Tag Archives: Faith-Promoting Series

A Closer Look at “Treasures in Heaven” (from the Faith-Promoting Series)

Treasures in Heaven, the fifteenth book in the Faith-Promoting Series, paints the portrait of several Europeans who joined the Mormon faith in the early years of the church’s history. (We originally lumped its release in with the announcement of the completion of the Faith-Promoting Series, but it merits some attention in its own right.)

It starts by recounting the story of Niels P. L. Eskildz of Denmark, a man of humble means who offered a life of service to others. Crippled as a child, Niels faced significant hardship but found peace in the teachings of the “Mormons” when he was fourteen years old, though his family originally subscribed to the Lutheran faith. Like many others of the LDS Church at that time in Scandinavia, Niels hoped to join the other members in Utah and spent years saving the funds for the journey. Though great challenges arose, including continued poor health and opposition from acquaintances in Denmark, his faith proved strong. Niels made his way to America where he found further struggles, but immense joy as well, in sacrificing much to help build the Salt Lake Temple.

This compilation also tells the tale of the Swiss woman Carolina Corradi, who joined the Latter-day Saints upon learning of the church’s doctrine of salvation for the dead. She also emigrated to Utah, with little money, no relatives, few acquaintances, and no familiarity with the language. Nevertheless, she trusted that God would aid her as she exercised her faith. Carolina spent days in the temple in a large labor of love, completing work for her deceased ancestors so that they might have salvation. The stories of several other church members who worked in the temple are included as well, and each provides an uplifting example of true charity.

Treasures in Heaven thus offers a poignant look at various individuals who overcame the odds in their devotion to God, sacrificing considerably to aid those around them. It is a humbling and inspiring glimpse into the strength of their faith in God and the great blessings that accompanied it.

Thanks to Margaret Willden, one of our summer 2015 interns, for proofing and producing Treasures in Heaven and contributing to this blog post. 

 

New Release: “Eventful Narratives”

Eventful Narratives, just released on Project Gutenberg, is the thirteenth book in the Faith Promoting Series. It’s comprised of three narratives: the story of an English convert running away from home to join the saints in Utah; the story of a martyr in the Battle of Nauvoo and the faith of his plural widows; and the account of a member’s survival on a government expedition outside of the Salt Lake Valley into Native American territories. All three of these narratives, written to inspire the youth of the church through the exceptional examples of saints before them, give modern-day saints an insight into the trials, experiences, and faith of the saints in the past.

Most importantly, these events testify of the divinity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. These real-life experiences show how the Gospel can bless followers of Christ, and give saints the faith to endure regardless of whatever trials they will face in this life. They also give a historical perspective on the eternal nature of the human soul, and the eternal consequences of mortal actions, for better or for worse. In the words of the publishers, the purpose of publishing these narratives “has been and is to increase faith in the hearts of those who peruse them, by showing how miraculously God has overruled everything for the benefit of those who try to serve Him.”

Steven Fluckiger, one of our 2015 BYU history summer interns, proofread and produced Eventful Narratives and contributed to this post.

 

New Release: “Helpful Visions”

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.

New Release: “Labors in the Vineyard”

“Labors in the Vineyard,” published in 1884 and just released on PG, is the twelfth book of the Juvenile Instructor Office’s Faith-Promoting Series. The Faith-Promoting Series was designed to teach young Latter-day Saints gospel principles and share experiences of other Latter-day Saints. “Labors in the Vineyard” specifically shares the missionary experiences of six Latter-day Saint elders who went on missions to the eastern states, Arizona, England, Switzerland, and Australia.

Throughout this book one can not only read about interesting missionary experiences, including several where God was able to help and protect the missionaries, but also learn about the thoughts and feelings of the missionaries. Among others, it shares Harrison Burgess’ early life story of living in Kirtland, Ohio and being a part of Zion’s Camp, and discusses C. V. Spencer’s mission to England, after which he testified:

“I am satisfied and paid for the very little and feeble labors that I performed. I returned bright and zealous in the love of the truth. God has never yet forsaken me by His Spirit, and I do not believe that any man will ever be trusted to walk in the footsteps of his Elder Brother, Jesus, as a Savior of a world, or ever be seated with honor on the right hand of His Father, until he has learned to wade through deep and troubled waters, up stream and against the current without earthly props or stays.”

If you enjoy early Latter-day Saint history and reading about different missionary experiences, this book will be a fun, inspiring read.

Shawnee Hawkes, an MTP summer intern from the BYU American Studies program, proofed and produced Labors in the Vineyard and contributed to this post—our thanks to her!

New Release: “Jacob Hamblin,” frontiersman & Indian missionary

The title says it all:

JACOB HAMBLIN,

A NARRATIVE OF HIS PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, AS A FRONTIERSMAN, MISSIONARY TO THE INDIANS AND EXPLORER,

DISCLOSING

Interpositions of Providence, Severe Privations, Perilous Situations and Remarkable Escapes.

A convert to the Church during the Nauvoo era, Hamblin’s story is recorded in this the fifth book of the Faith-Promoting Series. Now on Project Gutenberg.

In other news, the MTP internship program kicked off this week! As that consumes resources, the blog may suffer a bit, but rest assured a burst of productivity is under way.

 

New Release: “Scraps of Biography”, Faith-Promoting Series Book #10

Scraps of Biography is an anthology containing autobiographies of Daniel Tyler and Newel Knight and a biography of John Tanner, and it’s a fascinating little window into the early Church.

John Tanner is famous for following a prompting to Kirtland and arriving just in time to redeem the mortgage on the Temple plot. That story is recounted here, along with some other interesting tidbits–for example, the account notes that “He aided very materially in the building of the Nauvoo Temple, from the commencement until its completion; and after it was dedicated he received therein his endowments, sealings and second anointing.”

