D Golding

David Golding

Historian, Church History Library, Salt Lake City

Ph.D., Claremont Graduate University
History of Christianity & Religions in North America

  • David Golding Portrait
  • About David

    David Golding is a historian of Mormonism and missions.

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      He graduated with a Ph.D. in the history of Christianity at Claremont Graduate University.

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      His specialization is transdisciplinary, drawing from the field of religious studies.

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      He has written and lectured on missionaries and their interactions with proselytes.

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      He teaches courses on Mormon history at Brigham Young University.

  • Articles

    Featured essays on religious studies and history.

    • Some Quick Thoughts on Netflix’s “Murder among the Mormons”
    • A Messenger Stood Near Them
    • Emergence of the Missionary Department
    • Rediscovering Fanny Alger Custer
    • The Time Neil Armstrong Searched for Gold Plates
    • Joseph Smith Biographies: The Essentials
      • Strict historicity of narrative elements in the Nativity Story brings out some novel revisions to how we imagine the birth of Yeshua (Jesus).

        Continue reading at Substack

      • Missions touch virtually every congregation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are managed by the Missionary Department headquartered in Salt Lake City. Despite such scope and activity, this department’s administrative history has yet to be written.

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      • Some newly discovered sources allow us to consider Fanny Alger Custer independently of the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith and even get a sense of a more complete biography. Here is a highlight from the new sources, something stunning from Fanny herself—her own voice.

        Continue reading at Juvenile Instructor

      • It’s true: Neil Armstrong led an expedition into an Ecuadorian jungle to search for gold plates. The story begins with a Latter-day Saint mission president, an eccentric anthropologist, and an Italian Catholic missionary. It ends with Donny Osmond. And there are aliens in the middle.

        Continue reading at Juvenile Instructor

      • If we were to craft the perfect graduate seminar syllabus or the perfect comprehensive exam reading list on Joseph Smith, what works would it include?

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  • Superstitions of the Heathen

    Foreign Missions and the Fashioning of American Exceptionalism, 1800–1861

    Ph.D. Dissertation, Claremont Graduate University

    • In 1800, the first missionary periodicals to be published in the United States entered circulation.

      Readers would soon rely on this growing literature for information about the world beyond.

      This dissertation traces the ways missionaries abroad defined the “foreign” for home audiences, and in turn, shaped early ideas of American exceptionalism.

Get in Touch

Feel free to contact me.

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    801 240–5192

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    Church History Library
    Attn: David Golding 316
    15 East North Temple Street
    Salt Lake City, Utah 84150-1600