Lorenzo Snow, Feb 9, 1886

-- Feb 9, 1886
Wilford Woodruff writes, "I arose this morning rejoicing in the victory & deliverance we received yesterday." The day before Woodruff and Lorenzo Snow found themselves in a house surrounded by 20 federal marshals. They escaped by putting on glasses and boldly walking through the marshals as if they were not the men the marshals wanted. (1)

-- Feb 13, 1886 (Saturday)
Utah's Supreme Court sustained the decision of Judge Powers, in the Lorenzo Snow case. (2)

-- February 18, 1886

-- Mar 6, 1886
[Sermon] Lorenzo Snow: The Gospel - It Brings Temporal As Well As Spiritual Salvation - The Prophet Joseph Smith: - Persecution - Our Religion Cannot Be Destroyed, JD 26:369 - 376 (4)

-- Mar 12, 1886
Lorenzo Snow begins serving his sentence, for polygamy, in the Utah Territorial Penitentiary. Two physicians write to the prison authorities, "in consideration of the advanced age of the bearer, Lorenzo Snow, and also of his unusually delicate condition, we the undersigned, take the liberty of stating that we fear his health would be seriously jeopardized by depriving him of his hair and beard, as he has worn the latter 16 years on this account." Snow is allowed to keep his hair and beard. He is released on February 8, 1887, having served eleven months. (1)

-- During March, 1886
Epistle to Saints in General Conference-- Dear Brethren and Sisters: In the plenitude of God's mercy the Saints are once again permitted in peace to assemble in General Conference to worship the Lord, to extol His goodness, to glorify His name, to hear His word, and to receive such instruction from His servants as the Holy Spirit shall dictate, as well as to transact such business pertaining to His Church as may be presented for their consideration. But as we, your brethren of the First Presidency, are, by the force of peculiar circumstances, deprived on this occasion of your society and you of ours, we deem it consistent with the duties of our calling to address you by letter, and in this way to lay before you that which under more favorable conditions we should have been pleased to have delivered orally.

... The officials here have gone far beyond the letter and spirit of the law itself, and strained it for the purpose of inflicting punishment; this was conspicuously so in the case of Elder Lorenzo Snow, one of the Twelve Apostles, whose trial upon the evidence presented would undoubtedly have resulted in his acquittal had he been tried before a righteous judge and an unbiased jury. If any one fact was more clearly established than another at his trial, it was that he was innocent of any violation of the law as charged against him. But he is a prominent man-one of the Twelve Apostles-and could not be permitted to escape. His case is now on appeal to the U. S. Supreme Court at Washington. In order to have it put forward on the calendar, he surrendered himself to the officers, and is now in the penitentiary. The court has fixed a day when his case will be heard; and, as in every case that has gone to Washington, we hope, notwithstanding previous disappointments, that this will receive favorable consideration. It is of such trials as his-and his is but a sample of many others-that we justly complain. The law, as it passed Congress, was harsh and cruel and sufficiently destructive of our rights and liberties to satisfy the implacable author, but by packing grand and petit juries with jurors who are selected expressly because they are the pronounced opponents of the accused and their religion-by strained constructions of the law-by extraordinary rulings framed to suit each case without regard to preceding rulings on the same points-and by charges to juries which amount to direct instructions to convict, this law is made an instrument of the most frightful wrong, and in the torture which it inflicts goes far beyond anything ever conceived of by the men who voted for its passage. It is to be remarked of many of the officers who enforce the law, that they seem to take delight in the misery which they think it brings. As to justice in these courts as now constituted, and with the animus the officials manifest, it is out of the question. Every one knows before a trial commences what the sentence will be. Not one escapes, no matter how flimsy or insufficient the evidence may be, who is indicted if the prosecuting officer has made up his mind there shall be a conviction. He finds a willing judge and a pliant jury ready to execute his decree. As to mercy the adamantine heart of the prosecuting officer is impenetrable to the sentiment. If he decides that a victim shall be sacrificed the agony of wives, the burning tears of innocent and helpless children touch him with no pity and have no more effect upon him than if he were made of stone. Impudence and ferocity sit upon his brow. In all his proceedings he has a ready coadjutor in the judge of the third judicial district, who browbeats the accused, and evinces an inhuman exultation in pronouncing sentence, his only regret being, as he has expressed himself, that the law does not permit him to inflict sentences of greater severity. When these men decide upon the punishment which an accused man shall have, neither the eloquent arguments of counsel, nor the insufficiency of evidence, nor the scantiness of the law, is allowed to stand in the way of the pre-arranged sentence. If they decide upon one indictment or three, upon six or twelve, they have only to intimate to a grand jury that such is their wish and they can be gratified. The more distinguished the man the more certain his fate. No grand or petit jury has failed to find an indictment or a verdict against any man whom the prosecution and court have selected as a victim. The marshal, the prosecuting officers and the court, by the exclusion of all who have not been avowed enemies of the religion professed by the accused, and by the aid of the open venire, have been able to pack the juries to execute their will with unquestioning servility. Seeing, therefore, how useless it is to make defense, many of the accused have made none, but have plead guilty. In doing so they did not acknowledge the rightfulness of the law, nor the justice of the punishment: for they viewed the law as unconstitutional and destructive of religious liberty and the punishment as an act of persecution; but by pleading guilty they saved costs, and what was of still greater importance, they saved their wives and children the humiliation of going into the witness stand and being plied with indecent questions by the brutal prosecutors. The majority of the accused, however, have felt it to be a duty to contest every inch of the ground and to let the world see how utterly destitute of justice these courts are in their treatment of these cases. For this reason they have suffered their families to be exposed to the rudeness of deputy marshals and the insolence of prosecuting attorneys; though to have saved their loved ones from these indignities they would otherwise have been willing to endure the full punishment of the court for the offense with which they were charged.

