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Christopher Blythe

Open Canon: Scriptures of the Latter Day Saint Tradition

Open Canon: Scriptures of the Latter Day Saint Tradition

University of Utah Press, January 2023

The publication of the Book of Mormon in 1830 began a new scriptural tradition. Resisting the long-established closed biblical canon, the Book of Mormon posited that the Bible was incomplete and corrupted. With a commitment to an open canon, a variety of Latter Day Saint denominations have emerged, each offering their own scriptural works to accompany the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and other revelations of Joseph Smith. Open Canon breaks new ground as the first volume to examine these writings as a single spiritual heritage.

Chapters cover both well-studied and lesser-studied works, introducing readers to scripture dictated by nineteenth- and twentieth-century revelators such as James Strang, Lucy Mack Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Harry Edgar Baker, and Charles B. Thompson, among others. Contributors detail how various Latter Day Saint denominations responded to scriptures introduced during the ministry of Joseph Smith and how churches have employed the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Lectures of Faith over time. Bringing together studies from across denominational boundaries, this book considers what we can learn about Latter Day Saint resistance to the closed canon and the nature of a new American scriptural tradition.