Summer is here and so are the books. There have been some great new books published lately–see if something catches your eye! To check out the list, click here.

Reminder that Martha Bradley-Evans, author of Glorious in Persecution: Joseph Smith, American Prophet, 1839-1844 (published by the Smith-Pettit Foundation), will be here THIS WEDNESDAY, June 29 to speak about and sign copies of her book. She will be here from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and will speak at 6:00 and will answer questions and sign books before and after that time. We hope you will be able to make it that night but, if not, we can mail a signed copy or hold one here at the store for pick-up. To RSVP on Facebook, click here.

EVENING WITH THE AUTHOR

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We are excited to announce that Martha Bradley-Evans, author of Glorious in Persecution: Joseph Smith, American Prophet, 1839-1844 (published by the Smith-Pettit Foundation), will be here on Wednesday, June 29 to speak about and sign copies of her book. She will be here from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and will speak at 6:00 and will answer questions and sign books before and after that time. We hope you will be able to make it that night but, if not, we can mail a signed copy or hold one here at the store for pick-up. To RSVP on Facebook, click here.

Escaping imprisonment in Missouri in 1839, the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith quickly settled with family and followers on the Illinois banks of the Mississippi River. Under Smith’s direction, the small village of Commerce soon mushroomed into the boomtown of Nauvoo, home to roughly 12,000 members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

For Smith, Nauvoo was the new epicenter of the Mormon universe: the gathering place for Latter-day Saints worldwide; the location of a modern-day Zion; the stage upon which his esoteric teachings, including plural marriage and secret temple ceremonies, played out; and the locus of a theocracy whose legal underpinnings would be condemned by outsiders as an attack on American pluralism.

In Nauvoo, Smith created a proto-utopian society built upon continuing revelation; established a civil government that blurred the lines among executive, legislative, and legal branches; introduced doctrines that promised glimpses of heaven on earth; centralized secular and spiritual authority in fiercely loyal groups of men and women; insulated himself against legal harassment through creative interpretations of Nauvoo’s founding charter; embarked upon a daring run at the U.S. presidency; and pursued a vendetta against dissidents that lead eventually to his violent death in 1844.

The common thread running through the final years of Smith’s tumultuous life, according to prize-winning historian and biographer, Martha Bradley-Evans, is his story of prophethood and persecution. Smith’s repeated battles with the forces of evil–past controversies as well as present skirmishes with courts, politicians, and apostates transformed into mythic narratives of triumph–informed Smith’s construction of self and chronicle of innocent suffering.

“Joseph found religious and apocalyptic significance in every offense and persecution–actual or imagined,” writes Bradley-Evans, “and wove these slights into his prophet-narrative. Insults became badges of honor, confirmation that his life was playing out on a mythic stage of opposition. By the time Joseph led his people to Illinois, he had lived with the adulation of followers and the vilification of enemies for more than a decade. Joseph’s worst challenges often proved to be his greatest triumphs. He forged devotion through disaster, faith through depression. Joseph interpreted each new event as God’s will set against manifestations of evil opposed to the restoration of all things.”

This is the first installment to be released in a three-volume biography of Joseph Smith. The next volume to be released—Natural Born Seer: Joseph Smith, American Prophet, 1805-1830, written by Richard S. Van Wagoner—will be published later this year. The final volume, dealing with the Ohio/Missouri period, is currently being written by Dan Vogel.

Martha Bradley-Evans is a professor in the College of Architecture and Planning and Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Undergraduate Studies at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City. She previously taught history at Brigham Young University (Provo, Utah), where she received a Teaching Excellence Award. She has been vice chair of the Utah State Board of History, chair of the Utah Heritage Foundation, president of the Mormon History Association, and co-editor of Dialogue. In 2013, she received the Leonard Arrington Award for Meritorious and Distinguished Service to Mormon History from the Mormon History Association; and in 2014 was named a Fellow of the Utah State Historical Society.

Glorious in Persecution: Joseph Smith, American Prophet, 1839-1844. The Smith-Pettit Foundation, 2016. Hardback. 702pp. $39.95.

Also by Martha Bradley-Evans:

Kidnapped from That Land: The Government Raids on the Short Creek Polygamists. University of Utah Press, 1993. Paperback. $14.95

Pedestals and Podiums: Utah Women, Religious Authority, and Equal Rights. Signature Books, 2005. Hardback. $39.95

Plural Wife: The Story of Mabel Finlayson Allred (Life Writings of Frontier Women, vol. 13). USU Press, 2012. Hardback. $36.95

 

Shipping: $4.50 for the first book, $1 for each additional (USPS)–Priority/FedEx/UPS options available–inquire for details.

Utah residents–add 7.05% sales tax

EVENING WITH THE AUTHOR

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We are very excited to announce that Gregory A. Prince, author of Leonard Arrington and the Writing of Mormon History (published by the University of Utah Press), will be here on Wednesday, June 8 to speak about and sign copies of his book. He will be here from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and will speak at 6:00 and will answer questions and sign books before and after that time. We hope you will be able to make it that night but, if not, we can mail a signed copy or hold one here at the store for pick-up. To RSVP on Facebook, click here.

Leonard Arrington, author of Great Basin Kingdom, a book many saw as the most important history of Mormonism, became the principal driver of a dramatic turn towards scholarly truth in the study of Mormon history. His approach gained a temporary foothold in the governing bureaucracy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when he became its church historian. That productive period of professional scholarship from inside the LDS Church ended with a controversial closing of the History Division, which had brought too much candor for some church leaders. Arrington and his colleagues had lit a spark, though, that would continue to energize Mormon historiography. The many scholars whom he mentored, encouraged, supported, and collaborated with helped maintain the growth of a newly enriched field of research and publication, bringing the historical record that had always been an essential aspect of Mormon identity into wide examination and discourse.

Gregory Prince follows his well-regarded biography of LDS President David O. McKay with the story of another key figure in the modern history of Mormonism. Leonard Arrington, a gregarious and generous history entrepreneur, used his success to advance the careers of many others and played a key role in the intellectual development of Mormonism by broadening Mormons’ understanding of themselves. Employing Arrington’s massive personal record (his diaries are slated to be published later this year) and dozens of interviews with his associates, Prince provides the most complete account yet of the remarkable successes and failures of this longtime face of Mormon history.

“This biography breaks your heart a little, stiffens your spine a lot, and makes you fall in love with a man who may be his generation’s best human being.”
—Lavina Fielding Anderson, editor of Lucy’s Book: A Critical Edition of Lucy Mack Smith’s Family Memoir

“This is a well-written, exceptionally documented biography of arguably the most important figure in twentieth-century Mormon intellectual history. It provides a captivating, highly readable history of Arrington’s personal and professional life, almost unmatched in LDS biography. It made me wish I could go back and talk with Leonard again, and deservedly will long be the definitive work on the subject.”
—Lester Bush, coeditor of Neither White Nor Black: Mormon Scholars Confront the Race Issue in a Universal Church

Gregory A. Prince earned doctorate degrees in dentistry (DDS) and pathology (PhD) at UCLA, and then pursued a four-decade career in pediatric infectious disease research. His avocation in history led him to write several dozen articles and book chapters and three books, including Power from on High: The Development of Mormon Priesthood and the award-winning David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism, coauthored with William Robert Wright.

 

Leonard Arrington and the Writing of Mormon History. University of Utah Press, 2016. 432pp. Hardback. $39.95

 

Also by Gregory Prince

David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism. University of Utah Press, 2005. $29.95

Power from on High: The Development of Mormon Priesthood. Signature Books, 1995. Reg. $24.95, SALE $12.99

 

Shipping: $6.00 for the first book (inquire for rates on additional books) via USPS–Priority/FedEx/UPS options available–inquire for details.

Utah residents–add 7.05% sales tax

Reminder that Matthew C. Godfrey, Brenden W. Rensink, Alexander L. Baugh and Max H. Parkin will be here TOMORROW Wednesday, May 18, to discuss the latest volume of the Joseph Smith Papers, Documents, Volume 4: April 1834 – September 1835 (published by the Church Historian’s Press). They will be here from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.—speaking at 6:00—and will answer questions and sign books before and after that time. We hope you will be able to make that night but, if not, we can mail signed copies (Alex Smith is not able to attend the event but will sign copies beforehand) or hold them here at the store for pick-up. To RSVP on Facebook, click here.

EVENING WITH THE EDITORS

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We are excited to announce that Matthew C. Godfrey, Brenden W. Rensink, Alexander L. Baugh and Max H. Parkin will be here on Wednesday, May 18, to discuss the latest volume of the Joseph Smith Papers, Documents, Volume 4: April 1834 – September 1835 (published by the Church Historian’s Press). They will be here from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.—speaking at 6:00—and will answer questions and sign books before and after that time. We hope you will be able to make that night but, if not, we can mail signed copies (Alex Smith is not able to attend the event but will sign copies beforehand) or hold them here at the store for pick-up. To RSVP on Facebook, click here.

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Accomplishing the “redemption of Zion” was Joseph Smith’s primary concern for much of 1834 and 1835. After the Latter-day Saints had been forcibly removed from their lands in Jackson County, Missouri—the place where they believed God had commanded them to build the city of Zion—Joseph Smith led numerous efforts to reclaim those lands and restore the Saints to their homes. Covering April 1834 through September 1835, the ninety-three documents featured in this fourth volume of the Documents series of The Joseph Smith Papers shed light on Joseph Smith’s attempts to redeem Zion and reveal his maturation as a leader and prophet for a growing church facing nearly constant challenges.

The project of redeeming Zion placed large demands on Joseph Smith’s time and resources. He left his home in Kirtland, Ohio, in May 1834 to lead a company of about two hundred individuals, known as the Camp of Israel and later as Zion’s Camp, to Missouri to aid the beleaguered Saints there. Smith also sought to redeem Zion through the construction of the House of the Lord (or temple) in Kirtland, where the elders of the church were to receive an “endowment of power,” and the publication of the Doctrine and Covenants, a collection of revelations that provided instruction to the Saints on church doctrine and theology. Funding these projects proved difficult, however. In part because of the loss of the printing press in Jackson County and the mounting construction costs of the Kirtland temple, Smith and the church faced severe financial problems in the mid-1830s. Several documents in this volume describe these projects, the church’s financial strain, and the resulting assignments given to some individuals to collect donations for the church.

