The third volume of Saints: The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days was published digitally today in 14 languages. This newest book of narrative history, Boldly, Nobly, and Independent, tells the story of the Latter-day Saints from 1893 to 1955 — a time of unprecedented change in the Church and the wider world.
The digital version of volume 3 is available for free on the Church website and in the Church History section of the Gospel Library app. Printed copies in English are available to pre-order here. No release date has been set, but it is anticipated to ship between May and June 2022. Other languages in print will follow in the coming months.
Previous volumes of Saints focus on the early Restoration as the Latter-day Saints gathered to build temples in Kirtland, Nauvoo and Utah. Although these books included stories from England, Scandinavia and the Pacific Islands, it is in volume 3 that the story becomes truly global. More than half the book takes place outside the United States, with stories set in Europe, Asia, Africa, Central and South America and Oceania. At the book’s culmination, President David O. McKay dedicates the Swiss Temple, the first house of the Lord in Europe. No longer would European Saints have to cross oceans to participate fully in the blessings of the restored gospel.
“Readers will find themselves rejoicing, and at times aching, as they learn about the experiences of Saints around the world,” said Elder LeGrand R. Curtis Jr., Church Historian and Recorder. “In this new volume, we get the first glimpses of temples blessing members of the Church outside of North America, and we see the powerful influence that the ordinances in those temples have on the Saints.”
While many readers are familiar with earlier eras of Church history, Saints, Volume 3 brings to light a little-known period of Latter-day Saint history. It is a time of modernization, beginning with people traveling by horse-drawn carriages and communicating by telegraph and ending in an age of supersonic jets and color television.
“Volume 3 covers a period of dramatic transformations in the world and in the Church, both in the institution and in people’s everyday lives and experiences,” said Lisa Olsen Tait, a general editor of the series. “We show those transformations through the eyes of everyday Saints all over the world — a young priesthood holder in Cincinnati, a Japanese-speaking sister missionary in Hawaii, a newlywed couple facing uncertainty and restriction behind the Berlin Wall.”
As readers encounter dire economic hardships, brutal global wars and an influenza pandemic in the book, they will recognize that holding onto faith in times of trouble is nothing new for Latter-day Saints. There are stories of women and men facing doubt and oppression, but also stories of hope and reconciliation as Church members reach out to serve and bless their neighbors.
For readers who want to delve more deeply into the story of the Saints, the Church has published dozens of new Church History Topics in the Gospel Library, providing detailed introductions to topics ranging from the Great Depression to Seminaries and Institutes. Today, April 22, also marks the launch of a third season of the Saints podcast (available on all major podcast platforms), which goes behind the scenes to tell more about the people and events in the books. Previous seasons of the podcast have reached hundreds of thousands of listeners.
Saints, which will eventually feature four volumes, is the third multivolume official history produced by the Church. Joseph Smith commissioned and oversaw the writing of the first Church history in the 1830s, and it was published beginning in 1842. The second history was published in 1930 by Assistant Church Historian B. H. Roberts, before Church membership had reached 1 million.