Books for Many Uses
June 1979

“Books for Many Uses,” Ensign, June 1979, 53

Books for Many Uses

The following resume of books runs the gamut of family interest topics—with suggestions for parents, youth, and children. Included also are books on specialized subjects such as personal history, humor, doctrine, reference, history, health, scholarship, gospel concepts, and inspirational experiences.

This material is presented for the information and convenience of the Saints. And though we think the books represent profitable reading for many, their identification here does not imply Church endorsement.

For Parents

Darryl Laramore has provided a much-needed book in Careers: A Guide for Parents and Teachers (BYU Press, 1978). It contains a variety of games and activities for children, preschool through high school, to help them determine their own interests and abilities.

Dear Mom and Dad: Parents and the Pre schooler (BYU Press, 1978) is packed with illustrations and examples to help parents understand the moral, intellectual, emotional, and physical development of their young children. Author is child development specialist Barbara J. Taylor.

Karla Erickson shares tips on how to stay close to children—particularly through grade school—in Take Time to Smell the Dandelions (Bookcraft, 1979).

To Parents, With Love by Darla Hanks and Arlene Bascom (Horizon, 1977) discusses a wide range of parenting principles, from maintaining a happy marriage to suggested questions to ask children during interviews. Elliott D. Landau and M. Winston Egan’s Guiding Your Child: A 60-Point Checklist for Parents (Horizon, 1978), lists the needs and appropriate responses for preschoolers, grade schoolers, and adolescents:

Elliott D. Landau’s newspaper columns, “Today’s Family,” have been compiled in The Family Within Your Walls (Horizon, 1978); and Alan Stine’s Love Power: New Dimensions for Building Strong Families (Horizon, 1978) describes how to break negative habits at home.

Tributes to motherhood come in four booklets: Camilla E. Kimball’s Mother: Call Her Blessed (Bookcraft, 1978), Marion D. Hanks’s Gift from a Mother (Deseret Book, 1978), Hugh B. Brown’s … So He Made Mothers (Bookcraft, 1977), and Jean D. Crowther’s A Mother’s Prayer (Horizon, 1978).

For Women

Two dozen biographical portraits of historical—famous and unknown—women bulge the covers of Sister Saints, edited by Vicky Burgess-Olson (BYU Press, 1978). Mormon Sisters, edited by Claudia L. Bushman (Emmeline Press, 1976), includes both biographical articles and topical essays.

A wilted woman clutching a baby peers from the cover of Darlene Merrill’s Could You Use a Little Help?, 2nd edition, (Bookcraft, 1978). Through questions and answers, she shares tips and offers sample organization charts.

For Young People

Daryl V. Hoole tells young women about their Season to Prepare (Deseret Book, 1978), a booklet on values, creativity, charm, homemaking, and the roles of men and women.

Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone argues for Do-It-Yourself Destiny (Bookcraft, 1977) as he counsels youth on morality, self-control, charity, and gratitude.

Lucy Parr has retold twenty-two True Stories of Mormon Pioneer Courage (Horizon, 1977) in a form suitable for teenage readers.

Brenton G. Yorgason includes teenage interviews in how to get From First Date to Chosen Mate (Bookcraft, 1977) with no regrets.

The Time of Your Life (Bookcraft, 1977) is a compilation of first-person accounts and gospel insights from New Era articles. The topics include decisions, missionary work, prayer, and standards.

For Children

Children can learn gospel principles with these picture books: Today I Saw a Prophet by Kathleen Barnes and Virginia Pearce (Deseret Book, 1977), which joins their earlier What Is a Miracle?, Sacrament Time, Testimony, and Forever and Ever; Why We Are Baptized by Kathleen England (Deseret Book, 1978); Let’s Go to Sunday School by Kris Peters (Bookcraft, 1975); two by George Bickerstaff—My Special Family (Bookcraft, 1977), which reinforces the idea of an eternal family through family home evening, baptism, and experiences with grandparents; and My Body Is a Temple (Bookcraft, 1978), which stresses the importance of good things to eat, good thoughts, and good feelings.

