Mormonism in The New Germany, by Dale Clark

The impulse to believe the absurd when presented with the unknowable is called religion. Whether this is wise or unwise is the domain of doctrine. Once you understand someone's doctrine, you understand their rationale for believing the absurd. At that point, it may no longer seem absurd. You can get to both sides of this conondrum from here.

Re: Mormonism in The New Germany, by Dale Clark

Postby admin » Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:30 am

Council of Fifty
by MormonThink
Accessed: 7/17/18



On April 7th, 1842, Joseph Smith received a revelation instructing the establishment of a new organization parallel to the church. Since its inception, this organization has been referred to as the Council of Fifty, though the true name is quite different. It is an organization that has captured the fancy of many, both sympathetic and critical of Mormonism, yet it remains somewhat enigmatic for want of public documentation (1). In short, Joseph Smith ordained the council to be the governing body of the world, with himself as its King.

The name as revealed:

Verily thus saith the Lord, This is the name by which you shall be called, The Kingdom of God and His Law, with the Keys and power thereof, and judgment in the hands of his servants, Ahman Christ. (2)

The concept of a Kingdom of God, separate from the Church, remains somewhat familiar in Mormon discourse (3), but the idea that Daniel's rock hewn from the mountain never to be stopped is not the Church but a parallel organization is quite foreign. Moreover the original concepts have been modified to fit more keenly into a correlated perspective (4). Brigham Young, however, described the ultimate destiny of this kingdom. After rebuking the Saints by the Platte River for excessive frivolity, Brigham gathered the leadership around him and described their mountain destination. Wilford Woodruff recorded:

He then spoke of the standard & ensign that would be reared in Zion, to govern the Kingdom of God * And the nations of the earth. For every nation would bow the knee & every tongue confess that JESUS was the Christ. And this will be the standard: The Kingdom of God & his Laws & Judgment in {the [-] if [--] man Christ}. And on the standard would be a flag of every nation under heaven so there would be an invitation to all Nations under heaven to come unto Zion. (5)

Despite receiving the revelation in April 1842, Joseph waited until April 1844 to establish the kingdom. This wait was during Bennett's crusade against the church and while Hyrum and Emma had yet to be fully converted to all of Joseph's teachings. Once they were converted and the Fullness of the Priesthood was restored (with the associated capacity of King and Queen) the council was soon organized and Joseph publicly announced some of his views on World government (6).

Joseph established the Kingdom in secret and the business of the members was to remain so. Joseph purportedly initiated members into the council by covenant, password and penalty (7). Members included a wide demographic of Mormon hierarchy and non-Mormons. All members were chosen by the Prophet, which action required unanimous consent of the council. Though relatively few non-Mormons were included in the Council, the Lord revealed that non-Mormons would persist into the Millennium, and any just government would require their representation (8). Council members were organized into a hierarchy by age and Joseph was chairman and anointed Prophet, Priest and King over the Council and the world.

It is in this context that Joseph preached just days after receiving the revelation on the organization of the Council:

Although David was a King he never did obtain the spirit & power of Elijah & the fulness of the Priesthood, & the priesthood that he received & the throne & kingdom of David is to be taken from him & given to another by the name of David in the last days, raised up out of his linage (9)

Joseph taught that his first-born son in the covenant, David Hyrum – born after Joseph's death, would be this latter-day King over Israel (10), which teaching was widely recognized by 19th century church leaders (11).

Once the Council was organized, it adopted parliamentary “Rules of the Kingdom,” including those governing legislation:

To pass, a motion must be unanimous in the affirmative. Voting is done after the ancient order: each person voting in turn from the oldest to the youngest member of the Council, commencing with the standing chairman. If any member has any objections he is under covenant to fully and freely make them known to the Council. But if he cannot be convinced of the rightness of the course pursued by the Council he must either yield or withdraw membership in the Council. Thus a man will lose his place in the Council if he refuses to act in accordance with righteous principles in the deliberations of the Council. After action is taken and a motion accepted, no fault will be found or change sought for in regard to the motion. (12)

While affirmation or sustaining is required of members, it is interesting that all members were under covenant to voice dissent. There is tension in this legislative process as in the instance that no resolution could be passed, the chairman would attain the will of the Lord by revelation. It seems, however, that the Lord gave the people an ultimate veto. The council could not meet unless fifty percent of the members were in attendance. If a majority of council members did not favor pending legislation they could simply not allow any meetings to be held.

In reality, however, the Council never realized the measure of its prophetic capacity. In Joseph's day, it did send out ambassadors to foreign governments and lobbied the American government. It caused quite a stir when it usurped the Nauvoo High Council's authority and excommunicated William Law. It explored expeditions to Texas, Oregon and California for the emigration of the Saints and it was the foundation for Joseph's campaign for U.S. President.

While the Council was quite active during the duration of Joseph's life, his death was the beginning of its end. This secret Council of Fifty and Joseph's political kingship was one of the primary accusations of the Expositor. The Council did play a significant role in the succession crisis, but Brigham's later use of the council was quite perfunctory. And while there was a significant amount of Council activity from 1848 to 1850 while the civil government of the Utah Territory was established, the Council subsequently fell into disuse.

John Taylor aspired to re-kindle the council and is the last publicly recorded individual to be anointed Prophet, Priest and King, however all real power remained with the First Presidency and the Council continued to be a largely a figurative body until the death of its last member in 1945 (13).

As he left for Carthage, Joseph instructed his secretary to burn all the minutes of the council. Fortunately, William Clayton spared them by burial and they continue to reside, unmolested by foe and scholar in the vault of the First Presidency. Perhaps one day, these minutes, hundreds of pages, will inform our allegiance and educate those who seek to build up the Kingdom in the latter-days.



1. While the official records of the Kingdom remain vaulted, many extant journals and secondary sources describe the workings of the Council of Fifty. The best information to date is catalogued in the works of Andrew F. Ehat and D. Michael Quinn:

o Quinn, D. M. (1980) The Council of Fifty and Its Members, 1844 to 1945. BYU Studies vol. 20 no. 2 pg. 163.

o Ehat, A. F. (1980) “It Seems Like Heaven Began on Earth”: Joseph Smith and the Constitution of the Kingdom of God. BYU Studies vol. 20 no. 3 pg. 253

o Ehat, A. F. (1982) Joseph Smith's Introduction of Temple Ordinances and the 1844 Succession Question. Master's thesis, Brigham Young University.

o Quinn, D. M. (1994) The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power. Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates. Salt Lake City.

2. See Ehat's “It Seems Like Heavan on Earth,” pg. 254.

3. See commentary on Isaiah 2:3, “Out of zion shall go forth the law . . . the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” E.g., Smith, J. F., Doctrines of Salvation. vol. 3 pg. 69-71.

4. E.g., Bruce R. McConkie states in Mormon Doctrine. (1966, pg. 499) that:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the kingdom of God on earth; it is the kingdom which shall never be destroyed or left to other people; it is the kingdom which shall break in pieces and consume all other kingdoms; and it shall stand forever. But for the present it functions as an ecclesiastical kingdom only.

With the millennial advent, the kingdom of God on earth will step forth and exercise political jurisdiction over all the earth as well as ecclesiastical jurisdiction over its own citizens.

5. 29 May, 1847. Wilford Woodruff's Journal, Kenny, S. eds. vol. 3, p. 188. Spelling corrected.

6. Joseph Smith wrote the following in the Times and Seasons, vol. 5 no. 8. ( April 15, 1844) pg. 510:

As the “world is governed too much” and as there is not a nation or dynasty, now occupying the earth, which acknowledges Almighty God as their law giver, and as ‘crowns won by blood, by blood must be maintained,' I go emphatically, virtuously, and humanely, for a THEODEMOCRACY, where God and the people hold the power to conduct the affairs of men in righteousness. And where liberty, free trade, and sailor's rights, and the protection of life and property shall be maintained inviolate, for the benefit of ALL. To exalt mankind is nobly acting the part of a God; to degrade them, is meanly doing the drudgery of the devil. Unitas, libertas, caritas esto perpetua!

With the highest sentiments of regard for all men, I am an advocate of unadulterated freedom.

7. Quinn, D. M. The Mormon Hierarchy. pg. 128-129.

8. John Taylor received a revelation that stated that the Lord instructed Joseph to include nonmembers that they “be admitted to the right of representation. . . and have full and free opportunity of presenting their views, interests and principles, and enjoying all the freedom and rights of the Council.” Revelation dated 27 June 1882 in notebook collection of John Taylor revelations, Church Archives. Cited in Ehat's “It Seems Like Heaven on Earth,” pg. 257. Entire revelation also available on the New Mormon Studies CD-ROM

9. The Words of Joseph Smith. pg. 331

10. Brigham related in a 7 Oct. 1863 sermon that Joseph said: “I shall have a son born to me, and his name shall be David; and on him, in some future time, will rest the responsibility that now rests upon me.” LDS Archives, as cited in Quinn, D. M. (1975) The Mormon Succession Crisis of 1844. BYU Studies vol. 16 no. 1 pg. 229. For Biblical reference to this latter-day David see 2 Samuel 7:8-29, 37:21-28; Zechariah 3; Isaiah 55:3-5; Jeremiah 30:4-9; Psalms 89:1-4; and D&C 113:5-6 (scriptural references taken from footnote 29 of the preceding WoJS citation).

11. Esplin, R. K. (1981) Joseph, Brigham and the Twelve: a Succession of Continuity. BYU Studies vol. 21 no. 3 pg. 336-338; see also Origins of Power pg. 231-232.

12. Ehat, A. F. “It Seems Like Heaven on Earth,” pg. 260

13. President Heber J. Grant was the last living member of the Council, of which there is public documentation.


Council of Fifty Quotes - very interesting Mormon quotes on the Council of Fifty
Book: Quest for empire;: The political kingdom of God and the Council of Fifty in Mormon history
Site Admin
Posts: 28781
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Mormonism in The New Germany, by Dale Clark

Postby admin » Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:44 am

The Mormon Council of Fifty: What Joseph Smith’s Secret Records Reveal
by Benjamin E. Park
September 9, 2016



Council of Fifty minutes (Courtesy of the Joseph Smith Papers Project/Photograph by Welden C. Andersen)

In 1844, the Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith surrendered himself to state authorities after destroying an anti-Mormon printing press in Nauvoo, Illinois. When he was sent to nearby Carthage, the county seat, and charged with treason, he knew there was a strong chance he would never escape alive. Before he left he whispered instructions to his secretary, William Clayton, “to burn the records of the kingdom, or put them in some safe hands and send them away or else bury them up.”* Clayton, a British convert who became a keeper of Smith’s most important documents, chose the latter option and, according to his later account, “put the records in a small box and buried them in my garden.” The records were too important to burn, despite their scandalous contents. Five days later, on June 27, a mob killed Smith while he was held prisoner at Carthage Jail.* The events shocked all Mormons, both those gathered in Nauvoo, the Church’s then-headquarters, as well as those scattered throughout America and Britain. But Clayton, undaunted, made sure to dig up “the records of the kingdom,” which entailed detailed minutes from dozens of clandestine meetings held over the previous months, and months later he transcribed their contents into a small volume he titled, “Record of the Council of Fifty or Kingdom of God.”

