The New and Everlasting

Covenant of Marriage

An Interpretation of

CELESTIAL MARRIAGE

PLURAL MARRIAGE

POLYGAMY

By

J. W. MUSSER

of

Salt Lake City, Utah

 

 

[3] CONTENTS

CHAPTER I--Patriarchal Order of Marriage....................9 to 38

Amnesty, Petition for.....................................27

Celestial Marriage, Revelation on.........................15

Clayton, William..........................................30

Kimball, Heber C......................................28, 29

Law Irrevocable............................................9

Musser, A. Milton.........................................32

Millennial Star...........................................31

Marriage Not to Be Forbidden..............................38

Nephi on Present Day Errors.......................32, 33, 34

Official Statement Referred to............................12

Penrose, Charles W........................................30

Pratt, Orson..........................................17, 28

Smith, Joseph.........................................17, 18

Smith, Joseph F.......................................25, 26

Snow, Lorenzo.............................................24

Talmage, James E., Position Defined.......................11

Taylor, John..........................................18, 21

Teasdale, George..........................................30

Woodruff, Wilford.................................22, 23, 24

Woolley, Samuel...........................................31

Young Brigham.....................................18, 19, 20

CHAPTER II--The Law of the Land............................39 to 59

Constitutional Law .......................................40

Edmunds Bill Held Unconstitutional by Law

makers and Judges, Including Grover

Cleveland, President..........................41, 42

Bennion, Heber........................................45, 51

Blackstone on Constitutional Law..........................43

[4] Cannon, George Q..........................................45

Jefferson, Thomas ........................................43

Taylor, John..............................................43

Woodruff, Wilford.........................................44

Human Power Defined.......................................53

Manifesto.................................................57

Price of Peace--Eternal Life..............................50

Revelation of 1886 to John Taylor.........................46

Revelation of 1889 to Wilford Woodruff................48, 49

Young, Brigham on Apostacy................................50

CHAPTER III--Liars, Apostates and Adulterers.................60, 84

Bennion, Heber, Who Are Liars?........................63, 65

Bible Teachings on Polygamy Justified.................73, 74

Charity--Paul on..........................................84

Church Leaders Admit Complicity.......................68, 69

Grant, Heber J., Denies Power.........................79, 80

Mormon's Definition of Good and Bad.......................66

Persecution from Within.......................60, 61, 62, 63

Priesthood--Chapter on....................................75

Young, Brigham--On Priesthood.............................79

Taylor, John, Priesthood Validates and Satisfies,

Not Temple ...................................83, 84

 

[5] "I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of self security, trusting their eternal destiny in the hands of their leaders with a reckless confidence that in itself would thwart the purposes of God in their salvation, and weaken that influence they could give to their leaders, did they know for themselves, by the revelations of Jesus, that they are led in the right way. Let every man and woman know, by the whispering of the spirit of God to themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates or not." --(Discourses of Brigham Young, pp. 209.)

 

[7] FOREWORD

In the preparation of this brochure, the author has endeavored to be frank and fair. His purpose, in part, is to refute the position assumed by some of the present Church leaders in the meaning of "Celestial Marriage" and the right to live the same in the present day. The purpose is rendered doubly important since the issuing of "An Official Statement from the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints," under date of June 17th, 1933. This statement was published in the Deseret News issue of the date named and has been broadly circulated in pamphlet form and ordered read throughout the wards and branches of the Church, so that a reproduction of the same here is not deemed necessary. However, as the statement referred to is grossly misleading, the AUTHOR has taken it upon himself to reply to the parts therein bearing upon the subject at hand. This preparation has been accomplished under the severe handicap of business requirements during which only brief periods of time were available to devote to the work.

Grateful acknowledgment is made of the invaluable assistance rendered by friends in locating the verifying statements reproduced in the book; also in helping to render a proper interpretation of the law of the Lord, on the subjects treated, as that law has been revealed. Naturally the limitation of space has precluded the publishing herein of a great number of related sayings of leading brethren bearing upon the issue; also rendering necessary the abbreviation of many of the quotations given. However, reference to each quotation is supplied, to which the reader is invited to resort for a full analysis of the text and a more thorough study of the subject involved.

The work is published not in malice nor anger, and is intended to be free of destructive criticism. The AUTHOR holds that criticism does not necessarily imply rejection any more than silence means acceptance. It is earnestly desired [8] that good may result from a perusal of these pages and that in the event a difference of opinion exists in the mind of the reader on the points treated, the purpose of the AUTHOR be considered, rather than the crudeness of his work. Our endeavor has been to give the record without prejudice. Should fault be found with the record, let the blame be with those responsible in the making of it and not with the AUTHOR; and finally: Let's all be tolerant. Let Paul's injunction to "Prove all things (and) hold fast that which is good" control, and let the final judgment rest with God.

THE AUTHOR.

 

[9] CHAPTER I.

PATRIARCHAL ORDER OF MARRIAGE

That the Patriarchal order of marriage is a vital tenet of the gospel of Jesus Christ cannot truthfully be denied. It is an eternal principle founded on eternal law. It is the gateway through which mortal beings reach exaltation in the Celestial Glory. Without it there can be no such exaltation. Without it there could be no God--no builder and ruler of universes. From Father Adam down through the ages this order of marriage has obtained among the faithful of God's children. In it is comprehended the eternity of the marriage covenant. It means the perpetuation of the lives. Under its divine sanction children are born throughout the eternities and men become Gods, creators and rulers of worlds. Just as well might man expect to reverse the law of gravity or pull himself up to the moon by his boot straps as to enter into the presence of the heavenly Father without first subscribing to this order of marriage.

"There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated;

"And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated." (D. & C. 130:20, 21.)

That is the Lord's statement to Joseph Smith, and in a revelation following (see D. & C. 131:1-4) the Lord said:

"In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees;

"And in order to obtain the highest, a man MUST enter into this Order of the Priesthood (meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage); and if he does not, he cannot obtain it. He may enter into the other, but that is the end of his kingdom; he cannot have an increase."

Celestial Marriage Defined

In order, therefore, that a man may enter into the highest degree of glory he must, as one pre-requisite, place [10] himself in a position to have "increase." And, according to the law, this can only be had through adherence to the new and everlasting covenant of marriage, or that system of marriage which we understand as the Patriarchal order of marriage or Celestial marriage.

But what has Celestial marriage to do with the principle of plural marriage as practiced by Abraham and as re-introduced through Joseph Smith in the last dispensation? It cannot be denied that the early teachings of the Church proclaimed plural marriage a necessary part of Celestial marriage, and that without entering into the principle of plural marriage the Celestial marriage act was incomplete and without the power of exaltation as contemplated in the above statement of Jesus Christ. However, since the issuing of what is known as the "Woodruff Manifesto" of 1890, many versions of this important law have obtained. Strained interpretations of its meaning have been given out; until today that which once was considered a command and a necessity to exaltation and glory is regarded a non-essential by the prevailing school of thought and by others a real damning sin. This principle has divided the people and is causing a chaotic condition throughout the Church. Those who still adhere to the original interpretation of the law are being cast out of the Church and are threatened with imprisonment by those who claim a belief in the same law of Celestial marriage. God is love, but instead of love among those claiming to be God's people, there is hatred; instead of charity, malice; and instead of kindness, there exists cruelty. Something is wrong. A part, at least, of the Lord's people have evidently strayed from the truth, and it is of vital importance that they be led back to the fold of Christ before they have gone too far astray. Either Celestial marriage in its fulness means a plurality of wives or it does not. The question ought not to be difficult of solution. God is our father and it is his desire that we all see and understand alike--that we come to a perfectness [11] of life. Surely on such a vital question he has not left us in impenetrable darkness. We will see.

Let us first understand that "no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretations" (II. Peter 1:20.) And that God's law can only be interpreted through the spirit of God. In the general scheme of salvation the Lord has made it clear that there are but two churches--the Church of Christ and the church of the devil. Those who do not subscribe to the one must of necessity have membership in the other. And as this statement is true, so, too, it must necessarily follow that only two interpretations may be placed on the meaning of God's word upon the subject of Celestial marriage--the right and the wrong.

As a spokesman for the one interpretation of the meaning of the law of Celestial marriage that is most generally accepted by the people of the Mormon Church of this day, the late Apostle James E. Talmage probably may be classed as a leader. A leading educator and a theologian of note, he is the author of numerous Church text books and his writings and teachings are generally regarded as authoritative.

"The Latter day Saints," writes Elder Talmage, "were long regarded as a polygamous people. That plural marriage has been practiced by a limited proportion of the people, under sanction of Church ordinance, has never since the introduction of the system been denied. but that plural marriage is a vital tenet of the Church is not true. What the Latter day Saints call Celestial marriage is characteristic of the Church, and is in very general practice; but of Celestial marriage, PLURALITY OF WIVES WAS AN INCIDENT, NEVER AN ESSENTIAL." --(The Story of Mormonism--Talmage--p. 86.)

Elder Talmage has stated the case for the Church. There can be no doubt as to the meaning of his language. He holds that plural marriage is NOT an essential part of Celestial marriage. It was never a "VITAL TENET" of the Church, it was only an incident--a permissible indulgence, so to speak, to serve for the exigency of the [12] occasion. A mere license to be indulged in or forbidden as the Church authorities might from time to time be led to decide.

In his interpretation of this important law, Elder Talmage is sustained by the present leaders of the Mormon Church. In the "Official Statement" published in the Deseret News of June 17, 1933, the First Presidency of the Church say:

"Celestial marriage--that is, marriage for time and eternity--and polygamous or plural marriage are not synonymous terms MONOGAMOUS marriages for time and eternity, solemnized in our temples in accordance with the word of the Lord and the laws of the Church, are Celestial marriages."

The above statement forever sets at rest the position of the present leaders of the Church upon the vital question at issue. Accepting the interpretation of the law as expressed, a man and woman being sealed in the temple, by proper authority, for time and eternity, has accepted in its fulness the Celestial law of marriage, and need go no further in order to attain to the highest degree of Glory. It is easy for the man who shuns responsibility and wishes to live the soft life to follow the above leadership. Who is there that would wilfully and premeditatedly climb the ladder of Celestial glory by way of the principle of plural marriage, with all its intricate and heart-breaking problems that the present day notions of Christendom have established, if he knew he could attain to the same heights by following the monogamic order of the day? Why, in the light of the law as expressed by our present leaders, did Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum prefer to accept the martyr's fate by adopting polygamous relations in the face of the cruel and relentless persecution that their practices brought upon them? Why did hundreds of our brethren and sisters elect to go to prison, some of them giving up their lives and all of them surrendering their property, to maintain what the present Church leaders declare a non-[13]essential principle? O what suffering, what heartaches, what human tragedies might have been avoided had the wisdom of a Talmage obtained in the early days or the Church! How awful a thing that so great a leader as Brigham Young, so often admittedly inspired by the God of Israel, in his direction of the Saints of God, did not get the understanding, when he was placed in leadership of the Church, that plural-marriage was a non-essential! What trials and wounds he might have saved the people through a correct understanding of the law of marriage as now officially interpreted!

But let it be remembered that the interpretation of the law of Celestial marriage as given by Elder Talmage and the present Church leaders, and shared in by a majority of present Church members, is of comparatively recent origin. Such opinions have sprung into being chiefly since the Woodruff manifesto of 1890. They are being given out by men who, at the time of the issuing of the manifesto, were young in the service--men who at that time doubtless had not fully grasped the meaning of God's command to "multiply and replenish the earth and subdue it." It is a rule of jurisprudence that when the real meaning of a law is brought into question, the judge will endeavor to ascertain the purposes and intentions actuating the law makers when such a law was enacted. In other words, it is essential to obtain the meaning of the law, if possible, from the framers of it. So in the case at hand we must go to the fountain head for a correct interpretation of the law of Celestial marriage. It is of vital importance that we do this. We must know whether Joseph Smith and his immediate followers were right or if we are to rely on the position taken by the present leadership of the Church. Our salvation depends upon this action. Surely Joseph Smith, who received the latter day revelation upon the subject, had a clear understanding of its meaning. It is a well authenticated fact that before accepting the revelation, he went so [14] far an to argue with the personage who visited him, trying to avoid the application of the plural marriage feature of the newly revealed principle. He did not surrender until forced to by the unmistaken logic of the situation. The heavenly personage told him just what the revelation meant and his duty, together with the duty of his followers, as pertaining thereto. He was either forced to accept an interpretation opposed to all his preconceived notions and his early training, or reject the light and authority of the gospel. It must therefore be admitted that Joseph Smith had a perfect understanding of the meaning of the revelation (see D. & C. 132), that he was in no way deluded and that no mortal man could have had a clearer understanding of the newly revealed law. Admitting this self evident fact, one must naturally assume that Joseph Smith imparted, with perfect clarity, the meaning of the sacred message to his immediate loyal followers--men who stood by him even in face of death. These would be the men to whom he would teach in plainness the revelation and its complete meaning. Such men were Brigham Young, John Taylor, Heber C. Kimball, Lorenzo Snow, Wilford Woodruff, Orson Pratt and others, including his confidential secretary, William Clayton. These men, according to history and also to common sense, received the meaning and proper application of the law direct from the man (Joseph Smith) to whom it was revealed by the Lord Jesus Christ. Surely such men should be qualified to teach the law to others and certainly their interpretation of it should mean more to us than the interpretation given by men coming upon the scene decades later, and whose tendency, it must be admitted, is to cultivate a friendly feeling with the outside world (Babylon) and harmonize their lives with the man made laws of the land.

But first to the law itself:

The Prophet, in the course of his labors translating the Jewish scriptures, became puzzled over the seeming attitude [15] of the Lord toward his ancient servants in having many wives and concubines. Modern thought as interpreted by the Prophet held an abhorrence for such a practice, and yet the Lord, according to the sacred history, had not only tolerated the principle but under certain circumstances had actually commanded its practice. Lacking wisdom on the subject, the Prophet made inquiry of the Lord and was thus answered:

The Law

"Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you, my servant Joseph, that inasmuch as you have inquired of my hand, to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, justified my servants Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; as also Moses, David and Solomon, my servants, as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines":

Mark you, the Prophet was inquiring regarding the "principle and doctrine of their (Abraham et al.) having many wives and concubines." Not about any other subject. And the Lord proceeded to answer him as pertaining to that subject:

"Behold! and lo, I am the Lord thy God, and will answer thee as touching this matter:

"Therefore, prepare thy hearts to receive and obey the instructions which I am about to give unto you; for all those who have this law revealed unto them MUST OBEY THE SAME;

"For behold! I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant, and be permitted to enter into my glory;

"For all who will have a blessing at my hands, shall abide the law which was appointed for that blessing, and the conditions thereof, as were instituted from before the foundations of the world:

"And as pertaining to the new and everlasting covenant, it was instituted for the fulness of my glory; and he that receiveth a fulness thereof, must and shall abide the law. or he shall be damned, saith the Lord God. * * *

[16] "Abraham received promises concerning his seed, and of the fruit of his loins--from whose loins ye are, namely, my servant Joseph--which were to continue so long as they were in the world; and as touching Abraham and his seed, out of the world they should continue; both in the world and out of the world should they continue as innumerable as the stars; or, if ye were to count the sand upon the seashore, ye could not number them.

"This promise is yours, also, because ye are of Abraham, and the promise was made unto Abraham; and by this law are the continuation of the works of my Father, wherein he glorified himself.

"Go ye, therefore, and do the works of Abraham; enter ye into my law, and ye shall be saved.

"But if ye enter not into my law ye cannot receive the promise of my Father which he made unto Abraham.

"God commanded Abraham, and Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham to wife. And why did she do it? Because this was the law (What law? The law of the new and everlasting covenant that was being revealed to the Prophet), and from Hagar sprang many people. This, therefore, was fulfilling, among other things, the promises.

