Mormon History

Open Letter to Brigham Young #4 - 1871

Daily Corinne Reporter September 9, 1871


(Written expressly for the Corinne Reporter and containing a
true and succinct account of the Reign of Terror in Utah. -- Ed.)

Revelations Refuted -- Blood Atonement, How Established -- Divinity Hedges the Prophet -- The Murder of Apostates -- Complete Exposition -- Prophecy and Petticoats.

Salt Lake City, Sept. 7, 1871.    

An Open Letter to Brigham Young.

SIR: In the first section of your "revelation" commanding polygamy, it is declared that said revelation is a "law" unto the people. In the second it is declared that "the conditions of this law are these: All covenants, contracts, bonds, oaths," etc., except the oath of the Endowment house, are null and void. The third section is nearly all verbiage; but contains this proposition: "No man shall come unto the Father but by me, or by my word, which is my law." (Which means this revelation on polygamy.) The fourth states substantially that no Gentile can have his wife in the next world! In the fifth we have the doctrine, that though a man can marry a woman for time and eternity, if that marriage is not solemnized by you, it is null and void. The sixth section contains the "key" to your ideas of the resurrection, immortality and salvation in these words: "Which glory shall be a fullness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever." This section is emphatic in the announcement that those parties married by you, at your polygamous altar, "shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities," etc. * * * Then shall it be written in the Lamb's Book of Life, that "ye shall commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood." But in the tenth section, you show that the "innocent blood" spoken of, means your blood; (not such unanointed and unsanctified blood as that shed at the Mountain Meadows.) The seventh section is worthy of note. You say, (referring to those who go into polygamy under your administration, "Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue." (That is, their posterity or "seeds" continue.) The eighth is nearly all surplus-age; but shows your pet idea that immortality consists in a "continuation of the lives;" that is, you expect to live forever in your offspring. The ninth I shall quote entire, because it is in this section that you affirm the necessity of murdering Apostates in order to save them.

"Verily, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife according to my word," (that is, in polygamy and by virtue of the requirements of this revelation,) "and they are sealed by the Holy spirit of promise, according to mine appointment, (that is, at your altar,) "and he or she shall commit any sin or transgression of the new and everlasting covenant whatever, and all manner of blasphemies, and if they commit no murder wherein they shed innocent blood," (the blood of the Mormon priesthood) "yet they shall come forth in the first resurrection, and enter into their exaltation; BUT THEY SHALL BE DESTROYED IN THE FLESH, and shall be delivered unto the buffetings of Satan unto the day of redemption, saith the Lord."

In the tenth section you make the "blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which shall not be forgiven in the world nor out of the world," to be the killing of Brigham Young, or assenting to his death! By the eleventh section, this "revelation" is made the "law of the Holy Priesthood." Of the remainder of the revelation, the only section worthy of notice is the twenty-fourth, which reads as follows:

"And again, as pertaining to the law of the Priesthood, -- if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent; and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery, for they are given" (who gave them?) "unto him, for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else; and if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery; for they belong to him; and they are given unto him; -- therefore is he justified. But if one, or either of the ten virgins, after she is espoused, shall be with another man, she has committed adultery, and shall be destroyed; for they are given unto him to multiply and replenish the earth, according to my commandment, and to fulfil the promise which was given by my Father before the foundation of the world; and for their exaltation in the eternal worlds, that they may bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of my Father continued, that He may be glorified."

I have now gone through your blasphemous "revelation," and gathered therefrom all that is worthy of notice as being distinctly Mormon. This effort of inspiration ptoposes, first, a Higher Law -- a law superior in its claims to the Law of the Land. Second, a law which at once and totally destroys the sacredness of Gentile covenants, the binding force of contracts, and the virtue of oaths and obligations. Third, a law which makes polygamy the great essential means by which mortals can attain to salvation and exaltation in the celestial kingdom of the Almighty. Fourth, a doctrine which teaches the defication of Mormons. Fifth, a law which delares a murder committed against the Mormon Priesthood, to be blasphemy against the Holy Ghost! Sixth, a command to murder apostates, in order to save them! Seventh, explaining the moral character of polygamy, which is, by the way, a very different kind of marriage system from that which you are practicing. Because that makes it a positive condition, that the espoused shall be virgins who have vowed to no other man; while the chief characteristic of your polygamy has hitherto been to corrupt, and steal away other mens' wives. You will nelieve me when I tell you, that I once heard one of the brightest of your apostles state, in a public discourse, that polygamy was the "sum of Mormonism;" -- "that the principles of the Gospel were but a net cast into the great sea of mankind to gather the people together, in order that they might be saved by means of polygamy." I heard that, sir, and it is but one among unnumbered affirmations of like character that have been uttered.

