First Vision: Memory And Mormon Origins

August 2, 2019|
First Vision: Memory And Mormon Origins by Steven Harper
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This is the biography of a contested memory, how it was born, grew, changed the world, and was changed by it. It''s the story of the story of how the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began. Joseph Smith, the church''s founder, remembered that his first audible prayer, uttered in spring of 1820 when he was about fourteen, was answered with a vision of heavenly beings. Appearing to the boy in the woods near his parents'' home in western New York State, they told Smith that he was forgiven and warned him that Christianity had gone astray. Smith created a rich and controversial historical record by narrating and documenting this event repeatedly. In First Vision, Steven Harper shows how Latter-day Saints (beginning with Joseph Smith) and others have remembered this experience and rendered it meaningful. When and why and how did Joseph Smith''s first vision, as saints know the event, become their seminal story? What challenges did it face along the way? What changes did it undergo as a result? Can it possibly hold its privileged position against the tides of doubt and disbelief, memory studies, and source criticism - all in the information age? Steven Harper tells the story of how Latter-day Saints forgot and then remembered accounts of Smith''s experience and how Smith''s 1838 account was redacted and canonized. He explores the dissonance many saints experienced after discovering multiple accounts of Smith''s experience. He describes how, for many, the dissonance has been resolved by a reshaped collective memory.
Steven C. Harper earned a PhD in early American history from Lehigh University, where he was Lawrence Henry Gipson Fellow. He taught at Brigham Young University campuses in Hawaii and Utah, and served as a volume editor of The Joseph Smith Papers and later as managing historian and a general editor of Saints: The Story of The Church of...
Title:First Vision: Memory And Mormon Origins
Product dimensions:288 pages, 9.25 X 6.12 X 0.98 in
Shipping dimensions:288 pages, 9.25 X 6.12 X 0.98 in
Published:August 2, 2019
Publisher:Oxford University Press
Appropriate for ages:All ages
ISBN - 13:9780199329472

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