THE condition of, and dangers threatening at the town of Lamoni, where the Herald Office had so recently been established, were graphically portrayed in an editorial in Saints' Herald for January 1, 1882:
The circumstances under which we issue this number of the Herald are very varied and peculiar; many of them calculated to encourage and elevate our hopes of good in this life, and peace in the life to come; the speedy coming of the day of marked increase and spiritual progress; material prosperity and righteous enjoyment. Some of them are, however, sad and very trying. Many of the Saints at Lamoni are sick; fevers of more or less virulence have laid siege to the health, patience, and faith of the Saints, and some good and fair ones have died; some have recovered and are recovering, while others are still languishing either to recover after long suffering, or to pass away. In many instances administration of the ordinance of laying on of hands was followed by recovery more or leas rapid; in some it came after days of painful watching and waiting; and in some, the Saints "who are alive and remain," were with stricken hearts and weary spirits compelled to carry the dead "who died in the Lord" to the final resting-place of all flesh-the grave.
It almost seemed at one time that fever as an epidemic had fastened upon the community, and we can hardly say that we are safe; but houses where it had rested are now free, and it is hoped permanently so; and strong hopes are now held that the tide has had a favorable turn.
What may be the cause of this sickness, none can tell. In some instances families that have lately moved in are afflicted, numbers of them in the same house; and in other cases, those attacked have been here for years. Nor does it appear that locality is chargeable, as the high and the lowlands alike are visited; however, this may be said, that in well-ventilated rooms and cleaner surroundings, the fever is lighter than in close rooms and less cleanly places.
These conditions, with the unprecedented bad weather and wet, bad roads, have made the opening weeks of the office sojourn at Lamoni unpleasant. But the pleasant situation of our new office; its completeness of detail, and suitability for the purpose designed, the fact that the Herald is better placed for usefulness to the cause, and in a region where the people may more appropriately gather and settle together, make cause for increased encouragement and satisfaction.
One thing that we sincerely regret, that the great curse of society, the traffic in intoxicating liquors has followed the settlement at Lamoni. The work on the railway, the newness of the country, the changing of the wagon routes from Davis City to Eagleville through the village, the settlement of others besides Saints and strictly temperate people, led some one to open a saloon almost as soon as the town was laid out; and it is with shame-facedness that we pen it, the open countenance that some "called to be Saints" gave; together with the tacit aid and comfort that others afforded prevented the check that the better class of those belonging to the church and those not members would have given it. There was one place where wine and beer were ostensibly sold; but where drunkards were made by that which was sold. Some time before our arrival here, an effort to incorporate was set on foot, and a decree from the court authorizing the holding of an election, at which the question of incorporation was to be voted upon was issued. In pursuance of this notice an election was held December 19, at which those favoring incorporating under the village laws of Iowa, were to vote "For Incorporation," and those opposing were to vote "Against Incorporation;" and we are sorry to record that on that day the vote against incorporating prevailed by forty-seven to twenty-five, a majority of twenty-two. The reasons why we are sorry for this result are, that we have good reason to believe that it was by the vote of those belonging to the church in sufficient number to carry, they voting with those selling and in favor of the traffic, while they would have us to believe that they were opposed to such sale; and further, that we then saw and now see no way in which the vote direct as to the sale of intoxicants, or its suppression, can be had here until incorporation is effected, that such vote may be authorized. It may be that those of our brethren who voted against incorporation did not consider
this effect; and we think that they did not; but that it is certain none can deny. Further, there was at the time the election was held a person waiting to put into operation a "new saloon," and waited only till the vote should be had to decide. As soon, therefore, as it was ascertained that the vote was "against incorporation," this new place of business was opened, so that now Lamoni may boast that it has two saloons, for its three hundred inhabitants, one for each one hundred and fifty-Saints and all.
The impression that the elders preaching abroad, and the Herald, have tried hard to make, is that the Reorganized Church was opposed to the vice of drunkenness; and that the tippling, drinking habits of Salt Lake City were the products of apostasy, which adherence to and practice of the principles of the gospel as held by us would do away with; and some success in making this impression has been had; but it would seem that somebody had blundered in making such statements, if judgment is to pass upon the instance of Lamoni, for it is the only place which the editor of the Herald has any knowledge of in which the policy of municipal government practically lies in the members of the church, and when an opportunity was offered to exercise that control, it was allowed to lapse into the hands of the venders of intoxicating drinks and their supporters and victims. We confess that we are shocked; and though we expect that this screed will possibly give hurt to some, we can not withhold.
We have been radically opposed to the use and sale of intoxicating drinks, as a beverage, since we were twelve years of age, and from fifteen years have always been engaged, in public and in private, in trying to educate against the evil. We have known many an excellent man, and spiritual, who can trace his downfall to the influence that places where drink has been offered for sale, have thrown round him; and we could now name some who are, or have nearly become victims to the insidious wiles of this enemy to sobriety. How then can Saints permit the traffic to gain a foothold where their influence may stop it? How can they permit even a remote chance to put themselves on the right side of this question escape them? How can they afford to let slip an opportunity to make the places where they dwell, the town, village, or hamlet, where they are citizens, the places where sobriety abides,-the places where no man is permitted to publicly invite the wayward and weak, the erring drinker, and the unfortunate "dipso maniac" to his sure overthrow and destruction?
We began this warfare a long time ago; and we shall certainly continue it. Whether we fight a gaining or a losing battle, so far as our personal influence is concerned, we shall improve every opportunity, and make use of every means in our power and right to use to oppose, restrict, overcome, and prevent the setting up and maintaining of beer, and wine, or whisky shops in any society where we live.
