benchmarkbooks

EVENING WITH THE EDITORS

We are pleased to announce that Mark Ashurst-McGee, David W. Grua, Elizabeth Kuehn, Alexander L. Baugh, and Brenden W. Rensink, editors of The Joseph Smith Papers: Documents, Volume 6: February 1838–August 1839, will be here on Wednesday, October 4, to speak about and sign copies of their book. They will be here from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.—speaking at 6:00 p.m.—and will answer questions and sign books before and after that time. We hope you will be able to make it 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 sixth volume of the Documents series contains personal letters, revelations, discourses, minutes, legal documents, and financial documents, among other documents. The documents in the volume trace the establishment of Far West, Missouri, as the center place of Zion; the spread of Mormon settlements in northwestern Missouri; Joseph Smith’s incarceration in Clay County, Missouri; the Saints’ expulsion from the state; and initial efforts to establish church settlements in Illinois and in Iowa Territory. The documents highlight Smith’s continued efforts to remove dissension from the church, establish a city of Zion, protect the Saints from anti-Mormons, and prepare the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for a mission to Europe.

Mark Ashurst-McGee is a senior research and review editor for the Joseph Smith Papers and a specialist in document analysis and documentary editing methodology. He holds a PhD in history from Arizona State University and has trained at the Institute for the Editing of Historical Documents. He coedited volume one of the Journals series of The Joseph Smith Papers and volume one of the Histories series.

David W. Grua holds a PhD in American history from Texas Christian University and a BA and an MA in American history from Brigham Young University. He has published scholarly articles on Mormon and Native American history in the Western Historical Quarterly, the Journal of Mormon History, Federal History, and other peer reviewed journals and edited volumes. Before joining the Papers, he worked as a historian for the Church History Museum. As a student at BYU, he was a research assistant for the Papers, where he contributed to the first and second volumes of the Journals series.

Elizabeth Kuehn earned a BA with honors in history and a classical language certificate from Arizona State University, and an MA in European and women’s history from Purdue University. She is currently a PhD candidate in early modern European history at the University of California, Irvine. Before joining the project, she was an instructor in the history department and religious studies program at the University of California, Irvine. In 2016, she completed training at the Institute for the Editing of Historical Documents in New Orleans.

Alexander L. Baugh, professor of LDS church history and doctrine at Brigham Young University, received a BS from Utah State University and holds MA and PhD degrees from BYU. His career has included work as an instructor and director for the LDS Church Educational System. He is the author or editor of five books on early Mormon history. The recipient of awards from the Mormon History Association for his scholarly works, he is completing a book manuscript on the Hawn’s Mill massacre that occurred in northern Missouri in 1838.

Brenden W. Rensink is an Assistant Professor of History, Assistant Director of the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies at Brigham Young University, and general editor of Intermountain Histories. Before joining the faculty at BYU he earned a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, was visiting faculty at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, and a historian and editor for the Joseph Smith Papers.

 

The Joseph Smith Papers: Documents, Volume 6: February 1838–August 1839. Church Historian’s Press. 800pp. Hardback. $54.95 (remember, subscribers to the series save 10% on each volume.

Previous Joseph Smith Papers Volumes

  1. Journals, Vol. 1 (1832-1839), $49.95 (2008)
  2. Revelations & Translations: Manuscript Revelation Books – Facsimile Ed., Reg. $99.95, SALE $79.99 (signed by volume and series editors!) (2009)

Includes full-color scans for every page in the two revelation books as well as color-coded transcriptions on the facing page.

  1. Revelations & Translations. Manuscript Revelation Books – Vol. 1, $79.95 (2011)

This volume is simply a different version of #2. This edition does not include all the full-color scans of the original manuscripts (there are a few examples, though) but does include the transcriptions. In addition, this version is the regular size (like #1 and #4). Thus, this is not technically a new volume but a smaller, condensed version of an already published volume.

  1. Revelations & Translations, Vol. 2: Published Revelations, Reg. $69.95, SALE $19.99 (2011)
  2. Journals, Vol. 2 (1841-1843), $54.95 (2011)
  3. Histories, Vol. 1: Joseph Smith Histories (1832-1844), $54.95 (2012)
  4. Histories, Vol. 2: Assigned Histories (1831-1847), $54.95 (2012)
  5. Documents, Vol. 1: July 1828 – June 1831, $54.95 (2013)
  6. Documents, Vol. 2: July 1831 – January 1833, $54.95 (2013)
  7. Documents, Vol. 3: February 1833-March 1834, $54.95 (2014)
  8. Revelations & Translations, Vol. 3: The Printer’s Manuscript of the Book of Mormon (2 parts), $89.99/ea (2015)
  9. Journals, Vol. 3—May 1843-June 1844, $57.95 (2015)
  10. Documents, Vol. 4 – April 1834 – September 1835, $54.95 (2016)
  11. Administrative Records, Council of Fifty, Minutes, March 1844-January 1846, $59.95 (2016)
  12. Documents, Volume 5: October 1835-January 1838, $54.95 (2017)

 

Shipping: $5.50 for the first book, for each additional set inquire for details. (USPS)–Priority/FedEx/UPS options available–inquire for details.

Utah residents–add 7.05% sales tax

 

 

EVENING WITH THE AUTHORS

 

We are excited that editors Matthew Grow and Eric Smith as well as contributors Richard Bennett, Jedediah Rogers, Matthew Godfrey, Spencer McBride, Christopher Blythe and Jeffrey Mahas will be here Wednesday, September to speak about and sign copies of their new book, The Council of Fifty: What the Records Reveal about Mormon History (published by the Religious Studies Center and Deseret Book). They will be here from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and will speak at 6:00 and will answer questions and sign books before and after that time. We hope you will be able to make it 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.

Three months before his death, Joseph Smith established the Council of Fifty; a confidential group that he believed would protect the Latter-day Saints in their political rights and one day serve as the government of the kingdom of God. The Council of Fifty operated under the leadership of Joseph Smith and then Brigham Young. The council’s minutes had never been available until they were published by the Joseph Smith Papers in September 2016. This book is a compilation of essays that will give an initial appraisal of how the council’s minutes enhance our understanding of Mormon history during the critical era of the last months of Smith’s life to the trek west. Some fifteen leading Mormon scholars—including Richard Bushman, Richard Bennett, Paul Reeve, and Patrick Mason—narrate and analyze the contributions of the records of the council to key questions.

The essays included are:

  1. Richard Bushman, “The Separatist Impulse in the Nauvoo Council of Fifty”
  2. Richard E. Turley Jr., “Injustices Leading to the Creation of the Council of Fifty”
  3. Spencer W. McBride, “The Council of Fifty and Joseph Smith’s Presidential Ambitions”
  4. Patrick Mason, “God and the People Reconsidered: Further Reflections on Theodemocracy in Early Mormonism”
  5. Benjamin E. Park, “The Council of Fifty and the Perils of Democratic Governance”
  6. Nathan B. Oman, “’We the People of the Kingdom of God’: Constitution Writing in the Council of Fifty”
  7. Gerrit J. Dirkmaat, “Lost Teachings of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and Other Church Leaders”
  8. R. Eric Smith, “Insights into Mormon Record-Keeping Practices from the Council of Fifty Minutes”
  9. Matthew J. Grow and Marilyn Bradford, “’To Carry Out Joseph’s Measures Is Sweeter to Me Than Honey’: Brigham Young and the Council of Fifty”
  10. Jeffrey D. Mahas, “American Indians and the Nauvoo-Era Council of Fifty”
  11. Matthew C. Godfrey, “A Monument of the Saints’ Industry: The Nauvoo House and the Council of Fifty, 1845–46 141”
  12. Christopher James Blythe, “With Full Authority to Build Up the Kingdom of God on Earth”: Lyman Wight on the Council of Fifty 151
  13. Richard E. Bennett, “’We Are a Kingdom to Ourselves’: The Council of Fifty Minutes and the Mormon Exodus West”
  14. Jedediah S. Rogers, “The Council of Fifty in Western History”
  15. W. Paul Reeve, “The Council of Fifty and the Search for Religious Liberty”

 

“An excellent and up-to-date study of the Council of Fifty, a must-read for anyone interested in Mormon and American history.”

–Andrew H. Hedges, Associate Professor of Church History and Doctrine, Brigham Young University, and Coeditor of Journals 2 and Journals 3 of The Joseph Smith Papers

Matthew J. Grow is Director of Publications at the Church History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a general editor of the Joseph Smith Papers.

Eric Smith is the editorial manager for the Publications Division, Church History Department. In that role, he edits print and web publications for the Church Historian’s Press, including publications of the Joseph Smith Papers.

 

The Council of Fifty: What the Records Reveal about Mormon History. Religious Studies Center/Deseret Book, 2017. Hardback. 206pp. $21.99.

 

Other titles by Matthew J. Grow

The First Fifty Years of Relief Society: Key Documents in Latter-day Saint Women’s History. Church Historian’s Press, 2016. Hardback. $49.95

From the Outside Looking In: Essays on Mormon History, Theology, and Culture. Oxford University Press, 2015. Paperback. $35.00

Parley P. Pratt: The Apostle Paul of Mormonism. Oxford University Press, 2011. Hardback. $36.95

The Prophet and the Reformer: The Letters of Brigham Young & Thomas L. Kane. Oxford University Press, 2015. Reg. $39.99, SALE $9.99

Other titles by Matthew J. Grow and Jeffrey D. Mahas

The Joseph Smith Papers: Administrative Records, Council of Fifty, Minutes, March 1844-January 1846. Church Historian’s Press, 2016. Hardback. $59.95

Other titles by Richard Bennett

An Eye of Faith: Essays in Honor of Richard O. Cowan. Religious Studies Center/Deseret Book, 2015. $29.99

Far Away In the West: Reflections on the Mormon Pioneer Trail. Religious Studies Center/Deseret Book, 2015. Hardback. $27.99

Mormons at the Missouri: Winter Quarters, 1846-1852. University of Oklahoma Press, 1987. Paperback.  Various used paperback and hardback copies, $12-$35

The Nauvoo Legion in Illinois: A History of the Mormon Militia 1841-1846. Arthur H. Clark Company, 2010. Hardback. $39.99

School of the Prophet: Joseph Smith Learns the First Principles, 1820-1830. Deseret Book Company, 2010. Reg. $21.99, SALE $3.99

We’ll Find the Place: The Mormon Exodus, 1846-1848. University of Oklahoma Press, 2009. Paperback. $21.95

Other titles by Jedediah Rogers

The Council of Fifty: A Documentary History. Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2014. Hardback. $49.95

Other titles by Matthew Godfrey

The Joseph Smith Papers: Documents, vols. 2, 3, 4. The Church Historian’s Press. Hardback. $54.95/ea

 

Shipping: $4.50 for the first book, $1 for each additional (USPS)–Priority/FedEx/UPS options available–inquire for details.

Utah residents–add 7.05% sales tax

EVENING WITH AN AUTHOR

We are excited to announce that James B. Allen, author of Still The Right Place: Utah’s Second Half-Century of Statehood, 1945-1995 (published by The Charles Redd Center for Western Studies), will be here Wednesday, August 23 to speak about and sign copies of his book. He will be here from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and will speak at 6:00 and will answer questions and sign books before and after that time. We hope you will be able to make it 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.

Still the Right Place deals with the last half of Utah’s first century of statehood. Each of its seven chapters covers the administration of one of the state’s governors, beginning at the end of World War II while Herbert B. Maw was governor and ending in 1995 during Mike Leavitt’s first term. Each chapter covers a variety of topics, including politics, economic development, education, law and order, the environment, health and medicine, and the way Utah responded to and was influenced by national events. Change is discussed against the background of the transformations taking place on the larger American stage. 

Much of the state’s economic well-being following World War II depended on employment provided by defense, federal government, and large firms with headquarters outside the state. During the next half-century, however, employment patterns changed: Manufacturing became more diverse, tourism became steadily more significant, Utah became home base for a number of major employers, and service-oriented industries boomed. Beginning in the 1970s, high-tech manufacturing became a kind of “Cinderella” industry for the state, and some Utah firms became world leaders.

As American attitudes toward the role of women changed, so did the attitudes of many Utahns. By the end of the century, women made up nearly 44 percent of the total workforce. Even though the Utah legislature rejected the Equal Rights Amendment, opportunities for women in the professions, and the general acceptance of gender equality, were as far along in Utah as in most other places.

In addition, the book includes three significant and extensive appendices. One considers Utah’s ethnic minorities and the quest for a more pluralistic society, another discusses Utah and the arts during this half-century, and the third deals with the state’s numerous religions.

