Books by Title
See the icons used for the links to the available media types for an article
A PDF document An HTML document A YouTube video An MP3 audio download An image of a document An ePub document A Kindle (mobi) document Metadata about a document, possibly with downloads Book of Mormon Central KnoWhy/Blog FAIR Blog/Article Interpreter Journal/Blog Buy at Amazon Buy at Barnes & Noble Buy at Deseret Book Buy at Eborn Books Buy at FAIR Bookstore
Search the RSC Bibliography
Advanced Search of the RSC Bibliography
This form allows you to perform an advanced search. You only need to fill in one field below. This can be any field. If you select "not" as your match criteria, you must select at least one other field.
The BYU Religious Studies Center, in cooperation with Deseret Book, has published a book by President Boyd K. Packer featuring a significant number of his paintings, drawings, and wood carvings. The book is titled The Earth Shall Teach Thee: The Lifework of an Amateur Artist. President Packer is well known for his years of service as a teacher and leader in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Many would say that his greatest contribution has been that of a teacher. His ability to teach principles with simple everyday examples is a gift. This gift came as a natural ability but has been refined by years of study, practice, and prayer. But what most people don’t know is that President Packer has had a pastime of painting and carving. This hobby has been used to beautify his home, teach his children, and provide needed relaxation. While he was painting or carving, his mind was carving out a sermon. He has created what some describe as masterpieces. To him, they are simply an attempt to capture the beauty of nature. The whole collection of his art consists of nearly six hundred original carvings, paintings, sketches, and drawings. He has used oil, acrylic, watercolor, pastels, charcoal, crayon, ink, and pencil. The collection covers seventy-seven years of effort, beginning in 1933 at age nine. President Packer’s artistic bent and love of nature are as integrally a part of him as his spirituality, compassion, steadiness, and humor. His carvings of life-size birds in natural habitats are perhaps the apex of his artistic creations. Of more enduring worth, however, are the valuable lessons taught through his art, illustrations, parables, and example. Above all, his art expresses reverence for life. Through artwork he has shared the lessons of life with his family and with members of the Church. President Packer once wrote, “During those hours working with my hands, I pondered on the marvels of creation, and inspiration would flow. As I carved wood, I carved out talks.” ISBN 978-0-8425-2806-1
This is the Icelandic version of Fire on Ice. Who were the first Icelanders to willingly leave their beloved homeland and immigrate to the United States of America? Many people are surprised to learn these immigrants were Latter-day Saint converts eager to gather to Utah, the nineteenth-century Zion in the West. How did the message of the restored gospel come to Iceland, the land of fire and ice? What made converts adventurous enough to make this lengthy Utah journey by sail, rail, and trail, and what challenges did they encounter trying to assimilate into western American culture? These and other queries are addressed in this work, published to mark a dual sesquicentennial commemoration: the arrival of the first Icelandic Latter-day Saints in Utah, and the earliest settlement of Icelanders in the United States. ISBN 978-9979-54-746-4
Volume 1 in the Occasional Papers Series This volume contains the preliminary reports from the 1984 field campaign of the Brigham Young University excavation team at Seila in the Fayum in Egypt. As both this set of reports and those expected from later expeditions will demonstrate, the work done near the Egyptian town of Seila will have a significant impact on further studies of not only Egypt’s Old Kingdom but also the Greco-Roman era. The essays in this volume demonstrate the unusually broad approach to the project this diversity of specialists allowed the team to take. ISBN 0-8849-4680-0
Described as “the most traveled man in the Church,” Andrew Jenson had been a lifelong globetrotter since his emigration from Denmark to Utah as a young boy in 1866. Although Jenson’s lifelong interest in the whereabouts of ancient Nephite and Lamanite ruins propelled him to visit the remote areas of Latin America, he returned with a powerful impression that the Latter-day gospel should be spread south, beyond the borders of Mexico. Jenson’s letters help readers better understand some of the events and experiences that seemingly led to the twentieth-century reopening of the South American Mission in 1925 by Church leaders. This book covers this important chapter from Jenson’s life and church history, which has rarely been told in over seven decades and is heretofore virtually unknown by most Mormon historians. ISBN 978-0-8425-2851-1
