The Great Apostasy (book)

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The Great Apostasy Considered in the Light of Scriptural and Secular History
AuthorJames E. Talmage
CountryUnited States
PublisherDeseret News
Publication date

The Great Apostasy Considered in the Light of Scriptural and Secular History is a 1909 book by James E. Talmage that summarizes the Great Apostasy from the viewpoint of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).

Talmage wrote his book with the intention that it be used as a teaching tool within the LDS Church's Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association and the Young Women's Mutual Improvement Association; the book is "in many ways quite derivative" of B. H. Roberts's 1893 Outlines of Ecclesiastical History.[1] Both writers borrowed heavily from the writings of Protestant scholars who argued that Roman Catholicism had apostatized from true Christianity.[2] Talmage's book has been described as "the most recognizable and noted work on the topic" of Latter-day Saint views of the Great Apostasy.[1][3]

The Great Apostasy has gone through many editions and continues to be published by Deseret Book, a publishing company owned by the LDS Church, and "is regularly referenced today" within the LDS Church.[1] Along with Talmage's other classic works Jesus the Christ and Articles of Faith, The Great Apostasy has been of the few non-scriptural books that full-time LDS Church missionaries are encouraged to study.[1] However, it is no longer part of the "approved missionary library."[4]


  1. ^ a b c d Eric R. Dursteler, "Inheriting the 'Great Apostasy': The Evolution of Latter-day Saint Views on the Middle Ages and the Renaissance" Early Christians in Disarray: Contemporary LDS Perspectives on the Christian Apostasy (Provo Utah: Maxwell Institute, 2002).
  2. ^ Richard L. Bushman (1992). "Faithful History". In George D. Smith (ed.). Faithful History. Signature Books. p. 9. ISBN 1-56085-007-8. Retrieved 2016-05-24.
  3. ^ Richard E. Bennett; Amber J. Seidel (2005). "'A World in Darkness': Early Latter-day Saint Understanding of the Apostasy". Window of Faith: Latter-day Saint Perspectives on World History. Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University. Retrieved 2016-05-24. Perhaps still the best known doctrinal study of the Latter-day Saint position of the apostasy is that by James E. Talmage, The Great Apostasy—Considered in the Light of Scriptural and Secular History (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1909).
  4. ^ Preach My Gospel, Intellectual Reserve, 2004, p. viii

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