Chicago, Illinois, Sunday, March 18, 1906.
SECRETS OF THE
One of the leaders
tells how followers
of BRIGHAM YOUNG
Practice Polygamy &
Plot Treason Against
the United States.
A new book of Mormon is about to be published. -- The new book of Mormon is as unlike the original as a ray of sunshine is like a thunder cloud.
Joseph Smith Jr. was the agency through which the first book of Mormon was given to the world, and he claimed to have received it engraved on
golden plates from the angel Moroni. It contains the fullness of the Mormon religion and is as binding to latter day saints as the awful voice of Jehovah
was binding to the children of Israel in the wilderness.
The new book of Mormon was not received from an angel. It never was engraved on golden plates, but is fresh from the pen of Elder Don Carlos W.
Musser, who has set himself the work of reformation in his own church.
This book is in no sense a church publication -- its sole object being to show up the crudities and monstrosities of the Mormon religion with a view
to their abolition.
"Monstrous God of Brigham."
"I did not question the revelations which Joseph Smith Jr. claimed to have received from the Almighty, and when those revelations came in conflict with
my reason I prayed more and reasoned less. But years have rolled by since then. I have grown older and have seen much of the world. I have learned
since then that my country is the greatest and most God blessed under the sun, and that when I serve my God I serve my country -- when I oppose
either I oppose both. I have looked over the Mormon wall and have seen on the other side that which has so broadened my horizon that I can no longer
claim a belief in the narrow dogmas of my church. My faith in the monstrous God of Joseph and Brigham has been completely shattered. I can no longer
love him; I no longer fear him."
Sitting in his study in Butte, Mont., surrounded by a litter of books and papers. Elder Don Carlos W. Musser, a seventy in the Mormon church and
possessor of the Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods, made the above statement. Aided only by his pen and an intellect ripened by years of study,
Elder Musser has undertaken to assist in the reformation of the Mormon church
"Reform or Suppress Mormonism."
"I feel that the time has came," continued Elder Musser, "when Mormonism must either be reformed or suppressed; when the priesthood must render unto Caesar
that which is Caesar's and unto God that which is God's; when the men who claim to be living oracles of Almighty and who exercise -- on account of this claim --
absolute dominance over hundreds of thousands of faithful followers, must turn from their lawbreaking and set such examples as common decency would suggest.
"Polygamy must be forever abolished. There must be a complete and lasting separation of church and state. The church must withdraw, and forever remain out of
commerce, and the vast funds received through tithing the people of 10 per cent of their incomes must be used for religious purposes only. There must be no more
violating of solemn pledges made with the nation, and if the leaders of my church find it necessary to live contrary to and in defiance of the laws of G04 and man
they must move to some other country -- under the protection of some other flag.
Seeks to Reform Mormon Church.
"Feeling this way, I have set myself the task of writing this story, and if I succeed in influencing one latter day saint to think and reason for himself, to the end of
winning spiritual and temporal freedom; I will have been repaid."
Sincerity is stamped in every lineament of Musser's face. Of commanding stature, every hair in his head is as white as snow at 87, although in his boyhood days
he was known as "Red," and boasted a crop of hair that justified the sobriquet. Of pleasing address, his is a form which would attract attention and inspire
confidence in any gathering. The smooth shaven face, clear gray eyes, and erect carriage of the elder give no indication of the impelling force which drives him
irresistibly on in his work of bringing about the salvation of the Mormon people.
In his home life Mr. Musser seems to be the most satisfied of men, and to talk with him one would never suspect that all was not peace and sunshine within.
He has not the appearance of a reformer. To him the world is pleasing, and the people of it all jolly good fellows, who are continually making mistakes, but
who, nevertheless, grow better as the world grows older.
But beneath this pleasing and easy going exterior there is a determination which blazes forth when he talks upon the Mormon situation in Utah, or on the
Smoot Investigation, or on the countless other things which are found in the Mormon church and which he condemns; and at times his brow clouds while
discussing the probable future of his people.
"Uncle Tom's Cabin" of Mormonism.
That Elder Musser is qualified to write the "Uncle Tom's Cabin" of Mormonism is evident. Born in the shadow of the temple and reared in the Rocky
Mountain Zion, he was at the early age of 20 called and "set apart" as a missionary of Mormonism to Europe. After serving one year on the continent
he was again called -- this time to preside over the Turkish mission with headquarters at Constantinople.
