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    Mormonism.ca - Story Of

In Utah

A State Of Civil War
After Smith's Death - Rigdon's Last Days
After The War
Attitude Of The Mormons During The Southern Rebellion
Beginning Of Active Hostilities
Blood Atonement
Brigham Young
Brigham Young's Death - His Character
Brigham Young's Despotism
Colonel Kane's Mission
Early Political History
Eastern Visitors To Salt Lake City - Unpunished Murderers
Even More On The History Of Mormonism
Even More On The Religious Puzzle
Facility Of Human Belief
First Announcement Of The Golden Bible
From The Mississippi To The Missouri
From The Rockies To Salt Lake Valley
Fruitless Negotiations With The Jackson County People
Gentile Irruption And Mormon Schism
Gifts Of Tongues And Miracles
Growth Of The Church
History Of Mormonism
How Joseph Smith Became A Money-digger
In Clay Caldwell And Daviess Counties
Introductory Remarks
Last Days At Kirtland
More On Mormonism Social Puzzle
More On The History Of Mormonism
More On The Religious Puzzle
Mormon Treatment Of Federal Officers
Mormonism The Political Puzzle
Nauvoo After The Exodus
Notes On The History Of Mormonism
Organization Of The Church
Preparations For The Long March
Progress Of The Settlement
Public Announcement Of The Doctrine Of Polygamy
Radical Dissensions In The Church - Origin Of The Danites - Tithing
Renewed Trouble For The Mormons - The Burnings
Rivalries Over The Succession
Sidney Rigdon
Smith A Candidate For President Of The United States
Smith's Falling Out With Bennett And Higbee
Smith's First Visits To Missouri Founding The City And The Temple
Smith's Ohio Business Enterprises
Smith's Picture Of Himself As Autocrat
Social Aspects Of Polygamy
Social Conditions In Nauvoo
Some Church-inspired Murders
The Building Up Of The City - Foreign Proselyting
The Camps On The Missouri
The Different Accounts Of The Revelation Of The Bible
The Directions To The Saints About Their Zion
The Evacuation Of Nauvoo - The Last Mormon War
The Everlasting Gospel
The Expulsion From Jackson County The Army Of Zion
The Expulsion Of The Mormons
The Fight Against Polygamy - Statehood
The Final Expulsion From The State
The First Converts At Kirtland
The Following Companies - Last Days On The Missouri
The Foreign Immigration To Utah
The Founding Of Salt Lake City
The Hand-cart Tragedy
The Institution Of Polygamy
The Last Years Of Brigham Young
The Mormon Battalion
The Mormon Bible
The Mormon Purpose
The Mormon War
The Mormonism Of To-day
The Mormons In Politics - Missouri Requisitions For Smith
The Mormons' Beliefs And Doctrines Church Government
The Mountain Meadows Massacre
The Murder Of The Prophet - His Character
The Nauvoo City Government - Temple And Other Buildings
The Peace Commission
The Pioneer Trip Across The Plains
The Political Puzzle
The Political Puzzle Continued
The Reception Of The Mormons
The Reformation
The Religious Puzzle
The Religious Puzzle Notes
The Settlement Of Nauvoo
The Smith Family
The Social And Society Puzzle
The Social Puzzle
The Social Puzzle Notes
The Spaulding Manuscript
The Suppression Of The Expositor
The Territorial Government - Judge Brocchus's Experience
The Witnesses To The Plates
Translation And Publication Of The Bible
Uprising Of The Non-mormons Smith's Arrest
Wild Vagaries Of The Converts