"Was Abraham, therefore, under condemnation? Verily, I say unto you, Nay; for I, the Lord, COMMANDED IT. * * *

"Abraham received concubines, and they bare him children, and it was accounted unto him for righteousness, because they were given unto him, and he abode in my law, as Isaac also, and Jacob did none other things than that which they were commended, and because they did none other things than that which they were commanded, they have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones, and are not angels, but are Gods.

"David also received many wives and concubines, and also Solomon and Moses my servants; as also many others of my servants, from the beginning of creation until this time; and in nothing did they sin, save in those things which they received not of me.

"David's wives and concubines were given unto him, of me, by the hand of Nathan, my servant, and others of the prophets who had the keys of this power; * * *

"And again, as pertaining to the law of the Priesthood: (the new and everlasting covenant) If any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent; and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery, for [17] they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else; * * *

"For they are given unto him to multiply and replenish the earth, according to my commandment, and to fulfill the promise which was given by my Father before the foundation of the world; and for their exaltation in the eternal worlds, that they may bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of my Father continued, that he may be glorified." * * *

"And now, as pertaining to this law, verily, verily, I say unto you, I will reveal more unto you, hereafter;" * * * (D. & C. Sec. 132.)

According to Orson Pratt this revelation was given the Prophet some time in 1831, but was not reduced to writing in its present form until the year 1843. Doubtless in the interim other items pertaining to the principle of plural marriage were revealed to the Prophet, resulting in his entering the principle and proclaiming the necessity of its practice to his immediate friends and followers.

That the new revelation setting forth the new and everlasting covenant of marriage did not have reference to the marrying of one woman to one man monogamously for time and eternity is clearly evident from the fact that Joseph not only felt himself bound to enter into plural marriage, but in the strictest manner possible he enjoined the adoption of this principle upon his associates.

Joseph Smith

"They accuse me of polygamy and of being a false prophet," said Joseph shortly before his martyrdom, "and many other things which I do not now remember; but I am no false prophet; I am no impostor, I have had no dark revelations, I have had no revelations from the devil; I made no revelations; I have got nothing up of myself. The same God that has thus far dictated me and directed me and strengthened me in this work, gave me this revelation (D. &, C. 132) and commandment on Celestial and plural marriage and the same God commanded me to obey it. He said to me that unless I accepted it and introduced it, and PRACTICED IT, I, together with my people, would be damned and cut off from this time henceforth. And they (the enemy) say if I do so, they will kill me! Oh, what shall I do? If I do [18] not practice it (What?--why, plural marriage) I shall be damned with my people. If I do teach it, and practice it, and urge it, they say they will kill me, and I know they will. BUT WE HAVE GOT TO OBSERVE IT. It is an ETERNAL PRINCIPLE and was given by way of commandment and NOT BY WAY OF INSTRUCTION." --Contributor, Vol 5, p. 259. Also Celestial Marriage, by Broadbent, p. 7, 3rd Edition.

Here the Prophet speaks of "Celestial and Plural marriages as synonymous, or in other words, one being an essential part of the other. Certainly it was not monogamous marriage for time and eternity that would incite the mobocrats to take his life. If Celestial marriage--marriage for time and eternity--could be completed in the monogamous form, there conceivably could be no difficulty in introducing the principle. It would just be a different kind of ceremony uniting couples in marriage, and then, as now the different churches had their distinctive ceremonies. It was the polygamous part of the principle of Celestial marriage--a necessary part, too--that Joseph Smith hesitated to accept and introduce that brought the threat of condemnation from the Lord, and for which, if he did teach it and practice it, he knew he would be killed, as he later was.

"If it had been obeying the law." said President John Taylor at a conference in Snowflake, Arizona, "for us to have taken our wives that we then had (in Nauvoo), and been sealed to them, for time and eternity, we would gladly have done that; but when we were told to take other wives IN ORDER TO OBEY THE LAW, it was a hard task, but the Prophet (Joseph Smith) said the Lord required it of us." (Sworn statement of ear witness, Don C. Clayton, in possession of Author.)

Brigham Young

Brigham Young, who succeeded Joseph Smith in the presidency of the Church and who was taught the principle by the Prophet himself, has stated:

"Hear it, ye Elders of Israel, and mark it down in your log books, the fulness of the Gospel is the United Order and the [19] order of Plural Marriage, and I fear that when I am gone, this people will give up these two principles which we prize so highly; and if they do, this Church cannot advance as God wishes for it to advance." --Spoken at dedication of St. George Temple. (See Celestial Marriage, p. 2, 3rd Ed.)

"God never introduced the Patriarchal order of marriage with a view to please man in his carnal desires, nor to punish females for anything which they had done; but he introduced it for the express purpose of raising up to His name a royal Priesthood, a peculiar people. * * * This revelation, which God gave to Joseph, was for the express purpose of providing a channel for the organization of tabernacles, for those spirits to occupy who have been reserved to come forth in the Kingdom of God, and that they might not be obliged to take tabernacles out of the Kingdom of God. * * *

"Now, if any of you will deny the plurality of wives, and continue to do so, I promise that YOU WILL BE DAMNED and I will go still further to say, take this revelation, or any other revelation that the Lord has given, and deny it in your feelings, and I promise that you will be damned. But the Saints who live their religion will be exalted." --Extracts from sermon of Brigham Young delivered at Provo, Utah. J. of D., Vol. 3, pp. 264 to 266.

"Joseph received a revelation on Celestial marriage. * * * This doctrine was explained and many received it, as far as they could understand it. * * * The people of God have therefore been commanded to take more wives (in order to live the law of Celestial marriage). The women are entitled to salvation if they live according to the word that is given to them, and if their husbands are good men, and they are obedient to them, they are entitled to certain blessings, that they cannot receive unless they are sealed to men who will be exalted. Now where a man in this Church says, `I don't want but one wife; I will have my religion with one,' he will perhaps be saved in the Celestial kingdom; but when he gets there HE WILL NOT FIND HIMSELF IN POSSESSION OF ANY WIFE AT ALL. He has had a talent that he has hid up. He will come forth and say, `Here is that which thou gavest me. I have not wasted it, and here is the one talent,' and he will not enjoy it, but it will be taken and given to those who have improved the talents they received, and he will find himself without any wife, and he will remain single forever and ever. But if the woman is determined to not enter into plural marriage, that woman, when she comes forth, will have the privilege of living in single blessedness through all eternity. * * * J.D. 16:166

[20] "Now, sisters, do not say, `I don't want a husband when I get up in the resurrection.' You do not know what you want. * * * If in the resurrection you really want to be single and alone and live so forever and ever and be made servants, while others receive the higher order of intelligence and are bringing worlds into existence, you can have the privilege. They who will be exalted cannot perform all the labor, they must have servants and you can be servants to them." --Brigham Young in discourse at Paris, Idaho, Aug. 31, 1873. J. of D. 16:166.

If stronger language be needed to show that it was the understanding of this great man that plural marriage was not merely an "incident" but an absolute necessity to exaltation, we will quote further:

"IT IS THE WORD OF THE LORD, and I wish to say to you, and all the world, that if you desire with all your hearts to obtain the blessings which Abraham obtained, YOU WILL BE POLYGAMISTS--at least in your faith, or you will come short of enjoying the salvation and the glory which Abraham has obtained. THIS IS AS TRUE AS THAT GOD LIVES. * * * THE ONLY MEN WHO BECOME GODS, EVEN THE SONS OP GOD, ARE THOSE WHO ENTER INTO POLYGAMY. Others attain unto a glory and may even be permitted to come into the presence of the Father and the Son; but they CANNOT REIGN AS KINGS IN GLORY, because they had blessings offered unto them and they refused to accept them." --Journal of Discourses, Vol. 11, pp. 268-9.

It is unnecessary, we hope, to affirm that the mere taking of a plurality of wives will not exalt a man to Godhood. The living of the principle of plural marriage is a NECESSARY PRE-REQUISITE to the glorious blessing. But having entered into it one must live it in purity and honesty. Indeed the living of this divine requirement places greater obligations of chastity on the contracting parties. They must not only live in polygamy, but must subscribe to and live every principle of the Gospel as it may be revealed. In other words, man must live the whole law--and this principle (plural marriage) is an essential part of it.

[21] John Taylor

John Taylor, who lived contemporaneously with Joseph Smith, was his trusted friend and was honored in being with him at his martyrdom, has left the following testimony regarding the meaning and necessity of the principle:

"We are not ashamed to proclaim to this great nation (United States), to rulers and people, to the President, Senators, legislators, judges; to high and low, rich and poor, priests and people, that we are firm conscientious believers in polygamy, AND THAT IT IS PART AND PARCEL OF OUR RELIGIOUS CREED." --Life of John Taylor, p. 255.

"Concerning the Patriarchal order of marriage, President (John) Taylor said: `If we do not embrace that principle soon the keys will be turned against us.' If we do not keep the same law that our HEAVENLY FATHER HAS KEPT, WE CAN NOT GO WITH HIM. A man obeying a lower law is not qualified to preside over those who keep a higher law.'" --Life of Wilford Woodruff, p. 542

That President Taylor understood the Patriarchal order of marriage to include, as a necessary part thereof, the principle of plural marriage, cannot be denied. And when he stated, as above quoted, "If we do not keep the same law that our Heavenly Father has kept, we cannot go with him, his meaning, pure and simple, was that as our Heavenly Father had embraced and lived the principle of Celestial and Plural marriage, and through which he had become exalted, we must live the same law or WE CAN NOT GO WHERE HE IS. He might come to us, but we cannot go to him. On October 13, 1882, President Taylor was instructed by revelation from the Lord to "appoint Seymour B. Young to fill up the vacancy in the presiding quorum of Seventies, IF HE WILL CONFORM TO MY LAW, FOR IT IS NOT MEET THAT MEN WHO WILL NOT ABIDE MY LAW (Celestial and Plural marriage) shall preside over my Priesthood." (See Rev. of 1882, published in German Edition of D. & C., also Life of John Taylor, p. 349.) And as Elder [22] Young was chosen to a presiding position, in order to qualify himself, he must and did enter into the law of plural marriage. This was the plain interpretation placed upon the meaning of "MY LAW" as referred to by the Lord in that revelation. Had it been sufficient to enter into a "monogamous marriage, for time and eternity," as provided for by the present Church leaders, according to the "Official Statement," Elder Young was already qualified, as he had received a wife for time and eternity, by the authority of the Holy Priesthood. The Lord didn't say, "If he will continue to conform to my law"; it was "If he will conform to my law." Evidently he was not conforming at that time, as he had only one wife sealed to him, and in order to live the fulness of the law he must needs enter into plural marriage, as God the Father had done before him. "When our father Adam came into the Garden of Eden," said Brigham Young, "he came into it with a Celestial body and brought Eve, ONE OF HIS WIVES, with him." (J. of D. 1:50.) If Eve was only "one of his wives," he certainly must have had others. The inference is conclusive. Our father Adam understood the law and obeyed it.

Wilford Woodruff

Wilford Woodruff succeeded John Taylor in the Presidency of the Church. He had been associated with the Prophet Joseph Smith and was taught by him as well as by Brigham Young and John Taylor. On numerous occasions Elder Woodruff added his testimony to the importance and sacredness of this holy order of matrimony. To him plural marriage was a necessary part of Celestial marriage and not merely an "incident" thereof.

"Father Abraham obeyed the law of the Patriarchal order of marriage. His wives were sealed to him for time and all eternity, and so were the wives of all the Patriarchs and Prophets that obeyed that law.

[23] "I desire to testify as an individual and as a Latter-day Saint that I know that God has revealed this law unto this people. I know that if we had not obeyed that law we should have been damned; the judgments of God would have rested upon us; the Kingdom of God would have stopped right where we were when God revealed that law unto us." --J. of D. Vol. 24 p. 244. July 20, 1883.

"Again, this testament which Joseph Smith left contains a revelation and commandment from God, out of heaven, concerning the Patriarchal order of marriage. The Lord has commanded us to have our wives and children sealed to us, for time and eternity, that we may have them with us in our family organizations in the resurrection, to dwell with us forever in the eternal worlds, that we may have an increase of posterity forever in connection with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all the ancient Patriarchs. And God, our heavenly Father, knowing that this was the only law, ordained by the Gods of eternity, that would exalt immortal beings to kingdoms, thrones, principalities, powers and dominions, and heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ to a fulness of Celestial Glory, I say, the God of Israel, knowing these things, commanded Joseph Smith, the Prophet, and the Latter day Saints, to obey this law, `or you shall be damned,' saith the Lord. Now, having obeyed the law for many years, the Congress of the United States, and the Supreme Judges of the nation, stand forth and say, `You shall be damned if you do obey it.' Now, Latter-day Saints, what are we going to do under the circumstances? God says, `we shall be damned if we to not obey the law.' Congress says, `we shall be damned if we to.' It places us precisely in the same position that it did the Hebrews in the fiery furnace and Daniel in the den of lions. The enemies of Daniel counseled together and said, `We cannot find any occasion against Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.' Our enemies have pursued the same course * * * and made it a law of offense to obey one of the laws of our God. Now whom shall be obey? God or man? My voice is that we will obey God. * * * I will not desert my wives and my children and disobey the commandments of God, for the sake of accommodating the public clamor of a nation steeped in sin and ripened for the damnation of hell!" --From Epistle of Apostle Wilford Woodruff, Mill. Star, Vol. 41 pp. 242-3.)

Congress did not attempt to pass a law against Celestial marriage, only as adherence to that principle of marriage involved the taking of a plurality of wives and maintaining that polygamous relationship. It was plural marriage--polygamy, that Congress attempted to legislate [24] against and it was this principle that Wilford Woodruff referred to as "the law."

"The Congress of 1862, and the Supreme Judges of 1879," said Wilford Woodruff, "in their acts and decisions, have taken a dangerous and fearful step (in trying to suppress the practice of plural marriage); their acts will sap the very foundation of our government, and it will be rent asunder. The Lord never gave a law to the children of men which will give them exaltation and glory except through the observance of that law." Mill. Star. Vol. 41, p. 243

Why such a verdict, that the nation should be "rent asunder"? Because the nation had legislated against an eternal and saving principle--that of plural marriage as practiced by the Mormon people, and which principle was a necessary part of the Patriarchal order of marriage, as enjoined by the Lord upon his people who were seeking exaltation in the Celestial Glory, from the beginning of creation. Elder Woodruff said further:

"The law of the Patriarchal order of marriage belongs to this dispensation, and after it was revealed to the Prophet Joseph he was commanded to receive it. If he and the people had rejected it, the Church and Kingdom of God would have advanced no further and God would have taken it from them and given it to another people." * * * --Life of Wilford Woodruff, p. 546.

Lorenzo Snow

Following Wilford Woodruff, Lorenzo Snow became president of the Church. Concerning this sacred principle, he had said:

"Respecting the doctrine of Plural or Celestial marriage * * * it was revealed to me, and afterwards, in 1843, fully explained to me by Joseph Smith, the Prophet. I married my wives because GOD COMMANDED IT. The ceremony which united us for time and eternity was performed by a servant of God having authority. God being my helper I would prefer to die a thousand deaths than renounce my wives and violate these sacred obligations. Though I go to prison (Elder Snow was about to receive sentence for violating the law against plural marriage) God will not change His law of Celestial marriage. But the man, the people, the nation, that op-[25]pose and fight against this doctrine and the Church of God will be overthrown." --Mill. Star. Vol. 48:110-111.) Elder Snow, though in the advanced age of 72 years, received sentence and served time in the Utah penitentiary for refusing to conform his life to man-made laws and determining to live "my law" as revealed by the Lord, and which was the principle of plural marriage.

 

Now comes the testimony of Joseph F. Smith, son of the Patriarch Hyrum Smith and nephew of the Prophet Joseph Smith, the two martyred brothers. Joseph F. Smith became the sixth president of the Church. He, in large degree, sums up the great array of testimony concerning the meaning of Celestial or Patriarchal marriage. He said:

Joseph F. Smith

"There is a great deal said about our Plural marriage by the outside world, and sometimes it is referred to by the Latter-day Saints at home. I fancy sometimes that not only is the world without knowledge in relation to this principle, but many of those who profess to be Latter-day Saints are far from possessing a correct understanding of it.

