Living in the Millennium is a worthwhile read for anyone who is curious about what life during the Millennium will be like for humankind. The book isn...moreLiving in the Millennium is a worthwhile read for anyone who is curious about what life during the Millennium will be like for humankind. The book isn’t long–107 pages of reading followed by Notes, Glossary (which is educational reading itself), Sources, Scripture Index, and Subject Index–but it contains an encompassing overview of revelation regarding the Millennium provided by the scriptures and prophets, both ancient and modern-day.
There are three main sections: Before the Millennium, The Millennium, and Beyond the Millennium. The Atonement, the Second Coming, the Resurrection, Eternal Life, and more are discussed, with several scriptures and quotes, including revelation given to Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon regarding the degrees of glory.
I started out notating paragraphs of interest, but was soon pulled into the subject matter and forgot all about taking notes. I will definitely be reading it again to find those areas that provided both warning and hope to me. I think it is an excellent companion book to Living in the Eleventh Hour, and the more powerful of the two, at least for me personally.
Review originally published on LDS Women's Book Review -- www.ldswbr.com FTC FYI: Received a free review copy in exchange for an honest review.(less)
The Practical Prepper accomplishes its goal of presenting practical ways to achieve a higher level of preparedness in a varying number of living situa...moreThe Practical Prepper accomplishes its goal of presenting practical ways to achieve a higher level of preparedness in a varying number of living situations. It begins with the basics then expands into more in-depth methods for long-term or extreme circumstances, providing a “line upon line” style progression for readers to consider and implement as they continue on their preparedness journey. There are several pages of sources in the “Notes” section at the end of the book for those who would like to read more on the subjects addressed in each chapter.
The authors are thorough and flexible in their coverage of needs and options to fulfill those needs. They respect each other’s different opinions on what is “enough” yet still consider the other’s requirements for feeling secure.They have experimented with several of the products, circumstances, and methods they discuss in their book. They are honest about their results as well, which I appreciate. They also link to several resources on their blog to help readers become more prepared for emergencies.
What you won’t find here are detailed lists of exactly what to store. The authors do give general recommendations and offer sources of where to find more information, but they know that there isn’t one perfect food storage or preparedness plan that will fit everyone. They aren’t rigid in their recommendations or forceful in their opinions. They are, however, emphatic about safety and doing whatever works best for the reader.
A first I felt a little overwhelmed and depressed at the long list of disasters that could happen and the direness of what my circumstances would be if any of them happened today. I know my family is far from prepared to survive for long if the worst were to happen.
However, as I continued reading The Practical Prepper, I started to feel more empowered to take steps to change that. I may not ever be as self-sustaining as someone who lives on a farm with a root cellar and a huge garden, but I don’t need to be to improve my family’s chances of survival.
I read this book cover to cover, curious about the suggestions the authors presented for each circumstance. I was inspired, shocked, and entertained by some of the examples given of how other people have planned for emergencies. (The Chunky soup and rice idea sure makes it easy to knock out at least one or two dinners a week in my emergency menu plan, though!)
I recommend this book to anyone and everyone who wants to be more prepared for an emergency. It’s a resource I think “preppers” of all levels will find useful. I am definitely more inspired to get my preparedness show on the road, and I thank Kylene and Jonathan for their efforts to educate others on how to not just survive, but thrive, in an emergency.
Review originally published on LDS Women's Book Review -- www.ldswbr.com FTC FYI: received a free digital review copy in exchange for an honest review.(less)
4.5 stars -- I finished The Lincoln Hypothesis in one sitting. Once I started reading, I was intrigued and didn’t want to stop. The author’s life expe...more4.5 stars -- I finished The Lincoln Hypothesis in one sitting. Once I started reading, I was intrigued and didn’t want to stop. The author’s life experiences and study give him a unique perspective on the subjects discussed in this book.
While I am not a scholar of US history, I do enjoy reading about it. However, I have never before considered Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War quite this way. I enjoyed the writing style and voice of the author. My curiosity and the presentation of events kept me interested to the end.
Obviously there is no way to know beyond a doubt whether Abraham Lincoln actually read the Book of Mormon, but the evidence, as presented by the author, is quite convincing. Whether he did or not, that Lincoln was a man of God is undeniable. It was worth the read for me simply to learn a little more about the man that lead our country during such a tumultuous time.
One of the places where The Lincoln Hypothesis held the most power for me was in Chapter 12: “Answering the Critics.” Here, the author makes some excellent points, especially for LDS critics of Lincoln. Due to the nature of his work, the author has no qualms about bringing the matter to a personal level and it makes a powerful impact.
He also gets down to the heart of things for us in current times. Below is only one of many quotes that stood out to me:
"The people of Lincoln’s day learned the hard way what we Americans need to learn immediately, particularly as we continue to legislate and codify immorality in the land. They learned that things will turn out very badly if man attempts to amend or reinterpret the American covenant. One cannot employ darkness under the banner of God’s promised land." –page 176
Perhaps the most important points made by the author are that we live in a covenant nation, these covenants were made by the early leaders of this nation, and we are responsible for honoring and upholding these covenants or we will bring upon ourselves the consequences of breaking them. Whether you believe that Lincoln read the Book of Mormon or not, Latter-day Saints know, through our study of the Book of Mormon, that this country is a land of promise and those nations who have previously broken covenants with God on this continent have suffered horrible and tragic fates.
I have been inspired to read more about Abraham Lincoln, and intend to do so with the prophesies of prophets like Isaiah, Mormon, and Joseph Smith in mind. I recommend The Lincoln Hypothesis to anyone interested in history or curious about the parallels between Joseph Smith and Abraham Lincoln.
Review originally published on LDS Women's Book Review -- www.ldswbr.com FTC FYI: received a free hardcover in exchange for an honest review. (less)
Reading Marriage Isn’t For You literally took me five minutes, yet within that five-minute read is a message that has impacted millions. Such authenti...moreReading Marriage Isn’t For You literally took me five minutes, yet within that five-minute read is a message that has impacted millions. Such authenticity and honesty carries power, perhaps because those qualities are rare these days. Despite having “marriage” in the title, this book applies to relationships of all types.
While Marriage Isn’t For You would make a great gift for every new couple, make sure you buy a copy for yourself first and keep it visible. When things get tense (and they will), when frustration sets in (because it does), when anger threatens to overwhelm, pick up this book and take a five-minute time-out. Read it and remember: Marriage Isn’t For You, It’s for the One You Love.
Review originally published on LDS Women's Book Review - www.ldswbr.com FTC FYI: received a free review copy in exchange for an honest review.(less)
Horse whispering has always fascinated me. I love watching horse whisperers at work. They have immense amounts of patience (which I don’t have) and a...moreHorse whispering has always fascinated me. I love watching horse whisperers at work. They have immense amounts of patience (which I don’t have) and a deep understanding of horses (which I also don’t have). They seem to know the animals better than the horses know themselves. They put themselves in the horses’ place, opening their hearts and minds to the needs and fears of some of God’s most beautiful creatures. In order to do what they do, they must love the horses, and put the animals’ concerns and feelings before their own desires to get the job done and get it done quickly.
Read that first paragraph again, substituting the word “husband” or “children” for horses, and you will understand where I was before reading The Husband Whisperer.
While I received encouragement to keep doing what is working in my marriage relationship, I was even more inspired to apply these principles to other relationships in my life, particularly my children–especially my teenagers. In fact, I believe a more appropriate title for this book would be The Family Whisperer, or even The People Whisperer.
When I first started reading The Husband Whisperer, I expected it to be more of a specific and detailed situational how-to book. For example, when your hubby does this, this is what he was thinking, and now you understand him better. In actuality, it is more personal and inspiring to me than that formulaic example. Through an easy-to-read, personable writing style and a touch of humor, the author strives to help women recognize their value and worth. He encourages women to see their divine nature and understand that their role is equally important in marriage as their husband’s role.
I appreciate how he explains, in scriptural context, that the term “preside” as used in The Family: A Proclamation to the World means to “watch over” rather than be the big boss man (my words, not the author’s). I love his example of a fortress with two leaders of equal rank. One is charged with maintaining the outer defenses and watching for dangers, the other is responsible for the care of the people and supplies inside the fortress. Both stewardships are equal in significance, neither role is less important than the other, each requires a different yet essential set of skills, and they cannot effectively fulfill their assigned roles without each other.
There is so much more here than marital counsel, which felt like a smaller though still important part of the book. The author focuses on spiritual subjects such as heavenly communication, forgiveness, self-image, having convictions, seeking the Spirit, and listening to the promptings of the Holy Ghost. All of these aspects play an integral role in how we see ourselves and how we interact with others.
The Husband Whisperer is not heavy on marital advice. It certainly isn’t a book on husband manipulation. Instead it encourages women to recognize their spiritual talents, their divine worth, and their immense influence on those around them. By developing the spiritual attributes in which women are physiologically designed to excel, we can exemplify love and strength. We can teach our children with conviction and with the Spirit. We can be husband whisperers, children whisperers, family whisperers, people whisperers.
Review originally published on LDS Women's Book Review -- www.ldswbr.com FTC FYI: free digital PDF copy from publisher in exchange for an honest review.(less)
(4.5 stars!) In Fortune Cookie, book eleven in the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery series, readers join Sadie in San Francisco, her sister’s place o...more(4.5 stars!) In Fortune Cookie, book eleven in the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery series, readers join Sadie in San Francisco, her sister’s place of residence for many years. My husband and I honeymooned in San Francisco, so it was great to revisit the city with Sadie and Pete.
Sadie never got along well with her sister. Wendy left home when Sadie was twelve, and other than a handful of interactions, there wasn’t much of a relationship between the two women. It was interesting to get to know more about Sadie, her childhood, and her family. She isn’t the only one struggling with difficult issues though. With only three weeks to the wedding, Pete finds himself facing some situations he didn’t expect as well. My heart was aching for both he and Sadie.
I love that, even after so many books, I feel like I am still getting to know Sadie. Josi’s hard work keeping characters interesting and plots mysterious pays off every time. I really had no clue who was going to be the bad guy until it was revealed, though I had a running list that changed often, sometimes from chapter to chapter. This series is one of the few I’ve read where I haven’t figured out who the villain is well before the big reveal.
What I appreciate even more than an unguessable antagonist are well-written characters. More than just description and dialogue, each character’s interactions, concerns, weaknesses, efforts, and motivations are relatable and believable, even those we only meet briefly in the course of Sadie’s investigation. The reader can’t help but feel the emotion and suspense the story is designed to evoke.
The Sadie Hoffmiller series is one of my absolute favorites. As sad as I am that it is winding down, I’m looking forward to Wedding Cake, the last book in the series due to be released in Fall 2014. There is a cliffhanger chapter from Wedding Cake at the end of Fortune Cookie that’s going to keep me on edge all summer. Thanks a lot, Josi. ;)
Review originally published on LDS Women's Book Review -- http://www.ldswbr.com FTC FYI: received a free hardcopy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review(less)
Living in the Eleventh Hour is a fairly quick read. There are several quotes and scriptures cited that I found inspiring in living a more Christ-cente...moreLiving in the Eleventh Hour is a fairly quick read. There are several quotes and scriptures cited that I found inspiring in living a more Christ-centered life, which is relevant no matter the dispensation or how near the time of the Second Coming. The author also speaks on establishing Zion wherever we are currently living, beginning inside our own homes. Also, working to share the gospel and save the souls of our spiritual brothers and sisters should be of great importance to us, and accomplishing this work to the best of our ability is the only way we can affect the events of the last days.
We might well ask ourselves, “Our Lord and Savior is coming. What do I need to do today to prepare myself for tomorrow? What efforts can I make now to ensure that when he does come he will see my face with pleasure?” -page 52
While the message of Living in the Eleventh Hour is inspiring and a good reminder to prepare now and keep our focus on Christ, it touches only lightly on events and details leading up to and surrounding the Second Coming. Those who do a fair amount of gospel-related reading will probably not find much new or eye-opening here. It is an uplifting read, but anyone looking for a more piercing or detailed message related to the Second Coming might find themselves disappointed. Not every book discussing the Second Coming needs to pierce the soul or be detail-specific, however, and readers who appreciate an encouraging read they can finish in a Sunday will enjoy Living in the Eleventh Hour.
Review originally posted on LDS Women's Book Review - www.ldswbr.com FTC FYI: free hardcover review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review(less)
Power to Become expands on the principles taught by Elder Bednar in his previous books, Increase in Learning and Act in Doctrine, but readers need not...morePower to Become expands on the principles taught by Elder Bednar in his previous books, Increase in Learning and Act in Doctrine, but readers need not have read these first two books to be inspired and taught by this one.
Power to Become is formatted to be studied section by section, with large margins for notes, questions to consider at the end of each chapter, and pages for documenting the reader’s questions, answers, thoughts, and inspirations. At first I hesitated at the thought of writing in this beautiful book, but soon I was putting my pencil to use. Nearly every page is marked with underlines, stars, brackets, and comments in the margins.
I love Elder Bednar’s approach to learning and studying the gospel. It is plainly spoken and easy to understand. I have been focusing on obedience the last few months, so “Chapter 3: Power to Become, Priesthood Ordinances, and Willing Obedience” is the most heavily marked chapter in my book. Elder Bednar speaks of finding peace, having faith in Christ, praying for strength to endure rather than to be spared our trials, and enduring valiantly, as well as the importance of priesthood ordinances and covenants.
There are relevant quotes and hymns shared in each section, and the questions Elder Bednar asks after each chapter made me ponder and take time to seriously consider my answers. They would also make great discussion questions for family time around the dinner table or in Family Home Evening with older children, couples, or groups.
I appreciate the new perspective and the strengthening of my testimony that have come from studying this book. I highly recommend Power to Become, as well as Increase in Learning and Act in Doctrine, as a way to better understand the gospel and grow closer to the Savior.
Review originally published on LDS Women's Book Review -- www.ldswbr.com FTC FYI: received a free hardcover review copy from the publisher in exchange for on honest review(less)
Deadly Alliance, the third and final installment of the Espionage series, takes place during the final year of WWII. Peter and Genevieve are the main...moreDeadly Alliance, the third and final installment of the Espionage series, takes place during the final year of WWII. Peter and Genevieve are the main characters, who both have way more war and espionage experience than any young person should. Almost as soon as they are reunited, the war separates them. Their duties take them far from each other, and one circumstance after another makes it almost certain they will never survive, let alone find each other again.
Peter has several of his closest war buddies with him, but Genevieve is very alone. She stays busy at the hospital, but the war has taken too much for her to feel happy without Peter. He is determined to do his duty for his country and the men that are serving with him. While he hopes to be united again with Genevieve and live the rest of his life by her side, Peter knows that sometimes the only option is to make the ultimate sacrifice.
The story is told mainly from Peter and Genevieve’s points-of-view, with a large focus on events occurring in the fight between the Serbians and Croatians, the Partisans and Chetniks, located in Yugoslavia. The characters encounter several battle scenarios and devastated villages that show the face of war in that area of the world. The author’s style isn’t flowery or roundabout but straightforward, intended for an audience of men and women who enjoy reading WWII fiction and prefer a hint of romance.
Deadly Alliance takes the reader along as the characters move from one seemingly insurmountable circumstance to another. I haven’t read a lot of WWII fiction but I can see that Deadly Alliance and the other books in the Espionage series are well-researched. I follow A.L. Sowards on Goodreads so I see how many WWII books she reads. This knowledge comes through in how easy it was to slip into the time period each time I picked up the book.
I appreciated Peter and Genevieve’s devotion to doing whatever they could to end the war, even at the risk of their own lives. They go through some emotional experiences, however, they have been at war for some time now and witnessed many things no one should ever see. At times they are simply resigned to their circumstances, or hardened by previous events. I was anxious for both the war to end, and to find out what would ultimately happen with our heroes. Just when I thought all was said and done, the author threw in a twist that had me in some serious suspense.
Overall, Deadly Alliance is an enjoyable and satisfying conclusion to the series. I would recommend the Espionage series to anyone who enjoys clean, well-researched historical fiction, particularly WWII fiction. While LDS elements are present, it isn’t a major theme of the book. I look forward to more from A.L. Sowards, and can’t wait to see what she has in the works.(less)