The Story of “Mormonism" as presented in the following pages is a revised and reconstructed version of lectures delivered by Dr. James E. Talmage at the University of Michigan, Cornell University, and elsewhere. The “Story” first appeared in print as a lecture report in the Improvement Era, and was afterward issued as a booklet from the office of the Millennial Star, Liverpool. In 1910 it was issued in a revised form by the Bureau of Information at Salt Lake City, in which edition the lecture style of direct address was changed to the ordinary form of essay. The present or third American edition has been revised and amplified by the author.
The “Story” has been translated and published abroad. Already versions have appeared in Swedish, modern Greek, and Russian.
The subject matter of The Philosophy of “Mormonism" was first presented as a lecture delivered by Dr. Talmage before the Philosophical Society of Denver. It appeared later in the columns of the Improvement Era, and translations have been published in pamphlet form in the Danish and German languages.
The present publication of these two productions is made in response to a steady demand.
Salt Lake City, Utah,
In the minds of many, perhaps of the majority of people, the scene of the “Mormon” drama is laid almost entirely in Utah; indeed, the terms “Mormon question” and “Utah question” have been often used interchangeably. True it is, that the development of “Mormonism” is closely associated with the history of the long-time Territory and present State of Utah; but the origin of the system must be sought in regions far distant from the present gathering-place of the Latter-day Saints, and at a period antedating the acquisition of Utah as a part of our national domain.
The term “origin” is here used in its commonest application—that of the first stages apparent to ordinary observation—the visible birth of the system. But a long, long period of preparation had led to this physical coming forth of the “Mormon” religion, a period marked by a multitude of historical events, some of them preceding by centuries the earthly beginning of this modern system of prophetic trust. The “Mormon” people regard the establishment of their Church as the culmination of a great series of notable events. To them it is the result of causes unnumbered that have operated through ages of human history, and they see in it the cause of many developments yet to appear. This to them establishes an intimate relationship between the events of their own history and the prophecies of ancient times.