Benchmark Blog

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

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

One day for presidents is not enough—how about a whole week?

Through Saturday, Feb 21st, save 20% on all books—new or used—written by or about presidents of the church. This is your chance to stock up on interesting biographies and collections of teachings/sermons. In addition, save 10% on all other new and used books (a few exceptions apply).

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the cart of temptations

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Ezra Taft Benson items

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For example, here are some books by or about Ezra Taft Benson to aid your study this year (in the case of the used books, we may only have one copy–we will be happy to find another if necessary):

An Enemy Hath Done This. New. Paperback. Archive, 2010 (reprint). $20.95

God Family Country: Our Three Great Loyalties. New. Paperback. Archive, 2010 (reprint). $22.95

Proper Role of Government. New. Pamphlet. $3.95

Ezra Taft Benson: A Biography by Sheri L. Dew. Used—rips/tears to dj. Hardback. $15.00

Missionaries to Match our Message. Used. Paperback. $6.00

An Enemy Hath Done This. Used–moisture staining and rippling to dust jacket as well as several tears; moisture staining and minor rippling along top edge; some scattered highlighting and marking. Hardback. $22.50/Used—short inscription. Hardback. $25.00

The Red Carpet. Used. Hardback. $15.00

The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson. Used—inscription inside front cover. Hardback. $20.00

God Family Country: Our Three Great Loyalties. Used–inscribed by son of Ezra Taft Benson inside front cover.  Possible autopen signature on title page. Hardback. $65.00/Used. Hardback. $20.00

So Shall Ye Reap: Selected Addresses of Ezra Taft Benson. Used–minor chipping and tears to dust jacket. Hardback. $15.00

Cross Fire: The Eight Years With Eisenhower. Used–dust jacket is chipped, torn and slightly soiled.. Hardback. $30.00

Farmers at the Crossroads. Used–soiling and chipping to DJ; staining on frontis. and title page. $12.00

Come Unto Christ. Used—autopen ETB signature. Hardback. $40.00/Used. Hardback. $12.00

Come Listen to a Prophet’s Voice: Messages to the Saints from Ezra Taft Benson. Used—inscription and highlighting. $15.00/Used. Hardback. $16.00

This Nation Shall Endure. Used. Hardback. $15.00

A Nation Asleep. Used. Hardback. $40.00

A Witness and A Warning: A Modern-day Prophet Testifies of the Book of Mormon. Used. Hardback. $10.00

Freedom to Farm. Used. Hardback. $20.00

Title of Liberty. Used–significant moisture staining and rippling to rear panel of dust jacket and the rear cover of the book; minor moisture rippling along top edge of last 50 pages or so. Hardback. $15.00

The Threat to our Freedom. Used. Paperback. $20.00

The American Heritage of Freedom – A Plan of God. Used. Hardback. $35.00

New Horizons in Farming. Used. Pamphlet. $20.00

President Ezra Taft Benson Remembers The Joys of Christmas. Used. Pamphlet. $5.00

The Constitution: A Heavenly Banner. Used–inscription. Pamphlet. $5.00

A Plea for America. Used—names inside front cover. Pamphlet. $5.00

The American Heritage of Freedom – A Plan of God. Used. Pamphlet. $20.00

The Proper Role of Government. Used. Pamphlet. $5.00

Debt – An Increasing Threat. Used—name inside front cover. Pamphlet. $10.00

A Message to Judah from Joseph. Used. Pamphlet. $20.00

Books Signed/Owned by Benson

Thoughts for One Hundred Days, Volume Five by Richard L. Evans. Used–inscribed “To Jim & Beverly Parker, With New Year’s Greeting and Blessings – Father and Mother Benson, 1973″ Beverly is one of the daughters of Ezra Taft Benson. Hardback. $100.00

Prophets I Have Known: Joseph Anderson Shares Life’s Experiences by Joseph Anderson. Used–inscribed “To Jim & Beverly Parker, with affectionate greetings from Father and Mother Benson, Xmas ’73.” Beverly Parker is the daughter of Ezra Taft Benson. Hardback. $200.00

Youth and the Church by Harold B. Lee. Used–typed letter pasted inside front cover on Salt Lake Mormon Tabernacle Choir letterhead indicating that this book was being presented to the Choir’s members as a Christmas gift.  On verso of half title page finds the following inscription in Ezra Taft Benson’s hand: To S____ Benson, Choice and Talented Grandaughter of Faith, Purity and Beauty – With Prayerful Wishes for Your Welfare from – Grandpa and Grandma Benson, 1-30-74. Hardback. $200.00

LeGrand Richards Speaks by LeGrand Richards [comp. by G. LaMont Richards]. Used–this copy is from President Ezra Taft Benson’s personal library and bears his signature inside the front cover. Hardback. $100.00

Faith Works by Mark E. Petersen. Used–this copy is from President Ezra Taft Benson’s personal library and bears his signature. Hardback. $100.00

The Spirit of the Old Testament by Sidney Sperry. Used–this copy is from President Ezra Taft Benson’s personal library and bears his signature. Hardback. $100.00

The Great and Abominable Church of the Devil by H. Verlan Andersen. Used–inscribed inside front cover: To _____Benson, With Admiration and Prayerful Wishes for Your Eternal Welfare – From Grandpa and Grandma Benson, 9-27-72, in black pen in Ezra Taft Benson’s hand. Paperback. $200.00

Of One Heart: The Glory of the City of Enoch by Neal A. Maxwell. Used–inscribed: To Mark & Lola Benson, With Love – from Father and Mother Benson, 10/21/75. The inscription is in Ezra Taft Benson’s hand. The covers are quite worn and have several tears; there are several pages with underlining. Paperback. $150.00

Official Report of the One Hundred Forty-Third Annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, April 1973. Used–this copy is from President Ezra Taft Benson’s personal library and bears his signature on the front cover. Paperback. $150.00

Official Report of the First Mexico and Central America Area General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, August 1972. Used–this copy is from President Ezra Taft Benson’s personal library and bears his signature on the front cover. Paperback. $150.00

Millions of Meetings by Harold Glen Clark. Used–this copy is from President Ezra Taft Benson’s personal library and bears his signature. Hardback. $75.00

God Family Country: Our Three Great Loyalties. Used–bookplate inside front cover; DJ chipped and sunned; Signed by Benson. $125.00

 

SPEND LUNCH WITH AN AUTHOR

mary bradford

Mr mustard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are pleased to announce that Mary L. Bradford will be here for an informal lunchtime event on Friday, February 13th to sign copies of her recently-published book, Mr. Mustard Plaster and Other Mormon Essays (published by Greg Kofford Books), and chat. She will be here from 11:00 to 12:00. We hope you will be able to make it but, if not, we can hold a signed copy here at the store or mail it to you. To RSVP on Facebook, please click here.

Poet, editor, biographer, and author Mary Lythgoe Bradford has had one of the longest and most consistent careers of anyone working in contemporary Mormon letters. This new collection, Mr. Mustard Plaster and Other Mormon Essays, conveniently provides under one cover a picaresque memoir of her impressive cultural contributions—from her graduate days, during the late century, at the University of Utah where she received her Master’s degree in English literature; through her becoming the first “Sister” to have edited Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought; well, now, to her later-life career as poet and author of the collection Purple: Poems by Mary Lythgoe Bradford, published during the present century. The essays, organized in five sections, follow her eventful life in roughly chronological order.

“For nearly half a century Mary Bradford has perfected the personal essay, that most under-appreciated of literary genres. In revelation after revelation, she has used her life as a prism through which she has looked inward and outward, illuminating the world from the perspective Thoreau referred to ironically as ‘the narrowness of my experience.’ From such ‘narrowness’ Bradford has expanded our vision through the unique perspective of her poetic, feminine, and Mormon voice—a voice of grace, beauty, and deep meaning.” — Robert A. Rees, author of The Cost of Discipleship: The Dimensions of a Mature Mormon Faith

Mary Lythgoe Bradford is past editor of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought and author of Lowell Bennion: Counselor, Humanitarian. A prominent LDS poet as well as essayist, Bradford’s poetry was recently collected in Purple: Poems by Mary Lythgoe Bradford.

 

Mr. Mustard Plaster and Other Mormon Essays. Greg Kofford Books, 2015. 207pp. Paperback. $20.95.

 

Also by Mary Bradford:

Lowell L. Bennion: Teacher – Counselor – Humanitarian. Dialogue Foundation, 1995. Hardback. Reg. $24.95, SALE $2.99.

Purple: Poems by Mary Lythgoe Bradford. Dialogue Foundation, 2009. Paperback. $11.95

 

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

 

A reminder that Paul Reeve, author of the recently-published Religion of a Different Color: Race and the Mormon Struggle for Whiteness (published by Oxford University Press) will be here on Wednesday, February 11th to sign and discuss his book. 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. We hope you will be able to make that night but, if not, we can mail a signed copy or hold one here at the store for pick-up. To RSVP on Facebook, click here.

At a distance of 2000 years, the text and world of the New Testament can be difficult to understand. To supplement your study of the New Testament this year, we have compiled some helpful resources. This first installment covers introductions, overviews and commentaries—a second part will include books that focus on specific topics/aspects of the New Testament. Since the works written by non-Mormon scholars may be unfamiliar, we have provided a summary from the publisher as well as brief thoughts from our perspective. Many of these titles (particularly from the non-LDS authors) will need to be special-ordered, so please let us know as soon as possible if you would like to purchase any of these books.

Non-Mormon Authors

  • brownBrown, Raymond E. An Introduction to the New Testament (Anchor Bible Reference Library). Yale, 1997. 928pp. Hardback $76.00.

From the publisher: From the experience of a lifetime of scholarship, preaching, teaching, and writing, Raymond E. Brown covers the entire scope of the New Testament with ease and clarity. He walks readers book by book through the basic content and issues of the New Testament. While a wealth of information is contained in these pages, the work’s most impressive features are the basic summaries of each book, a historical overview of the ancient Greco-Roman world, discussions of key theological issues, and the rich supplementary materials, such as illustrative tables, maps, bibliographies, and appendixes. Using this basic data, Brown answers questions raised by today’s readers, relates the New Testament to our modern world, and responds to controversial issues, such as those raised by the Jesus Seminar. Every generation needs a comprehensive, reliable Introduction to the New Testament that opens the biblical text to the novice. Raymond E. Brown’s An Introduction to the New Testament is the most trustworthy and authoritative guidebook for a generation seeking to understand the Christian Bible.

Our thoughts: Brown is perhaps the most well-respected New Testament scholar of the last fifty years. His work is always clear and moderate. The organization of the book-by-book treatment is very helpful—sections for authorship, dating, etc, allow for quick reference. His introductory chapters are very helpful in providing context for the New Testament as a whole. Extensive and clear, this is the best single-volume introduction to the New Testament.

  • ehrmanEhrman, Bart D. The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings. Oxford, 2011. 608pp. Paperback. $79.95.

From the publisher: Featuring vibrant full color throughout, the fifth edition of Bart D. Ehrman’s highly successful introduction approaches the New Testament from a consistently historical and comparative perspective, emphasizing the rich diversity of the earliest Christian literature. Distinctive to this study is its unique focus on the historical, literary, and religious milieux of the Greco-Roman world, including early Judaism. As part of its historical orientation, the book also discusses other Christian writings that were roughly contemporary with the New Testament, such as the Gospel of Thomas, the Apocalypse of Peter, and the letters of Ignatius.

Our thoughts: From the “rock star” of New Testament studies comes this very engaging introduction to the New Testament. It is designed as an undergraduate textbook (which is not unusual) but it very readable (which is a bit unusual). Ehrman’s popular approach is backed with solid conclusions—as always, he hammers home the diversity in early Christian times, with discussions of different beliefs and groups. He is also very good at putting the New Testament in context, showing how elements of this book of scripture were actually not so unique for that era. Despite the textbook-like price, this is probably the most readable of all the introductory texts.

  • powellPowell, Mark Allan. Introducing the New Testament: A Historical, Literary and Theological Survey. Baker Academic, 2009. 560pp. Hardback. $44.99.

From the publisher: This beautifully written and engaging survey offers an up-to-date New Testament introduction for undergraduate students and general readers. Powell presents disputed and controversial issues fairly, neither dictating conclusions nor privileging skepticism over faith-based perspectives. The book is written in a lively and engaging style and includes helpful sidebars, maps, tables, charts, glossary, diagrams, and suggestions for further reading. In addition, this full-color book includes beautiful artwork illustrating the reception of the New Testament through various times and cultures. A companion Web site through Baker Academic’s Textbook eSources features a video introduction from the author and a wealth of additional resources.

Our thoughts: A very approachable introduction. Designed as a textbook—each chapter has questions for further thought. It is written from a somewhat conservative viewpoint but is in line with the majority of biblical scholars—for example, he agrees that Paul was very likely not the author of Hebrews. Despite its size (560 pages) there are less chapters covering background and contextual topics than other introductions. Powell is a well-respected scholar and has written or contributed to many other books. A very nicely done book for the price.

  • desilvadeSilva, David A. An Introduction to the New Testament: Contexts, Methods & Ministry Formation. IVP Academic, 2004. 975pp. Oversize hardback. $50.00.

From the publisher: Some introductions to the New Testament highlight the historical contexts in which the New Testament literature was written. This introduction gives particular attention to the social, cultural and rhetorical contexts of the New Testament authors and their writings. Few introductions to the New Testament integrate instruction in exegetical and interpretive strategies with their customary considerations of authorship, dating, audience and message. This introduction capitalizes on the opportunities, introducing students to a relevant facet of interpretation with each portion of New Testament literature. This introduction by David A. deSilva sets a new standard for its genre and is bound to appeal to many who believe that the New Testament should be introduced as if both scholarship and ministry mattered.

