The Refiner's Fire
The Making of Mormon Cosmology, 1644–1844
By John L. Brooke
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year: 1994
Online Publication Date:October 2009
Chapter DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511583568.002
Subjects: American history: general interest
[I]t shall be done unto them all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass the angels and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever.
Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject to them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject to them.Revelation of Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet, recorded July 12, 1843, at Nauvoo, Illinois
The story of the mormons, the Latter-day Saints, begins with Joseph Smith Jr. In the spring of 1829 this young man of twenty-four years announced a new dispensation to the peoples of the Burned-over District of the state of New York, a countryside recently settled by New England migrants and now swept by the fires of evangelical religion. Announcing that his revelations restored the primitive apostolic church and opened the Kingdom of God on earth, Smith claimed to have brought forth not simply a new church but a new dispensation, fully equivalent to the dispensations of Moses and Christ. Mormonism, in his vision, would some day sweep away all other faiths as the universal true religion.