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Fitz Among The Mormons.
The winter sights between Denver and Cheyenne are cattle, trees and Greely, and between Cheyenne and Ogden several snow-storms, a lot of snowsbeds, the Continental divide, the 1,000 mile tree and cattle.
A cattle range covered with snow and swept by a blizzard is a sorry sight. Herd ers say. Cattle do well in winter,' and starv ing, freezing critters with tails to the wind and backs bumped, verify the statement. The wind that is tempered to the shorn lamb is all used up in Sunday-school, dear, and does not apply to beef anyway. The skele-tons scattered here and there are the mortal remains of those that have done especially well. The standing critters are not chew-ing cuds, because they chewed them up some time ago, and all agree that raising beef on frost and hunger is poor business. Yes, dear, they stand tail to the wind to keep their noses warm ; if they stood side to it in their present condition it would blow through their ribs and disarrange their disgestive or-gans so that they could not avail themselves of the coming crop. Those little black specks are points of punch grass protruding through the snow and the old steer that is trying to keep his feet and smell one of them is a 'Rustler.' ‘Rustlers' generally wind up in Western hotels. Beef and grazing is over-done. Somebody will get hurt.
OGDEN—SALT LAKE CITY.
Ogden is an important railroad point in Utah and a pretty town of 7000, half Mor-mon, half Gentile people A short stay in a cozy home there convinced me that Chap man's is the place to get a wife. The boy is a daisy. I was fortunate in striking the town in time to hear the Lenten regulations read in my own church in the morning and to see Mormon services in the tabernacle in the afternoon The exterior of the Ogden tabernacle is of the potato-pit and the inte-rior of the gas house retort school architect-ure. Good music, fervent prayer, ordinary preaching, more fervent prayer, bread and water, a congregation of 800, the men seated at either side and the women in the middle of the church and about thirty babies run-ning in the aisles is the order of exercises.
Twenty five thousand people, 100 foot street, 20 foot sidewalks, 40-rod blocks, self-cleaning gutters, a wealth of shade trees, a front and backyard for every house, the ab sence of suburban squalor and wretchedness, and the presence of polygamy, make Salt Lake City the most charming and interest-ing spot on the continent. If Senator Ed-munds, Judge Goodwin, and Pat Lannan would mind their own business it would be a pleasant and peaceful home for Mormons. There is no peace, for Edmunds said to his polygamist brother: Emigrate, fight or obey the law of the land, and The Tribune has reiterated it till Mormon hatred of Fed eral laws and officials is only kept in bounds by Gen. McCook and Federal guns. Brig ham Young had no more use for the state, so the church swallowed it; hence the city is governed by and for Mormons. ‘I have no more to say here than you have, and in the American Gentile in business is muzzled on his native heath,' says a down-trodden Gentile. A Bostonian, cursing Mormon doctrines and practices in a whisper, when asked to speak louder, replied: 'It ain't safe! Why, a few years ago, if a man said anything against their dashed religion, three or four of them would surround him, and whittle small sticks with butcher knives, cut ting towards him, and if he failed to leave the town they would whittle him.' What a pity it is that some men can't worship ac-cording to the dictates of conscience and carve dissenters.
‘No admittance,' on a tablet at the eastern entrance to Temple block, made me ask for permission which was readily granted and a middle-aged Mormon acted as guide.
Temple block contains ten acres of land, the temple, tabernacle, Assembly hall and Endowment house, and is surrounded by a stone wall 10 feet high and 3 feet thick Thirty years and $4 000 000 had been ex pended on the temple. Six years and an-other million will finish it The Mormon religion may fall, but the temple can't, for its granite walls are 8 feet thick.
A turtle would have to get his back up pretty high to look like the tabernacle Forty two stone piers 15 feet high. 9 feet deep and 3 feet thick (edges out) serve as door and window frames and supports for a roof 250 feet long and 150 feet wide. A million shingles cover it. The man who de-signed and placed that roof was wise; the poor who paid for it were drained. Mor mons used to claim the house would seat 13 000, my guide said 10 000, but Patti filled it with 6 500. The distance from the floor to the center of the ceiling is seventy feet. The acoustic properties are such that a pin dropped near the organ can be heard at the opposite end of the edifice, but the fall of a hammer would not be noticed at the sides More of it later The Assembly hall will seat 2500 and cost $90 000
O no, dear reader, even the faithful have to be washed and oiled before going into the Endowment house. I'll introduce a Mor mon elder instead
A MORMON ELDER
John Aird, in eighty years, has learned more of 'hivin' and less of earth than any Scotch weaver I ever met. Thirty two years ago he embraced the Mormon faith, and be gan to preach in the highways and byways of Kilmarnock, Scotland He could not con-vert his wife, so he left her and his children, seven years ago, and came to Zion where he married Harriet Bagshaw, whom I will in-troduce presently. He says he loves the old woman as well as ever (I hope this will meet her eye) and though 'she never writes,' sends her $15 every six months. John brought to Zion the experience of seventy-three years and $2 He struck a good job at once, for a Mormon bishop hired him to nurse a typhoid patient 'to a finish,' and agreed to pay him $2 a day. The job lasted five weeks and the bishop paid him $18. He is now employed by the church to sell con-secrated oil and Mormon views and litera-ture at a salary of $2 a day, one-tenth of which goes back to the church in tithing.
