April 5, 2011

Favorite Books Part I - Lectures on Faith

Thanks to Angie for the book review! About Angie: I grew up reading. When I was a kid, I even was grounded for reading. I would stay up until all hours of the night with a flashlight reading my book and when my mom caught me she would take the book away. I would say, "Aren't you supposed to be encouraging your children to read?" But the truth is, I needed no encouragement. Growing up, I thought, "Wouldn't it be great to be paid to read?" So I became an editor. I majored in English with a minor in editing and have worked in various capacities with the written word since college.

This month, I was called upon by the bishopric to give a talk in church. When he gave me the subject of faith I immediately felt two things: excited and overwhelmed. I love to study about the gospel, but faith is such a huge topic to cover. It is the underlying essence of everything we practice as Latter-Day Saints. It not just a principle to follow, it is the FIRST principle of the gospel. I knew to cover such an important truth the way I wanted would take some serious preparation.

Luckily for me, I stumbled upon a little book called Lectures on Faith. This small paperback volume holds a wealth of information on all things faith related. It is the most comprehensive text I have found on the subject and I learned more than I thought possible. Lectures on Faith was actually published as the "doctrine" in Doctrine and Covenants from 1835 to 1921. President Joseph Fielding Smith said, "These lectures are of great value and should be studied. . . I consider them to be of extreme value in the study of the gospel of Jesus Christ." Bruce R. McConkie also held this book to be of great worth and said they are "some of the best lesson material ever prepared on the Godhead; on the character, perfections, and attributes of God; on faith, miracles, and sacrifice. They can be studied with great profit by all scholars." I agree with both of these great men wholeheartedly and can honestly say I have felt an increase of my own faith and testimony from one read of this small book, and as we know "by small and simple things are great things brought to pass" (Alma 37:6).

If you have ever wanted to know more about what faith is, how to develop it, how faith is related to the character and attributes of God, and what results come from true faith, this book is a great way to start.

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