The Restoration began in the spring of 1820, when Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ in a grove of trees in upstate New York. Joseph had questions, and Jesus had answers.
That was two hundred years ago. As the Restoration enters its third century, the world has new questions. A loving God has answers. In Restoration, scholar and author Patrick Mason reflects on what it means for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to participate in the “ongoing Restoration.” Every generation must rediscover the gospel anew, and this book breathes new life into well-worn terms and phrases. What does it mean to “restore Israel”? How can a church with less than one percent of the world’s population be “true”? What baggage have we picked up these past two centuries, and how do we move forward with confidence, relevance, and impact? The Restoration was intended to bless all of our Heavenly Parents’ children, especially the marginalized and vulnerable among us. This book will inspire and challenge you to rethink, recommit, and respond to God’s call to the 21st-century world.
What people are saying
“Patrick Mason is like a tutor in the course of life, bridging the gap between the ideals of a faithful life and the daily, lived experience. He shows us the beauty of our ideals, their eternal worth, their preciousness. But he breaks down those ideals into relatable, actionable principles with stories, metaphors and common sense. In Restoration, he applies this technique to our Heavenly Parents’ vast and potentially overwhelming kingdom-building project. He shows us the glory of it, while also stripping away the human fences we’ve built around its core. Reading Mason is like confronting a complicated math problem, and rather than being discouraged by it, we marvel at how much of it we already know how to solve.”
— Neylan McBaine, author of Women at Church and Pioneering the Vote
“For anyone who cares about the Church’s mission in the twenty-first century, Restoration is a necessary book. Patrick Mason builds on the early leaders’ radical view that our charge is to renovate all of human society. He points to a few accretions we need to slough off to ready ourselves and then lays out areas calling for our best efforts. This is a strong read, but written with such a light touch and good humor, that I could not put it down.”
— Richard Bushman, author of Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling
“This stirring, significant, spirited, and brightly written book summons Latter-day Saints to reenvision the Restoration—as, indeed, every generation must do if it is to remain maximally relevant and appealing—without surrendering its essential claims. Part of that reenvisioning, Patrick Mason argues, should be a commitment to the “renovation of the world”—which powerfully reminds me of “tikkun olam,” the religious duty of “repairing the world” advocated by Jewish thinkers since antiquity. Restoration: God’s Ongoing Love for the World should and surely will stimulate an important conversation.”
— Daniel C. Peterson, President, The Interpreter Foundation
About the author
Patrick Q. Mason is the author of several books for academic and Latter-day Saint audiences, including Planted: Belief and Belonging in an Age of Doubt, and What Is Mormonism?: A Student’s Introduction.
Mason is an associate professor of religious studies and history at Utah State University, where he holds the Leonard J. Arrington Chair of Mormon History and Culture. A Utah native, Mason was trained in American history at Brigham Young University and the University of Notre Dame. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Romania, has served on the boards of the Mormon History Association and Dialogue Foundation, and is an advisor and contributor to Faith Matters.
Mason lives with his wife Melissa and their four children in Logan, Utah.