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  You are in: Home > Jewish Studies > Dreamers of Zion  

Dreamers of Zion
Joseph Smith and George J. Adams
Conviction, Leadership and Israe’s Renewal

Reed M. Holmes

Author text to follow


Joseph Smith Jr., founder of the Mormon movement and George J. Adams, one of his least known followers – two Gentile dreamers of Zion – were instrumental in encouraging Jews and Christians to support the restoration of Israel.

For Joseph Smith, Jewish responsibility for establishing Zion had not been forfeited nor terminated. It was continuous: the Jews would return as Jews; they would rebuild Jerusalem as Jews. In his view, neither the denigration of Jews, so often characteristic of Christianity, nor supersession by the Church, was tenable. According to Joseph’s perception of the Scriptures, and his own prophetic insights, there are to be two strategic centers – Zion at historical Jerusalem, and Zion in a New Jerusalem in the heartland of America. He believed that a renewed Israel and a church, restored to its primal purpose, shared a mandate to body forth in society the dream of the Kingdom of God. He called this dream the cause of Zion, which became a major emphasis of the Mormon movement.

This book explains the rejection by Smith and Adams of “normal” Christian replacement theology and sets out the apologetics by which Smith and Adams promoted courage and conviction in all who joined them in encouraging the ingathering of the Jewish exiles to Jerusalem.


1 The Historical Background – The Return of the Jews
Christian attitudes towards Zion and the Jewish people
America as “God’s New Israel”
Primacy of the Bible in Puritan America
Sense of national destiny
Emerging concern in Britain and America for the Return of the Jews

2 The Zionism of Joseph Smith
The Smith family in their Puritan New England setting
Joseph Smith, from birth to theophany
Theophany in a grove
The Book of Mormon
The Book of Mormon and Native Americans
Two Zions and the Restoration of Israel
Joseph Smith, pre-millennialist with a difference
The Concept of Zionic Community: Zion as ensign
Enoch’s City of Zion
The Collective Idea
Conflict and Persecution
Philadelphia and Warder Cresson
Orson Hyde’s assignment to Jerusalem
Nauvoo and the Murder of Joseph Smith
Joseph Smith and the Temple
The Influence of Joseph Smith

3 The Zionism of George Jones Adams
Joseph Smith: believer in the Redemption of Zion
G. J. Adams’ background
G. J. Adams and the Mormons
George Adams and James Strang
The Children of Ephraim
Zion to be established at Jerusalem
Joshua and Caleb go to Palestine, to “spy out the land”
Preparations for the journey to Jaffa
The Jaffa Colony
The growth of dissension
The colony and the consuls
Break-up of the colony
Evaluating the effect of Adam’s belief in the redemption of Zion

4 The Mormon Movement – Kinship with the House of Israel

Select Bibliography

Reviews to follow


Publication Details

Hardback ISBN:
Paperback ISBN:
Page Extent / Format:
224 pp. / 229 x 152 mm
Release Date:
Hardback, December 2003; paperback, April 2012
  Illustrated:   16-page picture section
Hardback Price:
£42.50 / $54.95
Paperback Price:
£22.50 / $34.95

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