Friday, November 20, 2009

Hearken O Ye People: The Historical Setting for Joseph Smith's Ohio Revelations

After several months of editing and numerous delays, Mark Staker's Hearken O Ye People:  The Historical Setting for Joseph Smith's Ohio Revelations is almost finished. I've had the privilege of typesetting this book, and though I haven't been able to do any in depth reading of it yet, I can assure you that it is a worthwhile project that will set the standard of and make us rethink the way we see and understand the Kirtland era of early Mormonism.

Here are a few early reviews of Staker's book:

I am not aware of a more deeply researched and richly contextualized study of any period of Mormon church history than Mark Staker’s study of Mormons in Ohio. We learn about everything from the details of Alexander Campbell’s views on priesthood authority to the road conditions and weather on the four Lamanite missionaries’ journey from New York to Ohio. All the Ohio revelations and even the First Vision are made to pulse with new meaning. This book sets a new standard of in-depth research in Latter-day Saint history.

Richard Bushman
Howard W. Hunter Visiting Professor of Mormon Studies, Claremont Graduate University
Author, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling
General Editor, Joseph Smith Papers

An uncommonly thorough and illuminating look at one of the most overlooked periods in Latter Day Saint history. One closes the book with a deepened understanding of not only the Saints and their struggles, but also the contextual and colorful world they encountered everyday. Staker's bold and refreshing new approach to our shared history breathes life into the courage and conflict of Kirtland's past.

Barbara B. Walden
President John Whitmer Historical Association (2007-2008)
Author with Lachlan Mackay, House of the Lord: the Story of the Kirtland Temple

I am impressed by the scope, detail and quality of Mark Staker’s work on the Mormon period in Ohio. I am confident that it will set the standard and be the definitive work on this fascinating and complicated period in Mormon history for many years to come. His knowledge of and access to important but scarcely used documents can only be admired and envied by any of us who have worked in that period. Just when we begin to wonder how much more there is to say about the Kirtland Safety Society (Bank), Mark gives us not just facts, but important detail on participants, relationships, sequence of events and consequences that go beyond anything that has been done before.

Larry T. Wimmer
Professor (Emeritus) Brigham Young University
Author, The Kirtland Economy Revisited: A Market Critique of Sectarian Economics

Mark Staker has set up a short blog about the book here. I'll post more about it when we finally have a release date set.

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