Meanwhile, the number of Saints in and outside Kirtland continued to increase. To address the challenge of growth, Joseph Smith further developed the church’s governing bodies and created a more complex administrative structure. Some documents presented herein, for example, detail the creation of new leadership positions in the church, including the offices of apostle, seventy, and church patriarch.

The types of documents included in this volume range from minutes and administrative documents to personal letters and revelations. Particularly prominent are a number of recorded blessings. These documents reveal the growing importance that Joseph Smith placed on giving blessings that provided personalized instructions and promises to various individuals, including veterans of the Camp of Israel and new church leaders.

Matthew C. Godfrey is a general editor and the managing historian of the Joseph Smith Papers, and is a member of the editorial board. He holds a PhD in American and public history from Washington State University. Before joining the project, he worked for eight years at Historical Research Associates, a historical and archeological consulting firm headquartered in Missoula, Montana, serving as president of the company from 2008 to 2010. He is the author of Religion, Politics, and Sugar: The Mormon Church, the Federal Government, and the Utah-Idaho Sugar Company, 1907-1921 (2007), which was a co-winner of the Mormon History Association’s Smith-Petit Award for Best First Book.

Brenden W. Rensink is an Assistant Professor of History, Assistant Director of the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies at Brigham Young University, and general editor of Intermountain Histories. Before joining the faculty at BYU he earned a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, was visiting faculty at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, and a historian and editor for the Joseph Smith Papers. He co-authored A Historical Dictionary of the American Frontier (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015).

Alexander L. Baugh completed a master’s degree at BYU in history in 1986 with an emphasis in western American and Mormon history. He became a full-time faculty member in Religious Education at BYU after completing his PhD in American history. In addition to his professorship, he also serves as a co-director of research for the Religious Studies Center at Brigham Young University.

Max H. Parkin holds a Ph.D. from BYU in Church history. A former institute instructor, he is the author of Conflict at Kirtland and directs tours to Church history sites and to the Middle East.

 

The Joseph Smith Papers, Documents, Volume 4: April 1834 – September 1835 ed. by Matthew C. Godfrey, Brenden W. Rensink, Alex D. Smith, Alexander L. Baugh and Max H. Parkin. Church Historian’s Press, 2016. 668pp. Hardback. $54.95 (10% off to subscribers to the series).

 

Other volumes in the Joseph Smith Papers:

Journals, Vol. 1: 1832-1839. 2008. $49.95

Journals, Vol. 2: 1841-1843. 2011. Reg. $54.95, SALE $19.99

Journals, Vol. 3: May 1843-June 1844. 2015. $57.95

Joseph Smith Papers, Revelations & Translations, Manuscript Revelation Books: Facsimile Edition. 2009. Reg. $99.99, SALE $59.99 **SIGNED BY ALL THREE VOLUME EDITORS** Very limited quantity available.

Joseph Smith Papers, Revelations & Translations, Manuscript Revelation Books: Facsimile Edition. 2009. Reg. $99.99, SALE $79.99. **SIGNED BY ALL THREE VOLUME EDITORS AS WELL AS THE THREE GENERAL EDITORS.  AS FAR AS WE KNOW, THESE FEW COPIES SIGNED BY ALL SIX EDITORS ARE AVAILABLE NOWHERE ELSE, WHICH MAKES THESE ALL THE MORE RARE AND VALUABLE!**

Joseph Smith Papers: Revelations & Translations, Vol. 1. 2011. $79.95. This “library edition” includes all of the color-coded transcriptions of the facsimile edition with limited full-color images of important manuscript pages (rather than all pages as in the Facsimile Edition) such as the “Sample of Pure Language” as well as pages showing editorial marks.

Joseph Smith Papers, Revelations & Translations, Volume 2: Published Revelations. Church Historian’s Press, 2011. Hardback. Reg. $69.95, SALE $19.99

Joseph Smith Papers: Revelations and Translations, Volume 3: Printer’s Manuscript of the Book of Mormon, Parts 1 & 2. 2015. $89.99/each part

Histories, Vol. 1: Joseph Smith Histories (1832-1844). 2012. $54.95

Histories, Vol. 2: Assigned Histories (1831-1847). 2102. Reg. $54.95, SALE $19.99

Documents, vol. 1: July 1828 – June 1831. 2013. Reg. $54.95, SALE $19.99

Documents, vol. 2: July 1831 – January 1833. 2013. $54.95

Documents, vol. 3: February 1833-March 1834. 2014. Reg. $54.95, SALE $19.99

Shipping: $6.50 for the first book (inquire for rates for additional books). Priority/UPS/FedEx options available–inquire for details.

Utah residents–add 7.05% sales tax.