"In the first place, it is a principle that savors of life unto life or of death unto death; therefore it is well for those who have embraced the Gospel to obtain a knowledge in relation to this matter. It is a principle that pertains to eternal life, in other words, to endless lives, or eternal increase. It is a law of the gospel pertaining to the Celestial Kingdom applicable to all gospel dispensations, when commanded, and not otherwise * * *

"Some people have supposed that the doctrine of plural marriage was a sort of superfluity, or non-essential to the salvation or exaltation of mankind. In other words, some of the Saints have said, and believe, that a man with one wife, sealed to him by the authority of the Priesthood for time and eternity, will receive an exaltation as great and glorious, if he is faithful, as he possibly could with more than one. I want here to enter my solemn protest against this idea, for I know it is false. There is no blessing promised except upon conditions, and no blessing can be obtained by mankind except by faithful compliance with the conditions, or law, upon which the same is promised. The marriage of one woman to a man for time and eternity by the sealing [26] power, according to the law of God, is a fulfillment of the Celestial law of marriage in part * * * but this is only the beginning of the law, not the whole of it. Therefore, whoever has imagined that he could obtain a fulness of the blessings pertaining to this Celestial law, by complying with only a portion of its conditions, has deceived himself. He cannot do it * * *

"He (man) cannot receive the fulness of the blessings unless he fulfills the law, any more than he can claim the gift of the Holy Ghost after he is baptised without the laying on of hands by proper authority, or the remission of sins without baptism, though he may repent in sackcloth and ashes. * * *

"I understand the law of Celestial marriage to mean that every man in this Church who has the ability to obey and practice it in righteousness and will not, shall be damned. I say I understand it to mean this and nothing less, and I testify in the name of Jesus that it does mean that." --Extracts from Sermon, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 20, pp 26-31.

The marriage ceremony itself embodies this thought. The contracting parties enter into a "covenant and promise * * * to fulfill all the laws, rights and ordinances pertaining to this holy order of matrimony in the new and everlasting covenant." (Mill. Star Vol. 15. p. 215.) In other words. they agree not only to accept the present ordinance about to be conferred upon them, but something further--which on the part of the brother is the law of Abraham (plural marriage) and on the part of the sister the law of Sarah (to share ones husband with another woman or other women). Hence the ceremony is not complete until the full law of Abraham and of Sarah has been received in actual practice.

Either Joseph F. Smith's statement was inspired by the Lord or the devil. We know of no open attempt made by the Church authorities to contradict the position assumed by Elder Smith until the recent "Official Statement" published by the First Presidency. The word of the Lord emanating through Elder Smith was that plural marriage is a necessary part of Celestial marriage, and that there could be no such thing as "monogamous marriages for time [27] and eternity" being "Celestial marriages" as expressed by the present Church leaders.

So much from the faithful men who were chosen to lead the people in the early days of the Church. They are shown to be a unit in their interpretation of the divine law of marriage. They taught it, they lived it, they became martyrs for it, offering their lives in testimony of their willingness to "abide the law."

And not only did the leaders maintain such an attitude, but practically all the early Church authorities were of the same mind. In a petition for Amnesty, dated 1891, signed by the First Presidency and Apostles of the Church and addressed to the President of the United States, this statement was made:

Petition for Amnesty

"We, the First Presidency and Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, beg to respectfully represent to your Excellency the following facts:

"We formerly taught to our people that polygamy or Celestial marriage as commanded by God through Joseph Smith was right; that it was a necessity to man's highest exaltation in the life to come.

"That doctrine was publicly promulgated by our president, the late Brigham Young, forty years ago, and was steadily taught and impressed upon the Latter day Saints up to September, 1890. Our people are devout and sincere, and they accepted the doctrine, and many personally embraced and practiced polygamy." * * * --Extract from petition for amnesty, Dec. 1891. Smoot investigation, Vol. 1, p. 18.

If these men formerly taught that "polygamy or Celestial marriage," "was a necessity to man's highest exaltation in the life to come," and that was their testimony--how can it now be maintained that this same principle is not a "necessity to man's highest exaltation in the life to come"? Certainly if "monogamous marriages for time and eternity, solemnized in our temples in accordance with the word of [28] the Lord and the laws of the Church, are Celestial marriages," as stated by the present leaders, and if "plurality of wives was an incident" to Celestial marriage, and "never an essential," as maintained by Elder Talmage, then the statement by the Church leaders in their petition for amnesty (and which statement carried the endorsement of the present Church leader, who now entertains the opposite view) that "we formerly taught to our people that polygamy or Celestial marriage * * * was a necessity to man's highest exaltation in the life to come," was an untruth--a statement meant to mislead and deceive. Which hypothesis is correct?

That such a teaching did prevail, and that universally throughout the Church, is a well established fact. It was the gospel theme at the home altars, in the pulpit and press. It became as common doctrine to the Latter-day Saints as Baptism for the dead. Orson Pratt one of the leading expounders of Mormon doctrine in the early days of the Church, asked the question:

Orson Pratt

"Why, then, do Latter day Saints practice Polygamy?" and then proceeded to answer it thus: "This is a plain question. I will answer it just as plainly. It is because we believe, with all the sincerity of our hearts, as has been states by former speakers from this stand, that the Lord God, who gave revelation to Moses approbating polygamy, has given revelations to the Latter-day Saints, not only approbating it but commanding it, as he commanded Israel in ancient times." --Journal of Dis. Vol. 17, p. 223.

Heber C. Kimball

"Do you suppose," said Heber C. Kimball (J. of D. Vol 4, p. 224), "that Joseph and Hyrum and all those good men would associate with those ancient worthies if they had not been engaged in the same practices? They had to do the works of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in order to be admitted where they are--they had to be polygamists in order to be received in their society."

Elder Kimball stated on another occasion (see Mill. Star Vol. 28, p. 190):

[29] "The Government of the United States" are designing to do away with polygamy, or to disqualify us, or make us a non-entity or nuisance, and then send an army here to remove it. It is polygamy which they call the `twin relic of barbarism.' This is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the Kingdom of God that is set up, that Daniel saw in a vision, which was to he established in the latter days, and that never should be thrown down, but was to be diverse from all other kingdoms, and should stand forever, and it will throw down and destroy everything that comes in contact with it. Plurality is a law which God established for his Elect before the world was formed, for a continuation of seeds forever. It would be as easy for the United States to build a tower to remove the sun as to remove polygamy, or the Church and Kingdom of God."

Elder Kimball also said (J. of D. Vol. 4, p. 108):

"Many of the people have broken their covenants * * * by finding fault with the plurality of wives and trying to sink it out of existence. But you cannot do that, for God will cut you off and raise up another people that will carry out his purposes in righteousness, unless you walks up to the line of your duty. On the one hand, there is glory and exaltation; and on the other no tongue can express the suffering and affliction the people will pass through, if they don't repent.'

And further:

"Some quietly listen to those who speak against the Lord's servants, against his anointed, against the plurality of wives, and against almost every principle that God has revealed. Such persons have half dozen devils with them all the time. You might as well deny `Mormonism,' and turn away from it, as to oppose the plurality of wives. Let the presidency of this Church, and the twelve apostles, and all the authorities unite and say with one voice that they will oppose that doctrine, and the whole of them would be damned. What are you opposing it for? It is a principle that God has revealed for the salvation of the human family. He revealed it to Joseph the Prophet in this our dispensation; and that which He revealed He designs to have carried out by His people." --J. of D. Vol 5. p. 203.

In the light of the above predictions by President Kimball, what a dangerous position the present Church authorities are assuming in opposing the doctrine of plural marriage, and branding it as among the "nonessentials"!

[30] George Teasdale

"And as far as I am concerned as an individual," said Apostle George Teasdale, "not one principle that God has revealed from the heavens do I dare go back on--not one principle. I believe in the fulness of the everlasting Gospel. I believe in plural marriage as a part of the Gospel, just as much as I believe in baptism by immersion for the remission of sins. The same being who taught me baptism for the remission of sins, taught me plural marriage and its NECESSITY and GLORY. Can I afford to give up a single principle? I cannot. If I had to give up one principle I would give up my religion. If I gave up the first principle of the revelations of the Lord, I would prove before my brethren, before the angels, before God the Eternal Father, that I was unworthy the exaltation that He has promised me. I do not know how you feel, but I do not fear the face of man as I fear the face of God. I fear lest when I go behind the veil and have to meet my progenitors that I should meet them as a traitor, as a man who had not the backbone to stand by the principles of righteousness for fear of my life; or fear of some calamity that might come upon me. How would they look upon me? How we would be condemned if we dared suggest such a thing as to say that we would give up the first principle of eternal truth! I bear my solemn testimony that plural marriage is as true as any principle that has been revealed from the heavens. I bear my testimony that it is a necessity, and that the Church of Christ in its fulness NEVER EXISTED WITHOUT IT. Where you have the eternity of marriage you are bound to have plural marriage; bound to; and it is one of the marks of the Church of Jesus Christ in its sealing ordinances." --Journal of Discourses, Vol. 25, p. 21.

Charles W. Penrose

The testimony of Charles W. Penrose is in point. Elder Penrose was addressing a conference of the Saints at Centerville, Davis Stake, in 1883. The account states:

"He showed that the revelation that had been the subject of attention (Sec. 132) was only one published on Celestial marriage, and if the doctrine of plural marriage was repudiated so must be the glorious principle of marriage for eternity, the two being indissolubly interwoven with each other." (Mill. Star Vol. 45, p. 454.)

William Clayton

"From him (Joseph Smith)," said William Clayton, who had served as private secretary to the Prophet (see His. Record Vol. [31] 6, p. 226), "I learned that the doctrine of plural and Celestial marriage is the MOST HOLY AND IMPORTANT DOCTRINE EVER REVEALED TO MAN ON EARTH and that without obedience to that principle no man can ever attain to the fulness of exaltation of Celestial Glory."

Samuel Woolley

"It was there (at my house in Nauvoo, one afternoon when the Prophet and Patriarch Hyrum Smith called in and the latter read a revelation on eternal marriage and plurality of wives," said Samuel Woolley, "he told me that revelation was of God and that no man could or would receive a fulness of Celestial Glory and eternal life except he obeyed that law and had MORE THAN ONE LIVING WIFE AT THE SAME TIME." --Historical Record, Vol. 6, p. 231.)

Statement in the Press

The following press account is illuminating:

"The doctrine of polygamy with the `Mormons' is not one of that kind that in the religious world is classed with `non-essentials.' It is not an item of doctrine that can be yielded, and faith in the system remain. `Mormonism' is the kind of religion the entire divinity of which is invalidated, and its truth utterly rejected, the moment that any one of its leading principles is acknowledged to be false, or such as God will not sustain in practice against the entire world.

"It claims, false or true, to be a revelation from Deity of His absolute will to the world today, a special declaration of the mind of God on all points of every day faith and practice, in the list of which divine requisitions polygamy * * * not wild, loose and unrestrained, but polygamy governed and controlled by laws of severer chastity than monogamy knows anything about * * * is found. * * *

"The whole question, therefore, narrows itself to this in the `Mormon' mind. Polygamy was revealed by God, or the entire fabric of their faith is false. To ask them to give up such an item of belief is to ask them to relinquish the whole, to acknowledge their Priesthood a lie, their ordinances a deception, and all that they have toiled for, lived for, bled for, prayed for or hoped for, a miserable failure and a waste of life. * * *

"There is no half way house. * * * The `Mormons' have either to spurn their religion and their God, and sink self-damned in the eyes of all civilization at a moment when most blessed in the practice of their faith, or go calmly on to the same issue which [32] they have always had * * * `Mormonism' in its entirety the revelation of God, or nothing at all. * * * `Mormonism' allowed in its entirety, or- `Mormonism' wiped out in blood." --Millennial Star Vol. 27, p. 673, Oct. 1865.

A. Milton Musser

The above facts are beautifully epitomized in the following statement by Elder A. Milton Musser:

"If the Mormons were ever so unwilling to become polygamists they have no choice in the matter. God has commanded and they must obey. If there was not a single word or example to be found in the Bible in its favor, still they must observe its practice. It is in no sense optional with them. It is as much an integral part of their faith as baptism for the remission of sin or the laying on of hands for the bestowal of the Holy Ghost. It holds precisely the same relation to the Gospel plan of salvation, redemption and exaltation (which of a verity we know to be true, and for which hundreds of our people have laid down their lives) as the arms and legs sustain to the human body. And with us it is absolutely as necessary to the eternal happiness and behoof of the Latter day Saints as the union of the head and trunk of the body is necessary to the perpetuity of mortal life." (Mill. Star Vol. 39, p. 407.)

In the light of the great array of testimony given above what sane man will dare to say that the "order of plural marriage" is not an essential part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as revealed through the Prophet Joseph Smith? And further, that Celestial marriage can be fully achieved under the principle of monogamy?

Nephi

Nephi spoke of a time when the Saints would "turn aside the just for a thing of naught and revile against that which is good and say that it is of no worth!" How well that prediction fits the present case--an Apostle making the statement concerning the sacred principle of plural marriage, that it "was an incident, never an essential," thereby, as Nephi said, "turning aside the just for a thing of [33] naught and revile against that which is good and say that it is of no worth!"

"For behold," said Nephi further, "at that day (the day when they shall turn aside the "just for a thing of naught," etc.) shall he (Satan) rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good. And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell." (2 Nephi 28:20-21.)

The present leadership of the Church denies the plain word of God as given through the Prophet Joseph Smith and as interpreted unto the people by Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Lorenzo Snow and Joseph F. Smith as pertaining to the holy order of marriage. It is claimed that the "living oracles" supersede the written revealed word of God and that changes in the laws and ordinances of the Gospel by these so called "living oracles" are justified of the Lord. In effect they say: "We have received the word of God, and we need no more of the word of God, for we have enough!" Being the "living oracles" we have the right and authority to lead the people independent of the written word and without the necessity of any further word."

"I hold it entirely compatible," said Apostle Stephen L. Richards, at the general conference of the Church, held April 8, 9, 10, 1932, as reported in the issue of April 10th, Salt Lake Tribune: I hold it entirely compatible with the genius of the Church to change its forms of procedure, customs and ORDINANCES in accordance with our own knowledge and experience. I would not discard an old practice merely because it is old, but only after it has outworn its usefulness. * * *

"He pointed out", continues the report, "that some changes in the ORDINANCES, forms and methods of the Church had been made in recent years and that these changes had disturbed some of the members. Personally, he said, I approve of those changes and hope the general authorities will be led to make others as changing conditions warrant."

[34] Comments on this dangerous attitude assumed by Elder Richards are unnecessary further than to remind the reader of the words of Isaiah: "The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, CHANGED THE ORDINANCE, broken the everlasting covenant." Isaiah 24:5. "For the leaders of this people cause them to err," the Prophet said further, "and they that are led of them are destroyed." (9:16)

But the Lord said through his prophet, Nephi:

"Wo he unto him that is at ease in Zion! Wo be unto him that crieth: All is well! Yea, wo be unto him that harkeneth unto the precepts of men, and denieth the power of God. and the gift of the Holy Ghost! Yea, wo be unto him that saith: We have received, and we need no more! And, in fine, wo unto all those who tremble, and are angry because of the truth of God! For behold, he that is built upon the rock receiveth it with gladness; and he that is built upon a sandy foundation trembleth lest he shall fall." (II Nephi 28:24-28.)

The law of Celestial marriage has been changed by the present leaders without warrant of revelation, and that merely to placate the enemies of righteousness who denied the Saints the privilege guaranteed by the constitution of the United States of worshipping God according to their clear rights. Joseph Smith said of the principle of plural marriage: "We have got to observe it. It is an eternal principle and was given by way of commandment, and not by way of instruction." Brigham Young said: "The only men who become Gods, even the Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy." But Elder Talmage says: "That plural marriage is a vital tenet of the Church IS NOT TRUE * * * Of Celestial marriage, plurality of wives was an INCIDENT, never an ESSENTIAL."