“As Utahns of a certain age read Still the Right Place, they will experience a sense of nostalgia. Many of us lived through these years of extractive industries, heavy debt to the federal government, and emergence of high-tech and service firms. This and much more is found in Allen’s thoroughly-researched and well-written history of Utah during the last years of the twentieth century. Obtain a copy of Allen’s book, curl up in your favorite chair, and either relive these years or, if you are too young to remember, learn the fascinating stories of Utah’s recent past.”

—Thomas G. Alexander, author of Mormonism in Transition

James Allen began his professional career in the LDS Church Education System in 1954. He was a seminary teacher, seminary coordinator, Institute teacher, and Institute. In 1963 he became a member of the Church History faculty at Brigham Young University, and the following year he joined the History department. In 1972 he was appointed Assistant Church Historian, working with newly-appointed Church Historian, Leonard J. Arrington. For the next seven years, James spent half his time in that capacity and the other half at BYU. He returned full-time to BYU in 1979 and served as chairman of the History department from 1981 to 1987, when he was appointed to the Redd chair. He held this appointment until his retirement in 1992. Throughout his career, Professor Allen has authored, co-authored, and co-edited fourteen books and monographs, around ninety articles, mostly related to LDS Church History, and numerous book reviews

 

Still The Right Place: Utah’s Second Half-Century of Statehood, 1945-1995. The Charles Redd Center for Western Studies, 2017. Hardback. 672pp. $37.95.

 

Other titles by James Allen

Men With a Mission, 1837-1841: The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the British Isles. Deseret Book, 1992. Paperback. $23.99

Mormon History. University of Illinois Press, 2001. Paperback. $31.95

Studies in Mormon History, 1830-1997: An Indexed Bibliography. University of Illinois Press, 2000. Hardback. $103.00.

 

Shipping: $4.50 for the first book, $1 for each additional (USPS)–Priority/FedEx/UPS options available–inquire for details.
Utah residents–add 7.05% sales tax

EVENING WITH THE AUTHOR

A reminder that Carol Cornwall Madsen, author of Emmeline B. Wells: An Intimate History (published by the University of Utah Press), will be here TOMORROW, Wednesday, July 19 to speak about and sign copies of her book. She will be here from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and will speak at 6:00 and will answer questions and sign books before and after that time. We hope you will be able to make it 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.

Emmeline B. Wells was the most noted Utah Mormon woman of her time. Lauded nationally for her energetic support of the women’s rights movement of the nineteenth century, she was a self-made woman who channeled her lifelong sense of destiny into ambitious altruism. Her public acclaim and activism belied the introspective, self-appraising, and emotional persona she expressed in the pages of her forty-seven extant diaries. Yet she wrote, “I have risen triumphant,” after reconciling herself to the heartaches of plural marriage, and she pursued a self-directed life in earnest.

This new biography tells the story of the private Emmeline. The unusual circumstances of her marriages, the complicated lives of her five daughters, losses and disappointments interspersed with bright moments and achievements, all engendered the idea that her life was a romance, with all the mysterious, tragic, and sentimental elements of that genre. Her responses to that perception made it so. This volume, drawing heavily on Emmeline Wells’s own words, tells the complicated story of a woman of ambition, strength, tenderness, and faith.

“Carol Madsen, having previously dealt with Emmeline Wells’ public life, now ably explores her interior landscape, tracing the contrast between her public triumph and her private pain, from her ‘wild and fanciful’ youth to her unexpected humiliations. Wells’ excellent record-keeping habit enables the rich detail of her story. This extended and sympathetic inner biography of the best known Mormon woman of her time is told largely in her own words, linked by Madsen’s steady and judicious narrative.”
—Claudia L. Bushman, author of Contemporary Mormonism

Carol Cornwall Madsen is professor emeritus of history at Brigham Young University, a past president of the Mormon History Association, and former vice-chair of the Board of Utah State History. She is an award-winning author and her books include The First Fifty Years of Relief Society: Key Documents in Latter-day Saint Women’s History and A Woman’s Advocate, The Public Life of Emmeline B. Wells, 1870–1920, which won three best book awards.

