion first raised by Smith in Illinois, is attached to the same general command. Though, as has been seen, these forces have on several occasions been called to meet detachments of the army of the United States, no actual collision has at any time occurred. Young fights valiantly in his "sermons," but is careful to avoid the disagreeable odor of constitutional gunpowder. General Conner is in command of the Federal forces in Utah Territory, with his headquarters at Camp Douglas.
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A secret organization of desperadoes called Danites is among the institutions of Salt Lake. They area sort of standing picket-guard, or vigilance committee; their province is to keep an espionage upon the movements of the Federal Territorial officers; and in any case requiring desperate action, the biddings of the prophet as communicated to their leader, are instantly obeyed. They are also "avenging angels," held in readiness to retaliate any offences against the Church or its president by apostates or others. Secret assassinations have been charged against them, and in fact no other explanation has ever been given for many instances of horrid murder of apostates and gentiles perpetrated in the vicinity of Salt Lake.
As the conclusion of this historic review, the" revelation" is believingly proclaimed, that the accumulating elements of self-dissolution inherent in the system of the Mormon brotherhood are certain to work out the ultimate disenthralment of the fanatic masses from the absolutism now controlling their minds and action, with the final and ignominious downfall of the imposture theocracy. And is it an irrational "prophecy," that such termination of its abominations and criminalities will not much longer be procrastinated, by any means short of another "martyrdom" or the cementing influences of some similar intervention for the preservation of the guilty sect
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profaning the name of religion? that the point of time will soon be reached, when the Great Jehovah shall pronounce the irrevocable fiat to the Mormon impostors, "Thus far shalt thou come, but no farther -- and here shall thy proud waves be stayed"?
A P P E N D I X.
LETTER OF HON. STEPHEN S. HARDING, LATE GOVERNOR
OF UTAH TERRITORY.
Milan, Indiana, June 1, 1867.POMEROY TUCKER, ESQ.:
My Dear Sir, -- Your letter of 22d was received on my coming home from court last night. I entirely approve your plan of Mormon history, beginning as you do with its origin in the illusory tricks of Joe Smith, which he had practised upon his superstitious followers for years anterior to his Golden Bible "vision," and before he had dreamed of becoming a "prophet." I knew Smith, and also Martin Harris and Oliver Cowdery, with some of their fanatical associates at and around Palmyra, and heard much of their early delusions, and can appreciate the importance to the civilized world of your forthcoming narrative. It has long been needed to complete the history of Latter-Day Saintism, and it has been a matter of wonder to me that such a disclosure of the great pretension, showing the nothingness of its groundwork, was not written up years ago. With your facilities for performing this service -- your personal knowledge
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of the whole imposture and its authors -- you cannot fail in producing a work of general interest and popular favor. I will proceed at once to answer your inquiries so far as I can.
This important character in the origin of the Mormon Church was assassinated in Arkansas, in 1856 or '57, by the enraged husband of a woman who had been converted by the missionary labors of the victim, while they were attempting flight to Salt Lake. I believe the assassin was acquitted on some preliminary investigation, and his "converted" wife was permitted to pursue her journey to Salt Lake, where she is now living with the "saints." She left several children, as well as her husband, at her forsaken home. Orson Pratt, a brother of the deceased, is among the leading men of the Mormon Church, and is accepted as second in scholarship to none in the brotherhood.
I cannot tell you the exact dimensions of the proposed temple. It is immense in its plan, on paper, but will probably never be built. The foundation is laid, and that is about all that has been done upon the structure, though the tithing for this "great work of the Lord" is not neglected. The basement or foundation-walls are eighteen feet high and twelve feet thick, composed of dressed stone in heavy blocks. Should the temple ever be completed according to the original design, it would be the most massive church
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edifice on this continent, perhaps not inferior to St. Peter's of Rome.
PLACES OF MORMON WORSHIP.The two principal places of worship are within the Temple Block, consisting of the Tabernacle, a large structure used in the inclement seasons, and the Bowery, which is a canopy made of the boughs of trees, ample for the seating of five or six thousand people. The semi-annual conferences, in the spring and fall, are held in the Bowery. I have often seen every inch of the room in this vast amphitheatre packed with human beings, with eager eyes turned to the sacred platform, where "Brother Brigham" and the other high functionaries of the Mormon hierarchy utter their fulminations against the unrepentant gentile world. With all this, there is really excellent music -- a full choir of well-trained singers of both sexes -- accompanied by a first-class band of wind and string instruments. The scene is sometimes indescribably grand in a theatrical sense. Young evidently knows and feels the strength, of his power over his vast body of worshippers.
