the Church. Individuals were hinted at and sins imputed to them which
they dared not deny, nor even attempt to defend themselves, however in-
nocent 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 chil-
dren 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 ap-
pointed 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, igno-
rant men were sent as ' home missionaries ' to keep them at work, that
they might thereby gain their living irrespective of qualification or re-
" Three brethren, notorious for earning their living by fiddling at the
dances, and who were in every respect unqualified to teach moral prin-
ciples, were ordered to go as missionaries and make their living in that
capacity, as the ' Reformation ' allowed no dancing. These men H p
H r, J n J s, and J h M y 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
EXTRAORDINARY CONFESSIONS. 295
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 ap-
pointed 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 rela-
tions with their wives, and wives about their husbands, by rude and ig-
norant teachers, and ' counsel ' was given accordingly. Girls were coun-
selled 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 en-
gagements with young men whom they loved, to gratify a bishop's pref-
erence, a missionary's feelings, or a great elder's desires.
"Meetings were held by all the 'Quorums' of ' High Priests,' 'Sev-
enties,' and 'Bishops,' which were largely attended. The greatest zeal
for the good of ' the kingdom' and unquestioning obedience were mani-
fested, 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' meet-
ings 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-
" 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
296 THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN SAINTS.
burning zeal prompted the meanest accusations and aspersions. The con-
fessions, 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 sur-
prise 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
" 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 may 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 king-
dom.' 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 re-
* " 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 be-
fore 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 Confes-
" sor ' in those times, frankly admits the truthfulness of the report about the meet-
ing, 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' associa-
tion of the Author with Mormonism, he never knew of more than two or three
cases of this kind, and the transgressors were immediately excommunicated. With-
out 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.
REIGN OF TEKROR AMONG THE SAINTS;
Eeforming a Heretic.
ports, were used towards many, and the victims had no time or opportu-
nity 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 testi-
monies were delivered, and determination of faithfulness expressed in the
warmest manner, several
brethren walked out to
perform some mission
that had been pre-ar-
ranged. That same even-
ing 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 threw 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 furni-
ture with their own filth, and decamped, ' breathing threatenings and
slaughter.' His wives (for he had two sweetly- dispositioned, good wom-
en) 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 elder , the
representative of ' God ' in the Endowment House, for protection, but
were refused shelter, Brother saying that they could not remain there.
" ' Why ? ' asked Mr. Jarvis.
" ' Because Israel is at work. 1
'"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
" ' 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
298 THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN SAINTS.
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 Brlgham. Kes-
ler 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 trowsers, 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 vio-
lence. After some deliberation it was agreed to release him upon con-
dition that he would swear never to divulge the 'outrage and its perpetra-
tors. 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 en-
ter into all the spirit of the ' Reformation ' and accuse himself of sins,
but was allowed to return to his family after being sworn not disclose the
perpetrators of the foul deed.
" Brighani Young, who was not only president of the Church, but gov-
ernor 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 Brig-
ham Young himself.
" The sweetest words that Jesus ever uttered' Love thy neighbour aa
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
* Such a perversion of the language of Jesus by any person professing Chris-
tianity might appear to the reader utterly impossible ; but that Brigham Young did
so interpret these words, and fully commended his interpretation being carried into
effect, the following extract from his sermon will demonstrate :
*' When will we love our neighbours as yourselves ? In the first place, Jesus
THE PHILOSOPHY OF SHEDDING BLOOD. 299
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 faith-
ful who were most imbued with this horrid fanaticism. Many more ex-
amples might be given.
" Everything that was not ordered and presided over by the priest-
hood, was denounced as leading to apostacy, 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
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, arid 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 in-
dividual, and he would be glad to ~have his blood shed. This would be loving ourselves
even unto an eternal exaltation. Witt 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.
" 1 could refer you to plenty of instances where men have been righteously slain in
order to atone for thfir 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 salva-
tion and it is necessary to spill his blood on the earth in order that he may be saved,
" 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, 1857, published in 'the " Journal of
Discourses," Vol. IV., pp. 219, 220.
300 THE KOCKY MOUNTAIN SAINTS.
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 in-
teresting ; 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, Heber, 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, am-
bition, big-headedness, conceit, and sins. A meeting was afterwards called
by the society, its object being, after the exercises were concluded, to dis-
solve itself. Brigham, Heber, and ' Jeddy ' were present, and, on being
invited to speak, belittled and berated the institution, and on being in-
formed that the society would dissolve that evening, the leaders recom-
mended which was equal to a command that the members become as-
sociated with the 'Theological Institution,' a pet association that had
died about three years before, but had that evening very conveniently re-
vived. Its first death was caused by the short-sighted course character-
izing many of Brigham's policies, by appointing favourites to occupy po-
sitions 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 com-
pletely, 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 a pun-
ishment. 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 compli-
mented for their efficiency and punctuality by those who sought to crush
" The ' Reformation ' wrought more evil than good, and it is now re-
garded by the best men in the Church as the height of folly and fanati-
TERRIBLE FANATICISM. 301
cism. 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 vir-
tue, 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-righteous-
ness 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
" When the excitement of fanaticism had died away, and calm reflec-
tion 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.' . . . ."
"With the above statement the author received the follow-
ing letter :
" SALT LAKE CITY, November 30, 1871.
" 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 shqw the effect in the country of the inflamma-
tory 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 mur-
ders, they were the obviously legitimate results of the teachings of him-
self, Heber, ' Jeddy,' and other leaders. They taught that 'righteous-
'ness was laid to the line, and judgment to the plummet; ' that ' the sin-
' ner in Zion should tremble, and fearfulness should seize the hypocrite ; '
that ' the tree which did not bring forth good fruit should be hewn down ; '
* 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