I was thrilled to be given a copy of Julie B. Beck’s new book, Joy in the Covenant to review. I have always enjoyed listening and learning from Julie Beck in General Conferences. She is always clear, direct and insightful and I have great respect and admiration for her as a person.
When I first received the book, I thought I would just zip right through it, but it took much longer than anticipated because I found myself carefully reading, studying, marking and underlining almost every page as I pondered this book.
This is the type of book that I have always wanted to write, (and hopefully, will still write) – not for the general public mind you, but for my children and grandchildren. Sister Beck writes in the acknowledgements of the book, “The reflections in this book are personal expressions of deep-seated feelings and beliefs. I wrote them to increase the faith of my own posterity and the faith of others who might read them.”
The book is filled with Julie’s personal experiences, thoughts, feelings about her own beliefs and faith. If we want to pass on our spiritual heritage from one generation to the next, we need to record our spiritual experiences, the basis for our faith and why we believe what we believe.
Julie wrote, “We also have important saving work to do in our homes and families. We have the responsibility to teach children and grandchildren to be covenant makers and covenant keepers. Taking care of our families is sacred, important work, no less important than missionary work or temple work. Teaching and preparing every new generation is essential to secure an unbroken line of family covenant keeping.”
Sister Beck does a masterful job of doing this.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from Sister Julie B. Beck:
Speaking about her faithful ancestors: “I have thought that for me to become a weak leak in that powerful chain of faith would be the ultimate display of ingratitude, the most selfish and painful rejection of their legacy. Even now, their stories inspire me and challenge me and lift me above the sophistry and complexity of the present day…. I now have the responsibility to carry the faith of my ancestors to my own new branches, my own posterity.”
“Our service as members…is not a checklist of things to do. It is not a race, nor is it a competition to see how much each of us can do…all faithful efforts count, and so we labor in the times and places we are needed and with the people who need us most.”
“…I hope to convey is that as we set goals and step into the future, we almost always have a different experience from what we imagined at the outset.” Well, isn’t that the truth!
I really appreciated her sharing the difficulties, the sacrifices that she and her family made for her to continue her education, as I have recently returned to school myself. It has been a struggle for me in finding the time for school, as I run my own business, have demanding callings at church, have a young adult child with special needs and a family that needs me to fully participate in day-to-day life. Julie gave great advice when she shared her lessons learned from her educational experiences while raising a family. She wrote on how to: “keep moving; prioritize; accept help; focus on goals; learn new things; be happy now; seek the Holy Ghost and rely on Heavenly Father and Christ.”
Who is this book for?
Who is this book for? For any member of the church who wonders how church leaders implement teaching and sharing the gospel with their children and grandchildren. It is for any who wonders about being a covenant keeper and how to build their own faith, and anyone looking to be inspired.
The book’s tone, narrative, and content are all well presented in an easy to read, understandable way that will be sure to inspire and enlighten. I highly recommend this book and it should be added to your “Must Read” list for 2019.
About the Author
Julie Bangerter Beck was the President of the General Relief Society Presidency from 2007-2012. The Relief Society presidency oversees one of the largest women’s organization in the world and the activities of all women ages 18 and over, in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.