In Heaven as It Is on Earth: Joseph Smith and the Early Mormon Conquest of Death

Overview


A compelling new interpretation of early Mormonism, Samuel Brown's In Heaven as It Is On Earth views this religion through the lens of founder Joseph Smith's profound preoccupation with the specter of death.

Revisiting historical documents and scripture from this novel perspective, Brown offers new insight into the origin and meaning of some of Mormonism's earliest beliefs and practices. The world of early Mormonism was besieged by death--infant mortality, violence, and disease...

See more details below
Hardcover (New Edition)
$33.70
BN.com price
(Save 8%)$36.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (22) from $7.08   
  • New (13) from $11.52   
  • Used (9) from $7.08   
In Heaven as It Is on Earth: Joseph Smith and the Early Mormon Conquest of Death

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$13.49
BN.com price
(Save 43%)$23.99 List Price

Overview


A compelling new interpretation of early Mormonism, Samuel Brown's In Heaven as It Is On Earth views this religion through the lens of founder Joseph Smith's profound preoccupation with the specter of death.

Revisiting historical documents and scripture from this novel perspective, Brown offers new insight into the origin and meaning of some of Mormonism's earliest beliefs and practices. The world of early Mormonism was besieged by death--infant mortality, violence, and disease were rampant. A prolonged battle with typhoid fever, punctuated by painful surgeries including a threatened leg amputation, and the sudden loss of his beloved brother Alvin cast a long shadow over Smith's own life. Smith embraced and was deeply influenced by the culture of "holy dying"--with its emphasis on deathbed salvation, melodramatic bereavement, and belief in the Providential nature of untimely death--that sought to cope with the widespread mortality of the period. Seen in this light, Smith's treasure quest, search for Native origins, distinctive approach to scripture, and belief in a post-mortal community all acquire new meaning, as do early Mormonism's Masonic-sounding temple rites and novel family system. Taken together, the varied themes of early Mormonism can be interpreted as a campaign to extinguish death forever. By focusing on Mormon conceptions of death, Brown recasts the story of first-generation Mormonism, showing a religious movement and its founder at once vibrant and fragile, intrepid and unsettled, human and otherworldly.

A lively narrative history, In Heaven as It Is on Earth illuminates not only the foundational beliefs of early Mormonism but also the larger issues of family and death in American religious history.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Mormonism is much in the news these days, primarily due to two Mormons running for the presidency. In fact, from its earliest days, the religion of the Saints has attracted notice for its expansive doctrinal innovations and its unusual lifestyle. In this groundbreaking and important volume, Brown, assistant professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Utah, delves deeply into the many streams of thought that informed Smith’s formulation of the life hereafter. He shows how, when integrated into the larger Mormon scheme of temple-based worship, priesthood authority, and the ongoing ministration of angels, while somewhat foreign to modern thought, early Mormon beliefs display “a stunning ambition and coherence.” And this is, after all, the genius of Joseph Smith. Emerging at a time of intense religious competition, Smith and his closest associates developed a wonderfully complex belief system that mapped out the next life with clarity and consistency. Brown offers us a masterful look at this intriguing aspect of the Mormon worldview. This is must reading for students of the American religious tradition. (Jan.)
From the Publisher

"One of this work's many virtues is that it provides the best explanation of Mormon temple worship ever published. Moreover, as Brown makes his case that this religion's 'end goal is the conquest of death,' he clarifies much about Mormon belief that is mysterious to outsiders (p. 170)." --Journal of American History

"In this groundbreaking and important volume, Brown... delves deeply into the many streams of thought that informed Smith's formulation of the life hereafter... Emerging at a time of intense religious competition, Smith and his closest associates developed a wonderfully complex belief system that mapped out the next life with clarity and consistency. Brown offers us a masterful look at this intriguing aspect of the Mormon worldview. This is must reading for students of the American religious tradition." --Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"This is a book purportedly about the dead and the conquest of death in early Mormonism. "It is actually much more than that. It traces the development of a large number of Joseph Smith's most fundamental teachings from the beginning to his death. Brown weaves the most exotic elements of Mormonism-seerstones, new names, hieroglyphs, angels, the Adamic tongue, Masonic catechisms, seals, ritual adoptions-into an illuminating and compelling explication of Joseph Smith's beliefs about the temple, family, and human salvation." --Richard Bushman, Gouverneur Morris Professor Emeritus of History, Columbia University

"Scholars have looked long and hard at the Puritan way of death as well as the development of the funeral industry's way of death. Working in between those historical domains on early Mormon views and practices of holy dying, Samuel Brown has produced an imaginative, yet gravely serious book-one of obvious consequence for Mormon studies, but also one of broad resonance in American studies." --Leigh E. Schmidt, Edward Mallinckrodt University Professor, Washington University in St. Louis

"This is a brilliant work of intellectual and cultural history, in which Brown finds compelling continuities between Joseph Smith's early supernatural quests and his later ministry. All the while, Brown charts Smith's death-defying project as one that is both intensely personal and steeped in a rich and wondrous culture of death. Superbly executed." --Terryl L. Givens, co-author of Parley P. Pratt: The Apostle Paul of Mormonism

"Brown ably tackles Mormon beliefs about death in a highly readable series of connected essays.. He has covered the primary sources in depth and unearthed little-used materials to support his argument. Students of American religious history will be interested in this readable book as will a more general readership." --Library Journal

"[T]his book is one of the most significant Mormon titles to come out in a while . . . an interesting and well-researched version of Mormon history... Brown's work is a major accomplishment and an example of where Mormon historiography is headed." --Association of Mormon Letters

"...Brown offers fresh insights into a whole host of flashpoints within the study of early Mormonism:treasure hunting...Brown's book makes much about early Mormonism make sense."--Religion in American History

