Hell on Earth, Part 1

This entry is part 17 of 50 in the series 2011A

Mormon history is quite obscure between 1850-1900.  It is true that quite a few journals exist but members were encouraged to write about faith promoting positive things.  Most of the negative writings or observations during that period came from people who did not live among the Saints.

I’ve been researching that period and have indeed discovered that all was not well in Zion.  By some accounts Mormonism had turned into a tyranny and plural; marriage was used as a means to enslave much of the female population.

It appears to me that dark forces gained a foothold among the gathered Saints and they were headed toward becoming more like the Taliban than Zion.  I was saddened by my discoveries because many of the founding teachings of Mormonism are indeed enlightening and the gathering principle itself is essential to fulfill divine purpose.

I used to think it a sad thing that the government stepped in and forced the church into compliance and essentially put a stop to the literal gathering.  And indeed it would have been sad if the church was on the path of love and light.  But it appears that if the church had succeeded in establishing a physical kingdom a tyranny would have resulted rather than an enlightened free state.

I am posting an edited version of William Jarman’s book about his experiences living among the LDS for 12 years during the height of the polygamous period.

Yes, the guy sounds like a bitter anti Mormon who may exaggerate at times, but if you or I went through what he did then we would also have a chip on our shoulders.

While I am sure Jarman’s work has bias in it I believe the eyewitness accounts he gives to be essentially true.  I have read everything I can find about this period and much of his story is backed up by other sources.

That said, here is the first installment of my edited version of his book which is now in public domain.  I’ve eliminated some of his rambling and discourses on doctrine and am concentrating on giving out his actual story.  As far as I know this is the first time the digital text has been made available online – though Google does have a non digital scanned version.

Part One

U.S.A. Uncle Sam’s Abscess,

Or Hell Upon Earth


U.S. (Uncle Sam)

By William Jarman

Knight of the Grand Legion of North America,








Copyright secured in both Hemispheres.

Exeter: England, 1884.

Printed At H. Leduc’s Steam Printing Works, Exeter, England.

ENTERED, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1884,


In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington and at Stationer’s Hall, London.


This history of American Polygamy and Crime reviews Mormon Doctrine and Practice from the time Joseph Smith died and Brigham Young became its Notorious Leader, up to date. I deal with “Uncle Sam’s Abscess” as it exists in the present age: for its inception, rise and progress years ago,. has been amply dealt with by others, and did it but trouble Uncle Sam, this, child of care would never impose this book upon long-suffering Britishers. But knowing it takes British blood, bone, and sinew to nourish it, and increase its. growth: and having myself been drawn into the vortex of this filthy corruption-this Hell upon Earth, and narrowly escaped, it becomes my duty to. warn my fellow citizens, and try to prevent them being allured into the Great Basin of crime, misery and woe. For after all that has been said and written about this AMERICAN HELL, the half has’ never been told. Today the world knows but little of the goings on in THE YANKEE SODOM. I know it all, and so far as. these pages allow, tell what I know of the Utah Latter-day Devils; who preach and practice as religion all the crime of the Decalogue. Their Missionaries, come here with an open Bible, and seduce Good Christian People by tens of thousands, and drag them to a far worse Sodom than existed anciently. These Devilish Wolves come in the very best Sheep’s Clothing, and appear as. the Devil himself often does, “As an Angel of Light.”

When the Devil’s abroad the Devil a Saint will be,

When the Devil’s at home, the Devil a Saint is he.

(Hudibras slightly altered.)

They come prepared “to deceive the very Elect,” and are quite successful. The Sacred Garb, they assume cover their nefarious schemes, and hellish aims, and not until we arrive in America’s “Sodom,” are we aware of their filthy and awfully wicked practices. There the Bible is cast aside to give place to other books, and even newspapers. Christ is Blasphemed; they say “He was a jolly good fellow, had lots of wives, and squalling brats.”

It shocks one trained a. Christian to hear them Blaspheme Jehovah, Christ, and all sacred subjects. In Great Britain, Mormon Missionaries, to seduce Christians, preach Christianity far better than its own Ministers can. For Mormons belong to the Devil, serve him, and get his aid: Mormons and Devils know Scripture well, can quote it to suit exactly, and beat any Christian D. D. who is in opposition to the Devil. Marvel not then, that I a Church member was entrapped. I wonder they do not catch every Christian by their glib talk. They nab scarce any but Christians, quite nine-tenths of their converts are from the Churches of Christendom. My object in giving this to the world is to arouse Pastor and People, and warn them against those shrewd Yankee tricksters, who know how to use “soft soap.”

I am ashamed to think the Government allows her people to be ” religiously ” swindled under false pretences, and not pass laws to prevent it. I am also pained to find so much spent on the Clergy and Ministers of all denominations, while they allow their flocks to be taken by these Mormon Wolves, without even a word of caution. I would give anything to have been cautioned by my Minister and spared this curse of my life.

It’s no use crying over spilt milk; having been drawn into the evil, good may result by my telling what I know of it. In this work I give the true character of Utah’s Abominations, whose Missionaries compass Sea and Land to make one proselyte. I aim to guard the innocent, and show the licentious and wicked their Paradise-where a life of Sin and Shame is Sanctified and Relished. All determined to lead a vicious life should leave their country for their country’s good, and Emigrate at once to Utah. There they honor you, and you get the best positions for what you’d get put in jail for here! So don’t stay here, pack up your duds, take the first steamer and be off to this Hell upon Earth. We can well spare you, and much rather have your room than your company. In Utah you will be a “Hail fellow well met,” and have a jolly time. If you have a craving for Drink, Lust, or Murder, go to Utah! Your keenest appetite will there be fully satisfied, and your valuable services command a premium. A word to the wise is sufficient-to . Christians I say, Beware! Beware! Beware!

I give a brief account of my chequered life in the first chapter, which may interest some readers. Then I portray “Uncle Sam’s Abscess,” and I have no doubt by the time the reader gets through, he will say with me, “It is a perfect “Hell upon Earth.” I have only to add just this

There is on Earth a Hell, I know, for I’ve been there,

But I got out, the tale to tell, and warn you of the snare.

Wolves in sheeps’ clothes, cry “Heaven Below! “

List not to these your foes, or else, too late, you’ll sure to know

Sorrow, and crime, and woes.


It’s in America, this Hell on Earth is found,

The situation’s quite O. K., but Liberty is bound,

Its Bosses prate, “Break every law!

“Take more than one dear mate! ” This brings a vast amount

More than I can relate.


Suffice to say, just here, ’tis Hell on Earth to all,

Who for more wives than one doth care, or list to Mormon call”

Lo Christ is there! ” What downright lying!

It’s but a fearful snare. For Lust and Murder there they’re plying,

Beware! Beware! Beware!

Done at Ye Ancient and Ye Honourable Citie of Exeter on this Ye First Day of April, Anno Domini, 1884, and between Ye 47th and Ye 48th Year or Ye Reign on this sad vale of tears of Ye trulie unfortunate,


58, Parr Street, Exeter, Devon, England.


Mormon Missionaries sneak around Great Britain like Three Card tricksters and gamblers do, seeking to entrap unwary Christians, and all whom they may devour. Trained by the Devil ere they land at Liverpool, they are up to every trick and know all the moves on the board. Their Yankee Tricks nab the English, Scotch, and Welsh Christians by thousands upon thousands. Mormon Baptisms attract the Baptists and make them easy prey. Universal Salvation and “The final perseverance of the Saints” as preached by Mormons, catch the Methodists; Calvinists get in ecstasy over the beautiful gathering of the “Mormon Elect; ” while Scotch and English Presbyterians, Established Church members, Congregationalists, Brethren, Quakers. Bible Christians, and all classes of Christians, but Catholics lay hold on the hope set before them in the “Mormon Gospel: ” simply because forsooth the Devil trains the Missionary how to set the bait to suit any particular creed or dogma.

He becomes “All things to all men,” especially to Girls from 10 to 15, and young women between 15 and 35 years old; the younger, the more tender the sympathy. “The Mormons” have a particular fondness for the fair sex provided they are not old: “The younger widows refuse,” is not in the Mormon Bible. They regard old maids as lacking in spiritual efficiency, ladies over the age of 35 and unmarried, seldom embrace Mormonism in any shape or form. If married they are considered as being “up to snuff;” and the Mormon Priest has a peculiar way of reaching them: they “creep into houses” when the husband is not at home and “lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, for of this sort are they.”

Each has concubines 7000 miles away, but too far for fellow sympathy here, and though their brothels are “crowded like an omnibus there’s room for more,” and they come here for the very purpose of securing prostitutes for their hellish dens of infamy in Utah. So they creep in as aforesaid, do their “level best” to seduce other men’s wives and daughters, lead them away to their Seraglios, or swop them off for others with some Apostle or Bishop who prefers a change.

These Libertines, and habitual Lechers, are thrown upon the British public for three years, and we are expected to believe that during that time they live a life of’ Celibacy. You can believe it if you like; I don’t; nor shall I, until fish live without water. Mormon fish are not long out of water in England, if at all: there is so much water around our little Island.

A “Good Saint “- that is a man who can marry ‘and whip a lot of wives – being ordered on a Mission to England, I knowing his proclivities so well, said to him, “You will take a few of your wives along won’t you, as you cannot well get on without them? He replied, “I’m no such d-fool as to carry coal to Newcastle I can get all I want in England: there’s plenty there!” Knowing his extra-ordinary wants in that direction I pitied the poor victims he might happen to come across. As I have a special chapter dealing with Missionaries and their nice goings on, I say no more here on that point.

The Mormon Elder is equal to every emergency. If a girl’s parents object to her going to Utah, she is quietly put on board ship and sent off to Utah’s Brothels to become a Prostitute. Does the kind Husband and Father object to have his wife made a ” Saintess “? He comes home some night, finds that his bosom’s partner has ransacked the house, stolen the valuables, gone off with the children together with the old lecherous Priest to Utah, there to become his fifth tenth, or fiftieth wife While at the same time ‘ the Stepfather also becomes the husband of all her daughters over twelve years, and of the others when they attain that age. Should the “Dear Husband ” embrace Mormonism, and the wife refuse to embrace it, or him, unless he renounces the vile thing, the Mormon Devil to encourage the deluded victim quotes this Scripture to him, “Every one that forsaketh father, or mother, OR WIFE, or children, for the Gospel’s sake, shall receive AN HUNDRED-FOLD now in this time, and shall inherit everlasting life.”

Now says the Mormon Priest, “If you believe the Bible you must leave wife and children for the Gospel’s sake: no wife should hinder a man’s salvation; sell out, leave wife and children (males) on the Parish, and go to Zion: and I promise you in the name of Israel’s God, an hundred-fold of wives and children in this life, and in the world to come, life everlasting. You shall enjoy the blessings of Abraham, Isaac, David and Solomon, for God who changeth not hath given Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and some Teachers the right to enter Polygamy as anciently; to raise up a righteous seed, for the work of the ministry and the perfecting of the saints.

If thou art faithful in a few things’ and will forsake thy wife and little ones as God commands, he will make thee ruler over many things (many wives), if He sees thee worthy, as was David and Solomon, his son. Take up thy Cross, follow Christ, and all will be well with thee for time and in Eternity.”

A decent man who scruples to become prostituted is tenderly informed that God is faithful, and He will not suffer him to be tempted above what he is able to bear. Polygamy is very rarely practiced; it’s only occasionally, when the Lord finds a worthy Solomon that the thing is permitted at all.” In short, God is at the helm, and, according to Mormon teaching, steering all the Utah filthy business.

I have seen hundreds of thousands who have thus left the various Churches of Christendom, and gone to Utah’s Hell; the Catholic Church only being exempt. Catholics are perfectly satisfied with their Priests; view Mormonism as an Opposition Priesthood, and resist its (Mormon) Priests. Hence Mormon Missionaries fail to convert the Irish. [” True ’tis a pity, pity, ’tis, ’tis true; “] I must tell the truth, and in my bungling way put it in the best shape I can.

