A new Lamentation Literature is born. Here is the standard scenario: "I am a young, hard-working Latter-day Saint; six months ago I was well on the way to financial independence, following the admonitions of my elders. Today I am broke, and my children lack necessities. What went wrong?" Maybe the following can explain some things.
In every dispensation of the gospel, the Lord has insisted on segregating his covenant people from the rest of the world: if they were not ready to "come out of her, [O] my people" (Revelation 18:4) willingly, he saw to it that the world was more than willing to persecute and expel them.
Two ways were placed before Adam, to see which one he would follow. Cain followed the one; Abel, and after him, Seth, the other. But soon Seth's posterity drifted over to the camp of Cain. Things being very bad, Enoch, the supermissionary, was sent out and was able "in [the] process of time" (Moses 7:21) to draw many after him into his city of Zion, which was then totally segregated from the rest of the world, pending the world's destruction.
After the Flood, things went bad again, so that the call to Abraham was lech lecha—get out of here! And he kept moving all his days, forming his own society as he went, initiating all his followers into a special covenant with God.
The law of Moses insists before all else that the Chosen People preserve their aloofness from the world by constant purification and instruction: the people must be qadosh, "sanctified," both words having the basic meaning of "cut off," "separated." God has always given his people the same choice of either living up to the covenants made with him or being in Satan's power; there is no middle ground (Moses 4:4). True, we spend this time of probation in a no-man's-land between the two camps of salvation and damnation, but at every moment of the day and night we must be moving toward the one or the other. Progressive testing takes place along the way in either direction; the same tests in every dispensation and generation mark the progress of the people of God.
(1) Do you, first of all, agree to do things his way rather than your way—to follow the law of God? (2) If so, will you be obedient to him, no matter what he asks of you? (3) Will you, specifically, be willing to sacrifice anything he asks you for? (4) Will you at all times behave morally and soberly? (5) Finally, if God asks you to part with your worldly possessions by consecrating them all to his work, will you give his own back to him to be distributed as he sees fit, not as you think wise?
That last test has been by far the hardest of all, and few indeed have chosen that strait and narrow way. The rich young man was careful and correct in observing every point of the law—up to that one; but that was too much for him, and the Savior, who refused to compromise or make a deal, could only send him off sorrowing, observing to the apostles that passing that test was so difficult to those possessing the things of the world that only a special dispensation from God could get them by.
Like the people of Lehi and the primitive Christians, the Latter-day Saints were asked and forced to make a clean break with the world—"the world" meaning explicitly the world's economy.
The first commandment given to the Saints in this last dispensation, delivered at Harmony, Pennsylvania, in April of 1829, before the formal incorporation of the Church, was an ominous warning: "Seek not for riches but for wisdom" (D&C 6:7)—all in one brief mandate that does not allow compromise. Why start out on such a negative note? The Lord knew well that the great obstacle to the work would be what it always had been in the past. The warning is repeated throughout the Doctrine and Covenants and the Book of Mormon again and again. The positive and negative are here side by side and back to back, making it clear, as the scriptures often do, that the two quests are mutually exclusive—you cannot go after both, you cannot serve both God and Mammon, even if you should be foolish enough to try.
The Reluctant Saints
A year later the Saints were in Kirtland, and being warned again: "They also seek not earnestly the riches of eternity, but their eyes are full of greediness" (D&C 68:31). Those who seek not the eternal riches but are greedy for the other riches are here called "idlers" in the Lord's vineyard; the laborers are those who "labor for Zion; for if they labor for money they shall perish"! (2 Nephi 26:31).
At the next General Conference (1831), the law of consecration was laid down clearly and explicitly (D&C 82), with some anticipation of strong resistance (D&C 82:21). The Lord gave them his own special plan for his own people, by which "the church may stand independent above all other creatures beneath the celestial world" (D&C 78:14). The whole thing, in fact, was to be under celestial supervision, alien to the ways of the world: "And Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom; otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself" (D&C 105:5). The Saints were warned at length against interpreting the invitation to independence as a franchise to individuals for seeking private gain and thereby endowing the church with independence (D&C 78), a bit of sophistry that soon became and ever remained very popular.
In the October Conference of 1831, before the Church was a year old, the Prophet had to remind them "that God had often sealed up the heavens because of covetousness in the Church, . . . and except the Church receive the fulness of the Scriptures . . . they would yet fail." Covetousness, the desire to be rich, was the one thing that could wreck the whole program.1 Properly impressed, "the conference voted that they prize the revelations to be worth to the Church the riches of the whole earth, speaking temporally."2
They were warned by the example of the saints of old: "Christ . . . proposed to make a covenant with them (the Jews), but they rejected Him and His proposals. . . . The Gentiles received the covenant, . . . but the Gentiles have not continued . . . but have departed from the faith. . . . [They] have become high-minded, and have not feared; therefore, but few of them will be gathered."3 And now it was their turn, for they were in the same danger: "Repent, repent, is the voice of God to Zion; and strange as it may appear, yet it is true, mankind will persist in self-justification until all their iniquity is exposed, and their character past being redeemed. . . . Hear the warning voice of God, lest Zion fall, and the Lord swear in His wrath the inhabitants of Zion shall not enter into His rest."4 Self-justification, that was the danger—the exhilarating exercise of explaining why my ways are God's ways after all. "Intemperance, immorality, extravagance, pride, blindness of heart, idolatry, the loss of natural affection; the love of this world, and indifference toward the things of eternity [are] increasing among those [Latter-day Saints] who profess a belief in the religion of heaven."5 Even the Elders in high positions gave the prophet a bad time: "He said he had been trampled under foot by aspiring Elders, for all were infected with that spirit."6 What spirit? That of a business-boom in Kirtland. By 1834 the plan was given up (D&C 104:47), "the covenants being broken through transgression, by covetousness and feigned words" (D&C 104:52)—that is, greed and hypocrisy, that pious self-justification in which the covetous are so adept.
