Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Letters - I still believe that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Your loving son.

                                                                                           Bemidji, Minn., Oct. 8, 1929

Dear Father,
Your letter was received with feelings of thankfulness, and some amusement too, when I found how frightened the girls had been of my little sermon. As soon as I can I am going to make a copy for the Herald. Not that I think they will publish it, but to give the editors a chance to consider some of the things presented. When I picked it up and read it after give it no thoughts for months, the same spirit comes to me that was with me at the time, and confirms the truth of it to my soul. But I know that very few will heed, or even read it, if they have the opportunity.

    We were reading the Herald today, of the most wonderful reunion in Ohio; and almost breathless we waited for the telling of what made it so wonderful. The first was that a hundred and seventy-five sat down to a grand banquet: the next was that they voted to give one hundred percent support to the administration, and the church program. That seemed to be the thing that made it the most wonderful reunion ever held. I wonder how many who voted had the least inking of what the program was. But we read so much of that wind of stuff in the Herald, placing so much emphasis on banquets and other purely external and physical features of reunions and other gatherings that it makes the marrow in our bones seem to turn to water. The Herald is getting to be more and more like the Catholic Sunday Visitor; a suger-coated exterior surface for the especial benefit of the unsuspecting public.

    We have read Bro. Curtis’ book on temple building, and note that he makes some very good points, and some mighty poor ones also. I am afraid Fred ought to take him to Kirtland, and give him another secret endowment. You know, Pa, I can’t help but believe that the secret endowment is an outcropping of apostacy. We find it in Utah, where no one is allowed in their temples but those who go through to take their endowment, and their endowment ceremonies as testimony to, in the Smoot investigation at Washington, are nothing but a perverted form of the Masonic oaths and obligations. I was reading them one time from the record of the Smoot investigation in Washington, and one man in the congregation leaned over and whispered to another, “That’s Masonry.” He ought to know for I heard him say after that that he had been far enough in Masonry to know all that could be known of the inner workings. So I think that the secret endowment is nothing but one of the traditions that mark the encroachment of apostacy. I can’t remember of any passage of scripture that even hints that endowments are to be in secret, or the people barred from the temple. The endowment at the Kirkland temple was a public one, participated in by the congregation. The endowment on the day of Pentecost was done not in a corner, but in public; when they were all gathered together with one accord; and people from every nation under heaven witnessed it. No hint anywhere that Peter, or James, or whoever presided, haled them off in a corner one by one and administered the Masonic oath to them. But that is what the secret endowment has done for latter day Israel in every instance where it has been practiced to any extent; at Nauvoo, Utah, and Clitheral and it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see it become and important feature of the present apostacy.

     I still believe that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and I am not going to support secret endowments in the Reorganization, or anywhere else. Paul preached the gospel of an open endowment; and didn’t talk very kindly of even an angel from heaven that would preach otherwise.

    Our potatoes were pretty good considering that they had to grow all summer with never a rain that wet down to the roots from the time they were planted till the vines were ripe. They made better than a hundred bushels to the acre, with ninety percent of the salable. I got my vacation during haying time and put up fifty loads of hay in good shape. The best hay we’ve had for years. Our beans are good. None to sell, but a few bushels for our own use. We didn’t have any grain or corn planted this year, except sweet corn. Quite a lot of that got ripe and we have saved see, and will have a lot to feed.

    I suppose you’ve heard of Arlo getting shot through the leg with a 32 which laid him up for awhile; but he gets around now, all right, although does not work very hard yet; but he threw his crutches away a week or so ago… I don’t know just how it happened; but some carelessness in handling a fool pistol that the boys don’t say much about. Anyway they traded it off for a shotgun right away; so we feel safer now. A shotgun doesn’t point at everyone on the premises at the same time anyhow.

    Well, if the Hedrickites start rebaptizing and reordaining, it will be conclusive evidence that they are hopelessly in apostacy. If their priesthood and baptisms so far are not authentic, a thousand rebaptisms and reordainations by a ministry whose ordinations and baptisms up to date and invalid, would avail nothing but to advertise their apostacy.

    I am writing this in the dark so will probably have to rewrite it with a pen before you can read it. Am laid up with a lame back for a few days, so will not do much but run a typewriter. Have written a piece for the Herald to refuse, and will send it out tomorrow. Hallie may get to see it; but maybe wouldn’t read it, so will send a copy to you now. It expresses my feelings exactly on the temple building. I do hope the Lord will never let Fred M. have anything to do with building the temple till he repents of Masonry at least.

