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December 4, 1994, The St. Louis Republic, Growth of Mormonism a Menace to the West,
THE ST. LOUIS REPUBLIC,
SUNDAY MORNING. DECEMBER 4, 1904.
PRICE FIVE CENTS.
GROWTH OF MORMONISM A MENACE TO THE WEST
United States Senator Dubois Says Church Hierarchy, Having Secured Complete Domination of Utah, Is Past Acquiring Control of Idaho, Colorado, Oregon and Wyoming Only Hope for Suppression of Polygamy, He Believes, Is In the National Government.
BISHOP LUNTS PREDICTION THAT MORMONS WILL HOLD REINS OF UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT.
"Our church has been organized only fifty years, yet behold Its wealth and power! This is our year of jubilee. We look forward with perfect confidence to the day when we will hold the reins of the United States Government. This is our present temporal aim. To-day we hold the balance of political power in Idaho. We rule Utah absolutely, and in a short time we will hold the balance of political power in Arizona and Wyoming;.
"Our people are obedient. Our vote is solid and will remain so. It will be thrown where it will do the most good for the church. Then, in some political crisis, the two present political parties will bid for our support. Utah will then be admitted as a polygamous State, and the other Territories we have peacefully subjugated will be admitted also. We will then hold the balance of power and dictate to the country," Address by Bishop Lunt of the Mormon Church, in 1880.
BY FRED T. DUBOIS,
UNITED STATES SENATOR FROM IDAHO.
All that Bishop Lunt said more than twenty years ago has been more than verified. The Mormon Church today practically holds the balance of political power in nearly all the intermountain States and Territories.
It is difficult to describe the conditions in Utah and the surrounding country where the Mormons are in great numbers so that one not familiar could form an adequate idea of the situation. Negro domination in the South would not be tolerated by the white man and finally the entire North has come to sympathize with the white people of the South in their determination that the black race shall not be supreme in political affairs.
The same principle is involved in the contest which the non-Mormons are making against the political control of the Mormon hierarchy. It is almost impossible for one who has not spent some time among the Mormons and who has not studied conditions existing in the Mormon country to appreciate the tremendous power and influence which the leaders of the Mormon church have over their followers in an things political and temporal.
The Mormon Church is essentially a commercial and political organization. The followers, for the most part, are simple minded and industrious people who are content to live on farms and make out an existence for themselves and families.
Their material condition is better than it was before they joined the Mormon Church in Sweden, Denmark, or Wales, or England or the Southern States, or the backwoods of Indiana and Illinois.
The leaders (and by the leaders I mean specially those who control the people's spiritual, temporal, and political affairs, who are the first presidency and the twelve apostles) are, with rare exceptions, bright and active men of the world and Americans. They are businessmen and manage the church on business principles.
Generally, they are well-to-do and some of them are rich. They live nicely and mingle with men of the world in high position on a perfectly easy and equal footing.
The church collects a tithe from all its members. It is taught constantly that the paying of tithings is a high duty, and that one cannot be in good standing in the church unless tithing is paid freely and fully. When a Mormon does not pay his tithing cheerfully he is regarded by the head of the church as "not a very good Mormon." They pay this tithe, or 10 percent of all their earnings, either in money or in-kind. For instance, if a follower has, ten calves, but no money, he gives to the tithe collector one calf. If he has ten tons of hay, he gives one ton of hay.
He can give the equivalent, of course, in money, but in a great many instances a poor Mormon has no money, and so gives in kind, no matter whether it is eggs or butter or cheese or chickens, or what not. The tithe collector turns this money over to the proper officers of the church and the produce is disposed of and goes to the benefit of the church.
If you take into consideration that. In addition to this 10 per cent which every good Mormon must pay to the church, he is also called upon to pay his ordinary taxes as a citizen, amounting to from 3 to 6 per cent, you can easily see that the rank and tile of the Mormon people cannot make much progress toward material prosperity.
Tithing at the present time is being freely given and must amount to something in the neighborhood of $2,000,000 a year. This tithing is paid to the high officers of the church, and there is never any accounting, to anyone for its disposition. The Mormons are urged, in addition to the tithing, to contribute to the building of temples and apparently enough money for the building of these temples has been collected to have built a great many more than there are.
The leaders of the Mormon Church are engaged in business enterprises of all descriptions. The Zion City Mercantile Institution is a great business, and dealing in all kinds of articles which department stores would carry, has branches wherever there are Mormons.
The Mormons trade with this establishment, and it is almost impossible for a non-Mormon to compete with it in a community where Mormons are in the great majority.
CHURCH CONTROIS BUSINESS.
The leaders of the church and those high in the councils are the directors and managers and controllers of this big commercial Institution. The leaders are also the president's and directors of banks, mining companies, railroad companies, electrical companies, summer and bathing resorts, theaters, etc In fact, the hierarchy and the church are controlling spirits in all sorts of business enterprises.
They are not made president of the church and apostles in the church because they are successful business men and because they are presidents and directors of these various business organizations, but become directors and controllers in these organizations by virtue of being president in the church and apostles, and after they have been selected as president of the church and apostles.