The Way of the World
The opening of frontier lands offered fierce temptation. Joseph Smith wrote,
The spirit of speculation in lands and property of all kinds, which was so prevalent throughout the whole nation, was taking deep root in the Church. As the fruits of this spirit, evil surmisings, fault finding, disunion, dissension, and apostasy followed in quick succession, and it seemed as though all the powers of earth and hell were combining their influence in an especial manner to overthrow the Church at once, and make a final end. . . . The enemy abroad, and apostates in our midst, united in their schemes, flour and provisions were turned towards other markets, and many became disaffected toward me as though I were the sole cause of those very evils I was most strenuously striving against.7
many of the leading brethren had given their time and talent to speculation and were absorbed in schemes detrimental to their religious standing, and quite contrary to the counsel of the Prophet. Speculations brought on jealousies and hatreds, and those evil attributes manifested themselves toward Joseph who sought so diligently to suppress them. Prominent men—men who had shown the highest degree of loyalty to the Prophet—became disaffected. Their financial speculations brought on a spirit of self-sufficiency, and that spirit made them wise in their own conceit. The affairs of the Church were put to the test of "wisdom"—wisdom as they understood it. Such wisdom, however, was undermining their integrity to the Church.8
As Brigham Young often noted, men who considered themselves sound, practical businessmen did not approve of the Prophet's unwise fiscal policies. "Joseph . . . mourned because of unbelief and treachery among many who had embraced the gospel. He feared lest few in Kirtland should remain worthy to receive an inheritance."9
"Warren Parrish . . . was what is termed a smart man [businessman], and through his smartness, which was distorted by ambition, envy, and bitterness, he turned against Joseph and the Church. . . . Apostasy and rebellion were rampant at Kirtland. . . . A scurrilous letter sent by Warren Parrish to the postmaster at Vinal Haven aroused a strong opposition."10
Heber C. Kimball tells how, returning from his mission to the East,
we were very much grieved on our arrival in Kirtland, to see the spirit of speculation that was prevailing in the Church. Trade and traffic seemed to engross the time and attention of the Saints. When we left Kirtland a city lot was worth about $150; but on our return, to our astonishment, the same lot was said to be worth from $500 to $1000. . . . In fact everything in the place seemed to be moving in great prosperity, and all seemed determined to become rich. . . . This appearance of prosperity led many of the Saints to believe that the time had arrived for the Lord to enrich them with the treasures of the earth, and believing so, it stimulated them to great exertions.11
This was the very self-justification against which they had been warned in the beginning: it was time to realize a cash return on hard work and tithing.
Then came the crash of 1837, brought on by those same shrewd, hardheaded businessmen. "During this time," President Kimball recalled, "I had many days of sorrow and mourning, for my heart sickened to see the awful extent that things were getting to."12 Many apostatized and "also entered into combinations to obtain wealth by fraud and every means that was evil."13 Later, Kimball returned to Kirtland again after a mission to England: "The Church had suffered terribly from the ravages of apostasy." Looking back over many years, he recalled that "the Ohio mobbings, the Missouri persecutions, the martyrdom, the exodus, nor all that Zion's cause has suffered since, have imperiled it half so much as when mammon and the love of God strove for supremacy in the hearts of His people."14 Note that they were torn between God and Mammon, and "no man can serve both!"
At the Center Stake
So Kirtland ended in disaster, and the Saints moved on, chastened and repentant, to Jackson County, where they sought "a counterpart of the Zion of Enoch."15 As the Prophet viewed the exodus, he rejoiced in a new hope: "See the church of the LDS, selling all that they have, and gathering themselves together . . . that they may be together and bear each other's afflictions in the day of calamity." In the famous rescue mission, "some of the brethren had considerable and others had little or none, yet all became equal." This was the Prophet's desire, and so it was "in the day of calamity." But in the day of prosperity? As the new boomtown of Far West was building, the Prophet stood on the framework of a schoolhouse under construction and made some significant observations and a disturbing prophecy:
Brethren, we are gathering to this buitiful land, to build up "Zion." . . . But since I have been here I perseive the spirit of selfishness, Covetousness, exists in the hearts of the Saints. . . . Here are those who begin to spread out buying up all the land they are able to do, to the exclusion of the poorer ones who are not so much blessed with this worlds goods, thinking to ley foundation for themselves only, looking to their own individual familys and those who are to follow them. . . . Now I want to tell you that Zion cannot be built up in eny such way. . . . I see signs put out, Beer signs, speculative schemes are being introduced this is the ways of the world—Babylon indeed, and I tell you in the name of the God of Israel, if thare is not repentance . . . and a turning from such ungodlyness, covetousness, and self will [in other words, "independence"] you will be broken up and scattered from this choice land to the four winds of Heaven [sic].16
Did the people hearken to that voice? As ever, the financial independence "of their own individual families" came first. Brigham Young can tell us how it was:
Said the Lord to Joseph, "See if they will give their farms to me." What was the result? They would not do it, though it was one of the plainest things in the world. No revelation that was ever given is more easy of comprehension than that on the law of consecration. . . . Yet, when the Lord spoke to Joseph, instructing him to counsel the people to consecrate their possessions, and deed them over to the Church in a covenant that cannot be broken, would the people listen to it? No, but they began to find out that they were mistaken, and had only acknowledged with their mouths that the things which they possessed were the Lord's. [Feigned words were still covering up their covetousness.] I wish to see the people acknowledge the principle of consecration in their works, as well as in their prayers. The Lord makes them well by His power, through the ordinances of His house, but will they consecrate? No. They say, "It is mine, and I will have it myself." There is the treasure, and the heart is with it.17
The thing to note here especially is that no one can evade the law of consecration on the grounds that it is not clear; still less are we free to give it our own "clarification," identifying consecration with tithing, gifts to the Church, and so on. We should all know by now that there is no limit to the plasticity, adaptability, contrivance, and manipulation of economic theory; as Tertullian says, "Oh, what a powerful argumentatrix is human ignorance!"18
There is another revelation, . . . stating that it is the duty of all people who go to Zion to consecrate all their property to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. . . . It was one of the first commandments or revelations given to this people after they had the privilege of organizing themselves as a Church, as a body, as the kingdom of God on the earth. I observed then, and I now think, that it will be one of the last revelations which the people will receive into their hearts and understandings, of their own free will and choice, and esteem it as a pleasure, a privilege, and a blessing unto them to observe and keep most holy.19
President Young explains how they got around ignoring the highest and clearest of revelations:
When the revelation which I have read was given in 1838, I was present. . . . The brethren wished me to go among the Churches, and find out what surplus property the people had, with which to forward the building of the Temple we were commencing at Far West. I accordingly went from place to place through the country. Before I started, I asked brother Joseph, "Who shall be the judge of what is surplus property?" Said he, "Let them be the judges themselves, for I care not if they do not give a single dime."20
(As in Israel, the amount of the free-will offering was left entirely up to the giver, since it was he who was being tested. The offering was required but the amount was up to him.) The results, Brigham Young reports of his journey, were laughable—nobody had any surplus property! One "would say, 'I have got so many hundred acres of land, and I have got so many boys, and I want each one of them to have eighty acres, therefore this is not surplus property.' . . . I would go on to the next one, and he would have more land and cattle than he could make use of to advantage" and he would say, "We have no children, but our prospects are good, and we think we shall have a family of children, and if we do, we want to give them eighty acres of land each; we have no surplus property." No matter how well-to-do, the Saints would insist, "I have use for everything I have got," therefore no surplus. There were exceptions,
and once in a while you would find a man who had a cow which he considered surplus, but generally she was of the class that would kick a person's hat off, or eyes out, or the wolves had eaten off her teats. [Or] you would once in a while find a man who had a horse that he considered surplus, but . . . he had the ringbone, was broken-winded, spavined in both legs, had the pole evil at one end of the neck and a fistula at the other, and both knees sprung. . . . They would come to me and say, "Brother Brigham, . . . I want to raise fifty dollars on this horse [today it would be a car], and the balance I am willing to turn in on tithing. If you will pay me twenty dollars in money, ten in store pay, and so much on another man's tithing, and so much on my own, you shall have the horse for eighty dollars;" when I could get as good a one for forty.21
In the law of Moses the giving of an offering in such meanness of spirit is called "an abomination unto the Lord" (Deuteronomy 25:16).
