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Building the Kingdom: A History of Mormons in America
Mormonism is one of the world's fastest growing religions, doubling its membership every 15 years. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the formal denomination of the Mormon church) is now 10 million strong, with more than half of its membership coming from outside the United States. More than 88 million copies of The Book of Mormon have been printed, and it ...more
Paperback, 123 pages
Published November 1st 2001 by Oxford University Press, USA
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This book starts off well enough as an attempt to be a "primer" of the Mormon experience for the non-LDS reader. It aims to give people a glimpse into the Mormon lived experience from within. It is written by devoted Latter-day Saints who want to help people outside of the faith understand what it is like to be a "Mormon" - with its complex heritage, its unique beliefs, and all. It is a noble attempt. I was going to give the book only 3 stars because the first several chapters often have ...more
There really isn't a whole lot to say about such a brief book on general Mormon history. I've been oscillating between giving this book three or four stars, but I'd really like to give it three and a half. About half of the book is the history of the Mormons as was promised. Joseph Smith gets a good and surprisingly honest section, although it is very clear that Bushman has a lot more to say about it, and indeed he went on to write Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, which easily dwarfs this ...more
After reading the book Wife Number 19, I became interested in learning more about Mormonism. This book was a good overview. It tells the history from 1820 to the present. The authors are Mormon scholars who do their best to be objective. The first part of the book is the most interesting. It was really in the 19th century that the Mormons made such an impact in American history. After they mainstreamed and Utah became a state in 1896 the story gets rather boring and mundane. It is a missing ...more
Mormonism, one of the fastest growing religions, today has most of its adherents outside of the US. Odd, since it originated in 19th century New York, positing new revelations of Jesus visiting the Americas, faked up details of ancient Native civilizations and pushing a funky cosmology. The charismatic leaders were organizationally astute, attracting thousands of followers who underwent excruciating hardships as they traveled west looking for a promised land. There was tremendous animosity, ...more
For people who know little to nothing about Mormonism, this book can serve as a good entry for learning a little bit about the tradition and particularly about the early development under Joseph Smith. At times it is quite evident that the authors have a very sympathetic view towards Mormonism as they try to deal with some of the issues, particularly around race, Native Americans, and the challenges of multiculturalism. The book is also peppered with little anecdotes that occasionally become ...more
Hampered a bit by Young Adult term-paper writing ("There are many..." sentences); and in places by trendy seminar provincialism re native Americans and multicultural tendencies--though it sounded like at least the early feminist stuff may have had some basis in fact. Anyway, a basically on-the-level, interesting, gritty detailing of the record--and I was surprised to find out how many communities (San Bernardino, for example) started out or greatly grew as the result of Mormon influence.
A quick, concise, fair history of the LDS church. It's neither overly flattering nor overly disparaging. There are a few things that are now obsolete, given that the edition I read was published in 2001, but I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to those looking for a basic history of Mormons.
Picked up a good condition used copy as I was looking for a quick overview and this looked to be well-written, brief and an Oxford U Press publication. Shocked to then find out that the co-authors are ra-ra Mormons!!! So this is a bit too much like a sunday school pep-talk for the "miracle" of mormonism.