"We are not measured by the trials we meet -- only by those we overcome."
- - Spencer W. Kimball
January 2, 2013
Great Finds at Great Prices
by Laurie Williams Sowby

The presents have been opened and there’s nothing left under the tree; maybe very little left in your pocket, either. But post-Christmas is a good time to pick up some great gifts for next year, perhaps at a good discount. Also, look for the Tabernacle Choir’s CD and DVD recordings of previous years’ Christmas concerts with such guests as David Archuleta and Jane Seymour. Christmas-themed children’s books, novels, and gift books will likely also be on sale.

Who knows? You might even find something for yourself. Here are a few personal finds and recommendations.

At just $5.99, Doctrine & Covenants and Church History Visual Resource DVDs (www.seagullbook.com) is a real bargain as well as a treasure for LDS families (especially since Church-produced DVDs are expected to be phased out in favor of Internet downloads). You get some classic movies – 2005’s Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration, Legacy, Only a Stonecutter, The Mountain of the Lord, and Treasure in Heaven: The John Tanner Story -- along with more than 300 visual resources pertaining to the Doctrine and Covenants and Church history. This new four-DVD set contains additional videos plus charts, quotations, paintings, and learning activities to aid and enrich study for many age levels.

Another gem is the 2010 Deseret Book publication of Through the Lens: The Original 1907 Church History Photographs of George Edward Anderson, compiled and with text by Andrew H. Hedges and Richard Neitzel Holzapfel (order through www.seagullbook.com). At 75 percent off its cover price (making it a mere $12.49), it’s even more appealing.

The photographer took photos while traveling from Utah to his mission in England more than a hundred years ago. Anderson visited historic Church sites in Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and New England, documenting what those significant places looked like long before LDS tourists converged on them. Included are photos of Sacred Grove, Hill Cumorah, Kirtland Temple, Nauvoo, and graves of early members. Thanks to present-day pro John Telford, the photos have been reproduced from the original glass plate negatives in the Church History Library -- in the original tones Anderson intended, rather than frequently seen black and white. What an unexpected find to enrich this year’s Sunday school study!

Appreciators of the well-said will enjoy The Neal A. Maxwell Quote Book, edited by the late Apostle’s son, Cory H. Maxwell. Bookcraft published the original volume in 2001; Deseret Book released its hardcover version in 2009 for $24.95. The heavyweight pages of the oversized edition will hold up through many uses as readers and talk-preparers peruse more than 400 pages of topics listed alphabetically, from “ability” to “Zion.” Lovely color illustrations are by recognized LDS artists, including Simon Dewey, Walter Rane, Robert T. Barrett, Greg Olsen, Liz Lemon Swindle, Glen Hopkinson, and Jon McNaughton. An extensive index makes it all the more usable. Published by Deseret Book in 2009, the illustrated edition can be found (with some effort) at a fraction of the $49.99 cover price.

And who can resist a great cookbook at a great price? Shadow Mountain’s Savoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, by Sara Wells and Kate Jones, is now one-third to half off everywhere. The amusing food bloggers are at it again with 100 new recipes, categorized by seasons and accompanied by full-color photos as tantalizing as the recipes they tout. Its spiral-bound, slick pages include step-by-step tutorials and kid-friendly holiday craft ideas along with easy-to-follow recipes that work with normal ingredients – a definite plus for the kitchen-challenged.

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About Laurie Williams Sowby

Laurie Williams Sowby has been writing since second grade and getting paid for it since high school. Her byline ("all three names, please") has appeared on more than 6,000 freelance articles published in newspapers, magazines, and online.

A graduate of BYU and a writing instructor at Utah Valley University for many years, she proudly claims all five children and their spouses as college grads.

She and husband, Steve, have served three full-time missions together, beginning in 2005 in Chile, followed by Washington D.C. South, then Washington D.C. North, both times as young adult Institute teachers. They are currently serving in the New York Office of Public and International Affairs

During her years of missionary service, Laurie has continued to write about significant Church events, including the rededication of the Santiago Temple by President Hinckley and the groundbreaking for the Philadelphia Temple by President Eyring. She also was a Church Service Missionary, working as a news editor at Church Magazines, between full-time missions.

Laurie has traveled to all 50 states and at least 45 countries (so far). While home is American Fork, Utah, Lincoln Center and the Metropolitan Museum of Art have provided a comfortable second home.

Laurie is currently serving a fourth full-time mission with her husband in the New York Office of Public and International Affairs. The two previously served with a branch presidency at the Provo Missionary Training Center. The oldest of 18 grandchildren have been called to serve missions in New Hampshire and Brisbane, Australia.

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