Within the Mormon Church there are numerous books. Some are considered official doctrine of the Church while others are just interesting and made up mostly of the authors interpretation of Mormon doctrine.
The Standard Works
This term refers to the official scripture of the Mormon Church. The Standard Works are made up of the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price.
Bible: Mormons consider the Bible to be official scripture and adhere to its teachings as doctrine. It is honored as a testament of Jesus Christ and is a collection of sacred writings that contain revelations from God and an account of God’s dealings with His people in the Old world. The Mormon Church does accept information that was revealed during a translation of the Bible done by Joseph Smith. This translation was actual revelation Joseph Smith received from God concerning information that had been lost or changed in the Bible over time by scholars and other translators. The Mormon Church today does not use the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible as the official Bible of the Church, but footnotes are included that give information from the translation where significant changes have been made to the text.
Book of Mormon: The Book of Mormon is similar to the Bible in that it is a compilation of various works written by many people over many centuries (more than 1,000 years). The Book of Mormon follows a group of people who travel to the Americas and their dealings with God. The Book of Mormon’s subtitle is “Another Testament of Jesus Christ.” The book testifies of Christ’s divinity and mission and is another witness that Christ lived, atoned for our sins, died on the cross and was resurrected.
Doctrine and Covenants: Mormon doctrine teaches that God continues to give revelation to man, and this is done through his prophet. The Doctrine and Covenants is made up of revelations that were deemed important enough to adopt as scripture. In the Doctrine and Covenants can be found some important principles of the Mormon religion such as the Word of Wisdom, eternal marriage, the priesthood, Baptism, life after death, organization of the Church, and tithing.
The Pearl of Great Price: started as a collection of writings by Joseph Smith printed for the Saints in England. The information found in the Pearl of Great Price gives members of the Mormon Church a greater understanding about visions Moses had, the earth’s creation, Adam and Eve, Abraham, and the Abrahamic Covenant.
Other Significant Books
Within the Mormon Church there are many other books that help members understand and learn about gospel principles. The ones that are “approved” by the leaders of the Church are most likely to contain the most correct information. It is suggested that Mormon missionaries study a group of books along with the scriptures. These books make up the “missionary library” and are useful in learning more about the Mormon Church and its doctrine. These books are: Preach My Gospel, written by leaders of the Church and used by all missionaries as approved curriculum; Our Search for Happiness, by M. Russell Ballard a clear and inoffensive description of Mormon principles; Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage discusses the life and teachings of Christ; True to the Faith; and Our Heritage, written by the Church is a brief history of the Mormon Church.