Pre-order Samuel Brown’s First Principles & Ordinances

11.03.2014 | The Maxwell Institute

 Almost from the cradle, Latter-day Saint children are taught the basic principles and ordinances of the gospel: faith, repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost. Missionaries teach these same things to people who want to know more about Mormonism. Thanks to repeated lessons and talks, they become more and more familiar the longer you’re a member of the Church. But familiarity can lead to a peculiar kind of blindness in life and in religion. Proximity can lead to saturation. A fresh approach to otherwise familiar things can bring out their fragrance once again.

Such is the hope of Samuel M. Brown, author of our forthcoming book First Principles and Ordinances: The Fourth Article of Faith in Light of the Temple. It is the second book in our “Living Faith” series, following Adam Miller’s best-selling book Letters to a Young Mormon. In First Principles and Ordinances, Brown presents some of the more devotional elements which have grown out of his scholarly research on Mormon history and theology. He suggests that religion is not lived alone, and sets about outlining a relationship-grounded theology by connecting the gospel’s first principles with the highest ordinances of LDS temple worship. After encountering this tapestry woven of personal stories, scripture, LDS history, and perspectives of other religious traditions, you’ll never read the Fourth Article of Faith the same way again.

Buy online:

The book is available for pre-order at It will be officially released on November 17th.

Meet the author:

If you’re in the Salt Lake area on November 5, you can pick up a copy at our book launch event. Come hear Sam Brown discuss the book and get an autographed copy. See here for more details.

About the Author

Samuel M. Brown is Assistant Professor of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and Medical Ethics and Humanities at the University of Utah and an intensive care physician in the Shock Trauma ICU at Intermountain Medical Center. His award-winning book In Heaven as It Is on Earth: Joseph Smith and the Early Mormon Conquest of Death was published by Oxford University Press in 2012. He is also translator of Aleksandr Men’s Son of Man: The Story of Christ and Christianity (Oakwood Publications, 1998).