It isn't an easy task to narrow down the list of books written by prophets, apostles, and historians about the Church. The topics are varied and the viewpoints are many. However, there are certain books that have risen to the top and have stayed extremely relevant to readers over the years. We'd like to introduce our ultimate list of must-read LDS classics:
The Infinite Atonement|By Tad R. Callister
“The Atonement is the central act of human history, the pivotal point in all time, the doctrine of doctrines," writes Robert L. Millet in his foreword to this landmark book.
Tad R. Callister’s The Infinite Atonement offers us one of the most comprehensive, yet understandable, discourses of the Atonement in our day. He thoughtfully probes the infinite scope of this "great and last sacrifice," describing its power and breadth and explaining how it redeems us all.
With clarity, testimony, and understanding, The Infinite Atonement teaches us rich and wonderful truths about this "doctrine of doctrines," and elevates our spirits as we contemplate the perfect love of Him who gave all that we might receive all.
Jesus the Christ|James E. Talmage
Since it was first published in September 1915, Jesus the Christ has been a classic text on the life and ministry of the Savior. Elder Marion G. Romney has said, “One who gets the understanding, the vision, and the spirit of the resurrected Lord through a careful study of the text Jesus the Christ by Elder James E. Talmage will find that he has greatly increased his moving faith in our glorified Redeemer.”
Published more than eight decades ago and translated into many languages, Jesus the Christ, has become a truly classic volume in Mormon literature.
Joseph Smith the Prophet|By Truman G. Madsen
Joseph Smith, the prophet of the Restoration. Who was he? What was he like? How did he accomplish so much in so little time? In this enlightening eight-lecture series, Dr. Truman G. Madsen presents a fascinating history of the first prophet of the Restoration. He offers deep insights into the life of this great man, adding his own witness of Joseph Smith's calling.
All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience|Neal A. Maxwell
In the midst of deep affliction, the Prophet Joseph Smith was told, “All these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.” The world at that moment was shown anew that God is aware of man's suffering, and that pain is not without purpose. Such concepts are not always easy to accept, but, as Elder Maxwell observes, “the hardness is usually not in their complexity, but in the deep demands these doctrines make on us.”
All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience focuses on some of the “hard doctrines” that members of the Church must grapple with in the latter days. This book will help the Saints prepare for the trials ahead, while assuring them that the power of God's love is constantly available to the faithful.
Articles of Faith|James E. Talmage
For clarity, brevity, and forthrightness, there is no finer summary statement of the basic beliefs of Latter-day Saints than the Articles of Faith, which were written by Joseph Smith. These statements of belief served as the outline for a weekly theology class taught by Elder James E. Talmage (prior to his call to the Twelve) in 1893 and 1894. The content of these lectures was formally committed to writing and published in 1899 under the title Articles of Faith. For over a century, this book has been a standard text for gospel students and teachers alike because it presents the fundamental doctrines of the Church in a systematic way. This inspiring and thought-provoking work, long considered a classic in Mormon literature, is now available in a convenient, giftable, soft-leather edition.
Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, Revised Edition|By Parley P. Pratt, Scott and Maurine Proctor
From the pages of this revised and enhanced edition of the Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, the author boldly, eloquently, and humbly speaks to us from the dead. Just as he shared his personal witness in life, so in death Parley P. Pratt continues to proclaim his powerful testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
As an Apostle and missionary during the early days of the Restoration, Parley P. Pratt witnessed firsthand the events that shaped the young Church. From his memoirs, we read of mobs raging against the saints, we feel the faith, joy, and love of first-generation converts, and we experience the dignity and majesty of the Prophet Joseph Smith rebuking the blaspheming guards in Richmond, Missouri. This is definitely a biography to add to your bookshelf.
Believing Christ|Stephen E. Robinson
Author Stephen Robinson illustrates the power of the Savior as he uses analogies and parables, such as his own bicycle story, and scriptures and personal experiences in this moving, best-selling book. “Mortals have finite liabilities,” he explains, “and Jesus has unlimited assets.” By merging the two, exaltation can come. As long as we progress in some degree, the Lord will be pleased and will bless us. We must not only believe in Christ but also believe Him — believe that He has the power to exalt us, that He can do what he claims. We will better understand the doctrines of mercy, justification, and salvation by grace after reading this book.
The Broken Heart|Bruce C. Hafen
“Both as a publisher and from personal experience, I recommend this revised edition to anyone who is seeking to better understand the scope and personal impact of the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ.” — Sheri Dew
This book considers the role of the Lord's saving grace in the mortal experience. In this collection of essays, Bruce Hafen writes of the important doctrine of the Atonement. A bestseller, The Broken Heart will encourage, uplift, and inspire.
