Helpful Visions, the fourteenth book in the Faith-Promoting Series, is a collection of three stories about early Saints and the visions that they had to help them through their trials. It’s just been released as a free e-book on Project Gutenberg. The Preface summarizes the purpose of the book:
“The Visions here recorded will again prove that truth is stranger than fiction, and we trust that a perusal of these manifestations will lead our young people to seek for the guidance of the Lord in all things, and make Him their constant friend. The article on traitors is very appropriate reading matter for the present season, and will, it is hoped, cause everyone to look upon the men of this class with the contempt they so justly merit, and sustain everyone in shunning as they would poison, any traitorous act.
“Our great desire is that this little book may assist in the education and elevation of the young people and others who may peruse it.”
“A Terrible Ordeal” tells the story of David Patten Kimball, who was lost on the Salt River desert in Arizona. When near death, he had a vision of the afterlife, where he saw his father and many other faithful Saints who had previously passed on. He was told he could remain if he wished, but he chose to return to life, in order to support his family and to repent of his sins, and was given two more years of life.
“Briant S. Stevens” tells of a valiant and extraordinary young man who fell ill following a series of accidents. He was faithful till the end, and was ordained to the Priesthood before his death. He later appears to his father in a vision to provide comfort to his grieving family.
“Finding Comfort” is a first-hand account from Thomas A. Shreeve, who as a young man was called on a mission to Australasia. This section details his experiences while on his mission in a distant land.
Finally, Helpful Visions concludes with an article discussing the characteristics of traitors. Like other books in the Faith-Promoting Series, it’s a quick and inspiring read for anyone interested in stories from the early days of the Church.
Holly Astle, one of our 2015 summer interns, proofread and produced Helpful Visions and contributed to this blog post.