What is Mormonism? — Tenets of the Church — Sacred Books and Personages — Organization — Priesthood — First Presidency — the Twelve Apostles — Patriarchs — Elders, Bishops, Priests, Teachers, and Deacons — the Seventies — Stakes and Wards — Marriage — Temple Building — Tabernacle — Political Aspect — Polygamy As a Church Tenet — Celestial Marriage — Attitude and Arguments of Civilization — Polygamy's Reply — Ethics and Law — the Charge of Disloyalty — Proposed Remedies.
We are now prepared to ask the question with some degree of intelligence, What is Mormonism? In formulating an answer, we must consider as well the political as the religious idea. I will examine the latter first.
Mormonism in its religious aspect is simply the acceptation of the bible, the whole of it, literally, and following it to its logical conclusions.
As the Christian world has advanced in civilization and intelligence these two thousand years or so, it has gradually left behind a little and a little more of its religion, first of the tenets of the Hebraic record, and then somewhat even of those of the later dispensation. Long before religionists began to question as myths the stories of Moses, and Jonah, and Job, they had thrown aside as unseemly blood-sacrifice and burnt-offerings, sins of uncleanness, the stoning of sabbath-breakers, the killing in war of women, children, and prisoners, the condemnation of whole nations to perpetual bondage, and many other revolting customs of the half-savage Israelites sanctioned by holy writ.
This they did of their own accord, not because they were so commanded, but in spite of commandments, and by reason of a higher and more refined culturea culture which had outgrown the cruder dogmas of the early ages. Then came the putting away of slavery and polygamy, the former but recently permitted in these American states, and the latter being here even now. Among the discarded customs taught and encouraged by the new testament are, speaking in tongues, going forth to preach without purse or scrip, laying on of hands for the healing of the sick, raising the dead, casting out devils, and all other miracles; and there will be further repudiations as time passes, further ignoring of portions of the scriptures by orthodox sects, a further weeding out of the unnatural and irrational from things spiritual and worshipful.
The tenets of the Mormon church are these:
The bible is the inspired record of God's dealings with men in the eastern hemisphere; the book of Mormon is the inspired record of God's dealings with the ancient inhabitants of this continent; the book of Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints consists of revelations from God concerning the present dispensation to Joseph Smith, who was inspired to translate the book of Mormon and organize the church of Christ anew. Joseph Smith to the present dispensation is as Moses was to Israel; there is no conflict, either in personages or books. The statements, assertions, promises, and prophecies of the books, and the precepts and practices of the personages, are accepted, all of them, and held to be the revealed will to man of one and the same God, whose will it is the duty and endeavor of his people to carry out in every particular to the best of their ability.
There are more gods than one. There are spiritual gifts. Not only must there be faith in Christ, but faith in the holy priesthood, and faith in continual
revelation.1 Man is a free agent. The laying on of hands for ordination, and for the healing of the sick, descends from the early to the later apostles.2 There will be a resurrection of the body and a second coming of Christ. Israel is a chosen people; there has been a scattering of Israel, and there will be a gathering. Joseph Smith was the fulfiller not only of bible prophecies, but of the book of Mormon prophecies, and of his own prophecies. Foreordination, election, and dispensation of the fulness of times are held. There was an apostasy of the primitive church, and now there is a return. There was the Jerusalem of the eastern hemisphere; on the continent of North America is planted the new Jerusalem. Miracles obtain; also visions and dreams, signs and tokens, and angels of light and darkness. There are free spirits and spirits imprisoned; the wicked will be destroyed, and there will be a millennial reign. The saints are largely of the house of Israel, and heirs to the promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The aboriginal inhabitants of America and the Pacific isles were the
1In 1853, Benjamin Brown, high-priest, and pastor of the London, Reading, Kent, and Essex conferences, published at Liverpool a tract entitled, Testimonies for the Truth; a Record of Manifestations of the Power of God, Miraculous and Providential, witnessed by him in his travels and experiences. The author was a native of New York, and born in 1794. He was a firm believer in latter-day revelations from God, and that the ancient gifts of the gospel still remained, long before he joined the Mormons. He labored long and in various places. He held property in Nauvoo when the saints were driven out, and was obliged to take $250 for what was worth $3,000. Afterward he underwent all the sufferings and vicissitudes of the overland journey to Salt Lake. Mr Brown was an earnest and honest man; his book is the record of his life, and is simple and attractive in style and substance.
2Healing the sick. Joseph early laid it down as a rule that all diseases and sickness among them were to be cured by the elders, and by the use of herbs alone. Physicians of the world were denounced as enemies to mankind, and the use of their medicines was prohibited. Afterward, anointing with oil, prayer, and laying on hands were resorted to in addition to the first mentioned. Says Mrs Richards, 'In all sicknesses we used no medicines, with the exception of herb teas that we ourselves prepared, trusting exclusively to the efficacy of the anointing with oil and prayer.' Reminiscences, MS., 34. Joseph said, 'All wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man. Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof.' The use of flesh was not forbidden, but rather restricted to seasons of cold and famine. All grain was pronounced good for man, but wheat was particularly recommended with corn for the ox, oats for the horse, rye for fowls and swine, and barley for all useful animals, and for mild drinks; as also other grain. Times and Seasons, v. 736.
seed of Joseph, divided into numerous nations and tribes. The Lamanites were of the house of Manasseh.
We believe, say their articles of faith, in God the father, in Jesus Christ the son, and in the holy ghost. For their own sins, and not for any transgression of Adam, men will be punished; but all may be saved, through the atonement, by obedience to the ordinances of the gospel, which are: faith in Christ, repentance, baptism by immersion,3 and laying on of
3Baptism, a prerequisite to church membership, as well as to final salvation, to be of avail, must be by immersion, and performed by one of the sect. The person who is called of God, and has authority from Jesus Christ to baptize, shall go down into the water with the person to be baptized, and shall say, calling him or her by name: 'Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the father, and of the son, and of the holy ghost. Amen.' Doctrine and Covenants, 115, 118. Baptisms are entered in the general church records, giving the name, place, and date of birth, quorum, date of baptism, first time or re-baptism, by whom baptized, when and by whom confirmed. Deseret News, Feb. 22, 1851. In 1844, complaints were made that members of the church, dismissed by the council, had been re-baptized by elders who were themselves excluded, and declaring such baptisms invalid. Times and Seasons, v. 458-9.
In 1836, Joseph introduced the ceremony of anointing with consecrated oil. He first anointed his father, who, having been blessed by the first presidency, anointed them in turn, beginning with the eldest. The bishops of Kirtland and Zion, together with their counsellors, were next anointed, and afterward the presiding officers of each quorum performed the ceremony on their subordinates, assisted in some instances by the Smith brothers. Joseph describes the ceremony of consecreting the oil, as follows: 'I took the oil in my left hand, Father Smith being seated before me, and the remainder of the presidency encircled him round about. We then stretched our right hands towards heaven, and blessed the oil, and consecrated it in the name of Jesus Christ.' Mil. Star, xv. 620. Olive-oil is commonly used. Mrs Richards, Reminiscences, MS., 34. Many remarkable cures are mentioned. A seaman, belonging to H. B. M. ship Terror, was rendered deaf and dumb by a stroke of lightning, at Bermuda. Several years after, he was baptized by elders in a canal in England, and instantly recovered both speech and hearing. Frontier Guardian, Jan. 23, 1850. In 1840, a young woman then living at Batavia, N.Y., who had been deaf and dumb for four and one half years, was first restored to her hearing by the laying on of the hands of the elders of the church, and a second ministration, some time afterward, enabled her to speak. Times and Seasons, ii. 516-17. During the building of Nauvoo, nearly every one was attacked with malarial fever, caused by breaking up the new land, and even the prophet himself succumbed for a time. But hearing the voice of the Lord calling on him, he arose and went through the camp healing all to whom he drew near. Woodruff (Mrs), Autobiog., 2-3. Brigham declares he was among the number healed at this time. Mil. Star, xxv. 646. While Joseph was in the midst of his sick, an unbeliever, living a few miles distant, came to him, beseeching him to come and heal his twin children, who were near death's door. The prophet was unable to go himself, but sent Wilford Woodruff in his place. Says the latter, 'He [Joseph] took a red silk handkerchief out of his pocket and gave it to me, and told me to wipe their faces with the handkerchief (cont.)
hands for the gift of the holy ghost. We believe in the same organization and powers that existed in
(3cont.) when I administered to them, and they should be healed.' He also said unto me: "As long as you will keep that handkerchief, it shall remain a league between you and me." I went with the man, and did as the prophet commanded me, and the children were healed. I have possession of the handkerchief unto this day .' Leaves from my Journal, 65. F.D. Richards, who had been sick for several months, was baptized, anointed, and confirmed; immediately after which he was restored to health. Some time afterward, being then an elder, he cured a severe toothache by touching the tooth with his finger. Narrative, MS., 15-16. Mrs Richards' brother, afterward Elder Snyder, was raised from a sick-bed after having been baptized and administered to by Elder John E. Page. Mrs Richards was taken by her brother from a sick-bed to a lake from the surface of which ice more than a foot thick had been removed, and there baptized, whereupon she immediately recovered. Similar cases might be given by the score.