This possesses the merit of being honest and discloses a disposition to cover up nothing, though by expressing the
truth the Saints may be reflected upon. It seems, however, that the danger was to some extent overestimated, and the opposition to incorporation was not because of any liking for the saloon. The next issue of the Herald contained the following editorial comment:
We are pleased to announce that since our last issue, one of the saloons (beer shop) with which at that time Lamoni was supplied, has been closed, the keeper having found that either the moral, or financial atmosphere of the place was not favorable to its continuance. We are sincerely glad of this, because we hail it as a good sign of returning to real reason and good sound sense.
Saints should be opposed to fostering, aiding, or abetting the sale of intoxicating liquors by virtue of their covenant of baptism; and to be consistent. No drunkard hath eternal life abiding in him. Revelings, rioting, drunkenness, can not enter into the realms of peace beyond the vale; and it is reasonable to believe that all those who in any wise help to make, or are parties to the making of drunkards and rioters, will be held partially, or wholly in fault, according to the part they take, or what they leave undone in the conflict.
The times and the exigencies of the work, and of the age demand sober men; men of steadfast nerves and even, steady brain, untrammeled from vice and folly, and free from the dizziness and nerveless lassitude and stupor arising from the use of the intoxicating cup; and free from the madness of heart and brain that follow the flowing bowl. If such men may not be found among professed followers of Christ, where may the world look to find them that be "saviors of men"?
In Herald for January 1, 1882, the organization of a branch in Fremont County, Iowa, to be known as Hazel Dell, was reported. It was organized by Elder J. R. Badham, and Priest W. Farrow was placed in charge.
The Herald for January 15, contained an editorial on the settlement of the Saints in Northern Missouri. It was as follows:
The northern parts of Missouri, lying between the Iowa line and below Jackson County, are being made the homes of many of the Saints; those from distant places, both east and west, moving in, buying land, making homes and occupying them. We believe that this is as it should be. We take occasion now, as we have done heretofore, to advise the Saints that the price of happy occupation of their homes will be good citizenship. If any need to be told what "good citizenship" means, we answer, that it means being a just, faithful, loving, kind, and patient, son, husband, father, brother, and neighbor, abiding without covetousness, or malice among the people; being
sober, industrious, and diligent in business; observing to work six days, and resting on the seventh, both men and women and beasts of burden, as much as meeting together for sacramental and devotional purposes will permit. Keeping away from saloons, and liquor shops; and spending no time in useless and idle occupations, but taking recreation in innocent amusements and employments aside from daily toil, in proper seasons and under proper circumstances. Seeking for good men to serve as officers in administering the affairs of society, local, county, state and national, and maintaining such officers in the discharge of their duties in the enforcement of law.
The laws of the state of Iowa, with some few exceptions are most excellent; we believe that such is the case also with the laws of Missouri; and certainly the Supreme Court has made one most excellent decision; that if a man be sufficiently sane as to be conscious when committing crime that it is wrong and he ought not to do it, he is of sufficiently sound mind to be held to the strictest accountability, and be punished for his crime.
Much as the Saints may have suffered in the past in the states of Missouri and Illinois, the time to complain is passed away. The last appeal to earthly tribunals was made long ago, and the case left for the final arbitrament and the decision of the Supreme Judge of the whole earth; and so far as the Saints are concerned, that case can not again be reopened and pleadings heard here; it is unwise therefore that the sufferings be unnecessarily paraded and aired. Of course the telling of the trials and sorrows incident to those days of trouble, at proper times and in proper places, may be permissible and productive of good; but to hold them subject to earthly redress is an injurious policy and can only result in further distress, possibly trouble.
About this time the recently erected chapel in Salt Lake City was dedicated. Elder W. W. Blair, writing of the occasion, stated that the services were very pleasant and quite successful. Elders W. W. Blair, R. J. Anthony, M. T. Short, and William Gibson, of the missionary force, were present. January 16 Elder Blair left Salt Lake City for the East, arriving at Lamoni, Iowa, the 25th.
There was some persecution in the South, and as a literary curiosity we record without change, or correction, a letter received by Elder G. S. Hyde, at Buchanan, Tennessee, it having been left on the stand where he was preaching. The writer evidently supposed that the preacher was Elder F. P. Scarcliff, who was also in the country at the time:
Sir Wee the Citizenes of this Neighborhood have bin Informed that you have an Oppointment to Preach here to Night Wee will advise
you Now if you Want to Live and Enjoy Good health you had better leave this Place before you Preach Wee Just Simple Give you this as afair Warning and also as anotice that the People of this Neighborhood Dont Want any Mormon Preaching and More than that Wee are not Going to have it if Mild Meanes Will not Do Wee Shall Resort to Ruffer Ones.
Elder Hyde in writing of this says: "They had 'Mormon preaching' that night, and I still 'live and enjoy good health.' The house was locked against me the next night."
January 31, 1882, Elder J. M. Harvey, of the High Priests' Quorum, died at his home in Magnolia, Iowa.
The Edmunds Bill passed the United States Senate, February 16, 1882, and on March 14 it passed the House of Representatives, and was signed by President C. A. Arthur, March 22, 1882. 1 This caused some
1 Be it enacted, etc., That section 5352 of the Revised Statutes of the United States be, and the same is hereby, amended so as to read as follows, namely:
"Every person who has a husband or wife living who, in a Territory or other place over which the United States have exclusive jurisdiction, hereafter marries another, whether married or single, and any man who hereafter simultaneously, or on the same day, marries more than one woman, in a Territory or other place over which the United States have exclusive jurisdiction, to guilty of polygamy, and shall be punished by a fine of not more than $500 and by imprisonment for a term of not more than five years; but this section shall not extend to any person by reason of any former marriage whose husband or wife by such marriage shall have been absent for five successive years, and is not known to such person to be living, and is believed by such person to be dead, nor to any person by reason of any former marriage which shall have been dissolved by a valid decree of a competent court, nor to any person by reason of any former marriage which shall have been pronounced void by a valid decree of a competent court, on the ground of nullity of the marriage contract."
