A displeased Mormon writes a letter
By Jacob Howard
This letter, from a man who felt he was deceived into Mormonism, will launch some intense study into some of the issues that racked his soul.
To President John Taylor:
Duty imperatively demands that as I am about to withdraw from the Church over which you preside I make known to you and to all whom it may concern the reasons which have compelled me to take this step.
When I joined the Mormon Church a little over 5 years ago I believed implicitly as I do now that the Bible was the word of God and the Rule of Faith and while the ‘Book of Mormon’ and ‘Doctrine and Covenants’ were referred to as additional revelation they no where contradicted the Bible but rather established it.
Before joining the Church I became acquainted with Elders Wm. Budge, John Nicholson, Francis Cope, James L. Bunting, and others. Elder Nicholson preached from the Bible only and almost entirely dwelt on what is known as the first principles claiming that these principles were what had been introduced by our Savior and preached by his immediate apostles but that men had wandered away from them and had fallen into darkness and superstition. I had heard a great many things about the Mormons that were nothing to their credit consequently the eminent social qualities and gentlemanly conduct of Elder Cope won my admiration and esteem. I was greatly pleased to find him a monogamist for while I could not deny that many good men in the past had had more wives than one, I never for one moment assented to the idea that there was any virtue in such a proceeding or that it merited or would receive any reward.
I joined your Church on the 20th of May 1879 and during the first 2 years of my membership I faithfully adhered to it and would have given my life to defend it, during all this time I never heard of Adam being God, never heard of Blood Atonement, never heard of polygamy being required of all men before they could attain to highest glory. Never dreamed that Brigham Young or any one else coolly threw the Bible overboard and preached whatever they pleased which I was bound to accept as revelations of God. I do not and cannot cease these men of having told me anything absolutely false, but they certainly withheld the horrible. I was in the Church some five years before I heard or knew anything about those things – doctrines against which my soul revolts…
I imagined that I had come to the kingdom of God to help build it up! What did I find? I found that God, the God of the Bible is not even worshipped by the Church over which you preside, the God you worship is Adam. Brigham Young teaches I quote his words, ‘When our Father Adam came into the Garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body and brought Eve one of his wives with him. He is our Father and our God and the ONLY God with whom we have to do.’ At first I could not bring myself to believe that this doctrine was accepted by the Church, but on careful inquiry found to my horror and astonishment that it was really so. It is true a great many know nothing about it and are simply in ignorance. Those who do not know accept it as far more to be relied on than any portion of the Bible, for say they the Bible has been translated over and over again and may be wrong but this is the direct teaching of a Great Prophet.
I reject this as abominable and horrible idolatry and give it as one reason why I cannot remain in your Church.
– Scott Anderson – September 22nd, 1884