« PreviousContinue »
Mexico, also, colonies of the Saints have been established, as well as in Tennessee, Georgia, and other States in the South. There are about sixty missionaries propagating the doctrines of Mormonism in the Southern States. In Europe there are 400 missionaries, eighty of these having been sent out from Salt Lake City in 1878. Of the population of Utah, former British subjects and their children may be estimated at about one-third. At the spring conference of 1879, it was reported that there were then 19,938 Mormons in Salt Lake City (4071 families), and a little over 5000 non-Mormons or "Gentiles." From a list compiled for me in September, 1879, of British Mormons holding office in the several "organized stakes of Zion," I find that there were then fortytwo (at least) British-born presidents, counsellors and bishops in eleven of these stakes, namely in the Salt Lake, Sanpete, Sevier, St. George, Tooele, Utah, Weber, Morgan, Davis, Cache, and Box Elder stakes. In the Salt Lake stake alone, both the two counsellors and thirteen out of the twenty-one bishops holding office in that stake were British-born. Nine of these bishops were Scotchmen. I am told on reliable authority that one-half the Mormon population in Salt Lake City are British-born.
About 1800 Mormons have embarked from Liverpool and Glasgow for Utah during the current year. The exact number it is difficult to ascertain on this side of the Atlantic; but the number stated may be taken as the very lowest estimate. All outgoing Mormons are taken to New York (from Liverpool) by the steamers of the Guion Company, this company having conveyed the Saints for the last eighteen or twenty years. Among the batch of converts that left Liverpool on May 1st last were fifteen natives of Iceland.
As is probably well known, Liverpool is the headquarters of the Latter-day Saints in Great Britain. At the Mormon bookstore located at 42, Islington (Liverpool), is published the Latter-day Saints Millennial Star, a monthly publication containing the chief items of news from Salt Lake City; the reports of conferences held from time to time in Great Britain and elsewhere; directions to intending emigrants, etc. Elder Albert Carrington is the present leader of the British mission.
There were 109,218 Mormons in Utah in the spring of 1878. Of this number, 33,661 were children under eight years of age. Only those over that age are considered members of the Church, so that the number of Church members in the Territory was 75,557. Of this latter number, 23,002 were office-holders, or two out of every six! This naturally takes in every specially bright and intelligent man in the community, besides serving as a bribe in the case of any who might be disposed to be independent.
Returning to the annual report already referred to, the tithing receipts in 1879 reached 91,666/. 12s. To the Temple (Salt Lake City) fund, 1247/. 15J. was contributed, and 28,806/. 3.r. 6d. was expended on the work of that building! President Taylor and the bishops received 6775/. gs. id., and, in addition to this, Taylor "took" 4466/. as his salary as "trustee-in-trust" (? chancellor of the exchequer). There was 5689/. is. 1 id. spent on the work of the new Assembly Hall or winter tabernacle in Salt Lake City, and—as we have seen above—990/. gs. 8d. (in addition) on the organ with which that building has been furnished: 44,701/. is. 2d., besides, was spent on erecting new temples in three towns in the Territory, namely at Manti, Logan, and St. George. There was 3800/. given away to the poor, and over 1600/. appropriated to the Indians. The tithing-office salaries amounted in the aggregate to 3023/. I2J. 4d., and 786/. 16s. was expended in telegraphic despatches. There was 94/. 16s. 6d. collected from unfortunate immigrants who had to camp out in the tithing yards in Brigham's Block.' The grand total receipts of the Church for 1879 amounted to 219,406/. 16s., a sum which represents a tax of 1/. icjy. id. upon every man, woman and child in Utah! And where does all the money go to? As the Mormon priesthood would say, it all goes to " the Lord." "The amount of money," says the Rev. Mr. McNiece, of Salt Lake City, "paid to the priesthood by the hard-working people during the last twenty years, through the Tithing fund, the Temple fund, the Perpetual Emigration fund, the Relief fund, and other funds which only a man possessed of inspired arithmetic could enumerate, cannot be estimated at less than ten million dollars.
* See page 173.
