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LDS General Conference is right around the corner and here are some outstanding books to help keep an ongoing spiritual feeling after conference ends.

What You Don’t Know About the 100 Most Important Events in CHURCH HISTORY, by Casey Paul Griffiths, Susan Easton Black and Mary Jane Woodger. This book takes the reader chronologically in the first chapter, featuring the First Vision in 1820, to the final chapter, discussing the age changes for missionaries announced in 2012. There is a chapter about when President Lorenzo Snow received revelation concerning tithing in 1899 and in 1989 the chapter headlines when the church officially entered Communist countries. Each chapter features a small highlighted section entitled “Did You Know?” You’ll find two interesting facts that go along with that chapter. Each chapter is concise but with extensive notes to support this factual information. You’ll also find photos and maps throughout the book. All three authors have extensive historical research backgrounds and experience as well as holding doctorates in the subject.

Wagons West: Brigham Young and the First Pioneers, by Richard E. Turley Jr. and Lael Littke, reads like a story. But the authors desired to inform children of all ages about what really took place as these Latter-Day Saints crossed the prairies, rivers and mountains. Each chapter is relatively short and progresses the trek forward as the pioneers traveled over many miles and with many hardships in order to reach the Salt Lake Valley. Your family will gain a much greater appreciation for the tremendous sacrifices that took place. There are pictures, photographs and maps found on practically every page. Also, the long trek of the pioneers from Nauvoo to the Salt Lake Valley is detailed on both the front and back inside pages.

Our Family Council Journal, with M. Russell Ballard, is packaged to be written in, and documented, as your family gathers for Family Home Evening. This is actually a record of what takes place and ultimately could become a family historical document. Each page to fill out has a space for who’s giving the prayer, who is recording, who is in attendance, what the topic is and at the bottom what else to remember about this special time together. The first section includes Elder Ballad’s testimony as to the importance of family councils.

The Decision That Changed My Life (Inspiring True Stories From Latter-Day Saints), by Ganel-Lyn Condie, is an inspiration to read and all families should have it on hand. There are eight sections which include “Choice and Accountability”, “Adversity” and “Family”. Each section has an LDS person sharing an experience that changed their life. Following after this uplifting experience is what the author calls the “Ripple Effect”. Those parts involve people sharing amazing experiences from being directly affected by the aforementioned person. This book is one that I have been hoping for. There aren’t enough of these types of books written that truly touch the soul of all ages because of these tremendous stories to “take a leap of faith” and try harder to be a better person!

Be Happy: Simple Secrets to a Happier Life, by Hank Smith, PhD, is an essential book for all to help keep the sadness or difficulties at bay. Brother Smith gives advice with humor and wit. But more importantly, he writes with strength from the Spirit. Some of the enabling recommendations are built into chapters such as: “I Want Patience – and I Want it Now” and “Learning to Accentuate the Positive.” 

Book of Mormon Puzzle Pages, Volume 1, by Elizabeth Walton, is full of mazes, crosswords, word chains, dot-to-dots and much more. This is the perfect book for those children, ages 8 and above, who love working their brains. And what kid doesn’t. This book 1 has a brain puzzle for every page of the Book of Mormon up to page 75. More books are coming soon: [email protected] 

At the Pulpit: 185 Years of Discourses by Latter-Day Saint Women is a compilation of talks given over the many years to inspire and teach all who read these historical discourses. Some are well known and others are obscure – but all teach, inform and uplift. Two of the well-known speakers are Eliza R. Snow and Elaine A. Cannon. This is a large book with over 450 pages and is a wonderful resource for all who read it.