Saints: The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days: The Standard of Truth: 1815–1846

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Sep 4, 2018 - Religion - 1683 pages
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In 1820, a young farm boy in search of truth has a vision of God the Father and Jesus Christ. Three years later, an angel guides him to an ancient record buried in a hill near his home. With God’s help, he translates the record and organizes the Savior’s church in the latter days. Soon others join him, accepting the invitation to become Saints through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

But opposition and violence follow those who defy old traditions to embrace restored truths. The women and men who join the church must choose whether or not they will stay true to their covenants, establish Zion, and proclaim the gospel to a troubled world.

The Standard of Truth is the first book in Saints, a new, four-volume narrative history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Fast-paced, meticulously researched, Saints recounts true stories of Latter-day Saints across the globe and answers the Lord’s call to write history “for the good of the church, and for the rising generations” (Doctrine and Covenants 69:8). 


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Perhaps one of the most simple, yet powerful histories of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Saints Volume One is an example of the academic and powerful scholarship produced by the Church History Department. Written in a fashion that its millions of members globally can read and better understand their history, Saints provides an in-depth and powerful read that will shape the newest generation of members of the Church.
Saints is also powerful because of its faith filled perspective in tackling challenges with Church history. Covering topics from polygamy to the Danites, the book offers readers a chance to better understand the culture and the history of the Latter Day Saints and excersise compasion on those who came before. In a world dominated by quote trolling and social media, this book offers a powerful testimony to those seeking to discover the truth and start their journey to learning more of Church history.
Unapologetic for its faith based origins, Saints also has a powerful academic role to fill, containing hundreds of footnotes and meticulous sources and essays written to provide readers with the milk and meat of the history of the Church. However, it is not written geared towards a high academic audience, however, the footnotes are more meticulous and detailed than many academic papers ever aspire to be, indicating the seriousness and professionalism of those who wrote this book.
For non-members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, this book is an excellent introduction into the Church’s history and helpful in gaining a better understanding of the history of the events. Furthermore, it offers an opportunity for long time members of the Church to review their long held traditions of Church history and reform them to be more academic and consistent with the truth.
The book does have a few flaws, as with all works. The book is written in such a way that at times it is hard to keep track of all the characters. This loss of cohesiveness could perhaps be detrimental, but it allows the readers to see a wider, more diverse view of the history of the Church. The book also ignores some historical events that some would consider major, or does not spend much time reviewing the major sacred events in Latter Day Saint history. However, given the nature of the Volume and its intent to reach the widest audience possible, this omission is forgivable.
Overall, Saints is a masterpiece that demands to be read by faithful and sceptic alike. It provides a sincere and unapologetic approach to history, clearing illustrating the strengths and flaws of the early Saints. It covers a period that few people know much about and connects the reader so well to the past that one feels the power of the movement. Furthermore, as an academic and as a faithful Latter Day Saint I know what was written was true in this book. The history is correct and can change lives if allowed to do so.

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This novel provides a deeper look into the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints while truly allowing your testimony of Jesus Christ to grow flourish. It includes countless experiences of ordinary people who truly saw miracles in their lives because of Jesus Christ and His restored Gospel. I found that reading it not only compelled me to learn more about my own ancestry within the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, but it also inspired me to want to strengthen the current relationships I have with my family members. Most importantly, it helped me to see the hand of God in my daily life. If you are looking for a way to deepen your faith in God, this book if definitely for you. 


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