Christ and the New Covenant|By Jeffrey R. Holland
This major doctrinal work written by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, shares his apostolic witness of the central figure of the Book of Mormon—the Lord Jesus Christ. For most of a decade, Elder Holland has read the Book of Mormon repeatedly and thoroughly, focusing on all references to the Savior and His teachings. The result is an intelligent observation and thorough study of the Book of Mormon's contribution to our understanding of Christ.
Discourses of Brigham Young|Edited by John A. Widtsoe
Those unfamiliar with the genius and personality of Brigham Young will find this volume a wonderful introduction to both the man and his message.
These discourses are Brigham Young's witness to the existence of God, the divine mission of Jesus Christ, the restoration of the gospel in its fullness by Joseph Smith, and the possibility of securing happiness here and hereafter by obedience to the requirements of the gospel.
Doctrines of Salvation|Joseph Fielding Smith
Doctrines of Salvation, Volume I-3, is an authoritative work, written by the most outstanding scholar of the gospel in the Church and containing a wealth of explanations about a vast array of gospel topics, many of which cannot be found in other sources. Find insights into questions such as: What was the nature of our life in the pre-existence and what was its purpose? What is the true story of creation? How does the fall of the first man affect our salvation? What is the difference between the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of God? and How can one distinguish between true and false revelation?
Explore these fascinating topics, plus many more, from the writings of Joseph Fielding Smith, compiled by Elder Bruce R. McConkie.
Gospel Doctrine|Joseph F. Smith
Though he never wrote a book, Joseph F. Smith, sixth president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has for decades been one of the most widely quoted gospel scholars in the history of the Church. President Harold B. Lee, eleventh president of the Church, said, “When I want to seek for a more clear definition of doctrinal subjects, I have usually turned to the writings and sermons of President Joseph F. Smith.” Gospel Doctrine was first published in 1919 as a course of study for Melchizedek Priesthood quorums. It has subsequently gone through numerous printings and is truly a classic in Mormon literature.
Lectures on Faith|Joseph Smith
Did you know that the Lectures on Faith was published in the forepart of the Doctrine and Covenants in all editions from 1835 until 1921? Although the lectures are not currently published as part of the standard works, it is evident that they were held in high esteem by the Prophet Joseph Smith and those that followed him. President Joseph Fielding Smith said: “These lectures are of great value and should be studied. . . I consider them to be of extreme value in the study of the gospel of Jesus Christ,” Bruce R. McConkie has classified the lectures as “some of the best lesson material ever prepared on the Godhead; on the character, perfections, and attributes of God; on faith, miracles, and sacrifice. They can be studied with great profit by all scholars.”
A Marvelous Work and a Wonder|Legrand Richards
At the conclusion of Elder LeGrand Richards' presidency in the Southern States Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1937, he left the missionaries an outline entitled The Message of Mormonism. This outline was prepared to assist the missionaries in their study and presentation of the gospel in a systematic and logical manner. It has since been used in a number of missions and by stake missionaries. Repeated requests and suggestions that it be printed have influenced the decision to enoriginal upon the original outline and have it published in book form. It is here presented under the title A Marvelous Work and A Wonder.
No Doubt About It|Sheri Dew
No Doubt About It is much more than an insightful look at foundational gospel principles. It is a stirring call to action, a motivating book that will help readers move beyond knowing to doing. Vivid stories of the author's own experiences demonstrate how these truths apply in real-world settings.
"We no longer have the luxury of spending our energy on anything that doesn't lead us and our families to Christ," writes Sister Dew. "In the days ahead, a casual commitment to Christ will not carry us through. The time has come for each of us to stand tall, and then, in doing so, to stand together."
Counseling with Our Councils|M. Russell Ballard
"There is no problem in the family, ward, or stake that cannot be solved if we look for solutions in the Lord's way by counseling — really counseling — with each other."
So teaches Elder M. Russell Ballard, who has long been a champion of the divinely inspired council system. In this newly revised edition of his classic Counseling with Our Councils, his words have been updated to reflect the increasing emphasis placed recently on councils in the Church and family.
The insights and ideas in this book are an invaluable resource for Church leaders, parents, and anyone who wishes to minister more effectively with others in the Church or in the family.
Teachings of Thomas S. Monson|Thomas S. Monson
A lifetime of teachings from President Thomas S. Monson, Teachings of Thomas S. Monson is the ideal companion volume to the prophet's bestselling biography, To the Rescue.
An treasured resource for all who are involved in teaching the gospel or learning more from President Thomas S. Monson.
Whether you're preparing a lesson, planning a talk, teaching your family, or just seeking to be uplifted and motivated to live the gospel more fully, you'll appreciate Teachings of Thomas S. Monson.
The Coming of the Lord|Gerald N. Lund
In The Coming of the Lord Gerald Lund brings into sharp focus the events both thrilling and threatening which are to precede and accompany the Second Coming. The Adam-Ondi-Ahman Council, the coming of the Ten Tribes, the City and Temple of Zion, the “One Mighty and Strong,” the Millenium itself—all these and many other relevant facets are discussed clearly and forthrightly. Deliberately avoiding speculation, the author ties his commentary to significant scriptural passages and authoritative comments from modern prophets. Particularly important are the conclusions drawn as to where and how the righteous may find their security in the days ahead.
To Draw Closer to God|Henry B. Eyring
The Lord said to Joseph Smith, "Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock and it shall be opened unto you." (D&C 88:63.) In To Draw Closer to God, Elder Henry B. Eyring explains some of the ways we can claim these promises. In his thoughtful, spiritual style, he discusses such topics as learning to hear the Lord's voice, choosing to be good, overcoming trials of faith, strengthening the family, surrendering to Christ, and helping others draw closer to the Lord.
If you would like to have the Spirit of the Lord with you more often, or if you would like to feel closer to your Father in Heaven and have Him be closer to you, you'll appreciate the insights and messages in this collection of inspiring discourses.
With Full Purpose of Heart|Dallin H. Oaks
Elder Dallin H. Oaks, known for his keen gospel insights and precise expression, has been blessing Latter-day Saints with inspired discourses for many years. Now, Deseret Book offers a collection of some of his most popular and powerful addresses in With Full Purpose of Heart. "I hope that bringing them together in one place will facilitate access and cause the persuasiveness of the compiled whole to be greater than the sum of the scattered parts," Elder Oaks says.
In this book, he applies latter-day doctrine to the joys and challenges of life as he examines gospel principles related to judging, repentance, revelation, the resurrection, the sacrament, the Atonement, and the Lord's timing. He bears strong testimony of the divinity of the Savior and the plan of salvation, and challenges us to ask ourselves: What think we of Christ?
Joseph Smith Papers: Volume 1 - 1832-1839|By Dean C. Jessee and Ronald K. Esplin
“The Joseph Smith Papers project is the single most significant historical project of our generation.” — Elder Marlin K. Jensen, LDS Church Historian
The Joseph Smith Papers, Journals, Volume 1: 1832-1839 features Joseph Smith's first five journals. These documents give the reader an appreciation for Joseph Smith's character, his private piety, and his sense of mission. The Joseph Smith Papers, Journals, Volume 1: 1832-1839 also convey Joseph Smith's perspective on the spiritual manifestations experienced in the Kirtland, Ohio, temple, the origins of the 'Mormon War' in Missouri, and the founding of what would become Nauvoo, Illinois — the Mormon city on the Mississippi.
The Power of Everyday Missionaries|Clayton Christensen
“Uncomfortable.” “Intimidating.” That's how many people describe member missionary work. Clayton Christensen admits that he and his wife, Christine, felt that way in the past too. But they also recognized the tremendous blessings associated with the work, and they wanted to learn how to share the gospel in ways that would be natural and rewarding.
Clayton's expertise as an innovator kicked in, and he set out with friends and family members to find a more effective approach to member missionary work. Their refreshing perspectives are presented in this book, which includes inspiring, unusual stories that demonstrate the effectiveness of the ideas. Chances are, you'll discover you're already doing a lot of the things mentioned, and with just a little tweak here and there, you'll be sharing the gospel naturally as part of your everyday interactions. Along the way, you'll feel the deep joy that comes from helping others discover the most precious blessing in the world: the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Our Search for Happiness|M. Russell Ballard
In this, the most recent addition to the approved missionary personal library, Elder M. Russell Ballard explains LDS beliefs in a clear and inoffensive way. Elder Ballard discusses the Apostasy, the need for the Restoration, the Book of Mormon, the priesthood, the plan of salvation, the Articles of Faith, the Word of Wisdom, temples, missionary work, and benefits of living the gospel. Through personal experiences, he reveals how the gospel has benefited him and concludes by bearing his testimony.
You can feel confident in giving this book to any one of your friends and family members, from the very active to the nonmember.