Gerald N. Lund - book author
Gerald N. Lund received his B.A. and M.S. degrees in sociology from Brigham Young University. He served for thirty-five years in the Church Educational System, and he served as a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy from 2002 to 2008. He is a prolific and bestselling author of both fiction and nonfiction and is best known for his historical novels, including The Work and the Glory series, Fire of the Covenant, The Kingdom and the Crown series, and The Undaunted. He and his late wife, Lynn, are the parents of seven children.
Gerald N. Lund is the author of books: Pillar of Light (The Work and the Glory #1), Like a Fire is Burning (The Work and the Glory #2), Truth Will Prevail (The Work and the Glory #3), Thy Gold to Refine (The Work and the Glory #4), A Season of Joy (The Work and the Glory #5), Fire of the Covenant: The Story of the Willie and Martin Handcart Companies, No Unhallowed Hand (The Work and the Glory #7), Praise to the Man (The Work and the Glory #6), So Great a Cause (The Work and the Glory #8), All is Well (The Work and the Glory #9)
It stunned Nathan.
"You believe it all. I can see it on your face."
For a moment, time seemed suspended as Nathan probed the inward recesses of his soul. There was still the incredulousness, still the sense of hearing something that couldn't possibly be true. And yet he knew it was. He knew without the least shadow of doubt that everything Joseph was telling him was true. And so, finally, with a wonder of his own, he said, "Yes, Joseph, I believe you."
Pillar of Light — the first volume in the series The Work and the Glory — begins the epic story of the Benjamin Steed family. In the 1820s they move from Vermont to Palmyra Township in upstate New York in search of better farmland. There they meet a young man named Joseph Smith and are thrown into the maelstrom of conflict and controversy that swirls around him. Did he really see the Father and the Son in a pillar of light? Has he truly been visited by angelic messengers? What is all this talk about gold plates and new scripture? In short, is he a prophet and seer or a monumental fraud? The answers each one gives to these questions — intensely personal, potentially divisive — will dramatically affect the lives of the Steeds forever after.
Author Gerald N. Lund here masterfully weaves together historical reality and high-powered fiction. In his hands this combination seems to make the reader an eyewitness to the early scenes of the Restoration, thus deepening one's understanding and appreciation of those momentous events. The well-drawn plot and fictional characters present a moving, gripping story. Here are Benjamin and Mary Ann Steed, devoted to each other as man and wife, yet at odds over religion; Joshua, their volatile son, who rebels and heads for trouble; the sensitive Nathan, their second son, in whom Joseph Smith's message strikes a responsive chord; the beautiful Lydia McBride, who captures the hearts of both Joshua and Nathan.
This book skillfully explores the inmost motivations of Joseph Smith and his early followers and the responses of typical contemporary families to the claims he made. These people come to life in this powerful historical novel, a story that captures both the heartache and the happiness that came in the wake of Joseph's experience with the pillar of light.
Then, to everyone's utter amazement, the ice jam began to crack. A seam of dark water began to open, piercing first the base, then the wall of ice. It was as if hell itself were being pried open to make way for them.
This is just one of the many exciting events depicted in this book, the second in the landmark multivolume series The Work and the Glory. Like a Fire Is Burning continues the epic story of the fictional Benjamin Steed family and covers their participation in the unfolding events of the Restoration from 1830-1836.
Swept up in the great drama as the infant Church expands and spreads westward into Ohio and Missouri, the Steeds become eyewitnesses of miracles as well as of the horrors of mob mayhem. Nathan and Lydia begin their married life, meeting new challenges and facing crises that test both their faith and their love; Mary Ann struggles with her feelings over her husband Benjamin's continued lack of spiritual response to the Restoration message; Jessica Steed, distraught by her apparent inability to have children, watches helpless as Joshua's bitter and destructive nature threatens to explode into violence.
This book will surprise and intrigue many readers with the little-known true events it depicts and the involvement in them of well-known Latter-day Saints like Joesph and Emma Smith, Lucy Mack Smith, Parley P. Pratt, Brigham Young, Mary Elizabeth Rollins, and others. Author Gerald N. Lund first provides a solid historical basis, then weaves into it believable fictional characters as he portrays the tragedies and triumphs experienced in the early days of the restored Church. Through the Steed family, the author typifies the faith, the determination, the Spirit that burned like a fire in the hearts of early Latter-day Saints.
Truth Will Prevail — the eagerly awaited third volume in the popular series The Work and the Glory — continues the gripping story of the fictional Steed family, a family acquainted with Joseph Smith and caught up in the grand events associated with the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ to the earth.
