Faith and a Life Jacket: 7 Truths for your Eternal Mission, by Ben Bernards
2016, 128p, LDS Non-Fiction
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not affect my review in any way
Don’t just be prepared–be prepared well. Ben Bernards, popular youth speaker, presents this adventurous book of seven guiding rules and lessons to help train a new generation of missionaries. These invaluable lessons, from God’s measure of success to unexpected difficulties in the field, will apply to any missionary’s call, readying them for the great and challenging experiences of the Lord’s work.
I wasn't familiar with Ben Bernards, but after reading his book, I can see why he is a popular EFY/youth speaker. He served his mission in Fiji and has some very interesting stories dealing with the tribes there. He shares seven truths he has learned, which not only apply to mission life, but will help in any situation, no matter your age or circumstance. What I loved about this book is that each chapter was my favorite, until I read the next one. I definitely learned something in each chapter that will help me in my life today. I did serve a mission to Canada many years ago. Our experiences were different, but there are some things about mission life that are the same, no matter when or where you serve. I'm not sure anyone ever feels completely prepared for the reality of mission life (I base this on my own, non-scientific poll of returned missionaries over the years), but this is a book that will certainly give prospective missionaries a taste of what it will be like. Anyone can apply the truths in this book to be happier and live a more fulfilling life. I enjoyed his conversational writing style, along with the stories, quotes, scriptures and overall great advice. This is the type of book that families can read and study together. It's a book I highly recommend reading!
Ben Bernards grew up in a big Mormon family in a small farming town in the heart of Utah County where he and his eight brothers and sisters were raised on a steady diet of Nintendo, Transformers, Dungeons & Dragons, and Star Wars. He geeks out on all that plus everything marching band, Marvel, and Tolkien (his autographed edition of Lord of the Rings is pretty much the coolest.)
He loves teaching youth the Gospel of Jesus Christ, whether it be in Seminary, Sunday School, at youth conferences or EFY. He served a mission on the Fiji Islands where he survived cyclones, rampaging natives, and swarms of giant bats while living in a hut in the jungle. (He still hasn’t convinced his wife to go back and visit.)