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Church News: Question of the week

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In the early days of the Church in Utah, the Polysophical Society was organized and it became very popular. What was the purpose of this society?

In the winter of 1852-53 in the Salt Lake Valley, Lorenzo Snow organized a society open to all ages and interests to study a universality of subjects. The word "polysophical," meaning the study of many kinds of knowledge, was coined as the name of the society. The group presented programs in English, French and Italian; studied the Deseret Alphabet; performed musical numbers; and presented essays, poems, etc. When the group outgrew the Snow residence, it moved to the Social Hall. The society later sponsored schools as well, but declined when Elder Snow was called to preside over the Saints in Brigham City, Utah, and moved to there in 1855. This society was said to have influenced the later Mutual Improvement Association.

Source: The Life of Lorenzo Snow, by Thomas C. Romney, pp.157-64.