Narrative History of Early Saints

Overview Map
The Standard of Truth

The first volume of a new set of books about key events in the early history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be available to the public beginning Tuesday, September 4, 2018. The four-volume narrative history, titled “Saints: The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days,” features authentic stories about the pioneers who established the Church around the globe.

When all four volumes are complete, they will cover a period of early Church history from before the First Vision  to the present day.

The first volume of “Saints,” subtitled “The Standard of Truth,” tells the story of the Restoration, beginning in 1815 with Joseph Smith’s childhood, and concludes with Latter-day Saints worshipping in the Nauvoo Temple in 1846 before their exodus west.

“As you read, you will discover new insight and meaning even in stories you have heard before,” said Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles during a spring devotional at Brigham Young University–Idaho in Rexburg, Idaho, June 12, 2018. “‘Saints’ will help us keep covenants by enlarging our memories. It will help us to always remember what the Savior has done for us.” 

Church historians researched and wrote each volume under the direction of the First Presidency.  

The Church publication is available in the following 14 languages: Cebuano, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Samoan, Spanish, Tagalog and Tongan.

Readers can also find the content on the Church History website and in the Church History section of the Gospel Library app. In addition, seven chapters of the first volume are published in the Church’s “Ensign” and “Liahona” magazines.

The project represents the third time that the Church has published a multivolume history. Joseph Smith began writing the first Church history in the 1830s, which was published beginning in 1842. The second history was published in 1930 by Church historian B. H. Roberts, before Church membership had reached 1 million.

Today, the Church has more than 16 million members worldwide. They live in nearly every country and speak many languages.  

The 586-page volume is divided into 46 easy-to-read chapters. “Saints,” an official history of the Church, includes the latest historical research and sources that may not have been available when the older books were published. 

Volume two of “Saints,” subtitled “No Unhallowed Hand,” covers the Saints’ challenges in gathering to the western United States, ending with the dedication of the Salt Lake Temple in 1893. Volume three, “Boldly, Nobly, and Independent,” focuses on the global growth of the Church and concludes with the dedication of the temple in Bern, Switzerland, in 1955. The fourth volume, “Sounded in Every Ear,” brings readers to the recent past with temples located all over the world.

The four-volume collection is designed to appeal to youth and adult readers. The content is supported by historical sources. Readers will find notes in the back of the book to refer to Church records and additional resources, including supplementary essays and videos.

“We encourage you to read it, trusting that it will assist you in understanding God’s plan, seeing how merciful the Lord has been, enduring faithfully in good times and bad, gaining Christlike empathy for others, and keeping the covenants leading you to exaltation,” said Elder Cook.

Elder Cook will host a Face to Face event for young adults on “Saints” September 9. The event will be broadcast live from Nauvoo.

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