kode adsense disini
Hot Best Seller

The Standard of Truth: 1815–1846

Availability: Ready to download

In 1820, a young farm boy in search of truth has a vision of God the Father and Jesus Christ. Three years later, an angel guides him to an ancient record buried in a hill near his home. With God’s help, he translates the record and organizes the Savior’s church in the latter days. Soon others join him, accepting the invitation to become Saints through the Atonement of Jesu In 1820, a young farm boy in search of truth has a vision of God the Father and Jesus Christ. Three years later, an angel guides him to an ancient record buried in a hill near his home. With God’s help, he translates the record and organizes the Savior’s church in the latter days. Soon others join him, accepting the invitation to become Saints through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. But opposition and violence follow those who defy old traditions to embrace restored truths. The women and men who join the church must choose whether or not they will stay true to their covenants, establish Zion, and proclaim the gospel to a troubled world. The Standard of Truth is the first book in Saints, a new, four-volume narrative history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Fast-paced, meticulously researched, Saints recounts true stories of Latter-day Saints across the globe and answers the Lord’s call to write history “for the good of the church, and for the rising generations” (Doctrine and Covenants 69:8).


Compare
kode adsense disini

In 1820, a young farm boy in search of truth has a vision of God the Father and Jesus Christ. Three years later, an angel guides him to an ancient record buried in a hill near his home. With God’s help, he translates the record and organizes the Savior’s church in the latter days. Soon others join him, accepting the invitation to become Saints through the Atonement of Jesu In 1820, a young farm boy in search of truth has a vision of God the Father and Jesus Christ. Three years later, an angel guides him to an ancient record buried in a hill near his home. With God’s help, he translates the record and organizes the Savior’s church in the latter days. Soon others join him, accepting the invitation to become Saints through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. But opposition and violence follow those who defy old traditions to embrace restored truths. The women and men who join the church must choose whether or not they will stay true to their covenants, establish Zion, and proclaim the gospel to a troubled world. The Standard of Truth is the first book in Saints, a new, four-volume narrative history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Fast-paced, meticulously researched, Saints recounts true stories of Latter-day Saints across the globe and answers the Lord’s call to write history “for the good of the church, and for the rising generations” (Doctrine and Covenants 69:8).

30 review for The Standard of Truth: 1815–1846

  1. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    I have several friends who have left the Church after learning about aspects of the life of the Prophet Joseph Smith, or the history of the Church that disturbed them. This book feels like an attempt to address those issues, and to be up front about them so that people aren’t blindsided by them later, or given the impression that the Church is trying to hide something. Being a narrative history it was a quick and easy read, and I can see why it was done this way to make the information more avail I have several friends who have left the Church after learning about aspects of the life of the Prophet Joseph Smith, or the history of the Church that disturbed them. This book feels like an attempt to address those issues, and to be up front about them so that people aren’t blindsided by them later, or given the impression that the Church is trying to hide something. Being a narrative history it was a quick and easy read, and I can see why it was done this way to make the information more available to the widest possible audience. My preference for history that is important to me though is a more documentary style that dives in to the facts and details, and allows me to construct my own narrative. If you have a good understanding of Church history this probably adds little (there were one or two stories of lesser known figures from Church history that I hadn’t previously heard that I did enjoy). If you don’t know much about Church history, I would say this is an excellent starting point. If there are aspects of the Prophet Joseph Smith’s life that disturb you because of his being subject to the frailties of human nature, this book will likely acknowledge those aspects and touch on them, but will do little to assuage those concerns. If you really want to know if Joseph Smith was a Prophet I would recommend that you follow the Savior’s council as found in Matthew chapter 7: 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. You cannot know the fruits of Joseph’s works without reading the Book of Mormon, and deciding whether or not it is what he claims it was through study and prayer. My conclusion is that in answer to young Joseph’s prayer, that God the Father and Jesus Christ did in reality appear to him in that grove of trees. And that through the gift and power of God, Joseph was able to translate the Book of Mormon, and restore the Lord’s church to the earth.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Brad Hart

    I just finished reading volume 1 of the church's new book "Saints." I know Mormon history has been a hot topic for many Latter-day Saints, so naturally this book has appeal. Let me first start off with... THE GOOD: -This book is, in my opinion, the very best general audience history that the church has ever published. It is far better than earlier works like "Our Heritage," "Marvelous Work and a Wonder," etc. -The book is incredibly reader friendly and flows beautifully. I give high marks to whome I just finished reading volume 1 of the church's new book "Saints." I know Mormon history has been a hot topic for many Latter-day Saints, so naturally this book has appeal. Let me first start off with... THE GOOD: -This book is, in my opinion, the very best general audience history that the church has ever published. It is far better than earlier works like "Our Heritage," "Marvelous Work and a Wonder," etc. -The book is incredibly reader friendly and flows beautifully. I give high marks to whomever is responsible for the prose of this book. Very easy, very enjoyable. I can easily foresee the day this book becomes the new manual for Priesthood and Relief Society. -There is an effort to include more of the blemishes and warts from our past in this book. Joseph Smith is portrayed as a good man but not elevated to Herculean status. The church is portrayed as a living, evolving entity as opposed to absolute perfection right out of the gate. Having said all that, there still is some... NOT SO GOOD: -The book, thought a big upgrade, still omits a tremendous amount of problematic history. Only a few of Joseph's polygamous wives are mentioned and the controversial ones (with the exception of Fanny Alger, who is only glossed over) are completely absent from the story. The Three Witnesses narrative is the same as it has always been (which is a huge problem) there is little to no mention of the role Freemasonry in early Mormonism, and the historicity of the Book of Abraham/Mormon are not mentioned at all. They do mention Joseph Smith using seer stones in his hat and other similar little tidbits of troubling history, but if anyone was hoping this book would be the new narrative that historians like Richard Bushman have been asking for you will be disappointed. -The book feels like watered down Truman Madsen, meets the LDS Church essays, meets "The Work and the Glory." You can see the internal struggle of the authors to be honest while still creating a narrative in which Mormonism emerges victorious and virtuous at every turn. -This book is NOT a critical or comprehensive history! I cannot emphasize this enough. If you were looking for that you will be disappointed. The book is a very general, very generic INTRODUCTORY history. This isn't necessarily a bad thing but if you were wanting more you will not find it here. Overall I think the book is a plus. It will add to, not subtract from, the ongoing communal conversation that is Mormon history. I salute the church for trying to be a little more open and honest. Though the book does fall short in many respects, I see more good than bad. Just remember one thing if you choose to read it: the book is NOT a comprehensive work. Don't look to this source to answer some of the major doubts so many struggle with today. It won't have many of those answers. Having said that, the book is still, in my opinion, of value.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cory Howell

    Reading as someone who is not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I found this book to be a very detailed account of the early years of the Latter-day Saints movement. As an official Church publication, I suppose one could make the argument that the book is biased in favor of the traditional narrative, but I don't think that really impacts negatively on the book's value as a historical work. There's a lot of fascinating history here, and it's told well, and extensively f Reading as someone who is not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I found this book to be a very detailed account of the early years of the Latter-day Saints movement. As an official Church publication, I suppose one could make the argument that the book is biased in favor of the traditional narrative, but I don't think that really impacts negatively on the book's value as a historical work. There's a lot of fascinating history here, and it's told well, and extensively footnoted. Well worth reading...

