Twelve Stones to Remember Him
by Teresa Hirst
This book contains true stories of individuals and families who ve crossed financial crises with faith. From their journeys, you will learn to witness the power of God in your life. More fully trust in Him, even in uncertain times. Build spiritual memorials to cope with trials. Leave a legacy of love greater than money.
By Cheri , Submitted on 2015-02-25
I purchased this book because of the subtitle: Building Memorials of Faith from Financial Crisis. For the past 6 years (since 2008) my husband and I have had to make drastic changes in our lifestyle. When we married in February 2008, we were both employed in good jobs, had benefits, a savings account, a primary residence (farm on 50 acres) and a rental property. We had not only food storage, but also had stored a myriad of other things like toiletries, paper goods, light bulbs, batteries, and camping supplies in case of natural disaster. We had two vehicles, adequate insurance, and quality new furniture and appliances.
By the end of that year, we both had lost our jobs and could not find work. Our savings account was being used to keep us afloat. We began to use our food storage. For the next two years, we struggled to find work. My husband couldn't. I found a part-time 2-day a week job scooping ice cream for less than minimum wage. We knew others in our region of country (Northwest Missouri) who were struggling in a difficult economy, so we just kept trying to plug along because we didn't want to move.
We took an opportunity to work for an insurance company -- together -- as independent contractors. The cost of doing business (especially traveling in a rural region) cost us 10 times as much as what we made. We lasted 3 months, using the last of our savings to try to "make a go" of this opportunity.
By September of 2010 things were desperate. Our savings were depleted. We had no way to pay our bills. If my grandmother had not died at that moment and left us some money, I don't know what would have happened. We prayed to know what to do and felt to relocate. We sold the farm, attempted to sell the rental home, and sold everything we didn't need (and some things we did) and moved. My husband returned to college at age 60 to obtain a bachelor's degree in the field he had worked in for 30 years because he couldn't compete in the job market. Once his degree was in hand, the only job he was able to get was at Walmart, unloading trucks. Now $25,000 in student loan debt had been accrued.
We kept thinking something was going to break soon. Something HAD to give. By January of 2014 (six years later), I had only been briefly employed but was now again unemployed. My husband was underemployed. My grandmother's inheritance money was gone. We started to think that God had forgotten us. We had done everything we could, and yet nothing was helping our situation. I fought suicidal thoughts, and we struggled not to blame one another for our situation.
When I read Teresa's book, not only was I able to see the blessings that had come from our struggles, but I came away understanding the economic dynamic that was impacting us. It wasn't just Missouri. It wasn't just Utah. The entire country had been subject to economic forces that were beyond our control. I learned that families who had been in even better financial situations than we had, had lost everything or close to it. These were God-fearing, faithful families, who like us had put their trust in their skills, abilities, and past successes to pull them through at first. As their struggles had continued, they like us, had turned their hearts more fully to God and had prayed, fasted, pondered, counseled, studied the scriptures, served others, and yet....still their situation became more and more grim. Surely God had not forgotten all of us! Had he?
Throughout the book Teresa weaves the intimate details of the lives of 12 faithful families with documented economic facts of the past six years in the United States. Her storytelling ability keeps the reader engaged, and gradually unfolds not only why we have all been struggling on an economic level, but also the power of this difficult life experience in molding who we are in the eyes of God and in our own eyes. Will we be faithful under all circumstances? Will we look to God in faith no matter how long the trial lasts? Will we follow the promptings we receive, no matter how difficult they are?
I want to share this book with EVERY person I know who has ever struggled to support their family -- because as I read it, I realized that our situation wasn't unique. Teresa's assessment that we don't share our struggles with one another is accurate. But we should. Not with the intent that someone will bail us out, but rather, that through the common struggles, we can strengthen one another to endure, and to do so well.
For those who have not faced serious financial challenges the past six years, please read and share this book. I promise you that it will help you understand the struggles of those around you. If you have friends or family who have been impacted and you have been tempted to assign their "lot" to a lack of faithfulness, a lack of preparedness, a lack of education or motivation, this book will show you truth of the matter. And you will come away edified, grateful, and determined to buoy up those whose very best efforts have not been able to keep them afloat.