Baptism for the dead is first alluded to by the prophet, who, in a revelation dated Jan. 19, 1841, declares, 'A baptismal font there is not upon the earth, that they, my saints, may be baptized for those who are dead.' It is intimated that a reasonable time will be allowed in which to build a temple and a permanent font, and that during this time a temporary substitute for the font may be employed; but after the completion of the temple, no baptisms for the dead will be of avail unless conducted within the building. See Doctrine and Covenants, 392, 395. Brigham says he first heard of the new doctrine when he was in Europe (1840), and that he believed in it before anything was said or done about it in the church. Times and Seasons, vi. 954. Daniel Tyler says the doctrine was first taught in Nauvoo, although Joseph told some of the elders in Kirtland that it was part of the gospel, and would yet be practised as such. Juvenile Instructor, xv. 56. He also says that before other provision was made, many were baptized in the Mississippi River. The first baptismal font, a temporary structure, intended for use only until the completion of the temple, was erected in the basement of that building, and dedicated on Nov. 8, 1841, Joseph being present and Brigham delivering the address. Joseph thus describes the font: It is constructed of pine staves, tongued and grooved, and is oval-shaped, 'sixteen feet long east and west, and twelve feet wide, seven feet high from the foundation, the basin four feet deep; the mouldings of the cap and base are formed of beautiful carved work in antique style. The sides are finished with panel-work. A flight of stairs in the north and south sides lead up and down into the basin, guarded by a side railing. The font stands upon twelve oxen, four on each side and two at each end, their heads shoulders, and fore legs projecting out from under the font; they are carved out of oak plank, glued together, and copied after the most beautiful five-year-old steer that could be found in the country, and they are an excellent striking likeness of the original; the horns were geometrically formed after the most perfect horn that could be procured. The oxen and the mouldings were carved by Elder Elijah Fordham, from the city of New York, the work occupying eight months. The whole was enclosed in a temporary frame building. Mil. Star, xviii. 744. On Sept. 6, 1842, Joseph writes to the church that all baptisms must be recorded by a person appointed for the purpose, and whose duty it will be to note every detail of the ceremony in each case. One of the officials is to be appointed in each ward, and his returns properly certified to are to be forwarded to the general recorder, who will enter them on the church records, together with the names of all witnesses, etc., and finally add his own certificate as to the genuineness of the signature of the ward recorder. This detail is necessary for the proper identification hereafter of those baptized, for the authority for which the prophet quotes Revelations, xx. 12. 'And I saw the (cont.)
the primitive church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists; in the gift of tongues,4
(3cont.) dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened,' etc. He also states that it was revealed to him on Sept. 1, 1842, that a general recorder must be appointed. Mil. Star, xx. 5-6; Doctrine and Covenants, 409-13. For the ceremony itself, he finds warrant in 1st Cor., xv. 29. 'Else what shall they do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead rise not at all, why are they then baptized for the dead?'
Confirmation follows baptism, with frequently an interval of a few days. Baptism may take place on any day in the week, and the confirmation be deferred until the church assembles on the following, or even a later, Sunday. Two or more elders commonly attend, all taking part in the ceremony. Mrs Stenhouse thus describes her own confirmation: 'Four elders placed their hands solemnly upon my head, and one of them said: "Fanny, by virtue of the authority vested in me, I confirm you a member of the church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints; and inasmuch as you have been obedient to the command of God, through his servants, and have been baptized for the remission of your sins, I say unto you that those sins are remitted. And in the name of God I bless you, and say unto you, that inasmuch as you are faithful and obedient to the teachings of the priesthood, and seek the advancement of the kingdom, there is no good thing that your heart can desire that the Lord will not give unto you. You shall have visions and dreams, and angels shall visit you by day and by night. You shall stand in the temple in Zion, and administer to the saints of the most high God. You shall speak in tongues and prophecy; and the Lord shall bless you abundantly, both temporally and spiritually. These blessings I seal upon your head, inasmuch as you shall be faithful; and I pray heaven to bless you; and say unto you, be thou blessed, in the name of the father, and of the son, and of the holy ghost. Amen."' Englishwoman in Utah, 19-20.
4The gift of tongues is the power to speak in a strange language, but not to translate. It first appeared about 1830, when it was pronounced of the devil. Howe says it was revived in the early part of 1833, and that at one meeting Joseph passed around the room laying his hand upon each one, and speaking as follows: 'Ak man, oh son, oh man, ah ne commene en holle goste en haben en glai hosanne en holle goste en esac milkea jeremiah, ezekiel, Nephi, Lehi, St John,' etc. Mormonism Unveiled, 132-6. In this year, it was suggested that 'no prophecy spoken in tongues should be made public, for this reason: many who pretend to have the gift of interpretation are liable to be mistaken, and do not give the true interpretation of what is spoken; but if any speak in tongues a word of exhortation or doctrine, or the principles of the gospel, etc., let it be interpreted for the edification of the church.' Times and Seasons, vi. 865. The gift was not confined to men; many women were noted for eloquence when thus inspired. Says Mrs Stenhouse of a Sister Ellis: 'Her hands were clenched, and her eyes had that wild and supernatural glare which is never seen save in cases of lunacy or intense feverish excitement. Every one waited breathlessly, listening to catch what she might say; you might have heard a pin drop. They [her utterances] seemed to me chiefly the repetition of the same syllables, something like a child repeating la, la, la, le, lo; ma, ma, ma, mi, ma; dele, dele, dele, hela; followed, perhaps, by a number of sounds strung together, which could not be rendered in any shape by the pen.' Englishwoman in Utah, 27-8. Says Orson Hyde: 'We believe in the gift of the holy ghost being enjoyed now as much as it was in the apostles' days, and that it is imparted by the laying on of hands of those in authority; and that the gift of tongues, and also the gift of prophecy, are gifts of the spirit, and are obtained through that medium.' Frontier Guardian, Dec. 12, 1849. Mrs Stenhouse remarks that 'in later days, the exercise of this gift has been discouraged by the elders, and especially by Brigham.' Going to the Lion House one day, she was blessed by one of Brigham's wives, (cont.)
prophecy, revelation, and visions. In the scriptures is found the law of tithing, which law is now revived, and the keeping of it made one of the first duties of the saints. The ten commandments, and all other commandments, ordinances, promulgations, and possibilities, are in force now as at the time they were given. Marriage is a sacred and an eternal covenant. Plural marriage, sanctioned under the old dispensation and revived under the new, is open to all, and is, in some instances, commanded, when it becomes a sacred obligation.
Seldom does a good Mormon appear in a court of law arrayed against a brother Mormon. And this is why, as the saints allege, the twenty-five or fifty lawyers in Utah who are compelled to derive their living almost entirely from the gentiles, are so bitter against the saints. When two Mormons disagree, they present themselves before the president of the stake, who with twelve councillors, six facing six, their selection having been agreed to by the litigants, is ready to try the case without delay. Plaintiff and defendant, each with his witnesses, take their places before the president, and between the rows of councillors. Prayer is then offered, almighty aid being asked in bringing the affair to a righteous and amicable conclusion. The litigants state the case, each from his own standpoint; the witnesses are heard; the councillors decide. Prayer is again offered. The adversaries shake hands; there is nothing to pay. Until the gentiles came, there were in Utah no police or police courts; no houses of drinking, or of gambling, or of prostitution. Of the administration of justice among the saints I shall speak more at length in a later chapter.
(4cont.) and the blessing interpreted by another wife; the latter, however, cautioned her not to repeat what had occurred, for 'Brother Brigham does not like to hear of these things.' Englishwoman in Utah, 29. Tullidge mentions the names of many women who were distinguished as possessing this gift, and relates an instance of a party whose wagon was surrounded by Indians, escaping with their lives and property; the captors being induced to abandon their prize by Jane Grover, a girl of seventeen, who addressed them in their own language. Women of Mormondom, 474-8.