Against the brutalities, usurpations and falsehoods of men dressed in a little brief authority, we have appealed and apparently, until quite lately, appealed in vain. Our request has been a very modest one; it was simply that the wrongs under which we were suffering might be investigated; but investigation was the last thing that the foes to our liberties desired. A few weeks since our sisters followed in the wake of the brethren, and in mass meeting assembled, at Salt Lake City, offered the same simple petition, sent up the same fervid cry for investigation, that the truth might be known and the real facts of the situation be made public. In their memorial to the President and Congress of the United States, they very consistently, and with the best grace in the world, modestly asked as follows:

"We respectfully ask for a full investigation of Utah affairs. For many years our husbands, brothers and sons have appealed for this in vain. We have been condemned almost unheard. Everything reported to our detriment is received; our cries to be heard have been rejected. We plead for suspension of all measures calculated to deprive us of our political rights and privileges, and to harass, annoy and bring our people into bondage and distress, until a commission, duly and specially authorized to make full inquiry into the affairs of this Territory, has investigated and reported."

Is there anything unwise, imprudent or un-American in this? Do we injure man, woman, or child by such a request? Are any persons rights or liberties jeopardized or infringed upon by such a demand? We answer unhesitatingly, No! We simply ask for our own. Will not our fellow citizens grant it? We desire to infringe upon no one, in person or property, in rights or liberties, in privileges or immunities. All we ask is that they will grant us the same blessings they claim for themselves, and, if granted, we shall be abundantly satisfied.

Our sisters have had ample reason for their remonstrances and petitions. Nowhere else on this broad land have the officers of the law treated women with the same indignity, inhumanity and indelicacy that they have in Utah and regions adjacent. Lady witnesses have been arrested, placed under heavy bonds, guarded by impure men, carried on long and unnecessary journeys at unseasonable hours of the night, harassed and perplexed by improper and, occasionally, indecent questions, and treated frequently as though they were criminals convicted of the blackest crimes. A number have been committed to the penitentiary for refusing to answer questions that reflected on their virtue, or tended to criminate those to whom they were joined by the most sacred ties of affection and duty: The first wives-those recognized by the law under which the officers were acting, as the legal wives-have, contrary to all precedent, been compelled to testify against their husbands. We do not mention this fact to draw any line of demarcation between the first and plural wives. If joined to their husbands by the eternal covenants of God's house, all are alike honorable in His sight; His ordinances stamping their union as equally legal and lawful before Him. Their feelings are as acute, their affections as strong, their susceptibilities as delicate, one as the other. We simply mention this fact to show how utterly the judges and their aids ignore all precedents, ride over all well-established usages and make all things subservient-law or no law-to their effort, which, to use the expression of one of their leaders, uttered from the bench, is "to grind to powder" us and our institutions.

