Mormon Conference in England.
The semi-official conference of the Mor-mons was held in Manchester, England, on the 3d. The Manchester Guardian gives the subjoined report of their proceedings:
The business of the Conference was com-menced by a prayer, which opened with an explanation to the Almighty of the object for which the "saints" had assembled. The introductory sentence was to this effect: "Our Father in Heaven, we, thy saints of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, have met together in this room for the purpose of holding a Conference of mat ters connected with the work of the Gospel in this part of thy vineyard." Blessings were invoked on "those having authority in the world," who were explained to be "thy prophet Brigham," "the twelve," and "the elders and priests of thy church now laboring in thy vine yard." Prayer was also offered that “thy saints in Zion may increase and multiply.”
Short reports of the progress of the work, the prospects of the “saints,” and the state of the finances, were made by representa-tives from Preston, Liverpool, Bolton and Oldham. The Preston representative stated that it was at Preston that the gospel was first preached, that the saints generally were doing well, but that there were some not living their religion, and of these he might say it would be a blessing if they would drop off. Great opposition was still met with from “the children of men,” and the “saints” were suffering “persecution for righteousness’ sake.” He had complained of the thousands of lies the papers in his district had published about the saints, and had called upon seven editors to ask them to publish gospel sermons setting forth the opinions and doctrines of the saints, but they had all refused to publish the truth giving as the reason that it would be “against their interest.”
The Liverpool representative referred to the opposition the saints had to contend with, and quoted as an illustration the treatment he had received recently at Runcorn, at an open air meeting. There was a large assem-blage, composed principally of Methodists, and he was listened to quietly until it was discovered what he was, when the people threat-ened to throw him into a quarry. He had to avail himself of the protection of the police in order to make good his escape. The “saint” I charge of the Manchester confer-ence read statistics of the progress of the work. He stated that there are in the district 1,007 saints, more than 100 elders, about 70 priests and a large number of deacons; and he argued that with such a force of “saints” in authority more ought to be “gathered in to Zion.”
The “saints” were urged to lay up their pence in order that they might speedily get away from a land of oppression, and tumults and wretchedness, to a land of peace and plenty, and freedom. The speaker administered some sharp rebukes to many who professed to be saints, but who were tares amongst the wheat. Some, he said, who called themselves “Latter Day Saints” drank whiskey from morning until night, swallowed beer like a stream from the mountains, took tobacco in its various forms, until, when they came into his presence, their breaths stunk so that he declared he would rather smell the fumes of hell. Such men were more fit to be in the bowels of hell than in the company of the saints of God, and he called upon them to give up intoxicating drinks and tobacco, and not to let the “children of men” point to saints wallowing in the mire. That was what the Gentiles did, for he knew a case of the kind only recently a preacher got so drunk that he was unable to stagger into the pulpit. He was quite satisfied from what he had seen that many who professed to be “saints” in the Manchester district were the reverse. Their policy was not to cut them off at once, but to let the tares grow with the wheat for the sake of the advantages they could get in influencing the families of these men.
At Utah, said President Richards, they were all of one mind in matters of religion, of politics and of government, and they never heard of such a thing as a contested election. If opposition candidates were sometimes started they did not go to a poll, but they appealed to the man of God, Brig-ham, who had authority given to him to de-cide all disputes, and he informed the saints who was the fitting man for the vacant post. They were twenty years old as a people in the territory of Utah, yet there had not been a war, and the saints were thoroughly united in all matters. The doctrines and covenants of the Mormons were then explained, the peculiar one of polygamy being only touched upon as one of “the most delightful inter-est” to the Gentiles. Mr. Richards also dwelt upon the possession of “saints” of the apostolic powers of “healing the sick, cleansing the lepers, and casting out devils.” These gifts, he said, would be exercised by the elders and those in authority in the church, with somewhat di-minished power, until the gathering in of the Jews, but then they would exercise the fights with equal powers to that possessed by the apostles.
The “apostle’s” address was brought to an abrupt termination by an interruption pro-ceeding from the gallery. He was picturing to his hearers the glories of Utah, the peace, cheerfulness and plenty to be found there, and the necessity there exists for the saints to be off from this country, this great Baby-lon, lest they be partakers of her sins to the land of rest, when a voice from the gallery asked, “What about the women?” Another said, “There is no need to go to Utah to worship God. He is a spirit, and must be worshipped in spirit and in truth.” Then came the query, “How about poly-gamy?” and other interruptions. The “saints” were somewhat discomposed for a time, but the interrogators were speedily ejected from the hall, and while this process was be gone through, the elder in charge of the Manchester counterence addressed words of assurance to the “saints.” His re-marks had some reference to casting out of devils, an a Gentile suggested that the ejection of the questioners might held to be the exercise of one of the miraculous pow-ers of the apostles claimed by the saints “Healing the sick,” “casting out devils,” and so forth.
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