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Sealing for eternity -- Women married to one and sealed to another husband -- Spiritual wives -- Smith's death -- Smith's widows -- "Proxy doctrine" -- Marriage and sealing for the dead -- The endowment Washing -- Anointing-Creation -- First degree of Aaronic priesthood -- Second degree of Aaronic priesthood -- First degree of Melchisedec priesthood -- Second degree of Melchisedec priesthood -- "Behind the vail" -- Obedience-Examples -- Murders -- Sealing at the altar -- Initiative lectures -- Sealing to Indian squaws -- Adoption -- Selling their daughters.
THE married relationship, say the Mormons, was intended as eternal. As marriage is a religious ceremony more than a civil institution, they urge, therefore, it must be performed by an ecclesiastical dignitary. All other marriages are mere contracts sanctioned by law, but dissolvable at the option of both contracting parties. As marriage, ordinarily administered, is only "till death;" it is perfectly null and void for any period after death. As they believe that unless married, the saved will not enjoy any "glory" in the next world; and if not married on earth, can not be married afterward, therefore they "marry for eternity."
This power is vested in Brigham only. He can, however, transfer it at option to any other Apostle. Hieber C. Kimball
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usually performs the ceremony. These marriages are always performed in their sacred and secret Temple, in a singular manner -- of which hereafter -- and are termed sealings. People, according to Mormon technology, are married for time, but sealed for eternity.
It is impossible to state all the licentiousness, under the name of religion, that these sealing ordinances have oc casioned. A woman has been married to a man she does not like. She comes to Salt Lake and sees some one whom she does like. The man's position, however, is such that she does not wish to leave her husband, but only desires to secure another for an eternal husband. She can be sealed to this other man and still remain with her first husband; and the Mormons believe that all her children will belong to the man to whom she is "sealed." "No marriage is valid till physically consummated," is a maxim of all human and divine law. These marriages or sealings are therefore consummated to make them valid. But the husband may know of the sealing ordinance, and desire to get his wife sealed to him. To tell him the real facts might make him apostatize; convert a warm adherent into a devoted enemy; and, therefore, the Mormons will perform a "mock ceremony," contending that it is better one man be deceived, rather than the whole Church should suffer. In this way no man, unless his position be so high as to make it impolitic, is certain of his dearest wife's virtue, or his warmest friend's honor. Suspicion and jealousy are the inevitable results.
There is a Mrs. Dibble living in Utah, who has a fine son She was sealed, among others, to Joseph Smith, although living
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with her present husband before and since. On the head of her son, Smith predicted the most startling prophesies about wielding the sword of Laban, revealing the hidden Book of Mormon, and translating the sealed part of the records. There is not a person at Salt Lake who doubts the fact of that boy being Smith's own child.
It is these wives, who, married to one man and sealed to another are the "spiritual wives" of those to whom they are sealed. Joseph Smith lost his life entirely through attempting to persuade a Mrs. Dr. Foster, at Nauvoo, that it was the will of God, she should become his "spiritual wife;" not to the exclusion of her husband, Dr. Foster, but only to become his in time for eternity! This nefarious offer she confessed to her husband. Some others of a similar nature were discovered, and Dr. Foster, William Law, and others began to expose Smith. Their paper was burned, type and press demolished, for which Smith was arrested and afterward shot, by Missourians, at Carthage, Ill. Of course, all this is denied by the Mormons, but the same men denied that Smith practiced polygamy at all. One of their denials is proven to be a falsehood; may not the other be equally false? Not only did they deny the action, but also the principle involved in the action. Not only have they subsequently acknowledged polygamy, but they now admit the principle; but still persist in denying this action of Smith. Two of the facts being admitted, when all three were previously denied, makes the third very probable. It is certain Mrs. Dr. Foster knew of the principle, else she could not have told her husband. It is also certain that she would not have known it had Smith no
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revealed it to her. It is, therefore, strongly presumptive that as Smith certainly did reveal to her the principle, that he did so for the object she states: and I think that her testimony, which is very positive, is irrefutable in the matter.
The Mormons do not now seek to deny the fact that women married to one, may be sealed to another husband; only asserting that such marriages go no further. But as they contend that no marriage is valid till consummated, and insist that these marriages are valid, either they destroy their own system, or else there is licentiousness and corruption. There would be only one choice in the mind of any believing Mormon. When a woman sinks low enough to prefer another man for her pseudo eternal husband, she is certainly sunk low enough to sin in deed as well as thought. When the promptings of affection are sanctioned by religion and legalized by precedent, few persons would hesitate at indulgence.
As a man's "kingdom" depends solely on the size of his family; and as all the children that the woman may have belong to her sealed husband, whether by him begotten or not; and as if the husband dies, all his anticipated glory seems to be arrested; the "Saints" have, therefore, adopted the plan of appointing brethren as their agents to continue their "glorifying," after their decease. Alexander McRae, an old Mormon and companion of Joseph Smith, but not a polygamist, was called on abruptly, at Fillmore, in 1855, to "increase the kingdom" of a dead brother by taking his widow; she having seen, liked, and wanted him, and having gone to President Kimball and solicited to have him counsel
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McRae to take her. Kimball gave McRae the "word of the Lord," and, although it very much displeased him, he had to submit. Many of the widows of Joseph Smith, who could not find other husbands, were taken by Brigham, who has been endeavoring to perpetuate his kingdom on earth. Not only is it deemed proper to take the widows of some good brother, but also to take fresh wives for your dead brother. There was a lady named P-----, in Salt Lake, in 1854, who had heard of and loved Smith. He had been dead for ten years, but that is nothing to the wings of Mormon faith. She was desirous to be sealed to him, although, I believe, she had a husband still living in the States. Brigham consented to act as proxy or agent for Joseph Smith, and accordingly the interesting ceremony was performed. Mrs. P----- good soul, gave up all her property to the Church, faithfully believing she had joined the numerous army of the Smiths in general, under the especial banner of the Prophet, Joseph.
