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The Standard of Truth: 1815–1846

(Saints #1)

4.55  ·  Rating details ·  576 Ratings  ·  152 Reviews
In 1820, a young farm boy in search of truth has a vision of God the Father and Jesus Christ. Three years later, an angel guides him to an ancient record buried in a hill near his home. With God’s help, he translates the record and organizes the Savior’s church in the latter days. Soon others join him, accepting the invitation to become Saints through the Atonement of Jesu ...more
Kindle Edition, 1065 pages
Published September 4th 2018 by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
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Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have several friends who have left the Church after learning about aspects of the life of the Prophet Joseph Smith, or the history of the Church that disturbed them. This book feels like an attempt to address those issues, and to be up front about them so that people aren’t blindsided by them later, or given the impression that the Church is trying to hide something.

Being a narrative history it was a quick and easy read, and I can see why it was done this way to make the information more avail
Brad Hart
I just finished reading volume 1 of the church's new book "Saints." I know Mormon history has been a hot topic for many Latter-day Saints, so naturally this book has appeal. Let me first start off with...


-This book is, in my opinion, the very best general audience history that the church has ever published. It is far better than earlier works like "Our Heritage," "Marvelous Work and a Wonder," etc.

-The book is incredibly reader friendly and flows beautifully. I give high marks to whome
Cory Howell
Sep 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Reading as someone who is not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I found this book to be a very detailed account of the early years of the Latter-day Saints movement. As an official Church publication, I suppose one could make the argument that the book is biased in favor of the traditional narrative, but I don't think that really impacts negatively on the book's value as a historical work. There's a lot of fascinating history here, and it's told well, and extensively f ...more
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, lds-history, history
I am shamelessly proud of my Church and the great strides they have made in the publishing of Saints: The Standard of Truth. This is fantastic history and beautiful prose. I have always been an avid reader, my early encounters with Church history weren't positive: I remember reading excerpts from Our Heritage in Sunday School and finding it absolutely dry. Perhaps I have matured since then, and I do feel more invested in my Church and its history now. But I think part of that is finding Church h ...more
Devan Jensen
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review of Saints: The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days, Volume 1: The Standard of Truth, 1815–1846. Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2018. 699 pp., $5.75 print, $1.99 digital.

Short version: The book is very readable, with stories and accurate dialogue to share deep emotions felt during intense times of crisis. The book includes valuable female perspectives (both old and young). It is intimate, referring to Joseph and Emma Smith by first name.
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I will admit to being very excited about this book when I first heard about it from an editor around a year ago. The editor is a very well-known and respected Latter-day Saint fiction author. When she described the scope and effort going into this book (series), I thought, awesome.

Saints should be read by every member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, like Jesus the Christ. Given the dense previous records of church history and how it stops before the global expansion, this
Derek Pando
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Most engaging LDS church history book I've read, does not skirt the more controversial parts of the history, while being still faith building.
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Over the last decade, hundreds of new books have been written that shed new light on polygamy, the priesthood ban, the nature of translation and revelation, the participation of women, the development of the priesthood, and many other topics in the development of The Church of Jesus Christ. While not an in-depth analysis on any one of those topics (since that’s not the intent of the book), Saints does an incredible job of honestly presenting and summarizing information on the entire restoration ...more
Aug 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I usually give books with a cliffhanger one less star... so there you have it! Ha ha ... I understand there are to be 4 volumes. I happened to get an advanced copy of volume 1 in pdf form. I really enjoyed this narrative history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There was lots of material that I had never heard before and I hadn’t considered myself completely ignorant of Church history. The narrative was well done and had me feeling the poignant emotional road of the founder, p ...more
Katie Robinson
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Saints" was a great foundational history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I love how it was written in an easy to read/listen to narrative form. My favorite aspect was learning more about everyone involved, the "regular" individuals included. They weren't perfect, but they went about their daily lives trying to do right. They overcame significant challenges and accomplished many great things along the way.
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: joseph-smith
The most refreshing thing about the book "Saints" is that it does not hide the fact that the men and women of the early church were flawed individuals. Even though they had been called to some of the Lord's most important work, their human frailties and weaknesses came out over and over again. But this didn't stop them or the work. The repentant and humble were still allowed to be instruments in the hands of the Lord. And their struggle, is OUR struggle. Each of us is called to move the Lord's k ...more
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I found this to be a very interesting and informative read. I listened to the audio of the book available for free through the Gospel Library app. I am a lifelong active member of the church who has studied church history, so I was familiar with the overall history, and very familiar with many of the incidents covered. However, there was still information that was new to me, and added details to familiar stories.

