My Sister Sent Me Your Book

I received a letter today (2/27/13) from a man incarcerated in an Idaho prison.  I would like to share how he came by a copy of my book:  “Greetings. My name is . . . . .  I am a pedophile and have an addiction to pornography. I am currently sitting in prison as a result of my crimes.   I have just finished reading your book, “Perfect Brightness of Hope” for the second time.  Words can’t describe the thoughts and feelings I have for you, your book, and your testimony. Thank You.  . . . .  I would like you to know how I came about getting your book.  At Christmas Time, one of my 5 sisters was in a bookstore wondering what books she might buy to send me.  As you know, books coming into prisons must be sent directly from the bookstore.  When my sister went into the bookstore, she prayed a quick prayer to know what books I needed. She told me that Perfect Brightness of Hope jumped off the shelf to her. She asked again what other books she might choose and two others, ‘Conquering Your Own Goliaths,’ and ‘Getting Past If Only,’ stood out for her.  After receiving the books, I sat back on my bed to look over what was sent.  As I was pondering the book titles, I was overcome by the Holy Spirit and knew that these were great books and that they were chosen just for me at this time.”

A few other comments from this letter are pertinent. After giving some of his history as a returned LDS Missionary, his marriage, his addiction to “caffiene” [I describe my similar addiction in Perfect Brightness] and his descent into pornography and addiction he writes:  “I”ve failed my family, my now ‘ex-wife,’ and my children.  I so deeply understood the words from your Dedication Page for Perfect Brightness:  ‘To all whose lives are affected by alcoholism and addiction. More especially to my first family whose lives were so terrible altered and for whom I will always need forgiveness.'”

A few more comments from his letter:  “I had several days and months of just wanting the world to stop spinning. I want off this ride. I’m so tired of this.” “At one time, I had the thinking that I was the only one who had troubles.  But, [your book] helped me understand there are others, perhaps many others. I am so grateful for the success stories and testimonies of overcoming.” “Thank you so much for your inspiration.”  “If you could change your addiction [in your book] from alcohol and drugs for my sex and pornographic addiction, you would have written my book. You give me HOPE.”

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Prisoners & Perfect Brightness of Hope

I recently sent a copy of my new book to a good friend who is serving time in a Utah prison. In a letter to his mom, dated Jan 27, 2012, he mentioned the following:
     “I think I mentioned [in an earlier letter] the (LDS) Branch President’s plan to order 15 copies of Phil’s new book, “Perfect Brightness of Hope,” and his intention to give them to friends and some of the inmates here.  Well, he did so and I’m happy [and not a bit surprised :)] to say that Phil’s life and story have impacted our little community in wonderful ways.  Our Institute class Wednesday night was devoted to the subjects of hope and commitment and Phil’s book was at the center of discussion.  You [Phil] are an inspiration my friend, and your book is a Godsend reborn.  God Bless you for your tireless service.”  Josh
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