Book Review: To Defend Them By Stratagem, by Michaela Stephens

Book Review: To Defend Them By Stratagem, Fortify Yourself with Book of Mormon War Tactics, by Michaela Stephens

While there are deep scholarly looks at the battles in the Book of Mormon (e.g.; Warfare in the Book of Mormon, by Hamblin and Ricks), this is perhaps the first book I’ve read that examines the war chapters in order to assist us in our daily battle against sin and temptation.

The book contains about 40 short chapters, each looking at events involved in the various wars, including preparation for war, strategies for winning war, and reasons each side had for war.  Chapter headings include: King Benjamin’s Nearly Invisible Battles, Clash of the Worldviews, King Noah’s Paranoid Panic Mode, The Back-story to Captain Moroni’s Meteoric Rise, Hard Things First, A Type of Christ – Frees the Prisoners of Gid, Coriantumr’s Blitzkrieg, and too many more to mention here. Continue reading

Book Review: Exploring the Apocrypha by Jared Ludlow

Book Review: Exploring the Apocrypha from a Latter-day Saint Perspective, by Jared W. Ludlow

While making his translation of the Bible, Joseph Smith asked the Lord whether he should include the Apocrypha in his translation.  The Lord responded that there were many good and true things in the Apocrypha, but also many interpolations of men, and so Joseph was not to translate it (D&C 91). Instead, the Lord said that a person guided by the Spirit could gain much value out of reading the Apocrypha.

In Exploring the Apocrypha, Ludlow discusses the history of the Apocrypha and gives an overview of each of the books. Continue reading

Book Review: Saints, Slaves & Blacks 2nd Ed

Book Review: Saints, Slaves & Blacks – The Changing Place of Black People Within Mormonism, 2nd Edition, by Newell G. Bringhurst

Saints, Slaves, and Blacks: The Changing Place of Black People Within Mormonism, 2nd ed.

I joined the LDS Church at the age of 16 in 1975 in Western Montana. For me, the Civil Rights protests were important, but were as far away as the struggle in Vietnam. I didn’t know any black people, and knew few of other minority races. To me, they were just people like I was. The Civil War was not big history for us, because Montana wasn’t involved in slavery nor abolitionism. Our history was about cowboys and Indians, vigilantes, and mountain men.

June 8, 1978, I was waiting for a LDS friend of mine to pick me up to see a movie, when he told me about the announcement on the priesthood revelation. Continue reading

And another Announcement!

Not an April Fool’s Day joke.

Home and Visiting teaching are no longer.

Priesthood, RS and YW will now do Ministering.

No prepared lessons from the Ensign. No visiting in every home. Visits done will include and be supplemented by phone, email, etc. No visit number reporting every month. The Church cares that we minister and care for others, not so much in how we do it.

The Church will email more details out to every member they have an email address for.

Also, details will soon be available at


Priesthood Announcement

In PH meeting, Pres Nelson, and Elders Christofferson  and Rasband are announcing a big priesthood quorum change.

The high priest quorum now consists of active stake presidencies, high councils, bishoprics and patriarchs. The stake president is president of this quorum.

All other brethren will be in one Elders/Melchizedek PH Quorum. Stake presidents will call new presidencies as soon as it is convenient.

This will bless the members by strengthening one another with their experience, talents and skills.

No more PEC meetings. All will work within the Ward Council. Where needed, a bishop can call a special meeting with only those needed, to handle sensitive issues.