Reformation of 1856
HUMAN SACRIFICE AND THE BLOOD ATONEMENT
THE "REFORMATION" IN UTAH. - Its Extraordinary Origin - Shortcomings of the Saints - "Jeddy's" Frenzy - Sinners re-baptized - Terrible Enthusiasm - Tabernacle Teachings - Doctrine of the "Blood Atonement" - Human Sacrifice commended - Erring Saints to offer up their Blood as Incense - Brother Heber declares that Brigham Young is god to the Mormons - Strange Preaching - Confessions of the Saints - Extraordinary Public Meetings of the Priesthood - A "Reign of Terror" - Shocking Outrages upon Citizens - Crusade against Intellectual Societies - Results of the "Reformation" - An Important Letter - What Brigham and the Leaders really said in the Tabernacle - Apostates and Gentiles threatened.
In all nations, and in almost every age, something has been heard of "reform." Mormonism had also its "Reformation." But there was nothing in common between the notable reformations in the world's history and that which is inscribed in the annals of the Rocky Mountain territory in 1856.
The Mormon writers have been studiously silent about the "Reformation" in Utah and here the Author would have gladly passed it by; but he feels that, furnishing as it, does a clue to some of the worst crimes which blacken the page of American history, its tale of horrors imperatively demands a place in this volume.
While many important features in the lives of the Utah Saints will pass away and be forgotten, the "Reformation" will be remembered for ever. It was the outburst of the worst elements of fanaticism - a fanaticism at once blind, dangerous, and terrible, but at the same time the natural result of the teachings of the Tabernacle. The Author, not being then in Utah, presents to the reader a graphic sketch - never before published - from the pen of an eyewitness, then and now a resident of Salt Lake City:
"Another meeting was appointed to convene in a few weeks, when "Jeddy" and most of the elders then present were again there. Accusation after accusation, more bitter than before, was hurled at the "Saints," and they were commanded to be re-baptized. In accordance with this, after the exercises at night, numbers were re-baptized by the elders, and though the weather was cold and unfavourable, Jeddy himself remained in the water until he shivered with cold and contracted the disease from which he never recovered.
"At the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, Jedediah addressed the Saints every Sunday afterwards, charging them with sins and crimes of almost every description. The bishops were "whipped" for dereliction of duty, for being "old fogies," and not being strict in making the Saints pay their tithing to "the Lord." All were called upon to confess their sins, and to make known to God's servant the crimes of which they were guilty. The most extravagant language and bitter denunciations were uttered against the Saints, and strict, unquestioning obedience to the priesthood was commanded in all things, with the consecration of body, soul, and property to the Church. Individuals were hinted at and sins imputed to them which they dared not deny, nor even attempt to defend themselves, however innocent they might be.
"I would advise some of you men here, said Jeddy on one occasion, to go to President Young and confess your sins, and ask him to take you outside the city and have your blood shed to atone for your sins." "All that you have and are belong to God, and must be devoted to his Church. Not only your money, and goods, and talents, but your wives and children should be at all times ready to be devoted to his servant."
"If President Young wants my wives I will give them to him without a grumble, and he can take them whenever he likes."
"Heber C. Kimball felt only too happy to follow in the wake of Grant: he used the most disgusting vituperatives for which he was noted, and indulged in unheard of accusations.
"He declared to the people that Brigham Young was his God, and their God, and the only God they would ever see if they did not obey him: Joseph Smith was God to the inhabitants of the earth when he was amongst us, and Brigham is God now." This strain was caught up and reiterated by many of the elders, from Orson Hyde, the president of the twelve apostles, down to the most ignorant teacher, and to question it openly was to be put under the ban.
"Meetings were held throughout the city, and "missionaries" were appointed to preach in and visit every ward throughout the Territory.
The elders returning from Europe were appointed to preach to the people, and to learn their sins. In the excitement, to which every one was expected to bend and catch "the spirit of the work," men - immoral, ignorant men - were sent as "home missionaries" to keep them at work, that they might thereby gain their living irrespective of qualification or religious worth.
"Three brethren, notorious for earning their living by fiddling at the dances, and who were in every respect unqualified to teach moral principles, were ordered to go as missionaries and make their living in that capacity, as the "Reformation" allowed no dancing. These men, ignorant themselves of knowing anything of religious truth, and innocent of attempting to acquire it, the laughing-stock secretly of the better informed, would shout out, "wake up," "repent," "obey counsel," "pay tithing," "consecrate your property to the Church," "get more wives," and "give us a good collection," and they were deemed full of "the Spirit."
