Hell on Earth, Part 6

This entry is part 22 of 50 in the series 2011A

I now come to a very important part of this “ Endowment “ business which I name “Weddings in Hell.” I will state right here, that most, if not all the marriages solemnized in this place are Polygamic. A man may marry a first or lawful wife without going there, but no man can marry a second or plural wife unless he and his victim wade through all the filth of the “ Endowment House” and he must be so married within its “ Sacred “ walls. When the various “Temples” now being erected are completed, Polygamic marriages are to be solemnized therein also. Up to the time I left “ Zion “ only the “Temple at .St. George” was finished. There such marriages have taken place; and I am told by those who ought to know, that a far worse, and much more filthy ceremony is gone through within the “ Temple “ than within the “Endowment House.”

I know this much, “The Prophet” has often that “There are degrees of glory and blessing which can only be obtained in Temple consecrated to God for the purpose!” Knowing, therefore, what I do, I can readily believe there will be nice goings on in these temples w finished.

Before describing my wedding in this Hell, I will state that my English wife was not only willing, but desired that I should marry another. As a marriage according to the English Law was of no avail in the Mormondom, and as we had to be married over again, she concluded that I had marry two at once, and thus secure my eternal salvation, and the power raise her up at the resurrection, This is only secured by Polygamy; the wife becomes anxious that her husband should take a second wife in order to secure the salvation of the man she loves, and her own eternal glory. Many of the first wives are lured into sanctioning the plural marriage.

(Misc comments on plural marriage edited out)

Now that everything is lovely, and my wife consenting to the plural marriage, I take her on my right arm and the bride-elect on the left, and walk them both into the “Sealing Room.” Here I present the slip of paper containing my name, the name of my wife that was, or is to be, and that of the intended bride, to the Priest who sits at the Altar. He bids me and my spouses to be seated, which we do, and await further developments. He carefully examined the slip, or certificate, the Priest calls upon me the bride groom, my wife, and bride to arise, which we do, fronting the Priest.

I and my wife are now married for time and eternity, a very simple affair; its simple being married over again. Having been married to my legal wife she then stands on my left-hand side, while the bride-elect stands on her left. The Priest then put this question to my wife, “Are you willing to give this woman to your husband to be his lawful and wedded wife for time and for all eternity? If you are you will manifest it by placing her right hand within the right of your husband.’,’

This she willingly did, and this bridegroom and bride stood “hand-in-hand.” My wife was now told to take my left as if in the attitude of walking: The Priest then asked me as follows: “Do you, Brother Jarman, take sister (calling the bride-elect by her name by the right hand, to receive her unto yourself, to be your lawful wedded wife, and you to be her lawful and wedded husband, for time and for all eternity, with a covenant and promise, on your part, that you will fulfill the laws, rites, and ordinances, pertaining to this holy matrimony, in the and everlasting covenant, doing this in the presence of God and angels of own free will and choice? “ I, of course, answered, “Yes.”-The Priest then put this question to the bride:

“Do you, sister” (calling. her by name), “take brother Jarman by right hand, and give yourself to him, to be his lawful and wedded wife for time and for all eternity, with a covenant and promise on your part that you fulfill all the laws, rites, and ordinances, pertaining to this holy matrimony, the new and everlasting covenant, doing this in the presence of God angels?

The bride meekly answered “Yes.”

The Priest then said: “In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by the authority of the Holy Priesthood, I pronounce you legally and lawfully husband and wife for and for all eternity: and I seal upon you the blessings of the holy resurrection with power to come forth in the morning of the first resurrection, clothed with glory, immortality, and eternal lives; and I seal upon you the blessings thrones, and dominions, and principalities, and powers, and exaltations, together with the blessings of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and say unto you Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth, that you may have joy rejoicing in your posterity in the day of the Lord Jesus. All these blessing; together with all other blessings pertaining to the new and everlasting covenant, I seal upon your heads, through your faithfulness unto the end, by authority of the Holy Priesthood, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.”

