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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Review: Face to Face by S. Michael Wilcox

Face to Face: Seeking A Personal Relationship With God by S. Michael Wilcox, NF, LDS -Self help, 154p, Rating=4.5
Source: hardcover copy provided by publisher in exchange 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.

This book started off strong.  I definitely could perceive the author's then childhood thoughts about prayers bouncing of the ceiling and the wonderment of how it reaches "up" to Heavenly Father given the barricade. Then as an adult discovering Paul's words from Athens, "In him we live, and move, and have our being" (Athens 17:28), leading to believe that God is more "around" or "next" than "up" (pg4).  Like the author, I still think God is situated above but Paul's statement offers the concept that we can speak to God in a matter of familiarity.  A kind of face to face.  So viewing God as being reachable provides confidence that we can have an intimate relationship with Him.  Wilcox goes on to demonstrate the exchange of "pouring out" (us) and "pouring in" (God).  Wow, that struck a chord!  Because just a couple of weeks ago did I find myself in despair and "poured out" my aching soul to Heavenly Father in prayer and once all was unloaded, the "pouring in" from Him was immediate comfort.  Oh, what a confirmation did it give to me that Heavenly Father was at that moment giving me a huge hug.  That was my face to face!  Hence, this "pouring" was one way of reaching God that this book pointed out.  Others that were discussed included reaching through: wrestling, believing, acting, desire, and knocking (my favorite chapter next to pouring out).  Then ending with a solid summary.

A powerful little book that can inbreathe the reader to build a meaningful relationship with God and shows how.  Insightful examples backed by scriptures grants this book good ground to construct that feeling of speaking "face to face" with our Almighty God.  A definite great addition to a collection of inspiring books.

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.

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