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states, by their commercial clubs and governors, were quite pronounced in favor of the canal, and the adoption of the treaty with Panama. This division in the Democratic party gave the fullest assurance of its ratification. Its opponents, however, in their surrender, are endeavoring to make their defeat as agreeable as possible by the introduction of some slight, and not very material, amendments. The amendments now can mean nothing more than delay, so that the country is beginning to look upon the early construction of this great waterway as a foregone conclusion.
Will Congress do it?
A recent movement has been set on foot by the Grand Army of the Republic to secure a pension for every man who has served his country in the Civil War. This movement is said to have the indorsement of President Roosevelt and a number of leading Republicans. It is not possible to say now just what additional expense such a pension law would entail upon the federal government. Various estimates have been given out; however, it is safe to say that it might increase our expenditures at the rate of $60,000,000 a year. At present our annual pensions amount to $140,000,000 in round numbers; this would make the total for pensions $200,000,000 per year.
The Grand Army of the Republic is a numerous and powerful organization whose demands cannot easily be brushed aside. Should the party in power thus enlarge its pension list, its opponents will not be slow to make the accusation that the additional $60,000,000 was simply a stupendous campaign fund, so that pension extravagance may be an additional issue in the coming campaign. At present the demand for this enlarged pension is wholly within the realms of speculation, and people are asking themselves, Will Congress do it? It is hardly likely that the party in power will care to increase its annual burdens so enormously at the opening of a presidential campaign.
A SENSELESS CAMPAIGN.
Just now there seems to be a general, united uprising of the religious denominations against the Latter-day Saints. The excuse for the turmoil is the election of Hon. Reed Smoot to the Senate of the United States,-not by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints, but by the Legislature and people of the sovereign state of Utah. Every woman's organization in the country is up in arms; churches and religious societies are all vigorously united in a crusade against the Church of Christ. Petitions have come from all parts of the country to overwhelm the Senate, asking for the expulsion of Senator Smoot from that body. The whole campaign is generaled by a coterie of ministers. Back of the agitators, hiding behind them, stand these "shepherds of the flocks," dabbling in dirty politics in the name of purity, with all their might and strength.
Is the campaign justified? The charges against Mr. Smoot are that he is a polygamist, and especially that he is an active officer in the church to which he belongs, and to which it is alleged he acknowledges allegiance superior to that which he owes to the United States government. The first charge is generally conceded to be false, even by the misled petitioners and their agitating ministerial generals. The only charge, then, is that he is a "Mormon," and, being so, the question is, whether he is prohibited from holding office under the government; whether belief in his religion is irreconcilable with American citizenship; whether he owes his church an allegiance which is in conflict with his allegiance to the
government of our country.
Happily in this country there is religious freedom, and it is well that it should be so, otherwise toleration would die; hence, that Senator Smoot is a Latter-day Saint is no disqualification. His religious belief is no more the business of the Senate or the American people, or the ministers and their adherents, than is the religious belief of Senators Dubois, McComas, Depew, or Hoar.
Personally, he is a good, conscientious, able, temperate man, quite the peer of the petitioners and their generals in moral purity and social standing: hence this does not stand in his way. His religion and personality, under these conditions, cannot act as a bar. He is a law-abiding citizen of the United States, and of the state in which he was elected-truthful, moral, upright, with no tarnish on his name. He was elected in the proper way to his honored position, and there was not the least shadow of doubt or suspicion cast on the method of his election. There was no money or other undue influence used, and no person can truthfully accuse him or the legislature which elected him, of any fraud or irregularity. His was among the cleanest elections, if not the cleanest election, in the whole country, held to elect men to the exalted office of Senator of the United States. His religion teaches loyalty to God, to government, and all those virtues which go to make up the personality of the senator, a belief in which is surely not irreconcilable with true American citizenship.
