Letter To The Editor

February 22, 2002


Letter to the Editor,  

            Look out Hancock County, they’re coming back!  It was almost 150 years ago that the wagons headed west over the frozen Mississippi carrying the Mormons away.  They discovered that the people of Hancock County had a problem with their form of religious and social structure.

            The historical remains of their existence in Nauvoo have been carefully preserved over the past 50 years.  I remember as a child, making trips to visit the various buildings that had survived.  The care-taking seemed to be responsibility of two disputing church factions.  I watched in fascination one day as a caravan of decorated autos made a centennial reenactment of their departure.  History is a good teacher.  

            My third great grandfather was a Mormon church elder with a history that went all the way back to Dryden, New York.  His daughter (my second great grandmother), suffered the hardships of Far West, Missouri.  Thank God, she met a man who would marry her in 1839 and remove her from the influence of the Mormons.

            It would be easy to say that Nauvoo is being revisited by some nice people and not be wrong, but the Mormon brand of belief in a God borders on mysticism.  The Bible has been distorted by the additional writings of Joseph Smith.  So many secrets are hid from the public eye.  Secret rites in secret rooms are not the plan of a caring God.  One can only wonder what that room at the end of the underground tunnel off the back of the temple will be used for.  I know I will never be allowed inside the building.  I have seen a comment by their official photographer who says he’s been told not to publish any pictures of the inside of the building.  Wonder why?

            I choose not to be in Hancock County during the open house tours, even though I have accommodations available at any time.  The announced security measures will only serve to hide church secrets.  I for one will be in prayer that Mormons everywhere will someday wake to the fact that their religion is based on the simple musings of a misguided youngster many years ago.  Nothing has changed.   

Robert M. Wells

Note:  This letter was submitted to the Keokuk Daily Gate City.  Whether it was published  is  not known...RMW

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                   Sheffield Daniels