Sec. 2. That the foregoing provisions shall not affect the prosecution or punishment of any offense already committed against the section amended by the first section of this act.
Sec. 3. That if any male person, in a Territory or other place over which the United States have exclusive jurisdiction, hereafter cohabits with more than one woman, he shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not more than $300, or by imprisonment for not more than six months, or by both said punishments, in the discretion of the court.
See. 4. That counts for any or all of the offenses named in sections 1 and 3 of this act may be joined in the same information or indictment.
Sec. 5. That in any prosecution for bigamy, polygamy, or unlawful cohabitation under any statute of the United States, it shall be sufficient cause of challenge to any person drawn or summoned as a juryman or talesman [talisman], first, that he is or has been living in the practice of bigamy, polygamy, or unlawful cohabitation with more than one woman, or that he is or has been guilty of an offense punishable by either of the foregoing sections or by section 5352 of the Revised Statutes of the United States, or the act of July 1, 1862, entitled "An act to punish and prevent the practice of polygamy in the Territories of the United States and other places, and disapproving and annulling certain acts of the Legislative Assembly of the territory of Utah;" or, second, that he believes it right for a man
consternation in Utah, and proved to be one of the main causes that contributed to the final manifesto of President
to have more than one living and undivorced wife at the same time, or to live in the practice of cohabiting with more than one woman; and any person appearing or offered as a juror or talesman [talisman], and challenged on either of the foregoing grounds, may be questioned on his oath as of the existence of any such cause of challenge, and other evidence may be introduced bearing upon the question raised by such challenge; and this question shall be tried by the court. But as to the first ground of challenge before mentioned, the person challenged shall not be bound to answer if he shall say upon his oath that he declines on the ground that his answer may tend to criminate himself; and if he shall answer as to said first ground, his answer shall not be given in evidence in any criminal prosecution against him for any offense named in sections 1 or 3 of this act; but if he declines to answer on any ground he shall be rejected as incompetent.
Sec. 6. That the President is hereby authorized to grant amnesty to such classes of offenders guilty before the passage of this act of bigamy, polygamy, or unlawful cohabitation before the passage of this act, on such conditions and under such limitations as he shall think proper; but no such amnesty shall have effect unless the conditions thereof shall be complied with.
Sec. 7. That the issue of bigamous or polygamous marriages known as Mormon marriages, in cases in which such marriages have been solemnized according to the ceremonies of the Mormon sect, in any Territory of the United States, and such issue shall have been born before the first day of January, A. D. 1883, are hereby legitimated.
Sec. 8. That no polygamist, bigamist, or any person cohabiting with more than one woman, and no woman cohabiting with any of the persons described as aforesaid in this section, in any Territory or other place over which the United States have exclusive jurisdiction, shall be entitled to vote at any election held in any such Territory or other place, or be eligible for election or appointment to or be entitled to hold any office or place of public trust, honor, or emolument in, under, or for any such Territory or place, or under the United States.
Sec. 9. That all the registration and election offices of every description in the Territory of Utah are hereby declared vacant, and each and every duty relating to the registration of voters, the conduct of elections, the receiving or rejection of votes, and the canvassing and returning of the same, and the issuing of certificates or other evidence of election in said Territory, shall, until other provision be made by the Legislative Assembly of said Territory as is hereinafter by this section provided, be performed under the existing laws of the United States and of said Territory by proper persons, who shall be appointed to execute such offices and perform such duties by a board of five persons, to be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, not more than three of whom shall be members of one political party, and a majority of whom shall be a quorum. The members of said board so appointed by the President shall each receive a salary at the rate of $3,000 per annum, and shall continue in office until the legislative Assembly of said Territory shall make provision for filling said offices as herein authorized. The secretary of the Territory shall be the secretary of said board, and keep a journal of its proceedings, and attest the action of said board under this section. The canvass and return of all the votes at elections in said Territory for which members of the Legislative Assembly thereof shall also be returned to said board, which shall convass [canvass] all such returns and issue certificates of election to those persons who, being eligible for such election, shall appear to have been lawfully elected, which certificate shall be the only evidence of the right of such persons to sit in such Assembly: Provided, That said board of five persons shall not exclude any person otherwise eligible to vote from the polls on account of any opinion such person may entertain on the subject of bigamy or polygamy, nor shall they refuse to count any such vote on account of the opinion of the person casting it on the subject of bigamy or polygamy; but each house of such Assembly, after its organization, shall have power to decide upon the elections and qualifications of its members. And at or after the first meeting of said Legislative Assembly whose members shall have been elected and returned according to the provisions of this
Woodruff to abandon the contracting of plural marriages. 2
At the time of the passage of this bill representatives of the Reorganization, in the persons of Elders Z. H. Gurley and E. L. Kelley, were in Washington to furnish any evidence necessary to prevent legislation against the church, or its doctrine proper, and labored to the end that whatever blow might fall, it would fall upon the crime of polygamy alone. The people of Utah felt very bitter towards the Reorganization for maintaining this committee there and for other efforts made in the same direction; looking upon it as a species of persecution. In this they were very much in error. Whatever influence the Reorganization exercised by this means was to establish the fact that what was known as "Mormonism" was not a crime, and that separated from the errors of its devotees it was a blessing to mankind. If the influence exercised in this direction had any effect in preserving liberty to those who had believed the restored gospel, the Utah people as well as the Reorganization could, if they would, avail themselves of its benefit.
