book blow out

Benchmark Books wants to take part in the Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday deals and so we are announcing our Winter Book Blowout Weekend! Until the end of the day on Monday, December 1, save 20% off on most new books and 30% off on used and out-of-print books (some exceptions apply)!! In addition, we are offering free shipping on orders over $100. Come in and find some treasures to add to your collection. We will be open:

Friday, Nov 28: 10 AM—6 PM

Saturday, Nov 29: 10 AM—5 PM

Monday, Dec 1: 10 AM—6 PM

If you can’t make it into the store, you can browse our inventory at If you have any questions, please give us a call  (801-486-3111/800-486-3112) or e-mail us at

Here are some recently released titles to get you thinking:

  • The Council of Fifty: A Documentary History (Jedediah Rogers)FORTHCOMING (DEC 15, 2014)—PRE-ORDER NOW AND SAVE 20%! The Council of Fifty: A Documentary History ed. by Jedediah Rogers. Signature Books, 2014. 480pp. Hardback. $49.95. Mormon Church founder Joseph Smith had both millennial and temporal aspirations for the organization he called the Council of Fifty, named after the number of men who were intended to comprise it. Organized a few months before Smith’s death in June 1844, it continued under Brigham Young as a secret shadow government until 1851. Minutes from the earliest meetings are closed to researchers but contemporary accounts speak of a deliberative body preparing for Christ’s imminent reign. It also helped to sponsor Smith’s U.S. presidential bid and oversaw the exodus to present-day Utah. One member downplayed the significance of this secret legislative body in 1849 as “nothing but a debating School.” On the contrary, a typical meeting included decisions regarding irrigation, fencing, and adobe housing, after which the group sang a song written by Parley P. Pratt: “Come ye sons of doubt and wonder; Indian, Moslem, Greek or Jew; … Be to all a friend and brother; Peace on Earth, good will to men.” Two weeks later, the council called for “blood to flow” to enforce its laws. As the nineteenth century waned and the LDS Church moved toward the American mainstream, ending its emphasis on the imminent End of Days, there was no longer a need for a Church-managed municipal group destined to become the millennial world government. The council became irrelevant but survives today as a historical artifact available in fragmented documentary pieces which are presented here for the first time. **The book should arrive about Dec 15th. We will have an event with the editor on Wednesday, Dec 17th—watch for more details (like what time the Chow Truck—serving gourmet sliders—will be here!)
  • Joseph_Smith_Papers_Documents_V3The Joseph Smith Papers, Documents Vol. 3: February 1833-March 1834 ed. by Gerrit J. Dirkmaat, Brent M. Rogers, Grant Underwood, Robert J. Woodford and William G. Hartley. Church Historian’s Press, 2014. 627pp. Hardback. $54.95. This volume contains reproductions of 88 documents—revelations, letters, and other papers—presented in chronological order. Historical introductions to each document explain where, when, and why it was created. From revelations to sermons to newspaper editorials to personal correspondence, the documents of this series allow you to see through the eyes of Joseph as early Church history unfolded. A primary focus of the time period covered in Volume 3 is the effort to build temples and develop Zion in Missouri. Volume 3 also documents the challenges Joseph Smith faced as the population of the Church grew in both Ohio and Missouri and as the violent persecution of the Saints in Jackson County intensified. As with the first two volumes, this volume includes many revelations, including the Word of Wisdom (preceded by a nine-page introduction!), that were later published in the Doctrine and Covenants.
  • first principlesFirst Principles and Ordinances: The Fourth Article of Faith in Light of the Temple by Samuel M. Brown. Neal A. Maxwell Institute, 2014. 167pp. Paperback. $16.95. Religion is not lived alone. A fresh focus on our relationships with God and other people can transform our understanding and experience of the gospel basics of faith, repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost. First Principles and Ordinances begins the work of outlining a Latter-day Saint theology of relationships by highlighting continuity between the gospel’s first principles and ordinances and the highest ordinances of LDS temple worship. The second book in the Maxwell Institute’s “Living Faith” series. SIGNED.