There was a touch of sadness in the old man's voice while saying: 'I was forsaken by kith and kin at home, but I have been baptized for 104 and married to thirty-four of them, and some day they will know that I was their best friend. I have invested the surplus earnings of six years in their salva-tion and will yet be their king in hivin. One of John's revelations nearly paralyzed me: 'No man without children can enter the kingdom of hivin. If he comes there with nothing he'll get nothing.'
His marriage in Scotland was limited 'till death do us part,' but the marriage in Zion is 'for time and eternity,' so that Harriet is in for the long term. As woman can only be saved by her husband, and as John has to have two wives on the ground to make a job of it, Harriet is looking up another wife for him. Rather a difficult matter, for John is 80 and particular.
Here is Harriet, a little woman of 35. A pleasant 'How d'ye do?' reveals that she is English, and a pleasant smile that she has lost her teeth. She apologized for not hav-ing got John another wife: 'Everybody won't have him, but I must find him one for my own salvation, so I am selfish, you see.' To help the little woman out, I nominated Kate Field, and produced a sensation.
‘Naw! Naw!' cried Jane, 'I have lost con-fidence in Kate, and do not want her. In the guise of a saint she wormed herself into our homes and confidences, and is now trying to make mischief for the Latter Day Saints.'
Women as a rule size up the company. Not so with Harriet, who, with eyes and mouth open, gazed at and drank in the words of her husband and saviour.
‘I'll want my supper at sax, and will be vaxed if I don't get it,' made the little wom-an fly. As she was going through the door she looked at him lovingly and said, 'I don't want you to be vexed.' Mormons have some idea of government, anyhow. I called on them at their home in the evening. Ev-erything was sweet and clean except the conversation, which made me blush twice during the visit.
The church government is vested in the various orders of priesthood, called presi-dents. councillors, apostles, high priests, seventies, elders, priests, teachers, deacons and patriarchs, who meet in general confer-ence and make laws.
The territory is divided into stakes of Zion the stakes into wards, and the wards into blocks. A president and two councillors manage a stake; a bishop and two council-lors a ward, and two teachers a block, so that there are 6363 church officials that I know of, and the Lord knows how many more in Utah.
Salt Lake stake of Zion is divided into twenty one wards, each three blocks square, so that its spiritual and temporal welfare is watched over by one president and two coun-cillors, twenty-one bishops and forty-two councillors, 378 teachers and the municipal officers, all of whom are Mormons
The teachers are required to visit every Mormon house in their respective blocks at least once a month to see that the lamps are kept trimmed and tithes paid, to quell inter-nal disturbances and poke their noses as far as possible into their neighbors' business.
The United States is represented by Gov. Murray, Gen. McCook, Judge Zane, States-Attorney Dickson. The Salt Lake Tribune and a grand jury; and 4000 Gentile residents of Salt Lake City pray for their retention in their respective places I did not vote for Cleveland, but respectfully give him this pointer.
SUNDAY IN SALT LAKE CITY.
Sunday morning I attended my own church and being a half hour ahead of time had it all to myself for a while. The church was cold and damp A Newfoundland dog strayed in early too, and, after smelling a-round awhile, lay down in the second pew in front of me. It was too damp for the dog, for he soon stood up, peered over the back of his pew at me and looked 'the priest in charge may be dead gone on the souls of this congregation, but he does not care a continental for their bodies.' then winked, sneezed a couple of times, and went out. I had a soul to save, so staid to hear mass and take cold. More of the faithful die of colds taken in Catholic churches than from all other causes combined. Priests who mix the spiritual and temporal successfully are scarce. You don't often find a Keogh or Lalumiere in the church.
At 11 A. M. the priest and two altar-boys (two are better than ten) appeared, the lady choir began to sing and my misery was for-gotten in the solemnity of the mass ill a roaring ‘Dominus vobiscum,' in a rich Ker-ry brogue distracted me. He sang and preached as man never sang and preached before. An altar boy took up the collection. A Milwaukee Catholic out West sighs for St. John's cathedral, and regrets that beauty has been marred by these dark heavy frames on 'The Stations of the Gross'
No need of being late at the Tabernacle, for service do not begin till 2 P. M. Gen-tiles go to church when they are ready, but Mormons get there on time. Fully 3000 were seated at I 30 Woman's inhumanity to woman is not perceptible in the Taberna-cle, for Mormon ushers crowd the sitting to make room for the standing sisters, and to see women ruthlessly pushed along to make room for other women is real fun.
A congregation of 5000 faces the music of a 32x32x54 foot organ, six violins and sev-enty-five voices, and are charmed by it. The pulpit, directly in front of the choir, is an extensive affair in four compartments The back part is for the president and his coun-cil; the next in front and below for twelve apostles; the next for the president of the state who acts as master of ceremonies, and the speaker of the day, and the next for the six men in charge of the communion table. On the table is the bread and the silver ser-vice, and under it the hydrant and two wat-er barrels. There were but nine men in the pulpit I regret to say that many who should have been there had taken 'the Un-derground Railway.' Two hymns and a prayer were followed by a sermon. During the sermon the bread was broken into not less than 5000 pieces and put in silver bas-kets. After the sermon a blessing was in-voked on the bread. It was then passed a-round to a dozen men, each of the faithful taking a piece.
If you don't like the first sermon, keep still; there are always two and the next may be better. Heavens! it is the apostle Car-rington, the greatest cruelty ever inflicted on a congregation! While he preached, the people ate, and as they knew what they were doing they got through first, so he was in-terrupted to allow an innovation on the water, after which he resumed his vaporings, and all hands took a sip. Another hymn was followed by benediction, and the 5000 worshippers were discharged from the edi-fice through twenty doors, each nine feet wide, in just three minutes by the watch. As six days of the week are devoted to col-lections, contribution boxes are not a part of the Mormon church Sunday service.
Mormon sermons are impromptu and in a
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literary point of view weak. They are, however, about half loaded with zeal and the operations of the grand jury cause an occasions spark of fire.
A rural Mormon sits in his wagon and nets as cashier, while two wives canvass either side of the street, deliver goods to customers and the money to him. If that Mormon strikes Peter as he did me he will be fired out of Heaven bodily.
Brother Hansen, of Spanish Forks, has about as much of his own way as any man in the territory, for thirteen wives and forty children do his bidding. They live as one family. His wives worship him, and never talk back. He assigns each her place and work, giving the older and plainer looking ones the hardest jobs, and then pits down and smokes his pipe in peace.
Polygany like politics, makes strange bed-fellows. One man marries sisters, another a mother and daughter and another his niece, thus bringing about some startling relation-ship.
Taking a new wife in Utah is not so easy as many suppose. The poor man has to get the consent of his intended, her parents, his other wives, the bishop of his ward, the president of the stake, and the president of the church. If he goes through without a black-ball from some of the dignitaries, or a black eye from some of his wives, he is luck-y. The ceremony is performed by the pres-ident of the church, the groom is given away by his wife or wives, and all goes merry as a marriage bell till the new wife begins to put on airs around the house; then there is war. Mr. Penrose has been called out of "meetin" to declare peace between his wives.
I put up at the Spencer house ten days. The landlord has two wives. After living on steaks cut from "rustlers" and cooked by Chinamen in Montana for weeks, I felt that a man who furnished good beef was entitled to confidence, and believed him when he said: "I am living within the law." The grand jury did not believe him, hence he was indicted, arrested and placed under bonds for what Edmunds calls "unlawful co-habitation," and that's what's the matter with the landlord of the most homelike hotel that I saw in the West. How the grand jury, none of whom boarded there, secured the testimony, upon which to indict him, beats me.
"No happiness for women in polygamy," says one women. "It is hard, but if a wo-man conquers her selfish nature she will be happy in polygamy," stammers another, "Many girls who came over to live their re-ligion reached Zion penniless, and embraced polygamy and an old Mormon for shelter," says a third, all of which leads to the belief that a love-feast in a polyamist home re-sembles wash-day in any other.
"No, sir! My father is a polygamist, but I ain't and never will be," says one young girl. "I am a Mormon and believe in po-lygamy." "If a choice lay between a mo-nogamist and a polygamist, which would I take? I'd take the one I like best, but I do not like to talk about such things," says an-other girl. Birdie, you ought to be a bishop.
"Reverse the main thing and I'll be a Mormon, my dear," says a breezy Irish lady to a home missionary. There are no Irish polygmists and I am proud of it. Men in polygamy, while saying "every-thing is lovely," are putting additions to the old, or building new houses for the kickers.
My own opinion is that even revelations from Heaven should accord with the consti-tution of the United States.
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