Plural Marriage Response

Plural Marriage Response - Mormon Doctrine Studies - Posted: 24th Dec, 2007 - 6:05pm

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KoZ2 - Kingdom of Zion Topic - Response to JS of the Herald
24th Dec, 2007 - 5:55pm / Post ID: #

Plural Marriage Response

Plural Marriage Response

I believe this is in defense to articles published.


                            PLURAL MARRIAGE


                      TAUGHT BY THE PROPHET JOSEPH.

                    A REPLY TO JOSEPH SMITH, EDITOR
                          OF THE LAMONI (IOWA)

                          BY HELEN MAR WHITNEY

                              PRINTED AT THE
                      JUVENILE INSTRUCTOR OFFICE,
                          SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH

[1]                          INTRODUCTORY.

THE Woman's Exponent of June 1st, 1882, contained an article written by
Helen Mar Whitney, in which reference was made to some statements of
Joseph Smith, editor of the Herald, publised at Lamoni, Iowa, which be
made while delivering a lecture against "polygamy and the Utah Mormons,"
in Chicago. This article called forth some expressions of dissatisfaction
from Mr. Smith, to which the writer will endeavor to reply in pamphlet
form, as she cannot do so through the Exponent.
A feeling of delicacy takes possession of the author in attempting to
perform a labor of this nature, but as her object is to open the eyes and
throw light upon the winds of those who mire laboring under false
impressions concerning the religion and works of the Latter-day Saints of
Utah, she will undertake the task, trusting in the Almighty for His
assistance and guidance. She will also take the liberty of dropping the
indirect style and will speak only for herself, although her sentiments
are in unison with those of many of her sisters in the Church.
I should have paid attention to Joseph Smith, editor of the Herald,
at an earlier date had not my time been occupied in the performance of a
more pleasing and interesting labor--preparing a portion of my father's
journal for publication.
Trusting to a charitable public, I commend this humble effort to my
sisters and friends in Zion and to all who honestly desire to learn truths
concerning a "peculiar people," or to study the philosophy of plural

  September 20, 1882.

[3]                      PLURAL MARRIAGE-TAUGHT
                          BY THE PROPHET JOSEPH.

                          BY HELEN MAR WHITNEY.

I HERE reproduce the article published by Joseph Smith:
"The Woman's Exponent, published in Salt Lake City, Utah, Emmeline B.
Wells editor, in its issue of June 1st, 1882, contains an article
entitled, `Scenes and Incidents in Nauvoo,' the writer of which, Helen Mar
Whitney, pays attention to Joseph Smith, editor of the Herald, after the
following fashion:
"`Joseph Smith, who professes to be his father's successor, has (in
an anti-`Mormon' meeting, lately held in Chicago, a city noted for its
crimes and the deepest dens of infamy and corruption, the description of
which was lately given by a Rev. in that city, is so soul-sickening that
it may well be called the Sodom of the west; which is ripening so fast
that it may soon be wrapped again in another consuming fire) declared that
it was not until 1852 that polygamy was attempted to be introduced in the
teachings of the Church, and that its introduction was a shameless trick
of wicked men, who were obliged to find an excuse to cover up their
"`He must be blind not to see that his own tongue condemned him, not
only as an uninspired leader, but an unprincipled enemy to his own
father's house. For he says: `In 1855 I began a crusade on my own hook,
and in 1860, when I entered public life, it was with the avowed
determination to oppose polygamy evermore.
"`Now what man of God ever went to work on his own hook, or even
thought to set up his own will independent of revelation from on high?
"`The man, whoever he was, who told Elder Joseph Smith that if an
angel were to come down from heaven and tell him polygamy was wrong he
would not believe the angel, was just as much an imposter as the Prophet's
son, who made the [4] following reply: `I would believe, but, I would tell
the angel to go to some one else, for I would not preach the doctrine.'
"`A poor captain and soldier of the cross he would make to stand as
his father's representative to carry out the purposes of the Almighty, for
which the Prophet was willing to suffer with his people, and endure every
kind of persecution as well as imprisonment and death, for the sake of the
religion which his son Joseph, under the inspiration of the evil one, has
denied, and has now united himself with the worst enemies of his father to
destroy the work for which he had to suffer so much and at last lay down
his life.
"`His son declared that, although he had been accused of being an
apostate, he had always been true to the faith taught by his father, and
says, `I have eagerly sought for a proof of the divine inspiration of
polygamy but cannot find it, and believe the doctrine to be infamous, root
and branch.'
"`Here he contradicts himself, which is another proof of his
infidelity and lack of inspiration and wisdom from on high. He was hardly
old enough when his father was killed to know or understand of what his
faith consisted; but if he entered public life with this avowed
determination, which he declares he did, how could he expect to obtain any
proofs either one way or the other? For the Lord requires of His children
honesty and sincerity of heart and purpose, in which selfishness must have
no place, and

"`This prayer pray: Lord God! thy will be done;
Thy holy will howe'er it cross my own,
Hard labor this for flesh and blood.'

"Subduing our wills and the pride of our hearts is the deepest and
hardest lesson that mortals have to learn. If Joseph Smith was in
possession of the true faith and gospel of Christ, such as his father
enjoyed, he would now be treading in his footsteps; being hated of all men
`for righteousness sake,' instead of being where he is and lowering
himself by joining in the hue and cry of the low contemptible and
foul-mouthed hypocrites, who can scarcely say that which is mean enough
against his martyred father and his most true and humble followers.'"
The following are Joseph Smith's comments upon the above article:
"Honesty and sincerity of heart and purpose are undoubtedly good
things to have, but very inconvenient things, sometimes. We had hitherto
supposed that heart and purpose, were in many senses synonymous with
desire and intention, and these are certainly the will. If this writer
were as honest as she would have her readers believe that Joseph Smith is
dishonest, she would probably have given the reasons assigned by him for
the statements made respecting crusading on his `own hook,' [5] and the
course he took in public life, in refusing to teach polygamy; for he
assigned as the principal reason for his course what was and is to him a
fact in revelation, that the doctrine was not authorized of God, and that
it was his duty to proclaim against it, and if, from the day conviction of
such duty was fastened on him till now, he had forgotten, neglected or
refused to perform the duty enjoined by that conviction, he is unaware of
such refusal, neglect or forgetfulness.
"The editress of the Exponent is not responsible for the statement of
Helen Mar Whitney, as a matter of course; but the writer herself would far
better conserve the interests of truth if she would point out somewhere
specifically, what part or portion of the faith and doctrine contained in
the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Bible and Times and Seasons,
edited, authorized or declared publicly by Joseph Smith as the faith of
the Church as organized in 1830 , according to the `everlasting gospel,'
that we are at war with, or fighting against.
"We were not aware that the `evil one' inspired men to preach Jesus
Christ, and Him crucified, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants,
the revelations of God in this generation, the faith and doctrines of the
Church as stated by Joseph Smith himself in 1844, both to the Democrat, of
Chicago, and to I. Daniel Rupp, publisher of the History of all
Denominations, issued in that year, and Joseph Smith a Prophet of God,
until we saw it stated by this writer. The religion that Joseph Smith
taught is found in the records he gave to the Church for their guidance;
and Joseph Smith the younger, was not so young, nor so small, nor so
foolish, nor so devilishly inspired that he was not taught the common
principles of the faith and that the gospel of salvation from sin was
revealed in the New Testament, in the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and
Covenants; nor has he since been so dull and uncomprehending a reader that
he has forgotten the precepts taught him in his youth.
"As to the date of the introduction of polygamy into the public
teachings of the Church, we cite Helen Mar Whitney and Emmeline B. Wells,
and the readers of the Exponent to the published minutes of a special
conference held at Salt Lake City, August 29th, 1852, and to what the late
lamented President Brigham Young, and Apostle Orson Pratt both said of it
then. If these women exponents care to impeach the testimony of the `Lion
of the Lord,' and one of the leading Apostles of the Utah host, we have no
possible objection. However, we call the attention of the saints and
readers of the Herald to an article published in the Ogden Pilot for June
30th, 1882, and this article we would commend to the readers of the
Exponent, if we could get them to read it.
[6] "The work that Joseph Smith did, lay in the States of New York, Ohio,
Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and other States, and ended in Illinois in 1844,
so far as his personal contact with it, was concerned. The character of
that work in its spiritual phase' can only be determined by reference to
the records and teachings of himself and compeers up to that date.
Whatever those were, he who holds to them is in the faith he held.
"The work of the Utah Church began after 1844, and was carried on
under the direction and tutelage of Brigham Young; and there seems to be
proof that it was his wisdom and will that prevailed until his death; and
lies in Utah principally, a place not known before 1844, and not
contemplated by Joseph Smith. This work is not the work of Joseph Smith.
"The work of the reorganization, including Joseph Smith, son of the
Seer, lies in the places where the first work lay, and is being carried on
with a direct view to its upbuilding and establishing according to the
records and published formulas of faith and doctrine as left by Joseph
Smith and others of the Elders, and neither Helen Mar Whitney, nor any
other can truthfully say that the work of the first Joseph and his
co-workers is the one his son is trying to destroy.
"The meeting at Chicago so much complained of by the Utah people and
press, was advertised as an anti-polygamy meeting and was an attack upon
that only. `Mormonism' proper, as a religion, it was conceded, was at the
option of any one to believe unmolested, and undisturbed. Joseph Smith was
there as an avowed believer in the doctrines of `Mormonism' as taught by
his father, and was not there as an anti-`Mormon.'
"`If Joseph Smith, the son of his father, had followed in the
footsteps of President Brigham Young, he might have been in Utah,
fostering and upholding that which was and is foreign to the gospel his
father died in the service of, if not for, and would have been detested
not for the righteousness sake referred to in that gospel, but for the
teaching and practice of what the Lord has said was `abominable in His
sight.' We confess that we have no ambition to be hated for that kind of
"Whether we make a poor, or a good soldier of the gospel, or not, we
are wonderfully glad that the decision lies with Christ, and not with the
people who say that we are unprincipled and in league with the enemies of
Joseph Smith; for if found a poor soldier, the mercy of the Judge will
palliate the poverty or our service. `He doeth all things well."
The cause for my saying so little and not giving "the reasons
assigned by Joseph Smith for the statements made respecting crusading on
his `own hook,'" etc., were these: [7] Reference was merely made to show
his infidelity as well as the falsity of his statements, which were copied
into the Deseret News, and which everyone had the same opportunity of
reading as myself. Besides, the Woman's Exponent is entirely too small to
admit of all that might otherwise have been said, as there are many others
who are more capable of contributing to our little sheet, which is only
published semi-monthly.

