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MORMON MISSIONARIES IN WELLINGTON.

A Wellington telegram received yesterday says :—Two Mormon elders who are now here called a meeting of the public at the Athenaeum Hall on Saturday night, when the proceedings were extremely uproarious. From the reports that had appeared of a previous meeting which had not been announced, and to which admission was by invitation ticket, there was an expectation that a Saturday night free public meeting would not be harmonious. This became evident to the elders, who at the last moment decided to charge a shilling a head at the door. This, combined with a continuous downpour of rain, kept the audience more select than it would otherwise have been, a number of roughs turning away after one mrsuccessful attempt to rush the doors. A select body of policemen was in attendance to keep order. The chairman of the previous meeting having proved hostile, the elders decided not to have one on this occasion. The business was commenced by one of the elders, a young man named Farr, going on the stage and playing a sohottische on the American lyre, and than praying. He next asked for a fair hearing, and said that anyone who interfered could not be a Christian, and proceeded to give a very rambling address on the origin and principles of Mormonism, and stated that the Mormons were the people who were going to rule the world. The statement was received with uproarious laughter, which was renewed and prolonged when he invited those who doubted his statements to go to Utah and judge for themselves. Anyone drunk in Utah was a Gentile, and % not a saint. [Great laughter, and a voice with a beer.”] Here a ventriloquist in the hall caused great diversion by making irreverent observations in a feigned voice, the fun being caused by the efforts of two policemen to find him Then followed a loud uproar, during which there were many calls for Mr Dwan, a local auctioneer, to take the chair to keep order. Mr Dwan declined. The elder then stated that anyone going to Utah would bo given a fair hearing, and that the saints would rather encounter ten thousand devils than such a gatheiing as that before him, though Christ and the apostles had to bear with many such con-.’rogations as his audience. This caused another great disturbance and uproar, which was heightened when the elder said there were thousands of Mormon elders visiting such wicked and corrupt cone rogations as they were, but he asked that they might be forgiven, for they knew not what they did, and then the uproar began again and was so continued a considerable time. He stated that he claimed to be possessed of the same spirit as Saints Peter and Paul. (Great laughter, and voices—“ No ; the spirit of Hennessy.) The Elder next said they could either believe or reject his doctrines, upon which there was a general exclamation—“ We reject them.” _He then said they were evil designed beings. At tnis there was much hooting and uproar, followed by another loud demand for Mr Dwan, who eventually took the chair, and asked for a fair hearing, as the Elders might do good by inducing objectionable fema'ea to migrate. The elder said he was not frightened by such a class of people as those before him. After another uproar, the elder said the vengeance of a just God would fall on them—(Cries of “ both.”) Ho then called his auditors wicked and corrupt minded, to preach the truth to whom was throwing pearls to swine. This evoked another uprorious clamour, when the elder said they had proved anything but Christians. (Voices —“ No ; we’re all Mormons.’’) The elder replied they were not Mormons, or they would not treat him so. He should go home, leaving them in the hands of a just God to eternal condemnation. (Great confusion.) The end would come. (Voices —“ Which end ?”) He was one of the servants of God. (Much uproar, “No, no;” and “ Where is your mate, old party 1 ’) He would not answer any questions that night. (Loud criei—“ Then what can you take our shillings for ?”) After some personalities, the elder said they would answer consistent questions, but would not throw pearls to swine. Answering a question as to polygamy, the elder said the saints were peculiar in many ways. They believe in marrying wives and raising a righteous seed. The questioner then appealed to the police whether the elder was not breaking the law, and was told by the chairman to consult his solicitor. The elder said he had not preached polygamy, and did not want them to believe in it. He did not know that he should ever be a polygamist, as one wife was enough for him. The saints built.a separate house for each wife. Here there was great uproar and laughter, when the elder said ho saw an evil power coming on, and would not answer any more questions. The uproar then became tremendous, amidst which a local saddler went on the stage, and after some derisive hootings and exclamations, said he would read a revelation from the Mormon Bible, authorising polygamy. This was succceeded by another loud and long continued disturbance. The Chairman then gave another version from “Chambers’ Encyclopedia” of the origin and rise of Mormonism including the Mountain Meadows massacre, advised anyone who wished to get the real facts concerning Utah to consult some residents in one of the Wellington suburbs, the members of a party who had gone to Utah, and had been able to get back. Having made a remark as to the elder’s veracity, some personalities between the

two ensued The elder said there were persons in the town who could attest this statement, and on loud cries of “name” he led forward the saddler before men-

tioned, who was asked by the audience, amid great hooting and laughter, how many wives he had ? The saddler said in Utah there was only one policeman to 11,000 people, (Voices : “ Their wives keep them in order.”) The elder made efforts to leave the stage, but was prevented. He then, amid renewed clamor, called the chairman an evil-minded man, and said he would go, hoping the Lard would forgive them. This was followed by mors uproar, laughter, and exclamations (in imitation of Bunthorn), “ Oh, don’t go. ” Some one then caused a sensation by shouting that the money taker had bolted, whereupon the elder picked up his books and lyre, and was hurrying off the stage when a man who winted to ask questions came forward and drew him back by the coat tails, causing great fun and uproar, which was continued for some time,

Then there were loud cries for more tunes from “the Yankee liar," invitations to play “ The girl I left behind me,” etc. Another man began to read, while the elder gesticulated and spoke, but nothing could be hoard, the uproar being deafening. On subsiding somewhat, several theological questions were answered, after which there were angry calls, “ Do you consider that a shilling’s worth ?” The din again becoming overwhelming, it was suggested that “ Music

had charms to soothe the savage breast,” and the elder played another The other elder then came forward tSwithlj a large stick, and among other approbrioiu remarks said he would suppose there \isre not all the lunatics of Wellington but of. the colony present. Many of them Would not go to Utah, but would like to have three or four wives. More uproar followed, and as for some time there had a continuous discharge of squibs and crackers, the air was becoming sulphurous. The elders tried to leave, but could not effect a retreat for some time. However, after a prolonged uproar the meeting broke up with hoots, yells, and squibs, the elders being subsequently hooted along the street.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18821106.2.11

Bibliographic details

MORMON MISSIONARIES IN WELLINGTON., Ashburton Guardian, Volume IV, Issue 786, 6 November 1882

Word Count
1,309

MORMON MISSIONARIES IN WELLINGTON. Ashburton Guardian, Volume IV, Issue 786, 6 November 1882

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