A reminder that Brian and Laura Hales, authors of Joseph Smith’s Polygamy: Toward a Better Understanding (published by Greg Kofford Books) will be here TOMORROW, Wednesday, April 22ndto sign and discuss their book. 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 a signed copy or hold one here at the store for pick-up. To RSVP on Facebook, click here.



CSI: Layton                           Premier September 14













We are excited to announce that Brian and Laura Hales, authors of Joseph Smith’s Polygamy: Toward a Better Understanding (published by Greg Kofford Books) will be here on Wednesday, April 22nd to sign and discuss their book. 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 a signed copy or hold one here at the store for pick-up. To RSVP on Facebook, click here.

In the last several years a wealth of information has been published on Joseph Smith’s practice of polygamy. For some who were already well aware of this aspect of early Mormon history, the availability of new research and discovered documents has been a wellspring of further insight and knowledge into this topic. For others who are learning of Joseph’s marriages to other women for the first time, these books and online publications (including the LDS Church’s recent Gospel Topics essays on the subject) can be both an information overload and a challenge to one’s faith.

In this short volume, Brian C. Hales (author of the 3-volume Joseph Smith’s Polygamy set) and Laura H. Hales wade through the murky waters of history to help bring some clarity to this episode of Mormonism’s past, examining both the theological explanations of the practice and the accounts of those who experienced it firsthand. As this episode of Mormon history involved more than just Joseph and his first wife Emma, this volume also includes short biographies of the 36 women who were married to the Prophet but whose stories of faith, struggle, and courage have been largely forgotten and ignored over time. While we may never fully understand the details and reasons surrounding this practice, Brian and Laura Hales provide readers with an accessible, forthright, and faithful look into this challenging topic so that we can at least come toward a better understanding.

Laura Harris Hales is a freelance copy editor, author, and educator. 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 worked as both a paralegal and as an adjunct professor of English. After marrying in 2013, she found herself immersed in the study of LDS Church history. With her husband, she maintains JosephSmithsPolygamy.org.

Brian C. Hales is a board-certified anesthesiologist in Layton, Utah, and graduated from Utah State University. He is the award-winning author of six books on Mormon polygamy. Along with his wife, Laura, he maintains JosephSmithsPolygamy.org. Brian’s entire database of polygamy-related documents may be accessed at MormonPolygamyDocuments.org.


Joseph Smith’s Polygamy: Toward a Better Understanding. Greg Kofford Books, 2015. Paperback. 223pp. $19.99.

Also by Brian Hales:

Joseph Smith’s Polygamy: History and Theology, 3 vols. Greg Kofford Books, 2013. Hardback. Reg. $100.85. SALE $89.99.

Modern Polygamy and Mormon Fundamentalism: The Generations after the Manifesto. Greg Kofford Books, 2011. Paperback. $31.95

Mormon Fundamentalism – Setting the Record Straight. Millennial Press, 2008. Paperback. $9.95


Shipping: $4.50 for the first book, $1 for each additional (more for Joseph Smith’s Polygamy, 3 vols.). Priority/FedEx/UPS options available–inquire for details.

Utah residents–add 7.05% sales tax


We have updated our list of forthcoming books and there are some serious gems on the horizon. Signature Books has just announced their next lineup–here are some of the treasures that will soon be making their home on your bookshelf:

  • Thirteenth Apostle: the Diaries of Amasa M. Lyman, 1831-1877 (first volume of a new series–Signature Legacy Series)
  • Confessions of a Mormon Historian: The Diaries of Leonard J. Arrington, 1971-1999, 3 vols. (fascinating and candid accounts of key events and developments during the last part of the 20th Century)
  • History-of-Joseph-Smith-V1-227x300History of Joseph Smith and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: A Source and Text—Critical Edition, 8 vols. (Dan Vogel’s ten-year project will soon be available!)
  • Mormon-Hierarchy-Wealth-203x300The Mormon Hierarchy: Wealth and Corporate Power (Michael Quinn’s long-awaited third volume)

Check out the full list by clicking on the Forthcoming Books tab above (under Recent/Forthcoming) or by clicking here.


Our friend (and astute observer and scholar of the Mormon past) Ben Park has compiled a list of the “Top Ten Books on Mormon History” for those who are new to Mormon history. He employed four criteria in composing the list:

  • Use of a sophisticated academic approach and emphasis on analysis over merely regurgitating data and documents
  • Coverage of an important person, event, or period in Mormon history
  • Quality of writing
  • Length (i.e., not too long)

The List

save 10% on all (except for noted exceptions)

  • mormon peoplemormon peoplemormon peopleMatthew Bowman, The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith. New pb–$17.00/new hb—reg. $26.00, SALE $6.99 (copies arriving soon)—no discount
  • rough stoneRichard Bushman, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling. New pb–$18.95/used pb–$10/used hb, small amt marking–$20
  • massacreRonald Walker et. al., Massacre at Mountain Meadows. New pb–$17.95/new hb, signed by all three authors–$29.95/used hb, 1st pr, signed by all three–$75/used hb, 1st pr, signed by two authors–$40
  • mormon questionSarah Barringer Gordon, The Mormon Question Polygamy and Constitutional Conflict in Nineteenth-Century America. New pb–$32.50 (copies arriving soon)
  • more wivesKathryn Daynes, More Wives Than One: Transformation of the Mormon Marriage System, 1840-1910. New pb–$26/used hb, signed, marking–$25/used hb–$30
  • religion of a different colorPaul Reeve, Religion of a Different Color: Race and the Mormon Struggle for Whiteness. New hb, signed–$34.95
  • politicsKathleen Flake, The Politics of American Religious Identity: The Seating of Senator Reed Smoot, Mormon Apostle. New pb–$32.50 (copies arriving soon)/new hb–$69.95 (special order only)
  • angel]Armand Mauss, The Angel and the Beehive: The Mormon Struggle with Assimilation. New hb–$35
  • davidGregory Prince & Wm. Robert Wright, David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism. New hb–$29.95/used hb–$18
  • pedestalsMartha Bradley, Pedestals and  Podiums: Utah Women, Religious Authority, and Equal Rights. New hb–$39.95

Ben will record a series of podcasts (one a month) discussing each book and its role in shaping Mormon history. The first installment covering The Mormon People (Ben also provides a helpful discussion of the “New Mormon Studies” and its relationship to “Mormon Studies”) has been released–for more info, click here.

What do you think of his list? We would like to hear your thoughts–please comment on which books you have read/enjoyed/disliked, etc. Are there books on this list that you agree should make the cut? Are there others that you think are more worthy of inclusion?


We’ve posted the video from the Michael Hicks signing for The Mormon Tabernacle Choir: A Biography on 3/18/15. To watch it, visit the Events tab at the top of the site or click here.  If you weren’t able to make it that night, we do have a few signed copies of the book left.

A reminder that Michael Hicks, author of “The Mormon Tabernacle Choir: A Biography” (published by the University of Illinois), will be here TOMORROW, March 18th to speak about and sign copies of his book. He will be at 5:30 PM to sign and will begin speaking at 6:00.

To RSVP on Facebook, click here.

We are pleased to offer copies of the first and second edition of the Book of Mormon for sale. Only rarely do we have the first two editions of the Book of Mormon for sale at the same time, but we are fortunate to have these scarce and valuable books now and are pleased to offer them for your consideration. Not only that, but we are offering them at discounted prices. This is an unusual opportunity to acquire one or both of these important editions of the Book of Mormon.

Book of Mormon, 1830 (1st edition)

On June 11, 1829, Joseph Smith deposited the title page of the Book of Mormon with the clerk of the Northern District of New York and obtained a copyright. About the same time, he and Harris approached Egbert B. Grandin, publisher of the Palmyra Wayne Sentinel, about printing the book. Grandin was troubled by the adverse publicity and refused. Next they contacted Thurlow Weed, publisher of the Rochester Anti-Masonic Enquirer, who declined on the grounds that he was only a newspaper man. But he sent them to Elihu F. Marshall, a Rochester book publisher, who agreed to do the printing if payment was suitably guaranteed. With a printer in hand, Harris went back to E. B. Grandin and urged him to take on the job. After talking with friends, who assured him printing the book would be viewed only as business, and consulting with his typesetter, John H. Gilbert, Grandin agreed to print and bind in leather 5,000 copies for $3,000. As security, Harris gave Grandin a mortgage on his farm, dated August 25, 1829, which bound Harris to pay the $3,000 within eighteen months.

Gilbert also did the press work with J. H. Bortles until December 1829, when Grandin hired a journeyman pressman, Thomas McAuley. After that, McAuley and Bortles operated the press. Grandin’s press was a single-pull Smith Patented Improved Press, inked with “balls.” (It is now on display at the LDS Church’s Museum of Church History and Art.) Faced with setting a six hundred-page book, Grandin ordered a new font of type from Albany. Even so, one form of sixteen pages had to be printed and the type distributed before the next form could be set. Gilbert reported that when he was also working the press, it took nearly three days to print one form. The 1830 Book of Mormon is originally bound in brown calf, plain except for seven double bands in gilt on the backstrip with a black leather label stamped in gilt Book of Mormon. End sheets are of the same paper as the text. The copyright notice appears on the verso of the title page. A preface (pp. [iii]–iv) explains the loss of the initial 116 pages of manuscript and the revelation to Joseph Smith not to retranslate that part but to begin with the plates of Nephi. Only the 1830 edition has this preface. Pages [51]–588 contain the main text, and the testimonies of the three and of the eight witnesses occur on both sides of the leaf following p. 588 – A Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church, Volume 1 by Peter Crawley.

