New releases provide guidance to record your thoughts

Last week, Grammarly put up a blog post listing the “10 Ways Keeping a Journal Will Genuinely Improve Your Life”. Their list included the following benefits of keeping a journal:

  1. Clarifies your thoughts
  2. Makes you more organized and focused
  3. Helps remind you of past achievements
  4. Helps you to quiet your mind
  5. Allows you an opportunity to get to know yourself
  6. Let’s you gain perspective
  7. Unloads the weight of your troubles
  8. Makes you more emotionally fit
  9. Improves your memory
  10. Harnesses your creativity

This month, Plain Sight Publishing would like to announce the release of 3 new journals to help in this process of improving lives.

Heart-Might-Mind-and-Strength_9781462117109_web2x3Heart, Might, Mind & Strength: A Journal for Sister Missionaries 

This gorgeous journal has been custom created for sister missionaries by award-winning designer Teresa Collins. The organizational tools, fun tabs, and inspirational quotes inside will help you focus on the purpose of your experience and mark significant lessons, baptisms, and transfer dates. It’s the perfect place to record the precious mission memories you’ll cherish for years to come.

Purchase: Amazon | Books & Things

lineuponlineLine Upon Line: An LDS Young Woman’s 6-Year Q&A Journal

365 questions, 6 years, 8 values, 2,190 answers. This Q&A journal is designed especially for the LDS young woman with some questions inspired by Young Women values and others that are just for fun. In only minutes each day, the writer can track her thoughts, her hopes, and the growth in her testimony as she navigates a busy life from Beehive to Laurel and beyond.

Purchase: Amazon | Books & Things

mission journalMission Journal (Ring-bound)

Keep your mission memories close with this customizable mission journal. Perfect for elders or sisters, this journal features tabs for marking transfers, companions, and important dates. With a sturdy, durable design and pages for contact information to help you stay in touch, it is sure to become a treasured keepsake for years to come.

Purchase: Amazon | Books & Things


5 Ways to Make Baptism More Meaningful to Your 8-Year-Old

unnamed-2Celebrating an eighth birthday means a child has finally reached the point when he or she can choose to be baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It’s a special day for kids and parents alike, but parents know that the event often means they have to don several extra hats: party planner, host and caterer to the masses of family members and friends who come to support, babysitter, chauffeur, financial backer, and (if there’s time) spiritual counselor to the child.

How can we help our kids understand the importance of the covenants they are making, even during the busyness of the day? Here are 5 tips to help make your eight-year-old’s baptism more meaningful:

Before the Baptism

     1. Create a Memory Snapshot

Prior to the day of the baptism, you and your child can work together to record information about him or her (favorite memories, thoughts about church, interests, current friends, testimony, and so on). You can also leave a section for the child to fill out later about his or her feelings during the baptism.

Be creative about recording this information. You can save the child’s artwork, record his or her testimony on video, or just write it all down.

     2. Ask Family Members to Write Their Testimonies

Your child might not appreciate this on the day of his or her baptism, but it will become a valuable resource in the days, weeks, and years following the event. A month before the baptism, ask family members to email or mail you a written record of their beliefs. Compile them and present them to the child on the day of his or her baptism.

On the Day of the Baptism

     3. Give Gifts

Many families choose to give their eight-year-olds a special gift on the day of a baptism. These gifts might include a nice set of scriptures or other instructive books like The Holy Ghost is Like a Blanket to help the child understand the blessings and responsibilities that come with baptism.

4. Crowdsource the Photos

Visual reminders of the event will be important to your eight-year-old. Being able to see what everything looked like on that day will help him or her remember any feelings had during the baptism. Avoid taking photos of the actual baptism, but encourage family members to take photos before and after it. Check out apps and online services like Dropbox or Google+ for instant photo sharing.

After the Baptism

     5. Explain the Sacrament to Your Child

Taking the sacrament each week is meant to be a reminder and renewal of baptismal covenants. Read through the sacrament prayers with your child before the next Sunday (D&C 20:77, 79). Explain to your child how those prayers relate to the covenants made in baptism. Doing this in the week following the baptism will help make the connection between baptism and the sacrament more clear to your child.

So when you start to feel like you might be balancing one too many jobs as you prepare for a baptism, try out a few of these tips. They can help you keep your cool and enjoy the day as much as your child will.