This “kingdom,” colloquially referred to as the “Council of Fifty,” was an organization founded only a few months before Smith’s death. It was designed to be a theocratic government-in-embryo—a “literal kingdom of God,” in Smith’s own words, that would govern the world based on divine dictates and prophetic authority. While an early goal was to orchestrate Smith’s election to the American presidency as a last-ditch effort to save the country, the prophet’s death cut the final strings that attached the Mormon people to any form of political allegiance. The American government had failed them, and so it was time to cast sovereignty to a more righteous and virtuous body. Participants in the council spoke openly of their nation’s demise, plotted ways to escape the United States’ borders, and envisioned a post-American future. It was obvious why Smith desired to keep the record secret.

And secret these minute books remained for more than a century and a half. Scholars knew about the documents due to external references, but the LDS Church kept them out of the hands of all researchers and historians. And the longer the records remained secret the larger their legend grew. But in 2010, the Joseph Smith Papers Project, a scholarly team that is working to produce editions of all documents created by and for Mormonism’s founding prophet, received permission to access the minute books in preparation for their volumes. Shortly afterward, and much to the surprise of onlookers, they announced their intention to publish the entirety of the minutes as a stand-alone volume. That book, The Joseph Smith Papers, Administrative Records: The Council of Fifty, Minutes March 1844 – January 1846, is officially released this month.

Readers will find ample evidence of the deep distrust and disappointment Mormons held toward the American government, as well as their disillusionment with the American democratic experiment in general. “[The United States government] is a damned wrotten [sic] thing,” apostle Lyman Wight proclaimed to the council, “full of lice, moth eaten, corrupt, and there is nothing but meanness about it.”
But careful observers will find a lot more than shocking quotations. Historians of American religion, especially, will encounter potent examples of democracy’s discontent during the mid-nineteenth century, a reminder that notions of religious freedom, minority rights, and balanced interests were far from decided during the antebellum period. Democracy was still an unproven commodity. And in 2016, when the national election has featured stern protest candidates and tangible frustration with established democratic institutions, these anxieties appear more present than past.

THE MONTHS LEADING UP to the Council of Fifty were both the busiest and most bombastic in Joseph Smith’s prophetic career. Dissension within the Church, mostly connected to Smith’s secret practice of polygamy, and pressure from without, usually over the Church’s bloc voting habits, left the Mormons scrambling to find a new sense of stability. Nauvoo’s city council drafted a petition to Congress asking the federal government to declare Nauvoo a distinct territory and assure their protection with federal troops. Smith corresponded with five prominent presidential candidates to ask how they would help the Mormon population, and when he didn’t receive any satisfactory responses he announced his own candidacy and sent out hundreds of “electioneering” missionaries. Once things looked bleak within America’s boundaries, they began considering potential outposts for new settlement, including the still-independent Republic of Texas as well as the contested territory of Oregon. To manage all these interweaving initiatives, Smith organized a new, secret, and theologically powerful council.

The council, Smith explained as recorded in the records, was based “on an eternal principle after the order of God.” Members were “bound to eternal secrecy,” prohibited from mentioning it “even to our wives,” and warned that anyone “who broke the rule should lose his cursed head.” Weekly meetings, which continued even after Smith’s death and through the church’s westward exodus, followed a distinct and regimented pattern, with everyone sitting in a semi-circle according to age and allowed to speak in order from “the oldest down to the youngest.” All decisions had to be unanimous, as “the most perfect harmony” must prevail. This council was not to be like the contested and divisive halls of Congress. Everyone “agreed to look to some place where we can go and establish a Theocracy,” whether it was in Texas, Oregon, California, or somewhere else on the western frontier.

Although the council oversaw a number of projects and petitions, a special focus was given to creating a new, perfect constitution. Two years earlier, Smith had published an editorial in the church’s newspaper, Times and Seasons, that declared that the earth was “rent from center to circumference, with party strife, political intrigue, and sectional interest” because no nation or kingdom acknowledged the role of divine rule. The solution, according to the Council of Fifty’s minutes, was to “amend that constitution & make it the voice of Jehovah and shame the U.S.” They “resolved to draft a constitution which should be perfect, and embrace those principles which the constitution of the United States lacked.” This effort was not a novel concept in America at the time. Both abolitionists and women suffragists argued for amendments to the constitution, and William Lloyd Garrison even believed the entire founding document had to be scrapped. But the Mormon constitution was to be unique: It aimed to be based on the laws of God and implement a form of theocratic governance.

When a draft was finally presented weeks later, the preface had a familiar ring: “We, the people of the Kingdom of God,” it began. The Mormon constitution sacralized political governance. It declared that no government “acknowledge[d] the creator of the Universe as their Priest, Lawgiver, King and Sovereign, neither have they sought unto him for laws by which to govern themselves,” nor did they “grant that protection to the persons and rights of man.” After a lengthy preface, the first article declared God the ruler of heaven and earth, the second articulated God’s prophet as His mouthpiece in governance, and the third dictated that God would retain the “power to appoint Judges and officers in my kingdom.” While the document was still incomplete, its message was clear: Sovereignty was based in God’s law, authority was vested in God’s prophet, and citizens’ rights were tethered to subscribing to God’s will. Yet even this draft was too static to capture heavenly commandments: A week later Smith recorded a revelation declaring that the entire council was “my constitution, and I am your God, and ye are my spokesmen.” Divine law was too sacred to be formalized on paper, but rather must be dictated through authorized servants.

Mormons couched these theocratic proposals in democratic language. Smith declared that the council’s “political title,” which he believed to be its motto, was “Jeffersonianism” and “Jeffersonian Democracy,” meaning that Smith believed their theocratic principles fit within America’s democratic tradition. Yet he revised the definition of democracy in a way that incorporated theocracy, calling it “theodemocracy,” a neologism that captured his blended purpose. Individuals still had liberty, but that liberty merely enabled them to follow divine counsel. Perhaps most radical was Joseph Smith’s own role within this divine kingdom: One month after the council’s inauguration, it was moved “that this honorable assembly receive from this time henceforth and forever, Joseph Smith, as our Prophet, Priest & King, and uphold him in that capacity in which God has anointed him.” The vote was unanimous.

These actions may seem extreme to contemporary ears. And indeed, they were quite unique and radical in their day. Yet the tensions and anxieties that underwrote these activities drew from much broader cultural currents. The very concept of a “Kingdom of God” came directly from the Bible, and though American Protestants had mostly forfeited the political language of divine monarchy in favor of republican discourse, Christians had long maintained the supremacy of divine laws. And though fervent faith in democracy has become an American mainstay, the validity and reliability of democratic order was severely questioned during the mid-nineteenth century. European nations during this period typically became more hierarchical, not less. The Anglican Church in Britain and the Catholic in Church in France, still reacting to the revolutionary tumults decades before, rallied behind conservative reform movements to curtail enthusiasm. In 1870, less than two decades after Smith was named “prophet, priest, and king,” the First Vatican Council formalized papal infallibility and declared the supremacy of their leader’s words over the relativism and division in the world at large. The common man was deemed too untrustworthy to empower.

Even in America, feelings toward democracy were often ambiguous. A few decades earlier, New England Federalist Fisher Ames bemoaned “the mire of democracy” which “pollutes the morals of citizens before it swallows up their liberties.” Religious ministers drew from the fear and doubt that permeated political culture in order to bolster their own authority. As the early Republic turned into the Age of Jackson, and as suffrage was extended only to white men, the anxiety still remained, especially for those on the margins of society. Proponents of abolition and women’s rights argued that democracy’s “excesses” led to a perversion of natural rights and the necessity for a stronger federal structure. The abolitionist Garrison burned the American Constitution in a public demonstration of the nation’s failed covenant. In the religious world, many turned to ecclesiastical forms that strengthened modes of obedience and curtailed disorder. Ministers during the Second Great Awakening, for instance, spoke to the downtrodden segments of society who had been left behind. Democratic governance threatened perpetual chaos, and religion provided one avenue to stabilize society.

AT THE CENTER OF the Mormon critique of American democratic governance, especially after the death of their beloved prophet, was their belief that the nation was neither strong enough or willing enough to protect minority groups. In this the Mormons believed they would find an unlikely ally: the indigenous populations who had been forced into Western territories. Indeed, some observers proposed the same solution for both Native and Mormon populations. One non-Mormon neighbor in Illinois wrote a letter to Mormon leaders, which was then discussed in the council, that suggested the federal government should establish a “Mormon reserve” in Wisconsin Territory in order to separate members of the faith, just as they had done with Indians. Such a proposal was predicated on the belief that it was impossible for groups with such dissimilar interests to live together. Though Mormons were reticent to forfeit the rights of white Americans, they sympathized with the concept of separate spheres. Council of Fifty member Orson Spencer, in endorsing the reservation idea, argued “that men of congenial religions or other interests, should separate themselves from those of adverse faith & interests and pair off, each to each.” Spencer believed the “promiscuous intermixture of heterogenous [sic] bodies for the purpose of unity & strength is alike distant both from pure religion & sound philosophy.” America’s democratic society was not equipped to manage disparate groups.

But more than seeing Native Americans as fellow victims of American injustice, Mormons also saw them as militant colleagues. Once Brigham Young was in charge, the council worked feverishly to devise a plan to join with Native tribes in bringing vengeance to the American nation that had wronged them. They naively assumed that large numbers of indigenous leaders would swiftly accept their message of redemption, unify into one body led by Young and the Council of Fifty, and then establish a “standard of liberty”—a theocratic empire ruled by the government of God. “Our object,” noted George Miller, is not just “to unite all the Indian tribes from north to south and west to the Pacific Ocean in one body,” but to also “include ourselves in that number.” One councilman, Reynolds Cahoon, envisioned scrawling “liberty” on “an old squaws blanket on a kite tail” that they would then raise as a banner of war and force their oppressors to “flee.” Though this paternalistic vision was predicated upon the extermination of Native society and mirrored the very cultural colonialism that they themselves decried, the Mormons believed this interracial union would overturn years of oppression.

The Comanche, Cherokee, and Choctaw Indians, all of whom were targeted by the Mormons for this newfound union, were unsurprisingly not as interested in such an alliance. While denouncing an American nation that they felt overlooked their own interests, Mormons dismissed the interests of these tribes. But the determination to base a government on shared interests was a common refrain in antebellum politics. Only a decade earlier, South Carolinian proponents of nullification like Robert James Turnbull argued that “the interests” of some groups within the nation were “diametrically opposed” to others, and as a result the democratic system was crumbling. John C. Calhoun believed that the “diversity of interests in the several classes and sections of the country” put many minority groups (in his mind: slavemasters) at risk. In response, northern abolitionists, like Theodore Parker, argued that the constitution was designed to try to protect the “interests” of enslaved people and that it was time to take violent action. Everywhere Americans turned, they witnessed political debates that sought to prioritize the interests of one group of citizens over others. So when Mormon councilman Lyman Wight declared that the only “government worth asking for” is one drawn “from those whose interests are identified with ours,” his inclination was far from the margins.

