Reviewed by Richard D. Poll
Academic Vice-president, Western Illinois University
This volume of selected speeches is timely witness to the educational, religious, and civic philosophy of the man whose twenty-year presidency at Brigham Young University is now drawing to a close. The driving energy, intellectual acuteness, and strong convictions that characterize Dr. Ernest L. Wilkinson come through clearly in these platform utterances whose subjects range from tithing and family obligations to academic administration and the war in Vietnam.
The editors have divided the book into sections entitled “Autobiographical Remarks,” “Discourses on Patriotism, Free Enterprise, and Law and Order,” “Addresses for Special Occasions,” “Religious Sermons,” “Addresses to Students,” “Addresses to Faculty,” and “First Valedictory.” They have wisely chosen to include entire addresses or major segments, rather than to provide a miscellaneous collection of excerpts.
Having heard many of these addresses when they were delivered at Brigham Young University, this reviewer chuckled when he read these comments about President Wilkinson in the editors’ introduction.
“All who know him will agree that his talks usually run very long and for two good reasons: (1) he has a lot to say, and (2) he cannot escape the compulsion of the attorney to get all of the facts into the record.
“Notwithstanding the substantial nature of his discourses, his audiences are seldom inattentive. Not all of his listeners may agree with him, but his speeches usually are a lively occasion.”
The selections on religious themes show an emphasis on conduct rather than doctrinal exposition. “Make Honor the Standard” contains sound counsel for all Latter-day Saint young people in these times of confusion and temptation.
The most argumentative section is that on political themes, which includes the addresses that won for Dr. Wilkinson two George Washington Medals from the Freedoms Foundation and an award from the American Coalition of Patriotic Societies. Its objective and central theme are epitomized in this comment in an extensive brief that was delivered against the welfare state in 1966:
“As to the real need for political repentance, I summon as my witnesses the first and the last great leaders of the Democratic Party, Thomas Jefferson and Woodrow Wilson.”
The identification of this emphatically conservative position with Latter-day Saint orthodoxy is debatable, and the harsh tone of some of the indictments of governmental action makes them more comforting to those who already share Dr. Wilkinson’s views than convincing to those of other political persuasions.
The author of these addresses is fond of quoting the federal judge who prefaced the announcement of his decisions with the comment that “this court may be wrong but it is never in doubt.” Dr. Wilkinson’s remarkable record of accomplishments is evidence that he is often right.
These selections from the speeches and writings of Elder Brown, a member of the Council of the Twelve, have not been published in previous books. The book is organized into five major divisions: home and children, faith and works, truth and gospel, Christ and the Christian, and youth and the future. There are thought-provoking messages directed to wives, husbands, priesthood bearers, Church leaders and teachers, and youth.
The objective of the authors is to present ideas that illuminate the correlation between social-emotional health and the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ, particularly in directing the development of children in today’s complex society. Examples of problems are cited and solutions offered that relate the basic principles of human development and mental stability in the context of the gospel plan.
This is another volume in a series containing statements of the First Presidency. Covering the period from 1916 to 1934, this volume takes us through the last three years of the administration of President Joseph F. Smith and the first sixteen years of the administration of President Heber J. Grant.
How to get along harmoniously with people in the home and among friends and associates continues to be a matter of prime concern to most of us. Here is a series of essays for the individual who would deal more positively in parent and teacher relationships with young people in their need for understanding, love, and discipline. He suggests practical principles to better manage relationships through patience, service, and dedication. Ideas are presented for encouraging leadership, establishing goals, and solving problems.
A collection of short, imaginative poems on topics ranging from childhood memories to philosophical observations on the beauty of life and the temporal and spiritual condition of man.
Reading these short stories about some of the experiences of the presidents of the Church adds a great deal to our knowledge of them, not only as prophets, seers, and revelators, but as husbands, fathers, and brothers in the gospel. The leadership qualities of these exceptionally gifted men are well known. This collection of their experiences adds another dimension to their accomplishments—a more personal one that highlights events in their daily lives.
The first paperback in a series entitled “Treasury of Classroom, Family and Party Fun,” Teaching with Objects contains fifty-four lessons designed to use particular objects to stimulate interest and to emphasize concepts for entertainment as well as learning, in classroom and family home evening situations.
A companion to volume 1, which dealt with the Gospels, this book covers New Testament writings in Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, and Philippians. The author’s objective is to impart an understanding of the great gospel truths found in these sacred records. President McConkie is a member of the First Council of the Seventy.
Financial mismanagement is one of the major difficulties in many homes. This book presents proven methods for improving family attitudes toward money and the proper utilization of resources. While suggestions for better allocation of income and better control of expenditures are directed primarily toward young married couples and single people, there is guidance here for anyone who wants to be better informed on plans for budgeting, saving, and investing.
Here is a storehouse of clever ideas and suggestions for brightening presentations at home, in the classroom, and in talks from the pulpit. There are “attention-getters” with which to introduce a subject and increase the effectiveness of teaching.
Deseret Book Company, 44 East South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84110
Bookcraft, Inc., 1848 West 2300 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84119