100 years ago today - Feb 21, 1921

[James E. Talmage]

... By further action taken on unanimous vote of the High Council the branch hitherto known as the West Tintic branch of the Tintic Stake of Zion was disorganized. Thus all semblance of Church supervision in the affairs of that unfortunate little group of people has been taken away. When, more than a year ago, reports reached the First Presidency, to the effect that the people in West Tintic had undertaken to establish the 'United Order', they to have all things in common and to abolish all private ownership, I was appointed to investigate the matter. As a result of my first visit to the Tintic Stake with this as one of my appointed duties, I reported the facts as I found them, which were briefly these: That Moses Gudmundson, who was the leader and dominating figure in the movement, denied all intention of going ahead of the Church, specifically in the matter of attempting to start a colony according to the United Order plan; that I did not believe his protestations, but on the other hand was convinced that the people of West Tintic, then organized into an independent branch in the Tintic Stake, were being led by an evil influence. Many other investigations have followed; and we have found to our sorrow that what we saw as the inevitable development of evil unless the people placed themselves in strict harmony with the order and government of the Church, had become a reality, namely, erotic ideas and practises concerning the marital state and the sexual relation. The best I can say of the people is that they have become fanatical through the power of evil. They have made sacrifice their hobby. The eating of meat, the taking of animal life even to provide food, and many other practises common with other people have been forbidden there; while long fasts and particularly the sacrificing of comforts and wholesome desires have been held up as ideals. Now they have reached the abominable status of men sacrificing their wives to other men; and by this means they have put themselves under the laws of Church discipline and have made themselves subject to the punishment provided for by the law of the land. The present state is one of abominable immorality. Some of the women, notably the wife of Moses Gudmundson, and the wife of Gerald Lowry, withdrew promptly from the colony rather than countenance in any degree these ungodly practices. I believe that the judgment of the High Council in these cases is just; and that others than those already tried are involved.

[James E. Talmage, Diary, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1835-1951, Electronic Edition, 2015]

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