Thursday, November 30, 2017

Book Review: The Holy Invitation

In the Non-Fiction Corner With Lauren

As a 25 year old, very active, service-mission-serving single female, I would basically consider myself an expert on temple prep lessons, talks, books, lectures from leaders, etc. Most of the books are same, the author telling you that there is only so much they can tell you about the temple, including a few quotes and what you can do to prepare. I was expecting something similar from Anthony Sweat in his new book "The Holy Invitation, Understanding Your Sacred Temple Endowment," but I had high hopes because he specifically says "understand your sacred temple endowment." And Sweat did exactly that.

Never before have I read a temple book the way that he presented it. He went through not only how to prepare for the endowment, but also where it came from and what it is. I enjoyed this book thoroughly, and it was such a fast read that I can't wait to enjoy it again and again.

In the first chapter, Sweat talks about how the endowment came to be. He gives the history about it, all with example from church history, and I LOVE church history. It was interesting to me that the endowment was around long before Nauvoo. Joseph Smith had to prepare and receive a little at a time. So it is with us. The author says that the endowment is being ready to enter the presence of God, and you aren't ready all at once. It takes preparation, cleanliness, covenants and knowledge, and I love how Anthony Sweat covers all of these and uses historical examples to teach.

In the next chapter the author uses a story of a man being invited to visit a king to teach what the endowment is. I was a little disappointed when I read that he would not be saying what each part of the metaphor stood for. But I was surprised to see how much I already knew about the temple and what I could gather from the story he told. I loved this part of the book, it was an excellent way to teach what the endowment is without going into too much detail. Lastly, the author applies history and the metaphor to you. He says when you are in the temple to focus on what you are feeling. You can't learn everything the first time, and you have the rest of your life to go back, so use your first time at the temple to focus on what you feel. Temple workers will help you on the way. And with that comes remembering your covenants and what you are doing in the temple.

This book reminded me again that the temple is a special place and made me even more excited to go. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is preparing or is recently endowed. Anthony Sweat is incredibly insightful and prepared to write on this topic!

Get your copy here

Here's the back copy:

The Holy Invitation offers an insightful introduction to the temple, helping young adults and new converts better comprehend the eternal truths taught in the Lord's house. This short book explores the temple experience from three different vantage points: the why, drawing upon a fictional metaphor with parallels to the temple; the what, exploring the history of the endowment; and the how, applying the metaphor, Church history, and the endowment to us. This three-part approach allows readers to learn in a way that relates best to them individually and helps those who are new to the temple have a richer, deeper temple experience with room for continued growth. As illustrated by metaphor, history, and application, the Lord extends to each one of us a holy invitation: an invitation to enter His temple, to learn of Him and His ways, and to prepare to come back into His presence.

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