After a fairly slow start to the year for new books, we now have more frequent newcomers. Make sure to check out our forthcoming page (www.benchmarkbooks.com/forthcoming-books) to see what’s just around the bend.

NEW BOOKS

Givens, Terryl L. Feeding the Flock: The Foundations of Mormon Practice–Sacraments, Authority, Gifts, Worship. Oxford University Press, 2017. 416pp. $34.95. Feeding the Flock, the second volume of Terryl L. Givens’s landmark study of the foundations of Mormon thought and practice, traces the essential contours of Mormon practice as it developed from Joseph Smith to the present. Despite the stigmatizing fascination with its social innovations (polygamy, communalism), its stark supernaturalism (angels, gold plates, and seer stones), and its most esoteric aspects (a New World Garden of Eden, sacred undergarments), as well as its long-standing outlier status among American Protestants, Givens reminds us that Mormonism remains the most enduring–and thriving–product of the nineteenth-century’s religious upheavals and innovations. Because Mormonism is founded on a radically unconventional cosmology, based on unusual doctrines of human nature, deity, and soteriology, a history of its development cannot use conventional theological categories. Givens has structured these volumes in a way that recognizes the implicit logic of Mormon thought. The first book, Wrestling the Angel, centered on the theoretical foundations of Mormon thought and doctrine regarding God, humans, and salvation. Feeding the Flock considers Mormon practice, the authority of the institution of the church and its priesthood, forms of worship, and the function and nature of spiritual gifts in the church’s history, revealing that Mormonism is still a tradition very much in the process of formation.

“Givens is to be commended not only for producing the first major systematic overview of Mormon theology, but also for taking a historically informed, comparative approach that both Latter-day Saints and scholars of religion will find highly illuminating.”

–Ann Taves, author of Revelatory Events: Three Case Studies of the Emergence of New Spiritual Paths

Turley, Richard E., Jr., Janiece Johnson and LaJean Carruth (eds.). Mountain Meadows Massacre: Collected Legal Papers (2 vols.). University of Oklahoma Press, 2017. 1056 pp. Hardback. $130.00/set. The editors of this two-volume collection combed public and private manuscript collections across the United States to reconstruct the complex legal proceedings that occurred in the massacre’s aftermath. The documents they unearthed, transcribed and presented here, cover a nearly forty-year history of investigation and prosecution—from the first reports of the massacre in 1857 to the dismissal of the last indictment against a perpetrator in 1896. Volume 1 tells the first half of the story: the records of the investigations into the massacre and transcriptions of all nine indictments, eight of which never resulted in a trial conviction. Volume 2 details the legal proceedings against the one man indicted to go to trial, John D. Lee. Lee’s trials led to his confession and conviction, and ultimately to his execution on the massacre site in 1877, all documented in Volume 2. **reminder—the editors will be here on June 14 for a sigining**

“Richard E. Turley, Janiece L. Johnson, and LaJean Purcell Carruth have done a great service in offering the Mountain Meadows Massacre papers to the general public. The editors present the documents with an even hand, and the introductions carefully analyze each source.”

—Thomas G. Alexander, author of Brigham Young, The Quorum of the Twelve, and the Latter-day Saint Investigation of the Mountain Meadows Massacre

Anderson, J. Seth. LGBT Salt Lake. Arcadia Publishing, 2017. 95pp. Paperback. $22.99. Salt Lake City, located along Utah’s majestic Wasatch Mountains, has historically been a cradle of peculiar people. Before Western culture developed terms for lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) identities, diverse communities who recognized their differences from mainstream America made Salt Lake their home. By the early 1970s, a discernible “gay community” had emerged in Salt Lake City, laying the groundwork for future activism and institutions. In the 1970s, publications like Gayzette, the Salt Lick, and the Open Door documented the nascent movement. In the 1980s, amidst devastation from the HIV/AIDS epidemic, marginalized communities valiantly worked to fight the disease and support each other. By the 1990s, LGBT Utahns had gained traction legally and politically with the formation of the first gay straight alliance at East High School and the election of the first openly gay person to the Utah legislature in 1998. The transgender community became more visible in the new century, and by 2008, Utah began to play a prominent role in the battle over marriage equality.

