LIMITED EDITIONS SALE
All titles from the Signature Books’ Significant Mormon Diaries Series as well as all limited titles published by the Smith-Pettit Foundation, are now officially out of print. We are offering sale prices on some of these important works for a short time. In the past, these books have universally increased in value as they become hard to find. For example, several volumes in the Significant Mormon Diaries Series now sell for $700 or more, while some of the Smith-Pettit titles now sell for nearly $300. These books, in addition to being fantastic sources of information, are beautifully designed and very eye-catching on a shelf. Take advantage of these incredible resources now while they are still available!
Significant Mormon Diaries
(all are hardback)
- In the World: The Diaries of Reed Smoot – Harvard S. Heath, ed. (1997). Limited to 500 copies. Reg. $100, SALE $79.99. No one was more surprised than Reed Smoot when he was called to the LDS apostleship at age thirty-eight. He had not held a previous church office of significance. Yet, as the son of one of Utah’s wealthiest men and the husband of a ranking church leader’s daughter, he was destined for prominence of some kind. His role would come to be that of an ambassador for the church in Washington, D.C., rather than a strictly spiritual counselor. When he was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1902, and during the ensuing hearings to challenge a Mormon’s right to hold office, Smoot was ineffective in swaying public opinion. But over the next thirty years as he increasingly socialized with corporate leaders and heads of state; in consulting with other senators, and they with him; and in spending long hours at the White House—even vacationing with two U.S. presidents—he emerged as one of the country’s most influential men. In his diaries, Smoot discloses something about every aspect of his life, whether personal or professional. He tells what went on behind closed doors in church and government circles, and he outlines the toll his government service took on his family. His candor and breadth make In the World an essential resource for U.S. and Mormon history.“Excellent editorial work and insightful introductory essay by Harvard S. Heath have resulted in a volume that will prove especially useful to historians of American religion. Interwoven in Smoot’s daily notes about his active political and business life one finds Smoot’s involvement in Mormon activities, ceremonies, and official meetings. Although clearly “in the world,” as Heath aptly titled this volume, Smoot never abandoned his devotion to Mormonism by excising it from his regular routine. Scholars seeking a fuller understanding of the practice of religion in the modern era will benefit from these diary entries, which demonstrate the intersection of family obligation, religious conviction, public service, and politics.”
–Susan Curtis, Church History
- Mormon Democrat: The Religious and Political Memoirs of James Henry Moyle – Gene Sessions, ed. (2000). Limited to 350 copies. Reg. $85, SALE $69.99. James Henry Moyle was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under U.S. president Woodrow Wilson, Commissioner of Customs under President Theodore Roosevelt, and special assistant to treasury secretary Henry Morgenthau. He was also president of the LDS Eastern States Mission. By his own count, he had two religions, Mormonism and the Democratic Party, and he alternately praised and criticized both. As one who was intimately acquainted with every major religious and political figure in Utah and elsewhere over six decades—and as the father of a future LDS apostle—he mustered surprisingly profound and entertaining insights in his memoirs. Part of his prominence was due to his aristocratic flair. Apostle Matthew Cowley admitted that he “always had to take another look when [he] passed Brother James H. Moyle on the street.” Nor was this large-framed, gray-haired statesman one to mince words. It is the raw edge to his comments that makes his autobiography so memorable. This former political kingpin’s life is also recounted in LDS church president Gordon B. Hinckley’s James Henry Moyle: The Story of a Distinguished American and Honored Churchman, who, by his own account, refers to Moyle as a colorful, highly opinionated, uncensored voice, who has a unique value.“Whatever their perspective, serious students of Mormon history or Utah politics will find much of interest in this occasionally repetitive memoir, and the fifty-three-page ‘Biographical Appendix,” which provides valuable material on virtually every figure prominently mentioned in the text, is a bonus prize. It is good to have Sessions’s book and Moyle’s life more easily available.”
–F. Alan Coombs, Utah Historical Quarterly
- History’s Apprentice: The Diaries of B. H. Roberts – John Sillito, ed. (2004). Limited to 500 copies. Reg. $100, SALE $79.99. On a drab Monday in 1882, B. H. Roberts, then laboring on a mission in Tennessee, confided to his journal: “I am twenty-five years old today: perhaps one-half of my life has passed away—and what have I done? But little of anything, either of good or evil; my misdeeds are like my talents—on the small order. I have made attempts to accomplish something in various directions, but ‘miserable failure’ is written across the face of each of them.” Roberts then detailed the shortcomings in his career, marriage, and church work. The irony for modern readers is what we know of his future accomplishments. In the half century left to him, he would play a preeminent role in the LDS church as a writer, historian, theologian, and politician. These diaries cover a period, 1880-1898, in which Roberts was active in Utah as a young church leader. They are his apprenticeship years when he developed the skills that would characterize the rest of his career. Besides illuminating the character of the man himself, they also add much to our knowledge of this pivotal time in history.“Sillito has made a remarkable scholarly contribution for which he should be complimented in the highest possible terms. This is an enormously impressive work—especially the diaries themselves—exhibiting all the hopes, dreams, fears and feelings of a great man as he lived a difficult but productive life. Anyone with any level of interest in Mormon history will devour its contents—and learn a great deal in the process.”
