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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
This is the thread which will be devoted to the discussion of the history of Mormonism and related topics.


message 2: by Bryan (last edited Sep 24, 2010 06:34AM) (new)

Bryan Craig This is supposed to be a good and fair biography on Joseph Smith:

Joseph Smith Rough Stone Rolling by Richard L. Bushman Richard L. Bushman

Publlisher's Weekly:
Starred Review. How should a historian depict a man's life when that man, and his religion, remain a mystery to so many 200 years after his birth? Bushman, an emeritus professor at Columbia University and author of Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism, greatly expands on that previous work, filling in many details of the founding prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and carrying the story through to the end of Smith's life. Many continue to view Smith as an enigmatic and controversial figure. Bushman locates him in his historical and cultural context, fleshing out the many nuances of 19th-century American life that produced such a fertile ground for emerging religions. The author, a practicing Mormon, is aware that his book stands in the intersection of faith and scholarship, but does not avoid the problematic aspects of Smith's life and work, such as his practice of polygamy, his early attempts at treasure-seeking and his later political aspirations. In the end, Smith emerges as a genuine American phenomenon, a man driven by inspiration but not unaffected by his cultural context. This is a remarkable book, wonderfully readable and supported by exhaustive research. For anyone interested in the Mormon experience, it will be required reading for years to come.


message 3: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Here is a book on the 1857 Mountain Meadows massacre:

American Massacre The Tragedy at Mountain Meadows, September 1857 by Sally Denton by Sally Denton

Booklist:
In September 1857, a wagon train filled with gold was attacked, and the 140 Arkansas emigrants on their way to California in the wagons were slaughtered as they passed through Mountain Meadows, Utah. After the massacre, the Mormon church began to place the blame on John D. Lee, a discredited Mormon, and on the Paiute Indians. Denton, of Mormon descent, draws on oral histories, diaries, and depositions of the descendants from historical societies in Arkansas; from U.S. government files at the National Archives; Mormon records; newspaper accounts; and other sources. These documents bolster Denton's contention that the Mormon church's leader, Brigham Young, was responsible for the massacre because of what she describes as "the church's financial crises." Despite scientific evidence to the contrary, over the years the church has steadfastly denied any responsibility for the tragedy. Denton's extensively researched account of this atrocity is both convincing and chilling.


message 4: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Thank you Bryan for the adds.


message 5: by Elizabeth S (new)

Elizabeth S (esorenson) | 2011 comments I thought I'd mention that as a practicing member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (i.e. Mormons) I'd be happy to help answer any questions anyone has about the history of the church. I have spent some time studying the history. For example, when I was in college I read biographies of each of the prophets who have led the church since Joseph Smith. I can't say I have every detail at my fingertips, and I will be busy with a new baby in the next few months, but I think I could still be of some help to anyone with interest.


message 6: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Elizabeth, thank you. Great idea.


message 7: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Awesome, Elizabeth thanks so much.

I lived close to Kirtland, Ohio and visited the temple. I believe the group was pushed out and went to Illinois.


message 8: by Elizabeth S (new)

Elizabeth S (esorenson) | 2011 comments After Ohio, they went to Missouri, then Illinois, then Utah. Phew! What a trek. Now we kinda live everywhere. :)

I first went to Kirtland a couple of years ago. It was great to see the temple there. In some respects I was a little disappointed. I had heard many times the story of the women of the time sacrificing their china by smashing it and having it mixed with the plaster used on the outside walls so the temple would sparkle and shine. I didn't realize that the sparkle had long since worn off. :) But overall it was wonderful to see the temple there and many of the other church historical sites in the area.


message 9: by Elizabeth S (new)

Elizabeth S (esorenson) | 2011 comments Many of the books I've read that would fit in this thread are biographies.

Russell M. Nelson Father, Surgeon, Apostle by Spencer J. Condie by Spencer J. Condie
This is a biography written a couple of years ago describing the life of one of the current apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As the title suggests, covers his family and religious life as well as professional life as a world-class heart surgeon.

