A Winter with the Mormons

Its the name of a book I was given. I mentioned earlier in another post.
I'm going to give a rundown on the profound atrocities suffered by the emigrants making their way to the Pacific coast. In several parts.
The editor of nine letters to the "Oregonian" after winter pit-stop in the Great Basin among the Mormon settlers. The whole affair was most horrible for all who had the misfortune to end up in the Salt Lake valley during the winter months prior to their exit to their new home.
They whole tale gives a very personal insight into the lives of those who were 'stuck' in Mormon land back in 1850-51.
Hopefully this post will give some clear insight into how the Mormon church treated 'outsiders' or 'those from the United States.'
The editor, David L. Bigler, to me, did a very fine job in compiling this book for all those who want to know the truth in what really happened in Brigham Young's group.


"The first of Jotham Goodell's nine letters on Mormon society in the Great Basin appeared in The Oregonian at Portland soon after the publication of reports and correspondence on the 1851 clash between the American republic and its theocratic territory, the earliest of many to come over the next forty years. Goodell sought to discredit Mormon versions of the fight and support charges by the first of many federal officials who took flight from Utah during that period out of fear, frustration, or a mixture of such emotions.
The seeds of the controversy had been planted the year before. In September 1850, the month the Goodells arrived in Salt Lake Valley, Congress ignored Mormon petitions for entry into the Union as the State of Deseret and created instead a territory with the unwanted name of Utah."
[Lets skip some of the intro.]
"Soon after, Brandelbury was outraged at the 24 July 1851 Pioneer Day celebration in Great Salt Lake when governor Young said, among other seditious-sounding remarks, "[President] Zachary Taylor is dead and gone to hell, and I am glad of it!"
"Sir:-Recent intelligence from the city of Washington inform us that the delegate to congress from the territory of Utah has placed among the executive archives, his prompt, unqualified, and peremptory negation of the truth of the statement of the returned officers, respecting that most deluded people. To persons not familiar with the mysteries of that abomination, this may appear strange and unaccountable; but to those who, with the writer, spent the winter of '50 and '51, shut up in that den if infamy, each denial will not appear strange."
"It describes a most deplorable state of things at Salt Lake, so much so that it might be difficult to believe some portions of the account, were it not for the unimpeachable character of the gentleman who penned it."
"There with the snow drifting around us, our limbs benumbed with piercing cold, and those vile gestures of the High Council, the blood thirsty Danites prowling around, and an armed force repeatedly charging in upon us, threatening our property and our lives, we anxiously waited, wishing and praying that heaven might be propitious and open a way for us through the mountains, that we might find an asylum among the Snake river savages."
"But as I have spun out this introduction to such a length, I will close the present article by remaking that I know how to appreciate the privilege of speaking and writing what I think without the fear of losing my head. When imprisoned by the mountains among that ungodly people, we dared not even to speak aloud, much less to put a word on paper." (A Winter with the Mormons, David L. Bigler, The Tanner Trust Fund, 2001, Preface Xlll, pgs. 26-28)

This is just some of the first letter to the Oregonian back in 1852 after Jotham Goodell and family (along with many others) left the Salt Lake Valley while imprisoned a winter with the Mormons in 1850-51.
I suggest that if you need to read in depth this book (and I highly recommend that you do), please go to Utah Lighthouse Ministries and purchase it. Amazon might have it too.



heather February 22, 2011 at 9:07 PM  

Hi there! Interesting blog. Jotham Goodell is my great-great-great-great grandfather. I have the book too. It's ironic: my dad grew up in Washington and became a mormon when he was about 12. Moved to Utah and went to BYU (where he met my mom). So I grew up in Utah and also "escaped" as soon as I turned 18! Fortunately everyone in my family eventually saw the light- not a mormon left among 'em.

About Me

My photo
Michigan, United States
I spent a lot of time deciding if I should write this blog or not. I'm not a great writer and I'm not going to pretend to be. I need to share what I have learned and I might not make some people happy with what I am saying. This blog is a way for me to release the thoughts and feelings that come with knowing I grew up in the wrong religion. A healing process if you will.

How To Read This Blog

Please start with the month of February 2007 and read backwards. This is the most effective way to understand, in order, why I say what I do.

Handmaidens Creed

1.I believe in God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit as one God without beginning or end.
2.I believe the Bible to be the Holy Inspired word of God with full truth and righteousness. No other writing is.
3.I believe that the work of the Lord comes first. Before any temporal thing or person.
4.I believe that grace is a gift and Christ gives that gift freely to all who believe.
5.I believe that the beauty of a woman is contained inside of her and not by what she looks like on the outside.
6.I believe that marriage is sacred and represents the Godhead on earth; two are one just as three are one.
7.I believe that love is more powerful than any other power. Remember, God is love.
8.I believe that tithing is not a part of God's new covenant, free will offerings are. And that doesn't mean just money.
9.I believe that the Aaronic, Levitical, and Melchizedek priesthoods are abolished and Christs Holy Priesthood whom Christ is the "Great High Priest" is eternal.
10.I believe that every believer is a priest in the "Priesthood of Believers".
11.I believe that when two are one, nobody is to separate the one.
12.I believe that Christ is the only way to heaven.
13.I believe that our bodies are temples, not man made buildings.
14.I believe that liars make fools out of others and the liar hates the fool.
15.I believe that all believers are in authority to preach the gospel.
16.I believe that the word 'organization' to describe Christs body is evil and has no place with God.
17.I believe the Americas are not the land of Zion and Christ will return to His origonal land-Israel in the Middle East.
18.I believe that God has set out correct ways of worshiping Him, not man.
19.I believe in holding to the truths of the Bible and not mans understanding of it.
20.I believe that the world is full of evil and Satan can easily gain control over the minds of those who do not profess Christ of the Bible to be their only Messiah.
21.I believe that Saints are those who know the real Savior, Jesus Christ, of whom the Bible speaks of; not the jesus of a cult.