" If Brigham Young is not the most maligned individual on the list of the 100 Most Influential Americans, he is certainly the most misunderstood. Although 130 years have passed since his death, much of the confusion that surrounded him in life remains. He continues to be praised by millions as a prophet of God and admired for his contributions in settling the American West, but he is also frequently vilified. Through a series of brief essays that look at the fundamental aspects of a complex man, this unique biography examines both his remarkable life and his accomplishments and separates fact from fantasy. "
Is an incredible look at a very misunderstood man. It has 40 mini essay, usually about 6 pages each ranging from topics such as why he was known as the "Lion of the Lord," to his failed attempts at the Desseret Alphabet. After reading this book, my love and appreciation for Brigham increased a hundred fold. He was the perfect man to bring the Saints west and was truly called by the Lord to be the Prophet following Joseph Smith.
Joseph Smith's America
"The Prophet Joseph Smith was born into a world that was much different from the one we know today. The United States in particular was a "work in progress," endeavoring to establish itself. American populist movements were changing the religious, social, and political landscape, while the blossoming of inventions, literature, and art affected nearly every aspect of life. Joseph Smith was a man of the frontier and a participant in this wonderfully dynamic era. To understand him fully, we need to understand the setting in which his work took place. Joseph Smith's America places us right in the center of that era, showing us through word and picture the world that had been prepared by the hand of the Lord so the Restoration could begin."
If you want a book about Joseph Smith, this is the one. It is an honest and fair look at the Man that WAS chosen to restore the Gospel. The quotes and information chosen are incredible and many of them I had never even heard about before. The book is arranged in such a way that you can read small bits and get not only what was going on in Joseph Smith's life, but what was going on in the world around him that influenced him. The Correlations Dept of the Church, the people that run what the church prints, said that it was the best book they had ever read on Joseph Smith.
View images from the book or test your knowledge of Joseph Smith's life and times at the Joseph Smith's America website
Fun Activities for Latter-day Saint Families
"Do you sometimes scratch your head when wondering what to do for another family night? Think no further! This book contains 24 full activities, complete with stories, projects, and even treats or games that require minimal preparation for lots of family fun, togetherness, and learning."
I know that when many of you hear Family home evening helps you think of corny lessons and stories. This book isn't that. My mom is a big believer that children want to know gospel principles and if taught in a correct way, there is no need to sugar coat them. This book is just that. They are activities you can do as family, and no matter the age, people will enjoy them. The topics range from one on birthdays, to daniel and the lions den. My mom has read used them in church and primary lessons and everybody that has heard them have loved them.
With All Your Heart
"The Hidden Treasure of the Scriptures series brings gems of insight from little-known stories of the scriptures. Many remarkable characters and their experiences found in the standard works are left largely unexamined. Thoughtful authors bring out these jewels and explain how they relate to our lives and give us power in these last days.Hezzekiah was a righteous king who found the truth of the Lord and sought to restore it to his people after the reign of his wicked father. His story brings hope to those who seek to follow the Lord and find peace in His rest."
I have loved the story of Hezekiah from the first days I learned about him in Seminary. A little known figure, but one through his faith turned the tide of Jewish history. This book is a beautiful and personal application of the principle we learn from Him, and gives ideas for how we can better apply those principles in our lives. While it is not a huge book, the insites in are incredibly powerful.
If you are looking for really great books, these would be it.