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24th Dec, 2007 - 5:56pm / Post ID: #

Response Marriage Plural



In the foregoing article, Mr. Smith says: "We had hitherto supposed
that heart and purpose, were in many senses synonymous with desire and
intention, and these are certainly the will." These may be his
"convictions," but through the early teachings which I received of the
gospel of Christ, I had been led to believe that we must, subdue our wills
and bring them into perfect subjection to the will of God--that ours must
be swallowed up in His whose works are altogether upon a broader scale
than those of man. The following impressive words also assisted me in
arriving at this conclusion: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are
higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my
thoughts than your thoughts." Again, our Redeemer, when His sufferings
were so great that He bled from every pore, exclaimed, "O my Father, if it
be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but
as thou wilt."
"Man proposes but God disposes." The Latter-day Saints do not desire
tribulation, but they look for little else in this life. Jesus said, "If
the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If they
have persecuted me, they will also persecute you." When His disciples came
unto Him privately as He sat. upon the Mount of Olives, saying, "What
shall be the sign of Thy coming," etc. He said, "Take heed that no man
deceive you. For many shall come in my name saying I am Christ; and shall
deceive many * * * Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and
shall kill you; and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. *
* * But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And
this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a
witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. When ye therefore
shall see the abomination of deso-[8]lation, spoken of by Daniel the
prophet, stand in the holy place, (Whoso readeth, let him understand.)
Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains. * * * For then
shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the
world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days shall be
shortened, there shall no flesh be save: but for the elect's sake those
days shall be shortened. Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is
Christ, or lo there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs,
and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that,
if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."
The life of the Prophet Joseph was very different from that of his
son's, who says, "`Mormonism' proper, as a religion, was at the option of
any one to believe unmolested and undisturbed," etc., but if he was
actuated by the same spirit he would certainly have had a similar
experience. His father's life was similar to that of every true prophet;
and every one who enlists in the true service of Christ, if he is valiant
for that cause, may look for persecution, which will be just in proportion
to his diligence in opposing the enemy of all righteousness and his
Jesus said, "Blessed are ye when men shall hate you, and when they
shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you and cast out
your name as evil for the Son of Man's sake." And here is the testimony of
the Prophet Joseph, in a letter written to the Saints in Nauvoo, September
1st, 1842.
"Forasmuch as the Lord has revealed to me that my enemies, both in
Missouri and this State, were again in the pursuit of me; and Inasmuch as
they pursue me without a cause, and have not the least shadow or coloring
of justice or right on their side, in the getting up of their prosecutions
against me; and inasmuch as their pretensions are all founded in
falsehoods of the blackest dye, I have thought it expedient and wisdom in
me to leave the place for a short season, for my own safety, and the
safety of this people. * * * As for the perils which I am called to pass
through, they seem but a small thing to me, as the envy and wrath of man
have been my common [9] lot all the days of my life. * * Deep water is
what I am wont to swim in. It all has become a second nature to me and I
feel like Paul, to glory in tribulation, for to this day has the God of my
father, delivered me out of them all, and will deliver me from henceforth;
for behold and lo, I shall triumph over all my enemies, for the Lord God
has spoken it.
"Let all the Saints rejoice, therefore, and be exceedingly glad, for
Israel's God is their God, and He will mete out a just recompense of
reward upon the heads of all their oppressors.
"And again, verily thus saith the Lord: Let the work of my temple,
and all the works which I have appointed unto you, be continued and not
cease; and let your diligence, and your perseverance, and your patience,
and your works be redoubled, and you shall in no wise lose your reward,
saith the Lord of hosts; and if they persecute you, so persecuted they the
prophets and righteous men that were before you. For all this there is a
reward in heaven."
He also spoke thus in relation to the baptisms for the dead: "I will
say to all the Saints, that I desired, with exceedingly great desire, to
have addressed them from the stand on the subject of baptism for the dead,
on the following Sabbath. But inasmuch as it is out of my power to do so,
I will write the word of the Lord from time to time, on that subject, and
send it to you by mail, as well as many other things.
"I now close my letter for the present, for the want of more time,
for the enemy is on the alert, and as the Savior said, the prince of this
world cometh, but he hath nothing in me. * * I subscribe myself your
servant in the Lord, Prophet and Seer of the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints.

If Joseph Smith, the younger, had not been "so young" when his father
was martyred, and could have been "under his direction and tutelage," he
would probably have learned more about the revelations and principles
which were restored through him to the earth, as he declared in the above
letter that the Lord was about to do.
From the day that, the prophet Joseph Smith attempted to serve God,
he began to receive the sneers and scoffs of the [10] world, and he
suffered the most bitter persecution from all the sects. This continued to
increase until 1844, when he sealed his testimony with his blood, and if
his son will not see and understand these things then he is blind, yes,
wilfully and hopelessly blind.
Concerning persecution, Paul said, "We glory in tribulation, also
knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and
experience, hope: for therefor we both labor and suffer reproach, because
we trust in Thee the living God." Again, in writing to Timothy concerning
the wickedness of the last days, He says: "Remember that Jesus Christ, of
the seed of David, was raised from the dead--according to my gospel,
wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds, but the word
of God is not bound. * * Therefore I endure all things for the elect's
sake, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus
with eternal glory. * * If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him: if we
deny Him, He will also deny us. * * Yea and all that will live godly in
Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."
I can certainly testify that the Saints have rejoiced in persecution.
There will be no necessity for my departing from the "truth" in
pointing out that "part or portion of the everlasting gospel" with which
the Prophet's son Joseph is "at war" and against which he is "fighting."
As I have a copy of the "original" edition of the Book of Mormon, in
which he says, in his editorial, that "polygamy is prohibited," and that
"any intelligent and fair reader in reading the Book of Mormon finds the
prohibition of `Utah's pet theory,'" I can testify that in this edition I
find the same as I do in all the rest. What was said by Jacob, the brother
of Nephi, had reference to those times and after speaking of their pride
and abominations, as also of that of David and Solomon, he says:
"Therefore, I the Lord God, will not suffer that this people shall do like
unto them of old. Therefore, my brethren hear me, and hearken to the word
of the Lord; for there shall not any man among you have save it be one
wife; and concubines he shall have none; for I, the Lord God, delighteth
in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination [11] before me;
thus saith the Lord of hosts. Wherefore, this people shall keep my
commandments, saith the Lord of hosts, or cursed be the land for their
sakes." Mark the following: "For if I will, saith the Lord of hosts, raise
up seed unto me I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken
unto these things."
The history of his father informs us that the "evil one" inspired men
who professed to preach Jesus Christ.
In his first vision, when a boy of fifteen, in answer to his first
vocal prayer to know which of all sects was right, he was told that he
should join none of them for they were all wrong; and all their creeds
were an abomination in the sight of God, and that their teachers were all
corrupt. "They draw near unto me", saith the Lord, "with their lips, but
their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrine the commandments of
men, having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof."
If his Satanic majesty did not mix in a goodly number of God's truths
with error he would not be the cunning deceiver that he is. "He is abroad
in the land," and "he goeth forth deceiving the nations."
As the Lord has said, "The wicked will come and say, We have
prophesied in thy name, and in thy name done many mighty works," and the
Lord will say, "I know you not."
A revelation upon the eternity of the marriage covenant was given to
the Prophet long before the year 1843, as he asserted, and I am pleased to
be able to testify to his son that on a certain Sabbath morning, previous
to the return of the Apostles from Europe, in 1841, he astonished his
hearers by preaching on the restoration of all things, and said that as it
was anciently with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, so it would be again, etc. He
spoke so plainly that his wife, Emma as well as others were quite excited
over it. Seeing the effect his sermon had upon them, he consoled them in
the afternoon by saying that the time of which he had spoken might be
further off than he anticipated, at all events the Lord would assist them
to understand and perform His will in the matter if they were faithful. My
mother was present and heard him deliver both discourses, and I recollect
hearing her with others of the [12] sisters express their astonishment at
the things they had heard that day.
This affair weighed so heavily upon Joseph's mind that he longed for
the time to come when he could have the Twelve Apostles with him to
deliver this message to them; and after he had rolled off the load or
delivered into their hands the keys of the kingdom, he jumped and clapped
his hands like a young school boy let out to play. This is the testimony
of my father. It seems that the revelation received by him in 1843, was
given in answer to an inquiry to know wherein the Lord justified certain
ones anciently in having so many wives and concubine. This is his
testimony, and he further affirms that he was commanded to teach and enter
upon the practice of it. In the revelation he was told that he was of the
loins of Abraham, who received great promises concerning the continuation
of his seed and the fruit of his loins forever. These are the words of the
Lord on that occasion: "This promise is yours, also because ye are of
Abraham; and by this law" (celestial marriage) "are the continuation of
the works of my Father, wherein He glorifieth Himself. Go ye, therefore,
and do the works or Abraham enter ye into my law, and ye shall be saved.
But if ye enter not into my law ye cannot receive the promise of my
Father, which He made unto Abraham. 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."

