Benchmark Blog

EVENING WITH AN EDITOR

A reminder that Kate Holbrook, co-editor of At the Pulpit: 185 Years of Discourses by Latter-day Saint Women (published by the Church Historian’s Press) will be THIS WEDNESDAY, March 1, to speak about and sign copies of the book. Her co-editor, Jenny Reeder, will unfortunately not be in attendance but books will likely be signed by her beforehand. Kate will be here from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.—speaking at 6:00 p.m.—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.

At the Pulpit contains fifty-four discourses given by Latter-day Saint women throughout the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Like Lucy Mack Smith, these women drew on inspiration and experience to declare their understanding of eternal truths. This book illustrates the history of women’s public preaching in the church, but its most important feature is the actual words of Mormon women. From the time of Emma Hale Smith’s earliest exhortations at meetings of the Nauvoo Relief Society, Latter-day Saint women have been charged to instruct their families and neighbors, their congregations and Relief Societies, and other organizations. The talks featured in this volume show Mormon women doing the spiritual and intellectual work inherent in a life of Christian faith—seeking to do good works, understand the atonement of Jesus Christ, and strengthen their own faith and the faith of those around them. These women endeavored to live what they believed and to help their listeners do so as well.

Written to the high scholarly standards of the Church Historian’s Press, the book provides a resource for contemporary Latter-day Saints as they study, speak, teach, and lead. Each discourse in this volume begins with an introduction that acquaints readers with the vibrant personalities of some of the women who have shaped the church. Introductions also provide glimpses into the circumstances and forces that shaped these women. Readers will encounter some familiar figures from church history and from the contemporary church—leaders like Eliza R. Snow and Linda K. Burton, current Relief Society general president. But they will also learn from women like Jane H. Neyman, whose stories are largely unknown to modern Latter-day Saints. Neyman applied to join the Nauvoo Relief Society in 1842, but her petition was rejected due to gossip about her daughters. Over twenty-five years later, she spoke in a Relief Society in Beaver, Utah, on charity, urging members to be forbearing and forgiving of one another.

The voices in these pages ring from Nauvoo’s red brick store to the National Auditorium in Mexico City to the Tabernacle on Temple Square and beyond. These discourses offer instruction on gospel principles while also revealing the particular concerns of individual women. At the Pulpit allows us to hear the historical and contemporary voices of Latter-day Saint women—voices that resound with experience, wisdom, and authority.

At the Pulpit: 185 Years of Discourses by Latter-day Saint Women ed. by Jennifer Reeder and Kate Holbrook. The Church Historian’s Press, 2017. 452pp. Hardback. $29.99.

Kate Holbrook is the managing historian for women’s history at the Church History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She received a PhD in religious studies from Boston University.

Other Titles Edited by Kate Holbrook

Derr, Jill Mulvay, Carol Cornwall Madsen, Kate Holbrook & Matthew J. Grow (eds.). The First Fifty Years of Relief Society: Key Documents in Latter-day Saint Women’s History. Church Historian’s Press, 2016. 767pp. Hardback. $49.95

Holbrook, Kate and Matthew Bowman, eds. Women and Mormonism: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives.University of Utah Press, 2016. 354pp. Paperback. $34.95

Shipping: $5.00 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 AN EDITOR

We are excited to announce that Kate Holbrook, co-editor of At the Pulpit: 185 Years of Discourses by Latter-day Saint Women (published by the Church Historian’s Press) will be here Wednesday, March 1, to speak about and sign copies of the book. Her co-editor, Jenny Reeder, will unfortunately not be in attendance but books will likely be signed by her beforehand. Kate will be here from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.—speaking at 6:00 p.m.—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.

At the Pulpit contains fifty-four discourses given by Latter-day Saint women throughout the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Like Lucy Mack Smith, these women drew on inspiration and experience to declare their understanding of eternal truths. This book illustrates the history of women’s public preaching in the church, but its most important feature is the actual words of Mormon women. From the time of Emma Hale Smith’s earliest exhortations at meetings of the Nauvoo Relief Society, Latter-day Saint women have been charged to instruct their families and neighbors, their congregations and Relief Societies, and other organizations. The talks featured in this volume show Mormon women doing the spiritual and intellectual work inherent in a life of Christian faith—seeking to do good works, understand the atonement of Jesus Christ, and strengthen their own faith and the faith of those around them. These women endeavored to live what they believed and to help their listeners do so as well.

Written to the high scholarly standards of the Church Historian’s Press, the book provides a resource for contemporary Latter-day Saints as they study, speak, teach, and lead. Each discourse in this volume begins with an introduction that acquaints readers with the vibrant personalities of some of the women who have shaped the church. Introductions also provide glimpses into the circumstances and forces that shaped these women. Readers will encounter some familiar figures from church history and from the contemporary church—leaders like Eliza R. Snow and Linda K. Burton, current Relief Society general president. But they will also learn from women like Jane H. Neyman, whose stories are largely unknown to modern Latter-day Saints. Neyman applied to join the Nauvoo Relief Society in 1842, but her petition was rejected due to gossip about her daughters. Over twenty-five years later, she spoke in a Relief Society in Beaver, Utah, on charity, urging members to be forbearing and forgiving of one another.

