Soaring with the Gods : Early Mormons and the Eclipse of Religious Pluralism
Mormons and Mormonism : An Introduction to an American World Religion
University of Illinois Press
The Mormon commitment to restoring first times was no less intesne than that of the "Christians," though it took a radically different form. Indeed, Mormons rejected two central "Christian" premises, namely, that Baconian rationalism was the only proper lens through which the Bible should be viewed and that the New Testament was the only legitimate guide to the restoration task. Mormons looked instead to a constellation of sacred times, claiming that in Joseph Smith, their prophet, God had communed with earth again just as in the days of Adam, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. Further, if the "Christians" took lamost forty years to transform the lure of first times into a radically antipluralistic posture, that posture was inheretn in the restoration vision of early Mormons from the very start. This essay, in part, seeks to explain how and why this was so.