I just noticed that I have posted 3 posts in a row with recipes so I think it’s time that I post a book review. Thanks to Alex’s long orthodontist appointment getting his braces put on, I was able to read a whole book.
This is a small book, about the size of my hand, and has very short chapters, all of them only 1 to 3 pages. It may seem kind of like stream of consciousness writing since it has one topic after another and doesn’t exactly connect them, but I think it’s all the things that Elder Maxwell thought was essential (and, of course, still is). Just like the subtitle says, it is a list of important aspects of any true disciple of Christ; faith, endurance, patience, humility…
If you don’t have a lot of time to read, you could read through one chapter a day in just a couple of minutes and get through the book pretty quickly. And yet, those few words that he utilizes make you think about the topic for much longer than it takes to read them. It made my long wait in the orthodontist office seem to fly by. I just wanted to sit and read and ponder. It’s so hard to choose a few good parts to share since it is all so wonderful.
For example, he writes, “Disciples, however, see with the ‘eye of faith’ (Alma 5:15), still perceiving divine design even when personal circumstances are shaken like a kaleidoscope.” p. 4 That’s all he said about the kaleidoscope, but I kept thinking about it. Just when I think that things are “right” in my world and I have a pretty design in my kaleidoscope, something shakes it up and it’s not the same design. I often see that as distressing, even though my life is so full of blessings and I have never had to face struggles that many others have, and I feel like I have to get that old design back on the kaleidoscope or all is not “right”. As Elder Maxwell says, we should see the divine design. That new design has its own beauty and blessings. We are here to progress and keeping everything the same will not make us a better disciple.
“Happily, many of us have already picked and been greatly nourished by the low-hanging fruit from the gospel tree. Yet, on the higher branches, much fruit still remains, unreached for and unplucked. Neglecting to harvest this fruit deprives us of greater joy and of greater capacity to help others.” p. 7
He also quotes President J. Reuben Clark, “I believe that in his justice and mercy he will give us the maximum reward for our acts, give us all that he can give, and in the reverse, I believe that he will impose upon us the minimum penalty which it is possible for him to impose.” (Conference Report, October 1953, 84) Isn’t our God a great and loving God? What an awesome way to explain it!
“Meanwhile, strange, is it not, how we are willing to settle for so much less? We are like an eager child at a candy store who will settle for just ‘one of these and one of those,’ when the Owner desires to give us the whole store (D&C 84:38).” p. 24