I'm hoping to get some time to add links to the other bios I've read, and some of the more straight-history stuff.


message 10: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Thanks Elizabeth S.


message 11: by Liz (new)

Liz Young Joseph by Ivan J. Barrett by Ivan J. Barrett

A look at Joseph Smith in his youth. It contains many stories that are not widely known, & I found it very interesting.


message 12: by Liz (last edited Oct 07, 2010 06:22PM) (new)

Liz Exiled The Story of John Lathrop by Helene Holt by Helene Holt

This is a biography of one of Joseph Smith's ancestors (actually, he is the ancestor of many of our nation's presidents: Fillmore, Garfield, Grant, FDR, Bush) who was exiled to America after speaking out for religious freedom in England.


message 13: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) I must confess to be a bit ignorant of Mormons as such but today I stumbled across this book whch offers an account of a terrible tragedy in their history and the history of the United States; "Devil's Gate: Brigham Young and the Great Mormon Handcart Tragedy" by David Roberts.

Devil's Gate Brigham Young and the Great Mormon Handcart Tragedy by David Roberts by David Roberts
Reviews:
"In 1856, two groups of Mormon emigrants using handcarts to transport their belongings got a disastrously late start on their westward trek to Utah. Unexpected October blizzards and the lack of restocked supplies left them stranded in Wyoming, coping with frostbite, starvation and disease. While Mormon retellings of this story have emphasized the subsequent daring rescue, Roberts sees the whole episode as an entirely preventable disaster from start to finish. Moreover, he fixes the blame at the top, arguing that Brigham Young, then president of the church, consistently undervalued human life, created dangerous situations with regard to provisions in order to pinch pennies and dissembled after the fact about not having any knowledge of the emigrants' late start. Roberts builds a persuasive case, arguing from dozens of primary sources and using the emigrants' own haunting words about their experiences. He competently situates the tragedy within the context of the 1856–1857 Mormon Reformation, a time of religious extremism. This is a solid and well-researched contribution to Mormon studies and the history of the American West." - Publishers Weekly

"Although well known among the Mormon faithful, the story of the Mormon handcart tragedy remains unfamiliar to most others. Roberts seeks to remedy this via his passionate account of one of the most disastrous and ill-conceived cross-country journeys in the history of the American West. Laying the blame squarely on the shoulders of Mormon leader Brigham Young, who hatched the preposterous plan to transport more than 3,000 European converts on foot from Iowa to Utah, pushing all their belongings in handcarts, Roberts smashes the Mormon myth embellished and spun by Young that somehow managed to turn tragedy into triumph. Although some may be uncomfortable with his searing indictment of Young, this compelling account of a major frontier catastrophe is hard to put down." - Book List


message 14: by John (last edited Oct 23, 2010 11:53AM) (new)

John E | 105 comments I just finished MORMONISM Mormonism The Story of a New Religious Tradition by Jan Shipps by Jan Shipps Jan Shipps. This collection of essays on Mormon history postulates that Mormonism is a new "Religious Tradition" in the way that Judaism and Islam and non-Mormon Christianity are "religious traditions." This means that even though Mormons believe that Jesus is the Christ and the literal son of God, they are not part of the non-Mormon Christian tradition. The major reason is that the Mormons believe that God and Jesus are material with physical bodies and that with resurection we too will have physical bodies and can become as God is now with our own universes to populate with our children.


message 15: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Thank you for the addition John.


message 16: by Elizabeth S (new)

Elizabeth S (esorenson) | 2011 comments I said I'd add listings of some of the books I've read (or would like to read) involving the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I'm trying to group these books somewhat to make it easier. Here are some church history books that cover from the foundation of the church (in 1830) to when the book was written.

Truth Restored by Gordon B. Hinckley by Gordon B. Hinckley Gordon B. Hinckley
A nice, short summary of church history. The author was the president of the church from 1995-2008.