All churches claim to be divinely appointed, and place God above country, and any man who renders true homage to God, cannot break the law, for he lives above it. No man can be a good Latter-day Saint and not be true to the best interests and general welfare of his country. After all these years, it is folly to say that the Church is antagonistic to the national government. The part which our people took in the Mexican and SpanishAmerican wars should be enough to eternally brand such statement false. The allegiance claimed from its members by the Church does not prevent a member from being a loyal citizen of the nation. It rather aids him; fidelity to the Church enables a man better to entertain patriotic allegiance to his nation and country. There is nothing required of a Latter-day Saint that can in any way be construed to militate against loyalty to the nation, and for that reason Senator Smoot is under no obligations to the Church
that can come in conflict with his fealty to country. It is plain that the campaign of the ministers is unjustified.
Why, then, do they carry it on? It is to fight the Church to which Senator Smoot belongs, over his head. The fact that he holds the priesthood is gall and wormwood to them. They fight him to get an opportunity to oppose the work of the Lord. And they antagonize the Saints because they believe in revelation, and choose to worship God in the way that Christ commanded when he established the Church upon the earth; and for the further reason that the Saints refuse to acknowledge these priests as spiritual leaders. For these reasons they combine together and seek to place the Latter-day Saints under a political ban. They are unjustified. The Church is not in politics. It did not elect Senator Smoot. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Christ; to help the needy; to do good to all men-not to control politics. The Latterday Saints entertain individual views as to politics, to which they have a right; and are entitled to them as much as the petitioners are to theirs. The Saints do not vote as one party, and do not even combine politically to fight their enemies, a course which the ministers and their congregations have not only recently pursued in Utah, but which they are now pursuing in seeking to stir up political frenzy in Congress and the nation, by accusing the Saints of disloyalty, treachery, and all manner of unworthiness, when the facts are that their history proves them to have been loyal, honest and worthy, in every test to which they have been subjected.
Furthermore, it is a ridiculous farce to ask Congress to investigate and report upon the moral condition of a church, in order to determine whether a United States Senator, against whom no wrong can be found, and who was regularly elected, is entitled to his seat in the Senate. If the laws are broken by individuals of the Church, such individuals are amenable to the laws; but what bearing their shortcomings may have upon the seating of a senator from the state in which they live, only the enemies of the Church appear to comprehend. Justice and common sense can see no related connection.
It is a dangerous precedent which the agitators are seeking to establish. If the Latter-day Saints are proscribed today, what
sect will next be assailed by the spirit of proscription? If a combination of church people shall succeed this year in placing a ban upon Senator Smoot because he is a Latter-day Saint, what evidence have we that this religious combination shall not next year place a similar ban upon an adherent of some other unpopular denomination? To what will the efforts of this religious league, in the nation, lead? What will be the result? What the end?
One thing is certain: this determination of its enemies to make war on the Church, while it may result in temporary disadvantage, annoyance, petty persecution, and bitter hatred, will in the end, when the truth concerning us shall be laid bare, as it will be by investigation and time, result in growth, benefit and blessing to the work of God. In this truth, the missionaries abroad, the young people at home, and the members of the Church in general, may find consoling comfort.
JOSEPH F. SMITH.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS.
Concerning the Creation.
A correspondent writing from Menan speaks of the order of creation, and objects to a statement in the Junior Manual on this point. It must be stated that the text of the manual is very short, and teachers are expected to add facts not always found in the text, but to be obtained from other authorized books upon the subject. The correspondent is undoubtedly correct in his statement, and the text of the manual should be interpreted to conform with the views held by the Prophet Joseph, in the Pearl of Great Price. Here is the letter:
"I was looking over the manual for the junior class of the M. I. A. this evening, and noticed in the first paragraph this statement: 'Last of all came beasts, insects, and animal life generally, with man to crown the whole work of creation.' The order of creation here put forth is the order given in the first chapter of Genesis, and if we were to stop here, this would seem to be quite correct. But when we take up the second chapter, beginning