Suffering as the Highest Good

By January 30, 2008

One thing that continually impresses me is the ability of the early Latter-day Saints to reinterpret their persecutions as positive events in their lives. Although they also complained a lot concerning the the treatment they received at the hands of the Missourians and Illinoisans, early Mormons were also adept in reversing their losses and turning them into triumphs. For Parley P. Pratt and other Latter-day Saints, being called to suffer and even die for the truth was preferable than the alternative of remaining unscathed in Babylon. While in prison Pratt wrote to his parents encouraging them to join the main body of the Saints then leaving Missouri.

I most earnestly wish that our friends in Maine would come to the west and live with us that is if they choose to suffer affliction with the people of God rather than enjoy the pleasures of the Gentiles for a season. As to bonds or imprisonment or even death or as to the spoiling of our goods the scattering and banishment of the Saints these are no strange things at all but they are the common things which the Saints of old endured and which the Saints may expect to endure untill the worlds of God are fullfilled. I therefore rejoice in in necessities tribulations persecutions reproaches stripes bonds imprisonments and all the sufferings I am called to endure for the word God and the testimony of Jesus feelings assured that the Lord Jesus will soon come in clouds with power and great glory to the destruction of all the wicked and to the salvation of and deliverance of his people. I would not change conditions this day with the proud and lofty persecutors who in their lifetime enjoy their good things and parly evil things for by and by the will be comforted and they tormented here.[1]

In this manner Pratt created a distinction not only between the suffering Mormons and non-Mormons, but also between Mormons that had been persecuted and those that had not been in Missouri. Writing in 1840 from New York, Pratt related that “[t]he spirit that prevails is “west ward Ho!” to suffer, to live, or to die with the saints their brethren. There is scarce a saint here who would stay another month if they had means to go west. It is the bad times here and not the good times which keeps them from emigrating.”[2] This desire to suffer therefore reversed the definition of affliction as something to be avoided, and reinvented it in positive terms.

[Another interesting tidbit here is looking at how Pratt constructed the “West” in these letters. Missouri and Illinois were still considered to be the “West” in the 1830s and 1840s while the area of the continent that came to be known as California, Utah, etc. was known as the “Far West.”]


[1] Parley P. Pratt to parents, 20 March 1839, Pratt Collection, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.

[2] Parley Pratt and others, New York, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 19 February 1840, Times and Seasons, March 1840, 71.

Article filed under Categories of Periodization: Origins Cultural History From the Archives Memory


  1. In the expanded version of the Christology paper I wrote last summer, I argue that suffering in the pre-1890 period was treated as a marker of belonging; being one of those who was “persecuted for my name’s sake.” Many parallels were drawn with the corporate identity of the Children of Israel. This is exactly what Pratt does here.

    In the post polygamy period, on the other hand, suffering shifts to a New Testament conception, imitative of Christ’s suffering. That is, suffering is endured to earn something. Needless to say, this concept meshes nicely with evolutionary developmental ideas that are beginning to seep into Mormonism at this point.

    Comment by matt b — January 30, 2008 @ 5:12 pm

  2. I don’t know why, but this reminds me of Mary Haskins Richards account of a Woodruff Sermon on the trail west in 1847:

    I went with Jane & H to a meeting at Bro Allens house were we was addressed by Elder W Woodruff. who gave us some good instructions in relation to the resurrection of the dead. &C &C Said if there was any under the sound of his voise who felt as if the journey was to great for them. or the trials to hard for them to endure. his advice too such would be. to go into their Waggons & shut themselves up. as the[y] had no closets. & pray the Lord to take away their lives. & grant them a burial with the Saints of of God. as their death would prove a blessing to their posterity. who would ever beleve that their fathers died in full belief of the Gospel of Christ. and when the servants of God should retorn to the places were they had buryed their dead. in the morn of the Resurrection. & sound the Trumpit. that should shake the Earth and call them from their slumbering tombs. then they also would receve a resurrection & come forth. wereas. if they should go into Missouri. & be buryed there. he did not know who would b to the truble to go there and hunt them up for the[y] would never once think that a Saint of God would be buryed [there]. (Winter Quarters: The 1846-1848 Life Writings of Mary Haskin Parker Richards, 105-106)

    Obviously, this is a completely different context that Pratt, but it is interesting in that Woodruff recognized the effect of suffering and death on the descendants and their self perception.

