Saints: The Story of The Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days is being released in 2018. It is an innovative approach, written in narrative style, which has many different narratives woven into it. It starts from before Joseph Smith’s First Vision and goes to the present day. “The history will not be a reference work, but a narrative based on well-researched facts. . . We believe this will be valuable to Church members to greatly enhance their knowledge of Church history in an interesting way” (Elder Steven E. Snow).
It has been 90 years since the last detailed text of the Church was published. Elder Steven E. Snow, General Authority Seventy, says “Obviously much has happened since 1930. We have a team in our department working very hard to complete a four-volume history of the Church entitled Saints. It will be written in a style similar to James Michener or David McCullough” (Church Historian Announces New 4-Volume History of the Church, R. Scott Lloyd).
The first chapter of this book is available online in the February issue of the Ensign and Liahona magazines. The chapters and topics will be released every month in the magazines until it is published. It is also available in the Gospel Library app in 47 languages and as an audiobook in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Art of Nauvoo by Greg Newbold will be featured on the cover of Volume 1.
Here is a quick summary of what each volume of the books cover:
- Volume 1 covers the history of the Church to the dedication of the Nauvoo Temple
- Volume 2 covers the western exodus of the Latter-day Saints to the Salt Lake Temple dedication
- Volume 3 covers the first half of the 20th century to the dedication of the Swiss Temple
- Volume 4 covers today and some of the temples around the world
So far, the plan is to publish the volumes of one per year from 2018-2021. “At the same time these volumes are released in print they will be available online at no cost. . . They will be published in an inexpensive paperback format, as we are desirous that as many Church members as possible read them. They have been carefully researched and contain many stories of faith previously unknown to most Latter-day Saints” (R. Scott Lloyd).
“They are written at a 9th or 10th grade level and the volumes will be published in all 13 languages that Church-published content is available on the internet. Endnotes and references, especially in the online version, will take interested readers to additional information, videos, articles, etc., in which they may have additional interest” (Elder Steven E. Snow).
I am interested in the new volumes coming out. I think that the narrative style is a fantastic way to learn about the history of the Church. It makes the history fun to learn when you get to read stories about the people that are in the books.