Benchmark Blog

The video from the event with Dennis Horne on July 9th–speaking about The Life of Orson F. Whitney: Historian, Poet, Apostle–has been posted on our website. You can see it (and video from past events) in the Events tab in the banner of our site or by clicking here. If you didn’t make it to the event, we do still have a few signed copies of this and a couple other Horne titles.

Also, Dennis has posted a list of errata in the book on his website—check it out at http://www.dennisbhorne.com/almost-here/

Reminder that Dennis Horne will be here TONIGHT (Wed, Jul 9th) to speak about his new book The Life of Orson F. Whitney: Historian, Poet, Apostle. He will be here to sign and chat at 5:30 and then begin speaking around 6:00. Come learn more about one of the more intriguing people ever to serve as an apostle! For more info, click here.

We’ve gotten several new and intriguing titles lately.  You can call (801-486-3111/800-486-3112) or e-mail (info@benchmarkbooks.com) us with an order.

Also, we have posted the video from the event with Michael Homer (you can see it in our Events tab above or click here). We do have a few signed copies left if you haven’t picked one up yet.

  • ofwThe Life of Orson F. Whitney: Historian, Poet, Apostle  by Dennis Horne. Cedar Fort, 2014. 608pp. Hardcover. $39.99. Orson F. Whitney—bishop, historian, poet, and prophet—once wielded an influence in Mormonism equal to that of such men as James E. Talmage, John A. Widtsoe, and B.H. Roberts, his better-known contemporaries. After serving for most of three decades as a ward bishop, Elder Whitney served as an Apostle for a similar duration. During these sixty years, he served several missions; married a plural wife and raised two families; wrote volumes of history, poetry, and gospel discourse; dreamed dreams and saw visions; spoke to countless multitudes with the tongue of angels, and bore fervent Apostolic testimony. Complicating his enigmatic life, he also became involved with strange doctrines and spiritually errant men; fought overpowering feelings of depression; courted women after the Manifesto; and survived a mind-crippling nervous breakdown. Herein, this complex life story is largely told by Bishop Whitney through the window of his diaries, regularly kept from his first mission until his last conference talk. His youthful years are recounted with his own pen, using previously unpublished autobiographical writings.  **We will be having a signing event with Dennis on July 9th–for more info, click here
  • kirtland templeKirtland Temple: The Biography of a Shared Mormon Sacred Spaceby David J. Howlett. University of Illinois, 2014. 288pp. Paperback–$25/hardback–$90. The only temple completed by Mormonism’s founder, Joseph Smith Jr., the Kirtland Temple in Kirtland, Ohio, receives 30,000 Mormon pilgrims every year. The site’s religious significance and the space itself are contested by distinct Mormon denominations: its owner, the relatively liberal Community of Christ, and the larger Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. David J. Howlett sets the biography of Kirtland Temple against the backdrop of this religious rivalry. The two sides have long contested the temple’s ownership, purpose, and significance in both the courts and Mormon literature. Yet members of each denomination have occasionally cooperated to establish periods of co-worship, host joint tours, and create friendships. Howlett uses the temple to build a model for understanding what he calls parallel pilgrimage–the set of dynamics of disagreement and alliance by religious rivals at a shared sacred site. At the same time, he illuminates social and intellectual changes in the two main branches of Mormonism since the 1830s, providing a much-needed history of the lesser-known Community of Christ.
  • Mormon parallelsMormon Parallels (CD) by Rick Grunder. Rick Grunder – Books, 2014. 2nd ed. w/ index. 2307pp (PDF file), 500 entries. $24.95. Twenty years in the making, with 500 entries in 2,307 pages, Mormon Parallels is the most ground­breaking attempt yet in our understanding of the education, background and prevailing thinking and attitudes of Joseph Smith’s environs.  Did other people discuss the origins of America’s Native inhabitants, or write about such theories?  Were the doctrines which Joseph Smith proposed unique to him?  Has our understanding of Deity been consistent since “Joseph walked out of the Sacred Grove with a more complete understanding of God and Christ than any other mortal”?  How could Joseph have known so many compelling things?  We are taught that many of Mormonism’s foundational doctrines present original thinking.  “However,” suggests Rick Grunder, “a concentrated study of Mormon Parallels teaches us to be wary of such assumptions or their implications.  It also opens our imaginations to test the astonishing breadth of thought available among even the most humble contemporaries of Joseph Smith.”  This second edition includes an extensive topical index. “A treasure trove of primary sources for historians who are focused on early American history and the beginnings of Mormonism. It was indispensable to me in my research concerning the connections between Masonry and Mormonism.” –Michael Homer, author of Joseph’s Temples
  • The Mormon WarsThe Mormon Wars: Early Persecutions, Hawn’s Mill, The Nauvoo War, War of Extermination, Johnston’s Army, The War on Polygamy ed. by Glenn Rawson and Dennis Lyman. Covenant Communications, 2014. 139pp. Hardback. $24.99. The history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is replete with tales of sacrifice and suffering, tragedy and triumph. Now members of the Church can gain a deeper understanding of many of the significant trials faced by early Saints with Mormon Wars, a groundbreaking volume that masterfully presents historical accounts of pioneer perseverance. From violent mob persecutions to armed troops in the Utah territory to the war against polygamy, understanding the events that refined the early Saints will fortify your faith in the face of continuing modern-day battles.
  • mightyMighty Unto Deliverance: Exodus from Mexico by Jeff Richins. Self-published, 2014. 353pp. Paperback. $19.95. What would you think if you were abruptly awoken before the dawn on Sunday morning with an urgent message to meet with the bishop at the church? Throwing on some clothes, you grab your rifle and make your way through the empty, unlit streets to the ward building. A thousand scenarios are flooding your mind and you fear the worst. The Red Flaggers are demanding all the weapons in town – they say that if you will turn over your guns they will protect you. But if you don’t surrender in your firearms, they will kill every man, woman and child in town. So what do you do? Outnumbered ten to one, do you hunker down and fight to protect your families like Captain Moroni? Or do you comply with their demand and give up your only way to defend yourselves? Are you going to trust the safety of your homes and families to the mercy of the mob? This scene is not the plot to some futuristic apocalypse novel. This is exactly what happened to the  grandparents of the author in 1912 in the Mormon Colonies of Mexico. The distant, darkening clouds of political unrest quickly turned into crashing lightning and a pounding torrent of war swirling around them.
  • heatonHeaton Lunt, of Colonia Pacheco: Bronc Buster, Scout, Bishop by Marian R. Lunt. Self-published, 2013. 464pp. Paperback. Through the storytelling ability of Heaton Lunt (the author’s grandfather) comes his experiences in some major historical events. Heaton served as one of the scouts in 1916 under General John J. Pershing in the Mexico Punitive Expedition. He served in Colonel Robert Howze’s column. He captures the hardships and sacrifices of the United States Army, how airplanes and motor transport trucks were first used. He shares his experiences that he had with the Apache Indian scouts and how they murdered a Mexican man. The turbulent times of the Mexican Revolution changed his life and left him penniless. He had to leave his home and all his cattle and belongings in Pacheco and fled with other refugees to El Paso, Texas in the Mormon Exodus of 1912. To make ends meet Heaton and other men sneaked into the mountains to gather their cattle and bring them down the treacherous mountainside under the nose of a rebel army.  And how he lost everything, but started all over and became a beloved husband and father and grandfather.

SALE BOOKS

  • COMPLETE ATLASComplete Atlas of the World: The Definitive View of the Earth (DK Publishing). Oversize hardback. Reg. $75, SALE $19.99. Fully revised and updated to reflect the latest changes in world geography including the emerging state of South Sudan, Complete Atlas of the World features four sections: a world overview, the main atlas, fact files on all the countries of the world, and an easy-to-reference index of all 100,000 place names.
  • GREATERThe Greater Journey: Americans in Paris by David McCullough. Hardback. Reg. $32.50, SALE $9.99. The #1 bestseller that tells the remarkable story of the generations of American artists, writers, and doctors who traveled to Paris, the intellectual, scientific, and artistic capital of the western world, fell in love with the city and its people, and changed America through what they learned, told by America’s master historian, David McCullough.
  • Kearny'sKearny’s March: The Epic Creation of the American West, 1846-1847 by Winston Groom. Hardback. Reg. $27.95, SALE $6.99. A thrilling re-creation of a crucial campaign in the Mexican-American War and a pivotal moment in America’s history. Kearny’s March has all the stuff of great narrative history: hardships on the trail, wild Indians, famous mountain men, international conflict and political intrigue, personal dramas, gold rushes and land-grabs.

EVENING WITH AN AUTHOR

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We are pleased to announce that Dennis B. Horne, author of the recently-published biography The Life of Orson F. Whitney: Historian, Poet, Apostle (published by Cedar Fort), will be here for an event on Wednesday, July 9th. He will sign books and chat at 5:30 and then speak to us at 6:00.  Afterwards, he will be available to sign and answer questions.  We hope you will be able to make it to this interesting event but, if not, we can mail a signed copy (of this or any of his other titles—see below) or hold one here at the store for pick-up. To RSVP on Facebook, click here.

A man of miracles. A master of language. A bishop, historian, poet, and prophet. Orson F. Whitney was one of the most influential speakers and writers in early Mormonism, receiving commendations from men like Lorenzo Snow, James E. Talmage, and Joseph F. Smith. Throughout his life, Whitney was continually working on massive literary projects, usually through the medium of poetry, his favorite form. He was hailed as a “Milton-esque” caliber writer by some of his contemporaries, due to efforts like his masterwork poem Elias: An Epic for the Ages.On the historical side, Whitney was responsible for compiling the massive four-volume set History of Utah.

One could safely say that Orson F. Whitney led a complicated life. An entrenched belief in reincarnation brought him into conflict with general authorities early in his life.  He even came to believe that one of his associates that held these “theosophical” beliefs was destined to lead the church. In addition, Whitney was involved in several (occasionally very deep) friendships with women even after the second manifesto of 1904. But through struggle and humility, he managed to overcome his obstacles—tersely renouncing his belief in reincarnation—and serve faithfully until the end as an apostle.