It is pleasant to turn from statistics such as these to those which can be afforded of the steady progress of Christian missionary work in Utah, as shown by the labours of the Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodists, and Congregationalists. Ten years ago there were only two public representatives of Christianity in the Territory, namely the two Episcopalian ministers, the Revs. T. W. Raskins, and G. W. Foote; now the Christian forces in Utah amount to twentyfour church organizations, twenty-two ministers, twenty-five mission shools, fifty-four teachers, 250 pupils (with about the same number in Sunday schools), twenty-two churches and chapels; and the total cost of buildings erected for church and school purposes has (in ten years) been i9.ooo/. The Presbyterians take the lead in the work of evangelixation. They have ten church organizations in Utah, eight ministers, thirteen mission schools, eighteen teachers, 900 pupils, and nine churches or chapels. The Episcopalians come next, with six church organizations, a bishop and five clergy, four mission schools, twenty-two teachers, 702 pupils, and five churches, with a cathedral (St. Mark's) in Salt Lake City which cost about io,ooo/. The Methodists and Congregationalists are also doing a good work, joining hand in hand with the Presbyterians and Episcopalians in promoting the Christian reformation of the region. The churches and schools of these Protestant denominations are surely and gradually gaining ground and enlightening the masses, and as surely are they undermining the all-powerful influence of the priesthood. But in a Territory that is larger than England and Scotland put together, where there is already a population of nearly 112,000 unbelievers, whose ranks are being yearly increased by thc-addition of some ten or fifteen hundred, this little Christian army, fighting in the interests of civil and religious freedom, has a hard task before it, if it is to make any headway against the increasing tide of fanaticism and unbelief. What is sadly needed in Utah is more hands to help in the work of evangelization. And more sympathy in this work is required from the American people generally. More money, too, is needed, to establish a few free schools in the Territory. The leaders of the Latter-day Saints arc naturally
opposed to education—the priesthood can only maintain its influence so long as its dupes are kept in a state of superstition and ignorance. With all the money that comes pouring every year into the coffers of the Mormon Church there have been no free schools established in Utah, which is an anomaly such as does not exist in any other State or Territory in the Union. "One thing there is," says Mr. McNiece," "that Mormonism cannot endure, and that is the Light." Once get the people educated—once bring home to them the sacred and eternal truths of the Gospel of Christ— once convince them of the sensuality, the socially and morally degrading tendency of the doctrines of their religion, and refinement, self-respect, the realization of a higher intellectual and moral condition in life—all this will follow; and it is by planting schools in places where unbelief most abounds and inculcating the doctrines of Christianity in the minds of the children of the Latter-day Saints, that we can look for any success attending the praiseworthy efforts of the Christian missionaries of Utah.
It may not be generally known that the Mormons are using what influence they can so as to procure the admission of Utah into the Union as a State. The reason of this is obvious. Polygamy could then be practised with impunity, for Utah, as a State,—the Saints would give the new State the name of " Descret,"—would have the management of its own affairs, and be altogether independent of Congressional legislation. The Territory could, and probably would, be admitted with a Constitution prohibiting polygamy; or it could be admitted upon the express condition that polygamy should be abolished. But it would be quite possible for the Mormons to annul the Constitution as soon as the rights of Statedom had been conferred, and it is more than we can reasonably expect that they would give up their pet institution when it would be within their power to introduce a State law distinctly permitting it. The National Government, moreover, would be powerless to interfere in the internal affairs
* I am indebted to this gentleman for the above interesting statistics relating to Christian missionary work in 'Utah, as well as for several other important and interesting facts contained in this and preceding chapters.
of the State when created. Polygamy would then be unassailable, unless extreme measures were adopted, such as an amendment to the United States Constitution prohibiting the institution. The danger that lies in the future may be seen by the following remarks of Mr. J. M. Coyner,—an authority already referred to,—who, writing to the Boston Educational Journal, says: "I am convinced that the plan of the hierarchy is to have Utah admitted as a State at the earliest
opportunity This done —Utah as a State, and
with all the peculiarities of the Mormon Church engrafted on its State Constitution, such as its polygamy, its union of Church and State, its priesthood control—two Senators and several Congressmen will be thus secured. Utah will then be divided into two States, with Salt Lake City for the northern capital, and St. George for the capital of the southern State. This accomplished, there will be four Senators. Then Idaho and Wyoming on the north, and Arizona on the south, will be so thoroughly colonized as to give the Mormons the balance of power in forming the State Governments of these Territories, so that they will undoubtedly ask for their admission as Mormon States. New Mexico will follow suit, making six Mormon States, which, when settled by this Mormon foreign emigration, can be carved into half-a-dozen more.
Every influence that money and bargaining can
command will be used to have Utah admitted as a State. The parties are now so equally balanced that a bribe of two Senators and several Congressmen, in the present condition of party morals, with the prospect of an increase of Senators and Congressmen as more Mormon States are admitted,
may turn the scales of justice Every Mormon is
taught that his Church will ultimately overcome not only our own Government, but that all nations will become subject to the Mormon hierarchy; and unless something is done to check the progress of this sentiment by the strong hand of Government, there is serious trouble ahead of us."
But the Latter-day Saints can hardly be said to have merited such an extension of favours from the Federal Government if one may be allowed to judge by some of the utterances that are made by prominent Mormons in public,