By Melinda Savage
“There were approximately 100 visitors to the County Library that day,” replied Morgan County Librarian, Valerie Hancock. She was reporting on the response to having a popular guest who had been invited to speak there last week. The extremely popular LDS author and speaker, Jon Bytheway was enthusiastically received when he spoke to the crowd last Friday.
The staff of the library had expected a good turnout. As soon as they began to announce the engagement date on which Bytheway had agreed to come and speak, it sparked an initial excitement among the regulars at the library, then, the news took off to spread quickly to many fans of his writing.
Of course, this kind of enthusiasm was contagious and brought others less familiar but very interested in listening to him speak and learning more about the writer’s several published books.
Bytheway not only spoke to the audience at the library that day. Earlier, he had visited Morgan’s schools to attend and speak to students.
Special assemblies had been planned for the speaker at Morgan Middle School and High School. Students from Morgan’s Elementary Schools did not miss out either. Arrangements had been made for those youngest students to attend the assembly at Morgan High, so they would be included and sure not to miss this entertaining and special visitor to Morgan County.
After meeting with and speaking in front of these many audiences of all ages, Bytheway took time to sign his books and DVDs for anyone interested. Of course, there were many who bought his books and presented them for his autograph and a handshake.
He joked and visited with each of them and even had his picture taken with some.
Deseret Book Representative, Zarin Ficklin, who was there to coordinate this part of the day’s events said that the sales of the author’s books and DVDs at the library had gone quite well and that he was pleased by the response of the people in Morgan.
Bytheway’s visit to Morgan was a definite success in turnout and by the many who heard him speak and / or talked to him after. The mood was positive throughout and many seemed inspired by both his spoken and his written words.
A fitting passage for the day’s events can be found in the author’s writing of his most recent book, Of Pigs, Pearls and Prodigals... It reads, “To me, the parables (New Testament) are compelling because they are puzzling. They force us to think, compare, contrast, and ponder...and, in the process of our pondering, the Lord inspires our hearts and teaches us the things we must do in our own lives.”
Brief BYTHEWAY Bio: A favorite speaker and teacher, Jon holds a master’s degree in Religious Education and is a part-time instructor at Brigham Young University.
He is the author of many bestselling books, audio talks, and DVDs. He and his wife, Kimberly, have six children.
This was the third year for an author to be invited to Morgan for such an event that including both the book signings and speaking to the students of Morgan’s schools.
Valerie Hancock believes that much of the credit and thanks should be directed to Kellee Calder, Morgan High School PTSO President who booked, scheduled, and made the event happen. From Morgan County, “Thank You Kellee!”