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  • Read Ye Out of the Best Books

  • Read Ye Out of the Best Books

    The Columbia SC Temple Collection

    The First Presidency Gift Collection

    The Deseret Book Company Gift Collection

    Zions Best 25 Books Collection

    The Missionary/Meetinghouse Libraries Collection

    Harvard Classics & Fiction

    The Easton Press Best 100 Collection

  • READ YE OUT OF THE BEST BOOKS

    We are commanded to read from the best books. But which of all those published are the best? Here areseven collections. The first five are related in some manner to the Gospel of Jesus Christ or His Church. Thelast two are of a secular nature. These seven collections will undoubtedly be of some assistance to thosetrying to add to their personal library.

    The Temple CollectionThese books were presented to the Columbia South Carolina Temple by the Church Temple Committee.They form the nucleus of the Temple Library. It may be assumed they were approved by the Brethren andthe Correlation Committee. In no particular order, they are:

    The First Presidency Christmas Gift CollectionSince 1981, the First Presidency has made a practice of giving a book to Church employees annually as aChristmas gift. Most of these books are limited editions, leather bound, gold or silver cover script, gilt orsilver edged, with a ribbon book mark, and often with silken end sheets. It is likely these are personallyselected by the Prophet and almost certainly approved by the correlation committee.

    The Deseret Book Company Christmas Gift CollectionSince 1983, the Deseret Book Company has made a practice of giving a book to its employees

    annually as a Christmas gift. These books usually are numbered limited editions, leather bound, gold orsilver cover script, gilt or silver edged, with a ribbon book mark, and often with silken end sheets. Whileperhaps not as doctrinally pure as those given by the First Presidency, these are rarer and are probablyconsidered more collectible. Many are authored by Apostles.

    Zion's Best 25 LDS BooksOn his Zions Best web site ( www.zionsbest.com ), John W. Redelfs gives the following

    introduction:"Read the sermons of the latter-day Presidents of the Church." That is the advice that Elder Hartman

    Rector, Jr. gave me in 1968 when I was taking an Institute class from him at the University of Utah. I did,and it has changed my life.

    I asked him, "After the Standard Works and the works of Talmage, what are the best books thatwe are commanded to study in the Doctrine and Covenants?" (D&C 88:118) This is what he told me. Theseare those fifteen books, and ten others that I consider the "best books" after the Standard Works. [Thecommentary after each book in this section is Brother Redelfs.]

  • The Missionary/Meetinghouse LibrariesOver the years, different sets of books have comprised the Missionary Library. And they have had

    varying degrees of imprimatur. At times, the listing included those mandated to be read as part of a selftaught instruction course. At other times the listing was merely permissive rather than mandatory. I haveincluded here all those I have identified and the time period they were listed. The reader will note that somelasted through the years while others are no longer readily recognized and might be very difficult to locate.

    Harvard Classics & Fiction The Harvard Classics is a 51-volume anthology of classic works from world literature, compiled and editedby Harvard University president Charles W. Eliot and first published in 1909. Eliot had stated in speechesthat the elements of a liberal education could be obtained by spending 15 minutes a day reading from acollection of books that could fit on a five-foot shelf. The publisher P. F. Collier and Son saw an opportunityand challenged Eliot to make good on this statement by selecting an appropriate collection of works, andthe Harvard Classics was the result. Then, because his selection was thought to be lacking in fictional works,another twenty selections were added.

    The Easton Press Greatest 100 CollectionEaston Press is one of many publishers that have created a list of the 100 greatest books ever written. In thecase of Easton Press, however, their 100 Greatest Books Ever Written series are all gorgeously leather boundbooks. Every book in this series is bound in genuine leather, and the books also include 22k gold accentson the cover as well as gilt page edges and a sewn in bookmark.Many other sources have created lists of the 100 greatest books, including Time magazine. While the booksin each list vary from source to source, there are certain books that seem to consistently make it onto everylist well-known classics like To Kill a Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men, and Adventures of HuckleberryFinn are all examples of such books.The Easton Press series is definitely one of the definitive collectors editions, however, with their incrediblyhigh quality leather bound books.

  • THE TEMPLE COLLECTION

    These books were presented to the Columbia South Carolina Temple by the Church Temple Committee.They form the nucleus of the Temple Library. It may be assumed they were approved by the Brethren andthe Correlation Committee. In no particular order, they are:

    G 1. The Standard Works Includes the Holy Bible, The Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.

    G 2. The Holy Temple by Boyd K. Packer. Short. Easily readable, yet explores the Temple in some depth.

    G 3. Mormon Doctrine by Bruce R. McConkie. It is interesting that the Church would select this book for the Temple Libraries if it contains only the opinion of ElderMcConkie as some have argued.

    G 4. History of the Church by Joseph Smith. This seven volume work is considered primary source material for Church historians.

    G 5. Doctrines of Salvation by Joseph Fielding Smith. This three volume set was written by the man whom many consider the greatest theologian the Church has ever produced.

    G 6. A Marvelous Work and a Wonder by LeGrand Richards. This wonderful book presents Gospel truths in an easily understood format.

    G 7. Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage. Written by an Apostle of the Lord under the direction of the First Presidency in an upper room in the Salt Lake Temple.The language is difficult and the doctrines are deep. Unparalleled!

    G 8. The Articles of Faith by James E. Talmage. Doctor Talmage goes beyond the life of Christ in an explication of Gospel principles using the Articles of Faith fromthe Pearl of Great Price as a framework.

  • G 9. Discourses of Brigham Young compiled and edited by John A. Widtsoe. Pure raw Gospel principles hammered home without fancy language or buffering text. Difficult to read but extremelyworthwhile.

    G10. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith compiled and edited by Joseph F. Smith Beyond the standard works, possibly the single most important book written in the latter-days.

  • THE FIRST PRESIDENCY CHRISTMAS GIFT COLLECTIONSince 1981, the First Presidency has made a practice of giving a book to Church employees annually

    as a Christmas gift. Most of these books are limited editions, leather bound, gold or silver cover script, giltor silver edged, with a ribbon book mark, and often with silken end sheets. It is likely these are personallyselected by the prophet and almost certainly approved by the correlation committee.

    G 1981 Triple CombinationThe Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price in a deluxe soft brown leather-bound

    edition.

    G 1982 Holy BibleThe Old and New Testaments in a deluxe soft brown leather-bound edition

    G 1983 Jesus the Christ by James E. TalmageWritten by an Apostle of the Lord under the direction of the First Presidency in an upper room in the Salt Lake Temple.

    The language is difficult and the doctrines are deep. Unparalleled! Deluxe soft brown leather-bound edition

    G 1984 Articles of Faith by James E. TalmageDoctor Talmage goes beyond the life of Christ in an explication of Gospel principles using the Articles of Faith from

    the Pearl of Great Price as a framework. Deluxe soft brown leather-bound edition

    G 1985 HymnalThe (then) new Hymnal of the Church of Jesus Crist of Latter-day Saints in a hard bound blue leather edition

    G 1986 Booklet of Quotes copyrighted by the Corporation of the First PresidencyPerhaps the rarest of all the First Presidency Christmas gifts, this is not leather-bound but rather a trade-bound paperback.

    G 1987 Pocket HymnalThe Hymnal of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in a pocket sized edition. Deluxe soft brown leather-bound

    edition.

  • G 1988 Quadruple Combination The Holy Bible, The Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price in a small deluxe soft

    brown leather-bound edition.

    G 1989 Life of Joseph Smith the Prophet, by George Q. Cannon A biography of the Prophet by an Apostle. This seems to be the first of the limited edition printings used by the first

    presidency. Red leather-bound edition.

    G 1990 Gospel Doctrine by Joseph F. SmithJoseph F. Smith was the son of Hyrum Smith, the Prophet Joseph's brother. He was the sixth President of the Church and

    the father of Joseph Fielding Smith, the tenth President of the Church. This is the standard compilation of his sermons.

    Most of the year 2000 Relief Society and Melchizedek Priesthood manual was taken from this book. Highly

    recommended. Red leather-bound edition.

    G 1991 Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith compiled and edited by Joseph F. Smith. Beyond thestandard works, possibly the single most important book written in the latter-days. Gray leather-bound edition.

    G 1992 The