“Why write books?”
It is important to note that the scriptures and revelation are intended to be the main sources for instruction. W. W. Phelps was given a mandate in Doctrine and Covenants 55:4 “of selecting and writing books for schools in this church, that little children also may receive instruction before me as is pleasing unto me.” What he actually found or created, we do not know and do not have, nevertheless, it seems clear that the Lord was displeased with what was available for His children to learn of Him.
There are currently few if any books that integrate current physical knowledge with revealed spiritual truth. If we begin to create and distribute books of this type, then other students and families will have reference options and learning materials that are moral, uplifting, turn them to God, and build testimony, “all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.” (Alma 30:44)
Using these books, others will be able to start from that point and increase in knowledge from there. These books could be published and sold if desired, or they could be freely distributed—either in print or online.
Student’s examples of Binder Books and Spiral Books
Joseph Smith commanded W. W. Phelps to create this kind of textbook to build faith and testimony in students. Brigham Young taught that he wanted to see the scriptures as the first reader for children.
Some began to follow these admonitions, but very quickly the philosophies of the world began to creep in and the people began to seek to be like the world. They sought after teachers with educations from prestigious institutions without considering the moral character of those teachers. They wanted free schools, and even though the prophet taught them to pay for their children’s education and avoid the “free” schools, a majority of the saints disregarded this counsel.
We are supposed to learn in a Celestial manner—both the physical and spiritual tied together with service and fulfilling fore-ordained roles being the aim and end. As was stated before, all things were created spiritually before being created spiritually, even us.
All that we learn in this life will rise with us. Creating and writing books will secure this knowledge in us if we care about what we learn and create, and if we desire to keep this knowledge and pray for that end. This method of learning—spiritual and physical together and combined with an eye on service and fore-ordination—needs to become the norm not an anomaly. It is the way of heaven. Let’s allow the Lord to lift us, and in turn become His instruments to lift others.
The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth. Doctrine and Covenants 93:36