Bruce Van Orden

Mar 29, 2019

We’ll Sing and We’ll Shout

The Life and Times of W. W. Phelps

Brigham Young University 2018

purchase at bookshop.org If you’re a Latter Day Saint, you’ve probably heard of W. W. Phelps, and no doubt, you’ve probably sung some of his hymns. But did you know that he printed the Book of Commandments and other early church works? Or that he was one of the "council of presidents" that guided the Church in Kirtland, Ohio and helped publish the newspaper in Nauvoo, Illinois? Or as political clerk, he assisted Joseph Smith in his roles as mayor of Nauvoo and contender for the U.S. presidency? Phelps also played a key role in the Council of Fifty. He went west with the Saints, helped propose the "State of Deseret," and published prose and poetry in the Deseret News and his Deseret Almanac. Phelps’ strong feelings even put him at odds with Church leaders, and he was excommunicated three times, rejoining each time! Dr. Bruce Van Orden explores Phelps’ fascinating life in the first ever comprehensive biography on him, entitled, We’ll Sing and We’ll Shout: The Life and Times of W. W. Phelps (Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2018). Dr. Orden makes some compelling arguments that have never been fully teased out by scholars. Whether you’re a Latter Day Saint historian, an American religion scholar, or just an interested student.

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Daniel Stone

Daniel P. Stone holds a PhD in American religious history from Manchester Metropolitan University (United Kingdom) and is the author of William Bickerton: Forgotten Latter Day Prophet (Signature Books, 2018).

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