Book Review Series: Doing No Harm

Doing No HarmGuest Post by Kalliope. Kalliope is a former college instructor in both written and oral communications courses. She earned an MA in Linguistics from BYU and recently began a PhD program at University of London. She has two naughty kitties that fill her days with glares and snuggles. You can read another post by her here


Doing No Harm by Carla Kelly is a historical fiction following the exploits and adventures of a recently retired Royal Navy surgeon desperately seeking fewer exploits and adventures. The surgeon, Mr. Douglas Bowden, gets unexpectedly drawn into the needs of Edgar, a small Scottish village by the sea. He befriends many residents, and most especially on Miss Olive Grant, proprietor of a tearoom and overall saintly, spunky spinster.


This book dealt with some themes I did not expect, but greatly appreciated. I admit that I was expecting a fairly standard historical romance: boy and girl meet… boy and girl hate each other… but it was all a misunderstanding… so now boy and girl love each other. But that wasn’t this book at all. Both Douglas and Olive gave themselves in service to their neighbors and it is through that path that they find each other – while they are caring for the destitute refugees from the Scottish highlands driven from their lands and dumped on the shores of Edgar by crass, capitalistic landlords. This was unexpected, but appealing to me. I really liked how the main characters worked with each other to cajole the townspeople into taking better care of each other. This, to me, was far more the focus of this novel than the romance was – the idea that working together and sharing together and giving freely makes everyone wealthier, in more than in just money.

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Book Review Series: Count It All Joy

Guest post by Quimby. You can read some of Quimby’s previous posts here, and here

Count It All Joy: Finding Peace in a Troubled World

I live in the Australian bush, in a log cabin surrounded by trees.  I love where I live.  I love the gentle contours of the land.  I love the trill call of the cockatoos as they fly overhead in deafening flocks.  I love the laughter of the kookaburra as it wakes me at sunrise.  I love the lizards, which flit in and out of the cracks in the mortar.  Most of all I love the trees – the towering sycamores, the hardy blackwoods, and the spindly gum trees.  I especially love the bark of the ghost gum, its blue-pink-brown-grey trunk like a haphazard paint by number.  In the summer, the sun heats the oil in its leaves, and when it rains, the scent is released, diffused in the air like some sort of heaven.  When there is a summer rainstorm I open all the windows and breathe deeply.

Summer also means bushfire season.  We are poised, always ready to run at a moment’s notice, to flee the smoke and heat and fire and find refuge elsewhere.  A few years ago, the fire came to within half a kilometre of our house.  Several dozen homes and outbuildings were destroyed.  Ours was spared.  When we returned days later, we saw the blackened earth, the charcoaled trees, and marvelled at the destruction.

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December Young Women Lesson: What is Zion?

Traducción española/Click for Spanish Translation Translation generously provided by Cesar Carreon.


City of Zion Taken Up

For the teacher

(link to lesson outline

The word “Zion” has many meanings in our vernacular.  The original Zion was the city of Enoch, whose citizens were so righteous and pure that they were taken up to God’s bosom without tasting death (translated.) Since then, it is used throughout the scriptures to describe “the pure in heart” or to refer to the Lord’s people. It can mean the state of a person’s heart, and the unity of a community. Early Mormon pioneers used the term “Zion” to refer to the place where they could finally gather together and worship God in peace — eventually Utah. Oddly, there sprung up a retail shop, Zion’s Cooperative Mercantile Inc. (ZCMI), a bank – Zions Bank, and a National Park – Zion National Park, all using Zion in the title. (Whether or not they are the pure in heart, I cannot say.) It is also used in the scriptures to refer to Ancient Jerusalem and “New Jerusalem” (in connection with the second coming of Jesus Christ.)

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Book Review Series: Understanding Your Endowment

Understanding Your Endowment

This book is written by Cory Jensen and published by Cedar Fort, Inc. All of the author’s proceeds from this book are being donated to Mentors International and other global charitable organizations. 


