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`HOUSE OF GLORY’ WINS LDS WRITING AWARD

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It's one thing to write the first draft of a 146-page book in just eight days. It's another thing to win a publication award for the book.

Michael Wilcox has now done both.Last Thursday, in a small ceremony at the Deseret Book corporate offices, Wilcox was given the 1996 Frankie and John Kenneth Orton Award for LDS Literature. His book is "House of Glory: Finding Personal Meaning in the Temple" (Deseret Book, $13.95.) Last year the award went to Hugh Nibley for 12 volumes of his collected works.

"It's pleasing to me when a book like this wins the Orton Award," says Sheri Dew of Deseret Book. "It's a very substantive book. We had some false starts and stops with it. So it tickles me to see it win."

Adds Wilcox: "It was the easiest book I've ever written. I almost always have writer's block, but this time when I looked up, it was done. I worked 12 to 15 hours a day. I had the first draft finished in eight days."

When pressed with questions about mystical inspiration and divine intervention, Wilcox quickly demurs.

"I don't think my book and I are quite that important," he says.

"I'd heard Michael lecture a lot on this topic," says Dew. "So I knew he had the book inside of him."

The book is built around an LDS scripture (Doctrine and Covenants 88:119) where the temple is called a house of prayer, fasting, faith, learning and order. Wilcox expands on each idea, bringing in anecdotes and comments from dozens of other writers.

He ends with a wish:

It is not coincidental that the dedication of the Lord's house is also accompanied by a shout of rejoicing, for it too is essential in the salvation of our Father's children. May that shout echo again and again in every land, among every people, and sound in every ear.