Forthcoming and Recently Published Books on Mormon and Utah History

By November 12, 2008

Ben’s great book notice on the forthcoming book on Joseph Smith got me thinking about what other books of interest are nearing publication or have been recently published dealing with Mormon History ( and a few dealing generally with Utah history).  If I miss any, please let me know and I’ll add it. If you know of any other rumored works, don’t hesitate to share.

Arthur H. Clark

Arthur H. Clark has recently published the following:

At Sword’s Point, Part 1. William P. MacKinnon. This is volume 10 of the Kingdom in the West Series

Innocent Blood: Essential Narratives of the Mountain Meadows Massacre.  Edited by David Bigler and Will Bagley. This is volume 12 of the Kingdom in the West Series.  Volume 11 will be the second part of At Sword’s Point.

Leonard J. Arrington: A Historian’s Life. Gary Topping. I’m excited to get a hold of this book and see what it presents.

Robert Clark informs us that Mormon Convert, Mormon Defector: A Scottish Immigrant in the American West, 1848-1861 by Polly Aird is due out June 2009. It will be a biography of Peter McAuslan, a Scottish convert and immigrant who ultimately left the Church and Utah.

BYU Religious Studies Center

The Religious Studies Center at BYU recently published:

-An Uncommon Pioneer: The Journals of James Henry Martineau, 1828-1918. Edited by Donald G. Godfrey and Rebecca S. Martineau-McCarty.  See a review here.

-Also recent from the RSC is The Doctrine and Covenants: Revelations in Context, edited by Andrew Hedges.

-An interesting book forthcoming from the RSC is A Land of Promise and Prophecy: Elder A. Theodore Tuttle in South America, 1960?1965. By Mark Grover.  (Chris just informed me that it’s finished, and due to be released in the next two weeks.)

Oxford University Press

-Oxford University Press, as Ben noted, has Joseph Smith Jr.: Reappraisals after Two Centuries, edited by Reid Neilson and Terryl Givens.

-Oxford, of course, recently published Massacre at Mountain Meadows by Walker, Turley, and Leonard.

Yale University Press

-Yale University Press will be publishing Matt Grow’s dissertation as “Liberty to the Downtrodden”: Thomas L. Kane, Romantic Reformer. Set for a February 2009 release. Though not exclusively a “Mormon” book, Kane famously had a long-standing relationship with the Mormons that Grow treats in this book.

University of Utah Press

-The University of Utah has Joseph Bates Noble: Polygamy and the Temple Lot Case by David L. Clark forthcoming January 2009.

-We have also heard from U of U Press that Amasa Mason Lyman, Mormon Apostle and Apostate: A Study in Dedication by Edward Leo Lyman is slated for some time in 2009.

Mellen Press

-Janet Bennion, author of Women of Principle and Desert Patriarchy has Evaluating the Effects of Polygamy on Women and Children in Four North American Mormon Fundamentalist Groups: An Anthropological Study forthcoming in December through Mellen Press.

Signature Books

Signature Books has had its forthcoming page down for a bit.  I understand that next year’s lineup will be settled on in the next few weeks.  I will update this line when that information becomes available. In the mean time, George Smith’s Nauvoo Polygamy: “But We Called It Celestial Marriage” is still due out in December.

Utah State University Press

-Recently published through Utah State University Press are, Mormonism’s Last Colonizer: The Life and Times of William H. Smart by William B. Smart

-And Place the Headstones Where They Belong: Thomas Neibaur, WWI Soldier by Sherman Fleek.

-Something relatively recently released by USU (press release here) that looks interesting was Folksongs From the Beehive State: Early Field Recordings of Utah and Mormon Music (Audiobook).

Forthcoming from USU Press are the following:

-Robert S. McPherson, Comb Ridge: The Ethnohistory of a Rock (April), “a new full-color prehistory and history of southeastern Utah that is centered on the most distinctive feature of the region’s landscape.”

-James Aton, The River Knows Everything: Desolation Canyon and the Green (April), “also a full-color history (with photographs by Dan Miller) of one of Utah’s more scenic areas. Aton, of SUU, focuses especially on the settlement and ranching frontier in this remotest of remote canyons, which splits the Tavaputs Plateau in eastern Utah.”

-LuAnn Faylor Snyder and Phillip A. Snyder, eds., Plural Marriage after the Manifesto: The Correspondence of Helen, Owen, and Avery Woodruff, 1899 to 1904, Life Writings of Frontier Women vol. 11 (April), “provides an unusual look at the internal dynamics and outward secrecy of the marriages of young apostle Abraham Owen Woodruff in the wake of his father’s manifesto.”

-Brian Cannon and Jessie Embry, eds., Utah in the Twentieth Century (May), “a collection of essays on twentieth century history by a diverse set of historians, from Susan Sessions Rugh to Douglas Alder, from Jacob Olmstead to David Lewis, from John Sillito and John McCormick to James Allen, from Jedediah Rogers to Kristen Rogers-Iverson.”

-Ronald G. Watt, The Mormon Passage of George D. Watt (July). “The title is tentative here…[Watt was] an early intellectual who was the first English convert to Mormonism, the creator of the Deseret Alphabet, editor of the Journal of Discourses, clerk to the First Presidency, antagonist to Willard Richards and ultimately Brigham Young, apostate, spiritualist, and so on.”

