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LDS General Conference is right around the corner and I have collected some of the best books to educate, motivate and inspire each of us to become better. 

The Melchizedek Priesthood: Understanding the Doctrine, Living the Principles, by Dale G. Renlund and Ruth Lybbert Renlund, is a guide to help members of the church better understand the Priesthood and enable them to work closer together and achieve the blessings of the Priesthood. There are two sections in this outstanding book. The first section is titled “Foundations of the Priesthood” and is compiled of eight chapters. These chapters define and describe what the Priesthood is and the uses and the commandments that the Lord has prescribed for our ultimate benefit. The second section is titled “Doctrine of the Priesthood” and the rest of the chapters are broken into fifteen principles to utilize the Priesthood blessings as the Lord would desire of us. Some of these principles include “A Calling to the Priesthood is a Calling to Serve”, “Priesthood Power and Influences are Maintained Using Christlike Attributes” and “A Priesthood Holder Judges Righteously”. Each chapter begins with a scripture referencing the principle the reader is about to read. The last principle mentioned here follows the scripture from 3 Nephi 27:27: “Ye shall be judges of this people”.

Latter-Day Temples Coloring Book, designed by Britnee Conln, is an elegant and beautifully crafted coloring book featuring some of the magnificent and elegant parts of architecture from fifty different temples

from around the world. There is the glowing sun motif from the Lubbock Texas Temple and the many-sided star motif from the Manhattan New York Temple. The exquisite floral motif extending throughout the design is from the Paris France Temple. All are just drawn with great detail waiting for your color to add to the beauty of these glorious temples. This is best for ages six through adult.

Courage to be You (Inspiring Lessons from an Unexpected Journey), by Gail Miller, with Jason F. Wright, is a great read into the life and heart of a very special woman whose husband was the late great Larry H. Miller. The way this insightful book is written reads like you are visiting an old friend. Gail Miller has had her ups and downs throughout her life. When she and her husband were starting out and he was building his business, Sister Miller had difficult times raising her children while her husband was working long hours at the car dealership. But she learned throughout these difficult times and during the good times, real success is: #1. The depth of our relationship with God; #2. The quality of our relationship with others; and #3. Our stewardship over the gifts and resources God has entrusted to us.

Certain Women, by Linda K. Burton, is a smallish sized book that celebrates women who have served the Lord well through the scriptures and church history. The unmarried woman invited others as she confirmed her knowledge of Christ by posing the question: “Is not this the Christ?” [John 4:29]. Her faith and conviction was so strong that “Many believed on Him.” [John 4:39]. Sarah M. Kimball back in the 1800’s “The women would churn and cheerfully send their butter to the workmen on the Temple and eat without any on their own tables.”

Celebrating A Christ-Centered Easter (Children’s Edition), by Emily Belle Freeman and David Butler, and colorfully painted by Ryan Jeppesen, is a children’s picture book version of the adult book that Ms. Freeman wrote a few years ago titled, “The Christ-Centered Home: Inviting the Savior In”. I mention this book because it should be on every family book shelf. In fact, my most favorite Christmas book for families is also by Ms. Freeman and this has a similar outline of daily activities for families to do to keep Christ at the center of your home. That book is “Celebrating a Christ-Centered Christmas: Seven Traditions to Lead us Closer to the Savior”. In this most recent book, Ms. Freeman begins with Jesus’ entering Jerusalem just prior to the Passover. There is a brief description of what His followers did to celebrate his entry into the city by laying palm branches in front of his path. Then a question is presented to the reader: “On the first Easter, people found ways to celebrate Jesus. Could you?” The rest of this picture book is constructed this way opening questions and discussions with youngsters ages four through ten.