Someone commented early on in this series that I should list some of Elisabeth’s books, particularly those that are autobiographical. I think all of her books are autobiographical to a degree, though there is not any one that tells her whole life story. I hope that someone will put all the pieces together in a biography of her someday soon. I’ve also had a few comments from people who had never heard of her or didn’t know much about her, so I thought a book list would be a good idea. I am using the original publication dates where I can find them: many of them have been reprinted multiple times, some with an update from Elisabeth in them, so on Amazon or other places the more recent date they show is that of the reprint.
Books by Elisabeth Elliot
Through Gates of Splendor (1957) was her first, in which she told the story of her husband and the four other missionaries who were killed by the Auca (now known as Waorani) Indians in the 1950s. I reviewed it here. This book started me on the path of reading missionary biographies and reading Elisabeth Elliot.
The Journals of Jim Elliot (1978) are, as the title says, the journals of her first husband, Jim, with some notes by Elisabeth here and there. I wrote about them here.
The Shadow of the Almighty: The Life and Testament of Jim Elliot (1958) is her biography of Jim. This and his journals were prime reading material among many students when I was in college.
The Savage My Kinsman (1961) tells of Elisabeth’s years working with the Aucas/Waorani after Jim’s death.
These Strange Ashes: Is God Still in Charge? is an account of her first year as a missionary, before her marriage to Jim, and if I remember correctly, contains the account of the murder of the man who was helping her translate the Colorado language and her wrestlings with why God allowed it to happen.
Passion and Purity: Learning to Bring Your Love Life Under Christ’s Control (1984) shares her love story with Jim, which was not a smooth one, as they both originally thought God wanted them to be single missionaries. They were willing for that, if that was what God wanted, though they did love each other. This book mainly talks about the need to put God first in one’s love life and to trust Him for the outcome.
Quest For Love: True Stories of Passion and Purity contains Elisabeth’s answers to questions people sent her after reading Passion and Purity.
Furnace of the Lord: Reflections on the Redemption of the Holy City (1969) contains some of her thoughts as she visited Israel (out of print).
Let Me Be a Woman (1977) was written not long before her daughter was married and discusses what the Bible has to say about Biblical womanhood.
Discipline: The Glad Surrender.
The Mark of a Man:Following Christ’s Example of Masculinity, originally written for a nephew.
Path Through Suffering: Discovering the Relationship Between God’s Mercy and Our Pain. Excellent – one of my top three favorite books on suffering.
The Path of Loneliness: Finding Your Way Through the Wilderness to God.
The Music of His Promises: Listening to God with Love, Trust, and Obedience.
The Shaping of a Christian Family. “Drawing from 40 years of observation and her own family experience, Elliot illustrates how we can create a fulfilling Christian home based on Scriptural principles and values.” (Out of print).
God’s Guidance: A Slow and Certain Light (Out of print)
Taking Flight: Wisdom for Your Journey, for graduates (out of print).
A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael (1987), her only full biography other than Jim’s (out of print).
No Graven Image, 1966, is her only foray into fiction, but it is based somewhat on her first years as a missionary, also out of print.
All of the following are collections of her thoughts on a wide variety of topics, arising from her study of God’s Word: marriage, motherhood, singleness, abortion, as well as a gamut of aspects on the Christian life:
Twelve Baskets of Crumbs (1977) (out of print).
All That Was Ever Ours (1988)(out of print).
A Lamp Unto My Feet: The Bible’s Light For Your Daily Walk (1985).
On Asking God Why: Reflections On Trusting God (1997)
Secure in the Everlasting Arms
I’ve read the majority of these, though it was some years ago for most of them. Most her books can be ordered on Amazon and other sites as well as her website, along with some CDs and DVDs. There are also a few videos of her speaking on YouTube. Many of her out of print books can still be found used on Amazon and other places.
