Book Notice: Within These Prison Walls: Lorenzo Snow’s Record Book, 1886-1897

By June 18, 2010

I just saw in the BYU Bookstore a brand new publication from the Religious Studies Center. From their website:

Edited by Andrew H. Hedges, Richard Neitzel Holzapfel

The leather-bound record book was a perfect place for Lorenzo Snow to preserve his outgoing correspondence while incarcerated in the territorial penitentiary. The record book?s significance lies in three areas. First, the record book sheds much-needed light into the thoughts, personality, and personal life of Lorenzo Snow. The deftness with which he puts his thoughts into verse, his vocabulary, as well as his humor and compassion all reveal facets of Snow?s intellect and character unfamiliar to many Church members today. Second, the record book is significant for its doctrinal content. Finally, it is an important primary source for students of the antipolygamy crusade. His poems and letters are invaluable for understanding how the Saints viewed their persecutions, justified their resistance to the laws, and found the nerve and the will to carry on despite increasingly difficult circumstances.

$21.99 ? ISBN: 978-0-8425-2762-0 ? Published in 2010

Flipping through, the volume has a high production quality and many pages from the actual record are reproduced in high-quality scans reminiscent of those produced in the Joseph Smith Papers Revelations Volume 1. I only spent a minute with the book, so I don’t know much about its makeup or content, but when I get a hold of a copy, I’ll give more details.

Article filed under Miscellaneous


  1. This looks pretty good and the price is reasonable. Thanks for the heads-up Jared

    Comment by SC Taysom — June 18, 2010 @ 10:27 pm

  2. Excellent. Is this one of the hundreds of books that Holzapfel finished just before going on his mission? 🙂

    Comment by Ben — June 19, 2010 @ 1:24 am

  3. Interesting. Do you happen to know where the manuscript record book has been held?

    Comment by J. Stapley — June 19, 2010 @ 10:04 am

  4. J. Brent Ashworth owns it.

    Ben, Yes, I think so 🙂

    Comment by Jared T — June 19, 2010 @ 1:20 pm

  5. Hats of to Brent. He deserves credit for making his documents accessible.

    Comment by J. Stapley — June 19, 2010 @ 2:32 pm

  6. Definitely.

    Comment by Jared T — June 19, 2010 @ 3:43 pm

  7. Brent’s store closed down recently in downtown Provo. Nu Skin is buying up the block for another glass atrocity. 🙁

    Comment by Tod Robbins — June 19, 2010 @ 5:53 pm

  8. Does anyone know if this relates to the projected Eborn publication. Are the documents related or are they the same documents?

    Comment by Joe Geisner — June 19, 2010 @ 9:32 pm

  9. Not sure, Joe. But I know this project has been in the works for a long long time.

    Comment by Jared T — June 19, 2010 @ 11:50 pm

  10. This looks good. Lorenzo Snow isn’t talked about much, maybe because he only served as president 3 years, but he brought the church out of debt in those three years, he was one of the most miraculous presidents. I would like a closer look into his life. I just need the money to buy it…and to finish the 20 other books that I have have bought but not read yet.

    Comment by Lynden Jensen — June 20, 2010 @ 7:30 pm

  11. Lorenzo Snow was indeed one of the most miraculous president/prophets of the Church. He was, to the best of my knowledge, the last President of the Church to commune with the Savior face to face. This occurred in the Salt Lake Temple during the time when Wilford Woodruff was passing away. President Snow was in the Temple imploring the Lord to have the mantle of the Prophet pass over him when the Savior appeared and told him that he would be the next Prophet and that he should go ahead and begin to reorganize the First Presidency at once. The Savior informed President Snow that He was not pleased with the great passages of time that elapsed between the passing of a Prophet and the reorganization of the succeeding First Presidency. Amazingly, the Savior appeared not in one of the upper rooms of the Temple where President Snow had been fervently praying, but in the corridor just outside to room. President Snow told his grandaughter, “Allie”, of this miraculous event when she was allowed to enter the Temple to inform her grandfather that he was to come to her home for dinner. The event was recorded in the Snow family history.
    The only other President of the Church who has indicated communing with Deity to an almost equal degree was President David O. McKay who responded when asked if he had ever seen the Savior by saying, “No, but I have heard His Voice.”

    Comment by Velikye Kniaz — June 21, 2010 @ 11:02 pm

  12. Re: L. Snow vision

    Strangely, Quinn (in Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power) reports this story about Snow as a counsel from Wilford Woodruff, not a vision of the Savior. According to Quinn, Woodruff once urged Lorenzo Snow to immediately organize a 1st Presidency upon Woodruff’s death, and when Snow asked him if this was to be considered a revelation, WW replied in the affirmative. He added, ?Now brother Snow, do not neglect to organize as I have told you, it may prevent much trouble.? (p. 49 of above-referenced book.) WW of course had already experienced a lengthy interregnum between the death of John Taylor and the time when he was finally able to prevail upon the rest of the Q12 to let him organize a First Presidency, so he was clearly imploring LS to do everything possible to make sure this did not happen again.

    Comment by Pat — June 28, 2010 @ 11:36 pm


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