Some rejected the commandment outright: "At Far West, in April, 1838, Presidents Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer were excommunicated from the Church." This was "for urging vexatious law-suits against the brethren, . . . [each] leaving his calling in which God had appointed him by revelation, for the sake of filthy lucre, and turning to the practice of law, disgracing the Church by being connected in the bogus business, . . . forsaking the cause of God, and returning to the beggarly elements of the world."22 Business and law were the world's keys to success. In 1838 at Far West, "when these troops surrounded us, . . . the first persons that I knew were men who had once professed to be beloved brethren, and they were the men who piloted these mobs into our city, namely William M'Lellin & Lyman E. Johnson, two of the twelve; John Whitmer, and David Whitmer, . . . William W. Phelps and scores of others."23 And it was all for business.
And so the prophecy of the schoolhouse was fulfilled quickly and thoroughly, as the Saints were driven from their exciting new boomtown in the worst persecution in their history. "Could our brethren stay in Jackson County, Missouri?" Brigham Young asked a later conference. "No, No. Why? They had not learned 'a' concerning Zion; and we have been traveling now forty-two years, and have we learned our a, b, c? . . . I will say, scarcely. Have we seen it as a people?"24
Nauvoo the Bonanza
And so we move on to Nauvoo, where the prophet began by changing the town's name of Commerce to "Nauvoo the Beautiful"—a significant shift of emphasis—and followed up by warning the Saints more strenuously than ever against seeking personal financial independence as a milestone on the Way of Salvation. He laid the strongest emphasis on the importance of distinguishing the two kinds of independence: "If there are any among you who aspire after their own aggrandizement, and seek their own opulence, while their brethren are groaning in poverty, . . . they cannot be benefited by the intercession of the Holy Spirit."25 (The reader is referred to such recent gems by Mormon authors as How to Prosper during the Coming Bad Years and Survive and Win in the Inflationary Eighties.)
"Organization of large bodies upon common stock principles . . . opens such a dreadful field for the avaricious, the indolent, and the corrupt hearted to prey upon the innocent and virtuous and honest. . . . [They are] aspiring men . . . who had not the substance of godliness about them."26 But they do make money, and there is prophetic portent for the future in those ominous words: "Every man who is afraid, covetous &c. will be taken in a snare,"27 for fear and covetousness are the twin offspring of insecurity. To be ambitious and competitive have been the natural tendencies in the New World: "Now, in this world, man-kind are naturally selfish, ambitious and striving to excel one above another. . . . Some seek to excel. And this was the case with Lucifer when he fell."28 To counter that, the Prophet assures us that "the greatest temporal and spiritual blessings which always come from faithfulness and concerted effort, never attended individual exertion or enterprise,"29 and that "the advancement of the cause of God and the building up of Zion is as much one man's business as another's. . . . Party feelings, separate interests, exclusive designs should be lost sight of in the one common cause, in the interest of the whole."30 The Saints had entered an order in which even the idealism of Free Masonry
was superseded by a more perfect fraternity found in the vows and covenants which the endowment in the House of God afforded members of the Church. Besides, the Saints learned that they must surrender worldly affiliations, since the world was opposed to the mission of Joseph Smith and his followers. . . . The Church, however, rests upon the rock of revelation and must follow divine guidance rather than precedence [and the laws of the marketplace.]"31
The sanctity of their calling became a franchise for shenanigans among those brethren in Nauvoo who quickly caught on to the now familiar trick of promoting private business (and later political) interests, with promises of apocalyptic profits, by identifying them with the Church: "Thus we find that there have been frauds and secret abominations and evil works of darkness going on, leading the minds of the weak and unwary [most Latter-day Saints have always been unsuspecting and naive] into confusion and distraction, and all the time palming it off upon the Presidency."32 It was Far West all over again. On June 18, 1842, in a grove near the Nauvoo Temple,
Elder Woodruff says, "Joseph, the prophet, arose and spoke in great plainness upon the corruption and wickedness of John C. Bennett. He also prophesied that if the merchants of the city and the rich did not open their hearts and contribute to the poor they would be cursed by the hand of God and cut off from the land of the living." . . . All efforts to stand upon a common ground with the citizens generally of Nauvoo were, however, unavailing."33 Why? Because, wrote Wilfred Woodruff, who lived through it all, "The people in those days, . . . like Israel of old associated certain worldly successes with their ideas of right, and misfortunes with their ideas of wrong."34 That, of course, would make them morally obligated to get rich—which is what President Woodruff calls sophistry when he notes that "the fear of the enemy was less trying to him [Joseph Smith] than the folly of many of his brethren who were swayed by the spirit of the age and the peculiar sophistries of those times.35
That was the greater danger: "There were those who were ready to listen to the sophistries and cunning arguments of the hypocrite and the Pharisee in their midst [Nauvoo],"36 and this they had often done elsewhere in the history of the Church. Sophistry again: Under God's plan there could be no compromise. "Any person who is exalted to the highest mansion has to abide a celestial law, and the whole law too. But there has been a great difficulty in getting anything into the heads of this generation. . . . Even the Saints are slow to understand."37
On the eve of the expulsion from Nauvoo, Brigham Young wrote that "the Saints were becoming slothful and covetous, and would spend their means upon fine houses for themselves before they would put it into a House of the Lord."38 The result we all know, though we tend to overlook the cause: "Through the selfishness of some, which is idolatry, through their covetousness, which is the same, and the lustful desire of their minds, they were cast out and driven from their homes."39
The next settlement was on the plains, and Brigham Young recalled:
While we were in Winter Quarters, the Lord gave to me a revelation. . . . I talked it to my brethren; I would throw out a few words here, and a few words there, to my first counselor, to my second counselor, and the Twelve Apostles, but with the exception of one or two of the Twelve, it would not touch a man. . . . I would have given it if the people had been prepared. . . . But I could not touch them. One would say, "I am for California," and another one, "I am for gold," and I am for this and I am for that.40
The good old frontier spirit of independence.