February 16, Elder Gurley wrote from Washington as follows:
To-day we appeared before the House Judiciary Committee, presented our argument in print, also the Polygamic Revelation, together with verbal statements, etc., etc. We also presented the Book of Mormon, and are requested to furnish the Doctrine and Covenants. Will you please send us one. We thought the committee were happily surprised when they saw the high and radical grounds we took. Mr. Cannon was not there, although the chairman said he would notify him.
Bro. Kelley got up on a high horse when questioned by one of committee, and told them plainly that the polygamic document taught murder, and asked them if Congress could condone that? I think you will understand me properly when I tell you that we "stood by our guns;" and pleasantly too. Judge McBride, and contestant Campbell, of Utah, were present; the former speaking to the question and supporting our ideas.
The Edmunds Bill, which we favor, passed the Senate to-day. We hope to see it become a law. In order to pass this bill, the rules were suspended, etc. Some Senators thought it had been "urged" and
act, said Legislative Assembly may make such laws conformable to the organic act of said Territory and not inconsistent with other laws of the United States, as it shall deem proper concerning the filling of the offices in said Territory declared vacant by this act.
2 See foot-note 1, volume 3, page 363.
"pressed" upon the notice of the Senate, but however that may be, it passed after a two days struggle. I believe it will become a law, and if so, a step in the right direction has been gained.
On March 15, Elder E. L. Kelley wrote the following:
Yesterday the House of Representatives, after a skirmish and clatter of several hours, passed without amendment the "Edmunds Bill" for prohibiting bigamy and polygamy in the Territories of the United States. . . .
One thing I noticed, in all of the debates by members, that they mainly recognized the fact that it was the "Utah" and "polygamous" Mormons that they struck at. This is all we ask. Give the facts, and the Reorganized Church will soon prove to the world that it is not a whit behind the first of the land in the inculcation of morality, sound doctrine, and decency. And if it does not bring forth this good and noble fruit, it ought not to have an honorable place. . . .
The work of amending the laws to some extent in the territories so as to further stamp out polygamy must yet be done, but we do not feel to remain here longer at the present time.
On February 22, while the Edmunds Bill was pending in the House there was a mass meeting of citizens held at Farwell Hall, in the city of Chicago, Illinois, for the purpose of urging the Government to take some action towards the suppression of polygamy. To this meeting President Joseph Smith was invited by Honorable John Wentworth, and was by Mr. Wentworth introduced to the meeting. He made a speech which was not reported verbatim, but the leading papers of Chicago each published a synopsis, in some respects differing from each other. This speech was widely commented upon, and the people of Utah took great offense, and some of them have insisted ever since that President Smith should be held responsible for what he was reported to have said. So much has been said and written on this that we here give space to the criticism of the Deseret News, in its issue for May 13, 1882:
At one of the anti-"Mormon" meetings held in Chicago during the excitement that preceded the final passage of the Edmunds Bill, Joseph Smith, son of Joseph the Prophet, addressed the audience. We present herewith a report of his speech as it appeared in the Chicago Tribune of February 23, as we think that it should be placed on record, and that the Latter Day Saints should be made acquainted with the fact that the leader of the so-called "Reorganization" is allied with the enemies of his father, and of the church which was organized by that martyr for the
truth, and that he is in league with those who counsel violence as the proper means of settling the "Mormon" question. He would have force applied where argument fails; and although possessed of positive information, proving beyond the possibility of a doubt that his lamented father introduced and practiced the system of plural marriage now held by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, he still, in the spirit of a lawyer and against the spirit of a gospel teacher, technically disputes and virtually denies his father's connection with that principle and attempts to attribute its origin to Brigham Young.
The most atrocious thing in the speech is the vile and filthy falsehood about the contamination of women by "Mormon" bishops. It is a lie the blackness of which can not be painted. No one but a depraved and corrupt being, whose conscience is seared as with an iron heated in the infernal pit, could utter such calumny. It is hard to believe that one who knows something of the sanctity which attaches to the relations of the sexes in this church, could descend so low in the scale of mendacity as to utter such a gross and uncalled for libel upon "Mormon" men and women.
Thus this man not only seeks to deceive the public upon an important point, and, as will be seen from his address, attempts to misinterpret the teachings of the Book of Mormon on this subject, but he descends to the level of the liar and defamer, and joins in an endeavor to bring trouble if not destruction upon the people who live but to carry out the revelations of God received through his father as the mouthpiece of heaven.
He was introduced as "Bishop Smith" by Honorable John Wentworth-a nice specimen of Chicago morality-as "a man who has suffered more in the cause to be discussed than any other man on the face of the earth." It would have greatly puzzled Wentworth or any other man to show wherein "Bishop Smith" had suffered anything whatever in that cause.
To this President Smith replied in Herald for June 1, 1882, as follows:
Some of the statements made by the Editor in the speech, complained of by the News, are not given in the Tribune's report as they were uttered. This is the case with the one referring to the "contamination of women by Mormon bishops." The statement as made by the Editor was this; that while in Salt Lake City, in 1876, he became acquainted with an unmarried man, then thirty-nine years old, whose youth and early manhood had been spent in Utah. The Editor asked him the question why he had not married, and he gave in reply substantially, that he did not know where to go in the Territory, to get a wife; that it was not easy to find young marriageable women who were not already married into polygamous families, or were bespoken for some bishop. This man further stated that he was not alone in being unmarried for the same cause, the contamination of polygamy. We believe the statement made
by him was true; but the Tribune's report gives the Editor as the author of the saying. If the condition of things has amended since 1876, or if the circle in which the editor of the News moves is free from evidences for making such a statement, we are certainly glad of it. But how can he speak for other circles in which he does not move?
