Which Are the Most Important Mormon Books?

The very abundance of books in our days—a stupefying and terrifying abundance—has made it more important to know how to choose,” observed historian James Bryce. “The first piece of advice I will venture to give you is this,” he added. “Read only the best books. . . . Let not an hour. . . be wasted on third-rate or second-rate stuff if first-rate stuff can be had.” This wise counsel is in harmony with the scriptural injunction “seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom” (D&C 88:118). This marvelous passage of scripture is exhilarating but leaves one to wonder, which are the best books? Or, as Bryce might say, “What is the first-rate stuff?” Certainly the scripture are most important by far, but next to them, which titles should be given highest priority? How would you answer if a serious but novice student were to ask you, “Which Mormon books should I be sure to read?”

Published in BYU Studies Quarterly 41:3
Purchase this Issue