Scientific Aspects of Mormonism ; or, Religion in Terms of Life
New York, NY
G. P. Putnam's Sons
This book is offered to the consideration of sane people,—people not willing to hold convictions the premises of which lie in other men's brains; especially when such convictions affect their attitude toward a considerable portion of their fellow-citizens. Needless to say, this is a new kind of "Mormonism Exposed,"—written from the point of view that Mormonism is good, and true, and beautiful ; and that, consequently, its detractors should improve their judgment, or mend their manners.
Mormonism claims to be, not a sect, but a religion,—the religion of Jesus Christ. The distinction between a sect and a religion lies in the fact that the sect has no philosophy, no way of looking at the cosmos differently from that of the family of beliefs to which it belongs. Christians generally insist that Mormonism is not to be classed among the sects—or, to use the softer expression, the churches,—of Christianity. In this judgment Mormons willingly concur. Neither in the background of philosophy, nor in the foreground of its doctrine and ritual, does it more than distantly resemble modern Christian churches. But that it is therefore not the religion of Christ; that it is therefore not built upon the revelations of the Bible, as well as the teachings of modem science, Mormons by no means concede.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints may be studied from two aspects: from the external aspect, by which are meant its organization as a church and its rites, doctrines, ceremonies, and practices as a social body; or from the internal aspect, by which is meant its philosophy or fundamental principles,—the principles that must be, in order that its forms as a religion may exist.