A Short History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Gordon B. Hinckley
If you really want to understand what the LDS Church is, you need
to understand its history. While there are several Church History
websites, they generally only give a few pieces of the Church History puzzle
and are geared towards people already familiar with the basic story.
The Internet is sorely lacking a really good introduction to the history of
the LDS Church. That is the need that this site is intended to fill.
There is no better place to begin your
study of Church History than the book Truth Restored, written by
Gordon B. Hinckley and published by
the church itself. This small, well-written book is standard issue in
the official missionary library and is, in fact, the only book on Church
History that missionaries are allowed to read.
The phrase "Truth Restored" is a double-entendre. It is meant to
imply that the story of the LDS Church is the story of the true form of
Christianity being re-established on the earth. But it can also mean
"truth remodeled" or "truth fixed-up".
This second meaning is quite relevant because one of the most important
aspects of Church History is how the church has re-defined itself over
time, often re-writing its history in the process. This has lead to an
orthodox, sanitized history, of which Truth Restored is a part.
Sanitized history is meant to promote faith, but at least occasionally it
leads to a loss of faith when the rest of the story is learned.
Genesis (1820) by Gordon B. Hinckley: Joseph Smith's background and
the First Vision.
Chapter 5, The Church in Ohio (1831 - 1838) by Gordon B. Hinckley: The
re-translation of the Bible, prophesy, doctrinal standards, the Kirtland
Temple, and the Exodus from Ohio.
Chapter 8, The Martyrs (1842 - 1845) by Gordon B. Hinckley: Enemies
from within, the Nauvoo Expositor, the death of Joseph Smith, the rise to
power of Brigham Young.
Chapter 9, Exodus (1845 - 1846) by Gordon B. Hinckley:
the departure of the Mormons from Nauvoo and the Mormon battalion.
Chapter 13, Years of Endurance
(1852 - 1896)by
Gordon B. Hinckley: polygamy is discontinued, the presidencies
of John Taylor and Wilford Woodruff, the Salt Lake Temple is completed.