24th Dec, 2007 - 5:57pm / Post ID: #

Plural Marriage Response Studies Doctrine Mormon


He also said that because Abraham, Isaac and Jacob "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 are Gods. David also received many wives and concubines, as
also Solomon and Moses my servants; as also many others of my servants,
from the beginning of the creation until this time; [13] and in nothing
did they sin, save in those things which they received not, of me. 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 receiveth
his portion; and he shall not inherit them out of the world; for I gave
them unto another, saith the Lord."
This is but a small portion of the revelation, and Joseph's own
testimony was, that an angel was sent to command him to teach and to enter
into this order. This angel, he states, stood over him with a drawn sword
prepared to inflict the penalty of death if he should be disobedient.
I never doubted that young Joseph was exemplary, for he always had
the reputation of being strictly moral, and I know that he was taught, as
were many others, the first principles of the faith, which were all good
and necessary for a foundation: but because we believe the precepts taught
us in youth it does not excuse us for refusing to accept more revelation
when given as the majority of the world have done--rejecting all revealed
principles without investigation.
We might upon the same principle, and with quite as much propriety
say that the first simple rudiments of learning are all that is necessary
to complete our education. When we have understood and thoroughly digested
one lesson or principle we are to go on unto perfection. But how can we
receive light from those who show such palpable ignorance of the Prophet
and the principles which I testify before God and His angels that I heard
him teach! I know, as well as I know that the sun rises in the east and
sets in the west that he commanded my father and other men to enter into
this order of matrimony, and that he bestowed the holy Priesthood with all
its keys and ordinances upon the Twelve Apostles, and told them to stand
in their place and bear off the kingdom of God." He frequently declared
that, he was rolling off the kingdom from his own shoulders to those of
the Twelve, and I know that he maintained this feeling to the day of his
[14] It would be well for his son to read up his father's history before
going any farther, for none but the ignorant or dishonest would ever
contradict this statement, or say that he gave no endowments.
I know of the blessings received by my father and mother through this
man of God, and of their daily associations with him and his wife Emma.
When he could do nothing with her he would send for my father, for whom
she had such love and unbounded respect that he could always make peace
between them, and this was how be received the appellation of the
I have in my possession a daily journal, written by my father, of
events which transpired in Nauvoo in 1842, 1843 and 1844, from which I
extract the following:
                            "STRANGE EVENTS."
"In June, 1842, I was invited into the ancient order--was washed and
anointed, sealed and ordained a Priest, etc., in company with nine others,
.viz: Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, William Law, William Marks Judge Adams,
Brigham Young, Willard Richards, George Miller and N. K. Whitney.
"January, 1844, my wife, Vilate, and many females were received into
the holy order and were washed and anointed by Emma Smith."
In addition to these proofs I have a personal knowledge that the
Prophet did teach and perform every ordinance which has ever been
administered by Brigham Young, or any of the Presidency of this Church,
and that they were first administered by him, his wife, Emma, being a
co-worker with him, notwithstanding all her statements to the contrary. I
could tell more if I desired to concerning her before and after she
rejected and denied the principle, and sought to impress her children and
every one else with the idea that Brigham Young was the founder of
polygamy in Utah. I solemnly testify that he gave her husband to wife four
young women, who were living with her. Their names were Maria and Sarah
Lawrence, who are now dead, and two daughters of Bishop Partridge, Eliza
and Emily, the two latter are now living in Utah, and are still true and
faithful advocates of the principle of celestial marriage as taught them
by the Prophet Joseph [15] Smith. Being aware of this fact, and knowing
that there are a dozen or more of his wives still living and dwelling in
Utah, who were sealed to him in Nauvoo, besides hundreds of others that
were aware of these things, it would be useless for me or any one to
undertake to deny it even if we wished to.
Here is another proof that this principle was instituted in the days
of the Prophet Joseph: Mrs. Frink, of Ohio, sister to Brother John
Gleason, who moved to Nauvoo as early as 1842, came to this city on a
visit eleven years ago, and, with her husband, joined the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints. She told me that when her brother John left
the East for Nauvoo he brought with him their sister, Esther Gleason, who
had joined the Church, and their eldest sister was so angry over it that
she said she knew he had taken her off to be "old Joe Smith's spiritual
Sister Esther died in Nauvoo without entering into the order and I
think that she never heard it taught. Mrs. Frink was then but twelve years
old, and if "Joseph Smith the younger was not so young, nor so small, nor
so foolish," etc., as he states, he must have some remembrance or the
reports that were afloat not only in the city of the Saints but throughout
the country. At that time spiritual wife was the title by which every
woman who entered into this order was called, for it was taught and
practiced as a spiritual order and not a temporal one, though it was
always spoken of sneeringly by those who did not believe in it; but the
day will surely come when those who have mocked and derided this principle
and the servants and handmaidens of God who were brave enough to take upon
them the cross and bear the stigmas which have been heaped upon them
without measure will be among those whom the Savior meant when saying,
"Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like unto
whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within
full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly
appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and
The Prophet's son can never make many proselytes among the Nauvoo
"Mormons," for they have too much knowledge, [16] and are so familiar with
his parents' history that they cannot be duped.
I was not so young nor so small as Joseph Smith the younger, but I
confess that I was too young or too "foolish" to comprehend and appreciate
all that I heard his father teach, and if my parents at that early day had
disagreed and my father been taken away by death, I am not able to decide
what the consequences would have been to me; but my mother, though quick
and plain to speak her mind, learned to respect the authority of the
Priesthood, and she understood it too well to stand in opposition to it.
She never deceived nor taught her children an untruth. Had it not been for
her abiding faith in the principles that were advanced by the Prophet and
Seer and the confidence which she felt in her husband as a man of God, she
could never have borne up under all the trials with which her life's path
was filled. She often testified to me that she never opposed my father, no
matter how much cause she thought she had for doing so, without losing the
Good Spirit and making herself tenfold more wretched than before; and he
felt the same respect for the ones who held the Priesthood above himself;
he was never guilty of standing in opposition to that power, and no one
who ever saw Heber C. Kimball would accuse him of cowardice. Those
familiar with the holy scriptures will remember how David, when the Lord
delivered King Saul into his hands, cut the skirt of his robe, when his
heart smote him, and he "stayed his servants, for he feared to stretch
forth his hands against him, because he was the Lord's anointed."
The Prophet Joseph revealed the plural order to but few of the honest
and pure-in-heart, who accepted it in the true spirit in which it was
taught, as a celestial law that would eventually redeem and exalt the
human family. He charged them not to divulge it, as he was harassed by day
and by night by his enemies, and on their secrecy depended his life. The
Twelve and others who were his most staunch friends were willing to lay
down their lives for him if called upon. Under such circumstances he was
not very likely to publish it to the world; and it was through the
treachery of men and women professing righteousness who, under the cloak
of religion; proved them-[17]selves too corrupt to live within this
celestial law of matrimony, and who, because Joseph rebuked them for their
iniquities, turned against him, that he and his brother Hyrum were brought
to a speedy death.
I will refer Joseph Smith to his father's history for proofs that
Brigham Young was not father to the idea of bringing this people to the
Rocky Mountains. He will find them plainly written on page three hundred
and ninety-eight of the book which E. W. Tullidge wrote.
If Brigham Young had been an impostor, instead of a man of God, he
could never have led this people here; and if they had not enjoyed a
goodly share of the same spirit of inspiration that guided him, they
would, years ago, have sought a more congenial, or at least a less
forbidding spot than they found in this desolate, barren and
out-of-the-way place; and if he had not been led by some other spirit than
selfishness and a desire to gratify his own worldly ambition he would have
accepted the tempting offers held out to settle upon the Pacific coast, in
a land of gold mines. If he had not allowed wisdom to lead and control his
actions he would not have chosen the path that he did--struggling on for
years with the untoward circumstances that met him in every shape, and the
care of a great people dependent upon him and his brethren, not only for
counsel, but many for food, raiment and shelter. If there was ever a great
father upon this earth he was one; and if it had not been for the
deep-rooted faith which they had in the revelations and predictions of
Joseph Smith, and if they had not been of the true metal, they could never
have endured and carried out the programme which he, by the light of
revelation, had marked out.
In the book of Doctrine and Covenants it is written, "Let them
therefore who are among the Gentiles, flee unto Zion. * * * Go ye out from
among the nations, even from Babylon, from the midst of the wickedness,
which is spiritual Babylon." The Prophet Isaiah said, "in the wilderness
shall waters break out, and streams in the desert, And the parched ground
shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water." "And it shall
come to pass in the last days that the mountain of the Lord's house shall
be established in the top [18] of the mountains, and shall be exalted
above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it."

