July 8, 2005

The Power of the Church

I first read this while I was reading A Marvelous Work and a Wonder and I liked it, so I figured I would post it here. It is titled "A Catholic Utterance."

Many years ago a learned man, a member of the Roman Catholic Church, came to
Utah and spoke from the stand of the Salt Lake Tabernacle. I became
well-acquainted with him, and we conversed freely and frankly. A great scholar,
with perhaps a dozen languages at his tongue's end, he seemed to know all about
theology, law, literature, science and philosophy. One day he said to me: "You
Mormons are all ignoramuses. You don't even know the strength of your own
position. It is so strong that there is only one other tenable in the whole
Christian world, and that is the position of the Catholic Church. The issue is
between Catholicism and Mormonism. If we are right, you are wrong; if you are
right, we are wrong; and that's all there is to it. The Protestants haven't a
leg to stand on. For, if we are wrong, they are wrong with us, since they were a
part of us and went out from us; while if we are right, they are apostates whom
we cut off long ago. If we have the apostolic succession from St. Peter, as we
claim, there is no need of Joseph Smith and Mormonism; but if we have not that
succession, then such a man as Joseph Smith was necessary, and Mormonism's
attitude is the only consistent one. It is either the perpetuation of the gospel
from ancient times, or the restoration of the gospel in latter days."

I would be glad to read any comments on this subject.

I quoted this from the site: http://www.blankslate.net/texts/catholic.php

I also found this, while reading online, and thought it was interesting:

"Dr. White," said Count Tolstoy, "I wish you would tell me about your American religion."
"We have no state church in America," replied Dr. White.
"I know that, but what about your American religion?"
Patiently then Dr. White explained to the Count that in America there are many religions,
and that each person is free to belong to the particular church in which he is interested.
To this Tolstoy impatiently replied: "I know all of this, but I want to know about the American religion. Catholicism originated in Rome; the Episcopal Church originated in England; the Lutheran Church in Germany, but the Church to which I refer originated in America, and is commonly known as the
Mormon Church. What can you tell me of the teachings of the Mormons?"
"Well," said Dr. White, "I know very little concerning them. They have an unsavory reputation, they practice polygamy, and are very superstitious." Then Count
Leo Tolstoy, in his honest and stern, but lovable, manner, rebuked the

"Dr. White, I am greatly surprised and disappointed that a man of
your great learning and position should be so ignorant on this important
subject. The Mormon people teach the American religion; their principles teach
the people not only of Heaven and its attendant glories, but how to live so that
their social and economic relations with each other are placed on a sound basis.
If the people follow the teachings of this Church, nothing can stop their
progress -- it will be limitless. There have been great movements started in the
past but they have died or been modified before they reached maturity. If
Mormonism is able to endure, unmodified, until it reaches the third and fourth
generation, it is destined to become the greatest power the world has ever

Anyway, I got this from: http://www.blankslate.net/texts/tolstoy.php

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