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Our Heritage: A Brief History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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The central message of this book is the message declared by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since its beginning. Joseph Smith, the first prophet of this dispensation, taught: “The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended The central message of this book is the message declared by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since its beginning. Joseph Smith, the first prophet of this dispensation, taught: “The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it.” Every prophet who has succeeded Joseph Smith has added his personal witness of the divine mission of the Savior. The First Presidency affirmed: “As those who are called and ordained to bear witness of Jesus Christ to all the world, we testify that He was resurrected on that Easter morning nearly two thousand years ago, and that He lives today. He has a glorified, immortal body of flesh and bones. He is the Savior, the Light and Life of the world.” Millions of faithful Saints have also had testimonies of the divinity of Jesus Christ. This knowledge has motivated them to make the sacrifices necessary to build The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the kingdom of God on the earth. The story of the establishment of the Church is one of faith, consecration, and joy. It is the story of living prophets who taught the truths of God to the modern world. It is the story of men and women from all walks of life who sought for the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ and, upon finding it, were willing to pay the price of becoming the Savior’s disciples. These stalwart Saints pressed on through sufferings and hardships, witnessing even in their darkest hours of the goodness of God and the joy of his love. They have left a legacy of faith, courage, obedience, and sacrifice. The heritage of faith continues today. Latter-day Saints throughout the world are modern pioneers in their own homelands, where they live with faith and courage in a time fraught with new challenges and opportunities. There are pages of history yet to be written. We each have an opportunity to leave a heritage for generations to follow that will help them understand the joy of living and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. As we learn more about the faith of those who have gone before us, we can better understand those with whom we have joined hands in bearing witness of the Savior and helping to establish his kingdom. We can determine to live more righteously as faithful disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.


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The central message of this book is the message declared by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since its beginning. Joseph Smith, the first prophet of this dispensation, taught: “The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended The central message of this book is the message declared by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since its beginning. Joseph Smith, the first prophet of this dispensation, taught: “The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it.” Every prophet who has succeeded Joseph Smith has added his personal witness of the divine mission of the Savior. The First Presidency affirmed: “As those who are called and ordained to bear witness of Jesus Christ to all the world, we testify that He was resurrected on that Easter morning nearly two thousand years ago, and that He lives today. He has a glorified, immortal body of flesh and bones. He is the Savior, the Light and Life of the world.” Millions of faithful Saints have also had testimonies of the divinity of Jesus Christ. This knowledge has motivated them to make the sacrifices necessary to build The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the kingdom of God on the earth. The story of the establishment of the Church is one of faith, consecration, and joy. It is the story of living prophets who taught the truths of God to the modern world. It is the story of men and women from all walks of life who sought for the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ and, upon finding it, were willing to pay the price of becoming the Savior’s disciples. These stalwart Saints pressed on through sufferings and hardships, witnessing even in their darkest hours of the goodness of God and the joy of his love. They have left a legacy of faith, courage, obedience, and sacrifice. The heritage of faith continues today. Latter-day Saints throughout the world are modern pioneers in their own homelands, where they live with faith and courage in a time fraught with new challenges and opportunities. There are pages of history yet to be written. We each have an opportunity to leave a heritage for generations to follow that will help them understand the joy of living and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. As we learn more about the faith of those who have gone before us, we can better understand those with whom we have joined hands in bearing witness of the Savior and helping to establish his kingdom. We can determine to live more righteously as faithful disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.