Our thoughts: DeSilva’ strategy of combining “devotional reading “ and “academic study” (instead of considering them being “posed antagonistically against one another) is obviously very appealing to thoughtful Mormons. His method of introducing an “exegetical skill” (such as textual criticism, historical criticism or interpretation of parables) gives the reader a hands-on way to see how scholars approach the biblical text. The writing style is very approachable—despite the seemingly daunting length of the book, it doesn’t bury the reader in detail. His goal of “ministry formation” in writing this commentary seems like it will apply well to Gospel Doctrine settings.

  • johnsonJohnson, Luke Timothy. The New Testament: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford, 2010. 146pp. Paperback. $11.95.

From the publisher: In this concise, engaging book, noted New Testament scholar Luke Timothy Johnson takes readers on a journey back to the time of the early Roman Empire, when the New Testament was written in ordinary Greek (koine) by the first Christians. The author explains how the Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, and Revelation evolved into the canon of sacred writings for the Christian religion, and how they reflect a reinterpretation of the symbolic world and societal forces of first-century Greco-Roman and Jewish life. Equally important, readers will find both a positive and critical reading of the New Testament–one that looks beyond its theological orientation to reveal an often-surprising diversity of viewpoints. This one-of-a-kind introduction engages four distinct dimensions of the earliest Christian writings–anthropological, historical, religious, and literary–to provide readers with a broad conceptual and factual framework.

Our thoughts: Sometimes is it very helpful to read the most concise treatment of a topic before diving into specific matters. Johnson—a former monk and longtime scholar of the New Testament—looks at a few key issues that impact the study of the New Testament. His analysis of the role of resurrection in assessing the New Testament is very helpful as is his brief discussion of the necessity and nature of interpretation.

  • harperReed, Jonathan L. The HarperCollins Visual Guide to the New Testament: What Archaeology Reveals about the First Christians. HarperCollins, 2007. 169pp. Oversize paperback. Reg. $24.95, SALE $9.99.

From the publisher: This one-of-a-kind presentation of the New Testament world and its archaeological treasures provides a new, more complete understanding of the world in which Christianity was born. Through lavish photographs, architectural plans, extensive maps, and detailed charts, you can explore the landscape of Nazareth where Jesus grew up; sit at the shores of Galilee where he preached; and enter the streets and temple of Jerusalem where his ministry was fulfilled. An experienced archaeologist and biblical expert will guide you throughout your journey around Israel and beyond—on the Mediterranean voyages of Paul to the homes and synagogues of the Roman Empire, where he planted the seeds of Christianity. Visit Emperor Nero’s “Golden House,” witness the desperation of the Jewish revolutionaries at Masada, and explore the magnificent basilicas of Constantine the Great.

Our thoughts: A beautifully illustrated companion that provides helpful context for the life of Jesus the ministry of the apostles and the period immediately following the New Testament. The author, who has extensive experience in digs throughout the area of the New Testament, writes in a concise, readable manner that benefits from the most current research. A great resource at a fantastic price.

Mormon Authors

  • jesus christ and worldHolzapfel, Richard N. & Eric D. Huntsman & Thomas A. Wayment. Jesus Christ and the World of the New Testament: An Illustrated Reference for Latter-Day Saints. Deseret Book, 2006. 327pp. Oversize hardback. $45.99. This important reference for any home library is the perfect guide to New Testament culture, language, history, and teachings. Jesus Christ and the World of the New Testament is richly illustrated with hundreds of images, including original artwork, artifacts, maps, and timelines. Uncover the origins of the books of the New Testament and learn how stories of Christ’s life and teachings were preserved after His death. Explore the relationships between Greek, Roman, and Jewish culture that explain much about how the gospel was shared and recorded. Examine scriptural issues that have been debated by scholars throughout the ages. Nearly 300 topics provide valuable context to understanding New Testament times, from the role of women and families, to portraits of key personalities, to controversial legends that have persisted to our day. Authored by three very solid BYU professors, this is easily the best New Testament resource from an LDS perspective.
  • life teachingsHolzapfel, Richard N. & Thomas A. Wayment (eds.). The Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ, vol. 1 (From Bethlehem Through the Sermon on the Mount). 418pp. Hardback. $25.95The Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ, vol. 2 (From the Transfiguration Through the Triumphal Entry). 456pp. Hardback. $25.95The Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ, vol. 3 (From the Last Supper Through the Resurrection). 501pp. Hardback. $24.95

    The Life and Teachings of the New Testament Apostles: From the Day of Pentecost through the Apocalypse. 358pp. Hardback. $34.99. Deseret Book. These essay collections by Latter-day Saint scholars (contributors include Eric Huntsman, Brian Hauglid and Kent Brown) present current research and analysis of the Savior’s life as well as the ministry of the apostles. These books provide the benefit of recent scholarship viewed through the lens of the Restoration. Rather than functioning as a traditional verse-by-verse commentary, these essays focus on topics such as “From Jesus to the Written Gospels: The Oral Origins of the Gospel” or “The Continuing Influence of the Family of Jesus in Early Christianity.”

  • verse by verseOgden, D. Kelly and Andrew Skinner. Verse by Verse, The New Testament Vol. 1: The Four Gospels. Hardback. $34.99

Verse by Verse, The New Testament Vol. 2: Acts Through Revelation. Hardback. $29.99. Deseret Book. Written by two long-time BYU professors, Verse by Verse features In-depth scripture commentary supplemented with photos, painting, drawings, charts, maps, and other invaluable study helps. They explain the doctrines taught by Jesus and the ancient apostles on a wide variety of subjects, including the divinity of Christ, charity, faith and works, grace, the pre-mortal world, the Resurrection, the Last Days, and other vital topics. They demonstrate repeatedly the harmony between the teachings of the ancient apostles and the principles of the gospel restored through Joseph Smith.

  • McConkie, Bruce R. Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. Hardback/paperback. Out of print—used sets and individual volumes available (inquire for prices)Messiah series, 6 vols. Hardback/paperback. Out of print—used sets and individual volumes available (inquire for prices).These sets, written by popular writer and apostle Bruce R. McConkie, have been read and quoted in lessons for many years. Written in his characteristic bold and unwavering style, these series include conclusions from classic scholars (such as Frederic Farrar, Cunningham Geikie and Alfred Edersheim) as well as thoughts from apostles and prophets.

EVENING WITH AN AUTHOR

religion of a different color

Paul Reeve

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are excited to announce that Paul Reeve, author of the recently-published Religion of a Different Color: Race and the Mormon Struggle for Whiteness (published by Oxford University Press) will be here on Wednesday, February 11th to sign and discuss his book. 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. We hope you will be able to make that night but, if not, we can mail a signed copy or hold one here at the store for pick-up. To RSVP on Facebook, click here.

The Protestant white majority in the nineteenth century was convinced that Mormonism represented a racial—not merely religious—departure from the mainstream and they spent considerable effort attempting to deny Mormon whiteness. Being white equaled access to political, social, and economic power, all aspects of citizenship in which outsiders sought to limit or prevent Mormon participation. At least a part of those efforts came through persistent attacks on the collective Mormon body, ways in which outsiders suggested that Mormons were physically different, racially more similar to marginalized groups than they were white. Medical doctors went so far as to suggest that Mormon polygamy was spawning a new race. Mormons responded with aspirations toward whiteness. It was a back and forth struggle between what outsiders imagined and what Mormons believed. Mormons ultimately emerged triumphant, but not unscathed. At least a portion of the cost of their struggle came at the expense of their own black converts. Mormon leaders moved away from universalistic ideals toward segregated priesthood and temples, policies firmly in place by the early twentieth century. So successful were they at claiming whiteness for themselves, that by the time Mormon Mitt Romney sought the White House in 2012, he was labeled “the whitest white man to run for office in recent memory.” Mormons once again found themselves on the wrong side of white.

“In this revealing study, Paul Reeve puts the subject of Mormon racialization in a new light. Mormons racialized others, to be sure, but were in turn racialized themselves. In the nineteenth century critics denigrated Mormons by seeing them as racially a between-people, near-Black, friendly to Indians, and likely allies of the yellow hordes. The church’s compensating rush to whiteness, unfortunately, went too far. Now Mormons are seen as too white, obscuring their innate inclination to universalism. No one has told this excruciating story so well as Reeve.”-Richard Bushman, author of Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling

“Religion of a Different Color plows truly new and important ground in explaining the fuller story of Mormonism’s place in the long American struggle with racial bigotry, as well as the uses of racialist thinking in U.S. history more generally. Previous studies have tried to explain the traditional racial teachings of Mormonism mainly by reference to doctrines and developments inside the Church. This new study instead analyzes the heavily racialized context of the entire nation, in which Mormons became both victims and perpetrators of racist policies and practices.”-Armand L. Mauss, author of All Abraham’s Children: Changing Mormons Conceptions of Race and Lineage

Paul Reeve, Associate Professor of History at the University of Utah, is the former Associate Chair of the History Department at the University of Utah where he teaches courses on Utah history, Mormon history, and the history of the U.S. West.  He is the recipient of the University of Utah’s Early Career Teaching Award and of the College of Humanities Ramona W. Cannon Award for Teaching Excellence in the Humanities.  He serves on the Board of Editors of the Utah Historical Quarterly and was a past board member of the Mormon History Association and the Faculty Advisory Council of the University of Utah Press. He received the Smith-Pettit Best First Book Award for Making Space on the Western Frontier from the Mormon History Association in 2008

 

(click on any title below to order online)

Religion of a Different Color: Race and the Mormon Struggle for Whiteness. Oxford University Press, 2015. 352pp. Hardback. $34.95.

 

Also by Paul Reeve:

Making Space on the Western Frontier: Mormons, Miners, and Southern Paiutes. University of Illinois Press, 2006. 231pp. Hardback. $37.00

Mormonism: A Historical Encyclopedia (co-edited with Ardis Parshall). ABC-CLIO, 2010. 449pp. Hardback. $85.00

Between Pulpit and Pew: The Supernatural World in Mormon History and Folklore (co-edited with Michael Scott Van Wagenen). Utah State University Press, 2011. 243pp. Paperback. $24.95

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

 

 

Despite the cold weather, great new books continue to be published!  We have received several titles, both new and sale books (save nearly 70% on Terryl Givens’ Viper on the Hearth!). Check them out and see if something piques your interest. To order, please call 801-486-3111 or e-mail us at info@benchmarkbooks.com

NEW BOOKS

  • for the causeFor the Cause of Righteousness: A Global History of Blacks and Mormonism, 1830-2013 by Russell W. Stevenson. Greg Kofford Books, 2014. 419pp. Paperback–$32.95/Hardback—$66.95. This book broaches one of the most sensitive topics in the history of Mormonism: the story of the LDS community’s turbulent relationship with the black population. For the Cause of Righteousness: A Global History of Blacks and Mormonism, 1830-2013 promises to tell a story of how an American religious community could wander through the rocky landscape of American racial politics, all while hoping to hold onto its institutional integrity in the face of attacks from both within and without. Drawing on a rich array of archival documents and oral testimonies, For the Cause of Righteousness suggests that understanding race and Mormonism requires far more than watching the movements of well-dressed men on North Temple; it calls for understanding the dynamics of global Mormon communities ranging from Mowbray to Accra, from Berkeley to Rio de Janeiro. But as any historian will say, primary sources matter. Thus, For the Cause of Righteousness offers up not only a narrative history of the global black Mormon community but also an anthology of primary source transcripts: letters, newspaper articles, and speech transcripts, all in hopes that readers might take one more step toward understanding a story that simultaneously inspires, troubles, and urges Latter-day Saints into understanding a provincial religion that has reached global proportions.**paperback copies are signed**
  • Search Ponder]Search, Ponder and Pray: A Guide to the Gospels by Julie M. Smith. Greg Kofford Books, 2014. 283pp. Paperback–$27.95/Hardback–$60.95. Latter-day Saints already familiar with the New Testament will find a wealth of new insights into the cultural, historical, and literary background of the Gospels. Research previously shrouded in academic jargon is presented in a way that is not only understandable, but encourages readers to evaluate the evidence for themselves and to draw their own conclusions. Over 4,000 thought-provoking questions allow readers to ponder the scriptures in new and exciting ways. In many ways, this book immediately and directly facilitates a close, deliberate, and thoughtful reading of the scriptural text.“Julie Smith has made a substantial contribution, not simply to the growing field of serious Mormon scholarship on the Bible, but to the LDS community as a whole. In Search, Ponder, and Pray, Smith shares her impressive gift to ask questions that lead to powerful literary, historical, and devotional insights. This is the type of book I wish I would have had at the beginning of my career. It is my sincere hope that every teacher involved with church education will take advantage of this incredible resource.” — David Bokovoy, author of Authoring the Old Testament
  • honoring juanitaHonoring Juanita Brooks: A Compilation of 30 Annual Presentations from the Juanita Brooks Lecture Series, Dixie State University comp. by Douglas D. Alder. Dixie State University, 2014. 854pp. Paperback. $18.75. Juanita Brooks’ influence was such that she had a lecture series named for her five years before her 1989 death. In 1984, Obert C. Tanner, founder of O.C. Tanner Co., endowed the Juanita Brooks Lectures Series at what is now Dixie State University, the same institution where Brooks herself was an instructor for a time. Each year a different respected scholar from throughout Utah and across the United State comes to St. George to deliver the lecture. Like Brooks, many of the scholars have written about Mormon history. Some of them share her membership in the church, others do not. But they all have a common goal: objective history over partisan posturing. Among the lecturers are prominent historians like Levi S. Peterson (1989) and Pulitzer Prize-winner Laurel Thatcher Ulrich (1992). While most are LDS, some like Jan Shipps (1987) and Larry Logue (1990), are not. Similarly, some are locals like Hurricane native W. Paul Reeve (2007) and Cedar City resident Wayne K. Hinton (2001), while others come from northern Utah or even other states.
  • These ThingsThese Things I Know: The Autobiography of William Grant Bangerter comp. by Cory William Bangerter. Voices and Images (BYU Print Services), 2013. 567pp. Hardback. $32.99. William Grant Bangerter’s life spanned many momentous events in the 20th Century: from the pre-penicillin era plagues of influenza to modern AIDS; from the economic collapse of 1929 and the Great Depression to prosperity of the latter 20th century; through world wars and conflicts, including “The Great War” (World War I), World War II (in which he was an active participant), Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf Wars and others. Bangerter was heavily involved in the development of the Church in Brazil, serving as a missionary and mission president there. The remaining years of his life were spent first as an assistant to the Twelve and then as a Seventy.
  • joseph smith and latterJoseph Smith and the Latter-Day Saints, vol. 1 by Richard Lloyd Dewey. Stratford Books, 2014. 846pp. Hardback. $43.99. Eleven years in the making, Dewey’s book captures Joseph’s tumultuous life story, backing it up all the way with thousands of facts—many not widely known even among Latter-day Saints. He quotes numerous journals and letters of neighbors on the farms and villages who actually knew Joseph Smith. And he characterizes the fascinating relationships Joseph had with friends and enemies alike, as the reader get to know Joseph on a personal level. Written from the viewpoint of a believer, this book tackles the controversies head-on, with the pro and anti-sources analyzed. This meticulously researched first volume (of a three volume series) covers the first 25 years of Joseph’s 38-year life.
  • helen andelinHelen Andelin and the Fascinating Womanhood Movement by Julie Debra Neuffer. University of Utah Press, 2014. 190pp. Paperback. $19.95. In 1961, Helen Andelin, housewife and mother of eight, languished in a lackluster, twenty-year-old marriage. A religious woman, she fasted and prayed for help. As she studied a set of women’s advice booklets from the 1920s, Andelin had an epiphany that not only changed her life but also affected the lives of millions of American women. She applied the principles from the booklets and found that her disinterested husband became loving and attentive. He bought her gifts and hurried home from work to be with her. Andelin took her new-found happiness as a sign that it was her religious duty to share these principles with other women. She began leading small discussion groups for women at her church. The results were dramatic. In 1963, at the urging of her followers, Andelin wrote and self-published Fascinating Womanhood. The book, which borrowed heavily from those 1920s advice booklets, the Bible, and classical literature, eventually sold over three million copies and launched a nationwide organization of classes and seminars led by thousands of volunteer teachers (including the author’s mother).
  • god seedThe God Seed: Probing the Mystery of Spiritual Development by M. Catherine Thomas. Digital Legend, 2014. 330pp. Paperback. $22.95. We believe many things but don’t always know how to implement them. We believe that human beings can grow into Gods; we accept the importance of coming to Christ and also of awakening our divine attributes and powers — but how to do that seems obscure. Likely a list of spiritual to-do’s ceases to serve. So we may find ourselves seeking a more fulfilling path — but where to set our foot? In recent years, studies in adult developmental psychology have cast unexpected light on the path to Godhood. They illustrate that human beings already possess the potent seeds for unfolding into more highly developed beings. We learn that spiritual practices can shape the mind into and instrument for facilitating spiritual growth and experience, that is, for continuing from “grace to grace.” Along the way, venturing into the unknown, we shed false concepts about ourselves, about our reality, and about God Himself.
  • flunkingFlunking Sainthood Every Day: A Daily Devotional for the Rest of Us by Jana Riess. Paraclete Press, 2014. 328pp. Hardback w/ ribbon. $23.99. Over one year recounted in Flunking Sainthood, Riess failed twelve different spiritual practices. To her surprise, thought, she learned something important even from the ones she failed most spectacularly. In this new 365 daily devotional, readers who are looking for spiritual growth will find guidance, arranged according to monthly practices such as gratitude, generosity, prayer, Sabbath-keeping, and hospitality. Each day’s reading has a reflection from a contemporary or classic spiritual thinker, a short scripture verse, and a brief prayer, reflection, or follow-up action. This daily devotional helps us know that there is great compassion for all of us who are flunking sainthood as we learn that spiritual growth is a lifelong journey without a fixed destination.

SALE BOOKS

  • viperThe Viper on the Hearth: Mormons, Myths, and the Construction of Heresy (updated ed.) by Terryl L. Givens. Paperback. Reg. $24.95, SALE $7.99. Nineteenth-century American writers frequently cast the Mormon as a stock villain in such fictional genres as mysteries, westerns, and popular romances. The Mormons were depicted as a violent and perverse people–the “viper on the hearth”–who sought to violate the domestic sphere of the mainstream. Givens is the first to reveal how popular fiction, in its attempt to deal with the sources and nature of this conflict, constructed an image of the Mormon as a religious and social “Other.” Includes a chapter with some recent developments.
  • american_crucifixionAmerican Crucifixion: The Murder of Joseph Smith and the Fate of the Mormon Church by Alex Beam. Hardback. Reg. $26.99, SALE $19.99. In American Crucifixion, Alex Beam tells how 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.
  • menaceThe Mormon Menace: Violence and Anti-Mormonism in the Postbellum South by Patrick Q. Mason. Hardback. Reg. $29.95, SALE $9.99. Mason, a Research Associate Professor at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at Notre Dame, demonstrates that anti-Mormonism was one of the earliest vehicles for reconciliation between North and South after the Civil War and Reconstruction.  He shows how southerners turned to legislation, to religion and, most dramatically, to vigilante violence in order to vanquish this perceived threat to Christian marriage and the American republic.
  • brigham youngBrigham Young: A Concise Biography of the Mormon Moses by Ed Breslin. Hardback. Reg. $24.95, SALE $9.99. In Brigham Young, Ed Breslin distills Young’s larger-than-life story into a concise, readable biography that focuses on his most critical moments and achievements. Unlike other biographies, Breslin’s account neither whitewashes nor sensationalizes Brigham Young’s controversial life. Brigham Young is the perfect primer on Young’s vast and complicated legacy.
  • harpercollins The HarperCollins Visual Guide to the New Testament: What Archaeology Reveals about the First Christians by Jonathan L. Reed. Paperback. Reg. $24.95, SALE $9.99. This one-of-a-kind presentation of the New Testament world and its archaeological treasures provides a new, more complete understanding of the world in which Christianity was born. Through lavish photographs, architectural plans, extensive maps, and detailed charts, you can explore the landscape of Nazareth where Jesus grew up; sit at the shores of Galilee where he preached; and enter the streets and temple of Jerusalem where his ministry was fulfilled.
  • judasJudas: A Biography by Susan Gubar. Hardback. Reg. $27.95, SALE $7.99. “If Judas had not existed, God would have had to invent him. The divine script called for betrayal with a kiss, and someone had to be cast in that role. Judas, the intimate friend of the Son, became thus the indispensable collaborator of the Father and a figure of endlessly inviting ambivalence for the Western imagination. Susan Gubar has assembled a tour-de-force collection of Judas-art and Judas-literature and turned it into a Judas biography full of thought, heart, and fascination.” — Jack Miles, author of God: A Biography
  • zondervanZondervan Handbook to the History of Christianity by Jonathan Hill. Hardback. Reg. $39.99, SALE $19.99. Full of lavish full-color photographs and illustrations, the Zondervan Handbook to the History of Christianity offers a sweeping history of the Christian faith from the time of Jesus and the apostles till now. The early and later church fathers; Africa, the Middle East, and the Missions East; the Byzantine Empire; the High Middle Ages; the Reformation; Reason and Revival; Modern America and Oceania … seventeen sections cover all these and many more aspects of Christian history in vivid and engaging detail. Features include:* Comprehensive, highly readable coverage of the history of Christianity by expert contributor

    * 42 feature articles on relevant and fascinating topics such as Origen, the Inquisition, Darwinism, African church music, the great Russian novelists, and witch hunts

    * 200 full-color photos and illustrations * Maps, charts, and timelines

We have posted videos from our last several signing events:

Jedediah Rogers (Council of Fifty), 12/17/14

Gerrit Dirkmaat and Brent Rogers (Joseph Smith Papers: Documents, vol. 3), 12/4/14

Samuel Brown (First Principles and Ordinances), 11/19/14

Robert Kirby (The Essential Kirby Canon), 11/12/14

To watch these (or past) videos, please visit the Events tab above or click here.

For our next Countdown to Christmas Cyber Deal, take 20% off any book (new or used) with “Joseph Smith” in the title. This offer is good through the end of the day (12/23). Please make sure you let us know you saw this post when placing your order.  Merry Christmas to all and to all a good book!

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It’s time for the next deal (valid through the end of tomorrow—12/20—only)—take 30% off any used biography under $100. Make sure to mention that you saw this post when you order.

 

To see some choices, come visit the store or check out:

http://www.benchmarkbooks.com/?product_cat=usedop-biographies

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