POPULATION OF THE CITY AND TERRITORY.The population of Utah at this time must be over one hundred thousand -- the number of Mormons alone cannot fall far short of that figure. Great Salt Lake City now contains nearly or quite twenty thousand souls. The gentiles in the Territory probably number two thousand. When I first arrived in Utah, in 1863, there was not more than one gentile to one thousand Mormons. I am unable to answer
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your question how many Mormons there are "in all creation," but I have heard it announced in a seemingly boastful spirit, on the stands at the Tabernacle and the Bowery, that there were five hundred thousand "saints" in Europe, and that the numbers were continually increasing by the instrumentality of the missionary labors. Probably a million is a reasonable estimate for the whole number of converts from the beginning, including those who have apostatized.
THE CHURCH AND POLYGAMY.The Church of Latter-Day Saints is believed to be the most powerful organization, religious or political, that has been founded in modern history. Its absolutism is complete and crushing. The people are peculiarly industrious and temperate in their habits -- owing, probably, in a large degree to the fact that in the first settlement of the country they were required to work or perish, thus early contracting the habits that distinguish their community. Polygamy is not universal in Mormon households, the question being left to individual choice, rather than to any compulsory Church dogma. It is chiefly among the official and aspiring members of the Church and the "well-to-do" "saints," that the plural-wife system is adopted. As a general thing the Mormon women condemn it, including those connected with its practice, as well as the more positive resistants of "the faith."
THE PROPHET'S TITHING RESOURCES.Young possesses extraordinary executive abilities. In the name of the temple and other public enterprises, his
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tithing exactions are enforced with unvarying strictness, and with little if any visible murmuring among those who bear the burden. Every thing is subject to the system, from the tenth egg to the tenth horse and from the tenth cent to the tenth dollar -- the poor girl who works out by the week, and the rich farmer or money-lender, being indiscriminately subject to this tithe levy "in the Lord's name." All these resources go into Brother Brigham's hands, and he is never required to make a report or exhibit a balance-sheet to his disciples. He has thus received millions upon millions of money, besides untold amounts in property values of every description. Is it any wonder that his private coffers are ample for the affluent maintenance of his sixty wives and one hundred and fifty children, more or less?
PIONEER MORMONS -- SACRED RELIC.When I was in Palmyra in 1829, I went with Joe Smith, at his special request, to his father's house, in company with Martin Harris and Oliver Cowdery, for the purpose of hearing read his wonderful "translations" from the sacred plates. This was before these revelations had been given to the world in the printed "Book of Mormon." Subsequently, after the printing contract had been concluded between Grandin and Harris, I was in the printing-office with yourself, and also the three pioneer Mormons named, when the proof-sheet of the first form of the book, including the title-page, was revised by you. A corrected impression of it was passed around to the young prophet and his attendant disciples, all of whom appeared to be delighted with the dawning
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of the new gospel dispensation, and it was accepted by Smith as "according to revelation."
By consent of the brotherhood, you finally gave this "revise sheet" to me as a curiosity, and I retained it until some two years after Smith's murder, and before the Mormons had gone to Utah, when it was bestowed by me upon a grateful wandering "saint" of the name of Robert Campbell, who had been cared for over night at my present residence. This "sacred relic " is now among the archives in the "Historian's Office" at Salt Lake City.
COMMAND TO PREACH THE MORMON GOSPEL.You ask me to write my recollections of the "call" to preach the Mormon gospel, as "revealed" to Calvin Stoddard in 1829. I can do so with as distinct a remembrance as if that unjustifiable act of a "wild and fast young man" had occurred yesterday. I can never forget it, for I was almost as badly scared, before I had got done with the mischief, as poor Calvin was; and I have never to this day been quite satisfied with my conduct. I was especially led to play the trick by the strange credulity which Martin Harris had manifested the same day, as we walked together to hear Lorenzo Dow preach in Palmyra. Added to this inducement, Calvin had previously told me of the wonderful things he had seen in the sky, and of his serious impressions about his duty to preach the new gospel. My purpose was to try an experiment in delusion, upon Joe Smith's principle, merely for my own amusement and instruction. The main story is the same as you have related it in the extract
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of your manuscript sent me, and it need not be repeated in this letter.... I remained at the door only for a moment, long enough to hear the startled Mormon saint in his fright cry out to his Maker it supplication for mercy and promise of obedience; when, taking to my heels, no young scapegrace ever did taller running, in proportion to locomotive capacity, than I did that dark night. I was stopping for a few days as a guest with my relative, Mr. Hill, in the vicinity, and gained access to my room about eleven o'clock without discovery.... Pale and haggard in appearance, from lack of sleep or perhaps from repentance for his former disobedience, Stoddard was early the next morning in the fulfilment of the " command" among his neighbors, relating in the most earnest manner the marvellous particulars of the miracle of which he was the "chosen" subject. He repeated the words of the "celestial messenger" as addressed to him, with entire accuracy, and said they were communicated amid the roaring thunders of heaven and the musical sounds of angels' wings. For aught I have ever heard since, he held out to the end faithful to his ministerial calling in the Mormon cause. Sincerely regretting my mischievous experiment -- for I really began to feel conscientious qualms about it -- I sought to relieve my fanatic friend of his delusion, by the suggestion that probably some unprincipled person had imposed upon him, advising him to give no heed to the trick; but I found that no such theory could be made available for my well-intended purpose, for he had "spiritual" evidences on the subject that were above any human testimony!.... Poor Stoddard has gone to his final account. Peace to his ashes! If that thoughtless
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act of my boyhood, thirty-eight years ago, caused him one hour's unhappiness, or contributed in any degree to a single conversion to Mormonism, may He who "tempers the wind to the shorn lamb" look upon my offences not in anger, but in mercy, for I know that I did not intend to do a premeditated wrong to any one.
STATEMENT OF THE LATE REV. JESSE TOWNSEND.For the following sketch of the origin of the Mormon imposture, and of its leader "Joe Smith" and his early associates and dupes, the author of this work is indebted to the kindness of Mrs. PERRINE, daughter of the writer, the late Rev. JESSE TOWNSEND. It is the original manuscript of a letter written at its date, by Mr. Townsend, in answer to inquiries for information addressed to him by Mr. Phineas Stiles, of Wendell, Franklin County, Massachusetts, in November, 1833, who set forth that two men from Ohio were actively engaged in his town and vicinity, and with an alarming degree of success, in efforts to disseminate among the people and in the churches, "a new revelation and a new religion, which they call the Mormon religion," and that they "pretend to be inspired and empowered by God to teach" the same. This statement of Mr. Townsend, made soon after the Mormon advent, now first published, may be regarded as a further important authentication of the foregoing pioneer history of the sect of people now become so prosperous and powerful in Utah Territory.
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PALMYRA, WAYNE COUNTY, N. Y., December 24, 1833.MR. PHINEAS STILES:
DEAR SIR, -- Your letter of 29th ultimo, requesting information concerning the class of people called Mormonites, has been received, and the following is a sketch of their history:
This new sect was commenced by Joseph Smith, Jr., in the vicinity of this village some four years ago, and the statement I give you is the truth, incredible as it may appear to you, and shows the folly and weakness of the people who have listened to and heeded the impositions and falsehoods propagated by Smith and his associates in iniquity.
I begin with the leader, "Joe," as he is and always has been called here. For the ten years I have known any thing of him, he has been a person of questionable character, of intemperate habits, and latterly a noted money-digger. He lived in a sequestered neighborhood, where, with his dupes, his impostures and low cunning gave him a reputation for being "smart." He has had a stone, into which, when placed in a hat, he pretended to look and see chests of money buried in the earth. He was also a fortune-teller, and he claimed to know where stolen goods went -- probably too well.
Smith flattered a few of his peculiar fraternity to engage with him in digging for money. After a while, many of these got out of patience with his false pretensions and repeated failures; and, finally, to avoid the sneers of those who had been deceived by him, he pretended that he had found, in digging alone, a wonderful curiosity, which he
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kept closely secreted. After telling different stories about it, and applying to it different names, he at length called it the golden plates of the Book of Mormon. As he was questioned on the subject from time to time, his story assumed amore uniform statement, the term finally given to the marvellous treasure being the "Golden Bible."
