Posts Categorized: deseret book

Embark by John Bytheway~ Blog Tour Review

06 Feb, 2015 by in audio cd, deseret book, john bytheway, lds 2 comments

I received this book for free from Deseret Book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Embark by John Bytheway~ Blog Tour Review

Embark

by John Bytheway
Published by Deseret Book on December 2014
Genres: Adult, Inspirational, LDS
five-stars
Source: Deseret Book
Buy the Book
In this motivating talk related to the 2015 youth theme, John Bytheway explains what it means to truly embark — to get fully on board in the service of God with all your heart, might, mind, and strength. Using scriptures, powerful stories, and his characteristic humor, John explains that with the Savior's help, we can remain on board and eventually stand blameless before God at the last day.

John Bytheway challenges listeners to get fully “on the Boat” with the Lord in his latest audio CD “Embark.” With a charming, witty personality and stories that make the point clear, listeners will feel inspired to stick with the Lord in life. I loved his concept for youth that if you love computers, use the time you spend on them wisely. Do family history, honor the names of your ancestors. I listened to this CD two and from meetings this week and I felt inpired to have a pure heart, to get and stay on the boat.

Percfect for youth and their leaders.about_ the_author

John Bytheway served a mission to the Philippines and later graduated from Brigham Young University. A favorite speaker and teacher, John holds a master’s degree in religious education and is a part-time instructor at BYU. John is the author of many bestselling books, audio talks, and DVDs, including How Do I
Know if I Know?; Of Pigs, Pearls, and Prodigals; When Times are Tough: 5 Scriptures That Will Help You Get through Almost Anything; and the 2014 youth theme talk on CD, Come Unto Christ. He and his wife, Kimberly, have six children.

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Review and Event Photos: Focused by Noelle Pikus- Pace

04 Oct, 2014 by in deseret book, Focused, Noelle Pikus- Pace Leave a comment

Review and Event Photos: Focused by Noelle Pikus- Pace

Focused: Keeping Your Life on Track, One Choice at a Time

Published by Deseret Book on September 8, 2014
Genres: Adult, Inspirational, LDS, Non- Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 144
Format: Hardcover
Source: Deseret Book
Buy the BookGoodreads
Where are your choices leading you? Regardless of our circumstances, each moment presents us with decision to make. It doesn't matter what question, trial, or success we experience—each traces back to a choice. At any given moment, we can choose to doubt, fear, worry; to be prideful, angry, depressed, or miserable—or we can choose to move forward. We can choose to be a light. We can choose to be happy. The choice is always ours, and each choice can be a step forward on the path of life we want for ourselves.

The life lessons learned by Olympic athlete Noelle Pikus Pace can equip each of us to turn daily choices and challenges into opportunities for growth. In her warm and relatable style, Noelle shares touching personal stories and teaches how these experiences can help us keep a healthy perspective on the things that matter most. She helps us to see that though all of our goals and trials are different, we each can choose to become the best versions of ourselves one day at a time.

Covering topics from letting go of expectations and pressures to finding a healthy life balance, from standing up for ourselves to standing for righteousness, world champion Noelle Pikus Pace infuses readers with the enthusiasm and confidence to get a little closer to their goals each and every day.

Never has a book been more timely than Focused by Noelle Pikus- Pace is for this generation. A silver medal US Olympic skeleton racer, Pikus Pace shares her wisdom with youth as well as her life experiences. In 2006 she was badly injured by a bobsled and had a huge mountain to climb to make it back on the track.Like, all of us, she has faced moral dilemmas, ups and downs, but she remained focused on what matters most.

Noelle shares how important it is to step outside our comfort zone and friendship others. She shares her personal struggle with miscarriage and returning to the track after an answer to prayer. She reminds youth to be modest, to be an example and to let your light shine.

I read this book full of quotes, photos and inspirational graphics in one sitting. It is one I will passing on to my daughters and sons. I cried along with her when she finally grasped her Olympic medal dream, with YW medallion also around her neck on the awards podium. Her temple medallion reminds all of us…”You are more precious than rubies.”
heather

The Q& A Event

focused_with_medal

Noelle absolutely shines when you meet her in person. I had the opportunity to met her at a Deseret Book event and she wanted all of us to see and feel her medal, to feel a part of her victory. She is an amazing example of faith and love. If you ever get the chance…GO see her!

