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"You believe me, don't you, Nathan." It was not a question, but a statement, filled with wonder. It stunned Nathan. "You believe it all. I can see it on your face." For a moment, time seemed suspended as Nathan probed the inward recesses of his soul. There was still the incredulousness, still the sense of hearing something that couldn't possibly be true. And yet he knew it wa "You believe me, don't you, Nathan." It was not a question, but a statement, filled with wonder. It stunned Nathan. "You believe it all. I can see it on your face." For a moment, time seemed suspended as Nathan probed the inward recesses of his soul. There was still the incredulousness, still the sense of hearing something that couldn't possibly be true. And yet he knew it was. He knew without the least shadow of doubt that everything Joseph was telling him was true. And so, finally, with a wonder of his own, he said, "Yes, Joseph, I believe you." Pillar of Light — the first volume in the series The Work and the Glory — begins the epic story of the Benjamin Steed family. In the 1820s they move from Vermont to Palmyra Township in upstate New York in search of better farmland. There they meet a young man named Joseph Smith and are thrown into the maelstrom of conflict and controversy that swirls around him. Did he really see the Father and the Son in a pillar of light? Has he truly been visited by angelic messengers? What is all this talk about gold plates and new scripture? In short, is he a prophet and seer or a monumental fraud? The answers each one gives to these questions — intensely personal, potentially divisive — will dramatically affect the lives of the Steeds forever after. Author Gerald N. Lund here masterfully weaves together historical reality and high-powered fiction. In his hands this combination seems to make the reader an eyewitness to the early scenes of the Restoration, thus deepening one's understanding and appreciation of those momentous events. The well-drawn plot and fictional characters present a moving, gripping story. Here are Benjamin and Mary Ann Steed, devoted to each other as man and wife, yet at odds over religion; Joshua, their volatile son, who rebels and heads for trouble; the sensitive Nathan, their second son, in whom Joseph Smith's message strikes a responsive chord; the beautiful Lydia McBride, who captures the hearts of both Joshua and Nathan. This book skillfully explores the inmost motivations of Joseph Smith and his early followers and the responses of typical contemporary families to the claims he made. These people come to life in this powerful historical novel, a story that captures both the heartache and the happiness that came in the wake of Joseph's experience with the pillar of light.


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"You believe me, don't you, Nathan." It was not a question, but a statement, filled with wonder. It stunned Nathan. "You believe it all. I can see it on your face." For a moment, time seemed suspended as Nathan probed the inward recesses of his soul. There was still the incredulousness, still the sense of hearing something that couldn't possibly be true. And yet he knew it wa "You believe me, don't you, Nathan." It was not a question, but a statement, filled with wonder. It stunned Nathan. "You believe it all. I can see it on your face." For a moment, time seemed suspended as Nathan probed the inward recesses of his soul. There was still the incredulousness, still the sense of hearing something that couldn't possibly be true. And yet he knew it was. He knew without the least shadow of doubt that everything Joseph was telling him was true. And so, finally, with a wonder of his own, he said, "Yes, Joseph, I believe you." Pillar of Light — the first volume in the series The Work and the Glory — begins the epic story of the Benjamin Steed family. In the 1820s they move from Vermont to Palmyra Township in upstate New York in search of better farmland. There they meet a young man named Joseph Smith and are thrown into the maelstrom of conflict and controversy that swirls around him. Did he really see the Father and the Son in a pillar of light? Has he truly been visited by angelic messengers? What is all this talk about gold plates and new scripture? In short, is he a prophet and seer or a monumental fraud? The answers each one gives to these questions — intensely personal, potentially divisive — will dramatically affect the lives of the Steeds forever after. Author Gerald N. Lund here masterfully weaves together historical reality and high-powered fiction. In his hands this combination seems to make the reader an eyewitness to the early scenes of the Restoration, thus deepening one's understanding and appreciation of those momentous events. The well-drawn plot and fictional characters present a moving, gripping story. Here are Benjamin and Mary Ann Steed, devoted to each other as man and wife, yet at odds over religion; Joshua, their volatile son, who rebels and heads for trouble; the sensitive Nathan, their second son, in whom Joseph Smith's message strikes a responsive chord; the beautiful Lydia McBride, who captures the hearts of both Joshua and Nathan. This book skillfully explores the inmost motivations of Joseph Smith and his early followers and the responses of typical contemporary families to the claims he made. These people come to life in this powerful historical novel, a story that captures both the heartache and the happiness that came in the wake of Joseph's experience with the pillar of light.

