Tag Archives: Essentials in Church History

MTP books in General Conference

Want the gospel knowledge of a general authority? Big surprise: they read classic LDS books, including works we’ve produced and stuff we’re currently working on. Flipping through the citations of April 2014 General Conference talks, I found several familiar books:

  • President Monson, in his talk “Be Strong and of a Good Courage,” quoted the Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt (MTP edition here) at length for the story of Joseph Smith rebuking his guards while imprisoned in MIssouri.
  • Elder Hales, in his talk “If Ye Love Me, Keep My Commandments,” quoted Joseph Fielding Smith’s 1922 Essentials in Church History (MTP edition here) for the story of Martin Harris’ loss of the 116 pages.  
  • Elder Cook, in his talk “Roots and Branches,” cited the History of the Church in his discussion of Moroni’s message to Joseph Smith. MTP interns Jared and Emma are currently working on the first two volumes of History of the Church, and we plan to have the six volumes that are in the public domain done this year.
  • Elder William R. Walker, in his talk “Live True to the Faith,” quoted from Matthias F. Cowley’s book Wilford Woodruff: History of His Life and Labors as Recorded in His Daily Journals for the story of how Wilford Woodruff found the United Brethren and baptized most of them. An MTP volunteer was already at work on this book before conference and it’s currently just over half done.
  • Elder Christofferson, in his talk “The Resurrection of Jesus Christ,” quoted the paragraph from Jesus the Christ (available on PG thanks to Distributed Proofreaders, kindred spirits who beat us to it) where Talmage describes the resurrected Christ’s first interaction with Mary Magdalene.

This just from one scan through the proceedings of one conference, which I doubt was unusual in this regard. So go follow the prophet and read the Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt.

New PG Release: “Essentials in Church History” by Joseph Fielding Smith

Now available for the first time on Project GutenbergEssentials in Church History was described as follows in the 1922 Deseret Book catalog:

Essentials in Church History
By JOSEPH FIELDING SMITH
Of the Council of the Twelve and Church Historian

A History of the Church from the birth of the Prophet to the present time, in ONE LARGE VOLUME of 700 pages, suitably illustrated with portraits of the leaders, early scenes and documents of historical value, and original maps, showing the travels of the Church from its organization to its establishment in the mountains; also the route of the famous Mormon Battalion to the Pacific Coast.

In addition to the material rise and progress of the Church, this interesting work treats upon essentials in doctrine, Priesthood, Authority; the development of the leading teachings in this dispensation, temple work, etc.

This book is adopted as a text for the study of the Melchizedek Priesthood and for the Priests in the Aaronic Priesthood.

Containing, as it does, so much of interest and value in one volume, it should be found in every home of the Latter-day Saints, and in every Church and Public Library.

It is well printed and handsomely bound in cloth at $1.50

Thanks to Keepapitchinin for making said catalog available–since it’s from 1922, everything in it is in the public domain, and I expect to mine it for stuff to work on. (If anything in it strikes you as interesting, comment and let us know.)

For anyone who’s keeping score, Essentials was previously released on the old MTP site but only recently on Project Gutenberg. Expect B. H. Roberts’ The Life of John Taylor, an all-new release, to come out in about a week.