  4. 5 out of 5

    Chad

    I am shamelessly proud of my Church and the great strides they have made in the publishing of Saints: The Standard of Truth. This is fantastic history and beautiful prose. I have always been an avid reader, my early encounters with Church history weren't positive: I remember reading excerpts from Our Heritage in Sunday School and finding it absolutely dry. Perhaps I have matured since then, and I do feel more invested in my Church and its history now. But I think part of that is finding Church h I am shamelessly proud of my Church and the great strides they have made in the publishing of Saints: The Standard of Truth. This is fantastic history and beautiful prose. I have always been an avid reader, my early encounters with Church history weren't positive: I remember reading excerpts from Our Heritage in Sunday School and finding it absolutely dry. Perhaps I have matured since then, and I do feel more invested in my Church and its history now. But I think part of that is finding Church history books not published by Deseret Book. My first Church history book that became a favorite was Greg Prince's David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism. I also enjoyed finding alternate interpretations of Church history, such as Denver Snuffer's Preserving the Restoration, and recent publications like Joseph Smith's Polygamy and Seer Stones This book is a fantastic addition to the genre of Latter-Day Saint history, and bravely confronts difficult topics while maintaining a narrative structure in which belief in the divinity of Joseph's calling as prophet. Church leaders are using the word "immunize" to describe their hopes of this book: that it will immunize them from doubts and anything "anti-Mormon" in nature. I think the wording is appropriate; but I think any scenario where a form of censorship is present will harbor ill feelings. Leftists on campus are finding this out now: when you make no room for conservative viewpoints on campus, and students encounter facts from alt-right sources, they can start to embrace extremist viewpoints, because they feel that the liberal elites have lied to them. We need to have open discussion about these topics. We shouldn't be ashamed to discuss them, and we shouldn't have to feel we are being untrue to our faith if we bring them up. Let's talk about Joseph Smith's polygamy. Let's talk about seer stones. I'm very excited in this new era where members and youth will be much more familiar with Church history, and hopefully have a complete mental structure of Church history rather than a string of "faith-strengthening" stories cherry-picked from the past. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTiRn... Here are a few things that I learned, or at least became much more clear as I read "Saints": Joseph Smith wasn't perfect You hear this all the time. We acknowledge it, but when we are confronted with his humanity upfront, sometimes it can be a bit hard to take. Joseph was rough around the edges. He didn't "look" or act like a prophet at times. I didn't know that he got into a fist-fight with his brother and fellow apostle in a quorum meeting. He held grudges, and often alienated people both in and outside the Church. Thomas Marsh found out that he was a bit authoritarian at times, often acting without consulting other. Marsh felt hurt that Joseph would take unilateral action in organizing missionary work with England, when he had clearly delegated that to himself. And heck-- Joseph went and instituted polygamy without telling his two counselors in the First Presidency! That doesn't sound like a good way of building trust. Critics of the Church have always been around We often characterize these doubters and takers of offense as traitors, enemies, and antagonists. But I think these characters had legitimate concerns about Joseph's leadership. I sympathized with all of them, and we need to see how real their concerns are, because we are likely to encounter similar concerns with present-day leaders as well. I think there are plenty of examples of those who struggled and remained faithful: Parley P. Pratt for example. He got absolutely screwed over by Joseph and Sidney when the Kirtland Safety Society went under. He even voiced some criticisms. But, with some help from fellow saints, he was humble enough to accept a prophet with flaws. Other critics I had less sympathy for. John Bennett told women that Joseph gave him permission to sleep with them outside of the marriage covenant. He tricked many. When he was excommunicated, he was the one who really sparked off the rumors and sharp criticisms around polygamy. William Law too was an adulterer who couldn't take the consequences of his actions and turned on the prophet. Emma is back again In most Church literature, you hear about Emma briefly in the happy early days of the Restoration, but she fades out in the Nauvoo years when polygamy was introduced, because she doesn't always play the role of demure, supportive wife. She REALLY struggled with Joseph's polygamy, and they show it really well here. You feel for her. I am so glad to see her character, and her centrality in the restoration, portrayed so well. We were kind of jerks in Missouri The only two things a lot of Mormons know about Missouri is that we're supposed to build a temple there some day, and Governor Boggs is a horrible bigot who issued the extermination order. This is true. But you find out that there was bad blood on both sides. Mormons often didn't play good neighbors. Remember when the saints got kicked out of Jackson County? That really got rolling right after William Phelps published an inflammatory speech by Sidney Rigdon saying, "If you fight with us, we'll fight back. We're willing to shed blood to protect our rights." Perhaps that's an OK sentiment. But it isn't going to calm things. When some neighboring Missourians burned down the house of a saint, the Mormons retaliated by burning down an entire village. The Saints had a secret group called the Danites who swore to fight off the enemies of the Church with violence. Perhaps we often didn't take the first punch. But we certainly were willing to play 19th century identity politics, take things personally, and get our hands dirty. While a lot of it isn't new persay, this is the first time I feel like I have a complete picture of the Restoration complete in my head. I've read specialty books on Mormon history, like Joseph Smith's use of seer stones, or the revelations surrounding polygamy, but this is the first time I feel comfortable with the overarching narrative of not only the life of Joseph Smith, but the lives of everyday saints as well. And it feels so good-- to not feel like I have to be ashamed of inconvenient truths surrounding Joseph Smith. You don't have to feel like some hater out there is going to spring a truth on you that could potentially crash your testimony. I hope this builds self- confidence in Mormons (my bad, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints), and I hope it starts of spark to help us re-appreciate the Restoration.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Devan Jensen

    Review of Saints: The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days, Volume 1: The Standard of Truth, 1815–1846. Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2018. 699 pp., $5.75 print, $1.99 digital. Short version: The book is very readable, with stories and accurate dialogue to share deep emotions felt during intense times of crisis. The book includes valuable female perspectives (both old and young). It is intimate, referring to Joseph and Emma Smith by first name. Review of Saints: The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days, Volume 1: The Standard of Truth, 1815–1846. Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2018. 699 pp., $5.75 print, $1.99 digital. Short version: The book is very readable, with stories and accurate dialogue to share deep emotions felt during intense times of crisis. The book includes valuable female perspectives (both old and young). It is intimate, referring to Joseph and Emma Smith by first name. The writers weave together moving individual stories supported by solid historical sources. It relies on excellent source material from The Joseph Smith Papers, the Religious Studies Center, and many others. Readers can enhance their experience with new Church History Topics essays: https://www.lds.org/languages/eng/con.... Long version: As the first book in the Saints series, The Standard of Truth, 1815–1846 starts with a bang! A volcano in far-off Indonesia spews tons of ash into the air, causing dry weather patterns in Vermont and leading the Smith family to try farming in upstate New York. Joseph joins the local treasure hunters seeking for Spanish gold, a search he soon abandons. The book then races through uplifting and discouraging scenes of church history. Scott Hales, the book’s literary editor, described the book’s goals: “It’s designed to be a history for people who don’t like history. It’s meant to be very inviting, very engaging, very approachable. Some people hear the word ‘history’ and clam up or tune out. They think about boring high school history classes or history lectures. That’s not the reaction we want from our readers. We want people to read this book! We have written it in a way that will appeal to people from ages 12 to 112. We have been very deliberate in how we present the material so that it is accessible to a wide variety of people from all ages, all educational backgrounds, and all reading levels” (as quoted in “Getting to Know Saints: The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days,” Religious Educator 19, no. 2 [2018]: 175). Steven C. Harper, the book’s historical editor, tells how the project started: “[It] began as an investigation into the feasibility of updating the Comprehensive History. In 2008 the Church Historian, who was then Elder Marlin K. Jensen of the Seventy, made a proposal to the First Presidency to update it. The First Presidency authorized the Church History Department to come up with a plan to do it. A committee was called together and proposed the four-volume plan. . . . Elder Steven E. Snow of the Seventy has served as the Church Historian since 2012. He made Saints a high priority” (as quoted in “Getting to Know Saints,” 174). Volume 1 deals transparently with complex issues such as the following: • Joseph’s multiple accounts of the First Vision • Nineteenth-century folk religion and seer stones • Joseph’s 1826 arrest and trial for being a “disorderly person” • Translation of the Book of Mormon and testimonies of many witnesses, including Mary Whitmer • Restoration of priesthood authority and sealing keys • Dedication of the Kirtland Temple • The Book of Abraham • Complex feelings after the Kirtland Safety Society failed • Persecution of members in Missouri and vigilante actions by Danites • Plural marriage, including Joseph’s marriage to Fanny Alger and sealings to other women • Destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor • The Council of Fifty and its plans to move church members to the West A few minor things to quibble about: Because it is written straightforwardly to a believing audience, it might be viewed as nonrigorous history. For example, the term "Urim and Thummim" appears instead of "Nephite interpreters," which might confuse some folks. Revelations are recorded very tidily as the Lord dictated them rather than through a complex process of revision and adjustment as Joseph tried to capture the essence of revelatory thought, as described in The Joseph Smith Papers. I look forward to future volumes, as Scott Hales described below: “The second volume depicts the challenges of gathering the Saints to the Salt Lake Valley and the Intermountain West. It ends in 1893 with the dedication of the Salt Lake Temple. Volume 3 shows the Church entering the twentieth century and branching out beyond the Mormon corridor. It concludes in 1955 with the dedication of the Swiss Temple, the first temple dedicated in Europe. Finally, volume 4 is about the global Church. By the end of that volume, temples dot the earth and sacred ordinances are available to all worthy Saints” (as quoted in “Getting to Know Saints,” 173).

  6. 5 out of 5

    Magila

    4.5 I will admit to being very excited about this book when I first heard about it from an editor around a year ago. The editor is a very well-known and respected Latter-day Saint fiction author. When she described the scope and effort going into this book (series), I thought, awesome. Saints should be read by every member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, like Jesus the Christ. Given the dense previous records of church history and how it stops before the global expansion, this 4.5 I will admit to being very excited about this book when I first heard about it from an editor around a year ago. The editor is a very well-known and respected Latter-day Saint fiction author. When she described the scope and effort going into this book (series), I thought, awesome. Saints should be read by every member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, like Jesus the Christ. Given the dense previous records of church history and how it stops before the global expansion, this is a book that fits on any shelf. For a more complete biography of Joseph Smith, of course Joseph Smith: Rough Stone RollingJoseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling would be preferable. For a more academic, but equally enjoyable, historical account leading through Mitt Romney's presidential run, I'd recommend The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith. This all said, as a work unto itself, and considering the effort the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints put into this book, everyone involved deserves a round of applause. Ten, fifteen years ago, I remember sitting in a friend's home and discussing how essential it was for more people to become acquainted with the history of the church, including the more discomforting elements, that have driven some to lose faith or trust in it as an institution. This book is that and more. Undoubtedly there will be complaints about the relatively short treatment that the Book of Abraham and other aspects of church history receive, but it couldn't be 10,000 pages after all. Book of Mormon translation, Plural Marriage (including the earliest aspects of it), The Kirtland Safety Society, early Apostleship in the latter-days, Joseph's martyrdom, Black Saints, it all did more than just dot the book, there were fair treatments. I feel the matters were addressed with respect to the time, for example, the Kirtland Safety Society and Polygamy were major issues that caused schisms in the early church and the writers/editors tackled these issues. It was very well done. My favorite part of the book is coming to a better understanding of the individuals, the names and the backgrounds behind some of the stories people frequently hear. Through the meticulous research that has gone into it, this book becomes something that puts to bed and offers clarity regarding many Mormon myths and historic folklore. As a book published by the church, of course it will take on a "faith promoting" angle, but the reality is that the history is being drawn from countless journals and available historic materials and it is a history. I'm not sure how other religious institutions would handle themselves if they derived from the modern era and were so heavily scrutinized. This book contains a bit of self-reflection, but mostly history and what truth is available. Some questions simply cannot be answered, but the thoughtful narrative, focus on storytelling, and precision in recounting the foundation of the church is sure to inform and edify. I look forward to future volumes as they are made available. Disclaimer: I listened to the book. The reader was not distracting, but neither were they engaging. Listening is a viable way of tackling the book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Derek Pando

