Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 10.djvu/183

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171
MORMONISM FROM A MORMON POINT OF VIEW.

new colony has continued to prosper and progress with almost unexampled rapidity, in spite of great disadvantages as to soil, climate, and situation.

There are few countries on the face of the globe where the Latter-day Saints have not attempted to preach their gospel, but as a rule their preaching has not been tolerated. The records of their missionary efforts make it obvious enough why they obtain so large a proportion of their converts from Great Britain and Denmark, while so few come from the Roman Catholic countries of Europe; except in Scandinavia and the British Empire, the foreign missions of the Mormons have failed through the opposition of the powers that be, who have not only prohibited the missionaries from preaching, but in many cases have expelled them from the country. Even in Norway, so bitterly hostile were the ecclesiastics as to decide that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not a Christian sect, in order to deprive it of the protection guaranteed by Norwegian law to all Christian dissenters. Three paragraphs from the Mormon Creed, as stated by Joseph Smith himself, will show r the injustice of such a decision:

"We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. We believe that through the atonement of Christ all mankind may be saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel. We believe that these ordinances are: First, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of bands for the Gift of the Holy Ghost."

It is supposed that a larger percentage of the Danes than of any other nation has hitherto embraced Mormonism, and a Danish newspaper is regularly published at Salt Lake City. Since the separation of Schleswig-Holstein from Denmark, the recruiting-ground of the Mormons has been reduced, as their preaching has been rigidly suppressed in those duchies. Of late years the immigration into Utah from the European missions has varied from one to four thousand persons annually. The most active attempts at propagandism appear to have been made about the years 1852-'53, but in this country a Mormon mission was founded as early as 1837, six years before the "Revelation on Celestial Marriage" had given its peculiar character to Mormonism.

It was not until 1843, thirteen years subsequent to the publication of the Book of Mormon, and to the first organization of the Church of Latter-day Saints, that Joseph Smith proclaimed this new and startling revelation. The style of the document resembles that of the Book of Mormon, but it reveals "a new and an everlasting covenant," distinctly at variance with the teachings of that book already quoted, and justifies the patriarchs, and David and Solomon, "as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives." It is addressed