See More Photos and Deseret News Media Coverage From The Event Here (we are in photo nine)

Favorite Quote

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with the whithersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:9 “It isn’t always easy to be the one and only standing up for something you believe in. But I can promise you that it is much easier to stand with courage in the days to come if you decide now, today, in this moment, who you are and what you stand for.” ~Noelle Pikus Pace, {Focused} page 67

About the Authornoelle_pikus_pace

NOELLE PIKUS PACE became the first American woman to win the Overall World Cup Title in skeleton in 2005. After playing a variety of sports through high school and college, her exceptional strength in skeleton made her favored to win the gold medal in the 2006 Winter Olympics. An unfortunate accident prevented her from competing, but the following year she came back to win the World Championships by the largest margin in the history of the sport. Noelle competed in the 2010 Winter Olympics and was the top U.S. finisher, placing fourth.

She retired after the Olympics to spend more time with her family. Following a miscarriage in April of 2012, Noelle and her husband, Janson, decided that she would try one last time to earn an Olympic medal, on the condition that the family would all travel together. Competing in 32 national and international competitions over two years, Noelle finished on the podium 29 times and concluded her career by triumphantly winning the silver medal at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, and jumping into the stand to share the moment with her family and the world.

Noelle earned a bachelor’s degree in 2005 and a master of business administration degree in 2007. Noelle and Janson have two children, Lacee and Traycen.

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How Do I Know If I Know~ Blog Tour & Review

08 Sep, 2014 by in adult, book review, deseret book, lds Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Deseret Book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

How Do I Know If I Know~ Blog Tour & Review

How Do I Know If I Know?

by John Bytheway
Published by Deseret Book on September 8, 2014
Genres: Adult, LDS, Non- Fiction
Pages: 144
Format: Paperback
five-stars
Source: Deseret Book
Buy the Book

It's spiritual gut-check time! The mission age has been lowered, and now more than ever, young people are asking themselves important questions:

  • How do I know if I really have a testimony?
  • Am I ready to serve a mission?
  • What does the Spirit feel like?

John Bytheway suggests that we "F.E.E.L." the truthfulness of the gospel through our feelings, our experiences, the many evidences we encounter, and our logical conclusions about how a loving God interacts with His children on the earth. Like gradually turning up a dimmer switch, understanding all the ways we F.E.E.L. our testimony will help it grow brighter.

As you read, you may discover that your testimony is stronger than you thought, and you'll also become more excited and motivated to let your light shine!

So often when seeking spiritual  truth we are waiting for huge life changing experiences. We want a “bolt of lightening” or an absolute, undeniably strong answer to prayer…when in our heart, the truth is already present and evident. By small and simple means, we F.E.E.L. that something is true.

John Bytheway gives four sources from which we draw energy to build our testimony “Feelings “you shall feel that it is right” (D&C 9:8), Experiences “If any man will do his will, he shall know . . .” (John 7:17), Evidences “Ye shall know them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:16), and Logic “I will tell you in your mind. . .” (D&C 8:2). He breaks each of these testimony sources down in an easy to read manner and offers visual reinforcements via QR code embedded videos, and conference talks in each section. The reader, equipped with smart phone or tablet gets an interactive study session on how to feel and recognize truth and then act on those feelings.  We are taught, not only by the experiences of the author himself, but also from the words of living prophets and apostles, as well as scholars. If the reader truly wants to delve into the book, there are multi-media means to read and learn more.

My favorite embedded video shows the explosive growth of LDS stakes across the United States. I’d never seen a visual representation of just how far and wide the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- Day Saints has spread.

How Do I Know If I Know? is an excellent resource for young men and women preparing for a mission. For me, it is a wonderful reminder that I already FEEL the truth and know it!

heatherExcerpt Chapter 1

What Do You Know?
Many years ago, a young man (he was only twenty-three years old) was called to be the new stake president in Tooele, Utah. In those days, stake conferences had two sessions, and at lunch between the sessions, Joseph F. Smith, one of the General Authorities attending, said to the new stake president, “You said you believe the gospel with all your heart, and propose to live it, but you did not bear your testimony that you know it is true. Don’t you know absolutely that this gospel is true?”

“I do not,” answered the young man.

“President Taylor,” said Elder Smith to the President of the Church, John Taylor, who was also in attendance, “I am in favor of undoing this afternoon what we did this morning. I do not think any man should preside over a stake who has not a perfect and abiding knowledge of the divinity of this work.”
President Taylor just laughed and said, “Joseph, Joseph, Joseph, he knows it just as well as you do. The only thing that he does not know is that he does know it.”

That story brings up a very interesting question: Is it possible to know that the Church is true, but not know that you know? Is a testimony that hard to detect? This story is even more interesting when you learn the identity of the new stake president. His name was Heber J. Grant. Yes, the same Heber J. Grant who later became the President of the Church.

Interestingly, the next time Heber J. Grant faced members of his stake, he spoke powerfully for forty-five minutes. This time, he knew. And he knew that he knew. What did President Grant do in between “believing” the Church was true and “knowing”? And how can we do the same thing?

Today, youth and young adults are facing huge decisions, and they’re facing them a little sooner than their older brothers and sisters did. Many teenagers facing the mission decision may be wondering, “Is my testimony strong enough? Do I really know the Church is true? How do I know if I know?” Because of the lowering of the age at which young people become eligible to serve missions, there is a greater urgency than ever before to answer this kind of question. I once heard Sister Sheri Dew tell a group of young people, “We want you to figure out what we’ve figured out, and we want you to figure it out quicker than we figured it out.”

About the Author

JOHN BYTHEWAY served a mission to the Philippines and later graduated from Brigham Young University. He has a master’s degree in religious education and is a part-time instructor at the BYU Salt Lake Center. John is the author of many bestselling books, audio talks, and DVDs, including How to Be an Extraordinary Teen; Life Rocks; and his first children’s picture book, The Sacrament. He and his wife, Kimberly, have six children.

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Saints and Soldiers Movie Blog Tour + Giveaway

08 Aug, 2014 by in adult, deseret book, excel entertainment, movie, movie review, movie trailer, saints and soldiers, utah film 3 comments

Genres: Adult, Movie
the_void

 

 

Fire and Ice has had the amazing opportunity to be a part of the round table discussion and filming of Saints and Soldiers: The Void (found here) a couple of weeks ago. Last night was one of the pre-screening events for the movie which hits theaters August 15th. I had a sneak peek at the third movie in the Saints and Soldiers franchise. The theatre was absolutely packed, no seats available. Excel Entertainment and Deseret Book hosted the event, giving away swag bags to the media attendees: a t-shirt, water bottle, MREs, a special 2 pack DVD combo set, and water bottle in canvas tote bags.

 

Lots of eager fans packed in shoulder to shoulder to watch The Void which features Danor Gregory. Gregory is a black soldier, once a hellcat operator and commander, demoted to a truck driver as the war is coming to a close. He experiences daily constant prejudice and ridicule from fellow soldiers. Director Ryan Little highlights how these men sacrificed all in honor of their country, yet were treated as unequal and the lesser class.  You may recognize the other main black solider played by Alex Boye, famous LDS singer, (who, by the way was in attendance at the pre-screening.) It was amazing to see Boye in an unfamiliar role. Both men have some acting skills!

 

Movie three has many elements– historical London radio broadcast, authentic WWII black and white cinema footage, and still shot highlights of road signs where battles were fought. There is theme juxtaposition of good vs. evil, equality vs. inequality. Racial prejudice is explored in a unique way. Everything feels up close and personal with tight shots.

 

I truly enjoyed that film three, The Void had a bit of a lighter tone in many parts thanks to Michael Berens who plays Rodney “Ramrod” Mitchell. Lots of laugh out loud moments with his snarky attitude. The franchise of movies gives viewers a realistic look at what war times bring. Movie one, Saints and Soldiers is particularly stark as it explores shell-shock or PTSD from Corbin Allred (Deacon’s) point of view.

 

Content: There is heavy war-related violence, psychological tension and raw emotion, so I don’t recommend the films for children.

deseret_book_staff

Excel Entertainment and Deseret Book have been the best of hosts in all pre-movie events. I am thrilled to have met the cast, directors and writers. Such an impressive group of people.

The Void hits theatres August 15th. Go, go go! Learn more

 

saints and soldiers the void

Saints and Soldiers: The Void Coming to theaters August 15th

Germany, May 1945, the twilight of WWII. On a final mission deep in the Harz mountains a U.S. tank crew discovers a platoon of Germans, including three infamous Panzer tanks, preparing to ambush allied supply trucks.

Before the war, private Jesse Owens, was a product of segregation and racial discrimination. Forced by law to ride in the back of the bus and disenfranchised from the political process. Now, Owens fights the greatest tyrant in history, knowing the tyranny of racism will be waiting for him back home if he can survive the war.

With a deadly game of cat and mouse quickly unfolding, Owens and his predominantly white tank crew find themselves out-gunned and out-manned by the German Panzer tanks. Several in Owens’ crew are reluctant to put their faith in a black tank driver despite their dire circumstances. As the German tanks bear down on his unit, Owens has to fight for freedom on two fronts. With tension and fear beginning to manifest Owens knows they must put aside their differences to stop the enemy from their deadly plan. Knowing that a victory over the Nazis means a victory for racial justice, Owens and his men find a way to work together to save hundreds of lives in a desperate battle against the greatest odds they have ever faced.

