A Religion of Story


A powerful (and fun) way to raise:
Leaders, not Followers. Unifiers, not Dividers.

When her son was born, Amanda Johnson was in the middle of a spiritual crisis that had stripped her of her foundations, family, and physical health. All she had to offer him was an oath to protect his mind and heart from disempowering messages and teach him how to think and feel for himself. Her efforts quickly led to stunning results, but it wasn’t fun until she realized Story could be their medium. Her classical training had shown her how to engage messages socratically, and she was able to use this pathway to keep her promise.

It took sixteen years for her to grasp the impact of this approach, but only a minute to realize they had to share it.

A Religion of Story is Amanda and Aaron’s collaborative effort to share their most profound conversations about their favorite stories and lessons learned, and show parents a powerful way to cultivate character and preserve freedom in our children and culture.

What could be more fun than learning while enjoying popcorn, dark chocolate, and epic stories?

What Readers Are Saying

What Readers Are Saying


"A must-have for the parental, relational, and therapeutic bookshelf!

Funny, inspiring, and profound, this book offers an ingenious approach to using the power of story to discover hidden strengths, boost existing potential, cultivate self-knowledge, and traverse life with integrity and intention. With a significant focus on the developing child, the lessons and guidance offered apply to all ages! As a practicing psychologist, I see this book as an invaluable resource for clinical work: cinematic and narrative interventions to facilitate personal agency, develop leadership skills, navigate relationships, access resilience after disappointment, empower recovery from betrayal, and how to do all of this from a place of integrated wholeness."

~ Karlyn Pleasants, Psy.D.

"Coming through the pandemic, most of us have lost something, some much more than others. We are now in a time where it seems many, especially our youth, have lost hope—hope for a world that gives them their dreams back, or lets them have a dream at all. If you are a parent, aunt, uncle, grandparent, or someone who just wants to make a difference for the young souls on the planet right now and teach them how to think for themselves, then you need to read A Religion of Story. Reading a mother and son's journey to find their way, together, is both heart-breaking and inspiring. It is guaranteed to give you faith in humanity again, and you just might start rewriting your own life story."

~ Ursula Mentjes
Mom, Award-winning Entrepreneur, and Bestselling Author

"I just finished reading this masterpiece, which I believe will someday be designated as a classic: a guidebook, textbook, and required reading for a degree in Life. I sometimes longed for a do-over for myself, my offspring, and all those I love or ever loved. Yet, I also feel courageous, determined, and destined to finish strong. If not the best, it is certainly one of the best books I have ever read. "

~ Rick Amitin
President of Rickamitin.comFounder of Design to Shine Community Best Selling Author

"It is more than extraordinary to have a bird’s eye view of a conscious mother’s true transformative story—one in which she unfolds insightful perspectives from her own life as she explores characters’ stories in various forms of media with her son. Together, they investigate the common themes and discuss openly the how and why of patterns that inflict pain and suffering as well as joy and fulfillment. The reader comes to recognize that we are all characters in a larger unfolding story of our own making based on our own choices."

~ Renee Beth Poindexter
Founder of Living The Potential Network

"Amanda and Aaron’s book is a roadmap for building character through characters. More importantly, it chronicles the glorious formation of the human spirit when we allow people, including our children, to experience for themselves, apply, and reflect. Whether exploring life philosophy or learning how to read, this approach, grounded in trust and autonomy, results in smashing humans who know themselves and can navigate the world before them with grace."

~ Lori McKee Walker
Founder of Village Home Education Resource Center

"It is a rare treat to get to hear the child's side of things in a parenting book, and it makes this very special and a testament to the power of Story and the positive impact it can have on our relationship. My kids are big readers (and watchers), so this book gives me an immediate passageway into deeper connection with them."

~ Kris Lantheaume
Mom, Coach, Consultant

"As a teacher, I spend quite a bit of time analyzing character, whether it be the feelings of the protagonist in literature, the motivations of a defendant in mock trial, or the actions of a historical figure. In A Religion of Story, Amanda and Aaron have turned the analysis inward and, through heartwarming snapshots of their lives, shown how asking about others' stories can help create our own. This ‘Professor McGonagall’ is honored to be included as part of Aaron's journey. This book shows how a magical mix of analysis and introspection builds character and pushes you to be the strong protagonist of your own story."

~ Deborah Mueller
Educator, Mother, and Harry Potter Nerd

"A Religion of Story is a masterfully-constructed paradigm-shifter for a culture so diluted with story, that deciphering constructive and healthy narratives has become the battle of our time. Amanda and Aaron have articulated a framework that sheds light on the most imperative principles of our basic psychology, those which influence the development of our children and, ultimately, the makings of our societies. They navigate the tricky waters between tradition and trend with grace and enthusiasm for positive change and impact. Should hell freeze over and I actually pop a child out into this uncertain world, their seminar will be the first daycare I drop him off at.”

~ Alyssa Noelle Coelho
Bestselling Author
Sociocultural Anthropology Analyst
Co-Founder of Saved By Story Publishing

"This book couldn't have fallen into my lap at a better time. As a soon-to-be mommy, raised in a religious home, I experienced a very similar break in belonging, and am so grateful to learn about this alternative approach to using the power of story and narrative to cultivate character and empower children. This framework both preserves the texture of traditions we find nostalgia in and offers a fresh perspective to the evolving culture around us.”

~ Ciara Gutierrez
Soon-to-be Mommy

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Amanda Johnson

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As the founder of True To Intention and co-founder of Saved By Story Publishing, Amanda Johnson partners with seekers and storytellers devoted to writing truer individual and collective stories.

After years of helping others question, recognize, and articulate powerful messages as a Teacher and Writing Coach, Amanda uncovered her own true intention and began a lifelong quest to embody it. Alchemizing lessons, skills, and tools gathered from experiments with self-image and psycho cybernetics, the classics and the Socratic method in the honors program, the child development and psychology of learning classes in her teacher training, the social-emotional literacy workshops required to become a facilitator, and the adventures of motherhood, Amanda committed her life to changing the world with more powerful messaging. Quickly, she realized that True To Intention was more about the messenger than the message, as she witnessed individuals heal their stories as they wrote and shared them.

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As a Strategist, Facilitator, Storyteller, Guide, and Ally, she midwifes paradigm-changing brands, content, and more whole change agents into the world through her st*ry-healing quests and message-manifesting retreats. From inspiration to impact, she and her team help divinely-inspired souls dissolve the lies, reorganize their sacred material, and become truer to intention with every piece of content they craft, love offering they launch, and system they structure to change the world.

 In 2013, Amanda wrote Upside-Down Mommy and shared The Butterfly Approach philosophy responsible for her growth as a parent, messenger, and coach. In 2018, she published Upside-Down Messenger and made The Messenger Matrix more visible. In 2022, she published two collaborative titles: You Can’t Make This St*ry Up is a collaboration with twenty of her clients curated to help creatives and coaches recognize and lean into the magic and mess of becoming a powerful change agent, and A Religion of Story is a collaboration with her son crafted to share the experience and results of mindfully engaging Story to cultivate character and agency in children and culture.

As a momma, a wife, a messenger, an entrepreneur, and a friend, Amanda is determined to empower a generation that challenges the narratives handed to them with curiosity and love, heals the st*ries that hold us back, and co-authors a messy magically-ever-after.

Aaron Johnson


As a Project/Administrative Manager and Tech Strategist, Aaron Johnson helps entrepreneurs discover and unleash potential in themselves and their businesses using intuitive systems and soulful technology. Entrepreneurial at heart, Aaron has been deeply involved with start-ups since he was a child and mesmerized by Story and the hero’s journey. When he began paving his own non-traditional education and career paths and rediscovered some of his own potential through Improv, Debate, and Mock Trial competitions, he quickly realized that every system and solution needs to be unique because every person’s vision, mission, and path is different.

Seeing how crucial Community and Communication are, Aaron integrated everything he had learned about connection and leadership from mentors, personal adventures, and stories into his approach to systems, teams, and building businesses. That’s when he founded his Consulting and Management company, Caterbuilder Solutions, through which he helps entrepreneurs cater to their crowd and build their dreams.


Today, he’s helping build an intergenerational network of change-makers that help individuals clarify their gifts/talents and unfold their unique potential so they can be and create the change they want to see in the world. He’s also collaborating with paradigm-changers to build a publishing house that highlights the healing process of book writing and pushes messengers’ messages further into the world. It’s always more than just a book, which is why this is more than just a publishing house.

When he’s not masterminding or managing, Aaron spends his time meditating on and writing about big ideas, important lessons, and the power of Story. In 2022, his healing-through-writing experience was published in You Can’t Make This St*ry Up: What If It’s All Happening For Us?, a collaboration with twenty other messengers about the transformation and divine synchronicities experienced in the creative process. About five months later, he published his second collaborative work, A Religion of Story: A Powerful Way to Cultivate Character and Preserve Freedom In Our Children and Culture, and became a two-time bestselling author at nineteen. In it, he and his mom shared their most profound conversations, lessons learned, and a unique approach to mindfully using Story to cultivate character and a well-rounded worldview in children.

Aaron’s passion lies with creating educational opportunities like he had while he was in school that value and cultivate the innate superpowers of the individual and put youth in charge of their learning journey. Participating in meaningful conversation and sparking solutions to complex problems are what keep him up at night and his flame of motivation burning.

He lives in Prescott, AZ, with his parents and his dogs Tipper and Betsy.


Are we the right fit for your story
and journey to saving the world with it?

Are we the right fit
for your story and
journey to impacting
the world with it?

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