Binding Earth and Heaven

Binding Earth and Heaven

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In Binding Earth and Heaven, Gary Shepherd and Gordon Shepherd use early nineteenth-century Mormonism as a case study to examine questions about how new religious movements may, as rare exceptions, survive and even eventually become successful in spite of intense opposition. Initial scorn and contempt for Mormonisma€”the fledgling creation of the young Joseph Smitha€”quickly elevated to mob violence as both Smitha€™s innovative teachings and converted followers proliferated, resulting in the widely held perception that the Mormons constituted a social menace. This book examines how Mormonism attracted and maintained the loyalty of increasing numbers of people despite mounting hostilities and severe hardships. The book focuses on the unique Mormon ritual (and accompanying doctrinal underpinnings) of a€œpatriarchal blessings.a€ Patriarchal blessings were an innovative adaptation of the Old Testament practice of fathers making quasi-legal pronouncements over the heads of their sonsa€”a way of verbally conferring rights, promises, admonition, and guidance to heirs. Binding Earth and Heaven shows how the organizational complexities of this practice contributed to strengthening and sustaining member faith and fealty, thereby bolstering the continuity and development of Mormonism.... general conference talks given by LDS general authorities are published in church periodicals for mass distribution to a ... sources in the churcha#39;s lesson manuals for various auxiliary teaching organizations, such as Sunday school classes, anbsp;...

Title:Binding Earth and Heaven
Author:Gary Shepherd, Gordon Shepherd
Publisher:Penn State Press - 2012-10-04


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