Mormonism Unvailed

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Product Code: XB359
Title: Mormonism Unvailed (Vogel)
Author: Eber D. Howe
Publisher: Signature Books
List Price: $37.95
Our Price: $34.00
Date: 2015
Pages: 472
Additional Info: Critical comments by Dan Vogel


From inside jacket:

The earliest investigative reporter of Mormonism, Eber D. Howe, took advantage of his proximity to the church's headquarters in Kirtland, Ohio, ten miles from his newspaper office in Painesville, to investigate the new sect. But far from having to go out of his way, his interest was first piqued when missionaries converted his wife and sister-in-law, which is partly the reason for his antagonistic tone, as well as because the church was so secretive it did not even allow non-members to attend services.

Nevertheless, by the time he had concluded his research, Howe could say with confidence what church members believed. It may strike readers today as strange that the narratives differ so drastically from what later came to be understood as the history of Joseph Smith's encounters with the supernatural, but in fact, members at the time had not yet heard of the First Vision or of the visit of an angel to Joseph's bedroom, nor had they heard of the appearance of John the Baptist, the angelic conveyance of the Melchizedek Priesthood, or even that the Book of Mormon plates were made of actual gold.

The main value of Howe's book is the way it captures a snapshot in time. As of 1834 people understood Joseph Smith to have found the plates by looking in his seer stone when he and his friends were searching for buried treasure on hill near Palmyra. In excavating what they thought was the right spot, they left a scar that remained visible for decades. The magical enchantment that kept them from removing the plates lasted five years, and it was not until Joseph had matured and taken his new wife with him to the hill that he was able to break the spell.

Table of Contents

title page and other original front matter
introduction by Howe

  1. A Brief Sketch of the Characters of the Modern Prophet and His Family
  2. The Golden Bible and Its Contents
  3. The Same Subject Continued
  4. The Marvelous Always Has Something about It
  5. (a) If Any Man Is Curious to Know the Origin of the American Indian
  6. (b) We Have Thus Far Looked Over the Book of Mormon
  7. A New Era Has Now Commenced
  8. The Book of Helaman
  9. Before the Publication of the Book
  10. On the Return of Rigdon
  11. About This Time an Opinion Was Propagated
  12. On the Opening of the Year 1833
  13. The Difficulties Which Had Been for Some Time Accumulating
  14. After the Conflict Had Subsided
  15. But to Return to the Grand Army
  16. The Following Letters Were Written
  17. We Have Already Given the Reader a Pretty Fair View
  18. We Next Present to the Reader a Few Depositions
  19. It Is Asserted in the Mormon Bible
  20. We Proposed in the Commencement of This Work


NOTE: Two of the chapters in the original printing were numbered 5, rendered 5a and 5b in this edition for the sake of clarity. Since only a few chapters had titles in the original publication, the first words of each chapter have been excerpted in place of the missing titles. The original book lacked a table of contents.

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