Publications

One More River to Cross

(Standing on the Promises, Book 1)

by Margaret Blair Young (Author), Darius Aidan Gray (Author)

Copyright: 2000
Publisher: Deseret Book Co.

Summary:

This well-researched historical novel reconstructs the lives of two 19th-century African-American converts to Mormonism. Elijah Abel, the first African-American man ordained to the LDS priesthood, carried the message of Joseph Smith to whites and free blacks on three separate missions in the 1830s and ’40s. Young and Gray have used the license of fiction to elucidate large areas of Abel’s life, including his childhood, about which little is known. In recounting the life of convert Jane Manning James, however, they have rendered events quite closely to what she recorded herself in her autobiography.

 

Bound for Canaan

(Standing on the Promises, Book 2)

by Margaret Blair Young (Author), Darius Aidan Gray (Author)

Copyright: 2002
Publisher: Bookcraft Publishers

Summary:

The second novel picks up their story for the Mormon trek west to the Salt Lake Valley under Brigham Young’s leadership, and also chronicles the Civil War and the growing emigrations to California. The novel succeeds not only in opening a door on the early black Mormon experience; it also places that experience within the larger context of national race relations. Readers will get refresher courses on Dred Scott, Civil War politics, slave auctions, lynch mobs, blackface minstrelsy and more. One of the Mormon authors (Gray) is African-American, and his own ancestors figure in the novels. The story seems driven more by the historical record than by the need for a smooth plot, as evidenced by the detailed historical notes at the end of every chapter. Although these may distract readers seeking easy escapist fiction, they lend the novel weight and credibility. Given how little is known of early black converts to Mormonism and of their experiences living in Utah, this trilogy is a treasure. It is a badly needed history lesson coated with a layer of imagination a combination that has proved enormously popular in the works of Gerald Lund.

The Last Mile of the Way

(Standing on the Promises, Book 3)

by Margaret Blair Young (Author), Darius Aidan Gray (Author)

Copyright: 2003
Publisher: Deseret Book Co.

Summary:


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