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Doctrinal Works

by Eleanor Knowles

Doctrinal works—that is, periodicals, tracts, and books—have been numerous in the LDS tradition, reflecting the lay character of the ministry, the large corpus of scripture, and continuing concern with right belief as well as right conduct.

Official letters, including doctrinal expositions, of the First Presidency are published in Messages of the First Presidency, ed. James R. Clark, 6 vols. (Salt Lake City, 1965-1975). Influential tracts and pamphlets have been compiled in Handbook of the Restoration and in ScrapBook of Mormon Literature, comp. Ben E. Rich, 2 vols. (Chicago, n.d.).

In addition to volumes on Joseph Smith's teachings (TPJS, WJS), there are doctrinal statements in Journal of Discourses (1980). Compilations of discourses of the Presidents of the Church, all published in Salt Lake City, include Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, ed. John A. Widtsoe (1954); John Taylor, The Gospel Kingdom, ed. G. Homer Durham (1987); Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, ed. G. Homer Durham (1946); Teachings of Lorenzo Snow, comp. Clyde J. Williams (1984); Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine (1939); Heber J. Grant, Gospel Standards (1941); George Albert Smith, Sharing the Gospel with Others (1948); David O. McKay, Gospel Ideals (1953); Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. (1954-1956); Harold B. Lee, Stand Ye in Holy Places and Ye Are the Light of the World (1974); Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball (1982); and Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson (1988).

Following is a list of books that have made significant contributions to the understanding of doctrine (unless otherwise noted, these works were published in Salt Lake City): Parley P. Pratt, A Voice of Warning (New York, 1837) and Key to Theology (1856); Orson Pratt, An Interesting Account of Several Remarkable Visions and of the Late Discovery of Ancient American Records (Edinburgh, 1840); Orson Spencer, Spencer's Letters (Liverpool and London, 1852); John Taylor, Mediation and Atonement (1882) and The Government of God (1884); Franklin D. Richards and James Little, A Compendium of the Doctrines of the Gospel (1882); B. H. Roberts, The Gospel (Liverpool, 1888), Mormon Doctrine of Deity and Jesus Christ: The Revelation of God (1903) and The Seventy's Course in Theology, 5 vols. (1907-1912); James E. Talmage, Articles of Faith (1899) and Jesus the Christ (1915); Orson F. Whitney, Gospel Themes (1914) and Saturday Night Thoughts (1921); Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine (1919); Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, ed. John A. Widtsoe (1926); John A. Widtsoe, Priesthood and Church Government (1939), A Rational Theology (1945), and Evidences and Reconciliations, 3 vols. in 1 (1960); Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, comp. by Joseph Fielding Smith (1938); Orson Pratt, Orson Pratt's Works, ed. Parker P. Robison (1945), and Masterful Discourses of Orson Pratt, ed. N. B. Lundwall (1946); Milton R. Hunter, The Gospel Through the Ages (1945); Daniel H. Ludlow, ed., Latter-day Prophets Speak (1948); J. Reuben Clark, Jr., On the Way to Immortality and Eternal Life (1949); Writings of Parley P. Pratt, ed. Parker P. Robison (1952); Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine (1958, rev. 1966); Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness (1969); and George Q. Cannon, Gospel Truth, ed. Jerreld Newquist, 2 vols. (1972, 1974).

Shorter treatises include Oliver Cowdery, "General Charge to the Twelve" (1835); Quorum of the Twelve, "A Proclamation to the World" (1845); Lorenzo Snow, "Law of Tithing" (1899); James E. Talmage, "The Honor and Dignity of the Priesthood" (1914); J. Reuben Clark, Jr., "The Charted Course of the Church in Education" (1938) and "When Are the Writings or Sermons of Church Leaders Entitled to the Claim of Scripture?" (1954); Harold B. Lee, "Priesthood…Core of All Activity" (1961) and "Priesthood Correlation" (1961); Spencer W. Kimball, "When the World Will Be Converted" (1974), "Lengthening Our Stride" (1974), and "Becoming Pure in Heart" (1978); N. Eldon Tanner, "Church Administration" (1979).

(See Basic Beliefs home page; Church Organization and Priesthood Authority home page; Church Publications home page)

Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 1, Doctrine, Treatises

Copyright 1992 by Macmillan Publishing Company

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