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The Mormon Experience: A History of the Latter-day Saints

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  192 ratings  ·  17 reviews
The best history of the Latter-day Saints addressed to a general audience now includes a new preface, an epilogue, and a bibliographical after-word.
Paperback, 456 pages
Published March 1st 1992 by University of Illinois Press (first published 1979)
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Average rating 3.72  · 
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Sep 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mormonism
Probably the most influential book in my conversion to Mormonism, however, it misses the mark in providing an objective look at Mormon history, culture, and religious experience. It does not include an overview of the Book of Abraham in its historical review - a book of scripture to Mormons that is quite readily demonstrated to be fraudulent and lacking in authenticity.
James M. Madsen, M.D.
This was a groundbreakingly objective history of the LDS Church for its time and led to problems for the author, the official Church historian. It remains one of the most accessible and objective accounts of Mormon history.
Apr 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book is an effort by two LDS historians to write a comprehensive history of the church that could be used as a college text or for those interested in a one volume study of the church. It is somewhat dated having been written in the 1970's or 80's. I really enjoyed it because although it was an academic study they included lots of anecdotes from journals and personal histories to illustrate the topics being discussed. Although there wasn't a lot of new information, they organized the book a ...more
Chris Mower
Apr 16, 2012 rated it liked it
As a general history of the LDS Church, this book does a pretty good job. If you're looking for insight into the LDS origins of challenging doctrines and history, this will only skim the surface. There were many times where it got right up to the point some of the trickier issues surrounding Mormonism and then would dismiss them as not important, or rather, interesting to know, but one for the "ask in the afterlife" bookshelf.

One of the more fascinating parts for me in this book was how the earl
Mar 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Good for the early history of the church up to their expulsion from Illinois and journey to the Salt Lake City area. But the author washed over some of the less pleasant aspects of the Church history (no mention of Mountain Meadows, and very little discussion of early restrictions on non-whites in leadership). Book is a bit dated.
Jan 11, 2010 rated it liked it
Very interesting and informative book. I think it is a book that can be appreciated whether you're Mormon, a friend of a Mormon, or just someone whose interested in finding out what/who Mormons are. It was published in the 70's so it obviously doesn't bring you to the present day, but still worth the read. ...more
Sep 05, 2019 rated it liked it
I thought it was a good overview of the history of the Mormon faith, especially considering it's somewhat dated having been written decades ago. Definitely worth reading if you're a history buff, especially of the settling of the west and the LDS people in general. ...more
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandoned
So very dry. But interesting points.
Nov 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Alfred A. Knopf requested that Arrington write a one-volume history of the Mormons in 1967; he did after receiving permission from the Mormon Church to unrestricted access to their archives. Eventually published with Arrington (Church Historian since Jan 1972) and Bitton (Assistant Church Historian).

This book focuses on the “turbulent nineteenth-century saga of the Saints,” including Joseph Smith’s founding stories, persecution in the Midwest, the great exodus/trek to Utah, colonization of the G
Apr 13, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: religious, history
Neither faithful nor faithless, this is probably one of the most "balanced" approaches to LDS history from a "Modern" historical perspective. It is not revisionist history, yet it does throw more question than light on some issues. Helpful for historians, but NOT for those without the specific training of this field. ...more
Nov 17, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: mormon-history
This was a good balanced historical and sociological overview of Mormonism. Specifically I enjoyed the early Utah history because I have not really read much about that time period yet. I would recommend it for someone who wants an academic understanding of Mormonism. However, it was a bit dry and about three decades old so some of the commentary is a bit dated.
Sep 18, 2007 marked it as to-read
I also own this one but haven't gotten past the first chapter, which I read a couple years ago when I bought it. Looks facinating, good reviews, fat book. ...more
Joe Spencer
Feb 28, 2008 rated it liked it
Helpful overview of Mormon history as a whole, though I'll confess I find Arrington's prose a bit dry. ...more
Ann Lewis
Jan 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Very good history. Pub in the late 1970s. Interesting to feel that events I lived through are now considered historical.
Nov 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: religion
Very pro-Mormon so not objective view point, but some very interesting information.
Jeff Crosby
Oct 11, 2011 added it
Shelves: history, lds
Because of the way I read and use my LDS library I have elected to not rate these books.
Jun 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
great author, good read.
Kevin Folkman
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Mar 19, 2009
Richard Ouellette
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Mar 03, 2013
D Jones
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Feb 21, 2015
David L
rated it it was ok
Apr 22, 2012
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Jun 05, 2008
Jeff Anderson
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Oct 03, 2015
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Apr 09, 2012
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May 20, 2016
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The first professionally trained official LDS Church Historian.

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