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Mormonism in Transition: A History of the Latter-day Saints, 1890-1930
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Mormonism in Transition: A History of the Latter-day Saints, 1890-1930

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  84 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
A classic study of an influential American religion....Provides both the specialist in religion and the general reader with a thoughtful history of this complex religion.
Paperback, 396 pages
Published October 1st 1996 by University of Illinois Press (first published 1986)
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Mar 10, 2016 Ty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thomas Alexander’s latest monograph on the history of Mormonism from 1890 to 1930 is a revision of his earlier work on the subject, culminating in two previous editions through University of Illinois Press. Alexander’s work has been widely cited among authors and students within the Mormon scholastic community. Recognizing the tremendous growth in Mormon studies publications over the past three decades, Alexander’s third edition of Mormonism in Transition (Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 201 ...more
Aug 11, 2013 Kayla rated it really liked it
A valuable book which covers in detail some fascinating topics only covered in passing in other books. However, there are some truly dull parts, and the author's writing style tends to conceal the interest of his subjects. I didn't need to learn about the fluctuations in the price of sugar in the 1920s or exactly who was postmaster of Ogden in 1900.

I suggest that the reader start with the Epilogue, which presents a good summary of the topics covered in this book (as a more complete index should
Aug 13, 2012 Eric rated it it was amazing
An indispensable read for anyone (especially LDS) that wants a better understanding of the underpinnings of modern practice and 'recent' history and evolution of the LDS church - it contains significant and relevant historical tidbits that generally left out of most history books but which are huge in the history of the organization which is said to be the precursor to the setting up of the kingdom of God on earth. Particularly timely is the interesting discussion of the financial and political ...more
Dec 08, 2015 Samuel rated it really liked it
This is a clever book that begins to unravel the transformation of the Mormon Church's image from that of bearded extremist polygamists to clean-shaven mainline monogamists. In addition to transitioning away from polygamy, theocracy, and economic entanglements by the Mormon Church, Alexander chronicles the re-emphasis on tithing, the economic off-shooting of educational facilities and centralizing curriculum, and the rigid enforcement of the Word of Wisdom (partially in response to social and po ...more
Feb 20, 2012 Wm rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mormon
Required reading. This is why we're at where we're at in Mormonism (for both better and worse), and understanding this period is crucial to understanding modern Mormonism -- the changes made back then still constitute the key doctrinal emphases, worship and leisure practices and organizational structures found in the Church today. And it's fascinating that, for all the accommodation and for all that American LDS have re-integrated into American society, this current Mormon moment is not all that ...more
Sam Newton
Apr 24, 2011 Sam Newton rated it really liked it
This is a great book for understanding the major transition mormonism underwent at the beginnings of the 20th century. Doesn't have much of a narrative per se, nor does Alexander make much of an argument. But he does detail how the church changed in virtually every aspect over this 40 year period. Women stopped performing priesthood ordinances, the Word of Wisdom became a mandatory moral code, church organization became more centralized, etc. Great book.
Mar 29, 2009 Jake rated it it was amazing
This is a fascinating review of the changes that occured within the Church from 1900-1930. The book reviews the Church's political, doctrinal, structural, missionary, and auxiliary changes in a post-polygamy setting. For me the book was a powerful reminder of how the LDS Church has continued to grow line upon line and in response both to the needs of the Church and the changes in the world.
Corey Astill
Apr 04, 2014 Corey Astill rated it really liked it
Shelves: lds-reading
Must-read for students of LDS history. Alexander shows how a number of doctrines and spiritual practices evolved, as well as how the church administrative system began to form post-polygamy. Great read.
Sep 18, 2015 Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some chapters were tedious others were great but the last two (the ones on the Word of Wisdom and changing doctrines) were phenomenal.

My longer thoughts on this:
Mar 21, 2011 Jenny rated it liked it
Wow, there is a lot in this book. I am not sure how much I retained, but it was certainly an interesting time period to study.
Jan 13, 2013 Viliami rated it it was amazing
If for nothing else, this book offers the most concise and accurate treatment of the "Word of Wisdom" to date.

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