    Comment by J. Stapley — January 30, 2008 @ 5:43 pm

  3. Matt: That’s fascinating. I agree that suffering here is seen as a marker of belonging. I just found where Pratt got the line about “suffering affliction with the people of God.”

    Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. (Hebrews 11:25)

    I do wonder though about your division between a “children of Israel” model of suffering and a NT conception, considering that for Pratt and most other early Saints the NT was the primary source for their persecution discourse. Would it be more correct to say that there are two competing NT notions of suffering that the Saints draw upon at different times in their history?

    I’d love to get a copy of the paper, btw.

    Comment by David G. — January 30, 2008 @ 5:52 pm

  4. J.: That’s a great excerpt. I think it tells us a lot about how Mormons after 1838 saw Missouri as a place of apostasy and mobocracy. There were in reality a few Saints that remained in Missouri after the expulsion that apparently maintained their LDS identity, but for the most part those that stayed renounced Mormonism as a means of survival.

    Comment by David G. — January 30, 2008 @ 6:04 pm

  5. Dave – the dichotomy is a bit contrived, as all are, but I think the NT allusions in the postpolygamy period definitely carry different, and more weighty meanings, than those in the pre1890 era, though this has as much to do with gradual cultural shifts as anything else.

    The paper examines primarily Utah period descriptions of persecution, most of which are bound into defenses of polygamy, thus it wouldn’t surprise me to see OT allusions spike after 1852 (and indeed, _Kingdom Transformed_ documents this in the larger General Conference discourse). You see it in Orson Spencer, in Helen Mar Whitney, and in the JD. Thus, I also wouldn’t be surprised to see a tripartite period here – 1830-47; 47-90; post-90.

    Comment by matt b — January 30, 2008 @ 6:04 pm

  6. Matt: I think you’re right about the polygamy narratives being constructed out of different stuff than the Missouri and Illinois narratives. Although I’ve found a few references to the OT in the persecution narratives in the T&S, they are definitely the exception rather than the norm.

    Comment by David G. — January 30, 2008 @ 6:09 pm

  7. I was interested to find how often this persecution motif surfaces in groups across time and space, especially, but not exclusively, among Christian sects. Elizabeth Castelli’s book, Martyrdom and Memory, is a great introduction to this in the early Christian period.

    Comment by SC Taysom — January 30, 2008 @ 6:10 pm

  8. Thanks, SC. I’ll have to check that out.

    Comment by David G. — January 30, 2008 @ 6:11 pm

  9. This issue is an interesting beast. I read Zachary Largely’s master’s thesis; he argues that the communal bent of persecution rhetoric was there from the start, though it strikes me that most of the scriptural references he dug up _were_ from Acts or the Gospels. Shows how malleable scripture is, I suppose.

    Comment by matt b — January 30, 2008 @ 6:12 pm

  10. Second the martyrdom book.

    Comment by matt b — January 30, 2008 @ 6:13 pm

  11. It sounds like Largely’s work suffers from the same ailment as all work on the historical Jesus and his religious community–the paucity of contemporary sources.

    Comment by SC Taysom — January 30, 2008 @ 6:17 pm

  12. Is anyone aware of any work on martyrological discourse in early America?

    Comment by David G. — January 30, 2008 @ 6:17 pm

  13. All of us working on this persecution thing should see if we can get some sort of group publication put together.

    Comment by SC Taysom — January 30, 2008 @ 6:17 pm

  14. SC: Agreed.

    Comment by David G. — January 30, 2008 @ 6:18 pm

  15. David,
    I haven’t seen anything that deals with it exclusively, but I know it shows up in book chapters from time to time. I most recently encountered it in a chapter called “Martyrs, Healers, and Statesmen,” in Pointer’s Encounters of the Spirit: Native Americans and European Colonial Religion (IU Press, 2007).

    Comment by SC Taysom — January 30, 2008 @ 6:21 pm

  16. Thanks, that looks helpful.

    Comment by David G. — January 30, 2008 @ 6:25 pm

  17. Pratt’s rhetoric seems to be laced with NT language. I recognize an allusion to 2 Cor. 12:10, among others.

    Comment by Justin — January 30, 2008 @ 6:45 pm

  18. On persecution, don’t forget Laurence Moore’s Religious Outsiders. Juster’s Doomsayers (thanks, Christopher–it’s a pleasant read) also works on revolutionary prophets and the reality of persecution. David Hall’s Worlds of Wonder talks some about Foxe and the Puritans apropos your question. I haven’t found good secondary lit on American martyrology, but the primary sources are overwhelming. martyrs of 1776, 1812, abolitionism, Civil War, assassinated presidents. I still think martyrdom can’t be separated from death culture even as it expands into broader social uses (see Segal, Life After Death in the Anchor library for a readable intro to Judeo-Christian immortality as maccabees-martyrology)

    mb and i are arguing that in addition persecution was a potent method for stealing authenticity from the evangelical establishment. Protestants still loved persecution motifs, but the Mormons turned them on their head. I’ll show you the paper when I finally get it finished. I’ll present part of it at MHA and then probably look in the non-Mormon literature to publish it.

