Standing in Holy Places 1: The Great Gathering
STANDING IN HOLY PLACES: The Great Gathering
Author: Chad Daybell
Publication Date: July 2007
Format: 6" x 9", 200 pages
“Verily this is the word of the Lord, that the city New Jerusalem shall be built by the gathering of the saints . . .” (D&C 84:4)
In the near future, Tad and Emma North and their children live in a United States that is growing increasingly wicked. The Norths and their extended family notice that many Latter-day Saints are being deceived by alluring temptations, and they wonder how much longer the Lord will allow American society to continue its downward spiral.
Then comes an invitation from Church leaders for the Saints to gather together. This invitation isn’t well-accepted—and even openly mocked—but those faithful Church members who trust in the Lord soon find themselves accomplishing monumental tasks. Join these humble yet heroic Saints as they embark on an unprecedented journey to build New Jerusalem.
The Great Gathering, the first novel in the Standing in Holy Places series, paints a vivid picture of exciting prophesied events that still must occur before the Second Coming. If you have an interest in what awaits the members of the LDS Church, this series should definitely be on your reading list!
The novel begins a few years in the future and paints a vivid picture of exciting prophesied events that still must occur before the Second Coming.
If you have read The Emma Trilogy and Chasing Paradise, then you will enjoy how this series expands on those novels. Many readers asked me to write about how the Dalton family reached New Jerusalem, and I do so in this new series. The key characters from my previous novels are back — Emma, Doug and their families from The Emma Trilogy, and Josh and Kim from Chasing Paradise.
Sincerely, Chad Daybell
Review By Jennie Hansen
This next novel was sent to me with some trepidation on the author's part because he is aware that “Last Days” novels are low on my list of preferred reading genres. That said, I can honestly say I found Chad Daybell's first volume in a new series, "Standing in Holy Places," thought-provoking. The Great Gathering carries a message that needs to sink deeply into the hearts of every member of the Church: If we can't follow the Prophet now, we certainly won't do so when caught up in the drama of the traumatic events still to come.
This novel follows three couples who live in different areas, but are all linked through the bonds of family or longtime friendships. One couple is called to serve a mission to Central America, and the husband becomes mission president. One couple with their children live in an apartment in Salt Lake, and the third, with their children, live in Springville.
They're all active in the Church and feel they are firmly committed to the gospel, but when the government begins to push a program where everyone is to have a chip implanted in one hand to eliminate identity theft, make possible the deposit of government benefits directly to banking accounts and readily available with a wave of the correct hand, the elimination of credit cards, and huge savings in the cost of manufacturing coins and bank notes, the Prophet warns against participating in the program.
The enticement of a $2,000 bonus to those who participate, the obvious convenience, and the elimination of identity theft are enough to persuade many members of the Church that the Prophet is merely expressing a personal opinion. When letters are read in sacrament meeting stating that the First Presidency strongly warns members not to get the chip, many rebel.
When faced with losing his job, one young husband yields to pressure and gets the chip. That is the beginning of his estrangement from his family and friends. As world disasters ? both economic and physical ? occur, the faithful gather at appointed places and those who got the chip fall away from the Church, dismissing the Prophet's warnings. Those who want to return to the Church face formidable obstacles because the chip is also a GPS tracking device.
The couple in Central America are given a unique assignment to gather the descendents of Lehi to Zion, and the Springville couple and their children are among the few members of the Church who obediently abandon their homes, take their food supplies, and gather in the mountains, then to the temples.
Daybell demonstrates considerable knowledge of the prophecies concerning the last days, but in no way pretends to have any knowledge as to when the events leading to the Second Coming will occur. His style is more narrative than immediate and, as in his other books, he keeps the veil between the living and the dead extremely thin. Readers will find themselves thinking about the messages taught in this story long after they return the book to its place on the shelf and begin the wait for the next volume in this series.
Though, it's true “last days” books aren't my first choice of reading material, I was pleasantly surprised by The Gathering 's thought-provoking message and simple, direct style.
I thought I’d let you know a bit about me and the experiences that have shaped my books. I was born in Provo, Utah to Jack and Sheila Chesnut Daybell. My father was serving in the Navy during the Vietnam War, and we lived in San Diego for nearly two years. Since then I’ve always felt a bond to San Diego, including cheering for the San Diego Padres, despite their annual mediocrity.
I am the oldest of five children, and Paul, Matt, Brad and Becky have been wonderful siblings. Our Springville neighborhood had many vacant fields, and we had a great time exploring them as we grew up. We also had plenty of friends around if we wanted to play baseball, basketball or football.
I had aspirations to be a professional athlete, but my youthful growth spurts seemed humorously timed. I’m now 6’3", but I didn’t really grow at all during seventh or eighth grades and soon found myself as one of the shortest kids in school. Then the following summer I sprouted six inches, which left me rather uncoordinated. l played on Springville High's junior varsity baseball team, but I certainly didn't dazzle anyone.When it comes to my books, I guess I identify more with the clumsy teenage Emma, rather than with the athletic Doug. My younger brothers all excelled in sports, so there is some real-life basis for An Errand for Emma.
However, my mission to New Jersey is the foundation for Doug’s experiences in Doug's Dilemma. Every missionary event in that novel is based on an actual occurrence. It was a crazy two years, but extremely fulfilling. The Spanish-speaking people are fun-loving and upbeat, no matter what obstacles they face. I made many dear friends there that I’m still close to and admire. I returned home as a more compassionate person after my experiences there.
My post-mission plans included staying single for a long time so I could get through school. So naturally, within two weeks of arriving home I attended a singles ward volleyball game and met my future wife, Tammy Douglas, who is the daughter of Ron and Phyllis Douglas. Tammy and I were married seven months later.
I attended Brigham Young University, majoring in Journalism. As I entered my senior year, I accepted the position of Assistant City Editor for BYU’s newspaper, The Daily Universe. The following semester I served as City Editor, and then graduated in April 1992.
Following graduation I took a job as a copy editor and headline writer with The Standard-Examiner in Ogden, Utah. We lived in the Ogden suburb of Washington Terrace. We made some good friends, and I grew close to some of the best and brightest co-workers I'd ever had. But Tammy and I both felt a yearning to have our children grow up near their grandparents and felt a change was coming in our lives.
One night my brothers told me that Springville’s cemetery sexton was going to retire. I had worked for Springville City as a teenager, and it felt like the timing was right to make a move. I applied for the position and was hired. So I went from writing headlines to digging graves. It was a strange transition, but it paid better and allowed us to move back to Springville.
In late 1997, two years after I became the sexton, I was shoveling snow at the cemetery when I felt the prompting, "It’s time to write your books." This came as a complete surprise to me. I’d written some family histories, but I’d never been able to come up with a plot for a book. But almost immediately after receiving the prompting, the entire plot of An Errand for Emma came to me. I wrote the book within a few months, and it was published about a year after that initial prompting.
When it came time to write another book, I was undecided about the topic, but my prayers were answered one day as the plot to Doug’s Dilemma filled my head, as well as the plot for Escape to Zion. I’m very grateful for the hand of the Lord in that project, and I hope I’ve done an adequate job with the material I was given.
In April of 2000 I took a managerial position with Access Computer Products. It was a great experience, and I learned a lot about the business world. But I soon felt a prompting to return to a writing-based profession, and I returned to the publishing industry as the managing editor for Cedar Fort, Inc., the company that published my first 12 books.
In 2002, Tammy and I began a new series called Tiny Talks. These books contain short messages for children that can be given during Primary or Family Home Evening. The first three volumes focus on temples, the Savior, and the Church of Jesus Christ. In October 2003 we released Tiny Talks 4: The Family which corresponds to the 2004 Primary theme. My other recent book releases are a LDS novel entitled Chasing Paradise, a non-fiction book called The Aaronic Priesthood, and a board book titled Book of Mormon Numbers.
My books are all LDS-related except One Foot in the Grave. It is a collection of my actual experiences while working in the cemetery. It isn't meant to be taken too seriously. I just had several "strange but true" incidents occur to me at the cemetery over the years, and I kept track of them in a notebook. Once I stopped working at the cemetery, I chose the best stories that would entertain readers while showing what can really happen in a graveyard. It has been well-received and is still a top seller on Amazon.com.
In early 2004, Tammy and I felt prompted that the time had come to start our own publishing company. We had made this a matter of prayer, and soon arrived at our decision. We established Spring Creek Book Company, which is now the publisher of my books. We also publish books by a variety of talented LDS writers. Feel free to visit the company's website at www.springcreekbooks.com.
Tammy and I now have five children -- Garth, Emma, Seth, Leah and Mark. We still live in Springville, with our company offices in Provo. Thanks for visiting, and I hope you enjoy your journey here!
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