Our Heritage A Brief History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Another short history of the church from the beginning to modern day.



Church History in the Fullness of Times Religion 341-343 the History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (32502) by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Excellent history of the church in about 700 pages. Used as the student manual for church history classes at the university level. Covers all sorts of events from the basics of the doctrine to events that those outside of the church aren't very familiar with (such as the Mountain Meadows Massacre and handcart company tragedy referred to earlier in this thread). Updated every few years to add current events to the end of the book.

History of the Church by Joseph Smith Jr. by Joseph Smith Jr. Joseph Smith Jr.
A seven volume work mostly written by the first president of the church, Joseph Smith. The last volume covers events in the years shortly after Joseph Smith's death. I haven't read all these volumes straight through (although it is on my list to do sometime), but I have read many sections of it. Since it was written in the early 1800's, much of the language and style feels old to a modern day reader. But it still gives excellent detail of the beginnings of the church from the man who lived it.


message 17: by Elizabeth S (new)

Elizabeth S (esorenson) | 2011 comments Here are some biographies of the first president and prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Joseph Smith. I've read all of these, except the ones I specify otherwise.

The History of Joseph Smith by His Mother by Lucy Mack Smith by Lucy Mack Smith Lucy Mack Smith
A good biography of Joseph Smith by a woman who knew him well throughout his life--his mother. For anyone interested in reading this biography, I highly recommend the following edition:
Revised and Enhanced History of Joseph Smith by His Mother by Lucy Mack
This edition helps explain the times, adds many modern details, explanations, and new discoveries. It was edited by Scot Facer Proctor and Maurine Jensen Proctor, a husband and wife team who add excellent research and references.

Joseph Smith Rough Stone Rolling by Richard L. Bushman by Richard L. Bushman
Haven't read this one, but it is on my looonnngggg to-read list.

Joseph Smith the Prophet by Truman G. Madsen by Truman G. Madsen Truman G. Madsen
Very well done biography, in my opinion, by a great historian. (I've read others of Madsen's histories and thought they were all well-done.)

Joseph Smith The Man, The Mission, The Message by Matthew B. Brown by Matthew B. Brown
Another good biography. What sets this one apart is the beautiful pictures of scenery and photos of actual historical objects that help tell the story.

They knew the prophet by Hyrum Leslie Andrus by Hyrum Leslie Andrus
A fun compilation of stories from people who knew Joseph Smith during his life. Collected from diaries and histories written during or shortly after Joseph Smith's life.

Remembering Joseph Personal Recollections of Those Who Knew the Prophet Joseph Smith by Mark L. McConkie by Mark L. McConkie
I haven't read this one, but I plan to eventually. I believe it is similar to the last book, but compiled more recently.

Carthage Conspiracy The Trial of the Accused Assassins of Joseph Smith by Dallin H. Oaks by Dallin H. Oaks Dallin H. Oaks
A book I haven't read, mostly because I haven't found a copy of it to read. Doesn't cover Joseph Smith's life, but rather his death and the trial of his murderers. The author is currently a member of the Twelve Apostles of the church, but the book was written earlier when he was a successful attorney. I've met Oaks, and heard him speak many times, and I'm impressed by his legal mind.


message 18: by Elizabeth S (new)

Elizabeth S (esorenson) | 2011 comments I've read biographies of each of the presidents of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but it was before I started keeping track of the names of all the books I've read. So I'll list all the presidents, the years they led the church, and only mention the biography if I remember which one I read.

1. Jospeh Smith, Jr. (1830-1844) See previous post for biographies.

2. Brigham Young (1844-1877)

3. John Taylor (1877-1887)

4. Wilford Woodruff (1887-1898)

5. Lorenzo Snow (1898-1901)

6. Joseph F. Smith (1901-1918)

7. Heber J. Grant (1918-1945)

8. George Albert Smith (1945-1951)

9. David O. McKay (1951-1970)

10. Joseph Fielding Smith (1970-1972)

11. Harold B. Lee (1972-1973)
Harold B. Lee Prophet & Seer by L. Brent Goates by L. Brent Goates
Author is Harold B. Lee's son-in-law.