20160509_102848We were invited to attend a release event for the latest volume in the Joseph Smith Papers: Documents, vol. 4 covering April 1834 to September 1835. To begin, Matt Grow (director of publications for the Church Historian’s Press), outlined the four major releases this year:

The First Fifty Years of Relief Society (the first non-Joseph Smith Papers publication from the Church Historian’s Press)

–George Q. Cannon journals (first online installment)

Documents, vol. 4

Administrative, vol. 1 (Council of Fifty minutes)—forthcoming in September

He noted that the two volumes to be published next year are Documents, vols. 5 & 6 which will be roughly the halfway point in that series.

jsp--docs 4We then heard from Matt Godfrey (lead volume editor) about the contents of this latest volume. He began by saying that, despite other high-profile releases this year, this volume is important as it reveals a lot about Joseph Smith and this period. The expulsion from Jackson County is still hanging over them during this time and manifests itself frequently. Several documents in this volume relate to Zion’s Camp (which is only referred to as such later) whose primary purpose is a bit different that commonly thought. Rather than serving as a miraculous demonstration of divine power, the company is designed to spur government help. However, Missouri governor Daniel Dunklin waits to see how things play out before he commits state assistance (and, ultimately, never does). A revelation received following the disbanding of the camp outlines steps the saints need to take before land can be redeemed.

Another prominent theme in this volume is the construction of the Kirtland Temple. Simultaneously, the high council in Kirtland also appoints a committee to compile Joseph Smith’s revelations (following an earlier attempt in Missouri that led to the Book of Commandments). The decision is made initially to include excerpts from other texts (such as the Book of Mormon) that deal with church administration. Plans would change and eventually a series of lectures (known today as the Lectures on Faith) were chosen to be included with the revelations instead.

A young Joseph has to face challenges to his leadership as well as mounting financial concerns (lingering Missouri debts, temple construction, etc.). At opportune times, key donors step forward and help out the leadership in tight straits. Following one such donation, they pray and make a covenant based on their gratitude that presages tithing several years later.

In previous volumes, women have been largely absent. While there aren’t large-scale appearances in this volume, there are some key inclusions. A list of donations to Zion’s Camp (along with disbursements to camp captains) serves as a stopgap resource to recreate a list of camp members in the absence of a contemporary roster. Included in the list is a woman (thought to be a single woman from Indiana) who donated $50—the second-highest amount incidentally—that leads to the guess that she in fact marched with the camp. Another document in this volume is a series of blessings (recorded in the patriarchal blessing book) given to Smith children and their spouses. Matt gleans from these blessings that saints at the time would have considered blessings given to husband and wife to be one blessing. The blessing given to Emma by Joseph Smith Sr. would have been a great comfort to her following the death of children and other hardships. A letter written by Joseph Smith to Sally Phelps (wife of W. W. Phelps) remarks on W. W.’s talents but also her sacrifices in allowing him to devote much time to the cause. A subsequent three-part letter includes Phelps writing to his wife (including part of the city plat that he warns her should not be shared with anyone), Joseph Smith writing to his cousin looking forward to the day when Mormons could return to Jackson County and then church leaders likely writing to the president of the elders in Missouri instructing them not to assume too much responsibility.

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city plat to be kept secret

This volume also includes a broadside of the first lecture on faith (likely a Sidney Rigdon project) as well as two items from the 1835 D&C as an appendix since authorship is in question. Several blessings recorded by Oliver Cowdery in the patriarchal blessing book are also included. These texts are intriguing because they are greatly expanded from earlier recordings of them (also in the appendix because it is not clear how much of the expansions can be tied to Joseph Smith).

Some interesting points that were brought out in the Q&A:

–The broadside of the first lecture on faith was possibly given out by missionaries, like with the case of the broadside of D&C 101.

–Regarding the statement on marriage included in the 1835 D&C, Matt Godfrey noted that Joseph is definitely in Michigan when it is presented but he was likely in Kirtland when it was composed. As documentary editors, they choose not to make a judgment on Joseph’s authorship (Matt said, if pressed, he would opine that Joseph did not write it).

–Regarding the meeting where the D&C is presented for approval (along with the statement on marriage and declaration on government), the assumption is that Oliver Cowdery presented things with Joseph Smith’s tacit approval rather than being a case of Cowdery trying to sneak them in.

–With Zion’s Camp, the relevant revelations in the D&C lead to the impression it will end in miraculous results. Circular letter outlines very clearly the goals camp will have and gives a more realistic picture of their mission.

–As for the structure relating to patriarchal blessings, there really isn’t a standard practice at that point—questions like whether single women could receive blessings (in light of the husband and wife dynamic describe above) have not yet been systematized.

Reminder that Laura Harris Hales, editor of the recently released A Reason for Faith: Navigating LDS Doctrine and Church History (published by the Religious Studies Center/Deseret Book)—as well as several of the contributors–will be here THIS WEDNESDAY, May 11 to speak about and sign copies of the book. They will be here from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and will speak at 6:00 and will answer questions and sign books before and after that time. We hope you will be able to make it that night but, if not, we can mail a signed copy or hold one here at the store for pick-up.

The following contributors will be in attendance:

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Don Bradley–The Kinderhook Plates

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Mark Ashurst-McGee

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Paul Reeve–Race, the Priesthood and Temples

Ron Barney–The Restoration of the Priesthoods

Brian Hales–Joseph Smith’s Practice of Plural Marriage

Laura

Laura Hales–The Practice of Polygamy (with Brian)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To RSVP click here.

