If you want a concise overview of the Brigham Young era, read this book Saints, volume 2 ranges widely, beginning with the Saints expulsion from the Nauvoo area, their travels to the Great Salt Lake Valley, the recruitment of the Mormon Battalion, and the challenges of settling Utah s Wasatch Front, including working through tense relations with indigenous people and the federal government.Thousands of pioneers crossed the Great Plains, seeking to build dugouts and frontier homes in the Great Basin Sam Brannan, an emigrant leader, urged all to keep traveling to San Francisco He was overruled by Brigham Young, president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who soon became territorial governor Settlers quickly displaced and created stressful living conditions for the indigenous Ute, Shoshone, and Paiute tribes in Utah Tension resulted in the Walker War 192 97 , the Bear River Massacre 402 , and the Black Hawk War 336 48 Indian missions struggled for decades but eventually resulted in conversions described like fire in the dry grass 405 Many of those Shoshone converts helped build the Logan Temple and performed vicarious baptisms for the dead, including those who died in the massacre 509 11 These stories are important to share.Men and women struggled to forge communities while hundreds of missionaries traveled to distant lands, including Hawaii, Tahiti, Scandinavia, and South Africa George Q Cannon, Joseph F Smith, and his dear sister Martha Ann Smith Harris played major roles in many of these stories.The book takes a refreshingly candid look at complex issues such as adoption sealings 41 42 , plural marriage 152 54 , the temple and priesthood restriction against blacks 181 82 , and the Utah War and related Mountain Meadows Massacre 254 63 Of course, race was a hotly debated issue in the stormy decades before the US Civil War In the 1852 territorial debate on slavery, Governor Young declared publicly for the first time that people of black African descent could no longer be ordained to the priesthood Before this time, a few black men had been ordained Elder Orson Pratt strongly objected to slavery in Utah without any authority from heaven Governor Young s views echoed a widespread but mistaken idea that God had cursed people of black African descent 182 Can a prophet or an apostle be mistaken he asked in 1858 Do not ask me any such question, for I will acknowledge that all the time 279 Yes, even prophets are fallible Many decades later, black member Jane Manning James sought First Presidency permission to be sealed, with the poignant plea, Is there no blessing for me 590 Her letters went unanswered Church leaders eventually returned to the original unrestricted policy toward blacks nearly a hundred years later, in 1978 Throughout Utah, the Saints began building temples to perform ordinances for the living and the dead Many felt complex emotions while enduring federal prosecution to restrict the practice of plural marriage, and many felt equally complicated feelings when the Manifesto overturned that practice 602 7 President Wilford Woodruff reassured them, The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray 609 Most members adapted Others struggled to change and continued the practice As human beings, we swim in powerful currents of culture If currents sweep us out to sea, we need to change direction The book concludes with the joyful dedication of the Salt Lake Temple 661 65 Overall, I highly recommend this book I congratulate the authors, editors, and publisher for demonstrating integrity to the historical sources and nuances of history. The new book in the effort to bring the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints into a easily understood narrative, continues with the recent release of No Unhallowed Hand, 1846 1893 This second volume cements the foundations of the state of Utah and it s incredible trials to try to bring about the ratification of statehood, the establishment of a Promised Land in which Saints can practice religion freely and the continual spreading of the Gospels to lands known Scandinavian Territories and England, Ireland to lesser known such as Hawaii and into the Pacific While most readers already have a fairly good understanding of the beginnings of the Church s history that was explained in Standard Of Truth, No Unhallowed Hand takes readers on a lesser known journey that was fraught with overcoming obstacles that not only nature brought when crossing the plains but through politics, power and corruption Utah, only a territory which is not part of the United States was, as the book demonstrates, plagued with constant forces of politicians and soldiers who sought to bring this religion into extinction Hope was high that upon entering Utah Valley, that life would return to normalcy the long awaited peace to tend to one s farms and reap the benefits from adhering to the Lord s call But obstacles are never gone and there is always work to be done No Unhallowed Hand shows its readers that everyone s actions is held accountable regardless if they were members or not Establishing connections with the Utes, Paiutes and other Indian Tribes could with a single stroke disintegrate, the lives of hundreds could be dashed by the choices of a few like the Mountain Meadow Massacre That even through the calling to do missionary work to foreign lands, that unfortunately some people s once self less acts of devotion to God is turned to the accumulation of power and wealth But the church, under the guidance of Brigham Young and other Prophets tries to steer the massive ship to safe harbors, as negative opinions of Mormons continue to mount often through slanderous and distorted news publications, which still reverberates throughout America and the world Never has a faith been so persecuted in the United States as that of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints No Unhallowed Hand is not a book that portrays the flattering light of the Church s history, for men and women are fallible and that too is part of history and should never be erased, but used to understand, help, teach and grow It is also a book that shows America s unflattering side as well, through the use of mob rule, libelous publications and military interventions to bring an end to the Mormons It should bring readers to seriously ponder the beauty that is the First Amendment, Freedom of Religion It would be imprudent to say that this all that volume 2 contains, for there were men and women who sought reforms, who sought to learn and to see for themselves the truths about this people without being subjugated to the prejudices of their fellow neighbors Who were these polygamy practicing people Why What are their goals Why are their Temples so sacred Though this is a very brief account of the history of the Church from 1846 1893, often seemingly too brief in certain chapters for there is so much history that could be encompassed here, that it should cause readers to ponder and question, Why and give them the curiosity to pursue the answers in a in depth manner There is no doubt however that the valiant, faithful and resilient Saints that lived in the early days of the Church s history has had and continues to have a tremendous impact on the world today.5 out of 5 stars. With Mobs Threatening To Drive Them From Their Homes, Thousands Of Latter Day Saints Flee Nauvoo, Their Gathering Place For The Past Seven Years Following Brigham Young And The Quorum Of The Twelve Apostles, They Travel West Across Prairie And Plain, Trusting In God To Prepare A Home For Them Beyond The Towering Peaks Of The Rocky MountainsFinding A New Home Is Only The Beginning Of Their Story In Their Quest To Serve God And Build Zion, The Exiled Saints Struggle Against New Obstacles And Greater Persecutions Stalwart Women And Men Work Together To Forge Communities Where The Faithful Can Gather Near Temples Established For The Glory Of God And The Redemption Of The Living And The Dead At The Same Time, Hundreds Of Missionaries Journey To Distant Lands To Invite Others To Come To Christ And Help Establish Zion Um I think I read this There are only five chapters available on the Gospel Library App, which is confusing, since Vol 1 had 46 chapters.What I did read was very interesting and engaging I learned a lot, and as always, I am so impressed with the fortitude of the saints. I want to give this five but won t because history is a work in progress which this book actually points out at the postscript A justification to hold it to a 4 came as I searched for the title and saw that there is a volume of the same title in the Work and the Glory fictional series Of course it is the Church s phrase misappropriated for questionable Mormon fiction Yes, Mormon fiction gets called just that because it is not part of the Church, just the culture, i.e., some of the cultural aspects of which I am not a fan.Back to this volume I love the way all these aspects of our history are woven together Jane Manning James petitioning for temple ordinances at the same time of the Manifesto requiring adaptions of Celestial Marriage, conflicts in the Quorum of the Twelve, preparations of the Salt Lake Temple, missionary work in the South Pacific, and accommodation with the federal government.The treatment of our Native Peoples is pretty good I had no surprises on the Shoshone and the Bear River Massacre which I knew much about especially after the great, recent history by Darren Parry But I did learn about the Black Hawk War and the problems created by settlement in Sanpete Florence and Joseph Dean s plural marriage problems where known to me as Florence is a 3rd Great Aunt but I didn t know about their missionary work in the Pacific Islands And I didn t know about B.H Roberts struggles with the Manifesto.It s been awhile since I read the first few chapters online about the Pioneers And they are good too It holding back no punches about the difficulties without excessive self wallowing glory in misery.All in all, it s very good The simplified but direct and engaging writing style is good hopefully for a wide audience in multiple languages I do highly recommend the book with the caveat that as a Church History Missionary, it s all part of my new bag. Five stars for impeccable research and referencing Simply written for a universal readership.Five stars for the wealth of moving stories of personal sacrifice This does not mean that I preferred this account and history than many others such as Church History in the Fullness of Time Why With a bachelor s degree in North American Religious history, I felt this account catered to modern historical concerns about the past It couched past events in many instances through modern perspective to address the complaints of distractors and current trigger topics One simple example I felt that the power of Brigham Young as a visionary prophet and capable leader was neutered to appease modern readers who understand little of the time and the tough choices that had to be made Even biographies by individuals not of The Church of Jesus Christ present him as potent than this near apologetic version s carefully selected quotations present.Each chapter seemed poised to try to assuage or minimize complaints or concerns about Church interactions To me, it seemed the authors spent less time painting the picture of the time period so that students of history could learn the events in their context thereby judging them in an informed manner than they spent sharing stories that look better under the scrutiny of modern social pressure For example, is Brigham s daughter s story really representative of the life and believes of Saints throughout the Church, or was she chosen because she showed the struggles and triumphs of a divorced woman who was repressed by a man and soldiered on to success Did these stories represent the majority of the faithful My research indicates otherwise This is not to say the stories are without context, but I felt the book did not do justice to those at the time period, and I wonder, if those living at the time period were able to read the account, would they even recognize some of their experiences through this modern framing The account failed to enlighten readers on just how different the perspective of individuals at the time period were concerning issues such as race, gender, persecution, and relationships One impressive exception to this was the chapter Too Late, Too Late, which provided straightforward representations of tragedy in context Even with these frustrations, I highly recommend the book, but I would recommend it with others for a balanced understanding that will allow those of faith to fortify their beliefs by understanding the context better and thereby appreciate the actions and motives of these righteous Saints. Far shorter at only 7 chapters thus far anyway and action packed than Book One, burned through this installment in about a day The series is wonderful at giving a bird s eye view of some of the major events respecting the western migration of the early Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints following the death of Joseph Smith and under the direction of Brigham Young I was particularly glad to learn some new facts about individual family circumstances while at the same time being spared the harrowing details about who lost their legs and their babies thought the book did provide a very historically accurate account of the hardships attendant with the trek west The book ends with a brief account of the formation of the First Presidency and reorganization of the Quorum of the Twelve I would have liked detail, however I thought this book was too detail light However, what was present was good I give the book 4 stars only because it left me wanting Seven chapters just isn t enough for such an enormous undertaking I m really looking forward to what comes next. Saints 1846 1893, No Unhallowed Hand, is the second volume of the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Along with many others, I have eagerly anticipated the release of this second volume of the history of the Church I was not disappointed It is published by the Church and is researched and written by historians in the Church History Department Once again, the Church has laid out for open inspection details of our history Unlike Volume 1 where most of the stories were familiar, I found many new stories in Volume 2 that were not as well known to me I will share just three Volume 1 ended with the dedication of the Nauvoo Temple Volume 2 ends at the dedication of the Salt Lake Temple The 50 year journey of the building of this wonderful edifice to the Lord and the sacrifice of the people is incredible to read about The day before the first dedicatory session, Church leaders gave a tour of the temple to local and national reporters as well as dignitaries who were not members of the Church page 661 Even the Church s staunchest critics were amazed page 662 I didn t know that over 80,000 people were able to attend the many sessions of the dedication page 674 President Wilford Woodruff saw himself in vision dedicating a magnificent temple in the mountains of the West as a young man, and his vision was realized page 664 This is a sweet conclusion to the book.One of the controversial subjects in our history is the tragedy of the Mountain Meadows Massacre as it came to be called This subject has intrigued me for years I visited the site in Southern Utah and read a book to help me understand what exactly happened there Volume 2 devotes than one chapter to this issue I read, then re read the information I looked at nearly 100 of the notes which provide the details and sources that historians used to write the information I opened the electronic links and was thrilled that I could sit in the comfort of my home with my laptop and read first hand accounts of what happened There are letters written to and from Brigham Young There are transcriptions of court proceedings There are newspaper articles from that time, not all complementary to the Church I found one source of a new book that goes into considerable detail which I have purchased and am looking forward to reading as I search deeper I appreciate the Church being open and honest about the less than honorable actions of Church leaders who, in my view, reacted emotionally The situation is very complicated with the Utah War going on at the same time and the seemingly threatening actions of the Arkansas immigrants as they passed through Southern Utah I thank the Saints writers for helping me learn.The subject of polygamy is another controversial one Again, the volume shares details that I didn t know such as Wilford Woodruff s journey to come the point of his revelation called the Manifesto ending the practice of polygamy The Manifesto was accepted by the Church in October of 1890 However, as early as 1889, President Woodruff began talking about the end of polygamy, even to the surprise and struggle of members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles Apparently, President Woodruff and one of the Apostles, George Q Cannon, met with a stake president in Salt Lake City who asked if he should issue temple recommends to members of the Church who wanted to practice polygamy Woodruff reminded the men in the meeting that the Church had been commanded to build a temple in Jackson County, Missouri, but had to abandon their plan because the opposition became too great He said the consequences of practicing polygamy were similar and stated, I feel that it is not proper for any marriages of this kind to be performed in this territory at the present time Apostle Cannon later recorded in his journal that this is the first time that anything of this kind has ever been uttered, to my knowledge, by one holding the keys He was dumfounded pages 580 581 Later when the Manifesto was read during General Conference and a vote taken to accept it, B.H Roberts of the Quorum of the Seventy said that listening to it was one of the most difficult moments of his life and he could not raise his hand to support the statement pages 610 611 These were all new details to me.I appreciate that the Notes on the Sources says page 676 , how the information in Volume 2 is based on what we know now and understand at the present time from existing historical records They go on to say, It is probable that the discovery of sources will in time yield other meanings, interpretations, and other possible points of view I find it incredible that the historians checked each sentence repeatedly for consistency page 676 I can t imagine how long it took to write this book with 675 pages of dialogue and facts, not to mention 135 pages of sources cited The Acknowledgements section notes hundreds of scholars who worked on the project Other resources continue to add depth to my understanding such as the weekly podcasts on the Latter Day Saints Channel I thank Church leaders, historians, and everyone associated with this project As Church members in this age of technology when some tell stories of our past in a twisted way, the blessing of knowing our history as set forth in the Saints project is essential and appreciated. Every Latter Day Saint should read these books They are fascinating but also very informative They answered many questions I had about church history. I was grateful to receive an advance copy of this second volume of the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, a volume that focuses on the history of Latter day Saints from the time they arrived in Salt Lake Valley to the completion of their ambitious construction of the Salt Lake Temple in 1893 The book is hefty, 835 pages, and nearly 140 of those pages are historical notes and bibliography The detail of this history is comprehensive and exhaustive it includes, of course, the central figures of this era, Brigham Young and other men who led the Church, but it also tells the story of the many women who played leadership roles and who helped settle Salt Lake valley and establish the foundations of the Church and its society This volume also accounts for others who may have been overlooked in previous historical accounts African Americans, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders and others who were affected by the spread of the Church in the west and abroad, particularly in the South Pacific.This book s comprehensiveness is not limited to who is included, but also what Dark moments of Mormon history are covered, most notably the infamous Mountain Meadows Massacre, but also the Bear River Massacre, the Church s treatment of African American members, the widespread practice of polygamy, and the fallibility of Church leaders and Church members at various times in the Church s early history.If the mission of this book was to be comprehensive, it easily accomplished its goal.