The Priest then wrote on the slip of paper “O. K.,” which signified the thing had been done “up to dick,” that I was “done brown,” and was now a thoroughly married man. This bachelor had hitherto been playing at marriage. Now it was a reality, and a fearful one at that, as you will presently see. The Priest opened the door and told me to hand the slip of paper to the Prophet, and watched me do it. The Prophet looked at it, then gave it to the Scribe, who entered it on the general record. I saw him write my name, the maiden names of my two dear wives, and the place and date of this singular plural marriage in the big register. I for asked for a certificate, but was immediately told that such “nonsensical documents” were not required; that I had “the two women to show for it,” and, says the Prophet, “If that ain’t enough go out, look up a few more, fetch ’em here, and we’ll splice you on to them mighty quick. You are all O.K., so take your women home and make the best of ’em.”

A Mormon wife has no certificate to show marriage, and if occasion should require and to shield their Polygamous brethren, the Mormon officials, will positively swear that they did not perform the marriage, while the big book will never be found, for that is safely hid.

The Great High Priest, Elias Smith, who is also Probate Judge, then confirmed me, and made me an “Elder and a Priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.” Moreover my “ Patriarchal “ documents show that I also held wonderful position, viz.: “A virgin without guile.” As these papers appear full presently, I will merely say here that the “Endowment ceremonies” shook my faith in Mormonism, making a shipwreck of faith quite possible. I began to doubt the sincerity of its leaders, which is the first step to apostasy. It seemed to me they were more like vile sinners than “Saints,” and the words Sir Jahn Birkenhead:-

“If these be saints, ’tis vain indeed, To think there’s good or evil.”

The world will soon be of this creed, No God, no king, no devil.” came to my mind, remained uppermost, and I could not forget them.

At the wedding, please observe, I and my bride were asked “Are you doing this of your own free will and choice?” my wife was only asked “Are you willing.” He should have asked “Are you subdued? Has the priesthood and this holy religion blunted every womanly feeling in your breast, and caused you to immolate yourself on the altar of Polygamy?” The marriage ceremony being now concluded we are permitted to don our worldly clothing and leave the place, this being the conclusion of the “ Endowment “ ceremonies. We are cautioned to be sure and keep on the “Holy Garment” which covers the “Sacred Oil,” and forms a complete coat of mail always proof against all the fiery darts of the Devil.

All secular clothing must go on over this. Having put on my clothes as ordered, and being again fit to appear in decent society, I soon found my empty lunch basket and my way out. I left that building a wiser’ sadder, and muchly married man: I could not help being wiser, but why should I be sad on this my TRUE AND REAL wedding day? Had not God commanded in the Mormon Revelation to take TWO wives, and had sworn to damn me if I failed to thus many. Had I not obeyed and was now saved man, and ought I not to be happy? But somehow I could not feel nippy. There seemed to be a fearful dread of something terrible just about to happen, and it did happen as you will see, for my home was ever after “A perfect Hell upon Earth.

After giving such an expose as I have of this infernal institution I must state, that though in England, and far removed from Mormon Assassins, Mormon vengeance would reach me if it could. I know how mad they will be, and further I know they have thousands of men who gladly do the bidding of their Prophet, Priests, and Bishops. Hence the people of England must not be surprised to hear that the writer of this book is vilified, for Mormons will swear to anything, as I show presently; and would stop at nothing short of my death. They always defame the character of those who leave them, for as they cannot meet the serious charges which I or any other recusant Mormon can bring against them, if they can but get the public to believe me unworthy of credence and thus prevent my obtaining an audience, they would gain their point.

The Author of “The Rocky Mountain Saints, on page 212, says:-” From the beginning of Mormonism, the ruling authorities have accepted defamation of character as the best weapon with which to assail the discontented or apostates.” They also assure their British converts that all Apostates are full of the Devil, and very wicked, and strictly caution them never to listen to one, or credit a word they say. I find it hard work to get at those who have been converted to Mormonism in England; but am happy to state that I failed but in one instance to effect a recapture, and that one seemed to me more fit for a lunatic asylum than anything else. I have saved hundreds from going into bondage, crime and misery in Utah, and when I have saved the whole of Great Britain, and driven every Mormon scamp from our shores, I shall consider my work done, and not till then.