A still more atrocious, but natural result of his sensual salvation remains. As a man's family constitutes his glory, to go on a mission for several years, leaving from two to a dozen wives at home, necessarily causes some loss of family, and consequently, according to Mormon notions, much sacrifice of salvation. This difficulty is however obviated by the appointment of an agent or proxy, who shall stand to them-ward in their husband's stead. Many and many a little child has been thus issued into the Mormon world. This is one of the secret principles that as yet is only privately talked of in select circles, and darkly hinted at from their pulpits and in their works. They argue that the old Mosaic law of a
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"brother raising up seed to his dead brother" is now in force; and as death is only a temporary absence, so they contend a temporary absence is equivalent to death; and if in the case of death, it is not only no crime, but proper; so also in this case it is equally lawful and extremely advantageous! This practice, commended by such sophistry, and commanded by such a Prophet, was adopted as early as at Nauvoo.
Much scandal was caused by others than Smith attempting to carry out this doctrine. Several, who thought what was good for the Prophet should be good for the people, were crushed down by Smith's heavy hand. Several of those have spoken out to the practices of the "Saints." Much discussion occurred at Salt Lake as to the advisability of revealing the doctrine of polygamy in 1852, and that has caused Brigham to defer the public enunciation of this "proxy doctrine," as it is familiarly called. Many have expected it repeatedly at the late conferences. Reasoning their premises out to their natural and necessary consequences, this licentious and infamous dogma is their inevitable result.
Another result of their doctrines is another excuse for licentious indulgence. The Mormons believe, as before stated, in the possibility of man's administering salvation to the dead. Hundreds of devout, strangely devout and fanatically sincere people are immersed on the behalf of their dead relations; males for men, females for women. But the salvation of the dead, say they, has to be consummated in the same manner as that of the living. "They will be nowhere," says Kimball, "unless they have wives:" and these immersed people are therefore married for their dead. But as marriage is only a
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transient affair, they have to be also "sealed" for the dead. And as a marriage ceremony is not valid till completed, there is practiced in consequence more abomination. For as the glory of the dead, as well as the living, depends entirely on the size of their families, these accommodating proxies raise children for the dead too!?
That these practices should be indulged, is not surprising. That they should be vailed under the garb of sanctity, and excused on the grounds of religion, is infamous. Mormonism is ingenious in finding excuses for licentiousness; it is a bitter and a burning satire on human purity and progress; a disgusting but a palpable proof of human depravity.
Much has been said of the Mormon endowment. It has been extolled by its recipients until the bewildered minds of their hearers have thought it something sublime. Men, who proud that they had a secret, and desirous that every one should know that they had it, uttered dark hints. They exhibited a singular kind of an under-garment which they constantly wore. This was fantastically marked and given them in the Temple. They promised this endowment to their awe-struck disciples, as the full fruition of the blessing of heaven, etc., etc., etc. As to what it really was, all was perfectly hidden; as all who received the initiation were bound by the most fearful penalties not to reveal any thing of the matter. Oaths were exacted, obliging the person who took them, to agree to undergo a violent and cruel death on revealing the "mystery." I am about to make a statement, as nearly as I can remember, of what the ceremonies, etc., were. I am induced to thi, violation of my oaths, from five reasons. First, As no on
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knew what were the oaths previous to hearing them; and as no one on hearing could refuse to make them, they are not binding in justice. Second, As the obligations also involved other acts of obedience as well as secrecy; and as I do not intend to obey those other obligations, it can be no more improper to break the oath of secrecy than the oath of unlimited obedience. Third, As the obligations involve treason against the confederacy of the United States; and therefore illegal ab initio; and as the law makes the misprision or concealment of treason, treason itself, it becomes a duty to expose them. Fourth, As the promise of endowment is one of the great inducements held out to deluded Mormons, to persuade to emigration to Salt Lake, it is right that they should know the value of their anticipated blessing; and Fifth, It is better to violate a bad oath than keep it: as it would have been better for Herod to have forfeited his promise, than to kill John the Baptist. As to the penalties I incur, I have but one duty to God and the world; and to God and the world I confide my safety.
