160 years ago today - Jul 13, 1859

[Apostle Wilford Woodruff Journal]
President Young invited me to meet at his House at 2 oclok as He was going to have an interview with Horace Greely.

I met agreeable to invitation. I Found Mr Greely A Singular looking man. He was midling well dressed white but bald Headed. His head vary dirty. Looked as though He had not washed his Head since He Came off the plains. He had quite a feminine soft green appearance. He asked many Question.

Questions Asked By Horace Greely & Answered

By Brigham Young

At 2 oclock P.M. The following Persons met at President Youngs upper Room Lion House in the Mansion: B Young H. C. Kimball D H. Wells J. M. Bernhisel W Woodruff S M Blair H Stout A Carrington J. Ferguson Elias Smith, & Horace Greely Editor of the Tribune when the following Conversation took place after the Company was introduced to Mr Greely by the Hon J. M. Bernhisel. Also Joseph & Brigham Young jr. was introduced But they soon left.

Mr Greely asked Presidet Young what is the difference between your religion & Church from the Christian world?

B.Y. The difference between us is that we believe that No Church is the Church of God, who has not the Holy Priesthood. We have the Priesthood & the sects of the day have not got it. The Lord has delivered the Priesthood unto us & without the priesthood no man has authority to administer in the ordinances of the gospel.

G. Do you believe in faith & what is it?

B.Y. We do. Paul said it was the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.

G. What do you Believe about slavery?

BY. We believe what the Bible sayes about it. There was a Curse put upon Cain & his seed & that Curse will remain untill it is taken off. They were to be servants.

G. Is this a slave territory or are there slaves here?

Y. There is slaves here or have been from time to time.

G. Then this would become a slave state would it not if it was admitted?

Y. No the Climate & situation would not admit of it. Slavery is a thing I do not want any thing to do with it. I Consider it more of a Course to a man to have slaves than a Blessing.

G. So I think. Do you tithe the people if so what for?

Y. Yes one tenth to Build Temples, & to Feed the poor and I want you to understand one thing & I want you to write it just as I tell you & that is I do not have so much as one Cabbage or ear of Corn of the tithing ownly what I pay for.

G. Do you have a salary?

Y. No sir not one cent.

G. Then how do you get your living?

Y. I would think myself a poor financeer if I Could not work for Nothing & keep myself. There is No man from the Highest to the lowest in the Church that Has a salary. The Presidency, Twelve Seventies & all the Elders who labour for the interest of the Church do it without a salary. The Elders travel the world over as it were & go without purse or scrip or money & all preach without a salary.

While building a Temple in Kirtland we had a Committee of three who spent there whole time. They were allowed $1 per day each man. We had a Committee of three in building the Nauvoo Temple. They had $2 per day each. I do not know of any other who have a salary. Joseph Smith one gave H. C. Kimball Credit of $2 on Book for some labour. Brother Kimball had it taken off. Said he would not have a Credit for it.

We have appointed a Committee of one Mr D. H. Wells to superintend the building of a Temple here. He has No salary. I prefer a Committee of one instead of any more to transact any kind of business if I want to do it with dispatch. Then he does not have others to Council but Can act upon his own judgment.

We hire men /& clerks/ to work in the Church who spend all there time as day labourers. We pay them wages.

G. Do not the Bishops have salarys?

Y. No Sir.

[G.] Are all the Mormons under obligation to gather together and upon what principle are they required to gather?

Y. Yes we Consider ourselves under obligation to gather together By the Commandments of God. The Bible teaches the subjet of the Gathering in the last days.

G. We have understood that the Bible teaches the Jews to gather to old Jerrusalem.

Y. Yes & it also teaches the Saints to gather to Zion.

G. Do you think there Can be any Collision between the Mormons & the United States?

Y. Not if they let us alone & do not persecute us more than we are able to bear, but they Can Croud us to a point which would make a Collission.

[G.] What was the Cause of so much oposition to Joseph Smith? They accused him of stealing Horses & Cattle & doing much Evil. Now the Methodist used to be much opposed & were vary unpopular. But I do not recollet of hearing them accused of such Crimes as the Mormons are. I am vary unpopular in my religion. I am a whole souled Universalist yet we are not accused of such crimes & I do not recollet that the Saints were in the days of Christ.

B.Y. I think sin. If you will look carefully at the History of Christ & the Apostles you will find that all manner of Evil was spoken against them falsly. As to Joseph Smth he was a good man & he was persecuted even unto death because he did do good. He passed through over 30 law suits got up by his enemies & it was shown in evry instance that He was innocent & it was got up through persecution.

