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Elder Dallin H. Oaks teaches life lessons in new book

TODAY: 'Life's Lessons Learned,' by Elder Dallin H. Oaks

Published: Thursday, Sept. 29 2011 5:00 a.m. MDT

"LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED," by Dallin H. Oaks, Deseret Book, $19.99, 165 pages

LDS apostle Dallin H. Oaks wrote his new book, "Life's Lessons Learned," despite resolving that he would not write another book.

A spiritual prompting changed his mind.

"I felt a strong impression to write this book about lessons learned in my life's experiences that might be helpful to others," Elder Oaks wrote in the book's introduction. "I have felt to share personal experiences that illustrate what and how I have learned principles that have shaped my life and teachings, including some things of the heart not previously shared. … This is an autobiography of learning and application rather than a compendium of doctrine."

Elder Oaks' book will be available at Deseret Book and other LDS bookstores on Sept. 30.

In the 38 chapters, one of the most compelling lessons is shared in Chapter 2, where Elder Oaks writes about his father's death in 1940. After establishing a thriving medical practice in Twin Falls, Idaho, his father was diagnosed with tuberculosis. Despite their faith, prayers and many priesthood blessings, Elder Oaks' father died. The principle Elder Oaks' mother gradually learned was summarized in bold letters at the end of the chapter: "Neither faith nor priesthood power can invoke a blessing that is contrary to the will of the Lord."

Among his many observations, Elder Oaks describes being raised by a widowed mother, losing his wife to cancer, presiding over BYU, sitting on the Utah Supreme Court and being remarried.

Elder Oaks summarizes each chapter with a principle — the lesson he learned from each experience. His book is organized in three sections: To 1971; Brigham Young University and the Utah Supreme Court, 1971 to 1984; and general authority, 1984 to present.

"I have always admired persons who could teach persuasively from an abundance of personal experiences, but this has been so difficult for me that I have rarely been able to do it," Elder Oaks wrote in the introduction. "Now I feel I must do so. Fortunately, I have the model of other apostles who have written books that teach from many personal experiences."

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