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The Diary of James Brogden, August 1871 – December 1872

9-10 September 1871

9-10 September 1871

On Saturday the 9th we awoke in the Desert, a desolate and dreary Sahara, - arriving at Utah in the evening we proceeded to the Salt Lake City where we stayed over Sunday. We went to the Tabernacle of the Mormons to their service and had their faith proclaimed, as the Apostle Woodruff stated, especially for the benefit of the Gentiles. His explanation was that above and beyond the Bible and its teachings, a Revelation was given to Joseph Smith, and a further light given to the World; that, as in the days of old, revelations were given directly to man so now to the Latter Day Saints he reveals to Brigham Young his Will. To prove that the Saints were under especial care, he referred to their previous settlement at Nauvoo, in Illinois, - to the development of their industry there, and the building of their town – proving by their subsequent persecution and expulsion. God love and care; - and likening the wonderful exodus from Nauvoo, the preservation and march of the Saints thro’ the Deserts to the Plains of Utah, the conversion of arid plains into wondrous fertility, to the march of the Children of Israel to the Promised Land. He said the Gentiles might go on in unbelief – but here were a people happy and prosperous. A part of the necessary teaching and faith is that no idleness is permitted – all must work. He said the Saints invited people to come and see and hear for themselves. Had it not been revealed to Brigham Young that a way was to be opened across the page 13 desert; and had not the Saints made 400 miles of the most difficult part of the Pacific Railway, which in fact could not have been made without them? Had they not tamed the Indian by kindness and carried food for the constructors during the progress of the Works? And when a second revelation came to Brigham Young they made the Railway from Utah to the Salt Lake City. It appears, however, that Brigham Young undertook to construct 400 miles on the part of the Saints (for, it must be remembered, their Church property is enormous in value. The Land and City belong to the community, and as everyone still pays one-tenth of his earnings to the Church, the revenue is very large. The affairs are governed by Brigham Young aided by the 12 apostles). However, the construction of the Railway was found not to pay, - and after they had made 40 miles, they left the Gentiles to finish it themselves.

I was struck with the simplicity of the people so far as I saw them. – They don’t shew education! The older men appear to be respectable laboring men. The Tabernacle will hold 14,000 persons seated- about 6,000 were present on the morning we were there. I believe but few duplicate marriages take place now; - and it would appear most unjust and unwise for the United States Govt. to interfere and stop the industries of this strange sect. We had also an Exposition from a Young Missionary just arrived from England who said that the Saints compared excellently well morally with the Gentiles; - and added that the mission in England was progressing favourably.