Satan exists. His power is real. This is why an understanding of his motivations and methods is critical to our survival. Shedding Light on the Dark Side will help both youth and adults understand the Adversary and his tactics so they can stand fearlessly on the Lord’s side in this battle of good and evil. Find out more…
It’s nice to have friends — and I have almost 1500 of them. Who would have thought, when I began collecting about a year ago, that I would have met so many nice peoplein such a short time. So, I now have friends from France to the Philippines, from Japan to Germany, from Turkey to Tehran. I have friends in Italy, Russia, England, India, and China. My list of friends is a veritable United Nations of Facebook contacts. I have friends in a few places I cannot begin to pronounce, and at least a couple in locations so remote I don’t think they’ve been discovered yet.
So, when I say how much I appreciate the good wishes of my international assembly of internet acquaintences with regard to my book and my book signing — I truly mean it. The comment, “I would love to come on Saturday — but I’m in Zimbabwe”, still means a lot to me. But now I need a few of my lest distant friends to respond with equal generosity. I’m talking about friends who live distant ports of call like Phoenix, or Gilbert, or Mesa.
Therefore, I announce for one last time — or almost the last time — that I will be at the Mesa Temple Deseret Book (144 S MESA DR) on Saturday, December 7, from 1-3. I’ll be in place there, signing books, eating donuts, and giving away free stuff. I invite anyone to join me there. I’ll be waiting with a hearty embrace and a warm smile — all in the name of international friendship and shameless merchandising. See you at the store.
Writing, publishing and marketing “Shedding Light on the Dark Side” has been the experience of a lifetime. One of the great things about “Shedding Light” is that there is simply no other book like it on the nature and reality of Satan. Unmasking the adversary has been a satisfying mission.
Of course non-fiction is one thing. Fiction is quite another. And every author has “the Great American Novel” tucked somewhere in his file cabinet, waiting for the right moment to be brought forth to the world. Well, my novel is titled “Persona Non Grata”. And it’s official. It is going to be published!!! We’re looking at a release date sometime next July. So, somebody congratulate me. And remember the name, Paladin Smith. We’ve both been looking forward to this for a long time.
Since I misdirected people here to my blog page (www.stephenjstirling.com) instead of my author page (https://www.facebook.com/StephenJStirlingAuthor?ref=h) — which, of course are both really awesome sites — I am now obligated to say somenting clever here. I haven’t made a blog entry since my incredible trip to New York. But frankly, life in Gilbert Arizone continues to be equally incredible. My book, “Shedding Light on the Dark Side” is doing well. So well that teeming thousands have insisted that I do another book signing. Yes, and they are quite violent in their demands. To satisfy the blood lust of my readers, I will be doing another appearance at the Mesa Temple Deseret Book on Saturday, December 7, from 1 to 3. (Now, see my author page.)
As for other holiday events, Diane and I spent an absolutely incredible Thanksgiving without any of our children coming home. (They never call. They never write.) Very dull actually. ( We ate turkey sandwiches down at the retirement home where a modest feast was served for elderly residents and their families. Nobody even noticed us. It was delicious.) I am looking for a better turnout for Christmas — and certainly next Thanksgiving.
I guess I should finish my New York travelogue. Otherwise everyone will think I never got home. I’ll try to be brief. After a full Friday in town Diane and I met Ken and Marina Inagaki — isn’t that a great name, “Inagaki” — and prepared to enjoy our last evening in the city that never sleeps. Running a little late, we caught a taxi to get us through midtown Manhattan for our final activity. (What a wild ride! It was worth every penny.) A few minutes later we hopped out of the cab at the waterfront and ran to the waiting pleasure boat for a two hour excursion along the city shoreline. There are few sights like the New Your skyline, reflecting off the East River like a glittering jewell in the night sky. We churned through water beneath the Williamsberg, Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges out into the Upper Bay, where the boat slowed and seemed to stop for several minutes, only a few hundred feet of what was once called Bedloe’s Island. There, against the shinkng backdrop of metropolis, stood the brilliant figure of the Statue of Liberty. I stared at her in silence and profound emotion until the boat turned and headed back up river. I thought long on what she is, what she was, and what, God willing, she yet shall be as I watched her grow smaller in the distance over the rippling water. She was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.
The next morning we relaxed and took it easy, wandering at leisure through Queens with Marina and Ken, meeting friends, shopping for a scarf and other valuable commodities, and grabbing one last New York meal before we hurried to JFK for our departure. The two little standby Stirlings nearly got bumped, but made it aboard for our long cross-country flight to warmer climes and wide open spaces. I must admit, it was good to return to Arizona. But I can well understand why 13 million people love New York and call her home. It is a passion that is romantic, exciting and childlike all at the same time. There will always be something about New York. And having been there, having walked her streets and breathed her air, and having bumped and jostled with her good-hearted people on the busses and subways — I suppose I will always feel a part of that affection in my own heart forever.
Thanks New York City. It was a great visit.
There are so many things to do and see in New York City that is is just about impossible to give a full accounting. In my last report I forgot to mention our visit to the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and the Juliard School of Music — as well as the Manhattan Temple right across the street. We spent an afternoon touring Grand Central Station. (It’s not just grand, it’s huge!) We also took a ride on the Statten Island Ferry to get a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty. We couldn’t stop at the island and see the monument because — I am told by New Yorkers — evil Republicans have shut down the entire government, removed subsidies for hoe handle production, deforested several Alpine ecosystems, and caused other reprehensible acts too numerous to mention, in their lust for what they call “fiscal responsibility.” (I obviously need to follow current events a little more closely to stay in the know. But this has really gotten us off topic.)