The doctrine of blood atonement was early inculcated by the church, as a sacrifice necessary for salvation, and not, as many have asserted, in order to legalize murder. There were the altars and the offerings of the old testament, and the great god-man sacrifice of the new. Christ made the atonement for the sins of the world by the shedding of his blood. By the laws of the land, he who commits murder must atone for it by his own death.5 There are sins of various degrees
5The theory of blood atonement is that for certain sins the blood of the transgressor must be shed to save his soul. Among these sins are apostasy, the shedding of innocent blood, and unfaithfulness to marriage obligations on the part of the wife. Says Brigham, in a discourse delivered in Salt Lake City: 'There are sins which then commit for which they cannot receive forgiveness in this world, or in that which is to come, and if they had their eyes open to their true condition, they would be perfectly willing to have their blood spilled 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 do know that there are sins committed, of such a nature that if the people did understand the doctrine of salvation they would tremble because of their situation. And furthermore, I know that there are transgressors who, if they knew themselves and the only condition upon which they can obtain forgiveness, would beg of their brethren to shed their blood, that the smoke thereof might ascend to God as an offering to appease the wrath that is kindled against them, and that the law might have its course. I will say further: I have had men come to me and offer their lives to atone for their sins 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 cannot remit, but they must be atoned for by the blood of the man.' And at another time: 'All mankind love themselves, and let these principles be known by an individual, and he would be glad to have his blood shed. That would be loving themselves, even unto an eternal exaltation. Will you love your brothers or sisters likewise when they have committed a sin that cannot be alerted for without the shedding of their blood? Will you love that man or woman well enough to shed their blood? That is what Jesus Christ meant I could refer you to plenty of instances where men have been righteously slain in order to atone for their sins. I have seen scores and hundreds of people for whom there would have been a chance in the last resurrection if their lives had been taken and their blood spilled on the ground as a smoking incense to the almighty I have known a great many men who have left this church for whom there is no chance whatever for exaltation; but if their blood had been spilled it would have been better for them. This is loving our neighbor as ourselves; if he needs help, help him; and if he wants salvation, and it is necessary to spill his blood on the earth in order that he may be saved, spill it.' Deseret News, Oct. 1, 1856, Feb. 18, 1857. Following Brigham's lead, Heber C. Kimball and Jedediah M. Grant taught the same doctrine during the religious revival, or so-called reformation, in Utah, in 1856-7, of which more later, Grant being the most vehement of the three. The reader will find these discourses reported at length in the Deseret News. the doctrine is very clearly explained in Penrose's (cont.)
of heinousness; some requiring only public confession and promised reformation by way of atonement, whilst others are characterized by an enormity so vast that pardon on earth is impossible. Of the first class are all minor offences against church discipline, breach of which has been publicly acknowledged by nearly every leader, from Joseph himself down to the humblest official.
For the proper carrying out of the instructions revealed in the sacred books, an organization has been effected in these latter days, based upon books and on former organizations. There are two principal priesthoods, the Melchisedek and the Aaronic, the latter including the Levitical. The Melchisedek is the higher, comprising apostles, patriarchs, high-priests, seventies, and elders. It holds the right of presidency, with authority to administer in all the offices, ordinances, and affairs of the church. It holds the keys of all spiritual blessings, receives the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, whose doors are ever open, and holds communion with God the father, Jesus Christ the mediator, Joseph Smith the prophet, and all departed saints.6
The Aaronic is a subordinate priesthood, being an appendage to the Melchisedek, and acting under its
(5cont.) Blood Atonement, passim. See also Lee's Morm., 282-3; Morm. Proph., 157-60; Young's Wife No. 19, 182-99; Paddock's La Tour, 305-8; Bertrand's Mem Morm., 139-72, 250-8, 296-316.
6In regard to the two priesthoods, the Melchisedek and the Aaronic, or Levitical, all authority in the church is subordinate to the first, which holds the right of presidency and has power over all the offices in the church. The presidency of the high-priesthood of this order has the right; to officiate in all the offices of the church. High-priests are authorized to officiate m any lower positions in the church, as well as in their own office. Elders are of this priesthood, and are authorized to officiate instead of high-priests, in the absence of the latter. The twelve apostles are charged with the duty of ordaining all the subordinate officers of the church, and also with its missionary work. Together they form a quorum whose authority equals that of the first presidency, but action by either body must be unanimous. A majority may form a quorum when circumstances render it impossible to assemble the whole body. They also constitute a travelling, presiding high-council, under the direction of the presidency of the church, and it is their duty to ordain ministers in all large branches. The seventies are also missionariesassistants to the twelve, and united they are equal in authority with the twelve.
supervision. It comprises bishops, priests, teachers, and deacons, who hold the keys of the ministering angels, having power to administer in certain ordinances and in the temporal affairs of the church, baptizing and sitting as judges in Israel. The bishopric is the presidency of the Aaronic priesthood. The office of a bishop is to administer in temporal matters. First-born sons, lineal descendants of Aaron, and no others, have a legal right to the bishopric. But a high-priest of the order of Melchisedek may officiate in all lesser offices, including that of bishop, when no lineal descendant of Aaron can be found, and after he has been ordained to this power by the first presidency. There is also the patriarchal priesthood,7
7About 1834, Joseph Smith had a revelation to the effect that it was the will of the Lord that every father should bless his own children, and that patriarchs should be set apart to bless those without a father in the church. This revelation was due to an expressed desire on the part of Brigham Young's father to bless his own children before dying, after the manner of the patriarchs of old. Young's Wife No. 19, 581. Several years before this, it had been directed that every member of the church having children should bring them to the elders before the church, who were to lay their hands upon them in the name of Jesus Christ, and bless them. Doctrine and Covenants, 72. During the life of the first patriarchJos. Smith, sen.these blessings were nominally free to the recipients. A high-council held at Kirtland in Sept. 1835 decided that when the patriarch was occupied in blessing the church, he should be paid at the rate of ten dollars a week, and his expenses; also that Frederick G. Williams be appointed to attend blessing meetings, and record the proceedings, for which services he should receive the same compensation. The payment of twelve dollars for a book in which to record the blessings caused discussion in this council, and brother Henry Green, who had intimated that a suitable book could be procured for less money, was excluded from the church for his presumption. Mil. Star, xv. 308-9. In Jan. 1836, Smith, sen., was anointed with oil by the prophet, blessed by each of the presidency in turn, and was thenceforth known as Father Smith. Id., 620. In 1837, the pay of the patriarch was fixed at a dollar and fifty cents a day, and that of the recorder at ten cents for each 100 words. Mil. Star, xvi. 109. When Hyrum became patriarch, says the author of Young's Wife No. 19, 581, the demand for blessings had so increased that one dollar each was charged for them; and in 1875 the price had advanced to two dollars. Upon the death of his father in 1840, Hyrum Smith succeeded to the office of patriarch, pursuant to a revelation entailing it on the eldest son. The revelation is dated in Jan. 1841. Doctrine and Covenants, 305-6; Mil. Star, xviii. 363. The following notice appears in Times and Seasons, Nov. 1, 1841: 'The brethren are hereby notified that our well-beloved brother, Hyrum Smith, patriarch of the church, has erected a comfortable office opposite his dwelling-house [in Nauvoo], where himself, together with his scribe and recorder, James Sloan, will attend regularly every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, during the entire day, or upon any other day if urgent circumstances require it, to perform the duties of his high and holy calling. A copy of the blessings can be received immediately after being pronounced, so that the brethren who live (cont.)
the patriarch to be the oldest man of the blood of Joseph or of the seed of Abraham. Likewise there are mothers in Israel.8
Head over all is the First Presidency of the Church, known also as the First Presidency of the High-Priesthood, and consisting of a president and two councillors.9 The first presidency presides over and governs
(7cont.) at a distance can have it to take with them.' Hyrum's successor was his brother William, who was disfellowshipped in 1845, John Smith, brother to the prophet, being ordained patriarch over the church, and holding that office until his death in 1854. In the following year Hyrum's son John was ordained patriarch, and since that date has been sustained in his office at each successive conference. A child is first blessed when eight days old, and again so soon as the mother is able to present her child on a regular fast-day. The first Thursday in each month is set apart for fasting. Mrs Richards' Reminiscences, MS., 34-5. The second ceremony is usually attended by both parents, and in addition to a blessing, the child receives its name. Each birthday it is customary for the parents to hold a family gathering, when the child is again blessed, and prayers offered for its welfare. When eight years old, the child is baptized. See Horace's Migrations, MS., 37. The blessings are not only pronounced, but also written out. Id., 34. 'These blessings are rather wonderful affairs; they promise all sorts of things, in a vague, indefinite way, if only the recipient proves faithful. Some are assured they shall never taste death, but live until Christ comes, and be caught up to meet him in the air; others are assured that they are to have the privilege of redeeming their dead so far back that there shall not be a broken link in the chain. Absurd as this all seems, there are hundred of saints who believe that every word shall be fulfilled.' Young's Wife No. 19, 581.
8Hall says there is a class of women, mothers in Israel, whose business it is to instruct females as to their duty in matters not suitable to be taught from the stand. Mormonism Exposed, 39-44.