    Most engaging LDS church history book I've read, does not skirt the more controversial parts of the history, while being still faith building.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    The most refreshing thing about the book "Saints" is that it does not hide the fact that the men and women of the early church were flawed individuals. Even though they had been called to some of the Lord's most important work, their human frailties and weaknesses came out over and over again. But this didn't stop them or the work. The repentant and humble were still allowed to be instruments in the hands of the Lord. And their struggle, is OUR struggle. Each of us is called to move the Lord's k The most refreshing thing about the book "Saints" is that it does not hide the fact that the men and women of the early church were flawed individuals. Even though they had been called to some of the Lord's most important work, their human frailties and weaknesses came out over and over again. But this didn't stop them or the work. The repentant and humble were still allowed to be instruments in the hands of the Lord. And their struggle, is OUR struggle. Each of us is called to move the Lord's kingdom forward notwithstanding our limitations. To me, it is a testimony of the divinity of this Church. Even with all of our human frailties, the work rolls on. Seeing the weaknesses of these saints did not damage my faith, in fact, it strengthened it. The Prophet Joseph in particular was not immune to mistakes. He was chastised multiple times by Moroni in his attempts to obtain the plates. He lost the 116 pages of translated manuscript that he had been entrusted with. He argued with many saints, even mocked some of them openly. He got into a fistfight with his brother, one of the Twelve Apostles. He quarreled repeatedly with Emma over the issue of plural marriage. Yet, in spite of all of his errors, Joseph had a repentant heart, and the Lord was able to trust in him to restore His kingdom on earth. It speaks wonders to me about the mercy of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and should bring peace to the hearts of all of us who feel like we too are constantly coming up short. This message is a theme that has been repeated often in recent General Conferences. Maybe it's just my heart softening, but I feel that the leaders of the Church have put a renewed emphasis on the idea that, while we strive for perfection, we don't have to be perfect yet. It's not that they have become more tolerant of sin, because they haven't, but I believe they have encouraged us to be more understanding of man's weakness and to not judge too harshly. They acknowledge that each of us will stumble along the road to perfection, and that the Lord blesses us for every effort to correct our mistakes and continue along His path. This was the message I took away from "Saints"... that the Lord want's all men and women to come unto Him, and that through Him, we can do a great work.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Samcwright

    Over the last decade, hundreds of new books have been written that shed new light on polygamy, the priesthood ban, the nature of translation and revelation, the participation of women, the development of the priesthood, and many other topics in the development of The Church of Jesus Christ. While not an in-depth analysis on any one of those topics (since that’s not the intent of the book), Saints does an incredible job of honestly presenting and summarizing information on the entire restoration Over the last decade, hundreds of new books have been written that shed new light on polygamy, the priesthood ban, the nature of translation and revelation, the participation of women, the development of the priesthood, and many other topics in the development of The Church of Jesus Christ. While not an in-depth analysis on any one of those topics (since that’s not the intent of the book), Saints does an incredible job of honestly presenting and summarizing information on the entire restoration (including controversial topics) so that readers who study further on individual topics should not feel that the Church withheld something. Readers can disagree on the interpretation of the facts presented in the book (and there is less interpretation going on than critics may suggest), but all the facts are there.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Cary

    I usually give books with a cliffhanger one less star... so there you have it! Ha ha ... I understand there are to be 4 volumes. I happened to get an advanced copy of volume 1 in pdf form. I really enjoyed this narrative history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There was lots of material that I had never heard before and I hadn’t considered myself completely ignorant of Church history. The narrative was well done and had me feeling the poignant emotional road of the founder, p I usually give books with a cliffhanger one less star... so there you have it! Ha ha ... I understand there are to be 4 volumes. I happened to get an advanced copy of volume 1 in pdf form. I really enjoyed this narrative history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There was lots of material that I had never heard before and I hadn’t considered myself completely ignorant of Church history. The narrative was well done and had me feeling the poignant emotional road of the founder, prophet and leader of the church, Joseph Smith and others involved in the restoration. It was not a quick read for me as I had to stop sometimes to withdraw from the immersive setting I was drawn into. On another note, this was well edited and the history moved along at a good pace.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Katie Robinson

    "Saints" was a great foundational history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I love how it was written in an easy to read/listen to narrative form. My favorite aspect was learning more about everyone involved, the "regular" individuals included. They weren't perfect, but they went about their daily lives trying to do right. They overcame significant challenges and accomplished many great things along the way.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Erik

    I found this to be a very interesting and informative read. I listened to the audio of the book available for free through the Gospel Library app. I am a lifelong active member of the church who has studied church history, so I was familiar with the overall history, and very familiar with many of the incidents covered. However, there was still information that was new to me, and added details to familiar stories. I enjoy reading history that is written in a narrative style like this book, and I l I found this to be a very interesting and informative read. I listened to the audio of the book available for free through the Gospel Library app. I am a lifelong active member of the church who has studied church history, so I was familiar with the overall history, and very familiar with many of the incidents covered. However, there was still information that was new to me, and added details to familiar stories. I enjoy reading history that is written in a narrative style like this book, and I look forward to the future volumes in the series. An added bonus for me is that it was neat for me to hear about my 3x great grandparents Jonathan and Caroline Crosby, parts of whose story is covered around the middle of this book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Deb

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I'm not going to click the rating stars on this book. I'm only reviewing it to help me remember my reactions. I read it because my husband and I read books together, we'd just finished one of our novels, and we thought this might give us a nice break. Plus, our church published it, so of course we were interested. My husband rates it higher than me, but he didn't give it five stars. He's read a lot of church history and he said that some of this feels uninspired and more interpretative. At the e I'm not going to click the rating stars on this book. I'm only reviewing it to help me remember my reactions. I read it because my husband and I read books together, we'd just finished one of our novels, and we thought this might give us a nice break. Plus, our church published it, so of course we were interested. My husband rates it higher than me, but he didn't give it five stars. He's read a lot of church history and he said that some of this feels uninspired and more interpretative. At the end of the book, it acknowledges that the book is a compilation of interpretations based on multiple sources both primary and secondary. It doesn't claim to be perfect or complete. I like the stories about the women of the time and of their families. I hadn't heard about some of them or I'd read other versions. The narrative style is certainly easy to read and to follow. It seems like a pretty good basic history of the church. I just didn't particularly enjoy it. Maybe part of the reason is because we listened to a lot of it and I didn't prefer the intensity of the male reader's voice. Reading it was easier. I'd probably give the book 2.5 stars. I liked it okay. Some say this book doesn't go far enough to portray the controversial aspects of church history. For me, it goes further than I care to dwell on. So much of the history is sad and disturbing. Some of it is unsavory and not particularly faith promoting. I know the church and its leaders weren't perfect. That doesn't bother me because very little (and none of the people) is perfect on this earth. I can still believe the priesthood is real and was restored through Joseph Smith, that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and that temple ordinances are powerful, true blessings. I just prefer not to focus on the imperfections of people and the process of implementation. I feel that all of that should absolutely be acknowledged and accessible, I just don't want to see it anymore than I'd want to give people a tour of my house by taking them to my dirtiest room first. I don't think the door should be locked, but that room by itself is not completely reflective of me and my whole house. It might be shallow of me to want to focus on the happy, faithful aspects of the church's history. That is just how I feel. I write these reviews for myself to help me remember my reactions. I have no intention to influence other people's points of view through this review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Trevor

    One of the tactics that critics have used recently to try to destroy faith is to describe a lesser known event in church history in a way that is intended to shock the reader. By sensationalizing and removing it from its context, and often even misrepresenting what actually happened, the victim is left feeling betrayed by the Church, thinking they have been lied to or that the Church has been hiding or whitewashing its history. Sadly, much of this history has been available (though perhaps not r One of the tactics that critics have used recently to try to destroy faith is to describe a lesser known event in church history in a way that is intended to shock the reader. By sensationalizing and removing it from its context, and often even misrepresenting what actually happened, the victim is left feeling betrayed by the Church, thinking they have been lied to or that the Church has been hiding or whitewashing its history. Sadly, much of this history has been available (though perhaps not readily accessible), but not emphasized in the curriculum that is taught, requiring independent study, which has not been happening as much in recent generations. The Church has recognized this problem and is producing a solution. The first volume of a projected four-volume series has now been published in 14 languages and is available in paperback and e-book, as well as online text and audiobook formats. It is written in an easy to understand style, which although entirely factual, draws you in like a novel. This was done intentionally by having literary writers on the project, not just historians. For those who want more information, there are extensive footnotes that point you to online resources, including both in-depth essays and videos, as well as original documents from the Joseph Smith Papers. The book begins with a message from the First Presidency and a preface explaining the purpose of the series. The body of the book continues, contained in four parts, which are broken up by historic periods. There are also maps, but no other illustrations beyond the small ornaments at the head of each chapter. The back of the book has Notes, a Note on Sources, Sources Cited, Acknowledgements, and a fairly good 15-page Index. The first volume covers the period preceding the First Vision up to two years after the death of Joseph Smith, when the Saints were able to receive the endowment in the Nauvoo Temple. It covers nearly every criticism and puts them in their proper context, where they can be more easily understood. It concentrates on telling stories of the actual men and women involved, rather than just the institutional church, as previous official histories produced by the Church have done. The result is a detailed history of the Church that includes the sensitive issues while building faith, which already has some critics worried that their work will become irrelevant. An example is the story of how the Word of Wisdom was received: While the School of the Prophets was in session, Emma watched the students arrive and make their way up the stairs to the small, tightly packed room where they met. Some men came to the school freshly washed and neatly dressed out of respect for the sacred nature of the school. Some also skipped breakfast so they could come to the meeting fasting. After class got out and the men left for the day, Emma and some young women hired to help would clean the schoolroom. Since the men smoked pipes and chewed tobacco during the lessons, the room was hazy and the floorboards were covered in tobacco spit when they left. Emma would scrub with all her might, but tobacco stains remained on the floor. She complained to Joseph about the mess. Joseph did not normally use tobacco, but he did not mind if the other men did. Emma’s complaints, however, caused him to question if tobacco use was right in God’s eyes. Emma was not alone in her concerns. Reformers in the United States and other countries throughout the world thought smoking and chewing tobacco, as well as drinking alcohol, were filthy habits. But some doctors believed tobacco could cure a host of ailments. Similar claims were made about drinking alcohol and hot drinks like coffee and tea, which people drank liberally. When Joseph took the matter to the Lord, he received a revelation—a “word of wisdom for the benefit of the Saints in these last days.” In it, the Lord cautioned His people against consuming alcohol, declaring that ​distilled liquor was for washing their bodies while wine was for occasions like the sacrament. He also warned them against tobacco and hot drinks. The Lord emphasized a healthy diet, encouraging the Saints to eat grains, herbs, and fruits and to consume meat sparingly. He promised blessings of health, knowledge, and strength to those who chose to obey. The revelation had been declared not as a commandment but as a caution. Many people would find it hard to give up using these powerful substances, and Joseph did not insist on strict conformity. He continued to drink alcohol occasionally, and he and Emma sometimes drank coffee and tea. Still, after Joseph read the words to the School of the Prophets, the men in the room tossed their pipes and plugs of chewing tobacco into the fire to show their willingness to obey the Lord’s counsel. (Pages 167-168.) Some of the other topics addressed include the multiple accounts of the First Vision, the use of seer stones for finding buried treasure as well as translating the Book of Mormon, tensions in Missouri, the Kirtland Safety Society, plural marriage (beginning with Fanny Alger and including polyandry), Freemasonry, the Nauvoo Expositor, and Joseph’s possession and use of a gun in Carthage Jail. I only have a couple minor criticisms of the book. The style is actually a little too simple for my tastes (it reminds me of a bit of the “For Beginning Readers” graphic novel-style books that the Church came out with when I was a kid). But this is unavoidable because they want these books to be read and understood by every member of the Church, no matter their education level, including Primary kids. And I did eventually get used to it. The associated essays that are linked to in the footnotes are more academic. And the placement of the footnotes is my other criticism—I really prefer them to be at the bottom of the page, rather than all together as a set of notes at the back of the book (of course, the online version has very nice clickable links all over). I really like what has been done with this book. The Church has really done about all they can to make its history accessible for anyone that will put in the effort to read it, or even just to listen to it. They have made it affordable for every LDS home to have a copy. They are also making a great effort to ensure that everyone is aware of it, such as publishing it serially in the Ensign, creating a podcast discussing it, and even holding a “Face to Face” event for Young Adults. And they have truly accomplished their goal of making it an informative, captivating, and faith-building read.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Meleece

