Joseph Smith / Emma Hale Smith
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.
Joseph Smith: The First Mormon - Donna Hill
One of four major biographies of Joseph Smith, Donna Hill’s award-winning book is the most comprehensive. Hill cautiously rejects the simplistic reductionism of either/or characterizations in favor of a broader, more humanistic view that takes Smith on his own terms as both prophet and as man.
Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling - Richard Lyman Bushman
Founder of the largest indigenous Christian church in American history, Joseph Smith published the 584-page Book of Mormon when he was twenty-three and went on to organize a church, found cities, and attract thousands of followers before his violent death at age thirty-eight. Richard Bushman, an esteemed cultural historian and a practicing Mormon, moves beyond the popular stereotype of Smith as a colorful fraud to explore his personality, his relationships with others, and how he received revelations.
Joseph Smith: The Making of a Prophet - Dan Vogel
Rarely does a biographer capture the sense of being in a different time and mindset to the extent that readers feel they are reliving events through the eyes of the biographer’s subject. This is the skill of Dan Vogel—after twenty-five years of researching Joseph Smith’s life and publishing on such related issues as Seekerism, the Book of Mormon, views of Smith’s contemporaries about Indian origins, and the existing documents pertaining to Smith family experiences.
Joseph Smith's 1828-1843 Revelations - H. Michael Marquardt
Joseph Smith (1805-1844), was the founding prophet of Mormonism. Smith claimed revelations and established his church in Manchester, Ontario County, New York (USA). Most of the early revelations were written for his followers. To understand Mormonism it is necessary to know something about its founder. His stories and revelations are the bases of this movement. From Smith comes the religious authority for all fragments of the Latter-day Saint movement.
Mormon Enigma - Linda King Newell & Valeen Tippetts Avery
Emma Smith did not document her life in a diary or journal. This book is a biographical reconstruction of Emma Smith’s life from documents and evidence other than the few letters and one page of blessings she left behind.
No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith - Fawn M. Brodie
The first paperback edition of the classic biography of the founder of the Mormon church, this book attempts to answer the questions that continue to surround Joseph Smith. Was he a genuine prophet, or a gifted fabulist who became enthralled by the products of his imagination and ended up being martyred for them?
Personal Writings of Joseph Smith - Dean C. Jessee
The problem of understanding who Joseph Smith was, what his personality was like, is not so hopeless, but nevertheless real. For while the Mormon prophet produced a sizable collection of papers, the question remains as to how clearly they reflect his own thoughts and personality.
The Prophet Puzzle: Interpretive Essays on Joseph Smith - Bryan Waterman
Unraveling the complexities of Joseph Smith’s character and motives is difficult, but before the puzzle can be solved, all the pieces must be gathered and correctly interpreted. In pursuing the prophet puzzle, contributors seek to understand Joseph Smith, not to judge him, knowing that he is an enigma for believer and skeptic alike. As non-Mormon historian Jan Shipps, a contributor to this collection, observes, “The mystery of Mormonism cannot be solved until we solve the mystery of Joseph Smith.”
This book contains a full collection of Joseph Smith’s Nauvoo discourses in the mature and climatic years of his life – many have never been published. They are reproduced in this book in exact fidelity to their original written sources in diaries and journals, including spelling and grammatical deviations.
Book of Mormon / Book of Abraham
American Apocrypha: Essays on the Book of Mormon - Dan Vogel & Brent Metcalfe
Editors Dan Vogel and Brent Metcalfe have chosen essays by authors who represent a wide range of disciplines and perspectives: Robert Price edits the Journal of Higher Criticism; Thomas Murphy chairs the anthropology department at Edmonds Community College; David Wright teaches Hebrew Bible at Brandeis University. They are joined by Scott C. Dunn, Edwin Firmage, Jr., George D. Smith, and Susan Staker – all of whom explore what can be reasonably asserted about the Book of Mormon as scripture.
The Book of Mormon: The Earliest Text - Royal Skousen
Over the past twenty-one years, editor Royal Skousen has pored over Joseph Smith’s original manuscripts and identified more than 2,000 textual errors in the 1830 edition. Although most of these discrepancies stem from inadvertent errors in copying and typesetting the text, the Yale edition contains about 600 corrections that have never appeared in any standard edition of the Book of Mormon, and about 250 of them affect the text’s meaning. Skousen’s corrected text is a work of remarkable dedication and will be a landmark in American religious scholarship.