Peggy Barton has prepared John the Baptist (Deseret Book, 1978) and lf I Obey I’ll Be Happy All Day (Bookcraft, 1979).

Marsha Jacobsen looks at such church situations as confirmation and song practice Through the Eyes of Little Saints (Bookcraft, 1978).

The Friend has compiled two of its favorite features: Friend to Friend (Deseret Book, 1977), by General Authorities; and Children’s Stories from Around the World (Deseret Book, 1976), its attractive tales of children from Africa to Yugoslavia.

Bessie Dean’s drawings of tousle-headed youngsters appear in a series of coloring books illustrating gospel principles: I’m Happy When I’m Good (on the Ten Commandments), Living the Golden Rule, God Loves Me (on perceiving blessings), It’s Fun to Read the Bible (with such stories as “Noah’s Ark,” “David and Goliath,” and “Daniel in the Lions’ Den”), Sundays Are Special, and God Hears My Prayers (Horizon, 1978). Jean D. Crowther has written Book of Mormon Puzzles and Pictures, illustrated by Adell R. Palmer (Horizon, 1977), featuring child-level games and pictures to color.

Two other children’s books on an ambitious scale are Bessie Dean’s illustrated stories: Let’s Learn the First Principles (faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and service) and Let’s Learn God’s Plan (preearth life, birth, death, resurrection, and “heaven”), each section illustrated with a child’s experience (Horizon, 1977–78).

A read-aloud book is Jean D. Crowther’s Growing Up in the Church (Horizon, 1977).

A Child’s Activity Book by Rhonda Schomas and Linda Alvstad (Deseret Book, 1978) contains patterns and directions on how to make a colorful quiet book.

How-To’s for Members

Genealogy-minded members might welcome How To Write Your Personal History (Bookcraft, 1976), How to Make Your Book of Remembrance (Bookcraft, 1977), and How to Compile Your Family History (Bookcraft, 1978) by J Mahlon Heslop and Dell Van Orden. Elaine Cannon draws on her own experience in Putting Life in Your Life Story (Deseret Book, 1977).

G. Hugh and Steven H. Allred tell How to Make A Good Mission Great (Deseret Book, 1978) by concentrating on developing good communication with your companion. George D. Durrant addresses all potential missionaries—teenage boys, possible sister missionaries, and retired couples—in Get Ready, Get Called, Go! (Bookcraft, 1979).

Sterling W. Sill’s third volume on Leadership (Bookcraft, 1978) continues his earlier volumes and includes one chapter on “Managing the Ward Family.”

Esther Dickey offers hundreds of helpful suggestions for family preparedness in Skills for Survival (Horizons, 1978), ranging from emergency conditions to growing better gardens and preserving food.


Carol Lynn Pearson has written a popular series of Mormon “notebooks,” beginning with The Busy Bishop’s Notebook (Bookcraft, 1976) and continuing through The Marriageable Mormon Maiden, The Model Mormon Mother, The Model Mormon Missionary, and The Marriageable Mormon Male. The entries, scrawled by hand on lined pages, reveal such “typical” harassments as this bishop’s problem: “Tell Sister N. I do believe in lesson enrichment—but the budget cannot take the sisters to Panama for the next cultural refinement lesson.”

Doctrine and Scriptures

Elder Bruce R. McConkie has produced The Promised Messiah: The First Coming of Christ (Deseret Book, 1978), first volume of a trilogy about the Lord. This exhaustive and insightful compendium of ancient prophetic teachings includes a section on how all things—including baptism, the sacrament, ancient sacrifices, and Mosaic feasts—are similitudes of Christ.

Two important theological works have recently been reprinted: Parley P. Pratt’s nineteenth century Key to the Science of Theology (Deseret Book, 1978) and Joseph Fielding Smith’s five-volume Answers to Gospel Questions, in paperback (Deseret Book, 1979).

John K. Edmunds, former president of the Salt Lake Temple, provides a lucid and sensitive discussion of temple teachings and ordinances in Through Temple Doors (Bookcraft, 1978).

A thorough historical and scriptural study of the Aaronic Priesthood, Oscar W. McConkie (Deseret Book, 1977), also includes modern interpretations to define the role, duties, and blessings of that priesthood.

