Genre: LDS

Bonds of Loyalty Blog Tour, Review and Giveaway

19 Aug, 2014 by in blog tour, bonds of loyalty, covenant, Jennifer K. Clark, Stephonie K. Williams 1 comment

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

Bonds of Loyalty Blog Tour, Review and Giveaway

Bonds of Loyalty

by Jennifer K. Clark, Stephonie K. Williams
Published by Covenant on August 2014
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, LDS
Pages: 176
Format: eARC
four-half-stars
Source: Covenant
Buy the BookGoodreads
It shall be the son, the firstborn in the new monarchy, who shall quiet the fears and unite the nation again.

The infamous prophecy declaring that the firstborn would be a boy is the last thing Sarah wants to deal with. As if being newly engaged isn’t difficult enough, she’s still coming to terms with the fact that the first eighteen years of her life were a farce. The prophecy—the reason she had been secreted away from her family and her royal heritage to begin with—wasn’t supposed to disrupt her life any more than it previously had. But when unexpected events force her to leave her fiancé, Prince Alexander, Sarah must return to her home country of Kyrnidan to face her destiny.

Reunited with her royal family, Sarah is thrust into the political turmoil that surrounds her ancestral home. To make things worse, her arrival has upturned the long-held prophecy.

As the voices of distension mount against her, Sarah turns to her bodyguard, Luther, for protection. But Luther’s protection comes with a price. Propelled into a plot that threatens her life and the welfare of the entire kingdom, Sarah must determine where her love and loyalty truly lie. Torn between two men, she will now have to face her fears and undertake a journey of self-discovery that will change the fate of a nation….

 

Review

Who doesn’t love a little bit of political intrigue, history, suspense and clean romance? Having not read book one, Mark of Royalty , I jumped right into book two, Bonds of Loyalty and thoroughly enjoyed the journey. The authors weave a tale of a kidnapped Princess raised far from home who carries a mark to distinguish her as heir and firstborn. In this second installment, she is returning home to the land of her birth to meet her parents.  But, in doing so, her life is put at risk. Sarah is caught in a web of political unrest and her country is on the brink of war. Meanwhile, she has more than one person out to end her life and the monarchy.

The romance has just the right amount of tension and pull between two suitors. Bonds of Loyalty is a well written read. The only wish I had was that the worlds of  Kyrnidan was more fully fleshed out. As well as the distinction between where she was raised, the land of her fiance Alex, and where she is in book two.

Content: This is a clean book suited for teens. Kissing, some tension. There is a threat of sexual harassment and mild violence , but overall, mild.

I’m so glad I picked up a  soot on the blog tour. I think now I will go back and read book one!

heather

 

About the Authors 73ojIIp

Jennifer K. Clark and Stephonie K. Williams are sisters by chance but became friends by choice when a year of rooming together at college taught them how to get along. Now “play”-at-home moms, separated and living in different parts of the country, they stay in touch and support each other in their individual projects.

Jennifer K. Clark lives in the small rural town of Wellington Utah, as much as her husband wishes it was Wellington New Zealand. After years of entertaining her three children with infamous made-up stories, she decided to put her imagination to good use and became an author. She likes to add a touch of romance to her novels along with a healthy dose of adventure. Fueled by Lindt Chocolate Truffles and Sour Patch Kids, she now spends a copious amount of time with the characters in her head. In her spare time she likes to create science experiments with the ingredients in her potions cupboard, debate which Doctor is her favorite (currently the 10th…or maybe the 11th), and—when she has time—watches the A&E version of Pride and Prejudice.

Stephonie K. Williams makes her home in a quaint farming town in eastern Iowa with her husband, three cats, and a budding ninja. Two of her favorite things in Iowa are the fireflies (aka lightning bugs) and cows, especially the calves. Despite having lived there for 15 years she still misses the majesty and tranquility of the mountains of Utah where she grew up. She has a vast collection of fortune cookie fortunes because she has yet to determine if it is unlucky to throw them away. She also loves to quill, the art of rolled paper, not to be confused with quilting.