Hammer, David (comp.). The Pamphlets of Orson Pratt: The Complete Collection. Eborn Books, 2017. 722pp. $24.99. The Complete Collection of Elder Orson Pratt’s pamphlets. All together in one thick 700+ page volume, with an Index. Each pamphlet is complete and unabridged, and has the original page numbers in brackets. Contains the following pamphlets: An Interesting Account of Several Remarkable Visions, The 1945 and 1946 Prophetic Almanacs, Divine Authority, or the Question, “Was Joseph Smith Sent of God?”, The Kingdom of God, Reply to a Pamphlet Entitled “Remarks on Mormonism”, Absurdities of Immaterialism, New Jerusalem, Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, Great First Cause, The Equality and Oneness of the Saints, True Faith, True Repentance, Water Baptism, The Holy Spirit, Spiritual Gifts, Necessity for Miracles, Universal Apostasy, or the Seventeen Centuries of Darkness, Latter-day Kingdom, or the Preparations for the Second Advent, Celestial Marriage, The Bible and Polygamy—Does the Bible Sanction Polygamy?, How to Live Acceptably.

D&C 4 – A Lifetime of Study in Discipleship. Eborn Books, 2017. 278pp. Hardback. $24.95. Section 4 of the Doctrine and Covenants is a remarkable revelation that imparts a great deal of wisdom and divine light with tremendous economy. While traditionally viewed as a revelation on missionary service, the principles seated deep within the text and sub-texts of section 4 have application to all aspects of Christ-centered service. The collected voices presented in this book have deep-seated desires to see the work of the Lord move forward. Regarding this small 7-verse section of the Doctrine and Covenants President Joseph F. Smith stated that it “contains sufficient counsel and instruction for a lifetime of study…It is as broad, as high and as deep as eternity.” Royalties on the sale of these books will be donated to the General Missionary Fund of the Church.

 

John, Jeremiah and Joseph M. Spencer, eds. Embracing the Law: Reading Doctrine and Covenants 42. Neal A. Maxwell Institute, 2017. 140pp. Paperback. $15.95. According to Joseph Smith, Doctrine and Covenants 42 “embraces the law of the church.” In this collection of essays, six scholars probe the significance of this revelation, especially the significance of its status as “law.” In what ways is D&C 42—especially the law of consecration—binding for Latter-day Saints today? These wide-ranging essays argue that the law remains in force, but in many different ways.

“In these conference proceedings stands the hope of a new kind of Mormon theology, one that brings women and men, academics and independents, philosophers and students of literature into the conversation about the meanings of faith and scripture. These essays are united by their firm commitment to the power of scripture and the possibility that holy writ may be rather more than it first appears.” –Samuel M. Brown, author of In Heaven as It Is on Earth

Restoration Scriptures

The Restoration Scriptures—as described in the official announcement—“are divided into three volumes that have been produced through a unified effort by two independent bodies of volunteers, separately driven to approach the scriptures anew. Initially the members of these two groups felt individually inspired to revisit the scriptures in an effort to prune away some of the uninspired alterations of man so that they might have a more correct version of scripture for their study. Over time, these individuals were led to one another, combining and harmonizing their efforts. What began as two wholly separate groups, each forming at the same time, both unknown to one another, resulted in separate projects that were completed at the same time, and what was learned from their independent efforts identified issues that needed to be addressed. . . . less than 2 weeks after discovering each other, these two groups held a meeting, facilitated by Denver Snuffer, and determined to unify their efforts, each bringing to the table differing components for a greater outcome than either project possessed alone. On the first day of the new year, the two became one as work began, preparing what would become this Restoration Edition of the scriptures.” The Old and New Testament incorporate the JST changes, the Book of Mormon draws on the 1840 edition (the last to be published under Joseph Smith’s supervision) and the Doctrine and Covenants/Pearls of Great Price revises some existing content and adds new material (including some revelations to Denver Snuffer). All versification has been removed and chapter numbering has also been revised.

Old Testament: Restoration Edition. Chris Hamill, 2017. 819pp. Paperback. $21.95

New Testament/Book of Mormon: Restoration Edition. Chris Hamill, 2017. 657pp. Paperback. $23.99

Doctrine & Covenants/Pearls of Great Price: Restoration Edition. Chris Hamill, 2017. 355pp. Paperback. $13.99

Mormon History Association Award Winners

The following books received awards at the recent Mormon History Association conference. We have all these award-winners available—come see what all the buzz is about!

limited quantities on some titles

Best Book: Simpson, Thomas W. American Universities and the Birth of Modern Mormonism, 1876-1940. University of North Carolina Press. Paperback, $29.95/Hardback, $85.00 (special order)

Best Biography: Prince, Stephen L. Hosea Stout: Lawman, Legislator, Mormon Defender. Utah State University Press. Paperback, $19.95 (arriving Wed)/Hardback, $29.95 (technically out of print, limited quantities remain)

Best Book International Mormonism:  Takagi,  Shinji. The Trek East: Mormonism Meets Japan, 1901-1968. Greg Kofford Books. Paperback, $39.95/Hardback, $69.95

Best Memoir / Personal History: Bate, Kerry William. The Women: A Family Story. University of Utah Press. Hardback. $39.95

Best Article: Hendrix-Komoto, Amanda. “Mahana, You Naked! Modesty, Sexuality, and Race in the Mormon Pacific.” In Out of Obscurity: Mormonism Since 1945. Oxford University Press. Paperback, $35.00/Hardback, $99.00 (special order)

Article of Excellence:  Turley Jr. Richard E. and Jeffrey G. Cannon. “A Faithful Band: Moses Mahlangu and the First Soweto Saints.” BYU Studies Quarterly 55, no. 1. Paperback. $9.95

Best International Article:  Rutherford, Taunalyn. “The Internationalization of Mormonism: Indications from India.” In Out of Obscurity: Mormonism since 1945. Oxford University Press. Paperback, $35.00/Hardback, $99.00 (special order)

Best Women’s History Article: Newell, Quincy. “What Jane James Saw.” In Directions for Mormon Studies in the Twenty-First Century. University of Utah Press. Paperback. $32.99

SALE BOOKS

Lyman, Albert R. [Ed. by Melvin A. Lyman]. Francis Marion Lyman, 1840-1916, Apostle 1880-1916. Melvin A. Lyman, 1958. Hardback. As new condition. Reg. $60.00, SALE $9.99.  Francis Marion Lyman was born in Walnut Grove Township, McDonough County, Illinois, in January 1840, the son of Amasa Mason Lyman. His parents, after escaping from mobs persecuting the Mormons in Missouri, were staying there with friends. The family later lived in Nauvoo, Illinois, and migrated to Utah with the Mormon pioneers in 1848. He was called as an apostle in 1880. At the time of his death in 1916, he was serving as president of the Council of the Twelve of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This biography—written by a nephew—quotes from Lyman’s journals, now restricted.

 

Bush, Lester E. Health and Medicine Among the Latter-day Saints: Science, Sense, and Scripture. New York: Crossroad Publishing Company, 1993. Hardback. Reg. $24.95, SALE $9.99. One of a dozen in a series which “explores the ways in which major religions relate to the questions of human well-being.”  Some of the other volumes have treated health and medicine in the context of the Lutheran, Catholic, Christian Science, Hindu, and Islamic faiths. Aimed mainly at professional care givers, the books also give lay people a new view of their religious traditions by analyzing a crucial aspect of their belief and practice. Each volume is organized around ten themes, including death, suffering, healing, madness, sexuality, morality, and dignity, although Bush has packaged the themes in a unique way to present the Mormon case with clarity.

Gibbons, Francis M. George Albert Smith: Kind and Caring Christian, Prophet of God. Deseret Book Company, 1990. Hardback. As new condition. Reg. $15.00, SALE $7.99. In George Albert Smith; Kind and Caring Christian, Prophet of God, author Francis M. Gibbons presents a thorough and penetrating portrait of this great leader. He brings to life George Albert Smith’s childhood in the heart of Salt Lake City; his service in the Southern States Mission; his work as president of the European Mission and as an Apostle; his struggles with poor health; his love of family and friends; his Christian service to countless people from all walks of life; his love of historical trails and commemorative markers and monuments; and his compassionate ministry to all the world as president of the Church.

 

 

Shipping–$4.50 for the first book, $1 for each additional (oversize books may be additional–inquire for details). Priority/UPS/FedEx options also available.
Tax–Utah residents, add 7.05% sales tax.

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