 

Emmeline B. Wells: An Intimate History. University of Utah Press, 2017. 548pp. Hardback. $49.95

 

Other titles by Carol Cornwall Madsen

The First Fifty Years of Relief Society: Key Documents in Latter-day Saint Women’s History. Church Historian’s Press, 2016. Hardback. $49.95 

A Woman’s Advocate, The Public Life of Emmeline B. Wells, 1870–1920. BYU Press & Deseret Book, 2006. Hardback. $29.95

Journey to Zion: Voices from the Mormon Trail. Deseret Book, 2007. Hardback. Reg. $25.95, SALE $9.99 (used copies–limited quantity)

 

Shipping: $4.50 for the first book, $1 for each additional (USPS)–Priority/FedEx/UPS options available–inquire for details.

Utah residents–add 7.05% sales tax

A reminder that Terryl Givens will be here next Wednesday (July 12) to speak about Feeding the Flock: The Foundations of Mormon Thought: Church and Praxis. He was interviewed this week by KSL’s Doug Wright for his program “Everyday Lives, Everyday Values.”  It will air on Sunday, July 9 at 9 AM MST on KSL Radio (1160 AM/102.7 FM along the Wasatch Front).  To listen live, visit here–it will also be available as a podcast here.

Terryl was interviewed this week by KSL’s Doug Wright for his program “Everyday Lives, Everyday Values.”  It will air on Sunday, July 9 at 9 AM MST on KSL Radio (1160 AM/102.7 FM along the Wasatch Front).  To listen live, visit here–it will also be available as a podcast here.

EVENING WITH THE AUTHOR

We are excited to announce that Carol Cornwall Madsen, author of Emmeline B. Wells: An Intimate History (published by the University of Utah Press), will be here Wednesday, July 19 to speak about and sign copies of her book. She will be here from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and will speak at 6:00 and will answer questions and sign books before and after that time. We hope you will be able to make it 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.

Emmeline B. Wells was the most noted Utah Mormon woman of her time. Lauded nationally for her energetic support of the women’s rights movement of the nineteenth century, she was a self-made woman who channeled her lifelong sense of destiny into ambitious altruism. Her public acclaim and activism belied the introspective, self-appraising, and emotional persona she expressed in the pages of her forty-seven extant diaries. Yet she wrote, “I have risen triumphant,” after reconciling herself to the heartaches of plural marriage, and she pursued a self-directed life in earnest.

This new biography tells the story of the private Emmeline. The unusual circumstances of her marriages, the complicated lives of her five daughters, losses and disappointments interspersed with bright moments and achievements, all engendered the idea that her life was a romance, with all the mysterious, tragic, and sentimental elements of that genre. Her responses to that perception made it so. This volume, drawing heavily on Emmeline Wells’s own words, tells the complicated story of a woman of ambition, strength, tenderness, and faith.

“Carol Madsen, having previously dealt with Emmeline Wells’ public life, now ably explores her interior landscape, tracing the contrast between her public triumph and her private pain, from her ‘wild and fanciful’ youth to her unexpected humiliations. Wells’ excellent record-keeping habit enables the rich detail of her story. This extended and sympathetic inner biography of the best known Mormon woman of her time is told largely in her own words, linked by Madsen’s steady and judicious narrative.”
—Claudia L. Bushman, author of Contemporary Mormonism

Carol Cornwall Madsen is professor emeritus of history at Brigham Young University, a past president of the Mormon History Association, and former vice-chair of the Board of Utah State History. She is an award-winning author and her books include The First Fifty Years of Relief Society: Key Documents in Latter-day Saint Women’s History and A Woman’s Advocate, The Public Life of Emmeline B. Wells, 1870–1920, which won three best book awards.

 

Emmeline B. Wells: An Intimate History. University of Utah Press, 2017. 548pp. Hardback. $49.95

 

Other titles by Carol Cornwall Madsen

The First Fifty Years of Relief Society: Key Documents in Latter-day Saint Women’s History. Church Historian’s Press, 2016. Hardback. $49.95 

A Woman’s Advocate, The Public Life of Emmeline B. Wells, 1870–1920. BYU Press & Deseret Book, 2006. Hardback. $29.95

Journey to Zion: Voices from the Mormon Trail. Deseret Book, 2007. Hardback. Reg. $25.95, SALE $9.99 (used copies–limited quantity)

 

Shipping: $4.50 for the first book, $1 for each additional (USPS)–Priority/FedEx/UPS options available–inquire for details.