Thee constant tendency is to make the church and state one, with the church in control. This has been so completely and ingeniously carried out that it is impossible in any affair--temporal, spiritual or political--to tell 'where the authority of the church begins or ends. It is impossible to separate the ecclesiastical power of control from the political power of control. All authority in temporal, spiritual or financial affairs unites and is centered and is absolute and binding in the hierarchy. The organization of the church is very complete in its organization. The power begins and ends with the hierarchy. Nearly all members of the church are given some office and some responsibility, and there is an opportunity for advancement in all directions, ecclesiastical, temporal and political, if the Mormon is obedient to his leaders and accepts without question their counsel.
There are comparatively few lay members of the church. The smallest officers, such as teachers, are selected, by the Bishops of the various wards. Commencing with the Bishops and going up in ecclesiastical authority, all the officers of the church are appointed with the approval of the president of the church. In other words, the president selects all the responsible officers of the church.
Commencing at the lowest of the officers and going up in order to the president himself, you begin with the Bishop of wards, who have jurisdiction over a geographical subdivision and are locally the recognized heads of the Mormons. In that particular locality, they collect the tithings, settle disputes among the Mormons, look after church and secular affairs of the Mormons in their ward. Each Bishop has two counselors selected by himself.
Next above the Bishops come the presidents of stakes. A stake is a much larger geogrophical subdivision of territory inhabited by Mormons. The president of the stake has two counselors, appointed by himself. He is the highest, authority, locally, in the Mormon Church. Outside of Utah. Above the presidents of stakes, are about a dozen other officials with different designations and different powers, until you come to the twelve apostles, who stand next in authority to the president of the church himself.
All ot these officers, including the apostles, are appointed directly by the president of the church, without consultation or restraint by anyone; or else, in the case of Bishops, they are approved by the president before their selection can be made valid. In the case of a selection of an apostle to fill a vacancy in the apostolio quorum, the theory is that the apostles themselves fill this vacancy, but it is a fact that the president of the church asserts that he receives a revelation from God that a certain man shall be selected for this vacant apostleship, and the apostles unhesitatingly accept this revelation and select the man named by the president of the church.
OBEDIENCE OR OSTRACISM.
Ecclesiastical preferment in the church means opportunities for temporal advancement. The business, social and political future of every Mormon depends upon his standing with the church. Every avenue is open to him so long as he implicitly obeys the counsel and does the bidding of the church, while every avenue is closed to him whenever he loses his fellowship in the church. There is nothing left for a Mormon who refuses to obey implicitly whatever policy the church may determine upon, except to leave tho church entirely and take his chances with the world, the same as non-Mormons do. For a Mormon, brought up in the church, to sever the ties which bind him to all his kindred, and the associations, teachings and trainings of a life, is well-nigh appalling. It means social ostracism.
The pretty fiction is given to the Mormon people and the world that all these officers of the Mormon Church, including the president himself, must be selected by the people at their various conferences.
This they attempt to prove from the fact that at these conferences the names of the first presidency and the apostles the seven presidents of seventies, the presidents of stakes and the Bishops are submitted to the people, and they are asked to "sustain" them by holding up their hands.
The list includes a great many of course; and I doubt if a case has ever been known where any one of the 10,000 people gathered in their semiannual conference has risen in his place and objected to "sustaining" any officer submitted to the conference by the authorities of the church. I doubt if any provision is made in case such a dissent or protest should come. It never has been contemplated that any member of the church would question the divine right of the authorities to select these officers. I imagine that if anyone should have the temerity to object to "sustaining" officers submitted to the conference for their approval, such a member would have to withdraw his objection or be disfellowshiped.
DOMINATION OF CHURCH.
You can Imagine what complete domination the church has over its followers through the power of the president to appoint all the officers of the church by reflecting on the effect their selection by the President of the United States has on his appointees.'
As a rule, the President selects men to fill the Federal offices who have demonstrated their acceptance of the principles of the party of which the President is the head and have been zealous in the advocacy of those principles. Whenever a policy for the party is announced by the President of the United States and his close party associates high in authority, these officeholders immediately become advocates of that policy.
When you contemplate that these appointees of the president of the Mormon Church are not (as is the case with the President of ihe United States) confined to one party, but embrace members of all parties, you can have some faint idea of their subserviency. When you take into account in addition that not only political preferment la involved Ii their acquiescing, but that every opportunity for advancement in all walks of life is dependent on their accepting the decrees of their leaders, you can begin to comprehend the tremendous power, politically, which this
hierarchy, wields. Their every endeavor is to strengthen their position by extending their political control.
They are all-powerful in Utah now, and can absolutely control all the political offices, including Senators and Representatives. They are so strong In Idaho that no one can be elected to any political office in the State, such as Governor or United State's Senator of Representative without their say-so. This, is equally true in Wyoming. They are becoming a large balance of power in Colorado and Oregon, and when the Government irrigation enterprises are developed in Nevada, and large tracts of land are opened there for settlement, they can, and will, easily colonize and control politics In that State.
The church names the Senator and Representatives in Congress from Utah, and no one can be elected Senator or Representative or Governor in Idaho or Wyoming if the church is against him. The church is not strong enough yet in these two States to name the Senators outright, but no one can bo elected unless he is satisfactory to the hierarchy no one is satisfactory to the hierarchy who opposes its methods.