The Council of Fifty’s meetings increasingly focused on westward migration throughout 1845. Facing escalating pressure from their Illinois neighbors, the Mormons were forced to consider cutting the cord on their American experiment earlier than expected. Democracy had failed them in the United States and they now set their sights on Mexican territory—and what would eventually become Utah after the Mexican-American War the following year—where they could finally establish God’s true kingdom. The Council of Fifty played a central role in organizing this exodus, but it met only infrequently once the church was settled in Utah when new territorial and ecclesiastical organizations obtained more control. The council never met as often or with as much authority after Nauvoo. But for their two-year heyday, they were an especially poignant embodiment of America’s democratic paradox. At one of their final gatherings before the trek west, the council decided to publish a definitive account of the nation’s mistreatment of the beleaguered saints. The proposed title satirically struck at the irony of their situation: “The Beauties of American Liberty: The Land of the Free, the Home of the Brave, the Assylum for the Opprest.” They wished to highlight the disparity between the nation’s ideals and realities. Though no doubt ignorant of the fact, and obviously without equal validity, the tenor of their accusations mimicked the powerful accusation of Frederick Douglass three years earlier: “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”

These tensions at the heart of a democratic culture had already been identified and dissected by its greatest critic, Alexis de Tocqueville. “The moral empire of the majority,” he wrote in Democracy in America, “is also founded on the principle that the interests of the greatest number ought to be preferred to those of the few.” This was the threat of what he called the “omnipotence of the majority,” and the consequences of this culture could be “dire” and “dangerous” for those on the margins of society. We are still struggling with that tenuous battle in our increasingly pluralist society today, and the past contests give context to continued anxieties. Even as the nation has progressed in providing rights to previously marginalized communities like LGBT Americans, the presidential nominee for one of our two major political parties has based his campaign upon the ostracizing and disenfranchising of minority groups. Recent protests aimed to remind our culture that #BlackLivesMatter are testaments to the limited nature of American justice and liberty. The Mormon experience in the 1830s and 1840s demonstrates that the radical extensions of the majority’s rule has a significant and sobering context, and the Council of Fifty presented only one radical response. In an irony befitting for our national history, Joseph Smith’s theocratic vision proved to be an important moment in America’s democratic experiment.

Benjamin E. Park is an assistant professor of history at Sam Houston State University. He is currently working on a book manuscript that explores Mormon Nauvoo as a moment of Democratic crisis. Follow him @BenjaminEPark.

*These sentences have been updated to correct the first name of William Clayton and the month of Joseph Smith’s death.
Site Admin
Posts: 28781
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Mormonism in The New Germany, by Dale Clark

Postby admin » Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:43 pm

Coming to Zion
by William G. Hartley
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Accessed: 7/18/18



The old folks -- embraced the new faith immediately, and prepared for removal to Kirtland, Ohio, which was to be the nucleus of the new church, the "Zion" given by revelation to Joseph Smith as the gathering-place of the Saints....

Notwithstanding all that had taken place in Missouri, some of the more enthusiastic Saints believed that it was the promised land, and that some time they should come in and possess it. Indeed, that belief has prevailed among some of the older Mormons until within a very short time. Brigham has preached it and promised it; but now he says very little about it, and when he does he is wise to add, "if the Lord shall will it so." The present indications are, that the Lord will not "will it so," and all the Saints have contentedly accepted Utah as "Zion," in the face of "revelation." ...

Missionaries were sent to Europe, and converts flocked from thence to Zion. Never were missions crowned with greater success than those that were established in Europe by the Mormon Church. The elders went first to England, from there to Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, France, and they even attempted Italy, but with so little success that the mission there was speedily abandoned. Indeed, the southern countries of Europe did not seem to have taken kindly to the new doctrine of the Saints, and evinced but slight interest in the establishment of a "spiritual kingdom on the earth," and paid no heed whatever to Joseph's revelations. But hundreds of converts were made among the English and Scandinavian people, and they all evinced a strong desire to "gather to Zion," and considered no sacrifice too great to be made to facilitate their emigration....

The first public announcement Joseph ever made of his belief in the plurality of wives was at Nauvoo, in 1840. In a sermon one Sunday he declared that it was perfectly right in the sight of the Lord for a man to have as many wives as he pleased, if he could evade the laws of the land. Said he: "People of polygamous nations will be converted to the church, and will desire to, gather with the Saints to Zion; and what will they do with their wives? We must have polygamy among us as an established institution, and then they can bring all their wives, with, them." ....

After three years of remunerative labor, during which time he had got his business fairly established, he concluded to leave it and join the Saints at Nauvoo; he and my mother both -- the latter more especially -- desiring to be once more in Zion with the "chosen people."...

How blessed the day when the lamb and the lion
Shall lie down together without any ire,
And Ephraim be crowned with his blessing in Zion,
As Jesus descends with his chariots of fire.
We'll sing and we'll shout, with the armies of heaven:
Hosanna! hosanna to God and the Lamb!
Let glory to them in the highest be given,
For ever and ever. Amen and Amen."...

It is a significant fact that most of the persons who thus perished were Gentiles, apostates, or people who, for some reason or other, were suspected by, or disagreeable to, Brigham Young; and it came presently to be noticed that if anyone became tired of Mormonism, or impatient of the increasing despotism of the leader, and returned to the East, or started to do so, he invariably was met by the Indians and killed before he had gone very far. The effect was to discourage apostasy, and there was no one but knew that the moment he announced his intention of leaving Zion and returning to "Babylon," he pronounced his death sentence....

[A]ny one who displeased the Prophet was "sent on a mission" as a punishment. Did the polygamous Prophet fancy a man's wife, he was sent to the farthest possible point from Zion, to "enlist" souls for the Mormon Church....

Seventy-five families were ordered to abandon their homes, and take their departure for a new and almost unknown portion of the Territory [Las Vegas]. They expended thousands of dollars in building, fencing, and every way beautifying and improving their new homes; and just as they were getting nicely settled, and had made their new homes habitable and comfortable, the Prophet pronounced it an utterly unsuitable place for a "Stake of Zion," and ordered them all back again; so that the years passed there, and all the expenditures, were a total loss....

The United States government was beginning to trouble itself a little about Utah; and in order to make the church as strong as possible, in case of an invasion, Brigham was anxious to increase the number of emigrants, and requested Apostle Richards to send as many as he possibly could. To do this, the elders counselled all the emigrants, who had more money than they needed, to deposit it with the Apostle Richards for the purpose of assisting the poor to Zion. The call was instantly and gladly obeyed, and the number of Saints bound Zion-ward was thereby nearly doubled. In the face of the disaster which attended it, it has been the boast of some of the missionaries and elders that this was the largest number that ever was sent over at one time. So much greater, then, is the weight of responsibility which rests upon the souls of those who originated and carried out this selfish design, made more selfish, more cruel, and more terribly culpable for the hypocrisy and deceit which attended it from its conception to its disastrous close....

When, after a while, the Apostle Taylor's imperative personal business allowed him a moment in which to think of the unhappy emigrants, he started them for Iowa City, where they arrived only to experience a repetition of their New York sufferings, and see another illustration of apostolic neglect. Nothing had been prepared for them either in the way of shanties or tents, and they were compelled to camp in the open air, their only roof a sky that was not always blue. While in camp, there were several very severe rain-storms, from which, as they had no shelter, there was no escape; they got completely drenched, and this caused a great deal of severe illness among them. They were unprotected alike from burning sun and pitiless, chilling rain, and it is no wonder that fevers and dysentery prevailed, and that hundreds of longing eyes closed in death before they beheld the Zion of their hopes. It would have been strange if the faith of some had not wavered then; yet none dared complain. There was nothing to do but to go on to the end. They were thousands of miles from home, with no means of returning, and they were taught, too, that it would be a curse upon them to turn their backs on Zion. So there they remained through the long summer days, waiting helplessly until they should be ordered to move onward....

When the relief train reached Captain Willie's company, they were camped on the Sweetwater, near the Rocky Ridges. They had eaten their last provisions, and death was staring them pitilessly in the face. The camp was filled with dead and dying. There was no help for the latter, and the poor souls had lost all desire to live. They were waiting, with almost apathetic indifference, for release, while those dearest to them were doubly agonized because they must see the loved ones perish, and they were helpless even to bring comforts to them, or make life easier while it lasted. Those who were strong enough, dug one large grave in which all the dead were laid together. It was the best they could do; but their hands were no less tender and loving, their hearts no less sore, than if the last rites had been as imposing as those of royalty itself. The only thing they could do to prepare their dear ones for the grave was to close the eyes, the loving eyes that, to the very last, had turned longingly Zion-ward; to fold the pulseless hands over the silent hearts that, through all the hardships and toil, had kept their trust firm and their faith bright; to straighten out the tired feet that, bleeding and sore, had yet toiled joyfully along the rugged path that led to the fair Canaan of their dreams; to smooth the tangled hair away from haggard faces, where the lines of care lay heavily, and yet through which the light of peace divine shone serene and pure; to arrange as decently as possible the tattered garments, which were their only clothing for the tomb, and to lay them, coffinless, in their cold bed in the Rocky Mountains, in their last, long sleep; then to go away and leave them there, with the relentless winter storms beating upon them, and no stone to mark their resting-place. The road from Winter-Quarters to Salt Lake was a via dolorosa indeed....

Among the emigrants was a very wealthy gentleman of the name of Tennant. He and his wife were among the early converts, and were very earnest Mormons. They had for a long time been resolved to come to Zion, and when the Hand-Cart scheme was introduced they decided to join that company. Humble followers of Christ, they thought they could in no better way show their love for Him and their devotion to their religion, than by such an act of self-sacrifice as this. Possessed of ample means to have crossed the ocean and travelled in the most comfortable and even luxurious manner, they nevertheless chose to go in this way, with the poorest of the Saints, and share with them all the hardships and dangers which should attend this toilsome, perilous journey.

Mr. Tennant gave liberally to the emigration fund, in order that as many poor Saints as possible might make the long-anticipated pilgrimage to Zion, and both himself and his wife provided liberally for the comfort of their poor fellow-travellers. A short time before the emigrant company left England, the Apostle Richards, in one of his eloquent dissertations on the "plan" and its divine origin, said that in order to assist the poor to emigrate, President Young had given to the Emigration Fund Society an estate in Salt Lake City, to be sold for its benefit. He dilated largely upon the disinterested generosity of the Prophet, and his desire that as many as possible of his faithful followers should be gathered to Zion during that season. Fired by this act of extreme kindness on the part of his revered leader in the church, Mr. Tennant at once bought the property, and paid, it is said, thirty thousand dollars down for it. There is little need, perhaps, of saying that that was immensely more than its real value; but that fact its purchaser was not aware of, as it was glorified by all the apostolic eloquence bestowed upon it, quite beyond recognition.

On the voyage and during the journey across the States, and the tiresome waiting time at Iowa City, no one was more beloved than Mr. Tennant and his gentle, estimable wife. Sharing alike with the poorer Saints, no word of complaint ever passed their lips. They never for a moment seemed to regret their decision to emigrate at this particular time, but accepted every fresh hardship as a trial to their faith, sent by God Himself to test them, and prove their worthiness to enter His glorious kingdom on earth. They moved among their companions with kindly faces and words of cheer and comfort. They encouraged endurance by their example, and made the forced discomforts of some of the party seem easier to bear by their voluntary assumption of them. As far as they could they alleviated the distress which prevailed, and were always ready to perform any deeds of kindness.

The journey with the hand-carts was doubly hard for them, unused as they were to exertion; and day after day the wife saw the husband slowly succumbing to fatigue and disease, and she powerless to assist him. But, though his strength waned and his health failed him, yet his courage and his faith remained steadfast and fixed. Whatever came he believed would surely be right, and though he struggled manfully to keep up until he should reach Zion, yet he was overcome, and died at O'Fallon's Bluffs, literally of exhaustion. His last thought was for his sorrowing wife, and his last word was of comfort and consolation to her. He had one thought to make the parting easier -- he had provided a home for her in Zion; Brother Brigham held it in trust for her, and she would find the comforts to which she was used, and rest and peace in the Valley with the chosen people.

