Source: Deseret Book

Embark by John Bytheway~ Blog Tour Review

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

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

Embark by John Bytheway~ Blog Tour Review


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

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

Percfect for youth and their leaders.about_ the_author

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


Deseret Book, Excel Entertainment and Shadow Mountain Christmas Preview

24 Nov, 2014 by in christmas 1 comment

Published by Deseret Book, Shadow Mountain Source: Deseret Book, Shadow Mountain

Christmas is swiftly approaching and we have so many fun new gift ideas to share thanks to an awesome party put on by three publishers.

Thanks Deseret Book, Shadow Mountain and Excel Entertainment!



Maybe you want to give a tote bag or set of frames? Or how about the Nephite  from “Ites” standing behind me?


 12 Days of Christmas With Six Sisters’ Stuff: Recipes, Traditions, Homemade Gifts, and So Much More
Christmas Jars
God Bless Us, Every One!: The Story Behind a Christmas Carol



 Remake, a new dystopian  YA novel by Ilema Todd


 The Christmas Dragon directed by John Lyde


 Fairy Tale Christmas by Michael McLean


A Heart Revealed by Josi S. Kilpack



Shadow Mountain Releases

Redeemer: A Nashville Tribute to Jesus Christ

A Heart Revealed (A Proper Romance)
Fairy Tale Christmas
Sam’s Christmas Wish


Excel Entertainment Releases

Christmas Dragon


Deseret Book Releases

Celebrating a Christ-Centered Christmas: Seven Traditions to Lead Us Closer to the Savior
Stars Were Gleaming
It is Better to Look Up: Life Experiences from the Pulpit
Ites: An Illustrated Guide to the People in the Book of Mormon
Fire and Steel, Volume One: A Generation Rising
Let the Season In (DVD); Mormon Tabernacle Choir with Deborah Voigt and John Rhys-Davies



Or Maybe you need some brand new

Christmas Swag

Hemp totes

Flicker candle

Gift wrap made of stone

Missionary stockings

Family frames and

Jewelry from

Lots of wonderful gift ideas.

Comment below with what you have added to your Christmas wish and we will enter you to win one of these titles. Ends 12/20/14


The Christmas Dragon ~ Movie Review

06 Nov, 2014 by in christmas, fantasy, movie, movie review, movie trailer, utah film Leave a comment

The Christmas Dragon ~ Movie Review

The Christmas Dragon

on November 7, 2014
Genres: Christmas, Fantasy
Source: Deseret Book
Medieval Europe - Father Christmas is a fading memory, after Christmas hasn't come for several years.

A young orphan girl, Ayden, receives a magic crystal from a dying elf, with a warning that the North has lost its magic, and that she alone can save Christmas. Ayden and her orphan friends begin a perilous journey, and must escape dragons, goblins, bandits, ogres and other fantasy creatures as they team up with Airk, the wayward son of Father Christmas, to return a stolen Christmas orb to the North. When Santa's magic cannot overpower the growing Snarl (an evil forest with tentacle branches), Ayden and Airk must deliver Christmas on a sleigh pulled by a young dragon, fulfilling Christmas wishes for children to restore Santa's magic and save Christmas.

Tolkein, Father Christmas and a Celtic Music score mixed with dragons? Yep. I went into The Christmas Dragon not knowing at all what to expect, and stepping outside my normal movie genre into the world of midevil fantasy. The Christmas Dragon had a cast of some actors I recognized from other Utah films like Heather Beers (as a nun?) and Adam Johnson (who plays a killer Father Christmas by the way).  A pleasant surprise, I discovered some new actors I now love!

Bailee Michelle Johnson as Ayden– a young girl orphaned after bounty hunters attempt to take her parents, was brilliant. Genuine, complete with spot on accent, she fits the role of dragon whisperer and heroine of Christmas.

I am also team Jake Stormoen and Melanie Stone after last night’s preview at Jordan Commons. Are they a real couple offscreen?

Jake plays Santa’s son turned rogue Captain Jack Sparrow looking elf, and Melanie is a kick butt elfin warrior, Saerwan. These two were far and way the best duo of the film. They are co-starring in the upcoming Mythica, to be released by Arrowstorm Entertainment, which was not even on my radar… until now.

There are a few scary parts and goblin-esque creatures, which would cause me to pause in taking any child under 10 to see the movie, but overall a family film. The Christmas Dragon has a great message about forgivenesss and a prodigal son. An epic fantasy for all ages, just in time for Christmas!

Coming this Friday to theaters and in stores at Deseret Book soon.

Thanks for the sneak peek Excel Entertainment. The crew donated cans to  the Utah Food Bank as apart of the premiere!

See my event photos on instagram the official premeire photos on Facebook.



Eve Mauro Eve Mauro -Aesa
Talon G. Ackerman- Garret
Michael Flynn- Father Mendel
Adam Johnson – Father Christmas
Bailee Michelle Johnson – Ayden
Jacob Buster – Rand
Paul D. Hunt – Leif
Jake Stormoen – Airk
Dave Bresnahan – Tavern patron
Renny Grames – Gazared

Heather Beers – Sister Lenora
James C. Morris- Old Elf
Melanie Stone – Saerwen
D.L. Walker – Bar Keep
Danny James – Borntall
Andrew Dee Jones – Soldier and Drunk
Ruby Jones- Hoyt
Paris Warner – Rosalynne
David DeVilliers- Fin
Aimee Lynne Johnson – Young Ayden
Cooper Daniel Johnson- Marcus


The Trailer



John Lyde – Director/Writer/Producer

Jason Faller – Producer

Kynan Griffin – Producer


IMDB page * facebook


Review~ Christopher Columbus : A Man Among the Gentiles

03 Nov, 2014 by in Uncategorized 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.

Review~ Christopher Columbus : A Man Among the Gentiles

Christopher Columbus : A Man Among the Gentiles

by Clark B. Hinckley
Published by Deseret Book on August 2014
Genres: Adult, Non- Fiction
Pages: 276
Format: Hardcover
Source: Deseret Book
Buy the BookGoodreads
The story of Christopher Columbus has become so enshrouded in myth over the centuries, and so distorted by political correctness in recent decades, that the facts of his life remain largely a mystery to all but a handful of scholars.

And yet, author Clark B. Hinckley reminds us, the Book of Mormon prophet Nephi suggests that Columbus stands out as "a man among the Gentiles." In fact, Lehi and Nephi describe only two specific individuals in their prophecy of the latter-day restoration of the gospel: Christopher Columbus and Joseph Smith.

Columbus himself wrote that he was inspired by the Holy Ghost to undertake his great voyage of discovery; a claim some historians struggle to accept. But this candid and revealing look at the life of Christopher Columbus shows us a man with a great dream.

Through research into original Spanish texts and accounts written in Columbus's own hand, the author retraces the journeys of this dedicated explorer to uncover what may be the most remarkable aspect of Columbus's life: the degree to which he understood his prophetic mission and his place in history.

I picked up Christopher Columbus : A Man Among the Gentiles by Clark B . Hinckley on Columbius Day in an effort to learn more about the man behind the holiday. The author has done meticulous research with sourced materials to paint a very different picture of the explorer from the one that is being pushed in today’s progressive history lessons. I wanted toe separate myth and legend from documented fact. Including new texts like Columbus’ “Libro de Las Profecias,” we learn that Columbus was a man led by God to unlock the path the to the new world navigating upon the ocean. Columbus himself wrote “with a hand that could be felt, the Lord opened my mind to the fact that it would be possible to sail and he opened my will to desire to accomplish the project… This was the fire that burned within me… Who can doubt that this fire was not merely mine, but also of the Holy Ghost… Urging me to press forward?

Born in Genoa Christopher Columbus was named after St. Christopher. His name literally means Christ – bearer. pgs 18-20 He was a man rejected time and time again until after much persistence, his request to sail in search of the East was finally granted. Packed with history, this offers an integrated view that Columbus was in fact a visionary man who truly felt led and guided. He was well-read and amazingly accurate in his method of navigation. As a history minor, I LOVED this book. I passed the lessons on to my children and we talked about the book in family home evening. Well written, interesting and thoughtfully researched.

About the AuthorClark_Hinckley

Clark B. Hinckley is a banker by vocation and a historian by avocation. A director of Zions First National Bank, he earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) from the Harvard Business School. He is a graduate and former faculty member of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking.

A former bishop and stake president, he presided over the Spain Barcelona Mission from 2009 to 2012. He and his wife, Kathleen Hansen Hinckley, have six children and eighteen grandchildren. They have lived in New York City, Michigan, and Arizona. They reside in Salt Lake City and serve in the baptistry of the Salt Lake Temple and teach Sunday School.


Review and Event Photos: Focused by Noelle Pikus- Pace

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

Review and Event Photos: Focused by Noelle Pikus- Pace

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Q& A Event


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

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

Favorite Quote

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

About the Authornoelle_pikus_pace

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

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

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


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
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.


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
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.



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



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.


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.


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."


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.


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
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!


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.


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
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.


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