9 JUNE 2001, Page 28

Mormon memories

From Mr Rayne Kruger Sir: Mary Wakefield's piece on Mormonism ('What makes them Mormons?', 26 May) lit up many memories for me, since in my boyhood 1 was a member of the Mormon Church. Indeed, it fell to me at the age of 12 to conform to a Mormon tradition of marking Christ's preaching in the Temple at that age by every year having a 12-yearold boy deliver a sermon from his local pulpit, although how I sought to move my congregation closer to God is now lost in the mists of nearly 70 years.

Mary Wakefield refers to the century-old ban on polygamy, but the reason for the original practice is rarely explained. It was perfectly rational, since, during their trek across America to found their city by a salt lake in Utah, the Mormons suffered a severe wastage of men (fights with the Red Indians?), and the elders therefore decreed that, to protect and succour the many women who would otherwise have been lonely and childless, the surviving males were to take as many wives as possible.

I remember my Mormon missionaries with enormous affection. They were dedicated, unstuffy, decent and very friendly. Rayne Kruger

Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire