Top products from r/latterdaysaints

We found 95 product mentions on r/latterdaysaints. We ranked the 456 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

Next page

Top comments that mention products on r/latterdaysaints:

u/bright_idea · 7 pointsr/latterdaysaints


Congrats on your journey so far. I am a convert to the church (baptized a little over a year ago) and remember feeling exactly like you did. Being baptized into the church was the biggest (and best) decision of my life, but it was not a decision I wanted to make lightly. I have a few book suggestions and then some semi-unsolicited but hopefully helpful comments.

The God Who Weeps by Terryl and Fiona Givens — I read this one while investigating the church, and it really opened my eyes to how truly beautiful Mormon theology is. So many other religions only left more questions for me, and Mormonism was the first thing that clicked. This book brings a lot of those ideas together. Also I am obsessed with Terryl Givens, everything he writes is fantastic, which brings me to...

Wrestling the Angel also by Givens. This is definitely more of a Mormonism 303 lesson as it is quite academic. But Givens does a fantastic job explaining Mormon doctrine within the larger historical landscape of Christianity. The book is organized topically, so you can kind of skip around and read about what interests you.

Some of my favorite talks that have really spoken to me:

His Grace is Sufficient by Brad Wilcox

God is the Gardener by Hugh B. Brown

On How We Know by Truman G. Madsen

Some other suggestions:

Not sure where you live, but I highly recommend attending any local Institute classes that might be happening (your missionaries will know of them). It's a once a week class where people get together and discuss the Gospel. For me it was great to discuss things with people other than the missionaries and the member who introduced me to the church.

Don't feel like you have to know everything. This was my biggest stumbling block to deciding to be baptized. I felt like because this was such a huge decision (it was), I had to know absolutely everything I could before agreeing (impossible). One of the things I love most about the Gospel is its promise of never-ending, always increasing knowledge to anyone who will seek it. Baptism is not the destination. It is merely the gate into the kingdom of God, the beginning of a journey that has brought so much endless peace, joy, and love into my life. At a certain point I realized I could never know everything, but I knew enough to know that this path would take me to where I needed to be, that this is a life worth living.

u/SuperBrandt · 28 pointsr/latterdaysaints

Oooo this is my wheelhouse!

First, I would recommend looking at the Mormon History Association Best Book awards going back to 1966. Quality scholarship, research, and writing are a mainstay with them.

Required reading:

Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet by John Turner / Brigham Young: American Moses by Leonard Arrington

Considered two of the best books about early Utah and the Brigham Young years. Arrington's book was considered groundbreaking when he wrote it, and Turner's book brings in the valuable perspective of the non-Mormon writing about Young. For many Mormons, Turner's book will be less sympathetic to Young than Arrington's, but Turner also worked closely with the Church Archives (and spoke glowingly about them and that process), so his research had access to some better sources. If you need a primer for Brigham Young, I recommend Arrington's book. For a Brigham Young graduate level course, I recommend Turner.

Early Mormonism and the Magic Worldview by Michael Quinn

To understand much of what happened in early Mormonism, you must understand the role that folk magic played in the lives of Americans in the 1800s. Quinn's research at this time was top notch, and he was a quickly rising star among Mormon historians. Considered one of his best works, and foundational to the understanding things like seer stones, divining rods, visions, and everything else that happened in the early church days.

David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism by Greg Prince

Covers late 1940s - 1960s Mormonism, one of the "rising moments" of Mormonism when we went from a Utah-church to a worldwide church. Prince had amazing access to the journals of President McKay's secretary, which led to some candid discussions about things like the publishing of Mormon Doctrine by McConkie, blacks and the priesthood, ecumenical outreach, and politics.

Spencer W. Kimball by Edward Kimball / Lengthen Your Stride: The Presidency of Spencer W. Kimball by Edward Kimball

Ed was Pres. Kimball's son, and the books cover both the apostle years and presidency years of Spencer W. Kimball. If you had to choose one, get Lengthen Your Stride, but make sure it has the CD that comes with the book. This has the unabridged manuscript prior to the Deseret Book edits, which is much more interesting.

By the Hand of Mormon by Terryl Givens (heck...anything by Terryl Givens!)

I'll admit - I'm a Terryl Givens fanboy. By the Hand of Mormon was the one that first got me in to him, mostly because he took the Book of Mormon as a serious work of literature to examine it's merits. It's not as devotional as many traditional LDS books about the Book of Mormon (it was put out by Oxford University Press), but it really gave me a deeper appreciation for the Book of Mormon as contemporary literature. Also check out Viper on the Hearth (Mormons on myth and heresy), People of Paradox (Mormon culture), When Souls had Wings (the pre-existence in Western thought), and so many others.

And just because I'm a big book nerd, here's the list of books that are on my desk right now that I can give you quick reviews if you want:

u/C0unt_Z3r0 · 8 pointsr/latterdaysaints

I've been there (Spouse needed marriage counseling). Medications helped her, but only to a point. When we finally connected with her current therapist (who also happens to be a member of the Stake Presidency with his partner, who is the Stake President - both really awesome men), there was no mention of any need for her to repent. What there was was an honest look at her self-expectation and the current paradigms she used for self-evaluation. Both were lacking (as I had been trying to tell her for years). She was way too hard on herself, as well as measuring herself up to impossible standards. Some concepts were shared with her as to how to turn this around and we practice at it weekly. It's slow, but there IS progress and she seems happier more often.

