THE VITALITY OF MORMONISM
BRIEF ESSAYS ON DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINES OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS
JAMES E. TALMAGE
One of the Twelve Apostles of the Church
RICHARD G. BADGER
THE GORHAM PRESS
The message of "Mormonism" is of summoning interest in the world today. People of serious mind are not satisfied with the unsupported generalization that it is naught but the outgrowth of delusion and error.
Fungi of fallacy, particularly in the field of modern religious systems, are of no such sturdy growth and wholesome fruitage as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has progressively manifested.
"Mormonism," mis-named though it be, stands for the principles of eternal truth as enunciated by our Lord Jesus Christ, and by His duly commissioned Apostles and Prophets. The basis of "Mormonism" is fairly summarized in the following outline of facts and premises:
1. The eternal existence of a living personal God; and the preexistence and eternal duration of mankind as His literal offspring.
2. The placing of man upon the earth as an embodied spirit to undergo the experiences of an intermediate probation.
3. The transgression and fall of the first parents of the race, by which man became mortal, or in other words was doomed to suffer a separation of spirit and body through death.
4. The absolute need of a Redeemer, empowered to overcome death and thereby provide for a reunion of the spirits and bodies of mankind through a material resurrection from death to immortality.
5. The providing of a definite plan of salvation, by obedience to which man may obtain remission of his sins, and be enabled to advance by effort and righteous achievement throughout eternity.
6. The establishment of the Church of Jesus Christ in the "meridian of time," by the personal ministry and atoning death of the foreordained Redeemer and Savior of mankind, and the proclamation of His saving Gospel through the ministry of the Holy Priesthood during the apostolic period and for a season thereafter.
7. The general "falling away" from the Gospel of Jesus Christ, by which the world degenerated into a state of apostasy, and the Holy Priesthood ceased to be operative in the organization of sects and churches designed and effected by the authority of man.
8. The restoration of the Gospel in the current age, and the reestablishment of the Church of Jesus Christ by the bestowal of the Holy Priesthood through Divine revelation.
9. The appointed mission of the restored Church of Jesus Christ to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof amongst all nations, in preparation for the near advent of our Savior Jesus Christ, who shall reign on earth as Lord and King.
The short essays following have been published at weekly intervals through two years; they number therefore one hundred and four. Concise rather than exhaustive treatment has been attempted. No apology is offered for reiteration of quotations or comment; repetition seemed preferable to the introduction of cross references.
JAMES E. TALMAGE.
Salt Lake City, Utah,
February 3, 1919.
1. The Mustard Seed and the Tree—Development, not Growth Alone
2. What the "Mormons" Believe—Their Articles of Faith
3. What's in a Name?—Is "Mormonism" Misunderstood because of Its Unpopular Title?
4. "Mormonism"—A Distinctive Religious System
5. Direct and Sure—The Church Bold yet Tolerant
6. Wheat and Weeds—Successive Apostasies from the Gospel
7. A New Dispensation—Authority by Restoration not Through Succession
8 Divine Command and Human Agency—The Church a Democracy
9. The Holy Trinity—Unity of the Godhead
10. Original Sin—Are All to Suffer from it Eternally?
11. The Cooperative Plan of Salvation—Christ Alone Cannot Save You
12. The Need of a Redeemer—Man Cannot Exalt Himself
13. Christ's Unique Status—As Redeemer and Savior of the World
14. Philosophy of the Atonement—Its Two-fold Effect
15. How Does Christ Save?—His Plan Combines Justice and Mercy
16. Heaven and Hell—Graded Conditions in the Hereafter
17. In the Realm of the Dead—Paradise—What of the Spirits in Prison?
18. Why Are They Baptized for the Dead?—Elijah the Prophet on the American Continent
19. Obedience is Heaven's First Law—Conditions of Citizenship in the Kingdom of God
20. The Devils Believe and Tremble—Faith not Mere Belief
21. The Voice of John the Baptist Again Heard—Repent Ye, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand!
22. Arise and Wash