Despite the cold weather, great new books continue to be published!  We have received several titles, both new and sale books (save nearly 70% on Terryl Givens’ Viper on the Hearth!). Check them out and see if something piques your interest. To order, please call 801-486-3111 or e-mail us at info@benchmarkbooks.com

NEW BOOKS

  • for the causeFor the Cause of Righteousness: A Global History of Blacks and Mormonism, 1830-2013 by Russell W. Stevenson. Greg Kofford Books, 2014. 419pp. Paperback–$32.95/Hardback—$66.95. This book broaches one of the most sensitive topics in the history of Mormonism: the story of the LDS community’s turbulent relationship with the black population. For the Cause of Righteousness: A Global History of Blacks and Mormonism, 1830-2013 promises to tell a story of how an American religious community could wander through the rocky landscape of American racial politics, all while hoping to hold onto its institutional integrity in the face of attacks from both within and without. Drawing on a rich array of archival documents and oral testimonies, For the Cause of Righteousness suggests that understanding race and Mormonism requires far more than watching the movements of well-dressed men on North Temple; it calls for understanding the dynamics of global Mormon communities ranging from Mowbray to Accra, from Berkeley to Rio de Janeiro. But as any historian will say, primary sources matter. Thus, For the Cause of Righteousness offers up not only a narrative history of the global black Mormon community but also an anthology of primary source transcripts: letters, newspaper articles, and speech transcripts, all in hopes that readers might take one more step toward understanding a story that simultaneously inspires, troubles, and urges Latter-day Saints into understanding a provincial religion that has reached global proportions.**paperback copies are signed**
  • Search Ponder]Search, Ponder and Pray: A Guide to the Gospels by Julie M. Smith. Greg Kofford Books, 2014. 283pp. Paperback–$27.95/Hardback–$60.95. Latter-day Saints already familiar with the New Testament will find a wealth of new insights into the cultural, historical, and literary background of the Gospels. Research previously shrouded in academic jargon is presented in a way that is not only understandable, but encourages readers to evaluate the evidence for themselves and to draw their own conclusions. Over 4,000 thought-provoking questions allow readers to ponder the scriptures in new and exciting ways. In many ways, this book immediately and directly facilitates a close, deliberate, and thoughtful reading of the scriptural text.“Julie Smith has made a substantial contribution, not simply to the growing field of serious Mormon scholarship on the Bible, but to the LDS community as a whole. In Search, Ponder, and Pray, Smith shares her impressive gift to ask questions that lead to powerful literary, historical, and devotional insights. This is the type of book I wish I would have had at the beginning of my career. It is my sincere hope that every teacher involved with church education will take advantage of this incredible resource.” — David Bokovoy, author of Authoring the Old Testament
  • honoring juanitaHonoring Juanita Brooks: A Compilation of 30 Annual Presentations from the Juanita Brooks Lecture Series, Dixie State University comp. by Douglas D. Alder. Dixie State University, 2014. 854pp. Paperback. $18.75. Juanita Brooks’ influence was such that she had a lecture series named for her five years before her 1989 death. In 1984, Obert C. Tanner, founder of O.C. Tanner Co., endowed the Juanita Brooks Lectures Series at what is now Dixie State University, the same institution where Brooks herself was an instructor for a time. Each year a different respected scholar from throughout Utah and across the United State comes to St. George to deliver the lecture. Like Brooks, many of the scholars have written about Mormon history. Some of them share her membership in the church, others do not. But they all have a common goal: objective history over partisan posturing. Among the lecturers are prominent historians like Levi S. Peterson (1989) and Pulitzer Prize-winner Laurel Thatcher Ulrich (1992). While most are LDS, some like Jan Shipps (1987) and Larry Logue (1990), are not. Similarly, some are locals like Hurricane native W. Paul Reeve (2007) and Cedar City resident Wayne K. Hinton (2001), while others come from northern Utah or even other states.
