CTR Stories

Two of W. Dave Free's stories here on CTRstories have been published by Leatherwood Press and available through Deseret Book.

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Submitted by Steven ODell on 12 January 2009 - 3:27pm. | | | | |

The following is a series of fictional short stories, some based ion fact and upon the continued existence in mortality of the Apostle John and the Three Nephite disciples of Christ who were permitted to remain until his return in Glory. Please note that I was inspired to write these stories, that the book is not yet finished and that the choice of names for the Nephites, although scriptural, are not necessarily the names of the real three. I chose them at random, after praying for inspiration on the matter, but it appears the real names are still meant to be unknown.

I welcome critique, feedback, suggestions and the sharing of any real incidents wherein you feel you or friends may have actually encountered one of these divine messengers. I assure you I will receive it with the respect and reverence it deserves.

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Submitted by David Woolley on 19 January 2007 - 10:17am. | | | | |

The following is copywrited material. Any use of this work or a portion of this work for any purpose including but not limited to reprinting, broadcasting, electronic transmission, or publication without the express written permission of the author is prohibited by law.

On the left hand side-bar and also at the end of this introductory section there are links transporting you to the opening chapters of Day of Remembrance. To read the entire manuscript, about forty chapters in all, you will have to wait until it is published which hopefully will be sometime this year.

You can read the author's notes below if you like (something I highly recommend) or skip directly to the opening chapters of this novel using the aforementioned portals. Thanks for reading and please consider providing some feedback, particularly along the lines of what is mentioned in the post below.

Overview of the Work
Day of Remembrance is the fourth volume in the Promised Land Series. It is written in a split novel form with the major story line introduced in chapter one which details the Book of Mormon events leading up to and including the taking of the brass plates out of Jerusalem. The secondary or split story line is introduced in chapter two and follows the four year period from Joseph Smith's first visitation by the angel Moroni through his reception of the gold plate record containing the Book of Mormon account.

Though seperated by more than 2400 years in time and thousands of miles in space, the Hebrew calendar acts as a bridge between the two stories, tying them together through the rare occurance of Joseph Smith's reception of the gold plates taking place on one of Jewry's most holy feast days--the Day of Remembrance--a day set apart for Israel to remember their covenants with God and for God to remember His covenants with Israel.

Below is the author's note that will likely appear before the first chapter when (and I should also add if) this work is published. I hope you enjoy the opening chapters.

I'm most interested in your coments as they relate to the split novel form. Is it easy to follow? Are you comfortably able to keep track of so many characters? Are there too many plot lines to remember? Is the split novel form confusing in some specific way? (Is that a generally specific oxymoronic question?) Does it jar you out of the story or draw you into it? And of course the usual questions like did the plot lines engage your imagination, did the characterizations create a sense of real people, and (with regard to historical fiction) was the setting realistically drawn? What say ye?

Author’s Note
Since the day Moses returned from the summit of Mount Sinai with the celebrated stone tablets, Jews have memorialized the first day of the seventh month on the Israelite calendar by blowing horns in memory of the receipt of revealed covenants from heaven and petitioning God, through prayers and the playing of trumpets, to awaken after many millennia to a remembrance of those ancient promises given the seed of Abraham.

Among the covenant-blessings revealed to Moses was an understanding that it was the work and glory of God to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of his children and preserve forever the eternal nature of family ties—a timeless principle lost for centuries after the Babylonian occupation of Judah, but kept alive in a lesser-known brass-plate record sequestered deep in the treasury of Laban, Captain of the Israelite guard at the turn of the sixth century before Christ.

Present-day Jews observe ha-Teurah, The Feast of Trumpets, on a day known as Rosh ha-Shanah, meaning the “turning of the year”—a holiday that has evolved within modern Jewry into a “Jewish New Year”. It was on that feast-day in 1827 that Joseph Smith Jr., like Moses before him, brought down from a hill in upstate New York an ancient record he refereed to as a New Covenant. The sacred text was etched on plates of gold by ancient Jews who migrated to the New World and later deposited in a subterranean stone box about four hundred years after the birth of Christ—sealed in the ground for centuries in a hill south of what would one day be nineteenth century Palmyra, New York. Fourteen hundred years later, Joseph Smith Jr. translated the record from its ancient reformed Semitic dialect and published the translation as the Book of Mormon, fulfilling ancient biblical prophecies that the God-given covenants revealed to Moses would, in the last days of the earth, speak out of the dust.