And a New Beginning
Crossing the Plains to Utah brought the Saints to their senses, and the famine that afflicted them in 1848 was averted only "by the exercise of the highest wisdom and the broadest charity, and the partial observance of the principle of the United Order, which the Saints had before sought to introduce, and still have it in their mission to establish. The people were put upon rations, all sharing the same, like members of one great family."41 To the hungry Pawnees, they gave freely of their scarce grain. "The spirit begotten by such an act of generosity opened the hearts of the Saints for the enjoyment of their conference, and fitted them more perfectly for the worship of God."42
When the crickets and drought struck in 1855, Heber C. Kimball wrote in his journal, "Perhaps many feel a little sober because our bread is cut off, but I am glad of it, because it will be a warning to us. . . . The earth is determined to rest, and it is right that it should."43 The next year he wrote:
Money will not buy flour or meal. . . . I sell none for money but let it go where people are truly destitute. Dollars and cents do not count now. . . . Some of the people drop many big tears, but if they cannot learn wisdom by precept, nor by example, they must learn it by what they suffer. . . . I wish to God this people would all listen to counsel . . . and move as one man and be one. If this were the case, our enemies would never have any more power over us, our granaries never would be empty, nor would we see sorrow.44
The design of President Young was that no speculation in lands by the brethren should be allowed whereby the first comers should enrich themselves at the expense of their brethren who should follow. . . . This arrangement prevented any one man from holding a large tract [of land] near the city, and by so doing prevented speculation by the individual to the detriment of the whole community. . . . In other words, the interest of the whole was to be uppermost in the mind of each man, and the spirit of greed and avarice seldom asserted itself on the part of those noble founders of Utah's great commonwealth.45
By present-day standards, Jesse W. Fox, the official surveyor, was woefully deficient in vision, enterprising spirit, and business know-how: "If anyone asked him to select one [tract] for him he promptly refused, saying that those who owned the land should be builders on it and that no one by his assistance should ever speculate at the expense of the poor Saints coming to the valley."46
Speaking on that subject, "the question of consecration was presented [in Conference of April 1854]. President Kimball said, 'I want all I have to be secured in the Kingdom of God.' They knew the dangers and temptations of wealth, the selfishness which it begets, as well as the destruction of brotherly love."47 The main thing Brother Brigham insisted on in their new home was that they get over the illusion of personal economic independence.
As I have already observed, the people are ignorant. . . . We are here on the earth . . . and it seems as though we, as individuals, were perfectly independent of every creature or being throughout the immensity of space. . . . We do not fully realize from whence we have received anything we now have in our possession. This is in consequence of our shortsightedness.48
"Some of the Saints are almost persuaded to think that the Lord has called upon them to consecrate, to give up something which they consider their own, but in reality is not, to somebody that never did own it. . . . It is a vain and foolish thought for men to think they own anything of themselves."49 "If men are faithful, the time will come when they [can] . . . obtain, organize, bring into existence, and own. 'What, of themselves, independent of their Creator?' No."50 "He has called upon the people to consecrate their property, to see whether they could understand so simple a thing as this."51 Their reaction to the command was the usual. With the Christian world, the Latter-day Saints acknowledged in their meetings that the earth was the Lord's. In their weekly meetings, they have told how the Lord has blessed them. Did they mean it?
Relapse to Normalcy
How did they take these teachings? Brigham Young in 1851 was sick at the sight of so many of the Saints running to California chiefly after the God of this world, and he was unable to address them.52 Two years later, he deplored the rise of juvenile crime, but even more the pious men who inspired it: Who are the real delinquents? he asks.
I have not the least hesitation in saying that the loose conduct, and calculations, and manner of doing business, which have characterized men who have had property in their hands, have laid the foundation to bring our boys into the spirit of stealing. You have caused them to do it, you have laid before them every inducement possible, to learn their hands and train their minds to take that which is not their own.53
"Why not . . . day by day watch and chasten yourselves?" he asks the Saints, but instead of that, everyone "becomes so absorbed in their improvement and increase, that he forgets why he came here, [and] that the hands upon the Public Works need food to sustain life, that after all he is only a steward at most. . . . While another, still more culpable in that he produces nothing, strives to amass wealth, and build up a name by becoming a mere trader, and far too often a shaving trader, and of course he too is soon fully imbued with the ruling passion of selfishness."54 He is not speaking of isolated cases: "The grand difficulty with this community is simply this, their interest is not one. When you will have your interests concentrated in one, then you will work jointly, and we shall not have to scold and find fault, as much as we are now required to."55
The man, or the woman, that mainly looks after the fruit, after the luxuries of life, good food, fine apparel, and at the same time professes to be a Latter-day Saint, if he does not get that spirit out of his heart, it will obtain a perfect victory over him; . . . and if he does not get rid of that spirit, the quicker he starts east for the States, or west for California, the better.56
Heber C. Kimball, preaching "against pride and covetousness," expressed his "fear of riches. . . . Said he: 'If the Saints will repent, the Lord's wrath will be turned away, but they will not repent until it is too late.' " And as before, it was too late—within the year Johnston's army struck.57 As it approached, in 1857, Brigham Young made an oft-quoted statement:
I am more afraid of covetousness in our Elders than I am of the hordes of hell. Have we men out now of that class? I believe so. I am afraid of such spirits; for they are more powerful and injurious to this people than all hell outside of our borders. All our enemies in the United States or in the world, and all hell with them marshalled against us, could not do us the injury that covetousness in the hearts of this people could do us; for it is idolatry.58
And in the next year: "Whether you can see it or not, I know that this people are more or less prone to idolatry; for I see that spirit manifested every day, and hear of it from nearly every quarter."59 And so the enemy moved in and the Mormons moved out: "The roads are lined with men, women, children, teams, and wagons—all moving south," wrote Wilford Woodruff.60 In this crisis, "speculators thought they saw an opportunity to make money from the Saints by purchasing their homes in these the hours of their distress,"61 thus anticipating those farsighted Saints of a later day who would write best-selling books on How to Profit by the Coming Hard Times. In the first year, "the city seemed to be over-run by speculators and adventurers,"62 such as "Wardle, Russel, and Miller, . . . a firm of speculators who were making money out of the conditions incident to the presence of the United States Army." In 1858, the Chamber of Commerce was organized "for the purpose of protecting the citizens against the exorbitant prices demanded by those merchants who were taking advantage of the times"—price control, no less.63
Business not only followed the flag, setting an example for years to follow, but it also showed the way, "for it is the conduct of traders who have fattened in our midst that has brought an army into our Territory. I would rather see every building and fence laid in ashes than to see a trader come in here with his goods."64 "Instead of reflecting upon and searching for hidden things of the greatest value to them, they rather wish to learn how to secure their way through the world as easily and as comfortably as possible. The reflections what they are here for, who produced them, and where they are from, far too seldom enter their minds" (compromise).65
I Got Mine!
