Authors: Casey Paul Griffiths, Susan Easton Black, Mary Jane Woodger
Publisher: Deseret Book
Year Published: 2017
Number of Pages: 336
I really don’t like the title of this book. It is the sort of title that is often referred to as “clickbait,” to get people to read an online article. It is also an insult to the reader’s intelligence for an author to assume what they don’t know. The preface indicates that the authors are at least somewhat aware of this, and begins almost with an apology, admitting that “such lists present an excuse for sensationalized writing and shallow analysis.” However, it goes on to explain that the book was inspired by another book called “The 100 Most Important Events in Christian History,” and that such lists “can impel a person to think critically about events, stories, and people.” Casey Griffiths decided to create a list for the history of the Latter-day Saints, enlisting the help of Mary Jane Woodger and Susan Easton Black. They also received assistance from their colleagues at BYU and used resources such as the Joseph Smith Papers.
The book is a large format paperback, printed on fairly cheap-feeling paper. There are small photographs accompanying each of the 100 short (mostly 2 to 3 pages) chapters, but they are all black and white and sadly most are not very high quality, possibly due to the paper used. This might have made a good coffee table book in a different format, but I suppose it’s more likely to be read in this form.
The book lists the events in chronological order. Many should be quite well known, in which case they have tried to include lesser known information. For instance, for the First Vision (event number 1), they include details from multiple accounts from Joseph Smith and his contemporaries, concluding by noting that “the details are less significant than the central message of the reality of God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ and of the Savior’s infinite atonement. President Henry B. Eyring said that the First Vision ‘represents that moment when Joseph learned there was a way for the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ to be unlocked fully. Because of what Joseph saw and what began at this moment, the Savior was able, through this great and valiant servant and through others that He sent, to restore power and privilege. That power and privilege allows us, and all who will live, to have the benefits of Jesus Christ’s Atonement work in our lives’” (page 3). [Read more…] about Book Review: What You Don’t Know About the 100 Most Important Events in Church History