Twenty years in the making, with 500 entries in 2,088 pages, Mormon Parallels is the most groundbreaking attempt yet in our understanding of the education, background and prevailing thinking and attitudes of Joseph Smith’s environs. Did other people discuss the origins of America's Native inhabitants, or write about such theories? Were the doctrines which Joseph Smith proposed unique to him? Has our understanding of Deity been consistent since “Joseph walked out of the Sacred Grove with a more complete understanding of God and Christ than any other mortal”? How could Joseph have known so many compelling things? We are taught that many of Mormonism's foundational doctrines present original thinking. "However," suggests Rick Grunder, "a concentrated study of Mormon Parallels teaches us to be wary of such assumptions or their implications. It also opens our imaginations to test the astonishing breadth of thought available among even the most humble contemporaries of Joseph Smith." (p. 1934)
Living in the very heart of the ‘Burned Over District,’ Grunder began to notice "Mormon" similarities and peculiarities among the writings in Joseph Smith’s “place where we lived”. Grunder’s first publication of such information appeared in 1987 as Mormon Parallels, A Preliminary Bibliography . . . Even though that volume consisted of only 238 entries and 124 pages, the study and contents were so interesting, striking - and to some, shocking - that it sold out quickly, and in recent years has commanded prices exceeding $800 due to the demand and interest in the subject by historians, researchers and collectors. It is expected that the demand will also exceed the supply of the present production.
Rick Grunder has catalogued and archived these ‘parallels’ for the past twenty years, and has spent the last few years nearly full time in organizing and arranging these entries for publication. But even as he has done so, he has been confronted with additional material found too late to include in this book. “This is fertile ground,” says Grunder, “and I am continually startled by additional material which comes to hand. These things range from the pedestrian to the profound, and I wonder if, one day, there will have to be an additional volume.” At present, we are left with a mere 2,088 pages of parallels to study, critique, research and wonder. Some 300 illustrations compliment the text, many in color or high definition, most of them seen here for the first time.
First Edition, issued in digital form only, in a very limited edition. Each CD is tagged, signed and numbered by the author. Lafayette, New York: Rick Grunder - Books, © 2008.
Detail from the disc design: indigenous Peruvian "sheep" shown to New York State farmers in Albany's Plough Boy agricultural weekly for April 27, 1822 (Mormon Parallels entry 324, p. 1243).
Price: $200 plus $5 shipping and handling, USPS priority tracked mail. Orders will be filled on a first come, first served basis.
Presented in a single .pdf (Adobe ReaderTM) document of 389 MB. Discretely colored links invite instant navigation throughout the text. Eight hundred subject or heading bookmarks in a separate hideable navigation panel make it easy for one to search, copy & paste, or print desired selections with just a few clicks of the mouse. Click here to download sample entries, view format and design, and get a feel for the ease of use one has with this media. Please Note: The Download Sample is 5.5mb. Depending on your Internet speed, downloading may take several minutes.
Mormon Parallels: A Bibliographic Source
Announcing a major contribution to the study of Early Mormon Origins