This is the newest book by James Ferrell, the author of The Peacegiver, The Holy Secret, and other books. I have enjoyed each of his books and this onThis is the newest book by James Ferrell, the author of The Peacegiver, The Holy Secret, and other books. I have enjoyed each of his books and this one was no exception. The main theme of this book, as I understood it, is that we need to "fall" in meekness and humility in order to "rise" to heaven. Trying to pull ourselves up to heaven is the wrong approach. Instead, we must acknowledge that it is only through relying on Christ completely that we can attain the height we are capable of. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book:
"Consider as well the paradoxical nature of the central elements of the gospel. God became man. Mankind fell so that they might become exalted. Jesus died so that we might live. Our garments are made white in his blood. And with his stripes we are healed."
The paradox of man: "Compared to God, man is nothing; yet we are everything to God." - Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Regarding the people in Lehi's vision of the tree of life: "...those who reached up fell, while those who fell were lifted. And the great and spacious building that was so "up" it "stood as it were in the air, high above the earth" ended up falling."
"When we brush up against God's presence, we are unavoidably reminded of how much we yet lack." "In the moment you allow the Lord to show you your weakness, you will also experience his grace."
"Regarding spiritual matters, our prospects actually depend on the degree to which we are willing to recognize and admit our guilt! This means that anything that awakens us to our guilt is actually a most cherished and divine gift."
"Realize that the justice of God, alone, leaves no one but God standing. And that is by design, for only those who have fallen before him can be lifted - lifted and made into beings that are far beyond not only our capacity but also our imagination."
"The kingdom of God is comprised not of the impressive and the beautiful but of the broken and guilty who come unto Christ."
"The gospel, by its very nature, is designed to strip us of pride - of either the "I am better" or "I am worse" variety. And what is to take its place? The simple realization that "I am in need of Him."
"We are not in the forgiving business, even of ourselves. There is One who actually forgives, and that isn't us. Rather, we are to be in the repenting business."
"We are all in the throes of sin. The question for us, and the issue upon which the presence of the Spirit depends, is whether we are in the throes of repentance."
"This is the magic combination: focus on our own sins and upon others' virtues."
"Faith is forged when one's back is against the wall. When we finally realize that no strength of this world - our own, most of all - can rescue us from our fate, then we feel keenly both our predicament and the Lord's redeeming grace."
"The fall that brought hardship and heartache into the world is overcome within us as we choose voluntarily to fall again - this time before Christ. So long as we insist on reaching up, our hearts and souls will never be lifted. If, on the other hand, we fall humbly and repentantly before him, we will never be down. This is the divine and surprising truth that unlocks for us the happiness that can seem so elusive." ...more
This was a very inspiring and uplifting book that I really enjoyed reading. I learned a whole new perspective on what hope is, what it means, and howThis was a very inspiring and uplifting book that I really enjoyed reading. I learned a whole new perspective on what hope is, what it means, and how to obtain it. Also, I came to appreciate how incredibly vital hope is in our lives and how it can strengthen us through the many trials and tribulations that will surely come along. A few quotes that I really loved:
Dieter F. Uchtdorf: "Hope is not knowledge, but rather the abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promises to us. It is confidence that if we live according to God's laws and the words of His prophets now, we will receive desired blessings in the future."
"Discouragement, depression, and despair may be common companions of adversity and tribulation, but they are not inherent within the nature of life's challenges."
The idea that hope "is a gift of the spirit as well as an attribute of our character." And, "hope is a gift of the spirit - one that strengthens the heart and lifts the spirit - and is therefore a form of light and truth."
Following a story about a bridge needing to be strengthened to support a heavy load: "But though He does not always lighten the load, He does reinforce the bridge."
"Hope is a choice we make."
"Not only are we to endure trials and setbacks, but we are to endure them well."
George MacDonald: "God is easy to please, but hard to satisfy."
Howard W. Hunter: "If there is any element in human life on which we have a record of miraculous success and inestimable worth to the human soul, it is prayerful, reverential, devout communication with our Heavenly Father."
Neal A. Maxwell: "God gives to us the lessons we need most, not always the ones we think we need." ...more
This book is a short retelling of the life of Jesus as told by Charles Dickens for his children. It was interesting to see Dickens' perspective on manThis book is a short retelling of the life of Jesus as told by Charles Dickens for his children. It was interesting to see Dickens' perspective on many aspects of Christ's life. Quick but enjoyable read....more
This is a short book of little experiences and life lessons from Elder Oaks. I particularly enjoyed hearing about some of his early life experiences (This is a short book of little experiences and life lessons from Elder Oaks. I particularly enjoyed hearing about some of his early life experiences (e.g., losing his father as a young boy) as well as learning about how he was guided in his professional career (e.g., on his decision to become a justice of the Utah state court). This is a very light read and could easily be finished and enjoyed in a few sittings. I thought it was insightful, yet not overly dense and doctrinally-heavy. Good book for a leisurely Sunday afternoon read!...more
Very good book that beautifully demonstrates the way in which the Old Testament testifies of Christ throughout the entire book. I learned more about tVery good book that beautifully demonstrates the way in which the Old Testament testifies of Christ throughout the entire book. I learned more about the Old Testament reading this book than everything I knew beforehand (which, sadly, isn't saying a whole lot). This book wasn't as easy to read as Ferrell's other two books (Peacegiver, Holy Secret - which are both fantastic!), because it wasn't told in a narrative format. Still, it was a very enjoyable book and I would highly recommend it to everyone....more