Missionaries were dispatched to all parts to preach [p.39] in the name of the (1) "martyred Joseph" and the Mormon religion thrived more than ever. For a while it was doubtful whether the reign of the military saints (2) in Nauvoo would not in course of time supplant the meek and lowly system of Christ. There were many things to favor their success. The different Christian sects had lost much of the fiery energy by which at first they were animated. They had attained to a more subdued, sober, learned, and intellectual religion. But there is at all times a large class of mankind who will never be satisfied with anything in devotion, short of a heated and wild fanaticism. The Mormons were the greatest zealots, the most confident in their faith, and filled with a wilder, fiercer, and more enterprising enthusiasm, than any sect on the continent of America; their religion gave promise of more temporal and spiritual advantages for less labor, and with less personal sacrifice of (3) passion, lust, prejudice, malice, hatred, and ill will, than any other perhaps in the whole world. Their missionaries abroad, to the number of two or three thousand, were most earnest and indefatigable in their efforts to make converts; compassing sea and land to make (4) one proselyte. When abroad, they first preached doctrines somewhat like those of the Campbellites: Sidney Rigdon, the inventor of the system, having once been a Campbellite preacher: and when they had made a favorable impression, they began in far-off allusions to open up their mysteries, and to reveal to their disciples that a perfect (5) 'fulness of the gospel' must be expected. This 'fulness of the gospel' (6) was looked for by the dreamy and wondering disciple, as an indefinite something not yet to be comprehended, but which was essential to complete happiness and salvation. He was then told that God (7) required him to remove to the (8) place of gathering, where alone this sublime 'fulness of the gospel' could be fully revealed, and completely (9) enjoyed. When he arrived at the place of gathering, [p.40] he was fortified in the new faith by being withdrawn (10) from all other influences; and by seeing and hearing nothing but Mormons and Mormonism; and by association with those only who never doubted any of the Mormon dogmas. Now the 'fulness of the gospel' could be safely made known. If it required him to submit to the (11) most intolerable despotism; if it tolerated and encouraged the lusts of the flesh and a plurality of wives; if it claimed all the world for the saints; universal dominion for the Mormon leaders; if it sanctioned murder, robbery, perjury, and larceny, at the command of their priests, no one could now doubt but that this was the 'fulness of the gospel', the liberty of the saints, (12) with which Christ had made them free.
(1) True Christians will preach in the name of Jesus Christ.
Acts 8:12 But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized.
(2) True Christians are not vengeful and militaristic by nature.
Mat 26:52 But Jesus said to him, "Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword."
(3) True Christians do not allow passions and desires to rule their lives.
Galatians 5:24 And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
1 John 2:16-17 For all that is in the world; the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life; is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
(4) True Christians will not convert people to sinful desires.
Matthew 23:15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.
(5) True Christians realize that the gospel has been fully revealed in Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:1-4 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you; unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,
(6) Early Mormon missionaries were under a curse from God.
Galatians 1:8-9 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.
(7) True Christians realize God's requirements are spiritual in nature.
Micah 6:8 He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?
(8) True Christians will not chase after false prophets in desert areas.
Matthew 24:26 "Therefore if they say to you, 'Look, He is in the desert!' do not go out; or 'Look, He is in the inner rooms!' do not believe it."
(9) True Christians know that true joy is found in Jesus Christ.
John 15:11-12 "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you."
(10) True Christians do not isolate themselves from society.
Acts 1:8 "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."
Note: Cults will isolate people from family and friends.
(11) True Christians will not rule over others.
Matthew 20:25-27 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave;"
(12) True Christians will not take liberty to sin.
Galatians 5:13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
1 Peter 2:15-16 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men; as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God.
Musical play tells of journey by early Mormon migrants
The Arizona Republic
Jun. 22, 2006 12:00 AM
In 1856, Mormon converts were asked to move
from the United Kingdom to Utah's Salt Lake Valley to be missionaries. Their
journey was memorable: first via ship and train to Iowa City, where the rails
stopped, and then pushing a handcart loaded with life's necessities on a
Now, a third-generation Mesa resident, Cory Ellsworth, is doing his part to ensure that the story of the pioneers lingers in the public's mind, as well.
In 1998, Ellsworth wrote first the poems and then a story line for a musical play. These modest beginnings belie his 140-member cast production titled 1856 The Musical, which opens at Mesa Arts Center on Friday.
The show was presented last year with a smaller cast. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the trek.
"I felt a sacred obligation to bring this to stage, to do it in honor of these pioneers," Ellsworth said at a weekend rehearsal.
His production used to fit snugly into the auditorium of the old Lehi School, now occupied by the Mesa Historical Society. A few miles down the road, Mormon pioneers from Salt Lake City arrived in 1877 and settled in a place they named Lehi.
"I think it's educative. There's something to hold on to," Ellsworth said of his musical. "There are some amazingly wonderful principles, faith in the face of difficulties."
The story is more poignant to Ellsworth because his great-great-grandfather, Edmund Lovell Ellsworth, was part of the migration. Ellsworth has pieced together information from a journal that his paternal relative was asked to lead the first handcart company back to Utah, that he left with 230 people, took four months for the journey, lost 10 people on the way and arrived to a celebration in the Salt Lake Valley.
The Ellsworth, MacArthur and Bunker handcart companies made it to Utah relatively safely, but the Willie and Martin companies that began their journey later experienced hardships that necessitated a rescue by a party sent by then-church head Brigham Young. The musical follows the stories of the Lee and the Parker families. The former made it safely while the latter experienced tragedy.
"Besides being history, it's such a touching story," said choreographer Kristin Adams, who has been building on the original choreography by Julie Moore.
To Adams, who runs a dance studio in Mesa called The Dance Barn, the challenge has been managing the young cast. About half of the 140 members are younger than 16.
"It's been a challenge to keep everybody quiet, to be able to learn the steps, but they've done a good job," Adams said.
Among them is 9-year-old Maryn Hooper, who said she liked the idea of "dying on stage."
A student at Entz Elementary, Maryn has sung and danced a lot on stage.
The cast also employs professionals, such as opera trained Joseph Paur. The music composition, in addition to Ellsworth, is by Randy Kartchner and Mildred West Wiseman Packard.
The non-profit show is at the 1,600-seat Tom and Janet Ikeda Theater for its seven-day run.
Note: Brigham Young asked people from England in 1856 to travel to Utah to become his slaves at Mormon Zion.
WORD FAITH INDEX