When my cousin's husband announced his book was being published and he needed people to review it, of course I jumped at the chance. Now please know, I am not an automatic lover of all things done by friends and family. When friends/family invite me to their performances, they know they are going to get my honest opinion - good or bad. Same goes for reading their books. So...
If you follow our blog much, you know I'm not a big fan of Church books. Not that I don't believe in my Church, but my testimony is my own - based upon my studies and my experience. I don't need to strengthen my testimony by reading others opinions of the gospel.
That being said, I enjoyed this book. I really did. I found myself, many times, thinking - I learned the same thing on my mission. Or, oh yes, missionaries so need to know that. Or, I want the Young Women I serve with to read this. I highlighted parts of the book. WHAT??? True story. Each chapter has a section for taking notes. Eric asks questions and you have the opportunity to answer them. I answered questions. I took notes. WHO AM I???
What did I like about the book?
- There's no beating around the bush with his message. He gives an intro of what he wants you to do while reading. He reminds you as you read. He has a summary at the end of what to do now. There's no softening up the message. Eric speaks the truth. He gives his real life experiences (good and bad.) He says things the way they are.
- I really like how he chose Paul and the book of Acts as his example of missionary work. There are many other prophets, apostles, and individuals in the scriptures who are dominantly used as examples of missionary work. I liked this change. I like learning more for myself about Paul and others in the book of Acts.
- This book was written for youth. Throughout the book, there are footnotes - some marking references for quotes, some giving additional commentary, some giving snide commentary. There may be times, if an adult reading the book, where you might think, come on, move past the snideness, this is the gospel... but this is written for youth. I currently serve with the youth. This book speaks their language, which I think is so important. You need to speak on the level of the youth if you want their attention and you want them to learn, all the while presenting the truth of your message, the importance of your message, the seriousness of your message, and the proof that you ARE still an adult and that you ARE teaching them.
If I hadn't marked it up with personal notes, I'd start passing this around to the Young Women right now. I'm just going to have to get another copy for them to pass around. This is a Church book I will actually recommend. Good on ya' Eric.
And of course, I made him sign my copy at our recent family reunion.