The voices in these pages ring from Nauvoo’s red brick store to the National Auditorium in Mexico City to the Tabernacle on Temple Square and beyond. These discourses offer instruction on gospel principles while also revealing the particular concerns of individual women. At the Pulpit allows us to hear the historical and contemporary voices of Latter-day Saint women—voices that resound with experience, wisdom, and authority.

 

At the Pulpit: 185 Years of Discourses by Latter-day Saint Women ed. by Jennifer Reeder and Kate Holbrook. The Church Historian’s Press, 2017. 452pp. Hardback. $29.99.

Kate Holbrook is the managing historian for women’s history at the Church History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She received a PhD in religious studies from Boston University.

Other Titles Edited by Kate Holbrook

Derr, Jill Mulvay, Carol Cornwall Madsen, Kate Holbrook & Matthew J. Grow (eds.). The First Fifty Years of Relief Society: Key Documents in Latter-day Saint Women’s History. Church Historian’s Press, 2016. 767pp. Hardback. $49.95

Holbrook, Kate and Matthew Bowman, eds. Women and Mormonism: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives.University of Utah Press, 2016. 354pp. Paperback. $34.95

 

Shipping: $5.00 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 needed some new books around here to help clear the air. Luckily, publishers obliged!

NEW BOOKS

Schwendiman, Jeremy C. Uncle of the Prophet: The Life and Achievements of John Smith. Eborn Books, 2016. 369pp.  Hardcover.  $39.99. This biography chronicles John Smith’s life, from his New England heritage to his conversion in Potsdam, New York. It details his struggles as he moved across the United States in search of freedom to practice his religion with his wife, Clarissa, and three children, George A., John Lyman, and Caroline. Persecution drove him from New York to Ohio, Missouri to Illinois, Iowa to the Rocky Mountains, living in places familiar to many historians of Mormonism’s beginnings: Kirtland, Adam-ondi-Ahman, Zarahemla, Nauvoo, Winter Quarters, Salt Lake City. John witnessed as mobs burned the Saints’ homes, stole their property, and issued an act of total extermination. Following a short period of peace in Nauvoo, John traveled to the Salt Lake Valley on one of the greatest western migrations in modern history. While other Smiths stayed behind in Illinois, John followed Brigham Young to find rest in Utah. Until his death, he served as the presiding patriarch of the church.

Toronto, James A., Eric R. Dursteler and Michael W. Homer. Mormons in the Piazza: History of the Latter-day Saints in Italy. Religious Studies Center/Deseret Book, 2017. 597pp. Hardcover.  $34.99. From the day Lorenzo Snow stepped out of a carriage onto Italian soil in 1850 to the day that Thomas S. Monson turned a shovel of Italian soil to break ground for a temple in 2010, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has made evangelizing a high priority in Italy. Mormon missionary work unfolded against a backdrop of historical forces political upheaval, world wars, social change, and internal Church dynamics that presented both obstacles and opportunity for growth. Over the span of a century and a half, the Church managed to establish a small but significant presence in Italy. This research offers a comprehensive account and thorough analysis of the people, events, and issues related to this important chapter in Italian and Church history. It highlights the human drama associated with encounters between foreign missionaries and local spiritual seekers and explores the implications of religious growth across obstacles of faith, geography, and culture.

Welch, John W. & Erick B. Carlson  (eds.). Opening the Heavens: Accounts of Divine Manifestations, 1820-1844 (2nd ed.). BYU Studies / Deseret Book Company, 2017. 516 pp. Paperback. $21.95. An impressive collection of original documents relating to six foundational topics in Mormon history: 1) the first vision; 2) the coming forth of The Book of Mormon; 3) the restoration of the priesthood; 4) Joseph Smith’s lifetime visionary experiences; 5) the restoration of temple keys; and 6) succession in the presidency. About this edition: “Since publication of the first edition, many new historical resources have become available. These documents have been referenced and newly discovered testimonies have been added. Many hours have been spent in updating the footnotes, especially with new information made available through the Joseph Smith Papers Project.”

 

Allred, Byron Harvey, Jr. (comp. by Donna K. Mackert) Hidden Valley Expedition: Craters of the Moon, Idaho, 1912. Kolob Shadows Printing, 2016. 67pp. Paperback. $10.00. This book is the culmination of a lifelong desire of Donna K Mackert to substantiate family oral history. After a search of nearly 17 years, she recently found documentation that in 1912 her maternal grandfather, Byron Harvey Allred, Jr., and his exploring party had indeed reached the Hidden Valley of Indian legend in the lava beds that later became known as Craters of the Moon National Monument.

Mackert, Donna K. The Bridge Builder’s Daughter (4 parts). Kolob Shadows Publishing, 2007-16. 74, 79, 136, 116pp. Paperback. $30.00. The author, daughter of early important early fundamentalist Morris Kunz and Rhea Allred (daughter of B. Harvey Allred and half-sister of Rulon Allred), tells of her varied and colorful life experiences: childhood during the Depression, marriage and residence in Short Creek (including during the 1953 raid) as well as her involvement in education and poetry (she was poet-in-residence at Tuacahn).

“After reading this page-turner, I am anxiously awaiting subsequent publications in the series. With all the ongoing negative publicity about polygamy and polygamists, here’s a compelling, realistic and well-written autobiography by a courageous woman, recalling her loving and pleasant memories of being raised in this controversial lifestyle. Donna K. Mackert comes from a pivotal family who was acquainted with many of the prominent leaders of both fundamentalist and mainstream Mormonism. Her father, Morris Q. Kunz, was indeed a bridge builder between early and contemporary plural marriage.”

–Anne Wilde, author, co-founder and Community Relations Director of Principle Voices

SALE BOOKS

Bushman, Richard Lyman with the assistance of Jed Woodworth. Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling. Vintage Books, 2007. Paperback. Remainder mark on bottom edge. Reg $ 19.95, SALE $9.99. Richard Bushman, esteemed cultural historian, moves beyond the popular stereotype of Smith as a colorful fraud to explore his personality, his relationships with others, and how he received revelations. An arresting narrative of the birth of the Mormon Church, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling also brilliantly evaluates the prophet’s bold contributions to Christian theology and his cultural place in the modern world.

“Clearly the definitive biography for generations to come. The most balanced, thorough, and insightful treatment to date—truly a masterful work. Wonderfully grounded in its interpretations. Wise in its judgments, penetrating in its analysis, and rich in historical and cultural detail without ever losing sight of its subject. Bushman does full justice to this most
complex and influential of all American religious innovators.”

–Terryl Givens

Crawley, Peter. A Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church, Vol. 3, 1853-1857. Religious Studies Center, 2012. Hardback. Reg. $54.95, SALE $19.99. This volume continues the bibliography begun in volume 1 and 2 of the same title, covering the period 1853-57. The scope of the bibliography remains those books produced by Mormons in support of the Church, where the term book means any printed piece with one or more pages having text bearing on some Church issue. Excluded are individual newspaper or magazine articles, maps, prints, bank notes, and ephemeral pieces such as printed forms or elders’ licenses.

 

 

Shipping: $5.00 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 AN AUTHOR

Reminder that Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, author of A House Full of Females: Plural Marriage and Women’s Rights in Early Mormonism, 1835-1870 (published by Alfred A. Knopf), will be here Tuesday, January 10 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.

We encourage you to listen to her interview with Doug Wright for the KSL radio program “Everyday Lives, Everyday Values.”  It will air on Sunday, Jan 8th at 9 AM MST on KSL Radio (1160 AM/102.7 FM along the Wasatch Front).  To listen live, visit here–it will also be available as a podcast here. In addition, check out Jerry Johnston’s column on her and her book in the Deseret News (available here).

A House Full of Females: Plural Marriage and Women’s Rights in Early Mormonism, 1835-1870. Alfred A. Knopf, 2017. 484pp. Hardback. $35.00

Also by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich:

A Midwife’s Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785 – 1812. Vintage Books, 1991. Paperback. $16.95

Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History. Vintage Books, 2007. Paperback. $16.95

 

Shipping: $5.00 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 AN AUTHOR

We are very excited to announce that Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, author of A House Full of Females: Plural Marriage and Women’s Rights in Early Mormonism, 1835-1870 (published by Alfred A. Knopf), will be here Tuesday, January 10 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.

From the author of A Midwife’s Tale, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the Bancroft Prize for History, and Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History —a revelatory, nuanced, and deeply intimate look at the world of early Mormon women whose seemingly ordinary lives belied an astonishingly revolutionary spirit, drive, and determination.

A House Full of Females is a fascinating book that pieces together, through more than two dozen nineteenth-century diaries, letters, albums, minute-books, and quilts left by first-generation Mormons, the story of the earliest days of the women of Mormon plural marriage, whose right to vote in the state of Utah was given to them by a Mormon-dominated legislature as an outgrowth of polygamy in 1870, fifty years ahead of the vote nationally ratified by Congress, and who became political actors in spite of, or because of, their marital arrangements. Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, writing of this small group of Mormon women, has brilliantly reconstructed these textured, complex lives to give us a fulsome portrait of who these women were and of their “sex radicalism”—the idea that a woman should choose when and with whom to bear children.

“Pulitzer-winner Ulrich gives readers a day-to-day look at the hardships early Mormons endured as pioneers and religious outlaws but also takes a broader view of longer-term changes in the religion . . . Impeccable scholarship and a fascinating topic.”
Publishers Weekly

LAUREL THATCHER ULRICH holds degrees from the University of New Hampshire, University of Utah, and Simmons College. She is 300th Anniversary University Professor at Harvard University and past president of the American Historical Association. As a MacArthur Fellow, Ulrich worked on the PBS documentary based on A Midwife’s Tale. Her work is also featured on an award-winning website called dohistory.org. She is immediate past president of the Mormon History Association.

 

A House Full of Females: Plural Marriage and Women’s Rights in Early Mormonism, 1835-1870. Alfred A. Knopf, 2017. 484pp. Hardback. $35.00

 

Also by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich:

A Midwife’s Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785 – 1812. Vintage Books, 1991. Paperback. $16.95

Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History. Vintage Books, 2007. Paperback. $16.95

 

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

Still need to get someone a great Christmas present? Feeling left out and needing to give yourself something tremendous for your bookshelf? Here are some recent arrivals just in time to save Christmas!

NEW BOOKS

Defender: The Life of Daniel H. Wells by Quentin Thomas Wells. Utah State University Press, 2016. 508pp. Hardcover/dust jacket. $39.95. Defender is the first and only scholarly biography of Daniel H. Wells, one of the important yet historically neglected leaders among the nineteenth-century Mormons—leaders like Heber C. Kimball, George Q. Cannon, and Jedediah M. Grant. An adult convert to the Mormon faith during the Mormons’ Nauvoo period, Wells developed relationships with men at the highest levels of the church hierarchy, emigrated to Utah with the Mormon pioneers, and served in a series of influential posts in both church and state. Wells witnessed and influenced a wide range of consequential events that shaped the culture, politics, and society of Utah in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Using research from relevant collections, sources in public records, references to Wells in the Joseph Smith papers, other contemporaneous journals and letters, and the writings of Brigham Young, Quentin Thomas Wells has created a serious and significant contribution to Mormon history scholarship.

Revelations in Context: The Stories Behind the Sections of the Doctrine and Covenants ed. by Matthew McBride and James Goldberg. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2016. 346 pp. Paperback. New.  $5.99. While the section headings, updated in 2013, provide some context for the revelations, instructions, and declarations in the Doctrine and Covenants, they don’t tell the complete story. What were the questions that prompted the revelations? What did the Lord’s responses mean to those to whom they were addressed? How did those who heard the revelations respond to new teachings? Revelations in Context is a collection of stories that attempts to answer these questions. Told from the point of view of people who experienced them in their immediate context, these narratives give us insight into the meaning of the revelations and help us see them with new eyes. The stories in this collection, which treat almost all of the sections in the Doctrine and Covenants, were written by historians in the Church History Department. In telling these stories, the authors brought to bear both their faith in the restored gospel and their training and expertise in American and Mormon history.

Revelatory Events Three Case Studies of the Emergence of New Spiritual Paths by Ann Taves. Princeton University Press, 2016. 357 pp. Paperback–$29.95/Hardback–$75.00. Unseen presences. Apparitions. Hearing voices. Although some people would find such experiences to be distressing and seek clinical help, others perceive them as transformative. Occasionally, these unusual phenomena give rise to new spiritual paths or religious movements. Revelatory Events provides fresh insights into what is perhaps the bedrock of all religious belief—the claim that otherworldly powers are active in human affairs. Ann Taves looks at Mormonism, Alcoholics Anonymous, and A Course in Miracles—three cases in which insiders claimed that a spiritual presence guided the emergence of a new spiritual path. In the 1820s, Joseph Smith, Jr., reportedly translated the Book of Mormon from ancient gold plates unearthed with the help of an angel. Bill Wilson cofounded AA after having an ecstatic experience while hospitalized for alcoholism in 1934. Helen Schucman scribed the words of an inner voice that she attributed to Jesus, which formed the basis of her 1976 best-selling self-study course. In each case, Taves argues, the sense of a guiding presence emerged through a complex, creative interaction between a founding figure with unusual mental abilities and an initial set of collaborators who were drawn into the process by diverse motives of their own.

“Ann Taves uses her skills as a historian to demonstrate that it is not spiritual experience itself that makes revelatory events, and her skills in cognitive science to unpack how events become revelatory. A deeply fascinating book, Revelatory Events helps us rethink spirituality itself.”

–T. M. Luhrmann, author of When God Talks Back: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship with God

Precept upon Precept: Joseph Smith and the Restoration of Doctrine by Robert L. Millet. Deseret Book Company, 2016. 475pp. Hardcover/dust jacket. $29.99. Most histories and biographies of Joseph Smith don’t discuss doctrine, or they mention doctrines of revelations only briefly. Unlike any other treatment of him, this book presents the Prophet’s life in the context of what he was teaching doctrinally. Precept upon Precept explores the chronological development of Restoration doctrines, providing a better understanding in the context of what was happening in the life of the Prophet and in the Church when these doctrines were revealed and taught.

