OGDEN -- Sandra Jenkins, of Eden, writes of a time when she was young and her father waited until his corn was drooping before he watered it, explaining that if he watered it too soon, it wouldn't develop the proper root system.
"I looked at my own life and thought how much I was like the corn -- crying for water before I'd developed the proper roots," she wrote in the new book directed to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, "Fathers of Faith: Inspiring True Stories about Latter-day Dads." (Covenant Communications, $29.99) Another contributing writer, Robin Russell Saeva, wrote of her father, Peter Russell, of Ogden.
The father had entered the Navy during World War II in an attempt to rescue his own father, who was a Japanese prisoner of war.
She tells of an elaborate plan her father had to rescue her grandfather, which included jumping ship and swimming to shore with a hidden gun wrapped in plastic.
But that plan was thwarted by the end of the war and his subsequently finding his father aboard a rescue ship.
The story outlines several instances where Peter Russell was nearly killed in getting to that point.
"As I look back on that entire experience, I can see the hand of the Lord working in my behalf," Saeva quotes from her father's journal. "... I shall forever be in God's debt."
These are just two of a host of writers that have Top of Utah ties.
Author Gary Toyn, of Clinton, said at least a third of the stories in the book, from children who report how their fathers inspired them, have ties to this area.
"It really was an unstated focus of mine," he said of his efforts to gather stories from the Top of Utah's population.
So when Toyn was asked to finish the publication that was started a year ago, he wanted to use his local connections to gather people to participate in the project.
Among the contributors or subjects of entries are:
Noland Archibald, president and CEO of Black & Decker Corp.; Robert Phil Dotson, present and CEO of T-Mobile; Ala W. Stock, CEO of Cinemark Theatres; Phil Tuckett, Emmy Award-winning NFL film producer; J. Willard Marriott, Jr., CEO of Marriott International; Brett Raymond, musician, composer and vocalist; Kevin and Mark Eubank, television meteorologists; Rod Zundel, television sports reporter and anchor; Gordon T. Allred, Weber State University professor; Greg Richens, from the Utah State Office of Education; Rob Bishop, U.S. Congressman; Boyd K. Packer, president of the LDS Quorum of the Twelve; Gunn McKay, former U.S. Congressman; David O. McKay, former president of the LDS Church; and Michael Ballam, founder of the Utah Festival Opera Company.
Toyn is originally from Huntsville. His biography includes owning a small publishing company, which produces mostly historical books, and working as a marketing consultant.
Having earned a communications degree from Weber State University, his credits include coverage of the National Basketball Association and the 2002 Winter Olympics.
He is author of "The Quiet Hero," the biography of World War II Medal of Honor recipient George Wahlen.
But Toyn said this latest venture is one of his most exciting accomplishments.
"We're happy," he said of those involved. "It's just connected with people on a real emotional level."
Toyn will be at a book signing from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Dec. 11 at the Seagull Book store in Centerville, 316 N. Market Place Drive.
He often appears at such events with co-author Michael K. Winder, who started the project but then became engrossed in his other efforts and could not finish it.
Winder is mayor of West Valley City, the president of the Utah League of Cities and Towns and author of seven published books, including the regional best seller, "Presidents and Prophets."
Winder's efforts included gathering stories from children of many of the living leaders of the church, including the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve.
Toyn largely was responsible for gathering the stories from people from other areas of the community.
"Fathers of Faith" is available wherever LDS products are sold as well as Costco, Walmart and Sam's Club. The book is also available on tape and DVD.
Click here to watch videos honoring fathers Gordon B. Hinckley, Michael O. Leavitt, Pete Russell and Grant Ballam.