I confess that as I read the title of this book, I became uncomfortable. The temple is without argument, a sacred place. But it can also be a place of hurt, a place that is so symbolic that it is problematic, and a place that becomes so routine we become bored. I know more women who do not enjoy the temple than those who do enjoy it, so wanted to try to keep them in mind as I read and reviewed the text. And having just read and reviewed  First Principles And Ordinances, I wasn’t sure I was in the mood to read or review another temple book.


But, oh! I am so glad that I did. I really loved this book. The ideas and thoughts presented by the author are clearly motivated by love, and I thoroughly appreciated the lense in which he discussed the temple, especially the initiatory and the endowment. Cutting to the chase, this is one of my favourite treasures:


Recognise the temple endowment as your own personal Liahona. Consider anew a well-known scripture: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and the spirit of God dwell within you? (I Corinthians 3:16, emphasis added).” You’ve likely heard this scripture repeated often. Pause and think about it carefully. What if Paul wasn’t just employing an analogy? Perhaps he meant exactly as he said: You are the temple of God. What if your real endowment is your life? (64)

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Book Review Series: The Bishop’s Wife (Plus: ebooks that read out loud and giving ebooks as gifts)


The Bishop's Wife (A Linda Wallheim Mystery)This mystery novel by Mormon feminist Mette Ivie Harrison is told from the perspective of Linda Wallheim, an LDS bishop’s wife in a predominately Mormon suburb of Salt Lake City. Linda is more progressive than the average Mormon in many of her views; she is pleased when her son joins the Gay Straight Alliance at his high school and isn’t scandalized by couples that marry outside the temple. However, her lifestyle is conservative, even more so than that of most Mormons. Although she is nearly an empty nester, she does not work outside the home and hasn’t done so since before the first of her five children was born.

With her sons grown up and no professional responsibilities, she has a lot of time available to serve as an unofficial assistant to her husband, the bishop. In fact, while the actual bishop is doing his paid day job as an accountant, Linda spends most of her day doing the sorts of things full-time professional clergy might do: visiting the sick and afflicted in her congregation (often at her husband’s request) and even counseling members who approach her for advice when they want a woman’s perspective, something the LDS Church’s male-only priesthood structure can’t offer them. Through these acts of service and her own nosiness, she becomes privy to intimate details of her neighbors’ lives. When tragedy takes place in her neighborhood, she is among the first on the scene. When news crews have lost interest, she is still there, both to help families cope and to search for answers.

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Book Review Series: Elizabeth Dorathy’s Book of Mormon Journals

Don’t forget: By making a thoughtful comment on this post, subscribing to the Exponent magazine, or making a donation to Exponentii, you will be entered into to draw to win one of many books being reviewed! 

My Witness of Jesus Christ: Book of Mormon Journal for YouthScripture Power! Book of Mormon Journal for ChildrenGuest post by Quimby. You can read some of Quimby’s previous posts here, and here


This is a combined review of both of Elizabeth Dorathy’s books: Scripture Power! Book of Mormon Journal for Children (US$8.99 / CFI Books) and My Witness of Jesus Christ: Book of Mormon Journal for Youth (US$16.99 / CFI Books)



Some years ago, I decided to journal my experiences reading the Book of Mormon. BOM1Over a period of about a year, I read the Book of Mormon, taking notes about what I was reading – verses that meant something to me; questions I had; answers to questions. It was a valuable experience, and I felt I grew a lot during the process – but oh, if only I’d had these journals instead!

My notes were a tangled mess; and I never did find them useful to refer back to. There was just no structure. They were also written haphazardly in a couple of composition books. And because my handwriting is bad at the best of times, they were jumbled up, indecipherable mess.

You could follow my example, and create your own Book of Mormon Journal. I highly doubt you’d have the same problems deciphering your handwriting that I had. Or, you could use Elizabeth Dorathy’s journals to help prompt you and to guide your study the next time you read the Book of Mormon.

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Bearskin is the charming debut novel by Jamie Robyn Wood. This young-adult fantasy follows the plight of two sets of siblings and is told from their various perspectives. Crown Prince Conrad and his stepsiblings, Moiria and Heppson, are faced with their mother’s witchcraft and attempts to create discord within the family. In contrast, sisters Heart and Lark live a sheltered existence in the woods. All of them are affected by the actions of the evil queen, and must make choices about how they react to her schemes.

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