9Early in 1833 the first presidency was established, with Joseph Smith at the head, his associates in the management of affairs being Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams. The revelation creating this trium virate is dated March 8th, and in it Joseph's coadjutors are instructed first to finish the translation of the prophets, and afterward preside over the affairs of the church and the school. Times and Seasons, v. 736-7. William Hall, who was a member of the church for seven years, erroneously states that the presidency at first consisted of Smith, Rigdon, and William Law. Abominations, 8. At a conference held in Sept. 1837, Joseph appealed to the church to ascertain if he was still regarded as its head, when the vote was unanimous. He then introduced Rigdon and Williams as his councillors. According to the minutes of the conference, Williams was not accepted at first, but this action appears to have been rescinded afterward. Mil. Star, xvi. 56. Oliver Cowdery, Jos. Smith, sen., Hyrum Smith, and John Smith were accepted as assistant councillors, and these seven were henceforth to be regarded the heads of the church. At a general conference of the branch of the church at Far West in Nov. 1837, the action of the Kirtland conference was sustained so far as Smith and Rigdon were concerned, but Williams was rejected. Hyrum Smith was unanimously chosen in Williams' place. Mil. Star, xvi. 106-7. At a conference held at Far West in April 1838, the first presidency was appointed to sign the licenses of the official members of the church. In Jan. 1841, Joseph had a revelation to the effect that he was presiding elder over all the church, translator, revelator, a seer, and prophet; and that his councillors were Sidney Rigdon and William Law. These three were to constitute (cont.)
all the affairs of the church, temporal and spiritual; the first president is the prophet of God, seer, revelator, and translator.
Next in authority are twelve apostles, who are a travelling presiding high-council, and with whom, on the death of the president of the church, the supreme rulership rests until another first presidency is installed.10 The president of the twelve, chosen in the
(9cont.) a quorum and first presidency, to receive the oracles for the whole church. Law's selection was to fill the vacancy caused by the appointment of Hyrum Smith to be patriarch. Mil. Star, xviii. 363. In this same month Joseph notified the recorder of Hancock county that he (Joseph) had been elected sole trustee of the church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints by the church at Nauvoo, to hold office during life. Id., 373. Smith, Rigdon, and Law were continued in office by the annual conference, convened in April 1843. After the murder of the Smiths in 1844, the first presidency lapsed, and for more than three years the church was governed by the quorum of the twelve apostles, of which Brigham was president. At a meeting of the twelve apostles, high-council, and high-priests at Nauvoo, in August 1844, Sidney Rigdon offered himself as guardian to the church, claiming that his action was in obedience to revelation. Young opposed Rigdon's claims, and the assembly decided that the twelve should govern the church, with Young at their head. Mil. Star, xxv. 215-17, 263-4. In Dec. 1847 Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and Willard Richards were chosen to constitute the first presidency. Juv. Inst., xiv. 128. Young died in 1877, and the presidency remained vacant until October 1880, when John Taylor was chosen, with George Q. Cannon and Joseph F. Smith as councillors. Marshall, Through America, 161. This conference lasted five days. S. L. Tribune, Oct. 11, 1880. On the death of the president the quorum is dissolved, and its members, as a presidency, have no status. Richards' Narr., MS., 51.
10On Feb. 14, 1835, the church at Kirtland met for the purpose of choosing and ordaining the twelve apostles. The business occupied several days. Briefly, the ceremonies were as follows: The assemblage consented to accept the names presented by the three witnesses who had been appointed to make the selection. P.P. Pratt says, in his Autobiog., 127-28, the ceremonies were performed by Smith, Whitmer, and Cowdery, and that they acted in accordance with the revelation of June 1829; but in the history of Jos. Smith, Mil. Star, Mar. and Apr. 1853, the three witnesses only are mentioned. Martin Harris' name does not appear in the revelation referred to. See Doctrine and Covenants, 190-2. In an article by 'R. A.' in the Juv. Inst., xiv. 128, the selection is accredited to the three witnesses, who are mentioned by name. As Pratt was one of the ordained, it would seem that his account should be reliable. Each candidate came forward as summoned, and in return received a blessing, and a charge from one of the three. The order of ordination was as follows: On Feb. 14th, Lyman E. Johnson, Brigham Young, and Heber C. Kimball. On the next day, Orson Hyde, David W. Patten, Luke Johnson, Wm E. McLellin, John F. Boynton, and William Smith. On Feb. 21st, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, and Thos B. Marsh, who were absent on a mission, were ordained upon their return to Kirtland, which occurred later. Mil. Star, xv. 206-12. Shortly after, the names were arranged according to seniority, when they stood, Marsh, Patten, Young, Kimball, Hyde, McLellin, P. P. Pratt, Luke Johnson, Smith, O. Pratt, Boynton, and L. E. Johnson. Four of the above apostatized in 1838, viz.: McLellin, the Johnsons, and Boynton; John Taylor, John E. Page, Wilford Woodruff, and Willard Richards were appointed instead. Shortly after this, Marsh, the (cont.)
first instance by reason of seniority or ordination, usually becomes president of the church. The office of the twelve is to preach and teach throughout the world, regulating the affairs of the church everywhere under the direction of the first presidency, calling to their aid therein the seventies.
An apostle may administer in the several offices of the church, particularly in spiritual matters.11 The office of a patriarch is to give patriarchal blessings; the office of a member of a seventy is to travel and preach the gospel; but a patriarch, a high-priest, a
(10cont.) president of the twelve, apostatized, and in 1838 Patten was killed, which left Young at the head of the list, and he became president of the twelve. Geo. A. Smith was ordained in 1839, and Lyman Wight not long after. In 1844, according to Elder Phelps, the following names were on the roll: Young, Kimball, Parley P. Pratt, Hyde, Richards, Taylor, William Smith, Woodruff, George A. Smith, Orson Pratt, Page, and Wight. During this year Wm Smith and Page apostatized, and were replaced by Amasa M. Lyman and Ezra T. Benson. Early in 1845, Young, Kimball, and Richards were chosen to the first presidency, and Wight was disfellowshipped for apostasy; the vacancies thus caused were filled by appointing Chas C. Rich, Lorenzo and Erastus Snow, and Franklin D. Richards. In 1857, Geo. Q. Cannon was appointed, vice P. P. Pratt, deceased. In 1867, Lyman was dropped and Jos. F. Smith appointed. In 1868, Geo. A. Smith became one of the first presidency, and Brigham Young, jun., succeeded him. Albert Carrington was appointed in 1869 in place of Benson, deceased, and Moses Thatcher in 1879, vice Hyde, deceased in 1878; which left the twelve in the following order: John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Orson Pratt, Chas C. Rich, Lorenzo Snow, Erastus Snow, Franklin D. Richards, George Q. Cannon, Brigham Young, Joseph F. Smith, Albert Carrington, Moses Thatcher, Pratt being the only remaining member of the original twelve. Juv. Inst., xiv. 128-9. The vacancies caused by the elevation of John Taylor to the presidency in 1839, with George Q. Cannon and Joseph F. Smith as councillors, were partially filled by the appointment of Francis M. Lyman and John H. Smith. S. L. Tribune, Oct. 11, 1880. Orson Pratt died Oct. 1881, and a year later Geo. Teasdale and Heber J. Grant were elected. Handbook of Ref., 89-90. Up to 1877, the twelve received no pay for their services; but the conference of Oct. voted $1,500 a year to each apostle. 'This is the first sum that has ever been publicly appropriated to any council of the church for the performance of their duties to the people. When I went to Europe in 1866, I borrowed the means and gave my note; on my return I had to pay back my indebtedness.' Richards' Narr., MS., 59-60.
11In 1845 was issued at New York and Liverpool, Proclamation of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; to all the Kings of the World; to the President of the Uuited States of Ammerica; to the Governors of the several states, and to the rulers and people of all nations, Greeting, 'Know ye that the kingdom of God has come,' etc. The tract goes on to say that 'Jehovah has been pleased once more to speak from the heavens,' by which means the apostleship of Christ has been restored, in preparation for his coming, which is now near at hand. Then are recited the leading points of faith, with allusions to the history of the church, and calls to repentance.
member of a seventy, and an elder may, in common with an apostle, adtninister in other spiritual offices.
All superior officers are frequently called elders. Thus an apostle is an elder; and he may baptize, and ordain other elders, priests, teachers, and deacons. It is his calling to administer bread and wine, or bread and water, emblems of the flesh and blood of Christ; to confirm the baptized by the laying on of hands for the baptism of fire and the holy ghost; to teach, expound, exhort, and to lead in meetings as lie is led by the holy ghost.
A bishop who is a first-born and a lineal descendant of Aaron may sit as a common judge in the church without councillors, except in the trial of a president of the high-priesthood. But a bishop from the high-priesthood may not sit as a judge without his two councillors. Over all the bishops in the church there is a presiding bishop.
The duties of a priest are to preach, baptize, administer the sacrament, and visit families and pray with them. The duties of a teacher are to watch over and strengthen the church, and see that no iniquity creeps into it, and that every member performs his obligations and conducts himself without guile. The duties of the deacon are to assist the teacher and the bishop, attending to the temporal affairs of the church, looking after the houses of worship and the necessities of the poor. Teachers and deacons may instruct and exhort, but they are not authorized to baptize, lay on hands, or administer the sacrament. No one can hold office except by authoritative call and ordination, or by special appointment of God.
