To My Friends: Messages of Counsel and Comfort by Jeffrey R. Holland
“If you need a burden lifted, I want you to imagine I am in a personal, private, closed-door chat with you. I want to help you if I can.” With those words, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland invites every reader of his latest book to become a friend, to receive instruction and encouragement, counsel and comfort.
Elder Holland addresses these powerful messages “to my friends who love the Lord,” “to my friends who want to change,” “to my friends who face opposition,” and more. Each chapter begins with a beautifully designed quotation to help convey the message in an artistic way, making the book a lovely gift for friends to share. Throughout, Elder Holland’s powerful witness of the Savior shines through, for, as he writes, “I am grateful for the greatest friend any of us could ever have, in time or eternity, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Note: This is a collection of previously published addresses.
I love Elder Holland. He’s one of my favorite General Conference speakers, and many of his best Conference talks are included in this collection. The Ministry of Angels is a comforting reminder that God will send angels during our time of need, and a call to find opportunities to be earthly angels ourselves. Like A Broken Vessel was one of the first talks that addressed the stigma of mental illness. And None Were With Him is one of the most beautiful, intimate views into the life of Jesus Christ. Each of the addresses in this collection is worth revisiting, pondering, and applying in our lives.
However, I am concerned about a recent trend that I see happening. Like Elder Packer’s book, A Refuge from the Storm, I expected a book with new material that addressed today’s concerns. Like Elder Packer’s book, I instead found this to be a compilation of earlier addresses. That would be fine if there had been anything in the marketing materials — the book jacket, book description, press release, etc. — that clarified this. Instead, the description seems to be intentionally misleading. I have no problem with the General Authorities of the Church profiting by sharing their wisdom and counsel, but I would have hoped that Deseret Book would have chosen more transparency.
If you love Elder Holland and would like to have a collection of his talks conveniently in one place, then this would be a great book for you. However, you could also just as easily search LDS.org for the same material and more.
About the Author:
Jeffrey R. Holland was called as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in June 1994. A native of St. George, Utah, he received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree and PhD in American Studies from Yale University. In 1974 he became dean of Religious Education at BYU and two years later was named Church Commissioner of Education. In 1980 he was appointed president of BYU, where he served until he was sustained as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy in 1989. Elder Holland is the author of several books, including Broken Things to Mend and Christ and the New Covenant. He and his wife, Patricia, have three children and thirteen grandchildren.