30 review for Pillar of Light

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nola Redd

    I have to preclude this review with the statement: I first read this series while a high school. It was loaned to me (very slowly >.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Shawn Ruth

    The movies absolutely SUCK compared to the books. Such an AMAZING series! I have a new, educated view on church history because of this series. I love how you can see Joseph Smith as a real person. I swear my testimony of him is SOOOOOO much stronger because of these books. The author was brilliant about researching all of the facts and making sure everything is presented truthfully. I think he was truly inspired. The beginning of this first book was a little boring and took me awhile to get int The movies absolutely SUCK compared to the books. Such an AMAZING series! I have a new, educated view on church history because of this series. I love how you can see Joseph Smith as a real person. I swear my testimony of him is SOOOOOO much stronger because of these books. The author was brilliant about researching all of the facts and making sure everything is presented truthfully. I think he was truly inspired. The beginning of this first book was a little boring and took me awhile to get into; however, stick with it! The rest of the books are so amazing!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jeanette

    If I had rated this series when I first read it as a teenager, I would have given all the books a very enthusiastic 5. I loved these books but I recently tried to read them again and was surprised by how poorly written they are. I got about 1/4 through the second one before I stopped re-reading. A wonderful and compelling story that maybe should have been told by a better writer. (Now don't every one hate me because I just said that. I know how people feel about these books and this author.)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Wesley Morgan

    I'm surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. It wasn't as cheesy as I as expecting, and it told the story of Joseph Smith quite accurately. I don't think it's perfect, but seeing as our understanding of Church History is always improving, we can't blame Gerald Lund. For example, he mentions Joseph Smith's seer stones and his old treasure seeking work, but doesn't explain that the two went together. But again, that just reflects the cultural understanding of LDS History in the 1990's. The only o I'm surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. It wasn't as cheesy as I as expecting, and it told the story of Joseph Smith quite accurately. I don't think it's perfect, but seeing as our understanding of Church History is always improving, we can't blame Gerald Lund. For example, he mentions Joseph Smith's seer stones and his old treasure seeking work, but doesn't explain that the two went together. But again, that just reflects the cultural understanding of LDS History in the 1990's. The only other thing I noticed from my study of church history was the fact that Joseph Smith told the Steed family about his First Vision, even though we have no evidence that he was open about telling that story at that point in time. It is definitely possible that he did tell trusted acquaintances. Either way, I understand why Lund told the story this way. He uses the fictional Steed family not to recreate history exactly, but to tell a true story in an accessible way (similar to many movies "based on a true story"). My slight worry is that we have a hard time subconsciously separating fact from fiction, and people may lock inaccurate details into their mind, only to be surprised later when the story didn't happen as they had assumed. That being said, the history in this book is really good. There were many times, such as the "run with the plates," that I was impressed with how many correct details Lund included, and especially the way he weaved fictional characters into true events. I think this series is a great way to get people excited about LDS Church History. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series, especially the later books that will discuss events that I don't know as much about.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ranee

    AWESOME! My VERY favorite books to read, are LDS historical fiction! I love the way that Lund captures the surroundings and the scenery of the time, and draws you right into the story! The early saints of the church have always amazed me! Joseph Smith, his family, and many of the saints suffered so much, at the hands of those who mocked and terrorized them, but the work of the Lord continued to move forth! I am so grateful for my pioneer posterity, who have afforded me the blessings of the gospe AWESOME! My VERY favorite books to read, are LDS historical fiction! I love the way that Lund captures the surroundings and the scenery of the time, and draws you right into the story! The early saints of the church have always amazed me! Joseph Smith, his family, and many of the saints suffered so much, at the hands of those who mocked and terrorized them, but the work of the Lord continued to move forth! I am so grateful for my pioneer posterity, who have afforded me the blessings of the gospel, through their unquestionable faith, love and sacrifice!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    I started reading the Work and the Glory series when I was pregnant with our first child. I got really sick, so I was pretty much bed-ridden. My husband brought home the series and I devoured them. They are a MUST read, as once you start, you can't put them down! I LOVE how the author writes of true historical events through the eyes and lives of an imaginary family. This way, you connect with the world at that time, and you find yourself yelling, laughing, or crying at the book. Lol!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Paula

    Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. And I like Lund's writing style. I thought it was bold of him to invent a family, an interesting one at that, and tell the story of the early days of The Church. His account of history are well-researched and I was pleased that he didn't take real liberties with the actual people associated with the restoration of the Gospel. I learned a lot. I thought his characters spoke insightfully and Mrs. Steed, especially, was an example of a woman of fait Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. And I like Lund's writing style. I thought it was bold of him to invent a family, an interesting one at that, and tell the story of the early days of The Church. His account of history are well-researched and I was pleased that he didn't take real liberties with the actual people associated with the restoration of the Gospel. I learned a lot. I thought his characters spoke insightfully and Mrs. Steed, especially, was an example of a woman of faith. I found myself intrigued by the entire series, but I agree with the reviews that the end of the series wasn't as compelling as the beginning. I highly recommend Gerald Lund's The Kingdom and the Crown series where he places a fictional family into the New Testament like he does with the Steeds in The Work and the Glory.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Paul Finch

    Vol 1 of 9 large volumes depicting the early beginnings of the Mormon faith as if you were there, compelling, inspiring, painful, lots of emotions as you go through the faith development through trials, persecution, families divided, etc. Very powerful, highly recommended if you want to get a feel for the beginnings of a world faith from the humble faith of its founder.... loved it (am reading the series the second time, and Vol 1-3 were made into films, now on DVD. You'll understand Joseph Smit Vol 1 of 9 large volumes depicting the early beginnings of the Mormon faith as if you were there, compelling, inspiring, painful, lots of emotions as you go through the faith development through trials, persecution, families divided, etc. Very powerful, highly recommended if you want to get a feel for the beginnings of a world faith from the humble faith of its founder.... loved it (am reading the series the second time, and Vol 1-3 were made into films, now on DVD. You'll understand Joseph Smith, Mormons then and today and your heart will open wide for God's hand in the world and for the trials the development of faith and a religion require.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    Holy cow! I loved this book! It is a historical fiction book about a family named the Steeds. In the book they hire Hyrum and Joseph Smith to help to clear their land, but because of rumors about gold bibles and angles, fire them from their job, to save face in the public. Still a few members of the steed family continue to keep in contact, and soon, begin to head on to their way to conversion. I was surprised how accurate this book is pertaining to the gospel! I really enjoyed this book, and ho Holy cow! I loved this book! It is a historical fiction book about a family named the Steeds. In the book they hire Hyrum and Joseph Smith to help to clear their land, but because of rumors about gold bibles and angles, fire them from their job, to save face in the public. Still a few members of the steed family continue to keep in contact, and soon, begin to head on to their way to conversion. I was surprised how accurate this book is pertaining to the gospel! I really enjoyed this book, and hopefully others will too!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Blessing

    I read this a long time ago too - like Laura. I totally agree with the idea that I was "there in the story with them while everything was happening". I remember I couldn't put it down either. I read some of the other ones and stayed up late to finish them.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Shelley

    I have to say that I could only get 1/2 way through this. I love the idea of LDS church historical fiction, but I felt the characters weren't very real, and had no depth. The dialogue was the worst part. I'm ashamed every time I say it, but to be honest, I just couldn't get through these. Any thoughts?

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    Gerald Lund has written an amazing historial fiction series on the beginning days of the church. A must read for all.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kelley

    I LOVED THIS SERIES!!!!! I also loved that I could pick up some Church history while being completely enthralled with the adorable family!!!!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    I haven't read this series in 10 or 15 years. And now that I'm living in the Fingerlakes Region it is great to revisit these books and read about areas near where I live.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    I read this book in preparation for an upcoming trip back to New York to visit Palmyra and other church historical sites. I enjoyed learning about the early days of the Church from a fictional standpoint. It made it more realistic. As usual with the other books in this series, there were a lot of "Sunday School lessons" in the middle of the narrative. But, I knew that going into it. I read it for the history and enjoyed the story along the way. Also, I read it out loud to my 14-year-old son. I wa I read this book in preparation for an upcoming trip back to New York to visit Palmyra and other church historical sites. I enjoyed learning about the early days of the Church from a fictional standpoint. It made it more realistic. As usual with the other books in this series, there were a lot of "Sunday School lessons" in the middle of the narrative. But, I knew that going into it. I read it for the history and enjoyed the story along the way. Also, I read it out loud to my 14-year-old son. I wanted him to have a knowledge of Church history for our trip. I figured reading it in novel form would be more interesting than just learning it from a purely historical perspective while visiting the sites. It was very helpful! He knew more about the stories and Church history than he would have otherwise and found the sites we visited more interesting because of that knowledge.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ru4repeat

