"Character is the one thing we make in this world and take with us into the next."
- - Ezra Taft Benson
April 21, 2015
Books in Honor of Mothers and Others
by Laurie Williams Sowby

Just in time for Mother’s Day comes an assortment of books for anyone who is or has a mother.

Young Women General President Bonnie L. Oscarson’s What Makes Us Sisters is for LDS women of any age. In fact, it’s based on the talk she gave at the General Women’s Meeting in April 2014.

The attractive design of the 6.5” x 6.5” book with its enticing color photography and bordered pages enhances Sister Oscarson’s uplifting words about how girls and women of whatever age and stage of life can and do nurture, sustain, and encourage each other (Deseret Book 2015, 50 pages in hardcover, $14.99).

Covenant’s managing editor Kathryn Jenkins Gordon serves up a delightfully personal and empowering message in the booklet Keeping It Real: A Tribute to Everyday Moms. Having raised five adopted children and become step-mom to five more, and now a grandmother of five, she understands that not a one of us moms ever thinks we’re good enough.

She speaks of “very unheroic days when all that stands between you and chaos is a can of Campbell’s chicken noodle soup — and the assurance that you won’t get arrested if your kids go to bed in their swimming suits.” It’s lighthearted but sincere encouragement from one who knows (Covenant 2015, 12 pages, $2.49).

For Heart and Soul is a collection of Heartwarming True Stories to Feed a Woman’s Soul, the bulk of them related by the late Lucile Johnson. This attractive gift book combines brief stories and lessons with quotes about mothers and favorite recipes from previously published cookbooks.

Kitty de Ruyter-Bons shares how her mother stood up for virtue in a Japanese P.O.W. camp. There’s Kyle Whittingham’s tribute to his mother and a handful of other writers’ essays on accepting and appreciating a step-mother, lessons their mothers taught them, and memories of special moments shared with their mothers (Covenant 2015, 76 pages in hardcover, $14.99).

Real Moms: Making it Up as We Go is comedian/actor Lisa Valentine Clark’s contribution to sane parenthood. With five kids, she’s never at a loss for subject matter.

She tells it like it is and goes the second mile with periodic “side rants,” proving herself to be as wise and practical as she is smart and funny. Acknowledging the never-ending challenges of motherhood, she notes, “Crying over the children while they sleep is clearly not an effective parenting strategy, but it’s a good coping skill” (Deseret Book 2015, 188 pages in softcover, $16.99).

Richard J. Allen’s Eternal Womanhood reaches beyond motherhood to Divine Attributes of Christlike Women. Intended for in-depth study, the book focuses on women of the scriptures (plus Emma Smith) as it explores such attributes as divine majesty, loyalty, giving and sharing, noble leadership, allegiance, joyful conversion, hopefulness, and peacefulness.

The author includes modern-day examples and several questions to ponder at the end of each chapter, plus a good index (Covenant 2015, 115 pages in hardcover, $14.99).


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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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