Book review: Emily Freeman helps readers draw closer to Christ in 'Becoming His'

By James Holt

For the Deseret News

Published: Sunday, Nov. 4 2012 5:00 a.m. MST

"BECOMING HIS: A Daily Journey Toward Discipleship," by Emily Freeman, Deseret Book, $21.99, 211 pages (nf)

Emily Freeman's new book "Becoming His: A Daily Journey Toward Discipleship" is surprisingly candid and fresh in its approach to help readers draw closer to Jesus Christ. There are various books about discipleship that have the power to transform a reader's relationship with Christ. One of the most compelling being Dietrich Bonhoeffer's "Cost of Discipleship," but these usually transform through the reader's interaction with the reading and the promptings they bring. They do not often suggest a road map that some people may see as a very personal relationship.

Freeman, however, recognizes this in her introduction where she says, "In and of themselves the simple words that fill these pages cannot offer you the hope, courage, or strength you seek. But the Savior can." Freeman continues a theme that has been evident throughout general conferences of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during the past few years — that of the process of becoming. And most especially becoming Christ's, belonging to him and finding safety in the bosom of his love.

The book is split into 12 chapters to help the reader focus on a different "becoming" for a month. In doing so, Freeman is reiterating her desire and belief that this book is not an end in itself, rather a step on the path of becoming. Each of the chapters suggests a different attribute to develop, a different character trait as we place ourselves in Jesus Christ's care. Chapters such as becoming a builder and who you might have been engage readers in the process of examining their relationship with Christ and who they should be.

The book brings insights from scriptures and talks from church leaders that might not have been previously envisaged. It really is a help on the way to becoming a better disciple of Christ as Freeman invites readers to consider, ponder and become — a very similar process to learn, act and serve in the Duty to God program. As readers engage not just with the book but ponder the implications for their own lives and learn the mechanics and purpose of discipleship, they can be both instructed and transformed.

Through "Becoming His: A Daily Journey Toward Discipleship" readers are given a boost and insights as to how their relationship with Jesus Christ can be better developed.

James Holt is a senior lecturer in religious education at the University of Chester, UK. He occasionally blogs at www.101poundstolose.wordpress.com and www.theseplates.blogspot.com and can be contacted at james.holt@chester.ac.uk

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