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Hardcover SKU 5167550

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2019 MHA Best International Book Award Winner

From the day Lorenzo Snow stepped out of a carriage onto Italian soil in 1850 to the day that Thomas S. Monson turned a shovel of Italian soil to break ground for a temple in 2010, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has made evangelizing a high priority in Italy. Mormon missionary work unfolded against a backdrop of historical forces—political upheaval, world wars, social change, and internal Church dynamics—that presented both obstacles and opportunities for growth. Over the span of a century and a half, the Church managed to establish a small but significant presence in Italy.

This research offers a comprehensive account and thorough analysis of the people, events, and issues related to this important chapter in Italian and Church history.

This volume highlights the human drama associated with the encounters between foreign missionaries and local spiritual seekers and explores the implications of religious growth across obstacles of faith, geography, and culture.

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PublishedDeseret Book and RSC BYU 2017

About the Authors

Michael W. Homer

Michael W. Homer is a trial lawyer who practices in state and federal courts. He has published four books, thirteen chapters in books, and over seventy articles, for which he has won numerous awards. He was appointed by the Italian Foreign Minister as Honorary Vice Consul of Utah in 2008 and as Honorary Consul in 2011.

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James A. Toronto

James A. Toronto earned a PhD in Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University in 1992 and joined the faculty at Brigham Young University the same year. He has lived and worked for twelve years in the Middle East and five years in Italy. He served as assistant director of the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies at BYU and as director of BYU's Center for Cultural and Educational Affairs in Amman, Jordan. With his wife, Diane, he presided over the Italy Catania Mission (2007–10) and the Central Eurasian Mission (2015–17). Currently he is an associate professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies in the Department of Asian and Near Eastern Languages at BYU. In 2012 he was appointed coordinator of the Middle East Studies/Arabic program. His research and publications focus on Muslim immigration in Italy, Islamic law and education, and LDS missiology.

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Eric R Dursteler

Eric R Dursteler joined the History Department of Brigham Young University in 1998, where he is professor and chair. He earned his PhD from Brown University in 2000. He has received numerous research fellowships from prestigious institutions such as the Fulbright Commission, the Harvard Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, and the Folger Shakespeare and Huntington libraries.

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Average rating:

(based upon 2 reviews)

By , Submitted on 2019-06-26

I do have Italian heritage from the Waldensian line(Marie Ann Gardiol is one of my progenitors. Her name first occurs on page 153 of the text). I appreciate this but it's a little unnerving to me that "Mormon" and "Mormonism" occurs so much in the text. I realize that this was officially published before President Nelson's declaration. Still, I wish that it didn't say it so much. These are victories for Satan as it were. Otherwise, I think this book is spectacular.

Well Researched and Beautifully Illustrated History
By , Submitted on 2017-01-03

The book is very well researched and beautifully illustrated. The authors weave archival content and personal stories into a compelling narrative history of the Latter-day Saints in Italy. Starting in 1850 when Lorenzo Snow steps onto Italian soil, the history of Mormon missionary work opens with accounts of converts from Waldensian mountain valleys who emigrate to Utah, becoming early contributors to the church in the United States. After emigration and challenges with other churches, a long period of general isolation ends when missionaries reenter in the 1960s, reigniting earlier efforts. The authors discuss the golden age of expansion from the 1970s to mid-1980s, leading to President Thomas S. Monson's 2010 groundbreaking for a temple in Rome. Two chapters discuss why Italian converts join, why some stay, and why others leave. This history is definitely worth your time!

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