Opening the Heavens: Accounts of Divine Manifestations, 1820-1844 (Bookshelf eBook)(edit)
by John W. Welch (Editor), BYU Studies
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"Opening the Heavens allows readers to decide for themselves about certain key events of the Restoration ... All the crucial documents are laid open for inspection with enough commentary to put them in context. For serious students of Latter-day Saint history, nothing could be more helpful—and inspiring."
—Richard Lyman Bushman
"The categorizing of a large number of primary sources makes it easy to analyze the particular events that are so crucial to an informed study of Mormon origins...For those who seek inspiration and for the historian, it is a valuable resource."
—Daniel P. Dwyer, Journal of Mormon History
"Included are chapters on the first vision, the book of Mormon, the restoration of the priesthood, visionary experiences, the restoration of temple keys and powers, and succession in the presidency. These are not matters of minor historical detail; they go rather to the very heart of the truth claims made by the church and therefore to its reason for being...Everyone with an interest in the origins of Mormonism, whether as a matter of faith or simply as an academic interest, should read this book."
—Kevin L. Barney, FARMS Review
Think what New Testament scholars would give to have access to a single letter that Mary wrote about the raising of Lazarus. We have many such documents that relate to the Restoration of the gospel in our dispensation. Opening the Heavens records hundreds of accounts of divine manifestations relating to the Restoration — events that strengthen our faith and expand our knowledge of Church History. Did you know for instance, that there are ten recorded accounts of the first vision from the lifetime of Joseph Smith? That there are seventy-one documents that deal directly with priesthood restoration? This volumes brings together, for the first time, all of the known documents from Joseph Smith's lifetime relating directly to key events of the Restoration that were accompanied by divine manifestations. These first hand accounts uniquely convey the spirit of these important occasions and provide precious details that help modern readers construct a vivid image of what transpired.
- The First Vision
The Earliest Documented Accounts of Joseph Smith's First Vision
—Dean C. Jessee
The Appearance of the Father and the Son to Joseph Smith in 1820
—James B. Allen and John W. Welch
- The Coming Forth of the Book of Mormon
The Miraculous Translation of the Book of Mormon
—John W. Welch
- The Restoration of the Priesthood
Seventy Contemporaneous Priesthood Restoration Documents
&mdashBrian Q. Cannon and BYU Studies Staff
- Visions upon Visions
Parting the Veil: Joseph Smith's Seventy-six Documented Visionary Experiences
&mdashAlexander L. Baugh
- The Restoration of Temple Keys and Powers
"A Pentecost and Endowment Indeed": Six Eyewitness Accounts of the Kirtland Temple Experience
—Steven C. Harper
- The Succession in the Presidency
The Mantle of the Prophet Joseph Passes to Brother Brigham: One Hundred Twenty-one Testimonies of a Collective Spiritual Witness
—Lynne Watkins Jorgensen
- Other Documented Key Events
Further Early Church Historical Documents Originally Published in BYU Studies Historical Name Index
- Published: April 2005
- Pages: 512
About the Authors
John W. Welch is the Robert K. Thomas Professor of Law at the J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University, where he teaches various courses, including Perspectives on Jewish, Greek, and Roman Law in the New Testament. Since 1991 he has also served as the editor in chief of BYU Studies. He studied history and classical languages at Brigham Young University, Greek philosophy at Oxford, and law at Duke University. As a founder of the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, one of the editors for Macmillan’s Encyclopedia of Mormonism, and codirector of the Masada and Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition at BYU, he has published widely on biblical, early Christian, and Latter-day Saint topics.
an impressive work
by Marcus - reviewed on June 20, 2006
This is not a book you read--it's a book you study. I strongly suggest keeping 2 bookmarks-1 in the text, and 1 in the footnotes so that you can look them up as you read them. The footnotes alone are a treasure trove of information in addition to the text. , Each topic is addressed by first a prose-style study with references, then followed by the raw documents and their references. I thought this format was very effective. , The Coming Forth of the Book of Mormon and the Kirtland Temple Experiences sections were very powerful. There were many details I had not heard anywhere else. The Brigham Young transfiguration accounts are truly impressive. , The only slight disappointment was the 'Joseph Smith Visions' section. Each experience was a short 1 or 2 sentence summary, and you have to go to other sources to get the full account. I suppose it would have added another 100 pages to the book, so I can understand that, but I was hoping for full text of some of the experiences instead of summaries. , Overall, I highly recommend this book. It is a treasure trove of information. A lot of work went into this volume. The raw evidence in support of all of the events of the Restoration is overwhelming, and difficult for the skeptic to explain if the raw documents are addressed directly. Of course, even Christ could not convince everyone, so there are some who would explain away even the most overwhelming raw evidence. It has always been so.