B. H. Roberts, edited by Stan Larson. San Francisco, California: Smith Research Associates, 1994. Softbound, 6×9″, 800 pages.
Less than ten years before his death in 1933, B. H. Roberts, one of the most influential Mormon writers of the twentieth century, began work on “the most important book that I have yet contributed to the [LDS] Church.” A prolific and respected Mormon apologist, Roberts wanted to consolidate his theological thought into a unified whole and to reconcile science with scripture.
His final manuscript, “The Truth, the Way, the Life,” synthesized doctrine into three sections: the truth about the world and revelation, the way of salvation, and Jesus’ life in shaping Christian character. He submitted his completed work to the LDS First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve, which, after a series of heated meetings, rejected it. Roberts’s views on evolution, the age of the earth, the pre-earth existence, and the eternal progression of God were deemed too controversial, so his “masterwork” went unpublished. With the support of the Roberts family, editor Stan Larson has corrected this sixty-year omission from the corpus of Mormon theology.
According to Leonard J. Arrington, former LDS Church Historian, “B. H. Roberts considered ‘The Truth, The Way, The Life’ to be the most important work he had written. While people may differ with him on that judgement, this ambitious treatise . . . shows a great mind grappling with great issues.”