Church History


Walking a Mile in Their Shoes
A lapsed Mormon takes a sentimental journey to the holy sites of Mormonism. An article from Time.

The Mormons' Trail of Hope by Gordon B. Hinckley
"My grandfather, barely out of his teens, built his own wagon and with his young wife, his baby daughter and his younger brother set off for the West."

The LDS prophet and president writes for the Wall Street Journal.


The Mormon Persecution Complex - a response to Hinckley's article in the Wall Street Journal
While Hinckley's story is partially true--there was an 'extermination order' from Gov. Boggs, (some) Mormons were driven from Missouri, and Joseph and Hyrum Smith were killed by a mob--he neglects to tell the whole story.

A note on Mormon censorship when it comes to LDS history
Elder Boyd K. Packer said, "There is a temptation for the writer or the teacher of Church history to want to tell everything, whether it is worthy or faith promoting or not. Some things that are true are not very useful."

Building the Kingdom with Total Honesty
I have it on very good authority that building the kingdom is a greater priority than total honesty. Joseph Smith had already set that precedent with his public denials about polygamy when he was secretly practicing it in Nauvoo. The ends justify the means.

Mormon racism in perspective
I think that by understanding the "mindset" of our forbears we can see how far we've come and how far we still need to go on a great number of issues.

Mormon church manual paints polygamist Young as monogamist
"The Mormon church is trying to say to the new people coming into the church, as well as to the larger American society, that there was nothing questionable in the Mormon past," Avery told the woman. "And if you want answers to these kinds of sticky questions, you're not going to find them inside accepted Mormon manuals and doctrines."

LDS Church Authority and New Plural Marriages, 1890 - 1904 by D. Michael Quinn
Several questions would quite naturally occur to the most casual reader of this cloud of public denials [about the continued practice of Mormon plural marriage] and clarifications of an "unambiguous" document. The complexity of the Manifesto of 1890 is indicated by the diversity of answers published since 1904.

All Things Move in Order in the City: The Nauvoo Diary of Zina Diantha Huntington Jacobs
Nauvoo, itself, as seen through the eyes of the bright, observant, deeply committed woman, becomes alive through details she provides.

An Insider's View of Mormon Origins
"Palmer obviously isn't trying to drag people out of the church, but he is making a pretty strong call for the church (and members) to shed the history that is no longer credible."

Mormonism article from the Ohio Observer - 1836
They have built a huge stone temple in this town, fifty feet high, and 60 by 80 on the ground, at an expense of $40,000.

The Making of a Mormon Myth
A look at the process by which myths are created and spread in Mormon history.

In God We Trust?
Gordon B. Hinckley reinterprets U.S. history to fit in with current Mormon history beliefs.

The Mormon Experience: A History of the Latter-Day Saints
Written by the church's previous historian Leonard J. Arrington

Mormonism: Shadow or Reality?
The most famous anti-Mormon work of the 20th Century features a wealth of information on the areas of Mormon history you won't hear discussed in church.

The History of the Saints
Joseph Smith's right-hand man writes an expose on Joseph's polygamy, Danites, and temple rituals after leaving Mormonism.

The Church Through the Years
A look at the first 30 years of the RLDS church.

Mormonism in Early Victorian Britain
The articles assembled in this book place an emphasis on social history.

Differing Visions: Dissenters in Mormon History
Over the course of Mormon history, numerous members have left the fold. Why did they do so?

Joseph Smith III
Whether you are Utah LDS or RLDS, you will find much of interest in this outstanding biography.

Against the Grain: Memoirs of a Western Historian
Find out what a Mormon, Western historian thinks about his life on the fringes of Mormonism.

Mormon America: The Power and the Promise
From the 19th century down to the present day, Mormonism has succeeded in pushing American society's hot-buttons on religion, race and sex.

Juanita Brooks: Mormon Woman Historian
I have been reading Juanita Brooks... Run! Do not walk to find this book and buy it!

New Mormon Studies CD-ROM: A Comprehensive Resource Library
With these hundreds of works, you won't be far from finding out the information you are looking for.

The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power
After years of research and numerous published essays on the subject, D. Michael Quinn assembled, expanded, and created his masterwork on the origins and evolution of the Mormon Hierarchy.

The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power
On the basis of information alone, this book is staggering. The notes, chronology, and brief biographies are a gold mine for researchers and anyone seriously interested in LDS history.

The New Mormon History: Revisionist Essays on the Past
The essays are all of the "new history" variety which in Quinn's words "examines the experiences of common people" and "avoids using history as a religous battering ram". The writers all seem to be attempting to write a fair and honest history rather than to use history to promote or tear down the Mormon church.

Early Mormon Documents Vol. 1
Early Mormon Documents Vol. 2
Early Mormon Documents Vol. 3
An outstanding source for original documents covering the early portion of church history.

Salamander: The Story of the Mormon Forgery Murders
The most exciting, and bizarre, story from Mormon history for the decade of the 1980s.

Faithful History : Essays on Writing Mormon History
So-called New Mormon Historians distinguish between what they believe is verifiable and what they suspect may be folklore, and they approach history from a variety of different academic and social perspectives. Mormonism has become of interest to non-LDS historians as well, which raises the important question of whether outsiders can truly understand Mormons, or, conversely, whether insiders can achieve enough detachment to see themselves objectively--or whether this is desirable. Stated another way, does history have an inherent meaning beyond the scholar's particular viewpoint, and should a writer strive to understand the other person's perspective, or is the writer's subjective vantage what is important and all that is ultimately possible?

Sidney Rigdon : A Portrait of Religious Excess
A leader in early Mormonism and a helper in the creation of many Mormon doctrines and historical practices, Sidney Rigdon has largely been forgotten by Utah Mormons.

Dialogue, Sunstone, and Journal of Mormon History
Periodicals that deal with the subject of Mormon history.


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