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What's new: Mercy River's 'Step Forward' takes inspiration from talk by President Russell M. Nelson

"STEP FORWARD," by Mercy River, Shadow Mountain Records, $14.98

Mercy River's album "Step Forward" features the group's usual simple melodies and uplifting messages. But it also shares a little extra push upward, an additional measure of courage to stand for what's right and even a compassionate urging toward maintaining strength in marriage.

"Step Forward" is a phrase the group took from a talk by President Russell M. Nelson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, titled "A Plea to My Sisters." In the talk, shared in October 2015 general conference, President Nelson describes strong women of faith who teach, lead, nurture and defend, and women who change the world just by being who they are.

Through their music on the album, including songs like "Undeniable," Mercy River's singers encourage women everywhere to stand up, put their trust in God and strengthen those around them, to "step forward" and recognize the heavenly help surrounding them.

Each song on the album seems to revolve around building hope and creating unity and change for the better.

The second song on the album, "If We're Honest," focuses on bringing people together through their "brokenness" and shortcomings, emphasizing that no one is perfect and recognizing that fact can heal and change lives.

Mercy River perpetuates this message on its blog at by spotlighting normal women who have stepped forward in diverse ways in each of the group member's lives, whether through compassion, remarkable service or courage in the face of adversity.

The voices behind Mercy River are Brooke Stone, Soni Muller and Whitney Permann, who met while performing with the Jenny Phillips Choir. The women have four, five and six children, respectively, and have traveled all over the world performing their faith-promoting music.

Megan Jensen is a Brigham Young University graduate, mom, writer and avid traveler. Her website is at