Letter from Brigham Young and Willard Richards, 5 September 1840

  • Source Note
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Much has been said in history, & story of  the learning & neatness of the English people, of the  latter subject we have neither time nor disposition to say  much, although we are not short of matter, but of the former  how can it be but simply ask how can it be expected that  neatness, should be a very prominent trait in the habits of a  people who are obliged to improve eve[r]y moment, to get  a morsel of bread?— And as to learning such a thing as  a news-paper is scarcely to be found among the common  people, & if it was it would only the English papers  are filled with little else than “cold blooded murder”, “Horrid  Tragedies” “Roberies” “Thefts” “Fires” “Notice of the Quens [Queen’s] Dinner” or Prince  Alberts Ride out.” or visit to the Theatre,” or Rail Road accidnt,”  “&c, <Hunting excursions— excursion> &c, &c, which is calculatd to harden the heart & prepare it for  far still greater wickednss. Such is the poverty of the  people that but few of the saints can afford to take  the Star we are publishi[n]g once a month, price 6 pence
Neither have the priests much more information  than the people, indeed there are many of the common  people whom they dare not meet in argume[n]t, although  they have their livings, thousands upon thousands, & some of  them own whole townsh[i]ps or parishes, & will tell their  Parishioners <& tenants> if th[e]y allow any one to preach in their houses  they will be turnd out of doors, or if they are  they will face no better, & thus may simple souls who  believe our message dare not be baptizd, because they have  not faith to sufficient, to screen them from the threats of  an insolent priest, <or factory master> knowing they will worry them to  the utmost if they displease him, our hearts mourn  for such. It is apparently, starvation on one hand, & damnation  on the other. The Lord have mercy upon them.— Amen. [p. 8]
Much has been said in history, of the learning & neatness of the English people, of the latter subject we have neither time nor disposition to say much, although we are not short of matter, but simply ask how can it be expected that neatness, should be a very prominent trait in the habits of a people who are obliged to improve every moment, to get a morsel of bread?— And as to learning such a thing as a news-paper is scarcely to be found among the common people, & if it was the English papers are filled with little else than “cold blooded murder”, “Horrid Tragedies” “Roberies” “Thefts” “Fires” “Notice of the Quens [Queen’s] Dinner” or Prince Alberts Ride out.” or visit to the Theatre,” or Rail Road accidnt,” “&c, Hunting excursions— &c, &c, which is calculatd to harden the heart & prepare it for far still greater wickednss. Such is the poverty of the people that but few of the saints can afford to take the Star we are publishing once a month, price 6 pence
Neither have the priests much more information than the people, indeed there are many of the common people whom they dare not meet in argument, although they have their livings, thousands upon thousands, & some of them own whole townships or parishes, & will tell their Parishioners & tenants if they allow any one to preach in their houses they will be turnd out of doors, or if they are they will face no better, & thus may simple souls who believe our message dare not be baptizd, because they have not faith sufficient, to screen them from the threats of an insolent priest, or factory master knowing they will worry them to the utmost if they displease him, our hearts mourn for such. It is apparently, starvation on one hand, & damnation on the other. The Lord have mercy upon them.— Amen. [p. 8]
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