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The Work and the Glory is a nine-part novel series by Gerald N. Lund. It chronicles the birth and early growth of Mormonism through the fictional Steed family. The Steeds, throughout the series, meet and come to know many of the prominent early Church members well.

The series covers 20 years and opens in 1827, when the Steeds move from Vermont to western New York state. It ends in 1847, when they settle in the Salt Lake Valley. The storyline also includes both fictional and historical events.



The main characters of the series include both fictional and non-fictional people. The Steed family includes the father, Benjamin; his wife, Mary Ann; and their children. From eldest to youngest, the children include Joshua, Nathan, Melissa, Rebecca, and Matthew. Benjamin and Mary Ann had additional children, but four died soon after birth or were stillborn and one lived only to the age of four.

Joshua marries Jessica Roundy and has a daughter, Rachel, with her. They are eventually divorced, and he then marries Caroline Mendenhall, whom he meets in Savannah, Georgia. She brings two children to the marriage, William Donovan and Olivia, and together, she and Joshua have three more children: Savannah, Charles Benjamin, and Livvy Caroline. The youngest, Livvy, is named for her older sister, Olivia, after she is killed; Livvy was Olivia's nickname. Joshua eventually is baptized into the Mormon religion, but it takes more than 19 years after the Church first came into his life for that to happen.

Nathan marries Lydia McBride, the only daughter of a storekeeper in Palmyra, and they have several children, including one named after Nathan's older brother Joshua Benjamin. They also have a daughter, Emily, who becomes best friends with Jessica's oldest daughter, Rachel. The other children do not figure prominently in the novels. They are Nathan Joseph (who dies of malaria while HD is in Commerce, Illinois), Elizabeth Mary, Josiah, Nathan Joseph (named for his brother, Joseph), and Patricia Ann (Tricia, born during the trek west to Utah). One stillborn baby born after Emily is Nathan Morgan.

Melissa marries Carlton Rogers, and they also have several children, who do not appear frequently in the books. Carl is the only member of the family who never joins the church. Their oldest son young Carlton Hezikiah saves his mother in Volume 9 from a group of evil men. Their other children are David Benjamin, Caleb John, Sarah, and Mary Melissa, who dies after she falls into a frozen river after she is sick.

Rebecca marries Derek Ingalls from England, and they have three children: Christopher Joseph, Benjamin Derek, and Leah Rebecca.

Matthew marries Jennifer Jo McIntre from Ireland, and they have two children, Betsy Jo, and Emmaline. Jennifer Jo informs Matthew in Volume 9 that she is pregnant again.

Jennifer's sister, Kathryn, and Derek's brother, Peter, marry as well. They have a daughter named Nicole that was born at Fort Pueblo. Peter is a fictional member of the ill-fated Donner party but survives.

Caroline's son, Will, marries Alice Samuelson, and by the end of the series, they have a young boy named Jared Will. Will and Alice came to the west by a ship bound for California.

Jessica Roundy, Joshua Steed's divorced wife, later marries John Griffith. They have one son together, John Benjamin, who is added to her daughter, Rachel, and his two sons: Mark and Luke. John is soon killed at the Haun's Mill Massacre. Several years later, she marries Solomon Garrett, and they have a daughter, Miriam Jessica, and a son, Solomon Clinton together.


  • The Work & the Glory vol. 1: Pillar of Light (1990), ISBN 978-0-88494-770-7
  • The Work & the Glory vol. 2: Like a Fire is Burning (1991), ISBN 978-0-88494-801-8
  • The Work & the Glory vol. 3: Truth Will Prevail (1992), ISBN 978-0-88494-853-7
  • The Work & the Glory vol. 4: Thy Gold to Refine (1993), ISBN 978-0-88494-893-3
  • The Work & the Glory vol. 5: A Season of Joy (1994), ISBN 978-0-88494-960-2
  • The Work & the Glory vol. 6: Praise to the Man (1995), ISBN 978-0-88494-999-2
  • The Work & the Glory vol. 7: No Unhallowed Hand (1996), ISBN 978-1-57008-277-1
  • The Work & the Glory vol. 8: So Great a Cause (1997), ISBN 978-1-57008-358-7
  • The Work & the Glory vol. 9: All is Well (1998), ISBN 978-1-57008-563-5

