the new mormon history revisionist essays on the past ..

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The New Mormon History: Revisionist Essays on the Past

Likewise, the LDS Church has regularly produced faith-promotingfilms with excellent production values for showing in Salt LakeCity and at the visitors' centers of Mormon historic sites. Recentfilms include Legacy: A Mormon Journey (1990), (2000), and Joseph Smith:Prophet of the Restoration (2005). As havewritten, Legacy is "an example of ritualized history,effectively idealized and simplified." In discussing the Mormonpioneer heritage, "there is no hint of polygamy or millennial landclaims or any other distinctive Mormon doctrine, just the idea thata prophet Joseph Smith came up with a new sacred book asking peopleto lead holy lives."Smith dies as a martyr without mention of Mormon destruction of aNauvoo newspaper, which triggered the crisis.Nevertheless, "the drama and scenery of the trek are so beautifullyphotographed" that many Mormons saw the movie repeatedly whenvisiting .

The New Mormon History: Revisionist Essays on the Past :

The New Mormon History: Revisionist Essays on the Past …

Mormon high school students are encouraged to take , a four year courseof religious study. These one-year courses have annual focus on thefollowing: The Old Testament, the New Testament, the Book ofMormon, and Church history and Doctrine and Covenants. Theobjective is to enable each student to be familiar with thescriptures and to assist them in applying gospel principles intheir daily life. College age students between the ages of 18 and30 are also encouraged to take religious classes known as "". At privateChurch-sponsored universities and colleges, religion courses arerequired for graduation. Comparatively little of Mormon doctrinalteaching involves "what traditional Christian catechism would call'pure theology.'Mormon "history evolves as part of the church's canon," and an LDSattempts to ensure that "all church publications, from periodicalsto curriculum materials, follow official policy and expressofficial interpretations. This means that sensitive historicalissues frequently are downplayed, avoided, or denied."

The New Mormon History: Revisionist Essays on ..

“I don't agree with that. I think it depends what you call Mormon history and Church history. If you are making a distinction between those two, then maybe you could say that. I think the facts are the facts. We may not understand all the reasons and we may want to make some explanation. We are not always in possession of all the facts. I think we need to be as accurate as we can, as faith promoting as we can, but we need to continue to seek new truths and insights. . Every week is like discovery time. There are new treasures that come to light, and it deepens our understanding. We can find things that may shift our thinking a little bit.

The New Mormon History: Revisionist Essays on the Past…

Mormon Polygamy, Polyandry & Underage Brides

Recent studies suggest that the number of Mormons living in polygamous families between 1850 and 1890, while varying from community to community and year to year, averaged between 20 and 30 percent. In some cases the proportion was higher. The practice was especially extensive with Mormon leaders, both locally and those presiding over the entire Church. These calculations would indicate that during the entire time polygamy was practiced the number of men, women, and children living in polygamous households amounted to tens of thousands. (Solemn Covenant, B. Carmon Hardy (Urbana, IL: University of Illinois, 1992), p. 17.) The extent to which polygamy was practiced in Utah will probably never be known. Plural marriages were not publicly recorded, and there is little chance that any private records which might have been kept will ever be revealed. From information from available sources, it appears there may have been a time when 15-20 percent of the Mormon families of Utah were polygamous. ("Notes on Mormon Polygamy," Stanley S. Ivins, in D. Michael Quinn, ed., The New Mormon History: Revisionist Essays on the Past, pp. 170-171.)

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Between the works of "faithful historians" and historical workscreated by disillusioned Mormons, such as , (1945), grewthe , which emphasized"examining the Mormon past in the hope of understanding it" ratherthan attacking or defending the religion itself.The most noted of the early New Mormon Historians was , who earned his doctorate in economics but whoseearly work culminated in the publication of Great BasinKingdom, An Economic History of the Latter-day Saints (HarvardUniversity Press, 1958), which became "a watershed in the writingof the New Mormon History."Arrington was important in the organization of the MormonHistorical Association in 1965 and became its first president.

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The essay linked below is a welcome addition to MormonThink's section on polygamy. It was written by two active, believing members of the LDS Church in hopes that this manuscript will help others, through sound and truthful understandings, escape the past LDS practice of polygamy. It is not "anti-Mormon", but rather it lays out the facts openly without bias. There are also many new, interesting things in the essay that we've never seen elsewhere. It is 130 pages.