Mormon History

Why Oppose the Mormons? - 1844

Warsaw Messenger April 24, 1844

Why Oppose the Mormons?

The Alton Telegraph is making some rather complimentary remarks, in relation to our paper, regrets the course which we pursue in relation to the Mormons, and expresses the opinion, that it is the duty of the press to allay, as far as possible, the excitement against that people. Now Mr. Telegraph, you know but little of the circumstances by which the people of this County are surrounded -- you know nothing of the repeated insults and injuries received by our citizens from the Heads of the Mormon Church -- you know nothing of the manner in which the laws are trampled under foot, and evaded by the Mormons, and thry screened from their just operations behind a set of sham city ordinances -- you know nothing of the baits held out, wherewith the more gullible portion of Joe's followers, are induced to take up their residence in Nauvoo, and then of the manner in which they are fleeced of their all, and reduced to beggary -- you know nothing of the iron rod by which Jo controls his followers; with threats of violence quieting the discontented, and by every species of tyranny restraining the liberty of the tongue and person. -- We say Mr. Telegraph, you can know nothing of these things, or you could not undertake to lecture us, for endeavoring to expose such a gang of outlaws, blacklegs and bloodsuckers.

It is a fact, that can be substantiated by the most unimpeachable testimony, that the discontented spirits in Nauvoo, dare not speak or write one word against the Prophet without risking their lives. And even those who have left the Church will hint of iniquities, which they dare not proclaim.

It can be proven that there are men in Nauvoo, who have publicly said that should Jo Smith command them to commit murder, they should do it without compunction, believing that the command of Smith is the will of Heaven.

It can be proven that some of Smith's principal supporters, and confidential friends, are among the basest seducers, and violators of female virtue -- that Smith himself has aided these villains to accomplish their unholy designs; and unscrupulously averred that he acted from the impulse of Heaven's dictation, while endeavoring to rob virtuous females of their chastity.

It can be proven that one of Joe Smith's bosom friends has been guilty of passing counterfeit money; knowing it to be such, having been detected in the act of brightening it, in order to give it currency.

It can be proven that William W. Phelps, who swore that Smith and his clan were guilty, in Missouri, of deeds black as ever were conceived in the brain of Satan himself, is now the bosom friend, and confidential clerk of the Prophet -- thus proving one of two things; either that Smith has a perjured villan for his most intimate associate, or that he himself has been guilty of acts that would disgrace Nero.

It can be proven that Jo Smith has knocked down a quiet and peaceful citizen of the county because as an officer he was not afraid to do his duty; and then screened himself from just punishment of the law, by a sham trial amongst his minions.

It can be proven, that repeatedly, Smith has been wrested from the officers of the law, and the law set at defiance, its officers insulted and mal-treated by his willing catspaws -- the Municipal Court of Nauvoo.

It can be proven, that Smith swore that he believed a respectable citizen guilty of murder; thus subjecting him to a degrading and insulting investigation; while at the same time, not one particle of evidence could be produced against him -- not even a shadow on which to found a suspicion.

It can be proven, that Smith and his coadjutors have propogated the doctrine, that a man may hace spiritual wives -- thus by a cunning stroke of priest-craft, throwing wide open the door for every species of licentiousness, that can disgrace, or degrade a community.

It can be proven, that many of the leaders in Nauvoo, have spiritual wives, by which means, females have been so debased, as unblushingly to boast of their connection with Mormon Elders, and with pride point to the fathers of their illegitimate offspring.

In addition to these, it is a notorious fact, that, the city council of Nauvoo, acting under the direction of Jo Smith, have at sundry times, passed a set of ordinances intended to screen the inhabitants of Nauvoo, from the operation of the State laws -- requiring all criminal process to be endorsed by Smith, acting as Mayor, before it can be executed in the city -- threatening state officers, (although commanded by a State Warrant,) who go to Nauvoo, to arrest Smith, or any other person, for acts committed in Missouri, with imprisonment for life -- subjecting all persons who visited Nauvoo, either on business, or otherwise to an annoying examination by the police officers of the city, and if their impertenent questions are not answered satisfactorily they are to be taken up as vagrants and vagabonds -- repealing the Marriage License Laws of the State, so far as Nauvoo is concerned, and substituting instead an ordinance of the city, whereby no license for marriage is required -- giving the Municipal Court the power to issue the writ of Habeas Corpus, in all cases whereby the inhabitants of the city, shall be arrested under the Laws of the State.

These are only a part of the flagrant outrages on decency, --- rights of other citizens, committed on Holy brotherhood at Nauvoo. And Mr. Telegraph, with these facts staring in the face, can you blame us for opposition to this unholy clan; even if the opposition does produce excitement? If so, you are to blame for exposing blacklegs, counterfeitors, and thieves.

CHURCH AND STATE. -- In the last Nauvoo Neighbor we find a long list of the names of Elders of the Churches in the different states of the Union; at the conclusion of which, they are instructed in these words, to "preach the truth in righteousness, and present before the people, "General Joseph Smith's views of the powers and policy of the General Government," and seek diligently to get up electors who will go for him for the Presidency," That's it Jo! "Preach the truth in righteousness, and go for Presidency. That is Mormonism disguised. First preach the gospel, and thereby gull the people, and then fleece them of their money, or induce them to elevate me to office." -- That is the sum and substance of all your teachings. Ain't it Joe.

CONSPIRACY IN NAUVOO. -- In the late Neighbor, we find two affidavits charging certain prominent individuals in the Holy City, with being implicated in conspiracy against the Prophet. It will be recollected that the persons against whom the charge was made are those who have lately rendered themselves obvious to his majesty, by their discontent, and independence of the threats of the powers that be. We have no doubt but that those charges are made for the purpose of a legal formula. We trust however, that they will stand their ground, and neither suffer themselves to be cowed by threats or gulled into a compromise of their liberty of speech and action. Let Joe dare to harm one of them, and he will awaken a spirit to which resistance will be useless.