“We have Only the Old Thing”: Rethinking Mormon Restoration
The epilogue questions whether an LDS restoration demands a precipitous juncture with the past, since Joseph Smith advocated embracing, not standing apart from, the past as a means of reforming and expanding possibilities for human and divine interaction. It traces Joseph Smith’s evolving understanding of Revelation 12 and the image of the church coming out of the wilderness as he came to understand himself as the inaugurator of a new dispensation of Christianity that gathered and extended the truths of the past. Joseph Smith set a precedent for contemporary Mormonism to imagine fundamental continuity with the past, instead of radical discontinuity.
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