Mormons the usual name of a religious sect which was founded in this country A.D. 1830, and claims to be called of God to gather within its fold the people of this universe, by authority of a new dispensation, which is to be the last given to man in his present existence. They style themselves " The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," or briefly, "Latter-day Saints," and object to the popular designation, Mormons, derived from the name eof one of their sacred books (i.e., The Book of Mormon). Though this word is derived from the Greek (μορμών), and literally signifies a lamia, maniola, female specter (the mandrill for its ugliness was called Cynocephalus Mormon), the Saints, according to Joseph Smith, the first prophet and originator of Mormonism, treat its etymological origin thus extravagantly: "We say from the Saxon good, the Dane god, the Goth goden, the German
gut, the Dutch goad, the Latin bonus, the Greek καλός, the Hebrew טוב, and the Egyptian mon. Hence, with the addition of more, or the contraction mor, we have the word mormon, which means literally more good." According to anti-Mormons, the name Latter-day Saints was assumed in 1835 by the Mormons, at the suggestion of one of their leaders, Sidney Rigdon, and the word "Mormon" is more distasteful to them than is the word "Mohammedan" to the Muslim or "Jew" to the Hebrew. In accordance with our general practice to let each religious body speak for itself in these pages, we insert here the history of the organization of the Church of these "Saints" as furnished by their apostle Orson Pratt, the ablest living exponent of Mormonism, and George A. Smith, the first counsellor of president Brigham Young.
1. History. — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints was founded by Joseph Smith, who was born in the town of Sharon, Windsor County, Vermont, December 23, 1805. When ten years old his parents, with their family, moved to Palmnyra, N.Y., in the vicinity of which he resided for about eleven years, the latter part in the town of Manchester. He was a farmer by occupation. His advantages for acquiring scientific knowledge were exceedingly small; being limited to a slight acquaintance with two or three of the common branches of learning. He could read without much difficulty, and write a very imperfect hand, and had a very limited understanding of the elementary rules of arithmetic. These were his highest and only literary attainments, while the rest of those branches so universally taught in the common schools throughout the United States were entirely unknown to him. When about fourteen or fifteen years old, he began seriously to reflect upon the necessity of being prepared for a future state of existence; but how or in what way to prepare himself was a question as yet undetermined in his own mind: he perceived that it was a question of infinite importance, and that the salvation of his soul depended upon a correct understanding of it. He saw that if he understood not the way, it would be impossible to walk in it except by chance, and the thought of resting his hopes of eternal life upon chance or uncertainty was more than he could endure. If he went to the religious denominations to seek information, each pointed to its own particular tenets, saying, "This is the way — walk ye in it;" while at the same time the doctrines of each were in many respects in direct opposition to the rest. It also occurred to his mind that God was the author of but one doctrine, and therefore could acknowledge but one denomination as his Church, and that such denomination must be a people who believe and teach that one doctrine (whatever it may be) and build upon the same. He then reflected upon the immense-number of doctrines now in the world, which had given rise to many hundreds of different denominations. The great question to be decided in his mind was: If any one of these denominations be the Church of Christ, which one is it? Until he could become satisfied in relation to this question he could not rest contented. To trust to the decisions of fallible man, and build his hopes upon them, without any knowledge of his own, would not satisfy the anxious desires that pervaded his breast. To decide without any positive and definite evidence on which he could rely upon a subject involving the future welfare of his soul was revolting to his feelings. The only alternative that seemed left to him was to read the Scriptures and endeavor to follow their directions. He accordingly began perusing the sacred pages of the Bible with sincerity, believing the things that he read. His mind soon caught hold of the following passage: "If ally of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him" (Jas 1:5). From this promise he learned that it was the privilege of all men to ask God for wisdom, with the sure and certain expectation of receiving liberally, without being upbraided for so doing. This was cheering information to him — tidings that gave him great joy. It was like a light shining forth in a dark place to guide him to the path in which he should walk. He now saw that if he inquired of God, there was not only a possibility but a probability, yea more, a certainty, that he should obtain a knowledge which of all the doctrines was the doctrine of Christ, and which of all the churches was the Church of Christ. He therefore retired to a secret place in a grove but a short distance from his father's house, and knelt down and began to call upon the Lord. At first he was severely tempted by the powers of darkness, which endeavored to overcome him; but he continued to seek for deliverance until darkness gave way from his mind, and he was enabled to pray in fervency of the spirit and in faith; and while thus pouring out his soul, anxiously desiring an answer from God, he saw a very bright and glorious light in the heavens above, which at first seemed to be at a considerable distance. He continued praying, while the light appeared to be gradually descending towards him; and as it drew nearer it increased in brightness and magnitude, so that by the time that it reached the tops of the trees the whole wilderness, for some distance around, was illuminated in a most glorious and brilliant manner. He expected to see the leaves and boughs of the trees consumed as soon as the light came in contact with them; but perceiving that it did not produce that effect, he was encouraged with the hope of being able to endure its presence. It continued descending slowly until it rested upon the earth, and he was enveloped in the midst of it. When it first came upon him it produced a peculiar sensation throughout his whole system, and immediately his mind was caught away from the natural objects with which he was surrounded, and he was enwrapped in a heavenly vision, and saw two glorious personages who exactly resembled each other in their features or likeness. He was informed that his sins were forgiven. He was also informed upon the subjects which had for some time previously agitated his mind, namely, that all religious denominations were believing in incorrect doctrines; and, consequently, that none of them was acknowledged of God as his Church and kingdom. He was expressly commanded not to go after them; and he received a promise that the true doctrine — the fulness of the Gospel — should at some future time be made known to him; after which the vision withdrew, leaving his mind in a state of calmness and peace indescribable. Some time after having received this glorious manifestation, being young, he was again entangled in the vanities of the world, of which he afterwards sincerely and truly repented. It pleased God, on the evening of September 21, 1823, again to hear his prayers; for he had retired to rest as usual, except that his mind was drawn out in fervent prayer, and his soul was filled with the most earnest desire "to commune with some kind messenger who could communicate to him the desired information of his acceptance with God," and also unfold the principles of the doctrine of Christ, according to the promise which he had received in the former vision. While he thus continued to pour but his desires before the Father of all good, endeavoring to exercise faith in his precious promises, "on a sudden, a light like that of day, only of a purer and far more glorious appearance and brightness, burst into the room — indeed the first sight was as if the house were filled with consuming fire. This sudden appearance of a light so bright, as must naturally be expected, occasioned a shock or sensation that extended to the extremities of the body. It was, however, followed with a calmness and serenity of mind and an overwhelming rapture of joy that surpassed understanding, and in a moment a personage stood before him." Notwithstanding the brightness of the light which previously illuminated the room, "yet there seemed to be an additional glory surrounding or accompanying this personage, which shone with an increased degree of brilliancy, of which he was in the midst; and though his countenance was as lightning, yet it was of a pleasing, innocent, and glorious appearance — so much so that every fear was banished from the heart, and nothing but calmness pervaded the soul." "The stature of this personage was a little above the common size of men in this age; his garment was perfectly white, and had the appearance of being without seam." This glorious being declared himself to be an angel of God, sent forth by commandment to communicate to him that his sins were forgiven, and that his prayers were heard; and also to bring the joyful tidings that the covenant which God made with ancient Israel concerning their posterity was at hand to be fulfilled that the great preparatory work for the second coming of the Messiah was speedily to commence — that the time was at hand for the Gospel in its fulness to be preached in power to all nations, that a people might be prepared with faith and righteousness for the millennial reign of universal peace and joy. He was informed that he was called and chosen to be an instrument in the hands of God to bring about some of his marvellous purposes in this glorious dispensation. It was also made manifest to him that the "American Indians" were a remnant of Israel; that when they first emigrated to America they were an enlightened people, possessing a knowledge of the true God, enjoying his favor and peculiar blessings from his hand; that the prophets and inspired writers among them were required to keep a sacred history of the most important events transpiring among them, which history was handed down for many generations, till at length they fell into great wickedness. The greatest part of them were destroyed, and the records (by commandment of God to one of the last prophets among them) were safely deposited to preserve them from the hands of the wicked who sought to destroy them. He was informed that these records contained many sacred revelations pertaining to the gospel of the kingdom, as well as prophecies relating to the great events of the last days; and that to fulfil his promises to the ancients who wrote the records, and to accomplish his purposes in the restitution of their children, etc., they were to come forth to the knowledge of the people. If faithful, he was to be the instrument who should be thus highly favored in bringing these sacred things to light. At the same time he was expressly informed that it must be done with an eye single to the glory of God-that no one could be intrusted with those sacred writings who should endeavor to aggrandize himself by converting sacred things to unrighteous and speculative purposes (see Book of Mormon, chapter 4, § 2, page 510). After giving him many instructions concerning things past and to come, which would be foreign to our purpose to mention here, he disappeared, and the light and glory of God withdrew, leaving his mind in perfect peace, while a calmness and serenity indescribable pervaded his soul. But before morning the vision was twice renewed, instructing him further and still further concerning the great work of God about to be performed on the earth. In the morning he went out to his work as usual, but soon the vision was renewed — the angel again appeared, and having been informed by the previous visions of the night concerning the place where those records were deposited, he was instructed to go immediately and view them.
Accordingly he repaired to the place, a brief description of which was best given by Oliver Cowdery [Joseph Smith's scribe and first follower by baptism], who shortly after this event visited the spot:
"As you pass on the mail-road from Palmyra, Wayne County, to Caanadaigua, Ontario County, New York, before arriving at the little village of Manchester, about four miles from Palmyra, you pass a large hill on the east side of the road. Why I say large is because it is as large, perhaps, as any in that country. The north end rises quite suddenly until it assumes a level with the more southerly extremity, and I think I may say an elevation higher than at the south a short distance, say half or three fourths of a mile. As you pass towards Canandaigua it lessens gradually, until the surface assumes its common level, or is broken by other smaller hills or ridges, watercourses, and ravines. I think I am justified in saying that this is the highest hill for some distance around, and I am certain that its appearance, as it rises so suddenly from a plain on the north, must attract the notice of the traveller as he passes by. The north end (which has been described as rising suddenly from the plain) forms a promontory, without timber, but covered with grass. As you pass to the south you soon come to scattering timber, the surface having been cleared by art or wind; and a short distance farther left you are surrounded with the common forest of the country. It is necessary to observe that even the part cleared was only occupied for pasturage, its steep ascent and narrow summit not admitting the plough of the husbandman with any degree of ease or profit. It was at the second-mentioned place where the record was found to be deposited, on the west side of the hill, not far from the top, down its side; and when myself visited the place in the year 1830 there were several trees standing — enough to cause a shade in summer, but not so much as to prevent the surface being covered with grass, which was also the case when the record was first found. How far below the surface these records were anciently placed I am unable to say; but from the fact that they had been some fourteen hundred years buried, and that, too, on the side of a hill so steep, one is ready to conclude that they were some feet below, as the earth would naturally wear, more or less, in that length of time. But being placed towards the top of the hill, the ground would not remove as much as at two thirds, perhaps. Another circumstance would prevent a wearing of the earth: is all probability, as soon as timber had time to grow the hill was covered, and the roots of the same would hold the surface. However, on this point I shall leave every man to draw his own conclusion and form his own speculation; but, suffice to say, a hole of sufficient depth was dug. At the bottom of this was laid a stone of suitable size, the upper surface being smooth. At each edge was placed a large quantity of cement, and into this cement, at the four edges of this stone, were placed erect four others, their bottom edges resting in the cement, at the outer edges of the first stone. The four last named, when placed erect, formed a box; the corners, or where the edges of the four came in contact, were also cemented so firmly that the moisture from without was prevented from entering. It is to be observed, also, that the inner surfaces of the four erect or side stones were smooth. This box was sufficiently large to admit a breastplate, such as was used by the ancients to defend the chestetc., from the arrows and weapons of their enemy. From the bottom of the box, or from the breastplate, arose three small pillars, composed of the same description of cement used' on the edges, and upon these three pillars were placed the records. This box containing the records was covered with another stone, the bottom surface being flat, and the upper crowning. When it was first visited by Mr. Smith on the morning of the 22d of September, 1823, a part of the crowning stone was visible above the surface, while the edges were concealed by the soil and grass; from which circumstance it may be seen that however deep this box might have been placed at first, the time had been sufficient to wear the earth, so that it was easily discovered when once directed, and yet not enough to make a perceivable difference to the passer-by. After arriving at the repository, a little exertion in removing the soil from the edges of the top of the box, and a light lever, brought to his natural vision its contents. While viewing and contemplating this sacred treasure with wonder and astonishment, behold in the angel of the Lord, who had previously visited him, again stood in his presence, and his soul was again enlightened as it was the evening before, and he was filled with the Holy Spirit, and the heavens were opened, and the glory of the Lord shone round about and rested upon him. While he thus stood gazing and admiring, the angel said, 'Look!' and as he thus spake he beheld the Prince of Darkness, surrounded by his innumerable train of associates. All this passed before him, and the heavenly messenger said, 'All this is shown —
the good and the evil, the holy and the impure, the glory of God and the power of darkness — that you may know hereafter the two powers, and never be influenced or overcome by the wicked one. Behold, whatsoever enticeth and leadeth to good, and to do good, is of God; and whatsoever doth not, is of that wicked one. It is he that filleth the hearts of men with evil, to walk in darkness and blaspheme God; and you may learn from henceforth that his ways are to destruction, but the way of holiness is peace and rest. You cannot at this time obtain this record, for the commandment of God is strict; and if ever these sacred things are obtained, they must be by prayer and faithfulness in obeying the Lord. They are not deposited here for the sake of accumulating gain and wealth for the glory of this world; they were sealed by the prayer of faith, and because of the knowledge which they contain; they are of no worth among the children of men only for their knowledge. On them is contained the fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as it was given to his people on this land; and when it shall be brought forth by the power of God it shall be carried to the Gentiles, of whom many will receive it, and after will the seed of Israel be brought into the fold of their Redeemer by obeying it also. Those who kept the commandments of the Lord on this land desired this at his hand, and through the prayer of faith obtained the promise that if their descendants should transgress and fall away a record should be kept, and in the last days come to their children. These things are sacred, and must be kept so, for the promise of the Lord concerning them must be fulfilled. No man can obtain them if his heart is impure, because they contain that which is sacred... By them will the Lord work a great and marvellous work; the wisdom of the wise shall become as naught, and the understanding of the prudent shall be hid; and because the power of God shall be displayed, those who profess to know the truth but walk in deceit shall tremble with anger; but with signs and with wonders, with gifts and with healings, with the manifestations of the power of God and with the Holy Ghost shall the hearts of the faithful be comforted. You have now beheld the power of God manifested, and the power of Satan: you see that there is nothing desirable in the works of darkness — that they cannot bring happiness — that those who are overcome therewith are miserable; while, on the other hand, the righteous are blessed with a place in the kingdom of God, where joy unspeakable surrounds them. There they rest beyond the power of the enemy. of truth, where no evil can disturb them. The glory of God crowns them, and they continually feast upon his goodness and enjoy his smiles. Behold, notwithstanding you have seen this great display of power, by which you may ever be able to detect the Evil One, yet I give unto you another sign, and when it comes to pass, then know that the Lord is God, and that he will fulfil his purposes, and that the knowledge which this record contains will go to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people under the whole heaven. This is the sign: When these things begin to be known — that is, when it is known that the Lord has shown you these things — the workers of iniquity will seek your overthrow. They will circulate falsehoods to destroy your reputation, and also will seek to take your life; but remember this, if you are faithful, and shall hereafter continue to keep the commandments of the Lord, you shall be preserved to bring these things forth; for in due time he will give you a commandment to come and take them. When they are interpreted, the Lord will give the holy priesthood to some, and they shall begin to proclaim this gospel and baptize by water, and after that they shall have power to give the Holy Ghost by the laying on of their hands. Then will persecution rage more and more; for the iniquities of men shall be revealed, and those who are not built upon the Rock will seek to overthrow the Church; but it will increase the more opposed, and spread farther and farther, increasing in knowledge till they shall be sanctified and receive an inheritance where the glory of God will rest upon them; and when this takes place, and all things are prepared, the ten tribes of Israel will be revealed in the north country, whither they have been for a long season; and when this is fulfilled will be brought to pass that saying of the prophet, "And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord." But notwithstanding the workers of iniquity shall seek your destruction, the arm of the Lord will be extended, and you will be borne off conqueror if you keep all his commandments. Your name shall be known among the nations, for the work which the Lord will perform by your hands shall cause the righteous to rejoice and the wicked to rage; with the one it shall be had in honor, and with the other in reproach — yet with these it shall be a terror, because of the great and marvellous work which shall follow the coming forth of this fulness of the Gospel. Now go thy way, remembering what the Lord hath done for thee, and be diligent in keeping his commandments, and he will deliver thee from temptations and all the arts and devices of the wicked one. Forget not to pray that thy mind may become strong, that when he shall manifest unto thee thou mayest have power to escape the evil and obtain these precious things."' The above quotation is an extract from a letter written by elder Oliver Cowdery, which was published in one of the numbers of the Latter-day Saints' Messenger and Advocate.
Although many more instructions were given by the mouth of the angel to Mr. Smith, for which we have not space here, yet the most important items are contained in the foregoing relation. During the period of the four following years he frequently received instructions from the mouth of the heavenly messenger. On the morning of the 22d of September, A.D. 1827, the angel of the Lord delivered the records into his hands. These records were engraved on plates which had the appearance of gold. Each plate was not far from seven by eight inches in width and length, being not quite as thick as common tin. They were filled on both sides with engravings in Egyptian characters (see Book of Mormon, Mormon, chapter 4:§ 8, page 515), and bound together in a volume as the leaves of a book, and fastened at one edge with three rings running through the whole. This volume was something near six inches in thickness, a part of which was sealed. The characters or letters upon the unsealed part were small and beautifully engraved. The whole book exhibited many marks of antiquity in its construction, as well as much skill in the art of engraving. With the records was found "a curious instrument, called by the ancients the Urim and Thummnim, which consisted of two transparent stones, clear as crystal, set in the two rims of a bow. This was in use in ancient times by persons called seers. It was an instrument by the use of which they received revelation of things distant or of things past or future." (See Biogr. Sketches, page 101; Book of Mormon, Ether, chapter 1, § 7-11, p. 520 sq. See also Nephi, § 20, page 5 sq.) In the mean time the inhabitants of that vicinity, having been informed that Mr. Smith had seen heavenly visions, and that he had discovered sacred records, began to ridicule and mock at those things. After having obtained those sacred things, while proceeding home through the wilderness and fields, he was waylaid by two ruffians, who had secreted themselves for the purpose of robbing him of the records. One of them struck him with a club before he perceived them; but being a strong man and large in stature, with great exertion he cleared himself from them and ran towards home, being closely pursued until he came near his father's house, when his pursuers, for fear of being detected, turned and fled the other way. Soon the news of his discoveries spread abroad throughout all those parts. False reports, misrepresentations, and base slanders flew as if upon the wings of the wind in every direction. The house was frequently beset by mobs and evil-designing persons. Several times he was shot at, and very narrowly escaped. Every device was used to get the plates away from him. Being continually in danger of his life from a gang of abandoned wretches, he at length concluded to leave the place and go to Pennsylvania; and accordingly packed up his goods, putting the plates into a barrel of beans, and proceeded upon his journey. He had not gone far before he was overtaken by an officer with a search-warrant, who flattered himself with the idea that he should surely obtain the plates; after searching very diligently, he was sadly disappointed at not finding them. Mr. Smith then drove on, but, before he got to his journey's end he was again overtaken by an officer on the same business, and after ransacking the wagon very carefully, he went his way as much chagrined as the first at not being able to discover the object of his research. Without any further molestation Smith pursued his journey until he came into the northern part of Pennsylvania, near the Susquehanna River, in which part his father-in-law resided. Having provided himself with a home, he commenced translating the record, as he himself tells us in his Autobiography, "by the gift and power of God, through the means of the Urim and Thummim;" and being a poor writer, he was under the necessity of employing a scribe to write the translation as it came from his mouth. (See, for criticism, editorial appendix below, and Stenhouse, page 23.)
Mr. Smith continued the work of translation, as his pecuniary circumstances would permit, until he finished the unsealed part of the records. The part translated is entitled the Book of Mormon, which contains nearly as much reading as the Old Testament. This volume purports to be a history of ancient America, from its early settlement by a colony who came from the Tower of Babel at the confusion of languages, to the beginning of the fifth century of the Christian sera. By these records we are informed that America, in ancient times, was inhabited by two distinct races of people. The first, or more ancient race, came directly from the great Tower, being called Jaredites. The second race came directly from the city of Jerusalem, about six hundred years before Christ, being Israelites, principally the descendants of Joseph. The first nation, or Jaredites, were destroyed about the time that the Israelites came from Jerusalem, who succeeded them in the inheritance of the country. The principal nation of the second race fell in battle towards the close of the fourth century. The remaining remnant, having dwindled into an uncivilized state, still continue to inhabit the land, although divided into a "multitude of nations," and are called by Europeans the "American Indians." We learn from the same history that at the confusion of languages, when the Lord scattered the people upon all the face of the earth, the Jaredites, being a righteous people, obtained favor in the sight of the Lord, and were not confounded. Because of their righteousness, the Lord miraculously led them from the Tower to the great ocean, where they were commanded to build vessels, in which they were marvellously brought across the great deep to the shores of North America. The Lord God promised to give them America, which was a very choice land in his sight, for an inheritance; and he swore unto them in his wrath that whoso should possess this land of promise, from that time henceforth and forever should serve him, the true and only God, or they should be swept off when the fulness of his wrath should come upon them, and they were fully ripened in iniquity. Moreover, he promised to make them a great and powerful nation, so that there should be no greater nation upon all the face of the earth. Accordingly in process of time they became a very numerous and powerful people, occupying principally North America; building large cities in all quarters of the land, being a civilized and enlightened nation. Agriculture and machinery were carried on to a great extent. Commercial and manufacturing business flourished on every hand; yet, in consequence of wickedness, they were often visited with terrible judgments. Many prophets were raised up among them from generation to generation, who testified against the wickedness of the people, and prophesied of judgments and calamities which awaited them if they did not repent, etc. Sometimes they were visited by pestilence and plagues, and sometimes by famine and war, until at length (having occupied the land some fifteen or sixteen hundred years) their wickedness became so great that the Lord threatened by the mouth of his prophets to utterly destroy them from the face of the land. But they gave no heed to these warnings; therefore the word of the Lord was fulfilled, and they were entirely destroyed-leaving their houses, their cities, and their land desolate; and their sacred records also, which were kept on gold plates, were left by one of their last prophets, whose name was Ether, in such a situation that they were discovered by the remnant of Joseph, who soon afterwards were brought from Jerusalem to inherit the land. This remnant of Joseph were also led in a miraculous manner from Jerusalem, in the first year of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah. They were first led to the eastern borders of the Red Sea; then they journeyed for some time along the borders thereof, nearly in a south-east direction; after which they altered their course nearly eastward, until they came to the great waters, where, by the command of God; they built a vessel, in which they were safely brought across the great Pacific Ocean, and landed upon the western coast of South America. In the eleventh year of the reign of Zedekiah, at the time the Jews were carried away captive into Babylon, another remnant were brought out of Jerusalem, some of whom were descendants of Judah. They landed in North America, soon after which they emigrated into the northern parts of South America, at which place they were discovered by the remnant of Joseph, something like four hundred years after. The same records inform us that this remnant of Joseph, soon after they landed, separated themselves into two distinct nations. This division was caused by a certain portion of them being greatly persecuted, because of their righteousness, by the remainder. The persecuted nation emigrated to the northern parts of South America, leaving the wicked nation in possession of the middle and southern parts of the same. The former were called Nephites, being led by a prophet whose name was Nephi. The latter were called Lamanites, being led by a very wicked man whose name was Laman. The Nephites had in their possession a copy of the Holy Scriptures, viz. the five books of Moses and the prophecies of the holy prophets down to Jeremiah, in whose days they left Jerusalem. These Scriptures were engraved on plates of brass in the Egyptian language. They themselves also made plates soon after their landing, on which they began to engrave their own history, prophecies, visions, and revelations. All these sacred records were kept by holy and righteous men, who were inspired by the Holy Ghost, and were carefully preserved and handed down from generation to generation. The Lord gave them the whole continent for a land of promise, and he promised that they and their children after them should inherit it, on condition of their obedience to his commandments; but if they were disobedient they should be cut off from his presence. The Nephites began to prosper in the land, according to their righteousness; and they multiplied and spread forth to the east, and west, and north-building large villages, cities, synagogues, and temples, together with forts, towers, and fortifications to defend themselves against their enemies. They cultivated the earth, and raised various kinds of grain in abundance. They also raised numerous flocks of domestic animals, and became a very wealthy people, having in abundance gold, silver, copper, tin, iron, etc. Arts and sciences flourished to a great extent. Various kinds of machinery were in use. Cloths of various kinds were manufactured; swords, scimitars, axes, and various implements of war were made, together with head-shields, arm-shields, and breastplates to defend themselves in battle with their enemies. In the days of their righteousness they were a civilized, enlightened, and happy people. But, on the other hand, the Lamanites, because of the hardness of their hearts, brought down many judgments upon their own heads; nevertheless they were not destroyed as a nation; but the Lord God sent forth a curse upon them, and they became a dark, loathsome, and filthy people. Before their rebellion they were white and exceedingly fair, like the Nephites; but the Lord God cursed them in their complexions, and they were changed to a dark color; and they became a wild, savage, and ferocious people, being great enemies to the Nephites, whom they sought by every means to destroy. Many times they came against them with their numerous hosts to battle, but were repulsed by the Nephites and driven back to their own possessions, not, however, generally speaking, without great loss on both sides; for tens of thousands were very frequently slain, after which they were piled together in great heaps upon the face of the ground, and covered with a shallow covering of earth, which will account for these ancient mounds, filled with human bones, so numerous at the present day both in North and South America.
The second colony, which left Jerusalem eleven years after the remnant of Joseph left that city, landed in North America, and emigrated from thence to the northern parts of South America; and about four hundred years after they were discovered by the Nephites, as stated above. They were called the people of Zarahemla. They had been perplexed with m-any wars among themselves, and having brought no records with them, their language had become corrupted, and they denied the being of God. At the time they were discovered by the Nephites they were very numerous, and only in a partial state of civilization; but the Nephites united with them and taught them the Holy Scriptures, and they were restored to civilization, and became one nation with them. In process of time the Nephites began to build ships near the Isthmus of Darien, and launch them forth into the western ocean, in which great numbers sailed a great distance to the northward, and began to colonize North America. Other colonies emigrated by land, and in a few centuries the whole continent became peopled. North America at that time was almost entirely destitute of timber, it having been cut off by the more ancient race who came from the great Tower at the confusion of languages; but the Nephites became-very skilful in building houses of cement; also much timber was carried by the way of shipping from South to North America. They also planted groves and began to raise timber, that in time their wants might be supplied. Large cities were built in various parts of the continent, both among the Lamanites and Nephites. The law of Moses was observed by the latter. Numerous prophets were raised up from time to time throughout their generations. Many records, both historical and prophetical, which were of great size, were kept among them; some on plates of gold and other metals, and some on other materials. The sacred records, also. of the more ancient race who had been destroyed were found by them. These were engraved on plates of gold. They translated them into their own language by the gift and power of God, through the means of the Urim and Thummim. They contained a historical account from the creation down to the Tower of Babel, and from that time down until they were destroyed, comprising a period of about thirty-four hundred or thirty-five hundred years. They also contained many prophecies, great and marvellous, reaching forward to the final end and consummation of all things, and the creation of a new heaven and new earth. The prophets also among the Nephites prophesied of great things. They opened the secrets of futurity- saw the coming of Messiah in the flesh — prophesied of the blessings to come upon their descendants in the latter times — made known the history of unborn generations-unfolded the grand events of ages to come — viewed the power, glory, and majesty of Messiah's second advent — beheld the establishment of the kingdom of peace — gazed upon the glories of the day of righteousness — saw creation redeemed from the curse, and all the righteous filled with songs of everlasting joy. The Nephites knew of the birth and crucifixion of Christ by certain celestial and terrestrial phenomena, which at those times were shown forth in fulfilment of the predictions of many of their prophets. Notwithstanding the many blessings they had received, they had fallen into great wickedness, and had cast out the saints and the prophets, and stoned and killed them. Therefore at the time of the crucifixion of Christ they were visited in great judgment: thick darkness covered the whole continent the earth was terribly convulsed — the rocks were rent into broken fragments, and afterwards found in seams and cracks upon all the face of the land — mountains were sunk into valleys, and valleys raised into mountains — the highways and level roads were broken up and spoiled — many cities were laid in ruins; others were buried up in the depths of the earth, and mountains occupied their place; while others were sunk, and waters came up in their stead; and others still were burned by fire from heaven. Thus the predictions of their prophets were fulfilled upon their heads. Thus the more wicked part, both of the Nephites and Lamanites, were destroyed. Thus the Almighty executed vengeance and fury upon them, that the blood of the saints and prophets might no longer cry from the ground against them.
Those who survived these terrible judgments were favored with the personal ministry of Christ; for after he arose from the dead, finished his ministry at Jerusalem, and ascended to heaven, he descended in the presence of the Nephites, who were assembled round about their temple in the northern parts of South America. He exhibited to them his wounded hands, side, and feet; commanded the law of Moses to be abolished; introduced and established the Gospel in its stead; chose twelve disciples from among them to administer the same; instituted the sacrament; prayed for and blessed their little children; healed their sick, blind, lame, deaf, and those who were afflicted in any way; raised a man from the dead; showed forth his power in their midst; expounded the Scriptures, which had been given from the beginning down to that time; and made known unto them all things which should take place down until he should come in his glory, and from that time down to the end, when all people, nations, and languages should stand before God to be judged, and the heaven and the earth should pass away, and there should be a new heaven and a new earth. These teachings of Jesus were engraved upon plates, some of which are contained in the Book of Mormon; but the greater part are not revealed in that book, but hereafter are to be made manifest to the saints. After Jesus had finished ministering unto them, he ascended into heaven; and the twelve disciples whom he had chosen went forth upon all the face of the land preaching the Gospel, baptizing those who repented for the remission of sins, after which they laid their hands upon them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit. Mighty miracles were wrought by them, and also by many of the Church. The Nephites and Lamanites were all converted unto the Lord, both in South and North America, and they dwelt in righteousness above three hundred years; but towards the close of the fourth century of the Christian sera they had so far apostatized from God that he suffered great judgments to fall upon them. The Lamanites at that time dwelt in South America, and the Nephites in North America. A great and terrible war commenced between them, which lasted for many years, and resulted in the complete overthrow and destruction of the Nephites. This war commenced at the Isthmus of Darien, and was very destructive to both nations for many years. At length the Nephites were driven before their enemies a great distance to the north and north-east; and having gathered their whole nation together, both men, women, and children, they encamped on and round about the hill Cumorah, where the records were found, which is in the State of New York, about two hundred miles west of the city of Albany. Here they were met by the numerous hosts of the Lamanites, and were slain, hewn down, and slaughtered, both male and female the aged, middle-aged, and children. Hundreds of thousands were slain on both sides; and the nation of the Nephites were destroyed, excepting a few who had deserted over to the Lamanites, and a few who escaped into the south country, and a few who fell wounded, and were left by the Lamanites on the field of battle for dead, among whom were Mormon and his son Moroni, who were righteous men.
Mormon had made an abridgment from the records of his forefathers upon plates, which abridgment he entitled the Book of Mormon; and (being commanded of God) he hid in the hill Cumorah all the sacred records of his forefathers which were in his possession; except the abridgment called the Book of Mormon. which he gave to his son Moroni to finish. Moroni survived his nation a few years, and continued the writings, in which he informs us that the Lamanites hunted those few Nephites who escaped the great and tremendous battle of Cumorah until they were all destroyed, excepting those who were mingled with the Lamanites, and that he was left alone, and kept himself hid, for they sought to destroy every Nephite who would not deny the Christ. He furthermore states that the Lamanites were at war one with another, and that the whole face of the land was one continual scene of murdering, robbing, and plundering. He continued the history until the four hundred and twentieth year of the Christian aera, when (by the commandment of God) he hid the records in the hill Cumorah, where they remained concealed until by the ministry of an angel they were discovered to Mr. Smith, who, by the gift and power of God, translated them into the English language by the means of the Urim and Thummim, as stated in the foregoing. (See editorial criticisms below.)
After the book was translated the Lord raised up witnesses to bear testimony to the nations of its truth, who at the close of the volume send forth their testimony, which reads as follows:
"Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people unto whom this work shall come, that we, through the grace of God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, have seen the plates which contain this record, which is a record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites, their brethren, and also of the people of Jared, who came from the Tower of which hath been spoken; and we also know that they have been translated by the gift and power of God, for his voice hath declared it unto us; wherefore we know of a surety that the work is true. And we also testify that we have seen the engravings which are upon the plates; and they have been shown unto us by the power of God, and not of man. And we declare, with words of soberness, that an angel of God came down from heaven, and he brought and laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the plates and the engravings thereon; and we know that it is by the grace of God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ that we beheld and hear record that these things are true, and it is marvellous in our eyes; nevertheless, the voice of the Lord commanded us that we should bear record of it; wherefore, to be obedient unto the commandments of God, we learn testimony of these things. And we know that if we are faithful in Christ we shall rid our garments of the blood of all men, and be found spotless before the judgment-seat of Christ, and shall dwell with him eternally in the heavens. And the honor be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, which is one God: Amen.
"Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, Martin Harris."
Then follows the testimony of eight witnesses: "Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people unto whom this work shall come, that Joseph Smith, Jr., the translator of this work, has shown unto us the plates of which hath been spoken, which have the appearance of gold; and as many of the leaves as the said Smith has translated we did handle with our hands; and we also saw the engravings thereon, all of which has the appearance of ancient work and of curious workmanship. And this we bear record with words of soberness, that the said Smith has shown unto us, for we have seen and hefted, and know of a surety that the said Smith has got the plates of which we have spoken. And we give our names into the world, to witness unto the world that which we have seen; and we lie not, God bearing witness of it.
CHRISTIAN WHITMER, JACOB WHITMER, PETER WHITMER, JR., JOIN WHITMER, HIRAM PAGE,
JOSEPH SMITH, SR., HYRUM SMITH, SAM. H. SMITH."
In the year 1829, Mr. Smith and Mr. Cowdery, having learned the correct mode of baptism from the teachings of the Savior to the ancient Nephites, as recorded in the Book of Mormon, had a desire to be baptized; but knowing that no one had authority to administer that sacred ordinance in any denomination; they were at a loss to know how the authority was to be restored; and while calling upon the Lord with a desire to be informed on the subject, a holy angel appeared and stood before them, and laid his hands upon their heads, and ordained them priests of the order of Aaron, and commanded them to baptize each other, which they accordingly did. In the year 1830 a large edition of the Book of Mormon first appeared in print. "As some began to peruse its sacred pages, the spirit of the Lord bore record to them that it was true; and they were obedient to its requirements, by coming forth humbly repenting before the Lord, and being immersed in water for the remission of sins, after which, by the commandment of God, lands were laid upon them in the name of the Lord for the gift of the Holy Spirit. And on the 6th of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty, the 'Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' was organized in the town of Fayette, Seneca County, State of New York, North America. Some few were called and ordained by the spirit of revelation and prophecy, and began to preach and bear testimony, as the spirit gave them utterance; and although they were the weak things of the earth, yet they, were strengthened by the Holy Ghost, and gave forth their testimony in great power, by which means many were, brought to repentance, and came forward with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and were immersed in water confessing their sins, and were filled with the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, and saw visions and prophesied. Devils were cast out, and the sick were healed by the prayer of faith and the laying on of hands. Thus was the word confirmed unto the faithful by the signs following. Thus the Lord raised up witnesses to bear testimony of his name, and laid the foundation of his kingdom in the last days. And thus the hearts of the saints were comforted and filled with great joy."
Editorial Appendix and Criticisms. — Mr. Pratt's account stops with the organization of the Saints as an ecclesiastical body. We supplement it with the later history.
Joseph Smith seems at first to have had vague and confused ideas as to the nature and design of the Church he was about to establish until he found a convert in Sidney Rigdon, an able Campbellite preacher, then residing in Ohio. He was inclined to teach Millenarianism and bring his flock over to the new faith. This settled Smith, and together they worked out a sort of Millenarian faith, in which at that time Western New York was largely interested. It was by these two religionists declared that the millennium was close at hand, that the Indians were to be speedily converted, and that America was to be the final gathering-place of the Saints, who were to assemble at New Zion or New Jerusalem, somewhere in the interior of the American continent. With the Book of Mormon as their text and authority, they began to preach this new gospel; and Smith's family and a few of his associates, together with some of Rigdon's former flock, were soon enough in numbers to constitute a Mormon Church, which, as we have learned from Mr. Pratt's account, was organized April 6, 1830, at Fayette, N.Y. Though exposed to ridicule and hostility, the Saints continued to gather disciples. The publication of the Book of Mormon, and some alleged miracles and prophecies, attracted the people to the preaching of Smith and his companions, and at the first Conference of the Church, June 1, 1830, held at Fayette, N.Y., thirty members were present. Missionaries were now set apart, and every member was utilized, and in consequence the Saints were soon met with everywhere. Their missionaries were full of zeal, and converts gathered rapidly. Among them were Brigham Young, the two brothers Pratt. and Sidney Rigdon, the Campbellite preacher, who all became most efficient workers in Mormondom. Churches also were established in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and even so far west as Indiana and Illinois. But with their growth persecution intensified, and the Saints finally turned their eyes westwards for a permanent home. In the beginning of 1831 they established their head-quarters at Kirtland, Ohio, and everything pointed to it as the seat of the "New Jerusalem." Indeed, Smith advised the Saints to gather there. In a short time, however, opposition was strengthening also at Kirtland, and Smith urged the people to pray to the Lord "that he would in due time reveal unto them the place where the New Jerusalem should be built, and where the Saints should eventually be gathered in one." Smith's eyes were now turned to the far West to the region of the great prairies — hoping there to work out his religious system in peace and freedom. In the autumn of 1831 a successful work was inaugurated at Independence, Jackson County, Missouri; and shortly after the revelation came that "it was appointed by the finger of the Lord" that a colony of the Saints should be established in that part of Missouri, it being "the land of promise and the place for the city of Zion." In a very short time nearly 1200 persons gathered in the place "where Christ would shortly reign in person." Land was largely bought; preaching was vigorously carried on; a printing-press was established; a monthly periodical (The Morning and Evening Star) and a weekly newspaper (The Upper Missouri Advertiser) were started to propagate the doctrines of the new sect; and it is only fair to the Mormons to state that a spirit of industry, sobriety, order, and cleanliness was everywhere visible. Account for it how we may, the Mormons were in many important respects, morally, socially, and industrially, far in advance of their neighbors. Smith himself, with such of the Saints as preferred to stay in Ohio until forced from it, continued to reside there, though, as we shall see presently, he was by no means stationary there, and was now in Ohio, now in Missouri, as the state of affairs required. In 1838 unsuccessful financial speculations obliged the Prophet also to withdraw, after having besides encountered persecutions from mobs.
In Missouri also the Mormons early engendered opposition. Secret societies were formed a short time after their settlement to expel them from that region; their periodicals were stopped, their printing-press confiscated, their ministers tarred and feathered, and numberless other outrages were committed. Finally, in 1833 the hapless Saints were compelled to flee across the Missouri River, and men, women, and children had to encamp in the open wilderness on a winter night (see Parley P. Pratt, Hist. of the Missouri Persecutions). The cruelty with which they were treated is a disgraceful page in American colonization history, and every true man has reason to regret the outrages perpetrated against these religionists. They subsequently settled in Clay County, in the same state. Smith, when informed of these outrages, at once set out for Missouri; and now assumed, besides the role of "prophet, seer, revelator, and translator," that of military leader of his people. A lengthened revelation was given in February, 1834, to raise " the strength of the Lord's house," and go up to Missouri to redeem Zion, and the Prophet became, by the election of a council of elders, "commander-in-chief of the armies of Israel." With a band of 150 men, the "Prophet," set out from Kirtland for Missouri. By the time he reached Missouri the little band had increased to 205; but they were intercepted by the settlers before they could effect a junction with the Saints in Clay County, and were so badly defeated in their schemes that the few faithful ones who were left, together with the Prophet himself, gladly enough returned to their home at Kirtland. Here, while recruiting from the trials of this warfare, Smith determined upon a more perfect organization of his adherents. In 1833 he had published for their spiritual guidance The Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and in May, 1834, had adopted as the formal title of his ecclesiastical body "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints." He now instituted the hierarchical organization to which the Mormons owe in so large a measure their success and perpetuity. As heads of the Church he appointed a presidency of three (and this remains the practice of the Mormons), assigning to himself the first place, and associating with himself the Rigdon of whom we have had occasion to speak before, and one Frederick G. Williams, a "revelation" from the Lord having declared that the sins of Rigdon and Williams were forgiven, " and that they were henceforth to be accounted as equals with Joseph Smith, jun., in holding the keys of his last kingdom." His own superiority the Prophet had declared to his followers as early as 1830 by special "revelation," which, after appointing him "seer, translator, prophet, apostle of Jesus Christ, and elder of the Church," also demands that "the Church shall give heed to all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you; for his word shall ye receive as if from my own mouth, in all patience and faith." On February 4, 1835, Smith selected his high council of twelve, and delegated these his apostles — 'to go unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, to preach the Gospel of the New Covenant." They departed into the Eastern States, and later into Europe; the first in 1837 to England, where the first Conference of converts was held at Preston, Lancashire on December 25th of that year. Everywhere the Saints now gained adherents. In March 1836, when the Temple at Kirtland was dedicated, over 1000 Mormons were gathered in that little town to witness the "sacred ceremony," and "to receive great blessings." The year 1837 was a most auspicious one for the Saints, though for a time it threatened their very life as an ecclesiastical body. In Ohio they lost the confidence and support of their "Gentile" associates by the mismanagement of mercantile affairs, so that the Prophet laid himself open to the suspicion of deceit, double-dealing, and fraud. They also sustained several important apostasies from their ranks, one seceder being one of Joseph's councillors, and three others apostles in the "kingdom." But while these trials awaited them at their own "Zion," the New Covenant was rapidly spreading in England, under the preaching of the apostles Orson Hyde and Heber C.
Kimball, and the Saints received large accessions to their numbers, especially from the masses in the great manufacturing and commercial towns — Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Birmingham, Glasgow; and above all from the mining districts of South Wales, where Mormonism, in some places, almost competed for popularity with Methodism itself. Since then they have extended their strange evangelization to the East Indies, Australia, the islands of the Pacific, Egypt, Palestine, Turkey, and almost every country on the continent of Europe. In 1838 Kirtland was finally altogether abandoned, for, luckily for the Prophet, just at the moment of his indictment for swindling, etc., a new "revelation" ordered his immediate departure for Missouri, which he promptly obeyed, with all the more alacrity as internal disorders had painfully manifested themselves also in Missouri, resulting in the expulsion of several influential members, among them David Whitmer, the second witness to the Book of Mormon, and Oliver Cowdery, the first convert by baptism. Smith's presence soon healed all internal disorders. but the conflict between the Saints and the other Missourians became daily fiercer. The organized religionists, though guilty of fanatical extravagance in their faith, were yet so perfectly united in all their material undertakings as to make their prosperity almost a necessity, and this success annoyed the other settlers to such a degree that a constant warfare was maintained. The rapid increase of the Saints made them, moreover, a subject of suspicion, especially as they had declared it to be their intention to take Missouri as their earthly portion for an "everlasting possession." The Prophet, it was said, had declared that he would yet trample on the necks of his enemies, and these had therefore every reason to fear his growing strength. Besides, it was known that a band of men had secretly organized to defend the first presidency by any means, fair or foul; and it is therefore not to be wondered that there was constant quarrelling and fighting between Saints and Gentiles, until the contest amounted to civil war, and called for the interference of the state authorities. That such a step was really necessary became clearly apparent when on October 24, 1838, Thomas B. March, himself the president of the Mormon Apostolical College, and Orson Hyde, one of the twelve apostles, and now (1875) again a faithful "Saint," made before a justice of the peace in Ray County, Missouri, an affidavit in which it is declared that "They (i.e. the Mormons under Smith) have among them a company consisting of all that are considered true Mormons, called the Danites, who have taken an oath to support the heads of the Church in all things that they say or do, whether right or wrong... The plan of said Smith, the Prophet, is to take this state;
and he professes to his people to intend taking the United States, and ultimately the whole world. This is the belief of the Church, and my own (i.e., March's) opinion of the Prophet's plan and intentions. The Prophet inculcates the notion, and it is believed by every true Mormon, that Smith's prophecies are superior to the law of the land. I have heard the Prophet say that he would yet tread down his enemies and walk over their dead bodies; that if he was not let alone he would be a second Mohammed to his generation, and that he would make it one gore of blood from the Rocky Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean." Coming from the Saints' own fellow- worshippers, this statement was of course credited by the "Gentiles." It was, moreover, confirmed by the published utterances of Sidney Rigdon, who, in a sermon on July 4, 1838, preached at Far West, had said: "We take God and all the holy angels to witness this day that we warn all men in the name of Jesus Christ to come on us no more for war. The man or the set of men who attempts it does it at the expense of their lives. And that mob that comes on us to disturb us, it shall be between them and us a war of extermination, for we will follow them till the last drop of their blood is spilled, or else they will have to exterminate us. For we will carry the seat of war to their own houses and their own families, and one party or the other shall be utterly destroyed." Near the close of 1838 the state militia was finally called out, nominally to establish peace, really to crush the Mormons. After much loss and suffering, especially at a place called Hawn's Mill, where several Mormons were massacred, the Saints were driven in the depth of winter across the Mississippi into Illinois. The Prophet, his brother Hyrum, and other leading Mormons, were seized, and sentenced by court martial to be shot; but the sentence was not carried out. and after some months' close confinement they all escaped into Illinois (April 1839).
The number of Saints who at this time gathered in Illinois is estimated at no less than 15,000, notwithstanding the defections which the Saints sustained by their expulsion from the land of promise. The people of Illinois treated the newcomers very kindly, and gave them a grant of land on the east bank of the Mississippi, forty miles above Quincy, and twenty miles below Burlington, Iowa. Here, on the bend of the river, upon rising ground that commands a magnificent view of the Mississippi for many miles, they established themselves a new home, which, in obedience to a "revelation" given to Smith, was called Nauvoo, or the "City of Beauty." The country was a mere wilderness when the Mormons settled in it; it soon, however, began to rejoice and blossom as the rose. The foundation of the first house was laid in 1839, and in less than two years over 2000 dwellings; together with school-houses and public edifices, were erected, besides other evidences manifesting the great prosperity of their body. The Legislature of the state was induced to grant a charter to Nauvoo; a body of Mormon militia was formed under the leadership of the Prophet, who, as we have seen before, hesitated not to assume also the part of a military leader, and he besides assumed such civil offices as gave him entire control of the place, and made him safe from all persecution of the Missourians, in case they should attempt to take him back into their own state for punishment. He enjoyed, moreover, making military displays. Thus, on April 6, 1841, when the cornerstone of the grand Temple was laid, the Prophet appeared at the head of his military legion, and in the local papers of that time is only spoken of in his military capacity. A special revelation had demanded the building of the Temple, which was to be on a far grander scale than the edifices in Ohio or Missouri (see Doctrines and Covenants, sec. 103). Another revelation had summoned all converts to Nauvoo, bringing with them "their gold, their silver, and their precious stones" (see Doctr. and Cov. sec. 103). Still another revelation now ordered a mansion-house to be begun, where the Prophet and his family were to be lodged and maintained at the public cost. "Let it be built in my name, and let my servant Joseph Smith and his house have place therein from generation to generation, saith the Lord; and let the name of the house be called the Nauvoo House, and let it be a delightful habitation for man" (Doctr. and Cov. sec. 103). Thus the spiritual and temporal power of Smith increased until he found himself absolute ruler of over 20,000 persons, besides having many spiritual adherents in the different parts of this vast country, and no less than 10,000 in Great Britain. Smith's head was so far turned by his success that in 1844 he offered himself as a candidate for the Presidency of the Union. Probably, however, this proceeding was only meant as a bravado. In Nauvoo itself he reigned supreme. The contributions of his votaries and the zeal of their obedience fed his appetite for riches and power. But opposition gradually sprang up; and though it was obliged to hide itself for a while, and could only be nourished secretly, it was yet growing, and it soon was rumored among the Saints that Smith failed to restrain himself from the indulgence of more sensual passions, which ease and indolence had bred. As early as 1838 the Prophet, it is affirmed, had commenced to practically carry out his doctrine of the "Celestial Marriage" (see below, p. 627 sq.), or of a "Plurality of Wives;" but it was not till July 1843, that he formally received a revelation on the subject authorizing polygamy. When the "revelation" became public, considerable indignation was felt even in Nauvoo, and serious disturbances took place. Several women whom Joseph and his apostles had taken a, fancy to, and sought to will over under the new revelation, declined their proposals, and disclosed them to their relatives. These circumstances roused into activity a latent spirit of resistance which had for some time been secretly gathering force. The malcontents felt themselves strong enough to beard the lion in his own den; they renounced Mormonism, and even ventured to establish an opposition paper, called the Expositor, and published in its first number the affidavits of sixteen women, who alleged that Smith, Rigdon, Young, and others, had invited them to enter into a secret and illicit connection under the title of spiritual marriage. This open and dangerous rebellion was put down forthwith by the application of physical force. Joseph Smith ordered a body of his disciples to "abate the nuisance," and they razed the office of the Expositor to the ground. The proprietors fled for their lives, and when they reached a place of safety sued out a writ from the legal authorities of Illinois against Joseph and Hyrum Smith as abettors of the riot. The execution of the warrant was resisted by the people and troops of Nauvoo, under the Prophet's authority. On this the governor of the state called out the militia to enforce the law; and the ultimate result was that the Prophet and his brother Hyrum were thrown into prison at Carthage. After a short time it began to be rumored, however, that the governor of the state was desirous of letting the two Smiths escape, and thereupon a band of "roughs," about 200 in number, broke into the jail, June 27, 1844, and shot them (see accounts of eye-witnesses in Burton, appendix 3; Mackay, page 189 sq.).
The sudden removal of their leader and the manner of his death caused great agitation among the Mormons, and they were much confused for a while. This status led the people of Illinois to the belief that the sect would rapidly be broken up. The opinion seemed at first reasonable. There was much disputing as to the successorship, and it seemed very likely that the Church would thus be shattered into fragments. There were four claimants, and it was doubted whether any one of them could be persuaded to yield. And yet order was soon brought out of all this chaos, and disastrous as this termination of his career was to Smith himself, it proved a most fortunate thing for the system which he founded. "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church." A halo of solemn and tender glory now encircles the memory of one who, whatever were his virtues or vices, stood greatly in need of this spiritual transfiguration. As Burton tells us, the Saints came to revere the name of Smith beyond that of any other name. They speak of him "with a respectful veneration, sotto voce, as Christians name the founder of their faith." Brigham Young had been Joseph's favorite. He was known to have been such by the apostolical college, of which he was chairman, and he was therefore chosen Joseph's successor by a unanimous vote of that body. The choice made by the highest council, the Mormons had been taught, no one should gainsay, and consequently it was accepted by the great majority of the inhabitants of Nauvoo, and approved of by a general Council of the Church, summoned about six weeks after Joseph's death. The other pretenders were excommunicated, and the council even ventured to "deliver over to Satan" the great Rigdon himself; one of the aspirants, although their sacred books declared him equal with the Prophet; who had, however, latterly shown a disposition to slight and humble him. The Mormons throughout the world acquiesced in all these decisions, and Brigham Young was established in the post of "seer, revelator, and president of the Latter-day Saints."
This manifestation of complete organization aroused the people of Illinois once more to a sense of the danger of constant strife with the settlers at Nauvoo. In 1845 the state Legislature revoked the charter given to the city of Nauvoo, while the citizens banded together for possible contingencies. Open and severe hostility against the Mormons was frequent, and henceforward it was evident that while they continued to inhabit Nauvoo they must live in a perpetual state of siege, and till their fields with a plough in one hand and a rifle in the other. Moreover, experience had shown that elements of disunion existed even among themselves. So long as they were established in any of the settled states they could not exclude unbelievers from among them. There must always be Gentile strangers who would intrude among the Saints for lucre's sake, and form a nucleus around which disappointed or traitorous members might rally and create internal conflict. This could only be avoided by the transplantation of the Mormon commonwealth beyond the reach of foreign contact. Actuated by these reasons, the leaders who met to deliberate on the steps demanded by the crisis same to a decision which, adventurous as it then seemed, has since proved no less wise than bold. They resolved to migrate in a body far beyond the boundaries of the United States, and to interpose a thousand miles of wilderness between themselves and the civilized world. In the fastnesses of the Rocky Mountains, the Alps of North America, they determined to seek that freedom, civil and religious, which was denied them by their countrymen. In a hymn composed for the occasion, they express this Phocaean resolution as follows:
"We'll burst off all our fetters, and break the Gentile yoke; For long it has beset us, but now it shall be broke. No more shall Jacob low his neck; Henceforth he shall be great and free In Upper California. Oh, that's the hand for me! Oh, that's the land for me!" — (Hymns, 353.)
Their decision was announced to the Saints throughout the world by a General Epistle, which bears date January 20, 1846. It was also communicated to their hostile neighbors, who agreed to allow the Mormons time to sell their property, on condition that they should leave Nauvoo before the ensuing summer. A pioneer party of sixteen hundred persons started before the conclusion of winter, in the hope of reaching their intended settlement in time to prepare a reception for the main body by the close of autumn. Agricultural operations were commenced almost the instant they reached the shores of the Salt Lake. "The cheerfulness, intelligence, and zeal exhibited on all sides," it has been justly said, "were truly admirable. The world has never seen swifter, more active, more glad- hearted colonists than these singular Saints. It would be unfair to shut our eyes to such facts. In judging Mormonism, we must keep these constantly in view to prevent us from forming mere abstract and theoretical decisions, which will not in the least affect the future of Mormonism." Brigham himself arrived in the valley July 24, 1847, and the main body of the Mormons in the autumn of 1848. The Salt Lake City was soon founded; public buildings, including a tabernacle, or temporary place for public worship, promptly built; manufactories and shops were also soon reared, an emigration fund established, and in a little while settlers poured in from all parts of Europe and America; and perhaps a greater amount of physical comfort was enjoyed here than in any part of the world. As early as March, 1849, a convention was held at Salt Lake City, and a state organized under the name of Deseret, a word understood by the Mormons to signify " the land of the honey-bee" (Ether, Book of Mormon, chapter 1, § 3, page 518).
A Legislature was elected, and a Constitution framed and sent to Washington. Congress, however, refused to recognize the new state, and in September organized the country occupied by the Mormons into the Territory of Utah, of which Brigham Young was appointed governor by president Fillmore. District judges were also appointed by the federal government, buts these were looked upon with great suspicion and mistrust by the Saints, who finally drove them out of the country in 1851, and openly defied and subverted the laws of the United States. In 1852 the "celestial law of marriage," authorizing polygamy, was promulgated and at once acted upon, notwithstanding that in 1845 the heads of this self-same religious body had deemed it prudent to put forth a formal denial of any such phase of faith or practice in the following words: "Inasmuch as this Church of Christ has been reproached with the crimes of fornication and polygamy, we declare that we believe that one man should have but one wife, and one woman but one husband, except in the case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again." In 1853 the cornerstone of the great Temple, the plan of which, with all its details, was "revealed" to president Young, was laid, so sure felt the Mormons that they had finally reached a spot where they could defy all opposition, and enjoy unmolested their most extravagant religious or social notions. The United States government had no disposition to interfere with these, but it felt itself outraged in the removal of its officers, and in 1854 a United States colonel arrived at Salt Lake City to become the successor of president Young as governor of the territory. This officer, however, encountered so much opposition that he found it expedient, after wintering in Salt Lake City without receiving the governorship, to formally resign his post, and he removed with his battalion of troops to California. No wonder that Young declared in a sermon to his people, "I am and will be governor, and no power can hinder it until the Lord Almighty says, 'Brigham, you need not be governor any longer.'" During the next three years the collisions between the United States officers and the Saints became more and more frequent, and in the spring of 1856 the whole of the former were forced to flee from the territory. A new appointment was finally made in 1857 by the Washington government, and the appointee, accompanied by 2500 picked United States troops, sent to enforce order and submission to the United States laws. The Mormons were greatly exasperated against the federal government by this action, but were finally overawed; and after a proclamation granting pardon to all Mormons guilty of treachery, etc., the Saints submitted, and permanent peace was established. In 1871 some of the Mormon leaders were indicted under the United States laws against bigamy, in order to force the Mormons to abandon the institution of polygamy. More recently president Young himself has been indicted, and mainly for the self-same purpose, though avowedly on a charge of conspiracy and murder, and has escaped trial only because of some informality or uncertainty respecting the constitution of the court. By the Saints this result is looked upon as of providential interference. The proposition, it is asserted, has been semi- officially made, as from him, to abandon polygamy, on condition that the United States government recognize the legitimacy of children heretofore born of polygamous marriages. This does not seem, however, in harmony with their printed declarations in very recent times. The Mormons in these assert their resolve to resist to the death all attempts to put down polygamy, and their firm belief that God will work miracles for them, as for his ancient saints, the Jews. (See Millennial Star, volume 32, passim, esp. page 328. Comp. Rae, Westward by Rail, page 116.) Mr. T.B.H. Stenhouse, formerly a Mormon elder and missionary, and editor of a Mormon paper, has issued a history of Mormonism, whose revelations of the internal workings of Mormonism are made impressive by the calmness and moderation of his language, and the official and indisputable evidence which he has with assiduity gathered to sustain his revelations. He insists upon it that the Mormons are not really in favor of polygamy, and will gladly give it up if they can be made to see that it is not an essential religious ordinance. By others, however, equally well informed, it is rumored that Brigham Young is preparing for another exodus of the entire community to regions yet more remote from the incursion of civilization, which has so completely changed the character of Salt Lake City in the last five years. It will be borne in mind that in 1869 the Pacific Railroad opened up the country, so that it is no longer cut off from civilization. Gentiles take up their residence in Salt Lake City freely, and have not the fear of their lives which was formerly, justly or unjustly, entertained; missionaries are preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the midst of the people, and there is no dread of any power able to stop them. Several Protestant Christian churches have been organized there (1872), and a recent movement among the Mormons themselves, begun in 1869, and denominated as a body the "Church of Zion," and recently re-christened "The Liberal Institute," repudiates the authority of Brigham Young and the hierarchy; and though, like all reactions from priestly authority, its tendency is unmistakably towards flagrant infidelity, for it advocates freedom of thought and action, it is nevertheless a sign of the weakening of the entire system. See Rae, Westward by Rail, page 157 sq.; Ollivant, A Breeze from the Great Salt Lake, pages 82-90; Stenhouse, chapter 55 sq.
II. Sacred Writings of the Mormons. —
(1.) Their most important publication is of course the Book of Mormon, a work which, as it professes to be a new and more recent revelation than the Bible, is placed above the latter in import and value. Indeed, it really constitutes the Mormon Bible. In its published form it is a duodecimo volume of 563 pages of small print. (The edition here referred to came to us from Mr. Young himself, and was printed at Salt Lake City in 1871.) It is divided, in imitation of the Old Testament, into fifteen books, of unequal length, bearing the names of their supposed authors-Nephi (comp. 2 Macc. 1:36), Jacob, Enos, and the like-and professing to have been written (see page 619) at different periods, each book being divided into chapters and numbered paragraphs. We insert a list of contents for fuller information:
FIRST BOOK OF NEPHI.
Language of the Record. Promises to the Gentiles. Nephi's Abridgment. Two Churches. Lehli's Dream. The work of the Father to commence. Lehi departs into the wilderness. A man in white robes Nephi slayeth Laban. (John). Sariah complains of Lehi's Vision. Nephites come to knowledge. Contents of the brass plates. Rod of Iron. Ishmael goes with Nephi. The sons of Lehi take wives. Nephi's brethren rebel, and bind him. Director found (ball). Nephi broke his bow. Lehi's dream of the tree, rod, etc. Directors work by faith. Ishmael died. Messiah and John prophesied of.
Lehi and Nephi threatened. Nephi commanded to build a ship. Olive Branches broken off. Nephi's Vision of Mary. Nephi about to be worshipped by his brethren. Do. the Crucifixion of Christ. Do. darkness and earthquake. Ship finished and entered. Great abominable church. Dancing in the ship. Discovery of the promised land. Nephi bound; ship driven back. Bible spoken of. Arrived on the promised land. Book of Mormon and Holy Ghost promised. Plates of ore made. Other books come forth. Zenos, Neum, and Zenock. Bible and Book of Mormon one. Isaiah's Writings. Holy One of Israel.
Lehi to his sons. SECOND BOOK OF NEPHI. Christ shall show himself. Opposition in all things. Signs of Christ, birth and death. Adam fell that men might be. Joseph saw our day. Whisper from the dust, book sealed up. A choice seer. Writings grow together. Priestcraft forbidden. Prophet promised to the Lamanites. Sealed book to be brought forth. Joseph's prophecy on brass plates. Three witnesses behold the book. Lehi buried. The words [read this, I pray thee]. Nephi's life sought. Nephi separated from Laman.
Seal up the book again. Temple built. Their priests shall contend. Skin of blackness. Teach with their learning and deny the Holy Ghost. Priests, etc., consecrated. Make other plates. Rob the poor. Isaiah's words (by Jacob). A Bible, a Bible. Angels to a devil. Men judged of the Books. Spirits and bodies reunited. White and a delightsome people. Baptism. No kings upon this land. Work commenced among all people. Isaiah prophesieth. Rod of the stem of Jesse. Lamb of God baptized. Seed of Joseph perish not. Baptism by water and Holy Ghost. Law of Moses kept.
Nephi anointed a king. BOOK OF JACOB. A righteous branch from Joseph. Nephi died. Nephites and Lamanites. Lamanites shall scourge you. More than one wife forbidden. Another branch. Wild fruit had overcome. Trees, waves, and mountains obey us. Lord of the vineyard wept. Branches overcome the roots. Jews looked beyond the mark. Wild branches plucked off. Tame olive-tree. Sherem the Antichrist. Nethermost part of the vineyard.
A sign, Sherem smitten. Enos takes the plates from his father. Fruit laid up against the season.
THE BOOK OF ENOS.
Enos, thy sins are forgiven. Records threatened by Lamanites. Lamanites eat raw meat.
THE BOOK OF JABOM.
Nephites waxed strong. Fortify cities. Lamanites drink blood. Plates delivered to Omni.
THE BOOK OF OMNI.
Plates given to Amaron. Corialntumr discovered. Plates given to Chemish. His parents came from the Tower. Mosiah warned to flee. Zarahemla discovered. Plates delivered to King Benjamin. Engravings on a stone.
THE WORDS OF MORMON.
False Christs and Prophets.
BOOK OF MOSIAH.
Mosiah made king, and received. Beggars not denied. Sons and daughters. The plates of brass, sword, and director. Mosiah began to reign. Ammon, etc., bound and imprisoned. King Benjamin teacheth the people. Limhi's proclamation. Their tent-doors towards the temple.
Twenty-four plates of gold. Seer and Translator. Coming of Christ foretold.
A battle fought. King Limhi baptized. King Lamanl died. RECORD OF ZENIFF. Priest and teachers labor. Noah made king. Alma saw an angel. Abinadi the prophet. Alma fell (dumb). Resurrection. King Mosiah's sons preach to the Lamanites. Alma believed Abinadi. Abinadi cast into prison and scourged with fagots. Translation of Records. Plates delivered by Limhi. Waters of Mormon. Translated by two stones. The daughters of the Lamanites stolen by King People back to the Tower. Records given to Alma. Noah's priests. Judges appointed. Records on plates of ore. King Mosiah died. Last tribute of wine. Alma died. Lamanites' deep sleep. Kings of Nephi ended.
Nehor slew Gideon. THE BOOK OF ALMA. Anti-Nephi-Lehies removed to Jershon, called Ammolites. Amlici made king. Amlici slain in battle. Amlicites painted red. Tremendous battle.
Alma baptized in Sidon. Antichrist, Korihor. Alma's preaching. Korihor struck dumb. Alma ordained elders. The devil in the form of an angel. Commanded to meet often. Alma saw tan angel. Korihor trodden down. Amulek saw an angel. Alma's mission to Zoramites. Lawyers questioning Amulek. Rameumptom (holy stand). Coins named. Alma on hill Onidah. Zeezrom the lawyer. Alma on taith. Zeezrom trembles. Prophecy of Zenos. Election spoken of. Prophecy of Zenock. Melchizedek's priesthood. Amulek's knowledge of Christ. Alma and Amulek stoned. Records burned. Charity recommended. Prison rent. Same spirit possess your body. Zeezrom healed and baptized. Believers cast out. Nehor's desolation. Alma to Helaman. Lamanites converted. Plates given to Helaman. Flocks scattered at Sebus. 24 plates and directors. Ammon smote off arms. Gazelem, a stone (secret). Ammon and King Lamoni. Liahona, or compass. King Lamoni fell. Alma to Shiblon. Ammon and the Queen. Alma to Corianton.
King and Queen prostrate. Unpardoilable sin. Aaron, etc. delivered. Resurrection. Jerusalem built. Restoration. Preaching in Jerusalem. Justice in punishment. Lamoni's father converted. If Adam took the tree of life. Land Desolation and Bountiful. Mercy rob justice. Moroni's stratagem. Anti-Nephi-Lehies. Slaughter of Lamanites. General council. Moroni's speech to Zerahemnah. Swords buried. 1005 massacred. Prophecy of a soldier. Lamanites perish by fire. Lamanites' covenant of peace. Slavery forbidden. Alma's prophecy 400 years after Christ. Ammoron's answer. Lamanites made drunk. Dwindle in unbelief. Moroni's stratagem. Alma's strange departure. Helaman's epistle to Moroni. Amalickiah leadeth away the people, destroyeth the church. Helaman's stratagem. Mothers taught faith. Standard of Moroni. Lamanites surrendered. Joseph's coat rent. City of Antiparah taken. Jacob's prophecy of Joseph's seed. City of Cumeni taken. 200 of the 2000 fainted. Fevers in the land, plants and roots for diseases. Prisoners rebel, slain.