Since then we have visited the Magnolia Bakery and had the most heavenly banana creme pudding on the planet. I also took Diane shopping at some of “those stores” on 5th Avenue to get Brooke something for her birthday. And — perhaps the highlight of my whole New York trip — I made a special trip to the legendary Webster Hall, where Lindsey Stirling began her performing career here in the Big Apple a year and a half ago. (I didn’t go inside, but I understand there is a statue of her in the lobby.)
Yesterday, Marina took us to the Metropolitan Museum of Art where we saw a lot of Greek statues, Egyptian mummies, and more European paintings than you could shake a stick at. That was a little too much for Marina, who took the morning off today, while Diane and I returned to the Met — on our very own. (It was scary taking the subway into Manhattan by ourselves, but we were extremely brave and capable of taking care of ourselves in a major metropolis.) When we finally found the museum we enjoyed ourselves no end until our feet and brains could endure no more. (There IS a saturation point on the daily culture absorbsion scale.)
Marina met us on the street in front of the museum — and not a step closer — and we went out for Thai food. (Lots of peanut butter. Very tasty.)
Friday night was the most awesome of all. But I’ll reserve that for my final New York Post.
What a week — or half a week so far. Marina and Ken have been the finest hosts, and Marina (see “A Few Notes on My Family”) has been the perfect tour guide. We’ve already seen Rockefeller Center, the Museum of Natural History, The Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square, and the 9-11 Memorial. We’ve eaten street meat, hot dogs, Chinese, an awesome pizza, a Shake Shack burger, and the best ice cream I’ve ever had. Last night we hit a broadway play, this morning we went boating and strolling in Central Park, and this afternoon we wandered through the New York Public Library and then climbed to the top of the Empire State Building — we did that in an elevator — for the most spectacular view I ever saw. Lindsey was right. New York might just be the most awesome city in the world — other than Gallatin, Missouri. (Although there is much less to do in Gallatin.)
Anyway, there’s my progress report. We’ve done a lot of stuff! (Still haven’t seen Grant’s Tomb though.)
Well, with a few vacation days at our disposal, Diane and I decided to visit my daughter, Marina (the artist) in New York City. So, two buddy passes, a red-eye flight and four miserable, sleepless hours later, here we are in “The City of Brotherly Love.” (No, that’s Philadelphia.) Anyway, we’re here. New York is the most dynamic, living, breathing, sprawling melting pot in the world. I don’t know that there is any place like it on the planet. It is alive and pulsing with constant energy. No wonder they call it “The Windy City.” (No, that’s Chicago.) Who cares?! My point is, what a contrast between this bulging megalopolis and the homey little brownstone apartment that Marina and Ken call home. It perfectly suits them — and they are so cute and suited to it. After a year and a half, they’re still newlyweds — happy as can be.
Well, enough about them. Let’s talk about New York. I want to see Central Park, and the Met, and the Natural History Museum, and the Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty. Oh, yeah, and I want to see Grant’s Tomb. I’ve also been told there are one or two good places to eat here also. So, I’ll get back to with a full report — The Stirlings hit “The Big Apple.” Hey, that’s it. “The Big Apple.”
For the past 30 years or so I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by some of the most exceptional people I have ever known. My oldest daughter, Jennifer, was a championship runner who continues to excell in almost everything she does, and to perform as a world-class orchestral trumpet player. My youngest, Brooke, is a beginning author and frankly, the most gifted natural writer I know. My daughter Marina is a talented acrylic artist, whose unique variety and creative ability astound me. My son, Vladimir, just beginning college, has personal gifts that will allow him to triumph in any endeavor he aspires to. Then, there’s my middle daughter, hip-hop violinist and YouTube sensation, Lindsey Stirling — who is sort of talented and has achieved a modest kind of success. And finally, my wife Diane, is a writer, teacher and mother par excellence, who never applies herself to any endeavor with less than 100% of her effort. She is the best editor, the best cook, the best friend, and the most loyal and supportive companion a man could ask for. Last of all, in the midst of this extraordinary group of high achievers, is me — just me. I have a lot to live up to in this family.
I shared this with a few of you, as part of a surprize, yesterday. Since Lindsey’s birthday seems to be a week-long event, I thought I would go public with it today.
“As a father, I love and have much to be proud of in all of my children. Of course, Lindsey has touched the world in a special way and has made a powerful impact on many lives. As an artist and performer, she is a rare talent, bursting with creative energy, sparkling personality, and a unique style that sets her apart as a one in a million — or perhaps one in a billion.
But I am most proud of Lindsey for who she is at her heart and soul, for the adversity she has overcome, and for the example she is to everyone who cares to watch — and anyone is free to watch closely. (With Lindsey, what you see is what you get, and it’s worth getting.)
Most of all, I admire Lindsey because, as she stand in the glare of this world’s success and amidst the cheers of her supportive fans, she has never forgotten who she is and where she came from, and she will always recognize the source of her strength — Proverbs 3:5-6.
And that IS her strength.
I love you Lindsey. Happy Birthday.
“I am persuaded that if we are to “conquer Satan, and … escape the hands of the servants of Satan that do uphold his work” (D&C 10:5), we must understand and recognize the situation as it is. This is no time for Latter-day Saints to equivocate.
Nor is it a time for us to panic.”
Elder Marion G. Romney
from “Satan — The Great Deceiver”
April Conference, 1971