I traveled over a thousand miles of Mormon Territory; spent twelve years in their Cities, Towns, and Settlements, and found but three Irish; two from Australia, the other a renegade Jesuit, who, had he remained in his Native Country, would have kept as many mistresses as he now does concubines in Utah. He likes it, has a jolly time, does the thing “quite up to Dick,” says, “the work in which he is engaged is true, and the Kingdom is the O. K. thing.” But oh! I saw thousands of Christians from English, Scotch, and Welsh Churches, bitterly lamenting the sorrow and crime of that Hell upon Earth; but before relating it I must tell further how Mormon Missionaries work, and how I got into the trap.

Though they single out victims and depend much on fireside chat, yet their unholy zeal fires ’em up at times to come out boldly, and try to take a town by storm. London is even now being flooded with hand bills in which these devils “cheek it out,” and call themselves “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints:”

Here is a verbatim et literatim copy, but recently sent me:-


There is ONE Body (Church), ONE Spirit, ONE Lord, ONE Faith, ONE Baptism.”-Eph. iv.., 4-6



That Church which corresponds in all respects to the Church established by Christ and His Apostles, teaching FAITH, REPENTANCE, BAPTISM by immersion for the remission of sins, THE LAYING ON OF HANDS for the gift of the HOLY GHOST with signs following the believer; and which has for its officers, APOSTLES, PROPHETS, EVANGELISTS, PASTORS, TEACHERS, aids, governments, &c., all of whom are CALLED and AUTHORIZED of God; as were these officers in the early primitive Church.

THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS is the only Church which corresponds to this perfect pattern, and consequently is the only ONE by which mankind can BE SAVED IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD.

Jesus says-John v. 39-” Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life. Therefore we earnestly request all lovers of truth to examine the following passages:-
FAITH-Heb. xi. 6 and I; James ii. 14 to 26.

REPENTANCE-Luke xiii., 3 and 5; Eze. xviii., 30; Acts xvit., 30.

BAPTISM BY IMMERSION-Matt iii.; Mark xvi., beg. 15; Acts ii., 37 to 41; John iii. 5 and 23; Rom. vi., beg. 3.

HOLY GHOST, HOW CONFERRED, &C.-Acts viii., 17; 1 Cor. xii.; Acts xix.; Matt. iii., ii; i Cor. xvi., 26; Acts ii., 3, 4, and 17.

OFFICERS-Eph. iii., 5; ii., 20; iv., II, 12, and 13; Luke vi., beg. 13.

AUTHORITY-Rom. x’, 14 and 15; John xiii., zo; John xvii., 18; Heb. v., 4; Ex. iv., beg. 15; i Sam. xiv., beg. 8; 2 Chron. xxvi., beg. 16; Acts xiii, beg. 2; yohn vii., 17; Gal, 1., 8.


NORTH LONDON BRANCH.-42, Penton Street, Pentomille, on Sunday at 2.30 and 6.30 p.m., and on Thursday at 8 p.m.

WHITECHAPEL BRANCH at Orson’s Assembly Rooms, 23, New Road, Commercial Road, on Sunday at 2.30 and 6.30 p.m.

LAMBETH BRANCH at Kennington Hall, Upper Kennington Lane (near Licensed Victuallers’ School), on Sunday at 2.30 and 6.30 p.m.

Also at 59, Berthon Street, Church Street, Deptford, at 8 p.m., every Tuesday.



[Thanks for the cordial invite, I shall attend when I visit my native city.)

This is followed with another showing but a few of their very many doctrines. You will notice that Polygamy, their great fundamental doctrine is left out in the cold in both. I give the hand bill as it is:-



(Lists LDS articles of Faith and scriptural references)

[The beforegoing handbill was being circulated in Plymouth also, before my recent visit there, and mark-there is nothing said about Polygamy! the pivot upon which the whole thing turns].

They sell a dwarf pamphlet for one penny, the size of circulars usually given away by travelling shows. On the front is printed in type exactly like this:-



AGAINST.-Acts xxviii., 22.

How beautiful Upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace: that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, ” Thy God reigneth




This “Bright and Morning Star,” given me recently by a Devonport Mormon, thus devotes its “valuable space. “We have heard a number of times lately of a vile fellow by the name of William Jarman, who, has been about the South of England lecturing against the Mormons, and visiting the Saints wherever he could learn of any living in that region for the purpose of poisoning their minds against THE PRINCIPLES they had EMBRACED. Then follows a perfect tirade of abuse to which I shall devote my valuable space, and VERY KIND REGARDS in a special chapter, when I have more fully shown “THE PRINCIPLES EMBRACED.” Though I must not picture all that a Mormon Embraces, I will do justice to it so far as the law allows. I just notice the scurrilous article to prove by Mormon Authority that what I say in the preface is true. I’ve hurt ’em, “let the galled jade wince.” So long as they remain. here, and the breath of life remains in me, they will hear still more and more of this “vile fellow.”

