Dear 100 Hour Board,
Alumni week is nearly over, but I have a last question: any recommendations for books that have strengthened your belief in Christ (or spirituality in general, really)? That's something I've been struggling with lately and would love recs.
-veggietales didn't prepare me well enough for my faith crises
The Book of Mormon. It's an obvious pick, but it has done so much to build my faith in Christ. There's great power throughout that book.
Believing Christ by Stephen Robinson. This book was a very important read for me as I was figuring out my faith. It talks about grace and our relationship with Christ, how we can not only believe in Him (that He exists), but believe Him (that He'll do what He says He'll do, that is provide salvation).
Saints, Vol. 1 by the Church. This is a recently-published history of the early Church told in narrative form (rather than as a dry biography). It's a good read, and nearly every story helped me see in a new way how Christ helps us on an individual basis.
Here are a few recommendations:
Here If You Need Me, by Kate Braestrup. (Memoir of a woman whose husband died in a traffic accident, so she decided to carry on his dream of becoming a Unitarian Universalist chaplain for the Maine State Warden service.)
Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion, by Father Gregory Boyle. (Memoir of a Catholic priest working with gang members in LA.)
Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving and Finding the Church, by Rachel Held Evans. (Memoir of a woman raised as a conservative Evangelical Christian who came to question some of her church's teachings while wanting to maintain a relationship with Christ.)
Dendo: One Year and One Half in Tokyo, by Brittany Long Olsen. (Diary in graphic novel format of a sister missionary in Tokyo. Covers the highs, lows, and averages of missionary service.)
A Book of Mormons: Latter-day Saints on a Modern-Day Zion. (Collection of essays on the idea of "Zion": as a physical place, a group of people, a spiritual ideal, etc.)
The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture by Yoram Hazony, particularly Chapter 6 and 7. I read it for a social theory class and it may not have been as impactful without a professor to facilitate discussion about it, but I really have appreciated learning that wrestling with God is an important part of my faith, as well as understanding different ontological approaches to scripture.
People of Paradox: A History of Mormon Culture by Terryl L. Givens. This is a bit more reader-friendly than the first. I liked learning about how theology has affected culture, and vice versa, and taking a somewhat anthropological look at something I've been immersed in since birth. I felt better able to approach contradictions and concerns I've had.
Dear Larry the Cucumber,
I second Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans. I also look forward to reading her Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again.
The God Who Weeps: How Mormonism Makes Sense of Life by Fiona Givens and Terryl Givens.
The Five Books of Jesus by James Goldberg is a nice novelization of Jesus's ministry.