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A Marvelous Work and a Wonder
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A Marvelous Work and a Wonder

4.34  ·  Rating Details ·  8,250 Ratings  ·  140 Reviews
1950. Richards, a Presiding Bishop and Ordained One of the Twelve Apostles, offers an outline prepared to assist missionaries in their study and presentation of the gospel in a systematic and logical manner. Contents: The Position of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; The Visit of the Father and the Son; Personality of the Father and the Son; False Doctrines ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 424 pages
Published July 1st 2000 by Shadow Mountain (first published 1950)
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Oct 24, 2011 Eduardo rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book if you want to learn the basics of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. These people out there like to talk about planets, baptisms for the dead and magic underwear. Think of them like those who would write "Hebrew" on some business door so the Nazis could go and kill as many Jews as they wished, or those friars who would burn protestants on the stake for wanting to read the Bible, or protestants shooting Catholics in Ireland, and Muslims wanting to kill the ...more
Jun 20, 2008 Hans rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religious
Don't get me wrong this isn't a bad book, I am more concerned with what the book is attempting to do. There is a natural tendency that all of us engage in called "Confirmation Bias" it is once we have accepted a certain opinion or view we seek hard to strengthen it by finding only those things that confirm our held view. It also makes us discredit or easily write off anything that challenges our view. This book is essentially that, a now outdated attempt at nothing but confirmation bias. I no lo ...more
Apr 14, 2011 Barbara rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
The first book I read after joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It really helped to clarify some of the things that had always caused me to wonder about religion. I've always been a believer of Jesus Christ but how His church became so many different churches believing such different doctrine puzzled me.
May 04, 2009 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I tried to read this book cover to cover like a novel, or biography. I began over a year ago, got about half way, put the book down for a while, then picked it back up and finished. This book would probably be better to use like a reference book. LeGrand Richards is an amazing man, and this book reflects his intellect and love for missionary work. Being written in book form in 1950, there are a few things "outdated" in this book. But, the gospel of Jesus Christ is eternal truth, and those truths ...more
Apr 30, 2011 Carol rated it really liked it
Elder LeGrand Richards was alive when I was in college, in his upper 90's. To hear him speak and his wisdom and sense of humor are treasures I will always remember. I specifically remember him speaking about enduring faithfully to the end, and that he prayed he would be able to do so. This book is one of the ground works of the LDS faith, that all newer members should read and grasp. I was a little older when I read it the first time, but it is a treasure in teaching fundamentals.
Sep 23, 2012 Larry rated it it was amazing
This book made a difference in my testimony of the restoration of the gospel to the earth. LeGrand Richards explained the apostasy and restoration in such a logical and understandable way that left me convinced that Church has been restored to the earth with the proper priesthood, organization and ordinances.
Jan 18, 2009 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have and read the 1976 edition and first read the book in 1977 but have reread portions of it over the last 31 years. This is a great book for learning and sharing the basic truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It provides very clear and concise pricipals of the Gospel. Very easy and enjoyable reading.
May 09, 2017 Anita rated it it was ok
I read this book to fulfil the goal "read a book your pastor recommends" being lds, we call our "pastors" bishops. i asked my bishop what he would recommend and this is what he told me. this book explains what we believe in why. i gave it a lower rating though because there are a lot of quotes in it, and i had a hard time staying awake because of its textbook style of reading. it is a great resourse though if you are trying to quickly find an answer about a single topic.
Jefferson Coombs
Nov 07, 2016 Jefferson Coombs rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lds
This book was part of my mission library. It is good book that clearly explains the restoration of the Gospel and its prophetic spread across the world.
Chelsey Ortega
Sep 27, 2016 Chelsey Ortega rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religious
This was pretty good. It started out with a lot of basic stuff that I already knew, but with each chapter it got deeper. I was originally challenged to read it when I was a teenager, but I never finished it. I'm glad I waited until I was an adult to read it from cover to cover, there was a lot of stuff I wouldn't have understood as a teenager. If you are knew to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I would recommend reading Our Heritage and Gospel Principles before reading this. But ...more
Jun 08, 2014 Samuel rated it liked it
A MARVELOUS WORK AND A WONDER is a classic mid-twentieth century text that has near-canonical status in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. LeGrand Richards originally wrote most of it as a mission president for his missionaries to better understand and teach the unique aspects of the Mormon Church history and doctrine. He repeatedly states that the Mormon Church was not created by reading and interpreting the Bible like the Protestant denominations, but rather, the Church's organiz ...more
Aug 28, 2013 Dan rated it really liked it
Shelves: lds-non-fiction
Bold! Originally written as a summary of beliefs and doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS Church), A Marvelous Work and a Wonder is more of an apoloiga. It dissects doctrine and opposing viewpoints using the scriptures (Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, & Pearl of Great Price) as well as quotations of learned men and scientific studies. The scientific studies are a little outdated, so I'd like to see updated figures for today, but that's just the sci ...more
James Carroll
Sep 10, 2008 James Carroll rated it did not like it
Shelves: religious
I would guess that whenever you give a review this bad to a book by a general authority of the Church, some explanation is needed.

As much as I love Elder Richards, that doesn't mean that his book is great. So, what's wrong with it? The book never suggests bible-bashing, and in fact says that bible bashing is a bad idea, but in my experience, the effect of this book on missionaries is nevertheless to encourage debate and bible-bashing.That is not a good way to teach the gospel.

Worse, although th
Jun 26, 2013 Rebecca rated it really liked it
Reading "A Marvelous Work and a Wonder" was a good refresher course on the basics of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I feel like it will be beneficial to me in my future missionary opportunities. Knowledge is power :) It was not an easy book to get through... It felt sometimes a little like sitting through a gospel doctrine lesson read straight from the manual. It's also a little outdated in it's delivery... It's more of a "This is why we are right, and other churches are obviou ...more
Oct 13, 2009 Dan rated it liked it
This is Mormonism 101. I read it for a very good Mormon friend when we where working together at Payless. He recommended it as a means of getting a good overview of what Mormons believe. It was more of a missionary book and of course set out to convince its readers that Mormonism makes sense philosophically and biblically. The book failed to convince me, obviously and I found myself more often provoked than challenged by the author's strange reasoning and tendency to use clinchers like "How can ...more
Sep 17, 2009 Jill rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religious-misc
A bit repetitive, but you're forewarned about that at the outset, since this book is a compilation of pamphlets and not a book in the traditional sense. There are definitely some terms that started to grind on me, but that's just because of my upbringing. I have always preferred "LDS" over "Mormon," since I have never felt that "Mormon" is accurate, but is a term used by those who don't know any better. Also Richards mentions the "pre-existence," which has long since been replaced with "pre-mort ...more
Jan 28, 2010 Colleen rated it really liked it
I asked my grandpa a year or two ago what made him join the LDS church. He said he happened to find this book in his library, sat down and read it, and never looked back. He quit drinking, quit smoking, invited the missionaries into his home, and he and the rest of the family was baptized. Written in 1950, it is a bit dated, but the doctrines and beliefs it covers haven't changed. It is a great chronicle of the basic history of the church and of the doctrine of the LDS faith. If I weren't alread ...more
Audrey Hammer
Jul 13, 2013 Audrey Hammer rated it liked it
Shelves: religion, 2015-books
This was written in the early 70s as sort of the first missionary manual. It's mainly aimed at Christians who are very familiar with the Bible. It covers the history of the Restoration and logically presents the case for the need of a Restoration.

It's a pretty academic writing style -- a bit dry but typical of the time. It's a bit dated as far as statistics and things like stake seventies go. I also think missionaries today meet more people who haven't had any experiences with God rather than th
Nov 25, 2013 Linda rated it it was amazing
This was the text that was used by me when I taught Sunday School out at the Utah State prison. I taught there for three years. It was wonderful. My students were sex offenders and addicts for the most part with the occasional murder thrown in. These people were hungry for the gospel and it was a wonderful experience. We went through the entire book and started again. I think some days we spent the entire hour on maybe one page. I love this book. And not just because of its content, but because ...more
Eric Parker
Sep 08, 2016 Eric Parker rated it it was amazing
A great book covering tons of gospel principles.
Jun 15, 2009 Jake rated it liked it
Shelves: religion
LeGrand Richards is a popular figure in LDS Culture, perhaps even a folk hero at this point. At the center of his popularity is this book. It's been a long time since I read this, but I remember it contributing greatly to my youthful enthusiasm for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

It contains a nifty quote in which Leo Tolstoy gives a respectful nod to Mormonism. I'd recommend this book to people wanting to understand Mormonism better. Please don't read that as an endorsement of
Jul 24, 2009 Nick rated it liked it
Learned a ton from reading this book, although nothing in particular sticks out as I write this review. There were definitely some "ah ha!" moments. I'm very glad I read it because the various subjects covered will be very useful in my personal missionary efforts. As a specific subject comes up, I will be more comfortable discussing it or if I can't remember the doctrine, I will have a good familiarity of where the information is located.

