Saturday, November 26, 2011

Book Review: ****California Saints

California Saints was written by Richard Cowan and William Homer.  It was published in 1996 by the Religious Studies Center of Brigham Young University.  I was able to check it out from the Manteca Library, but they had gotten it on loan from another library in the system. 

This book was published for the 150 anniversary of the church in California.  It tells the story of the Brooklyn Saints--Sam Brannon and John Horner, of the Mormon Battalion, the Mormon involvement in the Gold Rush, Ina Coolbrith and the history of the San Bernadino Saints.  It also tells even more recent history--the establishment of stakes and temples, and prophets and apostles who have come from California. 

Of interest to me is the story of the New Hope Colony, and its disolving after less than a year, and before the Saints were in Utah. 

There were several things I learned which I did not know.  It was in San Bernadino where Joseph F. Smith was being confronted by the mob, and when asked if he was a Mormon, responded, "Yes siree; dyed in the wool; true blue, through and through."  This won the persecutor over.  He was returning from his mission to Hawaii.  I had always thought this was with the persecution back east, but he was too young then.

I also learned of the church during WWII.  This was a time that brought a great many Mormons to California.  It talked about a family that set up a soldier's home in their house in Berkeley, Anna Patton.  It was also during his time that the Church purchased Temple Hill in Oakland.  

I found this book enjoyable.  My only complaint is the book doesn't cover the last 15 years, but I guess you have to publish a book some time, and that leaves out what happens after.