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The Viper on the HearthMormons, Myths, and the Construction of Heresy$
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Terryl L. Givens

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199933808

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199933808.001.0001

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“This Upstart Sect”: The Mormon Problem in American History

“This Upstart Sect”: The Mormon Problem in American History

(p.24) Chapter 2“This Upstart Sect”: The Mormon Problem in American History
The Viper on the Hearth

Terryl L. Givens

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides an overview of the history of the nineteenth-century “Mormon problem” with its attendant violence and conflict from the perspective of one of its participants, Warren Foote. Foote was a meticulous diarist, and as a contemporary of Joseph Smith who would live to the age of eighty-four, he was eyewitness to most of the shaping events and personalities of Mormonism's first generations. He first grew interested in the church in 1830, and even though he would soon move into the Mormon community, he did not formally associate himself with the Saints until 1842. His perspective is therefore that of a seeker, sympathizer, and eventually faithful member, attempting to make sense of the Mormon experience to himself and an audience composed largely of friends and relatives.

Keywords:   mormon problem, mormonism, warren foote, religious persecution

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