The bereaved wife clung wildly to her husband's remains, with the most heart-broken lamentations. To have him die was a misery in itself; but to see the slow, cruel torture which he underwent, and to watch him slowly dying such a horrible death, was almost unbearable. For a time it seemed almost as though she must be left there with him; that her soul would follow his. Happier would it have been for her had that fate been hers. The cold earth and pitiless winter storms would not be so cold and so pitiless as the world was to her, after this loving protecting arm was taken from her. A woman, unused to toil and hardship, nurtured in luxury, reared in tenderness and love, she was left alone to battle single-handed with the world. And such a world! whose ruling passion was avarice, and whose delight was another's torture; the world of Mormon Sainthood — ruled over by a grasping, lecherous, heartless tyrant, who laughed at a woman's sorrows and flouted at her wrongs. I think if she had known all that was to follow, she would have lain down on the plain by the side of her dead husband, and endured the torture of a horrible, slow death, rather than have gone on to the years of suffering which lay before her.

It is fortunate, indeed, that the future is so closely veiled to us; else we should all lose heart and courage in this unequal struggle called life, and lay down our weapons, convinced that it is of no use to struggle longer. Providence deals wisely with us, after all, and we are forced to admit it at every step of our lives.

The hurried funeral rites were over, and the man who had been so great a benefactor to the people among whom he had cast his lot, was left sleeping his last sleep in a strange land, and the sorrowing party resumed their weary way, saddened by this affliction. On the arrival at Salt Lake Mrs. Tennant at once proceeded to look after her property. The "magnificent estate" for which her husband had paid so fabulous a price, was a small wooden house, inconvenient and out of repair, and worth not a tenth part of what had been paid for it.

She was shocked and troubled at what seemed such a piece of swindling on the part of the President and the church authorities, although at first she was inclined to exonerate Brigham Young and blame Apostle Richards for misrepresentation; but an audience with Brigham soon convinced her that he was at the bottom of the whole affair, and she felt bitterly enough towards the man who, under the guise of religious benevolence, would be guilty of such a piece of trickery. Even this poor shelter was not left her very long. The place, and, indeed, most of the valuable things which her husband had sent to make their home in Zion more comfortable, were taken for tithing and on other pretences, and in a very few months this woman was compelled to go out to daily labor to earn her bread, her rightful property going to fill the already overflowing coffers of the "Prophet of the Lord." Indeed, the entire Hand-Cart expedition was a good speculation for the President, and helped replenish the prophetic pocket....

After Howard was well out of the way (in England, I think), Brigham started the distillery again in the "church's" interest, which, as he represents the church, meant himself. And over the door he placed as a sign the All-seeing eye, with the inscription, "HOLINESS TO THE LORD. ZION'S CO-OPERATIVE MERCANTILE INSTITUTION. WHOLESALE LIQUOR-DEALERS AND RECTIFIERS."...

He [Brigham Young] is met outside of every settlement which he visits by a company of cavalry; and a little farther on, just outside the entrance to the town, he is met by another procession,— sometimes of the children alone, but oftener, in the large settlements, where they are ambitious to "do the thing up in shape," of the entire population who are able to turn out, men, women, and children, headed by a brass band, all ranged along to give greeting to the Prophet. They are arranged in different sections, each section having its appropriate banner. The elderly and middle-aged men are all together under the banner "Fathers in Israel." The women of the same ages are ranged under their banner, Mothers in Israel." The young men are proud enough of the inscription which theirs carries, "Defenders of Zion;" and the young girls are fresh and lovely under their banner, "The Daughters of Zion, —Virtue;" while the little wee bits, that are placed last of all, are "The Hope of Israel." Other banners bear the inscriptions, "Hail to the Prophet;" "Welcome to our President;" "God bless Brigham Young;" "The Lion of the Lord;" and others of a similar nature are seen along the line of the procession....

He is as eloquent now, when talking on the subject of giving, with this exception in his style of address, that he now demands instead of asks, and it is disastrous to refuse him. He begs for the missionaries, and the poor men never get a cent of the thousands of dollars that are raised for them. He begs for the Temple, which is his pet subject, whenever there is nothing else to beg for, and the amount of money which he has raised for the building ought to have erected several very imposing edifices.

Many years ago he levied contributions upon the English Saints for the purchase of glass for the Temple windows. The sum desired must be collected at once. The Lord was soon coming to enter upon his earthly kingdom, and the place must be prepared for him. Missionaries preached, and laymen exhorted; they astonished even themselves by their eloquence, as they dwelt upon the beauty of Zion, the city of the Lord, and the glory that was to descend upon his chosen people. Those who were not moved by their oratory were impelled by their command; but, for the most part, the money was given voluntarily. Working men and women took a few pennies from their scant wages, and gave them with wonderful readiness, and then suffered from cold and absolute hunger for days after. But they suffered with painful joyousness and devotion, since they were giving it to the Lord, who had chosen them out of all the world for his very own people, and who would make their self-denials here redound to their glory and grace when at last they should arrive in his presence.

At that time, the foundation walls of the Temple were barely above the ground, and the work has progressed very slowly since. At any rate, the glass has not been bought, and there seems very little probability of window material being needed at present; and if the Lord is not to visit the Saints until his home is completed, even the younger members of the present generation will not be likely to see Him....

Brigham is shrewd enough to see that "revelation" is not one of his strong points, and he rarely attempts it; less frequently now than formerly, even. The catch-words, "Thus saith the Lord," are not nearly so potent as they were before the Saints came so much in contact with the Gentile world, and unconsciously lost some of their superstition. They do not openly laugh at Brigham's prophecies, but a few of the more honest and far-seeing venture to criticise him very quietly, although they submit to his rule, and are seemingly as good Saints as ever. They are not ready to apostatize; their interests and associations bind them to the church, and they do not wish to leave it. Some cling to it, like George Q. Cannon, through ambition; for that young apostle dares to cast his eyes toward Brigham's position, and has expressed the belief that he might ultimately succeed him. Others, like Orson Pratt, are so closely identified with it, that they cannot and would not cut themselves adrift from it. The church is their life, and they will only leave one when they are compelled to give up the other. Another class, to which Brigham's sons notably belong, stay because their pecuniary interests demand it. It "pays" to be a Mormon. But when once the present ruler is taken, they will have nothing to hold them, and they will do openly what they have long since done in their hearts, repudiate Mormonism, and all its superstitions and practices. And I am morally certain that the first one to take advantage of his newly-obtained liberty will be John W. Young, who is even now known as "the Prophet's Apostate Son," and who yet, in spite of his apostasy, holds the position of "President of the Salt Lake State of Zion," with the rank of bishop.

-- Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Complete Expose of Mormonism and Revealing the Sorrows, Sacrifices and Sufferings of Women in Polygamy, by Ann Eliza Young, Brigham Young's Apostate Wife

More than 80,000 converts came from Europe between 1840 and 1900 in what one historian called “the largest and most successful group immigration in United States history.”1 In addition, other thousands in this century have come on their own from all over the world to make their homes among the Saints.

During the 19th century, “gathering” to Zion was the second step after conversion. The phrase comes from a revelation given shortly after the Church was organized in 1830 to New York members:

“Ye are called to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect; for mine elect hear my voice. …

“Wherefore the decree hath gone forth from the Father that they shall be gathered in unto one place upon the face of this land.” (D&C 29:7–8.)

At Kirtland five years later, Joseph Smith received from Moses “the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth.” (D&C 110:11.)

Converts first gathered from the United States and Canada, following Church headquarters successively from Ohio to Missouri to Illinois. To Nauvoo in 1840 came the first overseas converts from the newly opened mission field in England, and six years later nearly 4,000 British immigrants were part of the Latter-day Saint exodus from Illinois. Once relocated in the far west, the Church encouraged and assisted large-scale immigration.

The gathering had two major purposes. First, Zion needed to be built up. Repeatedly persecuted and driven, the Church needed a strong, permanent base with a strong population to occupy the territory and make it economically self-sufficient. Also, the pure in heart needed a place of refuge from persecution and sin. “Zion,” however, could not be equated with an easy life. As a contemporary hymn taught:

“Think not when you gather to Zion,
Your troubles and trials are through,
That nothing but comfort and pleasure
Are waiting in Zion for you:
No, no, ‘tis designed as a furnace,
All substance, all textures to try,
To burn all the ‘wood, hay, and stubble,’
The gold from the dross purify.”
(Hymns, no. 21)

By 1847, a decade after missionaries first preached the gospel in England, 250 branches and 30,000 members functioned there, more members than there were in the Salt Lake Valley. Within another decade thousands of converts joined the Church throughout Europe, particularly in Scandinavia after 1850, and the spirit of gathering also touched Utah Saints to assist those who desired to come.

Of central importance was the Perpetual Emigration Fund, sometimes called the “Poor Fund.” Established at first to help Nauvoo exiles move to Utah, it became a revolving fund raised in Utah and Europe by donations of money and goods to finance part or all of the immigrants’ journey. “We expect,” wrote Brigham Young in 1849, “that all who are benefited by its [Fund] operations will be willing to reimburse that amount as soon as they are able.”2 Such repayments would fund the next immigrants.

Due to fund limitations, leaders usually selected those on whose behalf Utah relatives had made donations, converts with needed skills, or converts of ten years or more. Peak usage of P.E.F. funds and equipment came in the mid-1850s when one out of every three immigrants was fully subsidized by the Church. Although the loan monies were exhausted by 1857, the P.E.F. Company continued to provide purchasing and organizational benefits until it was dissolved by Congress in 1887.

Thousands found other means to finance their migrations. Many received help from relatives and friends. Anders Eliason, a well-to-do Swedish landowner, helped send 100 immigrants. Others made the journey to Zion in two laps, stopping along the way to earn money. Also, Utah settlements and European branches raised special immigration funds; Utah contributed $70,000 in 1868. Despite Church programs and donations, however, many Saints had to wait—sometimes 15 to 25 years—before finding means to gather to Zion.

U.S. historian H. H. Bancroft stresses the difficulty of reaching pre-railroad Utah: “Excepting perhaps some parts of Soudan,” he wrote, “there were … few places in the world more difficult to reach than the valley of the Great Salt Lake.”3 For immigrants, the journey across ocean, plains, and mountains totaled 5,000 miles. But thanks to Church organizational skills and resources, most immigrants avoided many hardships and mistakes that usually plagued inexperienced travelers.

Liverpool, England, served as departure point for Latter-day Saint British and European immigrants (75 percent of whom traveled as families—unlike general European immigration). There, Church agents chartered ships, in whole or part, for the long Atlantic voyage and purchased tinware, wagon cover and tent materials, and other necessary provisions. Once aboard ship, the immigrant companies, ranging in size from a dozen to 800 souls, were organized into wards. Eight hundred emigrants aboard the William Tapscott in 1862, for example, were divided into 19 wards. Often, nationality wards were formed: the Nevada in 1872 had one British and six Scandinavian wards. The 700 Saints aboard the S.S. Wisconsin in 1877 spoke eight languages among them.4 Supervising the Latter-day Saint companies were presiding elders, experienced travelers who were typically missionaries returning to Utah.

The Saints employed their time sewing together tent and wagon covers, teaching schools for children and adults—English classes were popular for continental Saints—and hearing lectures on such subjects as astronomy and agricultural improvements. Although most voyages produced a marriage or two, aboard the William Tapscott in 1849 there were 19: five English, one Swiss, and 13 Scandinavian.