Though unquestionably one of the leading figures in Mormonism in his day, Whitney is largely unknown to current readers.  Horne has resurrected the chaotic and fascinating life of this poet, thinker and apostle in this full-life biography.  The first several chapters are based on unpublished autobiographical sketches—the later years of Whitney’s life are reconstructed using his voluminous diaries (unfortunately censored by Whitney himself later in life) which provide intriguing details into the mind of this dedicated albeit quixotic figure.

Dennis B. Horne attended both Brigham Young and Weber State Universities, earning a bachelor’s degree in communications. He worked for a number of years in television broadcasting and then accepted a position with the Materials Management Department of the LDS Church, where he works as a technical writer.

 

The Life of Orson F. Whitney: Historian, Poet, Apostle. Cedar Fort, 2014. 529pp. Hardback.  $39.99

 

Other Dennis Horne Titles:

Latter Leaves in the Life of Lorenzo Snow. Cedar Fort, 2012. 588pp. Hardback. $29.99

Faith to Heal and to Be Healed. Cedar Fort, 2009. 199pp. Paperback. $15.99

Bruce R. McConkie: Highlights from His Life and Teachings (2nd ed. w/ epilogue). Eborn, 2010. 502pp. Hardback. $34.95

Determining Doctrine: A Reference Guide for Evaluating Doctrinal Truth. Eborn, 2005. 420pp. Hardback. $19.95

 

Shipping: Media mail (w/ tracking): $4.50 for the first book (inquire for rates on additional books). Priority, FedEx, UPS options available—inquire for details. Utah residents: add 7.05% sales tax.

Here’s a link to videos of previous author events at our store: http://www.benchmarkbooks.com/events/

 

Spend Lunch with Two Young Authors

 

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 We are excited to have two very promising young authors for an informal lunchtime signing.  Joseph Spencer and Adam Miller will be here on Wednesday, July 2nd from 1:30 to 2:30.  They will sign copies of their books, chat and answer questions. Light refreshments will be provided.

** if you can’t make it to the event, we can get copies signed/inscribed and either mail them or hold them at the store for pick-up

As Mormon Studies comes into its own as a field for academic inquiry, various disciplines are being mined for insights into Mormon thought and scripture. Miller and Spencer, both with philosophy backgrounds, take a look at what Mormon theology has to say to contemporary members.

 

What Other Authors Are Saying

“Adam Miller is the most original and provocative Latter-day Saint theologian practicing today.” — Richard Bushman, author of Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling

“The value of Miller’s writings is in the modesty he both exhibits and projects onto the theological enterprise, even while showing its joyfully disruptive potential.” — Terryl Givens, author of By the Hand of Mormon

“Joseph Spencer is one of the most astute readers of sacred texts working in Mormon Studies. Blending theological savvy, historical grounding, and sensitive readings of scripture, he has produced an original and compelling case for consecration and the life of discipleship.” — Terryl Givens, author of Wrestling the Angel: The Foundations of Mormon Thought

“With For Zion, Joseph Spencer develops the Mormon tradition of Zion, writing in the style of Hugh Nibley—mixing Old Testament and New Testament studies with commentary on the Book of Mormon, the Joseph Smith revelations, and early Mormon history…For Zion proves that there can be such a thing as genuinely Mormon theology.” — Mark Ashurst-McGee, Joseph Smith Papers

 

Adam S. Miller is a professor of philosophy at Collin College in McKinney, Texas. Outside of his Mormon-related titles, he is the author of Badiou, Marion, and St. Paul: Immanent Grace and Speculative Grace: An Experiment with Bruno Latour in Object-Oriented Theology. In addition, he is the director of the Mormon Theology Seminar. He and his wife, Gwen, have three children.

Books by Adam Miller:

Letters to a Young Mormon. Neal A. Maxwell Institute, 2014. 78pp. Paperback. $9.95

Rube Goldberg Machines: Essays in Mormon Theology. Greg Kofford Books, 2012. 132pp. Paperback. $18.95

An Experiment on the Word: Reading Alma 32 (editor). Salt Press, 2011. $16.99

 

Joseph M. Spencer is a PhD candidate in philosophy at the University of New Mexico, where he studies contemporary French thought. He is the author of numerous essays on both philosophy and Mormon Studies. He is currently the associate director of the Mormon Theology Seminar and an associate editor of the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies. He and Karen, his wife, live in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with their five children.

Books by Joseph Spencer:

For Zion: A Mormon Theology of Hope. Greg Kofford Books, 2014. 176pp. Paperback. $19.95.

Reading Nephi Reading Isaiah: Reading 2 Nephi 26-27 (co-editor). Salt Press, 2012. 158pp. Paperback. $16.99

An Other Testament: On Typology. Salt Press, 2012. 193pp. Hardback. $23.99

EVENING WITH AN AUTHOR

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We are thrilled to announce the long-awaited publication of Joseph’s Temples: The Dynamic Relationship between Freemasonry and Mormonism by Michael W. Homer, published by the University of Utah Press.  We will have the author at our store to speak about and sign his book on Wednesday, June 25.  He 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. To RSVP on Facebook click here.

The Fall 1994 issue of Dialogue included a massive article on the relationship between Mormonism and Masonry written by Michael Homer.  After several inadequate attempts to explore this interaction (not to mention more since the article was published), this was a very welcome contribution and immediately became the standard on the topic.  After additional research over the course of many years, Homer has now expanded his earlier work into a book-length analysis.

The apparent parallels between Mormon ritual and doctrine and those of Freemasonry have long been recognized. That Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and other early church leaders were Masons, at least for a time, is common knowledge. Yet while early historians of the LDS Church openly acknowledged this connection, the question of influence was later dismissed and almost became taboo among faithful church members. Just as Mormons have tried to downplay any ties to Freemasonry, Masons have sought to distance themselves from Mormonism. In Joseph’s Temples, Michael Homer reveals how deeply the currents of Freemasonry and Mormonism entwined in the early nineteenth century. He goes on to lay out the declining course of relations between the two movements, until a détente in recent years.

Homer posits that Freemasonry was a pervasive foundational element in Mormonism and that its rituals and origin legends influenced not just the ceremonies of the LDS temples but also such important matters as the organization of the Mormon priesthood, the foundation of the women’s Relief Society, the introduction and concealment of polygamy, and the church’s position on African Americans’ full membership. Freemasonry was also an important facet of Mormons’ relations with broader American society.

The two movements intertwined within a historical context of early American intellectual, social, and religious ferment, which influenced each of them and in varying times and situations placed them either in the current or against the flow of mainstream American culture and politics. Joseph’s Temples provides a comprehensive examination of a dynamic relationship and makes a significant contribution to the history of Mormonism, Freemasonry, and their places in American history.

“The significance of Michael Homer’s work cannot be overstated. He has accomplished what no other author has done on this topic. Mormon studies has been waiting for a work like this.”
—Michael G. Reed, author of Banishing the Cross: The Emergence of a Mormon Taboo

“The definitive treatment by the acknowledged authority in this field—long awaited and needed since the 1820s. Homer skips the nonsense but not the details in this masterful perspective on the many meanings of Masonry in the Mormon world.”
—Rick Grunder, editor of Mormon Parallels: A Bibliographic Source

“With this book, for many years in the making, we finally have the definitive treatment of this important and controversial issue.”
—Massimo Introvigne, Pontifical Salesian University, Torino, Italy, Managing Director of the Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR)

Michael W. Homer practices law in Salt Lake City. He is an award-winning author and has published numerous articles in the fields of law and Mormonism. He is the editor of On the Way to Somewhere Else: European Sojourners in the Mormon West, 1834–1930 (University of Utah Press, 2010).

 

Joseph’s Temples: The Dynamic Relationship between Freemasonry and Mormonism. University of Utah Press, 2014. 448pp. Hardback. $34.95

 

We hope you will be able to make it to this fascinating event but, if not, we can mail a signed copy or hold one here at the store for pick-up.

Shipping: Media mail (w/ tracking): $4.50 for the first book (inquire for rates on additional books). Priority, FedEx, UPS options available—inquire for details. Utah residents: add 7.05% sales tax.

 

Here’s a link to videos of previous author events at our store: http://www.benchmarkbooks.com/events/

 

After a bit of a dry spell, we are once again being showered with tempting new arrivals! To order, visit our online store (click here), email us at info@benchmarkbooks.com or call us at 800-486-3112/801-486-3111.

