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Late one night in 1823 Joseph Smith, Jr., was reportedly visited in his family's farmhouse in upstate New York by an angel named Moroni. According to Smith, Moroni told him of a buried stack of gold plates that were inscribed with a history of the Americas' ancient peoples, and which would restore the pure Gospel message as Jesus had delivered it to them. Thus began the unlikely career of the Book of Mormon, the founding text of the Mormon religion, and perhaps the most important sacred text ever to originate in the United States. Here Paul Gutjahr traces the life of this book as it has formed and fractured different strains of Mormonism and transformed religious expression around the world. Gutjahr looks at how the Book of Mormon emerged from the burned-over district of upstate New York, where revivalist preachers, missionaries, and spiritual entrepreneurs of every stripe vied for the loyalty of settlers desperate to scratch a living from the land. He examines how a book that has long been the subject of ridicule--Mark Twain called it "chloroform in print"--has more than 150 million copies in print in more than a hundred languages worldwide. Gutjahr shows how Smith's influential book launched one of the fastest growing new religions on the planet, and has featured in everything from comic books and action figures to feature-length films and an award-winning Broadway musical.
Regarded as sacred scripture by millions, the Book of Mormon -- first published in 1830 -- is one of the most significant documents in American religious history. This new reader-friendly version reformats the complete, unchanged 1920 text in the manner of modern translations of the Bible, with paragraphs, quotations marks, poetic forms, topical headings, multichapter headings, indention of quoted documents, italicized reworkings of biblical prophecies, and minimized verse numbers. It also features a hypothetical map based on internal references, an essay on Book of Mormon poetry, a full glossary of names, genealogical charts, a basic bibliography of Mormon and non-Mormon scholarship, a chronology of the translation, eyewitness accounts of the gold plates, and information regarding the lost 116 pages and significant changes in the text. The Book of Mormon claims to be the product of three historical interactions: the writings of the original ancient American authors, the editing of the fourth-century prophet Mormon, and the translation of Joseph Smith. The editorial aids and footnotes in this edition integrate all three perspectives and provide readers with a clear guide through this complicated text. New readers will find the story accessible and intelligible; Mormons will gain fresh insights from familiar verses seen in a broader narrative context. This is the first time the Book of Mormon has been published with quotation marks, select variant readings, and the testimonies of women involved in the translation process. It is also the first return to a paragraphed format since versification was added in 1879.
With over 100 million copies in print, the Book of Mormon has spawned a vast religious movement, but it remains little discussed outside Mormon circles. Now Terry L. Givens offers a full-length treatment of this influential work, illuminating the varied meanings and tempestuous impact of this uniquely American scripture. Givens examines the text's role as a divine testament of the Last Days and as a sacred sign of Joseph Smith's status as a modern-day prophet. He assesses its claim to be a history of the pre-Columbian peopling of the Western Hemisphere, and later explores how the Book has been defined as a cultural product--the imaginative ravings of a rustic religion-maker. Givens further investigates its status as a new American Bible or Fifth Gospel, one that displaces, supports, or, in some views, perverts the canonical Word of God. Finally, Givens highlights the Book's role as the engine behind what may become the next world religion. The most wide-ranging study on the subject outside Mormon presses, By the Hand of Mormon will fascinate anyone curious about a religious people who, despite their numbers, remain strangers in our midst.
In the first edition of The Mormon Mirage, Latayne C. Scott shared her remarkable journey out of Mormonism as she uncovered shocking inaccuracies, inconsistencies, and contradictions in the faith she had loved and lived. Thirty years later, Mormonism and Mormon scholarship have evolved with the times. In this third, revised and updated edition of her well-known book, Scott keeps pace with changes and advances in Mormonism, and reveals formidable new challenges to its claims and teachings. The Mormon Mirage provides fascinating, carefully documented insights into • DNA research’s withering implications for the Book of Mormon • the impact of new “revelations” on Latter-day Saint (LDS) race relations • new findings about Mormon history • increasing publicity about LDS splinter groups, particularly polygamous ones • recent disavowals of long-held doctrines by church leadership • the rise of Mormon apologetics on the Internet More than a riveting, insider’s scrutiny of the Mormon faith, this book is a testimony to the trustworthiness of Scripture and the grace of Jesus Christ.
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".

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