voices from the past

I often buy copies of my out-of-print books on ebay. Recently I bought a first-edition copy of The Mormon Mirage. It was autographed by me to a woman named Margaret (whom I do not remember.) Inside the book were two sheets of paper, a handwritten note from someone named Blaine (and his wife Bev) to this Margaret. I don’t know any of them.

It was dated 4-1-80. Twenty-seven years ago; half my lifetime ago. This came in the mail to me at a critical time when I am revising and rewriting The Mormon Mirage for re-issue. I offer this letter to you so that you can, as I did, “eavesdrop” on a conversation about this book. It was as if God tapped me on the shoulder and said, “See, you have no idea of what I can do with what you write.”

(transcribed text of the letter):

Dear Marilyn,

This is the third time I”‘ve started a letter to you. Hopefully, I”‘ll get done with it this time.

I first want to say that I very much enjoyed seeing you again and hope it won”‘t be another 2 years until your next visit.

I also wanted to share some feedback from your course with you. It has all been very positive. They all thought they learned and are very complimentary toward you and your style. If that”‘s any indication, I”‘m sure you”‘ll be successful in your private training business.

I”‘m sure we will want to do another course in the future, but I”‘m not real sure when that will be. We”‘ll just have to see what the demand is.

I want to say that I”‘m feeling a little better about things in general than I was when you were here. As you observed, I was pretty up-tight about things in general. Since then, I did that supervisor course in Bismarck which went really well and I was very pleased about that. That must have been weighing on my mind more than I thought. At any rate, I feel quite a lot better now, in terms of being relaxed. It”‘s funny how a person gets up-tight without being aware sometimes.

I also want to share some thoughts about Mrs. Scott”‘s book as you said she is interested in people”‘s reactions. My wife and I both read it and I still want to buy a copy. That says a lot right there. (Ha!) Seriously, I, we, thought the book was great! She did a commendable job of research and the book was also well written. She certainly explained a lot of things for both of us. Bev and I could both relate to it very well given the fact that we both grew up in Mormon communities and have close Mormon relatives. There is no doubt in our minds that she”‘s presented Mormonism as we know it accurately and sincerely. I”‘m even further convinced that Mormonism is a perversion of Christian doctrine and that I will never become a Mormon myself. In fact, I intend to send the book to my Dad when I get it from you as he is starting to drift back to the church since he”‘s gotten older.

One thought occurred to me with respect to the book and that is to those who haven”‘t had the background that Bev and I have, the whole thing may even seem so outrageous that people wouldn”‘t believe her. It”‘s hard to imagine a carnal union between Adam and Mary producing Christ for example. The concept of the celestial kingdom where all you do is reproduce souls is also hard to imagine. That does explain the Mormon preoccupation with the body, sex, etc. but. . .. It seems to me that Joseph Smith kept just enough of the appearance of Christianity so as to first, cover himself in the hereafter, and secondly, to make it palatable to Christians at least initially. Otherwise, nobody would convert.

I have to go now. I”‘ll talk with you further. Send the book when you get the chance.

Yours truly,

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