There are others that are possibilities for USU next year which the publisher will reveal in a few months. We’ll keep you posted.


-FARMS has or is about to publish volume 5 of Royal Skousen’s Analysis of Textual variants of the Book of Mormon.

BYU Studies

-As discussed previously, BYU Studies will produce a special volume of their journal devoted to the Mountain Meadows Massacre including documents and articles.

-BYUS will also publish a larger book of MMM documents at some point afterward.

-Also from BYU Studies, hot off the press is Art and Spirituality: The Visual Culture of Christian Faith, edited by Herman du Toit and Doris R. Dant. From the publisher: “This book is a compilation of papers delivered at the 2006 Art, Belief, Meaning Symposium at the Museum of Art at BYU. Art and Spirituality is in the process of being distributed to bookstores and should appear on our web site ( under products and books) in a week or so.”

-Also from BYU Studies,  The Joseph Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith Family: A Family Process Analysis of a Nineteenth-Century Household by Kyle R. Walker.  According to the publisher, the book will be in bookstores in about a month or less. “[Walker] uses five family process concepts–cohesion, resiliency, religiosity, conflict management, and family work and recreation–to examine historical sources that identify how the Smith family operated.”

-Also from BYUS, due March 2009, is Discoveries: Two Centuries of Poems by Mormon Women compiled and edited by Susan Elizabeth Howe and Sheree Maxwell Bench.  “Discoveries highlights poems that trace Mormon women’s life experiences from creation through childbirth, youth, marriage, motherhood, aging, death, and entrance into eternity. This second edition, printed in full color, includes two additional poems (on infertility and motherhood) and updated biographical sketches of the poets.”

Finally, BYU Studies is publishing this year the thesis of JI guest blogger Janiece Johnson, “Give Up All and Follow Your Lord”: Testimony and Exhortation in Early Mormon Women’s Letters, 1831-1839.

Cedar Fort

-Cedar Fort has reprinted E. Dale Lebaron’s Benjamin F. Johnson: Friend to the Prophets, hitherto somewhat pricey for an out of print hardcover edition (trust me, my wallet knows).

Simon and Schuster

-Simon and Schuster recently published Devil’s Gate: Brigham Young and the Great Mormon Handcart Tragedy by David Roberts.

-They also have American Exodus: Epic Story of the First Mormons by Randy Roberts due out in March 2009.


Routledge is publishing a dissertation by Megan Sanborg Jones, Performing American Identity in Anti-Mormon Melodrama, release date set for April 2009.


There have been recent reprints of some classic biographies:

-George Q. Cannon’s The Life of Joseph Smith, the Prophet

The Life of Brigham Young; or, Utah and Her Founders by Edward W. Tullidge,

The Life of John Taylor by B. H. Roberts

Wilford Woodruff: History of His Life and Labors as Recorded in His Daily Journals by Matthias F. Cowley

-As well as the Times and Seasons set.

University of Illinois Press

-The University of Illinois Press continues to be a friend of Mormon Studies and recently published softbound editions of Kathryn Daynes’ More Wives Than One and Jeffrey Nichols’ Prostitution, Polygamy, and Power. A softbound edition of Ian Kimball’s Sports in Zion is expected in 2009.

The University of Oklahoma Press

UOP will publish a softcover edition of Richard Bennett’s We’ll Find the Place: The Mormon Exodus, 1846-1848, due March 2009.

Scarecrow Press

Will publish the third edition of The Historical Dictionary of Mormonism by Davis Bitton and Tom Alexander.

Greg Kofford Books

Kofford has a number of books forthcoming.

-Recently released is the second edition, revised and enlarged of Mormon Polygamous Families: Life in the Principle by Jessie Embry.

Also expected soon are the following:

Hearken O Ye People: The Historical Setting of Joseph Smith’s Ohio Revelations by Mark L. Staker (December 2008)

-The second edition of Mormon Thunder: A Documentary History of Jedediah Morgan Grant by Gene Sessons

-A reprint of Andrew Jenson’s LDS Biographical Encyclopedia

The History of the Mormons in Argentina by Nestor Curbelo, translated into English.

-Finally, The Development of Mormon Theology by Charles Harrell (March 2009).

Deseret Book

-Deseret Book recently published Steven Harper’s Making Sense of the Doctrine and Covenants: A Guided Tour Through Modern Revelations.  Designed for a general audience, I’ve heard it’s a helpful book.

-DB has also produced recently a leatherette set of The History of the Church.  I inspected these books not too long ago. They look nice enough, but I’m a little leery of the quality of the bindings.

Publisher Forthcoming

-I have word that Brittany Chapman is editing the life writings of Ruth May Fox, though I don’t believe a publisher has been settled on yet.

John Whitmer Books

We have word from John Hamer of John Whitmer Books that they have a number of great reads coming up.

-First, JWB has republished the first 6 volumes of the JWHA Journal with volumes 1-3 in one book and 4-6 in another. This will be welcomed news to those, like me, who have wanted to complete a run of the JWHA Journal.  John has informed us that the entire run will be available at a steep discount starting early next year, his contact info is here for further information.

Just available this week from JWB are:

House of the Lord: The Story of Kirtland Temple by Barbara Walden and Lachlan MacKay and,

Emma’s Family edited by Ron Romig, a companion volume to Emma’s Nauvoo also edited by Romig.

