About the Author

Stephen J. Stirling

Stephen J. Stirling was born in Los Angeles, California, and grew up in the Southeast LA semi-ghetto of Huntington Park. Graduating from high school in 1970, he received a scholarship to Brigham Young University at the age of 17.

He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism in 1976, and then spent several years wandering America in search of adventure as a professional vagrant. Interspersed through his college career and days on the road, he served a mission in Chile and taught for 8 years as an early morning seminary teacher in various ports of call.

Stopping in Chicago, he entered the profession of advertising, a field in which he ultimately held many positions with companies from the Midwest to the Pacific coast. He eventually settled in Orange County, California, where he established Stirling Communications and spent 15 years as a freelance copywriter, scriptwriter, and video producer. His ghostwriting credits include Richard Simmons’ Deal-A-Meal, and Where There’s a Will There’s an ‘A’. Other creative works include The Ultimate Catalogue and the comedy album, Latter-day Night Live.

In 1994 he was hired by the Church Educational System and relocated with his family to the Phoenix Valley in Arizona, where he has fulfilled a lifelong dream of teaching released-time seminary for the past 19 years.

He and his wife, the former Diane Leigh, were married in 1981. They have five adult children, two horses, several chickens, and a farm at Adam-ondi-Ahman, Missouri—where they plan to retire someday.

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27 thoughts on “About the Author

  1. Francisco Hernández

    Hi sir.
    I love Lindsey’s music and for her I supposed I’m here, I don’t know anything about your books or whatever just I want to ask you something:

    Does your family is Christian?

    I really love Lindsey and I hope to meet her at least in a concert maybe in San Diego because I’m living in Mexicali, B.C. Mexico.

    Why I’m saying this?
    Because I think that Lindsey is very busy right now or his popularity is so big and maybe she don’t has enough time to answer me haha.

    Best wishes and I hope his reply thank you 🙂

    1. Stephen J. Stirling

      Francisco, Thank you for supporting Lindsey. She loves her fans in Mexico and will be performing there soon. As for my family, yes, we are Christian. We are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We are often called Mormons. What you love about Lindsey is probably the love of Jesus Christ that shines through her. The Savior is an important part of our lives. Good talking to you, and God bless.
      –Stephen J. Stirling

  2. Craig Nelson

    I have just enthusiastically read your book – you are the first person who gets Satan’s plan, the elimination of the law. I am writing a paper for the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies on this very topic though I have a few different perspectives. Please call me as you’re are practically the only person I can speak with on this topic.

    Craig Nelson (909) 908-1401 cell phone

  3. big sister

    I am so proud of you and the family that you and Diane have raised. I stand tall knowing you and of your contributions.

  4. anonymous

    I just want to say thank you for being the man that you are. Your family has inspired me to try and become a better person and to be more productive with my life. I am currently reading the Book of Mormon and “investigating” the church of Jesus Christ of LDS. I feel so strongly that many of the principles being taught must have positively influenced your family and I find that truly amazing. It came to my attention that Lindsey had a talk on Sunday about her faith and it would have meant the world to me if I were able to hear her take on it, but sadly I don’t live anywhere near LA. Do you know if there is a recording of this anywhere that I could check out?

    I wish you all the best

  5. SimplyaCritic

    I have question your story takes place in a mormon area, but what is the difference bewteen chistans and mormans. And if I can talk to you privately also. Thanks

    1. Stephen J. Stirling

      The difference between Mormonism and other religions of mainstream Christianity is vast. Mormonism is a Christian religion, in that we worship Jesus Christ and accept him as the only way back to the presence of God the Father. We recognize that Jesus Christ came to this earth as the literal Son of God with a mission to live a perfect life and then to suffer and give up his life as a payment for our sins. By accepting him as our Savior and by living his commandments we may then be brought back into the presence of God. This is basically a universal Christian belief. The difference is that the Latter-day Saints (Mormons) believe that the original Church of Jesus Christ with the authority to baptize and administer other ordinances of salvation was taken from the earth with the death of the 12 apostles — who Jesus placed in the church to lead and care for it. With their deaths, the Priesthood, continuous revelation from God, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit ceased from the earth. The Dark Ages which followed were evidences of a time when the true Church of Jesus Christ was not upon the earth and many other churches sprang up in an effort to follow Jesus Christ, but none had revelation from God or the authority to baptize or practice other holy ordinances. This condition continued until God prepared a world again to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That Gospel and the Church of Jesus Christ was restored again to the earth in these modern times through a modern prophet, Joseph Smith Jr., over a period of many years beginning in 1820. Today, the Church of Jesus Christ is distinguished form the churches of mainstream Christianity by the guidance of a living Prophet who receives revelation from God, 12 apostles who are called of God and who carry on the work as was done in Jesus day, and by the authority of the Priesthood (the power to act in God’s name and to baptize.) There are many other differences, but these are the basics.

