Together

Lately, I’ve been working with my counselors in the Primary Presidency of our local ward / congregation at Church to find a solution to the words and phrases of the scriptures:

expedient that the church meet together often, D&C 20:75 (20:55–75).

when ye are assembled together, D&C 43:8.

go to the house of prayer … upon my holy day, D&C 59:9 (59:9–13).

-AND- then, trying to abide by the 12th Article of Faith which states: We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

Today, is my Sabbath day. It’s the day by which all other things in my life are prepared and pondered and adjusted for that week and as I assess my previous week and look forward to the next, I take count of my blessings.

I take count of my blessings. My sorrows, my joys, my improvements, my shortfalls.

-AND- then, trying to abide by the Prophet’s words:

April 2018 – President Russell M. Nelson, “The Prophet Joseph Smith set a pattern for us to follow in resolving our questions. Drawn to the promise of James that if we lack wisdom we may ask of God,8 the boy Joseph took his question directly to Heavenly Father. He sought personal revelation, and his seeking opened this last dispensation.

In like manner, what will your seeking open for you? What wisdom do you lack? What do you feel an urgent need to know or understand? Follow the example of the Prophet Joseph. Find a quiet place where you can regularly go. Humble yourself before God. Pour out your heart to your Heavenly Father. Turn to Him for answers and for comfort.

Pray in the name of Jesus Christ about your concerns, your fears, your weaknesses—yes, the very longings of your heart. And then listen! Write the thoughts that come to your mind. Record your feelings and follow through with actions that you are prompted to take. As you repeat this process day after day, month after month, year after year, you will “grow into the principle of revelation.” – Chapter 10: Prayer and Personal Revelation, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith.

And I clung to the words of the Prophet that said, “I urge you to stretch beyond your current spiritual ability to receive personal revelation,” and I heard him. And I realized that likening the scriptures to my own life was actually looking into my life and making greater efforts to be a better human being.

And I searched scriptures and talks and found my way to living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And I understand what Elder Yoon Hwan Choi of the Seventy meant when he said, “my father taught me that the gospel had been restored and it is perfect but members are not yet, neither himself nor me. He firmly said, “Do not lose your faith because of the people around you, but build a strong relationship with Jesus Christ. Don’t look around, look up!”

Look up to Jesus Christ—the wise advice of my father—strengthens my faith whenever I face challenges in life. He taught me how to apply the teachings of Christ, as in these words: “Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.” –

Doctrine and Covenants 6:21,36
Doctrine and Covenants

21 Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I am the same that came unto mine own, and mine own received me not. I am the light which shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not.

36 Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.

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Be of good cheer my friends & happy reading!

Love,

Annalisa

Annalisa Hall is the author of SHEPPARD’S LAST LAMB, illustrated by Alex Worthen, published October 11th 2016 by Bonneville / Cedar Fort Inc.

What does it take to be a good shepherd? Dress in the shepherd’s costume, act like the good shepherd, or finding sheep?

SHEPPARD’S LAST LAMB is about joy. Sheppard isn’t pleased he’s the SHEPHERD for the Christmas nativity performance, but he knows shepherds were special witnesses of Jesus Christ. He is given a toy lamb, he finds many more until his flock is whole, and this story teaches how the Good Shepherd is helpful, important, and kind. A lesson for children and adults alike to remember that we’re not whole until each one has been found, even the last lamb.

SHEPPARD’S LAST LAMB inspires children to embrace courage, kindness, and charity. Follow Christ like sheep follow their shepherd. Find and seek those weary and lost friends who need us.

THEMES Include: Christmas, Charity, Love, Self-Esteem, Tolerance, Problem Solving, Embracing and Accepting Yourself, Authenticity, Diversity, Easter, Jesus Christ, Atonement, Savior, Lamb of God, Lamb and the Lion, Zion

Also, lends for discussion about Jesus Christ, shepherds, sheep and lambs, Missionary Work, Search and Rescue, Hide and Seek

Rain or Shine

Rain or Shine, the past year or two I’ve been busy enjoying the stories and illustrations of my fellow colleagues, bright children’s book authors, and clever illustrators.

Whether you’re hiding away at home from the rain, or outdoor in the sunshine, there’s a lot of good books worth reading, viewing, and sharing.

What are some of your recommendations?

Mastering Storytelling

My father would sometimes take us to visit his place of work, a studio shaping clay models of cars.  My sisters and I would get to explore the drawers of tools, markers, and clay.  We’d crossed through elegant spacious rooms filled with drafting tables, huge sheets of white paper, and every color of pencil imaginable. Sneaking peeks of the works laid out by designers were often sleek and vibrant concept cars or yachts in neon, purples and oranges that made us giggle at such outlandish ideas for trucks, sedans and minivans. Into his work space, my father’s desk would be covered in canary yellow sheets with fine point black pen scribblings of circles, ovals and boulders. A rolling set of drawers housed his treasured tools – the rounded metal shapes, the wooden dowels, and other handcrafted gear that would sometimes match those drawings from his desk. These tools were his ticket to mastering and perfecting shapes.

At home the crafting, sculpting and artistry never ended. He’d pick up stones from the beach, pebbles from the driveway and find the curves he’d expand, expound and experiment with at work. Mugs, vases, and sculptures made on the potter’s wheel, out of plaster molds, or carved out of lumber scraps abounded the spaces and shelves of sheds out back. My sisters and I would interrupt him to play with clay, help with art projects, and hear stories. We’d craft messes and discover the vast collection of colors and glazes that would later become decorations on my mother’s walls or gifts to grandparents. My parents do not have college degrees nor have they possessed sports cars like the one’s my father help resurrect from paper and form into a shape that we’d see a few years later on the road.

But there were quiet moments of learning, reflection and study by faith. It was in one of these quiet moments in my father’s studio that I began to conjure my own shapes and stories. I recall one day he’d lined up a row of raw porcelain vases and was preparing them for the kiln.  His process was to reach for a vase in the first stages of formation, use a brush and coat it with a thick layer of glaze; then, slip it gracefully onto a rack for drying. If all went well, those grey painted vases would make it into the kiln for firing and they’d return as glossy colorful pieces.

As with everything in life, things don’t go according to plan. Sometimes a vase would fall from his fingers and shatter on the concrete floor of the garage. He wouldn’t yell or stop though. He’d simply reach for another vase and say, “No sense in worrying about that.” Even when every single piece would return from the kiln broken or warped or twisted, he’d take a breath and say, “Well, that didn’t turn out exactly as I’d planned.” Nothing was wasted, not even the broken pieces.  He’d scrap those into buckets for various uses or save the really “ugly” pieces as a reminder. He would keep creating more works of art. He’d continue, even when hundreds of attempts seemed to be unsuccessful.

When my father retired, he was a Master Sculptor. His skill technique and patience acquired over thirty years with shapes and proportion and visual perfection formed not only a lifetime of mastery, but a masterful way of teaching his children to forge their own paths by doing better. It’s the remembrance of those imperfect stones, rocks, scribbles and details that I find my ability to create, motivate and aspire to shape my own life one step at a time.

Listen & Learn

The Holy Ghost is like a book.

A book uses words and pictures to teach. When you ask for help, the Holy Ghost helps you remember what to say and do. . .

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The Holy Ghost is Like a Blanket by Annalisa Hall, illustrated by Corey Egbert

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I like to take a book to the beach with me. Sometimes I read the book, sometimes I just listen to the world around me. The ocean waves, the seagulls, people walking, cars behind me. . . and the world is noisy and quiet all at the same time.   When I focus on one thing, I ignore other things, but what I read, I learn. When I listen, I find that I’m either hunting for something or nothing. Therefore, I was thinking about how we learn from reading books and listening to the world around us. Just a few thoughts – – I wish you a very happy day!

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Feel Love

Today 12 June 2018 Cedar Fort, Inc. released the newest edition of THE HOLY GHOST IS LIKE A BLANKET with updated illustrations by Corey Egbert.

Get your copy of Annalisa Hall’s THE HOLY GHOST IS LIKE A BLANKET (Boy Version) here 

I love when siblings grow up and follow in the footsteps of their older sister. This younger brother has his own little story of how the Holy Spirit is special to him.

Your children don’t see the Holy Ghost, but that doesn’t mean they can’t feel His presence. With heart-warming illustrations, The Holy Ghost Is Like a Blanket depicts characteristics of the Holy Ghost by comparing them to objects children remember and relate to. These meaningful analogies will help your little ones recognize the Holy Ghost as a real influence in their lives.

If you’d be interested in reviewing a copy, please let me know.

Love & Joy

AVAILABLE NOW! 😱🏆 The Holy Ghost is Like a Blanket -and- I Want to Be Baptized
Online or in stores.

It’s a whole lot of love for those who read, write and inspire children.  I’ve got plenty of author friends with new books coming out this year and I’m so happy for them.  We LOVE to see good books on the shelves for children to read, to listen and to learn.

Make a positive difference in your life by reading. Smile lots and celebrate the joy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Help prepare others for baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Property of Annalisa Hall

#LatterDaySaints

Happy Birthday

Tomorrow is my birthday.  I’ll be 39 years old.

21 years ago I exited high school and went to college. I eventually got a degree from BYU in English.

18 years ago I met the man who would become my husband. He challenged me to do better, be more, and our love grew. Together we now have three children (I’d say beautiful because I’m bias). This year the children all began different schools (elementary, middle & high school). I’m learning time management skills again.

In the last decade, I’ve written some 28 manuscripts (screenplays, novels, chapter books et al) and THREE (3) of those books are published. I’m not known for my math skills, but I do know that 3 out of 28 is OK odds 🙂

I imagine that in another 10 years we could be a grandparents. Our home might be paid off.  I’ll have traveled to more places that I can count on two hands. I can hope! So many things I can plan for, hope for, and see come to fulfillment. My personal journey is different from yours and that’s OK.

As each book comes to fruition, I’m impressed by others who try too. Those who persevere. I’m amazed by people who keep trying to better their work and produce goodness.  I’m in love with beautiful books that grew from little ideas and gathered shape and structure over time, care, and effort.

Mistakes help you learn.

Learn to recover, adjust, and press forward.

After all these years of learning, I’m certain of one thing – anything is possible with an eye single to the glory of God. Prayer is real, helpful and fortifying.

Tonight at “Back to School Night” one teacher said that sacrifices have to be made to be good at one thing. I agree.  I can’t be good at everything, but I can excel in many things and be perfect in one thing. . . . What’s your one thing?

 

 

Wonderful!

8+ years ago, I wrote a poem for my friend to help her young children understand the Holy Ghost. With encouragement from family and motivation by published authors, I submitted my work to Cedar Fort. Today, my books are on sale at Amazon! So surreal that I’m an RWA Pro, SCBWI Pal, and LDStorymaker 🙂 https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01FJ1EUFA?ref_=mw_olp_product_details

Happy Reading Friends!!

Illustration credits: Corey Egbert and Alex Worthen

Springtime

Daffodils and little lambs remind me that Springtime is upon us and Easter is near.

When I say down to write SHEPPARD’S LAST LAMB it was definitely about Christmas shepherds and so much more. Christ is our Shepherd. Christ is the lamb brought to the slaughter, perfect and pure.

Spring cleaning brings an opportunity to go through all the past, and make room for the future. Grudges are released like pollen into the air, irritating but necessary. I fuss with some and left go of others like dandelions (with a big roar).

Little lambs blet and blurt. I find that I wobble so much and then I remember that this is the time to start anew. I’m thankful for learning to do things the right way.

It’s refreshing to let go. To live free. To be unsheltered and roaming long enough to discover something divine.

May you enjoy your Spring time. . . a season filled with options! Happy writing!!

 

Follow Christ

Sarabella Custom Jewelry hand stamped “Follow Christ” charms for me. They LOOK awesome and I’ll be handing them out when I do signings for SHEPPARD’S LAST LAMB.

I feel blessed to have such an amazing publishing team at Cedar Fort. They really do cherish their authors and I love their dedication to my work. I’m not very tactful sometimes, but they see in me the potential and strive to make my work better and ready for publication.

Sheppard’s Last Lamb – so many lessons to be learned from Sheppard and his quest to do his best, to follow Christ and help bring the Christmas spirit.

Sheppard Hill wants to be a wise man or an innkeeper in the Christmas pageant, but instead he gets stuck as the shepherd–all because of his name! What’s even worse, he’s stuck helping his younger sisters too. But when he begins to think of Christ, can he turn this terrible turn of events into the best Christmas pageant ever?

Themes include: Christmas Nativity, the Good Shepherd, Self-Esteem, Tolerance, Problem Solving, Embracing and Accepting Yourself, Diversity

sheppards-last-lamb-hall-_-worthen