Manti taken by stratagem. Amalickiah's plot. Moroni to the governor. The king stabbed. Governor's answer. Amalickiah marries the Queen, and is acknowledged king. King Pachus slain. Cords and ladders prepared. Nephihah taken. Fortifications by Moroni. Teancum's stratagem; slain. Ditches filled with dead bodies. Peace established. Moronihah made commander. Amalickiah's oath. Pahoran appointed judge. Helaman dies. Army against king-men. Sacred things; Shiblon. Amalickiah slain. Moroni died. Ammoron made king. 5400 emigrated north. Bountiful fortified. Ships built by Hagoth. Dissensions. Sacred things committed to Helaman; Shiblon died. 2000 young men. Moroni's epistle toAmmoron.
Pahoran died. THE BOOK OF HELAMAN. Alma and Nephi surrounded with fire. Pahoran appointed judge. Kishkumen slew Pahoainln. Angels administer. Pacumeni appointed judge. Cezoram and son murdered. Zarahemla taken. Gadianton's robbers. Pacumeni killed.
Gadianton's robbers destroyed. Coriantumr slain. Lamanites surrendered. Nephi's prophecy. Heliaman appointed judge. Gadianton's robbers are judges. Secret signs discovered, and Kishkumen stabbed. Chief judge slain. Gadianton fled. Seantum detected. Emigration northward. Keys of the kingdom. Cement houses. Nephi taken away by the spirit. Many books and records. Helaman died. Famine in the land. Nephi rmade judge. Gadianton's band destroyed. Nephites become wicked. Famine removed. Nephi gave the judgment-seat to Cezoram. Samuel's prophecy. Tools lost. Nephi and Lehi preached to the Lamanites. Two days and a night, light. Sign of the crucifixion. 8000 baptized. Samuel stoned, etc. Angels appeared.
Lachoneus chief judge. BOOK OF NEPHI. The Twelve taught the multitude. Nephi receives the Records. Nephi's strange departure. Baptism, HolyGhost, and fire. No darkness at night. Disciples made white. Lamranites became white. Jesus came, second time.
Giddianhi to Lachoneus. Faith great. Gidgiddoni chief judge. Christ breaks bread again. Giddianhi slain. Miracle, bread and wine. Zemnarihah hanged. Gentiles destroyed (Isaiah). Robbers surrendered. Zion established. Mormon abridges the Records. From Gentiles, to your seed. Sign, Father's work commenced. Church began to be broken up. He shall be marred. Government of the land destroyed. Gentiles destroyed (Isaiah). New Jerusalem built. Chief judge murdered. Work commenced among all the tribes. Divided into tribes. Nephi raised the dead. Isaiah's words. Sign of the Crucifixion. Saints did arise. Cities destroyed, earthquakes, darkness, etc. Malachi's prophecy. Faith tried by the Book of Mormon. Law of Moses fulfilled. Christ appeared to Nephites. Children's tongues loosed. The dead raised. Print of the nails. Baptism and Holy Ghost. Nephi and others called. All things commonl Baptism commanded. Christ appeared third time. Doctrine of Christ. Moses's Church. Christ the end of the law. Three Nephites tarry.
Other sheep spoken of. The Twelve caught up. Blessed are the Gentiles. Change upon their bodies. Gentile wickedness on the land of Joseph. Disciples raise the dead. Zarahemla rebuilt. Isaiah's words fulfilled. Other disciples ordained in their stead. Jesus healed the sick. Christ blessed children. Nephi died; Amos kept the Records in his stead. Little ones encircled with fire. Amos died, and his son Amos kept the Records. Christ administered the sacrament. Prisons rent by the three. Christ taught his disciples. Secret combinations. Names of the Twelve. Amaron hid Records.
BOOK OF MORMON.
Three disciples taken away. Mormon repented of his oath and took command. Mormon forbidden to preach. Coming forth of Records. Mormon appointed leader. Records hid in Cumorah. Samuel's prophecy fulfilled. 230,000 Nephites slain. Mormon makes a Record. Shall not get gain by the plates. Lands divided. The Twelve shall judge. These things shall come forth out of the earth. Desolation taken. Women and children sacrificed. The state of the world. Miracles cease, unbelief. Mormon took the Records hid in Shim.
Disciples go into all the world and preach. Language of the Book.
BOOK OF ETUER.
Twenty-four plates found. Jared murdered, and Akish reigned in his stead. Jared cried unto the Lord. Jared went down to the valley of Nimrod. Names of animals. Poisonous serpents. Deseret, honey-bee. Riplakish's cruel leign. Barges built. Morianton anointed king. Decree of God, choice land. Poisonous serpents destroyed. Free from bondage. Four years in tents at Moriancumer. Many wicked kings. Moroni on Faith. Lord talked three hours. Miracles by Faith. Barges like a dish. Moroni saw Jesus. Eight vessels, sixteen stones. New Jerusalem spoken of. Etuer cast out. Lord touched the stones. Records finished in the cavity of a rock. Finger of the Lord seen. Jared's brother saw the Lord. Secret combinations. War in all the land. Two stones given. King Shared murdered by his High-priest; the High priest was murdered by Lib. Stones sealed up. Went aboard of vessels. Furious wind blew. 344 days' passage. Lib slain by Coriantumr. Orihah anointed king.
Dead bodies cover the land, and none to bury them. King Shule taken captive. Shule's son slew Noah. 2,000,00 of men slain. Jared carries his father away captive. Hill Ramah. Cries rend the air. The daughter of Jared danced. Slept on their swords. Coriantumr slew Shiz. Jared anointed king by the hand of wickedness. Do. fell to the earth. Records hid by Ether.
BOOK OF MORONI.
Christ's words to the Twelve. Sufferings of women and children. Manner of Ordination. Order of Sacrament. Cannot recommend them to God. Order of Baptism. Faith, Hope, Charity. Moroni to the Lamanites. Baptism of little children. 420 years since the Sign. Women fed on their husbands' flesh. Records sealed up (Moroni). Gifts of the Spirit. Daughters murdered and eat. God's Word shall hiss forth.
With the history, as will be noted from the synopsis furnished above, are mixed up long exhortations, visions, parables, religions meditations. These are in language imitating that of the English Bible, and some 300 passages, including large portions of Isaiah, the Sermon on the Mount, and some verses of St. Paul's Epistles, bear such strong resemblance that non- Mormon critics claim these passages to be directly copied, sometimes with slight variations which do not improve the sense (see Stenhouse, pages 538-543). The narrative, as a whole, is most tedious; there is not a trace of elevated, poetic, or religious feeling. The style is that of an uneducated person, glaring grammatical errors appearing on nearly every page, besides gross absurdities and anachronisms. Beyond the assertions that the book is the work of inspired writers teaching true religion, and that revelations, miracles, and gifts of tongues are ever with the faithful, few of the doctrinal peculiarities of Mormonism can be gleaned from it. Materialistic notions of the Deity are hinted at (Ethler, chapter 1, § 8, pages 521, 522), and infant baptism is forbidden (Moroni, chapter 8:§ 2, page 557), but with these exceptions it is free from heretical statements or novel dogmas. It asserts the perpetuity of miracles in the Church, and on this account the Irvingites were induced to send a deputation in the early stages of Mormonism to express their sympathy with Joseph Smith. It is also most explicit in its condemnation of polygamy and freemasonry. It will be remembered from the account furnished by Mr. Pratt of the early history of this strange work, that the original copy, engraved on golden plates, was in a tongue then unknown to the world, and that by the aid of the "Urim and Thummim"; the English version was obtained. According to the Mormon authority, the book was placed in Smith's hands in the reformed Egyptian language, and we are also told that the way in which Smith translated was as follows: He sat behind a blanket hung across the room to keep the sacred records from profane eyes, and read off, by the help of his "Urim and Thummim," to Oliver Cowdery, of whom we have had occasion to speak before, who wrote down what the invisible "Prophet" gave as a translation, Smith himself being, as he confesses, but a "poor writer." A farmer by the name of Martin Harris supplied Smith with the necessary funds to get the work printed. But before he so supplied Smith he went to New York to consult the late Prof. Anthon regarding the correctness of the Prophet's translation, and took with him a copy of the characters on one of the plates. The Mormons assert that the professor declared the characters to be Egyptian, Chaldaic, Assyrian, and Arabic, and asked to see the original (Pearl of Great Price, page 45). But, according to Gentile authority, Prof. Anthon pronounced the extract furnished him to consist "of all kinds of crooked characters, disposed in columns, and evidently prepared by some person who had before him at the time a book containing various alphabets. Greek and Hebrew letters, crosses and flourishes, Roman letters, inverted or placed sideways, were arranged and placed in perpendicular columns, and the whole ended in a rude delineation of a circle divided into various compartments decked with various strange marks, and evidently copied after the Mexican calendar given by Humboldt, but copied in such a way as not to betray the source whence it was derived," and warned Harris against being the victim of roguery (Letter in Mackey, pages 32-34). A facsimile alleged to be identical with that shown to Prof. Anthon, is published in the
Millennial Star (15:540), and is here reproduced. It will be noticed by the philological student that these characters have no resemblance to any existing ones, and are like nothing else but the scratches made by children for amusement when they begin to learn writing. Harris, however, lost not his faith by Prof. Anthon's persuasions, and, returning to Smith, continued to assist the preparation of the English version of the Book of Mormon until about 116 pages had been completed. The MS. of these Harris one day took to his house to show to his wife, probably to satisfy her that the money which he was furnishing for Smith's support, and which he was expecting to supply for its publication, was well-spent. Herself a non- believer, she connived with others for the secret removal of the MS. On this the "Prophet" produced a "revelation" ordering him not to retranslate the portion lost in the English version, lest the wicked, finding the two translations to differ, should scoff at God's work (Doctr. and Cov. 26, page 178 sq.). Shortly after Harris was moreover superseded in his position as scribe by Oliver Cowdery, but he remained faithful to Smith; and when the work was ready for publication he furnished, as we have stated, all needed pecuniary aid, having even, in obedience to a revelation (Doctr. and Cov. 44, 3, pages 194-5), sold his farm to procure means for this purpose. In 1830, finally, the Book of Mormon appeared, accompanied, as has been stated above by Mr. Pratt, with a declaration from eleven persons that they had seen the original plates from which this version had been prepared. This statement was necessary, as these were the only persons so privileged. No other human being has ever seen them. Like Macpherson's Ossianic MSS.. they have never been forthcoming, however loudly demanded, and of late years all knowledge of them has become traditional. The Mormons declare that no one else was allowed to see them; and Joseph himself informs us that after he had "accomplished by them what was required at his hand,"... "according to arrangements, the messenger called for them, and he [the angel] has them in his charge until this day" (Autobiog. chapter 14).
Controversial writers against Mormonism are unanimous in discarding this whole story of angel visits and gold plates as a pure invention, and brand Joseph Smith as an impostor. Yet there seems to be no ground for such a harsh judgment. That Smith had at one time in his possession metallic plates of some kind, with engraved characters upon them, there appears no reason to doubt, if human testimony be accepted as evidence. Where and how he got the plates which he exhibited to a number of persons, and whether the Book of Mormon is a veritable interpretation of the characters on those plates, are very different questions. Again, whether or not the narrative presented is true and of any importance to the world as a subject of faith, are still different questions. Certain it is that Mormon apologists have thus far failed to account on reasonable principles for the close resemblance of portions of their inspired writings which they claim to be taken from speeches, exhortations, and sermons said to have been delivered by ancient American prophets and apostles, who of course never saw, or could see, the English Bible as it now exists in its modern translation, and for the still more strange appearance in their writings of the errors of translation existing in the English version made 1200 years after the death of the last of these American seers (comp. Stenhouse, pages 538- 545). Besides, Gentile polemics have brought forward evidence to show that, with the exception of certain illiterate and ungrammatical interpolations bearing on religious matters, the so-called Book of Mormon was really borrowed or copied nearly verbatim from a MS. romance written by all ordained minister named Solomon Spaulding, who was born at Ashford, Conn., in 1761, and was educated at Dartmouth College (class of 1785), and who died in 1816 at Amity, Pa. It is unnecessary to go over the arguments pro and con. Suffice it to say, that anti-Mormons generally think them conclusive, while the "Saints" consider the whole story of Spaulding's MS. romance a scandalous fabrication. There is unquestionable evidence that the said Spaulding did write something about the ancient inhabitants of America; that his MS. was intrusted for publication in 1812 to a bookseller named Paterson at Pittsburgh, Pa.; and that Spaulding dying before publication, the MS. remained in Pittsburgh, where a copy of it was made by Sidney Rigdon, then one of Paterson's compositors, but afterwards the associate of Joseph Smith in the promulgation of Mormon doctrines; and it is furthermore asserted by one of Spaulding's brothers, from his recollection of portions of the MS., that it was identical with the Book of Mormon, and that the latter was indeed the bona-fide work of his deceased brother; this statement being sustained by several of Mr. Spaulding's friends from their remembrance of the readings to which they had frequently listened. It is therefore conjectured by anti-Mormonists that Rigdon (into whose hands Spaulding's romance is supposed to have fallen for some time) gave it to his new associate to further his purposes when he joined him in 1829, and that the latter in whose soul there may have been some rude and gross religious notions and feelings devised the ungrammatical interpolations. This theory acquires some probability from the fact that these religious passages do not refer to the Old-World faiths and the practices of an ancient ritual, but to quite modern questions, such as interested the people of Western New York about 1830. Calvinism, Universalism, Methodism, Millenarianism, Roman Catholicism are discussed, if not in name, yet in reality. But those who accept such statements as the true solution of the origin of this book must necessarily conclude that Joseph Smith was "a deliberate falsifier and wilful impostor." The most incisive writer on this subject — John Hyde, jun. (Mormonism, its Leaders and Disciples), formerly a Mormon elder — unhesitatingly announces this as his own conclusion. Yet there is no good ground for such a position if it be considered that the Book of Mormon was in preparation for publication when Smith first met Rigdon, and that he was already noted as the discoverer of the gold plates. We cite the comments on this great question by Mr. Stenhouse, who, as he was himself once a believer, is most likely to know whereof he speaks. He says:
"To conclude that there was 'wilful' imposture in the origin of Mormonism is, in an argumentative sense, to 'take arms against a sea of troubles' to which there is no limit. There is, however, an easy solution of the difficulty respecting the origin of the book — i.e., to admit honest credulity in Joseph Smith, in the persons who 'witnessed unto the world' of that which they saw, and in all that follows in the history of the Mormon movement. Probably, if Mr. Hyde were now to write on the subject, while he would undoubtedly preserve the same powerful arguments against the divinity of the book, he would conclude that Joseph Smith was after all only an extraordinary 'spirit medium,' and had been subjected to all the vagaries and caprices of that peculiar condition. In this solution of the difficulty respecting Joseph's claims there is a perfect consistency, and it harmonizes completely with the testimony both of the orthodox and the heterodox. It admits the claim of honesty in Joseph Smith and in his 'witnesses,' and equal honesty in those who have rejected their testimony and denounced the folly of their assertions. In brief, when Joseph Smith said that he had visions, dreams, and revelations, it is best to allow that he probably had all that experience: but when he clothed his communications with the sanctity of absolute and divine truth, the acceptance or rejection of which was to be 'the salvation or damnation of the world,' it was simply tile operation and assertion of that yet uncomprehended mysterious influence that has been experienced by both good and bad men in all ages and in all countries within the historical ken of man. With the developments which have followed, the life of the Mormon Prophet is easily understood. He was but the vehicle of 'spirit communication,' and when he erred it was not intentional imposture or deliberate fraud, but in the native honesty of his simple nature he believed too much... It does not seem possible that he could have borne up through his whole life of persecution, and have lived and died maintaining the truth of his story, if the book had been a fraud... That some of those ancient inhabitants may have made and engraved plates, and that they did so for a purpose whatever that might be is very possible. The relics of sculpture and painting suggest also the probability of engraving. Other persons besides Joseph Smith have discovered in the ground similar plates, bearing evidence of a great antiquity, and as time rolls on there may yet be many similar discoveries. There need be no difficulty, then, in accepting Joseph's story of finding the plates; it is what is claimed to be the contents of the plates that is incredible. If no living, person fabricated for Joseph Smith the Book of Mormon, and if Joseph did not use the manuscript of Solomon Spaulding, the Mormon may very properly ask, 'Who, then, was the author of the book?' To this query the Book of Abraham is the answer. (See below, 3.) In the preceding chapter, the Prophet's 'translation' of the papyrus found with the Egyptian mummies is evidently untrue; yet Joseph Smith sat with his amanuensis, and, by 'the gift of God,' believed he was giving a truthful translation. The scientist says that the whole story is untrue; that the Prophet's version of the hieroglyphics is a perfect romance; that the hieroglyphics had no more allusion to the Abraham of Mosaic history than they had to do with Abraham the martyred president of the United States. When Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon by the means of his Urim and Thummim, the 'reformed Egyptian' was evidently not transformed before his eyes into the translated text, or 'the gift and power of God' used peculiarly bad English. lie gazed upon that Urim and Thummim until his mind became psychologized, and the impressions that he received he dictated to his scribe. With such a conclusion, the anachronisms of the book, the quotations from the Old and New Testaments, and the language of modern preachers and writers are accounted for. That there is such a mental condition in human life as clairvoyance, in which persons are strangely operated upon, and can mentally perceive what to the natural eye is unseen, is a belief as old as the history of man; and that, when the mind is pyschologized by a condition of its own, or by the operation of external influences, singular impressions or revelations are had, few people today dispute. That Joseph Smith was in these experiences one of the most remarkable men that ever lived, those outside of Mormonism altogether, who knew him intimately, testify. He believed that his gifts were divine, and his impressions were revelations from the Almighty Creator. To insist that there were deliberate imposture and deliberate falsehood at the origin of Mormonism is to challenge the veracity and honesty of the hundreds and thousands of persons who accept that faith and who testify that they know of its truth. It is more rational and consistent to admit that what such a body of people allege that they have experienced is probably true in statement, than to deny it and brand it as imposture; but it does not follow that the interpretation which any of them put upon their experience is itself true. They may be fully persuaded that they have had visions, dreams, the ministering of angels, and have heard the 'voice of God,' all witnessing to the truth of the divinity of Mormonism, for all this has been asserted again and again by very many others besides Joseph Smith — men, and women too, who have claimed to have received divine missions. Outside of all religious enthusiasm, also, there are tens of thousands of men and women — sober, reliable, and truthful in every relation and business of life with as unchangeable convictions as ever the Mormons had that they have personally experienced all these extraordinary phenomena. The trouble with the Mormons and with all this class of believers is, not in what they have experienced, but the after-interpretation that they may have put upon it... There have been multitudes of persons in the world who have believed and asserted that to them, and to them only, God gave visions, dreams, angel-visits, the power of healing the sick and 'casting out devils;' and they have declared that these were proofs of the heavenly origin of the faith which they proclaimed, and this it is that the Saints have been taught by the modern apostles to regard as special and particular to them, while it has been a peculiarity common to the religious experience of all the world, and is an evidence of nothing more than a certain condition of mind that renders such manifestations possible with persons adapted naturally to receive them... That Joseph thought Moroni and some of those ancient personages whom he mentions in his biography appeared to him is no doubt true; that they used him for their purposes Spiritualists all believe; and when the origin of some of the great religions of the world is considered, there is not much cause for wonder that those persons who have accepted Mormonism, with all its crudities, should have honestly believed it. Millions have accepted Mohammed and his visions; many millions more have lived and died in the faith of Buddha; Confucius has swayed a spiritual empire from ages long before the Christian era; and by these and other founders of religious systems, and by manly of their disciples, visions and revelations, gifts and miraculous powers, have all been claimed" (Rocky Mountain Saints, pages 546-555).
To this solution of the question we are disposed substantially to accede, with this exception, that we would refer the mental impression of visions, revelations, etc., to the hallucinations of an excited imagination rather than to clairvoyance or any other so-called spiritual influence or communication.
It may not be out of place here to add that Joseph Smith, while discredited among his own townsmen, elicited the testimony that from an early period he was regarded as a visionary and a fanatic. This fact is of the utmost importance as affording a clew to his real character, and an explanation of that otherwise unaccountable tenacity of purpose and moral heroism displayed in the midst of fierce persecution. A mere impostor — i.e., a person who did not, in some sense or other, partly believe in his own mission, but who, on the contrary, felt that he was simply the liar and cheat that people called him would have broken down under such a tempest of opposition and hate as Smith's course excited.
(2.) The chief authority on Mormon doctrine is The Book of Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, selected from the Revelations of God, by Joseph Smith, president. "This work is to the Mormon Bible," says Burton (page 447 sq.), "what the Vedanta is to the Vedas, the Talmud to the O.T., the Traditions to the Gospel, and the Ahadis to the Koran — a necessary supplement of amplifications and explanations." The first edition, published in 1833, differs much from the later ones, and was subsequently suppressed. The work consists of two distinct parts: pages 1-64 contain seven lectures on faith, originally delivered before a class of elders at Kirtland, and it seems probable that they were written by Rigdon, who was really the theological founder, though he is only recognised as the literary assistant (Doctr. and Co). sec. 2). In them are some very curious statements; and it is believed that whatever there is in it of materialism was introduced by Rigdon, and with it many other strange departures from the theology of the Book of Mormon. Thus, e.g., it is inferred in the Doctr. and Cov., from Heb 11:3, that faith is "the principle of power existing in the bosom of God by which the worlds were framed, and that if this principle or attribute were taken from the Deity, he would cease to exist" (Lecture 1:13-17, page 3). Again:
"When a man works by faith, he works by mental exertion instead of physical force. It is by words, instead of exerting his physical powers, with which every being works by faith" (Lecture 7:3, page 55). Many other peculiar doctrines are here set forth. The second part, entitled Covenants and Commandments, consists of the revelations given to Smith at various times, and is evidently by a different hand from the Lectures. The style and grammar betray the editor of the English version of the Book of Mormon. The Covenants and Commandments resemble in form the Koran: both works contain divine revelations; much in both is only of temporary interest, and both afford undesigned materials for the life of their authors. But all the merits of the Koran are absent and all its defects present in the work of Joseph Smith. The revelations were given to a great number of persons, but always through the medium of Joseph Smith. They refer to various subjects: the organization, worship, and hierarchy of the Church; instructions in faith and morals, prophecies, visions, parables, interpretations of Scripture, directions to individuals about their acts, preachings, journeyings, for the promotion of the faith, and concerning the affairs and needs, spiritual and temporal, of the Church. There are also two addresses of the Prophet to the Saints in Nauvoo, delivered in writing only; minutes of the High Council (February 17, 1834); declarations of the Church on marriage and governments, and an account of the martyrdom of Joseph Smith and his brother. Those sections relating to the organization of the Church and the duties of the ministry are placed first, then the portions chiefly treating of faith and practice; lastly, those that relate mainly to individuals and to temporary circumstances.
(3.) Many other revelations, translations, prophecies, addresses, etc., of Smith were published in the periodicals of the sect, all of which are regarded as of authority. Some of these have been collected into a pamphlet, entitled The Pearl of Great Price, being a choice Selection from the Great Revelations, Translations, and Narrations of Joseph Smith (Liverpool, 1851). In this book is set forth the theory that Mormonism is the revival of the primitive religion revealed to Adam (see also Doctr. and Cov. Lecture 2, page 8 sq.; Covenants and Comn. 3:1829, page 78). A similar theory is found in the Koran. There also appears a translation, with facsimiles, of some Egyptian papyrus rolls, procured from a travelling showman. Smith declared these rolls to be written by Abraham, narrating his stay in Egypt. An eminent French Egyptologist, M. Deveria, of the Museum of the Louvre at Paris, before whom the facsimiles were laid, showed that they represent the resurrection of Osiris, a funerary disk, and a painting from a funerary MS. This deviation of M. Deveria's translation from Smith's would naturally again lead to the supposition that the would- be prophet intentionally played off a fictitious translation as an exact rendering of the original papyri. This theory need not, however, be espoused, as has been well shown by Mr. Stenhouse: "With the Prophet's story of the supposed Book of Abraham placed side by side with the translation of the papyrus by the scientist, the reader may possibly conclude that Joseph Smith imposed upon the credulity of the Saints, and hence that the claim throughout this work that Joseph was sincere is here unsupported. The author, notwithstanding, still clings to the assertion that Joseph believed sincerely that he was inspired, and the pride with which he gave this translation to the world supports that conclusion. Had he ever doubted the correctness of his translation, he never would have given to the public the facsimile of the characters and his translation of them. Joseph Smith at this time was over thirty years of age, and had passed through too rough an experience to have risked his reputation upon anything about which he had the slightest doubt. If the translation of the scientist is correct, and it bears upon its face evidence to that effect, then Joseph was as much deceived as many others have been before and since who have laid claim to the possession of divine and supernatural powers and the receiving of revelations." Those who may be interested in these Egyptian antiquities and the variability of the two translators will do well to consult Stenhouse, pages 512 to 519. The Pearl of Great Price contains also two different accounts of the creation, both made up out of Genesis 1. A translation is given of Mt 23:39,24 differing from the Authorized Version in containing additions to the extent of one third, entirely unsupported by any MS. or version. There are some other fragments, absurd but unimportant, except as showing the audacity of the author. The "translations" are portions of a translation of the whole Bible, said to exist in MS., in the hands of the Mormon leaders. Some further extracts have appeared in periodicals; the text is altered to suit Mormon doctrines, and large additions made. It is asserted by the Mormons that the Authorized Version has been fraudulently corrupted, and that this "translation" alone represents the original and true form. Other revelations are also said to exist in MS., to be published when the world is ripe for them.
III. Mormon Doctrines. — The creed of the Mormonists would naturally be supposed to be embodied in the Book of Mormon. This is not the case, however. The theology as there embodied differs but little from orthodox Trinitarianism. But this is by no means the real creed of the Latter-day Saints. Indeed, it is not an easy matter to set forth exactly and clearly the principles of Mormon theology. First, there is the theory of continuous revelation abiding in the Church (see Preface to Hymn-book ; Compendium of the Faith and Doctrines, pages 43-47). Secondly, Mormon theology abounds in such an extraordinary admixture of truth and superstition, of philosophy and fanaticism, that it is difficult to disentangle them and reduce them to anything like an orderly system. The only document at all resembling a creed is published in the Pearl of Great Price, page 55 sq., and in the pamphlet entitled The Rise, Progress, and Travels of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; being a series of Answers to Questions, by Bro. George A. Smith (Salt Lake City, 1872, 8vo), pages 40, 41. It is from the pen of Joseph Smith, and was compiled by him in 1842. We insert it here in full:
"First. We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in his Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.
"We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgressions.
"We believe that through the atonement of Christ all mankind may be saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.
"We believe that these ordinances are: 1, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; 2, Repentance; 3, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; 4, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
"We believe that a man must be called of God, by 'prophecy, and by laying on of hands' by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.
"We believe in the same organization that existed in the primitive Church, viz. apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, etc.
"We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, etc.
"We believe the Bible to be the Word of God, as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the Word of God.
"We believe all that God has revealed, all that he does now reveal, and we believe that he will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
"We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion will be built upon this continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth, and that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisaic glory.
"We claim the privilege of worshipping Almighty God according, to the dictates of our conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.
"We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates; in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.
"We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul, 'We believe all things, we hope all things:' we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report, or praiseworthy, we seek after these things." A more perfect and complete copy is furnished by Mr. Orson Pratt, which we also insert, as it is now seldom to be reached in this detailed and explanatory form, and on many points clearly elucidates the strange views of these Saints. (See, however, Burton, pages 467-480.)
"We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in his Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost, who bears record of them, the same throughout all ages and forever.
"We believe that all mankind, by the transgression of their first parents, and not by their own sins, were brought under the curse and penalty of that transgression, which consigned them to an eternal banishment from the presence of God, and their bodies to an endless sleep in the dust, never more to rise, and their spirits to endless misery under the power of Satan; and that, in this awlhl condition, they were utterly lost and fallen, and had no power of their own to extricate themselves therefrom.
"We believe that through the sufferings, death, and atonement of Jesus Christ all mankind, without one exception, are to be completely and fully redeemed, both body and spirit, from the endless banishment and curse to which they were consigned by Adam's transgression; and that this universal salvation and redemption of the whole human family from the endless penalty of the original sin is effected without any conditions whatsoever on their part: that is, that they are not required to believe, or repent, or be baptized, or do anything else, in order to be redeemed from that penalty; for whether they believe or disbelieve, whether they repent or remain impenitent, whether they are baptized or unbaptized, whether they keep the commandments or break them, whether they are righteous or unrighteous, it will make no difference in relation to their redemption, both soul and body, from the penalty of Adam's transgression. The most righteous man that ever lived on the earth, and the most wicked wretch of the whole human family, were both placed under the same curse without any transgression or agency of their own, and they both alike will be redeemed from that curse without any agency or conditions on their part. Paul says (Ro 5:18), 'Therefore, as by the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so, by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men onto the justification of life.' This is the reason why all men are redeemed from the grave. This is the reason that the spirits of all men are restored to their bodies. This is the reason that all men are redeemed from their first banishment and restored into the presence of God. And this is the reason that the Saviour said (Joh 12:32), 'If I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto me.' After this full, complete, and universal redemption, restoration, and salvation of the whole of Adam's race, through the atonement of Jesus Christ, without faith, repentance, baptism, or any other works; then all and every one of them will enjoy eternal life and happiness, never more to be banished from the presence of God if they themselves have committed no sin; for the penalty of the original sin can have no more power over them at all, for Jesus hath destroyed its power, and broken the bands of the first death, and obtained the victory over the grave, and delivered all its captives, and restored them from their banishment into the presence of his Father; hence eternal life will then be theirs, if they themselves are not found transgressors of some law.
"We believe that all mankind, ill their infant state, are incapable of knowing good and evil, and of obeying or disobeying a law; and that therefore there is no law given to them, and that where there is no law there is no transgression; hence they are innocent, and if they should all die in their infant state they would enjoy eternal life, not being transgressors themselves, neither accountable for Adam's sin.
"We believe that all mankind, in consequence of the fall, after they grow up from their infant state and come to the years of understanding, know good and evil, and are capable of obeying or disobeying a law, and that a law is given against doing evil, and that the penalty affixed is a second banishment from the presence of God, both body and spirit, after they have been redeemed from the first banishment and restored into his presence.
"We believe that the penalty of this second law can have no effect upon persons who have not had the privilege in this life of becoming acquainted therewith; for although the light that is in them teaches them good and evil, yet that light does not teach them the law against doing evil, nor the penalty thereof. And although they have done things worthy of many stripes, yet the law cannot be brought to bear against them and its penalty be inflicted, because they can plead ignorance thereof. Therefore they will be judged, not by the revealed law which they have been ignorant of, but by the law of their conscience, the penalty thereof being a few stripes.
"We believe that all who have done evil, having a knowledge of the law, or afterwards in this life coming to the knowledge thereof, are under its penalty, which is not inflicted in this world, but in the world to come. Therefore such in this world are prisoners, shut up under the sentence of the law, awaiting with awful fear for the time of judgment, when the penalty shall be inflicted, consigning them to a second banishment from the presence of their Redeemer, who had redeemed them from the penalty of the first law. But, inquires the sinner, is there no way for my escape? Is my case hopeless? Can I not devise some way by which I can extricate myself from the penalty of this second law, and escape this second banishment The answer is — If thou canst hide thyself from the allsearching eye of an omnipresent God, that he shall not find thee, or if thou canst prevail with him to deny justice its claim, or if thou canst clothe thyself with power and contend with the Almighty, and prevent him from executing the sentence of the law, then thou canst escape. If thou canst cause repentance, or baptism in water or any of thine own works to atone for the least of thy transgressions, then thou canst deliver thyself from the awful penalty that awaits thee. But be assured, O sinner, that thou canst not devise any way of thine own to escape, nor do anything that will atone for thy sins. Therefore thy case is hopeless unless God hath devised some way for thy deliverance; but do not let despair seize upon thee, for though thou art under the sentence of a broken law, and hast no power to atone for thy sins and redeem thyself therefrom, yet there is hope in thy case, for he who gave the law has devised a way for thy deliverance. That same Jesus who hath atoned for the original sin, and will redeem all mankind from the penalty thereof, hath also atoned for thy sins, and offereth salvation and deliverance to thee on certain conditions to be complied with on thy part.
"We believe that the first condition to be complied with on the part of sinners is to believe in God, and in the sufferings and death of his Son Jesus Christ to atone for the sins of the whole world, and in his resurrection and ascension on high to appear in the presence of his Father to make intercession for the children of men, and in the Holy Ghost, which is given to all who obey the Gospel.
"That the second condition is to repent — that is, all who believe according to the first condition are required to come humbly before God and confess their sins with a broken heart and contrite spirit, and to turn away from them, and cease from all their evil deeds, and make restitution to all they have in any way injured, as far as it is in their power.
"That the third condition is to be baptized by immersion in water, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, for remission of sins; and that this ordinance is to be administered by one who is called and authorized of Jesus Christ to baptize; otherwise it is illegal and of no advantage, and not accepted by him; and that it is to be administered only to those persons who believe and repent according to the two preceding conditions.
"And that the fourth condition is to receive the laying on of hands in the name of Jesus Christ for the gift of the Holy Ghost; and that this ordinance is to be administered by the apostles or elders whom the Lord Jesus hath called and authorized to lay on hands; otherwise it is of no advantage, being illegal in the sight of God; and that it is to be administered only to those persons who believe, repent, and are baptized into this Church, according to the three preceding conditions. These are the first conditions of the Gospel. All who comply with them receive forgiveness of sins and are made partakers of the Holy Ghost. 'Through these conditions they become the adopted sons and daughters of God. Through this process they are born again, first of water and then of the Spirit, and become children of the kingdom-heirs of God-saints of the Most High — the Church of the first-born — the elect people, and heirs to a celestial inheritance eternal in the presence of God. After complying with these principles, their names are enrolled in the book of the names of the righteous.
"They are then required to be humble. to be meek and lowly in heart, to watch and pray, to deal justly; and inasmuch as they have the riches of this world, to feed the hungry and clothe the naked, according to the dictates of wisdom and prudence; to comfort the afflicted, to bind up the broken-hearted, and to do all the good that is in their power; and, besides all these things, they are required to meet together as often as circumstances will admit and partake of bread and wine, in remembrance of the broken body and shed blood of the Lord Jesus; and, in short, to continue faithful to the end in all the duties enjoined upon them by the word and Spirit of Christ.
"It is the duty and privilege of the saints thus organized upon the everlasting Gospel to believe in and enjoy all the gifts, powers, and blessings which flow from the Holy Spirit. Such, for instance, as the gifts of revelation, prophecy, visions, the ministry of angels, healing the sick by the laying on of hands in the name of Jesus, the working of miracles, and, in short, all the gifts as mentioned in Scripture, or as enjoyed by the ancient saints. We believe that inspired apostles and prophets, together with all the officers as mentioned in the New Testament, are necessary to be in the Church in these days.
"We believe that there has been a general and awful apostasy from the religion of the New Testament, so that all the known world have been left for centuries without the Church of Christ among them; without a priesthood authorized of God to administer ordinances; that every one of the churches has perverted the Gospel, some in one way and some in another. For instance, almost every Church has done away 'immersion. for remission of sins.' Those few who have practiced it for remission of sins have done away the ordinance of the 'laying on of hands' upon baptized believers for the gift of the Holy Ghost. Again, the few who have practiced the last ordinance have perverted the first, or have done away the ancient gifts, powers, and blessings which flow from the Holy Spirit, or have said to inspired apostles and prophets, We have no need of you in the body of these days. Those few, again, who have believed in and contended for the miraculous gifts and powers of the Holy Spirit have perverted the ordinances or done them away.
"We believe that there are a few sincere, honest, and humble persons who are striving to do according to the best of their understanding; but in many respects they err in doctrine because of false teachers and the precepts of men; and that they will receive the fulness of the Gospel with gladness as soon as they hear it.
"The gospel in the Book of Mormon is the same as that in the New Testament, and is revealed in great plainness, so that no one who reads it can misunderstand its principles. It has been revealed by the angel to be preached as a witness to all nations; first the Gentiles and then to the Jews; then cometh the downfall of Babylon-thus fulfilling the vision of John, which he beheld on the Isle of Patmos (Re 14:6-8).
"Many revelations and prophecies have been given to this [i.e., the Mormon] Church since its rise, which have been printed and sent forth to the world. These also contain the gospel in great plainness, and instructions of infinite importance to the Saints. They also unfold the great events that await this generation: the terrible judgments to be poured forth upon. the wicked, and the blessings and glories to be given to the righteous. We believe that God will continue to give revelations by visions, by the ministry of angels, and by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, until the Saints are guided into all truth; that is, until they come in possession of all the truth there is in existence, and are made perfect in knowledge. So long, therefore, as they are ignorant of anything past, present, or to come, so long, we believe, they will enjoy the gift of revelation. And when in their immortal and perfect fate — when they enjoy 'the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ' — when they are made perfect in one, and become like their Saviour, then they will be in possession of all knowledge, wisdom, and intelligence; then all things will be theirs, whether principalities or powers, thrones or dominions; and, in short, then they will be filled with all the fulness of God. Then they will no longer need revelation.
"We believe that wherever the people enjoy the religion of the New Testament, there they enjoy visions, revelations, the ministry of angels, etc.; and that wherever these blessings cease to be enjoyed, there they also cease to enjoy the religion of the New Testament.
"We believe that God has raised up this Church in order to prepare a people for his second coming in the clouds of heaven, in power and great glory; and that then the saints who are asleep in their graves will be raised, and reign with him on earth a thousand years.
If we believe that great and terrible judgments await the nations of the wicked, and that after the message of the Book of Mormon has been sufficiently sounded in their ears, if they reject it, they will be overthrown and wasted away until the earth shall no longer be encumbered 'with them. New and unheard-of plagues will sweep through the nations, baffling the skill of the most experienced and learned physicians, depopulating whole cities and towns, and carrying off millions of wretched beings in every quarter of our globe. Nations, no longer restrained by the Spirit of God, which will cease striving in them, will rise against nations, till the whole earth, comparatively speaking, shall be filled with blood and carnage. Thrones and empires shall be cast down — new governments will be erected but to meet with the same fate. Peace shall be taken from among the nations, and it shall happen as with the Papists so with the Protestants; as With their ministers so with the people whom they have deceived they shall all fall into the ditch and perish together because they reject the voice of the Lord from the heavens, and the voice of his servants whom he hath sent to testify against their wickedness and prepare the way of the Lord for his second coming.
"But the righteous shall escape, for the Lord shall gather them from all nations unto a land of peace, and his arms shall be stretched out over them, and his glory shall be upon them for a defence, and 'they shall be the only people under heaven that shall not be at war with one another,' for thus hath the Lord spoken.
"We believe that in this generation a house of the Lord shall be built by the Saints upon Mount Zion, and a cloud of glory shall rest upon it by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night, and that the face of the Lord will be unveiled, and the pure in heart shall see him and live. O Zion, how glorious are thy habitations, and how blessed are thy children! Many people shall come unto thee to be taught in the ways of the Lord and instructed in his paths; for out of thee shall proceed forth a perfect law which shall establish righteousness in the earth.
"We believe that the ten tribes of Israel, with the dispersed of Judah, shall soon be restored to their own lands, according to the covenants which God made with their ancient fathers, and that when this great work of restitution shall take place the power of God shall be made manifest in signs and wonders, and mighty deeds far exceeding anything that took place in their exodus from Egypt. Jerusalem will be rebuilt, together with. a glorious temple, and the Lord shall visit them also, as well as his saints in Zion. In that day the name of the Lord shall become great unto the ends of the earth, and all nations shall serve and obey him, for the wicked shall have perished out of the earth.
"We believe that all persons who wish to escape the judgments of great Babylon must come out from among both the Papists and the Protestants, for they are the whore of all the earth, and have made the nations drunk with their abominations, and are to be burned by fire; therefore woe unto that man or woman that shall stand in connection with them, for the hour of their judgement is at hand.
"And we now bear testimony to all, both small and great, that the Lord of Hosts hath sent us with a message of glad tidings — the everlasting gospel, to cry repentance to the nations, and prepare the way of his second coming. Therefore repent, O ye nations, both Gentiles and Jews, and cease from all your evil deeds, and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and be baptized in water, in the name of the. Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, for remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, by the laying on of the hands of the apostles or elders of this Church; and signs shall follow them that believe, and if they continue faithful to the end they shall be saved. But woe unto them that hearken not to the message which God has now sent, for the day of vengeance and burning is at hand, and they shall not escape. Therefore remember, O reader, and perish not!"
The reader will notice that Mr. Pratt does not dwell at any length upon the first article, but simply restates in other words what is embodied in the Confession. Yet this very article has given rise to a most materialistic tendency, developing in some points into pantheism. The explanatory statements which they have from time to time given to this article warrant the assertion that, while they profess belief in the Trinity, their Godhead is formed on Buddhistic principles, and develops a system of anthropomorphism which has never been equalled by any heretic sect of the Christian Church, though it was approached by the Egyptian monks whom Theophilus (q.v.) anathematized in the fourth century. The Mormons explain that God was once a man, who has, however, so advanced in intelligence and power that he may now be called (comparatively speaking) perfect, infinite, etc., but that he has still the form and figure of a main; he has even "legs," as is evident (according to Mr. Orson Pratt's utterances in sermons, etc.) from his appearance to Abraham; though he has this advantage over his creatures that " he can move up or down through the air without using them." The following is an extract from one of their popular catechisms bearing on the subject: "Q. 28. What is God? A. He is a material intelligent personage, possessing both body and parts. — Q. 38. Doth he also possess passions? A. Yes; he eats, he drinks, he loves, he hates. — Q. 44. Can this being occupy two distinct places at once? A. No" (Latter-day Saints' Catechism, quoted in Morm. Illust. page 43). To the same effect we read in the Mormon Hymn-book (page 349):
"The God that others worship is not the God for me: He has no parts nor body, and cannot hear nor see." A local residence is assigned to this anthropomorphic deity: he lives, we are told," in the planet Kolob" (Seer, page 70, and Millen. Star, 14:531). Moreover, as he possesses the body and passions of a man, so his relations to his creatures are purely human. St. Hilary of Poitiers asserts that some Arians attacked orthodoxy by the following argument: "Deus pater non erat, quia neque ei filius; nam si filius, necesse est ut et faemina sit" (Hil. adv. Const.). The conclusion thus stated as an absurdity in the 4th century the Mormons embrace as an axiom in the 19th. "In mundi primordiis, Deo erat faemina," is an article of their creed (Patr. Order, page 1, and page 15; also Seer, 1:38, 103). No existence is "created;" all beings are "begotten." The superiority of the Mormon God over his creatures consists only in the greater poet which he has gradually attained by growth in knowledge. He himself originated in "the union of two elementary particles of matter" (Gunnison, page 49), and by a progressive development reached the human form. Thus we read that "God, of course, was once a man, and from manhood by continual progression became God; and he has continued to increase from his manhood to the present time, and may continue to increase without limit. And man also may continue to increase in knowledge and power as fast as he pleases." And again: "If man is a creature of eternal progression, the time must certainly arrive when he will know as much as God now knows" (Millen. Star. 14:386). This is in strict accordance with the following words of Joseph Smith: "The weakest child of God which now exists upon the earth will possess more dominion, more property, more subjects, and more power and glory than is possessed by Jesus Christ or by his Father; while at the same time they will have their dominion, kingdom, and subjects increased in proportion" (Mill. Star, volume 6, quoted in Morm. Illust.). An apostle carries this view into detail as follows: "What will man do when this world is filled up? Why, he will make more worlds, and swarm out like bees from the old world. And when a farmer has cultivated his farm, and raised numerous children, so that the space is beginning to be too strait for them, he will say, My sons, yonder is plenty of matter, go and organize a world and people it" (P. Pratt, in Millen. Star, 14:663, and Seer, 1:37). This doctrine of indefinite development naturally passes into polytheism. Accordingly, the Mormon theology teaches that there are gods innumerable, with different degrees of dignity and power. It was revealed to Joseph Smith that the first verse of Genesis originally stood as follows: "The Head God brought forth the Gods, with the heavens, and the earth" (Millen. Star, 14:455). The same prophet also tells us (ibid.) that a hundred and forty-four thousand of these gods are mentioned by St. John in the Apocalypse. Moreover, "each God is the God of the spirits of all flesh pertaining to the world which he forms" (Seer, 1:38). Young claims that it was revealed to him that the God of our own planet is Adam, who (it seems) was only another form of the archangel Michael: "When our father Adam came into the garden of Eden, he brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. He helped to make and organize this world. He is Michael the Archangel, the Ancient of Days. He is our Father and our God, and the only God with whom we have to do" (from Discourses of the Presidency, in volume 15, page 769, preached in the Tabernacle, April 9, 1852). It is curious to observe, from such examples, how easily the extremes of materialism and immaterialism may be made to meet. For here we have the rudest form of anthropomorphism connected with a theory of emanation which might be identified with that of some Gnostic and Oriental idealists. There can be no doubt that, under its present intellectual guides, Mormonism is rapidly passing into that form of practical atheism which is euphemistically termed pantheism. Thus we read in the Washington organ of the presidency that the only thing which has existed from eternity is "an infinite quantity of self moving intelligent matter. Every particle of matter which now exists existed in the infinite depths of past duration, and was then capable of self-motion" (Seer, 1:129). "There is no substance in the universe which feels and thinks, but what has eternally possessed that capacity" (ibid. page 102). "Each individual of the vegetable and animal kingdom contains a living spirit, possessed of intelligent capacities" (ibid. page 34). "Persons are only tabernacles, and truth is the God that dwells in them. When we speak of only one God, and state that he is eternal, etc., we have no reference to any particular person, but to truth dwelling in a vast variety of substances" (ibid. page 25; comp. also Stenhouse, page 484 sq.).
