A Bibliography of Mormon Missionary Literature

7.23.13 | | 38 comments

Ask and ye shall receive.

A few weeks ago, Scott Hales wrote a post on the AML blog about what to know before writing Mormon missionary fiction. The comment thread turned into a discussion of recommended missionary fiction, and a couple of people expressed the need for a bibliography of Mormon missionary literature. I may not be a fiction writer, but I am a librarian, and compiling such a bibliography sounded like something that was right up my alley, so I asked Wm if he’d be willing to host it at AMV and now here we are.

I started the bibliography based on the works mentioned in that comment thread, but I’m planning on updating and maintaining it, so please leave any suggestions or corrections in the comments.

Scope

The scope of this bibliography is published literature (including novels, short stories, drama, film, and comics) with a main character or significant secondary character who is a Mormon missionary or who has recently returned from a Mormon mission. Ideally, each entry will eventually be annotated to include information about setting, time period (if set significantly before (or after!) the work was published), awards, a brief synopsis and any other useful information. The scope of this bibliography also includes works by non-Mormons or works that may be considered anti-Mormon in tone, although ideally such information will be included in the annotation.

Novels

Allred, Gordon T. The Companion. Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1992.

Anderson, Nephi. Added Upon. Salt Lake City: Desert News, 1898.

————. The Castle Builder. Salt Lake City: Improvement Era, 1902.

————. A Daughter of the North. Salt Lake City: De Utah-Nederlander Publishing Company, 1915.

————. Romance of a Missionary. Independence: Zion’s Printing and Publishing Company, 1919.

————. Story of Chester Lawrence. Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1913.

Anderson, Paris. Waiting for the Flash. Scottlin, 1988.

Ashworth, Jenn. The Friday Gospels. London: Sceptre, 2013.

Bailey, S. P. Millstone City. Provo: Zarahemla Books, 2012.

Bennion, John. Falling Toward Heaven. Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2000.

Blackhurst, Deanne. Turning Hearts. American Fork: Covenant, 2010.

Carey, Donald J. Bumpy Landings. Springville: Bonneville Books, 2010.

Farmer, Gladys Clark. Elders and Sisters. Provo: Seagull Books, 1977.

Fisher, Franklin. Bones. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1990.
This novel won the 1990 AML Award.

Gagon, David. Honorable Release. Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1992.

Hall, Randall L. Corey Davidson. Provo: Ensign Productions, 1984.

Halldór Laxness. Paradísarheimt. Reykjavík: Helgafell, 1960.
This book was published in English as Paradise Reclaimed. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1962.

Heuston, Kimberley. The Shakeress. Asheville: Front Street, 2002.

Hughes, Dean. Rumors of War. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1997.

————. Through Cloud and Sunshine. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2013.

————. Troubled Waters. Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 2002.

————. The Wind and the Waves. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2012.

————. The Writing on the Wall. Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 2001.

Kirn, Walter. Thumbsucker. New York: Broadway Books, 1999.

Loraine, Scott. NYC: A Mission to Die For. American Fork: American Fork Arts Council Press, 2010.

Majors, Anneke. The Year of the Boar. Anneke M. Majors, 2011.
This book is available as a Kindle ebook.

McIlvain, Ryan. Elders. New York: Hogarth, 2013.

Mitchell, Alan Rex. Angel of the Danube. Springville: Bonneville Books, 2000.

Newell, Coke. On the Road to Heaven. Provo: Zarahemla Books, 2007.

Nunes, Rachel Ann. Ariana: The Making of a Queen. American Fork: Covenant Communications, 1996.
Setting: France.

Olsen, Jeffrey. Called to Serve Again. Shoeshine Boy Publishing, 2011.

Parkinson, Benson. Into the Field. Salt Lake City: Aspen Books, 2000.
Setting: France.

————. The MTC. Murray: Aspen Books, 1995.

Proctor, Jenny. The House at Rose Creek. American Fork: Covenant Communications, 2013.

Rich Ben E. Mr. Durant of Salt Lake City: “That Mormon.” Salt Lake City: George Q. Cannon & Sons, 1893.

Sears, Gale. Belonging to Heaven. Salt Lake City: George Q. Cannon & Sons, 1893.

Thayer, Douglas. The Conversion of Jeff Williams. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2013.

————. The Tree House. Provo: Zarahemla Books, 2009.

Tippetts, E. M. Castles on the Sand. Charleston: CreateSpace, 2012.

————. Love in Darkness. Charleston: CreateSpace, 2013.

Woodbury, Eugene. Tokyo South. Peaks Island Press, 2009.
This book is available as a Kindle ebook or online: www.eugenewoodbury.com/tokyo/

Short Stories

Anderson, Paris. “You: A Missionary Story.” Sunstone 11:15 (September 1987): 18-21. www.sunstonemagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/061-18-21.pdf
Setting: Los Angeles, California

Anderson, Tory, “Mission Rules.” Wasatch Review International 4 (1996).

Bailey, S. P. “Returned.” Popcorn Popping April 25, 2006. www.motleyvision.org/popcornpopping/?p=23

Barber, Phyllis. “Wild Sage.” Dialogue 20:2 (Summer 1987): 148-153.
This story was also published in Parting the Veil. Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books, 1999. signaturebookslibrary.org/?p=7550

Bell, Elouise. “A Generous Heart.” Christmas for the World: A Gift to the Children. Salt Lake City: Aspen, 1991.

Bennion, John. “The Burial Pool.” Irreantum. 1:3 (September 1999): 27-36.
Setting: Texas.

Birkhead, C. Douglas. “Baptisms for the Dead.” Mormons & Monsters. El Cerrito: Peculiar Pages, 2011.

Crockett, Paul James. “A Letter from the Field.” Mormons & Monsters. El Cerrito: Peculiar Pages, 2011.

Hales, Scott. “Album.” Everyday Mormon Writer 2012. www.everydaymormonwriter.com/work/album/

Inouye, Mei Li. “Mercy.” Sunstone 153 (February 2009): 20-23. www.sunstonemagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/issues/153.pdf

Jepson, Theric. “Do Not Open Until Christmas.” Carol of the Tales and Other Nightly Noels: An Advent Anthology. CreateSpace, 2013.

Kirn, Walter. “Whole Other Bodies.” My Hard Bargain. New York: Knopf, 1990.

Laws, Gordon. My People. Provo: Brigham Young University, 2001.

Majors, Anneke. “What Are You Waiting For?” Popcorn Popping November 26, 2007. www.motleyvision.org/popcornpopping/?p=101

Marshall, Donald R. “May the Lord Bless You and Keep You.” The Rummage Sale. Provo: Heirloom, 1972.

McCune-Poplin, Laura. “Salvation.” Dialogue 37:4 (Winter 2004): 187-193. www.dialoguejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/Dialogue_V37N04_205.pdf
This story was reprinted in Dispensation. Provo: Zarahemla Books, 2010.

McIlvain, Ryan. “Davinho.” Sunstone 173 (December 2013).

————. “Keep it Bible.” Paris Review 184 (Spring 2008).

Morris, William. “Conference.” Irreantum 14:1 (2012)

————. “The Elder Who Wouldn’t Stop.” Mormon Artist blog February 16, 2012. mormonartist.net/2012/02/day-two-wm-morris-2/

————. “Return.” Popcorn Popping December 21, 2007. www.motleyvision.org/popcornpopping/?p=103

Orullian, Aaron. “The Homecoming.” Dialogue 37.3 (Fall 2004): 182-192. www.dialoguejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/Dialogue_V37N03_192.pdf

Peterson, Levi S. “Trinity.” The Canyons of Grace. Urbana: University of Chicago Press, 1982. signaturebookslibrary.org/?p=690

Petsco, Béla. Nothing Very Important, and Other Stories. Provo: Meservydale, 1979.

