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From the admonition in D&C 88:118, we are to “seek learning [out of the best books], even by study and also by faith,” and David J. Ridges has helped us accomplish this instruction by “diligently [teaching]… words of wisdom” throughout his 35 years teaching in CES and beyond with The Gospel Made Easier series.
February 8th, 2022 marks 20 years from the day that David J. Ridges published “Isaiah Made Easier” with Cedar Fort. Since then, Brother Ridges has published books to enlighten Gospel readers for each book of scripture in the Standard Works of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Brother Ridges has now taught tens of thousands of Latter-day Saints (and likely others) who have desired to deepen their understanding and study of the scriptures. With over 1.4 million copies of the Gospel Made Easier sold in these past two decades, it amazes me how there are still new Gospel readers discovering him every day. And yet, three years ago, I was one of those new discoverers.
In November 2018, I sat in the lobby waiting for an interview for a sales position at a publisher–a dream of mine–in Springville, Utah of all places. I had just moved to Springville and was excited to learn what I could about this new opportunity. Beside me, on the new releases shelf, I saw Latter-day influencers like “More than the Tattooed Mormon” Al Carraway and James Perry of Studio C, and was excited to recognize some of who this mysterious publisher worked with.
When I sat down for the interview, I asked who some of the best-selling authors were at Cedar Fort, and that was the first time I heard about David J. Ridges.
Over the subsequent years of my employment here at Cedar Fort, I have come to learn much more than just how quickly his books leap off the shelves at the beginning of each new “Come, Follow Me” study year.
Brother Ridges also lives in Springville, and occasionally stops by the office for meetings or to say hi.
The first time we were introduced, he had been meeting with one of the managers and was just stepping out the door. We exchanged names and pleasantries and a handshake–and that was it.
There was nothing remarkable about the interaction–except that every other time I’ve seen him since then he’s remembered my name.
In these three years, I’ve now had a handful of longer conversations with him (here is a recorded interview I got to do with him, about his publishing experience) and in those infrequent conversations he has always remembered my name.
This is a small example of who Brother Ridges is–a microcosm witnessing to the greater work he has accomplished by opening scriptural language and stories for countless Saints!
Brother Ridges’ Church service biography is expensive, ranging from over 35 years of CES teaching, through bishop, stake president, Church Curriculum Board member, to Patriarch. All of that experience in education and the love he developed for his students shines through in each of his books he has published.
More and more scripture commentaries are published every year since “Come, Follow Me” began, and it can be hard to pick out of so many. If you are looking for one trusted by tens of thousands of learners then the Made Easier series is an excellent choice.
Each book contains the full section of scriptures it discusses with Brother Ridges’ pure and easily-understood in-the-line citations, notes, and historical insights. If you have yet to try any of his books out, then I would invite you to do so.
Brother Ridges has also published several other standalone books like “Gospel Questions, Gospel Answers”, “Priesthood Power Unlocked”, “Red Porsche (You’re Worth it!)”, “Learning at the Feet of the Savior”, with Book of Mormon Central instructor Taylor Halvorsen, and more. Find them all on www.Cedarfort.com or wherever books are sold.
Happy twentieth anniversary David! Here’s to twenty more :).
And if you’d like to celebrate with a friend or family member, here is a link to a “Buy One - Give One” sale (two copies of a book for the price of one) including several of his books and great books by other accomplished authors.