 

Cast

Danor Gerald
Gerald’s first appearance in a feature film, “Believe” (2005), came while he was earning a Digital Cinema degree in Utah. Danor began getting leading roles with “The Cyclist” (2012) produced by prolific Casting Director Jeff Johnson. “Saints and Soldiers: The Void” (2014) is Mr. Gerald’s star-turn as the protagonist in a feature film. Gerald is most known for performances in teen-genre films like “High School Musical 2”, “Forever Strong”, and “House of Fears”.

Adam Gregory
Adam Gregory was born on December 28, 1987 in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. He is an actor and cinematographer, known for The Bold and the Beautiful (1987), 17 Again (2009) andHannah Montana: The Movie (2009). He has been married to Sheridan Sperry since February 26, 2010. They have one child.
Matthew MeeseThis is Matt’s first feature film! He is best known for his work on the hit sketch comedy show, Studio C, on BYUTV. He also enjoys pie, and the idea of gardening. Check him out.

Bart Johnson
Bart Johnson was born on December 13, 1970 in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA as Barton Robert Johnson. He is an actor and director, known for High School Musical(2006), High School Musical 2 (2007) and High School Musical 3: Senior Year (2008). He has been married to Robyn Lively since September 25, 1999. They have three children.

Trailer

The Giveaway

Saints_and_soldiers

One DVD combo set. Contest for US residents only, ages 18 and older. Void where prohibited by law. DVD outer jewel case has been altered by the publisher,  as it is not for re-sale.

The DVD combo pack includes Saints and Soldiers (Special Edited Version) and Saints and Soldiers: Airborne Creed

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Saints and Soldiers is a dramatic, intense and heroic WWII film about members of the Greatest Generation struggling to be both good men and good soldiers.

Saints and Soldiers: Airborne Creed From the producers of the world-renowned hit film Saints and Soldiers and based on actual events, SAINTS & SOLDIERS: AIRBORNE CREED tells the action-packed story of three World War II U.S. Army paratroopers—Rossi (Corbin Allred), Jones (David Nibley), and Curtis (Jasen Wade)—fighting desperately to fulfill their mission against seemingly insurmountable odds.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Blog Tour~ Living in the Millennium by Robert L. Millett

05 Aug, 2014 by in adult, book review, book tour, deseret book, robert l millet Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Deseret Book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Blog Tour~ Living in the Millennium by Robert L. Millett

Living in the Millennium

by Robert L Millet
Published by Deseret Book on August 21, 2014
Genres: Adult, LDS, Non- Fiction
Pages: 160
Format: Hardcover
five-stars
Source: Deseret Book
Buy the Book
The Savior taught through the Prophet Joseph Smith that the time will come when "he that liveth in righteousness shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye, and the earth shall pass away so as by fire" (Doctrine and Covenants 43:32).

What do we know about that day when Jesus Christ will come in glory to cleanse the earth? And what will life be like after He comes to reign?

In Living in the Millennium, the companion volume to Living in the Eleventh Hour, author Robert L. Millet opens the doors wide to show us what life will be like during and after the Millennium. Relying on the words of ancient and modern prophets, he shares what has been revealed about Christ's preliminary appearances, His return in majesty and power, and His millennial reign—a thousand years of goodness and peace.

Filled with insights, this timely book helps us to understand more fully such eternal doctrines as the resurrection of the just and the unjust, the Judgment, and the many mansions of glory.

Living in the Millennium inspires us to live today as if the Savior were coming tomorrow.

This is a companion book to Robert L Millett’s Living in the Eleventh Hour published earlier this year. What I really appreciate about Living in the Millenium is the scriptural basis. Brother Millett takes a purely doctrinal approach to explaining to readers what life will be like before, during, and beyond the Millenium. I had previously heard many of the scriptures by themselves, but seeing them organized and combined into one reference taught me in a clear manner. Millett’s tone is hopeful and cheery, however, he also admits to personal trials, the wonderings and hardships that come with mortality. I loved reading about how the author overcame worry, and felt the peace that comes with the Lord’s assurances of the resurrection. For anyone with questions about the second coming of Christ, life after death, how our bodies become whole or what the reign of peace will be like, this book holds answers.

In the end, there is a glossary, notes, scripture and subject index for readers to truly “dig in” and learn the teaching firsthand. A short read, this Last Days Commentary will help each individual and touched my heart personally.