Rawlins, Paul. “The Garden.” Image: Air Faith Mystery 57 (Spring 2008).
Reprinted in Dispensation. Provo: Zarahemla Books, 2010.

Roberts, Scott M. “The Revelation of Douglas Chandler.” Irreantum 14.2 (2012): 21-42.

Rogers, Thomas F. “Pax Vobiscum.” Christmas for the World. Salt Lake City: Aspen Books, 1991.

Sampson, Bryton. “The Mission Story.” Monsters & Mormons. El Cerrito: Peculiar Pages, 2011.

Thayer, Douglas. “Elder Thatcher.” Under the Cottonwoods and Other Mormon Stories. Midvale, Utah: Orion Books, 1977. signaturebookslibrary.org/?p=478

Thayer, Douglas. “Opening Day.” Dialogue 5.1 (Spring 1970): 81-92.
This story was reprinted in Under the Cottonwoods and Other Mormon Stories (Midvale, Utah: Orion Books, 1977) and in Bright Angels & Familiars (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1992). signaturebookslibrary.org/?p=7360

Tice, Bradford. “Missionaries.” Atlantic Monthly August 2007. www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2007/08/missionaries/306036/

Townsend, Johnny. The Abominable Gayman. Bangor: BookLocker.com, 2010.

Young, Margaret Blair. “In Search of Spilled Root Beer.” Sunstone 16:4 (March 1993): 30-34. www.sunstonemagazine.com/pdf/090-30-34.pdf
This story won second place in the Brookie and D. K. Brown Fiction Contest. It was also reprinted in Love Chains. Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books, 1997.

Drama

Arrington, James. “J. Golden.” Saints on Stage. Provo: Zarahemla Books, 2013.

De Azevedo, Lex and Doug Stewart. Saturday’s Warrior. Salt Lake City: Embryo Music, 1974.

Duncan, Thom. “Matters of the Heart.” Saints on Stage. Provo: Zarahemla Books, 2013.

Elliott, Robert. “Fires of the Mind.” Sunstone 1:1 (Winter 1975): 23-93. www.sunstonemagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/001-23-93.pdf
This play was reprinted in Saints on Stage. Provo: Zarahemla Books, 2013.

Goldberg, James. “Book of Mormon Story.” Out of the Mount. Kansas City: Peculiar Pages, 2010.

————. “Prodigal Son.” The Best of Mormonism 2009. Salt Lake City: Curelom Books, 2009.
This play was reprinted in Out of the Mount. Kansas City: Peculiar Pages, 2010.

Greene, Matthew. “Adam & Steve and the Empty Sea.” Sunstone 172 (August 2013): 38-61.
Setting: California.
Synopsis: The long-time friendship between Adam and Steve is tested when Steve comes out as gay to his best friend Adam, who is Mormon. They play covers the year before Adam leaves on a mission (during which time he works on worthiness issues), a brief scene while he is actually on his mission, and his early return due to a serious medical condition.

Kelly, Martin. “And They Shall Be Gathered.” A Believing People: Literature of the Latter-day Saints. Provo: Brigham Young University Press, 1974.

Larson, Melissa Leilani. “Little Happy Secrets.” Out of the Mount. Kansas City: Peculiar Pages, 2010.

Parker, Trey, Robert Lopez, and Matt Stone. The Book of Mormon. New York: Newmarket Press, 2011.

Samuelsen, Eric. “Family.” Sunstone 136 (March 2005): 14-41. www.sunstonemagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/136-14-41.pdf

Slover, Tim and James Arrington. “Wilford Woodruff: God’s Fisherman.” Sunstone 16:1 (February 1992): 28-48. www.sunstonemagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/087-28-48.pdf

Film

The Best Two Years. Dir. Scott S. Anderson. 2003.

