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Deseret Book
"The Way Back to Heaven: The Parable of the Crystal Stairs" is by S. Michael Wilcox.

"THE WAY BACK TO HEAVEN: The Parable of the Crystal Stairs," by S. Michael Wilcox, Deseret Book, $18.99, 147 pages (nf)

At some point early in his life, author and popular LDS speaker S. Michael Wilcox said he realized the Lord had truth to share with him.

"(He had) goodness to instill within me, and beauty to show me if I would listen, and be open, and observe," Wilcox wrote. "It came in a series of images somewhat like a parable — 'The Parable of the Crystal Stairs' — and I have learned from it ever since."

In his eloquent style, sharing personal experiences and examples from the scriptures, Wilcox delivers the parable in his new book, "The Way Back to Heaven: The Parable of the Crystal Stairs."

Wilcox begins by telling the parable, which describes wanderers traveling in a wasteland plain, somewhat reminiscent of Lehi's dream on the tree of life in the Book of Mormon.

Instead of a rod of iron, each traveler has the option of climbing the "stairs of man," that are unfinished and fall short of the goal, or the "stairs of God," a beautiful crystal stair way created by the master Stair Builder.

The parable is a metaphor for our lifelong gospel journey back to heaven. Each chapter analyzes a different aspect of the parable, including the wasteland and wanderers, the stairways of men, the crystal stairs, the ascent and the city at the top of the stairs.

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There will be distractions and burdens preventing progress, but each step upward is designed to teach an important lesson or help us master a Christlike quality, Wilcox wrote in the book's introduction.

"The stairs are there to help us on our upward journey; we all have different steps on which to work," Wilcox wrote. "All are beautiful when mastered."

Wilcox has authored several books on gospel topics. He is a retired instructor of the Church Educational System and now hosts tours to the Holy Land, history sites of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other places around the world.

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