On Friday, February 10, 1854, pursuant to notice I had received, with no other instructions than to wear a clean shirt, myself and wife went to the Council House, Salt Lake City, at about seven o'clock in the morning. About thirty persons were previously waiting there, who were to be "endowed from on high" that day. Our names, with full particulars of birth, marriage, etc., were all registered in a record; our tithing-ofice receipts exanmined, because, before hearing the music, it is first necessary to "pay the piper." All those who had not been previously sealed to their wives,
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were then sealed by Heber C. Kimball, who has under his peculiar direction the giving of the endowment, and we were ushered into a long room which was divided into many little compartments by white screens. All was solemn and hushed. Our shoes had to be removed in the outer register office, those who were officiating were in slippers, and the few words spoken in giving directions were only in a dim murmur. The women were sent to one portion of the place, the men to another. All was still; the simmer of the wood in the stove made quite a painful impression on the nerves. The novelty of the situation, the uncertainty and expectation of what was to follow, the perfect stillness heightened by the murmuring whispers, the dull splash of water, the listening and serious faces, the white screens themselves, every thing was calculated to excite the superstitious in any one. One by one the men were beckoned out till it was my turn. I was told to undress, and was then laid down in an ordinary tin bath, which I remember was painted inside and out; a Dr. Sprague -- who, in passing, is one of the filthiest-minded men I ever met -- was officiating as "washer," which ceremony consisted of washing one all over in tepid water, and blessing each member as he proceeded, from the head downward: "brain to be strong, ears to be quick to hear the words of God's servants, eyes to be sharp to perceive," nose, mouth, arms, hands, breasts, with the peculiar blessing appropriate to each, down to the "feet to be swift to run in the ways of righteousness." Washed, and pronounced "clean from the blood of this generation," I was handed over to Parley P. Pratt, who was seated in a corner, and appointed to give to each
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"clean man" a "new name, whereby he should be known in the celestial kingdom of God." He called me "Enoch," and I passed on back to our waiting-room, where each in turn was seated on a stool, and some strongly scented oil was ladled out of a mahogany vessel in the shape of a cow's horn, by means of a little mahogany dipper, and poured on his head. This unctuous compound was rubbed into eyes, nose, ears, and mouth, sodden in the hair, and stroked down the person till one felt very greasy and smelt very odorous. This ordinance, performed by Elders Taylor and Cummings, was accompanied by a formula of blessing similar to the "washing," and was "the anointing," administered preparatory to being ordained a "king and priest unto God and the Lamb," which ordination, however, can only be performed in the real Temple. Greased and blessed, we had then to put on the " garments," a dress made of muslin or linen, and worn next to the skin, reaching from the neck to the ankles and wrists, and in shape like a little child's sleeping garment. Over this was put a shirt, then a robe made of linen, crossing and gathered up in pleats on one shoulder, and reaching the ground before and behind, and tied round the waist. Over this was fastened a small square apron, similar in size and shape to masonic aprons, generally made of white linen or silk with imitation fig-leaves painted or worked upon it. A cap, made from a square yard of linen, and gathered into a band to fit the head, socks, and white linen or cotton shoes, completed the equipment. While thus dressing ourselves, a farce was being performed in the next compartment. The creation of the world was being enacted. Eloheim, J. M. Grant, was
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counseling with Jehovah, Jesus, and Michael (Adam), W. C. Staines, about making and peopling the earth. He sends these three down to take a look and bring him back word as to what are the prospects. They pretend to go, examine, and return to report. The first chapter of Genesis is then performed, Eloheim taking the "and God said" part; the three pretending to go and accomplish the command, and return and make report, using "and it is so." The mind was struck with the wild blasphemy of the whole affair. When they came down to the creation of man, the three, Jehovah, Jesus, and Michael, came into our compartment, and by stroking each of us separately, pretended to form; and by blowing into our faces, pretended to vivify us. We were then supposed to be as Adam, newly made and perfectly ductile in the hands of our makers (an allegory to be terribly carried out). But we were alone; a little more farce, and our wives were introduced, who were similarly arrayed, and had been similarly conducted toward as ourselves, their officiaries of course being women, Miss E. R. Snow, and some others. We were made to shut our eyes as if asleep, commanded to arise and see, and our wives were severally given to us. Joy of course filled our hearts, and we filed off by twos to the compartment where we had heard the voice of Eloheim. This compartment, by the aid of some dwarf mountain pines in boxes, (now paintings). was made to looking something like a garden. W. C. Staines, as Adam, and Miss Snow as Eve, were our "fuglemen;" we did what they did. Some raisins were hanging on one shrub, and W. W. Phelps, in the character of the devil, which he plays admirably (!), endeavored to entice
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us to eat of them. Of course, "the woman tempted me and I did eat." We were then cursed by Eloheim, who came to see us: the devil was driven out, and this erudite astronomer and Apostle (!) wriggled, squealed, and crept away on his hands and knees.
We were then supposed to be in a cursed condition, and here commences the terrible intention of this otherwise ridiculous buffoonery. We were now helpless without the intervention of a higher power, and the establishment of a higher law. Any law that could apply to the body was of small consequence; any power that could control the body was of no moment. Thus lost and fallen, God establishes the priesthood, and endows them with the necessary jurisdiction; their power unlimited, their commands indisputable, their decisions final, and their authority transcending every other. They were to act as God, with God's authority, in God's place. Oaths of inviolate secrecy, of obedience to and dependence on the priesthood, especially not to "touch any woman, unless given by this priesthood, through the President" were then administered to the intimidated and awed neophytes. A sign, a grip, and a key word were communicated and irmpressed by practice on us, and the third degree of the Mormon endowment, or first degree of the Aaronic priesthood, was conferred. Man, continues the allegory, goes out into life, having one law of purity, one key of truth, and one power of priesthood. With these he goes forth into the world, where light is made darkness and darkness light. He is lost in doubt as to where the truth is. He is, in the next room, supposed to be in the midst of the sects of the present day.
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Several imitations of the common styles of Quakers, Methodists, and others are performed. The devil, W. W. Phelps, meets and accosts each of them with "Good-morning, brother Methodist," etc., "I love you all," "You're my friends," etc., etc. Three Apostles, Peter (P. P. Pratt), James (J. Taylor), John (E. Snow), entered, and after a little badinage between the devil and them, Peter commands him to depart in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by the authority of the holy priesthood, and that makes him foam, hiss, and rush out. These Apostles then begin to examine us as to our position; and new instructions are given to us, not only as to priesthood in general, as an abstract idea, but to the Mormon dignitaries as the only representatives of this idea of priesthood. The intention of this step is, that Peter, James, and John came down to Joseph Smith, and conferred on him this priesthood, which has descended to Brigham Young; that all the reverence that Christ in them could induce, was now to be paid to this Mormon priesthood; immediate, implicit, and unquestioning obedience; to be, as Kimball said, "like a tallowed rag in the hands of Brigham Young." Now, presumed this allegory, we were advancing toward the kingdom of God. The man Adam, lost by reason of his fall, the great original sin; doubly lost by the addition of his personal sins, has received powers and blessings, and wandered away from the truth. As it was the priesthood who took him up in his fall, gave him the promise of a Redeemer, so it must be this priesthood that must be the instruments of accomplishing his redemption. God has now taken pity on the worlod wandering in darkness, and revealed his gospel to Smith, bestowed
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upon him this priesthood, and is now demanding entire obedience to him and his successors.
An oath, with the penalty of throat-cutting, was the condition of the first; heart being plucked out, etc., etc., dragged into agonizing details, is the penalty of the second oath. New secrecy is impressed, and the second degree of Aaronic priesthood, with signs, grip, and key word, is bestowed.
This farce, heightening into a fearful reality, is continued. The allegory presumes man to be now in a partially saved state. He is ushered into a room with an altar in the center of it. Undying fidelity to the brethren is here inculcated. "Never to speak evil of the Lord's anointed," or, in other words, to shut your mouth on all iniquity; to see and not to speak. Not only to think with their thoughts; to come to them as mediators between Christ and man, as Christ is their Mediator between them and God; to feel as they feel, and act as they act; to render implicit obedience to any requisition however treasonable, however criminal, however unnatural, however impious it might be; not only all this, but never to "speak evil of the Lord's anointed." To have the "Church" the first thing in your mind, and filling the only place in your affections; to be ready to sacrifice to its dictum or its interests the warmest friend, the nearest relation, the dearest wife, or even life itself; to hold no trust as sacred, no duty obligatory, no promise or oath binding that militates or infringes the in terests of the Church. On this oath being taken, the penalty, on either breaking or revealing it, being that you shall have your navel ripped across, and your bowels gush out, etc., etc., in all sorts of disgusting and horrifying details, another sign,
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key word, and grip is communicated, and the first degree of the Melchisedec priesthood is conferred.
Stupefied and weary; bowing under a sense of fearful and unnatural responsibility; excited by a species of apprehension as to what would come next, we were ushered into another room. An altar was in the center; on it the Bible, Book of Mormon and Book of Smith's Revelations. Man and woman, we were ranged around the place; Kimball in the same, and Brigham in the next room looking on; Parley Pratt officiating, and the fourth oath was administered. The allegory presumed that man, now in a fair and certain way to salvation, had a great temporal duty to perform, not an abstract theory of obedience, nor obedience in abstract things, but a great positive, present, immediate duty. We were, therefore, sworn to cherish constant enmity toward the United States government for not avenging the death of Smith, or righting the persecutions of the Saints; to do all that we could toward destroying, tearing down, or overturning that government; to endeavor to baffle its designs and frustrate its intentions; to renounce all allegiance and refuse all submission. If unable to do any thing ourselves toward the accomplishment of these objects, to teach it to our children from the nursery; impress it upon them from the death-bed; entail it upon them as a legacy. To make it the one leading idea and sacred duty of their lives; so that "the kingdom of God and his Christ" (the Mormon Church and its priesthood) "might subdue all other kingdoms and fill the whole earth." Curses the most frightful, penalties the most barbarous, were threatened and combined in the obligation either on failing to
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abide or in daring to reveal these covenants. A new sign, a new key-word, a new grip, and the second degree of Melchisedec priesthood was administered. We were now acceptable to God, and could approach him as children, but had to learn how to pray. We were now told that our robes were on the wrong shoulder and as a sign of our entire dependence on the priesthood in spiritual things, they set them right. In order to impart a deeper religious tone to these proceedings, and to feed the flame here kindled, a new method of praying was shown to us. All the endowees were to stand in a circle; silently to repeat all the signs with their formula, and then to be united by a fantastic intertwining of hands and arms. While in this position one who is previously chosen to be "mouth-piece," kneels on his right knee, takes hold of the hand of one of the standing brethren, thus completing the "circle," and prays slowly; all repeating his words after him.
Thus to meet in circle, to solemnize our thoughts by assuming the garb, to refresh our memories and realize our obligations by repeating all the formula of sign, token, keywords and penalties; and then to pray standing in a mysterious position, using abracadabratic terms, is thought to call down from heaven an immediate answer to prayer, because, finding peculiar favor in the eyes of God. These circles meet every week, and Brigham and the Twelve Apostles often meet every day in this manner and for this object. Standing thus, Parley P. Pratt prayed, and we slowly repeated his words, calling on God to bless or curse as we obeyed or neglected the covenants we had made. We were now brethren, members of the holy orders of God's priesthood;
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admitted to the full participation in the privileges of the fraternity; recognizing ealch other readily; constantly wearing a garment as a protector and remembrancer; bound to each other by tremendous secrets; chained to the priesthood by fearful oaths.