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How can these predictions be fulfilled by those who call themselves
the "Reorganized church" if they remain in the midst of Babylon and do not
separate themselves from the wicked? Where are the deserts and "the
parched ground" spoken of by Isaiah? not in the fruitful land of Iowa, nor
Missouri, nor in any of the places around about that portion of America.
And where are "the mountains" where "the Lord's house" is to "be
established" and "exalted above the hills," if not here? Where are the
temples that were to be built to the Lord in the last days if not in these
mountains? Isaiah said, "Many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us
go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and
He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths." We also read
in the book of Isaiah these words: "How beautiful upon the mountain are
the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace: * * *
for the Lord hath comforted His people."
All these prophecies have reference to these times, and the
Latter-day Saints accept them just as they are written, nothing doubting,
and I would like to know how we are to get around any one of these
predictions. Nothing could be plainer, and those who try to gainsay them
or to deny one had better deny the whole book and cast it into the flames.
Has not the Lord opened "rivers in high places, and fountains in the
midst of the valleys?" for He said, "I give waters in the wilderness, and
rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen."
No people can appreciate these sayings as do the Saints who first
settled these valleys of the Rocky Mountains, for we have witnessed their
fulfillment, to the very letter. Nor could any one with a spark of the
gospel light misunderstand the prophet's meaning; and I think that we are
nearing the time when the "sinners in Zion" will be "afraid; and
fearfulness will surprise the hypocrite." The "ensign" which Isaiah
foresaw, has been lifted to the nations, and do we not see the people
coming "with speed swiftly" from all the nations of the earth and building
up the waste places? Who is so blind as those that [19] will not see?
Where on this earth is there a people who stand in so little fear of the
threats of men as do the Latter-day Saints? It is true that were our trust
in man alone we should tremble; but our trust is in God, who has said to
His people: "Fear them not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am
thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee: yea, I will upheld
thee with the right hand of my righteousness;" and can we not "sing unto
the Lord a new song," who said, "Let the wilderness and the cities thereof
lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar doth inhabit: let the
inhabitants of the rock sing; let them shout from the tops of the
mountains." This is the true secret of our strength, and no man can take
to himself the glory. We also read: "Behold all they that were incensed
against thee shall be ashamed and confounded; they shall be as nothing and
they that strive with thee shall perish." "For I the Lord thy God will
hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not I will help thee." "This
people have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise." "Behold
I have refined thee, but not with silver, I have chosen thee in the
furnace of affliction."
The "Mormons" of Utah do not admit that it was the wisdom or the will
of Brigham Young, as Joseph's son, appears willing to credit him with, but
it was the wisdom and the will of the Almighty that prevailed, and which
led and guided His servants to this secure place in the Rocky Mountains,
in fulfillment of prophecy, and which we well know was previously
"contemplated by Joseph Smith." But his son speaks truly when he says,
"This work is not the work of Joseph Smith." No, no mortal man can take
the credit of it to himself.
The Saints of Nauvoo well remember how the Prophet was warned by the
Lord to flee to the Rocky Mountains, and had it, not been for his wife,
Emma, and a few faithless and frightened brethren, he would have come
west, but it was otherwise ordained.
We cite Joseph Smith to other items (which he must have forgotten if
he ever knew them) that are contained in his father's life, which was
written and published by E. W. Tullidge. It contains an address delivered
by Lieutenant General [20] Joseph Smith to the Nauvoo Legion, in the
afternoon of June 18th, 1844, which was listened to by hundreds who are
still living here in Utah, and from it I take the following extracts:
"It is thought by some that our enemies would be satisfied with my
destruction; but I tell you that as soon as they have shed my blood, they
will thirst for the blood of every man in whose heart dwells a single
spark of the spirit of the fulness of the gospel. * * * * *
It is not only to destroy me, but every man and woman who dares
believe the doctrines that God hath inspired me to teach to this
generation. * * * * *
We have turned the barren, bleak prairie swamps of this State into
beautiful towns, farms and cities, by our industry; and the men who seek
our destruction and cry thief, treason, riot, etc., are those who
themselves violate the laws, steal and plunder from their neighbors, and
seek to destroy the innocent, heralding forth lies to screen themselves
from the just punishment of their crimes by bringing destruction upon this
innocent people. * * * * *
"We are American citizens. We live upon a soil for the liberties of
which our fathers periled their lives and spilt their blood upon the
battle-field. Those rights, so dearly purchased, shall not be
disgracefully trodden under foot by lawless marauders without at least a
noble effort on our part to sustain our liberties.
"Will you stand by me to the death, and sustain, at the peril of your
lives, the laws of our country, and the liberties and privileges which our
fathers have transmitted unto us, sealed with their sacred blood?" "Aye,"
shouted thousands. He then said: "It is well. If you had not done it, I
would have gone out there," (pointing to the west), "and would have raised
up a mightier people."
This alone proves, that Joseph Smith "contemplated" coming west, and
"Helen Mar Whitney" can truthfully say that the work of the first Joseph
and his co-workers is the one his son is trying to destroy.
Drawing his sword, and presenting it to heaven, the Prophet said: "I
call God and angels to witness that I have unsheathed [21] my sword with a
firm and unalterable determination that this people shall have their legal
rights, and be protected from mob violence, or my blood shall be spilt
upon the ground like water, and my body consigned to the silent tomb.
While I live, I will not tamely submit to the dominion of a cursed
mobocracy. I would welcome death rather than submit to this oppression;
and it would be sweet, oh, sweet to rest in the grave, rather than submit
to this oppression, agitation, annoyance, confusion, and alarm upon alarm,
any longer.
"I call upon all friends of truth and liberty to come to our
assistance; and may the thunders of the Almighty, and the forked
lightnings of heaven, and pestilence, and war, and bloodshed come down on
those ungodly men who seek to destroy my life and the lives of this
innocent people.
"I do not regard my own life. I am ready to be offered a sacrifice
for this people; for what can our enemies do? Only kill the body, and
their power is then at an end. Stand firm, my friends; never flinch. Do
not seek to save your lives, for he that is afraid to die for the truth
will lose eternal life. Hold out to the end, and we shall be resurrected,
and become like Gods, and reign in celestial kingdoms, principalities and
eternal dominions, while this cursed mob will sink to hell, the portion of
all those who shed innocent blood.
"God has tried you. You are a good people; therefore I love you with
all my heart. Greater love hath no man than that he should lay down his
life for his friends. You have stood by me in the hour of trouble, and I
am willing to sacrifice my life for your preservation.
"May the Lord God of Israel bless you forever and ever. I say it in
the name of Jesus of Nazareth, and in the authority of the Holy
Priesthood, which He hath conferred upon me."
In previous chapters he speaks of the exodus of the Latter-day Saints
to the Rocky Mountains, and here are extracts from one:
"Take up Joseph's diary note, made within a fortnight after the
issuance of his manifesto:
"Tuesday, February 20, 1844, I instructed the Twelve Apostles to send
out a delegation and investigate the locations of California and Oregon,
and hunt out a good location where [22] we can build a city in a day, and
have a government of our own. * * * * *
"On the evening of the following day the Twelve met at the mayor's
office, and, according to the above instructions, appointed the following
committee Jonathan Dunham, Phineas H. Young, David D. Yearsly, David
Fullmer, Alphonso Young. Jas. Emmet, George D. Watt, Daniel Spencer.
Subsequent action was also taken upon the same subject, and volunteers
were added to the committee."
On the 22nd of June, 1844, Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum bade
their families farewell. When he came from the house, the record says,
"His tears were flowing fast. He held a handkerchief to his face, and
followed after his brother Hyrum without uttering a word."
They were accompanied by Willard Richards and O. P. Rockwell, and it
was after midnight when they started to cross the Mississippi. Bishop N.
K. Whitney and others of their wise and faithful friends also followed
them shortly afterwards. Joseph sent O. P. Rockwell back for horses, and
the brethren were packing their provisions when messengers came with a
letter from Emma Smith, asking them to return and deliver themselves up,
but at the same time those who were with them begged them not to return.
Joseph sent a messenger to his wife to inquire if she would take her
children and flee with him, but she said she "could not give up the

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Those men who were fearful of their lives, and more especially of the
destruction of their property, accused Joseph of cowardice for leaving his
people, but be replied: "If my life is of no value to my friends, it is of
none to myself." He further remarked to his brother Hyrum: "If you go back
I shall go with you, but we shall be butchered." He showed that he loved
his family and his people far more than his own life by returning and
giving himself up, and going, as he said, "like a lamb to the slaughter."
Now I again affirm that if Joseph Smith the younger, "was not so
young, nor so small, nor so foolish," as he declares, he must remember
this sad event, and the circumstance attending it.
[23] In the matter of certain things being pronounced upon the head of
young Joseph, they, like all other promises made by the Priesthood, were
upon certain conditions. Other persons besides him, who were children of
promise, have had great and wonderful things pronounced upon their heads,
and they seemed to think that nothing could prevent them from receiving
the same in this life, but in many cases these promises have apparently
remained unfulfilled. We are all children of one Parent and have had
certain blessings and rewards promised us, but whether we, can ever claim
them or not depends entirely upon the course which we pursue. The Lord
gave each of us a free agency and He "is no respecter of persons," but
says to every one, "You must choose whom you will serve."
We read that Lucifer was the son of the morning, but he, with a third
of the heavenly host, fell and was cast out of heaven. David though
beloved, "a man after the Lord's own heart," and though chosen and
anointed by the Prophet Samuel as a mighty king, fell from his exaltation,
and lost all because of transgression. We read however in the New
Testament that when Christ "rideth into Jerusalem, they that went before,
and they that followed, cried, saying, Blessed is He that cometh in the
name of the Lord: Blessed be the kingdom of our father David," etc.; and
the blind man the son of Timeus, who "sat by the high-way begging," though
charged by many that be should hold his peace, cried aloud, "Thou Son of
David, have mercy on me."
We read also in the scriptures that the following was said to David's
son Solomon:
"And if thou wilt walk before me as David thy father walked in
integrity of heart and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have
commanded thee, and wilt, keep my statutes and my judgments, then I will
establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel forever, as I promised to
David thy father."
Thus we see that every promise is made upon certain conditions, and
if the son of the Prophet Joseph was the one destined to continue the work
that his father began, the Lord would certainly have made it manifest to
His servant, [24] that he should deliver him this message, and administer
to him all the ordinances. The power of the holy Priesthood would have
been conferred upon him to administer, not only to the living, but to the
dead, and he would also have been taught the doctrine of celestial
marriage, which principles his father previous to his death established.
The authority would have been conferred upon him, as it was upon the
Twelve Apostles, to seal for time and for all eternity, and would never
have been left to be deceived and led by lying spirits and such men as
William Law and others who apostatized and leagued together with his
mother for the establishment of their new organization. Emma Smith
admitted this to be a fact in an interview with an Elder of this Church
who called to see her, and she denied and scoffed at the sacred and holy
ordinances of the gospel, and railed against those whom she knew held the
authority of the Priesthood.
The name of Joseph is all that they care for, and if he was not in
darkness he could readily see that they have no love for the truth. The
Prophet said, in his address to the Nauvoo Legion, the literal fulfillment
of which we have experienced: "I tell you, as soon as they have shed my
blood they will thirst for the blood of every man in whose heart dwells a
single spark of the spirit of the fullness of the gospel. * * It is not
only to destroy me, but every man and woman who dares believe the
doctrines that God has inspired me to teach to this generation."
If the Prophet's son had been living up to the light of the true
gospel as his father taught it he would have been inspired to teach the
same, and would know better than to teach what comes in contact with his
father's revelations and teachings or join in with those who hate and
speak all manner of evil against him and his brethren; he would know
better than to accept of an ordination through an apostate and a traitor
to his father and his God. The Lord would have shown him that to obtain
the keys of the Priesthood he must apply to the Twelve Apostles who
received them from his father, and stood by him in life and have never
varied from the principles he taught them; he would be engaged in temple
building and in working for the dead according to the order as it was
revealed through his father; and his [25] anxiety and desire to perform
this work would be unbounded, and he would have so much to occupy his mind
and his time that he would have none to spare in looking for evil in those
who have enough to do without persecuting their neighbors, and who would
be at peace with all mankind if they were left alone and could be allowed
to serve God according to the revelations and commandments of the Almighty
through His Prophet Joseph.
If the principle of a plurality of wives was not a tenet of the
"Mormon" Church it would prove Joseph Smith to be a false prophet, and, in
the words of his son Joseph, an unprincipled sensualist; and again, if the
women who obeyed the principle taught them by him as a celestial one and
one that would exalt them in the eternal worlds, were really the victims
of a gross and corrupt system "which panders to the lust of men," how much
holiness would there be left in such a religion or confidence in a man who
taught such a doctrine?
We are quite as glad as is Joseph the younger "that the decision lies
with Christ, and not with the people" who set themselves up as our judges,
and say that we are a low-lived, ignorant and unprincipled set; that "the
number of wives and illegitimate children" in Utah depends "upon the size
of the purse; that the women have deliberately consented to their own
degradation and abasement, binding themselves to lechers, and selling
themselves to such persons, body, and soul. Joseph has also stated that
our daughters were not fit for wives, he having been informed, as he says,
by a "single man, thirty-nine years old, that he could not get a wife
because he and others like him feared that the young women had been
contaminated by some Elder of the Church."
Now who but the evil one could inspire a man to utter or repeat such
a baseless fabrication told against those about whom he knows nothing, and
whom we know to be, as a rule, innocent, pure and free from every evil
thought! The real truth of the matter is that choice grapes hang too high
for such creatures, and, as a matter of course, they are pronounced
"sour." Wisdom is too high for a fool, and a "lying tongue hateth those
that, are afflicted by it."
[26] The Prophet Isaiah said, "Wo unto them that draw iniquity with cords
of vanity, and sit, as it were with a cart rope! Wo unto them that call
evil good, and good evil; and put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!"
And, as Paul said, "Unto the pure all things are pure, but unto them that
are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure, but even their mind and
conscience is defiled."
If polygamy is the only thing among the Utah "Mormons" that comes in
contact with the law of the land, why was Joseph Smith's father and uncle
so hated and persecuted, even from the time that the first revelation was
given until they were murdered in Carthage jail? For Joseph Smith's son to
say that "the introduction of polygamy was a shameless trick of wicked men
who were obliged to find an excuse to cover up their crimes," is throwing
an awful stigma on his own name and that of his father; for hundreds of
the old Saints in Utah and even some who have since denied the faith know
that he both taught and practiced it, and in the face of all the proofs
that can be, gathered, it is worse than folly for his son to try to palm
this, as well as other things, off as a trick of Brigham Young and the
Utah "Mormons." Brigham was no more the author of plural marriage than was
Mr. Spaulding the author of the Book of Mormon; and Helen Mar Whitney
still declares that Joseph Smith's own words condemn him as an uninspired
man, and if his father had been like him, he would probably have told the
angel "to go to some one else, for he would not preach the doctrines" of
the Church.
The first copy of the revelation upon celestial marriage was in
Bishop N. K. Whitney's possession, when Emma Smith demanded it; but he was
too much of a practical and businesslike man to neglect to retain an exact
copy of the original, which she destroyed as soon as it came into her
possession. She thought that this act would put an end to the practice,
but she was disappointed in her wicked idea.

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Plural Marriage Response


In the winter of 1847, when settled at Winter Quarters, President
Brigham Young, never having had the revelation, asked the Bishop for this
copy, which was the only one in existence, and he could hardly be expected
to publish it until after he came in possession of it.
[27] Previous to letting the president have it, the Bishop got his son, H.
K. Whitney--my husband--to copy it for him. The day and circumstance I
distinctly remember, for he told me that his father locked him in his
store while he wrote it, in order that no one should disturb him.
If some have become degraded in the practice of this celestial order,
it is because they were naturally low and depraved, and have occasionally
dragged others with them into corruption. The Prophet said this order
would darn more than it would save, because it was a holy principle that
could not be trifled with. There are good and bad in every community, for
"the net gathereth of all kinds," but there are not so many persons of a
bad character in Utah as in other parts of the world among pretended
Christians and corrupt monogamists. They are growing more depraved and
wicked every day; and if the charitable people of the world wish to find
the greatest example of human misery in order to show their Christian
charity, they must go outside of "Mormon" polygamy to do it.
I have been a spectator and a participator in this order of matrimony
for over thirty years, and being a first wife, I have had every
opportunity for judging in regard to its merits. The scriptures declare,
"By their fruits ye shall know them; so I know that this system tends to
promote and preserve social purity, and that this alone can remedy the
great social evils of the present day. When lived up to as the Lord
designed it should be, it will exalt the human family, and those who have
entered into it with pure motives and continue to practice it in
righteousness can testify to the truth of these statements. There are real
and tangible blessings enjoyed under this system which cannot be obtained
in any other way. Not only can the cares and burdens be equally
distributed among the members of the family, but they can assist one
another in many ways, and if blessed with congenial natures and filled
with the love of God, their souls will be expanded, and in the place of
selfishness, patience and charity will find place in their hearts, driving
therefrom all feelings of strife and discord.
I do not wish to be understood to say that all this can be brought
about in a moment. It must not be forgotten that it [28] takes many trials
before any work of importance can be accomplished, or before one can
arrive at any degree of perfection. We feel no self-righteousness, for we
have the same fallen natures that other human beings have with which to
contend. But this is not the work of man. We could as easily turn the
waters of the Mississippi and make them flow back as to undertake to
accomplish this great and wonderful work of regeneration if the hand of
the Almighty was not in it. We could not accomplish it, neither could we
withstand such opposition if it were not for His assistance and
interference in our behalf. Our efforts would have been useless, and we,
instead of holding up our heads and facing the world as we have done,
would have been covered with shame and ignominy, which we would have most
richly deserved. But the prosperity, which we have enjoyed since we first
set foot in these mountain vales, is truly wonderful; and this could
certainly never have attended a wicked, lawless and corrupt people, such
as we are represented to be.
The experience we have gained has disciplined and prepared us for
real usefulness in this world; and God is our witness that we have ever
been true and loyal citizens. We claim, however, the right to worship Him
according to the dictates of our own consciences, and why should Congress
interfere if a few of the Latter-day Saints are willing to make sacrifices
in order to fulfill a command of the Almighty?
There are sufficient proofs in the holy scriptures of the purity of
polygamy. We read that it was a law in Israel, and it was an express
command of the Almighty that if a brother should die without offspring the
surviving brother (no exception was made if he were married) should marry
his widow. We read in the thirty-eighth chapter of Genesis that a certain
son of Judah, who, according to this law, should have taken his brother's
widow, was put to death by the act of the Almighty because of his
wickedness in taking a course to prevent rearing offspring by this woman.
What do we read about Hannah, Rachael, Ruth, Bathsheba and other holy
women? Were they in a shameful condition of legalized prostitution, or
were they lawful and honored wives? Was it considered degrading for
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, [29] Joseph, Samuel and many other distinguished
saints of old to live in, or be born through the practice of polygamy? How
was it with Boaz when he espoused Ruth, the Moabitess? was it looked upon
as a low and debasing practice by the people? O no; the people that were
at the gate and the elders said: "The Lord make the woman that is come
into thine house like Rachael and Leah, which two did build the house of
Israel." "Lo, children are a heritage of the Lord. and the fruit of the
womb is His reward. As arrows are in the band of a mighty man, so are the
children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath a quiver full of them."
"Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thy house, thy
children like olive plants around about thy table. Behold that thus shall
the man be blessed that feareth the Lord."
We read that Abraham, who was called the friend of God, practiced it
without rebuke, and that his wife, Sarah, offered to him her maidservant,
Hagar. It is also related that Abraham used deception with Abimelech, the
king of Gerer, telling him that Sarah was his sister, and when the Lord
reproved him for taking her, Abimelech said, "in the integrity of my heart
and innocency of my hands have I done this, saith he not unto me she is my
sister? and she, even she herself said, He is my brother." And God said,
"I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; * * now,
therefore restore the man his wife; for be is a prophet."
God apparently did not look upon it as a debasing, disgusting
practice, and demoralizing in its influences. It was practiced at the time
of Christ's advent, and through all the New Testament there is nothing
written against it. Jesus said, "Think not that I have come to destroy,
but to fulfil," and "Had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me, for
he wrote of me." The Savior was unsparing in His rebukes where merited.
Both He and His apostles denounced the sins of hypocrisy and adultery, but
they never rebuked any one for living in polygamy. John the Baptist
reproved King Herod for adultery, and because be had the boldness to do
this he was thrown into prison, where he was afterwards beheaded.
If polygamy were so great a sin these holy men certainly would not
have remained silent upon this subject; but we do [30] not find a single
passage within the Holy Bible which condemns it. Even Paul, in his
exhortations, expressed only his opinion. "Nevertheless," he said,
"neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man
in the Lord."
In Joseph Smith's Advocate of July 1st, 1881, I read an article in
which he asks, "By what authority did Brigham Young teach the Saints that
Adam is our Father and our God?" etc. He then says, "Let the saints then
judge Brigham Young's strange doctrines and practices."
Brigham Young did not happen to be the author of this doctrine, and
to prove the truth of my assertion, I will produce some of the Prophet's
teachings, given May 16th, 1841. These were written, together with other
things, by his clerk, William Clayton, as they were spoken, and as I had
the privilege of reading them when quite a young woman, I took the liberty
of copying them. The copy I have retained, and this is what the Prophet
said upon this subject, commencing with the
"The Priesthood was given to Adam--he obtained the first presidency
and held the keys of it from generation to generation. He obtained it in
the creation before the world was formed. * * He had dominion given him
over every living creature; he is Michael, the archangel spoken of in the
scriptures. Then Noah who is Gabriel--he stands next in authority to Adam
in the Priesthood. He was called of God to his office and was the father
of all living in this day, and to him was given the dominion. These men
held the keys first on earth and then in heaven. The Priesthood is an
everlasting principle and existed with God from eternity and will to
eternity, without beginning of days or end of years. The keys have to be
brought from heaven--it is by Adam's authority.
"Daniel, in the seventh chapter of his book, speaks of the Ancient of
days--he means the oldest man, our father Adam, Michael. He will call his
children together and hold a council with them to prepare them for the
coming of the Son of man. He (Adam) is the father of the human family and
presides over the spirits of all men, and all that have had the keys must
stand before him in this grand council. This may take place before some of
us leave this stage of action. The Son of man stands before him and there
is given him glory and dominion. Adam delivers up his stewardship to
Christ, that [31] which was delivered to him as the keys of the universe,
but retains his standing as head of the human family.
"The spirit of man is not a created being, it exists from eternity,
and will exist to eternity. Any thing created can not be eternal.
"The fullness of times has come of which Daniel writes: `I beheld
till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose
garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool:
his throne was like the fiery fame, and his wheels as burning fire. `A
fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands
ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him:
the judgment was set, and the books were opened.'

