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Latter-day Saints & RC
Links for Homeschool
If you'd like to learn more about our church, please visit ComeUntoChrist.org.
Here are a few resources that may be useful to Latter-day Saint homeschoolers. Included are some ideas about how to tailor the Robinson Curriculum to suit Latter-day Saint families. (RC is not a Latter-day Saint curriculum.)
• Latter-day Saint Homeschool Resources - Useful for many homeschooling methods.
- Free material
- Material for Sale
- Articles of Interest / Quotes
• Latter-day Saint RC Users - A list of books in RC you may want to consider skipping (and why).
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (official site) - The Church's website (including the Children's Section) is rich in educational resources.
Free Audio Files - At the Church website. Like audiobooks? Try out this page! They have the scriptures, conference, Church magazines, manuals, the scripture story books, hymns, and plenty more in MP3 format.
Free eBook Gospel Library - At the Church website. Includes the Scriptures, manuals, conference, etc.
- PDFs and E-Books - In multiple formats.
- Mobile Apps - Including the must-have Gospel Library app. There are also apps for Scripture Mastery, Youth, Music, FamilySearch, etc.
Latter-day Saint copywork links - This free Yahoo group for Latter-day Saint Copywork e-mails copywork selections M-F.
Children's Songbooks Lyrics - Another great source for copywork. Arranged by first lines and titles.
Hymn Lyrics - More great copywork. Arranged by first lines and titles.
Articles of Faith - Resources to help memorize them, including a printable booklet, posters, bookmarks, charts, activities, etc.
Book of Abraham Project - Online Latter-day Saint texts. History of the Church (or Annotated Joseph Smith History), writings of Joseph Smith, Hugh Nibley, historic journals, old newspapers, and more.
BYU Digital Collections - Look for Latter-day Saint books here. They have: Old journals, Encyclopedic History, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, Latter-day Saint publications of the 19th and 20th centuries, and much more!
Cumorah.com - Their library section has free Latter-day Saint and other books. Includes writings of the prophets, books on Church doctrine, history, etc.
Marriot Library (at University of Utah) - Digital collections online. Has some early pioneer history (and general Utah history, of course).
The Mormon Texts Project - Links to many Latter-day Saint books available at Project Gutenberg. There are journals, biographies, discourses, histories, and even a book for young people with study questions. They also have the entire Faith-Promoting Series, which was written for the early Church schools (mentioned in two articles linked below).
Project Palmyra - Free Latter-day Saint e-texts from authors such as Roberts, Pratt, Talmage, Richards, Widtsoe, and more.
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MATERIAL FOR SALE
$ Church Distribution Center - Buy Church learning material at great prices. We particularly liked the soft cover Scripture Stories books (search for "scripture stories"). Read more below about these books, including where to find them for free. (Much of what's available at the store can also be found free at the Church website, or in the Gospel Library app.)
$ Wholesome Books / Archive Publishers - Publishers of rare and out-of-print Latter-day Saint and other books. Includes categories such as children, history, homeschool, and the Faith-Promoting Series, which was written for the early Church schools (mentioned in two articles linked below). You can also check elsewhere online to find some of these titles for free.
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ARTICLES OF INTEREST / QUOTES
Education as the Early Prophets Saw It - An eye-opening article at Meridian. I recommend reading parts one and two. Every member could benefit from this information, since it concerns your tax dollars. (If link doesn't work, try here.)
Part Two - The Rise and Demise of Church Academies (If link doesn't work, try here.)
ABCs of Homeschooling - Ideas for Latter-day Saint homeschoolers. (If that link doesn't work, try here.)
The Proper Role of Government - by President Ezra Taft Benson.
The Constitution--A Heavenly Banner - by President Ezra Taft Benson.
1966 Conference address on Socialism - Titled "Socialism and the United Order" or "Is Socialism the United Order?" by President Marion G. Romney. (He first gave it as a speech at BYU.) As homeschoolers we hear much about the socialist-style school system. This is a very interesting and informative article about Socialism, as well as the United Order, and our moral agency. A good one to read from start to finish, and very relevant for our day.