Highlight: “Unwavering Valor” by William T. Garner

Unwavering-Valor_9781462116034When Clarence Bramley arrived in the Philippines in 1941, he had no way of knowing that he would eventually spend nearly the entire duration of World War II as a prisoner of war. Clarence, or Rosie, as his military friends called him, was one of 12,000 American and 66,000 Filipino troops taken prisoner on the Bataan Peninsula at the outbreak of the war.  It is estimated that more than half of them died during their subsequent imprisonment that included a deadly 85-mile march that resulted in thousands of prisoners being bayoneted, shot or beheaded when they couldn’t keep up the brutal pace. Nearly every one was beaten or starved; many were buried alive, particularly if they fell victim to lack of water, malaria, or other diseases during the march.

Clarence managed to march on, despite an attack of malaria, thanks to the bravery and kindness of other soldiers who intervened, helping him along in his state of semi-consciousness. Eventually, a Japanese soldier determined to kill Bramley, who was having difficulty walking, but another officer intervened, preserving his life. Next, loaded on boxcars that were packed so tightly there was no room for the dead men to fall, Clarence and other prisoners were transported by rail to the town of Capas where they remained for months as prisoners. Eventually, survivors were loaded into the cargo holds of ships and sent to Japan. Thousands more perished due to starvation, exposure, disease, and friendly fire. Once in Japan, Bramley was assigned to a forced prison labor camp where he spent the remainder of the war.

William T. Garner, author of Unwavering Valor writes, “From the time Pearl Harbor was attacked, Clarence was confident that Japan would be defeated. Early in his confinement, he believed the prisoners would be liberated in a matter of months. As the months grew into years, he remained convinced of a coming liberation…’I have faith in God and in our country and I know our boys will be here to get us soon,’ he would say.”

Photo of the flag Bramley and his fellow POWs sewed using pieces of parachutes that dropped supplies to them at the close of WWII.
Photo of the flag Bramley and his fellow POWs sewed using pieces of parachutes that dropped supplies to them at the close of WWII.

In September, 1945, when it became apparent that the war was finally ending, Bramley and several of his companions stayed up all night long to stitch together an American flag using pieces of parachute fabric. They flew the flag over their barracks following the signing of the armistice on September 2, 1945, and Bramley kept the flag until his death. He passed away from natural causes in February, 2015, the day before the book about his experiences was released in bookstores.

During a time of year when we celebrate our veterans during Memorial Day ceremonies, small-town parades and 4th of July celebrations, it is a fitting time to pause and reflect on what these men and women have sacrificed in our behalf. Unwavering Valor: A POW’s Account of the Bataan Death March is a compelling historical account that will leave you with a new sense of understanding and appreciation for the men and women who sacrificed so much to defend our country.

Great Mothers Day gift ideas

Mothers Day is coming up quick, and its time to show our appreciation to the women who brought us into the world and raised us. At Cedar Fort we love to celebrate all mothers’ eclectic interests and hobbies, and we offer you a short collection of books that are prefect gifts for this special holiday.

Below are some great ways to show your appreciation today.


“Keep It Real and Grab a Plunger: 25 Tips for Surviving Parenthood” by Julie K. Nelson

Get the parenting results you want without stepping into the battle zone. Popular radio personality, university professor, author, and TV expert Julie K. Nelson combines her professional expertise with her personal experience as a mom of five in this book. Humorous, insightful, and authentic, this must-read will help you enforce rules without manipulation or coercion and addresses a wide variety of essential parenting topics.

About the author

As a popular blogger, a college professor, and a frequent parenting guest expert on TV, you might suspect Julie K. Nelson is immune to the realities of actual parenting. But in fact, she’s been there—through all the late nights, huge messes, and tough moments.Now she combines her expertise with her experience as a mom of five in this entertaining and pragmatic book. Learn how to overcome your natural manipulative, authoritarian tendencies and foster your child’s self-discipline, respect, and emotional maturity.

Humorous, insightful, and authentic, this book will get you through the sticky stuff with grace so you can enjoy those parenting moments that make it all worth it.


