Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Books That Shape Us

by Julie Coulter Bellon

As writers and artists we have a unique opportunity to touch the hearts and minds of those around us. I treasure the letters that I’ve received from people who have read my books and said that their perspectives were changed while reading or who said they received a bit of respite from overwhelming trials by reading my books. There is just something so wonderful about being able to reach people through my books---words and stories that came from my imagination. It’s an incredible feeling.

I’ve also been touched by books throughout my life. I know it sounds corny, but I’ve always loved Shakespearean plays. The tragedy, the characters, they’ve all brought something to my view of the world. I also love Jane Austen and the society and characters she wrote about and loved. I will always be grateful for the Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, and the Hardy Boys series from my youth. They were a great escape for me and I could always count on some great mystery and adventure.

There is one book, however, that changed my life forever. It's not fiction or easy reading, but it is something substantial and foundational. The man who translated it was born today, in a small Vermont town, over two hundred years ago. His translation work resulted in a book that has touched the life of millions, changed world perspectives, and provided respite from overwhelming trials much more than any work published since. This book is revered across the world as another testament of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. The book is the Book of Mormon and the man who translated it---whose birthday it is today---is Joseph Smith.

So, at this holiday season, when I am counting my blessings, remembering my Savior, and feeling humble awe at the mission and life of Jesus Christ, I will also be thinking about how grateful I am for a young boy who was obedient to God, who withstood the persecution and trials that were heaped upon him for saying what he knew to be true, and for his unwavering faith as he translated sacred records. The Book of Mormon is a foundation stone in my life and I am grateful for the words within its pages. I cannot imagine the person I would be without it. I know my heart has been touched irrevocably as I’ve read it, and today, I’m going to just take a minute to express the gratitude I have for Joseph Smith the prophet on his birthday.

I also want to say that I am most grateful for the friends I have here at the Frog blog and I’m so lucky to know you all. Merry Christmas!


At 12/23/2010 7:31 PM, Blogger Taffy said...

Thanks for the post Julie!

At 12/23/2010 8:00 PM, Blogger Rebecca Talley said...

Great post! Thank you for reminding me.

At 12/24/2010 5:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love hearing or reading your testimony of the things and books that shaped your life and inspired mine!!

At 12/24/2010 11:26 AM, Blogger Steve Westover said...

Thank you for sharing and ditto :>)
Merry Christmas!

At 12/24/2010 12:38 PM, Blogger Danyelle Ferguson said...

Beautiful post, Julie. Thank you for sharing your testimony and love of the gospel.

At 12/25/2010 5:17 PM, Blogger Charlie Moore said...

I got some reading material for Christmas ranging from Cold as Ice to To the Rescue: Biography of Thomas S. Monson. These I look forward to reading. The Book of Mormon, of course, stands alone for feeding our spiritual needs and is the most important series of stories ever composed.



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