Christ is the offspring of the "material" union. on the plains of Palestine, of God and the Virgin Mary the latter being duly married after betrothal by the angel Gabriel. Yet he is believed to have had a previous existence, to have even made the universe out of " unformed chaotic matter as old as God," and his worship is enjoined as Lord of all (Doct. and Cov. Lecture 5:2, pages 45, 47). The Paraclete is vaguely described. He is also a member of the Godhead, being the mind of the Father and the Son; but while the other two persons have bodies of flesh and bones, the Holy Ghost has not, but is a personage of Spirit (Compend. page 154). Yet his substance is material, and subject to the necessary laws which govern matter. He has therefore parts which are infinite and spread through all space, and so is he virtually omnipresent. The Father and the Son, as persons, are not omnipresent, but only through the Spirit (Compend. pages 140-148). He may properly be called God's minister, to execute his will in immensity. He is therefore the worker of miracles, the source of grace, and even the cause of increase, being in every person upon the face of the earth; for the "elements that every individual is made of and lives in possess the Godhead" (Young, in Compend. page 148). It would appear, however, that there is an older Trinity, that of "Elohim, Jehovah, and Michael, which is Adam." Adam, again, is declared to be the "god" of Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ the god of Joseph Smith; and Joseph Smith is now the god of this generation: but the whole affair is a mass too wild and mystical to be explained intelligently. The human intellect probably never sank into more abysmal nonsense; all that can be definitely set before the mind is that Mormons believe that by faith, obedience, holiness, any man may rise into a deity, and acquire the power of making, peopling, and ruling a "world" forever! (See Stenhouse, page 486.)
The third article, which teaches, universal salvation, is strangely elucidated regarding the future state. Thus, according to Mormon teaching, not only will the body, but all the habits, occupations, and necessities of life, be the same in the future world as in the present. One of their chief pillars tells us that "the future residence of the Saints is not an ideal thing. They will need houses for their persons and for their families as much in their resurrected condition as in their present state. In this identical world, where they have been robbed of houses and lands, and wife and children, they shall have a hundredfold" (Spencer, page 174). Another "apostle" calculates the exact amount of landed property which may be expected by the "resurrected Saints:" "Suppose that, out of the population of the earth, one in a hundred should be entitled to all inheritance upon the new earth, how much land would each receive? We answer, they would receive over a hundred and fifty acres, which would be quite enough to raise manna, and to build some splendid mansions. It would be large enough to have our flower gardens, and everything the agriculturist and the botanist want" (P. Pratt, in Milllen. Statr, 14:663). They also venture directly to contradict the words of Christ himself, by affirming that, in the resurrection, men both marry and are given in marriage. Thus the author above quoted tells us that "Abraham and Sarah will continue to multiply, not only in this world, but in all worlds to come... Will the resurrection return you a mere female acquaintance, that is not to be the wife of your bosom in eternity? No; God forbid. But it will restore you the wife of your bosom immortalized, who shall bear children from your own loins in all worlds to come" (see Spencer, page 6; and compare Stenhouse, page 480).
We desire to call special attention also to the Mormon doctrine regarding miraculous gifts, as embodied in the seventh article of their Confession. This doctrine of the discerning of spirits led Smith into a variety of curious speculations. He teaches that the soul of man was not created, but "coexisted" equal with God. "God," he says in one of his sermons in 1853 (page 62), "never did have power to create the spirit of man at all. The very idea lessens man in my estimation. I know better!" He also holds to the transmigration of souls. Rebellious spirits descend into brute tabernacles till they yield to "the law of the everlasting gospel." The eighth article may be declared decidedly liberal; it expresses a belief that the Word of God is recorded, not only in the Bible and the Book of Mormon, but in "all other good books." As for the contradictions that exist in the first, Smith admits them, but alleges that they are "corruptions," and that they can be removed by his or any other prophet's inspired explanations. It is said that he has left an " inspired translation" of the whole Bible in MS.; but as it has never been published, we can judge it only by the occasional extracts which have been made by prophets and elders, and from these we have quoted in appropriate places.
The tenth article, though it affirms the literal gathering of Israel, the restoration of the Ten Tribes (the American Indians, who are in consequence treated with considerable humanity by the Saints), and the personal reign of Christ for one thousand years, does not, as has always been supposed, make the in-gathering at the Zion of the East, but at that New Zion on the Western continent which has been appointed under this new dispensation ushered in by Joseph Smith. And as the Jews were bidden to separate themselves from the Gentiles, and the early Christians (the ancient Saints) from the heathen, so the Latter-day Saints are now called forth from a wicked world, doomed to almost immediate destruction (before the close of this century), which is indeed already beginning, to the Zion of this continent. When the Gospel has been preached to all the world, and the elect have been assembled at Zion, then all unbelievers will be destroyed; the kingdom of heaven will be set up on the earth, and the formal reign of Christ commence in the Western Zion. Surely no one need wonder that Joseph Smith, when he first promulgated his new faith, maintained that "one of the grand fundamental principles of Mormonism is to receive truth come whence it may" (Sermon preached July 9, 1843) Indeed their faith, if we have but distantly reached their true position, consists of a spontaneous agglomeration of tenets which, were its disciples of a more learned and philosophical body, would suggest extensive eclecticism. And Mr. Burton has well said that "the Mormons are like the Pythagoreans in their procreation, transmigration, and exaltation of souls; like the followers of Leucippus and Democritus in their atomic materialism; like the Epicureans in their pure atomic theories, their summum bonum, and their sensuous speculations; and like the Platonists and Gnostics in their belief of the Eon, of ideas, and of moving principles in element. They are Fetichists in their ghostly fancies, their Avestra, which became souls and spirits. They are Jews in their theocracy, their ideas of angels, their hatred for Gentiles, and their utter segregation from the great brotherhood of mankind. They are Christians, inasmuch as they base their faith upon the Bible, and hold to the divinity of Christ, the fall of man, the atonement, and the regeneration. They are Arians, inasmuch as they hold Christ to be 'the first of God's creatures; a perfect creature, but still a creature.' They are Moslems in their views of the inferior status of womankind, in their polygamy, and in their resurrection of the material body; like the followers of the Arabian Prophet, they hardly fear death, because they have elaborated 'continuation.' They take no leap in the dark — they spring from this sublunary stage into a known, not into an unknown world; hence also their worship is eminently secular, their sermons are political or commercial, and religion being with them not a thing apart but a portion and parcel of everyday life — the intervention of the Lord in their material affairs becomes natural and only to be expected. Their visions, prophecies, and miracles are those of the Illuminati, their mysticism that of the Druses, and their belief in the millennium is a completion of the dreams of the Apocalyptic sects. Masonry has entered into their scheme, the Demiurgus whom they worship is 'as good at mechanical inventions as at any other business.' With their later theories, Methodism, Swedenborgianism — especially in its view of the future state — and Transcendentalism are curiously intermingled. Finally, we can easily discern in their doctrine of affinity of minds and sympathy of souls the leaven of that faith which, beginning with Mesmer and progressing through the Rochester Rappers and the Poughkeepsie Seer, threatens to extend wherever the susceptible nervous temperament becomes the characteristic of the race." The ethical teachings of Mormonism are not distinguished by any other remarkable peculiarities than we have already had occasion to point out. The chief duty impressed upon the Saints is the prompt payment of tithings. Their official publications are strenuous in their exhortation to the fulfilment of that indispensable obligation (see Stenhouse, page 578). Next to-this cardinal virtue seems to be rated the merit of abstinence from fermented liquors and tobacco. This, however, is not absolutely insisted upon, but is only urged as a "precept of wisdom." It was enforced by Joseph, but under the present head of the Church it is asserted that intemperance is rapidly invading the Saints' households. The virtue of patriotisms is also a frequent theme of Mormon eulogy. The national colors are exhibited on every public occasion, and there seems to be every endeavor to refute the charges that Mormonism seeks secular power, and is antagonistic to the United States government, and that if statehood is ever secured to Utah, "Brigham Young's theocracy will be triumphant over the republic and the national laws." The practice of dancing must also be included in the ethical system of Mormonism. Indeed, when the Temple is completed, public dances are to form a part of the regular worship. In saltatorial as in military movements the priesthood occupy the foremost place. The president leads off, and bishops, patriarchs, and elders are to be seen figuring enthusiastically — "Not," says colonel Kane, "in your minuets or other mortuary processions of Gentiles, but in jigs and reels."
IV. Ordinances and Practices. —
1. The ordinances of the Mormon Gospel are five:
(1) Faith, which is very strangely described in the Doctr. and Cov., as already quoted. What is really required of a Saint in this respect is "faith in Joseph and his successors," and not absolute acceptance of the Scriptures, i.e., the Bible and the Mormon writings, but a "reverence" for them, and "absolute obedience" to the president and priesthood. (See § V, below.)
(2) Repentance, i.e., sorrow for sin and resolution to lead a good life.
(3) Baptism, which is administered by immersion, to none younger than eight years, that being regarded as the age at which responsibility begins
(Doctr, and Coy. chapter 22:§ 4, page 160). Infant baptism is declared to be a "solemn mockery, because little children have no sins to repent of, and are not under the curse of Adam" (Book of Mormon: Moroni, chapter 8:§2, 3, page 557). The rite is administered as follows: "The person who is called of God, and has authority of Jesus Christ, shall go down into the water with the person who has presented him or herself for baptism, and shall say, calling him or her by name, 'Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.' Then shall he immerse him or her in the water, and come forth again out of the water" (Book of Mormon: Nephi, chapter 5, § 8, page 457; Doctr. and Cov. chapter 2, § 21, page 73). The effect of baptism, when administered to and by a qualified person, is declared to be the remission of sins, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and a title of eternal life. It is regarded as absolutely necessary to salvation; without it neither repentance nor faith avail (Doctr. and Cov. chapter 4:§ 12, page 87). A most peculiar tenet of their creed is the necessity of baptism for the dead. To supply the deficiency of those who through ignorance or other involuntary defect have died unbaptized in the Mormon faith, the practice of baptism for the dead was ordained at a very early period of Mormonism, and is incorporated as a necessary ordinance into the Book of Doctr. and Cov. (§ 105, 106). The faith is preached to the dead in Hades by departed Saints; and the benefit of baptism is obtained for them by proxy. Any believer may and should be baptized for his departed friends, relations, and ancestors to the most remote ages; and. in the perfect state, those for whom a person has been thus baptized will be added to his family and subjects (Spencer, Letters, pages 162-164; Millen. Star, 5:87 sq.; Stenhouse, page 476 sq.). To this effect the Mormon hymnist sings:
"I am Zionward bound, where a Seer is our head, We'll there be baptized for our friends that are dead; By obeying this law we may set them all free, And saviors we shall upon? Mount Zion be." (Millen. Star, 15:143.)
The chancellor of the University of Deseret informs us that "unless this is done for the dead they cannot be redeemed" (Spencer, page 166). The same learned authority announces that Peter tells how the devout and honorable dead may be saved, who never heard the Gospel on earth. Says he [St. Peter !], 'else why are they baptized for the dead?' (Spencer here refers incorrectly to 1Co 15:29 as the work of St. Peter.) A careful record of the persons vicariously baptized is kept by duly appointed registrars. These records are the books spoken of by St. John (Reverend 20:12), the Book of Life being a record kept in heaven to verify those kept on earth (Doctr. and Cot. chapter 106, § 6, 7, page 319).
(4) Laying on of hands for the gilt of the Holy Ghost, sometimes called baptism by fire as distinguished from baptism by water. It is usually administered immediately after baptism, of which it is regarded as the completion. By it the spirit of prophecy, the gift of tongues, and the power to work miracles are given. There have been multitudes of persons in the world who have believed and asserted that to them, and to them only, God gave visions, dreams, angel-visits, the power of healing the sick and "casting out devils;" and they have declared that these were proofs of the heavenly origin of the faith which they proclaimed, and this it is that the Saints have been taught by the modern apostles to regard as special and particular to them, while it has been a peculiarity common to the religious experience of all the world.
(5) The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was originally administered in bread and wine, as Christ himself ordained when he appeared to the Nephites (Book of Mormon: Nephi, chapter 8, § 6, page 469). But in 1833 it was revealed to Smith that "strong drinks are not for the belly, but for the washing of your bodies," and that wine was only to be used in this ordinance if it was the pure juice of the grape, and made by Mormons (Doctr. and Cov. chapter 81, § 1, page 240). Water only, therefore, is now used. The rite is administered every Sunday. The water, having been blessed, is handed around in tin cans, together with the bread (Rae, page 106).
2. Marriage is not a civil contract with the Latterday Saints, but a sacrament of the Church, and a sacred tenet of the faith. Matrimony, moreover, as practiced by the Mormons, is an institution so peculiar to themselves, they having introduced into the modern social system the polygamic system, that their marriage service is a most important rite. Mormons are in every possible way encouraged to be polygamists, and are reminded of the revelation given to the Prophet that "the rank and dignity given to the Saints in the other world is proportioned to the number of their wives and children." It is true that polygamy is not, as many suppose, essential to their religious system, yet it has entered so largely into the marital relations of the Latter-day Saints of Utah as to give them a most obnoxious record in the sight of all other Christian religious sects. As we have seen above, in their early history the Mormons clearly rebuked polygamy (Book of Mormon: Jacob, chapter 2, page 118 sq.). From 1830 to 1843 they were monogamists; but in the latter of these years, as we have also seen, Smith obtained a revelation permitting, and even recommending, a plurality of wives. (They reject the word "polygamy," and prefer the term pluractism.) Still, pluralism does not appear to have become the general practice among the Mormons till their journey across the prairies to the valley of the Salt Lake. Since then it has been openly avowed, and defended against other sects by an appeal to Scripture. Tracts, dialogues, and hymns are circulated in its behalf. Says Stenhouse, "Tens of thousands of sermons have been preached on its divine origin; voluminous treatises have been published in its exposition, and the Mormon press has teemed with articles in its defence" (page 183). And even the "pluralistic" marriage ceremony has been published. To afford our readers a fuller understanding of the Mormon vice of "pluralism," we here insert in full the special "revelation" which they claim to have had.
"A REVELATION ON THE PATRIARCHAL, ORDER OF MATRIMONY, ON PLURALITY OF WIVES.
"Given to Joseph Smith, the Seer, in Nauvoo, July 12, 1842.
"1. Verily, then saith the Lord unto you, my servant Joseph, that inasmnch as you have inquired of my hand to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, justified my servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as also Moses David, and Solomon, my servants, as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines: Behold! and lo, I am the Lord thy God, and will answer thee as touching this matter: Therefore prepare thy heart to receive and obey the instructions which I am about to give unto you; for all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same; for behold I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant, and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory; for all who will have a blessing at my hands shall abide the law which was appointed for that blessing, and the conditions thereof, as was instituted from before the foundations of the world; and as pertaining to the new and everlasting covenant, it was instituted for the fulness of my glory; and he that receiveth a fulness thereof must and shall abide the law, or he shall be damned, saith the Lord God.
"2. And verily I say unto you that the conditions of this law are these: All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, of him who is anointed, both as well for time and for all eternity, and that, too, most holy, by revelation and commandment, through the medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on the earth to hold this power (and I have appointed unto my servant Joseph to hold this power in the last days, and there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of the priesthood are conferred), are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead: for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead.
"3. Behold! mine house is a house of order, saith the Lord God, and not a house of confusion. Will I accept of an offering, saith the Lord, that is not made in my name? Or will I receive at your hands that which I have not appointed? And will I appoint unto you, saith the Lord, except it be by law, even as I and my Father ordained unto you before the world was? I am the Lord thy God, and I give unto you this commandment, that no man shall come unto the Father but by me, or by my word, which is my law, saith the Lord; and everything that is in the world, whether it be ordained of men by thrones or principalities or powers, or things of name, whatsoever they may be that are not by me or by my word, saith the Lord, shall be thrown down, and shall not remain after men are dead, neither in nor after the resurrection, saith the Lord your God; for whatsoever things remaineth are by me, and whatsoever things are not by me shall be shaken and destroyed.
"4. Therefore if a man marry him a wife in the would and he marry her not by me nor by my word, and he covenant with her so long he is in the world, and she with him, their covenant and marriage is not of force when they are dead, and when they are out of the world therefore they are not bound by any law when they are out of of the world; therefore when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are appointed angels in heavens, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those are are worthy of a far more and an exceeding and an eternal weight of glory; for these angels did not abide my law, therefore they cannot be enlarged, but remain separately and singly without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity, and from thenceforth are not gods, but are angels of God forever and ever.
"5. And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife, and make a covenant with her for time and for all eternity, if that covenant is not by time, or by my word, which is by law, and is not sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, through him whom I have anointed and appointed unto this power, then it is not valid, neither of force, when they are out of the world, because they are not joined by me, saith the Lord, neither by my word; when they are out of the world, it can not be received there, because the anaels alod the grods are appointed there, by whom they cannot pass: they cannot, therefore, inherit my glory, for my house is a house of order, saith the Lord God.
"6. And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom 1 have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood, and it shall be said unto them, Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities and powers, dominions, all heights and depths, then shall it be written in the Lamb's Book of Life, that he shall commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood; and if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time and through all eternity, and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels and the gods which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads which glory shall be a fullness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever.
"7. Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them.
"8. Verily, verily I say unto you, except ye abide my law ye cannot attain to this glory; for strait is the gate and narrow the way that leadeth unto the exaltation and continuation of the lives, and few there be that find it, because ye receive me not in the world, neither do ye know me. But if ye receive me in the world, then shall ye know me, and shall receive your exaltation, that where I am ye shall be also. This is eternal life, to know the only wise and true God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent. I am he. Receive ye, therefore, my law. Broad is the gate and wide the way that leadeth to the death; and manly there are that go in thereat; because they receive me not. neither do they abide in my law.
"9. Verily, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife according to my word, and they are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, according to mine appointment, and he or she shall commit any sin or transgression of the new and everlasting covenant whatever, and all manner of blasphemies, and if they commit no murder, wherein they shed innocent blood — yet they shall come forth in the first resurrection and enter into their exaltation; but they shall be destroyed in the flesh, and shall be delivered unto the buffetings of Satan unto the day of redemption, saith the Lord God.
"10. The blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which shall not be forgiven in the world nor out of the world, is in that ye commit murder, wherein ye shed innocent blood, and assent unto my death afterye have received my new and everlasting covenant, saith the Lord God; and he that abideth not this law can in nowise enter into my glory, but shall be damned, saith the Lord.
"11. I am the Lord thy God, and will give unto thee the law of my holy priesthood, as was ordained by me and my Father before the world was. Abraham received all things, whatsoever he received, by revelation and commandment, by my word, saith the Lord, and hath entered into his exaltation and sitteth upon his throne.
"12. Abraham received promises concerning his seed and of the fruit of his loins — from whose loins ye are, viz. my servant Joseph — which were to continue so long as they were in the world; and as touching Abraham and his seed, out of the world, they should continue; both in the world and out of the world should they continue as innumerable as the stars; or if ye were to count the sand upon the sea-shore, ye could not number them. This promise is yours also, because ye are of Abraham, and the promise was made unto Abraham; and by this law are the continuation of the works of my Father, wherein he glorifieth himself. Go ye, therefore, and do the works of Abraham; enter ye into my law, and ye shall be saved. But if ye enter not into my law, ye cannot receive the promises of my Father which he made unto Abraham.
"13. God commanded Abraham, and Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham to wife. And why did she do it? Because this was the law, and from Hagar sprang many people. This, therefore, was fulfilling, among other things, the promises. Was Abraham, therefore. under condemnation? Verily I say unto you, Nay; for I, the Lord, commanded it. Abraham was commanded to offer his son Isaac; nevertheless it was written, Thou shalt not kill. Abraham, however, did not refuse, and it was accounted unto him for righteousness.
"14. Abraham received concubines, and they bare him children, and it was accounted unto him for righteousness, because they were given unto him for righteousness, because they were given unto him, and he abode in my law: as Isaac, also, and Jacob did none other things than that which they were commanded; and because they did none other things than that which they were commanded; they have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones, and are not angels, but tire gods. David also received many wives and concubines, as also Solomon, and Moses my servant, and also many others of my servants, from the becainnin of creation until this time; and in nothing did they sin save in those things which they received not of me.
"15. David's wives and concubines were given unto him of me, by the hand of Nathan my servant, and others of the prophets who had the keys of this power; and in none of these things did he sin against me, save in the case of Uriah and his wife; and therefore he hath fallen from his exaltation and received his portion; and he shall not inherit them out of the world, for I gave them unto another, saith the Lord.
