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The Articles Of Faith

by James Edward Talmage

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Book Description
When the editor of the Chicago Democrat asked Joseph Smith about Mormonism in 1842, the church founder responded with a short history and a list of doctrinal statements identifying the basic tenets of the faith. This short list became known as the Articles of Faith. In 1899 James Talmage published his ground-breaking treatise that bore the same name—a book that has been a standard of Mormon thought for over a century. Topics include the nature of God, the atonement, sacraments and ordinances, Zion, the purpose of the Book of Mormon, and humankind in the nation, church, and cosmos.

This facsimile reproduction of Talmage’s original work includes an explanatory introduction by Talmage scholar James Harris and a special appendix that reprints Talmage’s 1930 revision of the Doctrine and Covenants called Latter-day Revelation. The latter was published by the LDS church in several languages and then abandoned.

From the Inside Flap
Twenty-nine-year-old geologist and college president James E. Talmage noted in his journal in 1891: "Today I had an interview with the First Presidency of the Church ... another appointment for an interview was set for Monday next." From these two meetings came a commission to write twenty-four lectures, twenty-two of which were delivered to college audiences, treating the basic tenets of LDS belief. The lectures were published by the church as The Articles of Faith, to date the only authorized, book-length explication of Mormon doctrine. The book proved to be the first of several seminal treatises by Talmage that would dominate the landscape of LDS thought to the present.

Talmage said that he was honored to write for the church and that he intended his work to be a gift. However, after the first print run of 10,500 quickly sold out, church president Lorenzo Snow insisted that he receive a reciprocal "gift" from the church of $1,500 for the copyright. The book sold well for half of a century. Besides articulating well-established points of doctrine, The Articles of Faith addressed controversies concerning eternal progress, the Holy Ghost, the kingdom of God, rebaptism, and unforgivable sins.

Accompanying this edition of The Articles of Faith--an exact, photomechanical reproduction of the first edition--is another, albeit lesser-known work compiled by Talmage entitled Latter-day Revelation, a 1930 abridged version of the church’s Doctrine and Covenants that was apparently intended to replace the lengthier compilation. Latter-day Revelation was translated into several languages and was, for some time, the only version of the Doctrine and Covenants available in those languages. Yet the book quietly disappeared soon after its release. In the preface to the present edition, Talmage scholar James P. Harris explains why and provides further context for Talmage’s treatment of the Articles of Faith.

About the Author
JAMES E. TALMAGE studied at Oxford University, Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, and Illinois Wesleyan University. He became president of the University of Utah and, in 1911, an LDS apostle. His many books include The Great Apostasy, The House of the Lord, and Jesus the Christ. The Articles of Faith is considered to be one of his masterworks.

JAMES P. HARRIS is the editor of The Essential James E. Talmage, a compilation of Talmage’s most important theological articles and sermons. Professionally he is an investigator with social services for the state of New York in Albany, where he is also the LDS high priest group leader.


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