We were now to pass through the Vail, a thin partition of linen, through which all the whole formula had to be repeated; certain marks on the bosom and front of the shirt are cut with a pair of scissors; another name is whispered very softly and very quickly, too soft and fast to be distinguished; and we were ushered into the Celestial Kingdom of God, having passed "behind the Vail!" The men then turn round and admit their wives, who have to repeat the whole affair once more, and the door is opened and they are let through. In the "Celestial Kingdom" we found Brigham, and many others waiting to hear the "Endowment Lecture" which is delivered on every initiation day. We were then allowed to dress, retaining our under-garments; got a hurried lunch, it being nearly four o'clock, and returned to the "Celestial Kingdom" to hear the lecture. This was by H. C. Kimball, explaining the allegory and enforcing the seriousness of the affair; repeating the different signs with formulas of recognition; giving some pointed warnings and uttering some tremendous threats; and about six o'clock we returned to the office, resumed our boots and shoes, and the affair was ended.
There are very few minds, of the caliber usually converted and seduced into Mormonism, that can readily shake off the benumbing effect of such a day as that above described
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Free-masonry, Odd-fellowship, and other kindred ceremonies sway very mightily the minds subject to their influence, and initiated into their secrets. The mysteries of sacred orders paralyzed strong energies, inflamed cold hearts, and inflated hard minds of ancients. It is not astonishing that these ceremonies stimulate the terror and excite the supersitions of their initiated too. It is not surprising that thus bound thinking that the whole is a revelation; hurried along; seeing Brigham Young just as infatuated as any of them, firmly convinced that this is the kingdom; this, the age; this, the means; and themselves the people, that they should suffer and act as they do. It may show them in a state of frail human nature, but it does not show them at all unnatural. That there is much genius shown -- if genius be shown in the adaptation of means to ends -- in these Mormon mysteries, none can dispute. They are admirably fitted to sternly imprint and superstitiously to enweave themselves in the hearts of their recipients. It is hard to concieve of a better means to soften prejudices, almost to amuse, by an apparent triviality, till leading one gradually and unsuspiciously along, making every word an iron bar, and every bar a step to the grand finale, till the farce deepens into the real, and the real is sublimed into the tragic.
There is one thing that is utterly ridiculous, the pretending to claim inspiration as its source. Its signs, tokens, marks and ideas are plagiarized from masonry. The whole affair is being constantly amended and corrected, and Kimball often says, "We will get it perfect by-and-by." The giving the "new name" is optional with the namer, and he has no rule.
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The inspiration of the moment is the inspiration of God. Many have the same name, but as they are not known by any but one's self; and he to whom they are uttered at the Vail, that does not make the slightest difference. One man forgot his name in the mass of excitement, and Pratt could not remember what name he gave him, and so, to settle the difficulty, he gave him another, and he passed through the Vail, and that did just as well. From first to last, the intention of the mystery is to teach unlimited obedience to Brigham, and treason against the country. However infatuated, they all see this plainly; and the stronger their infatuation, the prompter their obedience.
To many strange extremes do they carry this obedience. Mr. Eldredge had a daughter, handsome, intelligent, and amiable. She loved a young man, and he her. Brigham's nephew, Joseph W. Young, saw and liked, but was disliked by her. He spoke to Brigham, who told Eldredge "that he had to marry his girl to Joseph W., that it was his 'counsel,' and that every man must be master of his household." Her wrung heart, her crushed love, her blasted hopes, and her stifled aversion yielded at the shrine of this monster superstition, and she married Joseph W. Young. Bishop Hioagland had a daughter, Emily. A Mr. J. C. Little was married and not desirous to become a polygamist. Kimball commanded him to take this girl, commanded Bishop Hoagland to give her, and commanded Emily to have Mr. Little. Indifference was overcome, the warm hopes of a girl's heart for a fond young husband, torn up like weeds, and she married, and she wept! Z. Snow had been one of the Utah judges, was a
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Mormon, kept a store, offended Brigham, who cursed him most fearfully; reproached, rebuked, charged, threatened him, and finally commanded him to go on a mission to Australia, for at least three years. Z. Snow was a man of education, a lawyer, had fought his way to the bench, a man of money and business, had struggled with the world and had conquered; but yet, like a child, he bowed his head to Brigham's withering rebukes, fearful criminations, merciless anathemas; left his family, gave up his business, said nothing, accepted the appointment, and is now in Australia, preaching Mormonism! I could name a score of such evidences of the cruelest tyranny and the most superstitious obedience. Mormonism, at Salt Lake, is a whirlpool; once get into the stream, and you must either be sucked down into its vortex, or else be cast out bruised and broken.
While men will themselves thus suffer unrepining, and never think of resistance, it is not at all astonishing that they should inflict suffering on others, and never dream of any thing but doing their duty. What is still more singular, men who have been employed in the commission of positive crimes, never think of taking any extra freedom on that account, but show and actually feel all the same veneration for their Prophet. Second Zeids giving up women to a second Mohammed, could not evince more superstition and more obedience. When the Mormons talk so much of death as a penalty, it is not the idle threat of imaginary killing, but the strong word of merciless men. They never threaten what they will not perform, and fear of risking the penalty withholds many from apostacy.
