Extermination Order

HEAD QUARTERS, MILITIA

City of Jefferson

Oct. 27, 1838

Sir,

Since the order of the morning to you, directing you to cause four hundred mounted men to be raised within your division, I have received by Amos Rees, Esq. and Wiley E. Williams Esq., one of my aids, information of the most appalling character, which changes the whole face of things, and places the Mormons in the attitude of an open and avowed defiance of the laws, and of having made open war upon the people of this state. Your orders are, therefore, to hasten your operations and endeavor to reach Richmond, in Ray County, with all possible speed. The Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the state, if necessary, for the public good. Their outrages are beyond all description. If you can increase your force, you are authorized to do so to any extent you may think necessary. I have just issued orders to Maj. Gen. Wallock, of Marion County, to raise 500 men and march them to the northern part of Daviess, and there unite with Gen. Doniphan, of Clay, who has been ordered with 500 men to proceed to the same point, for the purpose of intercepting the retreat of the Mormons to the North. They have been directed to communicate with you by express. You can also communicate with them if you find it necessary. Instead, therefore, of proceeding, as at first directed, to reinstate the citizens of Daviess in their homes, you will proceed immediately to Richmond, and there operate against the Mormons. Brig. Gen. Parks, of Ray, has been ordered to have four hundred men of his brigade in readiness to join you at Richmond. The whole force will be placed under your command.

L. W. BOGGS, Gov.

To Gen. Clark.

(Taken from Extermination Order“, Wikipedia)

Polygamy in Utah, 1880

Related Posts: Utah Polygamy and Divorce – 1880 to 1930; Divorce in 1890 Utah: Signs of Polygamy; Marriage in 1890 Utah: Very Normal

In this post I estimate the number of men and women living in polygamy in Utah in 1880 using data from the 1880 census and other sources.

I have estimated that in 1880 there approximately 9,000 persons in polygamous marriages in Utah. About 6,500 wives and 2,500 husbands. This is approximately 25% of married Mormon women and about 13% of married Mormon men. However, the total number could easily be closer to 10,000.

I also conclude that the census data by itself is not sufficient for estimating the number of persons living in polygamy. Other data is required. This conclusion is based on the fact that the married female to married male ratio for Utah from the 1880 and 1900 census’ were outliers. However, in 1890 it was nearly 1.0 (Figure 4), which means that in 1890 nearly all women in polygamous relationships were concealing their marital status, probably to protect their husbands and children. I believe that in the 1880 census nearly two thirds of women in polygamous relationships concealed their marital status.

These results should be qualified with polygamy studies from Utah’s earlier history. It is appears that during the 1860’s quite possibly more than 50% of married LDS women in Utah were polygamous wives.

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Utah Polygamy and Divorce – 1880 to 1930

Related Posts: Divorce in 1890 Utah: Signs of Polygamy; Polygamy versus Democracy; Edmunds Act (1882); Edmunds-Tucker Act (1887); Idaho Test Oath; Marriage in 1890 Utah: Very Normal

Summary: I promised another post on divorce and I finally have enough data to write about. So here it is. (This just keeps getting more and more interesting.)

I have analyzed census data from 1880, 1890, 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930. I restricted the analysis to the white, 15 and older population for the states and territories of the lower 48 states.

In 1880 Utah’s female divorce rate was the third highest in the US, only New Mexico and Nevada are higher. From 1880 to about 1910 Utah’s female divorce rate steadily decreases while the rest of the US tends to increase. From 1910 to 1930 Utah’s female divorce rate rapidly increases, following the national trend. The male divorce rate from 1890 to 1930 follows the national trend.

When looking at the difference in percent male and percent female divorce rates we see that in 1880 Utah had the second highest difference in the US, only Nevada is higher. Utah’s over 15 male to female ratio in 1880 was about 1.1 while Nevada’s was almost 2.5. Utah had a population of 143,964 compared to Nevada’s 62,266. From 1890 and 1900 Utah had the highest difference in male and female divorce rates in the United States. By 1910 Utah’s male and female divorce rate difference was the second only to Colorado. By 1920 Utah had the second highest divorce rate difference, only California was higher. By 1930 the difference in Utah’s male-female divorce rate was equal to the US third quartile.

Because the male and female divorce rates for US states and territories are correlated better than 89% two factor plots provide some additional insight. When the female divorce rate is plotted against the male divorce rate Utah stands out from the national trend for 1880, 1890, and 1900. For 1910 and 1920 it stands out a little. By 1930 Utah is well within national trends.

The only explanation I can see for this is polygamy. It appears that polygamy increased Utah’s female divorce rate noticeably above national trends. And this effect lasted for 20 years after the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints officially stopped polygamy in 1890, maybe longer.

The value of this goes beyond academic interest. It can also relate to the gay marriage debate currently going on in the US Supreme Court. If the state can ban polyamorous unions then why not same sex marriage. From this data we can see quite objectively that polygamy increases the female divorce rate. I’m not going to get into that debate now but you can hear the supreme court arguments here and here. Continue reading

Omniscience: Does God Learn?

Related posts: Omniscience; Immutable, Omnipresence; Whence God? Talking about God; Creation ex nihilo

Does God Learn?

If you were to ask a typical Mormon the question “Does God learn?” you would most likely get a negative response. Mormons today tend to believe in what is called the neo-classical view of God, which as it applies to divine learning means that God knows everything.

However, this was not always the case. During the 19th century the common belief among Mormons was that God is forever progressing to greater knowledge. In 1857 Apostle Wilford Woodruff (who became 4th president of the church in 1889) said, “God himself is increasing and progressing in knowledge, power, and dominion, and will do so, worlds without end” (JD 6:120). Brigham Young said, “The greatest intelligence in existence can continually ascend to greater heights of perfection” (JD 1:93).[1] George Q. Cannon (Apostle; d. 1901) said, “There is progress for our Father and for our Lord Jesus…It is endless progress, progressing from one degree of knowledge to another degree” (Gospel Truth: Discourses and Writings of President George Q. Cannon, p. 92). General Authority B.H. Roberts (Seventy; d. 1933) wrote, “God is [not] Omniscient up to the point that further progress in knowledge is impossible to him; but that all knowledge that is, all that exists, God knows” (Seventy’s Course in Theology, vol. 4, p. 70-71).

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Mormons and the Bible: Reuben Clark’s 16 Points

Related Posts: Mormons and the Bible: Missing Scripture and Inerrancy; Mormons and the Bible: King James Version and the Joseph Smith Translation

J. Reuben Clark’s 16 points

This post is based on a talk given by Apostle J. Reuben Clark in 1954 (“Our Bible,” General Conference, April 1954). In it he outlines 16 differences between the Received text (essentially the King James Version) and the Revised texts (represented by the Revised Standard Version). This talk is included in the Resource Edition CD-ROM of the official LDS scriptures. Elder Clark’s talk compares only NT passages.

I have listed the verses from Elder Clark’s sixteen points as they are found in the KJV, NASB, NIV, ASV, RSV (1946 and 1971), and ESV for comparison. At the end of this post there is a summary of the results in a pass/fail format. My criteria for pass/fail is consistency with the corresponding KJV passage. Elder Clark also brings up points of dispute with some of the RSV footnotes because they cast doubt on the validity of traditional interpretation. I have not considered the footnotes in my evaluation. Continue reading

Four Important Early Christian Creeds

Related Posts: Mormonism and the Creeds of Christendom.

President Hinckley said “Our faith, our knowledge is not based on ancient tradition, the creeds which came of a finite understanding and out of the almost infinite discussions of men trying to arrive at a definition of the risen Christ. Our faith, our knowledge comes of the witness of a prophet in this dispensation who saw before him the great God of the universe and His Beloved Son, the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “We Look to Christ,” Liahona, July 2002). So I thought it might be of interest to include four important creeds.

The text for each of these creeds is taken from the Creeds of Christendom, by Philip Schaff. The words in brackets are from Schaff; they present clarification and/or latter additions to the text. Continue reading