We cannot do better, perhaps, than to insert here two or three paragraphs from a lecture delivered by Doctor Romania B. Pratt to the ladies of Salt Lake City. These extracts were published in the Woman’s Exponent:

“The duties and requirements of a woman, fulfilling her sphere of motherhood, absolutely demand certain periods of continence, which, if not granted her through thoughtful solicitude for her welfare by her husband or herself assumed, by virtue of the dignity of womanhood, or by the divine right of free agency, the principle of her life and health is encroached upon, and she is forced to perform her ever increasing labors and duties with a decreasing store of vitality.” Upon the observance of this law of nature, so neatly stated in the foregoing, depends the health of the mother and the welfare of the offspring, and plural marriage favors its fulfilment more than monogamy.

The Doctor continues: “There is nothing in the economy or requirements of man’s life which require this abstinence beyond the temperate limit of his powers of vitality, and this to me is a proof unanswerable and prima facie on the spheres of manhood and womanhood, of the divinity, and I believe is a necessity for the salvation of the human race, of the truth and divine origin of the principle of plural marriage.

“With this principle—universal but limited, and governed by laws of marriage inhibiting sensuality and selfishness, insuring to the wife the literal fulfilment of that part of the marriage ceremony which provides that she shall be ‘nourished and cherished and provided for,’ and the children be hygienically and physiologically clothed and fed, and properly educated, the solution of the growing social evil would be found. Every woman would be what every true woman’s happiness depends upon—a happy wife and mother, queen over her own increasing posterity, and men, honored patriarchs, which are divine rights of both, given by God as a law unto man on earth and throughout all eternity.

“Were this the order of the world, abortions, feticides, infanticides, seductions, rapes and divorces would be relics of the barbarous age, while intelligence, light, peace, and good will and love would be the motor forces of the world; in short, the Millennium would have come.”

[The Contributor, Jan. 1885]

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