Like many members today, early members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints considered themselves to be of the House of Israel. According to Armand L. Mauss, an emeritus professor of sociology from Washington State University, this identity affected the relationship that members of the Church had with other groups, primarily Native Americans, Jews, and those of African descent. These changing and expanding relationships are the topic of his most recent book, All Abraham’s Children.
Perhaps the best chronicler of minority relationships in the LDS Church, Mauss examines the extensive historical record through a sociological lens. His documentation is likely the best of any researcher examining these issues today. Most readers will find the history of these views to be much more complicated, contradictory, and even conflicted than they might have imagined. Mauss’s recounting of the history is both insightful and unsettling.