EVENING WITH THE AUTHORS

Laura

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We are excited to announce that Laura Harris Hales, editor of the recently released A Reason for Faith: Navigating LDS Doctrine and Church History (published by the Religious Studies Center/Deseret Book)—as well as several of the contributors–will be here on Wednesday, May 11 to speak about and sign copies of the book. They will be here from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and will speak at 6:00 and will answer questions and sign books before and after that time. We hope you will be able to make it that night but, if not, we can mail a signed copy or hold one here at the store for pick-up. To RSVP on Facebook, click here.

A Reason for Faith was written to do just as the title implies, provide reasons for faith by offering faithful answers to sincere questions. Before the Internet, historical and doctrinal questions not addressed in LDS Church curriculum were mostly found in the scholarly articles of academic journals. This is no longer the case. These topics are now widely debated and discussed online and in other forums. And when members of the LDS Church come across information that is unfamiliar, they may feel surprise, fear, betrayal, or even anger. Laura Harris Hales has assembled a group of respected LDS scholars to offer help in A Reason for Faith: Navigating LDS Doctrine and Church History. Together these authors have spent an average of 25 years researching these topics. Their depth of knowledge and faith enables them to share reliable details, perspective, and context to both LDS doctrine and Church history. The information in these essays can begin an exciting process of discovery for readers as they learn from a source they can trust. Each chapter is engaging and thought-provoking, providing an invaluable resource for both the merely curious and the seriously concerned.

Chapters include “Joseph Smith and Money Digging” (Richard Bushman), “The Restoration of the Priesthoods” (Ron Barney), “The Kinderhook Plates” (Don Bradley & Mark Ashurst-McGee), “The Practice of Polygamy” (Brian and Laura Hales), “Freemasonry and the Latter-day Saint Temple Endowment” (Steven Harper), “Race, the Priesthood, and Temples” (Paul Reeve) and “Latter-day Saint Women in the Twenty-First Century” (Neylan McBaine).

Laura Harris Hales is a freelance copyeditor, author, and mother of five avid truth seekers. She received a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree in professional writing from New England College. She has also worked as both a paralegal and as an adjunct professor of English.

 

A Reason for Faith: Navigating LDS Doctrine and Church History, ed. by Laura Harris Hales.  Religious Studies Center/Deseret Book, 2016. Hardback. 249pp. $24.99

 

Shipping: $4.50 for the first book, $1 for each additional (USPS)–Priority/FedEx/UPS options available–inquire for details.

Utah residents–add 7.05% sales tax

As publishers start to break out of the winter doldrums, the flow of new books turns back on. In addition to great new books, we also have some great additions to the sale tables lately. Check out the temptations!

NEW BOOKS

  • mormon jesusThe Mormon Jesus: A Biography by John G. Turner. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2016. Hardback. 368pp. $29.95. To follow up on his award-winning biography Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet, John Turner has turned his attention to the Mormon concept of Jesus. Beginning with the dramatic depiction of Christ in the Hill Cumorah Pageant, he addresses the way that Mormon doctrine proclaims the divinity of Jesus Christ and interacts with historical Christian beliefs about the same. Further visions and revelations over the succeeding years expanded these beliefs in what Turner calls a “revolution of existing Christian metaphysics.” This expansion carried with it some muddying of the waters. Throughout the 19th Century, a process of evolution took place resulting in a fairly monolithic belief early in the next century that Jehovah was to be identified with Jesus Christ. However, along the way, detours occurred—the most notable of these being the equation of Adam with God, a belief most significantly proclaimed by Brigham Young (and still strongly held by fundamentalist Mormons today). In addition to analyzing more formal expositions of the nature of Christ, The Mormon Jesus also attempts to track shifts and patterns through culture. An extensive discussion of the history of Mormon artistic representations of Christ is a particularly interesting and helpful section. As was the case with Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet, readers of The Mormon Jesus: A Biography will find a incisive and temperate treatment of topics from an astute analyst of American religious history. Signed copies available.

    The Mormon Jesus is much more than a treatise on Christology. It is a lively cultural history of how Mormons have thought of Christ from the Book of Mormon to the Hill Cumorah Pageant. Scriptural translations, visions and revelations, temple ceremonies, songs, Sunday school lessons, paintings, sculpture, and poetry all figure in the story of Mormonism’s distinctive Jesus.” —Richard Lyman Bushman, author of Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling

  • civil warThe Civil War Years in Utah: The Kingdom of God and the Territory That Did Not Fight by John Gary Maxwell. University of Oklahoma Press, 2016. Hardback. 488pp. $29.95. In 1832 Joseph Smith, Jr., the Mormons’ first prophet, foretold of a great war beginning in South Carolina. In the combatants’ mutual destruction, God’s purposes would be served, and Mormon men would rise to form a geographical, political, and theocratic “Kingdom of God” to encompass the earth. Three decades later, when Smith’s prophecy failed with the end of the American Civil War, the United States left torn but intact, the Mormons’ perspective on the conflict—and their inactivity in it—required palliative revision. In The Civil War Years in Utah, the first full account of the events that occurred in Utah Territory during that war, John Gary Maxwell contradicts the patriotic mythology of Mormon leaders’ version of this dark chapter in Utah history. While the Civil War spread death, tragedy, and sorrow across the continent, Utah Territory remained virtually untouched. Although the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—and its faithful—proudly praise the service of an 1862 Mormon cavalry company during the Civil War, Maxwell’s research exposes the relatively inconsequential contribution of these Nauvoo Legion soldiers.