    As I said before, Curtis makes some good points against the Hedrickites but he has left himself wide open on a number of points where they will come back at him equally as strong, so it will stand six to one and half a dozen of the other, and where does that get us? He goes on record as being present when Mcgregor and his wife told of the direction they had to sink that oil well, and money would be received from it to help building the temple. It’s a bit strange, if they said that. They were then looking with all expectation for the Reorganization to build the temple. Now that the well is producing oil, which perhaps Curtis doesn’t know yet, and if it should actually make expenses and furnish some money for the temple, how will Curtis’ testimony stand? In favor the Hedrickites and the temple they are building, won’t it? He heard them say it, and its coming to pass, “Oh, that my enemy had written a book!”—Job
Well, maybe their temple-building is all hoax; but even at that, if it is pure deception from top to bottom; people are better off putting their money into it than they are should for the Auditorium and incidentally loading a burden of fifteen hundred thousand dollars, and then some on their great grand children to pay off. (bonds and interest). The temple at least is to be built without incurring debt for poverty-stricken posterity to suffer under. Which is acceptable to the Lord? I wonder!

    I’ve talked with a man who was on the spot and tried to get work time and again on the auditorium; and even when they were advertising for fifty more men, he couldn’t get work, and neither could other members of the church get work on it; but non-members, and Negros were given work. He just simply dug into the matter till one of the members who was working told him why. That was, that anyone who wouldn’t kick in to their petty overseer, two to five dollars every week, were let out. They hired Negros and outsiders because the could give them to understand that their job depended on slipping their boss a bonus every Saturday night, and most latter Day Saints were so blasted unsuspecting and innocent that they couldn’t take the hint strong enough, without making it so broad they might get hauled over the coals for it, so that the poor dud would have to take the hint, and at the end of the week he was 1st out. One brother who had been out of work for months, with his family actually suffering, just wept because he couldn’t work there, when outsiders were being put on, and this brother didn’t have the heart to tell him why he was left out; his confidence was so implicit. He was an elder too. He told me that he stood there one day and heard his nibs the subcontractor curse and swear and damn Fred M. right to his face, and that wasn’t the only swearing going on around; but he heard expressions as “This is the damn Mormon temple,” made by workmen when passersby asked them what they were doing.
Is that the way Fred M. would build the temple? And is that the program the Ohio people voted to support one hundred percent?

    The church accepted the revelation to build the sanitarium as being of God. Why didn’t they carry it out? It provided that Bro. Luff should be consulted, in the building, and put in charge when completed? Was it done? If it had been, we should have had an entirely different institution. Bro. Luff took up the study of medicine because he was directed to. When he asked the Lord which school of medicine he should study, he was told the Homeopathic. But when the sanitarium was completed, a Mason was put in charge, who held to the Allopathic school of medicine, making an institution exactly opposite what it would have been. Have you heard the Lord commending the sanitarium since then? It is now a place where women go for criminal operations. O yes it is, I’ve talked with an individual who worked there and saw what was going on; and his mother roomed people who came there for these operations, and roomed their friends and relatives who stayed near the sanitarium while they were confined there. And his mother told him of various ones, who roomed with her after the operations, while convalescing; and of the way their friends raved who also roomed with them, or called on them. And even the elders called on to administer to one of them rebuked her of having shed innocent blood.

    Is this the program the Ohio people were voting to support one hundred percent?
Moreover when arms and hands and legs were amputated, the rule required these amputated members be given a decent burial; but he saw many a time the outline and form of hands and arms and limbs, in the furnace, where they were burned to ashes. And when he went to the head nurse about it she said, O well, these was so much infection in them it was just as well stick them in the furnace.

    I think before we vote to support a program one hundred percent we ought to have at least a shadow of an inkling what the program is. And everything is kept under cover that the people ought to know in order to vote intelligently. The can be no common consent with a common knowledge. And if all things in the church are to be done by common consent, the effort should be to make the knowledge of facts and conditions universal, instead of keeping it hid.

    When and where was the Insurance Department of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ authorized? As advertised in the Herald. Insurance, a feature that has absolutely no part in the Lord’s plan; no need of it under the law of equality. And in fact, without interest, rent, and profit, there could be no insurance company in the world? Premiums paid by policy holders alone could not keep them up.. Instead of getting closer to equality, step by step, we are getting farther from it, and forming departments and starting enterprises that will make it harder to ever realize it. We will have to give Fred M. credit for meaning what he said, when he said the Saints would have to get idea of equality out of their heads. He evidently doesn’t intend to have equality in his church. If that the program the Ohio people are supporting one hundred percent?

    In Minneapolis the authorities hauled Galdys Anderson (Ross’ sister) over the coals for not letting them baptize her seven year old girl, to help them reach the quota of baptisms allotted their branch. But she absolutely refused to let her be baptized. Is that part of the program the Ohio people are supporting one hundred percent.

    But then why pay any attention to the revelations to baptize children at eight years, when no attention is paid to the one in regard to the sanitarium; and the General Conference never had the guts to ask the authorities for an explanation. It the program to ignore the revelations what the Ohio people voted to support one hundred percent?

    We are certainly following in the footsteps of the Catholic Church, where everything from insurance companies to theatres and dances must be made to pay tribute to the church. They don’t care how the money is earned or gotten, just so it finds its way into the coffers of the church. And we are going to support it one hundred percent.

    Do you know anything about the rumor that Fred M. has a big firm in Canada stocked with choice cattle? I have heard that a member of the church sat behind Fred M. in a railroad car and heard him talk to a big business man sitting with him, and telling him that he was on his way to Canada to inspect his big stock farm. I think it might have been one that belonged to the church, and Fred spoke as if it was his, and didn’t think it necessary to explain minutely to the businessman, but when I think of how he even fooled Elbert with his secretism, I can’t help but wonder how much else is going on in secret, that even Elbert doesn’t know.
Well, you needn’t bother the girls with all this stuff. They don’t like their peace of mind disturbed. They won’t want to read “Keep viggling” either, unless perhaps the first two pages.

    All well, but me. Ross’s family are staying with us yet. He and Pertha were at Oxrow, Canada; taking a honeymoon trip and looking for a location where they can start a home again. We don’t know how soon they will send for the children; or whether they will come back here for the winter, yet. It makes a shack full here; but they certainly get along well, packed as we are like sardines. We had good meetings Sunday. We do have them once in a while. 

    The best meeting we every had in this branch was the Sunday after we got back from Minneapolis when the conference sat on our anti-masonic resolutions, and we didn’t sit down to a swell banquet, either; nor vote to support the program 100%. The Spirit was there in such power that some of us were literally immersed in it; and even power given to cast out devils, and the Saints were so moved that they couldn’t keep their seat; but spoke two or three times, and one after another got up and pledged themselves to a more consecrated life. Just showed what a little unity would do. Other elders as well as myself looked upon it as a direct rescue of the united action upon the resolutions; but soon after disintegration began to set in, and lack of unity; and many of the pro-slavery element were not there, and wouldn’t believe we ever had such a joyful time; and we’ve never reached that plane of unity since, and probably never will again. It is too bad, but it can’t be helped.

    I don’t believe the Lord has deserted the members of the Reorganized Church. I even think it would be possible to recover that which has been lost; but I am afraid it is not probably. I do not even think that the elders who have kept themselves free for the innovations that have crept in have lost their authority, not are their ministrations invalidated. And regardless of the spread of apostacy everyone who is faithful to the covenant made in baptism, and set their faces against the evil and corrupting influences that are at work, are as safe and as much recognized of God as they were in 1844, and we can stand serene and unshaken amidst all the upheavals that will yet occur.

    Would like to see you all. Don’t know when I can manage a trip down there.

    I sometimes wonder to just what extent we may become old bottles, and partake so much of the traditions that always have and always will perhaps begin to creep into the church with the second and third generations, that we are not fitted to take part in a new movement to recover the church from apostacy. The Lord puts new wine into new bottles, that both wine and bottles may be preserved. Undoubtedly some of the old bottles, even though the wine be mixed with traditions are worth preserving, and so it may be better for them to stand as they are than take chances on being lost. Every move the Lord has made has been invariably with new bottles. It may be necessary to do so again.

Well, I must close and rest my back, With love to all. Tell the girls I am glad they took their courage in their hands and read my sermon. I don’t think it will hurt them any.

                                                       Your loving son, Leon

1 comment:

I like you too ;)