The Story Of The Mormons

A State Of Civil War
After Smith's Death - Rigdon's Last Days
Beginning Of Active Hostilities
Brigham Young
Facility Of Human Belief
First Announcement Of The Golden Bible
From The Mississippi To The Missouri
From The Rockies To Salt Lake Valley
Fruitless Negotiations With The Jackson County People
Gifts Of Tongues And Miracles
Growth Of The Church
How Joseph Smith Became A Money-digger
In Clay Caldwell And Daviess Counties
Last Days At Kirtland
Nauvoo After The Exodus
Organization Of The Church
Preparations For The Long March
Public Announcement Of The Doctrine Of Polygamy
Radical Dissensions In The Church - Origin Of The Danites - Tithing
Renewed Trouble For The Mormons - The Burnings
Rivalries Over The Succession
Sidney Rigdon
Smith A Candidate For President Of The United States
Smith's Falling Out With Bennett And Higbee
Smith's First Visits To Missouri Founding The City And The Temple
Smith's Ohio Business Enterprises
Smith's Picture Of Himself As Autocrat
Social Conditions In Nauvoo
The Building Up Of The City - Foreign Proselyting
The Camps On The Missouri
The Different Accounts Of The Revelation Of The Bible
The Directions To The Saints About Their Zion
The Evacuation Of Nauvoo - The Last Mormon War
The Everlasting Gospel
The Expulsion From Jackson County The Army Of Zion
The Expulsion Of The Mormons
The Final Expulsion From The State
The First Converts At Kirtland
The Institution Of Polygamy
The Mormon Battalion
The Mormon Bible
The Mormons In Politics - Missouri Requisitions For Smith
The Mormons' Beliefs And Doctrines Church Government
The Murder Of The Prophet - His Character
The Nauvoo City Government - Temple And Other Buildings
The Pioneer Trip Across The Plains
The Reception Of The Mormons
The Settlement Of Nauvoo
The Smith Family
The Spaulding Manuscript
The Suppression Of The Expositor
The Witnesses To The Plates
Translation And Publication Of The Bible
Uprising Of The Non-mormons Smith's Arrest
Wild Vagaries Of The Converts



The Mormonism Of To-day








An intelligent examination of the present status of the Mormon
church can be made only after acquaintance with its past
history, and the policy of the men who have given it its present
doctrinal and political position. The Mormon power has ever in
view objects rather than methods. It always keeps those objects
in view, while at times adjusting methods to circumstances, as
was the case in its latest treatment of the doctrine of
polygamy. The casual visitor, making a tour of observation in
Utah, and the would-be student of Mormon policies who satisfies
himself with reading their books of doctrine instead of their
early history, is certain to acquire little knowledge of the
real Mormon character and the practical Mormon ambition, and if
he writes on the subject he will contribute nothing more
authentic than does Schouler in his "History of the United
States" wherein he calls Joseph Smith "a careful organizer," and
says that "it was a part of his creed to manage well the
material concerns of his people, as they fed their flocks and
raised their produce." Brigham Young's constant cry was that all
the Mormons asked was to be left alone. Nothing suits the
purposes of the heads of the church today better than the
decrease of public attention attracted to their organization
since the Woodruff manifesto concerning polygamy. In trying to
arrive at a reasonable decision concerning their future place in
American history, one must constantly bear in mind the arguments
which they have to offer to religious enthusiasts, and the
political and commercial power which they have already attained
and which they are constantly strengthening.

The growth of Utah in population since its settlement by the
Mormons has been as follows, accepting the figures of the United
States census:--

1850 11,380
1860 40,273
1870 86,786
1880 143,963
1890 207,905
1900 276,749

The census of 1890 (the religious statistics of the census of
1900 are not yet available) shows that, of a total church
membership of 128,115 in Utah, the Latter-Day Saints numbered
118,201.

What may be called the Mormon political policy embraces these
objects: to maintain the dictatorial power of the priesthood
over the present church membership; to extend that membership
over the adjoining states so as to acquire in the latter, first
a balance of power, and later complete political control; to
continue the work of proselyting throughout the United States and
in foreign lands with a view to increasing the strength of the
church at home by the immigration to Utah of the converts.