Based on your OP, I would guess that you feel overwhelmed at all the things that a good "mormon wife" is "expected" to do and like you can't do them all and no one is helping. The latter may be but there's nothing you can do about that (everyone has their agency). What you CAN do is correct the former. Expectation is a lie. Our Father in Heaven and our Savior do not intend that goals and striving for perfection be a cat o' nine tails to beat ourselves with.

Based on some personal experience, I would recommend the following:

  • Listen to Jack Marshall's Down with Perfectionism (CD can be purchased from Seagull Books - there's other stuff on it too).

  • If you don't have it, RUN and buy a copy of Believing Christ by Stephen E. Robinson. Read it, believe that you understand it, then read it again. When you truly grasp what he is trying to communicate, you will never look at the Atonement or your efforts in this life the same way again. Trust me.

    Sister, you are loved by a Father who knows your every need and you have a Savior who died for you. When I say that, what I mean is that if all the rest of us on the planet were perfect and you were the only one who ever made any mistakes, He would STILL have come to Atone for you. Let that sink in for a minute. He loves you that much. And you know what? You're worth it. Hang in there, sister. And feel free to come and visit us here often. There are many of us here that only want the best for you. Sometimes, you'll get the occasional "bad seed", but I know several people on here (all of the mods included) are just itching to offer their support in any way they can.

    Be well, and may you find the peace of the Spirit in your life.
u/TarnishedTeal · 3 pointsr/latterdaysaints

Bear Your Testimony is a Protestant thing, typical evanglical. You don't see it in Anglican or Catholic denominations basically at all, let alone under that name. When somebody is sharing their "testimony" they are sharing "their story", or "their journey", or "how god touched them", but it's never explicitly "my testimony".

The LDS church is the only place I've ever even seen F&T meetings. But it's part of my favorite things about the Church. This outward sharing of faith. Sure, F&T meetings are more "preaching to the chior" and "family story time", but it's usually considered highly inappropriate in today's society to just randomly testify.

The Sacrament for me is...not very different from the Catholic one. I very briefly believed in the real presence, but I feel that same closeness to God when I partake of the Sacrament, so I just assume it's all ordained by Heavenly Father to get us closer to Him, no matter where life takes us. [Reads further] Oh, you mean like...the how. Yeah in the Catholic Church the sacraments are Baptism, Confession, First Communion, Confirmation, Marriage, Ordination to the Priesthood, and Anointing of the Sick. You guys have all of those, and are also all provided by priesthood members, but you guys only call "communion" "The Sacrament". Which is totally valid and fine. I could go either way on that.

Also the saint thing, pretty much exactly spot on. When we are confirmed we usually pick a "patron saint" who will pray for us in time of trouble. I guess Catholics sort of believe that Saints are semi-omnipotent? I'm not sure.

Also if it seems that I'm answering from both sides of the pew, I am. I struggle to decide LDS or Catholic. There are such strong points for both. Currently, I'm looking forward to going to an LDS service this weekend but we'll see. I made a few friends awhile back at my ward and I kind of want to see them again.

A great book if you can find it is called Catholic Roots, Mormon Harvest (Amazon link) and it talks about how the two churches are similar. In my own experience, if we believe Jesus brought in his dispensation, and then the early church fell away, theoretically, the Catholic church is that Church. and everything, EVERYTHING, hinges on the fact of whether or not you believe a) that original church fell away and b) Joseph Smith restored that gospel.

Those are huge philosophical and historical questions that I am dealing with. So for now I sit, ever wavering, between a pew with kneelers and one without. I know I need to pray more, because I know Heavenly Father has that answer. I'm just not sure if I'm fully ready to commit myself to the answer. If it's "catholicism" that means never looking back to Mormonism. If it's Mormonism, then that's never going back to my childhood parish. It's a tricky decision that needs a lot of faith that I don't have yet. I need to ask. And I need to be brave enough to ask.

u/Temujin_123 · 2 pointsr/latterdaysaints

My "favorite" scripture varies from time to time based on which one's have impacted me recently. Here are some of my recent favorites:


D&C 82:22-23
> 22 And now, verily I say unto you, and this is wisdom, make unto yourselves friends with the mammon of unrighteousness, and they will not destroy you.

> 23 Leave judgment alone with me, for it is mine and I will repay. Peace be with you; my blessings continue with you.

I understand this to say that not only should we not condemn those who don't share our beliefs or lifestyle, but we should find ways to befriend them w/o judgement and this will lead to peace and blessings. This certainly has been true in my life as I try to find the good in others who may be different.

Of course this can be taken too far if you compromise your covenants in being someone's friend. But I know of no covenant that I've made that requires me to give up my beliefs in the name of friendship.


1 Peter 3:15-16

> 15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

> 16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

You should be ready to answer the "Whys?" and "Hows?" about your faith. Why are you a Mormon? Why do you believe in Jesus Christ (hint: read Believing Christ)? Why do you think Joseph Smith was a prophet? How does your faith affect your life?

