Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Repost: Mormon Book Bits #1: Russell M. Nelson, From Heart to Heart: An Autobiography

Editor's note: With Russell M. Nelson becoming the new president of the Church, it seems appropriate to repost the first installment of "Mormon Book Bits" by Dennis Horne.

Mormon Book Bits


 Russell M. Nelson, From Heart to Heart: An Autobiography

            One of the most desirable Mormon books today is this autobiography of Russell M. Nelson (not to be confused with his biography, published years later). No one seems to know how many were printed, but the prevailing notion is around 2-300, though that number could be high. In 1989, in reply to a letter from a collector that had read a copy and found it highly enjoyable, Elder Nelson wrote the following: “I am amazed you were able to acquire a copy of From Heart to Heart. This book I prepared for the family. There are a few extra copies about, but it has been out of print for quite some time.”

It should be realized that this book was written before Russell Nelson became Elder (now President) Russel M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (1979), and therefore contains no information about his service as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve. Without his call to this position in the Church, the book would likely have remained a wonderful but obscure personal biography of a prominent heart surgeon and mid-level church leader, but would not have attained the status and desirability it now carries, especially for collectors of LDS biography. The lack of apostolic status at the time of publication seems to have been both a positive and a negative. Positive because the book did not have to be censored and therefore contains marvelous information only meant for family and friends. Negative because his unquestionably many edifying apostolic experiences are absent.

            One need only peruse the following sample of highlights to realize the quality of the gems found within its pages:

Saturday, January 6, 2018

The Gift of the Holy Ghost

by Christopher R. Greenwood

The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter and unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever (D&C 121: 46).
     During the summer of 2005, my two oldest sons, Conrad and Caleb, were on a Young Men’s white-water river trip adventure in Moab, Utah.  While they were going down the fast currents of the Colorado River, a strong storm stopped them from continuing on.  As many people know, the weather in southern Utah can become very extreme and dangerous at times.  The party soon became separated.  The leaders were further up the river and out of sight, but Conrad and Caleb, as some of the oldest of the young men, “felt” that they needed to take it upon themselves at that time to bring up the tail end of the group and to ensure all were okay.  The boys made the decision to beach the rafts and take cover from the hail under a tree nearby, close to shore.  While they were under this tree, the sky got darker, the hail got worse, and the wind significantly increased.  The young men that were with Conrad and Caleb in this adventure were getting a little frightened at this awesome display of nature and began to question if they were safe or not.  At this exact point, Caleb “felt” that a prayer would be appropriate and Conrad volunteered to say it on behalf of all present.  According to Conrad, during the prayer, the memory of our most recent Family Home Evening came to his mind with the added thought to put into practice what they had been taught during that particular Family Home Evening.  As a result, Conrad “felt” to voice in his prayer that they “would be able to adapt to their individual circumstances”. Shortly afterwards, the storm was over, and they were able to rejoin their group further up river with no injuries or trauma, but only an interesting memory.