Cain wanders the frontier as a Bigfoot-like hairy beast and
confronts an early Mormon apostle. An evil band of murderers from
Mormon scripture, known as the Gadianton robbers, provides an
excuse for the failure of a desert town. Stories of children raised
from the dead with decayed bodies and damaged minds help draw
boundaries between the proper spheres of human and divine action.
Mormons who observe UFOs in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries
find ways to explain them in relation to the church's cosmology.
The millenarian dimension of that belief system induces church
members to invest in the Dream Mine, a hidden treasure that a
would-be heir to Joseph Smith wraps in prophecy of the end times. A
Utah version of Nessie haunts a large mountain lake. Non-Mormons
attempt to discredit Joseph Smith with tales that he had tried and
failed to walk on water.
Mormons gave distinctive meanings to supernatural legends and
events, but their narratives incorporated motifs found in many
cultures. Many such historical legends and beliefs found adherents
down to the present. This collection employs folklore to illuminate
the cultural and religious history of a people.
Subjects: Religion, Sociology
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