Utah residents–add 7.05% sales tax

EVENING WITH THE AUTHOR

We are very excited to announce that Terryl Givens, author of Feeding the Flock: The Foundations of Mormon Thought: Church and Praxis (published by Oxford University Press), will be here Wednesday, July 12 to speak about and sign copies of his book. He will be here from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and will speak at 6:00 and will answer questions and sign books before and after that time. We hope you will be able to make it 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.

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

Terryl L. Givens did graduate work at Cornell University in intellectual history and at UNC Chapel Hill, where he received his PhD in comparative literature. He holds the Jabez A. Bostwick Chair of English and is Professor of Literature and Religion at the University of Richmond, where he teaches courses in nineteenth-century studies and the Bible’s influence on Western literature. His writing has been praised by the New York Times as “provocative reading.”

 

Feeding the Flock: The Foundations of Mormon Thought: Church and Praxis. Oxford University Press, 2017. 416pp. Hardback. $34.95

 

Other titles by Terryl Givens

The Crucible of Doubt: Reflections on the Quest for Faith by Terryl and Fiona Givens. Deseret Book, 2014. 168pp. Hardback. $19.99.

The God Who Weeps: How Mormonism Makes Sense of Life. Deseret Book, 2012. 148pp. Hardback. $19.99

Wrestling the Angel: The Foundations of Mormon Thought: Cosmos, God, Humanity by Terryl Givens.  Oxford University Press, 2014. 424pp. Hardback. $36.95

The Oxford Handbook of Mormonism (with Philip Barlow). Oxford University Press, 2015. Hardback. $150.00

Parley P. Pratt: The Apostle Paul of Mormonism (with Matthew Grow). Oxford University Press, 2011. 499pp. Hardback. $36.95

The Columbia Sourcebook of Mormons in the United States (with Reid Neilson). Columbia University Press, 2014. 455pp. Hardback. $80.00

Joseph Smith Jr.: Reappraisals after Two Centuries. Oxford University Press, 2008. 284pp. Paperback. Reg. $26.95, SALE $6.99

By the Hand of Mormon: The American Scripture that Launched a New World Religion. Oxford University Press, 2003. 320pp. Paperback. $19.95

The Book of Mormon: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, 2009. 140pp. Paperback. $11.95

When Souls Had Wings: Pre-Mortal Existence in Western Thought. Oxford University Press, 2009. 388pp. Paperback. $28.95

The Viper on the Hearth: Mormons, Myths, and the Construction of Heresy (updated ed.). Oxford University Press, 2013. 228pp. Paperback. $28.95

People of Paradox: A History of Mormon Culture. Oxford University Press, 2007. Paperback–$28.95/Hardback–$33.95

 

Shipping: $4.50 for the first book, $1 for each additional (USPS)–Priority/FedEx/UPS options available–inquire for details.

Utah residents–add 7.05% sales tax

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.

 

 

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EVENING WITH THE EDITORS

We are excited to announce that Richard E. Turley Jr., Janiece Johnson and LaJean Carruth, editors of Mountain Meadows Massacre: Collected Legal Papers, 2 vols. (published by the University of Oklahoma Press) will be here Wednesday, June 14, to speak about and sign copies of their book. They will be here from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.—speaking at 6:00 p.m.—and will answer questions and sign books before and after that time. We hope you will be able to make it 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.

On September 11, 1857, a group of Mormons aided by Paiute Indians brutally murdered some 120 men, women, and children traveling through a remote region of southwestern Utah. Within weeks, news of the atrocity spread across the United States. But it took until 1874—seventeen years later—before a grand jury finally issued indictments against nine of the perpetrators. Mountain Meadows Massacre chronicles the prolonged legal battle to gain justice for the victims.

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.

“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. Alexanderauthor of Brigham Young, The Quorum of the Twelve, and the Latter-day Saint Investigation of the Mountain Meadows Massacre

Richard E. Turley Jr. is Assistant Church Historian of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Books he has authored, coauthored, or edited include Victims: The LDS Church and the Mark Hofmann CaseMassacre at Mountain Meadows: An American Tragedy, and Mountain Meadows Massacre: The Andrew Jenson and David H. Morris Collections.

Janiece L. Johnson is Visiting Professor of Religion at Brigham Young University, Idaho. She is the author of “Give It All Up and Follow Your Lord”: Mormon Female Religiosity and co-editor of The Witness of Women: Firsthand Experiences and Testimonies from the Restoration.

