The Mormons: An Illustrated History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
A hugely influential sect of Christianity, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a relatively short history (especially when compared with some of the planet’s other prominent faiths), but in a few short centuries, it has made quite a mark on human history.
The Mormons presents both the church’s history and a look at life in the modern church, covering everything from its early days of proliferation and persecution by other sects to contemporary aspects of Mormonism like Home Teaching and their impressive database of family genealogy.
Occasionally, the authors are so busy giving us the “everything’s shiny!” spiel that they don’t stop to analyze whether what they’re saying makes sense. For instance, on page 61, it says women and men are “considered equal”, but women aren’t ordained to the priesthood. Hard to argue equality there. (Controversial topics are also downplayed. Polygamy gets 3 paragraphs, and they sidestep entirely fervent opposition to baptizing the deceased.)
That being said, I did learn more than I expected about Mormon history and life in the church, and as long as you can stomach the occasionally annoying sales-pitch tone of the writing, it’s an interesting read.
Roy A. Prete