Perhaps this 6 years of struggle has a higher purpose. Perhaps it is to teach us something about ourselves, and to prepare us to live the principles of Zion -- of having no poor among us by helping one another, even if all we have to share is emotional strength and time. This is what Teresa has taught me. God bless her for having the courage to put this out there!
By Carrie, Submitted on 2015-02-25
This book chronicles the experiences of a number of families’ difficulties through the recent financial crisis. However, the way these people use Christ’s teachings to not only endure, but learn and grow, can be extended to anyone struggling with almost anything. I loved reading this book and applying the principles to my own personal trials. My faith was strengthened and now instead of asking "why me?" I'm focused on allowing trials to change me and help me become the person God wants me to be,
By Loretta, Submitted on 2015-02-25
I just finished reading Twelve Stones to Remember Him and found inspiration for living even when not in financial crisis. There is frequent counsel both in the scriptures and from modern day prophets to remember Christ. This book is filled with examples of everyday actions that help build the personal characteristics that allow and encourage us to follow that counsel. Thank you for gathering experiences, sharing testimony and insights, and for putting these in print. Many lives will be changed through your efforts.
By Maria, Submitted on 2015-02-25
Hirst's book follows her own family's financial struggle through the recession as well as the stories of four other families. I appreciated the courage these families had in sharing their stories so that others would know they were not alone. I was reminded of the importance of fortifying our families through food storage and financial preparation. I was touched by the life preservers each family was offered by way of blessings of the Spirit. Perhaps those blessings did not come how or when the families wanted them, but they came in the Lord's way and the Lord's time. I received a peek of the knowledge that can be gained in enduring trials with integrity and a grateful attitude. And I was shown that no matter what we're going through, the Lord is aware of us. Every trial we go through can be used for our good, to our benefit, and to our children's benefit. Hirst's book is the perfect gift for anyone you know who is going through a difficult financial period in their life--a how-to survivor's guide that is sure to inspire and uplift.
By katie, Submitted on 2015-02-25
There are many things in a person's life that can cause his or her faith to be tested. I loved the way the author brought in real-life experiences, along with scriptures and talks, to help the reader understand that it is possible to have hope and faith during these hard times. She mostly talked about financial difficulties and followed the journeys of a few different families.
There was one quote that I loved: "Stone by stone, we build spiritual memorials that mark our personal foundation of faith over time and experience." She had talked about physical markers earlier in the book. Certain big events in a person's life or in history might have a memorial so that we can remember it--the site of a deadly accident or Valley Forge, for example. However, it is just as important to mark major spiritual experiences as well, especially those that help us grow and strengthen us. It seems that most of the physical memorials mark difficult and sad times and it should be that way with our spiritual memorials.
I enjoyed the way this information was presented. It was told in a way that was easy to personalize to each reader. There are some great examples to follow and steps to take to improve the lives of each person who reads this book.
By Shauna, Submitted on 2015-02-25
The sub-title of this book is 'building memorials of faith from financial crisis.'
And WOW! What helps this book gives...
Even if the only thing you get out of this book is to know that you are not alone in your trials...it will be enough...
The author tells her own story and shares with us stories from other families...
AMAZING stories of people who were let go from their jobs because of the recession and who, with the help of the Lord, persevered, moved forward and strengthened their faith.
Sometimes the families went months or even years before finding a steady job.
Sometimes families were torn apart as the husband moved to take a new job and the wife was left behind to try to sell the house in the falling economy.
Sometimes the husband found a new job to only be let go from that job leaving him facing once again the pain and depression from not being able to provide for his family.
Many times the families were given gifts of food and money.
Always the families found greater testimony in the Lord's tender mercies as they built memorials of faith.
My favorite quote/scripture from the book:
"But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all they soul. When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice, (For the Lord thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them." ~ Deuteronomy 4:29-31
A FANTASTIC book if you are going through a financial crisis!
A PERFECT book if you know someone else who could use your help but until now didn't know how to help them.
This book will give you insights in so many things...
By Douglas, Submitted on 2015-02-25
I sometimes struggle reading spiritual related help books. Because the working of the spirit can be so individualized I feel like authors sometime struggle to offer practical help for real world problems. The value of this book is the story of real people and their experiences that can bridge that gap of finding practical application of spiritual help in real life crisis. The stories of the people in this book are tenderly cared for in the hands of the author. There struggles might as well be my struggles and seeing them find the blessings of Heavenly Father in crisis helps me see them in my life.