Review: How Do I Know if I Know by John Bytheway


I cannot say enough about this book. Seriously I can't.

I read this book with my two teenagers. It was a really good experience as we were able to read and talk about testimony and how we know if we have one and how to recognize the parts of a testimony. There are so many easy-to-understand analogies that help make testimony an understandable thing instead of something abstract that we hear about but often can't define except in more abstracts.

I was also able to share a couple of things with my missionary daughter that are helpful to investigators who aren't sure where they're at on their road to conversion.

There is some humor and sarcasm, although it's a little cheesy, but that isn't what makes this book so readable. I love that it took abstract ideas and gave them concrete ways to understand them. A couple of my favorites involved the lights of a Christmas tree and a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle. When you read the book, you'll see what I mean. LOVED those two analogies and they're so pertinent today.

This is a book I think every family with teenagers should read together. It opens up conversation about testimony and it's a great launching pad for more gospel study as each chapter ends with suggested reading that includes conference talks and excerpts from other books. I also think this would be a great book for anyone who is having doubts or questions about their faith and who wonder if they still have a testimony.

I really loved this book and recommend it as enthusiastically as possible.

Review: Crucible of Doubt by Terryl and Fiona Givens

I must admit I'm really struggling with this review and even debated not doing a review at all, but I think it deals with an important subject and the book was full of good information, so I'm going to share it with you and hope I don't turn anyone away from the book that could use it.

I'm a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon). I've had personal experiences that anchor me in the gospel and and make me a firm believer in Jesus Christ. I've experienced the joy that comes from sharing the good news of the gospel with others, both on my mission and in my regular life. I'm always so excited when I see someone have their life blessed and improved by gaining faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ. I've also experienced the sadness and frustration that comes with people I care about leaving the church because their questions aren't answered in a way that satisfies them.

This book was written for those people who have questions that test their faith and for that, I applaud the authors. I found the way they addressed some of those questions fascinating. BUT maybe I'm just not as bright as I like to think I am, and maybe this book is written for people far more intellectual than I am, because I felt like it was hard to read. I found myself having to re-read things just to understand what the authors were saying. My fear is that it might be too difficult for many people to get through. On the other hand, it might be perfect for intellectual, deep thinkers, who pore over what they read in a different way than me. So maybe it's exactly what some questioners need. I just struggled.

I do feel there's a place for a book like this, I just wish it would have felt more accessible to little old me. In spite of that, I'd absolutely recommend it to my super-smart friends and family who struggle with faith. You know who you are.

Review: Focused by Noelle Pikus-Pace

I'm a huge fan of the Olympics. If you want to know where I am during the two+ weeks of both the summer and the winter games, you'll most likely find me in front of the television watching whatever I can. During the winter games, you'll find me rabidly caring about biathlon, cross-country skiing, figure skating, ski jumping, snowboarding, curling, and yes, skeleton.

I was thrilled this last winter to discover that one of our leading skeleton athletes was a bright, happy woman who's practically my neighbor. I'd have been cheering for her no matter what, but that fact made me even more excited. And then I saw her YW medallion and I was even more excited.

Noelle Pikus Pace didn't let us down in any regard. I cried as she climbed into the stands to celebrate her accomplishment with her family.

This book reads part memoir, part inspirational speaker, and all heart. I loved it. Really, really loved it. Each chapter was made up of lessons she learned and it read like an exciting novel. I have to admit, I cried again as I read and experienced vicariously her disappointments, her insecurities, her courage, and her successes.

This is great reading for anyone, but if you've got a daughter, especially a teenage daughter, I'd absolutely recommend this book.

What a blessing it is to have good, solid, strong, courageous, REAL women to look up to.