In the mean time, Joe visited a visionary fanatic by the name of Martin Harris, and told him he had received some golden plates of ancient records from the Lord, with a "revelation" to call on him for fifty dollars to enable him to go to Pennsylvania and translate the contents of the plates; at the same time telling Harris that the Lord had revealed to him that they (Smith and Harris) were the only honest men in the world. This at once took with the dupe, who had specially prided himself on his honesty; and the wily deceiver understood this fact; he knew this was the assailable point in his victim's visionary mind. The delicious bait was greedily swallowed; and the fifty dollars was soon put into the hands of Smith, who cleared for Pennsylvania or elsewhere.
At that time Martin Harris was worth five or six thousand dollars, while the Smiths were not worth a cent. The latter used Martin's money freely; and some other men, having a great dislike to labor, joined Joe in his deceptions, among whom was a sort of schoolmaster named Cowdery, who assisted him in writing or transcribing the "Book of Mormon," as a pretended translation of the golden plates which he affirmed he had been directed by the Spirit of the Lord to dig from the earth. This was all done in the most secret manner. At the same time it was assumed to the uninitiated
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that it would be "immediate death" for any except the translators to see the plates. Poor Martin's faith was apparently strengthened by this pretension, but afterward the "command" was modified, and he claimed to have seen the plates with "spiritual eyes." *
This Harris, who is or has been second in authority among the Mormonites, was an industrious farmer, living near this village, who had been unfortunate in the choice of a wife, or she had been in that of a husband. Like his leader, he gives to their preachers the power to preach and put their proselytes under water by authority of the new "revelation." He has whipped his wife and beaten her so cruelly and frequently, that she was obliged to seek refuge in separation.... He is considered here, to this day, a brute in his domestic relations, a fool and dupe to Smith in religion, and an unlearned, conceited hypocrite, generally. He paid for printing the Book of Mormon, which exhausted all his money and most of his property. Since he went to Ohio he has attempted to get another wife, though it is believed he was frustrated in this design by the discovery of his having a living wife here.
All the Mormonites have left this part of our State, and so palpable is their imposture that nothing is here said or thought of the subject, except when inquiries from abroad are occasionally made concerning them. I know of no one now living in this section of country that ever gave them credence. Joe Smith dare not come to Palmyra, from fear
* Mr. Townsend, at the date of his letter, had not learned of the connection of Rigdon and the Spaulding manuscript with this matter.
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of his creditors; for he ran away to avoid their just demands.
You, sir, may think we treat this matter lightly; but I give you a correct statement. You have asked for the facts, and I give them. We consider the founders and propagators of the Mormon "religion" simply as base impostors, whose sectarian assertions are false and absurd.
Respectfully yours, etc.,
WAR ROMANCE OF MORMONISM.ACCORDING to the Mormon fable -- alias the Spaulding romance or Joe Smith revelation -- the people inhabiting our American continent in its wilderness state were very warlike tribes, especially the Nephites and Lamanites (see chapter viii.) A melancholy history of their military and spiritual dealings is presented in the following brief collection from different books of the "Book of Mormon," which will repay perusal by the admirer of the marvellous, whether he accept the narrative in the light of fiction or fact:
EXTRACTS FROM THE BOOK OF MORMON."And now it came to pass that I, Enos, went about among the people of Nephi, prophesying of things to come, and testifying of the things which I had heard and seen. And I bare record that the people of Nephi did seek diligently to restore the Lamanites unto the true faith in God. But our labors were vain; their hatred was fixed, and they
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were led by their evil nature, that they became wild and ferocious, and a bloodthirsty people; full of idolatry and filthiness; feeding upon beasts of prey, dwelling in tents, and wandering about in the wilderness, with a short skin girded about their loins, and their heads shaven; and their skill was in the bow, and the cimeter, and the axe. And many of them did eat nothing save it was raw meat; and they were continually seeking to destroy us.
"And it came to pass that the people of Nephi did till the land, and raise all manner of grain, and of fruit, and flocks of herds, and flocks of all manner of cattle, of every kind, and goats, and wild goats, and also much horses. And there were exceeding many prophets among us. And the people were a stiff-necked people, hard to understand. And I saw wars between the Nephites and the Lamanites in the course of my days. And it came to pass that I began to be old, and an hundred and seventy-and-nine years had passed away from the time that our father Lehi left Jerusalem. And as I saw that I must soon go down to my grave, having been wrought upon by the power of God, that I must preach and prophesy unto this people, and declare the word according to the truth which is in Christ." -- Book of Enos.
"And now, behold, two hundred years had passed away, and the people of Nephi had waxed strong in the land. They observed to keep the law of Moses and the Sabbath day holy unto the Lord. And they profaned not; neither did they blaspheme. And the laws of the land were exceeding strict. And they were scattered upon much of the face of the land, and the Lamanites also. And they were exceeding
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more numerous than were they of the Nephites; and they loved murder, and would drink the blood of beasts.
"And it came to pass that they came many times against us, the Nephites, to battle. But our kings and our leaders were mighty men in the faith of the Lord; and they taught the people the ways of the Lord; wherefore, we withstood the Lamanites, and swept them away out of our lands, and began to fortify our cities, or whatsoever place of our inheritance. And we multiplied exceedingly and spread upon the face of the land, and became exceeding rich in gold, and in silver, and in precious things, and in fine workmanship of wood, in buildings, and in machinery, and also in iron, and copper, and brass, and steel, making all manner of tools of every kind to till the ground, and weapons of war; yea, the sharp-pointed arrow, and the quiver, and the dart, and the javelin, and all preparations for war; and thus being prepared to meet the Lamanites, they did not prosper against us." -- Book of Jarom.
"I, Zeniff, having been taught in all the language of the Nephites, and having had a knowledge of the land of Nephi, or of the land of our fathers' first inheritance, and I having been sent as a spy among the Lamanites, that I might spy out their forces, that our army might come upon them and destroy them; but when I saw that which was good among them, I was desirous that they should not be destroyed; therefore I contended with my brethren in the wilderness: for I would that our ruler should make a treaty with them. But he, being an austere and a bloodthirsty man, commanded that I should be slain; but I was rescued by the shedding
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of much blood, for father fought against father, and brother against brother, until the greatest number of our army was destroyed in the wilderness; and we returned, those of us that were spared, to the land of Zarahemla, to relate that tale to their wives and their children. And yet, I being over-zealous to inherit the land of our fathers, collected as many as were desirous to go up to possess the land, and started again on our journey into the wilderness to go up to the land; but we were smitten with famine and sore afflictions: for we were slow to remember the Lord our God. . . .
"And it came to pass that I did arm them with bows, and with arrows, with swords, and with cimeters, and with clubs, and with slings, and with all manner of weapons which we could invent, and I and my people did go forth against the Lamanites to battle; yea, in the strength of the Lord did we go forth to battle against the Lamanites: for I and my people did cry mightily to the Lord that he would deliver us out of the hands of our enemies, for we were awakened to a remembrance of the deliverance of our fathers. And God did hear our cries, and did answer our prayers; and we did go forth in his might. Yea, we did go forth against the Lamanites; and in one day and a night we did slay three thousand and forty-three; we did slay them, even until we had driven them out of our land. And I, myself, with mine own hands, did help to bury their dead. And behold, to our great sorrow and lamentation, two hundred and seventy-nine of our brethren were slain." -- Book of Mosiah.
"And it came to pass that the Lamanites made preparations for war, and came up to the land of Nephi for the purpose
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of destroying the king and to place another in his stead, and also of destroying the people of anti-Nephi-Lehi out of the land. And it came to pass that when the people saw that they were coming against them, they went out to meet them, and prostrated themselves before them to the earth, -- and began to call on the name of the Lord; and thus they were in this attitude when the Lamanites began to fall upon them, and began to slay them with the sword; and thus, without meeting any resistance, they did slay a thousand and five of them; and we know that they are blessed, for they have gone to dwell with their God. Now when the Lamanites saw that their brethren would not flee from the sword, neither would they turn aside to the right hand or to the left, but that they would lay down and perish, and praised God even in the very act of perishing under the sword; now when the Lamanites saw this, they did forbear from slaying them; and there were many whose hearts had swollen in them for those of their brethren who had fallen under the sword, for they repented of the things which they had done....
"And now it came to pass that after the people of Ammon were established in the land of Jershon, and a Church also established in the land of Jershon; and the armies of the Nephites were set round about the land of Jershon; yea, in all the borders round about the land of Zarahemla; behold, the armies of the Lamanites had followed their brethren into the wilderness. And thus a tremendous battle: yea, even such an one as never had been known among all the people in the land from the time that Lehi left Jerusalem; yea, and tens of thousands of the Lamanites were slain and
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scattered abroad. Yea, and also there was a tremendous slaughter among the people of Nephi; nevertheless, the Lamanites were driven and scattered, and the people of Nephi returned again to their land. . .