By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus: A New Look at the Joseph Smith Papyri - Charles M. Larson
A survey of the controversy surrounding Mormon founder Joseph Smith’s claim that he translated the Book of Abraham from an ancient Egyptian papyrus.
With over 100 million copies in print, the Book of Mormon has spawned a vast religious movement, but it remains little discussed outside Mormon circles. Now Terry L. Givens offers a full-length treatment of this influential work, illuminating the varied meanings and tempestuous impact of this uniquely American scripture.
The Gift and Power: Translating the Book of Mormon - Brant A. Gardner
The Book of Mormon was presented to the world as the translation of an ancient text engraved on golden plates more than 180 years ago. However, the faithful assurance that it is a translation has not had an accompanying understanding of how that translation took place. How could the ill-educated Joseph Smith translate the ancient text on the golden plates into the English Book of Mormon upon which so many base not only their faith, but a willingness to completely change their lives? The Gift and Power: Translating the Book of Mormon examines the various issues surrounding that translation.
The Joseph Smith Egyptian Papyri: A Complete Edition - Robert K. Ritner, Ph. D
This book marks the publication of the first, full translation of the so-called Joseph Smith Egyptian papyri translated into English. These papyri comprise “The Breathing Permit of Hor,” “The Book of the Dead of Ta-Sherit-Min,” “The Book of the Dead Chapter 125 of Nefer-ir-nebu,” “The Book of the Dead of Amenhotep,” and “The Hypocephalus of Sheshonq,” as well as some loose fragments and patches. The papyri were acquired by members of the LDS Church in the 1830s in Kirtland, Ohio, and rediscovered in the mid-1960s in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. They served as the basis for Joseph Smith’s “Book of Abraham,” published in Nauvoo, Illinois, in 1842 and later canonized.
The Joseph Smith Paper: Revelations and Translations, Vol. 3 - Royal Skousen & Robert Scott Jensen
Joseph Smith and his associates created two manuscripts of the Book of Mormon. The original manuscript was created while the text of the Book of Mormon was actually being dictated. Only roughly thirty percent of this original manuscript survives as a result of extensive water damage. The printer’s manuscript, which is almost entirely complete, is a copy of the original that was created to facilitate the publication of the first edition of the Book of Mormon. This volume is a facsimile edition of the printer’s manuscript of the Book of Mormon. The manuscript is presented here with full-color photographs of each page and color-coded transcripts that show which revisions were made by which scribe. This book gives readers unprecedented access to this early text of the Book of Mormon.
Losing a Lost Tribe: Native Americans, DNA, and The Mormon Church - Simon G. Southerton
For the past 175 years, the Latter-day Saint Church has taught that Native Americans and Polynesians are descended from ancient seafaring Israelites. Recent DNA research confirms what anthropologists have been saying for nearly as many years, that Native Americans are originally from Siberia and Polynesians from Southeast Asia. In the current volume, molecular biologist Simon Southerton explains the theology and science and how the former is being reshaped by the latter.
New Approaches to the Book of Mormon: Explorations in Critical Methodology - Brent Lee Metcalfe
When the Book of Mormon first appeared for sale in early 1830, questions surfaced regarding its claim to be an ancient history of the Americas. New Approaches to the Book of Mormon: Explorations in Critical Methodology outlines the broad contours of contemporary scholarship which continue to examine issues of antiquity. Drawing from a variety of disciplines, contributors discuss historicity from the standpoint of physical and cultural anthropology, geography, linguistics, demographics, literary forms, liturgical context, theology, and evolution of the original manuscript to published work.
Quest for the Gold Plates - Stan Larson
A controversial account of Thomas Stuart Ferguson’s efforts to confirm the archaeology of the Book of Mormon and his final rejection of the historicity of the Book of Mormon.
Studies of the Book of Mormon - B. H. Roberts
Available for the first time fifty years after the author’s death, Studies of the Book of Mormon presents this respected church leader’s investigation into Mormonism’s founding scripture. Reflecting his talent for combining history and theology, B. H. Roberts considered the evident parallels between the Book of Mormon and Ethan Smith’s View of the Hebrews, a book that predated the Mormon scripture by seven years. If the Book of Mormon is not historical, but rather a reflection of the misconceptions current in Joseph Smith’s day regarding Indian origins, then its theological claims are suspect as well, Roberts asserted.