"Elders were sent to the various settlements and stationed at certain places, whose duty it was to excite people to confess their secret sins and reveal their private conduct to them and the bishops. Teachers were appointed in every ward and for every block, whose duties were to pry into every secret and learn the private history of every family. Men, women, and children were asked the most indelicate questions about private actions and secret thoughts. Husbands were asked inconvenient questions about relations with their wives, and wives about their husbands, by rude and ignorant teachers, and "counsel" was given accordingly. Girls were counselled to marry into polygamy to old men "that they might be saved," for young men were "not tried" in the kingdom and could not "save," the girls; and in many instances young women were forced to break off engagements with young men whom they loved, to gratify a bishop's preference, a missionary's feelings, or a great elder's desires.
"Meetings were held by all the "Quorums" of "High Priests," "Seventies," and "Bishops," which were largely attended. The greatest zeal for the good of "the kingdom" and unquestioning obedience were manifested, and the weak in faith, the doubting, and rebellious were, with "Uncle Sam" and all the Gentiles, denounced without mercy.
"A catechism was printed by authority of Brigham Young, and a copy of it was put into the hands of every missionary, elder, bishop and teacher, who catechized with unblushing effrontery every member of the Church. Those refusing to answer were cursed and reported at the bishops' meetings as worthy to be disfellowshipped, and those who honestly told their feelings were likewise reported to the authorities, and became objects of attack and abuse at the public meetings, while their private characters became topics of scandal and gossip.
"The confessions of the Saints were texts for discourses, and curses were hurled on them publicly. The revelation of sins wormed out of them by the catechism and other methods adopted were astonishing, and a lower state of morals was discovered to exist than even the best informed could have suspected.
"Polygamy, notwithstanding the claims of the Utah writers, had not prevented illicit intercourse between the sexes. No houses of professional prostitution publicly opened their doors invitingly to the Saints, but secret confessions showed that private evils existed in the cities of professed Saints which were not surpassed by the inhabitants of many cities of "Babylon" in which "all classes and conditions of men" do congregate. Thefts, roguishness, cheating, and lying were divulged, which had been carried on for years. As illustrative of this let me recite a pretty well-known occurrence.
"On one occasion a public meeting was called at the Social Hall, which was very largely attended by the priesthood or male members only. Brigham, Heber, "Jeddy," and others addressed the elders. Blind and burning zeal prompted the meanest accusations and aspersions. The confessions, as before observed, were groundwork for reproofs, rebukes, and denunciations. Brigham in his speech put a motion as follows: "All you who have been guilty of committing adultery, stand up." To the surprise of some, and the chagrin of the presidency, more than three-fourths stood on their feet. Of course, no women being present, the men only answered for themselves - the inference could only be imagined about the other sex.
"The truthful and simple replies to the questions of the catechism revealed more than was expected. Confidence and respect were lost, and society seemed to be falling in pieces. Brigham, seeing the evil results of such priestcraft and fanaticism in the hands of ignorant elders, gave general instructions, by obedience to which the Saints could evade the disgrace and publicity of their confessions. Said he: "Repent of your sins, and be baptized for the remission of sins, and, as they are washed away by the ordinance of baptism, you can say truly that you are not guilty of the sins inquired of by the catechism, though you way have committed them." Many easily caught at this clue and rushed to the baptismal waters to be cleansed from their iniquities, and to bury their sins from mortal eyes.
"At the meetings of the priesthood, schemes were mooted and plans adopted to remove everything obnoxious to the "interests of the kingdom." The reported conduct of the Gentiles was discussed and opinions were offered concerning those who were suspected of being weak in the faith, or those who were independent enough to offer opinions adverse to the course of some in authority. Extreme measures, based upon false reports, were used towards many, and the victims had no time or opportunity to explain, nor any means of redress afterwards. The following are some instances in point.