–Dennis Lythgoe, Deseret News
- Danish Apostle: The Diaries of Anthon H. Lund – John P. Hatch, ed. (2006). Limited to 500 copies. Reg. $100, SALE $79.99. By the time Anthon Lund was born in Denmark in 1844, Søren Kierkegaard was already producing his ideas on existentialism and Hans Christian Andersen had just penned the tales that would make him world-famous. In this environment, Anthon—who was raised by his father and grandmother after his mother’s death—became a voracious reader by the age of six. Lund converted to Mormonism, immigrated to the United States, and became an apostle and later counselor to the LDS church president—also Salt Lake temple president and Church Historian. His diaries cover the tensions between Apostle Moses Thatcher and his colleagues; the rejection by the U.S. House of Representatives of Utah’s Congressman, B. H. Roberts; the stormy hearings over whether to seat LDS apostle Reed Smoot in the U.S. Senate; and publication of History of the Church. Lund’s accounts of the inner workings of the church hierarchy are at times formal but otherwise chatty, the latter quality making him a favorite diarist among historians.“John P. Hatch, Signature Books, and the Smith-Pettit Foundation are to be commended for this work. Short of reading Anthon Lund’s unabridged diaries in the LDS Archives, anyone studying the end of pioneer Utah and the beginnings of modern Mormonism should read Danish Apostle.”
–Richard Ouellette, Journal of Mormon History
- Candid Insights of a Mormon Apostle: The Diaries of Abraham H. Cannon, 1889-1895 – Edward Leo Lyman, ed. (2010). Limited to 500 copies. Reg. $125, SALE $99.99. The Abraham H. Cannon diaries read like few others from the late nineteenth century. While many of Cannon’s colleagues were functionally literate, he had elegant handwriting, a beautiful way of expressing himself, and an eye for historically important details. Because of his position as an apostle in the LDS Church, his diaries are not only mannered but substantively important. Even mundane entries such as donating $20 for “a plan of erecting a monument in this city to Brigham Young” and his attendance at meetings of the Bullion-Beck Mine are interesting. But his overview of the great issues such as the 1890 Manifesto ending polygamy and discussions (including prayer-circle narratives) at the lavish Gardo House, the temporary headquarters of the LDS Church in the 1880s-90s, are unrivaled. Cannon died tragically when he was on his way to becoming one of the wealthiest men in Utah and—because he was ordained an apostle at age thirty—perhaps even LDS president. He was noted for his unequivocal commitment to Mormonism. When arraigned before a judge who asked if three women were his wives, Cannon answered defiantly, “Yes they are, thank God!” for which he was sentenced to six months in prison. He later married a woman who had been his brother’s fiancée. After his brother died, his family and Church convinced him to take the girl as a wife, apparently in California. Unfortunately he swam in the ocean during their trip and contracted an ear infection, from which he never recovered.“The diaries themselves are simply extraordinary. They are well deserving of inclusion in Signature Books’ Significant Diary Series. They rival and often surpass Wilford Woodruff’s diary in detailing the interaction and discussions of the LDS Church’s governing quorums… . Whereas Lyman has mostly been interested in political and economic matters, the pages are saturated with details of Latter-day Saint liturgy, belief, and practice as well as general territorial life… . I don’t hesitate to consider the Cannon diaries essential reading in Mormon history.”
–Jonathan Stapley, Dialogue
- Cowboy Apostle: The Diaries of Anthony W. Ivins, 1875-1932 – Elizabeth Oberdick Anderson, ed. (2013). Limited to 500 copies. Reg. $125, SALE $99.99. Anthony W. Ivins (1852-1934) migrated to St. George, Utah, at age nine where he later became an influential civic and ecclesiastical leader. He married Elizabeth A. Snow, daughter of Apostle Erastus F. Snow. Ivins was a first cousin of Heber J. Grant, and served as his counselor while Grant was LDS president. Ivins filled several Mormon missions to Mexico and presided as the Juarez, Mexico stake president where he performed post-manifesto marriages. He was appointed by the U.S. government as an Indian agent, and was warmly acquainted with Porfirio Diaz, president of Mexico. Involved in politics in St. George, Ivins held aspirations of running as a Democrat for governor of Utah. In 1907, he was ordained an apostle and later advanced to the First Presidency. Tone, as he called himself, was an accomplished horseman who worked with, and invested in, livestock. He was a game-hunting cowboy who became a statesman for both his country and his expanding religious community. Though in his correspondence Ivins expressed paramount concern for members of his family, he rarely mentions them in his journals. Rather, his diaries chronicle his business and religious observations including meetings with the Quorum of the Twelve and others. He records meetings of the apostles where decisions were made to remove from office Church leaders who had entered into polygamy after 1904, and details the Church’s dealings with the Mexican government to safeguard the Mormon colonists. There are also discussions where doctrinal principles were clarified. For example, in 1912, Ivins reported that President Joseph F. Smith addressed Brigham Young’s Adam God teachings and affirmed that it was “not a doctrine of the Church.” Appendices include Ivins “Record Book of Marriage” and an essay by Ivins’ son, H. Grant Ivins, titled “Polygamy in Mexico as Practiced by the Mormon Church, 1895-1905.”
