Recent sociological studies propose a model for understanding early Mormonism in its cultural context. Such models, while experimental, suggest commonalities between Mormonism and contemporary millennial sects. Enthusiastic beginnings, early convert response to American millennialism, the containment of charisma through institutionalization, discomfiture of Mormon millenial expectation, and the process of apostasy within the church provide the parameters of this study.
The life of Hiram Page, an early convert, is used as a foil to this end. Page is prototypal of the original band of followers who were attracted to Joseph Smith. Drawn to Joseph for spiritual comfort, Page and his associates supported the Prophet's work, testified of the extraordinary events of the Mormon Restoration, and as the first believers made the movement possible. Later, they became dissatisfied with the developmental church and withdrew from fellowship in an attempt to reestablish what they perceived as the original and pristine expressions of Mormonism.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; History
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Stewart, Bruce G., "Hiram Page: An Historical and Sociological Analysis of an Early Mormon Prototype" (1987). All Theses and Dissertations. 5142.
Hiram Page, 1800-1852, Mormon Church, History to 1847, Mormon converts, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints