May 19, 2010

Classics--I need your help

I had a stunning realization the other day, that I neglected in my list of classics to include those books that are religious in nature. I have already noticed that the books I'm currently reading are pretty humanist if not just secular. I'd like to have some religious classics, pertaining to LDS in particular, to add into my list. I've looked online and have found, unfortunately, that there is no list out there like the others I've found, of "books every LDS person should read" or "LDS religious classics" or anything. And yes, I know these aren't novels. But I think it's important that I'm getting some good reading in. So I have decided to make one myself. So far I've thought of:

The Bible
The Book of Mormon
Doctrine and Covenants
Pearl of Great Price
The Apocrypha
Josephus (antiquities of the Jews, esp.)
Jesus The Christ, James E. Talmage
Gospel Doctrine, Joseph F. Smith
The Bonds that Make Us Free, C. Terry Warner
Approaching Zion, Hugh Nibley
The Miracle of Forgiveness & Faith Proceeds the Miracle, by Spencer W. Kimball
Mormon Doctrine, Bruce R McConkie
An Enemy Hath Done This, by Ezra Taft Benson
History of the Church, 6 Volume Set
Lectures on Faith, Joseph Smith
Discourses of Joseph Smith
Discourses of Brigham Young
Standing For Something, Gordon B. Hinckley
Thousand Years Series, Cleon Skousen
Christ and the New Covenant, Jeffrey R. Holland
Pilgrim's Progress, John Bunyan
Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling,Richard Bushman
The Great Divorce, Mere Christianity, & The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis
The Gnostic Gospels, by Elaine Pagel
Misquoting Jesus, by Bart. D. Ehman

So... that's all I can think of right now. What would you say is an "LDS" or "Religious related to LDS scholarship/testimony building" classic? Please give me some ideas to add to my list so I can make my reading more well-rounded. I've decided no anti-mormon literature (skywalker jokingly suggested the Salamander Letters to be a classic related to Mormon doctrine, and while he's right I'm not sure I should be reading something like that if my purpose is edification.)

*edited to add* thanks for you suggestions so far. Dave, I added yours to the list. I was thinking of Standing for something last night, but my husband talked me out of it, said it's not a classic *yet*. But I agree it should be on there... it's a classic to me. :)

I thought of the Apocrypha. I've added a link for myself so I can buy it on Amazon when I come around to that one. Apparently there's old testament as well as new testament apocrypha, and then the dead sea scrolls of course.

I'm going to be so weirdly well-read when this list is done. Maybe I'll be able speak up in gospel doctrine class when it veers, as gospel doctrine classes do on occasion, into something extremely esoteric and somewhat unimportant :)


David L said...

I would strongly recommend the discourses of Joseph Smith. And I know you may get a backlash from some, but I consider Skousen to be a preeminent LDS scholar. His Thousand Years series is an incredible set of works.

David L said...

Oh, and Standing for Something by President Hinckley.

Kirsten said...

I've been on a bit of a reading binge lately and this is exactly what I needed to read. I don't know why I didn't think to add these kinds of books into the mix. I'm sure I'll feel more balanced once I do.

I think some of the biographies of church leaders are pretty inspiring. (Though I can't think of one in particular at the moment.) They have a lot of doctrine in practice in them that is very relatable.

Thanks for the idea and list!

Putz said...

branches and twigs from the family tree ofjames barlow and hannah braithwaite dalton by david h.{putz} barlow is a masterpiece without peer

Margaret said...

How about "Christ and the New Covenant" by Elder Holland?


I had another one in mind but I lost it...

Oh yeah - "The Lectures on Faith" by Joseph Smith.

Sarah said...

Bunyans's Pilgrim's Progress---not necessarily LDS but definitely a Christian classic.

Also----I'd include Rough Stone Rolling by Bushman even though it's fairly new and in that sense not a "classic" (yet). I'm just starting this one. And will read Pilgrim's Progress with Ella this coming school year.

NoSurfGirl said...

Thanks for the continuing suggestions, guys.

I had also considered "rough stone rolling," then decided I'd wait and see if someone who'd read it would recommend it as such, since I haven't read it yet. I'm excited to get a chance to read that one... have heard a lot about it.

Janell said...

"Antiquities of the Jews" by Josephus is a dry but very interesting read. I love referencing that one to get a different perspective on many Old Testament stories.

Even moreso, "The History of the Church," is very dry. Worthwhile when read with D&C, but still dry.

I'd also recommend, "Faith Proceeds the Miracle," by Spencer W. Kimball. It's a quick, easy read. I recall enjoying that one quite a bit, but it's been a long time since I read any of his books.

"Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis is fascinating.

Hm, I'm struggling to remember what else is tucked among my bookshelves that are reading rather than references. I'll check when I get home :)

Jeff said...

The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels and Misquoting Jesus by Bart Ehrman are both excellent and would be fascinating from an LDS perspective.

Jeff said...

I'd also highly recommend Under the Banner of Heaven, but I'm not sure if that would qualify as "anti" or not. I don't think it is, but I know people who would classify it as such.

NoSurfGirl said...

I've never heard of these. (See how patchy my educations is in some ways?0 So I went and read a review of the books you mentioned, and the first two do seem very interesting and also pertinent. As this is a venture for me, I'm not necessarily condoning all these books, I'm going to review them after I read them and perhaps remake my list at the end, I'll go ahead and add them!

--as for Under the Banner of Heaven... I might wait on that one a bit. For me it might be just a bit too anti-ish. Though I'm not opposed at all to thinks like Rough Stone rolling which portrays the prophet as honestly and accurately (according to the Author) as possible, and is still something the Church doesn't seem to object to (like Under the Banner.) :)

Jeff said...

I definitely think you'll enjoy the first two, and I totally understand about Under the Banner of Heaven. It's certainly not for everyone (my sister hated it). I read it because I love Krakauer and his writing style (you should read Into the Wild if you haven't yet even though it's not pertinent to the current discussion). I liked it, but I'm pretty far from being a typical Mormon. :)

I also think that The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis should be on your list. It's a delightful little read.

NoSurfGirl said...

oh... good one. Thanks.

Josh said...

One other C.S. Lewis book to add to the list is The Great Divorce. Adele and I read that book together and I think it both hers and my favorite C.S. Lewis book. The others recommended on your blog are right up there, but that one was just awesome.

NoSurfGirl said...

Thanks, Josh... I thought I was missing something C.S.Lewis that was important. I've been wanting to read both of those (already read screwtape, will read it again) forever.