12. Spencer W. Kimball (1973-1985)
Spencer W Kimball by Edward L. Kimball by Edward L. Kimball
Author is Spencer W. Kimball's son.

13. Ezra Taft Benson (1985-1994)

14. Howard W. Hunter (1994-1995)
Howard W Hunter by Eleanor Knowles by Eleanor Knowles

15. Gordon B. Hinckley (1995-2008)
Go Forward With Faith The Biography of Gordon B. Hinckley by Sheri L. Dew by Sheri L. Dew Sheri L. Dew

16. Thomas S. Monson (2008-present)
To the Rescue The Biography of Thomas S. Monson by Heidi S. Swinton by Heidi S. Swinton
I haven't read this last one yet, since it just came out a month or so ago.


message 19: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Wow, awesome. I heard good things about:

Joseph Smith Rough Stone Rolling by Richard L. Bushman Richard L. Bushman


message 20: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Thank you so much Elizabeth for taking the time to do this listing.


message 21: by Elizabeth S (new)

Elizabeth S (esorenson) | 2011 comments Here are some biographies of other members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I've read all of these.

Russell M. Nelson Father, Surgeon, Apostle by Spencer J. Condie by Spencer J. Condie
Already mentioned earlier in this thread.

A Disciple's Life The Biography of Neal A. Maxwell by Bruce C. Hafen by Bruce C. Hafen
Neal A. Maxwell lived 1926-2004. He was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for many years and wrote many books on gospel subjects (one of my favorite authors).

Life of Heber C. Kimball by Orson F. Whitney by Orson F. Whitney Orson F. Whitney
Heber C. Kimball lived 1801-1868. He was one of the original Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, formed in 1835. The story of his life covers events around the beginnings of the church through the migration to Utah. He is well-known as one of the missionaries sent by the church to England.

Amasa Mason Lyman Trailblazer and Pioneer from the Atlantic to the Pacific by Albert R. Lyman by Albert R. Lyman
Amasa Lyman lived 1813-1877. He was an early church leader and member of the Twelve Apostles.

Biography of Francis Marion Lyman by Albert R. Lyman by Albert R. Lyman
Francis M Lyman lived 1840-1916. Like his father, Amasa Lyman, he was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for many years.

Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt (Revised and Enhanced) by Parley P. Pratt by Parley P. Pratt Parley P. Pratt
Parley P. Pratt lived 1807-1857. Like Heber C. Kimball, he was one of the original Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, formed in 1835. He had recently finished writing his autobiography when he was killed while on a mission in the south-eastern United States. For anyone interested in this book, I highly recommend the edition with the added history and detail, edited by Maurine Jensen Proctor and Scot Facer Proctor (already mentioned in an earlier comment). The Proctors added a chapter or two on the end telling about Pratt's death. (That is one of the frustrating things about a pure autobiography, you don't get the death story.)

The Talmage Story by John R. Talmage by James E. Talmage James E. Talmage
James E. Talmage lived 1862-1933. He was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for many years. He was also a scientist (an amazingly educated scientist, given that he was from the "wild west" in those days) and wrote a number of books on gospel subjects.

Camilla, a Biography of Camilla Eyring Kimball by Caroline Eyring Miner by Caroline Eyring Miner
Camilla Kimball was the wife of Spencer W. Kimball, the 12th president of the church.

Hugh Nibley A Consecrated Life by Boyd Jay Petersen by Boyd Jay Petersen
Hugh Nibley lived 1910-2005. He was a religion professor at Brigham Young University and wrote many books about the church and gospel subjects. Excellent thinker. Interesting (and long) life.

Mormon Scientist The Life and Faith of Henry Eyring by Henry J. Eyring by Henry J. Eyring
Henry Eyring lived 1901-1981. He was a well-respected chemical scientist who wrote hundreds of scientific papers and a number of books. I actually haven't read this biography, but I'd like to. What I have read (and enjoyed) is The Faith of a Scientist by Henry Eyring by Henry Eyring, where he discusses how science and religion are not mutually exclusive.


message 22: by Elizabeth S (last edited Nov 07, 2010 11:42AM) (new)

Elizabeth S (esorenson) | 2011 comments And finally, here are some other books covering one or another historical aspect of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Faith Rewarded A Personal Account of Prophetic Promises to the East German Saints by Thomas S. Monson by Thomas S. Monson Thomas S. Monson
Literally pulled from the journal entries of Thomas S. Monson (who currently is the president of the church) this tells the story of the members of the church who were in East Germany during the cold war. President Monson was assigned to visit and encourage these members during those years. Much of that was difficult due to the censorship and restricted travel rules.

Walking in the Sand A History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Ghana (Studies in Latter-Day Saint History) by Emmanuel A. Kissi by Emmanuel A. Kissi
A lovely history of the church in Ghana. Emmanuel Kissi is himself one of the early church members in Ghana.

Fire on ice the story of Icelandic Latter-day Saints at home and abroad  by Woods, Fred E. by Woods, Fred E.
I haven't read this one, but it looks interesting. The story of the church in Iceland.

Grafting In by Steven W. Baldridge by Steven W. Baldridge
A history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Holy Land (i.e. modern Israel). This one is kinda fun for me because there is a picture of my grandparents in it from when they lived in Jerusalem for a couple of years.

Pure Religion The Story of Church Welfare Since 1930 by Glen L. Rudd by Glen L Rudd
One of the things the church is better-known for today is the welfare system. Whether it is a major, high-profile disaster or just the basic needs of the poor, the church is often among the first to offer, organize, and deliver supplies and help. This book details the history of the church's welfare program, from its beginnings during The Great Depression in the 1930's to today. I actually haven't read it yet. I really should get to this one, since it is sitting right here on my shelf!

Three Against Hitler by Rudi Wobbe by Rudi Wobbe
An amazing story of a small group of Mormon teenage boys in Hitler's Germany who decided to challenge the Nazis by typing and distributing facts they learned from listening (illegally) to the BBC. The boys were caught, their leader (only 17 years old) executed, and the others sent to concentration camps. Written by one of the boys himself, years after WWII.


message 23: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (sirenicangel) | 12 comments Wow, this list of books is incredible. I've been recently asking my dad about the Mormon faith. He's Mormon and I'm Catholic, he can only answer so many questions, he gave me all of the reading material he acquired over the years but nothing compared to the books you have listed here. The last one the list really caught my eye. I'm going to have to look for that book.
Thank you for the wonderful list.


message 24: by Elizabeth S (last edited Mar 05, 2011 05:21AM) (new)

Elizabeth S (esorenson) | 2011 comments Glad you like the list. I had fun putting it together. When you say "the last one", you mean the Three Against Hitler? That was an amazing book. It is a simple story that had a really deep impact as to what it would be like to live in a country that changed in the way Hitler changed Germany.

Keep in mind that I selected books that relate in someway to the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If you are interested in any other aspect of the church, send me a PM and we can see if I have any suggestions besides what your dad has.

Three Against Hitler by Rudi Wobbe by Rudi Wobbe


message 25: by John (last edited Mar 09, 2011 11:30PM) (new)

John E | 105 comments I would just like to caution everyone about the listing of church published "authorized" biographies. It is always good to recognize the place where the author and/or publlisher is coming from.

