Ever since I returned home from my mission, I have become a huge reader.
Before my mission, you wouldn't ever catch me with a book that I was reading just for fun.
But on the mission, I gained a love for reading a really good book.
Now, I am not as good as I should be about reading church books, and other legitimately "educational books", as I love my Hunger Games, Divergent, type of books.
However, I made it a goal to always have a worthwhile book going while reading my other "fluff" books.
Well, this weekend I did something I have NEVER done before, and that was I spent almost the whole weekend, meaning saturday morning, saturday evening, after church sunday till 4:00 this morning reading a book that has changed my life.
It is the Biography of President Henry B. Eyring
"I Will Lead You Along"
500+ pages later and I have more love, admiration, respect, and confidence in him, and his inspired calling to be serving in the Presidency.
He is an incredible man.
His book is real.
It shows his struggles, his shortcomings, his concerns and his fears.
It shows his strengths, his passions, his accomplishments, and his desires.
His desires are so pure, and his testimony is so strong.
His humility in the face of trial amazes me, and yet it didn't surprise me.
He didn't get married till he was 28 (I believe, it was his later 20s), and it shared his longing for a family. He longed for a family of redheaded kids, and it talks candidly about whenever he was faced with temptations or trials, he would think so himself, "The redheads expect more of me than that"
He had gone to a prestigious university, gotten his education, received multiple job offers and served in many callings before he met his wife, and got married.
This book gave me hope in the idea, that even someone as good and faithful and honest and true as President Eyring, didn't get married till later.
He had to learn time and time again how the spirit prompted him, and spoke with him.
He had times when he struggled to find a solid balance between work, church, and social obligations.
He had fears about his worthiness and wondering if he was living up to the Lord's standards.
He wondered if his service in the church was adequate at times.
He struggled to get answers to prayers sometimes
In a lot of ways, when I read his story about his younger years, I saw in him a little of me. Similar fears. Similar crossroads of life at times. Similar desires and wants and goals. Similar concerns about who I'm becoming and how I can better please my Savior.
While I will never be on his level spiritually, it was so comforting to see that someone who I love and respect and look up to has been through similar things, and the Lord molded him and entrusted him to be a key part of his work here today.
It strengthened my desire to be good. It strengthened my love of the Lord, as it testified strongly throughout the book of his plan and his goodness in the life of President Eyring. I was able to see similar experiences in my life where I can more fully acknowledge the hand of the Lord.
In a lot of ways, my heart has been softened and my testimony strengthened as I came to know and love President Eyring, and even his wife, more intimately.
I'm not even fully able to put into words how amazing this book is, or really why it's so great.
But if you want to come to know and love President Eyring, (and because of the stories, a lot of the members of the Quorum of the 12, and the First Presidency) on a whole new level, read this book.
Hopefully you can feel a little of what I feel, and help you see the Lord's hand in this marvelous work.
I didn't know this book would help me want to sustain him more completely, and obey his counsel more perfectly, but it did.
Seriously. It will be worth every second of your time.