Category Archives: Mormonism

What Were the Origins of Mormon/Non-Mormon Conflict in 1840s Nauvoo?


The non-Mormons of Hancock County, Illinois, in the early 1840s probably disliked the Mormons from the first, in the same way that most Americans have generally disliked what they have viewed as religious fanaticism, but they were initially disposed toward toleration … Continue reading

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Zion in Mormon History: An American Promised Land


Mormonism’s self-identification as a modern replacement for ancient Israel mandated the quest for Zion as a literal place. The establishment of what the Saints called Zion had been the most persistent goal of the early Mormon movement. The early Latter-day … Continue reading

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The Latter-day Saint Movement and the Concept of a “Chosen People”


Perhaps the single most important tenet of Joseph Smith Jr.’s (1805-1844) theology in founding the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons)  was the identification of his followers as a “latter-day Israel.” This identification drove much of the rest of … Continue reading

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Mormon Nauvoo in the Context of Post-Colonial Studies


To an extent underappreciated by historians, the Mormon experience in Nauvoo between 1839 and 1846 represents an expression of colonialism and its antithesis. The field of post-colonial studies has been gaining prominence since the 1970s. While historians and others debate the … Continue reading

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The Esoteric Mormon Doctrine of Baptism for the Dead


Many have all wondered about it in Washington, D.C., at one time or another while driving around the Beltway and see the Mormon Temple rising before us like the Emerald City out of Oz. What do the Mormons do in there? … Continue reading

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An Account of the Evacuation of Nauvoo by the Mormons in 1846


After a lengthy period of conflict between the Mormons in Nauvoo, Illinois, and their non-Mormon neighbors, they negotiated a treaty, dated September 16, 1846, which gave the remaining Mormons five days to leave the city. A few days after this, on … Continue reading

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Is There a New Mormon History?


Is there a “New Mormon History?” D. Michael Quinn, one of the foremost practitioners of the type of work distinguished as the “New Mormon History,” certainly thinks so. He assembled more than two decades ago The New Mormon History: Revisionist Essays … Continue reading

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Fawn Brodie and Interpretations of the Origins of Mormon Polyamy?


The place of plural marriage in the early history of the Mormon church has been an important topic of analysis for historians since it first appeared in Nauvoo, Illinois, in the 1840s. It has also been one of the most contentious … Continue reading

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Wednesay’s Book Review: “The Nauvoo Legion in Illinois”


The Nauvoo Legion in Illinois: A History of the Mormon Militia, 1841-1846. By Richard E. Bennett, Susan Easton Black, and Donald Q. Cannon. Norman, OK: The Arthur H. Clark Company, An imprint of the University of Oklahoma Press, 2010. 436 … Continue reading

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The Conspiracy Theme and the Late Twentieth Century RLDS Church


The conspiracy theme is still present in the modern Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS), which was renamed the Community of Christ (CofC)in 2000. This time it can be seen most frequently among some RLDS fundamentalists … Continue reading

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