THE POLYGAMOUS MORMONS. The twenty-five hundred women of Utah who petitioned Mrs. Grant, the President's wife, to intercede for them, and stop the proceedings against polygamy used the following language:
"We believe in the Holy Bible, and that God did anciently institute the order of plu-rality of wives, and sanctioned and honored it in the advent of the Saviour of the world, whose birth on the mother's side was in that polygamous lineage, as he testified to his ser-vant, John, in the Isle of Patmos, saying "I am the root and the offspring of David;" and we not only believe, but most assuredly know that the Almighty has restored the fullness of the everlasting gospel through the Prophet Joseph Smith, and with it the plurality of wives. This we accept as a purely divine in-stitution. With us it is a matter of conscience as we know that God commanded its prac-tice. "It is certainly an extraordinary delusion which enables women to avow such doctrines as these, but we see no reason to doubt that they are as sincere as other fanatics who at various times in history have uttered equally irrational sentiments. The only practical question to decide is, what shall be done to remove these odious ideas from the unenlight-ened minds that entertain them, and how best to prevent for the future the practice of this mischievous religious theory. Our impression is that the true remedy for Utah is to overlook the past and allow those now living in polygamous relations to con-tinue so undisturbed, but to prevent the prac-tice of the system henceforth. The evil would thus be limited and would speedily disappear. Nearly all the women in Utah are Mormons, there being only about 200 others in the terri-tory. But the number of Mormons practising polygamy is only a small portion of the whole, not exceeding it is believed 1000 persons of both sexes. And since the passage in 1862 of the U. S. Act of Congress against polygamy the practice has been decreasing.
To prosecute now those who have entered into what is called "plural marriage" will cause social disorganization and great per-sonal distress. Those who are now recog-nized as wives will become as prostitutes, and honorable children will be stigmatized as bas-tards. This will involve great sorrow and trouble on the part of these poor deluded peo-ple and will benefit nobody as a compensa-tion. It would be better therefore to bury the past in the best way that may may be, and act only with reference to the future. This is the dictate of good sense as well as of religious charity.
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