Friday, August 24, 2012

The Mormonizing of America- How the Mormon Religion Became a Dominate Force in the Politics, Entertainment, Pop and Culture

Book review The Mormonizing of America- How the Mormon Religion Became a Dominate Force in the Politics, Entertainment, Pop and Culture By Stephen Mansfield

Stephen Mansfield has written a very interesting book about the Mormons or Latter-day Saints, or LDS, as they prefer to be called. He has the story of the beginnings of this religion, which is the only religion that began in America. It is never called the Mormon Church because it is too informal. (pg xvix), They always capitalize the word Church, members call themselves Saints and believe they are Christians and not a cult.
Joseph Smith began this religion in Fayette, New York in 1830 with four other men. This new church is called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Joseph Smith is the Elder.
I know very little of the Mormons and their religion. This book has given me some insight of what they believe and why. As a Catholic, I will say I do not believe in some of their teachings but many religions do not believe in what I am taught. The author makes it clear at the beginning he is not a Mormon but never declares his religion. He has written a book on and about a religion.
There are nearly seven million Mormons in America (2012), barely 2 percent of the United States. It's a million more people than live in the state of Washington, a million less than in the state of Virginia (page 23),
An LDS member is to tithe, attend meetings, devote time to the family and many more commitments. Families are the eternal institution. (pg 34). Many LDS historians admit that many of the Church's ceremonies were influenced by the Freemasonic worldview and rituals. (pg 109). Joseph Smith said the Bible must be translated correctly. (page 245)
As a youth, members are to expected to give two years of their life to the Church when they become missionaries and are sent to different places in the world. (page 220). Mitt Romney was almost killed in France in an auto accident during his mission.
The Book of Mormon claims to be the history of Jewish tribes in the New world. (page 139)
The Contents of The Mormonizing of America- How the Mormon Religion Became a Dominate Force in the Politics, Entertainment, Pop and Culture are:
Acknowledgements (page xi) (When Stephen Mansfield is researching)
On Saintly Language (page xix) (Use of the letters of LDS and the word "Mormon".)
Prologue: Scenes from the Land of the Saints (page 1) ( Conversations and scenes)
Introduction: Engine of the Mormon Ascent (page 23) ( The Mormon rise, spiritual, family, patriotism, education.)
Chapter 1: The Mormon View of Morminism (page 51) (Conversations, what matters to a Mormon)
A Mormon Chronology (from circa 600 BC to 1904)
Chapter 2: In Search of True Religion (page 79) This chapter has young Joseph Smith and his mother, Lucy)
Chapter 3: Joseph Smith: Prophet and Magician (page 97) (Chapter when he meets Emma Hale, Smith's first wife)
Chapter 4: The Golden Plates (page 115) (Smith describes the plates as being "six inches wide and eight inches long and not quite as thick as a common tin. They were filled with engravings, in Egyptian characters and bound together in a volume, as the leaves of a book with three rings running through the whole" (page 122)
Chapter 5: An American Gospel (page 135) (Understanding The Book of Mormon. The first book sold for $1.25 in 1830 (page 138).
Mormon Beliefs in plain Language (page 157) (Explaining the beliefs of the Mormons)
Chapter 6: A New Breed of Men (page 163) (Revelations sent to Joseph Smith)
Chapter 7: Among a Progressing People (page 187) (In this chapter leadership is passed to Brigham Young)
Chapter 8: The Earthly Fruit of Faith (page 203) (Interviews of some members, the "natural" and "earthly" emphasis in Mormon theology, Smith tarred and a somewhat mixture in this chapter.)
Chapter 9: The Work Unfinished (page 223) (Changes in the religion)
Appendix A : Joseph Smith's Articles of Faith (page 245) (There are 13 written by Smith)
Appendix B: Surprising Quotes from Mormon Leaders (page 279) (These are from Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Wilford Woodruff, Oliver B. Huntington, Joseph Field Smith (I am not certain if this is Joseph Smith or not- Leona)
Notes (page 257)
Bibliography (page 262)
There are two places in the book which have pictures of Smith and his mother, brother and wife for some and Orrin Hatch, Marie and Donny Osmond, Glenn Beck, George Romney, Mitt Romney, Harry Reid, the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City and more.
The book is dedicated to David Foster 1953-2012
2012 published by Worthy Publishing
ISBN- 978-1-617950-78-0 (hardcover)
ebook available at
The author, Stephen Mansfield may be reached at www.MansfieldGroup,com
I received a complimentary copy of The Mormonizing of America from the publisher. I wish to thank the publisher and the author for this book.
I give this book a 5 star for the research and down to earth observations. The opinions are my own.
Leona Olson

