"This Is My Doctrine": The Development of Mormon Theology
The principal doctrines defining Mormonism today often bear little resemblance to those it started out with in the early 1830s. This book shows that these doctrines did not originate in a vacuum but were rather prompted and informed by the religious culture from which Mormonism arose. Early Mormons, like their early Christian and even earlier Israelite predecessors, brought with them their own varied culturally conditioned theological presuppositions (a process of convergence) and only later acquired a more distinctive theological outlook (a process of differentiation).
In this first-of-its-kind comprehensive treatment of the development of Mormon theology, Charles Harrell traces the history of Latter-day Saint doctrines from the times of the Old Testament to the present. He describes how Mormonism has carried on the tradition of the biblical authors, early Christians, and later Protestants in reinterpreting scripture to accommodate new theological ideas while attempting to uphold the integrity and authority of the scriptures. In the process, he probes three questions: How did Mormon doctrines develop? What are the scriptural underpinnings of these doctrines? And what do critical scholars make of these same scriptures? In this enlightening study, Harrell systematically peels back the doctrinal accretions of time to provide a fresh new look at Mormon theology.
“This Is My Doctrine” will provide those already versed in Mormonism’s theological tradition with a new and richer perspective of Mormon theology. Those unacquainted with Mormonism will gain an appreciation for how Mormon theology fits into the larger Jewish and Christian theological traditions.
About the Author: Charles R. Harrell (Ph.D., manufacturing engineering, University of Denmark) is an associate professor in Brigham Young University’s School of Technology, where he is the graduate coordinator for the manufacturing systems program. In addition to teaching and advising students, he oversees student projects aimed at improving business operations. He recently led a humanitarian project to build electricity-generating playground equipment in Ghana. He is also founder and director of ProModel Corporation, which is a leading provider of simulation software and has authored several books on the use of simulation to improve business processes. In addition to his professional activities, Charles is an ardent theological hobbyist and has published articles on Mormon theology in BYU Studies, The Encyclopedia of Mormonism, and Studies in the Scriptures. He also taught seminary and institute for many years. Charles and his wife, Yvonne, are the parents of five children and live in Orem, Utah