Covering the years 1836 to 1838, this volume finds the Steed involved in both remarkable and turbulent events in Church history. Nathan accompanies Parley P. Pratt on a challenging mission to Upper Canada. Jessica, Joshua's ex-wife, feels compelled to return to Missouri, where the Church seeks a new haven in an area known as Far West. Meanwhile, Joshua — ever restless and ambitious, yet haunted by the misdeeds of his past — travels to Savannah, Georgia, on business and there has experiences that will dramatically alter his life. Tensions between Melissa and her nonmember husband, Carl, force her to make a critical decision. A growing spirit of apostasy in Kirtland threatens the fledging Church, a spirit from which even the Steed family is not immune. In the middle of these intense days of rebellion and disaffection in Kirtland, the divine call comes to open the work in the first mission overseas — England.
These and other important happenings (as well as the introduction of several new and fascinating characters) make this volume rich in drama and historical detail. As with the previous volumes in the series, readers will be intrigued by descriptions of actual, and sometimes little-known, events in Church history. And they will be moved as the author portrays the true-to-life struggles, heartaches, and joys of the Steed family, whose lives exemplify the faith expressed by many of the early Saints that God's purposes in these latter days — his truth and his restored church — will ultimately prevail.
In Thy Gold to Refine, volume 4 in the series The Work and the Glory, the story of the fictional Steed family enters one of the stormiest and yet most inspiring periods in Church history.
Picking up where Volume 3 left off in the summer of 1838, this book finds the Steeds, (all but daughter Melissa and her family) happily reunited in Far West, Missouri, only to be thrown into a maelstrom of intense and tragic events: the election-day battle at Gallatin; the siege of DeWitt; the Battle of Crooked River; the issuing of Governor Bogg's extermination order; the Haun's Mill massacre; the fall of Far West; the incarceration of the Prophet Joseph Smith; and the expulsion from Missouri. Characters whom readers have come to know and love from previous volumes return here, including Joshua Steed, who, although reconciled to his family now, finds that his commission in the Missouri state militia forces him to be alighted with those opposing the Mormons.
Once again author Gerald Lund skillfully recreates dramatic scenes from Latter-day Saint history, transporting readers back in time to witness soul-stirring events and to meet unforgettable people. Readers of The Work and the Glory may well find that this new volume — with its powerful account of endurance and faith refined by the fires of affliction &is the most engaging and moving installment in the series so far.
The popular, award-winning series The Work and the Glory continues with A Season of Joy, which literally spans the globe as it follows the story of the restored Church and the fictional Steed family through two eventful years (1839-1841).
It is a season of rejuvenationas, after the horrors of the Missouri persecutions, the Saints find refuge across the Mississippi in Illinois, where they found the city of Nauvoo. Their community grows rapidly, miracles occur (including Joseph's raising of many from their sickbeds), the work of the Restoration rolls forward -- and the Steeds are there for it all. Matthew and Derek accompany members of the Twelve on the Quorum's mission to England, and there they witness a dramatic harvest of souls, including Wilford Woodruff's remarkable success. Meanwhile, the fate of Will Steed is made known, and characters from previous volumes reenter the story. In addition, since this period in Church history is not without its tensions, its trials, and its tragedies, members of the Steed family experience all of these as well. Through some of the most realistic and tender scenes of the series, readers will come to know these beloved characters even more intimately than ever before.
As with the previous volumes, personalities from Church history come to vivid life here, particularly those of the incomparable Joseph Smith and the faithful, steadfast Brigham Young.
Here, then, is another exciting, engaging installment in this acclaimed series, a story that reveals God's infinite mercy and wisdom in granting his people a season of relief, a season of hope, a season of joy.
Picking up the story shortly after the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, No Unhallowed Hand — volume 7 in the series The Work and the Glory — takes the saga of the Restoration the the fictional Steed family from the end of June 1844 to February 1846.
As this volume opens, it is a time of great sadness and of uncertainty. Having lost their beloved prophet, the Saints witness a series of power plays by those who would use the opportunity to further their own interests. It is not long, however, before the Lord's purposes are made apparent and the Twelve take their rightful position as leaders of the Church, with Brigham Young at their head. For a time, an uneasy peace seems to prevail in Illinois, but then the Nauvoo Charter is revoked, anti-Mormon hatred is again inflamed by those involved in the Prophet's death, mobs burn homes in small Mormon settlements, and eventually the Saints again find themselves faced with the threat of violent expulsion unless they agree to leave the state. The situation promises to divide the Steeds. Who among them will go west and who will stay? What will Joshua's and Melissa's part-member families do?