"And it came to pass that the Lamanites came up on the north of the hill where a part of the army of Moroni was concealed. And as the Lamanites had passed the hill Replah, and came into the valley, and began to cross the river Sidon, the army which was concealed on the south of the hill, which was led by a man whose name was Lehi; and he led his army forth and encircled the Lamanites about on the east, in their rear.
"And it came to pass that the Lamanites, when they saw the Nephites coming upon them in their rear, turned them about, and began to contend with the army of Lehi; and the work of death commenced on both sides; but it was more dreadful on the part of the Lamanites; for their nakedness was exposed to the heavy blows of the Nephites with their swords and their cimeters, which brought death almost at every stroke; while on the other hand there was now and then a man fell among the Nephites by their swords and the loss of blood; they being shielded at the more vital parts of the body, or the more vital parts of the body being shielded from the strokes of the Lamanites by their breastplates, and their arm-shields, and their headplates; and thus the Nephites did carry on the work of death among the Lamanites." -- Book of Alma.
"And there was a great famine upon the land, among all the people of Nephi. And thus, in the seventy-and-fourth year, the famine did continue, and the work of destruction
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did cease by the sword, but became sore by famine. And this work of destruction did also continue in the seventy and-fifth year. For the earth was smitten, that it was dry, and did not yield forth grain in the season of grain; and the whole earth was smitten, even among the Lamanites as well as among the Nephites, so that they were smitten that they did perish by thousands in the more wicked parts of the land." -- Book of Helaman.
"And now I finish my record concerning the destruction of my people, the Nephites. And it came to pass that we did march forth before the Lamanites. And I, Mormon, wrote an epistle unto the king of the Lamanites, and desired of him that he would grant unto us that we might gather together our people unto the land of Camorah, by a hill which was called Camorah, and there we would give them battle. . .
"And it came to pass that my people, with their wives and their children, did now behold the armies of the Lamanites marching toward them; and with that awful fear of death which fills the breasts of all the wicked, did they await to receive them. And it came to pass that they came to battle against us, and every soul was filled with terror because of the greatness of their numbers. And it came to pass that they did fall upon my people with the sword, and with the bow, and with the arrow, and with the axe, and with all manner of weapons of war. And it came to pass that my men were hewn down, yea, even my ten thousand which were with me, and I fell wounded in the midst; and they passed by me that they did not put an end to my life. And when they had gone through and hewn down all my
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people save it were twenty-and-four of us (among whom was my son Moroni), and we having survived the dead of our people, did behold on the morrow, when the Lamanites had returned unto their camps, from the top of the hill Camorah, the ten thousand of my people which were hewn down, being led in the front by me; and we also beheld the ten thousand of my people which were led by my son Moroni. And behold, the ten thousand of Gidgiddonah had fallen, and he also in the midst; and Lamah had fallen with his ten thousand; and Gilgal had fallen with his ten thousand; and Limhah had fallen with his ten thousand; and Joneam had fallen with his ten thousand; and Camenihah, and Moronihah, and Antionum, and Shiblom, and Shem, and Josh, had fallen with their ten thousand each." -- Book of Mormon.
"Now there began to be a war upon all the face of the land, every man with his band, fighting for that which he desired. And there were robbers, and, in fine, all manner of wickedness upon all the face of the land. And it came to pass that Coriantumr was exceeding angry with Shared, and he went against him with his armies to battle; and they did meet in great anger; and they did meet in the valley of Gilgal; and the battle became exceeding sore. And it came to pass that Shared fought against him for the space of three days. And it came to pass that Coriantumr beat him, and did pursue him until he came to the plains of Heshlon. And it came to pass that Shared gave him battle again upon the plains; and behold, he did beat Coriantumr, and drove him back again to the valley of Gilgal. And Coriantumr gave Shared battle again in the valley of Gilgal, in the which he
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beat Shared, and slew him. And Shared wounded Coriantumr in his thigh, that he did not go to battle again for the space of two years, in the which time all the people upon all the face of the land were shedding blood, and there was none to constrain them.