Elwood G. Norris, Be Not Deceived: A Scriptural Refutation of the Adam-God Theory (Horizon Publishers, 1978), carefully analyzes the teaching of the scriptures themselves to show the falseness of that doctrine, which is often held by modern apostate groups.

Elder Mark E. Petersen has written a trio of Bible “biographies” on Adam: Who Is He?, Moses: Man of Miracles, and Joshua: Man of Faith (Deseret Book, 1976, 1977, 1978). The Unknown God (Bookcraft, 1978) surveys information about Jesus as the Christ.

God, the Father by Gordon T. Allred (Deseret Book, 1979) compiles quotations from past presidents of the Church on our relationship with God. Elder Boyd K. Packer discusses “The Mediator” in a booklet reprint of a conference address (Deseret Book, 1978).

Three gospel teachings come under analysis: The Creation by Frank B. Salisbury (Deseret Book, 1976), an open-ended examination and summary of evolution and creation; Tithing: The Lord’s Law by Roy Doxey (Deseret Book, 1976), a thorough work on the history and practice of this teaching; and conversion’s Mighty Change by Ed J. Pinegar and Elaine Cannon (Deseret Book, 1977).

Reference Works

Designed to help with scriptural study is a major Topical Guide to the Scriptures of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Deseret Book, 1977), with 640 topics plus an alphabetical index to all four standard works.

Special attention is given to the Book of Mormon m Robert J. Matthews’s Who’s Who in the Book of Mormon (Deseret Book, 1976); Daniel H. Ludlow’s A Companion to Your Study of the Book of Mormon (Deseret Book, 1976), which answers questions on problem verses in chronological order; Lynn and Hope Hilton’s personal reconstruction of Lehi’s possible route from Jerusalem to the point of setting sail in In Search of Lehi’s Trail (Deseret Book–Ensign, 1976); and Paul R. Cheesman’s American study, The World of the Book of Mormon (Deseret Book, 1978), a country-by-country survey of ruins, boxes, calendars, medicines, etc., with proper cautions against making conclusions from inconclusive evidence.

LaRae Collett Robertson promises You Can Be a Book of Mormon Expert in Five Minutes a Day (Horizon, rev. ed., 1978).

Daniel H. Ludlow provides A Companion to Your Study of the Doctrine and Covenants (Deseret Book, 1978); and Richard O. Cowan has written a concise explanation of doctrinal concepts, their historical background, a bibliography, index, and cross-references in his new study guide, The Doctrine and Covenants: Our Modern Scripture (BYU Press, 1978).

Two important reprints are the paperback edition of Roy W. Doxey’s four-volume Latter-day Prophets and the Doctrine and Covenants (Deseret Book, 1978), a compendium of quotations on various passages; and a nine-volume paperback reference set (Deseret Book and Bookcraft, 1977) including James E. Talmage’s Jesus the Christ and The Articles of Faith, Joseph Fielding Smith’s three volumes of Doctrines of Salvation, Joseph F. Smith’s Gospel Doctrine, The Discourses of Brigham Young, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and Spencer W. Kimball’s The Miracle of Forgiveness.

Sentence Sermons, compiled by Dean R. Zimmerman (Deseret Book, 1978), is subject-indexed from “ability” to “Zion.” A sample is Heber J. Grant’s “I believe in fault-finding for breakfast, dinner and supper, but with our own dear selves.”

History and Biography

A best seller since its publication is Spencer W. Kimball by Edward L. Kimball and Andrew E. Kimball, Jr. (Bookcraft, 1977), a superb treatment of President Kimball’s life with its human difficulties and challenges as well as its spiritual triumphs and miracles.

Another biography is Marriott by Robert O’Brien (Deseret Book, 1977) depicting J. Willard Marriott’s business success, Church activities, and family commitments.

The Mormon Experience: A History of the Latter-day Saints has been prepared for a national audience by Leonard J. Arrington and Davis Bitton of the LDS Historical Department and published simultaneously in the United States and Great Britain by Alfred A. Knopf (1979). The book’s topics are arranged in three chronological sections (the Church to 1846, to 1900’s, and the modern Church).