  • TragedyTragedy and Truth: What Happened at Hawn’s Mill—gen. ed. Alexander Baugh, contributing eds: Glenn Rawson and Dennis Lyman with contributions by Max H. Parkin, Gerrit Dirkmaat, and Brent M. Rogers. 121pp. Hardback, $24.99. On the afternoon of October 30, 1838, a vigilante force of more than two hundred armed men attacked and raided the small settlement known as Hawn’s Mill in eastern Caldwell County, Missouri. The premeditated assault left seventeen Mormon men and boys dead and more than a dozen others wounded. But those who remained had little time to mourn their loss. Afraid of another attack, short of help, and facing unseasonably cold temperatures, the shocked survivors quickly buried fourteen of their dead in an unfinished dry well. During the weeks and months that followed, life at Hawn’s Mill was bleak, especially for the women and children whose husbands and fathers had been killed or wounded and who struggled to provide for their families. Yet the experiences of the Latter-day Saints at Hawn’s Mill exemplify incredible faith, courage, and commitment in the midst of terrible tragedy. Their stories touch the deepest of sympathies, inspire faith, strengthen testimony, and should never be forgotten. But why did the attack occur? Who was involved? And did the Saints at Hawn’s Mill disobey Joseph Smith’s counsel? These and other telling questions are explained and clarified by four top LDS Church history scholars in this fascinating book devoted exclusively to helping readers understand why and how the massacre at Hawn’s Mill happened. Signed by Dirkmaat and Rogers.
  • wrestlingWrestling the Angel: The Foundations of Mormon Thought: Cosmos, God, Humanity by Terryl L. Givens. 424pp. Hardback. $34.95. In this first volume of his magisterial study of the foundations of Mormon thought and practice, Terryl L. Givens offers a sweeping account of Mormon belief from its founding to the present day. Situating the relatively new movement in the context of the Christian tradition, he reveals that Mormonism continues to change and grow. Givens shows that despite Mormonism’s origins in a biblical culture strongly influenced by nineteenth-century Restorationist thought, which advocated a return to the Christianity of the early Church, the new movement diverges radically from the Christianity of the creeds. Mormonism proposes its own cosmology and metaphysics, in which human identity is rooted in a premortal world as eternal as God. Mormons view mortal life as an enlightening ascent rather than a catastrophic fall, and reject traditional Christian concepts of human depravity and destiny. Popular fascination with Mormonism’s social innovations, such as polygamy and communalism, and its supernatural and esoteric elements-angels, gold plates, seer stones, a New World Garden of Eden, and sacred undergarments-have long overshadowed the fact that it is the most enduring and even thriving product of the nineteenth century’s religious upheavals and innovations. Wrestling the Angel traces the essential contours of Mormon thought from the time of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young to the contemporary LDS church, illuminating both the seminal influence of the founding generation of Mormon thinkers and the significant developments in the church over almost 200 years.
  • Kramer_Beholding_mediumBeholding the Tree of Life: A Rabbinic Approach to the Book of Mormon by Bradley J. Kramer. Greg Kofford Books, 2014. 225pp. Paperback–$21.95/Hardback–$50.00. Too often readers approach the Book of Mormon simply as a collection of quotations, an inspired anthology to be scanned quickly and routinely recited. In Beholding the Tree of Life Bradley J. Kramer encourages his readers to slow down, to step back, and to contemplate the literary qualities of the Book of Mormon using interpretive techniques developed by Talmudic and post-Talmudic rabbis. Specifically, Kramer shows how to read the Book of Mormon closely, in levels, paying attention to the details of its expression as well as to its overall connection to the Hebrew Scriptures—all in order to better appreciate the beauty of the Book of Mormon and its limitless capacity to convey divine meaning.“Latter-day Saints have claimed the Book of Mormon as the keystone of their religion, but it presents itself first and foremost as a Jewish narrative. Beholding the Tree of Life is the first book I have seen that attempts to situate the Book of Mormon by paying serious attention to its Jewish literary precedents and ways of reading scripture. It breaks fresh ground in numerous ways that enrich an LDS understanding of the scriptures and that builds bridges to a potential Jewish readership.” — Terryl L. Givens, author of By the Hand of Mormon: The American Scripture that Launched a New World Religion
