New Cover for FTL

I have completed the update of FTL and it was sent away to be printed yesterday. It is a heartwarming thing to me to see it continue perhaps another 18 years.

I included a picture of the cover. I had to ask why they chose that artwork. He said they wanted to do a cover that showed the Sacred Grove, but that it had been done and redone so many times that they wanted a fresh approach, so this cover is what the person kneeling might see, looking up through the trees as the heavens open in response to our righteous petition.

What are your thoughts on it?

Brother John

About John Pontius

I am a lover of truth.
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30 Responses to New Cover for FTL

  1. Pearl says:

    On the up side, I think they did a fantastic job on the TTOZ cover. It comes across like it’s solid LDS -based doctrine… love the temple spires and the Moroni, as if he’s making the call to each of us. Very nice. πŸ™‚


  2. Abram Hatch says:

    Can you possibly make it available in an electronic format?


  3. Pearl says:

    Okay, I’ve pinned down what bugs me about it… the word LIGHT is much bigger than before and I suppose in some way I lump the book in with Embraced by the Light, Saved by the Light, Lessons from the Light and stuff like that – NDEs which have dubious subject matter. The blue cover had the word CHRIST as the main word that you see.

    But I’m sure the publishers have more of an idea of what sells – so I will defer. If it sells, that is a good thing! And the more the better!


    • John Pontius says:

      You know, I quit thinking publishers had a “better idea” years ago. It seems to be more a roll of the dice than talent.

      Many people have criticized the title of FTL over the years as suggesting NDE’s, but it is the name the Spirit gave me. I tried to shorten, change, update, improve and otherwise come up with something better, and the Lord kept sending me back to the present title. I agree with everything you said.

      I self-published FTL 18 years ago, and paid for the cover art myself. The artist’s first rendition had a cross on it. The hands were much more prominant, and the light in the center of the hands was in the form of a dove. I had him remove the cross, and make the hands transparent. The dove is still there, but covered by the word “Christ” in the old cover. Sighhhhh. That was back when I was making the decisions myself. CFI bought the publication rights in 1995 if I remember right. They messed with fonts and colors, but they used my old cover art for all these years.. When they decided to update and republish it, they redesigned the cover and didn’t involve me in that decision. (Another sighhhhhh)

      I just am left to faith that it will end up in the right hands no matter what it looks like.

      Thank you for your comments,



      • Pearl says:

        I didn’t mean to cause so much sighhhhhing. I’m sure the book will get into the right hands… people who are seeking will find. πŸ™‚


        • John Pontius says:

          No worries Pearl. I was just sighing because I’ve been trying for almost 20 years to have more input into what my books look like, and better editing by the publisher. It’s just feels like a battle I lost long ago but am still fighting. Sighhhhhh. πŸ™‚


  4. diane hawkes says:

    I find it inspiring and uplifting. My thoughts turn heavenward.


  5. Anja says:

    I love it! Think it’s pretty uplifting! Btw I also like the container for crystal light :).


  6. Ken Richens says:

    Wow, interesting comments…

    My question is: How much has changed? Is it mainly wordsmithing or has any content changed? I’ve read the book twice, is it worth buying the next edition? I was going to read it again.



    • John Pontius says:

      Hi Ken,

      I made a lot of corrections, clarified things and added some new material as the Spirit moved me, but it is 90% the same as before. Whether it is worth buying and reading again would be something the Holy Spirit will lead you to. If you haven’t read “The Triumph of Zion” that might be a good choice for your next reading project. I consider TTOZ to be a much more weighty book, and the most important book I’ve written.

      I personally think by upgrading it and changing the cover it will appeal to a different, younger readership. It feels to me like they are right.


  7. jareth says:

    i also agree that the cover is totally appropriate for this book. Not only the warm glow and light in the artwork but notice the colors of the words Light and Christ. My favorite part is that they made the colors of the words go exactly in accordance with the way things are. For example when you study about what the color green means, it is always associated or at least most of the time with Life and in the gospel i have found that this is always the case. Thus the fact that The word (Light) is green stands out to me because to me His light is a representation and is literally his Life giving power.
    On the second word (Christ) is made a sort of yellow or golden which if you study the meaning of the color gold or yellow it is always connected with light and hapiness. Thus i like it that Christ is in this golden color representing that he is this Light by which we all must take hold of. And so you have both symbols in the color of the words exactly where they should be The Life and the Light. It reminds me of that scripture where it says that he is the Life and the light of the world. Beyond that the front cover altogether has a holy look, as i too feel that nature has a feeling of freedom and easily connects us with the nature of the Divine.


