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A New Thread for Good Reads


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Hi there.  I am in the market for a good read or two that is related to the gospel.  I enjoy things that teach me new things, or new ways of seeing things - and enjoy less books about general spirituality, or fluffy, feel-good books.  Of course, I would like them to be - if not LDS - compatible with LDS teachings.

 

What are everyones new or old favorites?

 

Thanks!

 

MP

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Some of my favorites that definitely provided me with new ways of seeing things. None are LDS, but I find them all the more meaningful due the intense light they shed on things LDS, without meaning to do so.  They all changed the way I read the LDS scriptures.

Margaret Barker, The Great Angel: A Study of Israel's Second God

Robert Alter, The Art of Biblical Narrative

Ian Barbour, Myths, Models, and Paradigms: A Comparative Study of Science and Religion

Carol Zaleski, Otherworld Journeys: Accounts of Near Death Experience in Medieval and Modern Times.

FWIW

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

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21 minutes ago, Maestrophil said:

Hi there.  I am in the market for a good read or two that is related to the gospel.  I enjoy things that teach me new things, or new ways of seeing things - and enjoy less books about general spirituality, or fluffy, feel-good books.  Of course, I would like them to be - if not LDS - compatible with LDS teachings.

What are everyones new or old favorites?

Thanks!

MP

Faith is Not Blind, by Bruce C. Hafen and Marie K. Hafen.

The Second Witness series by Brant Gardner.

The Gate of Heaven: Insights on the Doctrines and Symbols of the Temple, by Matthew Brown.

Thanks,

-Smac

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Still in the middle of these 2 books, but I find them very good.

The Power of Stillness - Deseret Book description:

"Latter-day Saints are great at getting things done. But sometimes an excessive focus on "doing more" can take us to a place where we're mostly going through the motions—and missing the deep, rich spiritual power that can come from being still. Using Latter-day Saint vernacular and examples, The Power of Stillness explores ways in which mindfulness can help deepen our conversion to the gospel. Infusing our homes with more stillness, silence, and space can reinvigorate the joy inherent in our faith and help us feel calmer, more present and engaged in our lives, and more spiritually connected to our Savior."

My husband and I are listening to a chapter each Sunday together. If listening, you may want to know one of the readers is very slow. We usually speed it up, which makes me laugh given the subject.  But I find it speaking to things I need in my life right now.

 

Willpower is not enough

Description: "Authors A. Dean Byrd and Mark D. Chamberlain address the topic of self-control, exploring it in the framework of doctrine and counsel from Church leaders and their own professional experiences. The authors have discovered that people who are successful in maintaining self-control rely less on willpower than on what might be called heart-power. Willpower Is Not Enough provides encouragement and guidance to all who wish to harness the motivating power of the heart, express themselves from the heart, and successfully deal with setbacks and overcome obstacles to change."

I love one particular passage that talks about not fighting those bad things you really have a passion/urges for, but using the feelings to direct you in the Lord's path instead.  There is more to the passage, but one part talks about not fighting the waves with your oars, but setting the sail to use the power of the Lord. 

 

 

Edited by Rain
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19 hours ago, Maestrophil said:

Hi there.  I am in the market for a good read or two that is related to the gospel.  I enjoy things that teach me new things, or new ways of seeing things - and enjoy less books about general spirituality, or fluffy, feel-good books.  Of course, I would like them to be - if not LDS - compatible with LDS teachings.

 

What are everyones new or old favorites?

 

Thanks!

 

MP

Best church books I've read in the past year.  

  • Just finished Saints, Slaves and Blacks by Newel Bringhurst (I read at least one book on race every Black history month.  This one is excellent!)
  • Thunder From the Right - Matt Harris (If you want to learn about Erza Taft Benson and the politics he held, this is excellent)
  • The Next Mormons - Jana Riess (Must read to better understand modern church dynamics for active and inactive members)
  • Bridges - David Ostler (Best book so far on bridging the gap between understanding for those who struggle with faith, written by a believing and active member)
  • Gay Rights and the Mormon Church - Greg Prince (Best book on the history of LGBT issues within the church)

 

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And Should We Die by Donald R. Curtis.

This account of the 1884 Cane Creek Massacre in Tennessee. Two missionaries, two members, and the mob leader killed in a masked mob raid on an LDS Sunday meeting. BH Roberts disguised as a hobo with a mule and a wagon sets out to retrieve the bodies despite mob threats against his life, missionaries hiding their garments in the woods to avoid being beaten or killed by the anti-Mormon mobs, an elder disguised as an itinerant cotton picker sneaking through the mob lines to verify the deaths and get the true reports (how did he get away when he was questioned about his new boots and his callus-free hands?), polygamists stealing girls and women to send back to the Utah harems, a fake news story in the Salt Lake Tribune about the "Red Hot Address" in which a "Mormon bishop" calls for the slaughter of all Gentiles, Saints driven out of their homes, Mormon chapel, homes, and businesses burned.....

Quote

Sunday morning while three of the Elders met at the Conder home, Elder Jones was at the home of Tom Garrett where he, Elder Gibbs and Elder Thompson had spent the night. He was reading a discourse by a “prominent elder of the church” to a small group meeting there. When he was finished, he started to make his way to the main Sunday meeting when he was surrounded by a mob of armed men in masks and "outlandish colorful" disguises. After questioning him, they left him under the guard of one of their number. The mob seemed mostly interested in the whereabouts of Elder Gibbs. "Time is flying. Let us get Gibbs" one of the vigilantes said.

