"Character is the one thing we make in this world and take with us into the next."
- - Ezra Taft Benson
September 09, 2015
Two New Books Target Youths' Concerns
by Laurie Williams Sowby

Springville, Utah, publisher Cedar Fort offers a couple of new titles for the LDS market, aimed at teens and young adults and their leaders.

Doubt Your Doubts: Seeking Answers to Difficult Gospel Questions tackles challenging topics such as polygamy, homosexuality, and women and the priesthood, along with finding a place in the Church, discovering a testimony, and accepting the gift of the Atonement.

Offering his own and anecdotal experience to back him up, author Chad P. Conrad, a 20-year teaching veteran of LDS seminary and institute, discusses the marriage decision in the context of understanding how revelation works and may be misused or misinterpreted, especially when emotions are strong.

The topic discussions are in-depth and common-sense, quoting leaders and scriptures and sharing personal experiences as well as examples from LDS Church history. In “Facing Death,” he describes tenderly his mother’s passing and peace the family felt because of their faith in God’s plan. Another chapter examines questions youth frequently ask about the Second Coming.

Conrad also explains doctrinal differences between “Mormon Christianity” and “main-line Christian” denominations — useful comparisons that more Latter-day Saints should be aware of — and urges friendship in place of animosity.

Doubt Your Doubts is an accessible and excellent resource for the leaders and teachers of youth and young adults as well as that age group themselves (CFI 2015, 292 pages in soft cover $18.99).

Young adults looking for create ways to get to know each other — as individuals and potential partners — have a readable resource in 150 Creative Dates for Couples at Every Stage. That means from first date to getting-to-know-you-better to engagement and beyond (Plain Sight Publishing 2014, 170 pages in soft cover $12.99).

Haley Miller, speaking from experience, offers doable ideas from outdoors/nature to “Walking and Talking” to romantic and even long-distance relationships.

“Dating is first and foremost about getting to know another person,” she writes in the intro, “so sitting silently beside each other at the movies or careening down the ski slopes with your date just doesn’t cut it. [Besides fun], the activities ... should also be useful for discovering what type of person your partner is.”

To that end, this young author serves up 168 fun-to-peruse pages of ideas, including fun and games, arts and crafts, cultural and culinary arts, and seasonal/holiday. She always includes “The Why” along with “The What” and often adds a few words of advice on “Keeping it Cheap,” “Talking Tips,” or suggested films that follow the theme.

One section is devoted to group activities that lend themselves to more than just being there, and another outlines ideas for bad weather and Plan B. A fun-to-read (as well as -try) resource.

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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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