Miranda Wilcox and John D. Young, Editors. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2014. Paperbound, 6×9″, 384 pages.
Latter-day Saints have a paradoxical relationship to the past; even as they invest their own history with sacred meaning, celebrating the restoration of ancient truths and the fulfillment of biblical prophecies, they repudiate the eighteen centuries of Christianity that preceded the founding of their church as apostate distortions of the truth. Since the early days of Mormonism, Latter-day Saints have used the paradigm of apostasy and restoration in their narratives about the origin of their church. This has generated a powerful and enduring binary of categorization that has profoundly impacted Mormon self-perception and relations with others. Standing Apart explores how the idea of apostasy has functioned as a category to mark, define, and set apart “the other” in Mormon historical consciousness and in the construction of Mormon narrative identity. The volume’s fifteen contributors trace the development of LDS narratives of apostasy within the context of both Mormon history and American Protestant historiography. They suggest ways in which these narratives might be reformulated to engage with the past, as well as offering new models for interfaith relations. This volume provides a novel approach for understanding and resolving some of the challenges faced by the LDS church in the twenty-first century.