Forthcoming in the next year from JWB are:

-Lost Apostles: Forgotten Members of the Original Mormon Twelve by William Shepard and H. Michael Marquardt.  Which will have biographies of Thomas B. Marsh, William E. McLellin, Luke S. Johnson, William Smith, John F. Boynton, and Lyman E. Johnson, and provide historical context for their separation with the main body of Mormonism.

-Also The Strangites: Histories of the Great Lakes Mormons, a compilation of articles on the Strangite movement, edited by John Hamer and Vickie Speek.

-Also, An Illustrated History of Nauvoo by Steven L. Shields.  “This will be similar to the Kirtland Temple book, i.e., primarily for tourists, with new color maps and photos, but also good history.”

-Finally, another hopeful for next year from JWB is Hanging by a Thread: Joseph Smith and the White Horse Prophecy by Newell G. Bringhurst and Craig L. Foster.

The Church Historian’s Press

Last, but not least, the first volume in the Diaries series of the Joseph Smith Papers is due at the end of the month.  Volume 1 of the Revelations series and volume 1 of the Histories series are due next year. Three cheers!!

Rumor Alert (Accuracy not guaranteed)

I have heard it rumored that Leo Lyman is working on an edition of the Abraham Cannon Diaries. I’ve also heard that editions of the diaries of Brigham Young, David O. McKay, James E. Talmage, and Ernest Wilkinson are also in the works, but I don’t know anything about time tables or if they are really being worked on.


Though not quite “forthcoming”, I have been working on and off for the last few years on an edition of the diaries of Anthony W. Ivins.  With everything else I have going on, I hope to get it done someday.

The future of publications in Mormon history is certainly bright. Happy reading!


  1. My goodness, what a feast of fat things.

    Everybody wondering what to give me for Christmas this year may safely select from this list. 🙂 (really, REALLY big 🙂 )

    Comment by Ardis Parshall — November 12, 2008 @ 10:36 pm

  2. Awesome work…I’ll have some more comments later, but a while ago I saw the Abraham Cannon diaries slated for release by Signature. That was a while ago, and don’t know where the project stands though.

    Comment by J. Stapley — November 12, 2008 @ 11:21 pm

  3. #1, Wine on the lees?

    J, I have that under “Rumor Alert” since I don’t have any hard intel on it.

    Comment by Jared T — November 13, 2008 @ 12:42 am

  4. Impressive list, Jared; makes me wish I wasn’t a poor student…

    Comment by Ben — November 13, 2008 @ 1:46 am

  5. Thanks Jared, the book reviews by themselves will be difficult to keep up with.

    Comment by Steve Fleming — November 13, 2008 @ 2:14 am

  6. Jared, thanks much; a very helpful list.

    Comment by Rob Briggs — November 13, 2008 @ 5:08 am

  7. Jared, nice work … filling the gap left by the demise of Justin’s Mormon Wasp blog. It wouldn’t be hard to put some of these upcoming titles in the sidebar.

    Comment by Dave — November 13, 2008 @ 8:23 am

  8. Thanks, Jared.

    Comment by David G. — November 13, 2008 @ 9:20 am

  9. Absolutely awesome. Great work.

    Comment by Randy B. — November 13, 2008 @ 10:16 am

  10. Nice list, Jared. Thanks.

    A few other titles I’ve run across:

    Historical Dictionary of Mormonism (Bitton and Alexander)(3d. ed.)

    American Exodus: The Epic Story of the First Mormons (Randy Roberts)

    Performing American Identity in Anti-Mormon Melodrama (published dissertation)

    Sports in Zion (Kimball) (pb.)

    We’ll Find the Place: The Mormon Exodus, 1846-1848 (Bennett)(pb.)

    I hear that Terryl Givens is publishing A Very Short Introduction to the Book of Mormon for OUP.

    Comment by Justin — November 13, 2008 @ 10:30 am

  11. Thanks, Justin! I’ll add those to the list.

    Comment by Jared T — November 13, 2008 @ 10:35 am

  12. USU’s doing a bang-up job. I was a bit disappointed in their choice for the last installment of the Life Writings series; this one appears a lot more promising. Chapman’s Ruth May Fox volume would be a great addition to that series. I am also looking forward to Ron’s bio of George Watt. It should be wonderful.

    Polly’s book should be interesting as well; it is the story of one of her ancestors and I know that she has put loads of work into it.

    Random question: is Grandin still in business? Their website has been down for some time.

    Comment by J. Stapley — November 13, 2008 @ 10:48 am

  13. You know, I don’t much about We?ll Find the Place. Is it good?

    Comment by J. Stapley — November 13, 2008 @ 10:56 am

  14. #12, Grandin Book was (is?) run by Lyndon Cook as I’m sure you know. The last thing to come out of there was in 2006, Margaret Emma Peery; Vacation Diary, 1926 edited by Cook. I got this from the BYU Library catalog.

    #13, I haven’t read it, but I’ve always heard good things when it comes up.

    Comment by Jared T — November 13, 2008 @ 11:10 am

  15. My unreliable sources also tell me that the long suppressed second volume of Kishkuman Cooper’s magnum opus, [Censored by JI filter] Life of Brigham Young, should be published soon.

    I also hear that the follow-up to volume 3 of The Teachings of President Brigham Young (Collier), volume 16 of The Teachings of President Brigham Young, should be out soon.

