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Book review: 'Foundations of the Restoration' shares Sperry Symposium presentations on early LDS Church history

"Foundations of the Restoration: Fulfilling the Covenant Purposes" is a collection of presentations from the 45th annual Brigham Young University Sidney B. Sperry Symposium.
"Foundations of the Restoration: Fulfilling the Covenant Purposes" is a collection of presentations from the 45th annual Brigham Young University Sidney B. Sperry Symposium.
Brigham Young University Religious Studies Center

"FOUNDATIONS OF THE RESTORATION: Fulfilling the Covenant Purposes," edited by Craig James Ostler, Michael Hubbard MacKay and Barbara Morgan Gardner, BYU Religious Studies Center and Deseret Book, $27.99, 322 pages (nf)

Presentations from the 45th Annual Brigham Young University Sidney B. Sperry Symposium, which took place in October this year, are shared in “Foundations of the Restoration: Fulfillment of the Covenant Purposes."

Craig James Ostler, Michael Hubbard MacKay and Barbara Morgan Gardner edited the collection of 15 essays, in which deep and profound questions about the Restoration of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are discussed and examined within the historical context and how they relate to members of the church today. All contributors have taught or currently teach at BYU.

This collection of works can be used to enhance understanding of the Restoration and personal study of the doctrines surrounding this foundational point in LDS Church history. Each chapter explores different questions about the Restoration, including: How should church members evaluate official sources of doctrine? What can the First Vision teach about the learning process? How can the Articles of Faith be used to enhance the ability to share the gospel?

While some presentations focus on understanding events of the Restoration, others highlight how members can learn from events of the Restoration, such as the First Vision. For example, Gardner explores how the First Vision serves as a pattern for spiritual learning. She addresses the different accounts of this event as told by Joseph Smith and lays out the established pattern that can lead to greater knowledge. Emphasis is placed on the need for personal effort to achieve greater spiritual understanding and growth.

Casey Paul Griffiths explores how the doctrine of consecration has evolved and what it looks like in the church today. After addressing how the doctrine has changed through church history, the continuing fulfillment of this doctrine through the church welfare program is examined.

Each chapter presents a unique opportunity for learning and instruction. This collection would make a good addition to any LDS library as a study tool or as a way to gain a deeper understanding of the people and principles of the Restoration.

Stacey L. Nash is a freelance writer/blogger and mother of four. Her website is at www.lovelearningforlife.com.