This thesis is in three parts. The first part looks at the historical scholarship on writings opposed to Mormonism, especially those from the nineteenth century. The conclusion is that, despite hundreds of works written against Mormonism in its early years, the historical scholarship has not done justice to the writings or people involved. The vast majority of the writings and writers have not been analyzed, and those that are discussed are usually the most sensational and not representative of the genre.

The second part of this thesis is a a case study giving an example of the kind of work the author feels needs to be done to make up for the deficiency in this area. Specifically this part examines the religious concerns of critics who wrote in the United States and Great Britain between 1844 and 1857. The evidence clearly shows that there were many writers who expressed religious concerns about Mormonism. Criticisms were made against Mormon religious practices such as polygamy, temple ceremonies and baptism for the dead, and against Mormon religious beliefs such as the role of Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, and Mormon doctrines on God and the Bible.

The third section contains two appendices. The first is a bibliography of imprints written against the Mormons between 1844 and 1857. The second is a bibliography of all secondary literature about opposition to Mormonism.



College and Department

Family, Home, and Social Sciences; History



Date Submitted


Document Type





Mormons, Mormonism, Controversial works, Bibliography, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Apologetic works, History, criticism, Bibliography