“Living in the Last Days: Refuge from the Storm” by Craig James Ostler is an intriguing book about the events that lead up to the Savior’s Second Coming.
The bulk of the book tries to answer the question of how members can navigate life in the last days. Though at times complicated, it is a hopeful book that focuses on how righteousness will prevail when Jesus Christ comes again.
The book starts out with how each dispensation viewed the last days. Ostler then provides detailed descriptions about specific signs. He clarifies common misconceptions about the Second Coming.
"Living in the Last Days" ends on a bright note. Ostler, who has spent the last 20 years teaching LDS Church history at Brigham Young University, states that the righteous have no need to fear and will be able to withstand the trials and tribulations that come before the Second Coming. He emphasizes the fact that the Second Coming will come quickly.
The best part of the book is the organization. It is formatted like a time line in order to make sure the reader understands the events that will happen. Each chapter and subtitle is straightforward and always supplemented with scriptures and quotes from general authorities.
One of the most poignant sections is entitled “Preparation for the Second Coming.” In this chapter, Ostler emphasizes the need for spiritual and temporal preparation. He suggests that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints prepare for natural disasters by having an appropriate amount of food storage. More importantly, members need to make sure they are leading lives of righteousness. They can do this by reading scriptures, learning from trials and seeing the good in everything.
Readers will find that a thorough reading of the book will illuminate their understanding of the Second Coming, and they may discover new ideas and concepts.
This book is not a quick read. It should be read as an additional reading supplement to the scriptures. For a true understanding of the Second Coming, readers will want to read the “Living in the Last Days: Refuge from the Storm” slowly and thoughtfully.
Shelby Scoffield is a graduate of Brigham Young University and a graduate student at California State University, Stanislaus.