As a youth one of my favorite pastimes was picking up my favorite book (of the moment), heading outside to our front porch, and delving into a fascinating story. I loved to travel through different times, worlds, or histories. A part of me could step into the shoes of the main character, and I found myself experiencing similar excitements, disappointments, and other emotions.
The written word is so valuable, so precious it has been around since the beginning of mankind. Records passed down from generation to generation, treasured above many things. Since the invention of the printing press the written word has been accessible to the masses, meaning us. We have access to literature of all sorts. This does not mean, however, that we should read everything to pass under our noses.
Three different times in the Doctrine and Covenants we are given guidance on the types of books we should read.
“…Yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom…” D&C 88:118
“…Become acquainted with all good books…” D&C 90:15
“And do thou grant, Holy Father, that all those who shall worship in this house may be taught words of wisdom out of the best books…” D&C 109:14
How do we know what books are considered the “best books”?
Think of the 13th Article of Faith. Look for to watch what you’re reading, would it be appropriate?
Youth of today are remarkably lucky. There are so many LDS authors out there who are able to write with these things in mind. So many books are now available that are entertaining as well as clean.
Today, November 3rd, is National Book Lover’s Day. Take some time out today and pick up your favorite book. Whether it was one from your childhood or a new favorite, take twenty minutes or so and read. If your favorite is not around, head off to the library and discover something new.
Might I also suggest taking some time out for our most important books: the scriptures. Think of some of your favorite Bible and Book of Mormon stories. Read them again. Rediscover what it is about them that touches your heart. They are truly our most precious works.
No matter what you decide to read, have a good time doing it. Exploring a book is more than just having a good time. With each book we learn something new about other places and people. In the process, we can learn something new about ourselves.