Smith-Pettit Foundation limited editions
(all are oversize hardback)
- The Joseph Smith Egyptian Papyri: A Complete Edition by Robert K. Ritner.( 2011). Limited to 501 copies of which 26 are lettered leather editions. 283pp. Reg. $79.95, SALE $63.99. This book marks the publication of the first full translation of the so-called Joseph Smith Egyptian papyri translated into English. These papyri comprise “The Breathing Permit of Hor,” “The Book of the Dead of Ta-Sherit-Min,” “The Book of the Dead Chapter 125 of Nefer-ir-nebu,” “The Book of the Dead of Amenhotep,” and “The Hypocephalus of Sheshonq,” as well as some loose fragments and patches. The papyri were acquired by members of the LDS Church in the 1830s in Kirtland, Ohio, and rediscovered in the mid-1960s in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. They served as the basis for Joseph Smith’s “Book of Abraham,” published in Nauvoo, Illinois, in 1842 and later canonized. As Robert K. Ritner, Professor of Egyptology at the Oriental Institute, University of Chicago, explains: “The translation and publication of the Smith papyri must be accessible not merely to Egyptologists but to non-specialists within and outside of the LDS religious community for whom the Book of Abraham was produced.” Dr. Ritner provides not only his own original translations but gives variant translations by other researchers to demonstrate better the “evolving process” of decipherment. He also includes specialized transliterations and his own informed commentary on the accuracy of past readings. The present volume includes insightful introductory essays by noted scholars Christopher Woods, Associate Professor of Sumerology, University of Chicago (“The Practice of Egyptian Religion at ‘Ur of the Chaldees’”), Marc Coenen, Egyptian Studies Ph. D., University of Leuven, Belgium (“The Ownership and Dating of Certain Joseph Smith Papyri”), and H. Michael Marquardt, author of The Revelations of Joseph Smith: Text and Commentary (“Joseph Smith’s Egyptian Papers: A History”). It contains twenty-eight photographic plates, including color images of the primary papyri (with corrected alignment for Papyrus Joseph Smith 2) and other relevant items.
- Later Patriarchal Blessings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints comp. by H. Michael Marquardt. (2012). Limited to 501 copies of which 26 are lettered leather copies. Reg. $90, SALE $71.99. This work, a companion to Early Patriarchal Blessings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, contains over 800 blessings performed between the years 1835-1995 by the presiding patriarchs of the LDS Church and others; Uncle John Smith (brother of Joseph Smith Sr.), John Smith (son of Hyrum Smith), Hyrum G. Smith (great-grandson of Hyrum Smith), Joseph Fielding Smith (great-grandson of Hyrum Smith), and Eldred G. Smith (great-great-grandson of Hyrum Smith), organized chronologically according to patriarch. Patriarchal blessings given to Latter-day Saints provide an abundance of promises and constitute a guide for living. Although patriarchal blessings are considered sacred to their recipients, they can also offer historians as well as theologians a view into the doctrinal beliefs and eternal goals shared by the church at specific times and places. Because the blessings span a century and a half, one can see trends develop over time. Although Mormonism offers many unique practices and rituals, patriarchal blessings stand out among them because of their personal nature and the autonomy given to the patriarchs in voicing doctrines and aspirations.
- Significant Textual Changes in the Book of Mormon: The First Printed Edition Compared to the Manuscripts and to the Subsequent Major LDS English Printed Editions ed. by John S. Dinger. (2013). 454pp Limited to 501 copies of which 26 are lettered leather copies. Reg. $60, SALE $47.99. The Book of Mormon is the scripture embraced by followers of Joseph Smith in his 1830s Latter-day Saint movement. Despite the faith of believers that the Book of Mormon is “the most correct of any book,” ever since Smith first dictated the text to scribes, there have been significant modifications with each printing. Here, presented for the first time, is an easy-to-use, single volume correlating all the major changes to English language editions of the Book of Mormon. It includes the original manuscript, printer’s manuscript, and fifteen editions from 1830 to 1981. The base text is from an original 1830 edition, and bold lettering signals the altered text. Footnotes track changes over time, with details from the variant texts. Often these changes simply clarify minor issues of spelling, adding or deleting conjunctions or completing fragmented sentences. But at several important points, the changes transform the meaning of Joseph Smith’s canon. A major character in the book describes the symbolism of a dream he has and refers to “the Lamb of God” (Jesus) as “the Eternal Father,” a generic Trinitarian belief that Mormons now reject. The text was subsequently changed to read “the Lamb of the Son of the Eternal Father,” which reflected the shift in belief among Mormons at the time, as they came to regard Deity as three separate beings with exalted human bodies. Other changes affect basic understandings of theology, race, and identity, which morph through printings and are tracked here in a clean, straightforward approach.
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