Our collective memory of the faithfulness of the Saints leading up to the Manifesto can tend to be a little unbalanced toward believing the Lord's people had been absolutely and perfectly justified through their sacrifice and righteousness in keeping the command to abide the law of plural marriage despite being persecuted, imprisoned, fined, hunted and often driven out of the country. While this was true of many stalwart men and women, Brigham Young's daughter, Susa Young Gates, in an editorial piece for The Young Woman's Journal, paints a clearer picture of conditions, at large, as they might actually have existed.
That our memories may be enlarged, The Wonder Women have reprinted her editorial in its entirety having in mind this preface from the words of President Joseph F. Smith that "the reason the manifesto was given and the principle laid aside was that many of those who entered into that principle were not keeping the commandments, and that not over two percent of the L.D. Saints ever entered into that principle, and the Lord permitted the U.S. Government to pass the Edmunds Tucker Law, a law restricting its practice." (recorded in The Daily Journal of John Mills Whitaker, Vol. 1, pg. 281 as something Pres. Joseph Smith said in the Salt Lake Temple on 9 April 1893)
After 122 years, Susa Young Gates' words still may singe our hearts. Without further ado: