Religion Corner – Mark Twain on The Book of Mormon

Roughing It, Chapter XVI.

We submit for your approval one of our favorite essays on that rather interesting take on Christianity, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”, more popularly known as “The Mormons”.  It is from Mark Twain’s book, “Roughing It” and you can read it by clicking on the link above.

This essay, written by the great American humorist Mark Twain, is a review of the Mormon Bible – “The Book of Mormon”.  Twain, at the time just starting out on his career as a writer, ran across the Mormons while he was dodging the Civil War draft by taking off from Missouri to head to California and points west in 1861.  Passing through what is now known as the state of Utah, Twain came into contact with the followers of Joseph Smith and got to spend some time with them.  Back then not many people outside the Mormon church had ever seen a “Book of Mormon”, so Twain obtained a copy and set to writing a review of that uniquely American religious text.  In his inimitable way, Twain gives a hilariously honest appraisal of the “Book of Mormon” in much the same way that he had, in Chapter VI of “Roughing It”, eviscerated one of the most crucial tall-tales of the Judeo-Christian mythology.

Every religion in the world forces its followers to mentally pass a camel through the eye of a needle in order to become a member of that sect.  The Mormons are no exception to this rule.  In addition to all the tall tales of Christianity that they (like all their fellow Christians) accept at face value, they add more than a few whoppers of their own.  We present this essay in the spirit of fun and amusement, and not to irritate or belittle anyone’s religion.  Everyone has a right to believe in God, or not to believe in anything; ours is a secular political party that admits people of all faiths as members, provided that while “on the clock” for the Independent Workers party, they proselytize for the IWP, not their religion of choice.  What they do on their own time is their own business.   Every member of the Independent Workers Party stands for the strict separation of Church and State; the wisdom of this principle can be demonstrated by far too many historical and present-day examples of what happens when this noble and very civilized principle is repudiated.



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