Stephonie is passionate about education and enjoys visiting schools to teach classes on creative writing. She has written poetry, short stories, and dissertations, although Mark of Royalty was the first of her work that she was brave enough to submit for publication.

bonds_of_loyaltyBlog Tour Schedule

*August 18th: http://literarytimeout.blogspot.com
*August 19th: http://bookgeekreviews.com/, http://fireandicereads.com/
*August 20th: http://www.charissastastny.com, http://www.minreadsandreviews.blogspot.com/
*August 21st: http://www.iamareader.com/, http://lisaisabookworm.blogspot.com
*August 22nd: http://ilovetoreadandreviewbooks.blogspot.com/, http://wishfulendings.com
*August 23rd: http://www.mybookday.blogspot.com

The 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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The Peter Potential Blog Tour & Review

21 Jul, 2014 by in adult, david butler, emily freeman, Shadow Mountain Leave a comment

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

The Peter Potential Blog Tour & Review

The Peter Potential

by David Butler, Emily Freeman
Published by Ensign Peak on July 8, 2014
Genres: Adult, Inspirational, LDS
Pages: 111
Format: Hardcover
four-half-stars
Source: Ensign Peak
Buy the BookGoodreads
Have you ever wondered if God has greater things in store for you? The Bible is clear that though Peter saw himself as only a fisherman, the Lord saw him as a fisher of men, a leader among men, the rock upon which His Church would be built. Divinity gave Him the insight to extend the invitations that would help Peter discover the life he was meant to live. This full-color gift book is profound in its simplicity as the authors take the reader through the invitations the Lord extended to Peter. Journey with Peter and the Savior as you begin to understand the potential the Lord sees in you.

Simon Peter is a man we know about from the Bible. A man who was asked to cast his net and then leave behind his life as a fisherman to follow Christ. In The Peter Potential, we learn even more about this story and the many others that came throughout the ministry. We are asked to apply the teaching to the multitude, the personal invitations to cast out a little form the shore and then into the deep. Through nautical photos, graphics, quotes, scripture and text, the authors challenge the reader to a higher level of discipleship, a trial of faith and the ship overflowing with blessings when we take a challenge from the Lord. This is a book I’m going to have to read several times to pick up on the layers and lessons. I’ve been through it twice and it’s left me pondering how I can become more like Peter.

The only drawback with the flow of the book, is that I wish the authors would have separated Peter’s distinct experiences and stories by a small break or chapter. There are several vignettes rolled into one book, which made it a bit hard to know where one ended and the other began. Overall, an uplifting and though provoking gift quality read that holds hidden treasure waiting to be discovered. Beautiful.

heather

My Favorite Quotes

To each there comes in their lifetime a special moment when they are figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered a chance to do a very special thing, unique to them and fitted to their talents. What a tragedy of that moment finds them unprepared and unqualified for that which could have been their finest hour- Winston Churchill p.20

The Lord is completely aware of you, He has miracles in store for you, and He knows what He is about to do. Give Him all that you have to offer. He will bless it. He will make it more.” p.64

About the Authors

Emily Belle Freeman is a coach’s wife, a mother of four, an author of the bestselling A Christ-Centered Christmas, and a sought after inspirational speaker. She finds great joy in studying both the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. She coauthors a blog that is a stopping place for hearts seeking all that is good: www.multiplygoodness.com.

David Butler is a high school religious educator, sharing his love for the scriptures and his belief that there is an innate power for good in every human soul. He is also a motivational speaker and writer. He and his wife, Jenny, live with their five children amid the snowcapped peaks of the Mountain West.

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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: 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
Buy the Book
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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Power to Become by David A. Bednar~ Blog Tour and Review

11 Mar, 2014 by in adult, blog tour, deseret book 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.

Power to Become by David A. Bednar~ Blog Tour and Review

Power To Become

by David A. Bednar
Published by Deseret Book on March 3, 2014
Genres: Adult, LDS, Non- Fiction
Pages: 208
Format: Hardcover
five-stars
Source: Deseret Book
Buy the BookGoodreads
In Power to Become, Elder David A. Bednar explores how the Savior makes possible His divine commission, "Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect" (3 Nephi 12:48).

