Conference Books — Fall 2009

This is my fourth compilation of the books and other media mentioned or referenced each General Conference. The results remain quite interesting. This conference I was impressed by poetry.

I’m not suggesting that the poetry was the best of what was mentioned, or that the poetry was particularly notable or even that there was a lot of poetry. Given how poetry sells, it is interesting that we get as much mentioned as we do. Why is it that speakers seem to know so much poetry, and poetry of somewhat obscure poets, for that matter?

In this conference, for example, Elder Cook cited the poetry of John Holmes (1904-1962), a poet and academic who taught at Tufts University, and whose poetry is largely out-of-print, but is available online in Tufts Library’s digital archive. [FWIW, I don’t see any obvious connection between Elder Cook and Holmes or Tufts University.]

Regardless of how speakers are exposed to poetry, I’m very glad poetry finds it way into General Conference. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that for many members this is their only exposure to poetry during the year, outside of song lyrics.

Anyway, here are the books mentioned or citied in the most recent General Conference:

  • Barrie, J. M., Peter Pan.
    • H. David Burton, Let Virtue Garnish Your Thoughts, Sunday Morning Session
  • Bogacz, Rick, Skyway Horror in The Standard, June 9, 1993.
    • Ann M. Dibb, Hold On, Sunday Morning Session
  • Cannon, George, quoted in The Twelve Apostles in Andrew Jenson, ed. The Historical Record.
    • Jeffrey R. Holland, Safety for the Soul, Sunday Afternoon Session
  • Clark, James R., (comp.)Messages of the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1833-1964. 6 volumes., 1965-1975.
    • Russell M. Nelson, Ask, Seek, Knock, Sunday Morning Session
  • News Capsules in Deseret News, June 9, 1993.
    • Ann M. Dibb, Hold On, Sunday Morning Session
  • Eyring, Henry B., in Shaun D. Stahle, Inspiring Students to Stand Strong amid Torrent of Temptation in Church News, August 18, 2001.
    • D. Todd Christofferson, Moral Discipline, Sunday Afternoon Session
  • Farrar, Frederic W., The early days of Christianity, 1883.
    • Tad R. Callister, Joseph Smith–Prophet of the Restoration, Saturday Afternoon Session
  • Faust, James E., Be Healers in Clark Memorandum, spring 2003.
    • D. Todd Christofferson, Moral Discipline, Sunday Afternoon Session
  • Faust, James E., Stories from My Life, 2001.
    • D. Todd Christofferson, Moral Discipline, Sunday Afternoon Session
  • First Presidency, To the Presidency, Officers, and Members of the Relief Society in Centenary of Relief Society 1842-1942, 1942.
    • Julie B. Beck, Relief Society: A Sacred Work, General Relief Society Meeting
  • Grant, Heber J. comp. G. Homer Durham, , 1969.
    • Thomas S. Monson, School Thy Feelings, O My Brother, Priesthood Session
  • Hales, Robert D., Understandings of the Heart in Brigham Young University 1987-1988 Devotional and Fireside Speeches, 1988.
    • Quentin L. Cook, Stewardship–a Sacred Trust, Sunday Afternoon Session
  • Hanks, Richard K., Eph Hanks, Pioneer Scout, BYU Master’s Thesis, 1973.
    • Dale G. Renlund, Preserving the Heart’s Mighty Change, Sunday Afternoon Session
  • Hinlicky, Sarah E., Subversive Virginity in First Things, October 1998.
    • D. Todd Christofferson, Moral Discipline, Sunday Afternoon Session
  • Holmes, John, Talk in The Collected Poems of John Holmes.
    • Quentin L. Cook, Stewardship–a Sacred Trust, Sunday Afternoon Session
  • Jesse, Dean C., Ronald K. Esplin, and Richard Lyman Bushman, eds., The Joseph Smith Papers: Journals, Vol. 1: 1832-1839, 2008.
    • Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Two Principles for Any Economy, Priesthood Session
  • Johnson, Thomas M., The Lost Battalion
    • H. David Burton, Let Virtue Garnish Your Thoughts, Sunday Morning Session
  • The Joy of What? in Wall Street Journal, December 12, 1991.
    • D. Todd Christofferson, Moral Discipline, Sunday Afternoon Session
  • Katz, Gregory, U.K. Health Booklet’s Message: Teen Sex Can Be Fun in Deseret News, July 15, 2009.
    • Quentin L. Cook, Stewardship–a Sacred Trust, Sunday Afternoon Session
  • Lyon, Jack M., Best-Loved Poems of the LDS People, 1996.
    • Boyd K. Packer, Prayer and Promptings, Saturday Afternoon Session
  • McConnell, Jack, And What Did You Do for Someone Today? in Newsweek June 18, 2001.
    • Thomas S. Monson, What Have I Done for Someone Today?, Sunday Morning Session
  • McKay, David O., Mary Jane Woodger (comp.), The Teachings of David O. McKay, 2004.
    • Jorge F. Zeballos, Attempting the Impossible, Saturday Afternoon Session
  • McLean, Michael, Forgotten Carols: A Christmas Story & Songbook (Book Only), 2004.
    • H. David Burton, Let Virtue Garnish Your Thoughts, Sunday Morning Session
  • Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition, 2003.
    • Russell M. Nelson, Ask, Seek, Knock, Sunday Morning Session
  • Moulton, John Fletcher, quoted in Clayton M. Christensen, The Importance of Asking the Right Questions (Southern New Hampshire University commencement speech), May 16, 2009.
    • Quentin L. Cook, Stewardship–a Sacred Trust
  • Newton, John and William Cowper, Olney Hymns: On Select Texts Of Scripture; On Occasional Subjects, 1797.
