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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Seek Ye Out Of The Best Books Words of Wisdom

In Doctrine and Covenants 88:118 it says: "...seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom;..."

This one is more of a list of sorts but this list is the best way I can think of to point readers in the direction of many of the quotes and gems I've found over the years that I have included in my blog thus far. Below is a list of the best books, lectures and other publications that have inspired me the very most.

-First and foremost, the Standard Works of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: The Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price. Literally God's words to His ancient prophets. Can't get much more important than that unless you go to modern prophets.

-The Infinite Atonement by Tad R. Callister:
  This book is by far one of the most mind and soul expanding books I have ever read, without question. In it, Callister answers questions that I never knew one could ask. He presents perspectives and facets of Christ's atonement that will just... blow you away, in a good way. I've read this one twice through cover to cover and plan on going through it again. It's just that good. Take it slow if you must, but you have to read this one.

-The Blueprint of Christ's Church by Tad R. Callister
  If there is a doctrinal or structural loophole someone thinks they perceive about the Mormon church, this book will close it. It gives a fantastic synopsis and all inclusive summary of the framework of doctrines, principles, ordinances and covenants that Jesus Christ established in His gospel from the beginning of the world until now and backs it all up with ancient and modern revelation.

-Understanding Isaiah by Donald Parry, Jay Parry and Tina M Peterson
   Yes, all Mormons (and many of other religious communities) find Isaiah to be dang near impossible to understand. This book makes everything SUPER clear and MUCH easier to understand. People don't realize just how valuable Isaiah's prophecies are to our day.

-Without Offense: The Art of Giving and Receiving Criticism by Dr. John L. Lund
   Dr. Lund does an amazing job of outlining how to stop being offended by stupid things and also how to not offend others in the most tactful loving ways possible. This book would also qualify for a great 'how to' book on human communication in general. Often we don't realize how easy it is to be kind and how much harder we make it than it needs to be. Dr. Lund's thoughts in this one are quite helpful in such a pursuit.

-Accomplishing the Impossible by Russel M. Nelson
   President Russel M. Nelson has a way in this book of explaining the words of ancient prophets and of our Savior in ways that are simple yet so profound. He makes the journey to perfection and ultimately becoming like Jesus Christ seem more doable and even enjoyable! Even for non-religious readers. There are some pretty amazing insights on personal improvement in general. This one is a shorter book, but still definitely a must read.

-Joseph Smith the Prophet: Lectures by Truman G. Madsen
  This one comes in book form and in audio CD form (six discs). For anyone who has any doubts about the divine calling of the prophet Joseph Smith, listening to (or reading) this one will show you just how prepared and powerful a servant of the Lord Joseph Smith was. It presents some of his teachings and example in a way that will undoubtedly persuade you to live your own life better.

-Earth: In the Beginning by Erik N Skousen
   Ever wonder about the more minute details of the creation of the earth and how the process was done? This book uses quotes from religious scholars as well as canonized scripture to illustrated a more in depth look at the creation of the earth and the true value of any creation of God. After reading this, my wife and I have been more careful about what we throw away and how we use the things we've been blessed with, knowing that everything God created for us to enjoy and use in this life has more value than most people realize. Reading this will leave you with a much deeper appreciation for our bodies and the earth on which we live.

-The Giver by Lois Lowry
   The Giver is a classic in the first place, but if you've never read it, it will help you see the value of the simple things in life in much greater clarity. The story may be fiction, but the moral lessons illustrated in it are timeless and invaluable.

-Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage
   Though this one is more well known among Latter-day Saints, I still put it on here because I've never read a more complete synopsis and in depth dig into the life, example and teachings of Jesus Christ than this. Talmage's prose is a little different, but the research and insight he gives into the small details is astounding. If you want to come to know about our Savior (different from knowing Him), this is a must read.

-Visions of Glory by John Pontius
   This one is fairly controversial, but for those who read it with an open mind and without reading any of the reviews (most of them are biased), it is glorious beyond imagination. Ever wonder what really goes on among dead people, details about events immediately preceding the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, or what it was really like in our pre-earth life? You've got to give this a read or more.

-The Triumph of Zion by John Pontius
   Visions of Glory is basically a man saying, "here's what I've seen in visions about things that will happen in the future that have to do with me personally" and much of it happens to have to do with the rest of the world, too. The Triumph of Zion is John saying "here's what you can have and do right now." This book is chalked full of incredible insights about seeing Jesus Christ in person, becoming translated (for non-Mormon's that means one step short of resurrection and receiving a glorified, perfected body), the real power of following the guidance of the Holy Ghost, what it means to truly exercise and have faith in the power of the priesthood and more. This one changed how I see my potential as a child of God and the try joys and blessings of the gospel of which most of us are robbing ourselves.