    as for taysom’s proposal, it’s not a bad idea. i think there are a lot of us working on different tacks, and ideas about community intersections and persecutions are reasonably current in academic culture. i wonder whether Paul has material on this. it wouldn’t take me long to do a martyrdom and death conquest in early mormonism paper, and the theme is surprisingly multivalent.

    Comment by smb — January 30, 2008 @ 7:00 pm

  19. Also, there was a strategic component to these persecution proclamations, confirmed in various encyclicals in church organs. a major problem in Zion(s) was the presence of what the core faithful considered fair-weather Mormons or opportunists, people migrating for the chance of a better life who were disappointed to discover severe poverty and dysfunction in the utopian community to which they had “gathered.” persecution narratives were a way to defuse that expectation while simultaneously infusing it with strong biblical significance.

    Comment by smb — January 30, 2008 @ 7:02 pm

  20. re: 19

    Although the vast majority of the narratives I’ve examined postulate that persecution reinforces Mormon identity, there are a few instances where the narrators are more candid and acknowledge that persecution had led to the disintegration of Mormon identity for several people. Usually, these acknowledgements are in the form of denigration, such as when Pratt labels his Missouri cellmate Luman Gibbs, who apparently was given his freedom in exchange for denouncing Mormonism, “the old apostate.” While condemning, it does show that Pratt understood that suffering persecution cut both ways.

    Comment by David G. — January 30, 2008 @ 7:15 pm

  21. The practical problem with a publication project, in book form at least, is that most university presses are very reluctant to take on edited collections at the moment.

    Comment by SC Taysom — January 30, 2008 @ 8:31 pm

  22. David,
    I think your example of Gibbs illustrates perfectly the “sifter” function that many of the narratives deploy. To the extent that persecution narratives do cultural work as theodicies, they are explaining why God allows bad things to happen and one of the reasons for persecution is to test the faithful.

    Comment by SC Taysom — January 30, 2008 @ 8:35 pm

  23. What about a press in Utah? Seems like the academic presses here are interested in Mormon offerings.

    Comment by smb — January 30, 2008 @ 9:31 pm

  24. Or, for that matter, getting Mormon journal to devote an issue to suffering in Mormon history?

    Comment by David G. — January 30, 2008 @ 9:46 pm

  25. I think both of those ideas are probably the places to start. The problem with the academic presses isn’t with the topic, it’s the format. I have spoken to a few editors recently as I shop my dissertation around and they have all said that edited volumes are very tough to get approved. Apparently the failure rate of these projects (proposals approved, contracts granted, no books forthcoming) is pretty high. That’s not to say it isn’t worth a shot. I also like David’s idea and it might prove the most fruitful approach.

    Comment by SC Taysom — January 30, 2008 @ 9:53 pm

  26. What would be really awesome is if we could get Church History or Religion in American Culture to pick up that project.

    Comment by David G. — January 30, 2008 @ 9:55 pm

  27. My sense is RAC might be more open to this at this point. As to university presses, I’m involved in an edited collection (Mormon oriented, to boot) that’s USU Press has been rather enthusiastic about. Also Peter De La Fosse at the U press is interested in getting back into Mormon stuff. However, it strikes me that Taysom’s 25 is probably the most likely.

    Taysom – perhaps I was a bit unclear – Largely’s thesis is on early Mormonism, not the early church.

    Comment by matt b — January 31, 2008 @ 12:40 am

  28. I probably just misread you on the Largely thing. My research basically agrees with his idea that the persecution mindset was present very early (as least as early as 1832). I’m not sure about “from the beginning” though.

    Comment by SC Taysom — January 31, 2008 @ 7:39 am

  29. taysom, the persecution narratives are there from the beginning, at least in the JSS family. Lucy is constantly harping on it in retrospect, while she ties it to the ginseng disaster, being run off their land, JSJ being “shot at”. the 1826 trial was seen as persecution for them.

    i also see a lot of class issues going on with this, a sense of the poor honest commoner against the priestcraft-riddled upper class. the class stuff (even though I’m not a Marxist) is rampant in the 1830s and 1840s, another topic that needs to be addressed better.

