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37,158. One thing is clear. The genie is out of the bottle and it cannot be put back. Facts uncovered and the questions raised by the new Mormon historians will not go away. They will have to be dealt with if we are to maintain a position of honesty and integrity in our dealings with our own members as well as our friends in the larger religious community. Wallace B Smith, president-emeritus of Church of Christ, Saints’ Herald 139 April 1992 ‘Exiles in Time’
36,762. I went to the theatre last night, and had a good opportunity to study the character of the Mormons. There was about two thousand people assembled, and I must say they were the worst looking crowd in every way I saw. It was a fair sample of the population, and it confirms my previous opinion that they are ‘the scum of the Earth’. (Mormons & Cults: COJCOLDS & Insult) Mark Twain, letter to Wisconsin State Journal
36,763. And this is Mormonism! These are the people who are eternally talking of Gentile persecution! Yes, they have been persecuted, as debauchees and felons usually are, but never on account of their religion. They have ever been a bubbling and seething cauldron of pollution, and can no more be tolerated in the bosom of civilized society, than gangs of counterfeiters and thieves. (Mormons & Cults: COJCOLDS & Insults) The New York Times, article 19th July 1853 The Mormonites
37,877. After they had driven us and our families, they commenced a difficulty in Daviess County, adjoining this county, in which they began to rob and burn houses etc. etc. took honey which they, (the Mormons) call sweet oil, and hogs which they call bear, and cattle which they called buffalo. Thus they would justify themselves by saying, ‘We are the people of God, and all things are God’s; therefore, they are ours.’ John Whitmer, History of the Church
38,191. The prosecution’s witnesses included not only long-time accusers such as John Whitmer and W W Phelps ... but also several more recently-added individuals to the growing list of dissenters [including] ... Sampson Avard, supposedly the most loyal follower of them all. He spilled his proverbial guts, exposing to a Gentile court of law every Danite secret. He even produced a list of Danite officers, which included a Secretary of War. The judge, it seemed, was seeking specific information proving Smith’s plans to establish a kingdom within the US – a treasonous offense.
Following six months of imprisonment in Liberty Jail, Smith and his cohorts were transferred to Boone County, Missouri, to stand trial against evidence so compelling that Abanes describes it as ‘doom[ing] [them] to a life of imprisonment’.
As fleeting fate would have it, however, Smith and his band of crooks, cronies and conmen managed to escape after Joseph and his brother Hyrum bribed the sheriff ‘with a jug of whiskey and $800’. (Mormons & Bribery) Richard Abanes, One Nation Under Gods: A History of the Mormon Church from p155
37,778. Samuel Smith ... seemed a reasonable choice to many Saints. In fact, he nearly took control of the Church before the Twelve had returned, much to the irritation of Willard Richards, who wanted no leader to be name until all the Apostles were present.
Richards may have gone so far as to have Samuel murdered to prevent any succession. Samuel’s wife believed this to be the case, naming as her husband’s murderer the Chief of Police – Hosea Stout, a Danite widely known for having a violent streak and a cold-hearted disposition.
Everyone knew he was more than capable of homicide. He had already been, and would continue to be, connected with several murders and assaults involving apostates and Church critics ...
In the case of Samuel Smith, Stout had acted as Samuel’s care-giver when he fell ill, and in that capacity had given Samuel ‘white powder’ medicine daily until his death. Samuel’s wife, daughter, and brother ... all believed the powder to be poison. (Mormons & Poison) ibid.
