Church Growth Due to Foreigners - 1853
The Alton Weekly Courier – April 8, 1853
The arrival of parties of
Mormons at St. Louis, from the various States, and from Europe, this Spring, are
quite frequent, and is expressive of the fact that Mormonism still has its
votaries, and strong adherents, abd is daily making converts. Seven hundred
Mormons, from England, came up on the John Simonds, from New Orleans to St.
Louis, two days since. Their point of destination is the valley of the Salt
Lake. -- They are represented as gentle and orderly people, and probably
possessed of considerable pecuniary means. The Mormon city, at Salt Lake, is
laid out upon a most extensive plan, and public buildings are being planned and
errected, of large dimensions and costly. The Temple, the principal
feature in Mormon building, is soon to be erected, and upon a scale far more
grand and costly than the one built at Nauvoo; and we have seen the statement
that it will be superior to any building in America.
It is singular that followers, evidently people of general intelligence, good moral character, and steady habits, should be so captivated by the Mormon scheme, or delusion. The known character and habits of Joe Smith, and most of his successors, one would suppose were sufficient evidence to the world as to their claim to the title of Prophets. -- The childish story they relate, of Joseph Smith finding the golden plates, on which were traced the tenets of Mormonism, and deciphered by him, the first Mormon prophet, we should suppose would be treated with contempt by all sane men. And the spiritual wife system seems but a scheme concocted by a depraved and licentious heart, and which strikes at the very well-being of society -- almost the foundation of good morals and national prosperity -- the sanctity of the marriage relations.
Yet, we daily see converts to this scheme, bidding adieu to home and kindred in foreign lands, selling the cottage and paddock bequeathed to them by their fathers, and braving the dangers of the ocean, to reach the Salt Lake city of the faithful, where, they are taught to believe, is the nucleus of a religion that is to prevail universally; and to aid in building a city and erecting a temple, which should be a lasting monument to their religion, and a wonder to the world. -- Sheer knavery, or deep-set vice, would hardly go thus far to seek indulgence. It is faith, undoubtedly, but that species of blind faith which the human heart is too prone to award to every "new wind of doctrine" which is not found in the Book of Books, and which is usually termed fanaticism.
The Mormon emigration this Spring, across the Plains, will be large. Their city, in the fertile plain beneath the western shade of the Rocky Mountains, is growing with great rapidity and regularity, and notwithstanding numberless predictions to the contrary, that strange community are as energetic and united, as at the commencement. It will be interesting to note the future career of this people. They may sail on for a time, with prosperity, but Holy Writ, as well as our knowledge of past events, and our belief that nothing but Truth can eventually succeed, all leads us to anticipate the dissolution of reform of this delusive Mormon compact.
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