Navin R. JohnsonUnlike Steve Martin’s “Navin R. Johnson” in the 1979 comedy film “The Jerk” , I was not born a “poor black child”.

I arrived in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on the 18th of October in 1946 – the firstborn of European immigrant offspring. My father’s parents were Irish and my mother’s parents were Sicilian. Although I was born in New England and could characterize myself as “a Yankee”, the Lion’s share of my cultural identity rests in background of the people who had a hand in raising me.

What I know about the warmth and affection among extended family members, I learned from my mother’s Sicilian people. My incisive wit is… brought to you by the makers of …my father’s Irish people.

NancyI’ve been a practicing Mormon (member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints) for forty-three years. That gives me over four decades of association and experience in this popular American religion.

I joined the Mormon Church in 1972 at age  26. I was married with three small children  and mixed-up about a lot of things.  I had lots of questions  at age  26 –  about my life and about God. What I really wanted was “ to know Him”

I was drawn in by “a sense of belonging”  when surrounded by  all those new Mormon acquaintances. All my queries about God were quickly laid to rest by “Mormon doctrine”  and before I knew it, I had become a real “Molly-Mormon.” (ideal Mormon woman)  But…..I still wanted “to know God”.

I began reading Isaiah on my own (without formal instruction) and felt illuminated , when I did. In fact, I was surprised at how clearly I could envision what Isaiah was saying, but it occurred to me that since Isaiah wrote in Hebrew,  maybe, I could understand more if I knew Hebrew.

I read everything concerning Hebrew, that  I could get my hands on and  began buying  reference books, one volume at a time. By  2010,  I  had accumulated a  modest library of Hebraic reference books and rearranged my dining-room into an office space where I could study… then I began to have dreams  – wonderful dreams –  that unfolded like complete  narratives – each one, a distinctive story with a lesson to teach or a point to make. I was pretty good at interpreting them, so I logged them  in a three-ring binder. They date back to 1975.  Most are quite prophetic and even today, they are applicable in my life.

The table in my diningroom /office space was, more often than not,  completely  covered with opened-books  through which I was searching for  “treasure”. I did not plan to write a book.  After 38 years of reading, studying  and dreaming,  “writing a book”  just became  unmistakably obvious to me as the next logical step in a series of undertakings through which I was apparently being led by the God I wanted, so much, to know since I was a child.

The idea to translate all sixty-six chapters of Isaiah’s book came unremarkably (without trumpet blast)  and by the time I moved to Houston, Texas  in 2011,  I was  comfortably assured that God would help me accomplish it. Writing the text is not the most daunting aspect about authoring this book . The story was already written, perfectly, by Isaiah, himself. I just needed to say it the way he would have said it,  had he been living today. A written introduction of myself (of which this is a part) was actually kind of cathartic.  I learned some things about myself I didn’t even realize until I had to put “my stuff” down in writing.  Publishing the book is, for me,  the most daunting aspect of this assignment.  I think its kinda like  landing a leading part in a successful Broadway play. Manhattan is teeming with aspiring actors and actresses (good ones, too)  waiting  tables, tending  bar, auditioning and auditioning over and over until that  “big-break” finally  comes. Time, I felt,  was not my friend!

It seemed to me, a weblog was  a better way to get Isaiah’s message “out there”  ( to Israel’s people)  at no cost to anyone with the exception of the time and energy I spent gaining  a fundamental mastery of Word-Press/ “Yeh,”!…I thought, … “I can do this!”  I hope you like this blog and I especially hope you like the book,  “Reading Isaiah’s Mind”.

Enjoy     –  Nancy T.