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Joseph Smith, founding prophet and martyr of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, personally wrote, dictated, or commissioned thousands of documents. Among these are several highly significant sources that scholars have used over and over again in their attempts to reconstruct the founding era of Mormonism, usually by focusing solely on content, without a deep appreciation for how and why a document was produced. This book offers case studies of the sources most often used by historians of the early Mormon experience. Each chapter takes a particular document as its primary subject, considering the production of a document as an historical event in itself, with its own background, purpose, circumstances, and consequences. The documents are examined not merely as sources of information but as artifacts that reflect aspects of the general culture and particular circumstances in which they were created. This book will help historians working in the founding era of Mormonism gain a more solid grounding in the period's documentary record by supplying important information on major primary sources.
For two centuries, Jesus has connected the Latter-day Saints to broader currents of Christianity, even while particular Mormon beliefs have been points of differentiation. From the author of the definitive life of Brigham Young comes a biography of the Mormon Jesus that enriches our understanding of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In 1820, a young farm boy in search of truth has a vision of God the Father and Jesus Christ. Three years later, an angel guides him to an ancient record buried in a hill near his home. With God’s help, he translates the record and organizes the Savior’s church in the latter days. Soon others join him, accepting the invitation to become Saints through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. But opposition and violence follow those who defy old traditions to embrace restored truths. The women and men who join the church must choose whether or not they will stay true to their covenants, establish Zion, and proclaim the gospel to a troubled world. The Standard of Truth is the first book in Saints, a new, four-volume narrative history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Fast-paced, meticulously researched, Saints recounts true stories of Latter-day Saints across the globe and answers the Lord’s call to write history “for the good of the church, and for the rising generations” (Doctrine and Covenants 69:8).
Understanding the temple is a lifetime pursuit. To help you on this journey, bestselling author Alonzo L. Gaskill has compiled this collection of temple insights. With inspired thoughts on - The role of women in temple ceremonies - The holy garment, ancient and modern - The veil and finding hope in images of Judgment Day - The meaning of becoming God’s covenant people This enlightening book will help you see the temple in a new light and open your heart and mind to its divine messages.
The story of the creation of the Book of Mormon has been told many times, and often ridiculed. A Documentary History of the Book of Mormon presents and examines the primary sources surrounding the origin of the foundational text of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the most successful new religion of modern times. The scores of documents transcribed and annotated in this book include family histories, journal entries, letters, affidavits, reminiscences, interviews, newspaper articles, and book extracts, as well as revelations dictated in the name of God. From these texts emerges the captivating story of what happened (and what was believed or rumored to have happened) between September 1823-when the seventeen-year-old farm boy Joseph Smith announced that an angel of God had directed him to an ancient book inscribed on gold plates-and March 1830, when the Book of Mormon was first published. By compiling for the first time a substantial collection of both first- and secondhand accounts relevant to the inception of the divine revelation-or clever fraud-that launched a new world religion, A Documentary History makes a significant contribution to the rapidly growing field of Mormon Studies.
Mormonism is one of the few homegrown religions in the United States, one that emerged out of the religious fervor of the early nineteenth century. Yet, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have struggled for status and recognition. In this book, W. Paul Reeve explores the ways in which nineteenth century Protestant white America made outsiders out of an inside religious group. Much of what has been written on Mormon otherness centers upon economic, cultural, doctrinal, marital, and political differences that set Mormons apart from mainstream America. Reeve instead looks at how Protestants racialized Mormons, using physical differences in order to define Mormons as non-White to help justify their expulsion from Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois. He analyzes and contextualizes the rhetoric on Mormons as a race with period discussions of the Native American, African American, Oriental, Turk/Islam, and European immigrant races. He also examines how Mormon male, female, and child bodies were characterized in these racialized debates. For instance, while Mormons argued that polygamy was ordained by God, and so created angelic, celestial, and elevated offspring, their opponents suggested that the children were degenerate and deformed. The Protestant white majority was convinced that Mormonism represented a racial-not merely religious-departure from the mainstream and spent considerable effort attempting to deny Mormon whiteness. Being white brought access to political, social, and economic power, all aspects of citizenship in which outsiders sought to limit or prevent Mormon participation. At least a part of those efforts came through persistent attacks on the collective Mormon body, ways in which outsiders suggested that Mormons were physically different, racially more similar to marginalized groups than they were white. Medical doctors went so far as to suggest that Mormon polygamy was spawning a new race. Mormons responded with aspirations toward whiteness. It was a back and forth struggle between what outsiders imagined and what Mormons believed. Mormons ultimately emerged triumphant, but not unscathed. Mormon leaders moved away from universalistic ideals toward segregated priesthood and temples, policies firmly in place by the early twentieth century. So successful were Mormons at claiming whiteness for themselves that by the time Mormon Mitt Romney sought the White House in 2012, he was labeled "the whitest white man to run for office in recent memory." Ending with reflections on ongoing views of the Mormon body, this groundbreaking book brings together literatures on religion, whiteness studies, and nineteenth century racial history with the history of politics and migration.
Features Joseph Smith's first five journals and reflects the beginning of Mormon record keeping in the Church's earliest years.

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