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Mollie Higginson: Is “Mormonism” a Delusion? (1921)

By: Ardis E. Parshall - June 27, 2013

One of these days I will write that post I’ve long intended to write, introducing you to Mollie Higgonson, the English woman who was blogging decades before  teh interwebz were born. But you can enjoy some of her writing without yet knowing who she was, as if you had just stumbled across this as a post on her blog. One of her 1915 posts has already been republished on Keepa as How to Get to Heaven.

Is “Mormonism” a Delusion?

A friend of mine once said to me, “I know you are in earnest, Mollie – too deadly in earnest – about this so-called religion you have taken up. I know you believe in it with all your heart and soul; but oh, Mollie, Mollie, can’t you see, won’t you understand, it is all a delusion? It is nothing whatever but a pack of lies. Those Elders, as you call them, have thrown dust in your eyes, but once they have you safely in their clutches in far-away Utah, and you see for yourself the kind of life they live there – the kind of life you will be compelled to live – then the dust will fall from your eyes and you will know you have been following nothing but a delusion and a lie. Give it up! Mollie; stay with us. They won’t love you as we love you; they do not know you, and it is those who know you best who love you most. Forget the ‘Mormons,’ Mollie, forget you ever met them. Stay with us, and we will make you happy.”

I looked upon the faces of the friends I loved so well, and looking, I realized that the day was all too speedily coming when I should see them again no more, and I answered, ‘Your love is sweet to me, it is more precious than I can say; but my religion is more to me than my life, and where it calls me I must go. But you need have no fear for me. ‘Mormonism’ is true, the Elders are true. There can come no sad awakening for me, for I know from the very bottom of my soul, I know the ‘Mormon’ Church is the Church of God, and nothing you or anyone else can say can shake my faith in it. All the powers of earth and hell combined cannot tempt me to turn aside from my religion, despised though it be. It is true! true! and I know it.”

Yes, I knew it then; I know it now. “If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself,” so said Christ when He was here on earth, and I testify that I know He spoke truly, but how can I prove it? how make the world around me believe that the “Mormons” are not following a delusion and a lie? That is the problem.

“Mormonism” is true. True as the stars above us, true as the purity and innocence that shines in the baby’s eyes, true as the light that follows the night of darkness. But to prove it! Ah! Were Satan a less mighty spirit, were Lucifer something less than “the son of the morning,” the task might be less difficult, but, Satan himself knows it is true, and that being so, he has to make white appear black in order to blind the eyes of his followers, and so he uses religion as his cloak, and the greatest opponents of “Mormonism” are and always have been religious people.

But now, listen! Forget time and place. Go back with me in thought long years before the birth of the Redeemer. A voice is speaking! Hark!” Surely the Lord God will do nothing but he revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets.” Have the words reached you? Has their full meaning found lodgment in your mind? Who spoke them? The prophet Amos (chap. 3:7). Do you believe in the ancient prophets of Israel? If so, and if Amos were a prophet of the living God, then, before Christ can come to reign on earth as king, He must have a prophet on the earth to prepare His way.

The “Mormons” believe, nay more, they know, Joseph Smith was such a prophet, and they know also that the coming of the Lord is close at hand. Are they deluded? If so, then Joseph Smith’s life was a living lie and the lives of hundreds of his followers are the same. But the world is apt to overlook a very important fact. They say the “Mormons” pin their faith to the word of one man. Not so. Joseph Smith was not the only man to testify he had seen an angel. Oh, no! Others did the same. Some right in our midst this very day can say that with their own eyes they saw an angel from heaven and that they know Joseph Smith spoke truly when he said angels have again visited the earth in these latter days.

Again, if the “Mormons” are deluded, then there is a day yet future, when angels must visit the earth, and God’s prophets will dwell in the midst of the people. Will the people who declare that heavenly visitation ceased with the ancient apostles, will these people, I say, be more ready to receive the angels and prophets in the years to come, than they are now? I tell you, Nay! “Delusion! delusion!” they will continue to cry, and yet they say they believe the Bible. Happily, however, we as “Mormons,” or, correctly speaking, as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, know of the doctrine, that it is of God, and not of man.



3 Comments »

  1. The basis of Mormonism is revelation, both individual and collectively via prophets. Revelation is a source of information, thus providing with new sets of logical premises. To anyone without access to these premises, beliefs based on them will appear delusional. And how do you know that the revelation someone else receives is true? Only by receiving it yourself, otherwise you cannot know.

    Comment by Samuel — June 27, 2013 @ 10:03 am

  2. To the extent that a spiritual witness or confirmation of the truth of a revelation is itself revelation, I agree with you. I can receive a confirmation that the vision recorded in, say, Doctrine and Covenants 76 is a true revelation, without the Lord’s giving me a replay of the vision as Joseph saw it. If by “receiving it yourself” you mean that I must witness a literal repetition of that vision, then I am in vehement opposition.

    My heterodoxy-detecting whiskers are twitching actively, because you are using language more closely aligned to certain apostate groups than to mainstream Mormonism. If that is accidental coincidence, please forgive my suspicions. If you are in fact preaching a warped brand of Mormonism, know that Keepa is not the place — drive on.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — June 27, 2013 @ 5:00 pm

  3. I think molly was my mothers second cousin. They used to meet way back in 1915 in Staffordshire England. My mother used to accompany Molly when she visited the poor in Hanley Stoke on Trent. My age is ninety three. Just a matter of interest.

    Comment by eveline shore — August 29, 2013 @ 5:05 pm

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