"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
March 24, 2015
Books in Tune with the Easter Season
by Laurie Williams Sowby

As Easter approaches, Deseret Book offers some new releases in the spirit of the season.

Words of the Savior is a beautiful volume containing not someone else’s interpretation or analysis of Christ’s teachings, but His own words as found in the King James version of the Bible. Photography is paired with scriptures from the Four Gospels, including familiar parables and shorter verses. It’s a lovely way to ponder and reflect on Christ’s mortal ministry (Deseret Book 2014, 128 pages in hardcover, $19.99).

LDS artist J. Kirk Richards has a style all his own. He uses it to great effect in This is Jesus, another new volume that carries the message of Christ’s mission and sacrifice. Created specifically for this book, Richards’ earth-toned paintings reflect a deep reverence as they illustrate the Savior’s ministry, Atonement, and Resurrection.

Words and art together inspire thought. The layout enhances both paintings and scriptures, highlighting certain phrases as the book takes the reader through the last days of Christ’s life. Scripture references are included. Along with Richards’ The Nativity, published in 2012, this is a book to be treasured (2014, 40 pages in hardcover, $24.99).

For younger readers (but with greater meaning for older ones), there’s Practicing for Heaven: The Parable of the Piano Lessons. Brad Wilcox and his daughter Wendy Wilcox Rosborough collaborated with illustrator Brian Call in telling the story of a boy who dawdles at the piano, discouraged because he can’t play perfectly.

His mother helps him understand that she’s already paid for the lessons, so he must keep trying even though he makes mistakes. She then goes on to relate how the Savior (whose depiction hangs above the piano) has paid for our sins.

Although the story on the surface seems a bit thin, there’s more to it beneath, and the color illustrations will keep young kids engaged as parents introduce the facets of the Atonement through this story. Pages at the back offer suggestions for teaching the vital concept of constant improvement (2015, 32 pages in hardcover, $18.99).

For teens, Wilcox offers a version of one of his best books for adults with The Continuous Atonement (for Teens) in a handy paperback size (166 pages, $14.99). Using trademark real-life examples teens can relate to, Wilcox explains concepts in his straightforward, common-sense way.

The piano lesson story mentioned above appears as a brief analogy in this book. Readers will long remember “One Lone Tree,” a true experience his father-in-law relates here.

Ever the teacher, Wilcox engages teen readers with chapter headings such as “Who Needs a Savior?” and “Exchanging Willpower for His Power;” defines terms like “un-humility” and “un-confession;” and clarifies misperceptions with assertions such as “Worthiness is not flawlessness.” Adults could gain much from either book of this title, but teens will be more likely to read this one.

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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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