from the newsgroup alt.religion.mormon:

This is the exact (though not complete) text of an article in "The Young Woman's Journal", an LDS magazine of the 1890s. The article is dated "Feb 6, 1892".

I present it without comment, but you might safely predict my feelings, as an ex-mormon, towards this article, and its implications.

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      [very approximate ASCII]


and a reply:

I'm aware of two articles that discuss this subject in Sunstone, Vol 7, No. 5, Sep/Oct 1982 by Van Hale and James B. Allen. I'll summarize:

1. Huntington himself did not hear Joseph Smith talk of moonmen, rather his 1881 journal entry quotes one Philo Dibble who did claim to hear JS say these things. "So at best the moonmen statement is a sensational, late, thirdhand reminiscence" (Van Hale, p. 14). There is no clear evidence linking Joseph Smith himself to the moonmen belief. But...

2. It can be established that Joseph Smith's brother, Hyrum Smith, and Brigham Young did believe that the moon was inhabited (as well as the sun). Further, a number of individuals did receive patriarchal blessings saying they would be missionaries on the moon. Brigham Young said

"Who can tell us of the inhabitants of this little planet that shines of an evening called the moon? ...when you inquire about the inhabitants of that sphere you find that the most learned are as ignorant in regard to them as the ignorant of their fellows. So it is in regard to the inhabitants of the sun. Do you think it is inhabited? I rather think it is. Do you think there is any life there? No question of it; it was not made in vain," (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 13, p. 271).
3. Actually, belief in moonmen was a common view held by many people late in the 19th century. There were serious books and newspaper accounts written on the subject. The astronomer William Herschel, who discovered the planet Uranus stated his belief in moonmen in 1780. German astronomer Gruithuisen announced in 1822 his discovery of a large lunar city. Richard Locke, a reporter for the New York Sun, in 1835 issued 6 purported summaries of John Herschel's (son of William) work with a new large telescope in Africa. Locke regaled the public with stories of lunar forests (38 species of trees), plants, lakes. Then herds of new animals, and in his last article winged flying moonmen who worshiped in a magnificent golden temple. These stories were admitted to be a hoax, but many people believed and belief in intelligent moon life continued for many years.


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