cover of book
 

Prophetic Authority: Democratic Hierarchy and the Mormon Priesthood
by Michael Hubbard MacKay
University of Illinois Press, 2020
eISBN: 978-0-252-05187-6 | Paper: 978-0-252-08487-4 | Cloth: 978-0-252-04301-7
Library of Congress Classification BX8643.P7
Dewey Decimal Classification 262.80882893

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK
The Mormon tradition's emphasis on prophetic authority makes the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints unique within America's religious culture. The religion that Joseph Smith created established a kingdom of God in a land distrustful of monarchy while positioning Smith as Christ's voice on earth, with the power to form cities, establish economies, and arrange governments.

Michael Hubbard MacKay traces the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' claim to religious authority and sets it within the context of its times. Delving into the evolution of the concept of prophetic authority, MacKay shows how the Church emerged as a hierarchical democracy with power diffused among leaders Smith chose. At the same time, Smith's settled place atop the hierarchy granted him an authority that spared early Mormonism the internal conflict that doomed other religious movements. Though Smith faced challenges from other leaders, the nascent Church repeatedly turned to him to decide civic plans and define the order of both the cosmos and the priesthood.


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