If in order to accomplish our earthly missions, that of laying a sure foundation to become Gods, it is necessary to live in the principle of plural marriage, then plural marriage must be a "vital tenet of the Church" and not merely [35] an "incident"--a non-essential, as proclaimed by Elder Talmage. Indeed, it is a fact worthy of note that some of the early members of the Church, after coming west, were denied the privilege of partaking the sacrament for stating that they did not believe in the principle of polygamy as being essential to salvation. And this action was sustained by the Church leaders of that day.

The present Church leaders say: "Celestial marriage--that is, marriage for time and eternity--and polygamous or plural marriage are not synonymous terms. Monogamous marriages for time and eternity, solemnized in our temples in accordance with the word of the Lord and the laws of the Church, ARE CELESTIAL MARRIAGES." But Charles W. Penrose said: "If the doctrine of plural marriage was repudiated, so must be the glorious principle of marriage for eternity, the two being indissolubly interwoven with each other," or in other words, "synonymous terms," the statement of the present Church leaders to the contrary notwithstanding; and Elder Teasdale said: "The Church of Jesus Christ in its fulness never existed without it" (plural marriage).

Elder James E. Talmage, in making selection of latter-day revelations from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants for his book, "Latter-day Revelations," omitted the revelation on the "Eternity of the Marriage Covenant, Including Plurality of Wives" (title in 1901 Ed.) as embodied in Section 132 of the Doctrine and Covenants. In his foreword to the "Latter-day Revelations" he states: "This little book contains selected sections and parts of sections from the Doctrine and Covenants, the selections comprising Scriptures of general and enduring value, given as the word of the Lord through the First Elder and Prophet in the present dispensation."

How strange it was that in making a selection of scriptures of "general and enduring value" the compiler should [36] have omitted the entire text of a revelation which enunciated "the most holy and important doctrine ever revealed to man an earth," and without obedience to which "no man can ever attain to the fulness of exaltation of Celestial Glory!" (As stated by Elder Clayton).

Evidently Elder Talmage was not able to separate what he might term the "wheat from the chaff," or the "general and enduring" principles in the revelation referred to from the principle (of "plural marriage") that, according to his view, was not "enduring" in value, being a "non-essential" a mere "incident," so he omitted the entire revelation Elder Charles W. Penrose had previously stated that the two, i e., "Celestial marriage" and "Plural marriage" were "indissolubly interwoven with each other". Elder Talmage evidently discovered this to be the case and, not wishing to give endorsement to the principle of plural marriage, discarded the entire revelation; and this notwithstanding the fact that the Prophet and Patriarch had given their lives to establish the principles involved in it!

Joseph F. Smith said:

"Some people have supposed that the doctrine of plural marriage was a sort of superfluity, or non-essential to the salvation or exaltation of mankind (or, as Elder Talmage put it, "an incident, never an essential"). In other words, some of the Saints have said, and believe, that a man with one wife, sealed to him by the authority of the Priesthood for time and eternity, will receive an exaltation as great and glorious, if he is faithful, as he possibly could with more than one. I wish here to enter my solemn protest against this idea, FOR I KNOW IT TO BE FALSE. * * * The marriage of one woman to a man for time and eternity by the sealing power, according to the law of God, is a fulfillment of the Celestial law of marriage in part * * *. But this is only the BEGINNING of the law, not the WHOLE OF IT. Therefore, whoever has imagined that he could obtain a fulness of the blessings pertaining to this Celestial law, by complying with only a portion of its conditions, has deceived himself. HE CANNOT DO IT."

This statement of Joseph F. Smith should forever set at rest the thought that monogamous marriages, even though [37] conducted in the temples of God, are Celestial marriages. They are not. They are the first step only and will NEVER be complete until all the law is complied with by taking other wives.

The Prophet Joseph Smith had told John Taylor: "If we do not embrace that principle (of plural marriage) soon, the keys will be turned against us. If we do not keep the same law that our Heavenly Father has kept, we cannot go with him. Now if our Heavenly Father kept that law and lived the principle of plural marriage, could the law be termed a "non-essential," merely an "incident"? And since it is necessary for the present day Saints to live that law in order to qualify them to go where our Heavenly Father is, can it be properly termed an "incident" and a "non-essential"?

"We, the First Presidency and Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, wrote the brethren to the President of the United States in 1891, "beg to respectfully represent to your Excellency the following facts:

"We formerly taught to our people that polygamy or Celestial marriage (synonymous terms, mind you) as COMMANDED by God through Joseph Smith was right; that it was a necessity to man's highest exaltation in the life to come. That doctrine was publicly promulgated by our President, the late Brigham Young forty years ago, and was steadily taught and impressed upon the Latter-day Saints up to September, 1890."

But the present Church leaders, including the President of the Church (who at the time, 1891, was a member of the quorum of the Apostles and as such doubtless joined in the petition for amnesty), says that principle is a non-essential, merely an "incident," that it is not an essential part of the principle of Celestial marriage through which channel man may attain unto the Godhood. How can an eternal law which God himself was forced to subscribe to and obey deteriorate into a mere "incident," or a "non-essential," or a "sort of a superfluity," because of the opposition to it by corrupt men whose lives are such as to consign them to final death and obliteration? Whom are [38] we to believe in this matter? Shall it be the written revealed word of God as taught and interpreted to the Saints for half a century by the martyrs of the Church, they themselves having received the information direct from God, or shall we believe the modern unauthorized words of the supposed "living oracles"? Which is the only sane and safe path to follow? Paul said: "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." Now, Latter-day Saints, choose for yourselves!

Since, then, man cannot receive the "highest exaltation in the life to come" without entering into and in righteousness living the principle of plural marriage, the action of the Church as outlined in the "Official Statement" of the Presidency of June 17, 1933, places an absolute barrier against its members reaching the highest exaltation. In other words, the CHURCH HAS TAKEN A DEFINITE STAND AGAINST GOD AND RIGHTEOUSNESS. The law was instituted for the fulness of God's glory, and it is the determination of the Church, as at present governed, to prevent men attaining to the GLORY OF GOD IN THE FULNESS THEREOF.

"Now the spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter time some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron, FORBIDDING TO MARRY," etc. --I Timothy 4:1-3.

"And again verily I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto men." --D.& C. 49:15.

 

[39] CHAPTER II.

THE LAW OF THE LAND

In Chapter One we have shown the necessity of a strict adherence to the principle of Celestial or plural marriage. We have shown that men can only arrive at the position of Godhood by complying with this law. We will now examine into the great life tragedy resulting in an attempt to abrogate the principle and attain the heights of the Celestial Glory by another route.

In brief, it is claimed by the present leaders of the people that as God enjoined upon the Saints obedience to civil law, and the civil law of this country forbids polygamous marriages, the Saints are excused from the operations of the divine law, and the Church is in duty bound to bow in humble submission to the unrighteous demands of men, paying homage to the law of the land, though it aims at the destruction of the Church of Christ.

"We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers and magistrates, in obeying, honoring and sustaining the law," is an article of faith frequently quoted in support of the law obedience theory. A strict application of this principle would mean that any country in which the Saints may reside, the rulers thereof may legislate for God and all are under obligation to obey. If in one country baptism by immersion should be legally taboo, the Saints must submit, and the principle of baptism must be suspended; and should another country legislate against married people becoming parents, birth control must be accepted in harmony with such a damning law, and so on.

"Let no man break the laws of the land," said the Lord in a revelation to Joseph Smith, August 1st, 1831, "for he that keepeth the laws of God hath no need to break the laws of the land." The law of the land, at the time that [40] revelation was given, was that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

"And now, verily I say unto you concerning the law of the land," the Lord added in 1833, "it is my will that my people should observe to do all things whatsoever I command them" (whether it conflicts with the law of the land or not) "and that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me. Therefore I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my Church, in befriending that law which is the Constitutional LAW OF THE LAND. And as pertaining to the law of man, whatsoever is more or less than this cometh of evil. I, the Lord God, make you free, therefore ye are free indeed; and the law also maketh you free." --D. & C. 98:4-8.

It was the "constitutional law of the land," as it existed at that time, that was to be observed--that law which supported the principle of freedom and maintained rights and privileges that belong to all mankind--it was not a future law aimed at the destruction of the Church of Christ "We claim the privilege of worshipping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience." And that exact privilege was one of the guarantees of the Constitution of the United States at the time the Lord revealed this principle of law observance to his children.

Plural marriage was made a public practice of the Church in 1852. Ten years later, in 1862, a law was enacted by Congress to punish and prevent the practice of polygamy in the territories of the United States and was signed by Abraham Lincoln, he who is called the Great Emancipator. In 1882 this law was supplemented by what is known as the "Edmunds law," which, in addition to defining the crime of "polygamy," also made the cohabiting with more than one woman a misdemeanor. This new erasure also disqualified persons living in polygamy, or MAINTAINING A BELIEF IN ITS RIGHTFULNESS, for jury work, and also prohibited all polygamists from [41] voting or holding office. The law of 1882 was later supplemented by what is known as the "Edmunds-Tucker" law enacted in 1887, which, in addition to making the legal wife a competent witness against her accused husband, disincorporated the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and ordered the supreme court to wind up its affairs.

The anti-polygamy laws were pronounced unconstitutional both by God and his servants in the Church. And it was not incumbent on the Church to uphold such laws. Indeed, the Saints were not alone in their attitude toward these laws. Members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives expressed themselves as especially hostile to them, characterizing them as unconstitutional. The "Edmunds" bill was passed March 22, 1882. During the debate on the measure in the Senate a number of Senators held it to be unconstitutional.

Law Declared Unconstitutional

Senator Wilkinson Call of Florida said: "It imposes religious test upon the jurors, which is in violation of the cardinal provisions of the Constitution of the United States. * * * It imposes a religious test by which persons entertaining that opinion are excluded from the juries who are to try individuals charged with this crime." etc.

Senator George G. Vest of Missouri said: "The seventh and eighth sections of this bill simply provide for an anomaly in the jurisprudence of the United States and establish a doctrine that in my judgment STRIKES DOWN THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF AMERICAN LIBERTY. * * * I revere the constitution of my country and the rights of personal liberty guaranteed to every American citizen. I tell you now, Senators of the United States, pass the bill and you will establish a precedent that will come home to plague you for all time to come."

Senator John T. Morgan, Alabama, said: "I am not willing to persecute a Mormon at the expense of the Constitution of the Unwed States. I am not willing to go to the Indian tribes where polygamy is practiced and take up those men and inform them that they shall not have the right to life or liberty because they are polygamists; and we have just the same right to tell an Indian [42] that he shall not live because he is a polygamist as we have to tell a Mormon that he shall not vote because he is a polygamist."

Senator Joseph E. Brown of Georgia said: "I am very well aware that there is a great popular clamor for the passage of this bill or some very rigorous and severe bill for the SUPPRESSION OF MORMONISM. * * * It (the bill) is a sweeping disfranchisement of almost the entire people of a territory."

Senator Lucius Q. C. Lamar of Mississippi said: "This bill does not meet the approval of my judgment. I am not only opposed to the provisions which have already been discussed so ably by the gentlemen, but to the policy of the legislation which the committee proposes. In my opinion, sir, it is a cruel measure, and will inflict unspeakable sufferings upon large masses, many of whom are the innocent victims of a system."

In defending his position on the bill, Senator Edmunds is reported to have said: "There is no constitution but the will of the people."

Similar speeches were made in the House of Representatives by Buckner, Belmont, Hewitt, Blanchard, Herbert and House. --His. of Utah, Whitney, Vol. 3, pp. 176-180.

The "Edmunds" law was declared constitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States, on March 23, 1885.

The "Edmunds-Tucker" law was enacted by Congress in February, 1887. It embodied the viciousness of the Edmunds bill, plus the confiscation of Church property. Debating on this bill before its passage, Senator Vest said: "I cannot vote for this bill because in my judgment it violates the fundamental principles of the Constitution of the United States." Senators Call and Butler regarded the bill as unconstitutional, the former saying that no language could express its wickedness. It required a man to become a fiend in human form in order to be a citizen of the United States. On March 3rd, 1887, the bill became law without the signature of the President (Grover Cleveland), who believed it violative of the constitution. He is said to have known that the country demanded some such legislation, and feared that if he vetoed the bill a worse one [43] would follow. --His. Utah, Whitney, Vol. 3, pp. 573-4-5.

May, 1890, the Supreme Court held the "Edmunds-Tucker" law constitutional, Chief Justice Fuller and Justices Field and Lamar dissenting from the majority of the court. --History of Utah, Whitney, Vol. 3, pp. 740-1.

John Taylor

"When the Constitution of the United States was framed and adopted," said President John Taylor, "those high contracting parties did positively agree that they would not interfere with religious affairs. Now, if our marital relations are not religious, what is? This ordinance of marriage was a direct revelation to us through Joseph Smith the Prophet. You (speaking to a Mr. Hollister who was interviewing President Taylor for the press) may not know it, but I know that this is a revelation from God and a command to His people, and therefore it is my religion. I do not believe that the Supreme Court of the United States has any right to interfere with my religious views, and in doing it they are violating their most sacred obligations." --Whitney's Popular History of Utah, p. 318.

Thomas Jefferson had said: "The rights of conscience we never submitted, we could not submit; we are answerable for them to our God"; and Blackstone, the great authority on human laws, set forth this trite rule: "If ever the laws of God and men are at variance, the former are to be obeyed in derogation of the latter." --Whitney's Popular History of Utah, p. 324.

That the Lord did not intend his injunction, "that no man should break the law of the land," to apply to the anti-Mormon legislation to be enacted into law in the future is evident from the many facts surrounding the case, of which the following are a few:

1st. The Lord knowing all things, the end from the beginning, gave a law which He said must be lived or damnation would follow, and knowing beforehand that human laws would be enacted against his law, made no provision to meet such man-made legislation, except to "carry on."

2nd. That notwithstanding laws of Congress were enacted against the principle of plural marriage, as above outlined, the Lord continued to advise His people to "abide in His law"--that he would fight their battles for them. "Wo unto that nation or house, or people," said the Lord to Wilford Woodruff in [44] 1880, "who seek to hinder my people from obeying the Patriarchal law of Abraham * * * for whosoever doeth these things shall be damned, saith the Lord of Hosts, and shall be broken up and wasted away from under heaven." In 1882 the Lord made known to President John Taylor that Seymour B. Young should be appointed to fill the vacancy in the Presidency of the Quorum of Seventies, provided he would enter into plural marriage. In 1886 the Lord reiterated His law to President John Taylor, and said, "all those who would enter into my Glory must and shall obey my law," meaning the law of plural marriage. In November, 1889, Wilford Woodruff recorded in his journal the fact that in answer to prayer the Lord enjoined upon him not to make any "promises" or "pledges" to the enemy pertaining to the keeping of the law of the land. Meanwhile the practice of plural marriage was going on. The Lord evidently had no respect for the laws aimed against the principle--neither did the leaders of the people.

3rd. The Lord knowing that a manifesto would eventually be signed, in obedience to the demand of the enemy, made provision for the perpetuation of the principle of plural marriage by having his servant, President John Taylor, set apart a self-perpetuating committee to perform such sealings from thence on, as hereafter explained.

4th. The numerous cases of plural marriages that have been contracted among the Latter day Saints since the anti-polygamy laws were enacted and since the issuance of the manifesto have received the sanction of the Lord as evidenced by his many blessings and the glorious fruits thereof.

The leaders themselves showed no disposition to comply with the anti-polygamy laws until the manifesto of 1890. Indeed, their hostility to the laws was most marked. The expression of Wilford Woodruff on this point, in the year 1879, fairly represents the attitude of his associates. Said he:

Wilford Woodruff

"Now having obeyed the law (of plural marriage) for many years, the Congress of the United States and the Supreme Judges of the Nation stand forth and say, `you shall be damned if you obey it.' Now, Latter-day Saints, what are we going to do under the circumstances? God says, `we shall be damned if we do not obey the law,' Congress says, `we shall be damned if we do.' It places us in precisely the position as it did the Hebrews in the [45] fiery furnace and Daniel in the den of lions. The enemies of Daniel counseled together and said, `We cannot find any occasion against Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of God.' Our enemies have pursues the same course * * * and made it a law of offense to obey the laws of God. Now whom shall we obey--God or man? My voice is that we obey God. I will not desert my wives and my children and disobey the commandments of God for the sake of accommodating the public clamor of a nation STEEPED IN SIN AND RIPENED IN THE DAMNATION OF HELL." (Mill. Star Vol. 41, pp. 242-3.

