Substantial comparative analyses of Puritanism and Mormonism are lacking in historical scholarship, despite noted similarities between the two religions. This study helps to fill that void by comparing the Puritan and Mormon proselytization efforts among the Indians that occurred at the respective sites of Massachusetts Bay Colony and the Southern Indian Mission. In my examination of the missionization attempts that took place at these two locations, I analyze a common motive and method of the two denominations for attempting to Christianize the Indians. The Puritan and Mormon missionaries proselytizing in Massachusetts Bay Colony and the Southern Indian Mission shared an identical motive for seeking to convert the Indians to Christianity. The missionaries' conviction that the regional natives were descendants of the House of Israel prompted them to proselytize among the Indians, as they understood that the conversion of the House of Israel constituted one of the important events to precede the prophesied return of Christ to the earth. The Puritans and Mormons engaged in and overseeing the missionary endeavors of the two locales under study likewise shared several parallel conversion methods. One such method consisted of utilizing one of the largest resources available to the two religions: their constituents. The Puritans and Mormons each implemented the association and example of their missionaries and congregational members as a primary method of conversion. Moreover, they applied that technique in a corresponding manner.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; History
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Skousen, Christina A., "Toiling among the Seed of Israel: A Comparison of Puritan and Mormon Missions to the Indians" (2005). All Theses and Dissertations. 350.
Puritans, Mormons, Massachusetts Bay Colony, Southern Indian Mission, missionaries, southern Utah, missionary work