"No obstacles are insurmountable when God commands and we obey"
- - Heber J. Grant
June 4, 2014
Everyday Realities and Women's Divine Role
by Laurie Williams Sowby

If you missed Deseret Book’s Time Out for Women event in 2013, you can catch up and be renewed with the spirit of it all in three new books. Each volume of Time Out Classics is a gift-sized 6x9 inches, less than 60 pages long, and priced at $10.99 in hard cover.

In John Bytheway’s Everything I Need to Know I Learned at Home, the popular speaker takes simple phrases such as “wash your hands,” “help your sister,” and “ask your dad,” and elaborates on the spiritual lessons in them.

Along with his own experiences, he relates stories from the scriptures and other sources to expand and illustrate the profound truths of everyday phrases we all heard at home that can connect us to Heaven.

Using a twist of phrase, therapist Wendy Ulrich offers suggestions for Habits of Happiness. She references the work of psychologist Martin Seligman that researched how people flourish and make a positive difference in the world. Many of the findings sync with principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Hence, Ulrich emphasizes the “importance of living our values” in order to achieve happiness and well-being. She proposes that happiness is a skill set that can be developed. As she explains each principle and invites the reader to respond, counter-intuitive phrases become sound ideas that result in a new list a few pages later.

Emily Freeman melds personal anecdotes with scriptures, Church history events, and the words of modern-day prophets to give comfort and courage as readers navigate life’s journey.

Making it Through the Middle, aptly subtitled Hope and Help when the Journey Seems Long, urges readers to stop looking at just the end of the story as they study the scriptures and focus instead on what happened in between the beginning and that point.

There’s much to learn about how people handle the middle part. With sound principles such as “Rely on the Atonement” and “Continue to Minister,” Freeman shows us how we can make it through hard times, too.

From Covenant comes Divinity of Women: Inspiration and Insights from Women of the Scriptures, co-authored by Heather B. Moore and S. Kent Brown. It focuses mainly on women spoken of in the Bible, although Book of Mormon heroines the wife of King Lamoni, and the daughters of Jared also get a nod.

Straightforward, easy-to-understand writing in short chapters touches on visionary women, prophetesses, and prayerful women of faith, named and unnamed. One section provides lessons in what not to do (and be) as it tells of a few biblical women who “crossed the line.” Another explores “Education of Ancient Women.”

Lovely art by Elspeth Young, Howard Lyon, and Annie Henry grace many of its 124 sturdy pages, although the blank white pages beg for something, perhaps an artful text of one of the scriptural verses referenced at the end of each chapter. End notes offer further thought and references (Covenant 2014, $15.99 in hard cover).

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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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