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As announced on the official newsroom of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, today marks the publication of volume 2 of Saints: The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days, which covers the years 1846–1893 of the history of the Church. A print version of volume 2 is available for purchase from the Church’s online store and other retail stores and a digital version is available on the Gospel Library app and on the Church’s website.
Picking up directly where the first volume of the planned four volume series left off, volume 2, No Unhallowed Hand, opens with “thousands of Latter-day Saints fleeing mobs in Nauvoo, their gathering place for the previous seven years. Readers follow Brigham Young and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles west across prairie and plain, witnessing their trust that God has prepared a home for them beyond the towering peaks of the Rocky Mountains.” The theme of faith in the face of sacrifice and opposition is woven throughout No Unhallowed Hand, which narrates the settlement of the intermountain West by the Latter-day Saints who faced both a harsh, untamed wilderness and intense persecution for their religious practices such as plural marriage, which the Church publicly announced in 1851. Other prominent narrative threads in No Unhallowed Hand include the rise and expansion of temple work among the Latter-day Saints and the progress of missionary work throughout the world.
Unlike previous histories of the Church, Saints is unique in that it blends “meticulous research and original sources” with the “techniques of popular storytelling.” “In addition to the narrative,” notes the newsroom’s release, “readers of Saints can follow footnotes to read the actual source documents behind the stories. Also scattered throughout the footnotes are references to Church History Topics, a collection of articles on hundreds of subjects found in the book. Topics are conveniently linked to in the digital version and can also be found on the Church's website.”
In a preface to the first volume of Saints, the First Presidency “encourage[d] all to read the [series] and make use of the supplementary material available online” with the wish to reach reader “that this [series] will enlarge your understanding of the past, strengthen your faith, and help you make and keep the covenants that lead to exaltation and eternal life.”