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Elder Holland's book offers help in finding spiritual solace from the Psalms

Published: Thursday, Dec. 6 2012 5:00 a.m. MST

"FOR TIMES OF TROUBLE: Spiritual Solace from The Psalms," by Jeffrey R. Holland, Deseret Book, $24.99, 242 pages (nf)

It's some of the most poetic, compelling and quoted scripture in the world.

"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want," opens the 23rd Psalm. "He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside still waters. ..."

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve says anyone can find reassurance or courage in those beautiful verses.

"The twenty-third Psalm has universal appeal in the comfort it gives to those who have faced — or are still facing — these trials and tribulations of life," Elder Holland wrote. "This Psalm is for parents with rebellious children, for soldiers going to war, and for someone who is just getting out of jail. Whatever our need, it shows God personally and actively involved in our lives."

The 23rd Psalm is one of many such verses discussed in Elder Holland's new book, "For Times of Trouble: Spiritual Solace from The Psalms."

While Heavenly Father wants his children to be happy, everyone will inevitably face opposition. To find peace and inspiration, Elder Holland draws on the Psalms, the book most quoted by ancient apostles, for a powerful perspective into the eternal design of the trials and tribulations that often consume people's day-to-day lives. Elder Holland says a large percentage of the Psalms in the Bible were written for times of trouble.

"One of the unfailing facts of mortal life is the recurring presence of trouble," Elder Holland wrote in the book. "When these difficult days and nights come, and they will, it will help us to remember that 'it must needs be,' that in the grand councils of heaven before the world was, we agreed to such a time of challenge and refinement."

The book is divided into three parts: First, Elder Holland's personal reflections of some of his favorite Psalms; second, his writings specifically on Messianic Psalms; and his thoughts on the 23rd Psalm.

The book includes 10 full-color layouts of scriptural images and a DVD featuring more than two hours of Elder and Sister Pat Holland at a question-and-answer session.

Elder Holland was called to serve as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1994. Prior to his call, Elder Holland served as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' commissioner of education and was later appointed as president of Brigham Young University in 1980. He received degrees from BYU and a Ph.D. in American studies from Yale University.

Email: ttoone@desnews.com Twitter: tbtoone

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