    I’ve read other church history books and taken church history classes but I learned so many intriguing details of how Mormonism began. And it was a captivating read, which is really incredible considering all the primary sources they had to slog through, but it was a page turner. I’ll admit some information was cringe-worthy, but I’m left in greater awe for what these people went through and for their faith. They really were SAINTS.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    What a wonderful complete history of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in narrative form. I couldn't put it down. It put so many church history events into perspective for me. My heart was touched and my faith strengthened as I felt the spirit of this book. I am so grateful for the early saints who sacrificed so much. I would highly recommend this book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    I enjoyed volume one of the church's new history narrative, Saints, that came out this week. I had already read the first 7 chapters in beta and was excited to read the rest. It was very readable and I think it will help inform members about church history. This book really puts things in a easy-to-read format. Since it's written in chronological order it really helps give perspective to the people and events of the restoration. While it does attempt to tackle some of the more troublesome parts I enjoyed volume one of the church's new history narrative, Saints, that came out this week. I had already read the first 7 chapters in beta and was excited to read the rest. It was very readable and I think it will help inform members about church history. This book really puts things in a easy-to-read format. Since it's written in chronological order it really helps give perspective to the people and events of the restoration. While it does attempt to tackle some of the more troublesome parts of church history it still wasn't quite as comprehensive as I thought it was going to be. However, I do think Saints is a good beginning resource and is free on the gospel library app under church history. You can also use the church history tab to access articles about people, places and events that are mentioned in the book. I really hope people will use these well researched and insightful writings to enrich their understanding, sacrament meeting talks and lessons. I also hope it will be a good jumping off point for people to expand into other more detailed books on a variety of subjects that this history addresses. First some things I liked: I love how the authors took people's journals, letters and remembrances and used them to create a really novel-like retelling of church history. I'm happy that this account included a lot more detail about women, people of color, and other minorities who helped build the kingdom. I loved reading quotes from these groups and hearing their perspective about what was happening at the time. It also included the perspectives of many people who opposed the church and showed that they weren't just one-dimensional villains. Many times the greatest antagonists of the church were actually disaffected members. This narrative does a better job of showing how complex and multi-sided this history really is. I was so relieved to see a much fairer version of Emma portrayed in this book than has been communicated in past histories (due in large part to Brigham Young's dislike of Emma). I liked that the writing was less formal, using just her first name when referring to her. This history helps put us in her shoes and head and see what a hard, and at times impossible, road she endured. I loved that they included so much from Phebe Woodruff too. She is one of my favorite founding saints and thanks to her and her husband's journal keeping we get such a clear picture of who they were. Another recent book I read that drew from her story was "A House Full of Females" by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. Also a great read! We got to know all of the members of the Smith family better and got a few new insights into Joseph Smith's upbringing and the timeline of his revelations. I think this helps us understand Joseph's ideas about heaven and family a little better also. The book also included some intro discussion about the many different first vision accounts and also his teachings on Heavenly Mother. In regard to Joseph, I think this book did a good job of using some of the stories everyone knows and mixing in some less talked about facts like that Joseph drank throughout his lifetime, he used seer stones, that the endowment borrows heavily from masonic rituals, that he and many of the saints believed the end of the world was imminent, and that he practiced secret polygamy. While it was great to see these each mentioned and discussed it still didn't really get too deep into any of them. For a more in depth look at the life of Joseph Smith I really loved Rough Stone Rolling by Richard Bushman. Now for some things I was a little disappointed with: I was sad to see that while they did discuss polygamy a little more in-depth than usual, they still didn't show the whole picture. In fact there were several parts that really confused the issue if you weren't already familiar with the history. While I know it isn't feasible to include every one of Joseph Smith's plural marriages in this type of book I do think they could have at least shown a better variety of who he married. While it mentioned that some of his marriages were problematic (such as marrying wives of other members in good standing) they don't elaborate on any of these. Instead they focus in on some of the more palatable relationships. I would have really liked them to tackle some of the more problematic stories like Marinda Hyde (Orson Hyde's wife) and Zina Huntington Jacobs (whose husband was on a mission) at the time. Or Helen Mar Kimball who was only 14. I would also have appreciated some discussion about some of the wording used in Joseph's proposals to some of the women including promises of exaltation if they married him and threats of damnation for their whole family if they didn't go through with it. I was glad to see they discussed Fanny Alger partially. The book also discusses Emma's dislike of the principle and the relief society's efforts to stop plural marriage. The book seemed to imply that it was John Bennett's infidelities that made Emma hyper vigilant about stopping rumors and making sure women weren't being taken advantage of. While that was certainly a factor, the rumors she was primarily concerned with stopping were those claiming Joseph was practicing plural marriage. "Rumors" which coincidentally were true. It also never mentioned that her presidency and much of the relief society at the time were plural wives of Joseph Smith. Emma sends Sarah Cleveland, Eliza Snow, Elizabeth Durfee and others to stop the rumors but since they are all married to Joseph behind Emma's back the issue is that much stickier. However, I do believe the book did do a good job depicting Hyrum Smith's response to plural marriage, as well as Oliver Cowdery and Emma's dissapproval. For a more in-depth look at Joseph Smith and plural marriage I would suggest "In Sacred Loneliness" by Todd Compton. It's a fantastic look at each of the women who married Joseph Smith. I was also hoping for a little clearer picture of the first Relief Society Meetings beyond just the plural marriage scandals. Although it does mention that Joseph organized the relief society to be patterned after priesthood and that he turned the key to the women it didn't talk at all about female blessing meetings. Women gave and were encourage to give healing blessings to one another and did so regularly during the first meetings of their organization. The history did talk about how women administered ordinances in the temple but not about the washing and anointing ordinance that was done outside of the temple before child birth. Of course that might still get a mention in volume 2 as they cross the plains and make it to Utah. Overall, it was a very good picture of the first era of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day saints. I hope that people will read it and research each part further as well. Like I said before, this is really just an introduction. I am very grateful to the large number of historians, writers and editors who worked on this history. I am so excited that the church is putting a spotlight on church history and helping us to begin our journeys to being more well informed saints. I'm excited to see what happens in volume 2!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    What a wonderfully executed and readable history of a complex and vast process of restoring a religion, with all the spiritual, temporal, cultural, and personal differences that influenced the events. There were many times when I said, "I wish they would say more about X" or "Is that all they're going to cover of Y" but each time it was easy to see that they had to make choices on what to include and where to comment, otherwise they would have made a history far too big for anyone to want to rea What a wonderfully executed and readable history of a complex and vast process of restoring a religion, with all the spiritual, temporal, cultural, and personal differences that influenced the events. There were many times when I said, "I wish they would say more about X" or "Is that all they're going to cover of Y" but each time it was easy to see that they had to make choices on what to include and where to comment, otherwise they would have made a history far too big for anyone to want to read (the problem with all the other church histories). Instead, they made the genius decision to cite everything and be transparent about their choices. With that, I love reading the paper copy of any book, but I found the online and iPad versions almost more beneficial because when I had those questions it was easy to just click on the reference and see what the original documents say and judge their decision for myself! I also loved that none of the characters were squeaky clean. Joseph and his brother got into fights, Emma and Joseph struggled with marital problems because of polygamy, the members (including Hyrum) struggled with new doctrine and living the gospel. SAINTS is a great representative of the history of the saints and inspires me to seek out more information, rather than default to defending and justifying the little I know.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mike Day

