a child, I loved to read. Actually, that doesn’t describe the
insatiable appetite I had for books. I devoured them. I couldn’t
get enough. When my mom sent me to clean my room, more often than not
I would take a “break” and relax into a good book (hours
later, my room still wasn’t clean!). At the time I thought I
was getting away with something; now I suspect that more than once my
mom (who valued good books herself) quietly let me read for a while.
favorites, like the seven books in the Chronicles
I read again and again. Recently I reread some of these books as an
adult, and I was surprised to see how they had influenced me —
how the truths in them had shaped my life and become part of me.
modern revelation, we’re invited to “become acquainted
with all good books” (D&C 90:15) and to “seek …
out of the best books words of wisdom” (D&C 88:118). I
admit that these are two of my favorite scriptural admonitions. But
in our busy lives it can be a major challenge to find time to read.
with a little creativity and a willingness not to make excuses, most
of us can find time that works for us. For instance, I read while
working out on the treadmill. Not only does it make the workout more
enjoyable, but I’m exercising my mind. Also, thanks to modern
technology, I can usually read for a few minutes on my Evo tablet
after the lights are out and I’m in bed.
times may work for you, but here’s this week’s challenge:
make reading a good book a priority. Figure out a time, even if it’s
just for 10 minutes, and then do it. If you’re looking for some
ideas for books to read, here are a few of my top favorites.
doesn’t love books that take us on a hero’s journey?
Whether fictional or non-fictional, these books inspire us with
courage for our own life’s journey:
by Charlotte Brontë Besides
offering a fascinating look at life in 19th
century England, this book offers an imperfect but courageous heroine
who’s willing to sacrifice profoundly to be true to God and her
by Catherine Marshall Based
on the experiences of Catherine’s mother, this book tells the
story of Christy Huddleston. Raised in affluence, Christy accepts a
teaching post at a backwoods mission. The book’s faith and
humor make it both uplifting and delightful, even as it tackles some
of the hard questions of life.
There Was Light,
by Jacques Lusseyran This
autobiography is about courage on two levels: Jacques was blinded as
a child and learned to see in a new way. Then, as a teen, he was one
of several leaders in an underground resistance movement against
Hitler until they were betrayed and he was sent to a concentration
camp. His story is all the more riveting because it really happened.
I love the following
books because they invite me to think about spiritual things,
including my spiritual progress:
by C. S. Lewis In
this allegory, a fantasy of the afterlife, a bus leaves heaven each
day to invite those in the lower regions to come experience the
higher realm. Many aren’t even willing to accept the offer, and
those who do usually end up taking the bus back down. Their
experiences offer insights into the excuses we may make as we
sabotage our own happiness.
by John H. Groberg You’re
probably most familiar with Elder Groberg from the book and movie,
Other Side of Heaven,
based on his experiences as a young missionary. This book continues
his inspiring story as he and his family go where the Lord calls
them, anytime, anywhere.
by Dennis Rasmussen This
gentle, poetic book is hard to read quickly, because each sentence
invites introspection and pondering on questions the Lord asks us
through the scriptures.
that Bring Miracles,
by Stephen M Bird. The
central message of this book is effective prayer, and it’s
filled with memorable (and well-documented) stories to encourage
readers to make their prayers more meaningful. This is a book you’ll
want to read more than once.
Finally, since all of us
experience sorrow and loss in our lives, here are several books that
have given me strength in dark times and hope in grief:
by C. S. Lewis Lewis
had strengthened the faith of many, but his own deep faith was put to
the test after the death of his wife, Joy. In these journal excerpts,
he shares his experience of coping with and growing through loss.
the Lord, Have Seen Thy Sorrow,”
by Ruth Davidson Although
this book is written specifically to help spouses dealing with
infidelity, its Christ-centered approach is deeply helpful in dealing
with other kinds of betrayal and pain as well.
to SEE: A Journey of Struggle and Hope,
by Mary Beth Chapman Personal,
vulnerable and profound, this book recounts the experience of Mary
Beth Chapman and her family after the death of her beloved daughter
in an accident. (See A
Different Kind of Stewardship