The Fourth Nephite
Busted. Football star Kaleo Steele is caught under the high school bleachers with the wrong group of friends. Even worse, he's caught by his seminary teacher, Brother Mortensen. If Kaleo gets turned in, he'll be in jeopardy of missing the regional championship game.
It doesn't help that Kaleo has been cutting seminary class. But what's the point? Mumbo jumbo stories about angels and gold plates and Joseph Smith? Brother Mortensen decides Kaleo is ready for an extraordinary “field trip” — one that could alter the course of his life and his heart.
Reluctantly, Kaleo meets with Ladan — a mysterious old blind man — and unknowingly begins a quest through time, landing in Palmyra, New York, in the fall of 1827.
Soon, Kaleo and a nineteenth-century girl named Jennie are caught up in a battle between treasure seekers — led by Alistair Blackburn, a necromancer hired to steal the gold plates — and the young Joseph Smith, who has sworn to keep them safe.
In his quest to find a key that will send him back to his own time, Kaleo will have to decide for himself what to believe and who to trust. Before it's too late.
Note from the Publisher:
As a publisher I'm always bringing home books for my children to read. I have a 14-year-old son who is not particularly fond of “church” books. I finally convinced him to read The Fourth Nephite. He was determined not to like it. A few days later my wife called and told me that this son of ours was telling her how much he was enjoying the book. (I don't think he would've admitted that to me). Anyway, the next day I asked him if he was still enjoying it and he being “Mr. Cool” casually said that he was enjoying it. But here's the real surprise. Last Sunday during fast and testimony meeting my 14-year-old got up on his own to bear his testimony. This hasn't happened in years. He's too “cool” to bear his testimony in public or so we thought. He then began to bear a powerful testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith, how he risked his life to protect and translate the gold plates, and how the Book of Mormon is true and that it is the word of God. I was stunned and saw my wife wiping tears from her eyes. There is something powerful in the pages of The Fourth Nephite. I think the fact that the author uses the very words of Joseph Smith creates a powerful spirit that even a 14-year-old boy can't deny. I hope your children and grandchildren have similar experiences.
— Chris Schoebinger
By Jenice, Submitted on 2015-02-25
I really enjoyed this book and I know my grandchildren will too. I liked the characters in the story I can't wait to read a sequel. I hope there will be one. I know young adults would love this story but this 51 year old grandma loved it as well.
By Melinda, Submitted on 2015-02-25
This book is a great way to get teens, and others to explore thier own testimonies regarding the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. I really enjoyed how the author allowed the reader, through the character of Kaleo, to visit the myths and truths surrounding the protection of the plates.
By Debra, Submitted on 2015-02-25
This book is great for teens, i'm 12 and i reall enjoyed it! i'm so glad that my mom got this for me and i hope that there will be another! If you like Harry Potter, Narnia, Fablehaven etc. you will definately LOVE this!
By Rebecca, Submitted on 2015-02-25
while kaleo has already doubted what he's grown up knowing, I was just starting to. Even though this was his journey and not mine, it brought an end to the seemingly endless tunnel i was in. The book made me want to go to church and listen to the lessons about ancient and latter day prophets,
By Jennifer, Submitted on 2015-02-25
I enjoyed this book so much and would encourage anyone with teenagers to buy this and have them read it. It is a testimony building adventure.
By Heather, Submitted on 2015-02-25
A story of a Mormon teenager, Kaleo Steele, who is about to play the biggest football game of his high school career. College scouts will be in the stands, watching and deciding if Kaleo is good enough for a scholarship. But the night before the game, he gets invited to an after-school party, where some temptations seem too hard to resist. When his seminary teacher catches him doing something that jeopardizes Kaleo’s ability to play in the football game, they strike a bargain--a bargain that will change Kaleo's life in remarkable ways.
The Fourth Nephite gave me a fascinating insight into the life of the prophet Joseph Smith as a young man. When Kaleo enters a time portal and finds himself right in the middle of the controversy surrounding the unearthing of the gold plates, I was caught up in the vibrant word created by Savage. I found myself looking at the life of the prophet through different eyes, and thinking about the incredible courage he had. Some of Kaleo’s questions about the gospel have been mine at one time or another, and I loved the way that Savage unobtrusively guided the learning curve that Kaleo went through. Great research, an exciting plotline, and superb storytelling combine into a book worth every minute. I’m now reading it for a second time with my teens.
By Alethea, Submitted on 2015-02-25
This is a great story. I like how the author has Kaleo go back in time to meet Joseph Smith. I especially like the way real events was played into the story that helped Kaleo to have a stronger testimony of The Book Of Mormon. As I was reading this I could imagine the events happening. This is an easy book to read. I would recommend this book for teenagers and older. I enjoyed reading The Fourth Nephite and am looking forward for the next volume.
By Roberta, Submitted on 2015-02-25
Kaleo Steele makes a poor choice witnessed by his seminary teacher, Brother Mortensen. Worried about being kicked off the squad and missing the big football game next day, if he's found out, he tries to convince Brother Mortensen to keep it quiet but Brother Mortensen leaves it in Kaleo's hands to report himself. Then, angry, Kaleo tries to justify himself and declares his disbelief of the Book of Mormon and the prophet Joseph Smith, after all, the stories are just made up tales, and couldn't possibly be true. So Brother Mortensen makes him a deal, one that will change Kaleo's life. It leads him to meet a special man named Ladan. And the adventure begins.
Without realizing it, Kaleo is sent back into time. Into the time of the prophet Joseph Smith, just as he is about to receive the gold plates. What an experience it is as it allows him to be part of the process, during the time of persecution, and bad-mouthing of and attempts on the lives of the prophet and his family. He meets people he only vaguely remembers from his scant reading and study of the Book of Mormon. He hears and sees things he thought couldn't possibly be true. And he is learning that perhaps he ought to rethink his thinking.
This story is much like "likening" the scriptures to oneself as it lets you (Kaleo) be a part of the events, witnessing in a sense what is happening when it happens, feeling the feelings...the joy, frustrations, temptations and fears as the early days of the restoration of the gospel unfold. This is a great story for young people, or anyone, to understand just a bit more of what it was like during those times. It is interesting, quick paced, with a bit of mystery and danger in each chapter. A very good read
By Heather, Submitted on 2015-02-25
4.5 stars Every once in a while a book takes me completely by surprise and I close the pages with a smile on my face. The Fourth Nephite Series is one I now have my eye on, awaiting book two. Here are a few of the many reasons I loved the first book, The Fourth Nephite:
1) The cover. The top half of the front page is gold metallic paper with rusty holes, like the golden plates and the rest of the cover illustration is perfect.
2) The author. I have met Jeffrey and his wife and two book signings and decided it was time to read his books. They are wonderful people who sit together at their booths and engage fans.
3) The scenes are places I'm familiar with. It's fun to hear of tunnels beneath Salt Lake City and travel back in time to the thick woods of Palmyra where we visited as a youth and an adult.
4) The message is positive and interesting for both teenagers and adults. Common questions and doubts about the early history of the Mormon church are answered through Kaleo's adventures. He learns that knowledge and faith must work together as a key.
5) The author's notes were my favorite part of The Fourth Nephite. I love that Jeff uses real historical facts and names in his scenes. I wish he would have written more. When Joseph Smith speaks his own story to Kaleo, endnotes or footnotes would be a useful reference for teens or others not familiar with his quoted words.
6) The writing mixes fantasy with reality in a tasteful way. I am one who usually runs far far away from series like this. But I was drawn in to Jeffrey's writing, his characters and the quest of Kaleo. I will be reading the entire series and one day when my children are a little older we'll read it together.
7) The journalistic pages written at the beginning of each chapter by main hero Kaleo bring us back to the present thoughts of an every day average teenager and show the changes in his personality as he learns the truth for himself as a first hand witness.
Well done Jeffrey Savage!