    Grua, sounds like you just volunteered to coordinate the suffering project.

    Comment by smb — January 31, 2008 @ 9:52 am

  30. I agree that the Smiths sensed persecution in every setback and disagreement from very early.

    Comment by SC Taysom — January 31, 2008 @ 10:05 am

  31. A significant problem smb with relying on Lucy for making an argument that the Saints are using persecution discourse from the beginning is of course the lateness of the production of her text. But I think the point is confirmed in some of JSJ’s early letters.

    SC (and Matt): Although there are implied references to a persecution discourse from the early 30s, my sense is we don’t get detailed expositions until after the 1834 expulsion. Is that your sense as well?

    I don’t know if I’m the best one to coordinate the project. I nominate SC (since he suggested it initially), and he knows Phil Goff, editor of RAC rather well.

    Comment by David G. — January 31, 2008 @ 10:54 am

  32. As far as narratives qua narratives are concerned David, you’re right about the 1834-ish date. My 1832 date comes from an article in the E&M Star that made the case that persecution was a sign of the true church. I would have to look at my notes to get a better sense of the details.

    Comment by SC Taysom — January 31, 2008 @ 12:08 pm

  33. I would be happy to head up the inquiry into possibly publishing. I think the best way to proceed would be to collect brief abstracts, a paragraph would suffice, from everyone who wants to participate. I could work those into a kind of informal proposal-type document that could be circulated to potential journal editors or publishers. What do you all think?

    Comment by SC Taysom — January 31, 2008 @ 12:18 pm

  34. There was the item entitled “Persecution” in the June 1832 issue (copying a newspaper article on persecution under Nero). There was brief mention of persecution in New York in “The Gathering” in the July 1832 issue. Also “Lamentable Facts” in the April 1833 issue (“The righteous have always been derided by the wicked, and sacred things ridiculed by those that knew not God”).

    Comment by Justin — January 31, 2008 @ 12:28 pm

  35. I think I cited the article about persecution under Nero. IIRC I argued that the fact that Phelps (or whoever) selected that article indicated a mindset that predisposed the community to a certain reading of persecution even before anything that could be called that had ever happened to them.

    Comment by SC Taysom — January 31, 2008 @ 12:31 pm

  36. I neglected the editorial headnote to the article:

    “The following article has lately appeared in the news papers of the day, and we copy it to show that the religion of Jesus Christ, has always been persecuted. But when a saint lives to God, persecution or applause is all one: the soul is above them.”

    Comment by Justin — January 31, 2008 @ 12:33 pm

  37. Thanks for the references, Justin and SC. I think that these references are the tip of an iceberg that shows that Mormonism’s persecution discourse grew out of a wider discourse found at least among Methodists and likely among other groups. Does anyone know if the Campbellites and other primitivists talked about persecution frequently?

    SC: That sounds like a good proposal. Thanks for being willing to head that up.

    Comment by David G. — January 31, 2008 @ 12:42 pm

  38. I’d have to check on the Campbellites, et. al. My guess is that it’s there but probably muted.

    Comment by SC Taysom — January 31, 2008 @ 1:04 pm

  39. My point re: Lucy is that she is attached to events that would have had reasonable persecution narratives attached to them (ginseng and loss of farm); her witness is of course late.

    SC’s idea seems reasonable to me re: collecting essays.

    Persecution motifs are much bigger than just a bunch of SGA rebels. Some of it was confused anti-Europeanism dressed as anti-Catholicism (the Inquisition and Marian persecutions), some of it was providential theodicy quite generally, dealing with the war of 1812, the exigencies of economic cycles and the shifts in social structures, some of it was criticism of the perceived Calvinist dominance of American religion (many loved to cite Puritan persecutions and the Salem witch trials as evidence of their corruption, much as the LDS would do from ca 1836 and beyond). In addition, though, religious visionaries and rebels have been dealing with and interpreting persecution all along. Juster is useful on this in the revolutionary period.

    As for the Campbellites, I’ve read a smattering in MH and have read Illusions of Innocence, and although there is a paranoid-sounding rejection of the truth claims of others, nowhere near as much on persecution as you see in the Mormon papers after 1838.

