Blessed by Newell and Woodger

January 26, 2019

About “Blessed”

As Jesus Christ prepared His faithful followers to teach the doctrine of the gospel, He presented perhaps His best-known discourse: the Sermon on the Mount. This profound address is directed to all those who seek to be His disciples, with powerful instruction as to the personal conduct necessary for living a Christ-centered life. And at the heart of this sermon are the Beatitudes, guidelines of the character traits and holy attributes that can serve as a guide for developing disciples. But how can these attributes be interpreted and attained in today’s modern world? In Blessed: The Beatitudes and the Christlike Life, best-selling authors Lloyd D. newell and Mary Jane Woodger delve into each characteristic the Savior spoke of, providing powerful, real-life examples, scriptures, and prophetic insights detailing ways in which modern-day disciples of Christ can cultivate these eternal attributes. Those seeking the path of discipleship will find in this volume a thoughtful and inspiring guide to internalizing the timeless truths of the Beatitudes in our day.

About the Authors

Lloyd D. Newell holds an MA and a PhD from Brigham Young University, where he is a professor. The author or coauthor of more than a dozen books, he has addressed audiences in forty-six states and fifteen countries through his seminars and other speaking engagements. He worked as a television news anchor in Utah, Pennsylvania, and for CNN in Atlanta, Georgia. Since 1990, he has served as announcer and writer for the nationwide weekly Mormon Tabernacle Choir broadcast Music and the Spoken Word. He and his wife, Karmel, are the parents of four children.

Dr. Mary Jane Woodger is a professor of Church history and doctrine at Brigham Young University. After obtaining a master of education degree at Utah State University, she received from BYU a doctor of education degree in educational leadership, with a minor in Church history and doctrine. She was honored by Kappa Omicron Nu with the award of Excellence for her dissertation research on the educational ideals of President David O. McKay.

She is the author of several books and has also authored numerous articles on doctrinal, historical, and educational subjects that have appeared in various academic journals and religious publications. Recently, Dr. Woodger received the Best Article of the Year Award from the Utah Historical Society, as well as the Brigham Young University Faculty Women’s Association Teaching Award.

My Review

This is a perfect book to go along with Come Follow Me that we are focusing on by studying the New Testament.  Each chapter talks about one of the beatitudes found in Matthew 5.  In the chapter about “Blessed are the Poor in Spirit,” it says, “to become poor in spirit, we must develop an awareness of our own nothingness and our need for God.  We decide, ‘I need God’s help!'”  I love this!  So many great treasures of Christ’s lessons to help us become like him.

Love the chapter about “Blessed are they that are persecuted for righteousness sake.”  So many great quotes and thoughts on how we can stand up for the Lord and his church.  I have had many impressions about this specific topic especially with the social media world we live in.  Sometimes the persecution that hurts the most comes from people within the same faith.  Some amazing counsel in this chapter!  I especially love this, “With faith and strength and patience we can endure the persecutions that come.  In fact, the Church has always gathered strength in times of persecution.  And we can too.”

The book goes on to tell a short story of William W. Phelps and all the heavy trials that he faced, yet he wrote “Now Let Us Rejoice” teaching us that we can “refuse to be defeated by our circumstances.”  This gives me great hope while enduring my own trails and burdens.  As I follow the Savior, my burdens can become light.

Near the end of the book it speaks about “Ye are the Salt of the Earth.”  Dr. Woodger said, “Salt prevents decay.  Members of the Church halt the spread of moral decay by living righteously and by making and keeping sacred covenants.”  I love the symbolism here about how living righteously helps us from moral decay.  Nothing is more important than the teaches of Jesus and this book helps to understand them in a simple and clear way.  Grab your copy today!

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