Probably will never read it again cover-to-cover, but wil
Aug 01, 2008 Greg rated it it was amazing
During his lifetime, LeGrand Richards was widely known for his more or less extemporaneous talks, his obvious joy in the gospel, and his way of making seemingly complicated gospel doctrines and principles come alive. That same spirit shows through in his classic book "A Marvelous Work and a Wonder. It explains, demystifies, and makes accessible to all the life saving and life enhancing doctrines of the gospel of Jesus Christ. An essential adjunnct to the library of anyone who considers himself a ...more
Trevor Bluemel
Jan 18, 2014 Trevor Bluemel rated it liked it
"A marvelous work and a wonder " does an excellent job of laying down foundational doctrines in the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints. However, Richards too often utilizes lengthy quotations from various sources without giving appropriate context or commentary. There were areas of the book that did an excellent job of explaining his quotations, but Richards was rather inconsistent in this regard. Overall, an interesting book for anyone desiring further knowledge of the Lord's Kingdom o ...more
Jan 31, 2008 Liz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone!
Shelves: religious-books
Other than the scriptures, this was one of the most spiritually inspirational books I have ever read. After reading it I wanted to buy a million copies, write my testimony in it, and distribute it to leaders of other faiths around the world.

This book offers so much insight in to what and why we believe what we do as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and the best part is that it is all very plain to understand. This is a must read for all who wish to know more about the
Jan 25, 2009 Darryl rated it really liked it
Shelves: religious, classics
I love this book. I remember first reading it as a new missionary in Mongolia and thinking "This isn't anything like they taught me in the MTC! What a silly book!" But then after almost two years of working as a missionary, I read it again, and realized it was genius and a wonderful book for missionaries. I love the approach to preaching the Gospel that it describes. It's a little dated with a few errors. But it's worth the read.
Bryan Tanner
Mar 30, 2014 Bryan Tanner rated it liked it
Shelves: gospel-knowledge
I recommend this book (along with the other 3 in the Missionary Reference Library) for LDS investigators and new members looking to build a foundational knowledge of the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ in these later days. It's also a great refresher for those with more experience in the Church. It really gets you back to the fundamentals of why the LDS Church is so different than other churches and why a restoration of the gospel was so necessary.
Megan Clark
Sep 10, 2008 Megan Clark marked it as to-read
I am about one fourth of the way through the book, but I would already highly recommend it! It explains the gospel in such a logical way making tough concepts easy to understand. It is such a thorough account of our church's history, allowing no room for questioning or misunderstanding of the events that took place and their significant meaning. It is very doctrinally sound but simple also. A great missionary tool!
Sep 03, 2008 Gregory rated it it was amazing
This is a really really good book.
It's certainly on my personal list of classics.
I read this book once before my mission, 3 times while on my mission, and once since I've been home.
I'm probably due to read it again.
I recommend it to anyone who is either struggling in their belief in Joseph smith and the Restoration of the Gosepl or if they want to investigate the beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Daniel Impens
Jan 05, 2015 Daniel Impens rated it it was amazing
For me this book was excellent for gaining answers to questions pertaining to my investigation into membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It is a must read in my opinion if you are an investigator of the Church.

I am certain it will answer questions that you never thought before to ask.
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  • Articles of Faith (Missionary Reference Library)
  • Truth Restored
  • Our Search for Happiness
  • Gospel Principles
  • Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith
  • Faith Precedes the Miracle
  • Mormon Doctrine
  • All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience
  • The Holy Temple
  • Christ and the New Covenant: The Messianic Message of the Book of Mormon
LeGrand Richards was born February 6, 1886 at Famington, Utah, a son of George F. Richards and Alice A. Robinson. He was baptized June 11, 1894, and filled two missions to the Netherlands, the first one in 1905-1908. On his second mission, from 1914 to 1916, —when he presided—he was accompanied by his wife, Ina Jane Ashton Richards, who was born Sept. 14, 1886, at Salt Lake City, a daughter of Edw ...more
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