Island Adventures

Island Adventures

Francis (“Frank”) Hammond was not an average Mormon pioneer. After breaking his back working on a whaling ship off the coast of Siberia in 1844, he was set ashore on the island of Maui to heal. While there he set up shop as a shoemaker and learned the local language. Three years later, he converted to Mormonism in San Franciso, and in 1851 he was sent back to Hawaii as a missionary along with his new wife, Mary Jane. In the 1860s he returned to the islands as mission president.

Through all this, he and his wife kept extensive and fascinating journals, documenting their adventures on land and sea, as well as relations (some prickly) with fellow missionaries and non-Mormon caucasians and Hawaiians. Hammond established a Mormon gathering place on the island of Lana’i, and in the 1860s he traveled by stagecoach from Utah to the west coast with a satchel of $5,000 in gold coins to purchase the land that became the site in O’ahu of the LDS temple, church college, and Polynesian Culture Center.


Mormonism Unvailed

“Despite an obvious bias, Eber D. Howe provided a service to historians the way he gathered eyewitness accounts and primary documents, for which he was never properly recognized. He was the first to publish some of Joseph Smith’s revelations,...

Amazing Colossal Apostle

Robert M. Price
As children, we were told the stories of Paul as didactic tales meant to keep us reverent and obedient. As adults reading the New Testament, we catch glimpses of a very different kind of disciple—an ascetic hermit whom Tertullian...

Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000:

Devery Anderson
Award-winning researcher and writer Devery S. Anderson has brought together in this volume a comprehensive collection of documents relating to Mormon temple worship. These are official communications, most of them never before presented to the general public, limited only...

Latest News

April 29th, 2016

Mormon News, April 25–29

Tyler Glenn, the lead singer of the popular group Neon Trees, released a music video this week that uses Mormon imagery to criticize the LDS Church’s anti-gay policies. Neon Trees formed in Provo and has rocketed to commercial success in recent years. Glenn came out as a gay Mormon in 2014 and has called himself a role model for other LGBTQ members of the church. But new interviews with Glenn suggest he was devastated by the November 2015 LDS policies targeting children of gay parents and gay couples that has since put his faith in a “tailspin.” His new video is an expression of that pain.


April 22nd, 2016

Mormon News, April 18–22

A week after reports alleged that BYU students who report sexual assaults were at risk for punishment by the Honor Code Office, the university said it will review its policies. The Salt Lake Tribune interviewed several women who said they were investigated by the school after they informed the BYU Title IX office that they had been sexually assaulted. The Tribune’s reporting garnered international attention and sparked a student protest at the school. Mormons online have been grappling with the news, with some defending the church and the Honor Code investigations. Michael Austin shared several such online comments made at By Common Consent and argued that it is this kind of response that make rape a chronically under-reported crime.