  • Mapping 2ndMapping Mormonism: An Atlas of Latter-day Saint History (2nd ed.) ed. by Brandon Plewe, S. Kent Brown, Donald Q. Cannon and Richard H. Jackson. BYU Press, 2014. Oversize hardback, 272pp. $39.95. Best Book Award 2012–Mormon History Association. Over 500 maps, timelines, and charts visualizing the history of the Restoration. In this state-of-the-art atlas, readers can take in the epic sweep of the Mormon movement in a new, immersive way. Never has so much geographical data about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints been presented in one volume so attractively and informatively. Several maps in the last two sections have been revised to bring them up to the present.
  • Lost Book of MormonThe Lost Book of Mormon: A Journey Through the Mythic Lands of Nephi, Zarahemla, & Kansas City, Missouri by Avi Steinberg. Nan Talese, 2014. 265pp. $26.95. A fascinated nonbeliever, Steinberg spent a year and a half on a personal quest, traveling the path laid out by the epic of the Book of Mormon. Starting in Jerusalem, where The Book of Mormon opens with a bloody murder, Steinberg continued to the ruined Maya cities of Central America—the setting for most of The Book of Mormon’s ancient story—where he gallivanted with a boisterous bus tour of believers exploring Maya archaeological sites for evidence. From there the journey took him to upstate New York, where he participated in the true Book of Mormon musical, the annual Hill Cumorah Pageant. And finally Steinberg arrived at the center of the American continent, Jackson County, Missouri, the spot Smith identified as none other than the site of the Garden of Eden. Threaded through this quirky travelogue is an argument for taking The Book of Mormon seriously as a work of American imagination. Literate and funny, personal and provocative, the genre-bending The Lost Book of Mormon boldly explores our deeply human impulse to write bibles and discovers the abiding power of story.
  • lucy-mack-smith-first-mother-of-the-restoration-dv--1414602498_MEDLucy Mack Smith: First Mother of the Restoration DVD (History of the Saints). History of the Saints, 2014. DVD. $19.99. With Glenn Rawson. Approx. 1 hr. Lucy Mack Smith – mother of the Prophet of the Restoration, Joseph Smith Jr. – was born during the American Revolution and by her very nature had the determined spirit of independence. She also witnessed the Second Great Awakening in America that caused so many to seek after God. These influences, coupled with a faithful upbringing, created in Lucy Mack Smith a singular personality and character, one well-suited to rear the Prophet who would restore all truth to the earth. That alone was monumental, but her influence extended well beyond the formative years of her children. The historical record bears out the profound respect shown her both by her family and by the body of the Saints. Not only did she prove herself an exemplary mother and companion, but she was a fierce witness and defender of the faith.
  • joseph_smith_and_the_foundations_of_the_restorationJoseph Smith and the Foundations of the Restoration DVD (History of the Saints). History of the Saints, 2014. 30 episodes on 8 DVDs. $39.99.Joseph Smith and the Foundations of the Restoration” represents a season collection of individual stories of the Restoration presented for television by the History of the Saints production team. The events of the Restoration are presented in revealing historical detail. Individuals who made that history, some famous and some scarcely known are discusses. Thirty individual episodes take the viewer through the latest research on the early history of the Restoration from before the birth of Joseph Smith to December 1831, when the Lord called the Church to “go to the Ohio.” Produced by History of the Saints in association with Mormon Historic Sites Foundation. Episodes run time approximately 22 mins. each.
  • Emma Smith we KNowThe Emma Smith We Know by Darcy Kennedy and Angeline Kennedy. The Joseph Smith Jr. & Emma Hale Smith Historical Society, 2008. 92pp + Appendix, Notes. Paperback. $5.99. From the descendants of Joseph Smith, Jr. and Emma Hale Smith comes a compilation of memories, recipes and expressions of love involving this Elect Lady. Included inside are never-before-seen journal entries, the blessing Emma wrote for Joseph to sign, and other unique gems. Discover a side of Emma you didn’t know. Become inspired by her example and the feelings of her posterity.