That the power of the Mormon priesthood over their flock has
never been more autocratic than it is to-day is the testimony of
the best witnesses who may be cited. A natural reason for this
may be found in the strength which always comes to a religious
sect with age, if it survives the period of its infancy. We have
seen that in the early days of the church its members apostatized
in scores, intimate acquaintance with Smith and his associates
soon disclosing to men of intelligence and property their real
objects. But the church membership in and around Utah to-day is
made up of the children and the grandchildren of men and women
who remained steadfast in their faith. These younger generations
are therefore influenced in their belief, not only by such
appeals as what is taught to them makes to their reason, but by
the fact that these teachings are the teachings which have been
accepted by their ancestors. It is, therefore, vastly more
difficult to convince a younger Mormon to-day that his belief
rests on a system of fraud than it was to enforce a similar
argument on the minds of men and women who joined the Saints in
Ohio or Illinois. We find, accordingly, that apostasies in Utah
are of comparatively rare occurrence; that men of all classes
accept orders to go on missions to all parts of the world without
question; and that the tithings are paid with greater regularity
than they have been since the days of Brigham Young.

The extension of the membership of the Mormon church over the
states and territories nearest to Utah has been carried on with
intelligent zeal. The census of 1890 gives the following
comparison of members of Latter-Day Saints churches and of "all
bodies" in the states and territories named:--

******* L.D. SAINTS **** ALL BODIES ***
Idaho******* 14,972 **** 24,036
Arizona***** 6,500 **** 26,972
Nevada****** 525 **** 5,877
Wyoming***** 1,336 **** 11,705
Colorado**** 1,762 **** 86,837
New Mexico** 456 **** 105,749

The political influence of the Mormon church in all the states
and territories adjacent to Utah is already great, amounting in
some instances to practical dictation. It is not necessary that
any body of voters should have the actual control of the
politics of a state to insure to them the respect of political
managers. The control of certain counties will insure to them the
subserviency of the local politicians, who will speak a good
word for them at the state capital, and the prospect that they
will have greater influence in the future will be pressed upon
the attention of the powers that be. We have seen how steadily
the politicians of California at Washington stood by the Mormons
in their earlier days, when they were seeking statehood and
opposing any federal control of their affairs. The business
reasons which influenced the Californians are a thousand times
more effective to-day. The Cooperative Institution has a hold on
the Eastern firms from which it buys goods, and every commercial
traveller who visits Utah to sell the goods of his employers to
Mormon merchants learns that a good word for his customers is
always appreciated. The large corporations that are organized
under the laws of Utah (and this includes the Union Pacific
Railroad Company) are always in some way beholden to the Mormon
legislative power. All this sufficiently indicates the measures
quietly taken by the Mormon church to guard itself against any
further federal interference.

The mission work of the Mormon church has always been conducted
with zeal and efficiency, and it is so continued to-day. The
church authorities in Utah no longer give out definite
statistics showing the number of missionaries in the field, and
the number of converts brought to Utah from abroad. The number of

missionaries at work in October, 1901, was stated to me by church
officers at from fourteen hundred to nineteen hundred, the
smaller number being insisted upon as correct by those who gave
it. As nearly as could be ascertained, about one-half this force
is employed in the United States and the rest abroad. The home
field most industriously cultivated has been the rural districts
of the Southern states, whose ignorant population, ever
susceptible to "preaching" of any kind, and quite incapable of
answering the Mormon interpretation of the Scriptures, is most
easily lead to accept the Mormon views. When such people are
offered an opportunity to improve their worldly condition, as
they are told they may do in Utah, at the same time that they
can save their souls, the bait is a tempting one. The number of
missionaries now at work in these Southern states is said to be
much smaller than it was two years ago. Meanwhile the work of
proselyting in the Eastern Atlantic states has become more
active. The Mormons have their headquarters in Brooklyn, New
York, and their missionaries make visits in all parts of Greater
New York. They leave a great many tracts in private houses,
explaining that they will make another call later, and doing so
if they receive the least encouragement. They take great pains to
reach servant girls with their literature and arguments, and the
story has been published* of a Mormon missionary who secured
employment as a butler, and made himself so efficient that his
employer confided to him the engagement of all the house
servants; in time the frequent changes which he made aroused
suspicion, and an investigation disclosed the fact that he was a
Mormon of good education, who used his position as head servant
to perform effective proselyting work. By promise of a husband
and a home of her own on her arrival in Utah, this man was said
to have induced sixty girls to migrate from New York City to that
state since he began his labors.