"During a meeting of the faithful missionaries held in the Historian's office, presided over by Brother Brigham, when zeal ran high and testimonies were delivered, and determination of faithfulness expressed in the warmest manner, several brethren walked out to perform some mission that had been pre-arranged. That same evening the house and store of Mr. H. J. Jarvis was entered by some brethren in disguise. They walked into his store, and when he had served a customer present, they suddenly caught him by the hair of his head and dragged him over the counter, pulled him into the street, and throw him on to the snow, threatening his life if he made a noise. They reentered his store, took what they pleased to the amount of $750, set fire to the place, besmeared the parlor furniture with their own filth, and decamped, "breathing threatenings and slaughter." His wives (for he had two sweetly-dispositioned, good women) rushed up stairs to save the children, and after returning with them succeeded in extinguishing the fire, which had now reached to within one foot of the powder, but not without burning their arms and hands. Mr. Jarvis and family went to a neighbour's house occupied by an elder, the representatives of "God" in the Endowment House, for protection, but were refused shelter, this Brother saying that they could not remain there.
"Because Israel is at work."
"What have I done to be thus treated, and to be refused shelter for my family?" asked Mr. Jarvis.
"You have spoken evil of the authorities," replied the Elder, who seemed to know the cause and to have expected the result.
"I have never done so," said Mr. Jarvis.
"You have had Gentiles to supper in your house," again replied the Elder.
"I never had; but if I had, I had a perfect right to do so if I liked," was the honest reply.
"Mr. Jarvis was a man of unimpeachable moral character, a respectable merchant, and would be esteemed a good citizen in any community. He went to Daniel Spencer, President of the Stake of Zion, and to Bishop Kesler in the ward in which the outrage occurred, to seek protection as he was afraid of his life. Mr. Spencer sympathized with him very much privately, but could not obtain for him an interview with Brigham. Kesler could do nothing for him, regretted the abuse, and promised that he would see to it that he should be no further molested.
"William H. Wilson, a man of excellent character and much talent, was a clerk in General Burr's office. At a late hour at night a rap was heard at his door. He arose out of bed, slipped on his trousers, and went to the door. There he was seized by several strong men and taken away forcibly towards Jordan river, and detained there by the ruffians till next night. He was abused and his life threatened. He inquired the cause of the seizure, and was told that he was clerking for a United States official, and was writing articles to New York papers against the Church. This he emphatically denied.
Their intention he believed was to kill him, but before attempting the act, one of the party who knew Mr. Wilson well and wanted to serve him, stated that they ought to be certain of his guilt before doing violence. After some deliberation it was agreed to release him upon condition that he would swear never to divulge the outrage and its perpetrators. His wife, who suffered indescribably during this time, sought to obtain an interview with Governor Young, but there was no access to his august presence for the wife of a person so weak in the faith and who was in the hands of the minions of the Church. Mr. Landon, likewise a clerk in General Burr's office, fled when he heard of the seizure of Mr. Wilson, and escaped on foot to Virginia, Nevada, report says, suffering horribly for food, and shoes, and shelter.
"Job Salter, watchmaker, a good citizen, was taken from his house by some faithful elders at night, whipped and abused because he did not enter into all the spirit of the "Reformation" and accuse himself of sins, but was allowed to return to his family after being sworn not to disclose the perpetrators of the foul deed.
"Brigham Young, who was not only president of the Church, but governor of the Territory, took no notice of these and other outrages, but by his silence gave reason to believe that he countenanced the villainy. These outrages were the legitimate result of the teaching of the elders in the Tabernacle, the doctrines set forth by Jedediah Grant, and even by Brigham Young himself.
"The sweetest words that Jesus ever uttered - "Love thy neighbour as thyself," were commented upon by Brigham to show that a man would be loving his neighbour as himself if he killed him, rather than he should "apostatize." This terrible rendering of the Gospel of humanity is too well remembered by many. The results of such teachings were experienced in the outrages committed during the height of the so-called "Reformation," in various parts of the Territory, while those alone were pronounced faithful who were most imbued with this horrid fanaticism. Many more examples might be given.
