‘Mormon Land’: Independent historian examines church’s new official history book, ‘Saints' — where it succeeds, falls short and how it could change members' views of their own religion

(Photo courtesy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Joseph Smith's first vision.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made history this week — with its own history.

For the first time since 1930, it released an authorized, in-depth book that explores the faith’s past. “Saints: The Standard of Truth" is part of a four-volume set that will explore Mormonism from its humble birth to its current global presence.

On this week’s “Mormon Land” podcast, Benjamin Park, who is a Latter-day Saint and a history professor at Sam Houston State University, discusses this first installment, its strengths, its weaknesses and its potential to shape members' views about their own religious heritage.