"[G]roundbreaking . . . Brown offers a riveting reinterpretation of Smith's religious vision, brings his readers into the cultural world Smith inhabited, and also reflects on the need for contemporary Americans to 'walk toward, and--earnestly, anxiously--through death with each other.' In Heaven merits a broad readership that stretches beyond the confines of both Mormonism and academia." --Books & Culture

From the Publisher
"In this groundbreaking and important volume, Brown... delves deeply into the many streams of thought that informed Smith's formulation of the life hereafter... Emerging at a time of intense religious competition, Smith and his closest associates developed a wonderfully complex belief system that mapped out the next life with clarity and consistency. Brown offers us a masterful look at this intriguing aspect of the Mormon worldview. This is must reading for students of the American religious tradition."—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"This is a book purportedly about the dead and the conquest of death in early Mormonism. It is actually much more than that. It traces the development of a large number of Joseph Smith's most fundamental teachings from the beginning to his death. Brown weaves the most exotic elements of Mormonism-seerstones, new names, hieroglyphs, angels, the Adamic tongue, Masonic catechisms, seals, ritual adoptions-into an illuminating and compelling explication of Joseph Smith's beliefs about the temple, family, and human salvation."
—-Richard Bushman, Gouverneur Morris Professor Emeritus of History, Columbia University

"Scholars have looked long and hard at the Puritan way of death as well as the development of the funeral industry's way of death. Working in between those historical domains on early Mormon views and practices of holy dying, Samuel Brown has produced an imaginative, yet gravely serious book-one of obvious consequence for Mormon studies, but also one of broad resonance in American studies."
—-Leigh E. Schmidt, Edward Mallinckrodt University Professor, Washington University in St. Louis

"This is a brilliant work of intellectual and cultural history, in which Brown finds compelling continuities between Joseph Smith's early supernatural quests and his later ministry. All the while, Brown charts Smith's death-defying project as one that is both intensely personal and steeped in a rich and wondrous culture of death. Superbly executed."
—-Terryl L. Givens, co-author of Parley P. Pratt: The Apostle Paul of Mormonism

"Brown ably tackles Mormon beliefs about death in a highly readable series of connected essays . . . He has covered the primary sources in depth and unearthed little-used materials to support his argument. Students of American religious history will be interested in this readable book as will a more general readership." —Library Journal

"[T]his book is one of the most significant Mormon titles to come out in a while . . . an interesting and well-researched version of Mormon history . . . Brown's work is a major accomplishment and an example of where Mormon historiography is headed."
—Association of Mormon Letters

"...Brown offers fresh insights into a whole host of flashpoints within the study of early Mormonism:treasure hunting...Brown's book makes much about early Mormonism make sense."—Religion in American History

"[G]roundbreaking . . . Brown offers a riveting reinterpretation of Smith's religious vision, brings his readers into the cultural world Smith inhabited, and also reflects on the need for contemporary Americans to 'walk toward, and—earnestly, anxiously—through death with each other.' In Heaven merits a broad readership that stretches beyond the confines of both Mormonism and academia." Books & Culture

"Samuel Morris Brown's groundbreaking study of Mormon prophet Joseph Smith's theological and ritual responses to the Protestant culture of 'holy death,' is far more than it appears at first glance. Brown, a critical care pulmonologist and autodidactic historian, offers a riveting reinterpretation of Smith's religious vision, brings his readers into the cultural world Smith inhabited, and also reflects on the need for contemporary Americans to 'walk toward, and—earnestly, anxiously—through death with each other.' In Heaven merits a broad readership that stretches beyond the confines of both Mormonism and academia."—Books & Culture

Library Journal
As a discipline, Mormon studies has advanced to the point where development of Mormon doctrine has become a significant topic of research, exemplified by Douglas J. Davies's The Mormon Culture of Salvation and Devery S. Anderson's mesmerizing The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846–2000. Brown (pulmonary & critical care medicine, Univ. of Utah Sch. of Medicine) ably tackles Mormon beliefs about death in a highly readable series of connected essays. Most important to Brown's work is the relationship between Joseph Smith's confrontation with death and illness in his own family and the larger culture of death in the early 19th-century United States, the context that was the basis of Smith's evolving thought on death and the interconnecting Mormon doctrines of the preexistence of souls, Mother in Heaven, angels, and the embodiment of God. VERDICT Readers should not be put off because Brown is not a professional historian. He has covered the primary sources in depth and unearthed little-used materials to support his argument. Students of American religious history will be interested in this readable book as will a more general readership.—David Azzolina, Univ. of Pennsylvania Lib., Philadelphia
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199793570
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 1/2/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 408
  • Sales rank: 1,435,259
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Samuel Brown is Assistant Professor of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Utah/Intermountain Medical Center and the translator of Aleksandr Men's Son of Man.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Part I: Death, Dying, and the Dead
Chapter 1. ''Melancholly Reflections'': Joseph Smith and Holy Dying
Chapter 2. The Corpse and its Rest
Chapter 3. Relics, Graves, and the Treasure Quest
Chapter 4. Hallowed Ground: Tombs, Indians, and Eden
Chapter 5. Seerhood, Pure Language, and the Silence of the Grave

Part II: Everlasting Communities
Chapter 6. The New and Everlasting Covenant
Chapter 7. Negotiating Death and Afterlife in Nauvoo
Chapter 8. The ''Lineage of my Preast Hood'' and the Chain of Belonging
Chapter 9. Divine Anthropology: Translating the Suprahuman Chain
Chapter 10. ''Death Cannot Conquer the Hero Again'': The Death and Afterlife of a Martyr

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)