  • These ThingsThese Things I Know: The Autobiography of William Grant Bangerter comp. by Cory William Bangerter. Voices and Images (BYU Print Services), 2013. 567pp. Hardback. $32.99. William Grant Bangerter’s life spanned many momentous events in the 20th Century: from the pre-penicillin era plagues of influenza to modern AIDS; from the economic collapse of 1929 and the Great Depression to prosperity of the latter 20th century; through world wars and conflicts, including “The Great War” (World War I), World War II (in which he was an active participant), Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf Wars and others. Bangerter was heavily involved in the development of the Church in Brazil, serving as a missionary and mission president there. The remaining years of his life were spent first as an assistant to the Twelve and then as a Seventy.
  • joseph smith and latterJoseph Smith and the Latter-Day Saints, vol. 1 by Richard Lloyd Dewey. Stratford Books, 2014. 846pp. Hardback. $43.99. Eleven years in the making, Dewey’s book captures Joseph’s tumultuous life story, backing it up all the way with thousands of facts—many not widely known even among Latter-day Saints. He quotes numerous journals and letters of neighbors on the farms and villages who actually knew Joseph Smith. And he characterizes the fascinating relationships Joseph had with friends and enemies alike, as the reader get to know Joseph on a personal level. Written from the viewpoint of a believer, this book tackles the controversies head-on, with the pro and anti-sources analyzed. This meticulously researched first volume (of a three volume series) covers the first 25 years of Joseph’s 38-year life.
  • helen andelinHelen Andelin and the Fascinating Womanhood Movement by Julie Debra Neuffer. University of Utah Press, 2014. 190pp. Paperback. $19.95. In 1961, Helen Andelin, housewife and mother of eight, languished in a lackluster, twenty-year-old marriage. A religious woman, she fasted and prayed for help. As she studied a set of women’s advice booklets from the 1920s, Andelin had an epiphany that not only changed her life but also affected the lives of millions of American women. She applied the principles from the booklets and found that her disinterested husband became loving and attentive. He bought her gifts and hurried home from work to be with her. Andelin took her new-found happiness as a sign that it was her religious duty to share these principles with other women. She began leading small discussion groups for women at her church. The results were dramatic. In 1963, at the urging of her followers, Andelin wrote and self-published Fascinating Womanhood. The book, which borrowed heavily from those 1920s advice booklets, the Bible, and classical literature, eventually sold over three million copies and launched a nationwide organization of classes and seminars led by thousands of volunteer teachers (including the author’s mother).
  • god seedThe God Seed: Probing the Mystery of Spiritual Development by M. Catherine Thomas. Digital Legend, 2014. 330pp. Paperback. $22.95. We believe many things but don’t always know how to implement them. We believe that human beings can grow into Gods; we accept the importance of coming to Christ and also of awakening our divine attributes and powers — but how to do that seems obscure. Likely a list of spiritual to-do’s ceases to serve. So we may find ourselves seeking a more fulfilling path — but where to set our foot? In recent years, studies in adult developmental psychology have cast unexpected light on the path to Godhood. They illustrate that human beings already possess the potent seeds for unfolding into more highly developed beings. We learn that spiritual practices can shape the mind into and instrument for facilitating spiritual growth and experience, that is, for continuing from “grace to grace.” Along the way, venturing into the unknown, we shed false concepts about ourselves, about our reality, and about God Himself.
  • flunkingFlunking Sainthood Every Day: A Daily Devotional for the Rest of Us by Jana Riess. Paraclete Press, 2014. 328pp. Hardback w/ ribbon. $23.99. Over one year recounted in Flunking Sainthood, Riess failed twelve different spiritual practices. To her surprise, thought, she learned something important even from the ones she failed most spectacularly. In this new 365 daily devotional, readers who are looking for spiritual growth will find guidance, arranged according to monthly practices such as gratitude, generosity, prayer, Sabbath-keeping, and hospitality. Each day’s reading has a reflection from a contemporary or classic spiritual thinker, a short scripture verse, and a brief prayer, reflection, or follow-up action. This daily devotional helps us know that there is great compassion for all of us who are flunking sainthood as we learn that spiritual growth is a lifelong journey without a fixed destination.

