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I read your review of Remini. If I remember correctly, FARMS weren't so positive.

You might add the Church history Institute manual which I find to be pretty good.

The one thing that bugs me about the Saints' understanding of Joseph is that we have no sense of the "why". For example, we all know about the "persecutions" but do we understand why people so hated the Mormons? Typically, we place such things on a cosmic level, good vs. evil. There was more going on. There's a human story in there too.

Ronan: Arrington and Bitton actually addressed the topic of "why so much persecution?" in their Mormon Experience, p. 46-53. See my oblique reference to that discussion here.

Leonard et al. _The Story of the Latter-day Saints_ also has a pretty good discussion of this. What is interesting to me is that to the extent that Mormons make the it-was-all-evil-against-good argument they are ignoring what is in the D&C itself, where there are several revelations that declare the Saints were attacked in part because of their own wickedness. Certainly, there is evidence to suggest that they were not ideal neighbors in Missouri or Nauvoo, which is not to deny the fact that there were any number of rather opportunistic and bigoted folks who made political hay out of attacking the Mormons.

My point was not that it hasn't been discussed, but that if your only exposure to Mormon history is through "Our Heritage", then you would be clueless. Most Mormons don't read Arrington, or Leonard.

FYI: Today's Meridian Magazine reprints a BYU Studies essay on Joseph Smith by Richard Bushman.

You are spot-on as usual, Justin. Bushman's remarks are doubly interesting for the insight they give into what we can expect from his upcoming JS biography.

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