LaJean Purcell Carruth is a historian for the Church History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, and a transcriber of nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century documents written in Pitman, Taylor, and Pernin shorthands.

 

Mountain Meadows Massacre: Collected Legal Papers (2 vols.). University of Oklahoma Press, 2017. 1056 pp. $130/set.

 

Other titles by Richard Turley

Massacre at Mountain Meadows. Oxford University Press, 2008. Hardback. signed by all three authors (1st printing), $29.99/signed by all three editors (2nd printing), reg. $29.99, SALE $23.99/paperback, $17.95

Mountain Meadows Massacre: The Andrew Jenson and David H. Morris Collection. BYU Studies, 2009. Reg. $44.95, SALE $26.99 (limited quantities)

Victims: The LDS Church and the Mark Hofmann Case. University of Illinois Press, 1992. Hardback. Reg. $27.95, SALE $19.99

How We Got the Book of Mormon. Deseret Book, 2011. Hardback. Reg. $34.99, SALE $27.99

How We Got the Doctrine and Covenants. Deseret Book, 2012. Hardback. $34.99

Other titles by Janiece Johnson

“Give It All Up and Follow Your Lord”: Mormon Female Religiosity. BYU Studies, 2008. Paperback. $19.95

The Witness of Women: Firsthand Experiences and Testimonies from the Restoration. Deseret Book, 2016. Paperback. $18.99

 

Shipping: $7.00 for the first set, for each additional set inquire for details

(USPS)–Priority/FedEx/UPS options available–inquire for details

Utah residents–add 7.05% sales tax

Beginning June 3, 2017, Saturday hours will change to 10 AM-3 PM.

Also, we will be closed Monday, May 29, in observance of Memorial Day.

We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause–thanks for your continued business!

A reminder that Brent Rogers, Elizabeth Kuehn, Christian Heimburger and Max Parkin (Alexander Baugh and Steven Harper will be not able to attend but will sign books beforehand), editors of The Joseph Smith Papers: Documents, vol. 5, October 1835-January 1838 (published by the Church Historian’s Press) will be here THIS WEDNESDAY, May 17, to speak about and sign copies of their book. They will be here from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.—speaking at 6:00 p.m.—and will answer questions and sign books before and after that time. We hope you will be able to make it 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 attended a release event for the book today at the Church History Library and share here some things we learned (click on any photo for larger version).

Brent Rogers, lead editor for the volume, was the first to speak.  He noted that the 28-month period covered in the volume is a complex and trying time for Mormons and Joseph Smith. More than any other volume, this fifth Documents volume highlights the role of women (see Elizabeth Kuehn’s comments below). The first document he showed was a broadside of the dedication prayer for the Kirtland Temple. The months leading up to the dedication were a time of great spiritual experiences, blessings and ritual.

 
(broadside of the dedicatory
prayer of the Kirtland Temple)

Next, he showed the plat of Kirtland. As time went on, the concept of Kirtland as a gathering place developed. The 1837 plat drew on the Zion idea that leaders had attempted to implement in Missouri. Looking back, we often think of Kirtland as a place that would be abandoned in 1838 but it continued to be a stronghold for several years beyond that.

(plat of Kirtland City, 1837) 

Elizabeth Kuehn, working on her first volume, then discussed the importance of women in this volume. Though more women are highlighted herein than in any previous volume, she cautioned that this still represents only a fraction of those who were there. She discussed two letters from Emma to Joseph (unfortunately, only copies in a letterbook rather than the originals) that point up the growing dissent in Kirtland, much of it on economic grounds. Women were stockholders in the Kirtland Safety Society and also were involved in other financial transactions.

(letterbook showing letters between Emma and Joseph)

She noted the scarcity of documents during this period—no personal journal, no high council minutes and so on. For example, there is no contemporary record that elucidates the motives of leaders in wanting to create a bank. Looking back, this episode is ripe for misunderstanding and exaggeration. In the absence of primary sources, contextual examination shows that the endeavor was not as crazy or outlandish as it might seem today. She noted that a host of factors were responsible for the downfall of the experiment and it is unfair to blame it as a primary cause for the conflict in Kirtland. Rather, it should be seen as a catalyst that brought out underlying tensions.