    The first time I read this I felt like the first book dragged a little in several places. Reading it for a second time I didn't feel that same sluggishness. There is a lot of backstory and introducing characters that does and needs to take place in this first book to accurately set the scene for the rest of the series. Understanding that has helped me to appreciate the attention the detail the author makes to provide historical backdrops to the underlying culture, emotions, and biases that exist The first time I read this I felt like the first book dragged a little in several places. Reading it for a second time I didn't feel that same sluggishness. There is a lot of backstory and introducing characters that does and needs to take place in this first book to accurately set the scene for the rest of the series. Understanding that has helped me to appreciate the attention the detail the author makes to provide historical backdrops to the underlying culture, emotions, and biases that existed in this era of history. I love how realistic the scenarios and descriptions feel. I am emotionally invested and drawn into each circumstance and thought bubble. On a steaminess level I would rate this a warm PG. Definitely something I would read with my mother or daughter.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Hayford

    I read this series a long time ago and loved it. My family has loved the movies and finally decided they wanted to read the book, so we listened to the audiobook as a family. It was such a neat experience. I forgot how wonderful the books are and how much is missing from the movies. I loved the spirit that was in our home as we listened and the lessons taught. Several times we paused the book to discuss what was going on. It has been a wonderful experience and we're excited to listen to the rest I read this series a long time ago and loved it. My family has loved the movies and finally decided they wanted to read the book, so we listened to the audiobook as a family. It was such a neat experience. I forgot how wonderful the books are and how much is missing from the movies. I loved the spirit that was in our home as we listened and the lessons taught. Several times we paused the book to discuss what was going on. It has been a wonderful experience and we're excited to listen to the rest of the series. I love the Steed family and Lydia. Sometimes it is hard to remember they are fictional when their lives are weaved into the lives of real people. I love their story and all the beautiful church history we learn through their story.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Williams

    This book was a really good book. I enjoyed reading a historical but fictional twisting an turning book. I really enjoyed the church history it held, being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints myself, or more formly known as the mormons I really enjoyed this. The book was full of hard trials and disbeliefs, fights and romance. This book really enlightens the amount of work anything takes to accomplish. With Joseph Smith's visions to Josiah's rebeliousness. To Romance betwe This book was a really good book. I enjoyed reading a historical but fictional twisting an turning book. I really enjoyed the church history it held, being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints myself, or more formly known as the mormons I really enjoyed this. The book was full of hard trials and disbeliefs, fights and romance. This book really enlightens the amount of work anything takes to accomplish. With Joseph Smith's visions to Josiah's rebeliousness. To Romance between Lydia and Josiah to the new love of Lydia and Nathan. This book gives inspiration that we can get through hard times with perservernce and hard work. This book was very long, almost a thousand pages I think nad the book never once didn't intrest me. I kept reading and I think I gt through half of the book in one day. This book was so good and I reccomend it to anyone who likes Historical Fiction with some Romance in it. This book always makes me think of life and how people may not have the same values, views or beliefs as us but we shouldn't take that on a personal level. We need to believe what and not care what others say. I really like this book and that is why I give it 5 stars.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    i think my mom got this book for free when she bought something at Deseret book several years ago. she didn't want it so she passed it to us. it's been on our bookshelf for several years. after reading a book where Mormons were the bad guys, I thought I'd go ahead and balance that out. I have mixed feelings about this book. the best parts were the parts where his characters were participating in significant events. the weakest parts were when they were just being filled in on what had happened w i think my mom got this book for free when she bought something at Deseret book several years ago. she didn't want it so she passed it to us. it's been on our bookshelf for several years. after reading a book where Mormons were the bad guys, I thought I'd go ahead and balance that out. I have mixed feelings about this book. the best parts were the parts where his characters were participating in significant events. the weakest parts were when they were just being filled in on what had happened without them. there were too many scenes like that throughout the book where Nathan or whoever was being briefed by another character on what was going on. when Joseph tells Nathan about his vision, I felt like I was reading Joseph Smith history straight out of the pearl of great price or out of a seminary manual. ditto other parts. also, the sections where the author wanted to share historical context or details could have been incorporated more subtly and smoothly, I think. like talking about glass windows on page 1. felt a little forced there. other things about the writing got on my nerves, too, but I did get engrossed in the story enough to look past these weaknesses, and it moved along pretty well. didn't love the ending. I know it's the first of a long series, but I think some things needed to be resolved a bit better to really end this one, especially with Joshua. not sure I'll bother with the next.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lana