  • joseph's templesJoseph’s Temples: The Dynamic Relationship between Freemasonry and Mormonism by Michael W. Homer. University of Utah Press, 2014. 448pp. Hardback. $34.95.  Mormonism and Freemasonry intertwined within a historical context of early American intellectual, social, and religious ferment, which influenced each of them and in varying times and situations placed them either in the current or against the flow of mainstream American culture and politics. Joseph’s Temples provides a comprehensive examination of a dynamic relationship and makes a significant contribution to the history of Mormonism, Freemasonry, and their places in American history. SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR
  • lost apostlesLost Apostles: Forgotten Members of Mormonism’s Original Quorum of Twelve by William Shepard and H. Michael Marquardt. Signature Books, 2014. 426pp. Hardback. $35.95. Of the twelve men initially selected as apostles in 1835, nine would eventually be pruned from the vineyard themselves, to varying degrees. Seven were excommunicated, one of whom was reinstated to his position in the Twelve. Of the other six, the subjects of this book, none returned to the apostleship and four never came back to the Church at all. Those who left faded into obscurity except for when they are occasionally still mentioned in sermons as cautionary tales. But two of them made their marks in other areas of society, John Boynton becoming a successful dentist, a popular lecturer, geologist, and inventor with dozens of important patents to his name, while Lyman Johnson became a prominent attorney and business owner. Even though Luke Johnson, Thomas B. Marsh, William McLellin, and William Smith became religious wanderers and tried unsuccessfully to adjust to life outside of the Church, their experiences were interesting and comprise valuable case studies in belief and disaffection.  SIGNED BY MARQUARDT
  • Journals_George_Q_Cannon_Hawaiian_MissionThe Journals of George Q. Cannon: Hawaiian Mission, 1850-1854 ed. by Chad Orton. Deseret Book, 2014. 832pp. Hardback. $42.99. In 1850, the Hawaiian nation was opened for missionary work, and among the first elders called to labor there was a young man named George Q. Cannon. He had been working in the California gold fields but accepted the call to serve in the island nation. Elder Cannon served as a missionary in Hawaii for four year–from 1850 through 1854–and found himself in the center of one of the most successful LDS missions of the nineteenth century. More than 4,000 people were baptized. However, the success of the mission almost didn’t happen. During the early days, the Hawaiian mission seemed to regularly alternate between ill-fated and inspired. The Journals of George Q. Cannon: Hawaiian Mission, 1850-1854 contains Elder Cannon’s insights and experiences during this unique time in Church history. This journal is among the finest examples of a missionary journal in the Church. It provides new information and insights into the Hawaiian mission and serves as a testament of what faith can accomplish.
  • polygamousThe Polygamous Wives Writing Club: From the Diaries of Mormon Pioneer Women by Paula Kelly Harline. Oxford University Press, 2014. 244pp. Hardback. $29.99. The Church of Latter-day Saints renounced the practice of plural marriage in 1890. In the mid to late nineteenth century, however–the heyday of Mormon polygamy–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.
  • Standing ApartStanding Apart: Mormon Historical Consciousness and the Concept of Apostasy ed. by Miranda Wilcox and John D. Young. Oxford University Press, 2014. 364pp. Paperback–$39.99/Hardback–$99.00 (special order). Latter-day Saints have a paradoxical relationship to the past; even as they invest their own history with sacred meaning, celebrating the restoration of ancient truths and the fulfillment of biblical prophecies, they repudiate the eighteen centuries of Christianity that preceded the founding of their church as apostate distortions of the truth. Since the early days of Mormonism, Latter-day Saints have used the paradigm of apostasy and restoration in their narratives about the origin of their church. This has generated a powerful and enduring binary of categorization that has profoundly impacted Mormon self-perception and relations with others. Standing Apart explores how the idea of apostasy has functioned as a category to mark, define, and set apart “the other” in Mormon historical consciousness and in the construction of Mormon narrative identity. The volume’s fifteen contributors (the essays were presented at a 2012 symposium at BYU) trace the development of LDS narratives of apostasy within the context of both Mormon history and American Protestant historiography.
  • Life and times of neibaurThe Life and Times of Alexander Neibaur – Journey of the First Mormon Jew by Bruce Alan Newbold. NP, 2013. 453pp. Paperback. $23.99. Alexander Neibaur, born a Jew, journeyed from Prussia, to England, and after joing the LDS Church, took his journey over oceans, and eventually the plains of America to the Salt Lake Valley. Friend of the Prophet Joseph Smith, defender of the Prophet and his faith, Alexander took his young family into the desert valley that would become his home and the beautiful Salt Lake City, Utah. Studying the German Bible with Joseph Smith, working on the building of the Nauvoo temple, defending the city, writing poetry and hymns,crossing the wilderness plains of America, becoming the first pioneer dentist of Utah and making Brigham Young’s dentures, are only a small part of the fascinating journey, of Alexander Neibaur.
  • early journals of john d leeThe Early Journals of John D. Lee ed. by Verne R. Lee. NP, [2013]. 585pp. Hardback. $42.99. John D. Lee’s early journals deal primarily with his experience as a Mormon missionary. He fulfilled six distinct callings as such during this period, taking him into what then comprised the western states of the United States. This included Indiana, Illinois, Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas and Kentucky; though most of these efforts took place in Tennessee. Later journals cover a brief time in Nauvoo before the exodus (including details on his service in the Nauvoo Temple), sojourn at Winter Quarters and his experiences in the Mormon Battalion. With the exception of his Battalion journal, all are previously unpublished.
  • wilford woodruff's witnessWilford Woodruff’s Witness: The Development of Temple Doctrine by Jennifer Mackley. High Desert, 2014. 441pp. Paperback–$26.95/Hardback–$36.95. In 1894, the prophet Wilford Woodruff received a revelation regarding generational family sealings that would resolve unsettled issues and establish modern temple worship. Over the seventy-one years following Smith’s introduction to Elijah’s mission, Woodruff was a witness to and catalyst in the implementation of temple ordinances and practices. His experiences in Kirtland and Nauvoo prepared him to receive additional revelations regarding temple worship. Through the years he continued the pattern of seeking revelation in order to clarify rites and effect changes based on practical experience. Jennifer Mackley’s biographical narrative chronicles the development of temple doctrine through the examination of Wilford Woodruff’s personal life.
  • ???????????????????????????????Neighbors: Memorable Moments with Spencer W. Kimball by Sam Parker. Lighthouse Publishers, 2012. 186 pp. Oversize hardback. $14.95. Sam and Saundra Parker describe being neighbors with Spencer W. and Camilla Kimball. At that time, Elder Kimball was President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When President Harold B. Lee unexpectedly died, the mantle of prophet, seer, revelator, and President of the Church rested heavily upon President Kimball’s shoulders. Visiting routinely at the Kimball’s kitchen table or back porch, the neighbors discussed topics ranging from the scriptures to world news. Many sacred moments were enjoyed as they shared personal experiences. Accompanied by numerous drawings created especially for the book.

COMING SOON–PRE-ORDER NOW!

  • ofwThe Life of Orson F. Whitney: Historian, Poet, Apostle  by Dennis Horne. Cedar Fort, 2014. 608pp. Hardcover. $39.99. Orson F. Whitney—bishop, historian, poet, and prophet—once wielded an influence in Mormonism equal to that of such men as James E. Talmage, John A. Widtsoe, and B.H. Roberts, his better-known contemporaries. After serving for most of three decades as a ward bishop, Elder Whitney served as an Apostle for a similar duration. During these sixty years, he served several missions; married a plural wife and raised two families; wrote volumes of history, poetry, and gospel discourse; dreamed dreams and saw visions; spoke to countless multitudes with the tongue of angels, and bore fervent Apostolic testimony. Complicating his enigmatic life, he also became involved with strange doctrines and spiritually errant men; fought overpowering feelings of depression; courted women after the Manifesto; and survived a mind-crippling nervous breakdown. Herein, this complex life story is largely told by Bishop Whitney through the window of his diaries, regularly kept from his first mission until his last conference talk. His youthful years are recounted with his own pen, using previously unpublished autobiographical writings.

  • kirtland templeKirtland Temple: The Biography of a Shared Mormon Sacred Space by David J. Howlett. University of Illinois, 2014. 288pp. Paperback–$25/hardback–$90. The only temple completed by Mormonism’s founder, Joseph Smith Jr., the Kirtland Temple in Kirtland, Ohio, receives 30,000 Mormon pilgrims every year. The site’s religious significance and the space itself are contested by distinct Mormon denominations: its owner, the relatively liberal Community of Christ, and the larger Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. David J. Howlett sets the biography of Kirtland Temple against the backdrop of this religious rivalry. The two sides have long contested the temple’s ownership, purpose, and significance in both the courts and Mormon literature. Yet members of each denomination have occasionally cooperated to establish periods of co-worship, host joint tours, and create friendships. Howlett uses the temple to build a model for understanding what he calls parallel pilgrimage–the set of dynamics of disagreement and alliance by religious rivals at a shared sacred site. At the same time, he illuminates social and intellectual changes in the two main branches of Mormonism since the 1830s, providing a much-needed history of the lesser-known Community of Christ.

SALE BOOKS 

some quantities may be limited

Fantastic deals on great books from the University of Utah Press.

  • on the mormonOn the Mormon Frontier: The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1844-1889 ed. by Juanita Brooks.  Paperback. Reg. $39.99, SALE $19.99. A one-volume edition of Stout’s classic diaries. Though never a leader in the presiding councils, Stout was certainly involved in nearly every other aspect of Nauvoo and early Utah.
  • hoseaThe Autobiography of Hosea Stout ed. by Reed A. Stout, rev. by Stephen L. Prince. Paperback. Reg. $12.95, SALE $4.99. Includes two versions of his autobiography: the earlier covering his life until 1844 and the later version covering his life until 1835.
  • revisitingRevisiting Thomas F. O’Dea’s The Mormons, Contemporary Perspectives ed. by Cardell K. Jacobson & John P. Hoffmann & Tim B. Heaton. Hardback. Reg. $34.95, SALE $16.99. Now, after five decades of additional scholarly inquiry, this volume revisits O’Dea’s life and work, while offering new insights about the LDS Church and its members. Scholars from the U.S. and Europe contribute to an examination of the interplay between contemporary social issues and the church
  • joseph bates nobleJoseph Bates Noble: Polygamy and the Temple Lot Case by David L. Clark. Hardback. Reg. $24.95, SALE $11.99. David Clark sets Noble’s life story in the context of the court deposition, visiting the remarkable events in the life of this Mormon ‘foot soldier.’
  • wallace stegner'sWallace Stegner’s Salt Lake City by Robert C. Steensma. Hardback. Reg. $29.99, $14.99. Robert Steensma has meticulously searched through archival photographs, quotations from Stegner’s writings, and interpretive essays in order to recreate the Salt Lake City of the 1920s and 1930s, the city of Stegner’s youth and young adulthood.
  • house of mourningHouse of Mourning: A Biocultural History of the Mountain Meadows by Shannon A. Novak. Paperback. Reg. $14.95, SALE $6.99. Shannon A. Novak goes beyond the question of motive to the question of loss. Who were the victims at Mountain Meadows?  By integrating archival records and oral histories with the first analysis of skeletal remains from the massacre site, Novak offers a detailed and sensitive portrait of the victims as individuals, family members, cultural beings, and living bodies.
  • utah at the beginningUtah at the Beginning of the New Millennium: A Demographic Perspective ed. by Cathleen D. Zick and Ken R. Smith. Paperback. Reg. $22.95, SALE $5.99. Utah’s leading social scientists and population-related scholars draw on their specific areas of expertise and analyze Utah’s population using recent sources of data such as the 2000 U.S. Census. The chapters cover three broad topical sections: the foundations of Utah’s population, how the nature of the population affects our daily lives, and the public policy challenges that will face Utah’s leaders.

OTHER SALE BOOKS

  • how jesusHow Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee by Bart D. Ehrman. Hardback. Reg. $27.99, SALE $19.99New York Times bestselling author and Bible expert Bart Ehrman reveals how Jesus’s divinity became dogma in the first few centuries of the early church.
  • new historicalNew Historical Atlas of Religion in America ed. by Edwin Scott Gaustad and Philip L. Barlow with special assistance of Richard W. Dishno. Oversize hardback. Reg. $165, SALE $49.99. In two editions over 40 years, Edwin Gaustad’s Atlas of American Religion has been an essential guide to the American religious experience. Now the New Historical Atlas of Religion in America takes the story into the new millennium.Expanded, reorganized, and now in full color.
  • teamTeam of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Paperback. Reg. $21.00, SALE $9.99. Media Tie-In edition (Steven Spieldberg Film Lincoln) on cover. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin’s landmark multi-layered biography of Lincoln and influential members of his cabinet.
  • greatestGreatest Photographs of the American West: Capturing 125 Years of Majesty, Spirit, and Adventure (National Geographic). Oversize paperback. Reg. $30, SALE $17.99. This book was published as a companion to an exhibition that was displayed in 10 states in 2012.
  • COMPLETE ATLASComplete Atlas of the World: The Definitive View of the Earth (DK Publishing). Oversize hardback. Reg. $75, SALE $19.99. Fully revised and updated to reflect the latest changes in world geography including the emerging state of South Sudan, Complete Atlas of the World features four sections: a world overview, the main atlas, fact files on all the countries of the world, and an easy-to-reference index of all 100,000 place names.
  • IN THE FOOTSTEPSIn the Footseps of Jesus: A Chronicle of His Life and the Origins of Christianity by Jean-Pierre Isbouts. Oversize hardback. Reg. $40.00, SALE $19.99In the Footsteps of Jesus goes even deeper into the story of Jesus’ life by following his path through the Holy Land on richly detailed maps and bringing each pivotal place to life through the latest archaeological and historical discoveries.

20140527_123735Our good friend Michael Marquardt was nice enough to come by and sign copies of the newly published Lost Apostles: Forgotten Members of Mormonism’s Original Quorum of Twelve (unfortunately, his co-author–Bill Shepard–lives in Wisconsin and wasn’t able to make it out here). Learn fascinating details about the lives of members of the original Quorum like the Johnson brothers, Thomas B. Marsh and William Smith.

 

 

  • Journals_George_Q_Cannon_Hawaiian_MissionWe always like early arrivals! The next installment of George Q. Cannon’s journals was released more than a month earlier than we had expected. This huge tome (832 pages!) covers his time in the Hawaiian Mission from 1850 to 1854. General editor Richard Turley provides a very interesting overview of the journals in the introduction and volume editor Chad Orton provides copious annotation to keep things contextualized.

    Cannon, Adrian W. & Richard E. Turley, Jr. (gen. eds.), Chad M. Orton (vol. ed.). The Journals of George Q. Cannon: Hawaiian Mission, 1850-1854. Deseret Book. Hardback. $42.99

Standard-Setting History of Mormons & Masons Published

 

We have received some welcome new titles in the last couple weeks, particularly Michael Homer’s long-awaited history of the intersection of Mormonism and Freemasonry, Joseph’s Temples. Please stop by the store to check them out.  If you can’t make it to the store, you are welcome to call (800-486-3112) or e-mail (info@benchmarkbooks.com) us with your order.

  • joseph's templesJoseph’s Temples: The Dynamic Relationship between Freemasonry and Mormonism by Michael W. Homer. University of Utah, 2014. 448pp. Hardback. $34.95. The apparent parallels between Mormon ritual and doctrine and those of Freemasonry have long been recognized. That Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and other early church leaders were Masons, at least for a time, is common knowledge. Yet while early historians of the LDS Church openly acknowledged this connection, the question of influence was later dismissed and almost became taboo among faithful church members. Just as Mormons have tried to downplay any ties to Freemasonry, Masons have sought to distance themselves from Mormonism. In Joseph’s Temples, Michael Homer reveals how deeply the currents of Freemasonry and Mormonism entwined in the early nineteenth century. He goes on to lay out the declining course of relations between the two movements, until a détente in recent years. Mormonism and Freemasonry intertwined within a historical context of early American intellectual, social, and religious ferment, which influenced each of them and in varying times and situations placed them either in the current or against the flow of mainstream American culture and politics. Joseph’s Temples provides a comprehensive examination of a dynamic relationship and makes a significant contribution to the history of Mormonism, Freemasonry, and their places in American history. Homer’s lengthy 1994 article on the topic in Dialogue was the defining word—this greatly expanded treatment is a very welcome contribution. 

“The definitive treatment by the acknowledged authority in this field—long awaited and needed since the 1820s. Homer skips the nonsense but not the details in this masterful perspective on the many meanings of Masonry in the Mormon world.”
—Rick Grunder, editor of Mormon Parallels: A Bibliographic Source

**we will have signed copies in the next day or two and will be having a formal signing event in the near future—we will keep you posted

american_crucifixionAmerican Crucifixion: The Murder of Joseph Smith and the Fate of the Mormon Church by Alex Beam. Public Affairs, 2014. 334pp. Hardback. $26.99. In American Crucifixion, Alex Beam tells how Joseph Smith went from charismatic leader to public enemy: How his most seismic revelation—the doctrine of polygamy—created a rift among his people; how that schism turned to violence; and how, ultimately, Smith could not escape the consequences of his ambition and pride. Smith’s brutal assassination propelled the Mormons to colonize the American West and claim their place in the mainstream of American history. American Crucifixion is a gripping story of scandal and violence, with deep roots in our national identity.

“High drama as one of America’s greatest—and most mystifying—characters, Joseph Smith, meets one our most incisive writers, Alex Beam, at a crossroads of our history.”

–Ron Rosenbaum, author of Explaining Hitler and The Shakespeare Wars

  • koltkoLatter-day Saint Women and the Priesthood of God: A Believer’s Exploration by Mark Koltko-Rivera. Temple Spire Books, 2014. 137pp. Paperback. $12.99. The issue of women and the priesthood has been a matter of concern for many Latter-day Saints for years. This book changes the entire discussion. In 2012, the never-before-published Nauvoo Relief Society Minute Book was finally made available. Investigation of this manuscript reveals what almost amount to “lost teachings” of Joseph Smith regarding the nature of women and authority. This book thoroughly investigates claims that the LDS priesthood is to be restricted to men—and finds no support for such claims. This is a book for both men and women who want to learn what Joseph taught on this issue—and who want to consider possible futures.
  • maoriMormon and Maori by Marjorie Newton. Greg Kofford Books, 2014. 223pp. Paperback. $24.95. Mormon and Maori examines the appeal of Mormonism for the Maori of New Zealand from its first introduction to them in the 1880s and the reasons for its continuing success. It discusses the impact of an American religion on its Maori converts and their culture over the last 130 years and surveys the attempts of American leaders and missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to find a consistent policy reconciling Mormonism and Maoritanga.

 

**The book is unfortunately out of stock at the publisher—please let us know if you are interested in a copy and we will notify you once they are available again

  • south passSouth Pass: Gateway to a Continent by Will Bagley. University of Oklahoma, 2014. 325pp. Hardback. $29.95. Wallace Stegner called South Pass “one of the most deceptive and impressive places in the West.” Nowhere can travelers cross the Rockies so easily as through this high, treeless valley in Wyoming immediately south of the Wind River Mountains. South Pass has received much attention in lore and memory but attracted no serious book-length study—until now. In this narrative, award-winning author Will Bagley explains the significance of South Pass to the nation’s history and to the development of the American West. 

“With his usual flair for meticulous research and eminently readable prose, Will Bagley comprehensive relates the story of South Pass, probably the most significant historic place in the American West.”
–Robert Utley, author of Cavalier in Buckskin: George Armstrong Custer and the Western Military Frontier

  • Seven Witnesses Cover Small ThumbSeven Witnesses for the Location of the Jerusalem Temples & More by Val Brinkerhoff. Digital Legend, 2013. 174pp. Oversize paperback. $29.99. For centuries there has been tension between Jews, Christians and Muslims over what is believed to be the home of the Jerusalem Temples, the Temple Mount. Contained in the following seven chapters is evidence for a better location, one based on archetypes that conform to ancient temple patterns given of God, along with foundational support of scripture and historical sources. As the journey to locate Solomon’s Temple unfolds, tradition and error are replaced with truth and light, at least for those who will receive it. Most importantly greater understanding unfolds regarding our Savior Jesus Christ and His Atonement, the central focus of the ancient temple and its sacrifices and other ordinances.

SALE BOOKS

  • Preserving the History of the Latter-day Saints ed. by Richard E. Turley, Jr. and Steven C. Harper.  Religious Studies Center & Deseret Book, 2010. Reg. $21.99, SALE $9.99. Remainder mark on the bottom. Collection of essays from 2009 Church History Symposium at BYU.  Topics include the assistant church historian, William Clayton’s history and early records. 
  • Lowell L. Bennion: Teacher – Counselor – Humanitarian by Mary Lythgoe Bradford. Dialogue Foundation, 1995. Reg. $24.95, SALE $2.99 (save 88%!). A fine biography of one of Mormonism’s gentle giants—in both his teaching and humanitarian efforts , Bennion left a lasting impact.

We have been inundated with sets & series lately!  We have picked up some great additions to your collection such as:

  • Journal of Discourses
  • LDS Biographical Encyclopedia
  • History of the Church/Comprehensive History of the Church
  • Messages of the First Presidency
  • Church Almanacs (including all the difficult early ones)

To celebrate the plethora, we will be having a sale this weekend: 10% and free shipping on used sets/series.  There are too many to list so we took pictures–please give us a call or e-mail if you have any questions. All of these sets are available for purchase online (click the “SHOP” tab above)–if you would prefer that, let us know and we will give you a discount code. Merry Sets to you and yours!

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