“Don’t put Lipstick on the Cat” by Kersten Campbell


As a parent, sometimes you just have to laugh. The challenges of raising children can be daunting, so humor goes a long way towards smoothing out the rough times. Enjoy these funny, frank, and true stories from the front lines of parenthood. Don’t Put Lipstick on the Cat is a perfect gift for moms, dads, neighbors, and friends.

About the author

Kersten Campbell is the author of the humor book Confessions of a Completely (In)sane Mother and more than thirty-five magazine and newspaper articles that support families, children, and motherhood. When not writing, she enjoys reading, painting, eating choc- olate doughnuts, and playing the clarinet. She, her husband, five children, a cat, and a dog who is smarter than all of them live blissfully eating doughnuts in the state of Washington. (The dog steals most of the doughnuts.)


“The Song of My Father” by Christine T. Hall


“Good will come from this.” That’s the phrase Chris’s father uttered over and over—almost like a song. As she grew, her father’s optimism inspired her through the tough times that followed almost losing her childhood home and then later enduring hospital stays and surgery. But then something so horrific happened, Chris was afraid her father’s song had stopped forever. This uplifting true story will remind you how to have hope, even on your darkest days.

About the author

Chris Hall maintains she is one of the most unlikely authors you will ever meet, as it was never in any of her life plans to write a book.  Her writing experience began without forethought or intention on her part.

It started on a summer day, while she working in her flower beds. A thought came clearly into her mind – then another, and another. Ideas started coming to her so frequently that she finally decided to keep a yellow legal pad and pencil with her wherever she went, so that she no longer had to resort to writing on the back of the receipts in her purse. No one could have been more amazed than she when she realized she was actually writing a book.

Her first book, Conversations with a Moonflower was published in March 2011.

Chris is never happier than when she and her husband are surrounded by their eight children and spouses and their 32 grandchildren. She lives in Utah with her husband, Duane.


“The Magical Slow Cooker” Sarah Olson


Do you believe in magic? Well, your slow cooker does. From breakfast to dessert, these recipes are perfect for busy moms who want something that’s quick and wholesome—not to mention delicious! With prepare-ahead tips and time-saving tricks from this little book—and the swish and flick of a wand—you can experience the magic of your slow cooker every night of the week!

About the author

Sarah Olson is the creator of the blog The Magical Slow Cooker. She loves that a few simple ingredients can turn into magic while slow cooking. Sarah also works full-time as a mail carrier and resides in Springfield, Oregon, with her husband and young daughter.You can learn more about Sarah at


“Stack Happy: 70 Flipping Delicious Flapjack Recipes for Breakfast, Dinner, and Dessert” by Karly Campbell


If you think pancakes are only for breakfast, you’re in for a surprise! Popular blogger Karly Campbell shares her signature flapjack favorites, from cornmeal pancakes topped with guacamole to s’mores pancakes drizzled in chocolate sauce. With so many yummy choices, this cookbook is guaranteed to have you craving pancakes all the time!

About the author

Karly is a wife, mother, homeschooler, food blogger, and social media enthusiast. She married her high school sweet- heart and has been feeding his cookie addiction ever since.

Karly began cooking frozen pizzas for her young family, pro- gressed to boxed meals somewhere along the way, and finally discarded the boxes and found her groove in the kitchen. Since discovering her love of real homemade food, she has become an avid cook and baker. In late 2008, Karly started

the blog Buns in My Oven, and she turned it into a full-time venture mid-2012. When Karly isn’t homeschooling her kids or binge-watching television series, you’ll find her develop- ing recipes for her blog and many national brands.

Buns in My Oven has been featured on many popular web- sites and was named one of the Top 100 Mom Food Blogs by Disney’s Babble for 2013, as well as one of the top ten blogs by Huffington Post.


“Finger Foods: Elegant Treats and Bite-Sized Eats for Every Occasion” by Joyce Tanner Whiting


Taste your way to deliciousness, one little bite at a time.  These scrumptious and sensational finger foods are the perfect way to impress your guests for parties, receptions, and more. Try the Coconut Butterflied Shrimp, Orange and Honey Meatballs, and Lemon Tassies.  Packed with recipes and tips from an expert caterer, this book is sure to make your next party a giant hit from the first little bite.