I have just completed reading a classic study of Mormonism written by a Mormon convert. It was published in 1942 and is called Desert Saints: the Mormon Frontier in Utah Desert Saints by Nels Anderson by Nels Anderson. If you can find it try to read it since it is a well balanced and objective account of Mormonism up to Utah statehood in 1896. Anderson was a sociologist, but his sociology chapters are the weakest in the book. It provides a good understanding of the political power struggles between the Mormons and all their neighbors. The church governence of Utah under Brigham Young is also carefully explained.


message 26: by Elizabeth S (new)

Elizabeth S (esorenson) | 2011 comments Thanks for the add, John. I certainly don't claim to have an exclusive on books relating to the history of the church. :) So it is always nice to see a new book and read what someone thought of it.


message 27: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Here is a new release on an interesting part of Mormon history; "The Mormon Rebellion: America's First Civil War, 1857-1858" by David L. Bigler.

The Mormon Rebellion America's First Civil War, 1857-1858 by David L. Bigler by David L. Bigler
Description:
In 1857 President James Buchanan ordered U.S. troops to Utah to replace Brigham Young as governor and restore order in what the federal government viewed as a territory in rebellion. In this compelling narrative, award-winning authors David L. Bigler and Will Bagley use long-suppressed sources to show that contrary to common perception the Mormon rebellion was not the result of Buchanan s blunder, nor was it a David-and-Goliath tale in which an abused religious minority heroically defied the imperial ambitions of an unjust and tyrannical government. They argue that Mormon leaders had their own far-reaching ambitions and fully intended to establish an independent nation the Kingdom of God in the West.

Long overshadowed by the Civil War, the tragic story of this conflict involved a tense and protracted clash pitting Brigham Young s Nauvoo Legion against Colonel Albert Sidney Johnston and the U.S. Army s Utah Expedition. In the end, the conflict between the two armies saw no pitched battles, but in the authors view, Buchanan s decision to order troops to Utah, his so-called blunder, eventually proved decisive and beneficial for both Mormons and the American republic.

A rich exploration of events and forces that presaged the Civil War, The Mormon Rebellion broadens our understanding of both antebellum America and Utah s frontier theocracy and offers a challenging reinterpretation of a controversial chapter in Mormon annals.


message 28: by Elizabeth S (new)

Elizabeth S (esorenson) | 2011 comments I know that, officially, I am biased, but reading the description for the book makes me laugh, Aussie Rick.


message 29: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) :)


message 30: by Brandon (new)

Brandon (bdeleeuw) I am also a practicing member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and would be happy to answer any questions in thus regard through a pm. I will be recommending some boobs on here very soon. :-)


message 31: by Brandon (new)

Brandon (bdeleeuw) Lol... I meant books not boobs.


message 32: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Whoa, lol, thanks Brandon.


message 33: by Brandon (new)

Brandon (bdeleeuw) I wanted to recommend two books that I found moving and fascinating. They are historical fiction but definitely have a lot of LDS (Mormom) history and background.
The Undaunted by Gerald N. Lund Gerald N. Lund Gerald N. Lund
and
Fire of the Covenant by Gerald N. Lund Gerald N. Lund Gerald N. Lund
That was my first time adding books I hope the format is correct...


message 34: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Well done, Brandon....although not required, we usually put the word "by" before the author's photo/name. You can also combine multiple books by one author in this manner:

The Undaunted by Gerald N. Lund and Fire of the Covenant by Gerald N. Lund by Gerald N. Lund Gerald N. Lund


message 35: by Brandon (new)

Brandon (bdeleeuw) Thanks Jill! I'll get the hang of it!


message 36: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) The book recounts the Mormon War of 1839 when the Mormons were expelled from Missouri after clashing with non-Mormon neighbors.