Elder Musser served his church in the Turkish empire for several years and was then released and returned to his home in Utah. Later on, at the outbreak
of the Spanish-American war, he volunteered his services and went to the Philippines as a member of the famous Utah artillery. It was in Manila and
while still in the service of his country that Mr. Musser founded the first American newspaper, Freedom, now one of the dailies of the orient.
Turns from Mormons in Philippines.
During the years that Mr. Musser was in the Philippines his mind was undergoing a change with regard to his religious belief, so that when he returned
to America, in 1904, it was with the conviction that the things which he had been taught in his youth were wrong -- that they were in defiance of the
laws of God as well as of the laws of man -- and since that time his purpose has been to declare himself in such manner as to accomplish through his
declaration -- as much good for the members of his church as possible. It is the dream of his life to see his own people -- the Mormons of Utah -- become
as loyal citizens as there are anywhere beneath the stars and stripes.
The position of Elder Musser is not that of a renegade from his church, nor is his work being done in a spirit of vindication. Although he has renounced
the creed of Mormonism as taught by the "prophets, seers and revelators," he has never been charged with unChristian conduct by the members of the
church, nor has he been disfellowshiped.
Challenges Smith Before 15,000.
The decision of Elder Musser to do with his pen what he has been denied the privilege of doing by word of mouth came to him last April, when, in the
general conference of the church in Salt Lake City, Utah, he refused to sustain Joseph F. Smith as "president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter
Day Saints, prophet, seer, and revelator, and trustee in trust for said Church." At that general conference there were about 15,000 persons present. It
was the sixty-fifth anniversary of the church, and Joseph F. Smith stood before the assembled saints and proposed that they sustain him in the offices;
and as the voting sign of the Mormons is the elevation of the right hand, there were about 15,000 hands shot into the air, denoting that the course of the
president met the approval of the people.
"Contrary, if there be any, by the same sign," said President Smith. From that vast crowd there was projected one right hand; it was that of Don Carlos
W. Musser, elder in the church, a seventy, one of the priesthood.
The voting went on until the entire fifteen "prophets, seers, and revelators," the patriarch of the church, the presiding bishopric, the seven presidents of
the seventies, and others constituting the ruling quorums of the church had been sustained by the congregation. To nearly all of these Elder Musser alone
of that immense gathering, voted to the contrary, and each time his hand was raised on high it was to the horror and consternation of the hundreds of
friends who surrounded him -- friends with whom he had played during childhood and with whom he had sat in the tabernacle since early boyhood.
"The voting had been unanimous throughout with the exception of one vote," said President Smith. "If the party voting negatively will state his grievances
-- " here Mr. Musser rose to his feet and thirty thousand eyes were riveted upon him -- "privately in my office," continued the president "satisfaction will be
given him; the choir will please sing;" and as the chorus of 500 voices filled the majestic structure, Elder Musser resumed his seat -- there was nothing
else to do.
His first attempt to declare himself publicly had been a failure.
Attacks Right to Use Tithes.
Later, with Charles W. Smurthwaite of Ogden, Utah, who on Feb. 9 of this year, testified before the committee on privileges and elections investigating
the apostle senator, Red Smoot, Elder Musser swore to a complaint seeking to restrain president Smith from using the tithes of the church for political
and commercial purposes, and to force him to render an accounting of nearly $2,000,000 received annually from the Saints. After months of delay the
demurrer of the church was sustained, and as yet the complaint of Musser and Smurthwaite has come to naught.
Loves Church but Sees Its Errors.
The single purpose of this man, the honesty of his intentions, are made clear in the opening chapter with this impressive statement:
"The Mormons are my people. I love them. I love my native state, Utah. I love her giant mountains with their majestic peaks eternally diademed in
glistening snow. I love the clear blue of her heavens; her crystal, life-giving streams; her silent river flowing through valleys marvelous in their
production; the witchery of her mountain lakes and the magic of her Dead Sea. But above all, and over all, I love her people.
"My father is a pillar in the Mormon church. He is now carrying the burden of nearly four-score years, and though the vicissitudes of life have whitened
his hair and enfeebled his body, his mind is still clear, vigorous, and active. Among men he is a prince. The kindest of fathers, the tenderest of husbands,
generous and dependable as a neighbor, broad minded and sympathetic at all times and upon all matters, save only that of religion. In his religion, my
father is so snugly wrapped and bound that he can see God in nothing else. To his mind there can be but two religions -- the religion of Christ, known
to the world as Mormonism, and the religion of Satan, which embraces everything outside of Mormonism.
