Annette Marie Lantos Tillemann-Dick
Born in San Francisco, California, many years ago, to young survivors of the Holocaust, Annette Marie Lantos Tillemann-Dick has been collecting new names ever since.
After a Bay Area childhood, Annette surprised herself by becoming one of the first women to enter a freshman class at Yale. Following her freshman year, Annette chose to become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Graduating with a degree in History, Annette next attended Hebrew University in Jerusalem. There she was engaged to an Israeli Air Force captain. Upon returning to California to get a Master’s Degree in Journalism, the engagement ended. Unfazed, Annette began graduate school at Yale where, at last, she met the love of her life: Timber Dick. Timber was baptized in February 1977.
Annette and Timber eloped to the Washington DC Temple. Nine months later their first baby was born in the backseat of their car with two small dogs in attendance. The experience was such fun, they went on to deliver a dozen babies together, some in hospitals, nine of those babies remain on earth. One daughter, born in Honduras, was sealed to the family in the Denver Temple.
Timber and Annette brought up their big family mostly in Denver, CO. They decided to teach their kids at home before homeschooling was really a thing. Many people (including Annette) thought they were a little crazy and would raise a group of illiterate but cute barbarians. A stream of divine interventions forestalled this outcome. This and other experiences have profoundly fortified Annette’s testimony of Christ and the restored gospel.
Currently Co-Chairman of the Advisory Committee of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice, Annette has taught many subjects both at home and in the public school system; written a book on Halloween published in Danish and Dutch; and been an advocate on Capitol Hill for refugees and oppressed groups in Turkey. She is the grateful grandmother of 12 perfect grandchildren aged 3 to 16 and lives with eight chickens, three baby doll sheep, four dogs and one cat.
My love of the Old Testament started as a young child. The stories fascinated me. I imagined unicorns not making it onto Noah’s ark, a giant being killed by a stone thrown by a young boy, and the walls of a mighty city falling down because of a trumpet’s call. As I grew older, the poetic language of the prophets fascinated lured me into the pages and I fell in love with the words of Isaiah, Daniel, and Zechariah.
Later, my dear friend introduced me to the writings of Alfred Edersheim, who was a Jewish-Christian scholar of the 19th century whom Elder Talmage quoted extensively in his work, Jesus, the Christ. Through Edersheim’s writings I gained a greater understanding of how the Old Testament was linked to the New Testament and the overall interconnectedness of the scriptures. Alfred Edersheim’s life was full of muddy experiences, yet he chose to look up, and see the miracles of his life. He realized that Christ was the divine source of those miracles. That is a testimony I hope to be a witness of as well.
I love to teach the gospel to my family and bear testimony of Jesus Christ to those around me. My wonderful husband and I have 12 children and currently, 30 grandchildren. Steve and I served in the Brazil Sao Paulo South Mission between 2008 – 2011. Also, I enjoy teaching at Brigham Young University and helping students become successful in life.
Christine is my beloved sister and Annette is a dear friend. What a joy it is to have like-minded women who love to read the Old Testament together. I look forward to this journey of discovery!
Growing up, I thought the Old Testament was mostly full of animal stories. You had the Creation, Noah’s ark, Jonah and the whale, Daniel in the Lion’s den and Samson with the jawbone of an ass, which I especially liked because I could say the word ass without getting in trouble. Yet as I read it myself, I was intrigued with stories I’d never heard before, disturbed by murder, rape and genocide, and had to do more research to figure out how the books fit together since the whole second half is out of order.
I also noticed how many face-to-face encounters with heavenly beings were recorded including Abraham’s starry night, Jacob’s dislocated hip, Gideon’s dew-drenched fleece and Isaiah’s coal sandwich. When I learned that ancient prophets had to prove themselves by bearing testimony of their call, I felt a witness of a modern-day prophet who also shared his vision of the Father and Son in canonized scripture, directing him to restore the truth.
This year I’ve been so excited to revisit the Old Testament. I’m honored to be part of this effort with truly great and educated women. I’m self-taught, a little irreverent, but love the scriptures for both their sacred words and their wild and twisted corners. I worked with my sister, Marianna Richardson, on her book Edersheim: Jewish Scholar to the Mormon Prophets, co-authored C. S. Lewis: Latter-day Truths in Narnia and have published a few novels including Crayon Messages, Lipstick Wars, Could You Be an Angel Today and He’s Got her Goat. I’ve also had the privilege of teaching all seven of my children for at least one semester in early morning Seminary and currently live in Rexburg Idaho.