Susa Young Gates, daughter of Brigham Young, writes to Leo Tolstoy: "When I read your remarks in relation to the present efforts of the U.S. Gov. to crush out polygamy among the peculiar sect called Mormons. My surprise was unbounded that extensive as your reading and knowledge is, it should still reach so far, and compass so seemingly small a factor in the world's present history. I should like if I were only able, to give you a 'mormon's' view of the Mormon question. . . . You have doubtless heard 'our story' all from the one side. Would you care for the 'other side' to speak also?" Gates sends Tolstoy a copy of The Book of Mormon, and George Q. Cannon's LIFE OF JOSEPH SMITH. On Jan 23, 1889 Tolstoy records his reaction to them in his diary: "I wrote down a few things. I read both the Mormon Bible and the life of Smith and I was horrified. Yes, religion, religion proper, is the product of deception, lies for a good purpose. An illustration of this is obvious, extreme in the deception: The Life of Smith; but also other religions, religions proper, only in differing degrees."
[Source: On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com]