One Nation Under Gods


By Richard Abanes

651 pages

Basic Books

Richard Abanes is a religion journalist who has written extensively on religious groups and cults in America. ONE NATION UNDER GODS is well researched and carefully written to reflect the history of Mormonism from its early 19th century founding to its present day status. The great grand daughter of Brigham Young, the leader of the church following the murder of founder, Joseph Smith, and who was reared in the church, endorsed the book by writing its Foreword.

Given the extensive and wide ranging elements of the book no attempt will be made here to review and comment on them. Suffice to say that the reader will be amazed at the character of Smith and many of his lieutenants, the gullibility of his followers, the violence, deception, corruption and determination to overthrow the government of the United States.

At the theological level the reader will be amazed at the rationale for polygamy, for the belief that all MEN were potential gods–hence the book title. Mormons were to rule the world sooner than later beginning with the United States.

Perhaps the story of Mormonism can be best illustrated by two quotes from the book.

You will see the constitution of the United States almost destroyed. It will hang like a thread….A terrible revolution will take place in the land of America….[T]he land will be left without a Supreme Government,… [Mormonism] will have gathered strength, sending out Elders to gather the honest in heart…to stand by the Constitution of the United States….In these days…God will set up a Kingdom, never to be thrown down….[T]he whole of America will be made the Zion of God.

Joseph Smith (May, 6, 1845)

Founder, Mormonism

I’ve never seen it worse than this, where the Constitution literally is hanging by a thread.

Orrin Hatch (November 9, 1999)

Republican Senator, Utah


Anyone interested in Church & State relations and especially in a relatively new American made church will find ONE NATION UNDER GODS: A HISTORY OF THE MORMON CHURCH of great interest.

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Filed under Book Review, History, Politico-Religous

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