Standing on the Promises, Book 1: One More River to Cross

by Margaret Blair Young, Darius Aidan Gray

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Product Description

The opening novel in a trilogy of historical novels about black Mormon pioneers.

Born into slavery, Elijah Abel was destined to become one of the few Saints of African descent to receive the priesthood before the policy concerning Negroes was in place. In fact, Elijah was ordained to the priesthood by Joseph Smith himself. He served three missions for the Church and remained an active member of the Third Quorum of the Seventy until his death.

Jane Manning James was born free but was still subject to mistreatment at the hands of a white minister in her youth before converting to the Church under miraculous circumstances. It became her privilege to live among prophets. She resided with Joseph and Emma Smith and later with Brigham Young. When she died, Joseph F. Smith delivered a stirring tribute at her funeral.

These and other remarkable stories, until now lost to history, are brought forth in this sweeping saga--Standing on the Promises. From marvelous beginnings, through nearly unendurable hardships, to the bursting forth of more light with the revelation on the priesthood in 1978, the story of African-American Latter-day Saints is deeply affecting, one that will resonate with members of the Church everywhere.

A dream come true! Keeping alive the stories of our black pioneers was the deep desire of Ruffin Bridgeforth, first president of the Genesis Group of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

-- Betty Bridgeforth, widow of Ruffin Bridgeforth

In a way that pure history cannot do, this story attaches us to black Saints who deserve to be known and appreciated by our generation.

-- William G. Hartley, Associate Professor of History, Brigham Young University

Named Best Novel for 2000 by the Association for

Mormon Letters.

Published: July 2000
Pages: 337

About the Authors

Margaret Blair Young

Margaret Blair Young teaches creative writing at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. An accomplished author, she has won numerous awards from the Utah Arts Council, including Best Short Story Collection for Elegies and Love Songs (which also captured Best Short Story Collection of the Year from the Association of Mormon Letters); Best Novel of the Year in 1992 for Salvador, and Best Novel of the Year in 1995 for Merry's Daughters.

She has also written three plays, two of which have been produced at BYU, including Dear Stone and I Am Jane. Margaret also teaches at the Spanish Institute at BYU.

She says working on Standing on the Promises: One More River to Cross was 'totally different than anything I've ever written. I felt completely inspired with each page, and everything else I've written prepared me for this.'

Margaret and her husband, Bruce, a professor of English at BYU, are the parents of four children and live in Provo, Utah.

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Darius Aidan Gray

Darius Aidan Gray has a Bachelor of Sciences degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of Utah, and has completed programs with the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University sponsored by the Ford Foundation, ABC, and CBS (a professional program equivalent to earning a Master's Degree without the thesis).

A skilled communicator and writer, he was senior staff reporter and chief photographer at the CBS affiliate in Salt Lake City. He also worked as an assistant to a U.S. Senator on African Affairs. He's also an independent business consultant, and a small business owner dealing with the automobile after market.

Darius presides over the Genesis Group, an official arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints organized in 1971 to support Church members of African descent. His grandfather James Louis Gray was born a slave; his great-grandfather Louis Gray was a slave near Independence, Missouri, and appears in Standing on the Promises: One More River to Cross.

Mr. Gray and his wife Leslee live in Salt Lake City with their son, Darius Aidan Gray II.

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Average rating:

(based upon 2 reviews)

Wonderful book!
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

This series of books has been a very spiritual experience for me. I appreciate so much the example of these early pioneers and believe they have set a very high standard for the rest of us. Everyone should read these wonderful books!

The Rest of the Story...
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

Until you've read this book, you only know part of Church history. A big hole has been left out of the traditional Church history accounts; a hole which has begun to be filled with the publication of this book. When's the next volume(s) coming out? Please hurry!

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