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.

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