John Whitmer served as LDS Church Historian from 1831 to his excommunication in 1838. His narrative is a valuable resource for tracing early Mormon history, particularly the "Mormon War" in Missouri. Here the Westgrens faithfully reproduce the entire, original document, supplementing the text with annotation.
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Bruce N. Westergren, editor of From Historian to Dissident: The Book of John Whitmer, holds M.A. degrees in history and library science from Brigham Young University. He has published in the Journal of American Culture and elsewhere and is the recipient of a Best Article Award from the Utah Historical Society. He is employed in the news clipping industry, serves on the Orem City Preservation Commission, and does freelance historical research.Review:
The editor provides valuable historical and biographical information in his footnotes. His introduction details the provenance of the manuscript (this is its fourth time in print) and of the life and the role of John Whitmer in the early Mormon movement. One of eight witnesses to the Book of Mormon, a charter member of the new church, he was called by "revelation" (1831) to keep a history of "The Church of Christ," an assignment he took very seriously. His early writings reflect a true believer's intimate perspective of the movement, including events in New York prior to the move to Ohio, and the text of several of Joseph Smith's revelations. Especially useful are his accounts of the Missouri troubles with copies of correspondence and petitions between Mormon leaders and state and federal officials. Whitmer became disillusioned with Smith and was excommunicated in March 1838. Thereafter, he wrote briefly from hearsay and secondhand sources of the rise and fall of Nauvoo and the deaths of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. Whitmer blamed the church's problems on polygamy, the "Danite" band, Joseph's "lust," and the "vile behavior" of Saints toward non-Mormons. He died in 1878, faithful to his Book of Mormon witness but unaffiliated with the "Restoration Movement." --Utah Historical Quarterly
Skillfully edited by freelance research historian Bruce Westergren, From Hisotiran to Dissident: The Book of John Whitmer presents the earliest commisioned history of Mormonism, spanning the years 1831 to 1844 and penned by John Whitmer, a man who placed his faith in the fledgling Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints yet came to distrust its leadership and was excommunicated in 1838. His record of the church itself, and the people who practiced and spread the faith, is quite highly detailed; at some points the language and wording of 150 years past becomes difficult to follow, and for this, an adept editing and sidenotes by Westergren are of great aid for contemporary readers. This firsthand perspective is very highly recommended for anyone with a keen interest in the early history of the Mormon church. --Bookwatch (Petaluma, California)
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Book Description Signature Books, Salt Lake City, UT, 1995. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1560850434 Brand new hardcover book! Never been read! ; Simple and straightforward, John Whitmer's early history of Mormonism (1831-44) reflects an implicit faith in Jesus' imminence. To Whitmer, the Millennium overshadowed any other consideration, including inconsistencies in ecclesiastical development. For example, a revelation condemning "hireling priests" is followed by one granting the founding prophet a parsonage and salary. Whitmer made no attempt to reconcile such apparent contradictions. From Historian to Dissident: The Book of John Whitmer is the earliest commissioned history of Mormonism, published for the first time in its entirety from the original manuscript. Although Whitmer's belief and commitment never waned, his trust in the church's leadership did. He was excommunicated in 1838. Thereafter his record took on a decidedly antagonistic tone. Best known as a witness to Joseph Smith's gold plates, Whitmer served as a Book of Mormon scribe, Messenger and Advocate editor, and member of the Missouri stake presidency. An eye-witness to the most important events of the Restoration, his unflagging honesty lends unusual significance to his work. ; 6.25" x 9.25"; 224 pages. Bookseller Inventory # 26212
Book Description Signature Books, 1995. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M1560850434
Book Description Signature Books, 1995. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX1560850434
Book Description Signature Books, 1995. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P111560850434
Book Description Signature Books. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1560850434 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.1592360