Author: Brad Wilcox
Release Date: March 2013
Publisher: Deseret Book
Brad Wilcox states:
I wrote this book because I know too many people who are giving up! One discouraged friend said, "I can't do this Mormon thing. I've tried, and the expectations are just way too high." … I know returned missionaries who spent their entire missions teaching about the Atonement, but now they have made some mistakes and feel like the Atonement won't work for them. I know people who have gone to the temple to be sealed and then never returned. I know others who are feeling burned out in their callings. Too many Latter-day Saints feel like they will never measure up. I wanted to write something that will provide hope and motivation next time we or those we love are tempted to toss in the towel. I wanted to write something that would remind people why we do what we do and that it's worth it--not because of all we are earning, but because of all we are learning. Instead of just going through the motions, I wanted people to read this book and once again feel the emotions of discipleship. That's what they are missing. Whether the challenge is getting more out of the temple endowment or dealing with callings or juggling the many aspects of our lives and feeling like we are dropping too many balls, I wanted to provide a shot in the arm.
"I can't do this Mormon thing," a friend told Brad Wilcox. "I've tried, and the expectations are just way too high." And she's not alone in her thinking. Many people, as they feel themselves falling short of perfection, are tempted to quit trying. But are there only two options? Think of it this way: When a person is learning to play the piano, are the only two options performing at Carnegie Hall or quitting? Similarly, in mortality, are the only two choices being perfect or giving up? "No," writes Brad Wilcox. "Growth and development take time. Learning takes practice. Discipleship is a journey, and true conversion is a continuous process." In this hope-filled book, Brad shares his keen understanding and testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ as it relates to our own conversion. Conversion occurs, he says, "when we stop trying to earn heaven and start trying to learn it. . . As we take each little step to show faith, repent, make and live covenants, seek the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end, we are not paying our way into heaven. We are practicing for it."
This is one of those books that needs to be read and then re-read over and over again.
Packed with so much information and guidance it will help someone seeking to truly convert to the gospel of Jesus Christ...not only to the gospel, but convert to Jesus Christ.
I love all the examples and stories within these pages.
I also love the way Brother Wilcox teaches and the little phrases he uses; for example:
"Heaven is not a prize for the perfect, but the future home of all who are willing to be perfected."
"We send missionaries to the Missionary Training Center, God has sent us to the Exaltation Training Center"
"True conversion is not instantaneous, it is continuous."
"Some Latter-day Saints go through all the right motions without feeling any of the emotions. They settle for rule following instead of religion, for obedience and sacrifice instead of consecration, for testimony instead of conversion, and for cultural Mormonism instead of the soul-transforming fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is time for a little zeal with our knowledge."
My very favorite section is where Brother Wilcox writes about "I'm afraid that when all the lessons on simplifying, prioritizing, and balancing are over I am left with only one option--juggling."
And as we juggle all we have been asked to do, if we go about doing God's work, and continue on the path to conversion, He will let us know which balls to keep in the air and which balls to let drop to the ground.
"The journey of conversion can seem daunting unless we remember that we are not alone."
About the Author:
Brad Wilcox is an associate professor in the department of Teacher Education at Brigham Young University, where he also works with programs such as Especially for Youth and Campus Education Week. As a young man, he served his mission in Chile, and he was later called back to that country to preside over the Chile Santiago East Mission from 2003 to 2003. He currently serves as a member of the Sunday School general board.
Brad is the author of the bestselling book The Continuous Atonement and the BYU devotional “His Grace Is Sufficient.” He and his wife, Debi, are the parents of four children and grandparents of three.