Michael Marquardt leads a discussion about his latest book. (Jamii Freston /The Signpost)
Michael Marquardt leads a discussion about his latest book. (Jamii Freston /The Signpost)

History can be a hard thing to digest, especially when it comes to telling the stories that people might want to bury.

However, Michael Marquardt and William Shepard have recently co-authored a book that allows people to read and learn about a part of history that is often swept under the rug.

Local historians, members of the community and Weber State University students packed into the Lindquist Alumni Center to learn about Marquardt and Shepard’s latest book,  “Lost Apostles: Forgotten Members of Mormonism’s Original Quorum of Twelve.”

It tells the history of six of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ original 12 apostles. The book covers the stories of their apostleship appointment, excommunication and death.

Marquardt is part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, while his fellow author Shepard is a member of a Wisconsin-based group referred to as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Strangite. Shepard’s faith believes that James Strang was the successor to Joseph Smith as opposed to Brigham Young.

Although the two have differing religious beliefs, they didn’t allow this to stop them from researching and collaborating on the book.

Tokiah Barker, a history major at Weber State, was intrigued by the lecture because of the prominence of the LDS religion in the area, “I plan to read the book and hopefully to broaden my perspective in LDS studies.”

The lecture allowed students, as well as members of the community, to learn about the book, ask questions and participate in a historical discussion. The lecture began with a Q & A panel featuring Marquardt, the author, Tom Kimball, the marketing director for Signature Books, and Richard Sadler who is a history professor here at Weber State and the former dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

This part of the lecture gave the audience a chance to become familiar with the six apostles discussed in the book: John F. Boynton, William E. M’Lellin, Thomas B. Marsh, William Smith and brothers Lyman and Luke Johnson. Kimball asked questions to Marquardt which allowed him to explain more about the apostles and their separation from the LDS church.

Many audience members had questions about the apostles, especially concerning Thomas B. Marsh, and were given a chance to ask these during the audience Q & A session in the latter half of the lecture.

Sadler commented on the book, “It is hard to condense everything in this book into a single lecture, the book does a great job of covering the history of these six apostles.”

The event was part of a lecture series that is put on by the WSU Alumni Association, the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences, the Department of History, the Stewart Library and the Weber Historical Society. Eric Swedin, another history professor at WSU organized the lecture.

“We hope that those in attendance tonight will gain a better understanding of the LDS religion and history,” Swedin commented, “students, faculty, staff and members of the community are always encouraged to attend these types of events.”

The next part of the lecture series will be held in April. For more information about upcoming lectures visit the Weber Historical Society webpage.

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