General Conference is right around the corner and here are some outstanding books to help motivate your family to stay on a spiritual high and other books to encourage and inspire. The last book is perfect for children ages five through eight. The rest of the books are good for adults and parents.
To Become Like God: Witnesses of Our Divine Potential, by Andrew C. Skinner, showcases all that man can be and become because of the saving grace of the Savior’s atoning sacrifice. Through His Atonement, we can live once again with God the Father and His Son and even become as He is. Dr. Skinner discusses historical facts of our Godly traits prior to the time of the apostasy. Included in the chapter headings are: The Nature of God, The Father’s Perfect Plan, The Witness from Post-Apostolic Writers, and Witnesses from the Restored Gospel. This is a powerful testimony-building book about the greatest path back to our Savior and the Father.
The First Fifty Years of Relief Society (Key Documents in Latter-Day Saint Women’s History), from The Church Historian’s Press, is a detailed account of the LDS Relief Society through social, economic, geographic, political and government growth during the 19th Century. The tremendous impact women made on the American West, and beyond, is documented and discussed. This thick book has close to seven hundred pages of documented history, photographs and rare documents. The last fifth of the book is filled with reference materials supporting all the facts discussed. This accurate and interesting book starts with the beginnings of the Nauvoo Female Relief Society meetings and the purpose of its inception. The diligent women who worked so hard for others are highlighted in this book including Emma Smith and Eliza R. Snow.
The Holy Week for Latter-Day Saint Families: A Guide for Celebrating Easter, by Wendee Wilcox Rosborough, is just what a family should desire for this Easter season! It centers on the true value and meaning of Easter by taking a family through the entire week prior to Christ’s resurrection. Beginning with Palm Sunday, your family can celebrate each day with meaning and simple preparations to enlighten and ensure a complete understanding of Christ’s last days on earth. Each day has a title: Cleansing Monday, Parable Tuesday, Betrayal Wednesday and so on. Relating to each day’s theme are scriptures, messages, music and even delicious recipes. All of these parts to go with each day are not difficult to follow or make. In fact, the book is small and the layout is simple making this book perfect for families to tie-in the important religious significance to Easter. Be sure to read the beautiful foreword by the author’s father, Brad Wilcox.
Covenant Keepers: Unlocking the Miracles God Wants for You, by Wendy Watson Nelson, reminds us of the commitment we make when we covenant to the Lord and make promises to keep these important covenants. This small sized book is a quick read and Sister Nelson fills it with personal experiences and lessons she’s learned to help us keep our covenants with the Lord. She even has outlined a twenty-one day commitment in keeping covenants that’s sure to build and strengthen our testimonies. Some of the chapters include: “Temple Worship and the Power of Sacrifice”, “The Power that Flows from Our Covenant of Service” and “Angels above Us are Doing More than Silently Taking Notes”.
Before and After: The Lost Lectures of Walt Disney’s Animated Studio, by Don Hahn and Tracy Miller-Zarneke, showcases the highest level of artistry that Disney was always attempting to achieve as he would begin a new project. He did something very rare in his early years of building his art studio – he had his artists attend school. Disney had so much money invested other places that there was little left to pay for his artists to go to school. But he knew his artists needed more experience, lessons and understanding of light, shading and color in order to make what he envisioned for his first full-length animated movie of Snow White. He said, “The first thing I did when I got a little money to experiment, I put all my artists back in school.” Disney expected so much more than the time and era had yet produced. But he didn’t let that stop him. He set about establishing the highest bar for himself and his crew and every year he went about making the bar a little higher. This was the 1930’s and war was eminent. And because of the war and a serious labor strike, these lectures were filed away. Now eighty years later, they’ve been rediscovered. And these lectures show how devoted he was to his crew, his brother and his creative vision. It’s a rare look at a devoted man who treated his family and company with respect. It also shows how hard work and striving for excellence pays off.
Proverbs for Young People, written and illustrated by Jack E. Levin, is a small sized book with simple, well known epithets/messages, but with a powerful impact! Each double-page entry takes a life lesson and through both word and picture, a teachable proverb can be learned such as “The doors of wisdom are never closed”. This open page proverb shows a girl entering the school door. The other side shows the same girl reading and studying at home in the evening. Another is “Practice makes perfect.” One side of the open book shows a boy on the ground with his bike tipped over. The opposite page shows him riding his bike with confidence. There are many conversations waiting to be discussed with family members concerning every page of this exceptional book. And the preface by Levin’s son, Mark, is insightful and enlightening.