The Mormons, by H. T. Buckle

Looking upon the world, the voyager through space discerns vast tracts of land, uninhabited barren wastes, and immense forests echoing only the tread of the wild beast and the cries of birds of prey.

It becomes the duty of the political economist to reclaim these lands and place them in the hands of civilization.

How is this to be done? Shall it be by following in the beaten track of custom? No: it can only be accomplished by the zeal of the enthusiast.

Joe Smith was an inspired man; even as Columbus was he inspired. Through his agency a colony was started near the dismal Salt Lake. Through his agency, and by the aid of his apostles or followers, the hardy men and women from the overcrowded population of Europe, cramped by man, and priest-ridden, have been brought across the ocean into republican America. They have been placed in this seemingly unpropitious Salt Lake country. There they have founded a city; they have erected factories and mills. The steam engine, the plow, and the sewing machine have aided them; and now, in place of a company of barbarous peasants, ignorant and benighted, and steeped in poverty, you find them transformed into energetic, intelligent citizens, surrounded with comforts and luxuries.

And all this has been brought about by a religious enthusiast; by an enthusiast whose religion is believed to be inferior to the religion of Protestants.

Imagine for a moment what result would ensue from a movement of this kind set on foot by the followers of the Protestant religion as it is taught by the churches of the present day. No theatres or places of amusement would add gayety to the sombre city. The dance and the sound of mirth would be hushed. The inhabitants would walk ever in solemn fear of the awful future that might await them; they would despise their physical frames, crucify their passions, and trample under foot the most divine attributes of their nature.

But the religion of the Mormons is a natural religion; it is primitive.
They people the world even as God peopled it in the time of Abraham and
Isaac.

They enrich the state by their tithes. They bring in their corn, their wine, and their fruits, as offerings, and the state pays them back by improving their roads and building houses for instruction and pleasure for them.

Their domestic system, which has been so much despised and ridiculed, does not greatly differ from the custom of the civilized world. Such as are wives with them become with you the neglected women of the town. What with you is considered dishonorable, with them becomes honorable.

The man of wealth in Utah does not concentrate his riches on a few relatives; he distributes it among his many wives and numerous children. In all times, nations which have grown rapidly and have been developed in arts and sciences have been peopled in the same manner. The female element introduces into a community taste, ornament, and grace. Look at California previous to the emigration of women to that land! Misrule and misery reigned. It is a law of nature that men and women should be united. In the present form of civilization, a large proportion of women are compelled to remain single, and their usefulness to community and humanity is dissipated. The Mormon system eradicates this evil.

The progress of civilization points to a time when a magnetic relation shall be established between all the inhabitants of earth; when the globe shall form one vast circle of mind as it does now of matter. At present the chain is broken; the intermediate spaces are not filled up by population. The spirit world is using all its skill to bring about this magnetic connection, but till this is complete the magnetic relation between the spirit world and earth cannot be perfect.

Wise intelligences in the world of spirits have originated and guided the Mormon movement, and these intelligences will develop new communities under similar auspices. The legislators of the land, the Napoleons of the day, would do well to investigate the policy of the leaders of Utah.

The crimes common in your large cities are not known among the Mormons. They live on friendly terms with the red men of the plains, and are just in their dealings.

Each citizen is taught that the public welfare is his own welfare. In your own large towns the citizens shirk public duties; but in Utah there is a oneness of feeling, which it would be well for those who consider themselves superior in the scale of civilization to imitate.