THEIR DETERMINATION TO FIGHT
THE EDMUNDS ACT.
What their Official Organ has to Say
About Polygamy—Sensuality Said
Not to be the Governing Motive
in Plural Marriages—Too
Many Girls Even in Mor-
ous Woman Should
Have a Chance to
be a Wife,
The Saints on the War Path.
The Mormon question is exciting wide-spread interest just now, arising from the apparent determination of the disciples of that faith to oppose by every possible means the enforcement of the Edmunds act. A dispatch says:
A wholesale persecution of the Gentiles has been inaugurated, and arrangements have been made for testing the constitu-tionality of the Edmunds act in the Su-preme Court of the United States. If the decision should be adverse, the Mormons have determined not to submit at any cost. The Polygamists, from President John Taylor down, with the apostles, bishops and elders in the most extreme parts of their domain have separated from their wives, and are living openly with one only. All Polygamists have, under orders, re-signed from all municipal offices, and Monogamists, as strong in the faith as those deposed, have been selected and commissioned in their places.
The Deseret News, published at Salt Lake City, the official organ of the church, has the following to say in its last weekly issue under the title of "A Common Mistake About Mormons." It will be interesting as showing what they profess concerning polygamy, whatever they may practice:
Two parties of Mormon missionaries are now in England, whose avowed pur-pose is to seek out pretty young girls who are willing to become 'converts' to the Mormon 'faith.' One would naturally sup-pose that a religion so holy as the Mormons claim theirs to be, would not be discrimi-inating in its prosely ism.
"The foregoing is from the Providence, Rhode Island, Star. Is not repeated by that paper as a rumor, but announced as a fact. And yet there is not a word of truth in it. Nothing in the calling, appointment, preaching or doings of our missionaries gives occasion for the manufacture of such a story. 'One would naturally suppose" that a respectable paper like the Star would be a little more "discriminating" in its se-lection of news paragraphs, and a little more cautious in making grave comments upon absurd inventions.
"The idea that the mission of "Mormon" Elders abroad is to gather up "female con-verts" is a very old one, but does not now obtain with people who are informed. The statistics of our immigration disprove it, and it is well known that old people, and families in which the males equal the females in number, make up the substance of the companies that are brought here un-der the care of our missionaries; and the mission of our Elders is to preach the gos-pel of faith, repentance and baptism for the remission of sins, promising the gift of the Holy Ghost to the obedient, and calling upon all who receive the truth to come out of Babylon and gather to Zion. "People judge others a good deal by themselves. They imagine, because the "Mor-mon" religion under certain conditions permits a pluralty of wives, that every male "Mormon" is anxious to indulge in "the luxury of a harem." This is because those imaginative persons do not think of or understand anything about the condi-tions under which a "Mormon" can ob-tain a plural wife, nor the responsibilities, expenses and obligations which he takes upon himself in so doing, but only look at it from a sensual point of view—the last and least in the “Mormon" system. If sensuality were the governing motive, the “Mormons" could much more easily and cheaply and freely adopt the common method in vogue among "Christian" peo-ple and which they could follow with ab-solute legal impunity.
Now we will slate for the information of people who think "Mormon" prosely-tism is for the purpose of gathering up young women, that we have a very large number of young unmarried women in all our settlements who do not appear to have immediate opportunities of matrimony. It is quite a question with us, "What shall we do with our girls?" If the "Mormon" men were so eager for plural family rela-tions as supposed, this question would not arise. They would marry the girls and silence the query. But what we stated is a fact patent to every observer. It can be seen in every settlement. It surprised the New York World correspondent in his tour of the Territory. The large number of young girls, unengaged, whom he met and many of whom he conversed with, puzzled him in this land of supposed polygamous relations.
But it is a truth that cannot be contro-verted. We have more marriageable women among us than appear to have prospects of marriage. There are more males than females in Utah according to the census, but the figures are not given of the marriageable males and females. No one who visits the various districts of Utah can fail to notice the great number of young, healthy, rosv, bright eyed women who are not yet in the holy bonds of wed-lock. Either the boys are too shy, or too fearful of the responsibilities of family life, or there are too few to go round. And it looks as though it would be necessary for married "Mormons" to "double up" in spite of the Edmunds bill, or leave many marriageable women in single loneliness. It is part of our theory that ever virtuous woman should have the opportunity of be-coming an honorable wife and mother, and that no female margin should be left out-side of the lines of wedlock for lust and villainy to prey upon. Hence we believe that plurality of wives is a social necessity. But we have higher and more potent rea sons for making that belief a part of our religious system. However we do not in-tend to make any argument on this part of the question, but we simply wish the Star and everybody else to understand that, not only Is special female proselytism not a part of our missionary system, but that there is absolutely no need for anything of the kind, as Utah is well supplied with mar-riageable maids and matrons.
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