 

heather

Favorite Quote

Seeing things with an eye of faith is looking out and beyond to the distant scene, viewing today’s often repetitious and sometimes monotonous coming and goings with an eye toward eternity. It is to see beyond the moment, to acquire a portion of God’s perspective, to realize that “out of small things proceedeth that which is great”. (D&C 64:33) p. 103

 

Excerpt

Chapter 1
The End of Time

I was driving to work one day and turned the radio to an oldies channel, where I heard a familiar song from the 1960s, a tender ballad, a love song. Over and over the artist sang of love lasting until the end of time. Later that afternoon I listened to the same channel and heard another artist pledging his love until time stood still. I smiled as I reflected on the message of those two popular songs, realizing how very often such sentiments are sung or how frequently a romantic sentiment is expressed in just that way. I presume the writers of these words intended to convey some meaning like “l love you forever and ever” or “There will never be a time when I no longer love you.”

The more I have thought about it, the more fully I realize that from a Restoration perspective, love is intended to last longer than time, to span the veil of death and continue everlastingly. For those without such understanding, however, “till time stands still” or “to the end of time” seems like a pretty significant and long-term investment of one’s love. Let’s consider this passage of scripture: “And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer” (Revelation 10:5-6; emphasis added; see D&C 88:108-10).

As a part of the new song that is to be sung by the redeemed are these words:

The Lord hath brought again Zion;

The Lord hath redeemed his people, Israel,

According to the election of grace,

Which was brought to pass by the faith

And covenant of their fathers.

The Lord hath redeemed his people;

And Satan is bound and time is no longer.

(D&C 84:99-100; emphasis added)

We are told in the Doctrine and Covenants that “it is required of the Lord, at the hand of every steward, to render an account of his stewardship, both in time and in eternity. For he who is faithful and wise in time is accounted worthy to inherit the mansions prepared for him of my Father” (D&C 72:3-4).

I presume there will always be what might be called durational time, the fact that event A took place before event B, or that we declared C before we uttered D. What the scriptures seem to be saying, however, when they speak of time being no longer is that mortal time, or mortality, will be no longer. That is, a day is coming in the not too distant future when mortality as we know it will be no more; we will no longer be reckoning our words and our actions according to this world’s calendar but rather we will be tuned and acclimated to eternity.

We have been counseled by the prophets to improve our time, that is, to make wise and effective use of the day in which we live on earth, for how we will spend eternity will be inextricably linked to how we spent our time in this life. And so we are told that “this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors” (Alma 34:32).

What will life be like when mortal time is no more? We can learn from holy scripture and latter-day apostles and prophets about the following:

the private appearances of Jesus Christ to his anointed servants;
that great and terrible day we know as the Savior’s coming in glory;
the cleansing of the earth by fire and the transformation of the planet;
life on a terrestrial earth;
a day when the gathering of Israel, accomplished through our missionary labors, will be unhindered and thus accelerated;
a glorious time when temples will dot the earth and the fulness of the blessings of the house of the Lord will be enjoyed by the pure in heart in every nation;
a time when persons will again begin to deny their God, when Satan will be loosed for a short season;
when the final great battle between good and evil will take place;
the miracle and wonder of our resurrection from the dead;
the day of judgment, when all will be required to account for how they handled their stewardship of time; and,
life within the kingdoms of glory, the many mansions of the Father.
Concerning the specifics of the future, details do matter, but they need to come from the right source—from holy scripture or from latter-day apostles and prophets. For me or for any other writer or teacher to go beyond what ancient or modern prophets have declared, to set forth private views concerning the last days, whether based upon individual interpretations or personal spiritual experience, is to assume a responsibility that is not ours; it is to act outside our stewardship. The ideas may be fascinating, even entertaining, but they are not from God; the Lord simply does not operate that way. To do so would be to invite every member of the Church to step forward, offer his or her own best guess about the days ahead, and thereby engender chaos. The Lord’s house is a house of order, not a house of confusion. There are channels to follow, and we must recognize those channels. Therein is our safety from deception. The Prophet Joseph Smith stated the principle as follows:“I will inform you that it is contrary to the economy of God for any member of the Church, or any one, to receive instruction for those in authority, higher than themselves; therefore you will see the impropriety of giving heed to them; but if any person have a vision or a visitation from a heavenly messenger, it must be for his own benefit and instruction; for the fundamental principles, government, and doctrine of the Church are vested in the keys of the kingdom.”

I have therefore chosen to quote more extensively from holy scripture and from the writings and sermons of apostles and prophets than I am generally accustomed to doing. Although I do not wish to burden the reader with excessive support and substantiation, I do want to be as doctrinally sound and as loyal to the Lord’s anointed as I can.

Operating in harmony with such restraint, let us proceed on our journey. And what a journey it will be! What an encounter will be ours as we make our way through the prophetic word and contemplate the glories that await the true and faithful. Looking to the future will do much to motivate us to get our lives in order while we are still living in time, for eternity is just around the corner. In addition, a view of the future can fortify us against the discouragement that inevitably follows from the pain and distresses of this fallen world; it provides us with a perspective that produces gospel gladness.