30 review for Our Heritage: A Brief History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tiana

    I was quite amazed at how gripping this book was to me. Its a very simple history of how the LDS church began, and follows the travels and movements of the early latter day saints. Unlike many religious books, this one does not focus on spiritual upliftment, but really is just a simple historical book of facts. With this said however, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the book filled me with a surprising sense of love for those around me and a broader understanding of the pure Christan gos I was quite amazed at how gripping this book was to me. Its a very simple history of how the LDS church began, and follows the travels and movements of the early latter day saints. Unlike many religious books, this one does not focus on spiritual upliftment, but really is just a simple historical book of facts. With this said however, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the book filled me with a surprising sense of love for those around me and a broader understanding of the pure Christan gospel. I absolutely recommend this book to all.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    Good overview. Wanted to read it before conference.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Elijah Christopher

    I have long appreciated what the early Saints sacrificed for me, but studying the early Saints again through Our Heritage: A Brief History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has caused me to come to an even deeper realization of how little I do for the Church compared to how much the Church does for me. The Church is able to serve us, and we are able to serve God because of these Saints, who with faith without measure, served the Church in ways that deep down I would have to ques I have long appreciated what the early Saints sacrificed for me, but studying the early Saints again through Our Heritage: A Brief History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has caused me to come to an even deeper realization of how little I do for the Church compared to how much the Church does for me. The Church is able to serve us, and we are able to serve God because of these Saints, who with faith without measure, served the Church in ways that deep down I would have to question myself upon my ability to do such things. For these Saints left recently settled and married wives and born children to serve the Lord in lands far away, for many years. I have had the question many times come to me in reading this: could I have done it? Deep down I don't honestly know right now if I could leave my wife for so long in such uncertain circumstances. This just goes to show that the ancestors of our Church were true spiritual giants, and we are so very blessed to be able to study their example. I'm rating this book five stars because this example inspires me to truly look within myself and my life to see where I need to change, and act with more faith. For I give so little, compared to what my Father in Heaven has given me, and that is true for all people.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    Easy read, I tried to wait and read it with the class, but wanted to get it over with. It was a very informative read, but I I think that it still is vary basic. A lot of the info I'm skeptical about after my Utah history class that tore those Mormon myths to pieces. Especially the frozen river, the crickets, and the plentifulness of the SLC valley. I think it's good for people with a limited knowledge of the history of the church. I liked the random facts and stories about the presidents and th Easy read, I tried to wait and read it with the class, but wanted to get it over with. It was a very informative read, but I I think that it still is vary basic. A lot of the info I'm skeptical about after my Utah history class that tore those Mormon myths to pieces. Especially the frozen river, the crickets, and the plentifulness of the SLC valley. I think it's good for people with a limited knowledge of the history of the church. I liked the random facts and stories about the presidents and the growth of the church. I liked it, I did not really like it nor did I think it was amazing.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Craig

    This book provides an excellent account of the establishment, growth and progress of the LDS Church since its inception in the last dispensation up through the administration of President Gordon B. Hinckley.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Greco

    This book was a quick and easy read about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I would recommend that every member of the LDS faith read this book and anyone who is just curious about the LDS faith and our beliefs read this book. Very easy to understand. Quick read. Well worth the time.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Patsy

    I think this is the first year I have read this book through, and I'm so glad I did. For such a small book, it really is a very good history of the Church, with a good mixture of overview and detaill

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Inman

    Insightful stories. Often, the vantage tries to stay unbiased, but not always. When some controversial topics came up, details were avoided though question naturally would rise. But mostly, overall, it was very informative and inspiring.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Addy

    This was just fun to read and get a brief history of the church in chronological order.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Gail

    This has been a great companion book for this year's study of the Doctrine and Covenants in Gospel Doctrine Sunday School class.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Wanyou Israel

    Great book about the church history

  12. 5 out of 5

    James Van Leeuwen

    A decent overview of the present history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  13. 5 out of 5

    Trevor Wolfe

    Absolutely nauseating.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Susan Jane

    What a great straightforward, basic, and quick read for learning the basic history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    Emphasizes the sense of sacrifice and devotion on the part of earlier Saints andd their leaders.

  16. 4 out of 5

    David Barney

    Wonderful, concise book of the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The book had a couple stories that I had known about in Church History. Fun stuff to read.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Fábio Lucas

    Amazingly inspiring.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Danny

    Concise. To the point. A good resource for anyone who wants to understand the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of latter day Saints.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Erik

    I read this through book years ago, but was inspired to read it again after teaching a Sunday School class the preparation for which had me read parts of chapters three about the Missouri years. The book is short, informative, and includes a selection of interesting stories from the times portrayed. I am interested in getting more detail, but this book fills its intent as a short summary history of the church very well.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Rector

    As the subtitle says, Our Heritage is a A brief history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The little book can't expound upon everything that happened while the church was established, but the accounts and stories are enough to show that building up the church of Zion was a great undertaking and that the church was established by men of God and founded upon principles of righteousness. I enjoyed reading about the sacrifices of early saints. This is our heritage, and it is a grea As the subtitle says, Our Heritage is a A brief history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The little book can't expound upon everything that happened while the church was established, but the accounts and stories are enough to show that building up the church of Zion was a great undertaking and that the church was established by men of God and founded upon principles of righteousness. I enjoyed reading about the sacrifices of early saints. This is our heritage, and it is a great one.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Harry Burnside

    A very inspirational book showing how the Church grew from an initial membership to what is now over 15,000,000. The highs and lows of that history and the dedication of members of the Church to make the work go forward and onward to greater achievements in the future.

  22. 4 out of 5

    David S. T.

    I read this curious about the history of the Mormon church. This book has a primary purpose and that's to make the Mormon church look as good as possible, it never really felt trustworthy for any facts, I'd have to look up other accounts on everything presented. Plus they skipped most controversial subjects such as the Mountain Meadows massacre (in Utah apparently all the Mormons did was help each other and outside groups such as the Indians). They did mention Polygamy which Joseph Smith was div I read this curious about the history of the Mormon church. This book has a primary purpose and that's to make the Mormon church look as good as possible, it never really felt trustworthy for any facts, I'd have to look up other accounts on everything presented. Plus they skipped most controversial subjects such as the Mountain Meadows massacre (in Utah apparently all the Mormons did was help each other and outside groups such as the Indians). They did mention Polygamy which Joseph Smith was divinely told to do and then a later president was divinely told that god made a mistake, didn't realize this would create problems with the government and it couldn't be continued. Same thing goes for the addition of non white priests. Anyways, for non Mormons I don't see any use of this book (only useful for Mormons who never want to question anything). One thing I am curious of is if Joseph Smith was divinely commissioned to make corrections to the King James bible, why wouldn't the official bible of the Mormon church be this divine one and not the standard?? "In June 1830 Joseph Smith began his divinely commissioned work of making inspired corrections to the King James (English) Version of the Bible. This work is known as the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible. Between June of 1830 and July of 1833, the Prophet made numerous changes to this text of the Bible, including correcting biblical language, clarifying doctrines, and restoring historical and doctrinal material." -- p 24 "Another major development during President Kimball’s administration occurred in 1979 when the Church published a new English-language edition of the King James Bible. The text was unchanged, but footnotes were added that cross-referenced the Bible with the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price. A large Topical Guide and Bible Dictionary provided insights unique to modern-day scriptures. This edition had new headings for all chapters and also included excerpts from Joseph Smith’s inspired revisions of the King James Bible." -- p 129

  23. 4 out of 5

    Anita

    I read this book to fulfil a goal "read a book about church history" it is also part of the sunday school ciriculum this year. I neither enjoyed or hated it. it is just one of those books you read because you need too. it is informative, and fairly easy to read. it is what it says it is. a brief history of the church of jesus christ of latter day saints. it is part of the approved missionary library for our church. it can be found for free through the gospel library app or online at lds.org

  24. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    A wonderful concise overview of the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, beginning with Joseph Smith's experience in 1820 that led to the Restoration of the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Of course there is much more to every story and many more stories to tell, but this book really helped me gain a deeper appreciation for those faithful prophets and saints who came before. Their examples of faith in the midst of adversity and persecution strenghten my faith and t A wonderful concise overview of the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, beginning with Joseph Smith's experience in 1820 that led to the Restoration of the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Of course there is much more to every story and many more stories to tell, but this book really helped me gain a deeper appreciation for those faithful prophets and saints who came before. Their examples of faith in the midst of adversity and persecution strenghten my faith and testimony in the Savior and His gospel and His Church and my desire to help move His work forward. As Joseph Smith prophesied in 1842: "The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done" (page 146).

  25. 4 out of 5

    J

    First of all the book is a bit outdated so the most recent president President Monson and his legacy aren't included although his name has appeared. The book was an interesting read and in the parts where they were moving from one chosen location to another read like other settler accounts. The history sounded right while I would love to look into it more. It also includes a history of the oldest Presidents starting after Joseph Smith. The information included their terms, the main goal while in First of all the book is a bit outdated so the most recent president President Monson and his legacy aren't included although his name has appeared. The book was an interesting read and in the parts where they were moving from one chosen location to another read like other settler accounts. The history sounded right while I would love to look into it more. It also includes a history of the oldest Presidents starting after Joseph Smith. The information included their terms, the main goal while in office and the services they had done previously along with some trivia. The Presidents are broken up into groups for easier reading and looking up. What I found to be a bit lacking was information on certain past doctrines. They were mentioned but so briefly or not at all that it just sharpened my curiosity. Otherwise the book does contain in its historical context the elements that form the members that to a non-LDS member you will get a great introduction to these hardy yet generously hardworking people.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sheree

    I really enjoyed this book. As I was waiting outside this morning for the bus in 40 degree weather and freezing my toes because I had sandals on, I thought about the pioneers and all they suffered and endured. My 10 minutes was nothing compared to them walking barefoot on freezing ground. It really increased my appreciation for what they did so we could have the gospel today. Like Elder Holland said on Sunday, you know the gospel is true because no one would do something like that otherwise. We I really enjoyed this book. As I was waiting outside this morning for the bus in 40 degree weather and freezing my toes because I had sandals on, I thought about the pioneers and all they suffered and endured. My 10 minutes was nothing compared to them walking barefoot on freezing ground. It really increased my appreciation for what they did so we could have the gospel today. Like Elder Holland said on Sunday, you know the gospel is true because no one would do something like that otherwise. We are so blessed to live in these times.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rebekah M.

    I read this book for a stake challenge in preparation for Pioneer Day. From Joseph Smith through all the Presidents of the Church ending with Gordon B. Hinckley, I loved the little tid bits and odd facts from each of their lives. The early saints sure endured a lot and the growth of the Church is very drastic. It was neat how this book is set up like a time line so I could see the Church's progress and growth with membership numbers, # of temples, # of missionaries serving, etc. It is very brief I read this book for a stake challenge in preparation for Pioneer Day. From Joseph Smith through all the Presidents of the Church ending with Gordon B. Hinckley, I loved the little tid bits and odd facts from each of their lives. The early saints sure endured a lot and the growth of the Church is very drastic. It was neat how this book is set up like a time line so I could see the Church's progress and growth with membership numbers, # of temples, # of missionaries serving, etc. It is very brief and a very quick read.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    I really liked this book. It is a good overview of our church history. it does not cover any given time period or contraversial aspect. I can not imagine giving up everything, like to pioneers did. There stead fast testimonies, wrok ethica is inspiring. I found it was interesting about the different leadership styles, personalites and what each president had accomplished. It still amazes me how big we have grown and all that has been accomplished.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Zinger

    This is a really quick and basic history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The book moves along quickly and has a brief summary of what each of the Presidents of the Church focused on during their time of service. If one is really interested in this topic there are many other books that have much more details and information, but that kind of detail is not the purpose of the book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    This is pretty basic book about the history of the church, like the title says. If you want more detail, you will have to read other things. This is a great overview for people who do not know much about the LDS church, but also for members who want a basic knowledge of our history. I would recommend reading the book for that reason.

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