Volume 1 of Saints: The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days is now available. The easy-to-read narrative history of the Church is available in print in English (with 13 other languages soon to follow) and can also be found in 14 languages online at saints.lds.org and in the Gospel Library app. An audiobook version is available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Volume 1, The Standard of Truth, covers the history of the Church from 1815 (before the First Vision) to 1846, the year of the Nauvoo Temple dedication. Three additional volumes will be released in subsequent years. Each volume will be “transparent, honest, and faithful,” with controversial aspects of Church history covered in the context of the entire story, according to Elder Steven E. Snow, Church Historian and Recorder.
Saints, Elder Snow said, “is a narrative history written in an engaging style that will be accessible to both youth and adults.” However, he noted, the work “is not historical fiction. It is a true story based on the records of people from the past. Every detail and every line of dialogue is supported by historical sources.”
All Church members are encouraged to read Saints, but institute students in particular were invited to participate in a “Saints-a-thon” during September 7–8, giving them a chance to read volume 1 together and post their impressions on social media. Reading from the book helped prepare young adults for a worldwide devotional on September 9, a Face to Face event with Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
At the devotional, Elder Cook was joined by historians Kate Holbrook and Matt Grow to discuss Saints and answer questions about the Restoration of the gospel. Young adults all over the world were invited to submit questions to be answered.
In a statement given prior to the event, Elder Cook observed, “While today’s generation of young adults face challenges unique to our day, there is also much we can learn from those who went before us. I believe we will discover that even though times have changed, the same principles that helped the early Church members overcome their trials of faith will be equally valuable for us today.”