What is the Best Book Title in Mormon History?

By February 22, 2008

Ed Blum over at Religion in American History asks

[W]hat are the best titles in American religious history? Not the best books, but the best literary titles – and why.

I want to ask the same question here, but adapted to a Mormon history context. What does everyone think?

Article filed under Polls/Surveys


  1. Is Kissing Sinful?

    Wait, maybe that’s the worst.

    Comment by Steve M — February 22, 2008 @ 2:49 pm

  2. “In Sacred Loneliness”. After reading the book, the title becomes apparent.

    Comment by larryco_ — February 22, 2008 @ 3:37 pm

  3. I don’t know if they’re the best, but I think No Man Knows My History and Equal Rites are both great titles (though neither is, in my opinion, a top-notch book).

    Comment by Christopher — February 22, 2008 @ 4:01 pm

  4. I’m having trouble thinking of a really great title, but I do like the way Quest for Empire and Quest for Refuge stand as titular historiographical counterpoints (which was, of course, Marvin Hill’s intention).

    Comment by SC Taysom — February 22, 2008 @ 4:19 pm

  5. Bushman’s initial title for RSR and his answer for Brodie (take that, DKL)

    You Never Knew My Heart

    Comment by David G. — February 22, 2008 @ 4:21 pm

  6. Polygamy was better than monotony, (1972) by Paul Bailey

    Never read it, but love the title

    Comment by NorthboundZax — February 22, 2008 @ 4:31 pm

  7. Mormonism for Dummies.

    Comment by Patrick — February 22, 2008 @ 4:51 pm

  8. God’s Country, Uncle Sam’s Land, by Todd Kerstetter


    Sojourner in the Promised Land: 40 Years Among the Mormons

    Comment by David G. — February 22, 2008 @ 5:00 pm

  9. A few more I like:

    The Angel and the Beehive, All Abraham’s Children, No Ma’am, That’s Not History, Tinkling Symbols and Sounding Brass, On the Way to Somewhere Else: European Sojourners in the Mormon West, 1834-1930.

    Comment by Christopher — February 22, 2008 @ 5:09 pm

  10. Waiting For World’s End: The Diaries of Wilford Woodruff. Evokes the very real millennial hopes of nineteenth-century Mormons.

    Comment by Brandon — February 22, 2008 @ 5:55 pm

  11. No comment on the content, but how about —

    Mormonism Unveiled

    Nightfall at Nauvoo

    Comment by Randy B. — February 22, 2008 @ 5:59 pm

  12. Randy’s reference to Nightfall at Nauvoo reminded me of the original title of Sam Taylor’s bio of John Taylor, The Kingdom or Nothing.

    Comment by David G. — February 22, 2008 @ 6:07 pm

  13. Some others —

    Mormon Thunder

    Man of God, Son of Thunder

    Lion of the Lord

    Wild Ram of the Mountains

    On the Potter’s Wheel

    Comment by Randy B. — February 22, 2008 @ 6:10 pm

  14. I like:

    Orrin Porter Rockwell: Man of God, Son of Thunder
    Prophet of Blood: The Untold Story of Ervil LeBaron and the Lambs of God
    The Saintly Scoundrel
    Viper on the Hearth

    I also love some of the anti-Mormon titles of the 1800s.

    Comment by Justin — February 22, 2008 @ 6:26 pm

  15. Re: Randy B. (#11) Mormonism Unveiled

    Mormonism Unvailed is waaaay better.

    Comment by Christopher — February 22, 2008 @ 6:28 pm

  16. Justin’s right about anti-Mormon titles

    A favorite of mine is Uncle Sam’s Abscess, or Hell Upon Earth

    Comment by Randy B. — February 22, 2008 @ 6:35 pm

  17. Sisters and Little Saints

    Comment by Mark IV — February 22, 2008 @ 6:43 pm

  18. Mark IV, You’re kidding, right?

    Comment by Patrick — February 22, 2008 @ 6:55 pm

  19. Joseph Smith, the First Mormon

    Comment by California Condor — February 22, 2008 @ 7:30 pm

  20. Definitely have to go with “Tennis Shoes Among the Nephites” or ANY Lynn Gardner paper-back Deseret book mystery novel. To give you a taste: “Turquoise and Terrorists” “Diamonds and Danger” “Amethysts and Arson” (This is what I got to shelve every so often in my three years at BYU Special Collections)

    I guess those aren’t really scholarly…but always a good chuckle, my friends. A good, hearty chuckle.

    Comment by Heidi — February 22, 2008 @ 7:55 pm

  21. My favorite title is “Pre-Assassination writings of Parley P. Pratt.” I’m still waiting for volume two, but I guess finding source material is a bit challenging. Oh well, I’ll keep waiting.

    Comment by Rob — February 22, 2008 @ 8:45 pm

  22. Those are classic, Heidi! You should start a worst titles thread.

    A few more good ones (in my opinion anyway), and then I promise to shut up.

    On the Ragged Edge

    One More River to Cross

    Canyons of Grace

    Comment by Randy B. — February 22, 2008 @ 8:51 pm

  23. Rob, I thought the same thing when I saw that title.

    Comment by SC Taysom — February 22, 2008 @ 9:23 pm

  24. I liked

    Brigham Young: American Moses by Arrington

    Comment by JonW — February 23, 2008 @ 12:24 am

  25. I like Doves and Serpents.

    Comment by J. Stapley — February 23, 2008 @ 12:51 pm

  26. I’ve never read it, but I’ve always been amused by the title Mormonism’s Temple of Doom. Hey, if Indiana Jones can have one . . .

    Comment by Lynnette — February 25, 2008 @ 1:03 pm

  27. Titles:

    “Rough Stone Rolling” – so concise yet descriptive.

    “Nibley on the Timely and the Timeless” – my favorite title ever for many reasons

    “Jesus the Christ” – simply for the audacity

    Comment by Ray — February 25, 2008 @ 5:37 pm

  28. When I lived in Alabama, I used to laugh at the anti-Mormon titles in the local Christian book store. I wish I could remember some of the titles, because there were some hilarious ones.

    Of all time, “Captured by the Mormons” is my favorite anti-Mormon title.

    Comment by Ray — February 25, 2008 @ 5:38 pm

  29. Ray, I’m not challenging you, but I’m failing to see what is so audacious about calling Jesus “the Christ.”

    Comment by Christopher — February 25, 2008 @ 5:49 pm

  30. I really like The Angel and the Beehive, for its symbolism. Viper on the Hearth is another good title. I can’t think of any that have yet to be mentioned.

    Comment by BHodges — February 25, 2008 @ 5:56 pm


Recent Comments

Ben S on CFP at BYU Studies:: “Some clarifying comments here. https://benspackman.com/2019/10/23/byu-studies-evolution-and-faith-some-clarification/”

Smb on Reassessing the Classics: Armand: “Armand is a wise and lovely man who deserves these kind words. I absolutely agree that his books were key entries in the scholar’s library…”

J Stuart on Reassessing the Classics: Armand: “Armand, your response made me unexpectedly emotional. Your work has shaped me as a scholar in many important ways, but your legendary willingness to engage…”

Ardis E. Parshall on Reassessing the Classics: Armand: “I've enjoyed these three discussions -- crowned by this response by Armand Mauss himself. It is so representative of his ability and willingness to interact…”

Blair Hodges on Reassessing the Classics: Armand: “Thank you for your lasting contributions to Mormon Studies, Armand.”

Mirror on Reassessing the Classics: Armand: “These have been interesting posts about a major work in Mormon Studies. If I may boil down my understanding of Mauss' thesis to a…”