In Idaho Territory the usurpations of the officers have gone from bad to worse. They there out-Herod in their disregard of the people's liberties. One of the latest movements has in view the revocation of all certificates given to school teachers who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ, which means the placing of our children, by the help of our taxes, under the tuition of those who would gladly eradicate from their minds all love and respect for the faith of their fathers. The duty of our people under these circumstances is clear; it is to keep their children away from the influence of the sophisms of infidelity and the vagaries of the sects. Let them, though it may possibly be at some pecuniary sacrifice, establish schools taught by those of our faith, where, being free from the trammels of State aid, they can unhesitatingly teach the doctrines of true religion combined with the various branches of a general education. And in this connection permit us to urge upon the Saints in all the Stakes of Zion the necessity of caring well for the education of our youth. If we are to be a powerful people in the near future, wielding potent influence for good among the peoples of the earth, we must prepare ourselves for those responsibilities, and not expect that ignorance will avail us in that day; but a knowledge of true principle, of doctrine, of law, of the arts and sciences, as well as of the Gospel, will be urgently necessary to enable to fulfill, to God's glory and the renovation of the world, the responsibilities which we believe will, by right of our calling, at that time be most assuredly ours. If the threats which are uttered and the war that is made against the Latter-day Saints were made against any other people, they would become unsettled and discouraged. A session of Congress has not been held, and scarcely a President's message been published for years, without some threatening and inimical action or words against the majority of the people of Utah. But we have had this kind of opposition in various forms to contend with from the beginning. We should scarcely have built a house, planted a tree, opened a farm or formed a settlement, if we had allowed menaces or attacks to have deterred us. We have had to live by faith, as all the just must do. The present persecution should not be allowed to weaken us in our exertions to improve. We should live together in love; there should be union in every family circle, and harmony in every neighborhood and city. We should be cleanly in our persons, in our dress and in our habitations and surroundings. Industry should be habitual with the adults of our community, and the rising generation should be taught its lessons and be impressed with its value as a means of happiness. God has given us the earth as a dwelling place, and when mankind live as they should do, it is a delightful residence. It is our duty to adorn and beautify it to make it so lovely and attractive that angels may condescend to visit it. We should, therefore, have fruitful farms, choice orchards, well arranged gardens, and if every dwelling is surrounded by flowers it will neither detract from its beauty in the eyes of visitors, nor make it less attractive as their home to the children of the household. In some quarters there has been ruinous neglect on the part of parents in making their homes attractive to their children. A well-ordered, lovely home, in which peace and good-will prevail, is a place of perpetual delight to those who reside there, whether old or young. Where such homes exist the young who live there are not found loafing at street corners or stores, nor spending company at late hours. Books and musical instruments are now furnishing means of instruction, amusement and enjoyment at their children to them by bonds of affection that can never be broken; and in after years those children will think of that home as the brightest and dearest spot in their memories; in their minds it will always be surrounded by a heavenly halo.

The aim of every farmer, orchardist and gardener should be to produce the best grains, fruits and vegetables. So also with our stockmen; they should raise the best horses, horned stock and sheep; and those who pay attention to poultry should take pains and secure the best breeds. The trouble in raising the best qualities of grain, fruit and vegetables, is no greater than in raising inferior articles of the same kind. A good colt, calf or lamb costs but little, if any, more to raise it than a poor one does-and then how much more valuable and saleable which are inferior! The Lord has given us a land in which grains, fruits, vegetables and animals can be raised to the utmost perfection; and we should appreciate and take full advantage of proper care and well applied industry, we can have the best productions of the vegetable and animal kingdoms at our disposal, bread, fruits and vegetables as would be difficult, if not impossible, to find on the tables of the wealthy and noble of lands less favored than ours.

Our cities are generally well laid out. Our city lots are roomy. But we should provide for the increase of population. Sanitary regulations should be strictly enforced. Care should also be taken to secure plenty of unoccupied space for public grounds. They act as lungs for large and crowded cities; but it is the early settlement and laying out of cities they can best be secured. Then land is cheap, settlers are not so numerous, and the struggle for eligible sites is not felt. That is the time to secure and lay out squares for public grounds; trees should be planted as quickly as possible, and be carefully protected, and, as population increases, the grounds should be made attractive. And in this connection permit us to call attention to the burial places of our dead. For a people whose reverence and labor for their dead are as great as ours, we are strangely neglectful of their last resting places. One reason for this is the scarcity of water, and the difficulty of getting it to the cemeteries. But this is not justification for the neglect shown in many places-the grounds left unfenced and uncared for, and cattle frequently allowed to roam at will over the tombs of the loved ones. Artesian wells in many localities are being bored with great success, and in many burial places water may yet be secured by this means for their adornment with trees, shrubs and flowers-change which will be gladly welcomed by all.

In the construction of our residences, school rooms, meeting houses, tabernacles and other public buildings, there is room for the employment of the most cultivated and unlimited taste. With the increase of facilities during the past few years, there is no longer any need for such structures as we formerly had to be content with. The principles of architecture should receive attention in all our settlements, and there is no good reason why convenience, a regard for health, and beauty should not go hand in hand in the erection of all our private and public buildings. The construction of our Temples at St. George, Logan, Manti and Salt Lake City has furnished opportunities for many of our young men to obtain a knowledge of skilled branches of mechanism, the effects of which are visible in their own homes and the homes of their neighbors. And while we should impress upon the rising generation, as qualities of incalculable worth, that they should be pure in their morals, and have a high standard of honor, of truth, virtue and integrity, that they should be obedient to their parents and their God, and cherish a reverence for everything holy, be loyal to their country, and respect all constitutional laws; we should not neglect to instruct them in those branches of industry which will make them self-supporting, valuable citizens. All industrial pursuits claim our attention, and we should endeavor to impart to our young people knowledge, skill and good management in farming, stock-raising, manufacturing, mechanism, trade, commerce and the arts and sciences. Give our young people an opportunity, and they will excel as missionaries abroad and in every branch of skilled industry at home, and be behind none in the practice of the leading and useful professions. This they have demonstrated in every instance when they have gone out of the Territory to colleges and schools, and to receive technical instruction in the profession or branches of art.

As the world must yet know, the faith that was taught by the Lord Jesus to the Apostles, and by them to the world, and that brings forth the same fruits now as then, can only be extinguished in a pure people by their destruction. It is this faith that the Lord has restored to the earth, and that we possess. So long as men and women who receive it remain pure, that faith will live and thrive and bring forth the fruits of righteousness. This every Latter-day Saint has proved. But faith should be cultivated. By cultivation it increases. The present is a time when the Latter-day Saints should devote themselves to their religion with all the ardor of their souls. They should so live as to enjoy the Holy Ghost and its gifts for themselves. These are needed by every man and woman to enable them to endure the trials which they have to meet.

At this point it may not be improper to again solemnly warn the officers and members of the Church against all conduct that tends to immorality and unchastity. We are being continually, though most falsely, accused of teaching and practicing sexual vice under the garb of religion. No charge could be more utterly false; for no system of philosophy, no code of ethics, no articles of religion since the world was first peopled, ever taught more strictly and emphatically than does the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the paramount necessity of personal purity in the relations of the sexes. Of this the Saints are well aware. Let us see to it, then that our actions correspond with our faith; for we may rest assured that no prominence of opposition, no ties of family, no influence of wealth can save us from the penalty if we break the law of God in this regard. But a few weeks ago it became the sad duty of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to sever the communion of the Saints one of its members who had violated the law of chastity. He was a man of education, of experience, of judgment, of long standing in the Church, but neither these nor his exalted position to the Priesthood could save him from the penalty of the law he had so flagrantly broken. And as with him, so with all others. The law must be administered by the officers of the Church with justice and impartiality, with malice towards none, but with due regard to the commands of God and the honor of His holy name. Hear it, O house of Israel! ye who are seeking to attain to the Celestial Kingdom of our Father-none but the pure in heart can see God; none but those who have sanctified all their affections and passions by entire and complete subservience to His laws can dwell in His eternal presence! Let us also remember that the condition of a community, as a whole, depends upon the condition of the individuals composing it; as are its components parts, so is it in its entirety. If the individual members of a people are wise, just, intelligent, honest, honorable and pure, that community will be distinguished among its fellows by those peculiar virtues. To apply the lesson to ourselves, each one for himself, if we wish to see the Church of Christ prepared as a bride for the Savior, we must, individually, live our religion and exemplify in our own lives those virtues which we know must adorn the bride before she can enter the presence of her Lord. This matter of personal purity, faith, diligence and good works is one that we cannot delegate to our neighbor, or place on the shoulders of other men and women; but each must do his own duty, each bear his own responsibilities, each set his own house in order, each magnify his calling, each live near unto God, if he expects God to draw nigh unto him.

We are pleased to be able to report that the Lord is abundantly blessing the labors of the brethren and sisters engaged in the performance of ordinances pertaining to the Temples of our God; and a great work is being done therein in the interest of both the living and the dead. We have been pained, however, to learn that in some few instances, either through misunderstanding, carelessness, or partiality, recommends have been given to unworthy persons. This is a grave error-one that should be guarded against with every possible care. The Bishops and Presidents of Stakes should take every precaution that the House of the Lord is not defiled by the intrusion of the unworthy through their recommendation. We strongly advise more caution and greater care in this regard. To the Saints we say that those who desire the blessing of entering into and officiating in these houses dedicated to the Most High should render themselves worthy thereof. They should live in harmony and peace at home, they should settle all their differences before attempting to enter this holy place, which should be a house of peace, a house of order. They should pray with their families morning and evening, and not neglect secret prayer; they should honestly pay their debts to all men, and not only to man, but remember also that which is due, as tithes and offerings, to the Giver of all. They should observe the Word of Wisdom in the spirit and meaning thereof, for it is most inconsistent to carry the smell of whiskey and tobacco into the sacred precincts of the Lord's House. Or in a word, they should observe to do and to keep all God's holy laws and commandments, that when they enter His House they can enjoy that spirit which gives zest, power and efficacy to their administrations.

The reports from the Elders engaged in the active field of missionary labor are far from discouraging, though the results in baptisms in those lands where our brethren have labored the longest, will not equal the showing of former years. The annual number of baptisms, as well as the total membership of the Church in Scandinavia, now exceeds those in Great Britain. But the most marked results of our labors, of late, have manifested themselves in New Zealand, amongst the Maories, the aborigines of those islands, who being a remnant of the house of Israel, nearly allied to the Sandwich Islanders, have received the Gospel with gladness, and show great firmness and integrity in cleaving to its truths.

In the present depressed state of business, and consequent lack of employment, the Bishops must not forget the duty which, as fathers of the people, they owe to the poor and inexperienced. But we have learned long since that benevolence to be worthy of its name must be guided by reason as well as by sympathy; and aid should be given primarily with the view of doing real and lasting good to the recipients, and must be bestowed in a manner to discourage improvidence and the growth of a spirit of pauperism. Our aim should be to develop the powers of the worthy poor through that thoughtful help which will utilize the resources of the new-comer or unfortunate, and assist those who, if able, are willing to help themselves. In these labors of love we trust the fullest cooperation and most perfect harmony will exist between the Ward authorities and the Relief Societies, that thereby they may mutually strengthen and enhance the value of each others' efforts. Nor must the families of the missionaries be forgotten; those whose whole time is spent in proclaiming the truths of the Everlasting Gospel must not have reason to complain of want of consideration by their brethren and sisters. If the counsel heretofore given to the Presidents of Stakes and Bishops with regard to the establishment of missionary farms had been more widely carried out, we believe the results would have been more encouraging. Brethren, there is still time for action in this matter.

In these times, when many men, because of being faithful to religious convictions, are immured in prison, if proper precautions are not taken, there is danger of their families suffering on account of their absence. Great care should therefore be taken by the Presidents of Stakes, the Bishops of Wards, the Priests and Teachers, and by the people generally, to see that, in the absence of their natural guardians and protectors, they are protected in their persons and property. Where there is any lack of means, they should see that it is amply supplied; not in the shape of charity, but as a duty we owe to our brethren who are persecuted for conscience sake, and who are immured in prison for their adherence and fidelity to their wives and families.

The so-called Christians are most egregiously ignorant of the relations of man and wife; and while they talk quite flippantly of the eternity of matter, they know nothing of the eternity of matter and spirit of which man and woman are composed, nor the eternity of the marital relation, nor the eternal covenants entered into between men and women, husbands and wives, parents and children. The acme of all their hopes in relation to matrimony and its continuance, as expressed in their covenants, is "UNTIL DEATH DO YOU PART." What a gloomy picture! What, nothing more? No; this is the general formula of all the churches, of all the millions of so-called Christians who dwell on this continent, and the hundreds of millions of professed Christians throughout the world. What in this case becomes of all our hopes of eternal life, eternal exaltations in the mansions of the just? Does God indeed "join them together," as they say; and then does death divide them and sever the covenant? No, indeed; they make no such covenant, and therefore cannot break it. Their covenant is until death does them part-no further, no more. When this is accomplished all is ended in regard to their matrimonial relations. What of the resurrection from the dead? What of the New Jerusalem-the celestial glory-the eternal union that the authors of fiction write about? To them, as to the professed Christians, it is all fiction-a beautiful dream which death dissolves. We have other views, other ideas, other hopes. We believe in death being swallowed up in victory, in "a new heaven and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness;" in the resurrection of the just, both men and women, parents and children. Our Gospel, "The Gospel of the Son of God, brings life and immortality to light." We believe in Jerusalem, such as the one which John saw when banished as a slave to the Isle of Patmos because of his religion, where the promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are to be fulfilled; which had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels-"and the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was one pearl." Its walls were of jasper, its streets and the city were pure gold. The foundations of the wall were garnished with all manner of precious stones, and the glory of God did lighten it, "and the Lamb is the light thereof." Its pearly gates had written upon them the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel, and the foundations of its walls "the names of the Twelve Apostles of the Lamb." "The throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him; and they shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads." The porters of its gates were angels and its light the glory of God.

What was written on those pearly gates? The names of the twelve tribes of Israel. Who was Israel? Jacob. From whom did the twelve tribes descend? From Jacob. What were their names? The names of the sons of Jacob, which he had by four wives. Jacob, then, was a polygamist? Yes; he was one of those barbarians of which the Judge of the Third Judicial District says: "These practices might have been proper in a barbarous and primitive time-in crude times-but they won't do now. Civilization has thrown them away. It won't do to gather up these old customs and practices out of the by-gone barbarism and by-gone ages, and attempt to palm them upon a free and intelligent and civilized people in these days."

How free the people are in Utah to-day needs no discussion. If the judge cannot stand these things it would seem God and the Lamb can, for He is the light of the city on the gates of which are written the names of twelve men, the sons of one man, by four women-a polygamist. Had Jacob lived now, the judges would have sent spies, spotters and deputy marshals after him, and if caught would have sent him to the penitentiary with other honorable men who had the courage of their convictions, and for whom "God is not ashamed to be called their God, for HE HAS PREPARED FOR THEM A CITY."

And what of his handmaids; will they be there? Yes; where there is so much beauty and glory and so many of his servants the women are sure not to be absent. Besides are they not one? Has not "God joined them together?" It would not be a heaven without them; they have entered into covenants with the men for time and eternity in the Lord; "They twain are one flesh." "The man is not without the woman nor the woman without the man;" but the corrupt have no place therein. For without are dogs and sorcerers and whoremongers and murderers and idolaters and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

Speaking of the sexes, the same God who created Adam, created Eve, "male and female created He them; and blessed them and called their name Adam." Who are women? The mothers of the whole human family. They were all born of women, who were created and prepared as companions and helpmeets for man. To Eve God gave another seed in the place of Abel. "For God said, He hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel whom Cain slew." Who made this appointment? God. From whom came kings, emperors, prophets, seers and revelators? They came through women who were often Prophets themselves, and who were frequently ministered to by angels. Jesus was born of a woman; they were His companions on earth, were with Him at His death, and were first at His sepulchre, and will be His and His saints' companions in heaven.

Polygamy is not understood nor our relations thereto. There is nothing secret about it. When it was first proclaimed in Salt Lake City, in 1852, Elder Orson Pratt went shortly after to the city of Washington and published it to the world in a paper called The Seer; after that President Brigham Young, who was a known polygamist, was reappointed, by the President, Governor of the Territory of Utah.

It is alleged that we are in danger of perverting the nation's morals. But how much danger there is of this may be judged by the morality of those in our midst who endeavor to make us believe they represent the government and nation, as exhibited in the following:


Total estimated populationÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ... 26,000

MormonsÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. .. 20,800 Non-MormonsÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. .. 5,200 ,000

Or 5 Mormon to 1 non-Mormon. There were during the year, 1,276 arrests. Adult malesÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. .. 1,126 Adult femalesÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. 134 Boys under 10 years oldÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. .. 16 1,276

The 20,800 Mormons produce arrestsÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ... 96 The 5,200 non-Mormons produce arrestsÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. ÃÂ. 1,180 or 1 to 12 1/3.