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Plural Marriage Response

"`I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man
came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they
brought Him near before Him. And there was given Him dominion, and glory,
and a kingdom, that all people, nations. and languages should serve Him:
His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and
His kingdom that shall not be destroyed'" (Daniel, vii, 9, 10, 13, 14).
When the Saints first heard this doctrine advanced it looked strange
and unnatural to them; it was strong meat and required a little time
before it could be digested; but this was owing to the narrow, contracted
ideas which had been handed down from generation to generation by our
forefathers. We were like babes and had always been fed upon milk; but, as
Jesus said, we have to be taught "here a little and there a little." When
I was able to comprehend it, it appeared quite consistent. There is
something in this doctrine that is very home-like, grand and beautiful to
reflect upon, and it is very simple and comprehensive. It teaches us that.
we are all the children of the same parent, whose love was so great that
He gave His beloved Son, our Elder Brother, Jesus Christ to redeem us from
the fall. He came down upon this earth in the meridian of time and
descended below all things that, He might rise above all things, and thus
rescue us from everlasting death. It teaches us that our Father was once
mortal, and that if we remain faithful we will finally become as He
is--immortal, even if we must first, pay the penalty for the transgression
of our first parents.
We here produce some other remarks of the Prophet:
[32] "As the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given the Son to have
life in Himself. God the Father took life unto Himself precisely as Jesus
did. * * We were all present and saw the Savior chosen and appointed, and
the plan of salvation made, and we sanctioned it. We came to this Earth
that we might have a body and present it pure before God in the celestial
kingdom. The great principle of happiness consists in having a body. The
devil had no body, and herein is his punishment. He is pleased when he can
obtain the tabernacle of man, and when cast out by the Savior he asked to
go into the herd of swine, showing that he would prefer a swine's body to
having none at all.
"Beings who have bodies have power over those who have not. The devil
has no power over us only as we permit him. The moment we revolt at any
thing which comes from God the devil takes power.
"O ye Twelve and all ye Saints profit by this important key, that in
all your trials, and troubles, temptations afflictions, bonds,
imprisonments and death see to it that you do not betray Jesus Christ,
that you do not betray your brethren, that you do not betray the
revelations of God. * * * Yea in all your kickings and flounderings see to
it that you do not this thing lest innocent blood be found on your skirts,
and you go down to hell--other sins are not to he compared to sins against
the Holy Ghost, and proving a traitor to your brethren.
"I will give you one of the keys of the mysteries of the kingdom--it
is an eternal principle that has existed with God from all eternity--that
that man who rises up to condemn others--finding fault with the Church,
saying that thy are out of the way--while he himself is righteous, then
know assuredly that that man is on the high road to apostasy, and if he
does not repent will apostatize as God lives.
"The devil may appear as an angel of light; every spirit and vision
is not of God. * * The devil is an orator--he is powerful--he took our
Savior to a pinnacle of the temple and kept him in the wilderness for
forty days. * * The Lord has told us to flee, not delaying, or we shall be
scattered one here, another there, etc. The gospel net gathers in of every
kind. I prophesy that that man who tarries after he has an opportunity of
going, will be afflicted by the devil. Wars are at hand--we must not
delay. We ought to have the building up of Zion as our greatest object,
When wars come we shall have to flee to Zion. The cry is to make haste.
The last revelation says, Ye shall not have time to have gone over the
earth until these things come. It will come as did the cholera. Wars and
fires, burning, earthquakes--one pestilence after another, etc. Wherever
it may be--if it be a place of refuge, [33] the devil will use his
greatest efforts to trap the Saints. * * The time is soon coming when no
man will have any peace but in Zion and her Stakes. I saw men hunting the
lives of their own sons, and brothers murdering their brothers, women
killing their daughters, and daughters seeking the lives of their mothers
I saw armies arrayed against, armies I saw blood and desolation and fire,
etc. The Son of man has said that the mother shall be against the daughter
and the daughter against the mother, etc., etc. These things are at our
doors--they will follow the Saints of God from city to city; Satan will
rage, the spirit of the devil is now enraged. * * * I know not how soon
these things will take place, and with a view of them shall I cry peace?
No! I will lift my voice and testify of them. How long you will have good
crops, and the famine be kept off I do not know. When the fig tree puts
forth its leaves, know then that the summer is nigh at hand. We may look
for angels, but we are to try the spirits and prove them--is often the
case that men make a mistake in regard to these things. * * Lying spirits
are going forth in the earth. There will be great manifestations of the
spirits both false and true."
One of the greatest discourses that was ever preached by the Prophet
was at the funeral of Elder King Follet, in April, 1844. A great multitude
of people was present. In this discourse He said, "What sort of a being
was God in the beginning? Open your ears and hear, all ye ends of the
earth, for I am going to prove it to you by the Bible and to tell you the
designs of God in relation to the human race: * * *
"God Himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits
enthroned in yonder heavens! That is the great secret. * * * If you were
to see Him to-day you would see Him like a man in form, like yourselves in
all the person and image, in form as a man; for Adam was created in the
fashion, image and likeness of God, and received instruction from and
walked, talked and conversed with Him, as one man talks and communes with
"In order to understand the subject of the dead, it is necessary that
we should understand the character and being of God, and how He came to be
"We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I
will refute that idea. and will take away the veil, so that you may see. *
* God Himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth the same as Jesus
Himself did. I wish I was in a suitable place to tell it, and that I had
the trump of an archangel, so that I could tell the story in such a manner
that persecution would cease forever.
[34] "What did Jesus say? `As the Father hath power in Himself, even so
hath the Son power.' To do what? Why, what the Father did. The answer is
obvious. Jesus, what are you going to do? `To lay down my life as my
Father did, and take it up again. Do you believe it? * * Here then is
eternal life, to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to
learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the
same as all Gods have done before you, namely, by going from one small
degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one; from grace to
grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until you attain to the resurrection
of the dead, and are able to dwell in everlasting burnings, and to sit in
glory, as do those enthroned in everlasting power. And I want you to know
that God in the last days, while certain individuals are reclaiming His
name, is not trifling with you or me.
These are the first principles of consolation. How consoling to the
mourners when they are called to part with husband, wife, father, child or
dead relatives, to know that although the earthly tabernacle is laid down
and dissolved, they shall rise again to dwell in immortal glory, not to
sorrow, suffer, or die any more, but they shall be heirs of God and joint
heirs with Jesus Christ.
"What is it? To inherit the same power, the same glory, and the same
exaltation, until you arrive at the station of a God and ascend the throne
of eternal power, the same as those who have gone before.
"What did Jesus do? Why He did the things He saw His Father do when
worlds came rolling into existence. His Father worked out His kingdom with
fear and trembling, and Jesus had to do the same; and when He gets His
kingdom He will present it to His Father, so that God may obtain kingdom
upon on kingdom, and it will exalt Him in glory. He will then take a
higher exaltation, and the Savior will take His place, and thereby become
exalted Himself. So that Jesus treads in the tracks of His Father, and
inherits what God did before, and God is thus glorified and exalted in the
salvation and exaltation of all His children. It is plain beyond
disputation, and you thus learn some of the first principles of the gospel
about which so much has been said.
"When you climb up a ladder you must begin at the bottom and ascend
step by step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the
principles of the gospel; you must begin with the first, and go on until
you learn all the principles of exaltation. But it will be a great while
after you have gone through the veil before you will have learned them. It
is not all to be learned in this world. It will be a great work to learn
our salvation and exaltation even beyond the grave."
[35] Joseph then spoke on the subject of the resurrection, the immortal
spirit and the redemption of the dead. He said:
"The greatest responsibility in this world that, God has laid upon us
is to seek after our dead. The apostle says, `They without us cannot be
made perfect,' for it is necessary that the sealing power should be in our
