Monday, October 28, 2013

Book Review: Written on Our Hearts by Emily Freeman

Written on Our Hearts, by Emily Freeman
2013, 176p, Inspirational, LDS
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: Provided copy by publisher for an honest review

If you have ever found the Old Testament intimidating, you're not alone. The less-familiar history, themes, and language, coupled with the length of the book, make it a difficult read for many. But author Emily Freeman loves the Old Testament, and as she shares some of the wonderful things she has learned in her study of this book of scripture, you will find yourself coming to love it too.

Written on Our Hearts is not a commentary or an intensive doctrinal study. Instead, Emily writes about the stories of the Old Testament, stories of trusting and overcoming and enduring and believing. Within these stories are all kinds of applications for the challenges we face today.

"There will come a moment in your life," the author says, "when you or someone you love will struggle with a challenge so great you will wonder how you will make it through. In that moment you will long to better understand the Savior's role as the Deliverer, and to do that you must go to the book of scripture that describes that role the best—the Old Testament."

Discover the delivering power of the Lord yourself in the pages of this book—and experience the scriptures in a new, more personal way!

What a fabulous book and a gorgeous cover! I am definitely intimidated by the Old Testament and over the past two years have studied it more than I have in a long time. I realize I have a long way to go so I was interested to read Ms. Freeman's perspective on how the teachings contained in the Old Testament can apply to our lives today. 

The chapters are short so it's easy to read a few pages at a time. However, the information found in these short chapters can be pondered over for a long time. I needed to get through it quickly but plan to read it again more slowly so I can savor her teachings and stories.

One of my favorite stories was found in her chapter titled, "Here I Raise My Ebenezer" (p. 53-55). She said that 25 years ago, she was asked to play "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing" at a missionary homecoming and she had never heard it before. The part that says, "Here I raise my Ebenezer; Here by Thy great help I've come" didn't make sense to them so they changed the words and left out that part of the song. After the meeting, the missionary came over to thank them and then told them that they left out his favorite part of the song. They explained why they left it out and asked him what it meant. With a smile, he told them they would need to figure it out for themselves and gave a hint that it could be found in the scriptures. She found the answer in 1 Samuel 7. You'll need to read her book to see what she learned. I enjoyed this because it's also one of my favorite songs and I've never taken the time to figure out what that part meant and now it means even more to me! And I'm thinking I need my own Ebenezer.

There are many other great experiences to learn from and I'm grateful for how much she opened up and shared. Her explanations have helped me see how the lessons taught in the Old Testament can apply to me and help me find peace during the tough times. This is a book worth reading again and again and I highly recommend it to everyone! 

You can learn more about the women of the Old Testament by clicking here to take a trivia quiz.

Emily Freeman took her first creative writing class in high school and has loved writing ever since. She finds great joy in studying the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Her deep love of the scriptures comes from a desire to find their application in everyday life. She is the author of several books, including The Ten Virgins; 21 Days Closer to Christ; and The Promise of Enough. There is nothing Emily enjoys more for breakfast than a bowl of vanilla ice cream, raspberries, and chocolate chips. Other favorites include parades, vacations, firework displays, and going for a long walk with a good friend. Emily and her husband, Greg, live in Lehi, Utah, with their four children, whom she adores.


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