Salt Lake Daily Tribune, Tuesday Morning, January 25, 1876

THE PRIESTHOOD ARRAIGNED

We find space to-day for Rev. Mr. Lylord's lecture delivered in the First M. E. Church on Sunday evening. It is, perhaps, the most severe arraignment of the Mormon priesthood that ever was made in a public discourse. His facts are gathered from authorities whose credibility is not to be doubted, and many of the assassinations he so hurriedly recapitulates are still matter of notoriety in the localities where the bloody deeds were perpetrated. His incentive to this labor, as the preacher explains in his lecture, is the vituperation that has been poured upon his head by the Mormon priesthood and their slavish journals during his three years ministration in Utah, and to rebut the charge, so constantly repeated that he has wantonly stirred up strife in a community exceptional for its peaceful, law-abiding habits.

The Mormon scribes and their jack Mormon aiders and abettors of whom John Codman is a shining example, have a great fondness for resorting to figures to show that deeds of violence are less frequent in the Latter-day community than in other pioneer populations of equal number. Such a statement is glaringly untrue, as comparative figures will show. It is estimated that no less than six hundred murders have been committed by the Mormons, in nearly every case at the instigation of their priestly leaders, during their occupation of this Territory. Giving a mean average of fifty thousand persons professing that faith resident in Utah, we have a murder committed every year to every twenty five hundred of population. The same ratio of crime extended to the population of the United States would give sixteen thousand murders every year and to the British Isles 13,800 murders annually. The record of crime in these two countries shows a minute fraction of that ratio.

But these figures do not show the full enormity of the case. In every country a certain proportion of ignorance exists which takes revenge upon society with an outgrowth of violence and crime. But the efforts of the government in all these countries are directed to dispel this ignorance by the diffusion of education, and repress crime by punishing criminals. But in Utah the shedding of blood is urged upon an ignorant, fanatical people by teachers, who claim infallibility, as a religious duty. Federal Judges and other officers of the law who have honestly and fearlessly set about the task of bringing known criminals to justice, have been paralyzed with the discovery that the whole community were in sympathy with these offenders, and that no amount of evidence produced would induce juries to indict or convict. Such was Judge Cradlebaugh's experience when he held court in Provo, as the preacher shows in his narrative. And such was Judge McKean's experience when Mr. Baskin, acting as prosecuting attorney, procured indictments for murder against Brigham Young, Daniel H. Wells and other chief priests and rulers. Day after day the court house was thronged with armed and fanatical ruffians, whose object was by threats and intimidation to deter the court from proceeding with its duty. And at Beaver, during the trial of John d. Lee, the sympathy of the populace was openly with the prisoner. A swarm of glowering faces was present in the court-room during the trial, threats were made upon the street of violence to the United States Marshall and the chief witnesses for the prosecution, and the city of Beaver band serenaded the red-handed assassin in his cell.

Under such influence, the tendency to violence is constantly on the increase, and with the crazy notion dinned into the ears of an uninquiring community at every religious gathering, that the whole unregenerate human race is doomed to speedy destruction in order that God's chosen people may attain to universal dominion, it is easy to understand how a fanatical sect can be readily taught to believe that the "using up" of a few hundred obnoxious individuals is only aiding the Lord in His work, and that murder and spoilation are the most acceptable offerings that can be made to an offended Deity.

The object of the preacher, as he makes known in his lecture, is not so much to bring the attention of his audience to the long catalogue of crimes which reddens the annals of Utah, as to arouse the attention of the American people to the flagitious* character of the Mormon priesthood, and the dangerous and blood-thirsty nature of the doctrines they inculcate. Outside of Utah it is popularly supposed that the filthy practice of polygamy is our only social bane. Whereas the truth is, that serious and debasing as are the effects of this twin relic of barbarism, this is the least of our evils. So foul a crime could never be tolerated by any people possessed of a healthy and correct sentiment; but as this is only a symptom of the religio-moral disease which effects "this people," that would die with the restoration of health to the body public.

What is required of the American people is first to disabuse themselves of the belief, so insidiously inculcated by the few and feeble Mormon priests and the lying tramps sent to propagand among the heathen, that the non-Mormons in Utah are a set of greedy adventurers whose sole object in raising a clamor against God's chosen people is to bring persecution upon their victim's heads, in order that they may seize upon their fertile farms and peaceful homes. When we rebut this lie by asserting that in Salt Lake-which is Utah, the sane as Paris is France-there is a high order of culture among the Gentile element, that they are liberal in the support of churches , schools and useful literature, we assert a truth which will be corroborated by thousands of travelers who have looked in upon Zion and have not been caught by the blandishments of Brigham's intrusive courtiers. The vast mineral wealth of Utah has brought hither capital and enterprise from the States and from Europe; and it is safe to say that if the best farms in Utah were offered to any one of this class, with the ceaseless labor of irrigation and the absence of railroads, on condition of his living upon it, not one could be found to accept the gift. All that we ask of Congress is an election law that will secure a free expression of the popular will at the polls; and all we ask of the Administration is to sustain fearless and incorruptible judges and other officials in the honest performance of their duty. Or if marplot** hands must be laid upon the execution of the laws in Utah, and judicial causes decided in our courts must be appealed to the Cabinet, that the President will send us men free from the taint of corruption, and who have the will to do right without regard to the political air that reaches them from Washington. To solve this vexed Utah question, we only ask a free ballot, an amended jury law, and administrative support of men who honestly perform their duties. If Judge McKean had been retained on the bench, the corrupt and law enslaving Mormon priesthood would ere now have been curbed in their soul-curbing exercise of power; but this humiliation*** at the most critical moment has encouraged them in their lawlessness, and plunged the loyal element in Utah into hopeless confusion.
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*fla-gi-tious (fle-jish-es) adj.
1. Characterized by extremely brutal or cruel crimes; vicious.

**mar-plot (mär-plot) n.
A stupid, officious meddler whose interference compromises the success of an undertaking. [After Marplot, a character in The Busy Body, a play by Susannah Centlivre (1669-1723).]

***Presumably the unseating of Judge McKean??