Tyler, born in 1816 and baptized 1833, recounts his conversion, experiences in the Kirtland Temple, and missions, including his involvement in the conversion of Karl G. Maeser (of BYU fame) during his mission to Switzerland.

Newel Knight is a better-known figure, born in 1800 and baptized immediately after the organization of the Church in 1830. The highlights of his account include his eyewitness account of a couple of trials and acquittals of Joseph Smith and his discussion of his experiences with the Colesville branch in Missouri and elsewhere.

Like most of the other books in the Faith-Promoting Series, this ran to about 100 pages and is an easy Sunday afternoon read. Have a look.

 

New Release: “A String of Pearls”, Faith-Promoting Series Book #2

This, the second book of George Q. Cannon’s “Faith-Promoting Series” targeted at the youth of the Church, is a collection of pioneer and missionary anecdotes originally published in 1880. The “Faith-Promoting Series” ran to seventeen books and was in print until at least the 1920s; we’ve already released some books from it (see Available Texts) and will be officially releasing a few more in the next few weeks. The book’s own preface introduces it well:

The first book of this, the “FAITH-PROMOTING SERIES”—My First Mission—which was published some months since, has been so well received by the public that we are encouraged to continue the publication of works of a similar character.

We herewith give “A STRING OF PEARLS” to our readers, feeling assured that they will find the contents of this little work of inestimable value.

Probably no people in the world possess so rich and varied an experience as do the Latter-day Saints, and especially the Elders who have labored in the ministry in various lands. Contributions from them, giving a relation of their personal experience, are most profitable to young people to peruse.

The present age is one of doubt and unbelief. Faith in God, in His willingness to hear and answer prayer, and in the gifts of the gospel, has almost vanished from the earth. As a people we have this to contend with. Our children, not having had experience themselves, have to be carefully watched, lest they, too, should partake of the leaven of unbelief. We feel that it is a duty that we owe to them to place within their reach the evidences that their fathers and their mothers have received of the existence of God, of His willingness to hear and answer prayer, and to bestow His gifts upon those who seek for them in the right way.

God has wrought as marvelously in behalf of the Latter-day Saints as He did in former days in behalf of His people.

We hope that this little volume will prove of great value to those who read it, by inspiring them with faith, and furnishing them a foundation upon which to build and obtain knowledge from the Lord.

We also indulge in the hope that its publication may stir up others—of whom there are so many hundreds, and perhaps thousands, in our Church who have had valuable experience—to take the time and trouble necessary to commit incidents of this character to paper, that they may not die with themselves, but that they may live to speak hope and consolation unto, and to inspire confidence in, those who shall come after them.

With an earnest hope, therefore, that the contents of this little volume may prove a help to those who may read it, by inspiring them with faith in the Almighty and His promises, we modestly publish it, and give it the expressive title which it bears. G. Q. C. [George Q. Cannon]

So there you have it. Enjoy, and look out for more in the coming weeks.

This book was proofread by Max Cook, one of our summer interns.

 

New Release: “Leaves From My Journal” by Wilford Woodruff

This one’s pretty much self-explanatory: it’s an abridgment from Wilford Woodruff’s journals combined with a bit of his commentary, aimed at the youth of the Church. Get it on Project Gutenberg. The original publisher’s preface probably pitches it as well as I could:

Brother Woodruff is a remarkable man. Few men now living, who have followed the quiet and peaceful pursuits of life, have had such an interesting and eventful experience as he has. Few, if any in this age, have spent a more active and useful life. Certainly no man living has been more particular about recording with his own hand, in a daily journal, during half a century, the events of his own career and the things that have come under his observation. His elaborate journal has always been one of the principal sources from which the Church history has been compiled.

Possessed of wonderful energy and determination, and mighty faith, Brother Woodruff has labored long and with great success in the Church. He has ever had a definite object in view—to know the will of the Almighty and to do it. No amount of self-denial has been too great for him to cheerfully endure for the advancement of the cause of God. No labor required of the Saints has been considered by him too onerous to engage in with his own hands.

Satan, knowing the power for good that Brother Woodruff would be, if permitted to live, has often sought to effect his destruction.

The adventures, accidents and hair-breath escapes that he has met with, are scarcely equalled by the record that the former apostle, Paul, has left us of his life.

The power of God has been manifested in a most remarkable manner in preserving Brother Woodruff’s life. Considering the number of bones he has had broken, and the other bodily injuries he has received, it is certainly wonderful that now, at the age of seventy-five years, he is such a sound, well-preserved man. God grant that his health and usefulness may continue for many years to come.

Of course, this volume contains but a small portion of the interesting experience of Brother Woodruff’s life, but very many profitable lessons may be learned from it, and we trust at some future time to be favored with other sketches from his pen.

This book is the third in George Q. Cannon’s “Faith-Promoting Series,” which are relatively short books (originally ~100 pages) composed primarily of biography, missionary histories, etc. and aimed at the youth of the Church. George Q. Cannon’s “My First Mission” (also on PG) was the first in the same series. There are over a dozen books in the series; we hope to produce them all eventually, and one is currently in progress. For all you diehard Wilford Woodruff fans out there, we’re also working on Wilford Woodruff: History of His Life, a biography based extensively on his journals that runs to about 700 pages and ought to be useful for those of us who can’t shell out four grand to buy copies of the journals themselves (which are sadly out-of-print, rare, and still subject to copyright, as they weren’t published until long after his death).

Thanks to Benjamin Keogh and Elissa Nysetvold, two of our volunteers, for proofreading this book.