In 1889 George Q. Cannon is quoted as saying:

"The people of the world do not believe in breeding, but we do. So the people of the world will die out and we will fill the whole earth. I admit that those raising children by plural wives are not complying with man made laws, but in the sight of God they are not sinning, as there is no sin in it." --Smoot Investigation, Vol. 1, p. 9.

Heber Bennion

Heber Bennion, in his Supplement to Gospel Problems (page 80), sums up the matter thus:

"To claim that we cannot be true Latter day Saints without strict obedience to every law of the land, irrespective of its justice and constitutionality, is not consistent; it is not true. Daniel would not do it, nor his three Hebrew brethren, and they were indeed true Former-day Saints. Hundreds of Latter-day Saints have gone to prison because they would not do it. President John Taylor died a martyr in exile rather than do it, and men were dropped from their positions in the Church because they promised to obey the law of the land. Joseph F. Smith would not do it, but went on the underground for years, and had eleven children born after the manifesto, by five mothers."

Such evidences of righteous disregard for the laws of the land might be added ad libitum.

As to the Woodruff Manifesto, which is so strongly relied upon by the present Church leaders, as evidence that God actually suspended the practice of plural marriage, there is not one feature of that noted document that savors of "thus saith the Lord." It was formerly claimed by [46] many to be a revelation from the Lord, and now, by the Church leaders, is designated as "an inspired rule of action." But "inspired" from what source and by what influences? A similar document had been presented to President John Taylor in 1886 for his endorsement. He placed the matter before the Lord and received the following revelation:

Revelation of 1886

"My Son John: You have asked me concerning the New and Everlasting Covenant and how far it is binding upon my people. Thus saith the Lord: All commandments that I give must be obeyed by those calling themselves by my name, unless they are revoked by me or by my authority, and how can I revoke an everlasting covenant, for I the Lord am everlasting and my everlasting covenants cannot be abrogated nor done away with, BUT THEY STAND FOREVER.

"Have I not given my word in great plainness on this subject? Yet have not great numbers of my people been negligent in the observance of my law and the keeping of my commandments, and yet have I borne with them these many years, and this because of their weakness--because of the perilous times, and furthermore, it is more pleasing to me that men shall use their free agency in regard to these matters. Nevertheless I the Lord do not change and my word and my covenants and my law do not and as I have heretofore said by my servant Joseph: `All those who would enter into my glory MUST AND SHALL obey my law,' and have I not commanded men that if they were Abraham's seed and would enter into my glory they must do the works of Abraham. I HAVE NOT REVOKED THIS LAW NOR WILL I, for it is everlasting, and those who will enter into my glory must obey the conditions thereof. Even so. Amen." Celestial Marriage 3rd Ed, p. 20.

It can be of little comfort for the present Church leaders to claim that the above revelation is not to be found in the archives of the Church or in the records thereof, or that "from the personal knowledge of SOME of us, from the uniform and common recollection of the presiding quorums of the Church, from the absence in the Church archives of any evidence whatsoever justifying any belief [47] that such a revelation was given, we are justified in affirming that no such revelation exists," as stated in the "Official Statement." The "Statement" reads: "From the PERSONAL knowledge of SOME OF US * * * we are justified in affirming that no such revelation exists." But what of the "personal knowledge" of those not included in the category of "SOME OF US"? They must surely have knowledge of such a revelation, otherwise the "Statement" would more properly have read, "From the personal knowledge of ALL OF US," etc. Those who admittedly have knowledge of such a revelation should, in the interest of clarity, come forth and tell what they know concerning it.

It is a fact that the revelation quoted was received by President John Taylor and by him reduced to writing, and copies of the same were given to several of the brethren by President Taylor, witnesses of which being yet alive (1933). And it is also a fact that the revelation has been presented and discussed before the quorums of the First Presidency and Apostles. Who later removed it from the archives of the Church, if it is not there now, is beside the question. It matters not. Suffice it to say that revelation stands forth in testimony against those who are now, being familiar with its import, repudiating it and rejecting the principle on which it treats.

At the time this revelation was received, President Taylor made many predictions, among which were:

"Some of you (speaking of those who were present at the time) will be handled and ostracized and be cast out from the Church by your brethren because of your faithfulness and integrity to this principle (plural marriage), and some of you may have to surrender your lives because of the same; but wo, wo, unto those who shall bring these troubles upon you." (Three of the men then present were handled and ostracized as predicted.)

He stated that the document (referring to the manifesto, being very similar to the one of 1890 which should follow, which [48] had been prepared for his signature) was from the lower regions.

He states the time would come when many of the Saints would apostatize because of this principle of plural marriage. He said: "One half of the people will apostatize over the principle for which we are now in hiding; yea, and possibly one half of the other half."

He said, "in the time of the seventh president of this Church, the Church will go into bondage both temporally and spiritually, and in that day the one "Mighty and Strong" spoken of in the 85th Section of the Doctrine and Covenants will come."

It was on the above occasion that President Taylor, under divine direction, set certain men apart, with power of perpetuity, to hold the sealing power necessary to perpetuate the principle of plural marriage among the faithful Saints whom God would impress to partake of its blessings. (For a more extended review of this matter the reader is referred to "A Leaf in Review," by Allred, chapter 32.

In November, 1889, President Wilford Woodruff was besieged by demands of a large number of Church members and outsiders to yield to the nation's demand that polygamy be discontinued among the Mormons. President Woodruff went to the Lord, as did President Taylor before him, and received a revelation of which the following are excerpts:

Revelation of 1889

"Thus saith the Lord to my servant Wilford: I, the Lord, have heard thy prayers and thy request and will answer thee by the voice of my spirit.

"Thus saith the Lord unto my servants the Presidency of my Church, who hold the keys of the Kingdom of God on the earth. I, the Lord, hold the destiny of the courts in your midst and the destiny of this nation and all other nations of the earth in mine own hands, and all that I have revealed and promised and decreed concerning the generation in which you live shall come to pass and no power shall stay my hand.

"Let not my servants who are called to the Presidency of my Church deny my word or my law (plural marriage) which concerns the salvation of the children of men. Let them pray for [49] the Holy Spirit which shall be given them to guide them in their acts. Place not yourselves in jeopardy to your enemies by promise. Your enemies seek your destruction and the destruction of my people. If the Saints will harken unto my voice and the courted of my servants the wicked shall not prevail.

"Let my servants who officiate as your counselors before the courts make their pleadings as they are moved upon by the Holy Spirit, WITHOUT ANY FURTHER PLEDGES FROM THE PRIESTHOOD. I, the Lord, will hold the courts, with the officers of government and the nation responsible for their acts toward the inhabitants of Zion. * * * I cannot deny my word, neither in blessing nor judgments. Therefore let mine anointed gird up their loins, watch and be sober and keep my commandments. "Celestial Marriage, by Broadbent, 3rd Edition, p. 16.

"Make no promises or pledges, but be faithful in living your religion" was the gist of God's word to Wilford Woodruff, as it had been in 1886 to John Taylor. "I cannot deny my word," "I have not revoked this law, nor will I," "All those who would enter into my glory must and shall obey my law", and "it is more pleasing unto me that men should use their free agency in regard to these matters", are the injunctions of the Lord to these two leaders; never a hint at surrendering. The Lord never surrenders.

Before twelve months had elapsed, however, from the time President Woodruff received the word of the Lord "to make no promises or pledges," a document prepared by committees comprising Mormons and bitter non-Mormons, called the Manifesto and addressed "TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN," was signed by Wilford Woodruff and is now referred to by the Church authorities as "an inspired rule of action." Previously John Taylor had referred to a similar document as "emanating from the evil one." Brigham Young had expressed the fear that the "order of plural marriage" would, after his death, be discontinued, in consequence of which "the Church could not advance as God wished for it to advance."

[50] Eternal Life the Price of Peace

That which inspired the issuance of the Manifesto was to be at peace with the world.

"To be at peace with the government and in harmony with their fellow citizens who are not of their faith, and to share in the confidence of the Government and the people, OUR PEOPLE HAVE VOLUNTARILY PUT ASIDE SOMETHING WHICH ALL THEIR LIVES THEY HAVE BELIEVED TO BE A SACRED PRINCIPLE," --See Smoot Investigation Vol 1, p. 18. Petition of the Church Leaders for Amnesty.

Peace was desired that statehood might come to Utah. Eternal life had been bartered for a few years of peace on earth! A saving principle had been surrendered! The principle of LIFE was blotted out in the choice of DEATH! Brigham Young had previously stated:

"The Lord gave a revelation through Joseph Smith, his servant; and we have believed and practiced it. Now, then, it is said that this must be done away before we are permitted to receive our place as a STATE IN THE UNION. * * * `Do you think that we shall ever be admitted as a State into the Union without DENYING THE PRINCIPLE OF POLYGAMY?' IF WE ARE NOT ADMITTED UNTIL THEN, WE SHALL NEVER BE ADMITTED." --See Journal of Discourses Vol. 11, p. 269.

Polygamy was denied--bartered off for statehood!

The Saints wanted peace! And yet they had been told by their great leader, Brigham Young:

* * * "There never has been a time on the face of the earth, from the time that the Church went to destruction, and the Priesthood was taken from the earth, that the powers of darkness and the powers of earth and hell were so embittered, and enraged, and incensed against God and Godliness on the earth, as they are at present AND WHEN THE SPIRIT OF PERSECUTION, THE SPIRIT OF HATRED, OF WRATH AND MALICE CEASES IN THE WORLD AGAINST THESE PEOPLE, IT WILL BE THE TIME THAT THIS PEOPLE HAVE APOSTATIZED AND JOINED HANDS WITH THE WICKED, AND NEVER UNTIL THEN; which I pray may never come." --Dis of B. Y. pp. 171-2.

[51] Covenant Breaker

Heber Bennion, in "Gospel Problems," characterized the Manifesto as the "covenant with death and hell" spoken of by Isaiah, Chap. 28. He says:

* * * * "In our great anxiety to avoid persecution and harmonize with the world we covenanted with the government that we would abandon plural marriage, not only future marriages, but the Manifesto should be as broad as the law, and include the past, or old plural marriages also * * * But the Lord disclaims having anything to do with this covenant, and further that it will not stand, but `be annulled.' He called it a `covenant with death and hell,' a covenant to break solemn and sacred covenants with plural wives (pp. 39-40)

Proceeding further, he states:

"The Manifesto is either a good covenant or a bad covenant. If it was a good covenant, why did not the leaders of Ephraim observe the covenant and keep it inviolate? The President of the Church and the President of the Twelve both testified under oath before the Smoot investigating committee that they broke this covenant, and lived in violation of both the laws of the land and of God. * * * They pleaded they could not keep this covenant with the government without breaking their most solemn and sacred covenants with their wives, and as both covenants could not be kept they preferred to keep their covenants with their wives and break the covenant with the government. * * *

"We have not only broken our covenant with the government in regard to the old plural marriages, but we have broken our covenant in regard to new marriages. Many of us have entered into the principle since the Manifesto, and many of the leaders, are living openly in this principle, are being sustained in high positions of responsibility in the Church, and we hear of no protest except from the leaders themselves. Surely we must all be drunken. Isaiah covers us with the mantle of charity when he designates us as the DRUNKARDS OF EPHRAIM" (pp 42, 44).

It cannot be contended that Heber Bennion was "out of harmony" when he published the above, or that he had been "handled" by the Church authorities. He died some time after in full fellowship, and at his funeral unusual eloquence was displayed by prominent Church speakers in eulogizing his courageous utterances and his devotion to the Church and its doctrines.

[52] It is true the Lord, after frequent importunings, permitted Wilford Woodruff to sign the Manifesto--the "agreement with death and hell." He had in the olden days permitted the children of Israel to reject a similar law, and had taken Moses and the Melchisedek Priesthood, including, of course, the Patriarchal order of marriage (for one cannot exist without the other) from their midst. Then when the people clamored for a king to govern them so they could be as other nations, the Lord, after warning them through his Prophet Samuel of the evil consequences of being ruled by mortal kings, gave them their desires. So, too, in the early days of the restored Gospel, Joseph Smith was permitted to intrust the first 116 pages of the Book of Mormon manuscript with Martin Harris, with disastrous result to the Prophet, at least temporarily. The Lord had told the Prophet twice not to do it, but upon the constant importuning of Martin, Joseph appealed to the Lord again and was given permission. So in 1886 the Prophet John Taylor asked the Lord if he should sign a manifesto pledging the Saints to observe the law. The answer was, NO. In 1889 the Prophet Wilford Woodruff again asked. The answer still was, NO. In 1890 he importuned again and was permitted to go ahead, but without divine favor.

But, mark you, while the holy Priesthood was withdrawn from the Church in the days of ancient Israel, the Church having rejected it, still God's prophets, Joshua, Samuel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and others were permitted to hold the Priesthood and operate under its functions. It was taken from the Church of Christ, but continued on earth through God's chosen servants until Jesus came to re-establish the Gospel. So while under Wilford Woodruff the Church, by its official action in accepting the Manifesto, rejected the order of plural marriage, God permitted it. In the apt words of Heber Bennion: [53] "The Saints wanted to be rid of the law of God and the persecutions and the unpopularity of it and be in harmony with the world, and God permitted them to go according to their desires. He is too charitable and liberal to force anything upon His children and permits them to have what they want, even though it may be wrong and contrary to His Holy Will." (Gospel Problems p. 46.) But in permitting this terrible catastrophe--this inestimable loss to the Church as an organization--he still, in his great mercy and love, permitted special dispensations wherein individuals who are willing to face the storms of the adversary and assume the consequences might enjoy the great saving gifts and blessings pertaining to the Patriarchal order of marriage. This was the very contingency provided for in the action of President John Taylor in 1886, referred to above, and it is the thing that will eventually save the Church and the world, notwithstanding the present opposition both from within and without.

Human Power Insufficient

As an excuse for the issuing of the "Manifesto" of 1890, the "Official Statement" says:

"It became evident that no HUMAN POWER could prevent the disintegration of the Church, except upon a pledge by its members to obey the laws which had been enacted prohibiting the practice of polygamy."

Admitted. There has, as a matter of fact, never been a time since creation and the fall in Eden that "human power" was able to stem the tide of prejudice and wickedness and save the Church from destruction. It was never anticipated that "human power" would be able to successfully combat the power of Satan. "Human power" did not save the three Hebrews from the fiery furnace, nor Daniel from the lions' den, but the power of God kept them from harm. These stalwart Former-day Saints defied [54] "human power"; neither kings nor executioners could move them to surrender. "If it be so," replied these Hebrew children, when the king offered them a pardon if they would "fall down and worship the image" and cease to worship their God.

"If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will NOT SERVE THY GODS nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up." --Daniel 3:17-18.

Better, in their minds, to even suffer death than deny their faith in God. The Lord had told Wilford Woodruff within less than a year of the signing of the "Manifesto" that "if the Saints will harken unto my voice and the counsel of my servants, the wicked SHALL NOT PREVAIL." In other words, God would fight the battles of the Saints. But the "wicked" did "prevail" and the "Manifesto" was signed. Had the leaders and the Saints been faithful and relied on the strength of the God of Israel, rather than on "human power," the Manifesto would not have been signed, and no doubt our enemies would have been subdued and Zion redeemed long since. As it is, the Church has been wandering in the wilderness of doubt and contention for over forty years and the coveted goal appears further from achievement today than it was forty years ago. The Church, as an organization, surrendered, leaving the work of keeping alive the divine principle of plural marriage on the shoulders of a few stalwart believers who had covenanted to sacrifice their all, if necessary, in maintaining the truth.

