The Writings of Oliver Olney: April 1842 to February 1843 — Nauvoo, Illinois
Edited by Richard G. Moore
Oliver H. Olney, an early convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, fled to Nauvoo, Illinois, following persecution in Missouri. In Nauvoo, Olney became disgruntled with church leadership and viewed Joseph Smith as a fallen prophet. His writings, consisting of journal entries, letters, and booklets, express his concerns about what he viewed as serious iniquity within the Church. Despite his opposition to church leadership resulting in his excommunication, Olney remained in Nauvoo and wrote about the things he witnessed.
The handwritten papers of Oliver Olney are housed in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University and are made available in published form for the first time. They offer historical researchers and interested readers of the early Latter-day Saint movement a unique glimpse from the margins of religious society in Nauvoo. Olney’s writings add light to key events in early Mormonism such as rumors of polygamy, the influence of Free Masonry in Nauvoo, plans to migrate westward to the Rocky Mountains, as well as growing tensions with disaffected church members and rising conflict with Nauvoo’s non-Mormon neighbors.
About the Author:
Richard G. Moore received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from BYU in American History and his doctorate in Education from the University of the Pacific. He retired after teaching thirty-eight years for the Church Educational System as a seminary teacher, institute instructor and director, and as an instructor for the Ancient Scripture Department at BYU. Dr. Moore is a Richard L. Evan’s Fellow, serving as a member of BYU’s Office of Religious Outreach. The author of four published books and more than a dozen articles, Richard presents often at BYU’s Education Week and the John Whitmer Historical Association Conference. Richard and his wife, Lani, live in Orem, Utah. They have three children and nine grandchildren.