Family time is more important than . . . Families these days are being pulled in so many different directions, that in some homes family time has all but disappeared. Here are a few articles to help keep things in the proper perspective.
What Matters Most is What Lasts Longest - by President M. Russell Ballard. I liked this piece of advice he gave: ". . .do not involve children or yourselves in so many activities out of the home that you are so busy that the Spirit of the Lord cannot be recognized or felt. . ." This article reminds us that family is where it's at!
Good, Better, Best - by President Dallin H. Oaks. A good way to measure the value of our activities.
Mothers Who Know - by Sister Julie B. Beck. About the influence and power of motherhood.
Latter-day Saint Education Quotes - Two pages of quotes from prominent Latter-day Saints. (Archived page.)
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LATTER-DAY SAINT RC USERS
Many homeschool curricula are created for Christians, but often promote Calvinist teachings, or other religious teachings which are in conflict with the doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. No matter which curriculum you choose, be it secular or religious, there are going to be things to look out for, and possibly discuss with your children, or maybe even skip. We just need to be careful that our children's learning material isn't teaching false doctrine.
Below is a list of books from RC that may contain material of concern, or that are noticeably more religious in nature. Because they were written from a different religious viewpoint, you may want to look them over and decide if you want to use them or not. I haven't read them all, and am not saying they're "bad" books. This list is just provided so you can look them over and decide what you want to do.
You may also want to see the tips page for a list of questionable pictures to possibly take a marker to, as well as the section about how to deal with objectionable language.
Skipping, or using substitutes for some of the books below shouldn't be difficult. But if you prefer, you could use free online materials to Make Your Own Curriculum, tailored to your own family.
RC Books to Take a Closer Look At
#13 Young Folks' Bible by Josephine Pollard. I've only read portions of this. Most of it looks really nice, but there are a number of things that have been added, or interpreted in ways we wouldn't agree with.
Instead of printing the enormous black and white book, written from another religious perspective, you could substitute the Scripture Stories books from the Distribution Center (search for "scripture stories"). These are the books with the comic strip-type pictures. Books available: Old Testament Stories, New Testament Stories, Book of Mormon Stories, and Doctrine and Covenants Stories. (These are also available free online as PDFs and audiobooks and videos, or in the Gospel Library app). They're suited to a younger audience than the RC book, but at least you know they won't teach anything in conflict with Church doctrine.
For the youngest readers you could try the "My First ___ Stories" by Deanna Draper Buck. They're large, durable board-books, but advanced enough that early readers won't find them "babyish." (They're available at Deseret Book, and other bookstores.)
#65 Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift. This book makes several crude and inappropriate references to bodily functions, naked bodies, intimacy, etc.
Possible Substitute: Try replacing this book with the Child-Friendly Version MB (edited by Balliet in 1900). It has been cleaned up nicely, which also means the last two sections are completely omitted (which are about sorcerers, necromancy, and raising people from the dead).
#76 The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan. A religious allegory about a man named Christian, on his journey to the Celestial City (Heaven). Bunyan's Calvinist beliefs about predestination, etc., may or may not be included in this book. I tend to think not, though. Even President Benson made reference to this book. It's just on this list because it's very religious in nature. Also, since it's an allegory, it may not always be clear to younger readers, and you may want to discuss it with your children. Learn more about John Bunyan, or more about the book here.
#103 The Holy War by John Bunyan. A religious allegory about the city of Mansoul being captured by Diabolus and saved by Emmanuel. Bunyan's Calvinist beliefs about predestination, etc., may or may not be included in this book. Learn more about John Bunyan, or read a summary of the book here.
#144 Paradise Lost by John Milton. This book is Milton's take on the Creation, The War in Heaven, Adam and Eve in Eden, The Fall, etc. Certainly religious in nature, you may want to see if it suits your beliefs. (I've not read it yet and don't have a lot of info to give.)
Read about Milton's beliefs here, or more about the book at Wikipedia.
