Saints without Halos
The Human Side of Mormon History
by Leonard J. Arrington and Davis Bitton
Unlike most Mormon histories, Saints Without Halos is a treatment of the human, rather than institutional side of Mormon history. Through the fascinating experiences of seventeen Latter-day Saints, Leonard J. Arrington and Davis Bitton sketch Mormonism from its earliest beginnings to modern times. These are Saints presented not as objects of veneration, but as “human beings who, like the rest of us, struggle to be worthy of the title Latter-day Saint.”
Two were apostles. One was an enthusiastic supporter and friend of Joseph Smith, who eventually left the main body of the Church to lead his own band to Texas. The other was a link in the chain of a renowned Mormon family whose positions in the leading councils of the Church span virtually the entire history of Mormonism.
The other fifteen individuals, except for one colorful non-Mormon advocate, are “ordinary” Latter-day Saints—faithful members who helped realize the vision of their prophetic leaders: a personal friend of Joseph Smith, missionaries and converts, a plural wife, an Indian woman, a widowed immigrant, pioneers and philosophers, bishops and blacksmiths, and even a historian.
In this book, the authors of The Mormon Experience draw on their vast knowledge of Mormon diaries and other first-hand accounts to disclose the rich diversity of Mormonism as well as its unity of purpose.
Leonard J. Arrington is Director of the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Church History and the Lemuel H. Redd Professor of Western History at Brigham Young University. Born in Twin Falls, Idaho, in 1917, Dr. Arrington received his degrees from the Universities of Idaho and North Carolina. He is the author of several books on Mormon history, including the classic Great Basin Kingdom (1958). He is a regular contributor to many scholarly journals and has taught at North Carolina State, UCLA, and Utah State University.
Davis Bitton is Professor of History at the University of Utah and compiler of A Guide to Mormon Diaries and Autobiographies (1977), as well as several other books and numerous articles on Mormon history. Born in Blackfoot, Idaho, in 1930, Dr. Bitton received his degrees from Brigham Young and Princeton Universities and has taught at the University of Texas and the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Arrington and Bitton are co-authors of the widely acclaimed book, The Mormon Experience (1979). For many years they served as Church Historian and Assistant Church Historian for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.