A Study Of Mormonism -- By: George R. Lunn
BSac 59:234 (April 1902) p. 341
A Study Of Mormonism
It is not the purpose of this article to give any detailed account of the origin and development of Mormonism, only so far as it will shed light on our adequate understanding of the peculiar doctrines. Religion with the Mormons is not a thing apart, but extends its sway to every other phase of their life; so that a complete appreciation of their faith is impossible unless some attention be given to the practical results as witnessed in the social, economic, and political conditions as they exist to-day. This article, therefore, will seek to give (1) a very brief historical statement; (2) a detailed treatment of the various doctrines of the church; and (3) trace the practical results, in life, of this strange sect.
Mormonism presents the aspect of mediaeval centralization of power, both spiritual and temporal, in the hands of a well-organized ecclesiastical hierarchy. Such an hierarchy, with its clearly defined prerogatives, could hardly have found acceptance among any considerable number of people and continue to mold their lives, without some basis of accredited authority. That authority is found in their divinely inspired books, chief of which are the Bible and the Book of Mormon. The Bible is necessarily subordinate, since its translation contains many errors; whereas the claims made for the Book of Mormon affirm it to be a divinely inspired record made by the prophets of the an-
BSac 59:234 (April 1902) p. 342
cient peoples who inhabited the American continent for centuries before and immediately after the time of Christ; which record has been divinely translated, in the present generation, through the gift of God and by his special appointment The authorized and inspired translator of these sacred scriptures, through whose instrumentality they have been given to the world in modern language, is Joseph Smith, the founder and greatest prophet of the Mormon people.
The Book of Mormon is a compilation of traditions, myths, and Israelitish history, with extensive biblical quotations. It purports to give the history of the remnant of Israel, beginning with the exodus of the family of Jared after the confusion of tongues at the Tower of Babel. This Jared with his family was specially favored of the Lord, being directed to seek a new country, wherein rich blessing and great prosperity would be found. By divine direction he left his native land, and after many perilous days at sea finally landed on the coast of Lower California, In the course of time this family grew to be a powerful nation, known as the Jaredites, establishing a civilization throughout Central America. They finally suffered total extinction, because of war and general degeneration....
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