"We seldom get into trouble when we speak softly. It is only when we raise our voices that the sparks fly and tiny molehills become great mountains of contention."
- - Gordon B. Hinckley
January 1, 2014
Starting the New Year with New Ideas
by Laurie Williams Sowby

Happy New Year! Here are a few selections to get it started right. (Who knows? These recommendations may even spawn a few new resolutions).

Who couldn’t use a few more answers to prayer, along with a little more heavenly help every single day? A Year of Powerful Prayer: Getting Answers for Your Life Every Day offers just such help with 365 daily readings.

The brief pages include excerpts from talks by General Authorities and Church leaders past and present, as well as writings by religion professors and others. (I was especially glad to see women quoted, including some of the Young Women and Relief Society leaders.)

Thoughts and advice are categorized by headings ranging from why and how we pray and following the example of Jesus to improving the quality of our prayers and recognizing answers.

There’s ample substance here for daily devotionals, an applied study of prayer, or well-prepared talks — and it’s a handy volume to return to year after year. (Deseret Book 2013, 409 pages in hardcover, $17.99.)

Performing better in our Church callings is a resolution some are likely making. For those who work with children and music, there’s a renewed publication with a wealth of ideas to make teaching Primary songs more effective.

A Children’s Songbook Companion is a team effort by Pat Graham, Mary Gourley, Trudy Shipp, and Linda Stewart, with illustrations by Nina Grover. Independently published by Horizon Publishers (2013, 304 pages in large soft cover, $23.99), it is intended as a helpful supplement to the official LDS Children’s Songbook. And it is.

This treasure of a music resource, first printed in 1994, offers lesson plans for every song in the book, from the more easily taught songs such as “Children All Over the World” to the more challenging musical phrases of the individual Articles of Faith. The word cards, “melody pictures,” and phrase charts for the latter are a godsend.

A Children’s Songbook Companion does not rely solely on visuals — words or pictures — to teach a song and its meaning, but offers ways to help children hear the differences in melody and rhythm, potentially elevating a so-so singing time to an engaging learning experience. Almost any Primary chorister would benefit from this book, and certainly Primary children would.

OK. Ditch the comparisons and self-loathing. It’s time to appreciate who you are and act like it! Popular speaker Michelle Wilson invites women, in particular, to look at themselves and like what they see in Does This Insecurity Make Me Look Fat? (Deseret Book 2013, 168 pages in soft cover, $15.99).

Part One is about seeing ourselves as God’s offspring and viewing ourselves through His lens. Part Two, “Choose to Be,” discusses decisions, perceived failures, progress, and self-confidence.

Her message, related in a conversational tone, using personal experiences and musings on what she’s learned from them, is clear: God loves us, so why shouldn’t we love ourselves?

Bookmark and Share    
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.

Copyright © Hatrack River Enterprise Inc. All Rights Reserved. Web Site Hosted and Designed by WebBoulevard.com