The legitimate result of the teaching of plural marriage is practically, in the language of the man of Proverbs, a little changed: "'Get understanding, my son; but with all your getting,' get wives, my son, get wives; for thus shall you be exalted in the kingdom." Exaltation being made to depend upon the married state, it is to be expected that all faithful devotees should strive diligently to enter into that state. This would put the sexes at a disparity in numbers, and the more men there were plurally married the more men would be unmarried. It is a foregone conclusion, and the News can not escape it, that the bishops would be the first to care for themselves. . . .
Joseph Smith, the editor of the Saints' Herald, did go to Chicago, at the invitation of a committee of citizens, of that city, of whom E. F. Cragin was secretary; and did in Farwell Hall, address an anti-Mormon meeting so-called. At the close of that address, the position assumed by the speaker is as clearly defined as words can make it, and is as follows:
"I am not in favor of persecution, but there is a great difference between persecution and honest demand for honest obedience to law, and it is that demand that all good people want to see made and enforced in polygamous Utah. Congress has the right to do this, and the people should insist on the exercise of that right."
It is not a new position; but is the same that we have constantly been presenting for over twenty years; and we are glad, very glad that at last it has dawned upon the Deseret News, editors and readers, that there is mischief for their pet doctrine in that position.
In plain language, the Utah Latter Day Saints, Brigham Young, John Taylor, George A. Smith, Heber C. Kimball, George Q. Cannon, and others at the lead, have made Joseph Smith, Jr., (the founder under God of the Church of Jesus Christ, these last days), to be the author of one of the most damnable doctrines and practices that has ever cursed its believers since the days of Nicholas; one distinctly and in terms denounced by the Book of Mormon, which contains the gospel of Christ, and forbidden in the Church Articles and Covenants; and because they have done this, and sought to fasten it upon Joseph Smith's legitimate sons, as one of his measures, for the redemption of man, those sons taking the words acknowledge as the gift of God to the church founded by the instrumentality of their father as the basis and ground work of their faith, openly deny such alleged origin and authority for the abominable heresy, and with hundreds of others, believers in the original faith, and children of them who suffered for its establishment, challenge these men to answer for corrupting the church of God. And what is their defense. Why, "Joseph Smith, of Plano, is an anti-Mormon." That he is
"allied with the enemies of his father;" and "in league with those who counsel violence." "He would have force applied where argument fails." This is the argumentative defense offered by the News. Is the News informed as to the time and place where argument between the Reorganization and the Utah church, upon the doctrine of polygamy or plural marriage has failed? Will the editor please to state, if he knows, when and where the champions of the two organizations have held joint discussion upon the subject at issue, in which discussion argument failed? The fact is, the Utah elders, except here and there an isolated case, have all declined, from Orson Pratt and John Taylor, clear down, to meet the leading elders sent to Utah to invite the attention of the people to the issue raised. These men who now raise this cry of "persecution," "persecution," because we demand the just enforcement of law, in Utah as elsewhere in the United States, persist in saying that we seek to "bring trouble, if not destruction upon the people who live but to carry out the revelations of God received through" Joseph the Martyr; when they have the printed refutation of such charge on record in the very speech, which to them has proven so offensive. If the "enforcement of law in Utah as elsewhere in the United States," is the persecution referred to, we must plead guilty; but in no other sense have the elders of the Reorganized Church sought to bring persecution or trouble upon Utah.
How happened it that it took Brigham Young eight years and two months to discover the alleged revelation? How happened it that it was not until August 29, 1852, that the alleged revelation on plural marriage, said to be from God to Joseph Smith, was presented to the church? How happened it that then it was not presented to the First Presidency; then to the Twelve; then to the Seventy, in solemn conclave assembled to consider it? How happened it, that when it was presented, it was at a special conference, held at an unusual time of the year; instead of at a general annual or semiannual session, on the legendary days of April 6, or October 6? How happened it that when presented, President B. Young accounts for its possession in such a dogmatic and suspicious way? How happened it that Elder Orson Pratt distinctly affirmed that he presented the doctrine for the first time? How happened it that then, the people who were to be affected for good or evil by the change in the church polity, were not permitted to examine the document claimed to be a revelation from God to them, and declare for or against it, as they might have been moved to do? How happened it that John Taylor denied the existence and teaching of the doctrine in France in 1850, as stated by O. Pratt in his works? How happened it that in Denmark, Wales, Scotland, and in many parts of England the existence of the doctrine and its practice in Utah were denied? How happened it that President B. Young admitted to Schuyler Colfax in 1865 that polygamy was not introduced till after the removal to Utah? How happened it that Hiram B. Clawson, son-in-law to President B. Young, stated in Chicago in February, 1882, that it could not have been for polygamy that the Mormons
were driven out of Illinois? For it "was not known among them then;" and in fact not "till some time after their arrival in Utah." All these questions and many more would need to be answered in an examination of the matter of plural marriage as having been properly a measure introduced by Joseph Smith.
The statement as given in the Tribune's report, and which the News denounces as an "atrocious lie," was not made as stated. The Times and Herald, each published a report, and neither of them got the remark in the form given by the Tribune. As given, it is a harsh remark, of which we do not object to the News finding fault. The remarks as made by us were made upon the authority of a man whose name we can give, when necessary, and to whom we referred when making the statement in the speech quoted from.
Joseph Smith, as an invited speaker at the Farwell Hall meeting, February 22, 1882, was not responsible for the statements of Bishop Fallows, who succeeded him as a speaker; nor for the introductory remarks of Honorable John Wentworth, who introduced him to the audience. He was there to discuss his side of the question at issue before Congress and the American people. He was there to defend the memories of a father and his compeers in refounding the religion of Jesus Christ, against calumny and opprobrium resting upon them; because of a gross departure from the original faith, that departure sanctioned by an alleged revelation, which he believed then and believes now was not given of God, nor to his father. He was there in the interest of the truth as he and many hundreds of believers in the doctrines of Joseph Smith as taught from 1830 to 1844; and to set before the people of Chicago there gathered to hear, what he believed then and what he believes now to be necessary to the well-being of society and the good of those called Latter Day Saints. He knew then, as he knows now and knew twenty years ago, that the issue would be made and the principle of plural marriage, polygamy, be left to stand naked and deformed, shorn of its fictitious supports, to the gaze of an aroused people.
February 20, Elder J. R. Lambert reported the organization of Millview Branch, in Florida, Priest J. S. Faulk presiding, G. W. Boon teacher.
February 22, 1882, Elder Thomas Carrico, of the High Priests' Quorum, died near Logan, Iowa. He had been a member of the church since 1832 or 1833, and was at one time a doorkeeper in the Kirtland Temple 2
February 20 to 22 there was a debate at Ionia, Illinois, between an Elder Adair, of the Advent Church, and Elder H. C. Bronson.
2 See Church History, volume 2, page 9.
About this time Elder Josiah Ells published a pamphlet in defense of the Book of Mormon, entitled "Prophetic Truth."
A German pamphlet was also issued by Temme Hinderks and F. W. Reidel, of the German Tract Committee, entitled, Die "Eine Taufe."
February 27, Elkhart Branch, Texas, was organized by Elder Heman C. Smith, J. W. Bryan presiding. It was composed of fourteen members, all of whom had been baptized the two days previous except one.
The annual conference convened at Independence, Missouri, April 6, 1882; Joseph Smith and W. W. Blair, presidents; H. A. Stebbins, T. W. Chatburn, and R. M. Elvin, secretaries.
The Church Recorder's report showed a net gain for the last year of eight hundred forty-six members.
Bishop I. L. Rogers offered his resignation. 3 His counselors, Elders H. A. Stebbins and David Dancer, also offered their resignations, urging that they be released whether the Bishop was retained or not. After much discussion the resignations of all three were accepted.
After the conference had made it a special subject for prayer, President Joseph Smith stated that he had received evidence sufficient to justify him in nominating for Bishop, George A. Blakeslee. This was ratified by the conference, and Elder Blakeslee chose as his counselors Elijah Banta and E. L. Kelley.
Elder Banta being absent, action upon his nomination was deferred. The other was ratified, and Bishop Blakeslee was duly ordained, as was also E. L. Kelley as his second counselor.
The following ministers were present and reported: T. W. Smith, James Caffall, A. H. Smith, W. H. Kelley, J. H. Lake, Z. H. Gurley, B. V. Springer, J. S. Patterson, J. C. Foss, John Thomas, George Montague, Heman C. Smith, E. M. Wildermuth, E. C. Brand, J. T. Davies, R. M. Elvin, and F. P. Scarcliff. The following absent ministers reported:
3 See resignation, foot-note, volume 3, page 777.
J. R. Lambert, Charles Derry, Glaud Rodger, R. J. Anthony, Columbus Scott, M. T. Short, J. L. Bear, W. T. Bozarth, G. S. Hyde, J. F. Mintun, G. T. Griffiths, A. J. Cato, Hiram Robinson, G. W. Shute, and G. H. Graves.
The following action was taken regarding the passage of the Edmunds Bill:
Whereas, The Edmunds Bill, originating in the Senate of the United States, has become a law, by which it is intended on the part of the Government to extirpate the practice of polygamy, which practice is by this act recognized as a crime and not as a religion; and
Whereas, In the discussion and consideration of this question in Congress it was frequently stated by Senators and members of the House of Representatives that the object of this measure was not intended as an attack on Mormonism, but against the evil practices in the territories of the United States, enjoined by the loathsome incumbrance [encumbrance] upon that faith; therefore be it
Resolved, That we, the Reorganized Church of Christ, do hereby tender our sincere thanks to President Chester A. Arthur and all the Senators and members of Congress who took an active part in passing such laws, by which the "twin relic" is to be removed from the institutions of the country, to the honor and dignity of the Nation, and to the especial good of all true Mormons, who abide in the original faith of the church.
President Joseph Smith was authorized to telegraph the above to President Arthur, the president of the Senate, and Speaker of the House.
Calista R. Conant and Catherine Steadman were received into the church on their original baptisms. E. Robinson and William Clow of the committee on Sunday-schools reported. The committee was discharged, and after some discussion the report was tabled.
The board of location reported having removed the business center from Plano, Illinois, to Lamoni, Iowa, where they had built a two-story brick building for the Herald Office thirty by sixty-five feet, with an engine room sixteen by sixteen feet attached, at a cost of $5,541.14 with an additional estimated cost of four hundred dollars, for finishing the building and inclosing [enclosing] the grounds. The Board of Publication was placed in charge of the property October 18, 1881, and a copy of the Articles of Incorporation was filed in the office of the County Clerk of Decatur County, Iowa, February 3, 1882. A financial statement was attached to the
report which was examined by a committee consisting of W. H. Kelley, I. N. White, and E. C. Brand. The report of the committee was adopted, and the committee discharged. The Board of Publication reported cash receipts, $14,781.43; expenditures, $14,065.19; leaving balance of $716.24. Inventory showed assets, $21,948.30; liabilities, $4,950.15; leaving net assets, $16,998.15. This account was also audited by the same committee as above, and accepted.
The Bishop reported, total receipts, $7,694.26; expenditures, $5,798.65; leaving balance in Bishop's hands, $1,895.61. Total receipts by agents, $5,552.24; expenditures by agents, $4,942.
The following quorums reported: High Priests reported the death of three members, viz., Hugh Lytle, J. M. Harvey, and Thomas Carrico. Seventy had dropped on account of inactivity G. W. Harlow, W. White, C. F. Stiles, G. Outhouse, A. B. Alderman, J. Burgess, Samuel Ackerley, G. W. Shaw, D. Wilding, Thomas Job, W. H. Hartshorn, H. B. Lowe, J. Speight, R. W. Briggs, and Samuel Blair. Magnus Fyrando was expelled. Three members reported dead, viz., R. H. Atwood, W. Ostrander, and W. D. Lewis. First Quorum of Elders reported one death, J. Perkins; two dropped, Anthony Metcalf and J. W. Mather; three received, M. R. Scott, William Newton, and J. F. Burton. Second Quorum of Elders reported no changes. Third Quorum of Elders J. W. Johnson dropped from the quorum; and C. W. Short, E. H. Gurley, D. Brown, and D. S. Crowley admitted to membership. The First Quorum of Priests reported having completed their quorum membership, and that they had chosen Lawrence Conover, president of quorum. This was approved and he was ordained. The complete list was as follows: Rudolph Etzenhouser, Frank Steffe, William M. Rumel, Charles A. Wickes, Daniel McPherson, Stephen N. Adams, William Crick, D. D. Williams, George F. Weston, Lawrence Conover, E. L. Kelley, J. R. Nicholas, James F. Clemensen, J. J. Vickery, D. C. White, James Buxton, Almon D. Hougas, William Clow, Henry Roberts, Samuel Naiden, Freeman S. Gilliland, Benjamin Kaster, Milton Daugherty, J. C. Johnson, J. B. Gouldsmith, Jacob Whitinger, A. W. Glover, Henry J. Warbee,
Asa S. Cochran, M. M. Turpen, George Whitnell, Noah N. Cook, Edward Rannie, William N. Dawson, Eli Wilcox, Charles P. Faul, W. H. Bradford, Ira Agan, W. J. Weston, Robert White, Andrew J. Cox, F. M. Dennis, M. M. Ballinger, Elijah Sparks, Lewis Fowler, D. R. Baldwin, Joseph Upton, Barnett M. Green.
The committee on German tracts reported that they had translated and published "The One Baptism," and the "Epitome." The following was adopted:
Whereas, There are certain German tracts written and published which are not in harmony with the doctrines of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ; be it
Resolved, That all tracts be submitted to the German committee, appointed by conference of September, 1881, for correction.
The following was offered:
Whereas, The holding of the two General Conferences each year is attended with great expense, and in our judgment is unnecessary; therefore, be it
Resolved, That when this conference adjourns, it does so to meet April 6,1883. . . .
This was disposed of by adoption of the following:
Resolved, That when this conference adjourns, it does so to meet this fall, notice being given through the Herald in regard to the change of time from semiannual to annual conferences, presented by the foregoing resolution, that districts may instruct their delegates in this matter.
Another attempt was made to declare the rules of representation null and void, but this failed. The rules were, however, amended to give delegates one vote for each six members instead of one vote for each twenty.
The Bishop, and missionary in charge of the region including Kirtland, Ohio, were appointed a committee to repair Kirtland Temple.
Joseph Smith, Z. H. Gurley, and E. L. Kelley were appointed a committee to attend at Washington, District of Columbia, in case the interest of the church should so demand.
The following missions were appointed upon the recommendation of the First Presidency and the Twelve:
W. W. Blair, in charge of the Rocky Mountain Mission. J. W. Briggs, to travel and speak as circumstances permit.
A. H. Smith, Missouri and Illinois. T. W. Smith, under direction of the First Presidency. J. R. Lambert, Southeastern Mission. W. H. Kelley, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and New York. James Caffall, Nebraska and Colorado. J. H. Lake, Canada. Z. H. Gurley, present field with Eastern New York added. Josiah Ells, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio. E. C. Briggs, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Northwestern Illinois. Columbus Scott, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and New York. George S. Hyde, Southern Mission. G. T. Griffiths, Pennsylvania and Ohio. J. F. Mintun, Nebraska. J. F. McDowell, Clinton, Iowa. George Montague, Southeastern Mission. M. T. Short, Utah. Heman C. Smith, Southwestern Mission. Frank Scarcliff, Southeastern Mission. Eli Wildermuth, Iowa and Missouri. W. T. Bozarth, Missouri. B. V. Springer, Southern Illinois and St. Louis Districts. Glaud Rodger, California. J. C. Clapp, Rocky Mountain Mission. R. J. Anthony, Rocky Mountain Mission. J. C. Foss, released from Eastern Mission. E. C. Brand, Iowa and Nebraska. J. S. Patterson, Northern and Central Illinois. J. T. Davies, Missouri and Kansas. J. Thomas, Southeastern Mission. H. A. Stebbins, Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. R. M. Elvin, Iowa and Nebraska. George Hicklin, Canada. J .F. Burton, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Maine. A. J. Cato, Texas. L. F. West, Southeastern Mission. Hiram Robinson, under direction of Bro. J. Ells. G. W. Shute, upon his request, released. J. D. Bennett, Northeastern Kansas and Southeastern Nebraska. E. H. Gurley, Canada. E. L. Kelley, District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. Gordon E. Deuel, Canada, T. Taylor, president of British Mission. Peter N. Brix, Scandinavian Mission. J. L. Bear, released from German Mission. J. R. Gibbs, Wales. The Australian Mission was left with the First Presidency and the Twelve to supply.
G. A. Blakeslee, J. W. Chatburn, and Phineas Cadwell were appointed a committee to ascertain how much labor is necessary to be performed by Church Secretary and Recorder, the amount of compensation necessary, the necessity for an office and a place of safety for record.
At the annual conference Elder J. L. Bear was honorably released from his mission in Germany and Switzerland, and soon afterwards returned home. In the Herald for May 1, 1882, President Smith announced that Elder John Bossard, of Thurgan, Switzerland, would be in charge until relieved, by some one sent from America.
At a branch business-meeting held May 1, 1882, in Lamoni, measures were taken towards building a house of worship. Committees were appointed on location, feasibility of building, etc., and later the site was agreed upon, and a building committee, consisting of Elijah Banta, S. V. Bailey, George Adams, Peter Harris, E. J. Robinson, N. M. Reeder, and Joseph Smith, appointed.
May 15, Elder John Branch, of the Seventh-day Adventists, and Elder Columbus Scott met in debate near Hartford, Michigan.
On May 18 William Anderson, of Oakland, California, announced the arrival of Elder J. W. Gillen from Australia. He arrived at Lamoni, Iowa, June 7.
On May 11 and several days following Elder E. L. Kelley was engaged in debate at Kansas City, Missouri, with David Eccles, at that time leader of the Liberal League in Kansas City, one time a member of the church.
May 27-29 the European Mission conference was held at Hanley, England; Thomas Taylor, president; C. H. Caton, secretary. Resolutions regarding church property were adopted. 3
3 First. That a responsible person be appointed as trustee, for the purpose of holding in trust all properties, called church property, belonging to branches of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in each district now formed. That the words "church property," be understood to mean those things purchased by the branches from their common funds; and all things received by gifts, or donation to the branches.
Second. That all such property in future do belong to, and may be claimed from, each branch, by the district body corporate, for the benefit of the district in general in which such branch of the church may have become incorporate. And for this purpose district presidents shall be appointed sub-agents to the Bishop's agent, to act as overseers to trustees of branches.
Third. But that no district shall be empowered to lay claim to, so as to seize on, the church property, in the use of any branch of the church, except in case a branch may be dissolved, or otherwise cease to exist.
Fourth. That should a district in conference decide on the necessity of disorganizing
June 1, 1882, Elder Joseph A. Crawford, mentioned before as having departed from the church, wrote a letter to President Smith from Reno, Iowa, expressing bitter regret for his action. The following is an extract:
In an evil hour, nearly two years ago, I inadvertently listened to the voice of the tempter, and impelled by thoughts of wrongs received, whether real or imaginary matters not here, I acted foolish enough to send you my letter of commendation, elder's license, and certificates, requesting that my name be stricken from the church register, and from the roll of the First Quorum of Elders.
Not being satisfied with this wrong move, I united with another religious order; was ordained an evangelist, and for a time tried to preach the tenets of that organization. This did not last long, as I found it impossible to continue to publicly proclaim certain peculiarities of doctrine, which I did not privately believe; and being disgusted with myself and my surroundings, I severed all my connection with that order; and "sailed out" into the world, and sin, and folly, fully determined at that time never again to unite myself with any religious body.
After nearly two long years floundering in sin and iniquity, and part of the time trying, with might and main, to force myself across the mystic border land of infidelity into atheism, I still find myself a firm believer in the principles and truths of so-called Mormonism; and am now fully determined-let the consequences, trials, and sorrows of the future be what they may-to unite myself again with those whom I believe, yes, know, to be the people of God.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 29, p. 208.
any existing branch, no such district shall be able to lay claim to any property in use in that branch, unless the branch has had one month's clear notice to attend conference, either en masse, or by delegation, in order to approve or disapprove of the action taken by such district; and further, if the branch gives notice of appeal to annual conference, against the decision of the district, they (the branch) shall be left in full possession of their property, pending the verdict of annual conference.
Fifth. That no branch shall, while waiting appeal to annual conference, (in any manner whatever,) dispose of one particle of property under their charge. Neither shall they in any way damage the same, in a willful manner, and should they do so, they shall be dealt with as annual conference may decide.
Sixth. That each branch is in duty bound to, as soon after these clauses become law, as is practicable, make out an itemized list of all properties owned by them, and cause the same to be forwarded to the secretary of the mission, who shall as soon after as is convenient, forward the same to those who may be appointed sub-agents for a district. And further, it shall be the duty of said sub-agents, to render every six months a correct account of all such properties intrusted [entrusted] to his care, to the Bishop's agent, who will, in virtue of his office, hold such sub-agents responsible for the safe custody thereof.
Seventh. That all present, and future districts, and branches be governed by these rules.
Eighth. That the above-mentioned be understood as relating to the English Mission only.
On motion, Resolved, That the foregoing rules be spread on the minutes of conference, and that they do now become law.
June 10, 1882, Levi W. Hancock, chosen as one of the presidents of Seventy as early as 1835, died at Washington, Washington County, Utah.
June 18 a branch was organized at Hamburg, Iowa, by Elder J. R. Badham, consisting of eight members; N. Taylor, president; J. W. Calkins, priest; D. Comstock, teacher; W. R. Calkins, clerk; Olive Calkins, treasurer.
On June 25 a branch was organized at Creston, Iowa, with eleven members; E. D. Bullard, president; A. W. Head, priest; H. O. Redfield, clerk.
About the last of June there was a branch organized near Paige, Texas, by Elder A. J. Cato.