SALE BOOKS

  • viperThe Viper on the Hearth: Mormons, Myths, and the Construction of Heresy (updated ed.) by Terryl L. Givens. Paperback. Reg. $24.95, SALE $7.99. Nineteenth-century American writers frequently cast the Mormon as a stock villain in such fictional genres as mysteries, westerns, and popular romances. The Mormons were depicted as a violent and perverse people–the “viper on the hearth”–who sought to violate the domestic sphere of the mainstream. Givens is the first to reveal how popular fiction, in its attempt to deal with the sources and nature of this conflict, constructed an image of the Mormon as a religious and social “Other.” Includes a chapter with some recent developments.
  • american_crucifixionAmerican Crucifixion: The Murder of Joseph Smith and the Fate of the Mormon Church by Alex Beam. Hardback. Reg. $26.99, SALE $19.99. In American Crucifixion, Alex Beam tells how Smith went from charismatic leader to public enemy: How his most seismic revelation—the doctrine of polygamy—created a rift among his people; how that schism turned to violence; and how, ultimately, Smith could not escape the consequences of his ambition and pride.
  • menaceThe Mormon Menace: Violence and Anti-Mormonism in the Postbellum South by Patrick Q. Mason. Hardback. Reg. $29.95, SALE $9.99. Mason, a Research Associate Professor at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at Notre Dame, demonstrates that anti-Mormonism was one of the earliest vehicles for reconciliation between North and South after the Civil War and Reconstruction.  He shows how southerners turned to legislation, to religion and, most dramatically, to vigilante violence in order to vanquish this perceived threat to Christian marriage and the American republic.
  • brigham youngBrigham Young: A Concise Biography of the Mormon Moses by Ed Breslin. Hardback. Reg. $24.95, SALE $9.99. In Brigham Young, Ed Breslin distills Young’s larger-than-life story into a concise, readable biography that focuses on his most critical moments and achievements. Unlike other biographies, Breslin’s account neither whitewashes nor sensationalizes Brigham Young’s controversial life. Brigham Young is the perfect primer on Young’s vast and complicated legacy.
  • harpercollins The HarperCollins Visual Guide to the New Testament: What Archaeology Reveals about the First Christians by Jonathan L. Reed. Paperback. Reg. $24.95, SALE $9.99. This one-of-a-kind presentation of the New Testament world and its archaeological treasures provides a new, more complete understanding of the world in which Christianity was born. Through lavish photographs, architectural plans, extensive maps, and detailed charts, you can explore the landscape of Nazareth where Jesus grew up; sit at the shores of Galilee where he preached; and enter the streets and temple of Jerusalem where his ministry was fulfilled.
  • judasJudas: A Biography by Susan Gubar. Hardback. Reg. $27.95, SALE $7.99. “If Judas had not existed, God would have had to invent him. The divine script called for betrayal with a kiss, and someone had to be cast in that role. Judas, the intimate friend of the Son, became thus the indispensable collaborator of the Father and a figure of endlessly inviting ambivalence for the Western imagination. Susan Gubar has assembled a tour-de-force collection of Judas-art and Judas-literature and turned it into a Judas biography full of thought, heart, and fascination.” — Jack Miles, author of God: A Biography
  • zondervanZondervan Handbook to the History of Christianity by Jonathan Hill. Hardback. Reg. $39.99, SALE $19.99. Full of lavish full-color photographs and illustrations, the Zondervan Handbook to the History of Christianity offers a sweeping history of the Christian faith from the time of Jesus and the apostles till now. The early and later church fathers; Africa, the Middle East, and the Missions East; the Byzantine Empire; the High Middle Ages; the Reformation; Reason and Revival; Modern America and Oceania … seventeen sections cover all these and many more aspects of Christian history in vivid and engaging detail. Features include:* Comprehensive, highly readable coverage of the history of Christianity by expert contributor

    * 42 feature articles on relevant and fascinating topics such as Origen, the Inquisition, Darwinism, African church music, the great Russian novelists, and witch hunts

    * 200 full-color photos and illustrations * Maps, charts, and timelines

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