There are several kinds of books which may be described as “Mormon books.” The Mormon Church, properly named The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, publishes two classes of books. These are:
The official, canonical scriptures of the Church, namely
- The Holy Bible
- The Book of Mormon—Another Testament of Jesus Christ
- The Doctrine and Covenants
- The Pearl of Great Price
These four volumes are sometimes collectively referred to as “the Standard Works” or simply “the Scriptures.” In Mormon usage, this goes beyond the usual sense of “a work of recognized excellence” and is actually equivalent to “the official, canonical scriptures of the Church.”
The Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price are shorter books than the Bible, so they are often combined and bound together in one book, which members of the Church call the “triple combination.” Editions of the scriptures can also be purchased in one large book with the Bible (both Old and New Testaments) included. Mormons have nicknamed this the “quad,” or “quadruple combination.”
The second class of books includes:
Procedural handbooks and lesson manuals. These contain curriculum materials for classes taught in Church meetings, materials to assist families and instructions and policy guidelines to Church leaders. These are “official” in the ordinary sense, but do not rise to the status of scripture.
In addition to these, there are books of various kinds written by individual Church members for the edification of other Latter-day Saints. While there is no formal system of classification for these, most would fall into one or more of the following broad categories:
- Doctrinal: works expounding doctrine or providing scriptural commentary.
- Historical: works describing events in Mormon history or (less commonly) general history that is of interest to Latter-day Saints.
- Devotional: works intended to assist Latter-day Saints in personal or family worship, or to cope with grief or stressful life events.
- Recreational: light fiction featuring Mormon themes or characters.
Additionally, books by non-Mormons about the Church may be described as “Mormon books.” While a few valuable scholarly works do emerge from time to time, many or most of these books are controversial in nature, and are more properly described as “anti-Mormon books.”