Colorado Springs, CO -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/01/2014 -- While Lehi is one of the Book of Mormon’s most profound prophets, many compelling events in his life are only touched on briefly in the first two books. Recognizing Lehi’s bold ability to guide others in their own spiritual quests, Sonja Atkinson takes an in-depth look at his life and how it impacted others in her new book, ‘Zoram’.
Expanding on many places where the Book of Mormon is brief, ‘Zoram’ required Atkinson to undertake a very lengthy and intense period of research. The result invites any reader to use Zoram’s spiritual and physical journey as a real-world inspiration for their own.
To believe, or not to believe. That is the question that the family of Lehi, whose life is outlined in the first two books of the Book of Mormon, tries to resolve. Lehi had a vision in about 600 BC. He foresaw the capture of Jerusalem that took place in 587 BC, and takes his family and flees, leaving his home and possessions. Zoram is unexpectedly thrust into the family when his master is slain by the youngest son of Lehi, and Zoram becomes an unwitting accomplice by agreeing to stay with the sons of Lehi and not identify the youngest son. The question of belief is a burning one, pitting brother against brother, driving the older brothers close to killing the youngest.
Zoram serves the oldest brother, but is increasingly drawn to the beliefs and faith of the youngest brother. The book answers some questions that don’t have answers in the Book of Mormon itself, such as: why were there five unmarried daughters in one family that were available for the four sons of Lehi to marry and one available for Zoram to marry? What are the characteristics of these young women? What was it like to go from living in a wealthy home to living in tents and moving about in what the Book of Mormon describes as “the wilderness”? How did different members of the family respond to an example of divine intervention that provided a physical compass that specifically led and guided them? This book deals with these questions and answers them.
Lehi’s family survives hunger and privation in their difficult journey toward a promised land, but ultimately cannot survive the deep divide between believing and not believing. In the end Zoram must choose the one side or the other.
“This is a book that will find a comfortable niche on the shelf of any member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints,” admits Atkinson, “and provides an interesting introduction to those who are not members but have heard enough to be curious. It takes a very intimate look into the travels of Lehi through the eyes of an unbeliever thrust into his camp. Aside from the physical journey required with the camp’s travels, this unbeliever also undergoes dramatic spiritual change that sees him emerge a better person.”
Continuing, “This will strike a chord with anyone who is struggling to comprehend things that seem to come easily to others. Nobody said that spiritual journeys were easy and many will identify with Zoram’s shift from skepticism to committed faith. They’ll draw comfort and solace from Zoram as he works tirelessly to seek out the truth and finally finds it.”
With demand for the book expected to be high, readers are urged to secure their copies as soon as possible after publication.
‘Zoram’ is available through Amazon and CreateSpace.
About Sonja Atkinson
Sonja Atkinson grew up in several countries in Latin America because her father took his family on his assignments for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Her mother, who majored in anthropology, made sure the family visited the archeological sites wherever they were living. Sonja commented, “She was always asking questions like, ‘What do you think your life would have been like here?’ Then she would create such vivid scenes that I began to think I had actually been there.” With that beginning, when she got to the University of New Mexico, she took classes that investigated history from that human perspective, more than from a list of dates of battles and conquests.
Sonja lives with her husband in Manitou Springs, CO, delights in their grandchildren, and loves hearing about people’s histories.