The Mormon War: Zion and the Missouri Extermination Order of 1838

The Mormon War Zion and the Missouri Extermination Order of 1838 by Brandon G. Kinney by Brandon G. Kinney

Synopsis

The author Brandon G. Kinney unravels the complex series of events that led to a religious and ideological war of both blood and words. The Mormon War not only challenged the protection afforded by the First Amendment, it foreshadowed the partisan violence over slavery and states’ rights that would erupt across Missouri and Kansas. The war also fractured Smith’s Church and led ultimately to the unexpected settlement of a vast area of the West as a Mormon homeland. By tracing the life of Joseph Smith, Jr. and his quest for Zion, the author reveals that the religion he founded was destined for conflict—both internal and external—as long as he remained its leader.


message 37: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Thank you Libby, Jill, Brandon, etc. for the adds.


message 38: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Thank you Libby


message 39: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Libby - I would just post the book in the best thread.


message 40: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Thank you Teri


message 41: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) The story of Warren Jeffs brought black clouds to the Mormon religion, although Jeff's was a part of the FLDS (Fundamental Latter Day Saints) rather than the LDS main church which does not recognize that sect.


Answer Them Nothing: Bringing Down the Polygamous Empire of Warren Jeffs

Answer Them Nothing Bringing Down the Polygamous Empire of Warren Jeffs by Debra Weyermann by Debra Weyermann(no photo)

Synopsis

When police raided the Short Creek compound of the Fundamental Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1953, it soon became a political and publicity nightmare and eventually cost the governor of Arizona his job. From that point on, skittish public officials allowed the polygamist sect to practice its tenants unmolested for the next 50 years and turned a blind eye to child abandonment, kidnapping, statutory rape, incest, and massive tax and welfare fraud.

But then Warren Jeffs, a new FLDS prophet, escalated the sect’s crimes to near madness. Activists watched in horror as he used his limitless authority and the resources of a tax-supported community—in essence, a feudal empire on the Utah/Arizona border—to devastate thousands of lives on cruel whims, marrying girls as young as 11 to 60-year-old men and driving off teenage “lost boys” who Jeffs felt threatened his authority.

Answer Them Nothing is the chilling story of the victims, activists, prosecutors, judges, cops, and attorneys who in 2001 began the struggle to dismantle the FLDS empire and bring Jeffs and his henchmen to justice. It is a mesmerizing journey into one of America’s darkest corners, a story that stretches over three states and deep into history of the powerful Mormon Church.


message 42: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Thank you Jill


message 43: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Good job on all of the religion threads Teril


message 44: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling

Joseph Smith Rough Stone Rolling by Richard L. Bushman by Richard L. Bushman (no photo)

Synopsis:

Founder of the largest indigenous Christian church in American history, Joseph Smith published the 584-page Book of Mormon when he was 23 and went on to organize a church, found cities, and attract thousands of followers before his violent death at age 38. Richard Bushman, an esteemed cultural historian and a practicing Mormon, moves beyond the popular stereotype of Smith as a colorful fraud to explore his personality, his relationships with others, and how he received revelations.

An arresting narrative of the birth of the Mormon Church, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling also brilliantly evaluates the prophet's bold contributions to Christian theology and his cultural place in the modern world.


message 45: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 23, 2019 10:55PM) (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
The Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ by Anonymous by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Synopsis:

Although Mark Twain famously dismissed the Book of Mormon as "chloroform in print," Mormonism's founding scripture deserves a careful reading. Avoid the blue vinyl-covered paperback tucked into bedside tables at Marriott hotels, though.

Grant Hardy's thoughtful "reader's edition" eliminates the current official text's knotty versification, clarifies the cast of characters, includes a useful introduction and provides signposts through the sometimes dense prose.

Reflecting the complex position of modern Mormonism and its Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Book of Mormon reads much like the Protestant Bible (albeit set in ancient America), but the text's account of its own origins is staggeringly supernatural (an angel visiting Joseph Smith in western New York in the 1820s; golden plates from which Smith translated the scripture; a prophet named Mormon who engraved the plates).

With a bit of patience and good humor, there's something for everyone in the book—the decapitation of a drunk merchant by his cousin, the hero Nephi, in pursuit of an ancient copy of the Hebrew Bible; a tender recapitulation of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount; the immolation of a steel-nerved prophet by a Don Corleone-style king; and a conversion trance so deep that observers thought the convert had begun to decompose.

