Deseret Book
"Temples Rising: A Heritage of Sacrifice" is by Richard E. Bennett.

"TEMPLE RISING:A Heritage of Sacrifice," by Richard E. Bennett, Deseret Book, $29.99, 342 pages (nf)

Although the early members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints went through countless trials to construct the first temple in Kirtland, Ohio, their rewards were great. Author Richard E. Bennett recounts the spiritual outpourings many experienced during the days of dedication and use of the Kirtland Temple in, “Temples Rising: A Heritage of Sacrifice.” He also explains the limited ordinances performed there and how, as each succeeding temple was built, church doctrine was expounded upon in those buildings.

Bennett also explains how church history influenced and was influenced by, subsequent temples. Happenings such as the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith, the apostacy of early church leaders, spiritual adoptions and even the Manifesto are used to help frame decisions made during that time. Bennett goes into the history of how temple ordinances began as well as how and why they were changed. He explains why some early sealings and baptisms were performed outside of temples and where those ordinances took place. He recounts such happenings such as the almost 25 years when no baptisms for the dead were performed, as well as the skyrocketing numbers that were completed once the ordinance was reintroduced.

Comment on this story

“Temples Rising” gives a unique look at the history of the church by viewing how that history influenced, and was greatly influenced by, each temple. Culminating with the dedication of the Salt Lake Temple, as each pioneer-era temple was built, Bennett makes it possible to see church history in a new light. With copious research and captivating endnotes, this book is a wonderful repository of information.

A BYU professor of church history and doctrine, Bennett is the author of several books. Born in Canada, he and his wife have five children.