Monday, October 20, 2014

LDS NONFICTION: Visions of Hope by Annie Henrie


The most fundamental questions in our lives—questions about where we came from, why we are here, and where we are gonig—are answered when we have a true understanding of the plan of salvation. Now, our understanding is deepened and enlivened by this beautifully illustrated depiction of God's eternal plan for His children. In her unique, richly textured style, fine artist Annie Henrie offers a visual interpretations of the plan of salvation, including pre-earth life, the Creation, the Fall of Adam and Eve, life on earth, the spirit world, the Atonement and the Resurrection, and the kingdoms of glory. Accompanied by text from the scriptures, each exquisite image testifies of God's love for us and of His plan of happiness.


ANNIE HENRIE graduated with a bachelor of fine arts degree from Brigham Young University in April 2012, and since the age of sixteen she has shown her work in galleries, including Bronze Coast Gallery in Cannon Beach, Oregon; Authentique Gallery in St. George, Utah; and Deseret Book stores. Annie grew up in Bountiful, Utah, and is the daughter of Cary and Sauni Henrie. Her father, also a professional artist, has taught his daughter how to paint and draw since she was in kindergarten. Annie’s work is inspired by her experiences serving as a missionary in southern England and studying Renaissance art in Italy. She currently resides in Salt Lake City, Utah.


This book beautifully and simply illustrates the plan of salvation through the use of scriptures and paintings.  I found the book to be thoroughly enjoyable and gorgeous.  The paintings are touching and almost glow which suits the feel of the book very well.  The book moves through the main parts of the plan of salvation: pre-earth life, birth, life on earth, death, spirit world, resurrection and judgment and the three degrees of glory.  I especially enjoyed the paintings showing joy (a family), the resurrection, and the Lord's work and the glory.  A truly inspiring book that would work really well for a family home evening or church lesson.  Highly recommended.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Coming to DVD on October 14th!

Releases October 14, 2014
Germany, May 1945, the twilight of World War II. On a final mission deep in the Harz mountains, a U.S. tank crew discovers a platoon of Germans, including three infamous Panzer tanks, preparing to ambush allied supply trucks.
Before the war, private Jesse Owens was a product of segregation and racial discrimination, forced by law to ride in the back of the bus and disenfranchised from the political process. As the Germans bear down on the Americans, Owens fights the Axis powers for a freedom he and his fellow African American soldiers have never felt.
With a deadly game of cat and mouse quickly unfolding, Owens and his predominantly white tank crew find themselves out-gunned and out-manned by the German Panzer tanks. Several in Owens's crew are reluctant to put their faith in a black tank driver despite their dire circumstances. With tension and fear beginning to manifest, Owens knows they must put aside their differences to stop the enemy from achieving their deadly plan. Knowing that a victory over the Nazis means a victory for racial justice, Owens and his men find a way to work together to save hundreds of lives in a desperate battle against the greatest odds they have ever faced.

Product Details
Rating:  PG-13
Region:  1
Running Time:  1 hr. 36 min.
Publisher:  Excel Entertainment 2014


EXCEL ENTERTAINMENT is the preeminent independent film distribution company in Utah, and though largely known for its Mormon-themed films (God’s Army, The Work & the Glory series, 17 Miracles, Pride & Prejudice, etc.), Excel has also had success releasing films with non-Mormon themes and stories (Forever Strong, Saints & Soldiers, etc.).
Although the technology and means by which audiences consume films is changing rapidly, the demand for highly creative storytelling that motivates us to live up to the light that each of us has been given is as high as ever. We feel a deep obligation to not only bring stories of hope to the world, but to promote films with high standards of craftsmanship reflective of a belief in a divine and benevolent creator.



1 DVD of Saints and Soldiers: The Void
US only

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Monday, October 13, 2014

LDS NONFICTION: The Miracles of Jesus by Eric D. Huntsman


Foreseen by prophets before Jesus' birth, witnesses by many during his life, and read about by millions since, the miracles of Jesus are a distinguishing aspect of his mortal ministry.

Both then and now, these miracles are powerful witnesses that Jesus is the Christ, God's anointed servant and the Savior of mankind. He performed many miracles ranging from feeding multitudes to giving sight to the blind and restoring life and health to the infirm.

But these miracles were more than just blessings to the individuals involved. Each one contains symbols that teach us about Jesus, his atonement, and the greater miracles that he can work in the lives of all of us.

In The Miracles of Jesus, author Eric D. Huntsman blends perceptive doctrinal insights with historical context, literary analysis, and specific personal application. His exploration of the meaning and symbolism of each of the Savior's miracles shows us how they can bless us in the challenges we ourselves face today. Here, for example, he draws connections between the devils the Savior cast out and the demons we or loved ones may face in overcoming addiction or recovering from abuse. And we see in a new way how the promise inherent in Christ's raising of Lazarus and the daughter of Jairus can comfort us at the death of someone we love.

Fine-art paintings and musical meditations enhance our experience by illustrating Jesus' miracles and their power. Photographs of sites in the Holy Land where many of the miracles were performed give us a sense of place, reinforcing the fact that they really happened.

Through these inspirational means, we find that the miracles Jesus performed in New Testament times can become a springboard to the miracles that continue to occur in our own lives—transformations made possible through the Atonement of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

“Huntsman knows his way around the library when it comes to the New Testament. He speaks authoritatively about Greek and Latin roots, he has a clear grasp of both textual and historical criticism. The result is a compelling book that is equal parts devotional and scholarly. There is much that will challenge us intellectually and invite us to read deeply. All of the miracles point directly to the greatest miracle of all: Christ’s Atonement, with its victory over both spiritual and physical decay.” - Michael Austin


ERIC D. HUNTSMAN is an associate professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University, where he serves as the coordinator of the Ancient Near Eastern Studies program in the Kennedy Center for International Studies and is affiliated with the Classics program. After graduating from BYU in classical Greek and Latin, he earned a Ph.D. in ancient history from the University of Pennsylvania. He joined the BYU faculty in 1994.

The author of the acclaimed God So Loved the World: The Final Days of the Savior’s Life and Good Tidings of Great Joy: An Advent Celebration of the Savior’s Birth, both from Deseret Book, Dr. Huntsman has also published numerous articles on the New Testament and the writings of John.

He served as a full-time missionary in the Thailand Bangkok Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and as a bishop in Provo, Utah. Brother Huntsman is an ordinance worker in the Provo Utah Temple and sings in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He and his wife, Elaine Scott Huntsman, are the parents of two children.


Some of the most powerful accounts in all scripture revolve around the miracles Jesus performed during his mortal life.  Huntsman looks at these accounts not only as the incredible moments that they were but also the power symbolism that they involve.  Using explanations of ancient language, gorgeous artwork, interesting sidebars, as well as musical references, the reader is taken on a journey through Christ's life and what it can all mean in our own lives today.

One of the things that Huntsman mentions that I found very interesting is how many people see what Christ did in terms of healing the sick or commanding the elements as 'unnatural' or 'supernatural'. He points out that since Christ is the Creator, nothing he did was unnatural.  He also suggests that there are many laws that we simply may not be aware of yet.  And I strongly believe he is correct.

The overall impression I got of this book was that the miracles that Jesus performed all come together to do one thing and that is identify Christ as the divine being that he was and is still.  His miracles were not intended to be signs but witnesses to those already willing to believe.  Such miracles are not limited to Christ's mortal life, He is still more than willing to offer miracles to us, but we have to exercise the faith necessary to accept what he offers, even when it isn't what we originally wanted.

Monday, October 6, 2014

LDS BOOK REVIEW: It is Better to Look Up


We all love to be taught with stories. The Savior shared many in his ministry, and His prophets and other Church leaders have often emulated that great example. Gospel lessons come alive when they are presented in this way.

It Is Better to Look Up gathers more than fifty of the most memorable personal experiences shared in general conference over the years and pairs them with stunning photographic images. The result is an irresistible volume filled with remarkable true accounts of God's hand in our lives.

You'll love browsing through such gems as "In Harm's Way," by President Thomas S. Monson; "Man Down!" by President Henry B. Eyring; "Lift Where You Stand," by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf; "You Stupid Cow!" by Elder Mervyn B. Arnold; "Worldly Promises," by Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson; and dozens more. These short pieces are perfect for a quick moment of inspiration in a class, a home evening, or personal devotional time. Each one is presented with a scripture to complement the gospel message.

Featuring stories from every member of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve, plus many additional leaders past and present, this beautifully illustrated book will soon become a family favorite and a precious keepsake.


This is an incredibly beautiful book full of wonderful stories from past and present general authorities.  These stories have been shared in general conferences over many years and it's wonderful to have them all together with beautiful photographs included.  This would make a wonderful collectors item as well as a valuable reference for family home evening, talks, and lessons. Each story has a lesson to teach and encourages reflection and discussion.

EXCERPTS (from Deseret Book Website)




Thursday, October 2, 2014

FAVORITE AUTHOR REVIEW: For Elise by Sarah M. Eden


In the sprawling gardens of their neighboring estates, childhood friends Miles and Elise spent countless pleasant days together in the spirited adventures of youth. They were inseparable—until Elise vanished without a trace. Miles searched, but Elise could not—or would not—be found . . .

After years spent laboring on the family plantation in the West Indies, Miles Linwood is shocked by the unexpected news: he has inherited his uncle’s estate and the title of Marquess of Grenton. Miles’s return to England is tarnished by only one thing—he is still haunted by Elise’s mysterious disappearance. So when he glimpses a woman with a startling resemblance to his lost friend, he’s shaken to the core. This is no mere shadow of the past: it is truly Elise. But his dear friend has changed—to the point that he questions whether it is really her, though he knows it is. Accustomed to rescuing Elise from childhood escapades, Miles takes her and those in her care back to his estate, even as he struggles to understand her fear and mistrust. As their friendship and feelings slowly blossom again, the shocking truth of their separated years is revealed, and Miles realizes more than ever that he must protect Elise. She slipped away once, and he cannot lose her again.


SARAH M. EDEN read her first Jane Austen novel in elementary school and has been an Austen addict ever since. Fascinated by the English Regency era, Eden became a regular in that section of the reference department at her local library, where she painstakingly researched this extraordinary chapter in history. Eden is an award-winning author of short stories and was a Whitney Award finalist for her novels Seeking Persephone and Courting Miss Lancaster. Visit her at


I finally got around to finishing this and unsurprisingly I loved it.  It's no wonder that Sarah Eden is one of my all time favorite authors.  I loved the characters, Miles and Elise especially.  The character development is especially good as we gradually learn what led to Miles and Elise going in different directions and what has happened to Elise in the four years they have been apart.  I also really enjoyed the part that Elise's daughter Anne played in the story.  She is such a sweet addition to the story and her relationship with Miles is fun.

The murder mystery part of the story adds a great deal to the mystery surrounding Elise's disappearance. The author does a great job slowly revealing the events of the murders and what exactly happened to Elise that contributed to her leaving.  I think what I love the most about Sarah Eden's books is how real her characters feel with real struggles and emotions and challenges.  Miles struggles with trying to help Elise while figuring out why she disappeared and why she doesn't trust him, especially after how close they were growing up.  Elise struggles with trusting anyone, even Miles, after all the tragedies that have befallen her. The last four years hadn't been kind to her and after how Miles hurt her she's reluctant to trust anyone and yet she desperately needs help.

It's nice to read a clean romance that has some depth to it that feels genuine.  Another wonderful book from a wonderful author.

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