I enjoy reading history that is written in a narrative style like this book, and I l
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Oct 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the tactics that critics have used recently to try to destroy faith is to describe a lesser known event in church history in a way that is intended to shock the reader. By sensationalizing and removing it from its context, and often even misrepresenting what actually happened, the victim is left feeling betrayed by the Church, thinking they have been lied to or that the Church has been hiding or whitewashing its history. Sadly, much of this history has been available (though perhaps not r ...more
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ve read other church history books and taken church history classes but I learned so many intriguing details of how Mormonism began. And it was a captivating read, which is really incredible considering all the primary sources they had to slog through, but it was a page turner. I’ll admit some information was cringe-worthy, but I’m left in greater awe for what these people went through and for their faith. They really were SAINTS.
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful complete history of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in narrative form. I couldn't put it down. It put so many church history events into perspective for me. My heart was touched and my faith strengthened as I felt the spirit of this book. I am so grateful for the early saints who sacrificed so much. I would highly recommend this book.
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed volume one of the church's new history narrative, Saints, that came out this week. I had already read the first 7 chapters in beta and was excited to read the rest. It was very readable and I think it will help inform members about church history. This book really puts things in a easy-to-read format. Since it's written in chronological order it really helps give perspective to the people and events of the restoration. While it does attempt to tackle some of the more troublesome parts ...more
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a wonderfully executed and readable history of a complex and vast process of restoring a religion, with all the spiritual, temporal, cultural, and personal differences that influenced the events. There were many times when I said, "I wish they would say more about X" or "Is that all they're going to cover of Y" but each time it was easy to see that they had to make choices on what to include and where to comment, otherwise they would have made a history far too big for anyone to want to rea ...more
Mike Day
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a well written account of the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints written for a general audience. I loved how the stories of so many women and children were also included in the narrative. This was a history that was easy to read. I appreciated the stories told about Amanda Barnes Smith during her harrowing experience at Haun's Mill in October 1838.

The account helped to show a balanced history, portraying some of those that caused the Saints pain as human beings,
John Shaw
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An official history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Saints tells the story of the Mormon Church and its beginnings in New York, Ohio, Missouri, and Nauvoo - ending with the Murder of Joseph Smith and the continuation of building the Temple in Nauvoo.

This is the first official history that was eventually approved in the last 100 years (excepting the Story of the Latter-day Saints Leonard/Allen which ended up being scrapped as 'official') and was intended as a response to the l
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars

I must admit I was underwhelmed at the beginning. The pacing was done well ("started with a bang" as someone somewhere said) but the language was simple. Definitely not the type of historical style that is or has been popular lately and, I must admit, I was unprepared for that. The writers aimed for simplicity and clarity. I still wish it had been the beautiful prose I love (hence the -.5 stars) BUT, and I'm not sure when this redirection happened, upon personal reassessment at 3 chapte
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This eBook and Audio book are both free on the LDS Tools app!! While I learned almost nothing new, there was information I had only learned in Susan Easton Black's Church History class at BYU; I am grateful that now every person has the opportunity to hear the same accounts and know the true history! The book basically combined everything I have learned about church history, as well as every account from Our Heritage: A brief history of the church, many accounts from conference reports, and othe ...more
Lisa Jestice
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I am a mother of four and grandmother of eight and I highly recommend the book “Saints”. I consider myself a simple reader and the narrative style of this book made it easy for me to read. I have grown up as a member of the Church and I have heard many of the stories but there are many that were new to me. All of the stories were told in such a compelling manner that it constantly pulled me back to want to read more.
I love the way the series was introduced as a world event that led to the restor
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The narrative arc, simple yet beautiful prose and the characterization of real people make this book an amazing glimpse into history that can be enjoyed by a diverse audience. I loved it!

The book mentions the more complex issues of Church history. My advice to critical readers is to manage expectations. You won't find in depth explorations of these topics in the text, it is intended to be accessible to a global readership. But you can find hundreds of pages of supplementary material in the metic
Oct 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: listened-to
Good church history. Includes many eyewitnesses not normally mentioned in church history, including a lot of wives. I appreciated that they didn’t gloss over some of the hard parts of the history but felt polygamy wasn’t given enough page time. It is suppose to be written in novel fashion but outside of Joseph there isn’t really a main character that helps you along with the story line. I often found my mind drifting off when listening as the storyline isn’t super engaging. That might be in part ...more
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. I have read several books on the history of the church and I feel like this may be the most enjoyable to read. It reads like fiction while still giving enough detail and context of the time period. I appreciated that so many different stories and voices were intertwined giving the history a more complete picture. I felt like the book was transparent and open about some not so favorable issues, allowing you to draw your own conclusions. My overall feeling was of gratitude for the legac ...more
Sep 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the most important history books written in recent years. This narrative history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is engaging, factual, and easy to read. It is a must-read book.

The only significant weakness is it reads as if it was written by committee, which it was. This washes out some uniqueness that comes from having a single author but also means one person doesn't drive the narrative. Ultimately it's a positive even though the product is ever so slightly bland.
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved being able to read about the early history of the church in a narrative fashion that drew upon real people versus fictional characters as in other narrative style books. It did take me a little while to get into that style of writing though especially concerning the subject. I though they did a good job of tackling some of the subjects that cause speculation and doubt among members and non-members. I am looking forward to the remaining three books in the series.
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion, non-fiction
Excellent book. Well written. Good overview of the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I marked it down because it was poorly formatted for the Kindle app on the IPad. It contained multiple formatting and layout problems that should have been caught in testing. It seems that the Kindle version was an afterthought rather than a priority. This was an unfortunate decision.
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Stirring, captivating, and comprehensive history of the origin of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I found Saints to be a very honest and bold read. It reads like a narrative which I found captivating and easy to enjoy, and yet I feel like my foundational understanding of the history of the church was vastly expanded.
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