  6. Wayne Alexander

    Mr. Stirling,
    Like some others stated, I have come here via my longtime (since her AGT debut circa 2010) and loyal support of your wonderful daughter Lindsey. I didn’t even know that you were an author until I saw a post by her on her FB/Twitter page. I will definitely read both books promptly! However, if you will permit, I do want to make some comments about what Lindsey means to me and why I think she is affecting people like me so profoundly.
    From the moment I saw her walk on stage on TV long ago, I knew there was something amazing/special and indescribable about her! I believe its her LIGHT and goodness she continues to radiate in all the work she does. Of course we all know she is physically beautiful, a world class violinist, amazing dancer/entertainer, but also the VERY BEST of what being a child of God is all about! She truly is one of the most selfless and sincerely caring people I know of and a true genuine role-model for all people!
    I work in the educational sector presently (IT Dept) and see firsthand what young adults are struggling with in their daily lives – whether it is lack of family support, brokenness of “home”, lack of self respect or just the burden of loneliness, etc. Your daughter is the perfect example of how to achieve and overcome obstacles and rise above perceived barriers while holding fast to faith. Its her innate goodness that permeates throughout her works! This makes her the best role-model for all people of any age.
    This past June I finally after 5 long years of waiting, got to meet my (s)hero Lindsey in person in Charlotte NC. That day will stay seared into my mind forever and I will always treasure it! Its funny too, because back on her original first website, I wrote her that I wanted to win the lottery so I could fund a possible tour (this was on April 25th 2012 at 10:40PM…I kept ALL our old correspondence), now look at where she is! She is packing stadiums!!
    Also I gave her a gift in reference to something she mentioned a long time ago – She said she loved the music to the LDS film Johnny Lingo. So I was curious back then, and watched the entire movie. Its message was very powerful and I can see why Lindsey might have liked it. So at the concert I brought her a mini-stuff cow to represent “Infinite Cows” because her self worth is greater than 8! heh heh heh. Her and Brooke thought it was hilarious and I was happy to have that moment.
    Anyway, thanks for listening, Lindsey is a true blessing in ALL our lives and I can’t imagine never knowing of her….she is SPECIAL!!! A true daughter of GOD by her words and actions. I wish her and the whole Stirling Family much success and continued happiness! Feel free to share these comments with her. Take care and thanks for your time!



    1. Stephen J. Stirling

      Wayne, thanks for your message. I will be sure to pass it along to her next time I see her. I’m happy that she is having that kind of influence. And thank you for your support. Let me know how you like the books — and spread the word. — Stephen J. Stirling

  7. Jordy

    I praise God for all of the little things in life that he has given me and my family, such as being able to learn about new people and also do amazing things, such as working on cars, or even playing the violin. I have seen a lot of Lindsey’s videos, and at a time where I was planning on not learning how to play the violin anymore(I am in 8th grade) God sent a message to me (in the form of one of Lindsey’s songs) to keep on playing and using my knowledge to praise him, so please tell Lindsey that her music inspires other people to never stop trying, since I don’t believe that Lindsey would have the time to read my messages, since I am only an 8th grader who would end up at the bottom of the stacks of YouTube comments and Tweets.

  8. Fred Field

    I just received your book in today’s mail. I would like to read it in one day. Since I have to work this Sat, I may end up waiting a week. Lindsey has been promoting your book so many of us fans ordered a copy. 🙂

  9. Wayne Alexander

    My Thoughts on Persona Non Grata

    Persona Non Grata was an exciting tale of political unrest with intrigue and a look of how seemingly normal people can make a huge difference on a much larger scale. It had all the makings of a movie blockbuster in the spirit of say, Bourne Identity and a little dash of James Bond.
    Perhaps the most astonishing aspect of the story is how relevant it is to today’s actual events happening in that part of the world. I definitely see similarities to Mr. Putin trying to annex and assimilate Ukraine back under Russian control. Ironically, Mr. Stirling actually had this story dreamed up way before any of these real-life events took place.

    I had wrestled with the idea of analyzing all the characters in the book and providing detailed summaries, but I have decided not to. The reason being is that Persona Non Grata can be summed up much easier: “Plan G”

    See when people are faced with uncertainties and unknowns, like Paladin Smith, you simply can’t take a Plan A or B….you need “Plan G”….putting trust and faith in God.
    Paladin Smith understood this very well and prayed before making any of his pivotal decisions. By trusting in the Lord (aka “Plan G”/Plan God) he might have not known what to do, but his unwavering faith led him to safety and ultimately to victory.
    I think if we could approach unknown journeys and paths by taking “Plan G”, we all might have better outcome from every decision or concern we have. Yes, things might not always go the way we think they are supposed to, but trusting God gives us the power to accept his will and trust in where it leads.
    If I have any criticism of the book it would just be these two items: 1. I was not 100% convinced that Paladin would just up and go on his quest for a possible payment….he clearly cared for Toria and knew God had something for him to do. Still he seemed somewhat passive and complacent in his daily life, so maybe he just wanted to recapture is earlier adventure days? 2. The ending sped up extremely quickly so it felt just a little rushed. I would have liked to see what happened to some of the other major players and what, if any, disruption between Paladin and his wife would be….maybe we’ll get a follow up? Very interested to see what happens to Toria and her relationship with Paladin.

