General authorities author new books

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Fall brings a change in the weather, the fun of football and the words of the prophets. In addition to General Conference, two new autobiographical books from LDS general authorities will provide the BYU community a chance to gain more insight into the lives and teachings of LDS leaders.

Deseret Book has announced the release of books from President Thomas S. Monson and Elder Dallin H. Oaks. President Monson’s book is titled “Teachings of Thomas S. Monson” and focuses on gospel principles, serving as a companion to his acclaimed “To The Rescue.” According to a news release from Deseret Book, the book addresses more than 125 topics and contains a scriptural index to help readers quickly locate President Monson’s teachings on specific scriptures.

Elder Oaks’ book, “Life’s Lessons Learned,” is more narrative in nature and tells of his personal, professional and spiritual life. The book is split into three sections: the first covering his life up to 1971, the second covering his time as BYU president and with the Utah Supreme Court, and the third covers his time as a general authority, from 1984 to the present day.

“I have learned things that have shaped my life and teachings, including some things of the heart not previously shared,” Elder Oaks explained in the introduction. “This is an autobiography of learning and application rather than a compendium of doctrine.”

The books will be available at the BYU Bookstore, where Lauren Spurgin, 21, from Forney, Texas, works as a religious books information desk clerk. She said most pre-sales of the two books have come from professors, specifically religion professors, and from students following recommendations from those professors. Once the books are released she said sales of this type of book generally come from students buying them as gifts.

“It’s been popular as far as them buying them for their families back home,” Spurgin said. “And when their families start raving about how great they are, the students come back to buy one for themselves.”

The Bookstore plans to sell a large number of both President Monson’s and Elder Oaks’ books. Student Alvin Green, a 22-year old molecular biology major from Murray, is currently enrolled in a living prophets class and is reading “To The Rescue” for the first time. He said he plans to read “Teachings of Thomas S. Monson” as soon as he can.

“I’m excited to learn more about the prophet and apostles and strengthen my testimony by learning about their lives,” Green said. “It strengthens my testimony that the Lord is involved in every aspect of their lives. It shows me how chosen they are and how prepared they are. It also shows me that they are just men, but that the Lord is involved in their lives and they are not perfect.”

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