    Don’t forget abolitionists in your treatment of persecution milieu. I think Abzug in Cosmos Crumbling mentions this a bit.

    sct’s insight that LDS were emphasizing persecution before they’d even dealt with it much is valid (though the 1826 trial, the rejection by the Hales, and the 1832 attempted lynching/emasculation were in their awareness pretty darned early) and important.

    Comment by smb — January 31, 2008 @ 4:14 pm

  40. Interesting topic for discussion.

    I laughed out loud trying to pronounce “Illinoisans” it is just a mush mouth word. Anyway it just caught me at a juvenile moment.

    Getting back on topic. I also wonder if their is a larger discussion going on. Especially when one looks at the positions of Adventists, shakers and the like who had Millenial ideals. I think Millenialists would be more likely to feel the need to model early christians who were considered to be heavily persecuted.

    Certainly, as pointed out, it would offer a sense of connection with being in the right place. It reminds me of Joseph saying that he gloried in persecution.

    My object is to let you know that I am right here on the spot where I intend to stay. I, like Paul, have been in perils, and oftener than anyone in this generation. As Paul boasted, I have suffered more than Paul did. I should be like a fish out of water, if I were out of persecutions. Perhaps my brethren think it requires all this to keep me humble.

    Comment by Jon W — January 31, 2008 @ 4:20 pm

  41. “i wonder whether Paul has material on this”

    Are you talking to me? Did you rub my lamp?

    Persecution stuff? I think my current racial/whiteness stuff is inherently grounded in a persecution narrative. Someone articulate a organizational rubric so that I’ll know better if my stuff fits.

    “also see a lot of class issues going on with this, a sense of the poor honest commoner against the priestcraft-riddled upper class. the class stuff (even though I?m not a Marxist) is rampant in the 1830s and 1840s, another topic that needs to be addressed better.”

    Yes, the American economy is going through a tremendous upheaval called the Market Revolution (fueled by the transportation revolution) which gives rise to a new northern middle class who ride the wave of the new market and tend to participate in the Finneyite revivalism. New roles for men and women result, with middle class women stepping outside the home and becoming the moral guardians of society. Others, like the Smith’s and Robert Mathews and the Kingdom of Matthias are left behind by all of this and are searching for a lost patriarchy, at least according to Johnson and Wilentz’s book the Kingdom of Matthias: A Story of Sex and Salvation in 19th Century America. Has anyone read it? It brings together issues of class, economics, reform, revivalism, sex, and gender roles, in a fun book. Matthias meets JS in Kirtland and they both declare each other false prophets by the end. Long way of saying that I agree with smb that the class/economic angle would be cool.

    Let me add that I just received an e-mail from the new acquisitions editor at U of Illinois Press. Apparently it is not abandoning Mormon studies as had been rumored. It will be at MHA this year. She is interested in “exciting work in Mormon history being done by your students or colleagues.”

    Comment by Paul Reeve — January 31, 2008 @ 4:33 pm

  42. If you believe D.W. Howe, the Market Revolution never happened! (ok, that’s a slight exaggeration). The Johnson and Wilentz book is not only interesting, it is also a short read.

    Comment by SC Taysom — January 31, 2008 @ 4:40 pm

  43. the 1832 attempted lynching/emasculation [was] in their awareness pretty darned early

    Have you found contemporary narratives describing this? I’m not doubting that it happened, but I’ve looked a bit to see when it first enters into the publicly-known persecution narratives. Do they mention it in the Kirtland newspapers (I’m much more familiar with the Nauvoo papers)? I’ve found it mentioned a couple of times it the T&S, but it’s never a dominant event.

    Comment by David G. — January 31, 2008 @ 4:41 pm

  44. Persecution stuff? I think my current racial/whiteness stuff is inherently grounded in a persecution narrative. Someone articulate a organizational rubric so that I?ll know better if my stuff fits.

    Paul, you’re supposed to write a whiteness organizational rubric so that I’ll know that my persecution stuff fits. I find it slightly amusing that all of us are nibbling on different parts of the same pie but none of us can see the whole.

    Let me add that I just received an e-mail from the new acquisitions editor at U of Illinois Press. Apparently it is not abandoning Mormon studies as had been rumored. It will be at MHA this year. She is interested in ?exciting work in Mormon history being done by your students or colleagues.?

    Our oft-absent co-blogger Jared has convinced the Mormon Studies editor at UIP to do a Q&A with the JI. Hopefully he’ll get that done soon.

    Comment by David G. — January 31, 2008 @ 4:48 pm

  45. “Our oft-absent co-blogger Jared has convinced the Mormon Studies editor at UIP to agree to a Q&A with the JI. Hopefully he?ll get that done soon.”

    Okay, so this is old news. I’m always the last one to know anything.

    Comment by Paul Reeve — January 31, 2008 @ 4:51 pm

  46. Paul, don’t feel too bad. Another co-blogger caught wind of this by chance, and posted on it a few months back. I haven’t seen or heard it dicussed in other settings before or since.

    Comment by Christopher — January 31, 2008 @ 4:55 pm

  47. I’m not sure how old the news about UIP is either. Jan Shipps told me about it a few months ago and it seemed pretty new at the time. And as Christopher noted, the news hasn’t spread very far yet.

    Comment by SC Taysom — January 31, 2008 @ 4:58 pm

  48. Here the link to Ben’s initial post.

    Comment by David G. — January 31, 2008 @ 5:00 pm

  49. Paul the genie, an excellent image.
    Sounds like there is the makings of an interesting collection on persecution, something of a protracted and multifaceted response to (and expansion of) Moore.
    Glad to hear UIP is coming back into Mormon studies publishing.
    UofU is coming up to speed, and you’ll see stray other presses doing Mormon work if it’s interesting to them in some other way.

    Comment by smb — January 31, 2008 @ 6:59 pm

  50. What about hosting a small conference at UofU or Brigham Young’s and then doing an edited volume of those papers? Would force everyone to get the papers done to a deadline and would allow for some useful cross-commenting.

    Comment by smb — January 31, 2008 @ 8:34 pm

  51. Conferences are always a good option. The only problem is that presenters possibly have to travel to get to the conference.

    Comment by SC Taysom — January 31, 2008 @ 8:42 pm

  52. This comment indicates my ongoing interest in the developing project. I could spin and expand something out of the Christology paper without too much trouble.

    Comment by matt b — January 31, 2008 @ 9:15 pm

  53. SCT: it’s the 21st century. could we telecon for those w/o private leer jets or big travel accounts?

    Comment by smb — January 31, 2008 @ 10:01 pm

  54. I suppose we could try that if we can’t get enough horses and buggies.

    Comment by SC Taysom — January 31, 2008 @ 10:02 pm

  55. I assume people have this, but I like it.

    The church organ proclaimed that the Mormons were ?the only sect in Christendom, who in this nineteenth century can exhibit the irresistable [sic] evidence of martyrdom, in support of its cause.?

    ?Magna Est Veritas, et Praevalebit,? Times and Seasons 5, no. 15 (August 15, 1844): 621.

    Comment by smb — February 2, 2008 @ 4:47 pm

  56. This is from ?A Mormon Woods Meeting!: Three Days in a Jersey Wilderness,? Aug. 31, 1857, p. 5. (ht: Justin)

    They believe themselves to be a persecuted people, and exalt in the discomforts that they endure. They point to the records of their sufferings in behalf of Christianity which the martyrs in early times underwent, and argue that because they also are reviled, it must follow that they also are the true representatives of Christianity….

    [William J. Appleby] knew that the Latter Day Saints were derided and scoffed at; scorn and contumely and contempt and persecution was their lot, but so were God’s true followers always, so was Christ himself. If he had a hope of future life which this world could not take away, all he wanted was that when this world was passed away that hope might be fulfilled. Their hope in the future animated the Latter Day Saints through all their mobbing, burning, columny and reproach that they had endured….

    [either Treseder or A. Cannon] called to mind the sufferings and privations, trials and persecutions of Joseph Smith. He was willing to stake his life–all that he was and all that he hoped to be–upon the truth of what he believed…

    He would say, that when they were persecuted then the cause of Mormonism was prospering.

    Comment by David G. — February 4, 2008 @ 9:48 pm

  57. […] me thinking. What other books on Mormon history still need to be written? The comments in a past post show that more work still needs to be done on persecution narratives. In a graduate course the […]

    Pingback by Juvenile Instructor » Book Wish List — February 7, 2008 @ 12:23 pm

  58. […] as a persecuted people has been the topic of numerous posts by JI’s own David G. (see here, here, and here for examples).¬†¬†David’s research suggests that this discourse on […]

    Pingback by Juvenile Instructor » “The Accent of Conviction and Sincere Belief”: Travel Writers & Mormon Discourse on Persecution — March 3, 2008 @ 2:57 pm


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