100 years ago today - Mar. 15, Tues. [1920]

[James E. Talmage]
[Springville] I then went to the home of Mrs. Crandall, to meet her daughter, Mrs. Erma Gudmundson, who appears to have been a victim of many painful conditions arising from the immoral state of affairs [wife sacrifice] at West Tintic. She is the wife of Moses S. Gudmundson, who was excommunicated at the earlier trial. I found her to be virtually a physical wreck. She has been harassed by occasional visits and more frequent messages from her husband; the nature of some of which was disclosed. Thus, he told her that should she say a word or do a thing against the interest of the people accused of wrongdoing at West Tintic, she would be the cause of his death, as it had been shown to him in vision that such action on her part would bring about his murder, and that calamity would be visited upon herself and her children. In her impressionable state, such messages as these threaten her sanity and even her life. She was really in the grip of an evil power; and I have seldom experienced a meeting with such a potent adversary as the evil spirit by which she was possessed. She seemed to crave my aid, and yet she persistently refused to look me in the face, saying that my face and my eyes were so bright as to terrify her. I was not conscious of any unusual condition of this sort, but she turned her head and shaded her eyes whenever for the moment I caught her gaze. I proceeded to administer to her, and rebuked the evil power, conscious all the while of a real struggle and conflict. Immediately after the administration she turned her eyes upon me and smiled, and was not disturbed by my gaze, but kept her eyes directed toward me. When I left her she was holding her baby and was in a state of comparative peace. I confess, however, that because of her weakened condition and of her state of nervous disturbance, I have not full faith that she will not suffer a relapse.

... They [several Bishops] informed me of conditions that have long existed in Springville, this consisting essentially in the holding of meetings by women, and participated in by a few men, at which meetings messages were asked for. They told of alleged inspiration and revelation coming through women, and particularly of the frequency with which the gift of tongues was indulged in; and averred that by these means directions were sought as to individual and other affairs. Thus, they say, that business enterprises, land purchases, change of residence, mating in marriage, etc., were determined by this clique, as through prayer and fasting some "message" had been given directing them what to do.

... In all these alleged proceedings, many of which were conducted with semi-secrecy, the dominant thought seems to have been that individual inspiration, direction through speaking in tongues, and particularly dreams, were superior to all counsel or direction through the ordinary Church channels. ...

[James E. Talmage Journal, Transcription reproduced by Trevor Antley, Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University]

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