Mormons and Jews
Early Mormon Theologies of Israel
by Steven Epperson
The intense interest of nineteenth-century Mormons in the Jewish people, Hebrew Scriptures, and the Holy Land was shared by other Christians. However, Mormon belief and practice differed from typical Christian interpretations and performances. This book presents American and British attitudes about Jews and Judaism during the early to mid-nineteenth century and then contrasts Joseph Smith’s theology of covenant Israel. It discusses how the Book of Mormon and sections of the Doctrine and Covenants articulated this theology. It demonstrates how Joseph Smith interpreted Hebrew Scriptures (the “Old” Testament) and Apostolic Writings (the “New” Testament) to support the gathering of the Jewish people to Palestine and the restoration of its national commonwealth. It also examines Smith as student of Hebrew and publicist of the Jewish/Mormon encounter.
Steven Epperson holds a Ph.D. from Temple University. Currently he is History Curator at the Museum of Church History and Art, Salt Lake City, Utah. He is recipient of the William Grover and Winifred Foster Reese Best Dissertation Award from the Mormon History Association.