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Tip for living: Mary Ellen Edmunds' new book invites all to choose Zion over Babylon

By Scott Livingston

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, July 11 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

In her delightful new book, “Tug of War: Choosing Between Zion and Babylon” (Deseret Book, $10.99), based on a presentation at a recent Time Out for Women event, Mary Ellen Edmunds provides both profound and practical counsel that can help all members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in their individual struggles to choose the kingdom of God instead of the “kingdoms” of this world.

In her friendly, familiar style, Edmunds shares experiences from her own life, teachings from the scriptures and the prophets, and, most helpfully, specific steps each can take to choose Zion over Babylon. The book shows how all can successfully make their way forward, one day at a time.

In four short, easy-to-read chapters, Edmunds lays a foundation for the reader to determine in which direction she is heading. These include:

Take a hard look at your own hearts and ask whether the path you're now on is leading us toward Zion or Babylon.

Consider what a person really loves. Edmunds doesn't pull any punches as she cites prophetic exhortations to leave this world behind "and to seek for the things of a better."

Examine what parents and others are really teaching children about money and material things — and assess whether what they say is in harmony with what they do.

There is always a choice, but everyone has to make it individually: “Our souls, our spirits, seek the safety, peace and blessings of Zion, and God will help us if this is truly the desire of our hearts. We can live as a Zion person ... if we really want to.”

She encourages all to let go of the world and "seek first to build up the kingdom of God." This compact volume asks a most important question about a person's heart — and is there the courage to answer?

Scott Livingston blogs about the uphill climb of becoming a writer at sleye1stories.com. He blogs otherwise at sleye1.blogspot.com. And he tumbles at sleye1stories.tumblr.com.

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