Documentary History

Confessions of a Mormon Historian

Leonard Arrington
Leonard Arrington's personal diaries reveal a man who was firmly committed to his church, as well as to rigorous historical scholarship. His eye for detail made him an important observer of “church headquarters culture.”

Salt Lake School of the Prophets, 1867-1883

Brigham Young re-established the school in the Salt Lake Valley in 1867; his successor, John Taylor, resuscitated it for a while in 1883. Young’s emphasis was theology, first as an appendage to Deseret University, and then as a separate institution. Presented here for the first time are all available minutes for the Utah period.

Thirteenth Apostle

Thirteenth Apostle
Originally from New Hampshire, Amasa Mason Lyman converted to Mormonism over the objection of his family at age nineteen. Compelled to leave home with a total of eleven dollars in his pocket, he ventured some 700 miles east to Ohio, where Joseph Smith told him to return east and serve a mission despite his unfamiliarity with the church’s doctrines and procedures. Ten years later Lyman temporarily replaced Orson Pratt in...

Cowboy Apostle

Cowboy Apostle:The Diaries of Anthony W. Ivins, 1875- 1932
Anthony W. Ivins was one of the witnesses to the execution of John D. Lee for Lee’s role in the Mountain Meadows Masscre. He was an early Arizona explorer, cowboy, game hunter, politician, stake president of the Mormon colonies in Mexico, Apostle, and member of the LDS first presidency. He performed Mormon plural marriages in Mexico in the 1890s, following the revelation of Wilford Woodruff known as the...

Later Patriarchal Blessings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Later Patriarchal Blessings
This work contains over 800 blessings performed 1835-1995 by the presiding patriarchs of the LDS Church; Uncle John Smith (brother of Joseph Smith Sr.), John Smith (son of Hyrum Smith), Hyrum G. Smith (great-grandson of Hyrum Smith), Joseph Fielding Smith (great-grandson of Hyrum Smith), and Eldred G. Smith (great-great-grandson of Hyrum Smith). Although Mormonism offers many unique practices and rituals, patriarchal blessings stand out among them because of their personal...

Church, State, and Politics

John Henry Smith
When John Henry Smith died on October 13, 1911, the Salt Lake Tribune described him as "prominent in all matters that concerned development of the West" and at "front rank in Utah affairs." Second counselor to his cousin Joseph F. Smith in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, president of the Utah Constitutional Convention in 1895, co-founder of the Utah Republican Party, and...

Nauvoo City and High Council Minutes

John S. Dinger, editor
Two legislative bodies governed the Mormon community of Nauvoo, Illinois in the 1840s. The high council with its origins in Ohio began as a religious community's effort plan events and to settle disputes. In Nauvoo it was formalized as the governing body for the church. The city council gathered to pass ordinances on loose animals, impose taxes, and regulate alcohol, and more importantly, protection against arrest for Mormons, which...

The 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 by what would be inappropriate to discuss publicly. They include rulings by the First Presidency on changes to the ceremonies, letters to temple and stake presidents and bishops reminding them...

Candid Insights of a Mormon Apostle: The Diaries of Abraham H. Cannon, 1889-1895

Candid Insights of a Mormon Apostle
Abraham H. Cannon was the fourth son of early Mormon insider, apostle, publisher and pioneer George Q. Cannon. Because of his father's prominence, he was introduced to the highest realms of Church and Utah territorial leadership at an early age--an advantage which set the stage for Abraham to make significant historical contributions himself. As a bonus to modern historians, his diaries flow like few others from the late nineteenth...

An Intimate Chronicle

The Journals of William Clayton
Since polygamy was initially secret, Clayton spent much of his time putting out the fires of innuendo and discontent. He caught his first plural wife rendezvousing with her former fiancé; later, when she became pregnant, her mother--his unaware mother-in-law--was so overwrought that she attempted suicide.