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That the Church has instigated many murders there can be no question. Not only do they not deny, but even publicly preach its propriety, as a means of salvation. As soon as the news of the murder of Squire Babbett and party reached Salt Lake, the impression grew strong in the minds of the people, that it had been done by the instruction of the Church; as Babbett was very troublesome, was feared, had often been threatened, was a "covenant-breaker," and, consequently, by Mormon law, ought to die. The desire prompted the suspicion, and the more closely that the circumstances were scrutinized, the stronger these suspicions became. Some weak-minded people, however, did not approve of such bloody measures, and Brigham, to effectually quiet their scruples, preached this strange doctrine on Sabbath afternoon, September 21; 1856:
"There are sins that men commit for which they can not receive forgiveness in this world, or in that which is to come, and if they had their eyes open to see their true condition, they would be perfectly willing to have their blood spilt upon the ground, that the smoke thereof might ascend to heaven as an offering for their sins; and the smoking incense would atone for their sins, whereas if such is not the case, they will stick to them and remain upon them in the spirit world.
"I know, when you hear my brethren telling about cutting people off from the earth, that you consider it is strong doctrine; but it is to save them, not to destroy them. I will say further; I have had men come to me and offer their lives to atone for their sins.
"It is true that the blood of the Son of God was shed for
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sins through the fall and those committed by man, yet men can commit sins which it can never remit. As it was in ancient days, so it is in our day; and though the principles are taught publicly from this stand, still the people do not understand them; yet the law is precisely the same. There are sins that can be atoned for by an offering upon an altar as in ancient days; and there are sins that the blood of a lamb, of a calf, or of turtle doves, can not remit, but they must be atoned for by the blood of the man. That is the reason why men talk to you as they do from this stand; they understand the doctrine, and throw out a few words about it." -- Deseret News, October 1, 1856.
When the citizens of Carroll and Davis counties, Mo., began to threaten the Mormons with expulsion in 1838, a "death society" was organized, under the direction of Sidney Rigdon, and with the sanction of Smith. Its first captain was Captain "Fearnot," alias David Patten, an Apostle. Its object was the punishment of the obnoxious. Some time elapsed before finding a suitable name. They desired one that should seem to combine spiritual authority, with a suitable sound. Micah, iv. 13, furnished the first name, "Arise, and thresh, O! daughter of Zion; for I will make thy horn iron, and thy hoofs brass; and thou shalt beat in pieces many people; and I will consecrate their gain unto the Lord, and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth." This furnished them with a pretext; it accurately described their intentions, and they called themselves the "Daughters of Zion." Some ridicule was made at these bearded and bloody "daughters," and the name did not sit easily. "Destroying Angels,"
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came next; the "Big Fan" of the thresher that "should thoroughly purge the floor," was tried and dropped. Genesis, xlix. 17, furnished the name that they finally assumed. The verse is quite significant: "Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse's heels, so that his rider shall fall backward." The "Sons of Dan" was the style they adopted; and many have been the times that they have been adders in the path, and many a man has fallen backward, and has been seen no more. At Salt Lake, among themselves, they ferociously exult in these things, rather than seek to deny or extenuate them.
Some of the leading spirits of that band are still in Salt Lake City. Although they do not maintain their organization, being generally merged into "Brigham's Life Guards," yet without the same name, they have performed the same deeds. O. P. Rockwell, the attempted assassin of Governor Boggs, and who was instructed by Smith to commit the deed, Brigham has had into the pulpit to address the meetings! A W. Hickman, against whom many indictments are out in Iowa, and who is publicly known as an "avenger of blood," is one of Brigham's most particular intimates. It is no secret at Salt Lake that several men have disappeared after being last in the company of this man, and no question is raised as to the matter there. This man was one with three other such who left Salt Lake without any ostensible reasons for their journey, traveled near to the spot where Messrs. Margetts and Cowdy were said to have been murdered, and returned bearing the news of their murder. This circumstance is still more significant, remembering that Margetts and Cowdy were
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both "covenant-breaking" apostates; that they were returning to their native country; that they could make many terrible disclosures, and do Mormonism much injury in England; that it was Mormon law that they should die, and Mormon interest to kill them; that these men had no other motives for traveling more than a thousand miles; that they returned as soon as they had got near the spot where these unfortunate men and their families were murdered; that the excitement at Salt Lake on hearing the news was so great that it needed Brigham to preach the above discourse in order to allay it; and that in this discourse, instead of endeavoring to deny the suspicion or extenuate the act, he defends such means as the only remaining method of insuring their salvation. It is, say they, a portion of the penalty they invoke on themselves, and therefore secure to themselves. Whether Brigham be guilty of the murder of these men, can not, perhaps, be known till "the great day." I can not but feel that it appears strongly suspicious; although one of them being my own cousin, perhaps incapacitates me from correct and impartial judgment. What is for the salvation of a saint, must, of course, be the very best means of securing the salvation of a "Gentile, and heathen without the gate." Men who are sworn not to hesitate at the sacrifice of themselves, will not be very chary at the sacrifice of others. Nor have they been; several Missourians, well known and well hated as enemies, have been put under the ground. When a man is missing at Salt Lake, it is a common expression, " He has met the Indians." Colonel Pe]tro and Mr. Tobin, with their servants, were severely wounded by Mormons, who attacked them
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in the night, on Santa Clara river, 370 miles south of Salt Lake. They lost six horses, worth at least one thousand dollars, and were compelled to abandon their baggage, which was perfectly riddled with shot. The object of their enmity and this attempted assassination was Mr. Tobin. Hie went with Captain Stansbury to Salt Lake in 1851; then met Brigham, and admired his daughter Alice; was engaged to her, and left Salt Lake on business. He returned in 1856, and renewed his engagement with Miss Alice; although she was at the same time under a written engagement to a Mr. W. Wright, whom Brigham sent off to the Sandwich Islands, to get him out of the way. Mr. Tobin told me in California that he had the most convincing proof that Miss Young had sacrificed her honor, and accordingly refused to marry her. For this, Mormon hated; for the influence he might exert abroad, Mormon feared; and because both hated and feared, he was nearly Mormon murdered.