About the author

Joyce Tanner Whiting grew up on a small dairy farm in Meridian, Idaho, where she learned to milk cows and kill squash bugs. Her passions include food, flowers, and family, but not nec- essarily in that order. She holds a master’s degree in secondary education and technical writing from Brigham Young University. Her several careers include a twenty-year stint as a stay-at-home mom and ten years as a junior high English teacher and part-time English and technical writing faculty member at two local universities. She spent an additional twenty plus years editing and writing computer manuals and consulting contracts for Novell, Inc.

Now “retired,” she is the unpublished author of a short book of poetry and several children’s stories, including Grandma Don’t, Grannie Annie, and They Don’t Do Purple Unless You’re with Your Grandma.

She spends her time in community and church volunteer services, hosting friends-and-family recep- tions, reunions, and other events. She currently lives, gardens, cooks, and hugs grandkids in Springville, Utah.

There are ten powerful reasons why every Christian should read this book

There are ten powerful reasons why every Christian should read the book Where are the Christians: the Unrealized Potential of a Divided Religion:

Type of Christian1. Grasp the Origins of Christianity:  The Bible provides a glimpse of how Christianity started; however, there is far more to understand as to its early beginnings, struggles to survive, and how a small band of believers was able to overcome insurmountable odds that led to one of the world’s most prolific religions in the world today.

2. Recognize the Foundational Fractures:  There are currently 33,820 Christian denominations around the world, whereas there was only one a thousand years ago. The proliferation of denominations is organic and when understood helps to frame how Christianity is now one of the most fractured religions in the world today.

3. Become Familiar with the Definition of a Christian:  There are hundreds of definitions offered by the largest Christian Churches in the United States and scores of secular and non-secular sources leaving one bewildered and confused. A simple examination of the Bible reveals a clear two-part definition of a Christian that brings sensibility to the ongoing lightning rod discussion.

4. Evaluate Contemporary Christian Performance:  Synthesizing data from multiple studies (Pew, Barna, etc.) that evaluate the knowledge and behaviors of the four largest Christian denominational groupings in the United States reveals how each performs in faith and works demonstrating for the first time surprising patterns among Christian youth and adults.

5. Rethink Mormonism: Categorized as “Marginal Christian” by the World Christian Encyclopedia for its non-traditional Christian beliefs and ranked as the fourth largest in the United States according to the National Council of Churches, Latter-day Saints consistently outperform other Christian denominational groupings in national studies relating to Christian belief and practice causing one to wonder—what is Mormonism and why are its people the way they are?

6. Meet Modern-day Pharisees:  You may have thought the Pharisees died off after the ascension of Christ… not quite! There are Modern-day Pharisees (the book provides specific names) that force themselves into the Christian discussion with the same pharisaical pattern as those of ancient Christianity—persecuting, criticizing and seeking to destroy those with whom they disagree with.

7. Meet the Five Christian Types:  After an exhaustive review of the data (including over 400 secular sources and 600 Biblical references) five Christian types in America emerge, four of which are most common:  Departing Christians, Adequate Christians, Hesitant Christians, and Laboring Christians. Each type is identified by measuring an individual’s belief and practice of Christianity making the question “are you Christian?” irrelevant and the question “what kind of Christian are you?” more relevant

8. Identify Your Christian Type:  The book provides a simple exercise the reader can complete to identify their Christian type with 32 thought-provoking easy to answer questions—16 regarding beliefs and 16 regarding practices—providing not only a conclusive identification but a framework for future improvement toward reaching greater spiritual potential (the exercise is automated at

9. Realize What Divides and Unites Christianity:  There are Liberal Christians and Conservative Christians; Christians who are Democrats and Christians who are Republicans. There are issues of theology, race, gender, culture, personalities, logistics and other matters that can divide Christians. However, there are an equal number of opportunities to unite Christians that are often overlooked leading to the division that afflicts Christianity in America today.

10. Appreciate the Model of Christian Unity:  The spiritual and behavioral dynamics of the individual, family, church and community are examined introducing never before seen models and powerful examples of how disparate Christians and Christian denominations are working together to do great things across America while inspiring greater Christian unity.

Reply to this email to receive a review copy of Where are the Christians: the Unrealized Potential of a Divided Religion and to arrange an interview with Eric Shuster to discuss this timely topic on the minds of many in America.