And more importantly, you should discover for yourself what the essence of these things are for you rather than give a nonsensical 5-10 minute testimony rambling without forethought. Yes, speak by the Spirit. But the last time I checked, the Spirit speaks by your mind and heart, not from a part of your body more useful for sitting.

EDIT: Filling out a profile and answering these very questions in the limited space they give you is a wonderful way to do that.

EDIT 2: Also, in coming up with your answer, distill it down to the essence that is relate-able for anyone. Note the "every man" part of the scripture. Not just LDS people, other Christians, teenagers, adults, kids, but every man/woman/one.

u/AlfredoEinsteino · 8 pointsr/latterdaysaints

It does feel late. Especially when our history seems to be such a big part of our identity and even our Sunday school curriculum. There are a lot of reasons why it's taken us this long to get to where we're at. (I'm gonna get reeeeeeally long-winded here, so prepare yourself!)

Whenever this conversation comes up, I'm reminded of a story that I've now heard told several times by an older friend of mine. Back in the 1960s-early 70s, a student or a researcher could visit the church historian's office, but before they left one staff member in particular would always ask to see their notes and would confiscate them on the spot! (Evidently this wasn't a huge issue, because a smart researcher would use carbon paper, dutifully surrender the originals, and keep the copy hidden away!) I often think of that pharisaically diligent staff member who tried so hard to "protect" the church's reputation. What he did sounds ridiculous now, but I can understand the instinct. A well-researched article on any aspect of Mormon history will use the exact same primary sources as the most fire-breathing anti-Mormon piece out there on the same historical topic. So by carefully restricting access to the originals you guarantee that the information won't be used for evil purposes, right? (There's heavy sarcasm in that last sentence, btw.)

Frankly, that's been the instinct within the church for a long time now (I mean the church as an institution or a bureaucracy). It seemed easier to "protect" the church by restricting access to information. But that's not a tenable strategy anymore—not with the internet.

In the 1970s, there was a push to professionalize the church's archives. They began to hire staff with archival and librarian training. They modernized their cataloging and began to create professional inventories for their collections. They created collecting strategies and began to purchase books to create an up-to-date research library. The historian's office turned from being a back room where we stored old stuff to an actual research institution with a staffed research room where approved students and historians came to do research.

With increased staff and visibility, the church’s old historian's office/archives was renamed as the historical department and Leonard Arrington was hired as director. Nowadays, the time that Arrington was director is referred to as "Camelot" because it was a supposed golden age. Arrington was a prolific writer, and he was a mover and a shaker. Among other things he hired a bunch of bright college kids/young historians as part of an ambitious project to write a series of monographs on church history.

This was a huge step away from the old, strictly devotional, Daughters of the Utah Pioneers type of history (not to bash the DUP—it’s just that they’re not known for their academic rigor). These were college-trained historians and they essentially had free access to the archives. I believe that some in the church (again, I’m talking the bureaucracy/institutional church throughout this entire comment) wanted to be progressive and professional, but some were anxious to “protect” the church too, and so having in-house historians write history was the best compromise—it disseminated information from the church’s collections to church membership, but restricted access to the originals to historians who were trusted members of the church in good standing. The projected series was never published in the way Arrington envisioned, but most of the proposed books were eventually published (for example, Heavens Resound, Nauvoo, Brigham Young: American Moses). Arrington fostered and encouraged an entire generation of historians. The field of Mormon history would not be half as rich or diverse today without Arrington’s support 20-30 years ago. Nor would we have the Joseph Smith Papers without Arrington (I’ll get to that in a moment).

In some respects, the 1980s-90s were bad decades for church history. Mark Hofmann started selling documents to the church in the early 1980s. Stuff like the Salamander letter (that obviously we later learned was forged) placed a lot of scrutiny on our history—and our historians. I don’t know a lot of details about the whys and wherefores, but I suspect that the “new” material Hofmann presented created enough of a controversy that those who were always anxious about protecting the church’s reputation then had the momentum to transition Arrington out the historical department. The compromise was the creation of the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Church History at BYU where Arrington and many of the historians under him moved around 1981 and continued to write history. (It was probably better that way in the end.) The Hofmann murders in 1985 were awful and tragic in and of themselves, but they also put the church on the defensive. Gone were the days of the open archives, and the pendulum swung to the other side to safe conservatism. Access to church materials became more restricted as a general policy, and some would say that something of an anti-intellectual bent developed in the church as shown in matters such as the September Six that included the excommunication of historians in the early 1990s. I’ve been told that historical department staff were even discouraged by their bosses from membership in the Mormon History Association (an organization that Arrington helped to found). During these years, good articles and books were still written on church history and the archives were used by researchers both Mormon and non-Mormon--but it wasn’t Camelot anymore. It seemed that the atmosphere wasn’t as optimistic as it used to be.