Manifesto Not Justified

Lacking other excuses for surrendering to the enemy, we frequently hide behind the word of the Lord as contained in Section 124:49-53, Doctrine and Covenants, as quoted in the "Official Statement." Here the Lord said:

[55] "Verily, verily, I say unto you, that when I give a commandment to any of the sons of men to do a work unto my name, and those sons of men go with all their might and with all they have to perform that work, and cease not their diligence, and their enemies come upon them and hinder them from performing that work, behold it behooveth me to require that work no more at the hands of those sons of men, but to accept of their offerings." * * *

"And these sons of men go with all their might and with all they have to perform that work, and cease not their diligence"--that was the requirement--to "go with all their might and cease not their diligence." Who familiar with the history of the Church as pertaining to the living of the principle of plural marriage will contend that the Saints did "go with all their might," etc.? It is claimed that only between two and three per centum of the Saints accepted the principle in practice since the action of the Church approving it in 1852. That surely could not be construed as "going with all your might," etc.

The revelation above referred to was no more intended to be applied to the principle of plural marriage than to the principle of faith or repentance or baptism or to secret prayer. Daniel was forbidden by legal decree to pray unto the Lord for thirty days. But he did "go forth with all his might and ceased not his diligence" to pray unto God the Eternal Father, and the Lord put the king's decree aside and exalted his servant Daniel. Had such a test of faith been required of the Saints in this day we greatly fear they would have sought shelter behind the revelation noted above, and ceased to pray.

That God did not intend the application of the revelation referred to (Sec. 124) to be attached to the principle of plural marriage is patent from the fact he told President John Taylor four years before the issuance of the "Manifesto" that "I the Lord am everlasting and my everlasting covenants CANNOT be abrogated nor done away with, but they STAND FOREVER. * * * I have not revoked [56] this law (the law of Celestial and Plural marriage), nor will I, for it is everlasting." And within ten months of the signing of the "Manifesto" the Lord told Wilford Woodruff not to make any promises or pledges to the enemy with respect to this sacred principle, promising His protective care if the Saints would "harken unto His voice."

The Edmunds Tucker law, providing not only for the prosecution of polygamous cases but also confiscating the property of the Church, was enacted in February, 1887, nearly three years before Wilford Woodruff was told of the Lord not to surrender, to "make no further promises or pledges." The Lord knew of that law and He advised the Church to ignore it. Nor can it be contended that the viciousness of the enemy in persecuting the Saints was any greater at the time of the signing of the "Manifesto" than when the Lord told His Saints through Wilford Woodruff not to make any promises--not to surrender. Surely had the Lord intended that the revelation above quoted (Sec. 124) to apply to the principle of plural marriage He would have indicated it by an appropriate rescinding order, instead of commanding the Saints to "carry on" with the promise that the "wicked would not prevail."

But knowing that a surrender of the great saving principle was imminent the Lord, through His servant John Taylor, made provision for its perpetuation, as explained previously, thus setting at rest FOR ALL TIME the silly notion that the "Manifesto" to come would be a revelation from God and would serve as a divine injunction against the further practice of Celestial and plural marriage.

Comparisons Made

The reader is invited to compare the Revelations of the Lord as given herein with the Manifesto of 1890, reproduced below:

[57] It has been obstinately contended that the "Manifesto" was a revelation from God to the Latter day Saints, discontinuing the practice of plural marriage. The difference in the "Thus saith the Lord" revelations and the "To Whom It May Concern" political statement is obvious, no similarity existing between the two sets of documents, and one would be dumb indeed who could not differentiate between them. As explained in these pages, the revelations were received and written by the Prophets of the Lord through whom they were given, while the "Manifesto" was prepared by a Committee of brethren, corrected by a Committee of bitter anti-Mormons, then signed by Wilford Woodruff and published as a "Manifesto" addressed, not to the Latter day Saints, but "To whom it may concern."

Official Declaration (Manifesto)

"TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

"Press dispatches having been sent for political purposes, from Salt Lake City, which have been widely published, to the effect that the Utah Commission, in their recent report to the Secretary of the Interior, allege that plural marriages are still being solemnized and that forty or more such marriages have been contracted in Utah since last June or during the past year, also that in public discourses the leaders of the Church have taught, encouraged and urged the continuance of the practice of polygamy--

"I, therefore, as President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, do hereby, in the most solemn manner, declare that these charges are false. We are not teaching polygamy or plural marriage, nor permitting any person to enter into its practice, and I deny that either forty or any other number of plural marriages have during that period, been solemnized in our Temples or in any other place in the Territory.

[58] "One case has been reported, in which the parties allege that the marriage was performed in the Endowment House, in Salt Lake City, in the spring of 1889, but I have not been able to learn who performed the ceremony; what ever was done in the matter was without my knowledge. In consequence of this alleged occurrence the Endowment House was, by my instructions, taken down without delay.

"Inasmuch as laws have been enacted by Congress forbidding plural marriages, which laws have been pronounced constitutional by the court of last resort, I hereby declare my intention to submit to those laws, and to use my influence with the members of the Church over which I preside to have them do likewise.

"There is nothing in my teachings to the Church or in those of my associates, during the time specified, which can be reasonably construed to inculcate or encourage polygamy; and when any Elder of the Church has used language which appeared to convey any such teaching he has been promptly reproved. And I now publicly declare that my advice to the Latter-day Saints is to refrain from contracting any marriage forbidden by the law of the land.

(Signed) "WILFORD WOODRUFF,

"President of the Church of Jesus

Christ of Latter-day Saints."

The Manifesto did not emanate from the Lord. It was not adhered to by those who chiefly sponsored it. It was not intended, when signed, to be regarded as a revelation from the Lord--but only a political document forced upon the Church by its bitterest enemies and who were known to be enemies of God. Its covenants have never been kept by the Church leaders, and now, even in face of the "Official Statement" referred to, it is being repudiated by retaining men in positions who have been and are now living in violation of its expressed meaning.

[59] On the other hand, God's work is going on. The Patriarchal order of marriage is being lived in its fulness. Children are being born under the covenant. Faithful men are pledged to use their God given rights to see that this divine principle is taught to and practiced by those of the Saints who are not afraid to lay down their lives in defense of the truth. It cannot be stopped by mortal power. Penitentiary walls or priestly castigations will avail nothing. The work will go on and God will be glorified.

 

[60] CHAPTER III.

LIARS, APOSTATES AND ADULTERERS

Liars

If evidence were required to prove that the "Woodruff Manifesto," with its long line of offspring manifestos, as referred to in the "Official Statement" of June 17th, 1933, fulfilled Isaiah's "agreement with death and hell" prediction (Isaiah Chap. 28), it should not be necessary to go further than to point out the evils that have sprung from it; the bitterness it has engendered among the Saints and the lame apologies that have been attempted in its behalf. Brethren who had toiled together in an holy friendship and brotherhood, during the dark days of anti-Mormon hatred and persecution, now are engaged in casting vile epithets at one another; the sacred pulpit is being used as a safety screen, while the ill tempered and ungentlemanly adjectives--liars, apostates and adulterers--are being hurled into space, to strike their venomous fangs into the hearts of the children of God. That document has completely dethroned charity, the greatest of all gifts, and has arrayed friend against friend, father against son, daughter against mother and house against house. Surely something must be wrong. It cannot be the spirit of the meek and lowly Christ to seek to destroy ones fellow men because of a difference of belief. The mobocrats of Missouri and Illinois were moved by the same spirit. They were not willing merely to differ from the Saints in their religious views, but felt called upon to force their views on the unfortunate Mormons or exterminate them. It ceased to be a case of "live and let live"--rather it was "live as we do or get out!" And that is just the spirit which has developed during the past forty-three years since the issuance of the [61] Manifesto. Brethren have formed themselves into committees of spies--common informers--to spy on their relatives and erstwhile friends. They have cast wicked anathema upon them from the pulpits; have forbidden them the sacramental solace, cast them from the Churches and the Temples, and sought by devious hellish means to prevent them earning a livelihood in their professions and trades. Why such intolerance? Surely such a spirit does not emanate from God. One of the present leaders, whose father was driven from Nauvoo for believing the Gospel and living it, recently expressed himself with reference to his brethren and sisters with whom he differed on the subject of marriage: "I shall rejoice when the government officials put a few of these (people who are living in polygamy according to their sincere understanding of righteousness) in the county jail or the state penitentiary." Think of a man rejoicing at sight of his fellow men behind prison bars their wives and children left to beg or starve; gloating over the distress of the innocent! And this same leader, suiting action to word, later exacted a pledge from all the Church in conference assembled, to devote their means and use their utmost efforts to see that those differing from them on the subject of marriage are prosecuted not only in the Church courts, but by the civil authorities. (See Conference proceedings of April 4, 5, 6, 1931.) And this man's father and brethren and sisters were driven, at the point of bayonets, across the dreary plains in quest of an asylum where they could think and live in freedom--driven by those who refused to accord them the divine right of worshipping God according to the dictates of their conscience! What are the fruits of this fanatical attitude? Here is one specimen: Not long since a Mormon detective, under the pay of the city, snooped around the premises of a hard working man who engaged at odd jobs in his efforts to support a large family of beautiful children and their mothers. He was living his life [62] meekly, minding his own business and injuring no man. The testimony of the Gospel burnt deeply in his soul and he "loved his neighbor as himself," always showing a willingness to bear the burdens of the less fortunate. He was singularly free from hatred and vindictiveness. The mantle of charity abundantly covered his life. The detective claimed to have been assigned to the unsavory work by an Apostle of the Church. Having prepared his case to prove that this man was supporting the mothers and children of more than one family and bestowing the blessings of a father and husband on them, a warrant was sworn to and the man was arrested and cast into prison. Prison bars, as President John Taylor had predicted some years before, snatched the loving father, the faithful husband and the humble Latter-day Saint from the home hearth and sought to throw the family, in destitution, upon a cold community for subsistence.

When the day of trial came--arrayed against this man of meekness were a number of Church members, three Stake Presidents and a leading Apostle of the Church. They were gathered in the stuffy courtroom ready to testify against the prisoner. In their pharisaical purity and loyalty to the institutions of the country, which country the prophets of God had previously pronounced as intolerably rotten, they had arrayed their priestly powers against this unoffending family unit, determined on placing the father in the penitentiary, as the leader above referred to had forced a pledge from his sleeping flock to do!

God be thanked that the judge on the bench could not be cajoled into abetting the plot and completing the tragedy.

Before going to trial that morning the prisoner had worshiped in prayer. He reminded the Lord of His promise to Wilford Woodruff that if the Saints would not surrender, but remain true and faithful, they need have no fear of their enemies, as He (God) would fight their [63] battles for them. "Now Lord," he said, "I have to the best of my ability and wisdom which thou hast given me been faithful. I will never surrender the principle which has brought me to this prison. The battle is yours." Before going into the courtroom the attorney asked his client, the prisoner, where his witnesses were. He replied that he had none, that God would fight the battle for him. And God did fight the battle. The brother was released, may it be said, to the deep humiliation and disappointment of the ecclesiastical witnesses who were prepared to push the law's demands to the limit, claiming, in the name of the law, "the pound of flesh"! And this was in answer to the pledge exacted of the people! It was an abortive effort to bring rejoicing to the heart of the leader who had said: "I shall rejoice when the government officials put a few of these (polygamists) in the county jail or the state penitentiary."

But who are the liars? Heber Bennion says we have broken our covenants with the Government.

"Many of us have entered this principle (of plural marriage) since the Manifesto, and many of the LEADERS, living openly in this principle, are being sustained in high positions of responsibility in the Church."

Heber Bennion was in a position to know what he was talking about, being for a long time a leading Bishop in the Church and then a High Counselor in one of the leading Stakes.

The very nature of the Manifesto was to breed liars. The interpretation placed upon it by its authors, being to bind the Saints to conform to all laws, would force husbands to abandon their wives and children. No man possessing an ounce of honor would do it, and yet all were pledged to do that very thing. The document made a requirement as fatal in its consequences, if complied with, as the decree of Nebuchadnezzar requiring the three [64] Hebrew children to worship an idol God or the law of King Darius which sought to force Daniel into a like predicament. Men were either forced to falsify the truth or go to prison; and many of them, in their weakness, chose the former. To "lie," under the circumstances, was not sin. "What can they (the leaders) expect of us now," said a high Church official to the writer, "we have been taught to lie from the cradle to the grave." Then if a bunch of "liars" have been developed in the Church, who is to blame? Surely not those whose lives are on the altar in their determination to live the fulness of the light as revealed by the Lord and as they are directed to do. And even should a "white fib" be told to keep a man and his family from being destroyed, wouldn't it be a saintly deed? Theodore Roosevelt was once said to remark to the effect that there were over a hundred and fifty kinds of white lies, but only one Bible lie: "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor." Lincoln, when asked if he would keep his promises, is said to have answered "Yes" to all his good promises but "No" to all his bad promises. Father Adam chose the lesser of two evils, and that is just what many of the Saints are doing today--they chose to obey God rather than man.

Then why continue to hurl, with hateful malice, the terrible invective--LIAR--at one another, just because of a difference of opinion? And then, too, men living in glass houses should not throw stones. Surely in carrying on this fight the deep philosophy of Mormonism is not being impressed on the unbelieving world. Give the true Gospel a chance!

Apostates

This is another favorite term of those who are seeking to evade the full responsibility of standing by the fulness of the Gospel. We hear and read so much about men being apostates because they are not in harmony with [65] present Church policies. And each day these so called apostates teach their families and associates that the Gospel as revealed through Joseph Smith and the other prophets of God is true and cannot be taken from or added to by man. The large majority of these alleged "apostates" conduct family prayers, set apart their tithing for the support of the poor, observe the "Word of Wisdom" and are living up to every principle of the Gospel revealed to date, so far as it may be possible for them to do so. They recognize in the present leadership of the Church men having special work to perform and consistently pray that they may have the strength to accomplish their missions. They sustain the present Church organization and look forth with implicit faith to the time, now near at hand, when the Church will be set in order in accordance with the 85th Section of the Doctrine and Covenants. The dictionary defines an "apostate" as one who forsakes his faith, or religion, or principles. Surely, if such is "apostasy," the man and woman who are pitting their lives against the adversary in their determination to live the fulness of the Gospel cannot be classed among the apostates. Let us again consider the views of Heber Bennion. He said:

"When men are cut off the Church for wickedness, they become reprobate and go from bad to worse, but when cut off without good cause the Lord will not forsake them. Nothing but our own sins can cut us off, or come between us and the Lord. The Priesthood has no power in unrighteousness.

"Therefore, cutting people off the Church for believing that President Woodruff fulfilled the prediction of Isaiah regarding the "covenant with death and hell," with the Manifesto, is equal to cutting people off the Church for believing that Joseph Smith fulfilled the prophecy, and sinned, by letting Martin Harris have the 116 pages of manuscript of the Book of Mormon." * * * --Gospel Problems. pp. 45-6.

It is a well known fact that the men and women who are being called "apostates" because of their plural marriage views and actions are among the best blood of the twentieth [66] Century. They are, as a rule, humble, prayerful and faithful. Their lives are pure and in a large sense unselfish. They conform to Mormon's definition of good as recorded in the Seventh Chapter of Moroni, Book of Mormon, which in part says:

"For behold, a bitter fountain cannot bring forth good water neither can a good fountain bring forth bitter water; wherefore a man being a servant of the devil cannot follow Christ; and if he follow Christ he cannot be a servant of the devil.

"Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and to do that which is evil continually.

"But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, everything which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve Him, is inspired of God.

"Wherefore, take heed, my beloved brethren, that ye do not judge that which is evil to be of God, or that which is good and of God to be of the devil.

"For behold, my brethren, it is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night.

"For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for everything which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God." --Mormon 7:11-16.

