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fice for the culture of no more than three per cent of the area of the Territory. The remaining land which is not mountainous is given over to the sage brush. A very scanty pasturage for a few cattle and sheep was afforded some years ago by the wild grasses, but the herds multiplied so rapidly that it was quickly destroyed by overfeeding, and the pastoral industry of the Territory may be left out of the account. In order to utilize, as completely as possible, the running waters, it is necessary to group the population into towns and villages of some notable size. A stream large enough to irrigate several thousand acres needs a concentrated population to use it. Dams and canals must be constructed at considerable expense, and irrigation is so laborious that a farmer cannot, by the labor of himself and family alone, cultivate nearly so many acres as in the moister countries. But, on the other hand, there are some compensating advantages. Irrigated land usually requires no expensive fertilizers, for the irrigating waters not only bring the moisture, but also bring in solution the nitrogenous, phosphatic, and alkaline elements of fertility. The engineering conditions require that the farms deriving their water from the same canal shall be situated in as compact an area as possible; thus making the length of canal, feeders, sluices, ditches, and rills as small as possible, and saving the loss of water by leakage and evaporation. Finally, this compactness of the farms allows the communal use of agricultural implements and the interchange of services among the farmers. For instance, a dozen or twenty farmers will take the same set of agricultural machinery, and, as a single body of laborers, will, in due season, plow, plant, cultivate, harvest, thresh, and cart away each other's crops. It is plain, too, that the irrigating canals must be common property, and every member of the community must have a right to a fair share of the water, without which his crop must perish.
The significance of all this is far deeper than might at first appear. The conditions practically enforce a social organization having much in common with the ancient village communities of Europe, or the existing village communities of southern Russia or of India. A village is necessary in order to use the water effectively and economically. The ownership and location of lands must be subordinated to the general welfare, and cannot have that exclusively personal and absolute character which attaches to the ownership of land in more favored regions. Individual rights must be subordinated in an exceptional degree, and the whole community must be under an unusual amount of control. The social unit is no longer the individual, nor even the family, but the village community.
The chief functionary of the Mormon community is the “ bishop.” He is appointed by the central authority of the church, without the knowledge or consent of the people whose affairs he is to administer. He is subordinated to the church as completely as a Jesuit to his sacred society, and he is selected, above all things, for his zeal in its cause. He must, however, be a man of force, and able to command the respect and obedience of his people. Nominally he is only the pastor of bis flock and the agent of the church in matters purely ecclesiastical. He pretends before Gentiles to be nothing more than a counselor in secular matters, or, at most, a mere moderator of a small community, with no power of enforcing any measure. In reality his powers are very great, for while they are advisory in form and name, they are dictatorial in fact. He controls the occupancy of the land of the village, assigning to each man his field, and fixing his allowance of water. The lands being essentially communal, and worked to a large extent co-operatively; being, also, frequently changed, one field being abandoned and a new one opened, this arbitrary method not only works well, but is, on the whole, the best possible under the circumstances. The bishop also initiates and supervises all public improvements, bridges, roads, saw-mills, dams, ditches, school-houses, etc., exacting contribution of labor, material, and money. He is the arbiter of all disputes. The Mormon never goes of his own accord into a court of law. If he quarrels with his neighbor, or seeks redress of grievances, his appeal is not to the courts but to the church. The bishop will surely listen to his case, and decide it as fairly as he can upon its merits. But if he goes into court he will find jury and witnesses against him, no matter what the merits of his case may be. For it is to be noted here that the Mormon owes allegiance to the church above all and
before all; while the laws and courts of the United States receive his allegiance and support just so far as they can be made useful in promoting the policy of the church, and no farther.
The control of the church over its members in secular as well as in spiritual matters is indeed wonderful. And it is absolute to the last degree. The central feature of its polity is the “building up of Zion.” This means the complete dominion of the church in all things temporal as well as spiritual. The Mormon is a devout believer in his creed, in the dispensation of the living prophets, in the divine mission of the living saints, and in their right to govern in all things. His duty is to yield obedience to the Lord's anointed. He is, therefore, a willing subject and an instrument for the accomplishment of the divine purpose of bringing the whole earth under the reign of the saints of the Lord. Nor is this belief a mere doyma. It is a living and animating purpose, for which he is ready to make sacrifices and efforts such as are made only by men filled with the spirit of zealots. In truth, the zeal and self-sacrifice of the Mormons has few parallels in history. It recalls the terrible earnestness of the Jesuits in the seventeenth century, or of the Scotch Covenanters in the time of Knox. At the call of the church the Mormon leaves home and fireside, wife and children, farm and herds, and receiving not a penny of subsidy, goes to the ends of the earth in search of proselytes. Or is a new village to be located and settled? Word is sent to the bishops of a dozen towns to name the men, who forthwith sell houses and gardens, abandon their fields, dispose of their standing crops, and converting the proceeds into wagons, provisions, tools, and clothing, bid adieu forever to their old homes, and marching hundreds of miles over mountains or across great cañons, begin life over again in the places selected for them. The church bids them go, and does nothing for them, unless, as frequently happens, they are in danger of starving before their first crop can be harvested. Rather than permit the new colony to fail, the church will, in extremity, come to the rescue. In this way the Mormons have overflowed Utah and taken possession of much of the irrigable land of Arizona, of a large part of Idaho, and have established themselves in numerous localities in Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Nevada.
