Encyclopedia of Joseph Smith's Teachings

Edited by Larry E. Dahl and Donald Q. Cannon

Synopsis: A collection of Joseph Smith's teachings, arranged like an encylopedia in that it is arranged alphabetically by topics.

Strong Points: This book is a useful resource for accessing the Prophet's teachings. It is handy to search topically and find all (or virtually all) of Joseph Smith's surviving teachings on any given topic. It draws on a fairly broad range of sources to include in its selections, standing on the shoulders of the books about the Prophet's teachings that have gone before and compiling them into one resource. In reading it I even found some special gems of Joseph Smith's teachings that I had never read before, and which shed marvellous light on our understanding of the Gospel: one relating to the fact Adam was literally born a son of God (p. 297), and a few others saying that the Holy Ghost will one day receive a body (p. 324).

Weak Points: This is probably not the kind of book that you really want to read all the way through. It contains many duplications, necessarily, as there is a lot of cross over between topics within many of Joseph Smith's sermons and writings. And so you will find yourself reading the same paragraphs several times over in the course of reading the book. Also, as comprehensive as the book was, I found that it was missing some very pertinent teachings, such as those regarding the principle of plural marriage which the Prophet imparted in secret to many of his wives and close associates. Many of these can be found in Todd Compton's In Sacred Loneliness.

Interesting: 2.9/5 (if read all the way through), 5/5 (if used as a reference)

Must Read: 3.9/5

Overall: 3.7/5

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