    This is a well written account of the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints written for a general audience. I loved how the stories of so many women and children were also included in the narrative. This was a history that was easy to read. I appreciated the stories told about Amanda Barnes Smith during her harrowing experience at Haun's Mill in October 1838. The account helped to show a balanced history, portraying some of those that caused the Saints pain as human beings, This is a well written account of the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints written for a general audience. I loved how the stories of so many women and children were also included in the narrative. This was a history that was easy to read. I appreciated the stories told about Amanda Barnes Smith during her harrowing experience at Haun's Mill in October 1838. The account helped to show a balanced history, portraying some of those that caused the Saints pain as human beings, illustrating their points of view from the historical record. It tackled some of the challenging parts of church history, such as plural marriage and the difficulties Joseph faced with his brother William as well as the financial crises in Kirtland. I look forward to future volumes. The historians who worked on this text did an excellent work of deciding what to put into the book as well as citing their sources. The sources is where you can go to really dig deeper into these stories, understanding the complexities of those that lived in this era. While there were things I wish that the authors would have included in more detail, I also accept that this was for a general audience, and a story as grand as this could never meet the expectations of everyone.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Just finished Saints. And holy moly. That was a rough journey (they really were required to give everything). Anyone else read it? I'm extremely grateful to the early saints for their sacrifice and eagerness to follow God's will without quite understanding everything. Such an example for me. Saints was inspiring. Helpful. And wonderful to have a full account of those early church days. I listened to it a chapter here and there on the Gospel Library app which made it so easy to get through. All in all Just finished Saints. And holy moly. That was a rough journey (they really were required to give everything). Anyone else read it? I'm extremely grateful to the early saints for their sacrifice and eagerness to follow God's will without quite understanding everything. Such an example for me. Saints was inspiring. Helpful. And wonderful to have a full account of those early church days. I listened to it a chapter here and there on the Gospel Library app which made it so easy to get through. All in all, highly recommend. The writing is straightforward and easy to understand. Everything in there can be cited. Which is helpful so I no longer spread the millions of random stories that aren't true. haha Here was my favorite quote from the book, being a descendant of Willard Richards, I see why it's always been easy for me to have a testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith. It just runs in my blood. "Do you think I would forsake you now? If you are condemned to be hung for treason, I will be hung in your stead and you shall go free." - Willard Richards referring to Joseph Smith while in Carthage Jail

  21. 4 out of 5

    John Shaw

    An official history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Saints tells the story of the Mormon Church and its beginnings in New York, Ohio, Missouri, and Nauvoo - ending with the Murder of Joseph Smith and the continuation of building the Temple in Nauvoo. This is the first official history that was eventually approved in the last 100 years (excepting the Story of the Latter-day Saints Leonard/Allen which ended up being scrapped as 'official') and was intended as a response to the l An official history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Saints tells the story of the Mormon Church and its beginnings in New York, Ohio, Missouri, and Nauvoo - ending with the Murder of Joseph Smith and the continuation of building the Temple in Nauvoo. This is the first official history that was eventually approved in the last 100 years (excepting the Story of the Latter-day Saints Leonard/Allen which ended up being scrapped as 'official') and was intended as a response to the lack of transparency of historical items in Church publications and curriculum. The book achieves its goal of a straight-forward history 'warts an all' of the rise and beginnings of Mormonism. While there are many that may differ in interpretations of many circumstances in the history, each, that is considered questionable has been reasonably interpreted, while opting for the best-plausible light in many situations, it does not pull punches in many areas that are considered potentially challenging. My favorite aspect of the new book was its thorough development of women's voices from the very beginning and throughout the narrative. We are enriched by those stories finally being center stage alongside those of the men.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Chrisanne

    4.5 Stars I must admit I was underwhelmed at the beginning. The pacing was done well ("started with a bang" as someone somewhere said) but the language was simple. Definitely not the type of historical style that is or has been popular lately and, I must admit, I was unprepared for that. The writers aimed for simplicity and clarity. I still wish it had been the beautiful prose I love (hence the -.5 stars) BUT, and I'm not sure when this redirection happened, upon personal reassessment at 3 chapte 4.5 Stars I must admit I was underwhelmed at the beginning. The pacing was done well ("started with a bang" as someone somewhere said) but the language was simple. Definitely not the type of historical style that is or has been popular lately and, I must admit, I was unprepared for that. The writers aimed for simplicity and clarity. I still wish it had been the beautiful prose I love (hence the -.5 stars) BUT, and I'm not sure when this redirection happened, upon personal reassessment at 3 chapters in I loved it. * In spite of the language, I found the story to be full of the drama that is human life. Not the triangle type, but the living, dying, trying to provide a living, trying to do the best and failing and then trying again type. I found people that were indisputably good and still indisputably human and bending under the day-to-day cares and troubles that I know so well. Most history books previously had focused on Joseph Smith with a dose of Emma thrown in. But here! There were women, scores of women, whose voices told their own story. There were women who traveled the world, women who were single, women who were old, from every type of life imaginable. I wish I had been able to read this when I was single because I would have felt in good company. There were people from all over the world (listed by name!) who challenged my inadvertently preconceived notions about early congregations and communities of that time period. They shied away from telling the popular stories, if they weren't necessary (Goodbye Father Tanner), and went for the stories you didn't hear all the time (whatever happened to Edward Partridge anyway?). I got lost in the footnotes, just like I did in Gerald N. Lund's similar series, only these were better because it was their handwriting and contained so much more details about life then than the part that corresponded to that event. I learned things at times and at other times-- for example Parley's escape from prison and Orson Hyde's and Orson Pratt's returning to Nauvoo-- I thought "There's a little bit more to the story according to Susan Easton Black, but that's the general gist." Couple of notes regarding some complaints: Some reviewers pointed out that certain facts were not "dealt with." So, therefore, I was absolutely blindsided when they were addressed. Not with suppositions, but with the available primary sources which, as Dr. Underwood always stressed in my history class, are the only sources one should ever use. The text is quite bluntly honest when it doesn't have such sources. For more questions/answers look here. * Minor question: Where was Lorenzo Snow? His story would have added some texture to several points of history, I'm sure. Also, here's wishing Anson had showed up at least once.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Devin