Let a woman place herself under the operation of the "law of Sarah," as many are doing in entering into Celestial marriage, and it goes without saying that she is guided by the highest motives and ideals. She must of necessity be overcoming her selfishness. If you do not believe it--you monogamous wives--suppose you try it. Invite your husbands to do as Abraham did, in opposition to the laws and customs of his day--take other wives. Just give your-[67]selves a testing out. Shame on you, to call your sisters "apostates" for being willing to live the "law of Sarah"! And these men "apostates," so called, who, because of the haughty attitude of their brethren, have largely become men of sorrow; men who are staggering under tremendous loads and yet who have dedicated their all to the upbuilding of God's Kingdom and are successfully, in face of the terrible opposition, living the "law of Abraham"! The already thorny path of these resolute men and women is made more so by the uncharitable thrusts of their neighbors and brethren. Men of sorrow, seeking salvation by living the whole law, and then hounded, imprisoned, derided and falsely accused by those who, as shepherds of the flock, should protect them and, if possible, lead them to a better light!

In the Church article of June 17, 1933, there is mentioned:

"A secret and, according to reputation, an oath-bound organization of misguided individuals is seeking to lead the people to adopt adulterous relations under the guise of a pretended and false polygamous or plural marriage ceremony."

Not having heard of such an organization before and knowing nothing concerning it now except the information given in the "Official Statement," we are at a loss to know whom the organization comprises and where it is located. We hold no brief for people who are seeking to lead their fellow men into adulterous relations. The defense that we are sponsoring is of people who, under the sanction of God, are maintaining their right to live the Patriarchal order of marriage as defined by the Prophets, Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Lorenzo Snow and Joseph F. Smith, and scores of others. It is this class of people that the Prophet Isaiah doubtless referred to (see Chap. 66:5):

"Hear the word of the Lord, ye that tremble at His word your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's [68] sake said, Let the Lord be glorified: But He (the Lord) shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed."

Brethren ponder deeply Isaiah's charge before casting any more stones.

Adulterers

This is a mean and ugly word. The writer recalls that during his early boyhood and manhood days he was taught that to commit adultery was next in seriousness, in God's sight, to the crime of murder. He grew up with that conviction, which has guided his life thus far. To lead an adulterous life is to lead a wicked life. Men who have entered into the sacred principle of Celestial and plural marriage, under the highest and purest possible motives, and whose lives are sin-spotless, are being charged from pulpit and press with having adopted adulterous living. Surely there must be some terrible mistake!

Charles W. Penrose, who stated that Celestial marriage and plural marriage were the same, "the two being indissolubly interwoven with each other," later, at the October Conference of 1918, stated that the keys to the sealing powers by which men were permitted to enter into plural marriage had been turned by Wilford Woodruff, consequently no such marriage since the time of the issuance of the Manifesto was legal or proper. According to Elder Penrose, it is plainly evident that there has not been a case of plural marriage, properly or legally performed, since the issuance of the Manifesto and its acceptance by the Church. And yet it is conceded, even in the "Official Statement" of June 17, 1933, that such marriages have taken place since the Manifesto and have been sponsored and entered into by leading Church authorities. The statement says:

"Notwithstanding this covenant (the Manifesto) a few mis-guided members of the Church, some of whom had been signers of the petition praying for amnesty, and beneficiaries of its pro-[69]visions, secretly associated themselves together for the avowed purpose of perpetuating the practice of polygamous or plural marriage in defiance of the pledge made to the government, of the terms of the Enabling Act, and of the provisions of the State Constitution to which they had sworn allegiance.

The statement might have added further that one of the signers of the petition for amnesty proclaimed publicly, long years after the Manifesto, that he intended continuing talking wives until he could get sons to perpetuate his name in the earth, and for which statement he went into hiding in a foreign country to evade the demands of the law.

Now, who were the signers of the "petition praying for amnesty" They were, according to the records, the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles. It is plainly evident that the men referred to as forming the "secret" combination, were men of this group, and it was these men, only one of whom is yet alive (the present leader of the Church), who encouraged the Saints into adulterous living, according to the present interpretation of the situation. And what of the hundreds of cases of "illegal" (according to Elder Penrose) plural marriages, where the men and women involved held, and still hold high and commanding positions in the Church? Is it admitted that the Church is being partly officered by men living adulterous lives? If the keys were turned by the issuance of the Manifesto, the cases of plural marriage entered into immediately thereafter, or a month, a year, ten or twenty years after, are just as illegal as those being entered into now. It will not be contended that the statute of limitations runs in such cases and that time legalizes and purifies an adulterous union. Either, then, declare all such marriages illegal or let them all alone. Let the difficulty be settled between the people involved and their God. There is no necessity for human intervention.

The above is another proof of the Manifesto covenant being an "agreement with death and hell," as stated by [70] Isaiah (Chap. 28). It has jumbled things terribly. It has led the Church into no end of trouble. No revelation of the Lord could be so confusing. The Lord's ways are straight, not crooked. As the situation now stands under this bad covenant, as Heber Bennion classed it, hundreds of faithful men and women have, in perfectly good faith, embraced the principle of plural marriage; have raised large and honorable families, their children now being active in Church and State--leading lights, some of them, in the nation. Yet a portion of these good people are, according to the present Church interpretation? living adulterous lives; their children are bastards and the parents are apostates! While those of the same class who have not been apprehended and handled are classed as respectable and continue in responsible positions in the Church! Think of it--bastards! If such a charge be true, then leading Church officials themselves are fathering "bastard" offspring!

We recall a case of an active worker being "cut off" from the Church, if such an action could be taken, for a plural marriage deed, and that the Stake President who presided at the trial(?) and pronounced the judgment of excommunication was at the time guilty of exactly the same offense, except that there was a slight variation in time. Fie upon such mockery! This same brother who was excommunicated and is classed as an apostate and adulterer, in face of all the abuse heaped upon him, consented to three of his children filling missions for the Church, all at the same time, and struggled to maintain them there. And they say he is living an adulterous life and has apostatized! The mobocrats of Missouri and Nauvoo cried ADULTERY against the Prophet and his faithful followers. Men so vile in their sexual lives as to be unfitted for a decent place in hell, hurling such vile invectives at the Prophet and people of God! Thus it has always been.

[71] Who are these present-day "adulterers," so called? They are among the best men and women living. They have placed their all on the altar. They are bringing forth offspring to the glory of God. These covenant children are growing up bright eyed, clean and in the strength of the God of Israel, destined to rock to the foundations the tottering structure being builded by a wavering Priesthood who in one moment bastardize the children and in the next use the same children in strengthening their organizations! Women whose lives are as pure as the driven snow, with motives high as those of the exalted Mary, bearing the burdens of repeated motherhood, abhorring "birth control" methods and forever thanking God for the fruits of the womb--women offering life for life, humble, patient, courageous, pure and sweetly holy, castigated by their selfish monogamous kindred as adulteresses! Shame! A thousand shames on such hypocrisy! Don't you remember that Mary herself was thus accused, pregnant and yet not married to the author of that pregnancy, according to the law of the land! Mary, the wife of God, was accused of adultery, as women of like nature are being accused today!

A few years ago, when a like situation arose, the writer called the attention of the Church leader to a thirteen page closely typewritten document which was being circulated among the girls of the L. D. S. University. The document, it was understood, was prepared by a leading nurse and purported to be a scientific treatise on how to avoid the consequences of sexual intercourse. In its alluring pages the latest development in scientific "child murder" was discussed and advocated without reservation or show of shame. The document was replete with detailed descriptions of the French and other up-to-date methods of aborting nature, and all dished up in a style calculated to make the very strongest appeal to the daughters of the Latter-day Saints, and thereby assisting them in becoming "modern."

[72] We know of nothing having been done in this matter to correct the situation, but we do know that certain women were at the same time handled by Church authorities for daring to become mothers in the sacred relationship of plural marriage, and that no better women are to be found in the land!

What is adultery? A married man having sexual relations with another man's wife is an adulterer. A married woman having such relations with a man other than her husband is an adulteress. It is the mixing of foreign seeds, an adulteration brought about by sexual promiscuity. According to God's laws, Celestial marriage for time and eternity are the only marriages recognized. Other marriages are contracts of convenience, lasting only until death parts the participants. Since, then, God recognizes only the one marriage, are all who marry out of the covenant to be classed as adulterers? If not, why call it adultery because a man takes two wives, even though the Church is not a party to the transaction? The Bible teaches polygamy and many are living in that relationship today wholly upon authority of Holy Writ. Many of these people recognize no Church authority either to ratify or annul such a ceremony. Are they, then, adulterers? If so, what makes them such--the law of the land or the edict of an apostate Church? The Bible taught them the principle and did not forbid them entering it. The law makers, professing to believe the Bible and follow its teachings, pass laws annulling the Bible doctrine of marriage, and that, according to modern ecclesiastical thought, defines adulterous living; and yet the same men who assume such an anomaly today but a few years back were just as vehement in denouncing the laws proscribing polygamy and declaring them unconstitutional, although the Supreme Court of the United Sates had declared them constitutional. What a maze of contradictions!

[73] Who among mortals is to say just whom a man shall marry or who may choose a certain man? Who must remain "old maids" and childless and who shall have the blessings of wifehood and motherhood? Who shall have the privilege of living the Celestial law and be exalted "above the angels," while others of the same family, equally faithful and desirous, are deprived of such blessings and must forfeit their chance for salvation? What woman dare say to her sister: "I have found my choice and have been crowned with honorable wifehood and motherhood, but you, sister, have no right to marry the man of your choice, even though he be willing to receive you, because he already has a wife"? What man is competent to deny his sister the marital privilege with the man of her choice, while he himself has enjoyed a like privilege? "Whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God. For marriage is ordained of God unto man." --Jesus.

It is related by good authority--a living witness that some years ago an honorable non-Mormon from the state of Pennsylvania, with one of his wives, visited President Joseph F. Smith in Salt Lake City. In the conversation that followed he divulged the fact that he was a polygamist, living with and raising families by two women, they themselves agreed and in perfect harmony with the arrangement. He claimed he did so by authority of the Holy Bible, and that he was only one of a number of men in his community following a like course. After this gentleman had left with the blessing of President Smith, the President stated to those present and who had heard the conversation, "That man will receive a higher reward and exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom of God than many so called Latter-day Saints, for he is living a higher law, according to the best light he has, while they are rejecting that law."

One could scarcely call this good non-Mormon an adulterer for having married two pure women and raising [74] children by them, though his marriage was only for "time." He was living according to the light he possessed and in accordance with Bible teaching. He could not commit adultery with those good women, for they had "vowed to no other men" (D. & C. 132:61) and they were virgins. And while the ceremony uniting them was not the enduring ceremony that lasts throughout eternity, so far as he had gone he was justified. He could no more commit adultery with those women than a man married monogamously by the law of the land could do with his legal wife. President Smith, in expressing approval of the man's course, also took occasion to teach him the law of the Lord as pertaining to marriage. He did not hurl the threat of damnation at him, he could not do this, for he was a man of God and understood the law.

"Joseph Smith received a commandment from the Lord," said B. H. Roberts, "to introduce this order of marriage (plural marriage) into the Church, and on the strength of that revelation, and not by reason of anything that is written in the Jewish Scriptures, the Latter-day Saints practice plural marriage. Polygamy is not adultery, for were it so considered then Abraham, Jacob and the Prophets who practiced it would not be allowed an inheritance in the Kingdom of Heaven, and if polygamy is not adultery, then it cannot be classed as a sin at all." --Improvement Era, May, 1898.

Polygamy is not adultery; neither the polygamy enjoined upon the Children of Israel by the laws of Moses, the polygamy that Abraham was commanded to receive, or the polygamy as revealed by the Lord to his Prophet Joseph Smith, which latter is the polygamy that is being lived by many faithful men and women, who are charged by the present Church leaders with living adulterous lives.

Why, then, do the present leaders revel in the unsavory charges of adultery, casting vile epithets from the pulpit and press at God-fearing men and women who are living a divine principle of the Gospel according to the light they possess men and women to whom virtue is dearer than life itself, and who humbly and meekly travel along life's [75] rugged pathway bearing the taunts and insults of those who should, as keepers of the flock, seek, if it is seen they are going wrong, to nourish them back unto a fulness of life? How can such men pose as divine leaders and yet "rejoice when the government officials put a few of these (polygamists) in the county jail or the state penitentiary" for living a law of God in accordance with their best understanding of the matter? Could a man of God, possessing the spirit of his office and calling, rejoice in the misery and suffering of his fellow men who are equally honest in their manner of living? Is that the Gospel? Is that the example that Jesus set?

Priesthood Defined

The "Official Statement" reads:

"There is but one person on the earth at a time upon whom the keys of this sealing ordinance are conferred (meaning the authority to bind upon earth with a covenant which will be binding in heaven). That man is the presiding High Priest, the President of the Church."

In His revelation upon the subject, the Lord, speaki ng of the sealing authority, said:

"And I have appointed unto my servant Joseph to hold this power (to seal for time and eternity) in the last days, and there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this Priesthood are conferred." --D. & C. 132:7.

These instructions from the Lord are consistent with all his revelations upon the subject There must ever be a head--one who holds the "keys" of the Priesthood. But we deny that he who may be chosen in the routine of precedence to preside over the Church is always the "presiding High Priest" referred to, or the one who necessarily holds the "keys" of the Priesthood and to the sealing power. The Doctrine and Covenants, 124:123, as also 132:7, clearly indicates that Joseph Smith, in the beginning, was that "one man" holding those "keys" but to be "a presiding [76] Elder over all my Church" (124:125) is to hold a delegated authority or office which is an appendage to that authority which rightfully holds the keys of the Priesthood (107:5). Such an Elder is to be one of three Presiding High Priests forming a quorum of the Presidency of the Church (D.& C., 107:22).

Under date of May 26th, 1843, Joseph Smith records:

"At 5 p. m. I met in council in the upper room with my Bother Hyrum, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards, Judge James Adams, Bishop Newell K. Whitney and Wm. Law and gave them their endowments and also instructions in the Priesthood on the New and Everlasting Covenant, etc."

The nature of the "endowments and instructions" mentioned by the Prophet is more fully outlined in the paragraph following in the record:

"It afforded Joseph great joy and relief to be able to bestow these blessings upon his brethren, faithful men, whom he had tried and proved and who never deserted him nor flinched in the hour of temptation and danger. He now felt that the responsibility and care no longer rested upon himself alone, for he had bestowed upon them (the seven men mentioned) the KEYS OF THE PRIESTHOOD, THE SAME THAT HE HIMSELF HELD, and whatever might happen to him there were others now who had the authority to step forth and build up the Kingdom of God on the earth and to perform all the ordinances thereof." --Historical Record, p. 515.

The body of men above mentioned, as will as the body of men to whom God spoke in giving the revelation known as Section 84 of the Doctrine and Covenants, as also the body of men mentioned in the History of the Church, Vol. 5, pp. 1-2, each constituted a body of "Presiding High Priests," the senior by ordination (Joseph Smith) being the "one man" referred to above (132:7). Men of this order of Priesthood are all chosen by God himself, and are called to this responsibility by direct revelation, through their senior, the "one man." They are God's High Priests, even the body of "Presiding High Priests" that appoints [77] and ordains when it is done in proper order, the Presidency of the Church; and this Presidency of the Church is to be "upheld by the confidence, faith and prayer of the Church" (107:22). Let us here note that the personnel of the body of whom Joseph Smith writes as also the other bodies referred to above, was not confined to any particular group of Church office holders. The groups included the presiding Patriarch, members of the Presidency and Twelve, the presiding Bishop and at least one, Judge James Adams, who participated in none of these important Church offices; yet these men were coequal in the Priesthood, the only distinction being that of seniority in ordination, they holding jointly the keys of the Priesthood, and this independent of the Church and without limitation of office. Having had the fulness conferred upon them, they were given the necessary "authority to step forth and build up the Kingdom of God on the earth and perform all the ordinances thereof." Historical Record p. 515.)

