For the past 20 years I studied apologetic defenses for the Church. I’ve read or am familiar with the essential arguments of virtually every academic (or near academic) work on the topic. For instance, the books I had been reading/studying prior to my faith transition on the Book of Mormon were:
- Mormon’s Codex
- The Book of Mormon reformatted according to parallestic patterns
- The ancient festival interpretations for King Benjamin’s Speech
I’ve read through most every issue of the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies and FARMS review of books, and most everything John Welch, Dan Peterson, Hugh Nibley, and other prominent apologists have written.
I had a subscription to BYU Studies for some time and generally read all of each issue during that time. I had GospeLink2001 and the LDS InfoBase and read through very many books and articles there. I would frequently skim or read other biographies or LDS books like Couseling with our Councils, the Holy Temple. I have read all the standard books like Jesus the Christ, The Articles of Faith, A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, Mormon Doctrine, etc. I read most of CS Lewis’s religious books (Mere Christianity, Screwtape Letters, The Great Divorce, The Abolition of Man, etc).
I’m also familiar with most every official statement or perspective related to apologetic topics (i.e., articles published in the Ensign or official Church materials). On my mission, for instance, I went through and copied and highlighted every Ensign article that dealt with anything academic or apologetic from about 1965 to the then present day.
On issues I care deeply about I try to consult or communicate with the leading LDS scholars relative to that field. For instance, I have had conversations about reconciling the Gospel with evolution with BYU professors Duane Jeffery and Scott Woodward. I took Pearl of Great Price while a student at BYU from Michael Rhodes. I’ve discussed reconciliations of Noah’s flood with professor of geology Ron A. Harris.