Thank you, Emily!

I have a friend who, comparatively early in life, hit what I consider the high point of any literary career I could ever want.

You see, Emily Harris Adams was literally quoted by the prophet himself as he closed General Conference in April of 2011. It was a poem she had written and published in the New Era called “Empty Linen.”

The linen which once held Him is empty.
It lies there,
Fresh and white and clean.
The door stands opened.
The stone is rolled away,
And I can almost hear the angels singing His praises.
Linen cannot hold Him.
Stone cannot hold Him.
The words echo through the empty limestone chamber,
“He is not here.”
The linen which once held Him is now empty.
It lies there,
Fresh and white and clean
And oh, hallelujah, it is empty.

 


HOW AMAZING IS THAT? And where do you go afterwards? What higher mountain can you climb? The poem itself is beautiful in its simplicity, frankly in its humility. It’s not trying to be flashy and clever with words, it’s not trying to be overpowering. It’s as simple and serene as that day must have been—Easter, after the Savior was resurrected. As I read it I can see the gentle colors of the garden, and hear the birds sing, and everything is at peace. And that’s probably why President Monson liked it so much. There was no ego involved with this poem, and there’s no ego involved with Emily.

Well, Emily went on to write a book about her experiences with infertility: For Those With Empty Arms. Just a short time and a major miracle later, Emily gave birth to twins! Twins that came to share a birthday (exactly one year before) with my little Dagny. It was late last year, when Emily was somehow managing the beautiful blessed chaos of twin crawlers, that I happened along and, apparently assuming she had plenty of free time, asked if she would be willing to read and endorse my book.

And you know what? She did. She’s that wonderful.

She actually wrote me a few different blurbs they could use. The people at Cedar Fort wanted to use all of them. Unfortunately that meant it was now quite a long blurb, and I found out after the fact there wasn’t room on the back cover for all three of the endorsements I had solicited, so Emily’s was relegated to the very first page inside the book.

To make sure the time and effort she contributed do not go to waste I’m going to relay the entirety of her endorsement here.

Originally it was like this:

“With a perfect mix of pop culture, scriptural, and prophet references, The Hero Doctrine is a great Family Home Evening resource—especially for families with older children.”

“Using appropriate references to pop culture, The Hero Doctrine is an inspiring call to spiritual heroism.”

“The Hero Doctrine is the perfect book for anyone who has quoted Dumbledore in Sacrament Meeting.”

“Silvester has created a book that appeals to those who enjoy finding gospel parallels in the books and movies we know and love. He references such works as Star Wars and Harry Potter, and without either apology or flippancy, enumerates the gospel principles within each. The Hero Doctrine manages to be both a serious spiritual discussion and an  entertaining read.”

Cedar Fort amalgamated them into:

“With a perfect mix of pop culture, scriptures, and prophet references, The Hero Doctrine is the perfect book for anyone who has quoted Dumbledore in sacrament meeting. Silvester has created a book that appeals to those who enjoy finding gospel parallels in the books and movies we all know and love. He references such work as Star Wars and Harry Potter without apology or flippancy, enumerates the gospel principles within them. This book manages to be both a serious spiritual discussion and an entertaining read. It’s an inspiring call to spiritual heroism and a great family home evening resource—especially for families with older children.”

Emily, I am honored to be your peer and be endorsed by you. Thank you!

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