This volume explores some of the seminal articles that examine Joseph Smith’s First Vision, which were written by the foremost experts who have studied it for half a century. This book preserves and shares that work. Those who study the First Vision today depend very much on the works of the scholars that are reprinted in this volume. The book includes articles by and interviews with James B. Allen, Richard L. Anderson, Milton V. Backman Jr., Richard L. Bushman, Steven C. Harper, Dean C. Jessee, Larry C. Porter, and John W. Welch. ISBN 978-0-8425-2818-4
An Eye of Faith contains nineteen thought-provoking and new essays about the following topics: ancient and modern temples, revelations to the Latter-day Saints, serving others and sharing the gospel, increasing scriptural understanding, and Church history. Jointly published by Deseret Book and Brigham Young University’s Religious Studies Center, this book was written by established Church scholars including Susan Easton Black, Richard E. Bennett, Kent P. Jackson, S. Kent Brown, Richard Draper, Alexander L. Baugh, Craig Ostler, Brent L. Top, and other notable writers. ISBN 978-0-8425-2889-4
The story of the Mormon exodus from Nauvoo to a new mountain home “far away in the west” still stirs the imagination of writers, artists, historians, and musicians. Letters, diaries and other manuscript sources continue to be discovered that recount this stirring chapter in Mormon history. An entire believing people came to trust that they would find their place to worship without fear of persecution if they followed their God. This book is divided into three sections: the Mormons’ forced departure from their Nauvoo homes in 1846–47; the Mormons’ experiences along their journey to the Rocky Mountains; and what the Mormon Trail has come to mean in recent times. Even readers who have followed this history will discover new and inspiring facts about this enduring story. ISBN 978-0-8425-2969-3
Wilford Woodruff told the story of his remarkable missionary success among the United Brethren in the Three Counties of England for many years after his initial meetings with them in the mid-1800s. This book examines how this group of people, along with their friends and neighbors who were also seeking religious truth, were prepared to receive the message of the restored gospel, and how they helped the Church membership grow in the Three Counties. Readers will learn about American and British missionary exploits in this area along with converts’ stories. Finally, the book looks at how current Church members in this area have forged links with the legacy of this amazing time of harvest. ISBN 978-1-9443-9415-8
This volume offers a fresh but faithful focus on the journey of covenants and discipleship through the double lens of ancient words and medieval images. The first part of the book helps us see Christ’s identity as our Redeemer by exploring the ancient words that connect covenants, redemption, worship, the presence of the Lord, and sitting down enthroned in God’s presence as his children and heirs. The second part of the book reveals Christ as our ransom by exploring medieval images, particularly the image of Christ. With personal anecdotes, historical background, and scriptural analysis, this section uses devotional images and late medieval practices of contemplation as a strategy to come unto Christ. By using medieval images as a counterpoint to Restoration practices and ordinances, we can more fully appreciate the gift of God’s Son and see it with fresh eyes. ISBN 978-1-9443-9490-5
This book is about finding God and strengthening faith. Though some stories are about joining the LDS church, this is not a book of conversion stories. This three-year effort began as a search for interesting stories about how BYU intertwined with people’s lives and how it affected their faith. The compilers were pleased to discover experiences that were much richer in thought and detail, and far more complex than the anticipated recitations of meaningful classroom interactions and the introduction of religious values in an intellectual environment. In this thoughtful, inspriring, and sometimes humorous book, you’ll read the stories of more than twenty people and their personal interactions with BYU. You’ll read the account of Patricia Holland, who as a young teenager was deeply touched by her first contact with the University. Rabbi David Rosen shares his poignant account of traveling to Salt Lake City to meet with Church leaders about the BYU Jerusalem Center. And you’ll read about Earl Kauffman, then a non-LDS athlete who visited BYU on a recruiting visit and immediately fell in love with the University and found God in his daily interaction with teammates, students, and faculty, and later joined the Church. These essays, each a significant part of the contributors’ life histories, also serve to enrich our lives, as well as our perspectives on Finding God at BYU. ISBN 9781577349297