"Everything that was not ordered and presided over by the priesthood, was denounced as leading to apostasy, and all who did not take an active part in self-accusation of the meanest kind were suspected of deep sin, and treated accordingly. For example, a number of young elders of literary tastes and acquirements, some of whom were acknowledged to be men of superior talent, organized a "Literary and Musical Society," a few months before the "Reformation" began. They gave public entertainments to their friends, which consisted of original essays and poems, recitations, declamations, orations and music. They had ample talent among their own committee to occupy the evenings fully and to make them highly interesting; but as they designed to diffuse a love of literature and music throughout Zion, they called in all the talent that surrounded them. Any new arrival from the States or Europe possessed of talent was at once waited upon and requested to add to the interest of the entertainment. The society became very popular, was conducted in an interesting manner and was governed as a thoroughly democratic institution, each member of the committee occupying the chair and keeping door in turn. This society would have done credit to any city in the world, and would have reflected honour on its originators. The meetings which were held weekly were opened and closed by singing and prayer. But they became too popular, and flourished without the president's direction, and consequently drew forth the denunciations of Brigham, Reber, and "Jeddy." In the public meetings at the Tabernacle the committee and society became the objects of ridicule, contempt and abuse, charging them with pride, ambition, big-headedness, conceit, and sins. A meeting was afterwards called by the society, its object being, after the exercises were concluded, to dissolve itself. Brigham, Heber, and "Jeddy" were present, and, on being invited to speak, belittled and berated the institution, and on being informed that the society would dissolve that evening, the leaders recommended - which was equal to a command - that the members become associated with the "Theological Institution," a pet association that had died about three years before, but had that evening very conveniently revived. Its first death was caused by the short-sighted course characterizing many of Brigham's policies, by appointing favourites to occupy positions and hold offices who had neither ability, taste, nor education to fill them. This institution swallowed the Literary and Musical Society in one night; but it was too great a gulp, and it died again in two weeks, never to be revived.
"In order to add insult to injury and to crush the committee completely, the next Sunday, in the Tabernacle, eight of the most prominent and efficient members of the Literary and Musical Society were called to be door-keepers at the Tabernacle!
"On the motion being announced to that effect a titter passed through the vast congregation, most of whom understood the matter to be punishment. The gentlemen, "obedient to the heavenly call," entered at once upon their newly appointed duties, and honoured the office, if the office did not honour them. They did their duty, and were afterwards complimented for their efficiency and punctuality by those who sought to crush them.
"The "Reformation" wrought more evil than good, and it is now regarded by the best men in the Church as the height of folly and fanaticism. To Jedediah - a positive, impulsive, bigoted man - it became a monomania; but it brought Brigham, Heber, and others into its spirit willingly, as it is more consonant with the feelings of ignorant, untutored zealots to condemn, debase, and degrade others, than to lead them to virtue, goodness, and a higher life by noble precepts and loving teachings.
"The "Reformation" was employed as a means to compel hundreds and thousands to engage in the practice of polygamy; and it was hinted and secretly taught by authority that women should form relations with more than one man. Bigotry, intolerance, and tyranny were fostered by it; weakness, folly, and sins; were publicly exposed; mutual confidence was destroyed; bad feelings and suspicions were engendered; self-righteousness and egotism were manifested by many; sensuousness in matters of religion, and materialism were its characteristics; spirituality and piety were condemned; and narrow, low, exclusive dogmas were received as the sublimest truths.
"When the excitement of fanaticism had died away, and calm reflection enlightened the minds of those in authority; when they had seen and learned the evil effects of the movement, they deeply regretted the part they had taken in it, and Brigham Young himself has frequently said in public that he was "ashamed of the Reformation.". . .
DEAR STENHOUSE: I have read carefully the accompanying statement about the "Reformation." I know personally most of the particulars to be true, and the rest I am perfectly convinced are literally correct. If you want to travel wider and show the effect in the country of the inflammatory speeches delivered in Salt Lake City at that time, you can mention the Potter and Parrish murders at Springville, the barbarous castration of a young man in San Pete, and, to cap the climax, the Mountain-Meadows massacre; for although Brigham, in my opinion, never ordered these murders, they were the obviously legitimate results of the teachings of himself, Heber, "Jeddy," and other leaders. They taught that "righteousness was laid to the line, and judgment to the plummet;" that I the sinner in Zion should tremble, and fearfulness should seize the hypocrite; that "the tree which did not bring forth good fruit should be hewn down;" etc. [Emphasis was laid on the words "hewn down," "judgment," "tremble," and others equally suggestive.] "We must not," it was said, "ask God to punish our enemies, when we could do it ourselves." Threats of personal violence or death were common in the settlements against all who dared to speak against the priesthood, or in any way protest against this reign of terror."
