Gary Bergera (Justice and Mercy), 9/7/22

Wednesday, Sep 07, 2022




We are excited to announce that Gary Bergera will be here Wednesday, September 7 to speak about Justice & Mercy: Studies of Transgression in the Latter-day Saint Community. He will be here from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., will speak at 6:00, and 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.

Nearly since its founding, leaders of the LDS Church have excommunicated members for wrongdoing. In earlier times, such punishments might have lasted only weeks. Over the course of succeeding decades, this practice became more severe, constituting a wrenching removal from the community. Gaining readmittance often required intense penance and evidence of significant change stretching over a prolonged period of time. Sometimes this process even involved the leaders' colleagues.

Justice and Mercy offers in-depth examinations of several high-profile case studies in church discipline—such as Albert Carrington, Richard R. Lyman and patriarch Joseph F. Smith (expanded versions of essays that appeared previously in the Journal of Mormon History)—using journals and other sources close to the participants to provide candid detail. In addition, Lavina Fielding Anderson provides a characteristically moving account of what excommunication means, based in part on twentieth century data. An annotated list of published excommunications reveals that such action was taken based on everything from not accepting ward teachers to continued plural marriage. Other appendices provide detail for how church courts functioned in the Salt Lake Stake for the years just before and after the 1890 Manifesto and document the explosive story of the Hunsaker family in 1890s Honeyville, with the back and forth accusations of a sexual nature.

Justice & Mercy: Studies of Transgression in the Latter-day Saint Community. Lane-shine-house. 281pp. Paperback—$24.95/Hardback—$39.95. Click here to purchase.

Gary James Bergera is the managing director of the Smith-Pettit Foundation. He is author/co-author or editor/co-editor of seven books. Most recently, he edited the diaries of Leonard J. Arrington, published in three volumes as Confessions of a Mormon Historian. His publications have received awards from the Mormon History Association, the Utah Historical Society, and the Dialogue Foundation. He currently serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Mormon History and the John Whitmer Historical Association Journal. He is the 2018 recipient of the Leonard J. Arrington lifetime achievement award from the Mormon History Association.

Also by Gary Bergera

Confessions of a Mormon Historian: The Diaries of Leonard J. Arrington, 1971–1999, 3 vols. Signature Books, 2018. Hardcover. $150.00

Conflict in the Quorum: Orson Pratt, Brigham Young, Joseph Smith. Signature Books, 2002. Hardcover. $25.95

Joseph Smith's Quorum of the Anointed, 1842–1843: A Documentary History. Signature Books, 2005. Hardcover. $39.95

Nauvoo Endowment Companies, 1845–1846: A Documentary History. Signature Books, 2005. Hardcover. $39.95

Shipping: $5.00 for the first book—inquire for rates on multiple book orders

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