Mormon History

Mormon Growth due to Foreigners - 1841

The Warsaw Signal December 1, 1841


Consider able excitement was produced in town, by the arrival, last week, of a great body of English Mormons, and much anxiety was manifested by our citizens, to ascertain how they would be disposed of; whether Jo would take them to Nauvoo, in order to lighten them of their loose change, or whether they would be allowed to settle on our School Section. It appears that the first expedient has been adopted, as the major part of them have already taken their departure for the Holy City.

While on a visit to the interior of the county during the week, we were frequently asked our opinion of the new comers. We frankly confess, that, with all our pre-conceived opinions of Mormons, and notwithstanding our frequent expression of belief, that none but knaves or fools could be followers of Jo Smith; yet these English, to our astonishment, are many of them intelligent, well-informed, and apparently very strong in the faith. -- The general appearance of the whole body is far more favorable than the same number of foreign emigrants usually present. How such men could ever become the dupes of the vilest and most palpable imposture that was ever commenced by mankind; or how they could ever be induced to believe in a book that has 'Humbug' stamped on every page, is to us a problem in human nature, most difficult of solution.

A more singular development of the religious principle, was never exhibited to the world; and it presents the interesting question to the mental philosopher, 'What aberration of mind can account for these astonishing results?' For our own part, we believe that the whole posse of sincere Mormons are affected with a mania, engendered by an undue admiration of the new and wonderful. Phrenologically speaking, the organs of veneration, ideality, and marvellousness, have become morbidly excited, by long and ardent exercise, Else how is it that intelligent men, living in a foreign land, possessed of not the most remote external evidence of the truth of Mormonism, except what is derived from the mere dicta of its apostles and propagators, can become not only advocates of its abstract doctrines, but also fanatical followers of, and professed believers in, the inspiration of the arch leader. And not only this, they prove the sincerity of their beliefs, and the ardor of their faith, by sacrificing their property, leaving kindred and friends, severing the cords which have been growing round their hearts from infancy, bidding a final adieu to the land of their birth, to take up their residence among the strangers in a strange land. Nor are all the victims of this credulity the poor and despised, for many of them have handsome capitals. Truly, in contemplation of such facts, we might conclude that the strength of a man's faith in his creed is in proportion to the weakness of the evidence which he possesses of its truth.