The seventies are organized into various councils of seventy, commonly called quorums. Each council of seventy has seven presidents, chosen out of the seventy, one of the seven presiding over the others and over the whole seventy. The seven presidents of the first council of seventies also preside over all the councils
of seventies.12 According to Elder John Jaques, to whose little book on the priesthood I am indebted for this information, there were in 1882 seventy-six councils of seventies, with seventy members in each council when complete. Elders are organized in councils of ninety-six, each council having a president and two councillors. [Priests are organized in councils of forty-eight, each with a presidentwho must be a bishopand two councillors. Teachers are organized in councils of twenty-four, and deacons in councils of twelve, each with a president and two councillors.13
In the society of saints, there are territorial divisions into what are called Stakes of Zion. In Utah, these divisions correspond usually, but not necessarily, with the counties, each county being a stake.
12In February 1835, Joseph Smith, with the aid of the recently appointed apostles, proceeded to organize two quorums of the seventies, whose duties were to assist in the missionary work of the church. Each quorum had seven presidents, and these constituted the councils of the two organizations. Joseph Youngsen, who gives an account of the seventies, gives the names of the presidents of the first quorum only, as follows: Hazen Aldrich, Joseph Young, Levi W. Hancock, Leonard Rich, Zebedee Coltrin, Lyman Sherman, and Sylvester Smith. After noting the changes in the interval, he states that in 1878 the presidents were Young, sen., Hancock, Henry Herriman, Albert P. Rockwood, Horace S. Eldredge, Jacob Gates, and John Van Cott. Hist. of Organ. of Seventies, 1-8. In an account of the dedication of their hall at Nauvoo, in 1844, it is stated there were fifteen quorumsone thousand and fifty in all, if each quorum was full. Times and Seasons, vi. 794.
13For act of incorporation of Mormon church, 1851, see Utah, Acts Legisl. (ed. 1866), 108; S.L.C. Contributor, ii. 270; number and wealth of churches, Seventh Census Rept, 1851-2, 45; prayer in the family, Robinson's Sinners and Sailors, 243-4; church property, and law regulating it, Richards' Narr., MS., 83; church government, Ward's Husband in Utah, 16-17; Mil. Star, iii. 67; positions of church officials, Id., xv. 709. As showing the relative standing of the church dignitaries, the order of voting, as prescribed at the conference which elected Taylor to the presidency in 1880, is given. The twelve apostles and their councillor's; the patriarchs; presidents of stakes and their councillors, and the high-councils; the high-priests; the seventies; the elders; the bishops and their councillors; the lesser priesthoodpriests, teachers, and deacons. The members of each order voted standing and with the right hand uplifted, and finally the congregation voted in tire same manner. S. L. City Tribune, Oct. 11, 1880. On faith and doctrine, see Jaques' Church of Jesus Christ, passim; Hand-book of Reference, passim; Jaques' Catechism, passim; Book of Doctrine and Covenants, passim; Richards' and Little's Compendium, passim; Articles of Our Faith, passim; Pearl of Great Price, passim; Times and Seasons, passim; Millenial Star, passim; Deseret News, passim; Moffat's Catechism, passim; Pratt's Persecutions, passim; Pratt's Voice of Warning, passim; Reynolds' Book of Abraham, passim; and many other books, pamphlets, and periodicals by various members and dignitaries of the church.
Every stake has a president, with his two councillors, and a high-council, consisting of twelve high-priests.14 The high-priests assemble in council, having its president and two councillors, at stated times, usually once a month, for conference and instruction. The president of a stake, with his two councillors, presides over the high-council of that stake, which has original and appellate jurisdiction, and whose decisions are usually, but not invariably, final. Appeals are had to a general assembly of the several councils of the priesthood, but such appeals are seldom taken. The jurisdiction of the several councils is ecclesiastical, affecting fellowship and standing only, the extreme penalty being excommunication.
Each stake is divided into wards, the number being according to territory and population; over each ward presides a bishop, with his two councillors. Each stake and each ward, as a rule, has its own meeting-house. There are about twenty-five stakes, divided into some three hundred wards. Salt Lake City is divided into twenty-one wards, each containing for the most part nine ten-acre blocks, though in the outskirts they are larger. Each stake holds a quarterly conference; and the church holds a general conference every April and October.
It will be observed that the orders of priesthood and organization of the church are copied essentially from the bible. As before remarked, the Mormons believe and practise what their sacred books teach, and all that they teach, without intended misinterpretation,
14The standing high-council at the stakes of Zion forms a quorum equal in authority in the affairs of the church, in all its decisions, to the quorum of the presidency, or to the travelling high-council. Each order is governed as follows: the seventy, by seven presidents, one of whom presides over the other six; and as many additional seventies may be organized as the increase of the church shall demand. The president of the high-priests is to preside over the whole church; the president of the elders presides over ninety-six elders; the president of the Aaronic priesthood over forty-eight priests; the president of the teachers over twenty-four teachers, and the president of the deacons over twelve deacons. Should the president of the church transgress, he is to be tried before the common council of the church.
elimination, or repudiation. And as the book of Mormon is held to be a continuation of the historical portion of the bible, and equally with it the word of God; and as the ideas and instructions contained in the book of Doctrine and Covenants have been derived, for the most part, from a study and literal interpretation of the biblethough with something addedit is safe to say that in the main the Mormons believe what the bible teaches, and that Mormonism is the acceptation of the bible, the whole of it, literally, and following it to its logical conclusions.
Tithing, though enjoined by divine command, is a free-will offering.15 The law of tithing in its
15Upon the matter of tithing, Joseph Smith in 1831 had three several revelations, each containing a clause requiring money and other property to be set apart for general use in the church. The first was received in Feb., the second in May, and the last in Aug. See Times and Seasons, iv. 369; v. 416, 466. But it was not until several years later that an organized system was established, by revelation dated Far West, July 8, 1838. See Doctrine and Covenants, 382-3. During the progress of settlements at Far West, the question of taxation was brought up and referred to the prophet, who inquired of the Lord, and received answer that all surplus property must be turned over to the bishop as the first step, after which one lentil of each annual interest was also to be paid. These payments were to be devoted to the building of a place of worship, and for the debts of the presidency. In the Millennial Star, xxv. 474, it is denied that the priesthood receive any support from the tithing fund, and asserted that it is expended for general purposes solely, such as public buildings, roads, assisting immigration. The twelve apostles, in an epistle dated Nauvoo, Dec. 13, 1841, declare that the tithing required is 'one tenth of all any one possessed at the commencement of the building of the temple, and one tenth part of all his increase from that time till the completion of the same, whether it be money, or whatever he be blessed with. Many in this place are laboring every tenth day for the house, and this is the tithing of their income, for they have nothing else.' Times and Seasons, iii. 626. Says William Hall: 'When I came to Illinois, I gave, as was required, one tenth of the amount of my whole estate to be appropriated to the building of the temple. After this, annually, I gave one tenth of the products of my farm; even the chickens, cabbages, and other vegetables in kind were turned over, with a like share of the grain.' Mormonism Exposed, 6. Mrs Stenhouse, during her first winter in Salt Lake City, made bonnets for Brigham Young's wives, for which a bill of $250 was presented to Young, when the latter gave orders that the amount should be credited to the Stenhouses for tithing. Englishwoman in Utah, 187-8. There are two colonies of Mormons in Arizona that are free from territorial and county taxes. They are so isolated that the cost of collecting amounts to more than the taxes. They do not escape tithes, however. Elko (Nev.) Daily Independent, Jan. 28, 1882. During the construction of the railroad through Utah, Mormon agents collected tithings from the railroad laborers. Salt Lake Reporter, Feb. 9, 1869, in S. F. Times, Feb. 19, 1869. Should a laborer be idle thirty days, the tithing office claims three (cont.)
fulness requires the tenth of the surplus property of members coming to Zion to be paid into the church as a consecration, and after that one tenth of increase or earnings annually. This is to be used for the poor, for
(15cont.) days from him, on the grounds that he may do as he pleases with twenty-seven days, but he has no right to idle away three days belonging to the Lord. Vedette, in San José Mercury, Mar. 14, 1867. Says Richards: 'If they do not pay their tithes, nothing is done to compel them to do it; they are only reminded of the case, as with neglect to attend meeting, or of any other duty.' Narr., MS., 60-1. At the conference held at Salt Lake City on April 6, 1880, it was reported that the total tithing receipts for the year ending Dec. 31, 1879, were $458,333; which amount it had cost $13,956.75paid the bishopsto collect. S. L. C. Tribune, April 7, 1880. This report includes only the branches of the church in Utah. Coyner, in a letter to the Boston Educational Journal, dated S. L. City, Nov. 20, 1878, states that the church lies an income of about $1,000,000 from tithing. Numerous complaints are made from the church's pulpits against delinquents who have failed to pay. In a book of travels, entitled My First Holiday, Boston, 1881, Caroline H. Dall wrongly asserts that the Scandinavian Mormons refuse to pay tithes. In almost any number of the Deseret News the reader may find a notice calling upon delinquents to pay their tithing. In the issue of May 14, 1853, the bishop within whose jurisdiction a saw-mill is in operation is reminded that lumber is wanted at the public yard; and in the number of July 20, 1854, the first presidency calls on every bishop throughout the territory to furnish at once lists showing who have paid and who still owe. In a speech by Brigham, April 7, 1873, he said: 'When I reached here I could not pay one tenth, I could not pay my surplus, I could not give my all, for I had nothing.' Deseret News, April 23, 1873. Finally, at the jubilee conference, held in celebration of the semi-centennial of the church's organization, one half of the delinquent tithes throughout the whole church, the amount being about $75,900, was remitted. The deserving poor of the church were further assisted on this occasion by the gift of 6,000 head of milch-cows and sheep, and a loan of about 34,000 bushels of wheat until after harvest, without interest. Circulars from the Twelve Apostles, S. L. City, Apr. 16, 1880.
