The Story of the Mormons: From the Date of Their Origin to the Year 1901

The Story of the Mormons: From the Date of Their Origin to the Year 1901

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The Story of the Mormons: From the Date of Their Origin to the Year 1901

The Story of the Mormons: From the Date of Their Origin to the Year 1901

Read FREE!

Excerpt

No chapter of American history has remained so long unwritten as that which tells the story of the Mormons. There are many books on the subject, — histories written under the auspices of the Mormon church, which are hopelessly biassed as well as incomplete; more trustworthy works which cover only certain periods; and books in the nature of "exposures" by former members of the church, which the Mormons attack as untruthful, and which rest, in the minds of the general reader, under a suspicion of personal bias. Mormonism, therefore, to-day suggests to most persons only one doctrine — polygamy — and only one leader — Brigham Young, who made his name familiar to the present generations. Joseph Smith, Jr., is known, where known at all, only in the most general way as the founder of the sect, while the real originator of the whole scheme for a new church and of its doctrines and government, Sidney Rigdon, is known to few persons- even by name.

The object of the present work is to present a consecutive history of the Mormons, from the day of their origin to the present writing, and as a secular, not as a religious, narrative. The search has been for facts, not for moral deductions, except as these present themselves in the course of the story. Since the usual weapon which the heads of the Mormon church use to meet anything unfavorable regarding their organization or leaders is a general denial, this narrative has been made to rest largely on Mormon sources of information. It has been possible to follow this plan a long way because many of the original Mormons left sketches that have been preserved. Thus we have Mother Smith's picture of her family and of the early days of the church; the Prophet's own account of the revelation to him of the golden plates, of his followers' early experiences, and of his own doings, almost day by day, to the date of his death, written with an ego-

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