 

 

 

Charles Ellis Johnson and the Erotic Mormon Image by Mary Campbell. University of Chicago Press, 2016. 211pp. Hardcover/dust jacket. $45.00. On September 25, 1890, the Mormon prophet Wilford Woodruff publicly instructed his followers to abandon polygamy. In doing so, he initiated a process that would fundamentally alter the Latter-day Saints and their faith. Trading the most integral elements of their belief system for national acceptance, the Mormons recreated themselves as model Americans. Mary Campbell tells the story of this remarkable religious transformation in Charles Ellis Johnson and the Erotic Mormon Image. One of the church’s favorite photographers, Johnson (1857–1926) spent the 1890s and early 1900s taking pictures of Mormonism’s most revered figures and sacred sites. At the same time, he did a brisk business in mail-order erotica, creating and selling stereoviews that he referred to as his “spicy pictures of girls.” Situating these images within the religious, artistic, and legal culture of turn-of-the-century America, Campbell reveals the unexpected ways in which they worked to bring the Saints into the nation’s mainstream after the scandal of polygamy.

 “Charles Ellis Johnson and the Erotic Mormon Image is brilliant in its persuasive interpretation of the photography of Johnson as an act of repositioning the Latter-day Saints in mainstream American society. Campbell’s extremely compelling analysis will have tremendous appeal to scholars in history of art, religious studies, American studies, and history, as well as to a larger reading public. Beautifully written and engaging, this book has my strongest endorsement.”

— Sally M. Promey, author of Painting Religion in Public: John Singer Sargent’s “Triumph of Religion” at the Boston Public Library

The Women: A Family Story by Kerry William Bate. University of Utah Press, 2016. 392pp. Hardcover/dust jacket. $39.95. Family history, usually destined or even designed for limited consumption, is a familiar genre within Mormon culture. Mostly written with little attention to standards of historical scholarship, such works are a distinctly hagiographic form of family memorabilia. But many family sagas in the right hands can prove widely engaging, owing to inherent drama and historical relevance. They can truthfully illuminate larger matters of history, humanity, and culture. Kerry Bate proceeds on the premise that a story centering on the women of the clan could provide fresh perspective and insight. He portrays real people with well-rounded, flawed characters; builds from deep research; writes with a bit of style; and includes the rich context and detail of these lives. His main subjects are four generations of impressive women: the pioneer Catherine Campbell Steele; her daughter Young Elizabeth, the first Mormon child born in Utah; Kate, an accomplished community leader; and Sarah, a gifted seamstress trapped in an unhappy marriage. To enter their hardscrabble lives in small southern Utah communities is to meet women who pioneered in their own modest but determined ways.

“A detailed, lively, local history. The author has done an astonishing amount of recording and transcribing of oral histories, and it often brings characters to life in a wonderful way.”

—Todd Compton, author of A Frontier Life: Jacob Hamblin, Explorer and Indian Missionary 

The Garden of Enid: Adventures of A Weird Mormon Girl – Part 1 by Scott Hales. Greg Kofford Books, 2016. Paperback. $22.95. Fifteen-year-old Enid Gardner is a self-proclaimed “weird Mormon girl.” When she isn’t chatting with Joseph Smith or the Book of Abraham mummy, she’s searching for herself between the spaces of doubt and belief. Along the way, she must grapple with her Mormon faith as it adapts to the twenty-first century. She also must confront the painful mysteries at the heart of her strained relationship with her ailing mother. This edition of The Garden of Enid: Adventures of a Weird Mormon Girl recasts the award-winning webcomic as a two-part graphic novel (part two is forthcoming). With revised and previously unpublished comics, it features the familiar story that captivated thousands online, yet offers new glimpses into Enid’s year-long odyssey.

“There is much that Enid does not understand, just as there is much that I do not understand. But she makes me laugh, gives me hope for the future, and teaches me that it’s okay to be myself: a weird Mormon girl.”

—Jana Riess, author of Flunking Sainthood and The Twible

SALE BOOKS

(limited quantities on some titles)

The Polygamous Wives Writing Club: From the Diaries of Mormon Pioneer Women by Paula Kelly Harline. Oxford University Press, 2014. Hardcover/dust jacket. Reg. $31.95, SALE $9.99. In the mid to late nineteenth century, an average of three out of every ten Mormon women became polygamous wives. Paula Kelly Harline delves deep into the diaries and autobiographies of twenty-nine such women, opening a rare window into the lives they led and revealing their views of and experiences with polygamy, including their well-founded belief that their domestic contributions would help to build a foundation for generations of future Mormons. Following two or three women simultaneously and integrating their own words within a lively narrative, Harline focuses on the detail of their emotional and domestic lives over time, painting an incredibly candid and realistic picture of 19th Century polygamy.