Elder Willard Snow, while sitting as a justice of the peace, in the trial of Mr. John Galvin, for striking a Mormon, said to him, "If you ever lay your hands on another Saint, I will have your head cut off before you leave the city. I thank God that the time is not far distant, and I shall rejoice when it comes, that I shall have the authority to pass sentence of life and death on the Gentiles, and I will have their heads snatched off like chickens in the door-yard." The threat was not vain, and the opinion is very commonly entertained. Mr. George Grant, then deputy sheriff, on the same occasion, said to the same individual, "If I had my way, I would drown you in the Jordan river."
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Such are not only the sentiments of Brigham, haranguing the people, but the large majority of the Mormon people, expressing their sentiments through Brigham.
The penalty of adultery is death. Dr. Vaughan was shot by a Mr. Hamilton, on suspicion. James Monroe was murdered by a Howard Egan, for the same reason. Should an endowed Mormon commit adultery he must die for his salvation. If a Gentile, he must die for atonement.
The endowment they are now giving at Salt Lake, is viewed but as a temporary affair, in force only till a Temple is built, where it will all have to be repeated, with increased performances. Since I went through the ceremonies, they have built an "Endowment House," in which they have added a sealing ordinance. This endowment is essential, say they, to salvation. No man but an endowee can have a wife! "From him that hath not, shall be taken what he seemeth to have; and to him that hath, shall be given more abundantly," is their generous reading of the promise. To have a wife you must be "sealed at the altar." Unless previously endowed, one never sees the altar, nor knows what it means. Accompanied by my wife, I went to the "Endowment House." We assumed our robes, aprons, caps, etc., and, looking like a mongrel of half Hebrew half Brahmin, went to the "altar room." It is well carpeted; its altar is a kind of solid table, nicely cushioned, with a cushioned ledge to kneel on. I, kneeling on one, and my wife kneeling on the other side of the altar between us, grasping each other's hands across its cushioned top, with the "patriarchal grip," Kimball demanded the usual questions as to willingness, and pronounced us "man
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and wife for time and for all eternity, by the power and authority of the holy priesthood invested in me, and I seal upon your head the blessings of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, for time and for all eternity, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen. Kiss your wife." Such was the formula; Kimball had so often repeated it, that he gabbled it off without stops or pauses; running "kiss your wife" into the amen, like some clerks of courts administering oaths to witnesses.
In the lectures, which used to be always delivered after the initiations, the most disgusting language I ever heard in my life is reveled in by Kimball. He boasts, "you are under oath, and you can't tell it." Comparisons and expressions that would disgrace a prostitute are luxuriously mouthed over, before a congregation of sixty to a hundred men and women. He speaks them as though he wished them to dwell on his tongue, the same as they dwell in his thoughts. Duties the most secret and sacred are not only plainly but filthily spoken of by him, as though the essence of nastiness had been distilled and his heart lay festering in it. I have heard him, in these meetings, avow "that a little drunken spree, if quite in secret and among a few good fellows, was no great sin."
So sunk are they in infatuated and fanatical licentiousness, that the white women at Utah do not content them. Although Smith, speaking of the Indians, in his Book of Mormon, p. 66, says, "Cursed shall be the seed of him that mixeth with their seed: for they shall be cursed with the same cursing," Brigham now teaches that "the way God has revealed
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for the purification of the Indians, and making them 'a white and delightsome people,' as Joseph prophesied, is by us taking the Indian squaws for wives!!" Accordingly several of these tawny beauties have been already "sealed" to some of the Mormon authorities.
Another method of "increasing their kingdom," is by adoption for eternity. "Children," say they, "born out of the'covenant of sealing,' are only bastards; they have the claim of paternity on their father, but he has no eternal right to them." As their "glory" depends on their family, much wish is felt to get some of these children to adopt. The son must share the father's "glory;" and, therefore, the more glorious the father, the more elevated the child. Many young men give themselves over to the leading men as "eternal sons," in the hope of sharing the honor of their adopted parents. Both Brigham and Kimball have many such adopted sons. A W. C. Staines is as well known to be Brigham's son, as a D. Candland is to be Kimball's.
Brigham Young, and others of the authorities, have discovered another novel method of extending their kingdoms, by trafficking for sons. Woman adds to man's "glory," say they, only as a wife. If he can not marry her, she is a burden. Unmarried daughters, therefore, do not lead very happy lives. They are poor and valueless property to any but their husbands. Brigham, however, has turned his to some account, by compelling the man who wants to marry one, to be first adopted to him. "If," says he, "you won't help to glorify me, she sha'n't help to glorify you!"
