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The Articles Of Faith
by James Edward Talmage
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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 namea 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 Talmages original work includes an explanatory introduction by Talmage scholar James Harris and a special appendix that reprints Talmages 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.
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 churchs 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 Talmages treatment of the Articles of Faith.
JAMES P. HARRIS is the editor of The Essential James E. Talmage, a compilation of Talmages 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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