I have to say that I could only get 1 2 way through this I love the idea of LDS church historical fiction, but I felt the characters weren t very real, and had no depth The dialogue was the worst part I m ashamed every time I say it, but to be honest, I just couldn t get through these Any thoughts I started reading the Work and the Glory series when I was pregnant with our first child I got really sick, so I was pretty much bed ridden My husband brought home the series and I devoured them They are a MUST read, as once you start, you can t put them down I LOVE how the author writes of true historical events through the eyes and lives of an imaginary family This way, you connect with the world at that time, and you find yourself yelling, laughing, or crying at the book Lol You Believe Me, Don T You, Nathan It Was Not A Question, But A Statement, Filled With WonderIt Stunned Nathan You Believe It All I Can See It On Your Face For A Moment, Time Seemed Suspended As Nathan Probed The Inward Recesses Of His Soul There Was Still The Incredulousness, Still The Sense Of Hearing Something That Couldn T Possibly Be True And Yet He Knew It Was He Knew Without The Least Shadow Of Doubt That Everything Joseph Was Telling Him Was True And So, Finally, With A Wonder Of His Own, He Said, Yes, Joseph, I Believe You Pillar Of Light Mdash The First Volume In The Series The Work And The Glory Begins The Epic Story Of The Benjamin Steed Family In The S They Move From Vermont To Palmyra Township In Upstate New York In Search Of Better Farmland There They Meet A Young Man Named Joseph Smith And Are Thrown Into The Maelstrom Of Conflict And Controversy That Swirls Around Him Did He Really See The Father And The Son In A Pillar Of Light Has He Truly Been Visited By Angelic Messengers What Is All This Talk About Gold Plates And New Scripture In Short, Is He A Prophet And Seer Or A Monumental Fraud The Answers Each One Gives To These Questions Intensely Personal, Potentially Divisive Will Dramatically Affect The Lives Of The Steeds Forever AfterAuthor Gerald N Lund Here Masterfully Weaves Together Historical Reality And High Powered Fiction In His Hands This Combination Seems To Make The Reader An Eyewitness To The Early Scenes Of The Restoration, Thus Deepening One S Understanding And Appreciation Of Those Momentous Events The Well Drawn Plot And Fictional Characters Present A Moving, Gripping Story Here Are Benjamin And Mary Ann Steed, Devoted To Each Other As Man And Wife, Yet At Odds Over Religion Joshua, Their Volatile Son, Who Rebels And Heads For Trouble The Sensitive Nathan, Their Second Son, In Whom Joseph Smith S Message Strikes A Responsive Chord The Beautiful Lydia McBride, Who Captures The Hearts Of Both Joshua And NathanThis Book Skillfully Explores The Inmost Motivations Of Joseph Smith And His Early Followers And The Responses Of Typical Contemporary Families To The Claims He Made These People Come To Life In This Powerful Historical Novel, A Story That Captures Both The Heartache And The Happiness That Came In The Wake Of Joseph S Experience With The Pillar Of Light AWESOME My VERY favorite books to read, are LDS historical fiction I love the way that Lund captures the surroundings and the scenery of the time, and draws you right into the story The early saints of the church have always amazed me Joseph Smith, his family, and many of the saints suffered so much, at the hands of those who mocked and terrorized them, but the work of the Lord continued to move forth I am so grateful for my pioneer posterity, who have afforded me the blessings of the gospel, through their unquestionable faith, love and sacrifice Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres And I like Lund s writing style I thought it was bold of him to invent a family, an interesting one at that, and tell the story of the early days of The Church His account of history are well researched and I was pleased that he didn t take real liberties with the actual people associated with the restoration of the Gospel I learned a lot I thought his characters spoke insightfully and Mrs Steed, especially, was an example of a woman of faith I found myself intrigued by the entire series, but I agree with the reviews that the end of the series wasn t as compelling as the beginning I highly recommend Gerald Lund s The Kingdom and the Crown series where he places a fictional family into the New Testament like he does with the Steeds in The Work and the Glory. I m surprised at how much I enjoyed this book It wasn t as cheesy as I as expecting, and it told the story of Joseph Smith quite accurately I don t think it s perfect, but seeing as our understanding of Church History is always improving, we can t blame Gerald Lund For example, he mentions Joseph Smith s seer stones and his old treasure seeking work, but doesn t explain that the two went together But again, that just reflects the cultural understanding of LDS History in the 1990 s.The only other thing I noticed from my study of church history was the fact that Joseph Smith told the Steed family about his First Vision, even though we have no evidence that he was open about telling that story at that point in time It is definitely possible that he did tell trusted acquaintances Either way, I understand why Lund told the story this way He uses the fictional Steed family not to recreate history exactly, but to tell a true story in an accessible way similar to many movies based on a true story My slight worry is that we have a hard time subconsciously separating fact from fiction, and people may lock inaccurate details into their mind, only to be surprised later when the story didn t happen as they had assumed.That being said, the history in this book is really good There were many times, such as the run with the plates, that I was impressed with how many correct details Lund included, and especially the way he weaved fictional characters into true events I think this series is a great way to get people excited about LDS Church History I m looking forward to the rest of the series, especially the later books that will discuss events that I don t know as much about. Vol 1 of 9 large volumes depicting the early beginnings of the Mormon faith as if you were there, compelling, inspiring, painful, lots of emotions as you go through the faith development through trials, persecution, families divided, etc Very powerful, highly recommended if you want to get a feel for the beginnings of a world faith from the humble faith of its founder loved it am reading the series the second time, and Vol 1 3 were made into films, now on DVD You ll understand Joseph Smith, Mormons then and today and your heart will open wide for God s hand in the world and for the trials the development of faith and a religion require. Holy cow I loved this book It is a historical fiction book about a family named the Steeds In the book they hire Hyrum and Joseph Smith to help to clear their land, but because of rumors about gold bibles and angles, fire them from their job, to save face in the public Still a few members of the steed family continue to keep in contact, and soon, begin to head on to their way to conversion I was surprised how accurate this book is pertaining to the gospel I really enjoyed this book, and hopefully others will too The movies absolutely SUCK compared to the books Such an AMAZING series I have a new, educated view on church history because of this series I love how you can see Joseph Smith as a real person I swear my testimony of him is SOOOOOO much stronger because of these books The author was brilliant about researching all of the facts and making sure everything is presented truthfully I think he was truly inspired The beginning of this first book was a little boring and took me awhile to get into however, stick with it The rest of the books are so amazing If I had rated this series when I first read it as a teenager, I would have given all the books a very enthusiastic 5 I loved these books but I recently tried to read them again and was surprised by how poorly written they are I got about 1 4 through the second one before I stopped re reading A wonderful and compelling story that maybe should have been told by a better writer Now don t every one hate me because I just said that I know how people feel about these books and this author.