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Lost Legacy: The Mormon Office of Presiding Patriarch cover
  • ISBN: 9780252021633
  • ISBN10: 0252021630

Lost Legacy: The Mormon Office of Presiding Patriarch

by Bates, Irene M. A Smith, E. Gary

  • List Price: $32.50
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press
  • Publish date: 10/01/1995
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The hereditary office of Presiding Patriarch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, first occupied by the father of the Mormon prophet, Joseph Smith, had long seemed the focal point of a struggle for authority between those appointed and those born to leadership positions. Irene Bates and E. Gary Smith, who conclude that the office's demise in 1979 was inevitable, chronicle its history and find it to be a classic example of Max Weber's theory of the "routinization of charisma". From the creation of the patriarchal office in 1833 to its demise, the authors illuminate the tensions between the leadership circle of the Council of Twelve, headed by Brigham Young, and the potential rival power center of the Patriarch. This struggle is related, in turn, to the one between the Smith family and the rest of the Mormon leadership. Also illuminated are recurrent struggles between the president and the Twelve over the patriarchal issue. Bates and Smith argue that the real source of dissonance between the patriarchs and other church leaders was the impossibility of melding familial authority (the Patriarch) with official authority (the structured leadership of the growing church).
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