After all their suffering, had the Saints learned? In 1860, President Young asked that question: "Are those who have been in the Church twenty, twenty-five, or thirty years prepared to have the visions of eternity opened to them? No."66
Instead of being united in our feelings to build up all, each one takes his own course; whereas, if we were united, we would get rich ten times faster than we do now. How are you going to bring a people to that point when they will all be united in the things of this life? By no other means than prevailing upon them to live their religion that they all may possess the Holy Ghost, the spirit of revelation, the light of Christ, which will enable them to see eye to eye.67
Did they fail to see the light? "Do you think you will have your farm and your substance by yourself, and live in the gratification of your selfish propensities as you now do? 'O, no, we expect to be made pure and holy.' Where will you begin to be pure and holy? If you do not begin here, I do not know where you will begin."68 But there was always that insistence on having things both ways:
I will ensure that there are scores, and perhaps hundreds, looking at me while I am speaking, who think, "Brother Brigham, you are a fool; we have as good a right to trade with one man as another; and we will go to what store we please, and do what we please with our means, and we will trade with those who will do the best by us." Yet there are hundreds who, and in fact the most of the people, understand the folly of this course, as the experience of the past six-months has proved.69
They did see it, but still, "We have to become more like a single family, and be one, that we may be the Lord's; and not every one have his own individual interest."70 He repeated the admonition of 1858:
[There is] too much love of the things of the world. There is more danger to be apprehended from this source than all the mobs that could be organized and brought in opposition. Lust after the things of the world had ruined the most powerful nations. . . . Wherever there existed a hunger for ease and wealth in place of a hunger for righteousness, sooner or later the parties thus inclined would lose the Spirit of God, and go into darkness. After the lust for women, this greed for gain was next in order in its corrupting tendencies.71
To be specific,
Take a man, for instance, who has got a five acre lot. He wants his team, he must have his horses, harness, wagon, plow, harrow and farming utensils to cultivate that five acres, just as though he was farming a hundred acres. And when harvest comes, he is not accommodated by his neighbors with a reaping machine, and he says—"Another year, I will buy one," and this to harvest five acres of grain. Take the article of wagons among this people, we have five where we should not have more than two. . . . Again, take mowing and reaping machines, and we have probably twice or three times as many in this Territory as the people need. . . . If this community would be united, and work cattle instead of horses, they might save themselves from two to five hundred thousand dollars yearly.72
Having It Both Ways
In Brigham Young's last year, the course of things caused him great concern: The Saints wanted it both ways: "Now those that can see the spiritual atmosphere can see that many of the Saints are still glued to this earth and lusting and longing after the things of this world, in which there is no profit. . . . According to the present feeling of many of our brethren, they would arrogate to themselves this world and all that pertains to it. . . . Where are the eyes and the hearts of this people?"73
If we do not wake up and cease to long after the things of this earth, we will find that we as individuals will go down to hell, although the Lord will preserve a people unto himself. . . . Well, now, some of the Elders are running after these holes in the ground, and I see men before me, in this house [the St. George Temple] that have no right to be here. They are as corrupt in their hearts as they can be, and we take them by the hand and call them brother.74
You may think this is plain talk, it is not as plain as you will find by and by. If you should ever go to the gates of heaven, Jesus will say he never knew you. While you have been saying your prayers and going to your meetings and are as corrupt in your hearts as men can be. . . . Not but what there are a great majority of the people as good as they know how to be, . . . but show some of the Elders of Israel according to their present conduct a dollar on one side and eternal life on the other, and I fear they would choose the dollar.75
Some of the Latter day Saints had an idea that they could take the follies of the world in one hand and the Savior in the other, and expect to get into the presence of the Lord Jesus.76
We need not refer to the traditions of the fathers with regard to the manifestations of covetousness we see so much of. Observe the customs and habits . . . of . . . our brethren and sisters here. We see men from twenty years up to old age who are entirely overcome by their desire to obtain gold. . . . We exhort the people not to be such fools as to run after the golden image; and sometimes we tell them that we will cut them off from the Church, if they do. This has caused this great outcry.77
At a conference Brigham Young "advised men not to work so hard that they had to get half drunk in order to keep it up."78
After the Utah Reformation and the Crisis of 1856-58, things went back to normal, with the usual drift in the usual direction. Brigham Young in 1867: "The Latter-day Saints, in their conduct and acts with regard to financial matters, are like the rest of the world. The course pursued by men of business in the world has a tendency to make a few rich, and to sink the masses of the people in poverty and degradation. Too many of the Elders of Israel take this course. No matter what comes they are for gain—for gathering around them riches."79
In the Gilded Age of the 1870s, Brigham Young never ceased to plead and explain: "Will he ever grant power to his Saints on the earth? Yes, . . . but in the capacity they are now, in the condition that they now present themselves before God, before the world and before each other? Never, Never!"80 And next year: "Do the people understand it? Scarcely! scarcely! . . . How is it? Are not the sordid things of this life before our eyes, and have they not thrown a mist before them so that we can not see?"81 "How long shall we travel, how long shall we live, how long shall God wait for us to sanctify ourselves and become one in the Lord, in our actions and in our ways for building up of the kingdom of God, that he can bless us?"82 "The Lord is merciful to us, that he still remembers us, that he is still feeling after us, and that he is sending forth his voice—the voice of his Spirit, into the hearts of his people, crying unto them—'Stop! Stop your course! Cease to bring in and build up Babylon in your midst.'"83 But alas, "What is the general expression through our community? It is that the Latter-day Saints are drifting as fast as they can into idolatry, drifting into the spirit of the world and into pride and vanity."84
Babylon Rejected (Again?)
Things had gone so far by 1875 that another Reformation was in order. President Young at conference spoke on
the great duty that rested upon the Saints to put in operation God's purposes with regard to the United Order, by the consecration of the private wealth to the common good of the people. The underlying principle of the United Order was that there should be no rich and no poor, that men's talents should be used for the common good, and that selfish interests should make way for a more benevolent and generous spirit among the Saints.85
In response, "The whole assembly [of the priesthood] voted to renew their covenants, and later the Presidency, the Twelve, the Seventies, and the Presiding Bishop were baptized and entered into a special covenant to observe the rules of the United Order. . . . This movement became general throughout the Church."86
John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, and Lorenzo Snow, who were to be Brigham Young's successors, all became enthusiastic leaders in the movement. They fervently sang the hymn "Adam Ondi Ahman":
This earth was once a garden place, with all her glories common,
And men did live a holy race, and walk with Jesus face to face
We read that Enoch walked with God, above the rule of Mammon . . .
Wilford Woodruff in 1879 reported from Arizona,
The people of these settlements all live in the United Order. . . . There seemed to be universal satisfaction . . . with this order of things. . . . All fared alike, the president, priest, and people. . . . I could see many advantages they had above those who were living, each man for himself. . . . They are daily getting rich, . . . all is theirs, . . . as though one man owned the whole. . . . Until I can learn a better way, I feel to say with every sentiment of my heart to . . . every . . . settlement living in the Order, go ahead and God bless you; . . . and as President Taylor and the Apostles advocate the same principle, I hope that all the priesthood will sustain [it]. . . . It appears to me that the further we withdraw from this union into individuality of gardens, lots, orchards, cows, pigs, and chickens, the further we withdraw from the United Order, and the more we open the door for selfishness, temptation, and fault-finding with each other, the same as before [when] we . . . would open a door to give each man an excuse to spend his time attending to his individual affairs, instead of laboring for the general good of all.87
Lorenzo Snow's enterprise in Brigham City was perhaps the most successful one. The first five presidents of the Church all knew the United Order would work, and yet but five years after the death of Brigham Young, in 1882, President Taylor hesitantly permitted "some of our brethren to branch out into business on their own." That the idea was not his own, and that he had serious reservations, is clear from the official letter:
Babylon Delivered (Again!)
A feeling had been manifested by some of our brethren [it was their idea] to branch out into the mercantile business on their own account [independence at last], and his [John Taylor's] idea, as to that, was, if people would be governed by correct principles, laying aside covetousness and eschewing chicanery and fraud, dealing honestly and conscientiously with others as they would like others to deal with them, that there would be no objection on our part for our brethren to do these things; that it was certainly much better for them to embark in such enterprises than our enemies.88
Far from being a commandment, the change was only permitted with uneasy reservations; the reluctance of the "no objection" concession is apparent in the argument that free enterprise would be even less desirable if it was the prerogative of the enemies in our midst. Would the new enterprises be "laying aside covetousness"? What was their purpose if not to acquire wealth? As to "eschewing fraud and chicanery," which is still the plea to this day, has not the experience of the past shown that such appeals are as futile as giving a small boy a drum with the sober admonition to play it softly forever after?
What had happened to sidetrack the United Order? A recent in-depth economic history of the 1870s explains:
During this period, astute businessmen gradually gained control of the cooperatives and replaced the cooperative methods of retailing with methods closer to pure private enterprise. In the process these new owners completely changed the character of the companies; though they often kept the company name the same, in order to take advantage of the local appeal the cooperatives still held.89
Retaining the name might be considered a stroke of genius were it not so very obvious; the religious note had to be retained in the territory, and few will protest today that the stately emblem of ZCMI breathes neither the unworldly aroma of Zion nor the tainted breath of a true cooperative.
"By the mid-eighties, most of the stock of the cooperatives [which needed large sums of money to buy machinery made only in the east and abroad] had been sold to a few businessmen who now controlled the entire operation, . . . making them corporations run by the major stockholders whose main concern became profit-making."90
If we ask what improvement has been made up to the present, there is no better standard to judge by than that given by President Spencer W. Kimball in a solemn and inspired message to the church on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the nation.91 The address gives us a picture of the Church, the nation, and indeed the world that is a miracle of clarity and condensation, placing the physician's finger with unerring accuracy on the really important issues. First, by way of introduction, a general observation: "When I review the performance of this people in comparison with what is expected, I am appalled and frightened." Not a particularly cheerful or even optimistic message. What is it that so frightens and appalls the prophet? Three things in particular:
1. The abuse of the environment: "When I . . . fly over the vast and beautiful expanses of our globe, . . . I have the feeling that the good earth can hardly bear our presence upon it. . . . The Brethren constantly cry out against . . . pollution of mind, body, and our surroundings. . . . That such a cry should be necessary among a people so blessed is amazing to me."
2. The pursuit of personal affluence: "Carnal man has tended to transfer his trust in God to material things. . . . When men have fallen under the power of Satan and lost the faith, they have put in its place a hope in the 'arm of flesh' and in 'gods of silver, and gold, of brass,' . . . that is, in idols. . . . Many people spend most of their time working in the service of a self-image that includes sufficient money, stocks, bonds, investment portfolios, property, credit cards, furnishing, automobiles and the like to guarantee carnal security throughout, it is hoped, a long and happy life."
3. Trust in military security: "We commit vast resources to the fabrication of gods of stone and steel—ships, planes, missiles, fortifications—and depend on them for protection and deliverance. When threatened, we become anti-enemy instead of pro-kingdom of God; we train a man in the art of war and call him a patriot, thus, in the manner of Satan's counterfeit of true patriotism, perverting the Savior's teaching. . . . What are we to fear when the Lord is with us? Can we not take the Lord at his word and exercise a particle of faith in him? . . . We must leave off the worship of modern-day idols and a reliance on the 'arm of flesh,' for the Lord has said to all the world in our day, 'I will not spare any that remain in Babylon' [D&C 64:24]."
And how did the Saints, who never tire of saying, "The Prophet! The Prophet! We have a prophet!" receive his words? As might be expected, reaction has ranged from careful indifference to embarrassed silence and instant deep freeze. As to the three things against which they were warned, it can be shown with cruel documentation that Utah leads the nation, at least through its representatives, in outspoken contempt for the environment, unabashed reverence for wealth, and ardent advocacy of military expansion.
On various occasions, Brigham Young made it perfectly clear that no possible grounds remain for evading or postponing the law of consecration; there is nothing to argue or temporize about; the clarifying and explaining have all been done. It has been repeatedly presented to the people in the most clear and unequivocal terms—and flatly rejected by them. Not by a show of hands—that would have been perfectly permissible—but by proclaiming by word and deed after leaving the meetings that they had no intention of keeping certain parts of the law. Notice how Israel and the Saints of every age, when called to keep the law, are reminded that unless they live up to every point of the agreement the whole covenant will be nullified—it is the whole law or nothing. The Saints covenanted and promised to observe it with the clear understanding that God is not to be mocked in these things, and that the only alternative to living up to every item of covenants made with him is to be in Satan's power (cf. Moses 4:4). Which is where we are today, along with the rest of the world. It is the stubborn insistence on having it both ways, keeping parts of the law that content them while putting the rest on hold, that generates those crippling contradictions that mark our present condition.