Full leather. Original boards and binding. Spine label has a small chip missing but the gilt title is still mostly present. Minor to moderate rubbing along edges of covers and spine. Minor cracking to front and rear hinges. A small piece of clear plastic is taped across front pastedown (which could be professionally removed prior to new owner taking possession). Bottom corner of front pastedown is loose. A few pages have small closed tears that do not affect the text; the book block is cracked between pages 238 and 239; several pages have slightly uneven trimming along the bottom edge; a few pages have minor chipping and tears along the bottom edge and two pages are missing text (the chip extends into the third line of text but only affects five or six words); pages 453-456 are missing part of the right margin with text missing (this chip extends to about a half inch at it’s deepest part and approx. a dozen words on each page are missing or partially missing); There is moderate staining and foxing throughout. Previous owner’s name and date (Jesse A. Picknell, March 26th 1882) is found in ink on the title page that has bled through onto the verso of the title page. In the same hand is some commentary regarding Joseph Smith on the Preface page in which the ink also bled through to the verso. The commentary actually adds to the cachet of this copy in our opinion as the writer refers to Joseph Smith as “a child of the devil” rather than of God and makes a disparaging remark about Joseph’s father as well (“like father like son”).

Price was $80,000, NOW $75,000.00.

 (click on any photo below to see it full size)

Book of Mormon, 1837 (2nd edition)

Joseph Smith and the other Church leaders contemplated a second edition of the Book of Mormon as early as the summer of 1833.[95] But the loss of the Independence press and the preoccupation of the Kirtland shop with the Doctrine and Covenants, the hymnal, and Evening and Morning Star delayed a second edition until the winter of 1836–37.

The preface (pp. [v]–vi), signed by Parley Pratt and John Goodson, indicates that they had obtained the rights to publish a second edition of 5,000. This probably means that they helped underwrite the publication and shared in the profits accruing from its sale. In spite of the statement in the preface, the exact size of the edition is uncertain. In 1886, Ebenezer Robinson, a typesetter in the Kirtland print shop, recalled a bit tentatively that it was 3,000.[97] This smaller number is more consistent with the relative scarcity of the 1837 Book of Mormon today.

The preface further explains that in preparation for the new edition, the first edition was “carefully re-examined and compared with the original manuscripts” by Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. Richard Howard has found more than two thousand changes which were written into the Printer’s Manuscript of the 1830 Book of Mormon and incorporated in the second edition, and over one thousand other changes not indicated in the manuscript.[98] It would seem, therefore, that the 1837 Book of Mormon was printed from the corrected Printer’s Manuscript, and additional changes were made—by Cowdery?—as the book was set in type. Most of the changes are grammatical and stylistic. A few, however, are significant, for example, where “God” or “Eternal Father” on p. 25, lines 4 and 11; p. 26, line 9; and p. 32, line 11 are changed to “Son of God” or “Son of the Eternal Father.”[99] Thus the 1837 edition is an important progenitor in the genealogy of the Book of Mormon: from it was printed the first of a sequence of British and American editions culminating in the edition now in use by the LDS Church (see items 83, 98). A note To the Reader at the end explains that although the original idea was to publish both the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants in one volume, as indicated in the preface, the publishers abandoned that idea because the two together “would make a volume, entirely too unwieldy for the purpose intended, that of a pocket companion.” A Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church, Volume 2 by Peter Crawley.

Original brown leather covers and spine. Five double rule gilt bands on the backstrip. The leather label is quite faded and rubbed and worn yet the gilt letters of the title remain quite readable. The leather along the edges and corners is moderately rubbed. 2 blank front and 3 blank rear endsheets. There is moderate moisture staining to the upper third of pages throughout as well as inside the front and rear covers and along the foredge. Stain is darker on the initial few pages but then quickly lightens up considerably thereafter. Approximately 20 scattered pages have been trimmed along the foredge without affecting text. Typical toning and foxing to pages throughout. The book is housed in a clamshell box. This is one of the nicest copies we have had for sale or even seen.

Price was $50,000.00, NOW $45,000.00!

(click on any photo below to see full size)


spencer perspectives

We are happy to announce that Joe Spencer, co-editor of the first volume in the new Perspectives on Mormon TheologyScriptural Theology (published by Greg Kofford Books), will be here for a lunchtime signing on Thursday, Mar 12th. He will be here from 12-1 PM to sign books and chat. Come spend your lunch hour with us! To RSVP, click here. Let us know if you can’t make it and we can hold a signed copy for you here at the store or mail it to you.

The phrase “theology of scripture” can be understood in two distinct ways. First, theology of scripture would be reflection on the nature of scripture, asking questions about what it means for a person or a people to be oriented by a written text (rather than or in addition to an oral tradition or a ritual tradition). In this first sense, theology of scripture would form a relatively minor part of the broader theological project, since the nature of scripture is just one of many things on which theologians reflect. Second, theology of scripture would be theological reflection guided by scripture, asking questions of scriptural texts and allowing those texts to shape the direction the theologian’s thoughts pursue. In this second sense, theology of scripture would be less a part of the larger theological project than a way of doing theology, since whatever the theologian takes up reflectively, she investigates through the lens of scripture.


1. A Mormon Reading of Job 19:23–25a
–     Joseph M. Spencer
2. “Without Money”: Equality and the Transformative Power of God’s Word
–     Robert Couch
3. “Take No Thought”
–     Adam S. Miller
4. Jesus on Jesus: John 5 and 7
–     Eric D. Huntsman
5. I, Nephi
–     Claudia L. Bushman
6. Alma’s Wisdom-Poem to Helaman (Alma 37:35–37)
–     Bruce W. Jorgensen
7. “Seek Ye Earnestly the Best Gifts”
–     Jane Hafen
8. Records, Reading, and Writing in Doctrine and Covenants 128
–     Jenny Webb
9. Faith and the Ethics of Climate Change
–     George B. Handley
10. The Way toward the Garden: Moses 5:1–12
–     James E. Faulconer


Perspectives on Mormon Theology–Scriptural Theology, co-edited by James Faulconer and Joseph Spencer. Greg Kofford Books, 2015. 211 pp–paperback, $24.95/hardback, $59.95.


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



tab choir












We are pleased to announce that Michael Hicks, author of The Mormon Tabernacle Choir: A Biography (published by the University of Illinois), will be here on Wednesday, March 18th to speak about and sign copies of his book. He will be here at 5:30 PM to sign and will begin speaking at 6:00. 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 first-of-its-kind history, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir tells the epic story of how an all-volunteer group founded by persecuted religious outcasts grew into a multimedia powerhouse synonymous with the mainstream and with Mormonism itself.

Drawing on decades of work observing and researching the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Michael Hicks examines the personalities, decisions, and controversies that shaped “America’s choir.” Here is the miraculous story behind the Tabernacle’s world-famous acoustics, the anti-Mormonism that greeted early tours, the clashes with Church leaders over repertoire and presentation, the radio-driven boom in popularity, the competing visions of rival conductors, and the Choir’s aspiration to be accepted within classical music even as Mormons sought acceptance within American culture at large. Everything from Billboard hits to TV appearances to White House performances paved the way for Mormonism’s crossover triumph. Yet, as Hicks shows, such success raised fundamental concerns regarding the Choir’s mission, functions, and image.

“This fascinating, honest account should find many eager readers among the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s millions of fans. Michael Hicks combines the accuracy of a fine historian with the sensitivity of a judicious music critic.”–Daniel Walker Howe, Pulitzer-Prize-winning author of What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815–1848 

Michael Hicks is a professor of music at Brigham Young University and the author of Mormonism and Music: A History and Sixties Rock: Garage, Psychedelic, and Other Satisfactions. His historical and analytical articles have appeared in books such as the Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World and the forthcoming Oxford Handbook to Mormonism. His chamber and solo works have been performed and recorded by BYU’s University Singers, Concert Choir, and Group for New Music (which he founded in 1987) as well as by other performers around the country.


The Mormon Tabernacle Choir: A Biography. University of Illinois, 2015. 248pp. Hardback. $29.95.

Also by Michael Hicks: Mormonism and Music: A History. University of Illinois, 2003. 280pp. Paperback. $22.95.



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



We’ve posted the video from Paul Reeve’s signing for Religion of a Different Color. Paul is a very engaging presenter and we think you’ll agree this was a fantastic event. If you didn’t get a copy yet, we’ve still got a few signed ones here. As Heber J. Grant told someone in a letter, “Sister Grant and I do not send flowers to our friends when they are in sorrow but instead we send books, which last so much longer. I am sending you some books in the hope that you may find words of consolation in them.”

To watch the video, check out the Events tab above or click here.

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