Traditions About the Early Life of Abraham (BYU Studies) - John A. Tvedtnes
Traditions about the Early Life of Abraham represents the first in a series of books in the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS) collection at Brigham Young University. Here the authors have assembled and translated more than 100 ancient and medieval stories from their original Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Persian, Coptic, and Egyptian sources, all in an effort to piece together the early life of Abraham. This unprecedented compilation sheds new light on the Book of Abraham as an authentic ancient text and will be a welcome resource for biblical and religious studies scholars.
Understanding the Book of Mormon: A Reader's Guide - Grant Hardy
In Understanding the Book of Mormon, Hardy offers the first comprehensive analysis of the work’s narrative structure in its 180 year history. Unlike virtually all other recent world scriptures, the Book of Mormon presents itself as an integrated narrative rather than a series of doctrinal expositions, moral injunctions, or devotional hymns. Hardy takes readers through its characters, events, and ideas, as he explores the story and its messages. He identifies the book’s literary techniques, such as characterization, embedded documents, allusions, and parallel narratives.
The Word of God: Essays on Mormon Scripture - Dan Vogel
Bringing together fifteen timely and thought-provoking discussions of Mormon canon, The Word of God asks to what extent scripture is historical and infallible and what it tells us about the nature of revelation.
Church History / Development
The Angel and the Beehive: The Mormon Struggle with Assimilation - Armand L. Mauss
“The past few decades have witnessed an increasing reaction of the Mormons against their own successful assimilation, ” Armand Mauss writes in The Angel and the Beehive, “as though trying to recover some of the cultural tension and special identity associated with their earlier ‘sect-like’ history.” This retrenchment among Mormons is the main theme of Mauss’s book, which analyzes the last forty years of Mormon history from a sociological perspective.
The massacre at Mountain Meadows on September 11, 1857, was the single most violent attack on a wagon train in the thirty-year history of the Oregon and California trails. Yet it has been all but forgotten. Will Bagley’s Blood of the Prophets is an award-winning, riveting account of the attack on the Baker-Fancher wagon train by Mormons in the local militia and a few Paiute Indians. Based on extensive investigation of the events surrounding the murder of over 120 men, women, and children, and drawing from a wealth of primary sources, Bagley explains how the murders occurred, reveals the involvement of territorial governor Brigham Young, and explores the subsequent suppression and distortion of events related to the massacre by the Mormon Church and others.
The Council of Fifty: A Documentary History - Jedediah S. Rogers
Mormon Church founder Joseph Smith had both millennial and temporal aspirations for the organization he called the Council of Fifty, named after the number of men who were intended to comprise it. Organized a few months before Smith’s death in June 1844, it continued under Brigham Young as a secret shadow government until 1851. Minutes from the earliest meetings are closed to researchers but contemporary accounts speak of a deliberative body preparing for Christ’s imminent reign. It also helped to sponsor Smith’s U.S. presidential bid and oversaw the exodus to present-day Utah.
Early Mormonism and the Magic World View - D. Michael Quinn
In his groundbreaking book, D. Michael Quinn masterfully reconstructs an earlier age, finding ample evidence for folk magic in nineteenth-century New England, as he does in Mormon founder Joseph Smith’s upbringing. Quinn discovers that Smith’s world was inhabited by supernatural creatures whose existence could be both symbolic and real. He explains that the Smith family’s treasure digging was not unusual for the times and is vital to understanding how early Mormons interpreted developments in their history in ways that differ from modern perceptions. Quinn’s impressive research provides a much-needed background for the environment that produced Mormonism.
Mormonism’s formative years in the West have never been evaluated with the clarity and objectivity David L. Bigler brings to the story of our nation’s most unique territory and its proud and peculiar people. The Forgotten Kingdom combines an insightful understanding of the theology of early Mormonism with a lifetime of research into federal and LDS church sources to forge a creative reinterpretation of this fascinating and contentious history.
The slaughter of a wagon train of some 120 people in southern Utah on September 11, 1857, has long been the subject of controversy and debate. Innocent Blood gathers key primary sources describing the tangled story of the Mountain Meadows massacre. This wide array of contrasting perspectives, many never before published, provide a powerful and intimate picture of this “dastardly outrage” and its cover-up. A fine addition to the Kingdom in the West Series.
An Insider's View of Mormon Origins - Grant Palmer
Over the past thirty years, an enormous amount of research has been conducted into Mormon origins—Joseph Smith’s early life, the Book of Mormon, the prophet’s visions, and the restoration of priesthood authority. Longtime LDS educator Grant H. Palmer suggests that most Latter-day Saints remain unaware of the significance of these discoveries, and he gives a brief survey for anyone who has ever wanted to know more about these issues.