In treating of my own domestic affairs I shall do so like a man, for man would attempt to give the public all the peculiarities thereof, which the said public have no business to enquire into, while I shall give enough trust that “ Enough’s as good as a feast.”

I was now a married man in every sense of the word. My “ Wives “ having dressed themselves fit for decent society also, each made a grab for left arm. Wife No. I (as I shall now call my “old stand-by” wife) managed to grab it successfully, while the bride proper awfully chagrined snatched at the arm hugged it tight and looked daggers at No. 1. Whatever their respected thoughts may have been, and though awful fiery glances were exchanged between them, we left the house in solemn silence. I felt that a storm of more than ordinary portentions was brewing-I was downcast, though it was my wedding day and I had a DEAR wife on each arm, and was, of course, ripe for Heaven, yet I could not help feeling I was much nearer Hell. Both wives and myself as we jog along, look down, as if to find consolation on the earth. All I could read upon the ground, and it seemed printed in big letters, was HELL UPON EARTH. No. 1 hangs heavily on the left arm; The Bride drags sulkily though tightly upon my right arm. Behold this rose between two thorns, and if there is such a thing as sympathy in human nature, sympathize with this suffering trio. Men put yourselves in my place (metaphorically of course). Ladies put yourselves on my left or right arm which ever you please (figuratively) and find out our respective feelings on this very remarkable occasion. Must I, can I, attempt to describe them? I will try.

This disconsolate hubby feels about “done up” and is ready to “pass in his checks,” get up the “flume,” “kick the bucket,” or do anything to avoid what I feel sure is coming, and that without delay. I say to myself “I am in a nice fix, I’ve done a nice thing for myself and put my foot in it.” Why was I born, why did I not commit suicide, or rob a bank, forge a cheque, or do something that would have transported me for life, then I should not have known this dreadful suspense. I glance, but for a moment, at wife No. 1, she that had so often shared my sorrow, but it’s no use looking there for sympathy now; I see in her, a worse than Mary Magdalene, who knew nothing of polygamy, and had but seven devils in her, whereas Mormon polygamy makes the women complete Devils. It’s useless looking to her—-the pride of the morning, but now the bride of the hour-for sympathy for she also seems very much “put out” and anything but satisfied with the situation.

But how shall I describe the feelings of my better halves. Were I a devil, one of those accustomed to getting inside the women, I might be able to tell exactly how they felt, but I can only judge from external appearances, and what I afterwards found out. The most interesting person and the most interested, on wedding occasions should be the Bride. Therefore we will gauge her feelings. Though this is the first time she has been married; she is not satisfied. She feels that being the latest spouse and the only real bride of the occasion, she should have the place nearest her husband’s heart. The left arm on hers, and she reasons thus-This is my first wedding day; that old wife of is has been married to him for years. It’s no novelty to her; this is my honeymoon, not hers. She might yield a little to me on this occasion. I have as much right to my husband as she has, why should she seek to claim the best place in his affection? I have just married him, and I’ll just let her know it-he wished me to many him, or I am sure I should not. Now that I have I’ll not go back on him, I’ll stick to him through thick and thin, and show her I have as much right to him as she has. If she wanted to keep him all to herself why did she wish me to share him with her; if she don’t look out I’ll make it so sweet for him that he will slight her considerably, and perhaps let her flicker solitary and alone. She must not trifle with my feelings just now I’ll make her rue it.

Wife No. 1 ruminates thus:-I never thought it would make such a difference. I and my husband were one, I could speak confidingly and pour out my soul to him in deep sympathy when I had him all to myself, but now I find the truth of the old adage “Two is company, but three is none.” This interloper deprives me of my conjugal felicity, I’ll teach her to mind her own business, and not seek to mar the happiness of man and wife that have been so long wedded to each other. She evidently thinks she ought to have my husband’s left arm; she will have to learn that his left arm is mine. She may consider that she, being the youthful bride has a perfect right to it, but I shall leach her that I am THE WIFE OF HIS YOUTH, and therefore have the greatest right to him. I shall not relinquish any of my rights for that stuck up thing.

Thus the mischief keeps fermenting, and not a word is spoken by either. What a wedding day? Did the All-wise God give that Revelation commanding such marriages? No Never! No, a thousand times, No! It’s worse than Blasphemy to say it emanated from the All-wise Creator.

In the Endowment House the “new names” given to my wives were those of “ Sarah” and “Rebecca,” but amid the excitement I got them mixed, and when we came out I could not “tell t’other from which;” for the life of me I could not tell which was Rebecca or which was Sarah, both new names to them and me. What to do I knew not, for we must never reveal the one wife’s name to the other, or speak of it at all; it is to remain a perfect secret between the husband and the particular wife.

Yet I was anxious to know “which was which.” Shortly we arrived at a small stream, over which there is no plank or bridge of any kind. Foot passengers jump over it. Now we newly-married trio, triune, triplets, tripartite party, or whatever we may be termed-do not get scared, we were merely three souls with but a thousand thoughts-three hearts that failed to beat as one. Now it is not to be expected that we three in one and one in three will try to jump the stream conjointly. Oh dear no, It can’t be did.” We would have another ‘washing if we tried to do so. The wives now release their hold of the husband’s arms. Wife No. 1, in a vexatious moment, clears the stream with a bound. Now, thinks I, this is just my time to find out if that is Sarah or Rebecca that has just flopped over the stream. So I said to my bride, who was yet on this side of Jordan (the stream), “Let me see, your new name is Rebecca.” She affectionately replied, “No, my dear, my new name is Sarah.” ‘ “Rebecca,” who stood just on the brink of the other side, heard the word “Rebecca “ and very wickedly surmised, or at least the devils in her prompted her so, that I was confidentially telling the bride her new name. That was enough. “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,” and to make a bad matter worse I jumped the stream and lovingly assisted the bride over. I and the bride would have got along O. K., if the other “dear charmer” had been a thousand miles away, but she was right there to pay particular attention to my left arm, &c., &c.

In helping my bride over the stream I had taken her right hand, and guided by a strong instinct, or else the Devil was prompting the batch of us to mischief, I did not release her hand until I had placed her right arm in my left. I not thinking of what I was doing, but the bride designedly, as she afterwards told me, for says she “I was determined to have my rights.” Well, she had them “right and left,” so did I, and between the two I wished myself in Heaven out of it.
My readers will not expect me to waste pen, ink, and paper and take up the valuable space in my book by describing the fracas, suffice to say the first round wag won by Wife No. I, time 5 minutes 57 seconds. My arm by this time was ready for a sling. The bride, overcome by the superior fighting qualities of No. 1, resolved to make good use of her weapon, the tongue, and give her “a good tongue lashing.” In this she was successful, or at least equal to the emergency and managed to get in “six to-the half-dozen.” As it often happens in a wrangle of words, something the bride said, amused the ire of wife No. 1, and without calling “ time! “ round. second was commenced with increased vigor.

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5 thoughts on “Hell on Earth, Part 6

  1. 11. I like the valuable info you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your weblog and check again here regularly. I’m quite sure I’ll learn many new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!

  2. I have known some polygamist, one wanted to deal me in to his family and at the time being still steeped in the dogma considered it but I listened to the inner voice and immediately knew not to to do it. I later found out many things about him that I am glad I did not get more involved with him. He once told me he had to preach to some of the polygs down in Mexico that is was not ok to beat thier wives and that they even had whipping posts. I have met polygamist families who seem content and claim to be happy but could not help feeling there was a something under the surface there sort of a brooding going on that was concealed.

    One of the things that bothered me about the temple ceremonies after I left Mormonism was how I allowed myself to be duped into making promises and oaths before I knew what it was i was swearing to etc. I though gee I don’t buy a car without driving it first how could not want to see what I was buying before i agreed to it. Although I didn’t have any real problems with the ceremonies once I went through them of course polygamy was not involved either.

    Authoritarianism is still a source of a lot of misery in Mormonism. There is a reason Utah is said to be the anti-depressant capital of the US. I don’t know if that is statistically true but I know it is a problem there. Even though polygamy is no more in the mains stream church there is still a strong oppression of women as second class citizens subject to thier husbands. The temple rites still ( at least as far as I know) require the husband to resurrect the wife.

    Having said all that I am grateful for my time spent in Mormonism it was a learning experience and set me on the path to further light and knowledge however I am glad I moved on from it.

  3. Mental and emotional love and support to Mindy and permission to heavenly beings (who await the asking of a mortal) to help her in every way. [This is an artifact from JJ’s other blog site, Keysters (Keys of Knowledge at Yahoo), where Mindy let us know she is traveling to Iran on a medical mission.]

    This guy finally gets into some realistic thoughts. I can only imagine the “hell on earth” stuff he talks about. If a person harbored one stitch of jealousy it would come out. On the other hand, if I were raised in a polygamous society it would probably be hard to imagine only monogamy. I hold with Senator Daniel Webster who spoke in one of the very last ever Congressional debates over polygamy – when they decided if they would seat Senator-elect Reed Smoot, a Mormon. Webster said, “I would rather sit in these hallowed halls with polygamists who polyg than with monogamists who don’t monog.” If the Senators were fair minded they would have to admit his point.

    I often wondered at the rabid spirit which wells up against polygamy from otherwise reasonable people. Probably “testimonies” like this one influenced many people. For example, one of my favorite talk show hosts, Michael Medved, often shouts if we allow gay marriage then we would have to allow POLYGAMY! He uses it as his final trump card or sledge hammer to make his argument against gay marriage finally unassailable. But what does he fear, from either? I admit that youth who get badgered into polygamy by the simple fact that they were born to it and by their sometimes over-enthusiastic communities probably face a tough problem. But we all inherit tough problems because we are all born to humans. Some of us, for example, get born to parents who cannot control their drinking habit or other habits. My Dad, for example, passed on some terrible attitudes about money that hurt me and my siblings all our lives. Yet I find it hard to imagine a better Dad. We must work our way through this and we might or might not ever solve it in this life. We all inherit some crap from our folks and we all, despite our best intentions, pass on some junk down to our kids. Get over it. At any rate, while I don’t feel tempted by polygamy in any way (I think the “hell on earth” part may prove only too real), I don’t see any problem tolerating those who choose it or gay marriage either for that matter. If we truly believe in and support freedom, then we must allow that some folks will make different choices than we make.

    This leads me to one of the keys. The best doctrine I ever learned in all our discussion here is one simple thing. Follow your internal authority. No need to let external authority dictate to you. If you look at people who got into trouble with polygamy or any other thing (keep in mind it appears to have worked just fine for many) I think you will see they followed it for EXTERNAL reasons rather than their own inner convictions. I love this doctrine and it has already kept me from some dicey problems. Learn to listen to your own self. What a novel idea! No one ever taught this to me before. All teachers I previously heard kept a vested interest in teaching me to obey authority – their authority. I always loved the doctrines of freedom but only now do I see both its logical source and conclusion. This changes everything including even the way I look at polygamy or any other idea. The first key of knowledge from JJ’s book not only opens new insights about ourselves, but it empowers us to view all things anew. Even after I read The Immortal series, it still took many discussions at Keysters blog to more fully realize the power of this key. Learning that I was a son of God empowered me. Now, learning that God supports my freedom right down to the point where He won’t dictate to me but will only work with me on an eyes open voluntary basis because He respects my right of decision so deeply, empowers me even more. I now see the words of Jesus one step deeper, “Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” John 15:15 Now all my analysis reflects this thought. For example, though I never wanted to be gay I still always wondered what was wrong with allowing gays to do as they pleased. Now I can allow myself to think such thoughts without fear of stepping out of the box. Also now that I think this way, I don’t mind so much if someone comes up with a different conclusion than me on some topic. I can support them without feeling tied to them or beholden to them. So many implications from one foundational idea. The essence of my being is decision. In one sense that says my essence IS freedom! I love it. And this helps me understand why we got such a bold group at Keysters. Look out world when we gather. We will be of like mind, but we will not be tame.

    I just realized I again meandered from my beginning topic to another. I do that. I think I have gotten too comfortable with you out-of-control freedom lovers. I probably spend too much of my time thinking out loud with you guys who can equally explore apostate Mormons, DK, and politics without batting an eye. I love you guys like you are my own brothers and sisters. That is saying a lot because I have wonderful siblings.

    Your brother,
    Larry Woods

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