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A Kingdom Transformed (Second Edition)
Early Mormonism and the Modern LDS Church
Gordon Shepherd and Gary Shepherd
To survive in an often disapproving society, the LDS Church has made adaptive changes in belief, practice, and organization over time. Gordon and Gary Shepherd elucidate these changes through statistical analyses of the rhetoric found in proceedings of the church’s semiannual General Conference. The first edition of A Kingdom Transformed covered the years 1830 to 1979. This new edition revises that work and adds to it by examining the subsequent thirty years of conference talks, revealing what new trends have emerged. Every chapter has been rewritten and updated with theoretical and empirical support from contemporary sources and a new conceptual framework for interpreting findings.
Early twentieth-century LDS leaders mainstreamed church doctrines, but by the mid-twentieth century, church authorities began emphasizing a more conservative theology that coincided with an increasingly conservative political orientation. This new edition adds such current issues as the roles of women in the church and of international growth versus member retention.
Gordon Shepherd is a professor of sociology at the University of Central Arkansas.
Gary Shepherd is Professor Emeritus of sociology at Oakland University in Michigan.
The Shepherds (identical twins) have collaborated on a number of scholarly projects over many years, including six books.
Table of Contents:
List of Figures
List of Tables
1. Mormon Prophetic Rhetoric and the Institution of LDS General Conference
2. Parallel Paths: LDS General Conference and Mormon History
3. The Social-Historical Context of Mormon Beliefs
4. Utopia, Family, and Authority: The Major Rhetorical Themes of LDS
5. Mormon Commitment Mechanisms
6. Patterns of Mormon Commitment Rhetoric
7. Mormon Accommodation
8. Mormon Responses to Secularization
9. Contemporary Developments: LDS Conference Trends from
Appendix A: Content Analysis Procedures for Obtaining and
Evaluating a Representative Sample of LDS General Conference
Appendix B: Listing of Addresses in the LDS Conference Sample,
Appendix C: General Conference Topic Index with Salience Scores for
Thirty-Year Periods, 1830–1979
Praise and Reviews:
“A valuable addition, both substantively and methodologically, to the study of the transformations that have occurred in institutional Mormonism across time . . . It will be an interesting read.”
—Armand L. Mauss, author of Shifting Borders and a Tattered Passport: Intellectual Journeys of a Mormon Academic
"The book is already an essential work on Mormonism in the twentieth century; this new edition, expanding its reach into the twenty-first century, is quite welcome.”
—Matthew Bowman, author of The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith