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The Mormon Tabernacle ChoirA Biography$
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Michael Hicks

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039089

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039089.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 05 August 2021

Books and Angels

Books and Angels

Chapter:
(p.1) Chapter 1 Books and Angels
Source:
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Author(s):

Michael Hicks

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252039089.003.0001

This chapter looks at the Mormons' earliest choirs, first by considering passages in the Book of Mormon that mentioned heavenly “choirs”—all of which would have made sense to a young religious American in the 1820s named Joseph Smith. For almost a decade Smith had visits from spirits awash in heavenly light. One of those spirits, an angel named Moroni, had led him repeatedly to a local hillside where a stone box of gold plates lay buried. The result was the Book of Mormon; one of its passages makes reference to the prophet Mormon's promise of heavenly choir membership as a reward to the faithful. This chapter discusses the founding and organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the first choirs it assembled, including the one at Kirtland Temple in Ohio and another at Nauvoo Temple in Illinois. It also examines the anti-choir, anti-music-literacy strand of American Protestantism during the nineteenth century and how conflicting visions of musical literacy lived on in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Keywords:   musical literacy, Mormons, Book of Mormon, heavenly choirs, Joseph Smith, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Kirtland Temple, Nauvoo Temple, Protestantism

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