LDS Church Tackles Historical Controversies in New, Novel-Style Nonfiction

Hands holding Saints, volume one

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is doing something different (they’ve been doing a lot of things differently lately). In an effort to record the history of the LDS Church and to address some controversial historical events along the way, the Church is publishing a series of four books called, Saints: The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days.

Saints volume one book cover
The book cover of the first volume of Saints. Image via

Why you should be excited about Saints

The first chapter of Saints (along with subsequent chapters) was published in the February Ensign and Liahona magazines. The first chapter is preceded by an introduction by Elder Steven E. Snow, the Church Historian and Recorder.

It’s not a textbook

“Unlike past histories of the Church,” Elder Snow said, “[Saints] is a narrative history written in an engaging style that will be accessible to both youth and adults.”

And, after having read the first few chapters, it’s true. Saints is a story. It’s the novel of our history. Elder Snow continued, “Saints, however, is not historical fiction. It is a true story based on the records of people from the past. Every detail and every line of dialogue is supported by historical sources.”

It doesn’t skip over the tough stuff

It’s no secret that a lot of people, both members, nonmembers, and former members, have plenty of questions about certain “controversial” events in Church history. Within the faith-inspiring narrative of our history, Saints doesn’t skip over the issues that challenge some peoples’ faith.

In the first few chapters, Saints covers Joseph Smith’s multiple accounts of the First Vision, his “treasure seeking” with Josiah Stowell, and his affinity for seer stones. It’s a great way to familiarize yourself with controversial topics in a non-threatening setting. Elder Snow also mentioned that notes after each chapter can redirect readers to actual sources for more information on topics covered in the chapter.

Where you can read Saints

Saints chapter one text
The beginning of Saints, chapter one.

Every month a new chapter is released in the Ensign and Liahona magazines. Again, the first chapter was published in February, so now there are four chapters for you to catch up on. Each chapter takes about 15 minutes to read, give or take. If you don’t have access to Church magazines, you can catch up online at The first of the four published volumes will be available later this year.

Here are direct links to the first four chapters:

Chapter one: Ask in Faith

Chapter two: Hear Him

Chapter three: Plates of Gold

Chapter four: Be Watchful

David Snell is a proud member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He's the Founder of The Sunday Pews, and has experience writing for Mormon Newsroom Pacific, KBYU11, Classical 89 Radio, and plenty more. He tries not to take himself too seriously and just wants to brighten your day a bit.