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The Mansion

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  2,011 ratings  ·  469 reviews
From the edge of the hill, where John Weightman sat, he could see the travelers, in little groups or larger companies, gathering from time to time by the different paths, and making the ascent. They were all clothed in white, and the form of their garments was strange to him; it was like some old picture. They passed him, group after group, talking quietly together or sing ...more
Paperback, 48 pages
Published December 1st 2008 by Serenity Publishers, LLC (first published 1887)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Karisa
The prophet of my church reads this book every Christmas (along with A Christmas Carol and the various nativity accounts from the scriptures), so I thought I'd give The Mansion a try. What an inspiring read! And it's very quick too. It's about true service-- helping others without worrying about a reward.

It reminded me of a phone conversation I had a while ago with my mom. I was telling her how I just spent a whole morning driving around a friend to various welfare appointments (with my newborn
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The Thousander Club
Adam C. Zern shares his thoughts . . .

"At a recent Christmas Devotional, the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Thomas S. Monson, listed three works that he reads each year around Christmas-time: The Gospel According to Luke, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, and The Mansion by Henry Van Dyke. The first two were, of course, very familiar to me, but I had never heard of The Mansion. I became curious and the source of the recommendation was more than enough to get me
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Robin
Nov 15, 2010 Robin rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
This was a short story, very appropriate for Christmas time. It was a light and quick read with a beautiful, uplifting message. This can be downloaded for free through Project Gutenberg. I would recommend anyone read it.
Wendee
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nancy
Thomas Monson, the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-Saints, spoke at the churches Christmas Devotional a few days ago. He told us the stories he reads every year before Christmas. The Mansion is one of those books he reads each year.

The story is about John Weightman, who gives a lot to the community, but it always is to his own credit. When he goes to heaven, he watches as the other people are given beautiful mansions, and he can hardle wait to see how grand his mansion wil
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Kristi
A very fun little read. I read it to my husband one night as he was preparing for a talk at church about Christ and Christmas. I just love the walk the main character takes with fellow travelers on their way to their way to their own mansions.

Personally, I learned to look deeper into my heart for the reasons I do things. Do I try to do kind acts because of the recognition I receive now...or do I do them out of the love of Christ? This cute little story makes me want to try harder to show Christ
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Mary
Man, I like a good, contemplative Christmas story. When Pres. Monson recommended this during the Christmas devotional, I plugged my ears so that he didn't give away the ending, which is the only time I've done that while the prophet speaks. I'm glad I did. SPOILER ALERT: I love a good redemption story.
Dan
I'm a little torn, reviewing a 100-year-old novelette. On the one hand, the book is written in broad strokes, with poor characterization, and only seems to exist to teach a lesson with the subtlety of Aesop. On the other, the book was written specifically to explain this idea, and the "reveal" is actually quite powerful.

So I can't really review the book, as it only exists to push the idea. And that's where I'm torn.

The moral, that charity is only really charity if you do not profit from it, is a
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Beth
I read this right after hearing President Monson's Christmas Devotional, December 2011. (Thank you, Kindle--so easy to download and read a book as soon as you think of it.)

Very sweet story. A rich man has always given to the church and to charities, but only as a means of advancing his own reputation on earth. He dreams that he goes to heaven and, dante-like, is met by a guide who shows him the mansions built for others. He is surprised to see that those who were poor on earth often have very fi
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Juergen John Roscher
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Megan
Jan 05, 2013 Megan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Megan by: President Monson
Shelves: bookgroup
We picked this book for our book group read for December because 1) It is really short and we didn't want to read anything too long in such a busy month and 2) President Monson said that he read this story every Christmas. He said it was a favorite Christmas story.
The story is about a man who is a very rich and very adept businessman that measures his actions to either be seen or to provide some kind of benefit or investment return. He has a "near death experience" towards the end of the story w
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Jeff Stockett
This is a simple story, about a man who seems to be good, the type of man you would most likely look up to and try to emulate, if you were to meet him.

