The Early Temples of the Mormons


Laurel B. Andrew’s recently published book, The Early Temples of the Mormons, is a slightly modified and refined version of her earlier doctoral thesis, “The Nineteenth-Century Temple Architecture of the Latter-day Saints”, the latter being a scholarly expansion of an even earlier collaborative study with her husband of “The Four Mormon Temples in Utah”. Her major thesis, that nineteenth-century Mormon temple architecture uniquely expresses the spiritual and temporal aspirations of a millennial and utopian “Kingdom of God” on earth, has remained consistent throughout the three studies. What is obvious to a Mormon reader in comparing the dissertation to the book is the elimination in the book of some, though not all, anti-Mormon biases, what I would call “Brodyisms” for want of a better term. Her book promises to appeal to an educated and tolerant Mormon audience, although its scholarly tone and technical architectural terminology may make it somewhat inaccessible to the lay reader.


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