One of the most common questions we receive at Mormon Expression is “How should I get started with my own personal research of Mormonism?” Amazon currently lists almost 6,000 books under the category of Mormonism, which doesn’t include the thousands of titles that have been published. How would one find a listing of the “best books?”
There’s a lot of different methods we could use. One method would be to go by a listing of the “bestselling” books. However, some books hold more backing due to author notoriety or publishers funds, compared to the actual content in the book. Another worthwhile method could be to look at a listing of award winning books, however, the awards might not account for older books that played a meaningful impact.
As we have discussed the different methodologies, we realized that the sheer number of Mormon texts available would be difficult to sift through, much less ask our voters to sift through them all. We realized that a book that is critical to the Mormon religion should not be weighted the same as a biography of an influential Mormon, or a doctrinal piece about Mormonism. We have determined that there are 8 main categories that should be considered when looking at the landscape of Mormon publications:
The prime things considered for inclusion into the Hall of Fame are overall popularity, being a well respected or impactful publication in that era, and/or having been a major player when it comes to the study and history of Mormonism. The works on this list should be unquestioned “bests,” not simply bestsellers based on the standards of their era. This should be a listing of texts that can stand up to scrutiny from both sides of the Mormon “aisle,” and cause the public to gain new insight into the field of Mormonism.
We have established an “inaugural class” of Mormon Books. These books are considered by well respected sources, on all points along the spectrum of Mormonism, to be some of the “best books.” These are considered to be some of the most well researched, the most influential, the most “game changing” publications about Mormonism. Each section will include a brief description of the book or books included in that section, the reasons and considerations for their inclusions, as well as a link to purchase.
All subsequent “classes” will be subject to a methodological voting process. Information about the methodologies can be found here.
Doctrine and Theology
Scripture and Scripture Studies