It should also be remembered that the personnel of the group named in the Historical Record above referred to, is identical with one exception (which can be accounted for), with the group referred to in Church History, although the record of each group was dated one year apart, thus denoting the continuity of a council--a council that will be extant so long as the Priesthood remains on earth.

"Those holding the fullness of the Melchisedek Priesthood are Kings and priests of the Most High God, holding the keys of power and blessings! In fact, that Priesthood is a perfect law of theocracy, and stands as God to give laws to the people, administering endless lives to the sons and daughters of Adam." --Gems of Joseph Smith, Compendium, 1882, pp. 279-280.

It isn't consistent with the idea of a Theocracy--government from above--for men holding a lesser office, as that of the Twelve and which is simply an appendage, to appoint and ordain to a higher office. That procedure would be government from below. The Government of [78] God must of necessity come from above and, to be consistent, we must look for a chosen body of the Priesthood, a body to which the Church, through its presiding officers, is subject; the same as the Kingdom, as a separate organization functioning in things political, is subject. For further information as to how men are chosen (and their powers) to this body of Presiding High Priests to hold jointly the keys to Priesthood, the reader is referred to Key to Theology, pages 66-70, Fifth Edition; also to Genesis (Inspired Translation) 14:26-33, which latter is also to be found in Mediation and Atonement, by John Taylor, page 85.

As before stated, the senior man, by ordination to this order of the Priesthood, is the "one man" above referred to, and who may or may not be appointed and ordained by the body to the office of Presidency of the Church. Thus it is clear that the President of the Church may or may not be that "one man," holding the keys of the Priesthood, that is directly responsible to God and to whom God looks for the proper exercise of His power on earth.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is simply a vehicle used by the Priesthood for the accomplishment of certain ends, and is, in connection with the Kingdom of God on earth, subject to this body of Priesthood. In fact, this body that holds jointly the keys of the Priesthood are the "Church and Kingdom and the elect of God" (D. &. C. 84:33-4). because they are the power of them--GOD@S POWER ON EARTH. The idea, then, that the President of the Church necessarily holds these keys to Priesthood is a fallacy that is leading many of the Saints into error. The Lord has made it clear that the several offices in the Church, including the office of presidency of the High Priesthood of the Church, are only appendages to the Priesthood and not the Priesthood itself (D. & C. 107:5). Brigham Young said on this point:

[79] "Perhaps it may make some of you stumble were I to ask you a question: Does a man's being a Prophet in this Church prove that he shall be the President of it? I answer, No! A man may be a Prophet, Seer and Revelator, and it may have nothing to do with his being the President of the Church. Suffice it to say that Joseph was the President of the Church, as long as he lived; He always filled that responsible position by the voice of the people. * * * The keys of the Priesthood were committed to Joseph to build up the Kingdom of God on the earth, and were not to be taken from him in time or in eternity, BUT WHEN HE WAS CALLED (strictly speaking, sustained) TO PRESIDE OVER THE CHURCH, IT WAS BY THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE, though he held the keys of the Priesthood independent of their voice." --Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 213.

Thus it is clearly shown that a President of the Church, being sustained by the "voice of the people," may not be the "one man" who holds the keys of the Priesthood. The particular function of holding the "sealing blessings of my Church" was delegate to the office of Patriarch, which office was held by Hyrum Smith, who, of course, functioned in the same under Joseph Smith, who held, and always will hold, as pertaining to this earth, the keys to the Priesthood, which comprehends all the offices in both the Church and Kingdom of God.

The present leader of the Church must understand this order, for he has repeatedly stated in public addresses, and truthfully, that he has no authority to perform what is known as a plural marriage ceremony, and further, that the authority is not on the earth today; consequently he could not have the "keys" to that order of the Priesthood, for one holding such "keys" obviously possesses the authority.

One such statement is herewith quoted from the Deseret News issue of April 7th, 1921, second section, p. 6:

"President Grant said he had been told that an elder had said Heber J. Grant had not the authority to say plural marriages could not be performed, that God gave the principle and only God could take it away. God has [80] taken it away, said President Grant; the right to perform plural marriages is not on the earth today."

The statement that "God has taken it (the principle of plural marriage) away" and "the right to perform plural marriage is not on the earth today" is tantamount to saying that the Priesthood pertaining to the sealing ordinance has been taken from the earth and cannot be exercised by man. And yet the "Official Statement" says:

"The keys of the sealing ordinances (that is, the authority, among other things, to seal women to men both in the monogamic and plural order of marriage) rest today solely in President Heber J. Grant, having so passed to him by the ordination prescribed by the Lord, at the hands of those having the authority to pass them, and whose authority has never been taken away by the Lord, nor suspended, nor interfered with by the Church."

If these keys and the right to perform plural marriages were taken from the earth, so they could not function here, in April, 1921 (or by that time), when the above statement was made, how and when were they returned to earth and conferred on President Grant as outlined in the "Official Statement" above quoted? And if so returned, for what purpose if not to be exercised? But we are now given to understand that these "keys" were not taken from the earth nor proscribed by the Church, but that they passed to President Grant in an orderly manner and "at the hands of those having the authority to pass them, and whose authority has never been taken away by the Lord, NOR SUSPENDED, nor interfered with by the Church." And yet, in 1921, the President stated that "God had, taken it (the principle of plural marriage) away" and that the right to perform plural marriages "was not on the earth."

Which statement does the President wish us to believe? Neither of them is true. God has not taken the principle [81] of plural marriage away, nor the right to perform such ceremonies. Man tried to take it away, but did not succeed, neither has the President of the Church the "keys" of the Priesthood pertaining to this sealing ordinance. Had he such "keys" he certainly would have the authority to exercise them, which authority he has specifically denied having.

Moses held the "keys." But when he was taken from the earth because of the stiff neckedness of his people, the "keys" he held were lost to the Church. The Church continued then, as now, as an organization, but it forfeited, as the Church today has done, the glorious privileges these sealing "keys" imparted, and therefore they are not being exercised in the Church today, And the President of the Church has no authority over them. But, mind you. the "keys" are on earth and are being exercised by proper authority and will continue to be, for "this Gospel of the Kingdom will never be taken from the earth."

The reader should clearly understand that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Kingdom of God are two separate and distinct organizations (History of Church Vol 7, pp. 213, 379 (foot note) and 381-2).

The organization of the Kingdom of God has not rejected or repudiated the principle of plural marriage, and the benefits of this saving and exalting principle are not being withheld from members of the Kingdom who are both willing and worthy.

For the information of those entertaining the erroneous idea that sealings, in marriage, must necessarily be conducted in the Temples of the Church, we are herewith producing an extract from a sermon of President John Taylor, bearing upon the subject.

It will be noted that while President Taylor is unyielding on the principle that God's laws must be adhered to, he [82] clearly shows that the ordinance referred to, may performed either in or out of the Temples; this being especially true where the Saints are denied access to the Temples through the action of the enemy as indicated in Sec. 124:49-53, Doc. & Cov.

The Temples of God are not restricted to man made structures, but are also the natural groves and the mountain tops, the latter being the meeting place between God and Moses, in the days of ancient Israel. It must ever be borne in mind that it is the Priesthood that counts and not the place:

Temple Ordinances

We are told, "The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will show them his covenant."

Now, if the Lord shall commit a secret to me I don't think I should tell it to anyone, I don't think I would, not unless he told me. Then, I do not want to know your secrets. I was asked if certain ordinances could be performed in different places. I told them, yes, under certain circumstances. "Where," I was asked--"anywhere besides in temples?"

Yes. "Anywhere besides the endowment house?" Yes. "Where, in some other house?" In another house or out of doors, as the circumstances might be. Why did I say that? "Is not a Temple the proper place?" Yes; but it is said in our revelations pertaining to these matters:

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, that when I give a commandment to any of the sons of men to do a work unto my name and those sons of men go with all their might, and with all they have, to perform that work, and cease not their diligence, and their enemies come upon them and hinder them from performing that work, behold, it behooveth me to require that work no more at the hands of those sons of men, but to accept of their offerings." Thus under such circumstances we perceive that our operations elsewhere will be all correct; it makes no difference. It is the authority of the Priesthood, not the place, that validates and sanctifies the ordinance. I was asked if people could be sealed outside. Yes. I have told them I was sealed outside, and lots of others.

I want to show you a principle here, you Latter day Saints. Where Jesus was asked if he thought it was proper for his disciples to pluck ears of corn on the Sabbath day. He told them, "The [83] Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath." What else? I will say that man was not made for Temples, but Temple were made for man, under the direction of the Priesthood, and without the Priesthood Temples would amount to nothing.

I speak of these things for your information; but men are not authorized to act foolishly about these matters. The Temples are places that are appropriated for a great many ordinances, and among these ordinances that of marriage; but, then if we are interrupted by men who do not know about our principles, that is all right, it will not impede the work of God, or stop the performance of ordinances. Let them do their work, and we will try and do ours. --(J. of D., Vol. 25, page 355.)

Charity

Under the monogamic rule there are always women who cannot be happily mated. There are not enough Latter-day Saint men who are capable of assuming the responsibility of marriage to care for all the women of the Church, assuming that the art of mating is merely mathematical. Then Latter-day Saint women are either forced to remain single or choose husbands from among non-Mormons, and forfeit their right to an exaltation in the Celestial Glory, as taught by the Gospel. In either event they lose their chance for exaltation; for, according to the word of the Lord, there is no marrying or giving in marriage in heaven. What woman, understanding this situation, is willing to forego her right to salvation in order to comply with the man-made Manifesto? What man would do it under like circumstances? Women have a right to marry and to become mothers. The desire is born in them. It is their duty to do so. They have a right, too, to designate a choice of husbands. And if a man who is attractive to two women and is attracted by them is willing to assume the responsibility, and the women are agreed and are pure, whose business is it? What Church has a right to interfere and cry "adulterers"? Why not cease this cruel yell of ADULTERY and allow God to judge the case in His own time and way? We get nowhere [84] in human judgment under the tenseness of malice and prejudice. Why persecute a people who today believe in the same faith that formerly created martyrs? Suppose the Church is right in refusing to recognize plural marriages as legal and proper today, still why should the leaders of the Church rail upon the other fellow and deny him the privilege of worshipping God according to the dictates of his conscience? Mormons claim that Methodists and Catholics are both wrong, still they tolerate them and fraternize with them and do not attempt to persecute them for their differences. Why not a like toleration toward those who still adhere to the Joseph Smith and Brigham Young version of the Gospel? Nothing is to be gained by intolerance. Prejudice is a child of hell. "God, how I hate prejudice" exclaimed the intrepid J. Golden Kimball. "A man who is prejudiced cannot be just!" Righteousness cannot function when shackled by either prejudice or intolerance. Only charity avails.

For "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, and a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

"Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh not evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth in all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

"Charity never faileth: But whether there be prophecies, they shall fail, whether there be tongues, they shall cease, whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away. * * * And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; BUT THE GREATEST OF THESE IS CHARITY." --Paul.

[85] CONCLUSION

Not in bitterness nor anger are these matters recorded. The writer is sincerely desirous of doing some little toward the upbuilding of the Kingdom of God on earth. He recognizes the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the very Church of God, and that though weakened by unauthorized changes in ordinances and principles, and by unfortunate concessions and compromises with the enemy of righteousness, the organization still stands unrejected and will continue so, "never to be thrown down or given to another people." The writer recognizes Heber J. Grant as the President of the Church, occupying the position by the Grace of God and as His instrument to accomplish certain work. That President Grant is human, often swayed by unfounded prejudices and severely acrid in his dealings with many who cannot harmonize their feelings with his own, is well known; yet as President of the Church he is a servant of God. That the Church has repudiated the glorious principle of plural marriage is an established fact, and yet it is God's Church; and God, foreseeing these conditions, revealed to His servant Joseph Smith this knowledge, and that at the proper time one "mighty and strong" would be sent to set the Church in order (See 85 D. & C.). That time is near at hand. The Church is out of order in many vital respects, but because it is the Church of Jesus Christ it will be saved and will be nursed back to life and health and given the power, now lost to it, to regenerate the world through the logical application of the Gospel plan revealed in this last dispensation.

Further, it is the writer's testimony that while the Church, as an organization, has rejected and repudiated the vital principles involved in the Patriarchal order of marriage, God has not taken this important principle, nor [86] the active living of it, from earth. The Church as a Church is denied the glorious privileges and benefits pertaining to this law, but the blessings are not denied the faithful men and women, proper citizens of the Kingdom of God, who are willing to assume the responsibility and abide the consequences. Numbered among the Latter-day Saints are thousands of men and women who have in very deed dedicated their all unto the Lord, not even withholding their lives. They are imbued with the truth expressed by the Saviour:

"He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He who seeketh to SAVE HIS LIFE! shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it."

It is to such that the necessity of living the full law appeals. They know that a full salvation and exaltation must rest on the observance of the whole law and that the rejection of the same by the Church does not excuse them from the inexorable demands of the law. These people are in attune with the Spirit of God. They are led by the Holy Ghost. They are burning their bridges behind them and are accepting the practice of plural marriage with a faith and stoicism sublime and immovable. And the greater the opposition manifested both from within and without, the stronger grows their determination to stand firm.

The writer bears his solemn testimony that these things are true; that the Holy Priesthood continues to function on earth; that the sealing powers are here, being exercised by men of God, and that this power will remain on earth until Christ comes to reign as King of Kings as is his right. This authority cannot be removed by ecclesiastical edict. Children are being born in the New and Everlasting Covenant and will so continue. Hundreds of the Saints are being led to inquire of the Lord where to go for the [87] desired blessing, and their pleadings are not in vain. As God answered the boy Joseph's plea for wisdom and direction, so He is answering the prayers of the faithful today, many of them being led to accept the fulness of the Gospel, including the Patriarchal order of marriage. These Saints uphold the authorities of the Church by their faith and prayers, so far as it is possible to do without a surrender of eternal life. They would like to remain with the organization and add their strength in building it up along permanently righteous lines, but when denied this blessed privilege they are resigned and bow to the inevitable, leaving their case in the hands of God, who will judge all flesh. God has said:

"For whose is faithful unto the obtaining of these two Priesthoods of which I have spoken, and the magnifying of their calling, ARE SANCTIFIED BY THE SPIRIT unto the renewal of their bodies. They become the sons of Moses and of Aaron and the seed of Abraham, and the CHURCH AND KINGDOM, AND THE ELECT OF GOD." Who will say, then, that the prize is not worth the effort and sacrifice!

That truth will prevail is certain, but that it may find a speedy lodgment in the hearts of all who have the courage and the will to seek it, is the earnest prayer of your humble servant. Amen.

[88] LAW

"I am law. I am nature's law. By me comes unity and order. In my hands I hold three gifts--health, happiness and success. Those who do not follow me are devoured by the dogs of disease, misery, degradation and failure. The ignorant fear me; they run from my face; they tremble at my voice; but the wise love me and seek me forever. Fools think to outwit me, and that no man has ever done. I am more clever than the cleverest. I am stronger than the strongest. I am old as God. I never sleep, I never err. I am virile as youth. I am accurate as mathematics. I am beautiful as poetry. I am sweet as music. Without me there could be no art; no harmony of sound; no charm of landscape or picture; no government; no life. I am the secret of goodness; I am the horror of sin; I am the eternal path, and besides me there is no one else. Without me, men wander in the labyrinth of death. Heaven is where I am. Hell is where I am not.

"I am efficiency in man. I am loveliness in woman. I am everywhere, in the infinite waves of water, in the oak, in the brain, in nourishment, in disease, and in health. I am in the lover's clasp, in the stars and in the storm. I dance, I flame, I freeze; but always mathematically correct. For I am more intricate than calculus, more accurate than any instrument, for they but use and apply me. They that live by me find peace; they that walk with me come at last to God."

--Frank Crane.

 

ERRATI

Second paragraph, on page 77, should read:

It should also be remembered that the personnel of the group named in the Historical Record above referred to, is identical with one exception (which can be accounted for), with the group referred to in Church History, although the record of each group was dated one year apart, thus denoting the continuity of a council--a council that will be extant so long as the Priesthood remains on earth.