Welcome News From Indiana

Dear Brother Osmond—

I suppose you hear a great noise about anti-polygamy mass meetings being held all over the country. I thought I would give you an insight of the fuss, and the kind of people that make it. We attended a mass meeting in Chicago. Elder Marks sent the News a letter about it which you no doubt have seen; so I will give you some items on a place called Danville, Ill., a town of from ten to eleven thousand people. There are in Danville from five to six hundred prostitutes, that are well patronized.

Some time ago the water was drawn from the tank at this place and there was found a great many dead bodies. I cannot get the exact figures, but reports are current that from sixty to 500, and I think it is only an average place for such like wickedness.

There is a great deal of stir all over the country about the poor deluded “Mormons,” while all manner of corruption is smiled at among the “criers,” but the Almighty is at the helm, and His judgments are being poured out on the nation.

The people are in the same fix that they were in the days of the Savior. They have the books of the prophets read and preached in their churches; and at the same time they cry “delusion” to those who believe they mean what they say. They are looking for the coming of our King, but wish to hang the people that are preparing the way for His coming. Well we are all in the hands of a just God, and will be rewarded according to our works.

There is some interest in the cause of truth among the people here, but it is like the gleaning after the harvest.

There is a small branch of the Church here, some thirty members and there is a probability of six or eight more being baptized soon.

We have well attended meetings and good order, some come to learn and some come out of curiosity. We will hold meeting in Danville if we can obtain the court house. Elder Marks and I went to a new neighborhood last week and were stared at as if we were monsters or some relics of ancient mythology. Some remarks that caught our ears were “That’s a big one, I bet he’s got lots of women.” Another said, “I don’t want a row with him;” while another said, “They won’t stand rotten eggs long.” Well, the only egging we have had as yet is fryed or in cakes, and we can stand plenty of that. The people here are very kind, and, do all they can to make us comfortable.

I remain your Brother in the Gospel of Christ.

M.W. Pratt
Johnsonville, Warren Co., Indiana, Feb. 24, 1882.

[Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Feb. 24, 1882, 8]
[Bear Lake Democrat, Mar. 18, 1882]

[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, Apr. 2006]


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