Both major histories of the Church are now available in paperback: The History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Deseret Book, 1978) and B. H. Roberts’s Comprehensive History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (BYU Press, 1978). Both works include a one-volume index.

Joseph Smith Chronology (Deseret Book, 1979), compiled by J. Christopher Conkling, began as a filmmaker’s aid to a Joseph Smith biography, giving a nearly day-by-day account of his activities, largely from official sources.

Another handy reference is Davis Bitton’s ambitious 700-page Guide to Mormon Diaries and Autobiographies (BYU Press, 1977), published alphabetically by surname.

The Church’s role in Utah’s History is woven through this volume which begins before the coming of the pioneers and concludes with events of 1976 (BYU Press, 1978), edited by Richard Poll, David E. Miller, Eugene E. Campbell, and Thomas G. Alexander.

A Believing People, a fat anthology of sermons, letters, and journal accounts of literary merit, edited by Richard H. Cracroft and Neal E. Lambert of Brigham Young University’s English Department, has been reprinted by Bookcraft (1979) and includes some contemporary examples of Mormon literature.

Move It! By Phyllis Jacobson and Barbara Vance (Bookcraft, 1978) is an exercise and nutrition book for beginners and athletes.

Afton Day takes a light-hearted though serious approach in From Fat to Fit in Four Grueling Months (Bookcraft, 1979); and Bert L. Fairbanks gives a common-sense approach to nutrition and exercise in A Principle with Promise: Eating and Exercising Your Way to Health (Bookcraft, 1978).


Four publications from BYU’s Religious Studies Center (produced and distributed by Bookcraft) are (1) Deity and Death, edited by Spencer J. Palmer, proceedings of an east-west symposium; (2) The Glory of God Is Intelligence by Jacob Neusner, his four BYU lectures on Jewish studies; (3) Nibley on the Timely and the Timeless, beginning with his intellectual autobiography and offering a healthy sampling of both popular and erudite lectures; (4) Reflections on Mormonism, edited by Truman G. Madsen, recording the observations of twelve internationally renowned Jewish and Christian theologians. (See “A Respectful Meeting of the Minds,” Ensign, June 1978.)

A source of information on the Church in the twentieth century is Spencer J. Palmer’s The Expanding Church (Deseret Press, 1978), including a never-before-published address of Elder Bruce R. McConkie to the peoples of Asia; some insightful interviews with the Church’s ambassador-at-large, David Kennedy; President Kimball’s vision of the gospel going to all nations; and interviews with representative Latter-day Saint families.

Another major document is Mormonism: A Faith for All Cultures, edited by F. LaMond Tullis (BYU Press, 1978), reporting the proceedings of a three-day symposium that drew on the expertise of scholars, regional representatives, General Authorities, and local authorities from many countries to probe the relationship between gospel and culture. (See “The Expanding Church,” Ensign, Dec. 1976.)

Gospel Concepts

Born of the Spirit, E. Richard Packham (Bookcraft, 1978), discusses “the baptism of fire.”

Two influential addresses by President Spencer W. Kimball are the reprinted Tragedy or Destiny? (Deseret Book, 1977) and Marriage (Deseret Book, 1978), which includes “John and Mary, Beginning Life Together” and “Marriage and Divorce.”

The important subject of Prayer is illuminated through the remarks of eighteen General Authorities (Deseret Book, 1977).

President Marion G. Romney’s compiled conference talks, Learning for the Eternities (Deseret Book, 1977), are organized into five topics: the character of deity, learning for eternity, seeking to know and obey, the way to peace, and strength of character.

Elder Theodore M. Burton discusses eternal life in God’s Greatest Gift (Deseret Book, 1976) as the only context for truly understanding genealogy and temple work.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell encourages perseverance in Things as They Really Are (Deseret Book, 1978), Deposition of a Disciple (1976), and Wherefore Ye Must Press Forward (1977), which join That My Family Should Partake, The Smallest Part, and A Time to Choose.

Seeking the Spirit is the subject of Joseph Fielding McConkie’s thorough analysis of the relevant scriptures (Deseret Book, 1978).