In the preface to volume 9, Lund mentioned that he felt the need to work on other projects, so the Work and the Glory series would temporarily come to an end. He said that it seemed to him like the family was saying that it had shared enough of with the readers and that it was time for them to be left alone. However, he also said that at some future point, he would like to come back to it and officially end the series with a 10th volume, which would tell the story of the Steed family descendants in modern times.

Lund has since decided not to write the 10th volume and has said that his future book, The Undaunted, released in August 2009, would be like another volume.[citation needed]

List of charactersEdit

  • Benjamin Steed (the patriarch, dies in Book 7) and Mary Ann Morgan Steed (the matriarch)
    • Mary Steed (died soon after birth)
    • Joshua Steed
    • Nathan Steed
    • Melissa Mary Steed
    • Rachel Steed (stillborn)
    • Leah Steed (stillborn)
    • Jacob Steed (dies at age 4, plays no part in the books)
    • Laura Steed (stillborn)
    • Rebecca Steed
    • Matthew Steed
    • Rachel Steed
  • Caroline Mendenhall Steed (married to Joshua Steed in book 3)
    • William Donovan Mendenhall Steed
    • Olivia Mendenhall Steed (dies in Book 6)
    • Savannah Steed
    • Charles Benjamin Steed
    • Livvy Caroline Steed
  • Jessica Roundy (married to Joshua Steed in book 1, divorced in book 3)
  • John (married to Jessiaca Roundy in Book 3)
  • John Griffith (dies in Book 4)
    • Rachel Steed Griffith (originally Rachel Steed)
    • Luke Griffith
    • Mark Griffith
    • John Benjamin Griffith
  • Jessica and Solomon (married in Book 6)
  • Jessica Roundy Steed Griffith Garrett and Solomon Garrett
    • Rachel Steed Griffith Garrett
    • Luke Griffith Garrett
    • Mark Griffith Garrett
    • John Benjamin Griffith Garrett
    • Miriam Jessica Garrett
    • Solomon Clinton Garrett
  • Nathan and Lydia (married in Book 2)
  • Nathan Steed and Lydia McBride Steed
    • Joshua Benjamin Steed
    • Emily Steed
    • Nathan Morgan Steed (stillborn in Book 2)
    • Nathan Joseph Steed (dies in Book 5)
    • Elizabeth Mary Steed
    • Josiah Nathan Steed
    • Nathan Joseph Steed
    • Patricia Ann Steed
  • Melissa and Carl (married in Book 2)
  • Melissa Mary Steed Rogers and Carlton Rogers
    • Carlton Hezekiah Rogers
    • David Benjamin Rogers
    • Caleb John Rogers
    • Sarah Rogers
    • Mary Melissa Rogers (died in Book 9)
  • Rebecca and Derek (married in Book 4)
  • Rebecca Steed Ingalls and Derek Ingalls
    • Christopher Joseph Ingalls
    • Benjamin Derek Ingalls
    • Leah Rebecca Ingalls
  • Matthew and Jenny (married in Book 5)
  • Matthew Steed and Jennifer Jo McIntire Steed
    • Betsy Jo Steed
    • Emmeline Steed
  • Will and Alice (married in Book 7)
  • William Donovan Mendenhall Steed and Alice Samuelson Steed
    • Jared Will Steed
  • Peter and Kathryn (married in Book 7)
  • Peter Ingalls and Kathryn Marie McIntire Ingalls
    • Nicole Ingalls


The Work and the Glory has been developed into three movies to date. They are The Work and the Glory (2004), The Work and the Glory: American Zion (2005), and The Work and the Glory: A House Divided (2006).

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