"I was at a Sunday meeting in the spring of 1857, in Provo, when the news of the San Pete castration was referred to by the presiding bishop - Blackburn. Some men in Provo had rebelled against authority in some trivial matter, and Blackburn shouted in his Sunday meeting - a mixed congregation of all ages and both sexes - "I want the people of Provo to understand that the boys in Provo can use the knife as well as the boys in San Pete. Boys, get your knives ready, there is work for you! We must not be behind San Pete in good works. "The result of this was that two citizens, named Hooper and Beauvere, both having families at Provo, left the following night for Fort Bridger, and returned only after Johnston's army came into the valley the following year. Their only offence was rebellion against the priesthood.
"This man, Blackburn, was continued in office at least a year after this, and was afterwards taken from his bishopric and sent on a mission to England.
"The qualifications for a bishop were a blind submission and obedience to Brigham and the authorities, and a firm, unrelenting government of his subjects. Strict and invariable obedience to their file leaders, I asking no "questions for conscience sake," makes a good Saint. To pay tithing will cover a multitude of sins.
"I might fill page after page in illustrating the condition of affairs, but I presume you are posted generally on the subject. . . .
"As ever yours, . . . .
After these noteworthy sermons had been published in Utah, they were republished in the "Journal of Discourse," in Liverpool, in order that the European Saints might also "learn the will of God" through his servants. If ever the modern prophets and apostles could afford to challenge criticism upon their sincerity it was then. They were in earnest, even to the sacrificed of life, and a faithful historian has preserved the record of that time of zeal and devotion among the Saints.
Fortunately there was a government of the United States with a name of authority over Utah - if even no more than a name - or what might not have transpired? If men, standing at the head of the Church could utter such sentiments as were then openly taught to the Saints and published to the world,while at the same time they were restrained by the knowledge that their words were noted by the Government and people of the United States, what would they not have said and done had their kingdom been established and they bearing unquestioned rule over the people in the mountains? Besides which these sentiments were not the utterances of a day or a year; they were the enumerations of a programme that was sacredly believed. What Utah might have been under an unchallenged theocratic rule, what she would be with the full sway of the priesthood guaranteed under the proposed State of Deseret, is clearly shewn in the following edifying passages.
Some time before the "Reformation" had got fairly under way, this Jedediah M. Grant, the counsellor of Brigham, the third man in "the kingdom," addressing the Saints - men, women, and children - in the Tabernacle, March 12 1854, upon the proper penalty for breaking the covenants of the Church, says:
"When a man prays for a thing, he ought to be willing to perform it himself. But if the Latter-Day Saints should put to death the covenant-breakers, it would try the faith of the "very meek, just, and pious" ones among them, and it would cause a great deal of whining in Israel.
"Then there was another odd commandment. The Lord God commanded them not to pity the person whom they killed, but to execute the law of God upon persons worthy of death. This should be done by the entire congregation, showing no pity. I have thought there would have to be quite a revolution among the Mormons before such a commandment could be obeyed completely by them. The Mormons have a great deal of sympathy. For instance, if they can get a man before the tribunal administering the law of the land, and succeed in getting a rope around his neck, and having him hung up like a dead dog, it is all right. But if the Church and kingdom of God should step forth and execute the law of God, oh, what a burst of Mormon sympathy it would cause! I wish we were in a situation favourable to our doing that which is justifiable before God, without any contaminating influence of Gentile amalgamation, laws, and traditions, that the people of God might lay the axe to the root of the tree, and every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit might be hewn down.
"What! do you believe that people would do right, and keep the law of God, by actually putting to death the transgressors? Putting to death the transgressors would exhibit the law of God, no matter by whom it was done. That is my opinion.
"You talk of the doings of different governments - the United States, if you please. What do they do with traitors? What mode do they adopt to punish traitors? Do traitors to that government forfeit their lives? Examine also the doings of other earthly governments on this point, and you find the same practice universal. I am not aware that there are any exceptions. But people will look into books of theology, and argue that the people of God have a right to try people for fellowship, but they have no right to try them on property or life. That makes devil laugh, saying: I have got them on a hook now; they can cut them off, and I will put eight or ten spirits worse than they are into their tabernacles, and send them back to mob them."
