By Devan Jensen
Executive Editor at the Religious Studies Center
Share light and truth with the world in order to prepare the way for the Lord’s return, invited President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, speaking to authors and artists at the annual Deseret Book Gala at the Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City on February 25, 2016. He promised that, with work, their message would eventually reach “hundreds of millions” of people. President Eyring was accompanied by three senior members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: President Russell M. Nelson, Dallin H. Oaks, and M. Russell Ballard. Elder Ballard quipped that he hoped the authors would have a restless night as they dreamed up new ways to share their message with the world. Sheri Dew, Deseret Book CEO, confided that when she took over, she didn’t know how to read a balance sheet, but she learned quickly and worked with a talented team to guide the company to greater financial stability.
A documentary film shown at the event was narrated by Actor Jasen Wade (17 Miracles, The Cokeville Miracle). The film celebrated 150 years of history since founder George Q. Cannon launched a modest bookstore in Salt Lake City.
The Religious Studies Center has a decades-long history of publishing with Deseret Book Company and, over the past few years, has added many more copublications in order to reach a wider audience. I have been blessed to work for both companies, and I deeply enjoyed seeing many friends at the gala.