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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).
This is volume 21 of Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture published by The Interpreter Foundation. It contains articles on a variety of topics including: "Three Degrees of Gospel Understanding", "Joseph Smith and the Doctrine of Sealing", "'There’s the Boy I Can Trust': Dennison Lott Harris’ First-Person Account of the Conspiracy of Nauvoo and Events Surrounding Joseph Smith’s 'Last Charge' to the Twelve Apostles", "A Brighter Future for Mormon Theology: Adam S. Miller’s Future Mormon", "Beyond Agency as Idolatry", "'How Thankful We Should Be to Know the Truth': Zebedee Coltrin’s Witness of the Heavenly Origins of Temple Ordinances", "Perhaps Close can Count in More than Horseshoes", "Mormonism, Materialism, and Politics: Six Things We Must Understand in Order to Survive as Latter-day Saints", "Were We Foreordained to the Priesthood, or Was the Standard of Worthiness Foreordained? Alma 13 Reconsidered", "Remembering and Honoring Maori Latter-day Saints", "Reading A Pentecostal Reads the Book of Mormon", "'With the Tongue of Angels': Angelic Speech as a Form of Deification".
When ten-year-old Dinah Kirkham saw her father leave their Manchester home in the middle of the night, she basked when he would be back. "Soon," he replied. But he never came back. On that night in 1829, John Kirkham laid the foundation of his daughter's certainty that the only person Dinah could ever really trust was herself. From that day forward, Dinah worked to support her family, remaining devoted to their welfare even in the face of despair and grinding poverty. Then one day she heard a new message, a new purpose ignited in her heart, and new life opened up before her. At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
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.

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