The mob proceeded to the Conder home. They seized "Jim" Conder at the gate, who called to his two sons for help. One of the sons, J. Riley Hutson (his stepson) ran up to the loft to get his gun. The other, W. Martin Conder, ran to the back door to get his. The apparent mob leader, David Hinson, and few others entered the house where and Hinson and Martin struggled over the gun. At some point Hinson pulled a pistol to shoot Martin. The gun misfired but it allowed Hinson to gain the upper hand and he knocked Martin to the ground. He then turned and shot Elder Gibbs. Another member of the mob, then attempted to shoot Elder Thompson. Elder Berry grabbed the gun barrel with both hands and pushed it out of the way while Elder Thompson escaped out the back door. Elder Berry was then shot and died instantly. Martin regaining his composure went after the gun again. But he was shot by a different assailant and died instantly. Martin’s half brother, Riley, came down from the loft and shot and killed David Hinson but was in turn shot himself. Another shot fired from outside the Conder house hit Mrs. Conder in the hip. Her story is continued by Ardis Parshall here. The mob then left taking the body of David Hinson with them.

During the gunfight Elder Jones, left under guard less than a mile away, heard the shots and was allowed to escape by his guard. He immediately headed for Shady Grove in the next county.
 

What's not to like?

Plus, this could make one of the best ever movies about Church history.

https://byustudies.byu.edu/content/and-should-we-die-cane-creek-mormon-massacre

BTW, I am related by marriage to David Hinson, the leader of the mob! My great-grandfather and two of his brothers and their families were driven out by the mob and were sent to the LDS colony in San Luis Valley, Colorado. :crazy:

Edited by Bernard Gui
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23 hours ago, smac97 said:

Faith is Not Blind, by Bruce C. Hafen and Marie K. Hafen.

The Second Witness series by Brant Gardner.

The Gate of Heaven: Insights on the Doctrines and Symbols of the Temple, by Matthew Brown.

Thanks,

-Smac

How much detail does Brown's book go into?  I would love a deeper dive into the Temple ordinances, but, for obvious reasons, many of the books don't go into enough specific detail to make me feel enlightened...

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20 minutes ago, Maestrophil said:

I have always been curious to read Barker.  What is the premise of that book?

From her website:

Quote

In The Great Angel. A Study of Israel’s Second God (London: SPCK, 1992) she tested the hypothesis that when the early Christians read the Old Testament as an account of the pre-incarnate Christ, they were reading in a traditional way and were not innovators. She proposed that pre-Christian Judaism was not monotheistic in the generally accepted sense of that word. From a comparison of ancient versions of the OT she proposed that Israel had known a High God and a second, national God, known as the Son of God Most High. Since crucial textual variants arose relatively late, as can be seen from the Qumran evidence, the second God remained a living issue during the second temple period. The hypothesis was tested in Philo, early rabbininc texts (building on the work of A Segal Two Powers in Heaven Leiden: Brill, 1978, but reaching very different conclusions), in Gnostic texts and, with unexpected success, in the Christian writings of the first three centuries. Finally she tested the hypothesis in the New Testament where the results convinced her that this was the key to understanding Christian origins. She concluded that when the Christians declared ‘Jesus is the Lord’ they were affirming that Jesus was the final manifestation of Yahweh, the national God of Israel in the Old Testament. Thus the origins of Trinitarian belief are pre-Christian, and the heir to temple tradition is Christianity. The sensitive nature of these results made further study imperative, but nothing she has discovered since has in any way altered these conclusions. The Lord of the Old Testament as the Lord of the New Testament was fundamental to all her subsequent work. This book caught the attention of  Mormon scholars [Latter Day Saints] who now take a great interest in Margaret Barker's work.

I've published on the significance of Barker's work several times.  (I'm one of the Mormon scholars she refers to here.)  Although the Maxwell Institute took down much of my work last Spring, with their revamped website, Robert Smith has uploaded my Paradigms Regained: A Survey of Margaret Barker's Scholarship and Its Significance for Mormon Studies to Scribed.

https://www.scribd.com/document/439717261/PARADIGMS-REGAINED-A-SURVEY-OF-MARGARET-BARKER-S-SCHOLARSHIP-AND-ITS-SIGNIFICANCE-FOR-MORMON-STUDIES

A later piece is at the Scholar's Archive, "The Deuteronomist De-christianizing of the Old Testament".

https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1621&context=msr

And of course, her website has many useful things:

http://www.margaretbarker.com/Papers/default.htm

It's fun, for example, to read her 2002 paper "Text and Context" and then read 1 Nephi 13 on the loss and recovery of plain and precious things.  I believe that her work fulfills the prophesy regarding what was lost and what has been restored.

And there is her 2005 BYU Studies article on the Book of Mormon as well.

Best,

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

Edited by Kevin Christensen
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8 minutes ago, Kevin Christensen said:

From her website:

I've published on the significance of Barker's work several times.  (I'm one of the Mormon scholars she refers to here.)  Although the Maxwell Institute took down much of my work last Spring, with their revamped website, Robert Smith has uploaded my Paradigms Regained: A Survey of Margaret Barker's Scholarship and Its Significance for Mormon Studies to Scribed.

https://www.scribd.com/document/439717261/PARADIGMS-REGAINED-A-SURVEY-OF-MARGARET-BARKER-S-SCHOLARSHIP-AND-ITS-SIGNIFICANCE-FOR-MORMON-STUDIES

A later piece is at the Scholar's Archive, "The Deuteronomist De-christianizing of the Old Testament".

https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1621&context=msr

And of course, her website has many useful things:

http://www.margaretbarker.com/Papers/default.htm

It's fun, for example, to read her 2002 paper "Text and Context" and then read 1 Nephi 13 on the loss and recovery of plain and precious things.  I believe that her work fulfills the prophesy regarding what was lost and what has been restored.

And there is her 2005 BYU Studies article on the Book of Mormon as well.

Best,

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

Fabulous summary, thanks.

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