Monday, August 6, 2012

Where Heaven Begins By Rosanne Bittner
The book begins August 4, 1898.
Elizabeth Breckenridge has just been informed by the church deacons that she must leave Reverend Selby's residence because of an incident that was not her fault. Now, left alone in the world with her parents dead and her brother in Alaska, she has an uncertain future.
Elizabeth has decided to go to Alaska to find her brother, Peter, who is a minister of a church in Dawson.
Her journey begins at the wharf in San Francisco as she prepares to board the Alaskan Damsel. Elizabeth sees all kinds of people also waiting to board: Chinese, Negroes, painted women, a couple of men that might be Eskimo as well as the men searching for gold. She has never been around people of different races even though her father did minister to everyone.
Elizabeth's purse is robbed by a man and as she is yelling, another man comes to her rescue and retrieves her bag. His name is Clint Brady, a bounty hunter who is going to Alaska to get a criminal.
Now the adventure and hardships begin. Clint and Elizabeth are the main characters of the book.
Where Heaven Begins is filled with quotes from the Bible and Elizabeth prays all the time. I found it a fast moving and page turning book. I will give it a five star because it really kept my attention. A book of history, love, hardships, emotions, patience and tolerance.
You can find the author at :

Leona Olson

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Moon Cursed by Lori Handeland

Moon Cursed by Lori Handeland

Lori Handeland had me at the beginning with the words: "The first recorded sighting of the Loch Ness Monster was by Saint Columba in AD 565. The most recent occurred just last year."

Kristin Daniels was the host of a television program called Hoax Hunters, which has just been canceled.

She thought if she debunked the mystery for the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland, that would prove the world would want the film.

Kris has been alone since her mother died and her brother and father left, she did not know where they were but knew she would be fine all alone in Scotland.

Right away she meets Liam Grant by the Urquhart Castle. He kisses her and this is just the beginning of her adventures. Dead bodies, legends of the monster, strange tattoos, love, feelings, unusual happenings and so much more. Some other characters are Jamaica who has a coffee shop, Alan Mac the constable, Dougal Scott a native of the area but from America and her landlady, Effy and Effy's brother.

This is a good read and for those who have read Lori Handeland, this is another wonderful book. She has done a good job on the accents, the mystery and the description of the location brings me right back to the Loch. I have been there and it is very beautiful. I did not see Nessie that day but I did bring back a souvenir of a ceramic Nessie.

Shakespeare Undead by Lori Handeland

Shakespeare Undead by Lori Handeland
William Shakespeare and Kate made a fun read. Vampires and zombies are not something I expected in s book about Shakespeare but it worked in this book. Each chapter had a quote from a play by William Shakespeare, that took some research and gave the reader unfamiliar with the plays, a look into the works of Shakespeare.
Kate is a chaseur, a hunter of zombies; her husband is in Virginia half of the year and does not know what she is doing. Kate and Will are in London.
Will and Kate join forces to fight the zombies. Will is a vampire.
One chapter is Kate in first person and the next chapter is in third person for Will so one may become confused at the beginning.
I will give this a 3.5 star.
I checked this book out from my library.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Accused by Janice Cantore


From the Back Cover

“Time to prove she isn’t a broken cop.”
An officer-involved shooting six months earlier takes Detective Carly Edwards off the street and sends her to a boring desk job in juvenile. When a troubled youth is arrested for the murder of the mayor, Carly is summoned to the crime scene. Homicide thinks it’s a quick, open-and-shut case, and Carly hopes this will be her ticket back to patrol.

