Stegner’s Stance on Mormonism

Since the stance from which I have written will surely strike some as being just as biased as anything in the library of Mormonism and anti-Mormonism, I may as well define it. I write as a non-Mormon but not a Mormon-hater. Except as it affected the actions of the people I write of, I do not deal with the Mormon faith: I do not believe it, but I do not quarrel with it either. For the Church organization, historically and in modern times, I have a high respect. Of the hierarchy, historically and in modern times, I am somewhat suspicious, in the way I am suspicious of any very large and very powerful commercial and industrial corporation. For the everyday virtues of the Mormons as a people I have a warm admiration, and hundreds of individual Mormons have been my good friends for forty years. If I have a home town, a place where a part of my heart is, it is Salt Lake City, and the part of western history that seems most personal and real to me is Mormon history. Nevertheless, I write as an outsider, and I make no attempt to whitewash the Mormon tribal crimes, which were as grievous as their wrongs.