|That Ye May Believe by Neal A. Maxwell|
That Ye May Believe as a book is somewhat problematic by definition. These letters—some several pages in length, others only a few paragraphs—often left me wanting more. Maxwell was a brilliant writer, thinker, and spiritually influential leader. I loved reading his commentaries on usually ignored topics. Someone like Maxwell wouldn't—and rightly so—focus on some of the more mundane topics in his public speeches. However, his insights on dealing with an unkind friend are as interesting to me as are his comments on the Atonement of Jesus Christ, albeit one topic has more eternal significance than the other. Similar to The Lord's Way, That Ye May Believe pulls the curtain back a bit on the thinking of men who are not only very, very smart and thoughtful but also had (or have) very important ecclesiastical positions, especially for Latter-day Saints. It's not canonized scripture, but it is certainly worth understanding and appreciating.
I find the idea of That Ye May Believe wonderful. Writing letters to your grandchildren in anticipation of questions they have not asked yet is a genealogical gem. Being somewhat of a writer myself, I was immediately attracted to the idea of doing something similar. In a way, the various blog posts (including my several Thousander Club book reviews) I have written and will write can be letters to posterity—no matter how embarrassing some of them might be in a few years! Reading That Ye May Believe was a nice reminder to think not only of the current generation but of the many generations yet to come. Rather than being a vanity project to achieve some façade of immortality, a book like That Ye May Believe shows how meaningful a connection to future generations can be. Those generations won't need to wonder what Maxwell felt or thought on certain topics and issues—some of the most important, such as his belief in God. That's not vanity. That's wisdom.
Although it will leave some readers wanting, such as myself, That Ye May Believe is a great little book. The book and the writing is brief and concise—to a fault. I wanted more because Maxwell had so many incredible insights to share. However, what he did write shows very clearly what he did believe. And for me, as well as his grandchildren I'm sure, Maxwell has helped me believe as well.
Other Topics of Interest:
Reflections: The Lord's Way
Reflections: Learning in the Light of Faith
Reflections: The Great Divorce