* New York Sun, January 27, 1901.


The Mormons estimate the membership of their church throughout
the world at a little over 300,000. The numbers of "souls" in
the church abroad was thus reported for the year ending December
31, 1899, as published in the Millennial Star:--

Great Britain 4,588
Scandinavia 5,438
Germany 1,198
Switzerland 1,078
Netherlands 1,556

These figures indicate a great falling off in the church
constituency in Europe as compared with the year 1851, when the
number of Mormons in Great Britain and Ireland was reported at
more than thirty thousand. Many influences have contributed to
decrease the membership of the church abroad and the number of
converts which the church machinery has been able to bring to
Utah. We have seen that the announcement of polygamy as a
necessary belief of the church was a blow to the organization in
Europe. The misrepresentation made to converts abroad to induce
them to migrate to Utah, as illustrated in the earlier years of
the church, has always been continued, and naturally many of the
deceived immigrants have sent home accounts of their deception.
A book could be filled with stories of the experiences of men
and women who have gone to Utah, accepting the promises held out
to them by the missionaries,--such as productive farms, paying
business enterprises; or remunerative employment,--only to find
their expectations disappointed, and themselves stranded in a
country where they must perform the hardest labor in order to
support themselves, if they had not the means with which to
return home. The effect of such revelations has made some parts
of Europe an unpleasant field for the visits of Mormon
missionaries.

The government at Washington, during the operation of the
Perpetual Emigration Fund organization, realized the evil of the
introduction of so many Mormon converts from abroad. On August
9, 1879, Secretary of State William M. Evarts sent out a
circular to the diplomatic officers of the United States
throughout the world, calling their attention to the fact that
the organized shipment of immigrants intended to add to the
number of law-defying polygamists in Utah was "a deliberate and
systematic attempt to bring persons to the United States with
the intent of violating their laws and committing crimes
expressly punishable under the statute as penitentiary
offences," and instructing them to call the attention of the
governments to which they were accredited to this matter, in
order that those governments might take such steps as were
compatible with their laws and usages "to check the organization
of these criminal enterprises by agents who are thus operating
beyond the reach of the law of the United States, and to prevent
the departure of those proposing to come hither as violators of
the law by engaging in such criminal enterprises, by whomsoever
instigated." President Cleveland, in his first message,
recommended the passage of a law to prevent the importation of
Mormons into the United States. The Edmunds-Tucker law contained
a provision dissolving the Perpetual Emigration Company, and
forbidding the Utah legislature to pass any law to bring persons
into the territory. Mormon authorities have informed me that
there has been no systematic immigration work since the
prosecutions under the Edmunds law. But as it is conceded that
the Mormons make practically no proselytes among then Gentile
neighbors, they must still look largely to other fields for that
increase of their number which they have in view.

As a part of their system of colonizing the neighboring states
and territories, they have made settlements in the Dominion of
Canada and in Mexico. Their Canadian settlement is situated in
Alberta. A report to the Superintendent of Immigration at
Ottawa, dated December 30, 1899, stated that the Mormon colony
there comprised 1700 souls, all coming from Utah; and that "they
are a very progressive people, with good schools and churches."
When they first made their settlement they gave a pledge to the
Dominion government that they would refrain from the practice of
polygamy while in that country. In 1889 the Department of the
Interior at Ottawa was informed that the Mormons were not
observing this pledge, but investigation convinced the
department that this accusation was not true. However, in
1890, an amendment to the criminal law of the Dominion was
enacted (clause 11, 53 Victoria, Chap. 37), making any person
guilty of a misdemeanor, and liable to imprisonment for five
years and a fine of $500, who practises any form of polygamy or
spiritual marriage, or celebrates or assists in any such
marriage ceremony.

The Secretario de Fomento of Mexico, under date of May 4,
1901, informed me that the number of Mormon colonists in that
country was then 2319, located in seven places in Chihuahua and
Sonora. He added: "The laws of this country do not permit
polygamy. The government has never encouraged the immigration of
Mormons, only that of foreigners of good character, working
people who may be useful to the republic. And in the contracts
made for the establishment of those Mormon colonies it was
stipulated that they should be formed only of foreigners
embodying all the aforesaid conditions."

No student of the question of polygamy, as a doctrine and
practice of the Mormon church, can reach any other conclusion
than that it is simply held in abeyance at the present time,
with an expectation of a removal of the check now placed upon
it. The impression, which undoubtedly prevails throughout other
parts of the United States, that polygamy was finally abolished
by the Woodruff manifesto and the terms of statehood, is founded
on an ignorance of the compulsory character of the doctrine of
polygamy, of the narrowness of President Woodruff's decree, and
of the part which polygamous marriages have been given, by the
church doctrinal teachings, in the plan of salvation. The sketch
of the various steps leading up to the Woodruff manifesto shows
that even that slight concession to public opinion was made, not
because of any change of view by the church itself concerning
polygamy, but simply to protect the church members from the loss
of every privilege of citizenship. That manifesto did not in any
way condemn the polygamous doctrine; it simply advised the
Saints to submit to the United States law against polygamy, with
the easily understood but unexpressed explanation that it was to
their temporal advantage to do so. How strictly this advice has
since been lived up to--to what extent polygamous practices have
since been continued in Utah--it is not necessary, in a work of
this kind, to try to ascertain. The most intelligent non-Mormon
testimony obtainable in the territory must be discarded if we
are to believe that polygamous relations have not been continued
in many instances. This, too, would be only what might naturally
be expected among a people who had so long been taught that
plural marriages were a religious duty, and that the check to
them was applied, not by their church authorities, but by an
outside government, hostility to which had long been inculcated
in them.

It must be remembered that it is a part of the doctrine of
polygamy that woman can enter heaven only as sealed to some
devout member of the Mormon church "for time and eternity," and
that the space around the earth is filled with spirits seeking
some "tabernacles of clay" by means of which they may attain
salvation. Through the teaching of this doctrine, which is
accepted as explicitly by the membership of the Mormon church at
large as is any doctrine by a Protestant denomination, the
Mormon women believe that the salvation of their sex depends on
"sealed" marriages, and that the more children they can bring
into the world the more spirits they assist on the road to
salvation. In the earlier days of the church, as Brigham Young
himself testified, the bringing in of new wives into a family
produced discord and heartburnings, and many pictures have been
drawn of the agony endured by a wife number one when her husband
became a polygamist. All the testimony I can obtain in regard to
the Mormonism of today shows that the Mormon women are now the
most earnest advocates of polygamous marriages. Said one
competent observer in Salt Lake City to me, "As the women of the
South, during the war, were the rankest rebels, so the women of
Mormondom are to-day the most zealous advocates of polygamy."

By precisely what steps the church may remove the existing
prohibition of polygamous marriages I shall not attempt to
decide. It is easy, however, to state the one enactment which
would prevent the success of any such effort. This would be the
adoption by Congress and ratification by the necessary number of
states of a constitutional amendment making the practice of
polygamy an offence under the federal law, and giving the
federal courts jurisdiction to punish any violators of this law.
The Mormon church recognizes this fact, and whenever such an
amendment comes before Congress all its energies will be directed
to prevent its ratification. Governor Wells's warning in his
message vetoing the Utah Act of March, 1901, concerning
prosecutions for adultery, that its enactment would be the
signal for a general demand for the passage of a constitutional
amendment against polygamy, showed how far the executive thought
it necessary to go to prevent even the possibility of such an
amendment. One of the main reasons why the Mormons are so
constantly increasing their numbers in the neighboring states is
that they may secure the vote of those states against an
anti-polygamy amendment. Whenever such an amendment is
introduced at Washington it will be found that every Mormon
influence--political, mercantile, and railroad--will be arrayed
against it, and its passage is unlikely unless the church shall
make some misstep which will again direct public attention to it
in a hostile manner.

