"A significant collection . . . that provides a depth and breadth
of understanding reflective of the latest and best in Mormon history."
-- Paul M. Edwards, author of Our Legacy of Faith: A Brief History of the RLDS
Who were the Nauvoo Mormons? Were they Jacksonian Americans or did they
embody some other weltanschaung? Why did this tiny Illinois town
become such a protracted battleground for the Mormons and non-Mormons
in the region? And what is the larger meaning of the Nauvoo experience
for the various inheritors of the legacy of Joseph Smith, Jr.? Kingdom on the Mississippi Revisited includes fourteen thoughtful
explanations that represent the most insightful and imaginative work on
Mormon Nauvoo published in the last thirty years. The range of topics
includes the Nauvoo Legion, the Mormon press, the political kingdom of
God, the opposition of non-Mormons, the martyrdom of Joseph Smith, and
the meaning of Nauvoo for Mormons. The introduction provides a critique
of Nauvoo scholarship, and a closing bibliographical essay analyzes the
historical literature on the Mormon experience at Nauvoo.
To survive in an often disapproving external social world, the LDS Church has made many adaptive changes in belief, practice, and organization over time. Gordon and Gary Shepherd identify and elucidate these changes through statistical analysis of the rhetoric from General Conference proceedings in their book. The first edition of A Kingdom Transformed, published in 1984, covered the years 1830 to 1979. This new edition revises this earlier work and adds to it by examining the subsequent thirty years of LDS church rhetoric revealing what new trends have emerged and what old ones have continued. It retains the summary and analysis of data from the first 150 years of LDS Church history, but every chapter, including the narrative history of early Mormonism, has been thoroughly rewritten with updated theoretical and empirical support from contemporary research sources.
The first edition showed how early twentieth century LDS leaders were fairly liberal in mainstreaming church doctrines and social teaching, but by mid-twentieth century, as the church became more stable, accepted, and successful, church authorities reversed several earlier modifications and began emphasizing a stricter, more conservative theology that coincided with an increasingly conservative political orientation. The new book adds current issues of concern, such as the role of women in the church and international growth versus member retention. It also introduces a new conceptual framework for interpreting findings.