The Mormons would feel indebted to me for freely advertising this small fraction of their creed, did I but stop at that. But having sworn to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, I must tell it all. Why do they not preach it all in England as they do in Utah? Echo answers why? There they proclaim that a man must have from two up to 500 wives according to his several abilities and his several-well call it ” Etcetras,” or he cannot be saved, and exalted among the gods; that any one who leaves the Mormon Church- MUST HAVE HIS THROAT CUT or he will be everlastingly damned; that Christ is one of their class-a full fledged Polygamist; that he married Mary Magdalen, Martha and Mary, and a host of women over around Judea when he was there, and begat a crowd of children that eclipse many of the big Utah families-as an old Mormon Priest once, when speaking of Jesus, said:-“

He was on it you bet, he was as fond of the women as any       son of a ____here, and lor’ didn’t he have a ____ lot of squalling, ragged _____ brats calling him Dad! Of course he did, or how by _____ could he’ See his Seed,’ and prolong his days and the pleasure of the Lord prosper in his hands?”

I heard preached in Utah Tabernacle that Jehovah keeps a far bigger Harem than Solomon did: he had only 1000 wives and concubines, whereas Jehovah has Millions. Adam, they preach, is the God of this Planet, and the reigning Mormon Prophet is the God of this generation. To disobey him, or fail to carry out his edict, is punishable by death. These and similar doctrines, I heard preached in Utah. Now if Mormon Elders would preach like that in Great Britain, I could trust the British Christian Public, for I know they would gain but few converts, if any, from among us. But here they do I not so preach. In England, Scotland, and Wales, they preach what they call “The sincere milk of the word-first principles,” and it certainly is cooked up to suit the palate of the most fastidious Christian.

When the ” Elder ” first came to my house at Exeter, he quietly closed the door, raised both his hands, then with an expression of countenance such as we expect to see only on the Saviour himself, with Angelic voice exclaimed, “Peace be to this house!” This astonished me, my wife, and another Christian then present. (This was shortly after my asylum episode, when I had determined, as far as I could, to lead a godly, sober, and religious life.)

When we expressed our astonishment, he said, “I presume you are Christians, and understand this book,” taking from his pocket a nicely bound Bible. Replying in the affirmative, he at once said, “Then I will read the words of our blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. ‘Behold I send you forth as lambs among wolves.’ (He should have transposed the last three words, and read, wolves among lambs.) Carry neither purse nor scrip, and into whatsoever house Ye enter, first say Peace be ‘to this house.’ If the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it, if not, it shall turn to you again. And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give; for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house. Luke, 10th chapter, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th verses.”

He closed the Book, sat down, and seemed to feel at home. Dinner was ready, and fancying he rather emphasised the words, “If the son of peace be there, in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give; ” and being anxious to know if the son of peace was in my house, for if not this chap was not going to stop, I rang the bell for dinner, and said “My Friend, you will stay and take dinner with us.”

But how can I describe my feelings when this man of God (the Devil) replied, “I have meat to eat the world knows not of; my meat is to do the will of him that sent me.” Oh! how I had inwardly to chide myself for being so wicked as to fancy that emphasis was “put on.’ I knew it was my duty “to entertain strangers; for thereby some have entertained angels unawares,” and thought, am I in an angel’s presence? does my house now shelter an angel and I not know it? I looked at the man-he had on good Sheep’s wool, dyed in the wool, real West of England Wool dyed Black Broadcloth, like that made formerly in Devonshire.

I could not penetrate his sheep’s clothing or I should have seen that inwardly he was double dyed in sin, as I afterwards found his sins were not only ” scarlet and crimson,” but as black as a blind Ethiopian in a dark cellar at midnight, just before new moon, looking for a coal-black colour-blind torn cat. If any one can give a better definition of real blackness, and will forward it to W. Jarman, 58, Parr Street, Exeter, Devon, England, he will gladly pay for it to insert in future editions. Please send the bill with it. Draw it mild, don’t stick it on; remember I give a lot for a little money.

In brief, things went on all right, for the ” Elder ” did nothing but quote Scripture, till in answer to my question he said, “He (the Elder) was a Latter-Day Saint: ” my wife, who knew a little of the Mormons, charged him with believing in and practising Polygamy as part of their religion. Seeing she knew something about it he did not deny it, but said “Polygamy is very rarely followed; the Prophet Brigham, and one or two others practise it because God I revealed to them that they must do so. But Mrs. Jarman it is not essential to salvation, as you seem to think, that men must become Polygamists. It is very different. Even supposing the Lord revealed to the Prophet that Bro. Jarman should take another wife. Before he can do so, you must be consulted and give your consent. If you refuse to consent that ends the matter, and your husband cannot become a Polygamist. It could not be otherwise, dear sister, or else see what sorrow and trouble would result.”

This settled the affair with my wife, as she said “I should never be such a fool as to consent to my husband marrying another wife so long as I live, so there will never be any Polygamy in our family.” “That’s so, of course there won’t, if you object Sister Jarman,” replied the Mormon Missionary. “And I certainly should object, said Mrs. J. “And you certainly can,’ answered the Mormon wolf,. and added, “It’s no use talking upon that point for that’s settled.”

Polygamy, the only objection then known, having been thus disposed of, – the way was clear. This Mormon Missionary baptized us into the Mormon Church, and in two weeks thereafter we were on board the steamer on our way to Zion, only just in time to save our bacon; for “God was about to pour out his judgments on Great Britain, and was gathering out his Elect.” They spin the same yarn to-day: God is always just about to do it, but somehow He fails. to verify the Mormon Missionaries’ predictions.

Again, the Mormon Missionary pictured the beauties of Zion where God was gathering His people. There everyone we met was a brother (or a sister) and a friend. There only “one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all” prevailed. All worshipped together in One big Tabernacle. Said the “Elder,” ” Only fancy, suppose all the people of Exeter were Christians, and all of one faith, and every man you met here was a brother and a friend? “

Dear Reader, please suppose the same of your own City, Town, or Village, and you will think as I did-it must be like a Heaven below. Besides, silks which I was. foolishly selling here at 2s. per yard would fetch 12s. 6d. a yard in Salt Lake City, and all my drapery goods would be similarly enhanced in value if transported to Utah. Again I could have 160 acres of land for nothing, and another 160 acres at 5s. per acre, and have three years in which to pay for it; thus my 320 acres of land would only cost on the average 2s. 6d. per acre, and that not to be paid for until the expiration of three years, so as to give me time to raise-enough off my farm to pay for the land.

With such inducements, coupled with the religious part of this programme, is it any wonder that Mormon Missionaries entrap the unwary? Is it any wonder that so many, especially of the poorer classes of British people are caught, and begin to sing-

“To the West, to the west, to the land of the free,

Where the mighty Missouri rolls down to the sea,

Where a man is a man if he’s willing to toil,

And the poorest may reap of the fruits of the soil.”

And are not satisfied until they get there. Thousands are being thus caught today.

We sailed from England in the summer of 1866. Arriving in New York we found the Indians were causing great trouble out West; it was unsafe to cross the plains. We accordingly had to stop over until the next summer. Large companies of ” saints ” were then expected to gather to “Zion.” I accepted a situation in Whitney and Myers’ Dry Good Store (Drapery Establishment), Albany, New York. The Indians were so troublesome the following summer there was no emigration of British Saints to Utah; consequently I remained with the same firm until July, 1868, when the first company from England crossed the plains. It was then I left my good situation, and with my family and the British saints set out on the weary pilgrimage to Zion.

