Letters to a Young Mormon (2nd Edition)


This book is composed as a series of letters. The letters are meant for a young Mormon who is familiar with Mormon life but green in his or her faith. The author, philosophy professor Adam S. Miller, imagined himself writing these letters to his own children. In doing so, he struggled to say his own piece about what it means to be—as a Mormon—free, ambitious, repentant, faithful, informed, prayerful, selfless, hungry, chaste, and sealed.

The letters do little to benchmark a Mormon orthodoxy. That work belongs to those called to it. Here, Miller’s work is personal. He means only to address the real beauty and real costs of trying to live a Mormon life and hopes to show something of what it means to live in a way that refuses to abandon either life or Mormonism.

This second edition of Letters to a Young Mormon includes all the content of the original, well-loved book, with added chapters on the Sabbath and stewardship, as well as a new preface by the author, which provides additional framing and context for his writing.

I was in a bit of a spiritual slump before reading this book and it awakened me to the deeper purpose behind prayer, doubt, scripture study, Sabbath worship, virtue, temple blessings, and so much more. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to deepen their faith and feel a renewal of the Spirit.


LDS Living

I honestly don’t think I’ve read anything in the past few years that has had such a powerful effect on the way I view not only my spirituality but also the practice of my religion.

Miller is excellent at making the reader, whether young or not-so-young, contemplate issues with fresh thoughts and self-examinations.

Robert Wheadon

LDS Apologist Now


This book frustrated me. Not that I didn't like it, because I enjoyed it immensely. No, it frustrated me because I only wish I had had such a book to read when I was a 1960s teenager with racing mind and hormones. And perhaps more poignantly, I wish it had been available when my children were passing through those difficult and impressionable years. Both tender and gentle, and at the same time provocative and intellectually stimulating, its disarming honesty is only surpassed by the significance of its messages. I recommend it wholeheartedly, for young and old.

Robert L. Millet

Employing a witty, upbeat sense of life, the author teaches without being preachy and encourages deep reflection of serious messages in the gospel of Christ.

Deseret News

These letters read not like missives from a great distance or from lofty heights, but like the words of a friend who is just a little further along the road, sending back words of warning, encouragement, and the happy reminder to look at all the wonders along the path. No trail of breadcrumbs—these are small bright jewels to mark the way home.

Kristine Haglund

Too often we paint the gospel as a set of easy answers, a plan of guaranteed happiness. In fact, life can be very tough. ‘I will tell you of the wrestle which I had before God, before I received a remission of my sins’ (Enos 1:2). This book prepares young Mormons to do that wrestling.

Times & Seasons blog

Reading it, I felt less tired and more awakened to the climbs and depths of my life and faith. . . . I whole-hardheartedly love this very small and not so simple book; I’ve passed it on to so many others and now I recommend it on to you. A thought-provoking, beautifully written collection of ideas, insight and inspiration by Adam S. Miller.


Faithful, smart, witty, well-written, and accessible—the perfect book for any thoughtful LDS young person.

James E. Faulconer

Miller writes with a directness and depth that will challenge youth and adult readers to delve a bit more deeply into their own thoughts and beliefs.

Association for Mormon Letters

About the Author

Adam S. Miller

Adam S. Miller is a professor of philosophy at Collin College in McKinney, Texas. He earned a BA in comparative literature from Brigham Young University and an MA and PhD in philosophy from Villanova University. He is the author of nine books, including Speculative Grace, The Gospel according to David Foster Wallace, Letters to a Young Mormon, and An Early Resurrection. He also directs the Latter-day Saint Theology Seminar.

Table of Contents

  • Preface to the Second Edition
  • Preface to the First Edition
  • Agency
  • Work
  • Sin
  • Faith
  • Scripture
  • Prayer
  • Sabbath
  • History
  • Science
  • Stewardship
  • Hunger
  • Sex
  • Temples
  • Eternal Life
View More

Publication Information

  • Publication Month: December
  • Publication Year: 2017
  • Language: English,
  • Edition: 2
  • ISBN 13: 978-1-6297-2323-5
  • Page Count: 112
  • Binding: Paperback, eBook
  • Price: $ 9.99
  • Imprint: Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship

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The views expressed here and in Maxwell Institute publications are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Maxwell Institute, Brigham Young University, or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“Seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.” (D&C 88:118)