It’s an occupational hazard that when you are producing and editing an audiobook, even if you didn’t participate in the creation of the text, you will hear the messages in it a lot as you go through and polish the sound. I had the opportunity to recently help create an audiobook version of Duane Boyce and Kimberly White’s new book from Meridian Press, The Last Safe Place: Seven Principles for Standing with the Prophets in Troubled Times and I found myself grateful to engage in its message in such an in-depth way.

Over and over I thought, ‘if everyone would just listen to this, it would answer so many questions and calm so many hearts when it comes to some of the most controversial topics surrounding modern prophets.’

Now the book is finally available for everyone else to engage with and here are three reasons why I think it’s worth getting a copy and listening to as soon as you can:

  1. General Conference weekend brings messages of hope and also stirs questions 

For many within the Church, general conference weekends are the best two weekends of the whole year. We thrill at the opportunity to hear messages of comfort, direction and spiritual empowerment to strengthen us for the coming months. We love the feeling of community as saints around the world now have new shared terminologies (and inside jokes). Our hearts collectively pound at the announcement of new temples in places we’ve always dreamed they would be.

But for others, conference can ignite feelings of inadequacy as we recall all that we should be doing and are not. Conference can ruffle feathers as sensitive topics come up in ways that don’t align with mainstream societal takes on things. People who are satisfied to quietly criticize the Church the rest of the year, suddenly vocalize their critical views in reductive and often disrespectful ways on social media.

The companionship of the Holy Ghost brings peace, but it’s easy for Conference weekend to end and as hectic life takes over again, that peace is more elusive and questions persist. Those questions are just the questions that this book addresses, with really well-chosen, potent examples and stories about the procedures and experiences of the Brethren weaved into the explanations. Questions like:

  • If these men are really prophets, why do they sometimes institute policies that members can’t quite compute––that don’t match their personal understanding of the gospel? What are members supposed to do in situations like that?
  • If they’re really prophets, why do so many members actually leave the Church?
  • If they’re really prophets, why can’t they answer all the questions about why some things are done or not done?

This book is the perfect primer to help the messages you treasured so much from general conference find a permanent home in your soul as you resolve the things that might prevent them from resting there.

  1. Authors Duane Boyce and Kimberly White are father and daughter and that strengthens their storytelling, dynamic, and their message

As I edited the audio for this audiobook, I got to hear the talking between the text as Duane and Kimberly worked to improve the delivery of their message in the studio. I laughed out loud sometimes at the ways they joked and had fun finding their way to the right tone in their recordings and was impressed by the warmth of their family connection.

It occurred to me, as I listened, how much the strength of the Lord’s kingdom depends on turning the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers. The power of the testimony Duane and Kim have to bear is stronger because they are bearing it together. Not only that, but having a female perspective and a male perspective as well as two different generations represented rounds out the content and messages of this book in a uniquely impactful way.

  1. This book brings together stories of Church leaders that would take hours and hours of research to ever find on your own

I recently saw a Redditor criticizing a book I purchased not long ago because it was asking you to pay for information that was “already available for free on the Internet”. Technically, the Internet is a mind-numbingly large resource which contains most information that one could ever want in all the world. The point of books and courses and videos is that someone else has already done the work of finding, collecting, and presenting that information for you.

I do not say that to imply that this is a one-stop shop and the discussion ends on the last page. If anything, The Last Safe Place is an invitation to further searching and pondering, with the unmistakable reminder that you look to the right(eous) resources in your study. But it feels like a real gift for someone else to have done the hours and hours of research it would take to find all of these stories of councils and Church leadership principles and patterns (not to mention personal insights and examples) and put it together in such a readable way. I have two young children, I am in a stage of life where I can barely finish a thought (or a sandwich), let alone finish a line of research to look for real world examples of how to know when something a general authority has said officially represents the Church or only his own feelings.

I want to know more and understand more, but too often, life gets in the way. This book brings that knowledge that much closer. And by creating an audiobook version, we brought it closer still. We hope that you will take advantage of the opportunity to learn more about prophets and how they go about leading the Church. If you have a friend or family member that is uncomfortable with the concept, this book is for them too. In this arena, there is comfort and confirmation to be had in more information, not less. And Duane Boyce and Kimberly White have truly chosen fascinating, uplifting, engaging, and inspiring information to include as well as many pages of footnotes to guide the next step of your search.

In addition to the audiobook version available on Audible, The Last Safe Place: Seven Principles for Standing with the Prophets in Troubled Times, can also be found in print and ebook formats through Amazon.