Chapters in this thought-provoking book highlight the importance of the Atonement, the spiritual gift of personal peace, the importance of priesthood ordinances, and the responsibility we have to obey willingly and endure valiantly.

"As we increase in learning about the Savior and His gospel," Elder Bednar writes, "as we strive with ever greater consistency to act in His doctrine, ordinances, and covenants, then we are blessed with power through His Atonement to increasingly become like Him." Power to Become introduces vital tools we all can use to invite these eternally significant blessings into our lives.

David A. Bednar was on his elliptical, working out one day, looking at the gift his wife had given him on the wall (a framed copy of his first book cover) when the thought came into his mind that ” there were three books.”

He was not done writing with Increase in Learning–as originally planned– but was to create a trilogy of interactive, related gospel titles. And so began the journey of writing two more books.

Bednar chose a platform never before used at Deseret Book– interactive videos embedded within the ebook that allow readers to watch and learn as well as to read. Each print copy of the book comes with a DVD, and has scannable QR codes printed at the end of each chapter, so that the owner can view corresponding videos.

For me, personally, this experience of seeing Q& A sessions with the author and his wife really brought home what I was reading. I internalized things more concretely and felt I had a chance to learn lessons at an apostle’s knee. Both a short and long version of the video clips with couples, youth, women–and an interview with CEO Sheri Dew are available online at Seek by Deseret Book.

I’ve never before taken as much time as I did with Power to Become to absorb the words I was reading. The pages are printed with a wide margin around the edge for readers to take notes as they are reading. Writing exercises at the end of each chapter gave me a chance to record and apply.

I had many impressions come into my mind while being tutored by Elder Bednar. He is a man of action. He wants us to take the step of faith first, as Nephi “not knowing beforehand what we should do”, then wait for the path to become clear. Power to Become was a life- changing book for me. I learned through the stories and scriptures shared how I can one day stand before my Heavenly Father and be as He is. But I cannot do it alone. I need the help of the atonement.

With personal insights, commentary from multiple perspectives, and a wealth of available teaching materials, this series by Elder David A Bednar is amazing.

Dive in with your whole heart and use all three of his books as steps towards becoming who you are meant to be.

heather

Favorite Quote

One of the greatest indicators of righteous character is the capacity to recognize and appropriately respond to other people who are experiencing the very challenge or adversity that is most immediately and forcefully pressing upon us. Character is revealed, for example, in the power to discern the suffering of other people when we ourselves are suffering; and the ability to detect the hunger of others when we are hungry; and in the power to reach out and extend compassion for the spiritual agony of others when we are in the midst of our own spiritual distress. Thus,character is demonstrated by looking,  turning, and reaching outward when the instinctive response of the “natural man” (Mosiah 3:19) is to turn inward and to be selfish and self absorbed.

Discussion Video

About the Authordavid-a-bednar-large

ELDER DAVID A. BEDNAR was called to serve as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2004. Prior to his call, he had served as an Area Seventy, regional representative, stake president, and bishop. He served a mission to southern Germany and then attended Brigham Young University, where he received bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He received a PhD in organizational behavior from Purdue University and was a professor of business management at Texas Tech University and the University of Arkansas. Elder Bednar served as the president of BYU-Idaho from 1997 to 2004. His previously published books include the bestsellers Increase in Learning and Act in Doctrine. He and his wife, Susan, are the parents of three sons.

Learn more at Deseret Book

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Why I Don’t Hide My Freckles Anymore Blog Tour and Review

07 Mar, 2014 by in adult, body image, 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.

Why I Don’t Hide My Freckles Anymore Blog Tour and Review

Why I Don't Hide My Freckles Anymore

by LaNae Valentine, Lisa Tensmeyer Hansen
Published by Deseret Book on December 1, 2013
Genres: Adult, LDS, Non- Fiction
Pages: 160
Format: Paperback
four-stars
Source: Deseret Book
Buy the BookGoodreads
The concept of beauty, and the definition of it, seem to always be caught between endless battles of opinion. If you were asked to define beauty, how would you describe it?

In this book, “Why I Don’t Hide My Freckles Anymore,” readers experience an understanding of beauty and their relationship with it in a clear, elevating way.

The essays in this uplifting compilation come in every shape and size, but each one reaches toward a similar conclusion: beauty is truth. And the truth is that everything God created is beautiful, your body included – freckles and all!

Women and girls lift their voices declaring that we are beautiful daughters of God, not defined by the world’s standards in this compilation of short essays. Each one infuses and empowers as it explores where true beauty comes from–within.

I love books like this that offer so many points of view from women and writers in all different stages of their lives. We would be wise to read a chapter a day, or to share this book with our daughters and friends. Especially good thoughts with summer approaching, swimsuit season and the many women who hide in shame. There is no shame. Your body is a temple. It is a gift!

Quote

Reflection and writing allow us to see ourselves and others more truthfully, more compassionately. Our personal experiences challenge the illusion of culture. We begin to see how unfulfilling and shallow the messages are. We sense a newfound strength and power to stand up to false standards of self-worth ad refuse to allow ourselves to be merchandise in the marketing of beauty. Real beauty isn’t merely decorative; its primary function is to connect–to our innermost beings to one another and to the world around us. Real beauty does not divide or diminish us–it opens and inspires us. It is not only possible but natural to live peacefully in our body, to be comfortable in our own skin, for each of us to love our bodies and find ourselves beautiful.” – LeNae Valentine, editor.

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Living in the Eleventh Hour by Robert L. Millet Blog Tour

18 Feb, 2014 by in blog 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.

Living in the Eleventh Hour by Robert L. Millet Blog Tour

Living in the Eleventh Hour

by Robert L Millet
Published by Deseret Book on January 1st 2014
Genres: Adult, LDS
Pages: 146
Format: Hardcover
four-stars
Source: Deseret Book
Buy the BookGoodreads
Just as the scriptures teach us that the Second Coming of the Lord will be "at midnight" (Matthew 25:6), so the signs of the times teach us that "midnight" is close at hand. In Living in the Eleventh Hour, author Robert L. Millet points our minds and hearts toward the future-to the glorious day that lies ahead. This encouraging work not only assists us a Latter-day Saints to recognize and better understand the signs of the times but also reminds us of our individual responsibilities as we prepare ourselves and the world for the much-anticipated return of Jesus Christ. Filled with uplifting quotations from Church leaders, insightful scriptural texts, and engaging personal experiences, this timely book inspires us to live today as if He were coming tomorrow. Brother Millet's faith-building message is clear: Steadfastly doing the small things that allow us to live each day with faith, rather than fear, builds our trust that the Savior's return to earth to rule and reign will be a glorious and welcome event.

I love Robert L Millet’s teachings and writing. Living in the Eleventh Hour takes very small chunks of doctrine in each chapter which makes for a quick, light read. It’s certainly not a deep doctrinal look at the signs and time of the second coming of Christ, not does it reveal “big new truths.” However, I enjoyed it for exactly what it was. His counsel is straight forward and simple. I found that for me, this book was the perfect fit. It offers a hopeful perspective without the doom and gloom or long lists of signs of the second coming. Brother Millet re- emphasizes what we can do on a daily basis to have the Spirit with us and to keep our lamps filled with oil before the bridegroom cometh. I especially liked his story of how many of us, in fear of judging others fall into the “tolerance trap” and begin to tolerate the behaviors of others that are sinful without speaking up. The formula for preparation is built on the basic primary answers we all know and I am glad he kept it that way.

heather

Favorite Quote

We cannot, at least not for very long, operate simply by sheer grit and willpower; to do so proves to be both spiritually exhausting and emotionally discouraging. We need help. That help comes from God and is mediated through his Holy Spirit.

 

About the Author

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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Book Review and Blog Tour: The Guardian 2 by Gerald N. Lund

10 Jan, 2014 by in deseret book, gerald n lund, ya, YA fiction 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.

Book Review and Blog Tour: The Guardian 2 by Gerald N. Lund

The Guardian, Book 2: To Run With The Swift

by Gerald N. Lund
Series: The Guardian
Published by Deseret Book on November 7, 2013
Genres: Fiction, LDS, Young Adult
Pages: 587
Format: Hardcover
four-stars
Source: Deseret Book
Buy the BookGoodreads
After Danni McAllister and her family escaped from El Cobra and his kidnapping ring, they thought life would basically return to normal. Little did they know that their peril had just begun.

As secrets from the past begin to unfold, it becomes evident that the motives driving the attacks on the McAllister family go much deeper than money—and they're not going to stop anytime soon. Now, as Danni faces evils even more sinister than before, she has to wonder if even the Guardian will be equal to the dangers ahead.

The whole family will love this page-turning conclusion to the story of Le Gardien, the enchanted pouch that guides, protects, and teaches those who have it in their keeping.

Amazon Book Summary

From the bombed-out ruins of Munich, Germany, in the last days of World War II to a lavish present-day castle in Switzerland, this sequel to The Guardian (published in Fall 2013), weaves a vivid, heart-stopping tale of resilience, resolve, and revenge as Danni McAllister and her family discover the real reason they have been targeted by international terrorists. The astonishing secrets and unexpected powers of the pouch, dating back nearly two hundred years, take center stage in a plot filled with surprising twists and turns as Danni finds herself locked in an extraordinary battle of courage and fortitude that will determine the fate of her family and her role as the Keeper of the Pouch—or risk losing both forever.

From master storyteller Gerald N. Lund, this action-packed novel for the entire family originated as a series of bedtime stories told to his children when they were growing up. In the spirit of The Alliance, Freedom Factor, and Leverage Point, the author blends gripping, fast-paced adventure and suspense with a timeless message for readers of all ages.

Review

This is the first book I have ever read by Gerald N. Lund…I know, right?!! I jumped into book two of the series after a Deseret Book Blog Tour invitation, without reading book one, which I would not recommend. I think readers will miss a lot of the back story if they try to read out this series of order. But once I started to piece together names and the plot, and the circumstance surrounding the heirloom pouch called Le Guardian,  I loved the writing. There is a ton of suspense, plenty of action and good family principles. The villains are villainous indeed, and the mysterious plot twists make it unpredictable. The main character’s first name is Carruthers which is one of my husband’s family names, so the story is that much more personal for us! The setting vacillates between small town Utah and Lake Powell, which makes it fun . If you like books with espionage, history and a bit of magic then pick up The Guardian series.

heather

Excerpt

We stopped a few feet inside the mine to let our eyes adjust to the darkened tunnel.Cody started to push his way past Dad, but Dad’s arm shot out and held him back. 

“Jean-Henri,” he cried. “Look!” He was pointing forward, directing his light at the floor. 

I moved up to see better. Suddenly the chills were back, only this time they were hitting every cell in my body. The dirt floor was covered with footprints. No, not footprints. Boot prints. And none of us had worn that kind of boots when we were in here before.

About the AuthorGerald_Lund

Gerald N. Lund received his B.A. and M.S. degrees in sociology from BYU. He also did extensive graduate work in New Testament studies at Pepperdine University, and studied Hebrew at the University of Judaism. He is a prolific author and speaker. His novels include The Work and the Glory SeriesThe Kingdom and the Crown Trilogy, Fire of the CovenantThe Undauntedand his newest series,The Guardian. He has also written several books on gospel topics, including a doctrinal trilogy exploring our relationship with Heavenly Father and how He expresses His love to His children.

During his thirty-five years in the Church Educational System, Gerald N. Lund served as seminary teacher, institute teacher and director, curriculum writer, director of college curriculum, and zone administrator. His church callings have included servings as stake president and bishop. He also served as a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy from 2002 to 2008. He and his wife, Lynn, are the parents of seven children.

 

“I write because I love to teach.”
– Gerald N. Lund

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