Notes

1. Smith, History of the Church, 1:338; emphasis added.

About the AuthorRobert_L_Millet

Robert L. Millet, an Abraham O. Smoot Professor and former dean of Religious Education at Brigham Young University, is a professor of ancient scripture and a lifelong scholar of the last days. After receiving bachelor’s and master’s degrees from BYU in psychology, he earned a PhD from Florida State University in religious studies. He has served in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a seminary teacher, bishop, stake president, and member of the Materials Evaluation Committee. He and his wife, Shauna, are the parents of six children.

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Saints and Soldiers: The Void Filming & Party

16 Jul, 2014 by in deseret book, excel entertainment, fort douglas, Heather Gardner Photography, saints and soldiers Leave a comment

Yesterday some of the biggest fans of the Saints and Soldiers movies, as well as media, were invited to the filming of a question-and-answer round table. Hosted by Shadow Mountain, and held at the historic Fort Douglas museum, the meet-and-greet brought together the main actors and directors as they reminisced about how a student film became a three-movie international franchise.

The whole project began as an idea in director Ryan Little’s head about a bar scene where a German and American soldier must get along. The student short film cost a total of $2,000. From there, the ideas blossomed into the first Saints and Soldiers movie, which originally garnered an R rating. Staff lobbied to have the rating changed after they were repeatedly told “the problem is that you feel the impact more if it contains personalized violence. You care about the characters.”

Filming on Saints and Soldiers (S&S) began in January, which was picked because it was thought it would be the snowiest month in Utah. But not enough snow meant using potato flakes instead! Corbin Allred had just returned from his LDS mission and was working in mainstream acting in L.A. He was approached by director Ryan Little, accepting a role as Deacon.

The first Saints and Soldiers was entered into 16 film festivals, was accepted by each festival, and eventually won every single one. From there, the award-winning franchise took off with an “ethos of exploring human experience with conflicting circumstances.”  Each movie has to do with how we judge others, and the choices that have to be made.

Installment number three, which hits theatres August 15th, continues this theme. As Daynor Gerald, actor in The Void explains: it’s a story about “how we reconcile our inner conflict with the external conflict. A black guy caught in the middle of white guys as a commanding officer.”

“This is real life good versus evil; the struggles are relateable. Generations from now father and son will sit down and watch Saints and Soldiers together.”

As part of preparation for his part, Daynor chose to get his meal last, after everyone else, during the filming. Re-enactors came from all over the country to participate in the shooting — most of which took place in Alpine, Utah.

The interactions with veterans of war and their relatives was the most rewarding part of the process. S&S was screened at Pearl Harbor with a room full of soldiers in their whites, and Airborne Creed was shown at Ft. Benning. Corbin Allred was moved by “what the armed forces have done for us, the sacrifice. We don’t want to let the stories of history fade away.”

Adam Gregory adds “who and what is American is written all over these films.”

Me with actor Corbin Allred

I was honored to be a part of the filming and get to meet each member of the round table. Watch for an orange t-shirt in the DVD extra feature :) Special thanks to Deseret Book and Excel Entertainment for the VIP treatment and swag!

See my iphone photos from the event on smugmug.

 

Meet the Actors and Director

The Giveawaysaints and soldiers swag

Two VIP passes to the pre-screening of The Void on  Thursday July 31, 2014 in Utah.

Must be 18 or older.
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Blog Tour: The 7-Day Christian by Brad Wilcox

14 Apr, 2014 by in blog tour, deseret book 1 comment

I received this book for free from Deseret Book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Blog Tour: The 7-Day Christian by Brad Wilcox

The 7-Day Christian

by Brad Wilcox
Published by Ensign Peak on April 8, 2014
Genres: Adult, LDS, Non- Fiction
Pages: 144
Format: Hardcover
four-stars
Source: Deseret Book
Buy the BookGoodreads
Christianity is facing great opposition. No one is being thrown to the lions, but many followers of Christ face persecution because of their beliefs. At the very least, most know how it feels to end up on the wrong side of a “politically correct” conversation. More than ever before, we need believing and behaving disciples – men and women who are ready to stand up and stand together to change the world as early Christians did: one righteous choice at a time.

Filled with personal experiences and insightful stories, this book emphasizes the importance of living in accordance with our values every single day, with practical suggestions for how to actually pull it off. “Christ doesn’t just want people to acknowledge His grace,” writes Brad Wilcox. “He wants them to be transformed through it. He doesn’t just want people to come to Him. He wants them to become like Him – a process that takes place 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, and throughout all the years of our lives.”