Historians with the Joseph Smith Papers Project have made available for the first time ever the complete minutes created in Nauvoo, Illinois, of an organization called the Council of Fifty. Joseph Smith, founder and first president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, formed this council in March 1844. The Nauvoo-era record contains minutes of meetings held under the direction of Joseph Smith and later Brigham Young, through January 1846, immediately before the mass Mormon migration out of Illinois. The minutes have never previously been published or available to researchers.
The Journey of a People - Mark Scherer
The first book is a survey of the church story from 1820 to 1844. It draws on research and writing of the best scholars of Mormon history and follows the life and times of founder Joseph Smith Jr. until his death in 1844. The second book covers the Reorganization and its leaders, search for identity, and the growing of a faith movement into a viable denomination.
The official journal of the Brigham Young pioneer company is made available for the first time in this book. The arrival of Latter-day Saints in the Valley of the Great Salt Lake is one of the major events in the history of the LDS church and the West. Thomas Bullock, the author of this account, was the official journal keeper of that party of pioneers.
Line Upon Line: Essays on Mormon Doctrine - Gary James Bergera
Line Upon Line brings together for the first time in one book some of the most thoughtful and compelling essays on Mormon doctrine and theology that have appeared in recent years. Among the contributors are Thomas G. Alexander, Peter C. Appleby, George Boyd, David John Buerger, Van Hale, Boyd Kirkland, Blake Ostler, Stephen L Richards, Kent E. Robson, Thaddeus E. Shoemaker, Vern Swanson, Dan Vogel, and Linda P. Wilcox.
Massacre at Mountain Meadows - Ronald W. Walker, Richard E. Turley, & Glen M. Leonard
On September 11, 1857, a band of Mormon militia, under a flag of truce, lured unarmed members of a party of emigrants from their fortified encampment and, with their Paiute allies, killed them. More than 120 men, women, and children perished in the slaughter. Massacre at Mountain Meadows offers the most thoroughly researched account of the massacre ever written. Drawn from documents previously not available to scholars and a careful rereading of traditional sources, this gripping narrative offers fascinating new insight into why Mormons settlers in isolated southern Utah deceived the emigrant party with a promise of safety and then killed the adults and all but seventeen of the youngest children
The Mormon Experience: A History of the Latter Day Saints - Leonard J. Arrington
The best history of the Latter-day Saints addressed to a general audience now includes a new preface, an epilogue, and a bibliographical after-word.
Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power - D. Michael Quinn
The Mormon church today is led by an elite group of older men, nearly three-quarters of whom are related to current or past general church authorities. This dynastic hierarchy meets in private; neither its minutes nor the church’s finances are available for public review. Members are reassured by public relations spokesmen that all is well and that harmony prevails among these brethren. But by interviewing former church aides, examining hundreds of diaries, and drawing from his own past experience as an insider within the Latter-day Saint historical department, D. Michael Quinn presents a fuller view. His extensive research documents how the governing apostles, seventies, and presiding bishops are likely to be at loggerheads, as much as united.
Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power - D. Michael Quinn
Historian D. Michael Quinn examines the contradictions and confusion of the first two tumultuous decades of LDS history. He demonstrates how events and doctrines were silently, retroactively inserted into the published form of scriptures and records to smooth out the stormy, haphazard development. The bureaucratization of Mormonism was inevitable, but the manner in which it occurred was unpredictable and will be, for readers, fascinating.
Mormon Hierarchy: Wealth and Corporate Power - D. Michael Quinn
Early in the twentieth century, it was possible for Latter-day Saints to have lifelong associations with businesses managed by their leaders or owned and controlled by the church itself. The apostles had a long history of community involvement in financial enterprises to the benefit of the general membership and their own economic advantage. This volume is the result of the author’s years of research into LDS financial dominance from 1830 to 2010.
The Mormon Jesus - John G. Turner
For two centuries, Jesus has connected the Latter-day Saints to broader currents of Christianity, even while particular Mormon beliefs have been points of differentiation. From the author of The Definitive Life of Brigham Young comes a biography of the Mormon Jesus that enriches our understanding of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith - Matthew Bowman
With Mormonism on the verge of an unprecedented cultural and political breakthrough, an eminent scholar of American evangelicalism explores the history and reflects on the future of this native-born American faith and its connection to the life of the nation.