#146 Paradise Regained by John Milton. - Milton's version of the Temptation of Christ. You may want to see if it suits your beliefs. (I've not read it yet and can't offer more info.)
Read about Milton's beliefs here, or more about the book at Wikipedia.
#147 and 150 Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin. - I'd recommend skipping both volumes of "Institutes of the Christian Religion." Calvinist beliefs conflict with the doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If you don't understand what Calvinism is, here's a brief overview at Wikipedia. (This link just gives a small taste of Calvinist teachings, but there is much more on that page, if you're interested.)
While it is worthwhile to know what other people believe, I don't believe it's necessary, or wise, to inundate ourselves with teachings we know to be false. I'd especially be careful about handing this book to a young person, since our job is to teach them truth. If a person is going to take the time to read more than 1300 pages of religious teachings, it's probably a good idea (and more worth their time) if they are not full of false doctrine, or in conflict with their own religion. (We wouldn't purposely hand our children a book teaching incorrect science, history or grammar.)
Latter-day Saint perspective on Calvin:
• Here's an article from The Ensign about John Calvin. It compares some of Calvin's main beliefs with our church's doctrine, and shows where they are and aren't compatible. (If this link doesn't work, you can find the article, "Reformed Protestantism" by Richard O. Cowan, in the February 1972 Ensign.)
• A quote from President Monson about the reformers: "Such were the teachings and lives of the great reformers. Their deeds were heroic, their contributions many, their sacrifices greatóbut they did not restore the gospel of Jesus Christ."
Possible Substitutes: You could try a book about the Reformation in general, which explains the different reformers' basic beliefs and contributions, as well as the social climate that facilitated such change. One such book is A History of the Reformation, Volume 1 and Volume 2. Note: I have not read this, but it is said to be from a neutral viewpoint, and gets good reviews.
Or, if you're looking for something about Latter-day Saints, you could try Gerald Lund's The Work and the Glory series. Written as historical fiction, these books are full of church history, doctrine, and faith-promoting stories. (Students wouldn't necessarily need to read ALL of them, but may want to once they get started.) This "living book" format makes learning and remembering church history easier and more engaging.
#153 and 154 An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (Vol. 1 and Vol. 2) by John Locke. Though some of his writings about government (which aren't part of RC) were influential to the founding fathers, his philosophical writings about human nature (like these books) may not fit how you believe God created us. Learn more about Locke's philosophy at Wikipedia.
Possible Substitutes: As a book about multiple philosophers and their views, try The World's Greatest Books Vol. 13 - Religion and Philosophy MB and Vol. 14 - Philosophy and Economics MB. (Just use the philosophy portion of each volume.)
Or, as books of philosophy, you might try something by James Allen, like As a Man Thinketh MB or, Above Life's Turmoil MB. Or try The Victorious Attitude by Marden. Note: I have not read any of the above titles.
#155 Observations Upon the Prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse of St. John by Isaac Newton. Newton's commentary on biblical prophecies. Learn more about Newton's religious views or more about the book from Amazon.com's description.
#357- 360 Elsie Dinsmore / Mildred Keith books by Martha Finley. These books focus mainly on instilling Calvinist (or other) religious beliefs in little girls. So, obviously the doctrine conflicts with our own. They are also said to paint an unhealthy picture of what a parent-child relationship should be. That alone is enough to keep these books out of the hands of children. Some of the books also sneer at Latter-day Saints, and one (later in the series, but not part of RC) is unabashedly anti-Latter-day Saint and filled with falsehoods.
If you'd like someone else's opinion (not a Latter-day Saint), here's an article that tells a bit more about the books.
Possible Substitutes: Try another girls' series, like What Katy Did MB, which is about a girl who learns to deal with a spinal injury, plus her later adventures with family and friends. (Or here are plenty more girls' series from which to choose.)
Any more books I should add here? If you're a Latter-day Saint and think any other RC books (or other books I've linked to elsewhere on the site) would be objectionable to Latter-day Saints, please let me know.
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