This is an interview with the Spirit of Brigham Young, the famous Mormon leader. His words are channeled through Speaker Gerald Polley, who also provided the questions.
1. Did you really think that Joseph Smith was a prophet?
A. I would have to say yes to this. I knew him to be a man very sincere in his beliefs, and he considered himself a Messenger From God. I do not think that he, himself, though, considered himself a prophet, merely a teacher...a teacher whose intent it was to give that knowledge that he had been given, that it would not be lost for all time.
2. Did he actually see the golden plates written by an ancient Hebrew that crossed the Atlantic Ocean to arrive in America?
A. As you see The Sacred Books of your people that crossed the vastness of the stars, he too, saw these books and others, too, witnessed this manifestation. I will not say that these books existed in a material form, but that makes little difference. The knowledge they contained is just as accurate no matter what form they were in. I think you would agree with that.
3. Did you believe in the practice of poligamy?
A. Let me say that I was not too approving of this idea, and though I did practice it, I did so reluctantly. The idea of multpile marriage itself, to me was not all that bad. It was simply the numbers involved that got out of control. Perhaps as your ancient people did, if this practice among the Mormons had been restricted to three wives at the most, it would have been more practical. You, yourself, understand how much it would be if your dear lady, say, had someone to do the dishes and the cleaning, and the wash, while she could devote her time to that work that is far more important.
This is the advantage of the multiple wife system. One wife can be doing more important things, while another does the household chores.
4. Why do you think the prophet Joseph Smith started this practice?
A. I think the greatest cause of this practice was the shortage of men in our society. Many of our converts were women and many of our men were lost because of various reasons. There were many widows and orphans, and I think the prophet's encouraging of this idea was to supply the needs of these women, and also to keep them from marrying outside the faith, and thereby decreasing their numbers.
5. If the Mormons were God's chosen people, why do you think they suffered so much and were not more blessed?
A. I think that a careful study of history will show that the Mormons were far more blessed than many others of their time. Hardship is not necessarily a sign of denied blessings, but instead may be a sign of testing to see if you are worthy of those blessings you have, or perhaps warnings to be prepared for later hardships to follow. And I think much of our hardship was caused by our blessings, as non-believers became jealous because of our plenty.
6. Were there any truth in the stories that Mormons attacked travellers going west, killing the men and forcing the women into marriage with Mormons?
A I would like to say none what-so-ever, but unfortunately, as in any society, we had our liars and our cheats. On most occassions we dealt fairly with all travellers. There were a few incidences where travellers were mistreated, but when those incidents were discovered, those responsible were swiftly and severely punished. But never, sir, and I repeat, NEVER was anuy woman ever held against her will in a Mormon house, and any woman that ever said she was, was not speaking truly. We were good, God fearing people, and would not allow such a shame in our midst.
7. Why did you want to talk with us?
A. Mainly to answer those questions that you have put before me, to let people know the truth, that they may judge for themselves our character, and because you are a friend of the Prophet and The Nazarene, as you call him, and many other holy ones here. I think it only appropriate that I should speak with you, for if these men call you friend and brother, who am I, a lesser man than them, to not speak with you when I am asked?
8. Will you be available for further questions at a later date?
A. It would please me very much if others would have more questions for me. I would like to speak about more things if there is interest.
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