The Mormon church – formally, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints – is one of the world’s fastest-growing religions, doubling its membership every fifteen years. Building the Kingdom traces the group’s tumultuous history, from its humble origins in small-town New York State in 1830 to its present international stature. The authors introduce the faith’s charismatic early leaders, Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, delve deeply into Mormon rites and traditions, follow the adventurous trail of the Mormon pioneers into the West, evoke the momentous rise of Salt Lake City, and describe the numerous skirmishes and court battles between Mormons and their neighbors, other religions, and the American government.
The describe the church’s formidable institutional apparatus, the unique role of women in Mormon affairs, both before and after the Mormon’s practice of polygamy, and how the church has addressed the challenges of modernity. Throughout, the Bushmans demonstrate how the rise of a small and persecuted movement intersected and even transformed the history of the American nation.
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