Church meetings kept the spirits up. Sabbath and weeknight meetings frequently attracted nonmember passengers and crewmen, resulting in some interesting baptisms in barrels or over the side from platforms.5

Until 1854, the ships docked at New Orleans where Latter-day Saint immigration agents helped the travelers book passage on steamboats that took them upriver to St. Louis, Missouri. From there Church wagons transported the foreigners to outfitting points in Iowa and Missouri. After 1854, to avoid river diseases, Latter-day Saint companies from Liverpool docked at Boston, New York, or Philadelphia, where Church agents arranged for railroads to take the immigrants to frontier outfitting points. Following the Civil War, steamships cut the trans-Atlantic crossing time to ten days from five or six weeks for a sailing ship.

At outfitting camps on the plains, the travelers found their teams, purchased by Church agents, ready to receive them and their luggage. Often ten people shared one wagon and one tent. The wagons—the covers of which, like the tents, were sewn of English twilled cotton en route at sea—came supplied with flour, sugar, bacon, dried fruit, and other necessities.

Compared to other plains traffic, Latter-day Saint wagon companies generally were larger than outfits heading for California or Oregon; for many of these inexperienced travelers, plains travel was a rapid learning experience. For example, one group of Scandinavian Saints tried to use Danish harnesses instead of the recommended American yokes, but “No sooner were these placed on the animals than they, frightened half to death, struck out in a wild run. … Crossing ditches and gulches in their frenzy, parts of the wagons were strewn by the way side.”6

The Church tried to reduce the expense of wagon trains with conveyances such as handcarts; between 1856 and 1860 3,000 Saints came to Utah in ten handcart companies. Then, during the 1860s Church team trains, consisting of mules, wagons, drivers, and supplies requisitioned from wards and stakes, made round trips from Utah to bring the immigrants to Zion during summer months. After Union Pacific tracks reached Ogden in 1869, rail travel replaced Church-sponsored transportation schemes for crossing the plains. To allow immigrant companies to travel together on westbound trains, Latter-day Saint agents at eastern ports reserved train coaches whenever possible.

Finally reaching Salt Lake City by wagon, handcart, team train, or railroad, travel-weary European Saints gladly accepted local aid in establishing new homes. Frequently Presiding Bishop Edward Hunter or President Young personally greeted newcomers as part of official Church welcoming ceremonies. Valley Saints provided temporary food and shelter while Church leaders offered religious counsel and recommended various settlement possibilities. Friends and relatives helped some immigrants relocate, while others camped in the Salt Lake area for a time, many finding temporary employment on Church public works projects. Bishops, instructed to locate land and jobs in their wards for the new arrivals, provided important assistance as this description in the 1860s demonstrates:

“An emigrant train had just come in, and the bishops had to put six hundred persons in the way of growing their cabbages and building their homes. One bishop said he could take five bricklayers, another two carpenters, a third a tinman, a fourth seven or eight farm-servants, and so on through the whole bunch. In a few minutes I saw that two hundred of these poor emigrants had been placed in the way of earning their daily bread.”7

The trek across sea, plain, and mountains took faith, beginning with leaving homes, employment, and sometimes unconverted family members behind. Along the way hardly an immigrant company escaped illness or death, particularly among older people and children. For example, 21 children and two adults succumbed to measles aboard the Clara Wheeler in 1854. That same year cholera struck down hundreds of Saints on the plains, including 200 Scandinavians. Two years earlier a tragic explosion aboard the Mississippi steamboat Saluda killed a score of Saints. Early snows killed hundreds in the handcart tragedy of 1856. Travel rigors and weak faith produced some dropouts along the way, while others became disillusioned upon reaching Zion, and “back-trailed” to the States or Europe.

During the last half of the nineteenth century, federal census takers noted increasingly larger numbers of the foreign-born living in the Utah Territory. The largest block was British-born, totaling perhaps 50,000 immigrants by 1900 from England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. Language, except to the Welsh, was no barrier to assimilation; although unfamiliar customs, attitudes, geography, and economics caused other problems. Most British immigrants, coming from towns numbering at least 2,500 inhabitants, lacked agricultural experience and many had to become farmers when there was no way to use their urban skills.8

By contrast, Scandinavians—with Danes accounting for more than half the 20,000 reaching Utah by 1900—included a high percentage of farmers who fit well into Utah’s agrarian economy. Language differences created nationality settlements, so that Icelanders, for instance, clustered in Spanish Fork and Danes in Sanpete County. Similar enclaves were established by German, Swiss, Dutch, and French immigrants, 6,000 of whom had settled in Utah by the turn of the century.

In 1870, one of every three Utah residents was foreign-born, a higher percentage than found in any states or territories of the Union. A third of Salt Lake Stake’s 20 bishops in 1876 were foreign-born, while two of the stake presidents had come from England and the other was born in Scotland. From 1874 to 1931 the First Presidency always included at least one member born outside the United States, and over 30 members of the General Authorities are or have been foreign-born.

Year / Total Population / Foreign-born

1850 / 11,380 / 1,990

1860 / 40,273 / 12,754

1870 / 86,786 / 20,702

1880 / 143,963 / 43,994

1890 / 207,905 / 53,064

1900 / 276,749 / 53,777

Nineteenth-century persecutors of the Church resented the annual arrivals of foreign converts. An 1881 Harper’s article denounced the Church for consisting of “foreigners and the children of foreigners. … It is an institution so absolutely un-American in all its requirements that it would die of its own infamies within twenty years, except for the yearly infusion of fresh serf blood from abroad.”9

Yet this so-called “un-American” Church vigorously encouraged the “Americanization” of immigrants. Brigham Young instructed newcomers to first learn to make a living, then, “the next duty, for those who, being Danes, French, and Swiss, cannot speak it now—is to learn English; … the language of the [translated] Book of Mormon, the language of these Latter Days.”10

To ensure legal title to property and to protect the Latter-day Saint vote, immigrants were repeatedly admonished to take out citizenship papers, and a high percentage did.

By the turn of the century the Church ceased encouraging immigration of foreign converts. Mormon settlements, it was felt, no longer could support and absorb large numbers of newcomers. Further, emigration, by sapping overseas branches of strength, hampered proselyting efforts. European Saints therefore were requested to “stay and build up the work abroad,” a policy still in effect.11

On a much more modest scale, individuals still migrate to the United States without Church encouragement or assistance. Nearly 1,400 Swedes, for example, came to America between 1905 and 1955. Many California stakes have welcomed clusters of Latter-day Saint Polynesians, while numerous Latin American Saints now live in southwestern states from California to Texas. Individual converts in Japan and the Far East likewise have become United States residents. Following both World Wars thousands of European Saints found new homes in Utah—one thousand from Holland alone between 1945–1950. But the tide has turned—the Church officers now urge members to stay in the area where their language and customs can help build the Church abroad.

In our own generation an amazing international spread of Mormonism is occurring. Since 1960 approximately 100 non-United States stakes have been created, and stakes now are found on every continent of the world. Such current Church strength, however, is due in no small measure to faithful converts who, since 1840, left homes and families to build up a United States base from which the international Church of today could prosper.



1. Maldwyn A. Jones, American Immigration, Chicago, 1960, p. 126.

2. Andrew Jenson, “Church Emigration,” Contributor, 13 (December 1891), p. 82.

3. Hubert Howe Bancroft, History of Utah, San Francisco, The History Company, 1889, p. 418.

4. Deseret News, 18 July 1877, p. 1.

5. Jenson, p. 345.

6. Jenson, p. 459.

7. William H. Dixon, New America, London, Hurst and Blackett, 1867, 1:252–253.

8. The best one-volume study of British Latter-day Saint emigration is P. A. M. Taylor, Expectations Westward: The Mormons and the Emigration of Their British Converts in the Nineteenth Century, Ithaca, New York, Cornell University Press, 1966.

9. William Mulder, Homeward to Zion: The Mormon Migration from Scandinavia, Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 1957, p. 275.

10. Dixon, 1:210.

11. Millennial Star, 69 (23 May 1907), p. 329.

William G. Hartley, historical associate in the Church Historical Department, serves as counselor in the Salt Lake Granger North Stake fifth quorum of elders.
Site Admin
Posts: 28781
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Mormonism in The New Germany, by Dale Clark

Postby admin » Wed Jul 18, 2018 8:36 pm

Elder (Latter Day Saints)
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 7/18/18



This article uncritically uses texts from within a religion or faith system without referring to secondary sources that critically analyze them. Please help improve this article by adding references to reliable secondary sources, with multiple points of view. (December 2010)

Elder is a priesthood office in the Melchizedek priesthood of denominations within the Latter Day Saint movement, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).

Office of the Melchizedek Priesthood

In the LDS Church, "elder" is considered the introductory—or lowest—of five offices of the Melchizedek priesthood. Every person who receives the Melchizedek priesthood is simultaneously ordained to the office of elder; this may be done to male members who are at least 18 years old. In order to be ordained, the member must be determined to be worthy by his local bishop and stake president.[1] The consent of the priesthood holders of the stake is also required before the ordination is performed, and this is usually done at a semiannual stake conference or an annual general stake priesthood meeting.[1] Ordination is accomplished by the laying on of hands and with the stake president's approval, may be performed by any holder of the Melchizedek priesthood.

Responsibilities of an elder

According to the LDS Church's Doctrine and Covenants, the duty of an elder is to "teach, expound, exhort, baptize, and watch over the church."[2] Elders have the authority to administer to and bless the sick and afflicted, to "confirm those who are baptized into the church, by the laying on of hands for the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost",[3] to baptize and give others the Aaronic or Melchizedek priesthoods as directed by priesthood leaders, and to take the lead in all meetings as guided by the Holy Spirit.[4] An elder may ordain others to the priesthood offices of deacon, teacher, priest, or elder.

In practice, elders may be responsible for many of the day-to-day operations of a ward. They are called to serve in a variety of positions throughout the ward, such as Aaronic priesthood quorum advisors, Young Men leaders, scout leaders, ward mission leader, and Sunday School leadership. Elders and high priests (assisted by teachers and priests) are also responsible for ministering opportunities to serve the needs of assigned respective households in the ward.

Organizational Structure

Elders are organized into quorums that may contain no more than 96 elders. A quorum president, along with two counselors, is called and set apart under the direction of the stake presidency, and generally serves for a number of years. A secretary is also called to assist the president and his counselors.

All adult men in the ward who are not presently serving in callings that require the ordination of high priest are assigned to the elders quorum.

The Title of Elder

The title "Elder" is not normally used as a personal title (e.g., Elder Evans, Elder Johnson), except by the LDS Church's general authorities, area seventies, and full-time male missionaries. Often, full-time missionaries serving within a ward are referred to by the members as "the elders."


"Ordinance and Blessing Policies", Handbook 1: Stake Presidents and Bishops (Salt Lake City, Utah: LDS Church, 2010) § 16.
Doctrine and Covenants, section 20:42
Doctrine and Covenants, section 20:41
Doctrine and Covenants, section 46:2
Site Admin
Posts: 28781
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Mormonism in The New Germany, by Dale Clark

Postby admin » Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:02 pm

[Elder] George Reynolds (Mormon)
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 7/18/18



George Reynolds
First Council of the Seventy
April 5, 1890 – August 9, 1909
Personal details
Born January 1, 1842
Marylebone, London, United Kingdom
Died August 9, 1909 (aged 67)
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Resting place Salt Lake City Cemetery
40.777°N 111.858°W
Spouse(s) Mary A. Tuddenham (m. 1865)
Amelia J. Schofield (m. 1874)
Mary Goold (m. 1885)
Children 32
Parents George Reynolds
Julia A. Tautz

George Reynolds (January 1, 1842 – August 9, 1909) was a general authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), a longtime secretary to the First Presidency of the LDS Church, and a party to the 1878 United States Supreme Court case Reynolds v. United States, the first freedom of religion case to issue from that court.

