A Short History of Mormon Publishing: Publishing in Foreign Missions

The third of seven posts and an introduction. See also Part II, Part I, Introduction

 

The murder of Joseph Smith and subsequent emigration of LDS Church members to Utah interrupted efforts to proselyte in most areas outside of the United States. Prior to the martyrdom, the Church had made some additional attempts to proselyte in other languages. Speakers of several other languages had joined the Church, many of whom were an important part of later missionary efforts, such as Dan Jones (Welsh), Peter O. Hansen (Danish), and  Daniel Carn (German). Enough German language speakers joined the saints in Nauvoo that a German-speaking congregation was established there[]. Continue reading “A Short History of Mormon Publishing: Publishing in Foreign Missions”

A Short History of Mormon Publishing: The English Period

The second of seven posts and an introduction. See also Part I, Introduction

Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith, the Pro...
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The exodus of most of the Mormons in the United States to a part of “Upper California” (now Utah) starting in 1846 interrupted publishing by Mormons throughout that country. Of the Church’s three official publications, the Times and Seasons closed down that year, as did the New York Messenger (successor to the Prophet). This left the LDS Church, under the leadership of Brigham Young, with just one official publication, the Millennial Star, published in Manchester, England.

Continue reading “A Short History of Mormon Publishing: The English Period”

A Short History of Mormon Publishing: The Formative Period

The first of seven posts, following an introduction posted last week.

Effectively, Mormonism begins with the publication of a book.

The publication of the Book of Mormon in 1830 gave the nascent Church content and direction–content in the form of a tangible object that could be delivered to investigators, and direction in the form of a stated goal to preach the gospel to all the world.[] Since religious and political tracts were already in widespread use in the U.S. (Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, for example), early members and missionaries knew the power of the written word. Continue reading “A Short History of Mormon Publishing: The Formative Period”

A Short History of Mormon Publishing: Introduction

In January of 1845, Elder Parley P. Pratt published regulations for the official publications of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was worried about the multitude of books and tracts being published by members of the Church, for he wrote: Continue reading “A Short History of Mormon Publishing: Introduction”

Mormon Lit in Under 2000 Words

Right now, Chris Bigelow and I are collaborating on a volume tentatively titled “The Latter-Day Saint Family Encyclopdia,” which will be published this fall by Thunder Bay Press and sold fairly widely. As you might imagine, we’re taking advantage of the opportunity to write a good, meaty entry on Mormon literature. Chris has posted my draft over on the AML blog website. We’d like to invite you all to review it and post comments and suggestions. We can’t let this entry get any longer, but we can certainly refine what’s here. Thanks in advance for your help!

The Last 20 Years in Mormon Lit: Major Developments

What are some of the major developments in Mormon literature over the past 20 years? Being under the painfully pleasant necessity of writing a short article (500-1000 words) during the next week on Mormon literature for a forthcoming reference work, this is something I’ve had occasion to ponder. I have an excellent source for up to about 1990 with the articles that were written for the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, but there’s an awful lot that has happened since then.

Tom Lyne and the Theatre in Nauvoo

We don’t often delve into the history of Mormonism in the arts, although I don’t think that is by design. More likely, this history is simply not very well known among even those of us who write about Mormon culture, and, I suspect, many details simply aren’t known. Other details were known at one time, but have largely been forgotten.

In the latter vein, I came across the story of perhaps the first major Mormon actor, Tom Lyne, who already had a substantial reputation as an actor in Philadelphia when he joined the Church. Here is an account of his relationship with the Church.

Continue reading “Tom Lyne and the Theatre in Nauvoo”