In Doctrine and Covenants 88: 118, the Lord advises us to “seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom.” Besides the scriptures and doctrinal Church books, there are so many good books out there to enjoy. But finding them can be difficult. Often the bestsellers are overflowing with profanity and promiscuity. And other books are unheard of and hidden on library shelves. I wish there were edited books or a website that screens books like movies (if you are aware of one, let me know!). The best I can do for now is to recommend some very uplifting books and inspirational authors.
Richard Paul Evans—Most famous for his book The Christmas Box, Evans writes inspiring stories about change and growth. His characters are realistic and relatable. Although his books are not written for only an LDS audience, you can sense the influence of the gospel in his writing.
Josi S. Kilpack—Her books focus on serious trials LDS families experience, such as infidelity, the pressure of perfection, and abuse. I like that she ventures into more untouched territory to show her audience she understands that LDS family life is not all rainbows and “Love at Home,” like it often is portrayed and expected to be, and that blessings always await those who endure to the end.
Susan Law Corpany—She wrote a series about a young LDS widow, someone she once was. She explains the grief young widows feel and the reactions they get from other Church members. Her books are very humorous.
C.S. Lewis—Lewis’s most famous works are The Chronicles of Narnia. I love that he uses so much religious symbolism. His other works are great reads, too. I definitely recommend The Screwtape Letters. His understanding of the gospel is profound—I wouldn’t be surprised if he had no problem accepting the fullness of the gospel on the other side.
I also recommend reading children’s literature, which is full of innocence, fun, and life lessons. Unbeknown to its author, Lois Lowry, The Giver promotes agency and condemns Satan’s plan. Her other award-winning novel Number the Stars tells of heroism in the face of personal danger. Francis Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden and A Little Princess focus on personal development and are sweet and warming. Holes, by Louis Sachar, is about self-acceptance and choice and accountability. Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Patterson, explores the imagination and hard reality. Natalie Babbitt’s Tuck Everlasting discusses mortality versus immortality. Countless other books offer clean, imaginative entertainment. We have no excuse not to be seeking out of the best books!
Sharing Time: What are your favorite good books and authors?