Discussions of Book of Mormon issues and evidences, plus other topics related to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

My Recommendations for Selected Commercial Products and Services

This blog is mainly for the purposes of sharing information about Latter-day Saint living, the Church, our scriptures, and controversies where defense of my faith may be in order. But I also occasionally review various services and products I like, while also occasionally delving into some less religious topics like COVID and politics. You can see related posts by searching here or using tags like "travel," "games," "movies," "books," "health," and "politics." Here I offer some of my preferences and recommendations for a few commercial products and services that might be of interest to my readers.

Provident Living: Investment, Savings, Food Storage and International Strategies  

"Provident living" is an important theme for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the Church's Provident Living website is a great place to learn more. There you will find counseling resources and related services to help strengthen families, guidance for saving, career development, preparing for the future with such things as food storage, emergency preparation, etc. We know that trouble lies ahead, and now is the time to prepare through the principles of provident living.
 
I am worried about the long-term value of the dollar now that digital counterfeiting has become our nations primary economic strategy. The endless creation of new dollars to dump into the economy has never brought economic success and always leads to suffering. I recommend that people consider having some assets that can retain value in an inflationary world, or in a time of economic chaos. Having a solid food storage is a first step (food, water, hygiene materials, etc.). For building a food storage, I personally like the great discounts and good quality that I find at Aldi supermarkets. For some bulk items like whear, ordering directly from the Church's store is very easy and cost effective. For example, you can buy a box with 6 large #10 cans of hard white wheat and have it shipped to your door. I bought a lot of wheat and other food storage items this way recently. So easy!
 
I also recommend having some precious metals such as 90% silver coins (plain old "junk silver" is fine such as 1964 or earlier half dollars, quarters, or dimes, or the more expensive but beautiful 1-ounce silver eagles minted by the US government, or old silver dollars) or gold coins. If you buy these, make sure you actually own them. Much of the silver that is traded seems to exist as paper certificates only and may not be there when you need them in times of trouble. Some of the best prices are available at APMEX. However, if you want security against the vagaries of potential political and economic chaos in the US, it's wise to consider secure off-shore sites for storing precious metals and some of your cash. For that, a super-secure storage facility in Singapore may be useful to you: SilverBullion.com. There you can transfer money to this well capitalized and secure Singaporean service and purchase precious metals that are physically stored there. You can also add cash to an account for lending money to our users who already own precious metals as collateral. There you can get much higher interest rates than you can in a bank in the US, right now around 3 to nearly 4%. The money parked there is off shore so it can't be easily seized by some bureaucrat in the US, a very real threat these days.
 
I learned about this service from one of the best information sources I subscribe to, Sovereign Man (SovereignMan.com), a source of information to help you develop a Plan B to cope with future risks. It was also there that I learned about one of the few offshore stock market services that accepts American customers, InvestorsEurope.com. With Investors Europe, you can purchase stocks from a variety of exchanges, including US stocks, and have a secure account that is not easily shut down or seized by the US. If things get crazy here, I think it makes sense to have some of your resources in other places. The fees for trading at Investors Europe are higher than we are used to in the US and there is an annual fee of $150 for compliance with the US FACTA regulations that make Americans unwelcome in most financial institutions outside the US.

Legal Services and Intellectual Property or Innovation

For intellectual property needs and help with innovation, consider Planet Lindsay, my LLC for patent preparation, IP strategy, and innovation guidance. For big innovation and IP projects that require broad expertise from a talented team, for many years I have recommended ipCapital Group in Vermont (only recently did I become part of the group as a Senior IP Advisor). A Salt Lake City firm I have used for legal issues is Kirton McConkie, which I understand also takes on some significant work for the Church. I've been extremely impressed with that firm. I may be able to make other specific recommendations based on your needs, so feel free to contact me (via email, you can try "jeff" at the domain based on my name, jeff lindsay d0t c0m). 

Software Services

For VPN to protect the security of your communications and also to have access to blocked services when in nations with their own firewalls, I prefer ExpressVPN. Excellent software, rapidly adjusting to changing barriers, with excellent customer service. 

To hire programmers, I've used Codeline.io and Guru.com. There's a team in Turkey I can recommend, depending on your needs.

Games for Families

For adults and children of age 10 years or more, we've had a lot of fun with some popular games, including Catan, Dominion, Pictionary, and Tsuro, an intriguing game with an Asian flair.

For some family-friendly and Latter-day Saint-friendly games, consider the great selection of games at Deseret Book. Sheknows.com offers a review of 12 games that can make kids smarter,

Travel Tips

I've enjoyed traveling to many parts of the globe, but also have come to realize that the US has so much that deserves more attention, even my little area of Appleton, Wisconsin, which I'm quite fond of, along with other parts of Wisconsin. Some of my grandchildren seem to especially enjoy Wisconsin Dells, a fascinating tourist town that features great water pars like the Glacier Canyon Lodge. If you come to Wisconsin, be sure to spend a couple days there. 

For travel plans, I use Ctrip.com for anything in Asia, and often prefer Orbitz.com for trips starting in the US, but for hotels I use Hotels.com. 

