Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Addendum

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.