Sunday, September 13, 2009

Hearts of Courage – Story of a local Ogden man and his escape from death.

I decided we need a Sunday break from politics -Here is a nice little Sunday post for everyone about a book I read last weekend.
Many years ago, at the age of 13, I had the opportunity to hike up the Uintah mountains with my scout troop. It was four mile, full pack hike up the mountain where we camped near a lake and then hiked back down. At one point in the adventure, I became separated from my group and was lost for nearly two hours. My troop was in a panic and I was worried I would be lost forever. With the limited survival skills I had, I found a place to stop on the trail and waited for my rescue; fortunately this came quickly. There is a vividly memory of my scout master finding me and hugging me. He then took me to our camp and I enjoyed the rest of the trip. This was not the case for Joe Tippets in the book Hearts of Courage, by John M. Tippets. He instead took the teachings from his scout master (and many others) and lasted much longer in a climate much worse.

Joe Tippets, a local Ogden, Utah man, experienced the ultimate test of survival in the Alaskan mountains. His plane of six people crashed over Alaska in the early 1940's. Somehow he survived with only torn blankets for shoes, limited supplies, and a copy of the Holy Scriptures. In the end, he spent nearly a month in the snow; surviving the ordeal with limited injury and helping three more of his comrades to safety.

This short and captivating book, written by former American Airlines Credit Union CEO, John M Tippets tells the story of his father and his escape from death. Mr. Tippets uses his father's own words to help tell the story of The Gillam Plane crash of the 1940s. A crash that covered the newspapers at the time, even making headlines in the New York Times. The adventure has been forgot in today's time only to be revived in vivid and exciting detail by Mr. Tippets and his desire to bring his father's story to life.

Many elements are intensely documented and researched, including easy to read maps and photos of the crash site. I was engulfed in the story and was unable to put the book down. Jon has done an amazing job of channeling his father's spirit in the story and brings to life this amazing journey. Quickly my wife picked it up and felt the same. It was then I knew I had to write a review about it this book.

What made me fall in love with the book was Joe Tippets faith. I was amazed at his desire to pray and keep the group together. Joe made strong efforts to carry his scriptures with him, even when searching through snow and frozen waters for rescue. His keen sense of God, God's plan for him and his family kept him pushing through even some of the hardest part of the trip. Even when he thought he was near his final moments, he wrote a letter to his wife demonstrating once again his faith in God, "Try to keep enough money invested so you can give the kids a college education and be sure they both fill missions."

The theme I found in this book was all about LIVING for what you believe. Many people say they would die for their religion, but Joe Tippets challenges us to live for it and follow the path of God. This is how his life was before and after his adventure. He was the first Branch President of the Mormon (LDS) Church in Alaska, later became a Bishop and a member of the Stake Presidency.

To learn about an Ogden, Utah man who helped change the lives of those around him you will need to read this book. To know what he did to survive and how he turned to the Lord to find his way through the Alaskan mountains you will need to read this book. Finally to grow spiritually from his testimony you will need to read this book.

You can pick the book up at any Deseret Book or at

No comments: