avatar

About Craig L. Foster

Craig L. Foster earned a MA and MLIS at Brigham Young University. He is also an accredited genealogist and works as a research consultant at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. He has published articles about different aspects of Mormon history. He is the author of two books, co-author of another and co-editor of a three volume series discussing the history and theology of plural marriage. Foster is also on the editorial board of the John Whitmer Historical Association Journal.

Separated but not Divorced: The LDS Church’s Uncomfortable Relationship with its Polygamous Past

Abstract: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’s uncomfortable relationship with its polygamous history is somewhat like an awkward marriage separation. This is, in part, because of the fitful, painful cessation of plural marriage and the ever present reminders of its complicated past. This essay looks at examples of members’ expression of discomfort over a polygamous heritage and concludes with suggestions of possible pathways to a more comfortable reconciliation. Continue reading

Misunderstanding Mormonism in The Mormonizing of America

Abstract: The Mormonizing of America by Stephen Mansfield has been touted as a solid, impartial look at Mormon history and doctrine. Unfortunately, on closer examination, the book is seriously lacking both in substance and impartiality. This article discusses the book’s numerous problems.

Review of Stephen Mansfield. The Mormonizing of America: How the Mormon Religion Became a Dominant Force in Politics, Entertainment, and Pop Culture. Brentwood, TN: Worthy Publishing, 2012. 264 pp. $22.99. Continue reading

The British Press and Mormonism

Since the early days of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the British Press has had an interest in Mormonism. Over the years there have been newspaper and magazine articles and exposés discussing just about every aspect of Mormonism from polygamy and the anti-polygamy crusades in the last quarter of the nineteenth-century to the building of the London Temple in the 1950s and Mitt Romney’s quest for the presidency of the United States.1 There have also been radio and television pieces showing the Tabernacle Choir, Mormon families worshipping at church and The Book of Mormon Musical which is now playing in London. Overall, in spite of many positive stories that have appeared about the LDS Church, the British press has, overall, had a fascination bordering on infatuation with the perceived sensational and bizarre aspects of the religion. Continue reading


  1. There are a number of books and articles about the LDS Church in the British Isles. Bryan J. Grant, “The Church in the British Isles,” About Mormons, http://www.lightplanet.com/mormons/daily/history/british.html, accessed 18 June 2013, has an overview of the church in Britain. Craig L. Foster, Penny Tracts and Polemics: A Critical Analysis of Anti-Mormon Pamphleteering in Great Britain, 1837-1860 (Salt Lake City, Utah: Greg Kofford Books, 2003), discusses anti-Mormon literature and stereotyping in Britain. 

New Light and Old Shadows: John G. Turner’s Attempt to Understand Brigham Young

Review of John G. Turner, Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet (Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2012), viii, 500, map, photos, notes, index.

Brigham Young has repeatedly been described as larger than life and most people, critics and supporters, would agree. Brigham Young (1801–1877), second president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, led the Saints like a modern-day Moses from the turmoil of Nauvoo to the Great Basin. He then oversaw the settlement of over three hundred communities in the intermountain west. He directed the growth and development of the LDS Church and left an indelible mark on both Mormonism and the western United States. Brigham Young was, indeed, larger than life. Continue reading