The Mormon Church has always proclaimed a vigorous propaganda of its faith, and it has acted fully up to its profession. It has, indeed, made tremendous efforts, and has displayed courage and astuteness in spreading its doctrine. It has been sustained by the fierce zeal, the efforts, and self-sacrifice of its people. The spirit which priesthood and followers have displayed is that which has animated the intensest religious enthusiasts of history, and there can be no question that if there had been any call for martyrdom in the cause of this propaganda, the martyrs would have gone willingly and by thousands to the sacrifice, and gloried in it. There is no hypocrisy in the Mormon's zeal for the church. If he is wanted to preach among the Navajos or Apaches, he rides thither as fast as his horse can carry him. If the Board of Missions needs an apostle who is ready to risk being lynched in Arkansas or Mississippi, he is on the next railway train. If a missionary is needed to gather up the crofters of Scotland, the boors of Cornwall or Devonshire, the peasants of Norway or Denmark, he is in the steerage of the next ocean steamship. In every case he has probably left, at a day's notice, some pleasant cottage, surrounded with fruits and flowers, abandoned a thriving farm, bid farewell to a young wife and little children whom he loves as we love ours, to companions with whom he has romped and played and ridden from childhood, and has thrown his wife and children and all his worldly goods upon the Lord's mercy. From the church he receives nothing for himself, no pay, not even reimbursement. He follows literally the scriptural injunction to leave wife and children and all that he has, and taking neither staff nor scrip, goes forth to preach the gospel. The building up of Zion is not merely a song to be sung at Sunday worship, but a real labor for every man's hand. To fight the good fight is not merely a theme for the bishop to enlarge upon in his sermon, but every true Mormon is a genuine soldier in the ranks of a church militant, ready to march and fight and die if need be when the word of command is given. And that word is often given and rarely disobeyed.
The organization of the hierarchy is not a simple one. Indeed, the Gentile is not permitted to know the real inner organization nor its method of working behind the scenes. There is a nominal and a real one, the real one being that with which we are most concerned. So far as appears outwardly, the supremacy of the system is vested in what is termed the First Presidency. It consists of a president and two councilors, whose powers, though probably not unlimited, are at least undefined. The only visible limits are the faith and submission of the people, and these are almost boundless. Their sessions are secret, and their instructions are secretly transmitted to their subordinates. To enforce their orders and discipline without any legal machinery, might seem at first to be a difficult matter. But it is not so. There is no enforcement in the strict sense of the word, for disobedience is rarely attempted and force is not necessary, nor would it be employed if it were. The refusal of obedience by a Mormon puts him practically under an interdict and a virtual boycott of a peculiarly painful and cogent kind. Even though the church may forbear to excommunicate him, he is under a ban which makes life intolerable. He is an intruder in a community where before he was a member. His position is far worse than that of a Gentile, for a Gentile, having never risen to grace, cannot fall from it. Henceforth he is an object of mingled pity and aversion to the only human beings he knows.
Perhaps the best illustration that can be given of the ascendency of the priesthood on the one hand, and of the faith and submission of the people on the other, may be found in the history of the “United Order of Enoch," as it was termed. About fif. teen years ago the church proposed that the people of each village should deliver all their personal property into a common fund at an assessed valuation. The land was practically communized and in control of the church already. The reason for communiz. ing other property was alleged to be the need of capital; and if the entire property of the community were concentrated into a single fund under a single management, the greatest material wants of the people would be at once met. Each man's interest in the general fund was to be proportional to the valuation of his contribution. He was also required to labor for the “order," as it was termed, being credited with all labor so performed, and entitled to receive from the order both in proportion to his labor and to his contributed capital. Thus the three constituents of