This installment in the series contains not only its share of fascinating real-life history, but also a number of plot twists involving the Steeds that will keep readers engaged from beginning to end. The story of their lives underscores the prophetic nature of Joseph Smith's words that, indeed, “no unhallowed hand can stop the work.”
Written with a dramatic intensity and an eye for historical detail that thousands of readers have come to appreciate in previous volumes, Praise to the Man — volume 6 in the series The Work and the Glory — follows the story of the restored Church and of the ficitonal Steed family from the summer of 1841 to the summer of 1844.
Several momentous events take place during this period in Church history: Nauvoo becomes a well-established city; the Relief Society is founded; the endowment is administered for the first time in this dispensation; Joseph Smith becomes a candidate for president of the United States; he delivers his monumental King Follett Discourse. Meanwhile, however, dark forces outside as well as inside the Church are at work to destroy Joseph and the Restoration cause. Before the story ends, the powers of evil will have swept across the Church, taking out some in very high places, making numerous others waver, and taking Joseph and his brother Hyrum to their date with destiny in a town called Carthage.
Woven throughout these events are the lives of the Steeds. As Joshua sees the Mormons gaining more influence with his wife and children, his patience finally reaches the breaking point. Will must resolve his feelings for Jenny Pottsworth and his desire to know if the Church is true. New hope is born in Jessica's life when she is offered a new teaching position. Mary Ann and other Steed women participate in the beginnings of the Relief Society. But before long, whisperings reach the ears of some of the Steeds about curious teachings and practices going on in Nauvoo — specifically it is rumored that God may have restored the ancient practice of plural marriage. How will they respond when they find out that at least some of the rumors are true? The issue becomes a trial of faith that shakes the Steed family to its very roots.
At the center of this volume are the final days of the life and mission of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Though heart-wrenching in its depiction of the Prophet's last hours on earth, this book inspires admiration and affection for “the man who communed with Jehovah” and will fill readers with anticipation for that glorious time when, in the words of the hymn, “millions shall know 'Brother Joseph' again.”
“Westward, ho!” is the cry in So Great a Cause, volume 8 of the series The Work and the Glory. This installment depicts the early part of one of the most engaging chapters in Church history, the great migration west, and interwoven with that epic story is the continuing saga of the fictional Steed family.
It is early 1846, and many Saints, including most of the Steeds, begin the difficult journey across Iowa as they move toward a new and distant home in the Rocky Mountains. Among them is the volatile Joshua Steed, who, intent on accompanying his now widowed mother, has temporarily left his wife and children behind in Nauvoo. With trouble brewing in that dying city, will they be in danger? And what is the secret that Joshua feels compelled to keep hidden from the other Steeds?
Meanwhile, Will and Alice continue their voyage with another group of Saints aboard the ship Brooklyn. Life-threatening storms, deaths at sea, a visit to beautiful tropical islands — these become part of their experiences as the sailing vessel makes its way around South America and back up toward California. Also headed for California is the company in which Peter and Kathryn are traveling — the famous and ultimately ill-fated Donner-Reed party.
Against this backdrop of sweeping historical events, the personal drama of the Steed family reaches new levels of emotional and spiritual power, leaving readers with an abiding appreciation for the early Saints' commitment to “so great a cause.”
All Is Well, the powerful and moving ninth volume of the series The Work and the Glory, brings to a close the Restoration-era portion of this epic story. It follows the fictional Steed family from June 1846 to October 1847 as they participate in some of the most pivotal and dramatically charged events in Church history, including the migration of the Saints from the banks of the Missouri River to the Valley of the Great Salt Lake.
As this volume opens, the Steeds have been scattered — and the family is only split up further as the story unfolds. Will and Alice's voyage aboard the Brooklyn nears its end as the ship approaches the California shore. Peter and Kathryn continue their journey westward in the Donner-Reed party. In Nauvoo, Melissa and Carl find their situation growing increasingly dangerous and their marriage more and more strained. Other Steed family members are temporarily encamped at the Missouri River, where the Saints will set up winter quarters. When the United States government, at war with Mexico, calls for five hundred Mormon volunteers to form a battalion, some of the Steeds march with that battalion in its history-making trek across the continents. Meanwhile, other family members become part of the pioneer companies that, at last, establish in the West a place of refuge for the Saints.
As with the previous books in the series, this volume is populated with a host of interesting characters, both fictional and historical. And even though throughout most of the story the Steeds are separated from one another, hope remains that somehow all of them will be reunited, and with the rest of the Saints they will make the chorus swell: “All is well! All is well!”