“Paula Harline’s treatment is a revealing if painful look into the profoundly rooted contradictions of Mormon plural marriage: she shows it to be a practice wives publicly defended while privately lamenting; one that fostered solidarity with a sisterhood burdened with ‘the principle,’ even as it fomented rivalries and sorrows within those marriages; and a practice that left a conflicting legacy of pride in the sacrifice polygamists endured, along with a persisting unease with the teachings and practices themselves.”

–Terryl L. Givens, co-author of The God Who Weeps: How Mormonism Makes Sense of Life

The Prophet and the Reformer: The Letters of Brigham Young & Thomas L. Kane ed. by Matthew J. Grow and Ronald W. Walker. Oxford University Press, 2015. Hardcover/dust jacket. Reg. $39.95, SALE $9.99. The Prophet and the Reformer offers a complete reproduction of the surviving letters between the Mormon prophet and the Philadelphia reformer. The correspondence reveals the strategies of the Latter-day Saints in relating to American culture and government during these crucial years when the “Mormon Question” was a major political, cultural, and legal issue.

“Two intriguing characters, Brigham Young and Thomas Kane, in their own words; Mormons under pressure from the United States army; the Church struggling for survival in a hostile environment while the nation goes to war with itself. They are all here in this expertly edited collection of letters and compelling narrative of two critical decades in Mormon history.”

–Richard Bushman, author of Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling

The Mormon Quest for Glory: The Religious World of the Latter-day Saints by Melvyn Hammarberg.Oxford University Press, 2013. Hardcover/dust jacket. Reg. $36.95, SALE $9.99.   The best sociological study of Mormon life, Thomas O’Dea’s The Mormons, is now over fifty years old. What is it like to be a Mormon in America today? Melvyn Hammarberg attempts to answer this question by offering an ethnography of contemporary Mormons. In The Mormon Quest for Glory, Hammarberg examines Mormon history, rituals, social organization, family connections, gender roles, artistic traditions, use of media, and missionary work. He writes as a sympathetic outsider who has studied Mormon life for decades, and strives to explain the religious world of the Latter-day Saints through the lens of their own spiritual understanding.

“While several sympathetic outsider perspectives of Mormonism have appeared since [Thomas O’Dea’s The Mormons] none has captured the lived experience of the Mormon people so well Melvyn Hammarberg’s The Mormon Quest for Glory: The Religious World of the Latter-day Saints . [A] rich source for those who want to understand the lived experience of contemporary Mormonism.”

Journal of the American Academy of Religion

A Chosen People, A Promised Land: Mormonism and Race in Hawaii by Hokulani Aikau. University of Minnesota, 2012. Paperback. Reg. $22.50, SALE $4.99. Using the words of Native Hawaiian Latter-Day Saints to illuminate the intersections of race, colonization, and religion, A Chosen People, a Promised Land examines Polynesian Mormon articulations of faith and identity within a larger political context of self-determination.

A Chosen People, a Promised Land is a fascinating book. Attending to fraught and revealing episodes in Hawaiian-Mormon history, Hokulani K. Aikau opens up new terrain for historical analysis in a manner that is theoretically engaged yet accessible.”

Greg Johnson, author of Sacred Claims: Repatriation and Living Tradition

The Bible Tells Me So…Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It by Peter Enns. HarperOne, 2014. Hardcover/dust jacket. Reg. $25.99, SALE $20.99. The Bible Tells Me So chronicles Enns’s spiritual odyssey, how he came to see beyond restrictive doctrine and learned to embrace God’s Word as it is actually written. As he explores questions progressive evangelical readers of Scripture commonly face yet fear voicing, Enns reveals that they are the very questions that God wants us to consider—the essence of our spiritual study.

“Cross a stand-up comic, a robust theological mind, a college professor, and a decent normal guy, and what do you get? Peter Enns. And what does he write? A super-enjoyable, highly informative, disarmingly honest, and downright liberating book. The message of this book needs to get out. Fast.”

–Brian McLaren, author of A New Kind of Christianity

A Visual History of the English Bible: The Tumultuous Tale of the World’s Bestselling Book by Donald L. Brake. Baker, 2008. Hardcover/dust jacket. Reg. $29.99, SALE $7.99. With a full color layout and over one hundred illustrations, A Visual History of the English Bible covers the fascinating journey of the Bible from the pulpit to the people. Renowned biblical scholar Donald L. Brake invites readers to explore the process of transformation from medieval manuscripts to the contemporary translations of our day. Along the way, readers will meet many heroes of the faith–men and women who preserved and published the Scriptures, often at risk of their own lives.

“Brake opens up a world of information about the English Bible. I found myself repeating the exclamation, ‘I didn’t know that!’ I have several popular books on the history of the English Bible, but none that so thoroughly addresses the historical background of those hoary tomes of the Reformation era as does Brake’s.”

