As publishers start to break out of the winter doldrums, the flow of new books turns back on. In addition to great new books, we also have some great additions to the sale tables lately. Check out the temptations!
The Mormon Jesus: A Biography by John G. Turner. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2016. Hardback. 368pp. $29.95. To follow up on his award-winning biography Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet, John Turner has turned his attention to the Mormon concept of Jesus. Beginning with the dramatic depiction of Christ in the Hill Cumorah Pageant, he addresses the way that Mormon doctrine proclaims the divinity of Jesus Christ and interacts with historical Christian beliefs about the same. Further visions and revelations over the succeeding years expanded these beliefs in what Turner calls a “revolution of existing Christian metaphysics.” This expansion carried with it some muddying of the waters. Throughout the 19th Century, a process of evolution took place resulting in a fairly monolithic belief early in the next century that Jehovah was to be identified with Jesus Christ. However, along the way, detours occurred—the most notable of these being the equation of Adam with God, a belief most significantly proclaimed by Brigham Young (and still strongly held by fundamentalist Mormons today). In addition to analyzing more formal expositions of the nature of Christ, The Mormon Jesus also attempts to track shifts and patterns through culture. An extensive discussion of the history of Mormon artistic representations of Christ is a particularly interesting and helpful section. As was the case with Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet, readers of The Mormon Jesus: A Biography will find a incisive and temperate treatment of topics from an astute analyst of American religious history. Signed copies available.
“The Mormon Jesus is much more than a treatise on Christology. It is a lively cultural history of how Mormons have thought of Christ from the Book of Mormon to the Hill Cumorah Pageant. Scriptural translations, visions and revelations, temple ceremonies, songs, Sunday school lessons, paintings, sculpture, and poetry all figure in the story of Mormonism’s distinctive Jesus.” —Richard Lyman Bushman, author of Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling
- The Civil War Years in Utah: The Kingdom of God and the Territory That Did Not Fight by John Gary Maxwell. University of Oklahoma Press, 2016. Hardback. 488pp. $29.95. In 1832 Joseph Smith, Jr., the Mormons’ first prophet, foretold of a great war beginning in South Carolina. In the combatants’ mutual destruction, God’s purposes would be served, and Mormon men would rise to form a geographical, political, and theocratic “Kingdom of God” to encompass the earth. Three decades later, when Smith’s prophecy failed with the end of the American Civil War, the United States left torn but intact, the Mormons’ perspective on the conflict—and their inactivity in it—required palliative revision. In The Civil War Years in Utah, the first full account of the events that occurred in Utah Territory during that war, John Gary Maxwell contradicts the patriotic mythology of Mormon leaders’ version of this dark chapter in Utah history. While the Civil War spread death, tragedy, and sorrow across the continent, Utah Territory remained virtually untouched. Although the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—and its faithful—proudly praise the service of an 1862 Mormon cavalry company during the Civil War, Maxwell’s research exposes the relatively inconsequential contribution of these Nauvoo Legion soldiers.
“John Gary Maxwell’s deep research into the Civil War in Utah casts new light on forgotten history, revealing how Abraham Lincoln skillfully ended what an old cowboy ballad called ‘the glorious days when Brigham was our only Lord and King’—and brought Utah into a renewed American nation.”—Will Bagley, coauthor of The Mormon Rebellion: America’s First Civil War, 1857–1858
- The History of the Text of the Book of Mormon, Grammatical Variation (Parts 1-2) by Royal Skousen with the collaboration of Stanford Carmack. FARMS/BYU Studies, 2016. Hardback. 1281pp (continuously paginated). $99.99 (two parts). These latest publications in The Book of Mormon Critical Text Project analyze every basic type of editorial change or grammatical variation in the Book of Mormon, beginning with the handwritten manuscripts and considering every major printed edition. Each of the sixty-eight grammatical sections in these books describes the usage in the original text and shows how it has been altered, either consciously or accidentally, over time. Each section also compares Book of Mormon usage with biblical usage. Sections discuss elements such as “come to pass” and Hebraisms. Four more parts are forthcoming, dealing with the original language and spelling as well as transmission of the text. For earlier publications in the series, see the sale books below.
- Sacred Space: Exploring the Birthplace of Mormonism by Michael Hubbard MacKay. Religious Studies Center/Deseret Book, 2016. Hardback. 129pp. $14.99. Many Church members may not realize that the birthplace of Mormonism is not just a cut-and-dried bit of historical trivia. In fact, the place where the Church was established was rarely mentioned by the early Saints, and initial Church publications referring to the organizational meeting mistakenly claimed it happened in Manchester, New York. The authors of the book Inventing Mormonism challenged traditional Latter-day Saint history by pointing out inconsistencies concerning the Church’s birthplace. Sacred Space sorts through the complicated history of where the Church was established. Building on Dr. MacKay’s work for The Joseph Smith Papers, this volume examines what the existing historical documents really tell us. This book reestablishes the significance of Fayette as the true birthplace of Mormonism and illuminates what the sacredness of a place means for modern-day members.
- Fearless in the Cause: Remarkable Stories from Women in Church History by Brittany Chapman Nash and Richard E. Turley Jr. Deseret Book, 2016. Hardback. 141pp. $19.99. When Laura Clark Phelps’s husband was unjustly arrested and held in a Richmond, Missouri, jail, she launched a daring (and successful) escape attempt to free him. Janetta Ann McBride was just sixteen years old when she braved chest-deep water and dangerous chunks of ice to push her starving mother and siblings across the North Platte River in a handcart. Rosa Friedlander Logie survived a shipwreck on her journey to Zion and spent two months with her husband and baby on a remote South Pacific island. Fearless in the Cause features inspiring stories from the lives of eighteen women from Church history. Some have names that are recognizable; many others remain largely unknown. All of their contributions to early Latter-day Saint history offer incredible examples of strength and courage. This volume of stories contains highlights from the first three volumes of Women of Faith in the Latter Days.
- The Sound of Gravel: A Memoir by Ruth Wariner. Flatiron Books, 2016. Hardback. 342pp. $27.99. Ruth Wariner was the thirty-ninth of her father’s forty-two children. Growing up on a farm in rural Mexico, where authorities turn a blind eye to the practices of her community, Ruth lives in a ramshackle house without indoor plumbing or electricity. At church, preachers teach that God will punish the wicked by destroying the world and that women can only ascend to Heaven by entering into polygamous marriages and giving birth to as many children as possible. After Ruth’s father (Joel LeBaron)–the man who had been the founding prophet of the colony–is brutally murdered by his brother Ervil in a bid for church power, her mother remarries, becoming the second wife of another faithful congregant. In need of government assistance and supplemental income, Ruth and her siblings are carted back and forth between Mexico and the United States, where Ruth’s mother collects welfare and her stepfather works a variety of odd jobs. Ruth comes to love the time she spends in the States, realizing that perhaps the community into which she was born is not the right one for her. As she begins to doubt her family’s beliefs and question her mother’s choices, she struggles to balance her fierce love for her siblings with her determination to forge a better life for herself.
“What chance does a girl have in a world where men believe that they (and they alone) are destined to be gods? This is the question Ruth Wariner bravely asks as she brings us into the hardscrabble Mormon polygamous communities of remote northern Mexico. Like a Dorothy Allison of the American West, Wariner shows us the humanity and tenacity in the people she comes from while making no apology for wanting something better for herself. Wariner has given us an unforgettable portrait of an enduring and deeply misunderstood segment of American society and a deeply moving account of her own determined pathway out.” — Joanna Brooks, author of The Book of Mormon Girl: A Memoir of an American Faith
- Saving Alex: When I Was Fifteen I Told My Mormon Parents I Was Gay, and That’s When My Nightmare Began by Alex Cooper with Joanna Brooks. HarperOne, 2016. Hardback. 248pp. $24.99. When Alex Cooper was fifteen years old, life was pretty ordinary in her sleepy suburban town and nice Mormon family. At church and at home, Alex was taught that God had a plan for everyone. But something was gnawing at her that made her feel different. These feelings exploded when she met Yvette, a girl who made Alex feel alive in a new way, and with whom Alex would quickly fall in love. Alex knew she was holding a secret that could shatter her family, her church community, and her life. Yet when this secret couldn’t be hidden any longer, she told her parents that she was gay, and the nightmare began. She was driven from her home in Southern California to Utah, where, against her will, her parents handed her over to fellow Mormons who promised to save Alex from her homosexuality. For eight harrowing months, Alex was held captive in an unlicensed “residential treatment program” modeled on the many “therapeutic” boot camps scattered across Utah. Alex was physically and verbally abused, and many days she was forced to stand facing a wall wearing a heavy backpack full of rocks. Her captors used faith to punish and terrorize her. With the help of a dedicated legal team in Salt Lake City, Alex eventually escaped and made legal history in Utah by winning the right to live under the law’s protection as an openly gay teenager.
