Church Releasing Narrative History of Early Saints

First chapters published online and in Church magazines

News Release

The first volume of a new set of books about key events in Mormon history will be available to the public this summer. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is publishing the four-volume collection, titled “Saints: The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days.

     

“This new history is a narrative history,” said Elder Steven E. Snow, General Authority Seventyand Church historian and recorder. “It covers from before the First Vision until the present day, and it’s written in a literary form so that most members of the Church will find it very engaging, very easy to read.”

The first three chapters of volume one have already been published in the Church’s “Ensign”and “Liahona” magazines and on the Church History website. The first eight chapters will be serialized in this way and will be available in 47 languages. The entire book will be available in 14 languages later this year. Readers will also find the content in the Church History section of the Gospel Library app.

The books feature the true stories of the women and men who dedicated their lives to establishing the Church around the globe. Church historians researched and wrote each volume, and senior Church leaders reviewed the manuscripts.

“Church history helps us understand the lives of those who went before, the challenges and difficulties they faced and how they overcame them,” explained Elder Snow. “Their stories are full of faith and devotion, courage, sorrow and joy, and again a lot of challenges, particularly in the early days of the Church, but even today as the Church is introduced in many parts of the world.”

Church leaders say “Saints” was written in response to the Lord’s commandment to “keep the church record and history continually” (D&C 47:3). The project will represent the third time that the Church has published a multivolume history of its past. Joseph Smith began the first such history of the Church in the 1830s, which was published starting in 1842. Church historian B. H. Roberts published the second multivolume history in 1930.

The first volume of “Saints,” with the subtitle of “The Standard of Truth,” tells the story of the Restoration, beginning with Joseph Smith’s childhood, and concludes with members receiving ordinances in the Nauvoo Temple in 1846. Volume two, “No Unhallowed Hand,” covers the Saints’ challenges in gathering to the western United States, ending with the dedication of the Salt Lake Temple in 1893. Volume three, “Boldly, Nobly, and Independent,” focuses on the global growth of the Church and concludes with the dedication of the temple in Bern, Switzerland, in 1955. The fourth volume, “Sounded in Every Ear,” brings readers to the recent past as temples are located all over the world.

“People sacrifice to join the Church and to change their lives and become active members,” added Elder Snow. “And so these stories are important to help remind us today that we too can overcome difficult things. It gives me hope that the Lord can work through imperfect people, even me.”

Church leaders believe the new volumes will appeal to youth and adults. Details and dialogue contained in the books are supported by historical sources. Readers will find notes at the end of each chapter to refer to the Church records and additional resources, including supplementary essays and videos, at saints.lds.org.

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