For visiting our nation's many national parks, I have used the National Park Service app, but cannot give it a positive recommendation, largely because of poor programming. The app allows you to download information for individual parks so you can allegedly access that information without being online. That's a good idea, because all of the national parks we went to on this trip had large zones with no data services. But remarkably, each time a user returns to the app, it begins on the generic opening page and you simply cannot go past that page unless you have wifi or data. That's right, you can't do anything, not even access your previously downloaded information for Yellowstone or whatever data-dry park you are in, unless you have Internet access. Simply bizarre. But not to worry -- the information that is available is so skimpy and poorly thought-out that it's not much help anyway. Maps don't have labels for major features, many important sites and hikes are not listed, information on in-park housing doesn't provide links to make reservations, etc., etc. Better to use other apps for hiking trails, etc., to help with your visit. 

Book of Mormon Travel Opportunities

The Church has no official statements on where the Book of Mormon took place, but the majority of those who have studied the details find compelling evidence that general area of Mesoamerica offers the best setting for the New World aspects of the Book of Mormon. There are several ways to visit some of the candidate sites. Recognizing that every site proposed is tentative and perhaps controversial, one option I am considering for future travel is Book of Mormon Tours (http://www.bookofmormontours.com/). You can get discounts if you have  group of 10 or more. The next tour starting on November 6, 2021, will be focused on sites mostly in Guatemala, many of which are associated with the Land of Nephi. If you plan to go, let me know (and let Blake Allen know I sent you). 

I'm also keenly interested in visiting some of the Old World sites related to the Book of Mormon. I loved my visit to Jerusalem a couple years ago, and now am anxious to visit Oman, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia. Warren Aston is the expert on Yemen and Oman for sites like Nahom and Bountiful. I will keep you posted if some group events become possible there. Am yearning for the civil war in Yemen to end first.

Charities and Non-Profits

I highly recommend the Interpreter Foundation, a leading non-profit supporting knowledge related to the scriptures, doctrines, and history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Sister organizations include Book of Mormon Central and FAIR (FAIRlatterdaysaints.org). All of these organizations are doing much to share information, spread knowledge, and support missionary work, but I am especially fond of Interpreter for some of the ground-breaking work they publish in their journal and for the excellent conferences and videos they help produce. (Disclaimer: I am a volunteer co-editor for their journal, Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship.)

Another charity I am fond of is Days for Girls. This organization helps numerous young women in Africa cope get back to school and not miss out on education due to the challenges of menstruation without proper supplies for coping. So many lives have been enriched with the simple products they provide. Really an inspiring charity.

While I hesitate to get into politics, there is a need to preserve the fragile blessings of liberty in the United States by exposing some of the hidden and ugly things that occur in government. For this, I appreciate the dedicated legal work pursued by Judicial Watch (JudicialWatch.org) to use the Freedom of Information Act and other legal tools to reveal corruption. 

Another non-profit I like is the Foundation for Economic Education, FEE.org, which works to counter the misinformation of those who want to make politicians and bureaucrats have more power than ever to control our economy and our lives. The education on basic economics, the US Constitution and the principles of liberty that they provide is vital for our future. I hope you'll read their material and consider supporting them. 

Religious Products

For books, movies, gift items, and many Latter-day Saint-themed items, Deseret Book is the place, whether it's the brick and mortar store in some parts of the West or the online store. But if you are serious about learning more about your faith, don't overlook the impressive resources at the FAIR Bookstore from FAIRLatterDaySaints.org nor the many resources provided by the Interpreter Foundation, including their books and other media productions. Be sure to check their Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship for weekly articles providing scholarship into many issues related to our faith, Church history, our scriptures, etc. 

Staying Informed on Economic and Political Issues

Members of our faith often recognize the importance of religious freedom, not just for us but for all mankind. In my opinion, supporting religious freedom and understanding the threats it may face requires being alert and aware of political developments that may impeach upon liberty. While I strive to refrain from sharing too much when it comes to politics, I still must speak out and share a few basic things in support of the cause of freedom. One resource I recommend for both increased knowledge of economics and liberty is FEE.org, the Foundation for Economic Education. You'll read many clear essays there that can strengthen your awareness of liberty and economics in ways that can make you a better citizen, in my opinion. 

The paid-subscription services of Sovereign Man (SovereignMan.com) are also extremely useful and valuable to me, and likewise are dedicated to helping people all over the world better understand freedom, liberty, and steps people can take to cope with the challenges they face. 

Education, of course, is key to preserving liberty and strengthening an economy, all of which can help advance the welfare of people and support the mission of the Church. Resources for education and learning are listed on my Education page at JeffLindsay.com

Useful Computer Networks, Databases, and Online Services for Latter-day Saints

For members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I recommend checking out the vast resources at the new Church website, ChurchofJesusChrist.org and the related app, Member Tools (formerly LDS Tools). There you will find scriptures, broadcasts, videos, tools for families, tools for provident living, education, saving, handbooks, the online store, magazines, etc. The Member Tools resource will also give you access to information about your local unit, including key callings, info on local leaders, and how to contact other members in your unit. 

For those digging into knowledge about the scriptures and our religion, explore the database of articles at Book of Mormon Central and also search the Interpreter Foundation as well as the FAIR Latter-day Saints site.

--April 2021, updated June 2021.