Truly a Gift

Daughters in My Kingdom: The History and Work of Relief Society has been written for you.  We hope you unwrap it, we hope you open it, we hope you read it.  This gift is a record of the legacy of women in the Church.  It also tells about how Relief Society is truly the restoration of an eternal pattern of discipleship.  It is a witness of the divine identity of our Heavenly Father’s daughters.  Daughters in My Kingdom contains inspiring examples and timeless truths, and we hope you have a profound personal experience with it.”

~ Julie B. Beck

Women of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints should each have their own copy of Daughters in my Kingdom. If you do not have your own copy and would like to read it, you can read it online here.

I was excited to receive my own copy of this wonderful resource and introduction to the Relief Society this past Sunday. Sister Beck has encouraged us all to read this book cover to cover and I plan on doing just that. I will chronicle my impression and thoughts on this site.

I’m not sure why this video wasn’t presented in the recent General Relief Society meeting, yet, here it is below. Enjoy.


Book News: My Book I’m Writing

I wrote a book.

And now…I’m writing another one.


I’m in the sixteenth revision of Scriptures and Tattoos, A Most Improved Life. As of right now, the book has been reviewed by a few people in the literary world and it seems after this final revision it will sent off to a few publishers.

From there…we wait.

How I’m Feeling About People Reading This Book:

In my bio on this blog, I write that I’m not Mormon enough for most Mormons and not non-Mormon enough for non-Mormons. This will not be a book you will find being promoted by Deseret or probably any other Mormon.There are curse naughty words. There are some situations in which I write about that are not ::ahem:: Mormonlly. This is a book about mental illness, alcoholism, addictions and dealing with being a Mormon convert when life isn’t so kind. It isn’t a sweet story or even a pleasant one. But it is real.

In one of the first drafts of the book, one person commented by saying it sounded as if I was venting. In the later revisions, I was told the story is compelling and haunting. A few weeks ago, I was told it was not only compelling, but inspiring. I hope it will remain inspiring.  Being mentally ill with all the other ‘stuff’ isn’t beautiful or fun. It’s ugly and cruel. However, I’m this little woman with a southern accent with a husband, kids, a dog and work a real job and studying for a real education. I’m your sister. Your daughter. Your next door neighbor. Your fellow soccer Mom. I want to shatter the stigma attached to mental illness and alcoholism. I want to blow the sucker up, because it shouldn’t apply. l

That lady next to you at church…what’s her name…Molly Mormon? Always at church and never turns down an assignment. Yet, she holds a secret. She’s depressed and sleeps eighteen hours a day. No one knows this because she’s afraid to tell people because …::gasp:: what would people think?  Would they tell her she needs to only pray a little harder and all that yucky sadness will go away? Will she even be taken seriously? Or will she be judged and stigmatized?

If you find yourself wondering why  I wrote Scriptures and Tattoos think about the questions above. You’ll have your answer.

What I’ve Learned:

This process has given me endless opportunities to work on patience and keeping still so I can listen to my conscience. There are many times in which I had sat down to write Scripts and Tatts and think of it as a complete waste of time. I didn’t want anyone to know how crazy being crazy is and here I am writing about it?! And I want it published? Not only that, I’m talking about addictions and alcoholism and then I’m throwing marital and family stuff in there along with being a Mormon.

Yeah, well, in my defense…I did say I was crazy.

Joining the Church for me was a huge blessing and I’ll never regret my decision. However, by converting, my life did not magically become like the days depicted in a Summer’s Eve commercial. (Yeah, I wrote Summer’s Eve and I know what it is. I’m only trying to keep you focused. It worked, right?)

Writing a Book is Harder Than Blogging:

I don’t view blogging as work. It energizes and relaxes me. Here I am on my own soapbox and there are people seeking this blog out to read what is on my mind. How could that be work? It’s not. It’s pretty darn awesome.

Writing a book is a conveyance of information and has to be (in my opinion) perfect. It’s going to be read by people who probably would never read this blog and people who do read this site and will expect the book to be the same tone of writing as I write here. It won’t be. And that may make some a little irritated with me.

What You Can Expect in Regards to Having Your Own Copy:

I feel strongly the book will be published in 2012. You heard it here first. However, I still have a lot left to do:

  • Add in those pesky mundane details that require a lot of research.
  • Read it with fresh and clear eyes in a few weeks as if I’ve never read it before…which I’m dreading… then make the necessary edits and rewrites.
  • Send it to my editor with the hope that all will be golden and we can proceed.

In other words…

Stay Tuned. 😉

Take 5 Friday Quick Notes (1)

— 1 —

Fifteen years ago on a hot and humid afternoon at 3:20pm, I gave birth to a 7lb 12oz baby girl in Fort Benning, Georgia. I was nineteen years old and scared to death. When I began having contractions, I remember thinking it was because I ate too much corn on the cob the night before. It wasn’t until my water broke that it dawned on me I was actually in labor.

Fifteen years ago, my life was forever changed…enhanced by this child who has brought me tremendous joy, has driven me crazy, has made me laugh, has made me cry, gives me hugs and gives me migraines. She’s been a blessing and a pain.