–Daniel B. Wallace, executive director, The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts

The Great American West: Pursuing the American Dream by Kenneth W. Rendell. Whitman, 2013. Hardback. Reg. $29.95, SALE $9.99. In The Great American West: Pursuing the American Dream, Rendell serves up a combination of the engaging text and dramatic imagery that made his book World War II:Saving the Reality such a popular seller. Readers will see dozens of Western artifacts and relics, letters from famous outlaws, old newspaper clippings, historical maps and posters, and other rarities make the American West come alive — a once-in-a-lifetime experience to be shared with the whole family. Includes a chapter on Mormons.

 

Everything I Need to Know About Christmas I Learned From a Little Golden Book by Diane Muldrow. Golden Books, 2014. Hardcover. Reg. $9.99, SALE $3.99. The Poky Little Puppy, the Gingerbread Man, and many other classic Golden Books characters help illustrate this wise and witty guide to the holidays! Delightfully retro yet utterly of the moment, this companion to the bestselling EVERYTHING NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED FROM A LITTLE GOLDEN BOOK will delight fans of those gold foil-spined treasures.

 

 

The Art of the Bookstore: The Bookstore Paintings of Gibbs M. Smith by Gibbs M. Smith. Gibbs Smith, 2009. Hardcover in slipcase. Reg. $35.00, SALE $9.99. For several decades, publisher Gibbs Smith has been visiting independent booksellers around the country. Inspired by the unique culture and ambiance of these fine bookstores, he made oil paintings to feature on the covers of his publishing company’s catalog each season. This collection of 68 paintings, accompanied by essays about the art of the bookstore, captures the distinctive atmosphere of each establishment, from the bright lights of Washington D.C.’s Politics & Prose to the tucked away charm of Chicago’s Kroch’s & Brentano’s to the magnetism of New York’s Shakespeare & Co. Bookstore.

 

Surprised by Scripture: Engaging Contemporary Issues by N.T. Wright. HarperOne, 2014. Hardcover/dust jacket. Reg. $24.99, SALE $8.99.  Helpful, practical, and wise, Surprised by Scripture invites readers to examine their own hearts and minds and presents new models for understanding how to affirm the Bible in today’s world—as well as new ideas and renewed energy for deepening our faith and engaging with the world around us.

“Pithy prose and compassionate and serious biblical interpretation. . . . To reveal some of Wright’s conclusions would be like leaking cinematic spoilers; such is the inventive and surprising way that Wright brings the Bible to bear on current, and vexatious, affairs.”

Publishers Weekly

We have also added new titles to our markdown section–come see if there are classics that catch your eye!



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Reminder of our event for Natural Born Seer: Joseph Smith, American Prophet, 1805-1830 (published by the Smith-Pettit Foundation, distributed by Signature Books) THIS WEDNESDAY. The author, Richard S. Van Wagoner, unfortunately passed away unexpectedly in 2010. Luckily, he had finished his manuscript as well as two rounds of editing so the book needed only “minimal work” to prepare it for publication. In his stead, we will hear from Gary Bergera, managing director at the Smith-Pettit Foundation, who prepared the book for publication. 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 (if desired) before and after that time. We hope you will be able to make it that night but, if not, we can mail a copy or hold one here at the store for pick-up.

To RSVP on Facebook, click here.

Reminder of two events this week:

Michael Hubbard MacKay and Nicholas J. Frederick, authors of Joseph Smith’s Seer Stones (published by the Religious Studies Center in cooperation with Deseret Book), will be here on Wednesday, November 30, to discuss 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. RSVP here.

Thomas W. Simpson, author of American Universities and the Birth of Modern Mormonism, 1876-1940 (published by the University of North Carolina Press)—will be here for a lunchtime signing on Friday, Dec. 2 (our apologies for mixing up dates/times in the previous e-mail). He will be here from 11 AM to 1 PM to sign copies of his book and chat. Light refreshments will be served.

EVENING WITH AN EDITOR

Natural-Born-Seer-199x300

We are pleased to announce an event for Natural Born Seer: Joseph Smith, American Prophet, 1805-1830 (published by the Smith-Pettit Foundation, distributed by Signature Books) on Wednesday, December 7. The author, Richard S. Van Wagoner, unfortunately passed away unexpectedly in 2010. Luckily, he had finished his manuscript as well as two rounds of editing so the book needed only “minimal work” to prepare it for publication. In his stead, we will hear from Gary Bergera, managing director at the Smith-Pettit Foundation, who prepared the book for publication. 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 (if desired) before and after that time. We hope you will be able to make it that night but, if not, we can mail a copy or hold one here at the store for pick-up. To RSVP on Facebook, click here.