If tithing dues are satisfied by manual labor, the workman is paid from the public stores at rates which, though fixed from time to time, are probably never so low as those paid in ready money elsewhere. Captain Burton copies a price-current list for 1860, too long for me to repeat here, but which will be referred to again elsewhere, and remarks that wheat is quoted at $1.50 per bushel, more than double its current value at the time in the valley of the Mississippi. City of the Saints, 389. Mrs Waite states that when the poor clamored, in 1862-3, because the tithing-office price of flour was $6 per hundred, they were assured that though flour would undoubtedly still advance in price, the cost to them would be no greater. But the following winter, when, owing to the demand from the mining regions of Idaho and elsewhere, flour rose rapidly in price, the tithing-office charged $12 per hundred. This caused so great an excitement that Brigham deemed it necessary to interfere, and the price was reduced to $6 again. It is complained in the Deseret News of Jan. 10, 1852, that merchants are paying 33 per cent more for butter than tithing-house rates, and that this action had drawn the saints away from the tithing-house, and thus forced the laborers on the temple to eat their bread without butter. This was in the midst of winter, when such action might not be altogether unexpected; but we find six months later another complaint, reporting that from March 29th to July 11th there had only been received 5,115 3/4 pounds of butter, 2,534 1/2 of cheese, and 1,182 1/2 dozens of eggs, and inquiring how fast the work would proceed at this rate of supply. Id., July 24, 1852. The revelation establishing tithing was followed (cont.)
building or other church purposes, and for the support of those engaged in church business. There are no salaried preachers. Tithing is paid in kind to the bishop, who renders a strict account, the whole financial
(15cont.) ten days later by another, in which it was declared that the church fund should be disposed of by a council composed of the first presidency, the bishop and his council, and the high-council. This revelation, which is not given in the earliest editions of Doctrine and Covenants, will be found, however, on p. 383 of the edition (if 1876, and also in the Mil. Star, xvi. 183. The twelve, in an epistle dated Nauvoo, Dec. 13, 1841, direct that all money and other property designed for tithings be paid to President Joseph Smith, trustee in trust. Times and Seasons, iii. 627. Smith had been chosen to this office some time before by a general conference, at Quincy, Ill. Id., ii. 579. After Smith, each president has held the position in turn. W. Richards, editor of the Deseret News, describes the system of accounts in use at the general tithing-office, in his number of Nov. 29, 1851. A debtor and credit account was kept on a ledger, with all persons who paid tithing. When an account was settled in full, the name was transferred to the general tithing record, or the book of 'The Law of the Lord,' and a certificate of non-in-debtedness given to the person paying, which was evidence in case of a demand from the bishop of his ward. Four kinds of certificates were issued at this time: one for property tithing due previous to Sept. 10, 1851; one for property tithing due in accordance with the vole of a conference of the date mentioned; and one each for labor and produce tithing. These were all for the year 1851, after which only the labor and produce tithes would be required until a future conference should authorize a new levy. the business of appraising property belongs of right to the presiding bishop, but he may send one of his clerks to attend to the matter. It has been charged against Joseph Smith that his entire wealth was acquired by the diversion of tithes. The prophet, at his own estimate, had property worth one million dollars about the time of his death. He was then at the head of affairs in planning and laying out the city of Nauvoo. His estimates, based upon his faith in the prosperity of the city, may have been not unreasonable; but with the crash of the falling walls of his temple came ruin to his estate. As the general conduct of the church under Brigham was peaceful, and therefore progressive compared with the disastrous rule of his predecessor, so opportunities increased, not only for augmenting private fortunes, but for the circulation of scandal. A writer in the Salt Lake Tribune of June 25, 1879, asserts that during Brigham's term of office he received about $13,000,000 in tithes, of which 'about $9,000,000 was squandered on his family,' and dying, left the remainder to be quarrelled over by his heirs and assigns, including the church. In July 1859 Horace Greeley visited Brigham, who said: 'I am the only person in the church who has not a regular calling apart from the church's service, and I never received one farthing from her treasury. If I obtain anything from the tithing-house, I am charged with and pay for it, just as any one else would I am called rich, and consider myself worth $250,000; but no dollar of it was ever paid me by the church, nor for any service as a minister of the everlasting gospel. I lost nearly all I had when we were broken up in Missouri and driven from that state. I was nearly stripped again when Joseph Smith was murdered, and we were driven from Illinois; but nothing was ever made up to me by the church, nor by any one. I believe I know how to acquire property, and how to take care of it.' Overland Journey to California, 213-14. The governor, in his message to the legislature in 1882, stated that tithing should be prohibited. The message was referred to a committee, which reported that the question being one of a purely religious character did not call for legislative action. 'The payment of tithing, like contributions for missionary, charitable, (cont.)
system being in the hands of the bishopric, but supervised by the trustee in trust through the aid of an auditing committee. The names of those who do not keep the law of tithing shall not be enrolled with the people of God; neither shall their genealogy be kept.
The doctrine of divine revelation is continued. God's ways are immutable; past and present to him are as one; what he has done, that he continues to do; what was right five thousand years ago is right now. If God spoke to Abraham and Solomon, and gave them more wives than one, even giving to David his neighbor's wives, there is no reason why he should not do the same with Joseph and Brigham. There is nothing which God has ever done and sanctioned that he may not do and sanction now; otherwise he is not an omniscient, omnipotent, unchangeable, all-wise, and perfect being. Every member of the church may hold communion with God relative to his own affairs; revelations for the church are only given through its head.
As through Christ alone man may be saved, in order that the souls of many millions who never heard of him may not be all of them lost, baptism for the dead, and thereby salvation, was revealed, as was also celestial marriage.
Nature is dual. An unmarried man or woman is and forever must be an imperfect creature. There are marriages for time and marriages for eternity. A celestial marriage is a marriage of God, and those thus
(15cont.) and other church purposes, by the members of other religious bodies, is clearly an ecclesiastical matter, with which, as law-makers, we have nothing whatever to do, so long as the free exercise thereof does not interfere with the rights and liberties of others. Tithing is not, as we understand it, a new doctrine, for, as a religious privilege and duty, Abraham paid tithes to Melchisedek about four thousand years ago. We are not aware, however, that exactions of tithings are made in this territory, even by ecclesiastical authority; but supposing they were, there is no law by which payment can be enforced, nor is it likely there ever will be, for it is a matter not within the constitutional province of legislative enactment. If any citizen in the territory feels aggrieved by reason of the payment of tithes or other church donations, he holds the remedy in his own hands by simply renouncing connection with any religious body requiring such donations.'
joined can never be divorced, except by the power of God. If a man's wife dies and he marries another, and she dies and he marries a third, believing in resurrection and a life of purity beyond the grave but repudiating polygamy, how will he manage with his plural wives in heaven? She who dies unmarried cannot enter into the full enjoyment of God; but as a man may be baptized for the dead and so save their souls, so he may be sealed to a husbandless woman in heaven. There is a difference between marriage and sealing; the former is secular, and the latter both secular and celestial, as it may be either for time or for eternity, in person or by proxy, and with the living or with the dead. A woman may be sealed to one man for time and to another for eternity, the former being still living.16
16Gentile marriage and divorce are not recognized as valid in the Mormon church. In its early days, the church had no marriage ordinances of its own, and the requirements, conditions, and ceremonies incident to the rite were similar to those of the various protestant sects. Nor had it officials legally qualified to marry, other, perhaps, than a few such men as Sidney Rigdon, wire, having been duly appointed to preside over churches of other denominations, were still competent to join in legal marriage. In 1836, when the church was three years old and the Kirtland temple about to be dedicated, we find Joseph petitioning the court of Medina county, Ohio, for licenses permitting his elders to perform marriage ceremonies, which authority had been refused them by the Geauga county court. Mil. Star, xv. 708.
Later, when the church had gained power, the result of more complete organization, Joseph announced, as its belief respecting marriage, that it 'should be solemnized in a public meeting, or feast, prepared for that purpose,' and that the celebrant should be 'a presiding high-priest, bishop, elder, or priest.' But no prohibition was issued against marriage by any other authority. Neither were church-members forbidden to marry out of the church, though any so doing would be considered weak in the faith. In the edition of Doctrine and Covenants, published at S. L. City in 1876, a revelation of the prophet's purporting to explain 1st Cor., vii. 14, is construed as forbidding marriages between believers and unbelievers. Ann Eliza Webb, who was twice married according to Mormon practice, once by Brigham, and afterward to him, thus describes the ceremonies: After registration, which includes name, age, place of birth, with county, state, or country, 'we went before Brigham Young, who was waiting for us,' and who asked, 'Do you, Brother James Dee, take Sister Ann Eliza Webb by the right hand, to receive her unto yourself, to be your lawful and wedded wife, and you to be her lawful and wedded husband, for time and eternity, with a covenant and promise on your part that you will fulfil all the laws, rights, and ordinances pertaining to this holy matrimony, in the new and everlasting covenant, doing this in (cont.)