His daughter Alice, mentioned above, in connection with
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Mr. Tobin, was for some time and to some extent "kept in the market" at these terms. When Mr. Tobin left, she was very quickly mairried to H. B. Clawson, notwithstanding Brigham had promised her to W. B. Wright, who was preaching in the Islands.
When persons give themselves up, blindly and enthusiastically, to the directions of other and designing men; imagine they are invested with God-given powers, and endowed with a God-given sagacity, it is inevitable that they run into the wildest vagaries that lunatics could rhapsodise, or fanatics believe. Nor is it surprising that men, by a gradual system of rigid self-training, should positively be sincere in their folly and their faith. Nor can it be astonishing that this sincere exaltation should be cunning in forging chains and artful in imposing them on the minds of other equally deluded, but less gifted believers. While this fanaticism can wield such a mighty influence over the female heart, crushing into the dust the tenderest susceptibilities, the dearest hopes, the voices of the heart, and the instincts of nature; binding together tempers the most antagonistic, opinions the most diverse, nationalities the most jealous; grinding woman to degradation and misery, and almost freezing her tears and stifling her groans, it is not singular that it sways the men.
Religious fanaticism is almost epidemic. Like black and fetid pools that lie stagnating under the sun, noisome with miasms and feculent with contagion, are the reservoirs of delusion. From slimy depths breathes out this moral and mental malaria, and while men are wondering if such things can be, thousands are swimming in lasciviousness; and by surrounding
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it with a few ridiculous rules, teaching it with an affected sanctity, decking it in tinsel gew-gaws, flimy trappingrs and trickery of the stage; defending it with a few specious sophistries, and obeying it with devout buffoonery, it can be made respectable in the eyes of the men, sacred in the eyes of the women, infallible in the eyes of future generations. It is thus with Mormonism. Designs the most treasonable, utopias the most impracticable, dogmas the most ridiculous, and pretensions the most ill-sustained; visionary projects and outrageous tyranny, self-abnegation and disgusting sycophancy, the very worst of practices under the very best of assumptions, and the whole greedily swallowed and enthusiastically taught. Thus it comes robed in the aegis of religious prerogative which enhances its deformity, while it disarms much opposition. Mormonism in the old is ridiculous and distressing; but these are still bound by old ties to old friends, and old homes. Mormonism in the young is frightful; they know no sense of right but their Prophiet's word, no standard of evidence but the Prophet's opinion, no aspirations but for the festering bathos of their impious creed, and no duty but implicit obedience to their conspirator leaders. Taught to regard all the world as their enemies, their country as their oppressors, and their duty to destroy it; taught, too, that in the accomplishment of this object, all means are honorable, every weapon an especial providence, and every advantage a prestige of victory, they are being trained for desperate ends; and I fear, finally, to be subdued alone by desperate measures.
Mormonism has some principles of power in it, else like
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bloated and corrupt fruit it would burst and fall. Their laws allow male licentiousness, however it may be cloaked under pretense of religion, but it is only found in certain channels, and it is retained there. Under the enslaving shackles of religious fanaticism, they are strongly united; not with the cords of reason, or the garland-strings of love, but by the heavy fetters of infatuation.
While this gags their press, cleaves down their liberties, and makes of men and women moral and mental slaves, it still accomplishes some little good; and viewing that little good, at the same time ignoring all the evil, the Mormons really believe that Utah is the best place in the world. It compels them to work hard, and that builds up cities and manufactories. It certainly does away with prostitution, and that is a prominent argument urged by the Mormons in its favor (see its refutation in chapter on Theoretical Polygamy). It prevents all disastrous difference of opinion, by coercing all to believe alike; and this makes intelligence stagnate. There are less robberies, murders, arsons, rapes at Utah, than in any other place of equal population in the world. While the bad is remembered, it ought not to exclude the good. These are the natural consequences of their system of government, but in order to produce these results a gross superstition with licentiousness peculiar to itself; belief in, and fear of ridiculous pretensions of religious authority and universal degradftion, has to be adopted. Imitating Mohammed in polity of government, the Mormons obtain some of the results of Moslem rule. All know that there is not so much crime among Mussulmans as among Christians, still but few Anglo-Saxons,
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from that cause, would be willing to become Turks. Under the goad and lash of a barbarous overseer, slaves work hard, produce wealth; neither murder, rob or rape, and yet few would infer that therefore this overseer was a benefit to the country, or an institution of God. To secure to man the liberty of progressing in powers of intellect, in discovery of principles or their application, in freedom of thought, speech, and action, without also giving him greater liberty to commit crime, if he so will, is impossible. Opportunities of elevation and degradation must be equal. Nations renowned for their great and good, have also become infamous for their bad men. The Hebrew nation itself, when its opportunities and its greater light is considered, were the most wicked people on the earth. Other people have arisen, and lit by the star-glimmers of their vague intuitions, have culminated to their meridian, and then sank into the silence and obscurity of an eternal night; while the Hebrews, whom God has endeavored especially to direct and bless, have only left an equally checkered history, bright with illustrious characters, and black with outrageous sins. At either side of the broad line of mediocrity there is an infinite; and the only means by which the one side can be trodden over, is by leaving the other equally free. The system, therefore, that degrades all men to one miserable level of fanaticism and mental debasement is fallacious, however successful it may be in the suppression of a few of the worst crimes. To repair a partial evil, the remedy is too universally applied. To preserve a few from sinking too low, all have to be prevented from rising at all.
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