As the story goes on we discover that, though he has done good things in his life, his motivations were not entirely pure. He sought to be well liked of other men, he sought for power and position. I like that the book never says that wealth or position are wrong in themselves, but when that is what we seek, that is the reward we gain. And as the
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Nathaniel
The prose was quite good, but the story was very, very straightforward. The author just took Matthew 6:1-3 (don't sound a trumpet before you when you do alms, otherwise you have no reward of your Father in heaven) and interpreted it literally: a guy gave lots to charity, but always publicly, and when he got to heaven, he didn't have a mansion. I kept thinking of The Great Divorce, and I wanted this book to be more like that - I wanted it to be more insightful and thought-provoking. It also seeme ...more
Michele
Our book club read this book after the Prophet of our church talked about it around Christmas time in a church wide broadcast.
It is slightly reminiscent of A Christmas Carol, but different enough to stand on its own.
For me, it is a good reminder to do good things for the right reason. It isn't really an act of service if we are hoping for recognition, praise, or reward after we do it.
A good story to pull out at Christmas time to help remember the true meaning we celebrate the birth of our savio
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Julie
A friend gave me this book last year after we heard about it while watching the Christmas Devotional. President Monson talked about three books that he reads every year at Christmastime and this was one of them. It is more of a short story (only 45 pages) but tells about a wealthy man who is very concerned that any money he donates to a cause be very clearly linked to him. Though very generous, he wanted to make sure he generosity was known. One night just before Christmas he fell asleep while w ...more
Vickie
My tradition- read this book every year. It's still as good as it was in 2012.
(2013 review ahead)(This is a great book to read on the eve of the new year. I'd give it a 4.5 easily.- this is the review I wrote December 31, 2012)
I'm not sure how to add a book twice to Goodreads so I'll just edit this review. I read this book last New Year's Eve and thought I would read it again this year. I am giving it a 5 because it has such a good message and I plan on reading it again next year at this time.
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Amber
I read this for book group and really liked it. Beautiful parable that I can't wait to use with the YW.
Amber
it's nice to remember life is not about what we can do for ourselves but what we can do for others
Emily
This is a truly beautiful story. I think that I, like President Monson, will read it each December in the years to come. I loved the answer to John Weightman's question: "What is it that truly counts here?" (regarding our mansion in heaven)
Came the reply: “Only that which is truly given. … Only that good which is done for the love of doing it. Only those plans in which the welfare of others is the master thought. Only those labors in which the sacrifice is greater than the reward. Only those gi
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Kathy Worrell  ツ
What a beautiful Christmas novel that is centered around Christ and The Bible.
Mindi Bennett
President Monson mentioned that he reads this book, along with "The Christmas Carol" and Luke 2, every year at Christmas time. I'd never heard of this book, but found in for free online here: http://www.PageByPageBooks.com/Henry_...
It is a very short story, just 18 online pages. It gave new meaning to the concept of "storing up treasures in heaven", and it left me with a lot to think about.
Abby
This was a good book about building up worldly wealth vs. building up wealth in heaven. A quick read with a good moral. I loved the scriptural references. I think we all have to struggle with what will be good for man and what will be good for ourselves. We hope that we are looking out for other people and being service minded.
John
I enjoyed this. A man who does good deeds, but is he doing them for the right reasons?
Cindy
When President Monson mentioned reading The Mansion during the Christmas devotional I decided to look it up. I requested it from a nearby library. I was surprised it was such a tiny little book. However, it was filled with very uplifting story. I am glad I was able to read this book.
Rebecca
I received this preciously old copy as a gift from a dear friend, thus my rating doesn't reflect the true meaning behind the book.

In a style similar to the writings of C.S. Lewis, the language of The Mansion is dated, but the message is timeless and touching. It was listed as one of the three books read by Thomas Monson at Christmas time (in addition to the story of Jesus' birth in the Book of Luke and Dickens' A Christmas Carol). I will also include it in my annual readings.
Vonnie
This book has kept me thinking and reviewing my life choices. Last night I reviewed my day looking for times I had been helpful where I didn't benefit. This books helped me see that unselfishness is a must in this life. Classic must to reread regularly.
Angie
I can't believe I've never read this. It's the perfect way to start out the Christmas season when selfless generosity is so close to our thoughts. My favorite line of the story: "Verily, you have had your reward for them. Would you be paid twice?"
Karen Hartshorn
Just a little more than a short story, I picked up for free at Gutenberg.org. for my Nook. Great little story meant to remind the reader that our true treasures and rewards are found in heartfelt service to others...
Dad
I heard that this book is a personal favorite of President Monson of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints so I wanted to read it. I have put it off for several years but finally located a copy at the local library.
It is a good book that makes me be introspective. Have I given to others without seeking a reward in return? Am I charitable enough? Will I have a mansion or a shack like Mr. Weightman?
It is good that Mr. Weightman decided to help his son in wanting to help someone else wh
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Beth
Powerful short story that makes you think about true service and charity. You really can't go wrong reading a recommendation from President Thomas S. Monson!
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Henry van Dyke (1852-1933) was an American Presbyterian clergyman, educator, and author. He graduated from Princeton in 1873, and from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1874. He was pastor of the Brick Presbyterian Church, New York City (1883-99), professor of English literature at Princeton (1899-1923), and U.S. minister to the Netherlands (1913-16).

Among his popular inspirational writings is th
...more
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