“John Gary Maxwell’s deep research into the Civil War in Utah casts new light on forgotten history, revealing how Abraham Lincoln skillfully ended what an old cowboy ballad called ‘the glorious days when Brigham was our only Lord and King’—and brought Utah into a renewed American nation.”—Will Bagley, coauthor of The Mormon Rebellion: America’s First Civil War, 1857–1858

  • History of text of bomThe History of the Text of the Book of Mormon, Grammatical Variation (Parts 1-2) by Royal Skousen with the collaboration of Stanford Carmack. FARMS/BYU Studies, 2016. Hardback. 1281pp (continuously paginated). $99.99 (two parts). These latest publications in The Book of Mormon Critical Text Project analyze every basic type of editorial change or grammatical variation in the Book of Mormon, beginning with the handwritten manuscripts and considering every major printed edition. Each of the sixty-eight grammatical sections in these books describes the usage in the original text and shows how it has been altered, either consciously or accidentally, over time. Each section also compares Book of Mormon usage with biblical usage. Sections discuss elements such as “come to pass” and Hebraisms. Four more parts are forthcoming, dealing with the original language and spelling as well as transmission of the text. For earlier publications in the series, see the sale books below.
  • Sacred_SpaceSacred Space: Exploring the Birthplace of Mormonism by Michael Hubbard MacKay. Religious Studies Center/Deseret Book, 2016. Hardback. 129pp. $14.99. Many Church members may not realize that the birthplace of Mormonism is not just a cut-and-dried bit of historical trivia. In fact, the place where the Church was established was rarely mentioned by the early Saints, and initial Church publications referring to the organizational meeting mistakenly claimed it happened in Manchester, New York. The authors of the book Inventing Mormonism challenged traditional Latter-day Saint history by pointing out inconsistencies concerning the Church’s birthplace. Sacred Space sorts through the complicated history of where the Church was established. Building on Dr. MacKay’s work for The Joseph Smith Papers, this volume examines what the existing historical documents really tell us. This book reestablishes the significance of Fayette as the true birthplace of Mormonism and illuminates what the sacredness of a place means for modern-day members.
  • Fearless_in_the_Cause.f1Fearless in the Cause: Remarkable Stories from Women in Church History by Brittany Chapman Nash and Richard E. Turley Jr. Deseret Book, 2016. Hardback. 141pp. $19.99. When Laura Clark Phelps’s husband was unjustly arrested and held in a Richmond, Missouri, jail, she launched a daring (and successful) escape attempt to free him. Janetta Ann McBride was just sixteen years old when she braved chest-deep water and dangerous chunks of ice to push her starving mother and siblings across the North Platte River in a handcart. Rosa Friedlander Logie survived a shipwreck on her journey to Zion and spent two months with her husband and baby on a remote South Pacific island. Fearless in the Cause features inspiring stories from the lives of eighteen women from Church history. Some have names that are recognizable; many others remain largely unknown. All of their contributions to early Latter-day Saint history offer incredible examples of strength and courage. This volume of stories contains highlights from the first three volumes of Women of Faith in the Latter Days.
  • sound of gravelThe Sound of Gravel: A Memoir by Ruth Wariner. Flatiron Books, 2016. Hardback. 342pp. $27.99. Ruth Wariner was the thirty-ninth of her father’s forty-two children. Growing up on a farm in rural Mexico, where authorities turn a blind eye to the practices of her community, Ruth lives in a ramshackle house without indoor plumbing or electricity. At church, preachers teach that God will punish the wicked by destroying the world and that women can only ascend to Heaven by entering into polygamous marriages and giving birth to as many children as possible. After Ruth’s father (Joel LeBaron)–the man who had been the founding prophet of the colony–is brutally murdered by his brother Ervil in a bid for church power, her mother remarries, becoming the second wife of another faithful congregant. In need of government assistance and supplemental income, Ruth and her siblings are carted back and forth between Mexico and the United States, where Ruth’s mother collects welfare and her stepfather works a variety of odd jobs. Ruth comes to love the time she spends in the States, realizing that perhaps the community into which she was born is not the right one for her. As she begins to doubt her family’s beliefs and question her mother’s choices, she struggles to balance her fierce love for her siblings with her determination to forge a better life for herself.

