This collection of literature attempts to compile many of the classic, timeless works that have stood the test of time and offer them at a reduced, affordable price, in an attractive volume so that everyone can enjoy them.
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About the Author
James E. Talmage was born in 1862 in England, where his family converted to Mormonism and migrated to America when he was fourteen. Young James attended Brigham Young Academy in Utah Valley, followed by two years at Leheigh University in Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins University in Maryland. Afterwards he studied by correspondence with Illinois Wesleyan University faculty and received a Ph.D. from that institution in 1896, becoming the first Latter-day Saint to earn a doctorate degree. He taught chemistry and geology at BYA until 1888. That year, after marrying Merry May Booth, he was named president of the Latter-day Saints College in Salt Lake City (now LDS Business College). A few years later his career shifted direction with an appointment at the University of Utah, first as a geology professor and then as chair of the department, and finally as university president beginning in 1894.
Early in his career he published Tables for Determinations of Minerals, The Great Salt Lake, The First Book of Nature, and Domestic Science, while simultaneously producing three landmark LDS books: The Articles of Faith, The Great Apostasy, and The Story of Mormonism. He became a fellow of the American Geological Society, the Royal Microscopical Society of London, and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He also served as a consultant to the LDS First Presidency. It was in this later capacity that his intellectual and spiritual abilities came to the attention of church leaders, who called him to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in December 1911.
Over the next twenty-two years, his assignments included editing, revising, and annotating the Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, and Doctrine and Covenants, and helping to standardize the temple endowment ceremonies. His doctrinal writings became accepted by the church as definitive expressions of LDS faith, beginning with The House of the Lord in 1912 and Jesus the Christ in 1915. He also authored priesthood manuals and numerous other church publications. His 1915 speech to the World Congress of Religious Philosophies in San Francisco, The Philosophical Basis of Mormonism,was published in several languages. By this time he had also become a popular newspaper columnist. A Boston publisher compiled his articles in 1919 as The Vitality of Mormonism. In addition, two selections of his religious broadcasts were published in 1929 and 1931 as Radio Addresses and Sunday Night Talks. He died in 1933 at the age of seventy.
Harvard S. Heath is curator of the Utah and American West Archives, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University; was a key research and writing assistant behind Ernest L. Wilkinson’s four-volume Brigham Young University: The First One Hundred Years; is the editor of In the World: The Diaries of Reed Smoot; and a contributor to The House of the Lord: A Study of Holy Sanctuaries Ancient and Modern. He has delivered papers at professional meetings of the Western History Association and elsewhere and published in the Journal of Mormon History, and he serves on the board of editors of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought.