Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Thin, Readable Volume Motivates, Prepares Potential Missionaries

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Whether they are fresh-faced teenagers or wrinkled senior citizens, there is one thing all Mormon missionaries have in common—their zeal.  Even on the difficult days, they carry an enthusiasm for the work they've been called to do.  They're strong, they're faithful, they're true.  You may not be able to fathom why a person—especially one in the prime of his/her life—would give up 18 months to 2 years to pound the pavement looking for people to teach about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but you can't deny the power of their testimonies.  They believe with a fervor that is plain to see and invigorating to feel.

Because serving a mission is such a monumental and life-changing experience, it's not surprising that many books have been written on the subject.  Benjamin Hyrum White, a seminary teacher in Orem, Utah, adds to the collection with 10 Questions to Answer While Preparing for a Mission. The aim of the book is to "motivate ... and sincerely prepare [you, the missionary] for the most rigorous and most rewarding stretch of service up to this point in your lives" (xii).  To that end, White asks 10 critical questions, including Am I Ready to Work Hard for Over Sixty Hours a Week?  Am I Clean and Worthy to Represent the Lord?    Do I Have An 'Eye Single to the Glory of God'?  And, most importantly, Do I Have a Testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?  Using scriptural passages, quotes from General Authorities and personal experiences, White dissects each topic, suggesting ways in which potential missionaries can ensure an answer of Yes to each question asked.  

While the information given in the book is nothing new, it does provide an excellent road map for those planning to serve missions.  It's also straightforward, upbeat and encouraging.  My favorite part about this slim volume is actually its structure—it's broken up into short chapters, making it quick and readable, even for those who do not enjoy reading.  The small, thin book is also the perfect size for tucking inside a scripture case for easy, convenient gospel study.  A few copy editing errors keep 10 Questions from being truly polished; nevertheless, I recommend handing it to LDS teenagers especially, as it will help inspire and prepare them for one of the most powerful experiences of their lives: their missions.

(Readalikes:  I haven't read any other books on this subject, but I know they're out there!)

Grade:  B

If this were a movie, it would be rated:  G for nothing offensive

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of 10 Questions to Answer While Preparing for a Mission from the generous Benjamin Hyrum White.  Thank you (for the book and the nickname)!   

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