RLDS Church History Context

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Source: Church History Vol. 4 Chapter 22 Page: 398 (~1883)

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398 Spirit manifested in our administrations, and peace prevails. . . . Brighamism is dead here; they have had to give up their meeting-room here in Manchester, not being able to support it. I do not think that they have ever been at such a low ebb before. And while Brighamism is declining, the Reorganized Church is steadily increasing in membership and in influence, corresponding with the diligence in good works of the membership of the body. So far, we have not made a great deal of noise, but we have in an unassuming manner endeavored to live in keeping with our profession, and teach by our example as well as by our precept; and God has blessed our humble efforts in this direction. I believe that the Saints in this district desire the prosperity of the church, and work obediently and, loyally to that end.

At this time Utah was making another effort to secure statehood, and had sent a delegation consisting of W. H. Hooper, J. T. Caine, James Sharp, W. W. Riter, F. S. Richards, D. H. Peery, and W. D. Johnson, Jr., to Washington to present the petition to Congress. This effort, like all former ones, was a failure, because of the absence of a sufficient guarantee that polygamy would be abandoned in the new State.

The population of Utah according to the last census was: Mormons 120,283; Gentiles 14,156; apostate Mormons 6,988; Josephites 820; classified as doubtful 1,716.

The Deseret News in its issue of April 2, admitted that polygamy was not originally a part of Mormonism. It said:

One of the Methodist preachers who assisted in framing the resolutions recently passed by the M. E. conference in this city, calling for the political destruction of Utah and the establishment of an irresponsible oligarchy of nine persons, informed us a few days ago that if the "Mormons" would "give up polygamy," he and his friends would shoulder their guns to defend our people in their rights. We replied that they would probably shoulder their weapons as the Methodists and other sectarians did in Missouri, when men, women, and children were driven from their homes and massacred simply because they were "Mormons," plural marriage not being then a tenet of their creed nor practiced by any of their number, and the "Christian" mobocrats who plundered and murdered them made no pretension that they were "fighting polygamy."

On August 7 Elder J. R. Lambert wrote from Gerber, Georgia, of a peculiar experience. He stated:

I have spent about one month on Lookout Mountain and vicinity, preaching from one to four times per week. Congregations generally small, interest ordinary. There are a few who believe, and ought to obey, we think. At Sulphur Springs. or Wildwood Station, we

(page 398)

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