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The Mormon Puzzle, and How to Solve It   By:

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THE MORMON PUZZLE; AND HOW TO SOLVE IT.

BY REV. R. W. BEERS, A.M., PASTOR OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, ELKTON, MD.

"A disposition to reserve, and an ability to improve, taken together, would be my standard of a statesman" EDMUND BURKE.

FUNK & WAGNALLS, PUBLISHERS. CHICAGO: TIMES BUILDING. NEW YORK:1 8 & 20 ASTOR PLACE. LONDON: 44 FLEET STREET. 1887

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1886, By FUNK & WAGNALLS, In the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington, D. C.

To my Parents, TO WHOSE SELF SACRIFICE AND DEVOTION I OWE SO MUCH, THIS VOLUME IS LOVINGLY Dedicated.

PREFACE.

The following pages have at least the merit of being addressed to a subject of living interest to the American people. Perhaps with the single exception of the labor problem, the Mormon problem is the most important question before the people of our country at the present time. It is a problem which has thus far been unsolvable by the moralist, the statesman, and the politician. It still remains a PUZZLE. No feasible plan has yet been hit upon for getting rid of it.

From the past failures to solve it, it would seem that the problem has either not been studied from the proper standpoint, or has been misunderstood. Accordingly, we instituted a careful study of the problem in all its different phases, and endeavored to conduct our investigation in a fair and impartial manner. In doing so we consulted the leading authorities, both Mormon and non Mormon, and must here acknowledge our indebtedness especially to "New Light on Mormonism," by Mrs. Ellen E. Dickinson; "Illiteracy and Mormonism," by Henry Randall Waite; Professor Coyner's "Handbook on Mormonism;" Schaff Herzog's "Encyclopædia of Religious Knowledge;" and back files of the Independent , Christian Union , and Deseret News all of which were freely used in the preparation of this volume.

It has the merit of being the product of about two years' careful thought and research. Most of the writings on Mormonism at the present day are the result of a few days' study of the subject on the field of Utah; but, apart from the insufficient time which such authors devote to the study of so knotty a problem, their minds are very apt to be warped by the people among whom their lot is cast during their short visit there, and they almost inevitably present a one sided view of the question.

Thus, some have fallen into the hands of the Mormons ; and they have returned from Utah delighted, and let fall from their lips naught but encomiums for the priesthood and apologies for the Mormon system. Many of our legislators have in this way been the dupes of the Mormon priesthood. On this subject the much lamented Mary Clemmer wrote the following pungent lines:

"Legislators constantly passing to and from California find Salt Lake City a most attractive stopping place. The Mormon hierarchy, sly, cunning, astute, to the last limit of human nature, is ever sharply on the lookout for these potent summer visitors. 'Prophets' and 'apostles' board every train of cars that enters Utah bearing an important traveller. The freedom of the city, the hospitality of the show 'happy families,' who are never taken by surprise on an off day of misery, is lavished upon the ingenuous guest.... The facts impressed upon his senses, as well as his understanding, are those of great industry, thrift, wealth, prosperity of shrewd men and of seemingly happy women. Indeed, their supreme occupation while with him is to prove to him that they are happy, while the men are equally busy in spreading before him the vast resources of both the Church and the Territory. This man, who is one of many men whose voice and vote tells upon human affairs, leaves the Territory at last deeply in debt personally for favors received and mentally somewhat dazed by the material profitableness of a religious system that he wishes to denounce, but does not pretend to understand."

On the other hand, many have fallen into the hands of bitter non Mormons during their brief stay in Utah; and their minds have been filled with horrible stories of the brutalities and crimes of the Mormon people... Continue reading book >>




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