If Brigham Young could say in 1877 that "the Latter-day Saints present a strange spectacle to those that enjoy the spirit of revelation," today the spectacle is unfolding to all the world. Economists, journalists, political analysts, sociologists, historians, psychologists, and not least of all General Authorities have all had occasion in the present year to offer explanations for the paradoxical phenomenon of "Utah, the Fraud Capital of the World." If you have followed our little history, there is nothing paradoxical about it. Almost all of the experts agree that the cause of the thing lies in a strange combination of goodness, gullibility, and greed among the people who have always, "like Israel of old," to quote President Woodruff, "associated certain worldly successes with their ideas of right, and misfortune with their ideas of wrong." Since the beginning, the Saints have been under the necessity of frequent routine warnings against "the hard-sell techniques of men not interested in truth, who insist that the acquisition of wealth is a state of blessedness" (1 Timothy 6:5). The King James translators, innocent of the economic jargon of a decadent society, gave the passage a more philosophic turn, but just as damning: "Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself" (1 Timothy 6:5). The urgent warning, indeed the whole epistle, shows that such men were influential and dangerous in the church; and all Paul could do about it was to advise his hearers to steer clear of them.
What can we look forward to now? "Happy is the man whom God correcteth!" If the Lord still loves the Saints, he will treat them as before and give them some very rough times indeed to bring them to their senses. Meanwhile the constant cry of their great leader Brigham Young still reverberates in the hearts of the faithful: How long, O Lord? How long will it be? "We may travel for many years before the sunshine appears. It does not yet appear to this people, they are merely in the twilight."92 "Could we expect them to become prepared to be the disciples of the Lord Jesus in one, in five, in ten, in twenty, or in thirty years?"93 On the eve of the Civil War, he asked them: "Are the Latter-day Saints preparing themselves for the calamities that are coming upon the earth? or are they covetous?"94 And when the war is over: "We look forward to the day . . . when we will be prepared to build up Zion. Are we prepared now? No, we are not. We are only professedly Latter-day Saints."95 The feigned words of the profession covered an ever-growing covetousness that blossomed into spectacular flower in the Gilded Age of the nation's history: "We are constantly receiving communications from the elders laboring in the States. . . . There is a coldness in the minds of the people, a total indifference to the gospel and its glorious truths and the whole sum of their inquiries [is] how and where we can make the most money."96 And two years later: "How long shall we travel, how long shall we live, how long shall God wait for us to sanctify ourselves and become one in the Lord, in our actions and in our ways for building up of the kingdom of God, that he can bless us?"97 The question still awaits an answer.
In the face of all this, students still cling to the belief that it is all right to get rich if you intend to help the Church. Let us hear the wise, experienced, and inspired Brigham Young on the subject:
When the people arrive here, many of them come to me and say, "Brother Brigham, can we go here, or there, to get us farms? Shall we enter into this or that speculation? We have been very poor, and we want to make some money. . . . We want to go where we can have plenty of range for our stock, where we can mount our horses, and ride over the prairies, and say, I am Lord of all I survey. We do not wish to be disturbed, in any way, nor to be asked to pay tithing, to work upon the roads, nor pay territorial tax, but we wish all the time to ourselves, to appropriate to our own use."98
Here, if ever, was the culmination of the American Dream on the wildest of the frontiers. But with it they wanted the rewards of faith:
If you ask them if they are ready to build up the kingdom of God, their answer is prompt—"Why, to be sure we are, with our whole souls; but we want first to get so much gold, speculate and get rich, and then we can help the Church considerably. We will go to California and get gold, go and buy goods and get rich, trade with the emigrants, build a mill, make a farm, get a large herd of cattle, and then we can do a great deal for Israel." When will you be ready to do it? "In a few years, brother Brigham, if you do not disturb us. We do not believe in the necessity of doing military duty, in giving over our surplus property for tithing; we never could see into it; but we want to go and get rich, to accumulate and amass wealth, by securing all the land adjoining us, and all we have a knowledge of." If that is not the spirit of this people, then I do not know what the truth is concerning the matter.99
Here the prophet shows us what today is glorified as the spirit that won the West, that made America great, and so on, in direct conflict with the spirit by which the kingdom must be built up, and he rebukes those Saints who insisted that they could sustain the one in the spirit of the other. It is time to give up that pious sophistry. So here is the answer to our question, What has gone wrong? The Lord has not let you down after all your plans and exertions. You have let him down by all your plans and exertions.
A Note on Being Independent
God has announced that he has a plan to prepare for himself special people and to make his church "independent above all other creatures beneath the celestial world" (D&C 78:14). We get as far as the word "independent" and, without reading another syllable farther, declare our resolution to get rich and thereby achieve the independence God wants us all to have.
But if God has a plan, why not let him tell us what it is, instead of cutting him off in the middle of a sentence the way Cain did when he saw that God's plan would interfere with his own plans for getting rich (Moses 5:23-33)?
The Lord speaks of the Church's being independent—nothing about the individual; and of independence, but only of the powers here below "beneath the celestial world," not of orders from above. He makes it all very clear: It is my plan—not yours! (D&C 78:14). "It is my purpose to provide for my saints, for all things are mine. But it must needs be done in mine own way, . . . that I, the Lord, have decreed to provide for my saints" (D&C 104:15-16). The plan is a heavenly one, given as a special blessing to the elect, God's own people, to set them apart from the rest of the world—there is no human invention about it. But that one word, "independent," is enough to set us off after the way of the world, interposing our own plan right in the middle of the sentence, so that it will look like his, not even bothering to consider what the Lord has in mind. And what do we come up with? Nothing in the world but the old familiar run-of-the-mill capitalism—the world's way after all. Is this what the Lord has been holding in reserve for his people?
"It must needs be done in mine own way," says the Lord, and in the very same sentence gives us as the essence of that plan, "that the poor shall be exalted, in that the rich are made low" (D&C 104:16)—all brought to the same economic level—so that we all have "sufficient for our needs," which is quite enough for anyone. The idea is "that you may be equal in the bonds of heavenly things, yea, and earthly things also. . . . For if ye are not equal in earthly things ye cannot be equal in obtaining heavenly things" (D&C 78:5-6). It is nothing more nor less than a redistribution of the wealth, for "it is not given that one man should possess that which is above another" (D&C 49:20). As Brigham Young put it, "the underlying principle . . . was that there should be no rich and no poor."100
Now Joseph Smith knew as well as anyone that "if we were eaquel in property at present in six months we would be worse [off] than Ever [sic]." And he tells us exactly why—not because the more industrious, far-sighted, dedicated, and enterprising members of society would quickly acquire most of the wealth, but because "there [are] too many dishonest men amongst us who [have] more injenity [ingenuity] to threat the Rest [of us]."101 The inevitable inequality comes from dishonest men with ingenious plans, who endanger "the Rest" by forcing all to play the game their way to avoid becoming their victims: "Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey" (Isaiah 59:15). It is Satan's master stroke—all must set their hearts on riches or become the servants of those who do.
