By Gary Shepherd,Gordon Shepherd

In Binding Earth and Heaven, Gary Shepherd and Gordon Shepherd use early nineteenth-century Mormonism as a case research to envision questions on how new spiritual pursuits could, as infrequent exceptions, live to tell the tale or even ultimately turn into profitable regardless of extreme competition. preliminary scorn and contempt for Mormonism—the fledgling construction of the younger Joseph Smith—quickly increased to mob violence as either Smith’s cutting edge teachings and switched over fans proliferated, leading to the generally held conception that the Mormons constituted a social threat. This publication examines how Mormonism attracted and maintained the loyalty of accelerating numbers of individuals regardless of mounting hostilities and critical hardships.

The ebook makes a speciality of the original Mormon ritual (and accompanying doctrinal underpinnings) of “patriarchal blessings.” Patriarchal advantages have been an leading edge variation of the previous testomony perform of fathers making quasi-legal pronouncements over the heads in their sons—a means of verbally conferring rights, offers, admonition, and tips to heirs. Binding Earth and Heaven shows how the organizational complexities of this custom contributed to strengthening and maintaining member religion and fealty, thereby bolstering the continuity and improvement of Mormonism.

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