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By the Hand of MormonThe American Scripture that Launched a New World Religion$
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Terryl L. Givens

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195138184

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/019513818X.001.0001

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“A Marvelous Work and a Wonder”: The Book of Mormon as Sacred Sign

“A Marvelous Work and a Wonder”: The Book of Mormon as Sacred Sign

(p.62) Three “A Marvelous Work and a Wonder”: The Book of Mormon as Sacred Sign
By the Hand of Mormon

Terryl L. Givens (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

In the context of 19th‐century American millennialism, many early converts to Mormonism heralded the Book of Mormon as a sign of the end times. In an era of many prophets and visionaries, the Book of Mormon was offered as tangible proof that Joseph was an authentic prophet. Joseph Smith's emphatic literalism and appeal to physical and historical evidence made him both more threatening and more attractive than a Jacob Boehme or an Emanuel Swedenborg. The story of angels, seer stones, and gold plates, thus displaced a focus on the Book of Mormon's content, for both critics and believers.

Keywords:   angels, Book of Mormon, gold plates, Jacob Boehme, millennialism, prophets, Joseph Smith, seer stones, Emanuel Swedenborg, visionaries

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