Genre: Non- Fiction

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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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 Practical Prepper Blog Tour

29 Jul, 2014 by in blog tour, cedar fort, personal preparedness, practical prepper 2 comments

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

The Practical Prepper Blog Tour

The Practical Prepper

by Jonathan Jones, Kylene Jones
Published by Cedar Fort on July 8th 2014
Genres: Adult, Non- Fiction
Pages: 355
Format: Paperback
five-stars
Source: Cedar Fort
Buy the BookGoodreads
Earthquakes, hurricanes, civil unrest, economic challenges - no one knows when disaster may strike. Will you be ready? The Practical Prepper is a common-sense guide to emergency preparedness and survival written for real people with real lives. This must-have reference book walks the reader through each step of emergency preparedness covering everything from cooking in a crisis, to home security and protection, to emergency water disinfection. You can be prepared for the challenges the future holds. The Practical Prepper will show you how.
Practical-Prepper-blog-tour

 

I grew up in a home with a very prepared mother who was always storing water, toilet paper, and “you name it” in our pantry, under our beds. I understood the importance of personal preparedness and emergency supplies. Still, I didn’t know the deeper ins and outs of home storage or water purification. The Practical Prepper looked awfully daunting at over 300 pages, but once I dove in I found myself easily gliding through it all and soaking up the practical advice within. This book has websites for research, vignettes that illustrate different types of people, spreadsheets to help you plan your 72 hour kit and photos of the essentials.

I learned a lot and the authors really got me thinking about what would occur in the event of a natural disaster or war related threat and how my family would cope. I also truly enjoyed stories of canned goods that have stood the test of time in a sunken ship. Even for the most skeptical storer, this book is a must have! I do wish there was a list of supplies discussed at the end of each chapter because I found myself making mental lists and wanting to write things down as I read. It would help to have a shopping list or simple checklist for those of us who like to see things laid out and ready to mark. Otherwise, the Practical Prepper was the best book on preparedness I have read thus far.  I would recommend purchasing it!

heatherAbout the Authorskylene-jonathan-jones-authors-practical-prepper

Jonathan is a licensed civil engineer and an avid enthusiast of alternative energy sources; especially solar and wind power. He has served on the advisory board and on the board of directors as vice president for The American Civil Defense Association (TACDA), as secretary/treasurer for a local chapter of Civil Defense Volunteers, as an emergency preparedness and communications specialist, and as a city councilperson, has been tasked with developing the city emergency plan in his own community. He has co-authored numerous articles published in The Journal of Civil Defense on emergency preparedness topics with his wife. He is the co-owner of Your Family Ark, LLC, an educational and consulting business designed to assist individuals and families in preparing for an uncertain future (www.yourfamilyark.orgwww.theprovidentprepper.org).

Kylene has an educational background in business management as well as in family studies. She has also served on the advisory board and on the board of directors for TACDA and is currently the editor for The Journal of Civil Defense. She has a passion for researching and experimenting, adding a sense of real life to their writing and teaching. A firm believer in hands-on learning, she involves her family in emergency training for everything from fire drills, to living off food storage and garden produce, to turning off the power in the dead of winter just to see if they can survive it. Many powerful lessons are learned from these experiences, the best lesson being that we are tougher than any challenge. We will not only survive, but we will emerge better, stronger people as a result of the adventure.

Jonathan and Kylene make a dynamic combination. Together they have presented in a wide variety forums including; community education courses, educational seminars, preparedness fairs, employee education programs, and community classes. With Jonathan’s extensive knowledge and Kylene’s high energy personality, they have a unique talent for taking a relatively boring topic and turning it into an exciting quest, motivating audiences to join the ranks of the provident preppers.