"16. I am the Lord thy God, and I gave unto thee, my servant Joseph, an appointment, and to restore all things; ask what ye will, and it shall be given unto you according to my word; and as ye have asked concerning adultery, verily, verily I say unto you, if a man receiveth a wife in the new and everlasting covenant, and if she be with another man, and I have not appointed unto her by the holy anointing, she hath committed adultery, and shall be destroyed. If she be not in the new and everlasting covenant, and she be with another man, she has committed adultery; and if her husband be with another woman, and he was under a vow, he hath broken his vow, and hath committed adultery; and if she hath not committed adultery, but is innocent, and hath not broken her vow, and she knoweth it, and I reveal it unto you, my servant Joseph, then shall you have power, by the power of my holy priesthood, to take her and give her unto him that hath not committed adultery, but hath been faithful, for he shall be made ruler over many: for I have conferred upon you the keys and power of the priesthood, wherein I restore all things, and make known unto you all things in due time.
"17. And verily, verily I say unto you, that whatsoever you seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven; and whatsoever you bind on earth, in my name and by my word, saith the Lord, it shall be eternally bound in the heavens; and whosesoever sins you remit on earth shall be remitted eternally in the heavens; and whosesoever sins ye retain on earth shall be retained in heaven.
"18. And again, verily I say, whomsoever you bless I will bless, and whomsoever you curse I will curse, saith the Lord; for I, the Lord, am thy God.
"19. And again, verily I say unto you, my servant Joseph, that whatsoever you give on earth, and to whomsoever you give any one on earth, by my word and according to my law, it shall be visited with blessings, and not cursings, and with my power, saith the Lord, and shall be without condemnation on earth and in heaven; for I am the Lord thy God, and will be with thee even unto the end of the world and through all eternity: for verily I seal upon you your exaltation, and prepare a throne for you in the kingdom of my Father, with Abraham your father. Behold, I have seen your sacrifices, and will forgive all your sins; I have seen your sicritices in obedience to that which I have told you: go, therefore, and I make a way for your escape, as I accepted the offering of Abraham of his son Isaac.
"20. Verily I say unto you, a commandment I give unto mine handmaid, E.Emma Smith, your wife, whom I have given unto you, that she stay herself, and partake not of that which I commanded you to offer unto her: for I did it, saith the Lord, to prove you all, as I did Abraham, and that I might require an offering at your hand, by covenant and sacrifice: and let mine handmaid, Emma Smith, receive all those that have been given unto my servant Joseph, and who are virtuous and pure before me; and those who are not pure, and have said they are pure, shall be destroyed, saith the Lord God; for I am the Lord thy God, and ye shall obey my voice: and I give unto my servant Joseph that he shall be made ruler over many things, for he hath been faithful over a few things, and from henceforth I will strengthen him.
"21. And I command mine handmaid, Emma Smith, to abide and cleave unto my servant Joseph, and to none else. But if she will not abide this commandment, she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord; for I am the Lord thy God, and will destroy her if she abide not in my law; but if she will not abide this commandment, then shall my servant Joseph do all things for her, even as he hath said; and I will bless him, and multiply him, and give unto him a hundredfold in this world, of fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, houses and lands, wives and children, and crowns of eternal lives in the eternal worlds. And again, verily I say, let mine handmaid forgive my servant Joseph his trespasses, and then shall she be forgiven her trespasses wherein she has trespassed against me; and I, the Lord thy God, will bless her and multiply her, and make her heart to rejoice.
"22. And again, I say, let not my servant Joseph put his property out of his hands, lest an enemy come and destroy him, for Satan seeketh to destroy; for I am the Lord thy God, and he is my servant; and behold! and lo, I am with him, as I was with Abraham thy father, even unto his exaltation and glory.
"23. Now, as touching the law of the priesthood, there are many things pertaining thereunto. Verily, if a man be called of my Father, as was Aaron, by mine own voice, and by the voice of him that sent me, and I have endowed him with the keys of the power of this priesthood, if he do anything in my name, and according to my law and by my word, he will not commit sin, and I will justify him. Let no one, therefore, set on my servant Joseph, for I will justify him; for he shall do the sacrifice which I require at his hands for his transgressions, saith the Lord your God.
"24. And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood: If any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent; and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then he is justified; he cannot commit adultery, for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him, and to none else: and if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him: therefore is he justified. But if one or either of the ten virgins, after she is espoused, shall be with another man, she has committed adultery, and shall be destroyed; for they are given unto him to multiply and replenish the earth, according to my commandment, and to fulfil the promise which was given by my Father before the foundation of the world, and for their exaltation in the eternal worlds, that they may bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of my Father continued that he may be glorified.
"25. And again, verily, verily I say unto you, if any man have a wife who holds the keys of this power, and he teaches unto her the law of my priesthood as pertaining to these things, then shall she believe, and administer unto him, or she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord your God; for I will destroy her; for I will magnify my name upon all those who receive and abide in my law. Therefore it shall be lawful in me, if she receive not this law, for him to receive all things whatsoever I, the Lord his God, will give unto him, because she did not believe and administer unto him, according to my word; and she then becomes the transgressor, and he is exempt from the law of Sarah, who administered unto Abraham according to the law, when I commanded Abraham to take Hagar to wife. And now, as pertaining to this law: Verily, verily I say unto you, I Will reveal more unto you hereafter; therefore let this suffice for the present. Behold, I am Alpha and Omega. Amen." Following the revelation is this explanation: "Plurality of wives is a doctrine very popular among most of mankind at the present day. It is practiced by the most powerful nations of Asia and Africa, and by numerous nations inhabiting the islands of the sea, and by the aboriginal nations of the great western hemisphere. The one-wife system is confined principally to a few small nations inhabiting Europe, and to those who are of European origin inhabiting America. It is estimated by the most able historians of our day that about four fifths of the population of the globe believe and practice, according to their respective laws, the doctrine of a plurality of wives. If the popularity of a doctrine is in proportion to the numbers who believe in it, then it follows that the plurality system is four times more popular among the inhabitants of the earth than the one-wife system.
"Those nations who practice the plurality doctrine consider it as virtuous and as right for one man to have many wives as to have one only. Therefore they have enacted laws, not only giving this right to their citizens, but also protecting them in it, and punishing all those who infringe upon the chastity of the marriage covenant by committing adultery with any one of the wives of his neighbor. Those nations do not consider it possible for a man to commit adultery with any one of those women to whom he has been legally married according to their laws. The posterity raised up unto the husband through each of his wives are all considered to be legitimate, and provisions are made in their laws for those children, the same as if they were the children of one wife. Adulteries; fornications, and all unvirtuous conduct between the sexes are severely punished by them. Indeed, plurality among them is considered not only virtuous and right, but a great check or preventative against adulteries and unlawful connections, which are among the greatest evils with which nations are cursed, producing a vast amount of suffering and misery, devastation and death; undermining the very foundations of happiness, and destroying the framework of society and the peace of the domestic circle.
'Some of the nations of Europe who believe in the one wife system have actually forbidden a plurality of wives by their laws; and the consequences are that the whole country among them is overrun with the most abominable practices;' adulteries and unlawful connections prevail through all their villages, towns, cities, and country places to a most fearful extent. And among some of these nations these sinks of wickedness, wretchedness, and misery are licensed by law; while their piety would be wonderfully shocked to authorize by law the plurality system as adopted by many neighboring nations.
"The Constitution and laws of the United States, being founded upon the principles of freedom, do not interfere with marriage relations, but leave the nation free to believe in and practice the doctrine of a plurality of wives, or to confine themselves to the one-wife system, just as they chose. This is as it should be: it leaves the conscience of man untrammeled, and so long as he injures no person, and does not infringe upon the rights of others, he is free by the Constitution to marry one wife or many, or none at all, and becomes accountable to God for the righteousness or unrighteousness of his domestic relations.
"The Constitution leaves the several states and territories to enact such laws as they see proper in regard to marriages, provided that they do not infringe upon the rights of conscience and the liberties guaranteed in that sacred document. Therefore if any state or territory feels disposed to enact laws guaranteeing to each of its citizens the right to marry many wives, such laws would be perfectly constitutional; hence the several states and territories practice the one-wife system out of choice, and not because they are under any obligations so to do by the National Constitution. Indeed, we doubt very much whether any state or territory has the constitutional right to make laws prohibiting the plurality doctrine in cases where it is practiced by religious societies as a matter of conscience or as a doctrine of their religious faith. The first article of the Amendments to the Constitution says expressly that 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.' Now if even Congress itself has no power to pass a law 'prohibiting the free exercise of religion,' much less has any state or territory power to pass such an act.
"The doctrine of a plurality of wives was believed and practiced by Abraham, the father of the faithful; and we find that while in this practice the angels of God frequently ministered to him, and at one time dined with him; and God manifested himself to him, and entered into familiar conversation with him. Neither God nor his angels reproved Abraham for being a polygamist, but on the contrary the Almighty greatly blessed him, and made promises unto him concerning both Isaac and Ishmael, clearly showing that Abraham practiced what is called polygamy under the sanction of the Almighty. Now if the father of the faithful was thus blessed, certainly it should not be considered irreligious for the faithful, who are called his children, to walk in the steps of their father Abraham. Indeed, if the Lord himself, through his holy prophets, should give more wives unto his servants as he gave them unto the prophet David, it would be a great Sin for them to refuse that which he gives. In such a case it would become a matter of conscience with them and a part of their religion, and they would be bound to exercise their faith in this doctrine, and practice it, or be condemned; therefore Congress would have no power to prohibit the free exercise of this part of their religion; neither would the states or territories have power, constitutionally, to pass a law 'prohibiting the free exercise thereof.' Now a certain religious society, called Shakers, believe it to be wrong for them to marry even one wife; it certainly would be unconstitutional for either the Congress or the states to pass a law compelling all people to marry at a certain age, because it would infringe upon the rights of conscience among the Shakers, and they would be prohibited the free exercise of their religion.
"From the foregoing revelation, given through Joseph the seer, it will be seen that God has actually commanded some of his servants to take more wives, and has pointed out certain duties in regard to the marriage ceremony, showing that they must be married for time and for all eternity, and showing the advantages to be derived in a future state by this eternal union, and showing still further that if they refused to obey this command, after having the law revealed to them, they should be damned. This revelation, then, makes it a matter of conscience among all the Latter-day Saints; and they embrace it as a part and portion of their religion, and verily believe that they cannot be saved and reject it. Has Congress power, then, to pass laws 'prohibiting' the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 'the free exercise' of this article of their religion? Have any of the states or territories a constitutional right to pass laws 'prohibitingthe free exercise of the religion' which the Church of the Saints — conscientiously and sincerely believe to be essential to their salvation? No; they have no such right.
"The Latter-day Saints have the most implicit confidence in all the revelations given through Joseph the Prophet; and they would much sooner lay down their lives and suffer martyrdom than to deny the least revelation that was ever given to him. In one of the revelations through him we read that God raised up wise men and inspired them to write the Constitution of our country, that the freedom of the people might be maintained, according to the free agency which he had given to them; that every man might be accountable to God and not to man, so far as religions doctrines and conscience are concerned. And the more we examine that sacred instrument framed by the wisdom of our illustrious fathers, the more we are compelled to believe that an invincible power controlled, dictated, and guided them in laying the foundation of liberty and freedom upon this great western hemisphere. To this land the Mohammedan, the Hinda, the Chinese can emigrate, and each bring with him his score of wives and his hundred children, and the glorious Constitution of our country will not interfere with his domestic relations. Under the broad banner of the Constitution, he is protected in all his family associations; none have a right to tear any of his wives or his children from him. So, likewise, under the broad folds of the Constitution, the legislative assembly of the territory of Utah have the right to pass laws regulating their matrimonial relations, and protecting each of their citizens in the right of marrying one or many wives, as the case may be. If Congress should repeal those laws, they could not do so on the ground of their being unconstitutional. And even if Congress should repeal them, there still would be no law in Utah prohibiting the free exercise of that religious right; neither do the citizens of Utah feel disposed to pass such an unconstitutional act which would infringe upon the most sacred rights of conscience.
"Tradition and custom have great influence over nations. Long-established customs, whether right or wrong, become sacred in the estimation of mankind. Those nations who have been accustomed from time immemorial to the practice of what is called polygamy would consider a law abolishing it as the very height of injustice and oppression; the very idea of being limited to the one-wife system would be considered not only oppressive and unjust, but absolutely absurd and ridiculous: it would be considered an innovation upon the long-established usages, customs, and laws of numerous and powerful nations; an innovation of the most dangerous character, calculated to destroy the most sacred rights tad privileges of family associations — to upset the very foundations of individual rights, rendered dear and sacred by being handed down to them from the most remote acres of antiquity.
"On the other hand, the European nations who have been for centuries restricted by law to the one-wife theory would consider it a shocking innovation upon the customs of their fathers to abolish their restrictive laws, and to give freedom and liberty, according to the plurality system. It is custom, then, in a great decree, that forms the conscience of nations and individuals in reward to the marriage relationships. Custom causes four fifths of the population of the globe to decide that polygamy, as it is called, is a good and not an evil practice; custom causes the balance, or the remaining fifth, to decide in opposition to the great majority.
"Those individuals who have strength of mind sufficient to divest themselves entirely from the influence of custom, and examine the doctrine of a plurality of wives under the light of reason and revelation, will be forced to the conclusion that it is a doctrine of divine origin; that it was embraced and practiced under the divine sanction by the most righteous men who ever lived on the earth: holy prophets and patriarchs, who were inspired by the Holy Ghost — who were enwrapt in the visions of the Almighty — who conversed with holy angels — who saw God face to face, and talked with him as a man talks with his friend — were 'polygamists,' that is, they had many wives, raised up many children by them, and were never reproved by the Holy Ghost, nor by angels, nor by the Almighty, for believing in and practicing such a doctrine; on the contrary, each one of these 'polygamists' received by revelation promises and blessings for himself, for his wives, and for his numerous children born unto him by his numerous wives. Moreover, the Lord himself gave revelation to different wives belonging to the same man revealing to them the great blessings which should rest upon their posterity; angels also were sent to comnrnrt and bless them; and in no instance do we find them reproved for having joined themselves in marriage to a 'polygamist.' Indeed, the Lord himself gave laws, not to prohibit 'polygamy,' but showing his will in relation to the children raised up by the different wives of the same man; and, furthermore, the Lord himself actually officiated in giving David all the wives of Saul: this occurred, too, when David already had several wives which he had previously taken: therefore, as the Lord did actually give into David's own bosom all the wives of Saul, he must not only have sanctioned 'polygamy,' but established and instituted it upon a sure foundation by giving the wives himself, the same as he gave Eve to Adam. Therefore those who are completely divested from the influence of national customs, and who judge concerning this matter by the Word of God, are compelled to believe that the plurality of wives was once sanctioned, for many ages, by the Almighty; and by a still further research of the divine oracles, they find no intimations that this divine institution was ever repealed. It was an institution not originated under the law of Moses, but it was of a far more ancient date; and, instead of being abolished by that law, it was sanctioned and perpetuated: and when Christ came to fulfil that law, and to do it away by the introduction of a better covenant, he did not abolish the plurality system: not being originated under that law, it was not made null and void when that law was done away. Indeed, there were many things in connection with the law that were not abolished when the law was fulfilled as, for instance, the Ten Commandments, which the people under the Gospel covenant were still obliged to obey; and until we can find some law of God abolishing and prohibiting a plurality of wives, we are compelled to believe it a divine institution; and we are, furthermore, compelled to believe that if this institution be entered into now, under the same principles which governed the holy prophets and patriarchs, that God will approbate it now as much as he did then; and that the persons who do thus practice it conscientiously and sincerely are just as honorable in the sight of God as those who have but one wife. And that which is honorable before God should be honorable before men: and no one should be despised when he acts in all good conscience upon any principle of doctrine; neither should there be laws in any of these states or territories to compel any individual to act in violation to the dictates of his own conscience; but every one should be left in all matters of religion to his own choice, and thus become accountable to God, and not to his fellow-man.
"If the people of this country have generally formed different conclusions from us upon this subject, and if they have embraced religious which are more congenial to their minds than the religion of the Saints, we say to them that they are welcome to their own religious views the laws should not interfere with the exercise of their religions rights. If we cannot convince your by reason nor by the Word of God that your religion is wrong, we will not persecute you, but will sustain you in the privileges guaranteed in the great charter of American liberty: we ask from you the same generosity — protect us in tile exercise of our religious rights — convince us of our errors of doctrine, if we have ally, by reason, by logical arguments, or by the Word of God. and we will be ever grateful for the information, and you will ever have the pleasing, reflection that you have been the instruments in the hands of God of redeeming your fellow-beings from the darkness which you may see enveloping their minds. Come, then, let us reason together, and try to discover the true light upon all subjects connected with our temporal or eternal happiness; and if we disagree in our judgments, let us impute it to the weakness and imperfections of our fallen natures, and let us pity each other and endeavor with patience and meekness to reclaim from error, and save the immortal soul from an endless death." This document was not officially promulgated at Salt Lake City until August 29, 1852 (Remy, 2:112-130), when it was given to a great conference, to be thereafter as a possession unto all the Saints (Stenhouse, page 182 sq.). The Prophet's widow at once denounced it as a forgery, and with four of her sons declaimed against it as gravely unjust to the memory of their husband and father. There seems to be, however, no ground for this protest. Mormons who knew Smith and afterwards apostatized, as well as more recent apostate Saints, insist, after a most searching inquiry, that Smith must have been the author, or the supposed "seer," of this "revelation." Says Stenhouse: "The sons of the Prophet have been very restive under the imputation of polygamous practices being attributed to their father. They have labored indefatigably in decrying polygamy, and have devoted a large share of their time, talent, ink, and paper in hostility to it, as they evidently believe it is both a great error and a great sin. But as the facts of Joseph's marital relations with 'sisters' who claim to be his 'wives,' in the Mormon sense, are overwhelming, the sons, in denying their sire's polygamy, are driven to the alternative of silently allowing the inevitable charge of practical 'free love,' 'adultery,' or whatever others may choose to call it. At the present time there are probably about a dozen 'sisters' in Utah who proudly acknowledge themselves to be the 'wives of Joseph,' and how many others there may have been who held that relationship 'no man knoweth.'... Mrs. Emma Smith may feel justified in denying that her husband was a polygamist; for she may neither assent to the use of the term nor acknowledge the principle. But there is to the author's mind the most satisfactory evidence that Joseph Smith had 'sealed' to him a large number of women some time before his death, many of whom have stated to the author that they were 'the wives of Joseph Smith;' that 'Mrs. Emma Smith was aware of the fact,' and that it was the trouble growing out of the discovery of such relationship that called forth the revelation" (pages 185-188). We have not room here to quote further from the writings and sayings of the Saints on the subject of 'pluralism." In the article on POLYGAMY SEE POLYGAMY the Mormon position will be carefully considered. Suffice it to say here that the practice of pluralism is now carried to great lengths among the Saints, their leading men having from fifteen to forty wives each. Mr. Young is known to have nineteen "real, living wives." "How many spiritual wives he has had," says Mrs. Stenhouse (Tell it All), "it would be impossible to say. Probably he himself does not know their number. Lately, I believe, he has been making his will, and, if so, I suppose he has 'taken count of all.' He has besides in various parts of Utah many other wives, who are all more or less provided for; but they are of little account, and he seldom or never sees them. The nineteen whom I have named form his family at home, as I may say are all under his own roof, or, at least, they live in Salt Lake City, and are known to every one of his wives" (page 290). The universal testimony of all travellers is that if the effect of polygamy has not been to corrupt the morals and deteriorate the character of the people, it has certainly degraded their physical condition. It is believed that the women submit to a yoke which they abhor because they see no escape, or that they bend to it from a mistaken sense of duty. The wives generally live apart, in some instances in separate houses. The first wife is practically recognised as the Head, though not always the favorite of the husband.
We quote from Mr. Bowles's pages, who epitomizes in a paragraph the common testimony of all observers against the polygamous practices of the Mormons of Utah: "It is a dreadful state of society to any 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. As I have said, we had little direct communication with the women of the Saints, but their testimony came to us in a hundred ways — sad, tragic, heart-rending. One woman, an educated, handsome person, as yet a single wife, said, with bated breath and almost hissing fury, to one of our party in some aside discussion of the subject, 'Polygamy is tolerable enough for the men, but it is hell for the women!'" Even stronger and more heart-rending is the testimony of Mr. and Mrs. Stenhouse. The latter's book, Tell it A11 (Hartford, Conn., 1875, 12mo, pp. 623), gives the story of a woman's life experience in Mormondom in such detail that it really constitutes the fullest review of pluralistic life. Her husband's work is, however, more valuable to the inquirer, as it is written more impartially and considerately. And his picture of pluralism has enough to sadden the most cold-hearted. Says he: "To assert that any true woman living in polygamy is in heart and soul satisfied and happy, is to simply libel her nature... The women are, however, not alone the sufferers by polygamy. The intelligent of the fair sex among the Mormons will readily admit this, and some even go so far as to pity their husbands, and to extend to them the genuine sympathy of their hearts, though polygamy has been their own curse. Whatever else it has achieved, polygamy has at least been impartial with the sexes, and while it has martyred the woman, it has not failed to enslave the man... No man ever regained his senses after the act of sealing without feeling that he had fatally wounded the wife of his youth. It is a cruelty that he realizes as well as his wife, and he, the nominal but innocent cause of her wrong, seeks to assuage her sufferings by greater kindness and tenderness. But no smooth words, nor the soul-speaking affection of his eye, can heal the wound. It steals her life away, and in her true heart she curses the day she ever heard of Mormonism. For the man who realizes and shares the misery of his wife, the future life is but 'a living lie.' Were the man an angel, it would be impossible for him to act justly towards two or twenty wives, and divide to each the full measure of her rights... Polygamy may be the marital relation of the sexes in heaven; it may be the ' celestial law' of the gods -of that there is no discussion or dreaming; but one thing is certain, that it is not the true marital relation of the sexes upon the earth, and thirty years of its practice under the most favorable circumstances have stamped it as a withering curse" (pages 584-588).
Pluralism, then, which has thus far failed to gain the hearty support of the more intelligent Mormons, if we may accept Mr. Stenhouse's statement, and there seems to be no reason to gainsay that it has, reacted against the Church of the Latter-day Saints, not only socially, but also numerically; for since the promulgation of this tenet many of its converts have quitted them, and their progress has been stayed in a great measure. Says Mr. Stenhouse: "On the 1st of January, 1853, it was published in the Star. It fell like a thunder-bolt upon the Saints, and fearfully shattered the mission. The British elders, who in their ignorance had been denying polygamy, and stigmatizing their opponents as calumniators, up to the very day of its publication, were confounded and paralyzed, and from that time to the present the avenues of preaching have closed one after another, and the mission that was once the glory of the Mormon Church has withered and shriveled into comparative insignificance. The outside world misjudges the Mormon people when it imagines that polygamy was ever a favorite doctrine. Doubtless to some few it was a pleasant revelation; but it was not so to the mass of the people, for they resisted it until they were compelled to yield their opposition, or else abandon the Church in which they had faith. The statistical reports of the mission in the British Islands (June 30, 1853) show that the enormous number of 1776 persons were excommunicated there during the first six months of the preaching of polygamy. The entire Church then numbered, men, women, and children over eight years of age, 30,690. There were forty 'seventies' and eight 'high-priests' [see § V, below, for explanation of these terms] from Utah in Britain at that time, carrying with them a powerful personal influence to help the Saints to tide over the introduction of this doctrine. These Utah missionaries were aided by a native priesthood of 2578 elders, 1854 priests, 1416 teachers, 834 deacons; and yet no less than 1776 recusants were excommunicated. That tells its own tale. That all these persons withdrew from the fellowship of the Mormon Church on account of polygamy would be an unfair inference. Still, doubtless polygamy was the great contributing cause of apostasy then, and more persons have left the Mormon communion on account of polygamy and Brigham's favorite deity, Adam (which he first preached in October of the same year), than all else put together. Few of the Mormon women have ever accepted polygamy from the assent of their judgments. They have first been led by their teachers to consider the doctrine true, and afterwards have been afraid to question it. Their fears have counselled submission... Brigham Young, with all the commanding influence of his position, could not silence the murmuring within his own domicile until he threatened to divorce all his wives, and told them that, if they despised the order of heaven, he would pray that the curse of the Almighty might be close to their heels, and follow them all the day long (Sermon, July 14, 1855, in the Bowery, Provo), and even all that violent language has not attained the end; their hearts revolt as much today, though they have schooled themselves into submission and silence" (pages 201, 202, 588).
We append the preparations and the wedding ceremony for a marriage in "pluralism" as sketched by the apostle Pratt:
"When the day set apart for the solemnization of the marriage ceremony has arrived, the bridegroom and his wife, and also the bride, together with their relatives and such other guests as may be invited, assemble at the place which they have appointed. The scribe then proceeds to take the names, ages, native towns, counties, states, and countries of the parties to be married, which he 'carefully enters our record. The president, who is the prophet, seer, and revelator over the whole Church throughout the world, and who alone holds the 'keys' of authority in this solemn ordinance (as recorded in the 2d and 5th paragraphs of the Revelation on Marriage), calls upon the bridegroom and his wife and the bride to arise, which they do, fronting the president. The wife stands on the left hand of her husband, while the bride stands on her left. 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 for 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 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 question of the man:
"'Do you, brother' (calling him by name), 'take sister' (calling the bride by her 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 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 for 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 Heads, through 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.'
"The scribe then enters on the general record the date and place of the marriage, together with the names of two or three witnesses who were present" (The Seer, page 32).
"The reader will observe that, in this ordinance of polygamic sealing, the husband and the young bride are each asked the question, are you 'doing this in the presence of God, angels, and these witnesses, of your own free- will and choice,' while the question put to the wife carefully avoids the issue that would instantly arise between her wounded, bleeding heart and the falsehood that would be forced from her trembling lips if she essayed to utter that it was of her 'own free-will and choice.' That poor 'victim' is but asked if she has been subdued and is 'willing to give this woman' to her husband'" (Stenhouse, page 587). It should be added that the Mormon president possesses the papal prerogative of annulling all marriages contracted under his sanction (Mrs. Stenhouse, page 554 sq.); a prerogative which cannot fail to prove a source of wealth and power. As to marriages celebrated without his authority, they are ipso facto void, in foro conscientice. Consequently either man or woman is at liberty to desert an unbelieving spouse and take another. Marriage, it may be stated here also, is allowed within near degrees; a man may marry two sisters, a niece, and mother and daughter, and even a half-sister.
3. Other Practices. — There appears to be no prescribed ritual for the burying of the dead, and there is but little of the true devotional element in any of the religious exercises of the Mormons. Their ordinary worship consists of prayers, with addresses, often of a very homely character, and hymns. The duties of private prayer, meditation, communion with God, self-examination, are seldom or never spoken of. "Every household," says Stenhouse, "is instructed to have morning and evening prayers. The father gathers his children around him, and all kneeling, he prays for revelation, the gifts of the Spirit for himself and family; then in turn comes every order of priesthood. 'Bless Brigham Young, bless him; may the heavens be opened unto him, angels visit and instruct him; clothe him with power to defend thy people, and to overthrow all who rise up against him; bless him in his basket and in his store, multiply and increase him in wives, children, flocks and herds, houses and lands — make him very great,' etc. After Brigham has been properly remembered, then come his councillors, the apostles, the high-priests, the seventies, the elders, the priests, the teachers, the deacons, and the Church universal. Another divergence is made in remembrance of the president of the Conference, and the president of that particular 'branch' where the family resides, and every officer in it. All are prayed for — if the father does his duty. The power and the greatness of the 'kingdom' that is to roll on till it fills the whole earth, and subjugates all earthly and corrupt man-made governments, are specially urgent. All nations are to weaken and crumble to pieces, and Zion is to go forth in her strength, conquering and to conquer, till the priesthood shall... 'reign and rule and triumph, and God shall be our king"' (pages 557, 558). Very gross irreverence is often shown during public worship. There is in their chief town, Salt Lake City, an immense tabernacle, where their religious services are held, and where one or more of their prophets preach to them every Sabbath. "The gatherings and services," says Mr. Bowles, describing a service which he attended (Our New West, page 243), "both in speaking and singing, reminded me of the Methodist camp-meetings of fifteen or twenty years ago. The singing, as on the latter occasions, was the best part of the exercises-simple, sweet, and fervent. 'Daughter of Zion,' as sung by the large choir one Sunday morning, was prayer, sermon, song, and all. The preacher that day was apostle Richards; but beyond setting forth the superiority of the Mormon Church system, through its presidents, councils, bishops, elders, and seventies, for the work made incumbent upon Christians, and claiming that its preachers were inspired like those of old, his discourse was a rambling, unimpressive exhortation... The rite of the sacrament [of the Lord's Supper] is administered every Sunday, water being used instead of wine, and the distribution proceeds among the whole congregation, men, women, and children, numbering from three to five thousand, while the singing and the preaching are in progress. The prayers are few and simple, undistinguishable, except in these characteristics, from those heard in all Protestant churches, and the congregation all join in the Amen." (Comp. Qu. Rev. 122:486-488; Ollivant, page 54, and Appendix A, pages 119,147; Rae, page 106 sq.) When the Temple is completed, it is intended, as the founder ordered, to establish sacrifices and every ordinance belonging to the priesthood as they existed prior to Moses's day (Compend. page 177). There are also some secret ceremonies, of which very different accounts have been given. The most important of these are the "mysteries of the Endowment House," where the marriage ceremony is performed. Stenhouse tells us that "within its portals are performed all the rites and ceremonies that hold Mormonism together," but he reveals nothing, probably because he is bound by oath so to terrestrial secrecy. He indicates, however, that the importance of these secrets has been overestimated. Mrs. Stenhouse gives a detailed description of her own experience in the Endowment House, and it Confirms the statement of an intelligent gentleman who, when interrogated shortly after passing through the house by one who had been there — "I went in expecting everything; I came out with nothing." (Those desiring full details may consult Mrs. Stenhouse, Tell it All, chapter 25.)
V. Hierarchical Organization. — Mormonism is a pure theocracy; its priesthood, who rule in matters temporal and ecclesiastical, make up about one fifth of the male members. They are recognised because of the declaration made by prophet Smith as "the channel through which the Almighty commenced revealing his glory at the beginning of the creation of this earth, and through which he has continued to reveal himself to the children of men to the present time, and through which he will make known his purposes to the end of time" (Compend. page 176). They are divided into various orders. The highest is the First Presidency, composed of three, harmonious in representation upon the earth with "the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost" in heaven, and the successors of Peter, James, and John in the Gospel Church. Of these, the first is primus inter parses. He is elected by the whole body of the Church and possesses supreme authority. "Throughout all Mormondom," says Stenhouse, "the highest rank of the priesthood is sacred, and all councillors are but aids. The theory is that a president is nearer to 'the throne' than his councillors, and though the latter may speak and diffuse their measure of light, at the moment the president is ready to decide what should be done, the Lord will give him direction" (page 560). The second office in point of dignity is that of Patriarch, whose sole duty is to administer blessings. He is appointed by the Church for life. Then follows the council of "The Twelve," whose functions are of great practical importance. They ordain all other officers, elders, priests, teachers, and deacons; they baptize, administer the sacraments, and take the lead in all meetings. Next come the Seventies (of whom there are many). They are under the direction of the "Twelve Apostles," and are the great propagandists, missionaries, and preachers of the body. The fifth order is that of High-priests, composed usually of men advanced in years. Their duty is to officiate in all the offices of the Church when there are no higher officers present. After these come the Bishops, who are "overseers" of the Church chiefly in secular matters, attending to the registration of births, marriages, and deaths, the support of "literary concerns" (such as newspapers and magazines), house-visiting, and the settlement of private grievances. The duties of the Elders are not very precise; they are charged with the conduct of meetings, and exercise a general surveillance over the Priests, who correspond to the "fixed ministry" of other sects; i.e., they preach, exhort, and expound the Scriptures. The lowest orders are the Teachers and Deacons; the former are simply assistants to the priests, elders, and bishops, and act as catechists; the latter are Church-collectors, treasurers, etc. The whole priesthood is divided into two classes. the Melchizedek and the Aaronic. To the first belong the offices of apostle, seventy, patriarch, high-priest, and elder; to the second, those of bishop, priest, teacher, and deacon. The latter can be held only by "literal descendants of Aaron," who are pointed out by special revelation. Besides these office-bearers, there is also the Standing High Council, to settle difficulties among believers. This consists of eighteen (at first twelve) highpriests, appointed by ballot, with one or three presidents, being the first president alone, or with his assessors. After the evidence has been heard, and the accusers, accused, and a certain number of councillors, from two to six, according to the gravity of the case, have spoken, the president gives his decision, and calls on the other members to sanction it. Sometimes a case is reheard; in special difficulties recourse is had to revelation. Every "stake" and separate church is governed by its own "High Council," with a similar constitution and procedure, and with an appeal to the Supreme High Council. General affairs are managed by Conferences, held April 6 in each year. At these, which sometimes last several days, the first presidency and other office- bearers are sustained in office by vote, always unanimous, of the meetings; vacancies are filled, reports on various subjects are read, prayers are offered, addresses delivered, hymns and anthems sung, etc. (see Mill. Star, passim; Burton, page 367 sq.; Qu. Rev. pages 122, 488). "This great net- work of priesthood, which covers everything. and the influence of which permeates everything," says Stenhouse, "is the key to the power of their president over the Saints in Zion. 'Through the priesthood he can sway them at his will... As seen in all the Conference minutes, the people are, by their own free voting, made responsible for everything that is done, and when once they have [as they are obliged to do by fear of persecution or excommunication], by uplifted hand before heaven, expressed their wish, it becomes their duty and obligation to sustain it" (page 566). In theory, the Mormons recognise the right of private judgment; in fact, the attempt to exercise that right has always been hazardous. The whole duty of a Mormon consists in thinking and doing as he is told, even as regards his most private and personal affairs. The president may order or forbid a man to marry; a bishop may at any time enter any Mormon's house, and issue what orders he pleases. All Saints are compelled to deal only at the authorized shops and stores, which are managed on the cooperative principle for the benefit of the Church. By means of a constant system of espionage any breach of rules is promptly noticed, and if it be persisted in the offender is cut off from the Church. Persons are even excommunicated without any reason assigned, and, on complaining, are told that their crime will in due time come to light; it being held that if any man fails in obedience to the priesthood in any respect he must have committed some great crime, whereby he has lost the Spirit of God (Ollivant, pages 86, 87). Indeed, all the arrangements at Utah are admirably suited to maintain obedience. Every means are adopted to prevent any but the chief men from accumulating money; so that while a man can live from hand to mouth in some comfort, he cannot save anything. The majority, therefore, are virtually dependants in Utah (Ollivafit, pages 47, 101). If any man secedes, or is cast out, all Mormons are forbidden to have any intercourse with him, even to give him food or shelter; and sometimes violence, even to death, has been used. All "Gentiles" are suspected, and every means are used to keep them away (see Rae, pages 118-120; Fraser's Mago June, 1871, page 692).
VI. Propagandism, etc. — Missions are a great feature of Mormonism. Any member of the priesthood is liable to be sent, at the will of the president on a sudden impulse, at short notice to "preach the gospel to the Gentiles." "Joseph Smith, the prophet," says Pres. George A. Smith, "enjoined upon the twelve apostles that they should preach the gospel to all the nations of the earth, and wherever they could not go to send the same, that all nations might be faithfully warned of the restoration of the everlasting gospel in all its purity and fulness for the salvation of mankind, and the near advent of the Messiah, preparatory to the introduction of his reign of righteousness upon the earth" (Ans. to Questions, page 30). The zeal and activity of these emissaries, though it has been much exaggerated, is still remarkable. The Mormon presidents are good judges of character, and it seems to be their plan to select the restless and enterprising spirits, who, perhaps, may threaten disturbance at home, and to utilize their fanaticism, while they flatter their vanity, by sending them as representatives of the Church to distant fields of labor. "From the youth in his teens," says Stenhouse, "to the elder in hoary age, all the brethren are subject to be 'called on mission' at any time, and in such calls no personal conveniences are ever consulted. Should a merchant be wanted for a 'mission,' his business must be left in other hands. and his affairs be conducted by other brains; so with the artisan, the mechanic, the farmer, and the ploughboy — they must in their way do the best they can. Seed- time or harvest, summer or winter, pleasure or important work — nothing in which they are engaged is allowed to stand in the way. If poor, and the family is dependent upon the outgoing missionary, that must be no hinderance — the mission is given, he has to go, and the family 'trusts in the Lord,' and in the tender mercies of the bishop!" (page 568). Their method of establishing a mission in a foreign country is as follows.
Among their converts, taken at random from the mixed population of the Union, there are natives to be found of every nation in Europe. They select a native of the country they wish to attack, and join him as interpreter to the other emissaries whom they are about to despatch to the land of his birth. On arriving at their destination, the missionaries are supported by the funds of the Church till they can maintain themselves out of the offerings of their proselytes. Meanwhile they employ themselves in learning the language and circulating tracts in defence of their creed, and then sit down to the weary task of translating the Book of Mormon. By this process they have formed churches in Great Britain, France, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Germany, Palestine, the Pacific Isles, Italy, Switzerland, Malta, Gibraltar, South Africa, Australia, and the Sandwich Islands; and, besides these, they have also sent missionaries to Siam, Ceylon, China, Hindostan, the West Indies, Guiana, and Chili. The Book of Mormon has been published in French, German, Italian, Danish, Polynesian, and Welsh. Besides various tracts which are circulated by these missionaries, they have established regular periodicals in English, German, French, Welsh, and Danish. We should observe, however, that of the missions above enumerated, those to Great Britain, the Icelandic countries, and the Sandwich Islands have alone been really successful. In England they preached first in the summer of 1837, and at their April Conference in 1841 there was represented a total of 5184 persons baptized. Of these, 106 were ordained elders, 303 priests, 169 teachers, and 63 deacons. Besides these, 800 souls had emigrated to "build up Zion at Nauvoo." In Denmark, at the beginning of 1853, they possessed 1400 baptized converts, and had also despatched 297 more to Utah. In the Sandwich Islands they baptized thousands before their mission had been established twenty months. These proselytes were all previously Christians, converted from heathenism. The other foreign missions have as yet only succeeded in making a very small number of proselytes. In Great Britain, as we have seen above, the promulgation of the doctrine of "pluralism" has seriously checked the progress of Mormonism. Of the converts made from 1840 to 1854 in the different missions, 17,195 emigrated to this country to "strengthen Zion." Up to 1860 about 30,000 Mormons had come, and from that time to the present there have probably been 25,000 more, making a contribution to America of a round 55,000 souls. And yet these figures do not even distantly convey the spread of Mormonism in Europe. The very sons of the apostles and prophets testify, on their return to Utah from European missions, that "they never knew what Mormonism was... till they went abroad to preach... It is especially the British mission, with latterly the Scandinavian, that has built up Utah" (Stenhouse, page 11). The Mormons, the world over, are estimated at no less than 300,000 souls, 125,000 of whom live in Utah territory.
Several schisms have taken place, but they have thus far but very inconsiderably affected "the Church of the Latter-day Saints." The first departure from the main body was occasioned in 1852 by the widow and sons of the founder of Mormonism on the publication of the revelation authorizing polygamy, the genuineness of which they denied. They bear the title of "The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," and have their head-quarters at Nauvoo. Their chief feature is the rejection of "pluralism," and all that gathers about that practice. Neither do they approve of the political schemes of Brigham Young and the leaders of the Church in Utah. Joseph Smith, the son of the Prophet is regarded by them as the true living head of the Church, and under his direction they have established themselves in the place pointed out by their founder as the site of the "New Zion." Their number which is inconsiderable, will probably be largely increased soon, if polygamy is not abandoned in Utah. "Young Joseph" is peculiarly "favored" with "visions," and "visits of angels," and "gifts of tongues," "interpretations," and "powers of healing;" and these worshippers "cast out" all the devils that come in their way. Some of their elders and prophets have been in Utah, and there "added numbers to the New Church, and shook the faith of many more in Brigham" (Stenhouse, page 629). Another branch of the Church has recently established itself at Independence, Missouri, they regarding this place as the supposed site of the New Jerusalem. But this branch only counts an insignificant membership. The most powerful opposition to Mormonism came out of its own midst in the beginning of 1869, when a large number of influential Saints quitted the main body, and formed themselves into an independent organization in Utah, and right in Salt Lake City itself. They first assumed the name of "Church of Zion," and have been holding religious services in a hall built by Young for his own disciples, beginning December 19, 1869. "Of all the apostasies from the Mormon Church," says Stenhouse, "this was the most formidable, and has done more damage to the position of Brigham Young than all of them put together. The preaching of the 'reformers' [as they were called] first shook the people's confidence in the Prophet; and, as they travelled further, it has led many of them out of Mormonism altogether" (page 643; comp. page 630 sq.). The leading "reformers," who were originally distinguished as advocates of freedom of thought and action, as opposed to the despotism of the priesthood, have since become zealous propagators of spiritualistic views; but, as they are all of a superior class, they have had liberality enough not to seek to carry their companions with them, and, while the movement has been subject to more or less change since it first started, there still remains enough to characterize it as the beginning of a "liberal" Christian Church. The Church structure which they have erected, first christened "Church of Zion," has been changed to "The Liberal Institute," and there lecturers, male and female, of every shade of opinion in. religion, politics, or science, can speak for the edification of Saint and sinner. "The Liberal Institute," says Stenhouse, " is the Faneuil Hall of Utah, and from its platform will go forth facts of history and science that will work in a few years a grander revolution among the Saints than would the presence of ten thousand troops, or any other movement that could possibly be construed into 'persecution.' "
VII. Literature. — The publications of the Saints are very numerous. A pretty full account of their work in this direction is furnished by Mr. Stenhouse in an Appendix (2) to his work, page 741 sq. Mr. Burton has also compiled a list, and both these should be consulted by any seeking detailed information regarding Mormonism. See, however, especially, A Compendium of the Faith and Doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints (1857); Letters exhibiting the most prominent Doctrines of the Church, etc., by Elder Orson Spencer (5th ed. 1866); Sacred Hymns and Spiritual Songs for the Church, etc. (12th ed. 1863); Tracts, chiefly those by Orson Pratt; The Millennial Star, a periodical published for a while at Liverpool (15 volumes up to 1853); The Evening and Morning Star, edited by W.W. Phelps (1832, 1833); Times and Seasons, founded and published at Nauvoo (1843 sq.); The Seer, edited by Orson Pratt, and published at Washington; Deseret News, published at Salt Lake City, being the official paper of Mormondom; Voice of Warning to all Nations, by Parly P. Pratt; Bennet, Mormonism Exposed (Boston, 1842); Kane, The Mormons (1850); Mackay, The Mormons (4th ed. Lond. 1851); Chandlers, A Visit to Salt Lake; Burton, City of the Saints; an Expedition to the Valley of the Great Salt Lake of Utah, etc., with an authentic Account of the Monrmon Settlement, etc., by Howard Stansbury, of the U.S.A. (Phila. 1852); Lieut. Gunnison, History of the Mormons (Phila. 1852); Ferris, Utah and the Mormons — unfavorable to the Saints, but full of valuable information (N.Y. 1854); Hyde, Mormonism, its Leaders and Designs (N.Y. 1857), an expose by a former Mormon elder; Tucker, Origin, Rise, and Progress of Mormonism (N.Y. 1867); and the latest and best, Stenhouse, The Rocky Mountain Saints (N.Y. 1873), whose book we have had occasion to refer to so frequently. See also travels like Remy's Journey to Great Salt Lake City, Dixon's New America, Rae's Westward by Rail, and Ollivant's Breeze from the Great Salt Lake. Among periodical articles, see Revue des deux Mondes, September 1853, February 1856, September 1859, April 1861; Edinb. Rev. of 1854, page 185 sq.; Quart. Rev. April 1867; Fraser's Mag. volumes 3 and 4, new series, June and July 1871; Good Words, June 1866; Blackwood's Mag. 1867; Brit. Qu. Rev. January 1862; London Rev. March 1854, art. 4; July 1862, art. 3; North British Rev. August 1863, volume 8; Princeton Rev. January 1862, art. 2; Christian Examiner, January to May 1858; Littell's Living Age, 1852, 1854, and 1856. See Additional Note on page 991 of this vol.