I have books written by and about the Prophets and General Authorities, Histories of the Church, Church Units and the building of the Kingdom in various geographies. Books about Temples and Temple Building. Books which attempt to explain Gospel doctrine and principles, even untrue doctrine and books which are critical of the Church. I have various versions and translations of the Scriptures, books that comment or explain scripture and many, many more. One of my friends once commented, “Why do you have all these books, you are never going to read them all.” Which is turning out to be true, but I have referred to many of them at one time or another. I like the feel of a real book in my hand so I often do research online and then read from the actual book itself.
Sometimes it seems that I spend a lot of time in my books and not as much time in the Scriptures.
President Harold B Lee said this:
“We have been prone in the last while to be more concerned about reading commentaries about the scriptures. But there is nothing quite so vital as taking those scriptures in our hands and reading them. [T]here is something that’s more electric, more spiritual, something that is more deeply meaningful when I read from the scriptures themselves. There is nothing so vital, so necessary today, as to ingrain in your children a love for the scriptures themselves.” (Sunday School General Conference, 6 October 1972)
I have often thought about this and wonder if we have way too many books about the Church and Church topics. That those thousands of books distract us from the books we should be reading on a frequent basis-the Scriptures.
Ironically, General Authorities and Church Scholars are major contributors to the plethora of books on the market. Even though the market for LDS books is rather small, I bet it is still big business.
And really, after the tenth or eleventh biography of Joseph Smith is written, do we really need yet another one? Just how much more Book of Mormon geography theories and explanation can we stand?
Now, I have gotten a great deal of insight from reading some of these books and gotten ideas which did truly enlighten me. But could I have gotten that with an earnest reading of the Scriptures under the influence of the Holy Ghost?
What do you think?