The Christmas Mission. Dir. Michael L. Schaertl. 1999.

The Errand of Angels. Dir. Christian Vuissa. 2008.

The Falls. Dir. Jon Garcia. 2012.
Setting: Oregon.
Synopsis: Two missionaries fall in love with each other while on their mission in Oregon.

God’s Army. Dir. Richard Dutcher. 2000.

Hoops. Dir. John Lyde. 2004.

Latter Days. Dir. C. Jay Cox. 2003.

One Man’s Treasure. Dir. John Lyde. 2009.

Orgazmo. Dir. Trey Parker. 1997.

The Other Side of Heaven. Dir. Mitch Davis. 2001.

The R.M. Dir. Kurt Hale. 2003.

Saints and Soldiers Dir. Ryan Little. 2003.

Saturday’s Warrior Dir. Bob Williams. 1989.

Star Child. Dir. Howard Little. 1999.

States of Grace. Dir. Richard Dutcher. 2005.

Suits on the Loose. Dir. Rodney Henson. 2005.

Comics

Doggett, Tom. Gleaners. 2004-2005. gleaners.comicgenesis.com/

Last updated August 2013.

38 comments: “A Bibliography of Mormon Missionary Literature

  1. Wm Morris

    This is fantastic, Kjerste.

    I was not expecting to see Edgar Mint on the list. There must be a significant secondary character that I don’t remember. Of course, it has been a long time since I read it.

  2. Wm Morris

    There are at least one or two more stories in Irreantum (I think). I’ll have to dig through my library and see if I can track them down.

    Bichos by Erik Peterson in M&M might count in the recent RM category.

  3. Th.

    .

    I believe Johnny Townsend has written somewhere north of a gazillion missionary stories, but from Ben’s review I see at least “The Abominable Gayman” and “A Wife of Whoredoms.”

  4. Katya

    Wm – I actually haven’t read Edgar Mint, but I think I added it because missionaries are mentioned in a few of the reviews. (I suppose I’ll have to read it in order to write a fuller annotation.) And I’d be glad to hear about more Irreantum stories.

    Jessie – Thanks!

    Th. – I’m going to say that “recent” means “recent enough that the mission experience is still strongly coloring one’s everyday life.” Truthfully, though, if I came across a story about someone reminiscing about their mission 20 years later, I’d probably be fine with including it. I just don’t think that an offhand reference to a character having served a mission is enough to justify inclusion.

  5. Wm Morris

    Just re-read Bichos. It’s about a young man who served a mission to Brazil returning to honeymoon there with his wife, but it’s not a strong through thread in the story.

  6. Sarah Reed

    How about Halldór Laxness’ novel “Paradise Reclaimed” (“Paradísarheimt” in Icelandic)? The missionary character (the Bishop) is an important missionary character and the main character Steinar returns to Iceland as a missionary.

  7. Kent Larsen

    I’m afraid you have left out what is perhaps the MOST missionary novel: Mr. Durant of Salt Lake City by Ben E. Rich (1893). The text of the novel is basically a dialogue between the missionary (Durant) and non-members staying at a hotel in the southern U.S.

    Also, many of Nephi Anderson’s short stories would qualify: By This Shall All Men Know, The Home Field, The Home Guard, How the Lord was Good to Aunt Johanna, The Letter from Mary, The Lewellen Family’s Christmas Present, The Lonesome Christmas, The Missionary, Out of the Abundance of the Heart, Salvation of Souls, and The Straw.

    There are, of course, many, many more. One resource is Keepapitchinin, Ardis Parshall’s blog which has reprinted hundreds of short stories from (primarily) 20th century LDS periodicals. Many include missionary characters.

    And finally, but not least, I’m currently correcting the OCR of a 1849 play featuring Heber C. Kimball as a missionary in England. I’ll try to get it finished soon.

