healthincluding the possibility that Amasa had battled depression


The Twelve questioned Amasa on January 21, 1867, and he "admitted teaching that the blood of Christ was not absolutely necessary for human salvation" (373). He published a statement in the Deseret News recanting his views (374) but apparently chafed under the restriction and recanted his recantation. According to a member of his stake presidency in Fillmore where the Lyman family had lived since 1863, Amasa had told a congregation in April 1867 that "the Blood of Jesus Christ was no more efficacious for the remission of sins than the blood of a bullock" (377). Amasas bishop, Philo T. Farnsworth, wrote to Young reporting Amasas "defiant demeanor" in reportedly denouncing his accusers of being "narrow brained, ignorant, miserable objects" who werent smart enough to understand his doctrines (377-78). On May 6, 1867, Amasa was "disfellowshipped, forbidden to exercise his priesthood in performing any church ordinances, and most expressly forbidden to preach; but he was still a member silver bracelets of the church" (382).

In November 1868 Amasa began attending Mormon services in Fillmore again and appeared to be moving back toward full Church membership. By April 1869 Brigham Young "personally provided him with a ticket (or recommend) to attend the Fillmore School of the Prophets" (409). But Amasa soon began meeting with William S. Godbe, a prosperous merchant from England who, with a small group of other inf luential Saints, opposed "Brigham Youngs economic and religious policies" in favor of "laissez-faire individualism" (410-11). Amasa eventually united with the Godbeite movement, becoming a highly visible promulgator of their views.12 Lyman depicts Amasa silver cufflinks "as an intellectual forerunner and perhaps exemplar for the Godbeite revolt." As a result, Amasa was excommunicated for apostasy onMay 12, 1870, by the Salt Lake Stake high council (429).

The Godbeite movement faded away and so, in a way, did Amasa. Lyman traces Amasas sporadic church attendance, continuing interest in spiritualism and seances, and declining healthincluding the possibility that Amasa had battled depression for several years, a hypothesis he finds unconvincing (357-58). Amasa apparently did not reconsider his stand, caricaturing Mormon preaching as the "idle twaddle of the propagandists of a creedal faith" that epitomized the "blindness of the dupes of religious fanaticism" (483). He was never rebaptized and silver earrings requested to be buried in a black suit instead of white temple clothing.

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