I love the way David J. Ridges teaches. He is able to teach deep concepts in simple ways that are easy to understand. He also includes scripture passaI love the way David J. Ridges teaches. He is able to teach deep concepts in simple ways that are easy to understand. He also includes scripture passages, or quotes from the Prophets, to back up each of his teachings, meaning that he is teaching sound truths, and not opinion-based ideals. And though he does give his own opinions every so often, he is sure to label them as such.
One thing I didn't like is that (this being the fourth of his books I have read) I notice that he tends to use some of the same sentences, word-for-word, to explain concepts that are the same in different books. While the sentences have great teachings in them, it is annoying to realize that I read some of the exact same paragraphs in the last book of his that I read. Although this doesn't occur often in this book, I would still love for him to reword things a bit in his books, so it doesn't feel like I am learning the same things over and over (even if I am).
Aside from that, this is a great resource, especially for those hard-to-answer questions. He begins the book with an optional quiz on the Plan of Salvation, which I enjoyed. It answered many questions that I had, confirmed some feelings I had, and also gave me insight into things I had never thought of before.
Overall, this is a fantastic book, which I recommend for anyone who wants to know more about the doctrine of the LDS church....more
I am so glad I picked this book up. This is the first time I have studied the signs of the times, and haven't felt insanely afraid. David J. Ridges doI am so glad I picked this book up. This is the first time I have studied the signs of the times, and haven't felt insanely afraid. David J. Ridges does a great job bringing it all back to the reasons we are given these signs in the first place: "So likewise, mine elect, when they shall see all these things, they shall know that he is near, even at the doors." (JST - Matthew 1:39) He also puts a lot of emphasis on Matthew 24:6 (and a other scriptural passages), which says, "And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet." (Emphasis added.) In this, he urges us not to be fearful, and also reminds us that we should not put our lives on hold because of the closeness of the Second Coming--something that is important to remember, especially when reading about the many signs that are happening in our day.
In reading this, I found there were a lot of signs I did not know about, even after studying them in various Seminary and Institute classes. Ridges discusses 96 signs of the times, and says that these are not all of them. It was very helpful that he categorized each sign based on whether it has been fulfilled, is currently being fulfilled, has yet to be fulfilled, or whether it is one we cannot be sure of at this time. He uses scripture and/or words from Church leaders to back up each of these categorizations. I also appreciate that he set the record straight for some signs that have a lot of rumor and misinterpretation among the Saints. He does it in a very respectful, yet straightforward way. At the end of it all, he also talks about what we know of the Second Coming.
This book has a lot to take in. It took me a few weeks to read, not because it is long, but because there is so much information to process and think over. It ended up being the only thing I wanted to read during that time, and even now I am starting over and reading it again, because I loved it so much. Reading this ended up being a huge strengthener of my testimony. I feel better prepared, and less afraid. I highly recommend it!...more
Such a fantastic book! It is written more for those who have not yet been through the temple, but I think those who have, but want to learn more aboutSuch a fantastic book! It is written more for those who have not yet been through the temple, but I think those who have, but want to learn more about symbolism, would also enjoy reading it. I love the respectful insight the author gives into the symbolism of the temple. He does it by studying the temple practices found in the Old Testament. He also touches on other things that have to do with preparing to enter the temple or keeping oneself worthy to continue to go to the temple.
I absolutely loved the chapter on the Plan of Salvation symbolism that is found in temple worship (explained using the Old Testament as examples). There is a part where he talks about eternal families, and talked a bit about how we often don't realize how far that promise really extends; it gave me such a feeling of hope and excitement, that it literally made me cry!
The only thing I didn't enjoy about the book was the author's tendency to expound upon even the simplest of words or phrases, thinking the reader would somehow not understand what they meant. Throughout the book he mostly uses scripture verses to teach, and to show the reader how to understand symbolism. He interjects explanations in those verses--which in most of the verses are quite helpful--but there were quite a few times when he would explain even simple words or phrases that didn't need explaining. For example, this is an excerpt from the book, which is in turn an excerpt from Isaiah. The brackets show the author's interjection:
"Also [then] I heard the voice of the Lord, saying...."
Aside from that tendency, the rest of it was wonderful to read. I'm reading another of his books right now, about the signs of the times, which is also a fantastic read. Though this one is quite a bit shorter, it packs a nice spiritual punch. I'm glad I picked it up! ...more
I read this book to my son, who is preparing for baptism. He liked it, and really connected with most of the the stories. There were a few stories I dI read this book to my son, who is preparing for baptism. He liked it, and really connected with most of the the stories. There were a few stories I didn't like, however, because I don't think they adequately (or appropriately in one case) conveyed the topics they were about. But on the whole, I think this book is a good option if you're looking for something for your child. Although it is geared towards boys (there are other things, but most notably, the chapter on prayer is about the priesthood), I think most girls would also appreciate it. ...more