"I know, when you hear my brethren telling about cutting people off from the earth, that you consider it is strong doctrine; but it is to save them, not to destroy them. . . . It is true the blood of the Son of God was shed for sins through the fall, and those committed by men, yet men can commit sins which it can never remit. As it was in ancient days, so it is in our day; and though the principles are taught publicly from this stand, still the people do not understand them; yet the law is precisely the same. There are sins that can be atoned for by an offering upon an altar as in ancient days; and there are sins that the blood of a lamb, of a calf, or of turtle doves cannot remit,but they must be atoned for by the blood of the man. That is the reason why men talk to you as they do from this stand; they understand the doctrine, and throw out a few words about it. You have been taught that doctrine, but you do not understand it."
"We have been trying long enough with this people, and I go in for letting the sword of the Almighty to be unsheathed, not only in word, but in deed."
J. M. GRANT.
"We want such men to go to California, or anywhere they choose. I say to those persons, "You must not court persecution here, lest you get so much of it you will not know what to do with it. DO NOT court persecution." We have known Gladden Bishop for more than twenty years, and know him to be a poor dirty curse. Here is sister Vilate Kimball, brother Heber's wife, has borne more from that man than any other woman on earth could bear; but she won't bear it again. I say again, you Gladdenites, do not court persecution, or you will get more than you want, and it will come quicker than you want it.
"I say to you, bishops, do not allow them to preach in your wards. Who broke the road to these valleys? Did this little nasty Smith and his wife? No. They stayed in St. Louis, while we did it peddling ribbons, and kissing the Gentiles. I know what they have done here - they have asked exorbitant prices for their nasty stinking ribbons. [Voices, "That's true."] We broke the roads to this country.
"Now, you Gladdenites, keep your tongues still, lest sudden destruction come upon you. I say rather than that the apostates should flourish here, I will unsheath my bowie-knife, and conquer or die. [Great commotion in, the congregation, and a simultaneous burst of feeling, assenting to the declaration.] Now, you nasty apostates, clear out, or "judgment will be laid to the line, and righteousness to the plummet." [Voices generally, "Go it, go it!"] If you say it is all right, raise your hands. [All hands up.] Let us call upon the Lord to assist us in this and every other good work.
With Judge Drummond on the Pacific coast publishing every possible charge of villainy and despotism against the leaders of the Church, asserting that law could not be administered in the Territory, and that the records of the Supreme Court had been burned; with Judge Stiles at Washington representing to the Government that he had been intimidated and threatened, and had been forced to close his court; and with a host of correspondents writing exciting statements to all parts of the Union about the "reign of terror," inaugurated by the "Reformation," the nation was wrought up to the highest pitch of indignation.
The administration of President Pierce was drawing to a close and did not choose to inaugurate any new measures, but this seeming indifference on the part of the Government only stirred up the opponents of Brigham Young to greater exertions, and every measure was adopted to secure some decided action.
That busy class of men who hang around Washington "waiting for something to turn up," soon saw an appropriate occasion for a display of force to bring Brigham to a realization of his obligations to the national Government. Contractors and would-be contractors became urgent for action, representatives and senators became fierce in their denunciation of the outrages in Utah, and every violent word and action of the Mormon priesthood henceforth was construed into "rebellion against the United States."
At the organization of the Republican party, Brigham Young and the Mormons occupied too much attention to be overlooked, and in the framing of its first platform Utah was raised to a kindred association with the South, and in every campaign procession where John C. Fremont was the standard bearer of the party, there could be read:
FOOTNOTES:  It is a privilege accorded to the Mormons to be "baptized for the remission of sins" not only on entering the Church, but as often afterwards as conscience may demand it.  "A leading bishop in Salt Lake City recently stated to the Author that Brigham was as much appalled at this sight as was Macbeth when he beheld the woods of Birnam marching on to Dunsinane. A bishop arose and asked if there were not some misunderstanding among the brethren concerning the question. He thought that perhaps the elders understood Brigham's inquiry to apply to their conduct before they had thrown off the works of the devil and embraced Mormonism; but upon Brigham reiterating that it was the adultery committed since they had entered the Church, the brethren to a man still stood up. Brigham had evoked a spectre that he little expected.
