Monday, February 27, 2017

Review: At the Pulpit: 185 Years of Discourses by Latter-day Saint Women edited by Jennifer Reeder & Kate Holbrook

Heidi Reads... At the Pulpit: 185 Years of Discourses by Latter-day Saint Women

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


At the Pulpit showcases the tradition of Latter-day Saint women's preaching and instruction by presenting 54 speeches given from 1831 to 2016, with selections from every decade since the founding of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The discourses, given by women both well known and obscure, represent just some of the many contributions of women to Latter-day Saint thought. In addition to being a scholarly history, At the Pulpit is intended as a resource for contemporary Latter-day Saints as they study, speak, teach, and lead. These discourses allow readers to hear the historical and contemporary voices of Latter-day Saint women--voices that resound with experience, wisdom, and authority.

My Review

I loved reading and studying the important words of women from our church history and present day. Recently a friend mentioned that she thought it would be wonderful if one year the lesson manual for Relief Society and Priesthood classes was a compilation of talks from the female general auxiliary presidents. I agreed, and soon after I was presented with the opportunity to review this book, which is just what we had been thinking about, but even better since it also includes women who are not well known but have an interesting history and poignant testimony. It strengthened my own testimony to read such a wide variety of talks, rich with gospel principles, gratitude for the Relief Society, and strong examples of enduring and overcoming hardship. Each individual's brief background is set forth before their address and I especially appreciated it for the historical context as well as instilling a feeling of admiration for the woman whose words I was about to read. Each discourse is significant in some way and I felt edified by each.

One of my favorites was "An Elevation So High Above the Ordinary" given by Eliza R. Snow in 1872, where she encourages the women in regards to both spiritual and intellectual edification, as well as the necessary development of domestic skills as a foundation for daily life and upon which to build "finer accomplishments". Another that stood out to me was "Drifting, Dreaming, Directing" by Ardeth G. Kapp in 1980 about the importance of standing immovable in matters of principle and making choices based on motivation from a relationship with the Savior and personal revelation, instead of drifting with the crowd, our faithfulness simply based on practices and tradition, existing on "borrowed light".

At the Pulpit is an amazing book that is perfect for personal gospel study and as a resource for teaching lessons or devotionals in the home and church. I highly recommend it to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and those who want to learn more about the history and spirituality of Mormon women.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)


Be sure to visit, where you can learn more about the book, view photos, explore chronology, and read twelve of the talks in their entirety including three bonus discourses not included in the print volume. (I highly recommend Bonus Chapter 7: Gaining Light through Questioning by Julie Willis)


About The Church Historian's Press

The Church Historian’s Press was announced in 2008 by the Church History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Joseph Smith Papers was the first publication to bear the imprint. The press publishes works of Latter-day Saint history that meet high standards of scholarship. For more information, visit the Church Historian’s Press website.

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