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Willard Bean

A. B. C. History of Palmyra and the Beginning of Mormonism

A. B. C. History of Palmyra and the Beginning of Mormonism

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In 1831, Joseph Smith and the early saints of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were driven out of Palmyra, New York, due to increasing prejudice and persecution against Joseph and those who followed him. 85 years passed before missionaries were called to return to Palmyra in 1915. Upon arrival, Willard and Rebecca Bean and their children experienced similar prejudice and persecution while living in the Joseph Smith home. Faithful to their calling, and with love unfeigned for the residents of Palmyra, they eventually made friends, then converts to the Church, organizing a small branch there in 1926.

Bean's passion for missionary work was equal to his passion for history, and he spent much time during his 24-year mission researching the history of upstate New York. A.B.C. History of Palmyra is an organized collection of excerpts from historical records dating back to 1620. The book is replete with interesting anecdotes of the history of the peoples, the land, the development of towns, prominent leaders and citizens (including the Smith family), the influx of numerous religions gathering momentum for a religious revival in the spring of 1820, and the subsequent persecution of the young boy Joseph Smith.

Hostility toward the Smiths and the beginnings of Mormonism is clearly documented from newspapers, historical records, and legal documents of the time. To set the record straight, Bean concisely details the translation of the Book of Mormon, the restoration of the gospel, the exodus of the saints to Kirtland, then Nauvoo, and the ultimate martyrdom of Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum.

Originally published in 1938 in Palmyra, New York, this modernized reprint in 2015 celebrates the 100-year anniversary of the mission call of Willard and Rebecca Bean to the birthplace of Mormonism.


  • 6 x 9
  • Softcover
  • 111 pages
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