    Comment by Justin — November 13, 2008 @ 11:14 am

  16. Justin, you’re referring to this gem. I’ve read portions and found it entirely inappropriate, but totally hilarious! Even more unexpected since the author, “Kishkumen Cooper” was otherwise serious book writer E. Cecil McGavin.

    Comment by Jared T — November 13, 2008 @ 11:22 am

  17. Jared:
    Such a great list. How did you track them all down? I just wanted to clarify one particular group that you mentioned. The facsimile reprints of the first four presidents of the Church are only available in a set not individually.
    Also, another book that will be out this month is Silencing Mormon Polygamy: Failed Persecutions, Divided Saints, & The Rise of Mormon Fundamentalism, vol. 1 by Drew Briney. Published by Hindsight Publications. It should be available in both cloth and paper. He also compiled Understanding Adam God Teachings. He and his friend David Dye have several titles set to be released next year but no firm dates or titles.

    Comment by Benchmark — November 13, 2008 @ 12:55 pm

  18. J., We?ll Find the Place is typical Bennett. Lots of solid archival material, but written from a very pro-Mormon point of view. It was published initially by Deseret Books for the 1997 celebrations.

    I like the book and find it useful. I think it’ll always be judged in relation to Stegner’s The Gathering of Zion, which is of course beautifully written but completely lacking in documentation. I’m not sure how much we can really infer from this, but Brian Cannon assigns Stegner rather than Bennett in the Utah survey course.

    Comment by David G. — November 13, 2008 @ 12:58 pm

  19. Silencing Mormon Polygamy: Failed Persecutions, Divided Saints, & The Rise of Mormon Fundamentalism, vol. 1 by Drew Briney

    Huh. Does anyone know more about this Briney guy? I’m not holding my breath (based on the publisher and Briney’s previous title) that it’ll be any more scholarly than Brian Hales’ work (not that I have big complaints about Hales, but his work is of uneven quality).

    Comment by David G. — November 13, 2008 @ 1:01 pm

  20. Benchmark,

    Thanks for that clarification and for the note about the Briney book. Who or what has been doing those reprints?

    David, based on the Understanding Adam-God Teachings book, you’re right not to hold your breath. That book, while seeming to be extensively researched was horribly annotated and though the organization had its purpose, I didn’t find it particularly useful.

    I’m assuming this book on polygamy (from the title and from his A-G Book) is meant to be a Fundamentalist (apologist) counterpoint to Hales’ history of Mormon Fundamentalism which is certainly not pro-Fundamentalist. I’ll be interested to see what kinds of sources he uses and if there will be anything new brought out. Apparently he has enough for a volume 2 someday.

    Comment by Jared T — November 13, 2008 @ 1:13 pm

  21. I just thought I would shamelessly plug this since we’re on the subject of forthcoming works in Mormon Studies. I’m editing a festschrift for BYU Philosophy Professor David Paulsen, tentatively entitled Sowing the Fields of the Peacemakers: Essays on Mormon Philosophy and Theology in Honor of David L. Paulsen. It will ultimately contain (hopefully) over 20 essays by both LDS and non-LDS scholars on topics covering a wide range of issues in Mormon philosophy and theology. I’ve already received a few of the papers and with luck will ultimately receive papers from everyone who has committed to the project in order to have it published sometime next year or early 2010. Greg Kofford Books is the publisher.

    Comment by Jacob B. — November 13, 2008 @ 1:24 pm

  22. Any news on the 2d ed. of Words of Joseph Smith?

    Comment by BHodges — November 13, 2008 @ 1:31 pm

  23. Ah, that sounds very interesting, Jacob. Thanks.

    Comment by BHodges — November 13, 2008 @ 1:32 pm

  24. A couple of David Dye’s volumes were reviewed in the last JMH and didn’t appear to be particularly, scholarly.

    Comment by J. Stapley — November 13, 2008 @ 1:56 pm

  25. Jacob, if you’re hoping for ’09 or ’10, and given what I know of the publisher, then I’ll look for it in 2020 ;). BTW, is your blog basically defunct, or are you going to revive it?

    Comment by David G. — November 13, 2008 @ 2:16 pm

  26. Here’s a Readers Report UofOK used to determine whether to issue Bennett in paperback.

    AUTHOR Richard Bennett
    TITLE “We’ll Find the Place”

    What are the purposes, main arguments, and conclusions of the manuscript?

    The Mormon migration to the Great Basin in the late 1840s is an American epic of Biblical proportions. Richard E. Bennett, one of the most able and productive active Mormon historians, sets out to tell this tale from the perspective of a believer, and his success is a tribute to both his professionalism and his faith. In many ways We’ll Find the Place is a sequel to his earlier work, Mormons at the Missouri, which after almost twenty years still remains the best work on the religion’s desperate days at Winter Quarters in today’s Nebraska. In this companion work, Bennett argues convincingly that the very survival of this new religious movement was at stake when Brigham Young led his followers into Iowa in February 1846. He sees the Mormon Exodus of 1846 to 1848 as the dangerous bridge between the faith’s turbulent past in the East and its bright future in the West, “a pathway laid at considerable sacrifice and breathtaking risk.” (359) The outcome of this bold gamble was always in question, and Bennett credits its successful resolution to Brigham Young’s dynamic leadership and the deep and remarkable faith of the Mormon people.

    Is the manuscript a contribution to the field? Why? (Does it present new concepts, data, and the like?)

