"Mormonism: As illustrated in a lecture by Thomas Harris, late an Elder in the Mormon Church," Alton Weekly Courier, 30 July 1857, 2.
At about two o'clock Mr. Harris began his discourse, and for nearly two hours held the audience in wrapt attention, while he proceeded to unvail a few of the innumerable villanies of Mormonism . . . .
The Speaker commenced by saying that he was happy to meet with so large an audience to which to tell of Mormonism as it had been to him--as he had experienced it. He also reminded them that whatever he should say during the address, whatever incidents he might relate, could be relied on as true, because either he himself had seen and heard them, or he had them on the testimony of good men. He should tell nothing that he did not know to be true. . . .
When he (the speaker) arrived at Salt Lake on the 6th of October, 1856, the half yearly conference had commenced. Of course he went up to it--went up to learn the truth of Mormonism. He watched with care and candor, and was unwilling to let anything pass without a faithful examination. Brigham had learned something of the condition of the last hand-cart trains. Franklin D. Richards and some others had arrived and given information about the 4th of October. The conference was called upon to aid in the matter. Should the trains remain in the mountains it would be certain death. . . . What was the voice of God in this matter, as spoken by Brigham? Said he: "Come forward with teams and with men, with clothing and with provisions, and go out into the plains and save the people of the trains. If you shall do this, I promise that not one soul shall be lost in the attempt."
And did they come? Yes, with everything. They went out, and what was the result? No one shall perish, said Brigham; the elements shall divide and let you pass. Coming, as this promise did, from one who claimed to be a prophet of God, it would naturally be expected to be realized. But what was the result? When the missionaries returned they said that they had not gone many miles when the elements seemed to combine against them. At the last crossing of the Platte river, 330 miles from the city, they encountered snow six feet deep. Did they return in safety?" No. Fathers and mothers were frozen to death, or returned with their limbs amputated, and the flesh dropping from their bones. And yet they said that never did they see or hear of a more determined people than those that came to their rescue--many of them perished--nineteen were buried in one grave. This was the salvation that Mormonism gave.
Out of one hundred who started with the hand-carts, two only reached there alive, and yet the Mormon leaders proclaimed that "only a few perished--only a few were cut off. Yes, the Lord is on our side."
With these facts before him, can any one believe that God is with Brigham? Heber C. Kimball told them that if they would save the hand-cart trains they would have summer and they should be able to go up into the canons and cut their wood all the winter. But how was it? Instead of having summer all the winter, they had winter all the summer. Never was such a severe winter known in Salt Lake valley, as that of 1856 and '57. This was the result of his prophecy. And how did he get out of it? "Why," said he, in the Deseret News, "If I prophesy right once out of ten times, I think I am a pretty good prophet." And so it is with the others. They are apt never to prophesy anything until they know it is coming to pass. And when anything is prophesied, the people will go to work, and do all in their power to bring it to pass. This is the way prophecy is managed in Utah.