  8. Jessie

    I think John Bennion’s Falling Toward Heaven could fit into this bibliography–only the first two chapters or so take place on the mission, but the mission experience drives the rest of the story.

    I know that the book The Other Side of Heaven is nonfiction, but is the movie fictionalized enough to count?

  9. Mahonri Stewart

    Also in Saints on Stage, Thom Duncan’s play “Matters of the Heart” deals with a missionary who came home early from his mission to France, and the fallout that causes with his parents.

    James Arrington’s “J. Golden” (also in Saints on Stage) mentions Kimball’s missionary efforts extensively.

    “Best Two Years” was a play (musical?) before it was a film.

    Doug Stewart’s “Saturday’s Warrior” and “Star Child” are also other ones that should be included.

  10. Kent Larsen

    There is indeed, Mahonri. I’ll try to get the corrections to the OCR done by next week and I’ll send it to you.

  11. Th.

    .

    Was just in Facebook conversation with Jenny Proctor and her novel The House at Rose Creek sounds like it would qualify.

    Which reminded me that my short story “Do Not Open Until Christmas” also qualifies IF having characters engaging with missionaries with the missionaries usually offstage qualifies.

  12. Jonathan Langford

    Rogers, Thomas F. “Pax Vobiscum.” In Curtis Taylor and Stan Zenk (Eds.), Christmas for the World, pp. 313-323. Salt Lake City: Aspen Books, 1991. This one definitely qualifies; it consists almost entirely of dialogue between two missionaries, one of whom is thinking of going home.

    Tom Rogers’s play Reunion might qualify, but probably not. As I recall, it’s not about missionary experience per se, but rather about a family reunion where conflicts are catalyzed (in part) by the mission call that is received by one of the younger family members.

    From Monsters and Mormons, how about “A Letter from the Field,” by Paul James Crockett?

    I’m assuming that published nonfiction memoirs, etc., don’t count, or at least represent a separate (and probably much larger) bibliographic task, though as Jessie points out the inclusion of The Other Side of Heaven blurs the line a little.

    It’s a bit of an odd duck, but how about including an entry referring to BYU’s folklore collection and its immense collection of missionary folklore? My argument for including it is that even if it isn’t (strictly) fiction, it’s a resource that anyone investigating Mormon missionary literature (or particularly wanting to write their own) should be aware of.

  13. Scott Hales

    First of all, I think this list is fantastic. I hope we can come up with future similar lists for other Mormon lit subgenres.

    A couple of additions:
    Nephi Anderson’s Added Upon has some missionary characters, although none of the central characters–if I remember correctly–are missionaries.

    Douglas Thayer’s The Conversion of Jeff Williams does not take place during a mission, but one of the important secondary characters is preparing for a mission throughout the book. A lot of attention is paid to missionary work, missionary preparation, and expectations placed on YM about serving missions. It may or may not qualify for this list, but I think it could arguably have a place.

    Also, the film Orgazmo and the musical The Book of Mormon probably should be on the list. I haven’t seen either of them, but they do center on Mormon missionaries.

    Also, Walter Kirn’s Thumbsucker and “Whole Other Bodies”

    And The Friday Gospels by Jenn Ashworth

  14. Andrew H.

    If I remember Edgar Mint correctly, the missionaries are very secondary. They are important for a couple of chapters when they are teaching Edger, but that is it.

    Okay, a few more.
    Novel
    Allred, Gordon T. The Companion. Bookcraft, 1992. Dad goes to the same mission his son serves.

    Short stories
    Anderson, Tory, “”Mission Rules.” Wasatch Review International # 4 , 1996.

    Bell, Elouise. “A Generous Heart.” in Christmas for the World. Aspen, 1991. Sister missionaries in France in the 1960s.

    Theater
    Golightly, Max. The Forge and the Fire. BYU, 1974-75. Musical series of vignettes and songs with a missionary theme.

    Hale, Nathan & Ruth. Are the Meadowlarks Still Singing. Comedy about missions, and the conversion of a minister.
    —–, The Girl Who Came to Dinner. Comedy about missionaries

    Hawkins, Lisa. Change the Night to Day. 1996. BYU. Kidnapped sister missionaries.

    Kelly, Martin. And They Shall Be Gathered. BYU, 1969, 1976. Missionaries in Armenia. Purchased by the Church for local productions. In the A Believing People anthology.

    Livingston, Scott. Free at Last. Performed at BYU, Spring 1996. About black investigators and white missionaries in Tennessee in 1978.

    Lundberg, Joy Saunders. It’s A Miracle. Music by Janice Kapp Perry.

  15. Katya Post author

    Thank you all for your responses! I’ve updated the bibliography with the entries that don’t require more research or thought, and I’ll work on adding the rest when I can.

    Jessie (and Jonathan) – My argument for including The Other Side of Heaven is not so much that it’s fictionalized, but that it’s dramatized. (I.e., I wouldn’t have included it if it was a documentary based on Elder Groberg’s experiences.) That said, I’m aware that it is the edgiest of edge cases between fiction and non-fiction, and I wouldn’t have a problem removing it if enough people think it doesn’t belong.

    Mahonri (and Jonathan and Andrew) – My issue with The Best Two Years (the play) and some of the other plays suggested is that, as far as I can tell, the scripts/books haven’t ever been published, and if the purpose of the bibliography is to be useful to researchers, I’m not sure that I see the point of including works which are effectively inaccessible. (However, I also see their value in terms of being aware of the history of the genre, so I’m open to suggestions for how to handle them.)

    Jonathan – I think that mission calls are part of the overall missionary experience, so I wouldn’t have a problem with including works like Reunion if the call is a major theme. Also, you raise a good point regarding the research value of non-fiction sources (including BYU’s folklore collection). Maybe I’ll just make a new section of the bibliography with some general research tips regarding non-fiction sources and collections.

  16. Katya Post author

    Scott – I agree regarding the possibility of doing other similar lists. (I’ve actually already got one in mind, but I need to focus on this one for a little while.) And thanks for the nudge regarding The Book of Mormon—I originally left it off because I didn’t realize that the script had been published.

    Andrew – Thanks for the additional suggestions. I’ve also removed Edgar Mint from the list, since both you and Wm don’t seem to think the missionaries are a large enough presence to warrant inclusion.

  17. Th.

    .

    Here are two book announcements from the most recent Sunstone:

    Harvest by Jacob Young

    In this memoir [ergo, you may not want it], an earnest nineteen-year-old leaves his family’s Idaho wheat farm to share the gospel with the people of Samara, Russia. Once there, he learns how to approach strangers in thick fur coats and testify. But his heard can’t echo the testimony his mouth is constantly uttering. Collapsing under the cognitive dissonance, Elder Young embarks on a journey to find his own conviction, vowing to go home if he can’t find his own connection to the gospel. This journey leads him to the inside of a Russian jail, a night with a beautiful Russian woman [sigh], and nearly leaving the mission altogether.

    Heaven Up Here by John K. Williams

    When John gets his mission call to Bolivia, it’s like a joke come true. Boliva [sic] is, after all, the worst-possible foreign mission. But, as a faithful kid from a troubled family, he is determined to devote himself entirely to the Lord’s work. What will the realities of mission life call forth in the young Elder Williams? [Looks like this is another memoir. Can't we at least tweak these into roman a clefs? Whatever happened to class?]

    Beginning with the discovery of a body on a bridge on a cold winter night, the book brings the reader into a worlds that is far different from the stereotypes and PR images. Beneath the white shirts and ties are young people trying to bless the lives of others, even if they don’t understand how they’re doing it.

    The books listed in Sunstone are generally pretty generically of a type. Cracroft’s old column in BYU Magazine had more variety but alas, it it gone.

  18. Gamila

    Belonging to Heaven by Gale Sears
    Historical novel of missionary work in Hawaii
    The Silence of God by Gale Sears
    I only read the first couple chapters in this one but missionaries show up to speak with Russian saints. Does that count?
    The Ariana Trilogy by Rachel Ann Nunes
    Set in France. Main plot has a lot to do with how missionary work is done there and main character and her family being converted to the gospel.
    Castles on the Sand by E.M. Tippetts
    Main character is found by brother who is currently Mormon missionary. He only has a few weeks left of his mission but keeps in close contact with his sister after his mission also.
    Love in the Darkness by E.M. Tippetts
    Alex is serving a mission in Japan when he realizes that he has inherited his mother’s schizophrenia.
    Bumpy Landings by Donald J. Carey
    Not a mission book, but people are mentioning RM fiction. Don’t know if this really qualifies but being an RM is a major part of the main characters internal narrative for the first part of the book.

    Are Early Church History missionaries included on the list? Here are a few…
    The Wind and the Waves and Through Cloud and Sunshine by Dean Hughes
    The Undaunted (technically the call to settle Bluff, Utah was a mission call. Is that within the parameters? Even if is it not technically a proselyting mission.)
    The Shakeress by Kimberly Heuston

    What about Book of Mormon historical missionary stories?
    Ammon by H.B. Moore

  19. James Goldberg

    My play Prodigal Son (published in The Best of Mormonism 2009 and Out of the Mount) would qualify. One of the key crises in the play is when a convert son goes on a mission against his father’s wishes. The mission is in Thailand if you want to track place.

    Don’t remember anything else in The Best of Mormonism 2009 that would qualify.

    In Out of the Mount, Melissa Leilani Larson’s Little Happy Secrets would also qualify: both protagonists are returned missionaries and their missions come up frequently in the text.

    My short play Book of Mormon story would also qualify: it is set during a missionary visit with an investigator.

  20. Katya Post author

    Th. – It looks like Heaven Up Here is also a memoir, so not eligible for this bibliography (but as Jonathan pointed out, it might be worth it to make a missionary memoir bibliography, as well).

    Gamila – Thanks for all your suggestions! I’m hoping to do a bibliography of non-American Mormons at some point, and I think a few of your suggestions would work better on that list (although some works could certainly go on both).

    Early Church history missionaries are absolutely included, but I think I’m going to focus on the proselyting / temporary missions (although I’m fascinated to learn that some new settlements were considered mission calls).

    Gamila and Scott – I find myself oddly on the fence about including Ammon, maybe because I’m thinking more of stories about formal, post-restoration mission calls? (E.g., I also don’t think I’d include a retelling of Paul’s New Testament proselytizing, although it definitely qualifies as missionary work.) But I haven’t read the book, so I’m open to feedback.

  21. Katya Post author

    James – Thanks!

    Mahonri – I actually had the first two under film already, but thanks for suggesting The Christmas Mission.

  22. Gerrit

    Kjerste, this is a great list.

    I am glad “Little Happy Secrets” is on here already. One other that I didn’t see was Doug Thayer’s “Opening Day,” in his Under the Cottonwoods collection. It’s about an elder who is worried to return home because he knows his family will assume he wants to go hunting with them just like old times. It is his internal conflict over the violence of hunting, which his missionary service has complicated. The tension culminates out on the range on Opening Day, just a day or two after coming home. Brilliant.

  23. Jessie

    I love “Opening Day” but I forgot about the missionary context. That is such a great story.

  24. Gerrit

    Yes, I agree–not only is this story a real Mormon experience–at least it was a generation ago–but Thayer’s prose is also quite beautiful in parts. Very enjoyable.

  25. Katya Post author

    Jessie and Gerrit – Thanks! (I feel sheepish that I didn’t think of “Opening Day,” since I’ve actually read it and I agree that it’s a great story.)

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