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Book review: 2 recent books highlight Mary the mother of Jesus

These two recent books both highlight Mary as the mother of Jesus, the sacredness of her calling, her influence and lessons that can be learned from her.

****

"IN MARY'S ARMS: A Christmas Message for Mothers," by Mary Holland McCann, Deseret Book, $8.99, 42 pages (nf)

When December rolls around, it seems people are often motivated to spread cheer and act in the spirit of the season. "In Mary's Arms: A Christmas Message for Mothers" by Mary Holland McCann, shares a possible reason behind these feelings: that one wants to emulate the Savior.

McCann, daughter of Elder Jeffery R. Holland, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, offers encouragement through ancient scripture, present-day stories and personal anecdotes. She reflects on Mary, the mother of Jesus, her steady example to her son and how she taught him to replace fear with faith, glorify God, have a reverence for revelation and endure pain.

From the moment the angel visited Mary and told her she would be the mother of God's only begotten son, to the trip to the temple when she couldn't find her 12-year-old child, to the final day watching Jesus suffer on the cross, McCann shares how Mary is an example of being Christlike and a reminder of why God chose her for that great responsibility.

****

"A LETTER TO MARY: The Savior's Loving Letter to His Mother," by Jason F. Wright, Cedar Fort, 14.99

Jason F. Wright, New York Times best-selling author of "Christmas Jars," returns with a new Christmas tale titled "A Letter to Mary: The Savior's Loving Letter to His Mother."

It is an epistolary story told from the point of view of Jesus, looking back on his life and telling his mother, Mary, all the ways she inspired him and how much he loves her.

Wright begins with Mary's acceptance of her role as the vessel to bring the Savior into the world and how even John the Baptist in his mother's womb recognized Jesus for who he really was. Then, through all the ways Jesus' parents encouraged him while they raised him and how he's sorry they had to suffer so the world could know the gift of eternal life.

Addressing members of all Christian faiths, Wright offers a reminder that there is no Christ without Mary and there's no Christmas without Christ.

Wright captures the sacredness of Mary's calling and the tenderness of her relationship with her son. Lyrical words accompanied by vivid photographs taken by his wife, Kodi Wright, of scripture stories and moments in Mary and Jesus' life enhance the spirit of the message and bring to life oft-told tales.

Tara Creel is a Logan-native-turned-California-girl and mother of four boys. Her email is taracreel@gmail.com, and she blogs at taracreelbooks.wordpress.com.