Since last General Conference I’ve been meaning to look at the books mentioned in each Conference, just to see what items General Authorities think fit to mention. I’ve finally managed to complete my look at last conference, and I’m starting to look at this conference. The list is, I think, interesting.
Looking at what books are mentioned in Conference is much easier these days than it used to be. The talks as published on the web and in the Ensign include notes, and almost always the notes include a reference to the book, including date published. Years ago there were no notes, which makes looking at what books were referenced much more difficult.
Here’s the list of books (doesn’t include periodical articles, the Scriptures, Hymnals and Church manuals, pamphlets and handbooks) mentioned in April Conference (I think I got everything — let me know if something is missing):
- Dew, Sheri, Go Forward With Faith: The Biography of Gordon B. Hinckley. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1996.
- Emerson, Ralph Waldo. The Complete Essays and Other Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson. New York: W. H. Wise & Co., 1929.
- Kimball, Edward L., The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1982. (cited in two separate talks).
- Kimball, Spencer W., The Miracle of Forgiveness. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1969.
- McCulloch, James E., Home: the Savior of Civilization,. Washington, D.C., Southern co-operative league, 1924.
- McDonald, Lee Martin, The Formation of Christian Biblical Canon: Revised and Expanded Edition. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1988.
- Metzger, Bruce Manning, Manuscripts of the Greek Bible: An Introduction to Palaeography. New York: Oxford University Press, 1981.
- Monson, Thomas S., Pathways to Perfection: Discourses of Thomas S. Monson. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1973.
- Pedersen, Marva Jeanne Kimball, Crozier Kimball, His Life and Work. Carr Printing, 1995.
- Pratt, Parley P., The Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1938.
- Rice, Helen Steiner, Expressions of Comfort. Ulrichsville, OH: Barbour Publishing, 2007.
- Robinson, Stephen Edward, Are Mormons Christians? Salt Lake City, UT: Bookcraft, 1991.
- Schweitzer, Albert, The Quest of the Historical Jesus. .
- Smith, Joseph, The History of the Church. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret News, 1902-1932.
- Smith, Joseph Fielding. Doctrines of Salvation. Salt Lake City, UT: Bookcraft, 1954-56.
- Whitney, Orson F., The Life of Heber C. Kimball. 2nd ed. Salt Lake City, UT: Stevens & Wallis, 1945.
- Wright, N. T., The Last Word: Beyond the Bible Wars to a New Understanding of the Authority of Scripture. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2005.
I guess its not too surprising a list, but I do find several items very interesting. The books on the biblical canon are all from Elder Holland’s talk My Words… Never Cease, which refutes the idea that the canon is closed. I found the citation to the book by Helen Steiner Rice interesting, because its unusual to see poetry or fiction cited in Conference. [From what I can tell, she is poetry’s answer to Thomas Kincade – not exactly the kind of poetry that I enjoy.]
For what its worth, today’s sessions brought another unusual reference, this time to fiction: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince. With that reference, I’m very interested to see what else might be mentioned.