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All Abraham's Children: Changing Mormon Conceptions of Race and Lineage Hardcover – April, 2003

5 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"All Abraham's Children affords a highly engrossing and superbly researched account of changing Mormon relations with minorities from the time of the religion's founding to the present. I expect it to become a classic."

"This exceptionally well-articulated book is an important work on Mormon race relations and a significant statement of Mormon intellectual and cultural history."

About the Author

ARMAND L. MAUSS, a professor emeritus of sociology and religious studies at Washington State University, is the author of The Angel and the Beehive: The Mormon Struggle with Assimilation, and the coauthor of Neither White nor Black: Mormon Scholars Confront the Race Issue in a Universal Church.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press (April 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0252028031
  • ISBN-13: 978-0252028038
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #152,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Armand Lind Mauss (born 1928) is an American sociologist (professor emeritus at Washington State University) specializing in the sociology of religion, as well as a Latter-day Saint intellectual. He is also the author of The Angel and the Beehive: THE MORMON STRUGGLE WITH ASSIMILATION, This Land of Promises: The Rise and Fall of Social Problems in America, etc.

He wrote in the Preface to this 2003 book, "This book ... analyzes the origin and nature of traditional Mormon attitudes and behavior toward Jews, Native Americans, and people of black African origin... and it compares 'racial' attitudes of Mormons with those in certain other religious denominations for which survey data were available."

Here are some additional quotations from the book:

"Certain specific ideas from those (British-Israel) movements were clearly reflected in the discourse and teachings of LDS leaders..." (Pg. 29)
"During the 1970s and 1980s, (Bruce R.) McConkie modified some of his ideas ... (and) change in church policy also required him to to drop his long-standing prediction that blacks would not be given the priesthood during mortality ... Yet McConkie never recanted any of his other racialist ideas." (Pg. 31)
"The various Mormon missionary enterprises to the Indians cannot be considered very successful if measured by the sheer number of converts or their retention in the faith." (Pg. 68)
"Interestingly enough, prior to 1981, (2 Neph 30:6) read 'WHITE and delightsome' in some earlier editions... In 1839, Joseph Smith ...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is an excellent, if under-appreciated, contribution to the field of Mormon studies. This under-appreciation may, in part, be due to elements of Mauss's sociological presentation. The book includes some complex tables and statistics in the course of its argumentation. These generally trace attitudes amongst Mormons toward various races and cultures. But the larger project of the book--following the development of LDS beliefs about lineages as they played out alongside the LDS Church's missionary enterprise--can be easily grasped by any non-specialist. The puzzling position the LDS took in regards to withholding the priesthood from blacks is contextualized alongside Mormon relations with American Indians, Jews, and other peoples. This analysis sheds light on the ways cultural assumptions come to inform religious belief and practice and vice versa. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
And he's not talking about how Mormon conceptions go down in Africa, but in America, the land of our religion's birth. This is an excellent book, thought-provoking yet fair. If you want to get a better grasp of the history of race and lineage within Mormonism from it's beginnings up to the present, this book is the one to order.
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Format: Hardcover
Misconceptions clearly didn't read the whole book. Or else he simply didn't understand it. Mauss masterfully discusses the LDS church's decision to extend the priesthood to black men in 1978. Thorough and expertly researched, this is THE definitve treatment of race in the LDS church.
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