The 1838 Mormon War in Missouri - Stephen C. LeSueur
In the summer and fall of 1838, animosity between Mormons and their neighbors in western Missouri erupted into an armed conflict known as the Mormon War. The conflict continued until early November, when the outnumbered Mormons surrendered and agreed to leave the state. In this major new interpretation of those events, LeSueur argues that while a number of prejudices and fears stimulated the opposition of Missourians to their Mormon neighbors, Mormon militancy contributed greatly to the animosity between them. Prejudice and poor judgment characterized leaders on both sides of the struggle.
Mormonism in Transition: A History of the Latter-Day Saints, 1890-1930 - Thomas G. Alexander
Serving as a vital read for both students and scholars of American religious and social history, Alexander’s book explains and charts the Church’s transformation over this 40-year period of both religious and American history. For those familiar with the LDS Church in modern times, it is impossible to study Mormonism in Transition without pondering the enormous amount of changes the Church has been through since 1890. For those new to the study of Mormonism, this book will give them a clear understanding of the challenges the Church went through to go from a persecuted and scorned society to the rapidly growing, respected community it is today
Mormonism: The Story of a New Religious Tradition - Jan Shipps
Mormonism is one of the fastest growing, most misunderstood, and most debated religions of recent times. Even the simple act of defining what Mormonism is (or should be) has been filled with controversy. The author reconstructs the signal events of early Mormonism as perceived from inside the faith.
The Mountain Meadows Massacre - Juanita Brooks
In the Fall of 1857, some 120 California-bound emigrants were killed in lonely Mountain Meadows in southern Utah; only eighteen young children were spared. With admirable scholarship, Mrs. Brooks has traced the background of conflict, analyzed the emotional climate at the time, pointed up the social and military organization in Utah, and revealed the forces which culminated in the great tragedy at Mountain Meadows.
The Nauvoo City and High Council Minutes - John S. Dinger
Two incidents are particularly dramatic in this volume, thanks to the careful work of clerks who took the minutes, bringing to life some key moments in LDS history.
The New Mormon History: Revisionist Essays on the Past - D. Michael Quinn
The New Mormon History is the banner under which many professional historians today approach Latter-day Saint historiography. Scholars who embrace this term attempt to put significant events into context rather than bracketing data that might seem challenging to traditional assumptions. These scholars are also as interested in the experience of the rank-and-file as in the lives and edicts of the leaders, and pursue questions about women, minorities, domestic life, diet, fashion, and the common church experience. They employ statistical analysis and theories and methods of the social sciences in their work.
One Nation Under Gods: A History of the Mormon Church - Richard Abanes
Founded in 1830, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was initially perceived as a movement of polygamous, radical zealots; now in parts of the U.S. it has become synonymous with the establishment. In reevaluating its preoccupation with issues of church and state, Abanes uncovers the political agenda at Mormonism’s core: the transformation of the world into a theocratic kingdom under Mormon authority. This illustrated edition has been revised and offers a new postscript by the author.
The culmination of more than twenty-five years of research by one of Mormonism’s premier historians, this insightful new interpretation of the Latter-day Saint movement explains Mormon religious and political developments in terms of class struggle and a rejection of American pluralism. According to Hill, the Mormon attempt to develop a communal utopia under a theocratic government during the 1830s and early 1840s was in large measure a reaction to the diminishing role of religion in an emerging democratic, competitive, and increasingly secular world. Quest for Refuge skillfully details the religious, economic, political, social, and psychological challenges facing Joseph Smith and other early Mormons in their attempt to build a New Jerusalem in anticipation of the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Restoration Scripture: A Study of Their Textual Development - Richard P. Howard
This comprehensive guide to the Community of Christ canon of scripture includes facsimile manuscript pages from the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smiths “New Translation of the Bible” (Inspired Version). A third section of this book deals with the Doctrine and Covenants and the Book of Abraham. Appendices include several Doctrine and Covenants sections removed by World Conference action and all of the Inspired Version prefaces since 1867.
The Rise of Mormonism: 1816-1844 - H. Michael Marquardt
Much inaccurate information is printed about the Mormons, so here is an open, honest, and refreshing history of the foundational years of the Latter-day Saints restoration movement. In The Rise of Mormonism: 1816-1844, author H. Michael Marquardt paints an accurate portrayal of the early years of Mormonism, based upon historical records. Using an objective, balanced, and respectful approach, Marquardt takes into account the spiritual aspects of the movement from the early story of finding gold plates to the tragic death of its founder. Marquardt studied on location where the events took place and uses primary sources to cover a twenty-five-year period, including early stories regarding how Joseph Smith claimed he discovered the Book of Mormon.