In any case, this book is essential for the full comprehension of Mormonism.

Source: WSJ


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Mormonism: A Very Short Introduction

Mormonism A Very Short Introduction by Richard L. Bushman by Richard L. Bushman (no photo)

Synopsis:

This slender but informative volume is written by the dean of Mormon studies, Richard Bushman, an award-winning colonial historian and the premier biographer of Mormon founder Joseph Smith.

Bushman deftly explores conflicts and currents within historic and contemporary Mormonism, including a brief exposition of early Mormon theology and a devotional highlight from a spiritual memoir by Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen.

This book—a Berlitz guide of sorts to the complex world of modern Mormonism—is probably the most efficient way to grasp what it means to be a Mormon today.

Source: WSJ


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The Viper on the Hearth

The Viper on the Hearth Mormons, Myths, and the Construction of Heresy by Terryl L. Givens by Terryl L. Givens Terryl L. Givens

Synopsis:

A noted specialist in Romantic literature and religious studies, Terryl Givens creates lemonade from the lemons of lurid 19th-century anti-Mormon fiction.

He argues that the sensationalist tales allowed arguments about the status of Mormons to be less about freedom of religion and more about the status of social outsiders.

America thereby managed its famed commitment to religious tolerance. The producers and consumers of this exotic and often sexually charged fiction, he argues, helped define Mormons as an "artificial ethnicity" within America.

Mormons contributed to the perception, Givens says, with their commitment to a dramatic theology that collapsed the "sacred distance" between God and humanity.

Source: WSJ


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The Politics of American Religious Identity

The Politics of American Religious Identity The Seating of Senator Reed Smoot, Mormon Apostle by Kathleen Flake by Kathleen Flake Kathleen Flake

Synopsis:

As Mitt Romney struggles to find a receptive audience among politically active Christian conservatives, historians may experience a faint sense of déjà vu.

In 1903, seemingly the entire nation rose to try to prevent a prominent Mormon leader, Reed Smoot, the duly elected U.S. senator from Utah, from assuming his seat in Washington. Ministers, politicians, women's reform organizations, and assorted commoners and pundits protested Smoot's seating.

After exhaustive congressional hearings into his eligibility, Smoot took his place in the Senate in 1907.

In her book about the controversy, Kathleen Flake artfully recounts the ways that Mormons responded to the eruption of hostility, and she describes with incisiveness the fault lines that the hearings revealed within the Mormon community and American society at large.

The Smoot affair and its aftermath had a tremendous effect on the later development of Mormonism and its accommodation to American society. Particularly riveting is the congressional testimony of the long-bearded Joseph F. Smith—president of the church and a nephew of its founder.

Source: WSJ


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The Mormon People

The Mormon People The Making of an American Faith by Matthew Bowman by Matthew Bowman Matthew Bowman

Synopsis:

From one of the brightest of the new generation of Mormon-studies scholars comes a crisp, engaging account of the religion's history, from its founding to the present day. In Matthew Bowman's highly readable account (it will be published later this month), he ably and accessibly summarizes a half-century of research in the field. Arguing that Joseph Smith and his followers created Mormonism in productive collaboration, Bowman draws attention to the creative vitality of the Mormon tradition as well as to its status as a Christian heresy born in the early American Republic. He also highlights the sometimes vexing experience of Mormon women, who generally found 19th-century polygamy odious but nevertheless defended it fervently. The book concludes with a masterly bibliographical essay that is an invaluable guide for readers who want to expand their study of Mormonism.

Source: WSJ


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The Wall Street Journal was the source of the previous 5 recommendations.

Source: Five Best: Samuel Morris Brown - On books about Mormonism—its history, its meaning and its role in the modern world. By Samuel Morris Brown
January 7, 2012


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