Latter Leaves in the Life of Lorenzo Snow

ISBN 10: 1462110754 / ISBN 13: 9781462110759
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Synopsis: Examine the life of a pivotal prophet through the eyes of those who knew him best. This one-of-a-kind biography of President Lorenzo Snow includes extensive text written by Orson F. Whitney in 1889, for a contemporary perspective you won't find anywhere else. Fascinating and informative, this well-researched volume is the definitive work on the prophet who brought our church into the twentieth century.

Review: Latter Leaves in the Life of Lorenzo Snow is a valuable addition for serious students of Latter-day Saint history. From its beginning pages, I fairly feasted with the brief overview of Lorenzo Snow s life, conversion, vision, and contributions. After reading those first few pages, I held my breath in anticipation, hoping that the rest of the book would yield what it seemed to promise details about Snow s life, knowledge, wisdom, and insight. The book is arranged well, including an excellent forward by Snow s great-granddaughter, and a lengthy two-part introduction; the first about Lorenzo Snow and the second about Orson F. Whitney, who compiled the 1890 manuscript. The first thirteen chapters summarize and quote important text from Lorenzo Snow s 1884 biography as well as cover Snow s administrative history for six years, 1884 to 1890. The rest of the chapters discuss Lorenzo s role as President of the Quorum of the Twelve from 1890 to 1898 and his short tenure, 1898 to 1901, as President of the Church. Finally, the author includes six appendices containing reprints of Lorenzo Snow s own written or spoken words. The appendices, like the foreword and introduction, alone are worth reading. While there is little overall to criticize about this book, it is apparent that decisions were made not to provide references or citations for some of the history that is perhaps largely familiar to Latter-day Saints or discussed in other works, or to add to the discussion of controversial topics. This is understandable when book length is an important consideration and other available historical works address such subjects. Nevertheless, some footnotes referencing relevant works might have been helpful. Also, in a few instances, it appears that last-minute editing might have been the cause where a few footnotes were inadequate or did not seem to match the text. While allowance for some mistakes may be given and certain omissions may be expected in a publication designed for mainstream-LDS-member consumption, they may tend to provoke questions about the treatment of controversial topics or weaken scholarly credibility. Notably, however, the author pays careful attention in providing relevant information and contrasting views about some delicate or sacred topics. Perhaps the best and most powerful message in Latter Leaves are the many and various expressions of Lorenzo Snow s testimony quoted throughout the book---his oft repeated telling about his receiving the Holy Ghost shortly after baptism, how he came to pen his couplet As man is, God once was; as God is, man may be, and his learning from Joseph Smith about plural marriage on the banks of the Mississippi River. These leave a lasting impression. Overall, my anticipation in reading Latter Leaves was gratified and to my delight Snow s leadership style was quite thoroughly revealed. Page after page, I found well-composed text with high standards of scholarship that provided interesting information I had craved. I was instructed and edified as well as intellectually stimulated. Indeed, it is a quality book, very reasonably priced, that is especially unusual and compelling because it makes available in a single volume a rich treasure trove of first-hand personal accounts from both Lorenzo Snow and his contemporaries. In conclusion, I am pleased to say that author Dennis B. Horne has achieved a work worthy of the lives and attributes of both Lorenzo Snow and Orson F. Whitney, whose witness, as he points out, combine, as do that of Nephi and his brother Jacob in the Book of Mormon, to set forth sure an unimpeachable apostolic testimony of the living reality of Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, resurrected and occasionally ministering among His mortal services and friends today. --Marianne T. Watson for The Association for Mormon Letters

If this was indeed the case, a footnote to that effect would have been appropriate. Also, the author might have benefited from others research and writing on this topic, such as Ken Driggs article Lorenzo Snow's Appellate Court Victory published in the Utah Historical Quarterly (Winter 1990). Also, in a few instances, it appears that last-minute editing might have been the cause where a few footnotes were inadequate or did not seem to match the text. For example, text on page 43 states rumors of post-Manifesto plural marriage were creating great trouble for the Church and some of those involved were eventually officially disciplined. The footnote provides no further information or references whatever about discipline for post-Manifesto plural marriages. Instead it begins with: In 1900, Orson F. Whitney also repented of some false doctrine... The specific false doctrine is not identified or explained although see also references are provided. In that context, some readers might wrongly conclude that the false doctrine repented of was plural marriage. Only by consulting the cited journal entries in the diaries of Abraham H. Cannon (published by Signature Books) did I learn that reincarnation, not plural marriage, was the topic of discussion. The absence of explanations or references about post-Manifesto plural marriage and false doctrine seemed to be glaring when considering the obvious care that was taken in most of the book. While allowance for some mistakes may be given and certain omissions may be expected in a publication designed for mainstream-LDS-member consumption, they may tend to provoke questions about the treatment of controversial topics or weaken scholarly credibility. Notably, however, the author pays careful attention in providing relevant information and contrasting views about some delicate or sacred topics, such as seer stones and the hosanna shout led by Lorenzo Snow while in prison. Perhaps the best and most powerful message in Latter Leaves are the many and various expressions of Lorenzo Snow s testimony quoted throughout the book his oft repeated telling about his receiving the Holy Ghost shortly after baptism, how he came to pen his couplet As man is, God once was; as God is, man may be, and his learning from Joseph Smith about plural marriage on the banks of the Mississippi River. His rehearsals of these testimonies were not occasional or one-time events; rather, Snow bore his solemn witness of these experiences over and over throughout his life. Collectively, if not singly, these leave a lasting impression. Overall, my anticipation in reading Latter Leaves was gratified and to my delight Snow's leadership style was quite thoroughly revealed. Page after page, I found well-composed text with high standards of scholarship that provided interesting information I had craved. I was instructed and edified as well as intellectually stimulated. Indeed, it is a quality book, very reasonably priced, that is especially unusual and compelling because it makes available in a single volume a rich treasure trove of first-hand personal accounts from both Lorenzo Snow and his contemporaries. Further, it exposes the need for publishing in whole Whitney s original 1890 manuscript to make it more widely accessible for study and research. I would also like to see published a similar in-depth volume about Lorenzo Snow s role in the united order community established in Brigham City. Last, I would like to understand more about Lorenzo Snow as a husband, family man, father, and patriarch, since this volume and his 1884 biography, by design, only addresses these topics minimally. --Marianne T. Watson for The Association for Mormon Letters

In conclusion, I am pleased to say that author Dennis B. Horne has achieved a work worthy of the lives and attributes of both Lorenzo Snow and Orson F. Whitney, whose witness, as he points out, combine, as do that of Nephi and his brother Jacob in the Book of Mormon, to set forth sure an unimpeachable apostolic testimony of the living reality of Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, resurrected and occasionally ministering among His mortal services and friends today. --Marianne T. Watson for The Association for Mormon Letters

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