hands to seal our children and our dead for the fullness of the
dispensation of times--a dispensation to meet the promises made by Jesus
Christ, before the foundation of the world for the salvation of man. *  *
* It is necessary that those who are gone before and those who come after
us should have salvation in common with us; and thus hath God made it
obligatory upon man. Hence God said, `I will send Elijah the prophet, and
he shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,' etc.
"I have a declaration to make as to the provision which God has made
to suit the conditions of man, made from before the foundation of the
world. He has made a provision that every spirit in the eternal world can
be ferreted out and saved; He has wrought out salvation for all men unless
they have committed the sin against the Holy Ghost, and every man who has
a friend in the eternal world can save him, unless he has committed the
unpardonable sin. And so you can see how far each can be a savior. * * * A
man is his own tormenter and his own condemner hence the saying, they
shall go into a lake that burns with fire and brimstone. The torment of
disappointment in the mind of man is as exquisite is a lake burning with
fire and brimstone."
This is but a small portion of the sermon, which occupied three hours
and a half, during the delivery of which the audience sat, like they often
did, as if spell-bound. I have listened to him when he was so full of the
power of God that his face was as white and shone like that of a heavenly
angel. Very little of any of the sermons delivered in those days was
The following is an extract from the Prophet's last sermon, preached
June 16th, eleven days before his death, at the grove west of the temple.
I copied it from the writings of Brother William Clayton, and it contains
some important items. A heavy rain fell in the forenoon, but, the
congregation did not disperse until the sermon was finished. The meeting
was opened with prayer by Bishop Whitney, and the choir sang,
  "Mortals awake! with angels join.
Joseph began by reading the third chapter of Revelation. He then
said: "If it rains I will preach this doctrine, for the [36] truth shall
be preached. I will preach the plurality of Gods. * * * I say there are
Gods many and Lords many, but to us only one, and we are to be in
subjection to that one. * * Some say I do not interpret the scriptures as
they do. They say it means the `heathen gods. I have it from God Himself.
I will show from the Hebrew Bible that I am correct. The first words show
a plurality of Gods. An unlearned boy must give you a little Hebrew."
He analyzed the Hebrew and corrected the translation of Genesis, and
then continued "In the very beginning the Bible shows there is a plurality
of Gods beyond the power of refutation. * * The word Eloheim ought to be
translated in the plural all the way through--Gods. The head of the Gods
appointed one God for us; and when you take a view of the subject it sets
one free to see all the beauty, holiness and perfection of the Gods.
"Jesus Christ was, the Son of God, and John discovered that God, the
Father of Jesus Christ, had a father also. Where was there a son without a
father? And where was there a father without first being a son? * * Hence,
if Jesus had a Father, can we not believe that He had a Father also? I
despise the idea of being scared to death at such doctrine, for the Bible
is full of it."
These are powerful testimonies, and Joseph's son must be indeed dark
in his mind if he cannot understand them, but will still accuse Brigham
Young of being the author of this doctrine. He very truly says, "He doeth
all things well;" but "If found a poor soldier" we doubt if "the mercy of
the Judge will palliate the poverty of our service" when,
"The time accepted for repentance, faith,
And pardon, is irrevocably past;
And justice unaccompanied, as wont,
With mercy, now goes forth, to give to all
According to their deeds."
In conclusion he remarks, "Ponder it well. Are not those who teach
and those who endorse Brigham Young's Adam God doctrine guilty of damnable
heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them?"
[37] Now if he feels it his duty to proclaim against this people and deny
the doctrines which his father felt authorized of God to teach as
revelation from on high, I shall only regret it for his own and his
father's sake.
In my younger day, in the early scenes of trial and temptation, I
that I would be perfectly happy if the plural wife system could be
relinquished. I felt unwilling to sacrifice, my earthly happiness for the
promise of future reward. I thought I could content myself with a lesser
glory. But I found that there was no real substance in any religious
doctrine outside of "Mormonism," and I could not disbelieve one part (as
many have professed to do) without rejecting it completely and considering
Joseph Smith an impostor. I therefore listened to the counsel of my
brethren until I became more firmly rooted in the true faith of the
The Latter-day Saints are reaching after those things that are
durable. We do not want the shadow but the substance of what is hoped for,
and the evidence of things not seen.
As for the late lamented President Brigham Young and Apostle Orson
Pratt, they, like all others, are responsible for their own acts, and must
settle their own accounts in the courts above. I am satisfied that they
are associated there, as they were here, with their beloved Prophet and
Seer of latter days.
I have not seen the article to which Joseph Smith refers that was
published in the Ogden Pilot of June 30th, 1882; but let it be what it may
it would not change my mind, nor my testimony, for I speak of that which I
know, and not of what somebody has said.
He also accuses President Young of condemning the new translation of
the Bible, but I never heard him condemn it. I heard him say (in answer to
a question that was asked him concerning it) that he had advised the
Elders not to make use of it in preaching to the world. The young men, he
said, who were sent out to preach the everlasting gospel, must meet the
Gentiles with their own Bible, as they would ridicule the new translation.
There are other articles printed in the Woman's Exponent entitled,
"Scenes and Incidents in Nauvoo," which I would [38] like Joseph Smith to
read, as they contain nothing but truths and are calculated to destroy
I could have none but the purest motive in copying the letters of my
parents. Let the strangers read them and then ask themselves if they can
discover anything in the language or sentiment that is immoral or
unchristian-like. They bear a powerful testimony to the truth and purity
of the plural order of matrimony as taught by Joseph the Prophet, and
nothing that his son or the whole world may write or say will be able to
gainsay this testimony. It is a subject that can bear investigation.
I think if some of the columns of the Herald and Advocate, the organs
of Joseph Smith and his co-workers, were used in defense of his own name,
instead of being full of falsehoods about those of whom he personally
knows nothing, he would be serving both God and himself to better
We would commend to him the reading of an article lately published in
a "Hand-Book on Mormonism," which begins with a scandal about his
grandmother Smith, entitled "The Origin of Mormonism." This article,
together with others of like nature I have refuted and contradicted in the
Woman's Exponent. They were compiled and published by the Rev. J. M.
Coyner, to meet, as he said, "public necessity."
"Union is power," and we know that it is our unity that makes Satan
tremble, for he knows that his time is short, and he is inspiring his
agents to do his work, but the Lord will suffer them to go no farther than
is consistent with His plans. If it would be of any use I would propose to
Joseph Smith and all others, who are so blinded by prejudice that they
think "nothing good can come out of Nazareth," to read the letters of the
correspondent of the New York World. These will give them some few correct
accounts of the people who first settled Utah.
For the benefit of such persons I will copy a few interesting
paragraphs from the pen of this gentile:
"Who are those children? said I to my host at Monroe, pointing to two
ragged little shoeless waifs that were standing in his yard and evidently
waiting to be taken notice of. Instead of replying my host turned towards
them, `Well, Jimmy,' [39] said he, what is it, today?' The wistful eyes
looking out from under the tattered, broad-brimmed hats brightened into
intelligence. `Another chicken for mother,' said both together, promptly.
* * * And my host looked at them from under his tilted straw hat. * * *
All right, go and get one,' suddenly said my host, `Take the young rooster
that's blind of one eye' etc. * * * Away down the middle of the road
scudded the little fellows in a confusion of dust, and scrawk. Who are
those children? I asked again, thinking I had chanced on that unknown
thing, a pauper Mormon. `Oh!' said my host, `he's a bad lot--an
outsider--who came in here as a loafer--deserted his wife. She's very ill
and pretty nigh starving. And she would starve, too, if her boys there
did'nt come around regular begging of us. But loafers know very well that
`those ____ Mormons' won't let any body go hungry, and they act as if they
knew it, too.'
"In other settlements there are exactly such similar cases; but I
would draw the attention of our readers--I wish I could draw the attention
of the whole nation to it--to the following notice, which stands to this
day with all the force of a regular by-law in these Mormon settlements:
                            "`NOTICE TO ALL.
"`If there are any persons in this city who are destitute of food,
let them be who they may, if they will let their wants be known to me
privately or otherwise, I will see that they are furnished with food and
lodging until they can provide for themselves. The Bishops of every ward
are to see that there are no persons going hungry.

