they are assisted by the faculty to die, they do not die a natural death—for the corner thought it necessary to warn this “foolish sect” lest they should be guilty of dying a natural death and no doubt (according to the statement of the coroner) if Elizabeth Morgan had still re mained a citizen of London and not have joined that “strange sect” (who die naturally) but that she would either have lived forever or have had the privilege of dying an unnatural death through the assistance of medical aid.
But the Latter-Day Saints are a “strange sect” a “foolish sect” but why so? “they dated their origin from the apostles, and treated their sick according to the following text taken from the last chapter of the epistle of St. James: ‘If there be any illness (is any sick) among you ye shall (let him) call for the elders of the church, and annoint yourselves with oil in the name of the Lord,’ -[and let them pray over him, annointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.”]- The coroner seems to be ignorant of the doc trines of the Latter-Day Saints, or he never would have stated that they “dated their ori gin from the apostles.” We believe in apostol ic religion, but we do not date our origin from them—we believe that the religious world have all become corrupt long ago, and that it needed a revelation from heaven to restore apostolic re ligion, and that we have had such a communi cation: but we do not profess to have descended lineally from them. The learned coroner seems also to be ignorant of his bible, or he would have quoted the above passage a little more correctly than he has done. Respecting its being contrary to our religious tenets to employ “medical aid” we would remark that it is unqualifiedly false, and that we have no tenets prohibiting any such thing, but we think that sister Morgan had as much right to refuse medical aid and die a natural death if she thought proper, as a Methodist, Presbyterian, Quaker, Univeralist, or any other person: and that the coroner had no right to hinder her, nor to try other people for allowing her to do so.
But the people prayed for her “according to the text in St. James” ‘if any are sick &c.’ The thing has at last come out; the coroner did not think it right to follow the directions of “St. James,” for he thinks them a “strange sect” a “foolish sect,” and admonishes them to beware of such conduct, from which we must naturally infer that the coroner does not believe the epistle of James, nor do any of the sects in London, -[for his profession must make him generally acquainted with the sects]- and and he thinks this is a ‘strange’ sect because they do, and that they are very ‘foolish’ for be lieving it. A man may be a Dunkard, a Shaker, a Methodist, a Southcatonian, a Presbyterian, or a Wilkinsonian; he may dance, or shake, or whirl around on his heel, or rend the heavens with his shouts, or sit still and say nothing: he may profess to be a mortal, or an immortal man; he may do any thing that is unscriptural, and it will be orthodox but to believe the bible, and to practice its precepts is ‘foolish and strange’ to this enlightened and Christian coroner, and to the inhabitants of London. But that they die after this administration is singular. The apostles however and the ancient churches used to administer in this ordinance, and yet they died. It is well for them that they did not live in the city of London, the seat of religion, and science, or the pious coroner and his coadjutors would have tried these ungodly men for prac tising contrary to their religion, and would have warned all the sect against their imposi tions and follies.
LETTER FROM ELDER L[orenzo] SNOW.
London, Nov. 10, 1841
Dear Sir,—I received your letter di rected from , which I answer ed soon after its reception. I have also received another from you written at , which I read last Sunday
week to a large congregation of Saints; they were extremely gratified with its contents, and much delighted in hearing from one who had labored so hard to plant the stan dard of Zion in this dark and benighted city. I forwarded it to , for publication in the ‘Star.’
The ‘stone of the mountain,’ which you set to rolling in London, (I am thankful to the Most High in being able to say,) has not yet ceased moving, but is daily becoming more rapid and powerful in its revolutions. It has already gathered round its holy shrine, despite of opposing powers, about one hundred and forty sons and daughters of Zion. Every thing in relation to the church generally goes on prosperously; the power of God is begin ning to manifest itself in a wonderful manner among the Saints; remarkable diseases have been healed through the medium of the priesthood, and many of the Saints have had open visions, which are of that glorious nature as to cause their hearts to rejoice, and to give glory to the Lord God of Zion. [p. 712]