A gentleman, who in one of the counties filled the position of "Father Confessor" in those times, frankly admits the truthfulness of the report about the meeting, but protests against it being regarded as an indication of the actual morality of the mass of the people of Utah. In that interpretation the Author fully concurs, for though the number in this assembly who confessed their guilt was, as reported, very large, the violation of morality has to be considered as occurring at some time during the whole course of their lives as Mormons. It does not seem possible that much of this could have occurred in Utah. During the twenty-five years' association of the Author with Mormonism, he never knew of more than two or three cases of this kind, and the transgressors were immediately excommunicated. Without considering the penalty of the "endowment" [death], there has always been a dreadful horror of the crime of adultery in the minds of the Mormons.  Such a perversion of the language of Jesus by any person professing Christianity might appear to the reader utterly impossible; but that Brigham Young did so interpret these words, and fully commanded his interpretation being carried into effect, the following extract from his sermon will demonstrate: "When will we love our neighbours as ourselves? In the first place, Jesus said that no man hateth his own flesh. It is admitted by all that every person loves himself. Now if we do rightly love ourselves we want to be saved and continue to exist, we want to go into the kingdom where we can enjoy eternity and see no more sorrow nor death. This is the desire of every person who believes in God. Now take a person in this congregation who has knowledge with regard to being saved in the kingdom of our God and our Father, and being exalted, one who knows and understands the principles of eternal life, and sees the beauties and excellency of the eternities before him compared with the vain and foolish things of the world, and suppose that he is overtaken in a gross fault, that he has committed a sin that he knows will deprive him of that exaltation which he desires, and that he cannot attain to it without the shedding of his blood, and also knows that by having his blood shed he will atone for that sin and be saved and exalted with the gods, is there a man or woman in this house but would say "Shed my blood that I might be saved and exalted with the gods?"
"All mankind love themselves: and let those principles be known by an individual, and he would be glad to have his blood shed. This would be loving ourselves even unto an eternal exaltation. Will you love your brothers or sisters likewise when they have a sin that cannot be atoned for without the shedding of their blood? Will you love that man or woman well enough to shed their blood? THAT IS WHAT JESUS CHRIST MEANT. He never told a man or woman to love their enemies in their wickedness, never. He never meant any such thing; His language is left as it is for those to read who have the spirit to discern between truth and error; it was so left for those who can discern the things of God. Jesus Christ never meant that we should love a wicked man in his wickedness.
"I could refer you to plenty of instances where men have been righteously slain in order to atone for their sins. I have seen scores and hundreds of people for whom there would have been a chance (in the last resurrection there will be) if their lives had been taken and their blood spilled on the ground as a smoking incense to the Almighty, but who are now angels to the devil, until our elder brother, Jesus Christ raises them up, conquers death, hell, and the grave.
"I have known a great many men who have left this Church for whom there is no chance whatever for exaltation, but if their blood had been spilled it would have been better for them.
"The wickedness and ignorance of the nations forbid this principle being in full force, but THE TIME WILL COME WHEN THE LAW OF GOD WILL BE IN FULL FORCE. This is loving our neighbour as ourselves; if he needs help, HELP HIM; if he wants salvation and it is necessary to spill his blood on the earth in order that he may be saved, SPILL IT.
"Any of you who understand the principles of eternity, if you have sinned a sin requiring the shedding of blood, except the sin unto death, should not be satisfied or rest until your blood should be spilled, that you might gain that salvation you desire. THAT IS THE WAY TO LOVE MANKIND. . . . Light and darkness cannot dwell together, and so it is with the kingdom of God.
"Now brethren and sisters, will you live your religion? How many hundreds of times have I asked that question? Will the Latter-Day Saints live their religion?
Discourse in the Tabernacle, February 8, 1867, published in the "Journal of Discourses," Vol. IV., pp. 219, 220.  The Author has no personal knowledge, from the present leaders of the Church, of this teaching; but he has often heard that something would yet be taught which "would test the brethren as much as polygamy had tried the sisters." By many elders it has been believed that there was some foundation for the accusation that Joseph had taught some sisters in Nauvoo that it was "their privilege to entertain other brethren as "proxy husbands" during the absence of their liege lords on mission. One lady has informed the Author that Joseph so taught her. All such teaching has never been made public, and it is doubtful if it ever extended very far, if, indeed, at all beyond the momentary combination of passion and fanaticism.  Tabernacle, September 21, 1856.  Ibid.  "Journal of Discourses," vol.iii., p.226.  Deseret News, October l,1856.
Stenhouse, T. B. H., The Rocky Mountain Saints: A Full and Complete History of the Mormons, D. Appleton and Company, New York, 1873, pages 292 - 308.
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