Tuesday, October 11, 2011


I need to amend my previous review of Voices of Hope. I still stand by what I said about the Introduction and the Plenary Chapters. They teach gospel truths plainly and clearly. I love that. I know I need those plain and precious truths more and more as I live in a society that is loosing its way at an alarming rate. As President Monson said:

"Where once the standards of the Church and the standards of society were mostly compatible, now there is a wide chasm between us, and it’s growing ever wider. …

“The Savior of mankind described Himself as being in the world but not of the world. We also can be in the world but not of the world as we reject false concepts and false teachings and remain true to that which God has commanded.”

That being said, I think that the personal essays are even more powerful. I think part of my reluctance to read and discuss the personal essays is that one of them is mine. I'm not self-promoting. I also know many of the authors personally. I felt that I already knew their stories. However, I was humbled by reading their stories. I gained a new admiration and respect for the difficulty they've faced and the faith and strength they've exhibited in response. I also got to read the stories of men and women I don't know. Their stories of pain, courage, and the redeeming power of Jesus Christ stirred my heart and gave me hope.

I don't think I can fully convey how powerful and inspiring these personal stories have been in my life. They show me that my way of facing this issue is only one of many approaches. I feel uplifted and supported as I read the words of others who share similar experiences. There were so many moments where what I was reading could have been written by me. At the same time I was edified to read of the uniqueness of each author. All of our stories are different. What we share is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and a commitment to follow Him.

I want to express deep gratitude to those individuals who took the risk to share something so personal and sacred with the world. I'm sure there are many who will discount, deny, and disparage our offering. But I know that I'm not standing alone.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Voices of Hope by Ty Mansfield

So, this guy is my hero. :) I have lots of heroes. But Ty is definitely one of them. I absolutely love his courage in moving out of the victim role. He takes action for making a positive change in the world around him. I'm grateful to have the privilege of participating in his efforts.

Last week, I got my copies of Voices of Hope. I will say that I haven't read all of the personal essays yet. I have read the plenary chapters, and I am in love. I love the frank compassionate voice that comes through in all of the writing. I love the courage with which the authors teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I wish everyone I know would read this book. Individuals who experience SSA, my family, friends, priesthood leaders, everyone can benefit from the principles discussed and the love shared in this book.

I can say that for myself, a single reading is not going to be sufficient. There is so much truth and valuable insight packaged in there, that I will study and re-read. I recently read a scripture that struck me. In 2 Nephi 27:20 the Lord says "I am able to do mine own work; wherefore thou shalt read the words which I shall give unto thee."

I can truly say that the Lord has given me these words. I believe He would like to give them to you as well.