As prize-winning historian Richard S. Van Wagoner narrates the first twenty-five years of Smith’s life, the young seer struggled with his family through a series of roller-­coaster hardships, eventually securing work as a scryer of lost treasure and money digger. In the wake of successive failures, including run-ins with the law, Smith’s glass-­looking activities gave way to more religiously oriented pursuits, especially after a heavenly messenger showed him the location of buried golden plates containing a pre-Columbian story of the Americas and charged him with the record’s decipherment and publication.

Smith also learned, following another extraordinary vision, that his sins had been remitted, that humanity was in a state of apostasy, and that Jesus would soon return to the earth. After eloping with Emma Hale, much to her skeptical father’s chagrin, the couple settled down to complete work on what would appear for sale in early 1830 as the Book of Mormon. By this time, Smith had begun to shoulder more fully the prophet’s mantle, issuing proclamations in God’s own voice, and on April 6, 1830, organized the Church of Christ, known today as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“I treat the early years of the Mormon prophet as I would approach an archaeological dig,” Van Wagoner explains. “The deepest levels, those deposited first and least contaminated by subsequent accumulates, are of primary interest in my pursuit of the historical Joseph. Mindful of the prophet’s controversial reputation, I try to remain sensitive to the impact that some of the more problematic elements of his behavior may have on believers. But truth is often best evidenced in the detail.”

This is the second installment to be released in a three-volume biography of Joseph Smith. The first volume—Glorious in Persecution: Joseph Smith, American Prophet, 1839-1844 (written by Martha Bradley-Evans)—was published earlier this year. The final volume, dealing with the Ohio/Missouri period, is currently being written by Dan Vogel.

 

Natural Born Seer: Joseph Smith, American Prophet, 1805-1830 by Richard S. Van Wagoner.  Smith-Pettit Foundation (distributed by Signature Books), 2016. 589pp. Hardback. $34.95

 

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 AUTHORS

combo

We are excited to announce that Michael Hubbard MacKay and Nicholas J. Frederick, authors of Joseph Smith’s Seer Stones (published by the Religious Studies Center in cooperation with Deseret Book), will be here on Wednesday, November 30, to discuss 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.

When the Church released photos of the brown seer stone that was owned and used by Joseph Smith, the news ignited a firestorm of curiosity and controversy. People wanted more information and wondered why they hadn’t been aware of the stone’s existence.

This book discusses the origins of Joseph Smith’s seer stones and explores how Joseph used them throughout his life in a way that goes beyond translating the Book of Mormon. It also traces the provenance of his stones once they left his possession.

The authors examine how the Book of Mormon itself provides a storyline about the history of seer stones and how this helped Joseph Smith learn about his own prophetic gifts. Finally, this book explores how Joseph Smith took his own experiences and created a theology of seer stones that became closely linked with his unique doctrines of exaltation.

“The LDS community needs this book. It is a model of how responsible and faithful scholarship should be written.”
—Ben Park

Michael Hubbard MacKay received an engineering degree from the US Air Force and a master of arts degree from the University of York in England. His doctorate of philosophy degree was also awarded by the University of York. He is now an assistant professor in the department of Church history and doctrine at Brigham Young University.

Nicholas J. Frederick received his BA in classics and his MA in comparative studies. He received his PhD in the history of Christianity, with an emphasis in Mormon studies from Claremont University. As a professor at BYU, he enjoys teaching courses on the Book of Mormon and the New Testament, particularly the writings of Paul and the Book of Revelation.

 

Joseph Smith’s Seer Stones by Michael Hubbard MacKay and Nicholas J. Frederick. Religious Studies Center in cooperation with Deseret Book, 2016. 243pp. Hardback. $24.99

 

Other Titles by MacKay:

From Darkness unto Light: Joseph Smith’s Translation and Publication of the Book of Mormon. Religious Studies Center/Deseret Book, 2015. Hardback. $24.99

Joseph Smith Papers Volumes to Which MacKay Contributed

The Joseph Smith Papers: Documents, vol. 1: July 1828 – June 1831. The Church Historian’s Press, 2013. Hardback. $54.95

The Joseph Smith Papers, Documents Vol. 3: February 1833-March 1834. The Church Historian’s Press, 2014. Hardback. $54.95

**if you aren’t a subscriber to the Joseph Smith Papers series, sign up now and save 10% on each volume!

Other Title by Frederick:

The Bible, Mormon Scripture, and the Rhetoric of Allusivity (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press Mormon Studies Series). Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2016. Hardback. $75.00 **this title is a special order only—please let us know as soon as possible if you want to order a copy**

Shipping: $4.50 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

3269 S Main St--Ste 250
SLC UT 84115

Hours:
M-F: 10 AM-6 PM
Sat: 10 AM-5 PM
Closed Sun

Contact:
801-486-3111
800-486-3112
info@
benchmarkbooks.com

Enter your e-mail address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. We will post new books, book reviews, links to event videos and more!

Join 287 other subscribers

Past Posts