Since the publication of Rodman Paul’s “The Mormons” in our June, 1977, issue, we have learned of a couple of interesting sidelights. The first concerns Nauvoo, the Illinois town from which the beleaguered Mormons fled for the safety of the West in 1844. In April of this year, one Walter Pearce was successful in his second attempt to become Nauvoo’s mayor. He was, it is reported, glad that religion was not an issue in the campaign. The point was well taken; Mayor Pearce is a Mormon.
Secondly, it will be remembered that in a sidebar to Professor Paul’s article, we discussed the vast genealogical vault that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) maintains in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah—the largest such facility in the world. Church officials recently dug into those records and came up with a genealogy for President Jimmy Carter, tracking his family down for twelve generations. In accepting the unexpected offering from Church leaders, the President remarked that “We’ve uncovered some embarrassing ancestors in the not-too-distant past. Some horse thieves, and some people killed on Saturday nights. One of my relatives, unfortunately, was even in the newspaper business.”