(full set of Kirtland Safety Society banknotes) 

Finally, Christian Heimburger–another first-time editor–focused on two letters, one printed in the Messenger and Advocate and one copied into Joseph Smith’s journal. At a meeting of the debate school in Kirtland, a scuffle broke out between William and Joseph Smith that left Joseph unable to sit down or get up without help. The letters deal with this conflict which lingered and cast a shadow over Joseph Smith for some time. It is helpful to remember that Joseph is 29 and William just 24 at the time of this event. The letters show Joseph as caring for his brother’s salvation but also concerned about the results of William’s anger and dissent.

 (Joseph Smith journal, during William Smith episode)

Another prominent theme in this volume is the ongoing debate about slavery. A lecture on abolition in Kirtland seems to have brought the idea to the forefront. Abolitionist societies were as popular in Ohio as anywhere in the country—Oberlin College particularly was a hotbed for anti-slavery sentiments. An 1836 letter written by Joseph Smith and published in the Messenger and Advocate distances Mormons from their ideas. While we see abolitionists as heroes today, their ideas and tactics were viewed by most as radical at the time. Most Northerners disapproved of slavery in the southern states but did not support the methods of abolitionist leaders, seeing the potential for riots in the North.

 
(letter from Joseph Smith to Oliver Cowdery regarding abolition)

Matt Grow, director of publications, then gave a short overview of the publishing history of the project. The Documents series is planned to include 15 volumes and the project is about 60% complete overall. Documents vol. 6 is slated for a fall release. Spring 2018 will see Documents vol. 7, fall will be a volume in the Revelations and Translations series covering the Book of Abraham/Egyptian grammar and alphabet. 2019 will see Documents, vols. 8 and 9. The website includes many more peripheral documents (and other copies of those included) than are contained in the print volumes.

A question about updating curriculum to point to the Joseph Smith Papers. Matt mentioned the publishing cycles and noted that they are making efforts every time something comes up for publishing again to update sources and content.

A question about D&C 112—why would you sent trusted leaders away at this time (beginnings of British mission)? Elizabeth noted that there were preparations underway already with efforts in Canada to expand the scope of missionary work. In the volume, they contextualized the revelation as a larger effort to combat dissent also, rather than a pointed rebuke to Thomas Marsh.

A question on women’s voices in this volume—in the process of creating the book, were they “foundational” or “decorative”? Elizabeth noted that, for her, these were part of her work from the beginning. She noted how Mark Staker used the letters she mentioned earlier in Hearken, O Ye People but they tried to mine them further for the emotional element, particularly since they have so little from Joseph Smith personally during this period. Brent noted the selection of the land deed to Caroline Smith included in the volume—they could have chosen another example but selected this particular one because it is unusual and highlights the involvement of women in land transactions in Ohio at that time.

A question on methodology—the series in the Joseph Smith Papers (Journals, Revelations and Translations, Histories, etc.) artificially separates items into categories. How do you make sure you don’t miss something when you are annotating? Riley Lorimer noted that the Journals series, having been published previously, is a good source. Brent described how they consult with other project team members to see what they might have to help give context.

A question on Mormon use of the volumes—how is this material relevant to current concerns? Riley noted the possibility of using stories from the Documents volumes in lessons and talks. Today (and in other venues) Elizabeth has discussed in dissent in Kirtland using Vilate Kimball’s perspective from the time—a very relevant topic for today. Matt talked briefly about audience—in the early days of the project, the core audience was seen as scholars. However, they realize that the majority of readers and visitors to the website are not scholars but just average Mormons without a strong background in history so they have tried to make the project appealing to them as well.

A question on how the Joseph Smith Papers will impact Mormon and American religious historiography? Elizabeth mentioned her research into the Kirtland Safety Society and looking at stock trends and other research questions that don’t fit into documentary editing. Christian voiced a hope that scholars of American history will use some of these texts as a lens through which to see larger concerns (race, panic of 1837, etc.). Matt identified a study of religious dissent in antebellum America as another good opportunity.

A question on the final months in Kirtland before Joseph Smith leaves—what corrections will your research make to the narrative of this period? Elizabeth noted the acquisition of the Oliver Granger papers four years ago that shed light on his role in alleviating Joseph Smith’s debts. While he did not pay them all, these and other sources show honest efforts (until his death) to resolve these financial concerns.

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