"A PERFECT BRIGHTNESS OF HOPE," by David S. Baxter, Deseret Book, $24.99, 143 pages (nf)
Elder David S. Baxter uses examples from his own past in his book "A Perfect Brightness of Hope" to teach that hope in the future helps change one’s life for the better.
Elder Baxter, of the Quorum of the Seventy for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was born in Scotland. His parents divorced when he was 5 years old. His mother remarried twice in his childhood, to two trying stepfathers — one chronically unemployed and the other an alcoholic. Both men brought his family poverty and caused him to be taken from his home by the state on more than one occasion.
Elder Baxter was baptized into the LDS Church just before he turned 13 and called it one of the golden threads he held onto in times of darkness. His trials didn’t end with adulthood: A failed business investment left his family in serious debt, an accident severely burned his infant son, and he fought a tough battle with brain cancer.
Elder Baxter tells how he overcame all these trials through supportive teachers, an amazing wife, and, most importantly, Jesus Christ.
However, he teaches in this book that no success in life is possible without hope, for “without hope we are ever at the mercy of events if there is no hope for a better world, individuals stop trying to create it.” He writes that hope is not something to sit and think about, but to get up and work for.
This beautiful sermon on the power of Christ’s Atonement provides hope despite all odds. Elder Baxter demonstrates he is no stranger to the miseries of this world and can truly empathize with his readers. He shares his advice gained from hard-earned experience on how to find hope in the midst of adversity.