Fifteen years ago…I finally understood how amazingly intense and complex love actually is.

Fifteen years ago…I became a Mom for the first time.

Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. (Psalm 127:3-5)

— 2 —

It’s only been Day 5 of waking up at 4:45am to have my daughter at Seminary by 6am and all I keep thinking is…”It’s only Day 5.” She’s not complaining and seems pretty happy about attending. However…call me a pessimist…but it is only Day 5.

— 3 —

There are many things occurring in our lives right now including the unexpected roadblocks which had me on the telephone all morning yesterday. I also was finding myself trying to track down paperwork from almost twenty years ago and trying to remember how to speak my birth language: Hillbillynese.

— 4 —

I received a new calling this past Sunday in which I’m in charge of our ward’s bulletin. Having always felt the font on our bulletin was difficult to read, a bit jumbled and confusing, I’ve been working on creating an easier to read bulletin that isn’t causing anyone to strain their eyes. In my ‘research’ (AKA Google) I found this wonderful site that has everything you need to assist you in your church callings. I’m sure many people who have been members for a long time already know about this site…but for us recent converts…this site is fantastic!

— 5 —

I received a couple of emails from readers (which allow me to say…I LOVE receiving emails from readers of my blogs! I’m tickled of how many readers this site has already accumulated. I’ll blog for comments and emails, people. Really.) who have asked me if I had any book suggestions regarding spirituality and LDS faith that has helped me since my conversion and aided in the conversion itself. With the exception of The Scriptures themselves (which is a total given) here are some of my favorites and must reads:

The History of Joseph Smith by His Mother

Not only does this book give you a sense of who Joseph Smith is as a person, but it also gives you an insight on how difficult it must have been for not only him and his young wife, but also his mother. It strengthen my testimony in knowing Joseph Smith is a true prophet and helped me understand all that he had to suffer and lose to do God’s will.

When You Can’t Do It Alone

I went through a very difficult time after my conversion. A friend had given me this book and it is still a book I turn to every now and then when I need some reminders that I don’t always have to try to do it alone.

“It’s easy to trust in the Lord when everything’s going your way. But what happens when you experience challenges and difficulties that leave you so spiritually exhausted that you can’t see God’s hand in your life? As a newly called mission president, author Brent L. Top experienced a severe emotional and spiritual crisis. Desperate for help, he discovered that knowing where to turn is not enough; we must allow the Savior to rescue us.”

Mere Christianity

This book is an easy read and one of the first books I read after I left the Jehovah Witness organization. It helped me understand true Christianity. “Rejecting the boundaries that divide Christianity’s many denominations, C.S. Lewis finds a common ground on which all those who have Christian faith can stand together, proving that ‘at the center of each there is something, or a Someone, who against all divergences of belief, all differences of temperament, all memories of mutual persecution, speaks the same voice.’ “

Below is a linky list if you’d like to add a link to your own Take 5 Friday Quick Notes post. (1) Make sure the link you submit is to the URL of your post and not your main blog URL. (2) Include a link back here.

What We’re Reading

Rescuing Wayward Children by Larry Barkdull was shown to me when I visited Beehive Books last week. I didn’t think the book related to me as my children are still developing their own spiritual conscience. Upon reading the first few pages, I have quickly found this book difficult to put down.

The book really isn’t about wayward children. It has more to do with us as individuals. It teaches how each of us should become more sanctified to be used by the Lord in helping loved ones who may be struggling with their testimonies. It is a guide of an encouragement, urging us to work on our own salvation and trust in our Heavenly Father to take care of the wayward children. It isn’t a book to help ‘fix’ anyone…but a book on how the reader can be a better parent and individual.

Tennis Shoes Among the Nephites by Chris Heimerdinger is the first book in a series. My eleven year old son started reading this book last week and hasn’t stopped talking about it.


“Jim Hawkins has a bad attitude. What’s more, he enjoys having a bad attitude about everything — especially about church.

Garth Plimpton is a fanatic. He’s spent so much time studying the scriptures and thick books on archeology that he can’t carry on a normal conversation with other kids. That’s why they consider him a nerd.

Through an unusual chain of events, these two opposites become fast friends. It all began when Garth told Jim a simple truth:

“They really existed, you know.”

“Who?” Jim asked.

“Nephites,” Garth replied. “Every character in the Book of Mormon ate, slept, died, was buried . . .”

That statement, taken for granted before, would soon echo deeply in the two boys’ minds — because they were on the trail of a chilling secret. At the root of this secret was a faded Indian legend that old men told children to make their eyes grow big. As Garth and Jim put the pieces of the puzzle together, they accidentally stumble upon a mysterious passageway hurling them into another world — an ancient American world.

Join Jim, Garth, and Jim’s pesky little sister, Jennifer, as they journey in a land where the names Helaman, Teancum, and Captain Moroni are more than just words on a page. A world where danger and suspense are a way of life. . .”

What books are you and your family reading? Leave a comment below and share your book choices!