Early life

Reynolds was born in Marylebone, England to George Reynolds and Julia Ann Tautz. He spent much of his childhood under the care of his maternal grandmother. His grandmother employed a maid, Sarah White, who invited nine-year-old Reynolds to attend a meeting of the LDS Church with her. Reynolds received permission from his grandmother to do so; Reynolds attended a sacrament meeting of the Paddington Branch of the church with White, and almost immediately decided that he wished to become a member of the LDS Church.

However, Reynolds's parents refused to allow him to be baptized a member of the church. Often, he would evade his parents' wishes and attend the Sunday meetings in Paddington. When Reynolds was 14 years old, he attended the Somers Town Branch of the church, where he was unknown, and asked to be received into the church by baptism. Not knowing that Reynolds' parents had forbidden the action, the president of the branch, George Teasdale, baptized him on May 4, 1856; Reynolds was confirmed a member of the church by Teasdale on May 11, 1856.

In December 1856, Reynolds was given the Aaronic priesthood and ordained to the office of deacon. In this capacity, he was responsible for opening the doors to the Sunday meetinghouse for the Somers Town Branch and organizing the seating in preparation for sacrament meeting. In May 1857, at the age of 15, Reynolds was ordained to the office of priest. In this calling, Reynolds engaged in open-air preaching in the streets of London, usually with an adult elder of the church. After Reynolds began street preaching, his parents discovered that he had become a "Mormon".

In August 1860, Reynolds was given the Melchizedek priesthood and ordained to the office of elder. In May 1861, he was called to be a full-time missionary of the church in London. In 1863, Reynolds was reassigned as a missionary to the Liverpool area to work as a clerk for church apostle and mission president George Q. Cannon. When Cannon returned to the United States later that year, Reynolds retained his position as a clerk under the new mission president, apostle and counselor in the First Presidency Daniel H. Wells. As mission clerk, one of Reynolds's primary responsibility was organizing and coordinating the church's efforts to assist European members of the church in emigrating to Utah Territory, where the headquarters of the church were located. While acting as mission clerk, Reynolds was asked to serve as the branch president of the Liverpool Branch of the church.

Life in America

In May 1865, Reynolds was released as a missionary and invited to emigrate to Utah Territory. He traveled to Salt Lake City with fellow elders of the church William S. Godbe and William H. Sherman, arriving on July 5, 1865. On July 22, 1865, mere weeks after his arrival in Utah, Reynolds married his first wife, Mary Ann Tuddenham. Soon afterwards, LDS Church president Brigham Young hired Reynolds as secretary to the First Presidency of the church. Reynolds was ordained to the priesthood office of seventy by Israel Barlow on March 18, 1866.

In February 1869, Reynolds was elected by the legislature of the Utah Territory to be a member of the board of regency of the University of Deseret, which was later renamed the University of Utah. Reynolds was re-elected to this position by the legislature a number of times.

In May 1871, Young asked Reynolds to return to England to assist apostle Albert Carrington in the publication of the Millennial Star, a church newspaper for British Latter-day Saints. Reynolds did so, and in September of that year Carrington was required to return to the United States, leaving Reynolds as the de facto president of the church's European Mission. However, Reynolds was suffering from ill health due to a severe case of smallpox, and when Carrington returned in May 1872, Reynolds was sent home to Utah to recover.

Like many early Latter-day Saints, Reynolds practiced the religious principle of plural marriage. On August 3, 1874, Reynolds married his second wife, Amelia Jane Schofield. At this time, Young continued to employ Reynolds as the secretary to the First Presidency and also appointed him to be the manager of the Salt Lake Theatre. In 1875, Reynolds was elected as a member of the Salt Lake City Council.

Party to polygamy test case

In 1874, strong efforts were being made to prosecute Latter-day Saints who practiced polygamy in violation an 1862 Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act. Confident that the law would be declared to be an unconstitutional violation of the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, the leaders of the church agreed to furnish a defendant for a test case. Brigham Young asked Reynolds if he would be willing to serve as the test defendant. Reynolds agreed and was indicted for bigamy by a grand jury on June 23, 1874.

Because it was a test case that the church wished to pursue before the United States Supreme Court, Reynolds cooperated with investigators and the trial court, supplying the witnesses and testimony that proved he was married to two women at the same time. Reynolds was found guilty by a jury on April 1, 1875, and was sentenced to one year's imprisonment and a fine of five hundred dollars. On appeal, the indictment was overturned by the Utah Territory's Supreme Court because the grand jury had not been empanelled in compliance with the Poland Act. Thus, for the test case to proceed, Reynolds had to be reindicted and retried.

On October 30, 1875, Reynolds was indicted a second time; he was found guilty of bigamy by a jury on December 9 and sentenced to two years' imprisonment at hard labor and a fine of five hundred dollars. On June 13, 1876, the Utah Supreme Court upheld the conviction. The stage was set for the case to be appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States.

Reynolds v. United States

Arguments were heard in Reynolds's case before the Supreme Court on November 14, 1878. On January 6, 1879, the Court issued its unanimous decision for Reynolds v. United States. The court rejected Reynolds's argument that the Latter-day Saint practice of plural marriage was protected by the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution. Thus, Reynolds's conviction was upheld, as was the constitutionality of the Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act. (The court did rule that the hard labor clause of Reynolds's sentence was not permitted by law; as a result, this clause of Reynolds's sentence was lifted.)


Reynolds had been imprisoned in Utah since his second conviction was confirmed by the Utah Supreme Court in June 1876. After his failed appeal to the Supreme Court, Reynolds was transferred from a jail in Utah to the Nebraska State Penitentiary in Lincoln, where he became U.S. Prisoner Number 14 and was appointed to be the bookkeeper in the knitting department. Reynolds only remained in the Nebraska penitentiary for 25 days, after which he was transferred to the Utah Territory Penitentiary, where regulations were more primitive and vermin more abundant. Reynolds reported that the prisoners were not permitted to have a fire for fear that the prison would burn down; as a result, on many winter mornings he would awake and his beard would be one solid mass of ice. Reynolds was released from prison on January 20, 1881, having served his full sentence, less five months for good behavior. He was pardoned in 1894 by U.S. President Grover Cleveland.[1]

Life after release from prison

Upon his release from prison, Reynolds resumed his position as secretary to the First Presidency of the church; he also became an active organizer within the Deseret Sunday School Union (DSSU), acting as the editor of and writing many articles for the Juvenile Instructor, a publication of the DSSU. From 1899 until his death in 1909, Reynolds was a first or second assistant to three general superintendents of the DSSU: From 1899 to 1901, he was the second assistant to George Q. Cannon; in 1901 he was first assistant to Lorenzo Snow; and from 1901 until 1909 he was first assistant to Joseph F. Smith.

On April 25, 1885, Reynolds married his third and final wife, Mary Goold. His first wife Mary Ann died on December 17, 1885, following the birth of a child.

In 1890, LDS Church president Wilford Woodruff asked Reynolds to become one of the seven members of the First Council of Seventy, a calling in the church hierarchy that ranked just below the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Reynolds agreed, and on April 10, Reynolds was set apart to this position by Lorenzo Snow, who was then President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Reynolds continued in this position and as the secretary to the First Presidency until his death in 1909.

Reynolds was a gifted writer and after his release from prison he became active in writing church literature. His most famous works are his Story of the Book of Mormon (1888), which was intended for children; Complete Concordance to the Book of Mormon (1900); and Dictionary of the Book of Mormon (1910).

Reynolds suffered a nervous breakdown in 1907 as a result of stress incident from overwork. He died from meningitis at Salt Lake City on August 9, 1909, at the age of 67.[2] Reynolds had a total of three wives and 32 children. One of his daughters married Joseph Fielding Smith.

Published works

• —— (1868). "Man and His Varieties: The Negro Race". Juvenile Instructor. LDS Church. 3 (20): 157–58. Retrieved 2016-10-29.
• Reynolds, George (1879). The Book of Abraham: Its Authenticity Established as a Divine and Ancient Record: With Copious References to Ancient and Modern Authorities. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret New Printing & Publishing.
• —— (1883). The Myth of the "Manuscript Found," or, The Absurdities of the "Spaulding Story". Salt Lake City, Utah: Juvenile Instructor Office.
• —— (1888). The Story of the Book of Mormon. Salt Lake City, Utah: Jos. Hyrum Parry. p. 494.
• —— (1900). A Complete Concordance to the Book of Mormon. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book.
• —— (1891). A Dictionary of the Book of Mormon: Comprising its Biographical, Geographical and Other Proper Names. Salt Lake City, Utah: Jos. Hyrum Parry. p. 364.
• ——; Janne M. Sjödahl (1955). Commentary on the Book of Mormon. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book.
• ——; Janne M. Sjödahl (1965). Commentary on the Pearl of Great Price. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book.
• —— (1882). "Internal Evidences of the Book of Mormon: Showing the Absurdity of the 'Spalding Story'". Juvenile Instructor. LDS Church. 17 (15–16): 235–38, 251–52. Retrieved 2007-04-05.
• —— (1882). "The Originator of 'The Spalding Story'". Juvenile Instructor. LDS Church. 17 (17): 262–63. Retrieved 2007-04-05.
• —— (1882). "The Book of Mormon and the Three Witnesses". Juvenile Instructor. LDS Church. 17 (18): 281. Retrieved 2007-04-05.
• —— (1882). "Joseph Smith's Youthful Life". Juvenile Instructor. LDS Church. 17 (19): 299–302. Retrieved 2007-04-05.
• —— (1882). "Time Occupied in Translating the Book of Mormon". Juvenile Instructor. LDS Church. 17 (20): 315–317. Retrieved 2007-04-05.

See also

• 1890 Manifesto
• Alice Louise Reynolds
• Edmunds Act
• Edmunds-Tucker Act
• Reed Smoot hearings
• Ruth H. Funk
• Second Manifesto


1. [1]
2. State of Utah Death Certificate Archived 2009-03-20 at the Wayback Machine.


• Jensen, Andrew (1901), Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, vol. 1, Andrew Jensen History Co., 206.
• Ludlow, Daniel H (ed.) (1992). "Encyclopedia of Mormonism". New York: Macmillan Publishing. ISBN 0-02-879602-0..
• Van Orden, Bruce A. (1992), Prisoner for Conscience' Sake: The Life of George Reynolds, Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book.

External links

• Works written by or about George Reynolds at Wikisource
• Media related to George Reynolds (Mormon) at Wikimedia Commons
• Grampa Bill's G.A. Pages: George Reynolds
• George Reynolds at Find a Grave
• George Reynolds papers, MSS 10 at L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Brigham Young University
Site Admin
Posts: 28781
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Mormonism in The New Germany, by Dale Clark

Postby admin » Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:14 pm

Emergency Response Communication Protocol
by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Accessed: 7/18/18



There are two channels of communication in the event of an emergency.

The following diagram illustrates the two-way flow of communication. The solid line represents direct reporting responsibilities. The dotted lines represent lines of communication that are helpful during emergencies.


The Mormon Hierarchy: How the LDS church is organized.
Accessed: 7/18/18

Over its nearly two-century history, the LDS church has developed a complicated bureaucracy to oversee what is now a worldwide religion. While every active adult Mormon holds a calling in the church, only those at the very top serve in their positions on a full-time basis. And because only men can receive the LDS priesthood, the top of the hierarchy is entirely male. Read David Haglund's "Case of the Mormon Historian."


