We’re wrapping up the end of a year studying the Book of Mormon (whether at home or with our wards or branches) and soon will be turning our focus to the Doctrine and Covenants. J. Stapley at BCC recently ran a useful post discussing some approaches and resources we can use for studying the Doctrine and Covenants and Ben Spackman also recently posted an updated list of recommended reading for Church History and the Doctrine and Covenants topics.
The Church has many meaningful resources available for study including:
- The Joseph Smith Papers Project site, which include links to the Sources behind the Doctrine and Covenants and the first edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, which has links out to “Additional Versions” and “Historical Introductions” to the sections
- An updated e-book published by the Joseph Smith Papers Project, Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion that compiles much of the information from the Joseph Smith Papers project about the Doctrine and Covenants in one place (also available on the Church’s website and Gospel Library app)
- Revelations in Context, which provides, as the title indicates, historical context for the sections of the Doctrine and Covenants
- Saints, Volume 1 introduces the historical narrative for the time in which most of the sections of the Doctrine and Covenants were written
I have to admit, however, that I don’t know very many other good books and resources to recommend off the top of my head, particularly ones that focus on the theological or philosophical side of the Doctrine and Covenants. I know that Richard Bushman’s Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling provides some historical context and commentary on several of the revelations. In the BCC post, J. Stapley also mentioned Matthew Bowman’s The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith, Mark Staker’s Hearken, O Ye People: The Historical Setting of Joseph Smith’s Ohio Revelations, Benjamin Park’s Kingdom of Nauvoo: The Rise and Fall of a Religious Empire on the American Frontier, and Steven Harper’s Making Sense of the Doctrine & Covenants: A Guided Tour Through Modern Revelations as useful resources for historical context.
So, just as David Evans asked a year ago about the Book of Mormon, I ask:
What are some of your favorite books that you’ve read or that you are anticipating reading to accompany your study of the Doctrine and Covenants?