Reminder that Michael Hubbard MacKay and Gerrit J. Dirkmaat , authors of From Darkness unto Light: Joseph Smith’s Translation and Publication of the Book of Mormon (published by Religious Studies Center/Deseret Book) will be here THIS WEDNESDAY, May 20th to sign and discuss their book. They will be here from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., speaking at 6:00, and will answer questions and sign books before and after that time. We hope you will be able to make that night but, if not, we can mail a signed copy or hold one here at the store for pick-up.
Anthony Sweat, who created the intriguing new artwork for the book (which better reflects the historical record), will also be here to discuss the role that art has played in how the translation is visualized. The authors will also bring replicas of the plates and spectacles to illustrate the events. This should be a very interesting evening!
To RSVP on Facebook, visit http://on.fb.me/1DUp7EH
We are excited to announce that Michael Hubbard MacKay and Gerrit J. Dirkmaat , authors of From Darkness unto Light: Joseph Smith’s Translation and Publication of the Book of Mormon (published by Religious Studies Center/Deseret Book) will be here on Wednesday, May 20th to sign and discuss their book. They will be here from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., speaking at 6:00, and will answer questions and sign books before and after that time. We hope you will be able to make that night but, if not, we can mail a signed copy or hold one here at the store for pick-up. To RSVP on Facebook, click here.
The process of translating and publishing the Book of Mormon, according to the witnesses of the event and the earliest primary sources, is generally unknown to members of the Church because Joseph Smith placed little emphasis upon the actual process. This book attempts to capture the first-person point of view of Joseph Smith and those who witnessed the translation and publication of the Book of Mormon. The authors draw on their experience editing volumes in the Joseph Smith Papers to provide carefully documented conclusions.
Readers will likely discover many new findings in this work. For example, in translating, Joseph Smith probably first used the stones set in spectacles that came with the plates. Then, for most of the translation period, he substituted these stones with one that he found. Joseph placed this seer stone in a hat to exclude the light and to read off the translated text by looking at the stone. All the while, the plates lay wrapped in a cloth in a table. According to newly discovered primary sources, Joseph did not look at the plates through most of the translation.
Another way in which this work deals with the problem of the inaccurate portrayal of the translation process is by adding artistic depictions of the translation. Anthony Sweat, a colleague of the authors at BYU, has contributed original artwork portraying events surrounding the translation that more closely align with the testimonies of scribes and witnesses. An essay (in an appendix) discusses how images of the translation—often conveying inaccurate perspectives—have been used over the years.
“Readers of this book will find enlightenment on each page. The narrative gives us access to the new knowledge they developed at the Joseph Smith Papers Project…The work of MacKay and Dirkmaat is very much their own and does not have an official stamp of approval, but it represents the breadth of new knowledge soon to be available to Church members and people everywhere as the Papers volumes appear.”—Richard Bushman, from the preface
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.
GERRIT J. DIRKMAAT received his PhD in history in 2010 from the University of Colorado. He worked as a historian/writer for the Joseph Smith Papers Project (JSP) from 2010 to 2014. He is now an assistant professor of Church history and doctrine at BYU but continues to work as a volunteer historian/writer on the JSP.
From Darkness unto Light: Joseph Smith’s Translation and Publication of the Book of Mormon. Religious Studies Center/Deseret Book, 2015. 256pp. Hardback. $24.99
Joseph Smith Papers Volume to Which MacKay and Dirkmaat 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!
Shipping: $4.50 for the first book, $1 for each additional (more for the Joseph Smith Papers volumes). Priority/FedEx/UPS options available–inquire for details.
Utah residents–add 7.05% sales tax
We’re having a 5-hour sale for Cinco de Mayo today! Mention this and get $5 off your order or $5 off shipping
(Valid for in-store purchases, phone, or e-mail orders).
From Darkness unto Light: Joseph Smith’s Translation and Publication of the Book of Mormon by Michael H. Mackay, Gerrit J. Dirkmaat $29.99
The Oakland Temple: Portal to Eternity by, Richard O. Cowan and Robert G. Larsen. $29.99
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir: A Biography by Michael Hicks $29.95
Mormonism Unvailed by Eber D. Howe (with critical comments by Dan Vogel) $37.95
Vogel, Dan (ed.). History of Joseph Smith and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: A Source and Text-Critical Edition, 8 vols. Smith-Pettit Foundation, 2015. Oversize hardback. Limited to 200 sets. $1000/set.
A decade in the making, this new eight-volume revision of the original History of the Church provides an unprecedented view of the narrative begun in 1838 under Joseph Smith’s supervision. At Smith’s death in mid-1844, church scribes Willard Richards and George A. Smith completed the project under the review of Brigham Young.
Published serially in Illinois from 1842 to 1846 in the church’s Times and Seasons, then in Utah in the Deseret News from 1851 to 1857, the history was subsequently revised and published as six volumes by assistant church historian B. H. Roberts from 1902 to 1912. While he improved the text, researchers have long recognized the need for an edition based on professional historical and editing standards.
Vogel’s aim was two-fold: to identify the sources upon which the history was based and to trace textual development from the original handwritten manuscripts to their final form as edited by B.H. Roberts. The base text used comes from the first printed version in the Times and Seasons and, later, Deseret News. He has painstakingly identified the scribes’ handwriting, the chronology of composition, the publication schedule, and later changes.
Vogel has also prepared transcripts of the scribes’ rough drafts, revisions, memoranda, and interviews, as well as of previously unpublished sources. Taken together, this material will allow historians to authoritatively answer persistent questions that have vexed this officially recognized history.