A sacred duty is the constant effort to convert all men throughout the world to a belief in the divinity
(16cont.) the presence of God, angels, and these witnesses, of your own free will and accord?' 'Yes.' 'Do you, Sister Ann Eliza Webb take Brother James Dee by the right hand, and give yourself to him, to be his lawful and wedded wife, for time and for all eternity, with a covenant and promise on your part that you will fulfil all the laws, rights, and ordinances pertaining to this holy matrimony, in the new and everlasting covenant, doing this in the presence of God, angels, and these witnesses, of your own free will and accord?' 'Yes.' 'In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by the authority of the holy priesthood, I pronounce you legally and lawfully husband and wife, for time and for all eternity. And I seal upon you the blessings of the holy resurrection, with power to come forth in the morning of the first resurrection, clothed with glory, immortality, and everlasting lives; and I seal upon you the blessings of thrones, and dominions, and principalities, and powers, and exaltations, together with the blessings of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And I say unto you, Be fruitful, and multiply and replenish the earth, that you may have joy and rejoicing in your prosperity in the day of the Lord Jesus. All these blessings, together with all other blessings pertaining to the new and everlasting covenant, I seal upon your heads, through your faithfulness unto the end, by the authority of the holy priesthood, in the name of the father, and of the son, and of the holy ghost. Amen.' 'The scribe then entered the date of the marriage, together with the names of my mother and the one or two friends who accompanied us.' When the marriage is a polygamous one, the wife stands on the left of her husband, and the bride at her left hand. The president then puts this question to the wife: 'Are you willing to give this woman to your husband, to be his lawful and wedded wife for time and for all eternity? If you are, you will manifest it by placing her right hand within the right hand of your husband.' The right hands of the husband and bride being thus joined, the wife takes her husband by the left arm, as in walking, and the ceremony then proceeds as in the manner quoted above. Young's Wife No. 19, 388. Mrs Stenhouse, who gave a polygamous wife to her husband, states that in her case the ceremony was performed at the altar, her husband kneeling on one side, and the two women opposite him; the wife being required to join the hands of the contracting parties as in the other case; but it does not appear that she afterward took her husband's arm. Indeed, the position of the three would render this impracticable. See Tell It All, 453-4. Of course, as these ceremonies took place in the endowment house, the temple robes were worn.
But apart from ordinary marriage as known among gentiles, remarriage of converts and polygamous unions, the church in its beneficence, by an additional marriage rite, secures to her children eternal salvation accompanied with permanent positions of rank. This is effected by the ceremony known as spiritual marriage, based upon the following tenets: No unmarried man or woman can be eternally saved. One woman can save one man only; but a man can be instrumental in the salvation of an indefinite number of women. Scaling may be either for the dead, or for those yet alive. Persons sealed on earth need not necessarily live together. Brigham, in a discourse delivered in Nauvoo, Apr. 6, 1845, announces the doctrine in the following language: 'And I would say, as no man can be perfect without the woman, so no woman can be perfect without a man to lead her. I tell you the truth as it is in the bosom of eternity; and I say so to every man upon the face of the earth: if he wishes to be saved, he cannot be saved without a woman by his side. This is spiritual wifeism, that is, the doctrine of spiritual wives.' Times and Seasons, vi. 955. 'No woman can be scaled to two husbands; she must choose which it shall be whom she will marry for eternity. The man can be scaled to as many wives as he pleases. If the husband will be baptized for a former husband who perhaps died out of the church, then it leaves the wife at liberty to make that choice. If she feels that her second husband is her preference, she can be baptized for some dead female, and have her sealed to her dead husband, so as to secure his conjugal happiness forever.' Mrs Richards' Inner Facts, MS., 5. 'If a husband has lost his wife by death, before he had the opportunity of attending to this holy ordinance, and securing her as his lawful wife for eternity, then it is the duty of the second wife, first, to be (cont.)
of Joseph Smith's mission. To this end are sent forth proselyting ministers, elders of the church, selected by
(16cont.) sealed or married to the husband, for and in the name of the deceased wife, for all eternity; and, secondly, to be married for time and eternity herself, to the same man. Thus, by this holy ordinance, both the dead and the living wife will be his in the eternal worlds. But if, previous to marriage for eternity, a woman lose her husband by death, and marry a second, and if her first husband was a good man, then it is the duty of the second husband to be married to her for eternity, not for herself, but in the name of her deceased husband, while he himself can only be married to her for time; and he is obliged to enter into a covenant to deliver her up, and all her children, to her deceased husband, in the morning of the first resurrection.' Waite's Mormon Prophet, 173. 'A man can either have a woman sealed to him as his cow sort for this world only, or he can have her sealed to him both for this world as well as for the world to comeshe is A.'s wife while she is on earth, but she becomes B.'s as soon as she has reached heaven. Or again, a womana spinster, for instancewho has taken a particular fancy to any deceased saint, and who wishes to become his consort in the world to come, can be sealed to him by proxy by becoming the wife of some living saint. She has first to be sealed on earth before she can obtain the necessary introduction into heaven. When a woman is said to be sealed to a man, it does not necessarily imply that she is married to him. It may mean marriage, or it may simply amount to an arrangement to marry, to be consummated in the next world, made either directly between the two parties, or by proxy by another party in place of one of the two interested parties who is dead, even if she prefers being the consort of Abraham, Isaac, Moses, Job, etc., for the Mormon spiritual-wife doctrine even ventures to go the length of this!' Marshall, Through America, 186. Mrs Stenhouse says President Heber C. Kimball upon one occasion introduced her to five of his wives in succession, and upon being asked, 'Are these all you have got?' replied, 'O dear! no. I have a few more at home, and about fifty more scattered over the earth somewhere. I have never seen them since they were sealed to me in Nauvoo, and I hope I never shall again.' Exposé of Polygamy in Utah, 91-2. See also, in this connection, Green's Mormonism, 180-92; Lee's Mormonism Unveiled, 166-72.
Brigham, as head of the church, claimed authority not only to marry, but also to divorce at will. No law's delay, mo filing of bills, summoning witnesses, or learned decision granting absolute or partial severance, accompanied by partial or impartial award of property and the custody of infants, was required. Given the approbation of the chief, and the rest followed as speedily as a clerk could write the certificate and receive the fee. In a district removed from the capital, only the consent of the bishop is necessary, and the bill of divorcement is a very simple writing. 'March 18, 1871. To whomsoever it may concern. This is to certify, in the beginning of 1869 when I gave a bill of divorce to Sarah Ann Lowry I gave to her for the good of her four children the following property, viz.: a parcel of land of about nine acres enclosed all around, with a house of two rooms and one cow and heifer. William C. Ritter.' The customary fee is ten dollars, and Mrs Waite relates an instance in which a woman who had been granted a divorce was told by Brigham that the act was null until the money was paid. The Mormon Prophet, 239. The following is copied from note G, app. to Paddock's Madame La Tour: 'An Englishwoman who abandoned her husband and children for the purpose of gathering with the saints to Zion has been divorced and remarried five times since she came to Utah. The present writer has lived within half a block of a woman who, after being divorced from five husbands, is now living in polygamy with the sixth; and one of our district judges reports the case of an elderly saintess, living near the place in which he holds court, who has been divorced fourteen times.'
the authorities and called by the saints assembled at the general semiannual conferences held in Salt Lake City. Neither age nor pecuniary condition governs the selection. They may be men or boys, rich or poor; but they must have faith and integrity, and go forth without purse or scrip, relying alone upon the hand of God to feed them. An elder is likewise selected by the church authorities to preside over each mission. Thus has been visited almost every quarter of the globe, the book of Mormon being meanwhile translated into many languages. And a Perpetual Emigration Fund Company has been established, which has advanced the funds to bring out thousands to Zion, the money being paid back by the immigrant after his arrival, as he has been able to earn it.
Temple building is a characteristic work, and is prompted by the belief that Jesus Christ will some day come suddenly to his temple. Hence the devotion and self-sacrifice practised by Christ's people in order to prepare for him a fitting place of reception. Wonders in this direction have been accomplished by a poor and wandering people, at Kirtland, at Nauvoo, at Salt Lake City, St George, Manti, and Logan.
