Tag Archive | LDS

Called To Serve Him: My 18-Month Blogging Hiatus

Attention: This is a scheduled, pre-written, post. I will be serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Jan. 2017 through Jul. 2018, and will not be checking my blog email, or updating my blog during that time. (I may have some already written posts scheduled go live during that time, but I will not be active on my blog, and those posts will be entirely my own opinion, and not representative of the opinions or stances of the church).

Any book requests or other communication received in that time will not be responded to until after June 2018.


This is a scheduled post. I’m writing this on Nov. 28th, 2016, but by the time you’re reading it, the date will be Jan. 4th, 2017, and I will be entering the Provo Missionary Training Center (MTC) for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as LDS or Mormon). I will be in the MTC for three weeks, to help me become the best missionary I can be. I will spend a total of 18 months serving the Lord in Provo, Utah, and I could not possibly be more excited!

I am ecstatic to be able to share this exciting news with you!
I have been called to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! I will be serving in the Utah Provo mission for a period of eighteen months, and I will leave Jan. 4th. I’m super excited! Being able to dedicate a year and a half of my life to serving God and His children has been my dream since I was about 6, and by the time you’re reading this, I’ll have already begun to live that dream! I am so thrilled to be able to share the gospel and help show people how much God loves them. This church makes me so happy, all I want is to be able to share that joy with all of God’s children.

P.S. Anyone who’s interested in some more info Can follow these lovely links:

 Mormon missionaries: https://www.mormon.org/chat

Six Things You’ve Always Wondered About Mormon Missionaries: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Un9qtWGDPA

Jesus Christhttps://www.mormon.org/beliefs/jesus-christ

The Book of Mormonhttps://www.mormon.org/beliefs/book-of-mormon

The Purpose of Lifehttps://www.mormon.org/beliefs/purpose-of-life

Being a “Mormon”https://www.mormon.org/beliefs/church-community

Dealing with Depression: https://www.lds.org/youth/article/dealing-with-depression?lang=eng

Other sourceshttps://www.lds.org/


My Favorite Song about Missionarieshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzLE0W9geVs


As a missionary, I will be completely dedicating my life to serving others and sharing the gospel, and because of that, I will not be checking this blog, posting on this blog, or checking my various email addresses associated with it for the eighteen months I am serving as a missionary. I will try and write as many posts as possible before I leave, so that I can schedule them to go live while I’m gone, but I will not be reading comments / responding to emails / etc., for the next eighteen months! 

Thank you all so much for the support over the past 4 years of blogging, I’ve loved every moment of it!

See ya in eighteen!



 “And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.” – The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, 2nd Nephi 25: 26



Review: A Tale of Light and Shadow – By Jacob Gowans


Cover image and summary from Goodreads.com.

Title: A Tale of Light and Shadow

Author: Jacob Gowans

Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 of 5)

Genre / Pages: Fantasy / 400

Summary: Enter Atolas, a world where swords and daggers both extend life and end it, where magic is feared by all but a few, and where feuds and friendships influence kingdoms and courtships. Henry and Isabelle have secretly sworn to marry despite his lowly station. Though Henry is but a carpenter, his devotion drives him to commit an unthinkable act that may cost both of them their lives. At the same time, a secret, dark prophecy has set in motion events that will affect not only them, but the thrones of rulers throughout all of Atolas, threatening to eclipse the world in shadow. But all is not lost while hope remains in the guise of an unlikely hero and the strength of friendship.

Cover Art Expectations: This is one of the new sections I’ve started adding to my reviews, and I’m loving it! Let’s be real here, everybody judges a book by it’s cover. You kinda have to, because there are so many books to choose from, you have to quickly narrow down choices somehow. There are certain expectations one gathers based on covers. Mine were the following:

  • Sweet Romance novel (Kinda true, kinda not, I’ll explain later.)
  • Medieval fantasy (Yup, this one’s true, for sure)
  • Old, Patricia Wrede style, writing (No, not really)

Overall, it’s a simple, pretty, cover that brings to mind epics such as the Princess Bride. I did read on the author’s website, that he was very opposed to these new covers that were marketing his books as a romance, but, in all honesty, I think it’s a pretty accurate representation of the book’s content. Cover art rating: ★★★★☆ (4 of 5)

My Review: A quick shoutout to my friend Jonah for recommending that I read this book – thank you! Little bit of a tangent here, but I love reading books on the recommendations of my friends, because then you have a built-in fellow reader with whom to discuss the book once you’ve finished it! It’s always a bit disappointing when you read a book that you love and then don’t have anyone with whom to discuss it.  So thank you to all my awesome bookish friends, be you people I know in real life, or my fellow book bloggers. :)

From the very first chapter, this epic fantasy enchanted me, intrigued me, and pulled me into the world. The rest of the book didn’t disappoint – I loved it! It was the author’s first written book, and that is noticeable at times, but I always cut debuts a little bit of extra slack. (Not his first published book, but a book that he wrote when he was 18, and published later). I really wish that this book had explored the magic and magical creatures aspect of the world more. It was referenced and alluded to multiple times, but was never actually fleshed out, which disappointed me a bit. The magic was built up to be important, used when needed, and then brushed aside to avoid having to dedicate time to addressing it. My guess is that the author decided to wait till the second book to address it (I am SUPER excited to read the second book, btw). Aside from the magic thing, I think the author did an excellent job of world, plot, and character building. It was a thoroughly enjoyable adventure. I also really liked that the story was being told by a storyteller, that was a fun aspect.

Hero / Heroine: Henry: The youngest master carpenter around, and in love with a fallen nobleman’s daughter, Henry’s life isn’t very easy. However, he is a fantastic and realistic character, and one that I think you will thoroughly enjoy reading about. One of my favorite aspects about his character is that he isn’t a great warrior, he doesn’t have much combat training, and he’s not the first fictional character I’d call up if I had been kidnapped by an evil tyrant. But,”Life [had] taught [Isabelle] that Henry could protect her without using a sword.” I found that to be a very refreshing take on the lead in medieval fantasy such as this one. Henry may not be a natural leader, or skilled in swordplay, but he is incredibly brave and loyal – and I think that counts for an awful lot.

Isabelle: Fiesty is a good word to describe her. She’s kind, brave, and ready to stand up for herself and her friends. She’s more than just the love interest, which is great, because characters that exist only to be love interests are always boring. I don’t feel like I got to know her as well as I would have liked, due to certain circumstances, but what I did learn about her, I really loved. She was complex, flawed, and incredibly compassionate and courageous. What’s not to love?

Plot: Tale is a romance in the same way that The Princess Bride  is a romance – there’s plenty of adventure, action, and intrigue, but it all exists for the purpose of advancing the romantic plot. In fact, the more I think about it, the more Tale does remind me of  The Princess Bride, in the very best of ways. The only thing I really disliked about this book, was the ending. Due to the events of the last 5% of the book, it kinda felt like nothing ended up being accomplished by the characters at all. I think that’s something that comes with the debut novel part, though… The author just didn’t have the pacing or plotting quite mastered yet. Aside from that, I really enjoyed the plot. The adventure was fun and unpredictable, the characters were well developed, enjoyable, and realistic, the brewing war and political subterfuge was intriguing, and the betrayals were unexpected but believable. Honestly, I think one of my favorite aspects of the novel was the character dynamics – they were unlike any other band of unlikely traveling companions I’ve ever read about, and it was really fun.

Content Advisory: Some violence, captivity, torture, execution, and death (both in battle and at home). Mentions and threats of sex slavery. A teenage girl is sold into sex slavery. Alcoholism and drunkenness. Intense sequences of father-daughter domestic violence. Nothing sexually explicit or graphically violent. 

Raising Awareness: I’ve discovered that you can learn very important things from every book you read, so I will start highlighting one of those things in this section of my reviews. The rising action of this book is when a teenage girl is sold into sex slavery. It’s very easy to read this book, be horrified by the idea of sex slavery, and then feel comforted to remember that we abolished slavery 150 years ago. See how civilized and humane we are? Slavery is all gone now! Um, no. No, it’s definitely not. In fact, there are more slaves in the world today than ever before in human history. These are labor  (mining, sweat shops, etc) and sex (Brothels, massage parlors, trafficking rings, etc) slaves . But that’s in the third world countries, right? Sorry, but no. I live in Dallas, Texas. Houston, Texas, USA is 4 hours away from me. Houston is the number one sex trafficking hub in the entire country. This is in your neighborhood, your strip mall, your workplace. It’s everywhere. Check out Traffick911 and the 8 Days film for more information, and to see how you can help. #AwarenessISkey #SlaveryStillExists #ThisEndsNow

To Sum it Up: 400 pages may seem long, but I read this book in almost no time at all! I could hardly put it down. If you like The Princess Bride story feel, quirky characters, and crazy adventures, then A Tale of Light and Shadow  is the book for you! I loved it and I bet you will, too. :) I highly recommend this book to readers ages 13 and up. 


Biographical Review! David W. Patten: Apostle and Martyr — Linda Shelley Whiting

Biography time!

Cover Image and Summary from Goodreads.com. Image links to amazon page.

Cover Image and Summary from Goodreads.com. Image links to amazon page.

Title: David W. Patten: Apostle and Martyr

Author: Linda Shelley Whiting

Summary: David W. Patten was one of the most influential and dearly-loved leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in its formative years of 1832-1838. Patten joined the Church in 1832 and was immediately sent on a mission. He soon performed his first priesthood healing, and word quickly spread about his ability to heal the sick. People approached him daily to be healed. Over the next six years he served eight missions, where he blessed thousands of people and baptized hundreds into the Church. Patten was the Captain of the Cavalry of the Mormon Militia at Far West. He led his men in assisting families driven from their homes during the Missouri persecutions, earning the nickname of “Captain Fearnot” among his people. On October 25, 1838, he commanded the Mormon Militia against anti-Mormon forces at the Battle of Crooked River. Patten was mortally wounded during the battle, but his legacy of faith in Jesus Christ lives on.

Pages/Genre: 218 / Biography

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 (6/5 stars)

Amazon. Goodreads.

My Review: I don’t really know how to properly express my love for this book, and for the man who is at the center of it. Almost 12 years in the making, ten years of research and eighteen months of writing culminate into what many (myself included) consider the single best biography of David W. Patten that has ever been written. Easy to read, Sister Whiting wrote with incredible power and authority, and I was never bored.

The writing style was engaging, with easily accessible chapter end notes, and very factually told. It was clearly organized chronologically, and you never get lost amid dates (something I have experienced in other biographies). It is clear that historical accuracy was the single most important thing in the writing of this biography, and that is an admirable feat. I have read far too many biographies where the author is more interested in making the stories sensational and fun, than they are in telling the truth. Luckily for Sister Whiting, David W. Patten’s life needs no exaggeration. He baptised hundreds of people, and healed thousands. The personal accounts contained within this book touched my heart, and warmed my soul.

Content Advisory: True accounts of horrific persecution, abuse, and war. Told factually, but there is still some intense violent content.

To Sum it Up: President Lorenzo Snow commended every person to an honest study of the life of David W. Patten, and Linda Whiting is comprehensive, engaging, and inspirational in her writing of that story. If you have any interest in reading a biography of the first apostolic martyr of this dispensation, THIS is the book you need to read. It was worth every penny I spent on it, and so much more! David W. Patten is truly an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. I know that he was called of God, and that his work continues to this day.  David W. Patten is my hero. Buy your own copy of this biography HERE.

Learn more about what he taught, and what I believe, here: http://www.mormon.org/ and here: https://www.lds.org/


The Book of Mormon - Another Testament of Jesus Christ

The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ

I decided to join the fabulous #booksarentdangerous campaign! For every picture posted, a book is donated to underfunded schools and libraries. You are supposed to post a picture of a book that changed or saved your life – so I decided to do both!

This book is my most treasured possession. What’s it about? It’s all in the title – “The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ”. It is the ancient record of the people – written by the prophets – in the Americas before, during, and after Christ’s ministry on earth. I have read this book many times, and have felt God’s precious assurance of its truth and importance more each time. I know this book a true record.

“And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, … and they teach all men that they should do good.”2 Nephi 33:10

I know that it contains God’s word for his children everywhere, and that it was translated under His direction, for the good of all humankind. It really is “the most correct of any book on earth”. I love it more than words can express. If you haven’t yet read it, or haven’t read it recently, please do. It can be accessed for free here. Learn more about The Book of Mormon here! Or request a FREE copy here❤❤❤