Separation of Church and State and the Mormon Conspiracy

of Church and State and the Mormon Conspiracy

The concept of Separation of Church and State has been threatened many times in the history of the United States. One of the most blatant historical times in the violation of this accepted principle of Separation of Church and State occurred in the Utah Territory under the leadership of Brigham Young, President and Prophet of the Mormon Church from 1847 to 1877. The Theocracy that Young established lasted for 30 years, although there were feeble attempts by the United States government to establish the concept of the Separation of Church and State in the Utah Territory. The following is included in The Mormon Conspiracy ,written by Charles L. Wood, that describes Young’s Theocracy:

Separation of church and state is written about in further detail at the book's website the Mormon Conspiracy to Rule the US Government.

The aim of the Mormon leaders was to establish an independent state in the Salt Lake Basin for their Kingdom of God with neither affiliation with the United States or Mexico. (Mexico ceded the Pacific Southwest which included the states of Utah, Nevada, California, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico to the United States shortly after the first group of Mormons reached the Salt Lake Basin in 1847). The Deseret state, established in 1849 included not only Utah, but most of Nevada and Arizona and parts of Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, California and Oregon. As Young had learned from Joseph Smith when he organized the Government in the Theocracy of Nauvoo, democracy was not a part of God’s plan for his Kingdom in the state Deseret. Brigham Young was approved as Governor of Deseret without opposition, and other officers of the state were unanimously elected. 1

All of the candidates who won election in the territory of Utah were selected by church Authorities. (Utah was a considerable reduction from Young’s original state of Deseret, that at one time included all or parts of Nevada, California, Arizona, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, California and New Mexico.) Of the 96,107 votes cast from 1852 to 1870, 96 per cent went to the Mormon Church ticket. “... And from 1847 to 1875, not one candidate chosen in advance by Mormon leaders failed to win elections.” 2 As stated earlier, Brigham Young was in total control of the territorial government during his reign as President and Prophet of the Mormon Church.

To illustrate further that Brigham Young was not only in control of the territorial government, but was also in complete control of the people consider the following:

1. From the beginning of Young’s “Kingdom of God” in his state of Deseret, he insured that his followers would elect government officials who had his approval. “Fundamental to the operation of Young’s theocratic government that existed in Utah was the election law, which remained in force in the territory for more than a quarter of a century.” 3 This election law contained the following: “Each elector shall provide himself with a vote containing the names of the persons he wishes elected and the offices he would have them fill, and present it neatly folded to the judge of election, who shall number and deposit it in the ballot box; the clerk shall then write the name of the elector, and opposite it the number of his vote.”# One can see that with the elector writing the names on the ballot with the positions to be filled beside the voter’s name and the ballot numbered by the clerk next to the voter’s name, it was easy for the “judge of the election” to know how everyone voted. This insured that the slate of officers pre-announced by Young won the election.

During Young’s reign, the election law was essential to the continuance of his theocracy. Although there was great opposition to one-sided elections by non-Mormons, a theocracy was guaranteed due to the loyalty and obedience of Deseret’s overwhelming Mormon population, and the isolation from the United States.

2. Young’s theocracy forced male settlers between the ages of 18 and 45 to train in the Nauvoo Legion or the Militia of Utah Territory which eventually totaled some 7,500 men and was more that half the size of the United States army at the time. 5

3. “June 2, 1857, Brigham Young says, ‘I feel to sustain him,’ when informed that Local Bishop Warren S. Snow has castrated twenty-four-old Welchman for undisclosed sex crimes. ‘Just let the matter drop and say no more about it.’ Young writes to Snow.” 6

4. Land to new settlers was assigned as long as they remained faithful to the church and were good stewards. In other words, the Church owned all the land and when anyone who left the church, was excommunicated, or left Utah, the land was automatically returned to the church. This was in contrast to the liberal laws of the Federal Government such as the Homestead Act, which allowed settlers to have up to 160 acres of land free, if they would live on and work the land. 7

5. When the United States planned to send in a territorial governor, Brigham Young said: “Though I may not be Governor here, my power will not be diminished. No man they can send here will have much influence with this community, unless he be the man of their choice. Let them send whom they will, and it does not diminish my influence one particle.” 8

1 David L. Bigler, The Forgotten Kingdom, The Mormon Theocracy in the American West, 1847-1896, Spokane, Washington: Arthur H. Clark Company, 1998, 44-47

2 Ibid., 51

3 Ibid., 50

4 Ibid., 50

5 Ibid., 53

6 D. Michael Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy, Extensions of Power, 754

7 David L. Bigler, The Forgotten Kingdom, The Mormon Theocracy in the American West, 1847-1896, 53

8 Ibid., 87

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Separation of Church and State