Conference Books — Fall 2008

10.13.08 | | 13 comments
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After the interest shown in the list of books I prepared last week — the books mentioned or referenced in April 2008 General Conference, I went ahead and prepared a list for the current (October 2008) Conference also.

I found this list even more interesting. There are more books on this list (some 35 — it makes me wonder if I didn’t miss some material from the April Conference), and the variety of the books and the material cited is fascinating. The list wanders from Thoreau to The Little Prince and includes the somewhat obscure as well as the famous.

Looking over a list like this, I have to wonder a lot about what writing process General Authorities use in preparing their discourses.

I’m not sure what exactly this collection says about Mormonism, our culture or General Conference. I do think its safe to say that many General Authorities are familiar with a wide variety of material. Of course, the list does rely heavily on LDS Church History and compilations of quotations. And given the personality that Pres. Monson shows us over the pulpit, The Music Man (I know its not really a book, but I included it anyway) is no surprise. But still some items are simply surprising. I’d never heard of J. M. Barrie’s A Window in Thrums. Perhaps I should read it!

Anyway, here are the books mentioned or citied in the most recent General Conference:

  • Ballard, Melvin R., Melvin J. Ballard: Crusader for Righteousness, 1966.
    • M. Russell Ballard, The Truth of God Shall Go Forth, Sunday Morning Session
  • Barrie, J. M., A Window In Thrums, 1917.
    • Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Happiness, Your Heritage, General Relief Society Meeting
  • Bartlett, John, Familiar Quotations, 17th ed. 2002.
    • Dieter F. Uchtdorf, The Infinite Power of Hope, Saturday Morning Session – citing Albert Camus
  • Benson, Ezra Taft, The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, 1988.
    • Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Lift Where You Stand, Priesthood Session – citing Albert Camus
  • Dahl, Borghild, I Wanted to See, 1944.
    • Thomas S. Monson, Finding Joy in the Journey, Sunday Morning Session
  • Carruth, Gorton and Eugene Erlich, comp., Harper Book of American Quotations, 1988.
    • Thomas S. Monson, Finding Joy in the Journey, Sunday Morning Session – quoting Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • Cannon, Janeth Russell, Women of Covenant: The Story of Relief Society, 2002.
    • Barbara Thompson, Now Let Us Rejoice, General Relief Society Meeting
  • Cook, John, comp., The Book of Positive Quotations, 2nd ed. 2007.
    • Thomas S. Monson, Finding Joy in the Journey, Sunday Morning Session – quoting Sarah Ban Breathnach
  • Dickens, Charles, A Tale of Two Cities,.
    • Quentin L. Cook, “Hope Ya Know, We Had a Hard Time, Sunday Afternoon Session
  • Eliot, Charles W., ed., The Harvard Classics, 50 vols. 1909–10.
    • L. Tom Perry, Let Him Do It with Simplicity, Saturday Morning Session
  • Gordon, Arthur, A Touch of Wonder, 1974.
    • Thomas S. Monson, Finding Joy in the Journey, Sunday Morning Session
  • Grothe, Mardy, Viva la Repartee, 2005.
    • L. Tom Perry, Let Him Do It with Simplicity, Saturday Morning Session
  • Kimball, Spencer W., The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball 1982.
    • Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Happiness, Your Heritage, General Relief Society Meeting
  • Lee, Harold B., Stand ye in holy places, 1974.
    • Thomas S. Monson, To Learn, to Do, to Be, Priesthood Session
  • Lee, Harold B., Ye are the light of the world, 1974.
    • David A. Bednar, Pray Always, Saturday Afternoon Session
  • Marlowe, Christopher, The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus,
    • Thomas S. Monson, Until We Meet Again, Saturday Afternoon Session
  • Maxwell, Neal A., A Wonderful Flood of Light, 1990.
    • D. Todd Christofferson, Come to Zion, Saturday Afternoon Session
  • McConkie, Bruce R., Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. 1966.
    • Russell M. Nelson, Celestial Marriage, Sunday Afternoon Session
  • Monson, Thomas S., Inspiring Experiences That Build Faith, 1994.
    • L. Tom Perry, Let Him Do It with Simplicity, Saturday Morning Session
  • Pope, Alexander, Essay on Man and Other Poems,.
    • Elaine S. Dalton, A Return to Virtue, Sunday Morning Session
  • Rudd, Glen L., Treasured Experiences of Glen L. Rudd, self-published manuscript, 1995.
    • Keith B. McMullin, God Loves and Helps All of His Children, Sunday Morning Session
  • Saint-Exupéry, Antoine de, The Little Prince, 1943.
    • Gérald Caussé, Even a Child Can Understand, Saturday Afternoon Session
  • Sandrock, Michael, Running With the Legends: Training and Racing Insights from 21 Great Runners, 1966.
    • Elaine S. Dalton, A Return to Virtue, Sunday Morning Session – quoting Juma Ikangaa
  • Sessions, Gene A., ed., Biographies And Reminiscences From The James Henry Moyle Collection, typescript, Church Archives.
    • Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Lift Where You Stand, Priesthood Session – citing Albert Camus
  • Shakespeare, William, The Two Gentlemen of Verona,.
    • Thomas S. Monson, Finding Joy in the Journey, Sunday Morning Session
  • Smith, Barbara B. and Blythe Darlyn Thatcher, eds., Heroines of the Restoration, 1997.
    • Quentin L. Cook, “Hope Ya Know, We Had a Hard Time”, Sunday Afternoon Session – citing Heidi Swinton, “I Gently Closed the Door.”
  • Smith, Bathsheba W., Autobiography, ed. Alice Merrill Horne.
    • Quentin L. Cook, “Hope Ya Know, We Had a Hard Time”, Sunday Afternoon Session
  • Smith, Eliza R. Snow, Biography And Family Record Of Lorenzo Snow, 1884.
    • Boyd K. Packer, The Test, Sunday Afternoon Session
  • Smith, Joseph, History of the Church, ed. B. H. Roberts, 7 vols. 1902-1932.
    • Gérald Caussé, Even a Child Can Understand, Saturday Afternoon Session
    • Keith B. McMullin, God Loves and Helps All of His Children, Sunday Morning Session
    • M. Russell Ballard, The Truth of God Shall Go Forth, Sunday Morning Session
    • Boyd K. Packer, The Test, Sunday Afternoon Session
    • Barbara Thompson, Now Let Us Rejoice, General Relief Society Meeting
  • Smith, Joseph Fielding, Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. 1954–56.
    • Dallin H. Oaks, Sacrament Meeting and the Sacrament, Saturday Morning Session
    • Russell M. Nelson, Celestial Marriage, Sunday Afternoon Session
  • Thoreau, Henry David, Walden, 1854.
    • L. Tom Perry, Let Him Do It with Simplicity, Saturday Morning Session
  • Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, 1986.
    • Robert D. Hales, Christian Courage: The Price of Discipleship, Sunday Morning Session
  • Whitney, Helen Mar, A Woman’s View: Helen Mar Whitney’s Reminiscences of Early Church History, ed. Jeni Broberg Holzapfel and Richard Neitzel Holzapfel, 1997.
    • Quentin L. Cook, “Hope Ya Know, We Had a Hard Time, Saturday Afternoon Session
  • Wilson, Meredith and Franklin Lacey, The Music Man, 1957.
    • Thomas S. Monson, Finding Joy in the Journey, Sunday Morning Session
  • Young, Brigham, Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widstoe, 1971.
    • Silvia H. Allred, Holy Temples, Sacred Covenants, General Relief Society Meeting
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13 comments: “Conference Books — Fall 2008

