Four Faith Promoting Classics

The marriage of photography and printing has produced the inexpensive but accurate reprint. Four individual volumes of George Q. Cannon’s faith-promoting series are so produced. They are portions of what was virtually an oral history project undertaken while many still lived from Joseph Smith’s generation, a generation which survived the early persecutions and migrations and left the legacy of the heroic period of missionary work. Since Cannon disclaimed sensationalism as the criterion of selection, his admittedly apologetic purpose was nevertheless combined with simple narratives that are the raw material of history. Consequently, this collection of shorter reminiscences gathers both the miraculous (healings and revelations) and the naturalistic (missions and persecutions) description. Cannon literally saved from oblivion these personal experiences of conversion and service to the latter-day movement, prophetically writing in one preface that “men will seek with avidity” for such firsthand information “but a few years hence.” If such a collection is not comprehensive history it is nevertheless the history of faith and the basis for it from those who were eyewitnesses from the beginning. Through this collection the reader may relive the impact of Oliver Cowdery’s first testimony that he had seen an angel; experience the defensive indignation that caused two unconverted brothers of Brigham Young to interpose themselves between a menacing group and a missionary, or share in a hundred other memorable events. Hopefully other reproductions will follow, since the original collection contains volumes never reprinted and others not yet photomechanically reprinted.

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