  8. jimmy tetuanui says:

    Great cover. I like it too. Coveys a meaning of hope and brightness which is exactly what the message of the book is the hope to enter the Lord’s presence and be in the brightness of his being. Looking forward to getting my second edition and to reread this wonderful book. thanks for the great work, John.


  9. Jodi Sadleir says:

    Where are the trees, and their branches. I think it is a poor representation and misses the mark of what you wanted it to represent. or who ever wanted it to look like you were looking up into heaven in the sacred grove. What time of year was it then? spring? it wouldn’t evenhave leaves or very few of them. That’s my take, I’m honest, and you asked for it. HOpe it doesn’t offend.


  10. Pearl says:

    It gave me a little “new agey” feeling when I first saw it, but I get the point after reading the Sacred Grove explanation. I guess I liked the blue cover better, but hey! My opinion’s probably worth what you paid for it. πŸ™‚


  11. Chris says:

    Quite nice, actually. The imagery gets me thinking about a lot of things. I like it better than the old cover.



  12. Clarice says:

    I think it is perfect. My husband likes to hike. Last summer as we were learning all of the info in FTL for the first time, he was hiking quite a bit. One time he came back home and said:
    “you know hiking is a lot like this path we talk about. At the bottom of the trail it is dark and shadey. Every now and then you get a little sparkle of sunlight shine through for a few seconds and then it is gone. The higher you get the more views of sunlight you get. However the higher you get the harder the climb is, but you can see the top of the mountain and you know your almost there, so you do want to qive up. And then you round the corner and you are at the top, in the full sunlight,
    with a veiw of the entire valley below. And at the top is where you have left the world behind and can commune with God.”

    The new cover reminds me of this.


  13. Ken says:

    Let ‘er rip. I hope to verify the accuracy of the picture someday… sooner than later.


  14. Joni Walker says:

    As I pondered after looking at the cover I imagined myself looking up to the heaven!s and the sweet calm spirit of the Holy Ghost just vibrated through me as the truthfulness of the Sacred Grove experience for Joseph Smith was being confirmed within my heart.. Thankyou for taking me there in spiritual connection with the prophet and our Savior – being guided towards home and our Father-In-Heaven! I am enjoying reading the blog as you write them and do look forward to the new book. If the cover touches my spirit as it has today, I can get really excited about how the book and its contents will connect me with further truth and knowledge promised to us as the treasure of heaven are opened up for us as we truly seek !!!! Sincerely Joni


  15. Pondering says:

    I really like it! I love that the light is so bright.


  16. Robyn Thomas says:

    What a wonderful idea. I love the cover.


  17. Cary says:

    To me the cover doesn’t really matter, it is what is between the cover that really matters. That being said when I opened the email, the cover really jumped out. My first reaction was “wow, that’s different”. Then I read your explanation and seeing it in that light it really makes sense. To me the old cover is more subtle with the light depicting the quiet voice of the spirit, while the new cover is the opposite with the brightness of coming into his presents. With the old cover I had to study it a little to figure out what was happening and the new cover didn’t require the same inquiry. The new cover is artistically beautiful and appealing. The subject of the book is immediately portrayed. I just love the book and am so excited to have it reprinted and back on the shelf. If this new cover will help entice more people to pick it up and review the content – great!!! Thank you for all the hard work and effort that you went through to improve it and make it available again. I can’t wait to pick up my copies.


  18. darrell brashear says:

    I don’t know why, but nature causes me to feel closer to Christ than just about anything. It feels so untainted and free. A lot of times when I picture following Christ, I picture Him leading me up a path and it’s always outside.

    The cover has a warm glow about it. When I see the leaves and the warm colors it makes me think of eternal life. I also think of leaves dying in the fall and being reborn in the spring and it makes me think of Him leading me through the valley of death and then up again to higher climbs, to newer and greater life.

    I think it is an appropriate cover πŸ™‚

    Brother D.


  19. Frostie says:

    Realistically, there would have been more of a blurred edge to the leaves if one was looking up, and the leaves would’ve been a little darker or even translucent as light spills out around the edges from the overhead source. But as the picture is artistic in nature and the brighter hues denote the positiveness of the experience, it is fine.


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