The Last Shall Be First And The First Shall Be Last

List Price: $15.00

Add to Cart

The Last Shall Be First And The First Shall Be Last

Discourse and Mormon History (A Dissertation)

Authored by Daymon Mickel Smith

The writing of history has been treated as a cultural practice. Yet what relation does historiographic practice have to historical process? I argue that an effect of transition into modernity is the use of distinct norms regarding discourse. In such ways history might be spoken, but not necessarily accurately retold. I argue that a dialectic approach to the history of modernity, which treats distinct historiographic practices as outcomes, alone can canvass the semiotic and discursive changes wrought by modernization. To support this claim I present four treatments of intertwined temporal swatches drawn from Mormon history. I first document how a Mormon Underground developed during the U.S. government's anti-polygamy raids of the 1880s. A space of resistance to federal intervention in Mormon plural marriage, theocracy, and communal economics, the Underground was built using discourse as a tool to misdirect investigation. Mormon resistance withered by 1910, however, and polygamy was officially abandoned. Second, I reconstruct the effects of the Mormon Church's justification for publicly renouncing polygamy. The argument for jettisoning plural marriage entailed broad theological changes in Mormonism stemming from this uptake of mind-body dualism. Third, I recount responses to these changes among self-described Fundamentalists who claimed to preserve history by embodying it. Finally, I analyze bureaucratic shifts in the modern LDS Church which presuppose mind-body dualism and write such into historiographic curriculum.

Publication Date:
1451559941 / 9781451559941
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
8" x 10"
Black and White
Related Categories:
History / Historiography

Site Help Order Help Policies Contact