Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 10.djvu/177

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
165
MORMONISM FROM A MORMON POINT OF VIEW.

A race of human beings developed (if such a thing were feasible) by strictly scientific selection and culture could not fail to gain the upper hand in the general struggle for dominion, but it remains to be seen whether any success in this direction will attend the system of the Mormons.

"Our physical organization, health, vigor, strength of body, intellectual faculties, inclinations, etc., are influenced very much by parentage. Hereditary disease, idiocy, weakness of mind or of constitution, deformity, tendency to violent and ungovernable passions, vicious appetites and desires, are engendered by parents, and are bequeathed as a heritage from generation to generation."

These are the words of a leading apologist of polygamy, who founds an argument in his own favor upon this truth, now generally admitted, but almost as generally ignored. It is impossible here to discuss so wide and so difficult a question, and I must limit myself to these few brief quotations from the "Key to the Science of Theology," leaving the reader to judge of their worth.

The series of pamphlets by Orson Pratt contains discussions on a great variety of questions connected with Mormonism. In particular the "Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon" is considered at great length, as well as the question, "Was Joseph Smith sent of God?"

Mr. Orson Pratt endeavors to show, in the first place, that to expect more revelation is not unscriptural; secondly, that it is not unreasonable; and, thirdly, that it is indispensably necessary. He then goes on to compare the evidences of the Book of Mormon and of the Bible, alleging that both alike have been confirmed by miracles, and that the prophecies of the Bible, especially those of Isaiah, have been fulfilled in the Book of Mormon and in the history of Mormonism. Throughout his elaborate arguments he assumes the genuineness and authenticity of the Bible, an assumption which he is of course entitled to make in arguing with orthodox Christians. His position is: The truth of the Bible rests upon sufficient evidence, and this evidence is in every way weaker than that which can be adduced for the Book of Mormon—therefore, a fortiori, the Book of Mormon is true. Whatever may be the flaw in this syllogism, those whom Archdeacon Paley satisfies cannot fail to have some trouble in disposing of Mr. Orson Pratt. Toward other Christian sects, whose creeds "are an abomination unto the Lord," the Mormon apostle displays but little brotherly feeling. Upon papist and Protestant alike he pours out the vial of his wrath and contempt in language almost too forcible for quotation; but he seeks to base every reproach directed against them upon texts from the orthodox Scriptures. The pamphlet entitled "The Bible and Tradition, without Further Revelation, an Insufficient Guide," is, in fact, a powerful onslaught upon modern Christendom, perhaps as damaging as any that a professed unbeliever could