MORMONISM IN NEW-YORK.
SOME PARTICULARS CONCERNING MORMON EMIGRATION—THE EUROPEAN MISSION—THE SANDWICH ISLANDS—THE MORMONS IN THIS VICINITY—THEIR OR-GANIZATION AND RELIGIOUS SERVICES.
The past history of the Mormons is too well known to need recital here. The story of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, or the Golden Bible, as he called it—his preaching and its success—the devotion of his followers; the settlement of the Latter Day Saints, successively at Kirtland, Ohio, in Jackson, Clay, and Caldwell Counties, Missouri, and their ejection from Missouri by the militia of the State; their build-ing of Nauvoo, Illinois, and expulsion therefrom; and their final settlement in Utah, and the energy, and suffering, and success with which they labored in founding Salt Lake City; all this story is well known. Whatever the errors and impuri-ties of their creed, whatever the falsity and corruption of their lives, that story is in many respects a wonderful one, attesting for this people a stern and unyielding perseverance in pressing on in the path they had chosen, through sorrow, and persecu-tion, and blood. We can find space to-day only for an account of the Missions of the Mormon Church, the policy adopted con-cerning emigration, and a brief statement of the condition of the Mormons in this city and vicinity, their organization, and religious services.
The number of Mormons in Utah is computed by their own authorities to be from 80,000 to 100,000. Other authorities, living in the Territory, maintain that the number will not ex-ceed 50,000 or at most 60,000. There are few Mormons in any other portion of the United States. Some have estimated the number of Mormons in the whole world at 100,000. These are chiefly Europeans. Some missions have been founded by the Mormons, however, in Asia, Africa, Polynesia, and Australia. In the work of establishing missions, especially in Europe, the Mormons have displayed great energy. Their greatest suc-cess has been found in England, Scotland, Wales, Norway and Denmark. The English, Welsh and Scandinavians have probably given them the larger number of converts. They have a small mission in Switzerland.
IN THE SANDWICH ISLANDS.
The Mormons have had missionaries in the Sandwich Islands for about 12 years. They state that the number of Mormons now in these islands is from 2,000 to 3,000. A few years ago, the Mormon leaders sent out agents to the Sandwich Islands, who purchased a large quantity of land and founded a permanent mission. It is expected that the Sand-wich Island converts will never join the general gathering of the Mormon people in Utah. This deviation from the general policy of the Mormons, and the labor they have bestowed upon their mission in these Islands, has given rise to the re-port that the Mormons were preparing to remove in a body from Salt Lake City to this mission.
For several years the number of Mormon emigrants from Europe has averaged from 3,000 to 5,000, of which fully one-half were Scandinavians.
Brigham Young, jr., is President of the entire European Mission. He resides in Liverpool, where he publishes a weekly journal called The Latter Day Saints' Millennial Star. This journal was established in 1840. Brigham Young, jr., has been in Europe three years. He is 27 years of age, Pre-vious to Young's appointment, Daniel H. Wells, now Coun-selor to Brigham Young, sen., was President of the European Mission. The President of the European Mission appoints the Presidents of the Mission Churches, or branches, as they are called, subject to the acceptance of the members of such, missions. He also supervises the missionary work and all else pertaining to the interests of the Mormon Church.
The European mission is supported by missionaries appointed at the annual Conference of the Mormon church at Salt Lake City, held every year on the 6th of April, this day being cele-brated as the natal day of the church under Joseph Smith. About 40 missionaries are annually sent to Europe. On ar-rival at Liverpool they are assigned to their respective fields of labor by Brigham Young, jr. These missionaries are allowed only their traveling expenses, and for everything else must depend upon the people. The policy of the Mormons being to eventually concentrate their people at Salt Lake City, of course, no church edifices are erected at their missionary stations in Europe. The first missionaries sent to Europe were Brigham Young, jr., and Heber C. Kimball, appointed by Joseph Smith in 1839.
Previous to leaving for this country, the European Mormon emigrants are regularly organized. A president is appointed who directs the general movement, appointing several subor-dinate officers to assist him. Ships are chartered for the ex-press conveyance of these Mormons to this country. The emigrants usually embark at Liverpool or Hamburg. Three vessels with Mormon emigrants sailed from Hamburg during the present year. The President of the Eastern Mission in this country, Mr. W. H. Miles, a resident of this city, states that all emigrants must pay their traveling expenses up to the frontier of Utah Territory, and that the average cost to each person is about $26. He also states that from the frontier they are taken to Salt Lake City by teams sent down by the Church. From the frontier they travel in companies, regularly organized, with a captain to each company. The journey is accomplished in about 65 days. This year about 500 teams were sent by the Mormon authorities from Salt Lake City to the territorial frontier for the conveyance of these emigrants. This transportation is supported by the Perpetual Emigra-tion Fund, to which every member of the Church must an-nually contribute. No very great objection can be found against this programme as announced by the agent of the Mormons in this city. In marked contrast is the following ex-tract from a communication addressed to us by one of the quarantine officers of this port.
