The bittersweet experience of the Church’s brief sojourn in Nauvoo will always remain a romantic yet realistic construct in the minds of the Latter-day Saints. If any reader has ever wanted to travel to Nauvoo with a group of religious educators from BYU, to listen as they analyze and ponder some of their favorite images and reflections on the Nauvoo period, this volume is a fine surrogate. The essays are personable and sincerely reflect the feelings and knowledge of their authors.
This is the latest volume in the regional studies series published by the BYU Department of Church History and Doctrine. It contains eighteen original papers, plus an index, in a large and interesting collection. Topics include Joseph Smith (represented by several essays), the Nauvoo Temple, doctrinal teachings in Nauvoo, disease and sickness in Nauvoo, the political environment in Illinois in the 1840s, and Zelph. The collection also offers biographical studies of such interesting figures as Almon Babbitt, Joseph Smith III, John C. Bennett, Howard Coray, Martha Coray, and Steven A. Douglas, as well as two papers on Mormon and Jewish topics. Although this volume does not attempt to present a systematic, comprehensive review of the history of the Church in Illinois, it contains many significant resources, including a useful bibliography.