The Hero Doctrine is published by Cedar Fort and is available from a variety of sources:
The book is also available in Costcos up and down Utah, Idaho, and Arizona. Click here for a precise list.
Or buy it in your Utah Barnes and Noble, Deseret Book, or Seagull Book.
The Hero Doctrine: Awakening to Your Eternal Potential is full of pop culture parables. The first chapter, for instance, charts the parallels between our soul’s progress and Luke Skywalker’s hero’s journey. Three other chapters begin with in-depth Harry Potter parables. And four separate chapters are centered on Christopher Nolan films—in particular The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Inception, and Interstellar (which happens to be my favorite chapter in the book).
More importantly, though, The Hero Doctrine is meant to be a rousing cry to the saints. President Uchtdorf asked a few years ago in conference, “Are we sleeping through the Restoration?” and I think many of us are, especially too many of my own generation (millennials). Ignoring our gifts or using them selfishly, wasting our time and talents, letting our tongues be bound by the adversary, etc., etc. This world is at war, spiritually, and only by putting on the armor of God and knowing our eternal identities and destinies can we accomplish the work we are actually put here to do.
In the book I bring up three primary symbols which you can see on the cover: a mirror, a a sword and shield. I seek to remind readers of who they are as children of a god (the mirror), what their duties and obligations are as bearers of that truth (the sword), and that through the gospel perspective there is nothing to fear (the shield). Together these spiritual artifacts/truths comprise what I call the hero doctrine. A fuller explanation of these symbols can be found here.
Orson Scott Card has remarked how some of the most memorable lessons Christ taught during His earthly ministry—and consequently, the ones that have lasted two millennia in our cultural consciousness—are those delivered through parables. Stories. Christ’s parables were concrete literary applications of what might have otherwise been merely vague, abstract theological ideas. When we see the love the father has for his wayward prodigal son, we see with new eyes the love God has for us. When we read the parable of the talents, we understand exactly why God has granted us blessings, gifts, and skills. When we read about the Good Samaritan, we feel in our hearts precisely what it means to be a neighbor and love our fellow man. All of Christ’s parables were painted with the common things of life in that time period so that they made sense to those willing to listen. They understood.
Hence, to this end I use the popular stories of our modern day for the same purpose. Star Wars teaches us of our hero’s journey through the plan of salvation. You wouldn’t think so, but The Dark Knight teaches us about the Atonement and becoming saviors on Mt. Zion. And the characters of the Harry Potter series teach us faith in times of darkness, and what it means to have a true change of heart. I also bring up stories from the Chronicles of Narnia, Ender’s Game, and Spider-Man. Click here to see the different chapters and their corresponding parables.
Truth is everywhere. If we are on the lookout, we can see how the Lord leads us to whatever is relevant to our lives, no matter the medium of communication. The particular stories I share in this book in my opinion not only teach of the need our world has for heroes but also exactly what goes into creating such a being, the transformational process that can help seemingly ordinary souls become like Christ and our Heavenly Father.
In the eternal perspective, Batman really has got nothing on you.
“Neal Silvester is one of the best new voices in Mormon literature.”
—Boyd Petersen, professor of Mormon studies at Utah Valley University, author of Hugh Nibley: A Consecrated Life, former president of the Association for Mormon Letters
“The Hero Doctrine: Awakening to Your Eternal Potential is a fascinating look at the messages hidden in modern popular books and ﬁlms. From Harry Potter to the dark tales surrounding Batman, gospel messages of awakening and redemption are there for those who have eyes to see. Neal Silvester has uncovered the parables concealed in some of the well-known ﬁction of our day.”
—Diann Thornley Read, author of the Sergey Chronicles and the Seventh Shaman series
“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 works as Star Wars and Harry Potter and, without apology or ﬂippancy, enumerates the gospel principles within them. Tis 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 Harris Adams, author of For Those with Empty Arms: A Compassionate Voice for Those Experiencing Infertility