Who were the first Icelanders to willingly leave their beloved homeland and immigrate to the United States of America? Many people are surprised to learn these immigrants were Latter-day Saint converts eager to gather to Utah, the nineteenth-century Zion in the West. How did the message of the restored gospel come to Iceland, the land of fire and ice? What made converts adventurous enough to make this lengthy Utah journey by sail, rail, and trail, and what challenges did they encounter trying to assimilate into western American culture? These and other queries are addressed in this work, published to mark a dual sesquicentennial commemoration: the arrival of the first Icelandic Latter-day Saints in Utah, and the earliest settlement of Icelanders in the United States. ISBN 0-8425-2617-X
The 2010 BYU Church History Symposium How did a church that started with just six official members blossom into a global organization of over fourteen million members? Authors such as Richard L. Bushman, John W. Welch, and Susan Easton Black show how Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and other leaders established the foundation upon which the Church was built. According to Welch, the Book of Mormon provides the foundational administrative principles of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, “not only its doctrines and instructions for personal living but also its many administrative guidelines.” He went on to say, “The administrative character and personality of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has indeed grown directly from the genetic material found in the Book of Mormon.” This book teaches how the individuals throughout Church history were inspired to restore and establish Christ’s Church in the latter days. ISBN 978-0-8425-2785-9
The 45th Annual Brigham Young University Sidney B. Sperry Symposium This book is a compilation of essays from the 45th annual Brigham Young University Sidney B. Sperry Symposium titled Foundations of the Restoration. The keynote address by Robert L. Millet highlights the restoration of plain and precious truths. Readers will learn how we understand LDS history and doctrine, about the beliefs declared in the Articles of Faith and how we apply their truths, about the development of temples and temple ordinances, and about the restoration of true Sabbath worship. Also included are chapters on Church newspaper editor and hymn writer William W. Phelps’s contributions to our understanding of the Restoration of the gospel; the historical development of sustaining members of the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve as prophets, seers, and revelators; and the harmony and counsel needed in their declaring doctrine and making administrative decisions. ISBN 978-1-9443-9407-3
For some, the Old Testament is a difficult volume to read, much less understand. The language, symbolism, and history depicted within it can be challenging and at times frustrating. Modern biblical research and the methodologies used in that research have opened up this book of scripture to greater understanding. So too have the restoration of the priesthood and continuing revelation, which have revealed that the Old Testament patriarchs are not simply literary examples of righteous behavior in the past but living beings who have engaged with the Saints in this dispensation. This volume incorporates both academic insights and restoration revelation, thus demonstrating the way in which both can be used to gain greater insight into these pivotal narratives. ISBN 978-1-9503-0419-6
Although both members and academics alike often think of this story as well known, recent insights and discoveries associated with the efforts by the Church History Department to publish The Joseph Smith Papers have provided a fuller, richer understanding of the translation and publication of the Book of Mormon. This book was written to provide a detailed explanation of how Joseph Smith and the scribes who served with him described the process of translating the gold plates and the difficulties encountered as they sought to publish the completed book. ISBN 978-0-8425-2888-7
While recognizing the importance of that “marvelous work,” the Book of Mormon, are we content to read and reread it for its story line and its inherent spiritual power, without much more than a surface involvement? In this publication a reader can enjoy that scripture at higher levels of understanding as he brings into play Old Testament references, Book of Mormon parallels with that record, intriguing observations, and convincing inferences—all based on profound study. The result is not only a book of great interest but also a more sound and more expansive knowledge of the scripture itself. ISBN 1-5700-8650-9
The 32nd Annual Sidney B. Sperry Symposium The first publication of the Book of Mormon was completed only a few days before the Church was organized. The Lord revealed that it “contains a record of a fallen people, and the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Before the revelation was received on the organization of priesthood quorums, before the vision of the three degrees of glory, before knowledge of vicarious work for the dead, and before Joseph Smith was instructed to begin an inspired translation of the Bible, the Book of Mormon was received as scripture for all members of the Church. As the “keystone” containing a “fulness of the gospel,” the Book of Mormon connects, enhances, and clarifies the other standard works. This volume was published to encourage all who read it to discover and rediscover for themselves that the Book of Mormon does indeed contain the fulness of the gospel. ISBN 9781590381885
The 48th Annual Brigham Young University Sidney B. Sperry Symposium Alma’s deeply personal writings to his sons contain some of the most informative doctrinal discussions in scripture. Originating out of the love and concern of a parent, these chapters present salient teachings on key gospel principles, proper behaviors, and correct theology. Here the pure doctrines of God’s merciful plan of redemption through his Son, Jesus Christ, are laid plain. This volume compiles essays given at a BYU Sidney B. Sperry Symposium. Drawing on both academic training and dedicated study of the scriptures, the authors in this volume provide valuable new contexts to understand Alma’s doctrinal expositions. Tad R. Callister, former Sunday School General President, was the keynote speaker. The diversity of scholarship from this book’s contributors provides this book with valuable new contexts to help readers understand Alma’s doctrinal expositions. The range of topics covered, and the contrasting perspectives will appeal to a broad audience and speak to many different people at different levels. ISBN 978-1-9443-9484-4
Since 1990 the LDS International Society has hosted an annual conference on the globalization of Mormonism at Brigham Young University. Noted speakers such as President Dieter F. Uchtdorf and Elder John K. Carmack addressed topics including Joseph Smith and the world, missionary work in a global village, humanitarian outreach and the Latter-day Saints, Church education initiatives in an era of globalization, and international challenges facing the Church. Global Mormonism in the 21st Century offers an unprecedented view of how a fledgling American church continues to mature into a significant international religious movement. ISBN 978-0-8425-2696-8
In this book’s four brilliant approaches to the Jewish stress on extending both the vision and the Law of Moses (Torah) to every phase of life, Jacob Neusner points to the kinships of the two traditions: Learning is a form of devotion to God. The Temple and its ritual exercise of purity was the common concern of the ancient Pharisees and was the most systematic Jewish attempt at intense symbolic infusion of intelligence and light. In the absence of the Temple, after AD 70 observant Jews sought to extend the temple purification process to their own homes and then restructured their ritual into “acts of loving-kindness” and patient study not only of the meaning but the structure of Torah. Today the Mishnah is the continual revelation “element” of Jewish study, open-ended and adaptive and bringing into focus the incidents and acts of all-inclusive religious life. ISBN 0-8849-4350-X
The 31st Annual Sidney B. Sperry Symposium The messages of the New Testament Apostles—most notably Peter, James, John, and Paul—are some of the most important and powerful teachings in all of scripture. In this volume, scholars illuminate these teachings and help us understand their influence in the church of the New Testament. Many insights and teachings in this book help us understand the value and the power of the messages of the New Testament Apostles, not only for the primitive church, but for us in the latter days. ISBN 1-5700-8896-9
The 2011 BYU Church History Symposium This book features the winner of the Mormon History Association’s Best International Article Award, Ronald E. Bartholomew’s essay “The Role of Local Missionaries in Nineteenth-Century England.” Just as the risen Christ charged his Apostles, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,” he also charged his latter-day followers to do likewise. Using the Prophet Joseph Smith as his instrument, the Lord created his missionary system early in the Restoration. The Prophet received many revelations regarding missionary work and its urgency. Over the years, policies and procedures of missionary work have varied and grown a great deal, but it is always done under the direction of the Lord. The missionary system today is founded on principles based on revelation. The Church has used every righteous means available to take the gospel to the world, and the ways and means continue to expand. The outreach of the Church through missionary work is nothing short of amazing. This volume focuses on the growth and development of Mormon missionary work since the early days of the Restoration. ISBN 978-0-8425-2821-4
The 38th Annual Brigham Young University Sidney B. Sperry Symposium
The Prophet Joseph Smith said that those who read the Bible can “see God’s own handwriting in the sacred volume: and he who reads it oftenest will like it best, and he who is acquainted with it, will know the hand [of God] wherever he can see it.”
We cannot be true students of the Book of Mormon or Doctrine and Covenants without also being students of the Old Testament, for Jesus declared that the Old Testament scriptures “are they which testify of me” (John 5:39). This book of scripture serves as the First Testament of Jesus Christ.
Published in 2009
This book tells the inspiring stories of nineteen pioneering Latter-day Saints in Mexico, exploring how and why they converted to the Church and what happened to them, their families, and their descendants afterward. Despite personal, economic, political, social, and religious struggles that tested their newfound faith, these members, like countless other Mexican Saints whose stories are yet untold, turned their lives to the Savior’s gospel of life and salvation and carried on as exemplars to their people. ISBN 978-1-9503-0427-1
The 2016 and 2017 BYU Easter Conferences Christianity rises or falls based on the reality of the Resurrection. Christian religious leaders of all walks have commented on the importance of the Resurrection. Accordingly, this volume is organized to enhance our celebration of the miracle of the Resurrection. The essays published in this volume represent the talks presented at the annual Brigham Young University Easter Conferences in 2016 and 2017 by Sheri Dew, Eric D. Huntsman, Daniel K Judd, Camille Fronk Olson, Hank R. Smith, and Elder Kevin J Worthen. In this volume, readers will find the personal witnesses and testimonies of faithful disciples who have devoted their lives to understanding the Savior’s majesty and mission. May their careful, heartfelt, and inspired words take root in your heart and bring you to a deeper, more personal conviction of the central role Jesus Christ and his Resurrection have in the eternal welfare of all God’s children. ISBN 978-1-9443-9412-7
The Autobiography of Andrew Jenson, first published in 1938 by the Deseret News Press in Salt Lake City, Utah, tells the personal story of a Danish Mormon convert who eventually served as Assistant Church Historian of the LDS Church for over forty years. The author mined his voluminous personal journals and assembled Church records to tell the story of the Restoration of the gospel since the 1850s when he arrived in Utah as a European immigrant. Through his synthesized research, writing, and reflections, readers come away with deeper appreciation for the men and women whose lives constitute Mormon history. Jenson told their stories together with his life experiences, creating an important window into the Mormon past. ISBN 978-1-944394-00-4
Since the beginnings of the Church, those who participated in the Restoration were commanded to keep a history. Latter-day Saints have an abiding interest in the history of God’s dealings with this earth. Similarly, we reverence the history in scripture because our faith is grounded in events that have taken place in the time and space of this earth. Historicity is the study of the authenticity of recorded past events. This significant compilation addresses the issue of historicity as it relates to the scriptures that Latter-day Saints accept as the word of God. With articles from Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Robert J. Matthews, Robert L. Millet, and more, this book provides an inspiring and more complete picture of the necessity for the historical nature of the Latter-day Saint canon.
Traditional Christianity struggled for many years to define its canon, to determine which of its writings were sacred, inspired, and authoritative. The Latter-day Saint concept of canon differs from that of other Christians. In addition to the Bible, the Latter-day Saint canon includes the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. These “standard works” provide a measuring rod by which we can judge other texts and statements. But while we have a canon, we nevertheless believe that God continues to make known His will through the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles—men we sustain as prophets, seers, and revelators. Inspired by the Holy Ghost, their decisions are to be made in unity (D&C 107:27). We as Church members also need the Holy Ghost in order to recognize scriptural power in their words, and we can be comforted in the Lord’s promise that the President of the Church will never lead us astray.
Key historical events in the scriptures require historicity to give substance to our faith. Since the Enlightenment, however, some scholars have proclaimed that the scriptures lack historicity. In the face of these doubts, some have argued that historicity is not necessary for belief. Latter-day Saints should be wary of the misleading arguments of critics and of simplistic solutions to those arguments.
Some believe that historicity and inerrancy in scripture are the same. By this argument, when a portion of scripture is found to have errors, the entire record is considered neither historical nor accurate. However, nothing in this imperfect world is inerrant, and although the authors of the scriptural records were prophets and called of God to write their portion of the scriptures, they were not perfect—no one is. So although the authors were not inerrant, their writings are nonetheless historical. By academic standards the scriptures fulfill all the criteria for historically accurate records. With the human errors accounted for, the scriptures are reliable historically and accurate in their testimony of the doctrines of the gospel and the mission of Jesus Christ.
Scriptures are by nature preserved in words. Words alone, however, cannot contain the full reality of the worlds they represent. As sacred texts, our scriptures are overwhelmingly historical, presenting factual accounts of things that happened in time and space. But because they are written, scriptures are also inherently textual, possessing literary qualities that contribute to their witness. The aim of the writing of sacred history is different from that of history writing in general, because scripture seeks to bear testimony while it seeks to preserve events. To read the record without feeling the testimony is to misread. To be understood properly, scripture requires both the companionship of the Holy Ghost and a keen sensitivity to the inspired objectives of the author. Often those objectives are not seen fully without reading the scripture as sacred literature as well as history.
The issue of the historicity of the Book of Mormon highlights the difference between those who rely solely on scholarship and those who rely on revelation, faith, and scholarship. Those who rely solely on scholarship reject revelation and focus on a limited number of issues. But they can neither prove nor disprove the authenticity of the Book of Mormon through their secular evidence and methods. On the other hand, those who rely on a combination of revelation, faith, and scholarship can see and understand all of the complex issues of the Book of Mormon record, and it is only through that combination that the question of the historicity of the Book of Mormon can be answered.
In discussing home-centered worship, this volume explores both individual and family worship and draws from reports from a diverse sample of more than five hundred Latter-day Saints who have shared the challenges and barriers they have faced—and successes they have experienced. Individuals and families can establish and maintain a home-centered religious life and strengthen their conversion to the gospel by using these real-life experiences, quotes, and key findings in the social sciences. ISBN 978-1-9503-0432-5
The 51st Annual Brigham Young University Sidney B. Sperry Symposium The related themes of households and families figure prominently in the New Testament. On various occasions Jesus taught about marriage, divorce, and more general familial relations. Jesus, Peter, and Paul also taught about the important contributions single members and widows make in the kingdom and such household complexities as mixed-faith marriages or relationships between slaves and masters. Thus, the New Testament contains much counsel on household conduct, familial relationships, and belonging to “the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19). The Sperry Symposium, named in honor of pioneering Latter-day Saint scripture scholar Sidney B. Sperry and held on the campus of Brigham Young University, seeks each year to examine and illuminate an aspect of the religious and cultural heritage of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. ISBN 978-1-9503-0434-9
The 49th Annual Brigham Young University Sidney B. Sperry Symposium Section 93 of the Doctrine and Covenants deals with concepts that scholars term Christology and praxis. Christology has to do with the study of Christ’s nature, while praxis involves religious practice. That this revelation should insist on both the “how” and the “what” of worship indicates that knowledge and practice are inseparable. As this volume demonstrates, Joseph Smith’s revelations and teachings constitute a unique textual setting to analyze this relationship. This volume focuses on both the person of Christ and the practice of worshipping him as outlined in the revelations of Joseph Smith. More specifically, this volume seeks to understand Christ as revealed in the revelations and clarify the practices required of those who worship a being who grew “from grace to grace.” ISBN 978-1-9443-9499-8
The 35th Annual Brigham Young University Sidney B. Sperry Symposium This newest addition to the Sperry Symposium series celebrates the writing of the New Testament and the faithful service of those who brought that book of sacred scripture into existence. The chapters of this volume, presented on the Brigham Young University campus on October 27–28, 2006, explore the New Testament’s origin and examine ancient scriptural evidence on a variety of topics, ranging from the earliest ancient manuscripts to the contributions of Joseph Smith to our understanding of the New Testament. A great deal of interest has been generated lately in the origin, early history, and reliability of the documents that make up the New Testament. Books and motion pictures have exposed us to many new ideas relating to New Testament studies. This volume, although not responding directly to any of those works, puts into print the research of faithful Latter-day Saint scholars who have explored the earliest evidence for the New Testament and have asked hard questions concerning it. Indeed, the New Testament presents us with many questions. We do not know, for example, when and under what circumstances many of the documents were written. We do know that “plain and precious things” were removed from the scriptural text (1 Nephi 13:28), but because the original manuscripts do not exist, how can we find out what those things were and when they were lost? What can we say about the traditional attributions of the Gospels to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John? What can we say about how those and other books were collected to form the New Testament? Do the ancient manuscripts provide answers? What does modern revelation teach us? How the New Testament Came to Be deals with these and other questions as it explores the writing and compilation of the New Testament. The authors, though they may not always interpret the evidence in the same way, have in common a strong commitment to the centrality of the sacred mission of Jesus Christ and a belief that modern revelation is an indispensable guide for reading and understanding the New Testament. ISBN 9-7815-9038-6279