In a way, the Joseph Smith Papers were first published in the 1980s. Dean Jessee, a historical department employee, was given the church’s blessing to publish a volume of Joseph Smith’s writings in 1984. A second volume followed in 1989, and he had a third ready for the press when he was told by higher ups to shelve the project. He did. Fast forward to the late 1990s and Larry and Gail Miller. The Millers are fairly famous in northern Utah—they own the Salt Lake Jazz and a bunch of car dealerships and other properties. The Millers had a friend who had a friend who worked in the church archives, and long story short the Millers asked if there was an interesting history project somewhere that could benefit from funding. This fellow thought of Jessee’s shelved project, got together with the Millers and some other researchers and they decided to revive the project as the Joseph Smith Papers.


u/HalTheRanger · 2 pointsr/latterdaysaints

Others have given good suggestions, but I'll add my own thoughts. First, let me recommend "Joseph Smith--History" which you can read here, That is the canonical description of the initial events (visions, angelic visitations, etc.) that led him to found the Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints, and was written by Joseph Smith himself in the mid 1830s. If you have downloaded the LDS "Gospel Library" app for Android/iPhone, it's also available via Scriptures->Pearl of Great Price->Joseph Smith--History. It's just a few pages long.

Secondly, I recommend the Book of Mormon, which we view as a book of ancient holy scripture like the Bible. According to Joseph Smith's account, he was given the ancient record from an angel of God and translated it miraculously in 1829 (when he was 23), then returned the ancient record to the angel when complete. It describes God's dealings with a branch of the Israelites who migrated to the Americas around 600 BC. It's named after Mormon, who (according to the book) lived around 400 AD and was instrumental in compiling the records of the various prophets before him in addition to adding his own account. This book is core to my own personal witness that he was a true prophet. It's around 450 pages long, and as scripture it is fairly dense, so it's not just something you can read in an afternoon. You can read it online here,, or in the "Gospel Library" app via Scriptures->Book of Mormon. Or, if you would like a hard copy, you can request a free copy here: (Free books are made possible by donations of church members.) Someone else recommended a few chapters to begin with, which sounded good to me. I'll add a suggestion, namely 3rd Nephi chapters 11-27 where it presents an account of Jesus visiting these people after his death and resurrection in Jerusalem. And starting from the beginning is also not a bad plan. Certainly read the modern introduction and the testimony of the various witnesses who said Joseph Smith showed them the ancient plates from which the book was translated.

Thirdly, for a more in-depth historical view, I strongly recommend Rough Stone Rolling by Richard Bushman, He's an award-winning biographer, and this is a fantastic book with a very complete description of Joseph Smith's life. (Also quite lengthy, but I found it easy to read.) To me it strikes a great balance between being respectful towards Joseph Smith and those who view him as a prophet (Bushman himself is a believer), and being historical and not afraid to talk about things Joseph Smith did which were somewhat questionable. It made Joseph Smith a very human figure to me. Most other accounts of Joseph Smith's life by contrast are very one sided--presenting only the good about Smith to argue that he was a true prophet, or presenting only the bad about Smith to argue that he was a fraud.

Good luck in your quest to learn more! Don't hesitate to ask more questions here.

u/adamchavez · -2 pointsr/latterdaysaints

Edit: downvotes, eh? I'm not sure how to take that! :) I didn't expect it from this community. The gist of what I was trying to say is said better by Pres. Hinckley in a different talk.

>"Women who make a house a home make a far greater contribution to society than those who command large armies or stand at the head of impressive corporations."
-Gordon B. Hinckley

My original comment:

The talk is beautiful; though I think you're confusing what he's saying with the modern dogma of "equality" that has become so popular.

The modern equality movement argues for equal roles that assumes that individuals are the most important players in society; this line of thinking typically leads to calls to get more women into traditionally male roles. While I personally will encourage my daughters to pursue their goals, whatever they may be, I'm hesitant to argue for equality in the way it's currently understood: equality of roles in one's career.

The reality is that the family unit is much more important, for society as a whole, as well as for the individuals who are influenced and raised by said families.

Often, having a strong family unit means having (at least) one person responsible for full-time teaching/training/loving of the little people in the home. My personal opinion is that it can be a man or a woman (though typically women are more willing and more able to fulfill this vital role).

American individualism can make this all seem very cloudy; I was recently reminded of this when I read this book, The Righteous Mind, by Jonathan Haidt, which I highly recommend.

Read the book if you haven't; I'm not sure I can do it justice. The basic idea is that there are three moral categories: the divinity ethic, the autonomy ethic, and the family ethic.

For many secular Americans, the only kind of morality that is "allowed" is the ethic of autonomy, which asks "is it fair? Does it harm any individual?"

But there is a much richer moral fabric, that includes divinity (ie allowing some things to be sacred) and family (ie putting the needs of the family/tribe before individual needs).

Also see a TLDR slideshare on the book edit: removed the Colbert video because it doesn't touch on the ideas from the book that were relevant.

u/th0ught3 · -4 pointsr/latterdaysaints

This is a book that might help you understand the faith differences:

We have no way of telling what this man is thinking. It is common for Mormons to seek to marry other mormons, and ones that practice the faith in similar ways. (We pretty much grow up thinking that everyone practices our faith the same way we have grown up doing so, and as we get older we learn that other just as faithful as we sometimes do things differently than we do and that is all right.)

It may be that the reason he is dating outside his faith is that he doesn't want someone who wants him to honor LDS standards. It may be because you were simply unresistable to him, despite his longtime desire to marry within the Mormon faith. It might be because he's already dated every mormon girl and doesn't want to move or wait to widen the pool of prospective partners. It might be because he wants to have sex before he gets married and that isn't going to happen if his partner isn't LDS (of course we know that you don't have to be LDS in order to choose celibacy before marriage, and even those who have chosen it don't always maintain it: I'm just articulating a possible thing he might be thinking). He might be dating you precisely because you aren't marriage material and he isn't ready to marry.