On September 22nd, 1827 the Jewish celebration of Rosh ha-Shanah marked the beginning of a prophetic call for Joseph Smith Jr. to do a work unlike any in the modern world. Early in the morning of the Jewish feast-day Joseph Smith ushered into existence additional Judeo-Christian scripture appropriately sub-titled Another Testament of Jesus Christ and began a dispensation of revelations destined to reach beyond the community of Palmyra Township and touch the lives of men and women across the earth who would listen to this modern prophet tell of a latter-day restoration when God remembered again his ancient covenants with Israel. The significance of ha-Teurah—The Feast of Trumpets—remains somewhat unfamiliar to readers of the Book of Mormon. The Hebrew Holy Day on which this feast is celebrated did not always bear the name Rosh ha-Shanah as it did in Joseph Smith’s time of the late 1820’s. When the prophet Lehi lived at Jerusalem six hundred years before the birth of Christ, the day set apart for celebrating the Feast of Trumpets was known among Jews as ha-Zikkaron—The Day of Remembrance.

The task of producing Day of Remembrance has drawn me to reflect on the establishment of the Church of Jesus Christ in our time and the modern-day restoration of ancient covenants through the prophet Joseph Smith that began with the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. May God bless your life as you come to appreciate living in the days of the fullness of times.

David G. Woolley
Springville, Utah
January 19th, 2007

Submitted by lindaclarke on 10 December 2006 - 3:28pm. | |

Below are some reviews written about Melinda and the Wild West. For chapter one, go to Heading West.

BOOK REVIEW by MELYNDA GASCOYNE for The Amherst Bee Newspaper: Buffalo, New York

For anyone who likes to read classic-styled romance novels that also have a drop of history, this is the book for you: “Melinda and the Wild West, a Family Saga in Bear Lake Valley, Idaho.” The story is set back in 1896 in Montpelier and Paris, Idaho, in the Bear Lake Valley area. Melinda Gamble is the new schoolteacher and has relocated from Boston to teach in the community where her beloved aunt and uncle live. Being termed “headstrong” by her parents, she decides to take the job offered by her relatives in the Western frontier as a way to escape from the city and the life they have forged for her. This sets about a plan to help others by teaching. From the start, Melinda learns from her new surroundings. Right at the very beginning she comes face to face with Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch in a bank robbery. What a way to start your new life in the wild frontier. From one of her students coming to class with skunk oil that explodes, to her encounter with a black bear, there’s always something for the imagination in the book. The characters grow in their complexity as the story unfolds. From Melinda’s relationship with Jenny, (the daughter of her widowed neighbor), to Gilbert, Jenny’s father and the gentlemen who steals Melinda’s heart, it is very easy to picture the scene you are reading.

Clarke was able to write about love in a soft fashion, not full of the same type of sexual writing of most romance novels. I was impressed with the eloquence in which Clarke spun her story. It was dramatic in some spots and yet contained simply placed bits of humor. I would recommend this to anyone. Melinda is the first in a four-book series, “A Family Saga in the Bear Lake Valley,” written by Clarke. I’m hoping that the other stories are just as interesting as this one. Age range for book: 16 and older.

BOOK REVIEW by Diana Broadhead for The Senior Sampler Newspaper: St. George, UT

Melinda and the Wild West… despite the wild, untamed nature of the Bear Lake Valley… Ms. Clarke has succeeded in presenting to her readers the beauty of the area. The scenery is portrayed so vividly that you can see each and every color. You can feel the crispness of the air in winter or smell the flowers in the field in spring. You can feel the peace Melinda feels while walking through the woods or feel her fear when she comes face to face with a bear. And amidst such a beautiful portrayal of life, you see a love story unfolding like no other. Melinda’s spirit is fiery, but her tenderness touches those she meets. Ms. Clarke is a talented author!

BOOK REVIEW by Debra Gaynor for “Reader Views”

From the first page I was captivated by this book. I had to continue reading, rushing to turn the page, I had to see what next adventure would catch up with Melinda. The plot is interesting: mixing history with fiction, adventure with romance. Melinda is an endearing character and you can’t help but see things through her eyes. Gilbert is strong and courageous. I like this book! This is good Christian fiction. It is a great honor to highly recommend this book to readers of historical fictions and romance. Ms Clarke, this is a piece to be proud of, well done!

Submitted by Dave Free on 17 November 2006 - 4:38pm. | | |

The Real Summer is a fictional story loosely based on the experiences of the Martin Handcart company as they crossed the plains in 1856. I have often wondered what those faithful pioneers would think of the modern conveniences that we take for granted and what impact a real knowledge of their faith would have on us. This story is simply an excuse to explore both.

Through journals and narratives I have attempted to learn as much as possible about the actual experiences of the handcart pioneers. I chose to follow the Martin company because my great, great grandmother was a member of that company. However, I have combined the experiences from many companies into this story. In other words, some of the experiences included may never have happened to the Martin Handcart company. They either happened to another company or I made them up! I love fiction!

Please let me know what you think and share with your friends.


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