G. What are the Danites and what information Can you give me Concerning them?

Y. I Cannot give you any information Conserning them. You will have to [be] enquiring of our Enemies & they can tell you all about it. We know nothing about any Danites. We have no such society or Company among us.

G. You are accused of many Crimes.

Y. And so were the saints in the days of Christ & the Apostles. Evry exertion has been made from the begining to Bring some accusation against us. While trying Joseph in Missouri before Judge A King He asked Joseph if he believed in the se[tling?] of the kingdom in the last days that the prophet Daniel spoke of. Joseph said he believed what the Bible said about it. The Judge said Clerk put that down. That is treason. Col Donaphen who was Josephs Lawyier said you had better make the bible treason & [be] don with it. In the days of Christ the Jews said if we let him alone he will Come & take away our state & Nation. That is what our enemies are afraid of now that we shall esstablish the kingdom of God.

G. Do you believe in infant sprinkling?

Y. No we baptize Believers By emersion.

G. Do you believe in any New doctrin?

Y. No none ownly what the Bible & Book of mormon teaches. Have you not read the Book of Mormon?

G. But vary little of it. How extensive are miracle in the Church & are they Confined to the leaders of the Church?

Y. They are as extensive as it is the will of God to give. They are not Confined to the Head But all Elders lay hands upon the sick when Called upon and the sick are often healed.

G. Yes but some die I suppose.

Y. Yes the saints & sinners have died in every age. Death has passed upon all mankind & they Cannot escape it.

G. Your doctrin of Polygamy is not that against the Bible? Paul said A Bishop should have one wife.

Y. That is Correct Doctrin. You should not take a single man for a Bishop. He should at least have one wife. But Paul did not say that he should not have but one. There is nothing in Pauls words against his having a dozen.

[G.] How many wives has any one man had in the Church?

BY. I suppose I have as many as any one man. I have some 15. I have some aged women sealed to me upon the principle of sealing which I no more think of making a wife of than I would my Grand Mother.

G. Has it been long that Poligamy has been practiced in the Church?

Y. It has been practiced for some 16 years. Have you not read the revelation given upon that subject?

G. I have not. I think it has not been published till late. Did Joseph Smith have more than one wife?

Y. The revelation was published in Aug 1852. Joseph Smith had more than one wife.

G. How do the women receive the Doctrin?

Y. Quite as well as the men. I do not think there is a woman in the Church that opposed it more than I did in my feelings. How many wives have you Mr Greely?

G. Ownly one.

H.C.K. How many Misses do you keep?

G. Not any.

BY. I do not think their is a member of the Church in this room that has had any Connexion with a woman except his wife. If Mr Greely Can say as much, then I think you are virtuous. (He did not answer it.)

G. I would like to visit your Schools while here. Do you have free schools? Do the Church pay for the schooling of all the Children?

Y. No all pay their own schooling at present.

G. I hear that the church is rich.

Y. The Church have some buildings here.

G. While Journeying here it was reported that the animals of the emigrating trains belonged to the Church.

Y. They are not Church animals. They belong to members of the Church probably.

G. Were not the leaders of the Church poor? You say you have no salary. You seem to be wealthy. I do not see how you get your property.

B.Y. I gathered some property in kirtland. I earned it with my hands except half of a pig which weighed 90 lbs which Joseph Gave me. We had to leave kirtland through persecution. I Came to Nauvoo with nothing. I there got a property through my labor & the Blessings of God.

We were driven from our property there & I had to Borrow to get here & now my Property I suppose is worth some three hundred thousand dollars. And you may ask any man in heaven Earth or Hell, if I have wronged him out of a dollar and if you Can find such a man I will make it right. I have wronged No man. I have paid for what I have had as I have said I do not have as much as an Ear of Corn out of the tithing office ownly what I pay for. I Borrowed money to help the poor when I Came here and I want you to write my statement as I give it for it is true as the son.

I financeer my affairs according to the wisdom God has given me & I trust to him & he alone gives me my increase. There are fears here that there will not any potatoes grow. I shall look for potatoes when it is time to dig them. I do so with all my business. The Lord kan make me rich or poor Just as he pleases. I Care not a groat for all the gold & silver in the world and Jesus Christ did not.

G. The leaders of the Church must have some advantage. The City lots here sold for some price. Did it not go to the leaders of the Church?

Y. No all the setlers paid for their City lots was $1.50. $1 to the Surveyor Mr Sherwood & 50 cts to Thomas Bullock the recorder.

G. How do you get farmes here?

Y. The land belongs to the United States and all the Claim setlers have is possession and improvements. When men take up unsurveyed lands they pay the surveyors fees & when they buy improvements they pay for them according to there value, & what they produce all men like to speculate more or less & men are apt to get what they Can.

G. I Calculate that I am about the ownly man who speculates who has not bought some land in the western Country, or a City lot. Many who have speculated in land have become poor. You have had two or three split off. How do you Consider them?

Y. The same as all apostates.

G. Do the Bishops make Bishops or how is itdone?

Y. The people meet in Conference and if they want a man to preside over them as a Bishop they vote for him and he is ordained a Bishop to preside over them.

G. Can the people reduce a Bishop to the laity?

Y. The people Can remove a Bishop from presiding over them by a vote & chuse the one they wish.

G. Who is the President of the Church?

Y. You know that I am the Presidet of the Church. I have my two Councellors. Mr Kimball & Wells here are my Councellors. Then we have Twelve Apostles & Seventies & various Quorums in our organization.

G. My neighbors religion does not trouble me any how & I see no particular harm in your religion and I am glad to learn so much from you about the rule management, & organization of your Church. I now know much more about your Church than I ever have before. How many Clergy men of other sects have Joined your Church?

Y. Not a great many & they are not often worth much when they do Join. For the Clergy men Doctors & Lawyiers make about as poor Saints as any Class of men we have for they do not like to work much & the mormons work for a living and I believe I am about the ownly man who does not work.

G. I think there is not many Editors Come among you by the looks of the papers published here.

Y. No and if they should we should be careful not to Employ them to publish for us.

G. I think it would be a good plan to sow the Canida thistle all over the sage plains & deserts. It would renevate the soil & make food for Cattle.

Y. If that is your opinion pray dont tell the people of it for you Could not introduce a worse plague. If the people was to introduce Canida Thistles it would Come Nearer to driving out the mormons from the Country than any thing els. They would ruin any Country.

G. O I think they would be a great Benefit & if they got into your grass & farming land you Can eisily kill them by mowing & salting them.

Y. I think not.

G. I think the Army was sent here esspecially for your Benefit & the Benefit of Wardle & Russel. You are getting rich through the army.

Y. The people are making money from that source. They introduce money, Cattle, waggons Horses & Mules. The people buy the waggons for the Irons for $15 or $20 of the largest Class, Containing some 6 or 800 lbs which is quite a help to the Country whare Irons is scearce.

G. The whole Country is lined with Iron. There is many miles of Chains & if I lived in the Country I would pick it up & Cash it.

Y. The Government would claim it.

G. I would give them so many days Notice then to take it out of the way & if they did not do it I would take it myself. There is more good timber in one of those large freight waggons than grows in this whole Territory. I dont believe in your having a Famine or that there is going to be any Famine.

Y. What do you refer to?

G. I see it published in the Deseret News.

Y. Yes you refer to Orson Hydes Famine sermon.

G. We had 2 frost in the states & it was reported that evry thing was killed on the 11 June in the North But I do not think that the frosted district was vary extensive.

[Y.] We are improving evry year in agricultural pursuits & when we get all the [Dr?] & Lawyiers to work we shall raise all you want. I dont think we shall have any Famine.

I have travelled through many parts of Europe. They are Capable of raising much food. I think Lombardy with its irrigation is the richest part of Europe.

[G.] Mr Young I shall have to state in my report that I Consider your system of poligamy is reducing the female Here to the oriental state. I see no Chance for the female here for her to develop herself. I see no Female signs out in this City. I see no Chance for a woman ownly to be a first or fifteenth wife.

Y. A woman here has all the Chance or liberty here to develop her talent or Capabilities of doing good & filling her sphere that she has in any Country But I do not want any woman to Council & dictate me in the direction of my affairs. If I did I should think I ought to have been made a woman.

G. I dont Care whether a person is man or woman. I think they should have the privilege of Developing their Talent. It is well enough for a woman to bear Children But I think they ought to rule when they are Capable of it. Queen Elizabeth was the grea[test?] Ruler England Had And Catherine was one of the greatest Soyreigns of Russia But Poligamy I think has a tendency to bury up the talent of women.

H.C.K. Is it worse to be a mans second wife than to be a whore?

G. I dont know that it is.

Here Mr Greely Closed his interigations, Took his hat Bowed to the Company & retired.

After Mr Greely left Conversation turned upon the opposition of our enemies. Presidet Young said the Lord has said he would fight our Battles & give us the victory & he has done it thus Far. Should the Lord say now draw the sword & fight many would Cut their way through an Enemy & turn around & fight over the spoil. This would gratify two many evil hearts and that would not do.

President Kimball said God holds Gov Cummings to do his will for us. If he was to let go of him he would be our bitter Enemy.

[Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

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