Blaine M. and Brenton G. Yorgason talk about establishing good relationships with Others, based on the model of Christ’s perfect love for us and including both positive and negative examples (Bookcraft, 1978).

Three volumes of Truman Madsen’s popular and inspiring addresses have recently been published: Four Essays on Love, The Highest in Us, and Christ and the Inner Life (Bookcraft, 1977, 1978).

Two volumes from Elder Paul H. Dunn present some of his best-loved and wryly humorous conference addresses—You and Your World (Bookcraft, 1977); and his popular Sunday broadcasts, Look at Your World with Maurine Ward (Bookcraft, 1978).

Elder Marvin J. Ashton asks What Is Your Destination? (Deseret Book, 1978) and gives a thought-provoking, anecdote-laden discussion on how to achieve our eternal destiny.

Lowell L. Bennion describes his personal values system in a distilled volume, The Things That Matter Most (Bookcraft, 1978), and Leon Hartshorn counsels us to Put on the Whole Armor of God (Deseret Book, 1978).

Selected editorials from the Church News by Elder Mark E. Petersen are reprinted in The Salt and the Savor (Bookcraft, 1976), while Elder Sterling W. Sill talks about the lessons we can learn from our “wisdom literature” in The Wealth of Wisdom (Deseret Book, 1977). President Ezra Taft Benson affirms our political/spiritual heritage and future in This Nation Shall Endure (Deseret Book, 1977).


Ardeth G. Kapp’s The Gentle Touch (Deseret Book, 1978) describes how to be a sensitive teacher, a book which follows her previous Miracles in Pinafores and Bluejeans (1977) taken from her experiences with young women in church and school classrooms.

Two anthologies suitable for family reading are The Joy of Reading: An LDS Family Anthology by Robert K. Thomas (Bookcraft, 1978), an anthology of eleven stories and two poems on all levels, including introductions on the authors and a commentary to help shape discussion afterwards; and Favorite Selections From Out of the Best Books (Deseret Book, 1979), an anthology selected from the multi-volume work prepared by Robert K. Thomas and Bruce B. Clark for the Relief Society.

First-person inspirational gospel experiences include: (1) Hartman and Connie Rector’s No More Strangers, vol. 3 (Bookcraft, 1976) telling more heartwarming conversion stories; (2) Margie Calhoon Jensen, Stories of Insight and Inspiration (Bookcraft, 1976), arranged by such subjects as tithing and healings; it joins her 1973 When Faith Writes the Story; (3) Connie Rector and Diane Deputy, Links of Forever (Bookcraft, 1977), containing over forty first-person inspirational accounts of success in genealogy work; and (4) Norma Clark Larsen, His Everlasting Love (Horizon Publishers, 1977) recording how prayers have been answered through words, through the action of others, by visitors from beyond the veil, and through miracles.

Motivational volumes, drawn largely from the writers’ personal experiences, are Mike Berger’s Testimony: Fragile Thread—Eternal Fabric and McKay A. Allphin’s Eternal Grit: Up-to-Heaven Insights and Down-to-Earth Wisdom (both Horizon, 1978).

A self-improvement handbook is Jonathan M. Chamberlain’s Eliminate Your SDBs (self-defeating behaviors) (BYU Press, 1978).

Two books for introducing someone to the Church are The Mormons (Deseret Book, 1978), an extensive photo essay; and Ken Miller’s Mormonism: A Happy Way to Live! (Horizon, 1977), a simple, illustrated survey of basic missionary themes.

For notes on other recent books see “Books on LDS Family Life,” Ensign, March 1978, pp. 50–51; and summaries of historical books and articles in the December issues, 1975–77.

More information can be obtained on these books from their publishers: Bookcraft, 1848 West 2300 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84119; Brigham Young University Press, UPB, BYU, Provo, Utah 84602; Deseret Book Company, 40 East South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84110; Emmeline Press, 95 Irvin Street, Cambridge, Mass. 02138; and Horizon Publishers, 50 South 500 West, Bountiful, Utah 84010.

Illustrated by Michael O. Rogan