Praises and Defends His Mother.
"My mother's name is Mary. She was born on the frontier, in a little cottage where want and hardship were close and intimate neighbors, and she grew to
womanhood in a polygamous family -- seeing and knowing nothing outside of Mormonism. My mother is as pure, as gentle, and as lovable a creature as the
world ever has known, and I am her only sorrow. She has buried children, but they died in the Faith, and my brothers and sisters who live are staunch supporters
of the leaders and the traditions of the church. To them I am an apostate doomed to suffer God's 'heaviest cursings.' To me they are religious fanatics, honest
and sincere and lovable in spite of their being dupes to a false and treasonable priesthood.
"I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, under the Covenant, which means much to the Faithful. I am --if there is anything in Mormonism -- a chosen spirit retained
in the heavens until the present -- 'The Dispensation of the Fullness of Times' -- in order that I might be born under the Covenant and assist in rolling on this
great latter day work."
Starting Revelations Made.
The literary style of Mr. Musser is one peculiarly his own and a feature of it is its forcefulness. One reading the tale cannot doubt from the pathos, the feeling,
thrown into the lines, that Elder Musser is acquainted with his subject and deals with that which he knows to be true.
The descriptions of the customs, the ways of the people and the doings of the few whom Mr. Musser writes about in particular, are all told in a style so vivid,
so startling, as to leave not the shadow of a doubt as to the man's ability and his feelings in the matter. He has in reality laid his very soul upon the paper.
Story of Mormon as Novel
The chief character of this book is introduced as a young man, and at a time when Salt Lake City was a mere camp on the frontier. This young man had just
crossed the plains in the capacity of one of the "captains of ten" in a large wagon train of Mormon emigrants. In one of the wagons under this young man's
captaincy, traveled a family consisting of father and mother and two young daughters. Captain Mahrud, the hero of the narrative, falls in love with the younger
of the two daughters, and wins from her her promise to marry him as soon as they arrive in Zion. One of the first favors he asks of the prophet, Brigham Young,
after his arrival in Salt Lake City, was that he perform the ceremony uniting him to this beautiful girl for time and eternity. This the prophet promises to do, and
a few days later young Mahrud, with his promised bride and a few of her friends, including her sister, repair to the prophet's home where the wedding is to take
place. The prophet, without consulting either bride or groom or the bride's sister, marries young Mahrud to both sisters with one and the same ceremony.
Declares Story of Weddings True.
To relieve the mind of any doubt regarding the marriage alluded to, as actually having taken place Mr. Musser calls attention to a portion of the narrative which
deals with another marriage, in which this same man was the bridegroom and which took place a great many years subsequent to his first marriage, after his
first wives had grown old and seen their children all married off.
The graphic manner in which Mr. Musser tells of this third courtship of his Mormon hero, fills the mind with amazement that such a man could have lived. Yet
Elder Musser says that he not only did live, but that he still lives and today is a patriarch in the church.
In dealing with the hero's fourth marriage, which came as a result of his third courtship -- for it will be remembered that he did not court one of his first wives --
Mr. Musser brings out one of the peculiarities of Mormon belief: where a member of the church marries for time only, in order to raise up posterity to the
honor and glory of a dead relative or friend. Here is that portion of the story.
"As a matter of fact, Mrs. Alexander Muhrud IV. was Mrs. Alexander Muhrud IV. for time only; for eternity she
was Mrs. Joseph Brigham Johnson. She was permitted to become Mrs. Alexander Muhrud IV., for time only,
through the deep piety and bigness of heart of the bishop, who married her in order to raise up posterity to the
name, honor, and glory of his greatly lamented brother-in-law, Joseph Brigham Johnston, who would have
claimed her for both time and eternity but for the accident of death.
"Bishop Mahrud was always more or less interested in Emma Beckstead, and now that a great sorrow had
pressed upon her, he was more than ever anxious to demonstrate his friendliness for her. In many ways he
strove to alleviate her sufferings and make bright and hopeful her future path. He called her daughter and
stroked her wealth of brown hair and kissed her on the forehead; and almost daily reminded her that the Lord
was ever merciful, and that in calling Joseph home he had acted wisely and for the best. Both at morning
and evening prayers, Bishop Mahrud called down the blessings of the Lord upon Emma, and mightily prayed
that He who watches the sparrows fall and clothes the lily, would show to His grief stricken daughter His
will concerning her.