“Alex Cooper fought a fierce battle for dignity, identity and family. Her courage led the State of Utah to recognize the fundamental human rights of gay teenagers. An inspiring story of a queer youth discovering her courage and raising her voice. In so doing, she liberates us all.” — Troy Williams, Executive Director, Equality Utah
- Temples of the New Millennium: Facts, Stories, and Miracles from the First 150 Temples by Chad Hawkins. Deseret Book, 2016. Hardback. 314pp. $32.99. Commemorating the landmark occasion of the dedication of the 150th operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Temples of the New Millennium brings together little-known facts and compelling true stories of the faith and miracles behind 150 latter-day houses of the Lord. In telling the story of each temple through the words and experiences of those who built it, this beautiful keepsake volume will give your family an even greater appreciation for the marvelous work that the Lord is directing on both sides of the veil. Each temple is a labor of love, faith, and sacrifice. Find out why President Gordon B. Hinckley proclaimed this ”the greatest era of temple building ever witnessed” as you come to know and love each house of the Lord better than ever before with Temples of the New Millennium.
- James E Talmage: The Story Behind Jesus the Christ (DVD). Covenant Communications, 2016. Approx. 35 mins. DVD. $14.99. Contains interviews with Brigham Young University history professors, James Harris—(editor of The Essential James E. Talmage) and Elder Talmage’s great-granddaughter as well as dramatized excerpts from Elder Talmage’s own journal.
- In Their Own Words: Inspiring Stories from the Lives of the Prophets by Susan Easton Black and Mary Jane Woodger. Covenant Communications, 2016. Paperback. 272pp. $16.99. In Their Own Words contains inspirational, humorous, and heart-wrenching stories about the lives of prophets told in their own words. These stories, taken by conference addresses, journal entries and letters reveal the personal side of these leaders told as only they could.
- Out of Eden: The Surprising Consequences of Polygamy by David Barash. Oxford University Press, 2016. Hardback. 230pp. $29.95. Esteemed writer and evolutionary biologist David P. Barash tackles this uncomfortable finding: that humans are actually biologically and anthropologically inclined toward polygamy. Drawing on decades of research, Barash presents a remarkable array of scientific evidence from evolutionary biology and cross-cultural studies that guide the reader through the hidden impacts of polygamy on such crucial behavior as violence, parenting, sexual preferences, adultery and efforts at monogamy itself, along with mind-bending speculation about the possible role of our polygamous predisposition when it comes to human genius, homosexuality and even monotheism. Includes several brief mentions of Mormons.
- The Polygamy Question ed. by, Janet Bennion and Lisa Fishbayne Joffe. Paperback. 288pp. $34.95. The practice of polygamy occupies a unique place in North American history and has had a profound effect on its legal and social development. The Polygamy Question explores the ways in which indigenous and immigrant polygamy have shaped the lives of individuals, communities, and the broader societies that have engaged with it. The book also considers how polygamy challenges our traditional notions of gender and marriage and how it might be effectively regulated to comport with contemporary notions of justice. The contributors to this volume—scholars of law, anthropology, sociology, political science, economics, and religious studies—disentangle diverse forms of polygamy and polyamory practiced among a range of religious and national backgrounds including Mormon and Muslim. They chart the harms and benefits these models have on practicing women, children, and men, whether they are independent families or members of coherent religious groups. Contributors also address the complexities of evaluating this form of marriage and the ethical and legal issues surrounding regulation of the practice, including the pros and cons of legalization. Back in stock shortly.
- Postponing Heaven: The Three Nephites, The Bodhisattva, and the Mahdi by Jad Hatem. Neal A. Maxwell Institute, 2015. Paperback. 100pp. $15.95. First book in the new series—Groundwork: Studies in Theory and Scripture. Christianity, like other world religions, acknowledges the existence of multiple human messianic figures. In this comparative work, philosopher Jad Hatem examines the Book of Mormon’s Three Nephites, Buddhism’s Bodhisattva, and Islam’s Mahdi—all distinctive messianic figures who postpone Heaven, sacrificially prolonging their lives for the benefit of humankind. Jonathon Penny’s translation of the French original includes two additional papers in which Jad Hatem deals with various aspects of Latter-day Saint belief. It also includes an interview between Hatem and Latter-day Saint philosopher James E. Faulconer.
“Jad Hatem has a detailed knowledge of Mormon doctrine—from the Book of Mormon to the Pearl of Great Price to Bruce R. McConkie and Orson Scott Card. Beyond this, he brings in-depth knowledge of Islam and Buddhism. Remarkable. Postponing Heaven’s purpose is not to be motivational or even to necessarily promote belief in any of these teachings, which is not to say those who see the connections won’t be inspired by what they learn. This is definitely a high-octane read.” —Charles Inouye, author of The End of the World, Plan B
- Royal Skousen sets—save big on these landmark studies!The Original Manuscript of the Book of Mormon & The Printer’s Manuscript of the Book of Mormon (3 vols.). FARMS, 2001. Hardback. Reg. $150.00, SALE $54.99.Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon, parts 1-6. FARMS, 2004-09. Hardback. Reg. $300.00, SALE $164.99.
- The Mormon Image in the American Mind: Fifty Years of Public Perception by J. B. Haws. Oxford University Press, 2013. Reg. $31.95, SALE $4.99. What do Americans really think about Mormons, and why? Through a survey of Mormon encounters with the media, including such personalities and events as the Osmonds, the Olympics, the Tabernacle Choir, Evangelical Christians, the Equal Rights Amendment, Mark Hofmann, and even Miss America, J.B. Haws reveals the dramatic transformation of the American public’s understanding of Mormons in the past half-century.
- Remembering Iosepa: History, Place, and Religion in the American West by Matthew Kester. Oxford University Press, 2013. Reg. $56.00, SALE $4.99. 203 pp. Remembering Iosepa connects the story of a unique community with the earliest Native Hawaiian migrants to western North America and the vibrant and growing community of Pacific Islanders in the Great Basin today. It traces the origins and growth of the community in the tumultuous years of colonial expansion into the Hawaiian islands, as well as its relationship to white Mormons, the church leadership, and the Hawaiian government. In the broadest sense, Mathew Kester seeks to explain the meeting of Mormons and Hawaiians in the American West and to examine the creative adaptations and misunderstandings that grew out of that encounter.
- Photography: The Definitive Visual History by Tom Ang. DK Publishing, 2014. Hardcover. Reg. $50, SALE $12.99. Written by world-renowned photographer, writer, and broadcaster Tom Ang, Photography lavishly celebrates the most iconic photographs and photographers of the past 200 years. Tracing the history of photography from its origins in the 1800s to the digital age, this is the only book of its kind to give a comprehensive account of the people, the photographs, and the technologies that have shaped the history of photography.
- Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan. Random House, 2013. Hardback. Reg. $27.00, SALE $7.99. From the internationally bestselling author of No god but God comes a fascinating, provocative, and meticulously researched biography that challenges long-held assumptions about the man we know as Jesus of Nazareth.
- The Wright Brothers by David McCullough. Simon & Schuster, 2015. Book club ed. Reg. $30.00, SALE 9.99. Two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize David McCullough tells the dramatic story-behind-the-story about the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly: Wilbur and Orville Wright.
- How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee by Bart D. Ehrman. HarperOne, 2014. Remainder mark. Reg. $27.99, SALE $7.99. In a book that took eight years to research and write, leading Bible scholar Bart D. Ehrman explores how an apocalyptic prophet from the backwaters of rural Galilee crucified for crimes against the state came to be thought of as equal with the one God Almighty Creator of all things.
- Jesus Before The Gospels: How the Earliest Christians Remembered, Changed, and Invented Their Stories of the Savior by Bart D. Ehrman. HarperOne, 2016. Hardback. Reg. $27.99, SALE $22.99. Throughout much of human history, our most important stories were passed down orally—including the stories about Jesus before they became written down in the Gospels. In his latest work, Bart D. Ehrman investigates the role oral history has played in the New Testament—how the telling of these stories not only spread Jesus’ message but helped shape it.
- Train: The Definitive Visual History. DK Publishing, 2014. Hardback. Reg. $40.00, SALE $12.99. Featuring amazing images of trains, virtual tours of engines, and profiles of key innovators, designers, and engineers, Train: The Definitive Visual History traces the history of the railroad and the role of trains, from the first steam engines to today’s high speed bullet trains.
Also, remember we still have volumes from the Joseph Smith Papers as well as the Significant Mormon Diaries Series as well as all available Smith-Pettit limited editions on the sale tables as well!