Three Causes of Excitement Among the Saints.
The Military Order, the "Order of Enoch” and the Poland Bill.
Mormonism Undergoing Constant Modi-fication, through Contact with Modern Civilization.
Salt Lake City a Well-Governed Munic-ipality.
Correspondence of The Chicago Tribune.
SALT LAKE CITIY, June, 1874.
There is no small stir just now in this Jerusa-lem of modern Saints. I suppose there is al-ways a fair degree of excitement from the irri-tating effects of the two hetorogeneous civiliza-tions existing here. But matters are stirred to an unusual commotion now by recent events,— the first in order (though last in date) being the military order of the War Department; the sec-ond, the "Order of Enoch;" and the third, the Poland bill.
THE MILITARY ORDER
was aimed to suppress the action of the civil authorities of Salt Lake in arresting and pun-shing drunken and disorderly soldiers on leave of absence from Camp Douglas, who daily and nightly throng the city, and set all law at de-fiance. The very statement of the case shows the folly of the order of the War Department. The city author-ities very properly continued to protect the citizens against the assaults of the lawless sol-dier, as well as all others. The arrest of the first soldier after the issuance of the order was met by a demand by Gen. Morrow for his re-lease, and a refusal by the police authorities. Thereupon the doors of the jail were forced, and the soldier rescued by a military squad from the camp. So much for excitement No. 1.
"THE ORDER OF ENOCH"
is a new religious order emanating from the "Great Head of the Church," intended, we are to presume, for the more complete sanctification of its members; though, on this point, I can't speak with confidence, not being able to secure a text of the "revelation" creating the order. The salient features of it, however, as ex-pounded by Bishop Taylor in the Tabernacle, seem to aim at the Apostolic idea of the sur-render by the faithful of all their goods into a common "pool" for the common benefit. This in Apostolic times answered very well, while love and faith were all ablaze, even though Ananias and wife failed to take sufficient stock in it to get much benefit from it in this world. And our "Latter-Day Saints" seem to stand in awe of their fearful experience, and to prefer to have nothing to do with this new "order" of things. The Church is considerably vexed and distressed at this spirit of worldliness, and labors unceasingly to goad the brethren up to the striking point. The weaker and poorer sisters of them give in, hoping to gain more than they lose by it. But the wealthier brethren "can't see it" in that light. They have had the industry, sense, and luck, to be "seized" of a goodly estate, and they don't feel called upon to divide up with Brigham Young or any other man. The consequence is, not exactly a row or an open rupture in the Church, but a very wide opening of eyes on the part of many Saints, and new views of "orthodoxy" enter thereat, and these dissenters are very apt to take their hats and go over to the Gentiles. The end is not yet, but it is conceded that this "Order-of-Enoch" business is the grand mistake of Brigham Young's career, and is likely to solve a problem that the wisdom of Congress has proved itself unequal to.
THE POLAND BILL, as it passed the House, has created a more gen-eral excitement than either of the "orders" afore-mentioned. This excitement takes hold of Saints and sinners alike. The former are highly exercised at the prospect of being de-spoiled of their sweet monopoly in creature-comforts, and the latter by the hope that this Solomon business shall have a pause before all the fair women of the Territory shall have be-come "sealed" to the lascivious Saints. This question, like all others that have a woman involved in them, is a very exciting one, and over it the men on both sides are likely to lose their judgments. That the law should interfere to abate or abolish the practice of bigamy and polygamy in Utah and elsewhere, does not admit of a denial. But the methods adopted by the law for the suppression of an evil may be more pernicious in their far-reach-ing results than the evil it seeks to eradicate. That this is true of the Poland bill is asserted by Gentiles of sound legal judgment.
But, aside from, or in addition to, these special irritants, is
THE FUNDAMENTAL ANTAGONISM between Mormonism and the social structure with which it comes in contact. Mormonism is an effort to turn back the indices on the dial of time 4,000 years, and play the drama of a dead civilization, with Joseph Smith and Brigham Young as star-Saints in the characters of David and Solomon. The clothes don't fit; the inspira-tion is wanting. The revenues and the "fe-male supports" are inadequate; and the environments are all unsuited to the suc-cess of the undertaking. Mormonism, like Judaism, recognizes but one code and but one authority: a "Thus saith the Lord," as revealed to Mr. Smith and interpreted by current inspiration through "President" Young, D. D. The combination of civil and ecclesiasti-cal authority was deemed essential to efficient government in the young and barbaric ages when man (as per Darwin) had just emerged from the monkey; and, indeed, our good Church-and-State people quite agree with Brigham Young that this confluence of power is still nec-essary to the preservation of "society," though the free spirit and culture of the age demands a divorce of these authorities.