    Bennett has taken a very old story that has been told and retold as a faith-promoting odyssey by generations of Mormon historians and as an American drama by such skilled writers as Dale Morgan, Bernard DeVoto, and Wallace Stegner. But this is no shopworn retelling of an old legend: as a devout insider, Bennett perceives fundamental issues such as whether Mormonism would survive its trial by fire, or if anyone could take the place of Joseph Smith as president, prophet, seer, and revelator. His treatment of these critical questions is insightful and his command of the primary sources is more than impressive, it is astonishing.

    Is the scholarship sound?

    This work’s scholarship is better than sound: it’s first rate. Not only has Bennett unearthed a wealth of previously unknown or ignored Mormon sources, he has done an admirable survey of the archival sources of overland travel, which helps the book set this story in its proper place in American rather than merely repeating a parochial history. The book is filled with previously unpublished gems from Mormon archives: the description of the flag of the Kingdom of God on page 191 is worth the price of the book. Bennett’s honesty in addressing many tough issues reflects his integrity as a historian, but perhaps due to his publisher’s objections he occasionally skates by a significant and interesting fact that might embarrass “the faithful” -for example, the Mormon leadership’s decision to start west from Nauvoo in the middle of winter (which had disastrous consequences) might well have reflected their desire to get an early start so they could send advance parties ahead to plant grain, but they were all under a federal indictment for counterfeiting, which probably had something to do with this baffling blunder.

    Is the manuscript well written?

    Yes. Almost always, Richard Bennett’s We’ll Find the Place tells an epic American story with the narrative drive of Bernard DeVoto, the depth of research of Dale L. Morgan, and the religious insight of his mentor, Leonard Arrington.

    If published, would the manuscript face direct competition from existing publications? If so, please identify these publications. Does the manuscript overlap with these publications? If so, how?

    There are recent related books, such as Michael N. Landon’s and William W. Slaughter’s Trail of Hope: The Story of the Mormon Trail (Salt Lake City: Shadow Mountain, 1997), Ronald O. Barney’s recent The Mormon Vanguard Brigade of 1847: Norton Jacob’s Record (Logan: Utah State University Press, 2005). and even Will Bagley’s The Pioneer Camp of the Saints: The 1846 and 1847 Mormon Trail Journals of Thomas Bullock (Spokane, Washington: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 1997), but the only work that might directly compete with Bennett’s We’ll Find the Place is Stegner’s Gathering of Zion. However, Bennett’s excellent research moves the story far ahead of Stegner’s classic and should find an enduring market among Mormon and trail history buffs.

    Remarks (The author and the Press would welcome your suggestions for strengthening the manuscript. Where possible, please be specific. Attach a separate sheet if necessary.)

    A story this complex is bound to have pitfalls, and neither Bennett’s original referees nor his publisher served him well in identifying them. The repeated characterization of the Mormon survey of the Salt Lake Valley in 1847 as a “discovery” is disconcerting given Jedediah Smith’s characterization of the place as “my home in the wilderness” twenty years earlier. “Exploration” might be a better term.

    I was surprised to see Bennett conclude that Sam Brannan took the Hastings Cutoff to Salt Lake Valley on his trip east to meet Brigham Young. Brannan does not provide specific information about his route beyond saying “we have endured many hardships and fatigues in swimming rivers, and climbing mountains, not being able to travel the regular route owing to the high waters,” but had he traversed almost ninety miles of salt playa he probably would have included that ordeal on his list of hardships. Given his time on the trail and the fact that he went through Fort Hall, he must have taken the standard California Trail via Goose Creek and City of Rocks.

    See an attached list of errors that should be corrected.

    To what extent would the manuscript be useful to readers outside the main field of scholarship or to general readers?

    For scholars and general readers of Western history, there is simply no better account of the Mormon Exodus.

    I strongly recommend publication of this manuscript.

    NAME Will Bagley Signature

    Comment by Will Bagley — November 13, 2008 @ 3:15 pm

  27. Any chance the powers that be could impose a moratorium on publishing in Mormon History for the next few years, just to give some of us a chance to catch up? The volume of material regularly coming out is overwhelming!

    Comment by John Turner — November 13, 2008 @ 3:16 pm

  28. Jared,

    2 things. Ivan Nielson is the person who did the Church President Biographies reprint set, as well as Times & Seasons reprint set, and also the Millennial Star reprints of vols. 1-30, the Journal of Discourses reprint set, and also the Truth magazine reprint set.

    Second, my book, which is forthcoming from Signature Books/Smith-Pettit Foundation, titled The Kingdom of God & His Laws: A Documentary History of the Council of Fifty should be included on Signature’s site once they get their new line-up out. I’m guessing at this point that it’ll be 2010 or later for that. I submitted the final manuscript Feb. 2008, and to this point have not heard a single word back about it. Very frustrating.

    Comment by Ken P. — November 13, 2008 @ 3:22 pm

  29. Any idea on who is going to publish volume 1. of Mark A. Scherer?s new history of the Community of Christ or when that might be available?

    Comment by Tyler P. — November 13, 2008 @ 3:40 pm

  30. Tyler: Herald House Publishing (publisher for Community of Christ) is doing Scherer’s new history, and that it is in the printing process as we speak.

    Comment by Ben — November 13, 2008 @ 4:15 pm

  31. I hear that Making Sense of the Doctrine and Covenants is a must read, makes an excellent Christmas gift, and is a shoo-in for a Pulitzer Prize.