 

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Book Review: More Forgotten Skills of Self- Sufficiency

27 May, 2014 by in adult, book review, cedar fort 1 comment

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

Book Review: More Forgotten Skills of Self- Sufficiency

More Forgotten Skills of Self- Sufficiency

by Caleb Warnock
Published by Cedar Fort on February 11, 2014
Genres: Adult, Non- Fiction
Format: Paperback
four-stars
Source: Cedar Fort
Buy the BookGoodreads
Bestselling author Caleb Warnock is back with a new collection of skills to help your family gain independence and self-reliance. Learn about self-seeding vegetables, keep chickens without ever buying feed, collect water from rain and snow, find wild vegetables for everyday eating, and even make your own laundry soap?if you liked the first Forgotten Skills book, then you will love these additional techniques for becoming truly self-sufficient.

Our family is becoming much more self- sufficient as of late learning how to can and dehydrate what we plant in our garden. We’ve also begun planting perennials instead of annuals. Our raspberry, strawberry blackberry and mint bushes come back each year. I genuinely enjoyed Caleb Warnock’s tips to help us apply useful knowledge and become more like the pioneers, able to survive with what they had on a harsh land. This is the first book I have read by Warnock, but will be buying or checking out his other books from the library. Volume 2 is full of photos as well as practical planting advice. His use of raised winter garden boxes and cloche glass containers for year round crops is something we will test out this winter.

Caleb talked me into trying chickens… so far, so good! It’s been a very educational experience to have the small chicks. Our children are learning responsibility cleaning up after the feathers and droppings which we are using in our gardens. There is mention in the book of collecting rain and snow water, but I believe in my area it is illegal. Weird, right?! I wish there were other resources besides the authors for buying and ordering heirloom seeds, but I understand he has to make a living. I find Caleb to be extremely knowledgeable. Our family is implementing the ideas in the book to be better homesteaders. Recommend!heather

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Blog Tour: The Lincoln Hypothesis by Timothy Ballard

26 May, 2014 by in adult, blog tour Leave a comment

Blog Tour: The Lincoln Hypothesis by Timothy Ballard

The Lincoln Hypothesis

by Timothy Ballard
Published by Deseret Book on May 12, 2014
Genres: Adult, Non- Fiction
Pages: 240
Format: Hardcover
Source: Deseret Book
Buy the BookGoodreads

Abraham Lincoln became the sixteenth US president during a very dark time in America's history. Author Timothy Ballard explores the crucial role that President Lincoln played to bring this nation closer to heaven. Readers will see Lincoln as a man inspired of God who invoked a covenant relationship between America and its maker—not unlike the national covenants invoked by righteous leaders in the Book of Mormon. In addition, The Lincoln Hypothesis reveals documented evidence that Abraham Lincoln did, in fact, check out the Book of Mormon as he struggled with making some of the most critical decisions of his presidency. Did he read it? Did it influence him? Was the Book of Mormon a key factor in Lincoln's success and the healing of a nation?

The author states, "As you read, you will, like a prosecutor reviewing a case, or like a jury determining a verdict, identify valuable pieces of evidence that can be fully substantiated. You will also identify pieces of evidence that cannot. I ask you to consider all the evidence and weight it accordingly. Through this study, many questions regarding the interplay between the restored gospel and the Civil War will be answered. New questions may emerge that will not be so easily answered. Either way, in the end you will find yourself on a most exhilarating investigative journey."

Excerpt

Easter Sunday, 1865

The American tears that were shed on Easter Sunday in 1865 were immeasurable! During the week leading up to the hallowed day, Abraham Lincoln’s secretary of state, William H. Seward, had been bedridden due to a tragic carriage accident that had almost claimed his life. But that tragedy was severely compounded by the darkness and evil that attacked his own home two days before Easter Sunday. The attack was on Good Friday. The world would never forget that day. Not ever.

As Seward awoke from a state of semiconsciousness that Sunday morning, he could smell blood. He could taste blood. He glanced into a small mirror by his bed, only to jerk away from the awful sight of a man he did not even recognize. He wondered who had done this to his face and neck. He knew he would never fully recover.

As use of his faculties slowly began to return, memories of the dreadful scene that had played out less than forty hours earlier flashed before his eyes. He could still hear the echoed scream of his daughter Fanny as she was knocked to the ground by the vicious assailant. She had tried to defend her father against the demon. And his son Fred! His poor Fred! When he had tried to protect his father, that murderous hand had crushed his skull with the butt of a gun. He was left near death on the stairway outside his father’s bedchamber. By some providential occurrence, the gun had malfunctioned when the assailant had first tried to put a bullet through Fred’s head. Only that had saved his life. But his pain was not spared. Seward could still hear his anguish. He could still hear his wife scream in agony as she hovered over Fred’s broken body.

And the knife. The secretary of state could still see it coming down over his face and neck, cutting through his flesh.

Complete darkness and misery. On that Easter Sunday, Seward’s own pain was nothing compared to what he felt for Fred, who was still near death, or for his dear wife, Frances, whose frail constitution could not endure the tragedy. She would die shortly thereafter as a result of it all. But there was something else consuming his soul. Some foreboding feeling . . .

Suddenly, instantly, he knew. He turned his aching head to his attendant and opened his mouth. All he could muster was a whisper-though in his mind it was a powerful and frightening proclamation: “The president is dead!” Seward’s startled attendant immediately “stammered and changed color as he tried to say nay.” The poor fellow did not want to be the bearer of news that might do his patient in. But Seward needed no confirmation. He knew at once that it had all been a conspiracy. The fiend who entered his quarters had had an accomplice-the president had been attacked simultaneously. They wanted them both dead. But the president had not been as lucky. Abraham Lincoln had been struck down on the very night that commemorates the murder of our Lord.

Seward gathered his emotions, then softly spoke his conclusion to his attendant: ?If he had been alive he would have been the first to call on me, but he has not been here, nor has he sent to know how I am.? His feelings at that very moment were later reported by his journalist friend Noah Brooks: William Seward then lay in silence, “the great tears coursing down his gashed cheeks, and the dreadful truth sinking into his mind

Of course Seward knew Lincoln would have called on him had he been alive. That was Lincoln. That was the magnanimous spirit who over the course of a few short years had become his best friend.

There was something almost appropriate about the day of this sad revelation—Easter Sunday. Twenty-eight years earlier, Seward?s sweet infant daughter, Cornelia, had been taken from him. Smallpox. After her funeral, Seward resumed his work, which at the time placed him far from home. It was a difficult time to be alone. He turned to God. Then he made the decision. On Easter Sunday, 1837, he was baptized a Christian. He wrote his wife of that day, explaining to her that during his baptismal service he thought continually of “our child-angel,” “that left her errand with my heart and straight returned to heaven.” He resolved on that Easter “to live more in the fear of and under the influence of love and gratitude to God” and to “gradually elevate and refine my motives of action

That earlier Easter day connects to this one because they both conjure up the memory of a man—Abraham Lincoln. Easter 1865 connects to Lincoln because it forever memorializes his sacrificial death. And Seward’s previous Easter experience with tragedy and humility, followed by conversion, God, and salvation, connects to Lincoln because it was a foreshadowing of Lincoln’s own experience. In watching Lincoln pass through a similar experience over the last four years of his life (and passing through part of it with him), Seward bonded with Lincoln in ways he never could have imagined. It was part of what made them friends. But Lincoln’s experience was much more profound than anything Seward had endured. For Lincoln’s experience, I believe, led to the salvation of an entire nation—perhaps even the salvation of the whole world! Yes, though his story leads us through dark and dreary places (like those just recalled), it is in fact a happy one. In some ways, as you shall see, it is the story of Easter, which is why perhaps the timing of Abraham’s death—like the timing of Seward’s baptism—was somehow foreordained. The Master is indeed at the center of this story. And it ends in glory!

This glory especially applies to Latter-day Saints, who have a particularly deep connection to Abraham—perhaps deeper than they ever imagined. For his sacrifice directly led to that thing which is of greatest import. Indeed, his life and death represent a crowning achievement in the building of the kingdom of God and in the development of the Restoration of the gospel.

About the Author

TIMOTHY BALLARD graduated cum laude from Brigham Young University in Spanish and political science, then went on to receive and MA (summa cum laude) in international politics from the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Tim has worked for the Central Intelligence Agency as well as an agent for the Department of Homeland Security. He is also the author of The American Covenant: One Nation under God. He lives in Southern California with his wife and six children.

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Marriage Isn’t For You by Seth Adam Smith

16 May, 2014 by in blog tour, Shadow Mountain 1 comment

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.

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Marriage Isn’t For You by Seth Adam Smith

Marriage Isn't for You: It's for the One You Love

by Seth Adam Smith
Published by Shadow Mountain on June 3, 2014
Genres: Adult, Non- Fiction
Pages: 48
Format: Hardcover
five-stars
Source: Shadow Mountain
Buy the BookGoodreads
What is the best wedding advice you ever received? For author Seth Adam Smith, it was the advice from his father who said, Marriage is not for you. It is about the person you marry. These few words completely changed the way Seth looked at his relationship with his wife-to-be. Because at that moment he realized that an expression of love is not about the person expressing it. Rather, it is about the person they choose to be with. It is about making the person you marry feel loved. Seth's blog post on the subject was viewed by more than twenty-seven million people, and he has been featured on several national TV programs including The Today Show. Now released as a hardcover book, these sage words make the perfect gift for newly married couples, those who have been around the block a few times, or anyone who wants to learn how to make their relationships stronger.

Short, powerful, beautiful, to the point. Author Adam Smith affirms marriage is not for you, it’s for the one you love, for your future children. Taken from his viral blog post, this gift book is wonderful for newlyweds or nearly deads, to remind them what marriage is all about. Marriage Isn’t For You is chock full of photos, great graphics and perfect fatherly advice. Five stars. I loved it. Sometimes the message hits home when it is compact and tastefully presented. Perfect.

heatherAuthor Bio From His Websiteseth-adam-smith

My name is Seth Adam Smith. I was born in Alaska and raised in the American West. My travels have taken me all over the world—from the Arizona desert to the Siberian wilderness—only to lead me back home, to marry Kim, the girl of my dreams.

Strangely enough, you might already know me as a direct result of my marriage to Kim. In November 2013, I wrote an article called “Marriage Isn’t For You.” It was a simple blogpost that shared some advice my dad had given me prior to getting engaged to Kim. 30 million views (and dozens of translations later), Kim and I are still shocked (and humbled) by it’s world-wide success.

That article has launched my literary career. Now I’m on a “literal” odyssey to publish and market three books—this year. Two of my books have already been accepted for publication (one through Berrett-Koehler Publishers, and another through Shadow Mountain Publishing). Authoring a book is something that I’ve wanted to do since I was ten, so the fact that it’s all happening is almost unbelievable. But I’m just a lover of literature and I’m constantly amazed by the power of words and the ability they have to shape and heal our souls.

As part of that, I created TheAlaskanMuse.com to share “the Northern Lights of Literature.” I also love being able to tell stories through video. Since 2004, I’ve produced hundreds of videos and articles for businesses, non-profits, artists, and political causes.

I’m a Mormon and have a great interest in religious history, symbolism, and spirituality. Please do not misconstrue my interest in these things (and frequent postings on these subjects) as some type of zealotry or as an attempt to appear pious. It’s a hobby of mine. I’m a deeply flawed and imperfect Mormon and I’ve often used my faith as a way to help me cope with my struggles. Spirituality is the way in which I best understand the world—it’s the way my mind makes sense of life.

I’m also the Editor-in-Chief of ForwardWalking.com, a website dedicated to helping people move forward in life.  Throughout my life, I have struggled with depression, culminating in a suicide attempt in 2006. Since working as a TrailWalker at the ANASAZI Foundation, I have come to know the healing power of walking “the path of WE,” that is, reaching out to others. Truly, walking “the path of WE” is what saved my life—and what has made life worth living.

With that in mind, my primary focus in all that I do is to promote good things. Winston Churchill said it best when he said: “What is the use of living, if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone?…I avow my faith that we are marching towards better days. Humanity will not be cast down.  We are going on swinging bravely forward along the grand high road and already behind the distant mountains is the promise of the sun.” Winston S. Churchill (Dundee, Scotland, on 10 October 1908)

Learn more on Shadow Mountain Facebook * twitter 
Seth’s facebook * twitter * website

 The Giveaway

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Blog Tour~ Women of Faith in Latter-Days: Volume 3

06 May, 2014 by in Uncategorized 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~ Women of Faith in Latter-Days: Volume 3

Women of Faith in Latter-Days: Volume 3

by Brittany Chapman, Jr., Richard Turley
Series: Women of Faith
Published by Deseret Book on 2014
Genres: Adult, Non- Fiction
Pages: 377
Format: Hardcover
five-stars
Source: Deseret Book
Buy the BookGoodreads

This groundbreaking series tells the stories of women in the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints whose lives of faith and dedication deserve emulation. Each chapter recounts a woman's trials, triumphs, and testimony, often in her own words.

Volume 3 features women born between 1846 and 1870 and includes well-known women and other publicly unknown. Their lifespans range from the era of the Mormon pioneers to the beginnings of the space age. Al these women knew pioneer life firsthand. Many also experienced the gradual transition to modern life and the expansion of the Church to far-flung parts of the globe.

Here you will encounter such diverse women as Martha Hughes Cannon, the first female state senator in the United States; Tsune Ishida Nachie, and early Japanese convert and dedicated missionary; Ellis Reynolds Shipp, a medical doctor in early Utah; Mere Mete Whaanga, a leading Maori who migrated to Utah; general Relief Society presidents Sarah Louisa Yates Robison and Clarissa Smith Williams; and Cohn Shoshonitz Zundel, a Shoshone women who lived nearly fifty years as a widow.

The faith these women exhibited as they rejoiced in blessings and dealt with struggles provides a model for us in facing our own challenges as we strive to build lives of faith today.

Additional biographies of Latter-day Saint women of faith born between 1846 and 1870 are available in the eBook edition of this volume.

Wow! I had no idea Utah had such a rich early history of women holding political office, being doctors, and fulfilling prominent roles in society. This being the first volume I’ve read in the Women of Faith series, I jumped in at volume three, and at a time period I really love. Utah was just on the cusp of gaining statehood and the women activists were fighting for the right to vote and hold office. Women of religious conviction with large families and often with little ones at home who worked in their community post offices and stores, and traveled to the East to obtain higher education. For instance, did you know “in 1896, Martha Hughes Cannon ran as a Democrat” in Utah for one of the open Senate seats? One of her opponents was her Republican husband. Martha won and become the first female Senator in the United States of America. She served two terms in the Utah state legislature. Utah also had the first woman to serve as a Chaplain for the Senate, Maud Mary Babcock.

Between 1911-1913, five Utah women served on the first all-woman town council in Kanab with Mary Elizabeth Woolley Chamberlain as mayor. Women of Faith vol. 3 shares many stories like these, three of just how strong, determined and active LDS women were. I was fascinated by their desire to get their degrees, to serve in their homes an in their government. Other stories include, a sister in Japan who became like a mother to the missionaries in Tokyo, and a Maori sister who came to live in Utah from New Zealand. If you are looking for historical examples, journal entries, photos and testimony of hte early sister Saints, this is a book you will want to buy to have on your shelves. My testimony was bolstered, my faith encouraged and I came away wanting to pursue my dreams while maintaining roots at home. I highly recommend Women of Faith in the Latter Days volume 3, and I will be picking up the rest of the series!

heather

About the Authors

RICHARD E. TURLEY, JR., Assistant Church Historian and Recorder for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is the chairman of the editorial board for The Joseph Smith Papers series. He is the author or co-author of several books, including How We Got the Book of Mormon, with William W. Slaughter; Massacre at Mountain Meadows, with Ronald W. Walker and Glen M. Leonard; and Stories from the Life of Joseph Smith, with Lael Littke. In addition, he is the coeditor of the series Women of Faith in the Latter Days, with Brittany A. Chapman. He and his wife, Shirley, live in Taylorsville, Utah.

Brittany A. Chapman is a historian in the Church History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Learn more at Deseret Book.

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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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A Year With Six Sisters’ Stuff ~ Blog Tour, Review and Giveaway

09 Apr, 2014 by in Uncategorized 4 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.

A Year With Six Sisters’ Stuff  ~ Blog Tour, Review and Giveaway

A Year With Six Sisters' Stuff

by Six SIsters' Stuff
Published by Shadow Mountain on March 25, 2014
Genres: Adult, Cookbook, Non- Fiction
Pages: 256
Format: Paperback
five-stars
Source: Shadow Mountain
Buy the BookGoodreads
"What's for dinner?" Three words every mom dreads.

Don't panic! The Six Sisters are here to help you answer that question. The Sisters have gathered together more than 150 of their most popular recipes for entrees, side dishes, and desserts and have combined them into 52 stress-free menus of perfectly prepared three-course meals.

Filled with delicious tried-and-true family favorites and oh-so-easy-to-make dishes, A Year with Six Sisters' Stuff features all-new recipes using basic ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. Each menu is designed to make your dinner plans as easy as possible—and with such wide variety and a photograph accompanying every recipe in the book, you can easily mix and match menus to create a year's worth of dinner ideas.

In addition, the Sisters share some of their favorite family dinner traditions and crafts, as well as 52 dinner conversation starters, a list of pantry staples, and, food storage plan for beginners.

So what's for dinner? Whatever you'd like.

With more than 150 new recipes, complete with individual pictures, shopping lists, and easy-to-follow instructions, Six Sisters' Stuff transforms an overwhelming list of recipes and ingredients into a no-hassle, tasty meal schedule the whole family will enjoy. You'll also learn how the Six Sisters bring their families to the table with their fun family traditions and kid-friendly meals.
six_sisters_stuff

What an absolutely gorgeous cook book! The pages are thick, the photos are perfect and the design is eye catching with red and turquoise as main colors. I love that Six Sisters’ Stuff uses ingredients  most people already have in their pantry, and the recipes are simple. No gourmet or hard to find things you’ll have to run to  the store and hunt down. They’ve even included their own pantry list of items you should stock up on for food storage.

Deviled eggs, smoothies, Mom’s potato salad and Almond Joy cookies are delicious! I am excited to try the Sisters’ idea of having a crazy family dinner tradition where each member picks out the food for the meal at the store. Along with 52 menu plans, there are crafts, conversation starters and ideas on how meal time can be family together time. My children all picked out recipes they want to make and I found myself stroking the pretty front and back cover. This is a high quality, well-planned cookbook with comfort food for your home.

heather

About the AuthorsSix-Sisters

 

The Six Sisters—Camille, Kristen, Elyse, Stephanie, Lauren, and Kendra—grew up in Utah, but a few of them have lived in other parts of the country since moving out of the house. Between them there are five nieces and three nephews, and all of the sisters love playing “aunt.” The sisters started the blog in February 2011 to keep in touch while they were apart, but it has since gained popularity, garnering more than 9 million viewers per month and more than 307,000 followers on Pinterest.

 

The Giveaway

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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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