The Mormon mission to Wales 1840-49 : a reassessment

Davies, Julie Adele (2018) The Mormon mission to Wales 1840-49 : a reassessment. Doctoral thesis, University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

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Abstract

The aim of this research has been to reassess assertions made about the Mormon mission to Wales between 1840 and 1849. It has considered the response to the mission by Nonconformist ministers, and in particular, that of the Baptist minister Revd W. R. Davies, Dowlais, and asked whether the primary explanation for Nonconformist opposition lay in their concern that Latter-­‐day Saints were poaching some of their chapel members. It has also considered the extent to which the Latter-­‐day Saints suffered persecution. With some notable exceptions, most of the scholarship on this subject has originated from the work of Mormon writers, in particular Ronald D. Dennis, formally of Brigham Young University, who has published a number of books on different aspects of the Mormon mission to Wales covering the period 1840 to 1862. Dennis’ interpretation of the story of the Welsh Mormon mission has provided a foundation for other work in this area, with other writers acknowledging indebtedness to his work. This research has investigated Dennis’ conclusions in order to ascertain whether or not the available evidence yields alternative conclusions. In order to understand the Welsh Mormon mission, it was necessary to establish the historiography of the subject. The study involved a reassessment of primary evidence including personal journals, Nonconformist and Mormon periodicals, letters and newspaper reports. The research has concluded that the established view of the early Welsh Mormon mission can be broadened. Evidence reveals that early Mormon missionary activity in Monmouthshire was more significant than previously considered, enabling us to learn more about missionary methods and the opposition encountered at this stage. An analysis of the contribution of W. R. Davies as the chief antagonist of Mormonism has revealed that some assertions may now be challenged, and that his opposition to the Latter-­‐day Saints needs to be understood within a wider context. Newspapers reveal that there was antagonism and opposition to the Latter-­‐day Saints, but this did not include serious violence or organised oppression. The thesis concludes that while the Latter-­‐day Saints experienced opposition, to say that they experienced ‘persecution’ is to overstate the case.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mormons, Wales, Religion Wales 19th century
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
Divisions: Theses and Dissertations > Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: Sandra Stedman
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2020 09:43
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2020 09:43
URI: http://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/1192

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