In addition to her books, her newsletters, which were published every other month from 1982 to 2003, can be found here. Some of the material made its way into her books and vice versa. She also had a radio program called Gateway to Joy for almost 13 years, ending in 2001. Back to the Bible used to have transcripts of it on their site, but, sadly, they don’t any more. However, the Bible Broadcasting Network has started replaying them at 11:15 a.m. on BBN stations, or they can be listened to at that time through live streaming here or on their mobile app, or they can be listened to on demand here.
After Elisabeth Elliot passed away, I was glad to learn that her memorial service would be available online. It was rather long (2+ hours), so it took me a while to have the time to watch it, but I am glad I did. You can find the whole service here.
It looked like they cut out all but one of the grandchildren’s testimonies. I was sorry to see that. I am not sure whether it was because of the time factor or whether theirs would have been a bit too personal. But there were testimonies from a number of personal friends and family members.
It was wonderful both to be reminded of aspects of her life I was familiar with and to learn a few new things. Her daughter, Valerie Shephard, reads some excerpts from her mother’s journal. Elisabeth never tried to portray herself as perfect and was always honest about her shortcomings, but readings from her journal were raw, recounting grief over her impatience with the Indians (which touched me, having battled my own impatience lately – again), times she felt like a failure, her missing her husband in the days after his death, her frustration in dealing with some issues that he usually dealt with. Part of me hopes that some day they might publish her journals, but I would understand if they didn’t: she shared much of her life publicly already, and I would not be surprised if they might want to keep some things private. But that short glimpse helped me see her anew as a woman “of like passions as we are,” who had to deal with grief and frustrations and wrong attitudes and then adjust them in light of Scriptural teaching and what she knew about her Father’s character and workings.
Valerie’s segment as well as that of Joni Eareckson Tada were my favorite parts, though I enjoyed all the testimonies.
A few other observations: I enjoyed the majestic old hymns, something I knew Elisabeth appreciated and used in her devotional times. Evidently she taught them to her children and grandchildren as well. I love many new hymns, but some of these old ones I had not heard in a long time. At first I was going to try to skip through some of the singing to get to the speeches, but I am glad I didn’t.
I loved hearing about her humor. She doesn’t strike you as a funny person at first, but she enjoyed a good laugh.
I also enjoyed seeing photos I had not seen before, including some of places and people and even pets.
But the thing that struck me most was Elisabeth’s interest in and ministry to people. She wasn’t just off at a desk writing all the time. Honestly, that would be my own preference. I often don’t know what to say “in the moment.” That’s one reason I like writing and blogging – I can turn things over in my mind, write a bit, let it sit for a while and come back to it, and finally after days or months give you a fairly thorough answer or opinion on something. But that can’t substitute for an interest in and ministry to people in everyday moments, and one thing those testimonies did was to awaken and encourage that in me.
Though Elisabeth would never want to be out on a pedestal, as she once said of others in the faith whom we admire, so I think we can say this of her:
Pedestals are for statues. Usually statues commemorate people who have done something admirable. Is the deed worth imitating? Does it draw me out of myself, set my sights higher? Let me remember the Source of all strength (“The Lord is the strength of my life,” says Ps 27:1 AV) and, cheered by the image of a human being in whom that strength was shown, follow his example.
I have enjoyed this time over the past month reminding myself of things Elisabeth said. I hope you have as well. Thank you for your kind comments!
To see all the posts in this series, see the bottom of this post.
(Update: Since the time I wrote this, The Elisabeth Elliot Foundation was formed, and many of her articles and broadcasts are available here. In addition, transcripts from her talks from a conference were transcribed and published in Suffering Is Never for Nothing (linked to my review). Her daughter, Valerie Shephard, wrote of her parents’ love story and shared excerpts from some of their letters and journals in Devotedly. Ellen Vaughn published a biography of Elisabeth in Becoming Elisabeth Elliot, drawing largely on EE’s journals and letters. And recently Christianity Today reported that a lost manuscript of Elisabeth’s was found and will be published under the title Heart of God: 31 Days to Discover God’s Love for You.
Thanks for sharing depths of insight from one of my favorite writers. She certainly was a prolific one and inspires me to keep going. Great job!