Bishop Courts and Comforts Widow.
"'Daughter, the ways of the Lord are indeed strange to mortals and far beyond the puny comprehension of
man. "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord." We must not, we
dare not, call into question the Lord's holy will, and it were ten thousand times worse than madness to nurse
our sorrows while wishing they had never been. It behooves us as children of the Most High to see nothing
but good in all that He does, and to rejoice even though our hearts seem ready to break. God's ways are not
ours. But we should always endeavor to make our ways the Lord's.
"'Joseph is not dead; he has been called to a higher sphere of activity, and if you are faithful, you
may, sometime in the future, join him in that place where sorrow and sickness and suffering can never enter,
and where all are forever happy. Would you like that?
A sweet smile Illuminated the pale face of Emma as she replied: 'Yes, indeed. How sweet and welcome
the change called death, if it would but take me to his side.'
"'Yes, yes, daughter. I understand how you feel and I thank God for the purity, the tenderness and the
loyalty of your heart. But you have a mission to perform for Joseph before you can go to him. God has
put it within your power to do that for Joseph that will exalt him among the gods and insure him glories the
mortal mind may not even dream of. If you are true to yourself and your God in this matter, you will have
the eternal love of Joseph, and such happiness as none may never know in this life, and but comparatively few
of the saints may experience in that life which is to come. It is this holy mission that I wanted to talk to
you upon, and I trust that you will take what I say as being dictated by the Holy Spirit for your good, and in
answer to our prayers.
Bishop Denounces the Government.
"'Come nearer, daughter; here, sit on my knee. So, now I can talk to you with less effort. What a beautiful
day it is without, and yet, those Gentile hounds have forced me to remain indoors. But the work of the Lord
continues to roll forth and the idea of this government, or any other government, trying to put a stop to it, is
enough to make the angels of heaven weep. A mouse may as well attempt to drink dry the Mississippi, as
for the congress of the United States to attempt to thwart Jehovah, in his determination to raise up a
righteous generation through the practice -- by his celestial marriage.'
"The bishop paused for a moment, but his fair auditor made no comment. She sat lightly on his knee
as she might have sat on her father's had he been alive. She trusted the bishop as she would have done her
father, for he had been kind to her, and in her mind was no fear. To Emma Beckstead the bishop was a
man of God, enjoying at all times the companionship of the Holy Spirit, and she trusted him as a child would
have done. And yet, she felt strange and as if it would be more in keeping with the solemn question they were
discussing, if she were to move and occupy a chair. Indeed she made an attempt to do this, but there was
some subtle force that held her, and so she remained. Bishop Mahrud was a man of exceptionally strong personality,
and his wishes were generally deferred to by those who had in any degree learned to confide in him.
Proposes to Take Joseph's Place.
"'But, dear little girl, I invited you in to talk to you regarding your mission in life,' the bishop proceeded,
'your duly to your maker and to Joseph. You were to have married Joseph, and somewhere on the
other side of the veil, he is waiting for you to fulfill your promise. It pleased our heavenly Father to call
Joseph away before he had wives and children, but it does not follow that he is released from that divine
commandment to be fruitful and multiply.
And so, while Joseph is in heaven waiting for you to fulfill your promise to marry him, he is not
glorified. He is not with the Father and Son and the prophets Joseph and Brigham, and Hyrum, nor can he
ever be with them until he has lived that law. Jesus said, "In my Father's house there are many mansions,"
and the mansion Joseph inhabits now, and must continue to inhabit until you fulfill your promise and marry
him is nothing more than a place of detention in the spirit world which the saints know as Paradise, a spiritual prison.
"'Of course, you will go through the temple and be sealed to Joseph for eternity; but this is not sufficient, Emma,
dear. Joseph must have children raised up to his name's honor and glory on this side of the veil. On the other side
there is neither marrying nor giving in marriage. No, this all has to be done in this world, and those who are called
to heaven before they have wives, or husbands, or children are dependent upon the loved ones they leave behind
for any exaltation they attain in the hereafter.
