Ancient Christians: An Introduction for Latter-day Saints

Ancient Christians: An Introduction for Latter-day Saints is a historical and theological window on Christianity’s first six centuries and beyond. It invites Latter-day Saints to encounter ancient followers of Jesus Christ, to hear what they heard, see what they saw, understand how they worshipped, and learn what they believed. Readers will come to see early Christian women and men as our sisters and brothers, fellow disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.


Informed by the questions and interests of Latter-day Saints, each chapter explores the history of important ancient Christian beliefs and practices. Readers will also experience the ancient Christians’ material world, their art, architecture, and manuscripts, through beautiful images that adorn the text. Together, their writings and art stand as a witness to the profound faith and devotion of these followers of Christ.


Latter-day Saints are connected with early Christians through Joseph Smith’s restoration project and what he called “the primitive church.” Yet the lives of these spiritual forebears are often overlooked, and their faith is sometimes misunderstood. In this book, readers are invited to learn from these venerable ancient Saints, feel their love of God, and rejoice in their testimonies of the Savior of the world.

Link to purchase Ancient Christians here.

Ancient Christians was published November 23rd, 2022.

Sample Pages



Table of Contents

  • Introduction: Understanding Ancient Christians, Apostasy, and Restoration (Jason R. Combs)
  • Preaching Christ: Scripture, Sermons, and Practical Exegesis (Kristian S. Heal)
  • Creating Canon: Authority, New Prophecy, and Sacred Texts (Thomas A. Wayment)
  • Church Organization: Priesthood Offices and Women’s Leadership Roles (Ariel Bybee Laughton)
  • Sacred Spaces and Places of Worship: From House Churches to Monumental Basilicas (Matthew J. Grey)
  • Connecting with Christ: Rituals and Worship (Mark D. Ellison)
  • Human Nature: Creation and the Fall (Gaye Strathearn)
  • Divine Nature: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Jason R. Combs)
  • Receiving Christ: Atonement, Grace, and Eternal Salvation (Cecilia M. Peek)
  • Becoming Like God: Incarnation, Moral Formation, and Eternal Progression (Daniel Becerra)
  • Inclining Christian Hearts: Work for the Dead (Catherine Gines Taylor)
  • Living in the Afterlife: Heaven, Hell, and Places Between (D. Jill Kirby)
  • Facing the End: The Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the Millennium (Nicholas J. Frederick)
  • Afterword: Medieval Christians (Miranda Wilcox)


Jason R. Combs

Mark D. Ellison

Catherine Gines Taylor

Kristian S. Heal




This book, though having an intended readership within the Latter-day Saint community, is to be welcomed much more broadly as an introduction to early Christian history that is at once attentive, thematic, and detailed. It is humble yet scholarly, and it shows why this subject really matters to people of faith. . . . I’m so grateful for this project and this lively, respectful conversation between Latter-day and late-Antique Saints.

Rev. Dr. Andrew Teal

This treasury of Latter-day Saint scholarship provides informed and sympathetic insights into the thought and lives of early Christians. . . . Between the excellent scholarship and an exhaustive image collection, you couldn’t ask for a better guide to the early Christian world.

Jennifer C. Lane

Joseph Smith referred to the Restored Church coming forth “out of the wilderness.” He thereby provided the seeds of a historical consciousness that fully appreciates the beauty and power of Christian voices that have persevered through the centuries. . . . This series of essays celebrates the rich legacy of Christian devotion and cultural production long past. . . . Sensitively written and lavishly illustrated, an essential study combining the aesthetic and the scholarly.

Terryl L. Givens

I cannot recommend this gem of a book highly enough. . . . Ancient Christians is a sterling example of disciple-scholarship, as readers will come away not only with a wealth of new knowledge but also with their love for God and our fellow human beings increased.

Patrick Q. Mason

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Publication Information

  • Publication Year: 2022
  • Page Count: 574
  • Binding: Hardcover

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