Tag Archives: Ben E. Rich

New Release: “Scrap Book of Mormon Literature” vol. 1

Are you pathetically ignorant of early Church pamphlets? Or, getting past pathetic ignorance into more of an ashamed, repentant ignorance, maybe you have thought “Hmmm, based on the importance of pamphlets in early Church history, I wish there was a selection of them that I could read. Ideally it would be chosen by someone early enough in Church history to be close to the pamphlet tradition, but who lived late enough to have a broad selection to choose from. I’d also want the person choosing them to have a boots-on-the-ground perspective on real missionary pamphlet usage and which pamphlets were effective or worth reading. Basically I really wish I could get a mission president in perhaps the early 1900s to select a few dozen pamphlets for me to read, and get them on my Kindle.”

Well, President Ben E. Rich of the Eastern States Mission has got you covered, and the first volume of his Scrap Book of Mormon Literature (first published 1911) is now available on Project Gutenberg. It contains 38 pamphlets by the likes of B. H. Roberts, Orson Pratt, Lorenzo Snow, George Q. Cannon, Orson Hyde, Charles W. Penrose, John Morgan, etc. etc. Volume 2 has been available for a while too (e-book, post on its contents).

Thanks to Renah Holmes for proofreading this one.

New Release: “Mr. Durant” by Ben E. Rich

Mr. Durant of Salt Lake City, “That Mormon” is an 1893 novel by Ben E. Rich, publisher, missionary, and later on President of the Southern States Mission. (We’ve talked about Rich elsewhere.) Set in Tennessee, it tells the story of a missionary (Durant) who has a series of gospel discussions with people in a given town. The novel is more like a frame story for the discussions than a drama in its own right, but Durant does almost get mobbed. Interesting as an indication of how the gospel was being presented and received in the South during this time frame.

Now releasing…all the pamphlets!

Not quite all the pamphlets, but Scrap Book of Mormon Literature vol. 2, now on PG, contains an embarrassment of riches. It includes about 45 selections from authors including:

  • Brigham Young
  • Joseph Fielding Smith
  • Heber J. Grant
  • B. H. Roberts
  • Parley P. Pratt
  • George Q. Cannon
  • Orson Pratt
  • Orson Hyde
  • Orson F. Whitney

Obviously that’s a pretty good cross section from the first century of Church writing, thanks to mission president and compiler Ben E. Rich. He included materials originally published everywhere from the Liverpool to Japan.

And if you’re wondering…you didn’t miss the release of volume 1; it’s just still in progress. Stay tuned. Fortunately the volumes work independently of each other.

Merry Christmas! Our gift to you–three new (free) book releases!

Thanks to some great work by our volunteers, President Heber C. Kimball’s Journal (Faith-Promoting Series book #7), Precious Memories (Faith-Promoting Series book #16), and Cowley’s Talks on Doctrine by Matthias F. Cowley are now up on Project Gutenberg.

Heber C. Kimball was a member of the original Quorum of the Twelve, member of Brigham Young’s First Presidency, President of the British Mission, etc., so his journal is naturally of interest. Precious Memories, like various other books in the Faith-Promoting Series, is an anthology of missionary and other stories targeted at the youth of the Church; anyone who’s read anything in the series will probably understand our enthusiasm for it. Finally, Matthias F. Cowley was a member of the Twelve, and Ben E. Rich, the noted mission president and publisher, liked his talks so much that he published the just-released compilation for use in a missionary context.

As you can see, although December’s been slow for the blog, the project’s work has been moving along well. Several big projects are right on the brink of completion; keep your eyes out for more holiday surprises and an annual report.

Merry Christmas and happy reading!