"'God in his wisdom has made this clear by revelations to the prophet Joseph, and so, while you
may be sealed to Joseph for eternity, it will be necessary -- in order that you may fulfill your duty to
him and to yourself -- for you to marry some one for time only.' Here Bishop Mahrud reached for the small
bible on the center table and, opening it at the twenty-fifth chapter of Deuteronomy, he read as follows:
"'"If brethren dwell together, and one of them die and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry
without unto a stranger; her husband's brother shall go unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform
the duty of an husband's brother unto her."
Proposal in Mormon Style.
"'And so, you see, dear,' proceeded the bishop, closing the sacred book, 'the house of God is a house of
order, and the spirit of revelation has made our duty clear to me. I love Joseph enough to do any thing
possible for his eternal happiness. I love you both, in fact, and your welfare is, after serving God, the greatest
desire of my heart. But, more than all else, I love the sacred institutions of high heaven, and I stand ever
ready to lay my possessions on the altar of my religion and to earnestly endeavor, without thought of the cost,
to live up to every requirement of the Lord.
"Emma's tear stained face dropped to the bishop's shoulder and his arm tightened around her waist as he
"'Dear little woman, I am more than interested in you. To me you have become at once daughter and
sweetheart. I desire with my whole soul your complete salvation, and no heavenly vision vouchsafed me of the
Almighty stands out so gloriously clear as the one wherein you are revealed as mine for this short life, and
for the sublime and noble purpose of perpetuating throughout the endless ages to come the name of our
sleeping brother and husband.'
"Tenderly the bishop raised the flushed face from his shoulder and, holding that beautiful head between
his hands, he kissed her lips, and then, drawing the shrinking form more tightly to his, he continued:
"'God has not only made our duty plain to us, he has kindled a love within our breasts such as I have
never felt in all my life before -- a love for his purposes, a loving desire for the triumph of his holy cause -- and
I ask you in the fullness of that great love and in the name of that great cause, to consent to this thing, to
be my wife, loved, cherishes, and honored above all else on earth; and this far the exaltation and glory of your
first love, Joseph Johnston."
Becomes Bride for Time Only.
"That same week Emma Beckstead became Mrs. Alexander Mahrud IV. for time and Mrs. Joseph Brigham
Johnston I. for eternity, and the foul fiends of the pit below and all the imps of hell raged and wailed, and
gnashed their teeth, for the cause of heaven had again triumphed and the ultimate redemption of the world
from its sins was more than ever assured.
"What is more blessed than to give and do for others? The noble, generous, self-sacrificing, self-denying
side of Bishop Mahrud's nature was never more beautifully illustrated than in his marriage to this
beautiful girl in order to promote the eternal happiness of one who had gone before. And what a lesson this should
be to the Gentiles, they who love wicked better than godliness -- darkness better than light. And how the
angels of heaven must have rejoiced and tuned their harps to a new song when Emma and Alexander stood
before the veil in the holy temple and consented to the great sacrifice for time only."
And so Elder Musser tells of the "courtship of the fourth wife by the hero of the story. It will be at once appreciated that the peculiar beliefs embodied in the
wooing of the woman is a custom of the Mormon church which has never before been brought to the attention of the outside world.
Rebellion Among Bishop's Wives.
The marriage of the fourth wife by the bishop proves a critical point in the story. The third wife rebels when she finds that her husband has assumed new marital
obligations. Notwithstanding he had two wives when she married him, it did not occur to her that she was wronging anybody. She became the favorite, as a
matter of course, and in the dally association of her husband she found no time to think of the cruel neglect of the first wives who had grown old and careworn
before their time. So long as she was the favorite her world was a bright and happy one.
With the advent of the fourth wife she found herself left alone, presumably as the first wives had been left at her advent into the Mahrud family. She loved her
husband, and to be neglected as she was, was to her worse than death. A complete change came upon her. and she bitterly regretted the wrong she had done
the first two wives in robbing them of the affections of their husband.
The keen edge of sorrow and grief was replaced by bitterness, and in time she openly rebelled. The bishop strove to break her iron will with all manner of brutality,
and, failing in this, he starved her to death. And that all of these things have actually happened is the solemn statement of Elder Musser. Awful in its intensity, the
tale is startling in its vividness and fascinating in its word painting. The thoughts of the woman, innocently erring, perhaps, but awakening from her lethargy, alone
furnish a theme for volumes, and Mr. Musser has dealt with them as they merit. The death of the woman ends the story.
Biting Sarcasm of Narrative.
