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Differing Visions Dissenters in Mormon History cover
  • ISBN: 9780252020698
  • ISBN10: 0252020693

Differing Visions Dissenters in Mormon History

by Roger D. Launius

  • List Price: $34.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Univ of Illinois Pr
  • Publish date: 06/01/1994
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Description
Recognizing Mormonism's dissenting tradition, Differing Visions presents selections on nineteen Mormon dissenters - David Whitmer, Fawn Brodie, and Sonia Johnson among them - in a volume that focuses on the variety of religious sentiment within the church and assesses factors that have encouraged divergent ideas from the early 1800s on. Besides offering little-known information about the lives of those profiled, the collection shows that the dissenters generally were moved by conscience and questions of right and wrong in leaving Mormonism and that none of them ever fully shed the remnants of the institutional church. Whitmer is cast in a new light here, in a selection that emphasizes his disenchantment with Joseph Smith's increasing power and his belief that the church was moving counter to Whitmer's understanding of what religion should do. Brodie is presented as having been too distinctive - tall, beautiful, and extremely bright - to fit the patriarchal Mormon notion of womanhood. Excommunicated in June 1946 following the publication of No Man Knows My History, her controversial biography of Joseph Smith, Brodie continued to criticize the Mormon church in her writings and speeches. By the time of her death in 1981, she was recognized as twentieth-century Mormonism's leading dissenting female historian and critic. Excommunicated in 1979 because she publicized her church's efforts to defeat the Equal Rights Amendment, Johnson later became a feminist political activist, running unsuccessfully for the presidency of the National Organization for Women and, in 1984, for the presidency of the United States.
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