Tag Archives: Mormonism

The Conspiracy Motif in Early Mormonism


A persistent theme in American history is the belief in conspiracy, whether it is justified or not. Conspiracy ideas shape our modern society, casting doubt on many areas of public and private life. From the denial of the Moon landings … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Mapping Mormonism: An Atlas of Latter-day Saint History”


Mapping Mormonism: An Atlas of Latter-day Saint History. Brandon S. Plewe, Editor-in-Chief. Associate Editors: S. Kent Brown, Donald Q. Cannon, and Richard H. Jackson. Provo, Utah: BYU Press, 2012. Foreword by Richard Lyman Bushman. Introduction, glossary, notes, color illustrations, bibliography, … Continue reading

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Nauvoo Mormonism and the Question of Class


Early Mormons in the 1840s founded the Mississippi River town of Nauvoo, Illinois, as a stronghold of their religion. Many historians have analyzed the Nauvoo sojourn of the Mormons, and there is a long list of very good books and articles … Continue reading

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Replacement Theology and the Early Mormons as a Chosen People


Perhaps the single most important tenet of Joseph Smith’s emerging Mormon ideology in the 1830s and 1840s was the identification of his church as “latter-day Israel.” This identification drove much of the rest of his scripture and doctrine, from his … Continue reading

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A Conservative Take on the Ideal of Zion: Joseph Smith III and the “Gathering”


Perhaps the most persistent ideal in Mormonism has been the concept of Zion, essentially a utopia, and the gathering of the Saints to achieve it. The early Latter Day Saints believed that they had been commissioned from among the world to … Continue reading

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Dan Vogel on “Joseph Smith Brings the Plates Home”


My longtime friend and fellow Mormon history researcher Dan Vogel has produced a really interesting video on Joseph Smith and the acquisition of the plates from which he claimed to have translated the Book of Mormon. These were, according to … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Nineteenth-Century Mormon Architecture and City Planning”


Nineteenth-Century Mormon Architecture and City Planning. By C. Mark Hamilton. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995). X-vii + 203 pp. $65. This is a very poor work. C. Mark Hamilton, a professor of architectural history at Brigham Young University at … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Religious Seekers and the Advent of Mormonism”


Religious Seekers and the Advent of Mormonism. By Dan Vogel. Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1988. Pp. xiii, 237. I recently reread Dan Vogel’s 1988 book, Religious Seekers and the Advent of Mormonism. I am more convinced than ever that … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “The Nauvoo City and High Council Minutes”


The Nauvoo City and High Council Minutes. Edited by John S. Dinger. Foreword by Morris A. Thurston. Signature Books, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2011. Preface, introduction, city and stake councilmen, appendices, index. Hardcover with dustjacket. ISBN: 978-1-56085-214-8. $49.95. Nauvoo, Illinois, in … Continue reading

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An Iowa Sheriff Comments on the Mormons in Nauvoo, Illinois


In 1995 I published with John E. Hallwas a documentary history about the Mormon experience in Illinois in the 1840s. The book, Cultures in Conflict: A Documentary History of the Mormon War in Illinois (Utah State University Press). In this book … Continue reading

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