Regional Studies in Latter-day Saint Church History

Book Notice

Regional Studies in Latter-day Saint Church History (Department of Church History and Doctrine, Brigham Young University, 1990, 1992)

More people ought to know about a valuable series of studies in Church history coming out of the BYU Department of Church History and Doctrine. Each year, BYU religion faculty members have concentrated their attention on a selected region important to Latter-day Saints. The results are informatively documented, comfortably written and well indexed, and they tell some good stories.

British Isles (1990). This volume looks at LDS origins in America and England, John Lothropp (ancestor of Joseph Smith), social and religious conditions in England in the 1800s, early publications of the Pearl of Great Price and the Millennial Star, as well as the main LDS developments in the British Isles in this century. England is an interesting area where the Church has come home, where it has both roots and now branches.

Ohio (1990). These eight discussions relive the move in 1831 from New York to Ohio, revelations and mobbings in Hiram, hymns and publications of W. W. Phelps, the Kirtland Hebrew School, the coming forth of the Doctrine and Covenants, the Kirtland Temple, mummies, papyri, and the exodus from Kirtland in 1837. Here are birth pains, growing pains, but also window panes.

New York (1992). The largest in this series, this collection offers new material relevant to Palmyra in the 1820s; Asael Smith (the Prophet’s grandfather); Orson Pratt’s defense of the First Vision examined in light of the surviving accounts of that manifestation; all known visits by Moroni; the name Cumorah; the Church’s acquisition of the hill; Joseph Smith’s in-law problems; John Gilbert’s typesetting of the Book of Mormon; the organization of the Church in 1830; the conversions of Thomas B. Marsh, Brigham Young, and W. W. Phelps; the relations between Joseph’s work on the Bible and revelation; and the “miraculous” 1964 New York World’s Fair. This volume shows the reader the people, places, and events that were a part of New York’s Mormon history, where the Church arose amid the ashes of the “Burned-over District” in western New York. Although the Saints moved to the Intermountain West, New York remained a vital part of LDS history as birthplace of many of the Church’s early leaders, port of entry for the majority of LDS immigrants from Europe, and, presently, home of many important Church historical sites.


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