Mormon Preaching - 1867
The Daily Union Vedette – August 11, 1867
Special Correspondence to the N. Y. Tribune.
Salt Lake City -- Despotism on the Great Plains -- Character of
Brigham Young -- His Wives -- Polygamy -- Schisms Among the Saints.
Salt Lake City, June 18, 1867.
I have seen Mormonism in its best garments only. Its dignitaries have made me welcome. Its hospitality encompassed me. Its fruits and flowers; its light spots and pleasant recreations were all before me....
Not only is licentiousness ever pleading the cause of polygamy, but the church demands it of all men who can afford more than one wife, and women are caught [sic - taught?] to consent to it on pain of eternal damnation. I heard four Mormon sermons on Sunday -- two by fools and two by knaves. The one for instance, who declared that he had seen Joseph Smith perfectly personated in Brigham Young, when he thrust Rigdon out and assumed the Presidency himself, even to a broken front tooth was simply a lunatic. In the course of his sermon he gave the particulars of his conversion. He paryed to the Lord that if He would appear in person to him he would believe, and the Lord appeared to him, and he thenceforth became a saint. He was followed by one of the shrewdest of the Elders, who argued with some plausibility that the original Church of Christ had strayed and broken into descondant branches, and that it had been founded again by Smith and Young, and was separate from the world and united in its great work. In the afternoon we had an incoherent and senseless harangue from a Cockney, but Brigham Young pulled him down by the coat tail in a short time and took the pulpit himself. His speech would read away in the East like a foolish ebullition of a conceited blackguard, but never were remarks more timely or better adapted to the people he addressed. He argued for twenty minutes that not one person in 40 knew how to take care of himself in either temporal or spiritual matters... he told the young ladies of the church that they had no capacity for taking care of themselves and their honor, and that the church with its ceremonies and covenants was their only safety. He closed by demanding that Gentiles and apostates be shunned in all dealings, even although it costs more to purchase from a Saint. "You may answer," said he, "that it is none of my d____d business. Perhaps it is not, just now, but the time will soon come when it will be my business to testify respecting this people, and I pledge you that those who disobey this command shall not enter into the staright gate.... let the righteous be saved, and the wicked go their way to everlasting punishment." I saw poor infatuated Mormons shudder at this terrible anathema from what they supposed to be an inspired oracle of God, and fear of his malediction is one of the strongest elements of cohesiveness with the deluded masses of his followers....
There are palpable signs of dissolution in the Mormon Church. The Josephites )the followers of Smith) pronounce polygamy a sin, and they claim to be the true Mormon Church and entitled to the church property. When Brigham went south last Spring he had to cut off several hundred members for heresy, because they adhered to Smith, and over 100 wagons of emigrants are now in the mountains on their way east to escape his fearful venegance....
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