    I love this series. I read the first few books a year or two ago and just remembered them recently and decided to reread them! I definitely did enjoy it as much as I did the first time, although I did note that there were quite a few editing errors that I hadn't noticed before. There are other, newer editions of it, so I'm just going to assume that they got fixed later on. Regardless, after getting about a third of the way through, I stopped seeing them, so either I got so sucked in I stopped no I love this series. I read the first few books a year or two ago and just remembered them recently and decided to reread them! I definitely did enjoy it as much as I did the first time, although I did note that there were quite a few editing errors that I hadn't noticed before. There are other, newer editions of it, so I'm just going to assume that they got fixed later on. Regardless, after getting about a third of the way through, I stopped seeing them, so either I got so sucked in I stopped noticing them, or they were only in the first part. So what did I love about this book? Well, first of all, I love learning about my church's history. I'd forgotten so much of this and when I read it again, I learned them again. I love the stories and all of the miracles, and...it's just amazing. This book was well-researched and I loved it all. And then the characters. Not only the real characters from the true church history, which I loved, but also the fictional characters. I love the span of them--an entire family, each of the characters well-developed and important. I love all of the Steeds and how awesome they all are. I also love the realism of the book. People made mistakes. People had fights, sometimes ones that ruined trust. It was wonderful. And the themes were great--family and faith and love. I definitely recommend this book to especially anyone who likes historical fiction or is interested in the LDS church...but anyone, really. It's an awesome story.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kierstin

    I'm realizing that I've previously been pretty good at saying this genre "isn't my thing," but wow. This was such a good read! I'd been meaning to read this for a very long time now, and I'm glad I finally got around to it. Initially I had the intention of only reading the first in this 9-book series (because you have to admit that is quite a length). But now, I'm excited to keep blazing through them! The only thing I can really nit-pick is that the writing style seems a little awkward at times, I'm realizing that I've previously been pretty good at saying this genre "isn't my thing," but wow. This was such a good read! I'd been meaning to read this for a very long time now, and I'm glad I finally got around to it. Initially I had the intention of only reading the first in this 9-book series (because you have to admit that is quite a length). But now, I'm excited to keep blazing through them! The only thing I can really nit-pick is that the writing style seems a little awkward at times, but it's fitting enough because of the time period and circumstance it takes place in. I can even say that this really encouraged my own reading of The Book of Mormon and instilled a greater appreciation for the persecution these poor people faced in spite of all the good they tried to bring. While the events described really took place, some of the characters are devised from the author's imagination, and I felt they fit in really well with the story. I loved reading through their separate journeys as each came to either accept or reject the truth of the gospel's restoration. I have so much respect for them, it was beautiful. I recommend this to those of LDS and non-LDS faiths alike, as it is a great introduction to the inception and beliefs of Mormonism.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alissa

    I tried the series back when I was about 13 and lost interest half way through the second book. When I was about 25 I tried it again. For me the 1st book is the most difficult to maintain an interest in as their are so many stories to follow and people to remember. I found that I had to commit to KEEP reading to maintain my interest into book 2. From there my interest picked up speed and I really started to enjoy the storyline(s). I read through to book 6 in about 3 weeks. I would recommend this I tried the series back when I was about 13 and lost interest half way through the second book. When I was about 25 I tried it again. For me the 1st book is the most difficult to maintain an interest in as their are so many stories to follow and people to remember. I found that I had to commit to KEEP reading to maintain my interest into book 2. From there my interest picked up speed and I really started to enjoy the storyline(s). I read through to book 6 in about 3 weeks. I would recommend this book to a member of the LDS faith who's ALREADY familiar with LDS church history. The reason: despite the fact that the book discusses the church's history in detail, the events of the book are mixed with a fictional family storyline and characters, which may end up simply confusing a reader who may not recoginze names, places, and the difference between the fact and the fiction. To those who are unfamiliar with the book series, you will find romance, heartbreak, suspense, church history, and the love of family.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Allyson

