Monday, February 6, 2017

Leaving Explicit Final Instructions

Brigham Young was very detailed and explicit in his final instructions of what was supposed to happen at his funeral, how his coffin was to be constructed, and his final resting spot. He did leave a loop-hole for his final resting place. What was the loop-hole?
a.                  If the Church went to Jackson County, then this should be his final resting spot
b.                  If the Church went to Canada, then this should be his final resting spot
c.                   They could bury him just east of the White House (Brigham Young’s home), or, if they wanted to, under the south-east corner of the Salt Lake Temple
d.                  They could bury him just east of the White House, or, if they wanted to, at Adam-Ondi-Ahman
Yesterday’s answer:
b.   The anti-Mormon Salt Lake Tribune
Commenting on John D. Lee’s murder conviction in 1876, the [Deseret] News, referring to the [Salt Lake] Tribune as the “ring organ,” criticized it for attempting to decide guilt or innocence instead of leaving that matter to juries; and referring to its opponent’s editors, declared that they were establishing a record which marked them as asses.
   Thus the traditional News policy of silence toward local anti-Mormon competitors began to give way in the 1870s. Brigham Young had very early stated that policy but, pragmatist that he was, had also recognized that a change might be advisable in the future. And because of the federal government’s enforcement of anti-polygamy laws to the point that the very life of the Church seemed to be jeopardized, the 1880s were a critical time.
   Because of its growing number of readers, the Tribune’s agitation during the 1880’s worried the Church much more than anti-Mormon papers had before. By 1883 the combined circulation, daily and weekly. Of the Tribune had passed the combined circulation of the News by a hundred subscribers. A year later its lead had reached 620 and in 1885 the Tribune led the News by 1,500. It was even more disturbing that the daily Tribune by 1886 had reached a circulation three times that of the daily News.
   News circulation fell behind that of the Tribune for a number of reasons. The development of Utah mining led to a considerable increase in the gentile population in the 1870s. Salt Lake City more than doubled in size during the 1880s and the percentage of gentile inhabitants grew significantly. The News made little attempt to cater to this rising gentile population. The daily Tribune, a larger and less expensive newspaper which also published on Sundays, printed more news that did the Church paper, printed it on a wider variety of subjects, particularly national politics, and did it in a much more lively manner. As a consequence, the Tribune attracted Mormon as well as gentile subscribers. Even employees of the Desert News found the Tribune interesting despite its almost constant criticism of the Church.

William Mudler, The Mormons in American History (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1981), 179.

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