  1. William Morris

    Thanks for taking the time to put this together, Kent.

    So Pres. Monson (9) and Pres. Uchtdorf (5) cited the most non-scriptural sources. Of course, they give more talks.

  2. Kent Larsen Post author

    So Pres. Monson (9) and Pres. Uchtdorf (5) cited the most non-scriptural sources. Of course, they give more talks.

    You’re right. But even controlling for that, there are a few talks that don’t cite any references at all, and many that stick to scriptures and the Church magazines.

    I’ve occasionally heard from some leaders who encourage members to stick to the scriptures and church magazines when they prepare talks. I wonder if the difference among General Authorities might show how they feel on this quesiton?

  3. Tyler

    I’ve occasionally heard from some leaders who encourage members to stick to the scriptures and church magazines when they prepare talks.

    I know that in the seminary teacher training program, potential educators are taught that they should stick to the scriptures first, the words of the prophets second, and any scriptural commentary third. They don’t mention other outside (read: “worldly”) sources at all. Too much potential to lead people astray, I guess.

    I wonder if the GA’s receive the same kind of counsel.

  4. Eric

    I think it’s a matter of following the Spirit. In teaching moments, or in preparation for them, the Spirit brings to remembrance things that we have read or experienced that will best illustrate the principle being taught. I think, however, that there is a difference between class instruction and teaching over the pulpit. The goal in class instruction is to teach the doctrine and principles that are found in the materials being studied, such as the scriptures. But the goal in teaching over the pulpit is to teach a specific doctrine or principle. Being led by the Spirit is key in both instances, but the focus is different.

  5. DavidH

    “I’ve occasionally heard from some leaders who encourage members to stick to the scriptures and church magazines when they prepare talks. I wonder if the difference among General Authorities might show how they feel on this quesiton?”

    There are a couple of ways to answer this:

    1. Iron Rod: It is okay for the Brethren to read and even quote from noncorrelated materials, because we can be sure they have the Spirit, and will let us know what parts of those noncorrelated materials are approved and safe. My rule is, unless the Brethren have quoted a particular line from noncorrelated materials, I should not quote it either (and better yet, not read it at all :) )

    2. Liahona: We have been taught to “Follow the Brethren”. President Monson reads and quotes from noncorrelated materials (including Broadway plays), therefore, so should I. I would note that Elder Holland has quote Halle Berry and Henry Nouwen’s works in conference. Go and do thou likewise! :)

    [I apologize in advance if my irony/sarcasm is too sharp. And I acknowledge that the Iron Rod/Liahona division is controversial.]

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