Scattering of the Saints: Schism Within Mormonsim - Newell G. Bringhurst & John C. Hamer
This fascinating volume contains sixteen original essays on different expressions of the Latter Day Saint movement that have emerged since Joseph Smith organized his church in 1830. Included are groups which trace their path through Sidney Rigdon, James J. Strang, Alpheus Cutler or Granville Hedrick. Also included are historic (no longer extant) branches of the movement that were led by David Whitmer, William Smith and Amasa Lyman. Finally, Scattering of the Saints outlines the history of fundamentalist Mormonism and recent schisms within the Reorganized Latter Day Saint tradition.
The Story of the Latter-Day Saints - James B. Allen & Glen M. Leonard
This comprehensive,one-volume history of the Church by James B. Allen and Glen M. Leonard features historical maps, documents, and more than one hundred photographs.
This Is My Doctrine: The Development of Mormon Theology - Charles R. Harrell
The principal doctrines defining Mormonism today often bear little resemblance to those it started out with in the early 1830s. This book shows that these doctrines did not originate in a vacuum but were rather prompted and informed by the religious culture from which Mormonism arose.
Faith / Doubt / Dissent
Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error - Kathryn Schulz
In the tradition of The Wisdom of Crowds and Predictably Irrational comes Being Wrong, an illuminating exploration of what it means to be in error, and why homo sapiens tend to tacitly assume (or loudly insist) that they are right about most everything. Kathryn Schulz, editor of Grist magazine, argues that error is the fundamental human condition and should be celebrated as such. Guiding the reader through the history and psychology of error, from Socrates to Alan Greenspan, Being Wrong will change the way you perceive screw-ups, both of the mammoth and daily variety, forever.
Synthesizing thirty years of research, psychologist and science historian Michael Shermer upends the traditional thinking about how humans form beliefs about the world. Once beliefs are formed the brain begins to look for and find confirmatory evidence in support of those beliefs, accelerating the process of reinforcing them, and round and round the process goes in a positive-feedback loop. In The Believing Brain, Shermer provides countless real-world examples of how this process operates, from politics, economics, and religion to conspiracy theories, the supernatural, and the paranormal. And ultimately, he demonstrates why science is the best tool ever devised to determine whether or not our beliefs match reality.
The Best of Lowell L. Bennion: Selected Writings, 1928-1988 - Lowell Lindsay Bennion
This book, a collection of talks and essays, is devoted to those aspects of life near at hand in which we have the opportunity to make God’s will our will and his ways our ways. It is devoted to the ideal of making life here “on earth” as much as possible as it is “in heaven.”
Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World - Dalai Lama
Ten years ago, in the best-selling Ethics for a New Millennium, His Holiness the Dalai Lama first proposed an approach to ethics based on universal rather than religious principles. With Beyond Religion, he returns to the conversation at his most outspoken, elaborating and deepening his vision for the nonreligious way—a path to lead an ethical, happy, and spiritual life. Transcending the religion wars, he outlines a system of ethics for our shared world, one that makes a stirring appeal for a deep appreciation of our common humanity, offering us all a road map for improving human life on individual, community, and global levels.
Bonds That Make Us Free: Healing Our Relationships, Coming to Ourselves - C. Terry Warner
Bonds That Make Us Free is a ground-breaking book that suggests the remedy for our troubling emotions by addressing their root causes. You'll learn how, in ways we scarcely suspect, we are responsible for feelings like anger, envy, and insecurity that we have blamed on others.
Bridges: Ministering to Those Who Question - David B. Ostler
With the advancement of the internet, changing worldviews, and the rising generation of millennials, Latter-day Saints today face unique challenges to faith on an unprecedented scale. Unlike most books written to help those struggling with their testimonies, Bridges: Ministering to Those Who Question is geared at helping local leaders and family members better understand the sources of these challenges and how to minister to those affected by them. This ministering is done through building bridges of love, empathy, and trust regardless of whether or not someone retains their belief or continues to participate.
Confessions of a Latter-Day Virgin: A Memoir - Nicole Hardy
Confessions of a Latter-day Virgin chronicles the extraordinary lengths Nicole went to in an attempt to reconcile her human needs with her spiritual life–flying across the country for dates with LDS men, taking up salsa dancing as a source for physical contact, even moving to Grand Cayman, where the ocean and scuba diving provided some solace. But neither secular pursuits nor LDS guidance could help Nicole prepare for the dilemma she would eventually face: a crisis of faith that caused her to question everything she’d grown up believing.
The Crucible of Doubt - Terryl Givens & Fiona Givens
Faith is the first principle of the gospel of Jesus Christ. So what happens when a person has doubts? This insightful book offers a careful, intelligent look at doubt—at some of its common sources, the challenges it presents, and the opportunities it may open up in a person’s quest for faith. Whether you struggle with your own doubts or mostly want to understand loved ones who question, you will appreciate this candid discussion. You’ll come away feeling more certain than ever of the Lord’s love for all of His children.
The Evolution of God - Robert Wright
In this sweeping narrative that takes us from the Stone Age to the Information Age, Robert Wright unveils an astonishing discovery: there is a hidden pattern that the great monotheistic faiths have followed as they have evolved. Through the prisms of archaeology, theology, and evolutionary psychology, Wright’s findings overturn basic assumptions about Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and are sure to cause controversy. He explains why spirituality has a role today, and why science, contrary to conventional wisdom, affirms the validity of the religious quest. And this previously unrecognized evolutionary logic points not toward continued religious extremism, but future harmony.
Evolving Faith: Wanderings of a Mormon Biologist - Steven L. Peck
Believers and scientists have long wrestled over the relationship between science and faith. Acclaimed Latter-day Saint author and scientist Steven L. Peck demonstrates that both are indispensable tools we can use to navigate God’s strange and beautiful creation. Evolving Faith: Wanderings of a Mormon Biologist is a collection of technical, personal, whimsical essays about Mormon theology, evolution, human consciousness, the environment, sacred spaces, and more. With the mind of a scientist, the soul of a believer, and the heart of a wanderer, Peck provides companionship for women and men engaged in the unceasing quest for further light and knowledge.
Faith Beyond Belief: Stories of Good People Who Left Their Church Behind - Margaret Placentra Johnston
Faith Beyond Belief gives a much-needed voice to the “good” people who have left their church but whose spirituality continues to mature. Johnston uses first-person stories as well as known spiritual authorities in describing various stages of religious growth. Some of these real-life accounts are by nonbelievers; others are by those among the growing numbers of the “spiritual but not religious.” All are thoughtful people with too much integrity to live what they consider a lie.
This wry memoir tackles twelve different spiritual practices in a quest to become more saintly, including fasting, fixed-hour prayer, the Jesus Prayer, gratitude, Sabbath-keeping, and generosity. Although Riess begins with great plans for success (“Really, how hard could that be?” she asks blithely at the start of her saint-making year), she finds to her growing humiliation that she is failing – not just at some of the practices, but at every single one. What emerges is a funny yet vulnerable story of the quest for spiritual perfection and the reality of spiritual failure, which turns out to be a valuable practice in and of itself.
New York Times bestselling author and Bible expert Bart Ehrman reveals how Jesus’s divinity became dogma in the first few centuries of the early church. The claim at the heart of the Christian faith is that Jesus of Nazareth was, and is, God. But this is not what the original disciples believed during Jesus’s lifetime—and it is not what Jesus claimed about himself. How Jesus Became God tells the story of an idea that shaped Christianity, and of the evolution of a belief that looked very different in the fourth century than it did in the first.
Latter-day Dissent is the first single volume to document the turbulent relations between the LDS (Mormon) Church and its recent intellectual dissenters, giving voice to those disciplined and charting their respective histories. The book’s core features an historical treatment of LDS disciplinary practice, and exclusive interviews with members of the September Six – six prominent academics, writers, and activists charged with “apostasy” and officially purged from the LDS Church in September of 1993. Those interviews are complemented by the stories of intellectuals who subsequently faced discipline in 1995, 2000, and 2003, as well as a conversation with Donald B. Jessee, formerly of the LDS Public Affairs Department, who responded for the Church when LDS authorities declined to comment.
Psychologist Marlene Winell is uniquely qualified to address the subject of this book. In addition to her personal experience with leaving fundamentalist religion, she has worked with clients recovering from religion for 28 years. She is known for coining the term Religious Trauma Syndrome. Leaving the Fold is a self-help book that examines the effects of authoritarian religion (fundamentalist Christianity in particular) on individuals who leave the faith. The concrete steps for healing are useful for anyone in recovery from toxic religion.