    This eBook and Audio book are both free on the LDS Tools app!! While I learned almost nothing new, there was information I had only learned in Susan Easton Black's Church History class at BYU; I am grateful that now every person has the opportunity to hear the same accounts and know the true history! The book basically combined everything I have learned about church history, as well as every account from Our Heritage: A brief history of the church, many accounts from conference reports, and othe This eBook and Audio book are both free on the LDS Tools app!! While I learned almost nothing new, there was information I had only learned in Susan Easton Black's Church History class at BYU; I am grateful that now every person has the opportunity to hear the same accounts and know the true history! The book basically combined everything I have learned about church history, as well as every account from Our Heritage: A brief history of the church, many accounts from conference reports, and other books that focused on tragedies like the Mountain Meadow's Massacre, the Hans Mill Massacre, and the Battle of Crooked River. While this book was fantastic, I will admit it has given me some things to ponder in areas where my testimony can be strengthened; that being said, I love the church's "full disclosure" policy, that they don't try to hide any of the history even though it may not be easy truths to swallow.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Jestice

    I am a mother of four and grandmother of eight and I highly recommend the book “Saints”. I consider myself a simple reader and the narrative style of this book made it easy for me to read. I have grown up as a member of the Church and I have heard many of the stories but there are many that were new to me. All of the stories were told in such a compelling manner that it constantly pulled me back to want to read more. I love the way the series was introduced as a world event that led to the restor I am a mother of four and grandmother of eight and I highly recommend the book “Saints”. I consider myself a simple reader and the narrative style of this book made it easy for me to read. I have grown up as a member of the Church and I have heard many of the stories but there are many that were new to me. All of the stories were told in such a compelling manner that it constantly pulled me back to want to read more. I love the way the series was introduced as a world event that led to the restoration of the gospel, I felt the spirit immediately. I love the way the story moves from person to person and place to place, so that the story is portrayed chronologically, as it happened. I highly recommend this book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Faye

    The narrative arc, simple yet beautiful prose and the characterization of real people make this book an amazing glimpse into history that can be enjoyed by a diverse audience. I loved it! The book mentions the more complex issues of Church history. My advice to critical readers is to manage expectations. You won't find in depth explorations of these topics in the text, it is intended to be accessible to a global readership. But you can find hundreds of pages of supplementary material in the metic The narrative arc, simple yet beautiful prose and the characterization of real people make this book an amazing glimpse into history that can be enjoyed by a diverse audience. I loved it! The book mentions the more complex issues of Church history. My advice to critical readers is to manage expectations. You won't find in depth explorations of these topics in the text, it is intended to be accessible to a global readership. But you can find hundreds of pages of supplementary material in the meticulous footnotes and the Church History Topics essays. I think this book is a milestone in culture and historicity. It opens the gates of understanding and scholarship to readers at every level.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    Good church history. Includes many eyewitnesses not normally mentioned in church history, including a lot of wives. I appreciated that they didn’t gloss over some of the hard parts of the history but felt polygamy wasn’t given enough page time. It is suppose to be written in novel fashion but outside of Joseph there isn’t really a main character that helps you along with the story line. I often found my mind drifting off when listening as the storyline isn’t super engaging. That might be in part Good church history. Includes many eyewitnesses not normally mentioned in church history, including a lot of wives. I appreciated that they didn’t gloss over some of the hard parts of the history but felt polygamy wasn’t given enough page time. It is suppose to be written in novel fashion but outside of Joseph there isn’t really a main character that helps you along with the story line. I often found my mind drifting off when listening as the storyline isn’t super engaging. That might be in part to the fact that I already know the story.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    4.5 stars. I have read several books on the history of the church and I feel like this may be the most enjoyable to read. It reads like fiction while still giving enough detail and context of the time period. I appreciated that so many different stories and voices were intertwined giving the history a more complete picture. I felt like the book was transparent and open about some not so favorable issues, allowing you to draw your own conclusions. My overall feeling was of gratitude for the legac 4.5 stars. I have read several books on the history of the church and I feel like this may be the most enjoyable to read. It reads like fiction while still giving enough detail and context of the time period. I appreciated that so many different stories and voices were intertwined giving the history a more complete picture. I felt like the book was transparent and open about some not so favorable issues, allowing you to draw your own conclusions. My overall feeling was of gratitude for the legacy of courage, strength, sacrifice and faith that laid the foundation for my faith today. It also strengthened my testimony of the power of God in it all.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jared

    One of the most important history books written in recent years. This narrative history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is engaging, factual, and easy to read. It is a must-read book. The only significant weakness is it reads as if it was written by committee, which it was. This washes out some uniqueness that comes from having a single author but also means one person doesn't drive the narrative. Ultimately it's a positive even though the product is ever so slightly bland.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Traci

    Loved being able to read about the early history of the church in a narrative fashion that drew upon real people versus fictional characters as in other narrative style books. It did take me a little while to get into that style of writing though especially concerning the subject. I though they did a good job of tackling some of the subjects that cause speculation and doubt among members and non-members. I am looking forward to the remaining three books in the series.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Layne

    Excellent book. Well written. Good overview of the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I marked it down because it was poorly formatted for the Kindle app on the IPad. It contained multiple formatting and layout problems that should have been caught in testing. It seems that the Kindle version was an afterthought rather than a priority. This was an unfortunate decision.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.