A VICTIM OF MORMONISM.
What Religious Fanaticism Will Do—An Oft Told Tale—A Plucky Old Man.
[From the St. Joseph (Mo.) Herald.]
HIAWATHA, KS., February 11, 1876.—Last Saturday I met a man at the depot in this place, waiting for the Eastern bound train. Three days before he had arrived from Salt Lake City, and had been visiting friends who resided near Hiawatha. Entering into conversation with him, regarding Utah and the Mormons, I gleaned the following bit of history from him, which, no doubt, has been told substantially by other victims besides him-self: Ten years ago he was a prosperous mer-chant in a thriving town in the State of New York. But religious fanaticism took pos-session of him, he joined the Mormons under the preaching of an itinerant auctioneer of the Mormon gospel according to Brigham, sold out his store, disposed of his property and took his family to the Valley of the Saints. This he did in good faith and with honest intentions. The new gospel promised such great things, and such a superabundance of salvation above all other gospels that he had ever heard preached, that he dared not hesi-tate. He remembered the injunction about "looking back and being lost," and besides, there it was in black and white in the very Bible which he had read all his life but never before understood! Yes, there in his old fam-ily Bible was the Mormon gospel which was fully explained to him by the Mormon elder. He had, in all the long years back, been “see-ing through a glass darkly;" had misunder-stood the Bible, which taught Mormonism, plain and simple, if it taught anything. He once thought "the Bible taught Methodism, but a good old Baptist brother convinced him of the error of his way, and showed him by a copious quotation of texts that the Methodist doctrine could nowhere be found within the lids of the good book, but that the Baptist faith was plainly shadowed forth in hundreds of places. So he became a Baptist. Then a Presbyterian friend got after him, and proved conclusively by the Bible that the Baptist doctrine was wrong; that the Book did not teach it at all, and finally he became a Presbyterian. Then a Campbellite preacher knocked all the Cal-vinism out of him, and he became grounded in the latter faith. Two years afterward, Mr. Manford, of Chicago, the great St. John of Universalism, came along and held a series of meetings in the town where he lived. He thought Manford a great preacher, and Uni-versalism a great religion, so he embraced it. How could he help it? Did not Mr. Manford show up the errors and fallacies of other be-liefs, and did he not prove his position by text after text in the Bible? Then Univer-salism was the easiest of all the other religions he had ever tried—no terrible devil, with cloven feet and forked tail, and no hell of brimstone and eternal torment, where sinners gnashed their teeth and wailed in misery throughout the countless ages of eternity! None of these things did Universalism have, and he thought it was just the sort of a relig-ion that he had been looking for all his life, and that's why he became a Universalist! But when the Mormon preacher came along and revealed to him the hidden prophecies in the Bible, and pointed out to his astonished vision all about what was taking place in these latter days (?) and how the Saints were to find refuge in the mountains, and become a mighty nation, citing him to Daniel's interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream, and showing that the stone cut out of the mountain "with-out hands,'' which broke to pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver and the gold, was Mormonism, set up by the God of Heaven, which should consume all other kingdoms and live forever, he was captured. Well, he moved to Salt Lake Valley. In a little while one of his daughters married a man old enough to be her father, who already had five wives. Then his wife ran away with a Mormon elder, and his only son, who had been induced to join a gang of outlaws, was killed in San Pete Valley by a party of emi-grants whom he, with several of his fellows, was attempting to rob. He was systematically robbed of his wealth by the heads of the church, and, at last, after a residence of nine years among the polyga-onists, he boarded the train at Ogden, and bid adieu to Utah's Zion. At the age of fifty years he returns back to the scenes of his early life, a penniless, home-less old man, one daughter, a bright, intelli-gent-looking girl of eighteen accompanying him. This girl stuck to her father through all his trials, and indignantly and obstinately fought all advances of the "Lord's Atioint-ed" to force her to adopt their religion and customs. All honor to her! But this man has pluck. He said he in-tended to begin life anew. He had friends and credit East, and if he lived ten years he would again be in easy circumstances, which I do not doubt, for he had a hale, hearty, vigorous look and an unimpaired constitution.
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