Karl Ricks Anderson has lived in Kirtland, Ohio, for more than forty years, and his studies and time there have made him one of the leading authorities on the Kirtland period of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In 1994, Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles asked Anderson to write about the Christology of Kirtland. The Savior in Kirtland is the final product of Anderson's eighteen-year project.
The book is extensively researched and would appeal to anyone interested in anecdotes from Church history. The research will be helpful to scholars, but the information is presented in such a way that it seems to be directed to lay students of the gospel. The work collects accounts from numerous figures in Church history and weaves their stories together into an informative narrative. Quotations and incidents are gathered from the usual sources, such as the Doctrine and Covenants and History of the Church, but they are also gathered from countless other sources and collections, including personal journals from early Church members who lived in Kirtland. The wide range of sources brings to light many testimonies and accounts that are not often heard in the Latter-day Saint community. Additionally, each chapter begins with original illustrations by Carma de Jong Anderson and Tyson Snow. Overall, The Savior in Kirtland provides an extensive body of Kirtland scholarship that brings refreshing insights into Church history.