Consecration and the United Order begin with the observance of civic duty. "I prophecy [sic]," said Joseph Smith in 1841, "that the day will come when you will say Oh that we had given heed but look now upon our public works the store schoolhouse for instance the Simoon of the Desert has passed over it." The people had neglected the common interest for the private: "The people will not hearken nor hear and bondage Death and destruction are close at our heels." With this dire prophecy (and there never was a truer) goes another, most reassuring to us all: "The Kingdom will not be broken up"! What then, can we relax? Now comes one of the most enlightening and reassuring of prophecies. In view of what has happened, one cannot help but ask, How will it all turn out, and how can the Lord go on tolerating such behavior? Here is the answer: "The Kingdom will not be broken up but we shall be scattererd and driven gathered again & then dispersed reestablished & driven abroad and so on until the Ancient of days shall sit and the kingdom and power thereof shall then be given to the Saints and they shall possess it forever and ever, which may God hasten for Christs sake Amen."102 Now this is exactly the process we have been describing. The discouraging thing is that we never learn; the encouraging thing is that when we see the dismal cycle repeating itself again, we are beholding the fulfillment of prophecy—all is going forth as foretold, and, best of all, the kingdom still hangs on; it will never be too late for the faithful to work for the building up of the kingdom. Each individual is being tested every hour of the day: "The devil has no power over us only as we permit him; the moment we revolt at anything which comes from God the Devil takes power."103 One or the other—we will never be allowed the luxury of compromise.
A most enlightening account of how one gets rich to help the Church is the story of F. A. Hammond, a man who landed in San Francisco in 1848, joined the Church there, and by great industry and sound common sense acquired considerable wealth—Sam Brannan begged him to become his business partner. Involved in the Gold Rush from the first, he recalls, "I was so full of the spirit of the gathering that I did not regard gold at all." He got rich selling food and supplies to the miners, and then he set out on advice of Brigham Young to join the struggling Saints in the Valley. Passing through the gold country "opposite Mormon Island" on the Sacramento River, he found that "the goods loaded on his splendid wagon were in such great demand that he could easily make from 200 to 500 percent profit on them, . . . and prices were increasing every day." "It fairly made my head swim, and Satan whispered in my ears, 'Why not remain another year, and trade and speculate and get rich; and then you can assist the poor Saints, the widow and the orphan, and take them up to Zion. . . . The people already there are hard put to it to sustain themselves.' In this manner I was tried, and sorely too."104 Note who was reasoning so piously and wisely, like Judas protesting his lively concern for the poor (John 12:4-6)—it was Satan. This reasoning caused Brother Hammond "great perplexity of mind"105—what was he to do? A vision that came to him on three successive nights solved the problem. In it, he was shown a terrible threat that hung over all those so diligently seeking gold on the river, and after the third revelation, "When I awoke . . . my mind was perfectly clear, and I felt to thank the Lord . . . that He had thus warned me . . . to flee from that land and gather with His people . . . and learn to be obedient to His commands."106 The Lord had made clear that he is not pleased with the familiar sophistry of getting-rich-to-help-the-church.
*A revised transcript of a talk given in 1984.
1. TPJS 9.
2. Ibid., 8.
3. Ibid., 14-15.
4. Ibid., 18-19.
5. Ibid., 47.
6. Ibid., 225.
7. HC 2:487-88.
8. Matthias Cowley, The Life of Wilford Woodruff (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1964), 67.
9. Ibid., 68.
10. Ibid., 88.
11. Orson F. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1945), 99.
12. Ibid., 101.
14. Ibid., 181.
15. Ibid., 36.
16. Edward Stevenson, The Life and History of Elder Edward Stevenson (n.d.), 40-41.
17. JD 2:305-6.
18. Tertullian, De Spectaculis II, 89-90.
19. JD 2:299.
20. Ibid., 2:306.
21. Ibid., 2:306-7.
22. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball, 185.
23. Ibid., 217-18.
24. JD 15:4.
25. TPJS 141.
26. HC 3:301.
27. WJS 11.
28. TPJS 297.
29. Ibid., 183.
30. Ibid., 231.
31. Cowley, Life of Wilford Woodruff, 160.
32. TPJS 127-28.
33. Cowley, Life of Wilford Woodruff, 166.
34. Ibid., 169.
35. Ibid., 167.
36. Ibid., 170.
37. TPJS 331.
38. Cowley, Life of Wilford Woodruff, 320.
39. JD 13:1.
40. Ibid., 18:244.
41. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball, 389.
42. Cowley, Life of Wilford Woodruff, 328-29.
43. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball, 400.
44. Ibid., 405-6.
45. Cowley, Life of Wilford Woodruff, 317.
47. Ibid., 356.
48. JD 2:300.
49. Ibid., 2:303.
50. Ibid., 2:304.
51. Ibid., 2:305.
52. From the Manuscript History of Brigham Young (Church Historical Archives).
53. JD 1:255.
54. MS 17:120.
55. JD 4:30.
56. Ibid., 4:52.
57. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball, 446.
58. JD 5:353.
59. Ibid., 6:197.
60. Cowley, Life of Wilford Woodruff, 400.
62. Ibid., 406.
63. Ibid., 409.
64. JD 7:47.
65. Ibid., 7:282.
66. Ibid., 8:164.
67. Ibid., 11:349.
68. Ibid., 13:2.
69. Ibid., 13:31-32.
70. Ibid., 13:314.
71. MS 35:691.
72. JD 17:57-58.
73. MS 39:118.
74. MS 39:119.
76. Ibid., 35:275.
77. Ibid., 22:737-38.
78. Ibid., 21:825.
79. JD 11:348.
80. Ibid., 15:2.
81. Ibid., 15:3.
82. Ibid., 15:4.
83. Ibid., 17:37.
84. Ibid., 18:239.
85. From the Manuscript History of Brigham Young (Church Historical Archives).
86. Cowley, Life of Wilford Woodfruff, 487-88.
87. Ibid., 517-18.
88. Leonard J. Arrington, Great Basin Kingdom (Cambridge: Harvard University, 1958), 314.
89. M. E. Christensen, "The Making of a Leader," (Ph.D. diss., University of Utah, 1980), 128.
91. Spencer W. Kimball, "The False Gods We Worship," Ensign 6 (June 1976), 3-4.
92. JD 3:191.
93. Ibid., 5:167.
94. Ibid., 8:344 (emphasis added).
95. Ibid., 12:310.
96. Dean C. Jessee, ed., Letters of Brigham Young to His Sons (Salt Lake City: Deseret, 1974), 138 (February 16, 1870).
97. JD 15:4.
98. Ibid., 1:164.
100. From the Manuscript History of Brigham Young (Church Historical Archives).
101. WJS 68.
102. Ibid., 67.
103. Ibid., 60.
104. N. B. Lundwall, Faith Like the Ancients, 2 vols. (Manti: Mountain Valley, 1968), 2:121.
106. Ibid., 2:123.