Did you get a new iPhone, smart phone, iPad, or tablet for Christmas? Check out these classic gospel books you can get for free, plus some awesome deals on other eBooks for your device!
Just for downloading the Deseret Book eBook app, called Deseret Bookshelf, you’ll get EIGHT FREE eBooks! Scroll to the bottom of this page to see the list of all eight. And they’re not throwaway books, either. Always wanted to read Jesus the Christ? Or Joseph Smith’s Lectures on Faith? Now’s your chance to do it for free.
And we loved these new gospel-oriented books that are definitely classics in our households now. And they're all 30% off! Did you know that Elder Holland has released a new book? It’s simply phenomenal. Imagine sitting in your living room having a heart-to-heart with Elder Holland. That’s his new book, To My Friends. And if you haven’t read Sheri Dew’s Women and the Priesthood yet, you’re missing out on some great inspiration. Check out our list of the must-haves for your new device!
To celebrate the birthday of Joseph Smith on December 23, here are a few quotations from The Joseph Smith Papers that help illuminate the character and personality of the Prophet.
Latter-day Saints often learn that Joseph Smith was generous and charismatic, but there is no better way to learn about his attributes than to study his own words. Here are five quotations from Joseph's own writings that reveal more about his character:
1. “I was grieved to hear that Hiram [Hyrum Smith] had lost his little Child I think we Can in Some degree simpathise with him but we all must be reconciled to our lots and Say the will of the Lord be done.”
--Letter to Emma Smith, 6 June 1832
By 1832, Joseph and Emma Hale Smith had three children born to them. All three died, either soon after birth or in infancy. In addition, Joseph Murdock, one of the twins Joseph and Emma adopted, had died just a couple of months earlier at the age of 11 months. No wonder Joseph said that he could sympathize with his brother Hyrum and sister-in-law Jerusha, who lost their nearly three-year-old daughter, Mary, in May 1832.
Whether in times or war, peace, or political unrest, Mormons have been involved in a lot of world events. Check out a few of these courageous Latter-day Saints and their notable contributions to history. Who else did you want to see on this list? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Helmuth Hubener
Photo of Rudi, Helmuth, and Karl retrieved from lechaimontheright.com
No list of historically significant Latter-day Saints would be complete without German teenager Helmuth Hubener. This brave youth and two of his friends, Rudolf Wobbe and Karl-Heinz Schnibbe, stood against Nazi cruelty during World War II. Though all three were arrested, only Hubener was ultimately executed. 17-year-old Hubener believed strongly in truth and had a testimony of the gospel. Some of his finals words, written in a note to a ward member a few hours before he was executed, said the following: “My Father in heaven knows that I have done nothing wrong. I know that God lives and He will be the proper judge of this matter. Until our happy reunion in that better world…”
Be the first to read an excerpt from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's new book, To My Friends. This is not the full excerpt from this chapter. To read the rest of it, go to deseretbook.com and order a copy of this fabulous book!
On one occasion Jesus came upon a group arguing vehemently with His disciples. When the Savior inquired as to the cause of this contention, the father of an afflicted child stepped forward, saying he had approached Jesus’s disciples for a blessing for his son, but they were not able to provide it. With the boy still gnashing his teeth, foaming from the mouth, and thrashing on the ground in front of them, the father appealed to Jesus with what must have been last-resort desperation in his voice: “If thou canst do any thing,” he said, “have compassion on us, and help us.
“Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
“And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief” . . .
With this tender scriptural record as a backdrop, I wish to address these thoughts directly to the young people of the Church—young in years of age or young in years of membership or young in years of faith. One way or another, that should include just about all of us.
Observation number one regarding this account is that when facing the challenge of faith, the father asserts his strength first and only then acknowledges his limitation. His initial declaration is affirmative and without hesitation: “Lord, I believe.” I would say to all who wish for more faith, remember this man! In moments of fear or doubt or troubling times, hold the ground you have already won, even if that ground is limited. In the growth we all have to experience in mortality, the spiritual equivalent of this boy’s affliction or this parent’s desperation is going to come to all of us. When those moments come and issues surface, the resolution of which is not immediately forthcoming, hold fast to what you already know and stand strong until additional knowledge comes. . . .
What do you think of when you see a Christmas ribbon or stockings? These common holiday items can symbolize a lot more--find out what they might mean for Latter-day Saints.
Like many of us I’m intrigued by symbols—perhaps because I’m active in a church that honors symbolism, or maybe because of a poet heart or that I like to think about things deeply, especially things that make me feel deeply. Most likely it has something to do with all of the above working in collaboration to teach me, or at least remind me of, what is significant.
Like many seekers I appreciate having a little background or history on a symbol. Check out these five common Christmas symbols and the meaning behind them.
One of my favorite symbols to read about is the Christmas tree. My lifelong belief that the tree was a pagan practice made me wonder at times why we as LDS people participated. I learned that although it is true that the lighted tree was a pagan ritual, there are other stories about the Christmas tree.
Most agree it appeared first in Germany. In fact, there is a beautiful legend about Martin Luther involving a fir tree. My favorite version is that while journeying home one wintery night, Luther walked unexpectedly into a snow-covered meadow where a single fir tree stood, radiant in the moonlight, each snow crystal reflecting like a thousand tiny stars. He was so moved by the image that he chopped the tree down and dragged it miles to display in his home where the stalwart stance of the tree, down to each tiny needle pointing heavenward, became a reminder of hope in Christ through the dark winter.