“Which is best?” asked he.—“To be one of the wives of a rich saint, where all the wives is happy, and honoured, and well dressed; or to toil and starve, and go next door to naked, as a poor man’s solitary wife does here? I know which I should choose if the two chances was offered me. A woman can’t put her foot inside the heavenly kingdom, I tell you, unless she has got a husband to lay hold of her hand and draw her in. The wives of a saint are safe; paradise is in store for ’em; and that’s why the Gentiles’ wives—them folks that’s for ever riling at us—leave their husbands to marry the saints.”
“Does the saints’ wives ever leave ’em to marry them others—the Gentiles?” asked that troublesome Davies.
“Such cases have been heered of,” responded Brother Jarrum, shaking his head with a grave solemnity of manner. “They have braved the punishment and done it. But the act has been rare.”
“What is the punishment?” inquired somebody’s wife.
“When a female belonging to the Latter Day Saints—whether she’s married or single—falls off from grace and goes over to them Gentiles, and marries one of ’em, she’s condemned to be buffeted by Satan for a thousand years.”
A pause of consternation.
“Who condemns her?” a voice, more venturesome than the rest, was heard to ask.
“There’s mysteries in our faith which can’t be disclosed even to you,” was the reply of Brother Jarrum. “Them apostate women are condemned to it; and that’s enough. It’s not everybody as can see the truth. Ninety-nine may see it, and the hundredth mayn’t.”
“Very true, very true,” was murmured around.
“I think I see the waggins and the other vehicles arriving now!” rapturously exclaimed Brother Jarrum, turning his eyes right up into his head, the better to take in the mental vision. “The travellers, tired with their journey, washed and shaved, and dressed, and the women’s hair anointed, all flagrant with oil and frantic with joy—shouting, singing, and dancing to the tune of the advancing fiddles! I think I see the great prophet himself, with his brass-band in front and his body-guard around him, meeting the travellers and shaking their hands individ’ally! I think I see the joy of the women, and the nice young girls, when they are led to the hyminial halter in our temple by the saints that have fixed on ’em, to be inducted into the safety of paradise! Happy those that the prophet chooses for himself! While them other poor mistaken backsliders shall be undergoing their thousand years of buffetings, they’ll reign triumphant, the saved saints of the Mil—”