    Comment by Steve Harper — November 13, 2008 @ 5:07 pm

  32. David, #25:

    I can always count on your optimism. 😉 I agree Kofford has its problems; it does, however, put out some significant works, particularly works in genres like speculative philosophy and theology that other presses won’t touch (and it does produce some solid historical pieces as well). Here’s the clincher, though: not many presses are willing to publish festschrifts for Mormon philosophy professors (surprised? I hope not). Most presses connected to anything involving Mormonism (most of which are in Utah) don’t publish anything except what is contained under the Mormon History and Culture umbrella. In comparison Mormon philosophy and theology is almost a non-subject as far as printed material and scholarship is concerned.

    As far as my website, I’m actually working on a post right now, but starting law school puts something of a large wrench in to updating the blog. Plus, I’m actually working on another blog which is extremely different and unconventional. I’ll let you know when I’m finished.

    Comment by Jacob B. — November 13, 2008 @ 5:50 pm

  33. #31

    Can I ask why your Historical Background for what is now section 107 has the 1835 date, rather than November 1831? It is well known to historians for the past 75+ years that this section was given in parts during the Conference of the Church, held in November of 1831. From there, these separate sections were amalgamated, with additional material added by Oliver Cowdery (not Joseph Smith, as he was away from Kirtland at the time), done in 1835. Were you unaware of this, or are you intentionally covering-up history? It is hard to believe that a mistake of this magnitude can STILL be made.

    Comment by Ken P. — November 13, 2008 @ 6:27 pm

  34. Ken P., both Woodford and Cook state that Joseph Smith received verses 1 through 58 of section 107 in 1835, to which he added another 27 verses of revelation that he received in 1831. Before this revelation was published, sometime before the proofs were circulated for affirmation by the church membership at a general conference on the 17th of August, Joseph added several more verses that break from the voice of the Lord (Woodford 3:1398-1403; Cook, The Revelations of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 215-216). What are the sources that you would suggest for Cowdery bit?

    Comment by J. Stapley — November 13, 2008 @ 7:33 pm

  35. Another book coming in the not too distant future (title and exact date not known to me) is a tribute volume of Davis Bitton’s shorter pieces, to be published by BYU Studies, not as an issue of the journal but as a stand-alone volume.

    Comment by Ardis Parshall — November 13, 2008 @ 8:20 pm

  36. Stapley,

    Yes, Woodford and Cook are correct that verses 1 through 58 were the 1835 material. Your post was a bit backwards though. The 1835 material was added to the 1831 material, not vice-versa. The 1831 material was always there in the Book of Commandments. In 1835, a completely new section was created, consisting of various 1831 material from the Conference, with additional material added to the beginning from 1835. It has been long assumed that this 1835 material, as well as numerous other added material to other sections, was done by Joseph Smith. However, there is zero evidence of this. Joseph was totally out of town when Oliver added these materials, and then presented them as the 1835 Doctrine & Covenants to the Church at the Conference. All the while Joseph was unaware he was making changes, and unaware that an edition had been prepared and presented to the Church at the Conference. Joseph even stated to be aware of those who changed his revelations, and not to accept them. So it wasn’t Joseph breaking from the Lord, it was Oliver who added and took away from Joseph’s revelations. Possibly done as a way to insert contradictions which could then be used by others as proof Joseph was a fallen prophet. An example of this is can be found in the current LDS Doctrine & Covenants section 68:16-18, or 107:16-17. It states literal descendants of Aaron’s (brother of Moses) firstborn son (Nadab, see Numbers 3:2) hold a legal priesthood right to be Bishop. However, if one holds the Old Testament as accurate history or cannon of scripture, all they have to do is turn to Numbers 3:4 to find out that Aaron’s firstborn son had no children. Keep in mind this is ONE contradiction among many, again NOT made by Joseph.

    Comment by Ken P. — November 13, 2008 @ 8:49 pm

  37. So, Ken. Do you have any sort of documentation to back up your claims? Or is this simply about fundamentalist heuristics?

    Comment by J. Stapley — November 13, 2008 @ 9:23 pm

  38. Well, if you notice in my first post I was addressing Steven Harper about his book. You were the one to then ask for additional details, which I provided.

    What documentation are you asking for? The published History of the Church should be sufficient for everything; i.e., in there it states there was a Conference in 1831, which several revelations were given at, all to read in History of the Church. It also states Joseph was not in Kirtland for the printing of the revised revelations, and not in attendance in the 1835 Conference where the book of Doctrine & Covenants was presented and accepted by the Church. Additionally, there is curiously NO reference in History of the Church or in first-hand Journals stating Joseph EVER worked on “revising” his revelations for a new version; when they are replete with references to him working on revisions to the Bible and translating the Book of Abraham. He always made reference in his Journal when he worked on scriptural changes or revisions. However, the changes or revisions were NOT to include his revelations, as stated by Joseph to Oliver in 1831 when Oliver commanded Joseph to alter one of his revelations (History of the Church 1:105).

    Again, this wasn’t meant as an attack on anything or anyone. I was merely asking Harper why he was still using the 1835 date for section 107. I have NO “fundamentalist heuristics” in my agenda!