As “Mormon royalty” within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Martha Beck was raised in a home frequented by the Church’s high elders in an existence framed by the strictest code of conduct. As an adult, she moved to the east coast, outside of her Mormon enclave for the first time in her life. When her son was born with Down syndrome, Martha and her husband left their graduate programs at Harvard to return to Utah, where they knew the supportive Mormon community would embrace them. But when she was hired to teach at Brigham Young University, Martha was troubled by the way the Church’s elders silenced dissidents and masked truths that contradicted its published beliefs. Most troubling of all, she was forced to face her history of sexual abuse by one of the Church’s most prominent authorities. The New York Times bestseller Leaving the Saints chronicles Martha’s decision to sever her relationship with the faith that had cradled her for so long and to confront and forgive the person who betrayed her so deeply.
Leaving Your Religion: A Practical Guide to Becoming Non-Religious - James Mulholland
If you’ve considered leaving your religion, you are not alone. Each year over two million adults in the United States decide to no longer identify themselves with a specific religion. In 2012, according to the annual Pew Forum American Religious Identity Survey, over 45 million (20%) of the adults in the United States no longer claimed a religious tradition. For a variety of reasons, many are discovering religion doesn’t work for them any longer. Unfortunately, for those becoming post-religious, there is very little being written by them or for them. In this book, James Mulholland – a former Christian minister and author of several best-selling religious books – offers practical advice to those struggling to make the shift from a religious to a non-religious life.
Navigating Mormon Faith Crisis: A Simple Developmental Map - Thomas Wirthlin McConkie
What if we understood faith crisis as part of a natural cycle of spiritual growth, a breaking open to make room for new life and new faith? In the new book Navigating Mormon Faith Crisis, Thomas McConkie draws on the study of adult development to provide a map for people who find themselves in faith crisis, fearing they might have taken a wrong turn in their spiritual progression.
An important inspirational debut, Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome is much more than a memoir about reclaiming faith and overcoming chronic illness. Written with humor and personality, it tackles the universal struggle to heal what life has broken. This is a book for questioners, doubters, misfits, and seekers of all faiths; for the spiritual, the religious, and the curious.
The Sanctity of Dissent - Paul James Toscano
Paul James Toscano traces in ten eloquent speeches the odyssey of his life from conversion to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1963 to excommunication in 1993. Included are the sermons that resulted in church action against him.
In today’s world, an increasing number of Latter-day Saints are encountering anti-Mormon material. Since most members don’t have all the answers at their fingertips, LDS-critical claims can be unsettling or can create doubt. Some arguments have caused a few members– even members with strong testimonies– to lose their faith. Backed by extensive research and decades of experience dealing with anti-Mormon allegations, Michael Ash explores how we can be both rational thinkers and devout believers.
A Thoughtful Faith: Essays on Belief by Mormon Scholars - Philip L. Barlow
Philip Layton Barlow is a Harvard-trained scholar who specializes in American Religious History, religious geography, and Mormonism. In 2019, Barlow was appointed associate director of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship (Maxwell Institute). Barlow was the first full-time professor of Mormon studies at a secular university as the inaugural Leonard J. Arrington Chair of Mormon History and Culture at Utah State University, from 2007 to 2018.
From a rare insider’s point of view, Unveiling Grace looks at how Latter-day Saints are “wooing our country” with their religion, lifestyle, and culture. It is also a gripping story of how an entire family, deeply enmeshed in Mormonism, found their way out and what they can tell others about their lives as faithful Mormons.
Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion - Sam Harris
For the millions of Americans who want spirituality without religion, Sam Harris’s latest New York Times bestseller is a guide to meditation as a rational practice informed by neuroscience and psychology.
What do you do when your beliefs differ from your spouse, parent, child, sibling, or friend? For many Mormons, these differences can be heartbreaking. This book explores how the pursuit of truth, beauty, and goodness can save our relationships even when we disagree with those we love.
Why the Church Is As True As the Gospel - Eugene England
This classic essay makes the case for the Church being as (or even more) important than the gospel for our salvation because of its role as a “school of love.” It serves us this way by forcing us to interact with and giving us opportunities to learn to love those we might otherwise never choose to associate with.
In this first volume of his magisterial study of the foundations of Mormon thought and practice, Terryl L. Givens offers a sweeping account of Mormon belief from its founding to the present day. Situating the relatively new movement in the context of the Christian tradition, he reveals that Mormonism continues to change and grow.