Editor's note: Mormon Times is highlighting several new books on the Doctrine and Covenants, which is the focus of the Sunday School curriculum for 2013.
When co-authors Richard E. Turley Jr. and William M. Slaughter worked together to publish "How We Got the Book of Mormon" in 2011, it was meant to be a "visual feast and remarkable read."
Now the partnership has produced "How We Got the Doctrine and Covenants" (Deseret Book, $34.99).
"In many ways we are trying to create a new genre of church history, a volume that can be enjoyed on many levels," Turley said. "For those who want to enjoy the visual aspect of it, it's a visual feast. On another level, if you want to read a story, this is a story book. If you want to get deeper in history of the Doctrine and Covenants, the text itself reflects the very best of scholarship."
"How We Got the Doctrine and Covenants" tells the step-by-step history of how the Doctrine and Covenants came to be using scholarly research and high-quality historical images. Turley and Slaughter said the purpose of the book is to help members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints better understand the history of the Doctrine and Covenants.
"This book (Doctrine and Covenants) was precious to the early Saints," Slaughter said. "By reading this, we hope people will appreciate the Doctrine and Covenants more than before."
While many Latter-day Saints may know something about how the revelations of the Doctrine and Covenants came to be, few have seen the early manuscripts of the revelations or the early editions of the Doctrine and Covenants and its predecessor, "A Book of Commandments."
The narrative describes how the revelations were reduced to writing, circulated as manuscripts and published despite mob violence, eventually spreading worldwide.
"They sacrificed and had faith," Slaughter said of the early LDS Church leaders. "In many ways they were out on a limb, but it all added up to something good."
Turley is an assistant historian and recorder for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He has written or edited several books, as well as worked on “The Joseph Smith Papers” series and “Massacre at Mountain Meadows.”
Slaughter is a photograph historian and consultation archivist for the LDS Church History Department. He has also authored or co-authored several books.
"If I have one hope for this book, it's that at the end of the read, people will treat the book (the Doctrine and Covenants) in a different fashion than they ever have before," Turley said. "They'll have such respect for what they are holding and such respect toward those whose sacrifices brought it to us, that they won't toss it on the ground or let it gather dust on a shelf."
More recently released books about the Doctrine and Covenants
"The Savior in Kirtland" by Karl Ricks Anderson
"Little-Know Stories about the Doctrine and Covenants" by Dan Baker
"You Shall Have My Word: Exploring the Text of the Doctrine & Covenants: the 41st Annual Brigham Young University Sidney Symposium"
"Doctrine and Covenants Encyclopedia: Revised Edition," by Hoyt W. Brewster Jr.
Books about President Lorenzo Snow
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