Brigham Young, judged by the standards by which we estimate men, is a
VERY REMARKABLE CHARACTER.
He is not merely Prophet, Priest, and Presi-dent to his following, but a great social and po-litical organizer as well; and it has been his great purpose to segregate certain elements in society, and, in a position of perfect isolation, to organize a community on the social and relig-ious basis of primitive times. His success has been wonderful so far. He has gathered over 130,000 Saints in Utah, and his following in the world probably numbers fully 300,000 souls. His organization is most complex and complete, reaching to the satisfaction of every human want or desire. Thus Mormonism is not solely a religious order, but it embraces a social order, a political order, an industrial order, and the "Order of Enoch," with all-providing rami-fications,—each thoroughly and independently organized, yet combined into one harmonious structure, dominated by one controlling and irresponsible will, and that will clothed with the prestige of Divine authority. Such a power, conferring many benefits on and full protection to its votaries, seems to have great elements of strength and perpetuity, yet is impotent to contend with the public opinion of the world. The isolation so essential to its success and per-petuity
IS NO LONGER PRACTICABLE. The Pacific Railway and the great silver deposits of Utah have brought in swarms of unsaintly men, who neither pay nor pray up to the Salt Lake standard of orthodoxy. They also look upon Latter-Day Saint-ism as the emptiest cheat of all the religious isms in the world. This con-tact with the Gentile world exposes Mormonism daily to the critical spirit of the age, and to its inexorable judgment. Under these potential influences, this strange fanaticism is under-going constant modification, both in spirit and structure. Hence the famous- "Tribe of Dan" has outlived its infernal usefulness and passed away; and even polygamy, the great casus belli, confesses itself but the child of lust, and seeks to hide its leering features from the gaze of society. The advent of fashion and the love of luxury and finery are irresistible forces, more potent than acts of Congress, to suppress this uncivilized apparition.
The bitter and vengeful spirit which was roused in the hearts of the Mormons by their summary expulsion from Illinois and Missouri has softened with the lapse of time, and is quite unknown in the new generation. lndeed, I find much less complaint,
OR CAUSE THEREFOR,
on the part of Gentile residents of Salt-Lake City, than is constantly and truthfully urged against municipal injustice in Chicago by its citizens.* Candor compels me to make this un-prejudiced statement. I think it must be quite evident to every thinking, candid man, that the natural forces referred to are silently, but surely, at work transforming Mormonism into what we think the better type of current civilization, and more effectually than can be hoped for from special acts of coercive legislation by Congress. That the "Book of Mormon" and the Koran are books of delusion, if not of fraud, we verily believe; and yet the Great Moral Governor has, wisely, as we must believe, "ordained" that a large minority of the race should be molded by their doctrines and culture into a social order widely differing from our own. We may well weep that our Heavenly Father has been so un-wise; but neither our tears nor the acts of our venerated Congress are likely to alter the Infin-ite eecree.
Mormonism, aside from polygamy, can hardly be said to be more repugnant to our civil insti-tutions than is Judaism, of which it is
A SERVILE COPY. The world has become too wise, too humane, and too enlightened, to persecute the Jew for his Judaism; and are we still so foolish as to think to convert or reform the Mormon by making war on the Mormon faith? The fact should be widely known, if it is not, that the Mormon hierarchy and people believe, and teach in all its literalness, our "King James Bible;" and, in preaching, in prayer, in exhortation, in teaching, and in song, they adore the God of Israel and Deify the Christ of Christianity. "Let him that is without sin cast the first stone" at them. C. B. KING.
*Salt Lake City is certainly the best governed and most orderly city I ever placed foot in. The police are invisible, but are always in the right place at the right time. The Sabbath is entirely quiet. If liquor Is either sold or drank on Sunday, the offenders can set-tle with Brigham for just $100; and a liquor-license costs its holder $900 per quarter! This means, not prohibition, but temperance.
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