    • Russell M. Nelson, Ask, Seek, Knock, Sunday Morning Session
  • Reagan, Ronald, quoted in George F. Will, One Man’s America in Cato Policy Report, Sept-Oct 2008.
    • L. Tom Perry, The Past Way of Facing the Future, Sunday Morning Session
  • Sheen, Fulton John, Bishop Fulton John Sheen Makes a Wartime Plea in William Safire, sel., Lend Me Your Ears: Great Speeches in History, 1997.
    • L. Tom Perry, The Past Way of Facing the Future, Sunday Morning Session
  • Smith, George A., Discourse, in Deseret News, April 16, 1856, p. 44.
    • Thomas S. Monson, School Thy Feelings, O My Brother, Priesthood Session
  • Smith, Joseph, in Sarah M. Kimball, Auto-biography, in Women’s Exponent, September 1, 1883.
    • Julie B. Beck, Relief Society: A Sacred Work, General Relief Society Meeting
    • Silvia H. Allred, Every Woman Needs Relief Society, General Relief Society Meeting
  • Smith, Joseph, History of the Church, ed. B. H. Roberts, 7 vols. 1902-1932.
    • Vicki F. Matsumori, Helping Others Recognize the Whisperings of the Spirit, Saturday Morning Session
    • Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Two Principles for Any Economy, Priesthood Session (2)
    • Jeffrey R. Holland, Safety for the Soul, Sunday Afternoon Session (3)
    • Brent H. Nielson, A Call to the Rising Generation, Sunday Afternoon Session
  • Smith, Joseph Fielding, Take Heed to Yourselves: Gospel Discourses of Joseph Fielding Smith, 1971.
    • Quentin L. Cook, Stewardship–a Sacred Trust, Sunday Afternoon Session
  • Smith, Lucy Mack, in Relief Society Minute Book, Mar. 1842-Mar. 1844., entries for Mar. 24, 1842 and Apr. 28, 1842.
    • Henry B. Eyring, The Enduring Legacy of Relief Society, General Relief Society Meeting (2)
  • Snow, Eliza R., An Address in Women’s Exponent, September 15, 1873.
    • Barbara Thompson, Mind the Gap, General Relief Society Meeting
  • Steinsaltz, Adin, The Essential Talmud, 2006.
    • Quentin L. Cook, Stewardship–a Sacred Trust
  • Stendahl, Krister, To Speak About God in Harvard Divinity Bulletin, v36 #2, Spring 2008.
    • Robert D. Hales, Seeking to Know God, Our Heavenly Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ, Saturday Afternoon Session
  • Surgery: The Ultimate OperationTime, December 15, 1967.
    • Dale G. Renlund, Preserving the Heart’s Mighty Change, Sunday Afternoon Session
  • Taylor, John, The Gospel Kingdom, sel. G. Homer Durham, 1941.
    • Richard G. Scott, To Acquire Spiritual Guidance, Saturday Morning Session
  • Uchtdorf, Dieter F., As You Embark upon This New Era in Brigham Young University 2008-2009 Speeches, 2009.
    • Julie B. Beck, Relief Society: A Sacred Work, General Relief Society Meeting
  • Whittier, John Greenleaf, Maud Muller in The Complete Poetical Works of John Greenleaf Whittier, 1876.
    • Thomas S. Monson, School Thy Feelings, O My Brother, Priesthood Session
  • Williams, Walter, Laws Are a Poor Substitute for Common Decency, Moral Values in Deseret News, April 29, 2009.
    • D. Todd Christofferson, Moral Discipline, Sunday Afternoon Session
  • Wilder, Lawrence Douglas, quoted in Early Hardships Shaped Candidates in Deseret News, December 7, 1991.
    • Thomas S. Monson, School Thy Feelings, O My Brother, Priesthood Session
  • Woodruff, Wilford, Leaves from my Journal, 1881.
    • Boyd K. Packer, Prayer and Promptings, Saturday Afternoon Session
  • Young, Brigham, quoted in Wilford Woodruff Celebration of Pioneers’ Day in The Utah Pioneers, 1880.
    • L. Tom Perry, The Past Way of Facing the Future, Sunday Morning Session
  • Yutang, Lin, The Importance Of Living, 1937.
    • Julie B. Beck, Relief Society: A Sacred Work, General Relief Society Meeting

You can see the previous compilations of books cited in General conference here:
April 2009
October 2008
April 2008

10 thoughts on “Conference Books — Fall 2009”

  1. Fascinating as always. Thanks, Kent. Anybody else struck by the fact that an article that ran in First Things is quoted?

  2. Yeah, Wm. And with where my interests currently lie, I had to go find the article as soon as I saw the title: “Subversive Virginity”—I like that idea.

    And thanks for the list, Kent. It’s always interesting to me to see how many of the GA’s quote other GA’s: interesting knowledge, faith, and testimony building exercise that.

  3. I, too, found the First Things reference interesting, and the title of the article provocative.

    It always seems like the list includes some unusual and fascinating work — Frederick Farrar keeps popping up lately (twice last conference!) and I’m not interested to find out more about Lin Yutang — does anyone read him anymore? Or is his a once-popular work that no longer speaks to people today?

    But, I think the poetry question is most interesting at the moment. How and why dod GA’s come up with some of the obscure poetry that they do?

  4. First Things wikipedia article

    I don’t know that it’s a huge surprise that it’s quoted as it reflects an orthodox Christian, politically fairly conservative point of view. So in that sense, it’s not so different from quoting from the Wall St. Journal. On the other hand, it’s a little high brow and a little overtly political for conference.

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