This short 1905 book, now available free on Project Gutenberg, is perhaps best introduced by the author’s original preface:
Every person, whether consciously or not, gradually builds up, from his observations and reason, a system of philosophy by which he explains, to himself at least, the problems that the new experiences of his life present for solution. It is of great importance, therefore, that, instead of basing one’s system of thought upon the contradictory hypotheses of speculative philosophy, we start right, so that our ideas on the questions of life may square with the truth as it is known to the Lord. And these considerations are the excuse for this work.
This work is designed rather for study than for reading. To the hasty, illusioned reader, it will prove a short, dull book; but the studious reader, who can render a thought into experience, will find it a voluminous work, profusely illustrated with pictures such as no painter ever transferred to canvas; for to him, because of the nature of the subject, it will tell the whole beautiful story of life.
The thanks of the author are due, most of all, to the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for the helpful criticism of their committee of this work; and, next, to the scores of friends who have given him the benefit of their suggestions.
L. A. W.
Salt Lake Temple,
Salt Lake City, Utah, 1905
Thanks to Katie Liston, one of our summer 2015 interns, for proofreading and producing this book.