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

May 20th, 2016

Mormon News, May 16–20

LDS Church Public Relations responded this week to ongoing reporting by the Salt Lake Tribune on sexual assault at BYU by accusing the Tribune of “gotcha journalism.” The church said it was not given an opportunity to respond to “extraordinary claims” and further commented that the stories published by the Tribune do not “represent the ideals BYU or Church leaders follow when responding to victims.” The statement comes on the heels of yet another story that profiled victims who said they faced a presumption of guilt after reporting their assault.


May 13th, 2016

Mormon News, May 9–13

The Salt Lake Tribune continued its reporting on rape and sexual assault in LDS Church-owned schools this week, but shifted to look at how past LDS teachings might lead to victim blaming. The old mantra “better dead clean than alive and unclean” remains a powerful shaming tool in Mormonism that discourages victims from reporting assaults. Some BYU students said that after they talked to their bishops about being victims of violence, the bishops handed them a copy of the Miracle of Forgiveness and talked them through the need to repent. Current church policy, spelled out in the Handbook of Instructions that is unavailable to the general membership, says rape victims “are not guilty of sin,” and that leaders should...