There are now in the city some six Brothels, forty Tap Rooms, a number of Gambling Houses, Pool Tables, and other disreputable concerns, all run by non-Mormons.

But for the presence of those who are constantly making war upon us, our city would be free from the contaminating influences of houses of prostitution, gambling houses, dram shops and other such death-dealing concerns, and the taxes would be greatly reduced. But, as it is, the "Mormons" are found to pay a liberal tax in support of the laws against the lawlessness of their non-tax paying enemies. Every other town, city and county in the Territory, and all the jails and the Utah penitentiary, show even a much cleaner record in favor of the "Mormons" than the foregoing exhibit portrays.

If it should be said that these convictions were made by "Mormon" judges and justices, it must also be remembered that the District Court always stands open and gladly extends relief to any who consider themselves wronged by "Mormon" officers.

It is a remarkable fact that in all these years since the introduction of polygamy among us, not one Gentile has ever entered into it through our agency; those who are corrupt have easier methods which are furnished and approved by the professed Christian world. These are not "Mormon" institutions; but the practical outgrowth of monogamy.

The question arises, if in thirty-four years not one Gentile has adopted polygamy, how many years will it take to demoralize the fifty-five millions of the United States? The fact is, our Elders could not thus introduce it if they would, and any one so doing would be immediately severed from the Church. The question arises, What shall we do? Shall we, because of the inconsiderate action of Congress, of the judiciary and of other Federal officers, array ourselves against the nation, and sacrifice our loyalty to the greatest nation which is now in existence? Certainly not. Joseph Smith told us that "the Constitution of the United States was given by inspiration of God." Is it less true to-day than it was then? What shall we do? Have they passed "test oaths" which are forbidden in that Constitution? Yes. Have they not "prohibited the free exercise of" our "religion?" Yes. Have they not passed ex post facto laws? Yes. It is not only said that no ex post facto law shall be passed, but also no "law impairing the obligation of contracts." Some thousands of people in this Territory have entered into sacred contracts for time and for all eternity; Congress has passed a law making this a crime, and many men, who will not violate their contracts, are in prison to-day for a violation of the law of Congress which is ex post facto, making that a crime which was not a crime when the law was passed. This, then, is another violation of the Constitution. What about the "religious test oaths" instituted in Idaho, Arizona, and in certain forms in Utah? What about the 4th amendment to the Constitution, which says: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized?"

In article 8 of the Constitution it is stated, "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted." In George Q. Cannon's case lately, in an offense for which the law provides $300 fine and six months' imprisonment, a bail of $25,000, and an additional $20,000 for two complaints which were not at the time supported by any evidence, was required: thus he was made subject to a $45,000 bond. Is this excessive bail? If so, it is a violation of the Constitution. Thus we have six different violations of the Constitution of the United States, sanctioned, approved or winked at by those who have sworn to sustain that charter of liberty.

These are no fictions, but veritable facts that we have had to meet and put up with. But because of this misrule and perversion of the Constitution, and of the rights of American citizens shall we be inimical to that Constitution or to the institutions of the country to which we owe allegiance? Certainly not. These errors have to be corrected, and it is our duty, so far as lays in our power, as it is the duty of all honorable men in these United States, to sustain the Constitution thereof, and to oppose in all legitimate ways any infringement of that instrument.

We are inconsiderately asked to rend our family relations and throw away our ideas of human freedom, political equality and the rights of man, and "to become like them." Be like them for what? Like them in sapping the foundations of human liberty, like them in violating our constitutional oaths, like them in covenanting with wives and children till death parts them, and no more but a dead blank? What does it mean to be like them? It means that E pluribus unum is a fiction; it means that we tamper with and violate that grand palladium of human liberty, the Constitution of the United States and substitute expediency, anarchy, fanaticism, intolerance and religious bigotry for those glorious fundamental principles of liberty, equality, brotherhood, human freedom and the rights of man. It means judicial corruption, perverted justice, missionary judges, class rulings and minority representation; it means judicial tyranny and oppression, the introduction of spies and spotters, of packed juries and intolerance, of prisons, chains and terrorism; and introduces cruelty, oppression and despotism, in the place of liberty, equality and brotherhood. We cannot do it. We will rally around the flag of our country and maintain the glorious Constitution for weal or woe. We cannot and will not lay aside our fealty to the nation at the bidding of political demagogues, religious fanatics or intolerant despots.

To you, Brethren, who as Presidents of Stakes, High Councilors and Bishops, hold in your keeping the purity of the lives of the members of the Church, we again repeat the warnings and admonitions of our former epistles and say, upon you lays the responsibility of the keeping of God's house in order, each according to his calling, ordination and appointment, and to the extent and scope of the duties imposed upon him. In these duties you cannot be negligent without incurring the displeasure of the Lord and losing His Spirit. The Lord holds each man responsible for that portion of the flock which is placed in his care. The Relief Societies, the Young Men and Young Women's Mutual Improvement Associations, the Sunday Schools, and the Primary Associations should all receive your hearty encouragement and support. Each of these organizations can be of great benefit to all of you in your labors. All of these Presidents are or should be subject to the authorities of the Wards and Stakes where they reside.

It devolves upon the Twelve Apostles and the Seventies to see that the Gospel is carried, and to carry it themselves, to all the nations of the earth first unto the Gentiles and then to the Jews. This is their especial calling, and they should keep it constantly before them.

Like the First Presidency, the most of the members of the Council of the Twelve Apostles have been greatly restricted in their movements. One of their number, Elder Lorenzo Snow, is in prison. He bears his imprisonment with equanimity and fortitude; and so far as we know all of the Apostles feel cheerful and full of faith, and determined to magnify their calling.

Our latest advices from President Joseph F. Smith report him as enjoying good health and to a goodly degree the spirit of his office and calling. From his letter, recently published in the Deseret News, the Saints have learned his sentiments concerning the work of God, and the present situation of affairs.

In conclusion, we say to all the officers and members of the Church, be diligent in reading the word of God, contained in the Bible, the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants; search the prophecies and let your hearts be comforted by their precious promises. God has said concerning Zion, that "no weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord."

Our history is one continued illustration of the fulfillment of this word of our God. We can truthfully ask, where is the weapon that has been formed against Zion which has prospered? or where is the tongue that has risen against Zion in judgment which has not been condemned? Her enemies have been very numerous; in many instances they have been prominent and powerful. They have strutted their brief hour upon the stage and have thought they were performing doughty deeds; but where are they? If their names were not kept in remembrance in our history, as enemies of the work of God, the most of them would be as utterly forgotten by the world as if they had never lived. But Zion will prosper and prevail. There may be storms to be endured; there may be trials to be encountered and difficulties to be overcome; and there may be seasons when clouds of darkness may envelop us and shut out the horizon from our view; yet if we humble ourselves before our God and keep the covenants we have made with Him, He will neither desert nor neglect us.

The Lord has said, through one of His Prophets, "Hear, ye that are afar off, what I have done; and, ye that are near, acknowledge my might. The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? He that walketh righteously and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from the holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil. He shall dwell on high; his place of defense shall be the munitions of rocks; bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure."

These are the kind of people we should be; for it is such people who will build up and be counted worthy to stand in Zion. Then it can truthfully be said: "That the Lord hath founded Zion, and the poor of his people shall trust in it."

Be it our lot to live as Saints, to maintain every principle of virtue, of honor, of truth and integrity, to keep sacred the covenants we have made with God and with each other, and to obey in all things the word of the Lord. So shall we and our families be blessed of the Lord in time and throughout the eternities that are to come.

God bless you and all the friends of Zion and peace and happiness in this world and, in the world to come, with life everlasting, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Your brethren in the Lord, JOHN TAYLOR, GEORGE Q. CANNON, Of the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

March, 1886. {AN EPISTLE of the First Presidency to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in General Conference Assembled.} (5)

1 - Advent Adam website (defunct) - based on http://amzn.to/originsofpower
2 - Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology
3 - John Taylor Papers
4 - Journal of Discourses, http://jod.mrm.org
5 - Clark, James R., Messages of the First Presidency (6 volumes)

LDS History Chronology: Lorenzo Snow

Mormon History Timeline: the life of Lorenzo Snow


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