The "Book of Mormon": A Biography (Lives of Great Religious Books)

By Paul C. Gutjahr

Late one evening in 1823 Joseph Smith, Jr., used to be reportedly visited in his family's farmhouse in upstate ny by way of an angel named Moroni. in accordance with Smith, Moroni informed him of a buried stack of gold plates that have been inscribed with a historical past of the Americas' historic peoples, and which might repair the natural Gospel message as Jesus had added it to them. hence begun the not likely occupation of the Book of Mormon, the founding textual content of the Mormon faith, and maybe crucial sacred textual content ever to originate within the usa. right here Paul Gutjahr strains the lifetime of this e-book because it has shaped and fractured diversified lines of Mormonism and remodeled spiritual expression worldwide.

Gutjahr seems to be at how the Book of Mormon emerged from the burned-over district of upstate ny, the place revivalist preachers, missionaries, and non secular marketers of each stripe vied for the loyalty of settlers desirous to scratch a dwelling from the land. He examines how a booklet that has lengthy been the topic of ridicule--Mark Twain referred to as it "chloroform in print"--has greater than a hundred and fifty million copies in print in additional than 100 languages all over the world. Gutjahr exhibits how Smith's influential booklet introduced one of many quickest transforming into new religions in the world, and has featured in every little thing from comedian books and motion figures to feature-length motion pictures and an award-winning Broadway musical.

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Three. William A. Morton to A. J. T. Sorensen, July 15, 1915, LDS Church documents, MS 18203, Folder 2. four. an overview for the film’s script are available in a sequence of movie therapy notes situated within the LDS Church records, MS 18203, Folder three, pp. 18–27. five. B. H. Roberts, Corianton: A Nephite tale (Salt Lake urban, UT: n. p. , 1902). Orestes Utah Bean (1873–1937) produced a profitable theatrical model of Roberts’s tale entitled Corianton: An Aztec Romance that performed either in Salt Lake urban or even for a little while (eight performances in the course of September 1912) on the new york Opera condominium in big apple urban. 6. Corianton company Letter from Lester Park, June 30, 1931, to Mr. Andrew Steedman, BYU targeted Collections, Andrew Steedman assortment, MS 3731. 7. Ibid. eight. Ibid. nine. it truly is anticipated that the movie rate $200,000 to make, a ravishing sum for an self sustaining movie corporation corresponding to Park’s in the course of America’s nice melancholy. The movie did play constrained engagements, after its run in Salt Lake urban, in Provo and Ogden. It used to be acquired through a distributor and rereleased someday later in California less than the identify Love’s Temptation. 10. Randy Astle, “A historical past of Mormon Cinema,” BYU experiences 46:2 (2007): 104. eleven. Jeff Vice, “Book of Mormon Coming to Silver Screen,” Deseret information, November 1, 2002, http://www. deseretnews. com/article/946041/Book-of-Mormon-coming-to-silver-screen. html? pg=all. 12. Doug Gibson, “Political Surf on the way to Make a booklet of Mormon Movie,” Standard-Examiner Blogs, may well 1, 2009, http://blogs. average. net/the-political-surf/2009/05/01/political-surf-on-how-to-make-a-book-of-mormon-movie/. thirteen. movie bills and sales taken from www. boxofficemojo. com, http://www. brandongray. com/movies/? id=bookofMormonmovie. htm. 14. Letter from Charles W. Whitman to Ira J. Markham, January 20, 1965, Ira J. Markham Manuscript assortment, BYU Harold B. Lee Library, designated Collections, MS forty three; “Summary of occasions in reference to the start and the improvement of the Hill Cumorah competition, ‘America’s Witness for Christ,’ ” ready January 23, 1960, via Ira J. and Beatrice Parson Markham, pp. four, 6, Ira J. Markham Manuscript assortment, BYU Harold B. Lee Library, certain Collections, MS forty three. 15. Gerald S. Argetsinger, “The Hill Cumorah festival: A historic Perspective,” magazine of ebook of Mormon reports 13:1–2 (2004): fifty nine. sixteen. Richard N. Ostling and Joan okay. Ostling, Mormon the United States: the facility and the Promise (San Francisco, CA: HarperCollins, 1999), 243; Argetsinger, “The Hill Cumorah Pageant,” ninety nine. 17. Press equipment, Hill Cumorah festival, 1962, Twenty-fifth Anniversary, BYU Harold B. Lee Library, precise Collections, American Folio, AC 901. A1, no. 439; Ostling and Ostling, Mormon the US, 243. 18. an outstanding dialogue of those alterations are available in Charles Walker Whitman, “A background of the Hill Cumorah competition (1937–1964) and an exam of the Dramatic improvement of the textual content of America’s Witness for Christ” (PhD diss. , collage of Minnesota, 1967), 200–368. for contemporary alterations to the script, see Argetsinger, “The Hill Cumorah Pageant,” sixty four.

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