    Oliver Cowdery, and to some extent William W. Phelps and Frederick G. Williams, were the ones working in the printing office. Since, as previously stated, Joseph was not in Kirtland during the printing of the 1835 Doctrine & Covenants and still not there for the Conference presenting that book, Oliver Cowdery, William W. Phelps, and/or Frederick G. Williams were responsible for these changes.

    Comment by Ken P. — November 13, 2008 @ 10:19 pm

  39. Ken, maybe you didn’t mean anything as an attack, but reread what you wrote and its tone does not come off as a respectful inquiry. Let’s all just keep our heads about us, yes?

    I count it an honor that Dr. Harper came on to make a comment. He’s a friend and I count him as a scholar. Certainly a better one than David Dye or others I could name. Scholarship is more than just digging up odd facts and throwing them out there or even stringing them together into some sort of oddball theology. I don’t think it’s appropriate to seize on one fact and to throw out the charge of covering up history.

    Having said that, congrats on your book, we’ll be looking out for it.

    Comment by Jared T — November 13, 2008 @ 10:50 pm

  40. I should let Jared’s comment stand, it is his blog and this is a total threadjack…but…I’ll make a quick comment. It is one thing to say, “I am surprised at xyz; have you considered abc?” It something complete different to state something as well known fact that is not documented in the literature (and follow it up with bizarre metaphysical claims, with all caps bonus).

    Off the top of my head, I don’t think Joseph had much of a 1835 journal and I believe he presented the galley proofs of D&C for acceptance in the August conference.

    Comment by J. Stapley — November 13, 2008 @ 11:03 pm

  41. Jared,

    You are correct that I really didn’t mean anything as accusatory. It was an honest question to Harper. Let’s just patiently await his answer.

    Additionally, I agree that this discussion is probably more appropriate in a different venue, as this was started for Forthcoming and Recently published works. So J. Stapley, or anyone else, you are welcome to email me privately at:

    Comment by Ken P. — November 13, 2008 @ 11:27 pm

  42. I always come to these discussions late (I know, I know, everyone?s moved on, but section 107 is too fun a section to pass up). Section 107 is an 1835 text. No question about it. The revelation ?on priesthood? (as it?s titled in the 1835 D&C) does not combine the November 1831 revelation, it quotes from it: ?It is the duty of the Twelve, also, to ordain and set in order all the other officers of the church, agreeable to the revelation which says:? [and then proceeds to quote from the November 1831 revelation]. Section 107, in my view, is a set of instructions, quoting from multiple sources. Do the multiple sources make it a revelation that?s dated 1831and 1835? No, it?s an instructional text quoting earlier, authoritative texts. This is why giving section 107 an 1835 date is not misplaced or perpetuating some sort of error. (To make a very loose analogy: instruction from the First Presidency is considered revelation to some extent among Latter-day Saints. Let?s say President Monson were to give a sermon on tithing in 2008. Parts of his talk are original and parts are explicit quotes from a sermon he had given ten years previous. Would that sermon be considered a 1998 and 2008 text? Or does his original material, in addition to the decision to quote from earlier material help us understand his 2008 thinking and give us a unique 2008 text? Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, and perhaps others decided to quote from a November 1831 revelation. This helps us understand their 1835 thinking and justification despite the fact that they?re using an earlier text).
    Another issue, though, moves beyond the first 58 verses (which are not all 1835 material by the way). The remaining verses allegedly quote from a November 1831 revelation, it?s not true. They?ve significantly updated the earlier revelation. About ten of the verses from verses 59 through 100 (the alleged text of the earlier revelation) were added likely in 1835–something done to several other revelations, including section 20. Joseph Smith and others, rather than receiving separate revelations on the updated officers, quorums, and doctrine, simply added to existing revelations to make them ?current?.

    Comment by Robin Jensen — November 14, 2008 @ 11:57 am

  43. Does anyone know what happened to the 3 (or 4) volume history of Joseph Smith that was due out several years ago? I think Martha Bradley was to be the author of one of the volumes.

    Comment by larryco_ — November 14, 2008 @ 12:17 pm

  44. Thanks for stopping by Robin. It’s too bad you’re not editing the C of 50 papers. I’d be a bit more optimistic.

    Comment by David G. — November 14, 2008 @ 12:18 pm

  45. Larryco,

    I believe Signature is looking to publish the 3 volume history you are referring to. Bradley is one, Scott Kenney another and I forget the third, maybe Vogel? I never heard a timetable attached to it. Signature will be releasing its lineup for 2009 in a few weeks, so stay tuned.


    Thank you for your perspective on this.

    Comment by Jared T — November 14, 2008 @ 12:28 pm

  46. I have a few more updates to add, which I’ll do as soon as I finish an overdue book review…

    Comment by Jared T — November 14, 2008 @ 12:29 pm

  47. Jared: Van Wagoner (sp?) is the third, covering up to 1830.

    Comment by Ben — November 14, 2008 @ 12:31 pm

  48. Robin, thanks for you excellent perspective.

    I think the hold-up on the Signature JS bio was Kenny (didn’t he once comment here to that effect?).

    Comment by J. Stapley — November 14, 2008 @ 1:20 pm

  49. Comment 20 on this thread has Kenny’s comment concerning the trilogy.

    Comment by Ben — November 14, 2008 @ 1:28 pm

  50. David G.,

    It’s too bad you have already judged my work without even having seen it. That is really classic, really. I guess I can just delete the endorsement of my work in the form of it’s Foreword by one Klaus Hansen, since your expert opinion is far better. Apparently this really is the “juvenile” instructor. I’ll take my discussions to much loftier plans from now on.

    Ken P.

    Comment by Ken P. — November 14, 2008 @ 3:44 pm

  51. Ken,

    I’d actually like to see you engage what Robin Jensen has put up about the issue since you raised it to begin with. I’m inclined to find his analysis more convincing.

    We can keep this relevant to the thread by talking about this in the context of what this has to do with how forthcoming volumes of the JSP will be dealing with the issue.

    Comment by Jared T — November 14, 2008 @ 3:53 pm

  52. I guess I can just delete the endorsement of my work in the form of it?s Foreword by one Klaus Hansen, since your expert opinion is far better.

    Hahahahahahahaha. Klaus Hansen? Really? That’s the best you can do? Hahahahahaha.

    Comment by Patrick — November 14, 2008 @ 3:57 pm

  53. Is that Patrick Bishop? “P”atrick as in pot and “B”ishop as in black? Targeting “K”laus as in kettle?

    Comment by Curious Minds — November 14, 2008 @ 4:03 pm

  54. Different Patrick. Sorry.

    Comment by Patrick — November 14, 2008 @ 4:06 pm

  55. Ken, given your comments on this thread concerning basic issues of textual criticism and documentary editing, as well as your lack of professionalism in dealing with scholars that actually have academic credentials, you’ll forgive me for not having much confidence in your abilities. Perhaps your book, whenever it actually gets published, will change my mind. Oh, and while I respect Hansen for his historiographical contributions on the 50 during the 1960s, his work on the topic is not exactly cutting edge these days.

    Comment by David G. — November 14, 2008 @ 4:15 pm

  56. Thank you Jared T, Ben, and J. Stapley for the info on the trilogy. I, personally, am glad that Van Wagoner is the third author. A little too much of an agenda comes out in Vogel’s writing.

    Comment by larryco_ — November 14, 2008 @ 4:30 pm

  57. Anybody mention David Roberts,? Devils Gate, Brigham Young and the Handcart Tragedy” Interesting non-LDS viewpoint.

    Comment by PJD — November 17, 2008 @ 8:34 pm

  58. Check the original post, PJD.

    Comment by J. Stapley — November 17, 2008 @ 8:45 pm

  59. With the publication of Topping’s Arrington bio, does anyone know the status of Gary Prince’s rumored Arrington bio?

    Comment by Bret — November 18, 2008 @ 1:40 am

  60. Of course I meant Gregory Prince above 🙂

    Comment by Bret — November 18, 2008 @ 1:41 am

  61. Megan Jones is great. Too bad it got priced for libraries–I’ve spoken to her about the book, and it sounds like great fun. And I can confirm the very short BoM from Givens, which looks to be nice (I think it’s close to galleys).

    Comment by smb — November 18, 2008 @ 8:51 am

  62. David Roberts book on the ’56 handcart migration was interesting but it appears Roberts entire intent was to place blame squarely on someones shoulders …..and in this book his gun is aimed directly at BY.

    Comment by Corn Duck — November 25, 2008 @ 3:16 pm

  63. Corn Duck,

    Thanks for the report. I’ve heard as much so far. We should have a review up here at some point. Stay tuned 🙂

    Comment by Jared T — November 26, 2008 @ 3:08 am

  64. Anybody who reviews David Roberts’s Devil’s Gate should start with page 335. 8)

    /s/ Shameless

    Comment by Ardis Parshall — November 26, 2008 @ 9:28 am

  65. Roberts makes some really off the wall comments like “For Mormons, Pioneer Day ranks above Christmas”.
    He also relies heavily on Krakhauer and Brodie.

    There is a review on Amazon that really hits the mark,

    Comment by Corn Duck — November 26, 2008 @ 6:34 pm

  66. Sorry,
    Wrong Link.

    It should be:

    Comment by Corn Duck — November 26, 2008 @ 6:35 pm

  67. […] books, which I’ll post here for your reference. This is the latest fulfillment from the forthcoming list I made last year.  I’m pleased to see this biography of such an important figure and hope […]

    Pingback by Juvenile Instructor » Book Notice/Book Signing: Amasa Mason Lyman, Mormon Apostle and Apostate, A Study in Dedication by Edward Leo Lyman — July 10, 2009 @ 9:01 am


    Comment by julio — October 30, 2009 @ 8:39 pm

  69. Amigo, no tenemos informacion sobre esa persona, ni sabemos quien es y seguro que no hay solo un “Randy Roberts”. Sentimos, pero no podemos ser de ayuda. Buena suerte.

    Comment by Jared T — October 30, 2009 @ 8:54 pm

  70. Gracias por contestarme el nombre de la persona que necesito contactar es Christopher Randy Roberts y viviria en Texas otro dato no tengo, se que el objetivo de esta pagina es el comentario de un libro, pido disculpas por usar este medio para mi busqueda,por cierto no leo ni escribo en ingles
    muy agradecido

    Comment by juliio — November 10, 2009 @ 2:50 pm

  71. No hay porque disculparse, Julio, gracias por visitarnos. Lamento que no podemos ser de mejor ayuda.

    Comment by Jared T — November 10, 2009 @ 3:53 pm

  72. That looks like a really comprehensive list of resources. Thanks for compiling all of the information.

    Comment by Gramj — October 4, 2010 @ 9:24 am


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