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Book review: 'Seeds of Faith' shares pioneers' conversion stories

Published: Saturday, July 5 2014 5:00 a.m. MDT

Dan Barker, right, shown here with his wife, Kate, compiled Dan Barker, right, shown here with his wife, Kate, compiled "Seeds of Faith: Conversion Stories from Early Church History." (Provided by Cedar Fort)

"SEEDS OF FAITH: Conversion Stories from Early Church History," compiled by Dan Barker, Cedar Fort, $19.99, 311 pages (nf)

“Seeds of Faith: Conversion Stories from Early Church History” by Dan Barker proves to be a historical gem. It includes 48 journal accounts from those who lived when The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was first organized and why they were baptized.

It is structured into nine different parts with accompanying accounts. The parts include "They Knew Something Better Was Coming," "Heavenly Manifestations," "Their Dreams Pointed to the Church," "Joseph Smith and Perspective," "The 'Golden Bible,'" "Misunderstanding Mormonism," "Nothing Unusual, But They Knew It Was True," "Ministers and Mormonism" and "'Do you Want to See a Picture of My Horse?'"

"Seeds of Faith: Conversion Stories from Early Church History" has been compiled by by Dan Barker. (Cedar Fort)

One personal account included in "They Knew Something Better Was Coming" gives the personal conversion story of Parley P. Pratt. He relates his longing to search for prophets at a young age. Upon his constant search he comes across a lost brother who his family thought to be dead. This brother reunites with his family, and Parley relates his personal desires to find the teachings of Jesus Christ. His brother blesses him in this effort.

Parley and his wife later leave on a journey in which he feels a strong impression to get off the vessel they were traveling on. Not knowing why, he sends his wife ahead to their designated destination while he travels to Palmyra, New York. After much searching and praying, he is led to the home of Joseph Smith Sr., where he is taught about the Book of Mormon. Pratt relates the feelings of joy and gladness which came over him and his acceptance of the Mormon teachings.

Other accounts included in this book belong to Thomas B. Marsh, David Wyman Patten, Martin Harris, Levi Hancock and Orson Hyde.

“Seeds of Faith” is clean in language, violence and has no sexual content.

Barker was raised in Calgary, Alberta, and served a mission for the LDS Church in the Massachusetts Boston Mission. He graduated from Lethbridge Community College and Utah State University. He and his wife, Kate, have six children and 17 grandchildren.

Micah Klug graduated with her bachelor’s degree in health care administration from Brigham Young University-Idaho. She currently resides in Rexburg, Idaho.

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