The vein of sarcasm which the reader will have noticed cropping out continuously in Mr. Musser's writing sets well upon him. He is in a position to be sarcastic,
for he knows whereof he speaks, and he can no more control his sarcasm when speaking of certain things pertaining to the Mormon church than a baby
hand can control an affrighted horse. He is not sarcastic for effect; it is in his heart, and is the outgrowth of the rank inconsistencies and hypocrisies which his
study and investigation has succeeded in unveiling.
A feature of Mr. Musser's book which not only lends interest to the story which he relates but makes it a valuable addition to literature are numerous and
copious quotations from "The Journal of Discourses" which he has cleverly woven into the narrative.
Exposes "Journal of Discourses."
"The Journal of Discourses," be it understood, consists of sermons preached in the early days of Utah when Brigham Young was not only the head of the
church and, as such, the mouthpiece of the Lord to men who dwell on the earth, but was also the governor of Utah. These sermons were accepted by the
Saints as the inspired word of God unto them, and were held as binding upon the Mormon people as the direct voice of Jehovah could have been.
As the state began to fill up with people not of the church, the Mormon leaders saw the futility of trying to foist upon the people such things, and, hence, the
printing of "The Journal of Discourses" was long since discontinued. A few copies of the work still are in existence, and these are jealously guarded. They contain
many extremely rabid and treasonable utterances of the church leaders, many of which were given to the people from the tabernacle pulpit during the civil war.
A few extracts from "The Journal of Discourses" may prove interesting at this time. Here is a part of a sermon delivered by the prophet, seer, and revelator,
Heber C. Kimball, as it is recorded in "The Journal of Discourses,'' volume V., page 95:
"May the Almighty bless you. May the peace of God be with you and upon your children and your
children's children, forever and ever. And may God Almighty curse your enemies. (Voices: 'Amen!')
I feel to curse my enemies; and when God won't bless them, I don't think he will ask me to bless them.
If I did, it would be to put the poor curses to death who have brought death and destruction upon me and
my brethren -- upon my wives and my children that I buried on the road between the states and this place.
Curses President from Pulpit.
"Did I ever wrong them, a man or a woman of them out of a dime? No; but I have fed thousands
where I have never received a dime. Poor, rotten curses! And the president of the United States, inasmuch
as he has turned against us and will take a course to persist in pleasing the ungodly curses that are howling
around him for the destruction of this people, he shall be cursed is the name of Israel's God, and he
shall not rule over this nation, because they are my brethren; but they have cast me out and have cast you
out; and I curse him and all his coadjutors in his cursed deeds, in the name of Jesus Christ and by the authority
of the holy priesthood; and all Israel shall say amen.
Send 2,500 troops here, my brethren, to make a desolation of this people! God Almighty helping; me, I
will fight until there is not a drop of blood in my veins. Good God! I have wives enough to whip out the United
States; for they will whip themselves. Amen."
Predicts Mormons Will Rule.
On another occasion this same living oracle preached a sermon in which he gave utterance to this prophecy. These remarks are recorded in the same
"Journal of Discourses," volume V., page 319:
"The church and kingdom to which we belong will become the kingdom of God and his Christ, and Brother
Brigham Young will become president of the United States. (Voices responded, 'Amen.')
"And I tell you he will be something more: but we do not want to give him the name; but he is called
and ordained to a far greater station than that, and he is foreordained to take that station, and he has got it:
and I am vice president, and Brother Wells is the secretary of the interior -- yes, and of all the armies of the flesh."
These incorporations have caused the following bit of sarcasm to fall from the pen of Mr. Musser:
"O, what good times they were when the prophets of this dispensation stood boldly forth and, without fear or favor, proclaimed in trumpet tones the will of the
Lord. How glorious seemed the prophet, Heber, as he stood before Israel and declared that he had wives enough to whip the United States and pronounced the
awful curse of God upon this nation. How magnificent is man when he speaks by the power of the holy priesthood, and how foolish, and even senseless, it is for
others not to listen and heed that voice and counsel. Does any Latter Day Saint deny that Brother Heber C. Kimball is now a god, enthroned in the heavens with
kingdoms, and principalities, and dominions to rule over? If there are such within the church they have drifted away from the truth, and it is only a matter of
time until they shall be cut adrift and given over to the buffetings of Satan."
Claim Political Power Over People.
