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Church History Vol. 4 Chapter 12 Page 179


179 CHAPTER 12.


IN Herald for July 1, 1877, President Smith wrote, in an editorial on Utah affairs, the following, which explains his reasons for visiting Washington on a previous occasion:

When, in 1866, we made the reply to the committee, . . . it was quite actively circulated in Utah that we had gone to Washington to incite the Government to hostility to the church there; and that we then told lies to further this design. Nothing is farther from the truth. We had not the remotest idea of asking the Government to take a single hostile step toward the people in the valley. We went because a process commanding us to appear and testify was sent us. And when asked what questions were propounded to us we gave what we believed then, and still believe to be the truth. The conviction forced upon us then, that Government officials and congressmen were alike venal, vascillating [vacillating], and fearful in dealing with the question, "What shall be done with Utah?" is still with us in just the same force now as then. We, furthermore, believed then as we believe now, that to assume the ground that the Constitution, and laws that may have been, or that may be enacted under it, are powerless to prevent or punish what is so roundly denounced as a huge crime, is to admit its political correctness and will debar further prosecution of so-called offenders. For if the practice of such a tenet as a part, or the whole of the Mormon religion, is not now a crime, no subsequent

(page 179)

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