Book Report Tuesdays!

Back when I was at American University, I was a TA for the leadership program (and man, if that program wasn't filled with Type A personalities!).  At the beginning of the year, we went to Antietam on our annual retreat and played all sorts of lame ice-breaker games that actually turned out to be kind of fun.  One of said games required the freshmen to put together little skits.  One of the scenarios gave the participants permission to parody the 5 TAs.  Skit after skit painted me as dog obsessed (I had a puppy at the time) and had references to me as a cult member (I had just joined the Church).  It was all in good fun, but it felt über hollow.

These days, I'm fully aware of my myriad Lauren-isms.  I know, for example, that it would be very, very easy for someone to make a parody of my life with ridiculous accuracy.  Already canonized are the "I was listening to this story on NPR the other day..." and "I was sitting in class and suddenly it hit me..." and (primarily with Mad) "There's an episode about this on How I Met Your Mother!" 

Today, I wish to submit another entry to the tome:  "I was reading in this book, and it said something that changed everything!"

That's a lot of lead up, I know, but it's so, so, so true.  And I kind of like LOVE it.

So, with said background, I have been reading The Book of Jewish Belief.  And my goodness, I am breathless.  There are SO many gems in this book that I have been highlighting those quotes that could have tumbled effortlessly from the Prophet's mouth himself.  Every.  Single.  Page.  has at least three or four lines underlined.

That being said, I also feel like this might tie in with one of my most resolute of goals for this year.  I proposed (and have thus far been mostly successful) in reading at least two books per month cover to cover.  I feel so inundated with knowledge and have felt so inspired in these efforts, which is great...but it is so the case that I feel as though a part of me is just dog-paddling in all of this input instead of incorporating it into my life.  I feel as though I have heretofore been unable to convert this knowledge into "dynamic fact" as Nels L. Nelson has said.*

So.  I propose this:  Book Report Tuesday.

Woah, woah, woah.  Book Report Tuesday?!

Okay, maybe I should revise that, because book reports are for sniffly second graders who just finished reading the latest installment of The Boxcar Children (if you're too young for that reference, I just don't want to know).  Perhaps we shall call it...what?  Literary Insight Tuesday?  Way too pretentious.

For now, we'll just stick with Book Report Tuesday.  With the caveat that I promise it won't be a plot review and instead will be more of what you're already used to getting from me...just based on the spiritual impressions I received in a book I happened to have read recently.

*Nels L. Nelson:  "Knowledge is only half of intelligence. To stop here is to be falsely educated. If, however, the truth perceived becomes a dynamic fact in a man's character; if it is incorporated into his mental attitude, and reacts immediately upon his life; if, in short, it ceases to be something in a man, and becomes the man himself, changing the very . . . [character] of his soul, then knowledge has passed over into power—or character—or wisdom—or, to adopt the term used by Joseph Smith, has passed over into intelligence; and it is such a process alone that represents true education." (Scientific Aspects of Mormonism)


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