At the point that you are needing to decide whether to continue dating him, just ask him why he is dating outside his own faith. Ask him what he believes and how he wants to live his life. Ask him how you would be doing a life with you not sharing the same faith. That's the only way (maybe after several conversations, this is hard stuff and people aren't always able to be honest even when they really know themselves) you will know what is going on.

Yes you can go to church with him. Be sure to ask him to attend church with you at the same pace he wants you to go with him, if your faith is important to you.

u/amertune · 15 pointsr/latterdaysaints

> In my understanding polygamy is not officially gone from church doctrine, but rather just not currently practiced. Reading OD1 seems to confirm this as in no place does it strictly repeal it. Is this true? Will polygamy be practiced in the Celestial Kingdom and would it be practiced again should the laws of marriage in the United States change to permit it?

Yes, it is still doctrinal and does still shape sealing policies. I've been taught that it would be practiced again in the future and that it is practiced in the CK. I don't, however, believe that.

> I've heard rumors and read accounts of prominent Mormon leaders (Joseph Smith & Brigham Young in particular) marrying women who already had husbands that were still living. Is this true? What is the reasoning behind this?

Yes, it's true. I don't know the reason. It's one of the most troubling aspects of the historical practice of polygamy.

> In the afterlife, can someone marry my wife? (We are sealed in the temple)

Who really knows what exactly will happen in the afterlife?

> Brigham Young had children with multiple (like... 15ish?) wives? Why were these children not permitted to have a father they didn't share with so many others? Did Utah Territory have a significantly larger female population than male?

Brigham had children with 16 of his 55 wives. In a lot of cases, I don't really see a significant difference between growing up with Brigham Young or Heber C Kimball as your father and growing up without a father—especially when those fathers spent so much time off on missions. Utah didn't have significantly more females than males. The census actually indicates that there were more men than women. AFAIK, it was only a small number of men that were able to get a large number of wives. Elder Widstoe talks about it in his book "Evidences and Reconciliations", and concludes that they practiced polygamy not because there were surplus women but because they believed that God commanded it.

> D&C 132:62-64. Do we still believe that? Why is that still in the scripture, it seems very... ... not what I learn in Sunday School. Man owning women, man sleeping with many women - women being denied the same, if the original wife disagrees God will "destroy" her... this is a bit concerning, please tell me I'm misunderstanding this.

No, I think that you do understand these verses. I don't know whether or not "we" (the Church) believe them, but I don't accept them. They're in the canon, but any lesson that includes section 132 is usually selective about how it covers it and mostly just covers the blessings of eternal (one man and one woman) marriage.

Polygamy is difficult to understand and easy to judge. There was some good that came out of it (including me), but a lot of it was also done poorly.

If you really want to learn more about polygamy, I would recommend reading history books.

Here are some good ones you could look into:

u/lamsiyuen · 2 pointsr/latterdaysaints

May be it would be helpful to point you to some honest source that seeks to give a non subjective and fair evaluation for the claims of the church.

  1.   A book that provides a general view on how to go about thinking about hard church issues. It is really good. Entitled the Crucible of Doubt by Teryl Givens:;amp;qid=1561524835&amp;amp;s=books&amp;amp;sr=1-1<br />

  2. My favorite book to start thinking very thoughtfully and from an academic perspective on the book of Mormon. Incredible stuff. Entitled “Understanding the BOM” by Grant Hardy:;amp;psc=1&amp;amp;refRID=KBX8MX63A88H3GCBCHYR

  3. My favorite book on early church history focused around the life of Jesus Christ. Written by the renowned Columbia U History Professor Richard Bushman. Entitled Rough Stone Rolling:;amp;qid=1561524690&amp;amp;s=books&amp;amp;sr=1-1

  4. My favorite book on modern day church history. It is a careful look at the David O McKay era with incredible source material. It completely changed my view of how the upper echelons of church governance works, but somehow at the same time strengthened my faith in our very fallible leaders. Entitled The Rise of Modern Mormonism by Greg Prince:;amp;qid=1561524807&amp;amp;s=books&amp;amp;sr=1-1
u/Ibiapaba · 4 pointsr/latterdaysaints

Letters to a Young Mormon by Adam Miller. This books is a series of letters on gospel topics. It really makes you think about topics that we sometimes gloss over, and I feel like it's helped me be a more deliberate disciple.

First Principles and Ordinances by Samuel Brown. This book is next on my reading list, but everything I've read from this guy has been excellent. I recently saw someone recommend this book for prospective missionaries.

Wrestling the Angel by Terryl Givens. This book is a great history and explanation of Mormon doctrine and compares our beliefs to historical and modern mainstream Christian beliefs. I would highly recommend this one for future missionaries

u/rick7475 · 12 pointsr/latterdaysaints

Rough Stone Rolling by Richard Lyman Bushman:

The best researched biography of Joseph Smith by an award winning historian who taught at Harvard, Columbia and BYU who is also an active believing Latter-day Saint.

Edit: If you like archaeology and the Book of Mormon, then try Mormon Codex by John L. Sorenson:;amp;ie=UTF8&amp;amp;qid=1450660578&amp;amp;sr=1-1&amp;amp;keywords=Mormon+Codex

u/everything_is_free · 4 pointsr/latterdaysaints

If you have any specific questions or things you would like explained, I would be happy to have a go at it.

As a general matter, there is a new book out that is probably perfect for what you need: Wrestling the Angel: The Foundations of Mormon Thought: Cosmos, God, Humanity by Terryl L. Givens. The book is a scholarly look at the development of Mormon thought and not a defense of it. However, it does an excellent job of situating Mormon thought in relation to broader philosophy, while explaining the problems and questions that Mormonism seeks to address and why it reaches the answers it does.

u/xcaughtxdeadx · 1 pointr/latterdaysaints

All great suggestions here! I just wanted to add that Royal Skousen's Earliest Text edition of the Book of Mormon is also a great option. No pictures or footnotes, but it flows really well and there is lots of space in the margins. The verses are broken down into what he calls "sense lines" and it makes it super easy to follow. I felt like I was breezing through it.

u/josephsmidt · 9 pointsr/latterdaysaints

Though you didn't ask for this, if you want a brief account of Mormonism I would suggest Mormonism: A Very Short Introduction by Richard Bushman. The book is very good, and though there are many good books to suggest, if you didn't have a lot of time to read a ton of stuff I would read this.

And of course, I would encourage you to read the Book of Mormon as well. Where to start? To be honest from the beginning. The book is largely a chronological story and so I would start on page one.

u/tyler611 · 1 pointr/latterdaysaints

That depends on what you think of academic works. I think it's super fascinating! But I'm into that kind of thing. Check out the reviews here! I use it as more of a reference than a straight through read. Most of the text is the Book of Mormon itself as well as textual comparisons of the extant original manuscript, printers manuscripts, and 1981 edition of the Book of Mormon.

u/the-mormonbatman · 3 pointsr/latterdaysaints

&gt;So where are they or their civilizations today?

Lehite successor states were ground to pieces by a combination of disease epidemic, climate change, and European aggression like the rest of America's endemic nations.

If you haven't read them, I highly recommend 1491 and 1493.

&gt;Where were they when they were at their peak?

That's a great question that is not answered by modern revelation. John Clark thinks Joseph Smith believed that Book of Mormon events occurred around the Yucatan peninsula. I agree with him but I'm happy to cede ground if future evidences don't support that.

&gt; Based on DNA and archaeology, it's a tough case, no?

Not really. This is an article you may (or may not) enjoy:

I found that its cautions were very prescient.

u/keylimesoda · 3 pointsr/latterdaysaints

I keep saying, atheists need a church. The social support structures provided by a healthy church group is incredibly valuable to the community.

That said, I also agree with the article's author (and Jonathon Haidt) that it's hard to motivate such organization in the absence of religious guiding principles.

u/njwillforever · 2 pointsr/latterdaysaints

I've not read it myself, but I hear that Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet by John G. Turner gives an honest assessment of the man without attempting to either slander him or sugarcoat his story. Have heard good things about the book from both Mormons and non-Mormons.

u/ScruffyLookingNerfHe · 1 pointr/latterdaysaints

I enjoyed Grant Hardy's Understanding the Book of Mormon. It gave me some interesting things to think about while reading the Book of Mormon.

u/-MormonBatman · 2 pointsr/latterdaysaints

Hey, have you read Believing Christ by Stephen Robinson? He was a professor at BYU when he gave the talk version which was republished in the Ensign. I really recommend the book:

And it’s sequel:

Brad Wilcox name-checks Brother Robinson in his talk. I think these books really changed how we talk about grace and faith and works.

u/ProfGilligan · 25 pointsr/latterdaysaints

There is a version for you :)

Try either the

Reader’s Edition

or the

Study Edition

of the Book of Mormon, both by Grant Hardy. He’s a literary scholar who felt as you do.

u/Cassidy_DM · 7 pointsr/latterdaysaints

For number 5:

As another Catholic who's been investigating the LDS faith on and off, I found this book to be really enlightening.;amp;qid=1485848520&amp;amp;sr=8-2&amp;amp;keywords=eric+shuster

It's by another Catholic convert and he breaks down the similarities and differences between Catholicism and the LDS faith.  I became much less skeptical of Joseph Smith after reading this book, as I can't believe that a simple man from a farming family in upstate New York could have possessed the knowledge to write the Book of Mormon and have it be so scripturally inline with thousands of years of Christian tradition. 

u/brett_l_g · 9 pointsr/latterdaysaints

The official church website is

That will give you the official views.

A broader scholarly history of the Church's views is just coming out in a book (which I haven't read) but I've heard and read his interviews. You can find some podcasts with his views easily.

As rans_2001 noted, I may be oversimplifying to just "gay" here.

