Book Review: 'The Voice of My Servants' useful resource

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 18 2011 7:00 a.m. MST

“The Voice of My Servants: Apostolic Messages on Teaching, Learning, and Scripture,” edited by Scott C. Esplin and Richard Neitzel Holzapfel, Deseret Book, 246 pages, $23.99

“The Voice of My Servants: Apostolic Messages on Teaching, Learning, and Scripture” is a noteworthy ollection of discourses from members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the First Presidency of the LDS Church.

While some small commentary is offered in the introduction, the editors leave the addresses untouched, allowing the reader to learn directly from these special servants of the Lord. The book is organized according to subject, with focuses on gospel teaching, personal learning and application of the scriptures.

President Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, emphasizes how improved communication allows the Spirit to operate more effectively; President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency, counsels teachers to help their students to take the gospel into their hearts; and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor, speaks of the challenges and opportunities presented by the many cultures represented in the modern global church.

For those working with youth, Elder Richard G. Scott, of the Quorum of the Twelve, offers counsel on teaching by the Spirit to help students come unto Christ, while the late President Gordon B. Hinckley challenges educators to grow in knowledge, spirit and love, and the late Elder Bruce R. McConkie discusses the place of teaching within the Lord’s gospel plan.

Regarding gospel learning, President Boyd K. Packer, president of the Quorum of the Twelve, reiterates the importance of the home as a spiritual foundation and refuge, and Elder Dallin H. Oaks, of the Quorum of the Twelve, focuses on the purpose and importance of personal revelation. Elder Robert D. Hales, also of the Quorum of the Twelve, encourages readers to make gospel learning a lifelong endeavor, giving helpful insight on how to do so.

Using the experience of the brother of Jared as an example, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, of the Quorum of the Twelve, discusses how we can “rend the veil of unbelief” in our own lives, and Elder David A. Bednar, also of the Quorum of the Twelve, contrasts teaching by the Spirit and learning by faith, focusing on the latter.

Elder Russell M. Nelson, of the Quorum of the Twelve, examines the witnesses of Christ found in the Old Testament and connects it with the modern gathering of Israel, and Elder D. Todd Christofferson, also of the Quorum of the Twelve, demonstrates the importance of bringing the sacramental covenants into our daily lives.

An essay from the late President James E. Faust shows how the New Testament improves our understanding of the Savior and the gospel as a whole, while Elder Neal A. Maxwell analyzes the role of the Book of Mormon as a witness of Jesus Christ.

The table of contents allows for quick navigation by subject, title and speaker. An index in the back makes easy reference for return readers seeking specific quotes.

“The Voice of My Servants” is an excellent resource for any student of the gospel. Those seeking to become more effective teachers or simply wanting to improve their own gospel learning and understanding will particularly appreciate this book.

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