Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Blog Tour/Review: Women of Faith, Volume 3, by Richard E. Turley, Jr. and Brittany A. Chapman

Women of Faith in the Latter-Days: Volume Three, 1846-1870, by Richard E. Turley, Jr. and Brittany A. Chapman
2014, 377p, LDS Non-Fiction
My Rating=4 Stars
Source: Received copy from publisher for an honest review

This groundbreaking series tells the stories of women in the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints whose lives of faith and dedication deserve emulation. Each chapter recounts a woman's trials, triumphs, and testimony, often in her own words.

Volume 3 features women born between 1846 and 1870 and includes well-known women and other publicly unknown. Their lifespans range from the era of the Mormon pioneers to the beginnings of the space age. Al these women knew pioneer life firsthand. Many also experienced the gradual transition to modern life and the expansion of the Church to far-flung parts of the globe.

Here you will encounter such diverse women as Martha Hughes Cannon, the first female state senator in the United States; Tsune Ishida Nachie, and early Japanese convert and dedicated missionary; Ellis Reynolds Shipp, a medical doctor in early Utah; Mere Mete Whaanga, a leading Maori who migrated to Utah; general Relief Society presidents Sarah Louisa Yates Robison and Clarissa Smith Williams; and Cohn Shoshonitz Zundel, a Shoshone women who lived nearly fifty years as a widow.

The faith these women exhibited as they rejoiced in blessings and dealt with struggles provides a model for us in facing our own challenges as we strive to build lives of faith today.

Additional biographies of Latter-day Saint women of faith born between 1846 and 1870 are available in the eBook edition of this volume.

There are 23 chapters in this book, each one about a different woman of faith during this time period. Each chapter is actually written by a different author, from well-established scholars to beginning writers and different approaches are taken for each chapter. It also includes sketches of women outside of the United States.

This series will consist of seven volumes and the chapters are arranged alphabetically by the last name of each woman. Since it's not in a novel form, you can start with any of them. I found it easier for me to read a couple of chapters at a time in between other books I was reading.

One of my favorite chapters to read was Chapter 12: "Welcome the Task that Takes You Beyond Yourself," Sarah Louisa Yates Robison (1866-1946), by Patricia Lemmon Spilsbury. She preferred to go by the name Louise. She was the first Relief Society general president to speak in a regular session of General Conference. She stressed leadership development and the importance of making all members feel comfortable. She traveled around and served in several different capacities and was released in 1939.

I especially love the final paragraph in her chapter: "Perhaps her greatest gift was her understanding heart and firm conviction that every child of Heavenly Father needs the human touch. She was remembered by those who worked closest with her for her compassion and her service. Members of her Relief Society board proclaimed, 'No leader has been more greatly loved, and few so loved.' Louise Yates Robison personified her theme 'Go where you're needed; do what you can,' a standard still relevant today." (p. 157)

The women in these stories come from all walks of life. Some are highly educated and others have little formal schooling. I related to some of the women more than others. This is during the time that polygamy was a hot issue so a lot of women in these stories were involved in polygamous relationships. Polygamy was abandoned around this time so their chapters include the trials and hardships that came from that. The common thread for each woman in this book is that they each had trials and had plenty of opportunities to exercise their faith and each story was inspirational. This book is definitely worth the read!

About the Authors

RICHARD E. TURLEY, JR., Assistant Church Historian and Recorder for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is the chairman of the editorial board for The Joseph Smith Papers series. He is the author or co-author of several books, including How We Got the Book of Mormon, with William W. Slaughter; Massacre at Mountain Meadows, with Ronald W. Walker and Glen M. Leonard; and Stories from the Life of Joseph Smith, with Lael Littke. In addition, he is the coeditor of the series Women of Faith in the Latter Days, with Brittany A. Chapman. He and his wife, Shirley, live in Taylorsville, Utah.

Brittany A. Chapman is a historian in the Church History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


Paij Slater said...

I love reading books about women and their great faith....Makes me want to be a better person. Thanks for sharing :)

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