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Mormonism and the Making of a British Zion
Matthew Lyman Rasmussen
Mormonism in Britain began in the late 1830s with the arrival of American missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Not long afterward, thousands of British converts emigrated to Utah and became a kind of lifeblood for the early Mormon Church. England's North West, where Mormonism had its strongest presence, has become a place of profound significance to the church, yet its early importance to Mormonism has never been fully explored. Matthew Rasmussen's detailed account examines how Mormonism has changed and endured in Britain.
After many British believers left for America, church membership in England fell so sharply that the movement in Britain seemed to be on the brink of collapse. Yet British Mormonism gradually rebuilt and continues today. How did this religious minority flourish when so many nineteenth-century revivalist movements did not? Rasmussen explains Mormonism’s inception, perpetuation, and maturation in Britain in a compelling case study of a “new religious movement” with staying power.
Matthew Lyman Rasmussen holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Utah and a PhD in history from Lancaster University in England and is a past recipient of the Mormon History Association’s best dissertation award. He lives in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley with his wife and four children.
Table of Contents:
List of Illustrations
1. “Among These Dark Satanic Mills”: Britain as Babylon
2. The Gathering: Revelation and Adaptation
3. Establishment and Expansion: 1837–1853
4. Consolidation and Decline: 1854–1900
5. Opponents, Apostates, and Dissenters
6. Revivals and Reversals: The Struggle for Stability in the Twentieth
7. A Home for the Saints: Developments in Worship Accommodation
8. “In England’s Green and Pleasant Land”: Britain as Zion
Appendix A: Correspondence: Heber C. Kimball’s Valedictory Address to the Members of the Upper Ribble Valley
Appendix B: Tract: Orson Hyde’s “A Timely Warning to the People of England”
Appendix C: Dedicatory Prayers: Six Examples, 1849–1998
Appendix D: Oral History: The Book of Mormon, Proselytizing, and Conversion
Praise and Reviews:
“The finest comprehensive study of the LDS Church in an international setting that I have ever read. Beautifully written, very well organized, and superbly well researched, Rasmussen’s study takes the reader on a journey through three distinct phases of Mormonism in the United Kingdom.”
—Richard E. Bennett, author of Mormons at the Missouri: Winter Quarters, 1846–1852
“An outstanding LDS history book. I don’t know of any other books like this one. Matthew Rasmussen is a gifted writer.”
—Ronald Watt, author of The Mormon Passage of George D. Watt: First British Convert, Scribe for Zion