Though her professional life seems to be on track, Carly still has unresolved issues in her personal life. Nick, her ex-husband and fellow police officer, is determined to show Carly that he’s a changed man, but she isn’t convinced he won’t betray her again.

As the murder investigation progresses, Carly suspects a cover-up and strikes out on her own, uncertain whom she can trust. But she soon realizes the case may put her directly in the killers’ crosshairs.

Janice Cantore is a retired Long Beach police officer who now writes suspense novels to keep readers engrossed and leave them inspired. Her years of experience on the force lend authenticity to her stories. Accused is the first in the three-book Pacific Coast Justice series.
I usually do not add the information about the book from the covers but this time I did because it gave a good explanation of the book.
This is the first book I have read by Janice Cantore, and I did find a fast-moving book but I found there were too many directions the book was going. It was a quick read and I thought I knew some of the ending but I did not know all for it; this is what makes a good book.
As a reader, I could feel the frustrations of the main characters and I also wondered who was to be trusted.
Carly's mother, who in religious, tries to tell Carly to believe and trust in the Lord. This is a Christian romance novel but not overly pushed. I like the relationship between Carly's mother and Carly's ex, Nick.
Because the author was an officer at one time, you will find "police talk" in the book, which brought some realism into the book. There is some violence.
Janice Cantore can be found at
I am giving this book a 4 star because it keep me interested even if I did get confused sometimes.
I checked this book out of my local library.
Leona Olson

The Complete Beginner's Guide to Genealogy, the Internet, and Your Genealogy Complete Program

The Complete Beginner's Guide to Genealogy, the Internet, and Your Genealogy Complete Program by Karen Clifford, A.C.
Table of Contents:
Chapter 1. Principles of Success for the Family Historian
Chapter 2. Organizing Family Information
Chapter 3. Becoming Acquainted with Your Genealogy Program
Chapter 4. Why Document?
Chapter 5. Printing Your Records
Chapter 6. Your Family History Book
Chapter 7. Developing a Sense of Our Ancestors
Chapter 8. Resolving Conflict
Chapter 9. State Vital Record Offices, Public Libraries, Courthouses and Local Repositories
Chapter 10. Resources of the Family History Library
Chapter 11. Major Date Bases of the Family History Library
Chapter 12. Using Local Family History Centers
Chapter 13. National Archives and Regional Records Services Facilities
Chapter 14. Census Records Between 1850-1920
Chapter 15. Analysis and Goal Setting
Chapter 16. Sharing Your Family History Research
Appendix A. The Internet and Genealogy
Appendix B. Genealogical Forms
"Some have been denied families of example, but somewhere on every family tree there is a hero. There are also explanations for feelings, for traditions, for understanding ourselves. There are examples of histories we don't want to see repeated, lessons learned, and visions of what we may become." By Karen Clifford on page 1-1 of Chapter One.
The book has 'Terms to Understand" throughout. The first term is "genealogy"- "A record or table of the descent of a person, family, or group from an ancestor or ancestors" on page 11 Chapter 1. The last term is "NON NOBIS SOLUM" - "We are not alone" on page 15-13 of Chapter 16.
A good book for beginners as well as experiences one studying genealogy.
I found it is a book that informs as well as encourages one to search for their own family history and is very detailed. There are forms, questions the readers are to ask of themselves, lists of what to do, tips, computer information, goal settings, becoming a family historian, where to search and so much more.
Karen Clifford can be found at Genealogy Research Associates.
I got my book from my library but one can order through GRA.
I give it a five star because of so much information.
Leona Olson