1865 April 20 Letter to Theodore W. Curtis, Franklin S. Richards and Richard S. Horne


1865 April 20 Letter to Theodore W. Curtis, Franklin S. Richards and Richard S. Horne


Brigham is opposed to establishing a debating society which encourages too much interest in ones own side promotes sophistry.




Brigham Young


Franklin S. Richards
Richard S. Horne
Theodore W. Curtis


1865 April 20


Great Salt Lake City

Number of Pages




Item sets

585 - 586

Presidents Office G.
Salt Lake City
April 20th, 1865.

Theodore W. Curtis, Franklin S. Richards and Richard S. Horne,

Dear Brethren:-

Your favor of the 19 instant, in relation to the re-establishment of a Social Debating Society" of young men, has been received.

The practice of holding debating clubs and discussing questions by taking sides of the question and exerting every power and faculty of the mind to maintain and carry their own side, whether right or wrong, true or untrue, I am opposed to in my feelings. The training which our young men receive in such a society is hurtful. There is such a spirit of emulation developed, and young men become so interested in their own side, and anxious to have it successful, that they frequently resort to sophistry and other means to gain their point, and truth is sacrificed and their perceptions of right become blunted and a gradual demoralization takes place. The evil which is thus wrought out is very great and all the good that might be gained is neutralized.

I am in favor of the young men meeting together and conversing and exchanging views on such points or subjects as may be deemed most suitable for their improvement. Knowledge may thus be gained and truth elicited; but not by debating or arguing points and clinging tenaciously to sides and being determined to carry them. Your Bishop or some other good, experienced man should meet with you to preside at your meetings.

With love, and praying the Lord to bless you in your efforts to acquire knowledge and to make yourselves useful in the Church and kingdom of God,

I remain, Your Brother,

Brigham Young