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Plural Marriage Response Mormon Doctrine Studies

  "`Presiding Bishop of the `Mormon' Church.'
"Now it may be mere sentiment on my part, but I confess that that
`Notice to All,' in the simplicity of its wording in the nobility of its
spirit, reads to me very beautifully. Its tenderness would have won the
great poet heart of Longfellow; and what a contrast to turn from this
text, of universal charity that is no respecter of persons, to the
infinite meanness of those who can write, as in the Salt Lake Tribune, of
the whole community of Mormons as `the villainous spawn of polygamy "
"Does it not seem astonishing, and lamentable too. that for all these
years such men should have been permitted to hold undisputed the ear of
the nation?--that the Mormons should not have told the world the
truth?--that so generous a people as the Americans should not have
insisted on hearing `the other side?--that a press so searching as
American journalism should not have exposed this contemptible local fraud?
"The only Gentile paper here is in the hands of an unscrupulous
clique, who run it on anti-Mormon principles, with the [40] avowed
expectation of wrecking the present prosperity of the Territory. * * * The
local correspondent of the associated press is as unfit for the place as a
Colorado beetle would be to report upon a potato crop. Not from his want
of intelligence, but simply from his strong anti-Mormon prejudice.
"Sectarianism is rampant here, and the reptiles of religion,' as one
of the largest-hearted of Christians calls the mean sectarians,
perpetually at their work of embittering class against class.
"Now these three agencies, being simultaneously and industriously in
operation, explain a great deal of that misunderstanding which to-day
holds the sympathy of the American nation aloof from these hard-toiling,
sober, charitable and honest-hearted pioneers. The same distorted version
of facts goes out day after day throughout the year to a hundred different
towns at once, and the public finding identical opinions echoed in so many
places, naturally accepts them as any rational and sensible individual
would, as a unanimous judgment. But once let him know that A, B, C and all
the rest of the alphabet are one and the same identical person, and that
this person is grossly ignorant and grossly vindictive, and he immediately
appreciates at their true worth the statements which be finds so
singularly `corroborated.' The statement of one man repeated a hundred
times is a very different kind of authority from `the concordant
statements of a hundred different men. And I can honestly assure all those
who read these letters that in all Salt Lake City, and therefore in all
the valleys of Utah, there are barely, a dozen intelligent Gentiles who
could be found to calumniate a people among whom they see such honesty in
every-day business, such ceaseless industry, such conscientious piety and
such a universal charity. All of them, no doubt, have just as sincere an
aversion to polygamy as I have. But very few of them, I find, are so base
as to deny the Mormons those virtues which are everywhere and every day so
"Many of the Gentiles here are on the best of terms with the Mormons,
and I have even spoken with so-called `apostates who retain the utmost
respect in many ways for the believers in the faith which they have
themselves rejected.
"Preeminent in their administration is always the charity of the
Mormons. It is a recognized law among the Mormons that no tramp shall pass
by one of their settlements hungry; if it is nightfall he is to be housed.
* * For their own people their charity commences from the first Emigrated
to this country by the voluntary donations which maintain the `Perpetual
Emigration Fund,' he is, on arrival, met with immediate care, and, being
passed on to his location, finds (as I have described in a previous
letter) a system of mutual [41] kindliness prevailing, which starts him in
life. If sick, he is cared for. If he dies, his family is provided for.
All this is fact. I have read it in no books, heard it from no hoodwinking
elders. My informants are lads just arrived in Salt Lake City--within an
hour or two of their arrival in fact; young men just settling down in
their first log huts in rural settlements; grown men, now themselves
engaged in the neighborly duty of assisting new-comers. This has been one
result of my thousand miles of traveling. I have met and talked to those
men--Germans, Scandinavians, Britishers--in their own homes, here in Utah,
and have positively assured myself of the fact I state, that charity,
unquestioning, simple-hearted charity, is one of the secrets of the
strength of this wonderful fabric of Mormonism.
  "Brigham Young, as I have said, insisted upon a conciliatory policy
towards the Indians. He made in person repeated visits to the missions at
work among them, and was never weary of advising and encouraging. Here is
a portion of one of his letters: does it read like the words of a bad
man?--`Seek by works of righteousness to obtain the love and confidence of
the tribes. Omit promises where you are not sure you can fulfill them.
Seek to unite your hearts in the bonds of love. * * * May the Spirit of
the Lord direct you, and that He may quality you for every duty, is the
constant prayer of your fellow-laborer in the gospel of salvation, Brigham
Young.' Here is a part of another letter: `I trust that the genial and
salutary influence now so rapidly extending to the various tribes may
continue till it reaches every son and daughter of Abraham in their fallen
condition. The hour of their redemption draws nigh and the time is not far
off when they shall become a people whom the Lord will bless. The Indians
should be encouraged to keep and take care of stock. I highly approve of
your design in doing your farming through the natives; it teaches them to
obtain a subsistence by their own industry. * * You should always be
careful to impress upon them that they should not infringe on the rights
of others, and our brethren should be very, careful not to infringe upon
their rights in any particular, thus cultivating honor and principles in
their midst by example as well is by precept. As ever your brother' in the
gospel of salvation, Brigham Young.' * * * These and other letters are
exactly in the spirit of the correspondence which, in the early days of
England in Hindostan, won for the old Court of Directors the eternal
admiration of mankind, and for England the respect of Asia. Yet in Brigham
Young's case is it even carried to his credit that he spent so much
thought, and time and labor over the reclamation of the Indians by policy
of kindness, and their exaltation by all example of honorable dealing?
[42] "It was in this spirit that the Mormon missionaries went out to the
Indians then living in the `Territory over which I have just traveled, and
Jacob Hamblin was one eminently characteristic of the type."
This writer has looked at matters as they really are, and is
honorable enough to give the "Mormons" the praise which they so well
His illustrations, as he says, are not like those of "Mormon-eating
publications, anonymous fictions, etc." He gives a very fair account of
things which he saw and heard in traveling through the Territory. On the
subject of education he appears to think, and doubtless with good cause,
that we as a people are rather indifferent; but when all things are
considered we have done remarkably well. The majority of the people who
are settling up these waste places are of the poor and laboring classes,
who have been gathered, either by their own means or through the
assistance of the emigrating fund, from foreign countries, where they have
been kept in the greatest ignorance and bondage, therefore it requires
considerable time to accomplish this great work of regeneration.
If Brigham Young and this people were not prompted by religious
motives in bringing the Saints from the old countries, which are
overflowing with inhabitants, and placing them where they can make
themselves independent they would nevertheless be doing a noble work.
Being a slow people, in one sense of the word, they are not so far
advanced in the great arts of civilization as are their "American cousins"
in the east but they are more prolific, and are helping to populate the
The Latter-day Saints are creating wealth and power in the
Territories; and, instead of being ignorant, poverty-stricken peasants,
they are independent land-owners, seeking the welfare of others besides
themselves. Their great desire is to gain a heaven that has something more
substantial than the glittering imaginings which they have heard praised
by the teachers of the false systems of religion.
The "Mormons" in Utah, notwithstanding all that has been said, will
compare very favorably in point of education with the people of other
parts of the United State. I have been astonished to learn that there are
so many people in this [43] republic who have never attended school, and
have no education whatever. Many of this class are people who have always
lived in the very center of civilization. While we have been driven from
place to place, they have dwelt in the States unmolested, surrounded with
colleges and possessing every facility for learning.
We have among us the educated and refined; those enjoyed wealth and
have sacrificed it for the purpose of gathering with the people of God.
Many among us are self-educated, and those who have not had the
opportunity of attending school are exceedingly anxious that their
children should. Many of our youth, although they have probably never been
outside of the Territory, will compare favorably with others who have had
greater opportunities for acquiring knowledge.
These are facts; but it is not to be expected that an outsider could
learn everything about a whole people, and understand all their feelings
and sentiments without having access to their houses or mingling in their
social gatherings.
The highest aim and ambition of my life have been to see my children
accomplished in the true sense of the word, that their appearance may be
pleasing, not only at home but abroad, and in the society of the educated,
the noble and refined of the earth. My aspirations, however, do not end
here: they reach to a higher sphere. The true Latter-day Saint desires
above all other things to become a fit subject for the kingdom of God,
that he may dwell and associate with the nobility of heaven.
The correspondent of the World thinks the "Mormons" have been foolish
in not publishing to the world the true state of affair in Utah, thinking
that this would have corrected the misunderstandings and removed much of
the prejudice which, he says, "holds the sympathy of the American nation
aloof" from us. He naturally judges others by himself; but past experience
has taught us that there is no justice to be obtained in this nation for
"Mormons." We found none in Ohio, Missouri or Illinois. It was not
"polygamy" then, but it was the gospel of Jesus Christ--a warfare between
God and Satan. We had all we could do for years after coming to these
valleys to keep the "wolf from our doors." We had no [44] reason to look
for charity at the hands of those who had driven us from their midst.
There were very few in those days who had sufficient moral courage to
stand up in our defense in the face of the fierce opposition which was
instigated by sectarian bigots, and there are less who will do so now. The
unwarrantable and ceaseless assaults which are made on us compel us to
defend ourselves as best we can, and when we have done this we will leave
the result in the hands of God.
Though isolated as we have been for years, we are well posted in the
state of affairs among the so-called Christian monogamists. We know, not
only from their daily publications, but from confessions of non-"Mormon"
women whom we have met, how great the infidelity is among husbands. We are
satisfied that the majority of the women have more real sorrows and heart
achings, and their burdens are more intolerable to bear than all the
sorrows that befall the wives of an honest "Mormon" polygamist.
Though not free from, jealousies, trials and vexations, we have, at
least, one satisfaction--we can place confidence in our husbands, having
no fear that they will violate their most sacred marital vows by deserting
their families, and not only outraging and dishonoring women, but thus
bringing ruin and everlasting misery upon themselves and connections. Men
who will thus disgrace themselves find no fellowship among "Mormons," but
are shunned as being unfit for the society of decent persons. We have not
forgotten the character of those who first sought to introduce this part
of Christian civilization among us--they were United States officials.
Judge Drummond, whom we have cause to remember, brought with him a
mistress instead of a wife, and she occupied a seat by his side in open
court. It was received as an insult, and the indignation of the people was
so apparent that they could not mistake it. The consequence was that he
and his associates returned to Washington, making a terrible howl about
the rebellious "Mormons." Against the introduction of such civilization we
have rebelled and expect to do so in the future as long as God gives us

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