Correction, Nov. 1, 2012: This chart originally depicted the general officers for the LDS primary as men. They're women.
Site Admin
Posts: 28781
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Mormonism in The New Germany, by Dale Clark

Postby admin » Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:52 pm

by Wikipedia
Accessed: 7/18/18



This article is about the Israelite tribal patriarch.

Jacob blessing Ephraim and Manasseh.

Ephraim, by Francesco Hayez

Ephraim /ˈiːfriːəm/;[1] (Hebrew: אֶפְרַיִם/אֶפְרָיִם, Standard Efráyim Tiberian ʾEp̄ráyim/ʾEp̄rāyim) was, according to the Book of Genesis, the second son of Joseph and Asenath. Asenath was an Egyptian woman whom Pharaoh gave to Joseph as wife, and the daughter of Potipherah, a priest of On.[2] Ephraim was born in Egypt before the arrival of the children of Israel from Canaan.[3]

The Book of Numbers lists three sons of Ephraim: Shuthelah, Beker, and Tahan.[4] However, 1 Chronicles 7 claims that he had at least eight sons, including Ezer and Elead, who were killed by local men who came to rob him of his cattle. After their deaths he had another son, Beriah.[5] He was the ancestor of Joshua, son of Nun, the leader of the Israelite tribes in the conquest of Canaan.[6]

According to the biblical narrative, Jeroboam, who became the first king of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, was also from the house of Ephraim.[7]

Biblical criticism

The Book of Genesis related the name "Ephraim" to a Hebrew word for "being fruitful", referring to Joseph's ability to produce children, specifically while in Egypt (termed by the Torah as the land of his affliction).[8]

In the Biblical account, Joseph's other son is Manasseh, and Joseph himself is one of the two children of Rachel and Jacob, the other being Benjamin. Biblical scholars regard it as obvious, from their geographic overlap and their treatment in older passages, that originally Ephraim and Manasseh were considered one tribe – that of Joseph.[9] The Book of Revelation, however, accords only Ephraim the tribal name of Joseph. According to several biblical scholars, Benjamin was originally part of the suggested Ephraim-Manasseh single "Joseph" tribe, but the biblical account of Joseph as his father became lost.[10][11] A number of biblical scholars suspect that the distinction of the Joseph tribes (including Benjamin) is that they were the only Israelites which went to Egypt and returned, while the main Israelite tribes simply emerged as a subculture from the Canaanites and had remained in Canaan throughout.[11][12] According to this view, the story of Jacob's visit to Laban to obtain a wife originated as a metaphor for this migration, with the property and family which were gained from Laban representing the gains of the Joseph tribes by the time they returned from Egypt;[11] according to textual scholars, the Jahwist version of the Laban narrative only mentions the Joseph tribes, and Rachel, and does not mention the other tribal matriarchs whatsoever.[12][13]

In the Torah, the eventual precedence of the tribe of Ephraim is argued to derive from Jacob, blind and on his deathbed, blessing Ephraim before Manasseh.[8][14] The text describing this blessing features a hapax legomenon – the word שכל (sh-k-l) – which classical rabbinical literature has interpreted in esoteric manners;[15] some rabbinical sources connect the term with sekel, meaning mind/wisdom, and view it as indicating that Jacob was entirely aware of who he was actually blessing;[14] other rabbinical sources connect the term with shikkel, viewing it as signifying that Jacob was despoiling Manasseh in favour of Ephraim;[14] yet other rabbinical sources argue that it refers to the power of Jacob to instruct and guide the holy spirit.[14] In classical rabbinical sources, Ephraim is described as being modest and not selfish.[16] These rabbinical sources allege that it was on account of modesty and selflessness, and a prophetic vision of Joshua, that Jacob gave Ephraim precedence over Manasseh, the elder of the two;[14] in these sources Jacob is regarded as being sufficiently just that God upholds the blessing in his honour, and makes Ephraim the leading tribe.[14]

Due to this lack of identity some Biblical scholars view this as postdiction, an eponymous metaphor providing an aetiology of the connectedness of the tribe to others in the Israelite confederation.[17]

See also

• Manasseh
• Tribe of Ephraim
• Tribe of Manasseh


1. "Ephraim". Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
2. Genesis 41:50–52
3. Genesis 48:5
4. Numbers 26:35
5. 1 Chronicles 7:20–23
6. 1 Chronicles 7:20–27
7. 1 Kings 11:26
8. Genesis 41:52
9. Jewish Encyclopedia, "Ephraim".
10. Jewish Encyclopedia (1906)
11. Peake's commentary on the Bible
12. Israel Finkelstein, The Bible Unearthed
13. Richard Elliott Friedman, Who Wrote the Bible?
14. Genesis 48:1
15. Jewish Encyclopedia
16. Jewish Encyclopedia
17. Peake's commentary on the Bible
Site Admin
Posts: 28781
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Mormonism in The New Germany, by Dale Clark

Postby admin » Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:24 pm

by Wikipedia
Accessed: 7/18/18



King of Judah
Rehoboam. Fragment of Wall Painting from Basel Town Hall Council Chamber, by Hans Holbein the Younger
Rehoboam depicted on a fragment of the wall painting originally in the Great Council Chamber of Basel Town Hall, but now kept at the Kunstmuseum Basel.
Reign c. 931 - 913 BC
Predecessor Solomon
Successor Abijah
Born c. 972 BC
Died c. 913 BC
Father Solomon
Mother Naamah

Rehoboam was the fourth king of Israel according to the Hebrew Bible. He was a son of and the successor to Solomon, and a grandson of David. In the account of I Kings and II Chronicles, he was initially king of the United Monarchy of Israel, but after the ten northern tribes of Israel rebelled in 932/931 BC to form the independent Kingdom of Israel (Samaria), under the rule of Jeroboam, Rehoboam remained as king of only the Kingdom of Judah, or southern kingdom.

The name is pronounced /ˌriːəˈboʊ.əm/ and is also written as Hebrew: רְחַבְעָם‬, Modern Rəẖavʻam, Tiberian Reḥaḇʻām; Greek: Ροβοαμ, translit. Rovoam; Latin: Roboam.

Biblical background

According to the Jewish Encyclopaedia, "Solomon's wisdom and power were not sufficient to prevent the rebellion of several of his border cities. Damascus under Rezon secured its independence [from] Solomon; and Jeroboam, a superintendent of works, his ambition stirred by the words of the prophet Ahijah (1 Kings xi. 29-40), fled to Egypt. Thus before the death of Solomon the apparently unified kingdom of David began to disintegrate. With Damascus independent and a powerful man of Ephraim, the most prominent of the Ten Tribes, awaiting his opportunity, the future of Solomon's kingdom became dubious".[1]

According to 1 Kings 11:1-13, Solomon had broken the mandate of the Torah [2] by marrying foreign wives and being influenced by them, worshipping and building shrines to the Moabite and Ammonite gods.

So the Lord became angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned from the Lord God of Israel ... Therefore the Lord said to Solomon, “Because you have done this, and have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant. Nevertheless I will not do it in your days, for the sake of your father David; I will tear it out of the hand of your son.[3]

Rehoboam's mother, Naamah, was an Ammonitess, and thus one of the foreign wives whom Solomon married.[4] In the Revised Version she is referred to as "the Ammonitess". [5]

Biblical narrative

Conventional biblical chronology dates the start of Rehoboam's reign to the mid-10th century BC. His reign is described in 1 Kings 12 and 14:21-31 and in 2 Chronicles 10-12 in the Hebrew Bible. Rehoboam was 41 years old when he ascended the throne.[1]

The United Kingdom of Solomon breaks up, with Jeroboam ruling over the Northern Kingdom of Israel (in green on the map).

The assembly for the coronation of Solomon's successor, Rehoboam, was called at Shechem, the one sacredly historic city within the territory of the Ten Tribes. Before the coronation took place the assembly requested certain reforms in the policy followed by Rehoboam's father, Solomon. The reforms requested would materially reduce the royal exchequer and hence its power to continue the magnificence of Solomon's court.[1] The older men counseled Rehoboam at least to speak to the people in a civil manner (it is not clear whether they counseled him to accept the demands). However, the new king sought the advice from the young men he had grown up with, who advised the king to show no weakness to the people, and to tax them even more, which Rehoboam did. He proclaimed to the people,

Whereas my father laid upon you a heavy yoke, so shall I add tenfold thereto. Whereas my father chastised (tortured) you with whips, so shall I chastise you with scorpions. For my littlest finger is thicker than my father's loins; and your backs, which bent like reeds at my father's touch, shall break like straws at my own touch.[6]

Although the ostensible reason was the heavy burden laid upon Israel because of Solomon's great outlay for buildings and for luxury of all kinds, the other reasons include the historical opposition between the north and the south. The two sections had acted independently until David, by his victories, succeeded in uniting all the tribes, though the Ephraimitic jealousy was ever ready to develop into open revolt. Religious considerations were also operative. The building of the Temple was a severe blow for the various sanctuaries scattered through the land, and the priests of the high places probably supported the revolt. Josephus (Ant., VIII., viii. 3) has the rebels exclaim: "We leave to Rehoboam the Temple his father built."[7]

Jeroboam and the people rebelled, with the ten northern tribes breaking away and forming a separate kingdom. The new breakaway kingdom continued to be called Kingdom of Israel, and was also known as Samaria, or Ephraim or the northern Kingdom. The realm Rehoboam was left with was called Kingdom of Judah.[6]

Rulers of Judah

Saul David Solomon Rehoboam Abijah Asa Jehoshaphat Jehoram Ahaziah Athaliah J(eh)oash Amaziah Uzziah/Azariah Jotham Ahaz Hezekiah Manasseh Amon Josiah Jehoahaz Jehoiakim Jeconiah/Jehoiachin Zedekiah

During Rehoboam's 17-year reign,[8] he retained Jerusalem as Judah's capital but

Judah did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins which they committed, more than all that their fathers had done. For they also built for themselves high places, and pillars, and Ashe′rim on every high hill and under every green tree; and there were also male cult prostitutes in the land. They did according to all the abominations of the nations which the Lord drove out before the people of Israel.[9]

The Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary attributes Rehoboam's "tendency to depart from the true religion" to his mother's influence.[10]

Civil war

Rehoboam went to war against the new Kingdom of Israel with a force of 180,000 soldiers. However, he was advised against fighting his brethren, and so returned to Jerusalem.[11] The narrative reports that Israel and Judah were in a state of war throughout his 17-year reign.[12]

Egyptian invasion

The Bubastite Portal at Karnak, showing cartouches of Sheshonq I mentioning the invasion from the Egyptian perspective.

In the fifth year of Rehoboam's reign, Shishak, king of Egypt, brought a huge army and took many cities. According to Joshua, son of Nadav, the mention in 2 Chronicles 11, 6 sqq., that Rehoboam built fifteen fortified cities, indicates that the attack was not unexpected.[7] The account in Chronicles states that Shishaq marched with 1,200 chariots, 60,000 horsemen and troops who came with him from Egypt: Libyans, Sukkites, and Kushites.[13] Shishaq's armies captured all of the fortified towns leading to Jerusalem between Gezer and Gibeon. When they laid siege to Jerusalem, Rehoboam gave Shishaq all of the treasures out of the temple as a tribute. The Egyptian campaign cut off trade with south Arabia via Elath and the Negev that had been established during Solomon's reign.[14] Judah became a vassal state of Egypt.