Once again Brad Wilcox’s book is full of personal stories that hit home the point…we need to be Christian every day of the week, not just on Sunday. He speaks form the various experiences with students in his classroom and things he has witnessed in his own life to remind us that we need to stand as a witness. I enjoyed the message that “living your beliefs every day can change the world.” Wilcox’s tale of a college student who stood firm against his professor sparked a new resolve within my heart to do what is right and let the consequence follow. Brad’s writing is personal and each chapter will give you several examples of every-day acts of service and steps in obedience that will bring you close to being a 7-day Christian, a true disciple.

heather

Favorite Quote

 

We need more Christlike Christians who have the courage to be Christlike. We need more faithful disciples who are willing to let Christ transform their thoughts, feelings, actions and motives. We need more believing and behaving disciples–faithful men and women who are ready to stand up and stand together to change the world as early Christians did- one renewed friendship, one warm embrace, one sincere compliment, one compassionate act, one righteous choice at a time.

 

About the AuthorBrad_Wilcox_Portrait

BRAD WILCOX has lived in Ethiopia, Chile, and New Zealand; he and his family now make their home amid the Rocky Mountains. Brad taught sixth grade before obtaining his PhD in education from the University of Wyoming. His contributions as an author and teacher have been honored by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and his work has appeared in Guideposts magazine and Reader’s Digest. He once served as a member of the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America and has addressed thousands of youth and adults across the United State, Europe, Australia, and Japan. He and his wife, Debi, are the parents of four children.

Learn more at Deseret Book

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CD Review~ Classic: The Rock Album by Jenny Oaks Baker

10 Apr, 2014 by in cd, deseret book, jenny oaks baker, music review 2 comments

I received this book for free from Shadow Mountain in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

CD Review~ Classic: The Rock Album by Jenny Oaks Baker

Classic: The Rock Album

by Jenny Oaks Baker
Published by Shadow Mountain on April 7, 2014
Genres: Classical, Music
five-stars
Source: Shadow Mountain
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Grammy-nominated #1 Billboard Violinist Jenny Oaks Baker takes her style to an all-new level with her new release, Classic: The Rock Album. Featuring classic rock favorites like Stairway to Heaven (Led Zeppelin), Sweet Child of Mine (Guns and Roses), and Yesterday (The Beatles), you won't believe your ears as one of the country's most accomplished and acclaimed violinists combines her insane talent with the heart-pumping tunes that have defined a genre for generations.

I have to admit when this CD first arrived, we were a little skeptical. I loved the photography and the red accents on the cover–but classical and rock together, by a violinist? We threw it in on our road trip and took a listen. I played violin all through my childhood and have two girls in lessons right now. They were impressed. “That’s the violin?”

Jenny gives young musicians something to aspire to. Well-known songs we’ve heard on the radio being played on a classical instrument. My boys pointed out that Jenny likes to hit high notes! My husband liked it so much he downloaded Kashmir as his new ring tone and bought tickets to her concert. Everybody Hurts by REM took me way back to my own music obsessed days.

Overall we thought Classic: the Rock Album was a diversion…one that we enjoyed! It’s unique and fun. A wonderful way to get your family to listen to beautiful concert music and still be “cool.”

heather

Tracklist

– Kashmir/Four Season (Led Zepplin/Vivaldi)
– Everybody Hurts (REM)
– Sweet Child of Mine (Guns and Roses)
– Liverpool Suite
– Pinball Wizard (The Who)
– Imagine (John Lennon)
– Stairway to Heaven (Led Zepplin)
– Let It Be, Eleanor Rigby, Yesturday, All You Need is Love, Hey Jude (The Beatles)
– Bridge Over Troubled Water (Simon and Garfunkel)
– Fields of Gold (Sting)
– Clocks (Coldplay)

Listen to samples at Deseret Book’s website

About the Artist

jenny_oaks_baker

Grammy Nominated Artist Jenny Oaks Baker is one of America’s most accomplished violinists. She received her Master of Music degree from the renowned Juilliard School in New York City and her bachelor’s degree in violin performance from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

She has released eleven albums since 1998. They consistently chart on Billboard, including the #1 spot on the Top Classical Albums chart. Her album Wish Upon a Star earned a nomination for the 54th GRAMMY Awards for Best Pop Instrumental Album.

Jenny Oaks Baker has performed as a soloist at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and with the Jerusalem Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Utah Symphony, and the internationally acclaimed Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Jenny performed as a first violinist with the National Symphony Orchestra for seven years before resigning to devote more time to her young family. Jenny and her husband Matthew have four children.

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CD Review: He Is Risen by Mormon Tabernacle Choir

04 Apr, 2014 by in adult, deseret book, music, music review 1 comment

CD Review: He Is Risen by Mormon Tabernacle Choir

He Is Risen

by Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Published by Deseret Book Genres: LDS
Source: Deseret Book
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Featuring heartwarming and uplifting hymns like Christ the Lord Is Risen Today, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, and He is Risen, your Easter holiday will be filled with true remembrance and thankfulness for Christ, His life and the love He shows for each of God's Children.

Triumphant, meaningful and moving music release for Easter by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir with Orchestra at Temple Square. The first song “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” makes the bold and reassuring statement that Christ the Lord is risen. With 6 tracks this CD combines both familiar hymns with lesser known songs about the Savior. The choir brings a spirit of Spring and new beginning. I found myself buoyed up by the heralding voices that sound like angels. Track 6 “Worthy Is the Lamb That Was Slain” is a familiar tune for me around Christmas time from Handel’s Messiah. I enjoyed hearing it at a new time of year, celebrating the triumph over death.

Definitely recommended as an Easter basket stuffer and a CD that will fill your home with peace. Thanks to Deseret Book for this wonderful gift in exchange for an honest review.

heather

About the Author

The 360 members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir represent men and women from many different backgrounds and professions and range in age from 25 to 60. They reflect a medley of unique lives and experiences and are brought together by their love for singing and their faith. Their incomparable voices are the common chord that unites to form the choral group known all over the world as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir originated in the mid-19th century in Salt Lake City. As the Latter-day Saints moved west, Church President Brigham Young included musicians among members of the advance parties. Consequently, a small choir first sang for a conference of the Church in the Salt Lake Valley on August 22, 1847, just 29 days after the first group arrived. The origins of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir may be found in the desire and commitment of early converts to include appropriate music in both sacred and secular events.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has appeared at 13 world’s fairs and expositions, performed at the inaugurations of five U.S. presidents, and sung for numerous worldwide telecasts and special events. Five of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s recordings have achieved “gold record” and two have achieved “platinum record” status. The most popular was the Grammy-Award-winning 1959 release of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

For more information visit the Mormon Tabernacle Choir fan page on Facebook

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Blog Tour: The Light We Share by Harriet R. Uchtdorf

02 Apr, 2014 by in adult, deseret book, Harriet R. Uchtdorf, lds 2 comments

I received this book for free from Deseret Book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Blog Tour: The Light We Share by Harriet R. Uchtdorf

The Light We Share

by Harriet R. Uchtdorf
Published by Deseret Book on March 28, 2014
Genres: Adult, LDS, Non- Fiction
Pages: 48
Format: Hardcover
four-half-stars
Source: Deseret Book
Buy the BookGoodreads
What difference does it make to have the light of the gospel in your life? To a twelve-year-old girl in post-World War II Germany, it made all the difference.

In this charming book, Sister Harriet R. Uchtdorf reflects on the power of heavenly light in her own life and recalls the joy it brought to her family during a dark and difficult time. "It was like a miracle," she explains as she describes how hope came back into their lives.

Discover how the light we share can make a life-changing difference to those whose lives we touch-as family members, leaders, missionaries, teachers, friends, and brothers and sisters in the gospel.

This is a beautiful reminder from the wife on an apostle that the Lord’s plans for our lives may be very different from our own plans for our life. Sister Harriet R. Uchtdorf came to the United States in 1999 with her husband Dieter on an assignments she though would be temporary. She was looking forward to returning to her homeland and family in Germany, but things chance and we have be willing to be flexible. Filled with the hopeful, positive story of how Harriet learned to listed to her heart and follow the path set for her family, this is a little book with a big message.

I loved the illustrations and the format. The Light We Share shows scenes form Germany as well as a lantern…a symbol of lighting the way for others. Sister Ucthdorf shares her personal story of conversion and how the missionaries changed her mother’s life. I truly enjoyed the short but sweet reminder that the Lord knows just how our life will turn out…for the better.

Light_We_Share_3

Favorite Quote

“Your influence will be unending as you focus on the strengths of others rather than their weaknesses and mistakes. Our hearts and eyes should concentrate on the positive things in life and in our fellowmen. We are all well advised not to wear our nose high in the sky or criticize or judge others.” p. 39

heather

About the Author

HARRIET R. UCHTDORF received a bachelor’s degree in business administration in Frankfurt, Germany, and worked with the public transportation department prior to her marriage to Dieter F. Uchtdorf, who now serves as Second Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She has served in many callings in the Church and as an institute teacher in Frankfurt. She and her husband have two children, six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

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