For LDS author Fran C. Hafen, President Russell M. Nelson's general conference talk "Joy and Spiritual Survival" sparked a personal journey of seeking to understand the nature of joy and experience it more fully in day-to-day life.
"Rejoice! How to Find and Keep the Savior's Joy," Hafen's second book, is the result. Hafen explores the concept of joy, how it comes, why it comes and how to receive LDS Church President Nelson's promise of joy regardless of our life's circumstances.
Hafen's pattern for joy follows a progressive pyramidal pattern of principles of the gospel, including obedience, sacrifice, hard work and selflessness. However, in the end she finds that experiencing the Savior's joy largely depends on the quality of our relationships with our earthly and heavenly families.
Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, she describes how can become more "at-one" with heavenly parents, the Savior, spouse, children and fellow members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Readers will appreciate Hafen's down-to-earth prose, her use of stories to illustrate principles, and her love and compassion toward those struggling with both intense disappointments and more prosaic trials. While the concept of unconditional joy can seem tone-deaf when taught wrong, Hafen strikes a balance of sympathy and encouragement.
Hafen is a returned Mormon missionary, a wife, mother and Brigham Young University alumnus. She is also the author of "Joy Cometh in the Morning," a testimony of the joys of healing from the loss of her first child.
Rachel Chipman reads fewer books than she would like, but her preferred reading schedule would not leave time for much else. She lives with two little bookworms and one grown-up bookworm in northern Virginia.