Differing Visions: Dissenters in Mormon History

Book Review
Reviewer: Lynn D. Wardle
Categories: Book Reviews
Journal: 35:4
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Differing Visions is a collection of biographical and analytical essays about dissenters from various branches of Mormonism and about the phenomenon of dissent in Latter-day Saint religious history. The core of the book consists of seventeen biographical chapters by different authors succinctly describing the experiences of seventeen dissenters from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), as well as a leading contemporary dissenter from the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS). The foreword by Leonard Arrington and the introduction by Roger Launius and Linda Thatcher paint with broader brushes—analyzing Mormon dissent as a general social phenomenon occurring in a particular religious context.

Technically, the book is well done. The biographical chapters are basically arranged in chronological order and, for the most part, are capably written and edited. The chapters are adequately researched—some are very well researched. An effort to be balanced and fair to the individual subjects is evident, though some chapters seem more sympathetic to the subjects than scholarly. Generally, however, the tone is respectful and professional.