To describe that journey is impossible here; but, in passing, I must say, the Missionaries, who had been three years in England, seemed to have special regard for the Female Lambs of the flock, and were I to tell what I saw during that six weeks’ journey over the plains, camping out as we had to, night after night, and sleeping in wagons, under wagons, under trees, bushes, or any shelter we could find: I say, were I to tell all I then saw and heard this book could not be sent by mail, while I myself would be sent to jail. If I protested in any way I was kindly informed that I had better mind my own business, or I should be put where the dogs could not bite me. Afterwards at a Bishop’s meeting one of the Missionaries publicly said, “I should have been murdered on the plains but for him, that I found fault with everything, and the ” Saints ” wanted to kill me there and then. I told them the reason I found fault with everything was because everything demanded it. But I must not dwell on this.

Copyright by J J Dewey

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Series NavigationThe Polygamy QuestionHell on Earth, Part 2

8 thoughts on “Hell on Earth, Part 1

  1. Every one understands that men’s life is very expensive, nevertheless we need cash for different things and not every one gets enough money. Thus to get fast loan or car loan will be a correct solution.

  2. I find that era of LDS church history very interesting too. (Its my family history, after all!) Looking into it some time ago led me to stop believing Brigham brought much of anything -spiritually speaking – to his group of Mormon followers. He was a strong man and a strong leader, but was no “Prophet”. (Something he even admitted to – at first anyway.) The modern LDS church hangs all its “authority and priesthood” on Brigham being God’s chosen replacement when Joseph was killed. But I think any serious reading about the so-called succession crisis and all that ensued from then onward should cause one to question these claims! Did me anyway.

    Having read many journals from this time period – most from my own relatives – I found that individually, many of those Utah saints were amazing people. It is easy to imagine how this would get missed by any outsiders like the book’s author. The journals also show that polygamy was a horrendous burden on most of its participants. They often tried to put a positive, faithful spin on things, but their stories are full of heartbreak and misery based mostly on the trials associated with that ugly practice. (I find it ugly, anyway!)

    By the way, a fascinating look at the consequences of the church’s attempt to end the practice – from an anthropologist’s point of view -can be read here: http://bycommonconsent.com/2010/03/03/correlation-an-uncorrelated-history-part-1-the-mormon-underground/
    (Its really a good read.)

    JJ mentioned Joseph’s son who fought so hard against what Brigham’s sect said about his father and mother. I recently read some of his writings and was really moved by them. I am impressed with his obvious goodness and the love he had for his parents and for God. I got that he was a rather exceptional man in his own right.

  3. “perhaps those “oppressors” were actually inspired to push Mormons into a higher light.”

    Ahem…..I don’t think so.

    “but as black as a blind Ethiopian in a dark cellar at midnight, just before new moon, looking for a coal-black colour-blind torn cat. If any one can give a better definition of real blackness, and will forward it to W. Jarman, 58, Parr Street, Exeter, Devon, England, he will gladly pay for it to insert in future editions.”

    I laughed my head off when I read that one.

    1. It is interesting that Joseph’s son, Joseph III, did everything he could to push the government to outlaw polygamy. He loathed the idea and just couldn’t imagine that his father ever supported it.

      And Dan is right… the guy is venomous toward the church and one must take that coloring into account, but as we go along he seems a little more balanced when he just tells us what happened to him and if true you can see why he has strong negative feelings. What makes his story interesting is that he lived among the Mormons in the West as a faithful follower until certain things became too much to swallow and he had to escape from being assassinated by Porter Rockwell and others.

  4. So it would seem there was a miniature dark ages within the LDS church… then the light of the core principles and doctrines and the good hearts of the oppressed women brought the church up into a standard that matches the truths. Perhaps the government stepping in to squash polygamy was the best thing for the Church… perhaps those “oppressors” were actually inspired to push Mormons into a higher light.

  5. The guy is so vituperative and venomous, even just in the beginning, that I have a hard time reading it. It’s hard to imagine any kind of objective, unbiased reporting coming from the same mouth – at least regarding Mormons.

  6. The Anti Christ who was Hitler was born on 20 April 1889 – 30 April 1945. It would seem plausible that before the arise of a physical anti-christ, that anti christ energies would try to ruin the forces of Light started by Joseph Smith. So in corrupting the Light that first started to grow through Joe Smith’s teachings and damaging the Mormon foundations with darkness or evil and the down grading of the females, then this also paved way for Hitler to arise and get a stronger foot hold on Earth just before 1900.


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