Among the rank and file, you'll probably see much of the same evolution you see among other religious groups: generational divides, families with LGBTQ+ children and varying levels of acceptance, and congregations where correlated doctrine sometimes varies according to the two other factors. Just my opinion, though.

u/trev_hawk · 1 pointr/latterdaysaints

I would also highly recommend "A New Approach to Studying the Book of Mormon." Instead of splitting it into chapters like in the traditional version, it focuses more on splitting the book by story. So for example, the table of contents to this version of the BOM reads much more like a traditional book ("The story of Nephi building a ship," "Nephi finds the Liahona," etc. for example) rather than just "Book of First Nephi," "Book of Second Nephi," etc. It also has margins that always list who is speaking and when/where the events you are reading take place.

u/DurtMacGurt · 4 pointsr/latterdaysaints

I recommend that you read this article and that you read this book.

An excerpt from the article:
&gt;Sometime after Henry and Zina were married, Joseph told Dimick Huntington, Zina’s brother, the story of why he was compelled to introduce plural marriage, and asked that Dimick tell the story to Zina. As Zina is quoted by one author to have said, “Tell Zina I have put it off and put it off until an angel with a drawn sword has stood before me and told me if I did not establish that principle [plurality of wives] and live it, I would lose my position and my life and the Church could progress no further.”

I would also add that Celestial law supersedes the Levitical law.

I suggest reading those things and go to the Lord about it to give you peace.

I too had questions about this and have been patient in receiving understanding. [D&amp;C 50:40] -
&gt;"Behold, ye are little children and ye cannot bear all things now; ye must grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth."

u/DesolationRobot · 4 pointsr/latterdaysaints

I mean, what's your bar for acceptable sources? There's a long history of scholarship surrounding early Mormon history. You shouldn't feel bad that you don't know everything there is to know--few people do. But you likewise shouldn't blame others for your ignorance. You also shouldn't project your experience on others (and like /u/everything_is_free said, we all should be better about that).

But some stuff to get started:

The Maxwell Institute


Our own /u/brianhales

Richard Bushman

u/goforth2 · 1 pointr/latterdaysaints

We believe that when the original twelve apostles (and those selected to replace them when they died) were killed, the authority to act for God (priesthood) was removed from the earth. As people lived without authority, their understanding of God's will got intermingled with worldly ideas. Finally the Gospel of Jesus Christ was restored in completeness through Joseph Smith.

But that doesn't mean that everything Catholic (or any other faith) is wrong. It means that the whole correct teachings with the proper authority are not in the Catholic church, but lots of well meaning and trying to live His gospel people and efforts remain within all faiths. If you are Catholic and want to compare see similarity and differences consider;amp;qid=1458952015&amp;amp;sr=8-3&amp;amp;keywords=catholic+and+mormon or;amp;qid=1458952015&amp;amp;sr=8-1&amp;amp;keywords=catholic+and+mormon

u/icub3d · 14 pointsr/latterdaysaints

Laurel Ulrich recently published a book about historical findings relating to polygamy in A House Full of Females: Plural Marriage and Women's Rights in Early Mormonism, 1835-1870.

One of the things she points out was that it wasn't ever required of all members and it was always a family decision. That is to say that a second wife was not sealed unless both the husband and wife agreed. The third wife required consent from all other partners. There may be some anecdotes where this didn't happen but it was the general rule.

She also mentions that sex wasn't talked about much in journals or history so we don't actually know much about what happened in that respect. Most of what she shared was anecdotal by a few people. I imagine though that sexual relationships were handled by the group since she describes that for most of the plural marriages the women had equal say in their relationship. In a sense, I don't think it would change much from our current standards: no pre-marital sex and let the couple decide in coordination with the lord.

u/eternigator · 2 pointsr/latterdaysaints

I believe that they are referring to The Book of Mormon: A Reader's Edition by Grant Hardy. His other book, Understanding the Book of Mormon is highly recommended by other redditors. /u/Karl_Marxxx

u/testudoaubreii · 0 pointsr/latterdaysaints

Good stuff, if highly speculative. I suggest anyone interested in this sort of thing also read 1491 about life in the Americas before Columbus. Very insightful.

u/mlkthrowaway · 2 pointsr/latterdaysaints

american archeology is a funny thing.

i think anyone interested in this topic should read the book 1491

u/pierzstyx · 1 pointr/latterdaysaints

&gt; George Q. Cannon reflected standard thinking when he cheered in the Deseret News about how fundamentally Anglo-Saxon the Utah Territory was.

Have you read W. Paul Reeve's Religion of a Different Color: Race and the Mormon Struggle for Whiteness? "Reeve instead looks at how Protestants racialized Mormons, using physical differences in order to define Mormons as non-White to help justify their expulsion from Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois. He analyzes and contextualizes the rhetoric on Mormons as a race with period discussions of the Native American, African American, Oriental, Turk/Islam, and European immigrant races. He also examines how Mormon male, female, and child bodies were characterized in these racialized debates. For instance, while Mormons argued that polygamy was ordained by God, and so created angelic, celestial, and elevated offspring, their opponents suggested that the children were degenerate and deformed."

I was recently reading the Reynolds decision and one of the things that fascinated me was how the majority opinion said, "Polygamy has always been odious among the northern and western nations of Europe, and, until the establishment of the Mormon Church, was almost exclusively a feature of the life of Asiatic and of African people." As I read that, base doff the context of the history in the book mentioned above, the point of it linking the practice of polygamy with "non-white" cultures was to say that Mormons were, themselves "non-white," something that was a serious problem in a white supremacist society like 19th century America. So I was wondering, if you had come across anything that might suggest part of the motivation for embracing the ban was to "prove" that they were "white" by excluding those of African heritage?

u/Shortymcsmalls · 2 pointsr/latterdaysaints

This is interesting. I picked up the Grant Hardy edition of the BoM a little while ago, I might have to grab this one to compare.

u/Briggs2326 · 1 pointr/latterdaysaints

First off, I want to thank you for the way in which you ask your questions. You seem very genuine and that's extremely refreshing.

Second, I used to work at a place where my best work friend was a Catholic. He knew a lot about the faith but didn't always know how to word his answers to my questions.

So I went online and happened across this book. It is cowritten by a Catholic and a Mormon and is broken down into topics which each author then explains the beliefs regarding that topic as taught by his religion. It's a fantastic resource for comparing and contrasting the two religions in a very unbiased and non-confrontational way.

I can't recommend it highly enough... heck, after you read it, you might loan it to your LDS friends.

u/uphigh_downlow · 6 pointsr/latterdaysaints

I love the Reader's Edition.

For those not familiar with it, here is a description:

&gt;"Grant Hardy's new "Reader's Edition" has reformatted the complete, unchanged 1920 text in the manner of modern translations of the Bible, with paragraphs, quotation marks, poetic forms, topical headings, multichapter headings, indention of quoted documents, italicized reworkings of biblical prophecies, and minimized verse numbers."

Here's an example that shows the unobtrusive chapter markings and displays the poetic form, and Hardy's section headings:

u/Tabarnouche · 1 pointr/latterdaysaints

Another great book with analogies regarding the Atonement is Believing Christ

u/amodrenman · 5 pointsr/latterdaysaints

I am an active latter-day saint, and I wear a cross. I have a cross that I made on the wall of my home, as well. I started when I received one on my mission in Russia, and I have continued to wear one because of what it means to me. If you want to read some of the history of crosses and the church, check out this book by an LDS grad student. I've read it and discussed the central theory with a BYU professor; the research seems sound, too, and fits with the other things I've read in the historical periods discussed.

Moreover, the cross is a symbol. Read some scriptures about what it means. Think about what it might mean to you. If you don't want to wear it don't. But there is nothing taught in Mormonism that says you should not wear one, just the remains of some anti-Catholicism and some garbled thinking. It is not the symbol of the Mormon faith, but it is a symbol of Christ.

u/stillDREw · 1 pointr/latterdaysaints

I usually recommend the Mormon contributions to Oxford's "A Very Short Introduction" series to people who want to learn more but who are not interested in conversion. They're short (like 100 pages) and scholarly (though written by believers) and very well done. There is one specifically about The Book of Mormon and one about Mormonism more generally.

u/alfin_timiro · 8 pointsr/latterdaysaints

I highly recommend reading Banishing the Cross, a book about changing attitudes toward the cross in the LDS Church.

u/Reeses30 · 1 pointr/latterdaysaints

The problem would be if they tried to do that is getting all of the dates right. There are a lot of marriages that are in question as to whether they even happened, and other marriages we are pretty sure happened, but with contradicting accounts on the when and where. There's a reason Brian Hales writes over 1500 pages in his [Joseph Smith's Polygamy] ( series, and that reason is it is difficult to sift through what we know, what we don't know, and think we might know, but can't be sure.

In short, even if they listed all of the marriages we are pretty sure about, someone would cry foul, because they would think one of the other marriages should have been included. Most of the scholars who have written books on this subject disagree on the number of marriages, to whom, and when they occurred. It's easy to see why they decided steer clear of that mess and just go with what we know and have plenty of documentation of, which is Joseph's marriage to Emma.

u/ryanmercer · 2 pointsr/latterdaysaints

So I was looking for a comparison of

u/AlisonHugh · -1 pointsr/latterdaysaints

if you are interested in pre-columbian archeology, and you haven't read it already, i cannot recommend this book enough:

u/drb226 · 1 pointr/latterdaysaints

There is a book on this very topic. OldManEyeBrow posted the link but gave no additional information so I have no shame in reposting it with a little more elaboration on how it is relevant.

Banishing the Cross: The Emergence of a Mormon Taboo.

Also, [BYU religion professor Alonzo Gaskill wrote a book review about it](;amp;linkURL=52.4GaskillBanishing-18d7a555-db97-4acf-90ac-10c1e3e79c5d.pdf
) tl;dr: "Well reasoned," "well supported," "light read," "interesting and engaging."

u/OmniCrush · 24 pointsr/latterdaysaints

Terryl Givens in the early part of this book talks about the differences between the Restorationism that came through Joseph Smith and what we see in the other Restorationist groups of that time. I believe it's within the first 2 chapters or so, so wouldn't be too hard to find if you have access to the book.

u/jessemb · 9 pointsr/latterdaysaints

&gt;Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich says that for Mormon women living in 19th century Utah, "plural marriages" were empowering in complicated ways.

&gt;Ulrich is a professor at Harvard and past president of the American Historical Association and the Mormon History Association.

Ulrich's contribution to meme culture is the phrase, "well-behaved women seldom make history." This interview is about her recent book, A House Full Of Females: Plural Marriage And Women's Rights In Early Mormonism.