My husband and I listened to this book on audio last summer(07). It is a true story about my husband's heritage. Our daughter's middle name comes from...moreMy husband and I listened to this book on audio last summer(07). It is a true story about my husband's heritage. Our daughter's middle name comes from Julia Hills Johnson in the book. These books(there is a second volume and a third I still need to finish!)are entertaining but also very spiritually uplifting. It makes church leaders such as Joseph Smith and Brigham Young seem so much more real. They are comparable to the Work and the Glory series except they are not a fictional family.(less)
I enjoyed this book's simple approach to understanding the atonement. It made me think of certain aspects of the atonement that I had never thought of...moreI enjoyed this book's simple approach to understanding the atonement. It made me think of certain aspects of the atonement that I had never thought of before. It is an easy/fast read with a lot to think about in it. I think it really helps the reader to look inward and realize (but in more depth) that we all have our own, individual trials, weaknesses, and strengths (some are more obvious than others) but through the atonement each of us can become cleansed and forgiven.
One of my favorite insights of the book is the part where the husband says "this isn't what I deserve" and through a number of things he is shown that in fact he deserves hell, and that we all do. It made me think about how entitled most of us are and think that we deserve so much, when in all actuallity we don't DESERVE anything! It helped me to recognize how grateful I should be for not only the atonement but the wonderful life have, and not always thinking I need more to be happy.(less)
The first part of this book is a little slow but as you come to the end of the book all of this background information makes the story and characters...moreThe first part of this book is a little slow but as you come to the end of the book all of this background information makes the story and characters much more complete in my opinion, and therefore worth the effort. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was sad to see that so many did not because they were expecting Fanny to be like Elizabeth, or Emma, from Austen's other novels. I, as many, did not first love Fanny but as I came to understand her more I really came to admire her strengths and want to be more like her in many ways. I also don't find her character weak. She stands up for what she believes in and is not so easily swayed as many of the other characters in the book are. She is soft-spoken but I think this just adds to her strength and self control. I would have liked to see her a little more self-confident, but I find her character more believable as it is. I also think that she does become much more confident by the end of the book and I am glad that she doesn't turn out to go to the other extreme of being very vain and self-centered. I also enjoyed that this book wasn't just a romance novel. I think romance is great but I think it is even better when it is coupled with a true and constant love - especially when the book ends in marriage. I haven't really seen many other comments about this but I personally think that this book also carries a moral about being an active parent and practicing what you preach. Maria and Julia are given every advantage, education, status, etc. but they don't truly learn virtue from their parents and this effects what they end up doing with their education and status. Fanny on the other hand was humble when she came to Mansfield Park and really did seem to learn virtue from Edmund (and perhaps she already had a lot of virtue, but we do not know really what she was like before.) Also at the end of the book her uncle takes a much more active role as her guardian. It really inspired me to teach my children to be well mannered and educated, but first and foremost to teach and be an example of morals and virtue. (less)