I don’t always have the words until afterwards either and that’s why I like writing better than face-to-face too. You’ve put a lot of research into this series and I’m going to add this post to my favourites.
thank you so much for this..i don’t read much but did long ago read through gates of splendor and it was a story that stayed with me forever…i will read more about elizabeth later and appreciate this post so much….God bless!
She is a remarkable woman. You’ve done a beautiful job of honoring her and her relationship with the Lord!
Thank you for these posts this month, Barbara. The video was very moving. She was an exceptional lady. She reminds me a lot of Ruth Bell Graham.
Great series! Thank you for the comprehensive list of books and resources. I admit I am a newbie when it comes to Elisabeth Elliot and really discovered her after reading about her death. I love her words and her life story. Congrats for finishing strong and for sharing about Elisabeth.
Thanks for sharing the book list. I have read a couple…but am drawn to a few you listed that I haven’t read. Thank you for the time and sharing her life this past month.
Thank you for your excellent series on Elisabeth Elliot. She has been one of my favorite authors and godly Christian example for many years. I’ve enjoyed so many of her books. One go-to book for me is “Gateway to Joy – Reflections that Draw Us Nearer to God”, which contains five topical selections for each letter of the alphabet.
Saving this video for next week when I have NO writing to do. LOL. Wonderful series!
Thank you for sharing this legacy from a woman I have used as a “mentor” over many years. Congratulations on your 31 days!
Wow–I didn’t realize she had written that many books. I have enjoyed getting to know more of her quotes this month. Thanks for your faithfulness these 31 days in sharing her with us, Barbara!
Wow! What an amazing woman! Thanks for sharing the video. It was so inspiring! I pray I can have her faith, courage and strength in God throughout my life, until the end, like she did. You did an excellent job honoring her with your series. I enjoyed it very much.
Thanks for your good series. The video tribute–wow. Wonderful.
Barbara, thank you so much for sharing the book list, and especially the video. Elisabeth Elliot is someone the Lord has used in my life almost from the very beginning of my life as a Christian. It was through reading some of her books that the Lord prepared my heart for acceptance of the phone call we received early one morning from our daughter who was working at the Bible college she’d graduated from…”Mom, Dad, God has called me to missions”. The video at the end has left me with tears…put together so beautifully and with much thought. When I read here on Saturday evening I went to You Tube and listened and viewed many of her and also of Valerie. They both are/were such transparent people. Thank you again, my friend, for sharing. (((hugs)))
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Bookmarking this resource! Thank you so much for the list of all her works. I heard about her story for the first time whilst watching a DVD of a Steven Curtis Chapman concert :).
Barbara, thank you so much for this series, my favorite on your blog, to date. I count Elisabeth Elliot at the top of my list of personal mentors. As a lonely young Christian mom, I was taught through her books and radio talks. It’s been wonderful to re-read portions from her writings and, in some cases, share them with my daughters. I especially appreciate the links to her memorial service and other info regarding her writings and her self. I’ve never considered that there might be YouTube videos of her talks–am going to check that out!
I actually think that my dislike of EE was unfounded and very immature. I’ve been thinking that I need to try reading her again and see what I might have snubbed my nose at rather stupidly. And although I haven’t kept up with all of your EE posts — as they pop up they remind me of what I rather feel was young arrogance and are nagging at me to pick up one of her books and re-read! So thank you for your time and diligence to this person. I have that nagging feeling you get every now and again that I’ll be thanking you for a long while yet.
I wasn’t sure if you realize there are quite a few of her audio talks on the Blue Letter Bible site and app. I printed out a list of around 50. I think I’ll listen to 1/wk. You’ll have to do a search on her name in the list of commentators.
I wasn’t aware – thanks for letting me know!
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I thought I’d read all of EE’s stuff but just recently found Be Still My Soul and read it. More great stuff!!
I think I have read every one except the one on Loneliness. I need to reread Be Still. Christianity Today recently shared that a lost manuscript of EE’s was discovered on an old computer and will be released this month: https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2022/august-web-only/elisabeth-jim-elliot-missionary-history-lost-devotional.html.