Stay Thou Nearby is a short compilation of four Latter-day Saints writing about their experience with the 1978 revelation on the priesthood. The authors are able to provide a powerful narrative that sheds light on the struggles, triumphs, and the spiritual journey of this historic moment to which they were witnesses. This book is one of the most faith-promoting and Christ-centered books that I have had the privilege of reading. I thoroughly enjoyed reading such valiant testimonies of Jesus Christ and learn from the authors’ experiences.

Through sharing experiences and insights, the narrative the authors create is one that promotes empathy and understanding, but also leaves the reader with a profound message of faith and Christlike love. Carole Lawrence-Costley shares about finding the church, being baptized even though she knew of the struggles that Black Latter-day Saints were facing, and the feelings she had the day she heard about the 1978 revelation on the Priesthood. She states that, while it’s not perfect, she has seen progress in the church and how we should all strive towards inclusivity. Similarly, Edward Dube and Tracy Y. Browning share their experiences and testimonies of the church and how they know God loves each of His children.

My favorite portion of the book was authored by Ahmad S. Corbitt, who quickly became one of my favorite General Authorities after reading his insights. Corbitt grew up in the eastern United States during a time of racial prejudices by many Americans, not just members of the church. He shares about how he and his family found the church, and how as his faith in Jesus Christ grew, he knew that we were all part of one eternal family. His focus on Jesus Christ was all that mattered. He has chosen to not dwell on the past, but to focus on ongoing revelation and look to the future with faith as we see all the miracles that God is performing in our lives. I find his and the other authors’ faith inspiring and this book so timely and needed as we try to build bridges and love each other as God loves each of us.

Stay Thou Nearby is a collection of four essays written by Carol Lawrence-Costley, Ahmad S. Corbitt, Edward Dube, and Tracy Y. Browning. Published by Deseret Book. 112 pages. Available in ebook and paperback.

Lauren is from Utah and has been an avid reader her whole life. She graduated from BYU in History and currently teaches elementary school and works at a rare bookstore. She is also a docent at the Church History Museum. Her passions include traveling, spending time with family, learning about history, and of course, reading.