Here is an extract from a sermon preached by Brigham Young, who was at the time God's vice regent on earth. And in view of the fact that the friends of
Senator Smoot have insisted throughout his investigation that the church in no way assumes the political guidance or dictation of the people, it may be
found especially interesting at this time:
"There is not a man upon the earth who can magnify even an earthly office without the power and
wisdom of God to aid him. When Mr. Fillmore appointed me governor of Utah I proclaimed openly that
my priesthood should govern and control that office. I am of the same mind today. We have not yet received
our election returns, but, should I be elected governor of the state of Deseret, that office shall be sustained
and controlled by the power of the eternal priesthood of the son of God, or I will walk the office under my feet.
Refuses to Aid United States.
On another occasion President Young, preaching about the war of the secession, used this language:
"The waste of life in this ruinous war now raging is truly lamentable. Joseph the prophet said the report
of it would sicken the heart. And what is all this for? It is a visitation from heaven, because they have killed
the prophet of God, Joseph Smith Jr. Has not the nation consented to his death and to the utter destruction
of the Latter Day Saints, if it could be accomplished? But they found they could not accomplish that.
"We have done everything that has been required of us. Can there anything reasonable and constitutional
be asked that we would not perform? No. But if the government of the United States should now ask for a
battalion of men to fight in the present battlefields of the nation I would not ask one man to go. I would see
them in hell first.
"Have they got through? No. They have only just commenced the work of wasting life and property. They
will burn up every steamboat, every village, every town, every house of their enemies that comes within their
reach. They will waste and destroy food and clothing that should feed and comfort woman and children, and
leave them destitute and beggars, without homes and without protectors, to perish upon the face of all the
land, and all to satiate their unhallowed and hellish appetite for blood. And this awful tornado of suffering,
destruction, woe, and lamentation they would hurl upon as if they could: but they cannot, and I say, in the name
of Israel's God, they never shall do it."
Prays Union May Be Destroyed.
Here is a gem from the prophet, seer, and revelator, Orson Hyde, recorded in volume VI. of "The Journal of
Discourses," on page 13: "Do I believe that the United States will be divided? Yes, I do; and the prayers of
all the Saints throughout all the world should be to that effect: for they wage war against the kingdom of
God, and have fallen upon that stone with an army; and let them be broken, even according to the words of Jesus."
Elder Musser, when asked, what connection, what weight these discourses have with the Mormons of today, said:
"Simply this. Every Latter Day Saint in full fellowship believes that the leaders quoted were really
and truly prophets of their God and spoke through his inspiration. They not only believe this but they testify
solemnly whenever occasion presents itself that they know these men were divinely inspired -- that they were
the earthly representatives and spokesmen of Christ. No Latter Day Saint can believe otherwise -- and retain
his fellowship -- than that Heber C. Kimball, Brigham Young, Orson Hyde, and others are now gods in the celestial world.
Believe Mormons Will Rule World.
"From its nature, Mormonism is a state of religion. So long as the revelations contained in the Book of
Doctrine and Covenants are held to be the word of Jehovah to Joseph Smith Jr. and the church he established,
Mormonism must be considered by its devotees as the kingdom of God which Daniel saw in his vision,
and which was to fill the whole earth, breaking and consuming all other kingdoms. The church is as much a
political organization as it is a religious institution. Its founder not only held local political offices -- he was
not only lieutenant general of the armies of the Lord, known as the Nauvoo legion, but he became a candidate
for the high office of president of the United States and called the elders of his church on special missions to
stump for him. It was the dream of the early leaders of the church to establish a government in the west
absolutely independent of the United States, and the teachings of the Mormon leaders from the foundation
of the church in 1830 until the present time bear out this statement.
Smith Claims All Political Power.
"I could show scores of quotations from sermons delivered by living oracles of our church in the last
few years which have a bearing on this point and which no Latter Day Saint would dare to deny was the voice
of the Lord unto him. Just a few months ago President Joseph F. Smith, who is now, according to Mormon
belief, the only man on the face of the earth empowered and authorized to speak and govern in the name of God,
made this statement in a sermon delivered in Provo.
"'The fact of the matter is, when a man says you may direct me spiritually, but not temporally, he lies
in the presence of God -- that is, if he has got intelligence enough to know what he is talking about.'