"The Mormon emigrants all arrive in London about the same time, and before embarkation they are all inspected. After getting through, with the farce of inspection—not a single one being rejected, old or young, lame, blind, or crippled—they are put on board. Then com-mences the routine of sea life. They are divided off into four grand divisions, presided over by four Elders. Each division is again divided into messes of about 20, each also presided over by an officer appointed by the ruling Elder. And now commences the real prac-tical part of the whole affair, so far as Brigham’s agents are concerned. A Committee appointed by the ruling Elder takes charge of all prop-erty belonging to the passengers on the ship, which no man can reach without a permit. Next, arrangements are made for the payment of the passage money. The converts are all assembled, and the follow-ing little programme is unfolded. The Elders are to pay all expenses from London to New-York, and from New-York to Salt Lake City; the same to include inland transportation, and the necessaries of life on the way, the money to be drawn from the general fund. They also find it necessary to appropriate a certain sum from the aforesaid gen-eral fund to pay contingent expenses, which includes the Elders hotel bills, &c. After deducting from each man's account his expenses, the balance is handed back to him—when he gets it. During the voyage, particular care is taken to instruct them in the New Gospel, and the temptations that lay in their way, especially in New-York City, which appears to be a great thorn in the side of the Elders. They warn them, especially the young women, to beware of the Gentiles in New-York, that they will entice them away under the pretense of friendship, and then rob them—rob them of what they had been al-ready robbed of by these very men. The bark Cayour recently ar-rived with a load of them, and an eye-witness that saw them during the passage says the passengers slept together irrespective of sex, and they appeared to have no regard whatever for the sacred rites of mar-riage, and they were so dirty and filthy that the stench arising from them was sickening, and that several died during the passage to this port on account of the filth. In fact, of late they have been refused the privilege of occupying Castle Garden, on account of their filthy and indecent habits."
Nearly all the Mormon emigrants pass through this city. Many of them live in this city or vicinity for a while before taking their departure for the West. About 200 families are now living in this State, Connecticut, New-Jersey and Pennsylvania, where they will remain till they can furnish their own means of transportation to Utah. These families arrived here this season. Those who remain here are presided over by the agent of whom we have spoken, Wm. H. Miles. He receives his appointment from Brigham Young, and exer-cises authority over all the branches east of the Mississippi. He appoints the presidents of all these branches, subject to the approval of those over whom they are to preside. This agent, or President of the Eastern Mission, is elected every year. The last of the emigrants who started for Utah from this city under his supervision left on the 1st of August. They numbered 200, and were all Danes. But few who were Ameri-cans have left here for Utah this year. There are quite a number of Mormons now living in this city who are Ameri-cans, and who have lived here for years.
MORMON CHURCH IN WILLIAMSBURGH.
At Williamsburgh there is a church or branch of about 254 members. Nearly all of these are English. Wm. Parr is President of this branch. There are also branches in Newark, Philadelphia and Cohoes, each having about 50 members.
Religious services are held every Sunday by the branch at Williamsburgh, in Adelphi Hall, corner of Grand and Eleventh-sts., at 3 o'clock p. m., and in the evening. These services are in form the same as the regular services of the church at Salt Lake City.
The President of the branch usually conducts the religious exercises. If he so chooses he can, however, call upon any elder to preside. Below the elders are priests, teachers and deacons but those are not frequently called upon to preach. The sacrament is administered to the people every Sunday.
At the Mormon services on Sunday afternoon, August 19, in Adelphi Hall, Williamsburgh, there were only about eighty persons present. The services were commenced by the con-gregation singing the well-known hymn, beginning─
Let every mortal ear attend,
And every heart rejoice,
The trumpet of the Gospel sounds,
With an inviting voice.
Prayer was then made by the president of the Mission. Mr. Miles, in which he asked the blessing of God upon their Presi-dent, Brigham Young. The sacrament of the Lord's Supper was then administered, the elements used being bread and water. The President then addressed the congregation. He said, substantially: We are a people believing in the inspira-tion of the Holy Spirit. God is the same yesterday, to-day, and forever. In all ages, God has communicated with men. He has had various methods of making His will known to His children on the earth. Sometimes He has talked face to face with them, and at other times angels have delivered his mes-sages. Visions and dreams have brought to man revela-tions of the will of God, or the still small voice of the Spirit has made it known. Now, although professed Chris-tians believe in all these various revelations of God to man in the ages past, still the great majority of them outside of the Mormon Church reject this doctrine of a present and direct communication between earth and heaven, assuming that the Church is so established, and the Gospel system so complete, that there no longer exists a need for a present revelation. But God is the same being to-day that He was yesterday, and back through the ages, and if God was once willing to make known His will to man through the agency of dreams or of holy men, He is willing to thus bless His children on the earth to-day. We have been made the partakers of this truth; we have been made witnesses of the truth that our Heavenly Father has again spoken from the heavens—spoken by His holy men—spoken by His priesthood. He who hath the Spirit of God hath the Spirit of Prophecy. By these men the same proclamation is put forth to-day that was issued in the ages past, whereby all men are called upon to repent and to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. They are also called upon to be baptized for the remission of sins and for the gift and power of the Holy Spirit. The speaker dwelt at some length on the form of baptism which God had ordained, contending that immersion only was in accordance with the revelations of the Bible. He felt to thank his Heavenly Father that he had found that this religion, sneeringly called Mormonism, was the religion of the Lord Jesus Christ, such as the primitive church possessed. He closed his address by invoking the blessing of the God of Israel upon the congregation.
Brief remarks were made by several other members of the branch, all testifying to their faith in the peculiar tenets of the Mormon Church, both for guidance here and salvation here-after.
Although in the services on Sunday afternoon, a perfect faith was of course expressed in the Book of Mormon and the teachings of Joseph Smith, aside from this, in that which con-cerns the simply spiritual, we believe little was said to which the most orthodox among us would object.
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