December 1971

“Books,” Ensign, Dec. 1971, 144


Joseph Fielding Smith: A Prophet among the People
By J M. Heslop and Dell Van Orden
Deseret Book, 176 pp., $3.95

In his twenty months as president of the Church, President Joseph Fielding Smith has traveled extensively, from Hawaii to Great Britain, Mexico, and many parts of the United States. Many thousands of people have seen and heard him in person, and untold thousands of others through the media.

This book, edited and prepared by two editors of the Church News, features many of President Smith’s major addresses, giving the circumstances under which each was presented as well as excerpts from these inspiring talks.

This is a record of President Smith’s activities and travels, from the solemn assembly in the Salt Lake Tabernacle when he was sustained as the tenth president of the Church to the historic area general conference in Great Britain. The five addresses he gave at this conference are included.

There are also heartwarming glimpses of his personality, vignettes and human interest sidelights, and more than forty photographs showing this prophet “among the people.”

ABC’s for Young LDS
By Marilynne Todd Linford
Bookcraft, 64 pp., $2.95

Using the alphabet, starting with A for Adam, this book for preschool Latter-day Saint children presents important people, places, and events in the gospel plan. It was designed for the very young, the read-to children, to give them an early acquaintance with significant aspects of the Church, the beginnings of its history, and events following the restoration.

The book’s format and illustrations are most attractive and its messages skillfully informative, providing parents with a pleasant means of instilling in very young children a love and understanding of the gospel.

Women in Today’s World
By Belle S. Spafford
Deseret Book, 488 pp., $5.25

This is a book about women, about the Relief Society and its place in the Church, and about the position of women outside the home in community and national affairs. While liberationists may promote equality with men in nearly all fields, and business and industry are enticing women into disciplines previously dominated by men, there is still the question of consequences. What will be the effect on the home, on husbands, on children?

Belle S. Spafford is well qualified to analyze the subject and draw conclusions from it. As general president of the Relief Society for over twenty-six years, she speaks with authority and understanding when she discusses the personal development potential of women, their religious responsibilities, and their concern for the community and the world. She knows how to talk to women—and to men. All will find this volume of vital interest in assessing the role of women in today’s world.

True and Faithful
By Joseph F. McConkie
Bookcraft, 100 pp., $2.50

Descendant of prophets, sixty years an apostle of the Lord, and more recently president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Joseph Fielding Smith stands out as a giant among men in the quality of his spiritual insight. He is widely known as a lecturer, as a skillful author, and as a scholar of gospel doctrine and history.

Because he has dedicated his entire life to serving the Church and participating in the public life that his leadership positions have demanded, perhaps less is known about his personal life, about his role as head of his family, about his warm, sensitive personality. It was not the author’s intention to write an extensive biography here of all President Smith’s accomplishments, but rather to recount his personal experiences in his missionary work, his wonderful marriages, his apostleship (which, together with the years of service of his father, Joseph F. Smith, has spanned an unbroken chain for over a hundred years), and his presidency of the Church. Here is the story of Joseph Fielding Smith the man, the husband, the head of an exemplary family, and the great leader who is deeply concerned for all mankind.

The author, a grandson of President Smith, has carefully researched family history and has selected many interesting photographs to illustrate his book.

I Am a Child of God
By Douglas J. Larsen
Bookcraft, 24 pp., $2.50

In words and pictures the author explains the wonders of preexistence, birth, life, and the hereafter for preschool children. The material is presented in story form to simplify the fundamentals of the gospel so that they are easily understood by the very young.

There are answers on a spiritual level to the question, “Mommy, where do babies come from?” and the answers lead into a clear and attractive discussion on life in heaven, creation of man and the earth, spirit children and their importance to God, and the purpose of life on earth. The story concludes with the promise, and the great anticipation, that the children of God may once again dwell in the presence of their Heavenly Father.

Live It Up!
By Mark E. Petersen
Deseret Book, 120 pp., $3.50

Drawing an analogy between the success of the United States space exploration because of its strict obedience to natural laws and the success of the Church because of its obedience to God’s laws, Elder Petersen counsels young people to consider carefully the teachings of the Church and to obey the simple yet important guidelines of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

This book carries a strong message that is directed primarily to the youth but is equally valuable to adults, particularly parents. Consistent with all his writing and speaking, Elder Petersen does not express himself in generalities. Instead, his indictments of the recklessness with which some young people are turning to drugs and illicit social behavior are direct and well supported with current statistics showing the great numbers of young people caught in today’s moral downdraft.

The toll in illegitimacy, disease, insanity, and death is discouraging: Elder Petersen presents not only the miserable prospects for those who choose this path, but also the wonderful anticipation found in the beauty and security of the uplifting environment, sustained by God’s laws, repentance, love, learning, productivity, and the eternal happiness open to all mankind in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Each Day a Bonus
By Louise Lake
Deseret Book, 220 pp., $4.95

Twenty-five years ago, while on an outing with an MIA group, Louise Lake was stricken with the deadliest form of polio. Paralyzed from the neck down, she was told she probably wouldn’t live more than a few months.

With great determination and faith in the blessings of the priesthood, Louise proved the doctors wrong. This book tells how, though she has been confined to a wheelchair more than twenty-five years, she has found strength to make a living for herself and her daughter, serve in the Church, particularly with youth, and teach and help rehabilitate physically handicapped persons on two continents. And she was honored at the White House as the Handicapped American of the Year, the first woman ever to be so honored.

Louise Lake’s story is one of great faith and determination, devotion and service. Blessed with a keen sense of humor, a great love for mankind, and a love for and testimony of the Savior, she has inspired and shown all who have come into contact with her how to rise above handicaps and has made of each day of her own life a bonus.

Spaces in the Sage
By Emma Lou Thayne
Parliament, 60 pp., $2.95

In this selection of poems, Emma Lou Thayne brings to the reader the sensitive, intelligent, deep-felt awareness of a woman, wife, and mother. Her insight, as in “Pocketful of Petals,” “Black Seeds,” and “Knowing That Most Things Break”; her concise honesty in “Affirmation,” “If Only,” “Cure,” and “Heretic”; and her generous love—for a wise father’s “feeling for footholds,” a husband’s “measured tribute to content,” and a dog’s “little” death—all make Spaces in the Sage an unforgettable volume of poetry.

Publishers Reviewed

Bookcraft, Inc., 1848 West 23rd South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84119

Deseret Book Company, 44 East South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111

Parliament Publishers, Inc., 1848 West 23rd South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84119