This is a once-in-a-generation set and will likely sell out the day it is released (the set is scheduled to be released in December)—with only 200 sets being printed, they are immediately collectible. If you would like to reserve a set, please notify us immediately. We are happy to set up a payment plan (monthly/bimonthly, etc.) if this is easier than paying all at once. Don’t miss out on this landmark resource!
We recently attended a symposium in Logan (hosted by the Academy for Temple Studies) where James H. Charlesworth was the keynote speaker. Charlesworth, the George L. Collord Professor of New Testament Language and Literature and director of the Dead Sea Scrolls Project at Princeton Theological Seminary, has been writing on various topics in biblical studies for over thirty years and is one of the most well-respected scholars currently writing. We have a limited amount of his books remaining and are offering these at a discount—save up to 30%! All are new books.
Signature Books has announced a great lineup of sale items:
A reminder that Brian and Laura Hales, authors of Joseph Smith’s Polygamy: Toward a Better Understanding (published by Greg Kofford Books) will be here TOMORROW, Wednesday, April 22nd, to sign and discuss their book. They will be here from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., speaking at 6:00, and will answer questions and sign books before and after that time. We hope you will be able to make that night but, if not, we can mail a signed copy or hold one here at the store for pick-up. To RSVP on Facebook, click here.
We are excited to announce that Brian and Laura Hales, authors of Joseph Smith’s Polygamy: Toward a Better Understanding (published by Greg Kofford Books) will be here on Wednesday, April 22nd to sign and discuss their book. They will be here from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., speaking at 6:00, and will answer questions and sign books before and after that time. We hope you will be able to make that night but, if not, we can mail a signed copy or hold one here at the store for pick-up. To RSVP on Facebook, click here.
In the last several years a wealth of information has been published on Joseph Smith’s practice of polygamy. For some who were already well aware of this aspect of early Mormon history, the availability of new research and discovered documents has been a wellspring of further insight and knowledge into this topic. For others who are learning of Joseph’s marriages to other women for the first time, these books and online publications (including the LDS Church’s recent Gospel Topics essays on the subject) can be both an information overload and a challenge to one’s faith.
In this short volume, Brian C. Hales (author of the 3-volume Joseph Smith’s Polygamy set) and Laura H. Hales wade through the murky waters of history to help bring some clarity to this episode of Mormonism’s past, examining both the theological explanations of the practice and the accounts of those who experienced it firsthand. As this episode of Mormon history involved more than just Joseph and his first wife Emma, this volume also includes short biographies of the 36 women who were married to the Prophet but whose stories of faith, struggle, and courage have been largely forgotten and ignored over time. While we may never fully understand the details and reasons surrounding this practice, Brian and Laura Hales provide readers with an accessible, forthright, and faithful look into this challenging topic so that we can at least come toward a better understanding.
Laura Harris Hales is a freelance copy editor, author, and educator. She received a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree in Professional Writing from New England College. She has worked as both a paralegal and as an adjunct professor of English. After marrying in 2013, she found herself immersed in the study of LDS Church history. With her husband, she maintains JosephSmithsPolygamy.org.
Brian C. Hales is a board-certified anesthesiologist in Layton, Utah, and graduated from Utah State University. He is the award-winning author of six books on Mormon polygamy. Along with his wife, Laura, he maintains JosephSmithsPolygamy.org. Brian’s entire database of polygamy-related documents may be accessed at MormonPolygamyDocuments.org.
Joseph Smith’s Polygamy: Toward a Better Understanding. Greg Kofford Books, 2015. Paperback. 223pp. $19.99.
Also by Brian Hales:
Joseph Smith’s Polygamy: History and Theology, 3 vols. Greg Kofford Books, 2013. Hardback. Reg. $100.85. SALE $89.99.
Modern Polygamy and Mormon Fundamentalism: The Generations after the Manifesto. Greg Kofford Books, 2011. Paperback. $31.95
Mormon Fundamentalism – Setting the Record Straight. Millennial Press, 2008. Paperback. $9.95
Shipping: $4.50 for the first book, $1 for each additional (more for Joseph Smith’s Polygamy, 3 vols.). Priority/FedEx/UPS options available–inquire for details.
Utah residents–add 7.05% sales tax
We have updated our list of forthcoming books and there are some serious gems on the horizon. Signature Books has just announced their next lineup–here are some of the treasures that will soon be making their home on your bookshelf:
Check out the full list by clicking on the Forthcoming Books tab above (under Recent/Forthcoming) or by clicking here.
Our friend (and astute observer and scholar of the Mormon past) Ben Park has compiled a list of the “Top Ten Books on Mormon History” for those who are new to Mormon history. He employed four criteria in composing the list:
save 10% on all (except for noted exceptions)
Ben will record a series of podcasts (one a month) discussing each book and its role in shaping Mormon history. The first installment covering The Mormon People (Ben also provides a helpful discussion of the “New Mormon Studies” and its relationship to “Mormon Studies”) has been released–for more info, click here.
What do you think of his list? We would like to hear your thoughts–please comment on which books you have read/enjoyed/disliked, etc. Are there books on this list that you agree should make the cut? Are there others that you think are more worthy of inclusion?
We’ve posted the video from the Michael Hicks signing for The Mormon Tabernacle Choir: A Biography on 3/18/15. To watch it, visit the Events tab at the top of the site or click here. If you weren’t able to make it that night, we do have a few signed copies of the book left.
A reminder that Michael Hicks, author of “The Mormon Tabernacle Choir: A Biography” (published by the University of Illinois), will be here TOMORROW, March 18th to speak about and sign copies of his book. He will be at 5:30 PM to sign and will begin speaking at 6:00.
To RSVP on Facebook, click here.