HOW DO MORMON WOMEN LIKE POLYGAMY ? - In an interesting letter from Salt Lake City, from Mr. Bowles, editor of the Springfield Republican, we find some answer to this often-repeated question. He says :-
"How do the Mormon women like and bear poly-gamy? is the question most people ask as to the in-stitution. The universal testimony of all but their husbands is that it is a grievous sorrow and burden; only cheerfully submitted to and embraced under a religious fanaticism and self-abnega-tion rare to behold and posssble only to women. They are taught to believe, and many of them really do believe, that through and by it they secure a higher and more glorious reward in the future world. 'Lord Jesus has laid a heavy trial upon me,' said one poor, sweet woman, 'but I mean to bear it for His sake, and for the glory He will grant me in His kingdom.' This is the common wail, the common solace. Such are the teachings of the church; and I have no doubt both husbands and wives alike often hon-estly accept this view of the odious practice, and seek and submit to polygamy as really God's holy service, calculated to make saints of them-selves and all associated with them in the future world. Still a good deal of human nature is visi-ble, both among the men in embracing polygamy and in their wives in submitting to it. Mr. Young's testimony on this point is significant. Other signs are not wanting in the looks and character of the men most often annointed in the holy bonds of matri-mony, and in the well-known disagreement of the wives in many families. In some cases they live harmonious-ly and lovingly together; oftener, it would seem, they have separate parts of the same house, or even separate houses. The first wife is generally the recognized of society, and frequently assumes contempt for the others, regarding them as concubines, and not wives. But it is a dreadful state of society to any one of fine feelings and true instincts; it robs married life of all its sweet sentiment and companionship; and while it degrades woman, brutalizes man, teaching him to despise and dom-ineer of his wives, over all women. It breeds jealousy, distrust, and tempts to infidelity; but the police sys-tem of the church and the community is so strict and constant that it is claimed and believed the latter vice is very rare. The effect upon the children cannot help being debasing, however well they may be guarded and educated. But it is a chief failing, even a scandal to the Mormons, that, plentifully as they are providing children, who swarm everywhere as did the locusts in Egypt, they have organized no free-school system. Schools are held in every ward of the city, and probably in every consider-able village, in buildings provided for evening re-ligious meetings under the direction of the local bishop, but a tuition fee is exacted for all who attend, and the poor are practically shut out. The anti- polygamists should agitate at once and earnestly to reform this evil-it is a strong point against the dominant party, and a weak point in the welfare of the territory. It is a good and encouraging sign to learn from intelligent sources that as the young girls, daughters of Mormons, grow up to womanhood, they are indisposed to polygamy, and seek husbands among the Gentiles rather than their own faith."
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