Religious Studies Center Books

This is a biography of Katharine Smith Salisbury, the longest-surviving member of the Joseph Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith family. The book is based on a cache of letters, interviews, and recorded speeches. It records a life of challenges, including religious prejudice and ostracism. Three of Katharine’s children died in infancy. Her husband was only intermittently available as a provider. The Salisburys were driven from Ohio and Missouri, and her husband died at forty-four. Through all these challenges Katharine remained loyal to her brother Joseph Smith Jr., vouching for his prophetic appointment. The challenges she endured solidified her commitment to take up her cross for the cause of her faith.

Joseph Wilford Booth, one of the first Latter-day Saint missionaries in the Ottoman Empire, served for seventeen years between 1898 and 1928 in what is today Turkey, Israel/Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria. This collection of topically arranged, annotated, and contextualized excerpts from Booth’s journals provides insights about the early Latter-day Saint presence in the Middle East, including the everyday lives of the missionaries, local Church members, and larger populations in the region. Booth’s journals address the broader social, political, and cultural issues of a volatile period in the Middle East as he witnessed the end of the Ottoman Empire and the destructive effects of World War I on the region as a whole, but especially on the Ottoman Armenian population.

The Good, the Bad, and the Heavenly is a faith-affirming exploration of Lehi’s teaching that “opposition in all things” structures the world and enables our salvation. A single uniform state can’t compute, can’t deliver the goods of salvation—life, happiness, meaning, intelligence. We need a compound-in-one state in which we are challenged, stretched, and sometimes puzzled. Given its soul-stretching complexity, mortality is not a world in which there is a right answer to every ideological or intellectual question. It is rather a living laboratory for the development of kindness, forgiveness, empathy, and charity. To this end Grandy takes a fresh look at fundamental gospel principles, particularly faith, repentance, and charity—teachings that are admirably adapted to the intrinsically uncertain world we live in. They are the very essence of Christian life.

The essays in this volume explore the historical context and doctrinal teachings from a selection of the canonized revelations and official declarations. Contributors explore the testimony of the witnesses to the Book of Mormon, the revelations given to Emma Smith, Hiram Page, and Thomas B. Marsh; the law of common consent, sacramental covenants, consecration, establishing Zion, the degrees of glory in the afterlife, the priesthood power of women, the visitation of Elijah in the Kirtland Temple, the sacred location of Adam-ondi-Ahman, baptism for the dead, Satan’s reality, the beginnings of plural marriage, the doctrine of redemption of the dead, and the Manifesto which led to the end of plural marriage.

The history of The Church of the Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Pacific and Asia includes a vast array of stories and experiences spread across a diverse spectrum of peoples and cultures. However, this history is often focused or told from the perspective or voices of the first missionary elders, branch presidents, bishops, district or stake presidents, and mission and temple presidents. The other half of this important latter-day history includes mothers, wives, daughters, and sisters. The experiences of the first sister missionaries, Relief Society or Primary presidents, companions to the mission presidents, temple matrons, and other female leaders are essential to provide a more complete picture of this great work of faith and sacrifice among the people in the Pacific and Asia.

Joseph Smith did not simply proclaim he had a different understanding of Christian religion; central to his teachings were the numerous angelic visitations through which important keys and teachings were delivered. Joseph also had incredible visions of the future, the Resurrection, and the Final Judgment. Some of Joseph’s many visitations and visions would eventually be canonized as Doctrine and Covenants 13, 76, and 137. This book focuses on these miraculous visitations and revelatory visions, their implications for Latter-day Saint doctrine, and their potential application to modern Saints and the broader world.