And this is your religion! It is the corner stone of the great temple of your kingdom of God! It is to you what slavery was to the South; aye, and more; for while that was but a question of economy and policy, this penetrates the charmed circle of the fireside, reposes volumptuously between your sheets, is deified as something worthy of adoration; -- as a goddess it rules supreme, giving shape, color and direction to all the experience of life, all of faith in God, and all of hope in Heaven. In so far as the reasoning in revelation is concerned, it is utterly sophistical and false. You begin by assuming that the ancinet Israelites acknowledged polygamy as a religious "principle and doctrine;" which is not true; because the word, principle, implies a fundamental truth, and, doctrine, consists in propositions based upon that truth; and in this sense it can not be proven from the scripture. God gave to David wives and concubines in the same sense that He did wheat fields and vineyards, the sunshine and the rain; and in no other. He and Solomon were polygamists because they wanted to be, and don't pretend to give us any other reason. They went into plurality for precisely the same reasons that the Indians do to-day. And, what is not to be forgotten, they did so in direct contravention of the command of Moses, which enjoined the kings of Israel from multiplying wives: Deut. xvii, 17. Polygamy occurs in the Bible in the same sense, and upon the same terms that the incest of Lot does -- that is, they were simply and equally matters of fact. It is nowhere mentioned, except as a matter of history, and nowhere as a "principle and doctrine." With regard to oaths and covenants, the Bible holds them as absolutely sacred, and to be performed. Nothing would have shocked the moral sense of Moses, more than the "doctrine" contained in the second paragraph of your revelation. Then, again, the most important of all the sayings of Moses, is found in Deut. v1. 4 -- Hear, O Israel, the Lord thy God is one Lord; and in chapt. iv:35, there is none else besides Him. That is the great idea of the Old Testament; and the one which more than all else distinguished the religion of Moses from the Polytheism of the world. But your revelation makes gods of the Mormons! Thus reviving, in the nineteenth century, the theogony of the ancient Pagans. Then as to your wonderful effort on the question of adultery, why, sir, if a man can not commit adultery with ten women, simply because he claims that they belong to him, how can he commit incest with his ten daughters for the same reason? And before the Emancipation Proclamation, how could a Southern planter commit adultery with his wenches? They belonged to him. Such is the wretched sophistry of your revelation.

And this is your religion! This os that divine system by which you propose to save the human family! You begin with the admoration of pretty ankles, progress by the prostitution of the niblest of the moral sentiments -- the obligations of contracts, and end with the cutting of throats -- for Christ's sake! I well remember, sir, when such vile stuff formed no part of the Mormon system; and so do you. You commenced in the spirit, and you have ended in the flesh. Heavens! what a progression! Insired prophet! Who shall sufficiently sing thy praises in the great congregation, or sound the trumpet of thy fame to a listening world? O, modern Solomon! why may reach the volumes of thy incomparable wisdom, or penetrate the depths of the multitude of thy loves? Divine teacher! How well hast thou made thy people in all things, whilst thou art content with honest poverty! How thou hast enrobed them by rich lessons in philosophic truths, thus bringing into active training the higher and better qualities of their nature! How pure and spotless thy life, how honorable thy every action, how unfailing thy every promise! Surely the saints shall laud thee, saying: "Thy word is as good as thy law!" With what impressiveness hast thou taught us to deal justly, love mercy, and walk humbly before God! With what glowing eloquence and sympathetic tenderness, hast thou preached to the saints of the love of the Divine Redeemer, His humility, long-suffering and patience! How well and truly thou hast taught, both by precept and example, these great commandments: "Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife!" Immaculate Apostle! Thou hast progressed in the divine life, as no servant of God ever did progress. By the power of thy faith, thou hast climbed the sacred pillars of hope and love, even to the Heaven of Heavens; and entered there, rending asunder the veil that hides the infinite from the view of mortals; and there prostratedst thou thyself in the presence of thy Creator! Thou hast seen thy God! To gaze enraptured on that Heavenly being, thou wert placed, not as Moses, in the cleft of the rock, while the Lord passed by; but beneath a huge, promiscuous pile of _______ homemade petticoats.
              Yours, undoubtedly,   ARGUS.