Book Spotlight: An LDS Guide to Mesoamerica & Yucatan

mesoDANIEL JOHNSON has had a lifelong interest in ancient cultures, especially from the Americas. His first trip to Mesoamerica was in 1999. Since then he has led friends on excursions to Central America and has given firesides about traveling there. He served a mission in the Buenos Aires North and Mendoza Argentina missions. He works as a digital artist and teaches at Bay Area colleges.

JARED COOPER has been fascinated with the history of Mesoamerica all his life. He served a mission in the New York Utica Mission. He works as a finance specialist at Fireman’s Fund.

DEREK GASSER has had a lifelong love of traveling and photography. He has traveled to over 60 countries and spent time volunteering in hospitals in both Africa and Asia. He served a mission in the Philippines Cebu Mission. He works as a hospital administrator.


Interview with author Daniel Johnson

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Pralines and Cream

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.

It’s fun, exciting, informative, and a great way to virtually visit some exotic and fascinating places.


Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.

Speaking to audiences about the research that went into the books.

If you could jump in to a book and live in that world, which would it be?

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow


If a movie was made about your life, who would you want to play the lead role and why?

Keanu Reeves – many people say I look like him and I’m not very emotional, similar outward personalities.

Who are your favorite authors of all time?

Only one comes to mind: Fyodr Dostoyevski

How do you react to a bad review?

I consider its validity for a moment, then forget it and move one.

You have won one million dollars what is the first thing that you would buy?

My house


If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?

A Bastard’s Tale; I’m already working on it.

What’s your favorite season/weather?



What is you favorite way to spend a rainy day?

Out in it

Do you prefer to write in silence or with music?

Usually with music

Offroading, hiking, shooting, traveling, foreign languages, playing drums

Where do you write?
Anywhere I can open up my laptop


Happiest moment in your life so far

My wedding

Favorite/most influential teacher
Mrs. Furr, my fifth grade teacher


Craziest thing you ever ate?

That’s a tough one; it could be a tie between armadillo stew, blood sausage, udder, or roasted intestine. You decide.

What is your view on self publishing?

Okay if you have to, but it’s better to work with a publisher if you can to get professional proofreading, support, and marketing.

If you were not a writer, what would you like to do?

I already do them. I’m mainly an artist and teacher.


Are you for or against books being made into movies?

Generally for it. A bad movie will fade away and soon be forgotten. The good ones add to our experience.


meso1An LDS Guide to Mesoamerica

Ever wanted to see Mesoamerica? Here’s your chance! Join three travelers through an ancient land and discover why this may have been the land of the Book of Mormon. This book will guide you step-by-step along the way to ancient sites and artifacts. You’ll receive in-depth information about each ruin and have the chance to look at the sites from an LDS perspective. With full-color photographs, maps, and travel tips for each site, you’ll feel like you’re already there!




YucaAn LDS Guide to Yucatan

Enjoy the priceless history of the Yucatan in an LDS way! Let the authors walk you through different sites as they describe each site’s history, architecture, and possible cultures. In addition to current scholarship and historical facts about each location, An LDS Guide to the Yucatan gives Book of Mormon comparisons from site to site and practical advice for traveling and boarding. Enhance your experience with the Yucatan Peninsula in this picture-filled guide to ancient sites.