Thanks for the quote, LValfre. Brigham Young’s sentiments express what
more Americans than we might suspect were thinking then and it underscores what
a difficult task Lincoln was faced with in a war of brother killing brother. Let
us hope that no other President ever again has to deal with a situation like
Brigham Young - March 8, 1863: "The rank rabid abolitionists,
whom I call black-hearted Republicans, have set the whole national fabric on
fire. Do you know this, Democrats? They have kindled the fire that is raging now
from the north to the south, and from the south to the north. I am no
abolitionist, neither am I a pro-slavery man; I hate some of their principles
and especially some of their conduct, as I do the gates of hell. The Southerners
make the negroes, and the Northerners worship them; this is all the difference
between slaveholders and abolitionists. I would like the President of the United
States and all the world to hear this. Shall I tell you the law of God in regard
to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his
blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the
spot. This will always be so."
A fascinating article in the Religious Educator a couple of years ago showed how
Lincoln evolved in LDS thinking from a president who was routinely criticized by
LDS leaders to one who is now probably the most quoted political figure in
general conference addresses. Brigham Young had no kind words for our 16th
president, but LDS members today likely regard him as our greatest president.
Makes me wonder how our current president will be viewed generations from now.
Probably far more positively than conservatives can imagine.
The Civil War was drawing to a close when Lincoln in his second inaugural
address delivered the Christ-like phrase "With malice toward none, with
charity for all...."Had he lived to serve out his second term,
he most likely would have locked horns with the radical members of Congress who
were bent on punishing the South. Lincoln realized that the country had been