The latest Atlantic Monthly’s cover story is “The 100 Most Influential Americans of All Time.” I was delighted to see that an amazing 28 of them are LDS, if my assessment is correct. And two of them were LDS before they died: Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. (OK, so my tongue-in-cheek comment does express a hope that many people have accepted the restored Gospel since passing away, a hope based on the LDS teaching of missionary work going on in the spirit world and the rather unusual concept of “baptism for the dead.”)
Joseph Smith came in at #52 and Brigham Young at #74. Joseph was just behind Margaret Sanger. Interestingly, both envisioned a world in which there were no poor. In Joseph’s world, that goal would be accomplished by building up a Zion society in which all shared freely and lived selflessly. Margaret’s vision would be achieved by eliminating the poor and unwanted through abortion and eugenics. I prefer Joseph’s world over Sanger’s.