LDS books about doctrine, history and inspiration are perfect gifts to give to loved ones. Here are some outstanding new LDS books that will surely become favorites to those special family members or friends you desire to receive something truly meaningful.
For Times of Trouble: Spiritual Solace From the Psalms, by Jeffrey R. Holland, is the newest of LDS books recently published and invites the reader to draw on the Psalms for comfort. Elder Holland writes about these wondrous scriptures with the surety that they were written to comfort when times are tough. They provide an inner strength that reading, pondering and praying will bring. His chapters begin with certain Psalms and then delve into how these specific scriptures can help our lives. He writes of Psalm 77:10-12 that “Everything about the gospel of Jesus Christ is ultimately directed toward the joy for which we came to this earth and the perfect brightness of hope we are to have as we pursue future glory in eternity.” The book is divided into three sections: “Reflections”, “The Messiah” and “The Twenty-Third Psalm”. There are also some glorious paintings sprinkled throughout that seam these sacred Psalms together. There is also a DVD included with 2 hours of Elder Holland discussing questions of current challenges with a live audience. Be sure to read the fascinating preface in the front explaining Elder Holland’s prayerful pondering on which Psalms to include in this inspiring book.
A Prophet’s Voice: Messages From Thomas S. Monson, is an inspiring compilation of talks, sermons and addresses that our wonderful Prophet has given over the years. There are stories and reflections of experiences he retells with warmth and interest. In Chapter 28: Preparation Precedes Performance, his four tremendous lifelong guidelines for a spiritual and happy life are simple, yet powerful: “Grow in wisdom, Walk by faith, Teach through testimony and Serve with love.” The book is divided into two sections beginning with “The President’s General Conference Messages” which includes all of his powerful Conference talks since becoming the 16th President of the Church. Section 2 headlines “Other Classic Messages” that covers topics for young and old. The sub-headings are “The Blessings of Service”, “The Worth of Souls”, “The Hope of the Rising Generation”, “The Power of Self-Mastery” and “The Path of a Disciple”. What I love most about this exceptional book is the way it’s written. Because it comes from our Prophet’s talks, you can “hear” his warm, humble, sweet voice as you read!
Becoming His: A Daily Journey Toward Discipleship, by Emily Freeman, is the perfect gift for any and all desiring to begin this journey to become a disciple of Jesus Christ. The book is divided into twelve areas to develop certain attributes to help achieve this goal. So, with this type of structure, you begin with January which is titled “Become More” and the next month move on to “Become Willing” so that by the end of the year you have “Become Holy”. I love Sister Freeman’s opening quote from President Uchtdorf which helps to set the stage for this inspiring and helpful guide book: “The first step on the path of discipleship begins luckily enough, in the exact place where we stand!” There are a few beautiful paintings from Scott Sumner, Simon Dewey, Liz Lemon Swindle and Greg Olsen that help promote the strong message. Also, I congratulate Deseret Book for printing all of the pages on a dusty cream color which helps create a sanctified feel.
Coming to Know Christ, by Robert L. Millet, contains the powerful message that our lives must center around Christ constantly in order to stay focused on why we are here on earth! The greatest strength in Millet’s book is his interesting and accessible writing style. This book will affect you in the opening lines as you read about Simon Peter as he travels with Christ from village to village. As you continue to read about Peter, and how Christ affected him in such a spiritual way, it will keep you reading even though you know the story. Millet intersects discussions of modern times asking questions that will make you reflect on your life now in relation to Christ and your relationship with him. “We must not allow Jesus Christ to become just another facet of our lives, any more than religion must be permitted to become one of many realms of our souls.”
Counseling With Our Councils: Learning to Minister Together in the Church and in the Family, by M. Russell Ballard, is an updated book from the original 1997 edition. Elder Ballard states that “the effective use of councils in gospel governance” was high on his list of concerns. When this book was first written, there were about 10 million saints and just under 25,000 wards and branches. Now that there are more than 14 million members of the Church, and close to 30,000 congregations, along with many new concerns of current problems such as the heightened attacks on the family, he felt it was time to revise and publish this new edition. Some of the chapters include “Family Councils” and “Let Us Reason Together”.
Civil War Saints, edited by Kenneth L. Alford, is a very large book with 560 pages filled with interesting historical accounts of the Utah Territory vs. the United States, the Utah War and how it directly affected the Civil War, President Lincoln’s relationship with Mormons, settler and Indian relations and much, much more. This book is more than a history of the early Utah saints and how they related to the country. There are authentic photos, drawings and images found throughout this amazingly documented book. Each chapter is written by a different author and in some cases two authors with a bibliography and 8 appendixes found at the back of this expansive book.