"And the battle became exceeding sore, and many thousands fell by the sword. And it came to pass that Coriantumr did lay siege to the wilderness, and the brother of Shared did march forth out of the wilderness by night, and slew a part of the army of Coriantumr, as they were drunken. And he came forth to the land of Moron, and placed himself upon the throne of Coriantumr. And it came to pass that Coriantumr dwelt with his army in the wilderness for the space of two years, in the which he did receive great strength to his army. And it came to pass that one of the secret combinations murdered him in a secret pass, and obtained unto himself the kingdom; and his name was Lib; and Lib was a man of great stature, more than any other man among all the people. . . .
"Now the name of the brother of Lib was called Shiz. And Shiz pursued after Coriantumr, and he did overthrow many cities, and he did slay both women and children, and he did burn the cities thereof; and there went a fear of Shiz throughout all the land; yea, a cry went forth throughout the land: Who can stand before the army of Shiz? Behold, he sweepeth the earth before him....
"And so great and lasting had been the war, and so long had been the scene of bloodshed and carnage, that the whole face of the land was covered with the bodies of the dead; and so swift and speedy was the war that there was none
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left to bury the dead; but they did march forth from the shedding of blood to the shedding of blood, leaving the bodies of men, women, and children, strewn upon the face of the land, to become a prey to the worms of the flesh; and the scent thereof went forth upon the face of the land, even upon all the face of the land; wherefore the people became troubled by day and by night, because of the scent thereof; nevertheless, Shiz did not cease to pursue Coriantumr, for he had sworn to avenge himself upon Coriantumr of the blood of his brother which had been slain, and the word of the Lord which came to Ether, that Coriantumr should not fall by the sword. And thus we see that the Lord did visit them in the fulness of his wrath, and their wickedness and abominations had prepared a way for their everlasting destruction." -- Book of Ether.
INSTITUTIONS OF THE MORMON METROPOLIS.
The adobes used in this building, with suitable foundation and coping, are found on trial to be substantial and
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durable in a climate like that of Utah. They are made of a peculiar kind of blue clay abounding in the Territory, similar in shape to common brick, though larger, being sun-dried instead of kiln-burnt. The theatre, penitentiary, and most of the buildings of the city, are constructed of these adobes.
The great unfinished "Temple of the Lord" is a magnificent project; but beyond the erection of its massive foundation walls it is little more than a project. So far as progressed, the building is composed of huge blocks of granite, hewen from the quarry at Cottonwood Canyon, and hauled by ox-teams a distance of eighteen miles. An eye-witness writes: "One of these blocks generally makes a load for ten or twelve oxen, and three days are spent in delivering each load. Contemplate for a moment the character and amount of labor performed -- the innumerable tons of wrought granite required -- and ask yourself, at what age of the world has like obedience to 'spiritual authority' been yielded without compensation since the building of the pyramids of Cheops and Ghizeh? For, it is to be remembered that all this work is done in commutation of tithes. And then calculate, if you can, the probabilities in regard to the period of the future when the monster temple, to contain eighteen thousand Mormon saints, is to receive its finishing stone!"
The theory inculcated by Young, and disseminated by his apostles and priesthood, and probably believed by their deluded followers, is, that he is to experience great mortal longevity; that Christ, at his second coming, is to be his ultimate successor; and that this event will occur when the "saints" shall have finished the building of a temple suitable
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for the Saviour's reception, and not before. His language, as uttered from the pulpit, and literally reported, is: "When the temple is completed -- that very day -- yea, that very hour -- Christ, with his holy angels, and the prophets and apostles, and Joseph and Hyrum (meaning the Smiths), and all the saints who have died in the faith, and all who have obeyed revealed authority, will come to set up His kingdom on earth."
Of course the arch-impostor is sharp enough to prolong his power and aggrandisement by delaying the completion of the temple for many years to come; and, in truth, at the rate of progress that has been made already, it would take a century if not centuries to finish that sacred receptacle. This artifice essentially aids in the maintenance of a prestige and dominion among the believers equal to any requirement in his own behalf.
The problem to be solved by time and events, is an interesting one for the followers of truth: When the present autocrat of Mormondom shall come to obey the inexorable fiat addressed to all living, as sooner or later he must, "Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return," can a mortal successor be found who will be able to hold up the rod of power now wielded over fanaticism with a degree of success that astonishes the civilized world?