    Overall I felt Persona Non Grata was and exciting and encouraging book. There were so many scenes that would translate well to film like (SPOILER ALERT) the crazy Mercedes drive fiasco at the end (Tanks included…wow!) and the escape from prison scene where Paladin made it to the dance floor and wowed the crowd with Toria; very much to the shock of his nemesis.

    I also like how much of the characters, specifically Paladin and Toria, seemed based off of Mr. Stirling himself and little tidbits of his girls… am I right? I wonder who Toria could have been based on….hmmm she was very independent, very beautiful, adventurous, strong-willed, and able to hold her own. I think I know who 😉

    The main takeaway is always bet on Plan G!

  10. Josh Moffitt

    I became a fan of Lindsey’s back in July of this year. I can’t tell you enough how caring and beautiful Lindsey is. She is so amazing and she inspires people including me to never give up hope. Her faith in God plays a huge part in why I love her so much. You have an amazing daughter and I’m proud to be a fan of hers forever.

  11. Tim Walters

    Hello Sir,
    I grew up in Costa Mesa Orange County, and although at that time I was not a religious person, My Brother was, he was a member of the Mormon Church, He was very devout and a fine young man. We lost him in July of 89. The day of the funeral, A group of women from A local Mormon Congregation came to my parent’s home, bringing food, and stayed there while our family attended the funeral service, This was something I have never forgotten. Anyway, Being a fan of your daughter’s Music I came to find out that your family also lived in Orange County around that time. I am curious to know if you were involved with The LDS back then? If so I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the wonderful things that the LDS does for the community. God Bless and I will always keep your family in my prayers. By the way, I am a member of a messianic congregation in Alabama now and found Christ in 2008.

    1. Stephen J. Stirling

      Tim, thank you for your kind words. And yes, we’ve been Mormons for a long time. I teach seminary in Mesa, Arizona. I’m happy to hear about your active participation in your faith. If we can stick together, we can all make a difference in this world by bringing Jesus Christ into it. May the Lord bless you in all you do.

      Stephen J. Stirling

  12. Vladislav

    Dear, Mr Stirling . Hello ,

    My name is Vladislav . Please tell me is it possible to buy your books in electronic form ? I would love to buy it on paper but I’m afraid my English is not good enough and electronic form can be easily translated. Thank you .
    I would like to say a few kind words about your amazing daughter Lindsey :
    I don’t know how to put into words , my love and admiration for her . She completely changed my life .I came in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints thanks to Lindsey. March 21, must be my baptism in our Church . I’ve never seen someone with such a pure soul , not to mention the beauty and talent than Lindsey.Every night I pray and ask the Savior that she was well.
    Bless God you , Lindsey and your entire family.
    Best wishes .Vladislav.

    1. Stephen J. Stirling

      Vladislav, I believe you can get a kindle version of both books through Amazon. Thanks for asking. I am happy that Lindsey has left a good impression on you. We are all challenged to be the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world.” I’m sure you will be the same kind of influence on someone else. As for your English, it sounds just fine. Good luck to you.

      Stephen J. Stirling

  13. Vladislav

    Hello Mr. Stirling

    I read your page on Facebook and found that you ask about the progress of your book in the blogosphere .
    May I offer very humble assistance in this ? I’m actively page on Facebook and although I deliberately did not gain a lot of friends there ( but this can easily be done ) my photos and Lindsey art ( Yes , I’m a fan of music your daughter ) collect a sufficiently large number of likes in thematic communities . (I participate in communities about the photos and fans of Lindsey Stirling ) Can I use a photo and information about your book in the communities and on the page in facebook ? Could be something else ? I would gladly would have done it . I would love would offer more serious versions because I work in an advertising campaign (advertising on transport) but unfortunately in my country, your book is not for sale. I will be very glad to know how I can help promote your book ( Persona Non Grata ) .

    Happy Easter !

  14. Fernando Freitas

    Hello Mr. Stirling,

    Well … Today I know the art and wonderful talent of his daughter Lindsey , and this time it me do better with your perseverance to achieve his dream , that inspire me to be better than I am now , I am a member of the LDS Church for 6 years , I served a mission in my own country Brazil , and now I lives in Rio de Janeiro – Brazil with my wife, I have some problems that I fight every day , today I almost had problems again, but our Father celestial guide me to the music of your daughter and made possible for me to stay on right way again because the story and the music of his daughter make it real for me , I writing it just because i need to say thanks you for all of that. Your perseverance , your faithful to guide your family by Heavenly Father way. Thank you Mr. Stirling


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