“What chance does a girl have in a world where men believe that they (and they alone) are destined to be gods? This is the question Ruth Wariner bravely asks as she brings us into the hardscrabble Mormon polygamous communities of remote northern Mexico. Like a Dorothy Allison of the American West, Wariner shows us the humanity and tenacity in the people she comes from while making no apology for wanting something better for herself. Wariner has given us an unforgettable portrait of an enduring and deeply misunderstood segment of American society and a deeply moving account of her own determined pathway out.” — Joanna Brooks, author of The Book of Mormon Girl: A Memoir of an American Faith

  • saving aleSaving Alex: When I Was Fifteen I Told My Mormon Parents I Was Gay, and That’s When My Nightmare Began by Alex Cooper with Joanna Brooks. HarperOne, 2016. Hardback. 248pp. $24.99. When Alex Cooper was fifteen years old, life was pretty ordinary in her sleepy suburban town and nice Mormon family. At church and at home, Alex was taught that God had a plan for everyone. But something was gnawing at her that made her feel different. These feelings exploded when she met Yvette, a girl who made Alex feel alive in a new way, and with whom Alex would quickly fall in love. Alex knew she was holding a secret that could shatter her family, her church community, and her life. Yet when this secret couldn’t be hidden any longer, she told her parents that she was gay, and the nightmare began. She was driven from her home in Southern California to Utah, where, against her will, her parents handed her over to fellow Mormons who promised to save Alex from her homosexuality. For eight harrowing months, Alex was held captive in an unlicensed “residential treatment program” modeled on the many “therapeutic” boot camps scattered across Utah. Alex was physically and verbally abused, and many days she was forced to stand facing a wall wearing a heavy backpack full of rocks. Her captors used faith to punish and terrorize her. With the help of a dedicated legal team in Salt Lake City, Alex eventually escaped and made legal history in Utah by winning the right to live under the law’s protection as an openly gay teenager.

“Alex Cooper fought a fierce battle for dignity, identity and family. Her courage led the State of Utah to recognize the fundamental human rights of gay teenagers. An inspiring story of a queer youth discovering her courage and raising her voice. In so doing, she liberates us all.” — Troy Williams, Executive Director, Equality Utah

  • temples new millTemples of the New Millennium: Facts, Stories, and Miracles from the First 150 Temples by Chad Hawkins. Deseret Book, 2016. Hardback. 314pp. $32.99. Commemorating the landmark occasion of the dedication of the 150th operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Temples of the New Millennium brings together little-known facts and compelling true stories of the faith and miracles behind 150 latter-day houses of the Lord. In telling the story of each temple through the words and experiences of those who built it, this beautiful keepsake volume will give your family an even greater appreciation for the marvelous work that the Lord is directing on both sides of the veil. Each temple is a labor of love, faith, and sacrifice. Find out why President Gordon B. Hinckley proclaimed this ”the greatest era of temple building ever witnessed” as you come to know and love each house of the Lord better than ever before with Temples of the New Millennium.
  • James_E._Talmage_The_Story_Behind_Jesus_the_Christ_COVERJames E Talmage: The Story Behind Jesus the Christ (DVD). Covenant Communications, 2016. Approx. 35 mins. DVD. $14.99. Contains interviews with Brigham Young University history professors, James Harris—(editor of The Essential James E. Talmage) and Elder Talmage’s great-granddaughter as well as dramatized excerpts from Elder Talmage’s own journal.
  • In_Their_Own_WordsIn Their Own Words: Inspiring Stories from the Lives of the Prophets by Susan Easton Black and Mary Jane Woodger. Covenant Communications, 2016. Paperback. 272pp. $16.99. In Their Own Words contains inspirational, humorous, and heart-wrenching stories about the lives of prophets told in their own words. These stories, taken by conference addresses, journal entries and letters reveal the personal side of these leaders told as only they could.
  • out of edenOut of Eden: The Surprising Consequences of Polygamy by David Barash. Oxford University Press, 2016. Hardback. 230pp. $29.95. Esteemed writer and evolutionary biologist David P. Barash tackles this uncomfortable finding: that humans are actually biologically and anthropologically inclined toward polygamy. Drawing on decades of research, Barash presents a remarkable array of scientific evidence from evolutionary biology and cross-cultural studies that guide the reader through the hidden impacts of polygamy on such crucial behavior as violence, parenting, sexual preferences, adultery and efforts at monogamy itself, along with mind-bending speculation about the possible role of our polygamous predisposition when it comes to human genius, homosexuality and even monotheism. Includes several brief mentions of Mormons.
  • polygamy questThe Polygamy Question ed. by, Janet Bennion and Lisa Fishbayne Joffe. Paperback. 288pp. $34.95. The practice of polygamy occupies a unique place in North American history and has had a profound effect on its legal and social development. The Polygamy Question explores the ways in which indigenous and immigrant polygamy have shaped the lives of individuals, communities, and the broader societies that have engaged with it. The book also considers how polygamy challenges our traditional notions of gender and marriage and how it might be effectively regulated to comport with contemporary notions of justice. The contributors to this volume—scholars of law, anthropology, sociology, political science, economics, and religious studies—disentangle diverse forms of polygamy and polyamory practiced among a range of religious and national backgrounds including Mormon and Muslim. They chart the harms and benefits these models have on practicing women, children, and men, whether they are independent families or members of coherent religious groups. Contributors also address the complexities of evaluating this form of marriage and the ethical and legal issues surrounding regulation of the practice, including the pros and cons of legalization. Back in stock shortly.
  • PostponingHeaven-Front-684x1024Postponing Heaven: The Three Nephites, The Bodhisattva, and the Mahdi by Jad Hatem. Neal A. Maxwell Institute, 2015. Paperback. 100pp. $15.95. First book in the new series—Groundwork: Studies in Theory and Scripture. Christianity, like other world religions, acknowledges the existence of multiple human messianic figures. In this comparative work, philosopher Jad Hatem examines the Book of Mormon’s Three Nephites, Buddhism’s Bodhisattva, and Islam’s Mahdi—all distinctive messianic figures who postpone Heaven, sacrificially prolonging their lives for the benefit of humankind. Jonathon Penny’s translation of the French original includes two additional papers in which Jad Hatem deals with various aspects of Latter-day Saint belief. It also includes an interview between Hatem and Latter-day Saint philosopher James E. Faulconer.

