The Work and the Glory, Vol. 1: Pillar of Light (Paperback)

by Gerald N. Lund


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"You believe me, don't you, Nathan." It was not a question, but a statement, filled with wonder.

It 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 — the first volume in the series The Work and the Glory — begins the epic story of the Benjamin Steed family. In the 1820s 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 after.

Author 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 Nathan.

This 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.

Product Details

  • MP3 Download:  Abridged
  • Book on CD:  Unabridged

About the Author

Elder Gerald N. Lund received his B.A. and M.S. degrees in sociology from Brigham Young University. He served for thirty-five years in the Church Educational System, and he served as a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy from 2002 to 2008. He is a prolific and bestselling author of both fiction and nonfiction and is best known for his historical novels, including The Work and the Glory series, Fire of the Covenant, The Kingdom and the Crown series, and The Undaunted. He and his late wife, Lynn, are the parents of seven children.


by  Amber  -   reviewed on  September 29, 2008

I just finally finished this entire series, after a couple moves and delays, but I recommend it to every member of the church and anyone else interested in LDS Church History. Brother Lund spent a decade researching the information he included in these books, so I don't think you can get these kinds of facts and true stories altogether in one source anywhere else except the Church Libraries in Salt Lake! I learned SO MUCH about church history in a way that was entertaining and moving. I felt very attached to both the fictional and real characters.


by  Linda  -   reviewed on  October 02, 2008

This may be fictional, but it brings the story of Joseph Smith to life. Great books.


by  Monica  -   reviewed on  October 22, 2008

These books are such a wonderful series. They are easy to read and if you are new in the Church they are an easy way to learn about some of the Church history even though they are FICTION. They have a lot of historical facts to them and you can learn a lot.

Worth the time

by  Wendy  -   reviewed on  October 17, 2008

I fought reading this for years and am so glad I finally gave in. I read all 9 books, back to back, without a break. The best part was that the author separated the fact from fiction at the end of each chapter. Definitely worth reading.


by  Customer  -   reviewed on  October 14, 2008

Such a wonderful book and series! Loving each one! Thank you for writing them :-)

Love the series, was sad about the download

by  Corinne  -   reviewed on  April 23, 2013

I love this series and wanted to re-listen to it while I did chores around the house. I quickly realized that the MP3 download is an abridged version of the book. I was so disappointed! They were cutting out important conversations and dialogue. Nowhere did I come across the words abridged when I purchased the book. It was a waste of $. Pay the extra $ and get the whole book on CD or you will be missing out!

I loved it

by  Selita  -   reviewed on  June 18, 2010

It strengthens my faith. I can't wait to read the next volume.

Absolutely Fantastic!!!

by  Martha  -   reviewed on  January 26, 2013

A friend of mine has the whole collection on cd and fortunately he allowed me to borrow it. I was riveted to my seat within the first few pages.I'm working on getting the whole collection for my own library.

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