The devout Mormon has no more doubt that his church will dominate
this nation eventually than he has in the divine character of
his prophet's revelations. Absurd as such a claim appears to all
non-Mormon citizens, in these days when Mormonism has succeeded
in turning public attention away from the sect, it is
interesting to trace the church view of this matter, along with
the impression which the Mormon power has made on some of its
close observers. The early leaders made no concealment of their
claim that Mormonism was to be a world religion. "What the world
calls 'Mormonism' will rule every nation," said Orson Hyde. "God
has decreed it, and his own right arm will accomplish it."*
Brigham Young, in a sermon in the Tabernacle on February 15,
1856, told his people that their expulsion from Missouri was
revealed to him in advance, as well as the course of their
migrations, and he added: "Mark my words. Write them down. This
people as a church and kingdom will go from the west to the
east."

* Journal of Discourses, Vol. VII, pp. 48-53.


Tullidge, whose works, it must be remembered, were submitted to
church revision, in his "Life of Brigham Young" thus defines the
Mormon view of the political mission of the head of the church:
"He is simply an apostle of a republican nationality, manifold
in its genius; or, in popular words, he is the chief apostle of
state rights by divine appointment. He has the mission, he
affirms, and has been endowed with inspiration to preach the
gospel of a true democracy to the nation, as well as the gospel
for the remission of sins, and he believes the United States
will ultimately need his ministration in both respects . . . .
They form not, therefore, a rival power as against the Union, but
an apostolic ministry to it, and their political gospel is state
rights and self-government. This is political Mormonism in a
nutshell."*

* p. 244.


Tullidge further says in his "History of Salt Lake City" (writing
in 1886): "The Mormons from the first have existed as a society,
not as a sect. They have combined the two elements of
organization--the social and the religious. They are now a new
society power in the world, and an entirety in themselves. They
are indeed the only religious community in Christendom of modern
birth."*

* p. 387.


Some of the closest observers of the Mormons in their earlier
days took them very seriously. Thus Josiah Quincy, after
visiting Joseph Smith at Nauvoo, wrote that it was "by no means
impossible" that the answer to the question, "What historical
American of the nineteenth century has exerted the most powerful
influence upon the destiny of his countrymen," would not be,
"Joseph Smith." Governor Ford of Illinois, who had to do
officially with the Mormons during most of their stay in that
state, afterward wrote concerning them: "The Christian world,
which has hitherto regarded Mormonism with silent contempt,
unhappily may yet have cause to fear its rapid increase. Modern
society is full of material for such a religion . . . . It is to
be feared that, in the course of a century, some gifted man like
Paul, some splendid orator who will be able by his eloquence to
attract crowds of the thousands who are ever ready to hear and be

carried away by the sounding brass and tinkling cymbal of
sparkling oratory, may command a hearing, may succeed in
breathing a new life into this modern Mohammedanism, and make
the name of the martyred Joseph ring as loud, and stir the souls
of men as much, as the mighty name of Christ itself."*

* Ford, "History of Illinois," p. 359.


The close observers of Mormonism in Utah, who recognize its aims,
but think that its days of greatest power are over, found this
opinion on the fact that the church makes practically no
converts among the neighboring Gentiles; and that the increasing
mining and other business interests are gradually attracting a
population of non-Mormons which the church can no longer offset
by converts brought in from the East and from foreign lands.
Special stress is laid on the future restriction on Mormon
immigration that will be found in the lack of further government
land which may be offered to immigrants, and in the discouraging
stories sent home by immigrants who have been induced to move to
Utah by the false representations of the missionaries.
Unquestionably, if the Mormon church remains stationary as
regards wealth and membership, it will be overshadowed by its
surroundings. What it depends on to maintain its present status
and to increase its power is the loyal devotion of the body of
its adherents, and its skill in increasing their number in the
states which now surround Utah, and eventually in other states.





Next: Introductory Remarks

Previous: The Fight Against Polygamy - Statehood



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