In the north-west corner of Temple block, Salt Lake City, in which is the tabernacle, the smaller church building, and the new temple, stands a plain two-story adobe structure known as the Endowment House. Here are conducted the most secret and solemn mysteries of the church, which may be termed religio-masonic ceremonies, illustrative of the origin and destiny of man. Here also are performed the rites of baptism for the dead, anointing with oil, marriage, and other ceremonies, by which the convert is endowed with the special grace of God, receives his inheritance as a child of God, and is made a partaker of the fulness of all the blessings of religion. All these rites should properly be performed in the temple, which on its completion will supersede the endowment
house, and in which special apartments are being constructed for these purposes.17
17The ceremony of Endowment, or as it is termed, going through the endowment house, occupies usually about eight hours. It has been described at length by several persons who have experienced it, and I give herewith a condensation of the most reliable accounts. Minor changes have been introduced since the days of Joseph Smith, but, in the main, the rites are as they were in the beginning. Certain days in each week, throughout the year, are set apart, upon which candidates present themselves at the endowment house, as early as seven o'clock A. M. Each is required to bring a bottle of the best olive-oil, and supposed to bring his robes also, although it is common to borrow the latter from friends, for the first appearance, after which every good Mormon possesses his own. These garments are described as follows: The temple robe, alike for both sexes, is a long, loose, flowing garment, made of white linen or bleached muslin, and reaching to the ankle. It is gathered to a band sufficiently long to pass around the body from the right shoulder underneath the left arm, thus leaving the latter free. A linen belt holds it in place. The women wear a head covering made of a large square of Swiss muslin, gathered in one corner so as to form a sort of cap to fit the head, the reminder falling down as a veil. For the men, a round piece of linen, drawn up with a string and a bow in front, something after the fashion of a Scotch cap, is used. The under garment, which is also alike for both sexes, is a sort of jacket and trousers together, something like the night-dresses made for children; and is worn night and day. When changed, only an arm or a leg must be removed at once, the fresh garment being thus put on as the other is taken off. This garment protects from disease, and even death, for the bullet of an enemy will not penetrate it. The prophet Joseph carelessly left off this garment on the day of his death, and had he not done so, he would have escaped unharmed. Over the inner garment the men wear an ordinary shirt, and the women a white skirt. White stockings and a pair of white linen slippers complete the costume. Entering the building, the candidate's own name and age are registered, and also the names of the parents. The candidates hand in their oil, remove their shoes, and pass with their bundles of clothing into a bath-room divided down the middle by a heavy curtain which separates the sexes. Here the ceremony of purification is performed, the women being washed by women, and the men by men. The person washed is informed that he or she is now cleansed from the blood of this generation, and if faithful, shall never be subject to the plagues and miseries which are about to come upon the earth. Next follows the anointing. The oil is poured from a large horn into the hand of the person officiating, and applied to the crown of the head, eyes, ears, mouth, and feet of the candidate. The eyes are touched, that they may be quick to see; the ears, that the hearing may be sharp; the mouth, to bestow wisdom upon speech; and the feet, that they be swift to run in the ways of the Lord. Then a new name, which is rarely to be mentioned, is whispered into the ear, and all are marched into room No. 2, where they are seated, the sexes on opposite sides of the room, and facing each other. Here they are told by a priest that any person not strong enough to proceed may retire; but if any portion of the ceremony is disclosed, the throat of the person so offending will be cut from ear to ear. Those faltering, if any, having retired, the remainder are taken into room No. 3, where a representation of the creation, the temptation, and fall is given. Each candidate then puts on over his robe an apron of white linen, upon which are sewn pieces of green silk representing fig-leaves, and also the cap or veil. All good Mormons are buried in their endowment robes, and the veil worn by the women covers their faces when they are consigned to the grave. In the morning of the resurrection, this veil is to be lifted by the husband; otherwise no woman can see the face of the almighty in the next world. This ends the first degree; and the initiated are now driven out of Eden into room No. 4, (cont.)
The order of exercises in the tabernacle, which seats seven thousand persons, is much the same as in orthodox evangelical churches, beginning and ending with prayer and singing, and sometimes singing and administering the sacrament in the middle of a discourse. The speaker seldom knows that he is to speak until called upon by the moderator, who regulates the services, and makes the selection under inspiration, announcing the name of the person sometimes without knowing whether he is in the house, or even in the city. The singing is very fine, the organ, constructed wholly by Mormon artisans, being the largest
(17cont.) which represents the world, where they encounter many temptations, the chief of which is the false gospel preached by methodists, baptists, etc. Finally St James and St John appear and proclaim the true gospel of Mormonism, which all gladly embrace. After this they receive certain grips and pass-words, and all are arranged in a circle, kneel, and the women lower their veils. Then, with the right hand uplifted, an oath is taken to avenge the death of Joseph Smith, jun., upon the gentiles who had caused his murder, to teach the children of the church to do likewise, to obey implicitly and without murmur or question all commands of the priesthood, to refrain from adultery, and finally, eternal secrecy concerning all that transpired in the endowment house is promised. Then comes an address, after which another room is entered, leading from which is a door with a hole in it, covered with a piece of muslin. The men approach this door in turn and ask to enter. Then a person behind the door reaches through the opening, and with knife in hand cuts a certain mark on the left breast of the shirt, another over the abdomen, and one over the right knee, which marks are faithfully copied by the women in their own garments after returning to their homes. The man then mentions his new name, gives the grip of the third degree, and is permitted to pass in. This is called going behind the veil. When the men are all in, each woman is passed through by her husband, or having none, by one of the brethren. This concludes the ceremony, with the exception of marriage, which will be noticed elsewhere. Of these ceremonies Mrs Stenhouse, from whose account the foregoing is partly taken, says: 'About what was done in Nauvoo, I can only speak by hearsay, but have been told many strange and revolting stories about the ceremonies which were there performed. Of the endowments in Utah, everything was beautifully neat and clean, and I wish to say most distinctly that, although the initiation appears now to my mind as a piece of the most ridiculous absurdity, there was, nevertheless, nothing in it indecent or immoral. Englishwoman in Utah, 190-2. For more on endowment ceremonies, see Morm. at Home, 209; Stenhouse's Englishwoman, 155-201; Tell It All, 233-6, 514-15; Beadle's Life in Utah, 486-502; Hyde's Morm., 89-101, 108-9; Worthington's Woman in Battle, 591-2; Burton's City of Saints, 271-2; Young's Wife No. 19, 306-72; S. L. Herald, Mar. 31, 1881; Tribune, Nov. 16, 1878; Sept. 28, 1879; Utah Rev., Dec. 12, 1871; S. F. Bulletin, 1878, Nov. 16; 1879, May 5, Oct. 25; Herald, July 27, 1852; Red Bluff Sentinel, Nov. 30, 1878; Sac. Union, Sept. 25, 1858; Rec.-Union, Oct. 1, 1879; San José Argus, Sept. 15, 22, 1877; Sta Cruz Cour., May 10, 1878; Stockton Indep., May 6, 1879; Tehama Tocsin, Nov. 1, 1879; Yreka Union, Nov. 22, 1879; Salem (Or.) Statesman, Nov. 7, 1879; Carson City (Nev.) Tribune, Oct. 6, 1879; Elko Indep., Dec. 12, 1878; Gold Hill News, 1878, Oct. 29-31.
and finest in America at the time it was built. The acoustic properties of the oval-shaped room and ceiling are wonderful; stationed at one point, a pin may be heard drop at the opposite end. The singers, thirty or forty in number, are stationed on the main stage, facing the audience in front of the organ. In front of them are the church officials, seated on a series of platforms according to their respective grades, the first presidency highest, next the twelve apostles, and finally the teachers, priests, and bishops, who have charge of administering the sacrament of the Lord's supper, which is done regularly every Sunday. In the first organization of the church, bread and wine were specified as the proper elements to be used, but it was soon after revealed that it makes no difference what the emblems are, and now bread and water are used. Tabernacle services are held Sunday afternoons; there are Sunday-schools at the ward meeting-houses Sunday mornings, and preaching at the same places in the evening by subordinate officials, who often repeat the main points of the morning tabernacle discourse. In the tabernacle, several rows of the best seats are reserved for gentile strangers, and are filled for the most part by travellers and tourists, American and European, who take no pains to hide their contempt for all about them, and return the courtesy extended by smiles and sneers, which, to say the least, is in bad taste for people pretending to a superior culture.18
18One or two other matters of belief I may mention here. There was early established the order of Enoch. The prophet Joseph not only indorsed the biblical account of the translation of Enoch, but added to it. There was not only one Enoch, but a whole city full. This city of Enoch was located where are now the waters of the gulf of Mexico, and its inhabitants were absolutely perfect. Many sought to reach this place, for its fame had become noised abroad; but none were successful, owing to wanderings and bickerings by the way. Within its gates all things were held in common, and unalloyed happiness reigned. And inasmuch as the people of Enoch were unfitted by their moral excellence to mingle with other earthly inhabitants, they were removed to celestial realms. Joseph's idea at this time seems to have been to induce his followers to surrender all rights, including that of property, into the hands of the church. In May 1831 it was revealed, 'And again, let the bishop appoint a storehouse unto this church, and let all (cont.)
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