37,765. Danites struck at Gallatin and two other towns, Millport and Grinding Fork. The three onslaughts occurred simultaneously and had a crushing impact on the Missourians who were unaccustomed to Mormon resistance. When Captains Lyman Wight, David W Patten, and Seymour Brunson rode into Far West at the head of their companies, the sight of wagonloads of plunder was offensive to a number of less aggressively inclined Saints. That night they gathered their families together and abandoned the settlement. Among the defectors were two of Joseph’s most trusted followers, Thomas B Marsh and Orson Hyde, both members of the Council of Twelve Apostles. The two men fled to nearby Richmond and blurted out everything they knew. Harold Schindler, Orrin Porter Rockwell p54
38,182. The Mormons were two hundred and fifty men by the time they reached Daviess County ... The bulk of the forces went out in search of the gentile opposition. They marched through three settlements, including Gallatin, repaying the Missourians in kind, looting and firing stores, homes, and barns, before their anger spent itself ... When they returned with their loot, many of their own people were appalled and frightened. Thomas B Marsh, Brigham Young’s superior as President of the Twelve, let it be known that he did not approve such retaliation, and he left the church. Ray B West, Kingdom of the Saints p86
38,183. At the request of citizens of Ray County, I make the following statement ... Joseph Smith, the prophet, had preached a sermon in which he said that all the Mormons who refused to take up arms, if necessary, in the difficulties with the citizens, should be shot or otherwise put to death; and as I was there with my family, I thought it most prudent to go and did go with my wagon as the driver. We marched to Adam-ondi-Ahman and found no troops or mob in Davies County ... a company of about eighty Mormons, commanded by a man fictitiously named Captain Fearnaught [apostle and Danite David Patten], marched to Gallatin ... I afterwards learned from the Mormons that they had burnt Gallatin and that it was done by the aforesaid company that marched there. The Mormons informed me that they had hauled away all the goods from the store in Gallatin and deposited them at the Bishop’s storehouse at Diahmon. On the same day, [apostle and Danite] Lyman Wight marched about eighty horsemen for Millport ... The same evening a number of footmen came up from the direction of Millport laden with property which I was informed consisted of beds, clocks, and other household furniture ... During the same time, a company called the Fur Company were sent out to bring in fat hogs and cattle, calling the hogs ‘bears’, and the cattle ‘buffaloes’. They have among them a company consisting of all that are considered true Mormons, called the Danites, who have taken an oath to support the heads of the church in all things that they say or do, whether right or wrong .... The plan of said Smith, the prophet, is to take this State, and he professed to his people to intend taking the United States, and ultimately the whole world. This is the belief of the church, and my own opinion of the prophet’s plans and intentions ... The prophet inculcates the notion, and it is believed by every true Mormon, that Smith’s prophecies are superior to the law of the land. I have heard the prophet say that he should yet tread down his enemies and walk over their dead bodies; that if he was not let alone he would be a second Mahomet to this generation, and that he would make it one gore of blood from the Rocky Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean. Thomas B March, sworn statement
37,217. The Mormons were partly responsible for causing, or at least reinforcing, the suspicions and prejudice against them. Their claims about establishing the Kingdom of God in Jackson County, that they would ‘literally tread upon the ashes of the wicked after they are destroyed from off the face of the earth’ excited fears that the Mormons intended to obtain their ‘inheritance’ by force. According to Thomas Thorp, a Clay County resident, the Mormons told local settlers that this country was theirs [the Mormons] by the gift of the Lord, and it was folly for them [the Missourians] to improve their lands, they would not enjoy the fruits of their labor; that it would finally fall into the hands of the saints. In July 1832, a Mormon journal in Independence published a Joseph Smith revelation in which the Lord declared that ‘I will consecrate the riches of the Gentiles unto my people which are of the house of Israel’. Stephen LeSueur, The 1838 Mormon War in Missouri p18
37,878. The Danites were taught to take from the Gentiles and consecrate to the Church. Nearly every person who testified at the trial against the Mormon leaders made mention of this fact. John Clemenson stated that ‘it was frequently observed among the troops at Diahman that the time had come when the riches of the Gentiles should be consecrated to the Saints.’ Jeremiah Myers testified that ‘the consecrated property ... was dealt out to those in need’ by Bishop Vinson Knight. Leland Gentry, A History of the Latter-Day Saints in Northern Missouri pp385-387
38,181. There was much mysterious conversation in camps, as to plundering, and house-burning; so much so, that I had my own notions about it; and, on one occasion, I spoke to Mr Smith Junior in the house, and told him that this course of burning houses and plundering, by the Mormon troops, would ruin us; that it could not be kept hid, and would bring the force of the state upon us; that houses would be searched, and stolen property found. Smith replied to me, in a pretty rough manner, to keep still; that I should say nothing about it; that it would discourage the men ... I saw a great deal of plunder and bedsteads brought into camp; and I saw many persons, for many days, taking the honey out of them; I understood this property and plunder were placed into the hands of the bishop at Diahmon ... The general teachings of the presidency were, that the kingdom they were setting up was a temporal kingdom ... that the time had come when this kingdom was to be set up by forcible means, if necessary. It was taught, that the time had come when the riches of the Gentiles were to be consecrated to the true Israel. George M Hinkle, Senate Document 189
36,988. So said one of the presenters at the Twelfth Annual Religious Education Student Symposium at BYU Feb 19.
Sara D Smith outlined her findings in a paper entitled More Sinned Against Than Sinning.
Smith researched newspaper stories about the Mormons in the special collections library in the Harold B Lee Library on campus.
In the National Intelligencer, published in Washington DC from 1800 to 1867, Smith found reports claiming the Mormon people were setting the laws of the land ‘at naught’ and organizing ‘banditti’ to defend themselves.
They were referred to as ‘deluded fanatics who give loose to their evil passions’. Sharon Haddock, article Mormon Times 20th February 2010