Monday, August 19, 2013

Book Review: Face to Face by S. Michael Wilcox

Face to Face, by S. Michael Wilcox
2013, 154p, LDS, Inspirational
My Rating=5 stars
Source: Provided copy by publisher for an honest review

“And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend” (Exodus 33:11).

Is it possible to talk with God as Moses did—face to face? This is not only what we long for, but what God also ardently desires. For Moses that may have meant an actual physical encounter, but for most of us it is an expression that suggests friendship, open communication, honesty, and the conversations of familiarity. But how is that done? And how can we learn how God speaks to us individually? Bestselling author S. Michael Wilcox explores the scriptural expressions and concepts of “pouring out,” “wrestling,” being “filled with desire,” and “knocking” at the door Jesus promised would open to us— particularly in those times when we deeply need heaven to hear us and to confirm to our souls that more than our words are being received

Michael Wilcox is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors! I've currently only read one other book of his, When Your Prayers Seem Unanswered, which I reviewed when I first started my blog, and there are many others I want to read. You can read my review of When Your Prayers Seem Unanswered HERE. When I saw this book available for review, I was excited to read another one of his books, and it didn't disappoint!

He poses the question of what do we do when we feel that prayer is not enough. We need to change the formula which will shift us into a new mind-set. His formula consists of six things we need to do and the names of his chapters are: (1) Reaching Through Pouring Out, (2) Reaching Through Wrestling, (3) Reaching Through Believing, (4) Reaching Through Acting, (5) Reaching Through Desire and (6) Reaching Through Acting.

In the first chapter, Reaching Through Pouring Out, he shares several examples in the scriptures where people poured out their hearts to God and how this suggests a little more then simply praying. Pouring out suggests there will be no holding back and doing this can bring relief to our souls. As we pour out our hearts to God, God is able to pour in the things we need. This applies to both the good and bad in our lives (confusion, anxiety, gratitude, joy, etc.). While reading this section, I realized that I had a situation I was feeling anxious about and I felt I needed to pour out my heart to God, so I did. I let God know every care, concern and thought I had on the issue and didn't finish until there was nothing left. I felt such relief and comfort that all was going to be okay. Pouring out doesn't need to be done daily but should be done frequently. Since I have other situations where I need to pour out my heart (yes, there are good things, too), I think I have this covered for a very long time. Here's a video where he explains this concept and tells a great family story:

In his Reaching Through Wrestling section, he tells of two areas of the gospel that he has wrestled with and how he came to receive a testimony of each of them. "I think often of the interior of the soul as a beautiful building held up by masterfully carved pillars that represent those irreplaceable truths we all fervently wish to know with unshakable firmness." (p. 71) Sometimes the doctrines we wrestle with become some of our strongest pillars to hold our testimonies in place.

There's lots of other inspiring and motivating information in this book; I have touched on a small portion of what you will get when you read this. This is another one of those books that isn't long but it's full of meat so it's not a short read, either. He speaks so eloquently and presents the information in a coherent way. I know I didn't understand everything he talked about so I will get even more out of it the next time I read it. This is a book that I highly recommend reading!!

About the Author

S. Michael Wilcox received his PhD from the University of Colorado and taught for many years at the LDS Institute of Religion adjacent to the University of Utah. He has spoken to packed crowds at BYU Education Week and has hosted tours to the Holy Land and to Church history sites. He has served in a variety of callings, including as bishop and counselor in a stake presidency. He has written many articles and books, including House of Glory, Sunset, 10 Great Souls I Want to Meet in Heaven, and Finding Hope. He and his late wife, Laurie, are the parents of five children.

(Note: This book won't be available for Kindle until September 5, 2013 but is available in hardcover now)


Custom Lives said...

To Michael Wilcox,
I went to your class on Friday 2015: vision of Joseph Smith: Piercing the Veil. You talked about wouldn't it be nice to see the opening of the Red Sea or fire coming down from heaven or the healing of the lame and blind and leaper. Why don't we have those things now? And I responded in my mind, because they did it to me and they put me in jail for it. You talked about that we only needed one parting of the Red Sea so that was why. The reason is that the spirit can't do that kind of miraculous thing when men do what they did to me. "Miracles Come by Faith" is the impression I had on walking out of the Marriot Center to address this to you.. if men do not have faith, they destroy people who choose to believe. In Utah in this day, there isn't that kind of faith.. I am listing my testimony I wrote years ago, one of them.. it's the one I found easily, sorry it was long. It was in November of 2011 that I wrote it. I've been thrown off church property by a bishop firstly who decided I was quite "seriously mentally ill" and took my recommend where
I had the red light go on at the SL temple and was thereafter thrown off church property and again a 2nd time. The first was as a poor person at the Riverton Office where I had asked someone if they could spare 3$, the first and only time as I was concerned my tank would not last long enough to get to where I was going.. next time I showed up there, I was thrown off being told never to return by a relative of Packer, I'm sure who was a guard there.. I saw in my mind the Savior up above the building which a frown (more than frown).. extreme sorrow.. on what they (men) were choosing. If people don't believe they're given whatever they choose to want to believe and the spirit withdraws.. because of what I had gone through for believing the Church to be true..

Custom Lives said...

trying to get that through to Michael, didn't really mean to have it published online.. Rhonda

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