10 influential LDS books summarized in one sentence each

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With hundreds of new books published each year by LDS authors, it’s impossible to keep up with the best in LDS writing. So we’ll make it easy on you: Here are 10 of the most popular LDS books ever, summarized in just a sentence each.

1. Jesus the Christ, by James E. Talmage (1915)

jesus the christ

A classic text on the life and ministry of the Savior, “Jesus the Christ” is a doctrinal study that was commissioned by the first presidency and written by Talmage in a council room in the Salt Lake Temple.

2. Believing Christ, by Stephen E. Robinson (1992)

believing christ

Featuring the central doctrines of mercy, justice and salvation by grace — the real “good news” of the gospel — “Believing Christ” uses scriptures and relatable real-life experiences to illustrate the power of the Savior.

3. Stand a Little Taller, by Gordon B. Hinckley (2001)

stand a little taller

This collection of 365 motivating and inspiring thoughts from President Hinckley, each paired with a verse of scripture, is the perfect aid for making “each day a little better than the one before” — a request made by President Hinckley himself.

4. A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, by LeGrand Richards (1950)

marvelous work

Originally written to assist missionaries in their study and presentation of the gospel, this collection of history and doctrine is oft cited as the bestselling LDS book of all time.

5. To the Rescue, by Heidi Swinton (2010)

to the rescue

“To the Rescue” is the inspiring and official biography of President Thomas S. Monson; it shares personal experiences and little-known accounts while painting a portrait of a leader who has dedicated his life to ministering.

6. Our Search for Happiness, by M. Russell Ballard (1993)

our search for

Elder Ballard offers explanations of the apostasy, the restoration, the Book of Mormon, the priesthood, the plan of salvation, temples and missionary work, all while sharing how the gospel can benefit lives.

7. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, by Joseph F. Smith (1938)

teachings of the prohpet

A compilation of the teachings and sermons of Joseph Smith, this book provides important doctrinal statements that show the development of the Church as new truths were revealed to its founding leader.

8. Go Forward with Faith, by Sheri Dew (1996)

go forward with faith

This biography of much-loved Gordon B. Hinckley illustrates the prophet’s engaging sense of humor, his selfless achievements as a spiritual leader, and his steadfast testimony.

9. The Peacegiver, by James L. Ferrell (2004)

peacegiver

Told as an extended parable, “The Peacegiver” weaves biblical insights into the story of a troubled modern-day character, all while showing how the atonement can bring peace to any life.

10. The Miracle of Forgiveness, by Spencer W. Kimball (1969)

miracle of forgiveness

“The Miracle of Forgiveness” offers a profound explanation of Jesus Christ’s ability to aid anyone through the process of sincere repentance.

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Ashley Dickson is a Virginia native now living in Boston. She graduated from BYU with degrees in journalism and home and family living, then spent three years writing and editing for Utah Valley Magazine. She left the mountain West to earn a master's degree in library science and now splits her time between motherhood, editing for a financial research firm, and keeping a connection to Utah by writing for UtahValley360.

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