"If President Smith's declaration means anything, it means that as has the power and authority to guide any
man in the church in all matters. Senator Reed Smoot cannot get out from under that authority without
apostatizing from the church. If President Smith saw fit to instruct Reed Smoot how to vote on any legislation that
was up before congress, Reed Smoot, as a member of the church, is bound to take that instruction as the word
of God unto him. And it is the same way with every member in the church to full standing. Joseph F. Smith
is not only his spiritual guide but his guide in all things of a temporal nature. He has not only the right --
thought to be divinely bestowed upon him -- to proclaim the spiritual law unto members of the church, but also
the right to say who shall hold the political offices the Gentiles have always believed to be within the gift of
the state, and that he exercises this power no person informed on conditions in Utah can truthfully deny."
It is easy to see where Mr. Musser stands in the Smoot matter.
Third Wife Starved to Death.
As an illustration of the ease with which Mr. Musser switches from biting sarcasm and bitter irony to
pathos and denunciation of conditions his book portrays, the closing paragraphs of his narrative are sufficient.
After awaiting on the starvation of the hero's third polygamous wife, which he ironically justifies from the
standpoint of a husband's right to rule and dictate, he finishes in this manner:
"Rita was starved. Her husband not only broke her heart and trampled the rich love she gave him
under his feet but he shut off the flow of life's necessities -- in so far as he was able and Rita sickened and
died. The bishop still lives. Some day he will read this and bitterly curse the writer, but he will know what is
written is true, even as God knows it is true; and even as Rita's orphaned children know that it is true. Rita
was starved to death. Her sweet and gentle spirit was called to heaven after her enfeebled and fever tortured
brain and body became too weak to hold it longer, and at a time when her little ones needed her above all
else on earth.
"Hero" of Story Mormon Ruler.
"Bishop Mahrud still lives. His real name is not Mahrud, and he is so-called here merely to protect the
innocent victims of his priestly and licentious brutality from needless publicity. I have known the bishop for
years, and though I have so desire to shield or protect him, I am desirous of protecting the innocent family of
the sainted Rita. Rather than bring her children into the limelight for the public to gaze upon I would leave
the tale untold. It were better to let the guilty escape than to punish the innocent with them. And while from
all laws, human and divine, Bishop Mahrud merits the penitentiary, he has young sons and daughters who
came into this world through no choice of theirs, and they deserve all the protection a Christianized public
spirit can throw around them.
Charges Bishop with Murder.
"They know their polygamous father killed their mother with his shameful brutality, and they know that
the neighbors of the bishop and his ecclesiastical superiors know it. And, thank God, they know that
the bishop, their father, is no worse than many others in the church who have mistaken the voice of their
prophet for the voice of God, and who have grown coarse and vulgar, and brutal in consequence thereof.
If Joseph Smith's and Brigham Young's doctrine of plural marriage is from heaven, as is claimed, and
as thousands of the Saints devoutly believe, then must gentleness give way to savagery, virtue to license,
self-sacrifice to greed, and, in the end, heaven to hell, for the inspiration of that so-called revelation is from the
lower regions and not from above.
"Do you ask what became of the bishop? Was he ever captured and sent to the penitentiary? No. He
was pardoned by this great and benevolent government and his children were legitimized by an especial act
of congress. But did his church not disfellowship him, was he not excommunicated and socially ostracized?
No. He was promoted. He is no longer a bishop, he is a patriarch in the church with power and authority to
bless and curse, and bind and loose for time and eternity. Whomsoever he blesses or curses on earth
shall be blessed or cursed in heaven.
Four Wives Victims of "Holy Man."
"But his wives; what of them? Emma is dead, gone to join her eternal husband; Jennie is a broken
woman slaving on the farm, and Elizabeth lives in town. Soon she will pass on, and soon the patriarch will follow
and there in the celestial world, he will be crowned a god and with his royal consorts, Martha, Elizabeth and
Jennie -- Rita died in rebellion -- he will reign throughout the endless ages. Angels will be his servants, and men
who have lived their Iives on earth without harshness, or malice, or envy, whose hearts beat with love for their
single families, and who never willfully wronged a soul in all their lives, will look up to his dazzling throne
and pray for the light of his gracious smile. Happy patriarch, may God have mercy upon you."
Note: The Tribune article was syndicated and was featured in the illustrated weekend sections of various U. S. newspapers, such as the
Rochester Democrat Chronicle of March 17, 1908. Elder Musser's intended book was titled "Polygamy -- A Story of Utah." See the Salt
Lake Tribune of Jan. 5, 1908 through April 12, 1908 for the copyrighted newspaper serialization. The first eleven chapters relate a fictional story of
Mormons, while the last four chapters give the history of LDS polygamy.