“Jad Hatem has a detailed knowledge of Mormon doctrine—from the Book of Mormon to the Pearl of Great Price to Bruce R. McConkie and Orson Scott Card. Beyond this, he brings in-depth knowledge of Islam and Buddhism. Remarkable. Postponing Heaven’s purpose is not to be motivational or even to necessarily promote belief in any of these teachings, which is not to say those who see the connections won’t be inspired by what they learn. This is definitely a high-octane read.” —Charles Inouye, author of The End of the World, Plan B

SALE BOOKS

  • Royal Skousen sets—save big on these landmark studies!originalThe Original Manuscript of the Book of Mormon & The Printer’s Manuscript of the Book of Mormon (3 vols.). FARMS, 2001. Hardback. Reg. $150.00, SALE $54.99.Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon, parts 1-6. FARMS, 2004-09. Hardback. Reg. $300.00, SALE $164.99.
  • mormon imageThe Mormon Image in the American Mind: Fifty Years of Public Perception by J. B. Haws. Oxford University Press, 2013. Reg. $31.95, SALE $4.99. What do Americans really think about Mormons, and why? Through a survey of Mormon encounters with the media, including such personalities and events as the Osmonds, the Olympics, the Tabernacle Choir, Evangelical Christians, the Equal Rights Amendment, Mark Hofmann, and even Miss America, J.B. Haws reveals the dramatic transformation of the American public’s understanding of Mormons in the past half-century.
  • iosepaRemembering Iosepa: History, Place, and Religion in the American West by Matthew Kester. Oxford University Press, 2013. Reg. $56.00, SALE $4.99. 203 pp. Remembering Iosepa connects the story of a unique community with the earliest Native Hawaiian migrants to western North America and the vibrant and growing community of Pacific Islanders in the Great Basin today. It traces the origins and growth of the community in the tumultuous years of colonial expansion into the Hawaiian islands, as well as its relationship to white Mormons, the church leadership, and the Hawaiian government. In the broadest sense, Mathew Kester seeks to explain the meeting of Mormons and Hawaiians in the American West and to examine the creative adaptations and misunderstandings that grew out of that encounter.
  • Photography-History_coverPhotography: The Definitive Visual History by Tom Ang. DK Publishing, 2014. Hardcover. Reg. $50, SALE $12.99. Written by world-renowned photographer, writer, and broadcaster Tom Ang, Photography lavishly celebrates the most iconic photographs and photographers of the past 200 years. Tracing the history of photography from its origins in the 1800s to the digital age, this is the only book of its kind to give a comprehensive account of the people, the photographs, and the technologies that have shaped the history of photography.
  • zealotZealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan. Random House, 2013. Hardback. Reg. $27.00, SALE $7.99. From the internationally bestselling author of No god but God comes a fascinating, provocative, and meticulously researched biography that challenges long-held assumptions about the man we know as Jesus of Nazareth.
  • wrightThe Wright Brothers by David McCullough. Simon & Schuster, 2015. Book club ed. Reg. $30.00, SALE 9.99. Two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize David McCullough tells the dramatic story-behind-the-story about the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly: Wilbur and Orville Wright.
  • how jesusHow Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee by Bart D. Ehrman. HarperOne, 2014. Remainder mark. Reg. $27.99, SALE $7.99. In a book that took eight years to research and write, leading Bible scholar Bart D. Ehrman explores how an apocalyptic prophet from the backwaters of rural Galilee crucified for crimes against the state came to be thought of as equal with the one God Almighty Creator of all things.
  • jesus beforeJesus Before The Gospels: How the Earliest Christians Remembered, Changed, and Invented Their Stories of the Savior by Bart D. Ehrman. HarperOne, 2016. Hardback. Reg. $27.99, SALE $22.99. Throughout much of human history, our most important stories were passed down orally—including the stories about Jesus before they became written down in the Gospels. In his latest work, Bart D. Ehrman investigates the role oral history has played in the New Testament—how the telling of these stories not only spread Jesus’ message but helped shape it.
  • trainTrain: The Definitive Visual History. DK Publishing, 2014. Hardback. Reg. $40.00, SALE $12.99. Featuring amazing images of trains, virtual tours of engines, and profiles of key innovators, designers, and engineers, Train: The Definitive Visual History traces the history of the railroad and the role of trains, from the first steam engines to today’s high speed bullet trains.

Also, remember we still have volumes from the Joseph Smith Papers as well as the Significant Mormon Diaries Series as well as all available Smith-Pettit limited editions on the sale tables as well!

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