Rehoboam had 18 wives and 60 concubines. They bore him 28 sons and 60 daughters. His wives included Mahalath, the daughter of Jerimoth the son of David, and Abihail, the daughter of Eliab the son of Jesse. His sons with Mahalath were Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham. After Mahalath he married his cousin Maacah, daughter of Absalom, David's son. His sons with Maacah were Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith.[15] The names of his other wives, sons and all his daughters are not given.

Rehoboam reigned for 17 years.[6][16] When he died he was buried beside his ancestors in Jerusalem. He was succeeded by his son Abijah.[17]

Biblical chronology

Using the information in Kings and Chronicles, Edwin Thiele has calculated the date for the division of the kingdom is 931–930 BC. Thiele noticed that for the first seven kings of Israel (ignoring Zimri's inconsequential seven-day reign), the synchronisms to Judean kings fell progressively behind by one year for each king. Thiele saw this as evidence that the northern kingdom was measuring the years by a non-accession system (first partial year of reign was counted as year one), whereas the southern kingdom was using the accession method (it was counted as year zero). Once this was understood, the various reign lengths and cross-synchronisms for these kings was worked out, and the sum of reigns for both kingdoms produced 931/930 BC for the division of the kingdom when working backwards from the Battle of Qarqar in 853 BC. According to newer chronologists such as Gershon Galil and Kenneth Kitchen, however, the values are 931 BC for the beginning of the coregency and 915/914 BC for Rehoboam's death.

One episode which the Bible places during the reign of Rehoboam, and which is confirmed by the records from the Bubastite Portal in Karnak and other archaeological find (without the specific mention of the name Rehoboam), is the Egyptian invasion of Judea by the Egyptian pharaoh Shoshenq I, who is identified by many with the biblical King Shishak. One of the most difficult issues in identifying Shishak with Shoshenq I is the biblical statement that "King Shishak of Egypt attacked Jerusalem. He seized the treasures of the Lord's temple and the royal palace" (1 Kings 14:25-26), making this Shoshenq's biggest prize, whereas the Bubastite Portal lists do not include Jerusalem or any city from central Judea among the surviving names in the list of Shoshenq's conquests.[18]


1. Jewish Encyclopedia, Rehoboam
2. Deuteronomy 7:3
3. 1 Kings 11:1-13
4. 1 Kings 14:21
5. 1 Kings 14:21, English Revised Version
6. Geikie, Cunningham. Hours with the Bible: From Rehoboam to Hezekiah, John B. Alden, New York, 1887
7. Kittle, R., "Rehoboam", The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol. IX: Petri - Reuchlin, Samuel Macauley Jackson (ed.), Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1953
8. 1 Kings 14:21
9. 1 Kings 14:22-24
10. Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary on 1 Kings 14, accessed 22 October 2017
11. 1 Kings 12:22-24, 2 Chronicles 11:2-4
12. 2 Chronicles 12:15
13. ""Relief and Stelae of Pharaoh Shoshenq I: Rehoboam's Tribute, c. 925 BCE", The center for Online Judaic Studies".
14. Aharoni, Yohanan. The Land of the Bible: A Historical Geography, Chap. IV, Westminster John Knox Press, Philadelphis, Pennsylvania, 1979
15. 2 Chronicles 12:18-21
16. 1 Kings 14:21
17. 2 Chronicles 12:16
18. de Mieroop, Marc Van (2007). A History of Ancient Egypt. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing. p. 400. ISBN 9781405160711.
Site Admin
Posts: 28781
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Mormonism in The New Germany, by Dale Clark

Postby admin » Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:15 pm

Ahijah the Shilonite
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 7/18/18



Gerard Hoet, Ahijah's prophecy to Jeroboam, 1728.

Ahijah the Shilonite (Hebrew: אחיה השילוני, Aḥiya [1] ('brother of Yah'[2]) Hashiloni), was a Levite prophet of Shiloh in the days of Solomon, as mentioned in the Hebrew Bible's 1 Kings. Ahijah foretold to Jeroboam that he would become king (1 Kings 11:29).[3]

The Hebrew Bible records two of his prophecies. In 1 Kings 11:31-39, he announced the separation of the Northern ten tribes from Solomon's united kingdom, forming the Northern Kingdom. In 1 Kings 14:6-16, Ahijah's prophecy, delivered to Jeroboam's wife, foretold the death of the king's son, the destruction of Jeroboam's dynasty, and the fall and captivity of Israel "beyond the River", a stock expression for the land east of the Euphrates.[4]

According to 2 Chronicles, Ahijah also authored a book, described as the Prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, which contained information about Solomon's reign.[5] This text, however, has not survived and is one of the lost texts mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. In 1 Kings 11:41 it is referred to as the "Book of the Acts of Solomon".

Rabbinic tradition credits Ahijah with having lived a very long life,[6] linking his life-span with that of antediluvian patriarchs such as Methuselah and Noah.


1. According to "Ahijah", Jewish Encyclopedia, the name also appears in the expanded form אחיהו, Aḥiyahu.
2. See Gesenius, who interprets the name as "friend of Jehovah," taking the literal expression 'brother' as metaphorical for friendship. [1]
3. "Ahijah", Jewish Encyclopedia
4. Holman Bible Dictionary, "Beyond the River"
5. 2 Chronicles 9:29
6. Babylonian Talmud, Baba Batra 12lb
Site Admin
Posts: 28781
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Mormonism in The New Germany, by Dale Clark

Postby admin » Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:26 pm

Asherah pole
Accessed: 7/18/18



"Asheroth" redirects here. It is not to be confused with Ashteroth.

An Asherah pole is a sacred tree or pole that stood near Canaanite religious locations to honor the Ugaritic mother-goddess Asherah, consort of El.[1] The relation of the literary references to an asherah and archaeological finds of Judaean pillar-figurines has engendered a literature of debate.[2]

The asherim were also cult objects related to the worship of the fertility goddess Asherah, the consort of either Ba'al or, as inscriptions from Kuntillet ‘Ajrud and Khirbet el-Qom attest, Yahweh,[3] and thus objects of contention among competing cults. In translations that render the Hebrew asherim into English as "Asherah poles," the insertion of "pole" begs the question by setting up unwarranted expectations for such a wooden object: "we are never told exactly what it was", observes John Day.[4] Though there was certainly a movement against goddess-worship at the Jerusalem Temple in the time of King Josiah, (2 Chronicles 34:3) it did not long survive his reign, as the following four kings "did what was evil in the eyes of Yahweh" (2 Kings 23:32, 37; 24:9, 19). Further exhortations came from Jeremiah. The traditional interpretation of the Biblical text is that the Israelites imported pagan elements such as the Asherah poles from the surrounding Canaanites. In light of archeological finds, however, modern scholars now theorize that the Israelite folk religion was Canaanite in its inception and always polytheistic, and it was the prophets and priests who denounced the Asherah poles who were the innovators;[5] such theories inspire ongoing debate.[6]

References from the Hebrew Bible

Asherim are mentioned in the Hebrew Bible in the books of Exodus, Deuteronomy, Judges, the Books of Kings, the second Book of Chronicles, and the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Micah. The term often appears as merely אשרה, (Asherah) referred to as "groves" in the King James Version, which follows the Septuagint rendering as ἄλσος, pl. ἄλση, and the Vulgate lucus,[7] and "poles" in the New Revised Standard Version; no word that may be translated as "poles" appears in the text. Scholars have indicated, however, that the plural use of the term (English "Asherahs", translating Hebrew Asherim or Asherot) provides ample evidence that reference is being made to objects of worship rather than a transcendent figure.[8]

The Hebrew Bible suggests that the poles were made of wood. In the sixth chapter of the Book of Judges, God is recorded as instructing the Israelite judge Gideon to cut down an Asherah pole that was next to an altar to Baal. The wood was to be used for a burnt offering.

Deuteronomy 16:21 states that YHWH (rendered as "the Lord") hated Asherim whether rendered as poles: "Do not set up any [wooden] Asherah [pole][9] beside the altar you build to the Lord your God" or as living trees: "You shall not plant any tree as an Asherah beside the altar of the Lord your God which you shall make".[10] That Asherahs were not always living trees is shown in 1 Kings 14:23: "their asherim, beside every luxuriant tree".[11] However, the record indicates that the Jewish people often departed from this ideal. For example, King Manasseh placed an Asherah pole in the Holy Temple (2 Kings 21:7). King Josiah's reforms in the late 7th century BC included the destruction of many Asherah poles (2 Kings 23:14).

Exodus 34:13 states: "Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and cut down their Asherim [Asherah poles]."


Asherah poles in biblical archaeology

Some biblical archaeologists have suggested that until the 6th century BC the Israelite peoples had household shrines, or at least figurines, of Asherah,[12] which are strikingly common in the archaeological remains.[13]

Raphael Patai identified the pillar figurines with Asherah[14] in The Hebrew Goddess.

See also

• Baal
• Pole worship


1. Sarah Iles Johnston, ed. Religions of the Ancient World, (Belnap Press, Harvard) 2004, p. 418; the book-length scholarly treatment is W.L. Reed, The Asherah in the Old Testament (Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press) 1949; the connection of the pillar figurines with Asherah was made by Raphael Patai in The Hebrew Goddess(1967)
2. Summarized and sharply criticized in Raz Kletter's The Judean Pillar-Figurines and the Archaeology of Asherah (Oxford: Tempus Reparatum), 1996; Kletter gives a catalogue of material remains.
3. W.G. Dever, "Asherah, Consort of Yahweh? New Evidence from Kuntillet ʿAjrûd" Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research,1984; D.N. Freedman, "Yahweh of Samaria and his Asherah", The Biblical Archaeologist, 1987; Morton Smith, "God Male and Female in the Old Testament: Yahweh and his Asherah" Theological Studies, 1987; J.M. Hadley "The Khirbet el-Qom Inscription", Vetus Testamentum, 1987
4. Day 1986, pp. 401–04.
5. William G. Dever, Did God have a wife?: Archaeology and folk religion in ancient Israel, 2005, esp. pp
6. Shmuel Ahituv (2006), Did God have a wife?, Biblical Archaeology Review, Book Review
7. Day 1986, p. 401.
8. van der Toorn, Becking, van der Horst (1999), Dictionary of Deities and Demons in The Bible, Second Extensively Revised Edition, pp. 99-105, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, ISBN 0-8028-2491-9
9. Wooden and pole are translators' interpolations in the text, which makes no such characterisation of Asherah.
10. Various translations of Deuteronomy 16.21 compared.
11. Day 1986, p. 402 – "Which would be odd if the Asherim were themselves trees", noting that there is general agreement that the asherim were man-made objects
12. Neill, James (2008). The origins and role of same-sex relations in human societies. McFarland. p. 96. ISBN 978-0-7864-3513-5. In fact, the worship of Baal and Asherah persisted among the Israelites for over seven centuries, from the period after the conquest and settlement of Canaan — which most biblical scholars place at around 1400 B.C., to the time of the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar and the exile of the Israelites in Babylon in the 6th century B.C.
13. Finkelstein, Israel, and Silberman, Neil Asher, The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts, ISBN 0-684-86912-8
14. Thompson, Thomas L.; Jayyusi, Salma Khadra, eds. (2003). Jerusalem in ancient history and tradition: Conference in Jordan on 12 - 14 October 2001 (Volume 381 of Journal for the Study of the Old Testament: Supplement Series, Illustrated). London: T & T Clark. p. 139. ISBN 978-0-567-08360-9.


• Day, John (September 1986). "Asherah in the Hebrew Bible and Northwest Semitic Literature". Journal of biblical Literature. 105 (3): 385–408.
Site Admin
Posts: 28781
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am


Return to Religion and Cults

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests