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A young man writing to the ERA asks what truth there is in the arraignment of the Church and her authorities by the combination of sectarian priests known as the Ministerial Association. The short and pointed answer is that there is neither truth nor justification in what that body says.

The ministers pretend to be greatly exercised over statements made in a speech, reported in the newspapers, and recently delivered by Elder Abraham O. Woodruff. In his speech he is reported as having deprecated, among other things, the contemptible agitation which the ministers are carrying on against the Latter-day Saints. He is also said to have stated that they are the "hirelings," who, under a false cloak, stir up strife for the purpose of selfish gain, and at a loss to the people of Utah. They have done little or no spiritual or material work or good for themselves, at the same time have sought to prevent others from doing their duty in these lines. They have brought no capital to the state, own few or no houses, pay little or no taxes, and appear to have no interest except in agitation for ulterior motives.

To these and other truths of a like nature, the ministers have taken exception, and have passed resolutions, apparently for political effect, at which business they seem especially apt, calling upon the senators and the different religious denominations in our country to hear their cry, in order that they may understand "what Christian men and women have to put up with in Utah while standing up for the American flag and for Christian truth and righteousness."

It is these resolutions, printed in the public press, that con

cern our correspondent. There are, doubtless, other young men who have read them, and whose minds are likewise troubled over these accusations, and whose inexperience causes them to ask, Are they true? Are we deceived?

A little thought would easily relieve their minds, and they would · soon come to the same conclusion that many experienced members of the Church have long since arrived at; namely, that it is no uncommon thing for scoundrels to hide under the robe of virtue, and for traitors to prate of loyalty and patriotism, nor for infamous falsehood to dress in the cloak of truth.

So, when these ministers tell you that good people did not come to Utah to spend their money nor develop industries, until after the ministers had established American schools and churches and Christian homes, thereby making the wholesome, social, educational atmosphere into which these good people were willing to come and bring their families,-you should be put on your guard, and look well under that royal word American, that good word Christian, and that robe of pretended social virtue, for wickedness, lies, and corruption. There were just as virtuous men and women in Utah, just as loyal Americans, homes as Christian, hearts as true, and social atmosphere as clear and invigorating, before a sectarian minister set foot in our settlements and cities as there have ever been since. Their presence made little difference, especially for good. The stirring up of strife and dissension by these gentlemen, their denunciation and persecution, all at the expense of other people's happiness, has not altered one whit the loyalty to country, to Christ, to family, to virtue and all truth, entertained by the Latter-day Saints.

Young men need not question this, or take any person's word for it. Go out into our cities and settlements, where these ministers have not established themselves, and compare the conditions there with the conditions that obtain in the cities and settlements where they live, and where their resolutions are formed, and their church bells greet the world, and decide for yourselves. The effect of their alleged great reforming powers is imperceptible.

When they tell you that the incendiary talk of the Latter-day Saints stirs up the hoodlums in our community to disturb the religious services of the Christian churches, one is inclined to declare

that they cover hypocrisy with lies. Every resident of Utah knows well that acts of hoodlumism are neither countenanced nor tolerated by our people; that as far as religious freedom is concerned, we grant all men the right to worship as they will, and protect them in that right. We have opened our tabernacles and meeting houses to all sects who have applied, and every young man is taught to respect all men in their rights and beliefs. Hoodlums are subject to the law of the land, and cannot be too severely punished to suit the Saints.

When they tell you that for twenty years prior to 1890, the only American graded schools among us were carried on under the supervision of ministers of Christian denominations, they proclaim a deceitful and malicious falsehood. They misuse American for anti-"Mormon." Your parents know that there were American schools among us, and many of them graded at that, during those twenty years; and they were not lacking for twenty years prior to the arrival of ministers in our midst. These schools were as good as pioneer conditions would permit, and compare very favorably with pioneer schools in Illinois, Missouri, and Iowa, and even Indiana; and they were American, too, in sentiment, language, conduct, textbooks, and loyalty.

They tell us that calling them "hirelings" comes with poor grace from an apostle who draws quite a salary, and "who represents a large group of Church officials who are supported by the compulsory tithing of the people;" and then go on to say that this charge is all the more out of place because we send out two thousand missionaries in different parts, "who sponge their living from Christian homes."

Every young man knows that tithing is not compulsory. If, in part, it is used for the bare support of those who devote their whole lives to the Church, it must be conceded that it is our own money, voluntarily contributed, and earned by hard and honest labor. We do not traduce a people or any person to get it; we do not act as hypocrites, but preach what we believe; we do not lie about our neighbors to create false sentiments and evil prejudice, to fill our coffers. Our missionaries make their sacrifice willingly, and they do not beg, but accept the gifts of honest men and women in the world, to whom they go out to declare the peaceful message of a

restored gospel, through the revelations of God to man. In fact, they mainly support themselves, out of their own or their friends' savings. They could not be hired to do this; they do it for the love of the cause; for which also the Saints pay their tithing voluntarily. They are willing to make such sacrifices for the truth as no Protestant minister was ever known even to entertain.

When senators and eastern friends are told that the reason the ministers own no land or other property in Utah, is because the apostles and Church leaders have taken it all, and that they, therefore, have no opportunity to obtain real estate, and shares in enterprises and various companies, and for that reason have no taxes to pay, no man will be misled by their malicious guile. Every resident of Utah knows that the stocks of every corporation formed here, in which Church people are interested, are on sale in the open market. There are still millions of acres of unappropriated government land in Utah; there are many deserts waiting for the touch of water to make them fruitful; reservoirs are still to be built; orchards and fields to be planted and cultivated; mines to be developed; industries to be established; homes, churches, settlements to be reared; in all these things we have only begun to touch the possibilities of our resources. Let the ministers, like the Latter-day Saints and their officers and missionaries, take off their coats, and, like the Saints, in connection with their spiritual labors, go to work. There is room for all in this great enterprise and state. Will they do it? No; they will continue to beg while the work is going on; and, after these things are done, they will live on the hard earnings of others, stirring up strife to create false sentiments and feelings in the hearts of the uninformed. They will not combine practical works with their religious theorie lieving not in practical religion, and that the Christianity that is of value in this world is that which applies to our daily mortal lives as well as to our spiritual lives hereafter.

The Saints and their leaders have redeemed the waste places, founded Christian homes, churches, and schools; established industries because of the very nature of their necessities. Why should they not be permitted to enjoy the fruits of their toil, and why be sneered at and condemned for their energy and enterprise, and especially by men who prove themselves to be hypocrites and liars,

who live on what others have produced? Are the Saints to be condemned because they have appropriated the land, paid for it by hard labor, cultivated and made the best out of it by their united strength, under the inspired direction of wise leaders? It will be noted that it is not the people who are complaining, for they have been assisted in many ways to better themselves by such leaders; but it is the ministers, who have no interest whatever, either in our material or spiritual advancement. And then again, are such leaders to be condemned because they have directed and led the way in these things? Had they not done so, whence would our enterprises, our temporal salvation, have come? Never by the help of sectarian ministers, that much is true, at least.

No; young man, you need not be troubled over ministerial accusations against this people, nor over what the people of the world say against us. I have no fears for the Church from these sources, but I confess I have fears when our young men begin to weaken, and to take sides against their fathers; to profess to think that the priesthood is selfish and self-seeking; to follow lies and accusations rather than plain truth; to join in derision against the leaders of the Saints, and to laugh when unfriendly editors and ministers hold them up to ridicule. I fear, when young men deny the truth and follow falsehood; when they become self-sufficient, unvirtuous, worldly and proud; when the sterling qualities of their fathers are derided by them; when they seek the plaudits of men of the world, rather than the kingdom of God and his righteousness.

There is no genuine truth in the arraignment of the Church and her officers by the ministers, but much to you, young men, in the way you look upon it, and in your acts and decisions. Especially, without careful consideration, should you pay no attention to the accusation of ministers, to whom with force the sentiment of Emerson applies: "We want men and women who shall renovate life and our social state, but we see that most natures are insolvent-cannot satisfy their own wants, have an ambition out of all proportion to their practical force, and so do lean and beg day and night continually."

I say that nothing can bring peace to our young men in this world save the triumph of the principles of truth which have been

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