    I was somewhat resistant to the idea of reading these books - I didn't take the time to really see what they were all about, I just assumed that since they seemed so 'trendy' at the time, they would probably be 'light' reading or even 'corny.' I was SO wrong... and I'm SO glad that I realized that if my mom was enjoying them so much and recommending them to me, they must be worthwhile. This series, along with the Kent Family Chronicles (by John Jakes, about the United States), made me fall in lov I was somewhat resistant to the idea of reading these books - I didn't take the time to really see what they were all about, I just assumed that since they seemed so 'trendy' at the time, they would probably be 'light' reading or even 'corny.' I was SO wrong... and I'm SO glad that I realized that if my mom was enjoying them so much and recommending them to me, they must be worthwhile. This series, along with the Kent Family Chronicles (by John Jakes, about the United States), made me fall in love with historical fiction. In this case, it was not only my knowledge of Church history events that was increased, but my understanding of those events. When I read about all of the people and events in story form, chronological order, and in a cultural and historical context, I felt that I had a much clearer 'big picture' than ever before. Reading this series was such a wonderful way to increase both my knowledge of the Church and my testimony of the gospel.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    Work and the Glory books: All nine novels were great! They are based on my favorite thing in the whole world, the gospel of Jesus Christ. But, as you know I must have romance. He includes both for me and I love it. Very well written incorporating the history of the church in it. I was very reluctant to start these books but finally did and was so glad I did. I especially enjoyed reading them because my Grandma and I did it together. I'd finish one and give it to her and she'd read it while I wen Work and the Glory books: All nine novels were great! They are based on my favorite thing in the whole world, the gospel of Jesus Christ. But, as you know I must have romance. He includes both for me and I love it. Very well written incorporating the history of the church in it. I was very reluctant to start these books but finally did and was so glad I did. I especially enjoyed reading them because my Grandma and I did it together. I'd finish one and give it to her and she'd read it while I went onto the next. We had fun discussing it.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Erika B. (SOS BOOKS)

    I've read the entire series so I'll just review them as a whole on this one review! GOOD GRIEF these books are sooooooo good!!! I am in love with the Steed family and I learned so much about the pioneers and the hardships they went through! I had to remind myself that the Steeds weren't real sometimes because I would find myself thinking about them and routing for them! Well worth the nine novels worth because they just get more seasoned and amazing!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jeannie

    I loved it. I couldn't put it down. Fictional characters placed in a true story that I already know and love. Why I didn't read this sooner, I do not know. Towards the end Gerald Lund sums it all up with one simple phrase--the fire of conversion. I don't think I've ever heard such a simple and accurate description of the drive and passion that conversion creates. I've already ordered the next three books in the series.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea

    This book covers the time from before Joseph Smith received the plates through the first church meeting on April 6, 1830. Although there is probably less than 20% actually facts in this historical fiction, I really enjoyed it. The story made the facts stick better, and I learned a lot! I know much more now about what happened in Palmyra/Harmony/Fayette than I did before because the story strung it all together in a nice little package.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    As a convert, I didn't "get" the whole pioneer thing... until I read this series of books. They changed my life from being a little resentful (because I did not have LDS pioneer heritage) to being extremely grateful for all the pioneers and what they went through to bring me the Gospel happiness that I have today. I think this should be a MUST read for any Latter Day Saint.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kris Irvin

    I decided to re-read this series. I first read them when I was 11 over the course of one summer and I *LOVED* them. For an 11 year old, they were amazing and had it all. As an adult, it's been hard to go back to them because the writing is, well, not great. Lund can get overly preachy at times and oh my word, does he ever go into detail and drag on, but I still enjoyed reading this.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lauryn

    I agree with my fellow critics--the writing style is almost unbearable at some parts. But the plot is VERY creative, and I gained a greater testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, which was part of my purpose in reading it in the first place. I also LOVE the Mormon romance, I'm keeping an eye out for modern-day Nathan Steeds. ;)

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