Excerpt from Mormonism, The Islam of America

The introduction to this tract of the Council of Women for Home Missions, MormonismThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also called the Mormon Church, was launched by Joseph Smith (1805-44) who discovered a new revelation, the Book of Mormon, which became, along with the Bible, the “latter day” scripture of the new commu..., the IslamIslam in Arabic literally means “submitting” or “submission.” One who submits or surrenders his or her will to God is called a Muslim. While the whole of God’s creation is described as being inherently Muslim, human beings must choose whether to... of America (1912), was written by the Council’s editorial committee, expressing some of the concerns of Christians about the MormonsThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also called the Mormon Church, was launched by Joseph Smith (1805-44) who discovered a new revelation, the Book of Mormon, which became, along with the Bible, the “latter day” scripture of the new commu....  It compares in a general way the post-Biblical revelationRevelation is the gift or disclosure of knowledge, insight, or instruction from God to the human. The term is used in the Jewish tradition to refer to the revelation of Torah, the law; in the Islamic tradition to refer to the revelation of the Qur’an, t... to JosephIn the Christian tradition, Joseph is the earthly father of Jesus and husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Smith with the post-Biblical revelation of the Qur’anThe word Qur’an literally means “recitation.” Revealed orally to Muhammad by the angel Gabriel, he recited it to his followers. These recitations collected in written form are arranged in 114 surahs, generally from longest to shortest. Muslims consi... to MuhammadThe Prophet Muhammad, known as “the Seal of the Prophets,” was born in the city of Makkah on the Arabian peninsula in 570 C.E. At 40, he began to receive a series of revelations from God through the angel Gabriel. His small group of followers met with..., both of which pose similar challenges to ChristianityChristianity is the religious tradition of Christians: those who confesses faith in Jesus Christ, follow the path Christ taught, and gather together in the community of the church..


The title of this, the latest of the text-books issued by the Council of Women for Home Missions, may need a word of explanation. It is generally acknowledged that Mormonism is similar to Mohammedanism in its endorsement of the practice of polygamy, and its ideas of heaven. Many other points of similarity between these systems have been noted by students, and the Book of MormonThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also called the Mormon Church, was launched by Joseph Smith (1805-44) who discovered a new revelation, the Book of Mormon, which became, along with the Bible, the “latter day” scripture of the new commu... has marked resemblance to the KoranThe word Qur’an literally means “recitation.” Revealed orally to Muhammad by the angel Gabriel, he recited it to his followers. These recitations collected in written form are arranged in 114 surahs, generally from longest to shortest. Muslims consi.... As all ancient religions have a modern equivalent, Mormonism can justly be claimed to be the modern form of Mohammedanism, and not incorrectly termed “the Islam of America.”

While the subject considered in this book should be approached only in a spirit of fairness and Christian sympathy, it has become of too great importance in our national life to be omitted as a topic for careful study. It is in response to a wide-spread realization that this subject is a national problem, and bears an important relation to Home Missions, that the Council of Women presents this book.

In beginning its study, it is wise to free the mind of some misapprehension. Prominent among our national ideals are those of religious liberty for ourselves, and toleration for our neighbour’s faith. No violation of this principle is involved in a candid, just and sympathetic study of any system of religious belief.

In the Handbook of our faith Christians are exhorted to prove all doctrines in order rightly to measure their truth and test their moral standards. In this spirit this text-book has been written. Dr. Kinney is peculiarly fitted to deal with his subject, both from careful investigation, and from personal acquaintance with it in Utah.

The Mormon problem is not primarily a religious one, nor should it be so considered. The hierarchy which embodies this system has extended its influence into so many lines of our national concerns, that Mormonism has ceased to be of merely theological or religious significance. It must be studied in its relation to government and commerce; to social conditions; to its influence on state policies and even on the utterances of the press, before it can be rightly understood as a factor in our present-day nationality.

In all these connections it is presented by Dr. Kinney, and while he regards with Christian sympathy the followers of the Mormon religion, he sees, and presents clearly, the dangers inherent in the designs, ambitions and methods of the all powerful hierarchy, which absolutely controls the affairs of the churchThe term church has come to wide use to refer to the organized and gathered religious community. In the Christian tradition, church refers to the organic, interdependent “body” of Christ’s followers, the community of Christians. Secondarily, church ... and the lives of every one of its members. The undue influence in the affairs of the nation and the councils of the government attained by this powerful body makes its beliefs and practices of national concern. Dr. Kinney’s point of view is intelligent, broad, and just. The Council of Women for Home Missions is glad to give to its readers and students a text-book so full of carefully authenticated information, and written in a spirit of such justice and charity for those deceived, indeed, but honest in their mistaken beliefs.

[From Bruce Kinney, Mormonism, The Islam of America (New York: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1912), 5-12.]