have arived at a strange state of affairs in the History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I have recorded many Events in my Journals of the History of the Church for the Last 50 years of my life we have been persecuted by individuals villages towns Counties States & Now the whole great Nation of the United States of some 60,000,000 of people have set their hand to destroy the Church & Kingdom of God from off the Earth. The Congress Passed Laws in 1862 Against the Saints for practicing poligamy it being a tenit of our religion. The Nation was not ripe Enough to inforce untill of late.
In 1882 Congress passed a law making it a Crime to Cohabit with our wives. Made it a fine of $300 and imprisionment 6 months. Marshals & Judges were sent to Utah to Exicute this Law ...
The Judges & Marshals seem perfectly insane. Judge Zane puts the penalty of those who will not Deny the faith to the full extent of the Law then Blackguards the prisioners Calls their wives Prostitutes & Children Bastards For Cohabitation. All who do not Deny the faith are sent to Prision 6 month & have to pay a fine of $300....
Out of the whole Number so far up to date has been five parties whore Deserted their wives & Children, Broaken their Coven[an]ts Denyed their religion & dishonored God ... this is now the test which is to try all the Elders of Israel who have obeyed the Celestial Law of Marriage.
As a Historian I would say I would rather be shot dead in the Streets or struck with lightning than to Desert my Children Break my Covenants turn my wives into the Street & desert them with whom I have made sacred Covenants Deny my religion & Dishonor God. The decision I we now make will decide our Destiny for all time & Eternity. We have but a short time to live here but a long Eternity to Live on the other side of the Veil. And any man who is faithful to his wives & Children, his Covenants his religion & his God in this life if it Costs him fines, imprisionment Bonds, or Death No power beneath the Heavens Can deprive him from Enjoying the Society of his wives, & Children his family and friends, The prophets & Apostles & the society of God & Lamb, to all Eternity after the Resurrection.
[Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]