  • Ministry PeterThe Ministry of Peter the Chief Apostle (43rd Sperry Symposium) ed. by Frank F. Judd, Jr., Eric D. Huntsman, and Shon D. Hopkin. Deseret Book, 2014. 404pp. Hardback. $31.99. A sometimes fallible but nonetheless earnest disciple, the Apostle Peter is an important example of grace, transformation, service, and power. Like others who came after, Peter’s ministry began when he, a simple man, was chosen by the Lord to become more than he was. The changes wrought in Peter chronicled in scripture are, quite evidently, miraculous. What can we learn from his life and ministry? What insights into God’s dealing with mortal men can we glean from Peter’s experience? Are there aspects of that experience that resonate with our own? Essays in this collection—including an appendix containing President Spencer W. Kimball’s magnificent 1971 address “Peter, My Brother”—treat Peter’s cultural background and context, his role in the apostolic church, many of his noted teachings, and his important legacy in early Christianity and the Restoration. But above all, Peter is revealed as one who, through the Atonement and the endowment of the Spirit, overcame his own weaknesses to become one of the greatest, and most powerful, witnesses of the divinity, mission, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
  • It_Is_Better_to_Look_UpIt Is Better to Look Up: Life Experiences Shared from the Pulpit. Deseret Book, 2014. 181pp. Hardback. $22.99. It Is Better to Look Up gathers more than fifty of the most memorable personal experiences shared in general conference over the years and pairs them with stunning photographic images. The result is a volume filled with remarkable true accounts of God’s hand in our lives such as “In Harm’s Way,” by President Thomas S. Monson; “Man Down!” by President Henry B. Eyring; “Lift Where You Stand,” by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf; “You Stupid Cow!” by Elder Mervyn B. Arnold; “Worldly Promises,” by Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson; and dozens more from every member of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve, plus many additional leaders past and present. These short pieces are perfect for a quick moment of inspiration in a class, a home evening, or personal devotional time. Each one is presented with a scripture to complement the gospel message.
  • Jesus the christ study guideJesus the Christ Study Guide by Richard Neitzel Holzapfel and Thomas A. Wayment. Deseret Book, 2014. 230pp. Hardback. $18.99. Jesus the Christ, a true gospel classic about the life and ministry of the Savior, has drawn readers closer to Christ for decades. Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the publication of Jesus the Christ and aligned with the New Testament study year, this unique study guide helps learners of all levels get even more out of their study of the Savior, the scriptures, and a beloved, classic book. Following Jesus the Christ chapter by chapter, authors Richard Holzapfel and Thom Wayment relate the book to today’s learner as they share discoveries from the past century, offer additional insights, suggest study questions, and provide a glossary of difficult words.
  • Liberal SoulThe Liberal Soul: Applying the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Politics by Richard Davis. Greg Kofford Books, 2014. 170pp. Paperback. $22.95. The Liberal Soul offers something lacking in LDS culture. That is the presentation of a different way for Latter-day Saints to examine the question of how to be faithful disciples of Christ and good citizens. It shows public policy decision-making regarding government role as the manifestation of the “liberal soul” rather than as the libertarianism advocated by past Mormon speakers and writers such as Ezra Taft Benson, Cleon Skousen, or Vern Andersen. It also takes a different approach from the less radical but still traditional economic conservative attitudes of well-known politicians such as Orrin Hatch or Mitt Romney. Davis suggests that a Latter-day Saint can approach economic policy, war, the environment, and social issues with the perspective that society is basically good and not evil, tolerance and forbearance are desirable qualities instead of bad ones, and that government can and does play a positive role as a vehicle of society in improving the lives of citizens.

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